Grab Bag o' Goodies

Nine great posts from our Stick a Fork In It blog you might've missed

You know and love our food section in the paper you’re holding—but did you know we have a consistantly updated food blog called Stick a Fork In It? You must if you pay attention to the weekly reminder that separates my column from Edwin’s review. If not, you’re missing out on more than a half-dozen posts per day; weekly Taco Bell crimes; plus the ponderings, rants and analyses of two amazing writers who never grace these pages: Dave Lieberman and Shuji Sakai. To give ustedesa taste of what you’re missing from our blog, behold nine of the best posts from last year:

Who’s Next at the Most Cursed Restaurant Location in Tustin?
We cover restaurant openings and closings religiously. In this July 21 post, Edwin Goei talks about a place in Tustin that’s a graveyard for chefs:

You may remember that not more than seven months ago, I marveled in a post that the shack (there’s no other way to describe it) had an unusually high turnover of failed restaurants. It housed no fewer than four different Korean and Asian restaurants in the span of a few years.

Here's Thao Le on his way toward winning a race to finish a whole jar of Nutella
Mary Bell
Here's Thao Le on his way toward winning a race to finish a whole jar of Nutella

And you also might recall that I reviewed Hebaragi, its newest tenant, earlier this year for our print issue, declaring it one of the best and most popular Korean barbecue joints in OC, one of a few that offered pork jowls.

But being good is not enough. A lot can happen in seven months. Just ask Conan O’Brien.

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#2. Uni Spaghetti at Cafe Hiro
Throughout the summer, we counted down the top 100 dishes in Orange County.
Número uno was the legendary taco acorazado from Alebrije’s in Santa Ana; a close second was Café Hiro’s signature dish, as detailed Oct. 7 by Edwin:

The taste is akin to the richest egg yolk, an orange glob of almost indescribable flavor, except it’s like sea urchin. It has a texture that is texture-less. It’s cold, wet and sexy—the seawater saliva of a mermaid’s kiss (yes, I lifted that last part from my own haiku). Once you’ve eaten it raw at a sushi bar, cuffed around a belt of nori or laid down on a ball of rice, try it at Café Hiro, where it’s dissolved into sauce for pasta.

It seems impossible, but having it this way, coating strands of al-dente spaghetti, extends a preciousness that usually only lasts a fleeting bite.

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Jonathan Gold Lectures at Marche Moderne About Mexican Food ‘Authenticity,’ Laughs at Rick Bayless
After this Aug. 29 post by Gustavo Arellano was published, Stick a Fork In It made national headlines. He caught Pulizter Prize-winning
LA Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold’s lecture at Marche Moderne about the myth of “authentic” Mexican food. Gold snuck in a few digs at Rick Bayless, perhaps the country’s most famous chef of Mexican cuisine. Bayless had just consulted on a new restaurant in Los Angeles, Red O, that purported to introduce “authentic” Mexican to Los Angeles and subsequently accused Gold of lying—but we caught Bayless on tape saying exactly what Gold alleged. Our response:

But compare Bayless’ claim about the intentions of Red O in that comment to an interview he gave to KNBC-TV Channel 4, in which he explicitly says he opened his place because he was intrigued by “how the true flavors of Mexico, from central and southern Mexico, would play in Southern California.” Guy must’ve never heard of SanTana, let alone the rest of Southern California. . . . Bayless’ view of Mexican food in the Southland begins and ends with El Cholo, apparently. Sad . . .

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The Nutritional Content of Holy Communion
Just like the title states. For Dave Lieberman’s final tally, go read the blog post dated Jan. 6!

How long would it take a faithful Catholic to consume Jesus Christ entirely—or failing that, since there is clearly some miraculous extension of His Body and Blood to cover the millions and millions of faithful, how long would it take to consume an equivalent mass of transubstantiated Eucharist?

The problem is that we don’t know how much Jesus weighed. People were much smaller 2,000 years ago, and he was born in what’s now Israel, where people tend to be smaller and not obese like us overfed Americans, but on the other hand, he was a carpenter and probably a pretty strong guy.

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Nine Reasons Why I Loathe Guy Fieri
Sometimes, we just like to rant. Take Gustavo’s Feb. 24 harangue against the Food Network icon:

• His hair is a hybrid between a Dragonball Z character, a Huntington Beach bro and a pineapple—sloppy in a seemingly effortless way. Despite this, Fieri’s goatee is oh-so-immaculately precious. . . .

• He might hit the diners and drive-ins, but where are the dives? Every episode features places packed with customers, and popularity does not a dive make. Fieri wouldn’t know a true hole-in-the-wall if you dumped him in the middle of Little Saigon and spotted him the bánh and the mì.

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