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Asian Night Market to Open in Pasadena

Considering the enormous Chinese population of the San Gabriel Vally, I am confused why everyone thinks Pasadena is so off base. Mind you, I avoid Old Town like the plague, so there is that.
I have been to the Richmond Night Market a lot - great food.

Pasadena is such a food desert, I welcome anything that might make an improvement!!

Feb 24, 2012
mendogurl in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Nozawa Closing!

My family is very sad to see Nozawa close. He taught our children how to love sushi.
They now will try anything, anywhere. He and his wife have always been very polite to us.
But I guess he wasn't very "polite" to the Starbuck Latte slurping woman who was talking loudly on her cell phone, that he threw out, one of the times we were there for dinner.
I wanted to cheer.
Brought him and Mrs. Nozawa a dozen eggs from our chickens the other day. A small token of thanks for twenty some odd years of high quality sushi. Glad they will be able to retire comfortably, they work hard.

Feb 24, 2012
mendogurl in Los Angeles Area

Mozza Cookbook's Ragu Bolognese

We ate there the night before last. My daughter had the bolognese.
It was good.
Is it 4 hours because it has a long simmer?

I was debatingw about getting that cookbook. Fabulous restaurant.

Dec 25, 2011
mendogurl in Home Cooking

What's open in Berkeley area for dinner today?

Taste of the Himalayas!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you, thank you...

Berkeley grocery stores open today.

heading home. Porchetta in the cooler, but need some veggies!
Any grocery stores open tonight?

Costco Pumpkin Pie Why?

I used Cinderella pumpkins as well. Incredible flavor. I had a store bought sugar pie pumpkin sitting on the counter, so I baked that as well. It had no flavor at all, compared to the Cinderella.
I am curious to the difference between the flavor of a store bought pumpkin and a home grown.
Need to check that out.

Nov 27, 2011
mendogurl in Home Cooking

Costco Pumpkin Pie Why?

I think you are right.
There are modern inventions that really make life easier, like penicillin and food processors. I try to cook as much as possible with fresh ingredients, either grown by myself or local small producers.
BUT, I learned that cooking like it's the 18th century can be incredibly tedious, and entirely beside the point (except for cooking over an open fire, which is pure fun). Kneading bread in a bread machine or mixer makes it more likely that I will make fresh, healthy bread, for example.
I bought a food mill for processing tomatoes. Complete pain in the. Bought a food mill attachment for the Kitchen Aid. Much better.
The trick is being able to differentiate between what is actually difficult and what is not. In the world of processed foods where roasting a chicken is seen as complicated, easy and difficult are relative terms.
Well, that was more than anyone asked for, LOL.
Yes, the pie was lovely. Just like most home grown produce, the pumpkin had almost a gentle flavor, but it actually tastes like what it is, and is more than a backdrop for the seasoning. It is the main event. Combined with a butter/leaf lard crust...yum. Even better the next day. Like lasagna ;)

Nov 27, 2011
mendogurl in Home Cooking

Costco Pumpkin Pie Why?

Not arguing that Costco doesn't have good Pumpkin Pie, it may be absolutely delicious.
But there was good pumpkin pie before Costco came into existence, and even before Libby's (or whoever), put it in a can.
I have known about the debate over canned pumpkin making a better pie than fresh, and was leaning in that direction this year, because of that argument.
But the day before I was looking at the three Cinderella pumpkins that I had grown in my garden, and the eggs from our chickens, and thought why would pumpkins be any different than any other home grown vegetable. The most ordinary of vegetables (celery),
has sooooo much more flavor. So, I made it from home grown pumpkin.
It was incredibly easy to do. Cut the pumpkin in half, scooped the seeds, and roasted it, while I prepped other dishes. Scraped the flesh from the skin and threw it in the processor, then made the usual recipe.
It was silky smooth and delicious. Really surprisingly simple. Not really much more work than a canned pie. Once you've made the commitment to the crust, pies are pretty easy.
I put in less spices than I usually do because experience told me the fresh pumpkin would deliver more flavor, and that was true.
I think it is great that there are so many options available to us. All good.

Nov 27, 2011
mendogurl in Home Cooking

Too Many Juniper Berries??

Her's the menu!
It's a dinner to celebrate the last of my summer garden.

Watermelon mojito posicles
Honeydew cucumber margarita posicles

Cucumber cocktails

stuffed squash blossoms
burrata with sliced heirloom tomatoes and crostini, and anchovies

green beans with hazelnuts

Fresh melon, dates and gelato

Sep 24, 2011
mendogurl in Home Cooking

Too Many Juniper Berries??

I read an interesting recipe using juniper berries and roasted fennel with porchetta.

But I was worried about ruining this amazing roast.
So I unrolled it, scraped it out and redid it with less juniper.

I am figuring three hours. Hard to tell with such a big roast. But I do have an instant read.
I'll take it out at 145 degrees. Sound right?

Sep 24, 2011
mendogurl in Home Cooking

Too Many Juniper Berries??

That is what I am hoping. But it is a beautiful, beautiful roast.
I don't want to ruin it.

Sep 24, 2011
mendogurl in Home Cooking

Too Many Juniper Berries??

So I prepped a porchetta this last night. Made a mix of roasted fennel, garlic, dried chili's, salt and
juniper berries, in the mortar and pestle.
Spread the paste inside the 12 pound inside the porchetta.
Probably used 3 Tablespoons of juniper berries.

I am worried it is way toooo much.
Do I need to scrape it off?????

Sep 24, 2011
mendogurl in Home Cooking

Too many juniper berries??

So I prepped a porchetta this evening. Made a mix of roasted fennel, garlic, dried chili's, salt and
juniper berries, in the mortar and pestle.
Spread the paste inside the 12 pound inside the porchetta.
Probably used 3 Tablespoons of juniper berries.

I am worried it is way toooo much.
Do I need to scrape it off?????

Sep 23, 2011
mendogurl in General Topics

Porchetta in a La Caja China?

Anything with fire means barbecue to most people, I suppose.

That's what I thought. It is an oven, I just need to maintain a low temperature.

I have cooked large quantities of meat in the La Caja China, but never just one roast. I can't think of any reason I would have to adjust the way I use it for less meat. Right?
One chicken of 6, it is just about temperature...

Sep 22, 2011
mendogurl in Home Cooking

Porchetta in a La Caja China?

Has anyone ever done this?
Wouldn't it essentially be the same as an oven?

Tips, anyone?

Sep 21, 2011
mendogurl in Home Cooking


I don't usually do reviews, but on this one, I just had to.

Based on a few reviews on Chowhound, I decided to take my husband here for his birthday.
I was looking for something small and intimate, rather than a high charged, more contemporary
What a delicious, delicious meal. The petrale sole I had was just exceptional, my husbands carbonara
had this wonderful woody, nutty flavor, both of our fresh pastas were perfectly cooked.

Since it was a special occasion, I mentioned it in the note section on the Open Table reservation. I usually do that for a special occasion, but almost never am I given any special table, in an intimate corner.
But at Venticello, we were shown to a lovely corner table with the only view of the bay in the restaurant.
And then we were brought the best Tiramisu (something I usually find uninspiring ) I have ever had, as a complimentary dessert for the occasion.

Service was relaxed and easy. Our server was attentive but didn't hover.

It was truly a pleasure to go to a small, solid neighborhood restaurant, without all the hoopla and bells and whistles that so often accompanies eating out. It was just a very satisfying, genuine evening. This will become a regular spot for us.

As part of the celebration we stayed at the Huntington, another truly old school experience. Strolling back from Venticello to the Big 4 bar, was just the right note to end a perfect evening.

I give this little place the highest recommendation. Not sure how packed they are on a Friday night, I hope there is a line out the door. There should be. Places like this need foodie support!

1257 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

At a loss...

As always, I read just too many reviews, always trying to find something like a consensus.
End up with more confusion than when I started!
Reviewers love Sage, reviewers hate Sage.
Love Le Cirque, hate Le Cirque
Same for Guy Savoy, michael Mina, etc...
Everyone loves Raku!

Taking my husband to LV for his birthday next week. Kind of last minute, so I am just trying to figure out where to take him for THE dinner.
If we were in NYC, I'd take him to his favorite restaurant on the planet, Prune. But it's Vegas, and I am looking for sexy, over the top decor with equally sexy, over the top food.


Le Cirque
Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Jun 30, 2011
mendogurl in Las Vegas


Killed ANOTHER KA mixer. This time it wasn't even making bread, it was pasta dough.

This is the third one in 6 years. I am soooo done with KA.

Looking at the Viking. It has an 1000 watt motor.
Anyone have one? What about attachments like my beloved pasta attachment?

May 29, 2011
mendogurl in Cookware

Oakland mini tour and a Berkeley surprise

excellent, thank you!

Oakland mini tour and a Berkeley surprise

That's it.

Oakland mini tour and a Berkeley surprise

I know, and I couldn't remember the name.
It is in a mini mall around 45th? Doesn't matter. I don't even know if it is still there.
We were there a couple of years ago.

Oakland mini tour and a Berkeley surprise

mmmmmmm, Korean!
My husband has been jonesing for some good Korean!

We went to the spot on Telegraph, it was pretty good, but the meat seemed a bit dicey.
Goin to Bowl'd !

1479 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

Oakland mini tour and a Berkeley surprise

Thanks Robert. We live in Berkeley so everyday is a tour!! But we tend to find our favorites and get stuck there, my husband gets attached. Forcing him to go to new spots this past week re-energized him.
Been to Great China, really good. I have found Wood Tavern to be a bit uneven,still need to go to A Cote.
Hibiscus and Bowl'd????

A full bar at Plum will make it a regular destination.

Bowl'd sound like something the coffee bar at the original Bowl on Ward, LOL
Going to look them both up ...

A Cote
5478 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

Wood Tavern
6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

Great China Restaurant
2115 Kittredge St, Berkeley, CA 94704

1479 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

Oakland mini tour and a Berkeley surprise

Just finished a small tour of Oakland (+ one Berkeley) restaurants we have been reading so much
Went to Plum, Adesso and Dopo, Camino, and )to Gather in Berkeley.
Skipped Commis, will try later but the "tweezer"comments pushed it down the list a bit.
(Next tour will include International Blvd. et al.

They were all really good. i was duly impressed. I had read good and not so good reviews of all of them, so I went with a bit of uncertainty which I like to have when trying new places.

Adesso and Dopo were great, terrific drinks, perfect size portions, very fresh ingredients.
Surprised at how good Camino was. Plum was also very good, but not significantly better than the others. And we are not wine drinkers so the lack of liquor is always a bit of a drag. But we will definitely return. We ended up ordering three of those fab fried chickpea stick starters, and the asparagus starter was incredible.

One morning, just because we didn't want to wait in a long line for breakfast we went to Gather in Berkeley. It was really, really, really good. I was so surprised as I haven't read any rave reviews and have driven by it for a year without eating there. Breakfast was so good, that we went back for dinner last night.
Still surprised at how good it was. The vegan vegetable charcuterie was amazing, and we are the farthest thing from vegans!

Curious what others have thought about Gather.

4293 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

4395 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA

3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

to all fans of db moderne and lumiere....................

Is Feenie still with Cactus Club?

Lumiere used to be one amazing, amazing restaurant. We used to live a couple of blocks from there and used to walk down and eat there all the time. We'd eat at the bar. Back in the day when it was one of the first places we saw on the west coast that was doing artisanal cocktails. They made a mean Sazerac.

And every once in a while we'd do Feenie's caviar flight. Amazing.
Never went back after he left.

2551 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K2E9, CA

2563W Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6K2E9, CA

Where would you take a 10 year for birthday dinner in Paris

And there was my hesitation !
This is her first trip to Paris, and I don't want the tourist joint. I want something very French.
It can be any style, it can be a fabulous bistro, it just has to create a picture, and a memory of Paris that can last for years.

Mar 14, 2011
mendogurl in France

Where would you take a 10 year for birthday dinner in Paris

excellent, will do !

Mar 12, 2011
mendogurl in France

Where would you take a 10 year for birthday dinner in Paris

She is a foodie in training. I was actually thinking of Jules Verne. It's the only way I am going up that tower !! Just seemed really special.

Mar 12, 2011
mendogurl in France

Where would you take a 10 year for birthday dinner in Paris

I am taking my daughter to Paris for two weeks to visit friends and to let her start to know the city.
We will celebrate her tenth birthday while we are there. Would love to take her some place very special and very beautiful.

What do you think?

Mar 12, 2011
mendogurl in France

Book Review-NYT. Blood Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

Prune is a truly excellent, excellent restaurant. Never misses.

Feb 27, 2011
mendogurl in Food Media & News