What do the young Jewish star chefs in Los Angeles have in common? For those on the cutting edge of the city’s food scene, it’s not the laws of kashrut.
Junior’s Delicatessen, which served the West Los Angeles Jewish community and the broader residential Westside for 53 years, will shut its doors for the final time on New Year’s Eve.
More than Jews have kept delis, the deli has kept the Jews.
Even though the sap begins to rise on Tu B’Shevat, colder temperatures continue can drag on in Jerusalem for weeks, if not months. That means finding the right place to drop in and warm up at some of the city’s most appealing restaurants.
A mural of shadowy black silhouettes covers the wall with just one splash of color: a solitary red man. As the jazz-era-style mural stretches along the length of the restaurant, it follows the red man as he meets a lone red woman, and they end up sharing a table ... and a drink. The painted walls illustrate the overall theme of The Rack, an eclectic Woodland Hills eatery designed with the kind of intimate atmosphere that makes it an ideal meeting place.
JERUSALEM — It had been years since I’d ventured any farther than the lobby of the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem, so when I received an invitation to tour its spa and one of its restaurants, it was hard to say no.
Spray-painted swastikas and a death threat written in German were found at an Italian restaurant in Orangeburg, N.Y. The manager of Cassie's Restaurant told police that he found the symbols inside and outside the business when he opened Monday afternoon. Between $2,000 and $3,000 was missing.
Dining, shopping, living, praying -- VideoJew Jay Firestone shows you how it's done Los Angeles-style.
Destination weddings in spots like Hawaii or the Caribbean are a romantic way to start a new life with someone, but changes in the economy and fuel prices are forcing many couples to rethink the concept of getting "married away."
They open, they close -- will this latest entry in the kosher restaurant wars survive a year?
Akasha Richmond, a self-trained chef and artisan-style baker who has been catering events in the Los Angeles area for the past 20 years, shares some Passover recipes.
One might expect the chef-owner of a haute cuisine, award-winning French-American restaurant, where l'addition can easily top $300 per couple, to be an egotist. One would be wrong.
Situated a quick jaywalk across Pacific Coast Highway from Surfrider Beach and the Malibu Pier, Malibu Beach Grill is a kosher oasis in a town renowned for breathtaking seaside vistas, A-list celebrity sightings and new-age crunchiness.
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Joyce Brooks Bogartz's look isn't quite what you'd expect from the owner of a kosher restaurant. Adorned with brown-and-cream dreadlocks, the nearly 50-year-old proprietor of Malibu Beach Grill would at first glance seem to fit in better with customers sporting board shorts than black hats. But this post-punk Gidget is the kind of 'Bu Jew who is as comfortable around Chabadniks as she is with surfers.
Like many baby-boomers today, I sometimes feel older than Keith Richards up a palm tree. So when Irv and Eddie, my better elders, invite me to go out with them, I tag along, if only to combat creepy self-pity.
The tables were filled and the clock turned back at Canter's on Monday, as the landmark Fairfax deli lowered the price of a corned beef sandwich to 75 cents in honor of the restaurant's 75th anniversary.
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Oxnard's population is more than 70 percent Latino, which could explain why Tierra Sur, the finest new kosher restaurant on this coast (or almost any other), has decided to open with a decidedly Mediterranean-Spanish flavor, with a large dose of Tuscany thrown in for good measure.
Tierra's setting in its bustling, mostly residential neighborhood is stylish coffeehouse; the food is inventive. One typical appetizer consisted of figs stuffed with mushrooms, macadamia nuts and chicken -- flavored with cardamom, cinnamon and a Hindu date dressing (34 sheckels). Not all the entrees strain to be eccentric; there's "grilled pullet and polenta" for 58 sheckels and "calamari paperdello" for 54 sheckels. Some menu offerings are mouth watering; others more creative than tasty. But there's a full bar to wash everything down.
It's hard for Gideon Daneshrad to imagine himself on the receiving end of tzedakah (charitable giving). In the 30 years since he arrived from Iran to study computer science at North Louisiana University in Monroe, Daneshrad, 56, has built himself a full life -- with four children, a lakefront home and New Orleans' only kosher restaurant.
"Just close your eyes and imagine that you wake up in the morning and you are stripped of your identity," Daneshrad says. "You are nobody. You are nothing. You have no money coming in. You don't have clothes. You don't have food. And all the people you knew are scattered around the world."
Daneshrad and his family have been in Los Angeles for more than a week, and he still finds himself imagining this is all a nightmare.
Your best friend is soon to wed. You're in charge of the prenuptial ladies fete but your buddy is an iconoclast and so are you. If you're looking for bachelorette parties that score points for originality, you might consider these unusual substitutes.
I have plenty of friends who keep more strictly kosher than I do, but even some of them make exceptions -- like bouillabaisse in France or lobster in Maine. I deviate when I'm the guest in someone's home, and the options are slim -- my rationale being that it's better to not shame a host than to stick to my half-baked rules.
Kosher east of Western? Out here on the edge of the eruv that runs along Western Avenue (the pole-top strung boundary that allows traditional Jews to carry on Shabbat), I live with my family in an old area of Los Angeles a few miles west of downtown called Country Club Park.
In the past, the dynamic and innovative Pacific Northwestern city of Seattle has been associated with Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, The Pike Street Market, The Space Needle and grunge bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana.
The recently mounted mezuzah on the front door of a soon-to-be opened restaurant in Malibu is symbolic for many reasons.
It marks the first kosher eatery to open in the seaside community. It also symbolizes Chabad of Malibu's first foray into mainstream life in a city of surfers and celebrities.
Chabad has been cultivating its surf town persona since 2001, purchasing several buildings and a house across the street from the Malibu Pier. A sign posted in front of the property portrays the silhouette of a Chabadnik riding a surfboard.
It's a formula that Marmet is trying to emulate in his Melrose Avenue restaurant. Named for his wife of four months, Greta Pinto, who also helps out with the cooking, Greta's pays homage to the Parisian bistros that Marmet loved so much. The resturant offers a Tunisian menu of extremely fresh, tasty and hearty food served in a setting made intimate by its rustic earth-toned colors and through the soft glowing light from candles on the table and wall votives. Greta's has a dining room of only 34 seats, and its produce is bought from local vendors and then prepared a-la-minute, to order.
Laurie Gwen Shapiro is not, repeat not scion to a matzah fortune, like the heroine of her hyperkinetic new novel, "The Matzo Ball Heiress."
Soon after Alef Jewish Restaurant opened for business in Krakow's Jewish quarter more than a decade ago, a gaggle of Polish schoolgirls wandered in during their lunch break. The anxious students asked the restaurant's co-owner, Janusz Benigier, whether they served non-Jews.
The only store nestled in the verdant Laurel Canyon, Canyon Country Store, built in 1919, has served as a location for several films and is also a hangout for many artists, musician and actors.
"We don't do falafel or schwarma," said Avi Ben-Harouch while seated on a beige banquette in the elegant dining room of his new restaurant, Avi's Bistro in Agoura Hills.
Deep red curtains, dark lighting, cushiony pillows and pictures of camels and bellydancers adorning the walls: That's what you'd expect from a restaurant reputed to be one of the best Middle Eastern eateries in Southern California.
Instead, what you find is a bright diner-like atmosphere, with orange and yellow arches on the walls, in a strip mall in Sherman Oaks. Oh, and a long line of Americans, Arabs, Druse and Israelis.
Carnival's green awning welcomes guests in Hebrew ("Bruchim Ha'baim") English and Arabic. Newspapers in three languages line the table of the anteroom, as people wait for a table or takeout on this busy Saturday night.
Yoshinoya and a sushi restaurant sprang up at Dodgers Stadium after Japanese pitcher Hideo Nomo donned blue, but it's going to be a while before L.A. fans will be able to bite into a kosher Dodger dog, even with the addition of Jewish outfielder Shawn Green.
Who is supposed to pay? And why does the whole subject make me so squeamish?
"I'm a Jewish girl, and my husband's a Catholic,"says Barbara Lazaroff, who has been married for 15 years to renownedchef Wolfgang Puck.
About 12 years ago, Passover was a lonesome timefor Lazaroff, most of whose Jewish relatives lived out of town. SoSpago regulars nudged her to create a restaurant seder, and she consulted withhubby Wolf ("He said, 'We can make shrimp.' I said, 'I don't thinkso,'" Lazaroff quips).
The result was the first seder ever held in anupscale Los Angeles eatery, with kosher-style (i.e., not strictlykosher) fare a la Puck's trendy-interpretive cuisine.
Today the once-legendary Spanish Kitchen restaurant is a study in decay, the "K" missing from the neon sign, the arched storefront crumbling and covered with graffiti.