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Sarah Woo

Sarah Woo

Los Angeles Contributor

Sarah was born with Santa Maria tri-tip in one hand and her mom's kimchi in the other. She hopped east for Yale, but she discovered long underwear did not suit her. Back to California she went, immersing herself in the San Francisco food scene.

Sarah now lives in Los Angeles, where every day is a fun time at her blog Winner Celebration Party. Sarah's other proud moments include giving her high school graduation speech backwards, emerging from law school intact, and being crowned Original Idea Maker by Lifeyo.com.

  • Website
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Favorite foods: Of the moment: Crispy kale, anything with gochukaru, cheese, whiskey, and wheatberries. A complete diet!
  • Last bite on earth: Cheese. Or kimchi. Or cow.

A Sandwich a Day: The Lomo at Marcona in Los Angeles

Try the Lomo, one of many delicious sandwiches from Marcona on Melrose. First, there are the obvious, large pieces of fatty pulled pork jammed between slices of crusty, toasted ciabatta. Don't overlook the tangy date mustard which is so apt a complement to that pork that you catch yourself nearly wondering aloud whether you've ever really tasted mustard before today. The onions taste lightly pickled, and the nutty manchego cheese brings everything together. More

Bartender's Choice: What to Order at The Tasting Kitchen in Los Angeles, CA

The man behind the bar at The Tasting Kitchen is Justin Pike, whose bartending days began in Boston before moving to Portland, where he worked with Jeffrey Morgenthaler at Clyde Common, then at clarklewis with Casey Lane (now the chef at The Tasting Kitchen). When The Tasting Kitchen emerged in 2009, Lane called on Pike to shape the bar program, looking for someone with "a Northwest angle," as Pike puts it. "In the Northwest there's a little more experimentation," he says. More

All The Cocktails At The Varnish in Los Angeles

There are two words common in the Southern California lexicon that you will not hear come out of the mouth of Eric Alperin, lead bartender and proprietor at The Varnish in Los Angeles: organic and seasonal. The reason is not for want of respect for ingredients, as the careful mise en place reveals, but rather a shift in focus from seasonal produce to historical precision. More

A Sandwich a Day: The Sloppy Giuseppe at The Curious Palate in Los Angeles

The Sloppy Giuseppe sheds the ground beef for an abundance of slow roasted lamb shoulder, as deliciously tender as ground beef, only less reminiscent of summer camp. The bun is brioche, which slightly resembles a hamburger bun if you squint but is lighter, flakier, and just the right accompaniment for the lamb. There's also a smear of hummus, but the lamb is the star here. More

A Sandwich a Day: The Lamb Dip with Blue Cheese at Philippe the Original in Los Angeles

The lamb French dip with blue cheese at Philippe the Original may not be the trendiest sandwich on the block, but it's one that never gets old. Several thick slices of tender lamb pair well with a generous amount of blue cheese. The entire sandwich is dipped in a rich meat jus before it reaches your plate. Upon first bite, the freshly baked French roll melts away, giving in to the mild cheese and juicy meat. More

First Look: The Corner Door in Los Angeles

On a quickly changing stretch of Washington Boulevard, between downtown Culver City and Venice Beach, stands Corner Door. The restaurant, which just opened right nextdoor to neighborhood favorite Waterloo & City, features chef Luke Reyes (formerly of Tasting Kitchen) and cocktail-crafter Beau du Bois (of MB Post). Take a peek at the housemade charcuterie, pickled vegetables, roasted chicken, and more of the new menu. More

A Sandwich a Day: Pig-n-Fig from Earl's Gourmet Grub in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a quilt of communities, each with its own culture. One patch is Mar Vista, a diverse neighborhood spanning less than three square miles on the west side of LA. Here you'll find Earl's Gourmet Grub, the brainchild of Yvonne McDonald and Dean Harada. Earl's began as a popular stall at the Mar Vista Farmers' Market and later evolved into a brick-and-mortar shop, mere steps from the market. More

Fort Lee: Is BCD Tofu House a Little Too Clean?

Lovely photos and review! Now I crave soondubu jjigae. BCD Tofu here in LA is my go-to place, but only because my parents took me here growing up. It is extremely clean, yes, ha.

Jeon (pancake) doesn't typically have mung bean, as far as I know. Does BCD make them with mung bean? I just use the packaged flour mix from the Korean grocery store, though a Chinese friend in Germany says hers comes out fine with just flour and water. Mung bean pancakes are generally known as bindaeduk (bean-deh-duk).

Vegetarian: Revueltos (Creamy Spanish-Style Scrambled Eggs)

Yumm. I was just in Granada a few weeks ago and my first meal was revueltos with asparagus. Delicious!

Staff Picks: Our Favorite Halloween Candy

No one for Butterfingers? I had an entire bowl but for some reason, no kids stopped by tonight. There are now two empty wrappers on my table...now three.

A Sandwich a Day: The Lomo at Marcona in Los Angeles

@Golden Palate The good thing about Santa Barbara is that you have so much great produce within arm's reach! A lomo, recreated, maybe?

@thengai It definitely is not pork tenderloin but pulled pork. Not sure how tenderloin got in there, so thanks for catching it! It should be fixed now.

College Tours: Where to Eat Near Yale University

@Carrie The #5 sounds familiar! I used to also get the turkey burger and then promptly fall asleep from about 1am-3am, as I tried to write a paper upstairs.

I regret that I never got to try Louis' OR the Doodle (though I went there for unremarkable breakfast). As for Thai, I fondly recall Thai Taste, but more for gatherings of friends than the food. The food was tasty, but to me, it was more in a "college student budget eats" sort of way.

The close of K2 made me upset. So many hours spent writing papers last minute there. And then I heard about Publick Cup, and now...who knows what it is now.

p.s. My boyfriend Mike says: Yo PIERSON! + "Harvard Sucks."

College Tours: Where to Eat Near Yale University

This post literally brought a tear to the eye. Glad to know G-Heav (is Muhammad still there?) and Ivy Noodle are still going strong! I second the green apple/turkey/brie from G-Heav, and I'm adding the Tempesto to the Booktrader list. Also, anyone going to Atticus must not miss out on the black bean soup with onions and sour cream.

I'm still mourning the loss of my slice of Claire's cake, which I brought home after the 5-year reunion, on the plane, all the way to Los Angeles. It was devoured behind my back by my boyfriend, who didn't even know about Claire's during his years at Yale. There were some testy words exchanged.

RIP Rudy's!

Staff Picks: Favorite Late Night Pizza in College

YES. So many late nights ending up in A-1 then stumbling outside and walking next door to Gourmet Heaven to say hi to Muhammad (who I hope is still there!).

I always liked BAR's potato pizza, and of course, if there was time, Pepe's and Sally's.

Yorksides pizza was nothing to write home about, but unlike A-1, it accommodated many a late-night, drunken debate. Plus I, too, am a fan of that avegolemono soup.

Apps Only: Nopa in San Francisco

I HEART Nopa and miss living a block away from it. It was the place you would see chefs coming in for a late night bite, where you could eat in peace but know you were in for something worth waiting in line for.

A Sandwich a Day: The Lamb Dip with Blue Cheese at Philippe the Original in Los Angeles

@sallyforth That is one solid memory. This stirs lots of pleasant childhood memories, from celery sticks with peanut butter in preschool to pea soup at Andersen's Inn in Solvang, CA.

@C Baughn Great idea! I'm a cheese-lover myself, though by no means any expert. If/when I can, I'll be sure to inquire further about the cheese (and other components) next time.

Los Angeles: Happy 65th Anniversary, Langer's Deli!

@Adam @empath It has been so long since I've been to Katz's. I need to get back to NYC asap. With the sad passing of Nora Ephron, both Katz's and Langer's have been on my mind this week.

@ArkyTrojan 6am? Seriously impressed. It was great to see the whole city (and beyond?) come out in full support. People looked eager and happy.

Snapshots from China: The Best Things I Ate in Northern China

These photos and descriptions make me homesick, and I'm not even Chinese! Thank you for sharing and opening my eyes.

How Do You Like Your Iced Coffee?

I preferred the cold brew method for a long time, until I tried the Japanese method that @thebigtrain2000 mentioned. So much brighter and clearer! I use my Hario pourover gear, as demonstrated in this video: http://vimeo.com/41298356

Wish I knew more about coffee generally to state a preference for beans, but I leave that up to the more informed. I like Peet's for my everyday home brew. I grind the beans with my little burr grinder if I feel like a mini workout.

Coconutty Thai Iced Tea

I'm out to buy coconut milk asap. Stuck indoors today, but that's no reason not to bring summer inside. What a great idea, thanks!

Why Nacho Cheese Doritos Taste Like Heaven

This made my mouth water, too. Chips are my weak spot...I'm destined to go and buy a party sized bag now.

Dear Hosts/Hostesses, Please Learn This Simple Rule.

This is a pet peeve of mine, too! In the absence of any control over a situation, I would prefer someone say they don't know rather than to give a baseless estimate. The first or second time, I would be patient, since like some of the commenters say, the host might not have enough information to say when. But I drew the line when I went to visit my parents and went to a popular local steakhouse (with infamously long lines), where, three hours and many persistent inquiries by me later, the hostess was STILL telling us the wait would only be "about twenty minutes." Knowing about the long lines at this place, I was more annoyed with the speculative estimates than I was with waiting. At least we had a drink in hand!

Vegetarian: Grilled Asparagus with Almond-Parsley Gremolata

@Kenji/Lauren: thanks! Oven sounds good, and I always overlook the wonders of the toaster oven. May have to whip this up tonight!

Vegetarian: Grilled Asparagus with Almond-Parsley Gremolata

That gremolata sounds both light and flavorful-perfect for spring/summer. I can't wait to try it! I only wish I had a grill...

Latin American Cuisine: Nicaraguan Arroz con Pollo

I loved this post--stories about family and memories are always compelling! And the recipe made me so hungry. I had some chicken already cooked and about 90% of the ingredients. Though I'm Korean, this dish made me feel as if I were eating something made by my mom. Maybe it was the familiar texture of rice, or the extra bit of fresh garlic I added at the end, but it was pure comfort food.

Cook the Book: 'A Girl and Her Pig'

Either the belly or cheeks for me

Where's Your Favorite Place to Drink Outside?

Here on Venice Beach, at one of the local eateries...I suppose you might call it a gastropub. Grab a beer in a jar, watch people stroll by on the boardwalk.

That, or a tiny wine bar down the street with just enough patio seating to fit about twenty people.

Bonne Bouche Goat Cheese from Vermont Creamery

Ohhhh yess. There's a nice guy at my WF cheese counter who helped me choose this little cheese (and the Bijou). I never even thought about aging it, probably because I couldn't help but eat the entire thing in about a day. How do you store yours in the fridge?

Our Secret List of Banned Words

Maybe someone already said this, but isn't "truffled" above functioning as an adjective and not a verb? It would be a verb if one said "I truffled the pasta," but in the phrase "truffled pasta," truffled is being used as a modifier. Am I incorrect?

I completely agree with the tip to use simple, straightforward words instead of flowery or complicated ones.

I would add to this list the following:
- Anything overly cute, like "tummy" or worse, "nummy" (I don't even know what the latter is supposed to mean.)
- Delicious --> This one isn't that offensive; I just think it is overused.
- "Packs a punch"
- Noms
- Overuse of the phrase "why not," as in "Hey, I added peanut butter to these brownies. Why not?" This just says "lazy writer" and "thoughtless" to me.
- Superlatives like "the best"
- Amazing
- "Get in there!" I hate that phrase.
- Killer, as in "This guacamole is KILLER."
- Creamy. I know this can be an appropriate adjective, but the sound of the word "creamy" just makes me feel a little unnerved.
- Ultimate, as in "the ultimate burger"

Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup with Lime and Ginger

This sounds excellent! I've been on a Southeast Asian kick lately. Will put this on the "make soon" list. Might try to use holy basil instead (or on top) of mint. I love Thai bird chilies, but I find that even if I wash my hands after, my eyes will sometimes experience that searing pain when I, hours later, try to take out my contacts.

Building a Pizzeria: A Pizzicletta Update

Soo interesting, thanks for sharing! I wonder which orchards you get your pecan wood from? I ask because my boyfriend's family has an extensive pecan orchard near Tucson, and it didn't seem like there were many other large pecan orchards in that immediate area.

Kitchen Apprentice: Badass Ladies on the Line

You can DEFINITELY kick ass, and you will! I know this just based on your passion for food, your solid attitude, and your commitment to work thus far.

Sometimes people will dismiss or judge you just because they haven't been proven otherwise. As a petite Asian female, I've been told by an attorney my (projected) voice was unusual compared to how I look, and I've also had tons of people think I was too wimpy to carry heavy stuff, only to see me lift heavy boxes. Eventually people dropped the assumptions (at least to my face).

Sounds you have great examples to emulate. Keep going, and you can do nothing but progress!

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