Archive for December, 2009

2009 Leftovers

December 29, 2009

These are the odds and ends from the year:

Chung King holds the title of one of the spiciest restaurants in LA. It’s a numbing kind of spice, quite different than Thai or Mexican food brings.

Sanuki No Sato’s soba brought us to Torrance twice.

I don’t think I ever posted about New York back in July, so:

Aldea serves modern, sophisticated Portuguese food with expert execution.

Chef George Mendes has set up a six seat chef’s counter (think a sushi bar but with more than just raw fish) in his Manhattan restaurant where diners have a front row view of the kitchen. The Knoll Crest Farm egg hollowed to provide a stunning, delicate display, contains a simple mixture of rich bacalao (salt cod), olive and potato.

The sea urchin toast was another highlight.

A mid day platter of oysters and caviar at White Slab Palace, because that’s what you do on vacation.

In Brooklyn we hit the Red Hook Ball Fields for pupusas and fusion hot dogs.

It’s becoming the norm to not only get Latin, but also Asian flavors in messy, hand held snacks in America.

Il laboratorio del gelato takes gelato very seriously. Hand making small batches in their lower Manhattan lab, they offer flavors like lemon basil, prune armagnac, tarragon with pink pepper, avocado, Guinness and just straight buttermilk.

Van Leeuven’s organic artisan ice cream is crafted with care in New York. They have three ice cream trucks and are committed to the environment. Their Peppermint and Chip features ultra thin chocolate chips because cold temperatures mute the flavor of chocolate. By using thin chips they melt in your mouth and you get the full flavor spectrum.

And how can I talk about New York without mentioning Momofuku. I have to say, I wasn’t blown away by the desserts at Milk Bar. The pork buns are really the note-worthy draw.

Last but not least from New York was Ramen Setagaya to go. BBQ pork shio ramen and fresh gyoza with a Weigenstephaner from the liquor store.

The two food marathons I really thought I’d run this year were the health food marathon and food truck food marathon. I guess you’ll see both soon…

Happy New Year


Top 10 Food Marathons of 2009

December 18, 2009

This year the list expanded to more than 40 past food marathons. Here are the top ten of 2009:

10. The F.U. Swine Flu Food Marathon

9. The Dallas Food Marathon

8. The Food GPS Food Marathon

7. The Plate by Plate Food Marathon

6. The Gold Standard Food Marathon

5. The Zocalo Jonathan Gold Food Marathon

4. The Lake Show Food Marathon

3. The Dig Lounge Ghetto Burger Food Marathon

2. The First Real Food Marathon

1. The 11 in 11 Food Marathon

Lil Wayne’s 2009 Year End Food Rap

December 16, 2009

If Lil Wayne rapped about the year in food, this is probably what it would sound like (and it likely would be auto-tuned):

“I run LA from the farm to the table.
My cash crop is green and 100% sustainable.
Prius freshly pimped, one-of-a-kind, unattainable.
My pimp juice is organic and your girl knows I’m insatiable.

Food trucks were the year’s fro-yo,
Cupcakes hit their last plateau,
Ramsey lost his kitchens though
he’s still got lots of TV shows.
The hottest fads: mixology,
Molecular gastronomy.
The New York Times said bye Bruni.
I still can’t pronounce Wurstkuche.

So say sayonara to Eat a Pita.
Instead just eat at Lett’s Gjelina.
Skip XIV by Michael Mina,
Jitlada keeps your wallets greener.
Top Chef had Ludo, Suzanne Tracht,
Exclusive as my Am Ex Black.
And bacon got a lot of flack
Because of swine flu’s weak attack.

Digital media took Gourmet as victim.
Little Tokyo’s Mitsuwa got handed an eviction.
KFC went grilled not fried, but note the contradiction,
as kids who fight obesity continue getting sickened.

Street, Rivera, Umami, Tavern.
4 stars for Bazaar assuring they’ll earn,
but no longer the hottest and that may burn
cause Keller’s in LA so it’s Bouchon’s turn.
Tweeting what you’re eating
Unfortunately won’t be fleeting,
As speaking to who you’re seeing
No longer is believed in.

I’ll terminate your state like the governor ya’ll.
Give a f*%k like Wolfgang Puck at the Governor’s Ball.
No Roscoe’s only Reb’s, that’s who Southerners call.
Rhymes spit like at a pig roast, and you’re loving it all.

Till Twenty Ten, Lil Weezy, I’m iller than E. coli.”

Cooking and Heavy Metal: More Similar Than You Think

December 15, 2009

The similarities between kitchen and heavy metal cultures are numerous.

The Grill ‘Em All Truck spurred the conversation but the shared characteristics are vast:

Metal: knives, pots, pans, grills, utensils. In the kitchen you avoid puncturing your skin with them- in the pit you pierce as much as you can.

Fire: on the stage it’s pyrotechnique delight, in the kitchen it’s the difference between medium well and no eyebrows.

With the metal and fire comes danger. Danger of being burnt, cut, or worse. (This video is totally metal.)

Tattoos: mainly skulls and knives in both worlds. (And pigs in Kevin’s case.)

Shredding: on stage the guitar player shreds, in the kitchen it’s either the food processor or the new guy.

“Mosh Pit-atoes anyone?”

So whether it’s the brutal worlds of heavy metal or cooking, you can be sure that everyone involved loves Pantera. I know I do.

(Below you’ll find Lars from Metallica being very un-brutal in the kitchen.)

Ludo Fried Chicken

December 11, 2009

Watch out Colonel- Ludo’s next venture involves fried chicken world domination…

This month you can hope to try Ludo’s Fried Chicken at Royal/T for the limited Ludo Bites pop up, “In Bed Together.”

New Food Trucks for 2010

December 11, 2009

The food truck trend is entering mid-decade Pinkberry levels of saturation, but don’t expect that to slow them down. Here are the trucks I’d like to see in 2010:

Serving mild with a smile and bringing heat that can’t be beat.
The spiciest wings, chili, sausages and curries served out of a converted fire truck.

If the Seinfeld “Soup Nazi” took to the streets, he would drive this crazily souped up truck. The flavor of the soups would match the bold design: cream of five onion soup, chestnut with pancetta, pumpkin chipotle, and tom yum (obviously)…

I’d also like to see more mobile seating options to go with these food trucks.

And maybe some of these guys on Segways weaving through traffic selling pizza on the 405 at rush hour.

Roasted Chefnuts for Christmas

December 9, 2009

My losing entry from Eater’s celebrity chef holiday card contest:

Marathon-Worthy Holiday Links

December 8, 2009

Here are holiday posts from a few of LA’s best food bloggers:

Good Bite has Mark Peel’s tips for a successful holiday party

Crispy Tarts share their dirty little holiday secret

The Uncouth Gourmands had their first annual holiday party

Max Wanger Photography has great holiday gifts

Watch Food Inc Now

December 7, 2009

Whether you Netflix it, OnDemand it or whatever new digital format you choose, you should watch the brilliant documentary, Food, Inc. Don’t wait for the Academy Award nomination, don’t wait for the new health care system and certainly don’t wait until you get E. coli. Watch the film now.

It’s unfortunate that The Informant didn’t focus more on the food-related plot line, but I understand it was a character piece based around Matt Damon’s terrific performance. If you don’t already know the story about the Archer Daniels Midland employee who turned government informant after his company was illegally price fixing, you should check out This American Life’s story.

And with awards season, stay tuned for this year’s piping hot batch of food-related Oscar contenders.

One of the Oscar front runners is Soup in the Air– the story of George Clooney’s quest for a decent bowl of soup in the face of dismal food options on airplanes.