Archive for October, 2010

Café Tartine – Bangkok

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Cafe Tartine Interior

The former café “Bread” is now know as Café Tartine, it is located a short distance from Ploen Chit Road on Soi Ruamruedee | 65 Wireless RoadBangkok 10330, Thailand, Tel. 662-1685464. It is a very bright, relaxing place to spend some time “soft dining” meaning; indulging in some light dishes and drinks in a friendly atmosphere while avoiding more complex dishes such as Quiche Lorraine for instance.


Cheese Plate


Cafe Tartine Terrasse

Lake House Reopens its Doors – Bangkok

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Lake House Reopens After being closed for many months due to renovating the premises, Lake House reopens on November 1st, 2010 for the upcoming season.

Veuve Clicquot Yelloween Party at Bar Su, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit – Bangkok

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Yelloween at Bar Su

Halloween at Coyote Bar & Grill Sukhumvit – Bangkok

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Halloween at Cayote Weekend October 30-31

SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa – Los Angeles

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

By Sandy Driscoll

Exterior Sugarfish DowntownExterior of SUGARFISH

SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa
600 West 7th Street (near Grand Avenue)
Los Angeles, CA  90017
Phone:  213-627-3000
Hours:  Monday-Saturday – 11:30am – 10pm
Sunday – 12pm – 9pm
Reservations – Not taken, but diners are seated as promptly as possible
Credit Cards – Yes
Parking – Available nearby
Other locations (see website) in Brentwood, Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica

Video of Nozawa:


I always know for certain that I have had a memorable dining experience when I awaken the following morning and my first pleasant thought is of the meal I enjoyed the day before.

This was the case with my truly extraordinary lunch at SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa at their newest location in downtown Los Angeles.  Hands down, it was the best sushi I have ever eaten.  Chef Nozawa has created his own perfect style of sushi, the highlight of which is simply the freshest and best fish available, presented in an unadorned, straightforward way.  Plating on white vessels, his Ponzu and Shoyu sauces compliment the fish, his rice is soft, loosely packed and warm and his seaweed is of the highest quality.   Each dish is brought to the diner immediately after plating by the chef, and meant to be eaten at once.  Not 45 seconds later, but immediately!  This way, the contrast among the warm rice, cool fish and appropriate sauce is at its peak of taste.   The nori is crisp and crunchy to the bite, but remains that way for only short moments, so Nozawa wants you to enjoy it at its peak.

To this end, he does not offer additional sauces (except for homemade soy, which is to be used for dipping only sushi that is not already sauced in the kitchen), additional rice or other extras.   There is ginger and wasabi for those who want them.  Those are the rules, and his diners would be wise to follow them.  His website is particularly informative, especially if you check out the “learn” page.

I have always believed that the best chefs are the ones who place food quality above all else.  They know how their cuisine is to be enjoyed and want only for their customers to have an exceptional dining experience.   This is not a restaurant for those looking for the ubiquitous “California Roll” or wanting to sit at a sushi bar and chat.   Although the menu offers a la carte items, the best way to experience this incredible sushi is to order one of the three “Trust Me” prix fixe offerings, ranging in price from $19.50 to $38.   In other words, put yourself in their capable hands.

My dining companion and I enjoyed the “Nozawa”, which consisted of Organic Edamame, Tuna Sashimi, 2 pieces each of Albacore, Salmon, Snapper, Yellowtail, Halibut (all sushi), Toro Hand Roll, Crab Hand Roll and the daily sushi special, which was the large scallop.  Finishing with the Uni (an extra a la carte item) we left happy and sated but certainly not stuffed.

Service is pleasant, efficient and timely.  A well deserved 16% service charge is added to the bill.  The waitstaff is adept at explaining the concept of Nozawa’s style of sushi.  I guarantee that if you’re looking for a premier sushi dining experience, try SUGARFISH and you will be delighted.

One more thing……….as noted here recently, the Michelin Guide has ceased publishing a guide for Los Angeles, due to lack of sales.  According to director Jean-Luc Naret, “The people in LA are not real foodies.  They are not too interested in eating well but just in who goes to which restaurant and where they sit”.  Monsieur Naret is resigning his post at the end of the year.  Perhaps he would care to visit Los Angeles and truly assess our restaurant scene.   The success of high quality restaurants such as SUGARFISH is proof positive that Los Angeles is indeed the proud home of many foodies!

Big Eye TunaTuna Sashimi (Big Eye)

Albacore & SalmonAlbacore and Salmon… the albacore is already sauced;  the salmon may be dipped in Nozawa’s homemade soy sauce

ScallopsThe day’s special – Large Scallops

UniUni Special

InsigniaSUGARFISH insignia on the walkway outside the restaurant

Phalaenopsis at SugarfishBeautiful Phalaenopsis inside the dining room

Trouble Brewing with Witches & “Witch’s Wit” Ale

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Witch's Wit Ale (image credit: by members of the Wiccans community has moved the beer company “Witch’s Wit” to agree to have a corporate meeting regarding their label of a witch burning on a stake, possibly leading to a less hostile graphic.  This ale is produced by “Lost Abbey”, a division of Port Brewing Co. in San Marcos, California. Refer to the links below for more detailed information:

Warming Climate is Adversely Affecting Certain Varieties of Wine Grapes

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Wine Grapes

How climate is adversely affecting various species of grapes that only have a range of a few degrees to produce optimum quality wines. Read more By Alasdair Cross for BBC at this link:

The Original Father of Molecular Gastronomy – France

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Hervé This (image credit: Wired Magazine)

Hervé This (pronounced: tis) was born in 1955 in Suresnes, Hauts-de-Seine. He is a French physical chemist who works at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique. His main area of interest scientifically, not gastronomically is “molecular gastronomy”, a name he first coined along with the late Nicholas Kurti as “Molecular and Physical Gastronomy” in 1988, which he shortened to “molecular gastronomy” after Kurt’s death in 1998. This name has since been applied to the kitchen wizardry of chefs like El Bulli’s Ferran Adria and Alinea’s Grant Achatz and others.

Hervé This’s interest is in basic culinary knowledge,  he now has accumulated over 25000 experiments. He is not interested in trendy preparations as he is a scientist not a chef trying to gain notoriety.

Link: Read more about Hervé This at Wired Magazine in an interesting article by Sally McGrane:

Japanese Whisky Tasting, The Finishing Post Bar, Pan Pacific Hotel – Bangkok

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Finishing Post Bar

I attended a tasting of Japanese Whisky at the Pan Pacific Hotel at the The Finishing Post Bar. The whiskies tasted and scrutinized were: Suntory whisky 10 year old, 12 year old Suntory single malt whisky, 17 year old Suntory hibiki whisky. All of these were excellent with the 17 year old displaying a great deal of caramel flavor.

Japanese Whisky

Japanese Whisky Bottles

Japanese Whisky Bottles

Honmono Grand Sushi – Bangkok

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Honmono Grand Sathorn, Bangkok

SorrentoThe veteran restaurant Sorrento on Sathorn Road is replaced by another branch of  the Thai-style sushi place, Honmono. The original location is on Soi Thong Lo 23, Soi 55, Sukhumvit Rd., Klong Tan Nua, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, which is frequented by local celebrities. A branch is also within the Central Chidlom department store.