Daily Dish
The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles
It's harvest season: Head to Santa Barbara wine country to celebrate

On Saturday afternoon, Mattei’s Tavern on the outskirts of Los Olivos in the Santa Ynez Valley will host a Harvest Celebration in collaboration with Terroir, a collection of wineries owned by Charles and Ali Banks.

The historic tavern’s partner and chef Robbie Wilson has planned a special menu that includes okra tempura with whipped French onion dip, shaved Wagyu beef with vine-smoked tuna and anchovy mayonnaise, charred beets with Turkish urfa pepper and mint, crispy beef tendon and salmon chorizo. 

But what sounds really intriguing is the cotton candy station "executing adult-flavored beehives."

The bigger draw, though, may be the chance to taste the entire lineup of wines from Terroir’s portfolio. That means such highly lauded wines at Sandhi and Qupé from Santa Barbara County, Wind Gap from Sonoma County, Evening Land from Oregon, California and Burgundy and  Mayacamas Vineyards from Napa Valley, and more. 

The festivities will be helped along with live music from “a very special...

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Still waiting for 'Game of Thrones'? Here's a beer to make it easier

There are still many long months before HBO’s beloved "Game of Thrones" returns, and even longer until author George R. R. Martin finishes the next book in the series, but at least fans can drown their sorrows in another "GOT"-inspired beer from Brewery Ommegang while they wait.

The fourth beer in the popular series of fantasy-inspired Belgian-style brews is Valar Morghulis (the mantra of the series’ shadowy assassins that translates to “all men must die”). In a departure from the previous three brews in the series (The Iron Throne golden ale, Take the Black Stout with licorice and star anise, and Fire and Blood red ale brewed with ancho chiles), Valar Morghulis is a straightforward Belgian-style dubbel with no specialty ingredients. The 8% alcohol ale is dark and complex, with a lively effervescence and a spicy aroma.

The beer will make its L.A. debut at Plan Check’s Fairfax location Thursday at 2 p.m. Brewery representatives will be at the event with some schwag, and the first 30...

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Sure it's National Kale Day, but we loved it before it was cool

It’s like you have this favorite indy band that nobody else knows about. You wear their T-shirt, and people stop you at parties. And then they start to get picked up. Before you know it, they’re so popular they’re playing Staples. And then they have their own reality television show. How can you not hate them?

Such has been the too-spectacular rise of kale. You could say it has been a rocket-ship ride … straight over the shark. First bit of evidence? Today is National Kale Day. Let’s face it, nothing good has ever come from having a national day in your honor.

Still, I find myself pining for the old kale, before its salad days -- or at least before everyone had picked up on its salad days. In fact, as an early advocate of kale salad, I feel that I bear some of the responsibility. And even a little bit of it is a heavy load indeed.

But you know what? Kale is good. In fact, treat it right, and it’s great. Don’t let its current popularity cloud your judgment. Soon enough kale will be...

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Hello Kitty's 40th anniversary Hungry Hunt: Pink cheeseburgers, cute pins

Hello Kitty fans, grab a sticker and mark your cute calendars. In addition to the upcoming first-ever convention and museum retrospective to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 40th birthday, Sanrio on Wednesday is announcing plans to turn the city into a Hello Kitty Hungry Hunt food adventure with themed Hello Kitty meals, sweets and beverages around Los Angeles.

From Oct. 24 through Nov. 21 at participating venues, each Hungry Hunt menu item will include a collectible pin depicting Hello Kitty sipping boba or nibbling on doughnuts, sausages, pizza and the rest of the special menu items. The Hungry Hunt map will help hunters find the treats and track their progress. After the recent excitement about Hello Kitty Spam musubi made by Roy Choi at the Line Hotel (the official hotel of the Hello Kitty 40th anniversary) Sanrio set out to organize the cutest food experiences it could dream up. Hello Kitty vittles will include burgers, ramen, sushi, sweets and drinks. 

Participating restaurants include...

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Live discussion: It's lunchtime with Jonathan Gold!
Easy dinner recipes: Three garbanzo bean salads for Gluten-Free Wednesday

It's Wednesday. You know what that means. An opportunity to change your diet to eliminate gluten for a day. These salads are unconditionally delicious, and you might never guess they're gluten-free.

Chickpea salad with chorizo: Whether you call them garbanzo beans or chickpeas, if you're a fan, you won't get a much better chance to enjoy them than this refreshingly bright salad, one of our Top 10 Recipes from 2011. Marinate chickpeas in a blend of lemon juice, olive oil and salt, then toss them with some Spanish chorizo, tomatoes and a little garlic, green onion, parsley and bell pepper. Marinate the beans first thing in the morning, then assemble the salad in the last few minutes before you sit down to eat. It makes a colorful side or a perfect light meal.

Curried chickpeas: The curry blend in this recipe gives an otherwise simple salad wonderful depth and robust flavor. Coriander and cumin lend fragrant earthiness, with a little cayenne pepper added for a hint of heat. The...

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Mario Batali says new Eataly will be specifically Southern Californian -- and Italian, of course

What to expect when Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich finally open their just-announced Los Angeles chapter of Eataly at the Westfield Century City mall in 2017?

If you’ve been to the Chicago or New York stores, you probably have a pretty good idea -- but the L.A. spot will have a distinctly Southern California accent, including a possible contribution from Nancy Silverton.

“We love the opportunities that California offers us, from the local olive oils, to the immensely popular local wines and spirits,” Batali wrote in an email Tuesday afternoon.

“Eataly was almost born to celebrate the geo-specificity of the remarkable and unique bounty of America’s salad bowl. We are also very excited to have Los Angelena Nancy Silverton aboard for a focaccia concept and maybe more.”

The new store, announced Tuesday morning, will be about the same size as the two previous ones, roughly 50,000 square feet, not including outdoor and rooftop dining spaces -- options that aren’t feasible in those...

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Cafe Bustelo coffee pop-up, Four Seasons kids cooking class, Sunset & Dine

Cuban-style espresso brand Cafe Bustelo is hosting a pop-up cafe in Los Angeles from Friday to Sunday and from Oct. 10 to 12. There will be free coffee, wi-fi, more freebies and a lineup of live acoustic bands and DJs. Complimentary coffee drinks will include espresso with or without milk, sweet iced coffee and as well as Keurig cup packs. The pop-up cafe will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Musical guests include DJ Myles Hendrik, Nancy Sanchez, DJ Ana Calderon, DJ Spider and more. 1540 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, www.cafebustelo.com/.

Etiquette specialist Julie Ann Ulcickas and chef Mette Williams will lead an etiquette and cooking class at Culina at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills Oct. 11. Williams will teach the children how to make garlic knots, pizza and arancini. Students will receive a three-course lunch of Caesar salad or heirloom tomatoes and burrata, rigatoni with meatballs, seared salmon or chicken Parmesan with broccolini, and for dessert, chocolate...

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L.A.'s Crossroads restaurant hosts Farm Sanctuary event

People who care about animals, about healthful eating and about the environment are finding common ground -- “finally the right idea at the right time,” said a cardiologist who was among the speakers at a dinner at vegan hot spot Crossroads.

Dr. Dean Ornish, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco, also said that many health problems can be prevented or even reversed with diet and exercise.

While the organizers of the Monday night dinner in Los Angeles, the animal rescue and advocacy organization Farm Sanctuary, promote a vegan diet, Ornish noted that every bit helps. Not ready to turn vegan? Meatless Monday is a start. “What’s personally sustainable is globally sustainable,” he said.

A plant-based diet would save “an enormous amount of water” during California's drought, said Gene Baur, co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary.

“People are starting to want to eat in a way they feel good about,” he said.

Baur said the evening was primarily meant to raise awareness. “This...

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Scouting report: Kebabs, kibbeh, cheese dip at John's Kabobs in Monterey Park

Name of the restaurant: John's Kabobs 

Concept: A small, not-so-traditional Syrian kebab house surrounded by dim sum restaurants and a Mr. Baguette in Monterey Park. In addition to chicken kebab, beef kebab, gyro and salmon, there's fish and chips, shrimp cocktail and hot wings. Decor is minimal, you can eat inside at one of the few tables, but the majority of the business is catering or take-out orders. 

What dish represents the restaurant and why?  The chicken kebab plate and a side of Changlish cheese. Chunks of white meat chicken are dusted with a mild seasoning of black pepper and allspice before hitting the grill. It's similar to the flavor of the Arabic spice baharat, which typically contains black peppercorns, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. The chicken is served with a mild garlic sauce that has just a hint of garlic, and two sides (fries, rice, Greek or Caesar salad, hummus). If you order the Greek salad it's a plate full of greens, red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese...

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Daniel demoted, others promoted as Michelin surveys NYC

Daniel, long one of the mainstays of Manhattan’s fine-dining scene, was demoted from three stars to two in the newest edition of Michelin’s New York dining guide, which goes on sale Wednesday. At the same time, three restaurants were promoted from one star to two and the outer boroughs continued to show their strength.

Daniel had won its third star in 2010, but failed to hold onto it, despite chef Daniel Boulud’s prominence on the national food scene.

“Daniel Boulud has been a pillar of the gastronomic community for 30 years, but this year we found a lack of consistency,” Michael Ellis, international director for the guides, told the New York Times. “We have to make difficult decisions. We’d rather give stars than take them away. We look forward to him getting his third star back.”

Six restaurants held on to their three stars -- Thomas Keller’s Per Se and its Columbus Circle neighbor the high-end Masa, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Jean Georges, Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin, Daniel Humm’s...

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Mario Batali's Eataly heading to Westfield Century City; it's 'official'

Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and company will be opening a Southern California branch of Eataly, their popular Italian food court/grocery store, at the Westfield Century City shopping mall in early 2017.

After months of rumors, in an email Tuesday morning Batali confirmed that the deal had been signed: “It is official. We are opening in Westfield Century City.”

This is the third Eataly in the United States, after New York City and Chicago. Details are still being worked out, but Batali’s office confirmed that the store would be roughly the same size as the other two -- about 50,000 square feet -- but that it would also have extensive outdoor and rooftop seating.

As with the other Eatalys, this one will combine numerous mini-kitchens turning out regional Italian dishes as well as the opportunity to buy the same meats, pastas, seafoods, etc. that were used in making them.

“We cook what we sell and we sell what we cook,” according to a company statement. “We encourage customers to come in...

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