peppermonkey's Profile

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Belcampo Cheeseburger

Order "light well" and it's usually just right. Well done comes out potato chippy.

Apr 05, 2014
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area
1

little tokyo and korea town

Myung In is great. I prefer the Kimchi wang (king) mandoo to the regular pork. These are not more bao than what most people would call dumplings (although they also have steamed dumplings there). I take some home and freeze them for a quick snack/breakfast on the go.

Oct 08, 2013
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Between Alma, Bestia, Providence & Hinoki and the Bird, which would blow a vegetarian foodie's socks off...

Yeah i've loved gary's food since palate, then my favorite of his was at marche, then test kitchen and le comptoir a few times. It is a different experience but his style is to do less with the vegetables. Cook them to their optimal sweetness and let them speak for themselves. I love his soups. Jeremy Fox is doing something completely different. There's just so much more flavor and complexity is his veg dishes. Combining flavors and ingredients like a wizard. Creative

Oct 08, 2013
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Healthier Korean restaurants (no MSG, easy on the salt)?

Soban, Jun won, seongbukdong, masan, han bat (you season the beef soup yourself). And I'd say chinese food is about 5x as overloaded with MSG than korean food in ktown.

Oct 08, 2013
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Between Alma, Bestia, Providence & Hinoki and the Bird, which would blow a vegetarian foodie's socks off...

Definitely would do Rustic canyon over Le comptoir, alma, providence for vegetarian. With Jeremy Fox, the food is so good, you don't remember if they were vegetarian or not. I don't think any of these other places can do that. Although Gary Menes' vegetarian tasting at Test Kitchen years ago was epic.

Oct 08, 2013
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

LQ @ Vertical Wine Bistro

A great meal indeed, though not as wild as I've seen him go in the past. The hush puppy didn't make sense to me and the xlb skins were dry on top. There was indeed varying gaps between some courses: some too quick and some very long. It's kinda expected if you've dined with him often.

Jul 29, 2013
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Jonathan Gold's Top 101 Restaurants in Los Angeles

Dang I thought I was in the lead. 73 for me

Jun 06, 2013
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Trotters and Tails Pot Pie? LQ @ Vertical in Pasadena Feb 24,25

Porthos you should have went. This was the best of the pop ups yet. It was comparable to his days at Bistro LQ. This was his first pop up with real kitchen and it showed. First course was just pure genius. Lamb heart tartare was wrapped in nori like maki and seasoned and cut in a way to mimic sushi rice in both flavor and texture. Topped with charred uni, this was just a beautiful interplay of flavor and texture. Mind blowing. The Foie pate seemed simple, relatively but the addition of the eel gave the dish complexity and creativity in flavor. Every subsequent dish was equally stunning in both flavor and texture and I would be hard pressed to choose one over the other. Surprisingly my least favorite dish was the pot pie which was underseasoned and a little too one note in rich flavor, though texturally great. Dessert was ridiculously good. The chocolate coffee cardamom crumb was just fantastic. Throughout the entire meal, I couldn't believe how creative the dishes were yet so balanced and delicious. I could never imagine how all those seemingly disparate components would come together. That is his true genius.

Feb 26, 2013
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Sumos are back

Hmm have been reluctant to try them again since they were so oddly sweet. Might have to try again

Feb 12, 2013
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

pizza making class at mozza = hugely disappointing

Took the class about 2 years ago. We had a prosecco reception including quite a few antipasti to start. We each were given a round of dough to kneed, stretch and shape on the counter (though we never used these to make pizzas). I'm not sure how many were in the class, but I remember feeling satiated, not stuffed by any means. I still thought the price was high but overall worth it given that I actually make the pies at home. I was more dissapointed that they didn't show us the actual recipe for the dough they use at the restaurant which requires a longer rise.

Jan 15, 2013
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Pliny The Younger - Monday February 18th, 2013

Way better than the elder. more finesse. worth it. I don't know why these stupid brewers don't make some thing great available all year. Beer's not supposed to be pretentious

Jan 15, 2013
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Shunji - not worth it for me

It would have been around what you paid. Minus 50 and change per person. I don't know how u eat sushi without sake. I can't even attempt that

Nov 03, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Shunji - not worth it for me

So I've been excited to try this place for quite a while given the wide endorsements from the sushi aficionados of this site and the Jgold, but overall I must say that the pleasure to price quotient was just not there. We had 3 omakases asking for an even mix of both cooked and raw dishes. The plating was just beautiful and evoked excitement, but many of the dishes fell short on the palate. I love his preparations of vegetables and appreciate the accentuation of the flavor. The pickled jellyfish and veggies were great as well as anything that touched the amazing dashi broth. The signature agadashi tomato "tofu" was my favorite dish, texturally exciting and was easily one of the best things I've eaten all year. The sashimi plate and sushi were the highlights, including bonito and a delicious snapper type fish whose name I don't recall as well as live lobster and a truly delicious lobster truffle tartar-ish dish. But the blue fin which they kept saying was amazing was just not and had gristle. The ika was high quality but only had 3 cuts making it so tough I couldn't swallow it. The large and beautiful checkerboard platter was unremarkable including prosciutto wrapped mush, flavorless quail eggs and shrimp, and odd blue cheese balls. The rice was definitely not as good as morisans rice be a mile. We had 2 bottles of sake which was $150. ending up paying $242 a person (includes 15% tip). Idk. This was over $100 more than I've payed at Mori, zo, kiyokawa, Kiriko, matsuhisa, asanebo. Just not worth the price

Nov 03, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

ISO newbie-friendly Korean restaurant in north Orange County (Fullerton/Buena Park/Brea/La Habra)

Agree with the surah recommendation. Lots of banchan (side dishes), the bean paste soup is great. Marinated galbi is a little too sweet for my taste. The waitresses dress up in traditional korean garb and I think they might have wine or allow wine

Aug 24, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Westwood Italian

Il Moro. Patio is really nice and unexpected

Jul 17, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Cocktail bars and restaurant suggestions

Rivera still has the best cocktails in downtown and probably food too. The drinks on the menu are very creative and delicious. Varnish is better at the standard old school drinks. Creative ones are more hit and miss. Varnish has that speakeasy thing but I hate that there is no bar stools, and they take forever to make a damn drink.

Jul 10, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Chego -- My First Impressions

rice to mask flavor. You guys obviously do not understand korean food or what he's doing here.

Jul 03, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Places w/ TVs to watch Games

y can't we have both!

Jun 15, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Dinner Omakase at Kiriko: A Pictorial Essay

I am in the minority, so you'll probably enjoy it. I just don't find most of the dishes or the sushi "special"

Jun 15, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Places w/ TVs to watch Games

i think it has more to do with the chefs not wanting to turn the place into a sports bar, rather than catering to what people want. Most of the gastropubs I see are filled with asians or beer snobs. These people like sports. Of course I'm generalizing generalizations.

Jun 12, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Dinner Omakase at Kiriko: A Pictorial Essay

I've never really been impressed by anything at kiriko besides the mango smoked salmon. For the price, everything seems mediocre. IDK

Jun 12, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Places w/ TVs to watch Games

This has been pissing me off lately. How come with all these stupid gastropubs opening, none of them have TVs? Golden state has one. Manna in Little Tokyo has improved drastically from it's previous location, has many TVs and a banchan buffet but it's still AYCE. There's also oinkster which has 2 TVs.
I miss 8 oz burger bar.

Jun 12, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Birthday Sushi

You assume too much. I was a regular at Zo d/t my other half loving it. I don't need to chit chat with him. Why would I want to? His charming personality? The only request I ever made was no amaebi, since I prefer my amaebi freshly dispatched, not mushy gruel. I would not care about portion size if it remained consistent. If you're gonna make it smaller, don't charge the same price. None of this fit your mouth size BS. I don't think my mouth has shrunk over the past 2 years. The menu never really changes save 1-2 items. There's no need to yell at people and kick them out when you don't want them to use a cell phone. A calm explanation is all that is necessary. After all this, we prefer to spend our money for better sushi elsewhere.

May 22, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Best place to say bye to Fois Gras

fig: foie gras chicken liver parfait
baco: foie gras chicken liver mousse
kiyokawa: foie gras sushi

May 22, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Birthday Sushi

i would've believed that if the sizes hadn't progressively shrunk over the last couple of years. shrinking sushi, shrinking yuzu drink (now disappeared), rude/pretentious staff... no more zo for me

May 15, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Downtown LA

Baco
shin sen gumi
kokekkeo
shabu shabu house
sushi gen
tiara cafe
Le comptoir (pop up at tiara cafe)
gorbals
petes (all purpose open late burger decent)
hollywood pies
library bar
bottega louie
buu dien (banh mi in china town)
soon to open branch of mo chica
and more I can't remember
I love DTLA!

May 08, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Anyone know where I can find Sushi and Sake Pairings in Los Angeles?

Nothing in la comes close to trusake in san francisco. I always stop by for some amazing nama and whatever else i can afford to bring down. Japon bistro in pasadena has a good selection, as well as special pairing events, weekly or bi monthly i think. They had some great nama last time I went. I remember nozomi having a decent selection as well. None of the wine shops i've been to including wally's and wine house take it that seriously.

May 08, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Newport Seafood in San Gabriel for lunch - any changes since 2009? And best dishes? (aside from the lobster)

I like the pea sprouts (long ones if they have it) and the geoduck good but pricey. I've heard the king crab has multiple preparations. The one I had was not very good but have heard good things about another prep.

Apr 06, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area

Ask Sushi Man

Jiro says rice 70%, fish 30%. I think the balance is fine with this philosophy and you can still taste the qualities of the fish itself such as at mori sushi.

Apr 03, 2012
peppermonkey in General Topics

REVIEW w/pics: The Best Counter Dining I Ever Had Was at Chef Gary Menes' Le Comptoir

Yeah, I think his idea is to make it possible to dine completely vegetarian here. He did mention that he changed his diet a few years ago and focused on treating vegetables with as much care as he did with meat. The price of the tasting menu has slightly increased since the start as well. It kinda bugs me as well that a meat option is not included with the set price.

Mar 20, 2012
peppermonkey in Los Angeles Area