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Does New York City Really Have Better Sichuan Food Than Los Angeles?

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Plus a big switcheroo in Orange County, and another shutter in Santa Monica

Chengdu Impression 5
Chengdu Impression
Wonho Frank Lee
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.

Fiery rhetoric

The San Gabriel Valley has for years been a hotbed of Chinese and Chinese-American culinary activity, but only in the past few years as the massive swath of land east of Downtown seemingly attracted national attention. Case in point: This Food & Wine explainer on the greatness of the SGV, set as an explainer for anyone on the outside looking in.

Among the many gems in the story (Yelp is actually helpful in the SGV; there’s not as much of a language barrier as you may think; just take Valley Boulevard), there is one rather striking nugget: Writer Andy Wang says that New York City still has the edge on Sichuan cuisine in America, over places like Chengdu Taste and Szechuan Impression.

A big OC flip

Looks like limited days for Stonehill Tavern in Orange County, as the restaurant will serve its last meal at the end of the year. In its stead will come Bourbon Steak, another Michael Mina project that currently has a glitzy corner location in Glendale.

Hayden hits the next level

Culver City restaurant Hayden is expanding its hours, adding a full lineup of Monday service along with earlier-morning breakfast fare. That means daily hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday), with room for coffee in the morning, salads for lunch, and casual wine and dinner in the evening.

We are now open on Mondays! 9am-9pm! #haydenWine #tinnedfishforever : @emilyemig

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No more Fork

Santa Monica’s beleaguered Fork in the Road restaurant has closed for good. There was a big fire in the kitchen back in 2015, followed by an extensive rebuild and, later, a rebrand to the name 2424 Main Street, but in the end it has all been for naught. The place pulled up stakes quietly a couple of weeks ago.

LA’s oldest bartender

LAist has a great feature out on Ruben Rueda, one of the longest-tenured bartenders anywhere in the city. He’s been donning the red jacket at Musso & Frank’s for fifty years, chatting with everyone from Gore Vidal to Charles Bukowski along the way.

A history of the market

Hollywood’s famed weekend farmers market draws thousands of casual shoppers, huddling under the sunny skies for a shot at some of the best produce available anywhere in Los Angeles. KCET digs into the history of the place, from its founding in 1991 to its current tenure as a bustling stop for chefs and food-lovers alike.

Greenleaf, again

There’s a new Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop opening on Friday in Los Angeles, this time at USC Village. The healthy-eating option caters to the student crowd, of course, but at 3,100 square feet and with a full bar, there’s room for anyone.