Newsletter: Counter: Vindaloo in Culver City


Quinoa pancake (uttapam) and sambar with red onion and tomato chutney, hempseed chutney, and sesame gunpowder is served at Sambar in Culver City.

(Christina House / For The Times)

Los Angeles is in the middle of yet another heat wave, which makes it a great time to head to places with excellent air conditioning — movie theatres, Trader Joe's, and restaurants and bars. One suggestion: Akasha Richmond's newish Indian restaurant in Culver City, which is the subject of Jonathan Gold's latest review. Outdoor patio! Spicy food!

Los Feliz is also a great place to sit out triple digit-temperatures, and S. Irene Virbila considers 10 restaurants and bars, gelato shops and pizzerias. There are also taquerias, if you like potato tacos (and who doesn't), a new restaurant in South Pasadena — and news of two new ice cream shops. Speaking of which, a triple cone sounds pretty good right now.

Please join Jonathan on Tuesday, August 25, for the next L.A. Times Publisher’s Book Club and a discussion with Roy Choi about his book “L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food,” a chronicle of his life as a boundary-breaking chef navigating the eclectic cultures and cuisines of our wonderfully diverse city. It will be held at UCLA’s Royce Hall. For more information, please click here!

And be on the lookout for Wednesday's In the Kitchen newsletter, with cooking tips and news, including new recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen.

Amy Scattergood

Akasha's take on Indian cuisine

This week Jonathan considers Sambar in Culver City from Akasha Richmond. Sambar went in to the space that was previously Ford's Filling Station, conveniently only a couple of doors down from her flagship restaurant, Akasha. What's here? Richmond's reworking of Indian dishes — gunpowder potatoes, King salmon curry, turmeric naan, pork shoulder vindaloo. ... We could go on, but maybe just read the review.

10 reasons to head to Los Feliz

S. Irene Virbila checks out 10 places for food lovers in Los Feliz. There's Fred Eric's 24-hour diner, a few ice cream and gelato shops, a great Tex-Mex taqueria (Frito pie in a bag). Also Lou Amdur's wine shop, a bookstore, a pizzeria and the butcher shop and bakery that is McCall's — reason enough to head to Hillhurst.

(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Tacos papas

Most of us normally get our taco fix at night, crowded around our favorite taco truck or at one of the many great taquerias in this town, but tacos are outstanding for breakfast. Potato tacos, in particular, which are fantastic conduits for hot sauce. I check out four places to hit up for excellent potato tacos, although you might want to order a few others as well, especially if you're driving out to El Monte for Ricardo Diaz's Colonia Taco Lounge.  

(Amy Scattergood / Los Angeles Times)

More shrimp and grits

Jenn Harris checks out Communal in South Pasadena, a new restaurant from the couple who own nearby Mike & Anne's. This is in the location that was previously Firefly, and so there's that fantastic patio on which to eat your shrimp and grits. Also a good place to drop in on Thursday evenings, when South Pasadena has its great farmers market. 

(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Salt & Straw update

Jenn reports on Salt & Straw, the ice cream company based in Portland, Ore., that expanded to L.A. last summer. It's opening two new locations: one on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice and the other in the downtown arts district. What that means is more Stumptown Coffee and Compartes Love Nuts for us all. 

(Salt & Straw)

What we're reading

The folks at Saveur explore a half-dozen places to get a great cocktail — in Shanghai. House-made quinine syrup and lots of marvelous ways to use Sichuan peppercorns. 

Over at the New York Times, David Tanis (longtime chef at Chez Panisse and a marvelous writer) explores how to cook duck in the summertime. 

And because it's hot and L.A. is, after all, a beach town, we're reading Lucky Peach's defense of touristy ice cream shops.

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