For the rock groupie The Slidebar is Jeremy Popoff's restaurant/club/local worship temple for Fullerton's home-grown rock group, Lit. For the foodie, the place is all about Walter Rowin and his cooking. He's the man behind the bar's uncommonly good food; mac and cheese better than mom's, steaks to shame Morton's, and the Whammy Bar, a deep-fried chocolate cake monstrosity topped with ice cream.
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Herewith are Walter's answers to our survey, for which he intentionally waited until 3 a.m. to do. "I find myself a bit delirious, and much more interesting (then)" he writes.
1. Dish that you cook that most represents you.
Well, in my personal life, I would be a lot like risotto. I require constant attention and don't have much need for alone time. I'm kind of a pain in the ass, but the result you get for your effort is worth it. Professionally speaking, I'm more like Basmati rice. Just give me some heat and water and leave me alone and let me do my thing.
2. What was the last meal you had at home?
My girlfriend and I actually like to cook at home quite a bit. Last night we made Vietnamese Style Short Ribs served over Avocado Puree. I ripped that one off from my friend, Phong, at Benley in Long Beach. I do my own version of it, but I like to give him credit where it is due.
3. Your favorite restaurant (other than yours):
Without question has to be Gary Danko in San Francisco. A friend also introduced me to Boulette's Larder in The Ferry Building up there. They have an amazing breakfast and lunch service. However, both are a rare treat for me. My regular places are Walt's Wharf, Beachwood BBQ, and Sweetie Thai. It's really hard to nail down just ONE place. I LOVE food. I could go on for a long time about places I love to eat..and drink it turns out.
4. Fast food guilty pleasure:
A double quarter pounder with cheese. I don't really know if it gets better for me. Jesus...I already feel guilty and I haven't even eaten one for a month..
5. Complete this sentence: I would like to [verb] [Food Network Star] with [noun].
I would like to watch Giada de Laurentiis and Sandra Lee have a feathery pillow fight.
6. Last meal of your life, what would it be?
One of those huge steaks in Texas, where if you eat the whole thing, you get it for free. And a double quarter pounder with cheese, some beautifully smoked brisket, 2 orders of foie gras from Gary Danko, one order of the yellowtail sashimi from Slanted Door, they used to have this Pad Thai at Wolfgang Puck Cafe that I used to like a lot. I would probably want some of that, too. A can of smoked oysters. Florent Marneau has impressed me on more than one occasion, and I'm sure he could whip up something I'd want to include in my last meal. What else? OH!! 2 dozen doughnuts with a gallon of ice cold 1% milk.
7. Items you always have in your refrigerator:
Hummus, fresh squeezed O.J., Japanese mayo, a variety of cheeses, 1% milk, corn and flour tortillas, salami, baby arugula (you never know when you'll need it), Fresca, Stone IPA, and a variety of hot sauces.
8. Your most indispensable kitchen tool or appliance:
Gabby (my sous chef).