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jogoode

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Everything posted by jogoode

  1. jogoode

    Steven Shaw

    I feel lucky to have known Steven. He was a warm, wonderful guy. His generosity is why I have a job I love. He never asked for anything in return. Lots of love to Ellen and PJ.
  2. I worked on a barbecue/grilling book with Adam Perry Lang, which just came out last week and was featured on Oprah! Here's the book on Amazon. His thing is that he used to work with Daniel Boulud and others big-time chefs before he gave all that up to focus on barbecuing whole hogs and pork shoulders. He opened Daisy May's BBQ USA in NYC, won some big-time competitions, and started buying and aging ridiculously good beef at Batali's Vegas steakhouse, Carnevino. Now he's working on a grilling/barbecue-related restaurant project with Jamie Oliver. Sorry for the self-promotion, but it's a cool book. Really nice photos, obsessively tested recipes. Robb Walsh's book is a great read. Anything Robb Walsh writes seems to be a great read.
  3. In general, I think Sneakeater's comment is on point. But I would tack on to it that it often depends very much on who that single diner is. For my part, I frankly would have been way out of my league at Masa if I'd have gone alone. My friend's knowledge of Japanese and his repartee with the chef helped mitigate that awkwardness for me. I'm not sure it would have gone as smoothly otherwise. Masa is not a place I would call "welcoming" in any sense of the word. That said, I don't think one's enjoyment of the food at Masa has anything to do with experience. I, the sushi novice, loved it as much as my friend the Japan-traveled expert. The food is, I think, just incredibly, incredibly good. And at the end of the day, that more than makes up for anything else. ← Hey, all. Haven't posted in a long time! I had the pleasure of eating at Masa by myself a few months ago. It was great, great sushi, though I could have done without the toro tartare with all that caviar and the other tasty-but-not-tasty-enough esoterica that comes before it. The experience was so different than it is at, say, Sushi Yasuda, where I typically go. It could have been because Masa has this hushed, reverential feel about it or because it was my first time and so I didn't know the chef. Still, I thought it was odd that I was sitting at the bar but having minimal interaction with the chef serving me. I ask a lot of questions, so clearly I was trying to engage him, but it almost seemed like he had a mandate to keep quiet. A little strange, I thought. That said, I lingered for at least 45 minutes after my meal, just watching and rubbing my hand along the bar. Such a beautiful place.
  4. Hi, everyone. I also wrote a profile on Grant for Men’s Vogue, which was just published online. (It was supposed to run in the August issue.) The New Yorker profile is awesome, of course, but here’s what I came up with, in case you’re interested. I think it adds some interesting details, especially about Grant’s reaction to his sickness and how he copes in the kitchen. http://jjgoode.com/writings/profile-grant-achatz Also, here's another long, interesting profile in Chicago Magazine: http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/June-2008/Burned
  5. jogoode

    Zabb Thai

    Sorry if I implied that because other Thai restaurants also serve som tum and laab they are Isaan restaurants. That's not the case at all. Zabb Queens has plenty of northeastern stuff that you won't find on most Thai menus around town. Here's the menu. It's certainly not Lotus, but still... Zabb's food tends to be spicier than that at post-renovations Sripraphai. Some of the salads, though they're different, are better than those at Sri, with sharper flavors and more heat.
  6. jogoode

    Zabb Thai

    Yep, assuming this Zabb is related to the Queens location, it's food from Isaan, the northeastern part of Thailand, famous for som tum, laab, and especially spicy grub. Same region as Lotus of Siam. Zabb even has a salad that's sort of similar to the one at Lotus with the puffed rice and pork skin. Man, that's good. If the Manhattan location is anything like the Queens one, avoid curries (even coconut milk-less ones) and stick with salads. Zabb Queens reviews: NY Times Village Voice
  7. I bring it to a cookware shop, and they sharpened it for me. Even if I had two arms I don't think I could successfully use that honing stick thing.
  8. I'm reading this thread with particular interest, because as some of you may know, I have been since birth and always will be a one-armed cook. These ideas are great--I love the idea of putting a nail in the middle of a cutting board! So far, my most useful tool is a very, very sharp knife. No need to hold those tomatoes in place when your knife slices through them like it would through warm butter. Also, I chop potatoes, cucumbers, etc., by first halving them and placing the two pieces flat-side down on my cutting board. Then I can chop away without having to steady them. I wish I used my food processor more. I often avoid shortcuts, because I don't want to feel like my missing an arm is limiting my cooking. But clearly everyone takes shortcuts and I need to get over this asap!
  9. jogoode

    Sugiyama

    Could be yamamomo, aka mountain berry, but perhaps better translated as (please, Japanese speakers, correct me if I'm wrong) "mountain peach." Thanks for the great report, gaf.
  10. Oh my, what a time to break your arm. I know the baby probably has you pretty busy, but if you have some free time, could you write me a manual on one-armed child care? Someday I'll need it! Does anyone know of any companies that sell custom-made cooking contraptions designed for people with disabilities?
  11. I'm so glad you all liked the article! I had always wanted to write something about my arm, but I wasn't sure whether anyone would relate to my struggles. But it seems that everyone has, or knows someone who has, had to battle with life's everyday tasks because of some disability or another. Now this is incredible! How do we all get one of those? I thought about people like this while writing the article, worrying the whole time that I was unfairly comparing my situation to theirs. It was tough to strike the right balance in the article between complaining about my arm but still making it clear that I know that I'm very lucky to be as able as I am. I am constantly forgetting that the people I meet don't have a clue why I'm missing an arm or what I'm capable of. I'm just so used to my disability that I mistakenly assume that people are immediately as comfortable with it as I am. But then when I'm their position--when I meet someone in a wheel chair, say--I'm just as clueless and awkward as the people I make fun of! Thank you again for the kind words! The site, I must say, is not mine but David Leite's, a fabulous food writer and a member here. He encouraged my writing this article, and I'm glad he did. Thanks, David!
  12. Thanks so much, alacarte! It wasn't easy for me to come out of the closet, so to speak, but the response to the article has been great. A bunch of food writers and other food industry folks have sent me emails revealing that they have also had to struggle with disability and disease. And all of them are still cooking.
  13. jogoode

    Fatty Crab

    Well... I did say "good." Not hate, but certainly not a rave. ← "Hate" is a little strong, huh? I think I was just expecting much more. The texture was soft-on-soft, and the flavor was monotonous, too. I ended up piling on the shrimp paste.
  14. jogoode

    Fatty Crab

    I like this place, but am I the only one who hates those tea sandwiches?
  15. jogoode

    Sushi Yasuda

    ← I wrote a story once on sea urchin and was surprised that so many great chefs (e.g. Ripert) were using Maine urchin when I'd always heard the West Coast stuff was the best. Then I asked a well-known fan of the West Coast stuff why he thought it was so much better than urchin from the East Coast when all these great chefs were using the latter, and he jokingly said something like, "Can't imagine why those Frenchman love their iodine-y sea urchin." So I think it's just a matter of taste. West Coast urchin is slightly sweeter and less iodine-y. Maybe Maine urchins taste similar to the urchin caught off the coast of France and remind French chefs of home. By the way, I once saw uni from Russia on Yasuda's menu!
  16. And I can't stress this enough--forget about a price range at Yasuda. If you can only drop $60, get plenty of the excellent maki and choose most of your pieces of sushi a la carte, asking the chef occasionally to steer you toward a fish he think you should try. Probably the same at Bako, and certainly the same at Kuruma.
  17. I haven't been to Jewel Bako since Kazuo Yoshida left. This is perhaps what turned me off to the place. First Tatsuya Nagata was head sushi chef, then Yoshida, and now someone else. I like going to Yasuda because I'm assured consistently perfect sushi from the same chef, someone who knows what I like and whose company I enjoy.
  18. jogoode

    Sushi Yasuda

    That oyster is a must.
  19. As far as I know, the price of omakase depends on what and how much you eat, not when you eat. Yet since people seem to eat more and have more time to eat during dinner, the average check for a dinner omakase is probably a bit more. The menu is the same during lunch and dinner, so I don't think time of day affects variety. And I've never seen or heard of anyone eating an omakase meal at SY that includes hot items (unless the grilled-to-order eel is considered a hot item)--it's either a combo a sushi and sashimi or, as I'm pretty sure the chef prefers, just sushi. I've only had a full-on omakase at lunch, but most of my meals at Sushi Yasuda have been dinners.
  20. Nice, but why wasn't I there? Did you have any non-sushi food? I'm embarrassed to say I've never tried anything other than sushi.
  21. I've have Yasuda's "full" omakase - what did this "demi" experience include/involve? u.e. ← I order a few pieces a la carte, then ask Yasuda to recommend a few pieces. And so on. I like this way of eating there because I can make sure to have my favorite pieces, try some different stuff, and control the price.
  22. For anyone reading this thread who's tempted by all this fish and rice talk but not ready to spend so much at either place, I was at Yasuda the other day and had another wonderful Yasuda-guided (but not omakase per se) meal for $60 a person (before tip, no sake).
  23. Now that's what I'm talking about. I've only been to Momofuku a few times, and have had great noodle soup there as well as merely pleasant noodle soup. Same goes for the apps. Momofuku is not flawless and I do think the unequivocal high regard for it--in the media, at least, not necessarily here--is due to its being more high-end than places like Minca and Rai Rai Ken. Just as plenty of people would sooner go to the inferior Dumpling Man than to the superior Dumpling House, because the latter looks shabby, plenty go to Momofuku because it allows them to stay in their comfort zone. This is not necessarily a bad thing; neither is Momofuku's use of objectively better meat. It's just a very different restaurant than the other noodle shops.
  24. I'm quite relaxed, but don't appreciate your casual dismissal of akwa's thoughtful post. Nevertheless if you think that Momofuku's food does not work, I'd love to hear specifically why you think so. P.S. And yes, I do think one could make the argument that the food at most of New York's top restaurants represents fusion. But the authenticity debate has been done to death elsewhere and certainly doesn't belong in this thread.
  25. AzianBrewer, Implying that Momofuku's food is somehow confused just because it's influenced by various Asian cuisines is absurd. By this logic, you must discount 80 percent of New York's best restaurants, not to mention the last thousand years of cooking around the world. Don't forget that Japanese ramen is already a product of fusion and that Thai food existed long before chiles arrived from the New World via Portugal.
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