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About Lars

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday February 23

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    Westchester, CA (Los Angeles)
  1. Yes, but people have heard of Hollywood, Florida.
  2. Thanks for the Desi Arnaz video! Yes, it's been ten years since I was here, but I've bookmarked the site so that I can easily return now.
  3. Note that it is spelled Yucatán with the accent on the last "a". I've not been to Chichen Itza in L.A. but have wanted to go. I love Yucatecan food. I found several Lebanese restaurants in Mérida that I liked when I was there, and I also love cochinita pibil, which I also make myself.
  4. I love Palm Springs and go there about twice a year, but I avoid the summer months, although June can be bearable. My brother and I are considering buying a second residence there because I want a pool, and we don't have room for one at our house in Los Angeles. We could put in a small one, but I doubt I would use it very much. I've not noticed any white patent leather in PS, but you might find that in some of the adjacent desert cities, such as Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert. The crowd in Palm Springs is younger now than in the other desert cities. Joshua Tree is close, as is Anza Borrego, and we like visiting both parks. Also, Indio is very close, and it has a tamale festival each year. Restaurants in PS are not great but they are generally not bad, and at least there is some variety. I would say that the Mexican restaurants border on being bad, however.
  5. The first time I was in Guadalajara, I merely changed trains. I was going from DF to Tepic (final destination: San Blas, by bus). That was in June 1976. I was there for a couple of hours, and so I didn't stray terribly far from the train station, although I did walk around for a few blocks. The train ride was a lot of fun - I traveled second class, so that I could buy things from vendors who would get on temporarily. At one point (when we were going through Mezcal fields), people came on selling quarts of Tequila for the equivalent of 60¢. This was in the middle of the afternoon, and the train ride quickly became a party. Then a blind woman playing the guitar and singing came on, with her husband behind her collecting tips. There was plenty of food being sold on the train as well. I especially liked the pineapple empanadas I had (I think that's what they were - they were like fried pies). Too bad they don't have these trains any more. The other times I've been to Guadalajara, I never left the airport - I was merely changing plane between Mexico City and San Francisco (CA). I preferred going through immigration there than in DF, and back then, there weren't any direct flights between SF and DF. My other alternative was to change planes in L.A., where I live now. For colonial towns, I like Guanajuato - I've always thought that Guadalajara was too big to be quaint and not big enough to be cosmopolitan (like DF). I felt that if I was going to go to a big city in Mexico, I would go to DF. Am I missing something by not visiting Guadalajara? Sometimes I feel like I'm already there while I'm still in L.A.
  6. It does look like Pequin, but the fruit is clustered, which makes it unlikely to be that. I haven't been able to find pictures of Cascabels, but someone on the GardenWeb chile forum thought that it was a different kind of other solanaceae, although I don't know how that would have gotten into my yard! Solanum dulcamara is poisonous, and the plant does resemble that. I'm hoping it will be Cascabel - but I need to see a picture of the plant - not just the chilies. If they grow in clusters, then that might be what the plant is. Thanks for your help!
  7. I found this plant growing in one of my pots in my back yard. Last year I put a lot of random seeds from dried and fresh chilies in the pot, just to see if any would grow. I never watered the pot specially, but after the rains in January, this one came up. I think it might be Cascabel because I know I had some of those and I might have planted some seeds from dried ones. I did have some other round ones, but I don't remember what they were. How should I use these chilies? Do they need to be dried and/or toasted? How hot are they likely to be? Any help will be appreciated - I love getting free chilies (and other things that grow wild in my yard, like tomatoes).
  8. I thought Guanajuato was the most musical city I've been to (go there in October or November for the musical festivals), and I've been to Mérida many times. I had a hard time finding good food In Oaxaca, but I had a hard time finding bad food in Mérida. I tended to go to Lebanese restaurants, of which there were many. I also like Cochinita Pibil or any of the Pibil style dishes, and I frequently cook with achiote paste myself, to remind me of the Yucatan.
  9. Check the product list at Corn Maiden Tamales. I buy them at a Farmers' Market, since they moved away from Culver City. I've had several of the cheese and vegan tamales and liked all that I had. A lot of it has to do with the sauce or flavorings that are put inside. I like their balsamic vinaigrette as well as the mushrooms cooked in wine. Of course their tamales are often not very Mexican, but they're still good.
  10. I haven't been to the Yucatan lately, but the last time I was in Mérida, I remember being served pita bread with my meal. Of course I made a point of finding Lebanese restaurants while there. I did get one tortilla chip, stuck on top of some refried beans as a decoration/garnish, with my breakfast in Taxco. I don't particularly like Bittman - even less so with this review of his trip to Mexico City. I agree that he should stick to Italy and Spain.
  11. I guess it's been a long time since I've been here, but I've been having a lot of distractions. I liked the food at Fonda San Miguel very much, although by now I don't remember what I had. I've made a few recipes from the cookbook, and while good, I generally use two or three cookbooks in combo for anything I make. I was in Austin again last December but had Cajun food instead when I first got there. I bought groceries at Central Market and was impressed with their selection of chilies, cheeses, and granola. They also had some very good German rye and Pumpernickel breads. The last lunch I had was downtown, wallking distance from my sister's office, and the food was not memorable, although it was supposed to be the best seafood downtown. Coming from L.A., I was not impressed, but then I tend to cook my own seafood, which I buy at the Santa Monica Seafood Market. I did notice that Austin is becoming a bit more upscale, and I wonder if what my niece said was correct - that that is because of an influx of people from California. When I lived in Austin, upscale markets could not stay in business and high-end products were rare. This should probably be in the SW forum, but I consider Texas a jumping off place for trips to Mexico, although generally I fly directly to Mexico City.
  12. I'm so sorry I missed this. I'll have to remember to visit here more often. Fortunately, the Scream emailed me to invite me to the Farmers' Market/Griffith Park get together.
  13. I guess you mean Azeen's Restaurant, which I had not heard of before. Maybe I'll take my sister there when she visits in August. I'm planning a barbeque party of August 4 or 5, probably the 5th - I'll have to find out from Farid which of those two dates would be better so that we can have a cook-off in my back yard. There is an excellent Korean barbeque restaurant, Wharo, just around the corner from me in Marina Del Rey, and so you don't have to go to K-town for Korean food. If you're in Venice (where I live), it's nice to stop at Joe's for Sunday brunch (or lunch any day), and Abbot's Pizza on Abbot Kinney is the best I've had in L.A. For Ethiopian, I like Meals by Genet on Fairfax. I've taken out of town guests there before who loved it.
  14. Yes, there are a couple, including this one: Mexico City and Taxco The problem is that when you click on a topic, unless you change the date thing at the bottom to "all," all you get is the last 30 days or something. Here's one I started after my trip to Mexico City and Taxco. Another thread on DF/Oaxaca Question about restaurants in DF DF/Puebla/Oaxaca Colonia Roma/DF Bittman on Mexico City I finally got new phone service, which means that I can call Mexico City for 10¢ a minute, which will make it easier to keep in touch with friends there. From 1980 to '84 I always stayed with friends in Polanco - until they moved to L.A., and now I stay with a friend in Colonia Veronica Anzures. I still have friends in Condesa whom I visited in the 1970s and still live in the same place, but my other friends have larger accommodations. I need to visit all of them again soon!
  15. My sister gave me that book when I visited her in Austin soon after my previous post. She took me to the restaurant, where they were selling the book, and if you buy it there, you get an autographed copy, which is what my sister gave me. I've made several of the recipes, but I especially like the pictures. Some of the recipes I just use as guides and make minor changes.
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