L.A. Foodie produced a series of 4 promotional spots for KCRW’s winter fund drive. The spots feature Evan Kleiman (Good Food), Frances Anderton (DnA, Design & Architecture), Michael Silverblatt (Bookworm), and Elvis Mitchell (The Treatment). Join Ben, Drew, and the KCRW on-air team as they travel through the air above Los Angeles in a magical, flying KCRW tote bag. The magical tote bag makes stops at the Gamble House in Pasadena, the Apple Pan in West L.A., The Last Bookstore on Spring Street in DTLA, and the Hollywood Forever cemetery for a night time screening of the moden American classic, Good Burger. Support KCRW!
Downpour at The Farmers Market. Ahhhh!!!! #whitewaterrapids (at The Original Farmers Market)
How to Beat the Meat (Racket)
by Farooq Ahmed
According to investigative journalist Chris Leonard, consolidation within the meat market has caused a few large companies to dominate our country’s supply of beef, pork, and chicken. But since prices are low, why does that matter? And what can you do about it, anyway?
Leonard’s the author of a new book on the subject, “The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America’s Food Business,” and he details how this all happened from his perspective as an agribusiness reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Associated Press. He now serves as a fellow at The New America Foundation, a nonpartisan public policy institute in Washington, DC.
Leonard will be speaking in L.A. with Zócalo Public Square on March 3, 2014 at 7:30pm at the Petersen Automotive Museum. We caught up with him in between West coast events and asked how we, the average meatophile, could beat the meat monopoly.
LA Foodie: Your book demonstrates how four companies essentially control all the meat we eat. What avenues do consumers have to affect change in the current system of meat production? Is it as simple as avoiding fast food?
Chris Leonard: It’s almost impossible to avoid the big four meat companies if you eat meat at all. These companies make 85% of all the beef in the United States, 65% of all the pork, and they make all the unlabeled meat that we eat at restaurants, cafeterias, and nursing homes. That’s the point of the book: at the grocery store at least, there’s virtually no consumer choice. You might be picking between four brands of products, but all those brands will be owned by Tyson Foods or Smithfield.
The only effective way to opt-out of the system is either to become a vegetarian or steer yourself to a local producer. There are a lot of really smart entrepreneurs right now who are doing a system of locally produced meat where you know your farmer and the production methods used at the farm. And that market is growing. But it still makes up a very small percentage of the overall meat industry and supply.
Gauchos Village — Glendale
Brazilian churrascaria-style steakhouses are a great experience everyone should try at least once. Gauchos Village in Glendale invited us to try their All-You-Can-Eat hot/cold buffet and BBQ meats. Friday and Saturday nights are the nights to come, as the restaurant hosts a lively party with samba dancers. We unknowingly came on a Sunday and quickly wished we had been there for a more upbeat crowd. It seemed like a slow night; we were about 1 of 5 tables in a large room that could easily seat 75 or more.
Unattractive hot/cold Buffet
We started with the hot/cold buffet, which sadly didn’t make a great first impression. It was a bit of a mess, and you could tell things had probably been sitting out all day. However, that’s probably okay since I think it’s a rookie mistake to fill up on sub-par unlabeled sides and get too full for the amazing charcoal meats.
Lombo (pork loin) is sliced into filets and encrusted with a rich Parmesan cheese coating before roasting over an open flame
Now, the meats are where it’s at. Like I said, don’t waste your time with the hot/cold buffet but do grab at least two Brazilian cheese bread balls!
Flip your little marker to the green side to get the gaucho-dressed meat servers to keep coming to your table, slicing off pieces of their 16 different varieties of meats. Since there’s so much to try you might as as well try it all (as we refer to it: THE MEAT GAUNTLET). Most of the meats are seasoned pretty perfectly so try to get a cut of the meat that includes as much of the grilled outside as possible. Our favorites were the Polish and Brazilian sausages (juicy and not too spicy) and we also really enjoyed the lamb and the buffalo-seasoned chicken. We didn’t care for the Lombo, or Tri-tip—both were too dry. Other solid choices were the Filet mignon wrapped in bacon and their signature meat Picanha, which is a top sirloin cap. Even the Garlic bread they slice off is pretty damn good. Make sure you have a large glass in front of you as some of the meat can get a little dry. Red wine pairs really well with all of the red meats. Don’t skip out on the delicious cinnamon pineapple; it’s so juicy, and that first warm bite will make you crave more.
Warm, juicy pineapple
We probably could have stopped at the pineapple, but that’s no fun. So we ordered Homemade Chocolate Mousse and Caramel Flan. I really enjoyed both sweets after such a savory, salty meal, but for me the real winner was the mousse. Its rich chocolaty thickness was just spot-on! It was a great treat to end a wonderful meaty feast. Next time we come back to Gauchos Village, we will be sure to catch the dancing ladies and have another glass of mousse.
Homemade Chocolate Mousse
By Lisa Scruggs
"Uh oh, I’m hungry at Dave & Busters!" - An Emergency Guide
So you’re at the new Dave & Buster’s at the Howard Hughes Center killing a couple hours before you check out Star Trek 17 in IMAX 4D SMELL-O-VISION at the Rave. Your stomach starts to grumble, but you’ve still got credits left on your gaming card. WHAT TO DO?!? Not to worry—the D&B guys invited us to their opening to let us try some of the grub, and we’re here to help guide you through your hunger!
HIGH SCORER: Pretzel Dogs
Obviously, D&B is a huge chain with an enormous kitchen, so we’re not looking for food miracles here. The best of what we had were The Pretzel Dogs—solid and tasty in the dipping sauce. Bonus points for convenience!
Waffles w/ Caramelized Bananas & Cognac Maple Syrup @BagatelleLA. They may actually be even better than they look.
(via digg): What army food rations look like around the world.
Totally interesting. France takes their rations pretty seriously it seems.
Big old #fluffy #pretzel from Link-n-Hops in #AtwaterVillage. Read our full review of this #sausage joint on LAFoodie.com! (at Link N Hops)
#LAFoodiePodcast 43: Fat Cow, Proud Bird, Matt Blitz