Waiter, Don’t Take My Plate Away

Back in the old days of my blog, I used to write Thursday Night Dinner Songs. Those files went missing, I got older and more self-conscious, and the days of food related songs on my blog were over. But tonight I Tweeted that I wanted to write a country song called: “Waiter, Don’t Take My Plate Away” (because so many servers take our plates away before we’re finished) and was surprised to see it get ReTweeted many, many times. So then I thought: “What if I actually write it?” I sat down at the piano, took out a notepad, and created the song you can hear up above. A few notes: (1) sorry that you can see up my nostrils; (2) sorry that I turn blue every few seconds; (3) yes, it sounds like Dolly Parton’s “Why’d You Come In Here Looking Like That?”; and (4) I know I’m not a great singer, which is why I’d love for you to record your own version of the song….

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Dan Sung Sa (Korean Bar Food in L.A.’s K-Town)

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The biggest challenge was finding the place. The address was 3317 W. 6th Street and we were meeting our friends Kyle and Gary there at 7:30. We drove down 6th, using my phone as a guide, and didn’t see 3317. We parked on the street and saw a sign for a hotel featuring Korean dramas on the TV, but no 3317. Then, entering a shopping center, we saw a valet parking attendant and asked him if he knew where we could find Dan Sung Sa. He pointed at the building right in front of him: there it was, in Korean, no English translation.

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Glenn Cous Cous Salad with Albert Knobs of Feta (PLUS: Other 2011 Oscar Dishes)

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You may have thought Oscar’s biggest upset last night was Meryl Streep stealing Viola Davis’s Oscar, but then clearly you weren’t at the Oscar party I attended. Our friends John and Michael invited us a week earlier and asked us to bring a dish that was a pun or play on words based on title or actor (last year, John made “Stanley Two-Cheese Dip”) and I treated the whole thing light-heartedly, polling my followers on Twitter (some good suggestions: “My Week With Maryland Crabs,” “Macarooney Mara”) before settling on the dish you see above, Glenn Cous Cous Salad with Albert Knobs of Feta.

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Back To Our Favorite N.Y. Haunts (Joe, Joseph Leonard, Bar Centrale, City Bakery, Grand Sichuan & The Burger Joint)

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I took a tumble outside of Joe on Waverly, the coffee shop that was a second home to me all those years that I lived in the big city. It was kind of embarrassing: rain was beating down, Craig ran inside the front door, and as I approached the first step, I totally slipped on the wet pavement and crashed down on my knee, slicing my jeans open and tearing the skin. I got myself up as quickly as I could but it was one of those disorienting experiences that made me feel like I was a stranger on my old turf: only a tourist slips on a wet New York City sidewalk.

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(Relatively) New In New York: Untitled, The John Dory & The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

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I’m not one of those “where must I eat when I go back to New York?” kind of people, though I did Tweet a week before our trip something along those lines. The responses were fascinating to me–apparently Acme, which I knew as a fairly mediocre sandwich and sweet potato French fry spot near NYU, has been transformed into a restaurant-of-the-moment. Also: Isa has all the food bloggers buzzing. But, I don’t know, I wasn’t in the mood to be fanatical about new restaurants. I decided that, when it came to food on this trip, we’d wing it.

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The “Welcome To New York” Tasting Menu at The 2nd Avenue Deli

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When you arrive in New York, for your first time or after being away for a while, you want a taste of what makes the city unique. Sure, you could pop into one of those hip bastions of dining where everything’s pickled or ensconced in some kind of obscure animal fat but, really, aren’t they doing that in most food cities these days? What you crave is the sort of thing that doesn’t push the envelope in any way; you want comfort food, New York City style, served gruffly yet with an inscrutable sort of love. What you crave is the 2nd Avenue Deli.

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Drink Champagne On Your Birthday

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This is a post about drinking Champagne on your birthday. I think you should do it.

Before this year, it never really occurred to me to drink Champagne on my birthday. My focus would be on food: where would I eat for lunch? Where would I eat for dinner? Because it was my birthday, could I justify another meal–or at least a disgustingly decadent dessert–in between said lunch and dinner? As far as what I drank, sometimes I’d treat myself to a glass of wine with my lunch; a special occasion indulgence because normally, if I drink during the day, I’m too zonked out to get work done. But that glass of wine was always a modest glass of wine–a Riesling or a Sauvignon Blanc–never a glass of Champagne.

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Chickpea Curry

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One of my favorite things to make on a weeknight, these days, is a kitchen cupboard chickpea curry. It goes like this: I open my kitchen cupboard, pull out a can of chickpeas, a bag of rice, a tube of tomato paste, a can of coconut milk, and as many spices as I feel like using. It also helps to have an onion, garlic, ginger, lemons (or limes) and cilantro, but only the onion is essential there–the other stuff just makes it that much better.

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