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All you want from the dinner / sushi / desert menu 27 bucks a head

this actually sounds like a prime candidate for the CH Austin Meetup.

Central
Asian
Can try a wide variety
No issues with splitting up checks

Mar 27, 2014
lixlix in Austin
1

Bob's Chop and Steak House?

Back when the Meat House on Parmer was still open, that was my source for dry aged steaks to cook at home.

The flavor of dry aged beef has hints of Prosciutto/Jamon Serrano, blue cheese and the fat is softer and more waxy.

These days I don't really eat steak when dining out as I feel I can cook one as good if not better at home. I tend to buy it from Costco these days, especially if I want Prime tenderloin. Costco prices for Prime ribeye seems to be not much less than HEB prices.

Mar 27, 2014
lixlix in Austin
1

Austin Meetup

down for both.

Ive seen scrumptiouschef's popups run the gamut of prices but I would budget around $30pp

Also bring cash.

Mar 27, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Food-Festival-Wise, when's the best time to go to Austin?

personally I would skip the festivals as that tends to be chefs cooking in a mobile kitchen for larger crowds.

September - October should be a great time as the heat will have died down which makes both outdoor dining and waiting in line at some establishments more bearable.

I would much rather try to avoid the festival times : SXSW, Austin City Limits, Food festivals, and rather go during a less busy time.

Restaurants always put their best foot forward when business is relatively slower.

In that vein, its probably better to go during unpopular restaurant days like tuesdays and wednesdays.

Mar 25, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Pâté

I'm partial to the Blonde Pate with strawberries served at Parkside.

Mar 23, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Brioche

The Sprouts in Round Rock carries them, not sure if thats the case with all Sprouts.

Mar 23, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Best coffee in the downtown/SOCO & best local speciality food item to puchase

I am struggling to think of any local specialty food items that don't require refridgeration. Since you mentioned you like coffee, maybe you can bring back some locally roasted coffee like Cuvee Coffee.

Mar 11, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Austin Meetup

The only issue with Tatsu-Ya is that its not very conducive to large parties or conversation. The Franklin's schedule is probably a bit too prohibitive. I have no problems with Hopdoddy but its a bit boring for the luminaries of this board.

I'm down for a Scrumptious joint but not sure when the next one will be. I missed the last wild game one.

I'll throw another suggestion out there, 3 Little pigs trailer.

Mar 11, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Austin Meetup

shonshon_1999@yahoo.com

Mar 11, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Austin Meetup

I found out about it from this interview with Paul Qui a few years ago

http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/a...

Its essentially an oyster shack with a few Thai dishes. Their Papaya salad is really good but nuclear. I can handle spicyness but I can only do a 4 on a 10 point scale for their Papaya Salad.

Mar 09, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Austin Meetup

Personally my favorite Tiger Cry is at Deckhand Oyster Bar near La Frontera.

Mar 09, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Austin Meetup

A Saturday lunch would be awesome.

If we're thinking about central Austin, I would like to throw in The Hightower and Licha Cantina in to the mix.

Licha Cantina is run by the former GM at Mettle and I think its damn good for upscale mexican without the upscale price.

Mar 08, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Austin Meetup

I can make it if on a Thursday.

I'll throw Szechuan House in to the mix and if we want to Splurge a bit, Soto.

Mar 07, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Sunday Brunch

I actually really like the Epicere brunch even though I'm not as keen on their dinner menu.

Their quiche is really awesome. It is nearly identical in technique to the quiche served at Thomas Keller's Bouchon.

And if that doesn't tickle your fancy, you can always cross the street to Fonda San Miguel.

Mar 06, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Best "Bang for Your Buck" Steak in Town

Yeah go to Specs and pick up some Jamon Iberico to go with your booze.

Mar 01, 2014
lixlix in Austin
1

octopus

oh I'm ready.

I wonder if CM forces you to buy the whole thing though, I imagine so.

Feb 28, 2014
lixlix in Austin

octopus

Where can I buy raw octopus (even better live but I am not holding out hope) in Austin?

Feb 25, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Franklin's Update

Freedmen's is good but its not quite at the same level as Franklin's, LA BBQ, John Muellers, or Micklewait.

Freedmen's is good if you want to dine at night and get a whiskey cocktail with your BBQ though.

Feb 24, 2014
lixlix in Austin

The Hightower

I wanted to try out this restaurant knowing almost nothing about it aside from what I saw on the online menu. While the menu contains staples such as a steak dish and a scallop dish, the reason I was going was due to the appearance of rarely seen items such as the pork jowl and smelt.

Occupying the site of the former Karibu Ethiopian restaurant on East 7th, there was a nice sized parking lot when we arrived on a Saturday evening.

The inside has been transformed in to a gastropub with long bar, dim lighting, and plenty of seating inside and out.

We decided to get 4 dishes, the grilled radicchio, the blistered green beans, the pork jowl, and the fried smelt.

The server was very friendly and attentive and informed us that that would be a lot of food, which I didn't expect considering the affordable price point of each dish (vegetables were all under $10 and meats were all under $18).

Deciding not to over order, we went with just the green beans, the pork jowl, and the smelt. We ask that the dishes come out whenever they are ready as I like to eat stuff at their peak of readiness and have no need for food coming out together.

$8 The green beans come out first. It is a dinnerplate sized portion (I was expecting half of what actually came out) of blistered green beans mixed with a whole grain mustard, candied pecan, fried leeks, faro, and mint leaves. The beans are fried but with very little oilyness and the flavor is supremely complex. There is a wide range of textures as well. It is a very tasty and fun dish. Has become my favorite green been dish in Austin.

$10 Fried Smelt. The smelt are expertly fried with a very light coating and the smelt flesh is still sweet. It sits on a bed of pinto beans mixed with a jalapeno cream ( Mexican green sauce). The play between the jalapeno cream and the slightly sweet smelt flesh is great and my wife ate this up even though she normally doesn't eat fried foods.

$16.5 Pork Jowl. The pork jowl was served in chunks in a bi bim bap type format along with rice, pickled cucumbers, pickled onion, grilled avocado, some microgreens, and egg yolk with a spicy sauce that is reminicent of gochujang but not exactly. The jowl resembles well cooked pork belly with a porcine richness, fattiness, tenderness, and a slight smoky flavor. Pork jowl to belly is like guanciale to pancetta. The egg yolk was very fresh and rich and I enjoyed the non traditional addition of the grilled avocado. More importantly, the rice was very fluffy and had a great texture and moisture level.

Me and my wife were stuffed after 3 dishes and I had gone in expecting to have to order 5 to fill up. Together with a mini bottle of champagne that was enough for 2 glasses, the bill came out to be a very affordable $43 before tip.

It was only after I dined that I found out the owner and Chef were the GM and Chef at the long closed Al Arbol, what was then one of my favorites.

I feel that before The Hightower opened, I have not found such a great mix of value and expert cooking since Lenoir.

I am truly excited for this restaurant and look forward to trying the other items on the menu very soon.

Feb 15, 2014
lixlix in Austin
1

Qui: The Good and the Meh

I had the squid ink pasta dish too but it was with roe and uni and I also found the dish way too salty and had to have it remade.

I think aside from the roe, the problem is that there is a tendency for chefs to salt pasta water and while this is normally a great idea for normal pasta, for squid ink pasta which already has some salinity due to the squid ink, this might not work out so well.

Feb 13, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Best Risotto in Town?

I find Risotto to be too much of a personal thing. I usually don't like the dish to be too much on the al dente side but I find most restaurant Risottos to be a bit too hard. But there are also diners who prefer the rice to be almost crunchy. Its the same thing regarding how much liquid remains in the dish, some prefer drier and some prefer soupy so its tough to quantify "best".

I do remember a bone marrow/red wine risotto at Barley Swine when they first opened that was really delicious though.

Feb 11, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Where is the best fried catfish within 25 miles of Austin?

I've had the best fried catfish I've ever had at the Nawlins Cafe on Mcneil/183.

The batter is super light yet crisp and the fish inside is soft and moist. This is some expert frying.

Dec 26, 2013
lixlix in Austin

Jack Allen Kitchen's Pastry Chef Throws In With Oaxacan Project Pop-Up!

I'll be there tnight.

Nov 16, 2013
lixlix in Austin

Soto anyone?

I had a fairly blowout dinner there on Saturday.

Soto has matched my previous high bar for sushi in Austin, Tomo. I love Uchi and Uchiko but for for their non sushi offerings.

Both Soto and Tomo use the same supplier at least for the "special" stuff they get that day from the airport.

A breakdown of what I had

Fire Salmon - really fatty salmon belly draped over a lemongrass stalk with a dish of flaming coffee beans below. Really fun and tasty dish. You get 4 pieces of salmon with parts that are very soft and raw and also parts that are partly charred with slight fragrance of coffee. accompanying rasberry sauce a bit too sweet.

Grilled Hamachi Kama - classic grilled yellowtail collar/cheek served with finely grated radish, ponzu, and lemon. The outside has a nice char and the meat near the bone has a lively rich texture that is the primary reason why the collar is prized over other parts of the fish.

Grilled miso marinated black cod - Classic preparation made popular originally at Nobu. Fish was nice and flaky. Would have preferred more char. Sauce a bit too sweet.

Aji Sashimi - Very fresh aji. The fried bones/carcass sat out a bit too long. Would have much rather sacrificed on presentation to have the fried bones and carcasses served separately and immediately after frying.

Kumamoto oysters - very fresh, sweet, and creamy with a classic ponzu chili daikon oroshi. very good and great seasoning control.

Foie Gras Sashimi with truffle - Tasty foie gras. Still soft inside with a slight bit of char. Good truffle flavor. Would have liked to see a slightly bigger serving/thicker slices of foie.

Sushi

Madai - absolutely fresh Japanese sea bream from the airport that morning.

Uni - very good santa barbera sea urchin. Still solid and tongue like which is what you want. Not the absolute best I've had in Austin but up there.

Shima Aji - awesome. I rarely get to have this fish and its always a treat when I do. A more buttery, subtle version compared to regular Aji.

Amaebi/Botan Ebi - The chef picked out the largest live spot prawn he had available. Made 3 sashimi pieces out of it topped with flying fish roe. Then we had the option to have the head tempuraed or cooked in a soup. Had it in the soup. Absolutely delicious. Very crunchy and sweet flesh reminicent of lobster sashimi.

Toro sushi - Meltingly tender and fatty. Sauce was a bit too sweet. Some of the pieces was a bit veiny which is sometimes unavoidable with toro.

live Scallop -very fresh in a presentation that is similar to the one I saw at Tomo before Soto opened. The scallop is sliced in to 5 disks, the foot is served sliced in the center and everything is dressed with lime juice. This style originated again at Nobu where Nobu Matsuhisa tried to recreate the tiradito (japanese style ceviche) of his youth.

yuzu ball dessert - very fun and refreshing dessert consisting of yuzu ice enwrapped in honey and white chocolate shell.

Overall a very nice dinner with some unique dishes. Some uneven service issues. For example I ordered Tea and I was dining with 3 people total. The waiter asked if I would like 3 without explaining that tea comes out in a teapot so I ended up with 3 teapots which was somewhat space consuming on the sushi bar. Some confusion with regards to whether diners at the sushi bar give orders directly to the sushi chef or to the server.

Looking forward to more innovative dishes and more exotic fishes. The fish quality is spot on.

Oct 29, 2013
lixlix in Austin

Pho Broth

Phonatic is owned by the Pho Saigon owners so its pretty much identical.

Oct 15, 2013
lixlix in Austin

The Dojo and Groupon

yeah I had a pretty bad experience. I tend to not want to write negative reviews but they really need to get their act together with regards to the food. When I went I had a pretty broad sampling and I would say that 1/3 of what we ordered was inedible, 1/3 was average but not worth the price charged, and 1/3 was good.

Oct 09, 2013
lixlix in Austin

Where I have recently eaten in Austin and what I wish I can get

you might be right about the toaster oven heating element. Its been so long I don't remember.

As to the lettuce and Samjjang, my first tip of Korean restaurant dining is try to go with a Korean if you can. It really seems to improve customer service in my experience.

Oct 09, 2013
lixlix in Austin

Where I have recently eaten in Austin and what I wish I can get

I haven't been in a long time, but have you tried Chosun Galbi? I believe they do coal. Also I think most grill it yourself places serve samjjang and lettuce especially if you get sam gyeop sal.

Thats funny about Hawaii as me and a friend was just discussing the Hawaiian peculiarity of combining a starchy side (mac salad) with a starch based main.

The deli scene is a wasteland in Austin. Its feels like its just Melvin's at this point.

Oct 09, 2013
lixlix in Austin

Specific what to eat downtown questions

1. Consider Moonshine for CFS
2. I haven't had the Relleno here but other dishes were very good so I would consider El Naranjo

I would also consider El Alma for Rellenos. I remember a Relleno with duck that was tasty. There's also a pretty good quail with mole sauce.

These are more upscale Mexican restaurants but the food is good.

3. can't advise on as I don't know what to look for in a good one.

4. If you can get to LA BBQ or John Muellers or Stiles Switch or brave the line at Franklins, do so. None of these are downtown.

Oct 09, 2013
lixlix in Austin

Where I have recently eaten in Austin and what I wish I can get

More annoying is the servers who try to explain a dish to you thinking you don't know anything about it when they've just learned about the dish themselves maybe a day ago.

I remember complaining about a duck breast that was very tough and was described as being cooked sous vide. The server instead of making amends or taking the dish back, tried to explain to me that the rubbery texture was because it was cooked in a water bath at low temperatures, etc...like I was some kind of rube. I cut her off and said "yes yes, in an immersion circulator at 140F, blah blah, now please alert the chef that he's doing it wrong".

Oct 07, 2013
lixlix in Austin