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Chefs Tables - Recommendations?

Diana - I should have known what your reply would have been. I read your Life Day post a while back, which may, subconsciously be the reason why Providence was listed first.

hrhboo - I've added your recommendations to the list. If I could, I would certainly edit the original post to remove the places out of business or no longer doing Chef's tables.

ipsedixit - I am definitely looking for Chefs tables, not prix fixe or tasting menu, but rather the full experience. For our rehearsal dinner, we hosted our guests to the Chefs Table at the restaurant attached to the hotel we were staying at. We'd love to go back, but they are working a rather large banquet that night - thus the reason I am here begging ideas.

Thanks to all for the input thus far!

So far, the front runner seems to be Providence.

May 08, 2008
Plat du jour in Los Angeles Area

Chefs Tables - Recommendations?

Morning Hounds!

I am looking for recommendations for chefs tables in the Los Angeles area. I've scoured the boards and prepared a list of places that perform this service. There are a lot of choices, and I'd like to get some opinions on which of these we should try, or, if there is someplace else that we should try? The guest list will be myself and three others for my first wedding anniversary.

The List!

Providence
Opus
Hatfield
Grace
Jer Ne
Maison Akira
Tagine
Il Grand
Cafe Pinot
Melisse
Valentino
Angelini Osteria
Bin 8945
Ocean Star

Thoughts?

May 08, 2008
Plat du jour in Los Angeles Area

Chestnut Puree - Ideas?

How about a venison loin with the chestnut puree and a raspberry puree to act as sweet counterpoints?

Nov 29, 2007
Plat du jour in Home Cooking

beehive blender: Oster vs. Waring -- help a girl decide please!

I own the Oster. Purchased it for many of the same reasons you listed - I like simplicity. I've found that it makes a wonderful bar blender and does well for things that are not so, shall we say, delicate. I've pureed soups, parsnips, white beans - you name it. It purees like a champ. It also makes decent smoothies.

I HAVE made mayo and even Hollandaise with it, though I think I would have preferred something with one or two more speed adjustments for that. It will work, but I've found that it is possible to whip too much air into the emulsions - so be careful.

Nov 06, 2007
Plat du jour in Cookware

What are you serving for Thanksgiving dessert?

Currently thinking of a Cranberry Swirled Cheesecake and a Pumpkin Spice Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese frosting and candied pecans. There will be 8-10 of us, so I think 2 desserts should suffice.

Oct 30, 2007
Plat du jour in Home Cooking

Amuse Bouche

I haven't tried it (didn't know it was there) but since I live in Simi, I think I may just have to give it a shot this weekend. It certainly has a nice menu.

I'll report back!

Oct 05, 2007
Plat du jour in Los Angeles Area

Ethnic Asian Food in Thousand Oaks

In Simi Valley, I am partial to:

Korean: Oaks Korean BBQ
Chinese: Szechwan Garden
Japanese/Sushi: O2 Sushi or Blue Fin Sushi

Think I need to try Indian Haweli in the very near future. Mmm, Chicken Tikka and garlic naan. <drool>

Oct 01, 2007
Plat du jour in Los Angeles Area

Cake Decorating: icing/frosting spatulas

+1 vote for the offset spatula. It is a multi-tasking workhorse and the 'approach angle' of an offset keeps my knuckles away from my work.

Sep 10, 2007
Plat du jour in Cookware

registering this weekend--need LOTS of advice, please

Noya,

First of all, Congrats! All the best to you and yours.

Now, on the the question at hand. To be honest, this is difficult to answer as it somewhat depends on what you already have, your skill, what you hope to achieve in the kitchen, etc.

I was recently married and registered at Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn (which will accept each others gift cards, btw). We registered for the 'gaps' that we knew we had, so it was a little bit easier to choose items.

Asking what cookware is best is somewhat subjective. A lot of people have their faves - mine is Mauviel and a nice old cast iron skillet I got at a garage sale in the South. Can you say 'cracklins'? At the very least, I would suggest starting with a good dutch oven (lLe Creuset), A decent stainless skillet/saute and a non-stick skillet. The stainless skillet or saute will do well at browning and if it is all metal should be good for pan roasting as well. IMO the non-stick is good for making numerous dishes and sauces - and let's not forget eggs...ahhh eggs.

As for knives, I'd suggest going to the stores and holding/feeling/testing out what they have to get a feel for what works in your hand. I've mentioned it before, but I use a pinch grip and choke up on my knives. Any knife with a straight spine has a tendency to blister my index finger - so definitely try out any knife to see if you like it before registering for it. Of the knives I think you need to start - a 8" Chef's or Santoku, a bread knife, a paring knife, and maybe a utility knife.

When we registered, we knew we were lacking in party items - so we registered for linenes, serving platters and bowls, a REAL boston shaker (Man I love that thing), and hors d'oevres plates.

Hope that gives you some ideas. But remember, the great thing about registering, is that whatever you get can probably be returned if it is not exactly what you need/want. Just remember to write down what you got from whom for the all important thank you card - even if you eventually return it. Does that make me sound jaded? :-)

Sep 10, 2007
Plat du jour in Cookware

New FN Show - Have Fork, Will Travel

Agreed. It seems to follow the same formula as Three Sheets, but since it is FN (Not Mojo) and it's about food rather than drinking - well, you can imagine it's going to be a slightly different dynamic. I dig Zane Lamprey though, so I'll TiVo it faithfully.

I'm curious as to whether they shoot the Three Sheets and HFWT episodes at the same time. It would seem a more efficient way to produce these shows. I'll have to pay attention to the production staff credits in each show to see if they are the same.

good food-good view on Pacific Coast Hwy

+1 for Neptune's Net. It's my favorite get away spot - love the crab cakes, chowder and shrimp.

Biker bar/gearhead hangout with a mostly open-air patio and no real restrooms to speak of, but it's half restaurant half seafood shop. Great view, and you're almost guaranteed to find good people and conversation there.

Sep 05, 2007
Plat du jour in Los Angeles Area

DUBLIN IN SEPTEMBER

+1 to Leo Burdocks. Best fish and chips I have EVER had, period. I still dream about them - wake up with a little drool in the corner of my mouth and one lone tear on my cheek.

Get an order and take a quick walk 'round the corner to Dublin Castle. Ate mine there in the courtyard, ah memories.

Aug 22, 2007
Plat du jour in U.K./Ireland

Want Le Creuset, have no $$, alternatives???

I also purchased the ChefMate from Target about 16 months ago. I've cooked everything from stocks to soups to risotto to roasts in it and it has performed wonderfully. Not having any previous experience with cast iron made me wary of spending that much cash on a LC, so the ChefMate was a decent compromise.

These days, I have a larger selection of iron cookware and wouldn't be so hesitant to spend the cash. My best advice would be to save for what you really want and need. If you buy what you need and intend to use, it's worth the investment to do it right the first time. I seem to temper my decisions based on need and value. That 7qt dutch oven may be pretty but at $300 I ask myself how often I would need it and wheteher that frequency would warrant the expense.

Just my opinion, I could be wrong. :-)

Aug 22, 2007
Plat du jour in Cookware

what knife is best for you

I completely agree with the sentiment that you should use what is comfortable. Whenever I am in the market for a new blade, I request the ability to hold it, even 'test' it by running it in a chopping or slicing motion on a cutting board.

Personally, I have a pinch grip and I choke up on the blade quite a bit. If the knife I am using does not have a rounded spine the area between the first and second knuckle (from the palm) on my index finger starts to get raw. I simply can't do much volume with that kind of irritation - so definitely TEST the knives first.

Currently, my favorite is the Shun Ken Onion Santoku. It's wicked sharp and seems to be built with us pinch-grippers in mind.

Aug 14, 2007
Plat du jour in Cookware