L nrs's Profile

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"Cronuts" in LA?

The tiny heart cookie with the strawberry cream (buttercream?) filling is shockingly delicious as well.

Jul 10, 2013
L nrs in Los Angeles Area

Barcelona trip report – July '12 – with kids in tow (very long)

Hi all - visited Barcelona last year & wrote this long trip report. Saved it in a word document, but now that I'm doing research for this years' trip I realize I never posted it! Hope it's helpful!

___________________________

We visited Barcelona earlier this month and I wanted to post about our dining experiences before memory of the details fade too much. We had our two young children (2 & 5 years old) with us, but did have a sitter for a few nights.

First of all we had NO issue whatsoever bringing the kids anywhere, no attitude from any place we visited. We had a stroller with us, which we would fold up before we entered the restaurant and would find a place to stow it or one of the employees would bring it back somewhere out of the way. We had our kids on a later schedule than usual on this trip, so having dinner at 8-9PM did not prove to be an issue for us.

Favorites: Tickets, Kaiku, El Qim de la Boqueria
Great: Bar Velodromo, Mundial Bar, Bar del Pla, Barcelona Rekjavik
Honorable Mention: Bar Pinoxto, Maitea
Okay in a Pinch: Cornelia & Co, Bar Kasparo
Not worth the $$: Comerc 24

First night we wandered over through El Borne neighborhood and were hungry before most places opened. We ended up grabbing a few Basque style tapas to stave off everyone getting grumpy at Sagardi in a cute outdoor plaza. The tapas did the job – we had smoked fish, chorizo and what seemed like jam on top of a large dollop of cream cheese – all on top of a slice of baguette. Okay in a pinch, but not something to search out.

MUNDIAL BAR – 1st night dinner. I had read the opening time was 8:30 and it must open earlier, because when we wandered over at 8:30 it was almost full. It has a small and a number of tables. Seemed to be a good mix of locals and tourists and was lively and fairly loud (which is always a good thing with kids ☺). We had eggplant chips with goat cheese (aged?) and honey, tallerines, polpito, pimiento de pardon, shrimp lollipops and cava. The eggplant was fantastic…fried perfectly (not oily at all) and the tang of the goat cheese was brilliant with crisp and salty eggplant and the sweetness of the honey. Tallerines (very small clams) were tasty, but a bit sandy. I don’t have much of a tolerance for sandy shellfish, but my husband and 5 year old loved them. Polpito (baby octopus) were great – toasty at the ends, but not charred. Also a hit with the 5 yo. We ate padron peppers a number of times on this trip and never encountered the occasional spicy one like I do when I buy them from the farmer’s market here in California. My extra picky two year old actually ate the ones at Mundial. The shrimp lollipops was the only dish not really to my taste. Large shrimp battered and then fried (on a stick) it was also dipped in a sweet and ever so slightly spicy & tangy sauce that seemed like it came from a bottle. As with the eggplant, the shrimp were expertly fried but the slightly Asian taste of the sauce didn’t really jive with the rest of the meal. Wishing I had ordered the patatas bravas instead (they were on every other table).

KAIKU – Had reserved a table outside, which was nice as there was enough room to not have to worry about the stroller (it’s in a big open area next to Barceloneta beach). I don’t know the background of the chef here, but the flavors of all the dishes were top notch. Besides Tickets, this was our favorite meal of the trip. We had navajas, mussels with a lemon and thyme dipping sauce (but they were also juicy and delicious on their own), big fat mild oysters from Brittany which were served with lime, a baby greens salad with pepitas and a honey vinaigrette and the squid ink paella. My seafood loving 5 yo ate everything and the 2 yo was great with the paella.

BAR KASPARO: Ate a very light dinner that night at Bar Kasparo which was around the corner from our hotel and has a small playground right in front of it. This is really more of a small café than a restaurant, and most of the tables are outside. After the 2yo had an accident on the swings (playground more geared toward older kids) we decided to eat inside. The one woman working there, making the food and serving everyone could not have been nicer, more friendly or accommodating. We piled into one of the small booths and ordered a few of the handful of basic sandwiches. All were served on soft coca bread. We had the vege (pesto, tomato, mozzarella) and chicken with avocado. Decent, basic stuff with no additional flourishes.

BAR VELODROMO - The next night we had a sitter and met a friend who lives in BCN on the rooftop of the Hotel Central. I was a little grumpy about going to a hotel, but the view here is worth the price of a drink. We then cabbed it to Bar Velodromo….

….And here is where I left off. I remember we loved our meal at Velodromo & that we had Patatas w/ Jamon & fried egg, cockels (tinned), pardon peppers and other things. Again our meal here was great, but we have friends that went a few weeks after us and they say it was their meal there that gave them food poisioning.

TICKETS: Really and truly a fantastic meal. GO! I’ve seen the dishes described many times on this board so I’m not going over it again here.

BAR DEL PLA: remember having the best cup of gazpacho I have ever eaten in my life. The squid ink croquettas were also delicious. We weren’t too hungry so just had a glass of wine and the above.

BAR PINOXO: This was good, but I think my experience suffered from my remedial Spanish. We sat down, got a pastry for my little one and my older child wanted mussels. We were then asked if we wanted fish or meat (in Spanish). I let him know I wanted fish, he asked me what I liked & I told him a couple of different things, thinking I would get a bit of this and a bit of that, more small plates tapas style. I ended up with a number of large plates of fish, my daughter with cold mussels (and at 5 years old, she’s down with them hot, but couldn’t deal with them cold w/diced peppers in a vinaigrette on top) and my husband ended up with a large bowl of beef stew. It was all tasty….not as refined as El Qim in my opinion, but I wasn’t prepared to spend 75 Euro on breakfast, which is what the bill came to. Again, probably our fault in not understanding the ordering process there and only basic language skills to get us along.

CORNELIA & CO: We ended up here one day because we were walking to the Basque Tapas bar a couple of blocks away (can’t remember the name right now) and the kids really couldn’t go one more second without lunch or we were going to have a major meltdown episode on our hands. The décor is “fancy deli” and there were lots of ladies lunching. I think the kids got pasta and a cheeseburger, which they were quite happy with. There was a mix up with the ordering. We ordered a green bean salad but got a giant plate of burratta (not necessarily a bad thing). The food was decent, but not knock your socks off. Again, seemed a bit expensive for the quality of the food.

BARCELONA REKJAVIK: Ended up at the branch in the Raval a few mornings for pastries. Can’t tell you how much I wish I had one of these at home! Very helpful and friendly staff and not too sweet olive oil based organic Catalan pastries.

Jun 06, 2013
L nrs in Spain/Portugal

Not able to update email address

Any update on this? I just tried it in a different browser (Chrome this time, instead of Firefox) and am having the same issue.

Also, is there anyone I could email that could change the email address on the back end for me?

Apr 02, 2013
L nrs in Site Talk

Not able to update email address

No error message - my old email address just autofills back into the email box.

Mar 22, 2013
L nrs in Site Talk

Not able to update email address

Hi there,

I'm trying to update the email address associated with my account. I go to my account page & put the new email address in the box, click on "change email" button and the email in the box reverts to my old email address!

I've tried going out of this screen and back in and it's still the old email address. I try and change it again & it is still the old address! What gives?

Thanks for your help.

Mar 20, 2013
L nrs in Site Talk

Arroz Negro: Barcelona

I can highly recommend the arroz negro at Kaiku (photo attached)! We didn't dine at the other places you mention, but thoroughly enjoyed our entire meal at Kaiku last summer.

Feb 11, 2013
L nrs in Spain/Portugal

Comerc 24 who's been ?

I had one of the dreadful experiences there back in July. Did the tasting menu, an really, more than anything it seemed like everyone - from servers to kitchen were phoning it in. Did the tasting menu...most courses were just okay, one was very good (a quenelle of foie rolled in crushed toasted corn) and a couple were horrible (the worst being a cold cauliflower soup that smelled and tasted of rancid gym socks). Really spent the last half of the meal cracking up with my SO watching people's reactions as they got that soup and being glad we got the shorter tasting menu.

There are so many amazing restaurants in Barcelona, this one is past it's prime IMO.

Oct 03, 2012
L nrs in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona eating guide?

I found Movidas Guide to Barcelona to be an excellent dining reference on my recent trip to the city.

http://www.amazon.com/MoVidas-Guide-B...

Aug 09, 2012
L nrs in Spain/Portugal

Fresh Corn Tortillas (Hollywood and around)

Did a quick search of the board and didn't come up with anything.

Does anyone have a recommendation of a place I could pick up fresh corn tortillas today in the Hollywood/East Hollywood/Silver Lake/Echo Park part of town?

Thanks, I just don't have time to drive any further today!

Jul 23, 2012
L nrs in Los Angeles Area

Sunday night casual dinner - Milan

Thank you, jen kalb! I was able to stumble through the vivimilano site enough to get a list of pizzerie con cucina (I figure maybe the best option?) so that I can get a few that are close.

My husband just told me he wants to be out somewhere to watch the Euro Cup finals. Any close suggestions? (this might be a good question for the hotel concierge :)

I'm really excited to go to Latteria san Marco! I'll look out for the testeroli. We were there five years ago and the woman who ran the front of house brought my daughter (who was five months old at the time) all around and back into the kitchen! It was quite sweet. We had the farro with cheese & tomatoes and it was soooo delicious. I've been trying to replicate it at home (seemingly so simple, but the flavors are incredible) with limited success. Good to know about the bathrooms, too.

Jun 28, 2012
L nrs in Italy

Sunday night casual dinner - Milan

Wally, snarky responses are totally not useful. If you go into the search box and type Milan Repubblica you get a grand total of two entries. One is my question posted above the other is about Grom gelato.

I'm hoping someone with some knowledge of Milan could help me out. THAT would be much appreciated and useful down the line for others who might be searching for something similar. If you have another method of search that comes up with more information, I'm open to that too.

Jun 27, 2012
L nrs in Italy

Barcelona in October - Please Critique!!

Regarding Tickets....they release their reservations (two months out) at midnight local time. So if you can be up at that time it isn't too hard to get a spot-and I did a couple of dry runs (not booking, but checking availability on the system) before the date I wanted came up. It seems that most time slots for each day are taken within a number of hours of release.

Jun 27, 2012
L nrs in Spain/Portugal

Sunday night casual dinner - Milan

Nobody has any suggestions for Milan? Is it that bad???

Jun 27, 2012
L nrs in Italy

Sunday night casual dinner - Milan

Hi folks, we will be arriving in Milan Sunday afternoon with our two young kids (2 & 5). We will want to grab dinner out at some point, but would like to find a casual place. I feel that asking the kids to sit still after being cooped up on multiple flights for many hours is unrealistic to say the least.

Any type of Italian food is good (regional, pizza, etc.) Preferably within walking distance (20ish minutes) of Piazza della Repubblica, but public transport might be all-right too. FWIW, we'll be having lunch the next day at Latteria San Marco.

Thanks in advance!

Jun 25, 2012
L nrs in Italy

Reservations for Ferran Adria Tickets Restaurant in Barcelona

I hate to break this to you, but the Tickets website says that they are closed from August 5th-27th.

Jun 25, 2012
L nrs in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona as a visitor (with young kids!- gulp!). Much resarch has been done, now there are questions - please help!

Great! This is exactly the kind of information I need. I'm sure my five year old can deal with a stool at a counter. I was thinking of sitting the 2 year old on my lap if we end up somewhere that this is the only option. Opinions?

Jun 11, 2012
L nrs in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona as a visitor (with young kids!- gulp!). Much resarch has been done, now there are questions - please help!

Thank you for the information regarding Open Cor. Also, the Cal Pep website says they are open Monday Dinner (but not lunch).

Jun 11, 2012
L nrs in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona as a visitor (with young kids!- gulp!). Much resarch has been done, now there are questions - please help!

Also wondering if there are any good places for a meal or snack near Bogatell beach? Thanks again!

Jun 07, 2012
L nrs in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona as a visitor (with young kids!- gulp!). Much resarch has been done, now there are questions - please help!

After doing quite a bit of research on this board and elsewhere on the net, I’m now coming to CH for all of your sage advice! Our family of four will be in Barcelona at the beginning of July with our children 5 & 2 ½. Their ability to sit and have a meal that lasts more than 45 minutes really depends on a lot of different factors, but the 2 year old gets antsy and likes to walk around if there isn't "entertainment". I plan on letting both kids use ipods as a self preservation method for my husband and I (otherwise we'll be eating most of our meals at a park). Handing over the ipod is not something I’ve tried for restaurants at home (but they do use them for car rides that are more than 2 hours, so I know they’ll use them).

We are staying at a hotel on the Rambla and arrive in the afternoon on a Saturday. I’m thinking we’ll want to walk somewhere for dinner – I was thinking Tapeo, Origens 99.9 or Ceverceria Catalana?

Sunday Grab breakfast at Bar Lobo (or ?), tour the Sagrada and then hopefully can get a reservation at Kaiku for that afternoon & then wander along be the beach for the rest of the day….. and for dinner or snacks later? I’m up for suggestions. Also, how far ahead should one book at Kaiku?

Is there some sort of market (besides the Boqueria-which will be closed) that will be open on Sunday near our hotel where I can buy snacks for the room & other things like diapers?

We will have a stroller with us sometimes to help with the long walks, it’s not a big one, but slightly bigger than an umbrella stroller & I’m wondering if anyone has any experience with how accommodating restaurants are with letting us put it somewhere inside if we fold it up.

We are fortunate to have a friend of a friend that is going to babysit for us for up to three nights of our stay. We have reservations at Tickets on a Tuesday. I was thinking Cal Pep on Monday night (or is this a place where we could attempt it with our kids for lunch or dinner?) We also have a reservation at Comerc 24 (without kids) on Wednesday night, but I was thinking maybe Cinc Sentis or Hysop? There are so many amazing looking places and not a lot of time! Doesn’t even need to be fancy- want someplace with fantastic food – it does not need to be fancy or even look pretty. Lively room is a plus, but we love finding hole in the wall places at home with amazing food & when traveling it’s no different.

We were also thinking of taking a day trip to Sitges (kids love beaches & trains ☺). Any lunch recommendations there?

Thank you in advance for your help. I promise to post our experiences post travels to help future travelers with kids!

Jun 07, 2012
L nrs in Spain/Portugal

Strategies for Dining in Barcelona with a 10 Year Old

Yes, I've only seen rice-based horchatas (with cantaloupe in Oaxacan places) here. Can't wait to try the Spanish chufa version. Would never have discovered this without this site - love it!

May 24, 2012
L nrs in Spain/Portugal

Strategies for Dining in Barcelona with a 10 Year Old

Parigi, I'd love to hear more about "the horchata bar genre". We are big fans of horchata (if it is like the horchata we get in California - and if it's not, can't wait to taste the difference).

We are traveling to BCN at the beginning of July with our 2 and 5 year old kids, so I've been watching any post that has to do with kids very carefully!

May 23, 2012
L nrs in Spain/Portugal

Oahu (with kids) trip report

Yes, I stand corrected! We were at the Zippy's in Hawaii Kai. My 3 year old is currently in love with anything crispy-that katsu was a greasy gut bomb-don't let her love for it change your opinion :).

Jun 29, 2010
L nrs in Hawaii

Oahu (with kids) trip report

Got back recently from a trip to Oahu with husband and two very young kids. Higher end dining was pretty much out of the question on this trip.

Sweet Home Waimanalo: Small "healthy" plate lunch type place in (where else?) Waimanalo. The woman working the counter heard my daughter and I discussing whether or not she was going to have her "own" smoothie or have some of my husbands and gave her a cup of the one she was making--problem solved! Husband got the peanut butter/chocolate/banana smoothie. We ordered two plate lunches. One with pulled pork and one with Waimanalo honey-citrus chicken breast with guava chipotle sauce. The latter sounds like it could be overpoweringly sweet but the chicken was moist and the sauce had subtle zing. For sides we got the hapa rice (half brown half white ;), okinowan sweet potato and mango chutney salad, paniolo potato and mac salad, and Waimanalo green salad. The sweet potatoes could have been cooked a tad more for my tastes, but all was good. I HIGHLY recommend this place. I wish we could have gotten over to this part of the island during a meal time for a second go.

Little Village (Honolulu, Chinatown): tasty Chinese in a clean, comfortable dining room. Very air-conditioned, so if you're sensitive to those sorts of things, bring a sweater. We had green onion pancakes, taro duck (Duck with taro around it and then fried. Sinfully tasty. My 3 year old couldn't get enough of it, which is always a plus in my book), stir fried ong-choy with shiitake mushrooms, and singapore rice noodles (dry curry noodles, very good).

Tokkuri-Tei: A not strictly traditional Japanese Izakaya in a strip mall. The staff was very nice and accommodating of our tots. Ended up eating there a second time after we ended up trying to go to Side Street Inn at 6:30 where there was a 45 minute wait. Called Tokkuri-Tei and they held a table for the 15 minutes it took us to drive there. Two stand out dishes were both fusion. The second time we were there we asked the waitress what she would reccomend and got them- the cream tofu and the ahi-tartare poki. Cream tofu was fried pieces of tofu, like you would get in agedashi tofu, that was in a wine sauce with mushrooms and a side of greens. I seriously wanted to lick the plate! Get it with a side of rice. I had a taste of the ahi poki tartare and it was good. Ahi poki on a toasted rice ball. flavors melded very nicely. Other yummy dishes: miso eggplant, ume shiso cut roll, zaru soba (served with a raw quail egg to mix in), goma-ae spinach and kara-age chicken. The grilled shishito peppers could have been grilled a tad longer and the grilled pork and shiso rolls weren't great. Overall, excellent food and service.

Gyutaku: Old-School Japanese. No ambience. Definitely not refined dining, decent food. Husband and I were both craving soup. He got the saimin and I got the udon. Soups were good as was the inari tofu. Tempura that came with was okay. The highlight was the Okinowan sweet potato pie with a layer of haupia and a ginger grahm crust. The crust made it stand out from the other haupia/cream pies that we tasted on this trip (like Bob's-which I thought tasted like haupia with a layer of Jello chocolate pudding on an insipid crust-don't waste your calories)

Side Street Inn: A lot has been written about this place. I think you'll be happy if you go in expecting good bar food, which it is. One surprise was the farmer's salad which had 'Nalo greens, a few pieces of shrimp, avocado and tomato and was delicious! We had the fried rice, the miso chicken and the rib-eye teri beef. Portions are large, so we had some to bring back with us. Everything was very tasty, my only complaint is that the chicken a beef had a little too much char on them for my tastes.

Leonards: What could be bad about hot fried fluffy dough covered in sugar and possibly suffed with something crazy like haupia or a slightly bitter chocolate? Didn't love the plain custard-too cloying and heavy (If they had something like Beard Papa's custard-that would be amazing) or the li-hing sugar (but I don't generally like li-hing because of the taste of aspartame in it)

KCC Diamond Head Saturday Farmers Market: This place is insanely busy, but has amazing prepared food vendors. I don't recall the names of many of the vendors, but we tried or brough home with us (over two visits): Mochi with adzuki paste and a fresh strawberry in the middle, chichi dango (mochi balls on a skewer toasted over a grill then dipped in a sweet/salty sauce, served warm), Chicken long rice and a deelicious chicken bun (from a no sign vendor at the far end of row B). The chicken bun was stewed chicken on a spit sweet bread roll with some pickled cucumber on top. We also tried grilled abalone, fried green tomatoes (don't let the line deter you-it moves fast), ice cream sandwiches, both loco moco AND beef hash benedict from the North Shore Cattle Company, which does grass fed cattle. I was pretty excited to try my first loco moco, but preferred the benedict. The patty on the loco moco was too big and dry for my tastes and my husband said they were a bit skimpy on the brown gravy. The oat cakes from Akamai foods and the lilikoi butter from Kahuku Farms both travelled home well.

Shave Ice (Waiola and Ailana): Both were good. The ice was fluffier at Waila but I loved the house-made syrups at Ailana-especially the chai and the strawberry milk.

Zippys: Not really my cup of tea, but my husband loves it (he grew up on Oahu). Especially the chili and rice. My 3 year old ate almost an entire order of chicken katsu. If you go to the one in Kahala you've got a nice view of the water.

Luibuenos Mexican Seafood and Fish: Ended up eating dinner here one night when the only other feasible option for us was pizza. I liked it more than my husband (I had the fried mahi tacos and he had the ono fish tacos). Friendly service.

Kaka'ako Kitchen: We always eat here on our visits. The shoyu chicken is really, really good. The tofu burger is also tasty. The teri chicken wrap was not bad but also wasn't particularly wonderful (too much tortilla, not enough filling, tasted too much of plain lettuce)

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Little Village Noodle House
1113 Smith St, Honolulu, HI 96817

Kakaako Kitchen
1200 Ala Moana Blvd # 135, Honolulu, HI

Side Street Inn
1225 Hopaka St, Honolulu, HI

Tokkuri-Tei
611 Kapahulu Ave Ste 102, Honolulu, HI 96815

Gyu-Kaku Yakiniku Dining
1221 Kapiolani Blvd Ste 105, Honolulu, HI 96814

Jun 26, 2010
L nrs in Hawaii

I have chicken in the freezer that is a year old. Is it usable?

Good grief, in my parts, 3 pounds of organic chicken thighs cost considerably more than $3. But if you must know, they just didn't pass my (extra sensitive, at the moment) smell test, so I chucked them.

To everyone else, thanks for your helpful replies!

Mar 14, 2009
L nrs in Home Cooking

I have chicken in the freezer that is a year old. Is it usable?

The title pretty much says it all. I've been going through my freezer and realized I have 3 lbs. of chicken thighs that have been in the freezer for a year. Are they usable? If not, do you think they just won't taste as good or do I need to worry about any funny bacteria? I'm pregnant, so not really into taking any chances, but wold hate to waste the food.

Thanks!

Mar 09, 2009
L nrs in Home Cooking

More Places Like Joan's on Third & Clementine?

The meatloaf sandwich at Little Flower is A-ma-zing!

Feb 02, 2009
L nrs in Los Angeles Area

The Savory Japanese Pancake - Gaja Moc, the Okonomiyaki Specialist! [Review] w/ Pics!

As far as I know, in addition the Hiroshima style has a layer of noodles, while the Kansai style does not.

Jan 14, 2009
L nrs in Los Angeles Area

Shout out to Ruth Lafler for inexpensive spice tip

I would agree with buying in bulk whole heartedly. I had to re-stock my entire spice cabinet and I was able to get quite a bit-20 or so different spices-(about half of a typical spice jar each) for $12.00!

Dec 26, 2008
L nrs in General Topics

Best octopus in LA

Where in Little Tokyo do you find takoyaki? I loved it when I visited Japan a few years ago, but haven't seen it here.

Dec 15, 2008
L nrs in Los Angeles Area

Cake to cupcake conversion

In case anyone is curious, I used regular size cupcake cups and they were done in 20 minutes (at 350 degrees).

Dec 14, 2008
L nrs in Home Cooking