Some exciting news: we’re headed to New York this fall for three months. The reasons are many. There’s my cookbook coming out and Craig has something up his sleeve too.
We’re looking for subletters to take our apartment on or around September 15th through December 15th. It’s a 2-bedroom apartment in Hollywood (near Los Feliz) that’s steps away from lots of great stores and restaurants, walking distance to the Arclight movie theater, and a short drive to Silverlake and West Hollywood. There’s a parking spot (two people can rotate it), a piano, and–most importantly–a kitchen full of all of my cooking equipment and cookbooks which you’re welcome to use…
I remember reading the New Yorker in 2002 when Nora Ephron declared the pastrami sandwich at Langer’s in Los Angeles “the finest hot pastrami sandwich in the world.”
As a New Yorker who grew up on the east coast (both in New York and Florida, major pastrami territories) I found this hard to believe. When I shared this tidbit with others, they’d be offended. “The best pastrami’s in L.A.? No way,” would be a typical response. On Saturday I brought Craig, Mark and Diana to Langer’s to experience this blasphemy firsthand. All three of us moved to L.A. from New York in the past year; would Langer’s really hold a candle to Katz’s? Was Nora Ephron just being provocative? Did we really want to eat pastrami on a hot summer’s day? These were important questions and after a short drive on the 101 (exit: Alvarado) we were ready to answer them.
Mad at myself, I flung open–as much as you can virtually fling something open–Jonathan Gold’s epic article “60 Korean Dishes Every Angeleno Should Know” and said to myself, “You big jerk! You’ve been in L.A. almost a year and you’ve barely scratched the surface of Koreatown. You’ve never eaten any of this food. Eat some of it right now!”
My eyes settled on something called “Shaken Dosirak” and I decided I would go eat that thing, whatever it was, this very instant.
Last week, we went to see “Follies” at the Ahmanson Theater (my second time seeing this production) and, beforehand, we needed a place to eat. I Tweeted out to the world and received a response from @StarryKitchen: “Starry Kitchen’s not a bad place to start.. Oh wait a minute, that’s my restaurant. (Tee hee hee) we’re only a block away ;).” I already had Starry Kitchen on my mental radar so the fact that the restaurant itself (or its Twitter handle) was beckoning me in (and that it was super close to the theater) made this dinner decision easy.
It happens to all of us at one point or another; we order a drink without looking at the price and then find ourselves startled when the bill arrives.
That happened to me TWICE last week. The first time I was at Franklin & Company, a cute restaurant near our apartment that serves sandwiches and salads and a smoked chicken dish that comes with smashed potatoes and cauliflower. That dish, which I ordered, has a wine suggestion underneath it–a Pinot Noir–and so I told the waiter I’d do the dish with the pairing. No price was listed. When the bill came, that glass of Pinot Noir was $17. (The dish itself was $18.)
There was a moment at Michael Voltaggio’s ink.–where Craig and I went to celebrate our six year anniversary this weekend–when I washed down a bite of my egg yolk gnocchi (the first course on the tasting menu) with a cocktail made of mezcal and smoked salt and thought to myself: “I’ve never tasted anything like what I’m tasting right now. How is this happening?”
I don’t follow sports, but I know that there are these people called scouts who go around to minor league events and look for future stars to recruit to the majors. Well, I never considered myself much of a chef scout, but that all changed on Sunday when food blogger Andy Windak–of the food blog The Wind Attack–invited us over for dinner. I was wary of this 25 year-old who talked a big game the first few times that I met him (he said something about marinated yucca blossoms) but what I didn’t realize was that he was the real deal: a self-taught, self-motivated prodigy who works wonders in the kitchen.
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.