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LA’s Robust Fusion Food Scene Was Generations in the Making

Plus 97-cent Pacific Dining Car burgers, and a big new Orange County arrival

Fatima’s Grill
Fusion food from Fatima’s Grill in Downey
Farley Elliott

Fusion across time

A new longread out over at MEL Magazine by local writer Eddie Kim tackles the ongoing hybridization of food in Los Angeles. Mostly the piece focuses on longstanding local restaurants that offer cross-cultural dining experiences and for decades have felt like they could only exist, beautifully, in this city. Chinese-Mexican food has long been a combination in LA and elsewhere, as have Cambodian food and doughnut combinations, or Koreans doing American food because it’s what the neighborhood demands. The modern crop of ‘fusion’ restaurants, whether it’s Baroo or Majordomo or Fatima’s Grill in Downey, owe a lot to those early make-it-work moments from immigrants opening restaurants across Southern California last century.

Left Coast grows

Southern Orange County brewery Left Coast is expanding, adding a new taproom further north in Irvine. The project is part of the city’s Sand Canyon Plaza, and will feature a small five-barrel brewing facility, an on-site distillery, and a restaurant focusing on Kansas City-style barbecue. Expect an opening next month at 6652 Irvine Center Drive, not far from the Irvine Spectrum.

Bread and jam to go

Journeymen in Atwater Village is growing its to-go business, adding room for their house-baked bread loaves as well as freshly-jarred jam. Both are available every day after noon.

Pie on the side

Isa Fabro spent some time with KCRW, tracking down her favorite non-Westside pies. Mostly that ends up meaning Downtown, including stops at Sari Sari Store and Little Jewel of New Orleans in Chinatown.

Cheap burgs

Pacific Dining Car is doing 97-cent hamburgers to celebrate the restaurant’s 97th year in business. It’s a limit one per person scenario and requires signing up on the website, but still what’s not to like about a sub-$1 burger from one of the more iconic steakhouses in town?

Tlayuda love

L.A. Taco put together a tidy feature on Poncho’s Tlayudas, a Friday-only Oaxacan snack specialist first profiled by Bill Esparza for Eater earlier this year. The place is a killer addition to the Oaxacan food scene in Los Angeles, and says a lot about just how good LA has it when it comes to Mexican food.

Lasagna on the low

Doughbox is now doing lasagna. The El Sereno deep dish mainstay has been quietly expanding its menu now that it has room to breathe, meaning two nights a week some signature semi-off-menu lasagna can be had (at least by those in the know).

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