Attention, archeologists of the future: If you find yourself sorting through the rubble of post-America, trying to figure out what led to our downfall, here’s a tip — check Burbank.
While not exactly a cultural touchpoint on its own, Burbank has of late become ground zero for a very particular sort of warfare: the box versus the bowl. And it’s exactly this high-level, shape-specific fighting that’s going to tear this society apart at the seams. Or, at the very least, make choosing a quick service midweek lunch option that much harder.
We’ve traveled far from the days of the effortlessly hip spokespenguin who graced the frosty covers of everyone’s frozen Kid Cuisine dinners. Farmers markets abound with fresh produce, the locavore movement has the whole neighborhood raising chickens and foraging for herbs, and anyone caught eating a stone fruit out of season gets impaled on a reclaimed wooden stake in front of the West Hollywood Whole Foods.
That’s all really great for the food chain and our bodies and the environment. But sometimes, all you want is a cool
penguin person to tell you what you should be eating, and why. Bonus points if they’ll deliver said foodstuff right to your door, and if it’s still got all that healthy-local-small-batch-organic stuff going on, too. That’s, more or less, the notion behind The Fare Trade.
You’ve probably seen it by now: a chef meticulously preparing tiny burritos for a tiny hamster’s perfect dining experience. The video, which is set to classical music and runs less than 90 seconds, was uploaded to YouTube recently and has since racked up more than 6.5 million views and Twitter endorsements from the likes of Jimmy Kimmel and Katy Perry. While the burrito-eating hamster has become something of an Internet celebrity, so too has its masterful “chef,” who isn’t actually a chef at all.
That enviable burrito maker is Farley Elliott, a comedy and food writer who regularly writes for this blog. You may know him as our resident strip mall rat, who’s been known to travel as far and wide as Reseda, Compton and Diamond Bar to explore L.A.’s fiercest strip mall pupuserias, carnicerias, Indian bistros, boba cafes and late night sushi bars.
We reached out to Elliott via email to ask about how he became the Internet’s most celebrated hamster chef, and he set the record straight on the questions you’ve all been asking in the Youtube comments: No, he’s not a chef. Yes, he worked with a hamster trainer to make sure the hamsters (there were several) were all well fed, and no, he will not cater your next dollhouse party – so don’t even ask.
“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.
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.
It’s finally here. The food collaboration you didn’t know you were missing out on — streetwear and chicken & waffles — is hitting L.A., thanks to clothing brand Popular Demand. The young and hungry (in more ways than one) L.A.-based streetwear label, known in, let’s say, more youthful circles as a proprietor of hip and casual clothing, has managed to score one of the year’s biggest collaborations, with Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles.
While the idea of urban-inspired clothing lines collaborating with other brands in out-of-the-box ways is nothing new, Popular Demand’s ability to wrangle the name and swooping Roscoe’s logo for a limited edition capsule collection is certainly a feat. In the nearly four decades since Roscoe’s has been putting fried chicken on top of waffles, this is the first time the nationally recognized local chain has put their name on someone else’s product.