Monthly Archives: November 2008

Leftovers: Akasha

Earth-conscious eating in Culver City:


PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES

Dig deep enough into Akasha’s details and it’s easy to see how the restaurant might remind some of that nagging culinary stereotype that paints Los Angeles as a city of light-stomached grazers, a population seeking little more than patches of macrobiotic greens and oxymoronic slabs of cruelty-free meat. Chef Akasha Richmond, after all, is dedicated to green ideals, and her Culver City restaurant follows through with organic everything. Even the servers are outfitted in eco-friendly garb. But visit Akasha for its stated purpose – food – and any thoughts of overzealous environmentalism will be pushed right out of your mind.

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You’re a Pepper

There’s still time to cash in on the Chinese Democracy-induced Dr. Pepper giveaway, but chances are the soda’s site is still overloaded. To handle the demand, Dr. Pepper has set up a toll-free number to fulfill all free drink seekers. Call 1-888-DRPEPPER or 1-888-377-3773 to get your fix.

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Leftovers: Pho America

Still steaming from this week’s District:


PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES

There’s long been a Vietnamese void in Long Beach. Within our city limits, most of the soupy standards are well represented, but you won’t find many of the rigorously regional plates that define locales like Little Saigon. Noticeably lacking, for example, are spots serving bún bo Hue, a lava-looking noodle soup from central Vietnam that, depending on your restaurant preference, might boast a broth colored in part by congealed pig’s blood. Yet even with the absence of some specialty recipes, Long Beach’s Vietnamese cuisine doesn’t completely suffer. After all, sometimes your appetite needs familiar flavors, plates begging for a taste of assimilation. And for that, look squarely to Pho America.

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Appetite, Stimulated

Per last week’s Bites in CityBeat:

OpenTable is rolling out a program for our economic Rapture called the Appetite Stimulus Plan. The deal will promote fixed three-course meals ($24 lunches and $35 dinners) aimed at those hit by these tough times (read: everyone). Local participants include Akasha, Comme Ca, Katsuya and a number of other consumer-minded eateries. Today (Nov. 21) is the last day to cash in on the offer, so visit opentable.com for a fuller list of where to save.

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Leftovers: Busy Bee Market


PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES

It’s always a crawl over to Busy Bee Market—engines whining their way up some of San Pedro’s steeper streets—but once you make that hungry hajj, it’s an event bound to become a fixture of your eating schedule. After all, the corner store inspires loyalty at levels only known among our oldest institutions. And to many, Busy Bee is one itself, a famous place that deservedly attracts dedicated sandwich cultists.

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Leftovers: Shin Okinawa Izakaya

The foreign flavors of Okinawa:


PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES

There’s a pair of shisa watching over Shin Okinawa Izakaya. Perched above the door, the statues’ leonine manes are swirled together in artful curls, their dog-like frames positioned against any ill-willed eaters. Inside, those wards seem to be working, as the restaurant itself is in good spirits, full of diners happily downing plate after plate of the occasionally unknown tastes of Okinawa’s tropical shores.

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Rebirth of a Nation

London’s Daily Telegraph checks in with 50 facts you might not know about President-Elect Obama. Below are all the food-based finds. Plan your meals accordingly:

• His favourite meal is wife Michelle’s shrimp linguini

• He worked in a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop as a teenager and now can’t stand ice cream

• His favourite snacks are chocolate-peanut protein bars

• He ate dog meat, snake meat, and roasted grasshopper while living in Indonesia

• His favourite drink is black forest berry iced tea

• He doesn’t drink coffee and rarely drinks alcohol

• His speciality as a cook is chilli

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Subsidized

The National Academy of Sciences reports today that at a chemical level, American fast food is made almost entirely out of corn. The corny findings are a result of the fact that our cattle and livestock are kept on a corn-dominated diet, restaurants misleading eaters about the oils used in cooking and the pervasive presence of corn syrup.

Of course, this news comes behind those tasteful TV ads lobbying on behalf of corn syrup-lovers everywhere:

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Life During Wartime


PHOTO by roadsidepictures

In a Hedbergian twist (you’re robbing me of chocolate!) to these recessionary times, the LA Times reports that a number of major food manufacturers have started covertly shrinking the sizes of their products to avoid hiking up prices. Says the Times:

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Leftovers: Udupi Palace

Ripping through dosas in the District:


PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES

Pioneer Boulevard stutters to a stop only a block or two past South Street, the Sunday traffic tangled together in a clog of cars so dense it’s impossible to angle your way out. On Artesia’s side streets, more cars spill from parking structures meant for only the most compact among us. Even the sidewalks are stuffed—it takes a couple contortions just to break through the first few feet of people. Supermarket doors are frozen open from the flood of customers; smoke twists its way up from cramped outdoor grills. And down in the distance is a corner lit up in a rotating rainbow gradient, teasing out multicolored memories of those prismed pylons outside LAX. But at Udupi Palace, a South Indian anchor in Little India’s ever-expanding center, things are as peaceful as ever.

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