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One of LA’s Most Popular Barbecue Spots Is Smoking Up a Storm in Pasadena

Plus, mango lassi cupcakes, truffle shokupan, and more

A plate of barbecue, including brisket, smoked chicken, ribs, and sauce.
Slab is now open in Pasadena.
Wonho Frank Lee
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.

Pitmaster Burt Bakman in partnership with the H.Wood Group just opened a second location of Slab in Pasadena at 812 South Arroyo Parkway. The 1,500-square-foot space boasts an outside patio and seats up to 75. The popular barbecue spot, which opened its first outlet on West Third Street in 2018, is best known for Texas-style barbecue, including expertly prepared beef ribs and brisket.

Located next door to the perpetually packed Howlin’ Rays, Slab’s menu will look familiar to longtime fans. In addition to plenty of proteins (pulled pork, spare ribs, baby back ribs, chicken, brisket, and beef ribs) are classic Southern sides (coleslaw, potato salad, mac and cheese, baked beans, collard greens, and more), chicken wings, tacos, and sandwiches, plus a salad topped with barbecue chicken. Unique to the Pasadena location is a soft serve machine whipping up classic flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Slab in Pasadena is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Bonkers for bananas

A dedicated banana bread purveyor called Gone Bananas Bread recently set up shop at the Original Farmers Market on 3rd and Fairfax. Founded during the height of the pandemic by interior designer Estee Stanley and wardrobe stylist Leah Smith, Gone Bananas is best known for its classic and heart-shaped loaves of banana bread that come in a variety of flavors including original (Big Banana), chocolate (OG Chocolate Chip), pecans (Nucking Futs), and blueberries (Bluenana).

In addition to moist loaves of banana bread, Gone Bananas is also selling banana bread pudding and Bananyays, deep-fried and glazed chocolate chip banana bread bites. A portion of Gone Bananas’ net profits are donated to Baby2Baby and A Sense of Home.

Puerto Rican fine dining

Chef Raquel Fleetwood is bringing Puerto Rican fine dining to Angelenos with Encanto, a limited-run engagement held at a private residence in Beverly Grove. The $189, seven-course tasting menu brings together traditional Puerto Rican ingredients with modern techniques with dishes like bacalaitos and caviar, lobster sancocho, and short rib and bone marrow mofongo. Reservations are available on Eventbrite.

Veggies for all

Food writer and bestselling cookbook author Nik Sharma is celebrating the release of his new cookbook VEG-TABLE on Wednesday, November 15 at Caldo Verde in Downtown. The $85, four-course menu includes vegetables prepared in a plethora of ways: broccoli za’atar salad, green beans and cucumber noodles, masala veggie burger with golden za’atar onion rings, and more. Tickets are available on OpenTable.

Padma x Sprinkles

Culinary goddess Padma Lakshmi is teaming up with LA-founded Sprinkles Cupcakes this Diwali (November 12). Lakshmi’s mango lassi-inspired cupcake is made with mango cake piped with a creamy mango curd center and topped with a cinnamon- and cardamom-spiced yogurt frosting. The Luscious Mango cupcake is available from November 1 to 22. Sprinkles is donating to the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project as part of the promotion.

The Luscious Mango Sprinkles cupcake is available from November 1 to 22.
The Luscious Mango cupcake is available from November 1 to 22.
Sprinkles Cupcake

José Andrés is coming to town

A bevy of well-known chefs including Nyesha Arrington, Reem Assil, Giada De Laurentiis, Evan Funke, Stephanie Izard, and Michael Voltaggio are teaming up with José Andrés in LA to raise funds for the chef’s humanitarian arm, World Central Kitchen. For more details on the World Central Kitchen Feeding Hope series, see here.

Truffle shokupan

It’s nearly impossible to improve upon the fluffy loaves of shokupan from Ginza Nishikawa, but that doesn’t stop the Japanese brand from trying. The newest truffle loaf debuts on October 17 and is only available in limited quantities (20 to 30 loaves per day) at the Santa Monica location. Secure a loaf online.