retail news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  The Los Angeles Times has a piece about how California cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in Europe, an ethos that focuses on "brightness, lightness and freshness."

"In the last year, L.A. cooks Nancy Silverton of Mozza and Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market have opened locations in London. Eggslut, the brioche egg sandwich chain that began as an L.A. food truck, now has three cafes in this city. Toca Madera, the club-like West 3rd Street spot where vegan enchiladas are paired with $16 margaritas, opened a rooftop outpost in Marylebone. A restaurant in a hotel in the financial district lures in patrons with two words — Malibu Kitchen — before offering 'superfood salads, cured fish and meat, and plant-based dishes.'

"Even in Paris, a city skilled at contempt for things American, a chic hotel north of the Seine recently opened Santa Barbara-inspired Montecito. And a chef who once worked the kitchens at Venice’s Gjusta and Gjelina is cooking up California-meets-Nashville cuisine in the 10th arrondissement and will soon launch a spot in the 11th.

"In Munich and Milan, bright, yellow-accented cafes advertising sunny dishes and avocado toast have popped up with cursive neon signs and wall murals that could pass for a West Hollywood scene made for Instagram. In Ljubljana, a violet-hued cafe is introducing Slovenians to poke bowls inspired by Los Angeles and Honolulu."

"Brightness, lightness and freshness."  Sounds good to me … and, in fact, these words, when applied to food, are a recipe for meals that, in the words of Jimmy Buffett, are "good for the body, good for the soul…"  California continues to get a bad rap in some circles, and some of that is deserved … it isn't easy managing a state with the world's sixth largest economy.  But in so many ways, California continues to lead the way, and cuisine is one of them.