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

Do You Like Korean Pasta?

Hulu is a beautiful thing, and one of the most recent blessings I've received from it is Pasta, a South Korean sitcom centered around a character's rise from dishwasher to chef. From the amazing pop techno music to the never-ending kitchen cooking montages and crazy preparation of live lobsters (that would most likely not be allowed on U.S. television), this is one irresistible show for food-lovers. Give it some time, and you'll be craving more Pasta.

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Brunch in a Bite, 20 Times

Sunday afternoon, 20 home cooks and professionals met at the Thirsty Bear Brewing Company to battle it out at the sixth SF Food Wars. The theme was "amuse brunch"—which meant that contestants had to create the most delicious one-bite brunch dish. READ MORE

MoMed’s Bold Delights

MoMed is, as the name implies, modern and Mediterranean. It's fresh, boldly flavored, and delicious, says tastycakes: "modern interpretations of very traditional dishes and the result has quite an authentic and yet perfectly California feel to it."

There are pizzalike flatbreads, called pide, from a wood-burning oven. Saganaki is excellent, with very buttery haloumi cheese. The cheese is seared, topped with olive and tomato, and presented sizzling in a cast iron skillet.

Duck shawarma is tender and redolent with spices, says tastycakes, with just enough heat. It's presented on soft, thin flatbread, with slightly crunchy, sweet figs for a lovely contrast.

The real winner here is baleela, "tender chickpeas bathed in brown butter and studded with pinenuts and tangy preserved lemon," says tastycakes. "We were stuffed but I kept nibbling away at the remains!"

MoMed [Westside - Inland]
233 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills
310-270-4444

Discuss: lunch at momed in beverly hills - fantastic

So Much More Than a Gastropub

The brand-new Waterloo and City is satisfying and amazing, says Lee by the Sea. "Amazing because the advance description of Waterloo and City as a 'gastropub' does not begin to do justice to its high culinary level."

There is an "altogether wonderful" salad of English peas, fava beans, caramelized walnuts, and fresh mozzarella, says Lee by the Sea. Handmade orecchiette in Parmesan sauce "seemed a little lonely in the expanse of its bowl but tasted so good that we considered licking out the bowl," says Lee.

Of a main dish of halibut and merguez sausage, served with black lentils in savory sauce, Lee by the Sea says: "like a grown-up version ... of hot-dogs-and-beans." And New Trial approves of the garlicky lamb, paired with a tasty, thickly potato-crusted shepherd's pie.

Waterloo and City [Westside - Inland]
12517 Washington Boulevard, Culver City
310-391-4222

Discuss: Waterloo and City: Luscious First Night

Refrigeration Reformation

Refrigeration Reformation

What should stay cold, colder, and coldest in your fridge. Plus, what should never enter. READ MORE

The 26-Page Pentagon Brownie Recipe

Internet wits are giggling over the recently publicized 26-page specifications for Pentagon brownies, drawn up for "operational rations." (In other words, they're guidelines for contractors who want to bake treats for the troops.) The specs are so mind-blowingly detailed that it blows one's mind. As Katherine Mangu-Ward writes for Reason magazine's blog, "Just grab a copy of document MIL-C-44072C and gather your ingredients: water that conforms to the 'National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (Copies are available from the Office of Drinking Water, Environmental Protection Agency, WH550D, 401 M Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20460),' and some eggs in compliance with 'Regulations Governing the Inspection of Eggs and Egg Products (7 CFR Part 59),' and you're ready to go!"

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Overheard on the Los Angeles Boards

"... It seems like inconsistent baristas is the curse of Los Angeles espresso ... Now I just take it back and ask for another, and even, last week at Coffee Klatch, a third before they got it right. This doesn't happen in SF or Portland, because the clientele would pitch a fit. So stand up for your espresso until they get it right." - ciaolette

"Many of you are familiar with the tale of several restaurants calling themselves Little Sheep Mongolian Hotpot that started opening up in the LA area six or seven years ago. The assumption was that these were branches of the famous restaurant chain back in China ... These were all knockoffs and unrelated to the Chinese restaurant chain, and the local restaurants were forced to change their names ... Well it appears now that the real deal is opening up, ironically in the same shopping center in Hacienda Heights as one of the original imposters." - chandvakl on the soon-to-be-open genuine Little Sheep branch

"Serious, old-school tripas (and a half-dozen other) tacos for $1 each, including tax! Pre-sauced and slightly wet/steamed." -degustateur on Omana's

The American Brew Blowback

The Washington City Paper has a nice brief interview with Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver about the impact of the American brewing industry on its counterparts worldwide. It's not something we normally consider, having been conditioned to think of American brewers as making mandatory pilgrimages to Germany and Belgium to learn at the feet of Continental masters, but stateside brewing has evolved into a powerful force.

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A Fish Taco Gem

Ensenada is known for its fish tacos, so when you find a tiny little taqueria called Tacos Ensenada, you kind of know what you're supposed to get.

Fish and shrimp tacos are really, really excellent. A combo platter, with one of each, is $5.39. "At my first bite, I already knew that I was going to be a happy fish taco eater," says pleasurepalate. "The fish's batter was a nice golden brown and crispy while the fish meat itself was moist and delicate. It was a taco that was both messy and yet great to eat." The shrimp taco is just as good: sweet, and cooked just perfectly.

Ceviche is a disappointment, though. And pollo and asada tacos are merely OK, reports Bradbury. Stick to the fish and shrimp tacos. It's a tiny place, just four tables and a condiment bar with pickled carrots and onions.

Tacos Ensenada [Inland Empire]
2171 E. Huntington Drive, Duarte
626-359-4959

Discuss: REVIEW w/ pics: Tacos Ensenada: A Duarte Foodie Gem

The Four Most Annoying Restaurant Website Design Flaws

I have to make a plea for simplicity. Please, restaurant owners, I won't judge your restaurant's website for not having an intro page with an idyllic farm on it or arty photos of carrots. I just want to see what's on your menu. Judging from the humorous Chowhound discussions on this subject, I'm not alone in my desire for restaurant websites to get back to basics. READ MORE