Monthly Archives: December 2010

A Taste of Red Medicine

As proudly announced on their blog, recent Beverly Hills addition Red Medicine took some joy in not only throwing out but also publicly unmasking L.A. Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila. According to that post, the managing staff took issue with Virbila’s “unnecessarily cruel” and “irrational” reviews as well as her lack of “understanding of what it takes to run or work in a restaurant.”

But given that Sam Sifton and Jonathan Gold haven’t run any restaurants lately, was there something more to the boot? Consider Virbila’s 2009 review of Michael Mina’s XIV in which she had this to say of former XIV pastry chef and current Red Medicine chef/partner Jordan Kahn’s desserts:

By dessert, you’re longing for a couple of delicious bites to cap off the evening. But the pastry chef, Jordan Kahn, is trying too hard to top what came before. Witness the baby block-sized white chocolate cube filled with seven layers of various red fruits and such. It makes quite a visual statement until you break into it with a fork and it collapses into an unappetizing mess. There’s no way you can taste the layers the chef has so laboriously prepared: It’s all mush.

And a glass of what’s described as hazelnut milk with frosted flakes is served with a sugar “barrel” with whiskey at the bottom. With its cacophony of flavors, this may be one of the worst desserts I’ve tasted.

According to Food Editor Russ Parsons, the Times will continue with its plans to review Red Medicine.

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Leftovers: Bruxie

The emerging world of waffle sandwiches for the L.A. Times:


PHOTO by GINA FERAZZI / L.A. TIMES

Some culinary trends come with promises concocted in the vague argot of marketing executives and brand managers. But a few rare ideas spring from something universal. They’re the restaurants and recipes that tap into unknown pleasures, manifestations of all our unconscious cravings.

Such is the case at Bruxie, a weeks-old stand in Old Towne Orange whose s’mores-stuffed and prosciutto-packed Belgian waffle sandwiches are fulfilling the fantasies of every syrup-soaked childhood and late-night binge.

Bruxie is a sweetly nostalgic place. Rather than load up a Twitter-equipped food truck, the waffle shop sought out history among downtown Orange’s innocent Americana. It found just that in the former home of Dairy Treet, an aging burger and shake shack that had been in operation for more than 60 years. Still, Bruxie is modern, self-aware and already crawling with students from nearby Chapman University. The novelty of it all is so precisely calibrated to the surroundings that some customers have been wondering aloud whether Bruxie is part of a fledgling franchise.

Read the rest here.

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