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JasonTrue

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  1. Veil definitely had two benedicts on the menu when we came (the standard ham and a smoked salmon variant), and is likely amenable to other variations, e.g. for vegetarians. They did a riff on the standard muffin, using some sort of potato-based biscuit. Eggs were suitably gooey. The sauce was medium-thick and fairly assertive and lemony. (My own tends to be lemony, so I'm quite fine with that). I had a lavender brioche french toast, which was very nice. Someone else ordered a crab omelet, which was also well-received. Prices are a bit higher than standard-issue brunch spots, but the attention to detail was also much better. No brown on that omelet (which is to say, French or Japanese style rather than diner). Careful, but not elaborate presentation.
  2. I've heard mixed reviews since their ownership changed, some people say there's no loss, some people say it's quite downhill. I'm not quite sure if the time I was there was before or after, and I didn't try many things since I was on my own. I did do a little drive-by recon today and there was a small sign saying they were on vacation until July 20. Not me, but my coworker went a few weeks ago and said that might be their last time - the food isn't the same. Someone deep fried the scallion pancake. Well, if that is what they were doing before (since I don't know) they used to do it right. No more deliciousness.
  3. I've spent some time on the phone with them and they say the "often" have one on their specials list, but not on the standard menu. They also said they can always poach eggs and do some sort of riff on the idea, so that works for me. Veil it is! I've got a friend leaving Seattle on Monday, and my wife finally made it to Seattle today after about 7 months of being apart, so, I'm hoping it'll be memorable. My first dinner at Veil was just in the "good" category, though the kitchen did some nice stuff with some fresh yuzu I brought in; since then, I've had fun in the lounge once or twice, and pretty nice small plates.
  4. Thus my dilemma... my favorite spots seem to have changed a bit. I came here after re-stumbling on that eggs benedict thread. Veil sounds like a good idea; do they do a benedict-like dish?
  5. Has anyone been to Rocking Wok recently? I've been trying to plot an event there for a weekly social gathering I organize, and there's been no answer on the phone for a week. Summer vacation or something more drastic?
  6. I hear Volterra doesn't do the mushroom eggs benedict anymore. Any spectacular alternatives around town? I wasn't thrilled with the overcooked eggs in the semi-Benedict themed dish I had at the S. Lk. Union location of Portage Bay Cafe. I do like 35th St Bistro, but not sure I want to brave that even with a reservation.
  7. I usually see Sea Beans, which are apparently a variety of marsh samphire, at places like Sosio's.
  8. Hopefully none of these are your usual suspects... Lighthouse is two blocks from me, 43rd & Phinney... not always peaceful, but usually quite good, and definitely independent. Some changes seem to have occured subsequent to the departure of their master roaster, but it seems to affect coffee shops that buy their beans more than the store itself, where their signature lighthouse blend hasn't changed much. A little closer to the business core, Fremont Coffee Company has nooks and crannies, usually decent pulls of Vivace coffee, and free wifi. They also like to serve soda in glass bottles. Across the street, Caffe Ladro isn't a national chain, but they have a few local outlets... I like their coffee, mostly in the form of the occasional "Medici", and the vibe is nice, though apparently too red (visually) for some peoples' tastes. Not far from downtown Fremont, at 61st & Phinney, Fresh Flours, uses Victrola Coffee and their baristas are mostly experienced and some are quite skilled. I'm partial to the place for their pastries more than the coffee, but they are a customer of mine, so you may choose to ignore my opinion on them. They like porcelain cups that have no handles. Icon Coffee is building out at 43rd & Fremont. I don't know what to expect of them. Tex sold off Aruba Cafe, which used True North beans, and I don't have an opinion on the new place, now called Highlands. I've only had two espresso shots from the new hands, one of which was adequate and the other was miserable, but considering the rarity of the perfect espresso, it's not a fair sample size.
  9. Last year around this time I think a friend of mine in the Bay Area had read of a slighly more unsanitary mooncake scandal... Apparently some mooncake makers were recycling the ingredients from unsold mooncakes and incorporating them into mooncakes sold the next year.
  10. Would that be fresh citron as in yuzu or as in something like bergamot? Unfortunately, citron is a bit ambiguous as it's used one way by pastry chefs (usually short for glace lemons or citron glace), one way by people trying to translate Korean or Japanese, and another way by Africans, another way by French people... I'm sure there are more. Yuzu is hard to come by but you'll start to see it at the Seattle location of Uwajimaya at about $25-50/lb, often underripe and tiny, sometime this fall. There is one guy growing yuzu in Washington, from what I hear, with the intention of commercial production. Decent yuzu juice can currently be found in Uwajimaya's refrigerated section, but availability varies. 200 ml is $11 or so, fairly decent quality.
  11. JasonTrue

    Lychees

    Lychees were huge in Seattle last summer, due to some importers bringing them in with a nicer than usual condition and multiple non-Florida sources: China, Taiwan, etc. The prices got down as low as $1.99/lb here both this year and last. I made a lychee liqueur last year when they were still $4/lb, but this year I got them at just the right time. Seems like they've gone back up though.
  12. Since I'm somewhat new to Mouthfuls, most people here don't know me unless they've seen me on eGullet, where I tend to post mostly in the Japan and Pacific Northwest forums. Anyway, I should say that I'm fairly strongly influenced by Japanese cuisine. I don't really know Japanese restaurants in the U.S. very well because I don't really like the "serve anything vaguely Japanese" convention of most of the ones I've experienced, but after years of frequent trips both short and long to Japan, and by cutting my teeth on cookbooks like Japanese Country Cooking by Gaku Homma among others, I developed a strong appreciation for extremely rustic Japanese cuisine and also some contemporary innovations. When it comes to Japanese dishes, I don't really do "restaurant food" generally speaking; I prefer more humble things like ohitashi, nimono, yudofu, onigiri, good tsukemono and so on. I do get excited by some really good well-made soba, and I am quite fond of Izakaya-style dining as well. I did spend over a year and a half in Germany, so I am also fairly strongly touched by German, Turkish, and Italian culinary influences, not to mention the exposure to all my Chinese and Korean neighbors back in the days I was a starving student in Marburg. Well, that's maybe too much of an introduction. But since I'm still a newbie here, I thought I should give you some perspective. I should also let you know that increasingly, out of love for tea and out of partnerships with two or three tea importers, I have been cooking with tea quite a lot recently. I'm easily excited by some ochazuke with a really nice sencha, which is a really humble dish. Or some matcha served with some nice zunda or warabimochi. These are really basic, simple flavors, and so most Japanese restaurants outside of Japan don't really trust their customers to appreciate them, and some don't have chefs with the right "touch" to pull them off; Japanese confections are also time consuming to make even if fairly simple in terms of ingredients, so it's not always rewarding to serve them to an audience that may not get it. But I have been thinking about matcha, which is stone-milled ground tea leaves made from a tea plant that is shade covered for a few weeks before harvest to help concentrate the tannins, in contexts outside the traditional (served in a big bowl, frothed with a bamboo whisk, and served with something small and sweet on the side), quite a lot recently, and I wanted to escape my usual narrow range. If you're not familiar with matcha, my "narrow range" may already sound unusual, but trust me, I'm not being that creative. In the past, I've made a matcha-infused gin, an "Irish Matcha", various sweets including cookies, muffins, cakes, ice creams, and cheesecakes, mousses, and so on. But I've rarely tried to push matcha far into the realm of savory foods. Anyway, I decided to play around on Sunday, and I came up with an assortment of three dishes that allowed for three ways to experience matcha in the same meal. I made a matcha cream sauced gnocchi with edamame, which allowed the matcha to play a supporting role as an herb. I also made some tempura or fried vegetables, in this case with green beans, renkon (lotus root), and some carrots, in which a matcha salt served as the dipping salt instead of the more common plain salt or tsuyu. Finally, because I can't imagine completely escaping my matcha-flavored sweets, I made a nice matcha cheesecake. The results were nice... Perhaps not earth-shatteringly brilliant, but it was a very pleasant meal, and I was happy that matcha can function both in "western" and "Japanese" savory foods, and can stand up as an accent all the way through a meal. You can find a lot more pictures and more details, including really haphazardly transcribed proportions, in my blog entry on Matcha cuisine.
  13. Considering Indians also have many pickled vegetables that involve chili and garlic, I don't think it's that much of an ingredient-functional stretch. Indian pickles aren't generally fermented to quite the same extent. I don't usually like the towers-of-incongruous-ingredients school of fusion. But I really appreciate simple fusions that are conscious of the role the "fused" ingredients are playing in the dish. Cheese can play a role in Japanese or Korean cuisine... I make ohitashi (blanched, lightly dressed vegetables) with a few curls of shaved parmesan from time to time, for example, and it is not shockingly offensive to most Japanese palates; it simply functions as something salty and texturally contrastive. Speaking of cheese and kimchi pancakes, consider Indian Dosas or Utthapam, or even Okonomiyaki. The sourdough lentil crepe of the dosa is a common foil for soft cheeses or paneer, and the thicker utthapam has been getting some melted cheese treatment at some south Indian restaurants. Okonomiyaki, of course, has been made with cheese in or atop the pancake for quite some time. I often do kimchi-dubu mandu (kimchi tofu dumplings), which, of course, is a Korean fusion with Chinese-style dumplings, but quite at home with Koreans as cooks have been making this for quite some time.
  14. I like Sichuan Noodle Bowl (or rather, Szechuan Noodle Bowl) on 8th & King for simple vegetable dumplings, green onion pancakes, and seaweed salad, or the occasional cold noodle dish. Good lunch spot, open on Sundays. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/food/232570_eat15.html reviewed it today, I just noticed... I've been going there since the interior was more frightening, or roughly 11 years.
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