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Lynndsey Rigberg's Profile

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Got suggestions for a "La Mar" type of view but without the noise? [San Francisco]

Ok, thanks to you SF Chowhounds, I got a great suggestion for La Mer for a little get together. It was tasty, but it was so noisy, very hard to hear fellow dinner companions talk. Any other suggestions for something along the embarcadero with a view that nice but without all the noise? Thanks!

Jun 27, 2013
Lynndsey Rigberg in San Francisco Bay Area

Hinoki & The Bird - review

Just went there Wednesday night to celebrate a major milestone with another couple and had to share my thoughts given the reviews I've seen here.

First of all, I used to LOVE Sona. So I was really looking forward to some of David Myers interpretations on some classic dishes.

Overall, the vibe is cool. We were seated outside by the fire so it was cozy and visually lovely. But WOW was the music loud, we really had to shout about the music to hear each other.

The food was really mixed:

Crab toast - enh. It was so-so.
Lobster roll - totally bland and underwhelming.
Kale salad - boring and too salty.
Baked yam with lardons and creme fraiche - this was my favorite dish.
Black cod - enh.
Short rib - meat was tough.
Fried chicken - SO BORING. I was expecting KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) or JFC (Japanese Fried Chicken), but it was neither. It was just bland and boring.
Maitake marinated mushrooms - too salty.

Dessert:
Praline ice cream - reminded me of the wonderful hazelnut gelato we'd have in Paris, so this was 2 thumbs up.
Japanese cotton cheesecake - I know how to make this at home so I was not impressed with their version.

The food was not great, but the service was really excellent. With a bottle of wine, our bill was $650 for 4 people.

Again, I really wanted to like it, but found the entire experience underwhelming.
: (

Jun 14, 2013
Lynndsey Rigberg in Los Angeles Area

Casual but tasty place to meet around 20 people?

Hi there, thanks for this idea, but these are perhaps a little too casual. Someone suggested the Tango Room at Fairmont hotel....something like that in terms of scale and easy to gather, but not so stuffy (and I doubt the food and booze are any good). Thanks for brainstorming!

Jun 07, 2013
Lynndsey Rigberg in San Francisco Bay Area

Casual but tasty place to meet around 20 people?

Hi SF Chowhounds, we're getting an informal group of 15-20 people together somewhere at a bar/restaurant in SF. Can you think of some place we can all go? I don't want to have to book a room or anything. A big spacious place where it'll be easy for folks to come and go. Buy their own drinks and food, etc. An EASY experience all around, ya know? Thanks for any suggestions! A nice view would be a plus!

Jun 07, 2013
Lynndsey Rigberg in San Francisco Bay Area

n/naka followup

Hi Chowhounds, thanks to the great reviews of n/naka here, my husband and I decided to celebrate there last weekend. The atmosphere was quiet, calm, zen, lovely, thoughtful - just like the dishes. We had the Chef's tasting menu - 9 courses, and walked away perfectly satisfied.

#1: started off with an Uni amuse bouche in a glass (no picture) on top of a grated potato ball. It was interesting texturally.

#2: perfectly seared scallop and half a shrimp on carrot puree

#3: Toro in ponzu on ice - delicate, cold, delicious.

#4 Sashimi selection: tuna, skipjack, yellowtail, and an oyster

#5: Seabass in ponzu and grated mountain yam - I have never liked the raw grated yam before but it was so delicious and added nice body to the broth.

#6: My favorite dish of the night: pasta with roe, cream, white truffle oil and abalone. I wanted another serving and would've licked the bowl if no one were around.

#7: Tender beef cooked on top of a magnolia leaf on top of a charcoal brazier.

#8: 6 pieces of sushi - (not all photographed here): shrimp, uni, mackeral, and I forget what else. Each piece was so delicate and ridiculously fresh.

#9: Black sesame creme brulee with red bean cheesecake and a dab of ice cream.

It was all amazing. Wonderful balance. Felt very satisfied. Not one dish I didn't love!

BRAVO! We're definitely coming back!

May 22, 2013
Lynndsey Rigberg in Los Angeles Area

any more reviews of Hinoki and the Bird since February?

Sadly, no one has responded! I will just have to report back to you myself after I go! : )

May 07, 2013
Lynndsey Rigberg in Los Angeles Area

any more reviews of Hinoki and the Bird since February?

Hi Chowhounds, I went through all the Hinoki and the Bird reviews posted here but haven't seen any new ones since February (when it first opened). Hubby and I are about to go there in a few weeks to celebrate an anniversary. Any new thoughts on what to order/avoid?

Thanks!

May 03, 2013
Lynndsey Rigberg in Los Angeles Area

Happy Hours at Asian restaurants in West LA?

Hi Chowhounds,

Last week, I found myself on Sawtelle with my two kids at 6pm looking for a tasty place to eat. We wound up at Robata-ya, and what really surprised me was that they had a "happy hour" menu. Halleleujah! I didn't realize Asian restaurants did happy hours (maybe just this one).

And that's why I'm writing - please let me know of any other Asian happy hours you know of in the West LA area.

BTW, it was a short menu - skewered livers, skin, cartilage, california roll, crispy tofu and some beer. But the prices were great and we had a really great meal.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Jan 16, 2013
Lynndsey Rigberg in Los Angeles Area

Tasty and QUIET restaurant in Monterey Park or SGV?

Hi Chowhounds, I am meeting a business client tomorrow (Saturday) around 2pm. I'm looking for a tasty and quiet place tomorrow to meet so we can have a nice meal but also talk...and hear each other. Got any ideas? Thanks so much, any asian cuisine will do (chinese, taiwanese, shanghainese, vietnamese, thai, etc)

Jan 11, 2013
Lynndsey Rigberg in Los Angeles Area

HELP! Why are my potstickers/dumplings so dry?

Sorry, I forgot to mention that I DID use napa cabbage - lots of it too - it was finely chopped up ( I used my vitamix and did a wet chop technique)- I used an entire head for 6lbs of pork. But maybe not enough? Thanks.

Oct 04, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

HELP! Why are my potstickers/dumplings so dry?

Hi Bkeats, I know my XLB, and I'm definitely not trying to make that (but I do love those dumplings!).

I'm just comparing my potstickers to restaurant and store bought ones, and the texture of my filling just doesn't seem as moist. But you have a point. I may have unrealistic expectations.
I wish I could taste someone elses' homemade dumplings - that perspective would help!

Thank you everyone!!!

Oct 03, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

HELP! Why are my potstickers/dumplings so dry?

I had some pork leftover so I just made a few more potstickers. I'm attaching the photo here.
I also made a few frozen ones bought from 99 Ranch. I cooked both up and had my family do a blind taste test. Everyone said both had a nice flavor, but everyone preferred the store bought one - they described it as moister. The only think I can think of is the store bought ones have a very high ratio of vegetables. Also, I wonder if they salt and drain the water out of their vegetables like I have been doing?

FattyDumplin said they use to mix their meat mixture alot or it would come out "grainy". And that's actually a good description for my dumplings too. The meat seems a little, well, grainy.

Again, I saw the pork butt I chose - it had a fair amount of fat! Sorry everyone, this issue is just driving me crazy. There are so many dishes I do well, but not this dish....which should be my native dish! Grrrr!

Oct 03, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

HELP! Why are my potstickers/dumplings so dry?

I didn't use corn starch this time, but it is an ingredient in the majority of the recipes I find online!

Oct 03, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

HELP! Why are my potstickers/dumplings so dry?

Hi Everyone,

So I took everyone's advice into consideration.
The dumpling party happened this past Saturday. I went to Ranch 99, picked a nice looking piece of pork butt, had them ground 6 pounds for me.

Chopped up fresh water chestnuts, fresh chives, garlic, ginger, added some sherry, sesame oil, a little sea salt.

No cornstarch AT ALL.

Yet, once again, my dumplings came out dry. They had a nice flavor, but just weren't juicy AT ALL.
I seriously don't know what's up. And I'm Chinese American too - this is just too shameful! My ancestors are probably rolling over in their graves!!!! Ai-yah!

Oct 03, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

HELP! Why are my potstickers/dumplings so dry?

Hi ipsedexit, when I boil the dumplings, I cook them just until they float to the top.
When I do potstickers, I put a little oil in the pan, brown the bottoms, then add 1/3 cup of water, cover and steam until the skin looks cooked through. Usually around 3-4 minutes.
The skin is never overcooked...but the interior is dry. : (

Oct 03, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

HELP! Why are my potstickers/dumplings so dry?

Thanks for responding ipsedixit - the recipe I used was Steamy Kitchen's recipe...to the letter (see below)!
There's the cornstarch slurry for the wrapping portion, but also 2 TB of cornstarch that goes into the meat mixture itself.

Do you think I should skip the draining the vegetables? Wouldn't the natural vegetable juices help keep it "juicy"? Thanks!

1 package of frozen dumpling skins, defrosted overnight in refrigerator or 40 minutes room temp (do not microwave or set in water)
3/4 pound raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 stalks green onions, cut into 2 inch sections
1/2 cup canned bamboo shoots
1/2 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon rice wine (or dry sherry)
for the slurry: 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water in a small bowl
water
cooking oil

Sep 28, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

HELP! Why are my potstickers/dumplings so dry?

Hi Chowhounds,

I'm spontaneously doing a dumpling party this weekend for friends who've never wrapped them before. I conveniently forgot my last experience in trying to make them turned out badly - my wrapping technique is good, but the filling was so dry! Can you help me figure out why?

Theory #1: 90% of the recipes I'm finding online all suggest CORNSTARCH. Perhaps it soaks up all the "juice"?

Theory #2: Could it be the ground pork I bought from Ranch 99? It look like there was a lot of fat in it, so I really don't know!

I think my ratio of vegetables (finely chopped napa cabbage, salted and drained). was right?

Thanks for your thoughts, and any foolproof dumpling recipes you want to share!

Sep 28, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

best raw hamburger - frozen or fresh?

Hi Chowhounds,

Question: I am having a BBQ (hot dogs and hamburgers) and serving around 60-80 people.

Is it crazy of me to make the burgers from fresh raw meat?
Should I just buy the frozen patties like everyone else?
Is there such a thing as good quality frozen beef patties?

At Costco, their fresh ground beef lists 5-8 different countries their beef is from. That sort of freaks me out. But the frozen patties are usually the same (made from beef trimmings from different countries)

I would like to balance quality with cost, if that isn't a pipe dream.

Thanks for the advice....and advice for my last question. You were all so helpful!

I HEART CHOWHOUNDS!

Sep 19, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in General Topics

advice on a "partial" caterer

Great suggestions everyone - I really appreciate the feedback!

Warmest,
Lyn

Sep 12, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in General Topics

advice on a "partial" caterer

ha ha! You're funny! I'm happy to pay a good person to help me out. What's your food/cooking background? You can email me your resume at lynnrigberg@yahoo.com. Thank you!

Sep 12, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in General Topics

advice on a "partial" caterer

Hi Chowhounds,

I'm hosting an open house for a group of parents and kids next month. Initially, I was just going to grill up some hotdogs and hamburgers, but unexpectedly, the number of attendees have swelled and doubled in size!

I know if I try to cook for everyone, I will miss the entire party!

So I want your advice: if I want to hire someone who can help do some basic cooking, what kind of person am I looking for? I'm not looking for a caterer per se because there's really no specialty cooking involved. And it's not just a "server" because they'd be doing some grilling and taking tator tots out of the oven!

So thanks for telling me how to even ASK for this type of person, and finally, what's the market rate I should expect to pay?

Thanks for all of your sound advice and any referrals!

Sep 12, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in General Topics

Cockentrice recipe anyone?

Hi Chowhounds,

Did anyone watch Time Machine Chefs last night? It as a cheesefest and the only good thing about it was watching the Chefs have fun making a cockentrice.

Speaking of, anybody ever make one? Got any recipes?

I think I'd like to attempt one for a dinner party/reunion coming up in two weeks - thanks for any recipes/advice!

Aug 17, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

Newport seafood equivalent?

Chow hounds, I have a milestone birthday coming up and wanted to get 30 friends together for Newport Seafood. As you know, NS doesn't take reservations and don't have a banquet room. Is there any other restaurant that comes close in quality but also won't totally break up the party?

NS said they'd seat each table of 10 as the tables open up meaning I'll have three rounds of guests eating at different times....this sort of sucks....so is this worth the meal and hype? (I've actually never eaten here but have read all your great reviews). Thanks for your thoughts!

Aug 13, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Los Angeles Area

recipe for Noby's Chawanmushi Foie Gras?

Oops, I meant NOBU....!

Jul 27, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

recipe for Noby's Chawanmushi Foie Gras?

Hi Chowhounds, I once made this dish with a recipe I thought was Noby's recipe....and I've looked all over the internet and see the link for it...but then discover the page for the recipe has been taken down! If anyone has this recipe, I would be much obliged if you would be willing to share it! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!

Jul 27, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

Pork shoulder...with worms?

Hi Chowhounds,

Last week, I saw a recipe on these boards for slow roasted pork shoulder. I bought a nice 4-5lb piece from the market and cooked it.

When it was ready (and cooled a bit), I started shredding the meat. I came across 5-6 long, black...I don't know what??? threaded through the meat. It was several inches long, black, and when I plucked it out of the meat...it would leave a black mark/stain on the meat.

I don't scare easily...but it seemed so weird and unappetizing, I couldn't really stomach it. I froze it and decided ask you Chowhounds....I just want to know what the hell that was???

I have learned how to butcher before so again, I know this was not tendon, or sinew, or whatever...but I don't know for sure if its worms.

Thanks for any advice, thoughts, comments!

PS. Should I eat it...or toss it?

Jul 09, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

very dry dumplings - add back "vegetable" WATER?

Hi Chowhounds,

So I made the potstickers (aka Peking Raviolis) last weekend. They tasted so-so (great flavor...but soooo dry). I got ground pork from Ranch 99 and it look pretty marbled with fat so I'm pretty confused.

The recipe I followed was pretty typical of most I found online:

finely chopped cabbage. Salted. Drain the water. Mix pork, egg, seasonings, some sherry, etc.

I spoke to a friend of mine from Beijing...and she told me something surprising. She said to reserve the water drained from cabbage and to mix it back into the meat mix?

Thanks for any suggestions for how to make my future potstickers moist!

May 24, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

Peking Ravioli recipe?

Hi Chowhounds,

My friend from Boston wants me to teach him how to make Peking Raviolis - what is also know as Potstickers.

I definitely know how to make regular potstickers, but for those of you from the east coast, is there anything different/special about how its made there?

I was just going to use the typical cabbage & pork recipe...

Thanks for your thoughts!

May 18, 2012
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

advice on cooking rice in high altitude

Hi PaulJ, Yes I cook this rice back home in LA all the time (no modifications to recipe) and it comes out perfectly. I like it just a tad sticky...but last night's experiment was downright mushy. I will just have to try less water. Wish I had a pressure cooker here! Thanks everyone!

Dec 28, 2011
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking

advice on cooking rice in high altitude

Happy Holidays Chowhounds!

I am vacationing at high altitude (8100 ft) and staying with some friends in their lovely home. They have requested that I cook them an authentic chinese dinner. No problem! Amazingly, I found most of the ingredients I need.

The only problem is that I knew cooking rice at high altitudes is problematic so I bought some short grain rice today and did a couple test batches.

I read all the suggestions online (water boils at lower temperature in higher elevation, use a little more water, etc).

I did two test batches:

1: I cooked the recipe as is (1 1/2 cup rice to 2 cups of water)
2: I followed the suggestions I found online. (same as above but added 2 tsp extra water)

Results: both batches were almost equally mushy!

Obviously, I will attempt this again tomorrow with less water but I will gladly take any suggestions you might have to offer.

one Final question:

The rice instructions said to bring the rice to boil and then cover for 20 minutes.
is this what made it so mushy?

Should I be letting the rice cook uncovered and then just cover/steam the last 10-15 minutes?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Dec 28, 2011
Lynndsey Rigberg in Home Cooking