As the Day of the Dead nears (as does Roky’s latest LA landing), get prepped for a visit to MacArthur Park this weekend. From CityBeat‘s Bites:
The International Tamale Festival descends again on MacArthur Park Oct. 31-Nov. 2 for the fourth annual meeting of the masas. Past points of tamale interest include cooking up the world’s biggest tamale (which topped out at a respectably human-sized six feet), though things look a little less record-breaking this year, focusing instead on unwrapping all-around family fun. For that, there’ll be cook-offs and craft booths, cooking demos, a tamale eating contest and more. Visit eastlosangeles.net/tamalefestival for additional info.
Parsing The Park’s seasonal shifts:
PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES
It wasn’t that long ago that the menu at the Park read like a mid-summer supper, a complete seasonal experience full of heirloom tomatoes and grilled vegetables that seemed only to be missing a gingham tablecloth. But even as those dishes dragged their way into October, they still felt right, with the Santa Anas sweeping in and trailing Didion references behind them.
Leaving nothing else to enjoy in this New Depression, Japan issues a major ramen recall:
First, Nissin – which invented the instant noodle – recalled 500,000 pots after a woman became ill. She had eaten from a cup containing insect repellent.
Now another Japanese food giant, Myojo, says it too has found the same substance in two of its own pots.
The incidents are the latest in a series of scares that have shaken the confidence of Japanese consumers.
Downey’s comfortable Korean-Chinese eatery from this week’s District:
PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES
Peking Restaurant looks like it sprouted straight out of Downey’s past, an old space built right along with the rest of the city’s post-bean-field boom. And in those few modest midcentury blocks that make up downtown Downey, the restaurant is a fine fit, the kind of spot where decades can drag by before the menu sees even the slightest shift.
Last year’s list got thoroughly ripped, but here comes Michelin’s second stab at pinning down the top dining in L.A. Per Eater, the stars (still no restaurants earning three) are as follows:
Per my own words in CityBeat:
Pining for the past is Osteria La Buca on Melrose, which is taking things ancient on Oct. 20 with a wine-paired dinner built from the recipes of the Roman Empire. According to the restaurant, dishes will be re-created from archival documents cataloged by the British Museum of London and the wine will be sourced from producers still fermenting the only way they know how: underground. Call (323) 462-1900 to RSVP.
The District‘s second Best of Long Beach hit this week and here’s a quick bite from beer baron Gabe Gordon of Beachwood BBQ:
ILLUSTRATION by JOE MCGARRY
Beachwood BBQ (131 1/2 Main St., Seal Beach 90740. 562.493.4500; beachwoodbbq.com) began as a little brick box, a place just steps from the sea, where racks of slow-smoked ribs met an equally appealing (and ever-changing) mix of craft beers. The restaurant is nearing its second anniversary now, and with one expansion behind it (adding on to both the bar and the dining room), Beachwood almost seems a different place. But always at the center of the restaurant is sideburned chef-owner Gabe Gordon. Though it’s sometimes tough to fit anything into his hectic restaurant schedule, here’s where Gordon heads in those few off-hours:
Nothing but tortas in Monterey Park:
PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES
It’s a colonial classic of the Mexican canon, but the torta is stuck in an underappreciated rut, the bastard brother of the burrito that’s often forgotten next to its wrapped-up relative. At Cook’s Tortas, however, the torta finally achieves some ascendancy – Cook’s doesn’t just fill a simple sandwich niche, it gives the torta a proper place to dominate every meal.
The dedicated ice cream dreamers at Scoops are putting their famous flavor-suggesting board to political use with their new “Flavors for Change” campaign.
From now until October 25, Scoops will be accepting flavor submissions (both in-store and online) inspired by Obama, McCain (prickly pear!?) and the rest of the campaign. Then, from the 27th to the 31st, the shop will serve from the user-generated flavor pool (perhaps the first and best implementation of Food 2.0?) with proceeds going to the Obama campaign.
And finally on October 28, there will be an Obama Ice Cream Social with Scoops serving up the most popular flavors to help kick off the last week of the election and help get out the Obama vote.
UPDATE: Added my own suggestions for McCain (Prickly Pete: prickly pear and lime) and Obama (Cherry We Can Believe In: black cherry and dark chocolate). Add yours here.
(H/T to Metromix)
PHOTO by hellochris
The Internet echo chamber keeps on spitting out the same persistent rumor about In-N-Out’s upcoming 60th anniversary somehow belying an even more secret menu of dreamily discounted meals. The false details are as follows: On Oct. 22, the chain will rollback its prices to reflect simpler times, charging only a quarter for burgers and slashing everything else down to recession-ready levels, too. Corporate heads have been busy trying to debunk the rumor, but it hasn’t stopped some eaters from holding out hope for that old-time value. In related news, the National Debt Clock just ran out of digits.