Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Food Holidays

Celebrate National Fried Chicken Day with fried chicken five ways


It's National Fried Chicken Day y'all. Why not celebrate the ultimate comfort food, tailgate snack and guilty pleasure of finger lick'n fans everywhere? There's a reason why fried chicken is typically served by the bucket full.  It's simply too hard to ever get enough of that crispy, salty skin and juicy moist chicken. After all, it really is the best way to cook a bird.

To celebrate, you can definitely get your chicken fix at a restaurant, but why not make the good stuff at home? Think of it as a way to eat as much as you want, as messily as you want in the comfort of your own home. I've been known to cause quite a mess of my own with what I like to call my "special  technique." Take all the meat and skin off a piece of fried chicken, with your hands of course, then pile it sky high on a waffle or a biscuit. Top it off with a healthy dose of syrup and hot sauce then wrap it up like a burrito and voila. Some serious finger lick'n is sure to ensue. 

If you're up for the challenge, here are five ways to make fried chicken from the Los Angeles Times test kitchen. And as a bonus, here's the recipe for The Tasting Kitchen executive chef Casey Lane's sweet and savory bacon waffles with fried "clucks" after the jump. Enjoy, and don't forget the napkins!

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Father's Day 2012 dining guide: Freebies, cocktails and more

South of France Poached EggsStill don't know where to take dad for Father's Day? Not to fret, we've got you covered. Here's a list of where to take Dad for a great meal, cocktail, even a free burger.

Fig & Olive Melrose Place is offering a new summer three-course weekend brunch menu ($28) created by executive chef Pascal Lorange, who happens to be a new first-time dad. The meal comes with a complimentary cocktail as well as a selection of half-priced cocktails. The Father's Day weekend prix-fixe dishes include: house-made brioche French toast, Fig & Olive burger, steak tartare and more.  

Chaya will have a prix-fixe ($38) Father's Day brunch available on Sunday at the restaurant's Venice location and an à la carte brunch at the Beverly Hills and downtown locations. At the Venice location you can treat dad to bottomless Champagne or draft beer from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Red O will serve Father's Day dinner starting at 6 p.m. and give all dads a margarita made with Patron Gran Platinum tequila, Prunier Cognac, lime juice and agave nectar, on the rocks with a house-made fruit ice cube. Chef Rick Bayless' lamb mole negro will be offered as a special.

Mr. C is offering a buffet brunch and bottomless bellinis poolside at the Mr. C Yacht Club. Munch on Venetian frittatas or visit the Cipriani pasta station while listening to live jazz from the Jimmy Gimelli Jazztet. The buffet brunch and bottomless bellinis is $65 per adult and $35 for brunch and bottomless soft drinks for kids. Reservations are recquired.

­­­­­­­­­The Counter is offering a free burger for all dads on Sunday. All you have to do is say "My dad is a BFD (big freakin deal) and your dad will receive one standard 1/3-pound burger with included toppings. One per customer accompanied by a paying guest.This promotion is valid at all locations except Miami airport. 

Drago Centro is offering a six-course Father's Day tasting menu ($60) and beer pairing ($30) on Saturday and Sunday. The menu will include truffle agnolotti, crispy pork belly and gnocchi, lamb osso bucco and more. 

Magnolia Bakery will have special cupcakes available for dad. Get him the Tool Kit ($24), which includes one dozen mini vanilla and chocolate cupcakes adorned with edible tools, or Dad's Toolbox ($10), which includes one chocolate fudge brownie and one chocolate chunk blondie, or you can purchase individual classic vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with your choice of edible sports, golf, tie or tool decorations ($3.25 each). 

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Restaurant roundup: Easter and Passover, brunch or dinner

BouchonalexgallardoHave you planned your holiday meal yet? If you're looking to go out on the town, here's a list of a variety of places — from Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills to the San Diego Zoo — offering brunch or dinner:

 The Backyard RestaurantBackyard Restaurant will serve Easter Sunday Brunch for $20.12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the restaurant will also offer Easter egg hunts at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Some of the menu items include passion fruit, lemon drop and berry scones with French butter, truffled egg-in-the-hole with brioche and lobster hash. 930 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 443-8218.

Bouchon Bistro/Bouchon Bakery: Bouchon Bistro is offering buttermilk fried chicken, bacon, and chive waffles with cheddar grits, Vermont maple syrup and Tahitian vanilla bean butter and sauce chasseur for both brunch and dinner on Easter. $36 per person. Bouchon Bakery is offering Easter treats such as hot cross buns and pecan clusters. 235 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 271-9910 (Ext. 621 for the bakery).

Café del Rey: Café del Rey is offering a three-course prix fixe Easter brunch for $38 per person. Chef Daniel Roberts is featuring such dishes as eggs Florentine with sweet potato and duck confit hash, brioche French toast with pear syrup, bacon and whipped cream, and more. 4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, (310) 823-6395.

Coupa Cafe: Coupa Café will be offering Easter brunch for $28 per person. Menu includes mimosas or peach bellinis, mini cachapas, eggs Benedict, Reina Pepiada arepa and more. 419 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 385-0420.

Fig & Olive: Fig & Olive on Melrose Place will be offering three-course prix-fixe brunch and buffet menus starting at $40 from 12 to 3:30 p.m. with dishes featuring flavors from the south of France. Menu features items such as gig gorgonzola tartlet, grilled thyme chicken paillard salad, and for dessert strawberry rhubarb macaroon. 8490 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, (310) 360-9100 .

FraicheFraiche's Easter brunch, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., includes dishes such as lobster bisque, steak 'n' eggs with home fries), and for dessert, “Our World-Famous Dessert Platter.” 9411 Culver Blvd., Culver City, (310) 839-6800.  

Locanda del Lago: A “Buona Pasque” Italian-style Easter menu runs for a week starting Saturday, with a special prix-fixe menu starting at $48 for three courses. Menu items include cestino di Parmigiano con crescione, uova di quaglie e asparagi bianchi (parmesan “basket” filled with watercress, white asparagus salad with chive aioli and hard-boiled quail eggs.) 231 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 451-3525.

Mimi’s Café: Mimi’s Café is offering "Easter Feast To-Go" through Sunday.  Serves six to eight guests for $84.99. The menu features dishes such as sliced pit-roasted ham with homemade honey Dijon glaze, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, dessert and more. 2925 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 668-1715.

Napa Valley Grille: The Napa Valley Grille is offering an Easter brunch buffet. Adults $49 and children $19; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A wine-country inspired brunch buffet with menu items to include spring onion soup and kale salad, an omelet station, and steak hash with poached eggs. 1100 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 824-3322.  

Pann’s: This Easter Sunday Pann’s is giving away chocolate bunnies to all patrons who wear hats, bonnets, caps, etc. Enjoy a free bunny or just fried chicken and waffles and Pann’s homemade chocolate Easter muffins. 6710 La Tijera Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 776-3770.

EastereggroyallepetrossianPetrossian: Petrossian will be serving Easter brunch for $45 and $59. Some of the menu items include Festive Egg Royale (soft scrambled egg, vodka whipped cream), Smoked salmon bagel with caviar (cream cheese, capers, red onion, mixed greens) and for dessert almond crème brûlée with Russian tea cookies. 321 N Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 271-6300. 

Playa: Playa will be offering Easter brunch and dinner on Sunday. Specials include smoked salmon with poached eggs for brunch and crispy blue corn taco with corned beef and serrano ham tamal with piquillo salsa for dinner. 7360 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 933-5300.

Raphael: Raphael is offering a Euro-Japanese three-course Easter brunch featuring menu items such as roasted apple salad, chilled wild nettle soup, brioche French toast, Valrhona chocolate pots de crème, and more. $35 per person, $25 for children 12 and under. 11616 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 505-3337.

Royal/T: Royal/T café will be offering an Easter Sunday brunch menu highlighting dishes such as Peter Rabbit’s carrot ginger soup, Easter quiche with bacon, spinach, shallots and cheese. The menu items will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 559-6300.

San Diego Zoo: The San Diego Zoo is offering an Easter brunch prepared by zoo executive chef Chris Mirguet along with chef Charles Boukas. $39.95 per person for adults and $18.95 for children ages 3 to 11. 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, (619) 557-3964.

Street: Street’s chefs Susan Feniger and Kajsa Alger are offering a Saturday night Seder led by Rabbi Eleanor Steinman with dishes such as warm halloumi salad and Moroccan lamb.  Easter brunch is offered on Sunday with egg dishes from around the world. Passover Seder, $55 per person; Easter brunch à la carte. 742 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 203-0500.

Vermont Kitchen and Bar: Vermont Kitchen and bar will be offering Easter brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. It will be its regular brunch menu with a special Easter menu item and beverages. 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 661-6163.

The Winery: The Winery will be offering a three-course Easter brunch Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., $32.95 per guest. Menu items: seared rare ahi tuna (with avocado, mango, cucumber, cilantro-orange vinaigrette) and chile lime-rubbed Hawaiian mahi mahi (with roasted tropical fruit chutney, jasmine rice, lemongrass-Gewurztraminer butter). 2647 Park Ave, Tustin, (714) 258-7600.

— Rachel Sherman and Sarah Al-Abdulrahim

Photos, from top: Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times; Easter Egg Royales at Petrossian. Credit: Petrossian.

Valentine's Day dining guide

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Whether you celebrate Valentine's Day the weekend before or the day of--with your significant other or your best friends--L.A. restaurants are paying homage to love with prix-fixe menus and aphrodisiac foods and spirits to enhance the experience. See our list on the next page.

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Celebrate Three Kings Day with Rosca de Reyes


The holiday season isn't quite over just yet. Friday marks the 12th day of Christmas, known as Three Kings Day or El Día de los Reyes Magos, the Epiphany. Christians believe that on this day the three kings, also known as wisemen, arrived in Bethlehem bearing gifts for the newly born Jesus.

Celebrations typically include caroling and of course culinary treats, the most famous being the Rosca de Reyes, a festive round cake topped with trinkets and candy. Baked into the cake is a small plastic baby Jesus. If you find him in your slice, tradition says you must throw a party on Feb. 2, Candlemas Day, and serve tamales to your guests.

KingscakeTo celebrate the big day, Pink Taco in Century City is offering patrons their own version of Rosca de Reyes. Their smaller, individual cakes still feature the signature hole in the middle but are made with a gummy bear instead of a baby Jesus, and fresh raspberries, blueberries and a raspberry sorbet take the place of more traditional candy.

If you're in the mood for a full festive meal, you can feast on items from their special Three Kings Day menu such as the signature pink taco with Yucatan-style panuchos, achiote grilled chicken and habanero pickled onions, sweet corn tamal and their signature En Fuego cocktail, made with El Jimador Blanco Tequila topped with a float of high-proof rum to set a fire at your table.

La Morenita bakery in Cypress and La Monarca bakery in Huntington Park also specialize in making the round cakes for the holiday.

If you'd like to try your hand at making your own Rosca de Reyes, check out a recipe from our test kitchen:

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Stocking stuffers: Dish towels, a canister and honey sampler, oh my!

Dish towels finalChristmas is right around the corner and whether you are a planner or procrastinator when it comes to shopping, there's still time left for stuffing, I mean really stuffing, those stockings. We've posted gift ideas over the last month and, with a little under a week to go, here are a few more:

The poppy pattern on the Marimekko Pieni Unikko dish towels is simple in design but bold and bright in color. The pattern was designed in 1964 by Maija Isola and has remained the most popular Marimekko print. Pick up a set of two for $29 at Crate and Barrel.

Canister finalAnthropologie carries this pastoral-looking ceramic canister. The gorgeous ivory clay and olive wood "Verdant" jar is perfect for cookie storing. Find it online or at an Anthropologie store for $78.

The Ames Farm honey sampler set from Terrain fits the bill for any tea or cornbread enthusiast. Learn where a specific honey was collected in Ames' searchable bee yard database, which provides the geographic location, time period and flavor profile of each jar collected from the farm's 300 hives in Minnesota. The set of five 2-oz. jars is $24.

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Sqirl preserves

Kastehelmi bowls from Iittala

Mix-and-match mugs

-- Caitlin Keller

Photo credits (clockwise): crateandbarrel.com; anthropologie.com; shopterrain.com

Holiday restaurant roundup: Even more

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Last week we listed several restaurants around L.A. that are keeping their doors open for anyone wanting to dine out this holiday season. Whether you're looking to keep it laid back with Chinese food and a movie or jazz it up with a prix-fixe menu, there's something for everyone. Here are even more restaurants to add to our previously posted restaurant roundup:

Ink: On New Year's Eve, Michael Voltaggio's recently opened restaurant is offering a five-course tasting menu for $125, with the option of beverage pairings for an additional $75. For more information call (323) 651-5866. 8360 Melrose Ave., L.A., (323) 651-5866, mvink.com.

The Foundry on Melrose: The restaurant is celebrating Christmas Eve differently than most, with Chinese food and movies. Get your fix of egg rolls, chicken mu shu, empress soup and Chinese broccoli while feasting your eyes on two films that will be chosen by diners who vote via Facebook beforehand. (In the running are "The Goonies," "Indiana Jones" and "Trading Places.") Christmas Eve dinner and a movie costs $39 per person. 7465 Melrose Ave., L.A., (323) 651-0915, thefoundryonmelrose.com.

Rustic Canyon: The wine bar and seasonal kitchen will be closed Christmas Eve and day but will be open New Year's Eve. Diners will choose eight of fifteen menu options to be shared, family-style, by the table at $85 per person. A warm lobster salad and pork belly confit with crispy collard greens and Anson Mills grits are among the offerings. 1119 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 393-7050, rusticcanyonwinebar.com.

Terranea Resort: The oceanfront hotel in Rancho Palos Verdes has three options for dining this New Year's Eve. Its signature restaurant, Mar'sel, will offer a prix-fixe menu with selections like truffle-poached oysters and terrine of Sonoma foie gras, while those looking for dancing and music can head to the ballroom, which will be stocked with food and bar stations, not to mention champagne. Families celebrating together can fill up on butter-poached Maine lobster and a roasted rack of lamb, among other dishes, at Catalina Kitchen's buffet. The price for Mar'sel's first seating is $95 per person, and for the second, $145; the ballroom celebration is $50 per person; and the buffet is $89 per person. 100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, (310) 265-2836, terranea.com.


Holiday cookies: Butter cookies

Monthly wine classes at the Huntington Library

Food Editor Russ Parsons is digging 'Plenty'

-- Caitlin Keller

Photo credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Stocking Stuffer: Kastehelmi bowls by Iittala

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Renowned Finnish glass designer Oiva Toikka originally designed the Kastehelmi collection of glassware in 1964. After pondering ways of covering the joint marks left on the surface of pressed glass pieces by the production process, Toikka came up with the idea of using droplets of glass as decoration. The result was beautiful, timeless glassware that continues to ooh and ahh with the line's range of glass bowls and plates. Iittala reintroduced a selection of the most popular pieces last year with colors ranging from apple green and light blue to festive red and traditional clear. The bowls from the Kastehelmi collection are $17 each.


Other stocking stuffer ideas: Mugs

Eat Beat: Savory bread pudding

The big winner this season: Vitamix blender

-- Caitlin Keller

Credit: Iittala.com

Stocking Stuffer: Sqirl

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Los Angeles-based company Sqirl makes some pretty tasty preserves -- jams, jellies and marmalades -- for stuffing inside stockings this year. Jam maker Jessica Koslow playfully displays her products for purchase alongside eccentric props and colorful backdrops on the company's website. Made with local produce from family-owned farms no more than 200 miles from her kitchen, Koslow's jams incorporate flavorful fruits -- some of which are on the Ark of Taste.

Among Sqirl's preserves is a strawberry and rose jam, made with McGrath Family Farms Seascape strawberries, Rancho Del Sol Sorrento lemons and Earthtrine Farms rose geranium. Another favorite is the Santa Rosa plums and flowering thyme jam made with plums from Flora Bella Farm, Sorrento lemon juice from Rancho Del Sol and Shear Rock Farm flowering thyme.

Sqirl's preserves range in price from $12 to $14 and can be purchased online or at Proof Bakery in Atwater Village.

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Other stocking stuffer ideas: Propaganda posters for better food

Folklore: Fishing for breakfast

Ginger ale by Bruce Cost

--Caitlin Keller

ArtBites explores the history of desserts on Dec. 11

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Explore the history of desserts Sunday in a hand's-on class through ArtBites.

The day starts at LACMA, where participants will explore the museum's collection of Latin American, French, English and Italian paintings and decorative arts. After the museum visit and discussion, the group will meet at Surfas' test kitchen for a hands-on cooking class.

Holiday desserts to be made include büche de Noël, gingerbread baby cakes, a fresh berry galette, a maple-pear upside down cake and chocolate-peppermint bark.

ArtBites was founded by Maite Gomez-Rejón in 2007 to combine the history of art and food. She has worked in the education departments of various museums and also as a private chef, so her resume is perfect for the endeavor. ArtBites hosts classes that tour museum galleries, tracing the historical role of food through art collections, followed by hands-on-cooking classes.

Sunday's four-hour class starts at noon and is $100 per person. The price  includes museum admission, tour, recipes, ingredients and wine.


Alice Waters book signing 

5 Questions for Mohan Ismail

Stocking stuffer: Teak measuring spoons

-- Caitlin Keller

Photo: Büche de Noël. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times


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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.