Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Jenn Harris

Food FYI: Hot dogs, hot dogs and more hot dogs!

If it's the Fourth of July, that means it must be time for the Nathan's Famous famous hot dog eating contest
HOT DOG HISTORY

If it's the Fourth of July, that means it must be time for the Nathan's Famous famous hot dog eating contest. At least, that's been true since 1916. Read the whole history at Smithsonian magazine's Food & Think blog.

MORE DOGGONE STUFF

And of course, you're not going to be satisfied just reading a history of the event, no matter how charmingly told. So the good folks at ESPN have set it up so you can watch the 2012 Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest as it unfolds, via live feed, starting at 9 a.m. PDT. The thrills; the spills; the mustard!

DINNER JACKETS?

It might not seem like the most obvious of product alliances, but Bon Appetit magazine is teaming up with Banana Republic for a line of clothing. Who knows? Maybe they'll come up with a fabric that resists mustard stains? Read about it here.

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Fourth of July recipes

Marcus Samuelsson's "Yes, Chef"

-- Russ Parsons and Jenn Harris

Photo: Hot dogs being weighed in preparation for the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Credit: Stan Honda / Getty Images

Fourth of July 2012 dining guide: Holiday food and drink specials

Fourthofjuly

Throwing a Fourth of July backyard BBQ is a fun way to spend the holiday, but sometimes it's nice to sit back and have someone else worry about the cooking. Here's a list of restaurants around town offering special Fourth of July cocktails, menu items and discounts:

Rock & Reilly's Irish whisky bar is having a "Reilly's backyard BBQ" with brats and burgers on its backyard patio. The bar also came up with a Fourth of July cocktail called the "Miss American Pie" made with Old Shine Apple Pie, basil, cranberry juice, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Pink Taco is serving its El Presidential Margarita made with Don Julio's 1942, fresh lime, raw agave nectar and a splash of Combier. Get a 2 for 1 margarita pitchers from 3 to 7 p.m. and 10 to 11 p.m. at both the Sunset Strip and Century City locations.

Fuku Burger will offer a special Declaration Burger topped with mac & cheese and crispy onion rings. Wash it all down with a Fuku Firework (Sapporo with a shot of sake) or the Independence flight of Fuku's domestic beers. 

PHOTOS: Fourth of July recipes

Napa Valley Grille is celebrating with a patriotic happy hour from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 4. The extended happy hour will be available at the bar and on the patio. It includes 50-cent sweet chile-glazed chicken wings, $2 PBRs and a $4 Firecracker cocktail.

Burger Lounge is offering grass-fed beef corn dogs with spicy mustard and organic ketchup ($5.95) or with onion rings and a Maine Root "Agave Pink Drink" ($10.95). 

Cecconi's will celebrate the Fourth with its new seasonal pizza night featuring different pizzas from chef Andrea Cavaliere. The pizzas are inspired by what's fresh at the Santa Monica farmers market that morning.

STREET is serving a Backyard Barbecue for four that includes the Jamaican Gingerbrew chicken, a slider assortment of Yuzu Kosho burgers, black bean veggie burgers, fried chicken and Korean BBQ shortribs, a variety of sides (Malaysian baked beans, chilled soba noodle salad) and for dessert Mexican spiced dulce de leche double chocolate fudge and toasted coconut jello ($100 for the group, plus tax). The restaurant will also offer the world-flavor bento box with tastes of the Burmese melon salad, Japanese potato salad and more ($30, plus tax).

Moon Juice is offering some figure-friendly juices that you can drink on their own or with tequila or vodka for a cocktail. The new summer flavors include honeydew, cilantro and lime; cantaloupe and nectarine; watermelon, tomato and lime; and cucumber, pineapple and jalapeno ($9-12).

Magnolia Bakery is offering Fourth of July-decorated cupcakes ($3.50 each) and a variety of blueberry desserts, including the Blueberry Jamboree or classic Blueberry Pie (slice $4 to $4.50 and pie $24).

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below or fill us in on your plans for the holiday.

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Photos: Fourth of July recipes

Twitter #Weekendeats highlights: Going bananas for foie gras

-- Jenn Harris

twitter.com/Jenn_Harris_

Photo credit: Spencer Weiner /Los Angeles Times

Twitter #Weekendeats highlights: Going bananas for foie gras

Foie

July 1 marked a sad day for many California foodies. That's when the state ban on foie gras  went into effect, leaving restaurants and other vendors in California unable to sell the prized ingredient. In honor of foie gras, some of our #weekendeats chat participants indulged over the weekend and shared their photos and recipes with us on Twitter. Here are a couple of the foie gras highlights:

Marian Bacol-Uba, known as @marianthefoodie on Twitter, went on an all-out foie gras binge at Animal restaurant. Bacol-Uba shared photos of the foie gras terrine with jelly, foie gras biscuit and gravy, agnolotti with liquid foie gras and the Loco Moco with foie gras. That should hold her over for a while.

Darin Dines and Pinoy Panda @limer35 enjoyed foie gras dishes at Mélisse restaurant in Santa Monica, the site of some heated protests in May. Dines shared a photo, seen above, for truffled foie gras agnolotti, and Pinoy Panda shared a photo collage of the foie for all dinner with multiple courses.

PHOTOS: A look at foie gras in California restaurants

To say that Twitter's @Carolineoncrack had a decadent weekend would be a gross understatement. She feasted on orzo macaroni and foie beer cheese with house-made duck bacon and the seared foie gras sliders with quail egg, pickled shallots and house made spicy apple beer mustard from Beer Belly restaurant in Korea Town.

Ngoc Hoang, a.k.a. @probakist on Twitter, also enjoyed foie gras over the weekend and shared a picture and recipe for pasta with foie gras and mushrooms.

In addition to foie gras, Los Angeles said farewell Saturday to Madame Chocolat's Beverly Hills store. Jo Stougaard of MyLastBite.com shared a photo of some chocolate from the store.

After the chat, we ask people to upload pictures of their #weekendeats to our What did you eat this weekend? photo gallery. We'll feature some of the photos here on Daily Dish, so be sure to check back for more #weekendeats and #foodporn fun throughout the week.

Hope to see everyone next Monday morning on Twitter! It's sure to be a drool-worthy good time.

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Dinner tonight! Crispy chicken thighs with olives, lemon, fennel

-- Jenn Harris

twitter.com/Jenn_Harris_

Photo: Foie gras dish from Mélisse restaurant. Credit: Darin Dines.

50 shades of food: Warm, gooey jalapeño cheese bread

Cheesebread

Pull up a chair and settle in for our 50 Shades of Food series, where we introduce you to mouth-watering, shiver-inducing, hot, sexy food porn. It's safe-for-work browsing, sure to get your heart racing and your palms a little sweaty, and the only drawback is a possible hunger pang or two after viewing.

This week we picked a photo that celebrates our love for fresh baked bread and cheese. Shulie Madnick of the blog Food Wanderings shared a picture and recipe for jalapeño cheese bread. A fresh, hot loaf of any kind of bread is, in itself, something to swoon over. Add swirls of gooey cheese and hot jalapeños and it's enough to make you squeal with delight.

"As you can see, I commit the same crime over and over again and slice the bread while it is still warm," said Madnick on her blog. "I need to be put on probation, but admit it, doesn't the gooey melting cheese look so scrumptious?"

Oh, yes, Shulie, we're head over heels.

If you'd like to get in on the food porn action, upload photos of your food to any of our food galleries --  What did you eat this weekend?; Our recipes, your kitchen; or Cheers! What are you drinking? -- and we'll be on the lookout for photos that make our eyes pop. You can also share photos with us on our Facebook page or on Twitter. Be sure to include your name, a description of the photo and any personal blog or Twitter handle you'd like us to give a shout-out to.

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-- Jenn Harris

twitter.com/jenn_harris

Photo: Jalapeño cheese bread. Credit: Shulie Madnick

Twitter #Weekendeats highlights: Cool summer treats and more

  Weekendeats

Today's #weekendeats chat on Twitter left me wishing for a serious summer vacation, with pictures of ice cream sandwiches, popsicles and refreshing cocktails fit for lazy days by the pool. Here's a link to 30 beat the heat no-bake dessert recipes from the Los Angeles Times test kitchen and a look at some of today's chat highlights:

Marian Bacol-Uba, a.k.a. @marianthefoodie on Twitter shared a picture of a mound of mango shaved iceAliya LeeKong, a.k.a. @aliyaleekong on Twitter shared a recipe for cherry pino-paletas (cherry and red wine popsicles) and Michelle Jenkins, a.k.a. @mkparkinson on Twitter shared a recipe for gluten-free oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches shown in the picture above. Jenkins used the recipe from the back of the bag of Trader Joe's rolled oats to make the cookies, then added a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

@MyMansBelly shared a strawberry shrub and strawberry shrub cocktail recipe, Stephanie Arsenault, a.k.a. @globaldish on Twitter tweeted her recipe for a light lemon mint tea cocktail with vodka and @daisyt13 shared a picture of her recent strawberry mojito using an altered  L.A. Times  SOS recipe with rhubarb in place of soda.

Other notable shares included a Tomato fillo tart from Jenny Johnson, a.k.a. @VintageSubarCB on twitter. Johnson proudly proclaimed she is no longer a "fillo virgin." Giving foie a last hurrah was the One More Bite blog, @onemorebiteblog on Twitter, who shared a photo of veal tongue, smoked foie gras, crab apple and dehydrated pumpernickle toasts from Animal restaurant.

After the chat, we ask people to upload pictures of their #weekendeats to our What did you eat this weekend? photo gallery. We'll feature some of the photos here on Daily Dish, so be sure to check back for more #weekendeats  and #foodporn fun throughout the week.

Hope to see everyone next Monday morning on Twitter! It's sure to be a drool-worthy good time.

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-- Jenn Harris

twitter.com/jenn_harris

Photo: Oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. Credit: Dailywaffle.com.

How about a 'Ramp Jam' cocktail?

Raspberry MojitoDid you happen to catch any of "The Californians" skits on "Saturday Night Live?" The comparisons to our conversations filled with shortcuts trying to avoid traffic are spot on. It's no wonder a traffic-weary commuter's desire for a stiff cocktail or glass of wine at the end of the day is frequent. With the upcoming "Ramp Jam," also known as "the Rampture" set to hit Friday evening, I anticipate that desire becoming a downright necessity rather quickly.

The Locanda del Lago restaurant located at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica is hoping to ease the "Rampture" pain by offering commuters a "carpool" cocktail special. Their “Rampture Raspberry Mojito,” made of raspberries, fresh mint, organic Papagayo rum and sugarcane is priced at $6.22 starting Friday. The cocktail will be offered daily until the completion of the city's carpool construction project.

To receive the special, mention the word "Rampture" and show proof of carpooling. Acceptable forms of proof can be a carpool parking permit or photo on a mobile phone.

Hope everyone finds a suitable, safe way home. Here are the specific "Ramp Jam" details from our sister blog LA Now:

Starting at 10 p.m. Friday, workers will close the westbound Wilshire onramp to the northbound 405 and the northbound 405 offramp to westbound Wilshire. The ramps will remain closed for three months, the first phase of a yearlong effort to demolish and rebuild all eight ramps at the interchange.

Locanada de Lago 231 Arizona Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90401 310.451.3525

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-- Jenn Harris

twitter.com/jenn_harris

Photo: The "Rampture Rasberry Mojito" cocktail from Locanda del Lago. Credit: Locanda del Lago.

Summer events: Poolside brunches, wine tastings and sweet deals

Brunch at Mr. C Beverly Hills

Summer is officially here and what better time to take up wine tasting, indulge in lunch by the pool or take advantage of some sweet discounts? Lucky for us, Los Angeles has a slew of restaurants hosting events and offering specials this summer. Here's a couple listings to enjoy:

Fig & Olive is introducing a new summer apertivo happy hour that kicks off Thursday night from 6 to 8 p.m.: happy hour cocktails and wines priced at $8 and a complimentary Mediterranean tasting plate. Beginning next week, this summer promotion will be available Monday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.

Mr. C Beverly Hills has teamed up with the Darren Dzienciol’s Bartelier Group for a series of poolside brunches and cocktails at the "Mr. C Yacht Club" located at the Mr. C Hotel in Beverly Hills. The brunches will start June 24, the one-year anniversary of the hotel. Guests can munch on a classic Italian Cipriani menu of pizzas, pastas and grilled items from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the 4,500-square-foot outdoor pool deck with private cabanas. The hotel's signature Bellinis will be served throughout the day as well as specialty cocktails by Belvedere vodka. You have to be on the list to get in, so advance reservations are required. Continuing with the nautical theme, starting in July, boats will dock on Beverwil Drive, where the hotel is located, including a 27-foot runabout.

Drago Centro is celebrating a new seasonal cocktail list by head bartender Jaymee Mandeville. The restaurant is offering its signature cocktails for $8 on June 27. You can also grab a bite with the all-day happy hour menu with items priced under $10.

The Royce at The Langham Hotel Royce Manager and Director of Wine Eric Espuny will present a series of summer wine tasting classes on July 7 and Sept. 1 at noon. Guests will learn about seasonal wines, specific regions and varietals and tips for ordering and buying wine. The July 7 class ($45 per person) will focus on rosés, Provence and the Sept. 1 class ($500 per person) will focus on the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti vintage 2009. This class and tasting will feature Echezeaux, Grand Echezeaux, Richebourg and La Tache. Advance reservations are required and available beginning July 17.

Napa Valley Grille's monthly winemaker dinner series will feature the St. Helena-based Beckstoffer wines for a five-course wine pairing dinner on June 26 at 6:30 p.m. Beckstoffer winemaker Drew Huffine will guide the tasting and tell guests about the wine making process. Chef Boudreaux will prepare a seasonal summer menu of farro salad, pan seared scallops and more.

Shutters on the Beach has teamed with Coolhaus to offer their sweet treats to beachgoers all summer long. The Coolhaus cart will be parked in front of the hotel selling their desserts and sweet snacks Friday through Sunday. To view additional days and times visit  Facebook.com/ShuttersontheBeach and eatcoolhaus.com. The Coolhaus treats will also be available at the Coast Beach Café and Bar at the Shutters hotel.

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-- Jenn Harris

twitter.com/jenn_harris

Photo: The pool at the Mr. C Beverly Hills, where their summer poolside brunches will take place. Credit: Mr. C Beverly Hills

50 Shades of Food: Sunday brunch fantasy double feature

Foodporn

Pull up a chair and settle in for our 50 Shades of Food series, where we introduce you to mouth-watering, shiver-inducing, hot, sexy food porn. It's safe for work browsing, sure to get your heart racing and your palms a little sweaty, and the only drawback is a possible hunger pang or two after viewing.

This week's installment is a Sunday brunch fantasy double feature courtesy of @djjewelz. On the left, the sausage McBelly from BeerBelly LA in Koreatown, and on the right, the Slim Jim Bloody Mary, made with soju, also from BeerBelly.

"The Sausage McBelly is made with chef Wes Lieberher's homemade bratwurst," wrote @djjewelz. Eat your heart out, McMuffins. That glistening bratwurst sausage patty and fried egg on an English muffin has us weak in the knees, and who wouldn't swoon over an ice cold Bloody Mary?

If you'd like to get in on the food porn action, upload photos of your food to any of our food galleries --  What did you eat this weekend?, Our recipes, your kitchen or our Cheers! What are you drinking? -- and we'll be on the lookout for photos that make our eyes pop. You can also share photos with us on our Facebook page or on Twitter. Be sure to include your name, a description of the photo and any personal blog or Twitter handle you'd like us to give a shout-out to.

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-- Jenn Harris

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Twitter #Weekendeats highlights: Meatless Monday supreme

Meatlessmonday

We happen to celebrate a lot of bacon and other lust-worthy meats quite frequently here on Daily Dish, so today I thought it would be fun to give a well-deserved nod to some meatless dishes, for #MeatlessMonday, shared during our #weekendeats chat.

Angharad, author of the blog EatingforEngland.com, shared a recipe for black bean burgers; @YkBUrban tweeted a picture of the veggie waffle sandwich with goat cheese, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula and balsamic reduction from Bruxie Waffles (pictured above); and Zach Brooks, also known as @midtownlunchla, shared a picture of the pescado zarandeado from Mariscos Chente.

If you're a kale fan, there was plenty to covet this week. From the blog teenytinykitchen.com, here's a recipe for a colorful rainbow kale spanakopita, and from the blog OutoftheBoxFood.com, a recipe for a simple kale and walnut pesto.

There were also some meat-friendly shares that definitely deserved a shout-out. This surf and turf burger at Anepalco cafe, shared by Twitter handle @TheHungryDogg, caused a definite double-take, and Mark Walker shared a picture of his attempt to savor foie gras with the foie gras terrine at Freddy Small's.

Let's end our roundup like we would any complete meal, on a sweet note with dessert! This week's standouts go to @luvbabyb, for sharing her cookies n cream monkey bread with toasted marshmallows Father's day breakfast, and Meghan of the blog Buttercreamblondie.com, for her bourbon pecan cookie dough banana bread.

After the chat, we ask people to upload pictures of their #weekendeats to our What did you eat this weekend? photo gallery. We'll feature some of the photos right here on Daily Dish, so be sure to check back for more #weekendeats  and #foodporn fun throughout the week.

Hope to see everyone next Monday morning on Twitter! It's sure to be a drool-worthy good time.

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-- Jenn Harris

twitter.com/jenn_harris

Photo: Bruxie Waffles' roasted mushroom & goat cheese waffle topped with fresh basil, arugula and sun-dried tomatoes in a balsamic reduction. Credit: @YkBUrban

New ice cream sandwiches at Fōnuts

Coming soon: ice cream between those fonuts

Fōnuts, the purveyors of unfried, gluten-free and vegan donuts is introducing a new player to their summer menu: fōnut ice cream sandwiches. Owners four-star pastry chef Waylynn Lucas and her partner, voice actor Nancy Truman, have come up with some modern and nostalgic flavor combinations for their new sandwiches, featuring seasonal ingredients and all house-made ice creams.

Some of the sandwich flavors include the Chocolate fōnut with eucalyptus ice cream, strawberry buttermilk fōnut with fresh mint ice cream, vegan coconut passion fruit fōnut with vegan coconut sorbet, and the blueberry Earl Grey fōnut with lemon lavender sorbet. The shop plans to offer an ever-changing selection of seasonal ice cream flavors to sandwich between your favorite fōnuts.

The ice cream sandwiches will launch at the Fōnuts and Grilled Cheese Truck ice cream party hosted by Chef Lucas and Truman happening June 30 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Fōnuts.

8104 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles

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-- Jenn Harris
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Photo: Donuts from Fōnuts. Credit: Betty Hallock / Los Angeles Times

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