Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Quickies #49: Shockers, Comebacks and Events

The Bazaar's way-too-garlicky Rossejat, one of two-and-a-half reasons why I couldn't understand S. Irene's perfect score for this restaurant.

This week, the biggest shocker of news was finding out that LA Times' S. Irene Virbila gave the Bazaar a perfect four stars (which she hasn't done since 2005, to Joel Robuchon in Vegas.) Probably more surprising to me since my experience there was merely good and not stellar in every way (especially with two dishes that missed!) -- part of me wants to concede to her more experienced palate and another part just wants to brush off my meal taking place on their off-night. But, ultimately, I'll just agree to disagreeing with Ms. Virbila -- but I will say the Bazaar is worth at least checking out once (or even a few times) if for the sheer amount and variety of eye- and tastebud-candies there.

In happier news, Ms. Lesley is making a comeback - twice over! EaterLA may never be the same without her, but now you can read her at the newly debuted Tasting Table LA, a daily e-newsletter that's definitively more focused on the town's food and drinks than DailyCandy/Urbandaddy/Thrillist/etc., exploring L.A.'s eats with a nice scoop and summary of the scene, the crowd and, of course, the menu. Additionally, she just started ChowBalla, a more personal, casual and lengthier take on L.A.'s food and drink happenings. Already, on ChowBalla she got the lowdown that XIV is abandoning its infamous, mind-boggling "everybody orders the same prix-fixe" setup for a more traditional appetizer/entree/sides/dessert menu setup. Both are surely worth keeping an eye on in addition to EaterLA, which has been getting better at covering news and rumors actually relevant to L.A.

In my own foodventure discoveries, I've finally tried Kyochon's Korean-style fried chicken (a.k.a. the Kogi of last year) at its Rowland Height location -- my take? Pretty good, but also felt it was overhyped -- I like the extra-crispy skin from double-frying as well as the sweet-savory soy sauce that the chicken's been marinated in, but like Bazaar and Kogi, nothing mind-blowing and I think I still like the heavier breading of Soul Food Southern-style fried chicken more. Still, the lunch bento box is a rather nice deal for $7.50 (two fried drumsticks with chicken bulgogi, salad, french fries and rice) so I'll likely check it out again if I'm near one of their locations, maybe I'll opt for their spicy style next time. Or maybe check out Bonchon next time to compare.

And finally, a few upcoming events that catch my fancy:

For the party host(ess) looking to put a new spin on hors d'oeuvres and appetizers, Pamela Sheldon Johns, author of 50 Great Appetizers, will be doing a book tour at various locations in L.A. & O.C. this coming week signing books and doing cooking demos highlighting small bites that are simple to prepare, yet sophisticated in presentation in flavor. Some small bites she'll whip out during the cooking class tour include roasted garlic and leek soufflé, potato-red onion flatbread and crispy parmigiano shells with mixed greens. For the full schedule of her tour through Southern California, click here.

Next up is a fun event from LearnAboutWine for the wine appreciating dog lover. On March 7 they will host "Much Love for Dog and Wine" at the Lofty Dog Academy in the Arts District downtown. Over 20 wineries will be pouring, and bites will be offered by local eateries including Pitfire Pizza, Wurstkuche and Café Metropol. And of course, as the name suggests, you're more than welcome to bring your dog (licensed and on a leash) to the tasting -- a great opportunity for humans and canines alike to mix and mingle! Costs $49/person advanced or $60 day of - for more info or to buy, click here.

Lastly, Edison is debuting with punch nights on Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m., not a huge surprise since their resident bartender considers punches the "it" cocktail that's about to become trendy. And I definitely can't disagree, especially at the budget friendly price of $4/glass or $25 for a whole bowl! Great way to share the good times with a few friends for not a whole lot.


kevinEats said...

Four stars for Bazaar Ms. Virbila? Bitch please!

Pepsi Monster said...

Hahaha Kevin!

Hey, remembered when Lesley Balla called you out in Chowhound? Man, these two loved Bazaar. LOL.

Four stars?? ......eeeeehhhh.

Oh, nice tip about XIV. I will *now* consider going there.

kevinEats said...

Oh yes, I remember the whole Bazaar debacle. That was either the highlight or the lowlight of my blogging career thus far.

Bazaar is a good restaurant, but not Joël Robuchon good.

H. C. said...

@Kevin and @Pepsi, of course - it wouldn't surprise me if SIV got above and beyond treatment because her face is pretty well recognized in the restaurant scene. But yea - based on mine and others' experiences-- it's not a polished four-stars experience.

Pepsi Monster said...

Hey Kevin,

I think that is your highlight as she decided to drop the link to your site from LA Eater. Hehehe

Hey HC,

I understood that service counts as part of the review, but is the restaurant really a perfection? That is what she is telling us. *sigh* oh well..

Exile Kiss said...

Hi H.C.,

Totally agree with you about the rating for Bazaar. :)

Re: Kyochon - Actually the Rowland Heights location was my least favorite version of Kyochon, but even the K-Town branch is only a bit better but not worth the immense hype. :)


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