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Lovely, tongue tickling Neapolitan style pizza at home. Tips?

I can definitely vouch for the Blackstone Pizza oven, and agree with your assessment of it. There is a bit of learning curve to fine tuning the regulator valve, which I open up about 3/4, and then fine tune the front heat control knob to get to my desired temp. It's taken our pizza to a whole new level that simply wasn't possible with our convection oven that maxed out at 550 degrees. I shoot for a stone temp of about 675 degrees using a handheld infrared thermometer, which usually translates to about a 3 minute cook time. There's something magical that happens to pizza when cooking at 600+ temps. Launching the pies while the stone is turning seems like a risky proposition, so I turn off the motor while I launch the pie, then turn it back on. We've been making pizza every week for the last six months since I got the Blackstone, and couldn't be happier. Here's a some pictures - please note that I use the pizza screens as a resting place for the pizza to cool slightly after they come out of the oven and helps preserve the integrity of the crust before serving. I have a large bag of 00 flour I plan to open and give a try at Neapolitan pies using temps of 750+ soon.

Oct 04, 2014
Moose in Home Cooking
1

Bean & Cheese Burrito, update

Swede, I concur about the Sabrosa B&C burrito. It's really quite amazing, though like you, even when I remind them to put the red sauce on the inside, it doesn't usually happen.

As for Al & Bea's, we tried it a while back when we were nearby, and I just wasn't blown away. Yes, it was good, but I'll take the Sabrosa B&C burrito over Al & Bea's.

Aug 27, 2014
Moose in Los Angeles Area

Mexican near Bergamot: Juquila, Tacomiendo or Monte Alban?

I love the Talpa for certain things. The Burrito with pork and spicy tomatillo sauce is off the charts. Carnitas are very good, as is the asada. The chips are fresh and thick. Table salsa is also really good, however, I add a bit of salt. If they used homemade tortillas, the place would be easily one of the best on the westside. Definitely many notches up from Don Antonio's and Gilbert's.

Aug 19, 2014
Moose in Los Angeles Area

Trader Joe's Pizza Dough: Seems Like The Recipe has Changed...

We've been making our pizza dough for sometime now, but on occasion, pick up TJ's dough which works fine in a pinch.

The last two times we've used it(last month and last night) I noticed a big difference. Definitely less hydration and more difficult to work with. Also, the dough has a bit of a sourdough taste when it's cooked, which was different than before. Finally the bag is no longer a fully sealed bag, instead, it has a twisty tie holding the top together, which means air can potentially get in the dough. Think I prefer the old dough.

Anyone else notice the same?

Aug 19, 2014
Moose in Chains

Mexican near Bergamot: Juquila, Tacomiendo or Monte Alban?

I generally get the tacos. Usually the pork adobada and carne asada. Both meats are really fantastic. The carnitas is also excellent. The burritos are HUGE. The crispy potato taco was quite tasty.

Now if I could have Tacos por Favor's salsa roja with Tacomiendo tacos, that would be sheer heaven. The salsas at Tacomiendo are certainly very good, however.

Mexican near Bergamot: Juquila, Tacomiendo or Monte Alban?

My experience has been the opposite. Every time I've been to the CC location, the corn tortillas were dry and had been sitting around for a while. Meats were the same. Perhaps I was there at an off time, but never had that issue with the WLA location.

Aug 18, 2014
Moose in Los Angeles Area
1

Mexican near Bergamot: Juquila, Tacomiendo or Monte Alban?

Indeed. The Tacos por Favor Salsa Roja is amongst the best I've had anywhere.

Aug 13, 2014
Moose in Los Angeles Area

King Taco

This one from Sept 2013:

Here is my closest yet... And I have to "Eat Major Crow" because I said NO to Cloves and i used Cloves in small quantities and it is pretty damn close.

I used:
a small handful of de arbols
a small handful of japones
(maybe 20 each)
2 tbsp Chipotle Chili Powder
3 Cloves Garlic
1tsp Knorr
3 tbsp White Vinegar
3-4 Cloves
1 tsp Salt and cracked Black Pepper

I didn't toast or do much d-seeding.
Boiled Water. added de-stemmed de arbol and japones as is. Let them soak for 20 minutes or so.
Added the chilis and garlic to the blender with the Vinegar, Knorr, Chipotle Powder, Cloves, Salt, Pepper and enough Chili water to cover. Blended it really good - a good minute or longer.

I didn't strain or anything... that's the sauce. Add more chili water if it's too thick. Keep adding until you get the right consistency.

It's is almost there. about 90% I would say.. the only missing element is the unique tangy-zinginess... It has some of that from the vinegar ... I'm thinking Citric Acid - but don't know exactly what that tastes like.

Lime is too sweet... it's not fruit...Vinegar works but it it has that sweet/sour taste... All the flavors are there, it's just a matter of finding that one item ...

Jan 20, 2014
Moose in Home Cooking

King Taco

Has anyone tried redmeat's latest recipe? It sounds like it's pretty close...

Jan 20, 2014
Moose in Home Cooking

Looking For Authentic Pomodoro Sauce Recipe

I'm looking for an authentic pomodoro sauce recipe, the kind served with pasta, usually penne pomodoro y basilico.

The version I'm looking for is usually found at better Italian restaurants, and is a deep orange color. The attached photo is a good example of how it looks.

It's rich, has a lot of depth, and packed full of flavor. I suspect the color is possibly due to added cream, but even if it is, it's NOT a pink sauce. Im also guessing the sauce is cooked for a good amount of time, perhaps an hour or more.

The pomodoro sauces I did dig up from Google searches were either mislabeled Marinara sauce (Marinara is NOT Pomodoro sauce) or just didn't add up in terms of what I'm looking for.

Any guidance would be appreciated!

Nov 19, 2013
Moose in Home Cooking

Old School Italian Market and Deli in Chatsworth - San Carlo

I had the exact same sandwich last week, and it was delicious. You have the option of getting your sandwich on a soft or hard roll. and I opted for hard. It's pretty obvious they bake their roles on premises, as it was super fresh.

Jul 21, 2013
Moose in Los Angeles Area

King Taco

VERY close to KT, and every bit as good, IMO. Easily one of the top 5 salsa rojas I've had.

Hope you'll give it a whirl and let us know what you think...

Jul 11, 2013
Moose in Home Cooking

Los Angeles Dish of the Month (July 2013) - Nominations

SANDWICH
RIBS

Jun 20, 2013
Moose in Los Angeles Area

King Taco

Not quite. The most I can say is Olympic & 14th. Think you can figure it out from there. :)

Jun 19, 2013
Moose in Home Cooking

King Taco

My reasoning is this: If the salsa at the previously mentioned westside taqueria tastes almost identical to King Taco's salsa, then wouldn't it stand to reason the ingredient list has to be really close?

May 19, 2013
Moose in Home Cooking

Amazing Thai in Chatsworth

We went there for dinner on Friday, and I would have to concur - there's so few really good Thai choices in the valley, and this is one of them.

The tiger cry was wonderful (although the dipping sauce was a tad salty.) I also enjoyed what was probably the finest prik-king I've ever eaten, with a marvelous spicy and slightly sweet rich red curry sauce and green beans that were much smaller and way more flavorful than what normally accompanies this dish..

What knocked it out of the park though was the "Chicken Hell", which were bite sized pieces of cut up bone in young chicken that was utterly addictive. Spicy delicious goodness that we completely devoured.

I hear the fried morning glory is good, so next time we'll try that along with the salt chili crab.

Also, their cocktails are quite potent, which is an added bonus!

May 12, 2013
Moose in Los Angeles Area

King Taco

I'm going to repost one of my responses to the endless original thread because the ingredient list is probably quite close:

According to a close contact I have at a Westside Taqueria that has a very similar tasting salsa as King Taco (some of you will know EXACTLY the establishment I am talking about) these are the complete list of ingredients they use in their salsa roja:

Whole chile arbol, toasted
Canned chipotles
Fire roasted tomatillo
California chile powder
Paprika
Cayenne pepper
Cinnamon
Cloves
Black pepper
Salt to taste
Cumin
Ginger powder
Oregano
Water

I do not have the ingredient ratios as of yet, but I have been assured these are what they are using. The cinnamon and clove make perfect sense, as I taste both of these in King Taco's salsa roja, as well as a few other fine ones I've had, but the paprika and ginger powder were a bit of a mystery to me. I think they could be left out, to be honest.

May 10, 2013
Moose in Home Cooking

Best Pizza SFV

My all time fave in the SFV is Tony's Bella Vista in Burbank.

While I haven't tried anything but the pizza, this is pizza at a level that is truly sublime. The crust is superb with a nice outer crisp that gives way to a soft slightly chewy center, the sauce is rich with a wonderful tang, and the cheese is both piled on generously and with a lovely "pull" to it.

With pizza like this, there's no need to order a pie with a ton of toppings - just one or two, maybe three at most will do. Any more, and you'll overshadow the wonderful synergy of the crust, cheese, and sauce.

This is transcendent pizza.

Tony's Bella Vista Restaurant & Pizzeria
3116 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505

Apr 26, 2013
Moose in Los Angeles Area

Burritos - LA Dish of the Month (April 2013)

While I was somewhat apprehensive about going back to Lares, the pork Manny Layne burrito did not disappoint me in the least. It was as good as the glory days. Delicious chile verde with lean chunks of pork, with a bit of beans inside. The chile verde sauce ladled on top of the burrito had a bit of heat to it this time, and tasted like there were some fire roasted jalapenos in it, which was actually quite nice. Regardless, it was just wonderful, and I'll be back again soon for another one very soon.

Apr 25, 2013
Moose in Los Angeles Area

Burritos - LA Dish of the Month (April 2013)

Another favorite all time burrito of mine is the Manny Layne pork burrito at Lares on Pico in WLA. Chile verde with beans inside, then smothered with chile verde and cheese on top.

After the fire some years ago, upon reopening, it just wasn't quite the same. Very good, but not great like it used to be. Then I moved to the valley and haven't been back since.

I'm headed there tonight to give it another shot, so will give a full report.

Apr 25, 2013
Moose in Los Angeles Area

Burritos - LA Dish of the Month (April 2013)

One of my absolute all time favorite wet burritos is the pork in spicy tomatillo sauce burrito at The Talpa in WLA on Pico just west of Barrington.

I get mine wet, covered with the spicy tomatillo sauce and cotija cheese, with refried beans inside. The heat level varies from warm to quite hot. The spicy tomatillo sauce is rich, smoky, and complex. I've not had a taste anything remotely like this burrito.

Absolutely transcendent.

Apr 18, 2013
Moose in Los Angeles Area

Burritos - LA Dish of the Month (April 2013)

I concur, and was going to suggest the same. I know some here have a major hate for Tito's, however, I've not had a better chile colorado burrito. If there is one, I should would like to know about it!

Apr 18, 2013
Moose in Los Angeles Area

Does anyone remember the name of the Mexican rest on La Cienega?

Can you give a better description and when exactly you think it closed down?

Apr 17, 2013
Moose in Los Angeles Area

Burritos - LA Dish of the Month (April 2013)

I just had the B&C burrito at Sabroso. I also reminded the guy at the counter to make sure they put red enchilada sauce in it, but it was nowhere to be found.

Regardless, it was absolutely delicious. The beans were rich and creamy, and most definitely made with lard. Tortilla was soft and fresh. If I had one complaint, it was that they didn't put quite enough cheese in it, but still...an off the charts B&C burrito to be sure, and I would daresay better than Al & Beas. Beans were better, and the burrito was easily 30% larger.

Just curious, WildSwede, have you tried their chile colorado burrito?

Apr 17, 2013
Moose in Los Angeles Area

King Taco: what's in that sauce?!!?! [moved from Los Angeles board]

I think so - not a common ingredient in salsa. I'm willing to bet the "tang" is coming from the tomatillos. Here's a recipe I found online which has the basics, but I would omit the knorr & tomatoes, as well as add clove & cinnamon:

Salsa roja para tacos
courtesy of Sonia at La Cienega (GO EAT THERE!)
4 roma tomatoes
2 Tb oil, separated
2 generous handfuls of de Arbol chile (don’t be stingy) – as is, don’t remove seeds or veins
3 garlic cloves
4 guajillo chiles – as is, don’t remove seeds or veins
6 tomatillos
½ tsp chicken bouillon powder (I like Knorr Suiza brand)
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp oregano (Mexican is preferable)
Salt to taste
Place tomatoes in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, place 1 Tb oil in a medium –sized skillet on medium heat, and fry de arbol chiles for 1-2 minutes. Stir constantly so that chiles are fried well and change colors, and also to keep burnt chiles to a minimum. Lower the heat if necessary. Once done, remove chiles and place on paper towel to drain. Next, add remaining Tb oil and place guajillo chiles and garlic in skillet and fry for 3-5 minutes, again stirring constantly. When done, garlic should be slightly browned. Remove chiles and garlic to paper towel to drain. Place tomatillos in same skillet and allow to roast/fry until skin is blistered and tomatillos are cooked through. When done, they will change to a more yellow color and a softer texture.

Remove cooked tomatoes to a plate or bowl and allow to cool to room temperature, reserve cooking liquid. When done, remove tomatillos to a plate or bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Once all ingredients have reached room temperature, place all (including herbs, spices, and seasonings) in the blender jar with 2-3 cups of cooled cooking liquid and blend well. Salsa should be smooth with specks of dried chile. Additional cooking liquid may be added to taste. Check for salt. Serve with tacos of your choice.

Nov 27, 2012
Moose in Home Cooking

King Taco: what's in that sauce?!!?! [moved from Los Angeles board]

Pineapple would give it way too much sweetness.

I think there's a lot of over thinking this recipe - given the low budget food at KT and other similar establishments, do you think they're going to add something that costly?

If you look at my earlier post back in September, the ingredient list from another taqueria that has a salsa roja very close to KT uses the following ingredients:

Whole chile arbol, toasted
Canned chipotles
Fire roasted tomatillo
California chile powder
Paprika
Cayenne pepper
Cinnamon
Cloves
Black pepper
Salt to taste
Cumin
Ginger powder
Oregano
Water

My guess is that the ginger and paprika are definitely not in KT's sauce...otherwise I think this is awfully close. The real question is what are the ingredient ratios?

Nov 27, 2012
Moose in Home Cooking

Looking for an Asian Market in SFV with a good selection of Chinese ingredients...

99 Ranch worked out perfectly!

Nov 24, 2012
Moose in Los Angeles Area

Looking for an Asian Market in SFV with a good selection of Chinese ingredients...

I should have been more specific as to which valley- I edited my post to reflect that. I looked up Galleria, but Yelp reviews seem to point it's much like Greenland.

What about 99 Ranch?

Nov 24, 2012
Moose in Los Angeles Area

Looking for an Asian Market in SFV with a good selection of Chinese ingredients...

Anyone know where I might find an Asian market in the valley that carries items such as Shaoxing wine, sichuan peppercorns, Chinkiang vinegar? I've been to Greenland, but came up empty handed.

Nov 24, 2012
Moose in Los Angeles Area

Sunny Grill - Mar Vista

I used to go there quite a bit when I worked down the street a few years ago. Their food is pretty good, and the beef gyro is quite tasty.

However, the owner is one of the more unpleasant humans I've encountered in the service industry. Surly would be too kind...try as I did, whether by smiling or expressing compliments, she simply couldn't even crack a smile and gave the impression dealing with customers was a horrible inconvenience. They finally lost my business for good thanks to her unpleasant attitude, and I shall never return. I know many others had similar experiences...it's really too bad, as the other help was always courteous.

Oct 08, 2012
Moose in Los Angeles Area