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Father's Office, the best bagels, ribs, absinthe and more

November 12, 2008 |  4:20 am

If we can't have ketchup with our fries at Father's Office, we'll go with the soft-shell crab.

The new Father’s Office location in Culver City is much like the original location in Santa Monica. There’s no table service. No substitutions. And no ketchup allowed with your fries. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila’s review kicks off this week’s Food section. Here are other highlights:

  • If you want to start a fight in this town, bring up bagels. Here's a guided tour of the two biggest bagel bakers in L.A -- even if you’ve never heard of them, you’ve probably eaten their hand-crafted wares -– as well as a list of the city's best bagel shops and the best cream cheese. For you DIY-ers, making bagels at home is easier than you might think, as long as you’ve got the time. The best part? You can pile them high with the toppings of your choice. Here’s your recipe and a photo gallery taking you through it step-by-step.
  • Why does “Ma Gastronomie” –- the embodiment of the late legendary French chef Fernand Point –- have such a devoted following? The newest edition, hitting shelves this month, certainly isn’t filled with the lush photographs or detailed recipes that we’ve come to expect. Times staff writer and editor Betty Hallock explains why it’s a book that chefs love to love –- and why it's beloved by food-loving readers.
  • Our Find this week is Copper Chimney. You wouldn’t know it by the name, but it’s a new Indian restaurant in Woodland Hills where the entrees run $8 to $16. You can’t go wrong with any of the Tandoori dishes, but make sure you don’t miss the stuffed naan or the homemade, ice-cream-like kulfis.
  • Bob Foutz of Huntington Beach loved the sweet-and-spicy ribs at Sage in Newport Beach, so much so that he just had to have the recipe. Times Test Kitchen Manager Noelle Carter –- who runs our Culinary SOS feature -- was glad to help.
  • If you're looking for something to do, check out our datebook: We've got complimentary absinthe, cooking classes, truffles and a workshop on growing your own veggies.
  • If absinthe is not your thing, Virbila suggests the moderately priced 2006 Ataraxia Sauvignon Blanc as her pick for wine of the week.

And finally.....

--Rene Lynch

Photo credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

Photo caption: If we can't have ketchup with our fries at Father's Office, we'll go with the soft-shell crab.

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