We have reached the tail end of summer. For some, school has already started. Others are finishing their summer vacations (as Jonathan Gold is this week). And Labor Day is approaching all too quickly. So maybe take some time this weekend to slow down and enjoy the warm weather (lucky for us, it should stick around for a while). Maybe head to downtown L.A. to spend an afternoon sipping cortaditos at the new Don Francisco's Casa Cubana in the Spring Arcade building. We have a story on the Cuban immigrant family behind the cafe; the Gaviñas have been making coffee for 50 years.
Perhaps make a plan to devour a couple pizzas at one of this city's excellent Italian restaurants, while you dream of the bubble-flecked pies from Phoenix's Pizzeria Bianco, whose pizza maker Chris Bianco fills us in this week on his plans for Los Angeles.
Or take advantage of the nice weather and invite some company over for a dinner party under the stars. What's on the menu? Perhaps tamales. Lots of them. Test Ktichen director Noelle Carter shares 10 of her favorite recipes. If you prefer your evenings spent wrapped in curling smoke from the grill, Noelle also shares 13 of her favorite steak recipes too.
Food writer Tien Nguyen checks in with the Gaviña family, who have opened their first L.A. coffee shop, called Don Francisco's, in downtown, near Guisados. But although this may be their first shop, the family has been roasting coffee in the L.A. area for the past 50 years. And as Nguyen reports, it's a big deal, especially in a "town that sees trends come and go faster than you can Instagram a charcoal latte."
MIX IT UP
Food writer Arielle Johnson (she used to work at Noma in Copenhagen and is now a researcher at the MIT Media Lab) finds that what's in your glass of horchata can be a lot more mysterious than you think. The popular summertime drink can be made with rice, almonds, other nuts, grains and seeds such as pumpkin or sesame. She delves into the methods and history of making horchata, and shares a couple of recipes.
Wine writer Patrick Comiskey writes "it's the time of year for wines that whine, wines so dry and high-pitched they seem almost mean — but none is better at quenching thirst on a hot day." And we couldn't agree more. Comiskey has recommendations for the white wines you should be drinking now, including Vinho Verde from Portugal and Australian Riesling.
I also make a case for three new L.A. restaurants you may want to add to your must-try lists, including a Scandinavian bistro on Melrose Avenue, a Silver Lake Mexican restaurant by a lauded Mexico City chef and a wine-focused restaurant with a serious list of vino. Because you never know when you'll need a new destination for date night.
The Taste, our annual Labor Day food festival (this one is three days, not a whole month!) is returning to Paramount Studios. Check out the lineup, the demos and panels, the chefs and bartenders, and of course all the food. Tickets are on sale.
Goldbot: You can now talk to Jonathan Gold any time you want — or at least the robot version of him that now lives on Facebook Messenger. You can ask Goldbot for a personal restaurant recommendation based on location, type of food or price. The bot will also deliver Jonathan Gold's latest reviews straight to your device.
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