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Another Wonderful Dinner at Chi Spacca

Four of us went last night. Had called to make reservation and was told it was either 5:30p or 9:30p. We were late and showed up at 6p and were promptly seated. There were only two other table seated with one table of 6 next to us near finishing.
Having read the this board's and other's recommendations, we ordered the affettat misti, pickles, and pane biancop with bistacca drippings for appetizers and the 50oz bistecca fiorentina and grilled broccolini as main dish.
The server was delightful and clearly explained everything on the menu to us. We were told that the porterhouse would be cooked only one way and if it were too rare, we can ask to put it back on the grill and cook the carved individual pieces to our likings
The first courses were as delightful as recommended.
The porterhouse was impressive to look at when presented. Perfectly charred allover. We started with the filet side first and everyone enjoyed the flavor and the tenderness of the filet pieces.
Unfortunately, the New York side of the steak was also cooked to medium doneness with no visible pink/redness left. We then realized that it is not possible to un-cook an over-cooked steak. We each took a bite of each of our medium NY steak cuts and all agree that is was tough but not yet chewy. We gave up and ask for the rest of the steak be packed to go. Perhaps they have a new trainee manning the grill last evening.
A warning, the grilled broccolini on the menu yesterday is to be avoided at all cost if it ever shows up again. Burnt on the outside, stringy and overdone on the inside.
By the time we left at 8 pm, the bar seats by the grill are filling up and three empty tables remains. These dinners, like us are probably fashionably late for their reservations.
Final verdict, not going back for the porterhouse.

about 5 hours ago
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Splitting from Best LA Trout thread

I am indignant!
A fellow hound that doesn't care about the source of his trout and state as a matter of fact that no one else really cares.
And then to proclaim that "There is NO advantage in ... lying about the trout." This is definitely not true. There is always a clear advantage/motive in every lie.
I did not imply that any one lied. But I am the "the eternal sceptic".
I wonder why one would advertise and sell a product that was transported frozen thousands miles instead of selling one that is readily available fresh locally? Unless it is a Mickey D.

about 7 hours ago
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Has Empress Pavilion reopened?

I was deferring to chandavki to report.
However, in his absence, I submit the following:
From hearsay, the answer is Empress Pavilion will probably open for regular business by the end of the year.
Now about Saturday's fundraising event at EP.
The old EP has been remodeled. Everything appears renewed. However, the old EP is still recognizable.
The event was a full house with over 50 tables celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Chinatown's St. Bridget Chinese Catholic Church @ $75 per ticket. I can't think of a more appropriate price.
All the luminaries were there. Both Pope Francis and Mayor Garcetti placed full page addresses on the program.
Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, Edward Clark, Congress women Judy Chow and Assembly member Ed Chau gave praise in person.
For dinner entertainments, there were lion dance, magic shows, raffles and other performances.
The male and female servers were dressed in complimentary uniforms displaying the restaurant's logo and most were also wearing wireless earpieces. Someone must be monitoring the place and remotely running the show. Casino style perhaps. I have seen similar communication devices in use in places such as Ding Tai Fung. For the banquet, the service was both courteous and efficient.
And the food : at par with fund raising events at this price point.
Satisfactory and no one was disappointed.
As this is an one off event, it cannot be any indication of what is to be expected of the future EP.
My guess is that EP will be more than competitive when it re-opens.
The $5 parking was $1 with validation.

about 7 hours ago
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Splitting from Best LA Trout thread

If no one really cares, then why does all supermarket now prominently display the source of all their seafood? My understanding is that there had been rampant mislabeling in the seafood industry.
Also can anyone confirm that Little fork's trout is in fact farmed IQF that comes in a box? Management included.

about 8 hours ago
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Splitting from Best LA Trout thread

>Pikey's whole Idaho trout ... is ...
>I love the smoked brook trout at Littlefork
I am the eternal sceptic.
Where is the proof that they are serving Idaho trout rather than CA trout, or a rainbow rather than a brook (two different species)?
Several well known restaurants ran into trouble in the past by advertising 'Kobe beef' on their menu but served something else.
Of note, I was served a cod dish at Saam last year. I asked the server whether it was lingcod, black cod, rock cod or true cod. The server didn't know and went to ask the kitchen. The answer was black cod (which is not a cod).
Back to Idaho trout, was it wild caught brook, rainbow, brown, cutthroat or otherwise some hybrids that are farmed.
Idaho has a robust trout farming program. So does CA.
I fail to apprehend the superiority of the Idaho version vs the freshness of CA grown version.
One can buy a life, swimming trout (origin unknown but most likely CA) , for dinner at any one of the Asian Supermarkets, but unfortunately, never at any Asian restaurants that I know of.
What gives?

Giang Nan closed. Where will I get my chestnut clay pot chicken now?

There are good commies and there are bad commies. For example the Mao's Kitchen chain is not the same as Hunan Mao.

The Tokyo-LA Sushi Gap is Closing

Not by miles, since the US and especially CA has bans on importing most politically incorrect, exotic fishes.
For example, I used to be able to order fugu with its cooked skin served on the side at the Hump for lunch while watching planes land and take off, before they were closed down for serving endangered whale sushi. I remember seeing whale meat and by extension whale sushi on display at every other restaurants on certain Tokyo side streets. Just like I saw dog meat openly advertised on certain side streets in Beijing.
As a hound, I will travel to where the chow is available to the best of my ability.
To St. Petersburg for legal authentic beluga caviar. To Las Vegas for legal shark fins soup.
PS. not all shark species are endangered due to overfishing. The less expensive, common types may be. The fins from more costly species are not eaten everyday by everyone. For example, Sea Harbor used to serve a version of a $200/ounce shark fins that I enjoyed. 1.5 to 2 oz will make a respectable bowl of soup per person. IMO, I doubt this kind of quality shark fins will ever be harvested to extinction. But it is also banned like the cheap stuff.

chinese in beverly hills?

>This is about Vibrato and not Chinese in BH.

Was there last week with Stallone's brother singing/performing. $25/person cover. Looks just the movie star brother. Singing not bad. The place was packed. Bar patrons were swinging and hopping. Some dinners got up and danced in the isle.
Food-wise, we had a dozen of oyster to start. 6 Kumamoto and 6 East-coast oyster. Followed by a spectacular coho salmon capriccio (one of the special of the day). I had the double lamb chop, medium rare, with sides of sauteed mushroom and grilled asparagus. My guest, who do not eat meat had the grilled jumbo shrimp half of their surf and turf special of the day. All excellent. Three center cut, double lamb chop showed up on the plate. That's half of what a lamb has to offer. We skipped desert. Service was handsome and attentive.

Maude: Truffles

Truffles, I want it now, not next month. Who is serving truffles now?

Has Empress Pavilion reopened?

Things are looking good. I has just been invited to a fund raising dinner at EP on 10/18.

Who has truffles on their menu now?

The Maude November truffle post piqued my appetite. I want it now. Where can I get it?

Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

>ipsedixit: Food is not very good.

"not very good"
Grade wise was it just 'good' (C) and not 'very good' (B). For reference A is excellent, B is very good, C is good, D is average, and F is unacceptable.
please share your specific insights.
I have reluctantly posted my negatives for both Red Medicine and Taylor Steak house. RM for its food and TS for its dull knifes and un-appealing practices.
What are your specific objections with SH?

Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

>ipsedixit: I think the entire restaurant kind of sucks.

Others have reported that at least their service was attentive. Agreed or not?

Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

Others have commented that at least their service are attentive.

Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

I know dim sum is in the title of this thread. But as discussed previously, Shi Hai also has several high-end VIP rooms for dinner in additional to their main dinning hall.
How is their regular dinner service compared to VIP private dinning?

Yet, another Korean Barbecue Posting

Soban has excellent Korean food but they do not do BBQ.

L.A. Dish of the Month, September 2014: OFFAL

Yesterday, I was invited by a Taiwanese friend to Fusion Cafe in Arcadia to experience "true" Taiwan cuisine. My host does not eat meat. So seafood and vegetables were the main focus. We had the $100 lobster salad, the dragon's beard salad, pan fried boneless milkfish, and especially for me the carnivore/omnivore, a bamboo shoot pork rib soup and a pork kidney noodle special.
I was promised that what I will be eating 'authentic' Taiwanese cuisine.
Ambience wise, the place is a hybrid of the original hole-in-the-wall Alhambra Sam Woo on and the newer and bigger Sam Woo in San Gabriel.
The best dish was the dragon's beard salad, prepared from the young tendrils and leaves of the chayote plant. Perfectly seasoned and served as a cold sautéed dish. As far as I was told, few LA restaurant have this dish on their menu.
Next, was the $100 lobster dish. Quite a few other table ordered the dish. However, it was just a poached, tasteless, lobster tail meat served with mayo dressing placed on top of chunks of mangos, apple and pears. The 40 years old Cantonese version of lobster salad is head and shoulder above this version.
The pan fried boneless milkfish served at room temperature was an enjoyable fried fish dish reflecting a culinary accomplishment of an indigenous people adapting to a plentiful farmed species.The pork rib soup with bamboo soup was devoid of seasoning reflecting the fact that salt may not be a universal food flavoring.

Finally, the offal dish of the evening: a bowl of par-boiled pork kidney served with plenty of fresh ginger slices in a sesame oil intensive broth that was served with a bowl of thread thin noodle on the side for dipping. Perfectly blenched kidney slices were plentiful in the soup. The offal-essance of pork kidney was not heady but noticeable and matched well with the co-dominant ginger and sesame oil flavor and taste of the dish.
It is like nothing else that I have tried.

Ipsedixit Was Right--Visit To New Port Seafood Beverly Hills

How is the lunch crowd at nearby restaurants such as Lawry's or PF Chang etc ?

Ipsedixit Was Right--Visit To New Port Seafood Beverly Hills

Love that balanced combination of sea and air cholesterol. Another superior example is uni sushi with a quail egg on top. Egg on top of eggs.
Cholesterol = umami.


I pasted the search term "Smoke.Oil.Salt" on our board but the search found nothing. Any advise?

L.A. Dish of the Month, September 2014: OFFAL

Sorry, I have never tried Menudo. My guess is that CH already have multiple best of menudo discussions already.

Sam Woo expanding to Rosemead, and other openings

Wow, although I have never been, I trust your analogy.
Since there are no lack of acceptable Sam Woo's or clones, I will definitely avoid this location and will also seriously suggest others not to waste their efforts in a Newton, eWorld or Mac II version of Sam Woo unless this place up their game.

Sam Woo expanding to Rosemead, and other openings

Steve Jobs is an adopted child of Syrian-Swiss descend. Should I expect anything less than "Apple quality" at this "adopted" Sam Woo?

Best non-solid food in town ;)

Albert Einstein: “Necessity is the mother of all invention.”
Several years ago, when my 86 yo mother, who loves prime rib was having the last few of her upper teeth pulled to have complete denture fitted, we celebrated Christmas at Tam O'Shanter with Dickensian carolers.
We requested that her prime rib, baked potato and spinach be pureed (not together) for her. The restaurant gladly complied and mentioned that they honor similar requests all the time.
Unfortunately, I ordered the roasted goose that was tough.
We also brought along a bottle of French 1st Cru for the occation. They did not charge us corkage.
So go ahead and enjoy yourself some Palm's grilled lobster, Fogo de Chao's fantastic Brazilian grilled meat, chi SPACCA's Salumeria, Langer's pastrami sandwich or Shunji's best etc.
Perhaps you may have to bring your own blender for some of these establishments. I personally have just the right size Waring Blender attachments necessary for the jobs and I did not invent the Waring Blender.

L.A. Dish of the Month, September 2014: OFFAL

How does Talpa's Menudo compare to others?

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

For first visit with family, order one of each of beef, pork and lamb. Share then compare and contrast. Their killer mustard is house made.

Noodles or Mongolian BBQ?

60 years ago? Before Pu Pu Platers? Please explain.

Noodles or Mongolian BBQ?

I just came across this guide to Mongolian BBQ in LA:
The guide started by describing what Mongolia is and proceed to state that “Mongol’s barbecue was one of the major cooking methods used by Genghis Khan’s brave cavalry men while they were on their expeditions around the world. It was later adopted by the remainder of their nomadic race due to its simplicity and effectiveness.”
The post then list 8 places that were either recommended or not.
Nevertheless, each discussion was accompanied with a food photo from the respective restaurant. These are copied below.
My question is Why did Genghis's folks carry around heavy large iron platters to reheat leftover noodles. May be it is simple and effective? Am I missing the point of Mongolian BBQ? Should the nomadic mongols eat more like the meat centric Korean BBQ or was refined flour really available while roaming the desert plains of Asia?
Is this what one get when visiting Mongolia?
Or the writer need to be re-educated?

What do we call ...

++ for Greasy Spoon
If they do not excel in their cuisine. Burger or taco or otherwise,and if their offerings are "better than average for the price", they deserve a mention in the greasy spoon category. Otherwise they are an above average burger or taco or otherwise joint.

Taylor's Steakhouse dinner tonight

I went to Taylor in K-town last month by myself at 9:45p. Valet parked and was assured that the restaurant was still open. I entered a full place but was promptly seated at a cosy booth against a back wall under a painting of horseman wearing long scarf. The booth is situated between the bar and the kitchen.
I ordered a bottle of sparkling wine, escargot, lobster bisque and a medium rare coulott steak.
The food and service were fine. For example, I asked for extra nutmeg and was provided for my lobster bisque. Except until the steak course. The steak knife provided will just not cut. I asked my waiter for and was presented with another differently looking knife that was equally dull.
Another server noticed my complain and volunteered yet another differently looking knife that was, unfortunately, equally dull. To remedy the situation she offered yet another differently looking knife.
This knife is still no sharper than the others.
I just want to cut/slice my steak and eat it without struggling to tear it apart with my fork and knife.
After the 4th try, I gave up.
Other than that, for the price, the food and wine were fine.
Then, it must be close to 10:45P (near their closing time) while I was shown my last steak knife, I was presented with a parade of trash cans moving from the bar to the kitchen...??
I tipped both the nice server (Dori) an my waiter both 20% because dull knives and trash parade were not their faults.
I wrote a nice letter to Bruce Taylor, addressed to the owner at the K-town location, informing him of my experience, advising him to sharpen his knives etc. but have not heard back for over a month.