Cha Gio

Cha Gio: Imperial Rolls also called Vietnamese Spring Rolls

We enjoyed our Cha Gio at the tiny, six table restaurant Nam’s Red Door in San Pedro, California where the menu hasn’t changed one bit in over 30 years.

Chopped pork, crab meat, black mushrooms, cellophane noodles and Asian spices wrapped in rice paper, then fried.

To assemble: wrap the spring roll in a lettuce leaf, add cucumber, mint, and cilantro, then dip in nuoc mam and, if fond of heat, add the ubiquitous Chili Garlic Sauce.
Beverage pairing: Cold Vietnamese Beer “33” Export

Also try:
Mi Xao Ga – crispy egg noodles topped with chicken and vegetables

And for dessert:
Bánh Flan

Caramel custard became part of Vietnamese cuisine through the French colonization of Vietnam. The Vietnamese way is to steam the custard as opposed to the French method of cooking in a bain-marie. Delicious, very light and fluffy.

Ăn nào! Bon appétit !

Water Grill – Los Angeles

Hamachi Crudo with Champagne Grapes Preserved Meyer Lemon, Lemon Verbena and English Pea Puree

Chilled Maine Lobster with Saffron Aioli

Blue and Dungeness Crab Cake with Harissa, Herbed Couscous and Yogurt-Lime-Cucumber Sauce

Foie Gras Duet: Seared with Cherries and Cassia Gastrique

Foie Gras Duet: Parfait with Orange Cognac Gelée

Sumac Coated Australian Barramundi with Linguicia and Grilled Calamari Strewn Israeli Cous Cous with Castelvetrano Olives

New Zealand John Dory withTomato-Date Chutney, Tiny Summer Squash, Cumin Scented Zucchini Puree and Chick Pea Panisse

Blueberry Mascarpone Cake served warm with Lemon, Candied Corn, Créme Fraiche Ice Cream and Blueberry

Red Velvet Pudding served warm with Mascarpone Ice Cream, Cocoa Nib Streusel and Raspberry

Warm Cinnamon Doughnut and Lemon Doughnut Hole

The End.

We enjoyed this meal with an absolutely fabulous bottle of Peter Michael La Carrière (French for “the quarry”) Chardonnay 2004 recommended by Sommelier Cara Bertone. Tasting notes: A terroir-driven minerality dominates the aroma: crushed stone, baking flour and sweet pear. The minerality is highlighted by notes of citrus oils, William pear and lemon. Touches of tangerine and sweet vanilla complete the elegant bouquet. Rich and intense, the 2004 La Carrière presents on the palate wonderful concentration and elegance.

The entire staff was outstanding, thank you to all, especially Chef Ted Hopson who even took us on a tour of his kitchen!

From the website: “Inspired, adventurous and inventive sums up the Water Grill. Praised by Zagat Survey as Los Angeles’ top seafood restaurant since the day it opened, Water Grill has become an institution of excellence. In service, food, presentation, décor, ambiance and overall guest experience, this Downtown favorite exceeds all expectations.”
We agree.

And thanks, Rob 🙂

A Birthday Bouquet for You, Julia

My Julia Child floribunda roses (butter yellow) with French Perfume hybrid tea roses (pink with yellow center) and 5 fresh herbs from Gail’s Garden: rosemary, basil, sage, mint, and flowering oregano.

Julia Child writing about 1949:
“On August 15, I turned thirty-seven years old. Paul bought me the Larousse Gastronomique, a wonder-book of 1,087 pages of sheer cookery and foodery…By now I knew French food was “it” for me. I couldn’t get over how absolutely delicious it was.”