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LA’s Newest Food Hall Stars Bring West African Cooking and Dry-Aged Sushi to Culver City

Plus, a Vietnamese pho specialist lands in Little Saigon, a guide to buying chocolate, and more

Jollof rice from the forthcoming Ilé Bistro in Culver City.
Jollof rice from the forthcoming Ilé Bistro in Culver City.
Ilé Bistro
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.

In March, Citizen Public Market in Culver City welcomes two new vendors to the food hall’s line-up: Ilé Bistro and Uoichiba. Ilé Bistro comes from chef Tolu Eros of Ilé LA, a fine dining pop-up celebrating West African cooking and culture. Ilé Bistro promises to be a more approachable and casual sister concept highlighting Eros’s two signature dishes, jollof rice and pepper soup, with customized spice levels and proteins available. Desserts include sweet palm wine popsicles and West African doughnuts. Ilé Bistro is slated to open on Friday, March 24.

Chef Liwei Liao’s Uoichiba debuts on Wednesday, March 1. The 10-seat counter will serve temaki handrolls, chirashi bowls, and sashimi using dry-aged fish from the chef’s Sherman Oaks fish market Joint Seafood. Liao is at the center of the city’s current love affair with dry-aged fish. “We’re not really drying it. We’re just keeping it in a dry environment over time,” Liao tells Eater in the article “Why Dry-Aged Fish Is Everything Everywhere All at Once in LA.” “The majority of our fish is really just being conditioned so that it’s cleaner and purged of a lot of its impurities, basically anything that makes it taste fishy.”

Various dry-aging fish hanging in a refrigerated case.
Dry-aged fish at Joint Seafood in Sherman Oaks.
Wonho Frank Lee

A breakfast legend closes in Arcadia

After more than 70 years of serving the Arcadia community, Rodney’s Grill closed its doors for good on Sunday, February 12. Prior to its closure, the restaurant served a robust breakfast menu that included morning staples and innovative fare like a “pancake sandwich” layered with eggs and bacon or sausage between two pancakes. The Arcadia location opened in 1957 and was the last remaining Rod’s Grill, which started as a small chain of restaurants in 1946. The space was also featured prominently in an episode of Mad Men.

Unpacking the nuance of chocolate

LAist taps Coco Ramirez, a culinary arts and hospitality management student at Pasadena City College, to share her knowledge of chocolate. Ramirez recommends tasting chocolate with one’s tongue rather than teeth and says Lindt is a solid choice as far as popular brands go.

Hanoi pho specialist lands in Little Saigon

Jared Cohee, the food blogger behind Eat the World LA, takes a drive south to dine at Phở Thìn 13 Lò Đúc, the latest Vietnamese beef noodle soup restaurant making a splash in Little Saigon. Nguyễn Trọng Thìn opened the original restaurant in Hanoi in 1979. The restaurant’s menu includes seven different bowls of pho that “focus on rare slices of beef,” writes Cohee.

French dip pioneer Philippe gets a mini-doc

Austyn Jeffs, a writer/director formerly with Comedy Central and FunnyOrDie, released a short documentary about Philippe the Original in Chinatown that takes viewers into the kitchen of the LA legend.

Blossom Market Hall welcomes a new bánh cuốn vendor

Ten Seven Rolls, a family-run stand specializing in Vietnamese bánh cuốn, opens on Friday, February 17 inside San Gabriel’s Blossom Market Hall. Chef Lan Klaude and her children and grandchildren are serving steamed rice paper crepes filled with pork, beef, and vegetarian options based on family recipes. Also on the menu are bánh xèo, chả giò, and fresh spring rolls.

Citizen Public Market

9355 Culver Boulevard, , CA 90232 Visit Website