Rick and Morty fans rejoice, with new release of Szechuan sauce

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So it turns out that the long-heralded McDonalds Szechuan sauce, the sauce which caused a million Rick and Morty fans to go into Meltdown is finally re-released. The sauce craze got saw  bidding wars, riots, and petitions to help bring back the sauce.

On Monday, McDonald locations across the USA began serving them again, however this time the fast-food chain didn’t take any risks, distributing 20 million sauce packs across the USA in order to make sure there wouldn’t be the scenes of riots with Rick and Morty fans fighting each other to get their hands on it.

It’s fair to say that the hype surrounding the sauce was astronomical and to live up to it would be tough, especially considering police had been called previously to stop the fighting along with ludicrously high prices paid at auctions for the sauce- it was reported that the DJ, deadmau5 spent around $15,000 on a jug of Szechuan sauce.  

Along came Mondays launch date and finally the verdict on the taste test was out: It’s good, but not great- think a classic Chinese restaurant-style sweet and sour sauce with some soy and sesame and you get the idea.

So, sadly for the Rick and Morty fans who spent time going crazy over the sauce, it turns out that hyped up sauce is really, “meh”.

For more on the Szechuan sauce check out this article from BI

 

New York Fashion Week 2016

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Who says you can’t wear beach attire in the fall? Top designers like Tommy Hilfiger, Custo Barcelona, and BCBG Max Azria incorporated beach-inspired crochets with fall trends to create gorgeous handmade-looking pieces.

KARTMA – The Kart With Heart

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A street cafe that trains and employs individuals transitioning out of homelessness.

#TheKartWithHeart has launched in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 8am-1pm

Closed during rain.

edgeland house °AUSTIN

 

 

 

 

 

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developed by american berry chen architecture studio, the ‘edgeland residence in austin, texas ‘is located on a rehabilitated
brownfield site, re-interpreted as of one of the oldest housing typologies in north america – the native american pit house.
typically sunken, the building takes advantage of the earth’s mass to maintain thermal comfort throughout the year.
the residential home’s relationship to the landscape both in terms of approach as well as building performance involves
an insulating green roof and a seven‐foot excavation ‐  raising awareness about a diminishing natural landscape and its finite
resources by creating a balance between the surrounding industrial zone and the natural river residing on opposite side of the site.

both visually and functionally, edgeland residence touches on architecture as site‐specific installation art and as an extension
of the landscape. the program is broken up into two separate pavilions, for the living and sleeping quarters, and requires
direct contact with the outside elements to pass from one to the other.

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 by bercy chen studio

modern tree house – LA

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This is a Modern Tree House Inspiration by RPA architect. Located in Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles, California, Banyan Tree House, compact design house including art studio and holiday weekend with a view of downtown Los Angeles. It is inspiring – and inspired! – A tree house made of wood and glass sanctuary from the hustle of everyday life. Wooden structure is 12 meters on steel supports, and on the basis of a large pine tree. In keeping with the theme of course, this study was completed in luxury organic range of ready-tree branches, mahogany windows and roof Rheinzink. RPA

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The New Wave of Barbershops in Los Angeles

YouTube channel Thrash Lab has released the latest video in its Subculture Club series. After showcasing the world of Freegans, Custom Motorcycle Builders, and Beard and Mustache Enthusiasts to name just a few, the Subculture Club continues on its voyage to educate. This installment focuses on the world of barbering, in particular taking a closer look at three LA barbershops. The episode interviews the owners of Capsule Barbers, Bolt Barbers and Proper Barbershop about the vision for their business, what they want customers achieve after a visit, and overall their own personal love for the art of barbering. With each expressing the love of their craft and the belief in a ‘look good, feel good’ mentality, it’s easy to see the goal behind each profiled barbershop to create a unique feel for their business and an individual experience for each customer that walks through its doors. With Subculture Club‘s aim to explore the divide between the ‘us and them’ mindset of certain subcultures and lifestyles, this latest installment provides a great insight into an art form with a rich history and such passion from those who practice it.

By Dave Horner

YUNNAN KITCHEN – NY

Yunnan Kitchen on the Lower East Side

SOME dream of the redistribution of wealth. For eaters in search of fresh adventures, a more pressing agenda might be the redistribution of excellent ingredients.

So routine have fresh produce and heritage meats become at restaurants serving Italian, French or modern American cooking that I’ll understand if you fall asleep before finishing this sentence. Yet the revolution has not reached all quarters. Along Lexington Avenue, great Indian cooks are currying nondescript chicken; Thai chefs in Queens are making do with spongy pork; and in Brooklyn, Nigerian kitchens are stewing farmed fish that bears only a slight resemblance to the original article.

Of course, it’s impossible to fault restaurants run by recent immigrants for buying cheaper ingredients. Those Thai chefs can’t buy Berkshire pork if it means tripling prices and alienating core customers. But think of all the memorable meals we’d be eating if they could.

Before you file this complaint under what is referred to these days as White People Problems, consider that the kind of chicken, pork and fish I long to taste in these restaurants was the only kind anyone knew a century ago. Traditional recipes need traditional flavors.

Change may be on the way, but it’s coming slowly, limited mostly to a few Manhattan restaurants that have the financing and the cultural wherewithal to bring in customers who will pay for premium ingredients. The latest to try is Yunnan Kitchen, a sleek package of glass and exposed brick that opened in May on an unreconstructed block of the Lower East Side across from MZ Wang Discount Variety Store (“99¢ and Up”).

The restaurant takes a farmers’ market approach to the cuisine of Yunnan Province in China. Few New Yorkers know much about this food, which allows Travis Post, the chef, and Erika Chou, the owner, to take liberties without being pulled over by the authenticity police.

In late summer, a frequent special chalked on the blackboard wall next to the open kitchen was a salad of locally grown green tomatoes dressed with coriander leaves, golden flecks of garlic and crushed poppy and coriander seeds. Has any Yunnanese cook ever treated a crunchy, unripe tomato this way? I don’t know and I don’t care. It’s a very refreshing salad, wherever it’s from.

Neither can I vouch for the precise origins of the small pile of “Yunnan spices” alongside fatty pork belly given a gentle cure and then fried until it blistered. I just know that I fell silent as I swiped this house-made bacon into the rust-colored powder again and again, trying to name all the spices. There was cumin, Sichuan pepper and hot chiles for sure, and maybe some star anise as well.

Whatever is in it, the blend is hard to resist, and the kitchen doesn’t try. The same powder is sprinkled over all the grilled skewers on the menu’s shao kao section, and if you order too many of these you may start to lose interest. The best are the little balls of ground lamb, spring onions, fresh ginger and pickled chive buds; the least compelling are chicken skewers, which received what flavor they had from those spices.

Yunnan Province borders Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, and its cooks have the light Southeast Asian touch with fresh vegetables, herbs, fruits and edible flowers, seen at Yunnan Kitchen in a plate of scrambled eggs with a fistful of jasmine blossoms. I appreciated the rich, soft eggs more than the jasmine, which began to cloy after a few forkfuls, though people whose hearts flutter for its romance-novel fragrance might disagree.

Mr. Post cooked at Franny’s in Brooklyn before heading off in January with Ms. Chou on a two-week tour of Yunnanese restaurants in Shanghai and Beijing. This was not exactly an immersion course in the cuisine, which Mr. Post interprets with a Western accent.

Yunnan Kitchen is no immersion course, either. A first meeting with an unfamiliar cuisine that combines strange new flavors in ways you’d never imagined can stop you in your tracks. Apart from the overworked spice blend, I never had that sensation at Yunnan Kitchen. I came to trust the kitchen, but I agreed with a dining companion who said the next day, “I’m still in search of the Yunnan part of it.”

I continued my search across town in TriBeCa, where, in one of those odd happenstances that New York likes to toss down as if it were no big thing, another Yunnanese-inspired restaurant opened earlier this year.

The menu of Lotus Blue, at 110 Reade Street, promised novel tastes, with candied plums, pickled Yunnan turnips and banana blossoms. But in two meals, there was only one dish I wanted to finish: crunchy and meaty tiger prawns stir-fried in their shells with sugary bits of candied olives. I abandoned everything else after a few bites, including flavorless noodles in weak, oily broth; pork meatballs in a gooey, indistinct brown sauce; and a few other things I can barely recall.

After that unsatisfactory dalliance, I returned to Yunnan Kitchen with a fresh appreciation for its charms. Yes, I had liked the shrimp I’d met when I went astray. But the shrimp at Yunnan Kitchen were far better, deep fried with lime leaves, the crunchy shells seasoned with tart and fragrant lime salt, the flavors refreshingly direct and to the point.

And while there were no unmined veins of Yunnanese flavor lurking in stir-fried king mushrooms flavored with Allan Benton’s country ham, or in floppy, membranous wood ears with lengths of Chinese celery, both showed a firm understanding of how mushrooms should be treated. My favorite mushroom dish, though, was the mushroom rice cake with nicely crunchy bitter greens and fermented chiles. The whole thing is slicked with a sweet soy glaze and is surprisingly easy to finish before you realize it.

Mr. Post’s fresh, locavore sensibility leads to straightforward and uncomplicated cooking. In one key way this is a liability: nothing at Yunnan Kitchen builds to a pitch of flavor that makes you dream about your next visit. That may change as Mr. Post explores more deeply.

In the meantime, there are enough lovely tastes to build a good meal, and to suggest what we have to gain if restaurants start to spread the wealth around.

Yunnan Kitchen