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French cuisine and our recipes of the year

Welcome to the first weekend of 2018. It's a good time to reflect on both the year we've had and the year ahead, in terms of what's on your plate, in your kitchen and of course, if you're a sports fan, on the football field. (That would be the Coliseum, where the Rams are playing tonight. Who'd have imagined that one?) All that thoughtfulness is liable to give you an appetite, and of course we're here to help with that.

This week we have a story about our 10 favorite recipes of 2017 — there will be tacos at halftime in this house, although that's hardly news — as well as a pretty fantastic lasagne (yes, with an e) recipe. We have a catalog of waffle recipes, another of easy chicken recipes. (That's a combination plate waiting to happen.) And we have a surfeit of recipes (soups! more canapés!) in our California Cookbook recipe database as well.

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In restaurant news, Jonathan Gold reviews a place near the beach. As it is Newport Beach, we are not talking about a crab shack or a hot dog stand, but a swank French restaurant run by a husband-and-wife team who are veterans of the upscale dining scene in Orange County. Because who knows what the new year will bring, so enjoy your foie gras while you can.

FRENCH CUISINE NEAR THE BEACH

This week Jonathan heads to a Newport Beach shopping center across the PCH from the Pacific to consider Marché Moderne, the French restaurant that made his 101 Best Restaurants list when it was at South Coast Plaza. Chefs Amelia and Florent Marneau recently moved to a new location, where they've re-created some favorite dishes and put new ones on the very pretty tables. There are copper pots loaded with coq au vin, lots of charcuterie and foie gras, rabbit in mustard sauce and Amelia's desserts. It is an O.C. shopping mall where one can, it seems, be very happy.

10 FAVORITE RECIPES

Clockwise from top left: The rainbow cauliflower taco; Singaporean chili crab; Brown Sugar Kitchen’s cornmeal waffles with apple cider syrup; whole grilled branzino; and roasted apple ice cream, center.
Clockwise from top left: The rainbow cauliflower taco; Singaporean chili crab; Brown Sugar Kitchen’s cornmeal waffles with apple cider syrup; whole grilled branzino; and roasted apple ice cream, center. (Los Angeles Times)

At the end of every year, we go through our recipe box to pull out those we loved the most — not an easy task, and one that's not a little subjective. This year's list is one filled with our favorites: a remarkable corn dish from the downtown restaurant Broken Spanish; a towering burger, a mash-up not only of ingredients but also of chefs; a vegan taco; a bowl of blissful ice cream. Not a bad way to remember the gone year — and a terrific way to fuel the new one. (Did we miss your favorite? Let us know.)

LASAGNE NOT LASAGNA

An essential element of Evan Kleiman's béchamel-based lasagne is its versatility.
An essential element of Evan Kleiman's béchamel-based lasagne is its versatility. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Food writer (and longtime Good Food host) Evan Kleiman considers lasagnenot lasagna, the noodle cheese bomb of so many of our childhoods, but a lighter version, built with thin no-cook pasta, béchamel sauce and seasonal vegetables. What difference does a vowel make? Kleiman gives her recipe along with the back story of the dish: "a multi-layered luxurious delivery system for flavor."

CUPCAKES AND FRIED CHICKEN FOR MILLENNIALS

Sprinkles cupcakes will be at Treat Yourself L.A., a new food festival for millennials, in Santa Monica.
Sprinkles cupcakes will be at Treat Yourself L.A., a new food festival for millennials, in Santa Monica. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

In her weekly news column, Deputy Food Editor Jenn Harris gets news of a March food festival targeting millennials called Treat Yourself L.A. Who's coming: Sprinkles cupcakes, Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken and Hot Star (also fried chicken), Pie Hole and more. (Is that what millennials eat — or just all of us?) In more fried chicken news, Dave's Hot Chicken, a hot chicken pop-up, now has a permanent location.

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.

Goldbot: You can now 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.

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

Check us out on Instagram @latimesfood

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Check out the thousands of recipes in our Recipe Database.

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

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