Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Deep Dish

Golden State teams with Bludso's, takes over Tar Pit space


Jason Bernstein and James Starr, owners of the Golden State on Fairfax, are taking over the former Tar Pit location on La Brea Avenue to open a restaurant with Kevin Bludso, of Bludso's BBQ in Compton. Yes, the duo behind L.A.'s favorite upstart craft beer/beer float/burger joint is teaming with the man behind L.A.'s favorite Texas-meets-Compton barbecue. And on top of that, there will be cocktails.

What sounds like a dream come true for beer-and-barbecue fans was born of the friendship between Bernstein, Starr and Bludso and the idea that "it would be be amazing if we all collaborated on a place," Starr says. The idea was further spurred by a recent trip to Texas for Bludso's grandmother's 90th birthday. "We got real insight into where Kevin came from and what inspired him to open his place," Starr says. Bludso is a Compton native but worked for his grandmother during summers at her barbecue stand in Corsicana, Texas. "It turned out to be a research trip that reinvigorated us to make this a reality."

Bernstein says there's no name yet, "but 'Bludso's' will be in there." The trio, along with manager Noah Galuten, hope to open by the end of the year. The kitchen will be outfitted with a smoker, of course. And presumably the Tar Pit's Art Deco-inspired dining room will get a makeover. 

"We're trying to focus all our attention on trying to create a beer list and a cocktail list that go well with barbecue," Bernstein says. "We're really trying to examine what that would be. The goal is to have everything really curated and not have a kitchen sink cocktail list of 30 things. Just a handful of really simple, well done cocktails."

The menu "in its soul will be the same menu as Bludso's," says Starr. That means Bludso's brisket, ribs, chicken and hot links. "And a few more items," Starr adds. Galuten says that there also will be pie. And hopefully the new Bludso's-on-La-Brea will play some of the same hits as the Bludso's-on-Long-Beach-Boulevard. Such as from Cameo and Natural Four. 


Taco Tuesday: Duck skin tacos

Schools across the country decline 'pink slime'

L.A. pastry chef Sally Camacho gets top chef nod

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: The mural inside Bludso's. Credit: Betty Hallock.

Sang Yoon debuts Private Kitchen for Chris Cosentino cookbook

BeginningsSang Yoon is throwing a dinner party at his new Private Kitchen on May 31 in honor of chef Chris Cosentino's new cookbook. Cosentino, of Incanto and Boccalone Salumeria in San Francisco and Pigg in Los Angeles, has just published "Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal" and will be there to sign books, which will be available for purchase.

A welcome reception will feature the Bloody Roman (Cosentino's take on a bloody mary with beer and an oyster) and passed salumi cones and lardo-wrapped fruit from Boccalone. The family-style dinner will feature several courses from the cookbook along with wine pairings: marinated sardine and nduja crostini; fava beans, strawberries and Pecorino salad; braised pork and clams; asparagus, spring potatoes, crème fraîche and caviar; warm cherries with saba zabaglione.

Held on the enclosed patio of Yoon's test kitchen at Helm's Bakery, the dinner kicks off an inaugural series of upcoming events. The dinner is $90 per person and takes place at 8:30 p.m. Limited seating; contact host@lukshon.com or (310) 202-6808 to purchase tickets. 

Sang Yoon's Private Kitchen Patio at Helm's Bakery, 8758 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles. 


Found! Vintage juicer

First Impression: End of Communism at Rivera

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: "Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal." Credit: Olive Press.

Quinn and Karen Hatfield to open the Sycamore Kitchen on La Brea

Quinn and Karen Hatfield Quinn and Karen Hatfield, the duo behind Hatfield's on Melrose Avenue, are planning a bakery-cafe called the Sycamore Kitchen. It's slated to open early next year on La Brea Avenue between 1st and 2nd streets (across from the American Rag store). 

"It's a concept we wanted to do for a long time," said Karen Hatfield, the pastry chef of the couple. "I always find myself craving a really good rustic pastry and fabulous coffee. There are some good places to go to get a pastry, sort of, and good places to get coffee, but it's hard to find both. 

"The menu grew a lot after we found the space. It's more of a full-service casual restaurant, with a really strong emphasis on the bakery side."

Sycamore Kitchen's planned hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Expect pastries such as chocolate babka muffins, salted caramel pecan rolls, brown butter and sour cherry scones, lemon polenta cake, brioche fritters, oatmeal stout gingerbread loaf, whole grain quinoa muffins, fresh fruit crostatas and galettes, cookies and bars.

Some highlights from the brunch menu: Benedict-griddled English muffin, glazed pork belly, poached egg, herbed hollandaise; house-cured Tasmanian ocean trout, pickled shallot, horseradish creme, crostini; and poached eggs on chorizo and Yukon hash. Soups, salads and sandwiches will be served for lunch. Sandwiches -- such as roast beef with horseradish creme fraiche and caramelized onion or pork belly on baguette with pickled vegetables -- will feature house-baked breads. 

The about 2,000-square-foot space features a courtyard patio, loft-style windows and exposed brick. "Most of [the design] is about restoring the building. We're having a design meeting this week," Karen Hatfield said. 

"I know it sounds kind of silly, but we want to provide somewhat wholesome, well-prepared, thoughtful and yet creative food for people. We live in this neighborhood, and we like to make restaurants we feel are filling a void. This is our community, and it can be a little sad out there sometimes and you're not presented with food that's made with care. I'm just talking about good produce and whole grains and making it into something delicious."


Beat the heat with blueberry lavender pops

How to tie a roast: mastering the butcher's slip knot 

5 Questions for Hugues Quintard

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Quinn and Karen Hatfield. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho /Los Angeles Times

Exclusive: Cochon 555 announces chef lineup for L.A. pork fest


The first Los Angeles Cochon 555 -- the pork-a-palooza that pits five chefs in a friendly whole-pig cooking competition -- takes place May 1 (the name is a reference to five chefs, cooking five pig breeds, served with five wines). The event aims to promote the sustainable farming of heritage pig breeds. The just-announced five L.A. chefs set to compete are: Octavio Beccera of Palate Food & Wine; Chad Colby of Mozza; Suzanne Tracht of Jar; Ben Ford of Ford's Filling Station; and Joshua Whigham of Jose Andres' Bazaar at the SLS Hotel.  

The five pig breeds are yet to be determined, but the five wines are: Scholium Project, Alysian, Arnot-Roberts, Copain Wines and Red Car Wine. Each chef will prepare a 175-pound heritage breed hog from head to toe. Guests and judges will sample pork dishes and pick the winner (the "Prince or Princess of Porc") based on presentation, utilization and flavor. There will also be a butchering competition, and VIP ticketholders will have access to a butchering demo by Lindy & Grundy. Bacon Hall of Fame will host the afterparty at a location TBD. 

Tickets, starting at $125, are available at www.Cochon555.com. The venue is still to be announced. 

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Carsten Rehder/EPA


Chef David LeFevre's Manhattan Beach Post set to open mid-April

DavidlefevreDavid LeFevre, former executive chef of the Water Grill downtown, is busy these days getting ready to open Manhattan Beach Post. 

It's in a former post office in downtown Manhattan Beach, at the corner of Manhattan Beach Boulevard and Manhattan Avenue, just steps away from the beach. "I’ve lived down here for over six years," LeFevre says, "and I really love the community, the lifestyle and really wanted to provide the community with some food I enjoy, the kind of food I’m interested in eating -– seasonal, soulful, it's pretty personal, a return to my roots." On the planned menu are "lots of vegetable dishes, seafood, we're baking our own breads," such as bacon-and-cheddar buttermilk biscuits with sweet Vermont maple butter, and pretzels with sea salt, caraway and horseradish mustard made in-house.

He goes on to list the kind of food that's on his mind: wood-grilled cauliflower with saltanas, capers and mint; salsify grilled with stewed prunes and sage; Kona kampachi with puffed rice and yuzu kosho; olive-oil-poached Tasmanian sea trout with kaffir lime; Moroccan barbecue lamb belly; Vietnamese lacquered pork jowl with green papaya and mint; Devil’s Gulch rabbit confit with grilled figs and sage. "So I want to do stuff that’s simple but not boring and that people aren’t doing down here. I really want a little foodie restaurant but make it accessible. We're planning to open mid-April-ish, knock on wood."  

Continue reading »

Ludo Lefebvre and Michael Voltaggio want to know: What's a chef gotta do to pay his dues?


L.A. chefs Ludo Lefebvre and Michael Voltaggio say they have cried and bled in the name of their profession, so the eighth paragraph of a New York Times story today about Sam Talbot -- a third-place "Top Chef" alum now opening Imperial No. 9 in the Mondrian SoHo in Manhattan -- came with a dose of disappointment. 

The story said: 

Mr. Talbot ... is among a new breed of celebrity chefs who have coasted into culinary fame, less by grueling dues-paying, and more on their telegenic brand. The group includes the brothers Brian [sic] and Michael Voltaggio, Ludo Lefebvre, Spike Mendelsohn, Sam Mason, Fabio Vivani and Marcel Vigneron.

These new schoolers tend to have tattoos (Mr. Talbot has 10), use hair gel, wear man jewelry and sport gym-buffed physiques clad in tailored flannels, designer denim and $50 T-shirts.

It was enough to drive both Lefebvre and Voltaggio to call and text the Los Angeles Times: 

Continue reading »

LAX gets wings? Ludo Fried Chicken may land in Terminal 4


Chef Ludo Lefebvre may be bringing his Ludo Fried Chicken (also known as LFC) to Los Angeles International Airport. Dubbed Ludo Vite, the concession stand is part of Delaware North Cos.' proposed food and beverage bid for LAX, under consideration by the airport.

Lefebvre couldn't be reached because he is recovering from back surgery. But expect a menu similar to the Ludo Bites Truck's, which features Provencal pepittes, fried chicken balls infused with herbes de Provence and rosemary; honey-glazed garlic wings; and chicken strips. Ludo Vite is proposed for Terminal 4, where American Airlines and American Eagle, Cathay Pacific and Qantas are located. (A chicken-and-biscuit-with-maple-butter breakfast on your way to Hong Kong?) 

The proposed contracts for the overhaul of restaurants at LAX has been hotly debated, but the L.A. City Council late last year approved the first round of concession bids, including one involving Delaware North. 

Also in the works may be a concession from chef Josie Le Balch of Josie restaurant in Santa Monica, says Delaware North. 

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Ludo Bites Truck. Credit: MobiMunch



Silver Lake's Forage pops up at art fair Art Los Angeles Contemporary


Forage, the Silver Lake restaurant known for its focus on the very-locally grown (chef-owner Jason Kim formed a Home Growers Circle of urban/backyard farmers who contribute their produce to the menu), will set up a pop-up cafe at the second annual Art Los Angeles Contemporary

The international contemporary art fair takes place Jan. 27 to 30 at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, presenting works from dozens of top galleries from around the world. (Obviously, looking at a lot of art makes people hungry.) The Forage pop-up café will be unveiled during opening night and will operate during fair hours to serve exhibitors and visitors.

Kim will offer exclusive meat-friendly or meat-free options specially commissioned for the pop-up cafe, including full meals, light meals, snacks, desserts and handcrafted beverages. Expect "artistic counter service."

-- Betty Hallock

Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2011, Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28 and Saturday, Jan. 29; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 30. For tickets, go to www.artlosangelesfair.com.  

Photo: Forage in Silverlake. Credit: Christina House/For The Times.

Small Bites: Bistro LQ's Laurent Quenioux is now exec chef at Vertical Wine Bistro. Broadway Deli in Santa Monica shutters.


Vertical Wine Bistro in Pasadena announced that chef Laurent Quenioux, who has his own restaurant -- Bistro LQ -- over on Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood, will be its executive chef. Quenioux, the former chef of Pasadena's Bistro K, is splitting his time between Bistro LQ and Vertical Wine Bistro. "My roots remain in Pasadena," he said in a release. The new menu at Vertical features both small plates and larger dishes to pair with an extensive wine list. Some examples: Comte grilled cheese with zucchini flowers and tortilla soup; corn fritter with smoked salmon and crème fraîche; mussels with chorizo, saffron and coriander; and roast chicken with braised cabbage, chestnut purée and huckleberries.

70 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 795-3999, www.verticalwinebistro.com. 

In more restaurant news, the 20-year-old Broadway Deli closed for good on Monday, reports the Santa Monica Daily Press. The restaurant's long-term lease expired this summer, and landlord Promenade Gateway is making way for a new tenant. "It's sad. It's the end of an institution, the end of an era," general manager Marc Zeidler told the Daily Press. "It was like a family."

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Laurent Quenioux at Bistro LQ. Credit: Kirk McCoy / Los Angeles Times


Who's the new chef at the Langham? Meet Savoy protege David Feau


When the Langham Huntington, Pasadena reopens its renamed and extensively remodeled dining room in October, chef David Féau will man the stoves.

Féau, 39, a protégé of French chef Guy Savoy, was most recently the corporate executive chef of the Patina Restaurant Group’s culinary operations on the West Coast. A native of Le Mans, France, he earlier was the chef at the New York City institution Lutèce and its satellite Las Vegas location.

Read more about David Feau at the Daily Travel & Deal Blog.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


Recent Posts
5 Questions for Thi Tran |  August 6, 2012, 8:00 am »
SEE-LA hires new executive director |  July 31, 2012, 9:34 am »
Food FYI: Actors reading Yelp reviews |  July 31, 2012, 9:16 am »
Test Kitchen video tip: Choosing a bread wash |  July 31, 2012, 6:04 am »



About the Bloggers
Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.