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yasuofenix

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  1. Does anybody know more sources for locust bean gum aka carob?
  2. Hello, Does anybody know where to get Stollen, Yule Logs, and sizable Linzer Tortes in San Francisco? Thanks!
  3. yasuofenix

    Frances?

    I went there about a month ago. My cousin and I went just as they opened. We sat at the bar area looking out onto the street. Forgive me if I'm a bit hazy, I drowned myself in espresso that day. The main reason why I wanted to go there was because of an article in Financial Times. It had highlighted its "California" style service. I'm from NYC and was curious to see what this service type this was. I figured it was something like a Danny Meyer restaurant. But I can't comment on my service experience unfortunately because of where I sat it was so uncomfortable for a server to navigate. We had some of their drinks, they went cheap on the liquor but whatever. We were celebrating me coming to California so we just ordered more until we felt something. We had chickpea fritters, dungeness crab salad, chicory? soup then duck breast & kale cannelloni. The fritters were good, it had a nice crisp outer layer and velvety interior. the dungeness crab had a lot of meyer lemon in it (come to think of it everything on the menu had meyer lemon in it). the soup was decent and good for someone like me who needs a lot of greens. the duck breast was my cousin's. he's from the bay area but very use to duck being served with a sauce of sorts. it didn't need any sauce because the flavor was very good. it was cooked to far for my liking, but at least it had great flavor. the cannelloni was interesting but nothing to write home about. it was a rather cold day so it spoke to me as someone from a colder climate. i suppose i forgot winter already past and i should have ordered more spring. the desserts... well i have a sweet tooth and they were okay. my cousin's dessert had something with humphrey's maple-walnut ice cream. i've never had a good scoop of ice cream from that place, thats all i'm going to say. and the panna cotta i ordered was alright. my tastes for this dessert are eternally biased once i tasted franny's in brooklyn. i find it hard to comprehend why this place is so hard to go to, some compared it to trying to get a res at manresa of TFL. i liked that place, if i lived in the neighborhood in the near future i'd pass by once and a while. but i'm not going to go around raving about it. if you came from some secluded area and only ate PF Changs & Cheesecake I can understand the hype. its good solid food.
  4. yasuofenix

    Tavern

    Well that sucks, it seems like it could be a nice restaurant. We actually didn't finish the rib-eye so we packed it to go. The next day we scraped off the sauce and made it into a sort of vietnamese beef salad with raw beets. I don't want to say it tasted better.... but you could definitely sit down and enjoy the beef flavor.
  5. Hey all, I just went to Tavern in Brentwood tonight. I haven't seen a thread on this place yet so I'd like to share what I experienced. Before eating there for dinner I had a snack at the larder. It was nice. They had some breads, prepared foods, and sweets. The macarons & thin mind cookies weren't bad. The counter employees were nice as well. The whole building itself is very nice and friendly. The dining room was bigger than I thought, it goes out further in to an area with glass ceilings allowing the light to enter. Its very relaxing. I just moved over to SoCal from NYC so my food senses are a bit off from switching blizzard to sunshine. I went to a local farmer's market to acquaint myself. The menu had disappointed me a bit since a lot of things seemed very heavy, well at least the entrees. The appetizers seemed in tune with what I saw at the market. My companion had the citrus salad and I had the duck sausage. They were both good, its just weird because they seem so regular. Maybe I'm use to April Bloomfield's minature but explosive salads? The duck sausage was very flavorful though. Actually mixing the two salads made it excellent! My companion had the rib-eye and I had the baked chicken. Thinking back to the appetizers these dishes made the previous look like amuse. Massive! That rib-eye was huge, but unfortunately covered in sauce. It was cooked properly (rare) I must add, because even in NYC it can be hard to get right. My chicken tasted like shake & bake with mustard. I don't mean to demean the food but thats what it tasted like. It was baked very well. The rib-eye came with a baked potato and all the fixins. But all that stuff killed the potato This point I will comment somewhat critically since my grandparents were potato farmers. The bacon tasted chewy & old. Some potatoes came with the baked chicken as well. They tasted so watery. Our desserts were just ok. My cheesecake was alright, but the grapes alongside kind of confused me. I didn't get it, but thats alright it was a decent cake. My companion's ice cream coupe was pretty bad. The pumpkin ice cream was gritty and the chocolate was just old (i use to make ice cream for a living please trust me). And it came in a beer glass as far as I could tell. The service was alright. Coming from NYC I expected to see this "California-style" service especially at a place like this. But I didn't but perhaps they are still working on it. I fairly enjoyed my time at this restaurant despite any concerns posted above. Maybe because its new, but I'd be up to seeing how they develop and gladly try it again. I'd recommend it to others after perhaps another month or two.
  6. I just had my last NYC meal here before moving to California. And I had a good time. The warm salad with black lentils tasted very fresh, and the shrimp salad was tasty. The entrees were good. We had the pineapple cake & buterscotch sundae for dessert. The pineapple cake was really good, especially with both fresh & cooked. The sundae was okay, it was too sweet. But I like Gramercy for their desserts. Anyway I'm glad to have gone there again before I leave. I've only ever been there though with Chef Michael so I can't compare. I did have a Stone Pale Ale as my drink, I didn't pay attention at first but that ale is from California. I looked at it and laughed as its fitting that I'm drinking this and moving there. Good luck to them in the future.
  7. just went there today. we were lucky enough to sit down right away, i think it was around 7pm. i tried the crisps & peanuts. they were good, but i'm not going to go around raving about them. the peanuts were fun. i got the head cheese then shared the pig's foot. they were both good. i don't want to compare, but the last time i had pig's foot was at au pied de cochon in montreal. that was in august 2009, but it still runs through my mind. i love april bloomfield and i've been a patron of hers at spotted pig for at least 4 years now. but that pig's foot at au pied de cochon is like a sexy ferrari and the breslin's is like an audi. both good, but completely different levels. to be fair the pig's foot at APDC was stuffed with foie gras and also topped with it. that thing was the definition of ridiculous. the head cheese there also had this deep deep pork flavor. i suppose its the pork. i think Au Pied de Cochon is one of the most satisfying restaurants i've ever been to, in terms of deep strong aggressive food. i had the eton mess. it was good also. for me the Breslin is a good restaurant, but i'll stick to my spotted. my waitress at the breslin was fantastic and so were all the workers there.
  8. Thanks for posting the article. Excuse my ignorance but it says he won an award for conservation. I went to Bouchon in Yountville last September and remember Bluefin Tuna being on the menu in the form of a sandwich (Bluefin Tuna Nicoise sandwich). The waiter didn't say if it was wild or farmed, I didn't really pay much attention to it at that moment as my mind was so focused on french fries. Aren't they critically endangered or am I missing something? I brought my parents to per se for my mom's birthday and they spoiled us rotten, my parents will never forget that experience. For that I thanked them a million times.
  9. Hey, I hope I can help somewhat. I haven't been in a kitchen for 3 years, as I switched to ice cream. But I worked & staged in 3 star NY, 2 star Michelin places. My friends are still in the kitchen and sounds like much hasn't changed. Photos - To be honest I haven't seen anyone with a camera in a kitchen since culinary school. I doubt anyone will seriously care. They might give you a look then turn back to their station. Just be sensitive to the individuals you are near. Working Hours - I always arrive early. And if they say you can go its up to you to stay. They wouldn't mind if you stayed, and if you left it would be the same. Taste - I always ask to taste. If I'm working on something I taste, if I'm just moving around helping I ask to taste. I don't know what within reason is, I guess as long as its sanitary. Equipment - I don't know how long your stage is and how much you'd be doing. Its worth bringing your stone if possible to sharpen when your not there. But I imagine you know that. Mandolines and others usually are lying around somewhere to be found. Be respectful obviously to grabbing stuff if it seems like someone's equipment. I found this out the hard way. A good peeler especially if its a French place. Questions - Every place I've been to everyone has been open with everything from where they got it, how much, and the ingredients. People seemed glad to pass on techniques & other info. If they have a discrete message please tell when you get back! Staff Meals - People seem really chill here in NYC. Just grab your stuff and chit-chat with whoever. I never had a problem. The last thing I'll mention is about getting the most out of where you are. They will give you all kinds of crap work because you can be in the way sometimes. Some places you out of the way, or they will pull you in the line it depends. I've spent days cleaning morels. I staged with a guy from Montreal and this guy was so lazy. The whole kitchen staff hated him, but he probably observed more than I did. I acknowledge that when I go into a stage I will receive grunt work. Like I said above, if you ask they will tell you but sometimes your not worth doing anything important. So stick up for yourself when there, hopefully you won't get stuck in some hole "cough Daniel cough" and get to learn something. Good luck dude.
  10. Thanks, I think I've come to understand what California cuisine "is" from reading this thread. That is refreshing as I am leaving my home to move there. I come from a heavy French/Italian background so let's see how I can fit in.
  11. I just got back from Paris and the Paris-Brest & Tarte Tatin were to die for. The store itself was very nice. I stood outside until they opened. Some things went quick, I passed by later in the day as my hotel was close. Sadly, we don't have anything close to pastries like this in New York. But that makes it even more precious to someone like me. I'm recommending this place to everyone I meet that is traveling that way.
  12. No place is like New Jersey, and no place is like Passaic... well maybe Naples. I wouldn't even say I'm from NJ. In terms of in-state I never left my hometown for anything unless it was to go to NYC or the airport. And I hardly left the East Village unless it was to cross Houston St to go to work. I'm somebody who never had to WALK more than half a mile, forget driving. I try to have an open mind, I've been traveling since I was 3 (to Lourdes, France to "cure" my crippled grandfather") And I use to live in China. To be honest, when I flew to California to meet my partner to scope out locations for an ice cream place I would have never thought I liked Orange County. I use to go to camp out in Atwater and met kids from Orange County. They made me think of it as the land of fast-food. It kinda is, but when I was brought to Huntington & Laguna Beach I was hooked. Being in the water even cured the sores on my hand from excessive knife work. I'm a Passaic/East Village kid nothing will change that, but man I love the Pacific Ocean. What is the most commonly used protein in California? My guess would be beef but I've seen a lot of duck on menus. Is goat common? You have a massive Mexican community and over here Mexican people love goat.
  13. LOL I'm being serious when I say I met people from California who have never ate a fig or blood orange. I say fig they say newton. Some of these people I've met were from Orange County if that explains anything. And most of them were Asian. I'm part Asian myself, but we've always eaten figs. Maybe its a cultural preference? I don't know. California is a very contrasting place which is a good thing in some ways. I look forward to moving there. My plans are to open my own ice cream shop eventually. One of my favorite flavors to make in the past was Black Mission Fig Ice Cream, fresh that is. They came from California of course, but they did suffer from the trek over to NYC. They shouldn't travel that far. But seriously... does California Pizza Kitchen really come from there? I use to go there when I was in college, thinking back I must have been depressed to go there. My hometown is Passaic, there was a pizza place on every block at one point. And speaking of Blood Oranges... where are they? I'm still in NYC and we are bare. Are you keeping them all to yourselves? Thanks.
  14. I'd like to know what people say are the differences between Northern & Southern California cuisine. I'm from NYC, but use to spend my summers as a kid living with my cousins in Cupertino in South Bay. We use to take trips to Napa and San Francisco. So I am somewhat familiar with the food there. I took it to be like what people say, but I remember more Asian influence. Maybe only in Cupertino & San Jose? They use to have a sizable Japanese-American group. And is California Pizza Kitchen really from there? The other thing I noticed is most Californians I've met have never had a fig, blood orange, cavolo nero, and others. This includes my girlfriend sadly who is from Southern California. She never had a fig until she came to NYC to study at FCI. Why is this the case? Do most produce grown in California get shipped out? I'll be moving to Southern California soon so any insight helps me tremendously, thanks.
  15. I just got back from Christmas vacation. I tried Berthillon, but not Pozzetto. It was okay for me. Everything was very sweet and not only in my opinion. I would go back if I was in the area, which is not often lol. I tried another place on Rue du Bac but I forget the name. It was okay as well, not bad for a pit-stop. I also randomly found Grom in Paris. Its pretty much the same as in West Village here in NYC. I did try quite a bit of places in Italy especially Florence and Bologna. The highlight of my whole trip was La Sorbetteria Castiglione in Bologna. It was a bit soft for my taste, but the taste was fantastic. If anyone manages to go to Bologna or even pass by it, the place is worth it. I nearly got drunk off the Cassata. After hitting all the places I could before gaining too much weight I would say all are good in their own way. But from my critical eye, which I hope I have after making ice cream for several years now, I would say that some places in Italy bring ice cream to a level in relation to what I experienced at La Patisserie de Reves. Some places left me saying to myself, "This place is fucking serious." Thanks for everyone's recommendations.
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