nomnomnoms's Profile

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Umami Burger now open in Palo Alto

Service is usually pretty bad at all the Umami locations in SoCal. Combine that with looooong wait times and overpricing... We often chose to go to the Charlie Palmer burger joint down the street when we lived in the OC.

Jun 07, 2013
nomnomnoms in San Francisco Bay Area

Pleasing in laws with food

My MIL is the pickiest eater in the world. She cannot handle strong herbs, garlic, raw fish, "weird meats" such as offal (even something gateway like beef tongue!) and game meat, and "slimy vegetables" that include okra, molokheya, and mountain yam.
My FIL can be adventurous but does not like to eat anything not Japanese, Korean or Chinese. So he'll eat skate wings and monkfish liver but he won't touch a bowl of pho.

At first I found it really nerve wracking to cook for them... But seven years really blunts your nerves! Nowadays when they come over for dinner I just make a chicken dish, roast some veggies and have some white rice ready. Or just take them out for some yakitori...

Apr 20, 2013
nomnomnoms in Not About Food

Kitchen ant infestation

We spend about 40 bucks on bait every spring/summer... We can't use anything fuming because we have parrots! We buy the kind that you jab into the ground outdoors, indoor traps of all sorts, then windex any strays we find. We also glue up any holes with wood glue every year. But the buggers still come back every year...

Apr 20, 2013
nomnomnoms in Not About Food

Hosting a party is hard work

I used to host fancy pants parties like yours, but it's A LOT of work, and I can't enjoy myself because I'm always paranoid that something will go wrong. And this is with just 8-10 people!

Nowadays when we host parties, we do something more hands-on, like a gyoza party. I just make the filling, and when guests arrive we wrap them while sipping beer, then pan fry them on our electric griddle. We do this with okonomiyaki, hot pot, and korean bbq too. All I have to worry about is cleaning the house, some prep, and that the rice cooker is on!

Mar 11, 2013
nomnomnoms in Not About Food

Suggestions for St Pat's day dessert--NOT cake

At my old restaurant, we used to do a Guinness float with frozen chocolate custard, a splash of Jameson and cocoa nibs on top of the foam. People already order a lot of booze on st Pattys day at a gastropub, but those floats sold like hot cakes!

Mar 11, 2013
nomnomnoms in Home Cooking

Favorite simple vinaigrette?

it's got a savory element to it, and not very sweet like aged balsamic. i like it much more than regular balsamic.

Mar 03, 2013
nomnomnoms in Home Cooking

Have you ever eaten bugs... On purpose?

well, i hope you don't open a can of beans thinking "gotta get my daily allowance of fly wings!"

Mar 03, 2013
nomnomnoms in General Topics

Have you ever eaten bugs... On purpose?

do they have a twiggy texture, much like deep fried shrimp tail/legs?

Mar 03, 2013
nomnomnoms in General Topics

Have you ever eaten bugs... On purpose?

i hear about chocolate covered ants a lot... nestle crunch, eh!

when i went to science camp, the camp counselor had us eat these ants that were vinegar filled, and then kiss a banana slug. i agree, nowadays parents would probably flip out...

Mar 03, 2013
nomnomnoms in General Topics

Have you ever eaten bugs... On purpose?

when I was in a evolutionary ecology class in college, we referred to crustaceans as "sea cockroaches". so i guess that's spot on.

what i want to know are the exotic bug dishes the adventurous chowhounds have had.

Mar 03, 2013
nomnomnoms in General Topics

The Playground review

I've been on three occasions. The first time I went during opening. Some dishes were extremely salty, and when I complained to the server all I got was "the stage made it". I wasnt expecting a comp or anything as it was during opening week, but blaming stuff on the stage is lame. After that I avoided the place like the plague.

Second time I went was for Ryan Carson's (the new chef for IO) pop up. Everything was refined, great, exciting....

So I went again a third time when it was back to Quinn's menu. Everything sounds great on paper, but I found the executions too salty. Service had been spotty, and then the Chef started to pack his knives at the bar area (where I was seated) and that has set me back to a meh.

What they are doing for the OC restaurant culture is great, but I'm not buying into the chef-nazi thing... It's called HOSPITALITY industry for a reason!

Mar 02, 2013
nomnomnoms in Los Angeles Area

13 Lbs. boiled chicken!!

If you're making stock, you're boiling it with onions... Not exactly dog safe!

Mar 02, 2013
nomnomnoms in Home Cooking

Your Best Main Dishes

Chicken braised in tomato, tarragon, leeks... A recipe I learned at cooking school, and a winter favorite: http://www.inomthings.com/?p=3204

Buta-kimchi (pork and kimchi stir fry), which I supplement with Chinese chives. Husband wants this at least once a month.

Ginger pork chops. After I pan fry thick cut chops, I deglaze the pan with a mixture of soy sauce, sake, mirin, honey, and grated ginger. Reduce until it lacquer coats the chops, and serve with shredded cabbage and rice.

Pizza. I start the night before I intend to serve it: I ferment the poolish overnight, then make the dough and retard-ferment in the fridge during the day. Simple tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella, some slapped basil to finish.

Mar 02, 2013
nomnomnoms in Home Cooking

Have you ever eaten bugs... On purpose?

Not like "there was a worm in my salad!" but like "I've had sauteed silkworms".

When I was a kid, my aunt took me to a secluded mountain resort where they specialized in "mountain food"... The menu included various wild plants, boar dishes, as well as candied locusts. I could only bring myself to eat the legs...

Another bug dish: at a different resort, we were served fresh honeycomb with a yellow jacket in it. The yellow jacket is suppose to release a toxin that's good for you, or something like that.

What kind of bugs have you ingested intentionally?

Mar 02, 2013
nomnomnoms in General Topics

How do YOU make a meatloaf sandwich?

I've never had a meatloaf sandwich before... Thanks for helping me decide what to eat for lunch tomorrow! I have some braised hamburg steaks leftover from last night, as well as a loaf of no knead bread... Can't wait :)

Mar 02, 2013
nomnomnoms in General Topics

How do you take your coffee?

Pour over in a hario, black. Smells soooooo good.

Mar 02, 2013
nomnomnoms in General Topics

Favorite cooking word or phrase?

poolish.

Say it with me.

POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOlish.

Mar 01, 2013
nomnomnoms in Not About Food

Beef short ribs - anything oher than braise?

Make Galbi with it. Marinated short ribs, grilled. Or you can make a clear soup with it, called a Galbitang.

Mar 01, 2013
nomnomnoms in Home Cooking

Favorite simple vinaigrette?

I like to soak minced shallots in some white balsamic vinegar for 10-15 minutes, then whisk olive oil into that. Salt and pepper to taste. It's super simple and clean-tasting.

Mar 01, 2013
nomnomnoms in Home Cooking

How do you "dress" your fried eggs?

Maggi sauce.

"it improves the taste!"

Feb 22, 2013
nomnomnoms in General Topics

What do you eat raw that most people don't?

I've had "black and blue" chicken with fresh wasabi soy. The texture is almost like toro, but leaner.

Other raw things that my relatives in Japan have fed me:
Horse
Venison
Beef liver
Eggs

Feb 22, 2013
nomnomnoms in General Topics

What is your method for pan searing and finishing scallops?

Stainless. If you have to use frozen scallops, I suggest "air drying" them in the fridge overnight. Pat dry with paper towels before searing.

Feb 22, 2013
nomnomnoms in Home Cooking

Foodie vs food snob

My husband refers to people like us as "picky people" because of the outrage he once experienced from calling someone a foodie. It does have a negative connotation, sort of like "hipster"...

Someone who introduces him/herself as a gourmand or an epicure will automatically be filed under the douchebag section in my head. Especially those who are Michelin seekers or those who flock to the newest hot opening in town. It doesn't make sense to bring elitism into a part of life that arose out of necessity and evolved into culture. If you eat like a king for one day of the week but eat junk food for the rest of week, what's the point? I'd rather eat great ethnic food or eat glorious produce at home, continuously.

Feb 22, 2013
nomnomnoms in General Topics

Eating a animal that had a name.

Yes.

Apparently there was a pig named Bacon before Tonkatsu was born too.

Feb 22, 2013
nomnomnoms in General Topics

Did Your Mom Repeatedly Cook a Dish You Despised?

My mom didn't believe me when I told her that I was allergic to eggplants, and kept serving it all through high school. One day, I finally gave in and ate some, only to end up with lips that would put Angelina Jolie's to shame, and my tongue swelling to the point that I couldn't close my mouth.
Haven't seen eggplant on the table since, but then again I did move out when I was 18...

Feb 22, 2013
nomnomnoms in General Topics

Eating a animal that had a name.

In my mom's village in Hiroshima, the local agricultural high school raised pigs to sell to butchers. When I was a kid, we used to take cabbage stems and carrot tops and feed it to them for fun.
On each stall, there was a name tag handwritten by the students. I remember one of them was named Tonkatsu. There was also a turkey, but I guess turkeys are rare in Japan, so he was kept as a school pet. His name was John. And the chickens never had names because there were so many of them...

Feb 22, 2013
nomnomnoms in General Topics

Food: Fortune Telling and Superstitions

A tea stem floating vertically in your green tea is an auspicious sign.

Eating first crops will extend your life by 75 days (new crop teas, skipjack in the summer, new potatoes...)

Feb 22, 2013
nomnomnoms in Not About Food

Do you like seeing the chef in the dining room?

I personally dislike it because it usually means that someone is not checking the products back at the expo line (unless he has a sous doing this for him, but still...), which then means that the dish may not be as good as it should be.
And I hate it when strangers talk to me in general!

Feb 22, 2013
nomnomnoms in Not About Food

Recipes for cooking with coconut oil?

You can blend it with soaked raw cashews, sweetners, fruit purée and coconut milk to make a "vegan cheesecake". There are many recipes out there, and they are surprisingly tasty.

Feb 22, 2013
nomnomnoms in Home Cooking

so much leftover chili - what to do with it?

Make a lean dough, stuff it with said chili, bake, then voila! HOT POCKETS.

Feb 22, 2013
nomnomnoms in Home Cooking