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

Overheard on the Boston Board

"If you want to be outside, Piers Park in East Boston might be nice, as it has great views of the Boston skyline and it does have a sheltered area." – hiddenboston, on where to have a romantic evening picnic

"Gordon & Alperin, the kosher butcher in Newton, is anything but inexpensive, but the quality of some of their steaks has been breathtakingly good." – lipoff

"We got the veg tasting and it was fantastic: the carrot purée, grilled asparagus with egg salad, a delicious black-eyed pea dish not on the mezze menu, fatoush salad (who would have thought iceberg lettuce is that delicious), and the fideos ... All outstanding ... such an explosion of freshness and spice." – Madrid on the vegetarian tasting menu at Oleana

Seeds for a Time of Need

After the coming apocalypse (and once the zombie activity has died down), future Earthlings will at some point need to return to agriculture. How to assure that the seeds of edible crops are kept safe in the meantime? Bury them in an Arctic vault.


CHOW Tour Approaches, Anticipation Rises!

Lessley and I are a couple of days away from officially embarking on the CHOW Tour: The trip starts July 1. We've been organizing and planning for weeks, and the anticipation is high. Let's get this tour on the road already! READ MORE

6 Fruit Beers That You Can Take Seriously

Fruit beer doesn't get much respect because most of it is awful: sweet, syrupy, artificially flavored, and tasting more like cherry soda than beer. We went digging—scouring BeerAdvocate, asking beer-geek friends and beer-store owners—and then lined up a tasting of the recommended brews. Of them, these are the six that CHOW editors thought were the best summer drinkers, in no real order. Many of them are sour styles, which is good insurance against cloying sugariness—the yeast has already taken care of the sugar. Some of these beers are available at bigger chains like BevMo!; for others, you'll have to go to your local specialty beer store. READ MORE

That Custom Iron is Waffley Expensive

There really aren't a lot of pertinent details to share about this amazing waffle maker, but here it goes:

1. It's made to create waffle lollipops; just insert wooden skewers.

2. Made for businesses, it costs € 715 (or about $875).


Korean Sashimi Brilliance

Dongbu Live Fish is a small, family-run hwal uh restaurant tucked away in the back corner of a strip mall, says degustateur. "In Korean culture, hwal uh refers to the centuries-old practice of serving thinly sliced portions of fresh raw meats or fish. Upon walking into Dongbu Live Fish and seeing the large irrigated saltwater tanks stocked with live fish, mollusks and crustaceans, I knew that I was in good hands."

Their signature dish is live halibut sashimi. A small order of hwal uh halibut sashimi—at $65—is more than enough to feed two hungry people.

Within minutes of ordering, your table will be laid out with an attractive array of quail eggs, sea squirt, and sea snail. "The sea squirt and sea snail were sublime, ocean fresh, right from the tank," says degustateur.

Then you get a ton of different little dishes: a delightful sashimi salad, hot crab with mussel, hot salmon with mussel, and a mixed cold noodle platter with tangily great baechu kimchee. Then: an intense platter of broiled mackerel pike.

Finally, the sashimi platter arrives. "The sashimi was very thinly sliced and elegantly presented atop a saran-covered bowl of ice. ... Rarely have I enjoyed sashimi so fresh," says degustateur.

And finally, you get maeuntang, a hot, spicy pot of soup made from the fish bones and leftover bits of halibut. This, says degustateur, is truly a wonderful dining experience.

Dongbu Live Fish [San Gabriel Valley]
18785 Colima Road, Rowland Heights

Discuss: Review: Dongbu Live Fish - Hwal Uh Sashimi - A Hidden Gem in Rowland Heights

Koreatown Gets a Good Burger Joint

Inspired by the Kogi truck, there is now the brand-new Kalbi Burger. The eponymous house specialty is made from a 50/50 mix of ground chuck and kalbi, in a kalbi barbecue sauce. It's a very likable, richly flavored burger, with the distinct taste of kalbi in every bite, says sku.

Also available: the Seoul burger, made from ground chuck and sautéed kimchee. "All of the burgers had good flavor, good use of condiments and a homemade-style bun that stood up nicely," says sku. There are also salt and vinegar fries, fried to a crisp, golden brown, with a subtle malt vinegar flavor and the perfect amount of sea salt.

Kalbi's not in competition for the best-burger-in-the-city crown, says sku, but it's a great neighborhood spot that he'll be visiting again.

Kalbi Burger [Koreatown]
4001 Wilshire Boulevard, Unit E, Los Angeles

Discuss: Kalbi Burger in Koreatown

Family-Style at Mozza

A new happening at the beloved Mozza: Mangiare in Famiglia. This is a family-style dining event, every Friday in the classroom next to Mozza2Go.

It's genuinely family-style. There's one table that seats about 20. "Since it's one table, it all becomes one party. Nancy [Silverton] and Matt Molina are there during the entire dinner. Hosting, cooking, explaining ... It truly is as if you've come into her home for dinner. To the point of even keeping the same dinner plate during all the courses," explains Jennalynn.

The menu varies from night to night. On one night, Jennalyn experienced perfectly crusty, chewy focaccia; seasonal vegetables with garlicky anchovy bagna cauda for dipping; and deliciously rich bone marrow on buttered toast. And then thin-sliced short ribs with salsa verde. "There was a slight sweetness to the marinade and the herby salsa verde worked just perfectly with the grilled meat," describes Jennalyn. And then: slow-roasted, perfect oxtails. And then: crusty beef with Swiss chard and roasted onions.

For $75, you get three hours' worth of stunning food. It's actually an incredible bargain, says Jennalyn.

Mozza [Hollywood]
641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles

Discuss: Mozza2Go: Mangiare in Famiglia REVIEW

Chew on This

Here is a good lesson for the larcenous: Steal and you'll end up drawn and quartered inside a gumball machine. Then a red horse will come and drool over you in a disturbingly sexual way. There is something very Kafka-esque about this. READ MORE

Overheard on the Los Angeles Board

"Bite Bar now offers the best fried chicken I have ever tasted. Only open for dinner on Fri and Sat. Reservations essential." - maudies5

"See this truck on Ventura Blvd., a block or so west of Tujunga. Hungry. Pulled over. Ordered two rolls, grilled pork and shrimp. Fabulous! Fresh, tasty, every bit as good as what I've eaten in Little Saigon." - Sandra W on brand-new Vietnamese food truck Tao Truck

"You would be hard pressed to find better Neapolitan cuisine." - mucho gordo on Gio Cucina Napoletana