Monthly Archives: June 2011

Leftovers: Bear Flag Fish Company

The seafood shack of every Southern Californian’s dreams for the L.A. Times:


PHOTO by MARK BOSTER / L.A. TIMES

Bear Flag Fish Co. is the seafood wonderland we all long for on idle summer days, a fish market-cum-restaurant where brilliant slabs of tuna glint like rubies and the spindrift of crashing waves hangs in the air. It’s minimalism at its seafaring best — Bear Flag understands that often all a fish needs is a satisfying char and the salty rush of a beach breeze.

The restaurant sprouted from between the corporate cracks of Newport Beach’s Balboa Peninsula. Since it opened in 2008, owner Thomas Carson, a Newport native who grew up working on his father’s commercial fishing boat, has seen Bear Flag blossom. There are those who bemoan lunch lines now, but they inevitably wait it out, patiently eyeing the shoal of fillets being branded by the grill.

Bear Flag is a perpetual beach scene: flaxen hair bleached by days in the sun, skin as golden as freshly fried fritters. There may be talk of Lakers losses or the varying niceties of local cigar lounges, but conversation here always wades back into the water, thoughts on surf, sand and shore. The restaurant is Newport Beach incarnate.

Read the rest here.

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Leftovers: Shawarma Palace

A step-up for L.A. shawarma in the L.A. Times:


PHOTO by MICHAEL CHAVEZ ROBINSON / L.A. TIMES

Among food-obsessed Angelenos, shawarma isn’t as much a point of contention as, say, ramen orcarne asada. At too many of the city’s Levantine restaurants, flaccid, flavorless strands of meat pass as properly shaved shawarma almost without protest.

But there are few pleasures as hypnotic as flame-licked shawarma. Behold the spit stacked with lamb or beef or chicken spinning in slow, mesmerizing circles, flecks of caramelized fat basting the meat below. In deft hands, even the bluntest knife will shear the meat as if carving clay.

Shawarma Palace delivers an Israeli interpretation.

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