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New Los Angeles Mayor Sets Food Policy Goals

New Los Angeles Mayor Sets Food Policy Goals


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Mayor Eric Garcetti plans to promote healthy eating

Eric Garcetti, the new mayor of Los Angeles, shared his plan to improve food policies a few days prior to his election. In a Los Angeles Food Policy Questionnaire, he stated that “while Los Angeles has the unfortunate distinction of being the epicenter of hunger, we also have an opportunity to be a leader in eradicating it.”

Garcetti’s plans include continuing the FamilySource Center system, which offers social services to low-income residents in the L.A. community. Another goal is to promote and increase enrollment in the CalFresh Program, which provides food stamps. He hopes to encourage low-income families to shop at local farmers markets through the program.

The mayor, who was elected today, also intends to develop urban agriculture in spaces such as corridors and parkways, improve working conditions and health benefits of food workers, and increase the number of street vendors to foster healthy eating habits.

Time will tell how much Garcetti’s food policy will actually boost the nutritional health of the L.A. community, but it certainly looks like his heart is in the right place.


City Goes All Out in Bid for Democratic Convention

The mechanism eventually forgave him, and Representative John Burton was released unharmed.

But gentle New York pressures kept on and on and on throughout the day. Mr. Burton and most of the other members of the Democratic party's siteselection committee for the 1976 Presidential convention were in New York getting the hard sell from the city major Democratic politicians, hotel executives, restaurateurs and even a fashion designer.

Although the committee members expressed concern about the arena floor space in Madison Square Garden, the proposed convention headquarters, they were otherwise full of praise for New York, its hotels, its people and its glorious spring day.

Floor Space Weighed

Robert S. Strauss, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said the Garden's arena floor space “worried” him, and several of the site‐selection commitetee members echoed his concern.

“This hall is tighter than I thought it would be,” Mr. Strauss said. “But this hall has a lot of contiguous space that we didn't find in Los Angeles. It's a tradeoff. It's all a tradeoff. There are pluses and minuses in both of these cities.”

As James Appell, the chief operating officer of the Garden, led them over the rubber track that had been set up for the women's sprint medley, giving the Democratic officials rapid‐fire figures of the proposed seating arrangements. the committee members mumbled to each other such comments as, “But where are they going to put the alternates,” or “This is really much smaller than I thought it would be.”

A small portion of the Garden's arena floor space had been set up with rows of seats, mock state‐delegation signs, and a lectern emblazoned with a large poster reading “1976 Democratic Convention.”

Later, in one of the Garden's plush clubs, Mr. Strauss joked to a committee member that “this is where you choose the candidate.”

Patrick J. Cunningham, the state's Democratic chairman and the chairman of the site‐selection committee for the national convention, who is lobbying for New York, kept to tehe sidelines and did not say much.

But when someone told him the committee did not seem impressed with the Garden's space, he said quickly:

Last week the site‐selection committee toured the new Los Angeles Convention Center, and Mr. Strauss pronounced that site “the finest facilities that I have ever seen.”

The committee hopes to decide on a site by August. Aside from New York and Los Angeles, New Orleans, some Democratic officials say, is in the running as a “long shot.”

But Mr. Cunningham, determinedly optimistic about New York, said the Los Angeles meeting hall “looked a lot bigger because it is just one big empty space.”

The key concern of the committee is the seating of the 3,049 delegates and the 1.900 alternates. And though Mr. Strauss said yesterday that the alternates would not have to sit on the main convention floor, he estimates 3,500 seats will be needed for

delegates on the main floor plus space for 750 to 1,000 reporters, security people, and messengers.

The Garden staff displayed a plan yesterday for the seating of 3,200 people on the arena floor, with arrangements for alternate delegates to sit in the first tier of spectator seats.

The committee's day began with an 8:30 breakfast at Gracie Mansion, where Mayor Beame had arranged to have a fire boat spouting water in the East River and the Junior High School 185 chorus from Flushing singing “East Side, West Side” and “Consider Yourself at Home.”

Guests with them at breakfast were New York's two former Democratic Mayors — John V. Lindsay and Robert F. Wagner—as well as James A. Farley the man who served as national Democratic party chairman under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Mayor Beame, tanned and smiling, told his guests that New York was 16th on the list of major cities rated according to their crime statistics.

“Our competitor,” he said, “is ninth”

As a Metropolitan Transit Authority bus took a leisurely route downtown from Gracie Mansion, some of the delegates listened attentively to a guide talking about the city's architecture.

But the bus's public‐address system did not work, so those who were out of hearing in the back of the bus chatted and joked about the lighter moments of their political duties.

Doris Davis, the Mayor of Compton, Calif., told a fellow passenger that in Los Angeles Mr. Cunningham had “complained apout everything.”

“He said everything was terrible.” she went on in a loud voice, toping the former Bronx Democratic county leader would overhear.

The group was sooon deposited at the McGraw‐Hill Building on the Avenue of the Americas, ushered into the basement rooom and seated among giggling schoolchildren to watch a multimedia show called “The New York Experience.”

As slides, fragments of film, and what seemed like a hundred microphones flashed a bedazzling and sometimes breathtaking view of New York to the audience, recorded voices told the city's history and quoted from some of its more adoring past residents.

And then it was on to lunch at the Top of the Sixties, the restaurant housed in the building with the aggressive elevator.

Joining the committee members for lunch were executives from the hotel and industries, Oscar De La Renta, the fashion designer, and several members of the city's Convention and Visitor's Bureau, a private organization that is partly financed by the city.

The New Yorkers attempt ed to counter the arguments that the committee had heard last week in Los Angeles, which had included estimates that average spending by one person in four and a half days there would be $180 but $400 here. The New Yorkers said their city's visitors simply spent more money because there was more to spend it on here, such as shopping, theaters and extra frills.

They stressed the abundance of hotel space in Manhattan and its convenience to the Garden. Many of the committee members said that New York's hotel arrangements were far superior to those in Los Angeles.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Association for a Better New York and several businessmen who asked that their names not be disclosed are paying most of the bill for the two‐day selling job, which includes meals at “21” and “Le Club” and free hotel rooms at the Statler Hilton. The whole thing is costing about $10,000.

If the convention comes to New York, the Board of Estimate has said it would approve an allocation of up to $1‐million to the Democratic party. But before any money can be accepted by the organizers of the convention, a special Federal commission must set the guidelines for such gifts, and they are not expected to decide until July.

Is $1‐million a lot for a city in a budget crisis?

“We're not broke,” said Mayor Beame. “And if the convention comes here we'll recoup it all. This will be the greatest thing for New York City.”


What Does It Mean To Me To Be SalviMex?

Being SalviMex molded me into I am today. I am a Latina who was born and raised in Los Angeles. My mother is Salvadorian-American and my father is Mexican-American. My mother has always been a talented home cook she learned many Salvadorian recipes in her motherland. When she came to Los Angeles and met my father here, she learned Mexican recipes from his family. Lucky me, there was always delicious Salvadorian and Mexican food growing up in my home.

My Mexican Roots – My Father

My father moved to Los Angeles when he was just a teenager. He came to work and save money. My father kept an open mind about the possibility of returning home, but eventually, he realized there were so many opportunities here in LA, that he stayed.

Evenetually, he helped move my Nana here, bought a home, met my mom, started a family, etc. Even though he is now a proud citizen of the United States, he carries nostalgia for his country of birth. He visits multiple times a year. When I was a child, we would take weekend road trips to his hometown, while my mom stayed behind with the siblings. (I am the only one of us who loves Mexico almost as much as my dad does and therefore I was always eager to accompany him!)

I learned a lot about balancing dual identities from my father: he was proud of his roots and proud of the opportunities that Los Angeles offered him.

My Salvadorian Roots – My Mama

My mom, on the other hand, always dreamed of coming to the US. The same way someone from the middle of the USA may long to move to The Big Apple, my mother dreamt of being an American. For her, when she came here, her goals were to make it, to be successful. Her logic was that assimilation would open more doorways for her. She proudly embraced her new Los Angeles identity.

Yet, when mama would call back home, I would see this different side come out of her. Like her guard was down. When we would visit El Salvador together as a family, it was amazing to see my mother, like a chameleon, lean into her roots, so comfortable, so happily.

As an adult, as I reflect on these memories, I now understand that her assimilation was not a rejection of her culture. It was my mom’s way of surviving and eventually thriving in the United States. What better way to honor yourself than to thrive? To me, my mom is one of the most successful Latinas I know. I’m so proud of her for that. From my mother, I learned many things: I learned how to be strategic to get what I want. I learned how to cook. I learned about entrepreneurship first hand from her. Finally, I learned that things are sometimes not as simple as they seem, and that these complexities can make us into who we are.

My Salvadorian Roots – My Husband

It was through my relationship with my Salvadorian-American husband that I became more in touch with my Salvi roots. I joke that my husband is my mom’s favorite because he is Salvi like her. They have a special bond that way. She gets to lean into her Salvadorian identity more often and more comfortably. It’s been really nice to see this come out over the years.

My SalviMex Roots Affect Who I am Today

Being SalviMex molded me in my formative years, and this unique identity still affects me in the best ways as an adult. For instance, when I met my husband, there was of course some initial flirting as we got to know each other. Eventually, the subject of our cultural backgrounds came up. I asked him where he was from. He told me he was born in El Salvador, came to the US as a toddler, and became a citizen right before graduating from USC. All I heard was El Salvador and my eyes lit up. Any shyness (I call it shyness he calls it standoffishness) I felt around him instantly vanished: “What?! You’re Salvadorian?! Me too! Well, half.” It was a turning point in our courtship.

My husband is my partner and best friend. We have conversations about many things. One recurring topic is identity. What does it mean to be Latinx in the United States? What does it mean to be a Latina entrepreneur? A Latino professional? One thing we often discuss is what it means to be Mexican-American and Salvadorian-American in the United States. This is a conversation that, like many others, is a constant dialogue in our household.

Do Salvadorians and Mexicans Have Beef?

My husband says he was relieved when he found out that I was half and half. He confessed to me later in our relationship that he was excited that I was half Mexican because he loves Mexican food (the way to his heart was through his stomach). He was also relieved that I was half Salvadorian because that means we would get along.

I recall when he was trying to establish with me that he was cool with Mexicans. He’d tell me that almost all his Salvadorian-American cousins married Mexican-Americans. He also shared with me that his best friend is SalviMex too. I understood his intentions and thought they were sweet. His intentions were to show me that he has no beef with Mexicans.

Let’s be honest: it’s hard to talk about a SalviMex identity without talking about the beef some Mexicans and Salvadorians sometimes have with each other. Having roots in both cultures, I’ve heard it all— from both sides. The most frequent comment is: “How did your parents make it work? Since Salvis and Mexicans don’t like each other.” (For the record, my parents are happily married lol.)

Salvadorian and Mexican Unity

I don’t really like to give power to this beef and prefer to focus on the positive. To me, it’s important to establish unity in our cultures. There’s a lot of Mexicans and Salvadorians in Los Angeles. We are more similar than different. We can celebrate our differences and bond over our similarities. As allies, we can accomplish so much.

It has been my personal experience that these identities added to the beauty that is the complexity of Los Angeles.

Anytime I meet someone of Mexican descent, it’s so nice to have something in common! Our follow up question is usually- what part of Mexico is your family from?!

Anytime I meet someone of Salvadorian descent, the excitement is almost always instant: “oh what?! You’re Salvi too?? No way!” Then all the Salvi slang we know comes out and we bond over that.

This identity also carries over anytime I meet anyone who has Central American roots: “You’re Central American too?! How cool!!” Being SalviMex has helped me to be in touch with my Latinidad in a way that is so special to me. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

A Tribute to my SalviMex Identity

This is why Herencia Cookbook is so much more than a cookbook. It is a tribute to my Salvadorian, Mexican, Latina and Los Angeles identities to my heritage. It is a celebration of amazing cultures through food. It is an homage to the women who taught me to cook. It is my way of honoring la raza. Being Salvi Mex in Los Angeles has brought me so much joy. This book is a small token of affection to my SalviMex identity. I invite you to join me on a journey of exploration of identity through food in Herencia Cookbook. I hope these recipes and stories bring you as much joy as they have brought to me and my loved ones.

Check out our blog and our book for authentic Salvi Mex recipes with a modern (and sometimes healthy) twist.

Herencia Cookbook is currently available for sale on Amazon.


Let’s hear it for this year’s best new restaurants

Chifa

Style over substance is always a possibility when a fashion heavyweight opens a restaurant, but when it comes to Chifa, it couldn&rsquot be further from the truth. That&rsquos not to say Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony fame didn&rsquot design the space to the nines&mdashcustom terrazzo floors, swirled green-and-cream tabletops, a birch-like custom wallpaper and a heart-shaped window beg to differ&mdashbut it is to say that its craveable and aesthetics-minded Chinese, Peruvian, and Taiwanese dishes suit the dining room&rsquos panache.

A restaurant decades in the making, Chifa builds upon matriarch &ldquoPopo&rdquo Wendy Leon&rsquos own Chinese restaurant, also called Chifa, which opened in Lima in the &rsquo70s before the family immigrated to the U.S. She&rsquos cooking her signatures like Chinese brûléed char siu and Peruvian pollo a la brasa at Chifa 2.0 now, alongside her son-in-law, John Liu, who lends his own generational Taiwanese recipes to the menu. Humberto heads up the design and drink programs, while his sister, Ricardina Leon, runs the ship as CEO.

It&rsquos beauty, it&rsquos grace, it&rsquos a family affair with style, love and history on the plate and all around. And that wild and wonderful dining room is one of the first places we want to be when the world returns to normalcy.

Gamboge

This modern Cambodian deli does it all: Not only does Gamboge slather crunchy baguettes with grilled lemongrass-scented meats, creamy pâté and a rainbow of house-pickled radish and carrot for its tremendous numpang sandwiches&mdashit&rsquos also home to flawless grilled chicken wings, vegan options just as thoughtful as their meaty counterparts, glorious sides such as coconut-glazed corn, and a beer and natural-wine list to round it all out.

Husband-and-wife team Hak Lonh and Jane Oh built a casual and welcoming sort of café as their first foray into the restaurant industry, but Lonh&rsquos recipes and love of food are serious, and they run deep, tracing back not only to his Cambodian and Chinese heritage but also his parents&rsquo culinary journey upon their move to America. Ideal for a sandwich, a full-on feast&mdashtruly, order one of everything&mdashor a simple iced coffee set to the restaurant&rsquos top-notch Cambodian playlist, Gamboge is vibrant, effortlessly cool and always worth a stop.

Gigi’s

Chic hardly begins to describe Gigi&rsquos, a California take on a French bistro and a new neighborhood restaurant that drips with brass and charm. Picture it: A bartender passes you a cognac-scented old-fashioned or a classic martini from the glowing bar, and as you sink into the plush green booths your filet mignon steak tartare arrives all dotted with mustard seed and sauce gribiche. Because this is 2020 we&rsquore still dreaming of dining in the space, but trust us when we say that steak tartare is chic even if you&rsquore only eating it in your car.

At Gigi&rsquos it&rsquos all classy French comfort: exquisite duck rillettes with champagne vinegar and a perfectly chewy baguette just-crisped roast chicken with an herbacious dipping sauce and casual, iconic fare such as a jambon-beurre sandwich all leave us wishing we could have a Gigi&rsquos in our own neighborhood for a bit of a casual bistro escape.

Gucci Osteria

One of the world&rsquos most famous fashion houses teamed up with one of the world&rsquos best chefs to open one of Italy&rsquos most esteemed restaurants and, earlier this year, it all converged in Los Angeles. At the intersection of fashion and food is Gucci Osteria, Florence&rsquos Michelin-starred restaurant helmed by chef Massimo Bottura&mdashand now we have our very own for Bottura&rsquos signature tortellino in brodo and couture burgers inspired by Emilia-Romagna.

Perched above Rodeo Drive (and the Gucci store, naturally), the new osteria is of course a bit of an experience, but the food is even more enticing than the people-watching. Conceptualized by Bottura and chef Mattia Agazzi, it weaves Italian fine dining with more modern and L.A.-inspired dishes just as colorful as Gucci&rsquos storied patterns: Brilliantly hued desserts might replicate a Malibu sunset or the Hollywood Walk of Fame but never manage to feel kitschy. Instead, it&rsquos more food as art&mdashor in this case, food as fashion.

Johnny’s West Adams

You can smell the smoked pastrami from blocks away, a kind of cartoonish invisible trail leading you right to the large blue and pink neon sign that says it all: BURGERS. PASTRAMI. DOGS. But that vintage neon sign&mdashoriginally from long-running Johnny&rsquos Pastrami&mdashis in the hands of new ownership, and Johnny&rsquos West Adams reimagines the pitsmoked and griddled meats with new dishes, new techniques and a whole new cocktail bar.

The new Johnny&rsquos walk-up shop boasts Jewish-deli sentiments, offers a killer patio, and isn&rsquot afraid to experiment (we will try some smoked fish in our pasta salad, thanks). Thick slabs of pastrami ooze flavor and melt into the Tartine marbled rye, while the thin-sliced pastrami French dip gives even Philippe&rsquos a run for its money. Some of the best matzo ball soup in town can be found here, too, along with big-as-your-hands chicken tenders, pastrami-topped fries, pastrami-bedecked burgers, pastrami-laden knishes, and pastrami-packed tacos.

In a city already so devoted to pastrami it&rsquos a wonder a newcomer can manage to feel so irreplaceable so quickly, but chef Danny Elmaleh&rsquos pastrami&mdashand everything else&mdashis just that good.

Katsu Sando

Playful and always full of surprises, this year Smorgasburg&rsquos popular Japanese katsu sando slinger opened the conbini-inspired sandwich shop we never knew we needed. The grab-and-go fridge near the front door offers both creative and traditional spins on goods you might find at a conbini, or Japanese convenience store, so you could grab hand-folded onigiri stuffed with pork belly kimchi ssam, perilla leaves and a little miso paste a classic miso-caramel pudding and a cream-slathered seasonal fruit sando in seconds&mdashplus a chilled curry plate for dinner later.

Of course the true stars of the show are the hot sandos, battered and crisped up and served between pillowy slices of painstakingly house-made milk bread in the snug kitchen. The quick, inexpensive and wholly satisfying sando stacks range from straightforward planks of tender fried chicken to one of the best new dishes of the year, a classic plate of Chinese honey walnut shrimp now in sandwich form. Always watch Instagram for specials, and always order a side of curry cheese waffle fries.

Little Coyote

In a slice-loving, pepperoni-guzzling sort of town full of new pizza spots cropping up what feels like every other week, Long Beach&rsquos New York-style haven managed to stand apart in 2020. That&rsquos because the team at Little Coyote built something genuinely cool, a real vibe of a beachy pizzeria, but what speaks for its trendiness beyond the tie-dyed merch and the natural-wine program and the fun social media presence is the product: Perfectly foldable slices with just enough heft, plenty of chew and the ideal crust-to-topping ratio keep Angelenos driving from the far corners of the county.

Co-owner and chef Jack Leahy and &ldquodough wizard&rdquo Waldo Stout team up for wild weekend specials that might see a Jean-Claude Van Damme&ndashinspired &ldquoMuscles from Brussels&rdquo pie topped with Brussels sprouts, or a charred-leek &ldquoFREAK-A-LEEK&rdquo white pie: This is serious pizza not taken too seriously. It&rsquos not all about the pizza though meaty subs and massive salads come piled and packed with high-end ingredients (we could probably live off those garlicky house croutons in the caesar), while co-owner Jonathan Strader keeps wine specials fresh and rotating for guzzling alongside your slices, offering a new vibe every meal.

Mírame

Chef Joshua Gil braises thick wedges of short rib, lays them over mashed corn and tops them with wasabi peas all tucked within handmade tortillas. He&rsquos just as creative when it comes to the fried chicken taco. And the octopus al pastor. And the whole fish swimming in masa jus.

At Mírame the modern-Mexican fare is exciting, the bites unpredictable. Pops of acidity might come from a black lime gastrique or a guava-and-tomatillo pico de gallo, with Gil&rsquos creations keeping us on our toes in the best way. You&rsquoll find bold flavors here unique to the Tacos Punta Cabras vet&rsquos whims: oysters with a spiced saffron apple mignonette striped-bass ceviche under an aguachile granita all-day breakfast burritos stuffed with lamb bacon and duck carnitas quesadillas brimming with turkey barbacoa, a thin sheath of cotija griddled and crunchy along the surface. It&rsquos a rabbit hole worth following wherever Gil&rsquos creativity takes you.

We had a feeling we&rsquod love Ospi&mdashafter all, Venice&rsquos new pasta emporium is brought to us by the team behind Jame Enoteca&mdashbut we weren&rsquot prepared for how much we&rsquod love everything else, too. Chef and co-owner Jackson Kalb&rsquos fresh handmade pastas are of course all worth an order at this Italian spot just two blocks from the beach, and the humble rigatoni in vodka sauce is just as crucial as the flashier and more labor-intensive raschiatelli, which come swimming in a melt-in-your-mouth spicy pork spare-rib sugo and topped with crema di pecorino and a showering of breadcrumbs.

But Ospi branched out from its predecessor&rsquos pasta focus by offering the likes of ricotta-topped toasts, massive planks of deep-fried provolone with cheese pulls that could stretch across the city, and Roman tonda-style pizza whose cracker-like edge along the thin crust belies a delightful chew. Grab pasta, pizza, cheese planks&mdashand, above all, the Ospi-only cannoli&mdashand head to the beach or anywhere, really.

Pearl River Deli

Pearl River Deli could easily be our most frequented restaurant of 2020, and with great cause. What was once one of L.A.&rsquos best pop-ups became one of the city&rsquos best permanent restaurants when chef Johnny Lee&rsquos casual Cantonese-leaning concept decided to call Far East Plaza home. Now you can find a constant stream of the most lacquered char siu, the mose succulent soy sauce chicken, the most silken scrambled eggs studded with shrimp, and everything else we could eat for every meal of the day if Lee&rsquos cooking it, we want it.

There&rsquos so much heart and technique in every dish here: Unique specials like broth made from ink-skinned silkie chickens with goji berries and red dates, or the crispy-coated typhoon-shelter shrimp, or Lee&rsquos singular Hainan chicken, rely on traditional methods, ingredients and sometimes hours upon hours of prep time&mdashwhich make each sip and bite feel truly special. Sometimes, if you&rsquore lucky, you might find the occasional leaf-wrapped zhong made by Lee&rsquos own mother: another labor of love we&rsquore all fortunate to taste. Be sure to keep an eye on the refrigerator to find ready-to-heat curries and sauces, too, but no matter what you order here you can&rsquot go wrong.

Petite Peso

Filipino food has always been cool but at Petite Peso, it&rsquos unabashedly so. Chef Ria Barbosa&rsquos first standalone restaurant serves fantastic kare kare, chicken adobo, lumpia and other Filipino classics along with streetwear (hi, branded bucket hats), playful specials like a reimagined take on Jollibee chicken and spaghetti, and, in the absolute most essential section of the restaurant&rsquos new online shop, &ldquoThe Good Good&rdquo: value packs of frozen lumpia available in both pork and meatless Impossible Foods varieties, naturally.

Barbosa, along with &ldquorice engineer&rdquo Tiffany Tanaka and co-owner Robert Villanueva, manage to serve some of the most fun and fresh Filipino food in L.A. all from within a 400-square-foot postage stamp of a restaurant (one formerly home to another L.A. Filipino-food great, RiceBar) and keep us fiending for their rice bowls and sisg just as much as the pastries. Don&rsquot even think about leaving without some of Barbosa&rsquos polvoron cookies.

Socalo

Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken returned to Santa Monica in the last days of 2019, and, as it turned out, opening a colorful cantina around their old Border Grill stomping grounds meant an all new rainbow of citrusy, produce-forward, hyper-fresh and beachy Cal-Mexican dishes&mdashthe kind of cooking that put their lauded (and at the time trailblazing) ode to regional Mexican food on the map.

At Socalo it&rsquos revamped but still streamlined, a casual space for all-day tacos, burritos, ceviches, and salads tossed together with ingredients pulled from the nearby Santa Monica Farmers Market. There are vegetables and California influence tucked into every dish&mdashsometimes sneakily so&mdashin a way that makes Feniger and Milliken&rsquos execution of (and reverence for) Mexican food still feel uniquely theirs.

Sushi Tama

We&rsquore an ocean away from Tokyo&rsquos Tsukiji Market, but that doesn&rsquot mean our expertise has to be. A sushi vet with a decade of experience at the world-famous fresh-fish mecca is now fronting one of the most elegant new sushi bars in L.A., a modern and serene space where chef Hideyuki Yoshimoto slices decadently buttery slivers of hamachi, kanpachi, otoro, anago and all the other sashimi, nigiri and maki favorites.

The difference here is quality and thought: Yoshimoto&rsquos technique is precise, with cuts so cool, refreshing and clean they practically sing of the ocean. The care and precision extends to takeout options as well, with some of the most beautiful temaki sets we&rsquove ever seen&mdashor had the pleasure of eating. In a dark year, Sushi Tama proved a bright and transportive light&mdasheven if just for the amount of time it takes to house a 10-piece nigiri set.

Tamales Elena y Antojitos

This Afro-Mexican restaurant doesn&rsquot just make some of L.A.&rsquos best new food of 2020&mdashit makes some of the best food in Los Angeles and Southern California, period. Cauldrons of hours-long&ndashsimmered pozoles piles of tender and steaming tamales and phenomenal crisped tacos from Mexico&rsquos Guerrero region hum with spice and heat and passion from the mother-and-daughters team of the Lorenzo family. With the metamorphosis of their food truck into a walk-up restaurant they&rsquove been able to add and add and add, thankfully giving us a now-lengthy menu of saucy picadas, a number of pozoles piled with chicharrones and avocado, and just-barely-fried tacos so thin you feel like you could (and definitely want to) eat 20 of them.

Our advice? Order 20 tacos. Order three kinds of pozole. Order both varieties of tamales&mdashcorn husk and banana leaf, as well as some sweet ones&mdashand always order extra to take home with you. Tamales Elena is a standout in 2020, but it&rsquos certainly one that will continue to shine long after.

Valle Venice

There&rsquos a lot to love about Valle, the new Oaxacan restaurant from the Gjelina Group. It&rsquos a success story&mdasha pop-up so popular it became a permanent restaurant&mdashand it just so happens to serve truly delicious, thoughtful and destination-worthy tacos, tlayudas and Mexico-meets-Venice small plates. But it&rsquos also a clear example of what can happen when leadership lets its largely unsung back-of-house talent take the lead.

When the MTN space became available early this year chefs Juan Hernandez (Gjelina) and Pedro Aquino (MTN) launched a temporary concept serving braised meats, ceviches, and tacos built upon handmade corn tortillas and topped with mortar-and-pestle&ndashground salsas. The result? Some of the city&rsquos most flavorful and vibrant Oaxacan food. With vegetarian options just as exciting, textured and considered as the seared and slow-roasted meats&mdashwithout question, Valle is home to some of the best barbacoa in Los Angeles&mdashit&rsquos a win no matter your preference or mood for a long time to come.


Los Angeles adopts new ‘war room’ strategy for tackling homelessness

A homeless man moved his belongings, in July 2019, from a street near Los Angeles City Hall, background, as crews prepared to clean the area. Los Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government’s response to natural disasters.

LOS ANGELES >> Los Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government&rsquos response to natural disasters.

The creation of a &ldquoHousing Central Command&rdquo marks an overhaul of how agencies work together in addressing the growing number of people living on the street, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

Previously the system was slowed by red tape and gaps in information showing what housing units were available and who is eligible to move into them, officials said.

In some cases there was a waiting period of 10 months from a person being matched to housing to signing a lease.

&ldquoNobody was holding the full picture of resources,&rdquo said LAHSA interim executive director Heidi Marston. &ldquoOur systems weren&rsquot talking to each other.&rdquo

The new initiative uses a &ldquowar room model&rdquo inspired by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development&rsquos approach to finding homes for people suddenly displaced by hurricanes, Marston said.

Now officials will have access to real-time data showing housing availability as well as funding streams, according to LAHSA.

Since the launch in December, officials have identified some 3,000 potential housing units that were previously not part of the overall inventory, Marston said.

The central command is a major step toward restructuring a response system overseen by LAHSA that also includes housing and development authorities, the mayor&rsquos office and health departments.

&ldquoWe have a high number of people who need to be rehoused rapidly,&rdquo Marson said of the situation in greater Los Angeles, where officials have declared homelessness a state of emergency. Including crisis-response experts on a day-to-day basis shows that officials are treating the problem with the urgency it deserves, she said.

In its 2019 count, the authority reported that there were close to 60,000 homeless people living in LA County, with more than 36,000 of them in the city. All but about 25% live on the streets.

Freeway overpasses are lined with tents, and it&rsquos a common sight to see someone pushing a shopping cart filled with belongings through downtown.

According to LAHSA and Mayor Eric Garcetti&rsquos office, an average of 130 homeless people in Los Angeles move into housing daily. However, an average of 150 people become homeless every day.

&ldquoThe homelessness crisis demands an emergency response, and moving the needle means being nimble, flexible and creative with our resources,&rdquo Garcetti said in a statement praising the new strategy.

Through the new process, officials also discovered $30 million of a $107 million grant from HUD to Los Angeles in 2017 had gone unspent within a calendar-year deadline, LAHSA said.

That happened because of low vacancy rates and higher market rates than public housing authorities could pay, LAHSA officials said, along with &ldquolandlord bias&rdquo against tenants with mental disorders or a history of homelessness.

&ldquoIt is completely unacceptable that housing funds were left unspent when our unsheltered neighbors continue to languish out on the street,&rdquo said LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis. The new efforts will leave behind a &ldquodisjointed&rdquo system and &ldquomaximize all of the region&rsquos resources,&rdquo she said.

Solis represents East Los Angeles, one of two neighborhoods including downtown where the new command structure is being tested starting this week. LAHSA staff will set up shop at local housing authorities, where they can shepherd and troubleshoot applications.

Tuesday&rsquos announcement comes a week after Garcetti and HUD Secretary Ben Carson met in Los Angeles to announce the formation of a joint working group to address homelessness. Garcetti and Carson told the Los Angeles Times that they were close to a deal to use federal and state funds to open more homeless shelters in the city.

Earlier this month, the county Board of Supervisors called for a re-evaluation of the structure of LAHSA&rsquos operation following an audit last August that found the authority failed to meet goals for placing people into permanent housing.

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5 New Standout Hotels in Los Angeles

From chic bed-and-breakfasts to sprawling modern luxuries, these hotels are notable bright spots in a city filled with stars.

Once upon a time, Hollywood was a company town. Now, Los Angeles has so much more to offer than box office smashes and boulevards of broken dreams. The Staples Center alone gets 20 million visitors a year, and international travelers alight to eat, shop, gallery-hop and explore overlooked neighborhoods that are buzzing with enterprise.

Take downtown (or DTLA, as the modern hieroglyphs go), which is several districts in one — and is brimming with hotels. Fourteen have opened or broken ground in the last six years. See, for instance, the 10-story Beaux Arts building on Broadway that’s now The Hoxton, Downtown LA, or Soho Warehouse, a membership club with 48 hotel rooms.

Likewise, West Hollywood is increasingly heavy with keys, from 1 Hotel West Hollywood — the brand’s first West Coast address — to the 149-room Pendry Hotel, coming soon. And this summer, a midcentury-modern hotel designed by Minoru Yamasaki will reopen as the Fairmont Century Plaza, part of a $2.5 billion mixed-use development in Century City.


MAYOR'S FIFTH-TERM BID SURPRISES LOS ANGELES

To many here, it came as a surprise several days ago when Mayor Tom Bradley, in an apparently prearranged exchange, announced his intention to seek a record fifth term in a guest appearance on the Joan Rivers show.

The surprise was double-barreled in that he made the announcement two years before the next election in 1989 and that he made it on a late-night talk show broadcast in 106 cities nationwide.

With Mr. Bradley's reputation for personal reserve, Angelenos have never had to worry, like the residents of some other cities, that their Mayor will blurt something ill-considered.

Mr. Bradley has been Mayor since 1973, having presided as Los Angeles overtook Chicago and became the nation's second-largest city. If he wins the next election, he could serve until 1993. 'I Can't Give It Up'

''I love the city and I frankly am not ready to retire,'' the 69-year-old Democrat told Miss Rivers, who is a supporter of his. ''I can't give it up.''

The record for the longest time in office by a Los Angeles Mayor is held by Fletcher Bowron, who served 15 years, from 1938 to 1953. Mr. Bradley would match that mark in 1988.

Mr. Bradley is fresh off an unsuccessful second bid to be Governor of California, with a campaign deficit estimated at $900,000. He was defeated last November by a resounding 61 percent to 37 percent by the Republican incumbent, George Deukmejian.

Back in City Hall, Mr. Bradley, whose political strength has usually flowed from a coalition of business and development interests, organized labor and Jewish, Hispanic and black voters, faced a changed political landscape. Hispanic and Asian constituencies were fighting for larger representation on the City Council. A Mexican-American who is a former Assemblyman, Richard Alatorre, was carving out a leadership role on the Council one year after his election as the first Hispanic member in two decades.

Most important, residents citywide had decisively approved a ballot proposition in the November election aimed at curbing new construction in Los Angeles, in opposition to the pro-growth policies advanced by the Bradley administration. One of the Mayor's staunchest allies, Pat Russell, the City Council president, had wounded herself with constituents by supporting a major new development in her district near Los Angeles International Airport. Impact of Announcement

Mr. Bradley's announcement was not good news on all fronts here. A number of potential successors, many Bradley supporters, have been waiting in the wings for years. Chief among them is Zev Yaroslavsky, a Council member representing a largely Jewish district who gained citywide visibility through his co-sponsorship of the slow-growth initiative. Some Democrats say that this month Mr. Yaroslavsky, who is 38, plans to set up a fund-raising committee for a mayoral campaign.

Under a new Los Angeles campaign financing law, candidates are required to file a fund-raising declaration before they begin soliciting money for a political office. It also places a $1,000 cap on individual contributions for mayoral campaigns. Candidates are thus well-advised to start raising money early.

Mr. Alatorre has also been talked of as a potential candidate by those with an eye on the city's growing Hispanic population. But Mr. Alatorre said this week that at this time he has no plans to make a run for City Hall in 1989.

Ms. Russell, a Bradley loyalist, was once thought of as a likely contender when the Mayor stepped aside, but now there is talk of her facing a touchy re-election contest in her own district.

Others have been mentioned, among them the City Attorney, James Hahn Police Chief Daryl Gates two Council members, Joel Wachs and Joy Picus, and a former United States Representative, Bobbi Fiedler. Theories on Early Move

Aside from the fund-raising advantages, there are two other prevailing theories about why Mr. Bradley announced so early: to give those who have been waiting enough notice to make other plans, and to warn away potential rivals.

Besides the growing visibility of younger officials like Mr. Yaroslavsky and Mr. Alatorre, Mr. Bradley faces some new political problems. Returns from last November's gubernatorial race showed Mr. Bradley carrying the city by 396,780 votes to 307,893 for his oppponent, but he lost strength in some important areas. He was roundly defeated in the predominantly white and comparatively conservative San Fernando Valley, in contrast to his 1982 race against Mr. Deukmejian when Mr. Bradley was victorious in a blue-collar valley district.

The Mayor also lost last November in a western region where his previous performances had been strong. Residents of the affluent Pacific Palisades community were angered by his support for oil drilling in that area.

The Mayor's unusual choice of Miss Rivers's show as a forum for his announcement has been the political talk of the last few days. A columnist for The Los Angeles Herald Examiner noted that it ''may have been less than compelling television for viewers in the 105 other American cities where the Rivers show is broadcast. But it certainly was big news in L.A.''

The more restrained Los Angeles Times, observing in an editorial that the Mayor is ''sometimes agonizingly methodical,'' remarked that the move was ''somewhat out of character.''

Some wags, though, have been saying that they will now be watching for Mr. Yaroslavsky's smiling face - on Johnny Carson's rival ''Tonight Show.''


New Los Angeles Fire Department chief Ralph Terrazas of San Pedro sets high goals

Growing up in San Pedro, Ralph Terrazas had one dream: to become a firefighter.

Thirty-one years ago he achieved that dream when he joined the Los Angeles Fire Department. Now, he has taken the reins of the department as fire chief, commanding a force of 3,200 firefighters and paramedics with a budget of $500 million.

And, he has an open-ended mandate from Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council to build up the force to reduce response times.

Garcetti said he chose Terrazas because “he represents the best of an insider and outsider.

“(He) is the perfect person to lead the Fire Department,” he said. “There is no better person to cut response times, improve technology, and bring reform to the Los Angeles Fire Department than Chief Terrazas.”

Terrazas, 54, a soft-spoken man who gets to the point quickly, is the department’s first Latino chief. He is driven by an old-style LAFD culture.

“We get things done,” he said.

That’s been his mantra in whatever assignment he has been given.

Terrazas oversaw the successful Proposition F campaign in which voters approved a $500 million bond issue for new fire stations. It came in under budget and allowed the department to build extra facilities.

When he served in the communication section, he won an Emmy for a series of public service announcements that featured John Travolta, Eric Estrada and Lou Diamond Phillips.

“That was a lot of fun,” Terrazas said. “I was like a producer with say over casting, scripts, location. We were able to use a lot of Fire Department equipment from boats and engines and were able to burn down a condemned house.”

While on the brush-fire detail, he developed a program that since has been patented to help firefighters estimate how long it will take for a brush fire to reach a specific location.

Terrazas, who holds a master’s degree in public administration from Cal State L.A., said he hopes to emulate the low-key style of former Chief Bill Bamattre.

“I worked on his staff and appreciated the way he treated everyone with respect,” Terrazas said. “He called me up and offered to talk with me to help me figure out where some of the pitfalls in the city are.”

Terrazas also served as the first head of LAFD’s Professional Services Division, which was formed after a series of expensive lawsuits and scandals involving hazing and mistreatment rocked the city.

That appointment often put him at odds with the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, something UFLAC President Frank Lima referred to when he said the union and Terrazas had many policy differences.

UFLAC endorsement of Terrazas came about only through a concerted effort on discussions.

“I was the enforcer and the union was representing firefighters,” Terrazas said. “It’s only natural there was some disagreement.

Terrazas also is dealing with a series of proposals submitted by a private consulting firm on how to maximize LAFD resources.

He said he is open to a joint computer-assisted dispatch system with the Los Angeles Police Department, as long as it mirrors what the LAPD has with two centers, allowing one to be taken down for maintenance without disturbing call response.

But before that can occur, he said he wants to hire a technical expert to advise the department on the best path to take.

Terrazas does support switching some jobs to civilian duty, such as the technical ones, but he is holding off on replacing firefighters assigned to emergency dispatch at the 9-1-1 centers.

“I told the council I want to table that issue for a while until we figure out the whole technology issue,” Terrazas said.

He also supports splitting the department into four bureaus, similar to how the LAPD divides up the city. That approach would put one person in charge of each quarter of the city and help improve responses and accountability, he said.

As for building up the force, Terrazas said one of his goals is to revive a program in which firefighters encourage and mentor female athletes to become firefighters.

Perhaps the biggest problem facing the department is a sense of stability, he said.

Terrazas is the fifth chief in seven years.

“I have great respect for everyone who was in this job, but I plan to be here awhile,” Terrazas said.


New Los Angeles Building Ordinance Sets Precedent for Water Efficiency

The City of Los Angeles celebrated Earth Day this past Friday by adopting an ordinance that will ensure new buildings in Los Angeles use water more efficiently than ever before. making L.A.’s building standards among the strongest in the nation for conserving and reusing water.

Under the outstanding leadership of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (DBS) Green Building Chief Osama Younan, a group of stakeholders (including architects, engineers, manufacturers of plumbing products and NRDC) and DBS staff worked for more than a year to develop a set of recommended code changes that will, among other things, require all new buildings in Los Angeles to be designed to reduce potable water use by 20 percent indoors. This must be achieved by installing plumbing fittings and fixtures (i.e. toilets, showerheads, faucets, clothes washers, dishwashers, etc.) that are more efficient than the current building standards require—which are already the most efficient in the country after the California Energy Commission established new product standards in 2015.

The new ordinance is a result of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s October 2014 Executive Directive on Water Conservation to Address the Ongoing Drought, which directed the DBS to “compile and propose to City Council a list of potential building code changes for new and retrofitted buildings.” Other important achievements in this code include:

  • All new buildings must be constructed to be “graywater ready” [1]
  • Separate water meters for outdoor water use
  • Submetering for multi-family and commercial tenant space to record individual usage
  • Pool covers for all new residential swimming pools [2]
  • Non-potable water must be used for cooling tower make-up water
  • Requiring smart hot water design that limits the volume of water delivered to any fixture to 0.6 gallons before hot water arrives.

While these are huge improvements for the City of Los Angeles, there are a couple areas where the newly approved codes could be improved.

  1. Groundwater Discharge. This ordinance changed the way buildings will handle the discharge of groundwater, which as a typically clean water source was previously required to be pumped to stormwater collection systems. In his Executive Directive, Mayor Garcetti asked that the ordinance require this water to be used onsite but as adopted, the new code allows for the water to be used onsite or discharged to the sewer. At a minimum, the discharge to sewer option should only have been allowed as an exception for developments where the volume of groundwater pumped onsite was greater than non-potable demand.
  2. Graywater-ready Buildings. While the new ordinance requires graywater and blackwater to be plumbed separately, for implementation to be effective, the building codes will need to be more specific about things like labeling, signage, and potentially stub-out locations.

As the only environmental advocacy representative in the stakeholder group, NRDC worked to push the boundaries of what was considered possible. And while we didn’t get everything we wanted in this ordinance, it’s fair to say that as adopted, this ordinance is an important step for the City of Los Angeles in meeting the objectives of Mayor Garcetti’s Executive Directive and moving towards a goal of local self-reliance.

With these changes, Los Angeles is once again establishing itself as an environmental leader and we look forward to these provisions being adopted by other cities and eventually incorporated into state and national model building codes.

[1] “Graywater-ready” means that drains from graywater sources (clothes washers, showers, lavatory faucets, etc) must be plumbed separately than those from blackwater sources (i.e. toilets, kitchen faucets, and dishwashers).

[2] A typical swimming pool in Los Angeles loses about 40,000 gallons of water each year from evaporation.


Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Son, Archie, Will Get a Title When Prince Charles Is King

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's son will be sixth in the line to the throne.

While Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are settling into their new Los Angeles home after stepping away from their royal duties earlier this year, Archie&aposs ties to the United Kingdom are actually just beginning. According to Us Weekly, the royal couple&aposs son will be named a prince once Prince Charles becomes king, following Queen Elizabeth&aposs reign.  

Even though Archie will officially become a prince at that point, he will be able to decide if he wants to continue to use the title and be called "His Royal Highness" after he turns 18, the Express reported. After Prince Charles becomes king, Archie will fall sixth in the line to the throne�ter Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, and Prince Harry. Unless, that is, one of Kate and William&aposs children gets married first and has kids of their own then, their little ones would move ahead of Archie in the line of succession.

Archie might also have to abide by certain rules per the 2013 Succession of the Crown Act when he, like his cousins, decides to get married down the road. "Should the children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wish to marry, they will be required to seek the sovereign&aposs permission," Iain MacMarthanne, royal expert, shared with Express.

Only time will tell how Archie and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will connect with the royal family in the future, but according to a Us Weekly insider, Prince Harry "wants to shield his sonਏrom the negativity and tension he would&aposve been exposed to back in England. Harry knows what it&aposs like to grow up in the spotlight, and he wants to give Archie the most normal upbringing possible."


Watch the video: One-on-One With Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. NewsConference. NBCLA