Frommtron's Profile

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What's your LEAST favorite restaurant in LA ? (excepting of course for chains).

Mean spirited perhaps, but restaurants always seem to have a few dishes on the menu that are priced to help subsidize some of the other dishes. I think that $7 boba (who get's boba with a meal? who gets boba for that matter?) helps defray some of the cost of the more labor intensive Southern Thai dishes.

Just a guess, though.

Dec 15, 2013
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

What's your LEAST favorite restaurant in LA ? (excepting of course for chains).

Fair enough.

Dec 14, 2013
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

What's your LEAST favorite restaurant in LA ? (excepting of course for chains).

I'd have to double check, but I think perhaps one of those dishes is off the Southern Thai menu, no?

Let me throw pineapple fried rice and chicken satay into the "and why are you at Jitlada if you're just going to order stuff that Thai Dishes serves" group.

I'm just saying, many are criticizing Jitlada for some awfully strange dishes and the fact that they're pricey compared to other Thai bargains.

Try Jitlada for it's strengths. I do Hope TonyC can blow your mind. I am very optimistic that he will.

Dec 14, 2013
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

What's your LEAST favorite restaurant in LA ? (excepting of course for chains).

Snideness aside, I'm pretty sure you failed miserably at making your case.

Your criticism of the place is that it's a little expensive and some of the dishes are stinkers. You're simply perseverating on price point and pad thai.

I think I'll judge Alma on the parking situation and the size of their ice cubes. I'm mean, why not?

In all earnestness, I really do hope you go back with and give it a shot when you're in a positive mindset. Don't look at the bill, order primarily from the Thai menu, and just enjoy. If you still hate it, I'd be surprised, but interested in hearing what about the food they do best you didn't think was up to snuff.

Dec 14, 2013
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

What's your LEAST favorite restaurant in LA ? (excepting of course for chains).

I cannot fathom this. I really can't. The food at Jitlada is otherwise unattainable anywhere in LA, possibly the US.

I don't even know what Tony C is talking about. You do not need a guide to get good dishes here. I've blundered my way through some random samplings from the Southern Thai menu and, aside from my meal lacking the proper balance, the individual dishes were spectacular. A guide or some research can get you the balance to make the whole meal an even better experience.

Jitlada is so worth the money. I do think service can be fairly spotty and the ambience is actually shitty. But it's about the food, yes? I can legitimately critique Jitlada because there are definitely places where the restaurant can improve. But it's really an academic exercise. The food is that good/interesting/memorable.

Everyone has a right to their own tastes, but I don't think anyone can make a coherent case for Jitlada being less than extraordinary.

Dec 14, 2013
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area
1

First Time Visiting Vancouver -- Suggestions/Comments About Itinerary

Hi all,

Just wanted to thank you guys again and follow up with you.

Night 1 -- As I mentioned in the thread already, Bao Bei was our first stop. Great drinks. Solid food. All around it was the right choice over Tojo's. We do have excellent sushi in LA so I don't think we missed out on too much. The place reminded me a bit of Momofuku Noodle Bar in NYC, which my wife and I made our first stop many years ago. We had a few dishes. Standouts included the Dck wontons in consomme and the octopus salad.

Night 2 -- Vij's. I tempered expectations, but I needn't have worries. My only regret is that two people in a hotel can't reasonably try enough offerings. We had the chickpeas is star anise and date masala with grilled kale, jackfruit in black cardamom and cumin curry, and Rjasthani goat curry. All three dishes were quite elegant. After my first few bites, I thought I wanted the food to be more aggressive, but over the meal my palate started to pick up the subtle complexity to the food. The nod to Pacific Northwest ingredients was not overworked or forced as I've seen happen in high-end Indian restaurants. I think the place is a treasure.

Night 3 -- I chose to stick with La Quercia for the third night. My wife spent several months in Italy learning the language and cuisine. I thought this kind of slow food restaurant would be right up her alley. We opted for the 7 course tasting menu. We were killed with food. But it was all very good and I do like that each table experiences the menu a bit differently. I won't bore with the details, but we loved the meticulous, yet ultimately rustic, food. Not every dish blew us away, but the overall meal was wonderful. I know I wouldn't come back as I didn't find it to be a destination restaurant, but I'd kill to have that place in my neighborhood back home.

Night 4 -- On our last night, we just couldn't decide. We wanted izakaya, fine dining, maybe chinese, etc. It was our last night and our choices were too vast. We ended up deciding to limit our picks to where we had reservations already: Chambar and Boneta. We walked to Boneta because it seemed a little more adventurous to me, but upon seeing the room we decided it reminded us too much of another restaurant we were going to in Portland later in the trip. We canceled the reservations and walked to Chambar. Aside: Up until this point, we both thought Vancouver was exceedingly clean and polite. Maybe too clean. I kind of missed an urban edge to the place. Walking around Hastings and Pender at dusk as I got a bit lost certainly cured us of that notion. :)
Chambar is usually not the kind of place that I get too excited about. I knew I'd like it fine, but there does seem to be an after work, office crowd. But after walking through a few blocks of junkies and dealers that promised us we could score as much smack as we'd want, my wife was more than happy to see the well-heeled clientele. They sat us right next to the bathroom. Which isn't really a problem, but I think any place that even has a table that close to the head is making a mistake. The menu wasn't grabbing me, but both our appetizers were just lovely and our entrees were quite good. I had a bouillabaisse that wasn't a bouillabaisse at all. My initial disappointment melted, though. Great dish, whatever it is. My wife had a halibut presented three ways. Again, I saw it come out and thought it would be terrible. That trio concept was played out nearly a decade ago. But, it was really delicious. Each preparation was there for a reason and they were all executed perfectly. Cocktails were on point and the beer selection was excellent, too. We opted for the cheese plate for dessert, which was nice enough. We ended with a whiskey and maple liqueur because why not. In the end, we liked it enough to check out Cafe Medina on our way out of town the next morning.

Liquor stores were tough. We didn't have time to go to the better suggestions. I was able to score a bottle of Cinzano Orancio from the liquor store connected to our hotel. We don't have that down here and I'm looking forward to working up a couple of cocktails with it. There were a few other bottles that looked intriguing, but time was tight and luggage was already getting heavy. Besides, WOW liquor is expensive in Canada. I can't believe bars serve cocktails for less that $15 bucks at those costs.

So thanks again for all the suggestions. LOVED our time up in your fair city and will be back to try many of your suggestions in the future.

First Time Visiting Vancouver -- Suggestions/Comments About Itinerary

Sorry for the post blitz, but I keep forgetting to ask about a great liquor store/bottle shop. You guys get some great stuff up here that isn't always available in the US.

First Time Visiting Vancouver -- Suggestions/Comments About Itinerary

Hawksworth may need to happen for us. I really like the look of West and it seems like at one time Hawksworth (the chef) was what made that place special. Thanks waylman and philx.

First Time Visiting Vancouver -- Suggestions/Comments About Itinerary

He he he! If all it took was talking then my wife would already be head over heels for the gamut of Chinese cuisine. She'll eat it, but she'd choose nearly anything else over it. She did enjoy Bao Bei at least.

First Time Visiting Vancouver -- Suggestions/Comments About Itinerary

UPDATE --

Thanks for all the great replies.

So, we just weren't feeling Tojo's last night. We thought it would be better to go someplace with great cocktails and a more lively scene. We decided on Bao Bei. Food was quite nice. Portion sizes made it feel a little like dim sum re-worked for dinner and I got a chance to get something remotely Chinese on this trip. We both really enjoyed ourselves. The space was great, the cocktails were expertly made (loved the Handsome Benny--basically a reworked Red Hook), and the food was pretty good. We chatted up the bartender and got some great recs for restaurants, cocktail bars, and stuff to do in town.

Will be trying Vij's shortly . . .

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Vij's Restaurant
1480 11th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6H1L1, CA

First Time Visiting Vancouver -- Suggestions/Comments About Itinerary

Hi Grayelf: Yeah, I'm from LA. Should have mentioned that. We do have exemplary Chinese food, but I've heard the Cantonese restaurants of Vancouver in particular are not to be missed. Bao Bei was only begrudgingly added to our list because it wasn't the usual Sichuan dive I take her out to.

I did try to mix up the neighborhoods a bit so we can check out the town more. I'll definitely look into La Buca and thanks for fair warning on Blue Water Cafe. West seemed more my style if I'm going to splurge anyway.

Hi Sam: I'll take those suggestions for a better sushi restaurant, especially if Tojo's is regarded as average these days.

Hi Islandgirl: Thanks for the tip on Kirin for a more sane dim sum location. Did you not like Boneta or is Chambar just flat-out superior?

Thanks again, everyone.

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La Buca Restaurant
4025 MacDonald St, Vancouver, BC V6L2N8, CA

First Time Visiting Vancouver -- Suggestions/Comments About Itinerary

My wife and I are excited to finally get a chance to visit Vancouver and will be in town for 4 nights, 3 full days, and until about lunch time on the fourth day.

I've done some research on the boards and using some Vancouver press and have come up with the following tentative plan. Am I missing a gem? Headed for an overhyped, mediocre place?

Night 1 -- Tojo's: Seems like a great place to end on a travel day. Bao Bei is another option for us if we aren't feeling like full-on omokase madness.

Night 2 -- Vij's: I'm hoping it's a revelation. We were happy, but a bit underwhelmed by Tantra in NYC. That was the last high-end, fusion Indian restaurant we tried.

Night 3 -- La Quercia OR L'Abattoir.

Night 4 -- Chambar OR Boneta

I'd LOVE to get out to Richmond for some top-end Cantonese. Unfortunately, my wife's one and only flaw is a general lack of enthusiasm for Chinese food. I know. It makes no sense at all. I love her anyway. I do think I could convince her to do dim sum one morning. Any suggestions?

We are also skipping the truly high-end stuff (other than maybe Tojo's). Should we squeeze Blue Water Cafe or West in at the expense of one of the more casual places?

Thanks for any help!

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Vij's Restaurant
1480 11th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6H1L1, CA

La Quercia
3689 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6R1P2, CA

Old Fashioned

Chowhound! What the hell are you doing? You're cocktail series is nothing short of horrifying and is actively undermining the revival of the great American art of drink. I'm sorry that I can't be as polite and informative as poster Berkana, but this is just irresponsible.

Jan 24, 2010
Frommtron in Recipes

Zapatos Nuevos

Fructose DOES have a surprisingly lower glycemic index than sucrose. So yes, a fructose molecule joined to a glucose molecule makes up a sucrose molecule, but that is really a separate issue from how your body responds to those foods. That's kind of like saying cellulose is just a bunch of glucose molecules attached to each other. And yet it's indigestible by humans. That you think it's bunkum seems, unfortunately, a departure from fact.

That said, you're completely right about simple syrup. It won't change the flavor of the drink by much, it's easier to source, and cheaper. Simple syrup tastes sweeter though so I'd pull the ratio back a bit.

Oct 11, 2009
Frommtron in Recipes

Pink Lady

Aw, come on! Of all the versions of this venerable cocktail, you choose the worst one. Cut the cream, add 1/2 oz. of lemon juice, and replace 1/2 oz. of the gin with applejack. Adjust the real pomogranate to taste.

Now that's a Pink Lady.

Oct 11, 2009
Frommtron in Recipes

Foodie Wedding

Hi DLG42,
I don't post on these boards anymore, but I stumbled across you post and thought I'd reply. I'll try and answer you questions as they were asked.

1. Union fees, security fees, parking fees: Those came to about $1700 for us. That was in 2007 though.

2. Surprises: They always pop up. But I found Patina did a very nice job staying near our initial estimate. Even after we committed to the contract, we continued to make alterations and were able to cut costs.

3. I'm not comfortable divulging our overall budget, but if you're looking for a similar wedding in NYC you'd be paying double, at least. The Founder's Room rental fee is doubly wonderful because you do not need to pay for the kitchen set-up since the Founder's Room has a full restaurant kitchen. For our wedding they also were offering the Blue Ribbon Garden for an additional $1. So the ceremony can be outdoors in the garden and the reception can move into the Founder's Room. Have one of the Patina reps walk you through a very early proposal and see if all the estimates are in your general range. If so, you should be fine as their estimate proved reliable.

4. Someone else brought up parking. I think it would be kind of tacky to ask your guests pay for parking, but you can offer complimentary valet parking to your guests. All they need to do is drive up to the Patina valet and they will be taken care of. This is especially nice for older guests that may have a hard time moving around. In 2007, this was $12 per car. You can even budget in a tip and let your guests know that's been taken care of, too. Alternatively, you could offer complimentary self-parking (oxymoron?) at a price of $8 (in 2007, of course). Guests needed to arrive after 4 PM in order to get those prices as daytime parking has different rates.

I'll respond to the food issue most people brought up. I've been to Patina catered events plenty of times. And they have been pretty average every time. Certainly not the horror stories some posters experienced (all at the Descanso Gardens it seems), but just okay. I wouldn't have been happy at all with that food. The food at the wedding was not in the same league as those buffets. It was simply put, very good. Our main course was a wild striped bass with sauteed pea tendrils and a tangerine sauce . . . that we cribbed from the Sunday Suppers at Lucques cookbook. Our runner-up for a pasta course was taken from a Mario Batali cookbook using fresh pasta. I bring this up only to illustrate that Patina, a very fine restaurant in its own right, was really excited to prepare recipes that we provided to them for our tasting. The chef came out and thanked us for giving them a reason to roll out fresh pasta.

There are a ton of incredible caterers in LA and some really awesome venues. So it's not the only game in town, but we loved our day at Disney Hall and were very satisfied with Patina when cooking out of their home base.

Hope that helps and congratulations on the wedding. Good luck zeroing in on your location.

Sep 07, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

The Father's Office School of Etiquette or Why do I bother?

Well, I see reason has failed to sway you. Even within your own posts you admit to there being a big difference between the policy (which you argue is 'exclusionary' and take to making outlandish political/social parallels) and the way the servers deal with customers' requests.

The bizarre criticisms of the policy is what is pointless. The criticism of the SERVICE is very much fair game. They are very different things.

Mar 22, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

The Father's Office School of Etiquette or Why do I bother?

This is getting WAY absurd.

1. This whole thread is a joke. Why? Because we get a FO post every couple of months about how someone who knew about the no substitutions policy was outraged because they were unable to circumvent the known policy. People relying unfavorably to the OP aren't saying, "You should have known." They are saying, "You DID know. You were fully aware of the rigid policy. You went in anyway in and decided to try and irritate the system. You failed at the restaurant and now you've come on chowhound to bash the place."

2. Now we are going so far as to link FO and those who like it to Karl Rove, Neocons, fascists, the Khmer Rouge, Nazis, etc. Who's being offensive now?

The thread was started by someone very intent on being unhappy with their experience at FO. They decided to agitate the system and test its limits. I find that kind of thing totally in line with my contrarian and pot-stirring personality. But on Chowhound, WHO CARES? We all know about this, or can certainly find a dozen threads on the issue by doing a simple search.

I'm sure the server WAS rude. And that's unfortunate. There's no excuse for that kind of thing. Rudeness is a completely separate issue from "the policy." If we just want to trade horror stories about the rudeness of the staff at FO then that makes a ton of sense.

But how trustworthy and honest is an account of events from someone walking in to a place and purposefully trying to cause an issue by faking a food allergy and demanding a food item that the establishment doesn't have, all in the name of agitation?

Sang Yoon's policy is not draconian. Draconian implies a lack of choice. The choice of an FO customer is to dine elsewhere. If you choose to eat at FO then you choose to accept the policy of no substitutions. It's also not even necessarily arrogant. It is how he chooses to run his establishment. It's such a well known policy and one that is also clearly spelled out on the menu diners order from. I see very little difference between FO's policy and a Mexican restaurant refusing to cook a separate pot of beans without lard for vegetarians. Or declining to serve hummus for that matter.

FO is not for everybody, but Sang Yoon doesn't need it to be. He's serving great food, wonderful beer, impeccably made cocktails and that will guarantee a crown even if people who need ketchup on their burgers skip the place.

Mar 22, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

Place to buy good tonic?

British Food Shop
27601 Forbes Road #19
Laguna Niguel CA 92677
1-949-582-9546

It's Sunday so I can't call to confirm, but any good British shop for expats *should* carry Schweppes "Indian Tonic Water", which is a leagues better than the garbage they sell here. If they don't, I'm sure a bit of convincing ought to get them to reconsider.

Personally, I think Q Tonic is the tops and the others don't come close. Whole Foods carries this.

Hansen's was a good choice (also at Whole Foods) but it doesn't taste any better than Schweppes to me. It's just not HFCS.

Mar 22, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

Eastside/Westside Maple Bacon Standoff?

I love your posts when you focus on value in a positive sense. I think it's an important element to include when reporting on the dining scene.

But there is something to be said for paying a little extra for an item made with the highest quality ingredients. Since these items still follow the law of diminishing returns, it becomes exponentially more expensive to make small, yet appreciated, improvements. Amandine's croissants are great and I consider them a cheap thrill. But the biscuit at Huckleberry is a completely different item.

To wit, I can certainly still get a $5 drink. It'll be Wild Turkey on the rocks. But if I want a Manhattan made with Michter's Rye, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, House-made cherry vanilla bitters, and a Luxardo Marasca Cherry mixed by a bartender who takes the time to make the drink properly, I'm going to have to pay more. If the bar is also in one of the highest rent districts in the city then it's really going to get expensive.

And sometimes it's worth the indulgence.

Mar 20, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

San Marzano or 6 in 1 canned Tomatoes

If you really need them to be from Italy, watch out for this brand:

http://www.thenibble.com/REVIEWS/main...

I don't actually mind that they are grown in the US. They are great as are the Muir Glen tomatoes. But I'm sure that dishonest labeling lets them get away with charging an extra buck per can.

Mar 20, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

The Father's Office School of Etiquette or Why do I bother?

There has been no change to the burger or the policy. Not even a little bit. The burger was never correctly considered big. It was really more rich and filling.

Perhaps the policy is lame. But that argument is an entirely different point. Like the surf you had a taste for, you can yell and scream and pound the water with your fists, but the tide rolls on as it ever does.

Why did you bother knowing full well that the policy you dislike was still in effect? Perhaps to yell and scream?

Mar 19, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

*Quiet* place for drinks in Santa Monica?

There is no quieter place than Pacific Dining Car. Dead quiet usually.

Mar 17, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

Burger at O'Hara's in Westwood>>> Philly West's

Funny. I just had my first Philly West burger yesterday. I'm not going to compare it to Father's Office burger because they just aren't even trying to be the same thing, but it was pretty damn good and at around $5, it was a great value. The fries are really good, too.

I'd pay you $5 for the priviledge of not having to go to any of the bars in Westwood north of Wilshire.

Mar 06, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

need ground duck

Good to know. Awesome.

Mar 05, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

Have any Chowhound Faves Broken Your Heart

1. Pretension is a word that has been thrown around so much on this board and others that I find it's lost meaning to me. It seems to fill in for "I think the place was overpriced and I didn't like 'X' about the place."

2. I can also totally see "precious" applying to Clementine. I don't find it so but I can get that perspective, to be sure.

3. LA food prices can be sickening when you go to place like Portland, OR (although totally on par and even cheaper in some cases than NYC). Clementine isn't cheap.

4. You had a bad meal there, which always sucks.

But the place is not trying to serve refined food. It's trying to do justice to comforting Americana classics. That's as humble a mission as any. The prices they charge don't have much to do with that. You say that you've had some very good items there so I'm not sure what gives.

If it's the prices, you can't expect to find a restaurant in such a high rent district that serves food using very high-quality ingredients for which the proprietors pay a premium and then to have them turn around and sell it at a minimum profit/loss.

The place can get crowded. The service can range between great, down-to-earth friendly and negligent space cadet. The parking is still crappy even with the construction on SM Blvd. done. But I don't think they overcharge given the quality of their ingredients, the fact that everything is made in-house, and that they are located in one of the highest rent areas of the city. It's BH prices because they are 3-4 blocks away from BH.

Mar 04, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

Best Indian Food in Santa Monica/West Side?

It's the same as it was 5 years ago, IMO.

Mar 04, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

Kogi - Good food, but is it worth the wait? [pics]

"No food (IMHO) is worth watiing in line that long for. Too many other great places in town that deserve the business and are more reasonable with their customers."
-- Mr. Shankly

I agree. Well, mostly. I'm sure there *could* be food good enough to wait an hour for. It's just not Kogi.

Mar 04, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

Santa Monica Seafood

I agree with all of that, and I do like Safe and Save a lot. I also happen to like SMS for what it is, too.

Black cod is ALWAYS hit or miss for me. I don't know what it is but even stuff that's looked good has been so-so when I had it on the plate. I'm no Eric Ripert but I can cook a fillet of cod just fine. I just find that one hard to judge.

Mar 04, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area

need ground duck

Any place that carries it and also has a proper meat counter will grind it for you. I think 99 Ranch in Van Nuys should do it. Any Whole Foods should do it.

Mar 03, 2009
Frommtron in Los Angeles Area