Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Delicious Deals

It's Tequila Day! Sweet deals and 3 recipes to celebrate

Today happens to be National Tequila Day, the perfect excuse to indulge in an after-work tequila beverage, salt rim and all

Today happens to be National Tequila Day, the perfect excuse to indulge in an after-work tequila beverage, salt rim and all. It may only be Tuesday, but if we're being realistic, it's never too early in the week for a margarita. Here are a couple places around town offering specials to help you get your drink on:

Pink Taco Century City and Sunset locations are celebrating with half off their margaritas and tequila well drinks from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The restaurants are also offering their Taco Tuesday specials, including their Clase Azul margaritas for $8 and pitchers of the Pink Taco house margarita. 

PHOTOS: 3 Recipes for National Margarita Day

Tortilla Republic grill and margarita bar is offering its house margarita (Tequila Blanco, Triple Sec, house-made agave and fresh lime) for $5.

Casa Vega restaurant in Sherman Oaks is serving its signature Casa Vega margarita for $4.99. All you have to do is mention "National Tequila Day" to your server to get the special price.

If you want to make yourself a killer tequila beverage at home, check out this recipe from the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen for a blood orange jalapeno margarita with a kick: 

Continue reading »

Langer's turns 65! Free pastrami sandwich June 15-16


Albert and Jean Langer opened Langer's Delicatessen at Alvarado and 7th Streets back in June 1947, a bastion of pastrami sandwiches located a patty melt's throw from MacArthur Park. Many say Langer's pastrami sandwich is the best in the West, and some say it is the best in America, or even the world. Now you can get a Langer's pastrami sandwich for free.

To celebrate 65 years of pastrami awesomeness, Langer's will be serving free No. 19 sandwiches next Friday and Saturday. You know the No. 19, right? Hand-cut hot pastrami, cole slaw, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese on warm, double-baked rye bread. The thing about Langer's pastrami is that, though it's not cured or smoked in-house, it is steamed for up to three hours until it's uber-tender and therefore has to be hand-cut.

"I can't machine-cut it," the late Al Langer once told The Times. "I steam it so tender it'd fall apart. This way, you get pastrami that's thicker and juicier .... You know, good pastrami requires effort." 

From 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 15 and 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 16, each customer is eligible to receive one free No. 19. The customer must be seated and served by a Langer's server inside Langer's Deli on standard Langer's seating (a booth, a counter stool or a Langer's chair) during the event hours. Free No. 19's are not available for carry out. 

704 S. Alvarado, Los Angeles, (213) 483-8050, www.langersdeli.com.


LudoBites, the cookbook

Dinner tonight! White gazpacho with grapes

Food porn: Caramel-drizzled chocolate cheesecake cupcakes

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: The No. 19 sandwich at Langer's. Credit: Langer's Delicatessen

[Updated] Tax Day 2012 food and drink specials


Filing your taxes is always a pain, but by the time tax day (April 17) rolls around and the papers have all been filed away, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief. And what better way to unwind than with a soothing alcoholic beverage or cheap bite to eat? Here are a couple of tax day specials to get you through the day:

Pink Taco: From 3 to 7 p.m., Pink Taco is offering $4 Hotel California Margaritas (Hotel California Tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice, agave nectar, orange liquor).

Rock and Reilly's Irish Rock Pub: The West Hollywood pub has declared April 17 "dry tax day," which translates to the following specials, created just for tax day: $6 IRS Car Bombs, $5 Tax Collector Shooters and the Delinquency Burger.

Cinnabon: From 6-8 p.m., participating Cinnabon locations are handing out two free Cinnabon tax day bites.

Street: Susan Feniger's Street is offering diners the classic Street burger (with Vermont cheddar and Yuzo Kosho mayonnaise) or the new spicy black bean veggie burger (with pea shoots, smashed avocado and tomato) for just $4.17.

P.F. Chang's: The restaurant is offering 15% off all online orders for pickup.

Lexington Social House: Get 17% off all food and drink through April 17, including Chef Jared Simons’ new spring menu and the new seasonal cocktail list.

Know of any food or drink tax day specials? Share the wealth in the comments below.


Test Kitchen tips: Homemade doughnuts

Dinner Tonight!: BLD's fresh vegetable salad

Now streaming on Netflix: 'Chew on This' TED Talks

-- Jenn Harris


Photo: Tequilas lined up at Pink Taco, Century City. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

[Updated at 12:38 P.M. April 16, 2012 A new deal was added]

4 Food Events You Should Know About: Meltdown Comics' meat-themed night; Corkbar celebrates its 2-year anniversary; Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery gives back; Melting Pot gives free fondue [Updated]

Meat Meat mania: Let's clink plastic cups and toast to meat. Thursday night from 7 to 10, Meltdown Comics in Hollywood will be hosting a night all about meat to kick off a new exhibition that will be on display through March 17. Alie and Georgia (of Drinks with Alie and Georgia) will be serving cocktails rimmed in barbeque sauce as guests walk through the warehouse-sized comic book emporium and feast their eyes on meat-themed artwork.

Meltdown Comics, 7522 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles.

Popping bottles: Raise your glasses and mark Saturday on your calendar, when Corkbar celebrates its two-year anniversary from 5 to 10 p.m. with a $2 tastes menu, happy hour pricing and a hefty dose of limited-edition beers.  Your stomach and wallet will thank you for filling up on the likes of “ball park sliders” with pork sausage and relish on a pretzel bun or mac ‘n’ cheese with pasilla chiles. On the big night, Stone Brewing will unveil its limited edition Lukcy Basartd Ale that commemorates the 13th year of the brewery’s Arrogant Bastard Ale. Although your memory may be hazy, it certainly has the makings of a night to remember. 

Corkbar, 403 West 12th St., Los Angeles; (213) 746-0050.

Beer for a good cause: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery has announced its 15th annual partnership with local fire departments with the Fire Chief Ale limited-time-only promotion. From Tuesday through April 17, the restaurant will be featuring its popular seasonal beer along with an accompanying menu.  For every pint of Fire Chief Ale sold during the promotion, Rock Bottom will donate 25 cents to local fire departments and their related charities.

Rock Bottom Restaraunt, 8980 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla; (858) 450-9277.

National Cheese Fondue Day: Make your reservations now for The Melting Pot Restaurant's celebration of National Cheese Fondue Day on April 11, when they'll be serving free cheese fondue at all of their locations. For now you can visit their website and watch videos of their head chef talking about all things cheese, including Cheese Weight Lifting, Cheese Facial, Cheese Brain Freeze and Cheesy Pick Up Lines.


-- Emma Wartzman and Max Diamond

[Updated 1:16 p.m.: An earlier version of this post misspelled the names of the beers being highlighted. Stone Brewing is serving up Lukcy Basartd Ale, which commemorates the brewery's Arrogant Bastard Ale.]

Small Bites: Il Sole reopens in West Hollywood. JDate launches JPicks.com, 'the chosen deals.' Casey's Cupcakes wins 'Cupcake Wars.'


 'The Chosen Deals': Earlier this month JDate, the online community for Jewish singles, launched JPicks, a website featuring a different discount (from 50% to 90% off) at Los Angeles shops, retaurants and entertainment venues every day. Since selling out its first offer, JPicks has had success with its "Chosen Deals," ranging from Jewish- and date-themed deals in line with its direct demographic, to more general ones that people who aren't single or Jewish can also enjoy. See www.jpicks.com. 

The new Il Sole: In the heart of West Hollywood, chef Isaac Rivera has updated the menu at Los Angeles staple Il Sole to go along with the reopening and new design of the restaurant. Rivera is focusing on regional Italian favorites such as eggplant Parmigiana “Napoli style”; manila clams sautéed with white wine, garlic and olive oil; and spaghetti with Tuscan ragu. Il Sole will also feature a special crudo menu. It’s cooking that’s meant to go with the new vibe, described as stylized trattoria mixed with a romantic atmosphere.

8741 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 657-1182. 

Cupcake coup: With sugar diamonds, rice paper feathers and some chocolate crunch balls, Casey's Cupcakes won the Food Network program "Cupcake Wars" last night. Having just opened a second location (with one already in Riverside) in Laguna Beach this month, owner Casey Reinhardt -- whom you may recall from MTV's "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County" -- is celebrating. With cupcakes. She'll be making appearances at both locations on Saturday with live music and, most importantly, packs of cupcakes for sale featuring the four winning flavors: white chocolate cherry, white Russian, chili chocolate and lavender.

303 Broadway St., Laguna Beach; 949-715-8245; also at the Historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, 3649 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; 951-328-6908; www.caseyscupcake.com.

-- Emma Wartzman

Photo: Cupcakes from "Cupcake Wars"/Food Network


You don't need a lot of dough to tour Santa Barbara

Bargains in $anta Barbara? Yep.

It is possible to pay bargain rates in Santa Barbara for hotels and restaurants, as well as enjoy some activities for free or little money. Check out our recommendations, including Santa Barbara restaurants for $10 or less, including Mac's Fish & Chips, above.

British chef Grant MacNaughton, the owner, thought Santa Barbara needed "proper fish & chips." So he cooks up large crusty pieces of Alaskan cod with thin and crispy batter instead of what he characterizes as "the Americanized version" with thin strips of fish and heavy batter.

We love his version and his "mushy peas," another savory British fave ($1.50) that he serves as a side. The tab starts at $5.50.

New Year's lunch special: $11 or less at Street for the month of January


I like auspicious signs the first week of the new year. And I'll go ahead and take this for one: Street chef-owner Susan Feniger says all lunch items for the month of January will be $11 or less, to celebrate 2011. The $11 price may not qualify as inexpensive by, say, Midtown Lunch standards (under $10), but the dumpling platter -- including Ukrainian varenyky, Korean mandoo and stuffed mushrooms -- is usually $14. The Saigon beef salad with celery leaf and long beans is normally $15; I pulled out my trusty calculator, and this means a nearly 27% discount. Here's to good eating in '11. 

742 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 203-0500; www.eatatstreet.com.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Kaya toast at Street. Credit: Stefano Paltera/For The Times

4 food events you should know about: Chefs cookout for Alex's; Ammo's fundraiser; 'comfort dinners' at Petrossian; making tamales at MOLAA


Chefs fundraiser: Chef Suzanne Goin and partner Caroline Styne of Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern and chef David Lentz of the Hungry Cat will host L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade on Sunday, a chefs cookout to raise money and awareness for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. Jennifer Garner is the honorary chair, Jim Belushi is the emcee, and participating chefs from all over the country include  John Besh of August in New Orleans, Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, David Tanis of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in New York and Neal Fraser of Grace in L.A. $150 for general admission or $350 for the VIP special seating and after-party. All proceeds go to Alex's Lemonade Stand. Tickets are available at www.lucques.com, www.thehungrycat.com or www.alexslemonade.org/campaign/la-loves-alexs-lemonade. Noon to 4 p.m. Culver Studios, 9336 Washington Blvd., Culver City. 

$ for Edible Schoolyard: Ammo chef Daniel Mattern and pastry chef Roxana Jullapat announce their first annual "Brunch & Bake Sale," to take place on Sunday, benefiting the Edible Schoolyard program at Larchmont Charter School. Some bake sale treats from the pastry kitchen to look forward to: petite cinnamon buns, carrot cake muffins, pumpkin bread, cheddar biscuits with farmhouse butter, and breakfast beignets with fruity dipping sauce. And from the brunch menu: steel-cut oatmeal with warm pear compote and muscovado sugar, heirloom apple pancake baked in a wood-burning oven, and thick-cut brioche French toast with Roxana's cherry preserves and maple syrup. All of the proceeds from the bake sale and 15% of brunch sales will be donated. 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 1155 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, (323) 467-3293, www.ammocafe.com.

Petrossian prix-fixe: Petrossian Boutique & Restaurant in West Hollywood has kicked off prix-fixe dinners on Thursday nights: three courses for $44 with a French comfort-food theme. Chef Benjamin Bailly features classic French dishes such as frisee aux lardons, boudin blanc with pomme puree and caramel pot de creme. Thursdays, 5 to 9:30 p.m. 321 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 271-0576, www.petrossian.com. 

Tamale time: The Museum of Latin American Art offers a series of "Buen Provecho" cooking classes with instructor Consuelo Campos, including a tamale-making class on Saturday, just in time for the holidays. For additional information, e-mail education@molaa.org or call (562) 216-4108. $25 for members, $35 for non-members. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, (562) 437-1689, www.molaa.org.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Pecan sticky buns served at brunch at Ammo. Credit: Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times

Delicious Deals: 20 cheaps eats for less than $20 in San Francisco

Ferry Building 
Cheap eats? In San Francisco? That's gotta be a joke, right? Actually, our colleagues in Travel have scoped out just such a thing: 20 cheap eats for less than $20 in San Francisco.

Among them: Hit the Ferry Building Marketplace and mix-and-match the offerings at the boutiques and food stalls there for a meal that fits your budgets. We found (above) heirloom tomatoes and grapes ($7) at The Farm, sourdough round and olive rolls ($3.30) at Acme Bread shop, the cheese platter ($12) at Cowboy Creamery and a bottle of La Closerie des Lys ($9) at the Wine Merchant. Eat your picnic lunch outside, with views of Coit Tower and the Bay Bridge for a postcard perfect moment.

If you happen to know of some Cheap Eats that we missed, let us know about it.

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter.com / renelynch

Photo: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times 

Michael Mina's XIV to offer $40 prix-fixe menu on a regular basis

XIVsalmon Michael Mina's SBE restaurant XIV, which opened to much hype nearly two years ago, has gone through some growing pains but is finally catching its stride. Early on its shared small-plates concept was a bit difficult for diners to get the hang of, and then the recession hit full force and its price was a bit too steep.

Now the restaurant announces that it will be offering a $40, three-course prix-fixe menu as a regular option for diners. The deal was previously only available during dineLA restaurant week. In addition, Mina and executive chef Steven Fretz have been working to reduce the overall price point of the XIV dining experience by reworking the menu to offer more items cooked over an open wood fire, as well as by adding a variety of fresh, seasonal dishes.

XIV A rep for XIV says that check totals have already gone down by 25% but stresses that chef Fretz is convinced that the quality of the food is even better than before.

Right now the $40 prix-fixe menu includes a choice of appetizer (summer truffle cavatelli, Caesar salad or lobster-grilled cheese dip); an entree (grilled Tasmanian salmon with broccoli rabe, white soy vinaigrette and crispy ginger; a Kobe burger with farmhouse cheddar cheese and balsamic onions; or Japanese jidori chicken with corn spaetzle and leeks); and a dessert (mascarpone mousse tiramisu or root beer float with warm chocolate chip cookies).

XIV, 8117 Sunset Blvd., L.A. (323) 656-1414; www.sbe.com/XIV

--Jessica Gelt

Photos: Top right, salmon; bottom left, Caesar salad. Credit: XIV


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