Archive for March 1st, 2007|Daily archive page


March is…

  • National Caffeine Awareness Month®
  • National Flour Month
  • National Frozen Food Month
  • National Noodle Month
  • National Nutrition Month®
  • National Peanut Month
  • National Sauce Month
  • UK: National Veggie Month

Just thought you should know. So make some Pad Thai, with a peanut sauce, add some veggies, add a touch of espresso, a pinch of flour and freeze til hungry.


Dinner in the Sky

Dinner in the Sky

I’m all for trying new things and exploring new heights (pun intended) but this is pretty crazy. Lets just hope the chef preparing the food in the middle doesn’t go all Benihana on the customers, tossing shrimp and fried rice over the table and onto rooftops and passing cars.

“Off The Menu” Secrets

After my post the other day on the In-N-Out Secret Menu, I decided to google secrets menus and see what I could find.

Here’s a list of some NYC restaurants and their secret menus (thanks to Restaurant Girl). And for you west coasters, below that is a list of some LA secret items (thanks to CitySearch).

If you’re in NYC…

  • Nobu – Rumor has it there’s an “off the menu” ribeye, blessed with a bevvy of dipping sauces (wasabi pepper, balsamic teriyaki & a spicy anticucho) that blows the black miso cod out of the water.
    105 Hudson Street, (212)219-0500
  • The Stanton Social – It’s technically classified, but The Stanton Social snags A5 certified Kobe from Japan (enough with this “Kobe-style” nonsense). Chef Chris Santos will give it up for anyone in-the-know. So now you know.
    99 Stanton Street, 212-995-0099
  • Telepan – Bill Telepan is known to have a way with eggs, but he keeps an open-faced ravioli topped with a poached egg, mushrooms and parmigiano in his back pocket for special customers and occasions. Even more alluringly elusive, are the foie gras donuts.
    72 West 69th Street, (212)580-4300
  • Le Cirque – Veterans at this legendary spot opt for hush-hush fare: the chopped panache salad, classic smoked salmon, pasta primavera (Sirio’s personal recipe), tuna tartare with curry (four star chef Sottha Khunn’s original recipe), lobster risotto (Daniel Boulud’s recipes), flounder Le Cirque and dover sole meuniere, to name just a few.
    151 East 58th Street, 212-644-0202
  • Mermaid Inn – This local seafood joint discreetly indulges a scarce but simple pleasure, serving up plump, peel & eat shrimp every Wednesday. Handy wipes and bibs included.
    96 Second Avenue, (212)674-5870
  • Aureole – At Charlie Palmer’s UES townhouse, guests may request oyster shooters, fried oysters and tripe smothered in peppers, onions and chorizo. Choice clientele can demand omelettes at lunch and it could be an urban myth, but there’s even word of a curious-sounding banana butternut squash.
    34 East 61 Street, 212-319-1660
  • Momofuku Ssam Bar – If you call ahead, diners can secure a succulent bo ssam – an entire pork shoulder – feast for twelve lucky guests. While it’s on the printed menu, only guests who’ve had the privilege to dine here before, are savvy of the ssam.
    207 Second Avenue, 212-254-3500

If you’re in Los Angeles…

  • Grill on the Alley 9560 Dayton Wy, Beverly Hills, CA Call a couple days ahead of time and order the secret fried chicken–it’s not listed on the menu and must be ordered prior to your arrival.
  • The Griddle Cafe 7916 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA There’s only one way to get the “secret” French toast: Visit once prior, order the regular French toast and attain the password.
  • Ago 8478 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA Regulars start with platters of unlisted burrata encircled by slivers of prosciutto and crowned with green beans and diced tomatoes.
  • Tart 115 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA In-the-know patrons can order the off-the-menu dinner special: Hay-smoked cowboy steak with moonshine sauce, served with cornbread, sauted okra and fried green tomatoes.
  • In-N-Out Burger 7009 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA This secret menu has long enjoyed a cult following, the most unique being an “animal-style” burger, cooked in mustard, and topped with pickles, grilled onions and extra sauce.
  • Trader Vic’s 9876 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA Get the special gravy boat of homemade peanut butter and warm buttered whole grain bread for spreading–an unusual but tasty tropical drink accompaniment.
  • The Prince 3198 W Seventh St, Los Angeles, CA Most of the pan-Asian menu is thoroughly translated–except the Korean-only script at the bottom, which yields less tame treats like live octopus tentacles.
  • Urasawa 218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA This is the only restaurant in Los Angeles with a license to serve real Japanese blowfish. It’s a staple in the winter months.
  • Table 8 7661 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA When reserving your table, lay claim to the special salt-crusted porterhouse for two, complete with starch and veggie side dishes.
  • The Farm of Beverly Hills 439 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA For special occasions only, call three to four days ahead and order the restaurant’s signature brownies with rich chocolate mousse cream.

Beans are good for your heart…

…so here’s some tips from the Food Network on how to healthy-up your bean dip.

This classic party starter is layered with refried beans (canned versions often include unhealthy trans fats from partially-hydrogenated lard), lots of sour cream, full fat cheeses and high-sodium taco seasoning. For our healthier version, we made the following changes:

  • We replaced the refried beans with canned beans and blended in a touch of extra-virgin olive oil for both its healthful qualities and flavor.
  • We drained and rinsed the beans to decrease sodium by up to 40 percent.
  • Instead of high-calorie sour cream, we used a wonderfully rich and guilt-free nonfat Greek-style yogurt. Nonfat Greek yogurt is drained of excess whey and is as luscious as the regular version. Sold in many supermarkets, it’s worth asking your store to carry if it’s currently not stocked.
  • We increased the health factor by adding in lots of fresh ingredients: crispy romaine, fresh tomatoes, cilantro and scallions, as well as a low fat cheese.
  • We kept avocado in the recipe to contribute fiber, folic acid and creamy texture. Although avocados do contain fat, it is mostly a healthy monounsatured fat. If you want to reduce calories, use half the avocado and mix it with cooked or canned tomatillos.
  • We layered our final dip in smaller containers, to cut down on the portion size.
  • We recommend serving the dip with baked chips or vegetables, like peppers or cucumbers, to further improve the health profile.

Could Beyonce Get Hepatitis from Wolfgang Puck?

I think I posted this mainly for the headline, but it does have to do with food.

Turns out a Wolfgang Puck Catering employee has Hepatitis A, and had it while serving and preparing food for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit party back in February. Beyonce was there (I’m sure Jay-Z wasn’t far behind) as well as many other celebs and models.

If you were in attendance at the party, make sure you get your Hep. A shot by, um, yesterday. Oops.

Here’s some more details from your friends at TMZ.

Convenient Drugs!


Vuru, a Miami based company, has a brilliant idea that I’m kicking my own ass for not thinking of first. Although this is technically not a “food,” you do eat it, so I guess it works.

Vuru packages your daily vitamins (2-15 pills) into daily pouches, so rather than opening bottle after bottle, you just pop open a pouch. Seems like a simple concept that should’ve been thought of years ago.

I like the packaging and branding elements, too. Here’s what Springwise says about it.

Sometimes it’s all about the (re)packaging. Miami-based Vuru sells nutritional supplements in personalized daily packs. Customers choose from over 2,000 name brand supplements and vitamins, select how many weeks worth they want to purchase and then have their personalized packs shipped to them.

Vuru sticks each daily dose into a slick little pack that fits 2-15 pills. (For power users, larger packs are in the works.) Which means customers are spared the hassle of shaking pills from several bulky bottles, or organizing daily dosages into pill boxes or plastic bags. Vuru packs can be tossed into a handbag or pocket, and are perfect for travel. Besides creating their own unique blends, customers can pick one of Vuru’s pre-selected mixes, varying from ‘Woman’s Yoga Pack’ to ‘The UrbanDaddy Pack’. To make sense of it all, each order comes with an information sheet, which has a picture of each pill, the supplement facts label, directions, warnings and any other information pertinent to that supplement or vitamin.

Several elements make this concept quite appealing. First of all, customers will love the ability to pick and mix their own, ultra-personalized blend from a wide variety of supplements. Secondly, there’s the convenience angle: time-saving and life-hacking, Vuru is what our sister-site would call a daily lubricant. One of those products that make people’s lives just a little bit easier. Last but not least, the packaging is simple, shiny and chic. Which all combines to create a luxury ‘health hack’ that many consumers are willing to pay a premium for.

The same concept could no doubt be applied to other industries. How about skin care products? Just be sure to think green and keep packaging to a minimum. Meanwhile, if you’re in the health care business, note that Vuru operates an affiliate program that lets nutritionists, doctors and other health care professionals create supplement programs for clients and patients, netting them 10% commission for every dollar a client spends. Whether or not that presents ethical dilemmas is a discussion we’ll leave to other blogs.