Obama Ramen; LA's Top New Eateries; Food Bans; Row Crops
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Rip out the White House lawn and plant row crops says writer, Michael Pollan. Aya Masuda celebrates the inauguration by eating a bowl of Obama Ramen from Obama, Japan. Patrick Kuh of Los Angeles magazine gives us his Top New Restaurants for LA. Hear about eating Guinea pig, an Ecuadoran dish, from the shameless carnivore, Scott Gold. Do fast food bans work? Councilwoman Jan Perry updates update the moratorium in her district. Jonathan Gold is here with two Korean restaurants, and we follow Robb Walsh on his five-year oyster-eating journey. Plus, Laura Avery takes us to the farmers' market.
Market Report ()
Aussie TV food personality and ambassador Ian Parmenter came to the Santa Monica Farmers market with colleague Don Hancey. They are in town to to do all the food for the G'Day USA: Australia Week events taking place in Los Angeles this week.
Try this citrus "jam" as an accompaniment to fish, chicken or rare roast beef. It contains spices from the Pacific rim.
Sprouting broccoli is in season now. Jerry Rutiz from Arroyo Grande is selling flowering broccoli, which is sprouting broccoli at its more mature state. It is delicious in a saute. Jerry is also selling green garlic or fresh garlic -- normally a springtime crop.
Aussie Citrus Pumpkin Jam
Makes about 2.2 pounds (converted from kg). It doesn't have a jam-like
consistency, it's more a more a sweet and sour, sticky confection.
Adjust the sugar/citrus balance according to taste.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 golden shallots or 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 orange, zested and juiced (zest kept separate)
1 lemon, zested and juiced (zest kept separate)
1 lime, zested and juiced (zest kept separate)
1 red chile, finely chopped chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
5 whole peppercorns
1 14 pounds butternut pumpkin (squash) – peeled, cleaned and grated
Gently sweat shallots/onions in olive oil for 10 minutes or so. Increase heat, add sugar and caramelize until a golden color is achieved. Add cinnamon, chili, star anise, peppercorns, citrus cest. Stir in and cook two minutes. Stir in citrus juice. Continue cooking to reduce water content.
When a sticky consistency has been achieved, stir in grated pumpkin/squash, a little at a time until everything has been incorporated.
Spread out in baking tray. Cover with cling film, pressing down onto the surface. Leave in refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.
Keeps several days.
Music break: Have Tequila by Billy Strange With The Mexican Brass
A Garden on the White House Lawn ()
Michael Pollan is the author of numerous books about sustainability including In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. He recently wrote an open letter to the President-elect suggesting he replace the vast White House lawn with a garden.
Several organizations have taken up the cause by asking people to sign petitions,
including The Who Farm Project and Eat the View.
Music break: Hear in Colour by Nightmares on Wax
Obama Ramen ()
Good Food listener and pen pal Aya Masuda recently returned from Japan where she visited the town of Obama. This seaside town (Obama means "little beach" in Japanese) is home to Obama Ramen. This review describes the signature dish as "simple and quite fantastic."
You can buy Obama Ramen online but only in Japan. Let us know if you find a way to get in the U.S. Email us at GoodFood@kcrw.org.
Music break: High Class Tripper by James Hardway
Top New L.A. Restaurants ()
Patrick Kuh is the restaurant critic for Los Angeles magazine, which recently named L.A.'s top new restaurants of 2008:
1. Palate, 933 S Brand Blvd, Glendale. 818-662-9463, Octavio Becerra's place that also has a wine shop attached.
2. Gjelina, 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice. 310-450-1429. Chef Travis Lett makes magic with his wood-fired oven.
3. Nickel Diner. An authentic-looking, real diner. 524 S Main St, downtown LA. 213-623-8301. Every morning each table gets donut holes. It has a classic diner repertoire.
4. Anisette. A brasserie opened by chef Alain Giraud. Farmers market produce is featured in a perfect brasserie setting. 225 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica. 310-395-3200.
5. Comme Ca. A brasserie by David Myers, owner of Sona restaurant across the street. 8479 Melrose Ave. 323-782-1104.
6. Little Dom's. Italian wedding soup and freshly made pastas in leather booths. 2128 Hillhurst Ave, Los Feliz. 323-661-0055.
7. Animal. Pork-intensive, artisan grains and lots of bacon. 435 N Fairfax Ave, LA. 323-782-9225.
8. BLT Steak. The steakhouse from Laurent Tourondel has fare that goes beyond the usual steak house. Diver scallops with meyer lemon vinaigrette, crepe souffle and a nice wine list. 8720 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood. 310-360-1950.
9. Loteria Grill. The full service restaurant from the Farmers Market stand. Fresh tortillas go along with the Mexico City fare in a Hollywood Blvd spot. 6627 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood. 323-465-2500.
10. Brix @ 1601. Fundamentals done right like the split pea soup with country bread. Not the showiest restaurant but an example of delicious basics. 1601 Pacific Coast Hwy, Hermosa Beach. 310-698-0740.
Music break: You Are My Chicken Fry by Bappi Lahiri
Guinea Pigs for Dinner ()
Scott Gold is the Shameless Carnivore. He has a blog and a book by the same name. Guinea pig, cuy in Spanish, is a source of protein and a staple in Ecuador and Peru. Scott ate cuy at Coco Roco in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Music break: House of the Rising Sun by Billy Lee Riley
Fast Food Ban Update ()
Councilwoman Jan Perry serves the 9th district of Los Angeles. Perry was instrumental in passing the City Council's yearlong moratorium on new fast food restaurants in South Los Angeles. The goal of the ban is to attract restaurants serving healthy food and to spur economic development by attracting new businesses to the area. According to a report, 73 percent of South L.A. restaurants are fast food.
Tell us what you think about the moratorium on our blog.
Music break: It's a Ruse by Rosey
Blowfish and Live Seafood in Koreatown ()
Jonathan Gold is the extremely brave, Pulitzer Prize winning food writer for the L.A. Weekly. Jonathan had blowfish at Dae Bok in Koreatown. According to Jonathan's review, Korean blowfish is quite different from the Japanese variety mostly because it is served cooked and with "a garlicky punch." Both can kill you if not prepared properly. Jonathan assured us that Dae Bok's blowfish is top notch.
Jonathan also had monkfish and live octopus at Masan in Koreatown. See pictures of writhing delicacy on the L.A. Weekly website.
Music break: Jungalero by Les Baxter
Sex, Death & Oysters ()
Robb Walsh is the author of Sex, Death & Oysters: A Half-Shell Lover's World Tour, which chronicles his five-year, transcontinental journey into the world of the oyster. The book begins in Robb's home state of Texas where you can find Galveston Bay oysters. Read more about these oysters in the article that inspired Robb's book. You can also find pictures from his journey on his website.
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