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Big plate chicken, new CDMX restaurants and Zoe Nathan's lemon-pistachio cake

Good morning. It’s still cold and rainy out, so enjoy it while it lasts — we’ll be hitting the triple digits in Los Angeles soon enough — and maybe settle in at home for some baking. We have a story about baking with Zoe Nathan, the gifted baker behind Huckleberry and other Santa Monica restaurants, as well as a recipe from her kitchen. If you’re pulling up a table at a local restaurant, we have new reviews — of a new Uighur restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley and a place in Tustin that specializes in the cooking of the Yucatán.

In other news, we have stories about two restaurants opening in L.A. from Mexico City chefs Enrique Olvera and Daniela Soto-Innes; a home cook in Van Nuys who’s serving her Ugandan dishes to the public; and a downtown bakery that features difficult-to-find Jerusalem bagels. Nancy Silverton will soon be hosting public dinner parties in Ojai. And if you’re needing something to watch now that “True Detective” has ended its third season, consider Netflix’s “Flavorful Origins,” which turns the camera on the cuisine of Chaoshan in Southeast China. Enjoy your weekend.

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Dolan's Uyghur Cuisine highlights the unique crossroads cooking from the Xinjiang province in northwest China.
Dolan's Uyghur Cuisine highlights the unique crossroads cooking from the Xinjiang province in northwest China. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

UIGHUR COOKING

Bill Addison gets the “big plate chicken,” among other dishes at Dolan’s Uyghur Cuisine in Alhambra. The recently opened Dolan’s showcases the cooking of the Uighur, Turkic-speaking Muslims from the Xinjiang province in northwest China. Get the da pan ji, or “big plate chicken.”

Cochinita pibil, 11-hour red oak smoked pork shoulder at Chaak.
Cochinita pibil, 11-hour red oak smoked pork shoulder at Chaak. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

AN ODE TO THE YUCATAN

Patricia Escárcega heads to Chaak, a Yucatecan restaurant in Tustin from chef Gabbi Patrick. At Chaak, Patricia finds cochinita pibil, ceviche and “a wonderful rendition of Yucatán’s famous tamal colado, corn masa strained into a pudding-like cake and smothered with a rich mushroom gravy.”

An architect's rendering of the dining room at Damian.
An architect's rendering of the dining room at Damian. (Damian)

MORE MODERN MEXICAN

Peter Meehan reports on the two new Mexican restaurants from chefs Enrique Olvera and Daniela Soto-Innes going into the L.A. Arts District by the fall. Olvera and Soto-Innes already have Cosme and Atla in New York, and Olvera owns Pujol in Mexico City. Damian will serve à la carte Californian-Mexican cuisine, while Ditroit will focus on vegetable-centered tacos.

Zoe Nathan bakes her lemon-pistachio cake.
Zoe Nathan bakes her lemon-pistachio cake. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

BAKING WITH ZOE

Gillian Ferguson remembers learning how to bake at Huckleberry with baker Zoe Nathan. Ferguson walked into the Santa Monica bakery a decade ago and talked her way into a yearlong job baking, learning tips that continue to resonate. She also gets the recipe for Nathan’s spectacular lemon-pistachio cake.

Toasted ground pistachios and toasted chopped pistachios for making nut flour.
Toasted ground pistachios and toasted chopped pistachios for making nut flour. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

NUT FLOUR HOW-TO

Ben Mims says making nut flours at home is an easy alternative to buying the stuff in stores. You’ll want some pistachio nut flour to bake Zoe Nathan’s lemon-pistachio cake, and pistachio flour is hard to find. No worries: Just buy some nuts, toast them, roast them and grind the stuff in a food processor.

Food Bowl 2019 is coming. Our annual monthlong food festival is happening again this May. We hope you’ll join us for #31daysoffood. If you’d like to hold an event at your bar, cafe, hotel or restaurant; have breakfast in a kitchen garden or cocktails on a rooftop; host a charity bake sale or market tour, let us know at lafoodbowl.com.

Our 101 Restaurants We Love list for 2018 is out. The list incorporates restaurants and trucks from around Los Angeles and Orange County, in alphabetical order (no rankings this year). Plus this year there’s a bonus list of 10 classic restaurants.

Check us out on Instagram at @latimesfood.

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And don’t forget the thousands of recipes in our California Cookbook recipe database.

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

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