Source: LAist - Going to the Santa Monica Farmers' Market with local chefs is something near and dear to us, since that's the core of our From Market to Menu series.
Our last trek was in the company of Chef Mikey Stern, the executive chef at Michael McCarty's Michael's restaurant in Santa Monica.
It seems doing the shopping and the talking is something the two Micheals enjoy doing, because they have created a monthly event called Michael's Market Meet-Ups for people to take part in and learn about cooking with the seasons.
The Meet-Ups begin at 8:30 a.m. at Michael's, where guests can enjoy cappucino and pastries, and a cooking demo using a featured seasonal ingredient--the take home being recipes and suggested wine pairings, and a copy of McCarty's book Welcome to Michael’s: Great Food, Great People, Great Party!.
After the demo, it's off to the market, just 2 blocks away, where Stern will help guests navigate the popular weekly market, introduce them to his favorite farmers and vendors, give tips on selecting produce, and talk more about the featured ingredient.
Your backstage pass to the Market, as guided by Stern and the folks from Michael's, will run you $60 and a few hours of your Wednesday morning. The first monthly Meet-Up is tomorrow, October 13, and the featured ingredient is kabocha squash. To reserve a spot, call the restaurant at (310) 451-0843.
Source: LA Times - Tara's Himalayan Cuisine Woodland Hills outpost reflects the owner's love of regional delicacies and her uncommon skill with vegetables.
On a good night at the new Woodland Hills branch of Tara's Himalayan Cuisine, it can feel like the entire world loves you. Tara Gurung Black, there most nights, is the kind of owner who hugs her regulars, who chats with guests new and old, who will tell you without hesitation which menu items she loves.
"Get the yak chili," Black says. "Oh god, I love the yak chili so much." Tara's Himalayan serves up food from Nepal, Tibet and India, three of the countries through which the Himalayan Mountains run. Yak chili is a traditional dish from Black's Nepali homeland, and it's an encapsulation of everything that's good about her restaurant. It is vivid and brimming with life. It has the wild flavor of yak, pungent and charred, but balanced against the sweetness of tomatoes.
The dish is vibrant with details: The onions are crisp and sweet, the bell peppers just barely cooked, the ginger still punchy. This is not cooking that melds flavors; this is cooking that likes every ingredient still screaming with its original flavors.
"Get the chicken korma," Black says. "It's everybody's favorite." What shows up at your table is a small, deliriously aromatic dish of chicken chunks in a delicate orange sauce. It's lushly creamy but somehow clear: The taste of fresh chicken leaps out. "It's coconut milk," Black says. Chicken korma can be a dairy-rich dish, but Black wanted to lighten it up, so she substituted coconut milk. Nepalese cooking is already oriented toward lightness, she says, and her eating experiences in America pushed her even further in that direction.
To fully experience the quiet majesty of this lush, subtle sauce, try it with a piece of the superb nan. Beneath the korma sauce's curry spices, the ground cashews and the cooked coconut milk amalgamate into what could almost be the chilled-out funk of cooked cheddar, so that somehow the dish ends up feeling, weirdly, like mac and cheese from an alternate dimension.
Eating through the menu and chatting with Black, you get the feeling that she truly loves her vegetables. The best dish with which to witness this: aloo bodi tama, a Himalayan dish of bamboo shoots, potatoes and black-eyed peas. It might show you that a bamboo shoot, selected and prepared with the proper reverence, can reach the profundity of aged steak. The bamboo shoot is so crisp, so abundantly juicy and so complexly sweet that diners occasionally shout in surprise at their first bite.
The restaurant is just like the owner: sweet, conscientious and laid-back. There are white tablecloths with white paper on top. The Woodland Hills branch is the second Tara's Himalayan (the first is in Palms), and she and much of her cooking team have been spending a lot of time at the newer location. Momo — dumplings — are lovely, with abundantly juicy fillings and a firm wrapper.
Samosas are fantastic too, with delicately cloud-like mashed potato filling. The most soul-satisfying dish might be chicken chili: chunks of chicken, battered in chickpea flour and sautéed with sweet tomatoes and vegetables. End the meal with kheer, the Indian dessert, normally made with dairy. Black plays the same trick as with the korma and makes it with coconut milk. It might make you wish that Black was your mother.
TARA'S HIMALAYAN CUISINE LOCATION: 19737 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills; (818) 932-9572. PRICE: Appetizers, $3 to $7; entrees, $7 to $11; breads, $2 to $4. DETAILS: Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays. Tea, yogurt drinks and soda. Credit cards accepted. Lot parking.
Source: Wikipedia - Tehrangeles is a portmanteau deriving from the combination of Tehran, the capital of Iran, and Los Angeles.
It is used when referring to the large number (estimates range from 500,000 to 600,000) of former Iranian nationals and their descendants residing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area; it is the largest such population outside of Iran. In common usage, it usually refers to the proportionally larger Persian-American subset of Iranian immigrants, many of whom are second generation citizens. This area is now officially recognized by the City of Los Angeles as "Persian Square". Thanks to the many efforts of residents, business owners and Councilman Paul Koretz's office.
The Persian community in the L.A. area originally centered in the Westwood neighborhood of west Los Angeles, particularly Westwood Boulevard between Pico Boulevard and the UCLA campus, often referred to as Little Persia or Persian Hills/Persian Square. It is between Beverly Hills and West Los Angeles. Immigration to the area increased several-fold due to the events surrounding the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Westwood Boulevard became known for its many Persian shops and restaurants; and the Persian expatriate community of Los Angeles entered all forms of media including magazines, newspapers, radio and television stations.
As the population grew, many Iranians have moved all over Los Angeles, with other large neighborhoods forming in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Woodland Hills and Encino in the San Fernando Valley and Beverly Hills, California ; the city of Irvine as well throughout Orange County and Persians also made their homes in San Diego and the Palm Springs area (Coachella Valley). The Persian population of Beverly Hills may be as high as 40% of the total population. The vice mayor of Beverly Hills, Jim Delshad, is Iranian-born.