Newsletter: Butcher shops and goatherds

Happy Saturday. It’s halfway through August somehow, and as the summer draws to a close, it’s time to appreciate the last few weeks of having the kids at home and the somewhat lighter traffic. Head to the beach if you can, and hit up all the ice cream shops and taquerias on the way there. Speaking of ice cream, we have a story about a hundred-year-old pharmacy that makes an enormous ice cream sundae that weighs in at 12 pounds. (Maybe share this one.)

If you’d rather head into the mountains than to the ocean, we also have a story about a goat farm inside the Angeles National Forest where you can visit, herd and milk goats, chat with the physicist-turned-goatherd who runs the place and make your own goat tacos. In other news, we have a piece about family butcher shops, a look at a new food hall and our weekly report on seasonal produce. We have burger recipes, 29 of them, for your summertime grilling — including our version of the In-N-Out Double Double.

Have a good weekend, enjoy making food or eating out with family or friends, and turn up your Aretha Franklin playlist.

Amy Scattergood


Farmer and cheesemaker Gloria Putnam with her herd of goats.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

About 70 miles up into the San Gabriels from downtown Los Angeles, Angeles Crest Creamery is a tiny farmstay and goat farm run by Gloria Putnam. A physicist by training, Putnam retired from a job in the semiconductor industry to raise Nubian goats in a 70-acre holding of land in the Angeles National Forest. Visitors can stay in her cabin or Airstream, milk goats, eat goat tacos and hike with the herd in the chaparral, all while learning about Putnam’s sustainability project. Sorry, no goat yoga.


Felipe Corrado Jr. fills a display case with sausages at Catalina's Market, his family's Argentine butcher shop and grocery store in Hollywood.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Your local butcher shop may seem like a thing of the distant, small-town past, but there are still a surprising number of family-owned and -operated butchers in and around Los Angeles. Food writer Sara Cagle checks out four of them, from a halal market in Northridge to a carniceria in Van Nuys. She talks to the families who run them and the customers who appreciate them.


Tacos from Coni'Seafood at the Fields LA food hall next to the Banc of California Stadium.
(Aliza Sokolow)

As Jenn Harris reports in her restaurant news column, the food halls of Los Angeles and Orange counties are thriving. The newest is the Fields LA, near the Coliseum, where you can find outposts from noted restaurants such as Coni’Seafood, Barbara Jean and Burritos La Palma, as well as C.J. Boyd’s Fried Chicken, from Otium chef Tim Hollingsworth. In other news, Falasophy is opening in Irvine. The falafel taco specialist began as a food truck before branching out in Santa Ana.


Employee Will Lopez holds up a towering banana split at Fair Oaks Pharmacy, which also makes 12-pound sundaes.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Why get your ice cream fix one scoop at a time when you can order a sundae called the Kitchen Sink, which comes with eight scoops of ice cream, brownies, bananas, whipped cream and cherries? Weighing in at 12 pounds, this dish of fun is the specialty of Fair Oaks Pharmacy, a 103-year-old shop in South Pasadena. Not a bad way to cope with this summer’s series of heat waves.


Red, yellow and green bell peppers.
(Eric Seals / Knight-Ridder Tribune)

In her weekly Market Report, Noelle Carter considers the bell pepper, the one member of the Capsicum family that does not come with heat. Green while unripe, the peppers come in a variety of gorgeous colors and are extremely versatile. Turn them into ratatouille, gazpacho, salsas and sauces, and shakshuka, the addictive egg-topped stew from Tunisia and the Middle East.

Jonathan Gold Tribute: A public event to honor the late Times restaurant critic will be held Sunday, Aug. 26, starting at 5:30 p.m. in front of City Hall in downtown Los Angeles. Hosted by Times arts and culture columnist Carolina Miranda, the event will feature tributes from Gold’s friends, family and colleagues, food trucks and a screening of never-before-seen moments from “City of Gold,” Laura Gabbert’s documentary about Gold. The event is free.

The Taste(s): Our annual Labor Day festival, the Taste, is held over the course of that holiday weekend at Paramount. And this year we’re having two Tastes, not one, with the second happening October in Costa Mesa. For more info and early tickets, go to

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

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