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Recommendations for a SF Chowhound's One Night Only Dinner in Hollywood

If you are looking for fun international/eclectic menu, albeit not amazing food, The Church Key (technically in west hollywood) is energetic, with both a menu and dim sum carts rolling around (but not your standard asian dim sum fare). Most fun are specialty cocktails served from the carts.

Could also be fun for drinks and dine elsewhere.

I just ate at Night + Market last week and it was delicious thai street food (also in west hollywood). Hungry Cat was good - but haven't been there is ages, so wonder how it is these days.

Aug 23, 2014
whycook in Los Angeles Area

What do you think about 'mandatory' Valet Parking?

Let me clarify a bit -

By 'mandatory' I meant - when the valet seems to use every available street spot, virtually forcing you to valet.

Going to a restaurant on Melrose or Pico or wherever where the majority of street parking is permit only, leaving very few metered of free spaces available to people visiting the neighborhood eateries, shops etc..

I typically don't like others driving my car. So, I drive around, and I'm willing to walk a significant distance, frequently I find no empty spaces for blocks and blocks and blocks... and then I'll see the Valet finding a spot moments before I do and either putting $2 into a meter and charging $6,7 or more or taking a free spot and still charging the $6,7 or more. Ok, so they are getting paid to park a few blocks away and run back and forth.

Clearly, just irks me, when a valet snags a spot on the street I'd like, forcing me to keep circling the neighborhood.

Rant over, just thought I'd see what a few others LA eaters think.

I know it is technically illegal - but that doesn't stop a lot of people.... but then again people do a lot of things which are illegal.

OK - now back to food and thinking what to cook and where to eat this weekend (and parking isn't a consideration)....

thanks everyone for your input.

Aug 22, 2014
whycook in Not About Food

What do you think about 'mandatory' Valet Parking?

Is it just me, or does anyone else resent when a restaurant valet takes your car and promptly parks it in a free or metered spot right a few hundred feet away?

Yes, there are times, for special night out, places where there is no street parking, or shoes are uncomfortable and all you want to do is walk from curb to entrance.

What about when you see the valet taking all available parking which patrons could easily use on their own?

Shouldn't valet mean they are putting your car in a lot not on the street?

Aug 21, 2014
whycook in Not About Food

Guidance needed for week-long LA visit

Generally polite, but unapologetic and my friends didn't want to make a fuss. Therefore when restaurant selection is in my hands, I choose to dine elsewhere.

Aug 21, 2014
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Guidance needed for week-long LA visit

excellent point - you win!
now my explanation -
1. i have lower expectations for my lunch time cold-salads and sandwiches and baked-treats than i do from multi-plate cooked dinners (that said, 2 weeks ago 2 friends were served slices of pizza that were not just charred a bit - the crusts were actually so burnt, they couldn't eat the crust at all.
2. having been to gjelina many times over the years (every time friends visit from anyplace east of lincoln (from los feliz or new york or berlin) they want to dine there). In the last 6 - 8 month I've had multiple instances of hot dishes served cold, burnt veggies, overly salted (intense over salting not just a touch) and overall lack of consistency. at least the butterscotch dessert remains unscathed.

Aug 21, 2014
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Guidance needed for week-long LA visit

I'd remove Gjelina from short list, food has gone down hill. But...

If you're near the beach, perhaps wandering around on Abbot Kinney anyway, Gjelina Take-A-Way, right next door to restaurant is good lunch spot. Strictly take away, the only available seating is in a small space, under an 'arbor' of tree branches with milk crates for seating (which isn't as bad as it sounds).

Also nearby Superba Snack Bar on Rose Ave embodies the LA food ethos (one caveat - they rigidly enforce their no substitutions policy). They also have Superba Food + Bread for a popular 'toast' snack.

Grand Central Market - good for grazing & sampling, breakfast, lunch or early light dinner.

Two best dinners I've had in the last six months:

Night + Market - Lots of people telling you to add this - it's not an LA style place - it's really delicious authentic northern Thai street food. Casual and not pricy.

Picca - Peruvian with asian influence. Bright, balanced, modern flavors.

Enjoy!

Aug 21, 2014
whycook in Los Angeles Area

NYers with 5 days in LA / Santa Monica over the 4th

I'm an expat NYCer and know what you are accustomed to - just remember things here are far less formal. You're only here a few days, so consider traffic as part of the experience and go where you want, take surface streets and enjoy the scenery. If you are going to eat on PCH at Nobu, at the italian place next door Nikita, or Mastros, lunch for the sunshine or later for sunset, by the time the sunsets it's really nothing exceptional.

Gjelina disappointed me on my last 2 visits consider Gjelina Take Away for lunch, be prepared to picnic perched on a stool in a small shaded area. You're going to want to wander around on Abbot Kinney, AXE, Salt Air and Tasting Kitchen are all on top of my personal list.

Farm Shop has very tasty egg dishes and salads albeit not exceptional.

Superba and Superba Food + Bread are both more experimental and personal favorites.

Consider Eggslut and Coffee at Grand Central Terminal for a glimpse of downtown LA. or dinner downtown at Bestia.

Go to Pasadena for the architecture, then head over to Night + Market or Jitlada (the food is super spicy), or Din Tao Fung Dumpling House for lunch (it's sister restaurants just won top honors in Taiwan).

So many great recommendations from everyone - you can't go wrong! Enjoy your trip.

Jun 16, 2014
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Dining Solo in LV on or near The Strip

thank you - I'll put both on my list of possibilities. Since I'll already be at Mandalay - then I'm absolutely going to check out the view!

Jun 16, 2014
whycook in Las Vegas

Dining Solo in LV on or near The Strip

With 1 day in LV and only time for 1 meal - what's the latest and greatest that would be suitable for woman dining solo?

Sitting at the bar would be fine.

I live in LA - so not inclined to Mexican, Sushi or a chain. Otherwise I'll eat just about anything - steak, italian, asian fusion, french, american....
Price $$ or $$$ (prefer to avoid the $$$$).

Thanks in advance for sharing.

Jun 16, 2014
whycook in Las Vegas

What is the best Indian restaurant in LA?

Mayura at 10406 Venice Blvd in Culver City was great for buffet - that said I arrived promptly at noon so everything was very fresh and flavorful - not sure how it looks later in the day. Not a fancy place, in a strip mall. Was far tastier than my last visit to Samosa House.

Dec 05, 2013
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Burger Wars in Santa Monica

Tried Hole in Wall, perhaps I was expecting too much, but honestly, it was just a burger, nothing special - for me and my BF it ranked beneath Umami and Fathers Office. Time to check out some of the others! At least there are plenty to try!

Jun 17, 2013
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Best bagel near Penn station?

I was recently underwhelmed by my old favorite Ess-a-Bagel, they seem a bit flavorless.

Murrays is absolutely worth the walk from Penn Station!

Jun 14, 2013
whycook in Manhattan

Burger Wars in Santa Monica

thank you - not sure where we'll end up going - but the list has been whittled down.

Jun 12, 2013
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Burger Wars in Santa Monica

thank you, i did go back there and review. now to figure where to have my bi-annual burger fix.

Jun 12, 2013
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Westside Burgers-Counter, Hole in the Wall, Father's Office Tavern, What Else?

Curious, where does Golden State rank (location not withstanding) worth it or just stay on the westside for one of the above mentioned?

Jun 12, 2013
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Burger Wars in Santa Monica

So what is the #1 absolute best place for an infrequent-burger eater (with great fries too!) to indulge this weekend - there is an old thread, but so many new places have opened -

Burger Lounge, Rustic Canyon, Unami, Fathers Office, The Counter - willing to drive (albeit not too far).

thanks for the suggestions.

Jun 12, 2013
whycook in Los Angeles Area

new choices in arcadia / san gabriels

never tried this - sounds like i should put this on my list. thanks so much.

Jul 01, 2010
whycook in Los Angeles Area

new choices in arcadia / san gabriels

any NEW recommendations in arcadia / san gabriels. what are your breakfast and dinner favorites?

Jun 26, 2010
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Best place to eat in Santa Monica? Will travel for great food!

i just went to bar pinxto - while its not a bad place - I wouldn't go out of my way. Gjelina on the other.... #1- its wonderful.
Wilshire also a great call. and if you are looking for a comfy french style bistro for breakfast - annisette on santa monica was pleasant.

Mar 07, 2010
whycook in Los Angeles Area

best BAGEL in LA

Brooklyn Bagel - closest thing to a proper NY bagel. everything else is a roll with a hole instead of the dense, well textured, crusty, chewy, bagel ex-nyers smuggle home in our bags.

Mar 06, 2010
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Taiwanese Pineapple Pastries

I just had fresh, fluffy, taiwanese pineapple pastry at JJ Bakery in Arcadia (in same shopping center as the illustrious Din Tain Fung) My taiwanese friend was thrilled with the texture and consistency of this. there was a coffee cheese bread that was fantastic.
jjbakeryusa.com will tell you were all their locations are

Mar 06, 2010
whycook in Los Angeles Area

I have to lose some pounds what's a foodie to do?

i try to go to places that serve fresh wholesome food and only eat 1/2 the portion (take the rest home for tomorrows lunch)
Seed in Venice - really healthy, huge portions, a lot flavor belies the fact that it's all pretty low in calories.
Chaya M Cafe - not exactly diet food - but healthy and most dishes are low in fat
Real Food Daily - not one of my personal favorites but know lots of people people who adore it
and no matter where you go --- tell them not to put the bread basket on your table --- no matter how wonderful it looks.... you can always ask them to leave you a slice and take the rest away.

Feb 06, 2010
whycook in Los Angeles Area

dia de los muertos bread - where to buy in Santa Monica

Venice Bakery on Venice
El Gallo on cesar chavez - but maybe too far to drive
hope you find some you like

-----
Venice Bakery
10943 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

El Gallo Restaurant
4421 Las Posas Rd Ste C, Camarillo, CA 93010

Oct 31, 2009
whycook in Los Angeles Area

NYC Hounds Visiting, Please Advise!

I was pleasantly surprised by Cholada Thai on PCH in Malibu - so unexpected and far cheaper than most of the beachside places. Skip Palms unless you want LA Kitsch - Jitlada is down the street with superior food.

I'd rather eat at Jones on 3rd or the Farmers Market than Breadbar - where the food is mediocre. Little Next Door Cafe is good - but pricey.

I'd 2nd any recommendations healthy fare at M Cafe and excessive plates of meat at Parks Korean BBQ. Palate in Glendale deserves all the hype for a wine and cheese centric menu - 50% of the menu includes pork.

Enjoy

Jan 01, 2009
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Where do you shop?

Thank you everyone - I cant wait for the weekend and chance to go to shop. I was just told that Pinocchio Restaurant/Monte Carlo Deli has a tiny market on Magnolia in Burbank selling great pizza dough and jars of fresh tomato puree from Italy - they say well worth a detour.

This sunday is Taste of the Nation / Share our Strength fundraiser in Culver City. Tickets are kind of pricey - they may still need volunteers.

May 27, 2008
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Where do you shop?

Hello dedicated chowhounders -

When you aren't eating out - where do you shop?

I'm always in search for the most flavor and lowest prices in vicinity of Glendale/Silver Lake/Hollywood, but I'd rather not drive farther for quality and reasonable prices.

In search of the best seafood, meat, poultry, fruits, vegetables, cheese, breads, cakes & cookies?

Is it Whole Foods, Hollywood Farmers Market, Trader Joe's, markets in Thai town & K-Town?

Thanks so much & I can't wait to hear where everyone shops.

May 26, 2008
whycook in Los Angeles Area

BEST STEAK IN LA? OTHER THAN CUT

Mastro's won't disappoint. I took my boyfriend and he loved it. The service was flawless and there were affordable wines to compliment steak which melted in your mouth. SIdes verged on too much butter & salt for my tastes - but my boyfriend thought it was just right.

May 26, 2008
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Place to eat near 134 / 5 Intersection?

Mambos cuban style cafe in a renovated garage is reliable and tasty - it's an easy place to hang out with friends and chat - no one rushing you off your table. it is on the corner of western and victory. only a few blocks away from the freeway and way better than a chain, I'm not veg but I always get this plate of tofu veg dish (wiht name I can't recall) it is great with plantains.
Cafe Bravo is a little further from the 5 and not as good a place for sitting to chat with a friend - but anything chicken, hummus and grape leaves are all excellent.
the new palate isn't far from the freeways but near the new americana at brand mall and is sure to be wall-to-wall people.
enjoy

May 17, 2008
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Vegetarian Restaurants

I could eat a Big Macro from Chaya M Cafe on Melrose and now the new Chaya M cafe in Culver City -- they also have a vegan chocolate cake that I rarely have room for but it is decadent and delicious. the bim bim bop is lite healthy and perfect before the cake

May 04, 2008
whycook in Los Angeles Area

Table 8?

4 of us had dinner 2 weeks ago and concurred that the flavors all merged together with no standouts ... other than the grilled cheese with short rib app which we all agreed was worth a return visit. except this time we'd each get our our grilled cheese a drink and move on for the entree.

Apr 16, 2008
whycook in Los Angeles Area