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Everything posted by hhlodesign

  1. 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) 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?
  2. 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. They have a counter which overlooks the kitchen. This is where I usually sit, but it was full today. So we sat at the window overlooking the Market and the Puget Sound. 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. 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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. hhlodesign

    Caul Fat

    Some creative use of the stuff.
  5. WOW! You pay me the ultimate compliment! I love the Work of Kei ichi Irie! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. It's never too late! 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: 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.
  10. "Sopranos Pot Luck" Shopped at the Pike Place Market for my ingredients, but I'll have a whole entry about the Market in a future installment. Here's just a teaser photo. My plan was to make eggplant parmesiano because I thought some vegetarian friends of mine were coming, but they ended up eating at Veil instead. So I decided to call them out on National Media. "Real nice Aaron and Stacy!" I love my Salumi apron! But I thought it would be fun nonetheless. First I sliced up the eggplant, salted them and let them drain for about 30 mins. Then came the chopping. garlic onions parsley (flat leaf of course!) after pressing the eggplant dry on paper towels, it was time to bread them. I put some chinese 5 spice and cayanne in the flower. the breadcrumbs are panko. While they roasted in the oven, I made the marinera. Just garlic, onions (everything good starts with garlic and onions!), a can of San Marzanos, oregano, and basil. I also added some curry powder and anchovy paste. Finally I assembled it all together with parm, assiago, and mozz. Then it was upstairs to watch the Sopranos. I had mentioned before how I am friends with many people in the building I live in. Mardi and Dion live on the 3rd floor and they have a huge loft. We purchased an LCD projector together last year (for a Super Bowl Party) and we lug it back and forth between our homes depending on who want to use it. Tonight they had it. Here's the problem with Italian Pot Lucks. Not enough food, and too many bottles of Chianti. That's what happened tonight. William brought a very nice antipasta platter (forgot to take a pic), Melissa made a wonderful tiramisu, and Tom brought biscotti and vinsanto. It was a very fun evening. Time to go for a run and work off some of that food. Good night!
  11. Wow! I just looked it up and ordered it on Amazon. "Antonin Careme, father of French cuisine, claimed, "Most noble of all the arts is architecture, and its greatest manifestation is the art of the pastry chef.""
  12. I really admire the work of Thom Mayne of Morphosis and Rem Koolhaas of OMA. They are both taking architecture beyond simply building, but thinking about human interaction with space, innovative uses of textures and materials, and redefining how we think about buildings. In that same regard, I have to admire Ferran Adria. Although I've never eaten at el bulli, I have the 98-02 book (to simply call it a cookbook would be blasphemous) His devotion to innovation, creativity, experimental attitude, and perfectionism is something I strive for. God! I want to eat there!!! As far as chefs whose food I've eaten (not counting the local places I will be talking about in this blog), I've had some great meals at Danube and Bouley and try to get to one of them every time I'm in NY. I had a meal at Chez Pannise a few years ago and was very impressed. And how can I not acknowledge the innovations attributed to Alice Waters! I'm still trying to get a meal at the French Laundry, but the open face lamb sandwich I had at Bouchon was wonderful, not to mention the French onion soup (someone I was with asked if he could get it with no cheese or beef, really!) His books are two of the most beautiful in my collection and from everything I've read, I'd say Thomas Keller would have to be on my list of favorites. Edited to add: How can I forget Mario Batali. The only American who truely gets how to do Italian right! Not to mention his dad's skills at curing meat. You'll all be seeing that on Wednesday. Then, of course, there is the guy (or girl) who makes my "cheeseburger animal style" from In-N-Out, any Italian grandmother, and my mom! I grew up in Southern California and always have a skateboard around. It's funny how many people comment on that. My place was in a local magazine last year and the photographer wanted a shot of me skateboarding through the space (which I often do). Concrete floors are great! It also give me just enough extra height to reach the upper cabinets above my open shelving, and I take it down to the Market sometimes.
  13. Gonna try and keep with the original plan. I'm just gonna up the nightly running regimen. Also, portion control.
  14. Thanks to everyone for all the encouraging feedback. It makes an already enjoyable experience even more so!
  15. Alas, I had to keep to the itinerary. Brunch today was at Monsoon. They do the best Pho in Seattle. maybe it has to do with the fact that they use Kobe Beef. They also have a very eccletic mix of western and asian menu items. Anything from Daikon cakes with chinese sausage to Vanilla French Toast: We also had crispy shrimp and chive dumplings scrambled duck eggs with abalone mushrooms and steamed sticky rice with pork Now its off the the Pike Place Market to shop for the Sopranos Pot Luck tonight. Eggplant Parmesiano will be my contribution. I really need to find some time also to do some cardio and burn off the calories I've been consuming. Typing just isn't doing it for me.
  16. Architecture Tangent I've come to realize my favorite "fancy" meals tend to correspond with the way I think about design. My work tends to be about the purity if the material. It its wood, let's make it look like wood, concrete should look like concrete, steel like steel. Fo me, its about using the material in its purest form and doing just enough to it to make it perform the appropriate function. Minimalism. This is what I've noticed about places like Veil. Shannon picks the best ingredients and does just enough to them to bring out their natural flavors. The art is what he chooses to put together and how their flavor compositions interact in your mouth. Very much like architecture in that the beauty is in the interaction of materials or ingredients. My photos from last night do not do the food justice, so I felt the need to post some professional shots: I love how the food is always in its pure form. And they are not covered in heavy sauces both aesthetically and in flavors. When I speak to my architect friends about chefs, I tend to compare them to architects. I compare chefs like Shannon Galusha and Thomas Keller to Tadao Ando for all the reasons I described above. Ando's buildings are all about purity of the material and composition. William Belickis of Mistral is also in this catagory, and its also one of my favorite places. His food resembles the work of David Bouley, as he spent time at the Bouley Bakery before coming out to Seattle. I have quite the meal planned at Mistral this Thursday! I would say guys like Grant Achatz and Ferran Adria are somewhat like a mix between Rem Koolhaas and Santiago Calatrava. While RK and SC are not "avante garde" per se, their work tends to resemble living diagrams. Koohaus will study how he thinks a building should work, and the form of the building takes the shape of the diagram. It's a very logical, and I feel successfull, approach of creating form. Calatrava, on the other hand, is all about structure. The form of the building is the structure. There is a certain flair to the way he assembles the pieces, but he is all about exposing the beauty in the structure. So its all about taking something that is very tangible and real, and abstracting it to create form. That's how I interprep the movement started by Adria. Let's end this with some images of the gorgeous design of Veil. A local firm in Seattle,Arai Jackson, did a great job on the place. The idea was to make the food the art. they wanted the architecture to be minimal, and let the food stand out, but still be distinctive. I think they suceeded.
  17. Dinner at Veil was quite the experience. As soon as I stepped in the front door, the hostess said to me, "I hope you are hungry, because Shannon really went all out!" I met my party at the bar and they were all buzzing as well. We had one drink. I had water, as I knew the wine would be flowing at dinner, and sat around 8:15pm. I am very impressed with the wine list at Veil. More than half the bottles are in the $30-$50 range. They don't really focus on any particular region, but have wines from all over. I think they really went to the trouble of finding great wines that are both affordable and go well with the food. We started with the Ployes-Jaquemarte Brut Rose. A very subtle rose champagne. Not quite as full bodied as the Billecart Salmon Brut Rose, and also half the price. It was light and crisp and would go very well with our first few course. The tuna crudo came out first. Very simple tuna tartart with small bits of fennel and dill. Very refreshing. Especially with the Champagne. Next came the Penn Cove oyster. It was sitting on a thin sheet of cucumber gellee and topped with "cucumber spagetti" and champagne vinegar. The oyster was very fresh and went nicely with the sweet cucmber accompaniments. Nantucket Scallop This was my favorite dish. I think they found a new holy trinity of scallop, asparagus, and abalone mushroom. Alll sitting in some 25 year old balsamic. Main Lobster Tail Salad With shaved fennel, meyer lemon aioli, citrus powder, and some white asparagus tips. A very clean dish. Pacific Tuna Pave Another favorite of the table. Came with chives and tarragon (I helped pick the tarragon leaves the night before. Shannon was meticulus about the size of leaves he would use), smoked anchovies, and harissa rouille powder, which has a smoked paprika like flavor. I should note that the powders are usually presented in a nice line on the side of the plate, so that the diner can use as much or little as he wishes. Plus it makes for a nice presentation contrasting the round plate. Black Bass Filet This was my next favorite dish. It was served with "peas and carrots" Texas pea puree and small albine carrots. I have never seen albino carrots before. They seem to taste more subtle than orange ones. Great course! Alaskan Halibut This was Shannon's take of Fish and Chips. The chips were a potato halibut cake and the tartar sauce was a remoulade. Loved it! Bronzino With spicy garbonzo beans and chorizo and a spanish spice called leppo. Here's where the courses started to move towards the more flavorful fish. We were finishing up our Champagne and had started the next bottle, a Pouilly Fuisse from Bret Brothers. Although this was a very nice dish, I think we needed a bit more full bodied wine to go with our later dishes. The wine was indeed wonderful though! Spanish Sardine Maybe it's the fact that I'm Chinese, but there is something I love about an entire fish coming to the table. Also the fact that you can eat the whole thing. This sardine was stuffed with tomato confit and capers. Splashed with some caper vinegrette. I loved this dish! Very strong flavors that all worked together. I should note that Shannon had been bringing many course to our table and has keeping a good eye on us to see how we were doing. After the Sardine course, he asked if we thought we could finish the menu. We were a unanimous "probabely not". He suggested we combine the next two courses and finish with a light dessert. I really enjoyed the fact that the chef knew that he needed to interact with the client and make sure that the menu could adjust accordingly to how the client is reacting to it. The next two courses came together. Two servings of each for the four of us. Salmon with heirloom beets, zinfandel dressing, and a small dolope of creme freche. Nice. Calamari Stuffed with beef cheeks and shitake tapenade (I helped make that the night before). I would have loved this dish had I not been stuffed beyond full 4 courses ago. The Beef was just the last thing I wanted when I just can't eat another bite of anything. Study in Sorbet Spoon coconut with passion fruit soup. Best of the 3 "Lemon Iced Tea" tea sorbet with Meyer lemon soup. Very refreshing. "Gin and Tonic" Quinine sorbet with lime curd. The after dinner drink if you will. loved it. Peanut Butter Ice Cream We couldn't leave without getting one thing on the normal menu. The peanut butter ice cream is legendary. I think they should sell it byt he pint! There is the age old philisophical question, "Can you Feast every day?" The answer is unquestionably "NO!" After 2 days of tasting menus, I'm wondering if I can get through this week without altering the itinerary. Stay tuned.
  18. Thanks! The Huwe kitchen actually made the cover of Sunset last year. Sunset Article
  19. Just got back from dinner at Veil. 13 courses and four hours later, I am exhausted! Report to follow in the morning. Good night!
  20. The short story: Moved to NYC just out of grad school at UCLA. Slept on a friend's couch for a few weeks (he was at Columbia at the time.) Recent architecture grads made about 30k a year in 1998. I wanted to live A) in Manhattan B) By myself. I should have ended up in Park Slope with roomates, but everything happens for a reason. A friend of mine said I should come out to Seattle for a 1 year pit stop on the way to NY. That was seven years ago. More on my background later.
  21. "The Kitchen Photos" I purchased a commercial storefront space in the Belltown area of Seattle a few years ago. This allowed me to fulfill two requirements I had when looking for a place to live; design my own place, and live in the city. Belltown is a location right next to the Pike Place Market (about a 4 block walk). We have numerous restaurants and bars in the neighborhood. Not to mention boutiquey shops and such. The problem with my space was that it was long and narrow. So I opted to create a galley kitchen that runs along most of the length of the space. The shelves and countertop opposite the kitchen allowed me to have lots of counterspace and provide separation from my bedroom without actually enclosing the space. I cut a hole in the countertop next to my cutting area for easy access to garbage. It was also behind a concrete column, making the couterspace unusable. I like to keep my spices, oils and sauces within easy reach of the range. I have quite the extensive collection of salts. Some of the highlights include Italian trufffle salt, himalyan pink salt, and superfine korean salt. You can never have enough white plates, wine glasses, champagne flutes, cookbooks, and wine. Closeup of the cookbooks. I had to move all the non cooking food books to another shelf because I was running out of room. (You know the ones...Kitchen Confidential, The Man Who Ate Everything, Noble Rot, Salt, Choice Cuts, Fork it Over, and so on...) Here's a rendering so you can better understand what I was trying to do with the space. The idea was to have everything I added to the space read as an assemblage of pieces that were dropped into the space, almost like a large piece of furniture. I didn't want it to read as if I built walls that divide the space up, yet still have a clear sense of separation between different functioning "rooms" Off to dinner at Veil. You can read (and see) about it tomorrow!
  22. It was a blueberry soup with an aspic jelly top. I think she used a flower for the coloring. The rule was no artificial colors.
  23. I am actually good friends with the chef, so it wasn't a difficult gig to get. But my guess is the line "I'm foodblogging for eGullet this week" will open a lot of doors.
  24. Seattle Sandwich Tour Stop #1 The Baguette Box was opened by the owner of Monsoon, Eric Bahn. Eric and his sister Sophie are origianlly from Vietnam and Edmonton Canada. They opened Monsoon about 7 years ago in Seattle, and it has since become an institution. I wouldn't call the food "fusion" so much as colonial Vietnamese. They use great Northwest ingredients and prepare them based on their Vietnamese roots with highly french influenced flavors. Monsoon is one of my favorite places in Seattle. Eric is the one on the right. I feel the need to describe Monsoon because Eric has taken the same approach wih his sandwich shop. Everything he makes is very distinctive any unlike anything you'll find in other sandwich shops. Some of my favorites include the drunken chicken, the braised pork shoulder, the pork loin, and the braised tofu. I got the tofu today: The tofu is braised in coconut milk, then deep fried. It is served with some kind of flavored mayo, pickled daikon, carrots, raw red onions, cilantro, and the most important ingredient...scallion oil. This place has also gotten very popular, as you can see by the line at 2pm on Saturday: I'll be back during the week to feature a few other sandwiches from this place. And stay tuned tomorrow for my brunch at Monsoon.
  25. Dinner at Crush was a very nice experience. They opened about a year ago in an area of town called Madison Valley. Although there is only a short stretch of commercial on this particular road. Four top quality restaurants exist there: Rover's, Harvest Vine,Nishino, and of course,Crush. It's a nice neighborhood to be in. The owners are a husband and wife. The husband, Jason, is the chef, while his wife, Nicole runs the front of the house. I mean literally the "front of the house." They purchased an old single family residence and converted it into a restaurant. I wish I had taken more pictures of the restaurant, but alas, I forgot. We sat at the bar and asked the chef to do a small tasting menu for us. The first course was a seared halibut with....(Note to self, take notes next time, and maybe drink less wine) I also forgot to take a picture of this one. The second course I will never forget: "Burger and fries" The burger is a small slice of pan seared foie gras, the bun is a donut hole cut in half, the ketsup is huckleberry puree, the fries are fried salsify chips. A truely amazing and creative dish. Next we had a seared whitefish (sorry forgot again) with rabbit confit, orage segments, and huckleberry purre. Seared tuna on smoked, then braised pork belly. I'm just gonna stop mentioning the ingredients that I forgot. I thought the Laguiole knives were a very nice touch. And they only had one stolen since they opened. Braised lamb shank with beluga lentils and minted goat cheese. I loved the minted goat cheese pairing. It provided both a contrast in textures, tempuratures and flavors. I forgot to take a picture of the cheese course, and honestly didn't eat much of it. I was already bursting by this time. Dessert was a selection of chocolates they make in house. Highlights included the Earl Grey Tea ganash, Almond Joy, and PB&(Grandma's homemade)J We also got a very decadent pecan pie with vanilla ice cream. I appoligize for the quality of the photos. the restaurant was full up until dessert. So I opted not to use a flash.
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