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Daily Dish The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles
Sambar, Akasha Richmond's almost Indian restaurant, opens Monday

Culver City chef Akasha Richmond has always loved Indian food. In fact, from time to time she’d even play with the idea of opening an Indian-influenced restaurant, going so far as to draw up mock menus. Monday she’s finally doing it for real.

Sambar, Richmond’s new Culver City restaurant, is opening in the old Ford’s Filling Station space. It’s not an Indian restaurant per se, but it’s influenced by the flavors and the sensibilities of Indian food.

“I’ve studied Indian cooking for a long time and I’ve always loved the spices and flavors and masalas,” said Richmond, who helped get the Culver City dining scene started in 2008 with her first restaurant Akasha.

“I first wrote the menu for this restaurant 10 years ago, but of course it’s completely changed since then, several times, in fact.”

The menu will include some traditional dishes from the north and the south of the Indian subcontinent, but with twists. The sev puri chaat will be made with avocado instead of potato. She’s serving an ...

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Buy this now: 12 rhubarb recipes

Let’s face it: Rhubarb is not easy. It’s difficult to grow and sometimes even to find in Southern California, and because of its tart, tart taste it needs a certain amount of cosseting. But treat it right, and it can make your dessert.

Precisely because of that tart, nearly astringent flavor, rhubarb makes a superb complement to many of the simpler, sweeter fruits of spring and summer. It’s a natural paired with strawberries (it’ll even keep the berry’s color fresh and red). It’s good with raspberries. And if handled correctly, it’s even an interesting companion to peaches and nectarines.

You can (and should) use it in savory dishes too. That tangy acidity cuts through any kind of fatty meat, like duck or pork, adding a nice complexity.

Here’s a fun fact: While the produce world is full of fruits we consider vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, squash), rhubarb is actually a vegetable we treat as a fruit.

Most rhubarb is grown in three states: Washington, Oregon and Michigan, but...

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Counter: Listen up, city slickers: 'One thing. Just one thing.'
There's a beignet food truck serving hot beignets and chicory coffee. Find it.

With all the different food trucks roaming around the streets of Los Angeles, it's comforting to know there's one truck serving nothing but piping hot beignets, chicory-laced coffee and hot chocolate.

The Beignet truck is at the Arts District Farmers market in downtown L.A. most Thursdays. It's parked next to a health food vendor and across from a man who serves rotisserie chicken out of a truck. 

But you don't need to see it to know it's there. When you enter the market, you're immediately drawn to the unmistakable aroma of deep-fried beignets. 

The beignets come in orders of one ($2), three ($5), five ($7), eight ($10) and a dozen ($15). And you can choose to have them covered in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.

A couple minutes after you order, they are handed to you in a white paper bag, the same way you'd get them to-go at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. 

Every instinct will tell you to rip open the bag and stuff one in your mouth. Just be a little cautious. These golden, puffy pillows...

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As Lady of Q, Sylvie Curry's competitive barbecue spirit flares

Think you've got winning barbecue? It's one thing to be a weekend warrior at a summer cookout; it's another thing entirely to enter a formal competition. Sylvie Curry has been involved in championship barbecue for about 10 years, first as part of the Four Q team and now competing solo as Lady of Q.

We caught up with her before the recent West Coast BBQ Classic, held May 9 in Long Beach at the Queen Mary. Lady of Q received a 10th place award in chicken and a second place in brisket to place 14th overall out of 57 teams.

What exactly is competition barbecue, and how does it vary from regular barbecuing?

The biggest difference between competition and regular is that we have to be able to wow a judge with just one bite — the judges can't eat a whole lot of it. When the judges bite into your entry, that one bite represents your whole barbecue. At a competition, you have to cook chicken, ribs, pork and brisket. You want to be good in all four. Even when you may have one you consider a specialty,...

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Easy dinner recipes: Cooking tips and three ideas for steak lovers

The next time you're going to throw some steaks on the grill, take them out of the refrigerator to give them time to shake off the chill before cooking. "Tempering" the meat allows it to cook more evenly, so the inside can actually cook as the outside works up a nice char. Place your steaks or other meats in a cool, safe spot indoors to take off the chill, 20 or so minutes for thin cuts and longer if you're cooking something big.

Bistecca fiorentina: You'd be hard-pressed to find a steak more massive than this porterhouse. Famous Italian butcher Dario Cecchini calls for leaving his Bistecca fiorentina, or, Tuscan steak (a whopping 2 1/2 pounds and 2 inches thick) out five to six hours before grilling. Sure, you do have to remember to remove it from the fridge ahead of time, but properly tempered, this beauty -- a magnificent sight to behold on the grill -- cooks up in roughly 30 minutes.

Cote de boeuf: A thick, 2-pound, bone-in rib steak, some coarse sea salt and pepper. It doesn't take...

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