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Why do so many people call it Ranch 99?

In Chinese, it's just da hua (大華), no? I've never heard anyone use a number when referring to it in Chinese.

I have probably referred to it both ways in English. I agree that Ranch 99 rolls off the tongue pretty easily.

Jan 22, 2015
will47 in Los Angeles Area

Pok pok phat thai

This is kind of how I found Night+Market Song's rendition (despite hearing several people rave about it) - not enough different from your normal Thai takeout joint.

I thought the version at Pok Pok was actually pretty nice - not as sweet as the above. I think the signs they have suggest that you're supposed to customize to your taste with the condiments they have on-hand, and I liked the explanation of the different condiments and what types of flavors they had, and so my guess is that that's their intent in not having it more assertive as-is. Once seasoned to my liking, I found the Pok Pok one delicious, and have been craving it ever since (and I'm not even a big Pad Thai fan). I liked the garlic chives on top, which I think many versions don't have.

More looking forward to their sit-down one opening, though.

Did have quite a wait when we were there a couple weeks ago, though.

Jan 15, 2015
will47 in Los Angeles Area

OFFICIAL POST: Place your qing suan 青蒜/suan miao 蒜苗 sightings here!!

99 Ranch used to have it in stock even at odd times of year (I believe it was imported from Mexico). They would usually have it labeled as suanmiao in Chinese, and "Taiwan leek" in English, if memory serves. I did not see any at the Focus Plaza one last time I was there either, but also haven't seen any there in a while. The Taiwanese organic farm that sells garlic usually carries it when available, but there are some other vendors too (I didn't see any at their stall week before last, but I'm sure they'd have an idea of when they'll have it if you ask).

Alhambra farmers market usually has a couple vendors carrying it at certain times of year. I think garlic can grow more than one cycle per year in Southern California, so you'll sometimes find it at other times of year from late winter / early spring.

If you like the little sprouts, you can also put sprouting cloves of garlic in a dish of water. They will sprout into delicious little (Western) chive sized sprouts.

Some great discussion of the different names / types in this post and its comments on Fuchsia Dunlop's blog.
http://www.fuchsiadunlop.com/the-joys...

Jan 15, 2015
will47 in Los Angeles Area

What is the best SS sauce pan 11/2 to 2 QT Question

Calphalon ones are very comfortable to my hands, and are also usually easy to find on sale pretty cheap, I've seen the 1.5 qt standard tri-ply in the realm of $20-40, though I didn't see one at Bed Bath and Beyond today, which used to always have them. Check discount stores like Home Goods, TJ Maxx, etc., which often have Calphalon, All-Clad, and similar brands' tri-ply stuff at discounted prices.

I agree about not over-spending, but if you want something nice, you could look at copper (Bourgeat / Falk / etc.). You could also look at the Mauviel / SLT 1.8 qt Windsor saucepan (fait tout), or the new Thomas Keller stuff from All-Clad. The TK one has a nice handle, is copper-core, and has a good shape for the 1.5 qt size.

Jan 15, 2015
will47 in Cookware

Lunasia (Pasadena)

We were there yesterday, and both my wife and daughter were missing the chicken feet!

Stuff we tried was just Ok, though have boycotted the Alhambra one for a few years now, so not sure if my memory is correct that it's worse, at least based on the veggie stuff. Sauce for the chang fen didn't taste right to me, veg dumplings were a bit doughy, bean curd roll was fried a bit too long.

It seemed like most of the crowd was Asian, and I heard a lot of folks speaking Chinese, so it is odd that they're trying to pander quite so much to a different demographic for the Pasadena location. Even simple things like using cast iron teapots (?) instead of normal porcelain ones.

If it were me, I'd still drive the extra 10-15 minutes.

Jan 15, 2015
will47 in Los Angeles Area

Vollrath display pan for tri-ply roaster?

Yes, I got one, and it works pretty well! Wish they had a bigger one, but other than that, no complaints.

Aug 21, 2014
will47 in Cookware

Biodynamic and Natural Wines in LA

Definitely check out Lou's also
http://louprovisions.com/
He has interesting and unusual selections, and is also super nice to chat with.

Aug 08, 2014
will47 in Los Angeles Area

Cookbook of the Month March 2013 EVERY GRAIN OF RICE: Cold dishes, Tofu, Meat, Chicken and Eggs, Fish and Seafood

I believe the red yeast rice is also used for rice wine (using the same yeast), and the dregs / lees of that are what hong zao jiang is from (it's common in Fujianese / Taiwanese cooking from what I can gather from a book on the subject) http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%B4%8... (Chinese) has a little more information

Jul 07, 2014
will47 in Home Cooking

Best Vegan Cheeseburger And "Fries" in Los Angeles/Beaches

Big Macro at M Cafe is pretty good.

May 15, 2014
will47 in Los Angeles Area

Biodynamic and Natural Wines in LA

Definitely, and I hear he's opening a new place as well.

Apr 29, 2014
will47 in Los Angeles Area

Curry leaves (fresh or dried) in LA eastside?

There's a Punjabi market in Alhambra on Main (I think 1300 E Main St); I've gotten fresh curry leaves there. They're usually in a shopping bag in the fridge, and look like they came from someone's back yard (for all I know, they did!).

You could also try the Indian market on Rosmead and Huntington in the Trader Joes / Petco Plaza.

Apr 04, 2014
will47 in Los Angeles Area

Serious question about vegans and bees.

Yes, I'm curious to see it. But I don't doubt that on a larger scale, it can be exploitative. I do try to seek out honey from local small producers, though sometimes it's hard to know for sure whether sellers are being truthful.

Mar 13, 2014
will47 in Vegetarian & Vegan

Serious question about vegans and bees.

I totally agree that honey is technically not vegan. That said, I follow a mostly vegan diet, with the exception of some occasional eggs from local, no-kill sources, but I don't specifically avoid honey. Also, a little honey drizzled over Kite Hill's "White Alder" vegan soft cheese is one of my greatest pleasures in life recently.

Of course, one big problem with honey is that a lot of it is fake anyway, so sourcing good quality, ethically produced honey can be difficult.

I am sympathetic to the plight of bees, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to call pollination by bees "forced" labor. I would be more concerned about bees raised in a closed environment than bees which are running around doing the thing they already do naturally. My gripes with eggs and dairy have more to do with a) the intentionally killing of animals for meat that's pretty much necessary for economically viable production of them, and b) the conditions under which animals are kept, especially in industrial operations. I haven't studied the situations of bees that carefully, but I don't really think it's comparable.

Mar 06, 2014
will47 in Vegetarian & Vegan

did any GREAT vegan cookbooks come out this year?

I have Plenty, at least, in hard copy, and maybe one other, so page numbers are also welcome.

Mar 04, 2014
will47 in Vegetarian & Vegan

Where to get my knives sharpened??

Yeah, and it's true that there's a place for belt grinders - even a lot of the Japanese places (including the place mentioned above, and Korin), will use a belt grinder if they need to take a lot of metal off.

I try to do most of my sharpening myself these days. I am not the greatest, but I try to make myself do it anyway, so that I can get the practice.

Mar 01, 2014
will47 in Los Angeles Area

did any GREAT vegan cookbooks come out this year?

Dirt Candy cookbook has vegan options for almost everything. I enjoyed it, especially the comics, but most of the recipes are more practical for making in a restaurant type environment than for normal home cooking.

Mar 01, 2014
will47 in Vegetarian & Vegan

Soy or other ground beef substitute?

TVP as others have said, but I would try the things out there that don't use processed soy - some good options which are based on seitan and / or actual tofu. The Upton one mentioned is not bad, and there's a new European brand that Whole Foods sells that seems promising as well.

Frozen tofu, as mentioned above, also has a great texture in stews, though not as literal as some of the other options.

Feb 27, 2014
will47 in Vegetarian & Vegan

Where to get my knives sharpened??

I didn't like the edge that Ross put on mine (and they do use a belt grinder; the time I went there, they did it while I waited and it was pretty quick). The edge was sharp but didn't last long, and they way they re-profiled it was difficult to maintain for me.

I'm seconding the recommendation for the guy in Venice if you don't want to do it yourself.

I have seen that farmer's market guy, and wouldn't let him touch my knives with a 10 foot pole.

Feb 27, 2014
will47 in Los Angeles Area

Where to get my knives sharpened??

He will sharpen anything, though the price isn't any cheaper for knives that are easier to sharpen.

Feb 27, 2014
will47 in Los Angeles Area

did any GREAT vegan cookbooks come out this year?

I have "Plenty", but haven't used it much.... I find a lot of the recipes a little bit complicated / fussy for everyday cooking, though I know it has gotten great reviews. I found it a little bit dairy-heavy too.

Curious to know what some of people's favorite recipes from Ottolenghi's cookbooks are, especially ones that are vegan or easily adaptable.

Feb 27, 2014
will47 in Vegetarian & Vegan

Do you have a vegan or plant-based menu that you serve to omnivore guests? Just brainstorming...

It's easy, but, despite instructions to strain if you're not using a Vita-Mix, it's really hard to do without the high speed blender. But, with the Vita-Mix or similar blender, it comes out great with very little fuss.

You can get away with soaking only 3-4 hours, though. I usually put a pinch of salt with the soaking water.

Love it in grits / polenta, e.g.,
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grits...

Feb 21, 2014
will47 in Vegetarian & Vegan

did any GREAT vegan cookbooks come out this year?

I tend to get more milage out of non-vegan cookbooks. I make my own modifications where needed.

Never been a big Deborah Madison fan, but her new cookbook "Vegetable Literacy" (not entirely vegetarian) is beautiful and has some promising looking stuff in it.

If you don't have it already, Fuchsia Dunlop's "Every Grain of Rice" (came out before 2012, but US edition was released in 2013) has a ton of great dishes, many of which happen to be vegetarian or vegan.

Feb 09, 2014
will47 in Vegetarian & Vegan

Chinese crepe-like pastry dough for beef rolls/pancakes... where can I buy it?

Chi Mei brand is pretty good (frozen).

Feb 09, 2014
will47 in Los Angeles Area

Has anyone heard of or purchased a Capital Range?

I would just contact the manufacturer (in the case of Capital, at least), and / or talk to vendors that sell the type of range you want to buy. I think there is usually some leeway to bargain with pricing.

I don't have a 48" range, so can't speak to specific pricing on those, but I do think you should be able to get it for lower than list.

Feb 03, 2014
will47 in Cookware

ISO: Vegan Non-Hydrogenated Butter/Butter Substitutes [moved from Ontario board]

Sorry, missed the other mention of this below, but I've been making some of the homemade "vegan butter" from veganbaking.net recently; so far, I've only tried the "cultured European style butter", but I really like it.

http://www.veganbaking.net/recipes/fa...

Jan 30, 2014
will47 in Vegetarian & Vegan

Dan Dan men, not too spicy

At places like Lucky Noodle King, Chuan Ma, etc., you can probably ask for the Sichuan liang mian (cold noodle) less spicy.

Agree with above about miso not being involved.

Jan 14, 2014
will47 in Los Angeles Area

My Wusthof Knife is NEVER sharp enough...please help!

Yeah, while I think there's some truth to that statement (for one thing, a sharp knife is less likely to slip, and probably makes a "cleaner" cut when you do cut yourself), I have certainly cut myself more than once on a newly sharpened knife, and seen others do the same.

If your knives are razor sharp all the time, you do get in the habit of respecting them, but a newly sharp knife is always dangerous if you've gotten used to a duller one.

Good technique goes a long way to avoiding cuts - I almost never cut myself while actively using knives, but I do cut myself carelessly when doing things like washing them.

Jan 06, 2014
will47 in Cookware

The best Neapolitan pizza in LA?

I don't think the crust is right at all there.

Dec 30, 2013
will47 in Los Angeles Area

The best Neapolitan pizza in LA?

We ate at PB and thought it was delicious. Maybe a little crispier than a lot of more purist Neopolitan places, but I like it that way.

Dec 28, 2013
will47 in Los Angeles Area

Soap in cast iron pans

Well, I think lye can refer to a few different strong alkaline substances
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lye mentions a few

I can accept that using modern dishwashing soap on cast iron isn't the end of the world, but I guess I don't see the point. I usually just use water or salt (and sometimes one of those bristly brushes people use on woks).

Dec 02, 2013
will47 in Cookware