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Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

The intention is to develop the Far East Plaza space into a banh mi shop run by SK.

Aug 08, 2014
odub in Los Angeles Area

Modan Artisanal Ramen

And just to add: the vast majority of truffle oil isn't made from truffles anyway. It's just formulated to smell/taste similar.

Aug 08, 2014
odub in Los Angeles Area

ISO Sheng Jian Bao

I'm not remarking on the authenticity of it; I'm just talking about palate. I don't happen to like the dish when it's overly sweet and KK tends to lean sweet.

Aug 08, 2014
odub in Los Angeles Area

ISO Sheng Jian Bao

I'm echoing most of what's been said already but:

Shanghai No. 1 (which I think does as good a job as any I've had)
Kang Kang (for the value, despite inconsistent quality and, personally, I find their approach a tad too sweet).

For a long time, it felt like KK was the only spot in the western SGV that did a SJB that was remotely comparable to the Shanghai versions I've had (though nowhere on the same level). Then, in recent years, you've seen other places add it to the menu but only Shanghai No. 1 has a version I'd go out of my way to order.

Aug 07, 2014
odub in Los Angeles Area

ISO Sheng Jian Bao

I respectfully disagree. I have love for Tasty Noodle for a lot of other dishes, but their SJB is too doughy and not very flavorful. See also: JYTH. I would never recommend either spot (personally) for SJB.

Aug 07, 2014
odub in Los Angeles Area

ISO Sheng Jian Bao

My issues with EN's version is that they're too damn big. They're not meant to be a single bite, like XLB, but 2-3 bites, at most.

Aug 07, 2014
odub in Los Angeles Area

Modan Artisanal Ramen

I'll cosign and say this I was very pleasantly surprised by both the quality of the ramen and the pricing (neither are things I associate with South Pas restaurants...and I live here). The ramen was as good as any other place I've had in the western SGV though I wouldn't put it up against the best of the westside or South Bay. But still, a step forward for South Pasadena.

Aug 07, 2014
odub in Los Angeles Area

South Pasadena for lunch

As someone who lives in SP,let me be the first to say: I wouldn't recommend much that's actually *in* town unless you feel like overpaying 20-30% for just "ok" food.

That said, as the father of an 8 year old (also in AYSO, as it were), if you really want some place in town, Gus's BBQ has a good kids menu and the food there is decent (beats Canoe House across the street). Senor Fish is fine for Mexican (but nothing to write home about).

Luggage Room (though not in SP) is a good call. Fiore is fine but it's more exciting for parents than kids.

Nov 28, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area
1

Weirdest Ice Cream I've ever had...

This is from Scoops on York, tonight: http://instagram.com/p/c0PcN0kzWu/

Aug 09, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

The new, other Shen Yang (Monterey Park)

Only on CH would a food writer feel it necessary to disclaim as such. :)

May 30, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

Jonathan Gold's Top 101 Restaurants in Los Angeles

That's how hounds do!

May 30, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

Jonathan Gold's Top 101 Restaurants in Los Angeles

Not to get off topic but the LA Times isn't in a dreadful financial state because of the paper itself. It's because the folks who own the paper (Tribune) are bankrupt and have been relying on the LAT for revenue. The newspaper is actually highly profitable, it always has been. But if you're owners are bleeding it dry as a cash cow, it certainly makes it seem like its in a dreadful state.

If/when the newspaper gets sold (ideally not to the Koch brothers, but who knows?), the odds that it will return to profitability with proper management are quite high.

May 30, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

Jonathan Gold's Top 101 Restaurants in Los Angeles

I think getting caught up in the rankings is ultimately a fool's errand. "Why this over that?" is just one of those endlessly subjective arguments with no possible resolution.

I think Kogi is fine at #5. I don't think it's a "desperate stab at 'street cred." At this point, Kogi's no longer a "trend piece". It's just part of the L.A. food scene. Besides, they serve a great dish and more importantly, what Kogi does is uniquely Angelino, which is part of the list's purpose. Whether it's #5 or #55 is besides the point.

May 30, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

Best Khao Soi in SoCal?

I've tried khao soi at 4 different places:
Spicy BBQ
Pailin
Top Thai (in the Valley, run by the Spicy BBQ family)
Renu Nakorn

I can't recommend the last but I found the quality of khao soi to be fairly similar b/t the first three. I don't know if one really stands out, heads above, the other two. I do like Spicy BBQ but I've found them to be inconsistent with the dish. Sometimes it's on, other times, not so much.

May 29, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

The new, other Shen Yang (Monterey Park)

Tony: what's the other chicken bone dish? I didn't see it on the menu.

And what's the Magic Toilet Cafe? I am now intrigued.

May 29, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

The new, other Shen Yang (Monterey Park)

I rolled out to the new Shen Yang on Garvey, just east of Atlantic, with two friends (and one thoroughly bored daughter) after reading TonyC's mention on L.A. Eater. I always liked the Shen Yang on San Gabriel Blvd. (cumin chicken bones!) and given that this one is closer, it was worth peeping.

Before we proceed any further, I need some confirmation on WTF this dish is: http://goo.gl/rZ5Px

It says "race dog meat" and I was told by one friend that it's referring to greyhound meat, at least that's the literal translation. Now...I know things get lost in translation on these menus all the time but is this place actually advertising that they serve greyhound meat?!?!?!

Suffice to say...we didn't order it.

Did get the cumin chicken bone which was decent...less greasy, slightly more meaty than the ones at SY SG though also crazy salty.

The Korean-style cold noodles were on-point. I haven't had any in about two years so I don't feel like I'm capable of rendering a relative opinion about whether it's better or worse than any other place but it tasted good.

We got the braised pork ribs but those were no big deal. Decent but not memorable.

The la-pan-mien was great; just the right amount of sour. Could have used a little more noodles in the dish but all said, really good stuff.

Dry green beans with a ton of crumbled pork. This was fine. Not memorable.

A plate of lamb skewers. This was good but it's lamb skewers: hard to mess up.

I'd definitely go back again, tons on the menu left to try. But yeah, "race dog meat." Uhhhhhh.

May 29, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area
1

Jonathan Gold's Top 101 Restaurants in Los Angeles

What ilnus just said. This part of the thread is pretty hilarious.

May 27, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

Jonathan Gold's Top 101 Restaurants in Los Angeles

To be fair, LA Weekly has since gone HEAVY into Top 10 and ranking systems as well. Publications always point to customer demand for ranking systems so blame your fellow neighbors.

May 26, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

Jonathan Gold's Top 101 Restaurants in Los Angeles

First of all, thanks for all that work.

Fascinating...so we're talking about a 30% difference in two years which...

Doesn't sound that unreasonable/unusual, especially with turnover.

The only four on the 99 list that I'm very surprised to see get left off the 101 are: Euro Pane, Lazy Ox, Pollos a la Brasa and Tacos Baja Ensenada.

Likewise, I'm surprised to see these make it to the 101 list yet not be on the 99 list:

Urasawa
Kogi
AOC

May 24, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

Jonathan Gold's Top 101 Restaurants in Los Angeles

I'm curious to see how this compares with his 99 Essential from last year's LA Weekly and if there's been any shift, if at all.

I'm also surprised this was a RANKED list though I suspect that has more to do (perhaps) with the LA Times's insistence. 99 Essentials was always alphabetical and therefore, didn't spur the whole "how could you rank this over that?!" debates" that get hella tiring.

May 24, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

Best Japanese in San Gabriel Valley?

TonyC: Ha, all I saw was "truffle tater tots" and that was enough of a red flag. I find all these "Asian fusion" spots out in the SGV to be interesting but haven't eaten at enough of them (not that I'd want to) to figure out who their core demo is. I don't think it's my parents' generation...I'm not even sure it's MY generation (I'm 40) though I suspect it's more aimed at 2nd gens like myself.

And my wife actually has cousins and aunts/uncles in MPK who've been there for decades. But the Japanese food out here that caters to them is like...Yama. Definitely not some Sawtelle-level grub which is what we like.

May 20, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

Best Japanese in San Gabriel Valley?

Let me +3 on SSG. I can't believe I hadn't noticed they had opened their MP outpost until this past week but my wife (JA) and I had long complained that when we moved from the Westside to SGV, we gained in Chinese but lost in Japanese and then we went to SSG in MP and suddenly felt a lot better.

When we lived Westside, SSG's ramen and yakitori spots in Gardena were a frequent destination so to have an expanded izakaya-style SSG out here, literally less than 5 miles from where we live, is awesome.

We had a great meal there this past Tuesday, including with their premium uni, grilled squid, the special chicken wing, as well as their normal offerings, like the bacon-wrapped shiso leaf, which is like crack on a stick.

May 20, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

10 Best Eats In Monterey Park

The news room depictions in that season were universally hated by every working journalist I know (myself included). There are ways to dramatize the tensions happening in many newspapers today but that was just insanely over-the-top, stocked with caricatures rather than characters and clearly seemed like Simon was on the vendetta trail. I have several friends at the LA Times - a clusterf--- of a newspaper right now - but their internal problems are a lot more mundane and hardly the stuff that "The Wire" focused on. But seriously, please don't use that sorry excuse for a plotline as any kind of depiction of what a contemporary news room looks like!

As for the LA Weekly, I sympathize with the author. I know enough about the internals there to understand the kinds of compromises that most of the writers there have to undergo, both in terms of pay and editorial pressures.

May 20, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

Coffee - real coffee - in the SGV.

Also, have you tried Fresh Roast? http://www.yelp.com/biz/fresh-roast-s...

And just to point out, there is an Intelligentsia in Pasadena, albeit up by Old Town (parking issues) but technically speaking, that's still SGV.

May 19, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

Coffee - real coffee - in the SGV.

FYI: You're talking about the "Atlantic Times Square" development in case people need another reference.

May 19, 2013
odub in Los Angeles Area

Estimated timing to slow roast a 4lb pork butt?

I'm about the try out David Chang's bo ssam recipe, which suggests a 300 degree, 6 hour roast for a 8-10 lb, bone-in pork butt.

My bone-in pork butt is half that (4 lbs) and I'm wondering how that difference in mass would impact cooking time? I know what kind of internal temp. I should be aiming for but my goal here is to have it done within at least a one hour window or better.

Any educated guesses?

(For example, I've seen the formula as 2 hrs per lb at 225 degrees or 1.5 hrs per lb at 275. That same formula would, mathematically, hold for Chang's ration, which is 1.3 hrs per lb at 300.)

Nov 25, 2012
odub in Home Cooking

Houston, we have a problem: indirect grilling a turkey if gas grill is small

Looks like I found the right forum.

I've been doing a brick chicken recipe for a while now, always with excellent results. This year, I was thinking of trying to the same approach with TG turkey though I can't find a "brick turkey" recipe and perhaps that's meant to tell me something.

Anyways, what I'm working with is a 3-burner Weber Spirit (the burners go front to back, not horizontally along the grill). We haven't bought our turkey yet but it will be on the smaller side since we're only feeding about 4 adults and 2 kids. (Frankly, I just wanted to grill a chicken but my daughter insisted on turkey. "It's tradition.")

So...questions:

1) I was going to spatchcock this, brick chicken style. I take it the "brick" part won't work?

2) I normally don't use a drip pan with a spatchcock chicken; should I use one with a turkey to prevent flares?

3) How would I set this up for indirect grilling? Normally, with a smaller chicken, I turn on the front and back burners and leave the middle off but the turkey will be too big for that to work.

Your advice most welcome! Thanks.

Nov 16, 2012
odub in Home Cooking

Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village

I find it interesting that many of the Shanghainese restaurants don't even attempt it. I could be wrong, but I never saw these on the menu at places that are ostensibly Shanghainese like Mei Long Village and Giang Nan. Kang Kang was the first place I saw that carried them and then gradually, I saw more places attempt them...but usually poorly.

Sep 29, 2012
odub in Los Angeles Area

Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village

I think I got burned out on Northern cuisine this past year and I'm rebounding by going Southern so Green Island is right up my lane right now.

Sep 28, 2012
odub in Los Angeles Area

Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village

Tony: SN1 > Kang Kang. I'd put KK at around a 6 and SN1 around a 9.

Kang Kang has the flavor down better than many but two problems: filling is too sweet and the skin is a tad too thick. But it's not a bad plate. Just not great.

Sep 28, 2012
odub in Los Angeles Area