File this one under: a reason to go to the mall. Japanese ramen specialist Ramen Nagi, known for its house-made noodles, has introduced its first-ever secret menu item, only available at its Westfield Century City location — and only when requested. Called the Lamb King, the completely pork-free ramen features a lamb-based broth and lamb chashu made with short loin marinated in garlic, pepper, and soy sauce. It’s then topped with Nagi-style falafel and fresh cilantro to bring out the lamb’s natural flavors. The Lamb King, available to special-request now, is priced at $15.95.
Tu Madre takes Santa Monica
As of tomorrow, Santa Monica will have its own location of Tu Madre, which already operates outposts in Westwood, Larchmont Village, West Hollywood, and Los Feliz. Expect a familiar menu of tacos, burritos, bowls, and red-velvet churros, as well as a full bar, at the new location of the casual Mexican restaurant at 606 Broadway.
A new ska-influenced coffee shop
L.A. Taco brings news of a new coffee shop in Boyle Heights: Cafe Girasol is the brainchild of ska musicians Jovan Loera and Patti Hernandez. In addition to brewing coffee and hosting live music, the duo is hoping their cafe on Cesar Chavez Avenue will be “a space for bands, spoken word, book clubs, movie nights, study sessions, and more.”
Stomp some grapes this weekend
Vintage Wine + Eats in Studio City is hosting a harvest party and grape stomp this Saturday, September 17 from noon to 4 p.m. The event will feature flights from local wineries Byron Blatty, Cavaletti, Adorato, Acri Wines, and AJA Vineyards; guests can meet the winemakers and stomp their own grapes. A selection of California-inspired harvest dishes from chef Luke O’Grady of Little Dom’s will be also available. Tickets ($46) are available here.
A meaty happy hour (and a half)
Over in Culver City, Maple Block Meat Co. is launching a happy hour and a half featuring new food and drink items Monday through Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Order from the Brisket & Things menu, which features brisket three ways (in tacos, nachos, and grilled cheese), or try bites like barbecue popcorn and chopped pork grilled cheese. Draft beers are $5, wines by the glass are $6, and there are some new $5 signature drinks like the Cerveza-Rita, made with jalapeno-infused simple syrup, lime juice, and 21st Amendment’s El Sully Mexican-style lager.
Hang onto summer
Moonbeam Kitchen, a pop-up from private chef and writer Chloe Chappe, is having an outdoor homemade pasta dinner in Palms to celebrate the end of summer on September 24. The menu (subject to change) lists an Early Girl tomato and zucchini salad, as well as anolini stuffed with feta, Parmesan, and spigarello. Tickets ($65), available here, include a ceramic mug created especially for the event by Alissa Rothman, Chappe’s collaborator for the dinner.