January Highlights | Los Angeles

We started off 2011 right, by drinking white wine with our steak and savoring the flavor of controversy (not to mention educating ourselves about art and food, and eating plenty of ice cream).

• We stopped thinking of Cabernet as the ultimate steak wine when we washed down a rib eye and kimchi with Riesling, at Park's BBQ. The restaurant's new wine list has us wishing for the rest of K-Town to offer more than soju and Hite beer.

• The crew at Red Medicine is still under fire for its treatment of Los Angeles Times food critic S. Irene Virbila. Food writers at home and abroad have weighed in, but regardless of your take on the kerfuffle, the cooking here is immensely inventive–sometimes infamy tastes so good.

• Maite Gomez-Rejón continues to merge the worlds of art and cooking with Museum Thursdays, her new series of classes at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. While January's class examined the food and art of early America, the upcoming class on Feb. 3 will focus on 19th- and 20th-century images and eats.

• Opening an ice cream parlor in January would spell disaster in almost any city, but not in the ever-temperate Southland. Farmers' market favorite Carmela opened the doors to its brick-and-mortar Pasadena location this month, scooping up its fresh takes on classic flavors.