Back in the L.A. Times: Doya Doya’s Okonomiyaki

The pleasures of a late-night taco are a defining L.A. experience, a few bites of food constructed seemingly to sate whatever urge drove you to some no-name truck in the first place. But if I could replace even a handful of the city’s countless taco trucks with carts or stalls or itinerate vehicles of some kind cooking up Japanese okonomiyaki, I wouldn’t hesitate. Thankfully, there’s Doya Doya in Torrance, which caught my eye for the L.A. Times last month.

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Orange County’s Ultimate Mexican Food Guide

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Apropos of Orange Coast‘s previous look at the best Asian food in Orange County is my somewhat belated recognition of the magazine’s guide to the county’s best Mexican food. Many fantastic tacos, tamales, chilaquiles and pounds of carnitas were consumed for this, but I know I (and I trust fellow writer Gretchen Kurz) would surely do it again. Read more here.

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Global Diner Recap


PHOTO by PRISCILLA IEZZI / ORANGE COAST

The good eats for Orange Coast Magazine keep on coming. There’s ramen in the column’s future, but here are three recent looks at Orange County’s ever-fascinating international food scene.

First, grab a slice of pizza-like manakeesh in Anaheim’s Little Arabia. Then belly up to a bowl of bibimbap, the Korean rice classic. Finish up with the constellation of Indian small plates called a thali.

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Global Diner: Anepalco’s Cafe’s Chilaquiles


PHOTO by PRISCILLA IEZZI / ORANGE COAST

The October issue of Orange Coast marks the debut of my new column, Global Diner. Each month I’ll be examining an outstanding international dish among Orange County’s vast expanse of mom-and-pop and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. This time, it’s the spectacular chilaquiles at Anepalco’s Cafe in Orange:

Chef Danny Godinez’s dish is a marvel: The fried mass of tortillas is formed into a thin cake, topped with a fluffy omelet and dressed with avocado mousse, pico de gallo, crema, and sprinkles of cotija cheese. It’s surrounded by a pool of brilliant brick-red sauce that tastes of smoky, toasted chilies. The tiny Main Street cafe serves an equally good second version, chilaquiles verdes, made with a tomatillo-based sauce and sprinkled with a scattering of pumpkin seeds. Both iterations are precisely prepared, their contrasting flavors and textures balanced in every bite.

Read the rest here.

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Recap: L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Brings Out the Culinary Stars


PHOTO by JENNIFER BASTIAN

It would’ve taken a superhuman appetite to try everything at the third-annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, which packed nearly 40 chefs and even more bartenders, brewers and vintners onto the lawn of historic Culver Studios. But that didn’t stop some 1,200 attendees from trying. Between ticket sales and some luxurious auction items, over $500,000 was raised for childhood cancer research—L.A. Loves Alex’s is by far the city’s best culinary event with a conscience.


PHOTO by JENNIFER BASTIAN

Donald Link (Herbsaint and Cochon) brought with him the flavors of Louisiana: a cool black-eyed pea salad, a knob of excellent Cajun sausage and a hunk of boudin turgid with rice and pork. Whereas many of the day’s plates seemed only like festival-sized bites, Link’s felt like a fully formed dish, a complete Cajun meal downsized only to accommodate the bacchanal.  Continue reading

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L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Returns to Culver City

L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, the city’s finest food festival with a cause, is back September 29th from Noon to 4 p.m. at Culver Studios in Culver City. Hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin (Lucques, AOC, Tavern), business partner Caroline Styne and Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat), the third-annual event will once again benefit pediatric cancer research. This year’s roster of chefs, mixologists and vintners continues to impress, pulling big names not just from Los Angeles (Michael Cimarusti of Providence, Nancy Silverton of Mozza, Eric Alperin of The Varnish), but also New York (April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig), Chicago (Paul Kahan of Blackbird, avec and others) and beyond. Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka will serve as honorary co-hosts and Jimmy Kimmel will serve as emcee. Noted Jitlada fan Aziz Ansari will be present, as will his Parks & Recreation co-stars Adam Scott and Jim O’Heir. Keep your eyes peeled for stars from The Office, Girls and Criminal Minds as well.

Tickets are $175 ($100 of which is tax deductible), inclusive of all food and drink. Find more info here.

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Orange County’s Ultimate Asian Dining Guide

There could be a dozen dissertations on the various Asian cuisines of Orange County, a topic so vast that it’s all but impossible to condense it into a single magazine feature. But for this month’s issue of Orange Coast, I (along with longtime Orange Coast writer Gretchen Kurz) embarked on just that task. What resulted is, I think, a pretty impressive accomplishment–a definitive guide to old-school pho joints, rare Okinawan izakayas, Taiwanese dessert parlors and so much more. Pick one up today.

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