Daily Dish
The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles
Downtown's Maccheroni Republic opening soon in Hawaii -- and beyond

Is Maccheroni Republic going to take over the world?

Jean Louis de Mori and Antonio Tomassi, who opened the always-crowded little downtown restaurant two years ago, have formed a partnership with celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi to open places in Hawaii, and possibly even to franchise restaurants in China, Japan and South Korea.

Yamaguchi, who has cooking roots in Los Angeles, is the proprietor of more than 30 upscale Roy’s restaurants in the United States and Guam, including six in Hawaii and nine in California.

The first of the new Maccheroni Republic locations will probably be in Honolulu, De Mori says, and may be open as early as this summer. From there, the plan is to expand into another half-dozen locations throughout the islands, and then possibly even outside the United States.

“We’ve known Roy for many years and we’re really happy about this partnership,” De Mori said. “Roy is part of a big company, but he’s also a chef, not just an investor who is looking to get his money back...

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New Year's Eve noshing: 25 easy-to-make dishes

Whether your New Year's festivities include planning a big cocktail party or hosting a simple dinner, odds are you'll want something to feed your guests over the hours as they count down to 2015.

Here are 25 easy-to-make little dishes to choose from — they're not recipes really, but ideas you can adapt to make your own. No matter whether you're planning fancy hors d'oeuvres or are looking for some simple nibbles to keep the natives from getting restless as the clock winds down, we should have you covered.

Many can be prepared hours — even a day or two — in advance. A couple — the jumbo shrimp and quick-pickled carrots — require a day or so of marinating. At least one, the baked brie, needs a little oven love before the guests arrive. Nothing complicated, just a little planning.

You'll still have time to worry about the more important things, like outfitting the bar and chilling the Champagne.

Roasted almonds: Sauté raw almonds in a hot skillet with a tiny bit of olive oil until they...

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Easy dinner recipes: What to do with all those holiday leftovers

If you've got a fridge full of leftovers, we've got some ideas for dinner tonight. 

Turkey sandwiches are always a good idea, but for something a little different this year, use your turkey leftovers to make turkey pot pie or turkey salad with a tangy sesame dressing

For some, it's not the holidays without a platter full of Dungeness crabs. If you've got leftovers, Russ Parsons has a recipe for Dungeness crab spring rolls with endive and almonds.  

And leftover ham is perfect in a simple asparagus and ham frittata. 

For dessert, use those leftover cranberries to make cranberry frozen yogurt

ASPARAGUS AND HAM FRITTATA

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves: 6 to 8

6 ounces ham, cut in 1/4-inch dice (This is where the leftover ham comes in)

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons butter, divided

3/4 pound asparagus, trimmed and peeled if thicker than a pencil

12 eggs

1 ounce Parmesan, grated (about 1/3 cup)

1. Heat the broiler

2. Cook the ham, parsley and 1 tablespoon butter in a...

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Three great new L.A. coffeehouses

For those of us who love coffee, the last two months have been like early holiday presents. Because no fewer than three terrific coffee shops have opened around the city since November. One is a brand new dinosaur-themed shop that is about as fun as a trip to the Natural History Museum; the other two are much welcome second outposts of established shops. And all three are worth a stop the next time you’re in their respective neighborhoods. The newest places to get caffeinated:

Dinosaur Coffee

“We wanted to create something fun. A coffee shop we all want to go to,” Michelle Hantoot says about Dinosaur Coffee, the coffee shop she just opened with her husband, Ben, on the part of Sunset Boulevard where the hazy edges of the Los Feliz, Silver Lake and East Hollywood neighborhoods blur into one another. For those of you who spent the better part of your college years with Figure 8 on repeat, you’ll know exactly where Dinosaur is: just steps from the Elliott Smith Memorial wall, in the...

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Pulling an all-nighter Christmas Eve? Cookie recipes for your kids, booze for you

Christmas Eve is the one night of the year when nobody is getting any actual sleep. The kids may be pretending to sleep, but they're not. And the grown-ups are up wrapping things or trying to figure out how to assemble some absurdly complicated contraption. As the night wears on, the whole thing can seem like a Tim Burton short film, set in an Ikea.

First, you're likely to need a cookie recipe, since you likely forgot to make all that stuff that the kids now want to leave out on a plate for the invisible suited guy. If cookies aren't your thing (really?), then you can leave out something else, say, a dish or drink other cultures traditionally reserve for the big night: rice pudding if you're Scandinavian, carrots for the reindeer, beer if you're in Australia. (Yes, beer; apparently Santa requires beer in Australia. Don't we all.)

And if that glass of lager is sounding pretty good to you, you may want something stronger, particularly if you don't find reading Toys "R" Us instructions...

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25 homemade holiday gift recipes: Chocolate pecan turtles

Still looking for a last-minute gift idea? I have your solution: chocolate pecan turtles. These little goodies come together in less than an hour, and you can't go wrong with chocolate. Or pecans. Or caramel. Did I mention simple?

Just be sure to make an extra batch so you can keep some for yourself.

Chocolate pecan turtles are just one way to get crafty this holiday season with homemade gifts from the kitchen. We've compiled 25 great ideas, including quick and simple gifts (perfect if you're working with kids) and more intricate projects that call for a little extra time and patience.

Some gifts will last for weeks, perhaps more. Others are best eaten within a day or two.

Not only are homemade gifts a great way to save money during the holiday season, they're a thoughtful and creative way to show how much you care.

CHOCOLATE PECAN TURTLES

Total time: 40 minutes | Makes 40 turtles

Note: From Michaela Rosenthal, Woodland Hills. You can use whatever chocolate suits your taste.

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