Saturday, May 28, 2016

Azn Dirty Dog


A little tasting we did for a client that requested a specialty hot dog bar during the dance portion of the wedding.  We did a couple different variations for her but I chose this one to share in particular because.... well its the bomb!  Very simple recipe so check it out below, and yes she will be serving this to her guests!

URBN Market Azn Dog
1 Serving

Hebrew National Beef Frank 7"
Korean Radish 1each
Carrot 1 each
Sugar .5 Cup
Rice Wine Vinegar .5 Cup
Go Chu Jang Pepper Paste 1Tbs
Mayonnaise 1 Cup
Sesame Oil 1Tsp
Diced Spring Onion 1 Each
Salt TT
Black Pepper TT
Black and White Sesame Seeds 

Start by cutting the Korean Radish and Carrots into a thin spiral cut.  If you do not have a spiral cuter a grater will do just fine just dont use a fine grain because you want these to add texture to the dish.  Place these in a cup or container with a Tbs of salt and let sit for 20 minutes to pull out all a good amount of water.  Drain then soak with the sugar and rice wine vinegar for a quick pickle about 10 minutes.  

Now make the spicy mayonnaise.  The reason I use Go Chu Jang as opposed to sriracha is you get a roasted subtle heat.  So combine the Pepper Paste, Mayonnaise, and Vinegar and put into a squeeze bottle for better plating and application.  

Now cook your hot dog to your preference.  I like to start them in the microwave wrapped for about a minute just to bring the middle to temp then finish on a char grill because you cant beat the texture using a broiler.  You could always use a grill pan or a regular pan to crisp the outside.

I toast the inside of the bun so it can hold up to all the moisture of the fixings.  Assemble all ingredients a voila!  the Azn Dog.  Spice it up once a while!

You get everything from hot, cold, spicy, sweet, juicy, and crispy.  Whats not to love!  Enjoy

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Slut!

I feel so dirty!  I mean the place is called eggslut.....  I've finally had the chance to eat at this place after hearing about all the hype.  Without further a due here its the eggslut review!  And yes I ordered 2 items for myself and a burger after......

The Slut and Goucho Sandwich

Now by no means was this meal horrible but I will tend to sound a bit disappointed with the review. 

 In the front you have "the slut".  It is a beautifully soft sous vide egg,  the whites we perfectly cooked and the yolk runny the way I like it.  On the bottom there were hashbrowns but its really just mashed potatoes after being sous vide in the jar with the egg.  The grey salt was a nice touch and some chive gave it a good sweetness but this jar with an egg and potatoes and 3 crustinis is hardly worth 9 dollars.  The flavor was pretty good but now I will not crave "the slut" from here on out!

In the background is the Goucho sandwich.  Very good flavor and maybe a bit on the high side as far as price but I would possibly give this another shot.  First of all I am sucker for arugula and there was no shortage on this,  The wagyu tri tip was cut thinly enough so it wasnt tough at all but had a nice mouth feel and chew.  The chimichuri was legit one of my favorite sauces that give the sandwich a nice acidity and freshness from all that parsley.  I think the star on the sandwiches are the brioche buns,  Usually brioche can be super fatty from all that butter and tend to break apart when saturated with sauces but this one was firm enough to withstand the eating process but had a super soft interior.  Very well made sandwich and for 12 not so bad.  10 and I'd want to come here more often.

The Fairfax

Again great sandwich on some great brioche.  The eggs come perfectly soft scrambled and the carmelized onions give it a nice sweetness.  Mel got the sriracha mayo on the side and actually didn't even have regular mayo to substitute which is a bummer.  You have the product already you are telling me you mix everything and don't leave diners the option.  Anyway good but pricey breakfast sandwich.

I would say that at the end of the day I would only bring people here if it was their first time or wanted to show something different.  Grand Central Station as a whole was a great place to visit.  I really do hope more of these food districts pop up everyone and give smaller places a chance to showcase their food and diversify our choices.  Chains can get pretty boring sometimes.  Keep an eye out for URBN Market Food District coming 20??!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Toto Isawan sa San Diego


I've been on a Filipino food kick lately.  Those down home stewed dishes with tons of fat or grilled and fried innards on a stick street food is whats been catching my attention lately.  There has to be something said about cultures that take these undesirable cuts and scraps from these animals and making them taste good, well most of them anyway.  In the picture below is a smorgasbord of offering from Totos Isawan sa San Diego.  Ihaw I believe means grilled and Isaw means the innards of these animals,  I could be wrong but take the word of a coconut Filipino (Brown on the outside white on the inside) with a grain of salt.

Lets start with the chicken feet.  I love me some dim sum and the chicken feet stewed in the black bean and garlic is one of my favorites.  When I saw these for the first time I was scared they would be tough because they looked straight grilled.  But they were slow cooked or possibly braised before grilled and they were tender and tasted like heaven!  I ate most of the ones pictured above.

On the bottom right those are called puet ni manok or chicken butt.  Yes they are the buts of the chicken and you can see the little poop shoot on the ends but the meat around it... Delicious!  Doesent have the mineraly poo taste at all just some juicy grilled meat.

The red looking balls are called kwek kwek.  Not sure if that is translated into something but the smaller ones on the right are quails eggs that have been hard boiled then battered and fried into the balls.  Chelesterol Heaven!  I probably ate the equivalent of the cholesterol of a dozen eggs because I was popping these like nothing.  They did have the bigger regular chicken eggs pictured on the left but if your going to eat a battered fried egg you might as well go all out and do the quail egg.  SO GOOD.

Now the long white tube that is skewered on the stick next to the chicken butt is chicken intestine.  Now traditionally these intestines are not washed very well and this was what was the most terrifying part to me but when you get a good char on these they taste so good.  Reminiscent of a chewier chicken skin in texture but a much more complex flavor from the minerals that were in the well.... Poo.  Really good.

There were 2 types of the pig intestines, the large and the small.  I have to say the large was really not appetizing to me.  I even had it burnt to a crisp but lets just say I felt like I could taste everything the pigs ate.  Just a smell and flavor that really was so overpowering I couldnt enjoy the flavor.  The smaller intestine on the other hand had a very nice chew and only had a slight smell of the feces haha!  I actually really liked the small intestine very much so.

Not pictured here are the fish balls.  These I felt like my company who were all true Filipinos were really drawn to because it had a sense of nostalgia for them.  My friend Nicco said when he ate it it reminded him of being on the side of the street hungry after working all day.  Now Ive had fish balls prior to this and I don't really ever remember them being great but with most of the isawan here they came with a specific sauce that each flavor was supposed to be paired with.  The most common sauce I think is called sowsowan which I think also mean to dip.  This is usually a sweet, vinegary, garliky sauce which goes great with the super rich foods.  The fish balls however had a liver based sauce which was mineraly and sweet and really took the one note fish balls to another level.  

Another dish which I would say was my favorite that I had this night that is also not pictured is called Betamax.  Kind of sounds like the fish you buy at walmart that you put on your desk but these were actually coagulated blood cakes that are grilled.  These were so good because it was like an airy mineraly cake that had a meaty taste and texture.  They were pictured because I ate them all so fast.

All in all I had a great experience,  I always appreciate trying new things and just to see my heritage and others that actually came from there appreciate these things was really eye opening.  So I encourage everyone to try it or you could wait until I open my own ihaw ihaw spot in North County!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Wulan Ramen House

You know I had to review this place.  Apparently its been all the buzz between all my Oceanside heads.  Ramen is something that it deeply ingrained in my heart so hearing that there is a decent place in my former hometown of Oceanside really caught my attention.  When rating ramen my criterium has always been the essentails of the ramen itself, the noodles, the toppings, and the broth.  Well lets just get into it then because lets be serious no one wants to hear me rant on so lets look at the food!

Pork Bao Bun

Not authentic at all.  It was braised pork shoulder with romaine and some sort of dressing.  To me it was screaming bahn mi flavors but I would say it is worth a try but I probably wouldn't be ordering this again.

Takoyaki (Octopus)

Pretty good.  I love the chewy texture of the rice batter here.  The order came with plenty of them and the flavor was really good.  You get them piping hot, so hot that the bonito on the top looks like it is still alive and moving.  The octopus wasnt too chewy and the subtle hints of ginger and sauce ont the top complimented it well.  Solid starter


This is what mel ordered.  The broth (not pictured) wasn't served to us hot enough but I think the flavor was really good.  The greens and bamboo shoots give it a good balance to the dish.   The noodles seemed pretty authentic,  they had a nice chew and a yellow hue so you could tell they had kansui which most japanese ramen noodles have.

The Mega Pig

This was their most expensive ramen because of the size.  I would say it is a moderate portion but I do eat like a monster.  I love how they give you 2 different types of cooked eggs although I am a big fan of a soft poached and would have preferred that.  I am always happy with egg yolk in general though.  They give you 2 types of pork belly a traditional sliced and smoked and a chasu or rolled marinated style and both were very good.  The broth has that 2 soup broth or double dip and David Chang likes to call it and had very good flavor.  I understand that you have to over season because the noodles will pull a lot of the salt flavor out but mine was really way too salty.  I did try this bowl of ramen twice and both time I had to dilute the borth with water.  But I do say I really did enjoy it both times.  I hope I dont hype it up too much because there really isnt anything comparable to it in the area besides underbelly in downtown SD which I havent had the pleasure of trying.  But I am confident in saying that this is a solid ramen spot.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pastry Chef Attempt

 Sweet is always something I have great inner struggle with.  Do I not finish my delicious 10oz char grilled porterhouse so I can fit some sugar in my belly?  Usually the answer is no but when you have a wife who is pregnant and has super enhanced taste buds you have to start liking the sugar.  This dish was from a little event at work for a meet and greet with a man named Richard Lederer?  Apparently he was hot stuff in his time and he is pretty picky with his food.  Anywho this was the dessert course I made for his menu and it was pretty well received.  Check the recipe below

Hibiscus Poached De Anjou Pear
serves 1
De Anjou pear Fresh 1/2 each
Blood Orange Sorbet
Orange Peel from 1 Orange
Granulated Sugar 3 Cups
Water 3 Cups
Hibiscus Tea 1 Package
Bring a pot of 2 cups of water to a boil and add 2 Cups of Sugar to make a simple syrup.  Add the packet of hibiscus tea and steep until it picks up color.  Peel and Half the pear making sure to remove the seeds and place in the poaching liquid along with orange peel.  Lower heat and poach until soft about 12-15 Minutes.  Remove and cool down.  Take the orange peel and quickly fry until it picks up color and immediately coat in granulated sugar  Scoop a coronel of blood orange sorbet and place on top of poached pear.  Place candied orange peel on top as garnish.
Hibiscus Poached De Anjou Pear with Blood Orange Sorbet and Candied Orange Peel 
The tangy sorbet was perfect to cut through the sweetness of the pear and orange peel.  Its a lighter refreshing type of dessert and it was pretty well received.  Give it a try friends.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Happy Birthday Daddio

Happy Birthday Daddio!
     To tell you the truth my dad and I had an interesting relationship growing up.  He was a very strict man who thought of the world in a very black and white approach.  His way was always the right way and for his son who was pretty much thought of the world in the same way (after all I am his offspring) didn't exactly see eye to eye.  I know his father was the same way if not worse with him and I took me many years to finally appreciate that.  Through all those layers of manliness is just a man trying to do the best for his family.  He is a selfless man that sacrifices so much for his family. Now at my ripe age of 30 can get along with this man that I spent resenting because he was so hard on me for 20+ years I feel like I have this new best friend that has always been there that I never knew I had.
     Which bring me to my Dads Bday.  Perks of having a chef for a son is you get to tell him hey I want some good steak.  I told my rent that I would take care of everything and headed to the store.  Unfortunately there wasn't a very good selection of steak at the store we went to so I had to settle on a nice fillet.  Trimmed and portioned it into some nice 6oz steaks just some salt and pepper and an open fire was all this steak needed.  In Filipino tradition you always eat  a long noodle of sort which represent long life,  I just listen to my mom so I made a spinach linguine with a tomato buerre blanc sauce.  I have to say I was impressed with myself and made a pretty good dish for my pops.
Spinach Linguine
AP Flour 2 Cups
Eggs 3
Olive Oil 1Tsp
Pinch of Salt
Fresh Spinach Blanched 1 Cup
Tomato Buerre Blanc
Tomato Sauce 1 Cup
White Wine 1 Bottle
Garlic 1 Head Peeled
Shallots 2 each
Whole Pepper Corns 1Tbs
Bay Leaves 5 Each
Thyme Fresh 1 Sprig
Cream 2 Cups
Butter Unsalted 1 Lb
Start with the pasta as it needs time to rest.  Blanch the spinach and blend with a bit of the blanching water.  On a cutting board place a pile of the flour and make a well with your hands.  Add the rest of the pasta ingredients and kneed to incorporate.  Cover and let rest for 30 minutes minimum.  Roll out your pasta gradually making it thinner.  I used a #3 setting on my pasta roller for the linguine.
For the reduction sauce Take the peeled garlic shallots peppercorns thyme and bayleaves and sautee in a small sauce pot with a little bit of oil.  Once you see some color add a bottle of white wine (I used Chardonnay) and reduce until almost all the water has evaporated and you get close to a syrup.  Strain the reduction and add back into the sauce pot and bring to a boil.  Add the heavy cream and reduce again by about 70%.   Then add the tomato sauce and reduce again by half to really get those flavors layered into the sauce.
I start with a boiling pot of salt water and strainer for my pasta and a big sauté pan to toss the pasta.  I like to cook my past a bit in the sauce so you really pick up all those flavors.  I start with some minced garlic and shallot. and a bit of olive oil,  once I see a bit of color on the garlic immediately put in the spinach and give it a couple tosses and deglaze with the reduction sauce.  At the same time I am cooking the pasta so by the time the pasta is close to being done I can go straight from the boiling water to the pan with the sautéed vegetables and sauce.  What you are doing when using this technique is you are naturally thickening the sauce with the pasta starches and really getting the sauce to stick to the pasta.  Add a cold pad of unsalted butter and toss to finish.
Not the easiest dish to make but so worth it if you put in the effort.  Happy Birthday Dad!  Love you man!

Char Grileld Fillet over Spinach Linguine with burst tomatoes
The whole dinner 
$1.25 garlic Bread don't hate 

Saturday, March 19, 2016


There is always one dish I use to gauge how certain restaurants run. Chirashi is always perfect because you get to see plating, freshness of ingredients, and flavor all in one bowl.  Ive had rushed chiraishi bowls with the sushi rice thrown in without any care and horrible knife skills are so apparent that you feel like you are eating scraps.  1. You can tell the restaurant is staffed and 2. You might not to know where and how the fish you are eating has been there.  This is especially important because you are eating it raw.  This dish was from hana sushi which is a small chain believe it or not.  I can confidently say this was the best chirashi bowl ive had in the san diego and temecula area.  The dish was beautiful and the sashimi cuts thick and luscious.  They even added in tamago or sweet egg which was one of my favorite types of nigiri when I was younger.  A little ponzu and wasabi this off and at 21 dollars I thuroughly enjoyed this dinner.
Chrashi Bowl from Hana Sushi