Jonathan Gold’s best Los Angeles restaurants revealed!
Pultizer Prize-winning critic Jonathan Gold has finally lifted the curtain on where he thinks the best places in L.A. to grab a bite to eat, a luxurious meal or just a huge upgrade to your workday lunch.
The full list is behind our paywall, but the top 20 spots are nonetheless open for everyone to take a peek.
Gold’s top pick, by the way, is Providence, a restaurant that has already been met with widespread acclaim. Though far from a bargain, the Mid-Wilshire establishment is, at least in Gold’s opinion, worth the expense.
Photos: Christina House / For The Times
How to solve world hunger with pizza
The idea of a universal food synthesizer sounds like something straight out of the Jetsons or Star Trek, but thanks to a $125,000 grant from NASA, a 3-D food printer may become a reality.
Anjan Contractor, a senior mechanical engineer at Systems and Materials Research Corporation, is already working on bringing the idea to fruition.
NASA’s interested because storing the various ingredients as a power greatly extends their shelf life for lengthy travel through space, but Contractor wants to keep all of the recipes open source, so the general public could eventually benefit as well.
So how will the pizza be made?
Pizza will be one of the first items printed because of its natural layers of ingredients. First, a layer of dough will be printed and baked at the same time using a heated plate at the bottom of the printer. A layer of tomato base will follow — made of powder, water and oil — then a protein layer will top the pizza.
Read more over at the Daily Dish.
Photo: Cheryl A. Guerrero / Glendale News Press
Ready for the battle of the burgers?
Who molds the most delicious patties? Who dashes the most finely-tuned selection of seasonings on those perfectly succulent bits of meat? Find out in this year’s annual Battle of the Burgers, an all-out brawl over who can find the best combination to put between a bun!
Last year’s winners are seen above, and all of the corresponding recipes can be seen here,
So to join this elite burger echelon, submit your own recipe to the our food section’s Facebook page starting tomorrow, and find out if your homegrown recipe can top the competition.
Photos: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
Click here to find a delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe perfect for your own noms.
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What are the best Mexican restaurants in Southern California?
That’s a question that may have popped up every now and then as you mulled your next meal. Well luckily enough, and with Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, the Times’ restaurant critic Jonathan Gold has picked out his top 14, so your weekend craving for tacos, avocados, margaritas and beyond won’t go unheeded.
Check out Gold’s full course here, or if the photos above make you as hungry as they made us, click through some of the choice restaurant’s offerings.
Photos: Mariah Tauger / For the Times, Paul Morse, Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times
Transitioning from L.A. Times reporter to fruit picker
Hector Becerra set his reporting notebook aside, laced up his boots and strode out into the strawberry fields of Santa Maria, Calif. to see firsthand what it was like to be a fieldworker.
About an hour into the picking, my upper and lower back were beginning to tighten and my legs began to burn a little from the stooping.
As the other workers pulled ahead, Becerra gained a new appreciation for their daily struggle, and for the little things about the agricultural assembly line that often go unnoticed when you’re browsing through the aisles.
You might think strawberries are carefully sorted — possibly by a machine — into the clamshells you buy at the supermarket after being washed at some facility. They’re not. The strawberries are picked by fieldworkers and placed directly into those containers.
Read his compelling account in our latest Column One feature.
Photos: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
Cannibalism in Jamestown
Those with weak stomachs may want to avoid going any further. Researchers today unveiled proof of alleged cannibalism during times of dire starvation in the fledgling Virginia colony.
From the writings of George Percy, president of Jamestown at the time:
“One of our colony murdered his wife, ripped the child out of her womb and threw it into the river, and after chopped the mother in pieces and salted her for his food.”
But until the scarce remains of a 14-year-old girl named “Jane” were discovered in a garbage heap, there was no physical evidence that the accounts of cannibalism were actually true.
From Smithsonian anthropologist Douglas Owsley:
“The recovered bone fragments have unusually patterned cuts and chops that reflect tentativeness, trial and complete lack of experience in butchering animal remains. Nevertheless, the clear intent was to dismember the body, removing the brain and flesh from the face for consumption.”
Photos: Don Hurlbert / AFP/Getty Images, Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press
While doing research for our cool new feature on heritage apples, we found this 100-year-old book—still the definitive resource for New England apple enthusiasts. It’s chock full of info and these gorgeous, gorgeous illustrations. We had to share! Especially after tracking down a physical copy in a small library tucked in a San Francisco warehouse.
An apple post a day keeps the Tumblr doctor away.
test reblogged from motherjones
The king of Chinese restaurants
How many Chinese restaurants have you been to? A few? Maybe a dozen?
For L.A. attorney David Chan, that number quickly skyrocketed, currently sitting at a preposterous 6,297 (with more still to come).
But Chan didn’t always have Chinese cuisine, reviews for which he keeps collected in a massive spreadsheet cataloging his travels and meals:
As a child, Chan hated Chinese food. The few times his parents would drag him to Chinatown restaurants like Lime House for banquets, he’d sulk over a bowl of plain rice. Home-cooked dinners were American standbys like meatloaf and spaghetti.
If Chan didn’t feel Chinese, it was partly by design.
“I think my parents wanted to protect me,” Chan said. “I was pretty much raised as an American.”
And for those looking to follow in his footsteps (at least for a little while), here are Chan’s personal top 10 restaurants.
Read more about Chan’s culinary mission here.
Photos: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times
The fight over foie gras
To some, it’s a delicacy with a taste beyond comparison, but to others, its cultivation is an act of cruelty, and its consumption a crime. Foie gras, to put it simply, is traditionally meat from a goose or duck that has been forcibly fed (like so) which leads to a gigantic, fatty bird.
California has a ban on serving the fattened meat, but that hasn’t completely stopped people from serving dishes with the illegal ingredient.
From chefs Noah Blom of Arc and Santana, who think they’ve found a legal way to serve the meat - giving it away for free with a $55 glass of wine:
“No one has the right to tell people what to eat or not eat,” Santana said. “Just because you’re vegetarian, vegan or love animals, it doesn’t mean your neighbor feels the same way.”
PETA, in response, has threatened legal action against the duo.
Photos: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times
The story behind Sriracha
With a distinctive bottle and taste, Sriracha has gone from an unpronounceable challenge to a staple sauce for many Americans. In the U.S. alone, $60 million worth of the sauce was sold last year alone.
But it wasn’t always such a prevalent item on store shelves. David Tran, the man responsible for popularizing the hot sauce, had a long journey beforehand:
When North Vietnam’s communists took power in South Vietnam, Tran, a major in the South Vietnamese army, fled with his family to the U.S. After settling in Los Angeles, Tran couldn’t find a job — or a hot sauce to his liking.
So he made his own by hand in a bucket, bottled it and drove it to customers in a van. He named his company Huy Fong Foods after the Taiwanese freighter that carried him out of Vietnam.
Read more via our profile of Tran, and his beloved hot sauce.
Photos: Gina Ferazzi, Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
Celebrating National Grilled Cheese Day!
What better way to enjoy an entire day dedicated to cheesy grilled goodness than to go all-out and tackle a so-called “nine-layer masterpiece?”
Check out the recipe for this titan of cheese sandwiches over at our test kitchen here, look through 12 alternate recipes and see which sandwiches have won particular accolades from Times staff members.
For many curious taco lovers in Los Angeles, the site GreatTacoHunt has been a bastion of knowledge and insight into the untold number of trucks, tables, stands and storefronts that dot the city. Run by a shadowy figure known only as El Bandini, Great Taco Hunt was a home for focused discussions about neighborhood tacos, including a proprietary taco ranking system, photos from the front lines and dispatches from across the internet that always helped to fill in the blanks.
The site began in 2005, with the simple mission of documenting as many L.A. tacos as possible. Since then, El Bandini has reviewed, mapped and photographed hundreds of locations, plus helped to put together the influential yearly Taco Madness tournament. Now, after seven years of tasting and talking about tacos, El Bandini is calling it quits. KCET got in touch with the mysterious eater to discuss his decision to pull out of the taco game after all this time, and to look back on his own influence in the food blogging culture that has pervaded this city.
Farley: You’ve always been known as El Bandini online. Are you comfortable giving us a little bit of information about the man behind the taco blog?
El Bandini: I’m Andy O’Neill and I’m a recovering taco-holic. And I’m almost 40. But I’ve never lived in a van down by the river.
Read more here.
A reblog for all other taco-holics out there.
test reblogged from kcetliving
The magic of homemade Peep birth
Easter’s almost here - which means those of us with sweet tooths may eat peeps until we burst.
But once the holiday excitement winds down, and the Peep supplies run dry, what can you do? Well, luckily, we have a solution - make your own peeps!
Check out the full recipe here, or if you’re some kind of marshmallow wizard, send over your own tips!
Photos: Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times