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Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Old 08-28-19, 01:05 AM
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Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Okay, here are the rules : You need to list five of your favorite dishes. Can be Entrees, Appetizers, deserts, whatever. Can be specific to a single restaurant or general description. Must be detailed (i.e. Rib Eye , Steak ).

For Me (raised in Hawaii, so heavily Asian-influenced taste),

5) Tabletop Guacamole. This is something I only discovered in recent years. I don't go to many fancy Mexican restaurants. Sure there's the novelty of having an Avocado Boy slaving away, mashing furiously at your table, just for you -- and honestly that would be enough. But more than that, the taste is amazing. So much better than the garden-variety stuff you get literally everywhere. It's heavenly.



4) Japanese Curry. If you've never had it, it's kind of hard to describe. Nothing like Indian or Thai curries (though I like them as well). It's such a complex taste profile, spicy and aromatic and comforting. I'm sure most people stay away, even in the few Japanese places that serve it because, yeah, it doesn't look all that appetizing. But looks can be deceiving. I love the stuff. There are two places in Vegas that serve nothing but the stuff and I love them both. There's a popular Japanese chain called CoCo Curry House and they have a couple of spots in Honolulu. I make sure to visit every time I'm back. Once last Summer while I was in Tokyo, I literally had Japanese curry for breakfast (in a pastry bun), lunch (at Sanrio Puroland) and dinner (at CoCo location). The lunch wasn't the best, but it was certainly the cutest
Spoiler:

Well it may not look like much but I swear it's delicious. Maybe CoCo has a better representation



3) Korean BBQ Kalbi : Marinated Korean Short Ribs. Must be cooked in front of you on an open grill. I'm not much of a fan of fatty beef, but this is the exception. It's so tasty. Served with assorted vegetables and Kimchi (pickled spicy cabbage). It's such a great and filling meal. There was a place in Indiana called "Mama's" that I used to go to. An hour away from where I lived but it was worth it. Instead of gas grills, they would have some poor unfortunate employee manually transport GLOWING hot mesquite wood with tongs to your table (probably the least-safe dining experience in the USA) and cook over that. It was incredible.


2) Joe's Stone Crab Claws. Not in any way to be confused with Joe's Crab Shack, who clearly stole the name. Joe's Stone Crab is an old Florida restaurant started in Miami in 1913 that features as their signature item Stone Crab Claws. There three locations now - D.C., Chicago and one at Caesar's in Vegas. The claws are amazing -- juicy, sublime, easy to eat - they come pre-cracked, taking all that manual labor out of the equation. Takes way better than lobster. You get a bowl of them and it's plenty for an entree. My favorite part : They don't kill the crab! Yeah, sounds impossible, right? But they don't. They catch them, cut off one claw and throw them back so they can still defend themselves and grow another delicious claw. At least that's what they claim, and it's what I choose to believe


1) Ginger-Crusted Onaga - Alan Wong's Restaurant, Honolulu. Hands-down, my favorite dish of all-time. Alan Wong is a famous Hawaiian chef and winner of the James Beard Award. His restaurant is tiny and in a fairly industrial part of Honolulu. You would never even know it's there - on the third floor of an office building. But it's absolutely heaven. I'm not a fancy restaurant guy - paying $100 a person for dinner is something I am loathe to do. But here I make an exception. It is so perfect - crunchy on the outside, moist and flavorful on the inside. Sitting in a divine miso sesame vinaigrette. The fish Onaga is a long tail red snapper and it has a nice sweetness to it. Not at all fishy or oily. If you ever go to Hawaii (he's the rare Hawaiian celebrity chef who never came to the mainland), it's worth the effort and expense to go one night. I've told several friends and they all agree.
For the very gifted chefs out there, however, here is his recipe




____________________

Okay, that's my five. What are yours?
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Old 08-28-19, 10:04 AM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Okay, here goes:

1. Japanese BBQ. Specifically, Gyu-kaku restaurant and the spicy pork and prime kalbi short rib. Gyu-kaku has an enormous menu, but we never buy the non-bbq food items other than some vegetables (also the grilled vegetables) because it seems like there are better places/times for that. We get rice, a few veggies, and loads and loads of meat that I grill at the table. We do it at home, too, on our Zojirushi tabletop cooker, but I really like going out for it. I'm sure there are other yakiniku restaurants that are better, but gyukaku is a pretty consistent chain that we hit up when we travel. I was a foreign exchange student near Nagasaki in the 80s, and yakiniku is huge there, so I really grew to love it.

2. Kalbi short ribs made at home or at an actually good Korean restaurant (sadly, none near me). If you look at Decker's pic, you can see lots and lots of side dishes (panchan). That's a necessity. I make these at home every month or two, along with spicy pork bulgogi (or chicken). It's all pretty similar to the Japanese BBQ, but the marinades are heavier/stronger. It's the food my kids most often request when coming home.

3. Sushi. And specifically edomae sushi. I've never warmed up to all the mayonnaise and aoli put on various rolls today. My ideal sushi order is all nigiri: saba (mackerel), toro (tuna belly), amaebi (sweet shrimp--it's raw vs. ebi sushi which is cooked. Also, you get the deep fried shrimp heads), unagi (freshwater eel), hamachi (yellowtail), and uni (sea urchin). Better than my ideal order is omakase (chef chooses) from a place that is good. Sushi is my absolute favorite food, but it's also the food most likely to disappoint since most of it is mediocre. It's only 3 on my list because you never know if it'll be good or not, and if it is good, it might not be a lot of food. BEST meal of my life was 4 pieces of sushi in Saga Japan in the 80s. The shrimp was still moving. I wanted more, but my boyfriend said nope--the 4 pairs we split were $80-$100 in 1980's money, and we were college students.

4. All the frites. :-) Moules frites, steak frites, and in this group I put getting the lobster entree and Burger and Lobster. Burger and Lobster is a special restaurant to me, because when my husband and I were first dating, we went there every week. I'd pull into Penn Station after working all week in Delaware, he'd ask me where I wanted to go, and I'd say Burger and Lobster. He never blinked and said sure.

5. Laziji, some sort of stir fried veggie, and rice. I call it "fuzzy tongue chicken" because of the way the sichuan peppercorns numb my mouth. Despite having tons of dried peppers, it's not very spicy and the red chili peppers are for subtle flavor and presentation. I am a really avid cook, but I've never made this as well as a couple local Chinese restaurants.



Decker--I love Japanese style curry, too. My favorite is as a gravy over a fried pork cutlet (katsu curry). Thanks for the fish recipe--I'll try it!

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Old 08-28-19, 10:22 AM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals



chicken and dumplings
fish tacos
beef stroganoff with rice
spaghetti with meat sause and garlic bread
pizza- I could use a Godfather Pizza right now, I'm off this week I think I'll make the drive to Hot Springs get a GF pizza and catch a movie
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Old 08-28-19, 10:48 AM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

tasha : Thanks for playing along! I've never tried (or really even been aware of) Japanese BBQ restaurants. Google search informs me that there is a Gyu-kaku in our Chinatown area here in Vegas. Will absolutely check that out sometime. Glad you back me up on the Japanese curry. I know Katsu Curry is the most popular (and the only one my daughter ever gets), but I gave up deep-fried foods three years ago (for health reasons -- able to significantly decrease caloric intake by just that one thing - and I don't really miss them at all), so I found other ways around my foods and am very happy with stewed chicken or shrimp curry now.
I am STOKED that you will try that Onaga recipie. Please let me know how it turns out (I hope it's good for you). That is WAY too much work for my limited kitchen skills.

ken : Putting this as delicately as I can - I've seen your "before" pictures. I was hoping for a little more food passion from you. (Or is it really hard to think about foods you used to love eating but can't have any more, if that's not too personal a question?)
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Old 08-28-19, 12:51 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Man, tough question, I need to think about this. Japanese curry is awesome, but the best curry I ever had in my life was at some random Thai restaurant in Japan. It was a spicy yellow curry with coconut milk, the richest, most delicious curry I ever tasted. I was just eating it by itself with a big spoon, I couldn't get enough of it. Sadly the next time I went to Japan the restaurant had closed, and I've never been able to find a place that had any curry close to it.
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Old 08-28-19, 01:19 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Tikka Masala
Arroz con gandules (Carribean style rice with pigeon peas)
General Tso's.....
Mofongo (Mashed plantains with broth, olive oil, garlic)
Falafel
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Old 08-28-19, 02:26 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Originally Posted by inri222 View Post
Mofongo (Mashed plantains with broth, olive oil, garlic)
Never heard of that dish. So it's served as a side like Mashed potatoes? Is it sweet?
Falafel
That may be the one fried food that I actually miss. I did love falafels.
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Old 08-28-19, 02:39 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
Never heard of that dish. So it's served as a side like Mashed potatoes? Is it sweet?
I've only heard of it due to watching a lot of cooking shows.
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Old 08-28-19, 02:46 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Anything Tex Mex, but especially seafood enchiladas, good tamales, and Chile rellenos.

Anything with meatballs--Italian or Swedish.

Pasties (a Michigan Upper Peninsula delicacy.

Smoked fish.

Fresh fruit, particularly peaches and black grapes.

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Old 08-28-19, 03:01 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Anything SE Asia. Especially the fruits..Mangosteen, Durian, Soursop, Dragonfruits.
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Old 08-28-19, 03:02 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
Never heard of that dish. So it's served as a side like Mashed potatoes? Is it sweet?
It's not sweet because it is made from unripened green plantains.

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Old 08-28-19, 03:04 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

In-N-Out 4X4
Sorrentos thick crust Pizza, San Pedro California
Kraft Mac n Cheese
Chocolate pudding
Wendy's chocolate Frosty

I've been on a diet all year and have only had a personal size Sorrento's pizza once and fat-free chocolate pudding. I miss the rest.
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Old 08-28-19, 03:36 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup
Korean BBQ - See the pics and descriptions above. I love Kalbi as well as Bulgogi and all the Banchan (side dishes).
Pizza - Specifically NY style. Preferable in NY (or tristate area)
Reversed seared NY Strip - I make this at home and honestly, its better than any restaurant. I get my cuts from a local butcher.
BBQ Brisket from Texas! - I've tried brisket elsewhere but it doesn't come close to the Brisket I got when I lived in TX. Even Rudys is better than anything else in the country. Bonus - burnt ends from Salt Lick
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Old 08-28-19, 05:03 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Strange request but okay.

Dave
Jim
Sally
Rob
Chad
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Old 08-28-19, 05:10 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

^ I thought if I asked What are your Five Favorite Dishes I would get pictures of five plates. Guess I can't outsmart the smart asses.
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Old 08-28-19, 05:22 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
4) Japanese Curry. If you've never had it, it's kind of hard to describe. Nothing like Indian or Thai curries (though I like them as well). It's such a complex taste profile, spicy and aromatic and comforting. I'm sure most people stay away, even in the few Japanese places that serve it because, yeah, it doesn't look all that appetizing. But looks can be deceiving. I love the stuff. There are two places in Vegas that serve nothing but the stuff and I love them both. There's a popular Japanese chain called CoCo Curry House and they have a couple of spots in Honolulu. I make sure to visit every time I'm back.
I don't have time to write out a top 5, but Japanese Curry is easily my #1. I make it at home all the time, it's very simple, brown a couple pounds of stew meat or chicken with diced onions, throw it into a crockpot with largely diced potatoes, carrots, and celery (roughly 3 or 4 of each) and fill enough water so everything is submerged (recipe on box says 6 cups?). At the end of the cooking time (can be as little as an hour, usually I let it sit for longer), add a large block of your favorite curry (
Golden Curry Golden Curry
or
Vermont Curry Vermont Curry
) and viola, the most delicious meal available.



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Old 08-28-19, 05:26 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

I've done the Golden Curry with chicken many times. So easy and yummy.
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Old 08-28-19, 05:58 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Originally Posted by TomOpus View Post
I've done the Golden Curry with chicken many times. So easy and yummy.
you're north of the river, right? There's a Chinese place at 72nd and Prairie View called the Iron Wok that has a great coconut curry.
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Old 08-28-19, 06:00 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Originally Posted by Vibiana View Post
you're north of the river, right? There's a Chinese place at 72nd and Prairie View called the Iron Wok that has a great coconut curry.
Japanese Curry > Thai Curry
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Old 08-28-19, 06:15 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Originally Posted by PerryD View Post
Japanese Curry > Thai Curry
I'll have to respectably disagree (but hey, food is subjective!). As I mentioned above, I loooove Thai curry with coconut milk.

But Japanese curry is great too. I don't know if it's available here, but in Japan you can buy S&B Golden Curry in vacuum packs that you just need to heat up, all the ingredients are included (except for the rice). Very simple to make but tastes homemade. I swear, their instant food tech is so advanced, I'm not going to even get into the freeze dried soups that you can buy there. They're amazing!
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Old 08-28-19, 07:44 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Originally Posted by PerryD View Post
Japanese Curry > Thai Curry
Having never had Japanese curry, I must concede your superior knowledge. However, I wish to remind you that, this being Otter, your mild remonstration is hardly adequate. You're supposed to insult my bloodline, or at least my appearance.
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Old 08-28-19, 08:41 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Beef or Turkey Chili
Chicken Jambalaya
Beef Tacos/Enchiladas
Chinese Food (there’s a good local place, I change up what I get but normally Honey Garlic Chicken and Beef with Broccoli)
Lasagna

Could change but those are some favorites.
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Old 08-28-19, 11:15 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

1: Cajun Broil (crawfish, shrimp, corn, sausage and spices cooked all day long)
2: Taco Salad (lettuce, kidney beans, cheese, hamburger and onion mixed with thousand island dressing and refrigerated)
3: Street Cart Hot Dogs
4: Fish And Chips (the real british kind with actual fresh ingredients and comes on newspaper)
5: and just a standard breakfast ( Eggs, Sausages, biscuits, beans, bacon, potatoes)
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Old 08-28-19, 11:44 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

1. Tacos
2. Tacos
3. Tacos
4. Tacos
5. Tacos


And not the stupid shit Americans like. I'm talking about Asada, Carnitas, Al Pastor, Buche, Suadero, Lengua, Cabeza, etc. The real shit with cilantro, onions, and red/green sauce.
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Old 08-28-19, 11:47 PM
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Re: Name Your Five Favorite Meals

Originally Posted by MrRound2 View Post
1: Cajun Broil (crawfish, shrimp, corn, sausage and spices cooked all day long)
Dear lord I want that NOW. Where is that dish served?
I've been to a few Cajun places but have never seen that
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