by: Jenn Harris
From a new restaurant in Old Pasadena to Hungarian ice cream cone cakes in Anaheim, here’s what’s happening in the food world:
More cake, please: If you’ve never heard of a chimney cake, also known as a kürtőskalács, it’s a cross between a sweet bread and a doughnut, and it’s the star of a new sweets shop in Anaheim called House of Chimney Cakes. The cakes are from owner Szandra Szabó’s homeland of Hungary. The baker and model is making the coiled pastries, filling them with ice cream and topping her creations with plenty of candy and other desserts. Exhibit A: Szabó has something on the menu called the So Hungary Delicious, made with a chimney cake filled with vanilla bean soft serve ice cream, cheesecake brownie bites, caramel popcorn, pretzels, salted caramel and chocolate sauces, and a Twix candy bar. The shop, just on the other side of the 5 Freeway from Disneyland, also serves Pineapple Dole Whip (the same whipped pineapple sweet stuff available at Disneyland). 173 Center St. Promenade, Anaheim, www.thehouseofchimneycakes.com.
Gone fishing: Those who live in Pasadena or frequent Old Pasadena know it’s not exactly a dining destination. But the options are growing (restaurateur Jesse Gomez is opening a location of the Mexican restaurant Mercado, off Lake Avenue, next year), even more so with Prawn, the latest opening from Mark Peel. You may recognize the chef’s name from the long-closed Campanile (now the home of République), and Peel has a location of Prawn, his seafood-centric counter, at Grand Central Market. The new Pasadena restaurant is in the space formerly occupied by Escuela Taqueria, and before that, Johnny Rockets. The menu highlights locally sourced seafood in the form of lobster rolls, chowders and stews. The 1,500-square-foot restaurant includes both indoor and outdoor seating. 16 Miller Alley, Pasadena, (626) 219-6115, prawncoastal.com.
Truck to bricks: Have you tried the Mapuche Native Argentinian Food truck yet? Chef Carlos Leiva, who is from Mapuche in Patagonia, uses merkén, the rust-colored spice made from Goat Horn chile, cumin and coriander, as the flavor base for all his food, including his excellent Argentine-style sandwiches, empanadas and chimichurri. After launching the truck about two years ago, Leiva has recently opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Culver City. There, he is serving the same sandwiches, empanadas and tacos the truck is known for. “Everything at the shop will be from L.A., including the coffee, the machines, everything,” Leiva told The Times earlier this year. He is working with Groundwork Coffee for the coffee program at the restaurant. “That’s the only way to do it, helping my new community.”10846 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (424) 333 1755, www.mapuchenative.com.