This entry marks the epitome of uselessness since the inception of this site. Below, is a “review” of an offer… no longer available. I don’t mean to hurt your feelings but.. the sign did say “limited time” only. And really, at $3.50, I didn’t want to send drones of people cheaping out at Pho Ha. T’was obvious their business just couldn’t afford the money-loser.

$3.50 got you a large bowl of pho ga (chicken). We all think the $3.50 bowl of ORD’s boat noodles are superb values, yet there exists such ramblings as this gushing review of a vegan $6.50 banh mi sammy in Reseda. This bowl tho, was the king of cheap bowls.

Is this pho ga that great? Is it worth some pedantic discourse on how to best make pho ga? Nah. But the noodles were filling, the white meat chicken shards were tender (and obviously juicy since it’s served in a bowl of friggin hot liquid), the greens were fresh. Plus, it no longer matters. The prices have since returned to $6+ a bowl.

We’ve also had pho + bun here. All standard fare, reasonably price, no waiting, nothing poked out as spectacular, but hey, if it means not having to eat at Pho Pasteur, it’s a plus in my book.

Pho Ha
Valley Blvd
Rosemead, CA
Pho Ha in Los Angeles

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Via Food Blogga's Flickr

via Food Blogga’s Flickr.

Julie & Julia is going to give WordPress + Blogspot a major profit boost starting August 7. On August 10th, I will take a month hiatus to let everyone wade thru the ebb of food crap that will be flood the blogsphere due to this movie.

Yes, people are picking up book deals left and right. Fancy Fast Good got one after 5 posts. Freshmen in the Kitchen got one in less than a year and This Is Why You’re Fat got their $100K pay out in less than 3 months. But this doesn’t mean yetanotherfoodblogreviewrecipesiteinboise.blogspot is going to get her day. EVER.

Hey, the movie is cute. Nora Ephron is a heart tugging mastermind. We get that. Yet underneath the “yum” and the orgasmic, eye-fluttering bites, the protaganist is all kinds of pathetic. This blog doesn’t validate who I am, nor do I want to be, or ever will be, a writer. Look at the words here. It’s a pile of shenanigans. A person who has a blog, by verbage, is a blogger, Mrs. Powell was no different. Know this: there will never be a melt down due to stink-ass “post” on a blog on my part. The 2 months late “Monstrous Q2 Western SGV Rundown” isn’t causing me lost sleep, nor temper tantrums.

via The Food Section

Julie & Julia is a movie. It’s not everyone’s reality. She is real but she’s the exception. Try to remember that before you go apeshit pumping out 40 recipes (or reviews) on yetanotherfoodblogreviewrecipesiteinboise.blogspot and promptly run out of material after 3 weeks.

By the way, just to demonstrate why alternative “press” needs to exist? The Internetsphere is over butter. Everyone has moved onto bacon. Bacon is the next butter. And yes, just like bacon, there can be too much butter. Finally, the anti-Western culinary slant soap box: ask a kid in Thailand about butter and he’ll say: what’s butter? I like fermented fish sauce more than butter. Cook my eggs with soy sauce, not butter, please.

via My Household Capers

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via Time Out London

A response to KPCC Air Talk Program on July 9th: http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2009/07/09/chew-on-this-ethics-for-food-bloggers/. You can still listen on line, or via I-tunes.

As the sole dissenting voice on the show yesterday morning, I was given about 2 minutes to make my case. It was a wee bit difficult and, as you can tell, I stumbled like a handicapped horse out of the gates.

As much as I love Foodwoolf‘s site and her various workings on LA Weeklys’ Squid Ink, there’s something vastly different from those “In” and those “Out” of the restaurant, or public relation, circles. Airtalk host Larry Mantle presumed many bloggers’ meals are comped. Why would anyone think this? I don’t blag. The Shibucho dinner was compliments of Fooddigger.com, not of Shibucho. The Bar*food dinner, thought complimentary, was not comped by the restaurant, nor thru a PR event. The STK / One Sunset meals, thanks to the One Group, never even made it into the public domain. There is no doubt the percentages of shill vs. real on this site as questioned by Time Out London and Londonlicious. Other folks? As Kelly McBride stated, do your due diligence as a reader.

Don’t get me wrong, I, as much as the next dude, love free grub. But the host’s assumption was insulting.

vs. The Must


Then there are questions of the inside hack job ala the LA Eater vs. The Must controversy. No matter how Mr. Mantle wanted to play this up at the end of the segment, know this: it rarely happens. The disgruntled ex-employee persona is not representative of food bloggers’ common voice. It should be so painfully obviously even if I slam The Nickle Diner cause it reeks of grease, I never worked there.

It is my, along very few others, belief, absolute impartiality (whatever THAT means) and the word “ethics” can never be rightfully applied to something so personal, so opinionated as a “blog”. To some of us, it’s our personal food dairy. I may not know a dangling modifier from a preposition, but I know one can hardly assign any type of ethics to a diary. No one should spell a restaurant’s name incorrectly, nor give out false name of entrees, but beyond fact checking, I will continue to type mostly as I please.

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Finally, this is the kind of food that excites me:

Dear Friends,

It is with great pride and joy that I am announcing the first of a monthly Venetian dinners program at All’ Angelo. As you know I was born and raised in Venice. Just recently, my father Angelo obtained through an auction a very rare Venetian recipe book dating back to the 5th Century. I remembered some of those dishes from my own youth, cooked by my grandmother and my mother.

It is now my joy to share these memories with you, my patrons, with this monthly series: 5th Century Venetian Tastings. Our Chef, Verona-born Roberto Franzoni, who worked mostly in Venice (Cipriani, Piron), is thrilled to cook these old, forgotten recipes.

On Wednesday, July 15, All’ Angelo will host its first “night in Venice.” I could not think of anything better to pair with this dinner than Vignalta wines, from a winery near Venice. Below you will find the menu. The cost is just $45 plus an optional $28 for wine pairings. Space is limited for these intimate dinners; please make reservation by calling 323-933-9540.

For the complete menu and wine selections, as well as information on upcoming events, please visit our website www.allangelo.com.

We look forward to seeing you soon! Buon Appetito!

Cheers,
Stefano Ongaro

Venetian Dinner
07/15/09

Polpettine de pesse e Baccala’ Mantecato e Radiccio
Branzino croquette, Venetian style Cod Fish and grilled Radicchio

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Bigoli neri in salsa con Pevarasse
Squid ink infused Bigoli with Clams, Venetian sauce

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Gnocchi de Pan in brodo de Capon e parmigiano
Bread Gnocchi in Capon broth with diced Parmesan cheese and Capon

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Costesine e Uganega coe Verze Sofegae
Pork Ribs and home made Sausage with Braised Savoy Cabage

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Torta de Riso
Rice Cake
&
Baicoi
Cookies

$45 per person
$28 optional wine pairing

To make reservatations for this mind-piquing event, check All’Angelo’s Open Table page linked here.

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  • So, I know the dude behind FFF – and it’s been crazy to hear about his site just blowin’ up. Pretty well unexpected. He’s got a lot of pans in the fire, and then this one just caught. Good writer and great photographer.

    Anyway, I saw that All’Angelo dinner – and it looks like this will happen again, right? Sounds amazing.
    I still need to get to Ludo!

    Noelle´s last blog post..Musica!

  • Ooh, Pho Ha is so close! I will try soon. As for blagging, I can only dream of comped meals. Stupid host!

    WeezerMonkey´s last blog post..Michael Jackson Memorial Madness

  • That All’Angelo dinner looks spectacular. Wish I could go (I have to go to NY for a wedding). Sounds like a series – see you at the next one, maybe?

    Erika Kerekes´s last blog post..Recipe: Bacon and cheese quesadilla (aka dinner for a tired boy)

  • We are so pulling a He Said/She Said on Julie & Julia. Hah!

    Diana´s last blog post.."Julie & Julia": My life in technicolor

  • amy

    that is some cheap ass pho. and i want to see that movie.

    amy´s last blog post..Porta Via

  • dang you are so in the know it is mind boggling… yeah dan band was awesome, well dan is awesome. but he kept on wanting to touch his winky. it really was like a mid life crisis in concert… but a very funny show.

    totally didnt make it to the oc fair, it was way too hot. you guys gonna be heading out to the oc fair?

    saucy susy´s last blog post..Can’t Beat Free 99

  • sarah

    amen, honey. AMEN.

  • Liz

    I love you. You just don’t suck. I don’t even need to make my own appeal or defense against people anti-food bloggers. I have been on both sides of the food service coin, earning it and spending it. I write from what I know inhabiting both realms and sure as hades no one is paying me to do so. The end.

    PS: wanted to do the All’ Angelo dinner, but alas am out of town this time for the DH’s work instead of my own. Someday I will be in LA for weeks on end experiencing the bliss that is repetitiveness & domesticity.

    Liz´s last blog post..Because My Dog is Awesome

  • The host on the radio program was a pretentious asshole who knew nothing, which is why he praised that phone book called Zagat.

    Steve´s last blog post..LudoBites

  • Will

    I don’t think you were the “sole dissenting voice” on the Airtalk segment. I think a lot of people were saying roughly the same thing – that people who read these sites should take what they read with a grain of salt, that there isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a uniform code of ethics for people writing web logs about food.

    I posted a comment of my own in the comments section of the Airtalk site you linked to. My long, and maybe somewhat incoherent comment:

    Chowhound, Urban Spoon, and Yelp aren’t web logs at all, nor are the people who post there “bloggers”. They are discussion forums. And for the record, Chowhound is a moderated forum which has a pretty strict policy that prevents discussion of issues of food safety or other stuff that might expose them to unnecessary lawsuits.

    While there is some market for sites that are sensationalist (or just outright idiotic), I think that long term, people will get their restaurant advice from sites that provide “fair and balanced” coverage (and not in the Fox News sense). Readers need to determine for themselves what sources they trust, and restaurants need to not freak out over every negative review.

    Regarding comped meals, I think that disclosure is certainly a good idea. In actual practice, I think the vast majority of people writing web logs about food rarely or never get free meals.

    I personally try to read sites that I feel follow reasonable standards and which don’t post intentionally inflammatory or sensationalist material, but I don’t question those sites’ right to post such material (though in several cases, I have *suggested* that a site might consider following better journalistic practices in cases where they’re posting information about a restaurant without notifying the restaurant ahead of time).

    If sites are making libelous statements, there are already legal guidelines which allow the victim to have their day in court. I don’t think it’s realistic (or even feasible) to somehow impose a set of journalistic standards on informal journalism / social media. And, for writers who do this as a hobby, it’s unreasonable to hold them to the same standards as, say, the NYT. Of course, web logs attached to traditional media publications would be wise to adopt similar (though maybe slightly more relaxed) guidelines as the publications they’re a part of.

    The big difference between these new forms of media and traditional media is that the number of voices is so much greater. If one or two people don’t like a restaurant, it’s unlikely that people will stop going there. If the buzz is overwhelmingly negative, however, the restaurant may see some issues with their bottom line. This system isn’t completely fair, but neither is the old system.

    Some restaurants have adapted, and try to use new media to their advantage rather than fight it; this strategy has already proved successful for a number of places. But there’s a very fine line here between participating in a dialog and trying to game the system.

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