A pot of herbal Alternifolia Tea and plate of pickles arrive without notice—a fading hospitality in today’s nickle and dime culture. In the traditional Chinese-style, cabbage and carrots are quick-pickled in salt and then bathed in a sweet vinegar brine. The portion is just enough to wash away the muck of morning and rouse salivation. … Shangri-La Vegetarian (San Francisco, CA)
Swollen with naivety and fortitude, in 2003 I moved in New York City. I knew few people so though nothing of the 90 minute subway ride from Bed Stuy to the Bronx to see a familiar face. The reward for this proved to be much more then conversation, it was my introduction to an iconic NYC dish: General Tso’s Tofu. A quintessentially Chinese-American sauce—cloyingly sweet and salty with soy—shellacked on cubes of deep fried soft tofu, scattered with ornamental dried chilies, and strewn with lightly steamed broccoli. To be cliche, it was love at first bite. … Chopsticks Inn (La Mesa, CA)
Mandarette is where magic happens. Literally! My friend is totally obsessed with Dexter and spent the whole day on a notable (annoying) looking-up-Michel C. Hall-on-the-internet-bender. We met up for dinner at Mandarette that night and Michel C. Hall walks in with us! He even smiled at her! She turned to stone, starstruck–or having a heart attack– then her face lit up with pure bliss. Needless to say, we “had to” walk past his table all night while “going to the bathroom.” So, if there’s an LA celebrity you’d like to run into, think intensely of them all day, then you too might see them at Mandarette!
But I’ve digressed without even starting. Let’s get to the REAL reason we’re here: FOOD!