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Umami

FOOD
October 20, 2012 | Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
When I am trying to explain the concept of modernist cooking to a friend who has experienced neither encapsulated olives nor edible menus printed with organic ink, I sometimes bring up the burgers concocted by Nathan Myhrvold, a software pioneer who has lately diversified into maximum-tech cooking, among other things. His recipe, which appears in his 2,400-page opus, "Modernist Cuisine," involves sous-vide , liquid nitrogen, a deep-fat fryer and homemade processed cheese, and is not much less complex, I suspect, than the directions for rebuilding a Porsche.
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FOOD
April 28, 2012 | By Andrea Nguyen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Wrinkly Chinese fermented black beans look as though they have just emerged from an archaeological site. Indeed, the salty, pungent little bits are an ancient Chinese staple. Made of black or yellow soybeans, they were once the only soy-based seasoning used all over China but nowadays are mostly employed in southern Chinese cooking. Called dou chi in Mandarin and dul see in Cantonese, you may know them as the punchy dark flecks in the sparerib nuggets at dim sum. But fermented black beans are remarkably versatile.
BUSINESS
November 22, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
In the 2 1/2 years since selling California Pizza Kitchen, the popular chain he helped found in 1985, Richard L. Rosenfield has been golfing, fishing, hunting, pursuing hobbies and otherwise staying off the restaurant industry's radar. Not so much for Larry S. Flax, Rosenfield's best friend and business partner of four decades, who's been jetting around the world hunting for a new food project. Turns out he didn't have to go far for ideas. Sometime in the second half of 2014, Flax and Rosenfield said, they plan to revisit pizza by launching a line of fast-casual pie joints.
NEWS
February 14, 2013 | By Jay Jones
SLS Las Vegas , a trendy resort to be built on the grounds of the former Sahara, is scheduled to open in fall 2014 and promises to bring several Southern California clubs and restaurants to the Nevada desert. The former Sahara has been surrounded by chain link fencing since owners Sbe , whose chairman and chief executive is Sam Nazarian, closed the historic hotel about two years ago. The company is pumping $415 million into renovating the property, which has stood on the Strip since 1952.
BUSINESS
September 16, 2011 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Pushy waiters and know-it-all sommeliers, step aside. Your days may be numbered. Tablet computers are starting to take over. In the last few months, restaurants scattered around the country have installed iPads and other technologies on which customers can place orders and perform additional tasks usually handled by staff. At Stacked in Torrance, which opened in May, iPads mounted on 60 tables enable patrons to flip through a touch screen to view pizza, burger and salad offerings.
NEWS
August 25, 2012 | By Noelle Carter
This week, deputy Food editor Betty Hallock is all about shio koji : "The latest trendy cooking ingredient in Japan is a fungus. And that fungus is spreading. Professional and home cooks in Japan are crazy for it, and it's flying off the shelves at Japanese markets in the U.S., too. "They're using shio koji -- a fermented mixture of koji (rice innoculated with the special -- and safe -- mold Aspergillus oryzae), shio (sea salt) and water -- as a seasoning in place of salt for its powers of umami.
SCIENCE
September 20, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
It might seem that the range of scents humans can detect is infinite, but scientists have managed to sort them all into 10 basic categories, ranging from peppermint to pungent. The classifications are meant to be the olfactory equivalent of the five basic tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami).  To come up with the 10 scents, neuroscientists turned to a 30-year-old database that contained profiles of 144 odors.  Each odor was assessed by human subjects, who were given a list of 146 words and asked to rate how well each word described the odor.
FOOD
March 16, 2012 | By Betty Hallock, Los Angeles Times
Big changes have hit Little Osaka, the iconic Japanese neighborhood that runs along Sawtelle Boulevard in West L.A. Take, for example, Plan Check Kitchen & Bar. The 4-week-old restaurant serving gourmet burgers, American comfort food and curated cocktails is Sawtelle's first gastropub. The street has for decades been a Japanese restaurant row: sushi, curry, yakitori, Franco-Japanese small plates, izakaya fare and land-of-the-rising-sun snacks. In the days just before opening, Plan Check owner Terry Heller wondered half-jokingly, "Do you think I'm crazy not to open a sushi place here?"
NEWS
October 3, 2012 | By Jessica Gelt
Sam Nazarian, the 37-year-old power player behind SBE hospitality group, is transcending the no-longer-accurate moniker of "night life king" by expanding his popular Katsuya restaurant brand on an international scale. Late last month Nazarian signed a deal with M.H. Alshaya (a huge international retail franchise operator) to open 17 Katsuyas in the Middle East by 2017 with the first two, in Kuwait and Dubai, scheduled to open in 2013. This is in addition to Nazarian's investment in Adam Fleischman's buzzy Umami Burger, which Nazarian is helping to develop into a national chain.  Nazarian also has his sights set on Asia and is planning to open a branch of his SLS hotel chain in China.
NEWS
January 24, 2013 | By Jenn Harris
Wednesday night's judgment table on "Top Chef" was a long time coming. The loud-mouthed, obnoxious ball of annoyance, otherwise known as Josie Smith-Malave, was finally given the boot. When Padma Lakshmi told her to pack her knives, I did a fist pump. For the quickfire challenge, master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi challenged the chefs to make a sushi dish. Stefan Richter won with his yellowtail and grilled shiitake mushroom dish, but instead of immunity, he took home $5,000. Tom Colicchio was in the mood for fried chicken, so he asked the chefs to make the fried bird for the elimination challenge.
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