Waylynn Lucas and Nancy Truman of Fonuts Demo Small Appliances at Best Buy

Demos at Best Buy Culver City

Last Saturday afternoon, the Fonuts gals performed a series of demos at the Best Buy in Culver City in efforts to promote the store’s recent expansion in their small appliances line as well as their own baked goods shop, Fonuts, on 3rd Street. It took all my self control and the need for a DSLR camera upgrade to not purchase any of the kitchen appliances Waylynn and Nancy highlighted – or the new, streamlined Dyson cordless hand vac. Adding fuel to the retail therapy fire was a 20% off promotion Best Buy was running…

which you now can take part in, yourself, since I’ve got a code to share that will get you the same savings on small appliances at Best Buy online after the jump. A KitchenAid mixer at 20% off, anyone?

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Four Upcoming Food Events in L.A. You Don’t Want To Miss

Duck Taquitos (Red O), Boat Noodles (Pa Ord), L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, LA Beer Week 2012 – thanks to Caroline on Crack (Clockwise L-R)

It’s that time, again, to present the essential food events going on the next few weeks around the city. It’s a wonder that I don’t do these more often, because I often want to highlight events that I don’t have time to write about before and after they occur.

So here’s a reminder, then, to check back on the blog whenever you can (on a full size browser, not mobile) for my Google Calendar-ready events list I’ve been maintaining in the right-hand column, underneath my avatar –>.

Without further ado…
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The Corner Door Raises the Bar in Culver City with Fall Menu

Roasted Squash Salad & Burrata, Cured Egg Yolk

I can’t be sure what exactly I was expecting out of The Corner Door in Culver City, but I guess it should be known that one of the few things worth traveling to that quandrant for – in my opinion – was ramen, Rutt’s and Roy Choi (even then, I’d still point out that Roy grew up on the eastside of Los Angeles). There have been new restaurants springing up lately, but in a lot of ways, they were neighborhood stops. It seems The Corner Door has found a great balance between being that neighborhood place, and in a lot of ways is heading towards existing as a destination. When you have great food and inspiring cocktails, that’s just what tends to happen.

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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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L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Draws Top Culinary Talent in Fight Against Childhood Cancer

Chicken Oysters by Michael Voltaggio

L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, for my third year in attendance, remains one of my favorite food events. The original idea of Alex’s Lemonade arose out of a courageous four-year-old’s battle with neuroblastoma and her desire to donate the proceeds of her lemonade stand to doctors who have helped her. Childhood cancer strikes a chord personally, as my first born nephew was diagnosed with Acute lymphocytic leukemia at the age of 1 1/2. Thanks to treatment and some faith, he’s now entering his teen years as a survivor. Of course, more research needs to be done.

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Not Just Another Food Event: LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade Takes Place November 6, 2011

Alex's Lemonade Stand

Every year, there are more and more food events to choose from, making it hard to know exactly which one to support. LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade, however, is pretty much la crème de la crème when it comes to the quality of participants – at least from my inaugural experience last year. This year, it looks like the case will be the same.

Let’s take a look and see why. Participants from LA include Michael Cimarusti (Providence), Vinny Dotolo & Jon Shook (Animal), Neal Fraser (Grace), Suzanne Goin (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern), Matt Molina (Osteria Mozza), Zoe Nathan (Huckelberry), Steve Samson & Zach Pollack (Sotto), Eric Alperin (The Varnish) and Jonathan Graham (Compartes).

And if those weren’t all enough reasons, there will also be stellar showings from other parts, such as April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig – NY), Neal Bodenheimer (CURE – New Orleans), Brian Huston & Paul Kahan (The Publican – Chicago), Johnathan Sundstrom (Lark – Seattle), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto – NY) and Lachlan Patterson (Frasca Food and Wine – Boulder, CO).

As far as tickets, they’re not a drop in the bucket, but they’re mostly tax-deductible. But there’s no better way to enjoy endless hand-crafted cocktails from top mixologists and dishes from your favorite chefs with the Gone With The Wind mansion as your backdrop. Meanwhile, you pay your taxes forward and further research on childhood cancer. Yay! While the regular general ticket price is normally $175, Thrillist LA is offering VIP tickets (normally $400) for $225 ($100 is tax-deductible). Given that you get a whole extra hour and admission into the VIP area as well as the pre-event mixology session, this ticket is your best bet.

See you in Culver City next weekend!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

12 PM – 4 PM

Thrillist VIP Tickets: $225

Culver Studios
9336 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Spreading Beery Cheer at City Tavern

City Tavern Interior | Photo courtesy of City Tavern

You don’t have to wait until L.A. Beer Week to celebrate beer.

Today is Free Pour Wednesday at City Tavern in downtown Culver City. Sit down for dinner (maybe even at one of the tap-equipped tables) and sample your choice of craft beer (6 oz. pour) from the total 22 available on draft, for free. Limit one per guest with food order.

And tomorrow, you can celebrate Sierra Nevada Pint Night.

Spare yourself the drive up to their Chico tasting room. Tomorrow at City Tavern, you’ll find Sierra Nevada’s Schwartz Bier, Vienna Lager, Foam Pilsner, Oktoberfest, and Life & Limb 2 (a highly-coveted limited release) on tap. Feeling especially beer-social? One of the reps from Sierra Nevada will be present to answer all your questions and share in your beery cheer. Plus, purchase any one of the aforementioned pints and receive a commemorative glass, while supplies last. And of course, City Tavern would never limit you to just one. Or two. Want to try all five? Go with the tasting flight. Starts at 6PM.

Oops! Almost forgot that Munich Marzen beers (Oktoberfest-style beer) have taken over the City Tavern taps from now through October 2nd. Guests who are able to grab a seat at the table tap booths ON October 2nd will receive a commemorative growler.

Love Firestone beer? They’ll be doing the same format as tomorrow’s Sierra Nevada’s pint night (beer list TBA) on Thursday, October 6th.

After all, it’s just a matter of time before L.A. Beer Week becomes L.A. Beer Day…everyday.

City Tavern
9739 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-2739
310.838.9739

City Tavern and Ladyface Ale Beer Dinner: September 15, 2011

Grilled Stone Fruit, Burrata, Almonds, Ale Vinaigrette (paired with Eagle Rock Brewery Yearling Flanders Red ale)

Beer Dinners: You can’t really have too many. Good thing City Tavern, the Downtown Culver City hangout with taps at the tables (a couple of them, anyway) is holding one with Ladyface Ale Companie next Thursday, September 15th.

There will be one seating at 7 PM (up to 7:30 PM, if you prefer) and included in your $46 cost are 4 courses + amuse bouche, each paired with a Ladyface beer. For the full menu, peep below:

Amuse bouche
Deviled egg, asparagus, roe
Troisfillestripel
6oz., abv: 8.3%

1st course
Orzo salad with crab, avocado, grapefruit and beet vinaigrette
Chaparralsaison
6 oz., abv: 8.7%

2nd course
Potted duck confit and crisps
Chesebroipa
6 oz., abv: 10.9%

3rd course
Smoked cocoa-rubbed tri-tip sandwich and potato salad
Picture city porter
6 oz., abv: 7.0%

Dessert
Spiked watermelon and peppered strawberries
Sazerac-oaked red rye
6 oz., abv: 7.2%

 
I had a lovely time at one of City Tavern’s other beer dinners, which was in conjunction with Eagle Rock Brewery. My favorite was a stone fruit salad, which was paired expertly with their Yearling Flanders Red Ale. If this is any indication, next Thursday’s beer dinner will be solid. It’s a great way to support local business and beer while celebrating the end of summer (if that’s your thing).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

7 PM

Reserve: 310.838.9739

City Tavern
9739 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Mahon and Haskell’s Magnum Migrates To Royal T

Royal T, Culver City (Credit to Kawaiikakkoiisugoi.com)

The power duo is back – and they’re bringing back more options than ever to the Culver City cosplay cafe called Royal T. Chef Joseph Mahon and Sommelier David Haskell have expanded their thrice popped up pop-up to … you guessed it, three nights, starting on Sunday, April 17 and ending on Haskell’s 35th birthday, Tuesday, April 19th.

Mahon’s French cuisine will be paired with Haskell’s sake, Asian beer, and French and Italian wine selections. Choose from the five ($62), seven ($80), or ten-course menu ($118) with optional wine pairings ($45-92 additional) – or go for the special uni menu and separate wine pairings on Tuesday, April 19 in celebration of Haskell’s 35th birthday (The Feast LA).

Magnum is working in collaboration with Tomo Kurokawa to donate a portion of the event and silent auction proceeds to benefit the Japanese Sake Association and subsequently sake breweries affected by the tsunami in northern Japan.

Courses will include thoughtful selections such as:

  • Fennel Royale with Sea Urchin, Apple Cloud, and Nori Powder
  • Braised Baby Octopus with Leek Risotto, Pine Nuts, and Pancetta Vinaigrette
  • Miso-Cured Hangar Steak with Creamed Spinach, Shitake Mushroom Tempura, Sesame Seeds, and Ponzu Sauce
  • Yuzu Crème Brûlée with Poached Apricots

All wine, beer, and sake pairings will be announced the day of the event via Magnum and Royal/T’s Facebook and Twitter pages (@Magnum_dh and @RoyalTCafe).

At the bar, small plates and sake pairings will be available throughout the three-night series. Inspired by Royal/T’s newest street art exhibit “FACEMAKER, the bar bites will reflect graffiti’s free-form streaks, which include:

  • Sliders with Grass-Fed Beef, Potato Chips, Bibb Lettuce, and Chipotle Aïoli ($15)
  • Tuna Rolls with Crab, Jicama, Mango, and Spicy Mayonnaise ($19)
  • Oysters with Brown Butter and Lemon ($14)

Everything sounds absolutely delicious. Pop-up restaurants may come and go…and come and go…but this bigger and badder rendition of Magnum looks like one not to be missed. Be sure to call or email to reserve. Zeus The Cat will be standing by.

Also, be sure to check out the items up for silent auction, which are constantly being updated on Twitter and on the official Magnum website.

Sunday, April 17 – Tuesday, April 19, 2011

6 – 10 PM

Call 323.798.4648 or email [email protected] to reserve your table.

Magnum at Royal T
8910 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
(Restaurant phone number: 310.559.6300)

Favorite Dish: Duck Popiah at Lukshon

Duck Popiah | cilantro stems, pickled jicama, house-made hoisin chile sauce

I have always loved a good stack of spring rolls to start off my Asian, Asian fusion, Asian-influenced, Asian what-have-you meal. That love, however, has just transcended to a whole new level of appreciation thanks to Lukshon’s Duck Popiah.

Since you can’t have a good burrito or taco without a good tortilla; the same applies to their Asianfied counterparts. The overall quality is owed in no small part to the wrapper – the freshness of which was apparent from the moment my dining companion and I observed the Chef de partie rolling the skinny scrolls from our seats at the bar of Lukson’s beautiful, open kitchen. The balmy texture of the wrap made it undeniable that the skins were battered and rolled in-house. It made me yearn for the makers of even the best Chinese beef rolls I’ve had in San Gabriel to trade in their often dry, flour wraps for these.

And the fresh cilantro, the pickled jicama, all those vibrant flavors coming together with the rich bird that is duck, and altogether dressed in a house-made hoisin chile sauce. So delicious. The collapse of that soft shell revealed the crunch of bright, pickled flavors paired with tender duck meat, all of which is dressed in sweet and spicy. The popiah were pretty much my favorite thing at Lukshon during my first and only visit thus far. I enjoyed my other dishes (and also loved the cocktails), but I still feel unqualified to say what they were until I visit a few more times. But the duck popiah and its refined execution on all levels…I already know this one is a wash. A favorite. Rinse, repeat. 

I’ll be back for more, dear Lukshon. As for you, go – and report back on what your favorites are.

Mon – Sat

5:30 PM – 10:30 PM

Lukshon
3239 Helms Ave.
Culver City, CA 90034
310.202.6808