Do you know Sam the Cooking Guy? If you live in San Diego, you’ve probably heard of him.

Sam Zien, known as Sam the Cooking Guy, has a televised cooking show and several cook books. He’s been so successful because of his down to earth approach to cooking. He doesn’t have any formal culinary training- he’s just an average guy who loves to cook.

Recently, Sam launched The Sam Livecast, which airs three days a week. It’s similar to a podcast, except that it includes high definition video and you can watch it live, unedited, and uncensored. And it really is uncensored.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Chyi from The Sam Livecast Show

About a month ago I was invited to watch one of his Livecast shows. It was a pretty fun experience. The show is filmed in his home, which has a kitchen I am extremely envious of. On each one hour show, Sam will cook a dish from start to finish (On the episode I watched, it was this delicious pumpkin curry soup pictured below). He also will spend time speaking his mind on various subjects, showing cool food-related video clips, and basically addressing whatever else comes up during the show. His camera crew, wife, and marketing intern join in on the discussion.

My brother requested that I find a macaroni and cheese recipe that is creamy, homemade, but still resembles the instant Kraft ones we ate as kids. So I’ve been on a mission to discover the best homemade stove top recipe.

I tried a recipe a few months back that seemed promising but ended up being a complete mess. I tried another recipe recently that got good reviews on Allrecipes. I changed the recipe around to accommodate the ingredients I had on hand.

Almost 2 years from my first attempt to visit Kome buffet, I finally experienced it over Thanksgiving weekend. Kome is a popular Asian style buffet that opened up a few years ago in Daly City. With its large selection of offerings, including high quality sushi (including fresh uni!), lobster, and other expensive ingredients, the place quickly became popular with lines out the door all night long and wait times of  around 2 hours.

Two years ago we made the mistake of trying to eat there and left after seeing the long lines. For the next year or so, I periodically checked up the status but it appeared to remain just as popular. Then the owner opened another location, Tomi, which also happened to be much closer to where we lived. I’ve blogged about Tomi a few times (here, here and here). I was pretty thrilled when Tomi first came out. The wait was pretty long at first but it’s since died down. I filled up on uni, big clams, lobster, crab, green tea ice cream, mango mousse, etc. However on my last two visits, they stopped offering uni and didn’t have lobster. Subsequent visits by my family also reported no more uni. That had really been a big selling point for me since I don’t know of any other buffets that offer uni. I was bummed. So I stopped wanting to go.

Then a few months back, my parents were meeting up with some friends near Daly City and decided to try again to go to Kome. To their surprise there was no wait at all! So of course I wanted to visit and taste it for myself (even though I’ve heard that Tomi and Kome are almost identical). I was especially eager after I learned that Kome still offers uni.

We went over Thanksgiving weekend, and sure enough, no line. Business was still doing well; but there were no longer the ridiculous waits. Inside, the location is quite big– I think a bit bigger than its sister restaurant Tomi.

We were greeted to similar stations: sushi, hot food, noodle and wontons, dim sum and dessert stations.