Sunday, December 26, 2004

Saturday, December 25, 2004

happy holidays

third and fairfax wishes everyone the happiest of holidays, and that your days are merry and bright. i wish you all the best for you and your family.

Monday, December 13, 2004


Hot Dog Vendor: "What do you want?"
The Dalai Lama: "Make me one with everything."

truthfully, the last time i ate at pink's was after a heavy night at either sit 'n' spin or club f*ck (o los angeles, you know how to name your clubs!), and i saw my math professor sharing a dog with a very pretty young man a la lady and the tramp. but noodlepie's recent post on a search for a hot dog stand in saigon got me thinking about how la's burger shacks and hot dog stands are disappearing. land is pricy, rents are up, and building and health codes are actually being enforced.

i'm annoyed that these walk-up stands are being replaced by noxious drive-throughs of fast food chains (btw, i know i've exclaimed this before, but who the bleep buys kung pao chicken from a drive-through?!). my neighbourhood is dangerous enough--i don't need to add being run down on the street by some guy reaching for a dropped french fry. i don't advocate eating fast food, but it happens, and i happen to enjoy it every once and again. but i don't want to give any money to what spiceblog refers to (with vile, vigor and contempt) as "scottish restaurant", which seem to be popping up all over town at an alarming rate (oh, now would be a nice time to bring up my rant over the i-am-asian website). it has its place/places/even more places but really, it has got to stop supersizing itself. granted, not all food stands are offering better quality than the chains, but some actually do, and most offer character to the city along with personal service for the people. it would an absolute shame to see them go.

oh so back to pink's for a minute. the parking lot is really small, but don't park in the adjacent flower shop's lot. bring some coins because you'll probably need to park at a meter. there will be a line pretty much any time of day or night, but it moves. pink's has a quality dog, i'm told, and i recall it being quite good. it has that "snap" that aficionados look for in the casing, and perhaps it actually tastes like something, even though you can get your hot dog dressed with anything from guacamole, sour cream and tomatoes, to bacon, pastrami, and swiss (no, not all together, although every combination is possible). they've got burgers, too, grilled chicken, tamales, and a veggie dog that's supposed to be really good. me, the next time i go, i think i'd stick to the classic chili-cheese combo, but i might get the 10" stretch, or a polish dog. none of this freaky stuff for me. although the lord of the rings dog sounds interesting. or maybe the martha stewart. hm. the possibilities.

709 n la brea
los angeles 90038

Sunday, December 12, 2004

the apple pan

damn straight!

first, an open apology to reid and to the apple pan: dude, i did have a burger when i was in town, and an apple pan burger to boot. to forget is a crime--their burgers are so good.

the apple pan is small brick and wood cottage nestled amongst the anonymous fast food and coffee franchises that line pico blvd, across from the westside pavilion. open since 1947, it hasn't changed much during the years; when you walk inside, it's like stepping back into time, but not like in a johnny rockets/ed debevic's sort of way--it's shabby, it's badly lit, the counter men are grumpy as all get out, and whatever you do, don't look to closely at the floor behind the grill. having said that, i gotta say i love everything about it. when you walk in, you are faced with a u-shaped counter that surrounds the grill that dominates the space. there is only enough room behind one of the dozen and a half seats for person to stand behind you (and a person will, as there is always a wait), and only enough room between the counter and the grill for a counter man to slap down a menu. there's not much to order from the apple pan, but what there is is pretty darned good: burgers, hickory burgers (burgers with a slosh of really good barbecue sauce), burgers with tillamook cheddar, hickory burgers with tillamook cheddar. tuna, egg salad, or ham and swiss on rye. fries. pie. don't ask for anything not on the menu, 'cause yer just gonna get dead silence or a mouthing off, depending on how grumpy your counter man is. yeah, they are grumpy. eh. i don't mind (secretly, i get a thrill from trying to get them to soften up, but you have to approach it verrrry carefully. they don't like that).

i've been going here since my college days, but it was only recently that i started ordering the burgers--i am a big fan of their tuna and egg salad sandwiches, and i'm not the only one. but the reason why there's always a wait no matter what time of day it is is the burgers. so impressive they don't even come on a plate, and they stand up on their own. your burger comes to you minutes after you order it, cooked exactly as you want it, moist, flavourful, meaty and delicious. maybe a little too much lettuce, so ask them (nicely) to go easy on it. i got the hickory burger this time, with a (paper) plateful of their hot-from-the-fryer french fries. people will tell you not to bother as the burger is substantial enough, but the fries are so crispy and piping hot, they are worth loosening your belt for.

oh yeah. loosen that belt a little more for the pie. the night i went, they were all out of their so-impressive-the-joint-is-named-after-it apple pie, that is at least six inches tall, and filled with warm, cinnamony chunks of apple in the flakiest imaginable crust. if it's available, get a slice a la mode, as the vanilla ice cream will melt into the warm apple-y filling and create a gorgeous river of cream. i got a couple of slices of pie to go--the pecan, which is really good, and not cloyingly sweet as some can be, and my personal fave-rave from here, the coconut cream pie. it's a ginormous slice of fresh vanilla pudding, mounds of whipped cream, and toasted coconut on the thinnest, flakiest, butteriest crust imaginable. in fact, the apple pan embodies the word "crusty" in every possible way, but in every way it endears itself to me.

quality forever!

the apple pan
10801 w pico blvd
los angeles 90064

mashti malone

ah, mashti malone. the story is that when mashti and mehdi shirvani first set up their ice cream shop in this rather threadbare strip mall just off of hollywood boulevard, they couldn't afford to change the name on the sign of the previous business, "mugsy malone". so, they did what every enterprising immigrant in the city has done and changed around a few letters and thus was born mashti malone (btw, other clever reworkings around la: winchell's donuts-->michelle's donuts, von's supermarket-->jon's/mom's/ron's), purveyor of fine persian ice creams and some pretty tasty american ones too.

the shirvanis make all the ice cream and sorbets on offer, and their repertoire has expanded so much that not all flavours are on offer daily. of course, i totally skip over the pralines and cream and strawberry cheesecake varieties and go straight to the 'exotics'--the offerings this day were saffron ginger ice cream, rosewater ice cream, rosewater sorbet, rosewater and pomegranate sorbet (rosewater sorbets have rice starch noodles in them to add texture and body to the delicate ice) and a mysterious herb sorbet, flecked with green bits and black seeds that weren't poppyseeds. i couldn't decide, so i got a scoop of the rosewater and pomegranate and a scoop of the herb sorbet.

after you get your ice cream or sorbet, you can pour lemon juice or sour cherry juice over it for extra flavour, but the choices i picked were flavourful enough. the rosewater pomegranate was a nice little kick, much like regular rosewater when sour cherry has been added, and the herby seedy thingo was funky. i couldn't figure out any of the herbs, although there was a bit of a limey taste (kaffir lime leaves?), a basil taste, and heaven knows what the tiny, tiny seeds were, as they imparted very little flavour. i'm thinking nigella seeds, but possibly only because i had seen nigella lawson recently, and i had her on my mind (oh, if only i could have brought ms. lawson here!). despite the large portion, i devoured every bit of it, as it was light, refreshing, and more than a little addictive.

the shop also had other treats for sale--dried fruit, persian candies, tetra-pack 'exotic' juices--and pints of ice cream and sorbets to go. they also have the heavenly yet devilish ice cream sandwich known as 'the mashti': two thin wafers sandwiching two scoops of the super rich, super fantastic rosewater saffron pistachio ice cream. ultra-creamy rosewater ice cream is blended with saffron and whole pistachios, and paired with whisper light and crispy wafers for an out of this world chunk of gluttony that i think ms. lawson would approve of. i do.

mashti malone
1525 n la brea

Friday, December 03, 2004

chocolate sour cherry bread

from la brea bakery. it's a dense, deep and earthy loaf with chunks of chocolate and sour cherries throughout. it used to be more savoury, but in recent years has become something more like a quick bread with some heft. not that it's a bad thing. it is, however, a bad thing when you consume three-quarters of a loaf in one sitting. not that i did. this time.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

pickled pink

i think somewhere on the guam blog i discussed an aunt's penchant for cooking with colour cues and not by flavours--she uses enchilada sauce and cream cheese in her lasagna because it's the right colour. eek.

occasionally i fall down that weird shame spiral, but so far i haven't had any horrible taste sensations come from it. the latest "it's the right colour" recipe is for pickled onions. i was craving them after i had them in our border grill feast, so i set about making some, without benefit of a recipe. eh. kitchen chemistry (btw, did i ever tell you my AP chem teacher worked in a michelin-starred kitchen in belgium? she made the best quiche i've ever had on a bunsen burner in the lab).

easy enough, this. i just looked for sweet, sour, and pinky, so i brought a half cup of balsamico and a cup of pomegranate juice to a gentle boil, along with thyme, pink peppercorns and bay leaves. dumped in some red onions, cut into rings, so they could absorbed some of the pickling liquid easily, then took it off the heat, placed it in a jar, and let it sit overnight in the fridge. the next day i had lovely, slightly crunchy, mellow sweet and sour onions. tasty accompaniment to a turkey asado i made but didn't photograph. sorry. next time.

paging san francisco shopping queens!

i bought this cakestand and a matching cheese plate stand from MAC (modern appealing clothing) when it was still on post, and later couple lamps from the same store after it moved to grant. they are all designed by the same person, whose name i've completely obliterated from my memory; i am now trying to track him or other pieces by him down.

all i can remember about him is that he lives (lived?) in the bay area, and his deceased aunt left him a shoe factory in fresno. his pieces incorporate wire, car parts, discarded or old hardware, and glass findings. if anyone knows anything about him or pieces like the cakestand above, please let me know!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

pineapple sage

i was at the santa monica farmer's market and found pineapple sage, or salvia elegans, which is known as a great hummingbird attractor. i've never seen it actually used as an herb, just in gardens, but it's so pretty and really fragrant (just like pineapples!), that i knew i had to incorporate it in our thanksgiving meal somehow. i ended up using the tiny red trumpet-like flowers in a mixed green salad with cayenne-spiced caramelized walnuts and a mango juice/balsamic dressing, and the basil-like leaves in the poultry marinade and in the chestnut stuffing. i can't say i noticed it much in the marinade or the stuffing, but the flowers were a wonderful foil to the spiciness of the walnuts and the watercress in the salad. mmm. i'll have to attempt growing this from seed back home.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

roasted citrus herby game hens

i cooked on thanksgiving. yay. actually, boo, i was hoping to have it all catered but we waited too long. anyroad, there were only three of us, so i decided to mess about with little hens instead of a giant turkey. i'm not a particular fan of game hens (i wanted to cook duck, but it was a last minute decision, and cooking duck rarely goes well with last minute decisions), and i wasn't sure how to season them, but the birds turned out well enough that my aunt gnawed on one in traffic on the way home. whey hey.

i made a brine from kosher salt, brown sugar, fresh lemon rind, dried orange rind, tri-colour whole peppercorns (black, green, pink), rosemary, thyme, pineapple sage, and bay leaves (i cribbed the basic ingredients from a mix from williams-sonoma. it sounded good.). boiled it in water and orange juice, and set it aside to cool.

after the brining liquid had cooled, i submerged the cleaned hens into the brine, and set them in the fridge overnight. after i had thoroughly rinsed out the birds, and discarded the brine, i stuffed the cavities with more fresh herbs and orange wedges, and made a basting sauce from olive oil, butter, orange and lemon juice, and used a long sprig of rosemary as a baster.

the hens were placed in a roasting pan over a rack, in an oven preheated to 450˚F, basted occasionally and cooked until a thermometer stuck into the thigh read 175˚F (79˚C), about an hour later. i left them to rest for about 15 minutes before serving. they turned out to be quite tender and meltingly soft, and the citrus flavours worked well with the herbs. not my cup of tea, though, but i'm glad to know i can do it!

DUB magnum

photo from

last saturday, on my way to my new crazy storage space on la brea, i was following a motorcade of cars that looked like a strange hybrid between an armored assault vehicle and my dad's last station wagon from the seventies. all of them had super-dark tinted windows--which i thought was illegal in la--and had the word 'DUB' plastered on every surface imaginable. ?? isn't DUB magazine a music thing? does this have anything to do with a magazine? payola? something for their top execs?

and while i'm on it, i've seen similar cars around town, most notably ferrari's SUV (don't know what it's called). as a pre-21st c. volvo 240 station wagon owner, i admit to being drawn to its boxiness, but for the price someone pays for these luxury vehicles, he or she's gotta know it still looks like a stupid station wagon.

oh, duh. i should always check the website first.

Monday, November 29, 2004

fire king

i used to collect fire king jadite tableware, back in my thrifting and swap meet days. the colour is what attracted me, and the fact that many of the pieces were a bit chunky and sturdy. also, the price was reasonable to dead cheap, and it was somewhat easy to find. until of course, martha stewart "discovered" it, and ebay took advantage of that, so now prices are through the roof. thanks, martha, for leaving me with a half-finished collection i can no longer afford to collect.

hm. i wonder what the prices on blue pieces are like....

aloha honolulu

honolulu airport lounge

honolulu. hot. sticky. rainy. tourists going home and thinking it's perfectly alright to wear shorts and sandals back to the freezing mainland climes.

as promised, the coveted ice bucket in the exec lounge.

back, jack

back on island, but i shall be updating this blog along with green bananas at least until the new year, as there was much i did not get to.

plane ride uneventful except for the odd food offering of a burger, or, since it was an all-island crew on board, "hamburger sandwich, nene". and apparently i was on the plane with jasmine trias, ex-american idol contestant. not that i can identify her. i can only assume she's not the oldest nor the youngest in the photo below.

Ric A. Eusebio/Pacific Daily News

Sunday, November 28, 2004

come fly with me

ah, travelling on the busiest travel weekend of the year, not my idea of a good time. my airport tip: pack all electronics and accessories--ipods, cords, phones, digital cameras--in a resealable plastic bag, throw it in a bucket at xray with your shoes, and you'll be flyin' through that security checkpoint. (unless you forgot to dump the kilo of cocaine in your handcarry, of course) airport blogging, interesting, i wonder who is airport blogreading? the only time i ever feel like going to a starbucks is pretty much at airports, but er, not today, thanks. what does that gingerbread latte taste like, i wonder.

at least i am in the exec lounge, which is the most crowded i have ever seen it. free web access, sure, but a very sad doughnut museum, indeed.

if i get my act together, i shall document the HNL exec lounge when i get there. much more interesting food options, ginger ale on tap, and an ice bucket i covet with jade green eyes.

¡hasta luego! wish me and my dodgy tummy luck.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

leaving on a jet plane

i'm leaving tomorrow. am i packed? no. did i do any holiday shopping? no. am i suffering from a tinge of food poisoning? yes. am i pissed? yes.


griffith park holiday lights

every year for the past eight years, the department of water and power has put up holiday lights on a one mile stretch of griffith park. it's supposed to be a "magnificent display" but feels more like an overeager home project of a dedicated dwp employee. still, it does have its charm, and if the music is right (note to dwp: ixnay the neil diamond already), it can be a sweet walk/drive/environmentally friendly shuttle ride amongst the thousands of lights.

i HIGHLY suggest parking at the zoo and walking through it, or taking the shuttle. the drive through has two hour waits and the carbon monoxide can overwhelm you [cough]. bring the keikis. it's really for them anyway.

Friday, November 26, 2004

damien's car

damien's car is so big, i can't fit it all in the frame.


Thursday, November 25, 2004

giving thanks

click on photo to enlarge

i thank the following for all the obvious reasons, and all the not-so-obvious ones, too (in no particular order):

the staff at st. vincent's hospital, all the doctors and their staff here and in guam, everyone at good sam, radiology and itc. the clergy and congregation at st. victor's and the cathedral of our lady of the angels. friends i didn't get to see here, and those i did. friends on guam. nyc and uk friends. late night radio friends. the wacky neighbours. the staff and nice people i've met at arclight, the grove theaters, chinatown and farmers market, where i've spent A LOT of time. all the courteous drivers on the streets and freeways (more than i thought). everyone who lives in la and loves it and it shows.

everyone in my blogosphere for your kind words, comments, humour, and for thinking the things you think and then writing them down.

family. those related and not.

thank you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

tree lighting at the grove

when they said there was going to be a tree lighting ceremony at the grove, we didn't think they meant this.

la zoo

the best thing that can be said about the la zoo (which you might remember from the opening credits of "three's company", o seventies telly lovin' children) is that it has the potential, one day, to become a really fine zoo.

an 'a' for effort, kids!

is this the komodo dragon that ate mr. sharon stone's toe?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

olives vegas

final day in vegas was spent exclusively at bellagio, which is less like lake como as they tout it to be (snort), and more like a steroidal vision of a (W)WMD (what would martha do/weapons of mass decoration) interior designer run amok. vegas for crafters. not that it's a bad thing.

i've only ever eaten at café gelato, which seriously has the best gelato i've ever had in the west, but other restaurants in the hotel have had good reviews from friends and family. since me mum is still in recovery mode, buffets have been out of the question--too much walking, too much food. we decided to eat at olives, which actually does not have an la outpost, although there are several others around the world. the restaurant is owned by todd english, whom i knew from an appearance on the ill-advised iron chef america. despite that, i went. it's also a good thing i didn't read the website before i went, as his online bio and the site's self-aggrandizing comments makes him seem way too sexy for his toque. bleah. i'm almost annoyed that it was a damn. fine. meal. fantastic, actually.

the restaurant is sort of sexy--dark woods, wrought iron, golden lighting and fabrics in black and olive green (of course). and as we were seated, we were asked (once again) what cocktail we'd like, but settled on water. a basket of breads and crackers was set down, with a dish not containing butter, but green and black olives, and green and black olive tapenade. i am rather sensi to olives, so i didn't try them, but the breads were wonderful. each was just a little cube so you could try different ones without filling up--there was a parmesan cracker, onion loaf, walnut, and olive oil bread.

almost immediately, we were brought our starter, a fig and prosciutto flatbread--rosemary dough "pizza" with fig and balsamic jam, prosciutto, and gorgonzola. a nice balance of salty, sweet, savoury, and earthy flavours. the crust was light and crisp, the figs small and intense, and the prosciutto fresh and flavourful.

we loved every bit of the flatbread and looked forward to our entrees. and looked and looked. it took another 20 minutes before they arrived, with no explanation. good thing we still had the bread. finally, the food.

i don't remember all the elements involved, so bear with me. mmm. seared ahi tuna with a salad of baby greens, tomatoes, and avocadoes, topped with fried sweet potato strings.

mmmm. grilled swordfish sandwich on grilled challah with aioli, served with potato chips flavoured with a gremolata made from lemon, lemon peel, parsley, garlic and olive oil.

mmmmm. seared grouper on a bed of roasted tomato sauce, arancini fried rice cakes made from risotto, and topped with an orange and shaved baby fennel salad.

we ended the meal by sharing a roasted pineapple tart, made from a generous chunk of roasted fresh pineapple on a puff pastry base, topped with a coconut cream sorbet, and garnished with passionfruit caramel and a paper thin slice of dessicated pineapple. aaaaaaaah.

a perfect meal to finish out our stay. what made it slightly more perfect was that as we were walking out, we decided to try our luck at the slots--on a $10 investment and several pulls on the one-armed bandit, we managed to make back all the money spent on lunch and just a little more.

at bellagio
3600 las vegas blvd south
las vegas nv 89109


go to café gelato at the bellagio. now.

Monday, November 22, 2004

border grill vegas

yes, i know, it's insane, eating at all these los angeles establishments when i've got vegas at my feet. all i have to say in my defense is never underestimate the power of sharkvision and a giant bathtub.

i went to border grill at mandalay bay because it was a gorgeous day and i knew for a fact it has a patio overlooking the pool, we woke up totally late and lazy and didn't feel like leaving the hotel, and i knew it would take a minor miracle to get me out to the santa monica restaurant as i rarely venture to that part of town--i do love them two hot tamales, but it's fairly easy to reproduce their food with the help of their cookbooks, and a few of their menu items can be found in the prepared foods section of whole foods markets.

i love the look of border grill. bold graffiti'd murals and images adorn the warm walls, and the chunky, clean-lined furniture is painted in equally bold colours. it's a clean, modern space with few adornments outside of the murals, but the star of the show is the food. the supervising chefs and owners, mary sue milliken and susan feniger, take the same aethetics they have in decor and apply it to their mexican-inspired food: it's clean, bold, warm, modern. chunky.

i don't know if this is true of all the joints in town, but wherever we went, the first thing any server at a restaurant asks you is what kind of alcoholic beverage can they bring you. oh vegas, you like your ladies loose and liquored up, dontcha. (in the grill's defense, it has an extensive and interesting tequila collection, and it makes a great margarita--unblended please!) we declined and instead opted for the grenada limonada, pomegranate lemonade. oh, that i had shares in pom, as this was a truly wonderful discovery, although i think grenadine was also thrown in there, as it was on the sweet side. if i made this at home, i'd keep it out. or, i'd add vodka.

our starter plate, two of each: chicken panuchos--"stuffed" fried tortillas with shredded marinated chicken, guacamole, and onions pickled in beet juice; green corn tamales, wrapped in corn husks and served with a fresh salsa and sour cream; and these fantastic empanadas made from a dough of mashed plantains, then stuffed with black beans and served with a little crema. i couldn't try the panuchos (avocado allergy), but the green corn tamales were sweet and delicate (if i recall, their recipe calls for very little besides fresh corn), and the plantains were sweet and bold. a thin, crunchy layer of plantain, filled with creamy and smooth black beans. mmmm. i forget what these are called in spanish (cousin says that guelaguetza, a popular local restaurant serving oaxacan cuisine, serves these), but they are sort of a cross between alcapurrias and tostones relleños.

my mom ordered the grilled turkey platter: turkey breast meat, pounded down into a paillard and marinated in epazote, oregano, garlic, and black pepper, then grilled, and served with black beans, roasted peppers and onions, watercress salad, and warm flour tortillas. dang, that was one fine turkey. despite it being lean white meat and grilled, it was juicy and flavourful. turkey tastes like something! the generous spicing helped, and was complemented the sweetness of the roasted peppers and onions.

i ordered cochinita pibil--pork loin marinated in citrus juices, annatto, garlic, oregano and other spices--at the urging of our server. i have had a pretty good version of this at lotería, a favourite taquería in the farmers market, but the border grill version knocked me off my socks. unlike most versions of this which are shredded, it was served in fat chunks, because the marinade is so strong, the pork needs a little heft to fight back. the citrus oregano flavour was so strong it was almost like eating a marinara sauce, but with many an undercurrent--cumin? cinnamon? garlic? pumpkin?! ah, good thing i found the recipe because i need to make this back on the island. the strong entree was tempered by warm corn tortillas, fried plantains, black beans and rice. i highly recommend this if you ever find yourself in a border grill.

needless to say, there was no room at the stummy for dessert. i've had their sweets before, and all of them were exceptionally good--torta de tres leches with prickly pear and passionfruit puree, flan, and a mexican flourless chocolate cake come to mind. the nice thing is you can order half-sized portions of two or four of the desserts on the menu if you want to try them all. i say, bully for you if you can manage it!

border grill
near the convention center entrance/shark reef
mandalay bay
3950 las vegas blvd south
las vegas nv 89119

canter's vegas

my mom wanted to go to one of those french-canadian-modern-interpretive-dance-unironic-homoerotic-in-a-circus-context circuses here in vegas, so we did. afterwards, we were starving, and noticed there wasn't a line at a crazy men-in-black-set-meets-70s-LAX-airport diner. we wandered over to see what it was, and was surprised to see it was the las vegas outpost of la's canters deli--a jewish delicatessen well-known to club kids, night owls, metal bands, and their ganse mishpochah. it's not the best deli in la, but probably the best known.

i was only a little surprised that there was a vegas outpost; a ton of restaurants from los angeles have local branches. i was a lot surprised, however, about how completely different the decor is between the two. the la deli brings new meaning to the word 'brown' and is decorated in early seventies naugahyde; the vegas store is stainless steel, leather bench seating, and resin doodads everywhere. the vegas branch has only a few menu items, where the original's menu is like a mini-encyclopedia of deli creations--everything from borscht to varnishke. the la canter's is also well-known for crazy large deli sandwiches, the most popular (i'm told) is the one called the canter's fairfax--half a pound of warm pastrami and corned beef piled on rye--although the only one i actually remember by name is the danny thomas--fried salami and bologna on rye. no, never ordered it, and it's not on the vegas menu.

we ended up ordering the grilled reuben sandwiches--one with pastrami (pictured above), and one with turkey, piled onto grilled rye bread slathered with a layer of saurkraut, and served with either potato salad or cole slaw, which is inexplicably made with lettuce here, not cabbage. actually, i don't remember ever having potato salad nor coleslaw at canter's so i can't compare it. the sandwich was good, not great, although i can't pinpoint what it is that didn't do it for me. i think perhaps the bread was a commercial brand, not one fresh from the canter's bakery, and even though there was a hefty portion of meat, it wasn't the same amount you'd find in la. i recall not being able to bite into a sandwich without a little fork work first. the quality of the meat itself though, was fine--lean, flavourful, mildly spiced. i was slightly taken aback to find that the sandwiches are served on disposable plates with disposable silverware. huh? if i'm paying close to ten bucks for a sandwich (which i was), i'd think that there'd be real silverware involved.

even weirder was that real china and real silverware was used in our order of matzo ball soup. wtf? i guess they couldn't find disposable stuff that could withstand the weight of the single giant matzo ball bathing in the schmaltz-iest chicken soup i've seen in a long time. all that chicken fat can't be good for you. but it does wonders for the soup.

overall, the food was okay, but the whole canter's in vegas thing was a little too overwhelming. i think the ambiance and the familiarity of the la shop actually adds to the tastiness of the food. however, it was nice to see that despite the space age airport lounge look, the clientele remains eclectic as ever--senior citizens, families with babies, unemployed magicians, et al. perhaps in time, it will gain its own vibe that would make a return visit more enjoyable.

near the race and sports book
at treasure island
3300 s. las vegas blvd
las vegas nv 98101