Here’s the story
Late last summer, a Roman gelato shop with eight outlets called Fatamorgana managed to slide into Studio City, seemingly out of nowhere. Fans quickly found the spot and it has since become one of the Valley’s most trusted places for cooling off on a hot day, but how exactly did this Italian company with a great reputation halfway around the world manage to open in the suburbs of Los Angeles?
Food & Wine doesn’t have all the answers, but they do probe into the background of owners Katyna Mercenari and Alessandro Jacchia, discussing the couple’s use of very non-Italian ingredients (Mexican zapote, anyone?), and how a fortuitous golf outing crafted the franchise agreement now in place.
Halal chicken and rice
Revolutionario is doing a weekend special of Iraqi-style halal chicken and rice. Look for a basmati-stuffed bird and sides for between $7 and $14.
Check out this quick video from Sweetfin on one of their new bowl options, featuring Hawaiian kanpachi.
Black truffle life
It’s black truffle season at The Bazaar, with the La Cienega restaurant launching a monthlong celebration of the luxury ingredient. Expect outrageous creations like a black truffle and foie gras sandwich.
New faces in South Pasadena
Chef Kevin Malone is in at Crossings in South Pasadena. The five-year-old restaurant hired Malone away from a gig at pop-up Gargantua, and he’ll now lead the charge for the upscale suburban sit-down restaurant.
Hollingsworth x Sumo Dog
It’s collaboration time at Sumo Dog once again, this time with Otium’s Timothy Hollingsworth. The unagi (that’s eel) dog comes with shishito peppers, onions, and more, and is available for the next couple of weeks.
How Hayato’s bento works
Downtown Japanese restaurant Hayato is gearing up for a spring arrival by doing a limited run of bento boxes for those who preorder. But as it turns out, the real story is in the details.
Warning: this is a long post. Only food geeks like myself who read books about bento are going to want to read this in its entirety (it continues into the comments section). . Recently when hearing feedback from guests, I am usually asked something along the lines of “Why does eating this bento seem so different from eating other bento?” Anyone who knows me can tell you that if you ask me that kind of question you need to prepare yourself to be inundated by a lot of information! What follows is a summary of my thought process when constructing bento at Hayato. Entire books are written on the subject of professional bento - I have tried to pare my basic ideas down to a few paragraphs. . A typical bento is similar to a Teishoku, it consists of a primary dish, some side dishes, rice and pickles, all served as a set. Because Hayato is a kaiseki restaurant and my job is to create elaborate multi-course meals, I need to make a bento that is very different than what a home cook would make. Rather than thinking of components as side dishes to accompany rice, or “okazu,” I need to make dishes that would be good enough to be individual courses in a multi-course meal. I also need to choose items that complement and contrast each other just as they would in a multi-course meal. In Japanese cuisine this is primarily accomplished by using different cooking techniques: grilling, frying, steaming and simmering. Different techniques used on contrasting ingredients should produce enough variety to entertain the diner throughout the course of the meal, whether it’s in the restaurant or in the bento.