28 Days of Food, Techno and Gratitude

Some­how, Novem­ber has arrived faster than we all antic­i­pated. And for me, my birth­day month is always a time to reflect if and how I’ve grown in the past year, and what I’d like to accom­plish in the next. It dawned on me when I saw Richie Hawtin last week­end   that 2013 has been one of the best years so far!

But there’s always room for improve­ment. Great­ness is an end­less pur­suit and some­times you need to take a step back to see where change is needed, what is work­ing, and what isn’t.

Which brings me to this post.… [Read more…]

Pho All My Noodle-Soup Lovin’ Homies

Have I men­tioned my love of noo­dle soups? Ide­ally Asian noo­dle soups? Check out the April, off-Strip issue of Vegas/Rated where I give you step by step instruc­tions on how to get down with a bowl of pho.

What the Pho?

I freaking love french fries.

As I explain in Vegas Seven: Pair Your Beer and Fries

And if that isn’t enough for you, here’s some of the finest fries I’ve eaten in the past year or so.

RIP Rattlecan poutine

RIP Rat­tle­can poutine

Fries somehow taste better in a cone - Pinot Brasserie, Venetian

Fries some­how taste bet­ter in a cone — Pinot Brasserie, Venetian

I'm not even sure where this mess came from, but think I was eating currywurst from a truck. So I may have been drunk.

I’m not even sure where this mess came from, but think I was eat­ing cur­ry­wurst from a truck. So I may have been drunk.

Fries taste better in a cone, in front of a big sign of cartoon fries in a cone, and topped with mayo and mustard. In Brussels.

Fries taste bet­ter in a cone, in front of a big sign of car­toon fries in a cone, and topped with mayo and mus­tard. In Brussels.

Amsterdam vlaamse frieten at Baut.

Pomme frites ou vlaamse frieten?

The french fries to rule all french fries, from Maison Antoine, Brussels.

The french fries to rule all french fries, from Mai­son Antoine, Brussels.

Naturall bffs, mussels and frites

Nat­u­rall bffs, mus­sels and frites

Duck confit poutine. Almost getting tired of this dish, but not yet.

Duck con­fit pou­tine. Almost get­ting tired of this dish, but not yet.

Post-rave fries. I unsuccessfully tried to eat these for about 20 minutes.

Post-rave fries. I unsuc­cess­fully tried to eat these for about 20 minutes.

Yes, I will have ALL the fries, please. Holstein's.

Yes, I will have ALL the fries, please. Holstein’s.

What I’m Listening To Tonight + What I’ve Eaten Lately

I know, I know. I’ve missed you too.

Things have been hec­tic as of late, but I didn’t want you to think I’d for­got­ten about you. How could I? You’re my favorite. I promise, you are. Shhh. Don’t tell the oth­ers, you know how they get.

Big things are work­ing for me (and also, I’m work­ing towards big things), so until I can share the good­ness with you, here’s a few things to tie you over.

Cur­rently, I’m lis­ten­ing to this while I write tonight:

Richie Hawtin, ENTER. at Space, Ibiza

Fuck it, you should lis­ten to it too.

But I’ve also been lis­ten­ing to this, which has totally been great, ethe­real non-white noise for when I’m try­ing to focus. I may or may not write my next three books to this loop alone:

Infi­nite Daft Punk Loop

All Hail Daft Punk

All Hail Daft Punk

And then is the best thing I put in my mouth in the past week:

Shrimp Motha-truckin' Toast, Fat Choy

Shrimp Motha-truckin’ Toast, Fat Choy

It’s the shrimp toast from Fat Choy. Ah yes, there’s a fried egg on it, so if you know me well (and I think you do) you’d think that would be the auto­matic qual­i­fier for me. But alas, there’s more about this decep­tively sim­ple umami-bomb to love. It’s minced shrimp with a bit of lap cheong, or Chi­nese sausage, driz­zled with sriracha aioli and hoisin sauce, all atop a piece of toast. AND THEN that bad boy is topped with the egg. And then eff you if you don’t think it’s good.

Fat Choy
Inside Eureka Casino
595 E. Sahara Ave.

Daft Punk photo cour­tesy of Daft Punk’s face­book (and sadly no, they are not play­ing at my house

My Q&A with Anthony Bourdain

When I tell peo­ple what I do for a liv­ing, inevitably there’s some­one who says “That’s my dream job!”

The only per­son I’ve ever spo­ken those same words of envy about is Anthony Bour­dain. Got to speak with him about the state of culi­nary affairs in Vegas, what the deal is with his new shows, and what his daugh­ter likes (and doesn’t like) to eat.

Here’s my Q&A with him in Vegas Seven.
It’s Not All Fear and Loathing

Anthony Bour­dain speaks at the Palms on Feb 9. I’m assum­ing this is an older photo because he’s still rock­ing that stu­pid earring.

Good vs. Evil: An Evening With Anthony Bour­dain and Eric Ripert, 8 p.m. Feb­ru­ary 9, the Pearl Con­cert The­ater at the Palms, tick­ets start at $59, 944‑3200, Palms.com.

My favorite dishes of 2012, plus 2013, here I come!

I had a pretty fan­tas­tic 2012, for which I am grate­ful. Two techno tours of a life­time in one year, inter­viewed some of the biggest culi­nary names in the world, inter­viewed my favorite DJ in the world, new adven­tures, new friends, new bonds, new blog!

So I didn’t want to write some sort of cliche res­o­lu­tion or best of 2012 or trends for 2013 list, so instead I’m going to rat­tle off some shit that the worked for me this year (in no par­tic­u­lar order):

The first step to get­ting any big task or project done is to write it down.
Always go with the deci­sion that makes for the bet­ter story.
Be care­ful what you wish for.
Com­mit to it. [Read more…]

The Dining Companion Rules

In my line of work, I often get asked what hap­pens when I go to review a restau­rant. While there are some tricks of the trade that I keep to myself, I wouldn’t be any­where with­out a list of faith­ful din­ing com­pan­ions. It’s a ranked ros­ter of 6–7 indi­vid­u­als whom I can call on to join me for any meals or restaurant/club/show open­ings that I may be invited to or that I have to observe.

Gen­er­ally, they’re a good group that I’ve curated much like in Reser­voir Dogs where Joe Cabot picks Mr. Orange, Mr. Blonde, Mr. Blue, Mr. Pink, etc. for a dia­mond store heist based on their tal­ents and dis­po­si­tions (i may or may not also assign each din­ing com­pan­ion their own alias in my stories).

So while in gen­eral they’re all decent, rel­a­tively adven­tur­ous eaters — based on their idio­syn­crasies tastes and palates I know who’s best to take to a gas­tropub or a Chi­nese bar­be­cue food truck, or whom I can bring to a 1-Michelin star restau­rant, but not a 3-Michelin star restau­rant, etc. If one has done espe­cially well at a high end steak house, I might con­sider that they may be ready to move into finer din­ing at a French restau­rant. Some pass the tests, some don’t. [Read more…]

The Fanciest of Fancy Ham — Jamon Iberico at Julian Serrano

While I do love all vari­eties of cured pork shank, there’s one in par­tic­u­lar that has a spe­cial place in my heart (and also some vital real estate in my arter­ies). I am speak­ing to the illus­tri­ous jamon Iberico.

Not really a leg to stand on, so it comes with its own stand.

[Read more…]

Chicago recap: One giant progressive meal

Want to lis­ten to what I’m hear­ing while I’m writ­ing this? Click here

Chicago, as usual, was a blast with my fam­ily and degen­er­ate friends. Got to hit up the usual sus­pects, Sun Wah for Peking Duck, Den­geos for a gyro, and our peren­nial favorite, Seven Trea­sures for this:

[Read more…]

What I’m eating AFTER Thanksgiving

It was nice to come home to my mom’s house in medias res of Thanks­giv­ing din­ner prepa­ra­tions. The turkey was already in the oven (breast down, at my behest), pies made, Fil­ipino soups sim­mer­ing. The scene was typ­i­cal of most din­ing room tables in Amer­ica yes­ter­day, so I won’t bore with you with what you already know.

But here’s our turkey, if you’d like to take a gan­der (breast up because we flipped it back up in the last 30 min­utes of cook­ing to brown):

But you all know what a turkey looks like on Thanks­giv­ing. Instead, I’m going to move on to my forte: left­overs. [Read more…]