Southern California has an ever-expanding landscape of vegan restaurants that reflect the flavors of its culinary communities. Across Los Angeles, you can find jackfruit-filled tacos, Alfredo pasta made with cashew “cheese,” chicken and seitan waffles, and Vietnamese cuisine that bypasses fish sauce. How might plant-based dim sum fit into restaurant ecology?
Eddie Lin explores that question this week with his profile from Morning Nights in Long Beach. The restaurant is an exciting project for Phillip Tsan, a former IT consultant, who started experimenting with making dim sum for a vegan girlfriend.
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The biggest challenge for Tsan? Mimicking the familiar meaty textures of many dim sum staples. “Many dumplings include ground pork as a key ingredient,” Lin writes. “Vegetarianizing the pork would become Tsan’s biggest hurdle in satisfying die-hard dim sum fanatics. Maybe that, and figure out how to make herbal phoenix greenhouses.
How did Tsan find the equation? Read the article for the answer, which Lin says led to a recipe that “come together like vegan alchemy to create a bite-size dumpling that’s remarkably succulent, satisfying, and close to its meaty counterpart in flavor.” .
Eat your way through LA
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— Sam Dean asks the very pertinent question: as inflation soars, how does AriZona iced tea still cost 99 cents?
– This week, unionized grocers in Southern California got their biggest pay raises in decades, Margot Roosevelt reports.
— Julie Giuffrida collects recipes for Passover, including Braised Lamb with Pomegranate and Persian Chicken Soup with Chicken Dumplings.
— And this week in the restaurant news of Stephanie Breijo: APL pops up in Pasadena, where catering company Villa Paella has launched new Spanish restaurant Dos Besos. Plus, the globally minded Wanderlust Creamery expands to Sawtelle.
Dinner at the Huntington Beach Pier
The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl, presented by City National Bank, is teaming up with Outstanding in the Field to serve a meal featuring sustainably caught seafood. The event will take place at 4 p.m. on May 12 on the Huntington Beach Pier. Participating chefs include Brian Bornemann of Crudo e Nudo, Andrew Gruel of Slapfish, Chris Tompkins of Broad Street Oyster Co. and Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections. The event benefits the Los Angeles Food Bank. Tickets are $365 and can be purchased here.
Chefs from Los Angeles and New York team up for “Coast to Coast” tasting event
The Los Angeles Times “Coast to Coast” tasting event, presented by the City National Bank, will bring together chefs from both coasts for a night in New York to serve up some of their favorite dishes. The event, hosted by the Los Angeles Times Food team, will take place May 18 from 7-10 p.m. at the Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St., New York City.
Participating Los Angeles restaurants include Birdie G’s and Rustic Canyon (Chef Jeremy Fox), Phenakite (Chef Minh Phan), El Ruso and Moo’s Craft Barbecue. Additionally, actor, director, comedian, winemaker and cookbook author Eric Wareheim will serve dishes from his cookbook “Foodheim,” and Las Jaras wines, from Wareheim and winemaker Joel Burt, will be poured.
Participating New York restaurants include Cervo’s (Chef Aaron Crowder), Dame (Chef Ed Szymanski), Kimika (Chef Christine Lau), Lure Fishbar (Chef Preston Clark), Lysee (Pastry Chef Eunji Lee), Mena (Chef Victoria Blamey) , Nami Nori (chefs Taka Sakaeda and Jihan Lee) and Semma (chef Vijay Kumar).
Tickets are $150 and can be purchased here.