Daily Dish
The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles
Free Philly cheesesteaks at The Bazaar

José Andrés, chef at The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel, is in town. And to celebrate, he's giving away free Philly cheesesteaks Friday from 5 to 6 p.m. 

If you've ever tried Andrés' Philly cheesesteak, you'll know better than to expect steak, onions and peppers on a roll. And don't even think about cheese whiz. 

Andrés' tribute to the American classic includes Wagyu A4 strip loin, Fiscalini cheddar espuma and onion jam. Would you expect anything less from the man who sometimes serves his croquetas de pollo in a shoe?

To make the cheesesteak bread, a pita bread dough is thinly sheeted and baked in the oven until it puffs up into mini footballs of "air bread." The bread is then filled with Fiscalini cheddar espuma. 

A sweet onion jam is piped onto paper thin slices of Wagyu beef, and they both get a little heat from a blow torch before topping the air bread. Then the cheesesteaks are finished with chives and sea salt.

When the Spanish chef isn't giving them away for free, the Philly...

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How to dry-brine a turkey? Here's what you need to know to get started

When I'm buried, I fear that my headstone will read: He Dry-Brined Turkeys. I started writing about this technique several years ago and every Thanksgiving it seems more cooks become converted. That's understandable — it's by far the easiest way to make a great turkey. If you have a refrigerator, a little salt and a couple of days, you're on your way to a moist, deeply flavored bird.

In fact, the kind folks at the Food52 website were gracious enough to include my effort in their upcoming "Food 52: Genius Recipes" collection coming out this spring.

If you're just getting started, it’s important to understand the difference between traditional brining and what I call dry brining (linguists get livid about that phrase — insisting that brine by definition includes water; they may be right, but I have yet to hear a better description).

The main aim of brining is not just flavoring, but also keeping the turkey moist — not so much by the water that’s added, but by the chemical reaction the...

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Cauliflower crust and meatball skewers at the new Prufrock Pizzeria

Concept: A Neapolitan-style pie shop by food stylist Tobi Martin, Shad Davis (the Federal) and Spaceland Presents' Mitchell Frank and Partners (the guys behind Echoplex, Knitting Factory) in The Regent Theater in downtown L.A. The restaurant is named after T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (but for no discernable reason). It's a spot with reasonably priced pizzas and good quality toppings designed to service hungry concert-goers and locals. 

What dish represents the restaurant, and why? The Toto or salumi pie. The ToTo is made with a gluten-free cauliflower crust for the growing number of Angelenos kicking gluten to the curb (for health reasons or otherwise). It's topped with fresh mozzarella and diced tomatoes, ribbons of basil and a balsamic vinaigrette. The crust is thin, but holds the toppings well, and you get a little crunch around the edges. With each bite, you get that's it's not bread, but by the time you decide how you feel about it, you've eaten the entire...

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Want a free vegan Thanksgiving dinner? Cafe Gratitude will hook you up

Every year, Cafe Gratitude, true to its name, hosts a free Thanksgiving dinner at its Venice location. Next Thursday, the vegan restaurant will be offering a holiday dinner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — or until the food runs out — on a first-come, first-serve basis.

This is the 11th year Cafe Gratitude has been doing this, a tradition that began at the original location in San Francisco. 

Restaurant staff and volunteers will be serving butternut squash and sage-lentil loaf, garlic mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, raw stuffing, persimmon and pomegranate salad, and pumpkin pie — all organic, all vegan. 

If you want to show your own gratitude for this, you can volunteer to help them by calling the restaurant. 

521 Rose Ave., Venice, (424) 231-8000, cafegratitudevenice.com.

Follow me on Twitter @AmyScattergood and Instagram @ascattergood.

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Six great places in Altadena

Due north of Pasadena and pushed up against the San Gabriels, Altadena always seems farther away from Los Angeles than it actually is — maybe because of the looming mountains, or maybe because its unincorporated status gives it an outlier feel. In recent years, it's become home to a DIY crowd, which has brought a lovely farmers market and a tiny but burgeoning food scene, inspired in no small part by the Institute of Domestic Technology, which until recently ran out of Altadena's Zane Grey Estate. Between new bakeries and old alehouses, it's a great neighborhood for a ristretto and a croissant, a shopping trip and a cup of stellar gelato. Here are six of our favorite haunts. 

Bulgarini Gelato — Leo Bulgarini's gelataria is like the end of an L.A. treasure hunt. Way up at the top edge of Altadena, at the back of a dilapidated parking lot, behind some construction next to a Rite Aid, and at the end of a courtyard, you'll finally find the gelato store. Since 2007, the Rome-born...

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Thanksgiving recipe video and tips: Mom Parsons' cranberries

The basic recipe on the back of the cranberry bag is easy, but with just a little extra effort, you can create a really special sauce that exudes both tartness and sweetness.

This recipe, from the family of Times food editor Russ Parsons, has become a Thanksgiving favorite, and it's simple. Just be sure to leave enough time before serving for the flavors to settle -- about three days is ideal, though we've made it the day before and it turned out well. Also, be careful not to overcook the cranberries; they should pop when you bite. You can find the recipe below.

Craving more? Check out our handy holiday recipes and cooking tips page to help you with your Thanksgiving planning. Not only do we cover familiar holiday dishes, we share tips and tricks to save you time and energy during this busy time of year. And you can find all your Thanksgiving recipe needs in our California Cookbook...

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