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Oakland: Commis (March 2014)

August 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Restaurant: Commis

Exec Chef: James Syhabout

I’ve been meaning to try Commis since summer 2013 and finally was able to! It’s quite an amazing restaurant. The decor, and to a certain extent the food too, is very minimalist. Things are pretty but bare, which I can appreciate because it translates into a focus on food. There’s a kind of no-nonsense approach to the food, where what you get is just beautifully cooked dishes made with very fresh ingredients. There’s very little flash or flare (although part of the kitchen is open) but I think that actually helps cut down on the cost (the location is a factor too) so that what the diner get is just great food for a great price.

1. Carmelized Onion Financier, Pickled Green Strawberries with Goats Milk and Dill

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The light and refreshing amuse really wowed me. The onion biscuit was just this super sweet oniony fluffy muffin that had none of the harshness of actual raw onions. Incredible.

Click here to see the rest of the meal!

NYC: Juni (Jan. 2014)

February 7, 2014 2 comments

Authors: Monte and Tad
Exec Chef: Shaun Hergatt

January 20, 2014

Monte: I had tried SHO downtown when Chef Shaun Hergatt was still working there and thought it was great. I had been wondering what he had been up to when I randomly saw that Juni had reservations on OpenTable and I decided to google it since I had never heard of it. Surprise, it’s Shaun Hergatt’s restaurant. The lunch deal of 3 courses for $35 (or 2 courses for $30) looked accessible so Tad and I jumped on it (Tad edit: for the record, I would have jumped on it if it was $100 for three courses).

Tad: It’s been a while since I’ve written on Noms, mostly because I spent the last few months finding myself. After over two decades of schooling, I finally had to face the “real” world (or at least father threatened to cut me off unless I got a real job). So I guess this is my job for now…I will keep writing until I get bored.
I guessed that Shaun left SHO because catering Wall Street business lunches wasn’t what a chef of his caliber deserved (you can’t BUY discerning taste, to paraphrase the old adage). The new restaurant is a way for him to showcase his cuisine at a more centralized location, however icky the new location may be: Jungsik aside, it’s hard to think of Korean food, especially of the type in Koreatown, as anything but what you eat to demonstrate your worldliness in ethnic foods.

Click here to see pictures.

California’s Donut King

January 31, 2014 1 comment

California’s Donut King

I was reading a lucky peach article about donuts and it made me remember reading this LA Times article when it first came out. It’s really stuck with me throughout the years and is something I think is important. The piece reveals a lot about the Cambodian-American community, the immigrant experience, and California small businesses (According to the Lucky Peach 90% of the 2,400 independent donut shops in California are Cambodian-owned). Growing up in the Bay Area and eating a ton of those donuts was amazing – I never had to experience the dry and stale dunkin donuts. Hope y’all enjoy the article and learn from it as much as I did.