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R.I.P. Azami as we knew it...

I was surprised that there weren't any posts about this yet...Azami has officially changed hands and re-opened, complete with a fancy remodel. Having been my neighborhood sushi restaurant for a couple of years, I had to give its new incarnation it a try although it just felt wrong being in the space without Niki at the helm.

The new Azami..It's not good. So not good, in fact, that after sitting down and ordering a beer, then perusing the menu, my boyfriend and I looked at eachother with raised eyebrows and wondered how we could best escape. There's an entire page on the menu devoted to ridiculous, over-the-top cut rolls. We ordered their 'ceviche' which was advertised as 'citrus marinated', then ended up just being overly-doused with rice wine vinegar. With a lot of mango on it. Also ordered tempura avocado, which I love, but was served fried calamari instead. Didn't really care at that point. The calamari came with a bizarre chipotle/overly paprika-ed/overly honeyed olive-oil based dipping sauce. Very weird. And lastly, had a very uninspiring spicy tuna roll with cold rice (sigh...loved Azami's warm rice...). I also remember one of the entrees being listed as some sort of steak with 'the perfect pear sauce'. Right.

For fans of the old-school Azami, check this out: Niki's doing dinners at her sister's seafood market.

http://inakagourmet.com/chefstable.html

Any recs for good sushi that won't break the bank in the general hollywood/west hollywood area? Since my fave is now defunct?

Aug 17, 2008
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Mesa Restaurant (Costa Mesa at The Camp)

The chef de cuisine is John Sadao, formerly Chef de Cuisine at AOC. He hasn't left Mesa. He's always at the wed. market in SM if you want to ask him yourselves!

Feb 23, 2008
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

AZAMI Sushi on Melrose - A M A Z I N G!

I love Azami! Favorite sushi in LA.

Nov 27, 2007
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Blue Bottle Worthy Coffee? Best In LA?

I haven't found a Blue Bottle equivalent here yet, but I sure have been enjoying the pound of Hayes Valley Espresso that I splurged on recently.
Wish Blue Bottle had been in SF in my day.

Sep 21, 2007
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Craft tonight- what not to get...

I was disappointed in the pizza. It was more along the lines of something that I'd love if it were delivered to my house...
I did really like the meal overall. The ricotta gnocchi with pork meatballs in brodo was fantastic.

Jul 30, 2007
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Craft tonight- what not to get...

I had something similar at A16 in SF. after so much olive oil during the meal, I wasn't crazy about it on my dessert.

Jul 24, 2007
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Grocery Delivery service

yummy.com
they have groceries, sandwiches, booze, you name it. they're fast, too.

Jul 24, 2007
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Lou's on Vine -- Reports?

What were some of the stand-out dishes? I went once, maybe a year ago and wasn't taken with the place. The pig candy was good. Salads sounded good but were underseasoned. I just really couldn't get over the tacky interior. Has it gotten better, overall?

Apr 05, 2007
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Can't find boneless, skin ON chix breast--how can I sub?

I second that--a package of two chicken breasts costs what, $9? And a 3 pound whole chicken costs maybe $7. I bet you could ask your butcher to show you how to cut up a chicken (or find a how-to online). It's very easy!

Mar 11, 2007
cookgirl in Home Cooking

Where does AOC get their bread?

It's made in the woodburning oven and is occasionally supplemented by La Brea Bakery breads.

Feb 11, 2007
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Goin' to Katana - any "must gets?"

Baked lobster roll in soy paper. Comes with this sabayon-type sauce that gets gratineed and is soo good. Roku makes a better version but it's still good at Katana.

Feb 06, 2007
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Your choice for Trader Joe's BEST item

The cilantro and jalapeno hummus! And the green chile and cheese tamales. Cheap!

Jan 20, 2007
cookgirl in Chains

What to order at Ruth Chris ???

I ate at the Beverly Hills location for the first time recently and it was terrible. The porterhouse for two...they cut the meat off the bone into pieces so that the meat cooks quickly, then they "reassemble" it around the bone to serve...that means that like 2/3 of your steak is overcooked! That's so hack it's unbelieveable.

All of the sides taste like they are frozen and reheated. The potatoes "au gratin" are diced (diced au gratin? what?) and served in a flavorless bechamel-type sauce with cheddar cheese on top. (Can we say stouffers?)

For the money you will spend, you could literally go to Jar or for a little more, Cut. I was actually surprised, I thought that Ruth's Chris was supposed to be a pretty decent chain but definitely is not.

Jan 20, 2007
cookgirl in Chains

Do you remember the first dish you ever cooked?

Really unsatisfying 'cakes' and 'cookies' in my EZ Bake Oven! Must have been five or six? I remember using it in my bedroom!

Jan 11, 2007
cookgirl in Home Cooking

Where to buy merguez in Loz Angeles

Call whole foods, I've seen it in their fresh sausage case a few times.

Jan 10, 2007
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Cupcakes?

I've purchased Joan's cupcakes twice now and was disappointed both times. And so was the birthday person who agreed that they were dry dry dry! Pretty sure I remember sampling vanilla, chocolate, coconut, and spice cake varieties and they were all dry.

Jan 10, 2007
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

What to do on friends bday?? She's on pregnancy bed rest!!!

Even high-end restaurants are no stranger to the occasional "to-go" order...
I suggest that you call a restaurant of your choice, explain your situation, and ask them if they would do a to-go order for such an occasion. I'm sure they would be happy to accomodate! Just pick some things that might hold or reheat a little better than others. I've done it.
Worst case scenario, the restaurant politely refuses, best case, you have fine dining in your home!

Nov 18, 2006
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

bad time at hungry cat

I've ordered the calamari dish several times and always loved it. It was never rubbery or off-smelling and the chorizo stuffing was delish! It came with shellbeans and cherry tomatoes in a tasty broth when I had it over the summer. Maybe you hit an off night, but couldn't disagree with you more about the dish in general.

Nov 17, 2006
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

BEST SUSHI OF LOS ANGELES

Azami!

Nov 17, 2006
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

grace or lucques?

I've eaten at Grace twice and both times the entrees were seriously underseasoned...anyone else had this problem? It could be a fledgling cook error or is it a chef preference?
Also, the last time I went was very annoyed by our server who knew nothing about the menu. I asked if there was a tasting menu, as it appeared that there was by the extra menu page, and he replied "no", so I showed him the page and asked what it was all about and he sheepishly said "oh, I guess we do"...how embarrassing.

Nov 01, 2006
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Reel Inn

I've been a few times, each time convincing myself that it will be better this time and leaving disappointed and wondering why I thought it would be any more satisfying.

The formula at the reel inn is either A) fried food (fish and chips etc, with a really heavy bready batter) or B) pick your protein out of the case, with your choice of blackened seasoning and maybe one or two others, and a choice of two sides which are extremely boring. (Overcooked bland rice pilaf, fries, roasted potatoes, green salad with dressing on the side, steamed unseasoned vegetables...cafeteria food, seriously). I've had perfectly cooked fish there, and also perfectly overcooked. The large portions of totally mediocre food would be fine and dandy if it were a bargain, but typically a plate lunch for two people comes out to more than $50, which is absolutely ridiculous. I've also had the fish tacos and they were just so bland and dry that I picked the fish out and abandoned the stuff around it.

It's a shame, because it is a neat spot with good atmosphere.

Oct 30, 2006
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Need advice from AZAMI SUSHI fans!

Maitake tempura is a must, and any of the carpaccios are great. Their spicy tuna rolls are by far the best I've ever had--the rice is amazing! It's really hard to go wrong with anything they suggest to ya.

Oct 30, 2006
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Black Rice @ The Hungry Cat

It's not the asian "forbidden rice", it's a Venetian variety and is more flavorful. I have actually looked for it at Whole Foods and haven't found it there. They do sell it at the La Brea Bakery though. And most likely at Surfas, I'd bet.

Oct 23, 2006
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Where to go for Greek food in L.A?.

anyone ever been to Sofi on 3rd street?

Oct 20, 2006
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Mozza--latest update

Is Batali still involved?

Oct 13, 2006
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

Sweet treats you miss from back home? [moved from LA board]

El Farolito Carne Asada Super Burritos in SF. And tacos from La Taqueria.

Oct 11, 2006
cookgirl in General Topics

Hyatt in Huntington Pete Mallory's or The California for brunch?

Pete Mallory's is really casual, the Californian is elegant. I've lunched there several times and the food has always been fantastic- upscale 'California' cuisine. It would be more appropriate for a birthday.

Oct 07, 2006
cookgirl in Los Angeles Area

LA girl is homesick for SF-where must I eat while visiting?

oh yeah! its downtown

Sep 07, 2006
cookgirl in San Francisco Bay Area

LA girl is homesick for SF-where must I eat while visiting?

H! I was thinking of A16..don't know where I made up R23 from (I think its a restaurant somewhere out there).

Sep 07, 2006
cookgirl in San Francisco Bay Area

LA girl is homesick for SF-where must I eat while visiting?

Thanks for the replies! What have you all heard or experienced with Quince or R23?

Sep 02, 2006
cookgirl in San Francisco Bay Area