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where to get Shirataki noodles??

I've never tried these, but the difference in calories (only 20[!!!] vs 400 for regular pasta) looks pretty compelling.

Any ideas on where in LA to get this? I live in Santa Monica, so places on the Westside would be best. I've already tried Trader Joe's, Sprouts, and Whole Foods. No idea where to try next.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

where to get Vietnamese baguettes (in West LA, hopefully)??

Sorry for the late reply.
Westside Table Tennis
11755 Exposition Blvd. Just a bit east of Olympic & Bundy. If you see the Trader Joe's on the north side of the street . . . the club is almost exactly across the street from TJ's...although not on Olympic Blvd itself--just south of the businesses lining Olympic.

Ping Pong Tuesday evenings, and Fri & Sat afternoons and evening. Run by a very nice couple. About 8 tables. Balls and paddles available for those casual players who don't have their own equipment.

where to get Vietnamese baguettes (in West LA, hopefully)??

Thanks, guys. Some really good suggestions. I live close to Bay Cities here in SM, so it'll be easy to swing by. And my ping pong is close to Nong La Cafe, so that's another convenient option. I just ordered the cookbook that has the vegan banh mi recipe, so I won't end up making this for a few weeks (ie, not until after the book arives). But I'll give an update at that time.

p.s. The place I went to downtown is The Sandwich Shop. 531 W. 6th. Their Vegan Chicken Banh Mi was the *absolute* best sandwich I've had in my life. (Although, if I return, I'll give them a few bucks more to put even more of that amazing fake chicken in the sandwich) [drool]


where to get Vietnamese baguettes (in West LA, hopefully)??

I had an **amazing** vegetarian Banh Mi sandwich last week at a shop downtown. Wow. I'd like to take a crack at making a version at home. But I am stymied by the bread. A French baguette would be quite wrong . . . the French version has too crispy a crust, with a different taste. It just wouldn't be a banh mi.

But I gather than there is also a Vietnamese version of the baguette. Anyone have an idea where in LA to get this? Ideally, there'd be a place in WLA (I live in Santa Monica). But I'd be willing to drive to get the authentic version, since it would be only an occasional/rare purchase.

Supermarkets in/around LA for Indian spices & ingredients?

Thanks for the quick reply.
Indian Sweets, and Samosa House--both of their selections were, unfortunately, too small. That's why I'm looking for more of a full market or even supermarket. Don't know anything about Bhanu (I don't think I've ever been to Arcadia in my 30 years of driving around Los Angeles) :-)

Supermarkets in/around LA for Indian spices & ingredients?

When I am cooking Chinese or Vietnamese dishes, I head for 99 Ranch Market. (Or, one of the other supermarkets out in Monterey Park.) There are unfortunately zero supermarkets here in Santa Monica that carry all the things I need for my recipes.

Are there supermarkets in LA that carry the spices needed in Indian cooking? I am NOT looking for the smaller Indian markets that can be found all over . . . I'm specifically looking for the larger ones (ie, similar to 99 Ranch Market). Do any exist on the Westside of LA? If not, anything relatively close by? If I do end up having to drive down to Artesia, what are some of the larger markets/supermarkets that you'd recommend?

Where to buy (in or near West LA) vegetarian fish sauce??

I've been able to find this out in Monterey Park (99 Ranch Market, etc), and also down in Artesia. But I'd love to save the 2-3 hour round trip, if there are markets on the Westside that carry this.

If you also happen to have suggestions as to different brands, that also would be appreciated. (I've been using the Au Lac version, which has been fine. But, since I don't eat fish/fish products, I obviously can't compare it to the real thing.)

Where in LA to find veg/vegan fake "meat?"

Update: I went to the market, and--as advertised by Prof Salt--it did indeed have an ample assortment of the products I was looking for. Not as many choices as I used to find in Monterey Park, and about 10-20% more expensive. But so what...it was still relatively cheap. (About $2.25 per bag).

Prof Salt undersold the freezer. Wow, a *huge* selection here. The next time I come back here, I'll bring a cooler packed with ice, and really load up on the frozen items as well.

Au Luc restaurant was very nice. Not an inexpensive place, (a bit above $30 for 2 dishes), but the veg sushi was both lovely and delicious. And the hot pot was great--the veg 'fish' was incredibly tasty.

Where in LA to find veg/vegan fake "meat?"

Thanks. This is exactly what I've been looking for. It's a long trek from Santa Monica, but I'll combine grocery shopping with a lunch at Au Luc...thanks for that recommendation as well.

Where in LA to find veg/vegan fake "meat?"

Thanks, all, for the quick responses. I guess I did not do a good job in my OP describing the type of product I'm looking for.

What I am looking for is a dried product. I looks (very roughly) like smaller pieces of beef jerky. Therefore, it needs to be rehydrated in liquid to be edible. It comes in larger bags (about 12 inches high, by 8-9 inches wide). I still have my last 3 bags, and I'll attach a photo . . . I should have done this for my OP.

I am not looking at all for 'ready to eat' products . . . there are many places here in/around Santa Monica where I can get excellent fake hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. (Morningstar is probably my favorite, btw)

Where in LA to find veg/vegan fake "meat?"

I used to make my occasional trek out to Monterey Park, to buy packages of fake meats. They came in various sizes and shapes. Made by (1) vegeUSA and (2) Homemark (imported from Taiwan.

No problems for years . . . they went perfectly into spaghetti sauces, stews, curries, etc. Yum. But yesterday, my usual market (99 Ranch) had stopped carrying all similar products! Same with the second market I tried.

Any suggestions on where to go? Google was not my friend in this search, alas. A market in or around the Westside of LA would be ideal, but going out as far as MP, Monrovia, etc would be no problem . . . I'll just buy 6 months' worth at a time, to make such a long trip worthwhile.

any larger supermarket for Ethiopian spices??

I would like to start experimenting with Ethiopian dishes at home. I know there are a few small markets on Fairfax, in the "Little Ethiopia" district. Are there any larger supermarkets anywhere in the LA area that would have the exotic spices?

(For what it's worth, below are a few of the spices (spice-blends) that I think I need, based on a quick skimming of a few Ethiopian cookbooks.)

Netch Azmud (Aswan Seed)
Tena Adam (Rue)
Kosseret ( Butter Herb)
Makulaya / Saute Spice Mix
Manteria / Butter or oil Seasoning Spice
Matafecha / Flavor Enhancing Spice Mix

need recipes: pie baked INSIDE cheesecake

There was an on-line article a few weeks ago about this phenomenon (travesty??), but no recipes. It's so extravagant, I'd like to try it for some holiday parties. It's actually a complete pie, that is somehow baked inside a cheesecake. I assume both are baked at the same time (ie, that the pie is not baked separately, and then added to the liquid cheesecake, where they are both baked)

Google has not been my friend. Any suggestions on how/where to find these recipes?

Dec 07, 2012
santamonica811 in Home Cooking

?? fluffy shaved ice with the KitchenAid attachment ??

I really miss the shaved ice desserts I would get in Singapore and Malaysia on my travels. The ice would be shaved so finely it was fluffy and light. Topped with simple syrups, sweet beans and corn, etc . . . drool.

I'd like to be able to make this at home. Looking at the shaved ice machines (eBay, Amazon, etc), it's clear that there are commercial ones available costing from a few hundred bucks to several thousand. And there are many models for consumers, which seem to range from $25-$80 or so. But the lower-priced ones all seem to give a course cut . . . the texture we all remember when we had snow-cones at a fair. This texture would not work with the recipes I want to try . . . the end result must be very fluffy to work for me.

I saw a disc made for a KitchenAid food processor. It's called the Cheese Grater & Ice Shaver. (Model KFP7PI ) Has anyone every used this? If so, how successful was it in shaving ice? I make desserts rarely enough so that I don't need a commercial-grade shaver, so an attachment like this would be perfect if it actually did work.

If not, any suggestions on a consumer-priced ice shaver that is in the Under-$60 range? Or is this an example of getting what you pay for, and it's just not possible to get fluffy fine shavings without paying a premium?

Aug 19, 2012
santamonica811 in Home Cooking

Buying fillings for chocolate candies in LA area?

I've just started making filled chocolates at home. I've made my own peanut butter filling, and my own marshmellow and caramel. No problem there. But I'd like to try cherry, almond and so on . . . the ones we can but at any chocolate shop.

I've seen a few ready-made products on-line (in a plastic pouch, just cut a corner and squeeze out). A sample, from Amazon.


But the on-line places totally jack you on shipping. A reasonable $4.00 for the pouch, but $5 for shipping!?! I just can't justify paying that.

So, I am looking locally. I was surprised that Surfas does not carry these types of products. Any suggestions? I live in Santa Monica, so anything on the Westside is preferred. But I'm happy to drive anywhere in the LA/Valley area.

Much thanks for any advice (other than to try making them myself at home, which I of course know is an option already).


need (vegetarian/vegan) recipe for butterscotch pudding

Thanks for the links. I'll try both recipes and will report back my successes (or lack thereof).

Dec 30, 2011
santamonica811 in Home Cooking

need (vegetarian/vegan) recipe for butterscotch pudding

I've been making chocolate pudding recently. Using almond or soy milk. A bit of salt, some sweetener (honey or agave syrup), cocoa powder, and cornstarch. Easy as pie.

I add, for variation, almond extract, malt powder, etc..

But I have been having a craving for butterscotch. I can't make it from the mix (the only versions I see in my local stores all have gelatin). And the only recipes I have found on-line are definitely not vegan (butter, eggs, etc).

Can anyone help??

Dec 08, 2011
santamonica811 in Home Cooking

anyone with a salad dressing like the one at The Gourmet Ashram??

I was on campus at USC the other day, and I I stopped by a temporary cafe--it was a guy serving vegetarian food (vaguely Hari Krishna style). What stood out was an AMAZING salad dressing. The best I've ever tasted in my life! I ended up doing what a lot of people there were doing--I bought a bag of the dry salad dressing mix to take home. Wow...just as good when I made it from his mix.

But the mix is horribly expensive, and I'd love to take a crack at making it from scratch. It has almonds, amino acids, nutritional yeast and spices, per the nutritional info on their own website. (You then combine r 1 part dry dressing mix; 1 part neutral oil; 1 part water.) Anyone tried this guy's dressing? Anyone been able to replicate it, or come anywhere close?

And, for anyone on campus at USC (on Wednesdays and Thursday, I think), here's the guy's website.


Oct 25, 2011
santamonica811 in Home Cooking

Help with vegan caramels

Thanks in advance. The link does work, but (as you intimated) no recipe. ???? Hmmm. Looking forward to seeing what you'll be typing up and posting . . . it sounds like a recipe I'd like to try for myself.

Oct 19, 2011
santamonica811 in Home Cooking

Help with vegan caramels

Anyone made these recipes? Would love to hear how they turned out.

Oct 17, 2011
santamonica811 in Home Cooking

Q: where to get malted milk powder (in cars, or, in bulk) ??

Steve, at which S & F did you find this product? I tried the Venice one (on Lincoln Blvd) and the WLA one (on SM Blvd, west of Bundy), and both told me that they do not carry it.

Q: where to get malted milk powder (in cars, or, in bulk) ??

Great link. Thanks so much. Should be perfect. (I have no idea if the tastes of malted milk vary from one brand to another. . . . I guess I'll find out.) :-)

Q: where to get malted milk powder (in cars, or, in bulk) ??

I live in WLA.

1. Anyone know of stores that still sell the 40 oz size Carnation malted milk powder? (I only see the much smaller 13-14 oz size now in Pavillions, Ralphs, etc., but I need to find the larger size, if it's still out there.)

2. Alternatively, is malted milk powder sold in bulk in any stores in the area?

recipe for hajapuri (spelling??)

Much thanks to all of you . . . I'll be trying out a few of these recipes. You guys rock! :-)

May 02, 2011
santamonica811 in Home Cooking

recipe for hajapuri (spelling??)

One of my old girlfriends is Georgian (USSR). Her mom would make for me this hajapuri (sorry, it doesn't really transliterate from Georgian to English well). A flat bread with cheese. [Drool] I'd love to try and make it, but I have not been able to find any recipes yet. Any suggestions?

Recipes that do not call for butter are especially wanted.

link to a photo of the dish:

Apr 27, 2011
santamonica811 in Home Cooking

recipe needed. Jing Gao 镜糕

Forgot to post a few photos, if that helps

Mar 01, 2011
santamonica811 in Home Cooking

recipe needed. Jing Gao 镜糕

My favorite single dish, from traveling in 108 countries, was Jing Gao (镜糕 ), a street food dessert I found only in the Muslim Quarter in the Old Town of Xi'an, China. Sweet rice, but not too sweet. A few toppings added. Totally addictive. But no one I know has even heard of this dish, let along have a recipe I can make at home.

I already know that my home-made version will not match the original, since you need specialized wood molds (which are stuffed with ingredients and then steamed). But if I can come even anything close, I'd be a happy camper.

Thanks in advance. (And if you do have a link for me and other readers, I do not read Chinese, so a recipe in English would be greatly appreciated, if it's available). :-)


Mar 01, 2011
santamonica811 in Home Cooking

ratio for lemongrass--powder vs fresh??

Thanks so much. 1 tsp. I'll try using it "straight". And also (based on your other advice), with a bit of water to first rehydrate it before adding to the recipe.

mucho appreciado :-)

Feb 26, 2011
santamonica811 in Home Cooking

need recipe: saag paneer WITHOUT onions

Thanks Quine. That was fast.

Have you made this recipe before? I am wondering if I could get by with roughly pureeing the spinach mixture (ie, not going all the way, and stopping the blender/processor before it becomes a smooth puree). Would that affect the subsequent cooking process, do you think? I tend to prefer more texture in this dish, if possible.

Feb 11, 2011
santamonica811 in Home Cooking

need recipe: saag paneer WITHOUT onions

I love Indian food. I love spinach. I *love* saag paneer. But I am very allergic to onions. Every recipe I've seen has onions as an integral ingredient. Anyone have a recipe that does not require onions in it, but is still delicious?

Onion powder is actually fine . . . I have no bad reaction to it for some reason.

Thanks in advance for any recipe/advice/links.


Feb 11, 2011
santamonica811 in Home Cooking