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Sampler Platter: Lard is the new olive oil, food writing cliches, speakeasies return and the house that Pinkberry built

June 3, 2009 |  6:05 pm

The scene inside Varnish, a bar inside Cole's restaurant in downtown L.A. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times.

A small town beats government bureaucracy, Anthony Bourdain's bucket list, the worst cliches of food writing, lard's moment in the sun (will it melt?) and more in this jam-packed midweek food news roundup.

  • Anthony Bourdain lists "13 Places to Eat Before You Die" in the June issue of Men's Health: Salumi (Seattle), Hot Doug’s (Chicago), Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue (Kansas City, Kans.), elBulli (Girona, Spain), the French Laundry (Napa Valley), Russ & Daughters (New York City) and more.
  • A remote New Hampshire town fights to save its French bakery -- and wins! New York Times
  • Epicurious' list of the top 5 most annoying food-writing clichés -- "decadent dessert," "cozy interior," "yummy," "wash it down with" and "save room for" -- sparks a flurry of comments.
  • Today, Slate celebrates food with a special issue featuring six food-themed stories. Everything from lard ("its moment is finally here") to the Federal Writers Project funding foodies.
  • From the Top 10 Creepiest Fast Food Mascots to the Top 10 Most Disgusting Candies to the Top 10 Anthony Bourdain Insults on Food TV, Endless Simmer compiles the Top 10 food-themed Top 10 lists.
  • Baristas lose as court reverses ruling on Starbucks tip lawsuit. Seattle Post Intelligencer
  • Speakeasies are still popular, according to the New York Times. Wait... When a speakeasy is mentioned in a major newspaper, doesn't that defeat the underground nature of the bar? Not if  a speakeasy is just a decorating theme and not a survival strategy.
  • The house that Pinkberry built is a glossy Malibu manse filled with Philippe Starck ghost chairs, Le Klint lamps, Alessi kitchen gadgets and $4,000 Hermès suits. Wall Street Journal

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: The scene at Varnish, a bar-speakeasy inside Cole's restaurant in downtown L.A. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times.