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Where to buy Buffalo Wings for Super Bowl party?

If you are in Burbank, Ribs USA on Olive used to have very good buffalo wings. I have not been there in a few so I don't know if they are still good. The rest of the food there is awful.

Jan 29, 2015
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

"The top 13 places for fried chicken in LA, as chosen by 8 LA food writers" - Yes, it is a list, don't click on it if you don't want to!

Just read this thread and looked at the link. Not a single person on the list cast a vote for Mom's BBQ House in Van Nuys? Seriously? That is just ridiculous.

Jan 27, 2015
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Where to buy Buffalo Wings for Super Bowl party?

You didn't mention where you are, but here are a few thoughts.

Ye Rustic Inn in Los Feliz has the best buffalo wings in the city. I believe 18 pieces are $14 or $16, so they will be more expensive.

I find Hoagies and Wings better than any of the three you listed in the original post, but their wings tend to be very small.

If you don't need "buffalo" wings, I would recommend a completely unknown place. MB Chinese Food in Sherman Oaks is nominally a Chinese restaurant, but they have some fantastic wings. They are bigger than nearly every place I have found. The problem is that their buffalo sauce is not terribly good. Instead, I get their General Tso's wings, which are not cripsy, but have a delectable sauce with a little spice, and their Salt and Pepper wings, which are fried crispy and served with some jalapeno and garlic. (They have about a dozen other sauces too.) 50 pieces are $34.99.

Jan 27, 2015
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Dish of the Month, Los Angeles -- February 2015 -- Nominations

Joining the Foie love. It would be nice to get out and taste what restaurants are doing now, particularly the new ones that haven't had Foie on the menu before.

Jan 23, 2015
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Best Modernised Sushi in LA

At Ichiban Kan, my personal favorites are the BSC (baked scallop over California, which I am told Hiro, the itamae, created in the late-80s/early 90s), the Volcano (no rice, but cooked crab, whitefish, shrimp, tamago, avocado and asparagus cooked in a large round with eel sauce on top), yellowtail special (cucumber, avocado inside, with yellowtail outside and spicy mayo), baked mussels (mussels, avocado, and mayo cooked in the shell). The spicy tuna is quite good as are the regular nigiri.

At Matsuhisa, the crap with creamy spicy sauce (a baked dish), tiradito (Peruvian sashimi), and yellowtail with jalapeno sashimi are all great.

Can't speak to Katsu or Roku, because I don't go enough.

Jan 04, 2015
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Kalbi short ribs, non-marinated

You may want to check Ranch 99, which usually has a supply of thin-sliced meats for Korean BBQ. I can't recall if they have short ribs, but I know I have purchased sliced rib eye, bulgogi, and pork.

Jan 04, 2015
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Best Modernised Sushi in LA

Where are you staying? I really like Sushi Ichiban Kan in Woodland Hills. It has exactly what you describe in terms of modernized sushi, but the quality of fish and rice is much better than most non-traditional places. However, it is probably out-of-the-way.

The Katsu restaurants also probably fit the bill, but I find them overpriced for what you get.

On the very high end, Nobu or Matushisa aren't always "sushi" but have innovative preparations of fish that would satisfy a modernist taste. Roku was opened by former Matsuhisa chefs, so it is similar.

Jan 03, 2015
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Good God, Sri Siam Cafe!

I went tonight for the first time in a few months and, sadly, I think Charlie's retirement has taken its toll. The food is still good, but the flavors seemed muted. The O-Lou was well-cooked, but lacked the same strong shrimp flavor. The crispy rice salad did not have the vibrant flavors of the sour pork, lime, and chili. Similarly, pad kee mao and green coconut curry were just okay.

Service also was lacking. The waiter was extremely nice, but a simple request for napkins had to be made multiple times and I finally had to get up and ask for them. Our tea was lukewarm (as was the tea for another table).

I'm hoping this was just an off-night.

Dec 30, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Best Fried Chicken in the Valley?

+2

Mom's is the best I've had in the valley.

Dec 29, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

Best Mexican in Sherman Oaks?

Unfortunately, in Sherman Oaks proper, you have very limited offerings -- El Torito Grill, El Torito, the wretched El Mariachi and some very casual places. Most of the best places in Sherman Oaks/Van Nuys are hole-in-the-walls, so trying to fit a large group could be a challenge.

If you expand your target area, Loteria in Studio City is good, but expensive. Sol y Luna in Tarzana also can probably do a group. Casa Vega is very hit-and-miss, but it has a very retro vibe and good drinks. Salsa and Beer in Lake Balboa has good food, but might struggle with a party of 15.

Dec 25, 2014
Jwsel in Los Angeles Area

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
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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