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Please tell us about Barbrix

The cheese we tried was medium-hard and served with sliced baguette, dried figs, quince paste, and marcona almonds. It didn't suck.

May 17, 2009
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Please tell us about Barbrix

My lady and I ate at Barbrix last night. We're both very, very impressed. They pull off the none-to-easy combination of great food in a stylish yet very comfortable space with a knowledgeable but unpretentious wait staff.

We had Italian olives, a cow's milk cheese ("Barely Buzzed") rubbed with espresso, grilled sardine, farmer's plate (which included beet, ramp, carrot, and treviso), cauliflower salad, and halibut. All were amazing with the exception of the halibut, which was only very good.

Dessert was ginger shortcake with berry compote, yum.

All in, with a bottle of Syrah/Mouverdre/Grenache called "Avenger" that complemented the food perfectly: $90 before tip.

What is not to like? I couldn't be happier with this place, and the neighborhood is better for it. We'll be back soon.

And in reference to an earlier post in this thread--this Hound is not new here.

May 17, 2009
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Good solo breakfast & dinner near State & Rush?

Sorry--I meant where they intersect, near E. Bellevue.

Feb 27, 2009
Organ Leroy in Chicago Area

Best solo-friendly breakfast/dinner in downtown Kansas City?

I'm looking for tasty & interesting, solo-friendly breakfast and dinner places within a 15 or 20 minute walk of the Hotel Phillips in downtown Kansas City. Any help much appreciated.

Good solo breakfast & dinner near State & Rush?

I have a very short stay in Chicago coming up, and I'm looking for tasty & interesting, solo-friendly breakfast and dinner ideas within a 10-15 minute walk of State and Rush streets. Any help much appreciated.

Feb 27, 2009
Organ Leroy in Chicago Area

LOT 1 in Echo Park - another review

Our party of four was similarly underwhelmed. The torn pasta is not very well executed, and the food overall is fine for a neighborhood place but does not justify their prices.

Also, Lot 1--though this is a minor point--what's up with the super low-rent bathroom, illuminated by 900,000 watts of light?

I'm willing to give the place a second chance in a couple of months or so, because I like the people very much and want this place to get its act together. But it's not there yet.

May 15, 2008
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Requiem for Pepe's

This is a story of loss and acceptance. Bear with me.

We first went to Pepe's in La Cañada in late 2004. I was picking up my snowboard from Sport Chalet (the original!), and my lady and I asked them for a local restaurant recommendation.

"Well, people sure seem to like Pepe's, next door," someone there said.

For good reason. Pepe's was old-school (built in the early 70's, I'd guess), small, and idiosyncratic. It always felt like what a Mexican ski lodge would be, if such a thing existed. It was a warm, cozy getaway from Los Angeles, and totally unlike anyplace else. It featured a cast of odd characters (both servers and customers) who we saw week after week and to whom we assigned various and sundry nicknames, all affectionate.

My favorite was "The Turtle." If you were there on Friday nights, you know who I mean.

And man, the doctor there made good margaritas.

We were loyal customers there until New Year's Eve 2006/2007, when we pulled up to find Pepe's closed for good. We'd been warned that this day was coming, but that didn't make it any easier. Resigned, we drove quite a ways further east to Pepe's sister restaurant, Margaritas.

There we found more friendly people, but a space that was far more utilitarian and brightly-lit than Pepe's. We would implore them to turn the lights down, and they'd often indulge us.

"Soon the new Pepe's will open," we assured each other.

The new Pepe's opening got pushed back from October 2007 to January, February, and April of 2008. Today it finally opened, at 2272 Honolulu Avenue in Montrose.

On the good side, all the great people are back. The food is the same lovable, trashy, affectionately-prepared L.A. Mexican you've always known and loved. The doctor is in, and his margaritas are as fine as you remember.

On the very, very bad side, however, the room itself is a complete disaster. It's a huge, barren, generic box with zero charm and less warmth. Imagine a Motel 6 bathroom, but even more brightly lit. I've felt more romance and magic in a dermatologist's examining room.

The upside to Pepe's taking as long as it did to re-open is that it let us get most of the way through the Kübler-Ross model of grief. All we needed was acceptance, and we sure got it tonight.

Fare thee well, Pepe's. We're moving on.

May 14, 2008
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

El Chavo - Boarded-up

What's the latest on the Chavo? Has the whole place re-opened? Has the charm survived intact?

May 09, 2008
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Boca Skewers in Boca Raton

Three out-of-town hounds (New York, L.A., Chicago) converged at Boca Skewers tonight, and I had to write a review. This is some of the better Greek/Middle Eastern food any of us has had.

We ordered tabbouleh, baba ghanouj, and falafel to start. All were excellent, with the falafel as the standout--great flavoring and perfect texture.

Lentil soup arrived next for everyone, and all agreed it ruled.

Entrees were chicken kebab, lamb shank, and the third I can't remember--nonetheless, all were terrific and nicely presented with rice and well-dressed salad.

The place is not at all inspiring from outside: it's a typical Boca strip mall, and the interior is a bit haphazard. Had the restaurant been crowded (it certainly wasn't tonight, despite being Saturday), the service might well be frustratingly slow.

Also, the beer and wine list is very limited. We all drank the house Cabernet, which was quite acceptable.

But the food was a home run, and the price very reasonable. Highly recommended.

I found this place on Chowhound, by the way. Thanks for the tip!

Boca Skewers
130 NE 2nd St (Mizner Plaza)
(561) 347-9961

Mar 15, 2008
Organ Leroy in Florida

Good solo lunch & dinner in Vancouver?

Thanks for all the tips. Keep 'em coming! I've been to Bin 941 and Guu on Thurlow so far, and both were great.

Good solo lunch & dinner in Vancouver?

I'm in Vancouver for ten days on business, and I'm looking for interesting/funky/delicious spots (funky is not a prerequisite) where you don't feel like a freak if you show up alone with a book. A half decent beer/wine selection is a plus. Thanks!

Give craft a chance - rather long

With the prominent CAA infestation, I wonder if they have agent and non-agent sections? Nice review--I liked the staff also, which was a pleasant surprise. That chocolate salty dessert blew my mind.

Aug 13, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

lunch in Silver Lake today

I second the Mustard Seed recommendation. Great lunch spot.

Apr 16, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Canele (Atwater) Thursday night report.

The menu looked pretty familiar, but both fish entrees we had and the beet/citrus/goat cheese salad were excellent. The price, by the way: 2 entrees, a salad, and $10 corkage: $54 before tip.

Mar 30, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Lucky Devils breakfast report

No French toast, and the breakfast dishes run somewhere around $8-$12, as I recall.

Mar 30, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Lucky Devils breakfast report

The wife and I have hit Lucky Devils (Hollywood) on the last two Sundays for breakfast, and they've matched the quality level of their lunch and dinner.

Both times I've had the Tasmanian sourdough pancakes (with added blueberries), and the wife has had the egg sandwich. It's all presented very well, with the usual good service and unhurried atmosphere. We find it to be the perfect lead-in to the Hollywood Farmers Market.

It's extra amusing to watch the puzzled tourists pass by as they seek out their tour buses a couple of blocks east on Hollywood Blvd. And don't get me started about the ubiquitous Scientologists. Suffice to say it all adds up to the very best kind of freak show.

Mar 29, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Canele (Atwater) Thursday night report.

The wife and I just returned from a fast-plan (i.e. last minute) dinner at Canele. This was our third visit, I believe, and the place has not yet disappointed us.

We shared the beet salad with fennel, citrus slices and interesting greens, then moved on to trout and snapper. Both excellent.

Bonus points for our well-tattooed, non-bullshitting, friendly and well-informed server. I was surprised at how quiet the place was on a Thursday night, but all the patrons seemed like kindred souls. I like the way this place is coming together.

Mar 29, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Seeking flavor that's non-touristy in Jacksonville.

I'm an L.A. Hound coming to Jacksonville for 5 days of work. Where should I go for Latin, Middle Eastern, Asian, or other non-bland food in interesting settings? This could be anything from a trashy Cuban lunch counter to a high-end tapas joint--what are the non-touristy places with soul that locals love?

Mar 28, 2007
Organ Leroy in Florida

Visiting from PDX, Silver Lake recs

I second the Canele suggestion. Cliff's Edge is a great environment, but you might get sprinkled on tonight if you're outside--and outside is the only way to go at that place. Also check out Pho Cafe at Sunset and Parkman (there's no sign, but it's in the same strip mall as Rambutan Thai).

Feb 18, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Zo - Deserves the Hype

I'll add to the chorus of approval.

The wife and I went last night, and had omakase at the bar: skipjack, kumamoto oyster, amberjack, red snapper, albacore, hamachi, sweet shrimp, black snapper, Spanish mackerel, toro, bluefin. We ended with salmon for me and blue crab hand roll for her. All fantastic, though I have to say that Sushi Spot's albacore is slightly better.

The only disturbing element of the evening was the shirako, or codfish milt. Now, I happen to know what "milt" is, but I failed to hear that word; in the chef's strongly accented English, it sounded like "cuttlefish milk."

"Hmm," I thought, "a confusing name, and a bit scary-looking, but certainly worth a try." And into my mouth it went. Well, it's certainly rich, but gave me the creeps even before we got home and Googled the name.

Here you go, kids: http://nymag.com/restaurants/features...

Cod load aside, this was a spectacular dinner. With a bottle of premium sake and a draft beer, the total was $138 for two. Here's hoping this place thrives. I award bonus points, by the way, for the fact that the chef was imperious and authoritative without being a dick, and was also keeping the whole room fed single-handedly.

Feb 18, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Fave Restaurant on Olvera Street?

La Golondrina is a good choice. They have a tasty cochinito pibil. The building has a pretty great history as well.

Feb 14, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Good Highland Park Mexican...with Margaritas?

The Pasadena El Cholo is pretty Disney-ish, but the Western Ave version is much less so. It's certainly big and sprawling, but draws an interestingly mixed crowd and is dependable for the down-and-dirty experience you describe. You're guaranteed to wait for a table on Friday night, however.

Feb 11, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

The Good Earth - Not So Good - Westwood Review

"Decades ago" is right. I remember eating at Good Earth with my parents a couple of times in the late 70's/early 80's--usually on road trips, because we all liked to think we were eating healthy food. I was too young to be even the slightest bit sophisticated about restaurants, but even then I knew it sucked.

How has it hung around this long? Is it a money-laundering operation for weed-growing hippies?

Feb 06, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

El Chavo update?

That space is fantastic, the people are great, and the margaritas are strong. I'd love to put El Chavo back in my regular rotation. What's the word on the menu getting updated (or, at least, the food quality improving)?

Feb 06, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Valentine's Dinner w/o the BS?

The Valentine's prix fixe must be a reliable sucker move for restaurants. I was surprised that Tanti Baci in the Village is doing it too--they're normally pretty low-key.

Jan 29, 2007
Organ Leroy in Manhattan

Lunch near Kaiser on Sunset

I'm a big fan of the Mustard Seed Cafe at 1948 Hillhurst, a block north of Franklin. Great sandwiches and salads.

Jan 13, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Silverlake Dinner?

The wife and I have been to Canele twice, and thought it was great both times. Just be sure that you're OK with being up close and personal with your fellow diners, because they really pack the tables into that place. But the food is excellent, and the open kitchen gives it a nice feel.

Jan 13, 2007
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area

Lucky Devils, hell yes.

The wife and I hit Lucky Devils in Hollywood last night for a pre-rock-show dinner.

I was impressed right away with the look and feel of the place. It's far more interestingly put together than most of the tourist schlock in that area. The staff is friendly without being overbearing, making it feel like a neighborhood hang.

There's a huge selection of microbrews, including about a dozen on tap. I had a fantastic IPA, and the wife had an equally good pale ale. Our server also brought me a taste of a monster stout that makes Guinness look like kidney-filtered Coors Light.

(Why does the east side have so few places with good beer, especially on tap? I don't count 3rd Stop as being on the east side, and it feels like it belongs in Westwood anyway.)

We both had Kobe beef burgers, which embodied every good reason for eating cows. They arrived with beautiful organic green salads on the side, and the combination felt a bit like waving a peace sign while slapping a hippie; in other words, deeply satisfying.

TV screens on the walls play a loop of random segments from semi-obscure movies, nature films, and extreme sports, which combined with the classic rock soundtrack makes me think that someone in charge has a fondness for weed. The video is a little distracting, but not enough to be obnoxious.

Overall, imagine Father's Office without the crush of Whitey Brentwood, the passive-agressive servers, or the Darwinian struggle for a table.

We didn't sample the cookies, cupcakes, milkshakes or the other ten tap beers. Guess we'll have to return.

Info: http://www.luckydevilshollywood.com/

A blog review I found, with photos and other links: http://thirdandfairfax.blogspot.com/2...

Jul 25, 2006
Organ Leroy in Los Angeles Area