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The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Atwater Village

'13 Days of Halloween' at Village Bakery

Fingers

"The 13 Days of Halloween" start on Wednesday at Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater Village. On each of the 13 days leading up to Halloween, the neighborhood bakery offers a different scary treat. By Halloween Day, all 13 will be available.

It's sort of like an Advent calendar for Halloween rendered in baked goods -- starting with witches' fingers shortbread (pictured above). Other treats include: monster eyeballs, ghost meringues, jack o' lantern pumpkin tarts, skeleton gingerbread men, chocolate mice, skull cookies, mummy rice krispy treats, mini pumpkin cakes, black cat cookies, bat brownies, serial killer cookies and skeleton cupcakes. Other Halloween treats, not part of the 13 Days of Halloween, also will be available. 

3119 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village, (323) 662-8600, www.villagebakeryandcafe.com.

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Golden Road Brewing debuts

Quince is the queen of fall fruits

The ladies of Lindy & Grundy answer our questions

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Village Bakery

Golden Road Brewing draws 1,000 to grand opening

Golden Road

Golden Road Brewing opened the hangar-sized doors of its multi-warehouse Atwater Village craft beer campus to the public Sunday afternoon, drawing slightly more than 1,000 people to sample the company's work and taste rare offerings from numerous local brewers. The brewery, spearheaded by Tony Yanow of Tony's Darts Away and Mohawk Bend, isn't wasting any time in penetrating the L.A. market, having built a near-functional operation in just 4½ months.

"This is a different kind of start-up," said co-founder Meg Gill, 26, who came to Golden Road from San Francisco's Speakeasy and started at Colorado's Oskar Blues. "We're not home-brewers-turned-professional. We're professional brewers starting a new project."

Craft beer fans in Los Angeles have been blessed the last two years. More local bars, restaurants and shops than ever are stocking artisanal ales and lagers, with recent notable additions including Yanow's Mohawk Bend in Echo Park and the nearby Sunset Beer Company. Additionally, the likes of Glassell Park's Eagle Rock Brewery and Hangar 24 in Redlands have seen steady growth, adding more brand recognition to a scene that already included Hollywood's Blue Palms BrewhouseAlhambra's 38° Ale House & Grill and Pasadena's Craftsman Brewing Company, among many others.

Golden Road is aiming big from the start. The brewery intends to have cans of two of its year-round options, Point the Way IPA and its namesake Golden Road Hefeweizen, in stores by the end of November and is currently in the licensing phase for the can's labels. A restaurant, pictured below in its work-in-progress state, should be up and running by the end of the year.

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Atwater Crossing Kitchen: Outdoor dining coming soon

Pics 014 USE

Retired chef Sarkis Berghoudian, formerly of Fiddler's Bistro on West 3rd Street in Los Angeles and Blue Pyramid in Glendale, was recently lured back into the kitchen to tend to the wood fire oven at Atwater Crossing Kitchen, which opened earlier this summer.

Located in the heart of the 100,000-square-foot Atwater Crossing complex at 3265-3191 Casitas Ave., the kitchen is part of five industrial buildings spanning five city blocks that are home to creative offices and artisanal manufacturing facilities, including a yoga studio, a theater company and the literary journal Slake: Los Angeles.

Pics 027 USEThe kitchen opened last month for breakfast and lunch but plans to launch dinner service next month. The restaurant will expand its hours to include weekends and will open up its spacious courtyard for what will be an outdoor dining space with communal tables, a bar and a stage for live performances. Amtrak trains roll by in the background, in a surprisingly pleasant way.

The dinner menu is in the works with a fitting winebar concept to complement the relaxed space: Think small plates, Berghoudian's flatbread creations and a beer and wine list.

Atwater Crossing 's new hours (as of Sept. 20) will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Pics 029 USE3245 Casitas Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 522-3488, atwatercrossingkitchen.com.

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-- Caitlin Keller

Photo: Caitlin Keller / Los Angeles Times

Some sweet news: Carmela Ice Cream to open shop; Proof Bakery in Atwater; Sweet Lady Jane expands [Updated]

Carmela1

Small-batch ice cream company Carmela Ice Cream is set to open its new shop in northeast Pasadena and plans to roll out a vintage ice cream truck. Carmela Ice Cream Artisanal Creamery will produce ice cream and sorbet -- in flavors such as brown sugar vanilla bean, strawberry buttermilk and lemon basil -- on site, where co-owner Jessica Mortarotti also will offer goods such as custom toppings from Valerie Confections, teas and marshmallows by Sugarbird Sweets & Teas and cupcakes from Blue Cupcake. The store is scheduled to open this month. 

2495 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena, www.carmelaicecream.com.

Weeks-old Proof Bakery in Atwater Village is in full swing (Wednesday to Sunday). Owner Na Young Ma offers a full line of pastries -- financiers, palmiers, cakes such as caramel-apple spice with mascarpone creme, tarts, well, you get the picture. And Yeekai Lim, the architect-turned-barista behind the Cognoscenti Coffee pop-up shop, is serving Four Barrel coffee.

3156 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 664-8633. 

[For the record, Dec. 7, 5 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Yeekai Lim as the owner of Proof Bakery.]

Sweet Lady Jane's Santa Monica location has officially opened on Montana Avenue. Founder Jane Lockhart has brought her cakes, pies, tarts, cheesecakes, cookies and more to the Westside (the original Melrose location opened in 1988). Expect to find all of Lockhart's hits, including the seven-layer chocolate cake and the marzipan-enrobed princess cake. And chocolate tacos (florentine cookies filled with chocolate mousse and covered with chocolate curls). 

1631 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, www.sweetladyjane.com, (310) 254-9499. 

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Jessica Mortarotti with her Carmela ice creams. Credit: Karen Tapia-Anderson / Los Angeles Times


3 food events you should know about: Mexico's bicentennial at Test Kitchen; 'Tampopo' at Royal/T; '13 Days of Halloween' at Village Bakery

Mexico  

Mexico 2010: The Test Kitchen this week celebrates Mexico's bicentennial by hosting Baja chefs Diego Hernandez, formerly of Restaurante Uno in Tijuana; Ismene Venegas of Restaurante La Contra del Parque in Ensenada; and Guillermo Barreto of El Sarmiento restaurant in Ensenada. On Wednesday and Thursday, the three will prepare a spontaneous six-course menu; $50 per person. On Friday and Saturday, Joshua Gil of Mitla, the modern Oaxacan restaurant that he and Bricia Lopez plan to open next month, is offering a five-course menu for $55: sopa de guias with squash vines, chepil, zucchini stems, blossoms, chochoyote and chinicuil sauce; tlayuda of white white beans, mole coloradito, avocado leaves, cactuses and shrimp; braised turkey with hoja santa, black beans, poleo and bean masa tortillas; venison with yellow mole; and guava sponge cake with Oaxacan chocolate and goat milk caramel. 9575 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 277-0133, testkitchenla.com

Ramen and a movie: Royal/T starts its fall entertainment line-up for "Nighttime @ Royal/T" on Wednesday with a screening of Juzo Itami's "Tampopo," the classic cult film about ramen culture in Japan. Before the screening in Royal/T's back lounge space, Jordan A. Yamaji Smith, a lecturer in Japanese studies and comparative literature at UCLA and Long Beach State, will discuss "Food, Sex, Satire in Modern Japan." A special ramen menu will be available in the cafe starting at 6 p.m. The film starts at 7:30 p.m.  8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 559-6300, www.royal-t.org.

Countdown to Halloween: There are still a few days left of "13 Days of Halloween." Until Sunday, the Village Bakery in Atwater Village is featuring a different Halloween treat each day. Peanut butter and dark chocolate "monster eyeballs," bandaged Rice Krispie treat mummy heads, green marshmallow witches' fingers, and meringue ghosts dipped in chocolate and toasted coconut have been a few of the featured baked goods that baker-owner Barbara Monderine has dreamed up. 3119 Los Feliz Blvd., (323) 662-8600, www.thevillagebakeryandcafe.com. 

 -- Betty Hallock

Photo: Balloons over the Angel of Independence in Mexico City in celebration of Mexico's bicentennial. Credit: Marco Ugarte / Associated Press. 

Kogi truck rides on to more accolades; Viet Noodle Bar makes the Bon Appetit grade

Kogi

The Kogi truck is one food trend that shows no sign of stalling out.

Kogi truck founders Caroline Shin-Manguera, Mark Manguera, and Roy Choi have been honored with a Bon Appetit award "for being true innovators as grassroots guerrilla restaurateurs."

When it comes to the intersection of food and technology, we love following Kogi, L.A.'s Korean barbecue taco truck; each day, fans are alerted to its location via Twitter and the blog kogibbq.com. Founded by Mark Manguera, Caroline Shin-Manguera, and Roy Choi, Kogi is for the kalbi lover on the go. With the grill helmed by pedigreed executive chef Choi, expect multi-culti innovative weekly specials like Brie-stuffed French toast and kimchi puerco pupusas in addition to stalwarts like short-rib tacos and spicy beef tacos. Not in the mood to track down the truck? Kogi has found a bricks-and-mortar home in Culver City's Alibi Room. But we love Kogi most of all for bringing high-concept, creative cuisine directly to the streets. Find out the rest of the winners of the 12th Annual Bon Appetit Awards here.

Also in the Bon Appetit spotlight: The Viet Noodle Bar tops its list of the nation's Top 10 noodle joints:

For many, their first taste of Vietnamese food is pho. This satisfying soup is made with various meats, seafood, and rice noodles. At this Atwater Village noodle bar, pho comes topped with ingredients like organic chicken and cilantro. 3133 Glendale Boulevard; 323-906-1575; vietnoodlebar.com

--Rene Lynch

Photo: the Kogi truck; credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Sampler Platter: Pane e Vino and stylish burgers

VietnoodlesMidweek roundup of food bites featuring a burger shaped like a shoe, a documentary about food stamps and a local band's foray to a noodle bar.


-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Los Angeles Times.

Sampler Platter: Malt loaves, lobsters, luxury burgers and 'Food, Inc.'

Malt loaves, luxury burgers, tobacco regulations and the evils of agribusiness in today's roundup of food news.

  • "Food, Inc.," an upcoming doc about the influence of agribusiness on America's food supply, is generating tons of buzz and has so far scored 82 on Metacritic (but based on only four reviews). David Edelstein of New York magazine: "The sheer scale of the movie is mind-blowing.... It's the documentary equivalent of 'The Matrix': It shows us how we're living in a simulacrum, fed by machines run by larger machines with names like Monsanto, Perdue, Tyson, and the handful of other corporations that make everything."
  • Man finds dead mouse embedded in a "malt loaf." With photo. BBC
  • 10 most expensive hamburgers in the U.S. -- includes Spago and Taste. Forbes Traveler
  • Sen. Edward Kennedy's bill giving FDA regulatory power over tobacco products is about to pass. Boston Globe
  • Atwater Village Newbie posts rumors that the Atwater Village Farmers Market may be in jeopardy because Wells Fargo may start opening on Sundays.
  • Yellow lobster caught in Canada is a 1-in-30-million rarity. Associated Press
  • Norman Brinker, who created Steak & Ale and Bennigan's  and transformed Chili's into a fast-casual juggernaut, dies at 78. WFAA

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Fiona, a rare yellow lobster (rare because she's yellow before she's been cooked) sits among ordinary lobsters. Credit: Julia Cumes / Associated Press

Sampler Platter: BBQ in Westwood & Atwater Village, ramen in NY and more

Photo: Hannah Geddis, 30, savors Memphis-style baby back ribs at Gus's Barbecue in South Pasadena. Credit: Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times It's Monday, but this food news might make you feel less blue ...

  • Westwood Brewing Company "will try to shed its college bar label as it converts into a "serious" BBQ joint." Eater LA
  • We've heard that the lines are long for Bigmista's Barbecue at the Atwater Village farmer's market, and Atwater Village Newbie confirms it.
  • "Momofuku is a gentrified abomination of a ramen shop with food peddled to New York diners who really ought to know better." The Rameniac
  • The Locavore's dilemma: What to do with the kale, turnips and parsley that overwhelm your community-supported agriculture bin. Slate
  • Polish member of Parliament fails drunk-driving test. Claims he ate too many apples that fermented in his stomach. Metro UK
  • Tonight at the Astor Center in N.Y., Le Bernardin chef Eric Ripert and and New York Times writer Christine Muhlke will be doing a big event around their new book, "On The Line," a behind-the-scenes look at how Ripert's famed restaurant runs. The Feedbag

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo:  Hannah Geddis, 30, savors Memphis-style baby back ribs at Gus's Barbecue in South Pasadena. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.