Here in L.A., when it comes to burgers, people talk about Nancy Silverton's hamburger meat, but strangely, nobody ever mentions her buns. I was making Nancy's classic burger buffet for my family recently, and in addition to the famously fatty blend of 18% fat prime chuck with an extra, whopping 20% fat (that's fat trimmed from all the best cuts of meat) ground in, sold as "Nancy Silverton Grind" at Huntington Meats in the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax, I went to buy the buns she now also insists on. NS used to serve her burgers on crusty European-style rolls. It's not that I have anything against crusty European-style anything, it's just not what I want in a hamburger bun. Me and her boyfriend, a crime reporter who sometimes writes under the pen name Morty Goldstein, often rebelled and bought soft, cheap grocery store buns for ourselves. Then Nancy found these—Thees Continental Pastries. When I asked the guy behind the counter, who turned out to the be the owner, Thee— ...

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I wonder if the guy at Sur La Table can sell me one of these? I actually got out of bed to get my laptop after I got this email, on my bedside iPhone, from my whole-Mexican half-sister, Iridia, in response to the letter I sent her yesterday. (I mean, look at this picture!) So aunt Rosita said to use a "escobeta de maiz" since it is obvios that i don't know how to translate that, i decided to send you an image so you can know what i'm talking about. And you can also smash corn (instead/besides rice), should repeat 2 or 3 times after cleaning with the escobeta, and at the end you again use the escobeta. Let me know how this turns out! Suerte! There you go. From a real live, molcajete using Mexican guacamole maker. (As opposed to the guy on the phone at Sur la Table.) I assume that I am supposed to buy the broom, presumably made with some part of corn, and not the smiling corn cobber. Assuming they don't sell them at SLT, I  know where I'm going Memorial Day weekend... Getting my hand ...

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This is a stolen photograph of a molcajete just like the one I purchased. If I get sued, I'm moving to Mexico, which might be the best thing anyway. The Foodinista and I, both being, essentially, big talkers and guacamole-making novices, have each found ourselves facing an impending Guac-Off, with molcajetes, and no real idea what to do with them. Both of our molcajetes were sold to us as "pre-seasoned," but I found out the relative nature of this term when I made my first batch of guacamole in this primitive mortar—extremely tasty (if I do say so myself), but unmistakably, errr... sandy.  As I posted in a comment on the Foodinista blog, I got in a fight with some poor guy on the other end of the phone at Sur La Table yesterday over the exact definition of "pre-seasoned." "You must have a lot going on," he said (and I wanted to strangle him), implying that no sane and healthy human being could get as worked up as I was over a bit of finely ground black lava in her guacamole. Ye ...

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Casa, Sweet Casa: I love that there's a Carl's Jr. on the ground floor. In honor of the Caesar Hotel, where the Caesar salad was invented, which died today... With its ornate facade (what is this style called?), and a sort of museum to trajes de luces,—which translates "suits of lights," the shimmering, adorned outfits that bullfighters wear—in the lobby, the Hotel Caesars somehow managed to be, to the end, a remnant of Old Tijuana. I remember going there with my dad, who had a restaurant across the street, and who, when he first moved to Tijuana from Acapulco in the 1950s, used to work as a waiter at the Caesar Hotel and toss the salads table side himself. I love that Tijuana. I love that salad. And even when the restaurant renamed itself the Caesar Sports Bar & Grill and hung a row of track lights and televisions, they still turned out one of the best Caesar Salads I have ever eaten. I wish I knew the secret. Is it the fake Parmesan cheese that comes out of a can? Th ...

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