Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by FoodZealot

  1. SA is correct, although I would personally extend it a bit South to include at least Sunset if not further to Melrose.
  2. I'm guessing you'll take I-5 to 101N, so you'd be driving just past Thai Town to get to your destination. I'd suggest getting off 2 or 3 exits early and going to Thai Town. Most places are really inexpensive and have a decent chance of being better than the Thai food that most people are used to. Depending on what dishes you're looking for, I like Jitlada, Ruen Pair, Yai and Ban Phai. If you'd rather stay closer to the venue, there's a neighborhood place on Cahuenga West called Little China that is better than decent.
  3. Ore, I guess it's a "grass is always greener" situation, because I'm trying to figure out how to get to Italy... [grin] Okay, so I've had a week or two to think about our dinner at Urasawa. Please keep in mind that it's only one visit, and probably the only visit that I'll be making for a while. I guess most important is that it was a great experience and I enjoyed it very much. I had several things that I've never had before, many of which are hard to get in the US. Hiro-san is very friendly and answered all of our questions. To me, Urasawa is the result of one man's ideas about what is beautiful, and what tastes good. Of course, he has the traditions of his masters and the cuisine to guide him, but he's still doing things his way, within that framework. He personally makes the salt, the shoyu, the gari, etc. And so all these building blocks each have a bit of personality and they work together to make things just a little different, and a little bit better. The harder question at this point is was it worth the money. I know there's the thread about Masa and if sushi could ever possibly be worth all that money. I look at it this way - many hands are employed in scouring the oceans of the world, and flying these delicate ingredients to one place, within hours or days, with special handling to keep them alive or otherwise perfect, so they can be prepared for you by a very talented man. I think about how much that would cost, then add on a premium because it's in Beverly Hills. Another compelling aspect for me is the opportunity to interact with the chef. In my humble opinion, I'd have to say that it was well worth it, and I'd go back again whenever I have the chance, especially if it was at a different time of the year, with different seafood in season.
  4. I'm still trying to sort out my thoughts about Urasawa, but here are some photos for your contemplation... Fresh wasabi and yuzu The ingredients for the day Sea cucumber with dressing and yuzu zest Chawanmushi with uni, fresh ikura and caviar. Green beans with sesame dressing Preparing toro Sashimi presentation: uni, tai snapper(?) and toro Forgive my description, but sort of a set porridge with aspic-like sauce. Cod misoyaki Shabushabu of foie gras, kobe beef and scallop I'll spare you the entire nigiri parade, but some standouts for me: grilled shiitake made into nigiri, and tiny shrimp. Incredible anago and his very unusual, very delicious tamago.
  5. At least on CH, this guy uses the name perceptor. I went last week. Exquisite.
  6. Don't get me wrong, I heartily endorse your research!
  7. Thanks for the kind words, SK. It actually took a few sittings to finish all of that! I tasted everything hot, took it home in a cooler, my parents tasted a bit of everything, then I polished off all the meat at another sitting. Here's another shot of the brisket which is a little more representative of the smoke ring - check out the lower right corner. You're right that it's good barbeque for Hawai`i. Hell, it's even better barbeque than many places in LA, for whatever that's worth.
  8. Due to fifi's comments the Big Island recs sought thread, I felt compelled to seek out Big Jake's Island BBQ. They have indeed moved to the Honaunau area, south of Kailua-Kona. It's very easy to find - there's one highway around the entire island, and he's at mile marker 106, which is the small green sign on the left of this picture. Right out front is his rig on a trailer, which he uses to smoke everything. Is K is for Klose? As is my usual M.O., I tried to order a little of everything. Clockwise from top left, smoked chicken sandwich, smoked pork plate, brisket plate, and half a rack of baby back ribs. Among the sides were cole slaw with raisins, a mustardy potato salad, and beans. They only offer one sauce, which is a sweet, ketchup based sauce. Tabasco is available to add on. Here is a close-up of the brisket, showing the smoke ring and the bed of steamed white rice underneath, which would be a concession to the locals, who expect rice on any plate. Another close-up, but this is of the pork. And the last close-up of a baby back rib. Short version of the review: If you're in the area, and you're looking for something other than plate lunch, it's worth checking out. Compared to other restaurants on that side of the island, they offer enjoyable food at a fair price. BBQ fanatic version of the review: fifi's enthusiastic praise would be hard to live up to, even if you were trying. And please understand that I don't doubt what fifi experienced at all. But I think the pictures convey that something has changed in his method, because the smoke ring ranges from normal (brisket) to undetectable (ribs & chicken). In fairness to the restaurant, I could have been there on an off day (he had business in town, and it was meat that had been cooked the day or night before). What follows is not so much a litany, but a rundown of all the items I tasted. The brisket was very tender, but seemed to have been finished off in their Winston steamer/oven (like an Alto-Shaam) which doesn't allow for as much shrinkage/rendering of fat, and leaves the meat a little greasy, IMHO. The pork was quite dry and lacking flavor in the middle. Neither the chicken nor the ribs tasted of smoke, even though they were very tender. The sauce is nicely balanced, but it would be nice if he had at least another to choose from. The beans seemed to be canned bbq beans with honey and some bell pepper added. The potato salad prominently features mustard, and while I liked it, I imagine most locals would want a mayonaisse binder (like my parents did). The cole slaw seemed to be just mixed (I was there at 11:30am so that's more my fault) and cut into such large pieces that it was more like cabbage with dressing and raisins. Steamed rice as a side dish is a little bit of a headscratcher to me, but makes for an impressively heavy plate of food. While not tasting like it had been smoked, the chicken sandwich was probably the most enjoyable item, the sandwich roll was nice and fluffy. The brisket was surprisingly good, better than many restaurants or backyarders could create on a regular basis, yet it was a disappointment compared to what he apparently is capable of. I was hoping to experience genius, but instead it was competent, excepting the smoked pork (which would normally be easier than the brisket, no?). All in all, I'd still go back again.
  9. I haven't been there myself, but I have been wanting to check out Restaurant Kaikodo based on a recommendation my friend who is a chef.
  10. Sounds to me like you'd like to try all of them, not necessarily only the best of the best. George Petrelli's in Culver City - pretty decent prime rib, everything included. I haven't had a steak there. Dal Rae in Pico Rivera - Fun, freeway inconvenient (although that could have been my ignorance), and retro feel mixed with some menu concessions to the times. Not far from the racetrack (Santa Anita?), so they sometimes have a shuttle to the restaurant. Far Western Tavern is almost like eating at a real Frontierland, and steaks to match the atmosphere. Anybody care to comment on LG's Prime Steaks in Palm Springs or Palm Desert? I've never been...
  11. As far as I know, seared poke is a relatively recent innovation, usually credited to Sam Choy. Traditionally, it's just marinated, without acid. It's fashionable to use the term to mean any tartare-like preparation. Personally, I don't like shoyu in my poke. Just coarse or alaea salt, seaweed (fine ogo and limu kohu, if available), inamona (roasted kukui nuts), fresh togarashi chili, diced onion, green onions and a touch of sesame oil.
  12. Of those you mentioned, I've only visited Table 8 myself. They seem to be actively seeking out less common ingredients like nettles and cuttlefish, but using them with good restraint. Perhaps even a little too much restraint - IMHO, there didn't seem to be much experimentation or risk taking. While I enjoyed my meal there, and would definitely go again, Table 8 didn't rise to the top of my list for a revisit.
  13. Thanks for the photos, jeffj. Masterful as usual. ~Tad
  14. This was my favorite knife for a while, being lighter and thinner than what I was used to at the time. One "trick" I have with it is when mincing herbs or garlic, I alternate pivoting on the heel of the knife with the tip, sort of like a mezzaluna, rather than just the point.
  15. Salty, Fishy, Fruity, Sweet Korova Milt Bar Bile
  16. I don't have a D70 yet, but I've been doing some research before buying a DSLR. Ken Rockwell's comparative review and the DP Review in depth piece are good reads. Good luck.
  17. This very well could be an urban legend, but I was told that one of the dorms at Stanford made off with the 7' tall purple Grimace from a McDonalds Playland. They brought it back to the dorm and were quite proud of it. A rival dorm got wind of it and posed as McDonald's employees coming to reclaim the Grimace, and were successful in retrieving it. I think it changed hands a few more times, but I don't remember the resolution, if there was one...
  18. I got the gift of bacon, twice! Both from the Grateful Palate - one is a pack including a cast iron pan and four bacons, and another is the monthly bacon package. I also got a replacement brulee torch, a non-contact infrared thermometer and some gift cards, with which I'm going to break down and get myself a microwave. And a Sur la Table gift card as well. I'm very fortunate.
  19. I haven't yet been to the flagship restaurant, but one name who comes to mind is Jose Rodriguez, La Serenata de Garibaldi et al, Los Angeles.
  20. FoodZealot


    You turn quite a phrase. Sounds fantastic. I've been twice, but only one time counts. The time that doesn't count was for lunch, on an expense account, for someone's last day at work. But the "host" kept talking about how expensive it is (although I think it's quite reasonable, all things considered), and how she's going to get in trouble. She also kept steering us toward basic sushi. The food was great, but I couldn't enjoy it under the circumstances. The second time was much more enjoyable - I had the smaller omakase menu. What impressed me the most was the precision of the kitchen and the service. This makes me want to go again, and soon!
  21. that sounds real good . . . hmm. . . an idea ahead of its time. A cured pork butt would go real well with the slightly bitter luau leaf? wow, what was that?Re: the lau lau, even though it's another kind of pork, I would normally expect to be a purist and go traditional with plain old pork butt. But the one made with cured pork is really, really good. As you say, the added sweetness of the cure plays against the taro leaf very nicely. As for the chicken, I'm not sure what it's proper name is. It sounds like an odd combination, but the end result isn't far off from a balsamic vinaigrette used as a marinade. Anyway, this is how my aunt does it, with great success. 1 part shoyu 1 part sugar 1 part Italian dressing (premade or after being mixed, not the powder itself) Marinate the chicken for 2 days. It tends to flare up, so blot the chicken somewhat dry before grilling over medium coals.
  22. Not bad, I guess. I also got in Mei Long Village twice and am going to China Islamic next week.
  23. While I was growing up, the whole extended family would eat Thanksgiving at one aunt and uncle’s house, Christmas at our house, and New Year’s lunch at my great grandmother’s house, then dinner at another aunt and uncle’s house on the other side of the family. Our Thanksgivings were pretty much like Sun-Ki’s, except my Mom's side is Okinawan/Japanese, not Korean. There wasn’t much actual fusion at our holidays either. We would have turkey, gravy, ham (canned - not my favorite), stuffing, mashed potatoes and such, right alongside platters of sashimi, tako (sliced octopus) with miso sauce, makizushi, inarizushi, steamed rice, potato salad, grilled or fried chicken of some kind, nishime (our family's was usually chicken, takenoko, araimo, carrots, etc, stewed with shoyu). A small number were forays outside of this “norm,” probably due to statewide cooking shows and mini-fads from the potluck dinner circuit. For a few years, oven lau lau made with Frank’s Foods pork butt (like corned beef, but made with pork) and taro leaf would be made, or maybe Italian dressing-shoyu chicken. Christmas was at our house, and would be more wide ranging and less traditional. My dad had been a cook in the Army, and was in charge of anything grilled, so he sometimes made char siu turkey or kalua turkey. I recall a few standing rib roasts as well. One of my grandmother’s showpiece dishes was shrimp in tarragon butter (she had worked garde-manger at the old Pineapple Room when it was still Liberty House, so she could cook some haole dishes). She would insist on doing it a la minute so that it was fresh, and it also worked out that hers was the last dish to come to the table, amidst oohs and ahhs. New Year’s is a big deal for our family – more so than Christmas. On NY eve, my grandmother would make ozoni, her version of mochi soup with mizuna greens in a clam broth. We would burn firecrackers for good luck, and would either buy or receive the mochi and tangerine as a gift. For the lunch at my great grandmother’s house, it was tons of shrimp tempura, shoyu pork, beef teriyaki, steamed tai snappers, along with the standbys - platters of sashimi, tako with miso sauce, makizushi, inarizushi, steamed rice, potato salad. We ate around low folding tables, so there were several serving dishes of the same thing to minimize plate passing. One of my favorite desserts was a simple jello made with lilikoi. After that feast and more fireworks, it was off to see the other side of the family for dinner. They fished a lot, so they would have whole steamed onaga or opakapaka, or menpachi or aweoweo over somen noodles, along with their versions of the standbys. In terms of food, it was a little better when I was very young, and not just because of nostalgia. The family was really into it, and all it was homemade. Later on, they didn't feel like cooking so much, and they would get catered Chinese food to augment the food we made ourselves. Food in recent years has been very good, but it’s still not the same without kids around. Nevertheless, I'm fortunate to have lots of happy food memories.
  24. Driving around LA, I've noticed at least four non-L&L, apparently independent shops serving "Hawaiian BBQ" popping up, outside of Gardena/Torrance, but close to pockets of Asian and ethnic communities, such as West LA (near the Sawtelle area) and on Vermont (near some Filipino restaurants). For the most part, it's just marketing, or re-purposing - most of the ingredients are on hand already, and just repackaged as "plate lunch." The old time places don't have much to worry about on the authenticity front, and I think these new places might actually grow the market a bit. edit: actually, two of these four are Chinese take out places who have tacked on a "Hawaiian" menu to their normal menu
  • Create New...