Crab and avocado have been a happy couple long before the invention of the California sushi roll. And in addition to melted butter, mayonnaise has long been a classic sauce to pair with crab… Here, warm seasoned rice is topped with steamed Dungeness crab leg meat, sliced avocado, diced cucumber, and creamy umami-rich Kewpie mayonnaise. The dish is seasoned with a flavorful furikake and drizzled with a syrupy tamari glaze. The combination of flavors, textures, and colors is wonderfully balanced and extremely tasty. Pretty too.
This year the inspiration comes from Pho Ga, that fragrant herby Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup. Here, matzoh balls are subtly spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and ginger and stand in for the rice noodles. The chicken broth is flavored with blackened onion and ginger, lemongrass, and star anise where the smoky-salty-sweet-umami layers are simply intoxicating.
Three foodies enjoy a grazing lunch at three restaurants on
The Las Vegas Strip in three hours.
We were looking to graze on The Strip, to try lots of dishes in a fun and relaxed manner. We were looking for inspired original innovative tastes, famous chefs, trendsetting ambiance, within walking distance of each other, menus that would fit harmoniously with each other, with items that we could all share. (And they had to be open for lunch, as many high-end restaurants are not).
Turns out we chose 3 very different and exciting restaurants with mostly Asian fare: Momofuku by David Chang with a menu that draws influence from the US, Korea, and Japan. China Poblano by José Andrés with dishes encompassing a global voyage that has connected the cuisines of the East and West. And the new Din Tai Fung, a world-renowned Taiwanese restaurant that specializes in soup dumplings and noodles.
Potato Crusted Salmon
Lemon Butter Sauce with Dill and Parsley
Coins of Carrot, Zucchini, Yellow Squash
It had been way too many years since we’ve enjoyed this fabulous potato crusted salmon dish. Our dear friends, Scott & Gina Lee, closed their super-popular Redondo Beach, California restaurant, Gina Lee’s Bistro, in 2014 after almost 19 years in business. Oh gosh, how the South Bay misses their brilliant original Cal-Asian fare!
Their Potato Crusted Salmon had been a favorite of my grandmother-in-law, Evelyn Dawn. She was always professing the benefits of salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids and ordered it every single time we dined there (which was very often).
After she passed away at 93 years of age in 2000, Scott & Gina graciously named this dish as a tribute to her: Evelyn Dawn’s Potato Crusted Salmon. It is such a wonderful recipe, it’s hard to believe it took me so long to recreate it and share on Taste With The Eyes again…it is every bit as delicious as we remember!
We’ve been enjoying Dynamite at sushi restaurants for decades, but had never thought to prepare it at home. Recently we enjoyed another fabulous meal at Roy Choi’s Best Friend on the Vegas Strip. Every single dish was intriguing, with bold delicious flavors. His Uni Dynamite Rice was no exception.
Now, the other day I made another fantastic platter of sockeye salmon crudo from my Sitka Salmon Shares, and had some leftover pieces of salmon after I had arranged the fish on the plate. Since receiving my shipment of sashimi-grade Alaskan salmon, I’ve been looking for more raw fish recipes. I pulled out Chef Sam Choy’s cookbook, Poke, and came across his recipe for Salmon Dynamite.
As a super-tasty use for my leftover salmon pieces and a way to reimagine Best Friend’s dish… the inspiration for my Salmon and Scallop Dynamite recipe comes from Chef Roy Choi and Chef Sam Choy. A Choi-Choy Dynamite you might say.
Sam Choy is a four-time nominee for the James Beard Best Pacific Regional chef award, winning in 2004. He is often credited as the “Godfather of Poke” and the Culinary Ambassador of the Big Island. Read my interview with him about poke and sustainability here.
Chef Roy Choi’s amazing Uni Dynamite Rice is pictured above with salmon roe, sriracha, yuzu, and sesame. All the dishes we have tried are unique and mind-blowing. On a previous visit to Best Friend we had an extraordinary vegetarian Eggplant Schnitzel, read about it here.
The Chef says of his restaurant at Park MGM, “It’s Koreatown in a capsule – a portal to the streets of LA, but also rooted in what makes Las Vegas… VEGAS.”