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Los Angeles Is Now Stealing Your Favorite City’s Favorite Chef

Plus an update on Sqirl Away, and the growing Filipino food movement

The upcoming Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills
Waldorf Astoria
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Another mover and shaker comes to LA

Eater Vegas reported yesterday that a very big name from Sin City is coming west soon. Steven Benjamin, the longtime executive chef at L’Atelier de Joël Roubuchon is jumping over to Beverly Hills to open the new Waldorf Astoria, which is coming along quiet nicely. Under his twelve-year reign, L’Atelier earned countless awards — including a James Beard Foundation Award nomination back in February.

So now Los Angeles steals another talent. It’s a move that has become increasingly common in the past year or two, as every big-name chef from cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City have eyes on the prime real estate and produce that the Southland offers. As for that Waldorf Astoria property, it’s opening this spring and will carry the Jean-Georges Vongerichten name.

The Filipino food movement grows

Here’s some more talk on Irenia, the upstart Filipino restaurant by chef Ryan Garlitos down in Santa Ana. The Taco Maria vet has struck out on his own, says OC Weekly, and is turning out some of the most important dishes in the growing Filipino food movement right now.

Off menu rib meat

Modern Vietnamese option Nong Lá has started an off-menu special that features slow-cooked ribs in their signature pho. It’s only available in limited quantities (like 10 or so bowls daily), at both the Sawtelle original and newer La Brea locations.

Dinner and danger

Chaya Downtown is hosting a dinner featuring the famous fugu fish that, if not prepared properly, can be poisonous. Luckily the April 1 blowfish dinner has already been prepared in an FDA clean room so it shouldn’t be an issue ... right? Tasting menu format, six diners at a time, call the restaurant to reserve.

Korean ice cream

Want in on some awesome Korean ice cream? LA Weekly says to check out Ihwamun in Little Tokyo, where ownership puts together three dozen flavors — and offers a bit of Korean history while they’re at it.

What Sqirl Away might look like

Don’t put too much stock into this, but Sqirl chef/owner Jessica Koslow Instagrammed out a photo of what some takeaway dishes might look like from her side concept Sqirl Away. The long-gestating grab and go spot next door to Sqirl is still coming along, but this certainly seems promising.

Realizing the prophesy of Squirreling Away : @wongstaaa

A post shared by Jessica Koslow (@prosciuttosnacks) on

The best bar map in the game

Interested to know about the roughly 700 bars within walking distance (call it a half-mile or so) of any Metro rail line in Los Angeles? Good, because one man has already put in the work to give you exactly that, says LA Magazine. A hero, indeed.

Non-traditional noodles

There are never enough noodles to go around in Los Angeles, it seems. But sometimes you want a plate of the good stuff that breaks all the rules, which is where this handy Discover LA list of very untraditional Asian noodles comes from.

Kegs and eggs

Want more craft beer with your morning eggs? Good news: Mikkeller in Downtown just launched brunch. The menu (below) includes a concise collection of options like a breakfast sandwich, croque madame, flatbreads, and brunch charcuterie because why not.