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cacio e pepe's Profile

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Where to "wow" a visitor with "do NOT miss this place" recommendations

Okay. Yes. Just. Yes. Everything in this list is a yes. Sure, it skips Thai and the abundance of Chinese available, but you'll need to narrow things down for good recs in those categories. But every last one of these is a winner.

13 minutes ago
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Mexican near Bergamot: Juquila, Tacomiendo or Monte Alban?

I'll repeat my rec for the chile relleno at Tacomiendo. Something about that sauce reminds me of the homemade stuff I've sampled. Not saying it's healthy, but it's vegetarian!

1 day ago
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Local commercial salumi (lardo specifically) curers?

A Cut Above is doing their own lardo. It's good.

Aug 16, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Thanks for starting the thread and keeping us updated.

Aug 14, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Mexican near Bergamot: Juquila, Tacomiendo or Monte Alban?

Oh, totally agree! I often do the mole negro with pork, which I think is not so traditional, but I love it.

Yellow mole didn't do it for me, either.

Aug 13, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Mexican near Bergamot: Juquila, Tacomiendo or Monte Alban?

I'm not an expert by any means, but it's my understanding that the poach and pour technique is pretty common and even traditional, especially for mole negro. Someone like Dommy! will hopefully chime in here.

I know my Bayless recipes always call of a braise in the mole sauce, but anytime a friend brings me their relative's mole, the instructions are always to cook the meat separately from the mole.

I think I like Monte Alban better because I remember strongly preferring their mole negro (just the sauce itself) over Juquila's and the goat at MA is pretty awesome considering how far west the restaurant is.

But your post reminds me that I should really try Juquila's a few more times!

Aug 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Mexican near Bergamot: Juquila, Tacomiendo or Monte Alban?

That's the ticket at TPF. Best item there for me. It's been awhile, though.

Aug 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Tsujita opens today. How do you think it'll do, w/Kiriko, Mori, Shunji less than 2 miles away?

I think Kiriko is an exception to your general rule, Manku, though I see your point.

Perhaps most folks don't do omakase, but enough do. Others can pick and choose their way to blowing >$100 on dinner easy.

I've had two very good,and one mind-blowing, omakase experiences at Kiriko so it's not unheard of.

Budget dining it is not.

Aug 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

ISO: CINCHONA BARK

I buy it online . . . from Herbs of Mexico!

Aug 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Mexican near Bergamot: Juquila, Tacomiendo or Monte Alban?

Well, I actually really like the chile relleno at Tacomiendo. I think it's one of the best around. And I like puns so there's that.

Monte Alban has some really good goat, mole negro, and consommé. Other stuff isn't all that for me. This would be second for me unless I was craving those specific dishes.

Tacos Punta Cabras hit higher notes than all the places you mentioned. But you need to like fish. This would be my top choice.

Juquila is fine, I suppose. I think it's probably lowest of the bunch for me, but I've explored it the least.

Aug 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

I keep getting sucked back in!

Aug 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

It's good to have good friends!

Aug 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Loa is one of my favorites. If I'm not staying in a rental in Nee Orleans then it's tough to beat the International House Hotel with Loa in the lobby!

Clyde Common was awesome before Jeffrey got there. It's maybe awesomer now.

Bar Tonique was also a highlight. Actually has a couple of fine cocktails with that lactart that Darcy Oneil was putting out.

Aug 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Fair enough! Didn't know that at all!

Aug 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Flair. And TGI Fridays. Las Vegas, too.

That's just really disconnected from the craft cocktail scene that I like.

Look up the bar menu at a place like Loa in NOLA. Or Clyde Common in Portland, OR. Or anything managed by Julian Cox in L.A. I think you'll see that what we're talking about is really different than what the author of that piece is dealing with.

Aug 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Spirits
1

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

You spent a lot of text writing about $$$ and buzz. Not a word about taste. That says a lot.

The martini, especially the way you have grown accustomed to enjoying them, is a fairly mutable and forgiving recipe. A free pour from a highly competent bartender will get you something drinkable most of the time.

You start getting into more sophisticated recipes that have more intriguing ingredients and small amounts matter too much to free pour your way to excellent results.

Seems like you value getting drunk on some level (buzzed, sluiced, sauced, etc). So do that! All of this back and forth is just an academic exercise. You like what you like. If you can get it cheaper one place than another, save yourself some cash.

Aug 12, 2014
cacio e pepe in Spirits

Wexler's Deli - Yesterday

I think that kaiser is pretty good. It throws off the bread:meat ratio a bit and it's way more rustic than most of the soft, doughy kiasers out there. However, it made a tasty sandwich!

Aug 10, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

WSJ on Niki Nakayama of n/naka

I always like reading your take, TonyC. But . . .

1. There is a proverbial shit-ton of other stuff going on aside from truffles (personally over them) and uni. Her dobin mushi with a squeeze of sudachi is . . . perfect. Like hauntingly perfect. Like, out of nowhere a year later you need it now all of the sudden perfect. That's one example. Her beef preparation rocks. Hokkaido hairy crab baked in shell with a runny egg. Fuck yes and I'll have another please.

2. Tables weren't all that readily available last time I went. Things change, but it was a tough res a few months ago.

3. You go ahead and shoot the shit and ballwash whatever chef/itamae you want. Ima be eating. I bring a friend for conversation.

4. I got nothing to ctiticize regarding your judgment of value. $200 is a lot of cash. You have a point there. Now, you put those 30 sandwiches on a table next to Nakayama's 13 dishes and I know what I'm picking. The stuff I couldn't make at home after shopping at decent Italian import store. Still, value is a fair point here.

4. Koslow/Sqirl is fucking rad. Agreed. I'll add that Voltaggio seems like a wet blanket but can seriously cook.

Aug 09, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

WSJ on Niki Nakayama of n/naka

Soooooo . . . you've never been to n/naka then.

'Cause that post right there is some serious bullshit.

Tell me the joke just went over my head. It's the only thing that makes any sense.

Aug 08, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Quantity vs. quality is a continuum. All that you have described in your drinking preferences seems to confirm to me that you're tastes lie further towards the quantity end of the spectrum than most of us commenting. I think that's the disconnect between your posts and many others.

Everyone has a mutable position on the continuum. I'm just not going to pay $15 for a 1 oz. martini no matter how well crafted. I'm also not happy at all to pay $10 for a mixing tin full to the brim with poor ingredients that are treated with disrespect even if it will get me sloshed/buzzed/tipsy/wasted. It's all personal preference. You place a lot of value on total alcohol content.

You've asked a lot of people to weigh in on this forum and we're all pretty serious about what we drink. JMF, in particular, I know to be a heavyweight in the field. We've all come down on the side of measured pours, precision, and smaller cocktail sizes so the drink can be enjoyed the same way every time at the proper pace and proper temperature.

You have a taste for larger cocktails that aren't as precise. No problem.

As to that recipe listed, I think that's further evidence to your point that your area is not a home for lots of sophisticated bar programs. The provenance of the ingredients aside, putting bourbon and vodka together in a drink is an insult to both spirits. 3 drops of lemon juice? Why insist on it being fresh, it won't be tasted in such a small concentration. I propose that you like the cinnamon stick because it and the honey are the only things with any flavor in high enough concentration to taste. I don't find that cocktail recipe a good representation of the craft.

Aug 01, 2014
cacio e pepe in Spirits

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

As I said, not using gentrification in any pejorative sense. Just the literal sense in that the neighborhood will now serve a "wealthier" demographic. I think that's true and I don't think it's bad at all.

I don't object to Chandvkl's use of the term in this case.

That said, I fully support you guys. I'm really excited that you are investing in revitalizing a property that, from your photos, clearly needed someone with some vision and passion.

I'm really looking forward to your opening and to your success.

Aug 01, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area
1

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Isn't that a textbook example of gentrification? I'm not using the term in a pejorative sense, in this case.

Aug 01, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Well, props for trying. But I think you'll just need to own that you're a quantity over quality kind of guy. There's nothing wrong with that, but it seems to me that you've discovered that you're much happier with just a gargantuan martini or three over a consistently well-balanced drink that is small enough to actually stay cold while you drink it. Nothing wrong with knowing what you like. Cheers!

Aug 01, 2014
cacio e pepe in Spirits
1

Roy Choi's POT

Jesus wept.

Jul 28, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

I hear that! The Cochon muffaletta is definitely traditional, but every ingredient is just a little more special, made with a little more love. But Central Grocery, Napolean House, Cochon, whoever you're basing your personal perspective on, I'm good.

If it's on point, I'm there.

Jul 27, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area
2

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

All respect for tradition, but I'm hoping for something a little more like what Cochon is doing with the Muffaletta.

Oh, who the hell am I kidding. I just want a proper muffaletta in LA.

Jul 27, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Don't yuk his yum.

Jul 27, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Oh good god. Is this really happening? I had completely given up on LA food in L.A. Best of luck. No one is rooting for you guys more than the people on this board.

Jul 27, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area
1

HATCH CHILE ROASTING SCHEDULE 2014. PLEASE ADD DATES.

Have you not tried these yet, JJ? You're in for a treat!

Jul 26, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area

GCM is Getting The Best Ice Cream Parlour

Wait. I thought it was State St. that was the preferred destination. Did I fuck that up?

Hi, Kevin.

Jul 23, 2014
cacio e pepe in Los Angeles Area