When I cook, I figure that if I’m going to the effort, I should make more than enough so that we can eat it again. But whether it sits in the fridge or freezer, I rarely go back to a meal because I don’t like leftovers. I have the best intentions when it comes to the leftovers, thinking they will make a good snack, or easy dinner. But when it comes down to it, I can’t get past the feeling of “been there, done that”.
I have the same bad habit with my travel food posts. Although I have the best intentions of sharing all the great finds, I’ve found that so many gems are forgotten in order for me to share what’s new. But in the past year, there have been some really great treasures that are too good not to be mentioned. So here are my 2011 leftovers for you to devour.
Hands down, the best thing I ate in Hawaii is from a little restaurant that almost no one will drive out of their way to go to. Your loss because this is THE BEST fried chicken I’ve ever had.
I wanted to stay away from Japanese food in Hong Kong even though my friend kept telling me that there was very good Japanese food there. After a long day in Macau, I didn’t want to do any thinking when it came to dinner so I let my friend choose a place for us to meet. He was sneaky and had me meet him at a restaurant in the Renaissance Hotel, which turned out to be teppanyaki. I’m glad I was tricked into going because the meal was one of the best I had in Hong Kong.
Always on the hunt to find a restaurant in Vegas that I’d return to, or recommend without exceptions or caveats, I found 2 this year on 2 separate trips but both at the Cosmopolitan.
Buffet’s are a waste for me because “all I can eat” is never worth the price of admission. But the Wicked Spoon is the best buffet I’ve been to in Vegas. The food options were a notch above other buffets, (bone marrow, braised short ribs, mac&cheese station made to order). I loved the fact that most things were pre-portioned into cute vessels to keep you from over-indulging. Well, to a point.
I have a huge list of favourites in Seattle, but it’s nice to add 2 more to the list. The first was an oyster bar in Ballard called the Walrus and the Carpenter. Located on a stretch of road that had many wonderful looking restaurants, this little gem is tough to find on a rainy night but worth the hunt. So much more than just an oyster bar, everything I ate was great, but the fried brussels sprouts and roasted medjool dates were special.
And since I’m throwing in all my leftovers, I got to meet some of my food idols this past year. Actually idol may be downplaying my feelings for the first…
Anthony Bourdain was speaking in Vancouver and I was lucky enough to sit front row to experience him up close. I was lucky enough to attend a signing afterwards and was nervous about what I was going to say. I attribute my wanderlust for food travel to Bourdain and couldn’t wait to tell him that. While clutching my well travelled copy of the “Cook’s Tour” in hand, I wasn’t able to get all the words out, but I think he understood how much he meant to me and was touched.
While visiting ink.sack in LA, I noticed that the Voltaggio brothers were doing a signing while I was in town. The Vegas season of Top Chef is one of the best because of these guys and I’ve watched it many times. It’s too bad that their “characters” on the show were the same in real life. Bryan tried hard but came across as friendly but boring and Michael seemed to really be a pretentious jerk. Oh well, I think I look good in the photo though.
That’s it! All my leftovers cleaned out for the year and I’m sorry it was so long, I’ll try harder to be more current in 2012. Is that a resolution? No, because those are always broken.
2011 LEFTOVERS LIST:
Mana Bu’s – 1618 S. King St, Honolulu
Aoki’s Shave Ice – 66-117 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa
Soul Food – 3040 Waialae Ave # A2, Honolulu
Matsubishi – 3/F Convention Plaza Wanchai, Hong Kong
Jaleo – 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
Wicked Spoon – 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
Perilla – 9 Jones St, New York
Da Rosa – 62 Rue de Seine, 75006, Paris
Les Papilles – 30 rue Gay Lussac, 75005, Paris
Chez Paul – 13, Rue de Charonne, 75011, Paris
Miru 8691 – 9162 W Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills
Ink Sack – 8360 Melrose Ave, LA
The Walrus & the Carpenter – 4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle
The Skillet Diner – 1400 East Union St, Seattle