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Jul 20, 2006 09:29 PM

Favorite tableside (and free) condiment?

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