29 Sep 2011
in Observations, Starlets, Yoga Students & Quinoa (stories)
Tags: carnivore, France, Germans, harvey's guss, Italy, laboratory, meat, SPAM, vegetarian
Some friends of ours had German guests visiting, and were going to take them to In & Out Burger. “I hope they have soy burgers,” said friend Amanda. “Our friends don’t eat any meat.” I suggested she get them regular burgers and tell them that they were soy burgers, and that they’d made incredible advances in soy technology. Germans are gullible that way. Suffering a national cuisine inferiority complex with France and Italy as neighbors, they’re likely to act overly knowledgeable and tell you they already knew that.
Meat grown in a lab
I was reminded of one of my younger sister, Siobhan’s, bouts of vegetarianism when we were teenagers. I was trying to get her to eat a chicken breast, and she was protesting. “They don’t have to kill the chicken,” I said, “they just cut the breasts off and they grow back. Like a lizard’s tail!” She glared at me. She also wasn’t buying my contention that to get chicken broth, all you had to do was wring the live chicken out over a pot. (More like “juicing” a chicken.) More
27 Sep 2011
in Recipes, Video
Tags: Chinese black beans, coconut, Hawaii, King's Hawaiian Bread, Malibu, Maui, ono, pineapple, ribs, world's best ribs
Disregard any statements I’m made in the past about the World’s Best Ribs. These bad boys are ‘ono! (That’s “the best” in Hawaiian.)
I’ve spent a lot of time in the Hawaiian islands. It’s convenient to the West Coast, and my family has a condominium on Maui. And when we’re there, I like to cook.
If you’ve not cooked in the Hawaiian Islands, you’re missing out. Even the most proletarian vegetables — onions and potatoes, for example — become infused with a tropical sweetness when grown in the volcanic soils of the islands. More
23 Sep 2011
in Cooking Tips, Recipes
Tags: art, finishing, Mexican, Mexico, recipe, serving, Sonora, soup, swiss chard, tortilla
A lot of the difference between what I (the average chef) do when serving a meal and what you (the average home cook) do can be summed up, at least in terms of presentation, as the subtle art of finishing.
It takes practically nothing but a little imagination to turn a dish from ordinary to inspired. Here’s a picture of some tortilla soup:
Looks reasonably good, right? And it tasted great! But now, here’s a picture of that same soup — finished with a couple tortilla chips, some sour cream, a handful of spicy pepitas and a sprinkling of ancho chili powder. More
20 Sep 2011
in Recipes, Video
Tags: bacon, barbecue, chicken, Gonpachi, grill, hibachi, japan, japanese, robata, steak, sumiyaki, tokyo
One of the things I like about Tokyo — and Japan, in general — is you will find different restaurants catering to specific styles of food preparation. Here in America, we have sushi bars and teppanyaki table grills (given a P.T. Barnumesque American twist where chefs flip shrimp into the air, catch eggs in their hats and make rice volcanoes). In Japan, you have ramen joints, tempura bars, shabu shabu houses, unagi (eel) restaurants, skewered chicken innards cafes and countless other establishments catering to a single style of cooking or eating. There are even, unfortunately, restaurants specializing in whale.
With our large Japanese population in Los Angeles, more and more of these diverse eateries are appearing. More
16 Sep 2011
in Observations, Video, World's Best Sandwiches
Tags: Bob's Big Boy, Bolognese, burger, burgers, Hawaii, Laurel Tavern, loco moco, McDonalds, Toni's Soul Burger, Wine Guerrilla
Following are some of the additional reflections, aborted videos, also-rans and other tidbits that didn’t make it into my main burger odyssey posts. But which I thought worth sharing either as humorous asides or worthwhile nuggets of wisdom. You decide.
BBQ Soul burger, levitating
Best Burger I Never Tried
In the face of burger trends and zeitgeists, I admire those who hew to their own path. Toni’s Soul Burger, a stand in a part of Inglewood not on any of my itineraries, got a full-page spread in the L.A. Times Food section awhile back. Sort of the opposite of the upscale gourmet burger. So I thought it worth a trek south and set out one fine Monday around lunchtime. More