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Jwsel's Profile

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Broguiere's Eggnog - where is it??? Ventura - Woodland Hills

I got some at Gelsons in Encino, so I assume other Gelsons are likely to have it. (Someone posted a picture of it from the Westlake Gelsons on the Broguiere's Facebook page.) I also see it at some higher-end Ralphs.

Also, on the Broguiere's Facebook, someone posted that Jim's Fallbrook Market in Woodland Hills carries it.

Dec 15, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Rivera Closing by End of the Year

I was at Rivera last night for dinner. Delicious as always and we were told that they may try to reopen Rivera on the Westside in several months. I think that would be more successful. Currently, they seem a little too far from the core of downtown business and the Music Center.

Good luck to them.

Dec 14, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, December 2014 -- TAMALES

Went to Rivera tonight one last time before it closes. Had to post about their acorn squash tamale. It's a whole acorn squash, cooked and then filled with short rib, masa, and cheese. You spoon out the traditional tamale fillings along with the squash.

Not really a tamale in the traditional sense, but when it tastes this good, who cares?

2014 - Best Sushi Omakase

Sushi Iki is the best traditional sushi in the area, except it is very expensive and the cuts are very large. I think you mentioned Kiriko being large cuts; these dwarf Kiriko's. But the fish cannot be beat for quality and freshnesh.

Okumura in Encino (in the CVS center) has a chef who trained at Sushi Zo. The quality is quite good. They don't have an omakase on their menu, but I'm sure they would do one.

Dec 13, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Asada Tacos and Rolled Tacos in San Fernando Valley

I'll try San Marcos again. I used to go fairly regularly and I loved the chile relleno they had as a daily special. But I remember thinking their meat was rather tasteless the last few times I went.

Dec 13, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Los Angeles Restaurants in the 80's

Did Viva la Pasta take over for The Fettucini Bar? That was on Westwood north of Santa Monica. You would select your pasta and then the sauce. My dad's office was near there, so we went on a number of occasions.

Dec 12, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Ms. Shanghai Rose-Murphy is taking over the SFV with all-day, everyday, dim sum

It's odd, because Green Village has a terrible parking situation too.

I like Green Village for its Shaghai items -- House Special Beef, some of the noodle dishes, and the fish sticks -- but not for the more common Cantonese dishes. It's odd to me that Shanghai Rose does not seem to have the best items from the other menu.

As for dim sum, the only significant dim sum place in the valley is A&W Seafood in Northridge, so this definitely fills a niche.

Dec 10, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Asada Tacos and Rolled Tacos in San Fernando Valley

For the past few years, my regular taqueria has been Alberto's in Van Nuys for rolled tacos and carne asada tacos. The rolled tacos are phenomenal -- crispy with guacamole and fluffy shredded cheese. I wouldn't place the tacos at the same level, but they are better than average, with flavorful meat.

A few weeks ago and then again today -- both on Saturday afternoons -- Alberto's has been closed without explanation. (They were open one time in between.) Having already purchased salsa at Birrieria Mexico a block away (Alberto's roja salsa is terrible), I needed an alternative.

So any suggestions for good rolled tacos and/or flavorful asada tacos in the valley? Van Nuys would be preferred.

For the record, here are places that I sometimes go to, but have not found to be as consistently good as Alberto's (and none have good rolled tacos):

El Taco Llama: Van Nuys Blvd. and Haskell locations. Great salsa roja, but the asada tacos don't have much flavor. The barbacoa is better, but I can get better at the aforementioned Birrieria Mexico (which doesn't have asada). The El Taco Llama on Sherman Way in North Hollywood has been better, but it's trek.

Pico Pico Rico (Magnolia/Kester): Very good carnitas and homemade tortillas. The asada is flavorless.

Rigo's (Woodman/Oxnard): Great salsa roja, but the rest of the food is bland. Asada tacos are mushy and the weekend pastor on the trompo never is as good as it looks.

Tacos La Fonda truck (Vineland/Vanowen): Nights only and a trek. These are the best tacos I've found in the valley to date, but it is not convenient.

Le Sirenita Express (Sherman Way/Sepulveda): Got tacos and ceviche here this afternoon. The ceviche was quite good, but the asada and deshebrada tacos were bland. (The deshebrada was so dry that it resembled beef jerky.)

Dec 06, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Dinner before the Disney!

It's not terribly popular here, but I find Border Grill on Figueroa to be consistent and convenient to Disney Hall/Music Center. It's not terribly expensive and they usually have a shuttle to Disney Hall. You park in the adjacent parking structure (cost is $5 with validation) and then take a van/limo to Disney Hall, which picks you up afterward and drops you back off at Border Grill. So you also don't have to pay twice for parking.

Dec 04, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

What is the best Indian restaurant in LA?

I've never been on Friday or Saturday night, and I always order hoppers at Apey Kade. The deviled chicken there is my favorite dish. Viciously spicy, yet bursting with flavor, not just heat.

Nov 28, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Who makes good BBQ Baked Beans?

You should have your husband try the black beans at Rivera. If Love's is the measure of beans for him, I really would like to know if he has the same reaction I had. They are nothing alike in terms of texture and color, but the flavor is the closest thing I've found to Love's.

Epicure imports sale September 12 & 13

Today was not a good visit. They say on the website that Friday at 2 pm is the best time. I got there at around 1:20, bypassed the full parking lot, did some shopping, and then got in line to pay at 2:10. The line was wrapped around the entire store. At 3:15, after I had dumped some items and moved to the shorter all-cash line in the hope of going faster, I was still quite a distance from the registers. Because I had to be at a 4 pm appointment that I couldn't postpone, I asked an employee how much longer it would be. She was fantastic and rang me up my charges in the back office so I wouldn't have to leave empty handed. Some of the delay evidently had to do with issues with problems with the credit card readers, but I would not be surprised if, from my original place in line, checking out would have taken two hours.

As for the products, I'm not sure how great the deals are anymore. I did get some French butter and some specialty items that I don't see often, but the cheese selection is usually disappointing and most of the charcuterie can be found at gourmet shops. They also replaced their caviar supplier and I was not impressed with the sample I tried. It was fairly tasteless and mushy.

I'll chalk it up to a bad day, but probably will wait to see if people have better experiences before I go back.

Nov 21, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

the fufu that got away

Have you tried Mofongo's in North Hollywood? My understanding is that mofongo is basically the Puerto Rican name for fufu. They make their mofongo's with chicharron and have different varieties, including shredded pork, roast pork shoulder, and fried pork.

http://www.mofongosrestaurant.com/men...

Nov 13, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area
1

Green Village Reopens--In Sherman Oaks

It is the same owners. I doubt the menu is entirely the same. There are some Shanghai specials, but a lot of the menu is geared toward SFV tastes.

Nov 13, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Who makes good BBQ Baked Beans?

This is going to sound very strange, but last night I had dinner at Rivera. A friend insisted on ordering the frilojes negros. When they came out, there were more like mashed black beans, but the flavors immediately made me flash back to Love's baked beans. They had the strong sweetness, but with the undercurrent of some type of meat being cooked in them. We loved them so much that we got a second serving.

Nov 09, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Last minute dinner downtown tonight?

I have to disagree about Rivera. We went last night before a concert and there also were a fair number of people there for the Kings game. We got there at 5:30 and had a deadline to leave of 7:00 p.m. The servers took note of that and we had no issues.

The food was far better than I expected. There were a few dishes that we did not like -- a cauliflower guacamole (why?) and a flan de elote (bland) -- but most of the dishes were excellent. The scallop in potato with a spicy verde sauce, acorn squash tamal, uni, and frijoles negros were particular standouts.

Nov 09, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Last minute dinner downtown tonight?

That makes me nervous. We're going to Rivera tomorrow before a concert.

Nov 07, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Bow and Truss – Wanted to love it, but ended up liking it. (North Hollywood)

I have heard some reports that Aaron Grissom is not at Bow & Truss. The "about" page on its website no longer mentions him and I heard that either his Facebook or Twitter has listed him as a "freelance" or something along those lines when the Top Chef season started.

Nov 07, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Smallest entree ever!

Kevin, it really turns on how you define a tasting menu. A four-course meal at Melisse consists of:

Course one -- various assorted dishes akin to appetizers
Course two -- usually pasta or fish
Course three -- some type of meat or poultry
[Optional cheese course for $15 -- one of the best cheese carts in the city]
Dessert course

For each of these menus, the customer has a choice of several items. There also is a vegetarian "tasting menu" that, for $135, is the same three courses, plus cheese, plus dessert.

Without supplements (and there are a lot of supplement possibilities), those menus are $135.

They are different than the 10-course "Ten" menu (a list of 10 items you can see in advance) or the 12- to 14-course carte blanche menu, which is the chef's choice.

So in Melisse's parlance, all of its menus are tasting menus. There just are a lot of variations in terms of how many courses and how many choices the customer has.

Nov 03, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Smallest entree ever!

I've never had an issue with portion size at Melisse on any of my multiple visits -- and have always left stuffed after the three- or four-course meal. I would be shocked if it were really that small.

Bear in mind, though, that the menus at Melisse are not truly appetizer/entree. They are first, second, and third courses of a multi-course meal. So it isn't fair to assume that the third course is an "entree" and should be the size of a typical entree at restaurants that follow an appetizer/entree/dessert model. The dishes on the three- and four-course menu usually are a little larger than those on the carte blanche and Ten menu, but they aren't that much bigger (in fact, customers can usually swap from the Ten menu with the three- and four-course menu).

I suggest that you send an email to the restaurant. And in the future, if the lamb is not to your liking or too fatty, ask that it be replaced.

Nov 02, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

2014 Sammy Awards - Who's In?

The Sanguchon at Takatis in Van Nuys. Rotisserie chicken, tomato, lettuce, scrambled egg, fried yams, cheese, and wonderful aji amarillo.

A picture:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7080/71...

Oct 29, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Looking for an authentic, memorably kick-ass, bowl of Hot and Sour Soup somewhere in the Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks/Studio City area. Any strong suggestions? Thanks.

I was wondering about that. I got delivery the other day and the soup was not nearly as good -- less spice and not as sour. The person taking my order seemed different.

It would be a shame to lose the one decent Chinese delivery place in the area. It took forever to find a decent hot and sour soup.

Oct 19, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Great Dessert at the Grove Los Angeles

Morton's is a chain, but they do have a very good chocolate souffle. It's on La Cienega, only a mule or so from the Grove. That's probably the best souffle in close vicinity to the Grove.

Oct 18, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Hottest of the Hot? Spiciest of the Spicest? Recs please!

Bumping this thread to mention the orange habanero salsa from Birrieria Mexico in Van Nuys. I love spice and the flavor of the salsa is great, but after just a little on a bit of birria and tortilla, my mouth was burning and I was sweating.

Oct 18, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area
1

Splitting from Best LA Trout thread

I believe trout is commonly used in the whole fish with Thai herbs dish at Sri Siam. The fish can change, but I recall it being trout most of the times I've had it.

Oct 17, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area
1

Birria - a perfect rainy day meal

Birrieria Mexico on Vanowen in Van Nuys, a few blocks west of Van Nuys Blvd. has excellent birria and barbacoa. The handmade tortillas are just like the ones described by the OP and the habanero salsa (one of several salsa options) is phenomenal. I may have to get some this weekend.

Oct 17, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Today is my lucky day, Ike's Place Westwood soft opens with free sandwiches!

My understanding is that biggest problem with Westwood is that there are certain landlords who own large amounts of properties and have been unwilling to make the necessary changes to improve the area. The biggest change has to be to improve the parking situation. Right now, parking is either non-existent or too expensive. It's not unlike what Beverly Hills experienced before the city put in the public lots that gave people two hours free. There have been efforts to convince landlords to improve the parking situation, but they have resisted. Until that happens, going to Westwood restaurants is more expensive and more of a hassle than going to restaurants in surrounding areas.

Sep 23, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

I need The Hottest Hot Wings in LA!

A place that I have never seen mentioned for wings is MB Chinese in Sherman Oaks. It is a strip-mall hole in the wall with so-so Chinese food and a large variety of wings. I don't actually recommend their buffalo wings, but love their salt and pepper wings -- crispy, fried wings with garlic, salt, and jalapeno -- and their General Tso's wings -- with a sweet and lightly spicy sauce. There are at least 10 different flavors to try.

What really stands out is the size of their wings. They are big and meaty, unlike the ones at most places in town, and well cooked. The only other place that consistently has wings of similar size is Ye Rustic Inn.

Sep 23, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Ipsedixit Was Right--Visit To New Port Seafood Beverly Hills

Not having delivery with their location is a big mistake. They could probably do a booming lunch business delivering to offices in Beverly Hills proper and Cedars Sinai.

I think one of the big problems for Westside Chinese restaurants is that many people who live there don't think of Chinese as food that you eat at a restaurant. With so many mediocre, but convenient Chinese places that deliver, it may take some time before people begin to look at places like Newport as dining destinations.

Sep 20, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Garlo's -- Aussie Pies in Westwood

I didn't see a thread about Garlo's, despite searching, so my apologies if there is one already. I went yesterday for the first time and have to give a big thumbs up.

I got there for a very late lunch/early dinner and ordered the all-day special -- pie with chips. mashed potatoes, gravy, and mushy peas, or salad, and a drink for $4.95. I had the curry beef pie and it was perfectly cooked -- crispy, flaky crust and piping hot (almost too hot) on the inside. The flavors of the curry beef are fantastic, reminding me a lot of the best curry hand pies I loved in England. I asked for chips, but they were out, so I got the potatoes and peas. They were good, but the texture of the peas was a little odd to me. They were a bit denser than I've seen in the past and seemed like they may have been mixed with potato. Still good though.

I also got some pies to go -- another curry beef, a sausage roll, and some sliders, which are mini pies (one beef and one chicken). Since I was going to be reheating them later, they gave me cold ones with instructions on heating them. It turns out that the instructions of 30 minutes at 350 degrees was right for the bigger pie, but in less than 10 minutes in a toaster oven, the top of the sausage roll and beef slider were burnt. We removed the burnt parts and they were just fine. The chicken slider was more of an American-style chicken pot pie, with peas and carrots, and was absolutely fantastic. I'll definitely be getting them in the future when I have a craving for a good chicken pot pie.

The ala carte prices are great $4.95/$5.95 for the pies and $2.50 for the sliders. Parking in the structure behind the restaurant is validated for one hour.