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Health News Packaged Food

LA Mayor Says ‘There’s No Major Shortage Of Food’ As Major Markets Seek Workers

Photo Courtesy of Ralphs

As more and more folks are staying at home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, restaurants and public businesses have been temporarily shutting down to help prevent the spread.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made an announcement this morning to help calm the masses who are desperate to stock their households with supplies in the trying weeks to come.

“Supply chains are completely uninterrupted, and there’s no shortage of food,” Garcetti said as he stood in a Ralph’s Distribution Center in Paramount, CA. With him were executives from major grocery chains such as Food4Less, Ralph’s, Northgate, and Gelson’s.

Stores are short on popular items during this pandemic because of people purchasing more than they need, and as a result, employees are unable to restock from the suppliers in a timely manner. During the livestream the mayor encouraged consideration for others, especially the elderly, when out shopping for supplies.

Kendra Doyel, Vice president of merchandising for Ralph’s, stated that both Ralphs and Food4Less are actually hiring during these trying times to help keep the shelves stocked at a more manageable rate. Those who need to look for work in the Los Angeles area as more business close down because of the virus may consider employment at these major grocery chains during this time of concern over the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Cravings Design Features Restaurants What's New

DTLA Restaurant Is Serving Up The Most Stylish Pizza Boxes Out There

 

V DTLA

Style and substance. It’s the highly coveted pairing that eludes the masses. Endless swipes on dating apps have proved fruitless. Conscientious visits to our favorite online shops turn up scant results. And the drool-inducing food pics we scroll through on our timeline often don’t live up to the hype in terms of overall quality and taste. But once found, style and substance in tandem make for a memorable anything.

Recognizing this conundrum, V DTLA is a new restaurant in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles’ Jewelry District (fitting, really) that somehow cracks the code and infiltrates the matrix of what looks, tastes, and feels good.

V DTLA

A prime example of V DTLA living up to style and substance is their lineup of pizzas. Here they’re serving up Genovese-style pizzas that are cooked in a custom-built Italian oven in less time than your average Billboard chart-topper. The results are signature offerings that include delectable toppings like, roasted golden beets, fresh basil, rich mozzarella, unctuous balsamic glaze, and savory pepperoni. But wait until they’re served to you in what may very well be the most stylish and chic pizza boxes ever created.

Picture the scene of a piping hot, fresh out the oven pizza served up in a box that’s equal parts elegant Fashion Week invitation and modern, black & gold Vogue cover centerfold. Slide out that warm pie and take in the swank and dapper surroundings that creates a sophisticated vibe within an approachable setting. Neiman Marcus could never.

V DTLA

V DTLA

V DTLA, 515 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Categories
Culture Features FOODBEAST Opinion The Katchup

Here Is How The Michelin Guide Can Make Angelenos Care About It

Earlier this year, the Michelin Guide, known by most foodies and insiders as the defining restaurant rating guide, made the announcement of its return to Los Angeles after a nine year hiatus in the city. At the time, former Michelin Guide director Jean-Luc Naret commented on the departure, “The people in Los Angeles are not real foodies. They are not too interested in eating well but just in who goes to which restaurant and where they sit.”

But times have changed since Naret’s verbal slap to Los Angeles, as it is now heralded as one of the most exciting food cities. Fast forward to now and you have Angelenos who are armed with adventurous and curious palates, all eager for a taste of authenticity and the previously unknown all at once. Such a groundswell of interest in cuisine has lead to a foodie movement in the city that’s been influenced by the culinary machine that is the Los Angeles of now. These days new restaurant concepts are fresh and exciting, chefs are emboldened to serve the food authentic to their personal experiences, and equal validity and fanfare is bestowed upon all kinds of eating establishments, whether it be a taco truck roving the streets or posted up outside a tire shop to fine dining restaurants that challenge diners’ tastes and invigorate inclinations.

With such a broad stroke of culinary offerings from all kinds, backgrounds, and formats coloring Los Angeles, is the typically stuffy, white table cloth-leaning, and archaic Michelin Guide even a good fit for the city? And frankly, should Angelenos even care?

The simple answer would be ‘no’, since the Michelin Guide outright called out LA diners and slandered the city on its way out. But being that Visit California has partnered up with the guide to come back to Los Angeles, it’s wise to consider the benefits that the added tourism and influx of dollars it could bring in. But beyond that, why else should the foodies of Los Angeles pay attention to the Michelin Guide?

Eater LA Senior Editor, Farley Elliott, helped answer that question on a recent appearance on Foodbeast’s The Katchup podcast.

“If they don’t put a San Gabriel Valley restaurant on there, if they don’t put a taco truck on there and give one of these places that are everyday dining options a star, people like you are just going to continue to laugh it off and rightfully so.”

Sure, the Michelin Guide has long been the culinary standard of excellence, but what it fails to do in tandem with its longevity is adapt to modern culinary norms. The rigidity in its preference for tasting menu, white tablecloth, European fine dining establishments reflects on a draconian and frankly problematic formula for its lack of inclusion of restaurants outside of such narrow standards.

But here in Los Angeles, the Michelin Guide has a chance to address such criticisms by taking the city for what it is. “Glendale is so different than Venice, it’s so different than Frogtown, and Silver Lake, and Downtown or the Arts District. So [the Michelin Guide] has got to be willing to meet these places where they’re at and understand and respect that obviously what they’re doing is working for the average diner.”

So until the Michelin Guide can start recognizing the Mini Kabobs and Sun Nong Dans of Los Angeles, places where they reflect the everyday dining habits of most folks, then the majority of Angelenos will simply not care or give credence to the merit of it at all.

 

Feature Photo: Steve Lyon
Categories
Culture Features Feel Good

This Unique Non-Profit Pop-Up Dinner Series Features Refugee Families As The Chefs

An accurate indication of having a good neighbor is sharing; they share tools, holiday cards, and favors, but the single most appreciable thing one can share with another is food.

This past Valentine’s Day, Miry’s List, a non-profit dedicated to aiding refugee families founded by Miry Whitehill, hosted its one year anniversary of a monthly event called New Arrival Supper Club, and on a day to celebrate love, this dinner did exactly that, only through food.

These monthly dinners are catered by a different New Arrival, or newly admitted refugee family, each time; Abdul, Maysa, and Amer Kanjo featured as the cooks for this evening.

 

Hostility and danger targeted the Kanjo home back in Syria, forcing them to leave familiarity and live for four years without a permanent address. Despite going through this tumultuous time of unrest and uncertainty, the Kanjos were able to prepare a meal that brought everyone savoring each bite right back to their mother’s kitchen.

Adbul and Maysa Kanjo dealt with the grueling process of coming into the U.S. to find refuge, and despite their arrival, the trouble of acclimating is what gets most refugees to question their decision.

Without any form of help these new arrival families are left to learn how to jump onto a proverbial treadmill set at max speed, and it doesn’t help that the overwhelming majority of citizens aren’t sure how to handle refugees.

The term itself sounds foreign—  calling someone a refugee already alienates and creates a bubble around these families.

However, Miry’s List, and the families that are a part of it, is finding a different way to speak to the masses — through their stomachs.

“Nobody knows what refugees are, they don’t know what to do with them. But by doing dinners like this we can raise awareness of the problem and help aid anyone in The States who would need help,” Maysa Kanjo said.

Through simple acts of help a domino effect occurred within Miry’s List. More and more people decided that these New Arrival families were asking for nothing more than a helping hand, and, as a neighbor, that’s just what they should give.

“The refugee crisis is unsolvable, that’s a crisis. One family needing a jumper for their baby, that’s no problem, I could do that 100 times a day,” Whitehill said.

After visiting families and experiencing the love of cooking and feeding they all shared, Whitehill decided to host pop-up dinners where a new former refugee family would cater foods from their culture.

“Every time I go visit these families they wouldn’t stop feeding me, it was the most amazing, nurturing thing. It was so exciting to feel taken care of, it really motivated me to continue,” Whitehill said.

These dinners are not only a good way for the families to make a living, as 100 percent of the revenue from tickets goes to them, staff, and the organization they also allow a window into the lives of these refugees that isn’t often portrayed. With Los Angeles being one of the largest hosts of refugee families, this opportunity isn’t something to pass up.

The initiative led by this organization is admirable, to say the least, but the food is what really takes the cake.

Wednesday night was filled with Arabic culture, from food made by the hands of Maysaa and Abdul Kanjo, to Arabic music, and even belly dancing.

Though some attention was diverted from the beautiful dishes by the belly dancers, it didn’t take long for the aromas to catch the crowd.

The Kanjo family was initially worried that their food wouldn’t be finished, another part of Middle Eastern culture is to never leave leftovers, and with such a great number of people in attendance, the family of chefs doubled their quantity in anticipation.

It should be noted, Abdul, Maysaa and son Amer didn’t pick up their plates until every guest in attendance was fed. Standing behind the dishes they proudly served, the family would then explain what each dish was and helped share the best parts to each guest.

Rachel Castillo, a last-minute attendee who tagged along with her friend and member of Miry’s List, attested to the great opportunity this dinner took to better understand the refugee experience.

“Food is so many things, it’s representative of culture, it’s a way to show love as an action, it connects people to the place that they left, it brings life, and it’s delicious,” said Castillo.

And with having such a rich culture to share, the Kanjo family allowed the food to speak for itself.

Three large picnic tables ladened with trays upon trays of traditional Arabic cuisine were the star of the backyard setting. The smells of the rice and chicken lingered out into the front door, and the spinach and cheese pastries were stacked on top of each other like savory pyramids.

A crowd favorite was the fattoush salad, a simple yet decadent offering that consisted of veggies like cucumber, tomatoes, along with feta cheese and parsley. It stood out with the not-so-common fried pita chips on top, which added a perfect texture and crunch to the whole dish.

On the next table came one of my favorites of the night, baba ghanoush, a dip made of eggplant, tahini sauce, and olive oil. Mixing this with hummus might seem blasphemous but it’s a happy accident, as the two pair wonderfully on warm pita bread.

On top of that came Abdul and Amer Kanjo’s favorite dish, the roasted chicken with potatoes. A wonderful tip that I accidentally stumbled upon by way of stuffing my small plate with as much as I could, is to let the baba ghanoush shake hands with the chicken. Coating the chicken with the eggplant-based dish brings out the best of both worlds. The savory, tender chicken is brought to another level with the earthy flavors of the baba ghanoush.

While all the entrees so far were delicious, it wasn’t until dessert that I found my eyes rolling to the back of my head.

The Kanjos laid out their baklava in the shape of a heart smack dab in the middle of the table, knowing full well that this was what the people would want.

Baklava is sticky, it’s messy, and it’s hard to get right. Prepared differently than most other baklava, this one lacked the incredibly sticky exterior and kept all of the flavor right in the flaky middle. The bites were tiny, which made for each one to be savored respectfully and patiently.

After savoring my eighth piece of baklava, there was kanafeh, similar to baklava except it had cheese hidden inside of it. That might sound like a weird sweet and savory thing, but this cheese is buried within the sweet excess of sugar this pastry is dipped in. All of that is then topped with kataifi, a shredded and fried dough used to crown desserts, that fell from atop the kanafeh like snowflakes.

At the end of the night, after the toasts were made and dinner had finished, guests mingled pleasantly and it felt like any other family dinner — the goodbyes were long and many thank yous were exchanged.

The Kanjo family considered the night a success. Maysa Kanjo felt she did a mother’s duty by feeding her guests and Adbul Kanjo was glad everyone had a good time.

Now, their goal is to be a good example for other refugee families trying to adjust in the States, and allowing their son to thrive in a world of opportunity.

“Going back home wasn’t an option, so coming here gave us a chance to settle down. And we now live in a peaceful environment and are helped by many. Now we wish for a better future for our kids,” Maysa Kanjo said.

While the Kanjo family might’ve needed a translator to speak extensively to guests, a homemade meal made with love and care is a language anyone can understand.

Dinners like these are an important part of building a community. While they might seem easy to put together, they rely heavily on the public to keep them running. Donations and ticket proceeds are the primary way these families are able to get the essentials they need to thrive in a pricey place like Los Angeles.

Any and all donations towards Miry’s List are encouraged, helping refugee families get the supplies they need to continue these dinners helps grow a loving and diverse neighborhood.

If you are interested in donating to Miry’s List, donation options can be found here.

Categories
Culture Restaurants

This Restaurant Is Like A Mini Thai Vacay In The Middle Of Downtown Los Angeles

Angelinos looking for an authentic, full-service, Thai experience need not venture any futhur than Downtown Los Angeles.

So Long Hi, nestled in the heart of DTLA, is a Thai restaurant that offers the full Thai food experience without the hassle of TSA.

Essentially a mini Thailand getaway, the restaurant offers a bevy of authentic Thai dishes and street foods. The dishes are served “family style” so if you have a buddy you wouldn’t mind grubbing with, don’t be shy asking them to tag along with you.

Those looking to immerse themselves in the atmosphere can check out the patio area that boasts a vacation-inspired nook in the back of the restaurant or the bar for some fresh cocktails and beer.

We’ll take some Khao Soi and Pad See Ew to start. Maybe a couple of cold brews too.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Elevated Mexican Cuisine Is Being Served Out Of This Former Mazda Garage

Who would ever think that inspired Mexican cuisine the likes of Santa Maria-style BBQ, wood-fired carne asada, and house made tortillas would be served right out of a former Mazda repair shop’s garage? As unlikely as that scenario may be, such is the premise for Los Angeles hotspot, Salazar.

From the outside looking in, the bustling Mexican restaurant’s facade doesn’t offer much beyond wrought iron gates and shaded trees, leaving little to the imagination. However, such a set up for the restaurant gives an oasis-like feel, as what’s within houses  a cozy open air patio that serves as the dining area and the said former Mazda garage-cum-bar area that oozes as much charm as the juices permeating from head Chef Jonathan Aviles’ grilled rib-eye steaks.

Weekend lines snake out the joint as many are eager to taste the inspired Mexican flavors Aviles is dishing out by way of the open grill that serves as the centerpiece of the kitchen. With a one of a kind build out for a restaurant that houses unique details borne out of the property’s former function, along with an elevated vision on Mexican cuisine, trust that Salazar is worth taking a deep dive into for a refreshing pause from the norm within Los Angeles’ thriving restaurant scene.

 

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#foodbeast Cravings Features FOODBEAST Restaurants Video

Saturday Mornings Live On In This Hidden Cereal Bar In L.A.

Theo Martins is a multi-hyphenate creative (think hip-hop artist, producer, musician, model, clothing designer, actor) who decided to open a cereal bar in the Virgil Village neighborhood of Los Angeles named Cereal and Such. Located behind streetwear boutique, Virgil Normal, Martins’ Cereal and Such is the perfect spot to keep our childhood Saturday mornings alive and well with a lowkey set up that’s conducive for kickin’ back and enjoying a bowl of our favorite breakfast treat.

Beyond the cereal, you can shop for an eclectic selection of streetwear (like Martins’ brand, Good Posture) and even enjoy a cozy cup of tea while playing a spirited game of Connect Four with the homies. Future endeavors for Cereal and Such include hosting movie night viewing events for the summer and other creative activations.

So if you’re of the ‘breakfast forever’ type like me, Cereal and Such is easily making your list of clutch go-to’s when it comes to living that mantra.

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#foodbeast Cravings Culture Feel Good FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss News Sweets What's New

There’s A Dessert Fest In LA This Weekend And It’s A Sugar Filled Paradise

Got a sugar-thirsty sweet tooth? Don’t we all.

Time Out L.A. is taking advantage of those who are forever down for desserts with their Dessert Fest happening this Sunday, April 30. Attendees will have access to some of LA’s most tempting treats, all in one sitting.

The Time Out L.A. editors asked eight local restaurants and bakeries to serve up their most popular desserts for the event, and thus, Sunday they will be doing just that at Studio 11. The participating vendors include: Magnolia Bakery, Ococoa, Lady M Cake Boutique, Erin McKenna’s Bakery, SpireWorks, The Walrus and the Hedgehog, Wanderlust Creamery, and Pop Champagne Bar & Restaurant.

Magnolia Bakery

Kate Wertheimer, Editor at Time Out Los Angeles, says:

“At Time Out we’re dedicated to discovering the best of the city—whether that’s bars, theater, comedy, art or the very best dishes. L.A. has some great restaurants that are getting super creative with their desserts—whether baked, fried or frozen—so to celebrate our favorite sweet treats, we’re crowning L.A.’s very best. I promise that this will be every foodies’ perfect day filled with delicious, decadent goodness, and a few surprises, too.”

The Walrus and the Hedgehog

SpireWorks

Tickets are between $25-$35 and will get you tastings from each participating restaurant plus two complementary beers from Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

For more information and to book your ticket, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dessert-fest-presented-by-time-out-la-tickets-33349689820

Check out more of the goodies from the Fest below:

Magnolia Bakery

Ococoa

POP Champagne Bar