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Kris P Pata's Profile

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Donut Summit! Who's going?

Is there a 2012 version? Where/When? Anybody ...

Jul 22, 2012
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area

Please Magic Johnson + Guggenheim, make this happen

Now that the Dodgers have been rescued from nightmare ownership, perhaps the new owners can right another longtime wrong and return a long-missing tradition to Dodger stadium.

May 10, 2012
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area

Where to get the best FLAN in LA?

Apart from my aunt's version (Unfortunately, regular trips to visit her in San Sebastian aren't pragmatic nor affordable) , my favorite flan comes from the good folks at Creme Caramel LA. Taste, texture, proper density -- their flan has it all. The original is the standard but, if available, the ube with macapuno is so, so worth it. Heck, they even deliver to your door on holidays although I won't wait that long.for a fix.

Mar 22, 2012
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area

Top Chef Texas Finale Part 1 - Ep. #16 - 02/22/12 (Spoilers)

Totally concur with Bellachefa: Ed, Bev and Paul would have been a really fun final 3.

Bring it home, Paul.


I can't even fathom Sarah ("Lindsay's my best friend but, I always knew it was going to be me and Paul in the final two.") ... being .. Top ... Che ... NO!

Feb 22, 2012
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News

Need a Good lunch place near USC

Make that a third for Moreton-Fig. I guest lectured last week for a friend's graduate classes and afterward, she and her fellow faculty colleagues treated me to lunch @ the Fig. Outside of catered alumni and fundraising dinners, it was the most opulent lunch I've had on any campus. The food was tasty and well-prepared; the dining room was well-appointed and the waiting staff was great. Upon entering we were the sole diners in the restaurant and we thought it odd that our request for a booth was politely but, firmly turned down "All booths have been reserved, I'm afraid," claimed the somewhat snooty maitre'd. As we ordered our desserts, the place was packed. According to my hosts, the place is popular with faculty and alumni donors which may explain why I don't recall seeing few, if any students.

Feb 20, 2012
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area

The Best Chain(franchise) or fast food hamburger

I'm not entirely sure what kept me away from Fatburger for a long period although infamous shootings at or near its locations in the 90s likely didn't help. But recently, I've rediscovered the smaller chain and I'll put their juicy, tasty burgers and menu up against In N' Out, 5 Guys and the like any day. The burgers are customizable; fries can be either skinny or fat; the shakes are hand-dipped and -- bonus -- the jukebox selections are gratis. I don't mind the mixed efficiency by location as much as I used too. If nothing else, it actually makes the experience less structured and chain-like.

Feb 20, 2012
Kris P Pata in Chains

The Ultimate Jerky List

There are more jerky varieties at Cowboy Dan's Jerky Emporium than I ever knew existed. That nice, welcoming Sam Elliott-channeling fellow in the western gear is Dan himself and the hombre's tiny, Los Alamitos shop is stocked full of jerky ranging from "Alligator to Yak; from mild to wild." The man clearly knows his dried meats and wonder-eyed first timers (such as myself) are enthusiastically offered a tour of the numerous brands, styles and varieties in stock -- all personally selected by Cowboy Dan himself. It's definitely an experience. So much so that checking out felt like a trip to the museum store.

Feb 10, 2012
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area

Top Chef Texas - Ep. #14 - 02/08/12 (Spoilers)

Very happy to see Paul (And, given the call to the girlfriend, relieved) as well as underdog Bev make the final but, I too am sad to see Ed go. I've been unimpressed all season by Sarah and Lindsay.

As much as I enjoyed this episode, I was instantly dismayed at seeing the teasers for next week. I wish the producers wouldn't be so keen on overproducing. Instead of a finale where pure cooking skill gets the deserved spotlight, it now looks as if we're in for another episode of "Amazing Top Chef Race." I'm hoping not.


Feb 08, 2012
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News

ex Jersey girl looking for a restaurant (not sub shop) that has NJ food or NJ chef

Vito's. Yeah, we know it's one of best slices in town however, proud Garden Stater Vito DiDonato also makes a killer baked ziti and other pasta and red sauce combos.

Feb 06, 2012
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area

Century City mall food court

+3 for Obika. Consistently solid and the service is on point. I mourn still for Leonidas. That hot chocolate was without peer.

Feb 06, 2012
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area

Best Products at Cost Plus World Market?

Love x3 Cost + World Market if, for no other reason, because they carry these (and at generally reasonable prices):

Lotus Biscoff Speculoos
REAL (not Hershey's licensed) Cadbury Chocolate Bars
Walkers Yard of Shortbread (Awesome stocking stuffers!)
Opera Prima Tempranillo
Lindemans Framboise Lambic

Jan 30, 2012
Kris P Pata in Chains

Top Chef Texas - Ep. #12 - 01/25/12 (Spoilers)

Grayson's "Like a meatball?" is now right up there with Fabio's "This 'Top Chef' not 'Top Is-cal-lop'" for my favorite all-time TC quotes.

Paul is a beast.

Jan 26, 2012
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News

Layover L.A.

Just caught it on my DVR and I agree that it was superior to NR LA. I specifically enjoyed him whipping up a nosh in his Chateau Marmont bungalow, the aforementioned Dead Celeb Tour and Roy Choi's cogent theory on LA's distinctly non-Eurocentric roots (although that particular segment went a tad too long, IMHO.)

Two things: This was as laid-back a Bourdain as I can recall and given the assault on his liver from the previous layovers in SF and London (not to mention the off camera toking from Amsterdam), he seemed to lay off the hard sauce this time out. One of the bytes from the locals mentioned "Tiki Ti." Now THAT would have been a perfect segment for this episode.

Jan 25, 2012
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News

Ocean Diner on Ocean in Redondo Beach?

Finding good, local diners has been an ongoing project with some of my buds beginning with our first drivers permits in high school and now spanning a few decades.

Among our faves:
Bob's Hawaiian Style - Gardena
Lighthouse Cafe - San Pedro
Malaga Cove Cafe - Palos Verdes Estates
Wendy's Place - El Segundo

Jan 23, 2012
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area

Top Chef Texas - Ep. #11 - 01/18/12 (Spoilers)

Great challenges; great dishes and, not coincidentally, my favorite episode of the season. All were on their respective A Games tonight -- amazing what a gimmick-free, proper challenge with a genuine, food-loving and true A-lister can inspire, eh? I thought Bev was hard done to be sent home and thought for sure this was going to be one of those rare deals where no one is sent home this week but, two are eliminated the following week. Like others, I thought for sure Chris was a goner due to the family background insert as set-up. Damn you cheeky Elves editors! I loved Grayson's dish: Those chicken feet were too much.

Happy to see my man, Paul, notch another. I hope he maintains the focus and doesn't peek to soon.

Jan 19, 2012
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News

Top Chef Texas - Ep. #9 - 01/04/12 (Spoilers)

I'm rooting for Paul so, I'm happy his team won the challenge. And yeah, I hope Heather enjoyed watching the episode as much as I enjoyed her not being there.

Finally, Scott Roberts is of Hapa Haole heritage and I believe his mom is Nisei (Second Generation) Japanese American from Kauai.

Jan 11, 2012
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News

Your all time favorite 'TV' cooking show chefs?

PBS syndicated in the US from the BBC's original broadcasts. I was raised in SoCal and locally, I recall both shows being part of then-affiliate KCET's Saturday morning - afternoon cooking show block through the 90s.

Jan 08, 2012
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News

Top Chef Really Important Things To Do Before You Start the Show

Tip #50
Make fast friends with the counterpeeps -- meat, poultry and/or seafood -- @ Whole Foods. This will enable you to have dibs on your protein of choice (and choice proteins!) prior to the inevitable mad rush from your fellow competitors.

Tip #51
That seemingly, relaxing free night out on the town with the group? Be aware: It's a set-up for a challenge themed to the outing.

Tip #52
Overthinking the QF = A place among the least successful dishes.

Jan 08, 2012
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News

Your all time favorite 'TV' cooking show chefs?

Concur with The Great Chefs series, the affable homeliness of Jeff Smith and the self-effacing candor of Keith Floyd.

One of my all time favorites not mentioned on the thread is the elegant, erudite but, far-from-stuffy Madhur Jaffrey who, through her shows "Far Eastern Cookery" and "Flavours of India," introduced me to world cuisines in their locales long before Travel Channel and No Reservations franchised the concept.

Jan 08, 2012
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News

Dive bar L.A.

Provided you mine the niches, you'll find that SoCal has more dives than Greg Louganis.

From the niches:

Joe Jost's, Long Beach
A veritable dive museum. Ice cold draft schooners. Real pickled eggs. Roasted peanuts in their shells. Liverwurst sandwiches. Since 1924.

The Prince O' Whales, Playa del Rey
A favorite since college. So relaxed, well-known sports figures come here to throwback a few. Great bar food + great bartenders = Unequaled atmosphere.

The Smog Cutter, East Hollywood/Los Feliz
On name alone, it warrants mention. On stiff drinks and musty karaoke, it deserves it.

Hana Hou, Gardena
Upon entering, you are transported from the bedroom community of Gardena to a seedy but, warm waterfront tavern on the far less-traveled side of Waikiki. You half expect Steve McGarrett to roll up to the bartender seeking street intelligence on bad guys.

Hank's Bar @ The Stillwell Hotel, Downtown LA.
A triple threat in one spot: Dive bar; dive hotel and ... dive Indian restaurant to soak it all up.

Dec 22, 2011
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area

Favorite South Bay Sandwich Shop?

My two standbys: The cold turkey w/ Provolone and avocado or the meatball torpedo.w/ extra pepperoncini

Dec 20, 2011
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area

Favorite South Bay Sandwich Shop?

Santa Fe used to be so worth the drive but, the quality of its meatballs has plummeted and they are no longer one of my picks. Even the new Seal Beach Blvd branch close to my house was a bit of a letdown.

San Pedro -- just "Peed-rowe" to the Harbor locals -- must be the sandwich king of the South Bay and any discussion about said topic has to include Busy Bee Market, my choice for best in the area. Be forewarned: The lines are Bay Cities-esque and it's cash only.

Dec 19, 2011
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area

Where can I find great CHEESE DANISH in LA?

Outside LA but, certainly far closer than Solvang -- and within the county at that -- are two exquisite versions of cheese danish in Los Alamitos' The Great Dane Bakery and Alsace-Lorraine Pastries in the Bixby Knolls section of Long Beach. Both are totally worth the drive south.

Dec 14, 2011
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area

Alamitos Bay Marina Eats and Drinks

Michael's Pizza -- the fancier-than-your-average neighborhood pie joint but, far less stuffy offshoot of its parent neighbor Michael's -- might just be the tasty, pragmatic and reasonable option you seek. We love the spot: It's runner up only to Slice of NY in Seal Beach for our favorite pizza in the area. The menu -- antipasti, insalate, pizze, a few "cast iron" dishes (the roasted squash with ricotta and honey is a must) and desserts is small but, superior quality.

On the topic of Seal Beach, if your crew is willing to huff it from Alamitos Landing across the river to downtown Seal Beach (if you guys take the beach route to the pier, the scenery makes for a better walk) Beachwood BBQ on Main is always great fun with a group and, depending on what you drink, is well within your crew's price range.

Dec 13, 2011
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area

What happened to the Cooking Channel?

I honestly thought your question was figurative.

Dec 05, 2011
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News

Top Chef Just Desserts Finale

Born in The Philippines (Southeast Asia, not East Asia) and raised in Southern California, Sally is a first generation Filipino American. She represented herself, her family and us FilAms beyond well.

Nov 03, 2011
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News

Top Chef Just Desserts Finale

You're welcome, Andy.

Nov 02, 2011
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News

Top Chef Just Desserts Finale

Sally was my horse in the race and I was disappointed that she couldn't eke out the win. At the end, I'm convinced that her showpiece wasn't as big an issue as it came about in the final edit. (Again, the poetic license of episodic, reality TV at work). Rather, it's Interesting to note in their final Season 2 blogs respectively, both Hubert Keller and Gail Simmons allude that the difference between 1st and runner-up came down to minute cosmetics while Danielle Kyrillos asserts that it came down to Chris' superior bon bons. Still, I enjoyed this season more than last year even though I thought the MOFs appearance in the finale was wasted and amounted to no more than glorified cameos.

As for Sally being the "mean girl," good gosh, folks, that manufactured, formulaic archetype is as much a staple on every Bravo show as Andy Cohen's annoying thumbprint. And about as genuine.

Nov 01, 2011
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News

Tito's Tacos T.V. Ad This AM in Los Angeles

Yes the ad is cheesier than the industrial size tubs of shredded cheddar they keep in the prep room but, bag on it as I have, admittedly it's grown on me if for no other reason than for one magical evening.

A few years ago, on a cold, miserable and rain-drenched midweek night in February, a group of friends and I made our way to Tito's for some post-LA Kings game tacos. Typical of the Tito's experience, the lines were long and paced like LA rush hour during a rainstorm -- a testament to the place's arcane, inefficient order and pay system. While in line -- and here's where the details get a bit blurred -- someone began humming the commercial's ditty, gradually increasing in volume and length, Amused, folks including our group joined in and within a few seconds that line had become a singalong flash mob. Seemingly the entire dining area was filled with those hypnotic lyrics:

"I love Ti-To's Ta-Coz . . .You'll love Tito's too..."

The impromptu group-aoke didn't last very long but, afterward, a once average, nondescript night filled with tired, hungry and frowning, impatient customers was transformed by an Americanized Mexican version of Kumbaya. It ended in roaring applause and with amused smiles and laughter from the staff including even the semi-mysterious plainclothes security person who clears out the dining room at closing. Several high fives and fist bumps later, we got our food in no time and I swear the amount of cheese and chips on our orders went beyond what we've ever had on our best day there.

Oct 13, 2011
Kris P Pata in Food Media & News


It constantly boggles me why LA is so behind the curve on late night Pinoy dining where SF, NY and even Chicago and Honolulu are.not especially considering turo-turo style (of which I'm not usually a fan) is so late night friendly.

Another potential Filipino (not late night) food option in LA proper is the soon-to-open The Park's Finest BBQ brick and mortar in HiFi. And while its food is more Los Angeles than Filipino cuisine, if its current menu carries over to the storefront, there will certainly be enough of the latter to satisfy those tastes.

Sep 27, 2011
Kris P Pata in Los Angeles Area