Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Food »

Making LA: Food

Posted August 19, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Will we see more urban farms? South Central Community Garden, was an urban farm and community garden located at East 41st and South Alameda Streets, which was in operation between 1994 and 2006. Credit: Wikipedia

Los Angeles is a culinary wonderland. New, exciting restaurants seem to be opening faster than one can finish a meal. But not everyone is sharing in this bounty. In this installment of Making L.A., Press Play takes a closer look at what’s happening with the food scene and food policy — and what’s going to happen to the street vendors?
“We’re such a layered population …

Arts & Culture, economy, Interviews, News »

A tour of LA history through restaurant menus

Posted August 13, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]

Los Angeles has a rich culinary history, due to the waves of immigrants who settled in Southern California and brought their food traditions with them. The restaurants they opened can tell us a lot about how people use food to shape their own identities of community, culture and class. A new book and exhibit of old LA restaurant menus reveals how the city has …

Food, News, The Minimum Wage »

How will restaurants fare with the higher minimum wage?

Posted May 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Hassan Del Campo owner of Manifesto Cafe

With minutes to go before the first diners arrive, the small kitchen of The Larchmont is busy. Wild leeks are being chopped while pans heat up on the stove. It may seem like business is good, but Tuesday’s decision to raise Los Angeles’ minimum wage has got some in this kitchen worried that increased labor costs will hit them hard.
“It’s an industry with a …

Environment, Water and the Drought »

California farmers struggle during the drought

Posted April 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

“Last year our holding pond dried up for the first time,” said Dawn Birch farmer in 3 rivers California, “and we went for eight weeks without a drop of water.” She said that they had to take out a bunch of their apple trees, because they drink so much water. She now buries their drip lines, so the water goes directly to the roots. “I think …

Arts & Culture, Food, Interviews, News »

New cookbook skewers pretentious eateries

Posted March 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
fuds 3

It’s not your typical book publishing story.
About three years ago in New York at Brooklyn’s Great GoogaMooga food festival, three comedians handed out a joke menu for a made-up restaurant called Fuds to thousands of swarming foodies. It became a viral hit – delighting many but fooling others. Arthur Myer, one of the authors and a writer for The Tonight Show, put his actual …

Food, Interviews, Issues, Santa Barbara »

Can you eat healthfully on food stamps?

Posted March 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Could you eat healthfully on $6.46 a day? That’s what a person receives on the government food stamps program called CalFresh in California. And last month, Santa Barbara County Food Bank CEO Erik Talkin tried it. KCRW’s Kathryn Barnes caught up with Eric while he was grocery shopping in Santa Barbara a couple weeks ago, halfway through his challenge.

Photo: Noozhawk

Zocalo Public Square »

They tried to arrest me for planting carrots in my South L.A. neighborhood

Posted February 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo via Flickr/CC/jbolles

In 2003, long before a warrant was issued for my arrest for the crime of planting vegetables, I remember going to a store in South Central L.A. and picking up some tomatoes. The stickers on them read: “Coated with shellac.” I thought to myself: Isn’t that the stuff we used to coat wood in my high school woodshop? Why is it on these tomatoes? …

Arts & Culture, Food »

5 things to make you a savvy LA craft beer drinker

Posted September 26, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Beer sampler. Photo by Quinn Dombrowski/ CC/ Flickr

With LA Beer Week coming to a close this weekend and the start of Oktoberfest upon us, there are a lot of beer-drinking events going on around town (from a block party at Glendale Tap to the official closing night at Timeless Pints in Lakewood).
But what if all you know about beer involves ‘Tapping the Rockies” or how much a keg of Natural Light costs in the …

Environment, Food, Water and the Drought »

Why are California’s organic dairy farmers switching to almonds?

Posted September 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by USDA via Flickr/CC

California has the highest concentration of organic dairies in the entire country, but the drought is starting to have an impact.
Madeleine Thomas, a fellow at has written a two part series looking at the consequences of the drought on the Central Valley. She spent several weeks traveling between the valley and the Bay Area to examine the state of organic dairy farms, and the …

Environment, Food, Issues, News, Politics, Sports »

High Court says L.A. can’t hide from runoff liability

Posted May 6, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]

The U.S. Supreme Court has handed a big victory to local environmentalists: The court declined to hear an appeal by Los Angeles County contesting a federal court ruling that it’s liable for cleaning up pollution in storm water runoff. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the group Los Angeles Waterkeeper sued to hold the county responsible for cleaning up arsenic, mercury, cyanide and lead …

Arts & Culture, Food, Interviews, News »

Fine dining finds a place at Coachella

Posted April 15, 2014 by | 4 Comments | ]
LA Thai restaurant Night+Market offers chicken larb and party wings at Coachella. Photo via Food Is The New Rock.

Another several days of music and desert camaraderie continues later this week, as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival hits its second weekend.
Tens of thousands of music fans descended on Indio to enjoy the music with dancing and drinking. All that motion and walking can certainly work up an appetite. And that’s where high-end culinary offerings are trying to fill the void.
As we’ve …

Arts & Culture, Oscars2014 »

What’s on the 2014 Oscar menu?

Posted February 28, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]

Good Food got the rundown on this Sunday’s Oscar menu, and it sounds pretty good! From Good Food:
Per tradition, the 86th annual Academy Awards will be catered by none other than Wolfgang Puck. The chef and restauranteur, a celebrity himself, has been catering the affair for the past twenty years.
Although the atmosphere may have become more casual, putting together the after-party is no small feat. …

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

Sweet, high art at the Museum of Donuts

Posted January 29, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The museum of Donuts in Ontario.

I’m used to the reaction now: a snicker, a raised eyebrow, and a pause, as they wait for the punch line.  My husband, Jan, and I couldn’t possibly run something called the Museum of Donuts in Ontario, California, could we?
In fact, we could and we do.  We turn donuts into art and hang them from the walls on the downstairs floor of our apartment, …

economy, Food, Issues, News, Politics »

A new sheriff in town for L.A. Sheriff’s Department

Posted November 27, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]

One of the lead prosecutors in the Bell corruption case will head a new agency responsible for overseeing the Sheriff’s Department. Deputy D.A. Max Huntsman is a veteran prosecutor who has experience in police misconduct cases. The creation of an inspector general’s office was one of the main recommendations of a citizen’s commission that looked into abuses committed by deputies in the L.A. jail …

Arts & Culture, Food, Interviews, News »

Exploring the culinary fringes with Dana Goodyear

Posted November 13, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]
Anything that Moves

Food critics are a notoriously picky bunch. Because once you’ve tried veal Parmesan dozens of times, it gets boring to write about again and again. You want to go deeper, dig harder, and find the types of food that most of us have never heard of, or never thought anyone actually eats.
That’s what Dana Goodyear does in her new book about the foodies who …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Environment, Food, Issues, Today's News »

State moving toward computerized student testing; Tsunami threat is real; Council okays new L.A. murals

Posted September 5, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]

School testing. California lawmakers are moving to ditch the state’s standardized exams for public school students and replace them with a new computerized system next spring. Backers say the new tests will help speed the transition to Common Core standards in California, which are designed to develop critical thinking and writing skills.
Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla authored the bill. She says it would let teachers see …

economy, Environment, News »

What does California’s high-speed rail mean for Central Valley farmers?

Posted August 12, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]
California's High Speed Rail project will slice through a section of Brad Johns's Central Valley tomato farm

California’s high speed rail project was supposed to break ground this fall, but the project is on hold again. Even before any trains run, the project will impact farmers like Brad Johns, who grows tomatoes. His farm is 200 miles north of Los Angeles.
One summer afternoon, he walked gently on a canopy of brown vines, stopped, and picked a bright red fruit. “That is an …

Arts & Culture, Environment »

Tending Anne Bancroft’s garden: ‘World War Z’ author Max Brooks maintains his mother’s legacy

Posted May 29, 2013 by | 136 Comments | ]
The blueberries remind Max of his summers as a kid in Fire Island

Every day, the best-selling writer Max Brooks drives from his home in Venice to work in the attic of his father Mel’s place in Santa Monica.  It’s a way to check in on his famous dad–and the garden lovingly planted by his late mother, the actress Anne Bancroft.
It seems Ms. Bancroft, in addition to being a beautiful movie star, loved getting her hands in …

Food, News »

A downtown icon gets a foodie facelift

Posted May 21, 2013 by | 36 Comments | ]
Grand Central Market, with its' massive main floor, food stalls and distinctive neon signs, has been a crossroads of L.A. commerce and community since it first opened in 1917. Food fads have come and gone, but the Market remains.  (Photo by Saul Gonzalez)

When the facelift was announced for the iconic 1917 Grand Central Market cries of concern went up among the regulars (and the chattering class). Will they force out my beloved carniceria to make room for a yuppie oyster bar? Will a fancy cheese shop displace the cheap produce? Where will I get a burrito the size of my head?
You may have heard something along …

Arts & Culture, Food »

How are you cooking your Turkey?

Posted November 21, 2012 by | 9 Comments | ]
Photo by jdolenga via Flickr

Over at The New York Times, Mark Bittman says that we should stop wasting so much poorly cooked Turkey and focus more on sweet potatoes. And CNN has a cringe-worthy story about Twinkie-stuffed Turkey (video of the “Tur-twinkie”is here.)  ABC reports on the Butterball Hotline, because “talking turkey is serious business.” But not everyone eats the beloved Thanksgiving bird.
In fact, Which Way, LA? producer Evan George …

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