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On the highs of Tokyo, 4/20 and rosé season

Happy Saturday and welcome to the weekend. If you're one of the many people who celebrated 4/20 yesterday (a day designated to celebrate cannabis), you might be interested in Test Kitchen director Noelle Carter's tips for how to make pot butter, seeing as butter is the base for most delicious things in, well, life. I also checked in with a vegan taco chef who discussed why cooking high is a good thing and the best things to eat while you're consuming cannabis.

Jonathan Gold has been on his own high of sorts in Tokyo, eating mochi, enjoying the cherry blossoms and visiting Yoshihiro Narisawa's restaurant in Minato. And Noelle has been spending a lot of time at the Santa Monica farmers market. She recently caught up with the market's longtime supervisor Laura Avery, to discuss the market's evolution over the years. We also have details on a new beer and food pairing festival appropriately called Paired.

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So beer, mochi, pot butter and tacos. Sounds like the beginning of a beautiful weekend.

FROM TOKYO

Almost all ingredients used at Narisawa are Japanese and the chef visits all the producers and liaises directly with them. The menu comprises sustainable ingredients that are faithful to the environment and the seasons.
Almost all ingredients used at Narisawa are Japanese and the chef visits all the producers and liaises directly with them. The menu comprises sustainable ingredients that are faithful to the environment and the seasons. (Sergio Coimbra)

This week, Jonathan writes of the many reasons Narisawa is considered one of the best restaurants in the world. There he finds Japanese yam filled with a smear of sea urchin roe; grilled filet of Yamaguchi tilefish crusted with rice crackers and served with a Hokkaido crab demi-chowder; and scallops showered with frozen cherry blossoms. Yes, we are all attempting to live vicariously through his words. Read his full letter from Tokyo here.

TO THE MIDDLE EAST

A selection of dishes from Bavel, the new restaurant by the crew behind Bestia.
A selection of dishes from Bavel, the new restaurant by the crew behind Bestia. (Nicole Franzen)

Bavel, the sophomore restaurant from Bestia chef-owners Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, is finally open. I have details on the new Middle Eastern restaurant, as well as news of a dumpling shop on Melrose Avenue, and a new food hall in Tustin in my weekly restaurant news column.

ROSÉ SEASON

It's officially rosé season. Here's what you should be drinking.
It's officially rosé season. Here's what you should be drinking. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Wine writer Patrick Comiskey says that it's officially rosé season. He offers 10 suggestions for rosé wines priced at $25 or less, and explains why you should never pay more than $25 for a bottle. Thank you, Patrick!

COOKBOOK REVIEW

Rice congee with pork meatballs and fried garlic oil.
Rice congee with pork meatballs and fried garlic oil. (Eric Wolfinger)

In this week's cookbook review, Food editor Amy Scattergood is delighted to find that James Syhabout's "Hawker Fare: Stories and Recipes From a Refugee Chef's Isan Thai and Lao Roots," isn't full of fancy recipes that reflect the chef's fancy résumé. Instead, it's a tribute to the chef's culinary heritage with recipes for dishes like rice congee with fried garlic oil. Lucky for you, Amy also got the recipe for that congee.

SEEING GREEN

Green chickpea hummus from the Rooftop by JG.
Green chickpea hummus from the Rooftop by JG. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

In her latest Culinary SOS column, Noelle gets the recipe for the chickpea hummus from Rooftop by JG in Beverly Hills. The vibrant green hummus was a request from reader Sandi Coffey. (And if there's a dish you're obsessing about, write to Noelle and she'll see if she can get the recipe.)

L.A. Times Food Bowl returns for a second year in May, with 31 days of events celebrating L.A.'s great food and drink scene and helping raise awareness and funds to fight food waste, hunger and food insecurity. The lineup of dining events, panel discussions, chef collaborations, volunteer projects and other food and drink-inspired happenings is up online now. So who's coming this year? Celebrated Spanish chef José Andrés, chefs Ben Shewry (Australia), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Japan), Virgilio Martinez (Peru) and Yu Bo (China), along with legendary cookbook writer Diana Kennedy (Mexico) and more. Our launch party is at Rossoblu April 30, and May 1, the opening night party will be an event called Changing the World Through the Power of Food, with Andrés, Gold and friends. Help us celebrate this year's Restaurant of the Year and Gold Award-winning chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. And yes, our Night Market will be back for five nights at Grand Park, with 50 food vendors and fun events. For all the details go to lafoodbowl.com.

Jonathan Gold's 101 Best Restaurants, the authoritative annual guide to local dining, is online for subscribers featuring his 2017 Best Restaurants. If you don't have a copy of the booklet, you can order one online here.

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Goldbot: You can 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.

Check us out on Instagram at @latimesfood.

And don't forget the thousands of recipes in our California Cookbook recipe database.

Feedback? We'd love to hear from you. Email us at food@latimes.com.

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Twitter: @Jenn_Harris_

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