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Essential California: Water rights at risk
Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times
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Surfas cook's shop in Culver City is not closing -- but it is relocating

For both professional and home cooks in this town, Surfas in Culver City has long been our culinary mecca, a place to buy Valrhona chocolate in bulk, enormous stock pots, digital thermometers, spices and flours and duck fat. It's a place where you can find obscure kitchen gear — and often run into...

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  • Jamaica Crist of Jamaica's Cakes likes a good Girl Scout cookie too

    Jamaica Crist of Jamaica's Cakes likes a good Girl Scout cookie too

    Jamaica Crist, owner of Jamaica's Cakes in West Los Angeles, isn't from Jamaica, and she doesn't make Jamaican-style desserts either — despite the countless customers who walk in expecting banana fritters or cornmeal pudding. Crist actually grew up on a farm in Oregon and started her baking career...

  • Cadet, Kris Tominaga's new Santa Monica restaurant, not yet a major

    Cadet, Kris Tominaga's new Santa Monica restaurant, not yet a major

    If you were a restaurant guy tasked with opening a chill but on-trend restaurant in the city of Santa Monica at the moment, you might come up with something that looks a lot like Cadet. The exposed brick goes without saying, and the big grill for wood-roasting and the low-key music that could probably...

  • Why aren't Italians fat? It's a question of pasta portion size

    Why aren't Italians fat? It's a question of pasta portion size

    That’s a question Elizabeth Minchilli, an American who has lived in Rome for years, is constantly asked. Full disclosure: The food writer happens to be on the slender side herself.

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