Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

LegoEater's Profile

Title Last Reply

Small empty hot sauce bottles?

Hi all,
First post on the Bay Area board (recently moved back up from SoCal after two year exile from my beloved Northern California for grad school).

So I made some hot sauce recently (bing cherry-chipotle and white peach-cardamom-habanero) and want to send it out as gifts to family and friends. Has anyone seen any small (3oz or less) hot sauce bottles anywhere locally recently? Peninsula or South Bay preferred. I have already checked places like Cost Plus, Target, etc. along with County Resturant Supply in San Carlos and no luck. I know I can order online from big commercial suppliers but would prefer a local source as I only need a couple dozen.


Searching for piĊŸmaniye (or other stringy halva) in the Bay Area

I guess what you are looking for is really similar to Pashmak (Persian version) so you might want to try a Persian market.
I know my dad always gets his sweets from some market in San Rafael (and I'm pretty sure he's bought Pashmak there too). I think it's Jasmine market ( ). You can also try the Norouz Bazaar markets in the South Bay ( ).

Driving from OC to Reno, Nv - Any suggestions or "MUST STOP HERE?

I'm going to assume that you are going to be going up the east side of the Sierras on highway 395 so that is what I will work from (none of these places really has a web site so I just picked the first page that had decent info as a source).

In the town of Independance there is the Still Life Cafe. It is a pretty good french cafe but when they are open can be pretty finiky. I think it's pretty much when they feel like being there.

20 or so miles farther up in Bishop there is of course Eric Schat's Bakery. Famous for their Sheepherder bread and many other fine baked treats (the pecan pull-aparts rule). They also have decent sandwiches and soups for cheap.

In Mammoth, there are a plethora of OK eats including mexican (check out Roberto's for this - especially the bar menu upstairs for Lobster or Duck burritos) and for a little more high end check out Petras Wine Bar. Great food and a pretty good small wine list too.

It's a shame you are not going in the summer because then you could stop at the Lee Vining Tioga Gas Mart/Whow Neli Deli. This is the true gem of the whole area but I am pretty sure is only open in the summer.

In the Minden/Gardenerville area it's all about Basque food. Best there is JT Basque Bar.

Dec 07, 2008
LegoEater in California

Fresh Apple Cider in Los Angeles Area?

A guy at the Claremont farmers market on Sundays sells fresh cider. It comes in frozen from my homeland (Sonoma County) and is sold both pasteurized and non-pasteurized.

Oct 07, 2008
LegoEater in Los Angeles Area

Updates on Claremont?

The new section of the village is probably where anything not covered in past threads is going down and where all of the below resturants are at.

Three Forks has been covered here before and I have never actually eaten a full meal there. I do like the bar food though. The sliders rule.

Just ate at the Back Abbey for the first time tonight. It is new this summer behind the movie theater and specializes in Belgian Beer (they have several dozen kinds). I had the Back Abbey burger (Niman Ranch beef and bacon with gouda, microgreens, and carmelized onions). It was really good but at $13 is a bit steep for a burger. The pomme frites are really good and worth the $8 though. Double fried and served with 3 dipping options.

My current favorite option though is Casablanca. Not for a full meal but for grazing on appetizers. Sit outside on a warm evening, order the house salad and Hummus with grilled lamb mixed in. Eat with the warm pita bread, zatar blend, and garlic butter. Wash down with a couple of mai tais.

The new sushi place (Kazma) is pretty good too. The normal sushi is average and there are no great fish or knife skills going on but they do have some really unique dishes. I had an excellent salmon carppacio there. There is also one with mango and raw salmon that looks interesting. I will definately be back there to try some of these other options.

Aug 15, 2008
LegoEater in Los Angeles Area

Inland Empire: Favorite Supermarket

I live in claremont now. Shopping here is sort of a combination of stuff. No one place has everything.
Trader Joes for some staples.
Claro's for Italian supplies (esp. sandwich meat/cheese).
Costco for big supplies.
The farmer's market every Sunday in the village for most veggies.
And don't overlook the mexican supermarket on Indian Hill just south of the 10 freeway (I forget the name). That has lots of pretty good stuff for a lot cheaper than you pay at Von's.
Wolfs - not enough selection and quality to justify the high prices. I only go there to buy their tortilla chips.
Sprouts - something about that place just rubs me the wrong way. They never have exactly what I want, always something sort of close.
If I want something special I usually drive to get it. Like to Whole Foods in Pasadena for my beloved Clover milk or Marukai in West Covina for Japanese/Sushi fish or Seafood Paradise for really fresh (as in still moving) fish.

Apr 24, 2008
LegoEater in Los Angeles Area

Best of (3rd St) Farmer's Market?

Really only been there a couple of times but once my fiance had a sandwich at Monsieur Marcel that was brie, bacon, crisp green apples, and apricot jam on a baguette. One of the best sandwiches I have ever tasted.

Mar 09, 2008
LegoEater in Los Angeles Area

Informal poll: Best Mexican in the LA area

A review of Babita for my first post.

Hi all. I've been lurking for a while and finally decided to sign up. I moved down to Claremont from Sacramento to go to grad school this fall and was raised in the Sonoma County wine country. In Sacramento, I lived two blocks from a fairly high end mexican place called Zocalo that I frequented quite alot. I have been missing that and after learning about Babita from this thread I decided to give it a try a week or so ago.
All I can say is WOW. There is true artistry going on in that little hole in the wall place. And I'm not talking about looks but taste artistry. Anyone can learn to plate and atractive dish and make little designs of sauce (which Babita had) but it is rare to have artistry of taste, of being able to truely understand flavors and combine them in a determined way to create something beautiful.
I started out with the soup of the day/dualing soups while my fiance had the salmon sopa. Both were excellent. The soups of fried plantains and (I think squash) coexisting in a shallow bowl were rich and lusty without being overly so. The salmon sopa was nicely done with just the right balance of red onion and fresh cream.
For the main course I had the special of the night which was mahi-mahi and a large diver scallop served in a rich broth containing fresh red currants, rasins, pumkin seeds, and green olives. I'm not sure what was going on with that broth but it was absolutely brilliant. I consider myself a good cook and mostly resturants fall into the class of "if I had their ingredients and equipment, I could do this", but that dish, I could not do with any ingredients or equipment. It was beyond my understanding of flavor.
My fiance had the mole enchaladas which were themselves the best I have ever tasted. Dessert was arroz con leche for her and the chocolate tamale for me. Both were pretty good but not outstanding. The tamale was not too sweet which was good as the chocolate didn't over power the corn taste allowing you to explore the combination.
As for the experience. I can understand some of the negative reviews in this thread. It is an unusual dining experience. Normal logic of our society dictates that a chef of such caliber has a high priced, shiny resturant with a fleet of professional wait staff. Babita dosen't follow that normal logic and that could be confusing. It truely is like eating at a private party at the chefs house. There is no layer of conventional professionalism between you and the chef so if he (or his wife) are annoyed, you might get bad service, or if he is happy, you will probably get a great experience (as we did). You just have to come prepared for this honesty in interaction. The whole time I kept thinking, why doesn't this guy have a big fancy place with shiny tables and a big bar like my old Zocalo? Then I realized the brillance of this strategy. The rent, the cost to run the place, the lack of more than 3 or 4 salaries to pay...His margins are probably several times that of a normal high end place and he can still charge the same for the quality involved. Brilliant indeed.
Being a grad student, I can't go there much, but I will be back.

Mar 02, 2008
LegoEater in Los Angeles Area