Blog Posts by Sarah Fuss, Shine Staff

  • Cheeseburger sushi and other irregular rolls

    Recently, news broke of a cheeseburger sushi roll being served at one of the kooky food trucks in L.A. Got us thinking. People must put a lot of odd ends into their sushi rolls. Seemed like we should take a look. Here are a few intriguing sushi and sushi-inspired rolls that exist amongst us. (Warning to purists: this won't be easy...)

  • If you had to eat one: Brain or grasshopper?

    You have to choose one to eat. That's the game. My officemates and I just made it up because we were surprised to find that of the people asked, about half were adamant about grasshopper while the other half was far less grossed out by brains.

    What kind of brains? It's usually calf brains on the menu. How much are we talking? Well a comparable amount of either. Not like one whole brain to one grasshopper. Personally, I feel optimistic about the hypothetical situation in which I am faced with with this choice. I imagine that the eccentric genderless person running the experiment would only demand that I eat one bite of either in return for my freedom. You can apply your own rules.

    To win converts, I reminded the brain eaters how easy it would be to eat a bit of chocolate-covered grasshopper. I was caught off guard when my lovely cube neighbor Jen seriously asked me, "Wouldn't you feel the same way about chocolate-covered brain?"



    You cannot disguise the tongue-on-brain

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  • How much would you pay for the best water on earth?

    I should have known by the way the waiter looked at me apologetically through his hip black glasses. By the way he told me there was a charge for filtered water, I should have known it would be a large charge. This was no case of being tricked into buying water. Still, how could I have known that I would pay seven dollars for a carafe of filtered tap water?

    In case you haven't tried it, Los Angeles agua tastes like pool water so I didn't want to go the tap route for my first Thomas Keller meal, even if it was just lunch. I wasn't drinking anything else, so I knew I'd really notice it. It was a special occasion. I was taking myself out. A charge? That's fine, I said, thinking, it's not one of those slim glass bottles or anything. It's just filtered water. It was all good. I was even feeling a little posh as I sat reading my book and waiting for my quiche. However, I was not prepared for filtered water to turn my bill into a 42-dollar one-lady food festival.

    I've tried not to dwell on

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  • End of an era: Kissing nurse from goodbye-to-WWII photograph dies

    National ArchivesNational ArchivesWorld War II ended with her kiss, and today, we are sad to see this swooning icon go. Edith Shain, believed to be the kissing nurse in this well-loved image, passed away this Sunday at age 91 in Los Angeles.

    For those of us who were not alive for V-J Day, this photo has given us a taste of the elation much of the world felt at that moment in time. After so much war. Peace. Peace!

    Because the faces in this photograph are obscured and because much kissing was done in that place, on that day, many have claimed to be the two celebrants. The identity of the male has never been confirmed but Shain's claim is widely accepted.

    "When I was kissed, I closed my eyes. I didn't look at him. It was a startling thing. But I thought, this man had fought the war for all of us," Shain told the New York Times in an interview in 1995.

    ReutersReutersThe picture was taken in Times Square in New York where the spontaneous happening drew the lenses of two professional photographers. The image to the left was taken by

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  • Who's your favorite on the new season of 'The Next Food Network Star'?

    AartiAartiHave you been watching? I just dove into the first two episodes of the new season and I'm having a little bit of a completely innocent girl crush on Aarti Sequiera. She's warm; she's real; she has self-confidence issues and somehow it's no problem at all. And! Her Indian twist on cooking looks (see below) -- and by all reports sounds -- like something I'd like to try as soon as possible.

    There are other lovely contestants, too. A gorgeous Italian ex-ballerina/lawyer, Serena who talks too fast but it's still charming at this point and judge Bobby Flay agreed that her tomato sauce was good enough for jarring.

    All the hope, gratitude, awe, and passion of the contestants as they roll through Hollywood cuts through the entertainment biz B.S. and I found myself pulling for everyone in a way. Aarti's Roasted Chicken Breasts With Orange, Cardamom and TurmericAarti's Roasted Chicken Breasts With Orange, Cardamom and Turmeric

    We all know how sad an elimination can be and the first one of this season had me near tears. Alexis was lovely, knowledgeable, gay, and something about the camera's eye crumpled him. As a result, he

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  • Is your trusted restaurant guide online?

    I did something retro this weekend. I bought a hard copy of the newest Zagat guide. This isn't something I've done in the past six years; have you?

    About 8 months ago I began formulating the theory that the established peer-review sites were drowning in reviews (in success!). I first noticed that the non-foodie site TripAdvisor no longer conveyed consensus, but confusion. For each B&B I clicked, I found as many awful reviews as glowing ones. The site needed another site to break down all the information it had amassed -- something savvier than the star system, something like what the Zagat editors began doing in 1979.

    Soon after, I had a similar experience on Yelp while helping my friend find the perfect place for his anniversary dinner.

    One user said, "I ate at Cafe Pinot last night and could not have had a more enjoyable experience." The next one went, "Save yourself money and avoid dinner."

    I'm tired of digging my own way through the growing content on these sites. I

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  • Dammit this kid's shirt says the F word

    I'm game for a challenge to the establishment, trust me, just not when the establishment at hand is the sanctity of childhood. "They" want us to be shocked and yes I was when I ran across this kid's T for sale at the painfully-hip American Rag Cie in Los Angeles, but the more lasting feeling was sad. I think it's important that we specify exactly why this shirt sucks so much more than the designers think it does...

  • Top hospital complaints (and how to overcome)

    The responsibility of working in a hospital is immense. Imagine every working day having patients and their families depend on you during some of the biggest challenges of their lives. When I had the recent shattering of fortune to spend most of a month with a family member in the hospital, I was disappointed and scared to run across the issues I discuss here. This hospital was top rated in the country and benefited from being inside a world-class city. If these problems happen here, they could happen anywhere. To counter my frustrations over the people and parts of the system that were faulty, I did much praising and thanking the workers who were thoughtful, who were professional, who worked from their heart. In the end, a lot of humans, with both imperfections and superpowers, helped bring my family member to wellness. I am grateful beyond words. I share my top complaints and solutions in hopes of ever-building a better system. I hope you'll share your experiences, too. (And make

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  • New show alert: 'Private Chefs of Beverly Hills'

    In Food Network's new reality series, Private Chefs of Beverly Hills, two of reality TV's most addictive components come together - the saliva-inducing footage of attractive chefs cooking attractive food and the freak-show element that in this instance is embodied not by blood-thirsty models or has-been actors but by demanding Beverly Hills party hosts.

    Heidi Montag sets off Hollywood plastic surgery back-lash

    You and the six chefs collude against the psychotic perfectionism and outlandish requests of people who have too much time and money on their hands. The experience is compelling under the guilty-pleasure category. Of course, you are made to withstand the awkwardness of forced drama and the falseness of last-minute wrench tossing that no challenge-centric show circumvents. The Beta in me likes that this show does not eliminate cast members and maintains tension through the expectations of the clients alone. So far, all the chefs even seem to be nice.


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  • Drive-thru ketchup and fries dilemma: Solved!

    In high school, for at least a couple of grades, I figured my fortune would be built by solving the problem posed by drive-thrus, french fries, and ketchup: In a car there is no good way to put ketchup on your fries and a dry fry disappoints.

    If you're the passenger, the contents of the wrinkly ketchup pouch can be squirted onto a flat-like surface, oftentimes a napkin balanced on a knee. With this method, there is risk of wet ketchup working through the paper onto your pants and napkin consumption is near certain. The second method is the Russian Roulette of ketchup application. The packet is used much like a tube of toothpaste to squirt a thin line of ketchup on each fry individually. Precision is paramount and roads are rarely smooth.

    Unsatisfied, I devised a ketchup holder to nest in the hole of the car-door armrest, secured by a sticky latch. I got as far as a sketch (reproduction on right), but did not know whether my invention would be a disposable container that the ketchup

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