After decades of serving up junk food, vending machines are putting on airs. Among the things you can get from a vending machine nowadays are caviar, Sprinkles cupcakes and vegan fajita burritos. And there are more options in the works.
Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
All that work that chefs do to make your food look pretty? It’s not just for aesthetics – pretty food tastes better, a new study says.
Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
"The marketing of a ‘hummus’ product made from legumes other than chickpeas is akin to the marketing of guacamole made with fruit other than avocados," Sabra, a manufacturer of hummus and other foods, argues in a petition to the FDA. The company is asking the FDA to regulate hummus and establish an approved list of ingredients.
Photo: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times
Hungry? If you want to eat some of the best food in L.A., we’re here to help. Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold has released his list of the 101 best restaurants in the L.A. area. You won’t be able to access the full list if you’re not a subscriber, but you can peek at the top 20 here.
Photos, from top: Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times, Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times, Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times, Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times
No explanation necessary. And frankly, no explanation possible.
About 40% of L.A. County food trucks and carts haven’t been inspected in the field by health officials since letter grades were introduced three years ago. And most of the remaining 60% have only been inspected half as often as official guidelines specify.
"How do I know that? Because Angelo Bellomo, director of environmental health for the county Department of Public Health, told me so. He oversees inspections of all eateries, including mobile ones," consumer columnist David Lazarus writes.
Nearly all area food trucks do get a separate annual certification inspection, but it happens at the truck’s storage site, not while it’s out serving food. The toughest part of inspecting in the field, Bellomo told Lazarus, is actually finding the trucks.
Photo: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times
But everybody chill - it just means a resolution will come back and they’ll have 90 days to fix the problem or the city will.— Frank Shyong (@frankshyong)April 10, 2014
Sriracha’s maker built its large facility in Irwindale, a city in the San Gabriel Valley, so it could increase production. (The plant can produce up to 200,000 bottles a day; here are photos of it in operation.)
The council is expected to adopt an official resolution at its next meeting; after that, the company would have about 90 days to mitigate the odor.
Photo: Cheryl A. Guerrero / McClatchy Tribune News Service
A new study from Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab and Yale University finds that the characters on cereal boxes are designed to look the shoppers they’re marketed to in the eye — and when the characters appear to make eye contact, people are more likely to say they like the cereal and feel a connection to its brand. Food writer Jenn Harris reports:
The researchers evaluated 65 types of cereal and 86 different box characters from 10 grocery stores in New York and Connecticut. Each character was analyzed by the angle of its gaze, 4 feet from the shelf. This is thought to be the standard distance shoppers stand from shelves.
They found characters on boxes marketed to children made eye contact with kids at a downward angle, while boxes marketed to adults made eye contact with adult shoppers at a straight or slightly upward angle. Boxes geared toward children were placed on bottom shelves and those for adults were put on the top shelves.
"Findings show that brand trust was 16% higher and the feeling of connection to the brand was 28% higher when the rabbit made eye contact," the researchers wrote. "Furthermore, participants indicated liking Trix better, compared to another cereal, when the rabbit made eye contact." Here’s more on the study from the Cornell team.
Video: Cornell marketing professor Brian Wansink, via YouTube
L.A. Unified School District students throw out at least $100,000 worth of food a day — and probably far more, according to estimates by the district’s food services director. That amounts to $18 million a year, based on a conservative estimate.
Under federal school meal rules, students have to take at least three items — including a fruit or vegetable — even if they don’t want them. Otherwise, the federal government won’t reimburse school districts for the meals.
Photo: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles: Say goodbye to plastic bags
Starting with the new year, plastic bags will be banned from major grocery markets, with smaller stores to be forced to give up the bags starting in July. So L.A. residents be warned: Tomorrow is your last chance to have your groceries bagged in plastic in compliance with the law.
Unless, of course, your grocer of choice just decides to hand you a plastic bag anyway.
Photo: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times
Some very serious information here.
test reblogged from socaleveryday
Bad news for Sriracha nation
It’s been a rough day for the Sriracha faithful. A Los Angeles County judge has decided a plant producing the amazing hot sauce in Irwindale should be partially shut down after residents complained about the health effects of fumes created during production.
Production of this year’s batch of sauce has been completed, so don’t go rushing out to the stores and stocking up for the Srirachalypse. But as for next year, well, decisions about future production are now in the hands of air quality experts.
Read more over at L.A. Now.
Photos: Nick Ut / Associated Press
"Chop suey, that’s a very old dish. But this guy, he’s older"
Paul’s Kitchen has been parked in the so-called “City Market Chinatown” since 1946, enduring the ebb and flow of customers, competition and eventually, an exodus of interest in favor of the “New Chinatown” to the North.
And though the dinner crowds have dwindled, lunch still brings a wave of loyal diners looking for Paul’s “Depression-era Chinese food,” the hearty kind that sticks to your ribs.
And through it all, Paul’s adamantly endures change by not changing at all:
For 23 years, manager Charlie Ng has run the restaurant on downtown’s San Pedro Street as his uncle Paul directed, adhering to a business strategy that has over the years been elevated to maxim: Keep everything the same.
It’s even woven into the restaurant’s Chinese name, bao ju — a common naming format for restaurants of the time period that translates literally as “treasure memory.”
Photos: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times