The CHOW Blog rss

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

CSA 2.0, the New Generation of Produce Boxes

Community-supported agriculture subscriptions have been around since the '80s, but they’ve become increasingly popular over the last decade. Now, an inspiring crop of online options has made CSAs customizable in ways that used to be impossible. READ MORE

Noodle Village: Consistent Cantonese for a Chinatown in Flux

Veteran Chinatown watcher Lau has seen the signs, and they aren't encouraging. Beset by rising rents, aggressive development, and a dwindling population of old-timers, Manhattan's historic Chinatown "seems to be starting to die," he laments on Chowhound—and one telling symptom is a gradual decline in its restaurants. Yet the old neighborhood's still far from flatlining. One sign of life is the strong Hong Kong–style cooking at Noodle Village. READ MORE

4505 Meats, Opening Soon on Divisadero to Blow SF’s Mind

Good meat is a defining amenity of cities these days. There are butcher shops where you can buy goat chops, and restaurants where poutine comes with blood-pudding gravy, and tartare is just not going to be satisfied until it’s on every menu everywhere. Meat is lifestyle. READ MORE

Hudson Standard’s Pear Shrub, My New Cocktail Crush

Shrubs are homey drinking vinegars, tonics in the general sense of things consumed to invigorate. You can sip them straight, I suppose, though most people add fizzy water, or booze, or both. A friend of mine (Modern Farmer’s Jesse Hirsch, who used to live in San Francisco but now roams Hudson, New York) sent me this shrub a couple of weeks ago, a Pear Honey Ginger one from The Hudson Standard. It’s fantastic, sharp and sweet, with musky pear perfume and a peppery ginger burn. I mixed it 2-to-1 with bourbon and sipped over ice. Turned into a lovely afternoon. READ MORE

We Checked Out Song, Night + Market’s Spin-Off in Silver Lake

Located in a Necco-pink building in the heart of Silver Lake, Song ("two" in Thai) is the latest venture from Chef Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market in West Hollywood. Food & Wine recently nominated Yenbamroong for People’s Best New Chef for California. He’s been the visionary behind LA's hottest Thai restaurant, praised by the likes of David Chang and René Redzepi. Hottest in the literal sense, too: The 31-year-old chef isn't afraid to bring the heat, especially in nam priks, relishes thick with chiles (even water bugs, if you happen to order the specialty nam prik maengda). READ MORE

Diner Fare Goes Uptown at a Chelsea Landmark

Some old New York diners never die. If they aren't carted off to uncertain fates in parts north or south, they're reinvented like Chelsea's Empire Diner—more than once, if they're lucky. This gleaming moderne landmark was most recently revived in January by Amanda Freitag, whose cooking had earned Chowhound props long before she started chopping upstart alpha chefs on TV's Food Network. READ MORE

Mad for Crazy Hot Dog Toppings

Chowhound Hot Dog Toppings Chowhounds' most creative ideas for dressing up hot dogs. READ MORE

Mountain Bird Takes Wing in Harlem

A charming little bistro called Mountain Bird flew under the radar for a time after opening last fall on an unlikely block of 145th Street. It's since attracted some notice, and Chowhounds are on to Chef Kenichi Tajima's refined cooking and poultry-centered menu, which ranges freely from cockscomb to gizzard to leg. READ MORE

When Will Chefs Be Honest About Smoking Weed?

I’m not a consumer of weed, but it interests me—it has the precise dimensions of a food geek’s pursuit. Modern cannabis is a product of botany over decades. Like 18th-century amateur gentlemen gardeners in France, patiently breeding some ideal of the perfectly perfumed pear, serious weed cultivators are pushing the boundaries not just of human pleasure, but of our species’ complex symbiosis with plants. READ MORE

Fifty Seven’s David Nayfeld on LA’s Best Low-Cost Eats

It’s no secret that downtown Los Angeles has evolved into a fine-dining hub, with restaurants Alma and Bestia as anchors. Tomorrow, March 27, the Arts District adds Fifty Seven, an upscale newcomer. Located in an old Heinz loading dock, the restaurant takes an unorthodox approach: short-term stints by a roster of chefs. The opening round features Bay Area native David Nayfeld, former senior sous-chef in New York at Michelin-rated Eleven Madison Park.In light of LA Weekly’s recent 99 Essential Restaurants 2014, I asked Chef Nayfeld to share his own short list of affordable LA essentials. READ MORE