A Slight Slant in Perception🍴🍴

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I am always endeavoring to take care of this body that has been given to me by eating healthy and thinking organic, sometime I fail miserably and sometime I ace the test, the struggle is not always trying to opt for salad vs’ mac n’ cheese, but locating a healthy item that makes me ecstatic that I chose it.

“The Slanted Door” San Francisco made great attempts to bend my thinking regarding healthy and delicious and a home run is what was achieved here with the “mesquite grilled prather ranch pork belly, with red leaf lettuce, mint, cucumber, and tamarind sauce. When all of these components are wrapped in the lettuce it produced an absolute combustion of flavors; the fruitiness of the tamarind, the coolness and crunch of the cucumber, and the mint which provided a refreshing backdrop on my palate was an extraordinary marriage made in food heaven. Now no normal person thinks pork belly is healthy, but when cooked & seasoned correctly with some of the fat cut off, you have a semi-lean meat that resembles an alpha male on the food chain.

Sometime restaurants tend to create a signature dish and I feel that if a chef goes out of their way to show their clientele where they believe they shine, I would be remiss if I did not experience it, so it is “the slanted door spring rolls,” with gulf shrimp, pork, mint, & peanut sauce that was up next on deck. After the first bite I realized a few things, this roll significantly lacked sapidity, second the chef must have been slightly inebriated when naming this a signature dish, and third in one fell swoop I was back at square one, eating a healthy dish that tasted healthy, and to be frank no one feels titillated by this concept.

Now one would think that I the eternal optimistic would view having one great dish and the other dish falling in the bland category still equals a good dining experience, but it doesn’t. What it does equal is a fair dining experience, and fair is the same as not memorable, not remarkable, and not impressive. But this doesn’t have to be so for the “The Slanted Door” a quick fix can turn this entire situation around, just simply make the “mesquite grilled prather ranch pork belly” the signature dish and all will be well with world and that distinguishable status that is clearly achievable can be easily attained.

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A Shaky Start & A Peachy Kingless End 🍴🍴

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People tend to use the term “it is not how you start that matters, but how you finish,” I guess this statement can be true, but if this is a statement you live by, then you are definitely taking a gamble against all those people who live by the first impression rule.

I have not quite figured out what rule of thumb “Hops & Hominy” in downtown San Francisco is living by, but I was was willing to figure it out. The name alone takes me back to my childhood when my grandmother called grits “hominy” and how she made it with such love, care, & flavor made me excited to enter this edible extravaganza.

“Hops & Hominy” brought to the table complimentary organic stoneground buttermilk cornmeal cornbread, that was piping hot upon arrival, in a cast iron cake pan, but this cornmeal was a far cry from cake, it was bitter, slightly gritty, flavorless, and extremely disappointing, and as a result the endorphins that were building inside me with the thought of starting the night with a southern favorite began to subside at rapid speed. As disappointment crept in my members questions began to swirl in mind…can the meal get better from here and am I doomed for a despicable meal? But I am trooper and I remain committed to task at hand, ready to ride the ride until the wheels fall off, so we order the Coos Bay Pacific cornmeal fried oysters with jalapeño aioli sauce; now after the debacle with cornmeal cornbread one would think why “would you order this dish,” but I’m an individual who believes in the second chance theory, so we go in, and upon the first bite I think “now we are cooking with gas” these oysters are delicious, not overpowering by the cornmeal, fried to perfection, seasoned perfectly with a spicy kick, along with oysters that tasted like the fisherman just got them from the ocean a few hours back…ok ok so now my endorphin level is increasing, so I figure why stop there, and then we order the mac n cheese with sharp cheddar sauce, breadcrumb, & bacon. Now if you follow me, you know I was probably sold by the bacon, but not this time, it was the breadcrumb, most home cooks use breadcrumb when making mac n cheese, because it not only adds flavor, but texture, so now I figured this chef is on to something, and my goodness my assumptions were right, this mac n cheese was a slam dunk, I usually dont prefer cheese sauces, I mean home cooks aren’t making cheese into sauces, they are grating the cheese,and sprinkling it over the mac n cheese, this is what my childhood remembers and my palate recalls and desires, but this sauce knocked it out of the park, and the bacon added smokiness and saltiness which landed this mac n cheese into the “BTE”zone (best thing ever).

So while I am on this delectable edible streak it is only appropriate to try the shrimp and grits, I mean thats the whole point behind the name “hominy” so I order the grits with cheese, crab, and a tomato brandy sauce, and visually this dish was absolutely enticing, but the execution of the grits fell flat; grits should be creamy, not gritty, and the menu noted cheese, but there was no taste of cheese, no sharpness, nothing pungent, and where was the crab? if it was in there, it hid itself from me like a pro, but the tomato brandy and the perfectly seasoned shrimp was what moved this dish into the “BTA”zone (better than average), but they definitely needed someone from the dirty south to teach them how to make grits that are good with or without the bells and whistles.

Now its only appropriate to end an evening with desert so we ordered the peach cobbler. When the cobbler came out in a mason jar, I thought “cute,” they opted to substitute vanilla bean ice cream for marscapone…bad move, there was more marscapone than peaches. I mean isn’t the whole concept of peach cobbler to have peaches, isn’t the peaches supposed to be the star of the show, the center of attention, needless to write the ending was peachy kingless.

First impressions usually leave a lasting impression or how you finish can make you forget the initial impression, but in this case for “Hops & Hominy” it is important to forget the first and throw out the last and FOCUS ON THE MIDDLE PEOPLE…FOCUS ON THE MIDDLE.

It’s the 52 Fake Out

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I always find it strange how delis use titles such as “New York style” to describe their food, when the people who own the restaurant or make the food have never stepped foot in New York.

Los Angeles can be a very gullible city, simple because most people want to try things that are different just for the sake of being different and they have no frame of reference to really know if what they are trying actually taste in alignment with the style that is being referenced. How does one really compare a product to something you have never had…I guess this question is one for the ages.

Well I am not one of those gullible people I have experienced New York pastrami and corned beef and I am keenly aware of how it should taste and “Tommy Pastrami a New York Delicatessen” is faking everyone out.

The server in this so called delicatessen was absolutely fabulous, her demeanor was reminiscent of a nurse with spectacular bedside manner, except she had counter side manner which completely bowled me over and it was she who convinced me that corned beef was the way to go. Now the corned beef special I ordered was not on the menu, but after a little additions and subtractions to the NY Reuben I was able to get a corned beef special on slightly warmed rye bread, russian dressing (house made) , and coleslaw. I must write after a long day I was excited to get this sandwich home, I mean I even skipped lunch with the anticipation of eating a mile high sandwich with corned beef so supple my eyes would close slowly from blissful euphoria. But to my dismay it fell completely flat, the corned beef was sliced to thick, everyone who has eaten a NY corned beef special knows the meat should be sliced thin, it should be succulent and so tender that as soon as it hits your tongue it begins to melt, unfortunately there was no melting here and the amount of time it took me to chew the corned beef made me wonder if I was eating meat or flavorless gum. The coleslaw was mediocre, coleslaw should be creamy like it is New York, it should be good enough to eat alone without a sandwich.

I should have know something was fishy when the server asked me if I wanted extra russian dressing on the side..WHERE THEY DO THAT AT???I will tell you that in NY they don’t, they just wrap that baby up in wax parchment paper throw it in a brown paper bag, no extras required, except for napkins of course.

Tommy Pastrami in downtown Los Angeles you faked me out using that New York name in your signage and I fell for the okey doke, like a novice but my momma taught how not to be a fool twice, which means I wont be back.

Is it a Restaurant or a Dog Pound??🍴🍴

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What I find amazing is how some people always assume that you want to eat your meal with their dogs. When did it start exactly, who was the first person who had the balls to bring their pet to the restaurant and who was the restaurant who allowed such foolishness. What kind of selfish person says “I like to eat with my dog breathing on my food, so other people must experience this same level of joy.”

I think it is extremely disappointing that restaurants would allow pets in settings where you eat outdoors. There is already flies outdoors, gnats outdoors, and all other flying outdoorsy specimens, and as we all know outdoorsy specimens are attracted to dogs, they see or smell dogs and they think gourmet meal on deck, so more of those specimens are flying around when there is a dog around. Dont get me wrong I am a dog lover, I even let my dog Zion give me kisses like any true dog lover does, but when I go out to a restaurant I draw the line in the sand.

Dont restaurants like HOME Restaurant in Los Feliz, California realize that when you allow pets in your food dwelling you minimize the experience of the restaurant, that without even trying you devalue your food, and you force people to question your level of cleanliness since your waitstaff is petting the dogs, then handling food.

So with this being written, can I still write about the challah bread french toast with strawberries? Of course I can..I am food blogger for God sakes…but unfortunately I dont have much to write, but all I will write is, the french toast was fair, but the key to eating this french toast is to eat it while it is hot, because if it gets slightly cooled down it will be tough and flavorless, which is the same as eating toast you made on Thursday today. My bestsie had the “spiced tofu” with red peppers, spinach, onions, ripe tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes with basil, soy sauce, & curry powder, and although she said it was good, I know when I see joy in her eyes as a result of a meal, and I promise you she had a better response from the cookie butter at Trader Joes.

Could this dog pound, I mean restaurant swayed my opinion via the visual of all the dogs, it is quite possible, but like they say, “you eat with your eyes first.”