Monday, November 17, 2014


I'm coming realize that Orange Country has some pretty darn good sushi at an amazing price point.  While I've never been to LA's high end sushi places like Sushi Zo or the bang-for-your-buck joints like Hama Sushi, I have been to the ever popular Sushi Gen.  I was quite impressed with the omakase at Sushi Gen, but I was a bit miffed by the price tag.  I was kinda hungry after $75 worth of sushi.  So I've been pretty happy to find a place like Ohshima, where $50 gets you about 8 pieces of high quality sushi.  It's key to sit at the bar to enjoy the best fish because I was unimpressed with my dining room experience.  This applies to ALL sushi restaurants.  If you haven't been sitting at the bar when you eat sushi, you are doing it all wrong.  I liked that Ohshima serves many of their pieces as-is meaning, no extra soy sauce for dipping is needed.   Some people might find the put off by the nazi-like style, but I don't mind being told how to eat my food.  I guess they embody the true meaning of omakase, "to entrust."  Keep in mind, the following is a mix of 2 separate meals at Ohshima so it's more pieces than $50 will buy you.

Sea Bream
Light.  Clean.  Always a good way to start.

Blue Fin Tuna chu toro
Particularly delicious without being overly fatty and lingering on the tastebuds.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014


My experience with Szechuan cuisine is pretty limited.  I've probably eaten it only a handful of times and I was never impressed or filled with a desire to go back for more.  I think people always mistake Szechuan food for being particularly spicy, which it's really not.  Though, my spice-O-meter may not be representative for the average person.  I can handle the heat.  Szechuan food is spicy in that numbing tingling Szechuan peppercorn spice.  It's a very specific kick to your tastebuds.  And it's hard to avoid it when your food is swimming in these peppercorns.

After Ho Bag and company (Crack, CrackBaby, Crack Baby Daddy, Bang Bang, Ever-Knee, Tall Steven, Short Steve, Always-Makes-Me-Laugh)  were sufficiently "pumpkin wasted" from pumpkin carving and noshing on awesome spiced pumpkin muffins, we chowed down like royalty at Chuan's.  We bypassed the crowd, waved to the manager like we were old friends, and ordered almost everything on the menu like we were starving Africans.  And when were still hungry after round 1, we ordered more.  It's like we owned the place, but really we were just a bunch of nobodies tagging along with a somebody, Tall Steven who had the hookups for this place.  

I actually didn't get to try it.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014


The April birthday dinners in my family were pretty good with Orsa & Winston and Sushi Sushi.  September rolled around (yes I'm behind on the blogging!), and it was time to treat Smooth Obturator to something tasty.  Triple T, being the thoughtful wife that she is, made reservations at chi SPACCA knowing the carnivorous glutton in my brother would appreciate the offerings here.  She isn't a fan of fatty meats or the odd bits of animals, but knew I would like this place too so majority rules I guess.  Chi SPACCA has been on my to-try list for a while but I never got around to it because the menu seemed so unbalanced.  I like meat but I don't want to eat JUST meat.  To my surprise, 3 other LA based chefs were dining there that night: Jet Tila, Govind Armstrong, and Susan Goin.  My lingering reservations morphed into excitement because I knew a restaurant had to be pretty good if other chefs were eating there.

Culatello lambrusco washed, aged 15 months
The waitress did a good job selling this.  Made in house, cured by the chef himself, blah blah blah.  Smooth Obturator and I are suckers for cured meats.  I can't say this was all that amazing given the price tag.  I'd rather have some Iberico ham.

Roasted Squash Blossoms ricotta, tomato vinaigrette
I don't think I've ever had a bad squash blossom.  I loved the little vinaigrette, which felt like a looser tomato sauce.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jöel Robuchon

A new era in my life has started.  I no longer look forward to the wild partying, excessive drinking, and artery clogging buffet eating in Vegas.  Now when I think about Vegas, I get excited by the thought of eating something fancy and delicious.  Welcome to old age, right?  So the real reason behind my summer Vegas trip, aside from enjoying the company of my wonderful friends The Pouter, Teety, and Soprano Man, who shall now be renamed Yums (because that's what he always says when he eats something tasty), was to finally eat at the world famous Jöel Robuchon.  We planned our trip around this very meal.  Yums was such a good sport because he actually ate there a few weeks ago, but knew all of us wanted to go there so just shelled out another $$$$ to eat there again with us.  We love you Yums!  Jöel Robuchon is actually the only 3 star Michelin restaurant in the Los Angeles area.  However, the Michelin guide has not revisited Los Angeles since 2009 so how relevant are those 3 stars now 5 years later?

Bread Cart
The French people love their bread.  While a selection like this is almost like an adult version of a "kid in a candy store," I would opt for fewer breads that are warm.  Nothing beats warm bread.

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