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Fine Dining All-Star Headlines Inaugural Chef-in-Residence Program in Little Tokyo

Plus, an LA guidebook locals won’t hate and late-night munchies in Long Beach

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Fine dining vet Chris Ono named chef-in-residence at Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.
Fine dining vet Chris Ono begins his residency at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center this summer.
Katrina Frederick
Cathy Chaplin is a senior editor at Eater LA, a James Beard Award–nominated journalist, and the author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Los Angeles.

Chef Chris Ono brings his extensive fine dining background (Providence, Eleven Madison Park, Mori Sushi) to the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) this summer as part of its inaugural chef-in-residence program. The Hansei residency, which begins in July and runs through the end of the year, promises to be a reflection of Ono’s personal and culinary journeys as a native Angeleno, fourth generation Japanese American, and fine dining chef.

“Hansei, meaning reflection, is something I have done throughout my career, especially in the beginning. It is the act of embracing mistakes with the understanding that these mistakes are lessons and serve a purpose in the journey of self-improvement,” Ono tells Eater in an email. “Being a fourth generation Nikkei, I am always searching for my identity as an individual and as a chef, which I am grateful to explore through cooking right here in Little Tokyo.”

The three-part Hansei experience takes diners throughout the JACCC space, starting with appetizers in the center’s garden, larger dishes at the chef’s counter, and desserts in the lounge. For a preview of Ono’s expert cooking, check out the JACCC’s Rising Chef Series in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month on May 24 and 25. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite.

Chef Chris Ono’s “LA nikkei” ceviche brings together Japanese and Mexican ingredients.
Chef Chris Ono’s “LA Nikkei” ceviche brings together Japanese and Mexican ingredients.
Katrina Frederick

An LA guidebook locals can get behind

It can be hard to put into words what makes Los Angeles such a dynamic city but the folks at Atlas Obscura and Los Angeles Tourism sum it up pretty well in their latest guidebook: Explorer’s Guide to LA. Both locals and tourists alike will dig the guide’s solid and succinct food recommendations and neighborhood overviews. Check out a digital version here.

Late-night tiki bites in Long Beach

Long Beach night owls looking for something to eat ought to head to the Bamboo Club. The recently updated late-night menu available from 10 p.m. until closing includes very fun Polynesian-inspired fare like kalua pork fries, chicken wings with an orange-habanero glaze, and garlic noodles.

Meet and greet cookbook author Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez will be in town later this month to support the release of his cookbook Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico. Find him on Wednesday, May 18 at Tallula’s in Santa Monica (tickets available here) and on Thursday, May 19 at Second Home for a conversation with Bricia Lopez (tickets available here).

Kids rule at this year’s Taste of the Nation event

Taste of the Nation, one of LA’s most popular charitable food festivals, is making sure that kids have as good a time as adults at this year’s event on June 5 at Media Park in Culver City. With the help of Kalamata’s Kitchen, the event will feature a kids-only “passport” that includes unique bites around the festival; kids who garner the most stamps will receive some sort of prize. Tickets are available here.

Popular Vietnamese pop-up returns to West LA

Reservations are available now for Top Tep’s one-night event at Bar Hermanito in June. The Vietnamese pop-up is best known for its take on phở thìn Hà Nội, a northern Vietnamese beef noodle soup with seared beef, fresh noodles, egg yolk, and scallions.