“I can’t say for sure, but I think this place might be heaven.”
That, from an early 20s production assistant fresh out of USC, trying to make his OKCupid date laugh, as they stood in a line that stretched out the front door of Glazed Donut Bistro in West Hollywood and threatened to choke the pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk. She did laugh, and then they both looked down at their iPhones until something else funny came up.
You’ve got to admit this much when it comes to L.A.’s latest over-the-top, simple-but, you know, DIFFERENT, man eatery: Glazed Donut Bistro does hyperbole well.
Goodbye, Westside. Chef Walter el Nagar’s consistently fleeting Italian pop-ups titled Barbershop Ristorante, have been moving progressively east, with earlier stints in Venice and upstairs at the A.O.C. space on West 3rd. Now the chef, known for his work at beach town haunts such as Il Grano, Piccolo and La Botte, is putting down roots in the heart of Hollywood.
For the fifth installment of Barbershop, el Nagar will be serving his modernist cuisine inside The Farmer’s Kitchen on Selma. The extended stint will run Wednesday through Saturday nights, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., until Feb. 15. Barbershop will also forgo their usual timed seatings in favor of a more relaxed reservation policy, inviting guests to belly up to the well-lit bar space to interact with the open kitchen in real time.
Breakfast tacos are a simple concept: scrambled eggs, cheese, some sort of early-morning meat, a four tortilla. So why has it taken so long for Los Angeles to begin embracing the long-held Lone Star State dish?
Thankfully, breakfast tacos are on the rise in L.A. First, there was the outsized version found at downtown’s Bar Ama, chef Josef Centeno’s ode to all things Tex-Mex. Blistered in spots, gigantic throughout and softly scrambled into a forkful of bliss, the larger-than-life introduction for urbanites unfamiliar with the meal has been a success. It’s a talked-about dish now, along with many of Bar Ama’s other Southern Texas specialties, and helped to start a larger conversation about the withering lack of true Tex-Mex flavors in our own Southland.
If you’ll pardon the foul language for just a moment, there’s something important that needs to be said:
We f*cking did it.
Guys, WE DID IT. After years of monkeying around in space, sending James Cameron to the depths of the ocean to find his old goatee, we humans finally pulled back, took a good hard look in the refrigerator, and realized what was missing. We needed a gas station convenience box that prepares, heats and serves burritos, with optional sides, in under three minutes. And now it’s here.
Is your 2014 already off to a conspicuous start? It’s not really your fault; “science” decided to put New Year’s day on Wednesday this year, which kinda threw off the whole weekend-party-balance and has made these first few days of 2014 a real wasteland of productivity and lost resolutions. But help is on the way.
M Cafe de Chaya, every Angeleno’s favorite “I-don’t-know-what-I’m-eating-but-I-heard-it’s-good-for-me” joint recently kicked off a new location in Brentwood, and they’ve ramped up their offerings to include a weekend brunch.
December 24, 2013
For nearly a century, downtown Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market has been a place for locals to buy everything from fresh produce and quality meats to takeaway snacks and big bottles of liquor. Untold numbers of stalls have come and gone since then, felled by sinking economies or turned into newer, shinier fronts during prosperous times. Now, after years of slow decline at the once-vaunted downtown open market, things are turning over and looking up once again.
Just east of Mid-City, itself a much-beloved neighborhood, you’ll find Pico-Union. Closer to downtown, this middle-space ‘hood takes slices of Koreatown, Guatemala and Mexico and patches them all together, with a not-insignificant Greek influence as well. This is where L.A.’s annual Greek Festival is held, surrounding a large orthodox church on the southeast corner of Pico and Normandie. And right across the street, look for the big blue awning to find Papa Cristo’s.
The Greek taverna / bakery has long been a home for hungry locals and quick-service lunchers needing a bite before moving on to points elsewhere. After 65 years it’s almost become part of the city dining zeitgeist, a favored place that is so reliable, so comforting, it’s rarely discussed. Not that anyone is trying to keep the sprawling corner eatery a secret; Papa Cristo’s just always has been, and always will be there.