September 2019 Weekend Rundown

As we transition to Autumn, back to school season, hopefully cooler weather soon(!) season, feel free to post about your culinary adventures. :slight_smile:

Here’s something to start the thread…

Kae Sung Market


A huge thanks to @foodshutterbug for the rec, Kae Sung Market is a small, unassuming place. As we walk in, we’re greeted by a nice Korean couple who are all smiles and eager to help. Kae Sung Market sells their own Handmade Kimchi in a variety of sizes:

The most appealing thing for us was that they sold not only their own Kimchi but that they had small jars of Kimchi as well. :slight_smile: We stopped by the popular Seoul Do Soon Kimchi shop in Garden Grove that many people like and all they sell were the gigantic massive jars of Kimchi (that probably wouldn’t fit in our refrigerator) :sweat_smile:, so Kae Sung’s small jars were appreciated.

The taste is incredible! :heart: There’s a nice bit of funk that you want from good Kimchi, but it’s not the super fermented variety (that’s super pungent). Nice spiciness, but not overwhelming. A really nice balance of fermented Cabbage, Radish with Garlic, Ginger, Green Onions and they use Baby Shrimp and Salted Anchovies as part of the fermentation, to give it this alluring backnote of piquant brininess. :blush:

Tip: Try it as a condiment on top of Burgers (we tried it with some homemade Turkey Burgers) and it was so good! :slight_smile: It also works on top of Salads if you don’t have a dressing handy (according to our friends who’ve tried Kae Sung’s Kimchi before).

We also showed them pictures from @foodshutterbug for their other Vegetable Kimchi (the rarer ones), and older Korean woman who was running the place smiled at us, saying, “Ah! Yes, soon.” So maybe these are seasonal (or sold out) Kimchi that are coming back soon?

Kae Sung Kimchi Market
1010 S. St. Andrews Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Tel: (323) 737-6565

Gwen


Chef-Owner Curtis Stone (Host of Top Chef Masters)'s steakhouse has been serving up a variety of Sandwiches for lunch for a while now. We finally made it out to try.

Pastrami Sandwich (Sauerkraut, Swiss, Russian Dressing on Rye):

This was a disappointment: Salty, average-tasting Pastrami (nowhere close to Langer’s legendary version), it was a bit chewy as well, and the Bread (from Bub and Grandma’s) was shockingly dry. The whole Sandwich felt off, and was not a good Reuben, nor good Pastrami. :frowning:

Housemade Chips:

Their Housemade Chips were OK. A few stray pieces tasted slightly stale.

Meatball Sandwich (with Pomodoro Sauce, Broccoli Rabe Pesto and Mozzarella on Ciabatta):

You would think that Housemade Meatballs from a restaurant that has its own Butcher Shop, and is a Steakhouse by night would have some incredible Meatball Sandwiches. Unfortunately the Meatball Sandwich was really salty, peppery and rather basic tasting. The Meatballs were a bit dense and dryish. :frowning:

2nd Visit:

We wanted to give them another chance, so stopped by again to try their…

Gwen “Grinder” (Calabrese Salami, Ham, Mortadella, Provolone, Tomato, Pickled Onion, Spicy Aioli, Cherry Peppers & Sherry Vinaigrette on a Sesame Roll):

Gwen’s Grinder is the only Sandwich that is not using Bub and Grandma’s Bread (they said they got it from a “local bakery” but declined to say which one). Sadly that was the weakest part of this Sandwich (the Sesame Roll was dry and not very good). :frowning:

However, the rest of the Grinder was tasty: We loved the combination of Calabrese Salami, Ham, Mortadella and Provolone. There were some good porcine, savory flavors combining together. :slight_smile: This was a good Italian Sandwich despite the dry Sesame Roll, and we’d be glad to pick one up if we were in the area, much better than various Italian Sandwiches we’ve had around the city, but not as good as Gjusta’s legendary version, nor Wax Paper’s.

Meatball Sandwich (with Pomodoro Sauce, Broccoli Rabe Pesto and Mozzarella on Ciabatta):

We love a good Meatball Sandwich, so we were hoping our 1st visit might’ve been a fluke: On this 2nd try, Gwen’s Meatball Sandwich is better, less of a salt bomb than the first visit, but still on the aggressively salty and peppery side (@TheCookie). The Pomodoro Sauce is decent, tart-zesty, but not as much of a flavor infusion as one would hope.

Lastly, I don’t know why, but they char the bottom of the Meatball Sandwich to burnt (see pics), and it was soggy(!), so that was a big distraction as well. :frowning: Overall it was better this time than our previous visit, but we love the fantastic Meatball Sandwich from Huckleberry much more. :slight_smile:

Gwen
6600 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Tel: (323) 946-7500

https://www.gwenla.com/homepage.html

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I’m a card carrying member of #teamchar and that sandwich is positively carbonized! Blech!

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Had an okay meal at Homestate Playa Vista. It could just be that I don’t get Tex Mex, but this place does not do it for me. The tastes an textures are all just very muted, from housemade made tortillas that somehow have no chew or texture, to overcooked eggs and salsas that have no kick. I found myself just dousing the various options in sauce, and then, in the end, tortilla + eggs + salsa is always going to be good enough, but ultimately felt like a bunch of supermarket ingredients assembled. The overall taco is not greater than the sum of its parts. I still want to try the migas though. And I am obviously the minority here, since there was a big line in Playa Vista.

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Thanks for the report @Haeldaur. I’ve had Homestate bookmarked for so long, but just never made it out to their original location. I didn’t even realize they opened a branch in Playa Vista, but it sounds like it isn’t worth it

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Fwiw, some people like it a lot and I almost always come back from Texas didappointed in the Mexican food. It could just be me

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Ngu binh’s bun bo hue

Pro-tip - to fit all the herbs into the bowl, remove the pork trotter and place it on the herb platter. Tear the herbs to optimize aromatics.

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Cococane hydration stop. Great rec @JeetKuneBao ! Wasn’t ready to go off the deep end with to those crazy flavors. Regular pure OG (NO kumquat-yuck!) and tip-toed into the original cococane. Not bad, the coconut pairs well.

Was planning to pickup some nasi bungkus & murtabak manis to go from Toko Rame in Long Beach, unfortunately they close early on Sunday. Darn!

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The Ranch in Anaheim. Best steakhouse in the OC. Better than Mastros never been to Selanne. The 28 day dry aged NY Delmonico was cooked absolutely perfectly. Soft, well seasoned, nice subtle funk. Great appetizers and salads. Much more creative and seasonally focused than Mastros. Heirloom tomato salad, excellent oysters from Washington and salmon sashimi. The best side was the creamed corn. The other sides were just ok - creamed spinach, twice baked potato and lobster mac m cheese.

A couple bottles of wine never hurt.

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I guess they got rid of the styrofoam cups. Those cups insulate so well.

They are better than the tacos for sure. Very greasy, but at least it had flavor. All the grease made my stomach uneasy. I don’t get this place either. The tortillas are nothing special. My chorizo taco barely had any chorizo nor chorizo flavor and tasted mostly of eggs. And stay away from the charro beans, it was not good. Never been to other locations but Playa Vista was just bad to meh.

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Bought some last minute (few hours actually) to John Williams at the Bowl.

Imperial March 10/10 Highlight
Indiana Jones Theme 10/10 Highlight

No Harry Potter though…

Pregame at Western Doma Gooksu

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Got the Spicy Seafood Soup. Nice selection of banchan nothing too crazy all pretty damn solid, I like the eggplant, spinach, green chile pepper and the sprouts the best today. I’ll come back for the dak dori tang one day

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I am so sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy your experience. Salsa is not generally super spicy with Tex-Mex. I thought the salsas were very flavorful. I usually get extra to take home. And I love the old-school flour tortillas.

I suppose if one grows up eating Los Angeles style tacos, it would be different enough that you wouldn’t particularly enjoy it. (I dislike queso dip so much!)

For a short time in my youth, we went back and forth to San Antonio and Albuquerque, and this tastes authentic to me. The chorizo taco, especially. I did not like the bacon and egg taco at all.

The beans have bacon pieces, in case anyone is looking for some serious Tex-Mex food, lol.

The salsas were fine, and between four tacos and the migas, I damn near killed half the bottle of green salsa. I needed that much salsa for the tacos because they were lacking in flavor. The tortillas were odd in texture and needed something. Not sure what the disconnect between the migas and the tacos were because there was definitely chorizo flavor in the migas, although I found the migas to be standard chorizo egg flavor. And the tacos were not very cheesy, which is something I personally (and perhaps wrongly) attribute to Tex Mex, something about Tex Mex usually screams cheese.

I agree on the egg chorizo–the taco feels like overcooked egg flavored with chorizo oil, as opposed to actually having chunks or a good amount of chorizo. I like the pecos taco best.

The Sicilian frittata from Blu Jam (Brentwood). I don’t quite get the long lines at at this place. @SpockSpork and I have been there 3 times (combined) now, and the food, while clearly prepped from high-quality ingredients, is really, really underseasoned and bland. I put a LOT of salt, a bit of habañero sauce (which had little heat), and it was still pretty tasteless. A shame.

South End yesterday. I wrote about it briefly here. Pics are too dark (see below). Loved it (incl whatever rosé they were serving).

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Tire Shop Taco ‘AM’

Taco El Compita - taco dorados & Barbacoa

Khao Soi Gai - Northern Thai Food

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Damn man Northern Thai Food Club, Ngu Binh, Cococane and Tire Shop Taqueria!!! You ate good this weekend! Those are some of my favorite places.

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Okay, I get that. I’m not much of a meat person, so that works for me. :slight_smile: I think chorizo flavored eggs taste great! But I know exactly what you are talking about, my friend said the same thing.

@A5KOBE I don’t like melted cheese on meat, so we are probably on a different wavelength here. I usually ask for no cheese. :slight_smile:

San Marzano tomato confit with white anchovies on ciabatta, dinner at Gjusta

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Lou The French on the Block (Burbank)
Tried their tuna pâté pan bagnat for lunch today. Fresh baguette filled with tuna, mayo, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, and romaine lettuce. It was probably the best tuna sandwich I’ve ever had…there was a hint of lemon in it that made the usual tuna and mayo mix light and bright. It’s made in advance and refrigerated like a pan bagnat should be, but there were parts of the baguette that was still a bit crisp. While it is $12, it was a super filling and giant sandwich…I think that if I hadn’t skipped breakfast, I probably would have been okay eating half.
Also had the eclairs @Ns1 suggested…and they are indeed delicious. Great choux pastry and vanilla pastry cream. I was not a fan of their decorative fondant or topping…it was entirely too sweet and artificial tasting, so I peeled it off and was much happier.

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