A.G. Newsletter #88: Hollywood Bowl, Fresno Chile Watermelon Salad, There's Headcheese in My Sandwich (at Spice Table)

A.G. Newsletter #88: The Hollywood Bowl, Fresno Chile Watermelon Salad, There's Headcheese in My Sandwich (at Spice Table)

Hey Readers,

I wrote about two meals on the blog today: one was a Marion Cunningham Tribute Dinner at Lucques, the other was something called Shaken Dosirak at Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong in L.A.'s Koreatown. Both are very much worth reading about so...click away!

On Friday, my friend Japhy offered me a last minute ticket to go see a Prairie Home Companion at The Hollywood Bowl with him. I'd never been to the Hollywood Bowl so I quickly said, "yes" and then offered to buy us some picnic food to eat while watching the show.

I'd learned how to picnic properly in Napa, so I bought us a bunch of cheese, meat, wine and bread. Here's the outside of the Hollywood Bowl, what we saw walking in:

The scene was like a mini-Utopia. Blue skies, happy people, moving walkways... and then you walk into the Bowl itself and it's kind of breathtaking:

Japhy and I cracked open a bottle of rose and I unwrapped the excessive amount of cheese I'd purchased (I went a bit overboard):

Here's Japhy with the meat I brought:

The people next to us were eating platters of health-food food (like quinoa and salad) that made us feel a bit piggish; but not too much.

The show was a real hoot--Garrison Keillor is an American icon, so it was great to see him live; I especially loved the music.

So thanks Japhy for bringing me along! I definitely plan to revisit the Hollywood Bowl this summer.

Once again, last week, I found myself in Venice Beach eating at Gjelina-To-Go before heading over to Intelligentsia. When I go there, I almost always choose three salads from the salads on display. This time was no exception: I chose asparagus, quinoa, and--perhaps most notably--watermelon with Fresno chiles:

The first two salads were excellent, but that third one was really a doozie. The Fresno chiles are like little heat bombs and if you get one on your fork, watch out! But the really fascinating thing is how the Fresno chile flavor penetrated the watermelon. Presumably, you just slice the chiles, cut up the watermelon, and marinate them together with sliced fennel, olive oil, and some vinegar. The heat of chile seeps into the watermelon and what you get is something totally explosive and surprising. Even if you took the chiles out of the salad, you'd still have this spicy watermelon that your guests will go gaga for. So give that a go if you like heat.

Finally, I returned to The Spice Table last week for lunch and ordered their cold cut sandwich with Vietnamese ham, pate, and...drumroll...headcheese:

Headcheese, as some of you probably already know, is made from the bits that float to the top of the water when you simmer a skull for a few hours. You compress those, dry them out, and...voila!...headcheese.

If you're grossed out, ask yourself this: how is that any different than boiling bones for making a soup? Or slicing the side off a cow and grilling it and calling it steak? I think squeamishness about that stuff is silly.

As for the sandwich, it was a mellow affair, spiced up a bit by Sriracha. I can't say I was crazy about it: it was like eating a bunch of cold, meaty fat with some crunchy vegetables and chile sauce. I think I would've liked it better if the vegetables were more pickled.

That's all for this week folks!

If you're new to my newsletter (or even if you're not), I hope you've pre-ordered a copy of my cookbook SECRETS OF THE BEST CHEFS. Click that to go to the book page and check it out. I want my newsletter subscribers to be the first to have copies of the book in hand, so get yours now!

Until next time....

Your friend,
Adam (The Amateur Gourmet)

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