Sheridan Su

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pozole - La Casa de Tono

Casa de Tono

I recently recieved a great tip about a restaurant called La Casa de Tono from our kitchen designer over at Grupo Delia. During the week, the lines for a table are out the door. I've been told that they can pull off over 2000 covers a day. Pretty amazing, for a 50 seat restaurant.

What I ate was probrably the best pozole I've ever had. I also had flautas con pollo and quesadilla de chicharron con queso. Truly, a meal fit for a king!
So here are a couple points of history on pozole:
-Corn is one of the main ingredients in this dish. Corn was considered a sacred plant for the country of Mexico, therefore, this dish was made during sacred events.
-In the original version of pozole, humans were used as meat instead of pork or chicken. The Aztecs and Mayans sacrificed humans as an offering to their God. During the ceremony, the sacrificed humans would have their hearts ripped out, and their flesh would be chopped up and cooked in with the corn and spices. However, after the Spanish conquest, pork became the staple meat.

Recently, I've been considering making my own version of this national dish. It would be a "Chinese style Pozole" and would combine the flavors of hot and sour soup and the traditional flavors of pozole. Although, my fiance thinks it's sacrilegious, I think I'm onto something good. :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Social House Menu Preview

Click on each menu to enlarge.
The SH Mexico City menu is very similar to the cuisine for SH Las Vegas. Btw, SHLV will be opening this week inside Crystals Mall at City Center.
Some differences are from the availability of ingredients. The style in which the kitchen is laid out will also influence the way we will be doing things here in Mexico. There is definitely a greater variety of vegetables and fruits here compared to Vegas...and much fresher too!. It is something that I can't wait to take advantage of. Having access to amazing products is key to any successful restaurant.
The menu is still incomplete, and I apologize. I just couldn't wait to share the info. I have yet to finalize the pricing, but it'll be a complete menu before opening.
Have suggestions? Bring them my way! Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Born and Raised.....

(Chinatown Los Angeles)
Chinatowns around the world were started in the 1800's. In the US, these neighborhoods were started by immigrants who were brought over to build railroads.
Whenever I hear the word "Chinatown", I always get wonderful feelings of nostalgia. After all, I was born and raised in Chinatown (LA). I was born in 1982 in the old French hospital (Pacific Alliance Medical Center is the current name), across the street from Castelar Elementary School, which I attended from pre-school until the 6th grade. My family immigrated to Taiwan during the Cultural Revolution in 1949. My mom's side of the family is from Shandong, China. When my mom arrived in to the US, she got a job at the Golden Palace, which was a couple blocks away from Castelar. It was a mega multi leveled restaurant, and if memory serves me right, was the size of a couple football fields. It was here where I recieved my first introduction to restaurants and its cooking. I can go on and on talking about food, so it's best that I save it for another time.

Growing up, I fell in love with the sounds, sights and aromas of this Chinese neighborhood. It was all I knew, but I felt a deep connection to the land. It was a feeling of connection that strung all the way to the homeland and to my ancestors. It has kept me close to my roots, while growing up in a major American city.
I remember the markets and the streets of Broadway, College, and Alpine and playing ball at the recreation center. I still remember running around the streets of Chung King Road with my friends. There was the wishing well at Central Plaza where everyone threw pennies into. I remember the Chinese school, the talented lion dancers practicing for the upcoming New Year's Celebration, and trying to get through the weekends at a family friend's gambling parlor. I remember the smells of fresh baked and steamed breads each morning while walking to school. I also remember the liquor shop where I used to buy baseball cards and then hung around with the shop owner for hours at a time, hoping to finally meet his daughter. (She was a Lakers Girl, and even then, I was a fanatic for the team.) To me, this neighborhood was the size of the world, yet small enough where people walking into shops knew each other by name.

(Common business found in Chinatowns: open fish market, bakery, Cantonese style BBQ, and a variety of street food)
Although I had continued going to school in Chinatown's Castelar until the 6th grade, my mom made the move to Monterey Park, CA (near the 60 fwy) when I was 5 yrs old. Located in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, the city is considered the first suburban Chinatown in the world. When I moved to Monterey Park in 1986, my neighborhood was predominantly white and hispanic. Looking back, it was interesting to see how the neighborhood and the city transformed into what it is today.
I've always lived in or close to Chinese neighborhoods, whether it was in Chinatown LA to Monterey Park, NYC: Manhatten's Mott Street to Flushing, Queens or Boston's and the Las Vegas' Chinatown. I have always been attracted to these neighborhoods. I loved the chaos and its energy. It was being close to the familiar and always felt like "home".

(Dolores Street, Mexico City's Chinatown)
There is a Barrio Chino here in Mexico City, however it is not quite satisfactory. This is the first time in my life where a place didn't feel like "home". There are no Chinese bakeries here, or Cantonese BBQ or ladies pushing dim sum carts. Noodle shops are non existent, and so is authentic cooking, for that matter.
I spent Chinese New Year at Barrio Chino, and ended up being photographed with my fiance multiple times, by tourists and locals for being the only Chinese people in town. I spent part of the day watching celebrations back home on the internet, and somewhat wishing I could have been a part of it all. There is no doubt that this is Chinatown, but it is very unfamiliar to me. It looked like home, but didn't sound, smell, or feel like it. I wanted this to be my Barrio Chino. However, this isn't my Chinatown. This isn't my "home", but it is somebody else's. Some days, I miss my "home". Today, being one of those days. If you feel me, why don't you throw out one of those virtual hugs.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Preview: Social House Mexico Menu

As the kitchen and restaurant are getting closer to being ready, I am getting more excited each day. With the help of my sous chef Aldo, we're starting to get settled in. Above is a preview of the Social House Menu for Santa Fe, Mexico. For everyone living in DF, please come out to support us for the upcoming grand opening! Thanks.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Would you eat here?

A Comida Japonesa Sushi Stand off of Insurgentes and Chilpancingo.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Wicked Weather in Mexico DF

(pics taken in Santa Fe, Mexico City)

According to Wikipedia, the average temperature in Mexico City is 12-16 °C or 54-61 °F. There are two main seasons in the city. June through October carries a tropical climate with rain and moisture in the air. November through May is typically drier.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Love and Hate in DF

"Love is a given. Hatred is acquired". -Doug Horton

There are millions of contradictions that exist in life. My life here in DF, Mexico is a contradiction. I recently cut the umbilical cord to my home life in the US. There, I have my family and friends. I am engaged to a wonderful woman, I am a homeowner, have a dog, a car, been blessed to cook at some great restaurants and had everything I needed. I was comfortable, maybe too comfortable. I desired to see more of the world. When this opportunity came along, it was time to turn my life upside down and make the move.

Being an Asian American kid born in Chinatown LA, growing up in the 'burbs, then moving out to the East coast via New York and Boston, and then settling in Vegas...I thought I was ready for anything and everything. Heck, I've even spent weeks at a time, living in different international mega-cities. However, settling in has not exactly been simple.

When I tell people I'm in Mexico City, I get many different replies (mostly negative) like:
-It's dangerous! Thousands of people die in drug wars each year.
-Beware of pickpockets. People are poor, so they cheat and steal.
-There was an earthquake in Baja. I don't think I'll visit anytime soon. (Baja is about 25 hrs away by car)
-You'll have trouble at work. People are lazy there and take siestas all the time.
-Mexico City is awesome. It's like, if you took Barcelona and Tijuana, and jammed it together.
-Why? Why would you want to go there?

My first month here, I was robbed. I saw gunshots fired a few feet away at the metro station. I had trouble communicating with the locals. People have refused to help me because I was of the wrong ethnicity. I was somewhat frustrated because the project that I came out here for wasn't going to happen anytime soon. Although public transportation is efficient, I don't like another man's shoulder touching mine and sharing a bus packed with 200 passengers. I heard many racists comments directed towards me, behind my back. I still get the comments, but I don't allow it to bother me much now.

Now I find that I live among many gracious people. I love the sound of Spanish being spoken. I don't mind the stares anymore, because people find me interesting and want to know my story. I've met other expats and locals alike, and find their stories fascinating as well. I understand how to get around using the bus and subway systems. I like walking through the neighborhoods with different districts. I've climbed Aztecan pyramids, visited a few historic Mexican towns, and seen many galleries. I enjoy the art and food. All this does not mean I don't struggle with "living la vida" here. I still do, on a daily basis. Now, it's more of an adventure than a painful experience. I have accepted the love/hate that I have with DF.
I feel like my time here will mold me into a better person. Although I have a strong growing desire to rediscover my heritage in China, I love the character and culture of this city and wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now.

Sights from Cuernavaca


In downtown, overlooking the cathedral, and statue of Cortez.


My beautiful lady, inside Palacio de Cortez.

Known as the City of Eternal Springs, Cuernavaca is located about an hour north of Mexico City. We took a stroll through the histroric town. The architecture is magnificient and filled with so much character.
We visited the Robert Brady museum and Palacio de Cortes, relaxed at a coffee shop, and had a nice lunch before heading back to the city.
The next time I'm in Cuernavaca, I must check out the San Anton Falls, Borda Gardens, and Xochicalco.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lucha Libre - AAA Triplemania XVIII

Tonight, the Palacio de los Deportes hosted the annual AAA Triplemania XVIII. I am a big fan of professional wrestling, just as I have been, since childhood. I found one of their mottos quite amusing: "This is not professional wrestling. This is Lucha Libre."
A few TNA performers were on the card for tonight pay per view, including Beer Money, Abyss, Chris Daniels, and Hernandez among others. Overall, it was a great show. Thanks, Javier.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Glorious Coffee

Brewing coffee using a siphon.

Cafe Amano
Magdelena 208
Col. Del Valle, DF Mexico
Often considered the best way to brew coffee by conoisseurs around the world, I have never seen the siphon technique in action until I moved to Mexico City earlier this year. I was excited to try my first cup at Cafe Amano.
This technique was created in France and Germany during the 1800's. However, it is rarely used today, as much demand has died down.
Although I do not consider myself a coffee nerd, I do appreciate a damn fine cup of coffee. This method of preparing coffee is almost pornographic for the senses. From the aroma, to the sight of the coffee infusion, and the ritual of making a cup of brew.
Is this method better than commercial methods used today? I can't really answer "yes", but it does make for a good show.