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Squad goal: Try all 6 of these hot pot styles at restaurants in L.A. and O.C.

When you're going out for hot pot, don't just invite any group of friends: First make sure your companions are reasonable, considerate, even empathetic diners, the sort of people who are good at trust games. Because when you reach your chopsticks into that boiling, shared kettle of broth, there...

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    • Alma's Ari Taymor drops in to make roasted carrots with chanterelles

      Alma's Ari Taymor drops in to make roasted carrots with chanterelles

      That chef Ari Taymor arrived by himself, carrying a small hotel pan stacked with plastic deli cups and kitchen towels, all haphazardly labeled with blue painter's tape, was somehow fitting. Taymor's restaurant, after all, began life as a traveling pop-up before establishing itself as a national...

    • Mapo Galbi has a one-dish wonder

      Mapo Galbi has a one-dish wonder

      In a recent issue of Lucky Peach, chef David Chang said that Mapo Galbi in Koreatown was his favorite restaurant to eat at in the world. Chang sometimes has lapses in taste, but in general he is someone you want to pay attention to when the subject turns to food: You could spend a blissful weekend...

    • Madcapra wraps a bit more of Brooklyn into flatbread with falafel

      Madcapra wraps a bit more of Brooklyn into flatbread with falafel

      Madcapra, my friend Gillian insists, is not a falafel stand. And in several respects I may even agree. Its chefs, Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson, come to Madcapra from Glasserie, a well-regarded restaurant in a gloriously inconvenient corner of Brooklyn. When you find yourself at its marble counter...

    • 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....

    • B.S. Taqueria has a few twists even for this taco-centric city
      B.S. Taqueria has a few twists even for this taco-centric city

      Have you heard about the taco with lardo and clams? In some circles it seems as if all anybody talks about is the taco with lardo and clams, which is the improbable specialty of B.S. Taqueria, a cocktail-oriented restaurant implanted into the carapace of the former Mo-Chica in downtown L.A. Because...

    • Three of Jonathan Gold's favorite soup dumplings in the L.A. area
      Three of Jonathan Gold's favorite soup dumplings in the L.A. area

      What? There are soup dumplings outside the Republic of Georgia? I could scarcely believe it myself.

      Xiao long bao

      Wang Xing Ji is the first American branch of the most popular dumpling house in Wuxi, a lakeside city about 45 minutes outside of Shanghai. The dishes are famous for their sweetness...

    • Pitchoun! French bakery now open, with kouign-amann and tarte tropézienne
      Pitchoun! French bakery now open, with kouign-amann and tarte tropézienne

      Pitchoun! a new French bakery and cafe promising pan bagnat, kouign-amann and tarte tropézienne, is now open in downtown L.A. 

      French husband-and-wife team Frédéric Soulies, a graduate of the L’Ecole de Boulangerie Patisserie de Paris, and Fabienne Soulies are using family recipes and lots of butter...

    • Osteria Mozza ready to reopen after crash
      Osteria Mozza ready to reopen after crash

      Did you miss your Mozza? Relax, the much-loved osteria is set to reopen Tuesday night, a little more than week after a portion of the restaurant was damaged when a pickup truck plowed through the front door.

      Will Simons, general manager of Osteria Mozza and neighboring Chi Spacca, which was not...

    • Chef Brendan Collins of Birch in Hollywood picks hard work over play
      Chef Brendan Collins of Birch in Hollywood picks hard work over play

      Brendan Collins, chef-owner of the recently opened Birch in Hollywood, credits Margaret Thatcher for his restaurant career. Well, sort of. When Thatcher closed British mines in the '80s, Collins' father, once a mine worker, became a relief pub landlord. He and his family traveled around Nottinghamshire...

    • At Empress Pavilion in Chinatown, it's not 1991, but not bad either
      At Empress Pavilion in Chinatown, it's not 1991, but not bad either

      Empress Pavilion is the biggest restaurant in Chinatown, a glittery, hangar-size seafood palace built at the height of the late 1980s boom. In its early years, you would typically wait an hour or more for a table on dim sum Sunday mornings, and in the evenings, the vast hall would be subdivided...

    • Chef Chris Cormier finds life-changing work at L.A. Mission
      Chef Chris Cormier finds life-changing work at L.A. Mission

      Chef Chris Cormier has overseen countless meals served during his 16 years with the Los Angeles Mission, located in the heart of downtown. Perhaps best known for its annual Thanksgiving event, a star-studded affair with well-known chefs and a flood of volunteers, the food service at the mission...

    • Redbird sets a divine scene at St. Vibiana's in downtown L.A.
      Redbird sets a divine scene at St. Vibiana's in downtown L.A.

      Redbird may be the most anticipated Los Angeles restaurant of the current decade, a venture involving the city's highest-profile food entrepreneur at the moment, an actual deconsecrated cathedral and a chef for whom greatness has lain just out of reach for more than a decade. No local restaurant...

    • Beer festival season starts this weekend
      Beer festival season starts this weekend

      Beer festival season is getting going in a big way this weekend with events, parties and special releases happening across Los Angeles. From favorite local beer bars celebrating anniversaries to your chance to sit atop the Iron Throne of Westeros while sipping "Game of Thrones"-inspired beer, there’s...

    • At Hangari Bajirak Kalgooksoo in Koreatown, great bowls of handmade noodles
      At Hangari Bajirak Kalgooksoo in Koreatown, great bowls of handmade noodles

      Name of restaurant: Hangari Bajirak Kalgooksoo.

      Concept: Hangari is a small noodle shop in a strip mall in Koreatown on the corner of 6th Street and Alexandria. (For further reference, Hangari is across the street from the Hotel Normandie, maybe a hundred yards away from The Boiling Crab, and a...

    • Retro Norms restaurant could become an L.A. monument
      Retro Norms restaurant could become an L.A. monument

      A retro restaurant on the Westside beloved for its outlandish, exaggerated architectural style could soon become a historic monument in Los Angeles.

      Architecture buffs rallied to save the Norms restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard this year after learning that a new owner had obtained a permit to...

    • Winerave heads to Chinatown with #chinatownmixtape1
      Winerave heads to Chinatown with #chinatownmixtape1

      Maxwell Leer and Adam Vourvoulis are at it again. The two former sommeliers (Bestia and Trois Mec, respectively), together known as winerave, are planning what Leer calls a “standout TGIF” at Ling’s Wine & Beer Market in Chinatown on Friday from 7 to 9 p.m.

      Never heard of Ling’s Wine & Beer Market...

    • Auntie Em's Kitchenette to open in DTLA: More red velvet cake for you
      Auntie Em's Kitchenette to open in DTLA: More red velvet cake for you

      If you are among the many people whose idea of fun is a plate of orange French toast or a breakfast torta — probably followed by a red velvet cupcake or even a whole cake — at Auntie Em's Kitchen, we have excellent news for you. Terri Wahl is expanding beyond Eagle Rock, opening a second restaurant...

    • At Shabu Hyang, a mashup of hot pots, shabu shabu, spring rolls and kimchi
      At Shabu Hyang, a mashup of hot pots, shabu shabu, spring rolls and kimchi

      Name of restaurant: Shabu Hyang. Shabu shabu is a Japanese onomatopoetic word for "swish swish," the sound the food makes in the hot pot; hyang in Korean means the "aroma of."

      Ownership: A Korean franchise imported from Seoul into a large space at Wilshire and Western.

      Concept: A shabu shabu restaurant...

    • Chef Neal Fraser opens the roof on Vibiana with Redbird
      Chef Neal Fraser opens the roof on Vibiana with Redbird

      Neal Fraser, who has been a successful chef in Los Angeles for more than 20 years, grew up eating chicken pot pie and Stouffer's spinach souffle. And he didn't always want to be a chef. Fraser took up cooking as a trade he could fall back on if times got tough but ended up working with Wolfgang...

    • Guelaguetza's Bricia Lopez on the 'overwhelming happiness' of a James Beard award
      Guelaguetza's Bricia Lopez on the 'overwhelming happiness' of a James Beard award

      It’s hard for Bricia Lopez to keep from choking up when she talks about Guelaguetza, her family’s landmark Oaxacan restaurant in Koreatown, being selected as one of the James Beard Foundation’s America's Classics this year.

      “I knew about this early on, but I couldn’t say anything, but I’m finally...

    • Hot sauce taste test: A walk-off for Sriracha?
      Hot sauce taste test: A walk-off for Sriracha?

      Like many of you, we in the Food section read David Pierson’s report on the San Gabriel Valley’s beloved Sriracha sauce with pleasure a couple of weeks ago. When you write for newspapers, you become used to gently worded letters from lawyers for Xerox and Styrofoam asking that you stop using the...

    • Foie gras cooking class, Cecile Delarue at L'Assiette with more foie
      Foie gras cooking class, Cecile Delarue at L'Assiette with more foie

      Salted, a new online cooking school, is hosting an educational pop-up dinner and cooking class Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. This month's featured chefs include Eric Greenspan (The Foundry, Greenspan's Grilled Cheese) and Rose Lawrence (Red Bread). The classes and pop-up dinners will pay tribute...

    • Review: At Terrine, Kris Morningstar becomes a chef's chef
      Review: At Terrine, Kris Morningstar becomes a chef's chef

      If you are fond of visiting Los Angeles restaurants in their first months, you have run into chef Kris Morningstar a lot, probably more times than you can imagine. He has cooked at Shutters and AOC, Grace, Meson G and Opaline, Casa and the weird rooftop-to-table restaurant Blue Velvet. He was in...

    • Whole Foods to anchor posh apartment complex in downtown L.A.
      Whole Foods to anchor posh apartment complex in downtown L.A.

      A ritzy 700-unit apartment complex, anchored by a prominent supermarket on the ground floor, is rising in resurging downtown Los Angeles.

      The project, called Eighth & Grand, is one of several residential and retail developments that are transforming blocks of historical structures and parking lots...

    • E.P. & L.P.'s Louis Tikaram digs up favorite Fijian flavors
      E.P. & L.P.'s Louis Tikaram digs up favorite Fijian flavors

      Ask many people about their favorite meal, and they might name a Michelin-starred restaurant. For 29-year-old Australian chef Louis Tikaram, it involves a pit in the ground and plenty of dirt. Tikaram, who will head the kitchen at E.P. & L.P. (for "extended play and long play"), a restaurant and...

    • Restaurant review: Pok Pok Phat Thai in Chinatown, a learning process
      Restaurant review: Pok Pok Phat Thai in Chinatown, a learning process

      Pok Pok Phat Thai is the first Los Angeles outpost of Andy Ricker, the American-born chef who has built a small Thai food empire in Portland, Ore., and New York. It is a small counter built into the Chinatown mall storefront where the chicken pho dive Hoan Kiem used to be, right down from Chego,...

    • Union's Bruce Kalman is latest addition to Grand Central Market
      Union's Bruce Kalman is latest addition to Grand Central Market

      Union restaurant’s Bruce Kalman is the latest big-name chef to join the party at downtown’s Grand Central Market. He’ll be opening a pasta bar and market there sometime this summer.

      Kalman will be joined by his partner in the Pasadena restaurant, Marie Petulla, in the as-yet-unnamed spot. They’ll...

    • Event: New world of kosher wines, plus food from 7 kosher restaurants
      Event: New world of kosher wines, plus food from 7 kosher restaurants

      In terms of kosher wine, we’ve come a long way from Manischewitz Concord grape wine. Covenant, a Cabernet Sauvignon from Jeff Morgan, can stand head to head with some of the best Cabernets of Napa Valley. Good, drinkable — and often delicious — kosher wines come from wine regions all over the world.

      ...

    • Wesson turns against Koreatown karaoke bar he once favored
      Wesson turns against Koreatown karaoke bar he once favored

      The Koreatown karaoke bar known as La Defence is facing a heap of trouble.

      A city zoning administrator has concluded the Wilshire Boulevard nightspot is such a drain on police resources, and frequent violator of city permitting rules, that it should no longer be allowed to sell alcohol. In a decision...

    • Tione's on Main, an Italian restaurant and deli, opening in downtown L.A.
      Tione's on Main, an Italian restaurant and deli, opening in downtown L.A.

      Inspired by East Coast delis and red sauce Italian restaurants, Tione’s on Main, part of the Medallion development in the Old Bank District of downtown L.A., will open its doors on Monday for lunch service.

      Tione’s is a tribute from Executive Chef Christian Page to the food he ate growing up in...

    • Cheap drink alert: One-cent cocktails at the Church Key all week long
      Cheap drink alert: One-cent cocktails at the Church Key all week long

      The Church Key is celebrating its appearance on the premiere episode of Bravo network's "Best New Restaurant," which airs Wednesday night, with one-cent cocktails all this week.

      You can visit the restaurant during service any time through Sunday to get a BNR (yes, it's named after the show) cocktail...

    • Five questions for chef Kris Morningstar of Terrine
      Five questions for chef Kris Morningstar of Terrine

      Kris Morningstar, chef at the new Terrine on Beverly Boulevard, first fell in love with food in his family’s kitchen. But before graduating from the Cordon Bleu-affiliated California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, Morningstar studied marketing at the University of Maryland. He has worked...

    • Brendan Collins to open Birch in Hollywood
      Brendan Collins to open Birch in Hollywood

      If you've been spending your nights eating chicken liver toast and downing pints at Waterloo & City, mourning its closing, cheer up. Although that Culver City restaurant will have its last service on Friday, chef Brendan Collins will be opening his new restaurant soon enough.

      Quite soon, really....

    • Verve Coffee Roasters opens today in downtown L.A.
      Verve Coffee Roasters opens today in downtown L.A.

      Santa Cruz-based Verve Coffee Roasters’ first Los Angeles cafe is set to open Friday in downtown's Fashion District, not too far from Alma and the Ace Hotel.

      The roaster partnered with cold-pressed-juice company Juice Served Here to open the cafe, meaning it's a one-stop shop if you happen to be...

    • Ray Garcia opening BS Taqueria in old Mo-Chica space
      Ray Garcia opening BS Taqueria in old Mo-Chica space

      Ray Garcia is on a roll. Not only is he opening Broken Spanish in the old Rivera space near Staples Center downtown, he’s also working on a spin-off taco stand to be called BS Taqueria, which will take the old Mo-Chica space on 7th Street and open as early as February.

      “This project is something...

    • Free Salt & Straw ice cream at Compartes in Brentwood for Valentine's Day
      Free Salt & Straw ice cream at Compartes in Brentwood for Valentine's Day

      As if a Hallmark holiday devoted to love wasn't enough cause for celebration, Salt & Straw is handing out free ice cream.

      The Salt & Straw ice cream truck will be giving away free mini scoops at Compartes Chocolatier in Brentwood on Valentine's Day. The scoop shop collaborated with Jonathan Grahm...

    • 5 questions for chef Luke Reyes of Butchers & Barbers
      5 questions for chef Luke Reyes of Butchers & Barbers

      Luke Reyes is the executive chef at Butchers & Barbers in Hollywood. The Massachusetts native’s first job in the kitchen was under Ming Tsai at Blue Ginger in Wellesley, Mass. After a job offer from Ilan Hall of the Gorbals, Reyes moved to Los Angeles to work as his chef de cuisine at that now-closed...

    • Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best
      Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best

      The latest wave of sandwich shops (Hero Shop, Superba Food + Bread, Trencher) and modern Vietnamese cafes (East Borough, Phorage) in Los Angeles have generated tantalizing new spins on banh mi, the beloved Vietnamese sandwich that is the culinary result of French colonialism in Southeast Asia.

      ...

    • Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu
      Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu

      Monosodium glutamate: Love it or hate it? Some people are convinced it’s toxic, though there isn't much science behind that claim. Others compare it with table salt.

      Regardless of which camp you fall into, it’s no secret that MSG is used heavily in restaurants – especially in traditional Chinese...

    • The A to Z of Los Angeles pizza
      The A to Z of Los Angeles pizza

      In celebration of National Pizza Day, here's a run-down of Los Angeles pizza, including go-to delivery spots, Chicago-style, New York-style, Neapolitan-style and New York-Naples hybrids. Here's where to get your gooey, cheesy, melty, crispy- and/or chewy-crusted pizza fix.

      800 Degrees Neapolitan...

    • Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants in L.A.
      Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants in L.A.

    • 9 great breakfast sandwiches plus one killer burrito to try now
      9 great breakfast sandwiches plus one killer burrito to try now

      A perfectly balanced breakfast sandwich the size of your head goes a long way toward improving the prospects of almost any day. (And there’s nothing like it for curing a hangover.) It has to have melted cheese, protein (preferably crisp bacon), eggs (of course) and bread (from tortilla to loaf,...

    • 28 great L.A. bakeries
      28 great L.A. bakeries

      Maybe it was the rise of kouign amann -- the uber-buttery, caramelized "it" pastry from Brittany -- and better access to fresh-baked baguettes that lately has helped reinvigorate an Angeleno culture of neighborhood bakeries, all butter and sugar and love.

      There's a bakery out there to suit any...

    • The great L.A. coffee scene: Your dream caffeine fix may be just around the corner
      The great L.A. coffee scene: Your dream caffeine fix may be just around the corner

      You're a coffee fiend keeping track of every new specialty coffee shop that opens in L.A.? With one new cafe opening after another, it's not so easy anymore. But it is a lot easier to come across a great brewed coffee or perfect pull of espresso, whether in south Santa Monica or North Hollywood,...

    • 5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)
      5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

      It's easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I've eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK's Donuts in Santa Monica.

      I've had the original Cronut, the "half-croissant, half doughnut"...

    • Falafel! 6 great places to get your fried-garbanzo fix
      Falafel! 6 great places to get your fried-garbanzo fix

      There's an art to making falafel so that the ground garbanzo beans are perfectly light and fluffy, the exterior crisp but not greasy, the mix of textures and spices habit-forming.

      Falafel's exact origins are unknown, but it's believed to have started in Egypt, then made its way through the Middle...

    • MSG-free bowl
      No MSG, no worries

    • Cold-pressed juice, hot in L.A.
      Cold-pressed juice, hot in L.A.

      Shortly after Chipper Pastron opened the first Juice Farm in Pasadena in January, a developer asked if he'd be interested in setting up another in the same neighborhood. No way, Pastron said, thinking there wouldn't be enough demand.

      Six months in and he and his partners are negotiating a space...

    • L.A. restaurants: Top 13 spots on hotter-than-ever Sawtelle Boulevard
      L.A. restaurants: Top 13 spots on hotter-than-ever Sawtelle Boulevard

      The stretch of Sawtelle Boulevard often referred to as Little Osaka recently has expanded so quickly that it's bursting beyond its traditional boundaries. With so many new restaurant openings, they're popping up north of Santa Monica Boulevard and south of Olympic. 

      Shin Sen Gumi officially opened...

    • Chicken karaage list: 6 great places to get your fried fix
      Chicken karaage list: 6 great places to get your fried fix

      Chicken karaage, the Japanese version of fried chicken, is addictive. Unlike its American cousin, karaage are boneless, cut small and mostly dark meat. It's easy to pop five into your mouth in quick succession. The coating, made of potato starch, is light, almost paper thin and delicate. And the...

    • Best banh mi sandwiches
      Best banh mi sandwiches

    • Where to find the best bibimbap
      Where to find the best bibimbap

      Several locations specialize in the many varieties of the favorite Korean mixed-rice dish.

    • Easy dinner ideas from the Los Angeles Times California Cookbook
      Easy dinner ideas from the Los Angeles Times California Cookbook

      99 EASY DINNER RECIPES to help you when you need something fast.

    • The $10,000 martini
      The $10,000 martini

      The $10,000 martini from Vaucluse is literally on the rock - a one-carat, rough cut diamond added to the drink.

    • The hunt's on: Three restaurants deep into game this season
      The hunt's on: Three restaurants deep into game this season

      Critic's Choice: Josie Restaurant, Patina at Disney Hall and Saddle Peak Lodge are there to indulge your hankering for wild boar, elk, quail and other manner of game.

    • 25 Cinco de Mayo recipes: Guacamole, tostadas, chiles rellenos and more
      25 Cinco de Mayo recipes: Guacamole, tostadas, chiles rellenos and more

      Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with recipes for margaritas and tacos and other great fare. Avocado tips: Best way to get unbruised avocado

    • Three L.A. restaurants that are good brunch bets
      Three L.A. restaurants that are good brunch bets

      Critic's Choice: Bucato, Girasol and Farmshop are three L.A. restaurants that know how to do brunch right, which can be a lifesaver when you have houseguests.

    • Places to eat for $5 or less in Southern California
      Places to eat for $5 or less in Southern California

      Dining out for $5 or less may seem like a fantasy, but Southern California has much to offer for those on a tight budget. For affordable Vietnamese fare, venture to Garden Grove. Or look to food trucks for inexpensive eats. Even some pricier restaurants offer cheap eats during happy hours.

    • Pancakes, on a grand or silver-dollar scale, in L.A.
      Pancakes, on a grand or silver-dollar scale, in L.A.

      Critic's Choice: Pancakes are an American comfort food favorite. Three L.A. eateries offer terrific examples: Cooks County, Valerie and Axe.

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