Monday, September 29, 2008

The Tuna Toast Ten

It's Tuesday, which means it's time for another edition of our new weekly feature, The Tuna Toast Ten (cue thunderous applause). It's just a list of ten food-related questions that will be answered by a different person every Tuesday. Who's in the hot seat this week (meaning who did I beg and plead with to do this)? It's Los Angeles-based entertainment reporter Marc Istook, with whom I have the pleasure of working with and chatting about food with on a daily basis. Marc lists Food Network's "Gotta Get It" as one of his many television credits and is currently a reporter for Hollywood 411. He makes a mean cheesecake and is the go-to guy on any cooking-related segment we produce, including one we just shot with Marco Pierre White.

Occupation: TV Entertainment Reporter
City, State of residence: Los Angeles, CA
Website/blog/thing you'd like to pimp: Hollywood 411 on TV Guide Network

1. The best restaurant meal I've had recently is:
Hamasaku on Santa Monica in Westwood. Just incredible. I'm still learning to love sushi, but the combination of creative pairings and amazing flavors made this a meal I won't forget for awhile.

2. If money wasn't an issue, I would want to eat at:
I'd want to eat at Urasawa in Beverly Hills. I used to work near there and have heard nothing but good things about the eating experience. That, or El Bulli.

3. The food I eat most often is:
I eat a lot of sandwiches. But instead of just slapping some meat between two pieces of bread, I try to get creative with meats, toppings (salsa on a sandwich? I say yes!), paninis, condiments, etc. Rarely will I make an uncooked sandwich.

4. No great meal is complete without:
A good starter. No matter what you're eating, or where, the right appetizer can set the table (no pun intended) for an even better meal.

5. The best cheap eats in my neighborhood:
California Roll Factory, 11629 Santa Monica Blvd. It's a good combination of relatively inexpensive sushi, a fun ambience and proximity -- within walking distance of my apartment.

6. There's no way in hell I'd ever eat:
I've made it this far without foie gras, and given all the uproar over force-fed ducks, I might be able to make it another 32 years without. [Ed note: I respect that, but I love me some foie...sad but true!]

7. My go-to dish I'd cook for guests is:
I make a mean guacamole. I also think salmon or tuna steaks are easy dishes that can taste great without a ton of prep work.

8. Man can't live on food alone, so my favorite libation is:
Anything with alcohol. Seriously. I'm not picky. Red wine, white. Beer. Margaritas. Jack and Coke. Whatever. And for dessert, champagne. [Ed note: ahhh, the truth comes out! Closet lush!]

9. My favorite guilty food pleasure is (c' HONEST!):
There are so many. It'd be between pizza, a good, fat steak, cheesecake or Oreos.

10. My favorite food-related website/blog is (no obligation to list TT, we're completely objective over here!):
I'm lazy. The Food Network website is easy. Especially because I can find the recipes I watched Bobby, Paula and Giada make on TV. [Ed note: Looks like just revamped their site- much better than the old one!]

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