Daily Dish
The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles
Fascinated with wine pairings? One of these wine dinners could be for you

For those who are fascinated by the interplay of wine and food and how certain dishes or flavors can play to a wine’s strengths, here are a few interesting wine dinners coming up soon:

Saint Martha, Koreatown

The jaunty new K-town wine bar is planning a special four-course prix fixe dinner on Tuesday for the Feast of Saint Martha, patron saint of cooks and servers and the inspiration for the 38-seat restaurant’s name. The menu from chef Nick Erven includes Littleneck clams with morcilla (blood) sausage, sunchoke and egg. The main event is pecan wood-smoked brisket with hoisin-chile sauce and root vegetables with brassicas with toasted brewer’s yeast, mushroom and egg served alongside. The sweet will be almond genoise with Rieger Farms peaches and wildflower honey ice cream. 

The dinner is $65 per person, not including tax or tip. For additional $27, GM and sommelier Mary Thompson will pair a wine with each course. A portion of the proceeds that night will go towards the neighborhood...

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MPK Night Market draws crowds for sticky rice burgers, Hong Kong waffles and more

Monterey Park celebrated its first free night market food event on Friday evening at Barnes Park. Asian food stands and food trucks specializing in dishes such as Japanese takoyaki pancakes and sticky rice burgers fed hungry locals into the night. Like past night markets, this proved to be hugely popular among families (dogs are okay to bring) and young people on summer vacation nearby, attracting thousands.

While parking was a bit complicated and some of the lines for food were so long that the wait was up to an hour long, the trade-off to savor the event's unique offerings only found at these type of events with your friends and loved ones on a beautiful summer night was worth it.

Click through to see some of those unique offerings.

For information about upcoming dates for the monthly event, go to www.mpknightmarket.com.

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Chef of the moment: Barton G.'s Jeff O'Neill serves his steak with a 3-foot fork

Jeff O’Neill is the executive chef at Barton G., the newly opened L.A. outlet of the Miami restaurant known for its seasonal cuisine and fantastical plating, such as a steak served on a wooden board with a 3-foot giant’s fork and a salad in a mini-wheelbarrow with gardening tools, flower pots of lettuce, quinoa and packets of sunflower seeds. At Barton G. in Beverly Grove, O’Neill is turning out some of the restaurant’s signature dishes, including the samurai tuna, with rice-cracker-crusted fish, long beans, toasted shishito pepper, mandarin-laced soba noodles and yuzu-pomegranate butter served with a replica of a samurai sword; and the lobster “pop tarts” with Gruyere, served in an actual toaster. He’s also planning a complete menu overhaul highlighting new ingredients in the fall.

What's coming up next on your menu? We will stay in the summer season as long as possible to take full advantage of the amazing products available on the West Coast. This week we will introduce a new...

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Can you stand one more fig recipe? Try drunken fig jam

Can you stand one more fig recipe? I know I’ve been raving about them for a while now. But trust me, you won’t regret this one. It’s really, really good.

Blessed with an abundance of figs thanks to a generous friend, I started looking for ways to use them in quantities. I pickled a pound or so. I wrapped some in prosciutto. I ate a lot of them for breakfast. 

And I still had a couple of pounds left over. So I went looking for a recipe for some kind of preserve and found this one for drunken fig jam by Jill Silverman Hough on the Epicurious website.

I kept the original proportions of fruit to sugar, but I tweaked it a little bit to fit what I had on hand. Instead of brandy, I used a manzanilla sherry (figuring the nuttiness would work well). Someone suggested using white Port, which I think would be nice, too. And I'm fascinated by the idea of substituting tequila.

Finally, because the initial mixture tasted a little flat after macerating, I added lemon juice to brighten it up.


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Red Bread closes in Culver City, says it will reopen in new location

Red Bread, the bakery known for its wild yeasted sourdough breads, is closing its pint-sized shop in Culver City. Red Bread announced the news on Monday via its social media channels on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. 

According to its posts, Red Bread is closing Monday. 

The bakery says it plans on opening at a new, larger location at the end of the year. No word where that will be. We've reached out to Red Bread and will let you know when we hear back. 

The Culver City location is just a few shelves of bread lining one of the shop's walls and two small tables that provide seating for a handful of people at a time. 

Just last year, Times' deputy food editor Betty Hallock named Red Bread as having the best rye bread in the city. Founder Rose Lawrence uses her own sourdough starter.

Red Bread started in 2012 as an online bakery service with sustainability in mind. It delivered products using two delivery bikes in Venice Beach. The company opened its storefront in Culver City in July...

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Why a Walmart ice cream sandwich just won't melt

Ice cream is supposed to melt. When the frozen treat hits your tongue or gets a little too much sunshine, it's supposed to turn into a sweet puddle. But one woman found her son's ice cream sandwich just wouldn't melt after it was left outside overnight.

Christie Watson told the Cincinnati news station WCPO that her son left a Walmart ice cream sandwich outside for 12 hours. Despite it being 80 degrees, the ice cream sandwich never fully melted. 

"I thought it quite weird so I looked at the box and it doesn't say artificial ice cream," Watson told WCPO. "So I thought to myself, what am I feeding my children?" 

The news station decided to conduct an ice cream melting experiment. A Walmart Great Value ice cream sandwich, a Klondike Bar ice cream sandwich and a cup of Haagen-Dazs were all left out in the sun for 30 minutes. The Walmart sandwich melted the least, while the Klondike sandwich was about two-thirds melted, and the Haagen-Dazs ice cream melted completely. 

Walmart attempted to...

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Easy dinner recipes: Three rich mushroom ideas for Meatless Monday

When you're looking for an ingredient to add rich depth to a dish, mushrooms are a favorite option. With their meaty flavor and earthy notes, they lend great depth and texture to many a dish, vegetarian or not.

Wild mushroom soup: Christopher Czarnecki, chef-owner of the Joel Palmer House in Dayton, Ore., shares his recipe for a wild mushroom soup that is rich with flavor yet simple to make. It's not surprising that the soup is so good. His father and restaurant founder Jack Czarnecki is a legendary mushroom hunter and cook.

Wild mushroom frittata: Thinly sliced wild mushrooms with tangy creme fraiche, Pecorino Romano, sliced garlic and shallot, and fresh thyme and chives pair well in this tempting frittata.

Craft's mushrooms: A blend of mushrooms -- crimini, shiitake, oyster, trumpet royale and maitake -- is sauteed in a garlic-shallot butter and tossed with chopped fresh herbs in this dish, which works well either as a substantial side or light main course. You can find the recipe...

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Don't swelter: Here are a dozen L.A. ice cream shops to help you cool off

It’s summer, if you haven’t noticed, and though ice cream is a year-round treat, it’s especially sweet when the sun shines without mercy. Frozen yogurt and shaved ice are nice, but you and I both know true happiness comes with more butterfat than that.

Los Angeles is full of top-notch ice cream, with destination shops almost anywhere you’re willing to drive. Many of these are part of a new wave characterized by salted caramel and Twitter accounts, with monomaniacal artisans taking daily cues from what’s growing in the garden. Flavors rotate, mostly for our benefit. Twenty-first-century Los Angeles is a great place to be an ice cream fiend.

Here’s the cream of the crop.

(Note: For the purposes of this round-up, I am not differentiating between ice cream and gelato. Please see Google for the distinction, which hardly matters when you’re shoveling a triple scoop into your mouth.)

Bulgarini Gelato

This artisanal gelato shop is a longtime favorite, one of the only dessert spots to ever...

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New Grape Collective e-book takes an in-depth look at Rioja

Grape Collective, the online wine magazine with a great roster of writers that launched in December last year, is re-purposing some of its content as e-books.

The first tome to hit the iPad or Kindle device is "Rioja: Conversations with Winemakers," edited by Christopher Barnes and available at the iBook store for $4.99 and at Amazon for $3.82. It includes a lengthy introduction from Kristen Bieler setting up the history and contrasting the traditionalists with the modernists. 

The book is unique in that it’s really a collection of interviews with prominent winemakers and producers in Rioja. Instead of comments distilled by a writer, you get to hear everything they say. A four- or five-minute Vimeo video introduces each player, so it’s like listening in on a visit with an interviewer who asks smart questions.

Maria López de Heredia of the famed López de Heredia estate founded in 1877 explains, for example, that her Chilean-born Spanish grandfather was educated in France and offered a...

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Summer's just arriving, it's time to grab the brews while they last

It feels like summer has just started, but already the seasonal beers for autumn have begun rolling out of the regional breweries, and this means the summertime favorites will soon disappear from the shelves.

Seasonal creep -- when it feels like the seasonal craft beers arrive on shelves earlier with each year -- is getting increasingly out of hand. There have been reports of pumpkin beers finding their way to retail stores on the East Coast. In July. It’s madness, but it’s a result of logistical and marketing challenges for breweries with large distribution footprints, and it trickles down through the craft brewing industry.

Here are three stand-out summertime sippers that you should scoop up while you still have the chance.

Firestone Walker Easy Jack

A new brew for 2014, Easy Jack joined a wave of session IPAs that crashed on the scene a few months ago, and it’s one of the best examples of the en vogue style. Lighter in body than the brewery's similar Pale 31 pale ale, Easy Jack...

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Mediterranean favorite Momed opens a new location in Atwater Village

Alex Sarkissian, owner of eastern Mediterranean restaurant Momed in Beverly Hills, has opened a second location, this one in the Atwater Crossing development in Atwater Village. The indoor-outdoor restaurant that occupies more than 7,000 square feet of space in an industrial building on La Casitas Avenue is serving only lunch right now, with dinner service starting Aug. 4.

The opening of the newest Momed speaks to a dining scene that is shifting eastward, with a growing number of restaurants opening in Silver Lake and Highland Park, where newcomers include Highland Park Brewery inside the Hermosillo and the Greyhound among others. Alimento, Night + Market Song and Pine & Crane recently opened in Silver Lake.

Sarkissian said he's hoping the neighborhood embraces the food and the space, where he's redone what was formerly the Crossing barbecue restaurant and before that ATX Kitchen. An indoor dining room that seats about 72 people features amber hanging lights and black and white printed...

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Green beans, the ultimate role player, 12 ways

Have you ever thought about how hard it must be to be a green bean? Just think of it – there you are, a simple string, surrounded by all those voluptuous colorful fruits of summer: tomatoes, peaches, melons. What’s a bean to do?

The reality is, and this sounds a little silly to say, green beans are one of my favorite summer foods. And I love them because they don’t stand out and whomp you over the head with flavor. Instead, they’re the perfect bit player; they just make everything taste better.

Don’t believe me? Try this next time you grill a steak, a lamb chop or some chicken: Blanch green beans until they are just crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes; refresh them in ice water to stop the cooking, and pat them dry; toss them in a bowl with thinly sliced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and coarse salt and toss to combine.

It’s so simple, but it’s so delicious. It seems like almost an afterthought but it makes the meal complete.

There are two main kinds of beans you can find at the market right...

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