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Foodie rec's? Food over atmosphere

thanks again for everybody's help! had a great food weekend in Chi-town. List of restaurants I tried:

Alinea-amazing, worth every penny. One of the best dining experiences i've had (and I've had a lot!)

Purple Pig-tasty, fun, worth a stop

North Pond-very pretty, food was solid nothing special. if not for the setting/location it would be a pass

Sun Wah-amazing duck! I love peking duck and their duck was extraordinary. rest of the menu was tasty as well. Definitely worth a visit!

Greek Islands-really did not enjoy it. overpriced, nothing special. And I love greek food!

Sable-good, great drink menu. Didn't love it but I know some people who would.

Spiaggia-meh. I don't know, it was obviously very well done Italian but nothing wow'ed me. Maybe Cafe Spiaggia is a better value/meal.

thanks again!!

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Cafe Spiaggia
980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Nov 21, 2011
DReborn in Chicago Area

Foodie rec's? Food over atmosphere

I do love ethnic food...

Any other suggestions for Thai, Indian, Greek, Chinese?

Nov 19, 2011
DReborn in Chicago Area

Foodie rec's? Food over atmosphere

How could you guys almost not let me go to Alinea?? :). What an amazing dining experience. I've decided that if you don't enjoy Alinea you are not a happy foodie.

One note which was a great bonus, we were the first table seated at 5:45 and got to be the first table served each dish. Every other table was staring at ours throughout the night while we got to be surprised they already knew what was coming.

Second note: wine pairings are a rip off. Just get two $125 bottles of their list for better value and better wine. I'm a wine guy so I asked which wines were in the pairings and they were $20-40 bottles of wine and you only get four glasses per person. Awful value for 230 a person

Thanks again ChowHound

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Alinea
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Nov 19, 2011
DReborn in Chicago Area

Foodie rec's? Food over atmosphere

I'm a fiend for good Peking duck! I'll check out Sun Wah, thank you!

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Sun Wah
5039 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640

Nov 17, 2011
DReborn in Chicago Area

Foodie rec's? Food over atmosphere

Thank you so much for your detailed response! Because of you I snagged a reservation tomorrow for birthday dinner at Alinea. :)

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Alinea
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Nov 17, 2011
DReborn in Chicago Area

Foodie rec's? Food over atmosphere

Im spending my birthday weekend in Chicago (wonderful city by the way) and would love some recommendations.

I have been spoiled and travelled around the world for work (live in LA and NYC) and have been lucky enough to eat at the "best" restaurants. At this point, service and atmosphere don't do much for me since I've been to so many beautiful restaurants and places with superb service that it doesn't do much for me anymore. Really the only places that excite me are places that pass my "TV test": if I was home in my living room, watching tv, would ths food impress/excite me and be worth the money?

I hope that doesn't sound too obnoxious but I guess for me If I'm dining with people I care about the only thing I want is good food.

Been to Spiaggia and Tru. Spiaggia was good but nothing remarkable to be honest. We had the tasting menu and the dishes were prepared beautifully but didn't wow me or make me want to come back (especially for the price). Tru was similar but definitely more creative. also went to sable, good but nothing I would recommend over something else (though their drink menu was great!)

I'd rather pass on a large tasting menu restaurant a la Alinea...looking for just really tasty food!

Thoughts were Naha, avec, Next, Purple Pig, North pond, telegraph

Love to hear what you love!

Thanks in advance :)

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Spiaggia
980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Naha
500 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610

Purple Pig
500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Nov 17, 2011
DReborn in Chicago Area

Fun, casual Japanese birthday restaurant in LA (like Musha)

Sawtelle is solid if you know the place but can be somewhat "adverturesome" for people not familiar with it

Anybody been to the Yard in santa monica?

Dec 08, 2010
DReborn in Los Angeles Area

Fun, casual Japanese birthday restaurant in LA (like Musha)

thanks for the help

I was thinking Bar Hayama but that fire table is awkward to sit and talk around

Never been to Raku tho Furaibo is a good place.

I am trying to stay in the santa monica, brentwood, west la, bev hills, weHo region.

What about Wa Sushi?

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Raku Restaurant
11678 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Bar Hayama
11300 Nebraska Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Dec 08, 2010
DReborn in Los Angeles Area

Fun, casual Japanese birthday restaurant in LA (like Musha)

tried to make reservations at Musha santa monica but they are booked. Any ideas for about 10 people?

Japanese preferred but not necessary.

thanks!!

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Musha
424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Dec 07, 2010
DReborn in Los Angeles Area

Bday Dinner 10 People in Hollywood?

howabout Charcoal?

thanks for all the recs...will definitely check them out

Sep 22, 2007
DReborn in Los Angeles Area

Bday Dinner 10 People in Hollywood?

i never heard of Malo, love to get new rec's. thanks!!

Sep 22, 2007
DReborn in Los Angeles Area

Bday Dinner 10 People in Hollywood?

Spanish Kitchen, Republic...?

need a good place for a bday dinner of 10 people in west hollywood or hollywood. around the price of Spanish Kitchen. good drinks, food, atmosphere...

thanks!!

Sep 22, 2007
DReborn in Los Angeles Area

Need Westwood recs

I live just south of the westwood/santa monica intersection so i'm in the same boat. =) Some of my recs:

1. Il Grano (pretty good Italian in a beautiful space)
2. Sharzhad (Persian right on Westwood and Ohio)
3. Palamino's (stable...you know what your going to get)
4. Tengu (expensive but they have some worthwhile fish)

Sep 21, 2007
DReborn in Los Angeles Area

Birthday Dinner before Area

hey there, need bday dinner place before an Area club night. having 10-12 people so the place needs to handle groups well. We have done spanish kitchen, belmont, republic, etc. Want a place that people can enjoy good drinks as well as the food.

need some place not too expensive (spanish kitchen prices are fine) but that's good for a group and preferably have it nearby Area.

Since Chowhounders know it all...help! =)

thanks!

Aug 13, 2007
DReborn in Los Angeles Area

Best Chef Table for 4 People?

yep, Melisse is one of our faves. And Buca's do have a table in the kitchen. it literally is a small table IN the kitchen.

May 28, 2007
DReborn in Los Angeles Area

Best Chef Table for 4 People?

well first off, thank you all for the very helpful advice. very nice welcome to the forums.

i will check in tomorrow and see what's what with providence.

in the end, i might just end up with Sona or Cut (no private room/chef table but good places nonetheless).

Only requirement(s): need (somewhat) quiet for Dad and not all fish for Mom. =)

I also made a reservation at The Penthouse. Any good? heard that the views were amazing but the food was "so-so."

May 27, 2007
DReborn in Los Angeles Area

Best Chef Table for 4 People?

yea, i actually just called providence and had a very weird experience. Spoke to a very seemingly helpful hostess and we were confirmed for the chef's table and then right before i we hung up she asked if we were going to have the chef's tasting menu. I informed her that my mom/bday girl is not a big fan of fish (though the rest of the party is) and was there any way we could work around that. The hostess then said well we have a pretty big waiting list for the chef's table so we'll get back to you.

what?

i had a confirmed reservation and then suddenly there is a long wait...? why not just tell me that the chef's menu will have tons of fish and it probably wont be a good idea? very odd. anyways, i will call back tomorrow just to see if i missed something.

May 27, 2007
DReborn in Los Angeles Area

Best Chef Table for 4 People?

well then, there we go. =) I'll call tomorrow and see if they can accommodate us

May 27, 2007
DReborn in Los Angeles Area

Best Chef Table for 4 People?

Hi there, need something special for mom's bday. been to Table One and some others but we want something different.

i have heard good things about Providence's Chef Table but the birthday girl is not a big fan of fish and i am worried that Providence's heavy fish laden menu might not work.

any other options people know about??

thanks!!

May 27, 2007
DReborn in Los Angeles Area