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Breakfast tailgates, sport stadium gardens and lots and lots of mole

The kids are back in school, the weather is finally starting to cool down (well, a little), and the streets winding down into the Rose Bowl and those surrounding the L.A. Coliseum are jammed every weekend. This can only mean one thing: It's officially tailgating season.

While restaurant critic Jonathan Gold is busy writing his 101 Best Restaurants list, Test Kitchen director Noelle Carter put together the ultimate guide to breakfast tailgating. Because when the game pre-party starts at 9 a.m., no one is in the mood for a burger. We also check in with the Galaxy soccer team, whose chef is growing food for the players in a new garden at the StubHub Center in Carson. And I get the details on the largest Mexican food festival in the country. Game on.

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MASTERING THE BREAKFAST TAILGATE

Bacon bloody Mary.
Bacon bloody Mary. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

For those who love to tailgate, the food can be as important as the actual game. This week, Noelle dives into the world of breakfast tailgating, with recipes and tips for those who may not be ready to tackle a cheeseburger or a hot dog first thing in the morning. Her go-to game day breakfast items? Breakfast chili packed with everything you could want from a hearty breakfast; French toast muffin bites; and bacon bloody Marys. As Noelle writes, "breakfast or brunch tailgates should really become a thing."

GOALS AND GARDENS

L.A. Galaxy goalkeeper Jon Kempin in the garden at the StubHub Center.
L.A. Galaxy goalkeeper Jon Kempin in the garden at the StubHub Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Food writer Natalie B. Compton checks in with the L.A. Galaxy, Los Angeles' Major League Soccer team, to see what team chef Morgan Bunnell is cooking — and growing. The stadium concourse, where the Galaxy and the Los Angeles Chargers play their home games, is also home to a new garden, where Bunnell grows most of the food for the soccer players. That means peppers, strawberries, Swiss chard, tomatoes, beets, spinach, artichokes, corn, carrots and even hops.

MOLE, MOLE

The 10th annual La Feria de Los Moles will take place Oct. 1 at Grand Park in downtown L.A.
The 10th annual La Feria de Los Moles will take place Oct. 1 at Grand Park in downtown L.A. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

If you're familiar with mole, the traditional Mexican dish that can include upward of 30 ingredients, you'll appreciate the work of those who make it. And in this week's restaurant news column, I've got all the details on the Mole fair, also known as La Feria de Los Moles, happening Oct. 1 at Grand Park in downtown L.A. It's the largest Mexican food festival in the country, and also where you can taste 13 different kinds of mole.

COOLING DOWN WITH CAFFEINE

Coffee granita, or granita di caffe, topped with whipped cream.
Coffee granita, or granita di caffe, topped with whipped cream. (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)

KCRW-FM "Good Food" host Evan Kleiman has an answer to the SoCal heatwaves. She writes: "There is no better way to jettison yourself out of overheated doldrums than an icy glass of granita di caffe con panna, a parfait of sweetened granular espresso ice layered with dollops of barely sweetened whipped cream." It's a dish she discovered while traveling around Italy in the '70s. Kleiman shares her story of the first time she tried it, and a recipe for how to make the stuff at home.

PEELING BACK THE LAYERS

Tomatillos grown by Jimenez Family Farm in Santa Ynez.
Tomatillos grown by Jimenez Family Farm in Santa Ynez. (David Karp / For The Times)

Noelle gives her weekly farmers market report, considering tomatillos. A cousin of the tomato and the Cape gooseberry, tomatillos can be found much of the year, but their main season generally ranges from early summer through fall. Noelle has some great ideas, and recipes for how to use them, including a baked tomatillo chicken.

Goldbot: You can talk to Jonathan Gold any time you want — or at least the robot version of him that 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.

The Daily Meal, the food and drink website under the editorial direction of Colman Andrews, is now one of our partners. Check out their city food guides, restaurant lists, food stories, recipes and videos.

Jonathan Gold's 101 Best Restaurants, the authoritative annual guide to local dining, is online for subscribers and now features his 2016 Best Restaurants. If you didn't get a copy of the booklet, you can order one online here.

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