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Counter: Post-Thanksgiving dining, post-election edibles

Counter: Post-Thanksgiving dining, post-election edibles
The octopus at the restaurant Here's Looking at You. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

If you're reading this, you've survived this year's Thanksgiving dinner, not a few football games, and the first big holiday after the election. Congratulations! Time to pour yourself another shot of espresso, or whiskey, maybe do a little holiday shopping, and think about where to eat dinner. The lull between one holiday and the next is an excellent time to explore your local restaurant scene and let someone else do the cooking for you.

So this week, you could do worse than head to Koreatown, where Jonathan Gold checks out a place that specializes neither in barbecue nor spicy stew, but in modern fusion. It's also a good time to consider the world of edibles, the pairing of food and cannabis, given the election results in California. So we have stories about a chef who gave up a fine dining restaurant career for a higher calling, as it were. And we check in with a chocolatier who pairs not only toffee with her chocolate, but marijuana. If you prefer a more conventional high, we also have plenty of cocktail news. So enjoy the weekend of leftovers and college football, and get some much-deserved rest.

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More fun in Koreatown

This week, Jonathan considers Here's Looking at You, a newish restaurant in Koreatown that neither showcases Korean cooking nor has anything to do with "Casablanca." Instead the food is a fusion of Mediterranean, Asian and Mexican cuisine from a chef who used to cook at Animal; and the name refers to the tiki that heavily influences the cocktail program. Thus you'll be ordering some pretty drinks with your beef tartare.

The bar at the restaurant Here's Looking at You.
The bar at the restaurant Here's Looking at You. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Plant-to-table cooking

Chef Holden Jagger used to work in kitchens headed by Tom Colicchio and Curtis Stone; now he cooks elaborate, technically masterful dinners pairing food and wine with marijuana. Food writer Gillian Ferguson traces his journey from white tablecloth restaurants to his own version of farm-to-table cooking, using strains of marijuana the way other chefs use seasonal produce.

Chef Holden Jagger pairs marijuana with wine and food.
Chef Holden Jagger pairs marijuana with wine and food. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Chocolate and pot pairings

Food writer Erica Zora Wrightson talks to chocolatier Vanessa Lavorato, whose line of confections combines chocolate, toffee and caramel with cannabis. Lavorato, whose background includes not only a stint at See's Candies but the Rome Sustainable Food Project, creates boxes of chocolates that look like high-end jewelry, albeit ones that will get you high.

Vanessa Lavorato makes chocolates in her kitchen at home.
Vanessa Lavorato makes chocolates in her kitchen at home. (Christina House / For The Times)

Kung pao and cocktails

In her weekly restaurant news column, Deputy Food editor Jenn Harris checks out Little Fatty (yes, catchy title), a new restaurant in Mar Vista specializing in Taiwanese soul food. Just as happily, there's a new cocktail bar next door — punch bowls! Also newly opened: a fancy place in Koreatown from the folks who brought you Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong. And on the horizon: another Blue Star Donuts, this time in Manhattan Beach.

A selection of dishes from Little Fatty, a Taiwanese soul food restaurant with cocktails at a sister bar next door in Mar Vista.
A selection of dishes from Little Fatty, a Taiwanese soul food restaurant with cocktails at a sister bar next door in Mar Vista. (Little Fatty)

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.

Our cookie bake-off returns: It's time to vote for your favorite cookie recipe in our sixth Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off. Voting closes on Nov. 28.

"City of Gold," Laura Gabbert's documentary of Jonathan Gold's Los Angeles, is available on Amazon.

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

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