Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Cafes

Farmshop to open artisan market Jan. 29

Farmshop 400Farmshop in the Brentwood Country Mart is welcoming a new addition to Jeff Cerciello's restaurant and bakery: a full-scale artisan market.

The market, comparable in size to the restaurant itself, boasts a deli, cheese and charcuterie counters, products such as Jessica Koslow's Sqirl preserves and seasonally inspired prepared foods. Also stocked on the market's shelves are California wines, craft beers and housewares from L.A. favorites including Heath ceramics.

Managing the floor is Emiliano Lee. With years of experience working as a cheese monger and manager (and even a "fresh foods wrangler" who sourced sustainably farmed produce) while working at Liberty Heights Fresh in Salt Lake City, Farmshop's new hire knows his cheese.

Lee, a Bay Area native, is thrilled to launch a market filled with foods crafted in California. The advocate brings farmstead American cheeses to Farmshop's cheese counter from Oregon and Vermont but mainly from California producers such as Bellwether Farms, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, Cowgirl Creamery, Cypress Grove Chevre, Marin French Cheese, Franklin's Cheese, Vella Cheese, Laura Chenel's Chevre, Andante Dairy, Garden Variety Cheese and Bleating Heart.

With the market in place, Cerciello and team are working to add an educational component with dinners, tasting events, cooking demonstrations and book signings on the horizon.

The artisan market at Farmshop will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

225 26th St., Suite 25, Santa Monica, (310) 566-2400, farmshopla.com.


The word is gourmet

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-- Caitlin Keller

Photo: Farmshop's artisan market. Credit: Spencer Lowell

Andrew Zimmern from 'Bizarre Foods' to stop by Royal/T in January

Andrew Zimmern On Jan. 13, Royal/T Cafe and Andrew Zimmern, the TV personality behind the Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods," will team up for a pop-up dinner themed "California Dreaming."

The pop-art-inspired exhibition space in Culver City is hosting the culinary event, which will reflect Zimmern's take on California cuisine while introducing Angelenos to innovative ideas and out-of-the-ordinary foods.

The five-course dinner menu will feature sea urchin and yellow-tomato-vegetable aspic; linguine; a veal tongue tartare and chile-braised lambs tongue quesadilla; a grilled Broken Arrow Ranch venison chop and a cioccolato orrare da gustare for dessert.

Tickets to the event are $150 per person and can be purchased online.
8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 559-6300, royal-t.org.


Folklore: Let's get mallow

Nana's Russian tea cookies

Christmas and New Year's Eve restaurant roundup

-- Caitlin Keller

Photo: Andrew Zimmern. Credit: Stuart Freedman / Travel Channel

Caitlin Williams Freeman and SFMOMA's latest edible art offering

Zurier_Arabella-233x334Caitlin Williams Freeman is the in-house pastry chef at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's rooftop cafe. The former UC Santa Cruz photography student co-founded Miette. Then in 2001, in what she thought would be a temporary stint, she started making pastries for her husband James Freeman's Blue Bottle Coffee locations.

When his company landed a spot on SFMOMA's rooftop, Williams Freeman used the opportunity to channel her love for paintings and photography into her baking. Now the cookies and cakes available -- for visual and literal consumption -- at the coffee bar pay homage to artworks on view in the museum's galleries.

Constantly coming up with new ideas for art-inspired desserts, edible spinoffs have included a Katharina Fritsch ice cream sandwich, with poodle-shaped chocolate cookies sandwiching vanilla ice cream; a fudgsicle-take on Ellsworth Kelly's Stele I (located in the sculpture garden); and a Thiebaud cake inspired by the museum's large collection of Bay Area artist Wayne Thiebaud's paintings.

The latest addition to the menu is a popsicle created in reference to Santa Monica-born artist John Zurier's painting "Arabella," included in the "The More Things Change" exhibition, on view until Nov. 6. The popsicle, made of fresh spearmint ice milk and strawberry, costs $5 and will be available up until the exhibition's closing day.


The next dessert in the works will be ...

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4 Food Events You Should Know About: Good Food Festival Film Series; Crepe Night at La Cachette; Eat Real Festival; Farmer's Dinner at Patina


Harry's Berries at Patina: On Wednesday, Patina will host an exclusive five-course vegetarian Farmer’s Dinner. The dinner will showcase seasonal produce from Harry's Berries, a 40-acre family-owned farm in Oxnard. Executive chef Tony Esnault will use summer ingredients in dishes to be served at the event,  including a chilled yellow tomato soup, stuffed zucchini blossoms, a seasonal glazed vegetable mosaic, poached duck egg, wild mushrooms and a dessert created with Harry's Berries strawberries. 141 S. Grand Ave., L.A., (213) 972-3331, patinarestaurant.com.

Food on film: On July 13, the Santa Monica Farmer's Market and Slow Food Los Angeles present the next installment of the Good Food Festival Film Series. At Santa Monica's Aero Theatre, two screenings will focus on food waste prevention. Director Jeremy Seifert's "Dive!," an American documentary, looks at the issue at home, where more than 250 million pounds of food goes to waste every day, while French New Wave pioneer Agnès Varda's "The Gleaners & I" focuses on the tradition of gleaning used for centuries in France, following both rural and urban scavengers. For tickets, go to fandango.com. 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 260-1528, americancinemathequecalendar.com.

Crepes galore: Crepe night at La Cachette Bistro is every Wednesday. Prepared by crepe master Pierre-Lo, the menu changes from week to week but promises a selection of sweet and savory offerings. Get a classic Nutella and banana or go for the ham and cheese. 1733 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 434-9509, lacachettebistro.com.

Eat Real: In celebration of good food, the Eat Real Festival takes place July 16 and 17 at Helms Bakery in Culver City. Food skills, hands-on DIY demos and eats from popular food trucks and local restaurants are on the agenda at the two-day festival, which highlights local, sustainable ingredients. Activities include a cookbook swap July 17, a kimchi class with Lauryn Chun, an urban bee keeping demo, beer and wine gardens and a homemade goods competition. Entrance is free and all food at the festival costs $5 or less. 8800 Venice Blvd., L.A., eatrealfest.com.


'The Trip'

LAX eateries

Buffet it 

-- Caitlin Keller

Photo: Patinarestaurant.com

Pack or pick up a picnic this summer

Joans Whether you’re heading to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl (or the Ford or the Greek…), a star-gazing party at the Griffith Observatory or out to one of Southern California’s many beaches, summer promises warmer, longer-lasting days and is reason enough to pack a picnic to enjoy the season-to-be-spent-outdoors.

And if you’re too busy to pack your own, there are plenty of local eateries happy to do it for you -- for a price, of course:

The Larder at Tavern: The shop offers many worldly (or locally, ahem) themed picnic boxes including “The Matador,” “The Brentwood,” “The All-American” and “The Young Frenchman.” The All-American picnic box comes with fried chicken with buttermilk dressing, an avocado, cilantro and lime corn salad, a watermelon salad with tomato, mint and feta, a baguette, a lemon shortbread bar for dessert and a Chardonnay wine pairing. Picnics are $28 per box. 11648 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood, (310) 806-6466, tavernla.com.

Joan’s on Third: The picnic box at Joan’s is filled with a bounty of items from their picnic menu, available only during the summer months; entrees include the chicken Milanese, grilled maple rosemary chicken breast and poached salmon, salads, cheese and salami plates, desserts such as the rustic apple pie and mini lemon bundt cake. There are wine suggestions to go with it. 8350 West 3rd St., L.A., (323) 655-2285, joansonthird.com.

Porta Via: The Italian eatery packs a picnic box for Pasadena Symphony and POPS goers. Traditional picnic boxes are $16 per person and contain an orzo pasta salad with feta and spinach, one of their signature sandwiches, like the Fra Mani artisan salami and fresh mozzarella with balsamic reduction on a baguette, and a house-made cookie. 1 W. California Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 793-9000, portaviafoods.com.

Street Bento Susan Feniger’s Street: For a different take on a picnic, there's Street’s Bento Box. Filled with dishes from around the world, the box includes a tasting of a Thai eggplant salad, a Japanese potato salad, an Egyptian macaroni kushary with lentil and rice, heirloom tomatoes with coarse salt and black garlic aioli, one entrée like the Syrian lamb meatballs or the Tunisian chicken skewers and a sweet such as bourbon chocolate cherry cookies. The Bento boxes are $25 per box. 742 N. Highland Ave., L.A., (323) 203-0500, eatatstreet.com.  

Clementine: This neighborhood bakery-café offers a Hollywood Bowl picnic (not exclusively for those going to the venue but you get the idea), available at the end of this week. Buy a picnic-in-a-box or build your own with items from their early summer menu. For a night outing, bring in a thermos and they’ll fill 'er up with hot chocolate or chai. 1751 Ensley Ave., L.A., (310) 552-1080, clementineonline.com.

Olive & Thyme: The recently opened Toluca Lake cafe offers old-fashioned wire picnic baskets filled with salads, sandwiches, charcuterie, cheese, wine and desserts. 4013 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake, (818) 557-1560, oliveandthyme.com.

Julienne: “Le Pique-Nique” menu at Julienne boasts a long list of savory and sweet picnic eats. A few worthy mentions are the Southwest chicken tenders with a spicy apricot sauce and the petite terrine with crackers, a platter of assorted spreads, cheese, dried fruit and nuts to share and nibble on in between sips of one of the gourmet market's chilled summer wines. 2649 Mission St., San Marino, (626) 441-2299, juliennetogo.com.

Know of any other L.A. eateries making picnics-to-go this summer? Comment on this post and let us know!


5 Food Events You Should Know About

Battle of the Burgers: Top 20 entries

Wine of the Week: 2009 Cantine Lunae Bosoni Colli di Luni Vermentino

--Caitlin Keller

Top photo: Joan's on Third picnic. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

Bottom photo: Susan Feniger's Street bento box. Credit: Lesley Balla

5 Food Events You Should Know About: Salute! beer festival; A.O.C wine tastings; Lambrusco Day at Cube; garden workshop; L.A. Street Food Fest

Salute! Salute! beer and food festival: Ojai Beverage Co. hosts the 2nd annual Salute! More than 100 beers from local and national craft breweries will be paired with food from regional restaurants, benefiting local community organizations including the American Cancer Society. Featured craft breweries include Lagunitas Brewing Co. from Petaluma and North Coast Brewing Co. from Fort Bragg. There's a VIP tasting on Friday  with a connoisseurs beer reception followed by a four-course dinner. An unlimited beer and food-tasting session takes place Saturday. Tickets start at $43.30 (including tax) and are available online at salutebeerfestival.com655 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, (805) 646-1700.

Destination wine: Every Monday night, A.O.C. hosts "Flights & Bites" offering wine tastings accompanied by small plates from different regions around the world. Two flights of wine are paired with cuisine from the region. Upcoming wine capital destinations include Santa Ynez's Dragonette Cellars on Monday and Languedoc-Roussillon on June 27. 8022 W. Third St., L.A., 323-653-6359, aocwinebar.com.

Perfect pair: Cube Café celebrates a wine favored among its staff and patrons by participating in International Lambrusco Day. On June 21, the restaurant will be offering special discounts on the Medici Ermete Lambrusco "Concerto" and the Rinaldini Lambrusco "Vecchio Moro" throughout the day, whether by the glass, half-bottle or bottle, along with recommended food pairings such as pizza Napoletana and spicy fried chicken. 615 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 939-1148 x1, eatatcube.com.  

Urban farmer: Located in Mar Vista, Ocean View Farms boasts more than 500 garden plots and flower gardens. On June 26 at 10 a.m. the six-acre West L.A. community garden is offering a free workshop, "From the Ground Up: Seed Starting and Garden Planning," courtesy of master gardener Christy Wilhelmi. 3300 S. Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 915-1123, oceanviewfarms.net.

Street food at the Rose Bowl: On July 16, the Pasadena Rose Bowl will be taken over by the L.A. Street Food Fest to host the 2 nd annual Summer Tasting Event. More than 80 vendors, including  gourmet food trucks and celebrity chefs, will bring street food to the historic site. Tickets are $25 to $150. Brookside Park, 360 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena, lastreetfoodfest.com.


Urbano Pizza Bar

Battle of the Burgers

Trails Cafe

--Caitlin Keller 

Photo: Salute! Credit: Salutebeerfestival.com

Paper or Plastik Cafe: More than just a cup of joe

The coffee condiments sit atop an old Deluxe television set amid the cafe's industrial setting with high ceilings, copper fixtures and a glass-paneled storefront. A joint venture between Anya and Yasha Michelson, along with daughter Marina, Paper or Plastik Cafe is a neighborhood coffee shop and the heart of a community hub.

The goods come from all over town; coffee from Intelligentsia Coffee and Ecco Caffe; pastries (homemade pop-tarts, pies, croissants) from Cake Monkey, Sweets for the Soul, Sweet Lady Jane and Le Pain du Jour; and a rotating menu of sandwiches and salads from Auntie Em's Kitchen and Breadbar.

There's even a playful ad campaign touching on the cafe's function as a multidisciplinary arts space.  With coffee as its core, the Mid-City cafe aims to serve the community as an artistic center, providing an outlet for visual and tactile performing arts.

5772 W. Pico Blvd., L.A., 323-935-0268



Vote, or else

A purse for your fortune

-- Caitlin Keller

Video credit: Paperorplastikcafe.tumblr.com

It's National Macaro(o)n Day: Where to get some


Whether you spell the dainty French buttercream-, jam- or ganache-filled colorful sandwich cookies with one ‘o’ or two, today is National Macaro(o)n Day. And you don’t have to drop everything and hop across the pond to enjoy these treats at famous Parisian maisons like Ladurée or Pierre Hermé. Angelenos are in luck as there are plenty of macaron masters scattered throughout this city, offering a delectable collection of confections from the color –- and flavor -– spectrum, on its dedicated holiday … or whenever:

Jin Patisserie: Tahitian vanilla, yuzu and chocolate mint are a sampling of the distinct macaron flavors created by Kristy Choo at her Abbot Kinney storefront. 1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 399-8801, jinpatisserie.com.

Lette Macarons: Macaron enthusiast Paulette Koumetz and pastry chef Christophe Michalak offer what they describe as a kaleidoscopic selection of macarons at their Beverly Hills shop: Earl Grey tea, Sicilian pistachio, Colombian coffee. 9466 Charleville Blvd. at Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 275-0023, lettemacarons.com.

Hotcakes Bakes: A Parisian native, owner Elfie Weiss studied cuisson at prominent bakeries Gerard Mulot and Ladurée. Try the coconut, strawberry or S'more. 4119 S. Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 397-2324, hotcakesbakes.com.

XT Patisserie: Pastry chef Xuan Ngo was born in Vietnam but grew up in France, baking his way to Los Angeles, where he perfected the macaron at Boule in Beverly Hills. Flavors like hazelnut, orange blossom and passion fruit are available online and at the South Pasadena and Larchmont farmers markets through Sugarbird Sweets. Xtpatisserie.com.

Bottega Louie: The long glass dessert case at the entrance of the establishment boasts an array of elegantly decorated pastries including beautiful, brightly colored macarons like the mandarin, cassis and salted caramel. 700 S. Grand Ave. L.A., (213) 802-1470; bottegalouie.com.

Little Next Door: The artisan marketplace features a boulangerie, and the Parisian-like ambiance is perfect for enjoying a macaron, or two. Cookie creations include dulce de leche, chocolate and raspberry. 8164 W. 3rd St., L.A., (323) 951-0487, thelittledoor.com.

La Provence: With locations in Brentwood and Beverly Hills, the café produces more than 10 flavors such as lavender, rose and pumpkin spice, to name a few. 8950 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 888-8833, laprovencecafe.com.

--Caitlin Keller

Photo: Macarons. Credit: Bernhard Winkelmann

Free cake tasting at Hygge Bakery

Cheesecake This Sunday, Downtown's Danish Bakery will be serving complimentary confections from 2 p.m to 5 p.m.

Some of the cakes for the taking include the Othello (sponge cake, whipped cream, custard, chocolate mousse), Rubinstein (rum mousse, whipped cream, almond macaroon crumbs, chocolate-covered cream puffs), walnut (sponge cake, whipped cream, caramelized chopped walnuts) and strawberry layer cake (sponge cake, whipped cream, custard, fresh strawberries).

To help prevent a sugar coma, Hygge will also provide free coffee for guests.

1106 S. Hope St., Los Angeles, CA 90015. 213-995-5022. http://hyggebakery.com/

--Krista Simmons

Photo credit: Krista Simmons

Beachcomber taps Michael Jordan, wine guru formerly of Napa Rose, as president

Jordan Michael Jordan, formerly global manager of wine sales and standards at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and general manager of Napa Rose restaurant at Disneyland in Anaheim, has been named president at the Beachcomber, overseeing the Beachcomber Crystal Cove and Malibu Pier.

Jordan, who left Disney in September, has a Master Sommelier diploma with the International Court of Master Sommeliers as well as a certified Wine Educator diploma from the Society of Wine Educators — one of only 15 people in the world to hold both.

Jordan also has started his own winery, Word Vineyards, where he plans to produce a limited amount of artisan wines, a few of which will be available at the Beachcomber. Jordan is expected to expand the wine and beverage program at the Beachcomber restaurants and will offer comprehensive wine study courses for all staff members, including a two-day test administered by the Court of Master Sommeliers.

At Malibu Pier, 23000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, (310) 456-9800; at Crystal Cove, 15 Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, (949) 376-6900; www.thebeachcombercafe.com.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Beachcomber


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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.