Tag Archives: pork

Time for Thai

Thai food was always something I ordered when I went to UCLA and was too lazy to go out to get my own food. It was delivered, inexpensive, and it satisfied my need for something greasy. Today that taste for Thai carries on, but I will go to get it, and I hope it’s not nearly as greasy as my college days. That’s what brought me to Renu Nakorn Restaurant in Norwalk.

Crispy rice salad. This dish is awesome. It’s very light but with full flavor and a great crunchy texture from the onions and rice.

Eggplant and tofu.

Pineapple Fried Rice. This is always a classic from my college days.

Duck Curry. I really enjoy Thai curries, much more so than Japanese or Indian style curries. Add duck to the mix, and I am a happy camper. When the fat makes its way into the already creamy sauce, it’s fantastic.

Whole fried fish.

Drunken Noodle Seafood. I never know why they call noodles drunken. Perhaps it is because you have to be inebriated to consume them. To be safe I had a couple beers while enjoying this dish.

Barbecued pork. I went to town on this dish. There is very little done to the pork and rightly so. A meat’s own fat is flavor enough, and this pork had plenty of flavor.

Inside the Wolvesden.

If you haven’t heard of Wolvesmouth yet, get ready to be educated. I had heard about Wolvesmouth through my various food-loving Twitter friends, but I never took much notice of it. For whatever reason, Michelle decided recently that she wanted to go. She signed up for the mailing list and we wished and hoped we could get a chance to experience the meal. Lo and behold, we were two of the twelve lucky people that got to partake in a unique dining experience, courtesy of The Wolf, Craig.

The table that would serve as our battlefield for ten courses of awesome.

Before I get into the delicious dishes that were served, let me point out one thing. The entire meal is prepared in a home kitchen.

The use of the limited space is quite impressive.

The planning, preparation, and precise execution of the timing is incredible. Each course is lined up and brought out with military-like precision.

Why, yes that is a half pig’s head.

Don’t forget the trotters.

Course 1: Potato, Scallop, Chive, & Flower Creme Fraiche. I could probably drink a pitcher of this. It’s creamy but light. The scallop in this dish is incredible too, perfectly seared.

Course 2: Ocean Trout, Braised Leek, and Red Currant. Nice little hint of sour to accompany the fresh sweetness of the fish and leek.

Course 3: King Crab, Pimento Cheese, Sourdough. I found out I was allergic to crab when I was in my early teenage years. I figured it wasn’t life or death, so I ate it. That was a decision I do not regret. The dish was fantastic, and I still haven’t broken out in a rash! Double win!

Course 4: Haricot Verts, Apricot Peach Yogurt, Horseradish Meringue, Smoked Almond Granola.

Course 5: Rabbit, Glazed Carrot, Radish, Celery,  Pie Dough, Raw Peas, Sage. This got everyone talking about single portion, microwavable pot pies for nights alone. For someone like me, who is married I don’t have those nights anymore. It’s pot pie for two!

Course 6: Verjus, Lemon Verbena. This was a refreshing break before we went into the heaviest dish of the night.

Craig, working away at the head.

Lord of the Flies!

Course 7: Pork, Green Onion, Bok Choy, Pork Sauce. Steamed Bun on the side. The sauce was very rich, and there was so much texture from the skin of the trotter to the meat from the face.

Course 8: Squab, Pickled Cherry. Mushrooms. This makes me want to cook squab. It’d be fun to feel like a giant with the tiny little birds.

Course 9: Blueberry Sherbet, Black Sesame, Kabosu Curd, Green Tea Cake. I’ll be honest. When I saw this dish I saw broccoli and Velveeta.

Course 10: Strawberry, Pound Cake Ice Cream, Wild Strawberry, Strawberry Pop Rocks. It’s still incredible how amusing Pop Rocks are at my age. Excellent choice.

While I believe the dishes speak for themselves, what makes the dinner so unique is that while you sit down to dinner with a bunch of strangers, part of the experience is getting to talk to them instead of minding your own business and keeping your head down.

Not only do you get to mingle with the other guests, getting up and stretching is encouraged. I highly recommend doing this as the meal is a long process. I hit a wall after the pork. You can even walk over to the kitchen and talk to Craig as he works his magic. Just don’t distract him so much that he burns your meal.

While Wolvesmouth is about food, it’s more about the experience. Getting to share a meal with other people who enjoy food is incredible. It’s relaxing and fun. When was the last time you had a meal set to the soundtrack of Eazy-E’s “Boyz-n-the-Hood” followed by Geto Boys’ “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta?”

Good food, while serious, can be a lot of fun too.

House into Home

Our house is slowly but surely turning into a home. We are a long way from filling up the rooms with furniture, but we’re slowly adding our touches to the house to make it our own. You may have already seen Michelle’s contact paper masterpiece. Other than just the way it looks, we’re starting to feel like we belong in the house, especially with daily living and cooking.

This is a pork loin, wrapped in a bacon mat. It will soon join a pork shoulder already in the smoker. Yes, cooking with bacon is cheating but who is going to stop such a delicious breaking of the rules?

Here is a random assortment of ingredients tossed into a slow cooker with a piece of beef. I had zero idea what I was doing here. I used no recipe at all.

The end result kind of showed I used no recipe. It need salt, but that’s nothing a little salt added later couldn’t fix…or some hot sauce.

The pork shoulder looked great, but because I got a late start I don’t think all the fat rendered down all the way.

Still the meat had a great smokey flavor and went nicely with the sauteed onions and other vegetables.

I was a little bit scared about how the bacon would handle for four hours in the smoker. As you can see, it handled the time like a champ.

On the inside, perfection. This is definitely going on the list of smoking recipes to keep. I will, however, work on the glaze for this dish a bit more.

Poor Service, Great Price

I went to Memphis in Manhattan Beach, because I had one of those online coupons expiring that day. Turns out the restaurant was closing permanently in two weeks because of slow business. Unfortunately that meant the staff just bailed to take other jobs, because what’s the worst that could happen? They could get fired? There was one poor guy handling all the tables and the bar by himself. Despite the expected slow service, the food was awesome.

Creamed corn.

Pulled pork sliders.

Buttermilk fried chicken.

Memphis Po’ Boy with Blackened Shrimp.

The best part of this meal was getting the bill. We had a $40 credit for this place, but what you don’t see on the bill is our drinks. We had five drinks between two people, but pretty much everyone was getting a pass on the drinks. The place is probably open for another week if you want to try your luck at some free bar time.

While my friend and I were waiting for someone to acknowledge that we had arrived, a lot of time passed. We realized what was going on with the single server, and wondered if we should just help ourselves to the bar. My friend then had a very profound thought. People need to be controlled to some extent. Here we were, two guys realizing the restaurant wasn’t being patrolled because it was closing and thinking we should get a bottle of whiskey for ourselves. Imagine if people knew the government was going to collapse. Sheer chaos. While our government isn’t always what we want it be, you should be glad it’s there. Otherwise I might come steal your television.

Second Round of Michelle’s Birthday Eats

Michelle’s been pretty busy with her new job and trying to balance her schedule, so we weren’t even going to have dinner together. Fortunately she got to finish up and come home earlier than she thought, so I made her some dinner. That’s really not picture worthy though, so instead we will go on to last night’s dinner with some friends at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale in Costa Mesa.

I enjoy a good fry, and they cook up some nice fries here.

Their Kobe Sliders are well put together as well. They don’t try to get too fancy with sauces or glazes. It’s just a good piece of meat.

Bacon wrapped dates with bleu cheese.

Mussels. It tastes like the ocean in a good way, not the BP oil spill way.

Sweet bread. Doesn’t look like bread? Google it.

Pork belly.

Ice cream and something.

Happy birthday, Michelle! Creme Brulee in vanilla, salted caramel, and tres leches.

Moderation is for losers.

Saturday morning I got a call from my cousin. He said he was in my area and wanted to know if I wanted to get brunch. Knowing that my cousin is twenty five and that twenty five year olds like booze, I took him to Overland Cafe for the all-you-can-drink champagne brunch.

This was my meal. Nothing fancy here. Meat and potatoes.

Crab Cakes Benedict.

Instead of an English Muffin you have a crab cake! I’m allergic, but I was tempted to try this. Would that be ultimate food blogger dedication? It’s not like I’d die.

I’ve got to say this was not one of my smarter ideas. My cousin loved it though. About three bottles in he said, “We should have a family reunion and drink together.” Sounds fun, huh? Except no one in our family drinks.

After brunch I took a nap until about 6:30 PM. I was supposed to be at dinner at that time, but fortunately for me my ride was running late. It’s a good thing I had a ride too, because I was drunk when I woke up from my nap. For dinner we went to Cuban Bistro, probably the only non Asian joint in Alhambra.  Why would we check out a place like this in an area known for its Asian eats? Well we needed a place that was walking distance to Ultrazone Laser Tag, but the birthday boy is afraid of Asian food that does not have the words Panda and Express in the restaurant name. The restaurant chosen was really good nonetheless.

Masitas del Puerco. The skin on the pork was fried so perfectly and the inside was tender, juicy, and had a big kick of citrus flavor. Couple that with the plaintains and Arroz Moros. I could eat this all day.

After a meal like this there’s nothing left to do but run around with a laser gun and shoot your friends. If you’ve had excessive amounts of alcohol, you might also take a random kid hostage in the arena and film a ransom movie on your iPhone 4.

Dirty Thirty!

Although I haven’t been out in the world a full thirty years until about noon today, I am thirty. Ask my dad about it sometime. He likes to tell the story about how after I was born he went to lunch.

Yesterday I went out to dinner with Michelle, my parents, and my cousins and their parents. Between the nine of us four of us have June birthdays. We decided on Waterloo & City. I didn’t realize this place is new, only been around five weeks according to my uncle. It’s a great restaurant, but it’s not for those who don’t like to sit and enjoy a long meal.

Shrimp and zucchini fritters.

Foie Gras.

Braised beef short ribs pizza.

Murgh Makani. We were told it means “butter chicken.” Yeah, so in for this.

Of course we had to watch the Lakers game.

Whole roasted chicken. You can see the embers still glowing.

I forget what this was called, but it had rabbit, porcini, and bacon. I ordered after I saw bacon.

Fresh salmon.

Pork belly.

This is a terrible picture of a super creamy pasta with truffles. Everyone loved this sauce.

Strawberries and creme.

Chocolate and bananas.

Thirty years have passed. I’m not truly the world’s strongest billionaire. I don’t always lift heavy things…effortlessly. I haven’t gone multi-platinum. People don’t flock to places when they hear I’m going to be showing up. Am I where I want to be in life?

Most definitely, yes.