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America’s Best Chefs Keep Opening Restaurants in Los Angeles

Plus Jeni’s brings ice cream to Venice, and Mozza hikes the price of lunch

The future home of the NoMad in Downtown
Will Guidara

Famous chefs must love Los Angeles

The LA Times takes a hard look at the rise of out-of-town chefs with big pedigrees coming to Los Angeles, and asks the obvious question: Why? Well as it turns out there are many different factors, from the weather (yes, really) to the produce (duh) to real estate prices. Along the way the piece name-drops everyone who’s coming to Los Angeles, from April Bloomfield to Charles Phan to Jessica Largey — each one either a recent transplant or a coastal type looking to expand their growing empire.

Indeed, 2017 is set up and ready to be the year that Los Angeles gets taken over by everybody else. Now that’s not to say this city has a “leave us alone” mentality — quite the opposite, as chefs and food writers have been clamoring for years about the great stuff being done in town. But with everyone from fine dining chefs to big-money restaurant groups getting in on the action this year, it’s important to ask another question too: When is it going to be enough? As long as Angelenos and tourists alike are willing to pay for these new experiences, the end of LA’s culinary rainbow might not come for a while still.

Jeni’s jets to Venice

Starting tomorrow you’ll be able to get your Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams fix on Rose Avenue in Venice. The shop is soft opening at 11 a.m., but will host a larger grand opening and giveaway on February 9. 540 Rose Ave., Venice.

LA’s foremost rum expert

Vice Munchies put together a fun read on Erbin Garcia, the general manager at Caña Rum Bar. He’s a humble guy who worked his way up from barback to his current position, thanks in no small part to his intense love of all things rum related.

Billy Harris lets you hang out

Feel like hanging out with Billy Harris, the always-there food celeb who seems to constantly be hosting one thing or another? You can do just that with a series of new dinners he’s throwing to benefit a number of nonprofits, including No Kid Hungry and Alex’s Lemonade. Each Monday event costs $125 and will take place a particular restaurants and with chefs from all over, including Bruce Kalman at Union, Suzanne Goin at Lucques, and Jason Neroni at the Rose in Venice. Get your tickets here.

Inside the new-look Swork

Eagle Rock’s longstanding Swork Coffee Bar got a much-needed refresh, says The Eastsider. The place is now overhauled and looking clean, just in time for the rest of that block — alongside places like the new Turning Fire — to come online.

Mozza’s new price hike

The aptly-named Unemployed Eater is miffed at a new price hike happening at Mozza these days. Apparently the restaurant’s long-running $20 lunch deal (which is for a whole pizza, glass of wine, and budino dessert) has jumped a full 50% to $30 these days. The restaurant owes the increase to raising labor and ingredient costs, while the writer tries to angle for a middle-ground rise to $25.

A coffee shop pop-up to know about

Working a small menu of savory favorites inside existing coffee shops is all the rage right now (Maury’s Bagels at Dinosaur Coffee on Saturdays, for example), but you might not be familiar yet with Merrin Mae, a longtime cook at places like Sotto and Union. She’s been doing a savory biscuit sandwich pop-up inside Woodcat Coffee in Echo Park for a couple of weeks now (and was at Found Coffee in Eagle Rock before that), running every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. This week’s option includes an adobo pulled pork, cooked on a portable flattop — get there ASAP if you want one.

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