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The Dark Side of Food Events, Perfecto Rocher's New Gig, and More A.M. Intel

Plus there's a new book about LA's Mexican food obsession coming out

Ostrich Farm, Echo Park
Ostrich Farm, Echo Park
Elizabeth Daniels

The worst of the food event world

There's a lot to like about food events: guests can try bites from lots of different chefs and restaurateurs at once, often focused on a particular type of cuisine and for a good cause. But there's an underbelly too, which Munchies discusses at length with a person behind several of LA's larger events. She's seen everything from ticketed guests putting food in tupperware containers for later to small restaurants bankrupting themselves for a chance at 'exposure.'

Perfecto Rocher lands in Seattle

When Smoke.Oil.Salt. swapped chefs last summer, it left wonderful Spanish chef Perfecto Rocher without a full-time gig. He spent some time popping up at places and traveling around before ultimately settling on Seattle, and now under a year removed from his LA position is helming the kitchen of the new restaurant Tarzan i Jane. It's a swift move for Rocher, with Eater Seattle saying that the menu he's working now will focus on Valencian cuisine with a wood-fired focus.

Ostrich Farm adds cocktails

Echo Park’s Ostrich Farm has settled into their Sunset Boulevard digs nicely, becoming a valuable part of the neighborhood’s dining scene almost overnight. They recently added a full cocktail menu from Talmadge Lowe (Pharmacie) too, with a focus on gin. To celebrate, the restaurant is now doing two different cocktail hours, where drinks are $10 a pop — 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily, and 10:30 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday. They’re also opening for dinner as of Monday, May 16, and do brunch Tuesday through Sunday.

Dry River Brewing's sour beer initiative

LA brewing newcomer Dry River is getting deeper into the sour beer game, adding two fermenting tanks that are dedicated to the task of making funky sour drinks. It's a longstanding trend that continues to pick up steam in Los Angeles, as other local breweries seek out sourness in their drinks, while South Bay option Phantom Carriagehas made it their mission since day one.

Bill Esparza gets a book

Noted taco lover and all-around Mexican food profiler Bill Esparza has landed his first book just days after winning a James Beard award. Called LA Mexicano, the title will focus on the many regional varieties of Mexican food and include profiles, recipes, and a lot of guides on where to find everything delicious around town.

Bruce Kalman stays humble

Union / Knead & Co. chef Bruce Kalman shares some insight on his process and his personal work philosophies with the Restaurant Unstoppable podcast. Kalman talks about his time in New Jersey, and his belief that you're only ever as successful as the people around you, and making them look good is what makes you shine.

Maywood's drug lord-themed taco shop

LA Times takes a closer look at Maywood's Tacos Los Develados, where the menu is rife with plays on popular drug lords and gunrunners from both sides of the border. There are El Chapo options, Al Capone-themed meals and more, though as the Times points out not everyone is a fan of all the glorifying, no matter how tongue-in-cheek it is.

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