What happens to a place when restaurants disappear? There’s something deeper than just the exchange of the food that’s lacking. Small interactions in so-called third spaces that add up to give eaters a sense of identity within their own city. The spaces, rooms, great effort and expense that go into the counters, tables, curtains, wallpaper, plateware — it’s all the great and fragile theater of dining. Restaurants provide an incalculable amount of culture, texture and humanity.
In this week’s edition of “In the Weeds,” Daniel Navarro shares the story of his family’s restaurant, El Cochinito, in Silver Lake. Next, Leah Koenig explores different ways to celebrate Hanukkah through a global lens. Pastry chefs Sally Camacho Mueller and Charles Olalia describe Christmas in the Philippines and seasonal sweets. Chris Smith celebrates collards and their significance in Southern cuisines. Chef and television host Maneet Chauhan introduces snacks found along Indian railways.