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Everything posted by Muffin210

  1. When you reach LA, how long will you be there for, and where in LA will you be staying? (The Magic Mountain area is not what most of us would call LA.)
  2. Houseberg and I are finally starting to plan our trip to Romania, and we're thinking about visiting Moldova while we're "in the area." I haven't heard too much about the food and restaurants of Moldova, though -- it's mainly the alcoholic beverages that get written about. Does anyone have any experience with or recommendations about the food or restaurants or particular regional wines that we should try? Are there any Moldovian regional specialities? We'd probably fly into Chisinau (Kishinev) from Bucharest. Thanks in advance for any info anyone might have!
  3. I'm with you. The last three times I went to Oahu, Chef Mavro was one of the highlights. It's the one place I always want to go back to...well, that and the darn malasada place...yummmmmy...
  4. My last three restaurant meals: Sushi Sei, in Hermosa Beach (for Friday night happy hour) Table 8, in LA (my current FAVORITE restaurant...I still can't believe Govind Armstong lost on Iron Chef America! ) Cinch, in Santa Monica Speaking of restaurants, I'm not sure about this new eGullet policy stuff, but it seems to me that it's about time to start planning another "Carl Chu Chinese Restaurant Book" run...anyone figured out how to start an acceptable thread?
  5. When are you going, and for how long? Where are you staying? Houseberg and I were in Slovenia in 2003 and had a great time. We had some wonderful authentic Slovenian meals at the hotel we stayed in for two nights, but it is not located in the city -- Kendov Dvorec (www.kendov-dvorec.com). The staff there even arranged for us to visit with local winemakers at their homes nearby; Slovenian wines are wonderful so if you have the time, you should take a side trip and go wine-tasting! I'd have to try to dig up my notes to find the specific restaurants we went to but we ate some delicious fried tiny fish at the Ljubljana farmers' market and some amazing fruits (it was cherry season). Also be sure to try the gibanica for dessert if you've never had it before (pastry with poppy seeds and other good stuff)!
  6. Ha ha! I bet there are a lot of us who haven't been able to touch those things since their freshman year in college! (Not to mention Jaegermeister...) The last thing I ate before getting ill with what turned out later to be appendicitis was a blueberry danish, and although blueberries were probably one of my favorite foods before then, it was years before I could stand to taste them again.
  7. Just got back from dinner...we missed you, jschyun! It was only Foodzealot, Cathy (Texasgal) and myself, but we had lots of good food and I'm sure Foodzealot will post the photos soon. I think my favorites were the beef soup with pickled cabbage and the flash-fried lamb with green onions, along with the dabing bread. Cathy seemed to really like the three flavor knife-cut noodles. Hopefully next time we'll get a bigger group (so we can try more stuff!) and better weather -- the rain was a real downer... skchai, we were talking about your upcoming visit to LA -- if you're serious about getting together for a meal with the local eGullet crowd, let us know when you're available -- perhaps this would be a good new thread? I think there would be quite a few of us interested in meeting up with you and checking out a new restaurant!
  8. Houseberg and I are totally in, if you can find a way to get a reservation!
  9. This should be a lot of fun -- try to make it if you can! (Chris Cognac, I know this is in your neighborhood!) Beijing Islamic is one of the restaurants in the Carl Chu book, for those of you keeping score (we are attempting to eat our way through the book...although this will only be restaurant #2 so far...hey, you gotta start somewhere!) I invited Cathy (from the potluck) and she will probably be able to make it. Houseberg is still in Philadelphia, so he'll have to eat more cheesesteak instead. See you all tomorrow!
  10. I'd second that. I've been there twice before and the food is not memorable. However, you don't go there for the food, so the magic makes up for it!
  11. Chris Cognac and I were talking about Club 33 at Disneyland: http://www.disneylandclub33.com/ Has anyone ever actually been inside? What's it like? Is anyone a member? Are there other "secret" restaurants like this around that you've been to (or even just heard about)? If so, how did you get to be a member or extended an invitation? (I'm not talking about hidden trendy nightclubs and bars, but actual restaurants.) There hasn't been much activity lately on the CA board (is it still the lingering effects of too much turkey?), but hopefully we'll get some input on this topic. I've always thought it would be pretty cool to check out Club 33, but I don't know anyone who's a member!
  12. And I'd happily trade a tray of those dungeness crabs from Crustacean (garlic noodles and all) for just one good ol' Maryland steamed blue crab! Preferably served with a pitcher of beer and thrown on a newspaper-strewn table... Thanks for all the great recommendations...I wish I had more than three days in Philadelphia to try places! I'd forgotten about scrapple...I think I used to shy away from it as a child...guess I'll have to give it a try this time around!
  13. Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions! I am looking forward to checking out the RTM, and we're going to Morimoto for dinner on Friday night (I'm a big Iron Chef fan...). We're from Los Angeles, so the whole Penn Dutch-style cuisine is sort of a novelty -- what else is typical (and available) other than shoofly pie? The produce will probably be quite different too -- people here are still trying to give away the citrus fruits growing on their yard trees! I really miss blue crabs (California is dungeness crab territory) -- can you get Maryland-style steamed blue crabs in Old Bay seasoning in Philadelphia?
  14. I'm headed to Philadelphia this weekend (December 3-5), so I'm glad this thread got started! Any particular things to look out for at the big market this time of year? Our hotel room has a kitchenette. I'm also hoping to get some shoo-fly pie (or other regional specialties), since my boyfriend has never had Pennsylvania Dutch/Mennonite/Amish food before...
  15. Personally, I wouldn't want to go out with anyone who WASN'T willing to eat at Soot Bull Jeep on a date! But that's just me...luckily for me, Houseberg loves Korean food (he even lived in Korea for a few months teaching English), so he doesn't mind if we end up with smoky clothes and kimchee breath! Glad to hear you liked Soot Bull Jeep, and that you managed to hit such a variety of good LA restaurants. Can't wait to read your next installment!
  16. Damn that crepe restaurant...it's right near my place (it's on Pier Avenue) so I have to walk by it all the time...the only thing better than a hot crepe is a crepe with whipped cream...and ice cream...and Nutella...and fresh berries...!!!
  17. A few more South Bay restaurants: (I don't know what time they open for dinner, though) Back Home in Lahaina (310) 374-0111 -- 916 N. Sepulveda in Manhattan Beach -- popular and casual Hawaiian restaurant Versailles (310) 937-6829 -- 1000 N. Sepulveda in Manhattan Beach -- one of a chain of Cuban restaurants -- also popular and casual -- hope you like garlic! Ragin' Cajun (310) 376-7878 -- 422 Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach -- casual and fun Cajun food; also on Pier or Hermosa Avenue and just a short walk away are sushi places (Sushi Sei is good but doesn't open until 5:30), casual Italian (Fritto Misto and Buona Vita are popular), a crepe place, Thai, Mediterranean, steak, etc... Further south on 2nd Street is The Spot, which is a famous but small vegetarian restaurant. Hope this helps! Let us know what you end up doing.
  18. If you want to eat dinner and still make it back to LAX by 6:30 PM, you might want to stick closer to the LAX area for dinner (rush hour traffic gets really bad around West LA/Santa Monica/etc. -- including near Sawtelle Blvd, where I used to live!). Close to the airport, in the city of El Segundo, there are some decent chain restaurants that, while not shining examples of LA cuisine, are still better than anything you'd get at the airport: McCormick and Schmick, the seafood chain, is open 11 AM - 11 PM, with happy hour specials from 3:30 - 6:30 PM (perfect for your timing). It's at 2101 Rosecrans Avenue (a major street); (310) 416-1123. Nearby is Taiko, a Japanese restaurant with at least one other branch in LA; they serve Japanese noodles, sushi, tempura, etc. and are open starting at 5 PM for dinner. Taiko is at 2041 Rosecrans Avenue; (310) 647-3100. Also in that part of El Segundo are other chains such as Fleming's (steak...on the expensive side) and its sister restaurant, PF Chang's ("Chinese"-American food). Since you have so much free time tomorrow afternoon, though, you still might consider coming down to Manhattan Beach/Hermosa Beach and strolling around by the piers -- it should be a beautiful sunny day, with the temperature in the 70s! Both beach cities have downtown areas with lots of shops and restaurants. If you want to check out Hermosa you can take a cab to Pier Avenue and then walk around the small downtown area easily; you can rent bikes and go up and down The Strand by the ocean and do some people-watching before dinner time!
  19. It is also plenty of time to head to the beach cities in the South Bay, and avoid the big crowds in Santa Monica -- Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach (where I live) are both close to LAX and have a variety of restaurants. What kind of food are you looking for? (Hermosa is for some reason quite sushi-heavy and has an unusual number of Cajun restaurants for a city of its size!) What time did you want to be back at LAX? What time did you want to eat? If you are flying from DC then you probably won't mind eating early. How much do you want to spend? We can probably give you more concrete suggestions if you narrow your interests down a little more. The beach cities are also quite nice to walk around, and more laid back than its neighbors to the north.
  20. I know this is kind of off-topic, but since I was born in Baltimore, I can't help myself...what about blue crabs? Are there any places in CA that serve them (whole and steamed, not as bits of meat in crabcakes or soup)? How do native Californians feel about blue crabs versus Dungeness crabs? I love all seafood but there is special place in my heart for steamed blue crabs, covered in Old Bay seasoning, piled up in a heap on a newspaper-covered table next to hammers and pitchers of beer...
  21. We just got back a couple weeks ago from Kyoto (see my earlier thread!) and if you're looking for a special tofu restaurant, consider Junsei. It was about $120 for three of us (including a bottle of sake) for a fancy tofu tasting menu (very filling...you'd be surprised). Plus, the restaurant has lovely grounds, with a beautiful garden and different buildings for dining (depending on what you eat). I think it is a pretty famous restaurant in Kyoto. Here is their website: http://www.to-fu.co.jp The earlier thread has the link to my photos, so you can wade through and find the ones of our Junsei meal! Have a great trip -- there is so much to see and eat in Kyoto! If you like Japanese tea, make sure to take the short trip to Uji city...it has the oldest tea shop in the country, and you can participate in a traditional tea ceremony for only about $5 per person!
  22. Muffin210


    So....when's blowfish (fugu) season? Isn't it now/soon? Who's in for a break-the-bank Urasawa fugu feast?
  23. PART II: O-bento appetizer: "Eggs with garlic chive and tomato, salmon sushi, green beans with sesame sauce, beef negima-yaki, shrimp nanban-zuke and soba noodles" O-bento entree: "Chicken, vegetable, and shiitake mushroom shikuzen-ni, steamed salmon with grated daikon, fried fish cake and peas with steamed rice, served with green tea" (and sake!) Dessert: "Eli's Apple Crunch pie" with Sandeman's porto There was also champagne and a selection of red and white wines...I think I had a 2002 Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes-du-Rhone Les Abeilles...the other entree option was a grilled salmon dish...there was also a cheese plate of Stilton and Black Diamond cheddar. On the way back to CA, there was again a filet mignon entree (which Houseberg got -- this one with shiitake mushroom and port wine demi-glace), so I didn't bother taking a photo. The Western appetizer was smoked salmon, prosciutto, cream cheese, and tomato with fresh seasonal greens, cucumbers, and red bell peppers. The alternate entree was tropical barbecued chicken breast with Hawaiian marinade. O-bento appetizer: "spicy vinegared horse mackerel, shrimp with lily root, shiitake mushroom stuffed egg, simmered sweet potato and udon noodles" O-bento entree: "silver cod in soy mirin sauce with shimeji mushrooms, vegetables, ginkgo nuts and steamed rice, served with green tea" The cheeses were a red cheddar and gorgonzola; the dessert was orange mouse with creme chantilly. Not bad, for airline food!
  24. Houseberg and I just got back last week from Japan; we used a chunk of frequent flier miles to upgrade to business class on United Airlines. The food was actually pretty good! MUCH better than what we're used to back in economy class. I embarassed Houseberg by whipping out the camera and taking a bunch of photos for eGullet...the flight attendants were joking that I must be a spy from another airline...sorry, I slept through the second meal on both flights, so these are just the pictures from the first part of the flight. Gotta start out with salted warm nuts and drinks... Appetizer course: "Spiced shrimp and Parma ham...fresh seasonal greens with roasted garlic red wine vinaigrette" Western entree: "Filet mignon with applewood smoked bacon demi-glace, roasted red potatoes and green beans with yellow pepper"
  25. Hmmm, that's an interesting question. The prices for the ryokan (Tamahan in Kyoto) and temple (Shojoshin-in on Koya-san) included two meals (dinner and breakfast), so I'm not sure how much a similar meal at a restaurant would be. Perhaps the Japanese members can provide an estimate for an equivalent kaiseki meal and a temple meal? Okay, I am looking through my receipts to find some prices... About value: I think I came away feeling that I had received excellent value for the money. For example, last year I went to a conference on Oahu and stayed at the conference hotel -- it cost a lot and the accomodations and service weren't particularly great (plus our "non-smoking" room was totally smoky). I feel that, for an equivalent amount of money, one night in a ryokan was a much better value than two or three nights in that big Hawaiian hotel. And I liked that the room prices were all you had to pay -- no worrying about additional taxes or tips or food charges. The restaurants, too -- at least if your meal price is expensive, you know that it's the final amount. No one will expect a tip, or try to push "sparkling or flat?" on you. The yudofu dinner at Junsei (famous for its tofu; it also has a beautiful garden), for three people (including one bottle of sake), was 13,300 yen. It was a lot of food -- we couldn't finish it all, even though it was "only" tofu. We had an amazing shabu-shabu meal in Kyoto that I did not photograph (forgot the darn camera that night!). This was at the Isetan branch (is there anything you CAN'T find at Isetan? See Sinbad's thread here: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=54063 , plus a lot of the take-out food on my photo website was from Isetan) of an apparently famous beef restaurant in Kyoto called Morita-ya. For shabu-shabu and suki-yaki, the prices per person for the various grades of beef were: Special Selection (what we tried): 7,875 yen Matsu: 6,090 yen Take: 5,040 yen Ume: 3,990 yen The price included an enormous amount of food other than beef, such as a variety of vegetables and mushrooms, tofu and yuba, kudzu noodles, fat white noodles (like udon with elephantiasis!...I don't remember what they're called), mochi, pickles, miso soup, rice, fruit, and some other items which I can't remember now. I wish I had my camera because it was a thing of beauty! According to the Morita-ya menu, the price for steak ("fillet or sirloin") is: 250g: 10,500 yen 200g: 8,400 yen 170g: 7,140 yen 150g: 6,090 yen I'm not good at estimating how much our thin slices of beef for shabu-shabu weighed. Of course, we also ate a lot of more reasonable, everyday food like okonomiyaki and ramen, which aren't too expensive. And for matcha plus one sweet I think the prices were typically around 600-650 yen per set. Another question for our Japanese members: since we were across the street from Isetan, that's the only department store we went to. How do the food offerings vary among the department store? Is any one store felt to have better offerings or prices?
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