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Best thing I ate: This chile relleno in San Clemente is worth the wait

Brad A. Johnson • Orange County Register • August 31, 2022
Here’s a chile relleno unlike anything else in Orange County. In fact, here’s a Mexican restaurant unlike anything else in Orange County. The restaurant is Gema in San Clemente. It’s operated by chef Juan Pablo Cruz, who recently took over the...

5½ hours and 10 bowls of pasta with Alison Brie

Jenn Harris • Los Angeles Times • August 30, 2022
Alison Brie knows her pasta. On a recent evening, the actress sits at a table inside Osteria la Buca, studying a bowl of cacio e pepe. The noodles are in a tangled heap with a textbook-perfect coating of pasta water, good pecorino Romano and black...

From keto to paleo, this restaurant has tacos for every diet

Jenn Harris • Los Angeles Times • August 29, 2022
Pablito’s World is a place for taco lovers on the keto diet. The new Chinatown mini foodcourt houses four concepts from Pablito’s Tacos founder Danny Rodriguez. The digital menu lists food from Pablito’s Tacos, the stand turned food trucks turned...

What is a dumpling? It's more complicated than you think

Jenn Harris • Los Angeles Times • August 28, 2022
What is a dumpling? That’s the question I posed to dozens of chefs and other experts over the last year on my quest to understand one of the world’s most beloved, pervasive foods. “Technically, a spring roll is a dumpling," chef Shirley Chung says...

The best way to eat a soup dumpling

Jenn Harris • Los Angeles Times • August 28, 2022
We've all seen it happen. The steamer basket of xiao long bao arrives at the table. Your one friend with no patience reaches in, scoops up a dumpling and eagerly plops the entire thing into his mouth. Scalding hot soup squirts from the dumpling,...

The best soup dumplings in Los Angeles

Jenn Harris • Los Angeles Times • August 28, 2022
Creating the perfect soup dumpling involves a confluence of ingredients and precise technique. The walls should be thin and delicate yet sturdy enough to hold the filling. It should be chewy but never tough. There should be enough soup to warrant...

Can we let go of the term 'fusion cooking' once and for all?

Bill Addison • Los Angeles Times • August 27, 2022
Before settling at a table for my first dinner at Pijja Palace, the new sports bar in Silver Lake and the subject of this week’s review, I had already studied the menu online and pinpointed what my friend and I would be ordering. We’d start with...

Summer’s game-changing restaurant: Indian sports bar Pijja Palace

Bill Addison • Los Angeles Times • August 25, 2022
Have you swung by the summer’s hottest dining sensation yet? The sports bar that serves Indian American food in the Silver Lake strip mall where the legendary Happy Foot Sad Foot sign spun for 30 years? That’s a fun sentence to type, though Pijja...

Short Order: Fountain Valley’s new Ini Ristorante is Italian in spirit but Japanese at heart

Brad A. Johnson • Orange County Register • August 25, 2022
Ini Ristorante is a new Japanese-Italian hybrid from Kei Concepts, the group that operates Vox Kitchen, Gem, Rol, Nep Cafe and others. The name is sort of an inside joke. And you might be pronouncing it wrong. Ini is the follow-up to Gem, which...

Top chefs pick the best Los Angeles restaurants right now

Jenn Harris, Stephanie Breijo • Los Angeles Times • August 25, 2022
When you spend most nights cooking for others, going out to eat can be a luxury. So you choose your restaurants carefully. And as a well-connected chef you tend to hear about some of the most interesting recent openings. This is why we asked six...