Mr Taster's Profile

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Worst Dishes in 2014

I'm a long-standing Los Angeles 'hound who grew up in the tri-state area. I'm protective about my NY staples (you'd be amazed how popular it is here to top really great pastrami with cole slaw, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese...) I fight the good fight here, vigorously and often.

Having said that, I've just now heard of Katz's serving a pastrami egg roll, and it doesn't offend my sensibilities at all.

http://katzsdelicatessen.com/deliver/...

The idea of a Katz's doing a mash-up that wraps up the culinary and immigrant history in the LES, well- it doesn't strike me at all as coming from a place of "dubious culinary tradition." It seems, in fact, like the perfect fusion food, in the same vein as LA's kimchi taco.

How long have they been making these things? And what I really want to know is whether they make Chinese hot mustard available to dress those pastrami egg rolls with. Good lord, that seems to me to be the perfect fusion food. And I'm not someone who gets my panties wrinkled for anything newfangled or fancy.

Mr Taster

about 8 hours ago
Mr Taster in Manhattan

The Pastrami List 2014

>> A little Chinese mustard...

Now *that* I can get behind.

Mr Taster

about 9 hours ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
2

The Pastrami List 2014

I meant swiss, Russian dressing and cole slaw :)

Katz's #19 egg roll. *urf*

Mr Taster

about 9 hours ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

The Pastrami List 2014

>> Hey Norm here's something you can add to the Langer's menu please...

Vomitous visions of biting into an LA style pale-skinned spring roll gushing mayonnaise and swiss cheese.

Mr Taster

about 9 hours ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

The Pastrami List 2014

about 10 hours ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

From EaterLA: "Grand Central Market Makes Bon App's Best Resto List"......My question is "Who Made This Happen?"

Since there are approximately 3.2 seats at the Belcampo counter, it is for all intents and purposes, a takeaway burger.

Yeah, Apple Pan is a weird phenomenon... the non-FUB™ place with FUB™ pricing. I really don't know what to make of it.

By the way, it's the fries that come on a paper plate. The burger is handed to you wrapped in paper, sans plate, Belcampo style.

Mr Taster

about 11 hours ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

The Pastrami List 2014

Really great story. Thanks for passing this along.

Mr Taster

about 11 hours ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

From EaterLA: "Grand Central Market Makes Bon App's Best Resto List"......My question is "Who Made This Happen?"

1. My sandwich is now $14, not $15 :) (It looks like the price recently went up.)

2. Let's not forgot, you're the one paying $16 for the privilege of numbing your tastebuds to the marvelous pastrami with heaps of fat, sugar and dairy! It's true-- that's the reason why a high fat peach ice cream always sounds like a good idea, but inevitably tastes little of peaches. The fat coats the tastebuds and numbs the flavor of peachiness. Now in a low fat confection like sorbet or gelato, the peach flavor can totally shine through. So, what's the upshot? Pastrami gelato. (You read it here first.)

3. Unlimited free (good) pickles... HELL YEAH! That's part of why Langer's price is less egregious than Belcampo's hand-you-a-burger-wrapped-in-paper-and-walk-away-as-if-you-were-at-In-N-Out. If Belcampo included $0.25 worth of fried potatoes in the price, or $0.05 worth of dressed mesculin or other veg (like Golden State does- FUB™-lite pricing for people that love FUB™s), the price wouldn't seem as egregious to me.

Mr Taster

about 12 hours ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

From EaterLA: "Grand Central Market Makes Bon App's Best Resto List"......My question is "Who Made This Happen?"

Horse theif was awful.

Brisket very tender. Ribs tasted tough and old. Pulled pork dry as hell.

Mr Taster

about 23 hours ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

From EaterLA: "Grand Central Market Makes Bon App's Best Resto List"......My question is "Who Made This Happen?"

I wouldn't call a $13 burger served wrapped in paper "reasonable", but it says a damned tasty burger.

Mr Taster

about 23 hours ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

The Pastrami List 2014

>> The stuff they put on is pretty pathetic and ruins the pastrami.

For a moment, I thought you were referring to Langer's #19.

Mr Taster

1 day ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Pyromania at Chengdu Taste in Alhambra

Tony, please clarify which "Saigon Express"/"Saigon Sandwich" you're referring to.

http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=...

Mr Taster

1 day ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

The Pastrami List 2014

Kaifeng, China. Home of indigenous Chinese Jews. My people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaifeng

Mr Taster

1 day ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

The Pastrami List 2014

So, why exactly are you throwing a corned beef pic into the mix? :) Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

Some of the best "corned beef" I ever ate was at the Kaifeng night market. The pita was made at an adjacent stall, just moments before. No Gulden's, sadly :)

Mr Taster

1 day ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

Pyromania at Chengdu Taste in Alhambra

Is CT2 serving the same dishes as CT1, and how does the quality of cooking compare?

Mr Taster

1 day ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Al Pastor Spit Spotted - Melrose and Manhattan Place

I don't think it's quite been a year, but they've been gone for a while. They started doing construction at that car wash, and the truck never returned. (I was fooled a few times by a false truck whose food was not nearly as good.)

Mr Taster

1 day ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Pyromania at Chengdu Taste in Alhambra

On Saturday, I walked past the entrance at 5:15pm. Pink's-style line was gushing out the door and out onto the sidewalk. Insane.

Mr Taster

Aug 18, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Thought 'hounds might enjoy reading my New Orleans trip report. It was my first visit (and my only one, so far), and I absolutely fell in love with the place. I was in charge of organizing a dinner for a group of pharmacy students who were in town for a conference, so my options were limited-- but I think we did pretty well considering the constraints of cost and geography. Still, I made the rounds, without a car.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8178...

I don't suppose char-grilled oysters are too much to ask for in LA? :) Chinese people love seafood, after all... if you can make them affordable to old Chinese and VN ladies, you'll have a built-in customer base!

Mr Taster

Aug 18, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Yakitori Bincho - Closed

That's sad. Like many 'hounds here, I followed their trials and tribulations from the time when they were Yakitori Bincho. The problem for me was that it was so damned far out of the way. I'd love if he would reopen on Sawtelle, or- Fairfax :)

Mr Taster

Aug 18, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

I look forward to seeing how this goes.

Mr Taster
(of the Ocean County, New Jersey Tasters)

Aug 17, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

No, it makes me a hypocrite.

Mr Taster

Aug 17, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
2

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Stopped in yesterday. The place was empty, save for a table of elderly women at a table, chatting in Cantonese. I was greeted by a friendly young Asian woman, who showed me around a bit, and told me that the deli was going to start making po' boys next Friday, and beignets and coffee in the fall. The menu will eventually expend to include muffulettas and other Nola staples.

I picked up a jar of Blue Plate mayo, which I'd read knocks Best Foods out of the park, and it's true. It's delicious stuff, made with egg yolks instead of whole eggs, and has a really nice tangy flavor. It's not as neutral as BF/Hellmann's, but it doesn't have an overwhelming flavor, either. At $8.50 for a 32 oz. jar, it's *really* pricey, but it's simply not available for retail purchase outside of the south, so I sucked it up and bought it. I'm glad I did, though I don't know how often I'd be willing to schlep to Chinatown for mayonnaise.

I was surprised that most of the items in the store were standard convenience store fare. Beef jerky, pet food, candy and nuts, etc. There were 2 small racks filled only with Nola imports. Beans, hot sauce, seasonings, Zapp's potato chips, etc.

Eventually they're going to be selling cured and smoked meats like tasso and andouille (fyi to chef markvs... the lady helping me referred to it as "AN-dewey" instead of "ON-dewey" ;-), and the sausage is going to be made in house. Again, it's a schlep to Chinatown-- my tasso, andouille and cajun seasoning supplier has long been the butcher counters at 3rd & Fairfax farmer's market, which is a lot closer to my house. But if LJ's andouille is significantly better, I'll be there. Of course, if the po' boys, muffulettas and beignets are great, that'll be enough to get me out there for some Blue Plate and andouille shopping too.

Mr Taster

Aug 17, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Yesterday, we had a "Share" button, Today?

I get it now. This is why they thought it was intuitive:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9838...

"It has been the web standard for several years in social media, blogs, commenting systems, to name a few examples."

I am vehemently anti-social media, so every time Chowhound copies an idea established by Facebook (like the drawer icon on the mobile site, for example), it confuses the hell out of me for a while.

I'd expect Yelpers to be able to intuitively follow these kinds of "social media standards", but Chowhounds are a different demographic.

Engineering, please take this into account when implementing social media "user interface standards" in the future.

For those of us whose only "social media" is Chowhound, they're not as intuitive as you may think.

Thank you.

Mr Taster

Aug 16, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Yesterday, we had a "Share" button, Today?

Ahh, thanks paulj. That was not obvious.

Why would Chowhound not implement a 2 week window where, for example, clicking on permalink would have brought up a dialogue explaining this? It would have done wonders to ease the transition.

Mr Taster

Aug 16, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Yesterday, we had a "Share" button, Today?

So wait, now that permalink is gone, how exactly do I link to a specific post within a thread?

I've tried linking to a specific reply several times over the last couple of weeks, and got totally frustrated that the link icon was gone. I still have not been able to figure out where to grab the permalink from.

Mr Taster

Aug 16, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Big Gay Ice Cream's Doug Quint on LA, Expansion, and the Book

Heteros are a not an oppressed minority. Ergo, no parades (nor ice cream trucks.)

Mr Taster

Aug 15, 2014
Mr Taster in Features
2

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

I salute you for that. Let's see how it goes!

Mr Taster

Aug 14, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Wow. Artisan gang bang. That's spot-on hilarious, dude. I wish I had thought it up.

I do hope your place attracts a broad swath of Angelenos. The problem is, the moment Jonathan Gold writes you up (and its inevitable if you do NOLA food really, really well), you're going to have a line of hipsters out the door and that's going to keep everyone else away. So, how do you make the rest of LA feel comfortable in your place? It probably requires outreach to the community, and some lower priced menu items. It looks like you're with a Chinese gal... my wife is Taiwanese. Sell the beignets to the hipsters, and to the local Chinese and VN as NOLA youtiao! Leave the mounds of powdered sugar off, and they'll snap that up for breakfast every day.

Ah, but that's right-- you're not looking to compete with the locals, though for the life of me I can't think of anyone making decent youtiao in Chinatown.

Mr Taster

Aug 14, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

I'll see your $14 pickles and raise you mason jars as drinking glasses. Putting my lips up to thick, threaded glass is just not a pleasurable way for me to enjoy a beverage.

Over the last decade+, we've had many debates on Chowhound about fancying up humble, simple foods, and whether that's a good or bad thing. It's a complex issue. Why is a plate of freshly made Italian pasta a bargain at $10, but zha jiang mian is too expensive? My opinion on this has evolved, but is still complex. I dislike gentrification, and the way that trendy places seem to attract a very narrow demographic of Angelenos. But, I do sometimes enjoy the food that is the result of gentrification. I've said many times before, Cole's vs. Philippe's is a great example of a place that ostensibly serves similar foods, with a vastly different customer demographic. One serves a broad swath of Angelenos from all walks of life, and the other serves a considerably narrower demographic. I'll let you figure out which is which. Even though I believe the food at the newly renovated Cole's is much better, I'll go to Philippe's 10x for each 1 visit to Cole's. The place just feels better to me. It's real, it's honest. It's not trying to be anything other than what it is, and I respect that. Contrast with Coles which is, in this odd way, a beautiful recreation. It's missing this ethereal element... sincerity, perhaps? I don't know.

And when chefs who love to evoke this down-home "comfort foods", "welcome to my kitchen" schtick on their menus and websites (e.g. Nancy Silverton), and then charge absurd prices for inexpensive, simple foods- the insincerity of it rubs me the wrong way. If you're going to charge those high prices, fine-- but don't pretend that we're your friends in the kitchen with you, or at your backyard BBQ, where you charge your guests $30 for a burger, fries and a coke.

In any case, I personally hope that Little Jewel is more in the vein of Philippe's rather than Cole's. I hope you understand what I'm trying to convey here.

Mr Taster

Aug 14, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

That's a great idea.

A heads-up post from an owner referring to a new post on a "professionals" board (in much the same way we might set an off-topic tangent to "not about food" for example) sounds like a really elegant solution to this whole co-mingling of people with financial interests with regular people with honest opinions.

John Oliver recently did a scathing piece on "native advertising"-- that is, advertising masquerading as news content, which seems to be the next step in web advertising. (I suppose it's our own collective fault for never, ever, ever clicking on banner ads.) Maybe that's where this is coming from. If that's the case, isolating people with financial interests from ordinary threads is not what Chow is looking to do with Chowhound. What if allowing pros with vested financial interests to speak (now, for free) is a way of getting them dependent on Chowhounds for real business (that they'd be willing to pay for) later?

Take a click. It's worth a watch.

http://deadline.com/2014/08/john-oliv...

Mr Taster

Aug 14, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk
2