Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Fairfax District

Follow the Butchers


I’ve recently started following L.A.’s artisanal butcher shops on Twitter, a brilliant use of the social media for the home cook.

If I open my Twitter account, between tweets on the developing Syria crisis, José Andres’ travels in Spain, Scrivener and iA Writer updates, and our own Food section's tweets, McCall’s Meat & Fish Co. notes they've got in “Wild Black Grouper, Skate Wing, Black Cod, Salmon, Tuna, Scallops, Halibut, Black Bass, Branzino, Clams, Mussels." Not to mention Berkshire pork and fresh calves’ liver. I read the post and my mind instantly switches over to planning the weekend's menu. 

Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura, the two women behind Lindy & Grundy Meats have used social media to churn up a frenzy of anticipation for their new Fairfax Avenue butcher shop. Via Twitter, they might report that the butcher case is now stocked with “beef & bacon grind, rack of lamb, lamb loin chops, pork chops, fresh chickens, bone marrow, sirloin tip steaks, london broil, rancher steaks” or “fresh Mexican chorizo and have just made a batch of espresso chili with marrow.”

Then comes a flash from Grindhaus, the little sausage shop that could, trumpeting “Spicy Beef w/Garlic, Bratwurst, Kielbasa, Pork w/Grn Chilis, Spicy Italian, Wild Boar, Chkn Chorizo."

By the time I get to the farmers market, I’ve already got a main course in mind and can build my shopping around it. Sweet.

To note: Both butcher shops and sausage shop are open Sundays.

McCall’s Meat & Fish Co., 2117 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles; (323) 667-0674; www.mccallsmeatandfish.com. Twitter handle @mccallsmandf 

Lindy & Grundy, 801 N. Fairfax Avenue (at Waring), Los Angeles; (323) 951-0804; www.lindyandgrundy.com. Twitter handle @LindyGrundy

Grindhaus, 5634 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; (610) 906-2677; www.GrindhausLA.com. Twitter handle @GrindhausLA.


The Sweet Tooth: Paso Almonds brittle

Guinness cupcake for Dad? Sugar Blossom Bake Shop has you covered

L.A. Times' Battle of the Burgers: Vote, or the Godfather will break your legs 

— S. Irene Virbila

Photo: Butchers Amelia Posada, left, and Erika Nakamura of "Lindy & Grundy's" on Fairfax Avenue. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

M.B. Post to open next week; bring on the beach-y cocktails (plus, more openings)

Cocktail.pg M.B. Post, the restaurant from former Water Grill chef David LeFevre, is expected to open Monday in Manhattan Beach. It's just steps away from the water, so where better to enjoy a summer cocktail (ok, it's still spring, but there's no need to get all literal at a bar)?  

The cocktail menu -- created with the help of general manager Jerry Garbus and augmented with LeFevre's nectars, salts and jams -- is a combination of updated classics and beach-y remixes. (Cocktails to go with English pea soup, olive-oil-poached tomato and creme fraiche; or pomegranate couscous with lavender feta, marcona almonds and mint; or spring garlic bacon tart; or Alaskan halibut cheek and chips with Meyer lemon remoulade; or grilled veal short rib with sesame soy glaze and spicy kimchi....) 

The Manhattan Avenue is a sweet-savory version of a Manhattan: rye whiskey, Vya sweet vermouth and sea-salt-caramel-vanilla-bean bitters. It gets strained into a martini glass partially rimmed in bacon dust, garnished with a cherry soaked in a peaty Scotch. 

The Greyhound gets taken a few steps further than the Salty Dog; the Old George (pictured) is Chopin potato vodka and fresh grapefruit juice poured over basil and ice, topped with a raspberry-pink-peppercorn jam and candied grapefruit in a glass partially rimmed with kosher salt. 

Other cocktails on the menu include the Mo-Pho-Jito -- think mojito with the flavors of Southeast Asia -- silver rum, kaffir lime, mint and ginger nectar with a coriander honey gastrique. And what's a cocktail-menu-by-the-beach without a Margarita? M.B. Post's Avila's Heir has serrano pepper and yuzu-infused agave nectar.  

1142 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach; (310) 545-5405; www.eatmbpost.com. 

Also now open: 

The Malibu Inn: More drinks by the beach at the rock-n-roll Malibu Inn, which recently was renovated and this week reopened with a menu from consulting chef Angelo Sosa, a former "Top Chef" contestant. 22969 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu; (310) 456-6060.

The Fat Dog:A new gastropub, the Fat Dog, is open on Fairfax Avenue. It's dog-friendly. 801 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 951-0030; www.thefatdogla.com. 

M Street Kitchen and Stella Rossa Pizza Bar: The restaurant formerly known as La Grande Orange in Santa Monica is suddenly M Street Kitchen, with an adjacent pizzeria called Stella Rossa Pizza Bar. 2000 Main St., Santa Monica; (310) 396-9145; www.mstreetkitchen.com. 


SBE to open Papaya King

Bzzz: In S.F., restaurant-rooftop honey bees

Sweet dreams are made of sushi

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: The Old George cocktail courtesy of M.B. Post

Exclusive, with photos: A sneak peek at Lindy & Grundy, opening Tuesday

IMG_3296 Back in January, we published our profile of Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura, the cleaver-wielding butcherettes who have been setting up their sustainable meat store on Fairfax Avenue.  Since then the women have been hard at work putting the finishing touches on their butcher shop, leaving the city in suspense for the opening. Some were so antsy, in fact, that they jumped the gun in announcing the opening.

The duo's thousands of Facebook and Twitter followers are likely privvy to the meticulous inspections and multiple bumps in the road that have pushed their opening more than a month behind schedule. But this afternoon we finally received word that Lindy & Grundy Local, Pastured, and Organic Meats is finally ready to peddle its first pork jowls.

Naturally, we wanted to give you an exclusive sneak peak of the shop in its final stages. A virtual tour with smellevision would be helpful, because upon walking through the front doors we were slammed with the scent of smoking cedarwood and roasting meat. Decked out in chain-mail aprons, Nakamura was meticulously breaking down pork parts for house-made sausages and Posada and their two  employees were busy loading the smoker, testing recipes and quartering chickens.

The store, which opens Tuesday, will offer sustainably raised beef, lamb, pork, sausage, poultry, cheese and aged meat. Sausages are being stuffed for opening day; varieties include kimchi pork, sweet and hot Italian and classic lamb. Nakamura's signature "gateway" sausage (part tofu, part chicken) will be available once they settle in. They will sell a house blend of ground beef in freezer cases, along with stocks and other prepared items. The store will also have a rub and spice station where customers can work with the butchers to create specific spice mixtures for the meats they're purchasing.

The doors will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, and they plan to have an official opening party within a few weeks. The celebration will be a welcome one, after the series of delays.

"Getting this place open has been our lives." Posada says. "We couldn't have done this without each other."

For photos of their nearly completed sustainable butcher shop, keep reading.

--Krista Simmons

Follow me on Twitter @kristasimmons

Continue reading »

Golden State celebrates 2nd anniversary with Mexicali Tacos (which means vampiros and craft beer)


Monday marks the second anniversary of Golden State cafe, and co-owner Jason Bernstein says he's celebrating with the help of Mexicali Tacos. From 6 to 10 p.m. Mexicali Tacos "will be doing their thing at our place," Bernstein says. "Their thing" is tacos, cachetadas (sort of like a tostada, with a crisp grilled tortilla), vampiros (juicy grilled meat and garlicky cheese folded into a flour tortilla) and Zupermans (three kinds of meat and melted cheese sandwiched between two tortillas) -- normally available Wednesday to Saturday at their stand at 1st Street and Beaudry Avenue (one of my favorite places to eat a taco with a view of the 110 Freeway and downtown skyline). 

"We think it will be a fun idea to pair these tacos and vampiros with really excellent California craft beer -- a combo we don't often see around town," Bernstein says.
The celebrating continues throughout the week. From Tuesday to Saturday, Golden State will be tapping a different rare keg -- Lost Abbey Angel's Share, Lost Abbey Deliverance, Deschutes Jubel 2010, New Belgium's La Terroir and Craftsman Lavender Sour. According to Bernstein, Golden State is the only place in Los Angeles where these will be pouring. 

Golden State, 426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 782-8331; www.thegoldenstatecafe.com.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: The Mexicali taco stand at 1st Street and Beaudry Avenue. Credit: Betty Hallock.

Bargain eats, and no need to choose


It's tough to wander through the Original Farmers Market and decide what to eat: Mexican food at Loteria, Magee's corned beef, gumbo from the Gumbo Pot -- and many more choices confound the hungry.

But for those lucky enough to go to the market Tuesday night, dinner was a feast for the undecided -- and a bargain besides. To celebrate its 75th anniversary, the market held a "Taste of the Market," and for $20, diners got a plate and plastic cutlery to carry around to taste samples from 40 spots -- from cheesecake lollipops at Mr. Marcel to pizza from Deano's or Patsy D'Amore's to jerked pork from Marconda's meats. And lots more. The two teenage boys who came with me certainly got my money's worth!

The market's birthday party continues with activities all week; the schedule is here.

-- Mary MacVean

Photo of the market by Alan J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Celebrating 75 years at the Original Farmers Market

Farmers-market From its beginnings with some farmers selling their wares from the back of their trucks, the Original Farmers Market at Fairfax Avenue and 3rd Street has been a popular L.A.institution. This week it celebrates its 75th birthday. Read more.

-- Mary MacVean

Photo credit: Allen J. Schaben /Los Angeles Times

Original Farmers Market celebrates 75 years at Fairfax and 3rd


Seventy-five years ago, a dozen farmers pulled up into a lot at Fairfax and 3rd and began selling produce from the backs of their trucks. The spot caught on quickly, and by the end of the year, the start of today's Original Farmers Market was on the site.

The market is celebrating with a week's worth of events, starting with a party at 7 p.m. July 13, with music from the vintage rock 'n' roll band Once More. There's more music two nights later, both big band, with Dean Mora and His Orchestra, and karaoke.

At 8 a.m. July 16, the market has a ceremony planned under the clock tower to mark its birthday. Comedian Jeff Garlin is the host, the USC marching band is playing, and of course there will be a big birthday cake.

Those events are free. For information about more events, see the market's website.

-- Mary MacVean

(Photo: The clock tower at the Original Farmers Market. Photo by Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Sampler Platter: Fatburger woes, Golden State and kosher Coke

Photo: Earvin Magic Johnson at Fatburger. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times.

Scoops of food news...

  • After rapidly expanding in the last few years, California and Nevada Fatburger subsidiaries file for bankruptcy protection. Oregon Live. This shouldn't affect Montel Williams, who owns the exclusive franchise rights to Fatburger in Colorado. BV Newswire. But it might affect the outcome of NBCLA's "Best Burger under $5" competition.
  • Colorado DMV nixes ILVTOFU vanity plate, citing obscenity concern. Colorado Independent
  • Woman calls 911 over lack of shrimp in fried rice. Newsweek
  • Golden State co-owner Jason Bernstein talks to LA.com.
  • How Il Forno in Santa Monica has managed to keep all 32 employees during the recession. Huffington Post
  • Limited batches of kosher-for-Passover Coca Cola are always a big hit in New York. New York Post
  • LAist's latest recession obsession: Guatemalan market Guatemalteca in Hollywood.

--Elina Shatkin

Join us on Twitter @LATimesFood

Photo: Earvin "Magic" Johnson at Fatburger. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times.


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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.