Joe Blowe's Profile

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where to find Rendered leaf lard in LA area?

Yeah, I'm aware of that. If you didn't already know, Bristol Farms is a chain of grocery stores -- it's not an actual farm.

Apr 23, 2014
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

Do You Own a VENT A HOOD Exhaust Hood Over Your Stove??

Sounds like you cleaned the blower wheels. Take the time to look at these directions, and maybe you can resolve any balance issues:

Mar 09, 2014
Joe Blowe in Cookware

Non Soy, Grain Eggs ?

Saying "cause Monsanto" is a bit too simplistic.

Saying "You are what you eat" is a little better.

A good explanation why you should be eating pastured eggs can be found at Mark's Daily Apple:

"Chickens raised in stressful environments – eating corn, soy, and antibiotics, and relegated to a tiny cage that would result in atrophy were it not for the steroids – do not produce high quality eggs."

Worth following the link for more insight...

Oct 05, 2013
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

The Freshest EGGS in Los Angeles ...

Recently got around to buying some La Bahn eggs:

They did not disappoint! Deep yellow yolks, firm whites, quite eggy flavor. La Bahn gets around to quite a few farmers' markets, so they shouldn't be too hard to find.

Oct 04, 2013
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

If you love Mexican Seafood check this out

Allow me to be blunt: This place sucks.

On a weekend trip to the area, I caved to the Yelp-effect and gave this place a shot. The line was consistently 5 or 6 people long during my wait (and meal), giving me hope that I might've struck Yelp Gold finally.

Nope. Yelp, and its posters, still blow.

We kept our order very simple. Three fish tacos, three shrimp tacos (non-spicy), and an order of the "home-made" beans, just to check for quality.

While sitting at the counter waiting the 20 minutes or so for our food, I noticed that the staff starts heating the factory-made corn tortillas on a hot grill *well ahead* of final assembly. So what? Well, take a nice piece of fried fish and put it on a dessicated tortilla and see how you like it!

Scrawny pieces of fish, uninspired shrimp (no wonder the Spicy Shrimp is a big seller -- no one in their right mind would get the plain), long waits, high prices, mediocre results.

The only thing that could possibly explain the long lines is that the locals have no sense to go anywhere outside their comfort zone.

May 06, 2013
Joe Blowe in San Diego

Jarred piquillo peppers?

"Are these labeled as Piquillos?"

As I mentioned before, *item number 01499* are labeled "Fire Roasted Red Peppers," and are *red bell peppers* from PERU.

No mention of Spain, no mention of piquillo...

Mar 09, 2013
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

Jarred piquillo peppers?

TJ's Peruvian "Fire Roasted Red Peppers" are still around -- just saw 'em a few days ago at Store No. 106 (1800 Rosecrans, Manhattan Beach). The product SKU is 01499.

It should be noted that these are red bell peppers, not true piquillo peppers. Which, of course, are easily found at La Española:

Mar 08, 2013
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

Fresh Sardines in the San Fernando Valley

Allow me to add one more link:

Jan 30, 2013
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

10" to 12" surgical tweezers for cooking?

Here's a pic of "plating tweezers" or tempura tongs:

It's possible the guy in the vid is using a $30 piece of medical equipment, but now you know where to find the equivalent for a buck-fitty...

Jan 25, 2013
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

10" to 12" surgical tweezers for cooking?

Those are not surgical tweezers. They're actually tongs, and they're available at Daiso, Marukai, Mitsuwa, etc. (page is in Japanese, but scroll down for store locations)

Jan 25, 2013
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

Grill pans. Do you like them?

Look at your pan again -- the interior *is* enameled, just not in a smooth finish. Le Creuset grill pans do not have bare cast iron.

Jan 21, 2013
Joe Blowe in Cookware

Kas Bitter in Los Angeles?

Bitter Kas (not Kas Bitter) is available at La Española:

Obviously, call before driving.

P.S. You'll probably have an easier time tracking down Pellegrino's Sanbitter drink. It's available in quite a few Italian import stores in the U.S., and the flavor is comparable...

Jan 21, 2013
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

Kitchen Appliances Made in USA?

And here's a reviewer on Amazon that said it's made in China:

I don't trust Overstock -- to either get things right the first time, or to verify Hamilton Beach's (or Waring's) claim that a product is made in the USA. Especially since both of these manufacturers have a track record of making nearly their entire product lines overseas...

Jan 20, 2013
Joe Blowe in Cookware

Hasty-Bake grill or good alternative

I've researched the Hasty-Bakes at length, and of course they're great, pricey grills. If that's what you've got your heart set on, I'd say go for it.

However, let me address a couple of things:

1) Stainless steel is perfectly adequate for a grilling surface, and is definitely the easier-to-maintain option. Although I haven't seen an actual Hasty-Bake *grill insert* in person, I'm sure it's of the highest quality.

2) You may think you need a cast iron grilling surface, but you really don't. It's time to move beyond "grill marks." Google around re. Harold McGee and the frequent flipping of meat/protein while grilling -- once you read about the science behind grilling food for maximum taste vs. presentation, you will see that grill marks (and cast iron grilling surfaces) are not necessary.

3) If you want a height-adjustable-charcoal-tray grill, there are other options available at Barbeques Galore, Lowe's and Home Depot. Hasty-Bake may have been a pioneer of the design years ago, but there are plenty of cheaper alternatives.

4) Grilling steaks over banked charcoal in a $150 Weber grill, and flipping frequently, will return the same results as a $1,000 Hasty-Bake. That leaves $850 to spend on Big Green Eggs, assorted smokers, turkey fryers, etc. You get the point.

Just one guy's opinion, based on countless hours of reading/sifting through grilling and BBQ (low-and-slow) forums...

Dec 09, 2012
Joe Blowe in Cookware

New Sri Lankan Restaurant in Torrance- Curry Leaf

My wife and I tried it last weekend.

Underwhelming, to say the least. If it was horrible, I would've surely remembered to write about it -- but this place delivered such a boring experience I forgot to post about it!


P.S. The owner/operator better better watch the temps on that hot table; most of the stuff was lukewarm, and *nothing* was hot. Some of the hot-dishes came right out of the kitchen and went on a non-heated surface, only to cool down over the course of our meal. Good way to get busted...

Nov 28, 2012
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

Cheesesteak...Capriotti's or Phillys Best? This may start an interesting debate topic...I hope!

Big Mike's.

(Old topic is old ;-)

Nov 25, 2012
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

Talk me out of it- marble countertops

It wouldn't have happened so quickly if they had been sealed after installation (see my old post above).

FYI, they can be re-polished onsite if the 'patina' bothers you ;-)

Oct 08, 2012
Joe Blowe in Cookware

Concord Grapes

I saw Concords today at Marukai Gardena (Western and Artesia). Of course, Kyoho grapes are available for $3/lb.

Aug 29, 2012
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

Best Fish 'n Chips in LA?

They're not mentioned in this thread, but the Whale and Ale in San Pedro used to get good mentions on this board.

However, my last trip there was disappointing to say the least: soggy chips, overcooked fish, and surly attitudes all around...

Skip it.

May 11, 2012
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

"Fresh" dried Pinto Beans in Los Angeles?

Try Rancho Gordo online, or from one of the few stores in SoCal that stock their products...

Apr 26, 2012
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

best ramen in southbay

Oh Lordy, the search function must be busted again...

Mar 28, 2012
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

Liquor store by The Grove

Immediate vicinity or general vicinity?

K&L Wine is 3.5 miles away and carries a decent-enough selection of spirits, but nothing to rival Hi-Time or the like...

Mar 10, 2012
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

Obstler / fruit brandy / schnaps in the United States???

Jason, by any chance have you sampled Clear Creek's Mirabelle? If so, how does it compare to the few French versions available in the U.S.? Thanks...

Mar 10, 2012
Joe Blowe in Spirits

Obstler / fruit brandy / schnaps in the United States???

Just happened across this thread, and couldn't agree more with your assessment of Daron -- the only note that I consistently picked up from that one was 'olive brine'. Thankfully, I only bought the 375ml of that disappointing example!

I've enjoyed the Dupont 5 year ("Fine Reserve"), and look forward to finding Chauffe Coeur (looks like K&L is the only player in my neck of the woods)...

Mar 09, 2012
Joe Blowe in Spirits

Kula Revolving Sushi: J-Town

FWIW, a Kula is being built at the site of the defunct Gardena Ramen...

Gardena Ramen (CLOSED)
1840 W 182nd St, Torrance, CA 90504

Feb 05, 2012
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

Is there a good Jewish Deli in southbay near Torrance

I'm on record (about 5 to 7 years ago) saying that New York Deli is great!

They were great. And then they took a massive downhill slide in quality a few years ago. I stopped going. Period.

It's worth the trek up the 110 to go to Langer's.

P.S. No one would make a lot of money opening up a Jewish deli in Torrance. It's Torrance, after all...

Joe Blowe
Torrance, Calif.

Jan 07, 2012
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Raclette (Cheese)

For the record, the raclette is $15/lb. at Alpine Village.

Alpine Village
833 Torrance Blvd, Torrance, CA 90502

Dec 19, 2011
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

El Gallo Grill (f/k/a Gallo's Grill)

For now I'd say Yes, there are better alternatives in the area. Certainly not worth the drive from Torrance (where we live) solely to eat there; but we were in the area and gave it a shot.

It shows promise, and they need more time to get up to speed after a seven year absence. I'll return in the spring and check the progress -- looking forward to hearing more trip reports in the meantime...

Dec 18, 2011
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

Favorite South Bay Sandwich Shop?

Should've been Famous Original Rinaldi's...

Dec 17, 2011
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area

El Gallo Grill (f/k/a Gallo's Grill)

The wife and I made our first visit to the newly reopened El Gallo Grill ("Gallo's Grill") today. I mentioned to the waitress that I, and many others, have been waiting a LONG time for this day -- she was very aware of that fact!

They've only been open a week now (10 Dec 2011), and it shows a bit, but they'll undoubtedly iron things out quickly. The staff seems to be mostly veteran restaurant workers, and there was very little to complain about service-wise.

After taking our orders, we were presented with a nice, big basket of very average tortilla chips (maybe they'll upgrade those in the near future), a very nice salsa (made on the premises, of course), some fresh jicama slices dusted with chili powder, and some pickled red onions drizzled with lime juice.

After a good 15 to 20 minutes (look at the bottom of the menu for the disclaimer about wait times and the goodness of grilling over wood!) we received our food. My wife had the Carnitas Brocheta Tacos ($8). Very moist, expertly grilled, yet somewhat lacking in flavor. Will try again in the future...

I had the New York Steak Torta ($10). Moist, expertly grilled with a perfect amount of smokiness, enjoyable! I'm used to your average SoCal torta being jam-packed full of cheese, avocados, beans, etc. -- this ain't that. Meat, a smear of crema, some lettuce. That's it.

All dishes come with a choice of ONE side -- the wife had the rice, which was nice, and I had a small bowl of the basic frijoles de la olla.

Worst part of the visit was the fact that the beer menu has PBR but not Negra Modelo? Ahem, but WTF? If I'm gonna have a beer in a Mexican restaurant, it's got to be a Negra Modelo!

Will visit again...

El Gallo Grill
4533 E Cesar E Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90022

Dec 17, 2011
Joe Blowe in Los Angeles Area