East Gino’s San Fernando Valley has become a haven for Chicago food lovers drawn to staples like deep-dish pizza, tavern-style pies, and Italian beef sandwiches. Now Sherman Oaks is entering (albeit briefly) into the hot dog game by introducing its classic Chicago hot dog just this long Memorial Day weekend. The owners of this place swear they will do it right, meaning the poppy seed bun, the Viennese beef dane, and the usual assortment of vegetable toppings like sports pepper, bright green seasoning, pickle. spear, and chopped onion – and don’t forget the celery salt. Dogs are only available at Gino’s East this long weekend for $5.95 individually or $10.95 with fries and a drink.
Drinks and shows downtown
Cocktail and piano bar Woody The Stowaway has officially opened in downtown Los Angeles. Expect lots of dim lighting, art deco touches, leather and candles inside the space at 416 S. Spring Street. Follow the weekly change of performers on the company’s Instagram.
Food talk between Los Angeles and New York
Eater New York food critic Ryan Sutton recently appeared on amateur gourmet, a podcast hosted by longtime Angeleno and food writer Adam Roberts. The discussion focuses on where to eat in New York right now, as well as Sutton’s overall work as a food critic in 2022. Roberts has included numerous other culinary personalities on his podcast over the years (including Los Angeles Times critic Bill Addison) and recently launched a YouTube channel about home cooking.
OC news and events you need to know
The Culinary Arts Career Program (C-CAP) will host the New Generation Dinner on June 5 at 6:00 pm. Hamamori is also popular, as is a multi-course dinner by chefs Amar Santana (Vaca Group) and Tony Esno (Knife Pleat). The high ticket price (starting at $475 a night all-inclusive) helps C-CAP continue its mission of providing funds, mentoring and professional culinary education to low-income high school students, including scholarships worth more than $600,000 last year alone.
Elsewhere in Orange County, cookbook author and chef Nandita Godbole, who works under the name Curry Cravings, hosts a monthly pop-up series called Great Biryani Flip. The idea consists of cooking classes and dinners, during which participants learn the nuances of regional biryani throughout the evening. Seats are limited at Irvine events and menus change, so attendees (only 15 at a time) can book their next event for June now.
And finally, the well-known River Jetty restaurant group from Newport Beach is back in business. The team behind Newport Beach Restaurant and the upcoming Sunset along the Sunset Strip will open their newest project, Crystal Cove, today. The upscale lunch and dinner venue features plush booths, plenty of seafood, and a luminous, artfully lit central bar with room for two dozen diners at a time. In total, the project accommodates 200 patrons inside and more on the patio, and is intended to be the anchor of the Crystal Cove mall at 7864 E. Coast Highway in Newport Beach. Chef Elvis Morales’ menu will change from snacks like grilled carrots to pizza, pasta, steak and seafood, to be split between daily lunch and dinner, and weekend brunch.