• Posted by Califia Suntree on March 9th, 2012, 10:59 AM

    With the annual February 29 memorial of the late City Restaurant as his entry point (he’s so unswervingly loyal to Milliken and Feniger! They must go way back…), Gold’s first column for the Times since 1996 lays out what could be characterized as the Gold Manifesto of L.A. Dining. Haute/mini-mall, authentic/homage, truck/valet–“an allusive, ever-shifting mosaic.” In short, its diverse, tangled, and shambolic food scene encapsulates “the way Los Angeles — the best Los Angeles — looks at the world.”

    Gold has proven himself a brilliant and wide-grazing guide; it’s just too bad he is now behind a paywall, and can’t say “fuck” in his reviews anymore. A new day indeed…

    Los Angeles’ reflection in a plate – latimes.com.

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on March 6th, 2012, 2:50 PM

    Ever since Edible Los Angeles folded in 2009, the city has been without an Edible franchise. The Edible magazines–which won a collective 2011 James Beard Award for Publication of the Year–are part of Edible Communities, a centralized publisher that provides editorial and other support, as well as excellent design, for local food publications anywhere anyone wants to set one up. To date, they have almost 50 publications, from Allegheny to Wasatch and, now, the Westside of L.A.! It’s wonderful to have a local Edible again, and I’m happy to say that I have a piece in the premier issue, about my family’s long history with Santa Monica’s Warszawa restaurant. You can check out a digital version of the magazine here, or go here to see a map of where hard copies are available.

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on January 19th, 2012, 10:19 AM

    True story: Yesterday I’m rushing home to have lunch before an appointment, and as I approach my front door I see a nattily-attired gentleman rooting around under our lemon tree. Neighbors are constantly raiding our Meyer lemons, so I approach the man, irritated.

    “Excuse me, what are you doing?”

    The man jumps up, alarmed, and I see that he’s holding a big bouquet of purple and green sourgrass, both flowering wood sorrels that grow (as weeds) all over our neighborhood.

    “What do you have there?” I ask.

    “Just these. They’re for my restaurant!”

    I look at him skeptically, “What, for the tables?”

    “No,” he says, “for the plates.”

    This guy knows his edible weeds.

    “What’s your restaurant?” I ask.

    Mélisse!” he answers, gesturing to the celebrated, two-Michelin-starred palace of haute cuisine two doors down (and yet a world away…) Yes, indeed, this man in my flowerbed, in his Persols and cashmere scarf, was celebu-chef Josiah Citrin!

    I start to chuckle, imagining our humble sourgrass adorning the oversized white plates of one of Los Angeles’s poshest restaurants. “Ok,” I say. “Just ring the doorbell next time, or you’ll freak us out.”

    “I don’t want to freak anyone out!” says Citrin, scurrying quickly away, still a bit alarmed. “Thank you!”

    For some reason, I didn’t demand free food in exchange for our coveted weeds. But I definitely have a new respect for the chef, for his daring, his knowledge of edible plants (though I’m 99% sure he thinks he’s picking the very edible Oxalis stricta rather than our sort-of-edible Oxalis pes-caprae) and his obvious devotion to locally sourced ingredients!


  • Posted by Califia Suntree on November 17th, 2011, 10:47 AM

    “Word on the Street,”  a food-themed downtown L.A. block party on November 20, comes to you via the Cornerstone Theater Company, and is the finale for their month-long “exploration of hunger.” The block party will feature food trucks and local restaurant fare, a communal dining table, and a video booth to share stories about hunger. Their five-year project “The Hunger Cycle” aims to bring attention to world hunger and food justice issues, via theatrical performances and other events. Upcoming “Hunger Cycle” projects include a spring 2012 residency at the Homegirl Cafe and a spring 2013 residency in a school cafeteria.

    Where: Downtown L.A.
    Traction Ave. between Hewitt & 3rd

    When: Sunday, November 20, 2011
    12pm – 4pm

    The event is FREE.


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