Monthly Archives: January 2014

Popping and (freezer bag) Locking

Frozen Popcorn
As explained in the opening and closing scenes of the film Pretty Woman, Hollywood is the land of dreams and everyone here has one. In the case of Josh Chaney, his dream was to invent and sell the world’s first gourmet caramel corn that you eat frozen. Chaney, who is the great, great grand-nephew of legendary silent film star Lon Chaney and the great grandson of a caramel-maker, has turned his dream into a reality with California Mad Poppers. Located in the nether regions of the San Fernando Valley in the same Canoga Park strip mall as sushi bar extraordinaire Go’s Mart, California Mad Poppers is a dangerously good place to sample and purchase a unique and incredibly delicious frozen treat.

Chaney and his girlfriend/partner Sulmaz Rahimpour have created over 200 flavors of gourmet popcorn and offer around 40 such varieties to their customers at any given time. Some of my favorites are masterful concoctions of salty and sweet, such as “Bacon on the Brain” (Maple/Bacon/Caramel) and “Elvis” (Peanut Butter/Banana/Bacon/Caramel), but I also love their savory cheese flavors which are made with real melted cheese (not powder) and can include chili/lime, jalapeños, habaneros or ghost peppers.

California Mad Poppers invites you to sample as many flavors as you like and I have shamelessly abused this offer and tried dozens of varieties on a single visit. When you’re ready to purchase, they can layer multiple flavors in a single bag. Many flavors are vegan and/or gluten free with no preservatives and all are made with air-popped non-GMO popcorn, so you’re pretty much improving your health by consuming, right?

California Mad Poppers is located at 7138 Shoup Ave in Canoga Park near West Hills.

Menu

Menu


Frozen Popcorn

More than 200 varieties


Over 200 varieties

Who froze my popcorn?


Get a bag layered with multiple flavors

I’m not sharing!


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Filed under Canoga Park

We Be Jammin’

Brioche Toast, Cranberry Bourbon Jam and Nut Butter
Located on ungentrified Virgil Avenue in East Hollywood, SQIRL is an exceptionally good breakfast and lunch joint and one of the biggest hipster haunts in the city, packed with more vintage-clad, irony-obsessed, artisan-loving neo-bohemians than an organic food co-op in Williamsburg. The name of the restaurant is a combination of “squirrel” and “girl,” and refers to owner Jessica Koslow, a former producer of American Idol and a girl who “squirrels” things away by making jams and other preserves. SQIRL’S homemade jellies, jams and marmalades feature prominently in the menu and come in such flavors as Blackberry + Meyer Lemon, Pakistan Mulberries + Thai Magic Basil, and Moroblood Orange + Tonga Vanilla Bean.

One the best ways to sample the preserves is by ordering an obscenely thick slice of brioche toast slathered with nut butter and jam. While I love this open-faced PB&J, as well as SQIRL’s Malva Pudding, a decadent spongy caramelized pudding-cake, my favorite dish is their breakfast rice bowl. It’s unlike any rice bowl I’ve consumed before and made with Kokuhu Rose Brown Rice, Sorrel Pesto, Preserved Meyer Lemon, Lacto Fermented Hot Sauce, French Feta, Pickled Radish and a Poached Egg. It’s one of those perfect dishes where artisanal ingredients with disparate flavors are creatively fused together to produce something that seems both harmoniously simple and wonderfully complex. I’m completely obsessed.

SQIRL is located at 720 N. Virgil Ave., Los Angeles (in East Hollywood near Silverlake).

Kokuho Rose Brown Rice, Sorrel Pesto, Preserved Meyer Lemon, Lacto Fermented Hot Sauce, French Feta and Poached Egg

Kokuho Rose Brown Rice, Sorrel Pest, Preserved Meyer Lemon, Lacto Fermented Hot Sauce, French Feta, Radish and Poached Egg


Sunchoke Hash with Cheddar, Potato, Scallion and Fried Egg

Sunchoke Hash with Cheddar, Potato, Scallion and Fried Egg


Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate, Hazelnut and Lime Vinaigrette

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate, Hazelnut and Lime Vinaigrette


Malva Pudding

Malva Pudding


Sweets for sweet hipsters

Sweets for sweet hipsters


Squirl, that's my jam

SQIRL, that’s my jam



SQIRL on Urbanspoon

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Filed under East Hollywood, Silverlake