Chef Ressul Rassallat’s Tapenade is an outlier in Little Osaka, a Mediterranean kitchen in a neighborhood best known for serious Japanese cooking. But don’t overlook it just because it seems out of place, bulavinaka says on Chowhound. Rassallat's food at Tapenade is an interesting mix of Californian and European influences. High marks for the eggplant caviar appetizer with tomato concassé (pictured), and juicy grilled squid with beans, tomato, and chorizo. Skilled cooking was evident in seared sea bass with fennel and capers, and in lamb agnolotti with truffle sauce. “I hope this place gains more attention,” bulavinaka says. READ MORE
So what should you use a cleaver for? They come in a variety of weights and specs, PinchOfSalt says on Chowhound. A cleaver with a thin blade (say, 2 millimeters) and a steeply angled edge does a good job with vegetables. A heavy cleaver with a thick blade (8 millimeters or more) and a wide edge with a shallow angle is better for hacking up bones. READ MORE
The way to judge a great paella is by the quality of its rice, J.L. says on Chowhound. If it's moist or soggy, it's a fail. Ideally it needs socarrat, that caramelized, golden-brown layer of crunchy rice that develops on the bottom of the pan in properly cooked paella, something that takes time to form. (“Since many L.A. restaurants want to ‘turn tables’ quickly," J.L. explains, "they under-cook the paella.") That kind of thing doesn't happen at these four spots, places Chowhounds rate as the LA area's best purveyors of paella: READ MORE
You could walk right past Slope Café without realizing that it does some first-rate Jamaican cooking. Don't do that, Barry Strugatz advises fellow Chowhounds. A tiny sign promising "Caribbean food" is the only outward hint that great jerk chicken (served in a sandwich or with rice and peas and cabbage) shares the menu with coffee drinks, bagel sandwiches, and other typical café fare at this seven-month-old restaurant in Park Slope. There's also hearty chicken dumpling soup. "Looks like a bare-bones café," Barry writes. "Worth checking out." READ MORE
More Chowhounds are rendering their own fat at home these days—jen223 has a refrigerator bulging with jars of home-rendered beef, duck, and chicken fat. But how long does it last? How can you best keep it fresh, and how will you know if it's rancid?
Commercially rendered animal fat tends to keep forever, JungMann says. Unfortunately, home-rendered fat doesn't last as long, as tiny amounts of impurities in the fat (like water, protein, and blood) can cause rancidity. Since the bits of meat and impurities tend to settle to the bottom, seamunky says, sprinkling a layer of salt at the bottom of your storage jar before pouring in the fat will keep those bits from spoiling the whole batch. Or let the fat settle, spoon off the snow-white fat from the top, and toss the bits at the bottom, hotoynoodle says. (Or you could use those bits right away to flavor another dish.) READ MORE
Game's on at the soccer fields of Red Hook, Brooklyn, and that means the return of a favorite Chowhound pastime: grazing on Latin American street food from the vendors who feed the weekend crowds every year from April to October. Bob Martinez says his favorite destination, the Country Boys truck run by Fernando and Yolanda Martinez from Puebla, Mexico, was already in midseason form on opening day, April 27. Their chorizo huarache—a massive, messy dinner-spoiler on a thick bed of fried masa—was as good as ever, delivering slow-burn heat from the sausage. "This is the Everlasting Gob Stopper of sandwiches—it grows as you eat it and you need to buckle down and do some serious work to finish it," Bob adds. "We were up to the task." READ MORE
Inka Deli long ago impressed Chowhounds with Peruvian dishes like lomo saltado (pictured), rotisserie chicken, garlic rice, and addictive aji. It has a new name—El Huarique —and it's moved from Mar Vista to an unexpected locale: a food court just off of the bustling Venice Boardwalk. You eat at the high counter or get it to go. READ MORE
If the 18th Street corridor is the Mission District's stomach, Dolores Park may well be its heart. Hundreds of San Franciscans crowd this two-block stretch of greenery on Dolores between 18th Street and 20th, and in summery weather the volleyball nets and skimpy outfits might make you think you're at the beach.
Picnic food is an important component of a day at the park, and Chowhound users have their favorite local provisioners: READ MORE
Vibrant spices and bold flavors define the Indian street food at two-month-old Juhu Beach Club, by Chef Preeti Mistry, who cooked at Google and was a Top Chef contestant. Juhu was a pop-up in San Francisco before settling into a brick-and-mortar space across the bay in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood. Superfan hungree recommends the crunchy, crumbly, crispy paneer balls and praises the meticulous spice combinations. READ MORE