These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…

userpic=levysEarlier today, Mark Evanier did a post where he talks about his favorite BBQ places in LA.  We only had two in common: a dislike for Dr. Hogly Wogly’s, and a like for Outdoor Grill (although he liked the one in West LA, and we hit the one in Northridge). In case Mark ever comes to the valley, here are some more he might try:

  • Mom’s BBQ. Vanowen and Hazeltine. Perhaps the best Southern BBQ around, with loads of good fixins.
  • Rogers Rib Shack. Reseda and Chase. Not that far from us here in Northridge. Alas, they took the BBQ eggroll (with pork and greens inside) off the menu, but they still have great Q.
  • The Bear Pit. Sepulveda and the 118. Classic Missouri BBQ, that has been around for ages and ages.
  • Rosies. Tampa and Nordhoff. They’ve been around a while, but I think they’ve gone downhill a little.
  • Ribs USA. Burbank. Ate here the other day, and they were surprisingly good (better than I remembered).
  • Reds BBQ. Simi Valley. Lots of food, but more of a sauce than a smoke BBQ.
  • Les Sisters.  Chatsworth. Louisiana BBQ.
  • Dickies. There’s one in Northridge now. Surprisingly good fast food BBQ.
  • My Brothers BBQ. Woodland Hills. Haven’t been there in years.
  • Famous Daves. There’s one in Simi. We never go there; they use soy sauce in the BBQ sauce.
  • Wood Ranch. We never go there — too corporate for our tastes.
  • Kansas City BBQ. North Hollywood. Minnette T. reminded me of these folks. Pretty good, especially before hitting a NoHo Theatre!

So where are your favorite places?



Something To Stew About

Observation StewThis has been another busy week, what with trying to get the truth out about the kerfluffle at the REP in Santa Clarita (#IStandWithTheREP),  my daughter Erin being in town getting ready to go off to a summer Yiddish program back east, installing and setting up a new password manager, and loads of stuff at work. Still, I grabbed a few articles of interest:



You Can’t Fry in Space and other Food News

userpic=pastramiEarlier today I wrote about the dim sum restaurant that was the source of lunch. Continuing that trend, here’s some additional food news:

And for the last word, it is important to remember the words of Alton Brown back in 2005:

Here’s what it comes down to kids. Ronald McDonald doesn’t give a damn about you. Neither does that little minx Wendy or any of the other icons of drivethroughdom. And you know what, they’re not supposed to. They’re businesses doing what businesses do. They don’t love you. They are not going to laugh with you on your birthdays, or hold you when you’re sick and sad. They won’t be with you when you graduate, when your children are born or when you die. You will be with you and your family and friends will be with you. And, if you’re any kind of human being, you will be there for them. And you know what, you and your family and friends are supposed to provide you with nourishment too. That’s right folks, feeding someone is an act of caring. We will always be fed best by those that care, be it ourselves or the aforementioned friends and family.

We are fat and sick and dying because we have handed a basic, fundamental and intimate function of life over to corporations. We choose to value our nourishment so little that we entrust it to strangers. We hand our lives over to big companies and then drag them to court when the deal goes bad. This is insanity.



Filling a Dim Sum Hole

userpic=levysBack in June, I wrote about how our usual dim sum palace, Empress Pavilion in Chinatown, had given up the ghost. This wasn’t that much of a loss, as Empress had been going downhill. Still, it necessitated a hunt for a new place.

During the summer, we foreyed out for dim sum again. I had gotten the Zagat list of top dim sum palaces in the city, and had selected NBC Seafood. Why? First, we had eaten there once before and I had good memories. They got decent reviews, had carts, and had a lot of parking. I had a whole chain of reasoning that, looking back, I never wrote down where I could find it again :-(.

A few days ago, a friend of my wife called and wanted to go out for dim sum. Our daughter asked her friend for suggestions, and he found the KCET list. They pushed to go to Seafood Harbour in Rosemead,  which lots of folks thought was the best. Although I indicated I would prefer NBC Seafood (or even trying A&W Northridge, which is right around the corner), I was overrulled. So this morning we trudged out to Rosemead and Seafood Harbour.

My opinion: I don’t think we’ve found the Empress replacement yet. Seafood Harbour certainly isn’t it.

Let me start with the positives: the food was good. There was some dim sum we hadn’t seen before, and the quality of what we had was excellent. Perhaps this is why it is highly rated.

Now for the negatives: parking was tighter than NBC, and due to the fact the restaurant was smaller, the wait was significantly longer (we got there at 10:30am, and were not seated until after 11:30am). There are no carts — you have to order from a picture menu, and you can do two rounds. I prefer carts — first, you may discover something new that looks tasty; second, there is less of a tendancy to over-order. More significantly, some of my favorites — plain BBQ pork and lemon tarts — we not on the menu. Further, it was harder to special order and obtain gluten-free items for my wife. I also felt that the bill total was a little high.

I think that next time we’ll either go back to NBC Seafood in Monterey Park, perhaps try Ocean Star in Monterey Park (which is up the street from NBC), both of which are honorable mentions on the LA Weekly list. Perhaps we’ll try the local A&W in either Northridge or Granada Hills.  Another possibility is Empress Harbor, which was on the LA Weekly list. Elite, which is also on many lists, is out for being cart-less. For those reading this in Southern California: Do you have a favorite place you want to recommend?


Modern Times Stew

Observation StewNow for the rest of the Saturday News Chum Stew. All of these times deal with the changes wrought by modern times…



From Ground to Grocer

userpic=pastramiToday’s collection of news chum covers the food field, from the ground to the grocer, with the cleanup afterwards thrown in:


Pieology vs. Pizza Rev

userpic=pastramiRecently, a new “build-your-own” pizza place opened up near us, on the edge of CSUN: Pieology. This is competition for the other “build-your-own” pizza place three blocks north, Pizza Rev. So tonight we went over to Pieology to give them a try. I think we’ll stick with Pizza Rev. Here’s why:

  • Both have gluten-free crusts (important for my wife). But Pizza Rev has sauce for gluten-free crusts in separate squirt bottles, with a separate utensil to spread the sauce, and separate trays for cooking. Pieology uses shared sauce and shared spreaders. Bzzzzt, you lose, if you are celiac.
  • Pizza Rev  has a greater variety of sauces: olive oil, red sauce, white sauce, BBQ sauce. Pieology has red sauce, herb butter, and olive oil.
  • Pieology optionally spreads olive oil on their crusts. Although this results in a browner crust, it also results in a greasier pizza.
  • Pizza Rev has a greater variety of cheese: mozzarella, reduced-fat mozzarella, feta, bleu, ricotta, and vegan cheese. Pieology: mozzarella, ricotta, parmesian, and gorgonzola.
  • Pizza Rev has a greater variety of protein: pepperoni, spicy pepperoni, beef pepperoni, Italian sausage, sweet fennel sausage, spicy chorizo, crumbled beef meatball, canadian bacon, crispy bacon, grilled chicken, and anchovies. Pieology … quite a lot less: pepperoni, sausage, meatball, chicken, ham, bacon.
  • Pizza Rev has a greater variety of veggies: Pizza Rev: mushrooms, red onions, green bell peppers, tomatoes, pineapple, black olives, kalamata olives, basil, spinach, garlic, pepperoncinis, jalapeños, fennel seed, arugula, capers, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes. Pieology: black olives, mushrooms, red onions, green peppers, artichokes, tomato, pineapple, jalapeños, basil, cilantro, and garlic.  The only thing unique to Pieology is cilantro, whereas Pizza Rev is the only one with kalamata olives, spinach, pepperoncinis, fennel seed, arugula, capers, and sun-dried tomatoes.

The pizza at Pizza Rev was about $1 more, and I think it tastes better. It will be interesting to see which wins in the long run. It all depends on the fickleness of CSUN students.


Saturday News Chum Stew: On The Outs

Observation StewIt’s Saturday, and you know what that means. That’s right — it’s time to go to Games Day 55. So while I’m playing games, you can enjoy some tasty news chum stew: