Love at First Sight: Yummy Mammy

Yummy Mammy is the Zooey Deschanel of Chinese restaurants. It's got her quirky looks and takes hints from the way she hides behind big glasses to fool people into thinking she's not so  hot. Digging in deeper, ignoring the garbage bag full of dried red peppers sitting on the hostess stand, I found my manic pixie dream girl restaurant. Yummy Mammy's name alone gives it points in the "most adorkable" competition: awkward to get off the tongue and giving no hint of the stellar Chinese food hidden within. Emulating Zooey's Jess, from New Girl, it's just different enough, without crossing … [Read more...]

Xinjiang-Style Lamb Skewers

This post is for a contest being put on by the folks at the American Lamb Board. The prize is cool (cooking with a chef at an event) and I'd like to win, so please vote for me! Also, that means the lamb used here was given to me by the lamb folks. Thanks, lamb folks! Xinjiang lamb skewers are the best bar snack you've never had. Unless you've been to Beijing, in which case, they might just be the best bar snack you have had. It's been almost three years since I came back from Beijing, but the many tasty skewers I had have stuck with me. It was high time to recreate them at … [Read more...]

How to Make Noodles in a Meat Grinder

 Chinese noodles with perfect bite, chew, texture, with half the work? Sign me up. After creating the hand-cut noodle recipe, I realized that: wait, I'm way too lazy to use the peeler to make the noodles for more than just Brett and I. But until recently, I didn't know what to do about it, so when I made dan dan noodles for a group, they had to be satisfied with my favorite store noodles. It isn't right. No, my friends deserve the bounce of a fabulous fresh noodle. Fast forward to last week, as I flipped around the internets, that wild world of wacky ideas, eventually landing on a Mario … [Read more...]

Down and Dirty: Hole in the Wall Restaurants in the Greater Los Angeles Area

When I visit friends around the country and the world, I fear I sometimes frighten them with my lists of places to try. Often I've scoured the internet (and the brains of fellow foodies) for the so-called 'hidden gems'. I say so called, because they're never hidden from the people who love them, those to whom this is the food of their homeland. Partamian's Armenian Bakery--also, it seems, known as F & J, is just such an example from my recent trip to LA. We hit a number of great holes in the wall, and the first one embodied so much of why I love to eat at these places. Partamian's … [Read more...]

China Gate

As much as I am inclined to vote yes on the idea of Dim Sum at night, the service here was not as good as one wants from dim sum. While everything we ordered was made fresh, they were missing about three things we ordered, and one of our dishes never made it out. Our calamari was plain and not warm when it came out (not a good thing for deep fried food). However, I must admit that the salt and pepper fish was quite good, very well spiced, little jalepanos everywhere. Macki, the owner took good care of us, but only because she knew us. I think that if this was their good service, I would be … [Read more...]