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Category Archives: Los Angeles

Craft

Craft (Century City, chef Tom Colicchio): Gilt Tasting Menu

This high-end restaurant is in the heart of Century City, so expect people in professional business attire. We tried out the pre-set Gilt Tasting Menu (Highly recommend! Awesome deal for your buck)

Meal starts off with some sparkling wine. Aweeesome, I love starting all my meals with a glass of booze.

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Gilt Tasting Menu. The menu has our names on it! How freakin cool is that!?Image

Amuse Bouche: Salmon with citrus zest. sweet and sour dish that complimented our sparkling wine.Image

Duck and Cover: Duck fat washed Apple Jack, Alpine Liquor, Lemon, Orange, Egg White, and Candied Pecan. (I got too excited and I realized I didn’t take a photo of it before I drank it..) I usually don’t like drinks with egg whites, but this was an exception. Sweet and tart apple flavored cocktail with a crunch of pecan at the end. Not many cocktails incorporate textures like this. We described it as “some bad ass apple pie” lolImage

Diver Sea Scallop with rhubarb, blood orange, and sorrel: The bitter green contrasted the sweet orange. The sauce was great, but the scallop had a hint of the raw fishy taste at the end.. which I didn’t like too much.Image

English Pea Agnolotti with pancetta and tendrils: Pasta was at perfect al dente and the pancetta was well seasoned. The warm pasta withered the greens and the fresh peas popped in the mouth. This was delicious!Image

Washugyu Flatiron with bone marrow custard, fava beans, and kale: I know, horrible photo… but the dish was great. Bone marrow custard was super rich and it was an amazing combination with the steak. Image

Banana Date Cake with bing cherries and coconut sorbet: Mmmm..Image

Complimentary Birthday Cake: that’s nice of them!Image

Thanks for grabbing this deal, Shirley!Image-Chef Snak

 

Totoraku

Totoraku: Chef Kaz Oyama-san’s hidden restaurant

DISCLAIMER: Phone died on me this dinner… so I couldn’t write any notes and I had to steal some photos from friend’s FB. My apology for the shitty review and photo. Chef Oyama-san deserves better, but at least you get an idea for the place. Kevin Eats has an awesome review for this place.

Outside: The restaurant is locked and the sign says “Teriyaki Pico House.” This place is reservation-only and the craziest thing is that not anybody can call in for a reservation. You have to know the chef or go in with a person who got a business card from the chef before. You will be denied if you call in for a reservation and he does not remember you. Luckily, a friend’s friend had a connection to get us all in. You would never guess that you will have one of the best yakiniku in the US at this place.

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The meal starts off with various amuse bouche for the table. Most of them were traditional Japanese dishes with modern American style flare. They were all delicious.Image

Beef TartareImage

Beef tataki and Beef Throat: Never had beef throat in my life, but this was fantastic. Almost like eating sashimi! Evidently, it takes couple cows to get enough meat to fill that small bowl shown in the photo. After the meal, the waitress asks what you liked and you can ask for seconds on anything. We chose this and another plate of beef tongue and Rib Eye lol.

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Yuuke: Spicy Korean styleImage

Beef Tongue: Nice and thick slices. Look at the color!! Love my beef tongue and this was easily the best one I had in my life.Image

A lot of attention to the coal and grill used for the yakiniku.Image

Following photos are the various cuts that were served to us. The subsequent dishes came out immediately after the waitress confirmed that the last dish was completed. Meats included Filet Mignon, Inside Ribeye, Outside Ribeye, Shortrib, and Skirt Steak. Each one was surprisingly different in its own way. Waitress kindly explained to us how to cook it and which sauce to use. Talking to the chef, he apparently traveled all over the country to try hundreds of different beefs. He finally came across one that was close to high quality beef he had in Japan. Obviously, the details are highly classified.ImageImageImageImageImage

You must try the tomatoes… for some reason it was super good (or maybe it was all the sake and wine at this point)Image

Meal ended with a warm soup (choice or regular or spicy) and a plate of various ice creams.ImageImage

The bill was quite ridiculous. Yes, it was about $200 per person (+wine I bought at Vons), but the meal was excellent and I never experienced anything like it before. If you have the opportunity to check it out, I definitely recommend trying it at least once. The plus side is that it is BYOB with no corkage fee, so go ahead and drink whatever and however much you want (although you probably want to remember the mad expensive dinner). Bonus points for offering good-ass red wine to chef Oyama. He comes around at the end of your meal to show his appreciation and to get to know his customers. He’s more comfortable speaking Japanese, but he’s a super funny guy.

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Chef Kaz Oyama-san and the girls. He looks quite happy 🙂 Proud to say that I got his business card for my next trip.. but I would need to save some $$$ for it.Image-Chef Snak

 

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in Chef Snak, Los Angeles, Restaurant Reviews

 

Beer Can Chicken

One of my favorite ways to make chicken.  This method keeps the chicken moist because the beer steams the chicken while cooking. It is critical you let the chicken rest after you cook it because there will be a lot of juices flowing throughout. If you cut it too soon all the juices leak resulting in a drier chicken.

What you’ll need:
Whole chicken (mine was a little less than 5lbs)
Can of beer (readers choice)
*Yes I realize I have a bottle of beer in my picture. I didnt have any cans so I just filled up my can of green tea with beer.
Seasoning mix (mine was a mix of garlic salt, onion powder, paprika, kosher salt, pepper, trader joes 21 season salute, and cajun seasoning) But you can use anything you want.

Cooking instructions
preheat oven to 375
remove innards from chicken and rinse
pat dry
drink 1/3 of beer (yes only a 1/3!!) and set aside
season chicken liberally with your season mix. Do not forget to season inside the chicken!
place chicken over beer can
tent chicken wings with foil (so they don’t burn)

Cook for aprox 1.5 hrs. (my bird was a little less than 5 lbs)
Let rest in oven for 30 minutes.

Quarter chicken into pieces

Enjoy!!

-Chef Toast

 
 

BRI-Bacoa

This is my play on Chiptole barboacoa meat. This is one of my favorite meats so I decided to do a little experimenting on my own.

What You’ll Need
Chuck Roast (any beef roast/stew meat will do. However its usually cheaper to buy a whole roast rather than already prepped stew meat.)
Canned Chipotle peppers
Cumin
Oregano
apple cider vinegar
Garlic
Salt/Pepper
Garlic Salt
Beef Stock
Onions
Celery
Lemon
Dutch oven or stock pot

Chipotle Sauce
Combine Chipotle peppers, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic, vinegar and blend.

Cooking the meat
Season meat with garlic salt and pepper
Sear and remove meat from pan
*if using stew meat just sear each piece
Deglaze with 2 cans of beef stock and about 2 cans of water and combine chipotle sauce
Add onion, celery, lemon, and garlic to broth
Add meat back into pot.
Cover and cook on low heat (should be at a low rolling boil) until fork tender. Meat should easily shred
*I cooked about a 4 lb roast for approximately 4 hours
*meat should be covered in braising liquid. Add more water/stock accordingly
*if you are using a crock pot, adjust cooking times accordingly
Remove meat from pot and shred. Add remaining cooking juices as desired
Top with grilled onions and enjoy!

-Chef Toast

 
 

4th of July Steaks

Made this for a 4th of July bbq.

Simple asian marinade for meat.

What Youll need:
Steaks (I used ribeye)
Chicken (I used boneless chicken thighs)
Soy Sauce
Fish sauce
Rice Wine
Salt
Pepper
Sugar
Garlic
Ginger
lemongrass

Meat Marinade:
Combine equal parts of soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine and water.
Add sugar, salt, pepper, lemongrass, crushed garlic and crushed ginger.

This is a pretty strong marinade so youll only need to marinate the meat for at most for a day. I did mine for 2 days and the flavor was kinda intense.

Grill meat according to your taste and enjoy!

 

-Chef Toast

 
 

Cocktail Hunt: Alibi Room

Cocktail Hunt: Alibi Room

LEFT: Blackberry Crusta -Brandy, fresh lemon and blackberries, Cointreau
Initial bite of the brandy but immediately covered by the sugar rim and orange liquor. Definitely had a strong distinct taste. Bitterness of the citrus and the blackberry tartness aftertaste. 8.0/10

RIGHT: Tribute – Scotch, Dubbonet Rouge, fresh orange, bitters
Surprisingly no bite. You get the bitterness of the orange and the smokiness and the sweetness of scotch and the orange liquor. Bitter and slightly sweet experience.  7.5/10
Dubbonet Rouge was unique to me. Bartender let me try it by itself. Rouge alone was really sweet, almost like plum wine (umeshu). Reminded me of raisins lol.

LEFT: Lemon Basil – Citrus infused vodka, sugar, fresh lemon and basil.
Light cocktail that tastes like lemonade with a hint of basil. Very refreshing drink that would be perfect for outdoors! 8.5/10

RIGHT: Goldrush – Bourbon, fresh lemon, honey
Initial sweet and sour flavor of the lemon and you’re immediately hit with the smokiness and sweetness of bourbon. You even get the hint of honey on the back of your throat (like how you do with honey tea). Simple yet unique, Like! 9.0/10

-Buzzin Snak

 

Bacon Pork

What You’ll Need:

Pork Loin
Bacon (I used maple)
Roasting Pan

Prepping the Meat
Layer bacon on cutting board with each piece overlapping slightly
Season pork loin with salt and pepper
place pork loin in the middle of bacon
wrap bacon around the loin (the fattiness from the bacon keeps the pork loin moist)

Cooking instructions
Preheat oven at 350
roast loin for approx 1.5 hrs.  (I had a 3lb roast)
Let rest for 30 min and slice

I ate mine with sauteed brown mushrooms.

Enjoy!

-Chef Toast

 
 

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