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ChickenNWaffles's Profile

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How can I make a Mai Tai into a "Holiday Mai Tai?"

I can't wait to try this recipe. Is it too early in the day? Looks like I'll be heading over to BevMo during lunch. Thank you for sharing this. I can tell it's going to be great.

Dec 06, 2013
ChickenNWaffles in Spirits

How can I make a Mai Tai into a "Holiday Mai Tai?"

Totally awesome idea – spicing my own rum. This is a winner. Thanks. And yeah, I know the recipe I've been using is not your traditional Mai Tai recipe, but it's a major crowd pleaser and has the almond-rum-fruit juice flavor going for it. It's also very quick.

Dec 06, 2013
ChickenNWaffles in Spirits

How can I make a Mai Tai into a "Holiday Mai Tai?"

Cool idea, the spruce or pine as garnish. I like it. Thanks.

Dec 06, 2013
ChickenNWaffles in Spirits

How can I make a Mai Tai into a "Holiday Mai Tai?"

The cranberry simple syrup is a perfect solution for what I'm looking for. Thank you very much.

Dec 06, 2013
ChickenNWaffles in Spirits

How can I make a Mai Tai into a "Holiday Mai Tai?"

Hey everyone, thank you for all these thoughtful responses. I'm blown away by the great ideas.

A few individual responses below. Thanks.

Dec 06, 2013
ChickenNWaffles in Spirits

How can I make a Mai Tai into a "Holiday Mai Tai?"

I'm organizing a "holiday cocktail smackdown" at the office in which participants will teach the group their favorite holiday drink recipe.

I make a mean Mai Tai. It's quite simple, really: equal parts spiced rum and amaretto, top off with OJ, pineapple juice and a splash of grenadine. When my guests are lucky, I juice the pineapple and oranges on the spot.

I've googled "holiday mai tai" but nothing turns up. So I ask you, any thoughts on how I can make up such a recipe?

It can be really simple, like "grate some nutmeg on top" or "give it a dash of cinnamon."

But since yer all so awesome, I thought maybe someone would have a better idea or two.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Dec 05, 2013
ChickenNWaffles in Spirits

Recommendations for a cool bar or restaurant for creative 30-person event?

Those wine machines are a great ice breaker. I'll look into it. Thank you for taking the time to make the recommendation.

Recommendations for a cool bar or restaurant for creative 30-person event?

Sounds perfect. I sent them a request. Great suggestion.

Recommendations for a cool bar or restaurant for creative 30-person event?

Thank you!

Recommendations for a cool bar or restaurant for creative 30-person event?

Hi everyone,

I apologize if there are threads similar to this one already, and I'd appreciate links to those threads.

I've never created/hosted an event before, and I'm not sure where to begin on this.

So I'll jump in. The event will be a sort of portfolio review between important creative professionals and aspiring ones. It'll be a Tuesday night from 7 to 10, so food should be part of it. Should be intimate yet cool. Somewhere in the middle of the city, like between the 10 and Sunset Blvd, between Westwood and Koreatown.

I'd like to spend around $1500 including drinks and appetizers/finger foods. The one possible place I've located so far is The Mandrake, but they're asking more than that and their food is just crackers and cheese and olives.

Thank you so much for your assistance.

Need round table for 13 in festive, good restaurant in Little Italy or elsewhere this Friday

Friends wanted to go to Sammy's Roumanian but the womenfolk are not into the schmaltz. We're a spirited group. We'd love a round table in a festive restaurant, $$ to $$$. Little Italy was thrown out there, but we're open to other suggestions. Need to move fast! Thanks so much. Dan

Nov 25, 2009
ChickenNWaffles in Manhattan

What's the deal with Wine Expo?

Jason, thanks for the very detailed reply. It's a very good point that a smaller wine shop gets to know you and your tastes. I've actually had very knowledgeable and helpful service at BevMo, but I'm sure there would be scant chance of the person remembering me – or always being there when I come in.

You also ask why BevMo and Costco and Vons should be trusted for their selections, but I made the point earlier that you can go online and find plenty of "user reviews" for the more mainstream wines simply because more people have had them. I am not from the wine industry and I'm not a wine geek; I'm getting more and more into wine recently, reading more, researching more, DRINKING more (to my wife's chagrin), so I truly am seeking out info on the best wines and the best places to buy them.

You mentioned Wally's, there's also Fireside Cellars (overpriced) and Moe's in my neck of the woods, and I think all qualify as service-oriented places. However, they carry better-known wines that, at the least, are usually rated by some authority. I know that ratings are screwy because they favor higher-alcohol wines and don't take into account how the wines pair with food, which is how we drink usually them, but they do at least offer some ubiased insight into what you're getting. A wine shop's newsletter that doesn't mention a single unbiased opinion on a wine is simply not as useful as one that gives notes from an authoritative source or two. Which is what I get from Wine House, Wally's, even Trader Joe's. Point being, why do some "smaller" wine shops like Wally's and Hi-Time carry wines from reputable and "cult" producers while Wine Expo does not?

One other point in favor of the smaller places is the care they (presumably) take in storing the wines. I've heard you should never buy a more-expensive wine at Trader Joe's because the wine can sit outside the store in the heat for hours before it's brought in. I even saw some first growths at Whole Foods for $600+, and they were at room temperature. How well were they stored since 1982? Who was storing them?

To answer the question about "sure thing" wines I've bought, you're right they were mostly California wines like Stag's Leap and Atalon and Schramsberg and Caymus, et al. But I've gotten some really good French wines, even at Ralph's. Wine House has a really good selection, and some of their workers are very knowledgeable. Though you feel like you better hurry because they've got way more important things to do than help. Sometimes!

Anyway, thanks. I appreciate your input and the time you took to write a detailed response.

What's the deal with Wine Expo?

I hear you, and this has been very educational. I can see why someone would open and model a store in the Wine Expo mold, I'm just not sure why I as a consumer am better off going there than BevMo or the other bigger names. Here's why: I don't drink more than 3 bottles a week. At that rate, it would be years before I made it through the big guys' selections. Since those wines are generally priced right, can be comparison-shopped, and due to their popularity are often reviewed by other wine consumers online, I wouldn't have to worry about wasting not-insubstantial money on the "miss" bottles to get to the "hits." At Wine Expo, all I have to rely on is the word of Roberto and his over-the-top newsletter descriptions to which a wine rarely lives up. So while I can see the appeal of buying wines few people have ever heard of, I'm still not sure why it's preferable to buying more of a "sure thing" from the big guys, whose selection and price are, to me, unbeatable.

What's the deal with Wine Expo?

Thank you, that was very informative.

What's the deal with Wine Expo?

I've gone to Wine Expo a few times and read their newsletters and talked to Roberto. I haven't really loved any of the four or so wines they've recommended.

I'm curious about it, though, since their philosophy is to sell wines you've never heard of. In fact, I was told, "We don't sell any big labels because they charge more for their wine. We sell cheaper wine that's just as good." Which makes it hard to comparison shop. When I mentioned wines I've read about in Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator, I've been told, "We don't sell that, but we have one from the vineyard next door and it's just as good."

There was one I did like and I comparison-shopped it and found it for $4 cheaper at just one place in NY. Granted, that was only one wine and there are many reasons a wine would be cheaper in one place than another. But I wonder if that's their business model? To sell wines you'll have difficulty comparison shopping so you won't know what its price should be?

I am not trying – at all – to besmirch their reputation. With your input, I might even go back. But what's the deal?

Bulk ingredients?

You guys rock and this web site rocks. Thank you for the advice. I'm not a restaurant but I am looking to start a particular gourmet food business. I've always wondered about that place on Jefferson. I'll have to look into getting a bus. license. Thanks everyone! Canton Food will be on my list this weekend.

Bulk ingredients?

Anyone know a good place to find large quantities of food items like quality olive oil, vinegars, spices and herbs? I've looked into the following: Smart & Final (NOT good prices), Surfa's (ditto), Costco (perhaps the best so far), and Trader Joe's (surprisingly good prices). I think what I need is a restaurant supply place where the price truly is right. Thanks in advance for any help you can give!!

Low corking (corkage) fee in Los Angeles?

I'm looking for decent restaurants in LA (preferably West Side) that charge less than $10 corking fee. I know Purans on La Cienega (maybe it's La Brea or Robertson?) charges just $4 a bottle, which is great. Does anyone know of any other good places? Thanks.

How is Sor Tinos?

Went tonight with our newborn. Everything was nice EXCEPT that my wife's seabass – a special – was a shocker when the bill came at $34. Very few things on the menu came close to that price. I hate when I get taken advantage of with the specials when they charge way more than anything else because the price isn't readily apparent.

Do real bagels, boiled bagels, exist in West Los Angeles?

Someone mentioned New York Bagel, but I'd like to add that it's in a strip mall on San Vicente in Brentwood, across from Coral Tree, and next to Hamburger Hamlet and Peter Norman jewelers. Their flagels (flat bagels) are as good as any I had living in NY (I'm from Long Island). So, that's West Side for you.

Favorite Surfas Item

Hate to be sancrosanct here, but Surfa's is very expensive for many items you can find elsewhere. Just a caveat. On the other hand, they do carry white sprinkles made from chocolate – the only sprinkles I've ever found that don't contain partially hydrogenated oil. You can also buy good boxes there for packaging your cupcakes after you sprinkle them :) Regarding pickles, we could really have a whole thread just on that, but I stand by two kinds: 1) Gus Pickles, at some Whole Foodseses (imported from NY) and 2) Strubb's, newly at Ralph's. They have just the right flavor and crunch.

Bluebird Cafe Review and Bag ete (Culver City)

The chicken salad on olive bread melt is INSANELY GOOD! Paired with their garlicky fries, you're in for a real treat. I recently left my job in that area, and I miss this place already. Good lemonade, too.

Good food gifts for clients in Napa?

Thanks, Everyone. The trip was a success. I got Woodhouse chocolates for my top clients -- $20 a box for 12 pieces/box. Beautiful chocolates, no doubt. I also got mini bottles of Round Pond olive oil, but at Sunshine Market in St. Helena, not Round Pond itself. Also, I brought back bottles of port wine I got in town in Napa (though I don't recommend visiting the actual town of Napa because it's not all that nice). Additional gifts included Napa dark chocolate peanut brittle we got in a market in Calistoga. So, thanks!

Good food gifts for clients in Napa?

Wow, amazing recommendations, everyone. I REALLY appreciate it. Funny, I just went to Williams Sonoma in Beverly Hills and they had Round Pond olive oil. I'd rather go straight to the source, though. The Praeger Ports sounds wonderful as well. And I'll have to see what EVOO is, since I actually thought that was a typo at first. Woodhouse sounds like an experience my wife will certainly enjoy. Cinnamon Toast is a great recommendation for me... I love cinnamon. Thanks a lot, everyone! And if anyone else has more suggestions, the suggestion box is still open :)

Good food gifts for clients in Napa?

My wife and I are taking a babymoon in Napa this Sunday-Wednesday, and I need to pick up some nice food gifts for clients, maybe in the $15 to $25 range. Any ideas for unique shops/gifts in the Napa/St. Helena/Calistoga/Yountville area? Thanks!!