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World Doughnut Eating Contest Comes to LA, and More A.M. Intel

Plus North Italia opens in Downtown Santa Monica today

Donuts from Astro Doughnuts And Fried Chicken
Astro Doughnuts, Downtown LA
Wonho Frank Lee

Doughnut world champs

The World Doughnut Eating Championship is coming to Southern California on June 2, apparently, which means fans of the super-sized sport will be able to catch names like longtime world champ Joey Chestnut compete for doughnut supremacy. The whole thing is going down at Santa Monica Place starting at noon, with competitors from the Major League Eating circuit aiming to win some $2,000 in prize money.

If that seems like a somewhat paltry amount of cash in exchange for getting stuffed with sugar, keep in mind the event is really backed by the Salvation Army, who are putting on the feast to raise money for veterans in and around Southern California, particularly those who have fallen on hard times. So to watch Joey Chestnut slog through more doughnuts than thought possible and give some money away to charity while doing so, here’s the chance.

Everson Royce Bar makes it big

The Arts District’s Everson Royce Bar is getting some big love thanks to Esquire, who just named the place one of the best bars in America, period. Expect the patio to be packed for at least a few weeks as a result.

Lido Bottle Works arrives

There’s a new name in Newport Beach dining: Lido Bottle Works. The Nobu-adjacent spot comes with chef Joel Harrington, former culinary director for Marcus Samuelsson. Expect a whole slew of lunch and dinner dishes, plus lots of tap craft beer, vermouth cocktails, and wine. Grand opening is June 9 at 3408 Via Oporto, Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach.

A Middle Eastern moment

LA Magazine critic Patric Kuh deep-dives on the Middle Eastern moment happening around Los Angeles, from the redone Fig in Santa Monica to places like Kismet and Mh Zh and all that’s been happening in cross-cultural pockets like Westwood and Glendale for years. Even the new Freehand Hotel coming to Downtown LA will have a modern Israeli restaurant on tap, called Exchange.

H.Wood’s new moves

Looks like some big growth for the H.Wood Group, as the team is expanding their Nice Guy restaurant/bar concept into Aspen, and taking Bootsy Bellows to Dallas. They’ve got even more projects in the works locally too, so look out.

Where to omakase in LA, according to Katsuya’s chef

LA Weekly asks Katsuya’s Director of Culinary Research (what a title) about where to eat omakase in LA. The six-part listicle curiously includes places like Providence and Boiling Crab, but also boasts Tempura Endo, N/Naka, and Q, which are more of the traditional omakase experiences.

Barbecue anniversary

Wood Ranch BBQ and Grill is celebrating their 25th anniversary with a barbecue sauce giveaway on June 5 (one at every table until supplies last). The first location opened back in Moorpark in 1992, with 16 total outlets across Southern California, including a central spot at The Grove.

North Italia’s new digs in Santa Monica

North Italia, a concept from Sam Fox (True Kitchen, Flower Child), has landed right into heart of LA’s mecca for chains: Downtown Santa Monica. Though the chain has a location in El Segundo, this new Westside interior looks pretty dapper. Focused on pasta, pizza, salads, and cocktails mostly, the casual new option opens today at 1442 2nd Street, keeping lunch through dinner hours.

North Italia Santa Monica
North Italia