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Good Osechi Meal (reasonably priced) for Manhattan 2007?

I know that if you go to the Mitsuwa in Edgewater, NJ 2-3 days before Jan. 1, you can get a set of o-sechi dishes prepared, but I haven't had them, so I can't tell you whether they are great or not. They are, however, reasonably priced, and I did see the Japanese families scrambling to get them, so I'd assume they are at least reasonably good for the price.

On the other hand, O-zoni is very very simple to make yourself. 2 years ago I made it myself for my husband and family, and he said that the recipe I used turned out well. If you'd like I can try to find it for you. It was Kansai style.

Dec 22, 2006
linlinchan in Manhattan

Tonight: Saito's or Ike for Sushi

Ike is good. But has anyone else noticed that the portion sizes fluctuate somewhat?

Nov 30, 2006
linlinchan in Los Angeles Area

Need ethnic food that you'd walk 3-4 miles for.

Oh, Myung Dong Kyoja on Wilshire and Hobart (I think? A few blocks East of Western)
It's a Korean noodle restaurant. The only dishes on the menu are about 4-5 types of noodle soup and one kind of dumplings, and it's so very good.

Nov 30, 2006
linlinchan in Los Angeles Area

Best all around Japanese in NYC?

That's good to know! I'm SUPER picky about it, too, so I've got to try this out when I go home.

Nov 30, 2006
linlinchan in Manhattan

Favourite tips you picked up while travelling ? [Moved from Home Cooking]

Oooh, I have to try that! Thanks!

Nov 10, 2006
linlinchan in General Topics

Sushi- not on Mondays or Sundays?

Because fresh fish isn't usually available for purchase, most of the Sushi restaurants I know seem to be closed on Monday. I've even seen one that was closed both Sunday AND Monday.

Nov 07, 2006
linlinchan in General Topics

Super Udon in Gardena. Anyone been there before?

About 2 miles south from Super Udon is Sanuki no Sato, which I think is the best udon restaurant by far in the area, so if you want to eat Udon at a restaurant, I would recommend that. The ambiance is really nice, too, and 90% of the customers in there every time I go are Japanese.

Nov 06, 2006
linlinchan in Los Angeles Area

Favourite tips you picked up while travelling ? [Moved from Home Cooking]

In Japan I learned that Japanese mayonnaise in the squeeze bottle can be used on just about anything.

Nov 06, 2006
linlinchan in General Topics

How do you dress up a bowl of Top Ramen?

Actually, that's exactly how I used to make mine... In the coffee maker, and with similar ingredients, except I'd poach the egg. And sometimes peanut butter and whatever chicken tenders I just happened to have left over would find their way in too. XD

Nov 06, 2006
linlinchan in Home Cooking

japanese carrot salad dressing

It has been my experience that the orange dressing you get at most Japanese restaurants is ginger, not carrot. I've never run into somewhere with carrot.

Nov 06, 2006
linlinchan in Home Cooking

What do you think of the prepared foods at Whole Foods?

Things vary. What I really like are their sandwiches, their macaroni salad, the salad bar, and the spicy tuna bowl (which kind of varies from place to place but is generally delicious.)

The best place I know in terms of food prep and selection would be the one on Fairfax in LA at the Farmer's market/Grove. We used to go there from work for lunch a lot and it was delicious. I have a friend who would swear by their pizzas.

Nov 06, 2006
linlinchan in Chains

Can someone recommend a Japanese Curry Restaurant?

Curry House tastes like packaged curry roux because it is owned by House Foods Corp., one of the largest makers of packaged curry roux.

Nov 06, 2006
linlinchan in Los Angeles Area

Special requests and the quiddity of a restaurant dish

This is certainly a viable point and there are people with terrible food allergies that need to do so in order to go along with friends to a restaurant for the social experience, but I see it way more often happen that there are just a bunch of extremely picky people (and they always seem to be dining together) that don't like onions or tomatoes or sauce anywhere but on the side.

Nov 06, 2006
linlinchan in Not About Food

Favorite Americanized-Chinese dishes??

There's a storefront/takeaway counter near my house that sells everything in a set, freshly-cooked dish with one scoop of rice, a fried dumpling and a crab rangoon, for I think anywhere from $4.00 to $6.50 depending on what.

90% of the time I go I get the Kung Pao Beef... soooo good and spicy it's amazing.
Additionally, I grew up in NJ with more "Authentic" (compared to the midwest, etc.) Chinese food than where I am now, so I literally had never even seen or heard of a 'crab rangoon' until I moved to St. Louis for college. But they're soo good. Authenticity be damned.

Nov 06, 2006
linlinchan in General Topics

Squid- The insides of the squid

Even most Japanese don't like to eat it so much. It's not generally a good part of the squid compared to the leg, IMO.

Nov 06, 2006
linlinchan in General Topics

Adriatic Fig Spread (from Whole Foods)

It's really great for me since I no longer live in a place where you can get decent figs inexpensively at all.
For the week or two that whole foods near here does carry them in the fall, they're very small, very expensive and not so good.

This stuff has a huge taste so it lasts for a really long time.

Nov 04, 2006
linlinchan in General Topics

Adriatic Fig Spread (from Whole Foods)

Has anyone tried this product? It comes in a little jar with an orange label on the lid.

I got addicted to it last year when one of the girls from the company would keep it at work with quality cheeses and snack on that during breaks. She would give it to us and I got hooked.

It's so delicious on like a crispy crostini type or flatbread cracker with a blue cheese or other sharp-ish soft cheese.

Does anyone else like it? I am pretty sure it's now available in most Whole Foods markets.

Oct 26, 2006
linlinchan in General Topics

favorite potato chips

Kettle chips salt and vinegar flavor.
I am not a huge fan of regular unflavored chips... I'll eat them but in general, I prefer the really crispy, thick chips, but the unflavored ones tend (in my mind...) to have this turkey-ish taste. (Don't ask, they just taste like turkey coldcuts to me...)

So yeah, salt and vinegar flavor.

Oct 26, 2006
linlinchan in General Topics

Who has the most "Addictive" Ice Cream/Frozen Custard in the US

There's a local place in New Jersey called Halo Farms/Halo Pub that make wonderful, addictive and delicious ice cream. When I was in High School, a VERY LARGE one scoop cone was $1.00... now I think it's like $1.50 but it's still so cheap and super-delicious.

Oct 15, 2006
linlinchan in General Topics

What do you drink with sushi?

Nothing goes better than a good beer.

Oct 15, 2006
linlinchan in General Topics

Subway: Did They Give Jared the Boot?

Amen to that. They're all kinda revolting.

Oct 15, 2006
linlinchan in Chains

Osaka

The problem with Osaka is that I have lots of reccommendations, but no real way to guide you to where they are. If you like Korean food, try going to Tsuruhashi and walking around. There's the world's best Okonomiyaki restaurant in the Tsuruhashi area, (called OMONI) but like I said... not sure how to tell you to get there... it's about 5-8 min. walk from the station there.

Oct 13, 2006
linlinchan in Japan

Posh tonkatsu in Kyoto?

It was exactly Katsukura. It's a little east and on the north side of Shijo-dori. I've been there a whole bunch of times, it's a standard in the area.

Oct 13, 2006
linlinchan in Japan

Starbuck's maple macchiato-have you tried it?

I don't really like to drink "coffee/espresso drinks," other than normal coffee and sometimes cafe americano, but I thought it was pretty okay. My husband got one, and I agree that it gets sweeter because the syrup must sink. I don't really like sweet coffee though, so that turned me off a little. If it would all taste like the section near the very top, I think I would have enjoyed it a little more.

Oct 13, 2006
linlinchan in Chains

Subway: Did They Give Jared the Boot?

But Togo's is sort of edible. As compared to Subway.

That aside, I was wondering the same thing... since most of the new commercials seem to feature Jon Lovitz using an incomprehensible accent.

Oct 13, 2006
linlinchan in Chains

Best Cookbook You Own?

I own many, and most of what I cook is Japanese food, but at the same time, the most informative and helpful book I have is The Elements of Taste by Gray Kunz and Peter Kaminsky. Every recipe and the theory behind them are amazing to read.

Oct 11, 2006
linlinchan in Home Cooking

Japanese Curry Tip

I myself use a dash of maple syrup. It lessens the premade taste of the curry roux and gives a good depth.
I put that maple syrup in at the end, with milk, also, which my husband likes.

And if I can't afford much meat that week, I make a runny fried egg and put it on top after serving the curry. Mmmmm.

Oct 09, 2006
linlinchan in Home Cooking

What's American food anyway?

When I went abroad to Japan the first time, I took with me this cookbook I found that I thought was a fantastic representitive of what American cuisine truly is. My mother, who is a chef, helped me find it. I know you said you didn't want to rely on cook books but this book is great: "An American Bounty." It was compiled by the Culinary Institute of America.
There are salads, crab cakes, steamed mussels, salmon, soft-shell crabs, clam chowder, corn chowder, gumbo and other soups, game recipes, American style ethnic recipes, club sandwich, roast chickens, roast turkey with stuffing, casseroles, squashes, potatoes, beans, greens, among many other things. Wonderful recipes with a good emphasis on ingredients native to the US.

Oct 09, 2006
linlinchan in General Topics

HELP ME!!!! Where to eat LUNCH around WILSHIRE and HAUSER BLVD?

It isn't but if you drive out to the Farmer's market at the grove, the middle eastern place there (Moishe's I think,) has pretty decent gyros.

I used to work in the area too. On Fairfax, just a little north of Wilshire, there is a cafe called Mani's that has some good sandwiches and salads. There's a Whole Foods right next to the Farmer's Market, too, which saved me when I had to work there, because most everything in the area is terrible.

Oct 09, 2006
linlinchan in Los Angeles Area

Fried Oysters

Liquid-coatings are always so tempermental, and since I don't have a nice kitchen, I use the aforementioned flour/egg/breadcrumb mixture, but I use panko breadcrumbs. They turn out really delicious.

Oct 07, 2006
linlinchan in Home Cooking