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Name the Best BBQ in Town.

I'm a fan of Texas style bbq, and I concur. I love the smoke they impart on their briskett, and it's got a nice crust too. I've had Big Mista's a couple of times, and both times it was on the dry side. Hmm, ya, that's how my turns out sadly. I've also done Bludso's and it was good, but not as great as J Gold led me to believe.

Paula Deen Isn’t the Only Shill

how about Emeril's recent shilling of gulf seafood brought to you by the wonderful people at BP, who so generously made sure your gulf seafood is already pre-oiled.

Jan 20, 2012
more of everything in Features

Hatch Chile Roasting 2010

I got mine yesterday at the Del Rey Farms dropoff at La Puente High. Cost was $34/sack for chilies. I got one sack of hot and an extra hot each. They also charged $14/sack for roasting. Though I had a reserve order, I made the mistake of not pre-paying. This caused me to have to wait in a line for an hour and half to get my chiles roasted. My unofficial count probably had about 500-600 people there - at least. It was quite a scene, but a great group of people hanging out, and the wait wasn't so bad with nice people to chat with and share recepies. I believe they have 4 more saturday dropoffs scheduled btw.

I've already dug in, and the chiles are delicious, thought the Xhot could be a little hotter for my taste.

Hatch Chile Roasting 2010

I've already got my order in for the 14th. i've never tried the grocery store thing, but I've heard the albertson's line is hellacious. this is nice since you've got a reserved order, plus for an extra fee, they'll roast them right there for you.

can't wait! my personal fav uses are salsa's, enchilidas, and in brasing liquids for short ribs. this year, i'm going to also use my aunt's recipe for infused vodka for bloody's. jeez, i really can't wait...

Anything like Hinano's or The Shack in the Southbay?

little secret is that eurcoles in MB makes one of the best burgers in the south bay, especially their messy teriaki burger. they get their meat from butcher next door at manhattan market, and thats probably what makes it. its also got that divey atmosphere working too. might be tough getting a seat in there this weekend, however, with surf fest going on.

also you might want to try the kobe sliders in the bar at the new brix 1601 in hermosa. really tasty, but not a very shack-like atmosphere.

Brix @ 1601

My wife and I tried out the new restaurant in Hermosa Beach, Brix.

Its in the shopping center with the Family Fitness and Glen Ivy spa, which historically has been a black hole for most businesses. Its has a really awkward parking structure thats often difficult to get in/out of. As for the restaurant, it looks like they've put a significant investment into the place. It certainly doesn't look like anything else in the Hermosa beach, though I'm not certain thats a great thing as it kinda feels out of place for the area. The decor kinda reminds me of a vegas hotel restaurant or a cheesecake factory interior. Attached to the restaurant is a wine store, which has an interesting selection of wines. We met Marta, one the someliers (sp?), who was nice enough to show us around and tell us some of their future plans.

As for the food, it was good, not great. We started with a duck dumpling which was fine. I had the petite filet and my wife had the hamburger. I actually ended up finishing my wife's burger which was the best thing they made. It was really moist and flavorful on a nice soft bun. We finished with a sorbet sampler that was fine. They have a nice selection of wines by the glass as well.

All in all, I think we'll try this place again, if for nothing else, to have the hamburger, and to puruse the wine store some more.

Bond St Sushi

Has anyone been to the new Bond St Sushi in Beverly Hills?

My wife and I have enjoyed the one in NY a couple of times. The sushi was good enough, with some interesting items, but I think what we reallyed enjoyed about it was the cool NY vibe that it exuded. Just wondering if the LA version has a similar feel, and of course, whether the sushi is any good.

South Bay -- Looking for private to semi-private rooms - pref. Izakaya or Korean BBQ

There is an izakaya in Torrance - sorry can't remember the name - that has a private room for about 8-10. Its in the same center as the Circuit City/ B of A on Crenshaw and PCH.

I've been there a few times, and its pretty good, though I prefer Musha and Shin Sen Gumi.

Solociccio in Panzano - Tuscany

We were just there for dinner this last Thursday night.

We'd never heard of this guy before. We had asked our hotel manager for a recommendation for some good salami, and he referred us to a butcher shop in panzano. He said the butcher is quite flamboyant and likes to hold court on all things dante, but also mentioned the guy makes the best cinta senese salami. We walked into his shop, but all the cases were empty. Dario was working over some paper, and when we asked if he was selling anything, he cooly said he was closed, and only had the doors open so people could see his place. He gave us a handout with info on his dinner. All I remember is that it mentions the dishes are almost entirely meat (with many raw dishes), and it finishes with a "join us, if you dare..." - a little dramatic?

They have two seatings, at 7 and 9. We made our reservations one day ahead. This was the only dinner we had in Tuscany where most of the place was americans - I assume because of the book. We attended the 9 seating, and he sets out some appetizers in the shop and they pour wine as you wait for the early seating to clear out. Dario mills about, and gets rockstar treatment from some of the guests - looks like he kinda likes the attention.

They seat you at community tables of 12. I think it generally turns into a festive, jovial atmosphere at the tables - it certainly did at ours. I think there were about 7 courses - you won't walk away hungry. I enjoyed most of them, though nothing that was unforgettable. I think my favorite thing was a crostini they served with pate. Its definilty a meatlovers delight.

Sep 10, 2007
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Cortona, Pienza & Castellini in Chianti trip report (long)

Thanks for the trip report. We'll be staying in Castellina in a few weeks, so your report is particularly useful.

Aug 13, 2007
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romantic birthday dinner in the southbay

Hmm, I know everyone has their own definition of moderately priced, but I think Petros, Avenue and bottle inn would all be over $200 and possibly higher with a bottle of wine with dinner.

You mention Indian and Japaneese, I'd recommend Addi's in Torrance or Japonica on PCH in redondo. Both places are dimly lit, probably under $125 w/ wine. Japonica has a more modern vibe, and has cozy booths.

Music-friendly recs?

If you want to drive into the South Bay, hermosa beach has cafe bugaloo ( that serves up a cajun influenced menu with live blues most nights. The food is just ok, however they've got an interesting selection of micro brews on tap and some eclectic wines by the glass.

Casual in the South Bay?

Was at Quality Seafood for the first time a few weeks ago, and really enjoyed it. Its under the Redondo Pier. Its an interesting crowded scene, beach bum meets working class immigrant crowd with everyone into all the seafood they've piled onto their newspaper covered tables. And yes, they're washing in down with their favorite beer too. Note we had to figure out that there's different lines for various items - cooked, deep fried fish is in one line, beer another, steamed lobster or crab in another, and so on. We had already finished a tasty dungenous crab, and lamented the only thing it was missing was maybe a little melted butter, to only discover there was a place there where you could buy melted garlic butter - doh!

Breakfast in South Bay?

I've eaten at the Pancake House at least four or five times in the last year, and it has always seemed pretty clean to me. I'd also recommend Ocean Diner on Aviation in Hermosa.

Best Oysters

Was there two weeks ago, and enjoyed a dozen oysters at about $1.75 each - so good, and about 8 different varieties to choose from.

Paso Robles Wines

Great rundown BG. I'm also a big fan of Linne Caldo, and Tablas Creek. And for zins, I agree, you can't go wrong with Turley.

Mar 05, 2007
more of everything in California

SUSHI KEN in Torrance is Outstanding

great review, I'm looking forward to trying this place, some of our recent favorite sushi restaurants have gone away, so good to hear about this close to home potential gem. We also tried kanzen sushi on torrance blvd recently - it was interesting, definetly non-traditional. We liked some of the dishes we tried, but really need to go back again to give it a fair shake. We really are spoiled in the south bay with the plethora of asian dining choices available.

And the Top Chef Isn't ...

No question a director and producers frame these reality shows so there's a protagonist and antagonist, and Marcel was chosen to be this season's villan. Didn't listen to the interview, but I have no doubt he's not that bad a guy, but quite honestly I don't really appreciate the kind of cooking that he prides himself in. Seems like he values appearance over taste, style over substance. Check out the guy's hairdoo - speaks volumes to how he preps food. I'm sure both these guys will run their own restaurants, probably sooner rather than later, and I'd rather eat at IIan's.

Feb 06, 2007
more of everything in Features

Sue's Kitchen in Torrance - Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup


Third Stop -- Great Neighborhood Gastropub

Since this place was already profiled in the Times food section, I don't really think its that big a secret. I too like the dead guy beer - cool tap btw. I really like their prosciutto pizza which goes great with the beer. The other thing thats nice about this place is they've got a nice 50 inch plasma over the bar. There aren't too many comfortable places to sit around and enjoy a beer and watch the game in this neighborhood.