Tasty Tidbits: Restaurant News in the 818

Cactus Taqueria just opened its fourth location in the former Manny’s on the corner of Moorpark and Woodman. The interior and exterior of the taco stand has been completely modernized and renovated into the Cactus brand. The expansive menu includes well-priced choices ($1.35 to $10), including all the usual Mexican food suspects as well as a good variety […]

Cactus Taqueria just opened its fourth location in the former Manny’s on the corner of Moorpark and Woodman. The interior and exterior of the taco stand has been completely modernized and renovated into the Cactus brand. The expansive menu includes well-priced choices ($1.35 to $10), including all the usual Mexican food suspects as well as a good variety of choices for vegetarians and vegans, as they offer Daiya cheese and soy chorizo alternatives. It is the second location in the Valley; the first replaced the original Henry’s Tacos at Moorpark and Tujunga. Must note: Breakfast burritos and plates are served all day.

Blue Dog Tavern is celebrating Mother’s Day all weekend, May 9 and 10, with a long-stemmed rose, Champagne toast and a chocolate covered strawberry. Special mom-themed beers will also be on hand: Rogue Ales' “Mom Hefeweizen” (pure and simple—chemical-free, without additives or preservatives) and Oskar Blues' “Mama’s Little Yella Pils” (the beer that gave birth to pilsners and made the Czech Republic famous). And to keep it local, a portion of the weekend’s proceeds from beer sales goes to the Valley Women’s Center in Canoga Park. If you can’t make it for Mother’s Day, stop by for American Craft Beer Week (May 11–17) where amidst some intriguing beer specials is Ace Cider’s Blackjack 21 barrel-aged cider, which comes in a black Champagne bottle (a limited release issued in 2014 to celebrate Ace Cider’s 21st anniversary). 

There's a new gelati and sorbetti brand hitting Gelson's shelves on May 7 courtesy of James Beard award-winning chef Nancy Silverton (Mozza). Nancy's Fancy is her first store brand since La Brea Bakery. The beginning launch is seven flavors, including butterscotch budino with salted caramel swirl (if you've been to Mozza, you know the pudding version is the best in LA); roasted banana with bourbon and pecan praline; spiced Stumptown coffee with cracked cocoa nibs; coconut stracciatella; chocolate rum fondente with dark rum; and chunky peanut butter with salted peanuts. 

And speaking of James Beard … Chef Paul Shoemaker of Studio City's Firefly is honored to create a special event dinner on May 15 with the theme So Cal Romance, as part of the James Beard Awards in Chicago. His extravagant dinner includes current Firefly dishes: prime New York strip loin with Dutch white asparagus, epoisses de bourgogne and bordelaise (above), as well as bone marrow ravioli with potatoes, summer truffles and truffle espuma. New dishes from his spring menu include: American Wagyu beef tartare with Osetra caviar, umeboshi, avocado and ponzu; and foie gras parfaits with summer fruit, brown butter powder and Australian pepperberries.

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