Is Register Food Critic Brad A. Johnson Giving Up on Orange County for LA?

Categories: Really?!?!?

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Photo NOT of Johnsons--but will anyone complain?
Over the past couple of months, I've been noticing less and less of Orange County Register food critic Brad A. Johnson in his ostensible employer. His original beat was to offer a weekly review of a high-end restaurant and a shorter review, with occasional forays into listicles and weird personal campaigns (like trying to get a letter-grade system installed in OC). But since the beginning of this year, he's only offered two reviews in a week twice--and some weeks, Johnson hasn't offered a review at all, leaving food coverage to the execrable Nancy Luna. What gives?

Easy: Johnson's bosses have assigned him to bolster their new Los Angeles Register paper--although in what capacity remains to be seen.

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Eat This Now: French Toast at James Republic

Categories: Eat This Now

Edwin Goei
French by way of Memphis.
James Republic is the kind of restaurant that can't sit still. It's a constantly moving target. The menu doesn't just revolve; it evolves. You go there, enjoy a dish and when you come back, it is entirely possible that dish is either gone or tweaked into something unrecognizable. I once had a perfectly cooked Pacific Walu there, raved about it to friends and when I brought them there to try it, it was replaced by another fish that wasn't quite as good. But then, the next week, they cooked something that was even better. James Republic makes my job as a reviewer both hard and easy. Hard because whatever I write can be rendered out-of-date by the time you read it. Easy because there's always something new to review. Like the Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland, it's never the same experience twice.

What I can say with certainty is that you will never be bored at James Republic. So this week I'm recommending the French toast it's currently offering on its brunch menu. It's got a peanut butter foam, bacon jam, and slices of banana, an homage to The King of Rock and Roll's favorite foodstuff--except it doesn't resemble any sandwich he or anybody ever ate.

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Troy High Students Stop Chik-fil-A From Being Sold on Their Campus--For Now

Categories: Indigestion

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Not in Fullerton schools...
Remember the Fullerton superintendent who pulled the plug on Troy High School's production of The Laramie Project, an oral history of the event surrounding the murder of gay University of Wyoming Student Matthew Shepard? Dr. George Giokarsis?

Well, Fullerton Joint Union High School District (FJUHSD) Gay-Straight Alliances aren't just upset with him for that--they're also upset with him over his handling of a district contract to sell Chik-fil-A chicken sandwiches on high school campuses through an independent contractor. For those of you who don't remember, Chik-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy has gone on record against same-sex marriage, and Chik-fil-A and its charitable foundation has donated money to anti-LGBT organizations.

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How to Make It: Chocolate Chip Cookie-Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls

Categories: Cooking!

Photo by Kiera Wright-Ruiz
God help me.

Mornings are tough. Cinnamon rolls help. But chocolate chip cookie stuffed cinnamon rolls help even more.

Yes, this is real life. What a time to be alive.

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Watch Aziz Ansari Try His First Bánh Mi With Guest Cameo By Jonathan Gold

Eat it

For a guy who calls himself a sandwich expert, it's a shame that Aziz Ansari hasn't tried bánh mi until just lately, especially since he lives in Southern California. Thankfully, that transgression was rectified in his latest video, Food Club, which was created with Tim and Eric's Eric Wareheim and Jason Woliner, who's directed several episodes of Parks and Rec.

The video sees the trio (plus their "swab") traveling around Southern California eating more or less everything. In addition to bánh mi from Alahambra, the first episode also includes a nine-course dinner at Wolvesmouth and some late night tacos at Last Call Tacos. At the end of each meal, the "captains" must choose whether to give the restaurant their coveted plaque or burn a plaque on the restaurant's door steps.

The entire video is kind of out there. But hey, if you like that kind of comedy (and there's a cameo by Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold!), give it at watch. You can find it after the jump.

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Free Curly Fries At Arby's TODAY for Tax Day

Categories: Bargains

Free. No tax either.
You just wrote a humongous check payable to the United States Treasury. Then you stood in line at the post office to mail that check. Feeling like you can't afford lunch? Don't have much of an appetite?

Arby's is giving out free snack-sized curly fries today only, Tax Day, with a coupon. No other strings are attached.

Is getting something free that's worth about a buck going to negate that old adage about death and taxes?

Probably not.

It also doesn't disprove that other saying about how there's no such thing as a free lunch; but this Arby's free fries on Tax Day give-away is becoming a tradition. They've been doing it for four straight years now.

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Just In Time For 4/20: Win A Cannabis Cookbook!

Categories: Cooking!

Who has the munchies?

Fun fact: Easter, one of the most holy of holidays, occurs on National Weed Day this year. Coincidence? Perhaps. I'm using the duo of celebrations as an excuse to give away a timely gift. Slightly different than most cookbooks, you either need a prescription (or great connections) to acquire one integral ingredient in each recipe. That shouldn't be too difficult around here.

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On the Line: Mark and Angela Dunton of District Wine, Part Two

Categories: On the Line, Wine

Photo by William Vo
A couple who drinks together . . .

Read our interview with Mark and Angela of District Wine, part one.
And now, on to part two . . .

What prompted the idea to open the business?
Angela Dunton
: Both of our parents are independent business owners, and Mark and I always wanted to work for ourselves. We both had a passion for wine, craft beer and people. When we me, we started talking and brainstorming, and that was the seed for District Wine. We lived in the neighborhood, and years before we had a solid idea of the business. We were sitting across the street from 144 Linden in the coffee shop, saw the "For Lease" sign, and thought, "That would be a perfect spot for something."

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10 Places For Easter Dining in OC

Categories: Holidays

The Deck on Laguna Beach
Eggs: Making asparagus bundles even better.

Easter eats are a Sunday treat. This year's roundup is a little beach-centric, and for good reason. Most shopping plazas are closed for the day, so it's the perfect reason to get out for some patio dining. Our list travels from Laguna to Anaheim and back, so select your destination, set your Waze app and go!

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5 Great Orange County Beers for Spring

Categories: Hops to It!

Photo by Tom Baugis
Perfect time for a beer picnic!

Spring is here, and that means Orange County is brewing up some more refreshing beers for those extra few hours of sunshine. Spring also means the perfect time for some lighter, crisper brews, and since this list isn't coming at the end of the season, it contains some time-sensitive beers so get them while they're still flowing.

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