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L.A. Dish of the Month, January 2015 -- Nominations

Is it possible we haven't done BURGERS?

about 6 hours ago
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

Alexander's Steak House Opening In Pasadena

Agree. Steak is better at Mastro's. I went once when I lived up there and I'm shocked by how well it did in the Bay Area.

about 19 hours ago
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

SGV Chinese Top 10

Glad you liked it. Going back myself in a couple of weeks.

about 19 hours ago
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

Zam Zam market closing in Culver City

Still open.

Chicken and lamb biryani. Both excellent. Massive portions. Couldn't finish it. Both have a nice spicy kick to them.

Overheard them talking that the new location will have groceries but no food. Shame. Food is so good!

2014 - Best Sushi Omakase

I liked Mori better than 15 East.

I went to Mori because it was the closest I could get to Yasuda back when Yasuda was still there.

You might want to mention Kurumazushi can cost more than Urasawa!

Dec 19, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

Bistro LQ's 18 course Truffle Menu

No ortolan. I thought that was part of the "napkin to hide under god" joke.

Dec 18, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

Bistro LQ's 18 course Truffle Menu

I've did the truffle menu in 2011. It's not a disaster but was around 3 hours.

The meal is slower, more European in pace. It is a issue for some but not others.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/818221

Interesting enough, prices have not gone up since then.

Dec 18, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

Recs for OC Performing Arts Center / Costa Mesa?

Agree. Bella Cuba over Habana (unless drinks and ambiance are more important).

Also you gots to go to Taco Maria OCSteve!

Dec 17, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

Torihei Yakitori Robata Dining (A Photo Story and Review)

I agree with you on the special heart. The extra fat and valves make it much more delicious. The chicken liver is also nice. As you said, pink, creamy, and tasty.

The chicken wings are also top notch. The skin is so crispy it's almost like fried chicken.

I second the rec to get the soft boiled egg with ikura.

Next time you go also get the tomato ad cucumber salad. Sounds boring but it's laden with bonito flakes and some delicious dressing.

The soborro rice and side of chicken broth is a great way to finish.

Dec 17, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

$3.69/lb for prime beef!!

I forgot to mention cook covered completely using foil if using the oven method. Otherwise the leaner areas can dry out.

Dec 17, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

$3.69/lb for prime beef!!

@ AAQjr. It was in the frozen section. I only got it because it was nicely marbled with a nice fat pad. The sausages are excellent there and I regularly get the boudin blanc and boudin noir there. The boudin blanc is stellar.

@ Sgee. I used a jerk rub from surfas (pretty much same ingredients as your dry rub for BBQ) and added coarse sea salt, black pepper, sweet smoked paprika, and topped with brown sugar before baking.

Dec 16, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

$3.69/lb for prime beef!!

Dry rub and let it sit for 24 hours.

Slow cook covered in oven with some broth and apple cider for about 5 hours until tender. Let rest and slice.

Did a nicely marbled 8-lber from Surfas.

Dec 15, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

Very Different Freid rice.....?

I'm betting you're right and it's this dish:

http://m.yelp.com/biz_photos/super-ju...

Typical Shanghainese dish.

Dec 15, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

My "SGV" Christmas will be at Taipei Garden (Arcadia) -- what about yours?

Shanghai No. 1 upgrade ipse? ;)

Dec 15, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

Kokekokko (Little Tokyo) Will Close in Late January 2015

Did he extend his hand for you to kiss?

Dec 15, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

Kokekokko (Little Tokyo) Will Close in Late January 2015

However, a customer showing appreciation by kissing the chef's outstretched hand? That's a whole other ball of 大便.
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To be clear, I only saw that once. So maybe it was just that one time and that one particular customer...

Dec 15, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, December 2014 -- TAMALES

Loving the reports with on non-mexican tamales Matt!

Actually, loving the very active participation by everyone this month!

Probably the most successful DOM I can remember.

Kokekokko (Little Tokyo) Will Close in Late January 2015

You can add Maru-san and Mori-san before him of Mori to the list of talented top chefs in the city who are friendly and approachable.

>>"The hilarious thing is that Kokekokko doesn't even make the best Yakitori in this city (not even close)"<<

Completely agree. Torihei is excellent and every bit as good as Kokkekoko if not better. The chicken broth and saborro rice is definitely better at Torihei. If they have the special heart (delicious) you get it, if not you don't.

But as you can see, the gimmick employed by Kokkekoko does work. One feels "special" when "allowed" to have certain items on the menu.

Regarding "worship"...on my first and only visit, I saw some guy get up from the counter, thank the chef profusely, and kiss the chef's hand when it was extended to him. Absurd.

Kokekokko (Little Tokyo) Will Close in Late January 2015

Wonderful writeup with photos! Thanks for sharing.

Dec 15, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

Kinjiro in Little Tokyo (former b.o.s location). Anyone been?

Looking forward to your pictoral essay as always! :)

Dec 14, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

Kinjiro in Little Tokyo (former b.o.s location). Anyone been?

Friend has tried it and says it's pretty good.

Any other reports?

Nice Yelp picture of them breaking down a whole tuna. Maybe tuna nose to tail?

http://m.yelp.com/biz/kinjiro-los-ang...

Dec 14, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

South Coast Plaza Din Tai Fung Rates With International Counterparts

I've seen yelp 1 star reviews about places that haven't even opened yet and even a poor review for Tsujita because the poster went for dinner expecting ramen and they didn't have ramen. Something the poster would have known if they had yelped in advance. Yelp stars are pretty much useless unless it's almost 5 stars with hundreds of reviews. A restaurant must be on point to satisfy so many people.

Yelp is very useful for the pictures though. One can get a good sense of the food from the pictures. It's like tripadvisor for hotels or tripadvisor for international restaurants. Individual taste can be wildly variable so I find pictures more useful and relevant to my personal tastes.

Dec 14, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

South Coast Plaza Din Tai Fung Rates With International Counterparts

626 generation is a lot closer to the Arcadia branch. Just sayin' ;)

Agree that we're just talking food and it's all a matter of taste :)

Dec 14, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

South Coast Plaza Din Tai Fung Rates With International Counterparts

Respectfully disagree with The Little Gourmet on it being inferior to Arcadia and agree that it does not rank with the Taiwan branch :)

1. DTF South Coast uses bamboo steamers while Arcadia does not.

2. XLB is juicier and more flavorful vs Arcadia branch:

3. Shrimp and pork dumplings are also juicier vs Arcadia.

4. Pork chop is juicier at DTF Costa Mesa.

5. Beef noodle soup is superior at DTF Costa Mesa.

6. Other dishes are probably equal in a blind tasting.

This is based on over a dozen visits to the Costa Mesa one and countless visits to the Arcadia one. It's also consensus amongst family and friends who do not live in OC.

Dec 14, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

Newport Beach in January

Second the excellent recommendations for Taco Maria, 101 Noodle Express, and Din Tai Fung.

Would also add Ramen Zetton (get the special chicken shoyu broth, tan tan men, or tsukemen with cold noodles).

Maybe also check out Anaheim Packing District if you are willing to drive.

Dec 12, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area
1

TACOS - LA Dish of the Month (June 2013)

Kogi Truck is now open in LAX, American Airlines Terminal 4.

These things are much smaller and less tasty than I remember. Can't tell if it's not as good as Alibi Room or just not good anymore. Tiny things for $2.70. The only thing smaller is the absurdly small cup they give you for water. 1-2 gulps worth. Go to Campanile, Cole's or 8oz Burger Bar instead.

Dec 10, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, December 2014 -- TAMALES

Really loathe to give this up because it is already so crowded and they have run out of my favorite sopa de res the past few times already. Been coming here for 10 years now. Back when the ladies pretended not to speak English and would make you order in Spanish. Now they will take your order in English and even greet you in English.

Must haves:

Sopa de res (available 2 days out of the week. Usually Sunday or Monday). This is he main reason I come here. Perfect hangover cure.

Stuffed plantains. Saw Miami PD all get this. It's a monster.

Tamale (make sure you don't get the sweet one)

Fresh squeezed orange juice. They will juice 3 oranges for each order. I feel bad and tip them 25% because I'm sure they're getting carpel tunnel.

For Cuban food in general, I prefer Puerto Sagua for their fried pork chunks and fried chicken chunks. Finish with cafe con leche. Even if you don't usually drink coffee.

http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/playa-...

Dec 10, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area

Best Lobster Roll in LA?

+1 Connie and Ted's

Plus, there are steamers, Rhode Island clear clam chowder, Portuguese fish stew, and a plethora of other goodies on that menu.

L.A. Dish of the Month, December 2014 -- TAMALES

Used the DotM as an excuse to try something new.
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That's the spirit!

Thanks for the report!

Bestia or Factory Kitchen

Got to Chi Spacca for the charcuterie. The fried trotters are superb and constitutes sin for dinner.

Go to Bestia for pasta (uni and squid ink bottarga) and grilled squid/octopus.

Dec 10, 2014
Porthos in Los Angeles Area