Mr Taster's Profile

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As much as I don't understand the reason for elimination that feature, I do think the most effective avatars (the ones that people actually remember and can instantly identify with a specific poster) are not the ones that require that kind of detail. A good avatar needs to be immediately identifiable and shouldn't require a microscope. That may satisfy your need to express your creativity or holiday spirit, but in terms of functionality, changing things up doesn't work.

Think about Sauce Supreme's "SS", ipsedixit's morose blue smiley, Jim Leff's original Chowhound logo, or... mine ☺

Mr Taster

about 15 hours ago
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Ramenya "Reopens" at Asian-Ya, Open for Lunch

There's a reason why Ramen-Ya isn't talked about much here. It's not very good.

Back in the day when the main competition for ramen was Asahi on Sawtelle (I'm talking 15 years ago), yeah... Ramen-Ya was better. But Daokokuya was the real champ in those days, before that position was usurped by the second and third wave ramen yas.

Mr Taster

about 15 hours ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads (Part 2)

I think Chowhound knows that the pagination thing is pointless from a user experience standpoint. They simply couldn't be that daft... to force users to opt out from site crippling experience. The whole notion is simply absurd.

So, either Chowhound leadership is utterly, completely, mind-numbingly, blisteringly incompetent, to the point of incomprehensibility, or there's another, simpler, more straightforward explanation. Occam's razor.

A more plausible explanation is that there's another reason why they're doing this, and they can't (or won't) talk about it publicly. Increased ad revenue is my guess.

Pat, marssy, etc. are not the only employees forced to put lipstick on a pig, and they won't be the last. What they should have done is hold true to their recent promise of greater transparency, and told us "we have to make this shift to increase ad revenue." Yes, we would have complained, but it wouldn't have been such a bloody insult to our collective intelligence, the way this thing was.

It's not too late, pat and marssy. The only way to close this wound in a way that promotes healing is to lay your cards on the table and be honest with us. Continuing to ignore the damage this had caused in the community will only make the problem fester. Its time to cut the rot now before it spreads further.

You're driving your main content providers away- the ones who have stick around for a while, and who (in my case) have provided free content for over ten years.

You need to fix this.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Mr Taster
(Who is, for the record, a non-observant Jew, who had no problem when people tell me to have a Merry Christmas)

This "portrait" of ipsedixit has been pinned to my screen for months

Thanks. Now the real question is, if you can pin that ugly picture, why can't you pin the solution for the pagination/non-collapsing site break?

Senior Consultant Mr Taster reporting for duty.

Mr Taster

This "portrait" of ipsedixit has been pinned to my screen for months

Now THAT'S funny.

But seriously, Chow team, what's the reason that this has been such there for weeks, if not months?

Mr Taster

Dec 23, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk

where to buy Ceylon (true) cinnamon in West LA?

It's not better. It's different. Less pungent & assertive, and a simila4 (but different) flavor.

Sniff it at Penzey's, side by side with the other cinnamons.

Mr Taster

Dec 23, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

This "portrait" of ipsedixit has been pinned to my screen for months

Every time I see it, it freaks me out a little. How do I make it go away?

It's pinned to the right column, under the "Easy SLow Cooker Pulled Pork" and "Basic Whole Roasted Chicken" recipes, which incidentally have also been there for months.

Mr Taster

Dec 23, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Goose?

Matterhorn Chef (now Swiss Chef) used to serve a proper holiday goose. You might want to check with them.

http://www.swisschefusa.com/

Mr Taster

Dec 23, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Old vs. new Manifesto.... why the changes?

With the recent pagination "feature"/intentional site crippling kerfuffle, I thought I'd revive this thread in order to illustrate to marssy and the other powers that be (and new Chowhounds) where we came from.

By the way, this thread is showing all posts as new, except for mine. You might want to focus your efforts on fixing that, because it's an *actual problem*.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/986928

The current iteration of the manifesto is buried here, under "history":

http://www.chow.com/about

Mr Taster

Dec 23, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk
1

Philippe The Original Takes Plastic After Only 106 Years !

Agreed. And the smoked sausage po boy special this weekend knocked it out of the park.

I still love Philippe's, though. Ain't nobody no how gonna change that.

Mr Taster

Dec 22, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Sugarfish service charge on takeout

Quite frankly, I love the 16% autocharge, with no ability to tip more.

As a customer, I find it to be a huge relief-- not because I want to shaft the servers, but because obligating the customer to make a value judgment on another human is, quite frankly, not something I want to do to at end of a meal. At all.

Just charge me what you need to charge in order to pay your servers a living wage (ideally just wrapping the cost up in the price and eliminating the line-item "service fee") and we can each go on our merry ways.

Mr Taster

Dec 22, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Steak in a Pullman Sleeping Palace

http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-vintage-s...

Took a day trip to Capistrano, and was bewitched by the sheer beauty and gezellig-ness of the place. Located adjacent (and connected) to the Amtrak station building, it's a restaurant patched together from several rooms in the old Santa Fe Station building, and Pullman sleeper cars (still parked on their original track) and converted into a gorgeous dining room filled with wood, brass, and thick velvet curtains. The original sleeper compartments remain collapsed into the roof of the train car.

No time to eat, but we'll certainly head back. Your responses will determine if we go back just for cocktails, or for steak.

What do you think of this place, fellow 'hounds?

Mr Taster

Dec 22, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Zam Zam market closing in Culver City

I think that was the point of the joke, J.L.

Mr Taster

Dec 21, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Let's bring back Jim Leff as a Senior Consultant for Chowhound

I remember in some of Leff's early blog posts, he stated that the people taking over the site "got it". I wonder how many of those people he was referencing are still around?

Mr Taster

Dec 20, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Let's bring back Jim Leff as a Senior Consultant for Chowhound

Guaranteed the recent pagination debaucle wouldn't have happened had he been steering the ship.

What say you, fellow Chowhounds? Shall we start the campaign to bring back Leff? And what do you think, Jim? Help save Chowhound from itself.

Mr Taster

Dec 20, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk
1

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

Thanks for clarifying. I do remember times when my previously read links would be reset, which led me to that (apparently erroneous) conclusion.

You've been awfully mum on this, Jim. I suppose there really isn't much for you to say that hasn't already been said?

Mr Taster

Dec 20, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Chowhound: How About Working WITH Us Rather Than TO Us?

It sounds like what you really need is a senior consultant who is well established, long time user of Chowhound (10+ years), who can vet these kinds of ideas before you utilize your time, money and resources turning well-intended but misguided ideas into frustrating reality.

Email me for my rates.

Mr Taster

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

That's great. For what it's worth, I got my colors wrong. New links are blue, and clicked/viewed links are purple. You have to use the back button to register the color change.

http://web.archive.org/web/2002021308...

Mr Taster

Dec 19, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

To offer a long view perspective, "collapsed read threads" (of a sort) have been a part of Chowhound from the beginning.

Even in the pre-CNET days with the ancient software, before user account registration kept track of what you'd read, cookies kept track of that. Each post appeared on a new page (all plain text hyperlinks) with responses below. New posts would appear red, old ones that you'd previously clicked on would be blue. When you were done reading a new reply, you'd click the browser's back button and the link you'd just come from would be blue. It was crude, but it worked (as long as you didn't erase your cookies), though the post-CNET experience of account registration and the modern collapsible format was a huge improvement.

Now, you're essentially disabling something that has been a key part of CHs usability since day 1. This change seems to indicate that the site programmers and desogners are simply not users of the site... there's just no way to spin this as a good idea from a user experience perspective (other than to say there's an easy but hidden way to get rid of it.)

Totally baffling decision, guys. It's time to walk back this one. Seriously.

Mr Taster

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

Six messages spread over 2 pages means twice the number of ads sent to your eyeballs. (Though not mine, thanks to ad block plus)

Mr Taster

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

I would like to hear patsully acknowledge whether or not the decision to pagninate is related to more advertising being displayed.

That's the only way it makes sense.

Mr Taster

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

I've got to agree.

Pagination makes sense from an advertising standpoint. More clickthroughs means that more ads can be displayed. From a usability standpoint, it stinks.

Mr Taster

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

>> Fix the things that are broken before you fix things that aren't broken.

- Like the glitch in old(er) threads which shows only the Chowhound's own posts as being collapsed

Mr Taster

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

Absolutely, Steve. There should have been a yellow banner across every Chowhound page announcing these kinds of changes.

I, too, thought it was a glitch and was shocked to find out it was a new "feature".

Having to "opt in" for functionality and usability is crazy. Add the feature if you must, but don't make it the default, for pete's sake!

This is truly one of those cringe-worthy moments, like the creation and subsequent elimination of the member-created restaurant database. Less tragic, to be sure, since there's no real loss to be had. But the decision was equally short sighted and frustratingly oblivious to the practical needs of users.

Mr Taster

site forgetting "read" posts

Suddenly, all of my posts are new.

Does this mean you're working on the problem right now?

Mr Taster

Dec 17, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Zam Zam market closing in Culver City

Happy Halalnukkah, everybody!

Mr Taster

Dec 17, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Zam Zam market closing in Culver City

It's a halal Christmas miracle!

Mr Taster

Kokekokko (Little Tokyo) Will Close in Late January 2015

I'm asking. I saw the post (ostensibly from the restaurant owner) saying that rumors of their demise is premature, to change the post title, and that they're moving. Now it's gone-- what happened?

Mr Taster

Dec 15, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Kokekokko (Little Tokyo) Will Close in Late January 2015

FoodShutterbug,

I appreciate this very thoughtful account of your visit to Kokkekoko. It reminds me of the type of posts we saw more commonly in the old days of Chowhound-- detailed, enthusiastic, and most importantly, credible.

If you've read any of my 11+ years of rants/posts on Chowhound, you'll know that I'm a culinary populist. As such, Kokkekoko rubs me in all sorts of uncomfortable ways.

Having said that, the restaurant certainly does have a right to protect its business and profit margins by serving food to people that will understand and appreciate the food in context. I can understand the frustration and lack of respect a chef might have for a customer who doesn't understand or appreciate the cultural traditions behind a certain type of food preparation, whether that's complaining about how the chicken is too rare, or that your Chicago pizza is too thick. Either scenario implies a gross, fundamental cultural misunderstanding.

Where I grew up in white, suburban New Jersey, we always heard rumors about how Chinese restaurants had "secret menus" filled with the good stuff. You would sometimes see untranslated menus, and restaurant workers and Chinese families eating plates of food that were most definitely not thick egg rolls, "chicken chow mein", and pu pu platters. Even relatively recently, there are accounts (on Chowhound and elsewhere) of non-Chinese people going into restaurants in Manhattan's Chinatown, asking for "secret menu" items, and being shut down. (Note this doesn't really happen in Flushing, or in LA's San Gabriel Valley where expectations skew along different demographic lines.)

The reason for the so-called "secret menus" of NY/NJ doesn't have anything to do with elitism, ego or chef worship. It has everything to do with incompatible expectations of food. When a non-Chinese person sends back pork belly for being too fatty, or a beef noodle soup for having too much tendon and not enough muscle, or chicken for having too many bones, somewhere a little Buddha cries. Chinese people have a love of texture in food-- the slithery bits and crevasses in bones give your tongue something to do; it's kind of the point of the thing.

With regard to Kokkekoko's black plate schtick, it's not unreasonable to assume they started their business with this philosophy-- establishing a customer base who have an understanding and appreciation for their food (black plates) while still appeasing the expectations of the broader customer base.

However, a customer showing appreciation by kissing the chef's outstretched hand? That's a whole other ball of 大便.

Mr Taster

Dec 15, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Zam Zam market closing in Culver City

I noticed something strange. Drove past last Thursday evening on way to Yamadaya, and was surprised to see lights on and people inside, sitting at the tables and standing in front of the counter. I'd have assumed they were open for business, if I hadn't heard otherwise. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to investigate. Has anyone actually tried to eat there since the "closing"?

Mr Taster

Dec 15, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area