FROM THIS EPISODE
California may be known for its French Dip sandwiches, avocados and tacos. But here in the Golden State we like to think we also eat more salads than anywhere else in the world. This week Kenji López-Alt offers up ideas for how to make the perfect salad dressing and how to freshen up what's in the bowl. His engaging, serious reference book, The Food Lab, just won a James Beard award.
Music: "Flicker" by Porter Robinson
J. Kenji López-Alt
When charcuterie pops up on the menu, we think cold carefully cured meat. But at Norah in West Hollywood, chef Mike Williams has broadened the definition to include pescatarian, raw and vegan options. The seafood charcuterie plate features smoked trout, octopus and shrimp. Chickpea sausage, mushroom carpaccio and cauliflower tartare make appearances on the vegetable charcuterie plate.
Since cauliflower is available now at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market in all its glorious forms — snow white, cheddar, purple and romanesco — Laura Avery peruses the selection at the Tamai Family Farms' stand for this week's market report. You can find Williams' cauliflower tartare recipe on the Good Food blog. But fair warning: this is not your mom's steak tartare or charcuterie plate.
Music: "A Shot in the Dark (Cowboy Music)"
Got a hankering for jumbo Wuxi-style soup dumplings that you have to eat with a boba straw? Time for a trip to Long Xing Ji in San Gabriel. If the restaurant name sounds familiar, that's because it used to be called Wang Xing Ji. Same space, staff and cooks, new owner. Besides the soup dumpling, Jonathan Gold recommends ordering the regular-sized pork dumplings, the cold smoked fish, the candied eel, the crab-and-pork buns and the spare ribs.
Long Xing Ji
140 West Valley Boulevard
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Music: "American Boy" (Instrumental) by Estelle
Charlene Wang is one of our favorite people to talk tea with. She is a tea buyer for Tranquil Tuesdays and travels extensively throughout Asia in search of quality leaves. On a recent trip, Wang stumbled upon a fascinating story that involves Taiwanese oolong tea being grown in Mae Salong, Thailand.
Music: "Blues in the Night" by Quincy Jones
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The Great Tortilla Tournament, nixtamalization, and Guerrilla Tacos Let’s talk tortillas! Gustavo Arellano announces KCRW’s first-ever Great Tortilla Tournament, to choose the best tortilla in LA out of a bracket of 64. Bill Esparza talks tortilla makers in the L.A. area. And did you know that inside your tortilla is an ancient process, perfected over centuries? Also, L.A. Taco’s Daniel Hernandez recalls a Guadalajara taco crawl with Jonathan Gold.
Joël Robuchon, restaurant lines, and Jonathan Gold on N.W.A. This week the world lost its most highly decorated chef, Joël Robuchon. Chef Ludo Lefebvre recalls lessons he learned at the hands of this master. We also revisit Evan Kleiman and Jonathan Gold’s 2014 visit to Robuchon’s Vegas restaurant. Jean Trinh investigates how some diners in LA can stand waiting two or more hours in line. Finally, we recall Jonathan Gold’s coverage of the influential rap group N.W.A.
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Remembering Jonathan Gold (1960-2018) There’s a Jonathan Gold-sized hole in the heart of Los Angeles. The Pulitzer-winning LA Times food critic died on July 21, prompting an outpouring of grief and love from around the world. For this special tribute, we gathered the voices of colleagues, friends, chefs, and listeners to celebrate the man who taught us how to eat and live in LA. We dedicate this show to our former colleague of 20 years.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Why Gustavo is doing a Great Tortilla Tournament for KCRW It’s the perennial question: Corn or flour? We’re putting 64 Southern California tortillas head-to-head in our #MasaMadness bracket to see who will win the Golden Tortilla trophy. Gustavo Arellano fills us in on all the details. Read More
Joël Robuchon: My introduction to the refined world of luxury fine dining In 2014, Evan Kleiman took a road trip to Las Vegas with Jonathan Gold. The highlight of the trip by far was an opulent dinner at Joël Robuchon in the MGM Grand: the most luxurious meal she had ever experienced up until that point. In honor of the legendary French chef Joël Robuchon who passed away this week, we’re resharing Evan’s 2014 reflection on that unforgettable meal. Read More