Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts

Eat Drink Style The Official Soundtrack of Valentine's Day

C&S Full

One more day until Valentine's Day and for a lot of people, this silly day means a lot. But with the recession, many people are choosing to stay in and fiddle with the stove and devirginize those Calphalon pots and pans. Tonight is a big night, and things may go well for you and your date. You've ironed your whole Old Navy outfit. You've trimmed your nose hair finally. Chicken is cooked perfectly in the oven. Wine is being uncorked. Ikea candles are lit. You've got way too much cologne but that's okay. But something is awfully dry and weird, and it's not the chicken breast.

Where is the ambiance?! Where is the sound of love?

This is where I enter with wings, bow/arrow and adult diapers. To really improve the chances of you sealing the deal tonight, I've compiled this erotically disturbing collection of songs/hymns/moanings/wailings that have somehow been interpreted as 'music'. This is all yours for the price of $free.99. Look at what you get!


Wow that's awful! If you can listen to this whole thing without hurting yourself or anyone, then you are the ultimate Cassanova. Good luck and enjoy!

Free Download ---> Cheesy & Sleazy Volume 1 (Zshare)
Free Download ---> Cheesy & Sleazy Volume 1 (Badongo)

Eat Drink Style Happy Halloween, I mean, Happy Thanksgiving

Right after writing about the bacon narcotic, I got a lot of emails/links regarding bacon. Just too many to post. But this one just had to be posted. It is terrifying to look at, yet I know someone is drooling over his keyboard right now, searching for the recipe on Google.

What the HELL is this thing? We've all seen the turducken, but this is simply ridiculous. This looks like a freshly skinned zebra in the Safari. I'm going to have nightmares for as long as I live.

Anyway, drink lots of gravy and enjoy the gift of cholesterol! Thanks to Jwong for the pic.

Eat Drink Style I'm Sorry For the 29 Years of Torture - Mother's Day Dinner

Raising a child is probably life's biggest challenges. From the day your child is born, your eyebrows will start to curve downwards. Your forehead develops creases like a shar pe's fur. And your blood pressure raises everytime you have to send a message to him/her. But you keep going. You keep going every single day until you see that they can function on their own. And even then, worrying never leaves your mind until they day you sleep infinitely. I was never a bad kid. I never got into any fights. Never hung around the wrong crowd - I was a schoolboy/soccer jock. Never got suspended from school - well maybe once for having a Motorola Pager with me during school. And it wasn't even one of those cooler pagers that everyone had – it was the one that held like 4 numbers and when paged, sounded like a semi backing the hell up. Never got anything below a B- (college was a different story). I never got a DUI (crossing fingers). But my mom always found a reason to worry. Then in college, I got into some serious trouble - nearly got me kicked out of school. And it was with utter shame and guilt that I called my mom and informed her of my deviance. I was prepared to have my head ripped off over the phone. But my mom surprised me. Even in time of peril, no matter who was at fault, a mother will stand by your side. Everytime I saw some news report of a juvenile crime, I was always amazed that the parents faced the music and stuck with their kid - even if it was attempted murder. It wasn't until this situation that I knew how important parents are and how down they were. As I sat in the deans office with my mom, I knew she was embarrassed. But she held my hand so tightly that I knew we were going to get through it. And we did thankfully. The dean simply wanted my mom in the conference so that she was aware of the severity of the incident. I dreaded the car ride home because I knew she would let me have it, but she didn't. She simply said "I know you won't do that again" and smiled at me. And ever since then, I made sure that I would never have to bring my mom into a situation like this again. And since then...

...I have not publicly urinated on a college campus.

So for mother's day, instead of taking her to a dim sum restaurant in SGV like every other Asian family, my sister and I cooked her a meal at home. After all, what's a few hours of cooking versus 29 years of nurturing this insanity called Dylan.

Scallop Pear Salad

Seared Scallop & Pear Salad
I love scallops and I'll continue to cook scallops until I stop writing this food blog. Because I love tater tots, and to me, this is the marine version. A simple drizzle of kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, a searing hot pan and you're well on your way to the Olympics. I'm lazy when it comes to making my own dressing so I just call on my good friend Angelo Pietro because he gets the job done. I have to add fruit to all my salads now, it just creates a nice balance of savory, fresh, sour and sweet in every bite. I usually have a problem searing scallops nicely because of the amount of water that leaks out of them. A sign of a chemically-enhanced scallop is its high water content. They basically inject something to 'fill' the scallop up and when cooked, it ruins everything.

Lobster Crostini

Lobster & Garlic Aioli Crostini
A few weeks ago, J and I ate at Hungry Cat in Hollywood. Its run by Suzanne Goin of AOC & Lucques' husband and it's a great place to enjoy oysters and super creative drinks. Their most popular dish is the Lobster Roll Deluxe which consists of chunky lobster, garlic aioli, parsley baked in a greasy roll. It's so rich but so good. If you try it out, I recommend sharing it or you'll get sick. Anyway, this was my attempt at recreating it. I simply boiled some lobster tails and cut the meat free from the exoskeleton. I then added it to a makeshift aioli prescribed by my incredibly talented friend, Yoony of Immaeatchu. I took mayo and added some cayenne pepper, freshly ground pepper, lemon, grated garlic, chives, shallots and lemon juice. It was very light and went well with crunchy texture of the baked crostini. This makes a great summer picnic dish.

Osso Buco Linguini

Veal Osso Buco & Linguini
I've neglected my wonderful Le Creuset pot for quite a while and brought her out of the attic for this special occasion. There's something nice about braising food in a quality porcelain pot - like I live in a French chateau surrounded by sheep and drink wine endlessly under a willow tree with my paperboy beret. Two and a half hours of braising the veal shanks in chianti wine, fresh thyme, bay leaves, chicken broth and mire poix and you're good. The sauce that's produced tastes really good over pasta - like gravy on mashed potatoes.

Hope everyone did something special for mom. My mom might have killed me if I took her to Hometown Buffet instead. Thanks again for everything mom. You're the best. Thanks for reading.

Eat Drink Style Hometown Buffet - The Perfect Un-Valentine's Day Dinner

Sunday morning, I woke up and started flipping through the freshly printed newspaper. I wasn't reading any of the articles, but rather thinking of where I was going to take J for Valentine's Day. For many, Valentine's is short for gift and snazzy dinner. I'm really not into holidays, or rather, non-holidays such as Valentine's day, but it was going to be our first. Was Valentine's Day a cruel day created by marketers at Hallmark or by women who want to gauge their man's affection and commitment? Whatever the case - I didn't have anything planned. I could spend $200 on sushi. I could go to a posh restaurant and select their prix fixe menu. But all of those just sounded so... booked and overdone. Besides, almost every decent restaurant in LA was probably booked with lovebirds. Last year's V-Day was fun because I went with a friend to Beacon and gawked at all the couples gazing into one another's eyes over pork belly and seared albacore. They were all in a trance. I gave J a call.

Me: "Hey, what do you wanna do for Valentine's?"
J: "I don't know. Surprise me. I like surprises."
Me: "Ok. How about something... different?"
J: "Different is good. Prix fixe sounds good."
Me: "Ok, careful what you wish for."

I jumped back into flipping through the newspaper. Where was I going to find an inexpensive place with a prix fixe menu. Nothing left in the newspaper, but a stack of coupons and direct mail. I went ahead and perused it and eureka... here was what I was looking for!

Oh... yes. A coupon for two to Hometown Buffet. Different? Check. Surprising? Double-check! Prix fixe? Oh-yes, triple check... a $10.69 + tax prix fixe menu. For those that don't know what Hometown Buffet is - think of it as an all-you-can-eat Sizzler, minus all that popcorn shrimp and shrimp scampi. I called J right away.

Me: "Ok, I've got a place."
J: "Yeah? Where?"
Me: "Mmm, they've got a reasonably priced, prix fixe and it's definitely different."
J: "Oh nice. Where?"
Me: "Hometown Buffet."
J: "...... what?"
Me: "I'm serious. They've got coupons too haha."
J: "Haha! Let's do it."

Wednesday night, after work, I drove off to J's place to pick her up. I had also forgotten to buy a gift. Any well-respected gentleman presents his lady with a gift on Valentine's Day. I didn't have anything in mind to buy. I was stuck. But as I was driving on Venice Blvd., something caught the corner of my eye. I saw a man and a woman standing behind a pack of stuffed bears. Furry white teddy bears holding red heart pillows, wrapped in cellophane. Oh nice... and only $8!! Wait? Is this cheesy? Who cares, I ended up buying one. Now, I had some company in my car.

I got to J's place and walked into her place with the bear covering my face. She freaked out and realized what I got her and started busting up.

J & Venice Blvd. Bear
You can't see it, but J is actually staring me down with evil contempt. She asked that I censor her face. The bear requested anonymity as well. Nice picture frame huh? It's furry too. This bear is going to be extinct very soon. RIP.

We got to Hometown Buffet at around 7:15 and the line was out the door - about 40 people waiting to get their $10.69-grubbing on.

The Buffet Line
I was baffled - I didn't know if we were at the DMV or Hometown Buffet. The line was painfully slow. People were pacing back and forth. Everyone eyeing each other to see if anyone would attempt to inch past their place in line. Hometown Buffet should just offer motor-vehicle services. That'd be nice to get the license mugshot and a $10.69 meal all in one stop. There would be less angry (and less hungry) people in the world.

Pure Class... and Glass
To make this evening even more special, I took a lunch break at Target and picked up tea candles, two plastic wine-glasses (re-usable of course - i'm not rich) and a snazzy wine-in-a-box package. (Hometown Buffet doesn't serve alcohol.) The wine box included 4 Hi-C like packages with a foil-sealed spout. I chose the 50% Cabernet and 50% Shiraz.

The Tablesetting
*Gasp* Breathtaking I know. A wrong pairing of reds to fried chicken, sliced ham, garlic mushrooms and canned, Sysco corn. What the hell is that thing in the back??? Whatever, this was supposed to be our special meal and Hometown Buffet lets you be your own chef. After shooting the photo, I took a sip of the 50/50 Cab/Shiraz varietal made by the Target Vineyards. My thoughts on this wine? It really wasn't 50% Cab and 50% Shiraz... it was more like 100% undrinkable. 100% refund too, please.

Deep Sea Creature
Do not be frightened. J's first dish resembled an angler fish. If you threw this in front of Jacques Costeau, he'd have a genus species name for this dish within a few minutes and have it mapped in a fish family tree. This 2,000-calorie creature inhabits the sheet pans and chaffing dishes of Hometown Buffet. This still looked better than a lot of the dishes presented at the first annual Iron Chef Souplantation.

Fried Chicken
Oh yes. This wasn't bad at all. I prefer it over KFC, but definitely not over Popeye's and Mrs. Knott's. The skin was nice and crispy and the meat was very moist - it just wasn't that flavorful. Needed some more salt and cayenne/paprika. I still ended up eating 5 drum sticks and am paying the price with a 'yeet hay' sore.

Mound O' Mac
To make the night even cheesier, I indulged in HTB's mac n' cheese pit. Honestly, I don't mind Souplantation's mac n' cheese. It's bland but they leave it to you to flavor it with their table salt/pepper. Hometown Buffet's is way better because it's similar to TV dinner M&C. Yes, microwave M&C is one of my guilty pleasures - as well as Jeno's pizza. I wouldn't be surprised if I caught the cooks back there emptying hundreds of boxes of Swanson's mac n' cheese into a chaffing dish. I had 2 rounds of this, mmm.

The USDA rates all of the beef before being sold. Prime being the best, then Choice and Select. This quality of meat was unidentifiable. It was the lonely stepchild of all meats, placed in the dark, unmarked on a dusty rack, crying in naked/fetal position. The marking on the label probably looks something like "USDA??? Beef??? Sell by ??????" Maybe it's a zebra? Anyway, I constructed my own Steak Frites dish for under $10.69. Don't bother asking Hometown Buffet for Steak Frites because you'll get a blank stare. just go make it yourself. I ate 3 pieces of the beef and stopped before dislocating my jaw from overchewing.

Pinkberry! 911!
In addition to the fries, J feasted on two bowls of these. Like the beef, it's also the lonely, neglected stepchild of all meats, crying in naked/fetal position. I wonder how soon it'll be before Pinkberry starts selling their machines within convenience stores or selling boxed frozen yogurt in supermarkets.

A Moment of Affection and Indigestion
After the many plates of food, we couldn't move and ended talking for a little while. We then went over to a 'Valentine's Day' booth that Hometown Buffet set up and took a few goofy photos. Although this wasn't a typical Valentine's Day venue, we had a total blast eating here. J was so happy that we followed through haha. We both didn't really care for V-Day, but if we were going to go out, we should try doing something different. We looked at the many other couples and family who were here tonight enjoying their evening. And although not everyone eating here is wealthy enough to enjoy the finer places in LA (including us of course), they still knew how to enjoy themselves. Because at the end of the day (and bill), whether it be a nice meal or a hole-in-the-wall meal, it's about having good company.

On the drive back, J passed out because of food coma and I was slowly feeling the effects of the Sysco corn and Target Vineyard wine, hitting me. I looked over at the sleepy one and smiled and thought to myself... "what a cool girl I have."

P.S. The coupon is fake, so don't bother printing it out. haha. Happy Un-V Day to J and thanks for reading.