Pitfire Pizza Celebrates its 15th Anniversary and New Fall Menu

Roasted Pumpkin Pizza, Kale, Pumpkin Seeds

It’s been a few years since Pitfire Pizza had found a special place in my heart. Though I first became surprisingly enamored with the well built-out chain starting with the unveiling of their Culver City location, I was surprised to learn that they’re actually celebrating the 15th anniversary of the first, their North Hollywood location, this year.

Their quality is ensured by a well sized, manageable menu that joins the locations together. If you only order pizza, you’re actually missing a big part of their appeal. They always have excellent vegetable sides and well executed pastas to cover all their bases. And now, you’ll have fall flavors to look forward to on your next visit, starting with their Roasted Pumpkin Pizza with kale and pumpkin seeds.

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Things Learned From Two Years of Going Metro and Bicycling in Los Angeles

Bicycling Los Angeles

People do walk in L.A., but – let’s be honest – they mostly still don’t. People drive alone, and they carpool. They vanpool and they shuttle. They ride their bikes. They Über or Taxi Magic all over town. And yes, we Metro railway. Do you ever get the feeling that just because we’re not New York, that’s the only thing they’re rubbing our noses in?

Which is not to say that I’m not envious of their subway access – and many other things. Yet having passed the 2-year mark living near a Hollywood Metro Red Line stop, I’ve learned a lot in the process about our own public transportation options. The Expo Line has opened during that time. And we’re looking forward to more.  Just experiencing the drastic transformation in how people choose to get around – myself included, and not only on the rail – have provided so many eye-opening revelations. So when Slate says that L.A. is being turned into “America’s next great mass-transit city,” we’ll take that little bit of validation. 

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Jiro Dreams of Sushi Opens Today

There are pivotal moments in a sushi lover’s life. Sukiyabashi Jiro is one of those famed restaurants that I have aspirations of eating at in the case that I not only make it to Japan, but have the money (Â¥30,000, or $360) to put up for – at maximum – 20 minutes of the best fish I’ve ever had in my life.

(The closest experience to this has to have been my last meal at Sushi Nozawa – now closed - which clocked in at about 30 minutes and not a minute longer. Warm rice with excellent fish, yes. Jiro’s? No. )

The 10-seat, 3-star Michelin starred Sukiyabashi Jiro is helmed by Jiro Ono, the first sushi chef and oldest chef to be awarded the honor. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is 81 minutes of pure food porn laying the foundation for Jiro’s life story, including the pursuit of literal perfection of his craft and the contingent (and not-so-contingent) roles of his sons and apprentices. It’s an intriguing perspective into Japanese culture and the evolution of its food.

New York opened last week, and finally Los Angeles has its chance – specifically on the Westside at the Nuart. For tonight’s showtimes, filmmaker David Gelb will appear in person for a Q&A after the 7:30pm show and to introduce the 9:40pm show. Tomorrow (Saturday, March 17), he’ll do another Q&A after the 7:30pm show and introduce the 9:40pm show. You can also check out Food GPS’ excellent Q&A with the guy.

And I would be negligent if I didn’t recommend that you be prepared to visit a decent sushi place before or after the movie – so you’re not left hungry and envious, or shall we say, “hangry” (personal experience). While there is no Jiro in LA, perhaps try a SUGARfish location, Sushi Central (Palms) or Sushi Park (Sunset Blvd, WeHo) for some unadulterated omakase nigiri made by chefs who, at the very least, say “no california roll or spicy tuna?”

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Opening March 16, 2012:

Nuart Theatre
10850 W Pico Blvd Suite 520
Los Angeles, CA 90064
310.281.8223

Opening March 23, 2012:

Laemmle NoHo 7
5240 Lankershim Boulevard
San Fernando Valley, CA 91601
310.478.3836

Playhouse 7 Cinemas
673 East Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91101
626.844.6500

What Will They Be Eating at The 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards?

Table at The Emmy Press Conference

I don’t cover a lot of entertainment news on this blog, but when it comes to Los Angeles and the entertainment industry, the latter is an undeniable part of our culture as…well, television.

Windrose Farm Heirloom Tomato Salad

Tomorrow, our TV stars will be gathering at the L.A. Convention Center for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards Governors Ball, and Patina will be catering the star-studded, “mod illusions”-styled event for only the 16th time.

The Governors Ball will be painted in black and white and everything nice. Awhile back, I got a chance to get a glimpse of the motif as well as taste miniature versions of the courses guests will be enjoying tomorrow.

…Such as this Windrose Farms heirloom tomato salad with rosemary and cherry wood-grilled asparagus. Fried gold potatoes and fried crisps decorate the top of the dish. This is a great first course to close out the summer.

Filet Mignon, Gratin of Macaroni w/Vermont White Cheddar

The entree course tomorrow will be Filet Mignon with an oxtail bordelaise. Gratin of macaroni (that is, a cylindrically-cut tower of horizontally-layered tube pasta with Vermont white Cheddar) and rainbow baby carrots line the plate as do a cipollini onion and caramelized broccoli emulsion.

Unless you’re vegetarian, it’s pretty hard to argue with a Filet. It’s also hard to argue with macaroni and carrots. With a 3-course menu this simple, it’s clear that Patina is going with ingredients that will provide the least fuss for a – let’s face it – potentially fussy bunch of diners.

Duncan Hines Milk Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Blackberry Cream, Blackberry Macaron, Chocolate Rice Crisp, Honey Sauce

I’m still curious as to what they’ll feed to the vegetarians and vegans. This is L.A., right? Patina will be on-hand to take care of all the needs of all 3600 sat-down guests. They’re well-equipped in the front and back of the house to tend to all dietary preferences and restrictions.

The dessert course, in all its glitz and glamour (and glitz), would be a vegan-banned course as well. The Duncan Hines milk chocolate brownie is ensconced in chocolate blackberry cream and chocolate rice crisp. Blackberries line the plate and flavor of the lone macaron on the side.

And all three of these courses will be served in a setting that is designed to trick the eye, complete with a 60-foot, centralized and elevated, circular dance floor and orchestra platform.

As for cocktails by Grey Goose, I sipped on a delicious almost-grapefruit-tasting cocktail that they’ll be serving to guests tomorrow. It was surprisingly not too sweet and as far as vodka cocktails go, this is one of the ones I’ve liked in recent memory (in no small part due to the fact that I barely drink them, period):

The Emmy®

The Emmy® Cocktail
1 1/2 part Grey Goose® L’Orange Flavored Vodka
1 part Bénédictine® Liqueur
1/2 part Agave Syrup
1/2 part Ginger Ale
1 Orange Wheel

Combine Grey Goose L’Orange flavored vodka, Bénédictine, grapefruit juice and agave syrup in a shaker and shake vigorously. Pour all contents into collins glass filled with ice. Top with ginger ale. Garnish with orange wheel (optional).

It may be September, but it sure still feels a little like summer in Los Angeles. Enjoy what’s left of it…and enjoy the weekend!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

PST broadcast: 5 PM on FOX

The 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
1201 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015