Azizeh's Profile

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What is the worst wedding reception dinner you've ever had?

Back when I was as a server, I worked a wedding reception as a favor to the groom, a co-worker from the restaurant we worked at. They were mid-twenties and on a tight budget. He was lucky enough that about 7 of us were able and willing to work as servers for a full day without pay. We liked the guy, so we considered it our gift to him.

Reception was at a home. The couple made the salads/sides (he was in culinary school, so they were done nicely) and as a reflection of something the couple loved, they had the In n Out truck make burgers for the entree. It was cute.

Problem wasn't the food, but seemingly no one thought out the logistics of having a truck staffed by 3 people making burgers for 150 people.

This was a sit down dinner, which made it a nightmare.

Appetizers and salads were no issue, but we had about an hour to an hour and a half difference between tables getting their burgers. The guests had no qualms about complaining to us about it relentlessly.

All we could do was apologize. Sorry folks, we can't magically hurry a "kitchen" with a very limited capacity that was filling special requests for those who wanted no lettuce or extra cheese, etc.. I think allowing those customizations was another mistake, as it led to many mix-ups and definitely was a culprit in the time issue.

Definitely one of the hardest days I worked as a server and the last catering job I ever took.

Jun 06, 2013
Azizeh in Not About Food

So what's the average Chowhound's age?? (Part 2)

I am 31, but incredibly immature. Let's call it 25.

Jun 06, 2013
Azizeh in Not About Food

Chinese Takeout in the Movies and on Television

I think it's purely for aesthetics. It's people's jobs to design each detail of a set, down to the smallest details.

The box and sticks are easily recognizable as takeout and easily shows whatever sentiment the scene is trying to portray.
Usually it's intimacy, laziness, or sadness (i.e. romantic comedies after the breakup, before the blissful reunion. In the rain.)

Same is true for ice cream. Nothing seems to convey depression in a film better than a lonely lady eating out of a pint of ice cream. And, naturally, polishing off the carton in one sitting.

Jun 06, 2013
Azizeh in Not About Food

Dry large lima beans - going the way of the dodo?

The Persian stores I shop at always have them.

Jun 17, 2012
Azizeh in General Topics

Plastic Grocery Bag Ban - what do you do about meat?

We've had the ban in Santa Monica for a while and the grocery stores still have the plastic produce bags. Whole Foods wasn't using plastic shopping bags well before the city banned them, but they still have the smaller plastic bags available in the produce and bulk sections.

My local pet stores still sell the plastic waste bags and I haven't seen any signs saying they're going away.

I have no idea about the actual legalities behind all of this. My guess is that health codes take precedence over environmental issues for the time being.

Jun 01, 2012
Azizeh in Not About Food

Chocolate mousse without eggs or gelatin?

There's vegan gelatin, if you want to experiment a little. I've seen it at Whole Foods and there are recipes online for it.

May 31, 2012
Azizeh in Home Cooking

Matcha ... where to buy?

Whole Foods has a pretty good variety, especially if you go to a larger one. I buy DoMatcha brand there, and they have the regular, an organic one, and the ceremonial quality. Some of the specialty tea stores have it, but it's even pricier than WF.

May 26, 2012
Azizeh in Los Angeles Area

Georgetown Cupcakes - Arriving in the Fall

I had them when I visited DC last year and I thought they were very good. I've never been a fan of the ones sold at the cupcake shops, but this was the exception. I remember there being a line out the door and they were bringing out fresh cupcakes at 9pm. I only recall the salted caramel, which was fantastic.

May 17, 2012
Azizeh in Los Angeles Area

Are Manners Getting Worse?

I think Helena's examples are that of open mindedness, not manners. Once you grasp health consequences, you are less apt to make fun of someone's choices. I don't believe it's politeness, just understanding.

I see it when a driver fails to make the turn s/he was hoping for. Instead of driving up a block and making a u-turn, they just stop an entire lane of traffic. Far better to inconvenience 12 others than myself, right?

My new years resolution was to not default into saying "excuse me" when someone crowds me out, bumps into me, or gets in my way. They should be the one that says it, but my instinct kicks in and I've failed to be stubborn, and gone back to doing what my mother taught me. C'est la vie.

Mar 07, 2012
Azizeh in Features

AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO HATES TURMERIC?

That's what I've been reading, too. It's really making the rounds in all the nutrition/health magazines lately. They sell Curcumin supplements and some of them are enhanced with pepper for better absorption, allegedly. I take the Curcumin pills (no taste that I notice, but I like Turmeric.)

Obviously the fresh spice is the way to go, but since most of us won't eat enough Turmeric to get the benefits, they say do a combination of the supplement and add it to food whenever possible.

Feb 22, 2012
Azizeh in General Topics

VALENTINE'S DAY CHOCOLATES

I really like the marshmallows they have at the Vosges store in Beverly Hills. I usually am not a marshmallow person, but these were really tender and not at all gummy.
http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/produc...

They do have truffles with various fillings. I remember they gave me a sample of one with balsamic vinegar in it, and it was delicious. I think they have an exotic truffle collection, too. Plus their purple heart boxes are romantic.

Jan 29, 2012
Azizeh in General Topics

Lots of opinions, but what's the LAW???

Except in states (like California) that have laws stating gift cards with a remaining balance of under $10, I think it is, can be requested back in cash.

This seems to be about the extent of the CA law pertaining to gift cards:
http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/le...

Not a lot there. They basically tell you to know the merchant's terms before you buy it.

Jan 23, 2012
Azizeh in Not About Food

Saving recipes on macbook pro + viewing on iphone 4

I either bookmark them (my iPhone and MacBook sync bookmarks) or I cut/paste, then e-mail the recipe to myself and put them in a particular inbox that also syncs to my phone.

Dec 11, 2011
Azizeh in General Topics

Lookinng for Salt Pork

I get it at Whole Foods. Even some of the smaller ones by me (Santa Monica) have it with the bacon and other packaged meats.

Nov 13, 2011
Azizeh in Los Angeles Area

Trick-or-Treating in the Rich Neighborhood

Is it really targeting the rich areas, or just the ones that seem to have more involvement in celebrating Halloween?

If you go to a neighborhood that's known for it's decorations and there are plenty of trick or treaters, you know that you won't be walking around a neighborhood where half the people keep the lights off to avoid the doorbell ringing. Seems obvious to try and go to the more festive areas.

Oct 25, 2011
Azizeh in Features

Giving Ground Turkey Another Chance - What Brand?

I made ground turkey kabobs when I couldn't find ground chicken for my Koobideh. I'm sure the pureed onion and its juice helped with the flavor and moisture, but it was good.

I usually put it in chili, but if you're not worried about fat content, add some butter or oil to the burger patties.

Oct 18, 2011
Azizeh in General Topics

Asking your guests to bring their own plates and silverware for large/r dinner parties...

While I agree that it's easier to use disposable plates, and as a guest I'd prefer not worrying about my dishes, I realize that it's not much different than a pot luck. There's usually a bowl or leftovers or something to take home with me, so it goes back in the bag that came along in the first place.

That being said, as a host, I'd rather not have to think about "imposing" on my guests, and I'd just stock up on party dishes and entertain more to get full use out of them.

Oct 13, 2011
Azizeh in Not About Food

recipes using brown rice that taste good?

When buying Basmati (white or brown) there is a noticeable difference between American and Indian grown varieties. In my experience, the Indian rice is more flavorful and has a better texture.

Experiment with both if you're on the fence about brown rice. Brown Basmati cooked in my rice cooker is hardly any different than white.

Oct 11, 2011
Azizeh in Home Cooking

Cooking For Our Four Legged Friends...

So, anecdotal evidence is basically "I haven't killed him yet!"? From my understanding chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol can stop a dog's heart. Sure, a safe food can be deadly if your dog ate a ridiculous amount of it and/or gave himself bloat. The differing factor is that a seemingly small amount of these substances can kill. Big difference.

For you to "safely" give him something that is considered a toxin, you'd need to know the dosage given, weight, other medications, the toll on his body function in relation to age, etc. etc. etc.. Seems like a lot of factors to be playing with.

Oct 06, 2011
Azizeh in Not About Food

Is Registering for a $2,400 Espresso Maker Rude?

Asking for cash to help offset the cost of the wedding, honeymoon, or new home is tacky. So, asking for cash that will be used for an espresso machine is also bad.

Maybe having the machine on the list will prompt people to give you gift cards that can be used towards that machine, but I just don't think you can go and ask for money.

Oct 04, 2011
Azizeh in Features

Cooking For Our Four Legged Friends...

I thought alcohol was toxic for dogs. No?

Oct 02, 2011
Azizeh in Not About Food

Would love to replicate "Pill Pockets" for dogs

The chaser method always works on my dogs. Sometimes there will be an occasional spit out, which just means the dog has won the smaller battle and gets a little extra treat snuck in with the pill.

I'd still bake up the treats, pills or not. Anything you make at home is going to be better than most commercial dog food, anyway. Always a bright side, right?

Oct 01, 2011
Azizeh in Not About Food

Would love to replicate "Pill Pockets" for dogs

My dog takes fish oil pills for his allergies (helps with shedding, too) and they're rather big. I keep a little softened butter on the counter and dip it in there. He likes the taste and it helps it go down smoothly. Olive oil has been working, too. Not as foolproof, though. He's an English Bulldog, they aren't known to have big throats.

Another thing i learned is to let them see a chaser. Have a treat you know they like in your other hand, maybe give them a small taste before the process. My dogs have always been so eager to get to that next treat that they quickly swallow the pill to get to that other treat.

Sep 29, 2011
Azizeh in Not About Food

Is tipping in cash better for the server?

(Same person here. Not sure why I logged in with my old account.)

Nothing. Wasn't factored in. We were pretty high volume, not cheap, and most people do pay completely with cards, so it really didn't throw off the average.

I think the restaurants need to keep the original copies at least for a little while, in case of card disputes/chargebacks, but I still doubt that anyone actually leafs through each receipt unless they need to.

Sep 29, 2011
Azizeh in Not About Food

Is tipping in cash better for the server?

As a patron of a restaurant, you should care a little bit how the server gets paid. If you want good service, you need a good server.

Most restaurants only pay minimum wage, there's rarely health insurance, no sick days without a note from the ER, and all of the other common complaints there are about being a server. The upside to the job is a flexible schedule and cash in hand at the end of the night. Good servers only stick around good places to work. That affects the patron's experience.

Sep 28, 2011
Azizeh in Not About Food

Are we 'entitled' to return foods we didn't like to the store?

I'm far too lazy to return things, usually. But, I think of stores like Sephora that have a very generous policy of taking back any cosmetic that you just don't like. I'm sure they see their fair share of people using half of a bottle of perfume before deciding to bring it back.

For people like me, I spend way more money in that store because I know I can bring it back if it's worth it to me do to so. I'll buy that questionable item and figure it out later. I reason that the stores have done their research and know that these policies work out in their favor, despite the annoying people that come through and abuse it.

Sep 09, 2011
Azizeh in Not About Food

Healthy Soda for Grownups

These are good, but I achieve the same results by adding 100% Cranberry (or Blueberry or Pomegranate juice) to seltzer/soda. Cheaper and I can customize it to my mood.

I do appreciate the convenience of the cans, though.

Aug 25, 2011
Azizeh in Features

"Service Charge" Added Onto Bill, What Gives? [moved from LA]

The discretionary method seems like a good way to get sued or to build a reputation for racism, sexism, or any other ism's that exist.

When I was a server we HAD to add the auto-grat for parties of 6 or more. Sometimes it really sucked because you knew you had a great rapport with a table, you doted on them, and they seemed like the type that would reward you with more than the 18% automatically added.

But, not putting it on there could get you fired. We couldn't pick and choose who got it and who didn't. So, when people say they tip less because of it, it drives me nuts. Don't be insulted that a server may just be following policy to keep their job.

Aug 23, 2011
Azizeh in Not About Food

Food Truck Wedding - Would Like Advice (moved from L.A. board)

When i was a server, I worked a wedding that had the In N Out truck for dinner, along with appetizers and dessert from elsewhere. It was a sit down dinner with the proper number of servers for the amount of tables.

DISASTER.

The truck staff couldn't handle getting 100 orders in, so of course people were ordering their burgers at the same time and getting them 45 minutes apart. All the while getting upset for waiting and complaining that the truck didn't make fries. At the time I remember thinking that the only way this could have worked out decently was for guests to have ordered and waited for their own food, but I can see why the hosts didn't want their guests to stand around. It was otherwise a reasonably formal event with this one quirk.

The In N Out truck is pretty well run and I could tell they knew how to be as efficient as possible, but it's just not a substitute for a real kitchen. So, you really have to think about the size and style of your party before doing it.

May 22, 2011
Azizeh in Not About Food

How to suggest another restaurant?

If you really don't want to go there and you're willing, you can tell her that since she's doing all of the driving, you'd like to treat her to a nice dinner somewhere to celebrate the occasion of catching up.

Maybe you can still go to the market to walk around and shop before or after dinner.

Apr 12, 2011
Azizeh in Not About Food