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The Farmer's Market Gumbo Pot -- jambalaya as bad I as remember.

Almost all the food at the Farmer's Market is awful. Gumbo Pot should be renamed the Heartburn Pot.

I don't think you can really get good Cajun/Creole food in SoCal. SoCal Cajun/Creole is to real Cajun/Creole what spaghetti with soy sauce is to chow mein - a half-ass imitation at best.

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Gumbo Pot
6333 W 3rd St Ste 312, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Jul 12, 2010
kishoripapa in Los Angeles Area

BBQ - Where to find the best in LA?

Totally! Someone needs to start a bbq place that is decent and consistent. You don't need mindblowing food, just consistency, and you will be a millionaire overnight. Well, not overnight exactly because you need to be consistent and that happens over time.

Jul 12, 2010
kishoripapa in Los Angeles Area

Cherries?

That chutney idea sounds awesome! What would you eat it with?

Jul 11, 2010
kishoripapa in Home Cooking

What's Innovative About San Francisco?

Yeah, SF'ers will not leave the city limits even if their lives depended on it - even for good food! Oakland has some nice spots that are coming up and the food is very affordable. The Korean food in Oakland is a little better than SF too.
I think you mean west of Van Ness, that's kind of the dividing line between "city" and residential SF.

Jul 11, 2010
kishoripapa in Features

Wine pairing for Asian-flavored dinner

Sauvignon Blanc for sure!

Jun 30, 2010
kishoripapa in Wine

Alsatian Riesling

Cool, I'll check 'em out. I had a dry Riesling at a restaurant in SF once and it was great. I want the famous gasoline aroma, so yeah, I want it dry. Thanks zin, steve and the rest!

Jun 30, 2010
kishoripapa in Wine

Anybody try this spanish canned seafood?

Avoid it at all costs, it is terrible. When I was in Spain, the locals would force us Americans to eat this stuff all the time - the Spaniards couldn't get enough of it. It has a really strong fishy, oceany flavor. It also has a mouthfeel that makes it seem like beach sand got into the can (I think there is actually sand in the cans).

Jun 30, 2010
kishoripapa in General Topics

What food find still haunts you - that you had once and haven't found since?

Spanish mojama. Impossible to find outside of Spain. Also Valencian fideua, another longshot outside of Spain.

Jun 30, 2010
kishoripapa in General Topics

Alsatian Riesling

I have heard that this is a very interesting wine. Any picks that are affordable and available in SF?

Jun 30, 2010
kishoripapa in Wine

Ethiopean - Berkeley/Oakland?

New Himalayan in Santa Rosa - Himalayan Grill & Curry House

I drove by here a few weeks ago, I was very interested but didn't stop in. I have also eaten at Kathmandu Kitchen in Sacramento for Nepalese food. It's awesome http://www.kathmandukitchen.com/
The spices are a little different in Nepalese food than Indian, love it. The samosas are a little different too. A nice change from typical Indian style food.

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Kathmandu Kitchen
234 G St, Davis, CA 95616

All things curry

I like King of Thai in the Richmond in SF. It's pretty good, maybe not the best of the best Thai ever, but solid, affordable and still my regular Thai place in the Bay Area. It's best on a cold night, it's nice to go in and see the chefs cooking over a hot stove, warms you up right away.
Oh, I almost forgot - all good Persian restaurants make this dish called Fesenjun (different spellings at almost each place). It's technically a curry and it's made by grinding up walnuts and pomegranate seeds and stewing chicken in the sauce. Not spicy but you can eat it with rice. Everyone must try this at least once in their life.

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King of Thai Kitchen 2
346 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

Authenticy of Food?

Yeah, I agree but the lust for authentic food is a desire to try all available iterations of a type of food and to have the ability to compare and contrast. Above anything else, we are foodies, are we not?

May 28, 2010
kishoripapa in General Topics

Authenticy of Food?

Totally! There's so much non-food in Whole Foods. Berkeley Bowl is amazing for fresh produce. Also, I met a producer of locally made honey stocking his own product on the shelves there. It was really cool to be able to talk to him about his product and the care he and the bees put into every jar. Good place to shop.

May 28, 2010
kishoripapa in General Topics

Authenticy of Food?

I think with Indian food the Americanized label comes from the fact that most Indian food in Indian restaurants is stuff that Indian people rarely eat at home. Tandoori chicken, naan, meat curries are all parts of Indian food but in my experience are only eaten at special occasions and then only by people whose religion allows the eating of meat, and most Indian homes do not have tandoor ovens. Meat is hard to get in India due to religious stigma against it and lack of proper refrigeration so most people don't eat it on a daily basis. It would be like going to an American restaurant in another country and being treated to a full Thanksgiving dinner. American, sure, but not what we eat here everyday.
But ethnic restaurants do tone down the food to make it more palatable for persons not of the particular ethnicity of the restaurant. Take Korean food for example. If you are not Korean, the restaurant will serve you much milder food. I have had this experience where I ordered the same thing as a Korean dining partner and was given a much milder soup. Now, I just show up to the same restaurant over and over again with Korean friends until the wait staff recognizes me and starts giving me the spicy stuff. Chinese food is another example. Chinese people don't order off the same menu that non-Chinese order from. In fact, there's often not a menu for Chinese in a Chinese restaurant. They just order what they want and the cook whips it up. I also know this is true for Mexican food as well. In a way it's nice that the restaurant is looking out for your best interest and trying to offer you food that they think you will enjoy.

May 28, 2010
kishoripapa in General Topics

Why are Indian restaurants so crummy compared with the glory of Indian cuisine?

But this is true not only of Indian places but most restaurants in NYC. Fresh ingredients in NYC are hard to come by, canned mushrooms on pizza dominate. Even gourmet, critical darling restaurants in NYC might have great chefs but terrible ingredients at unimaginable prices.
If you want REALLY good Indian food, wake up early on Sunday and take the train out to the Indian strip in Edison. Yeah, it takes 45 minutes each way, but the food is like home cooking but made to a higher standard. Even my super picky relatives praise the food out there.

May 28, 2010
kishoripapa in General Topics

Why are Indian restaurants so crummy compared with the glory of Indian cuisine?

You are entirely correct. Most Indian restaurants are not run for the benefit of the customer/diner. They are often the only economic opportunity for some immigrants. The money made from restaurants is then reinvested into other businesses, therefore, little $ is put back into the restaurant.
If you want good Indian food, you basically have to know the right kind of Indian person who enjoys eating out, whether that be in New York or New Delhi. There used to be really high-end Indian places back in the day that served excellent food. Most major US cities had them in one form or another. NYC might still have some but the prices are insane - $10 for 2 papadum. Most of these places now have lowered their standards to compete with the prices offered by the average passable Indian places. Your best bet are the South Indian vegetarian Indian places that most Indian people eat at when they eat out. Examples of which are Pongal in NYC, Viks and Udipi in Berkeley, and to a lesser extent Annapurna in LA. There are really good restaurants in India too, you just have to know local people who can afford to eat out who will show them to you. If you are in India and want really good food where the chefs care about the diners, head to any decent restaurant in Goa. You will be amazed. My father had some friends there and they took us to some places that served authentic Goan vindaloo, which is much better than the fake US version. It's made with goat and not lamb.

May 28, 2010
kishoripapa in General Topics

Is There Yet an Indo-American Cuisine?

Believe it or not, there are people in the US who have never even eaten Chinese food, forget about Thai food. I worked with people from the midwest, Chicago even, who did not want to even consider anything other than sandwiches and "meat n' potatoes" for lunch. EVER. In urban areas, yeah, you have a lot of adventurous people, but for the scarily enough, there are a lot of people out there who don't eat what they call "weird food" meaning anything that's not so-called "American food". It's shocking, it's sad, but true. My mom and brother loved trying new foods and from childhood, they would introduce me to new types of food. I thought most people grew up like this until I went to college and met people whose idea of culinary adventure was putting mustard in their homemade potato salad.
Take South Africa and Jamaica as contrasting examples. Indian people make up a small % of population, but Indian food has entered their cooking in a major way. Britain to some extent has incorporated Indian food into its cuisine. There used to be Indo-French restaurants in NYC - ate at one once. Didn't like it initially but at that time I had not yet developed a taste for French food. Now I would like to go back but not sure if it's still around.

May 28, 2010
kishoripapa in General Topics

Is There Yet an Indo-American Cuisine?

There's Indian-Mexican, an essentially extinct style of food from the Imperial Valley of California. Jamaican food is essentially Indian food with some non-Indian ideas thrown in. In the Bay Area you can get Indian pizza in some places.
Indian food is hard to make so it goes away once direct immigrants from India pass away - 2nd generation Indian-Americans never learn how to cook Indian food. Perhaps in a generation or two, there might be an Indian/American fusion cuisine, but I doubt it because Indian food will never likely catch on with enough people like Mexican food has. One reason for this is xenophobia - I constantly run into people, even in large cities, who are unwilling to eat anything other than American food. For Indian-American food to develop, it has to enter the culinary lexicon of everyday Americans from coast to coast.

May 27, 2010
kishoripapa in General Topics