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by johngonzales
July 15th, 2019, 11:15 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles
Replies: 843
Views: 41425

Re: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles

Water Grill did the trick. A healthy meal of salad and nice halibut with a few oysters to start. Not particularly special but guilt free Plus they are corkage-friendly. On the music front, we went to Spago last night. Did the DineLA tasting menu of about 8 courses. Very good btw. It didn’t bother m...
by johngonzales
July 15th, 2019, 8:59 am
Forum: Commerce Corner - Wine Classifieds
Topic: Kaluga/Huso Hybrid @ unbeatable pricing! (7/17 update! Additional discounts!!)
Replies: 27
Views: 1717

Re: 'Golden' Russian Osetra Caviar & Kaluga/Huso Hybrid @ unbeatable pricing!

Charlie
Maybebe you can toss a 50g oestetra on the order you make for me?
If you can keep if chilled till I can get it from you.
by johngonzales
July 8th, 2019, 5:41 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles
Replies: 843
Views: 41425

Re: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles

I've had this on my to-do list since it opened and thank you for your thoughts. Did you do the 4, 6, or 9 course meal option? I typically always want to get the larger number of courses, however, my wife always advocates the lower number of courses so curious on their portion sizing. Also, do you k...
by johngonzales
June 10th, 2019, 8:58 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles
Replies: 843
Views: 41425

Re: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles

I really liked Kass. It’s not a typical wine bar, and more restaurant. The menu is more like a standard menu, with not just small snacks things, but some basic entrees. The wine list is decent, corkage reasonable and friendly, and the somm gave us excellent wine service. We go to Alta quite a bit. W...
by johngonzales
June 10th, 2019, 8:49 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: In'n'Out Burger Fries
Replies: 57
Views: 2541

Re: In'n'Out Burger Fries

Shake Shack is meh. Chick fil A awful. In N out is mediocre- prefer well done with lots of salt and some peppers. I am with Michael. Best are 5 guys. Not always perfect, but twice fried and when fresh and properly salted.... I ate at Five Guys once. The burger was Ok, but the fries were a bag of gr...
by johngonzales
June 9th, 2019, 11:27 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: ‘98 Dominique st. Emilion
Replies: 3
Views: 352

Re: TN: ‘98 Dominique st. Emilion

Thanks for the note. I just picked up a couple of these at auction. To me 98 Right Bank has continuously deliver great wines.
by johngonzales
June 7th, 2019, 6:05 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: In'n'Out Burger Fries
Replies: 57
Views: 2541

Re: In'n'Out Burger Fries

Here is Dame Helen Mirren chowing down on an In-N-Out burger after winning her Oscar. Note she did not get fries. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a4/8a/d5/a48ad5bacf913dea483d524fcd0c225f.jpg Instead she's pairing it with Champagne, some kind of mixer and a bag of regular Lay's potato chips. ... I m...
by johngonzales
June 6th, 2019, 12:28 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: In'n'Out Burger Fries
Replies: 57
Views: 2541

Re: In'n'Out Burger Fries

I always enjoy these threads. Arguing about which fast food chain's fries or burgers are best/worst is like arguing about which mass produced grocery store wine is best/worst. Not really, IMO. Plonk TO ME isn’t enjoyable, and there is a vast difference between it an better wines. I am sure that som...
by johngonzales
June 6th, 2019, 10:31 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles
Replies: 843
Views: 41425

Re: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles

Maybe Michelin got screwed by Feliz like we did. Played their month ahead reservation game for a group dinner on a friend's Saturday birthday. They canceled on us via voicemail the night before the reservation leaving us to try and scramble for another plan. No offer of a guarantee on another day, ...
by johngonzales
June 6th, 2019, 10:25 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: In'n'Out Burger Fries
Replies: 57
Views: 2541

Re: In'n'Out Burger Fries

They are awful. However they likely have the highest margin on fries in the business since the only people involved with the fries are a potato farmer and some minimum wage skater dude. One thing I give In 'n' Out credit for is they pay their employees above industry standards and even offer benefi...
by johngonzales
June 5th, 2019, 1:56 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles
Replies: 843
Views: 41425

Re: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles

Maybe Michelin got screwed by Feliz like we did. Played their month ahead reservation game for a group dinner on a friend's Saturday birthday. They canceled on us via voicemail the night before the reservation leaving us to try and scramble for another plan. No offer of a guarantee on another day, a...
by johngonzales
May 30th, 2019, 9:35 pm
Forum: Travel Forum
Topic: Dinner in London Recommendation?
Replies: 15
Views: 777

Re: Dinner in London Recommendation?

If Gymkhana appealed to you, look at Benares or Jamavar. Both higher end Indian not far from Green Park. We couldn’t get into Gymkhana on a trip last year, so went to Jamavar and had a really tasty meal. A number of people recommended Dishoom to me, but we could never swing getting in. Probably only...
by johngonzales
May 29th, 2019, 11:08 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles
Replies: 843
Views: 41425

Re: Eating and Drinking in Los Angeles

Anyone try L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele yet?
by johngonzales
May 15th, 2019, 8:58 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Give up salt or give up wine?
Replies: 52
Views: 1701

Re: Give up salt or give up wine?

I think Mark meant salt anywhere, not added salt. Think how bad that would be! Forget ever having baked goods again. Fruits, veg, and unsalted meat. Hey, I'm almost there :) Those baked goods though.... Yes, salt period. If it were salt PERIOD, I’d give up wine. While one can eliminate added salt w...
by johngonzales
April 4th, 2019, 9:30 am
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Chicago Restaurant Thread
Replies: 623
Views: 31219

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: 623
Views: 31219

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: 1604

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: 843
Views: 41425

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: 807

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: 807

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: 807

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: 2292

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: 492

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: 526

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: 843
Views: 41425

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: 897

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: 2021

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: 1704

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: 843
Views: 41425

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: 2003

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: 611

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: 1444

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: 843
Views: 41425

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: 2218

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: 2218

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: 2218

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: 2088

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: 2218

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: 843
Views: 41425

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: 843
Views: 41425

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: 843
Views: 41425

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: 4026

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: 4026

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: 4026

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: 1755

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: 4348

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: 3808

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: 4740

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: 3808

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...

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