Archive for the ‘Restaurant’ Category

Are you sick of Mochi posts yet?

January 19th, 2009


Proper. Smooth and sticky.

I was not satisfied with the recipes online that use mochiko sweet rice flour. It just didn’t seem handmade enough – not from-scratch worthy. The hammer attempts (think failures) are outlined in other posts. Here is the success path:

  • Soak about 2-3 rice-cups of sweet white rice overnight.

  • Rinse, drain, and prepare the expanded rice in your rice cooker.

  • The amount of water changes from soaking. I have found that even but not over the rice is perfect for our Zojirushi.

  • Melt 1/4 cup of sugar in the rice’s water before cooking.

  • As soon as the rice is cooked, throw it in a bread machine for punching.

  • Our full bread machine kneading is 30 minutes. (Next time I want to add a couple tbsp of strawberry jam.)

  • The mochi should string way out. No lumps.

You should really have to struggle to get the impeller out.

Do not use cooking spray during the kneading. It somehow causes the rice to not klingon. First attempt ended up as consistent as a bowl of grits. Now pinching off into balls has to be done while the mochi is warm and pliable. This is WAY more challenging than expected. Two methods seem to be effective:

1. Cover your hands, plates, everything with lots of rice starch. I like the dry approach for all of it. I even use spoonfuls of rice/flour and rub sticky things dry for cleanup.

2. Dip your hands in sugar water. A layer of constant water keeps sticking from occurring, and the sugar improves this. Rinsing mochi off of things is nary impossible.

3. Roll into a thick log and cut, or string, fat discs off maybe?

If you are going to fill your mochi, then you want to flatten the balls into discs and put your filling right in the middle. (next time we are doing strawberry halves.) Then fold the disc up around the filling and pinch it closed.

I need more practice with the macro on the camera.

All of this avoids the purchase of a mochi maker machine, but still requires a bread machine and a rice cooker. Also do yourself a favor and clean everything up before it dries into glue-cement.


All donuts are not equal.

January 19th, 2009

Bakers Dozen is booming in spite of only offering up mediocre fat pills. Sunday was quite the adventure in donut land. We were witnesses of donut discrimination.

Evidently filled donuts are not valid donuts unless they are a part of the full dozen. Sorry Mr. Boston Creme, you are not on the valid donut list. As a customer apparently I am not allowed to purchase half a dozen unless the donuts I choose are of the true and valid variety. Sorry Mrs. Jelly Filled. The penalties for not complying with our donut discrimination clause will be:

  1. We will remove your right to purchase half a dozen for the half a dozen price.

  2. We will add a minimum 10 cent penalty fee per filled donut solely at our discretion.

  3. Your donuts will be processed individually or not at all.

We only trust the safe and normal donuts. We reserve the right to not inform you of these policies. Whatever happened to transparent pricing?

Update: The menu problems are fixed by removing most of the menu. What remains informs us that we will be fined if we want to purchase more bagels. One bagel .89 cents. Six bagels = 4.99. OUCH! Same price as 14 Safeway bagels. (Safeways are tastier.) Here is where the math gets interesting: Dozen bagels = 10.99. And no, you are not allowed to buy two sets of six. “How dare you buy more from us. That will be one dollar of penalty.”
p.s. no refills on the coffee. What does this look like? A donut shop?”


Ban Smoking! Yay!

January 19th, 2009

So awesome

If you missed this, TV in Japan has an incredible smoking ad about Japan.

Meanwhile, Prop 201 is the real thing. 206 is a lie. Tobacco companies have spent more already on the campaign for 206 than they would have to spend funding prop 201 enforcement.

Update: 201 passed! ^__^ some places in the valley intend to start complying as soon as January ’07. What a happy day for my lungs. No smoking in ANY place of business, bars included!


Mochi maker I am not.

January 19th, 2009

The fine Japanese tradition of making mochi is not in my less than capable repertoire. I began by soaking brown sweet rice overnight. Then I guessed on the amount of water to steam it properly. After about 30 minutes of steam time, the pounding stage had arrived. I poured my mass of ouch-hot soft mochi-rice onto a new melamine plate from Target. As soon as the first few mallet blows had flown, the melamine emphasized its desire to deal with the impact by shattering. Better hide that in the trash quick and hope no one can count past seven.

Quick, put these in the trash and put some papers over them.

Fine. No worries. I will attempt to string and slime the sticky ball onto a thicker, softer plastic plate. The blue plastic plate held up to the abuse for about ten minutes, then gave in and cracked. By this point my dough was impossible to move or pound. I would call it the consistency of silly putty. It must be about done?
The pinching into a ball procedure went pretty well. Plenty of rice starch everywhere and on every counter surface and appliance. No Worries, it was about spring cleaning time anyways.

My final product is less than tasty, less than desirable looking, and has too much air and water kneaded in.

I had better stick to purchasing them.

Just because of this, we will have to get a job, then budget to go back to Mikawaya in Little Tokyo for Ice Cream Mochi. Mochi-maker I am not.

p.s. Trader Joes carry Ice Cream Mochi!

This mochi guy knows what I am going through.

More information on the Mochi meal. If you are looking for a mochi machine, Zojirushi does make one: BS-DAC55. It has a mochi impeller. Also Tiger and Panasonic/National (SD-MA18N) have one.


Paletas are the bomb.

January 18th, 2009

You may remember my review of the Italian Gelato shop dessert. There is another local favorite that is worth a one hour journey. We cross the Mexican border almost weekly to eat… Ice Cream? I know it sounds insane. This is not Ice Cream exactly. The correct name is “Paleta” or “Paletas Helados”. Do yourself a favor and go straight to coconut.
The example below is completely melted just so you understand how much real coconut is in this awesome treat…

Paleta on a plate-ah.

POPSY FIX THIS ALSO Full Story missing 298 views


Debbie’s Deli = Quality!

January 18th, 2006

Debbie’s Deli decided to make sandwiches using only the best possible ingredients. They chose wisely.

Worth Finding.

The location is obscure, sandwiched between Shell and Midas on Fry Blvd. Not sure why decent signs and advertising were not put in the budget. It is always amazing when people think they can’t afford to advertise. They can’t afford NOT to. The sandwiches are a bit pricey for this reason: The bread comes from Tucson, as none of our bakeries were deemed worthy. (People – Safeway can hardly count as a bakery; it is a grocery store.) The meat and cheese products are Boar’s Head brand. (A website can be cheesy and high quality at the same time?) While the bust of a pig might detract from your mental impression of tasty I can vouch for every sample and flavor as second to none.

They also have the best Hotdog in town hands down. The huge chunk of meat in that bun is high enough quality that it does not get overpowering.

Yummy choices.

Notice the officer in the picture? If you follow my other reviews you will understand the significance of this: Enforcement personnel typically and regularly visit trusted locations.

The Janette Turkey is wonderful. Most expensive sandwich on the menu, but wait till you taste what the bacon and avocado do to the Mesquite Turkey!

Try Janette Turkey.

I noticed Boar’s Head people invaded Fry’s Grocery. Hope that does not take away any business. Debbies is cheaper on prices so they should stand a fair chance. The only menu item that was not impressive to me was the meatball. Yes, it is big enough to choke a camel, but elsewhere I have had open-faced piping-hot mozzarella-dripping heaven. I would change the formula for the balls, make them smaller and give it more oomph. Recently Debbies have done better at being Smoke free (outside counts too). The city has started giving awards for it.

I love how they posted kid’s report cards to prove this is a family operated business. I can just picture the scene at home: “Young man, if that grade doesn’t pick up any I am going to post your grades right out in public.”


De’Peach Mode

January 18th, 2006

Now I can drink D’Peach Mode while listening to Depeche Mode. Steve found this awesome drink at Trader Joes:

This is too cool.

Target carries Jones brand drinks, which have natural ingredients and a tiny bit of real juice. If i am going to drink a peach flavored beverage, it will be Two Percent water. Asian flavors are not so tongue blasting overwhelming. Subtle still counts for something somewhere. This is exactly the flavor of those incredible konjac gelatin Slurp peaches that americans proved themselves too dumb to eat.

Fave Drink

Restaurant, Synthpop Music