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Recipe inspiration, tips, and kitchen hacks from the Chowhound editors.

“Red as an Apple” Picks Up New Meaning

Move over, Honeycrisp and SweeTango. A new UK apple variety known as the Redlove Era is promising to revolutionize the visual aesthetics of the fruit. Eric Steinman, writing at delish.com, notes:
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Fatty ’Cue: No Revelations, Just Good Food

Fatty ’Cue, a Southeast Asian–meets-American-style barbecue joint in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is subterranean and sweaty. Loud ’60s R&B on the stereo. A tiny space, dark, and raucous. A place you could see yourself getting really drunk in, happily, while eating a small mountain of ribs.

Opened this year by Zak Pelaccio of Fatty Crab fame, the restaurant was talked about endlessly by the Brooklyn food-nerd scene. Its style can be summed up as fish sauce meets pit smoker. READ MORE

What Should I Think About Jolene Sugarbaker?

I don't know how to feel about Internet cooking instructor Jolene Sugarbaker, who's been posting cooking videos to YouTube for years now. On the one hand, this "Trailer Park Queen"—in reality she's a male comedian named Jason Saffer—has a lot of fans, and does have a winning way in front of the camera. And a theme song with a lot of head-nodding, which I find amusing. READ MORE

Love, Devotion, and Handmade Corn Tortillas

"El Taco Sabroso Grill stands rightly accused of serving up some of the tastiest traditional Mexican fare that I have enjoyed outside of Mexico," says degustateur. "Antonio and Guadalupe Zamayoa, who hail from Michoacan, have operated this little gem with love and devotion for over 7 years."

The handmade corn tortillas are worth the trip alone, says degustateur: "Light, pillowy, yet substantial with a hearty corn masa flavor. Among the very best…"

There are excellent chilaquiles, with farm-fresh-tasting eggs, and cheese-laced, lardy refried beans. They also serve the best verde chicharrones degustateur has ever had, with more than the usual subcutaneous fat for extra flavor. There are tender chicharrones tacos and chicken tacos: pure taco bliss. Most phenomenal of all is their al pastor taco, with "such an amazing variety of textures and flavor that my taste buds were working overtime to delineate them all – lean, fatty, crunchy, soft, gristly, charred, mild, spicy, savory, sweet … whew!" says degustateur.

Chicken in mole poblano is beautiful, with a dark red mole, distinctly citrus-y and lovely. But the chicken is the best part. "This was no ordinary chick. In my guesstimation, she was free-range, freshly slaughtered, never frozen and cooked to absolute perfection," says degustateur. "Sublime!"

El Taco Sabroso Grill [Orange County]
214 W. Santa Fe Avenue, Placentia
714-524-6716

Discuss: El Sabroso Grill – Another Home Run in Old Town Placentia!

Rockin’ Ramen in the Valley

The Valley, not much known for its quality Japanese food, has a brand-new ramen joint: Ramen Jinya. It's just barely soft-opened. "I have no bones about reviewing it early though, because frankly, the place rocks," says rameniac.

They offer ramen in the style of Ramen California, with a full complement of organic side dishes and nouveau ramen. "Traditionalists take note, however. The special on the day i went was a very authentic wafu tonkotsu ramen, and it's pretty much what you'd find in Tokyo, loaded with bonito and even fish powder, which gives the soup a nice gritty texture," says rameniac.

The namesake bowl, Jinya Ramen, is a chicken ramen, perfect for beginners leery of hard-core pork ramen. "I haven't had a bowl this good since I was at the Ramen Museum in Yokohama," says Gourmet Pilot. "Heck, it's better than the bowl I had recently in Dotonbori in Osaka."

The broth is rich and tasty and the noodles nicely al dente, says Akitist. Even the curry here is pretty good, says Gourmet Pilot.

But be aware: They seem to be closing on unexpected days during their early period. Their official off day is Sunday, but some Chowhounds have experienced other closures. They've also run out of ramen at least once due to unexpected popularity. So call ahead.

Ramen Jinya [San Fernando Valley - East]
11239 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City
818-980-3977

Discuss: another one?? RAMEN JINYA is here! studio city gets ramen, finally. and it's good. (nano-review)
Finally! Great ramen comes to the Valley!

CHOW Cooks from the “Blue Ribbon Cookbook”

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New York Strip Steak with Caramelized Shallots. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

Classic Ice Cream in a Carousel

Many a Chowhound mourned the closing of beloved classic Pasadena ice cream house Soda Jerks. Well, they're back and serving Fosselman's ice cream, just like in the old days, and in the coolest possible location: in the carousel building at the Santa Monica Pier.

The new Soda Jerks doesn't serve food, only ice cream. But it is a particular boon to Westsiders, who have no easy access to the Los Angeles wonder that is Fosselman's ice cream.

The folks behind Soda Jerks are still searching for a place to reopen a full-sized ice cream parlor in the Pasadena area. But for now, have yourself an ice cream sundae while whirling away on a carousel.

Soda Jerks [Westside - Beaches]
200 Santa Monica Pier,
 Santa Monica
310-393-SODA (7632)

Discuss: Soda Jerks has opened on the Santa Monica Pier

Overheard on the Los Angeles Board

"Went for the mezze (various small plates) at Alcazar in Westwood and ended up with a whole Branzino that had been butterflied and broiled. It was the best fish I've tasted in Los Angeles in a long while. I had it for dinner and then the next day again for lunch... This was even better than the best I had at Mariscos [Chente]." - epop on Alcazar Express

"Speaking of Hi-Life ... they will top your chili-cheese fries with ranch dressing! My arteries harden a little bit everytime I type that sentence..." - ipsedixit on Hi-Life Hamburgers

"Try the actual fried dough at AT&T Park when you get home (also called elephant ears). It's a treat that is very rare on this coast." - heckonwheels

Local Vino, Wine Not?

The Daily Beast touts a story on wine and local eating as an exposé, but that seems a bit generous; author Todd Kliman's essay broadly details how locavore restaurants still typically serve imported wine, but this contradiction isn't news to anyone who has dined with their eyes open at any point in the past decade. READ MORE

How Does the Top Chef Sandwich Stack Up?

We had heard about Xie Xie sandwich shop from our food editor, Jill Santopietro, before we ever saw owner Angelo Sosa on the latest season of Top Chef. But since we had seen him winning challenges on the show, it did add a little extra pressure for the Asian-inspired sandwich joint to kick some ass. READ MORE