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KirkK's Profile

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NM Hatch Chile Roastings in SD

My sources told me that the truck transporting the chilies broke down in Arizona.

Aug 11, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

Kamayan Night @ Villa Manilla (National City)

We usually supplement the meal with Crispy Pata and the Nilagang Baka. I also usually order the Bicol Express - which I don't think is on the menu; but they do it pretty well here.

Jul 20, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

San Diego restaurants OPENINGS (2015 edition)

I think the difference is exposure. I've been eating this for years, in the US and China. My In Laws are from Shandong and along with my Wife lived in Beijing for many years. I lived in the San Gabriel Valley in LA County for several years. I do appreciate that feeling of my first handmade fresh jiaozi, the first time I had Xiao Long Bao, the first time I had typical Qingdao guotie and jiaozi the traditional Qingdao way, with black vinegar (which BTW is ubiquitous) and pounded garlic. What Dumpling Hut makes would not survive in the SGV. San Diego is the blind man regarding this type of regional Chinese cuisine and Dumpling Hut is the one-eyed man and thus king. They are better than Dump(ling) Inn and MyungIn, but I don't think "just happy to have it" cuts it. They are very nice folks, they are trying it seems. I hope they do well.
Instead of criticizing your taste, or making some snarky remark, I applaud you....there's much more out there though.

Jun 30, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

San Diego restaurants OPENINGS (2015 edition)

Actually it's MyungIn Dumplings that AB visited. They opened a while back. San Diego branch of LA based Korean-Chinese dumpling shop, original owner from Shenyang.
Dumpling Hut's jiaozi is decent, though they obviously don't have restaurant experience leading to chaos and uneven food. Everything except the jiaozi has been disappointing. And even that has not been optimal.

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

Jun 30, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

Ristorante Kaz?

Fairly light "Japano - Italian" fare - pretty carb heavy and every pasta dish I've had so far utilizes the same pasta so it gets tedious after a while. Uni Pasta same as Sakura. Have gone about 3-4 times, my favorite is the Shishito with Mushroom and Citrus, though it used to be better when they used yuzukosho. Part of the fun is watching the lunch time customers.....the Japanese version of "ladies who do lunch".

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

May 15, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

Thai Papaya Pok-Pok

Kaeng Aom is a classic Issan Soup, much like Or Lam a similar Lao soup. Try the Mok Bamboo, which is like a good Lao "Mok".

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

I'm glad they're doing some fairly hard to come by, street corner/food court Issan style dishes.

May 12, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

It's just one recessive gene.....

Mar 16, 2015
KirkK in Los Angeles Area

Northwestern Thai in SD?

Unfortunately, I haven't found anywhere that makes Lanna style Thai Food in San Diego. Many years back, a friend invited me to a dinner at Lanna Thai, which makes standard Thai dishes, but the cooks and the owner (at least at that time) were from Lanna. It was a very good meal, some of the nahm prik I had was reminiscent of Huen Phen and similar places in Chiang Mai. Unfortunately, upon returning, I wasn't able to order any of these dishes.

Mar 11, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

Balboa Mesa

Oh, and pho-art, ummm, I mean Pho Hut

Feb 24, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

Balboa Mesa

You forgot El Portal and China Wok. Not a big fan of either. Though I believe China Wok is still doing Dao Xiao Mian and Niu Rou Mian and other stuff like that.

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

Along with all the "ABC" style food. Haven't been in Ages though.

Feb 24, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

Chef Zhu in Del Mar

Former owner of Shanghai City which closed in 2010. (Now Spicy House)

They serve both the Double Happiness menu and a combination of Su Cai/Shanghai style dishes. Some not bad at all.

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

Feb 12, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

Old School Japanese-American Food

Katsu Café used to be the Kearny Mesa location of Teri Café and the menu really hasn't changed. I'm born and raised in HNL and you won't find anything like, say Wisteria, Suehiro , nor any okazuya's.

Feb 10, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

Convoy Szechuan, pls.

Well, it is quite obvious and perhaps I should have mentioned that. But I don't recall anyone here stating that. And my coworkers from the PRC have the same complaint as well....when they are not criticizing another region's cuisine. Which is quite amusing.

Feb 10, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

Convoy Szechuan, pls.

My biggest problem is that somewhere along the line, emphasis was placed on portion size rather than execution and quality. Both Dede's and Spicy City are not quite as good as they used to be.

Feb 10, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

What's your *favorite* restaurant in San Diego?

Yakitori Taisho
La Miche

Feb 10, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

Convoy Szechuan, pls.

The chef at Fu An used to be the assistant at Ba Ren. He does fish and seafood pretty well....not great with beef, pork, or lamb. He also used to prep a lot of the cold dishes at Ba Ren so if you're timing is good the Liang Cai can be nice. Rhonely's friend pretty much has it right, there's a quite a bit of Sichuan in San Diego right now, but none of it is particularly great.

Feb 09, 2015
KirkK in San Diego

Shinjuku near Yotsuya Station; Kurashiki; Onomichi, Miyajima

I'm far from an expert on the area, but we stayed near Yotsuya Sanchome during our visit to Tokyo in October. There are tond of places to eat along the various "food streets" and alleyways near Yotsuya Station.

One of my favorite meals was at Tanyaki Shinobu, a place that specializes in Beef Tongue:

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

We also had a very nice, unpretentious Kaiseki meal at Suzunari in Arakicho:

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

Dec 21, 2014
KirkK in Japan

A Walrus and the Carpenter sanity check

Thanks again for the great feedback and advice. In case you're wondering, we really enjoyed Sitka & Spruce. We need to visit more often.

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

A Walrus and the Carpenter sanity check

Thanks everyone for your great input. We did decide to "hoof it". Like I mentioned earlier, we've been to Seattle many times, though we had never been to Ballard and the Missus hadn't been to Fremont. The walk was fairly long, but we had a great time. Our meal at the Walrus and the Carpenter was excellent as was dinner the next night at Sitka & Spruce.

In case you're wondering about our "death march", you can read about it here:

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

Thanks again!

where to eat on Narita-to-Haneda transfer?

Sorry to butt in, but having recently been to Sushi Iwa. The place was rather easy to find, being located on the ground floor helps. Though, if you don't read Kanji, etc, I would have a photo of the front of shop on my phone (which we used) and also the address in Japanese (which we didn't use), in case you need to ask. The address system in Tokyo seemed a bit confusing to us at first.

Nov 24, 2014
KirkK in Japan

A Walrus and the Carpenter sanity check

You all are a great bunch! How about this? I'll post what we did here. I think we might give it a try, but I like the option of taking the bus if need be. Thanks again!

Nov 20, 2014
KirkK in Greater Seattle

A Walrus and the Carpenter sanity check

Mahalo Kaleo - This from an ex-pat Kama'aina. I should have been more clear. It's a walk up. Bus or cab back. We've been to Seattle in November/December before. Used to come every year for as much of a taste of winter as we'd like. We haven't been in a while....in fact, the light rail from SeaTac wasn't built yet. I think we'll try what GreenYoshi described above. Thanks again for the tips!

Nov 19, 2014
KirkK in Greater Seattle

A Walrus and the Carpenter sanity check

This sounds like a good suggestion. We had been looking trying some of Seattle's craft brews (thus Collins Pub) and a stop at Fremont Brewing Company sounds great. And in all honesty; the simple fact that the bus runs along that line sounds mighty attractive to me as well. Much thanks!

Nov 19, 2014
KirkK in Greater Seattle

A Walrus and the Carpenter sanity check

Thanks so much for the suggestions/advice. We really appreciate it!

Nov 18, 2014
KirkK in Greater Seattle

A Walrus and the Carpenter sanity check

Greetings Seattle Hounds! We're headed to your lovely city in a few weeks. We used to visit regularly, but have not had the chance in over 7 years. I've got most of our eating itinerary checked for the measly two nights we'll be there...namely finding places aropund Pioneer Square (Taylor/Salumi/Collins Pub) and reservations at Sitka & Spruce. The one thing I have a question about is this - The Missus enjoys walking when we take a trip. I've got The Walrus and Carpenter on my list, the visit would happen on a Thursday. The Missus is dead set on walking, either from Pioneer Square ot Pike Place Market. Now checking various map apps, it looks like over a 5 mile walk. The Missus is all for it, thinking we can meander for 3 hours or so. So I'm going to put it out there for a sanity check. I understand we should probably get to our destination by at least 340 pm or so, correct? Also, if this does sound like something someone of reasonable mind might do during this time of the year, what would be the best, most enjoyable direction to take?

Nov 18, 2014
KirkK in Greater Seattle

Ototo Sushi Co.

From what I understand - same ownership group as Sushiya.

According to what I got off the ABC site - Catloaf Inc President = Hiroshi Tokairin. Also president of Captain Fish Inc....which according to the D&B site has something to do with Sushiya:

CAPTAIN FISH, INC.
Single Location > 2558 LANING RD # C103, SAN DIEGO, CA
Land of rolls and more rolls....

Nov 16, 2014
KirkK in San Diego

Nazca Grill

I did a comparison of the Lomo Saltado going to Tropical Star, Nazca Grill, and Latin Chef a few years back.
Tropical Star was terrible, the meat was very tough, which is fine with lomo saltado, but there was a powderiness to the entire dish, not enough tomato, a must as the acid helps lift the dish.
Nazca Grill really lacked the distinctive - minty-cilantro flavor of Huacatay. The last time I was there, there was a strong vinegar flavor, I suspect that they started using a bottled Aji Huacatay.
Latin Chef has not been the same since the original chef moved back to Cusco, but was still the best of the three. I really miss the tiradito.

Cafe Secret used the best quality meat, but gave up a lot in terms of flavor and just seemed bland.

Q'ero had a high price point, therefore higher expectations, and was good, but not better than, say El Rocoto in Gardena.

I will say that the last two times I've had the Anticuchos at Nazca Grill, they were prepared well, nice chew, but not like munching on a flip-flop, with a nice achiote-mild chili flavor.

Nazca seems to let the fish in their cebiche marinate way too long.Last time I had the cebiche at Latin Chef they did the opposite, too short a time in the leche de tigre.

Oct 24, 2014
KirkK in San Diego

What say ye, SuperChowers?

Possibly. But it also shows the breath of what a place can do. Like, perhaps the Better Half?

Sep 17, 2014
KirkK in San Diego

What say ye, SuperChowers?

Wow, I really didn't see that thing in the Reader until I checked a link from this post. That's quite a take down.

As for being biased, etc.... Sushi as a whole is quite interesting, since the relationship between the customer and the person creating the product is quite an intimate one. So, in this case, I don't see it as any different from say, he who is banned from this site making recommendations based on being a "preferred" customer at Kaito. Or heck, me introducing Ed from Yuma to Take-san at Tadokoro:

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

So in that vein, if you're a regular customer somewhere "if a meal is prearranged by somebody who is either known to the restaurant" that should automatically be discounted?

Strange thing is, when making plans to visit a place especially something like W&R, there's a bit of research involved. The writer for the Reader indicates that he did a bunch of four-lettered research and yet didn't seem to have a clue.

Not everything was grand at W&R, things tended to be on the sweeter side, which worked for some dishes and not others. I was quite taken with the amount of variety and creativity. There was a thought process going on and things weren't just slapped together....interesting since I don't consider this a highly chef driven restaurant.

Sep 17, 2014
KirkK in San Diego

Thai and Holy Basil

Like I mentioned on the other string regarding wing beans - I'ver gotten Cha Om from Minh Huong.

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

Sep 16, 2014
KirkK in San Diego