Nacho-style cannoli for Hanukkah, plus the LA Times’ 101 restaurants list

It’s time to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah with major abandon. Evan Kleiman can’t think of another holiday that celebrates oil, and in doing so encourages us to imbibe freely of crispy treats both savory and sweet. Yes there are latkes, the Eastern European potato pancake.

But Jews of the world represent a global diaspora 2000 years in the making. That is a lot of culinary tradition to fry in oil. Think beyond the potato pancake — to cannoli perhaps. Kleiman loves making them nacho style. And the use of ricotta hearkens back to the pre-potato fritter made in Eastern Europe with cheese.  

See Evan Kleiman’s recipe for deconstructed cannoli

Also this year, because the pandemic changed so much of the culinary industry, the LA Times did something different for their list of 101 best restaurants. 

From food critics Patricia Escarcega and Bill Addison have each put together a takeout package from four different vendors that can be purchased directly from Grand Central Market’s takeout ordering system. These special menus will be available to order and pick up to Sunday, Dec. 20. 

Escarcega and Addison write: “In honoring outstanding restaurants that have acclimated and continued to sustain us, it was clear that this year’s 101 project wouldn’t look like previous ones. A ranked list was out, no question. We approached it as less of a ‘best of’ compilation and more as a survey broadly highlighting excellence and tenacity in the blurred, shifting landscape.”

Kleiman thinks of the year’s list as a celebration of resilience, honoring restaurateurs who have endured all the turbulence brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. She encourages Angelenos to support their favorite food establishments with take-out and delivery.

“We don't live in this huge amazing city filled with talented, creative people for nothing,” she says. “This is the time to really use the city that you live in."

Restaurants that opened amid the pandemic:
Tamales Elena Y Antojitos - Afro-Mexican cooking of Costa Chica in Bell Gardens
Petite Peso - Filipino food in downtown 
Heritage BBQ in San Juan Capistrano 

Restaurants that opened before the pandemic:
Apey Kade - Sri Lankan food in Tarzana
LA Times review 

Chaak Kitchen - Yucatecan-inspired food in Tustin
LA Times review

Brothers Sushi - Chirashi Bowls in Woodland Hills