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Small BBQ roundup

yes you're right the quality of their beef is very high. which is why i perhaps expected more. but the complete lack of smoke ring was a turnoff as it just looked brown and lunch-line-y. and i didnt mention this, but the two times i've been i have been served pieces that had little to no crust, which is an absolute must imo

Oct 25, 2013
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

Small BBQ roundup

I recently tried a bunch of BBQ around town. Here is my short summary:

Best Brisket: Ugly Drum http://uglydrum.com/#about
It has the perfect smoke ring look, is still moist, and their homemade sauce was by far the best compliment to the meat of any I tried in the last month

Best Collards: Bludso's on La Brea. Cooked to be tender but still toothsome, which for some reason nobody else is capable of. And seasoned just enough to be delicious but still highlight the collard's flavor

Best Cornbread: Gus's in Pasadena. Brown edges, more flavor than all the others

Best Pulled Pork: Bludso's had the right smoke factor but it was dang dry. I know I'm from south carolina, where we mix our pulled pork up with mustard sauce, but dang this stuff was tasty but so dry you had to smother it in sauce or pickles. They did make outstanding pickles there too though, so that wasn't too bad

Other contenders:
Horse Thieves at Grand Central Market: not flavorful brisket with dry, weak sauce; badly seasoned collards; decent cornbread, but a lil too sweet for my taste (pop a jalapeno or something in there bud); moist pulled pork but very little smoke flavor or flavor at all. Seemed like it was dabbed in water or something to keep it moist, weird.

Spring Street smokehouse, Downtown: nothing good in the above categories. the quality of meat they use must be awful. On a positive note, their grilled vegetables are one of the best sides in town: amazing rich grilly flavor. Too bad they have nothing for it to accompany.

Gus's collards were a little too salty, their ketchup based sauces too sugary, but they had a great NC style vinegar/pepper one. Brisket was slightly tough. Pork was well-smoked but dry. Seems like a common issue: how to get enough rich smoke flavor while still retaining moisture.

Oct 24, 2013
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area
1

Umami's combo

thanks for the thoughts. i was just wondering if i was crazy for being surprised (i usually go to the los feliz location), and for the strange way the various servers either admitted it was messed up (because of the new menu) or defended it, like ordering the combo was "always a risk". The LF location did have a new menu, but only listed one combo, and it didn't say what it was on the menu.

anyway, i'm a mustard guy, so the relentless focus on a mediocre ketchup there isn'tt really my thing

Aug 15, 2013
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

Umami's combo

Here's a letter I wrote to Umami burger in relation to their 'combo' - which you pay more for than if you ordered a la carte. The letter never got a response. Just wondering what chowers think.

"I've eaten at various Umami spots around LA for a couple years now and my experience last night left a bad taste in my mouth. I went into the Los Feliz spot and ordered the combo. In the past, the daily combo was detailed on a piece of paper somewhere so you knew what you were getting, but with the new menu it just says "Trust Us", so I did. I did ask the server what it was just out of curiosity and he replied "Oh, it's always the Umami burger, thin fries and a Singha." The "always" I found kind of unusual, but fine. I also ordered a salad.
I got brought the beer. I drank half the beer. I looked at the menu to pick out another beer. I noticed that if I had ordered all of the items I was being served in the combo individually, it would have cost me a dollar less than the combo price. Another person brought me my salad. I showed him the menu and did the math and asked what was going on. He said it was weird, studied it closely and said they you had just printed these new menus. I said they might have to be reprinted, considering this is "always" the combo, and the math doesn't work. He continued pondering the menu and the math and another gentleman brought the burger and fries, at which point the pondering gentleman I had just explained the quandary to walked away, saying nothing. He never came back.
So I ate my meal and, when requesting the check, explained the math problem to my initial server. He had no problem with this math problem, saying "when you order the combo, you are taking a chance." I replied that he told me that this was "always" the combo, so it's not a chance, it's a guarantee that the customer will pay $1 more for his food, and also be served the cheapest beer on the menu. I said that didn't make sense.
He grudgingly offered to allow me to pay the a la carte price if it was that big a deal. I did, thanks.
So I have a couple of questions: is that combo "always" the combo now? Or does it rotate but you still take a chance that on some days you are going to get served the cheapest beer on the menu and therefore pay $1 extra as part of the "risk" (the server's word) of ordering the combo? Do you think that the first person I explained the situation to - who thought it was weird and not right - acted appropriately by agreeing with me, walking away and doing nothing?

I like your food and both live and work near different locations so eat there semi-regularly. I'm rather detail-oriented, which you may have been able to surmise - it's one reason I appreciate your food, which always comes out perfectly balanced - so if you could help me understand this situation from your perspective I would appreciate it."

Aug 05, 2013
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Best Overall Tasting Menu in LA / OC....

I love Bashan too, but is the tasting menu you are referring to the $40 prix fixe tasting special (pick three courses, etc.)? I know they prepare more tasting menu like fare for holidays, but wondered if they did actual tasting menus.

Jan 06, 2013
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

something like old charter bourbon for the west coast

i love hank jr. too. and i order jim beam whenever im in a bar

Nov 06, 2012
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

something like old charter bourbon for the west coast

thanks for the ideas. i actually have some buffalo trace at home. its very good. and even though its reasonably priced, its not outrageously cheap like old charter.

as far as the kirkland brand, i just couldnt drink it. like hillbilly, I tried to love it, but couldnt.

evan williams is OK, perfectly functional. it just seems expensive to me compared to joshua brook, and especially old charter. i can't drive the point home enough: old charter is ridiculously good bourbon for the price. It seriously costs like $18 for a 1.5L. its costco prices for a genuinely great product.

I didnt think eagle rare was that great; old weller is too high an alcohol content for me - and i can taste it. ezra brooks is indeed a bit more than the comparison im trying to make/ find.

I havent tried the elmer t lee - where you find that bg?

Again - thanks for the ideas. its a pretty specific thing im looking for i guess. and yes, i know im picky. but when you get used to the quality and price of old charter, it's a shame to be without.

Nov 05, 2012
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

something like old charter bourbon for the west coast

When I'm in the South I buy a lot of Old Charter bourbon. It's cheap, and very good. I gave blind taste tests to multiple folks using "much better" bourbons (makers mark, black maple hill, etc.) and old charter holds its own.

Thing is, the Sazerac company, which owns the brand, wont distribute it to wholesalers out here. The only other decent low price bourbon i have found out here is that 8 year joshua brook that the silver lake wine shop sells. But it isn't as good, and they've been out of it for a long time anyway.

Any other contenders on this side that ya'll know?

Thanks

Oct 29, 2012
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

best non-steakhouse steak

wondering what places ya'll think have the best steak that isn't a steakhouse. as far as good deals, i like the baseball steak at HMS bounty, and i like cafe stella's steak frite, but i'm wondering about real steak gems, and neither of those are gems.

Feb 23, 2012
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

los feliz/ silver lake or nearby organic/ sustainable

that's a really good recommendation. the couple online articles make it seem perfect, and i;m at least willing to take a chance (since no menu is online)
thank will

Feb 17, 2012
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

los feliz/ silver lake or nearby organic/ sustainable

A friend's birthday is on monday and she wants me to pick her dinner spot. The monday thing already limits a lil bit, but i'm trying to find a place that has sustainable/ hormone free proteins. We'd be happy to drive a little bit, and the price/ experience should be less intense than Providence, but something a little more than Little Dom's. Actually, little dom's isn;t even that bad, but i want a place that offers cared for proteins (like grass fed beef or wild caught seafood, etc.). I would consider Local, but the ambience in there is pretty terrible for an intimate meal.

thank you chowers

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Little Dom's
2128 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Feb 17, 2012
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

Good places to have a drink, eat a meal and work on computer or read for a couple hours

unfortly the coffee table is closed

Oct 10, 2011
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

Good places to have a drink, eat a meal and work on computer or read for a couple hours

come to think of it, I was also in san francisco last month and walked into a number of places for breakfast and lunch that also had beer or wine and encouraged lingering. I think that's the main thing i'm looking for: a place that encourages lingering, nibbling and slow consumptions of beverages the way most coffee shops expect you to sit around and relax a bit

Sep 08, 2011
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

Good places to have a drink, eat a meal and work on computer or read for a couple hours

I've eaten there once for breakfast and another time for dinner and you're right it could totally work.

Sep 08, 2011
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

Good places to have a drink, eat a meal and work on computer or read for a couple hours

I do like booze, but it's not an absolute requirement I guess. More like an 80% requirement.

Sep 08, 2011
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

Good places to have a drink, eat a meal and work on computer or read for a couple hours

I often find myself looking for just that sort of place: decent food for under $20 an entree, good beverage selection, but not so noisy and crowded with 20 somethings that it doesn't look baldly out of place to be reading a book or working on a computer.

The best place I've found so far for this kind of evening is Barbara's at the Brewery, and the only drawback there is that the food isn't exactly given a lot of love in the kitchen.

I spend a lot of time in Atlanta and Steinbeck's fits my needs perfectly there. Could anyone recommend a spot in LA, preferably Eastside? (I have a feeling that there are probably more than a handful of spots like this on the Westside, so don't hold back those recommendations.)

Thank yous

Sep 07, 2011
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

Coconut cream vs coconut milk?

my lady just came back from the store with cream of coconut instead of coconut milk. i gather that it is too sweet to use as substitute when making eggplant curry, yes? i tasted it and it's sweet but doesn't seem that sweet. it's consistency however is quite different, more like coconut meat and water than evenness of milk.

Jul 24, 2011
mr mouther in General Topics

Turner Field

does anyone know if p'cheen is back on the monday bbq thing? Seems like the season. Last time I went in February it was a no go though. I live far away but fly into atlanta next monday and I need me some of that bbq

Jul 06, 2011
mr mouther in Atlanta

sandwiches decaturish

went to the mercantile b/c it's very convenient but walked out when i asked if their only meat was boar's head and the answer was yes. It's astonishing that food marts that are branding themselves as upscale and making fancy sandwiches think they can serve that garbage product. boar's head is garbage. not a treat.

Sep 19, 2010
mr mouther in Atlanta

surprise nice finds, and a weizenbock Q

just bought some wernesgruner pils and can't believe how great it is. it's the best german/ foreign pilsner i've had in the states, somehow standing up to the time on the boat/ plane. highly highly recommended - it has genuine pils flavor and smell!

also ran across weihenstephaner's weizenbock "vitus" and love it. it's got that bubblegummy thing that i just love and doesn't have any of that banana stuff that i dont like in hefeweizens.

just thought i'd share how great these are.

i'd like to know about other good weizenbocks folks like and can find in the states...

Sep 04, 2010
mr mouther in Beer

sandwiches decaturish

this was a great rec. went today and got the pastrami. a little small, but total quality. thanks. i like the sound of the recs below also. now ive got options!

Aug 16, 2010
mr mouther in Atlanta

sandwiches decaturish

im an LA hound that's been in atlanta on an extended stay since may and with this heat have been craving nice cold sandwiches.

im in kirkwood but have to go to decatur and around emory a lot. where can i get a nice cold sandwich?

(drove to roly poly...closed. tried rocco's on clairmont - dear lord please save yourself that awful experience and dont ever order a sandwich from them. the meat looked like pressed cat food slabs.)

one other thing to keep in mind - i have to drive a big van so parking is a bit of a pain in the ass for me.

ideally, i'd like a place where i can order at the counter and enjoy a cold sandwich.

a little bit out of this area is OK too

no boar's head products, puh-leez.

Aug 15, 2010
mr mouther in Atlanta

wild boar sausage (saucisse de sanglier)

excellent -that's what i was thinking too. i bought some white beans, some french navies and also some black eyed peas yesterday. went out this morning and bought mustard greens and collards (i like doing two different greens at once) and have actually been leaning toward cooking the sausages in the black eyes peas and serving over garlicky, peppery greens

Feb 20, 2010
mr mouther in Home Cooking

wild boar sausage (saucisse de sanglier)

I was given a package of wild boar sausage and wondering what would be good with it. I'm thinking about doing a couple just as sausages with some potatoes and greens. But i'm also thinking about some sort of dish to make with em: maybe with beans or some sort of other hearty thing. I've never tasted these before so looking for recomendations on what to do with em. Thanks!

Feb 19, 2010
mr mouther in Home Cooking

bitter melon brew pic

pic

Jan 12, 2010
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

bitter melon beer in LA

a friend from back home in the south just found this bitter melon beer which i would love to try - anyone ever seen it around? (i love bitter melon with goose grease pork and chilis, and this looks perfect withs it)

(i attached a pic but it didnt work - will try again)

Jan 12, 2010
mr mouther in Los Angeles Area

lager or pilsner as smooth as boddingtons

if youre wondering why anyone would seek out a beer that resembled boddington's in any respect, it's because of the texture. it's also an easy reference point for texture that people understand. I lived in london for two years and found plenty of pubs that served beer with a lot less carbonation than is common in teh states, and i greatly preferred the mouthfeel of beer served that way.
my original question had to with why, even in los angeles, where there are now a bunch of fancy beer bars, i havent found a single tap that produces a nice lager or pilsner with the super small bubble consistency that i have found is standard in even the crappiest bars in central europe.
good thing i'm flying to austria for another two weeks tomorrow.

Nov 29, 2009
mr mouther in Beer

food preservation

My favorite restaurant in the world is closing in february. (the biscuit house in columbia, south carolina.) I'd really like to buy their fried chicken biscuit sandwich and preserve it somehow, like a sculpture, just to inspire me. Any ideas about the best way to do this with a piece of food? Ideally, i'd buy it, treat it somehow, and then put it in a glass case.
I realize that food is pretty unstable, so i'm looking for any help with this task. thanks.

Nov 29, 2009
mr mouther in General Topics

brandy/ eau de vie etc. in the US

i havent tried either or those - will put on the recon spectacles and see if i can find em. thanks!

Nov 19, 2009
mr mouther in Spirits

PHX Super Bowl Dining Thread

yah, i'm going to be at the mercy of my in-laws for this week in phnx, but they're used to me arriving with lists of places i'd like to eat, so let's say i can travel around 15-20 minutes for stuff. just be aware that i live in LA and eat a lot of mexican food, so anything unique is highly desired.
i've also put caroline's, tradiciones and salsa cabana on my list.

i'm also completely open to non-mex suggestions that are nearby and cheap to reasonable (no entrees over $10) since my chances of exploring local food is better the closer it is. (and i'd really like to have just SOMEthing to suggest when faced with the in-laws chain restaurant habits; please, don't let me get stuck at a boston's again!)

oh, and there are some times i'l be a little further afield from mesa and would love recs around these places: papago park, fountain hills park, emerald park, vista del camino park

Nov 19, 2009
mr mouther in Phoenix