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Mexican cuisine and mash-up foods

Mexican cuisine and mash-up foods
Chef Danny Godinez's lamb barbacoa served with fresh tortillas at his new Pasadena restaurant Maestro (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

It's almost spring somehow, which means that it's time to set your clocks ahead: Daylight saving time is Sunday. So maybe go to bed early tonight, but not before you get a good dinner. You could make it yourself, of course — make some mac and cheese with your kid, regardless of how old she is; or pick up some sustainable, wild-caught fish from Michael Cimarusti's Cape Seafood and Provisions. Or you could get some excellent lamb barbacoa at Maestro in Old Pasadena.

Because chef Danny Godinez's new Mexican restaurant is the subject of Jonathan Gold's latest review, and though the barbacoa may be more refined than you're used to, it is excellent — and you can order mezcal with it. If you like your dinner more in the style of country fair food, we have a comforting (or discomforting, depending on what you think of clam chowder on your fries) list of mash-up dishes. In other news, Alton Brown is coming to town, Burritos La Palma has opened a new shop, and chef Josef Centeno has expanded beyond DTLA to Culver City.

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New Mexican cooking in Old Town Pasadena

This week, Jonathan heads to Maestro, the Mexican restaurant in Pasadena recently opened by chef Danny Godinez. Godinez has three restaurants in Orange County, and his latest continues his project of applying fine dining technique to regional Mexican cooking. So there's a dish of day boat scallops with rice, huitlacoche and epazote foam — and a lamb barbacoa with a broth like perfectly executed demi-glace. All that, and mezcal too.

Chef Danny Godinez holds his grilled octopus dish at Maestro in Pasadena.
Chef Danny Godinez holds his grilled octopus dish at Maestro in Pasadena. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Clam chowder fries? You heard right

If you follow food trends or spend way too much time on Instagram, you likely know all about mash-up foods, things like the Cronut and the ramen burger. This week deputy Food editor Jenn Harris gives a guide to eight other hybrid foods you can find right now in L.A., food combos that are admittedly odd, but also taste really good (because, unsurprisingly, not all of these combos work out right). What's good? Pizza dumplings. Puffles.

Chowder fries (French fries topped with clam chowder and bacon) from Slapfish in Huntington Beach.
Chowder fries (French fries topped with clam chowder and bacon) from Slapfish in Huntington Beach. (Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Alton Brown is coming to town

Food writer Margy Rochlin interviews the cookbook author, TV personality and veteran of "Good Eats," "Cutthroat Kitchen" and "Iron Chef America." Because not only has Alton Brown written another cookbook, but he's doing a two-night show at the Pantages soon. Imagine an old school variety show, but with cooking demos and songs about food.

Alton Brown will come to Los Angeles for a show called "Eat Your Science" at the Pantages Theatre on March 17 and 18.
Alton Brown will come to Los Angeles for a show called "Eat Your Science" at the Pantages Theatre on March 17 and 18. (MagicSpace Entertainment)

More fun with burritos, etc.

If you love birria-filled burritos, and who does not, you're in luck: Burritos La Palma, the El Monte shop that makes one of Jonathan's favorite burritos, has opened a new branch in Santa Ana. Jenn also has news of Josef Centeno's new bäco place in Culver City and a rotisserie chicken shop coming to Sherman Oaks later this year.

The birria burrito from Burritos La Palma.
The birria burrito from Burritos La Palma. (Ken Kwok / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl: Want to spend 31 days exploring the food of this city through a Night Market, forums, dinners, films, pop-ups and more dining and drinking? A month-long food festival is coming to L.A. in May.

The Daily Meal, the food and drink website under the editorial direction of Colman Andrews, is now one of our partners. Check out their 101 best pizzas in America and other 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.

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

Check us out on Instagram @latimesfood

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

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