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josephnl's Profile

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Lake Arrowhead...anything good?

We're spending several days in Lake Arrowhead later this month. We don't expect outstanding cuisine there, but is there anything that's dependably good?

2 days ago
josephnl in California

Trader Joes... Please, just ring up my groceries.

Couldn't agree more. The employees at TJ's are pretty uniformly knowledgeable, helpful, and yes, friendly. I find them always upbeat, and I like it! If this bothers folks, they can always go to one of the supers that have self checkout and interact with a robot!

"A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded."

Does it happen on any iPhones? It's never happened on mine?

Jun 30, 2015
josephnl in Site Talk

current restaurant pet peeve

+10!!!

Jun 29, 2015
josephnl in General Topics

Declining quality at Costco?

If you should find yourself in Germany during the fresh white asparagus (spargl) season, you can eat freshly harvested asparagus which is absolutely amazing. Truly one of the best things you'll ever eat...and totally unlike any asparagus you'll likely ever find here.

Jun 28, 2015
josephnl in Chains

Champagne with salt???

That is precisely what they recommended...putting a pinch of salt on the tongue prior to sipping the champagne!

Jun 28, 2015
josephnl in Wine

Champagne with salt???

We are vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and had dinner at a spectacular, elegant, and expensive restaurant last evening...El Farallon. They have a wonderful champagne bar where they offer a wide selection of French champagnes by the glass at rather high cost...starting at about $25 per flute. I was rather surprised to see 4 canisters of different exotic salts sitting on the champagne bar. I inquired and was told that they recommend putting a small pinch of salt in your mouth prior to sipping the champagne...that it enhances the taste of the champagne. I have never seen this before nor have I ever heard of such a thing. Is this something new that I'm not aware of?

Jun 27, 2015
josephnl in Wine

Baltaire in Brentwood

Eddie V's and Wildfish Seaford Grill are virtually identical Darden concepts. Both actually specialize in fish and seafood, although both also serve steak which in quality seems pretty much the same as are served at Capital Gill, another Darden concept. If Baltaire is as good as Eddie V's or Wildfish, it's pretty darned good. We eat at the La Jolla Eddie V's and the Newport Beach Wildfish all the time, and their fish and seafood are superb. Not sure about the steak there, but for seafood they are both great!

Jun 22, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

In search of incredible lox?

Technically, you are probably correct that true "lox" is not smoked. However, no less an authority than the premier purveyor of cold smoked salmon and lox in the country, NYC's Russ & Daughters states on its website "Most likely, when people refer to "lox" as in "bagels and lox", they are referring to smoked salmon..." Indeed, if you go to their cafe and order "lox and eggs" or a "bagel and lox", you will be served smoked salmon. Indeed, in their 100+ year old appetizing store which has been world famous for its salmon and other smoked fish, of the dozen or so varieties of what 99% of their customers refer to as lox, all of them are cold smoked except for their belly lox and Scandinavian gravad laks.

Jun 22, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Vermouth in a gin martini

pegasus...I think that perhaps what others are responding to is your flat out statement that "dry vermouth is vile". Many folks, including myself, enjoy dry vermouth in a martini, or even occasionally on the rocks. Maybe if you simply stated that you personally don't like vermouth, or that in your opinion dry vermouth is vile, the response would be different. Out of curiosity, have you tried some of the premium vermouths such as Dolin, Boissiere, Noilly Prat or Carpano Antica? I'd be surprised if you truly find them all vile. Do you enjoy any white wines?

Jun 21, 2015
josephnl in Spirits
1

In search of incredible lox?

Some lox is indeed smoked! "Nova Scotia lox" is tradionally brined (as is all lox), and then cold smoked.

Jun 21, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Congratulations to Chef Carlos Salgado and his Taco Maria!

Interestly, the article in F & W features his strawberry dessert tamales! With his background as a pastry chef at Coi and Commis in SF, it's obvious that he's capable of great desserts. Rumor has it that desserts are coming to TM.

Jun 19, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Congratulations to Chef Carlos Salgado and his Taco Maria!

Food & Wine Magazine has just named Chef Carlos Salgado as one of the 12 best new chefs in the country!! Congrats to one of the nicest and best chefs around! Taco Maria and Chef Carlos rock!!!

Pinot Provence replacement?

Just learned that Pinot Provence at the Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel will be closing this weekend. We are not surprised because what was once a superb restaurant (when Florent Marneau, now of Marché Moderne, was cooking and Michael Jordan, was the GM), has very seriously declined in recent years. Has anyone heard any rumors about what will replace it? Surely this large Westin hotel will need to replace PP, hopefully with something good.

Jun 19, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

"A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded."

The fact that it only happens on CH on my iPads, and I regularly look at 25 or more sites daily, and apparently only happens on FB with you (and I assume you too look at multiple sites), tells me that there is something unique about these sites and their interaction with iOS 8. It will probably take both Apple and the affected sites to figure it out.

Jun 19, 2015
josephnl in Site Talk

"A problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded."

It is DEFINITELY a Chow problem! It happens constantly when I view the CH website on my iPad, and NEVER with any other website! This is true for two iPads in our family!!! Please fix it, and don't pass the responsibility over to Apple!

Freezing leftovers contains potatoes

We are a household of two. Whenever I make a pot of stew or soup, I invariably freeze the leftovers for one, or even two, additional meals. With most recipes, this is just fine. But...when the recipe calls for potatoes, I evaluate whether or not I think the potatoes can be cooked separately and added in just before serving, or if not, I typically will not bother with the recipe. Whenever I make stew, I leave the potatoes out, and cook them separately and serve them alongside the stew. I think that cooked potatoes freeze terribly. Am I wrong...should I be using waxier potatoes??

Jun 18, 2015
josephnl in Home Cooking

current restaurant pet peeve

So...if you were to go to a terrific Greek restaurant you would ask them to not put Feta in your salad, or in your spanakopita or on your fish wrapped in filo?

current restaurant pet peeve

+1...of course!

Jun 17, 2015
josephnl in General Topics

Desert Recmomendations for Father's day Brunch (low cal, low sugar)

I know you said you want to pick up dessert, but making Ina Garten's Eton Mess is a snap using store bought meringue shells and frozen berries. Of course, if you make the meringues you can easily control the sugar, but if you use store bought, you can just reduce the amount you use. And for the berries, you can use Truvia or Stevia to sweeten. See: http://www.housebeautiful.com/lifesty...

Jun 17, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

current restaurant pet peeve

Certainly younger folk hear better than older, nevertheless in many of the extremely noisy restaurants that are the vogue nowadays, normal conversation is impossible for anyone, even the young, without shouting. I think it's pretty clear that for whatever reason and sadly, meaningful and serious conversation is less important for younger folk, at least while dining out.

Jun 17, 2015
josephnl in General Topics

current restaurant pet peeve

Actually, my post asking where you are, was posted way before your response re the FLL area. Don't ask me how the posts are ordered, but definitely not always chronologically. Indeed you'll see my later post responding to your location higher up!

current restaurant pet peeve

We have normal hearing and can't stand restaurants where shouting is necessary to converse. Unfortunately, it seems that most of the newer restaurants are very noisy. It's not by chance...it's intentional. There are at least 3 reasons newer restaurants are following this trend:
1) it's been shown that table turnover is speeded up in noisy restaurants.
2) costs can be reduced by eliminating tablecloths, carpeting and drapes...all of which reduce noise
3) high noise levels attract younger customers (important as this population is growing, eats out more and represents future customer base). Many theories re why younger customers are actually attracted to noisy places...energetic vibe, less interest in actual dialogue and two-way conversation by a tweeting and texting generation, etc.

Jun 17, 2015
josephnl in General Topics
1

current restaurant pet peeve

Really...wow, you must be a very talented cook/chef...I'm impressed! 300 mile radius would cover pretty much all of south Florida. It's hard to believe that between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and places between that there are no very good places to eat...is it so?

Jun 17, 2015
josephnl in General Topics

current restaurant pet peeve

We're really curious to know where (generally) you live that's so remote? Where is the nearest good food market?

Jun 17, 2015
josephnl in General Topics

French speaking restaurant in LA or OC

Florent is, of course, French...Amelia is not, but she does speak French. I have been to MM many, many times and don't believe I've ever been served by a native French speaker. I love the restaurant, but can't recommend it as a place to practice speaking French with the staff.

Jun 16, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

French speaking restaurant in LA or OC

Although I love Marché, I don't think many, if any, of the servers there speak French. Chef Florent Marneau, of course does, but I've never seen him socializing with guests, and I doubt that he'd have much time to give a French lesson. The food at Marché is great and dining there would certainly provide a lesson in upscale French bistro food.

Jun 16, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread-June 2015 [OLD]

Big YAY for smoked chile cheddar cheese. Just bought some and can't help nibbling it. Perfect with crackers and an ice cold brew!

Jun 16, 2015
josephnl in Chains
1

Vintage, hard-to-find and cult brand names

As beautiful as the Kobenstyle may be for mussels, IMHO nothing comes close to the Staub mussel pot...see: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

Jun 16, 2015
josephnl in Cookware
1

Do you tip your butcher?

Yes fourunder, I tip for purely selfish reasons rather than to show appreciation. Thanks for for pointing this out to me and for your kind and thoughtful response.

Jun 16, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food