If you read the previous post you may be wondering what happened to the clams I bought? I made a really simple Clam in Garlic and Wine sauce:
1 1/2 - 2 1/2 Lbs Manila Clams rinsed and scrubbed 8 cloves of garlic minced 1 Medium Onion chopped fine 3/4 cup dry white wine 1 Tb Butter 1 Tb Canola or Vegetable Oil 2 Tb Olive Oil Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste Crushed Red Pepper Flakes to taste
Place wok over stove and heat to smoking. When wok is smoking season wok with 1 Tb Oil and drain. Add 1Tb Oil and 1 Tb Olive Oil to wok. Immediately add Clams and stir until clams are coated. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and onions stir to combine. Once clams start giving up their liquid, add white wine, stir and bring to a boil, lower heat and cover, checking every few minutes until all clams are open stir in butter and serve. Do not overcook clams! Serve with crusty bread, rice, pasta or just eat them all!
This is a good base recipe. I add more butter, oregano, parsley, and other herbs to use as a pasta sauce. Cilantro also goes well with this dish.
Actually started the morning at 99 Ranch Market, and was surprised to find parking right up front at 10am. Looked like people were getting a late start on this Memorial Day.
Ran in and checked out the Manila Clams, though many of the tanks were empty, there was still a good supply of clams. The placard noted that the clams were from Canada, and when I scooped a few out they "spit" water out at me, so I knew they were still alive. I ended up purchasing 2 1/2 lbs, and was on my way.......
On a whim I decided to grab a steak from Siesel's Meat off of Morena Blvd. I'd usually drive all the way to Iowa Meat Farms, but decided to stop by Siesel's. Over the past 6 months I've noticed alot of improvement in both the quality and variety of Siesels's offerings since the Cohn Group (who also run Iowa Meat) took over.
First off I noticed an abundance of USDA Prime cuts, and ended up getting a prime porterhouse, my favorite cut for pan frying (I'd decided to give my grill a rest). Though the cut was a bit thinner than I like at about an inch, this meant that I wouldn't need to finish in the oven as I would with a thicker cut. Well marbled and glistening this was one nice piece of meat. The steak came out to about 1.3 lbs - at $19.99/lb for prime porterhouse, not a bad deal.
On a whim I decided to check out the new Bay Park Fish Company, that has opened up next to Siesel's. I noticed that there was a fish case at the front of this little establishment of about 8 tables. Surprisingly, the fish looked really fresh, though very limited in variety. The Ahi from Hawaii looked very good, and brought back alot of memories for me, but I decided on a piece of Atlantic Salmon that looked very moist and fresh. We've been having a hard time finding really good fish here in San Diego, and often have to drive to LA to get what we want, ironic in that San Diego is surrounded by ocean! I've shopped at almost all the recommended places - Point Loma Seafood, The Fishery, etc...and have always been disappointed. So finding this little gem so close to home was very satisfying.
I was handed a menu flyer and will be trying out the restaurant soon. Looks like most of the items, except for the catch of the day is under $10, the smoked fish sandwich looks interesting.
So what did I do with this bounty?
The steak I simply seasoned with Ala'ea (Hawaiian Red Sea Salt), fresh ground pepper, granulated garlic, oregano, and XVOO. First seared on high heat, than cooked medium, this was wonderful! Very "beefy in flavor, almost like grass fed beef, the filet portion was fork tender - a great piece of meat. The Salmon was also seared over high heat and cooked to medium well. I seasoned the fish with a home made blackening rub. Delici-yoso!!!
Oh, and my "boyz' also enjoyed their share of this bounty.
Siesel's Meats 4131 Ashton Street San Diego, CA 92109 Tel: (619) 275-1234
Bay Park Fish Co. 4121 Ashton St. San Diego, CA 92110
We were living in the Rowland Heights area of Los Angeles when the first L&L opened up down the street in Puente Hills Mall. Needless to say, I was thrilled, being somewhat plate lunch-deprived(we used to drive miles to try out plate lunch places in LA). And the food was as expected decent, but not great. L&L is not my favorite plate lunch place by far, but fills a need for me.
When we moved to San Diego, I found that an L&L was opening in National City - about 15 miles away. So the week they opened I drove down to National City in great anticipation...and was greatly disappointed. I never check my order at L&L because they seem to have a system of checking each plate before placing in a bag - so why check? Well I got home - and no gravy on my LocoMoco!!!??!! Second time, ordered my BBQ Chicken all rice, and got all Macaroni salad - three scoops mac salad? Third time, it seems that the BBQ chicken had not been marinated, it was almost white in color. Well 3 strikes and you're out! By this time plate lunch places had starting popping up everywhere in SoCal, so there are alot more choices, including two close to where we live.
Today I did some extra driving and went to the L&L in the College area - near San Diego St University - I've found this one to be the most consistent, and the service is always efficient.
Instead of ordering my usual LocoMoco, I ordered a Mini Chicken Cutlet ($4.29) and a Mini BBQ Chicken($4.29).
As usual service was fast and efficient, and the food decent. Actually the BBQ chicken was well flavored. The chicken cutlet was still crisp under the gravy - and of course I poured a ton of Tabasco on this anyway.....
L&L's Hawaiian BBQ Campus Plaza 6083 El Cajon Boulevard, Suite 5B-1 San Diego, CA 92115 Phone: (619) 229-6888
Postscript - I don't know if alot of Ex-Pat Kama'aina's encounter this, but alot of people seem to think that a plate lunch is somehow some kind of Haute' cuisine??? For six bucks???? I've also gotten alot of comments about how the food is not worth the price, so I ask them, how much is a sandwich from Togo's or Subway? A large sandwich approaches 7 bucks. I'll take a $6.29 plate lunch over that stuff or Denny's any day of the week.
What a name! When we first moved to the Bay Park area I tried this Sandwich/Coffee shop in a little Strip Mall on Clairemont Drive - it was terrible! Since then twins Peter & John have taken over the business and upgraded(modernized) the menu and the food.
Notice the Traffic School sign.....kind of a strange mall. But back to the food. Some of the sandwiches are Country Ranch Chicken, two types of Reubens, something called a BLAT (Hickory Smoked Bacon, lettuce, Avocado, tomato), and also great coffee, locally roasted from the San Diego Coffee Company.
My current favorite is the Italian with Mortadella, Salami, and Ham - I get mine with no Mayo, Mustard, and Italian Dressing on the side. $5.75, for a filling sandwich. Sure beats the Subway across the street. Hopefully the Twins will keep on upgrading the menu, and keep on making a good cup of coffee!
And yes, it's not always Peking Duck and Sushi for us!!!!
Sandwich Emporium 3054 1/2 Clairemont Drive San Diego,CA 619-275-1351
*** An updated post on Komasa from 05/30/2006, can be found here.
Having the day off, we decided on a road trip to Little Tokyo, and our favorite little Japanese Restaurant/Sushi Bar there Sushi Komasa. We attempted to time our arrival to opening time for Komasa which is 530pm, at ended up in the Japanese Village Plaza Parking lot at about 520.
Sushi Komasa is a little operation with about 5 tables and a bar and serves only dinner. Though it's not the most well known of establishments, it's our favorite for good reasonably priced sushi and was a regular stop for us when we lived in LA.
We were happy to see the familiar Komasa lantern next to the door, but surprised to see 5 couples already waiting ahead of us. It seems that the word is out and Komasa is getting busier. We were able to snag the last corner table, ordered our tea (no sake for us, we had a 115 mile trip back to San Diego), and quickly marked our order off of the sushi order form; 5 orders Albacore, 2 orders Maguro, 3 orders Hamachi, 2 orders Hirame, 2 orders Tai, 1 Negi-Hama, 1 soft-shell crab roll, oh yeah, and one order ankimo.
This was met with the usual "Are you sure you want all this, this is alot of sushi?", to which we gave the "Oh, yes, we're REALLY hungry, the sushi here is so good" response. Plus we've driven over a hundred miles to be here, so we're getting our money's worth!
The Ankimo(steamed monkfish liver) was the first to arrive, smooth and silken, served with thinly sliced cucumber and green onions, in Komasa's sour, yet tangy ponzu, this is always wonderful. I've been told that good Ankimo tastes like fresh crab eggs. I don't know, but the Ankimo at Komasa is consistently good.
Next to arrive was half of our sushi order:
No need for explanation. The Albacore was topped with grated ginger and finely sliced green onion, tonight the Maguro was not as good as previous visits, but the Hamachi was heavenly, buttery, melt in your mouth delicious!
The second half of our order arrived just as we were finishing up the first - you'll notice a few pieces missing, I'm new at this "photographing my food thing" and actually started eating the Tai (snapper) and Hirame (flounder) before realizing I hadn't taken a picture of this dish! Oh well, needless to say, "delici-yoso"......
Our bill came out to a reasonable (for the amount of sushi we ate) $63. Komasa also makes an excellent Chirashi and good Tempura. Most Nigiri are about $3.80. Good solid old fashioned sushi!
Sushi Komasa is open from 530pm Tuesdays thru Sundays - closed on Mondays.
Sushi Komasa 352 E 2nd St Los Angeles, CA 213-680-1792
We usually "hit" Fu-getsu-do before Komasa, and buy some mochi and other goodies to have for dessert. This Japanese confectionery shop was founded in 1903 and is still run by the same family today. It's located on a portion of first street declared a National Historic Landmark.
But today we stayed around the Japanese Village Plaza and ended up having some Gelato from Mikawaya, another sweet shop located in the plaza. Cool and refreshing, a nice after dinner dessert.
We then walked down Second Street, crossed San Pedro and onto Ellison Onizuka Street and Weller Court.
I did some quick shopping a Marukai - bought some Okuhara Kamabuko, and other snacks. Also of note, a membership card is not needed at this location.
Some notes on Little Tokyo, there are 3 markets located in Little Tokyo, Enbun in Little Tokyo Plaza, Marukai in Weller Court, and Mitsuwa (used to be Yaohan) which has it's own Shopping Mall on Third Street. Restaurants and shops abound. Little Tokyo is a quaint, safe, and fun little community that is anchored by the Japanese American National Museum, and is one of the places in Downtown Los Angeles that feels safe walking at night. Every year the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center hosts the LA Tofu Festival which is a fun time. This year it's scheduled for August 13th and 14th. Though slowed by shifts in population and economy, we were amazed to see a frenzy of building currently going on in the Little Tokyo area, which hopefully ensures a prosperous future for the area.
*** Additional posts on China Max can be found here, and here.
After a brief phone discussion Ed from Yuma and I decided on China Max Seafood Restaurant for Dinner.
Located on Convoy Street in the Clairemont Mesa area, China Max has replaced Emerald as my favorite Hong Kong Style Chinese Restaurant, for everything except Dim Sum.
Though a bit pricey, the quality of the food has always been excellent, and the service very friendly and accommodating. The restaurant is bright and clean, though the noise level can be quite high. Even though typical Cantonese fare is available, this has become more of a splurge (within reason) type of restaurant for us.
As I exited my car, Ed pulled up alongside, and we entered and were seated immediately. Though reservations are probably recommended we had no problem getting a table. Ed also mentioned that he had never eaten here for dinner! Though the lunch specials are good (approx $7.75), you've never really experienced China Max until you've had the Peking Duck - two courses. Since it was the two of us, we ordered the Fresh Spotted Prawns (market price - 26.95/lb for our meal), Crab Cakes, and of course the Peking Duck two ways.
The first item to arrive was the Spotted Prawns, large (U-8), moist, and cooked perfectly this dish was served with the requisite soy-based dipping sauce, except that strips of ginger and some jalapenos were added. Mild in flavor, with hints of the sea, we first tried this without the dipping sauce, than with, and found that just a touch of sauce balanced the taste of this dish out. By the way, if you love "sucking heads" you'd be in heaven here.
Next up was the Pan Fried Crab Meat Cake ($8.00). 4 moist, rich Cakes were served and when we bit into it there was a hint of Wasabi. This dish went well with tea .
As we were finishing up, the waitress started wheeling a cart toward us, on top of which sat two platters, one empty, and one with a whole Peking Duck. Peking Duck - two courses ($32), is served cart style and carved at your table. Makes quite a show. The waitress, or waiter first carves all the skin and some meat off the duck (watch all those juices - mmm-yoso!!!!), than prepares the "buns" by first spreading some hoisin, than placing a slice of cucumber on the bottom, than covering with the slice of duck, than placing the other bun on top creating a neat little sandwich.
The taste? Sublime...... The cucumber provided a nice palate cleansing effect, and the amount of hoisin is perfect. The duck is mild, yet rich, creating a nice balance.
Once the plating is complete, the waitress returned the duck to the kitchen and returned a few minutes later with the second dish. The duck is minced and stir fried with water chestnuts and served in lettuce cups. This was very flavorful, moist, and cooked perfectly. We were too busy chowing down on this that we forgot all about the rice that was brought out with this!
Though our meal was on the expensive side ($65), it was well worth it. China Max also serves Dim Sum off the menu for lunch (though I still think Emerald is better), has lunch and late supper specials priced at about $7.75. Though I've been told that the Peking Duck - two courses has to be ordered a day in advance, I've always ordered it straight off the menu with no problem.
China Max Seafood Restaurant - 4698 Convoy Street #C101 (858)-650-3333 Open 11-11 Daily