Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
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At Cake Monkey, they're making Passover Crack

It’s been called Matzo Brittle and Matzo Toffee Cracker and, according to the American Jewish online magazine Tablet, was invented by a freelance food writer named Marcy Goldman who, back in the mid-'80s, happened upon a recipe for saltines topped with chocolate chips and toffee, made it Passover-friendly...

Food

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  • Jon & Vinny's is a sort of contemporary art take on a pizza joint

    Jon & Vinny's is a sort of contemporary art take on a pizza joint

    The best vantage of Jon & Vinny's, the new pizzeria across the street from Canter's Delicatessen, may be from Helen's, the tiny, glassed-in wine shop behind the dining room. Helen's is superbly air-conditioned, even on a miserable summer day, and the restaurant's groaning hip-hop sounds almost...

  • Helen's Wines at Jon & Vinny's blends curated finds with a sense of humor

    Helen's Wines at Jon & Vinny's blends curated finds with a sense of humor

    The wine shop at the back of Jon & Vinny's on Fairfax Avenue, the new red sauce Italian restaurant from the chefs behind Animal and Son of a Gun, is about the size of a walk-in closet. And yet the 6-by-8-foot space holds a whole world of wine. Open the door and it's like walking into someone's...

  • Perfecto! L.A.'s best paella maker shares his secret rituals

    Perfecto! L.A.'s best paella maker shares his secret rituals

    Anyone who believes you need to have a fancy kitchen full of expensive equipment to make great food should watch Perfecto Rocher cook paella at home. Because he doesn't even have a charcoal grill, he balances the paella pan on two cinder blocks over a fire made with newspapers and lathing scraps....

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  • Shop arts and crafts, shop at new stores, shop deals or shop for charity this week
    Shop arts and crafts, shop at new stores, shop deals or shop for charity this week

    Shopping choices abound this season in Southern California, with new stores opening, retailers hosting charitable fundraisers, craft markets popping up and more.

    Here's a sampling:

    Openings

    Luxury optical retailer Vitra Eyewear has opened at South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bear St., Costa Mesa. The store...

  • Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé: Here's where to celebrate Thursday
    Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé: Here's where to celebrate Thursday

    Every year on the third Thursday of November, millions of bottles of a fresh, fruity Gamay from Beaujolais are poured to celebrate the new vintage. Banners all over France — and the world — proclaim “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!” French restaurants, of course, get into the spirit of things...

  • Datebook: Early digital maps, delicate assemblages, an installation that riffs on sin
    Datebook: Early digital maps, delicate assemblages, an installation that riffs on sin

    The evocative assemblages of a German-born artist. A rumination on deadly sin by a Northern California installationist. And prints that once served as maps of nascent technology. Plus, paintings about leisure, photography inspired by 19th century Romantic canvases and sculptural pieces that both...

  • Cakewich alert: Cake Monkey's first-ever storefront opens next week
    Cakewich alert: Cake Monkey's first-ever storefront opens next week

    When pastry chef Elizabeth Belkind and her business partner Lisa Olin opened their cake business Cake Monkey eight years ago, they'd planned on having a storefront too, at least eventually. Now, after years of supplying us with justly celebrated cakewiches, mini layer cakes, Pop Pies, El Rollos,...

  • A foray into clay with stunning results: Richard Hawkins' 'New Work'
    A foray into clay with stunning results: Richard Hawkins' 'New Work'

    Over the last 10 years, clay has become the go-to material for artists who want to be in on trends. This has led to loads of mediocre work, much of it made by artists who should know better.

    In contrast, Richard Hawkins’ foray into clay has resulted in a body of work perfectly suited to the material’s...

  • Actress-mogul Jessica Alba expands her Honest Company empire to include skin care and beauty products
    Actress-mogul Jessica Alba expands her Honest Company empire to include skin care and beauty products

    Actress and Honest Company founder Jessica Alba opened a six-month pop-up shop at the Grove in late September, highlighting the launch of her latest entrepreneurial venture: Honest Beauty, a collection of 82 skin care and beauty products made with natural ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile...

  • Now you can have your weekend brunch at Animal -- more loco moco for you
    Now you can have your weekend brunch at Animal -- more loco moco for you

    If you're a morning person, Animal can be kind of daunting — or simply a no-fly zone. Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo's Fairfax Avenue restaurant, open since 2008, has always been an after-dark magnet, attracting a loud bar-driven crowd, a place known as a hangout for chefs in their off hours and for...

  • Food events: Taste of Mexico, 'Zahav' at Animal, Salvadore Dali dinner in the O.C.
    Food events: Taste of Mexico, 'Zahav' at Animal, Salvadore Dali dinner in the O.C.

    Check out these upcoming culinary events:

    Taste of Mexico Food Festival — The fifth annual celebration of Los Angeles' rich Mexican culinary scene is returning to La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in downtown Saturday. Highlights include food tastings, a tequila tent, a mezcaleria installation, a michelada...

  • A new Australian coffee shop (flat whites!) opens in Fairfax Village
    A new Australian coffee shop (flat whites!) opens in Fairfax Village

    The Paramount Coffee Project, a shop brought to you by a trio of folks from Australia, is now open in Fairfax Village.

    The Project is a collaboration among Russell Beard, Mark Dundon and Jin Ng. These names may be familiar if you follow the Australian specialty coffee scene: Beard is the owner...

  • Baked, gluten-free chicken wings and carrot fries at Love Baked Wings on Melrose
    Baked, gluten-free chicken wings and carrot fries at Love Baked Wings on Melrose

    That new, well-lighted storefront at the corner of Melrose and Fuller avenues isn't a tattoo shop, despite its glowing sign of an arrow through a heart. It's a restaurant called Love Baked Wings, run by attractive men with Australian accents. And on the menu: lot's and lot's of baked chicken wings. 

    ...

  • The new Kamsah on Melrose brings shoppers handmade artisan goods from around the globe
    The new Kamsah on Melrose brings shoppers handmade artisan goods from around the globe

    Dhia and Firas Rabiai opened Kamsah, a new decor store devoted to handmade artisan goods from around the globe, to let shoppers experience travel without leaving the comforts of home.

    The goods were selected by Firas, who traveled through small villages in his native Tunisia in search of distinctive...

  • Dim sum, banh mi and ramen at Pingtung eat-in market on Melrose Avenue
    Dim sum, banh mi and ramen at Pingtung eat-in market on Melrose Avenue

    Name: Pingtung eat-in market, named after the city in Taiwan where chef and owner Li Ping is from. She also grew up in Tokyo — that city just didn't make it into the restaurant's name. 

    Concept: It's a restaurant and market by Ping, known for her New York restaurants Kelley & Ping, Khin Khao, Obeca...

  • Village at Westfield Topanga to open this weekend in Woodland Hills
    Village at Westfield Topanga to open this weekend in Woodland Hills

    The Westfield Group's new open-air mall, the Village at Westfield Topanga, is set to open in Woodland Hills this weekend with scores of activities.

    The list includes yoga, bocce ball, dancing, story time for kids, cooking demonstrations, makeup applications, entertainment, artists  -- there's even...

  • 5 great fish tacos in L.A., and why you need to drive to La Puente
    5 great fish tacos in L.A., and why you need to drive to La Puente

    If you love fish tacos and have the misfortune to live in Los Angeles rather than San Diego or Baja, you've probably already got a folding chair with your name on it in the parking lot where Ricky Piña parks his fish taco truck in Los Feliz. In which case we've probably seen you there. But there...

  • Want to meet Fergie? Buy some shoes
    Want to meet Fergie? Buy some shoes

    You may know Fergie best as the female vocalist with the Black Eyed Peas, but she also is active in the fashion world, with a line of shoes called Fergie Footwear.

    The Grammy Award-winning singer is expected to introduce the fall 2015 collection and meet fans from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Nordstrom...

  • The 10 best places to drink in L.A., according to Aussies
    The 10 best places to drink in L.A., according to Aussies

    Want to take a guess which Los Angeles establishments are on the radar for Australians visiting our fair city? In the latest issue of the Australian publication Gourmet Traveller Wine, writer Matt Skinner picks his top 10 drink experiences in Los Angeles.

    No surprise that Bar Covell is at the top...

  • Details on Spartina, a new Italian restaurant opening on Melrose Avenue
    Details on Spartina, a new Italian restaurant opening on Melrose Avenue

    Melrose Avenue is about to be home to a new neighborhood Italian restaurant. 

    Stephen Kalt, known as the former executive chef of Corsa Cucina at the Wynn Las Vegas and as the chef at Fornelletto at the Borgata Hotel and Casino, is opening his newest venture, Spartina, in the former Melgard space...

  • How to get free coffee at Erewhon markets, all week
    How to get free coffee at Erewhon markets, all week

    Want a free cup of coffee? Of course you do. What kind of question is that? 

    If you want a free cup from Erewhon market this week, just bring your own sustainable commuter cup.  

    Both locations of the market (Beverly Boulevard and Calabasas) are offering free organic drip coffee to anyone with...

  • Online menswear labels Buck Mason, Indochino open bricks & mortar
    Online menswear labels Buck Mason, Indochino open bricks & mortar

    Two online menswear labels have set up bricks-and-mortar locations in the Greater L.A. area.

    Los Angeles-based Buck Mason is having a party Saturday to celebrate its new store on Abbot Kinney store in Venice.

    The 700-square-foot space was designed by co-founders Erik Schnakenberg and Sasha Koehn. ...

  • Google has a food truck ... well, sort of
    Google has a food truck ... well, sort of

    One of the most talked-about perks of working for Google is the free food. And now the tech giant is offering free food to the rest of us.

    Google has a food truck, with free food.

    To celebrate the launch of Google Photos, the company's online photo storage and sharing app, Google launched a food...

  • A meditation on green -- the color, not the sustainability shorthand
    A meditation on green -- the color, not the sustainability shorthand

    If green is a sacred color, which shade is the holiest?

    Emerald? Turquoise? Lime?

    That’s just one peculiar question prompted by “1997/2013,” an installation of light and video by Viennese artists Richard Hoeck and Heimo Zobernig. Fluorescent tubes overhead and in simple fixtures casually leaning...

  • 4 great L.A. potato tacos
    4 great L.A. potato tacos

    Most of us in L.A. spend an inordinate amount of time eating tacos, very good tacos, at our local taqueria or taco truck — or even at some of the best restaurants in town. There's the al pastor crowd, the carnitas crowd, the fish taco crowd. But there are many great other iterations of our favorite...

  • Dancer Mark Ballas executes some moves with Mid-Wilshire sale and Beverly Crest buy
    Dancer Mark Ballas executes some moves with Mid-Wilshire sale and Beverly Crest buy

    Mark Ballas, a professional dancer and regular on “Dancing With the Stars,” appears to know his way around a real estate transaction as well as the dance floor.

    The choreographer-singer-songwriter parted with his longtime Mid-Wilshire condo in late May for $840,000 and now has picked up a single-family...

  • Perfecto Rocher is out, Ricardo Zarate is in at Smoke.Oil.Salt restaurant
    Perfecto Rocher is out, Ricardo Zarate is in at Smoke.Oil.Salt restaurant

    Perfecto Rocher is out at Smoke.Oil.Salt restaurant and Ricardo Zarate is in, at least for a little while.

    “Perfecto did a great job getting us to this point, but moving forward we need to be able to move in a more casual direction,” said the Los Angeles restaurant’s operating partner and wine...

  • L.A. kids menus that don't suck: Think burrata flatbread, not pizza
    L.A. kids menus that don't suck: Think burrata flatbread, not pizza

    Your kids deserve more than dry, fried chicken strips and ketchup, a cheeseburger and watery mac 'n' cheese. And in your quest to find a kids menu that doubles as a coloring book, you shouldn't be forced to eat UFO-saucer-sized plates of red sauce spaghetti and bricks of onion rings. 

    You can be...

  • A secret entrance, plenty of shellfish and foosball at Eric Greenspan's Maré
    A secret entrance, plenty of shellfish and foosball at Eric Greenspan's Maré

    Name: Maré

    Concept: Eric Greenspan's new seafood-focused restaurant is located behind the Melrose Umbrella Co., but you enter through Greenspan's Grilled Cheese. There is no roof, there are twinkling lights and a foosball table in the front, where you can sip a cocktail and school your friends. 

    ...

  • Pastry chef update: Nicole Rucker's doughnuts now at Cofax
    Pastry chef update: Nicole Rucker's doughnuts now at Cofax

    For those of you who follow this town's pastry chefs like the breadcrumbs from their excellent loaves — or maybe the cake crumbs or croissant or pie crust flakes — you may know that Nicole Rucker left Gjusta not too long ago, only to resurface with the folks who run Golden State.

    This means not...

  • Ginny Bishton at Richard Telles: Short stories rewritten, on the wall
    Ginny Bishton at Richard Telles: Short stories rewritten, on the wall

    I love the idea behind Ginny Bishton’s latest exhibition, “The News Threw Her,” at the Richard Telles gallery in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the result doesn’t live up to its promise.

    The L.A. artist identified 18 short stories published around the turn of the 20th century that are in the public...

  • Kentucky Derby 2015: Where to sip a mint julep in the L.A. area
    Kentucky Derby 2015: Where to sip a mint julep in the L.A. area

    Where will you be during the two most exciting minutes in sports Saturday? If you won't be at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, make sure you've got a clear view of the starting gate on television, and a mint julep in your hand. Wearing the most outrageous hat you own will also help set the...

  • Jon & Vinny's opens on Fairfax
    Jon & Vinny's opens on Fairfax

    Time for pizza. Jon & Vinny's, the highly anticipated Italian restaurant from Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, is finally opening its doors Monday, more or less across the street from the pair's first restaurant, Animal, on Fairfax Avenue. 

    Jon & Vinny's opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven...

  • Naughty Girl Donut Shop pops up with pin-up inspired doughnuts in L.A.
    Naughty Girl Donut Shop pops up with pin-up inspired doughnuts in L.A.

    Tiana Ramos, co-owner of the Naughty Girl Donut Shop in Virginia, is bringing her doughnuts to Los Angeles on Sunday. She and co-owner Natalie Ramos, who happens to be her mother, will be selling doughnuts out of the Toy Art Gallery from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

    Ramos, who is 17 years old, runs the...

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