Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rate-A-Restaurant #369: The Halal Guys (New York)

Halal Guys

Restaurant: Halal Guys

Location: 53rd and 6th Ave. (New York)

Type of restaurant: Mediterranean/chicken

Halal Guys

We stipulated: For my last afternoon in New York, I decided it was time for some street food -- and a visit to the famed Halal Guys was long overdue.

They stipulated: "The Halal Guys legend began in 1990, when the three founding partners opened up a hot dog cart on West 53rd & 6th Avenue in New York City. As business grew, they recognized a huge demand from Muslim cab drivers looking for a halal food meal. That is when the famous platter of chicken and gyro over rice was born. Fast-forward 25 years, five carts, two New York City restaurants, and millions of diverse customers served, The Halal Guys is growing yet again. Fans no longer have to be in NYC to experience The Halal Guys as they look to share American Halal Food all over the country and the world."

Halal Guys

What we ordered: chicken plate ($7)

Halal Guys

High point:  Lots of food -- a hearty meal. And that red sauce is SPICY. Like I like!
Low point:  I thought the chicken was surprisingly dry.

Halal Guys

Overall impression: It was fine -- but I must admit, I was expecting something more to it. Maybe I'm spoiled by Zankou.

Will we return: I feel like I've been there, done that. Not sure.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Rate-A-Restaurant #368: Jus' Poke (Redondo Beach)

Jus Poke

Restaurant: Pokenoya

Location: 501 N. Pacific Coast Highway (Redondo Beach)

Type of restaurant: Poke / Hawaiian (new)

Jus Poke

We stipulated: After a day at Manhattan Beach, we wanted to try something new in the South Bay. You know my frustration with mainland poke joints that just don't make 'em like they do in da islands. Here's a joint that does just that.

They stipulated: "Jus' Poke is an ohana-owned, authentic, Hawaiian poke restaurant located in beautiful Redondo Beach, CA. We pride ourselves in serving only the best cuts of fish in our traditional ohana recipes. Co-owner, Stefanie Honda, is no stranger to the ancient Hawaiian dish, as she grew up making poke along side her mother and father who are both deeply rooted in Hawaii. As a South Bay native, Stefanie has always been drawn to the sea. She comes from a long line of fishermen and surfers and continues the tradition here in Redondo with her ohana."

Jus Poke

What we ordered: wasabi poke (jus' poke wasabi sauce, sweet onions, green onions, ogo, tobiko, serrano peppers); california roll poke (cucumber, tobiko, avocado, imitation crab) both $9. Also spam musubi ($2) and coconut/pineapple ice cream ($3)

Jus Poke

High point:  The wasabi poke was the perfect amount of spice -- plus the fish was fresh-tasting, the rice was perfectly cooked.
Low point:  Can't think of any!

Jus Poke

Overall impression: A trip back to Hawai'i, from the music on the speaker (Hawaiian reggae) to the wide selection of Hawaiian Sun. Plus the poke? Broke da mout'!

Poke

Jus Poke

Will we return: Absolutely. I just wish it was closer!

Monday, June 20, 2016

KCRW's The Spin-Off: "The Carmichael Show's" Jerrod Carmichael Breaks New Ground



On the latest edition of KCRW's The Spin-Off, Joe and I talk to "The Carmichael Show's" Jerrod Carmichael about his groundbreaking show:

For a minute there, the world didn't know if The Carmichael Show would live to see another season. Jerrod Carmichael, the creator and star of the show, tells us what was behind the delay of the announcement of Season 3, and why he wasn't happy with NBC's initial offer of 10 episodes. The show will indeed come back, and while we don't know the date yet, there will be 13 episodes, which is the number Carmichael was hoping for.

Carmichael takes us through the rigorous schedule of shooting live -- each episode gets performed twice in front an audience, and shares why he elected to go the old school route of having a comedy on a broadcast network instead of going to Amazon or Netflix.

The Carmichael Show has grabbed attention for its fearlessness in addressing tricky topics -- everything from depression to pornography addiction to current issues from the headlines like Bill Cosby and Donald Trump. Carmichael tells us why he wants to go there, and how a multi-cam sitcom can sometimes be the perfect medium for breaking down a complicated issue.

Listen below!

KCRW

For Kids, Donald Trump is the Bogeyman

Trump

The Blogger Kid 2.0's summer art camp asked the kids to design a "scary monster" with clay. Unprompted, several chose to depict Donald Trump. (Our guy made a ghost. But still, Trump fear is real.)

The Southern Poverty Law Center lays it out:

It’s producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom. Many students worry about being deported.

Other students have been emboldened by the divisive, often juvenile rhetoric in the campaign. Teachers have noted an increase in bullying, harassment and intimidation of students whose races, religions or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates on the campaign trail.

Educators are perplexed and conflicted about what to do. They report being stymied by the need to remain nonpartisan but disturbed by the anxiety in their classrooms and the lessons that children may be absorbing from this campaign.

Anecdotally, I know the 11 year olds that Blogger Kid 1.0 hangs around with now bring up Trump when they want to invoke something scary. But they're honestly nervous about this. This presidential campaign is causing real distress among kids.
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