After writing LA-centric features for the school newspaper, arts and entertainment articles for the LA Times, and one op-ed about African-American newspapers for the Pasadena Star News, my journalism career is taking yet another turn. I am becoming a food writer! Today, my first posts for the LA Weekly food blog, Squid Ink, were published.
In the first, I use 15 – count ’em! – umlauts to write about the new restaurant from chef Josef Centeno that will serve his famous bäcos. (Let us take a moment to recall the great line about the bäco from Jonathan Gold’s LA Weekly review of Centeno’s other restaurant, the Lazy Ox Canteen: “What does a bäco have in common with Motörhead? The umlaut, dude, the umlaut.”) I live directly above the Lazy Ox Canteen in Little Tokyo and have observed its development from empty retail-space shell to bustling bistro emanating smells of rabbit livers, pork belly and fried pig ears. Everyone I know loves the Lazy Ox. One LA Times colleague says he eats there five times a week.
My next post describes the weekly “tuna-cutting performance” at the Woori Market in Little Tokyo. I am a regular at this local Korean market that sells Japanese staples alongside aisles of kimchi. The fresh seafood section – practically an aquarium – always impresses me.
Below, you’ll find article teasers and links to the full posts.
Your Bäco Update: Josef Centeno’s Bäco Mercat Opens Next Week
The bäco is back, and this time, in a starring role….
The chef and owner describes his signature dish as “a sandwich-taco-pizza hybrid that encompasses my style of cooking in a sandwich: a lot of flavorful meat and sauce combinations.” The name derives from Centeno’s concept of a global taco….Bäco Mercat will serve six variations. The original features crispy pork belly and beef carnitas with two Catalan-style sauces: romesco and salbitxada. (Food from Spain’s Catalonia region, including Barcelona, has strongly influenced his cooking, Centeno says.) Another dubbed “carne picada” involves blood sausage and lamb merguez. Poultry-lovers can eat a chicken escabeche version. The ”crispy shrimp” bäco gets topped with pickled green tomatoes and caraway pepper sauce. Vegetarians are covered with a pickled veggie variety. The “bäco crispy,” a spin-off, is a flat bread baked with toppings similar to those in the sandwiches. Centeno says it’s comparable to the pizza-like Spanish coca.
Read the full article here.
Deconstructing Tuna: Woori Market’s Tuna Cutting Performance
How often do you see an immense animal in its full form just before you eat it? Unless you are serious about fishing and hunting, live on a farm, or spend a lot of time at Lindy & Grundy, that experience is rare.If the idea sounds intriguing, and you enjoy yellowfin tuna, the place to be is the Woori Market at the Little Tokyo Galleria. Every Saturday at 2 p.m., the seafood section presents a “tuna cutting performance,” combining a fish market, sashimi bar, and the showmanship of Benihana chefs.
Read the full article here.