I like stuff.

Monday, April 17, 2006


So until a couple hours ago, this place was the landing spot for the
culinary adventures of Erik and Amanda, as written by Erik.

But now there is no "Erik and Amanda", there's "Erik", and there's "Amanda"

Suddenly it seems like writing about restaurants we visit is coming to a
screeching halt, what with there being no more "we"

And at least for now, attempting new and adventurous culinary
experimentation makes a lot less sense when I'm talking about cooking for

Blog off.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

My pizza stone doth rent in two

So the other night, a Trader Joe's Ham and Gruyere flatbread (ham and swiss
pizza, basically) was on the pizza stone and lo, did I hear a great "Ping!"

Nary a troubled thought at first, perhaps just one of the oven racks had
expanded from the heat.

But when the timer had elapsed, the girl called from the kitchen and spoke
"I think the pizza stone broke."

Yup. Shore 'nuff.

I'm going to have to noodle on this one for a time, because unglazed ceramic
should be able to take repeated heating and coolings with some ease. Maybe
next time I'm going to have to go with the more industrial route and pick up
the 99cent quarry tile instead.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Chu's Wok In

And because I largely have not been cooking at home, here comes another
restaurant review.

Chu's Wok In in Orange. Maybe it's Anaheim. Who can tell?

Decent chinese place, sit-down or take out. Dark. Relatively inexpensive.

Potstickers (6)
House Pan-Fried Noodles
+Sizzling Chicken and Shrimp
= about 30 bones.

Unfortunately, my heart isn't in really into writing a review, so the only
anecdote you get is when the server was asking if it was ok to bring out the
potstickers with everything else (they take 15 minutes to make, apparently),
but doing so by pointing at it on our ticket. I think it was written in
kanji. Took a moment to figure that one out.

Ok, fine....two anecdotes. When they were cleaning up the dishes, the server
said "What you don't like vegetables? (we'd had a lot, but we were just
getting stuffed, so the chicken and shrimp tended to get picked out of what
was left, not quite enough to take home). You should tell us next time.
We'll make it with just meat."

I don't even want to think about the logical conclusion of that line of
thinking. Yeek.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Reviews you won't see

So I think I've decided that it's bad enough just reviewing restaurants, so
I'm going to keep it constrained to interesting ones.

That means that getting take-out from Claim Jumper tonight will not be
written about. I'm sure you can find a metric ton of various national chains
all over the place.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


So in completion of the all asian cuisine weekend, we drove up to arcadia
and got dumplings at the Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

I'm not entirely sure what we got, because the waitress kept saying that
they were out of things and making substitutions. Seems like it was at least
one of the following:
Juicy Pork Dumplings (10pc/order)
Shrimp/Pork Shumai (10pc/order)
Shrimp/Pork Wonton Soup (8 wontons in broth)
Red Bean Bun (2pc/order)

Doesn't sound like much, but you can't just inhale these things. Handy
instructions were printed on chopstick wrapper:
1) Pour vinegar into the small saucer with the ginger
2) Gently lift one dumpling and dip it into the ginger vinegar.
3) Place it on your spoon
4) Take a nibble on the dumpling skin and sip the juice
5) Drizzle some vinegar and ginger slices on top of the dumpling
6) Now enjoy it!

These sound nice and friendly, but you must understand that the place is
overrun with Type-A asian ladies, and they're very directive about it. For
example, the hostess at the front calling out the raffle ticket numbers they
use for reserving seats ("Number 4! Number 4! Number 4! Party of two! Number

Anyway, it was tasty and filling, and we got out of there for under 40

Update: I'd forgotten a couple notable points. One, when you put in your
reservation, they give you a quarter-size clipboard with your order
paperwork. Bureaucracy at its finest. Not many eating establishments give
you the chance to order well before you're seated, much less in
carbonless-transfer triplicate. Shock. Awe.

The second was the serious panache shown by our server as she smashed an
insect crawling next to our paperwork. Granted, it was a flying insect, and
they had the front doors open, so I'm not suggesting they don't keep a
hygenic place of business, but surely there's something cinematic about
watching your waitress obliterate pesky vermin against the onion-skin
carbonless paper (now only in duplicate, as one copy had been forwarded to
the kitchen department) of your order. Seriously, this should be the average
dystopian sci-fi nerd's wet dream.


Ok, so strictly speaking, Mitsuwa is a grocery store. A grocery store with a
food court.

So we made the trek to Costa Mesa this afternoon to grab lunch, which in my
description I'm most likely to butcher. Bear with me.

I got the Kaika Don (beef, egg, onion, rice), which came with some odd
little pickled something or other (well, they taste good anyhow), hiyayakko
(tofu with bonito and green onion) and miso.

Amanda got the Tempura (something) Soba. Cold soba noodles with traditional
broth and a few pieces of vegetable tempura.

So mine was pretty good, as it's kind of hard to screw such things up.
Amanda's soba was tasty (although she mixed a little wasabi in with the
broth, which detracts from things for me. wasabi just makes stuff taste like
wasabi. not really a good seasoning in my book.) but the tempura was
reportedly pretty lousy. Either they didn't have the oil hot enough, or they
let it go too long (thus negating any outward steam pressure keeping the oil
at bay. End result: greeeeeeeeezy.)

Only other complaint is that amanda kept stealing my pickly things, but you
can hardly blame a place for that.

At some point, I'll make a Mitsuwa II post going more in detail regarding
navigating the place, especially my experiences from the grocery side of
things. It'll be big fun, I promise.


Went to Ichiban last night, a nipponese restaurant closer to the place than
say, Wasabi or Tommy's

The food is good, but we typically get more for less at Tommy's. Let me see
if I can recount:

1 Super Cal Roll (california eel roll)
2 orders Tuna Sashimi
2 salmon skin rolls
1 negi hamachi roll
1 spicy hamachi cut roll
4 pieces albacore nigiri
2 pieces salmon nigiri
1 order of gyoza.

This was just over $70.

But if you're on the north side of orange county, it might be one of your
better choices. (although Hana Sushi in downtown fullerton deserves the most
business in my opinion. The owner is, dare I say, a righteous dude.
(Bueller? Bueller?) Hey, I should go there soon just so I can write it up. I
sure hope they're still in business)