If Industriel were really a farm, the farmers would be decked out in Yves Saint Laurent overalls and the chickens would eat truffle-infused feed by hand. Just when I thought I was over the industrial chic restaurants popping up all over Los Angeles, this “Urban Farm” is a refreshing reminder as to how it’s done well. With eye-catching details in every direction and bold artwork anywhere you turn, it’s safe to say the space is equally as fresh as the food.
I found Industriel via Eater before heading downtown to run some errands. En route to FedEx? Check. Good reviews on Yelp? Check. “Local”, “specialty” and “house crafted,” in the menu? Check, check aaand check. Although, I won’t lie—it didn’t take much convincing past the food and interior shots on their website. Industriel was definitely on my Sunday’s list of to-do’s.
And there was nothing chore-like about it. From the enormous farmers’ portraits at the entrance to the honey bear chandelier hanging above a claw-foot tub, your eyes are guaranteed to be stimulated the second you walk in. As will your tongue. Start off with the daily bread. No, it isn’t complimentary, but the focaccia and (what I assume is) house-made butter and olive oil is well worth the $3. If you’re feeling really wild, investing another $3 on Castelvetrano olives is also highly suggested.
For my entrée, I wasn’t feeling particularly adventurous, but the exotic dishes like the rabbit and shiitake pelmeni, cider-brined pork loin and foie gras trio sparked curiosity on even my pescetarian palate. Staying on the “safe side,” I opted for the spring squash risotto, which was served in a dramatic, over-sized dish with a beautiful presentation. And yes, the burrata-stuffed squash blossom tasted as good as it sounds.
If you’re in the mood for some fancy farming, throw on your designer flannel and head to Industriel. Oh, and don’t forget to put “pick up their house-made goodies” on your list.
If you haven’t been by Diablo Tacos, billed as “urban taco fabricator and crafter of fine micheladas”, you’re missing out on a relative newcomer that’s making quite the impression at the crossroads of Silverlake and Echo Park. They serve a selection of six signature tacos and two seasonal tacos daily for lunch and dinner. And don’t think for a second that “signature” is code for “expected”. They range from things like butter roasted Maine lobster with key lime crema, and refried brioche to braised pork belly with caramelized banana and Thai peanut relish to maple fried chicken, with purple kale and Red Rooster vinaigrette. Hungry yet?
We chatted with Summer Stearns of Diablo Tacos about how she’s (along with executive chef Angel Flores) dealing with the haters, surprising the industry, and generally living the American dream. Turns out, the whole thing is far from sinister. In fact, aside from Diablo’s maddeningly addictive twist on the Michelada, we found the place to be downright heavenly.
How did you get into this business and how did it prepare or inspire you to open Diablo Taco?
Well, I started bartending back in college and that’s when I really fell in love with hospitality and all the challenges and logistics that go along with serving people. I was lucky enough to wonderful, passionate mentors at both Patina and Gordon Ramsay, who really challenged me to be the best. After having those experiences, the next logical step seemed to be opening my own restaurant. Working for yourself is the dream, right? So that’s really how it all started.
Ok, so why the taco? Here in LA, taco places are literally everywhere.
We’re native Angelenos! To us, the taco is like a sandwich. It’s casual, it’s comfortable. We were initially attracted to the idea of small plates, but that concept is less accessible to some people. So we spun it. It’s the unique flavors and combinations of small plates, but more approachable. And portable!
Were you met with resistance initially?
Definitely. On the internet, it’s so easy to be negative. We felt some backlash against the idea of “another taco joint”, but we really believed in what we were doing and believed other people would, too. And so far, they have.
How about the hurdles you face as a female restaurateur? How has it been to start out a young entrepreneur in the business as a woman?
You know, it is what it is. There are a lot more men in the industry. And I still get people asking to speak to my supervisor, just because they don’t believe I’m the one in charge. So there are definitely obstacles. It’s a man’s world, but I’ve got big plans, and I’m tough enough and resilient enough to do it. So I just keep plowing through.
That really seems to be going well for you! Tell us how these crazy popsicle Micheladas came to be.
It’s kind of a funny story. I was walking around the flea market at the Rose Bowl in July with friends – it was over 100 degrees and we were dying. I just blurted out that I could really go for a Bloody Mary popsicle, and that was it. Plus, I’m a big beer fan. Putting the two together in a twist on the Michelada just made perfect sense. That’s why we also feature a lot of local and craft beers – I mean, tacos and beer, how can you go wrong? Then we went even further and created another version with Japanese yuzu fruit and fresh lime juice paired with a cherry cider, plus our seasonal option. Right now it’s a blood-orange pop paired with Hefeweizen.
So with all the unique flavors, what’s your go-to meal at Diablo?
You mean, besides the micheladas I just spent 5 minutes talking about? Definitely the maple fried chicken taco and grilled sweet corn. That taco is one of our best sellers and it’s so good. Plus, the corn has this great mix of cheese and creamy citrus and truffle oil. It’s the best.
To check out the menu, see hours, get connected to their social media, or plan a party at Diablo (can we come?), check out their website here.
Did you miss out on Oktoberfest? Did it only whet your proverbial whistle for delicious, seasonal craft(ish) beer? We’re here to fully convert you with some personal favorites to carry you through fall and winter with a delightful beer buzz.
First, a real Oktoberfest. So real, in fact, it’s one of the few beers allowed in the REAL Oktoberfest in Munich. Though Paulaner produces a solid range of beers, this one takes the medal. It’s nutty and not overpowering, with a slight caramel aroma. It’s a great choice for just about any occasion, but the beginning of fall seems as good as any to enjoy some.
This is a year-round favorite for me, though I understand that many beer drinkers have a hard time hitting the serious darks in any season that involves short sleeves. Rich and roasty, it’s full of chocolate and coffee flavors with just the right amount of bitterness. And yes, it’s a big beer. Don’t take the “Black Ale” lightly. But it’s the perfect brew to curl up next to the fire with, or pair with a hearty meal to make the most of the bold flavors. It’ll warm you right up.
Sierra Nevada is a solid go-to brewery for hoppy, drinkable beers. Now, hoppy is not usually what I’m looking for (if the rest of this list was any indication), but this fall seasonal brew is nicely balanced with roasted flavors and a nice depth that conjures all sorts of warm and fuzzy fall flavors. Smooth and malty, this seems like a perfect match for tailgating, visiting a pumpkin patch, or taking a break from raking leaves.
I know what you’re thinking – Sam Adams can hardly be considered a craft beer. And you’re right, but this little pumpkin gem deserves some love, and nothing screams fall like putting pumpkin in your beer. And while Sam is far from an artisanal brewer, pumpkin beer is a uniquely American invention, and (I feel) should be celebrated as such by an iconic American (and I mean that in a good way) brewery. Go get your spice on, courtesy of Boston.
When it comes to craft beer, it may not get any craftier than Dogfish Head. Known as being highly experimental (and highly successful), this brewery consistently produces unique and delicious beers. This particular brew is no different. An homage to the 40th anniversary of the Miles Davis album by the same name, this beer fuses 3 key flavors to create something altogether different (much like Miles did). Find out more of the story, direct from Dogfish Head here. Or just go pick some up and enjoy a hearty and truly special seasonal treat.
What? You didn’t know it was our new website launch day? Were you also blissfully unaware that last week was National Fig Week? Or that November 7 is National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day? (I wish I was making this up.)
At any rate, we would be thrilled if you’d celebrate with us. Just cruise on over to www.sixdegreesla.com and enjoy. If you’re feeling extra jubilant, you could do so while enjoying a lovely glass of champagne or a piece of cake or something, but no pressure.
And don’t forget to tell your friends. Everyone loves a totally obscure Day. Especially if it involves bubbly drinks.
This recurring column will feature chefs, farmers, food writers, caterers, sommeliers, cheese mongers, and all manner of food-obsessed characters sharing what they know, love, and do best. Check back regularly for recipes, behind-the-scenes looks at events, tips and a growing community for those driven by taste.
We’re hungry to bring the colorful, the flavorful, and the irrepressible food enthusiasts together for an unprecedented interactive digital neighborhood of sharing. Determined to discover the cutting edge, the underground, and the fringe of the next big thing in food, we are on a quest to bring it all to you with this OFF MENU experience.
In a city endlessly obsessed with what’s new and trendy, The Little Door on West 3rd St. continues to happily defy that notion as it approaches its 16th anniversary. We sat down with Chef Nicolas to hear his take on success, seasonality, and what makes his toes wiggle.
Coming up on 16 years, that’s an impressive milestone in LA. How has The Little Door evolved?
Well, we started out mostly Provençal, with a very small menu and there was no sign, no advertising. The first wave of customers were mostly industry people. And I was looking for great dishes to add to the menu, so it changed frequently! Slowly we became more Mediterranean with Moroccan influences, as it is today. The Little Next Door came after about 10 years, serving all day long – breakfast through dinner, full catering menu, plus all the homemade jams and sauces, baskets, etc. And we only added liquor this summer at The Little Door. That brought in a whole new clientele.
How often does the menu change now?
About every month. I love working with seasons because it gives you a very distinct sense of time and place. I’m at the farmer’s markets twice a week, looking over everything, picking and choosing what I want to work with. We’ve got a core group of farmers we buy from, but it still comes down to the highest quality ingredients. Personally, one of my favorite things to eat is an amazing piece of fruit, perfectly ripe or a fresh vegetable. All the flavor is there.
What are your go-to dishes to cook for yourself or your family?
I love comfort food, food that makes sense. Lately, it seems like everyone wants to reinvent the wheel in food all the time. You don’t need something fancy, just the food that makes your toes wiggle. Something like a great grilled fish and in-season vegetables and rice or potatoes. It’s homey, it’s spontaneous – you open the refrigerator and see what can be created from what you have.
How does that approach to food in general influence The Little Door?
You know, I’m old school. I believe that consistency is the key. I believe in serving great food that makes you feel good after you’ve eaten it. It’s very straightforward. Here, most of my kitchen staff has been here for over 14 years. I think if you keep people happy at work, they become family. And it’s the consistency that holds everything together. At The Little Door, what you see is what you get. I’m just being myself, and I’m not here to impress, I just like keeping a low profile. Look, I don’t have any tattoos like so many chefs now! This is what I love, and I’m so happy we stay busy with people who love it, too.
Now that we’re finally getting into some fall weather, what ingredients are you excited to work with this season?
It’s funny, years ago no one did anything with figs. I could go to the markets and be the only one buying them. Now, figs are everywhere! So I really like quince. Growing up in the south of France, we had a tree in our backyard. You can use them for the fragrance, in closets and around the house because they have a very strong perfume. But they’re not great to eat raw until they’re very ripe, so people don’t mess with them much. I love to cook quince down for jams and jellies or for tarts or a salad. It’s interesting, the fruit is yellow, but once you cook it for a while, it turns this bright red. It’s great for autumn – a wonderful unique flavor.
Speaking of quince, Chef Nicolas also gave us this recipe for a great fall salad, starring the intriguing little fruit.
To poached the quinces:
- 2 quinces peeled, cored and quartered
- 1 ounce of lemon juice
- 2 rind of lemon
- 2 ounces of honey
In a sauce pan, poache the quinces with the lemond, rind, honey and enough water to cover.
Cook until the quinces are cooked but still a little firm.
Set aside to cool.
For the vinaigrette:
In a stainless bowl, whisk together:
- 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon of mustard (dijon)
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, white pepper and cayenne to taste
- Drain and wedge the quartered quinces in three pieces each
- 5 slices of prosciutto, cut crosswise in ribbons
- 16 slices onetik cheese with vegetable peeler (1″ x 2″)
- 3 bunches of wild arugula, washed
- ½ cup fresh pomegranate
- ¼ cup of roughly chopped marcona almonds
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons of fine diced shallots
In a serving bowl mix all ingredients together, add the dressing to coat to your liking.
What do you do when you’re craving fall, possess an urgent desire to bake, and hungry coworkers are freely dropping hints about their favorite cookie? Obviously, you make pumpkin snickerdoodles. Or maybe that’s just me.
The fact that the weather here in LA is still arguably too warm to be considered autumn and the thought of turning on an oven for a half hour gives you anxiety (and actual) sweats is a minor consideration. There were cookies to be baked!
(Full disclosure: I made the recipe straight from Annie’s Eats for the first batch, but I found they were missing a little something, so I made a fresh batch with the following recipe.)
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles (adapted from Annie’s Eats)
Yield: about 3-4 dozen cookies
For the cookies:
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the coating:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the pumpkin puree. Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour (I did it overnight, and it really helped the rolling and sugar/spice coating.)
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the sugar and spices for the coating in a bowl and mix to blend. Scoop the dough (about 2 tablespoons) and roll into a ball. Coat the dough ball in the sugar-spice mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough to fill the sheets, spacing the dough balls 2-3 inches apart. Using your fingers, flatten down the tops of your dough balls a little to make small discs. These cookies are definitely on the cake-y side, so they won’t spread much.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until just set and baked through. Let cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. Store in an airtight container. Or devour immediately. Whichever appeals to you most.
If you’re looking for a chic brunch spot, desserts to blow your sweet tooth’s mind, or an interesting cocktail, we’ve got a place that covers all three bases—and we can understand why it’s the talk of the towne.
I found Towne on a Sunday when in search of a new downtown restaurant to impress a couple girlfriends visiting from San Francisco. I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical making reservations fearing Towne would lack some LA edge, but after walking into the elegantly modern space with a friendly, attentive staff, my doubts were left by the mints and business cards at the hostess stand. In retrospect, it was silly to expect anything less than memorable from the owner of Mi Piace in Pasadena and Bottega Louie’s former pastry chef.
And everything was memorable, indeed. The salt and pepper shakers that made us giggle. The service. The Phil Collin’s inspired drink list. The fresh burrata and squash blossoms on my scramble. The dramatic pour of the strawberry consommé on the Nutella French Toast at our table. Even the French pressed, after-brunch coffees and lattes left a lasting impression. Oh, and the original banana and red velvet twinkies—we wouldn’t dare forget about those!
In the end, we were completely satisfied with our trip to Towne. We were wow’ed by each bite and we savored every sip… it all tasted as good as it looked! If I had to come up with a complaint, it would be not saving enough room to try a PB&J macaron, but there’s always next time.
The Ecology Center is San Juan Capistrano has a mission to teach mindfulness in order to preserve, sustain, and transform our global community. They also host a delicious benefit called Green Feast, and we love activism you can eat.
Billed as an annual dinner celebrating connection to local food, Green Feast just wrapped its fourth event. Teamed up with Southern California chefs, farmers, fishermen, ranchers and winemakers, the event became a destination for nature-lovers and food-lovers alike.
Over 200 hungry and environmentally-conscious folks participated in the four-course family-style smorgasbord. The event began with the Eco App Off, a competition pitting 12 reknown chefs against each other in a diner-determined battle for the best appetizer.
Then everyone settled around 200-foot long communal tables for the rich, responsible, and delicious main event, featuring the fare of five notable local chefs. Lit by twinkling lights and flickering candles on a lush expanse of an eco-conscious landscape, we say that there’s no shortage of south and romance in the sustainable food movement.
And if you don’t believe in the magic of farm-to-table dining, mark your calendars for next year’s Green Feast.
Oh, him? That’s just Wolfgang Puck. Mega-chef. And one of our clients. No big deal.
Seriously, though, we love collaborating with the Wolfgang Puck team. And how could we not when it gives us the privilege of creating such lovely work? We wanted to create simple pieces that capture the sophistication of Wolfgang Puck’s design with the energy and motion found in his airport cafés. Next time you’re traveling, stop in at a WP concept and enjoy.
Don’t get us wrong, we love a great cocktail. But is there any better liquor than tequila when it comes to really getting people into the partying spirit? Add to that the summer heat and the immensely snackable nature of chips and salsa and our dear friend tequila reigns supreme. So, in advance of National Tequila Day tomorrow, we thought we’d share some yummy cocktail recipes to get everyone excited. At least until tomorrow, then it’s up to the tequila to keep you excited.
The Paloma Cooler recipe comes from the undisputed queen of entertaining herself, Ms. Martha Stewart.
- 1 lime wedge, for garnish
- Coarse salt, for rim
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 ounce platinum tequila
- 1 bottle Mexican grapefruit soda
- Rub rim of a highball glass with lime wedge; invert glass in a small dish of coarse salt, twisting to coat rim. Fill glass halfway with ice, 1 teaspoon lime juice, and 1 ounce platinum tequila, then top with Mexican grapefruit soda. Stir. Place cored-out lime half in drink and fill with tequila (try a reposado for added flavor).
See the original post here.
This next one was created by Bobby Flay, proving that the man not only knows his way around a grill, but also behind a bar. Here’s the Watermelon Plata Tequila Cocktail.
- 6 cups seedless watermelon chunks
- 1/4 cup simple syrup*
- 2 limes, cut into chunks
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 cup plata (silver) tequila
- Crushed ice
Puree the watermelon in a food processor until smooth. Strain the juice into a bowl pressing on the pulp, then discard the solids.
Put the simple syrup, lime chunks, berries and mint in a pitcher and muddle until the berries are slightly crushed. Add the tequila and watermelon juice and stir to combine. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour. Serve over crushed ice, garnished with mint sprigs.
*Put a 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk in the sugar and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool.
See the original post here.
And finally the Tropical Fizz, courtesy of Rachael Ray.
Makes 10 servings.
- 32 ounces pineapple juice, chilled
- 12 ounces silver tequila, chilled
- 1 club soda
- Fresh pineapple chunks, for garnish
- In a large pitcher, combine the pineapple juice and tequila.
- Pour the pineapple mixture into rocks glasses filled with ice. Top with a splash of club soda and the pineapple chunks.
See the original post here.
Here’s to a festive National Tequila Day. Cheers!