••• Acme Hospitality (The Lark, Loquita, Tyger Tyger, et al) is buying Paradise Cafe. (I’ve always loved how Paradise serves a chili-cheese dish at lunch called Revenge. One hopes it’s not served cold.) From the Independent: “‘I will retain a partnership interest in the deal, but will no longer be the guy who garnishes your mashed potatoes,’ [owner Randy] Rowse stated in a written release. Villanueva, he said, will bring ‘much needed youth, energy, innovation and cash (all of which are not in my wheelhouse) and make the Paradise into what it needs to be to go forward.’ Rowse said that the current staff are part of the deal and will retain their jobs. […] The changing of the guard should take place around New Year’s.'” I vaguely recall Acme’s Sherry Villanueva swearing she wouldn’t open another restaurant, but maybe the space is just too tempting.
••• A rumor via the Restaurant Guy: “Wine Cask was sold, or is being sold, to someone high up in the Walt Disney Company.”
••• The Independent was a long profile of chef Conrad Gonzales: “A fourth-generation Californian born in Santa Barbara and raised in Lompoc, Gonzales is the co-owner and operator of Valle Fresh Catering, Valle Eatery & Bar in Lompoc, and the newly opened Cisko Kid in Los Alamos. The 39-year-old’s dream, though, is to cultivate heirloom varieties of corn — the most integral staple to Mesoamerican cultures —in Santa Barbara County at a grand enough scale to regularly serve his wood-fired, Mexican-influenced, Central Coast–sourced cuisine atop homegrown, handmade tortillas.”
••• If you’re in the mood for chicken, get over to Roost on State Street while it has this pressed-chicken special. It was excellent. And the fries (which came with another dish, alas) were among the best I’ve had in the city so far.
••• Fantastic Fungi, a well-received documentary about mushrooms, plays at the Marjorie Luke Theatre on November 24; there’s a discussion afterward with the director and others. Tickets here.