eat . drink . wander .
Rise & Dine... Thurs April 30
Sun May 3
..then continue the feast
www.arizonabreakfastweekend.com | arizonarestaurantweek.com Arizona Breakfast Weekend Arizona Restaurant Week
Mobile app â€œDine AZâ€? (iPhone or Android)
Arizona Restaurant Association
h e l p i n g
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HEALTHY COMMUNITIES HAVE A STrONg
2201 E. CAMELBACK RD. SUITE 405B PHOENIX, AZ 85016 (602) 381-1400 (800) 222-8221
In Arizona, 1 in 4 children, 1 in 5 adults, and 1 in 7 senior citizens struggle with hunger, often having to choose between buying food and paying for housing, utilities or medical care. In the last 15 years alone, the Arizona Community Foundation has invested more than $7 million to help Arizona food banks, soup kitchens, community pantries, schools and emergency assistance programs provide meals, improve access and educate children and families about healthy eating. And our commitment will continue. In this world of plenty, we can ensure that no Arizonan goes hungry. Learn more at www.azfoundation.org/initiatives Data: Hunger in America 2010
in this issue features
Community Kitchen Job training program at St. Mary’s Food Bank serves up skills for a brighter future.
The Road Less Taken
Arizona Wilderness makes its mark on the state’s beer community…one brew at a time.
56 Pure AZ
Photographer Mark Lipczynski captures Arizona’s dramatic beauty in the simplest of moments.
Arizona Wilderness serves its flights of beer in, what else?, a log.
in this issue departments
In The Pass 10 Adventures in Pop-Ups 11 Holy Smokes! 12 Great Scott 15 Relishing Success 16 Tower of Power 17 Star Struck 19 Raise a Glass 21 3 at 3
Mercantile Delightful Duos. Perfect pairings of local goods.
30 3 Days In…
Los Angeles. The hottest places to eat, drink & sleep in L.A. Now.
A colorful array of donuts from Welcome Chicken + Donuts
READBITE.com For more great stories on your favorite places to nosh, sip and taste, check out readbite.com. Here’s what you’ll find:
From restaurant first-looks, to in-depth features on the latest food trends, to compelling profiles on the people making Arizona ohso tasty, get the dish on all things food, all things fabulous.
Whether you’re into brews, beans, grapes or spirits, you’ll get your fill of what’s shakin’ in Arizona’s drink scene.
PUBLISHER + EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Michelle Jacoby PUBLISHER + PHOTO DIRECTOR
Mark Lipczynski CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Pamela Norman PRODUCTION MANAGER
Chris Adams CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Sally J. Clasen Scott Dunn Kate Fitzgerald Justin Lee Angela Muñiz Lisa Nicita For editorial and advertising opportunities, email email@example.com. Bite is published quarterly by PB+J Creative LLC, 2040 S. Alma School Road, Suite 1, PMB 312, Chandler, AZ 85286. For more information, visit readbite.com. © 2015 by BITE. All rights reserved. Contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in any manner without the written consent from the publisher. Mention of any product or opinions expressed by bylined articles do not constitute the endorsements or opinions of the magazine, its owners, information obtained by BITE is from sources understood to be reliable. However, while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, BITE is not responsible for any errors or omissions or the results obtained from the use of such information. BITE assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and reserves the right to reject any editorial and advertising submissions. Published 2015, Issue No. 1
Satisfy your cravings for tasty adventures with stories on destinations near and far. We’ll give you the lowdown on the best places to dine, drink and retreat. And, stay connected socially... Chocolate Rose Pis tac by Welcome Chicke hio donut Photograph by Mar n + Donuts. k Lipczynski.
T I Y TRyourself!
from your favorite episodes of Check, Please! Arizona at Eight’s...
Check, Please! Arizona Festival at CityScape
Sunday March 22, 2015 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. At the event, you’ll also have a chance to audition for the show!
You’ll be able to check out these • Cowboy Ciao participating restaurants:
• Cucina Tagliani • Flavors of Louisiana • Frasher’s Steakhouse & Lounge • Haus Murphy’s • Hob Nob • Phoenix City Grille • Rancho Pinot
• Salerno’s Restaurant & Pizzeria • SanTan Brewing Co. • Switch Restaurant and Wine Bar • Tarbell’s • Thee Pitts “Again” • The Salt Cellar • The Wild Thaiger ...and more!
For more information visit
www.azpbs.org/checkplease/festival Eight’s Check, Please! Arizona Festival at CityScape would like to honor the generosity of the following sponsors:
in the pass your meal starts here.
Morninâ€™ Moonshine, Vovomeena readbite.com
in the pass dream dinner
Adventures in Pop-Ups EXPLORE THE 'SCIENCE' OF GOURMET FARE AND COMMUNITY DINING
imagine a dinner so compelling, so creative,
so innovative that it makes you feel as if you’re sitting alongside Padma, Tom and Gail discussing the intricacies of each dish like a seasoned “Top Chef” judge. It’s what foodie dreams are made of. Hoping to make that dream come true for Arizona epicureans is Dinner Lab, a New Orleans-based company that specializes in hosting pop-up dinners prepared by up-andcoming chefs for adventurous diners, and served in unconventional spaces. Founded by CEO Brian Bordainick, the company hosted its first dinner in 2011 in a venue that housed a former brothel in New Orleans. Eighty-five tickets were sold and everyone dined on a delicious dinner Dinner Lab's of traditional Indian street food first Phoenix prepared by Bordainick’s friends event will Ravi and Amrita Prakesh. Since then, be held on Dinner Lab has hosted countless April 10. Visit dinnerlab.com dinners, worked with the industry’s for details. top chefs, and expanded to 26 markets across the country. Phoenix, Dinner Lab’s latest market, will have its first event on April 10. Prepared by chef Nini Nguyen, a Louisiana native who now lives and works in New York City, the five-course menu includes sour tamarind and prawn soup;
turmeric and lemongrass seared fish; and caramelized pork belly. Dinner Lab is a membership-based concept. So to reserve a seat at the Phoenix event (the venue being announced 24 hours beforehand), diners are asked to sign up for membership, which, as the saying goes, has its rewards. Members have access to Dinner Lab’s annual calendar not only in Phoenix, but also in all of its markets. And—here’s where the “Top Chef” fantasy comes into play—diners are asked to rate each course, giving valuable and constructive feedback to the chef. In the case of Dinner Lab, however, no one’s packing their knives and hightailing it out of there. In fact, diners may be insisting for more. michelle jacoby
Like the Japanese and their sushi, central Texas produces a remarkably simple style of barbecue that needs little dressing up. But being 1,000 miles away from the mecca of , ’ cue, where in Phoenix can you get a true taste of the good stuff? Three words: Little Miss BBQ. Each day, barbecue enthusiasts queue up early for that smoky goodness. We asked owner Scott Holmes, who smoked competitively before opening his Phoenix barbecue joint, to give us a look at just how much barbecue, sides and desserts folks are gobbling up on his three busiest days: Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Here’s a look.
y l ho okes! sm
racks of PORK RIBS
pounds of BRISKET
loaves of WHITE
LITTLE MISS BBQ
4301 E. University Drive, Phoenix 602-437-1177 littlemissbbq.com
in the pass imbibe
DOWNTOWN TUCSON WATERING HOLE MAKES FOR BUCKET-LIST DRINKING
The Cheeky Cherub
MARKED ONLY BY a beveled gray door along Scott Avenue, a few steps north of Congress Street in a less-trafficked elbow of downtown Tucson, Scott & Co. opened in 2010 by partners Nicole Flowers and Travis Reese adjacent to the pair’s more visible sister restaurant 47 Scott. Since then, they’ve never looked back. From quick coverage in The New York Times, to industry royalty love (mixology demigod Jim Meehan from NYC’s famed PDT cocktail bar once named Scott & Co. “a favorite new bar” in 2012), Scott & Co. immediately catapulted to must-go status for serious booze enthusiasts. Dimly lit, framed by exposed brick walls partially draped with shelves of exotic potables and curated glassware filled with syrups and tinctures, Scott & Co. glows before the sipping begins. Sassy monikers crown otherwise very serious, tonguecatching cocktails on the regularly refreshed, often seasonal drink menu designed with progression from light and juice-y, to dark and emotional. On the “cleaner” side of the menu, the Lying Bastard is flowery, herbal and delightful, SCOTT & CO. mixing genever (malty Dutch gin), 49 N. Scott Ave., Tucson Campari, sloe gin (infused gin liqueur), 520-624-4747 47scott.com/scottco ginger syrup, fresh lime juice and tiki bitters. Leaning more complex, the Cheeky Cherub is a back-and-forth of cherry-infused brandy, bourbon, lime, egg white and a leathery tobacco tincture, fortified with a float of port. Cheeky or not, it’s delicious. The Dig Your Own Grave cocktail is another intentional pause for dramatics. Rye whiskey, amaro, pecan orgeat (floral, nutty syrup), whole egg and hoisin give this play a spiced, dark note while ideally sweet and smooth. A final tour of Scott & Co.’s sometimes divine cocktail calculating is the Phancy Philanthropist. Funneling bacanora (herbal, sweet agave-based spirit), mezcal, crème de cacao, absinthe, fresh lime and grapefruit, half and half, Peychaud’s and Angostura Bitters in a sip that pushes smoke, sweet, bitter, butter and spice. To fully absorb an experience like Scott & Co. is to go early, grab an ideal perch at the bar, expand your notions to what may (or may not) be essential to making a delicious drink and let your bartender be your guide. Oh, and park there for the evening. This is bucket-list drinking. justin lee Famed NYC mixologist Jim Meehan called downtown Tucson's Scott & Co. "a favorite new bar" in 2012.
Songbird ,s new nest is at 812 N. Third St., Phoen ix
Singing a New Song THERE COMES A moment when you know: It’s time to leave the nest. For one downtown Phoenix coffeehouse, that time is now. Formerly housed in the MonOrchid Gallery, Songbird Coffee & Tea House has found a new home. But Songbird die-hards won’t have trouble finding the new spot. It’s right down the street in the same Evans-Churchill neighbor-
hood in Roosevelt Row. Jonathan Carroll, who co-owns Songbird with wife Erin Westgate Carroll, says the coffeehouse is moving into a historic home built in 1904. “It certainly has a ton of charm and character to go with it,” he says, adding that the house has
a patio and front yard for more seating. They're also looking into booking local acoustic bands and solo musicians for weekend performances. “We’ll make it our own and do wonders with it,” says Carroll. “We’ve always wanted a house, so here’s our chance.” songbirdcoffeehouse.com
FEED YOUR FACE
CHECK, PLEASE! ARIZONA FESTIVAL
Presented by PBS Eight, this fest is all about local, independently owned restaurants, wineries and breweries. Sample dishes and get a chance to audition for an episode of the show. azpbs. org/checkplease/festival
short leash hot dogs
h ot restaurateurs Brad and d o ge n Kat Moore leaped into h e av
the arms of opportunity four years ago with their idea for a gourmet mobile hot dog stand. To stand out, the couple tossed away the traditional hot dog bun and took the novel approach of wrapping each dog in Indian-style naan bread. “My personal beef with regular hot dog buns is that everything falls out,” Brad says. “We did a lot of experimenting and found that naan gives a uniform density, a buttery flavor and it holds up well for dog fans.” Menu highlights include their signature dogs served on naan, with meat choices ranging from regular, bratwurst, all-beef, spicy beer hot, Polish and chicken. There’s also a vegetarian option. Then there are the premium dogs, which include the Bratwurst Stuffed Pretzel made with bratwurst cooked in Four Peaks Kiltlifter beer with sauerkraut, onions and bacon, topped with Swiss cheese Bavarian mustard and served in a house-made pretzel roll. Customers are encouraged to go “dog wild” with toppings that run the gamut from onions and green chills, to Sriracha, pinto beans or peanut butter. Brad says a big key to their success is making sure everyone is having fun. “It’s a lot of work, and it can be hot at times, but we love it,” he says. kate fitzgerald
in the pass hot dog!
AZ WINE & DINE
WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? ALL THE HOT DOGS on Short Leash’s menu are named after real dogs—the Moore’s mutts Olive and Igby—as well as those of friends and customers. Each week, Short Leash features a different “Dog of the Week,” and the walls of the restaurant celebrate dozens of portraits of their friends’ and customers’ dogs. → Find out more about Short Leash’s locations, including Rollover Doughnuts—a coffee and donut shop in midtown Phoenix—at shortleashhotdogs.com.
Short Leash owner Brad Moore
Arizona’s resorts come together for an upscale evening of gourmet offerings, fine wines and craft beers. Guests can dine, sip, listen and groove while bidding on auction items benefiting the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association. azwineanddine.com
SCOTTSDALE CULINARY FESTIVAL
In its 37th year, this signature Scottsdale event is a food and wine lover’s dream come true. The weeklong event features black-tie galas, wine tastings and family picnics, all showcasing the best Scottsdale has to offer. scottsdalefest.org
ARIZONA BBQ FESTIVAL
Don those Daisy Dukes, coif that mullet and head on over to this honky tonk at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. More than 20 ’cue slingers will be serving up everything from brisket and ribs, to everything in between. azbbqfestival.com readbite.com
in the pass coffee fix
tower of power
BOLD-BREW COFFEE ONE COOL DRIP AT A TIME
A FEW YEARS AGO, while strolling through a farmers market in Santa Monica, Calif., DJ Fernandes spied his first cold-brew coffee tower. It looked like something out of a high-school chemistry lab—a glass menagerie of orbs and cylinders and spiral tubing, all stacked in a vertical column. The architect-turned-restaurateur studied the apparatus. It was sublime in its simplicity and powered only by gravity. Through a series of metronomic drips and slow-motion sluices, it transformed ice-cold water into goldenblack coffee. Fernandes ordered a cup and almost immediately hatched an idea. After he returned to Phoenix, he began surfing the Internet in 16
VOVOMEENA 1515 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix 602-252-2541 vovomeena.com
search of Japanese cold-brew coffee towers. That’s the genesis story of Mornin’ Moonshine, the coffee cold-brewed and hand-bottled at Fernandes’ central Phoenix breakfast restaurant, Vovomeena. While Fernandes’ original blend of Mornin’ Moonshine was smooth, with little of the acidity and bitterness of conventionally brewed coffee, he sought more flavor. His initial idea was to create cold-brew flights using roasts from different parts of the coffee-growing world. “We [tried blends like] Honduras blonde, Ecuador dark,” Fernandes says. “We’d brew ’em all up, and we’d be all stoked to see what happened with them. And guess what? They all tasted pretty much the same.” Fernandes and his Vovomeena crew went back to the lab, which now consisted
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York
of three cold-brew towers suspended from the ceiling, and enthusiastically embraced the madscientist thing. “We tried a lot of stuff,” he says. “Instead of using water to brew the coffee, we tried using orange soda… which was a failure.” The turning point came when Fernandes began plopping whole spices, fruits and peppers into the brewing tower. Stuff like cardamom and ginger and jalapeno. Suddenly, the coffee started taking on bold flavors. The next challenge was to marry them. After much trial and error, Fernandes arrived at five Mornin’ Moonshine flavors (in addition to the straightup, foundational blend): lemon and jalapeno; vanilla pod and cocoa nib; green tea and mint; star anise and cardamom; and orange peel and ginger. A word of caution from the architect of this infused cold brew: Take it easy. Because even though Mornin’ Moonshine doesn’t actually contain alcohol, it still packs a potent punch of caffeine. “I’m not recommending that someone drink a whole heck of a lot of it,” Fernandes says. “Otherwise, things kind of get off the rails.” scott dunn
ANDY WARHOL. The name alone conveys striking pop art and celeb , brightly-colore rity obsession—a d images of pop ll of which can be culture, the Phoenix Art seen at “Andy W Museum. On dis ar ho l: Po rtr pla aits” at y will be more th drawings, video an 90 screen pr s, paintings and int paintings an ph ot og d 30 ra ph s from his studen New Wave-era 19 t days in the 19 80s. Warhol’s re 40 s fle to ct the ive “Silver Clouds,” balloons, will als helium and air-fi o be on view. Th lled metalized e exhibit runs th rough June 21. → PHXART.ORG
The Beet is On POP QUIZ: Between Brussels sprouts, beets and bacon, which food is falling out of fashion in 2015? According to a Zagat dining trends survey, we’re so over bacon (uh, really?). Brussels sprouts and beets, on the other hand, we just can’t get enough of.
THE NUMBER OF BREWERIES THAT OPENED IN AZ IN 2014
ACCORDING TO THE ARIZONA CRAFT BREWERS GUILD, 11 BREWERIES JOINED THE GROWING LIST OF BEER MAKERS (UPWARDS OF 65) IN THE STATE LAST YEAR. WE'LL DRINK TO THAT!
in the pass redux
raise a glass
TEMPE SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR BRINGS NEW LIFE TO OLD WINE BOTTLES
ONE COULD SAY Ray DelMuro assists in the process of reincarnation. While he doesn’t have superpowers or work with the undead, he does give new life to old wine bottles in a way that is both aesthetically inventive and environmentally responsible. REFRESH GLASS DelMuro, a former manufacturing 480-223-2410 engineer for an aerospace company, owns refreshglass.com Refresh Glass in Tempe, where he uses a specific, heat-reliant process to transform empty wine bottles into one-of-a-kind drinking glasses, candleholders, planters and even candlelit pendants. He opened the company in 2008 with a vision for recycled glass, and a mission to rescue 10 million bottles. He’s well on his way. “We work with different restaurants and hotels and the community at large to rescue bottles,” DelMuro says. “We’re at about half a million bottles.” The key to DelMuro’s success, both professionally and ideologically, is the partnerships Refresh Glass has forged with local supporters. Twice a week, the company sets out on an organized route to pick up bottles that have been collected and put aside by partners such as House of Tricks, Beckett’s Table, Postino Wine Café, and The Vig. Whole Foods locations in Chandler and Tempe accept bottles from community members. While the pick-up route is manageable right now, Refresh Glass doesn’t lack for partners who are interested in becoming involved. DelMuro says a waiting list has formed for potential collection partners. Once collected, the bottles find new life. Torches are used to separate the bottles into two halves and the glasses are stress-relieved in large ovens. Of course, DelMuro says, the novelty isn’t in the process or the vision. It’s in the experience. It’s in conversation piece. Each bottle has its own story.” drinking from a truly unique glass. No two glasses are alike. While one may have come “People don’t talk about the specific ingredient from a 10-year-old bottle of Italian Chianti, another for a dish or the type of table or chair. They could have come from a younger bottle of chardonnay talk about how a server was, or the ambiance,” from Northern California. he continues, noting that a given experience is “Each glass has its own story,” DelMuro says. generally what sets places apart. “Our glasses have “Mass-produced glasses are forgettable.” lisa nicita received a lot of positive reviews because it’s a readbite.com
Cordially Invited yo u a r e
to tour the world.
©2009 Rare Hospitality International, Inc.
(One glass at a time.)
reserve an elegant evening with us.
16489 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale · 480 348 1700 2502 E Camelback, Phoenix · 602 952 8900 · thecapitalgrille.com
in the pass night eats
waff le h ouse serv has ed 1 ,289 cups ,801 ,887 of c offe e open sinc ing e in 1 955. INDULGING IN A gratifying, honest meal post last call in Phoenix isn’t as easy as it
should be. In a city where “late night” literally means before midnight—sometimes (gasp!) by 10 p.m.—the temptation to settle for lonely, warmed over drive-thru becomes a siren nearly impossible to avoid. Considering satisfying local options range from painfully slim to nonexistent, here are the next best spots to fill up after the bars close. And, it’s not always about the food. justin lee
Yes, it’s Denny’s. This franchised fossil of midcentury diner Americana continues to turn-and-burn the budget conscious with plain all-day breakfasts and no-frills service. At the Denny’s near 7th Street and Camelback Road, such formalities flip as neighborhood bars turn up their lights. Affectionately coined Jenny’s (or yes, Gay Denny’s), the uninspired Grand Slams, over-salted skillet combos and frostbitten French fries may taste familiar, but the people watching, the twilight slice of life, is unlike any Denny’s you’ve probably ever visited before. A stage for all walks of night-loving life, Jenny’s presents a colorful snapshot of after hours Phoenix.
Who says you need an overcooked cheeseburger or smothered fried potatoes to work through the booze at 3 a.m.? Still one of the top local donut operations in town (any time of day), a late detour through Bosa Donuts’ 24 hour drive-thru may be the wisest call you made all night. The apple fritters may be legendary, but even the plain glazed wins hearts (and stomachs) with their sugary, fried, all-natural disposition.
The champion of 3 a.m. food excess. Fast, dirtcheap and, be honest, always delicious, Waffle House does late night right with their straight-forward, perfectly unhealthy menu of boring breakfast standards and greasy spoon classics. From griddled, smothered and covered hash browns, rich biscuits and gravy, and thin, doughy waffles swimming in processed “maple” syrup, a visit to most any of Phoenix’s Waffle Houses past the witching hour constitutes a successful bookend to an already (very) long night.
→ More than 10 locations across the Valley.
→ Seventeen locations in Arizona. wafflehouse.com
→ 5002 N. Seventh St., Phoenix. dennys.com
mercantile Perfect pairs
Delightful Duos THERE ARE JUST SOME FOODS THAT GO BETTER TOGETHER.
What would a cold glass of milk be without a warm and chewy cookie? Or a slice of bread slathered with thick peanut butter without another slice of bread heaping with a sweet mound of jelly? To serve them apart…well, we shudder at the thought. To celebrate these perfect pairs—the proverbial matches made in food heaven—we’ve teamed up some local favorites for you to feast on.
PIEXOTO COFFEE ROASTERS brazilian â†’ piexotocoffee.com WELCOME CHICKEN + DONUTS lemon poppy, real maple ring, red wine glaze
coffee and donuts
sALT GO LB. SALT sea salt â†’ golbsalt.com
and pepper GO LB. SALT rainbow blend peppercorns â†’ golbsalt.com
DANZEISEN DAIRY 2% milk → danzeisendairy.com URBAN COOKIES milk chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, double chocolate chip with sea salt, peanut butter → urbancookies.com
peanut butter PB AMERICANO classic → pbamericano.com
and jelly COTTON COUNTRY JAMS prickly pear jelly → cottoncountryjams.com
mercantile Perfect pairings
NOBLE BREAD country loaf â†’ noblebread.com
butter. SUPERSTITION FARM fresh-made butter â†’ superstitionfarm.com
3 days in... los angeles
los angeles is complicated. And, it’s OK with that.
PERHAPS MORE THAN ANY MAJOR CITY, L.A. IS A LESSON IN CONTRASTS. COCKY AS IT IS SELF-CONSCIOUS, STRIKING AS IT IS CRASS, GENERIC AS IT IS GLOBAL, IT’S AN ALPHA CITY WITH A SHAGGY HAIRCUT AND A BRATTY, REASSURING SMIRK. IT CAN BE ANY PLACE YOU WANT IT TO BE. IT IS A MAGNET FOR DEEP-POCKETED CREATIVES AND STRUGGLING DREAMERS ALIKE. WHEN DESCRIBING THE CITY’S MATURING STATUS AS ARGUABLY THE COUNTRY’S NO. 1 FOOD DESTINATION TODAY, L.A.’S TURBULENT, FERTILE GENES RING MORE TRUE THAN EVER. 30
Night + Market
story justin lee
Night + Market Song's Isaan sour sausage and Chiengral herb sausage served with raw cabbage, chile, peanuts and cucumber.
Downtown L.A.'s Grand Central Market is home to a slew of buzzy, new food vendors incluidng Eggslut (above) and Oyster Gourment (below).
Cruise down Beverly Drive to Larchmont, where one of the city’s most aspirational new coffee haunts, Go Get ’Em Tiger , tames lines of the city’s painfully self-aware with their exceptional beans. Coffee milkshakes? Don’t miss out on their clever—and fullthrottle—mix of homemade vanilla ice cream, milk and espresso. Breakfast in L.A. wouldn’t be complete without a visit (and a time spent waiting in line) at Sqirl. The tiny, insufferably beloved eatery on Virgil Avenue, along the western fringe of Los Angeles’ hyper-cool eastside neighborhood of Silver Lake, pulls from all over the city for their ever-changing daytime menus, including a laundry list of decadent and seasonal baked items, homemade jams and hearty egg dishes. The edible, urban pulse of downtown Los Angeles—referenced affectionately as DTLA—sits new-again Grand Central Market . A nearly century-old food hall with a renewed lease on life thanks to a recent onslaught of buzzy new food vendors, Grand Central Market is a block-long reflection of today’s L.A. Food-hungry visitors lose afternoons parked in patient lines for off-the-moment outlets like egg sandwich temple Eggslut, made-to-order Thai at Sticky Rice, and the freshest oysters in the city at the island stall Oyster Gourmet . The pocked-sized, clever Petit Trois is the latest passion project from colorful chef Ludo Lefebvre and his team. The Parisianinspired hideout, which immediately neighbors Lefebvre’s equally celebrated Trois Mec, presents a stripped-down list of remarkably crafted French bar food. The weightless herb and cheese omelet? A study in texture and rich perfection. The hefty steak tartare chopped with capers and pressed in salty fried shallot strings is equally can’t-miss.
The charmingingly French Petit Trois (above) is famed chef Ludo Lefebvre's latest passion project. At Sqirl, the menu may regularly change, but the ingredients remain local and seasonal.
Pok Pok and chef Andy Ricker’s ultraorthodox brand of Thai cooking has landed in L.A. with the 14-seat Pok Pok Phat Thai noodle shop in Chinatown. A more selected menu than Pok Pok Portland or Pok Pok Brooklyn, this much-anticipated SoCal branch sharpens on stir-fried noodles, Thai crepes and Pok Pok’s signature menu of drinking vinegars. From Little Osaka’s Tsujita to Little Tokyo’s classic Daikokuya, there is no shortage of superior slurping in Los Angeles. The latest counter to park is Ramen Champ in Chinatown, the cozy, Tokyo-style ramen-ya offering three broths: the rich, milky tonkotsu; the chicken shio made with buttery chicken schmaltz (a crowd favorite); and a perfectly salty vegetarian shiitake. A few years already under its belt, DTLA’s unsuspecting Alma Restaurant continues to inspire with chef Ari Taymor’s thoughtful, unexpected and ever-changing tasting menus, constructing bold flavors from simple ingredients. As the bite-sized courses begin marching out—like the chilled oyster and turnip granite; the eggy, jewellike tofu and seaweed beignets; and the glorious sea urchin toast with burrata and caviar—it’s zero surprise this still-new restaurant seems as fresh as ever. From Thai Town to the San Fernando Valley, there is no dearth of incredible Thai food in Los Angeles. Night + Market, a hidden restaurant within a restaurant along the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, have diners gushing over chef Kris Yenbamroong’s sharp menu of Bangkok and northern Thai street foods, like the spicy deep-fried pig’s ear, the charred and rich pork collar, and the bright khao soi noodles, with braised hanger steak, swimming in coconut milk curry and fresh lime. And because one N+M isn’t enough, Yenbamroong also has a location in Silver Lake.
Alma Restaurant wows downtown diners with its thoughtful tasting menus made with bold, yet simple ingredients.
Night + Market
Fresh herbs are always at the ready at Alma Restaurant.
Adding to L.A.'s impressive Thai repertoire is Night + Market, where Kris Yenbamroong (right) serves a sharp menu of Bangkok and northern Thai street foods (top right).
Dylan James Ho
The rebirth of well-engineered, patient cocktails hit Los Angeles early. One of the city’s most regarded watering holes, DTLA’s speakeasy-lite The Varnish continues to capture big-league press for its manicured cocktail program. Today, the still-screaming Normandie Club is the latest cultured, dark hideaway for sincerely fabulous drinks. Located in ever-blossoming Koreatown, a few miles due west of downtown, don’t forget to stumble into adjacent Cassall’s Hamburgers before they close for pitch-perfect burgers and their signature potato salad to help exorcise the booze post Normandie. Traveling to Venice? A short 20- to 30-minute freeway hop (on a good day) introduces you to Scopa Italian Roots. Sure the Cal-Ital food is tasty, but the real reason to make this Venice trek is quite simply the wonderful cocktails and the glamorous space. You’ll quickly feel like a million bucks sipping vintage-inspired cocktails at this beautiful bar.
Dylan James Ho
L.A. watering holes The Varnish (right and far right) and Normandie Club (top and above) are known for their manicured and well-engineered cocktail programs.
Mint Julep, The Varnish
Art deco furnishings make the rooms at the Ace cozy and cool.
The Ace Hotel in downtown L.A. is bringing a hip, new rebirth to the city's center with its modern meets gothic ambiance.
Design-savvy travelers shuffle with the textbook hipster set at the still-glowing Ace Hotel , near the southern end of Broadway’s historic theater district—ground zero for the DTLA’s stunning rebirth. Beyond the guestrooms, where stylish efficiency always outweighs superfluous trimmings, this revived Spanish gothic beauty offers guests some of the best views (and drinks) in town at Upstairs, the see-and-be-seen rooftop cocktail perch and picturesque pool area. At Sunset? No better time to go. Some might argue that New York has this, and San Francisco has that, however at this very moment, there is no bigger restaurant boomtown than Los Angeles. Always a cultural stew of sensational, authentic ethnic eats, the city’s dining landscape as matured into a vibrant, confident and applauded culinary capital.
food second chance
St. Mary's Food Bank job training program serves up skills for a bright future ////////////////////////// story
sally j. clasen
Community Kitchen readbite.com
Carmen Fine doesn’t have a positive track record for following through, but the 23-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., native recently completed something—and it involved chopping vegetables and a healthy serving of support. Last June, Fine graduated from the Community Kitchen, a St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance program founded in 2000. The mission of the Community Kitchen is to provide disadvantaged adults an opportunity to achieve self-sufficiency through personal development and employment in the food service industry. Once a month, approximately 20 new students begin the Community Kitchen’s 16-week tiered curriculum that focuses on decision-making; effective communication; basic cooking methods, such as measurements and knife skills; as well as kitchen essentials, menu planning, and high-volume production and catering education. Students train and work hands-on in a 10,000-square-foot-facilty, which includes a commercial kitchen and bistro, where they gain front- and back-of-the-house food prep and
serving experience in addition to classroom instruction from culinary staff. The Community Kitchen isn’t in the business of creating master chefs, but it’s a lifeline for those like Fine whose personal and professional path has been derailed by a range of issues, including poverty, unemployment, homelessness, incarceration, and drug, alcohol and domestic abuse. The program not only gives students the right tools to cook, it provides them an ability to cultivate life skills so they can rise above their circumstances. “We’re not trying to create the next Bobby Flay,” explains Laura Brill, director of culinary and nutritional programs. “The Community Kitchen is meant for those who face barriers to employment for any number of reasons and have made a conscious decision to want to change their life.”
2014 Community Kitchen graduate Carmen Fine.
Once a month, 20 new students begin the Community Kitchen's 20week program.
Through the program, students learn a variety of skills in the food service industry.
culinary pride & purpose Though student’s backgrounds are taken into account, the program, which doesn’t charge an admission fee, is not a handout, but rather a hand up, Brill adds. Applicants go through a rigorous qualifying process, and students are expected to attend and complete the coursework while in the program, which includes random drug testing and other accountability guidelines. To help students stay on track and increase their odds of successful employment, the Community Kitchen offers a number of support services, such as transportation and food assistance, as well as career advisement, job coaching and an opportunity to receive a National Restaurant Association ServSafe Manager certification. After serving a two-year prison sentence in Arizona, Fine moved to a halfway house where one of the conditions of her living arrangement was to find a job or enter a job training program. She never thought of a food career as an option, but decided to give the Community Kitchen a try. In three months of participating in the program, Fine says she is transformed and has finally found a direction—and a passion. “I didn’t know a culinary career was for me,” she says. “I love the satisfaction of being complimented on my work and feeling like I can do something positive.” Besides crafting technical skills to increase her chance of landing a job in the food industry, Fine has fine-tuned some self-limiting behaviors—she’s learned to check her attitude at the door and, in the process, has become a motivated individual who also is capable of being a team player. readbite.com
St. Mary's Food Bank's Kids Cafe program serves more than 5,000 meals a day.
“A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined this. The Community Kitchen has made a huge difference in my life,” she says. “It drives me to do better. Now I have learned to work with others and know how to compromise. At the end of the day we are all a team trying to get a job done. We can’t function without the dishwasher, the line, prep and the front of the house staff.”
recipe for success Students who complete all tiers of the Community Kitchen training are equipped to work in dish, and line and prep cook positions, and many become employed in hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, schools, delis and restaurants. Helping students secure a job after graduating is a critical component of the program, according to DJ Randall, student development specialist, who notes the Community Kitchen has a 90 percent job placement rate in the food services industry. Its success in helping place students in food positions is due to a strong network with many food service establishments and organizations in the Valley that support the unique culinary workforce development model. “We currently have 60-plus hiring partners,” Randall says, among them Over Easy, Upward Projects, Binkley’s, HMS Host, Darden-Red Lobsters restaurants, IHOP (Romulas INC), Lucky Strike, Westin P hoenix Downtown (Province), Hotel Valley Ho (Café ZuZu), Renaissance Phoenix DowntownMarriott, Chili’s Restaurants, The Breadfruit, and Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles. Fine, who landed a job at Ingo's Tasty Food in Phoenix after graduation, is thankful for the opportunity at a second chance and is excited about her culinary achievement and what the future holds. “It’s a big deal,” she says of completing the program. “I’m a high school dropout so I’m really
Students prepare and package meals that go to children across the Valley.
proud of myself. My parents are proud, too.” And while she’s setting her sights on eventually being the general manager of a resort restaurant in Las Vegas, she’s willing to work her way up the industry ladder to build her resume. “I’m more than ready to take life by the horns,” she says. “I’m okay with starting at the bottom, and then kicking down some doors. The only way to go is up. When I get there it will be worth it.” She also knows the Community Kitchen has her back if she stumbles. “You get a lot of support here—real support, not something generic. If I’m in a crisis, I know I can come back here and get help.” ST. MARY'S FOOD BANK ALLIANCE 2831 N. 31st Ave., Phoenix 602-242-3663 firstfoodbank.org/community-kitchen
drink beards + brews
bite no.1 2015
What do three bearded guys (and their adorable pup) have anything to do with putting Arizona on the craft beer map? Everything. Absolutely everything.
the road LESS taken 8
story angela muĂąiz photography mark lipczynski 43
bite no.1 2015
t shouldn’t surprise anyone that the boys from arizona wilderness brewing like to stray from the beaten path.
There are the obvious clues—like the scenic photos of cactus & sunsets on the walls; the signs pointing to different forest trailheads; even the owners’ social media-worthy beards seem to pay homage to inner mountain men. But there is also the less obvious. The brewery sits behind a former bagel store on the otherwise forgotten corner of Guadalupe and Arizona Roads in Gilbert. An intentional snub to the marketing adage of location, location, location? Perhaps. But in a ridiculously small amount of time (especially in the food and drink world), Arizona Arizona Wilderness has made its mark Wilderness co-founder on the state’s beer community, Jonathan achieved international cult-beer Buford (left) fame, and solidified its spot in has carved a an every-growing East Valley cool niche in Arizona's craft food scene. beer market. 45
The Wild The brewery was always going to be named Wilderness. Founders Jonathan Buford and Brett Dettler and brewer Patrick Ware are all avid hikers and find connection with their adopted state through the outdoors. But in the progression of an opening that included a Kickstarter campaign, location delays and near bankruptcy, the name evolved to represent a commitment to local ingredients and community in a way only Arizona’s chef-driven restaurants have been doing. The brewery is now known for creating small batch beers from locallygrown, produced and foraged ingredients. Some sound common, like honey, peaches and coffee. Others, not so much. Juniper berries, beets and Cabernet grapes have all found their way into the brews. All of the recipes are developed in the wild during regular hiking, camping and backpacking trips. “It’s not just ingredients we get from the wilderness. Arizona It’s inspiration,” says Buford. Wilderness co-founder Sometimes the trips are Brett Dettler also foraging expeditions. (right) throws Buford and Ware once came back a cold back with Juniper cones and one, one of the put 30 ounces of the berries perks of the job. into what is now the Juniper Mesa Arizona Dark Ale. The pine and gin-like aroma, crispness and approachable 5.4 percent ABV have made the brew another winner with their customers. As the brewery’s reputation for experimentation and local sourcing has grown, so has the interest from around the state. “Our business is a lot more than just creating beer,” Buford says. “Farmers are noticing what we’re doing, and are excited to be part of it.” Joe Johnston of Agritopia, for example, contributed one of the most unusual ingredients to date: 25 pounds of beets. Those became the Wet Beaver Wit, but not before staining the brewing area in a distinctive deep red. “It looked like a massacre,” Buford laughs. 46
bite no.1 2015
For Buford, Ware and Dettler, Arizona farms are more than just a stop on the shopping list. They are collaborative partners. They’ve worked with Sossaman Farms and Hayden Flour Mills for the grains essential to all brews and helped them bring back the only heritage grain in Arizona from near extinction. They've also worked with Agritopia to grow hops for the first true “allArizona” beer.
The Web Funding for the brewery started on Kickstarter in 2012 and the social media network that sprung from the campaign has been integral to its success. Even before the doors opened, Buford stayed connected to friends, family and supporters through Facebook and an entertaining YouTube channel. His ability to build a community around the brewery without ever selling a pint paid off last January when Arizona Wilderness was named the No. 1 “New Brewery in the World” by RateBeer.com. Up against 2,599 other breweries around the world that opened in Brewmaster Patrick Ware 2013, the surprise win put is a staunch Wilderness and Gilbert on supporter of an international map. The partnering demand that followed was locally. The almost instant. brewery has worked with The brewery now gets Sossman Farms beer-loving visitors from and Hayden nearly every corner of the Flour Mills. globe curious to see and taste what the buzz is about. Waits for tables during happy hour and weekends are now the norm. What hasn’t changed is the size of the brewery’s production system. “We do what we can to keep up with demand,” says Dettler. They are committed to having two standards
always available: the session ale Lil Gye Rye and the Refuge IPA. Other styles are in heavy rotation, usually changing every week. If you find something you like, it’s best to enjoy it while it lasts. Even growlers are a touchy subject. “The growler thing is tough,” says Dettler, shaking his head. “We try to let people buy growlers, but some beers are limited. We have to make sure it doesn’t go out in five days.” One of those “pub only” beers was a wild peach porter made in collaboration with Denmark’s Mikkeller Brewery, the “gypsy brewers” with a cult following. Mikkeller is actually a pair of homebrew-trained beer masters who partner with breweries around the world. The resulting beers are usually limited edition runs that push traditional boundaries of style and flavor.
The East Valley
Gilbert has influenced Arizona Wilderness as much as the brewery has shaped the emerging culinary scene for the city. Buford and Dettler originally envisioned a nanobrewery, but the scale shifted when they heard Gilbert was looking for its first microbrewery. With Gilbert’s continued growth over the last eight years, restaurants and bars are recognizing the pent up interest for progressive, local options in their neighborhoods. With the city’s lead, it’s meant a spurt of eateries in downtown Gilbert that were once only found in Phoenix and Scottsdale. “It’s nice that Gilbert is opening to the idea of having a night life,” says Ware. “And if they’re going to add a bar, they want it to have some core values. Not just to put alcohol in people’s mouths.”
On this ideal, the brewery and city were in tandem. But location was a different issue. “It doesn’t have to all be in downtown Gilbert,” explains Buford. “There are a lot of people taking chances in the East Valley. I love that people are taking chances now. And if you don’t go downtown, you’re taking a chance.”
The Expansion Drawing on the successes of the past year, there was only one thing the Wilderness gang could do. Yup, you guessed it: expand. Taking over the former bagel shop they shared the building with, the new bigger-and-better location includes a 15-barrel brewing system, grain room and wood barrel room. A “tap room” is also in the works, featuring a bar and a few tables, with glass windows looking into the brew room. Because there’s nothing better than drinking beer than watching it being made. A growler refill station is also planned. Not only is the building being expanded, but so is the menu. Former sous chef, now executive chef Bridget Korkowski has upgraded the menu, which includes a slew of starters, handcrafted burgers with, let’s just say, unconventional ingredients (peanut butter and jalapeno jelly, anyone?) and “the other meats.” And because customers spoke, Buford listened. There are now vegetarianfriendly items for the non-meat eating beer enthusiasts.
ARIZONA WILDERNESS BREWING 721 N. Arizona Ave., Gilbert 480-284-9863 azwbeer.com
wander on the road
Forget everything you thought you knew about the Grand Canyon State. Beyond the seas of towering saguaro cacti; the lush forests of Ponderosa pines; and the untamed dramatic desert landscapes, there lies an achingly sublime beauty in the simplest of moments. a photo essay by mark lipczynski
eager (Opening spread Cowboys stand tall at the X Diamond Ranch.
chinle Winter leaves carpet the floor of a road in Chinle.
eager Cowboy Cody Cunningham spends his days herding cattle at the X Diamond Ranch.
navajo nation As dusk falls on the countryside, a herd of freerange cattle roam the serene landscape.
tucson The San Xavier del Bac Mission opens the door for quiet reflection to those who visit.
page As rays of light creep through open crevices in the lower Antelope Canyon, aweinspiring views unfold.
ganado The oldest operating trading post on the Navajo Nation, the Hubbell Trading Post has been serving the local community selling groceries, grain and hardware since 1878.
chinle A river winds through the picturesque Canyon de Chelly.
navajo nation Majestic rock formations stand watch over the remote area of Cove, surrounded by the Lukachukai and Carrizo Mountains.
navajo nation Star trails, created by a three-hour timed exposure, shine bright over Sage Hill Bed & Breakfast.
navajo nation Timothy Benali, owner of the Sage Hill Bed & Breakfast, contemplates in a quiet moment.
tucson A World War II-era bomber sits stoically at the Pima Air & Space museum.
flagstaff The Lowell Observatory glows from within as evening descends. 69
page Billows of smoke from the Navajo Generating Station cast a dream-like reflection. 70
eager Horses roam free on the range.
navajo nation Slow-growing cedars, often used for firewood, dot the landscape at Cove.
soigne sexy dish .
Jeff Kraus of Crepe Bar is known for his artistry on a plate. But he outdid himself with this gorgeous plate of tempura-fried cauliflower from Steadfast Farm, aioli and microgreens. CREPE-BAR.COM
Something You Wouldn’t Expect From a Cancer Center. Commitment To Culinary And Nutritional Excellence. We recognize how important maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet is to the healing process. We also understand that your appetite and tastes may change during cancer treatment. According to the National Cancer Institute, 20% to 40% of cancer patients die from causes related to malnutrition, not from the cancer itself. Executive Chef Frank Caputo graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. After many years as an entrepreneur in the restaurant industry, he realized that he wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. That’s when Caputo moved from Florida to Goodyear, Arizona, to join Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) as the Director of Culinary Services for Western Regional Medical Center. 888-214-9488 cancercenter.com
© 2014 Rising Tide
Issue No. 2 coming June 2015
Arizona food, drink and travel magazine.