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kawaiikitty49's Profile

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Echigo Koshihikari - where to buy?

They sell it at Marukai in Gardena. The one on Western and Artesia.

Frozen custard in LA?

This doesn't help very much, but there is a place in El Segundo called Lickity Split Cafe and Frozen Custard Factory that I stumbled on one day when I was in that area. I don't know how close it is to what you're looking for, but maybe it could tide you over? Creamy and rich, but not so much that it tastes greasy and heavy. They give generous portions. Unfortunately, according to their website, they are closed for renovations!

Favorite things at Surfas

The garlic press you could be talking about is made by Messermeister. I have one as well. I used to be anti-garlic press, but this one converted me. I read that you can even press without peeling the cloves, but I think it wastes a lot of the clove.

Curious about Kobe beef...

Oops, I do believe the quality of the beef matters for hamburgers matters, but I meant that I didn't think that using Kobe beef to make a hamburger was practical since I think it is much more enjoyable in a steak. I think beef from a quality producer like Nimian Ranch or Meyer Ranch would make a hamburger that is as good as a Kobe burger.

And I didn't mean to imply that Spago's beef wasn't the real deal. I just knew that for the last few years Japanese beef has been banned in the US because of BCE fears and that the ban was recently lifted.

And I agree with you peepswang that the American Kobe is superior than American beef. In fact, when I do eat beef, I only buy the American Kobe at Marukai. I just have to try not to compare it to the memory of that gorgeous meat in Japan that has been seared into my brain. Thanks for the info on the Snake River Farms hamburger. I'll have to try it, maybe it will change my mind!

Sep 16, 2006
kawaiikitty49 in General Topics

Curious about Kobe beef...

Oh yeah, it is entirely possible that Spago's Kobe is the real deal as the USDA lifted its ban on real Kobe in December 2005. They allow the importation of boneless beef.

And Granada Market on Sawtelle Blvd. (@Nebraska) has signs all over saying they sell Kobe beef. I have never purchased it so I don't know about the quality. Can't afford it here!

Sep 16, 2006
kawaiikitty49 in General Topics

Curious about Kobe beef...

My family in Japan owns a cattle ranch that produces beef that eventaully becomes Kobe beef. When I lived there, my cousins sent me a care package of Kobe beef steaks every other month. It was heaven on Earth. The meat was tender and probably had fat than actual lean meat. When I came back to the States, I actually became a vegetarian for three years because I couldn't bring myself to eat the inferior meat here!

Domestically produced Kobe-style beef is called Wagyu/Washugyu and like Veggietales says, it's definitely inferior to the real thing. Personally, I think that restaurants have an obligation to put "Kobe-style" on their menus rather than the very misleading "Kobe" if it is indeed the domestic product.

As for all these trendy Kobe beef hamburgers, does the quality of the beef really matter when it's a hamburger? You can grind up any beef and throw some fat in to make a hamburger. In that form, it's very difficult to appreciate the marbling and tenderness that is the hallmark of true Kobe. IMHO.

Sep 16, 2006
kawaiikitty49 in General Topics

Beard Papas - Open Inside the Marukai Gardena Store

The Beard Papa in Marukai Pacific sells the custard in the plastic cup as well as eclairs.

The Beard Papa on Sawtelle sells chocolate fondant cake but they haven't debuted the eclairs yet.

"Muy Rico"; Food in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (long)

I loved my Spanish school. Since I expressed an interest in tasting Guatemalan food, my teacher really went out of her way to show me many of the local foods. She was so excited because most US citizens who go to Guatemala want to eat McDonald's. If you do choose Casa Xelaju, make sure you sign up for the morning classes so you can meet the empanada lady :)

FYI, there is a restaurant called Cafe Babylon that seems like it's a local gringo hangout. They do "global cuisine", which means a little bit of everything. My friend loved the hamburgers. Interestingly enough, they had a huge menu of tofu dishes. Their Guatemalan food wasn't that great though.

"Muy Rico"; Food in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (long)

I just got back from a 2 week stay in Guatemala. I went to study Spanish in Quetzaltenango, the second largest city in Guatemala. It is known locally as Xela (shay-la) and they have beautiful, simple, delicious food there!

I stayed with a host family and some of the best meals I had were cooked by my host mom, Ana. She cooked using the fresh ingredients from the local markets and used them to make Mayan specialties like chicken pepian, which is a chicken stew with a tomato-y sauce that is full of spices that was nice over rice and mopped up with the fresh, handmade tortillas.

I also picked the brains of my Spanish teachers and they told me some of their favorite places to eat and buy food. Here are some of them:

Paches de Papas: the Guatemalan version of a tamale, but instead of masa, they enrobe a filling (chicken, beef, pork) with spiced mashed potatoes. Many restaurants and stores sell them, usually on Saturday. Look for the little red light hanging outside the store, house or restaurant on the days they are being made. What a great little cultural tidbit to learn!

Tienda Los Chocoyos: a tiny little store with the usual sodas and snacks (including a pastry that looks like green slugs covered with sugar but are really figs), that also sells homemade specialties on certain mornings from 8:00 AM until they run out. They sell cambralles (a tamale with sweet masa and a savory chicken filling—my favorite) on Friday and tamales con arroz and paches de papas on Saturday morning. The tamales con arroz used a mashed rice mixture instead of masa to wrap the beefy filling. 7 Calle 13-49 Zona 1

La Tienda de Hermanas Chavez (no sign): In this tiny olive green store that looks like a hardware store, two little old abuelitas sell chocolate for hot chocolate that their family has made for over 100 years. They come in various size bars and in four flavors: almendra/almond, vanilla, canela/cinnamon and leche/milk. The chocolate is in a cabinet behind the counter so don't be confused by the brooms and ropes on the walls when you walk in! To make the chocolate, put a few chunks into hot water and mix well, and you get a gorgeous, fragrant, spicy, creamy cup of hot chocolate! They’re open odd hours so you might have to go back a few times. One of the larger bars was Q15.00 (about $2). 5a Calle 8-38 Zona 1 It’s three blocks east of McDonald’s. It’s on the same block as a shop called Foto’s Vision (yellow building) and the store is two store fronts down from that.

Ut’z Hua (which means “delicious food” in Quiche): a small restaurant that serves local specialties. 12 Avenida 3-02 Zona 1 (near the Parque Central)

Bazar del café: in this small café they sell coffee and drinks, but they will also sell you super fragrant coffee beans that they have roasted themselves. A pound/libre of mescla (a blend of beans) is Q37.00 (about $5). They will grind them for you if you want. It is inside the courtyard of a building that is called La Mansion Marilyn (as in Monroe). There is a sign that says “Bazar del Café Cafeteria aqui adentro” along with a picture of Marilyn Monroe. 13 Avenida 5-38 Zona 1

Cafe Dane's Cake: The two ladies who run this small restaurant have a Q15.00 (about $2) lunch special where you get soup, tortillas, rice and your choice of side and your choice of entrees. The selection changes daily. The food is OK, but their pastel de tres leches is fabulous! It is a spongy, slightly sweet cake that is soaked in evaporated milk. It costs Q10.00, almost as much as a whole lunch! It is a yellow building on the corner of 6a Calle and 15 Avenida Zona 1.

And finally, this is only available if you study at the Spanish school that I did, Casa Xelaju (shay-la-who). There was a lady who lived down the street from the school who would come to the school at our 10:30 AM break and would bring homemade goodies to sell to us for Q5.00 or less (less than $1). She brought tamales, tortas and other treats. My favorite was the crispy, golden empanadas with a chicken and veggie filling. Instead of being made with a crust like the Argentinian and Peruvian empanadas I’ve had before, hers were made with masa flattened like you would for a tortilla, filled and folded, and then fried until crispy. They were the best!

I had an awesome trip and if you are interested in studying Spanish AND eating well at the same time, I highly recommend going to Xela!