The CHOW Blog rss

Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.

Smoke City’s Michael Gans: 4 Great Bites Near LA

A series about LA chefs and the off-night food they love.

Not too many places are holier for barbecue aficionados than Lockhart, Texas, a 30-minute drive south from Austin. It’s representative of a style commonly referred to as Hill Country Barbecue. The area annually draws 250,00 visitors intent on experiencing the primal methods of pit-smoked meats. Time-honored establishments like Smitty’s and Kreuz duke it out just like the Giants and Dodgers (in barbecue as in baseball, opinions never settle). This particular brand of barbecue developed out of butcher shops operated by Czech and German settlers in the mid-1800s. Meat is served on butcher paper, with a side of raw onion, white bread, and pickles. Asking for sauce or utensils is practically an insult. READ MORE

Eating Outside the Bubble

After the difficult events in Ferguson, there's been a slate of stories in national media about how de facto segregation still rules life for most of us 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education. Our kids, most of them, go to school with other kids who look just like them, even though the United States has never been more racially diverse. READ MORE

One-Dish Wonders: 9 Ridiculous Single-Item Food Slingers

Although Crumbs Bake Shop announced it’d be closing all its stores in July, investors swooped in at the last minute and announced more than half the cupcake chain’s locations would reopen beginning in September. READ MORE

Kyochon’s Korean Fried Chicken Bowl Needs Fleshing Out

Los Angeles’s fried chicken landscape is indeed a diverse one: classic Southern, Indonesian, Chinese, and yes, Korean. You can find that last one at places like OB Bear, The Prince, Dan Sung Sa, and KyoChon, a South Korean chain that serves made-to-order, double-fried chicken wings known for their crispiness. READ MORE

Gluten-Free Is the New Normal

It’s been a year of seesawing fortunes for the gluten-free movement. It’s endured rolled eyes and snark, but it’s also earned respect. Chefs, cookbook authors, and magazine editors are touting gluten-free, or GF, as an everyday option—not as a weirdly textured and tasteless diet of denial, but as food that’s absolutely fabulous, on its own terms. READ MORE

Beer Belly’s Wes Lieberher: 5 Great Bites in Los Angeles

Wes Lieberher runs the kitchens at the gastropub Beer Belly and its Philly-centric cousin, Whiz, both in LA's Koreatown. We asked him to school us on his cheap-eat finds in the City of Angels. READ MORE

That Time Anthony Bourdain Scared Kids with the Gay, and I Laughed

In 2009 I got an email, kind of tentative in tone, from a TV production company, asking if I knew a lot about taco trucks in Oakland. I did—I'd spent a month that year eating from 40 of them. Through all the reticence to say exactly what the show was, I could tell they were talking about No Reservations. They copped to it: Anthony Bourdain was coming to San Francisco to tape a show, and he’d make a detour across the bridge to Oakland. READ MORE

Bestia’s Menashe and Gergis: 5 Great Bites in Los Angeles

Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis are the husband-and-wife team behind Bestia, a restaurant on the outskirts of LA’s Arts District with what Jonathan Gold calls some of the most purely Italian dishes in Los Angeles. Here's what they love to eat for cheap. READ MORE

Island-Style Poki Bowl Soothes the Dog Days

At $16, Daichan's poki bowl is expensive, but the portion is generous and the waitstaff treat you with the care reserved for old-time customers. READ MORE

Gobs of Mayo Saved This Negitoro Bowl!

Scoping out single-vessel culture in Los Angeles, America's capital of laid-back food.

Next to Daikokuya, a ramen shop in Little Tokyo known for its boiled bone marrow tonkotsu broth, is Marugame Monzo, another Japanese soup shop specializing in handmade udon and, lo and behold, a negitoro bowl for only $5.50. READ MORE