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by johngonzales
April 4th, 2019, 9:30 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Chicago Restaurant Thread
Replies: 580
Views: 25410

Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

Thanks guys. I grabbed a table at Haisous for an upcoming Thurs, which is listed as a day that they do corkage so I assume that will work. $25 is fine. How is the winelist?
Hope the local couple we’re going with can deal with some different dishes.
by johngonzales
March 30th, 2019, 7:58 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Chicago Restaurant Thread
Replies: 580
Views: 25410

Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

I have one night, one dinner, in Chicago in a few weeks. SKY and Haisous both have tables. Opinions? Anyone know what corkage policy is at either?
by johngonzales
March 18th, 2019, 12:46 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Can Dave Phinney turn a SF island into a hipster Napa altrernative?
Replies: 22
Views: 1490

Re: Can Dave Phinney turn a SF island into a hipster Napa altrernative?

I think it would be awesome if Vallejo-based island tasting rooms took off and fewer people were congesting Napa Valley. I think it’s obvious that a lot of people don’t really make a big distinction between tasting rooms on the winery production property as opposed to in removed locations. Personal...
by johngonzales
March 18th, 2019, 8:07 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles
Replies: 763
Views: 35777

Re: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles

Eme is a really good chef, he was at L’Orangerie for awhile and I liked Ortolan. Grown-up food in a grown-up setting, a basically dead breed.

I was really hoping that he’d resurface with a more serious place, but I’m looking forward to hitting Kass. We almost went on Friday.
by johngonzales
March 16th, 2019, 7:29 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"
Replies: 20
Views: 641

Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

M.Kaplan wrote:
March 16th, 2019, 6:22 pm
Kagoshima A5 ribeye at Tamaen last night was killer.
My cousin likes that place. Is it by the oz. as far as the Kobe/Wagyu?
by johngonzales
March 15th, 2019, 4:01 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"
Replies: 20
Views: 641

Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

https://www.bonappetit.com/entertaining-style/trends-news/article/kobe-wagyu-steak-myths Fascinating article, thank you! My personal once a year splurge is not Kobe but A5 Miyazaki beef. Oh yes, that stuff is unreal. It’s hard to rank “best ever” but Curtis Duffy, ex-Grace in Chicago served some M-...
by johngonzales
March 15th, 2019, 9:00 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"
Replies: 20
Views: 641

Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

USDA regulations require only 46.9% Wagyu genetics for beef sold at retail. Exempt from these labelling requirements, restaurants can call any beef Wagyu, and often do. Basically, if the guy who writes the menu for a restaurant can spell "Wagyu" he can call it Wagyu. USDA Prime would rate a Wagyu s...
by johngonzales
March 13th, 2019, 6:43 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Heeee's Back - Gary V.
Replies: 32
Views: 2099

Re: Heeee's Back - Gary V.

Gary needs some extra cash to buy the Jets.
by johngonzales
March 9th, 2019, 5:27 pm
Forum: Travel Forum
Topic: What to do around the Mauna Kea Hotel
Replies: 11
Views: 375

Re: What to do around the Mauna Kea Hotel

The thing to remember about the Big Island is that it is really BIG. So driving between the various parts can’t take quite awhile which may be touch with a younger child. The volcana flow has really slowed down over the past year, so there’s is little or no lava flowing. The beach at Mauna Kea itsel...
by johngonzales
March 9th, 2019, 4:17 pm
Forum: Offline Planner
Topic: Arcadian tasting - 3/8/2019 @ Everson Royce in Pasadena
Replies: 7
Views: 394

Re: Arcadian tasting - 3/8/2019 @ Everson Royce in Pasadena

Damn, I didn’t see this either. Got done with work early, wife out of town, and sat on my ass last night.

I have a three-pack of Arcadian mags (03,04,05) that a few of us got with the idea of an Arcadian offline. Will have to open it up to some other Arcadians and do that this year.
by johngonzales
March 9th, 2019, 3:51 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles
Replies: 763
Views: 35777

Re: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles

Has anyone been to Rogue? It’s still on my list
by johngonzales
March 7th, 2019, 2:11 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Best place to buy a Le Creuset Dutch Oven?
Replies: 19
Views: 724

Re: Best place to buy a Le Creuset Dutch Oven?

Homegoods / TJ Maxx / Marshalls has them at good prices sometimes. They are probably seconds or have some flaw, but I've been using one for fifteen years with no problem. As mentioned, Williams Sonoma and Sur la Table also have good sales at times. Yep, we have some pieces purchased for very good d...
by johngonzales
March 7th, 2019, 12:28 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Favorite US Chenin Blanc?
Replies: 48
Views: 1827

Re: Favorite US Chenin Blanc?

Hands down: Fozen I'm surprised their's has not been mentioned herein [unless I missed it]. Its creamy, rich, as in cherimoya, tropical with kiwi, grapefruit, minerals and did I say, creamy and rich? Which is my problem with just about all the California Chenin Blancs mentioned. They all see oak - ...
by johngonzales
March 7th, 2019, 12:06 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: How much would you pay for ultimate wine ?
Replies: 29
Views: 1638

Re: How much would you pay for ultimate wine ?

It’s an unusual question. In a way, doing that would remove some of the the fun of being into wine. One would thereafter know what height the best wine achieves and that one would never improve upon it. Would I be allowed to sell shares of the experience? I bet I could get three other people to go i...
by johngonzales
March 7th, 2019, 11:32 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles
Replies: 763
Views: 35777

Re: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles

Melisse is serving its final meal on Saturday. It’s not in vogue, but I’ve had some really good meals there. Tempted to squeeze in a final tasting menu, but have another big dinner Saturday. We have had some very nice meals at Melisse over the years. Last time we went (2 years ago maybe) the food a...
by johngonzales
March 7th, 2019, 11:18 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Cat Cora storms out of Alinea: looks like a chef with too strong a sense of entitlement.
Replies: 26
Views: 1720

Re: Cat Cora storms out of Alinea: looks like a chef with too strong a sense of entitlement.

Kind of a he said - she said, but Cat’s coming across as the much more questionable here. It’s an aside but from what I see of her, she’s pretty weak within the Iron Chef realm. Btw, I just happened to have started watching “Chef’s Table” on Netflix. It isn’t great, and some of the segments are defi...
by johngonzales
March 7th, 2019, 7:48 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Casual hot sauce & mustard recommendation
Replies: 10
Views: 497

Re: Casual hot sauce & mustard recommendation

Which Marie Sharps? It seems that there are at least six different ones. I am a huge fan of Inner Beauty hot sauce. It’s not an all-use sauce as the flavors are a bit different. It’s Caribbean-styled and a melange of flavors. Scotch bonnets, mustard, mango/fruit, etc.. it went out of production abou...
by johngonzales
March 3rd, 2019, 7:08 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Las Vegas (moderately priced) food & wine recommendations?
Replies: 20
Views: 1387

Re: Las Vegas (moderately priced) food & wine recommendations?

Bank, formerly of Chada and LoS, just opened a new place called Lamaii. Look into the reviews. Brian Bohr said he was going soon so maybe he’ll give a report.
by johngonzales
February 26th, 2019, 12:56 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles
Replies: 763
Views: 35777

Re: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles

The courtyard at AOC definitely is a plus setting.

Melisse is serving its final meal on Saturday. It’s not in vogue, but I’ve had some really good meals there. Tempted to squeeze in a final tasting menu, but have another big dinner Saturday.
by johngonzales
February 25th, 2019, 1:10 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 'Badass, aged red wines' at APL Hollywood, 2/21/19
Replies: 41
Views: 2061

Re: 'Badass, aged red wines' at APL Hollywood, 2/21/19

The red solo cup was the “dump bucket”. It seemed like it got about 8 oz. of wine in it over a dozen bottles, so he wines we’re pretty good. Interesting that Saul says they are able to target certain aging flavor profiles. I expect way more blue cheese notes, so whatever was done to select that out ...
by johngonzales
February 24th, 2019, 2:22 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 'Badass, aged red wines' at APL Hollywood, 2/21/19
Replies: 41
Views: 2061

Re: 'Badass, aged red wines' at APL Hollywood, 2/21/19

Re. the steaks and the lack of funk, I wonder what the trimming is like. I’d guess that a deeper trim makes for less funk, but am not sure one could trim less, or whether that even be a good thing. One interesting thing about the aging room was the amount of air movement going on with those fans.
by johngonzales
February 24th, 2019, 9:57 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 'Badass, aged red wines' at APL Hollywood, 2/21/19
Replies: 41
Views: 2061

Re: 'Badass, aged red wines' at APL Hollywood, 2/21/19

250 oz divided by 8 - that must be why I hit my meat wall!! Rare occasion for me. Fair amount of bone in the steaks tho! The tomahawk bone was gigantic. You didn’t see on your throne end of the table that John and Brian were gnawing on the bone. (Actually cutting off the ‘flavor’ (gristle) ) Hell y...
by johngonzales
February 24th, 2019, 9:43 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Poll: Which type of German rieslings do you usually prefer?
Replies: 86
Views: 1872

Re: Poll: Which type of German rieslings do you usually prefer?

If I had a nice collection of well-aged spatlese and also found it reasonably at restaurants, that would be my choice. But Kabinett is much more available at its appropriate younger age so that’s my vote.
by johngonzales
February 23rd, 2019, 2:55 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 'Badass, aged red wines' at APL Hollywood, 2/21/19
Replies: 41
Views: 2061

Re: 'Badass, aged red wines' at APL Hollywood, 2/21/19

Random thoughts: First off, thanks to Saul for setting up a fun and interesting night. I’m glad that I didn’t take up Brian’s suggestion for a cocktail at the Frolic Room after, as I was just a bit hungover Friday. I kinda cringed at the “badass” category for the wines, but no one took it too seriou...
by johngonzales
February 22nd, 2019, 8:48 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles
Replies: 763
Views: 35777

Re: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles

Wow. Thanks John. I appreciate the information. I have been visiting LA every 6 weeks or so. My wife is on a project at the LA county assessors office, been 2 and a half years now. She went to Factory Kitchen a couple of weeks ago and she liked the food. Also her admin really liked Dama. That Fashi...
by johngonzales
February 21st, 2019, 8:24 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles
Replies: 763
Views: 35777

Re: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles

Going there for dinner Sunday night. Not sure where else this week. Maybe Factory Kitchen and Otono. I love Factory Kitchen. Of the 15+ times I’ve gone, I have ordered the mandilli every single time. It is so simple, but so tasty. I am also a fan of getting the cansonzei or modenesi. The porchetta ...
by johngonzales
February 20th, 2019, 12:29 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles
Replies: 763
Views: 35777

Re: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles

Near Melrose/Fairfax:
Angelina Osteria, Badmash, pizzeria Mozza, Animal, Jon & Vinny’s, AOC, Petit Trois, Slab, Mercado
by johngonzales
February 17th, 2019, 10:10 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: PSA Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015-$78
Replies: 33
Views: 3873

Re: PSA Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015-$78

Hope I am not just butting in with tangential stuff, but I have to say the use of “to kalon” by Mondavi and Constellation is confusing and not too transparent. It is a trademark, so, I guess they can do whatever. I do not know if the reserve is always from 100% to kalon; maybe it is. It can be a su...
by johngonzales
February 16th, 2019, 10:42 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: PSA Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015-$78
Replies: 33
Views: 3873

Re: PSA Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015-$78

With all of the TK acreage that they have, and the prices for Schrader and MacDonald, they surely ought to be able to create another wine that can sell at the $200 price point. FWIW, Mondavi does also make a To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (no Reserve designation) that is made 100% from To Kal...
by johngonzales
February 16th, 2019, 3:11 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: PSA Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015-$78
Replies: 33
Views: 3873

Re: PSA Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015-$78

Constellation owns Mondavi and a big chunk of To Kalon that goes into the Mondavi version. Constellation bought Schrader and picked up another chunk of To Kalon. Take the Mondavi fruit and bottle it as Schrader and make way more money. I don't believe that is quite correct. Schrader doesn't own it'...
by johngonzales
February 16th, 2019, 2:50 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Most consistent non first growth boardeax?
Replies: 35
Views: 1636

Re: Most consistent non first growth boardeax?

Agree with the two Léovilles and Montrose already mentioned. I suspect most or all properties have had changes in winemakers or consultants over the 35 year period specified in the OP. But those changes can be made with an eye to maintaining the traditional style. But the o.p. did disqualify second...
by johngonzales
February 16th, 2019, 11:10 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TSA lifted wine from checked luggage
Replies: 58
Views: 4222

Re: TSA lifted wine from checked luggage

I know someone who unfortunately had a couple pairs of expensive sneakers stolen out of his checked luggage. Can’t assume it’s TSA swiping the bottle, as they’re not responsible for loading it on and off the planes. I mistakenly left some cash in my suitcase, stashed inside a dirty sock, stuffed in...
by johngonzales
February 16th, 2019, 9:49 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Some Wineries Get It...And Some Don't...(Part 27)
Replies: 95
Views: 3501

Re: Some Wineries Get It...And Some Don't...(Part 27)

The behavior that TCV is engaging in is discriminatory and intentionally so. I don’t mean this in a prejudicial way; businesses discriminate between their customers all the time through loyalty programs, volume discounts, clubs and so forth. But it’s important to not confuse a company’s preferentia...
by johngonzales
February 16th, 2019, 9:29 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Falltacular 2019...a thank you in advance/thread for TNs and comments
Replies: 104
Views: 4259

Re: Falltacular 2019...a thank you in advance/thread for TNs and comments

Have fun everyone. Looks like the rain is gone, right? It’s a great event that everyone who hasn’t, should make a point of getting to one year. The silent auction booty is copious this year. Looks like Arnie and Lisa really stepped up. I’m going to enlist my friends that are regulars to make sure I ...
by johngonzales
February 16th, 2019, 9:22 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Some Wineries Get It...And Some Don't...(Part 27)
Replies: 95
Views: 3501

Re: Some Wineries Get It...And Some Don't...(Part 27)

I do not know how I missed this thread, and I cannot say that I read every word, but as a 25 year marketer (Medical tech, not wine) this is interesting. Started by a long term wine drinker who was praising the customer-retention activity of a winery he likes. Virtually first response from a winemak...
by johngonzales
February 16th, 2019, 9:16 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TSA lifted wine from checked luggage
Replies: 58
Views: 4222

Re: TSA lifted wine from checked luggage

Was it packed in any sort of packing, or just stuffed inside a suitcase?
by johngonzales
February 15th, 2019, 8:05 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: L.A. Times Fast Food French Fry Rankings
Replies: 18
Views: 787

Re: L.A. Times Fast Food French Fry Rankings

Yes, one has to ask for well-done fries at In’n’Out. It makes them edible. I concur with the article that both McDonald’s and Steak’n’Shake fries are tasty. My wife’s from Bloomington-Normal, IL so I make sure to get the SnS fixes their. I went to the SaMo outpost once and it was not as good. agree...
by johngonzales
February 15th, 2019, 6:57 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: PSA Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015-$78
Replies: 33
Views: 3873

Re: PSA Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015-$78

Constellation owns Mondavi and a big chunk of To Kalon that goes into the Mondavi version. Constellation bought Schrader and picked up another chunk of To Kalon. Take the Mondavi fruit and bottle it as Schrader and make way more money. You'll be able to purchase that fruit in the future but under t...
by johngonzales
February 14th, 2019, 11:51 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Great Wine Regions You Neglect
Replies: 45
Views: 1546

Re: Great Wine Regions You Neglect

Super easy answer for me is Burgundy. I’ve been relatively serious about wine for 25 years. Our collection size might be 20% below its peak of 2000+, but I would say that of 1700 or so bottles that there are only 30 bottles of Burgundy. I’ve had some excellent Burgundy, mostly from other people. I j...
by johngonzales
February 14th, 2019, 11:34 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Some Wineries Get It...And Some Don't...(Part 27)
Replies: 95
Views: 3501

Re: Some Wineries Get It...And Some Don't...(Part 27)

Anytime you get recognized for your patronage and support by a business is called good customer service. Whether that be a Christmas card, birthday card, calendar, wooden holder, or a free cheese plate at a tasting. The wine industry is so competitive that whatever a small or boutique winery can do...
by johngonzales
February 14th, 2019, 10:04 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Some Wineries Get It...And Some Don't...(Part 27)
Replies: 95
Views: 3501

Re: Some Wineries Get It...And Some Don't...(Part 27)

My intent wasn't to be a grinch. I actually don't really understand what the OP's gift was. What is a "tablet" calendar, and do you plan to use it? I get winery stationary year round, especially from Harlan. I haven't purchased their wine in ages and it immediately sees the trash can. I think the m...
by johngonzales
February 14th, 2019, 12:05 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Some Wineries Get It...And Some Don't...(Part 27)
Replies: 95
Views: 3501

Re: Some Wineries Get It...And Some Don't...(Part 27)

yet in the end, if the winery didn't send those gifts and stationary, they could charge less per bottle of wine and not lose a single customer over it. Bah humbug. There’s that, and the fact that it’s pure speculation. How does any one of us know that some other customer isn’t plussed by the gestur...
by johngonzales
February 13th, 2019, 3:41 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette
Replies: 104
Views: 3550

Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

Gary York wrote:
February 13th, 2019, 3:23 pm
I would be very careful about the wine in a Michelin four star restaurant. And the whole restaurant for that matter.
I guess I should have included an emoji.
by johngonzales
February 13th, 2019, 3:08 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette
Replies: 104
Views: 3550

Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

Yeah, I guess I'm adding on to what others have said. I actually wouldn't care of it is a Michelin four star restaurant. It makes MORE sense that they would be at the better end of service, but whether a place has some certain level of stars doesn't make for the belief that any patron should stay ho...
by johngonzales
February 13th, 2019, 1:34 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette
Replies: 104
Views: 3550

Re: Restaurant - Waiter pouring etiquette

I'm with Michael on this. I prefer to pour on my own pace and I dont want someone interrupting my meal over it. As far as a michelin reviewer, thats not my concern. Im not dining there to cater to their needs. Attitudes like that are probably why I read not so infrequent posts about issues at resta...
by johngonzales
February 13th, 2019, 12:51 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: L.A. Times Fast Food French Fry Rankings
Replies: 18
Views: 787

Re: L.A. Times Fast Food French Fry Rankings

Yes, one has to ask for well-done fries at In’n’Out. It makes them edible.

I concur with the article that both McDonald’s and Steak’n’Shake fries are tasty. My wife’s from Bloomington-Normal, IL so I make sure to get the SnS fixes their. I went to the SaMo outpost once and it was not as good.
by johngonzales
February 13th, 2019, 7:17 am
Forum: Travel Forum
Topic: Atlanta diversions over a weekend?
Replies: 5
Views: 322

Re: Atlanta diversions over a weekend?

Might be late on commenting. I second this recommendation. It's Dim Sum meets Farm to Table. If you haven't already visited let me know and I can make more recommendations. Thanks. We came in for Super Bowl quick weekend. Didn’t do much other than the game, some related stuff, and a side-trip to th...
by johngonzales
February 12th, 2019, 8:39 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Wine party / club guidelines ideas?
Replies: 41
Views: 1161

Re: Wine party / club guidelines ideas?

We have an L.A. group composed of four couples who all met here in the wine boards many moons ago. We are all pretty serious about food and wine so that helps. Our format is a four course dinner where each couple brings a course, cooked on-site or st least finished, and pairs two wines with their co...
by johngonzales
February 10th, 2019, 1:28 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"
Replies: 328
Views: 11252

Re: "Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well"

Counterpoint? https://millennialmagazine.com/2018/02/13/how-millennials-are-reinventing-the-wine-culture/ My wife I said in the distribution biz, so we discuss sales etc.. It seems that there’s an overall decrease in alcohol consumption. There’s also some shift to drinking spirits and beer in the “...
by johngonzales
February 10th, 2019, 10:59 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Just curious about others collection
Replies: 5
Views: 478

Re: Just curious about others collection

Drink up. They’ll make more. Actually one of the things that my wife made me stop doing was buying single bottles of things. She always wants to have a team least a second bottle to open having the baseline info from the first. But I rarely worry about drinking my final bottle of a wine. If I have s...

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