We made a kale salad. And we’re not gonna sit here and defend it. Say what you will about the ubiquity of kale salad on every “New American” restaurant menu—doesn’t faze us. We’ll be here crunching on this bomb-ass salad while you miss out on these fried lacinato leaves. Oh, did that get your attention? We fried some kale and Brussels sprouts leaves to put in this salad. Know what else is in it? Julienned kohlrabi, some scallions, mint, cilantro, and Thai basil. BOOM. You’re all ears now, huh? Well get this. The dressing? It’s garlicky and lime-y, with a hit of fish sauce and some kick from Thai chilies. True, some kale salads are half-assed and deserving of a[…]

Bananas and chocolate. Name a more iconic duo. We’ll wait. Healthy dessert is, contrary to popular belief, not always an oxymoron, and these frozen bananas are proof. They’re also dumb simple—you can probably figure out how to make them just by looking, but we wrote up the recipe for you anyway. RECIPE: Frozen Chocolate Bananas Our man Action Bronson covered these frozen bananas with crushed cashews and hazelnuts on Daily VICE, but don’t let that limit you. The world is your oyster here—you can roll these bad boys in pretzels, popcorn, Pop Rocks, moon rocks, whatever. You do you. There’s really no going wrong here. And, hey, there’s always money in the banana stand.

There’s plenty of shit in the world to feel guilty about. There’s our massive destruction of the world’s ocean ecosystem, the Endless Shrimp dinner that comes to our plates courtesy of Indonesian slaves, the havoc wreaked by our love of cheeseburgers, etc. Can we get a break already, a moment of tranquil self-satisfaction about anything we eat? Answer: yes. Feast your eyes (and mouths) on Coco Kislinger of Coco Bakes LA’s vegan brownies. Don’t let the vegan part scare you away. We’ve all had the dry, miserable, loathsome versions of vegan pastries that come plastic-wrapped next to the checkout aisle of your favorite overpriced health-food store. These are something else. The secret to the unapologetic fudginess of these bad boys[…]

This article originally appeared on MUNCHIES in March 2015. Forget any ideas you might have about cheesemongers. When you meet Clemens Castan, you’ll not only learn how the Swiss raw milk cheeses he sells came by their bizarre names, but also where the next wild techno party is going down. And he even has tips as to which cheese best cures your hangover the next day. Jürg Wyss and Mike Glauser, founders of the offbeat cheese chain Jumi, made a name for themselves in their homeland of Switzerland long ago. For their newest location in Vienna, they recently teamed up with Castan—who, unlike Glauser, isn’t from a cheese-making family. Instead, Castan spent his youth mixing drinks at Vienna’s most famous techno[…]

Bacon: the cornerstone of the Standard American Diet and the decade’s trendiest ingredient for just about every dish from bánh mì to beignets. What usually stands as a greasy breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) indulgence has lately emerged in San Francisco‘s fine dining scene. The only catch about this bacon? It doesn’t come from a pig. SPQR executive chef Matthew Accarrino has created a bacon made with white sturgeon worthy of the restaurant’s one Michelin star. The SPQR team prepping for service. All photos by the author. At 2 PM, the SPQR team is busy at work prepping for evening service. The dark lacquered tables have yet to be set. Curious pedestrians on Fillmore Street peek into the restaurant’s open[…]

There are certain desserts that some pastry chefs fall back on at a typical modern Asian restaurant. We all know them: the lychee sorbets, tropical fruit tarts, and matcha cheesecakes of the world. If I never see another chocolate spring roll it will still be far too soon. There are usually two pitfalls for such dessert menus. If you’re lucky, you might find a few watered-down versions of more traditional desserts, the chef likely hoping to temper some of the flavor profiles some diners may be unfamiliar with, like mung bean, anko (red bean paste), ube (purple yams), and the like. Otherwise you’re likely to see desserts that incorporate Asian flavors pushed through the sieve of French technique, a formula[…]

I’m from the East Coast originally, but I’ll be the first to tell you: There is nothing better than an In-N-Out Double-Double after a night of service. As a chef, I appreciate a food business that only has five things on the menu. I’ve never had a bad In-N-Out burger, and that says a lot about what they are doing. For under $3, it is super-meaty, super-cheesy. It doesn’t get better than that—especially when it is tempura-fried in my restaurant, Torc. Photo courtesy of Sean O’Toole As a contemporary American restaurant in Napa, we focus on really good products. We try to prepare whatever that may be in a way that best suits it. It doesn’t really matter if that[…]

Danny Smiles recently brought MUNCHIES along on a pilgrimage to Montreal’s Little Italy. He was there to give props to Elena Faita, the woman he calls “Montreal’s Mother Chef,” whose iconic hardware store and cooking school are landmarks in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Elena Faita and Danny Smiles. Photos by Farah Khan. At Elena’s Mezza Luna cooking school, he learns how to butcher a rabbit and prepare a hearty Northern Italian dish under her watchful eye. Thankfully, we’re sharing Elena’s recipe from that episode: a dish that combines cream, butter, and pancetta—more than enough lipids to keep your rabbit moist and creamy. RECIPE: Creamy Rabbit and Polenta Both the rabbit and accompanying sauce are prepared in the same roasting pan,[…]

When it comes to lunch, many of us forego decadence. A kale Caesar or a quinoa and lentil bowl will do for your midday meal routine, sure. But what if you could make a lunch so special, it will make you want to use a silk napkin and a 24-karat gold plate? We’ve all had some halfway decent sandwiches in our lives. Your mom’s grilled cheese, the Italian sub from that spot two blocks from your office, that 100 banh mi from your favorite Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall. But this sandwich by chef Curtis Stone of LA’s Gwen and Maude might just blow your mind. It starts with seared flatiron steak and foie gras, so you know from the get-go that it’s[…]

In the midst of a bajillion Korean barbecue restaurants in LA, blood sausage is sometimes the forgotten stepchild out here. But one local restaurant has been diligently giving soondae its bloody due for the past 25 years—and they seriously know how to do it right. Eighth Street Soondae sits in a tiny strip mall just on the outskirts of Koreatown, next to a barbershop and an incognito marijuana dispensary. Look for the number “8” on the all-Korean sign and you’ll know you’re at the right place. Once you step inside the stark white and bare-bones restaurant, you’ll find that most of the friendly staff here only speaks Korean, except for the owner’s son, 36-year-old Michael Kang. Fear not, though, as[…]