Archive for June, 2007|Monthly archive page

The Foundry

Foundry

The Foundry on Melrose in Los Angeles has been around for a month or so now, and I still haven’t been.

But I really want to go. The Foundry seems to be a little more lively than your average restaurant. When you visit the website, you’ll notice that although the menu sounds good, there’s more to this place than just the food. There’s nightly music by bands and DJs and surprise musical guests.

What’s livelier than that is the fact that they have a live webcam broadcasting their finished dishes. It’s like Hell’s Kitchen but less British and not fake. Head to their homepage and click on the live webcam link.

From what I hear, the food is pretty good, but a bit pricey. That’s ok though. Head to the bar area and order off the bar menu. Bar items range from $8-$15 and you can order chicken croquettes, crab & spinach dip, chopped salad, short rib grilled cheeses, bay scallop ragout, and a selection of artisan cheeses.

Reviews are mixed but the place is still fairly new. And if your meal isn’t all that great, at least they’re trying a bit harder than most other places…

After a downright bad meal at The Foundry on Melrose, I was speeding away to the nearest In-N-Out for a Double-Double, Animal Style fix when I noticed a little white box resting on the parking break. Inside was a note from The Foundry (pictured) as well as three chocolate truffles. It was a small touch that left a big impression for all the right reasons. (from the Bon Appétit Blog)

Decent prices at the bar, live music in an upscale atmosphere, and truffles in your car? Sounds like it’s worth trying out if you ask me.

7463 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA
323.651.0915

A Season of Change

Park Ave. NYC

Restaurants come and go. Some are good, some are bad, but eventually they change, whether its ownership, menu items, staff or decor. It’s the nature of the business.

But Park Avenue NYC is changes, on purpose, 4 times a year. Every 3 months, the restaurant will close and reopen with a different menu and different decor. The theme is the 4 seasons, so expect the decor to resemble that (this month it’s sundresses and yellow walls) as well as the food (seasonal vegetables and specialties).

Confused?

Park Avenue Summer, as it’s currently named, is part of the Smith & Wollensky restaurant group and is supremely in tune with the seasons. While most restaurants adapt their menus to accommodate the available foods and prevailing moods of the time of year, Park Avenue takes seasonality to a new heights and will also completely revamp its décor, staff uniforms and place settings. Currently, waitresses wear sundresses, wall panels are yellow, and guests are served Lemon Sole and Peach Sorbet. The restaurant’s interior was created by design agency AvroKO, which took cues from theatre stage sets to help facilitate the transition to Park Avenue Autumn in September. (from Springwise)

The idea is kind of like that of “pop-up” bars and clubs like volume 1 in LA or Grand Opening in NYC (currently known as PONG).

Is it a sign of things to come? Perhaps. It might not be a bad idea being that the restaurant turnover rate is so high, but it’d definitely suck when you just start liking the current theme only to realize it’ll be something totally different just a few days later.

PARK AVENUE NYC
East 63rd Street at Park Avenue
212.644.1900

Pickles are evil!

Pickles

Agree? Disagree? Let the fights begin!

If you hate them, pick up this Threadless t-shirt ASAP as they go fast.

And if you love them check out I Love Pickles.

$12 for guys, $14 for gals. Get yours here.

Eggs in a Basket

Toad Hole

Eggs in a basket (a.k.a. toad in a hole, Rocky Mountain eggs, Moon over Miami, Bulls-Eye) is one of the easiest breakfasts you can make. It takes next to no time, only requires 1 pan, and is pretty damn delicious.

Preparation typically begins by cutting a circular hole in the center of a piece of bread with a cookie cutter or upside down glass. The bread is then fried in a pan with butter, margarine or cooking oil if the bread itself is not buttered. When browned satisfactorily, the egg is cracked into the “basket” cut into the toast. The egg is then fried to the desired consistency (it can also be flipped several times and fried on both sides). When eaten, the bread and egg yolk mix readily, giving this egg dish its special quality. It is commonly served with ketchup, jam, maple syrup (with a side of sausage & fruit), or cheese. (from Wikipedia)

Ingredients

  • any number of eggs
  • same number of bread slices (whole wheat was used above)
  • pat of butter
  • spray oil can (or something else hollow & circular)

Directions

  1. Heat butter in pan on medium – high heat.
  2. Take circular object (I used a spray can top) and make a hole in the middle of a slice of bread. Keep cut out circle.
  3. Place bread in melted butter. Allow to brown for about 30 seconds. At the same time, place cut out bread in pan.
  4. Next, crack egg in center. Allow to cook until you can’t see the bottom of the pan through the egg anymore.
  5. Flip both the bread and cut out portion. Allow to cook for another minute or so.
  6. Plate and eat. Season with salt & pepper. Yolk should be a little runny when cut in to. Use bread and cut out portion to soak it up.

Father’s Office: The Sequel

Father’s Office

Father’s Office, the famous no reservation hamburger restaurant room/bar in Santa Monica, appears to be expanding with a second restaurant, that we can only hope holds more people than it does now.

The burgers here rank in numerous lists as one of the best in the country, and it’s definitely worth the wait. Here’s one of those lists, featuring a recipe for the famous burger itself.

As for the new location…

Looks like lovers of all things burger and beer will have a large bar to belly up to at the new Father’s Office taking root at the Helms Bakery building next to H.D. Buttercup.

A few months ago we chatted with owner Sang Yoon who told us that, yes, the burger will still be on the menu, but expect a lot more. He sounds so over that burger actually, but says he’d “be lynched” if he ever stopped serving it. Agreed.

Two things that won’t change at the new FO: The strict no-reservations policy, just like the original in Santa Monica, and please, never EVER call it a restaurant. The space is much bigger with a patio out front, and hopefully everyone will play nice. (from Eater LA)

Rumors say it could open in July, but according to the update on Eater LA, it looks like it’ll be a fall opening. For now you’ll have to settle for waiting in line on the streets of Santa Monica.

Photo from Flickr.

1018 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, California
310.323.BEER (2337)

And if you want to do it yourself at home…

DO-IT-YOURSELF FATHER’S OFFICE BURGER

Caramelized onions

  • 4 slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • 2 onions, sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 drops liquid smoke
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the bacon until crisp, 5 to 6 minutes, then remove to paper towels to drain. Crumble 1 slice and set aside; reserve the rest of the bacon for another use. Measure 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat into a medium heavy skillet.
  2. Add the onions to the skillet and sprinkle with the sugar. Cook until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Halfway through, stir in the crumbled bacon. At the end of the 20 minutes, stir in the balsamic vinegar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes. Set aside.

Burgers

  • 1 1/2pounds strip steak (preferably dry-aged), ground
  • 1/2 pound rib-eye steak (preferably dry-aged), ground
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ounce blue cheese
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese
  • 4 French demi-baguettes, halved and toasted
  • 1 cup baby arugula

Directions

  1. Combine the strip and rib-eye steaks and mix in the salt. Shape the meat into 4 (7-inch) oval patties, about three-fourths-inch thick.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-high heat. Fry the burgers, 2 at a time, for 3 minutes, then flip. Top each burger with one-fourth of the blue and Gruyere cheeses.
  3. Cook the burgers 3 more minutes for medium.
  4. Remove and keep warm; melt the remaining butter in the skillet and repeat with the remaining 2 patties and cheeses.
  5. To assemble, place the burgers on the baguettes and top with the onions and arugula, dividing evenly.

“The Catch”

The Catch

The best part of sports in general are those moments that last forever; the last second 3-pointer, a overtime field goal, a hockey shootout…

So why not let these moments age in your mind while you let a bottle of wine age on the counter?

Former San Francisco 49er Dwight Clark teamed up with Steve Ledson of Ledson winery to create 2005 Dwight Clark’s “The Catch” Russian River Pinot Noir. The wine is made of 100% Pinot Noir. The wine is a blend of four different clones from the Russian River vineyards and is aged in French Oak barrels for eight months. The proceeds from the sale of the wine benefit the Harmony Foundation for Children, which provides support and resources to underprivileged children. The wine sells for $95. (from Luxist)

Onion Rings & Parrots

Deadspin loves the Pirates remake of the final scene in the Sopranos. And as far as remakes of this scene goes, this one is good!

Ever since that final episode, everyone’s been getting in on the diner/onion rings/Journey parody. Hillary and Bill tried it, and it’s just not as funny (although that one does hava a cameo by Johnny Sack…)

And in case you want to give Tony’s last dining spot a try…

…the final scene, which depicted Tony, A.J. and Carmela sitting in a New Jersey diner booth, was shot in Holsten’s in Bloomfield, NJ (1063 Broad St., 973-338-7091). As they’re waiting for Meadow to arrive, the Sopranos munch on a bowl of onion rings (co-owner Chris Carley says Holsten’s cooked the actual rings that were on TV) and talk about the importance of remembering the good times. (from Zagat)

Stinky Bklyn

Stinky

Saw a small mention of this on the Bon Appetit editors blog and figured I’d look into it a little more. What’d I find out?

Well, if you’re in New York on June 24th and you have a hankering for some cheese, why not head down to Stinky Bklyn and compete for the Big Cheese Title Belt?

What’s in it for you? Well besides cheese (obviously) you get a free t-shirt for signing up and you’ll compete for the “Big Cheese Title Belt”, which will be displayed at Stinky Bklyn with your name for a full year.

On Sunday, June 24th at 2pm as part of the Smith St. fair, we will host our 1st annual cheese eating contest outside of Smith & Vine (268 Smith Street between Sackett St. & Degraw St.) at 2pm sharp. Contestants will have to show up by 1:45 and no later! There are only 20 spaces available and registration is a first come first serve basis. You must be 18 to enter, everyone gets a Stinky T-Shirt and registration is FREE! Come compete for glory! Come challenge the true warriors of cheese! Come find out how much Cantal you can cram down in 1 minute!

As for Stinky Bklyn, they have quite an impressive selection of cheeses to purchase and you can join their cheese club. According to the New York Times, they know what’s they’re doing.

Calling a cheese shop Stinky Bklyn is cheeky. But Patrick Watson and Michele Pravda, who own this new store at 261 Smith Street (DeGraw Street) in Carroll Gardens, mean it with affection for the borough and the 100 or so cheeses they carry. The two, who also own Smith & Vine, a wine shop across the street, emphasize cheeses from wine regions, including California, the Loire Valley and Italy. They also sell charcuterie, chocolates and utensils.

To register for the contest or for store info, call 718.522.7425.

Photo from Flickr.

Missing something?

fridge

More often than not I’ll go to cook something and find out that something is missing.

It’s a pain in the ass.

But no longer. Now, if you realize something you thought you had is missing, just check this nifty chart from ehow.com and substitute one ingredient for another.

And in case this list isn’t enough, check About.com to find other substitutions such as alcohol substitutions, herb & spice substitutions and many others.

No matter how well-stocked you keep your pantry, there is bound to come a time when you need an ingredient for a recipe but your cupboard is sadly lacking. Or, maybe you are making changes in your diet and need suggestions on substitutions for fats, meats, sugars or whatever. These substitution resources are helpful to have on hand.

Photo from Flickr.

WHAT IS MISSING POSSIBLE SUBSTITUTES
1 cup (8 oz/250 g) butter 1 cup (8 oz/250 g) margarine

7/8 cup (7 fl oz/210 ml) vegetable oil

7/8 cup (7 oz/220 g) vegetable shortening

3/4 cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) strained chicken or bacon fat
1 cup (8 oz/250 g) butter, in baking cakes and quick breads 1/2 cup (5 oz/155 g) applesauce plus 1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) vegetable oil

3/4 cup (6 oz/185 g) yogurt plus 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) vegetable oil
1 oz. (30 g) semisweet chocolate 1/2 oz. (15 g) unsweetened chocolate plus 1 tbsp. sugar
1 oz. (30 g) unsweetened chocolate 3 tbsp. cocoa plus 1 tbsp. butter or oil

3 tbsp. carob plus 2 tbsp. water
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) fresh or canned coconut milk 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) canned cream of coconut plus 3/4 cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) warm water or nonfat milk
1 whole egg, in baking 1/4 cup (2 1/2 oz/75 g) applesauce or mashed banana plus 2 tsp. oil
2 egg yolks, in sauces and custards 1 whole egg
1 cup (4 oz/125 g) unsifted cake flour 1 cup (5 oz/155 g) minus 2 tbsp. unsifted all-purpose flour
1 cup (5 oz/155 g) unsifted self-rising flour 1 cup (5 oz/155 g) unsifted all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder and a pinch of salt
1 cup (4 oz/125 g) sifted all-purpose flour 1 cup (5 oz/155 g) minus 2 tbsp. unsifted all-purpose flour
1 cup (5 oz/155 g) unsifted all-purpose flour 1 cup (5 oz/155 g) minus 2 tbsp. unsifted whole-wheat flour

1 cup (5 oz/155 g) plus 2 tbsp. unsifted cake flour
1 clove fresh garlic 1/2 tsp. garlic paste

1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. double-acting baking powder 1/4 tsp. baking soda plus 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1/4 tsp. baking soda plus 1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) buttermilk or yogurt (reduce liquid in recipe by 1/2 cup)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice 1/2 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. grated lemon peel 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) whole milk 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) nonfat milk or water plus 1 tbsp. melted butter

1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) buttermilk plus 1.2 tsp. baking soda

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) soy or almond milk
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) buttermilk 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) milk plus 1 tbsp. lemon juice or white vinegar; let sit 5 minutes
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) light cream 7/8 cup (7 fl oz/210 ml) milk plus 3 tbsp. melted butter
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) half-and-half 7/8 cup (7 fl oz/210 ml) milk plus 1 1/2 tbsp. melted butter

1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) light cream and 1/2 cup milk
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) heavy or whipping cream 3/4 cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) whole milk plus 1/3 cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) melted butter
1 cup (8 oz/250 g) sour cream 1 cup (8 oz/250 g) yogurt

7/8 cup (7 oz/220 g) yogurt or buttermilk plus 1/3 cup (3 oz/90 g) butter

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) evaporated whole milk plus 1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. prepared mustard 1 tsp. powdered mustard plus a dash of vinegar
1 cup (8 oz/250 g) granulated sugar 1 3/4 cup (7 oz/220 g) unsifted confectioner’s sugar

7/8 cup (7 fl oz/210 ml) honey

1 cup (7 oz/220 g) packed light-brown sugar plus 1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) molasses plus 1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) maple syrup plus 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) corn syrup
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) light corn syrup or honey 1 1/4 cups (10 oz/315 g) granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) more of liquid in recipe
1 cup (7 oz/220 g) baker’s or superfine sugar 1 cup (8 oz/250 g) granulated sugar, processed 30 seconds in food processor
1 tbsp. cornstarch 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. tapioca 1 1/2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. arrowroot 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) tomato juice 1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup water
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) tomato sauce 1/4 cup (2 oz/60 g) tomato paste plus 2/3 cup (5 fl oz/160 ml) water
1 cup (8 oz/250 g) yogurt 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) buttermilk

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) milk plus 1 tbsp. lemon juice

Banana Twinkies are back!

Twinkie 2

The original Twinkie flavor is back.

Twinkies originally had a banana-creme filling, but a wartime banana shortage in the 1940s led to the vanilla creme we all know today.

Hostess has reintroduced the flavor during limited-time promotions in the past, but always took the treat off the shelves when the promotion ended.

The company was finally persuaded to make the flavor part of its lineup for good after Hostess offered it for four weeks last year for the release of the movie “King Kong.” Total Twinkie sales jumped 20 percent during the promotion. (from CNN)

Photo from 2ZOD. Thanks for letting me know Carl. At the original time of posting, no credit could be found. All apologies. Hope you don’t mind the use of your photo. Please let me know if you do.

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