Eat Along With Me at Coachella All Weekend Long

This morning I’m making the annual trek out to Indio for the craziness that is Coachella. Not for the music, the fashion, or the pool parties (lord knows I’m too fat and uncool for all of that) but for the eats.  The festival has really outdone itself food wise this year, supplementing the corn dogs, crab fries and spicy pie with restaurant pop ups from famous L.A. chefs, fancy Outstanding in the Field dinners, and more casual stands from some of the best restaurants in L.A. (think: Eggslut, Kazunori, & Beer Belly).

As part of Tumblr’s Creatrs project, you can follow my Coachella food diary all weekend long over on Food is the New Rock while listening to our recent episodes of the podcast with Jonathan Gold, David Chang, and Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio.

Kitchen Story Brings Korean Snack Food to Sawtelle

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Little Osaka is dead! Long live Sawtelle Japantown, the new City Council approved designation of the ramen and sushi filled strip of West L.A. between Olympic and Santa Monica.  But while the name Japantown is a great homage to the roots of the neighborhood, it doesn’t really do justice to the geographic variety of foodstuff that’s popped up in the past few years.  We’re talking soup dumplings (ROC), pho (Nong La), Korean flavored sausages and rice balls (Seoul Sausage), pizza (Slice Truck), burgers (Plan Check, Bachi Burger), and Korean tofu stew (Seoul House), all of which will make you think twice about waiting on that line for Tsujita.  Even prepared foods chain Lemonade has a branch opening on the street this week.

But the most exiting new arrival is Kitchen Story, a Korean street snack specialist that took over the old Hong Kong Cafe space.

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Watch Me Get Gross at Escondite, Donut Friend & More: Since Zagat put out that first "Gimmick Testing" video featuring Lesley Balla and I eating at Panda Express Innovation Kitchen, 4 more videos have been released.  Check us testing out the crazy burgers at The Escondite, the ridiculousness that is Barton G in Beverly Hills, the now closed Choco Chicken in DTLA, and the musician influenced donuts at Mark Trombino's Donut Friend.

How to Eat 9 of the Best SGV Dumplings in Under 4 Hours

If you stalk my lunching on Instagram you likely noticed an uptick in the dumpling consumption over the past month.  It’s true, I love me some dim sum, pan fried potstickers, and, of course, xiaolongbao.  But I was also putting together this Dumpling Crawl of the San Gabriel Valley for Lucky’s Peach’s dumpling month.  It’s a bit more intense than the 2 Hour Taco Crawl of L.A. I put together a few years back, requiring a bit more planning and discipline.  Plus eating this many dumplings in 4 hours is a lot more punishing on your body than you would think. Not to mention the pain in your heart you might feel as you drive by Lunasia, Chengdu Taste, 101 Noodle Express, Shanghai Dumpling House, and Mama Lu’s without stopping. Or skipping places entirely that didn’t fit on the route (I’m looking at you, Kang Kang Food Court.)  But with 4 people (3 will leave you with too many dumplings to eat, 5 will make it harder to get a table and divide the dumplings) and a pocketful of cash (a lot of places don’t take credit cards) you can have an epic afternoon of dumpling eating that you won’t soon forget.

Any places I left out?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments.  You know… for Version 2.0.

Delcious Vinyl’s New Pizza Parlor is Now Open on West Adams

Delicious Vinyl, the L.A. based record label that brought the world Tone Loc, Young MC, and The Pharcyde, just opened a pizza joint called Delicious Pizza on Adams Blvd, just east of Culver City. A joint project between Delicious Vinyl’s Mike Ross and Fred 62′s Fred Sutherland, the little pizza shop is not just fodder for our Food is the New Rock thesis, they’re also making some pretty great pizza.

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My Lunch at Flautas (and Your First Look at the Inside of Jamie & Ramiro’s Mexicano)

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It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with food courts, a passion that dates back to my childhood.  So I was excited to hear the news that the famous chefs behind La Casita Mexicana in Bell have just opened a new food court concept called Flautas in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall.  Like 101 Noodle Express in the Fox Hills Mall or Loteria’s Torta Company in Fig At 7th, it’s just the latest development in a food court renaissance that has been sweeping through Southern California malls over the past few years.

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5 Things You Should Know About Pok Pok Phat Thai Before Trashing it on Yelp

Chinatown’s emergence as the hottest new food neighborhood in L.A. took another major step forward in the final days of 2014 when Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok Phat Thai joined Roy Choi’s Chego and Scoops in the Chinatown Plaza (Eggslut’s Ramen Champ has since joined them as well.) You likely have heard of Ricker’s brand of Thai food, thanks to super popular restaurants in Portland and New York.  But not everybody has welcomed Pok Pok with open arms and their Yelp page has quickly devolved into a mess of complaints, some fair but most completely unfair for a restaurant that is less than a month old.  Before you jump into the fray with a crappy review of your own, here are 5 things you should probably know about the new Pok Pok, complete with quotes we got from Ricker, who is currently in Thailand.

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1.  Pok Pok Phat Thai isn’t Pok Pok.  So you went to Pok Pok on that last trip to Portland and loved the chicken wings?  Congrats!  This isn’t Pok Pok. Pok Pok is a full restaurant, a branch of which will be opening later this year up the street in the Mandarin Plaza.  This is Pok Pok Phat Thai, a quick service noodle shop dedicated to the kind of sautéed fast food they serve on the streets of Thailand.  If you want the wings, you’re going to have to wait a little while longer.

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