Tag Archives: beef

Le Saigon

As a youngster growing up in Tulsa, my family would frequently dine at a stellar Vietnamese restaurant called Ri-Le’s.  In my humble opinion, it’s one of the best places to eat if you ever find yourself in my hometown.  But now that I live 1,500 miles from Ri-Le’s, I need to get my Vietnamese cuisine fix somewhere else.  And thanks to our good friend Ashley, I’ve found that place!

When Ashley invited us to Le Saigon in West LA last weekend, I jumped at the opportunity.  This place is great!  Located at 11611 Santa Monica Blvd, the restaurant is a quaint, laid-back place with an exceptionally friendly staff.  On a Friday night, we only had to wait about ten minutes for a table and while sitting outside, one of the waiters was nice enough to bring us menus and provided us with some helpful suggestions.  Bonus points right there considering most waiters in this town care more about their next casting call than their customers.  I also noticed that he held the door for every single patron!  It’s the little things people, remember that.

Now for the food.  Considering this was my first visit, I can’t speak for the entire menu but I can vouch for the #11 (Com Saigon Dac Biet: Rice with Charbroiled Pork Chop (Pork, Beef or Chicken), Shrimp and Imperial Roll).  I chose to go with the beef and my belly was thankful for that decision.  Also, when it comes to the Imperial Roll, I suggest the pork.  It gives you the best of both worlds!  And the shrimp skewer was perfectly seasoned.  Lastly, everything tasted very fresh and the chili sauce was an awesome accompaniment for us spicy conasuiers.

Needless to say, I loved my first experience at Le Saigon and will be visiting again soon.  I hope after reading this, you’ll heed my advice and get over there as soon as you get the chance.  Le Saigon is open from 11am-10pm Tues. thru Sat. and 11am-9pm on Sundays. 

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Filed under Restaurants

Guinness-Meat-Cheese-Puff Pastry-Pie! Oh My!

Here’s an extraordinary entry for you ravenous foodies in search of something a bit different, and by different, I mean different in a ridiculously tasty way.  This recipe comes from one of our favorite Brits, Jamie Oliver (from his show “Jamie at Home”).  Behold, the one, the only, THE GUINNESS-MEAT-CHEESE-PUFF PASTRY-PIE!!!  GET IT IN YOUR BELLY!!!

You know you want it.  I’m looking at you, vegetarians.  So here’s the deal: let’s start with all necessary supplies to make this thing work.  Your grocery list will include the following:

  • 1 to 2 pounds of good old fashioned beef  (beef brisket or stew meat, cut into bite-sized chunks)
  • 1 block of cheddar cheese
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 or 3 stalks of celery
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • rosemary
  • frozen peas
  • 1 pint of Guinness 

Now that we’ve got what we need, let’s figure out how we’re going to make it work.  A little advice, this dish requires a bit of prep and cooking time, so I suggest making this a weekend treat when you have less to deal with (like that meeting with your lame boss or cruel dentist appointment).  To begin, slice the onion and saute in large pan with a sizable chunk of butter.  Once browned, add the garlic, mushrooms, two sprigs rosemary (chopped), carrots and celery, beef, and plenty of salt and pepper.  Let the beef brown a bit and then pour the pint of Guinness into the mixture.  Lastly, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to thicken.

So far, so good.  For part 2 of this process, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees while transferring the above ingredients into an oven-safe dish (add 1 cup of water or beef broth to mixture to just cover the meat).  Bake in oven for 2 hours. Before the 2 hours are up, prep the puff pastry by defrosting for 40 minutes and grate about 4 handfuls of cheddar cheese.  At 2 hours, remove dish from oven and line a deep oven-safe bowl or casserole dish with the puff pastry.  Brush edges of dish with egg wash (1 egg beaten), and score the other sheet of pastry in cross-hashes and brush with egg wash.  Add about two handfuls of grated cheese to the mixture and stir to combine.  Pour the mixture into the pastry-lined dish, and top with the other two handfuls of cheese.

Cover dish with the scored sheet of pastry and press the edges together – you’re then ready to pop it in the oven.  Bake the pie for 40 minutes and until the top begins to brown.  Remove from oven and serve with the cooked peas tossed with butter.  Dig in, enjoy, and thank us later.

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Filed under Homemade