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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Editors in LA

So Monday afternoon, the FP picks me up at work and we drive to LA to see Editors play at the Wiltern. This is an amazing art deco looking building on the corner of Western and Wilshire - thus, the Wiltern.
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We've never been there, so it was a nice surprise to see that the venue and our hotel were a block apart in Koreatown! So we checked into our hotel, a kinda dumpy Ramada Inn with a cool facade.

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Then we drank the bottle of wine that the FP had brought. It was already evening, so we decided to get a drink somewhere nearby before the venue opened. Mostly, the area had Korean restaurants, sushi bars and stuff. We wanted something not too upscale, but not a noodle house. So we pass the Wiltern, and all we see is an upscale place. So we decide to head back to one of the sushi places and order sake. When we cross the street though, we are compelled to check out Soju Town.

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The windows are tinted, so we imagine an uninviting, hole in the wall bar with only Asian booze and locals glaring at us. We walk in, and it is so completely different. It's pretty moderny looking. It's got a kind of V shaped counter, and every table setting at the bar and every table has an electric burner, and of course a hood. And the decor is metallic and red lights, very cool looking. So the drink menu has hot and cold sake, a few Asian beers, and soju. Soju flavored with fruits and things like plum, aloe vera, and cucumber. So I immediately want cucumber. So we glance at the food menu, and it looks great. I just see a bunch of octopus dishes, so we decide to eat, even though we were going to wait until after the show. We try to decide between all the octopus dishes, but the server tells us the stir fry is good, so we get that. The soju comes chilled in a teapot with slices of cucumber in it. I'm not sure how they prepared it, but it was very cucumbery and just delicate and refreshing. The only soju I had before that was room temperature and it was so strong. This stuff with the cucumbers, we probably could have knocked back a few pots of it. Then we got two side dishes. One was broccoli florets with a siracha sauce. Nothing exciting. The other was the yam? cake or rice cake thing. It was pretty good. Way better than it looked. Then came a little cast iron pot with egg in it. It was so amazing to watch. There was like a little broth and oil in the pot, then they seemed to have poured scrambled egg into the hot little cauldron, and it kind of steamed/fried. I wish I had a video of it wiggling and jiggling. I can't explain why, but it made me giddy and awed. Or was that the soju. Anyway, it was one of the best egg dishes I've ever had! Then came the octopus. It was like adolescent sized octopi. The tentacles were kinda long and thin, and it was stir fried with long green onions and other veggies with that essential Korean flavor. I don't know enough about this kind of cuisine to tell you what it is, but it's a very earthy flavor that reminds me of incense.

So after dinner, we floated to the Wiltern and went in to watch the show. It was amazing. Editors are so good live. If you ever get a chance to see them, go! There is no excuse not to. They have lots of energy and a big, big sound.

So after the show, we wanted to go for one more drink. But not much was open. As we are about to cross the street to our hotel, I hear these very LA looking people behind me go, "Oh, there's a Ramada here!" I wanted to laugh and say, oh, yeah, we're staying there. Anyway, we let them pass, and the bar downstairs was still open, so we went in. It seemed to be all locals in there. It was kinda nice, and it had this sweet karaoke setup, but it was late, so no more karaoke for the night. I had a vodka tonic, and the FP just wanted one more - so he had a shot of tequila and a beer. Then we were basically kicked out. The FP didn't realize we were in the lobby of the hotel....


So the next morning, we woke up and had breakfast a few doors down at Young Dong's Restaurant. It's one of those simple places that sells all beef soups. So the FP had beef cheek soup and I had oxtail soup.

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What you get is a big bowl of meat and like the broth that it was cooked in. So it has no flavor. On the tables they have the condiments, salt, chili sauce, chili flakes, green onions, and they brought another chili sauce, kim chee and a dish of pickled jalapenos. So you just flavor the broth the way you want it. It was so good. But so simple. We pretty much killed both our bowls of soup. When we were leaving, the FP told the woman serving us how great it was. These two Korean guys that were sitting there asked him, "You liked it?" He said he loved it. It's always a novelty to people in good ethnic restaurants to see a white boy digging on their food. Anyway, that ended our little LA trip, and we went home and the FP went to work and I went to class.

The FP's class was cancelled though, lucky for him. So he came home and cooked dinner. Country pork spareribs that were slow simmered, and a tomato chili sauce with julienne carrot, celery and green onion, and rice. It was very yummy. The next night we had the same thing, but we added chicken thigh meat to bump it up. The next night I just heated up frozen ravioli and canned pasta sauce.

Saturday we went to the Adams Street Festival. We brought some beers and plastic cups and walked around and looked at all the vendors and stages, kinda scoping the place out. We saw an Island Spice food booth, which was very exciting, and they already had a long line. We met our friend Marin, and we went to the Park Stage and watched this kind of contemporary reggae band. The sound mix was great - there was a trombone, tenor sax, keyboards, drums and guitar and vocalist - but you could hear everyone in the mix. The vocalist was good looking and had a really good voice - I kinda got the impression that he used to be in a boy band before he took up reggae. There was an old couple shaking their asses though, having a great time, and then some old guy in a tye-dye shirt was bopping all around the park dancing to the music. It was great. And then their last song was actually really good. Then we walked around more, went into a bar, then it was time to eat! We waited in line for Island Spice for maybe 8 minutes. It was so worth it though. The FP got the oxtail combo,I got the pork ribs, and Marin got the chicken kebab. All huge portions of meat, rice, cabbage and carrot, and plantains. The oxtails were rich and tender, the pork ribs had about 5 ribs with lots of meat, and the chicken kebabs were charred just enough. The plantains were so sweet and nicely cooked. It was a great day! After that, all there was left to do was to go to the Ould Sod and have a drink and wait for Marin's boyfriend to meet us there.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

groundhog tales

So its ketchup time - literally. So the Food Pimp used to be a track star, back in the day. This weekend we went to his hometown, Punxsutawney, Pa, because he was getting inducted into the high school sports hall of fame. It's like 100 miles outside of Pittsburgh - Ketchup country. I don't think I ate any Heinz ketchup, come to think of it. So food...We flew Southwest to Vegas, so that was a short flight. We got there at 7:30, so every place was serving breakfast plates, sandwiches, breakfast burrito. I'm not a big fan of overpriced crappy breakfast. There was a Sbarro, so we were hoping for Japanese breakfast. Unfortunately, there were eggs and potatoes in the steamtable where the spaghetti and meatballs were supposed to be. So we had pizza. There were two slices of thincrust pepperoni, so Mr. FP takes those, and I get the thick crust sausage and pepperoni. His was okay, mine was so thick and chewy. He felt bad after I had a few bites and gave me one of his slices. Then we only ate the toppings of the 3 inch thick crust pizza. Then we had to wait about 40 minutes before boarding. This airport is really interesting. When I first walked off the plane, I smelled some dirty, wet smell. Then there's the slot machines, which are in the middle of the terminal. Then there were lots of old people. They were going back home from vacation. Wearing their Las Vegas t-shirts. This one group was sitting across from us. Three women and a man were in their group. The husband and wife were sitting, and the wife was worried about the whereabouts of the other 2 women. She was very nervous, and went looking. Meanwhile, another one of them came by and put her bag down, and then went to get a little more slot time in. So the other 2 women came back, and they were wondering where the 3rd was. The man told them that she came by, but they had to see for themselves, as if she were going to get lost. Finally, they all came back, but there weren't enough seats together, so they had to sit separately. These were the kind of people I looked forward to riding in a plane with...

So on the plane, the little snack box, and honey roasted peanuts. I thought they stopped serving peanuts on planes a couple of years ago because of allergies. Maybe they found this big supply of them tucked in a warehouse and wanted to get rid of them. Snack box - ritz cheese crackers, dried fruit pack (papaya,pineapple,banana, raisin), lorna doone shortbread cookies. Very healthy. And the water Deja Blue. Basically, recycled water? We got there, and the FP's Uncle Tom picked us up with his wife. 2 1/2 hours later, we're at the FP's childhood home in Groundhog Town. Starving. So the FP had been hoping for Laska's Pizza - which is a block away. Luckily, everyone was on the same page. We had a nice salad that someone had brought to the house with fresh juicy tomatoes, fresh lettuce - bottled dressings. I can't remember the brand of the vinaigrette I tasted, like a house vin, it was good. Then the pizza. This is the weirdest pizza ever. It's small - maybe 12 inches. I think that's the only size. That's not the weird part. The sauce is sweet. Not like vine ripe tomato sweet, but like cake icing sweet. You know how sometimes you get a slice of cake with so much icing that you scrape it off? (well, I eat it) That's how overly sweet this pizza was. The town just likes sweet pizza sauce. Apparently, other pizza joints have this sweet pizza. But that wasn't all that was wrong. They pretty much burn the pizza. It wasn't as bad as last time I had it. That time the crust was black. This time, I guess it was more caramelized, you know to further develop the sugars. I was pretty hungry, but I only had 2 slices, which is nothing for me. So it was not a good pizza day for me.

That night, we went to some party for a few hours. The FP's best friend's cousin's birthday, or something. So I had the local beer. IC Light. It's like soda water. It tastes like water with some carbonation. They are proud of their local brewery.

The next day we had to go to the store for the "afterparty" that was going to be at the FP's house. So we went to the beer distributor and got a Pennsylvania brew called "Buttmonkey chimp chiller ale". The label on the neck says "BM" And there's a picture of a chimp on the big label. The slogan is "Get off your butt and grab a monkey" It looked gimicky, but fun, so we got it. It turned out to be pretty good. Then we went to County Market. I can't even describe this place, but it feels like you're really experiencing the culture of the town by going in here. They had a table set up outside the exit to sign up for a gun raffle. No shit. We didn't sign up. We got limes for mojitos 59 cents a piece. We got about 20! Then we went to Carlino's. This place is legendary for their "cheeseburgers". These are really sloppy joe's on hot dog buns. I had only been to Carlino's one other time. It was lunchtime and it was very busy. It was so bland though. It was like they had just browned some ground beef and forgot to put the manwich sauce on it. This time, it wasn't busy. It's just a little place with maybe ten tables. There's articles that were published in the papers over the years on the wall. To the right is the kitchen area, which is essentially the grill and little else. So we walk in, and the guy cooking looks up from his grill and says, "Hi FP" as if he sees FP every day. I guess he knew that the FP was going home for the hall of fame induction. So we sit down, and the FP orders a beer. They actually have a good selection of beers. There's the local ones of course, Yuengling and Iron City, then there's Sam Adams, Anchor Steam, I think Stella Artois too, to name a few. So the lady asks what we want, so I allow the FP to order a cheeseburger and a hot dog for me. He and his dad both get two cheeseburgers. They come in about 2 minutes. It was pretty delicious. The hot dog wasn't overflowing with loose meat,just enough to flavor the dog. And it had a pickle spear, cheese, ketchup (Heinz), mustard and chili sauce. Then the cheeseburger. It was just enough meat to fit in the bun. Really tasty. If I were starving, I would have had 2 of each, but I really just wanted a taste.

So when we got back, the FP's mom suggested that we make the mojito mix so it's ready before the banquet. We turned into me. I made the mint syrup and squoze limes and added it to the syrup. So I had to make one to make sure it was okay. A little rum, syrup - I topped it with mint, a slice of lime and ginger ale. The ginger ale was right there, so I used that instead of club soda. Anyway, it was pretty good so we all sampled one (I had 2) before we went to the high school.

So we were all taking our time getting ready. The high school is 3 minutes away from the house driving,so everyone planned to be ready by 5:30. Everyone started getting ready at 5, so the FP's dad got so nervous about everyone being on time that he left. Wanted to be there early. The FP and I walked to his friend's house and hitched a ride with him. It was an excuse to have another drink on the way there. Since this todo was at the high school, there would be no alcoholic beverages served there.

So we all were there with at least 10 minutes to spare. The appetizers were like cheese and ritz crackers and pepperoni(there seemed to be a recurring theme this weekend). The banquet started, and the MC talked a bit, and then it was chow time. We were at the very back, so we were the last 3 tables to get food. When the row before us was waiting in line, the FP's dad stands up and tells us to get in line. So I said that the table on the end starts, so he motioned for them to stand in line, so we could stand in line behind them. I guess he was anxious to sample the feast that lay ahead. We had asked others what to expect, and they said, some crappy chicken or beef usually. But. This year, there was going to be a good caterer - Shannon's Catering. I believe they cater for the local jail. So we lined up. First was a roll and Beaver Meadow butter. I grabbed the butter wanting to taste the local dairy's offering. Then chicken breast stuffed with - well - with stuffing. Then spiral sliced ham with that glaze and the maraschino cherries (I passed on that). Then "roast beef" slices. It was greyish and it was soft. Then mashed taters, probably the flake kind. I have no objection to that. I used to eat those when I was little. Then the gravies - yella for the chicken and brown for the beef. I had spooned the beef jus onto my plate, so I didn't take too much gravy. Then a predressed salad. Where to begin. The chicken was dry, of course. The stuffing tasted okay, but it was compacted in there, so it was kinda dense and dry. The masheds were the winners. The salad was okay, but a little sweet of course. The "beef" everyone was like - what is this? Is it beef? It was just like they put it in the oven with some liquid in a pan and cooked it. No seasoning, no flavor, but you didn't need a knife to cut it. I was glad I got a small piece. So when we were done, they came by with the bus tub and cleared plates. Then the MC spoke. He introduced the guest speaker. The guest speaker was a local coach. The talked about how talent and IQ aren't enough to make a successfull person. He had a good point, but he ran over about 15 minutes longer than he was supposed to. So the inductee speeches were late. The first speech was so sad. It was made by the wife of the deceased inductee. He was pretty young, and he had recently died of cancer. I wanted to cry. The second was one of the FP's friend's uncle. He seemed a little nervous. Then the FP. He had thought through what he was going to say, but didn't write anything down. He got up, got the mic at a good level and plowed through. Great elocution. He thanked his mom for giving him work ethic, his dad for making him believe he should aim for the top, his teammates for support and his coach for being a good coach. And he thanked his two good friends for electing him into the sports hall of fame. Then there were 3 more speeches, I think. No one ran over the 5 minutes - but we weren't out of there until after 9. I haven't sat in a cafeteria chair that long since I took the SATs years and years ago.

So, the next day we were flying back out. We went to the pub in the airport. I can't remember the name. The Food Pimp had buffalo wings and french onion soup. He always gets french onion soup from this place whenever he's flying out of Pittsburgh. I had pirogues with cabbage and onions and sour cream. The pirogues were good, but I was hoping for more than just 5 shreds of cabbage and a lot of onion. Oh well, it was the airport.

When we got back into town, we didn't feel like cooking, so we went to Dao Son. The FP got the shrimp and black bean sauce again. I got the pork in lemongrass sauce. It's great cause they serve the entree on top of the rice, rather than next to a cone of rice. That way all the sauce soaks in. They were both very good, although I would have liked some vegetable with mine... it was just pork in sauce. I know, do I have to always have some kind of complaint about something? Yes, I do.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Nachos

Let's see....

Saturday we worked this party at this fancy condo building by the park, so we didn't have time to get something to eat. Luckily, I had Japanese breakfast. What? You don't know what that is? Raw fish and rice? Nooooooo. Spaghetti and meatballs. Okay, I don't think anyone else calls it that, but we were in the airport one morning, very early, and there were a group of Japanese guys wolfing down the spaghetti and meatballs. And then I think we saw this occurance another time...

So Saturday that party was ridiculous. These women running the party were very nitpicky and seemed to have no confidence in our professional skills. The food pimp did the food, and I bartended along with one other girl. So I was told it would be margaritas, beer wine and soft drinks. No problem. Then at the last minute, they want another bartender, but it's too late. Anyhoo, when we get there, they tell me that they found some vodka from the last party, so they were going to do martinis, vodka tonic, screwdrivers. They had olives and picks, and limes and they asked me if I had brought cocktail shakers. No one had informed me I needed my own cocktail shaker! So I haven't bartended in a while, and they were making me nervous. They were saying with only one person at each bar we would be "runnning". I was wondering how I was going to keep up if I had a line of 10 people waiting. 10 impatient and demanding people. Anyway, it went fine. They loved the food, there were never more than 4 people at my bar, and the other was fine. They were impressed with my ability to make mixed drinks (haha).

Sunday morning, we had good old Lumberjack Grill. Corned beef hash all around.
Sunday night, we were watching football, so we got this craving for nachos. We had left over tortilla chips and pico de gallo from the night before, so we got ground beef, cheese. So I sauteed onion, garlic, browned the ground beef, seasoned the shit up, put it in a pan on the chips, topped it with cheese and put that shit on the oven. It was so good, I think we probably haven't made nachos since college - that was a long time ago.

Monday night, I really had a craving for paella. I haven't had it in ages. So we had some aborio rice I figured I could use. I got chicken thighs, canned clams in juice, saffron, peas, edamame, corn and mushrooms. I know that's not traditional, but those are the veggies that I wanted. I seasoned the chicken with coriander and salt, since I didn't have black pepper. Then I browned the shit out of it. Then sauteed up some onion garlic,mushrooms,bell pepper, added crushed tomato, fried the rice. I added the juice from the clams and chicken broth, then put the chicken back in. Once it came to a boil, I lowered the temp, covered it and watched Family Guy. When the rice was pretty much cooked and there was still a little liquid, I added the edamame, peas and corn and let it finish. We ate it with a little squeeze of lemon.

Tuesday night, we had Dao Son. It's a Japanese noodle place on El Cajon Blvd. I had this stir fried tofu with japanese eggplant and peanuts on rice, and he had shrimp in black bean sauce. Very very tasty. So good, that he ate my leftovers for lunch today, which really bummed me out when I got home. I was looking forward to eating the other half of that tofu!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Islander Grill, Tiramisu

For lunch yesterday I had fruit and yogurt, then I had some tiramisu from Barolo in UTC. Healthy, huh? Well, it was hot and I didn't feel like eating solid food. The tiramisu was delicious. I love mascarpone in stuff. I've never actually eaten there, but it's upscale and supposed to be good. I know they get specialty items like John Dory and rabbit sometimes.

For dinner, I went to the North Park Farmers' Market. I was going to get that african food from...Aziba? I wish I could remember the name. Anyway, they have a huge combo plate for like under $10. The lady wouldn't sell it though because she said there were too many flies. She had everything on steam tables and they were covered with aluminum pans. I guess she didn't want a bunch of flies swarming the food. I wonder if she sold it later. Anyway, I was very disappointed. So I went to Islander Grill. I wanted to call and order ahead of time, but I couldn't remember the name of the one dish. So I went there, and it only took 20 minutes, which is the shortest amount of time I've had to wait. If you don't know this place, it's Guamanian. It's on Park Boulevard, just south of University Ave. The website is http://islandergrill.sdcausa.com I haven't looked at the website yet, so I don't know how up to date it is. It's got this island hut theme, really cute, even though it's attached to some shady looking Embassy Hotel or some name like that. So what I got was the Kadon Pika Manok. That's chicken wings stewed in soy sauce, lemon, onion, garlic and pepper. Really tasty - although it was kinda room temperature, so I'm not sure what they were doing that it took 20 minutes but was not piping hot. And the red rice that comes with it - seasoned with annatto - was basically cold. The Chicken Kelaguen Bowl was good, and it is supposed to be cold or room temp, I think, so that was fine. It's like chopped grilled chicken tossed in ceviche ingredients. And the side dish that comes with combos is that macaroni salad that seems to be prevalent in some restaurants around town. It's really so much better though, when you splash some of the finadene on it. Finadene is like a soy sauce that they doctor up with some lemon juice and hot peppers and stuff.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

leftovers

So Monday night we had leftovers. We saved the steaming liquid from the clams, boiled some buckwheat soba noodles, threw in the leftover mushrooms and mackerel and had soup. I love leftovers.

Tuesday night was a gourmet night - Wendy's. Delicious. Hah, just kidding. It was around 9:30pm, that time of night when everything's been sitting for an hour and a half. The fries were old, the burger was old, but I still ate it all - it's Wendy's.

Tonight, Top Chef. Who's getting kicked off. I could never be on that show.
1- I'm not a fast thinker.
2 - I'm not competitive enough (I am competitive, but I can't be balls out competitive.
3 - I'm not a chef (this season, they've upped the stakes, everyone's a chef or sous or something
4 - I'm not extroverted enough to be picked
5 - My skills are lacking
6 - I can't imagine staying in a "dorm" with a bunch of people I don't know. It would be hard to take shits at first, and I wouldn't survive long enough to get comfortable in that environment.
7 - I don't really like Padma, Tom wouldn't like me, and Gail is just scary.
8 - I would cry too much (I used to cry a lot all the time over any little thing. Now I don't really cry that much) Being on that show would make me cry again all the time
9 - I probably wouldn't look good on camera (not that they are all pretty, but you have to be a camera friendly face I'm guessing)
10 - my repetoire isn't very expansive (Oh, wait, that doesn't necessarily matter)
11 - If I did audition and get picked, I'd probably have a nervous breakdown and not make it to the first episode, or if I did, I'd have a freakout on camera like Pookie did in I Love New York. C'mon, don't act like you didn't watch I Love New York! That was some fine television programming.

They should have a Top Chef type show that functions more like a real restaurant. First it would have to be on HBO so you could curse. Then it would have to have rules that could be worked around or broken by favorites, and if someone slept with a judge and scored points, that would be admissible, and people would do drugs on camera before and after competitions and they would have orgies every night. I would definitely watch that show!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

apology

Wow! I really feel bad. I just got an anonymous comment about a past post. I guess my comments about Ritual Tavern sound really negative, now that I have reread it. The thing is, that I like the place, so maybe I scrutinize everything more than I would if I didn't expect so much out of the place. Well, I have to say that I am a very negative person. I'm not really apologizing for that, because I try to change my outlook, but with lack of some kind of mood altering drugs, I really am just me. I don't like myself.

Anyway, I wrote about how I hoped that the place wouldn't go under, and that sounds really negative. That's just the way I think. My first thought about new restaurants is how much money do they have to run if no one comes in. I have seen many really good places close despite good food, good service, good atmosphere, good location. Every independent restaurant I have worked at has had a slow period, and the owner would express concern about keeping the place running during that time. Maybe they were just thinking out loud, but not really running as much in the red as I assumed at those times. Maybe they were.

So I'm not sure if this is an apology, but I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I'm sure I will, though

Saturday, September 8, 2007

ummmmm

Have you ever had a meal, when you couldn't stop going ummmm? Well I have. Today we went to Ocean Beach. It was a nice day, not too hot, not too cold. Just right. So we were walking on the beach. We went to the cliffs and looked at the tide pools and the waves crashing on the cliffs, eroding the rock. Then we walked the other way to the dog park and dog watched, taking care to avoid the wet spots and poo deposits. And we walked along the pier, with the fisherman fishing. So we started to get hungry. The Food Pimp have a craving for clams. Our only choice was of course, 99 Ranch Market.

So we got in the car and drove up there, even though it was Saturday and we knew it would be a clusterfuck. We went along the back wall to the seafood first. All the fish did not look too fresh. So we got some clams - manila clams and some cockles of the same size. Very clean and fresh looking. We saw some cute little sea snails, so we got a couple handfuls. The snails looked like slightly larger cousins to the teeny ones we saw at Sunset Cliffs earlier. So then we were hoping for fish. We looked through all the fresh fish again, and nothing looked too good. Then the FP saw some Taiwanese Mackerel pike with the sushi grade fish. Perfect. Then we got produce and sake. That's it. We headed south on 805 to cook up dinner.

We started with shellfish appetizer. The FP did the clams, and I did the snails. So he did a light saute of garlic and ginger, then added sake and brought it to a boil. He made a nice light broth, then threw the clams in. I went the opposite route. I melted butter, heated up a pinch of garlic and ginger, then I poured some dark soy sauce in. This is the thicker kind that isn't as salty. I let it boil for a bit and added a splash of sake. Then I threw the snails in and covered it. When the snails were cooked, I took them out and reduced the sauce a bit and poured it over the snails. So we had shellfish appetizer with rice bowls. The FP made a yummy hot sauce too with Thai chilis, vinegar and Patis. If you don't know yet, Patis is Filipino fish sauce. The best brand is Rufina. If you haven't had it, bookmark this page and run to the nearest Asian market and get some! D - Fukn -lish!
The little snails were sometimes hard to pick out with the toothpicks though, but that did not stop us from trying.

Then we prepared the main course. We decided to do something other than the norm. The FP cooked the veggies and I did the protein. So he gently steamed the snow pea leaves and shimeji mushrooms (the big thick mushrooms that you can shred by hand). I did the mackerel pike. I just salted them with sea salt. Then I heated up oil and fried them over medium high heat. They looked perfect. So we each had a fish and some veggies and rice, with the chili vinegar and fresh lime squeezed over it. OMG!




I cannot express to you how good this was. I started with chopsticks, then I abandoned them for the fingers, so I could really get into my food and scoop up that rich flavor. Nothing like it. Anyone who reads this, you should all be jealous!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

not so much about food

I'm sorry, this post is really more about work. Although, this place stresses me out so much that my stomach turns - that's a gastronomic encounter.

My boss is a real prick. I mean, I think he'd be fun to go out with and get wasted, but he's an asshole of a boss. He has been very moody lately. Ever since his family came back from 2 months in Europe. So you'd think he'd be happy that they were back. I think he enjoyed the bachelor lifestyle a little too much, if you ask me. Anyway, getting back to how this relates to me. He comes in every day, and I say hi. He used to smile and say Bonjour or Buenos Dias or something. Polite. Which is fine. But the past two weeks he comes in and I say hi. He gives me a dirty "eat shit" look and walks by. Not ONE WORD. So he complains about shit, nags us. Then the manager - the princess of the place - will let him know she doesn't like his attitude. So later on, he starts trying to make small talk with us and makes jokes and stuff.

That is what he did today, although he really bugged the shit out of me. He came in, and asked who opened. When the manager princess was out of town (also in Europe since they're all European), this one guy Pedro opened every single day for a month. Oh, except for one day because his back hurt, most likely from stress. So now that the princess is back, he is back down to 4-5 days. So my prickboss asks if Arturo opened. I say no. I don't know why he's obsessed with whether Pedro works every day or not. So he keeps pointing out things I've done wrong or need to do. Like the pastries. Yesterday he bitched at me for not making samples with some old cinnamon rolls. So today, there were 4 old ones, but we sell day old ones as new, so I made samples with the 2 two day old ones, and I put the other 2 out with the 2 new ones. So prick comes storming in the kitchen, like he does, and asks why I took so many cinnamon rolls from the delivery guy. He said that I shouldn't have taken them and showed the guy how many we had left over and told him we didn't need them. Here's the catch. HE FUCKING DID THE INVENTORY FOR THE PASTRY ORDER YESTERDAY! He ordered 2 cinnamon rolls after bitching about the old ones. So I told him that he got on to me about not making samples yesterday because they were all old, and he said, "Well, not all of them." So I never really got to the joking stage with him today. Instead, it was the princess' birthday, so he just stayed up front and chit chatted with her all morning.

If anyone reads this, thanks for letting me vent!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

cold dinner

So it was still hot yesterday, and I wanted to cook, but with minimal usage of the stove. I didn't want to resort to microwave cookery or anything that extreme though. So I looked around in the kitchen and I found buckwheat soba noodles and the cilantro chili like vinaigrette leftover from 2 weeks ago, half a sweet onion and some limes. So I went to the store and bought that same chuck steak, roma tomatoes, cucumbers, button mushrooms, sunflower seeds and I think that was it. The vinaigrette had mellowed, so I added some white vinegar. I boiled the soba noodles, then tossed them with the rest of the vinaigrette. I added extra oil so they wouldn't clump together, and I tossed them around every once in a while to help them cool. Then I thin sliced - thin thin thin - cucumber, tomato and onion, and I sliced the mushrooms not so thin. I mixed all this in the noodles, then I put it in the fridge to cool. So right before the food pimp got home I seared the beef and sliced it. I served it on top of the cold noodles with extra soy sauce, lime juice and sunflower seeds. I have to say, it was pretty fuckin good!

Right now the Food Pimp is cooking up some shrimp creole - it's slightly cooler today. I'm sure it will be delicious.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

it's hot

We haven't been cooking much. It's really very hot here. Okay, it's not nearly as hot as some other places I've lived in for all my life before these two years. But I get really used to nice weather really fast. Anyhoo, we have one crappy air conditioning unit, so we are trying not to cook too much. Oh, and we have ants too that gather enmass any time we leave food out for an hour or so. So we did sear some flank meat last Thursday, and we had some rice and veggies too. But that was the last of that. I think we've heated up a few cans of soup or chef boyardee once or twice, but we've been eating chips and salsa, chips and ranch dip, popiscles, yogurt, and sandwiches from work.

Saturday morning we went to Saigon. The FP got pho, I got Bun with bean curd wrapped shrimp (no. 69). We were going to go to the beach early that day, but you know. We ended up driving around for an hour looking for a parking space. That was fun. No, I was being sarcastic. It sucked.

Saturday night we went to this newish place on 30th street called ritual tavern. It's supposed to be in the style of a goth English pub. It's a bit confusing, but we like the place and we hope they don't go under. I know they just opened, but they aren't too busy yet, even though it's such a nice space. They have a small menu, and they try to make a lot of the items homemade or whatever you want to call it. They use good ingredients too, but it's just a little weird. For starters it's all heavy pub type food, so it's hard to find something appetizing when it's 80 outside at 7pm. But then they want to be vegetarian and vegan friendly, so they have burgers and veggie burgers. Then they have shepard's pie and vegan shepard's pie. Then they have gumbo with organic long grain wild rice. We haven't tried it yet. They also have onion rings with remeloude sauce. Not bad. Tastes like remeloude, not 1000 island dressing. The onion slices were so big, but perfectly cooked. We also had a niman ranch beef burger with "cajun fries". We asked for the burger med rare - medium. It was medium well - well. Too bad, it did have a good flavor, but it was a little dry. The fries. Ugh. They remind me of where I work. (read in Martha Stewart voice) - And that's a bad thing. We have this Cajun Salmon salad. It's very poopular. I don't know whose idea it was, one of the Frenchies. It's salmon rubbed with this cajun seasoning from the Restaurant Depot, cut with paprika. The same Cajun seasoning used on the fries at the Ritual Tavern. It's a bit salty, and... it just isn't Tony's. Can I just tell you, that if you want really good Cajun seasoning - Tony Chachere's. I'm not sure how you spell it. Anyway, it's the best. If you can't find it (they have it at Pancho's here in SD), Zatarain's is more widespread, and it's okay. Just don't use the Restaurant Depot shit. Anyway, the Ritual Tavern also makes their own ketchup. And they refill those glass Heinz bottles with it. It was okay. Just not much flavor. They also make their own pickles. The ones we had were 2-3 weeks. They were interesting. Lots of allspice flavor. Hope this place survives long enough to perfect the pickles. I love pickles.

Sunday morning, we went to Super Cocina. I was too hot to really eat. I picked the two worse things in the steam table because they were the only things not stewed. I got empanadas and carnitas. The empanadas were just average. Which means better than a lot of other places,but not too good for super cocina. The pork was okay - so same thing goes. Rice was overcooked - never had it like that. Beans were good though. I think they must have had too much cerveza and tequila the night before. The FP had a rojo chicken stew and the usual rojo pork stew. Both were delicious.

That's about it.