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Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.

Super Fried Fish at Brooklyn’s Liman

The Turkish seafood house Liman is best known for simple, beautifully grilled fish, but its fried stuff also kills. If St. Peter’s Fish (more commonly, tilapia) is on the menu, get it–and ask for it deep-fried in garlic oil. Best dish in the house, swears mysaltandpepper.

Liman Restaurant [Sheepshead Bay]
2710 Emmons Ave., between E. 27th and 28th Sts., Brooklyn
718-769-3322
Locater

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Need help identifying a Turkish restaurant

Sizzlingly Great Steak Sandwiches

Musso & Frank has a killer open-faced steak sandwich on its menu with an equally killer price of $27.

For a more modest $11, Nook Bistro’s ancho-rubbed flat iron steak sandwich with grilled onions sizzles.

Pete’s Cafe’s fantastic steak sandwich is made with marinated rib eye steak, baby arugula, caramelized onions, and tomatoes with horseradish aioli on a toasted baguette.

The Shore House Cafe’s has an excellent open-faced rib eye steak sandwich, says obscuro2006; it’s about $13, including french fries and veggies.

Houston’s prime rib sandwich is wicked good, russkar raves.

Musso & Frank Grill [Hollywood]
6667 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles
323-467-7788
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Nook Bistro [Beaches]
11628 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles
310-207-5160
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Pete’s Cafe & Bar [Downtown]
400 S. Main St., Los Angeles
213-617-1000
Locater

Shore House Cafe [South Bay]
5271 E. 2nd St., Long Beach
562-433-2266
Locater

Houston’s Restaurant [Century City]
10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles
310-557-1285
Locater

Houston’s Restaurant [Beaches]
202 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
310-576-7558
Locater

Houston’s Restaurant [Beaches]
1550 Rosecrans Ave. # A, Manhattan Beach
310-643-7211
Locater

Houston’s Restaurant [Pasadena-ish]
320 S. Arroyo Pkwy., Pasadena
626-577-6001
Locater

Houston’s Restaurant [South OC]
2991 Michelson Dr., Irvine
949-833-0977
Locater

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Steak sandwich?

No Hassle Burgers on the Westside

Where can you go for an fantastic sit-down burger at peak hours without the hassle of a big crowd?

Arsenal makes a pretty damn good Kobe beef burger, wilafur declares.

The Shack makes a really good cheeseburger that’s more like what your uncle would grill up at a BBQ than what you find at the high-end burger bistros, sumo10 says. Their signature burger comes topped with a Louisiana hot-link or a Portuguese sausage.

Houston’s California burger is a very juicy burger that’s worth the rather high price, says ThatPat. 26 Beach makes a very good burger, too.

George Petrelli’s Steak House makes a great burger. For a chain restaurant, Islands has good burgers (check out their Hawaiian burger). Beechwoods does an awesome burger. And don’t miss the French flair of the burger and frites at Nook Bistro.

Avoid the weirdly topped burgers at Izzy’s Deli and stick with the regular cheeseburger and fries, Xericx warns.

The bar at the Gardens on Glendon makes a superior blue cheese burger on sourdough.

Get a burger cooked rare at San Francisco Saloon; it’s never crowded, always good, mollyomormon raves.

It might seem lame to some, but the Apple Pan’s hickory burger is worth checking out, jessiebelle insists.

If you’re more of a backyard BBQ warrior, Trader Joe’s aged steak burgers are amazing, Cinnamon adds.

Arsenal Bar [Midtown]
12012 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
310-575-5511
Locater

Shack Restaurant Santa Monica [Beaches]
2518 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
310-449-1171
Locater

Shack [Beaches]
185 Culver Blvd., Playa Del Rey
310-823-6222
Locater

Houston’s Restaurant [Century City]
10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles
310-557-1285
Locater

Houston’s Restaurant [Beaches]
202 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
310-576-7558
Locater

Houston’s Restaurant [Beaches]
1550 Rosecrans Ave. # A, Manhattan Beach
310-643-7211
Locater

Houston’s Restaurant [Pasadena-ish]
320 S. Arroyo Pkwy., Pasadena
626-577-6001
Locater

Houston’s Restaurant [South OC]
2991 Michelson Dr., Irvine
949-833-0977
Locater

26 Beach Cafe [Beaches]
3100 Washington Blvd., Marina Del Rey
310-823-7526
Locater

George Petrelli’s Steak House [Culver City-ish]
5615 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City
310-397-1438
Locater

Islands [Citywide]

Beechwood Restaurant [Beaches]
822 West Washington Blvd., at Abbot Kinney, Venice
310-448-8884
Locater

Nook Bistro [Beaches]
11628 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles
310-207-5160
Locater

Izzy’s Deli [Beaches]
1433 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
310-394-1131
Locater

Gardens On Glendon [Wealthy Westlands]
1139 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles
310-824-1818
Locater

San Francisco Saloon Co [West LA]
11501 W. Pico Blvd., Gateway, Los Angeles
310-478-0152
Locater

Apple Pan [Wealthy Westlands]
10801 W Pico Blvd, at Westwood, Los Angeles
310-475-3585
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ISO Best non-Hassle Westside Burger

Honey Curry Burritos

The special burrito menu at Hot Shop is exciting, though perhaps offensive to sticklers for authenticity. But sticklers for authenticity probably wouldn’t be reading a Chow Digest entry called “Honey Curry Burritos,” now would they? So go get some of their awesome Afghan style burritos, urges Agent 510. The Tropical features meat (tender chicken or lamb) marinated in garlic and lime sauce, served with rice and black beans cooked with oregano, says Sophia C.. There are awesomely weird burritos, like honey curry or artichoke. It’s like what you’d get at a silly fusion wrap place, but executed with soul. And it’s cheaper, says lmnopm.

All the meat is halal.

Hot Shop [East Bay]
909 San Pablo Avenue, Albany
510-528-9011
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Hot Shop, Albany

The 22nd Best Ramen In Town

There’s a new upstart in the much-contested 22nd-place spot on Melanie Wong’s rankings of ramen for the Bay Area. Kumako specializes in New York-style ramen, using a lighter and spicier stock than what you might be used to. Of the many broth options, the chef recommends miso, tonkotsu (pork bone), and shoyu (soy sauce).

The tonkotsu stock is milky-colored, much lighter and less greasy than other Hakata-style stocks in the area, and guaranteed not to put you into a lard coma. It’s spiced with garlic, a healthy dose of ginger, a whiff of anise, and much less salt than most ramen. $6.90 gets you a bowl with thick cut, tasty char shu, fermented bamboo shoots, nori, and bean sprouts, and, unfortunately, softish, gummy noodles. The only optional topping is extra char siu, but the deliciously roasted pork may be the best thing about the place–“it kinda blew my mind,” says kewlio.

Kumako [South Bay]
211 E. Jackson St., San Jose
408-286-2111
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New York Style Ramen @ Kumako in San Jose

Chocolate Malted Cake

This chocolate malted cake is Divamac’s favorite–she says it tastes just like a giant Whopper!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup malted milk powder
3/4 cup (packed) cocoa powder
4 eggs
2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups half and half

Chocolate Malted Frosting–recipe below

Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add malted milk powder and cocoa and beat just until mixed in. Add eggs and beat well. Sift together dry ingredients and add to chocolate mixture alternately with half and half. Spread evenly in a well-greased 9×13” pan, and bake 35-40 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan completely before frosting with chocolate malted frosting.

Chocolate Malted Frosting

1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup malted milk powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup (packed) cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Stir together half and half and malted milk powder and let stand 15 minutes to dissolve the powder. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and cocoa. Add malted milk mixture and beat well. Add powdered sugar and beat on high until fully combined.

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RECIPE: Chocolate Malt Cake

Pizza Reheating Tip

If you like your pizza crust crisp and its top gooey, then don’t reheat your slices in the even. Yes, Virginia, even if you have a pizza stone, skip the oven, says Chas. Instead, put them in a non-stick frying pan over very low heat. Cover the pan and check it every couple of minutes until the top is melted and hot. At that point, the crust should be nice and crisp.

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Best way to reheat pizza…?

Cocoa Nibs

Cocoa nibs are the very essence of chocolate. They’re shelled, roasted cocoa beans that have been ground into little bits. You can use them in baking where you’d use nuts, to add a bit of cocoa-intense crunchiness. They’re particularly wonderful in brownies.

In this recipe they’re used in a salad

They’re a fabulous addition to banana bread, says Brandon Nelson.

The Chocolate Factory carries nibs, as does Scharffen Berger.

They’ve been spotted at Williams-Sonoma, too.

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what to do with cocoa nibs

Sheer Bliss

Sheer Bliss is an ice cream company out of Florida. They make a pomegranate flavor with tiny dark chocolate chips. Every bite is a creamy, sweet mouthful, says Chiba.

Check out the store locator to try it for yourself.

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Sheer Bliss POMEGRANATE Ice Cream

They Can Have My Trans Fats When They Pry Them from My Cold Dead Fingers

A day after the news about the New York City Health Department’s proposal to ban trans fats in restaurants was first reported, the Crisco is really hitting the fan. News outlets from Beijing to Boston are weighing (heh) in on the topic.

The New York Times’ follow-up (registration required) by Thomas J. Lueck and Kim Severson hits several NY eateries that have already replaced the trans fats, a move the Health Department has been recommending for the past year.

Let me tell you, it is healthier, the product does taste better,” said Sanford Levine, 64, who owns the Carnegie Deli and has found alternatives to almost all its cooking oils and shortenings that contained high amounts of artificial trans fats. “Nobody has complained so far,” he said.

Still, more than half the restaurants in NYC still use trans fats, according to the article, and the Health Department may be in for some legal wrangling, courtesy of large fast-food purveyors.

For the most part, the reaction has been stronger on political websites than food sites. Bloggers on the right are quick to indict the “leftist busybodies.” The terms “fascism” and “nanny state” are getting a workout today, too.

Lost in the shuffle: The Health Department also wants restaurants to list the calories on its menus and menu boards. Wouldn’t a little box with a hugely high number in it look spiffy on the menus in New York’s fanciest eateries?