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A Westside Barbecue Powerhouse Is Opening at Grand Central Market

Plus, free ice cream to kick off the summer, a new natural wine bar, and more

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A busy Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.
Grand Central Market
Elizabeth Daniels
Virali_Dave is a writer and editor in Los Angeles. Born in Mumbai, she has always considered the West Coast to be the best coast. Her writing has appeared in FoodBeast, NBC News, LAist, Life and Thyme, The Ringer, Input Magazine, and more.

Culver City-based Maple Block Meat Co. will be opening a second location at Grand Central Market this summer, bringing its Texas-style barbecue and sides to the former Horse Thief location. This follows Horse Thief’s departure after a decade at the 106-year-old market and is one of several changes that Grand Central Market has experienced in recent months.

Maple Block Meat Co. co-owners Daniel Weinstock and Mike Garrett will be serving their signature brisket, ribs, cheeseburgers, and pulled pork along with some new menu items in Downtown soon, plus wine and beer on tap. An opening date has not yet been announced, but will likely fall sometime in July.

A new natural wine bar

The team behind LA coffee bar Coffee MCO is opening a natural wine bar called Red Room this Friday, June 23. From 6 p.m. to midnight, the coffee shop turned wine bar will serve a rotating selection of natural wine, beer, and soju cocktails from beverage director Emily Ko (Pinkies Up, Woon), plus small bites from rotating pop-up chefs. Diners can expect an interior inspired by photography darkrooms, featuring a low-lit space and red neon lights. Red Room will be open from Thursdays through Saturdays at 2580 W Olympic Boulevard Unit #2, Los Angeles, CA 90006. This weekend, there will be a tapas menu from chef Jorge Serrano (the Serrano Experience) for both Friday and Saturday, featuring pan con tomate, tortilla de patata, and more.

Inside Red Room, a wine bar with a red neon sign.
Inside Red Room.
Red Room

From pop-up to brick-and-mortar in Studio City

Known for his decadent, underground, backyard steak parties and shawarma, Aviad Yalin, known as Avi Cue to his fans and followers, opened his first permanent location last week, sharing the announcement on Instagram. The menu features a wagyu shawarma sandwich with spit-roasted wagyu beef, tomato, onion, parsley, tahini, amba, and pita. There are also fries, plus arayes — ground wagyu beef in a toasted pita — and a dessert pita filled with Nutella and banana. Shawarma by Avi Cue is located at 11288 Ventura Boulevard, near KazuNori and Daichan. Expect a line when doors open at noon. The restaurant closes at 5 p.m. or until sellout from Tuesday through Sunday.

Free ice cream to kick off the summer

Known for its ice cream made with cereal milk, bakery, and sweet shop Milk Bar is giving away free mini pints of their signature cereal milk ice cream today while supplies last. The ice cream is made with cereal-steeped milk that has a malted flavor and caramelized cornflakes for a bit of crunch. LA’s Milk Bar flagship is located at 7150 Melrose Avenue.

A Pride month double header for folks in food

In the second edition of a panel series hosted by the public relations team behind BLAKE, Reservations is coming back to the Ace Hotel for another conversation about the food industry. As part of a doubleheader, there will be two conversations on Friday, June 30 focusing on gender, queerness, and more. The first at 2 p.m. will focus on masculinity and food, featuring Jon Kung, Nik Sharma, and Silver Cousler. Next, there will be a conversation at 3:30 p.m. focusing on drinking and drinking spaces plus gender, queerness, and “girly cocktails.” The conversation will feature Shannon Mustipher, the Ruby Fruit, and Tim Chan. Priced at $35, tickets include access to both panels, plus drinks courtesy of Couple Coffee, One Stripe Chai, and Junipero Gin, plus a cash bar.