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eG Foodblog: HhLodesign - On Food and Architecture

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#61 bleudauvergne

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 10:35 AM

Continuing along with this blog has got me really inspired, with the plays on scale all through it. People who design their own living spaces rank very high in my esteem, Henry. :wub: Thanks for taking us on this journey, it's got me thinking about all kinds of great ideas. Seattle looks very cool and I love that sandwich shop, I like the outside, the sign, the way it's worn along the edges.

#62 hhlodesign

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 10:59 AM

Weekday breakfast usually consists of a glass of 3/4 Pelligrino to 1/4 OJ, email, and Morning Becomes Ecclectic on KCRW. Hard to break from this ritual.

#63 hhlodesign

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 11:18 AM

great Blog, really enjoying it. Love your abode as well, reminds of a place i used to live in, esp. as we always have a skateboard floating around our place as well. Seattle is a great city, being from Vancouver, I come down there a few times a year, and tomorro is one of them, we are going to see a band (Gomez) at the triple door, can you recommend any places to dine near that venue.

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Many people in Seattle seem to like Wild Ginger. It's just upstairs from the Triple Door. In fact, I think they share the same kitchen. I am not one of those people.

Just down the street is a great place called Union. Nothing else in the area comes close.

I might also check out the Library Bistro. I haven't been there since Matt Costello (the old chef) left for The Inn at Langely. But it was very good back then.

It's also 25 for $25 month. 3 course dinners for $25. The participants near the Triple door are Wild Ginger, Tulio, Earth and Ocean, and Sazerac.

You heard what I think of Wild Ginger.
Tulio is fantastic since the chef came back from a stint at Troiani.
Earth and Ocean I am boycotting because they refuse to serve foie gras. (Kidding, but it does make me pause) I hear Maria Hines is very good, but i haven't been there since she took over from Jonathan Sundstrom. Which reminds me, Jon Sundstrom at Lark is doing some great things.
Sazerac I've never been to.

Although I would agree wholeheartedly with this article:
25 for $25 is bulls#@t

Gomez huh? You'll have to tell us how the show was. And where you ate!

Edited to add: All the girls seem to like the Mango Daq at Wild Ginger. They probabley serve it at triple door too.

Edited by hhlodesign, 20 March 2006 - 01:47 PM.


#64 hhlodesign

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 11:26 AM

I want a Salumi apron too!  :wub:

Did you use a recipe for the eggplant parmesiano? I made one awhile back using Emeril's recipe (it has meat) and it was pretty good. I haven't thought of putting in anchovy paste in the sauce...sounds like a good addition!  :smile:

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You'll have to let me know when you come down. I'm always up for a trip to Salumi.

They did this dish on America's Test Kitchen a few weeks ago (my favorite cooking show). I watch many cooking shows and read many cookbooks, but try to create dishes from memory. This way I'm not truely following a recipe and can change things as I wish. It might be a fine line, but following recipes makes me feel less creative.

#65 hhlodesign

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 11:32 AM

I am really enjoying this blog Henry. I think it is so cool that you are getting to see how a restaurants runs.

I also like your living space and it reminds me of a Japanese architect called Kei ichi Irie.

Here is a link to his website.

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WOW! You pay me the ultimate compliment! I love the Work of Kei ichi Irie!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Edited by hhlodesign, 20 March 2006 - 01:51 PM.


#66 hhlodesign

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 12:58 PM

My Godparents are going to Kyoto in April. I wanted to recommend a great Kaiseki Ryori place (The one I went to was mediocre). Anyone have any suggestions?

I should mention that my love for food has been greatly influenced by my Godparents. As far as I'm concerned, my godmother is the best Szechuan home cook in America! She even rigged up a propane powered burner in her backyard just so she could get a fire hot enough to do real stir fry dishes. The average residential gas range puts out 12,000 to 15,000 BTUs. I think she gets close to 30,000 with her little contraption. I'll see if I can get a picture of it.

#67 hhlodesign

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 03:43 PM

Seattle Sandwich Tour Stop #2

Matt's in the Market

This is a great little sit down joint hidden away upstairs in the Sanitary Market (A section of the Pike Place Market) I love it because they make great food, and tourists don't seem to find it as much.

You enter from street level by climbing some very unobstrusive stairs to a beautiful skylit atrium.
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They have a counter which overlooks the kitchen. This is where I usually sit, but it was full today.
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So we sat at the window overlooking the Market and the Puget Sound.
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You can't really tell from the photo, but you can see the Sound from this seat.

I had the Mama Lil's honkin' hot albacore tuna sandwich.
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the tuna is crusted with wasabi and seared rare. It's served with a mustard pickel relish. Not as hot as you would expect froom the name, but a wonderful flavor. The wasabi is actually very subtle. It's served on Macrina potato bread, ny favorite bakery in the city.

My friend Aaron is a vegetarian, so he had the roasted portabella sandwich.
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Its serve with peppers, onions, and Beecher's flagship cheese. Beecher's is an artisan cheese shop downstairs from Matt's. They make their own cheese right on the premises.

Matt's used to have an eggplant grinder that made my ten best list.
But it has since left the menu. Here's hoping it makes a comeback!
They also do a cornmeal crusted catfish sandwich that is pretty incredible.

Almost forgot to add a picture of Matt.
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Edited by hhlodesign, 20 March 2006 - 03:48 PM.


#68 prasantrin

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 04:01 PM

My Godparents are going to Kyoto in April. I wanted to recommend a great Kaiseki Ryori place (The one I went to was mediocre). Anyone have any suggestions?

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Hyotei? I've never been there, but I've heard good things about it from my co-workers. Lunch prices start at Y22 500 (about US$200), and dinner prices start at Y25 000.

But if they want a great kaiseki experience, Kitcho is the place I most want to visit. Lunch starts at around Y37 000, while dinner starts at Y42 000. I've been trying to get someone to go with me, but no one I know wants to spend that much on lunch or dinner! So if they need company, I'd be happy to join them! :biggrin:

#69 BarbaraY

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 04:38 PM

Coming in a bit late to say this is a marvelous blog. I've never been to Seattle. We started to go there once but my back went crazy and we had to cut the trip short at Astoria.

#70 *Deborah*

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 04:42 PM

Very interesting blog Henry, how fortunate/clever you are to have put your life together this way :smile:
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#71 mizducky

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 05:10 PM

Wow, Henry, not only is this one intensely beautiful blog, but man, are you ever exemplefying the best of the Seattle urban-hip lifestyle! :smile:

#72 Daddy-A

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 05:18 PM

Seattle Sandwich Tour Stop #2

Matt's in the Market

This is a great little sit down joint hidden away upstairs in the Sanitary Market (A section of the Pike Place Market) I love it because they make great food, and tourists don't seem to find it as much. They have a counter which overlooks the kitchen. This is where I usually sit, but it was full today.
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We love Matt's!
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This was our view last time we were there! :laugh: I think our cook was better lookin' too!

Really enjoying this Henry. As a kitchen designer, the parallels between my craft and cooking are a little more obvious, but I look at my work much in the same way as you.

A professional question: How do you keep your work "fresh" and do you find that same technique translates into your cooking?

A.

#73 hhlodesign

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 05:49 PM

We love Matt's!
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This was our view last time we were there! :laugh: I think our cook was better lookin' too!

Really enjoying this Henry.  As a kitchen designer, the parallels between my craft and cooking are a little more obvious, but I look at my work much in the same way as you.

A professional question:  How do you keep your work "fresh" and do you find that same technique translates into your cooking?

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Damn! Its gonna be hard to get work done this week. I hope my clients aren't reading this.

Your cook was definitely better looking! I would have asked her out years ago if she wasn't married to Frank from Frank's Produce downstairs. (where I get all my produce)
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I'm not sure how to keep my work "fresh." Ideally, I try to keep up with current movements in art, gastronomy, culture, fashion, film, music, graphic arts, etc. Basically anything and everything I can input into my head, because it all influences my work. This is much easier said than done of course. I don't like to look at architecture mags and such because I don't want my work to be derrivitive of what the trendy architects were doing 6 months ago (about the time it takes for works to get published). I say this but, of course I look at architecture mags all the time. Sometimes its easier just to have ideals, than to hold to them. You've hit on something that I am continually struggling with. What about you?

#74 Daddy-A

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 06:06 PM

I'm not sure how to keep my work "fresh." Ideally, I try to keep up with current movements in art, gastronomy, culture, fashion, film, music, graphic arts, etc.
<SNIP>
Sometimes its easier just to have ideals, than to hold to them. You've hit on something that I am continually struggling with. What about you?

Me? I use alcohol. :laugh:

I agree completely with regards to magazines, etc ... I receive kitchen design magazines all the time. Most of them end up in the recycling bin without me even looking at them. After all, their job is to sell magazines, so they tend not to be very "cutting edge" ... more mass market.

I try to find influence in places outside my comfort zone ... fashion design is a big one, as well as the tactile arts like ceramics and sculpture. I find youth-culture a good source of inspiration as well ... underground comics & videos, X-Games.

And then once I have all these ideas, I typically put them away and churn out yet another Shaker kitchen. *sign*

This is where the alcohol comes in.

A.

#75 tsquare

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 06:27 PM

Damn! Its gonna be hard to get work done this week. I hope my clients aren't reading this.

Your cook was definitely better looking! I would have asked her out years ago if she wasn't married to Frank from Frank's Produce downstairs. (where I get all my produce)



They only got married a year ago...

#76 rjwong

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 07:30 PM

Sorry. I got in late. Great blog, Henry!!

You grew up in Southern California & you're Chinese? We need to talk, dude ... :biggrin:

What type of Chinese food did you grow up eating? Cantonese? What are your favorite Chinese restaurants in LA? in Seattle?

Do you keep up with what's going on with both the culinary & architectural scenes in Los Angeles, particularly downtown LA? What do you think of Frank Gehry? And who would be his culinary counterpart, in your opinion?
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#77 handmc

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 07:35 PM

What an interesting blog, good food, cool designs and the best part, you get to wake up and look at your kitchen!

With the food your putting down this week you will be ready for the competitive eating circuit! That's a lot of food.

You have put a lot of effort into your blog and it shows, thanks.

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#78 a2k

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 08:02 PM

As someone who’s dined at the HhLodesign Studio kitchen on several occasions, I’ve gotta say that the quality of the food it produces is on par with the quality of the design of the space.

#79 MarketStEl

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 08:30 PM

Back when I was little--the age at which most boys answer the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with "A fireman!" or "A cowboy!"--I answered it, "I want to be an architect!"

Didn't come to pass, sorry to say. But writing has its pleasures too.

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It's never too late!


Ya think?

Right now, I'm secretly waiting for Inga Saffron to call me and tell me she's hanging up her pen, and would I want to take over for her? (Inga Saffron is the architecture critic of The Philadelphia Inquirer.)

Great work so far.  You may even be able to get away without the obligatory inside-the-fridge shot.  :wink:

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My inside the fridge shot is not that exciting. I tend to walk down to the market and buy ingredients fresh when I want to cook. It's nice because I can go during the day because I work for myself. It's usually a nice half hour break from work, and usually combine shopping with lunch.
But here you go:
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Only what's essential, I see. Funny, I don't remember you confessing your love on that long-running sriracha thread. Does sriracha require refrigeration? If so, I need to move my bottle, but it hasn't seemed to suffer from its placement in the pantry.

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All the beer is leftover from a party I had. I don't really drink beer, so they tend to linger til the next party.
I think I'm addicted to Pelligrino.
I have some tofu marinating to be grilled.
leftover Cole slaw that I made last week (should be thrown out)
leftover chili I made last week (must be thrown out!)

You always have to have a bottle of white chilling!
I usually keep some scallions, onions, carrots, spinach, leaks, and peppers around.
[emphasis added]

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Another can't-bear-to-waste-good-leftovers type!

Can I trade my never-eats-leftovers roommate for you?
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#80 Della

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 08:44 PM

Really enjoying your blog Henry. I live in Seattle and have been to some of the places you are featuring. You are really doing up our city proud!!!!

#81 hhlodesign

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 12:26 AM

Went to a wine tasting for Brian Carter Cellars at the Waterfront Restaurant this afternoon.
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It is located on Pier 70 on the Puget Sound, and is about a 5 minute walk from my studio. My friends and I have drinks there often. The food is...not bad. I don't eat dinner there often. But the bar area has a gorgeous view of the sound. A better place to watch the sunset and have a drink I cannot think of.

Brian Carter Cellars makes only belnds. They had 5 wines they were showcasing tonight. The memorable ones for me were the 2004 Oriana. A white blend of Roussane, Riesling, and Viognier. Also, the 2000 Solesce, which is a Merlot, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, and Malbec blend. I wish I could speak about wine more intelligently. I just know what I think tastes good.
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#82 hhlodesign

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 01:27 AM

Dinner tonight was at the Barking Frog in Woodinville.
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It is located in the Willows Lodge complex which also houses The Herbfarm.
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You can read my thoughts on Herbfarm here:
Externship thread

I was lucky enough to be dining with the pastry chef of the restaurant tonight, so they started sending out special courses right off the bat. We got a foie gras course 2 minutes after our wine was poured.
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This was pan seared foie gras with "fiddle faddle", cinnamon gastrique, and smoked almonds. The fiddle faddle was made by Melissa who was sitting right at my table. The question was posed "what's fiddle faddle" and I stupidly answered, "Its like cracker jacks but cheaper and you get it in huge jugs at Costco." Forgetting that I was sitting at the same table with Melissa who personally made the fiddle faddle herself. I'm constantly putting my foot in my mouth. I really liked the contrast of textures between the very soft foie and the crunchy FF.

The next course they sent out was chicken based soup with lemongrass, ginger, and kaffir lime leaves. This was pressed in a French coffee press at the table, then poured over a deep fried mascarpone lobster wonton. Very unique presentation and a nice refreshing dish.
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Then came series of appetizer courses.
Kobe Beef tartar and Carpaccio with spicy tomato relish and raw quail egg.
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Very well executed and nicely balanced flavors, but not the most original dish.

Grand Marnier Prawns with lemongrass vinagarette.
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This dish was a guilty pleasure. The prawns were crisp and succulent. The sauce sweet and tangy. Its admittedly a favorite of the diners. Its the kind of dish that everyone is supposed to love. Even those who know nothing about food. Playing to the mass market/ business traveller/ hotel crowd. And I loved it! Oh well, I like what I like.

Goat Cheese and Artichoke Terrine with sorrel pesto and sunchoke chips.
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I didn't even get to try this one.

My main course was the Grilled Kurabota Double Cut Pork Chop served with honey glazed radichio, roasted cauliflower and ruby crescent fingerling potatoes, in a Parmesian white wine sauce.
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Wow! What a nice dish. For those of you who don't know, Kurabota pork is to pork what Kobe beef is to beef. This is especially nice since in the last few decades, pork in America has been bred to have virtually no fat left. The radicchio added just the right amount of sweetness. I didn't get much out of the cauliflower other than texture, but maybe that's what they were going for. A lovely dish!

Some other entrees on the table:

Beef tenderlion
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Beef Short Ribs
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Seared tuna
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Everyone seemed to enjoy their meals.

Dessert came next and was quite the spectacle.
Mardi and Dion (also in attendance) have a toy poodle named Tiny Elvis.
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Melissa actually made a cookie shaped Tiny Elvis!
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On the plate are meyer lemon tarts, Amareno cherries in Michelle Cluizel chocolate (72% cacao), and others I forgot to write down.

Other desserts that we could barely finish:
Manjari Chocolate Bread Pudding with apricot coulis and chocolate sorbet.
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Caramel Apple Cake with Date ice cream, chamomile anglaise, and fried apple skins.
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Willows Lodge chocolate hazelnut torte.
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Its a vanilla rum sponge cake with nutella mousse.

The GM is a friend of all of us, so joined us for a glass of wine at the table.
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Pablo (sitting) is a great front of house guy. The sous chef, Brian Figler, also came out to say hi. Bobby Moore is the executive chef, but he was off for the night. Brian did a fine job though.

This is the most talented culinary marriage in the city:
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Charles Walpole is the Chef De Cuisine at Mistral, while his wife Melissa Walpole is the pastry chef at Barking Frog. Imagine going to a dinner party at their house...hint hint.

After dinner Melissa gave us a tour of the kitchen.
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I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of people back there. Close to 10 when Veil had around 6 for around the same size dining room. But Melissa informed me that they have room service and banquet facilities as well.

We couldn't leave with saying hi to the resident truffle pigs at the Willows Lodge. They had their work cut out for them because I don't think there are truffles growing within hundreds of miles from Seattle.
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Edited by hhlodesign, 21 March 2006 - 03:06 PM.


#83 hhlodesign

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 01:31 AM

Really enjoying your blog Henry. I live in Seattle and have been to some of the places you are featuring. You are really doing up our city proud!!!!

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Thanks! It's actually very easy when you have such a great city to write about.

What are some of your favorite places to eat?

#84 hhlodesign

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 01:33 AM

Does sriracha require refrigeration?  If so, I need to move my bottle, but it hasn't seemed to suffer from its placement in the pantry.

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I don't know. But I kind of like it cold for some reason.

#85 hhlodesign

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 01:36 AM

With the food your putting down this week you will be ready for the competitive eating circuit! That's a lot of food.

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I've actually been thinking about this. I have lunch and dinner everyday. So If I go to a nice restaurant or cook something quick and simple at home, the caloric intake should not be that far off. As long as I control my portions. I never said I clean my plate.

#86 hhlodesign

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 01:55 AM

Sorry. I got in late. Great blog, Henry!! 

You grew up in Southern California & you're Chinese? We need to talk, dude ...  :biggrin:

What type of Chinese food did you grow up eating? Cantonese? What are your favorite Chinese restaurants in LA? in Seattle?

Do you keep up with what's going on with both the culinary & architectural scenes in Los Angeles, particularly downtown LA? What do you think of Frank Gehry? And who would be his culinary counterpart, in your opinion?

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I grew up in Orange County. Fountain Valley to be exact. Under grad at Cal Poly Pomona and Grad school at UCLA. Both degrees in architecture (I want to teach.) Other than a year in Florence, I have lived in SoCal til 1999 when I moved to Seattle by way of NY.

My mom is from Jiang Su and Dad is from Hunan so I had lots of spicy dishes and noodle based dishes. My mom is a great cook and really enjoyed it. I wish I had taken an interest in cooking as a child, but she is still teaching my things now. As I said before, my godmother is from Szechaun and made lots of great spicy Szechaun dishes for me. It's still my favorite regional cuisine of China. That and Hunan. Love the spice!

It's been awhile since I've been back to LA for Chinese. I typically eat at two places in OC when Igo home to visit, Wei's and Mandarin Gourmet. But I like Ding Tai Phong in Montery Park. And some Cantonese place in West LA I forget the name of. Ocean something. I tend to lean more towards the Mandarin side of Chinese cuisine because that's what I grew up with. I only speak mandarin, no cantonese. Not to say I don't enjoy Dim Sum, and Cantonese specialties often.

It's funny, I was on the local NPR station a few months ago telling Ruth Reichel that there is no good Mandarin style Chinese food in Seattle. I still stand behind that, but I should have mentioned that a few places are doing decent food. Seven Stars Pepper, Rocking Wok, and Chiang's Gourmet. I should try to get to one of those this week. I also love the fried squab and salt and pepper crab at Sun Sei Wa in Vancouver! I go there almost everytime I go up.

I think Frank Gehry has a very talented "eye." He kind of "emotes" his designs, as opposed to a logical progression of steps. He just sort of knows what looks good and makes his buildings look like that. I'm not a fan of the form not representing what the structure is doing. If you look at drawings for the Disney Concert Hall. The structure is very rectilinear. The facade and interiors are simply applied. It's dishonest in my opinion. Not to say that he is not intellectual about how he creates. Maybe its just over my head. So how do I compare a chef to that description?....hmmm... I think I'll leave that alone for now.

Edited to add: Having said all that, I'd still say that (aesthetically speaking) the Guggenheim in Bilbao is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.

Edited by hhlodesign, 21 March 2006 - 10:26 AM.


#87 hhlodesign

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 01:57 AM

Damn! Its gonna be hard to get work done this week. I hope my clients aren't reading this.

Your cook was definitely better looking! I would have asked her out years ago if she wasn't married to Frank from Frank's Produce downstairs. (where I get all my produce)



They only got married a year ago...

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Just trying to be funny. Call it creative license. Don't go Oprah on me.

#88 Ling

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 02:16 AM

Dinner tonight was at the Barking Frog in Woodinville.

<snip>

On the plate are meyer lemon tarts, Amareno cherries in Michelle Cluizel chocolate (72% cacao), and others I forgot to write down.

Other desserts that we could barely finish:
Manjari Chocolate Bread Pudding with apricot coulis and chocolate sorbet.

Caramel Apple Cake with Date ice cream, chamomile anglaise, and fried apple skins.

Willows Lodge chocolate hazelnut torte.

Its a vanilla rum sponge cake with nutella mousse.

View Post


That's quite a line-up. I wish I was there to finish up the desserts for you all. I love Michel Cluizel, Valrhona Manjari, and Nutella. Date ice-cream sounds very interesting and delicious as well!

Do you have a favourite dessert in Seattle, Henry? :smile:

When I was eating my way through the Dahlia Lounge pastry case, my favourite was the lemon tart with Italian meringue. :wub:

Edited by Ling, 21 March 2006 - 02:17 AM.


#89 Pan

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 04:50 AM

Another great meal! It's great to be friends with chefs, isn't it? How many people were eating all that food?

Were you in Florence on a Fulbright? It's interesting; Italy is part of my family heritage, even though it's a country where I have no ancestry or relatives, because my father, who's a painter, spent a year in Florence on a Fulbright before I was born. So my mother and father cooked a lot of Italian food when I was a child, and I grew up reading Il Capucetto Rosso in Italian, instead of Little Red Riding Hood in English. Eventually, I was able to use my own grant money to go to Italy for two summers when I was in graduate school and have my own love affair with that wonderful country, its wonderful people and culture (and of course, food and wine).

(Off-topic, but I salute you for your opinion of Gehry.)

#90 Genny

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 10:17 AM

So Henry, how does an architect from SoCal get to be so entrenched in the culinary world in Seattle? How did you get to know and befriend so many of the top purveyors of your city?





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