••• The founders of the Validation Ale brewery coming to 102 E. Yanonali (at Anacapa) in the Funk Zone shared some details about what to expect: “Validation Ale will be a fully functioning brewery with all beer brewed on site. Our concept will feature a set of ‘validated’ beers alongside a ‘vying’ or challenger beer menu. If a vying recipe outsells the validated of the same style, it will take over as validated. To bring in some community involvement, we will take ‘vying’ submissions from other brewers (home or pro) if they’re interested in testing their recipe skills against the validated. We also plan to have wine, seltzer, some non-alcoholic options, and to-go as-well. We will absolutely have food—more details to come.” They’re shooting for Memorial Day. Update: Validation sent over a drawing of how the building will look.
••• The Dutchess, the new restaurant (and soon, café/bakery) in Ojai, posted its menu. To my surprise, it leans toward India and Burma.
••• From Shelter Social Club, operator of the Alamo Motel in Los Alamos: “We are excited to announce Bar Alamo. Our very own beer and wine bar located at the Alamo Motel. We just got our license approved the other day and don’t even have a sign up. We haven’t done anything to make it our own yet, so please bear with us as we transition into the space slowly. In the meantime, we will have a minimal selection of beer and wine offerings for you. Open Thursdays-Sundays, from 3-9 p.m. Please come grab a drink and pull up a chair by the fire.”
••• I was personally ambivalent about the possibility of Erewhon opening a Santa Barbara store, having very little experience with the brand. So the other day, on the way home from L.A., I stopped and bought some soup. (It’s a general goal of mine to have more soup in the fridge—it ends up being far healthier than whatever I end up scrounging up for lunch.) The English pea and mint soup was good; the escarole and bean soup was better, even if we saw no evidence of escarole. And at $14-$15 for 32 ounces, the soups didn’t strike me as crazily expensive. Update: C. sent over an @OverheardLA clip that shows Erewhon soup prices can indeed be insane.
••• Another supermarket recommendation: my husband and I have long been fans of Rana’s raviolis, available locally in the cheese section at Vons (don’t hold that against the brand) and perhaps elsewhere. We pull them out of the freezer and dress them up a bit—usually with caramelized onions, no matter the filling—and they make a very handy dinner on nights when you can’t cope with anything more ambitious. Naturally, I was intrigued by the Rana lasagna that Vons now carries, in five-cheese and meat varieties. The cheese one was pretty satisfying comfort food, although the package realistically serves four rather than the stated six.
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