a

aventinus's Profile

Title Last Reply

Bottega Louie

I work two blocks away and never go. The food is decent at best. It is outrageously loud.

Jul 11, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Expensive and worth it versus Expensive and not worth it

Expensive and worth it: Mori Sushi. Simply the best.

Jul 11, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Best amaro selection in LA area?

I would check out the following:

Beverage Warehouse
Bay Cities--good selection of amaros, but I"m not sure any of them are rare
Wally's

Bar Keeper is a good place. I don't remember their amaro selection.

Jul 11, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Masa review (is it worth it?)

I dined at Masa solo recently. Spent over $1,000. Was it worth it? Yes, I'd say so. A top-ten lifetime meal. I can't identify a single flaw in the food, which was as extravagant as I've ever had. Masa would certainly compete for and most likely obtain three Michelin stars stars in Tokyo. There were some minor service hiccups but they were insubstantial in the scheme of things.

The beef was ridiculously good, in my opinion.

Would I go back? Not any time soon. That's the thing about spending over $1,000 for a meal. I'm not going to go back and spend over $1,000 to get largely the same thing.

For comparison, I enjoyed a $300 meal at Sushi Saito in Tokyo more. And I considered my $500ish meals at Urasawa in Los Angeles on par with the $1,000 meal at Masa.

May 26, 2013
aventinus in Manhattan

Musso & Frank: Love It or Hate It.

I went there once and it was hideous.

May 26, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Jonathan Gold's Top 101 Restaurants in Los Angeles

So do you agree with J. Gold? Baco Mercat over Melisse? I don't see how anyone can agree with this (or countles other travesties on J. Gold's list) either objectively or subjectively. It's an offense to the skilled chefs at Melisse and other top restaurants around LA (e.g., Mori Sushi) to see this list, which largely consists of mediocre, plebeian restaurants with unskilled chefs.

May 26, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Jonathan Gold's Top 101 Restaurants in Los Angeles

It's not served in a food truck?

May 26, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Tasty Salads in SM...?

My first choice would be the simple salads at Stella Rosa. I also suggest Ivy at the Shore's grilled vegetable salad. Also, Real Food Daily generally has creative salad specials.

May 26, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Tasty Salads in SM...?

I agree. I actually like the salads more than the pizzas.

May 26, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Grand Central Market

It's lackluster and not worth visiting, IMO. However, the Persian place and other places are decent.

May 25, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Bestia - review

My opinion after two visits. Very good bartending. Pretty good food. Similar in feel to Gjelina, but not as good. For downtown Italian, inferior to Drago Centro (but Bestia isn't really Italian). Populated with scenesters. Still, in the top ten best restaurants downtown.

May 21, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

10 Best Eats In Monterey Park

Yoma really is a gem. The fact that it's on there at #3 makes this list credited IMO.

May 20, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Stiff competition for Neapolitan pizza on the Westside

I agree re the wheaty sweetness of Stella Rossa's pizza being distracting.

May 19, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Most anticipated openings of 2013?

Water Grill Santa Monica. I work near Water Grill in downtown LA and eat there about twice a month. I consider it the second best restaurant in downtown LA after Drago Centro. I live very near the new Water Grill SM. If Water Grill SM is on par with Water Grill downtown, I'd consider it the second best restaurant in SM after Melisse. Would be nice! The old Ocean Avenue Seafood, owned by the same group, was no good, so hopefully this is an upgrade. I have low expectations for Water Grill SM given the touristy location and the crap restaurants surrounding it.

May 17, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

What's your favorite Chinese restaurant IN the San Gabriel Valley and what do you order from there ?

Mine is Shanghai Restaurant on the second floor of the Ranch 99 plaza. I like several dishes there, including the seaweed fried fish and everything they do with tofu.

May 16, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Healthy breakfast?

It's pretty lackluster, but IMO, it's extremely hard to find anything decent for breakfast in America. So I would definitely say LPQ is one of the best breakfast bets around.

May 14, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Best of the Trappist Beers

Westvleteren 12, then Rochefort 10. This was my opinion back when I could buy Westvleteren 12 at Whole Foods, and before I was familiar with its status, so it has nothing to do with its difficulty to find today.

May 14, 2013
aventinus in Beer

Healthy breakfast?

Try Gjelina take away. They have, for example, whole grain toasts with avocado. You might also try a good Whole Foods.

May 14, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

I have a food crush on this international city:________

Tokyo. Landslide

May 14, 2013
aventinus in General Topics

The Single Most Overrated Dish

I agree, though I would say that pomegranate molasses has a place. Pomegranate seeds--no.

May 14, 2013
aventinus in General Topics

The Single Most Overrated Dish

French fries. I like French fries but 90% of the time I'd prefer something else, anything else. Grilled brussel sprouts, for example.
Sweet potato fries. Worse than french fries.
Panna cotta. Pointless.
Ice cream. I'd had this thousands of times and there's no way you'll ever impress me, even if you have three Michelin stars, even if you put soy sauce or saffron or ginger or szechuan peppercorns or basil or whatever you like in it. I don't need it with my cake or pie or tart. It's a waste of calories.
Burrata. This was enjoyable the first 100 times. Now every restaurant seems to think they're something special because they have a burrata appetizer. It's nothing special.
Chicken, especially breasts. So boring.
Tiramisu. It's amazing that this stupid dessert even exists. I think it's just that the name sounds appealing.
Any dish with truffle oil. Gag me.
Shrimp cocktail. One day, everyone will wake up and realize that cocktail sauce sucks.
Mithai (Indian sweets) Perhaps the worst taste to calorie ratio out there.
Any sweet pickle. Especially sweet cucumber pickles. Ick.
Lasagna.
Any casserole.
Pad thai. Almost always horrible; at best mediocre. Lasagna for thai people.
Soda. There is no such thing as a good soda.
Tuna tartar. See burrata.
California roll. America. Sigh.

May 14, 2013
aventinus in General Topics

Mozza - any street pkg nearby?

For lunch at least, there is abundant street parking and no reason to pay the valet unless you are averse to walking a block. I've gone dozens of times and never valeted.

May 14, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

What are your 5 favorite restaurants in LA?

And how often do you eat there? Here are mine:

Mori Sushi. Once a month
Drago Centro. Twice a month
Gjelina. Twice a month
Melisse. Three times a year
Urasawa. Once a year

May 14, 2013
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Zo - great fish quality, technique less so.

I agree.

Sep 22, 2012
aventinus in Los Angeles Area

Toasting spices - not always helpful??

There is no grounds for skepticism here. Toasted spices are different from raw spices--not necessarily superior (though I think it's fair to say that some spices (e.g., coriander, cumin, szechuan peppercorns, mustard seeds) are superior toasted).

As for what is "superior" about dry heat, wet heat is limited to the boiling point of water (212 F). Dry heat can go much higher.

Generally, you should only toast as much as you plan to use soon.

Sep 20, 2012
aventinus in Home Cooking

Avocado pits

The pit of an avocado has all the taste of the green flesh without all the fat. I like to blend up avocado pits in my smoothies. How do you use avocado pits?

Sep 19, 2012
aventinus in Home Cooking

When do you add salt to your home cooked beans?

I figure people sometimes get beans that just don't cook because, e.g., they are old and attribute it to salt, figuring that's the only thing it can be.

Sep 14, 2012
aventinus in Home Cooking

Shitake Mushrooms---Huge Box

Basically, braise them in chicken stock.

Sep 14, 2012
aventinus in Home Cooking

Enchiladas

What's your favorite enchiladas recipe?

Sep 14, 2012
aventinus in Home Cooking

Sea salt

For Latin American food, I like to use Bolivian sea salt. I sometimes harvest it myself from the Uyuni salt flats.

i agree with you that Hawaiian black salts adds profundity and class to Hawaiian dishes.

Sep 14, 2012
aventinus in Home Cooking