Gentlefolk, start your engines. Because we are mere hours away from Mother’s Day, the third most competitive restaurant day of the year, and you haven’t made reservations yet, have you? So you could refer back to the excellent survey of brunch possibilities that Jenn Harris wrote last week, or you could brush up on your frittata technique. (I’m on the waiting list for the April Bloomfield dinner at Lucques, but I bought asparagus and duck eggs at the farmers market this week just in case.)
Or you could brave the lines at one of the no-reservations places if you’re up for that sort of thing — Square One, Lincoln, Gjusta or perhaps Sycamore Kitchen, where Karen Hatfield’s babka, kouign-amann and gluten-free muffins are nearly good enough to erase the grumpiness of a 45-minute wait.
Hatfield, and her husband, Quinn, are also behind Odys + Penelope, the new technique-forward modern-primitive grill restaurant just up the block, not coincidentally the focus of this week’s review. If it were open for lunch (it’s not), Odys + Penelope would be a perfect place to go for slow-grilled sirloin cap, delicious millet-cauliflower porridge — and a slice of the chocolate pie by which all others must be measured.
This week, Jenn also tries the duck shwarma at downtown’s 10-e, we look at Brendan Collins’ makeover of Corner Door in Culver City and Jason Neroni’s new restaurant in Marina del Rey. And John Verive notes that craft beer in California has become a $6.5-billion industry. Hoppin’ fresh!
And be on the lookout for Wednesday's In the Kitchen newsletter, with cooking tips and news, including new recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen.
Jonathan checks out Quinn and Karen Hatfield's latest restaurant, Odys + Penelope, a lofty, open-brick fire-driven restaurant just up the street from their breakfast-and-lunch spot and bakery, Sycamore Kitchen. Quinn Hatfield is spending plenty of time at his new grill — there's a huge stack of firewood next to the open kitchen. And Karen Hatfield's desserts are, unsurprisingly, spectacular. (Get the chocolate pie.)
Jason Neroni's new seafood place opens
For everyone who's been missing chef Jason Neroni's cooking since he left Superba Snack Bar last year, he's finally cooking again. Catch & Release, the new restaurant from Neroni and restaurateur Bill Chait, opened Thursday. It's a seafood-driven place in Marina del Rey in the space formerly occupied by Paiche. Neroni's from Orange County, but he spent summers as a kid in Maine.
Duck shawarma and za'atar pizza
Jenn checks out 10-e, a newish Lebanese restaurant in DTLA. Named after the owner's daughter Tenny (the name is also a reference to the nearby freeway), 10-e serves classic dishes as well as duck shawarma, various flatbreads and dips and kebabs in a lovely high-ceilinged space that was previously a McDonald's.
Long-time tiki bar closes
The Tiki-Ti, a classic, family-run Polynesian-themed bar that has graced Sunset Boulevard for more than five decades, abruptly closed on Sunday. Fans of the tiny Los Feliz bar, which has 92 tropical drinks and only 12 stools, promptly freaked out. Until the owner reassured them that the closure will be temporary while he restructures and takes some time off.
Notes from the food and drink underworld
Beer writer John Verive reports that there are now more than 550 craft breweries operating in California, and the number just keeps going up. It's now a $6.5-billion industry in California.
Just months after opening Birch in Hollywood, Brendan Collins is headed back to Culver City, sort of. Collins and chef de cuisine Ali Haji are taking over the kitchen at the Corner Door.
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