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Amuse Bouche: dineLA's Quickfire Challenge Series Pits Chef Against Chef As Teaser for Restaurant Week

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To tease your palate for the upcoming two-week dineLA Restaurant Week event, where you can get to know 300 local restaurants via special prix-fixe menus, dineLA has been running a series of "Quickfire Challenges."

Inspired by the popularity of TV's Top Chef, and by the talent of our local chefs, the series pits leading chefs head to head in a mini "Iron Chef"-style battle focused on one dish, with a secret ingredient to boot.

The second in the series of three was held last night at Starry Kitchen, where Palate Food + Wine's Chef Octavio Becerra faced off against Waterloo & City's Chef Brendan Collins to take on Cold Noodle Soup.

Having done some research and prep ahead of last night's showdown, Collins had in his arsenal a decadent smoked eel, foie gras and dashi terrine, which he plated alongside marinated cucumber slices and cold, savory noodles--yes, he was bold and went for a soup-less cold noodle dish!

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Remarking that he had a life-long love of cold noodles from which to draw inspiration, Becerra's offering was a pile of noodles topped with a broth he poured on himself for the judges.

Speaking of judges, the dishes were served up after a 15-minute prep period to Starry Kitchen's own Kitchen Ninja (Chef/Co-owner) Thi Tran, LA Times Daily Dish's Krista Simmons, and Thrillist's LA Editor, Jeff Miller. The trio of tasters twirled up and slurped down their noodle dishes quietly, then exited to debate the two dishes' creativity and taste to determine the winner. The result: Becerra's spicy, soupy dish was declared victorious.

There's one last dineLA Quickfire challenge, and it happens tomorrow night between 5-7 p.m. at Loteria! Grill in Hollywood. The Foundry on Melrose's Chef Eric Greenspan will take on Akasha's Chef Akasha Richmond in a taco challenge, and Loteria! will be previewing their dineLA menu with happy hour specials including $4 Guacamole & Chips, $4 Trio de Nueces, $5 Plato de Chalupas, $6 Crispy Taquitos, $8 Plato Botanero, $8 Aguachile de Callo de Hacha, along with cocktail specials.

The winner of that will face off with the winners of the previous challenges, including Cold Noodle champ Becerra, Cold Soup champ Chef Akira Hirose, and the winner of the dineLA press day event, Chef Mark Peel. The finale is slated to take place on October 5th, location to be announced.

Chef Eric Greenspan, The Foundry on Melrose Owner/Executive Chef vs. Akasha Richmond, AKASHA Owner/Executive Chef in the Taco dineLA Quickfire Challenge
Thursday, September 30, 2010, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
@Loteria! Grill Hollywood , 6627 Hollywood Boulevard