kealoha's Profile

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Second City Bistro - El Segundo - Anyone been lately?

Had a bad experience my first (and last) time at Second City Bistro. Read for yourself: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/428226

Jan 27, 2008
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Do you know good restaurants in and around Manhattan Beach ?

Try Chef Melba's! Read my review: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/438563

Jan 27, 2008
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Memorable Las Vegas Dinner [moved from L.A. board]

Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in Ceasar's is fantastic! Or, Valentino's in Venetian. Or Nobu's (I don't remember what hotel it's in.)

Jan 17, 2008
kealoha in Southwest

South Bay Favorites (VERY LONG)

Hey djwahine! Incredible review, enjoyed reading it! I "digested" what you wrote about Naka Sushi, but I was wondering if you had tried Japonica a few doors north? I've consistently had high caliber, incredibly fresh, Nobu-like sushi at Japonica, but I've never tried Naka. I, also, am (at least part) Japanese.

Jan 08, 2008
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Best ice cream in Los Angeles- an updated poll

Shockacone icecream at Cold Stone!

Dec 26, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Red Velvet Cake

The best red velvet cake I've ever had was at Susiecakes in Brentwood! DELICIOUS!

Dec 26, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

CUT in Photos, or, the $140 Steak Is Actually Worth It

Kevin, you rock!

Dec 09, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Tasting Menu...close to Manhattan Beach..suggestions

I don't mean to be an idiot, but what do you mean by a "tasting menu"? I live and work in Manhattan Beach, so perhaps I could help.

Dec 09, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

What's your most recent WOW! Moment at an LA restaurant?

Tuna Tataki sashimi appetizer at Japonica (Redondo Beach)! Way, way, way better than Nobu's!

Nov 12, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Redondo Beach, need recommendation for cousins get together

Second Coccole, LegallyBlonde! See my review: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/416521

Sep 13, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Via Veneto (Santa Monica) - Worth it?!?

Thanks for the recommendation whatsfordinner and pricilla2! So far so good!

Sep 11, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Chef Melba's Bistro (Hermosa Beach) - Review!

Densible, thanks for the update on the dessert menu at Coccole! I'm so glad they expanded! And thanks for backing me up on Chef Melba's!

Sep 11, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Via Veneto (Santa Monica) - Worth it?!?

Hey Chowers! Inquiring minds (and stomachs that deserve the best) want to know: Is Via Veneto in Santa Monica worth the $$$ and it's hype?! And if so, what are your course selections? Also, do they really hurry the diners in order to turn tables quickly, or is that an urban legand?!? Thanks in advance!

Sep 10, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Redondo Beach, need recommendation for cousins get together

Didn't Hof's Hut close down?

Sep 10, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

South Bay Secret: Coccole Laboratorio del Gusto

Talia's is really good, and Mangiamo's is great as well. But it's a different kind of experience than Coccole.

Sep 10, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Legit Italian in the South Bay

Didn't jlrob as for "legit" italian food?!? Pomodoro Cucina is convenient, fast-food, okay-if-you're-in-a-hurry-and-don't-care kind of italian (or really, "red or alfredo sauce on whatever kind of pasta") food. As I suggested before, either Coccole in Redondo Beach, or perhaps even Il Baccacio (sp?) in Hermosa Beach.

Sep 10, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Chef Melba's Bistro (Hermosa Beach) - Review!

Go anyway, dinami.

Sep 10, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Chef Melba's Bistro (Hermosa Beach) - Review!

The fighting incident that you described at La Sosta is just too funny! Besides the boxing rounds, how was the food at Las Sosta? It's on my list of "to try"s.

Sep 10, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Chef Melba's Bistro (Hermosa Beach) - Review!

Amela & Densible & Foodandwine: I have to admit, as much as I raved about the food, I do agree that the wait staff needs to be a little more efficient. However, I would much rather deal with a bit of an off waitstaff than bad and/or mediocre food, wouldn't you? After all, the waitstaff wasn't rude, snooty, or incompetent, I honestly believe that they just need a little more seasoning (pardon the food-pun). Foodandwine, I really, really, really would strongly suggest that you give Chef Melba's a try, perhaps on a night that's not so predicably busy. You won't be sorry.

Sep 10, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Chef Melba's Bistro (Hermosa Beach) - Review!

Thanks Foodandwine and ilike2eat. I had forgotten CMB use to be a Pedone's Pizza! Speaking of which, if you like Pedone's Pizza, go to the one in Redondo Beach, NOT the one in Hermosa Beach!

Sep 07, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Second City Bistro - Can Their Food overcome their bad service?

Well said, thanks!

Sep 06, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Redondo Beach, need recommendation for cousins get together

Hi Muhlyssa! You might be interested in my review of Chef Melba's: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/438563
However, if you want a place more on the quiet-side, I would suggest HT Grill in Redondo Beach (the patio w/firepit area if very cool, food is not always consistent); or Chaba in Redondo Beach (high end Thai fusion); Lido in Manhattan Beach; Il Fornio in Manhattan Beach; or I'm in agreement with Paprkutr that Cheesecake Factory is always a safe bet; or L.A. Food Show in Manhattan Beach (they will let you sit there all day, all night if you wanted to!); or for sushi go to Momoyama in Redondo on PCH; or the new Marmalade Cafe in El Segundo (the original one is in Palos Verdes); or Salt Creek Grill (in the same complex as Marmalade,... kind of pricey) in El Segundo. Unfortunately, most of the closer-to-the-water/beach restaurants are either too noisy, too crowded, too anxious to turn tables, and/or not condusive to very young children as in the case of your 4 month old. Hope this helps!

Sep 06, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Chef Melba's Bistro (Hermosa Beach) - Review!

So after living in all three of the South Bay Beach Cities (Manhattan, Hermosa, & Redondo), I thought I'd run out of new places to try, or at least new places that had the "WOW" factor... I was wrong! Last Friday night, I gathered 5 "foodie" friends to try out Chef Melba's Bistro in Hermosa Beach, and after our dining experience, I am the group's heroine! Chef Melba's Bistro is a small (albeit, a bit cramped) and quaint little restaurant on Hermosa Avenue, 1 block from the beach (try to get there around sundown, spectacular!). Although CMB has only been opened for less than a year (I don't know for sure), it already has a steady following, and rave reviews from patrons and professional food critics (her west wall is adorned with newspaper articles). The kitchen in open and you can watch Chef Melba orchestrating a symphony of kitchen utensils and fresh ingredients, that is somewhat mesmerizing. The first very important element that we experienced was the hostess, Reina (Chef Melba's sister), she was warm and nurturing, and even offered to hold a much-coveted parking space in front of the restaurant for us (if you've ever tried to park in Hermosa Beach, you know what I mean!). Secondly, every table is BLESSED with fresh bread that is grilled, with a hint of fresh garlic.

Third, the appetizers, we ordered:
Baked assorted vegetables with goat cheese;
Fried calamari with cocktail sauce and garlic cilantro dipping sauce; and the
Ahi tuna tower with mango, avocado, basil and chili-infused oil.

The Fried Calamari was so crisp and fresh and crunchy, and the Garlic cilantro dipping sauce was so good, my husband tried to horde it! While every restaurant seems to do a version of an Ahi Tuna Tower, Chef Melba's inclusion of mango was genius! So good, I tried to horde it!

Fourth, as for our entrees, we ordered:
Prawn scampi with linguine, whole roasted garlic, & tomatoes, in a light sauce;
Grilled salmon with whole-grain mustard-rosemary butter and seasonal vegetables;
Seared rare ahi tuna with twelve-year-old balsamic and extra virgin olive oil;
Sea scallops and prawn combination over brown rice with saffron sauce;
Grilled natural black angus rib eye steak with sun dried tomato demi-glace; and
Grilled natural black angus sirloin steak basted with teriyaki peppercorn sauce.

There was NOT one complaint nor even a murmur of discontentment, only "mmms" and "oh man, this is so good!" My only complaint about my Scampi Linguini was that I wanted more of it! Since we got to try a bit of everyone's dish (for the sake of the review, yeah!), the Seared Ahi Tuna was the winner of the night, although it truly could've easily been a six-way tie!

When (not if) I go back to Chef Melba's, I definately will try either the:
Grilled center cut pork chop with demi-glace and shiitake jus; or the
Grilled 9 oz filet mignon with red wine porcini sauce and roasted potatoes; or the
Seafood cioppino with clam, mussels, calamari, crab, and tomato saffron broth; or the
Fettuccine with salmon, squash, and mushrooms in a light tomato sauce; or the
Tuscany prawns with tomatoes, olives, capers, lemon juice, and roasted garlic.

I know that I would to try the Grilled half-pound Kobe beef burger with fries,... however, to me a burger is a burger is a burger, and I am a firm believer that it is a travesty to grind up Kobe beef! Kobe beef wasn't meant to be eaten that way, and it's just wrong!

I noticed that Chef Melba's Bistro has a "Low Carb" menu which I found to be a bit perplexing since low carb diets are un-fashionable these days. That being said, everything on CMB's Low Carb menu sounded so incredible, that I would definately order from it without hesitation.

Lastly, while all the desserts seemed inviting, especially the CM's signature dark chocolate bag with passion fruit mousse or the Apple crostata with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce, we all agreed that we would've like to have seen something with a little more chocolate muscle (e.g., a flourless chocolate torte/cake... Oh shush, all of you who just groaned,... you know you lust after such a thing!). What is unfortunate for Chef Melba's Bistro is its close proximity to a Cold Stone Creamery,... so yes, we opted to walk down the block and indulge. I'm so ashamed!!!

Anyway, to finalize my review, my only criticism of Chef Melba's Bistro is the noise-level. At 7:30 p.m. on a Friday night, it was almost unbearable! Do not, I repeat, do not let this deter anyone from going there, once the bigger parties leave, the room quites to a nice, tolerable buzz.

So, I want to give a shout out to Chef Melba and her wonderful staff, and the incredible food that I wish I had discovered on my own,... however, the ultimate shout-out goes to my fellow Chowers who directed me to Chef Melba's in the first place, and my fellow Chowers who will benefit from this review. GO THERE, I promise I will be your heroine!

http://www.chefmelbasbistro.com

Sep 05, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Second City Bistro - Can Their Food overcome their bad service?

Good to hear because I really, really wanted to like Second City Bistro... but as I said before: "First Impressions...", and as a former-waitress/server myself, I unequivocally know that this particular waitress/server did not have her "A-game" going on..., and as a former waitress/server, I always give much latitude to servers because I know what kind of crap they have to deal with every night. By the way, I just tried Chef Melba's Bistro in Hermosa Beach, it was incredible! I'm going to be posting my review on this board very soon, maybe tonight!

Sep 05, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Under-rated/Under-hyped

Lahaina Hawaiian Fried Chicken from Back Home In Lahaina in Manhattan Beach. Great hot, supberb cold (fantastics for picnics or potluck), just all around great, all the time!

Sep 03, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Second City Bistro - Can Their Food overcome their bad service?

If the food is always bad, do you still go there?

Sep 03, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

LATE NIGHT CHINESE DUMPLINGS IN LA--NEED SUGGESTIONS

Okay, okay,... I know you're all going to cringe, but how about PF Changs? Their shrimp dumplings are out-of-this world! And, I believe they serve them late at the bar.

Aug 28, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

South Bay Secret: Coccole Laboratorio del Gusto

Port is considered dessert, isn't it?!? And they have a great Port selection here!

Aug 27, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Second City Bistro - Can Their Food overcome their bad service?

No, i tried calling three different times of the day, and the owner was never there, he has no e-mail address, and the restaurant has no e-mail address. So I just gave up. However, I suppose I would try it again, with the hope that I was just there on a bad night,... or if someone else was paying and insisted on going there! If you're set on an El Segundo restaurant, my husband and a group of us are going to be trying Chef Hannes this weekend (oh, forgot about it being Labor Day Weekend... maybe the weekend after that then), and I can report back. The Chowers have given CH their blessing, and I'd like to see/taste for myself. The Chowers are rarely wrong!

Aug 27, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area

Sushi in South Bay, Please help!

momoyama in redondo beach, or japonica in redondo beach

Aug 27, 2007
kealoha in Los Angeles Area