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Favorite tableside (and free) condiment?

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What's your favorite condiment that restaurants provide gratis (and I'm not talking about regular Heinz ketchup or mustard and the like).

Here's mine (in no particular order):

1. Hot Mustard (Philippe's)
2. Diced/preserved mustard greens (Ding's Garden)
3. Chili sauce (Dragon Mark)
4. House black vinegar (Triumphal Palace)

*I would include the free kimchi at Dumpling House on this list, but to label kimchi a "condiment" would be a true injustice to all things pickled ...

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  1. C l a r i f i c a t i o n - - - R e q u e s t e d

    Does the restaurant have to make themselves?

    Or, can be a condiment made and distributed by an outside producer which the restaurant gives to you free?

    3 Replies
    1. re: JBC

      Can be both - inhouse or outsourced.


      1. re: ipsedixit

        In No particular Order:

        1. Mint Chutney (Akbar's - not always consistent quality)
        2. Green Chili Paste (Sunnin - They keep it hidden behind the counter and you have KNOW to ask for it)
        3. Yuzu Chili Paste (Matsuhisa - They don't make it themselves, so any other Sushi bar that carries a good brand).
        4. Chili Garlic Sause (Tuong Ot Toi Viet-nam @ Any Vietnamese restaurant)
        5. 3 Items from the Condiment Bar at The Falafel King, when they are THICK and NOT watred down,in Westwood.
        a) Tahini Sauce - Best Thick & Creamy but too often watered down.
        b) Dark Red/Orange Chili Paste - Too often watered down.
        c) Green Paste (similar to Sunnin's) - Always the same thickines.
        6. Coleman's Hot English Mustard (any English Pub)

        There, was that too many?

        BTW, if by saying Cheers you're suggesting I go comsume some dark ale and root for the Angels to break out of their 1 game losing streak, I think that's a very wise suggestion I will follow though on!

        1. re: JBC

          Royals are in town ... losing streak is in serious jeopardy ...

    2. I'm going with tamarind chutney. Gill's and Indian's Oven come to mind.

      1. Hazelnut-chocolate spread at Le Pain Quotidien. (Only at some locations is it out on the tables for your "discreet" use.) And if you have a spoon, you needn't wait for the bread!

        1 Reply
        1. re: liu

          A basket of their bread with this spread and a cup of coffee is one of my favorite breakfasts...dessert too!!

        2. I crave the hot sauce at Falafel King in Westwood.

          Not just the heat, the flavor is something I literally get cravings for. I order food there just to have something to cover in hot sauce.

          I also crave the vegetable chutney at Akbar. It's little carrots and corn and green veggies cut so small they are like the frozen veggies you buy in a bag. But they are covered in a hot sauce that really burns. I can eat a whole jar on the naan.

          1. 1. Garlic sauce at Zankou.
            2. Aji at Nory's Peruvian
            3. Sirachi for pho

            1. Salsa could have it's own thread... but I have to give La Tolteca in Azusa their just due. THE SALSA YOU'LL DRIVE AN HOUR FOR! And yes, they'll sell you a 1/2 gallon with chips to go with it!

              1. The BREAD with Balsmic Vinegar and Olvie oil at Maria's Kitchen.