It’s not often that you sit down to eat a poisonous creature. The pufferfish—a.k.a. fugu or 河豚 in Japanese—is one of the deadliest fish out there, thanks to a naturally occurring neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin that it carries. With its toxic bits removed, however, fugu is a delicacy in Japan. Rumors abound that some aficionados keep a little poison intact because it makes the eater’s lips tingle when they consume it. Humans, man. I was at CHAYA in Downtown Los Angeles to eat completely poison-free fugu omakase dinner by executive chef Joji Inoue, a Tokyo native. CHAYA recently joined four restaurants in New York as the first West Coast member of the fledgling Fugu Society of the United States. “In order[…]

We don’t need to bore you with a lot of fluff about why coconut milk is great for your health, fucking delicious, a staple in Southeast Asian cuisine, and all the rage with hippie types who avoid anything that has spurted forth from a cow’s teat. Re: the fucking delicious part, though—that stuff you get in boxes in the supermarket is not so great. Often packed with stabilizers, flavorings, and even added sugar, it barely resembles the creamy, nutrient-packed stuff that any jerk with a cleaver and a coconut can easily make at home. We met up with chef Louis Tikaram at his West Hollywood spot E.P & L.P. to show us how to be that jerk, and he was[…]

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[…]

By the time a confused Warren Beatty shoved that now-infamous envelope into Faye Dunaway’s hands, the 89th Academy Awards were stretching toward the three-hour mark. (And that’s not counting those excruciating minutes after La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz said “Moonlight, you guys won best picture… this is not a joke”—because that felt like it took three solid days). It was not the longest-ever Oscars—that was the 2002 ceremony, which stretched on for an agonizing 4 hours and 23 minutes—but last night was a long one, especially for the hungry, underfed attendees. According to the Los Angeles Times, no food or drinks are allowed in the Dolby Theatre, so those Red Vines and Junior Mints that parachuted from the ceiling[…]