Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Book of Mormon

Today I went to watch The Book of Mormon at the Pantages Theater. I was very excited about seeing this musical. After so many reviews and such hype my expectations were pretty high. Unfortunately, they were never met.

Here's the thing, it is not like the actors did not do the writer's justice. As a matter of fact, I personally thought the acting was great! The problem was that I expected hilarity with deep meaning and an aha moment which I never got. I mean the worst episode of South Park, which of course is from the same creators, is better than Book of Mormon. Some of the jokes were quite good and had a nice delivery, but they were overplayed so badly that one forgets why they were funny in the first place.

I am not an acting expert nor do I know what the Tony Awards judges look for, but I do know that if The Book of Mormon can win 9 awards and Wicked only 3 then there is definitely something wrong with this picture. But like I said, I am not an expert.

Anyway, who cares about the musical, let's talk about what I ate. Ready for this? Here comes disappointment number two; by the time we got out of the theater everything was closed. The only choice in the proximity, a proximity made a lot smaller due to a few bad destination decisions and closed restaurants at 11 pm, such as Le Petit Four, Mirabelle, Cravings, Evelaigh, Boa and pretty much everything on Sunset Plaza left us with only one solution, Coney Dogs. Coney is not bad, it is actually a pretty cool place considering the free parking, the prices and a great beer selection. Speaking of beer, I found out something new about my self today. I am Spiderman. Yes, you read this correctly. Allow me to elaborate.

When I ordered my Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer and was told it was the only bottle remaining, I did not for a second think the I was really ordering an adrenaline pumping adventure. As the bartender brought over a frosty bottle of the brew and was about to set it down on the table in front of me, it had slipped out of his hand, fell over and began to spill on to a bench seat right next to me. With cat-like reflexes I found my self climbing the wall to the left while avoid the ever-growing puddle forming next to my suit pants. The security footage of this would have had an easy 1 million YouTube viewers by the night's end. Alas, I never got the video.

So one free beer, one chili hot dog and a few pieces of fries later my evening came to a close. Let me just say that the bartender was totally cool and this could happen to anyone, so no harm no foul.

What I learned was, maybe Tuesday is better spent home watching reruns of South Park and drinking scotch? Only time will tell.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Salt. It's what's exciting!

Salt Mill (Wikipedia Image)
I've recently noticed that I use more and more salt in my food, not the food I prepare, but rather food I go out for. I am not going to mention any specific restaurants, but even some really respected places which are managed by palettes I look up to have let me down in the salt department. So the question I have is whether my taste buds dulled, or chefs simply started to cut down on the basic of flavor enhancers?

Everywhere we look there is all this talk about cutting down on sodium and lowering your salt intake. Ads for sea salt and other gimmicks. By the way, what kind of salt is not sea salt? This of course is a trick question, since all salt comes from the sea. There would be no salt where there was no sea. Anyway, I digress.

Being healthy, is important to me too, but I don't want to - no, I refuse to sacrifice flavor. I think that we can all strike a balance between salt and health. I found that one the easiest ways is to use finishing salts. In another words, let's say you are making a hamburger and want to put a couple of teaspoons of salt into the chopped meat, well, add just half of the salt you were going to add anyway and after the meat is done cooking be sure to sprinkle just a dash of flake salt on top of the patty. This will make a huge difference! Your taste buds will excite and you are going to love, love, love your burger. Also, sometimes adding salt into places we don't think of will do the same. Case in point, empanadas. Well, call it empanads, pirojki, samosa, or a plain ole hand held meat pie, you still need flavor. Most of the time the filling for these items is pretty high in salt, because the dough itself is pretty bland. So what do you do? Simple, after forming the dough around the filling into whatever shape you desire and using egg wash or just plain olive oil to coat the top for color, sprinkle just a little coarse salt right a top of the pastry before baking. Trust me, when you take a bite of out this baked goodness you are going to want to spork yourself at how amazing it will taste. Every flavor from sweet, bitter, acidic, umami and salty will dance on your palette. This way you're using the salt in a smart way and staying health conscious in the process.

So to you chefs of some of my favorite restaurants I say that your biggest mistake is probably not tasting the food before you send it out. Taste everything! As for me, I'll keep a close eye on my supposedly dulling taste buds, but will definitely use my own advice and cut down on the sodium chloride (NaCl) altogether.

in the beginning...

Greetings! I've been tinkering with the idea of starting my own food blog for quite some time and today, Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 12:06 am I finally created one. So right off the bat, I want to make you, the reader, a promise: I will not make any promises. Now what do I mean by that, you may ask? Basically blogs take a lot of commitment, research, pictures, posts, social media involvement and so on. So my only promise is that I will not make any which are related to how often I post or exactly what I will post about.

You see, I have a Yelp! page, but I am afraid it is not enough. I also post food porn shots of my personal creations on Facebook, but no one seems to care about the recipes. The issue with both is that I feel limited. Hence the blog. I am my own boss. If I want to write a review, I will; post a photo, I will; give you a comprehensive recipe, sure! Oh, and if I want to just rant about a random thing that happened, most likely in a restaurant, I also will.

So sit back, relax and enjoy my blog. Of course if this is not your idea of a good read, then you can certainly go spork yourself!