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leviathan

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  1. Has anybody ever tried cooking cavolo nero with japanese dandelion greens? I couldn't find any in a grocery store so I had to go to a farmer's market, and when I asked the guy about how to cook it, he said it would taste awesome with those dandelion greens. But, after googling up a recipe, I haven't found anything that combined those two together. And, what's the point of boiling the greens first before sauteeing them? Can you skip the first step?
  2. I haven't been to Vegas for a number of years, so I need a quick primer on which buffets I should hit. I'm looking for suggestions on which buffet to go to for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What exactly will be the difference between the Bellagio and Wynn and Mirage buffets? Don't they basically serve the same food? And, is the Alladin still the best cheaper buffet in Vegas?
  3. I ended up buying that particular model since Sears was having a sale on its appliances, and I was able to get a good deal on Kenmore appliances. I had also checked out Sears outlet, where they sold dented or scratched appliances, but passed on those since the difference in price, after accounting for the sale at Sears, wasn't that large, especially considering the condition of the goods at that outlet. If there had been no discount, I think I may have passed on that particular model and either gotten a lower priced Kenmore or a low end Bosch since the difference between this particular Kenmore and a low end Bosch weren't that great. If I had been paying full retail price, the total cost including installation, would have been over $800. But, if you do decide to go with Sears, you can probably save some money by not using Sears to install it. Sears ends up subcontracting it out to third parties, and you could save money by directly contacting those third parties. Sears just increased its delivery and instalation fee, but didn't even share any of that with these third parties who have seen their costs rise with the increase in fuel. The installer shared with me his costs, and he ends up getting less than half of what I paid Sears for installation, delivery, etc..
  4. No, Maytag doesn't make Kenmore dishwashers. Whirlpool makes the regular Kenmore dishwashers while Bosch is responsible for Kenmore Elite. This is probably a good thing for Kenmore since Maytag has been having quality control issues for the past few years. According to Consumer Reports, Kenmore dishwashers are highly ranked, and have garnered the best buy spot. But, when I went to buy one, Sears discontinued the line that CR had called its best buy. Instead, according to the sale associates, what had replaced it was this model that was the most expensive model for the regular Kenmore dishwashers, more than a hundred dollars more expensive than the discontinued model. At that price, its no longer a best buy. And, I still have my doubts if this model was actually the successor to the discontinued model, or if Sears HQ had decided to tell its sales associates to steer all customers clutching Consumer Reports to its most expensive and profitable model.
  5. Does anybody have a Black&Decker Toast R-Oven model TRO870? I just won a free new one, but I don't know if I should keep it since I already have a fairly new Toaster Oven from Rival or just give it away as a gift. I'm not interested in toasting ability, but in how well it acts as a oven. The Black&Decker seems to be bigger, which is a plus over the Rival.
  6. What most americans regard as Chinese food is stuff that most Chinese people wouldn't eat. Some of the dishes may have originated in China, but they've been adapted to American tastes so much that they're no longer the same dish. I'm wondering what ethnic cuisine is being served in America today that has been able to retain its authenticity where ethnic eaters will also eat it. On the top of my head, I think it might be Japanese food, ie sushi. It may be an incredibly narrow view of Japanese cuisine, but for the most part, it seems that American eaters have adapted more to eating raw fish rather than the cuisine having to adapt to American tastes. Other than too much wasabi and california roles, it seems that its survived remarkably intact.
  7. The sources you cite should answer your own question. Maybe, if you had a cookbook that was geared towards american readers, you might have some doubts. But, when authentic chinese cookbooks like those use ketchup, then I would argue that it is authentic. As XiaoLing mentioned, the word ketchup is of Chinese origin but the Chinese ketchup, ka-tsiap, that was referring to is not the same ketchup we know today. Tomatoes aren't indigenous to China, and so ka-tasiap did not use tomatoes. But, the fact that tomatoes weren't indigneous to Chinese cuisine doesn't mean the use of it today isn't authentic. After all, peanuts and thus peanut oil aren't indigenous to China, but every Chinese kitchen uses peanut oil today.
  8. http://health.yahoo.com/news/173241 The problem with this study is that the dishes that named were mostly aimed towards non-Chinese eaters, the stuff you'd find at PF Changs. I don't ever recall ordering those dishes when I go out. Some of the dishes may have originated in China, but they've changed so much, to appease American eaters, that its no longer really the same dish anymore.
  9. I had that same problem too. Living in SoCal, you have to know some Spanish and end up picking a little bit. Even I know cinco is five, but ninety-seven is more than I can handle. I have to count in my head- uno, dos, tres, quator, etc.. to figure out what nine is. But, by the time, I recognize that they called out a nine for the ninety-seven, I've missed out the second part. I love that combination of lime and cilantro, but the limes given were too dry to squeeze out any juice. I'm kind of curious how much lime authentic dishes usually need, if that's why this store wasn't too concerned about their limes.
  10. I used to pass by El Gallo Giro all the time for work, but never stopped by until I heard about it here. But, I was in the area to check out the Sears outlet, and stopped by the place. They didn't have any of the dishes recommended- no taco lengua, no goat leg torta, and no mango aqua fresca. If you're going to go eat there, I think its better if you just pick up the food and go somewhere else to eat. Inside, there's no tables to eat. Just counters and high stools but those are packed by people waiting for their dishes. But, if its a place to just pick up food, it kinda takes a long time to get your food. Nobody wants the souless efficiency of american fast food, where the food is already prepared when you order it. But, there's gotta be an alternative here. They had the same person taking orders and preparing the tortas, which inevitably slowed the whole process down. Plus, it didn't help matters that they messed up my order twice. There's a language barrier, but I thought they understood what I was saying when I pointed out the dishes I wanted as well as saying the dishes names. But, only after I went to pick up my dishes, did I find out that they had no more taco lenguas and that they thought I had ordered a different torta. If you go, some rudimentary spanish skills would definitely help. But, that shouldn't be surprising from a place that serves real, authentic food.
  11. In case anybody has been searching for it, its been sold, remodeled, and reopened under a new name, Elite Restaurant. I have no idea how the new menu compares to the original one but its probably not going to be the same since the head chef had already left as well as signifigant turnover among the staff. I'm curious about why it was sold. Was business bad? When I went there awhile back, I had to wait for about twenty minutes but that may have been a reflection of how small the place was. Personally, I thought it was interesting albeit expensive. I know it got a lot of positive press with non-chinese publications, but I wonder if this nouvelle style dim sum connected with chinese eaters who might have thought it was too expensive.
  12. This is so cool that I'm having a dialouge with Russ Parsons, the person who originally wrote the profile about Kazuto that got my interest piqued about this place in the first place. I really enjoyed your book as well as your work with the LA Times, although I'd also like to see a return to the sports section as well. I hope Buttercup lost a small fortune after that publicity stunt about the UCLA-USC game. I went to my local library to find a copy of the Los Angeles magazine to look up that issue, but they didn't have that particular issue in its archives. But, after searching the internet, I did find an online listing of Los Angeles magazine's ranking that year and it seems that it actually was saying that Beacon Cafe was the best restaurant in LA, not just the best new one. Most of the other restaurants, especially Spago, in its top 25 are obviously not new restaurants: Los Angeles Magazine Top 25 Best Restaurants 01.Beacon (Asian-Fusion $$) 02. Sona (American $$$) 03. L'Orangerie (French $$$$) 04. Angelini Osteria (Italian $$$) 05. Melisse (French $$$$) 06. Mission 261 (Chinese dim sum/dining $) 07. Josie (American $$$$) 08. Patina (American $$$$) 09. Grace (American $$$$) 10. Vincenti (Italian $$$$) 11. Teresitas (Mexican) 12. Campanile (Mediterranean $$$$) 13. JAR (American $$$$) 14. A.O.C. (Wine Bar, Gourmet Tapas $$$) 15. Urasawa (Sushi $$$$) 16. Bastide (French $$$$) 17. Casa Bianca (Pizza $) 18. Mako (Asian fusion $$$$) 19. Mimosa (French $$$$) 20. Joe's (Cal-French $$$) 21. Spago (Wolfgang puck's place $$$$) 22. La Cachette (French $$$$) 23. Capo (Italian $$$$) 24. Granita (Californian $$$) 25. Traxx (American $$$) You're right about even the owners don't claim its the best city in LA; I think even they are somewhat embarassed by Los Angeles Magazine's high ranking. On the top of their home webpage, they proudly announce they were selected as one of the top 25 restuarants by LA Magazine, but don't mention they were selected as the best one.
  13. Yesterday, I dropped somebody off at LAX and since it was closeby, I decided to check the place out. After reading a profile about the chef in the LATimes, I always wanted to check it out but it was too far. I got there early for lunch, and found a parking space and a table with no problems. As it was still early, there was a casual vibe and you could see the through the window that the chefs were goofing around. I had the 'black' edamame, the Kakuni udon, and the black cod with miso sauce that everybody's raved about. Since I was eating alone, I probably wouldn't have ordered the edamame but I was intrigued by what black edamame was. It was disappointing because it was basically the same green edamame you can get at any sushi joint. And, it needed more salt. I still don't understand how it was supposed to be black. My favorite dish was the Kakuni udon, a delicious, yummy broth with braised pork belly and udon. The pork belly is unctous and delicious in the way that only something fatty can be. This dish is big enough to share with somebody else, but who are we kidding. As I was eating this dish, I was worried that I might not have room to eat the black cod that everybody has been raving about. That wasn't a problem, as the portion for the black cod turned out to be quite small. It was about the same size as the green beans that came with the dish, but the green beans were supposed to be the side dish. I've heard that Beacon serves good food for the price, but if all the portions are going to be this small... Personally, I wasn't enamored with the flavor of the black cod, and found it be too sweet for my tastes. I think the problem is that you needed something like rice to help balance out the flavor. But, apparently I'm in the minority about the cod and have also never understood the cult of In-N-Out. What metrics did they use to come up with that rating? Overall, I thought it was a good experience but I wouldn't call it the top restaurant in LA. For me, the top restaurant would be someplace that I'd be willing to drive large distances to go eat there, even braving the dreaded LA Traffic. But, I wouldn't do that for Cafe Beacon. Its unlikely that I'd be in Culver City, but if I was, sure, I'd drop in and reorder the Kakuni because its right around the corner. To me, Cafe Beacon seems like a good, casual neighborhood restaurant, but I just don't see why there's been so much hype about this particular place. If Kazuto Matsusaka wasn't involved but it was sitll serving the same food, I don't think people would seriously consider it the top restaurant in LA.
  14. leviathan

    Bubble Tea

    Yes. At the Asian mart near me they have both black and 'rainbow', though I can't tell a difference in flavor. A bag of dried boba costs about $2, and is enough to make more bubble tea than I'll consume in this lifetime. ← I thought I read that making the tapioca pearls, even with a kit, was the hardest part about trying to make bobba tea at home. Anybody tried making them, and how did it come out?
  15. I think Puck's ultimate influence will derive from him being the american chef who started the whole phenomenon of celebrity chefs leveraging their brand into something more commercial that reached a wider american audience. He was also the first big name chef that heraleded a new culinary era for Las Vegas, and his success there opened up the doors for other chefs to follow. He's set up a model and protype that we're seeing other celebrity chefs follow today.
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