Week in Pictures: Carnitas, Komodo, Latte Art + More

Restaurant Mural San Diego

December 18, 2011 - Carnitas Snack Shack, named for the chef’s pet pig (a YouTube sensation), recently opened in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, specializing in pork (twisted, I know). Owners Hanis Cavin and Sara Stroud even have a pig mural on the wall facing the covered patio.

Every week involves a steady stream of food, drinks and people. Of course not every taste or conversation is post-able, but the range of experiences is usually pretty amazing. Lucky me. Discover highlights from December 12 – 18, 2011, some of which will help to fuel full posts.

Barista Competition Los Angeles

December 12, 2011Café Demitasse owner Bobby Roshan and Handsome Coffee Roasters co-owner/2010 World Barista Champion Mike Phillips staged a latte art throwdown in Little Tokyo, with baristas from across the city presenting the most aesthetically pleasing, espresso-and-milk drinks possible before three judges (me included). The tournament was a bit like the card game War, but with espresso drinks.

Barista Competition Los Angeles

December 12, 2011 – Baristas learned what design to attempt, and which cup to pour milk into, based on the pull of a playing card from a deck. The joker resulted in blindfolded pulls of espresso. The M.C., Phillips, wrapped a tie around one man’s eyes and said, “I swear I haven’t done this with another man before.” Amazingly, all four baristas who drew the joker managed to fill their cups.

Barista Competition Los Angeles

December 12, 2011Intelligentsia Venice educator Charles Babinski won the title with his barista’s choice pour (pictured top, right). For his efforts, the 2010 United States Barista Championship finalist received “pride.” Somebody in the crowd told Roshan to “Make it rain!” and he showered Babinski with the contents of the Demitasse tip jar.

Asian Food Los Angeles

December 14, 2011Komodo built on the success of two trucks by opening a cafe in Beverlywood, serving dishes like Gambas al Ajillo, shrimp sautéed with smoked paprika, chile powder and garlic.

French Food Los Angeles

December 16, 2011 – Mignon and Bacaro co-owner Santos Uy teamed with former Patina chef Tim Carey on Papilles, a bare bones bistro that practices bistronomy in a strip mall near an entrance to the 101 freeway. Their prix fixe menu may include trout with beets and nettle sauce.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Leave a Comment