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Combine "Not-to-be-missed" to-do with Ntbm restaurant in San Diego

Thanks for the great list! I have a guest coming in this week and these are some fantastic ideas. Really appreciate it.

Oct 15, 2013
Kuisine in San Diego

Local Organic Orange Juice

She drinks a lot of juice - a gallon every couple days by herself! We did talk about juicing your own, but she was looking for a purchase-able option for the sake of convenience. Plus, she's found that juicing oranges herself, the juice is often far more sour than she wants it to be as the oranges she has bought in the past for juicing have turned out to be more on the sour/tart side than she'd prefer.

Feb 03, 2012
Kuisine in San Diego

Local Organic Orange Juice

Hi all,

I have a friend who's a bit of an orange juice snob! She was a big fan of the orange juice sold at Frazier Farms that was organic, local juice from a farm in Vista. Apparently the farm or bottling facility has shut down for a year so the juice is no longer available.

Any suggestions on a good alternate for her in North County?

Thanks for any help!

Feb 02, 2012
Kuisine in San Diego


You might contact El Torito. I can't speak for the one in Chula Vista, but the ones in North County are quite easy to work with for small group events like you described and will open for a breakfast buffet setup for 20 people. Good luck, it's hard to find what you're looking for!

Feb 18, 2011
Kuisine in San Diego

February 2011 Cookbook of the Month: THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK, Amanda Hesser

I just had a quick suggestion for you on a point you were making about buying "yet another bottle of liquor we'll never drink, just for 1/4 cup for a recipe". I have had great luck with buying the little taster/airplane size bottles of odd liquors that I needed for various recipes at our local BevMo. You might look into that as an option to save on the price of a whole bottle yet still be able to try the recipes.

Feb 11, 2011
Kuisine in Home Cooking

What to do with olive tepanade?

Thank you all for the fantastic ideas! I appreciate the input and will definitely be trying out some of these plans!

Sep 16, 2010
Kuisine in Home Cooking

What to do with olive tepanade?

I was shopping at Costco yesterday and came across a jar of "Mediterranean Olive Salad" for a killer price. I remember sampling it awhile back and it was pretty good.

Taste-wise it reminds me of olive tepanade like one we had made for muffalettas.

Ingredients are olives, cauliflower, celery, sweet red pepper, carrot, radish and capers in a brine.

Any thoughts on what to do with this besides use it as a straight up dig or spread for sandwiches?

Sep 12, 2010
Kuisine in Home Cooking

Spicing up mac n' cheese

We usually add medallions of spicy sausage that have been pan fried before being added in. I'm sure it would work diced up too if you didn't like the bigger medallions.

Aug 28, 2010
Kuisine in Home Cooking

Roast Duck Lai Mein (Hand-pulled Noodles) and Wonton Mein @ Mr. Fong’s BBQ and Noodles (Daly City)

I'm so glad you posted! A friend, who had previously thought Mr. Fong's had closed, just sent me this link.

Am I correct in thinking they relocated and split into two locations?

Since I relocated to So Cal myself, I have definitely been missing trips to Mr. Fong's for dim sum!

Glazed walnuts

So funny story - I was craving some walnut prawn about a week ago, and there are no good Chinese places nearby, so I decided to make my own.

Part of the recipe, is of course, candying your own walnuts. Some recipes call for boiling the walnuts before you throw them in the syrup/caramel and some just call for rinsing them thoroughly. I, being lazy, opted for simply rinsing them.

Lesson learned! If you throw raw walnuts into a pot of simmering sugar and water (aka syrup!) the walnuts will suck all the moisture out of your syrup in about .02 seconds and leave you with a pot of nuts and crystallized sugar.

So anyhow, my tip after all that is - boil your walnuts first before you try to throw them in a pot of glaze/candy!

Oct 15, 2009
Kuisine in Home Cooking

"Cooking Channel" Coming in 2010

Did you guys see this?

Apparently Scripps Networks, which owns the Fine Living channel and Food Network (and others) is changing Fine Living to a more instruction-focused cooking channel (inventively enough, the Cooking Channel) next year.

I'm curious how it will go! I know many of us have lamented the lack of useful/instructive shows on the Food Network, so maybe this channel will solve that issue.

Oct 09, 2009
Kuisine in Food Media & News

Your Favorite Crockpot Recipe?

Soy sauce beef. I originally found it when doing a low-carb thing, but I still make it even when not dieting.

Any cheap cut of beef - 7 bone, etc. Throw it in the crock pot with about 1/3 cup of soy sauce, some broth or water, shallots or onions/garlic and let it go on low for about 6-7 hours. Falls right off the bone and shreds up really easily. I usually throw in some mushrooms near the end of the cooking.

Nothing fancy or life changing, but tasty and simple for sure.

Jun 25, 2008
Kuisine in Home Cooking

winning dishes at the prado restaurant (SD)?

Good timing asking about this - we were just there with a few friends for a celebratory dinner.

I will second the endorsement of their cocktails - I had a mango martini that was fantastic, we also all enjoyed the sangria (though I'm not a huge red wine fan). Some of our party also had these cucumber and mint mojitos that were very refreshing, but I would not have wanted more than one - there was something too healthy/herbal for me about it.

Food wise, I really liked the kobe beef sushi roll appetizer. Also, their take on bread and butter before dinner is crispy flatbread type crackers and a rough ground hummus that's pretty darn good. For mains the pork prime rib came out looking good and the two people who had that did enjoy it (the wine reduction sauce was a bit sweet, so you may want to use it sparingly). My SO had the "earth and ocean" or whatever they call the surf and turf - it was excellent, but pretty pricy for the portion, imo. The other dish that got a thumb's up was the orecchiote (sp?) pasta with a gorgonzola cream sauce.

I had the seafood paella, but it wasn't that great, I would not order again. Similarly, the swordfish over gazpacho was a miss.

All that being said, the setting is lovely, the service is good without being too stuffy or too hovering and we had a great time. Request a table on the terrace! Enjoy yourself.

Jun 11, 2008
Kuisine in California

San Diego - Wedding Celebration on a Patio?

Thanks for the suggestion!

I talked to a couple friends and got these ideas too:

George's at the Cove
Anthony's Fish Grotto
Chart House in Cardiff
Top of the Market
The Prado

Any further input greatly appreciated!

May 21, 2008
Kuisine in San Diego

San Diego - Wedding Celebration on a Patio?

Hi guys,

I live in North County, so I don't get down to San Diego proper as often as I'd like, so I'm not really familiar with the restaurant options.

I'm getting married in a couple weeks (just a small civil ceremony, most likely at the County Building at 1600 Pacific Highway) and would like to find a place to go out to eat/drink with friends afterwards. Preferably we'd like someplace with a patio we can occupy for a couple hours, and a nice view (maybe on the water?).

Pricy or cheap - doesn't matter to us for this occasion. Seafood or steak, any kind of ethnic cuisine ok.

Ideas? I appreciate your input!

May 21, 2008
Kuisine in San Diego

Salad Suggestions for a Pre-Wedding Dinner

There's a very simple corn salad that I got from an Ina Garten episode that might be nice.

Here it is:

I made it and liked it, it's super fast and simple.

May 12, 2008
Kuisine in Home Cooking

Waay too Many Canned Water Chestnuts!

I mix chopped water chestnuts into a cream cheese and green onion mixture for stuffing into dumplings. That doesn't really use very many of them though, unless you're making 100s of dumplings.

If you're having a lazy cooking night, I'd also throw them in with other veggies/proteins in one of the simmer sauces from Trader Joe's (I love those things, I realize I could put together the stuff myself, but sometimes convenience wins).

May 12, 2008
Kuisine in Home Cooking

Recession Cuisine

I still eat graham crackers and cold milk. I prefer it to most overly-sugary (for me) breakfast cereals. But, it only works with the name brand graham crackers for me, the store brand ones are not as crisp initially and that makes a difference!

I buy my grahams in bulk at Costco, they stay good since they're sealed in normal sized packages - so I guess that's a cost saver?

Apr 21, 2008
Kuisine in Home Cooking

Best BBQ in San Diego?

In the North County, I like Enzo's BBQ at College and Oceanside Blvd. Really like their ribs and pulled pork. Great beans and slaw too. I haven't been too impressed with their other sides.

Jan 14, 2008
Kuisine in San Diego

Anthology, At Long Last

I'm pretty much in agreement with Dining Diva on all the points :)

I found myself at Anthology last Friday night with a bachelorette party and really really enjoyed the venue, food and the show.

We went for the later of the two shows and had eaten beforehand, so we opted to just have drinks and desserts.

A few points:

1. I think the bartender on the main floor was better than the one up on the 3rd floor where they have you wait before you're seated.

2. They have valet parking right next to the venue for $7 - if you're in a hurry or don't feel like trying to find your own parking, not a bad option.

Food thoughts:

We opted for the doughnuts also, and I fell on Vince's side. I found the orange-flavored filling overly sweet for me, but the pastry was good.

We also had the sorbets, which I loved - they were very tiny scoops though - maybe 2 modest sized spoonfuls each. The finely diced fresh fruit surrounding each sorbet flavor was nice though.

Also on the list were the cupcakes - definitely tasty. I particularly liked the one that had a cinnamon ice creamy topping. I'm a sucker for warm cake and ice cream.

It was a bit pricey for the portions - about $12 for their specialty cocktails and $8 and up for very petite desserts. That being said, I'll definitely be back.

Great lineup of artists - support live music!

Jul 08, 2007
Kuisine in San Diego

Brother's Bistro - Fallbrook

So, in pursuit of a place to have my brother's wedding rehearsal dinner, we tried out Brother's Bistro in Fallbrook.

Nice atmosphere, cozy interior dining room that seats about 30, I'd estimate. Mellow yellow (not like the soda, hehe) walls, big still life and landscape paintings, very old-world/rustic looking. They also have a patio that seats about the same or a bit more. There's a great little waterfall/fountain in the back corner and a keyboard player on some nights. Heaters on the patio to make it comfortable on the chillier evenings.

We found from talking to the owner that they were originally an Italian restaurant and he thinks that's still their strength. Good news for the bottom line of the rehearsal dinner, since the Italian dishes are also their least pricy entrees.

Happily, I can report lots of things in their favor so far:

1. Absolutely delicious roast beef/arugula/parmesan crostini appetizer

2. Notably good spinach salad - mostly because it was absolutely packed with lardons! Good mustard vinaigrette too.

3. Lasagna and chicken marsala were hits - my step-mother who is a self-appointed lasagna expert proclaimed it one of the best she'd ever had. This bodes well for the rest of the Italian menu :)

4. In the seafood department the scallops were cooked perfectly.

5. Excellent sauces - both the marsala and a tomatillo/avocado sauce that came with the fish dish I ordered were standouts.

A few negatives:

1. Price on the app was quite high for the serving (I thought anyhow) - $10 for 4 crostini. Very tasty crostini, but all the same...

2. Fish (mahi mahi) was overcooked to our taste. Seasoning on it was great, but it was dry.

3. Pasta beneath the scallops was a bit gritty for me, but no one else complained, so I could be off base there.

We didn't order wine, so I didn't really see the wine list - they did have a very nice, "rustic" cabinet on the side of the dining room housing a selection of bottles.

Dessert choices were key lime pie, tiramisu, or chocolate mousse cake. We had the chocolate mousse cake - one slice was enough for 4 of us, it was quite dense/rich. It was delicious, but more like fudge than mousse in my mind!

Anyhow, arrangements still being made for the actual rehearsal and we'll see how that goes, but a dinner for 4 there was definitely a success. If you're looking for something in Fallbrook - this seems to be a good option!

Jun 11, 2007
Kuisine in California

Sauces I assume everyone knows how to make...

It's widely available in California too... maybe check with the kosher foods, since it is weirdly connected in my brain to gefilte fish too.

Alternatively, you can always make it yourself - just do it outside or the fumes will kill ya! Grate up horseradish (highly suggest using a food processor for this), add grated up red beets and some cider vinegar, run through fp until the right consistency. It'll get a bit sweeter as it sits and it all combines.

May 25, 2007
Kuisine in Home Cooking

your favorite salad recipe?

I absolutely love this composed summer salad - I don't have the recipe list in front of me, but:

mixed greens
blueberries or raspberries (I prefer blueberries), strawberries would probably be a fine sub too, especially since they're great in my area this year
crumbled feta or gorgonzola
sliced kiwi
plain or candied nuts of some sort
chunked avocado
creamy poppy seed dressing

May 18, 2007
Kuisine in Home Cooking

Dario's Mediteranean in Carlsbad

Me too, they're right by my bank - I know what I'm having for dinner Friday night :)

May 16, 2007
Kuisine in California

T&H Prime Meats in San Marcos

Thanks for posting that, I'm going to have to check it out!

May 16, 2007
Kuisine in San Diego

Sunday Brunch 10-15 - Woodland Hills?

Well, thank you all for your suggestions! Due to the Mother's Day date, it was decided that an at home brunch at the bride's parents house was a better plan... I ended up not even going!

On a side note, anyone who had been to Paradise Cove Cafe for the time period where they wouldn't let you drink outside will be relieved to know that rule is no longer in effect and you can once more eat and drink with your feet in the sand :P

Thanks for all the replies!

May 16, 2007
Kuisine in Los Angeles Area

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner - Fallbrook - Suggestions?

Sooo, are there really no suitable restaurants in/around Fallbrook? If we went a bit south to Escondido are our prospects better?

Does anyone have experience at a place called The Packing House? (gleaned from Citysearch)

Or Trupianos Trattoria Italiana? (found on yelp)

Brigantine Escondido?

Any thoughts appreciated :)

May 10, 2007
Kuisine in California

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner - Fallbrook - Suggestions?

Seems to be my month for posting questions about pre- and post-wedding meals!

So, my brother is getting married in Fallbrook in July. I've been tasked to find some suitable suggestions for a somewhat nearby place for dinner after the rehearsal. People care coming from Riverside, San Diego and Oceanside, as well as further away, so we'd like to stick somewhere close to the rehearsal location so as to not add to the distance people are having to drive already.

I don't have any guidelines other than "no sushi". Price is a concern and there's going to be about 20 people at the dinner. If we could be around $30 or under per person including tax and tip (no alcohol on that tab), it would be great.

Any ideas?

TIA Chowhounds!

May 07, 2007
Kuisine in California

London Broil in the Crockpot

I'm sort of curious about that "use a cheaper, fattier cut of beef" - you always hear that the cuts of meat suitable for stewing are cheaper, but I rarely see meat cheaper than London Broil cuts (usually on sale at one of the grocery stores for about 1.99/lb or so). Occasionally I'll see a 7 bone roast on sale cheaper than that, but rarely, and you're paying for a lot of bone.

I'd guarantee that the meat the stores will cut up and advertise specifically as "stew meat" is more expensive! I don't mind doing the cutting up myself, I just don't see any appropriate beef any cheaper?

What should I be looking for instead? And/or where are you finding the "cheaper" cuts?

May 01, 2007
Kuisine in Home Cooking

Costco - Saffron? [Moved from Home Cooking]

This is kind of an odd thing, perhaps...

I was just at Costco last night and spotted an interesting new jar in the spice section at Costco. Saffron, in a sort of small, rounded jar, wrapped in orangy/yellow cellophane. It was about 30 bucks, for what it said was an ounce of saffron, but the jar wasn't *that* small, and it was fairly full - it was sort of translucent, so you could see all the saffron threads inside. Per the seal, it looks like the saffron was imported from Spain?

Anyhow, my questions are, has anyone else seen these? If so, have you bought/tried it? How's the saffron?

Also, do you actually use enough saffron in your cooking to make this purchase worthwhile?

Thanks for any thoughts!

May 01, 2007
Kuisine in Chains