Oodles of noodles and cócteles


Welcome to the weekend, and to June. We’ve just finished Food Bowl, our monthlong food festival full of dinners, talks, classes and panels celebrating this city’s excellent chefs and food scene. We documented it all on our live blog, in case you’d like to see what we’ve been eating for the past month: tacos, ice cream, pizza (so much pizza), dumplings, Sichuan noodles, hot chicken. Yes, it was a very good month.

And whether you’re watching hockey, basketball or baseball this weekend, you’re going to need some fuel. Might we suggest a batch of fresh-baked doughnuts? Friday was actually National Doughnut Day, but it’s completely acceptable to celebrate all weekend. We checked.

If bowls of spicy noodles are more your speed, you’ll want to read restaurant critic Jonathan Gold’s review this week, as soon as possible. He’s been dining in San Gabriel at Chong Qing Special Noodles, a shop that specializes in chile-spiked bowls of noodles that could very well leave you tingling. Have a fantastic weekend.


Jenn Harris


Jonathan is spending a lot of time at Chong Qing Special Noodles in San Gabriel for fiery bowls of noodles and mounds of fried chicken with chiles. While he finds the restaurant isn’t especially refined, repeating bowls of hand-cut noodles tossed with vinegar, herbs and chile oil sounds like a pretty spectacular way to spend the weekend.


Bar manager Aaron Polsky, left, and bartender Fredy Garcia at Harvard & Stone in Los Angeles.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times )

This week, I take a look at what Harvard & Stone bar manager Aaron Polsky calls the biggest issue facing the bar industry: the lack of opportunity and education for barbacks. I talk to Polsky and his bartender Fredy Garcia about a new Spanish bar manual that could change the game for Spanish-speaking barbacks who want to become bartenders.


The heirloom tomato bagna cauda recipe with lap cheong, creme fraiche and fines herbes from Here's Looking at You.
The heirloom tomato bagna cauda recipe with lap cheong, creme fraiche and fines herbes from Here’s Looking at You.
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times )

Marlo Van Oorschot and her husband couldn’t stop thinking about the heirloom tomato and bagna cauda dish they had at Here’s Looking at You in Koreatown, so they wrote a Culinary SOS request to Test Kitchen director Noelle Carter. The chef was happy to share the recipe. The next time you have a restaurant dish you can’t stop thinking about, write to Noelle at and let her know.


In this week’s restaurant news column, I check in with Lucques chef Suzanne Goin and partner Caroline Styne, who are celebrating the restaurant’s 20-year anniversary this year. Yes, 20 years! I also have the scoop on Charles Olalia’s new Filipino restaurant in Silver Lake and a new Spanish restaurant in Highland Park, Chaya’s reboot in Venice and more hot chicken.


A variety of summer squash from the Peacock Family Farms stand at the Santa Monica farmers market.
(Noelle Carter / Los Angeles Times )

Noelle finds an abundance of summer squash and zucchini at local farmers market stands. And the selection goes well beyond the classic green zucchini with Eight Ball, Mexican zucchini and Sunburst squash. And of course, she has more than a few ideas for what to do with them.

Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants, the authoritative annual guide to local dining, is online for subscribers featuring his 2017 Best Restaurants. If you don’t have a copy of the booklet, you can order one online here.

Check us out on Instagram at @latimesfood.

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

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