Thursday, September 11, 2008

Guest Chefs at The Exclusive Athenaeum!

We were just talking about the Athenaeum at the FoodDigger's hosted dinner last night ...
The Athenaeum is a private club at Caltech exclusive to Caltech/JPL/Huntington Library/Palomar Observatory affiliated people. So, as it happens, I'm a starving (yeah, right ...) grad student at Caltech and I've been paying my dues so I can stay a member!

Good food on campus - seems strange right?

So why am I suddenly posting about this? Because ... annually the Ath hosts a Guest Chefs Night, and the next one is coming up! Similar to the 5x5, each one of these chefs will be preparing a dish for the night:

  • Chef Nigel Patrick Didcock (Granite Club, Ontario, Canada)
  • Chef Christopher Eme (Ortolan, Los Angeles) (!!!!) -- there were rumors that he was joining the 5x5 but true or not, he is definitely joining the Ath Guest Chefs Night
  • Chef Bruno Marcy (C...Is for Chocolate, Burbank and Sara J. Pastries & Cake, Canoga Park)
  • Chef Craig Strong (The Dining Room at the Langham, Pasadena)
  • Chef Kevin Isacsson (The Athenaeum, Pasadena)
The menu is not yet up, but this is all happening on Tuesday October 28, 2008.
The dinner is $100 per person, which includes wine!

The Ath is a private club so unfortunately only members can go ... but if you foodies want to go, let me know! I'll see what I can do (i.e. how many I can bring).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Comfort Food - Curry House

Sawtelle is a popular destination and was my hang out place when I was at UCLA. I used to go eat at Curry House a lot (still do, somewhat) so I thought I should finally make a post about it. Good, cheap (relatively) comfort food that I crave when I'm feeling a bit under the weather.

They have (unfortunately) getting more and more crowded and during a weekday dinner there can be a 15-20 minute wait :( And they used to be my "fast" food go-to place too.

Besides curry, Curry House also serves spaghetti, gratin, and 'hamburger' (Japanese style - grilled ground meat) on a sizzling hot plate. My favorite item there though, is their curry pan! When fresh, the crispiness of the bread is amazing!

Some of the dishes come with soup and you can choose either miso soup or their corn potage. I always get the corn soup - I love it! I love corn, and their soup is semi-sweet and creamy. It's not an earth-shattering soup, very simple. I mainly love it because it's the kind of soup we used to sometimes have at home.

When I come here, I like to get pork katsu in some form or fashion (although sometimes I have to get the crab omelette curry too!). This time I ordered the pork katsu curry in the stone pot.
The food came in a sizzling hot stone pot and the server will ask if he should mix it up for you with the curry sauce.

Curry House also have an assortment of desserts, starting from the ever present parfaits to somethings a little different like tofu cheesecake, or, what we got that night, sweet potato cake:
Their desserts are not bad, a bit heavy on the whipped cream usually, but it's a better version that the kinds of stuff you normally expect from this type of place.

For everyday dining, Curry House is such a great place to have nearby! I'm sad now that at Caltech there's nothing remotely close to it :(

Curry House
2130 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: (310) 479-8477

Curry House on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Greek Fest. Opa!

As you can see from the "upcoming food events" calendar, this month is crazy! This past weekend was both the Long Beach lobster fest and also the LA Greek Festival at the St Sophia Cathedral.
On Saturday I decided to check out the Greek Fest with a friend of mine. Silly me didn't check the time, so I went there at noon and .... they don't open til 1 pm. D'oh!!! What kind of festival opens so late >_< Oh well. We swung by Wien Bakery real quick then came back.

I ran into LA&OC Foodie while waiting in line. Small foodie world :)

Upon entering we were greeted by this fine man in toga who was handing out FREE grapes. Cool guy in toga giving out free food - what more can you ask for?

Inside the festival, there's a looong line to the food court. We waited there for a bit then decided that we really would rather have some gyros instead! So we left the line and went around the corner, where they are slicing up some gyros.
Gyros ($8) in my hand, we went to find a seat. They had a nice seating area near the dance stage - but most of them were taken already. We finally managed to find one way in the back though.
The gyros were great! Delicious and the meat was pretty good quality. I also like the fresh pita that they were wrapped in.

Of course you can't forget to grab a bunch of pastries either to eat there or on the way out! Their selection was not bad. I got some baklava (of course!)
The baklava was delish! Crunchy flaky buttered pastries .. yumm.

I also got some kataifi (I get the ones with nuts in them, do you guys notice?)
The pastries are pretty good and I should've bought more baklava!! Sigh, darn you stingy gourmet pig >_<

Overall I thought the festival was pretty fun and the food was great. It was kind of small though and there was not much to see otherwise. There was a cooking demo at certain times, and also a salsa performance - which I still don't understand the connection to a Greek festival ...

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