Heroic Italian chef Jeffrey Merrihue had some choice words on Instagram after dining at Evan Funke’s new Fingers Crossed in Hollywood. Merrihue summarized his experience by criticizing Funke’s strict approach to Roman cooking while pointing out aspects of the menu that wouldn’t be served in Rome (like tiramisu or Malta pudding). Merrihue then challenges Funke to a duel, calling carbonara at Fingers Crossed “parched,” all while maintaining that the “food was great.” Still, it didn’t stop Merrihue with the backhanded compliment of calling Funke “a great chef, trailblazer, and wonderful part of LA gastronomy but a lovable blowhard.”
Funke seemed to take the criticism in stride, commenting directly on the post with “I wish you unbridled success @heroicitalian peace and pasta,” then remarking “Looks great!” on a subsequent Merrihue post comparing their two carbonara plates. Merrihue concludes his Instagram posts with praise for Evan’s squash blossoms at Fingers Crossed. Is this pasta drama the petty feud we need right now?
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Evan Funke claims he will not eat anyone else’s fresh pasta in America. At his new venture @fingerscrossedhollywood he solemnly recites his commitment to strict rules of Roman gastronomy. The lecture continues on the web site and menu before a waiter who knows nothing about the subject delivers a rehearsed speech about Roman cooking. Open the menu - and all kinds of things tumble out including a pizza called “Napoli” (served with cheese even tho it should not be)Tiramisu from Northern Italy and a pudding from Malta. The food is great and Evan is a great chef, trailblazer and wonderful part of LA gastronomy but he is also a lovable blowhard. I would like to challenge his parched version of Carbonara to a duel against our version at Heroic @heroicitalian @janetzuccarini @mijunepak @felixlosangeles @gourmetpigs #carbonara #authentic #romancooking
In other news:
— Palette Food and Juice, a beloved eatery in Atwater Village, is closing permanently. They share that their PPP ran out in July and that sales during the pandemic were about 25 percent of pre-COVID. It’s a heartbreaking story.
— CDC research is showing that those who dine out have higher risks of being exposed to COVID-19 than those who partake in other activities, such as shopping or going to a salon, reports NBC LA. Research shows that those who tested positive were twice as likely to report having eaten at a restaurant or been to a bar in the past two weeks.
— The LA Times has an in-depth story on the drawings in the Animator’s Room at Moore’s Delicatessen, which closed last month in Burbank after nearly ten years of business.
— Get an inside look at Brandon Go’s Hayato in this vertical Instagram video posted by Row DTLA.
— KCRW has a story on how undocumented workers often have no safety net during uncertain times like this, especially during a pandemic. Labor organizer Manuel Villanueva works with nonprofit Restaurant Opportunities Center to provide lifelines for dozens of unemployed workers, but he is mentally and physically exhausted from the work.
—Charlie D’Amelio, the most followed person on TikTok in the world and self-proclaimed coffee lover, has a partnership with Dunkin’ with special cold brew with whole milk and “three pumps of caramel swirl.” Five lucky fans who post the drink on Instagram using the #CharliXDunkinContest hashtag could get the chance to virtually hang out with the talented teen dancer and learn how to make viral videos of their own.