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Wally's Central Coast tasting July 27, 2014 - 1-4pm

Just received a call from Wally's to say the event has been CANCELLED.
An ABC issue regarding the licensing.

about 5 hours ago
carter in Los Angeles Area

Petit Trois, No Reservations, No Phone, No Cash & No tipping...

Welcome back Kevin!
And, yes, they do charge extra for question marks!

about 5 hours ago
carter in Los Angeles Area

Nice place that's easy access from Encino?

I like Chablis, and while the food will never be remembered in the same conversation regarding Patina or Melisse, it is consistently good French bistro food served in a very pleasant setting. The owner is seemingly always there, and has some decent wines on the list and some surprises that come from a new shipment, not even yet on the menu.
BYO good wine might be the treat, and definitely saves the consternation of that drive over the hill.

about 15 hours ago
carter in Los Angeles Area

The Orange Chicken Burrito

Neither your waistline nor mine needs filler!
'nuff said?!

1 day ago
carter in Los Angeles Area

The Orange Chicken Burrito

Agree totally.
Rice in a burrito is heresy.
Vibrant flavors do NOT need rice to deaden them.
Nor for that matter any orange chicken cornstarch.

1 day ago
carter in Los Angeles Area

Nice place that's easy access from Encino?

But they are worse at Bizou in all respects.
Bizou's food is only so-so, and the ambiance even worse.
Mistral wins this battle hands down.

Jul 21, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area
1

Near the Greek? Tired of Mexico City and Little Dom's - other ideas?

Especially when Bob says that MessHall is already too full - how many in this group?
Or is it that it is fully booked, regardless of size of party?
But Hillhurst & Vermont as streets go are not major gourmet dining destinations, typically, but convenience always enters the discussion, and then the parameters change.
I like Sidewalk Grill on Vermont just north of the BofA on Vermont @ Prospect. BYO wine. Still a smallish trek up the hill, but your wallet has not been impaled in the process.
www.thesidewalkgrill.com for details Their salmon kebab is quite good, the sides equally so.

Jul 21, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

The Orange Chicken Burrito

Panda's answer to Mu Shu Chicken!
What's the big deal, other than who the player is?
And why would anyone want to eat that thing, unless their dentist approved of the use of sugar.

Jul 21, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Where can I buy Chermoula? Burbank/Studio City

If you google the word with sauce, you will find endless recipes. Variations do exist, so your specific idea of what that sauce should taste like vary with which cuisine or food you have tasted it with previously.
Typically on meat or fish, and generally of North African heritage, it may or may not have cilantro, parsley, tomatoes, ginger, but will have garlic.
If you have a blender or food processor, get your creative juices flowing, and you will have your answer at home.

Jul 21, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Near the Greek? Tired of Mexico City and Little Dom's - other ideas?

Pine And Crane is located across Griffith Park Blvd. from El Condor, formerly El Conquistador.
If traveling that far, Barbrix on Hyperion @ Tracy works quite well, and Canele in Atwater would then also work.
Might try your favorite Thai restaurant in Thai Town for that matter.
Marouch or Carousel in Hollywood for Middle Eastern food.

Jul 21, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

First Impressions at smoke.oil.salt - A Pictorial Essay

Not to hi-jack the post, but what did you have at Racion that you thought was good? I tried it once and vowed not to return. Nothing was compelling, nor is the place close and convenient. Maybe I just ordered the wrong things.

Jul 21, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Sam Woo expanding to Rosemead, and other openings

Here is the ABC license posting for Chuan's:
http://www.abc.ca.gov/datport/LQSData...

Jul 21, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

First Impressions at smoke.oil.salt - A Pictorial Essay

I want to like this place, but Gold's review did very little to entice me. I will still go, because of this review, even though now a few months out of date, unlike his from yesterday's paper.

Jul 20, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Spark Studio City closing July 20 @ 10pm

I would agree with you in that regard, but if Bill Chait is still involved with this operation in any way, it will be a better one than most of what has opened in the past 4-5 years. And it may also NOT be a gastropub - maybe something unique to the street that will actually be welcome.
Don't need any more gas'!

Jul 20, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, August 2014 -- Nominations

Can you find this at In N Out Burger?
Truly disgusting.

Jul 20, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

DineLA Meals Reported -- July 2014

Sat down for dinner at 6:30 inside.
Companion and I both decided to do the dineLA menu.
I had the halibut crudo, watermelon thingy, while he had the burrata & veggies for first courses.
We both had the hangar steak entrée.
He had the panne cotta while I had the lemon tart(ish) kind of dessert.
$35 per person. He had club soda & coffee, while I had 2 glasses of a $9 per glass of rose, which was better than you might expect.
Total, $103+tip.
Both felt the meal had value. Hangar steak perfectly medium rare.
Place never disappoints, yet rarely excels - comfortable, very good, and reliable - a place the two of us appreciated so we could get caught up on things.

Jul 19, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Spark Studio City closing July 20 @ 10pm

Yes, Egg Plant has already closed, and in its place will come an operation from the owners of Scratch Bar on La Cienega in Beverly HIlls

Jul 19, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Spark Studio City closing July 20 @ 10pm

Spark has been a local fixture in the Studio City dining scene for about 15 years, yet tomorrow night will be its last night in business.
Rumor has it being "re-conceptualized" and should re-open as something new in about 3-4 months, meaning the place will be completely gutted.

Jul 19, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Villa Restaurant Woodland Hills

The reputation of the place in the past has been largely built around the allure of that back patio, and it is one of the better ones in the Valley, like Ca de Sole, Warren's Blackboard, Stanley's, among others.
However, the food was always an afterthought, although never really bad - just who cares.
Glad to hear things have greatly improved.
Was that $35 part of the dineLA promotion?

Jul 19, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

LA restaurant not too far from Woodland Hills

And thinking of Sherman Oaks/Studio City - Simon's Café on Sepulveda just south of Ventura Blvd. across from the local Whole Foods Market might be of interest.
Simon's son heads up the food world at SBE, so there is a connecting of some quite good quality dots.

Jul 18, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Bread and Butter

Epicure Imports in North Hollywood carries the following lines of butter, and is next open to the public for its sale on Sept. 12 & 13:

111390 BEURREMONT BUTTER 83% 450 GR USA 36 X 1 LB /CS EA
112320 DEVON CREAM 500 GR GB 6 X 17 OZ/CS EA
200335 ECHIRE SALTED (DEMI-SEL) BUTTER BAR 250 GR FRANCE 20 X 250 GR/CS EA
200330 ECHIRE UNSALTED (DOUX) BUTTER BAR 250 GR FRANCE 20 X 250 GR/CS EA
200320 ECHIRE SALTED (DEMI-SEL) BUTTER BASKET 5 KG FRANCE 11 LBS EA
200310 ECHIRE UNSALTED (DOUX) BUTTER BASKET 5 KG FRANCE 11 LBS EA
200395 FABRIQUE DELICES BACON BUTTER 85 GR USA 8 X 3 OZ/CS EA
200190 FABRIQUE DELICES BLACK TRUFFLE BUTTER 85 GR USA 8 X 3 OZ/CS EA
149280 FABRIQUE DELICES PORCINI BUTTER 85 GR USA 8 X 3 OZ/CS EA
200200 FABRIQUE DELICES WHITE TRUFFLE BUTTER 85 GR USA 8 X 3 OZ/CS EA
111500 KENDALL FARMS CREME FRAICHE 1 QUART USA 6 X 1 QT/CS EA
111510 KENDALL FARMS CREME FRAICHE 210 GR USA 12 X 7.5 OZ/CS EA
200350 LE GALL BUTTER FLEUR DE SEL DE GUERANDE 250 GR FRANCE 12 X 250 GR/CS EA
200150 PRESIDENT UNSALTED BUTTER BAR 200 GR FRANCE 20 X 7 OZ/CS CS
111451 URBANI BLACK TRUFFLE BUTTER 228 GR ITALY 12 X 8 OZ/CS EA
200380 URBANI BLACK TRUFFLE BUTTER 84 GR ITALY 8 X 3 OZ/CS EA
200390 URBANI WHITE TRUFFLE BUTTER 228 GR ITALY 12 X 8 OZ/CS EA
200400 URBANI WHITE TRUFFLE BUTTER 84 GR ITALY 8 X 3 OZ/CS EA
200120 VERMONT LIGHTLY SALTED BUTTER CHEF ROLL 454 GR USA 12 X 1 LB/CS EA

I use the Le Gall, and really enjoy it. Silver Lake Wine serves the Vermont butter shown at the bottom of the list, for those who have tasted it and wondered which one it is.

Jul 18, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Sherman Oaks dining 'renaissance' - will it draw Angelenos?

Seldom in that area to eat being but one reason.

btw - in that same center, have you ever eaten at The Spot upstairs?
Used to know the cook/chef from my days at the gym nearby.

Jul 18, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Mexcali Taco Downtown

Is it that place that has a smallish free-standing building surrounded by a fairly large parking lot on the NE corner? Drive by often, yet never realized it was a good place to eat.
I sampled their taco at Tacolandia, and agree regarding the quality of ingredients and flavors.

Jul 18, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Sherman Oaks dining 'renaissance' - will it draw Angelenos?

With a name like that, why would I ever want to find out?

Jul 17, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Sherman Oaks dining 'renaissance' - will it draw Angelenos?

The latter two may be good, or not, but they would never be on my radar screen, meaning not eating any thing at the former, nor interested in a burger in general.
As to the Hagadol, I know many Jews who will not step foot in that place - a total misrepresentation of its concept, but of course, ymmv!

Jul 17, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

DineLA Summer 2014 Picks (7/14-7/27)

Am I glad someone stood up for Tavern.
I like the places those two women run A LOT, but Tavern had been such a disappointment in previous visits that I vowed never to return. Not wonderful room, meaning even in the enclosed patio.
But value has never played this place.
I really prefer AOC & Lucques, even for value which can a stretch of the imagination or wallet, whichever comes first.

Jul 17, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Sherman Oaks dining 'renaissance' - will it draw Angelenos?

That assessment is largely correct.
However, from what I have heard, or experienced, the Peasant Wine Bistro in Tarzana in the center across from the Peet's Coffee, co-habited by IHOP, is actually fairly good.
I like Chablis in Tarzana in the former Paul's Café space on the south side of the street about 2-3 blocks west of Reseda Blvd.
Gio Cucina for Italian is still around, upstairs, for decent Italian food.
My preference for both time and value is the salad bar at Gelson's.
And that JoG is not worth your time or money - much better on Pico.
4on6 or Katsuya sushi around Ventura & Rubio might also satisfy, assuming sushi is of interest. 4on6 in rear of line of shops fronted by Tony Roma's. Nearly across the street from each other.

Jul 17, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

DineLA Meals Reported -- July 2014

Going tomorrow night for dinner.
One of the more pleasant settings for an early dinner.
Never disappoints in terms of its being a Patina Group restaurant - go with modest expectations, and everything works out just fine, especially during the summer months when the Music Center & Disney Hall are less busy

Jul 17, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

DineLA Summer 2014 Picks (7/14-7/27)

After reading all these comments, I still feel the best value is not doing DineLA at all.
The compromises, half-truths, etal. just make the exercise more trouble than it is worth, and getting to many of these places for lunch is not only not easy, it is virtually impossible in selected instances.
Who wants to try to get to Chinois from Sherman Oaks for lunch for its ho-hum food?
Not me.
And while DTLA might be better for accessibility, I have found that Water Grill of late has been somewhat disappointing.

Jul 17, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area

Sherman Oaks dining 'renaissance' - will it draw Angelenos?

Yup, the former Fedco site.
While I go to the Sepulveda version, it is difficult to park, find which floor your merchandise is on, etc.
But it does MAJOR business, and is definitely NOT hidden.
But Raymer is very convenient if you live in the Central SF Valley. Westsiders using it do so only at convenient traffic times, and only convenient times.

Jul 17, 2014
carter in Los Angeles Area