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Everything posted by FoodZealot

  1. I've seen on the Dotch Cooking show where the chef cuts open a soft boiled egg to great enthusiasm from the audience. Usually this is in a soup noodle dish, like ramen. As a guess, it sometimes seems like the egg has been peeled, then cooked in broth because the exterior of the white has taken on the color of the broth, yet the yolk is still very liquid. I did some searches on eG, but I had no luck. A few questions: -what is the word for this kind of egg in Japanese? -does anyone know the particulars of how an egg is cooked like this? What is the procedure? At what temperature? For how long? Arigatou gozaimasu. ~Tad
  2. I'm very lucky to have been introduced to Armenian food by close Hyem friends who know good food. Sassoun Bakery on Santa Monica near Normandie has fantastic lahmejun, and Falafel Arax almost across the street is cheap and delicious. But Sahag's Basturma on Sunset is what I craved when I was recently traveling in Asia and having all kinds of great food. I'm no expert, but to me these are THE benchmarks for soujouk and basturma. The kebineh (beef tartare with bulgur) completes the meatfest. Sahag sold the business, but the couple that took over has kept almost everything the same. Sahag, wherever you are, bless you. Highly recommended. At Carnival, I particularly like the babaghanoush, which has a little smokiness to it, but overall I think that some of the others you mentioned are better. At Sham in Santa Monica, the lamb shawarma lunch special is solid. The chicken shawarma/tarna is also good, but seems a bit fatty for some reason. Baklava Factory is brilliant. And at the ubiquitous Zankou chicken, I don't think I've had the chicken once I tried the shawarma there (even though it's beef and not lamb). ~Tad
  3. Welcome, ayana. West-siiiiiiiiiide!! Here are some of my humble suggestions to get you started. Yashima is somehow related to and almost identical to Mishima. It's in the Olympic Collection at Sawtelle and Olympic, a bit hidden on the second floor. I also like Yabu and Sasaya for small plates, and Asahi Ramen. Musha has some really good small plates, but some less successful dishes as well. Nanbankan has great kushiyaki (grilled, skewered items). For sushi, there are many options at each price level. Hirozen might be comparable to Hide Sushi on Sawtelle. I also like Noma on Wilshire. I'm a big fan of Lares on Pico for Mexican food. Juquila on Santa Monica is also good, and open fairly late, I believe. I also like Gilbert's El Indio on Pico, although it's a little different in style. Amandine on Wilshire is a pleasant French style bakery. Pain du Jour on Pico has excellent bread, but it's only open in the morning, and it's take away only. French Market Cafe on Abbot Kinney is a little farther, but has a great patio and boulangerie staples. There's a relatively new location of Urth Caffe on the northern end of Main street. Snug Harbor and Bread and Porridge on Wilshire do good breakfasts. Although not Israeli, Sunnin (Lebanese) on Westwood and Sham (Jordanian) on Santa Monica near Lincoln are my preferences. There's quite a few Persian restaurants in the area, but I haven't found one that I love yet. BTW, be aware that there's Monsoon at the Promenade and Typhoon at the Santa Monica Airport, which aren't related except for being named after weather phenomena. Of the two, I prefer Typhoon - as a restaurant. Hopefully others will fill in the gaps. ~Tad
  4. I hope you'll show us how you make blood sausage. If morcilla works for your purposes, you might check out La Espanola Meats. ~Tad
  5. These three are all quite different from each other. Mori is excellent, in a modern, cleanly designed room, and the price can vary a lot depending on how you order. The last time I was there, I had omakase which was about $175 plus tax and tip. Nozawa is very focused on food, rather than on atmosphere. It's located in a small shop in a mini-mall. If you sit at the bar, the first part of the meal is omakase, but it's semi-standardized, and everyone gets the same things. Then if you're still hungry, you can make requests. This usually runs about $65 per person, plus drinks, tax, and tip. If you sit at a table, you can order as you wish. The quality is excellent, but I personally find the rice to be distractingly vinegar-ey. Gen is a bit more traditional in atmosphere, has a reputation for being a good value, and can be very busy at times. I think they take names for the list via phone if you are on your way in, but not reservations per se. As far as the best in LA, IMHO that is Urasawa, but it's very expensive. I hope that helps. There are others that are very good as well. If you are looking for a certain kind of sushi meal, we might be able to suggest others or help you choose from these.
  6. I went to every local market I could find on my recent trip, but they were all in areas that you seem to be familar with. There's some overlap here, but some that stick out in my mind are: Penang - there's a morning street market in the Chinese neighborhood, and another market a few blocks away with live birds and such. Not so obscure or exotic of wares, but a great sense of place and how the locals shop for everything from brassieres to pork belly to desserts. Hoi An - The Central Market right off the river is probably my favorite market on my whole trip. It's really big for such a small town, and full of very local ingredients. It's covered, but exceedingly picturesque. Hue - Dong Ba market, especially the produce area, seems like it's been unchanged for many decades. KL - Pasar Chow Kit for it's Malay/Indonesian ingredients. There may be more extensive markets, but the narrow aisles and setup of the vendors sitting/kneeling on their display tables was memorable. Some quick notes on various markets: the downtown market in Siem Reap was pretty ordinary (I wanted to go to the one closer to the bus station, but didn't have time), the main market in Penom Penh had an interesting circular configuration, but was pretty light on produce and food in general, and the Hang Da market in Hanoi was tiny and had a small selection, but could have been in an Indiana Jones movie - with its rickety looking second level, and shafts of light shining down through the cooking and tobacco smoke. Cho Dan in Nha Trang is great to walk in, but the emphasis is more on housewares and souvenirs, rather than produce. Good luck! ~Tad
  7. Looks fantastic. Good on you for trying a bunch of new stuff! ~Tad
  8. It seems to me that what is needed is something like the Creative Commons license for cooking endeavors. People who create media (in this case, food) choose what protections they want. In most cases, chefs would grant automatic license to use their work product, and in return, they probably would only want attribution (credit). The major difference is that the majority of the time, attribution would be assumed and implicit. For instance, if a chef had worked or staged at TFL or Urasawa or el rey de hamburguesas, everyone would know that that relationship was mentor-mentee, and some influences, great or small, are naturally part of that process. For the most part, the only people that would know or be interested in the CV of the chef in question would be food enthusiasts, and so they would know the provenance of famous dishes. They would understand that cooking is a complicated system of homages to heroes, history, the vagaries of nostalgia and interpretation (as well as the problem of not all tomatoes tasting like all other tomatoes), and thus the attribution would be understood (being assumed and implicit). Since that is the case, it would not be strictly necessary to attribute on menus, but doing so judiciously would be considered "good form." If called upon to make such relationships explicit, whether by an interviewer or a patron, the chef should absolutely disclose any such relationships, e.g., "I worked at ________ for a year, and I learned a lot there." Failure to do so would be considered "unethical, and bad form." Possible consequences might be public embarassment, bad publicity, and a faulty conscience. Wholesale reproduction of dishes, menus, and the restaurants themselves without attribution would be to be a violation of the license, and considered "unethical, and bad form." Possible consequences might be public embarassment, bad publicity, and a faulty conscience. Net change from current system: none, except lawyers can create an organization and the requisite documentation. Unfortunately, it would still be less than perfect. ~Tad edit: changed the tense of the last sentence
  9. You might consider perusing this sous chef salary thread at Chef2Chef. It's mostly from the house side of the equation. But keep in mind that it sounds like you'll have a lot more responsibility, so more money is reasonable. ~Tad
  10. FWIW, I recently saw a repeat of Inside Dish, Rachel Ray's interview show. Brett Ratner was the guest, and they were at Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills, and one segment featured the making of hand-pulled noodles.
  11. Thanks for the post - it all looks and sounds tasty. This last one seems to be similar to Japanese gyunikumaki, which I believe is meat wrapped (rolled) around things like asparagus, okra, etc. ~Tad
  12. Apparently at Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point. Anyone been yet?
  13. Ramen shops such as Asahi Ramen on Sawtelle and Daikokuya in Little Tokyo are another option. For small plates, I enjoy Yabu in West LA. I haven't been yet, but Ita-Cho on Beverly sounds interesting to me, and is pretty popular.
  14. If I recall correctly, the style of handpulled noodles I've seen made had one side become like a handle, then the loop side was stretched, then joined/mashed into the handle side, and repeated.
  15. In my humble opinion, restaurants can succeed on many different combinations of factors. But the key is that it's a combination - not just location, not just food, not just pretty clientele, not just investors that bring in business, not just design and environment, not just concept, not just staff - but some mix of all the elements. This person has struck upon a balance of those factors that works for him a good percentage of the time, so he's sticking with it. More power to him. The unfortunate part is that many restauranteurs will take from his success that his is the ONLY combination, resulting in more new restaurants having food as the least important item. ~Tad
  16. SP, regarding finding places, having just been there, I would make two suggestions: 1- Get narrative directions for every destination before leaving your hotel, based on metro stations, local landmarks, the number of blocks to walk, etc. This seems to be the norm. As far as I know, the address numbers aren't easy to correlate to location the way they normally would in the US, and little sidestreets and lanes may not have signs or names at all. 2- Take an inexpensive compass (like for a keychain) to help you orient yourself (pun intended). Maps in Japan aren't always printed or displayed with North-South on the vertical axis, rather they may be oriented to a river or other landmark which you probably won't know. The compass would allow you to use the compass pointing North in the legend of the map. It might save quite a few wrong turns and retraced steps. Good luck! ~Tad
  17. Here's a pic of the entryway in case anyone goes to the restaurant:
  18. Neal, just a welcome for now, but I'll add a few suggestions later on. ~Tad
  19. Heads up, Elsewhere-in-Asia/Pacific-er's - I'm headed your way! The Kuala Lumpur International Gourmet Festival will be going on during the period that I'll be in KL. Here's the website: http://www.klgourmetfest.com. Is anyone familiar with it? Did anyone partake last year? Are any of the participating restaurants particularly notable? Thanks. ~Tad
  20. Thanks, Kris! It was my first experience with monjyayaki, and I enjoyed it - and I finally know what and how to use those spatula whatsits. It seems more like a modern dish because of the elements from other cultures that are available - curry, cheese, etc. Kris is the monjyamaster!! Cheese and cod roe might sound odd, but fried cheese is a universal, and as Kris said, it's more for texture anyway. There's something about the seasoning of the teppan grill that makes it special. Plus the fun of cooking it yourself. It would be good for a group, since each person could try a lot of different things and have them all going at once, etc. The restaurant is tucked backbackback in a residential neighborhood, which seemed so strange to me. There's other coolguy retail clothing and whatnot there as well, right next to single family homes. Tasty food and good company - one of the highlights of my trip so far! ~Tad
  21. I have more to say, but I'll save it for when I can post my pictures as well. Mine turned out ... arty, shall we say. Come on, Russ - where are your pix?!? They put out some very nice food at Chapter 8, and in a gorgeous room. I'll look forward to that drive again if I that's the destination. ~Tad
  22. Thank you, MK. I'll read through the Singapore threads first, then ask questions. edit: darn plurals and meanings
  23. Thanks, ecr. Yes, I'm defintely willing to explore, it's just that this will be my first trip, so all my information so far is secondhand and very general. I'll get up to speed with eatingasia.typepad.com and noodlepie.typepad.com, which are both excellent resources. Then I hope to ask some more meaningful questions. I've skimmed them before, but I need to re-reading them and fill in my list. ~Tad
  24. Thank you, MK. I believe you are referring to this school below which I will contact. Shermay's Cooking School, Chip Bee Gardens, Blk 43 Jalan Merah Saga #03-64 Singapore 278115 tel :+65 6479 8442 fax :+65 6479 8414 trillium, thanks for your comments as well. Being there at that time must have been very difficult and emotional. ~Tad
  25. After watching the Dotchi Cooking Show this weekend, I think I have to try and eat maguro collar shioyaki. I'll pull the names of the supporter restaurants off the tape, but does anyone have a place they can recommend? Thanks!
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