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San Diego is the Place to Go For...

And your recommendation for where I should try this is....?

about 15 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Good for a group in the Gaslamp?

Well, maybe it's the AAFE convention.

about 15 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Good for a group in the Gaslamp?

Otis, strictly speaking the "Gaslamp" is actually a narrow strip of downtown. Do you want to dine exclusively and specifically in that area, or would the surrounding areas of downtown -- within easy walking distance -- work?

If the latter is the case, a recent request that's similar to yours and received a number of CH responses can be cited.

about 16 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Thai and Holy Basil

No cha om at Thuan Phat -- they told me they ran out of it about a month ago for the season.

But, I just looked online and cha om isn't the same thing as Holy Basil. (I'd asked at Thuan Phat for it by that name, too, and got a blank stare.)

about 22 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

San Diego is the Place to Go For...

Guess it's time for me to try a CA burrito . And carne asada fries.

I *do*, after all, want to be a *real* San Diegan!

The fries with carne asada on top does look sort-of-good in the photo here. Except it looks a little dry and desperately in need of heavy doses of salsa, onions, cilantro.

http://www.zagat.com/b/san-diego/your...

1 day ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Thai and Holy Basil

I'm guessing that Minh Huong almost certainly has hung que.

Hmmmm. Thuan Phat might also have cha om. I'll go take a look.

1 day ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Thai and Holy Basil

Back from a field trip to Thuan Phat. Here's a photo of what they have.

I was told that the Vietnamese for it is either "rau que" or "hung que". I suppose the labeling changes from time to time. Same herb though. The person I talked to didn't recognize the names Vietnamese, Thai, or Asian basil.

They also said that they used to sell in in bulk, but now it's pre-packaged (like so many of the herbs and chiles there are now).

Actually, their switch to pre-packaging has been a put-off for me because I usually just want a little. On the other hand, their produce prices are so low I guess one can live with being a bit wasteful.

Sep 15, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Weekend High and Low

I also like J&T. It's where I often head if I can't get a table at Sab-E-Lee up the street (which is just slightly more expensive). And I like that you can get beer with your meal (non-BYO) at J&T.

Sep 15, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Thai and Holy Basil

Great! Saves me a trip over today. That's not how I remember it being labled and packaged, though. I thought it was loose and the Vietnamese name was on top. Must have been somewhere else, or at the Thursday farmers market, unless they have it in two places in the produce section. Maybe I'll run over there anyway, just out of curiosity.

Sep 15, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Thai and Holy Basil

This is a totally different beast than cilantro. I like it with many Vietnamese soups. Very common as a side with Vietnamese dishes (soups especially), and doesn't taste anything like cilantro at all. Bitter. Very good.

Sep 15, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Thai and Holy Basil

I've had really bad luck trying to grow herbs.

I just don't quite get it, I guess. :(

[Refrain from Linda Ronstadt's "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" in the background]

Sep 15, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Thai and Holy Basil

LOL. Well, when I'm unsure in a market, I just snap off a small leaf, rub it between my fingers, and smell. Totally discrete and sanitary. ;)

Completely agree about different basils. It's like the difference between European and Mexican oreganos, for example. Not at all interchangeable, but in a pinch you make do with what you have on hand.

Fresh "Vietnamese" basil, IIRC (been a while), has a stronger, richer flavor than it's more common counterpart.

I don't recall ever having "Holy" basil.

Sep 15, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego
1

Thai and Holy Basil

From now on, I'm going to rinse newly-purchased fresh herbs really, really well!

But you're right. Things do tend to migrate from bin to bin and a person really needs to be at least minimally knowledgeable in terms of the appearance and smell of what they're looking for.

Sep 14, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego
1

Weekend High and Low

I'm trying to figure out if you (eatemup) were soliciting others' experiences, or just relaying your own.

Well, two others have interpreted it as soliciting others' experiences, so here's my entry, under the assumption that that was your intention:

High: Our home-cooked, dynamite Paprika Jambalaya, fresh made Saturday night.

Low: Both the bahn uot cha lua and the goi muc at Phuong Trang. OK, but not as good as usual. We figured the chef was having a bad or busy day. We'll be back; we've been going for years.

Sep 14, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Thai and Holy Basil

Penzey's on University has cilantro flakes. I always keep a couple ounces in the fridge. Before Penzey's opened up here, I used to order cilantro online -- in excessive quantities; but that's no longer necessary.

Sep 14, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Thai and Holy Basil

The Vietnamese market daantaat is referring to is Thuan Phat. (I liked it better in it's previous incarnation as Vien Dong, but it's still OK.)

I think I recall seeing "hung que" there (subtitled "Vietnamese basil" on the sign over the bin).

Just looked it up and I think it's the same thing. Usually called "Thai" or "Asian"; the Vietnamese call it "hung que". That's what I think I saw at Thuan Phat.

I'll try to get over there tomorrow to check & will take a photo if they have it.

It could be I saw it at the small weekly farmers market in their parking lot, though (Thursdays, 2:30 to dark). Lots of interesting produce there.

Sep 14, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Can $3M food hall rival Pike Place?

Interesting thought.

Sep 13, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Can $3M food hall rival Pike Place?

The trick on Sunday is to arrive and leave between services. No traffic on the roads, and you can always find a spot to park in the area that's not designated for church parking. Otherwise, there's lots of parking on the other side, near the water, if you're willing to walk. (Speaking of which, there's a really pleasant walkway along the water.)

Sep 13, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego
1

Can $3M food hall rival Pike Place?

I'm one of those who think Puesto is pretty good, and then there's also Eddie V's and Venissimo.

Sep 13, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Can $3M food hall rival Pike Place?

From the perspective of tourists, these two well-known and iconic places are destinations in their own right. I wonder if a place like this could ever be a destination for tourists here. The problem here is that there's nowhere left to put it.

Sep 12, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Can $3M food hall rival Pike Place?

You make a key point. For some, the market might be a destination in itself, but for the larger majority it would more likely be an add-on to a person's other plans.

I hope that point comes up at the planning meetings.

Sep 12, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Can $3M food hall rival Pike Place?

The incentive that took me to the downtown market in the 70s was getting a crate of Valencia oranges for $10, and the like. And it was always fun to scope everything out -- on both floors. That's the kind of draw that a real fixed market needs.

Sep 12, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

San Diego Public Market

I think the owners will be fine. I believe they also operate the Farmer's Market in LI -- the only one I go to anymore -- and maybe others.

Sep 12, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Best Places to Eat Now

Also: Table 10, Juniper & Ivy, Tidal, Kitchen 1540, Lion's Share

Donovan's or Rainwater's in San Diego - which is better?

Well, yes, I know that. The current location is University City, but in this post I was referring to the new location, after they move out of UC, which will be in LJ.

Speaking of mis-using the "La Jolla" address, I recall when I first moved here and was working in Sorrento Valley (far west end of the commercially developed area at the time) that the business address used by our company was "La Jolla". Good grief, I thought. It seems everyone in the area surrounding wants to use "La Jolla" in their address.

Sep 12, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

San Diego Public Market - RIP?

I like looking around at farmers markets, when I'm awake and in the mood, just to see what they have. I'll buy if there's an unusual variety of something, an exotic fruit of some sort, or a rare chili. Or anything else if it looks terrific and the price is OK. Otherwise, no, I just go to the local super-duper-store...like most everyone else, I think.

Sep 11, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Donovan's or Rainwater's in San Diego - which is better?

I like the lock, stock, and barrel part -- mostly because it means the same staff will be in LJ, and so we'll be able to almost certainly get the same great steaks and service.

Central LJ does have a pretty solid business crowd, of course, but although I don't know the demographics numbers, I would think the business crowd in UC is significantly larger. So yes, there could be some loss of that.

Maybe more people than we thought are "boycotting" Bijou. I hope to try the steak tartare with capers there before it collapses like its predecessor did. Sounds like I won't need a res during the week.

Going into LJ for Donovan's will take longer than going to UC for me. Ah, well, tough luck for me.

My feeling, though, is that I think the people in LJ (and of course tourists) will welcome Donovan's, in spite of high-price-point saturation. I hope the customer base there suffices.

Sep 11, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

San Diego's Local-Mussel Dishes

OK, so let's see. You don't think much of Sportsmen's overall seafood offerings, especially the fried entrées, but you do enjoy their ceviche with local mussels. Right?

Sep 11, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

San Diego Public Market - RIP?

Here my recollection is pretty dim, but it seems that they rebuilt in the same general location a couple of years after the fire. What I do recall is that the new one just wasn't the same; it didn't quite cut it and had none of the genuine character of the old, creaky market. I was only there once before it went the way of the Public Market in Barrio Logan: In spite of initial enthusiasm, it just never took off.

Sep 11, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

San Diego Public Market - RIP?

Kodachrome. Cropped.

Sep 11, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego
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