Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Betty Hallock

Food FYI: FDA now bans BPAs from baby bottles

BPA BAN

The FDA announced the controversial chemical BPA, or bisphenol-A, can no longer be used in baby bottles or sippy cups. But "the agency continues to support the safety of BPA for use in products that hold food," the FDA said. [CBS News]

KIDDIE CHEFS

A look at very young chefs, including Flynn McGarry, the Valley eighth-grader who runs the supper club Eureka. [The Guardian]

BURGER KING BLOOPER

A Burger King employee posts a picture of himself standing on two bins of lettuce, or rather, in the lettuce. [Cleveland Scene]

UNDERWATER WINE

Frank Labeyrie, of Chateau du Coreau in Côtes de Bordeaux Cadillac, plans to open an under-sea wine cellaring service in the Atlantic Ocean. He says the ocean’s cool temperatures, zero oxygen and zero light will help wines age slowly, keeping fruit intensity longer and deepening flavor. [Decanter]

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Food FYI: The good news about cherry pie

5 Questions for Eric Park

-- Betty Hallock

Food FYI: Trans fat ban helped heart health, NY study says

Transfat

FIGHTING FAT

New York's ban on trans fat in restaurant food made a big dent in people's consumption and the bad fat wasn't necessarily replaced by another bad ingredient, according to a study. [Associated Press]

COGNOSCENTI COFFEE

Yeekai Lim, proprietor of Cognoscenti Coffee at Proof Bakery and recently the Normandie Hotel, on coffee and design. [Smithsonian]

ROTTEN BANANAS 

Q&A with Enrique Olvera, chef of Pujol in Mexico City, who discusses regional cuisine, traditions in contemporary cooking, and rotten bananas. [Food Republic]

FOIE YOU

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs seeks a boycott of wines from California after the state banned the sale of foie gras. [The Independent]

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Food FYI: The good news about cherry pie

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: The sign in front of a West L.A. Paquito Mas, which voluntarily switched from trans fats to canola oil. Credit: Carlos Chavez/Los Angeles Times

Food FYI: Sweet news about sour cherries

Cherry pie
CHERRY PIE

A slice of cherry pie a day helps keep the doctor away? Or at least the sour cherries in the pie might. Sour cherries contain the same sort of anti-inflammatory compounds as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. And they contain more of these anti-inflammatory compounds than any other food, a study says. [Los Angeles Times]

SRIRACHA AND ICE CREAM

Go Burger puts sriracha in its milkshakes. Spicy. [Cooking Channel]

THOMAS JEFFERSON'S CHEFS

A look at two enslaved women who helped put French food on Thomas Jefferson's table and insert its prominence in American culinary culture. [Smithsonian]

TROPICAL FRUIT

How to cut a pineapple. [Simply Recipes]

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-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times

5 Questions for Eric Park

Eric park

Eric Park is the chef-owner of Black Hogg, the latest restaurant to open on Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake. Park's cooking has been called "exuberant rustic-urban cooking" (by a Times restaurant critic), showcasing big flavors -- such as in longaniza sausage hash, pork chop with mojo sauce and a "buttery" lamb burger with Onetik blue cheese. (It's called buttery because butter is mixed into the ground meat.) 

What’s coming up next on your menu? I have a lamb belly dish I'm working on that's reminiscent of the fare at the famous halal cart on 53rd and 6th in NYC. Also look for ceviche, grilled sardines and octopus, and my take on BBQ to come this summer.

Latest ingredient obsession? Middle Eastern flavors. Coriander, cumin, sumac.... Just finished making our own house-made harissa.  

What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again? I frequent La Cevicheria on Pico Boulevard. Amazing ceviches. Pho 87 in Chinatown for their fatty brisket and tendon pho. Park's BBQ on Vermont -- some of the best meat in town.

Favorite kitchen soundtrack? Arcade Fire, the Strokes, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, the Cure, Penny and the Quarters. 

What chef has most influenced you? April Bloomfield. I externed at the Spotted Pig for several months while in New York. She probably will not even remember me, but I was in awe of her and absorbed everything there like a sponge.

Black Hogg, 2852 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 953-2820, www.blackhogg.com.

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The aperitif hour: Chopped chicken liver on toast

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-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times

Food FYI: Yes, it's National French Fry Day

French fries
FRENCH FRIES (THEY'RE ACTUALLY BELGIAN) 

For those keeping track, it's National French Fry Day. Here's a throwback video from Jon Stewart, on French fries, the Baconator and our "mutating peptide composition." [The Daily Show] (Also, see a French fry photo gallery here.)

LARGE CURDS

A few cheesemakers are creating cottage cheeses by choosing milk from grass-fed cows, stirring and cutting the curds by hand and adding cream. You got it, artisanal cottage cheese. [Washington Post]

CANNED FOOD TRENDING

A budding culinary trend in Japan? Restaurants serving canned food from around the world. Customers pluck cans from shelves and sit down with their plastic forks and paper cups of sake for an apocalyptic-chic take on dinner. [Japan Today]

BEETS GALORE

Why hate on beets? With recipes. [NPR]

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Food FYI: Democrats fail to block cuts to food stamps

Marion Cunningham's baking powder biscuits

New in WeHo: Laurel Hardware

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times

Food FYI: Democrats fail to block food stamp cuts in farm bill

Farm bill
FARM BILL WATCH

House Democrats fell short in their efforts to block cutbacks to food assistance to poor families as the Agriculture Committee approved the half-trillion-dollar bill to fund farm and nutrition programs over the next five years. Republicans' attempts to make deeper cuts to the program also were defeated. [The Guardian]

ART OF PLATING

Michael Laiskonis, former Le Bernardin pastry chef, breaks down the art of plating. His example: a cylinder of yogurt, strawberry film, tiny cubes of pain de gênes, sliced strawberries, basil seeds, candied celery and celery leaves. (Think asymmetry and odd numbers; but don't overthink.) [Gilt Taste]

RAMADAN RECIPES 

Chef Marcus Samuelsson has African recipes for the Islamic religious holiday Ramadan, such as chicken-peanut stew and honey bread. [Epicurious]

RANDY'S TURNS 60

Souther California icon Randy's Donuts celebrates its 60th birthday. [KPCC]

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New in WeHo: Laurel Hardware

Food FYI: Farmed fish will bump wild fish from your plate

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Robert Willett/MTC

Food FYI: Cows that drink wine make for better beef?

Cow
BOVINE DIET

In the village of Lunel-Viel in southern France, some farmers are feeding wine to their beef cattle. They say the resulting beef is "lean, marbled and tasty." [The Independent]

POST-VERMEER

A Dutch photographer takes portraits of cooks in the kitchens of Amsterdam. [Epicurious]

CLAMS LIKE SALT

A video of a clam licking salt off a table hits the Internets. [YouTube]

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Hepp's Salt Barrel

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Josie Lepe/MCT

Food FYI: Farmed fish will bump wild fish from your plate

Fish

FISH FARMS

By 2018, the fish on your plate will more likely have come from a farm rather than from the wild, according to the U.N.'s food agency. Output from aquaculture is expected to soar 33% in the next decade. [L.A. Times]

WILL WORK FOR FOOD

25 things to know before you become a restaurant critic. [The Washingtonian]

BAD MEATBALLS

New Jersey-based meatball-maker Buona Vita Inc. recalls about 325,000 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat meat and poultry products because of possible Listeria contamination. [LA Weekly/CBS News]

PEPSI YOGURT

PepsiCo rolls out its first yogurt in the U.S. in its foray into "good-for-you" foods. Flavors include "Choco Balls" and "Chocolate Flakes." [USA Today]

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New in West Hollywood: Laurel Hardware

50 Shades of Food: A boozy berry shortcake

MAD2 food symposium in Copenhagen: some highlights

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times

New in WeHo: Laurel Hardware, plus lunch starts this week

Laurel hardware 1
Laurel Hardware has opened on Santa Monica Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood, a newcomer already drawing the locals in droves. Think New American in an old hardware store (complete with vintage facade). 

Laurel hardware 3Chef Mario Alberto (Gjelina, Lazy Ox, Chimu) is turning out a focused menu of share plates (confit pork belly with green barley, tomatoes with shiso and honey, grilled peaches with burrata) and a handful of pizzas (including one over the weekend with hatch chiles and anchovies). The bar seats a couple of dozen, and there's a roster of cocktails that go nicely with the view through floor-to-ceiling bay windows that look onto an alluring back patio. (There isn't service on the patio -- yet -- but diners can wander out there with their drinks.) 

The 3,500-square-foot space, designed by Sam Marshall, is divided into several areas. The front, with windows facing the blur of Santa Monica Boulevard, is bright and airy. In the back, the bar is flanked by communal tables. Elevated booths line one wall, and sofas and armchairs with cocktail tables are along the bay windows.

Lunch starts this week, Alberto says, with a menu of sandwiches (including the LH Burger), salads and pizzas. In a couple of weeks, there will be brunch: egg scrambles (such as with maitake mushrooms, pea tendrils and creme fraiche), oysters and fried chicken with biscuits or hanger steak with 64-degree egg.

7984 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 656-6070, www.laurelhardware.com.

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-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Betty Hallock

Food FYI: Something smells in Rosemead; but is it the chicken?

Chicken

FOR THE BIRDS

Chinese American Live Poultry in Rosemead has sold freshly killed birds for two decades. But city officials have voted to shut it down, citing odors, traffic and escaped chickens. Now owners Quan and Dana Phu have filed a discrimination suit in federal court. [Los Angeles Times]

FOOD FACTORIES

The top food factory tours in America, inlcuding Cabot cheese and Utz potato chips. [Fox News] 

A BETTER PINA COLADA

Up the ratio of rum to coconut milk and add lime juice. [RumDood]

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Market Fresh: Breba figs

MAD2 food symposium in Copenhagen: some highlights

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Nick Ut/Associated Press

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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.