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Fullerton, CA.. save me from Disney!

If you're at Disneyland, Little Saigon is close by. You might have fun at Brodard or Boiling Crab.

Rack of Lamb

I'm in Los Angeles. It's the day of our city marathon. It's a heat wave with record temperatures...and people are passing out during the race.

Rack of Lamb

Thanks, everybody! They were awesome. I cut them into individual ribs. Then, I marinated them in a ton of garden herbs. They turned out magnificent. I didn't realize how forgiving a rack of lamb is; the fat is so tender; the meat can be cooked to any level of done-ness. My wife is anti-lamb because, for her sensitive nose, it smells too pungent, but I think I won her over to exploring more. I think a really nice piece of lamb from a tender part of the animal is a great way to begin a lamb-journey...

Rack of Lamb

I got two racks of lamb from a friend. They're supposed to be really expensive. My wife hates lamb. I've only eaten it a few times but am trying to explore meat other than beef that is allowed to roam free. I can't imagine cooking them in the oven in this heat. Can I just cut little chops off the lamb and pan fry them?

Salvadoran Tamales in Los Angeles: Banana Leaf!

Great suggestions! Thank you! Whenever I run across people who say there is no real flavor or smell in a banana leaf--people who suggest substituting parchment paper--I feel sorry for them. God, I love a banana leaf!

Just Ramen Noodles

I'm pretty famous among my friends for doctoring up ramen noodles. People will invite me to their houses just to customize their noodles. My favorite ramen place is Santouka and I notice that they just buy cartons of noodles that they cook up with their broth.

Here's the question: Since I often make my own broth, where can I buy just the noodles? What I love about restaurant ramen is the bite--the texture--which is so much better than everyday package ramen. Since I do so much customizing (and it's no trouble for me because it's a matter of reflex), I wonder where I can get restaurant grade noodles.

Frugal meals

I know this post is old. But during my grad school days, I had a grad school roommate who mooched off all my meals. I couldn't say no to him. But I resented his mooching. So one summer, I made rice and beans with bacon and spicey spices. Super cheap. It lasted us all summer. He lost a ton of weight. I only cooked once a week and didn't feel like a miser. I ate for just a few bucks.

Salvadoran Tamales in Los Angeles: Banana Leaf!

I love tamales wrapped in banana leaves, but they are so rare to come across. When I was in Mexico, it was so easy to find these everywhere; they were referred to as tamales oaxaquenos in the capital; and I gorged myself. I love the wetness and the color that the leaves impart. Also, I'm Vietnamese and we love anything done in a banana leave.

Any suggestions?

How Red Wing Became William F. Buckley Jr.'s Favorite Peanut Butter

New York Times printed an article about William F. Buckley's Favorite Peanut Butter: Red Wing. Buckley considered himself a Peanut Butter aficionado. Red Wing was bought by a conglomerate and is being phased out. They produce private labels, according to the article: "Red Wing is sold under labels like Wegman’s, Price Chopper and Our Family."

Can anybody tell me where to get Red Wing or any of its private labels in Los Angeles? I want to know if I've been missing out!

brining turkey in a plastic bucket

plastic trash bags have powdered chemicals in them...better to go with a cooler or a bucket...or wash that plastic bag...

Business Dinner: Downtown LA

My wife got hired for the presidency of a company, but then the outgoing president was so territorial that she quit. Now, the international president fired the outgoing president and is making a last minute trip into town. He wants to have dinner, either for a postmortem or to rehire her.

Here's the task: She wants a place for a business dinner: not too loud, great ambience. She can choose anything, but doesn't want to be extravagant...the executives are conservative and might judge her for going extravagant.

My immediate thought was The Perch, which has great views. Any suggestions? Loud places that are too scene-y will not work out.

Souvenir Tamales: Mexico City

On a lark, I brought my small, collapsible cooler. Then, on the plane to DF, I realized that I often see Mexicans in Los Angeles buying and selling quantities of tamales in my hometown, Los Angeles. It would be fun to have a small party when I get home and freeze the rest. Where and how do I get good tamales? Waylay a streetvendor on my last day? Order at a specialty shop? Tamales cost 7 bucks a dozen in LA and $1.50 if you get them off the street one-by-one. So, if I can find a cost-effective way to fill up my little cooler, I'd love to do this!

Jul 04, 2014
docgradusadparnassum in Mexico

Refreshing steamed lobster

I bought fresh lobster at an amazing price: $5.99/pound (you had to buy a 5 pound monster!)...They steamed it for free. I would normally do this but I had to run errands all day and only had a small cooler in my trunk. By the time I make dinner, the lobster will be cold. Dinner is steak and potatoes. Should I just eat the lobster cold with drawn butter? Should I wok fry it asian style?

Q's on ordering suckling pig dinner in SGV restaurants

Awesome idea. Personally, I'd first see if you have a Chinese friend/coworker who could make the initial order as a favor to you. Then, I would call back later and confirm. Personally, the people who do the kick-ass suckling pig are not Chinese but Filipinos. There are places that do it as their specialty but it's just for catering, not dine-in. Filipinos do suckling pig as a common celebration meal--crispy skin...mmmm....

Tipping at Whole Foods Bar!

The Whole Foods in Pasadena has a great wine selection but I go to sample all the beers. I may have a less refined palate than you but I found my wine moments at the Whole Foods pretty satisfying.

Good point about paying taxes on premises to consume on premises. I didn't think of that.

Tipping at Whole Foods Bar!

The service is not at the level of a real bar where you're getting someone who is more professionalized and snaps to attention. The only thing the bartender has provided me is a paper napkin rolled with fork and knife when I arrive with my grilled steak. The grilled steak is awesome--generally well-cooked--and comes on a paper plate. I think they have a real cheese plate that comes on a real plate brought by the cheese monger, and I'd probably tip for that but I never have enough room for cheese.

Tipping at Whole Foods Bar!

I tip like I do at the bar but what about the food?

Tipping at Whole Foods Bar!

So Whole Foods in Pasadena has a bar on the second floor. You can bring anything you want from the rest of the store and consume it with your libation. I usually pay for the food at another part of the store, unless it's a grilled item, which is ordered at the meat counter and paid for at the bar. They even have a happy hour. Basically, you treat this like the rest of the cafeteria area on the second floor but can consume alcohol. This is now a regular place for me and my wife--shopping and boozing after work is awesome.

Now that I'm a regular, I wonder if I've been tipping properly. Do you tip only for the drink? Do you tip for the food?

Paella Pan: Seasoned or just crusty?

Thanks for the suggestions. My paella pan is made of carbon steel. I ended up doing a wok technique: reseasoning it over extremely high heat using a paper towels and bacon grease. It set my fire alarm off, but took off the build-up. I cooked two eggs over easy on it this morning: non-stick!

May 19, 2014
docgradusadparnassum in Cookware

Paella Pan: Seasoned or just crusty?

I dug my paella pan out of storage for Memorial Day Weekend. I had put a generous coating of oil and left it in the oven for several months before it got exiled to the storage. I saw it developed a semi-thick surface of oil.

Some of this surface is tacky to the touch.

Is this desirable? Should I scrub it down? Or is this the amazing seasoning that everybody describes?

One plus: this paella pan didn't develop the rust everybody complains about!

May 18, 2014
docgradusadparnassum in Cookware

Who Makes Trader Joe's Food?

Both my wife and best friend make money from private labeling--in cosmetics and clothing, respectively. Almost everything nowadays is done through these second parties. But the products are not necessarily the same: their is some latitude for customization. Most likely you're not getting an exact same product (even if the picture or ad copy is the same) it's really up to you if you notice a difference.

Feb 10, 2014
docgradusadparnassum in Features

Pepperoncini/wax peppers: where to get bulk?

I love those yellow peppers that they give out at Tommy's, In-N-Out. Thing is: I'm a pickle addict and the little jars they sell in the supermarket are demolished in one sitting. I want to get a much larger portion, cheaper...because I have an ungodly addiction. Where do they sell those for the wholesale trade?

Cinnamon Rolls: Can I let the dough sit in the fridge for 24 hours?

I made the dough for cinnamon rolls late last night. I thought I would bake it in the morning but, no, it will sit there in the fridge until I come home from work tonight.

1) Is that too long?

2) How long can you keep cinnamon roll dough, anyway? If I can make the dough in advance, it would be a fun thing to make right when people come over.

paella with a pie tin

Has anyone ever made paella with a pie tin? I have a huge paella pan that fits exactly on my Weber grill and I love using it...but recently I've been wondering if I can just make a small paella with a pie tin and make other dishes in the interim as appetizers (I'm on an izakaya kick)...

Has anyone had success with this? Does the pie tin develop a socorrot?

Easy Cake Recipe to Pop my Cherry With... [moved from Los Angeles board]

Awesome: a string of birthdays coming up--mom's just round the corner in August--so these will do quite well. I ended up popping my cupcake cherry with martha stewart's red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe. They were a hit and I'm excited to get over my intimidation of baking!

Chick-fil-A Is Conservative? So Are a Lot of Other Restaurants

Never ate their stuff. Never will. Apart from the uncouthness of fast food, which itself makes Chick-Fil-A unfit for my dietary needs, I like my food to rejuvenate my soul and elevate my being.

Jul 28, 2012
docgradusadparnassum in Features

Easy Cake Recipe to Pop my Cherry With... [moved from Los Angeles board]

Hi Chowhounds,

My best friend's husband's birthday is next week. I want to make him a cake. But I've never made anything but cheesecake, banana bread and cookies--all of which have never failed. What's an idiot proof cake recipe that will ease me into the world of cakemaking?

P.S. He's been clean and sober for a I want to celebrate this, not push him over the edge

Little Saigon: Peking Duck Buns

awesome. thanks.

Little Saigon: Peking Duck Buns

Does anybody know where I can buy the steam buns for Peking Duck in Little Saigon? I'm sure you can buy them fresh and frozen. I used to make them whenever I made those Momofoku pork belly concoctions. But they're a hassle!

Any must-try restaurants for UCLA visit?

You're right. It's Sawtelle. I guess I shouldn't be on the internet so late at night.