4 Reasons to do a Downtown LA Food Crawl


Don’t take this the wrong way, but I have never thought of Los Angeles as a food city. Sure they have amazing Mexican food… and well…some seafood in Santa Monica?

My focus has always been the Bay Area so my understanding of what was happening down south was lame to say the least.  So when I saw this Munchies video about the food scene in downtown LA I was like: book me a ticket! I’m going to stay a hotel downtown and plan my entire stay by where I am going to have breakfast lunch and dinner and drinks and drinks (no that isn’t a typo).

This video got me all revved up! Would love to hear your thoughts or experiences if you live in LA or have eaten/drunk at these places

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The Best Beer Braised Spicy Chicken Recipe

IMG_6334A couple of years back my friend Kyle told me about a hole in the wall restaurant in my neighborhood that I had to try, called Spicy Village.  I’ve written about it here and about their signature dish Big Tray of Chicken.   A heady, brothy, complex chicken dish with a pepper kick and wonderful chewy hand pulled noodles that are a great way to soak up all that spicy chicken goodness. Continue reading

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Creole Style Chicken and Shrimp Curry: Yum!

Here the latest installment from the Perennial Plate folks, who I guess now I should call the Victory Garden Edible Feast Folks?  This is just a snippet from an episode so if you want to see the entire show be sure to tune in to your local PBS channel.

Here Donald Chef of Cochon, Peche and Herbsaint in New Orleans whips up a shrimp and chicken curry that looks so tasty I wanted to jump into my computer screen and have some!  Guess I’ll have to make it.  He uses a hot pepper called creola salus? that a friend grows I was unable to find it on when I did a search so I’m a bit perplexed as to what might be an alternative you could find here.  Off the top of my head I don’t know of any hot yellow peppers.  My default would be Serrano.  I like that he uses Poblano instead of bell peppers.  The dish which I have called “creole”  really uses elements of African (squash) and SouthEast Asian (hot pepper, lime juice and cilantro) and Latin American cooking  so it might be unfair of me to characterize it as creole, but he is a chef in New Orleans and something tells me that the addition of white wine and flour is part of his adaptation, both of which seem French to me ;-)

No matter how you break it down this looks like one damn fine one pot meal.  Is it just me or did it seem odd how long he cooked those shrimp, I think I would have been inclined to maybe add them 10 minutes before serving them not half way through, but also I almost never cook with shrimp so I could be off base.

On a side note I’ve been sick as a dog with some cold that is going around and around and around so I’m sorry the blog has been cooking light lately.  I have been working on a version of General Tso’s Chicken and would love to hear what thoughts or recipe tips you all might have.

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Eating Local in Newfoundland with Munchies

I’ve wanted to go to Newfoundland for years now and this video seals the deal.

Has anyone else noticed that there seems to be a kind of person that Munchies like to get to do their hosting?  Obviously they know their demographic best, I just find that obese, very tattooed, vulgar guys with a heart of gold hosting cooking shows has a limited shelf life for me.  Am I just showing my age?  Matty has a kind of vulgar charisma in this segment, I just think there is something to be said about understatement and charm.

In theater school I was always told by my teachers that I was too charming so maybe I’m just too uptight and out of touch, I just find it interesting that the trend these days is certainly this kind of personality and well, it just leaves me scratching my head.

And here I am posting about it so….


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Strange and Unusual Food Products of the Week: Part 2

IMG_6238In my second installment of Strange and Unusual Products of the Week I thought I’d share with you some of the things I came across on a recent shopping expedition in Chinatown.

Lets start with: Abalone-like.  Is that kind of like fake crab?  Mostly I’m just amazed that they don’t have to say what it actually is on the label.  Is there an Abalone shortage that we are now forced to buy Abalone-like?  ;-)    Or are they saying: You will like of Abalone and it’s just a misplaced descriptive? Either way…it made me scratch my head, as did the tin next to it on the shelf: Giant Top Shellfish?  Mmmmmmmmm……IMG_6240Anyone have any ideas?  This next one I just loved the packaging, it looks like something you’d find in the 1940’s all wrapped in brown paper and twine. If I drank Chrysanthemum tea this is for sure the brand I would buy if only for because I am a sucker for good packaging and I love the copy.  I mean who doesn’t need a good liver soother after a wild night out bar hopping?  Buy 2 give one as a gift.IMG_6253This next one is just a great combo platter of odd translation, I think the brand is Two Happy Swallows as in the birds but as printed it kind of sounds like, both of you will really want to swallow this.  IMG_6242 and you can swallow knowing that you will not be contaminated with RHODAMINE B (what ever that is). Lastly I thought I would leave you with this jar of: Preserved Grinded Snake-head Fish in brine.  I understand what they mean when they say grinded, but someone put next to snake head it starts to sound like a Harry Potter story or something…IMG_6245This concludes our second installment of Strange and Unusual Food Products of the Week.  Given the vastness of this topic I’d like to open it up to reader participation. If you see something while out shopping take and picture and send it to me!  I’ll include all reader submissions in my next post.

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Extreme Meat

IMG_6235I keep passing this everyday and had to share. Extreme is certainly correct. For whatever reason I find this mind boggling and had to share.  No wonder so many poor people are obese and ill. At this price point what else are they going to find in NYC to eat that will be as filling, satisfying and affordable?  Some how a $4 head of broccoli doesn’t compare.

The entire picture is just so wrong.

OK soapbox put away.


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How To Make Sai Krok Isan Sausage

Vice/Munchies always highlights kind of off-color or downright weird cooks/chefs in their videos.  Often times it’s more like watching a train wreck then a cooking show, however when it does work it can be very amusing.

In this instance the chef is Jan Wejendorp who worked for David Thompson at Sailors Thai one of his first Thai restaurants in Sydney. He is more straight forward than most and I thought these traditional Thai sausages looks amazing.  I have never made sausages at home and he walks you through the process in such a way that it made me feel I could actually tackle it with some level of success.  KitchenAid standing mixers have an attached that would allow you to do this without having to make a big new kitchen appliance investment.

It is vaguely creepy that these sausages are cured in a warm room before cooking. Apparently the fermentation is what gives them their unique flavor.  Also I love the grill he has, speaking of new kitchen hardware!

Has anyone made sausages at home?  If so I’d love to her your experiences.

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