Showing posts with label sausages. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sausages. Show all posts

Eat Drink Style Happy Mother's Day Dinner - Mom, the Eternal Ass Kicker

ED&BM Mother's Day Dinner

Ever since I started walking, my mom was there to make sure I didn't get into trouble. She passed on mannerisms that her mom had pass, as well as providing the natural love, care and attention a mother burdens herself with. But we as children don't usually respond the way they want. That's why there is something called 'ass kicking'. It comes in many forms. Sometimes it makes you cry, sometimes it makes you angry and sometimes, it outright HURTS. My mom's method of shaping me into a proper gentleman... a feather duster. Not just any kind, but one made in Hong Kong. It looks soft, fluffy and purely for cleaning right? WRONG. You switch the ends of it and you've got the Chinese Ass-Kicker. Two things for the price of one – now that's a deal in any Chinese person's eyes.

I remember one time when I was 5. My sister and I were out in the front having productive fun, like throwing rocks over at the neighbor's yard. You kids nowadays have cooler things to play with like all-too-real video games and internet. Back then, we only had rocks and Garbage Pail Kids - take your pick. An hour later, after my sister and I had grown tired of chucking rocks into the neighbor's pool. I hear the most ear-deafening scream of my name.


The second I heard that, I knew very well where my ass was destined. My sister and I quickly scoured the living room of our tiny house and took refuge in a nightstand behind the couch. I looked over at my sister, who looked liked a deer in headlights. The door opened and it slammed. I could hear her footsteps in the living room and could hear her running around the house. Every time the footsteps got louder, my sister and I ducked our heads into our knees, shaking. FUCK. We were so fucked. And all of a sudden, I see my mom's face at the end of the nightstand. NO GOOD. She told us to get out and we sat there like still wildlife. MAN, we were so fucked. I eventually walked out and I can still remember the look on her face. NOT HAPPY. I admitted to throwing the rocks at the neighbor's yard because I was bored and didn't have those all-too-real video games and internet. Next thing I know, she's equipped with Mr. Feather Duster. And I looked over at my little sister who was really feeling bad for me. She looked so sad. I slowly turned around and closed my eyes. THE END.

ED&BM Mother's Day Dinner

Before you call any social workers, you'd be glad to know that after this one incident, I didn't get into any trouble until I was off on my own. No more visits to Mr. Feather Duster. My sister and I got our ass whooped as little kids, but we now understand the importance of it as adults. She meant well, as did my dad, who instead of using the feather duster, preferred his right foot. And we thank them both for keeping us in line.

So here we are on Mother's Day 20-plus years later. I'm married now to a woman I love dearly and on the path to starting my own family. Mom will become a grandma one day and will be there to see our children. But one thing is still on her agenda... kicking my ass. Not the feather duster way... but with health, work, saving money, buying a house, blah blah blah. It never ends. But its what a mother does. I have to say that my mom and dad are the biggest influences in my interest for cooking and nothing makes them happier than providing them with soul food. This year was different though... it was our first time doing a dual Mother's Day dinner for my mom and Jeni's mom.

We decided to do seafood as the dinner theme. Making me eat seafood as a kid was the bane of my mother's existence. I was food poisoned at an early age by some Chinese-style black clams and it traumatized for nearly 20 years. TWENTY YEARS without SEAFOOD. My sister used to shake her head and say, "you don't know what you're missing," while devouring something delicious like Chiu-Chow style garlic fried crab. Jeni and I got up early and headed to our favorite farmer's market in Hollywood. We had been so busy during the week that we didn't have time to plan the menu. But that's where farmer's markets come in handy. With some spontaneity and creativity, you can make a fine meal with the purveyed goods. Not to mention the freshness of the food.

ED&BM Mother's Day Dinner White Shitake Mushrooms

Some young shitake mushrooms. An earthiness that goes well with seafood.

ED&BM Mother's Day Dinner English Peas

Sweet, crunchy English peas - good enough to be eaten raw with a little salt and spice.

ED&BM Mother's Day Dinner Fruit Bowl

Jeni made a delicious fruit bowl with the farmer's market fruit with wine and simple syrup.

ED&BM Mother's Day Dinner Manila Clams

Manila clams from 99 Ranch Market. Not so Farmer's Marketish, but hey we're not rich.

ED&BM Mother's Day Dinner Filleting Turbot

One of the hardest things for me is thinking of a fish to cook with. There are just way TOO MANY. Check out 99 Ranch and the filipino market, Seafood City, and you'll know what I mean. I wanted something light and remembered a delicious fish I had at Wylie Dufresne's WD-50 in New York. Olive-Oil Poached Turbot with Smoked Bulgur and Coffee-Saffron sauce. The turbot is a goofy-looking flat fish found mainly in the North Atlantic.

ED&BM Mother's Day Dinner Carlsbad Blonde Oysters

I always pay a visit to Rob of the Carlsbad Aquafarm. He's a super nice guy that really enjoys watching people eat oysters. Not in a creepy way. He's just passionate about his seafood. I picked some Carlsbad Blondes because of their delicate cucumber finish. You can find him at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market on Saturdays and at the Hollywood Farmer's Market on Sundays. $10/dozen oysters.

ED&BM Mother's Day Dinner Alaskan King Crab & Haricot Vertes

Alaskan King Crab, Poached Egg & Haricot Vertes Frisee Salad
I mixed the king crab with my favorite, smoked paprika, and the haricot vertes in some creme fraiche, lemon juice and S&P. Served it on top of some frisee with Jeni's citronette vinaigrette with a poached egg. The idea here was to crack the poached egg over the frisee and bring in the crab and green beans. It was very light and fresh.

ED&BM Mother's Day Dinner Poached Egg

ED&B Mother's Day Dinner Manila Clams and Chorizo Sausage & Leeks

Manila Clams with Spanish Chorizo, Leeks & White Wine
You can't go wrong with clams + butter + wine. I sautéd some shallots, spanish chorizo, garlic and leeks and added the clams. Then I poured about a 1/4 bottle of white wine with some chicken stock and dropped in some butter. Cover the pot for a few minutes until you see the clams open up and stir them around, making sure all that delicious juice gets inside the clam shells. Note: I used to do this with Mexican chorizo and I think it tastes better with Spanish chorizo because it's more firm and spicy. Serve this with some toasted bread slices so your guests can sop up all that goodness.

ED&BM Mother's Day Dinner Pan Fried Turbot & Shitake Mushroom, English Pea Spatzle

Pan-Seared Turbot with Shitake Mushrooms, English Peas & Spatzle
I originally wanted to poach this in olive oil and thyme but I didn't have enough olive oil. Instead we pan-fried the fish in a skillet. I had marinated the fish about an hour before in some olive oil, thyme, pimenton (Spanish chili powder) and S&P. The fish took about 5 minutes on one side over medium heat, just long enough for the skin to crisp up. I have to say, I have never had a more milky/moist fish like turbot. It is fabulous and highly used for its delicate flavor/texture and similarity to halibut. In fact, it's BETTER than halibut. Our moms were flipping out on this fish because they had never heard of it. The combination of the delicate fish, earthy shitakes, crunchy peas and buttery spatzle was perfect.

ED&BM Mother's Day Dinner Sauternes Cake & Fruits

Farmer's Market Fruit & Cake with Frozen Balsamic Vinegar Cream & Sauternes Syrup
We found this cake for $1 at 99 Ranch and just topped it off with fresh fruit and cold balsamic vinegar cream. This was an excellent way to finish off the seafood dinner.

ED&BM Mother's Day Dinner

To my mom, thank you for everything - love you.
And to my Mom #2, I'm glad we're one family now.

Eat Drink Style Wurstkuche, Los Angeles - A Sausage Grill


One of my must-do things up in San Francisco involves two neighboring businesses right on Haight Street in the Lower Haight area. It's an area lined with vintage shops, specialty stores bars and tatted up denizens – quite similar to Melrose Avenue. There's Rosamunde Sausage Grill and Toronado. One obviously deals out sausages, and the other is a wonderful watering hole. The owners know each other and have a symbiotic relationship. You order one of the lovely sausages offered by Rosamunde and have to wait at least 10-15 minutes. How do you kill time? Go get a beer. You order one too many beers at Toronado, your stomach tells you it needs a sponge to sop up all that delicious beer. What do you do before you throw up? Go get a sausage. This sort of transaction happens all day long... drunk people and hungry people walking back and forth. For a while I was like, "Why don't we ever have both in one building down here in Los Angeles???"

That's when Joseph Pitruzzelli of San Francisco stepped in and blessed us with Wurstküche, which is German for "sausage kitchen". A 27-year old designer and entrepreneur who enjoys beer and sausages at the same time and read LA's mind. Located in Downtown Los Angeles's arts district, just east of Little Tokyo, you won't miss this joint with its yellow and red, striped door and sign written in tasteful typography. Did I mention to you that he's a designer?

Wurstkuche Los Angeles

Upon walking in, you immediately see the sausage display case and taps bolted into the wall. The room ends in a sharp corner with counter tops and a few tables and chairs. Walking down the hallway, you'll end up in a larger dining area, where you could also order beer from. The place has a modern design and really gets you out of the Red Lion Tavern (another German bar with sausages) setting, which sometimes can feel a little depressing and low-energy if you're not in the happiest of moods. Warning: here's a shocking example of what kind of sausages Red Lion Tavern does offer. I do not dare click on my own link.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Sausages

The True Edible Adult Candy Store
Pitruzzelli offers over 21 types of sausages that he's acquired from purveyors all over the U.S. All the sausages are neatly stacked on top of each other, a few them with signage. Just ask the person what they have to offer. Here's what's listed on the menu:

Bratwurst - fine cuts of pork with coriander & nutmeg
Bockwurst - veal & pork with spices
Hot Italian -fine cuts of pork with spices
Vegetarian Italian - soy based, traditional flavor
Vegetarian Beer Bratwurst - soy based, traditional flavor
Vegetarian Kielbasa- soy based, traditional flavor
Mango Jalapeño - chicken & turkey
Jack Cheese & Jalapeño Peppers - smoked turkey
Chicken Apple & Spices
Austin Blues - hardwood smoked pork, hot and spicy, tri-pepper
Sun Dried Tomato & Mozzarella - smoked chicken & turkey
Green Chillies & Cilantro - chicken & turkey
Filipino Marharlika - sweet pork with natural seasonings
Kielbasa - polish style, pork & beef wtih onions and spices
Louisiana Hot Link - beef & pork with onions and hot spices
Roasted Red Pepper & Corn - chicken & turkey
Buffalo, Beef & Pork with Chipotle Peppers - smoky chipotle flavor
Duck & Bacon with Jalapeño Peppers - juicy and packed with flavor
Rabbit, Veal & Pork Seasoned with White Wine - light and delicate
Alligator & Pork, Smoked Andouille Sausage - hickory smoked, thick casing
Rattlesnake & Rabbit with Jalapeño Peppers - buttery but mildly spicy

I've tried the duck & bacon, rabbit & veal, rattlesnake, chicken & apple and sun-dried tomato/mozzarella chicken sausages. And I am always stuck on what to get every time I'm here, as I have not eaten anything disappointing.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Sausages

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Sausages

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Sausages

The Sausage Beach
It takes about 10 minutes to get your sausage. Make sure you choose from the 35+ types of beer offered at Wurstküche – Belgian, German and American. As well as an assortment of specialty sodas.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Sauces

Sauce City
For those that enjoy mustard to go on top of their sauteed onions, sauerkraut or sweet peppers.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Beer Taps

Belgian, German and American Beers
If Pitruzzelli isn't looking, I may do a taste test of all these beers with my mouth as a serving glass.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Belgian Fries

Belgian-Style Fries
Wurstküche offers some tasty fries that are prepared the night before and blanched the next morning. Before serving them, they are fried once more to achieve one extra layer of deliciousness. You can order a large cone of fries for $5.50 with your choice of two sauces, and a smaller cone of fries for $3.50 with your choice of one sauce. These are some of my favorite fries in Los Angeles, along with Oinkster, Hungry Cat and Father's Office.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Belgian Fries

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Sundried Tomato & Mozzarella Sausage

Sundried-Tomato & Mozzarella Chicken Sausage
Good. I don't have anything else to say but that's it's good and juicy. The bread is made in-store and really tastes great together.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Rattlesnake Sausage

Rattlesnake & Rabbit with Jalapeno Peppers
Good good good! I recommend the rattlesnake here as it is not as rich as other places I've had it at, like Hot Doug's in Chicago. But Chicago-style hot dogs are in a league of their own – so good!

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Joseph Pitruzzelli

I don't have anything else more to say than what Jonathan Gold or other blogs haven't already said. Only that I enjoy everything I've tried here and have been here at least 7-8 times. Based on the 20-25 minute wait for my meal everytime, I think Pitruzzelli and Wurstküche are here to stay in Los Angeles. Good sausages, good beer, good location = good times.

Note: Wurstküche will be at Jonathan Gold's Gold Standard/LA Weekly food extravaganza. Thanks for reading.

800 E. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 687-4444

Eat Drink Style The Village Pet Store & Charcoal Grill - Banksy's The New Chef in New York City


One of my favorite artists has to be the political/controversial, underground street artist known as Banksy. Most consider his art vandalism, but I think it's pure genius. With over 500 counts of vandalism in less than a decade, it's obvious Banksy has something he really wants to tell you. A few years back, I went to his show in Los Angeles in the downtown warehouse district. I waited in a line with over 700 people along with Immaeatchu underneath the beating sun. But man, was it worth it. His biggest exhibit was a real elephant set within a living room environment. The elephant was painted with a brick pattern to match the actual warehouse brick walls. Banksy was addressing the issue of homelessness, saying that literally, "homelessness is something big that we choose to ignore."

This time, Banksy has hit something that you and I would be most interested in... food, or the lack of 'real food' or treatment of 'food'. Banksy rented out the space in a real pet store in Greenwich Village called "The Village Pet Store" and tacked on the 'charcoal grill' part for irony, as you will see in a few moments. He even hired people to work as store clerks to play the 'parts'. I haven't seen anything more genius. Enjoy. "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill" is on display till Halloween.

I must admit that seeing the chicken mcnuggets really hit me but for processed meat like spam, I'm not sure I can veer away from that!

Eat Drink Style Let's Be Frank, Culver City - A Sweet Lady & Her Little Hot Dog Stand in Culver City

Let's Be Frank Sue Moore

The many restaurants sprouting in the nouveau Culver City area, or as Delicious Life refers to as 'CuCi', give you the license to empty the wallet and fatten the waistline from low-priced food at Honey Kettle to higher-end food at the wonderful Fraîche. That's great, but I find myself at the lower end of the spectrum, scrapping away at quality places like Del Taco. I was driving around one time on my lunch break, spying out Sang Yoon's long-awaited project known as Father's Office, a much larger sister to the favorite Santa Monica spot. In the corner of my eye, I spotted out a hot dog stand in full operation, with a few people littered around on it. And then I remembered my friend telling me about her new culinary fad... a place called Let's Be Frank. Ah – this must be it. But what's so special about this hot dog?

How about a hot dog that is actually made from grass-fed beef, uses lamb casing, contains healthy stuff like 600 mg. of Omega-3 fatty acids which can lower the risk of coronary heart disease and are nitrate-free? When's the last time you thought about that while chomping on your $4 danger dog in a drunken state on the corner of Western and Pico Blvd? I certainly don't remember.

Let's Be Frank Culver City

Let's Be Frank Menu

So I was sold – parked my horse and carriage in the lot and ran up to the modest red and yellow stand. One look at the 2-item menu, and I knew I had a slight crush. I love places with small menus, like Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada. I ordered one of each and stood back to watch Sue Moore, the owner, grill my $5 sausage.

Sue Moore brings her sausage-making skills down to Culver City from NorCal, where she worked as a meat forager for the renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley... one of the first places in California to focus on seasonal ingredients and offers a different menu every single day. And Sue is one sweet lady. She made sure I got onions the way I liked them, super caramelized!

Let's Be Frank Condiments

Let's Be Frank offers the simple yet substantial condiments for maximizing the sausage experience. In addition to the usual suspects, she offers her own homemade mustard, sweeeeeeet relish and sauerkraut. On this day, she had already run out of her pimiento de padron peppers. Boo.

Let's Be Frank Onions

Let's Be Frank Bratwurst

The Brat Dog $5
I tried the bratwurst first and immediately tasted the essence of lamb on the sausage. Very nice. I never knew that lamb could be used for encasing the sausage and it really took the standard pork sausage to another level. While she was grilling the bratwurst, I asked Sue to grill it a little bit longer but told me that the lamb casing is more sensitive to heat and could possibly explode. Wouldn't be too fun. This was good.

Let's Be Frank Beef Dog

The Frank Dog $5
But my favorite was the grass-fed beef. The beef definitely had a different taste due to being grass-fed, and again the lamb casing took this to another level: a slight aroma of lamb and some of the best 'snap' I've ever had. Every time I bit into this, the pieces came off like log bits. Excellent.

If Sue can set up her little cart till 7 or 8 pm, she'll definitely get a lot of customers waiting in line at Father's Office. You can't resist the smell of lamb and grilled onions. The prices are steeper than your usual Costco, Pink's or Danger Dog cart... but quality never goes unnoticed. You get what you pay for at Let's Be Frank. Next time I come, I'll be bringing my own Valentina hot sauce, mayonnaise and maybe some Maggi sauce.

No jokes about the 'happiness' level of the dogs please.

Let's Be Frank Dogs (Dogs Gone Good)
Washington/Helms Avenue @ Helms Bakery Complex
Culver City, CA 90232
Tuesday - Sunday 11 am - 3 pm???

Eat Drink Style Cup O' C**k: The Most Unappetizing Meal - Red Lion Tavern, Silverlake

It was Friday and I was hungry after work. My coworker and I headed over to one of our favorite places to drink in Silverlake - the Red Lion Tavern. J and MM met us up and we started the weekend with our favorite German brews. A nice Spaten, a few shots of Jagermeister and one or two Irish Carbombs. I usually order the sausage platters which consists of three types of sausages along with the perfect companion of sauerkraut and mustard. Its chopped up and poked with a dozen or so toothpicks. Our server was this really fun and playful German girl by the name of V. Throughout the time we were there, we threw joke jabs at each other. Great sense of humor this V. So then I decided to order some food. I wasn't feeling anything heavy and felt like drinking soup. Mmm, this sounds good.... the Beerstein Soup... a split pea soup and wiener. I'll take one V.

What I was about to witness, was horrific. Behold....

The Cup O' C**k soup!

Me: "Wait, wait, wait... V, what the hell is this?!"
V: "Ees vut you ordered. Beerstein soup."
Me: "You're kidding me right?"
V: (with a wicked grin) "No. This is how ve serve it."
Me: "........ Vut the fuck?"

Before she could walk away, I caught her laughing. Very slick I thought haha. J, MM and my coworker were just as shocked as I was. So were the two tables next to us... who couldn't hold in their laughs. I looked at them and held my hands up in a WTF gesture. One of the guys said "Looks good." I was thinking to myself, did we do anything to V to deserve this??? I know it clearly says Beerstein Soup... but couldn't the cooks plate this in any other way. Thomas Keller and Wylie Dufresne can make this look beautiful and they certainly wouldn't go the phallic route. But this... seemed more like something Sandra Lee would do.

Sandra: "Today we're making my favorite soup... Cup O' C**k. All you have to do is buy your favorite split pea soup at the market - I like Campbell's. Buy your favorite wieners and use your handy kitchen shears to open them up. Then you heat up the soup in the microwave, pour it into your favorite beer stein and add the wiener. How easy was that. And it's so good. Nothing says German to me like Cup O' C**k. Mmm, I love c**k!!!"

I quickly took the wiener out and chopped that shit up... as to destroy any phallic thoughts brewing in people's minds. The table next to us was still getting a kick out of it. If you really wanna know, the soup sucked. It was warm and the wiener was just average. The food here is average, but definitely a fun place to drink beer with friends in the beer garden. If this was a joke, that was a good one V. You're funny.

Red Lion Tavern
2366 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, Ca 90039
(323) 662-5337