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Dragon Palace in Santa Monica, for americanzied stuff ?????

I've lived in Santa Monica since '89. Dragon Palace has in the last year or so become my go to Chinese take-out (they don't do delivery for some reason). The reason I've only been going in the last couple of years is that I just ignored it and never tried it, since it has been there so long. The shredded pork in Peking Sauce is a favorite. I also like their wor won-ton and agree with Maudie5's comments. It's old-fashioned Cantonese style, like the stuff I remember from my LA childhood. Very consistent. Not great but decent. As has been repeated endlessly hereabouts, there is no good Chinese in Santa Monica, but this place is IMO the most reliable Chinese around here, and even tho' the guys at the counter are busy, they are very cordial, always smiling. I order on the phone, and if they say 20 minutes, it is almost always ready. If you live around here, give it a try.

Nov 12, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area
1

Where to eat Labor Day early evening in Santa Monica, Venice, etc.

Thank everyone for the comments. It was down to Salt Air and Mercado but I couldn't find enough stuff on the Salt Air side (i.e., prices are high and the non-fried items are fairly limited), so we will go to Mercado, which has always been very reliable and, by the way, where they make the best flan I have ever tasted. Won't be eating the flan because of the diet but just wanted to put it out there. Couldn't get my cousin to go to Shunji...too expensive.

Aug 30, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Where to eat Labor Day early evening in Santa Monica, Venice, etc.

My cousin and I are getting together for an earlyish dinner. She lives in Westwood; I live in Santa Monica. We have been to many places already but would love something new. Culver City, Marina, etc.

We had thought of Fork in the Road (which I really like) on Main St. but they are not open Mondays. I've never been to Shunji, but I guess it's a dumb idea to go to a sushi bar on Mondays (???) and probably the fish market would be closed on Monday morning due to Labor Day?? Also, is the tasting menu still there for under $100? Is the omakase the only thing worth doing?

We are fish eaters more than meat eaters, eat lightly for health reasons, don't eat fried food, etc. Thought of trying Salt Air (if they're open)--is the food there mainly fried? Is it good if there are non-fried options. Like the look of the place (have been in and looked around).

Have checked Open Table already but aren't there a lot of places (Fork in the Road is an example) who don't use it?

Thanks for any ideas folks.

Aug 27, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Eatily

Glad it doesn't stop you from your generous postings here Wienermobile! And some of us can't help being the spelling police--sorry.

Jun 18, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Eatily

"roomer" -- Do these "roomers" share a house? Sorry, but I couldn't resist....

Jun 18, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Classy, secluded bunch for Wife's 40th bday?

Was just at Connie & Ted's for first time yesterday in late afternoon. As I was leaving, there were some moms and little kids coming in for what looked to be a birthday party on a side patio. I didn't look too closely at it, so I'm not sure how big it was. Call them and ask. Might be a perfect location for you; pretty central. Not too bad traffic on a weekend from the westside.

May 08, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Connie and Teds, a Review

Finally got to Connie & Ted's yesterday May 7 for the first time. Live in Santa Monica, and it's been so hard to get a rezzie there all year, but was nearby so I just walked in at 4 p.m. for late lunch/early dinner-- place was nearly empty. Was hungry, so had the New England boiled dinner and a side of the wilted spinach. I thought every single piece of the boiled dinner was just perfect and succulent--lobster, clams, mussels, corn, potato, linguica. Couldn't believe how good it was. Spinach was great enough to take home and use in my omelet today. I'm a Cimarrusti fan (have been to Providence 3 times I think) and now even moreso. Wish I lived closer to C & Ts.

May 08, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Belcampo Cheeseburger

I live a few blocks from Santa Monica Belcampo. Went by Tuesday night and ate at the bar. Had to try the cheeseburger after seeing this thread. I LOVED IT! I did notice the unusual taste and asked them what the spice was, and the waiter brought me a little of the ketchup to sample. He said it was a mix of spices that included cloves, nutmeg, etc. For me, it had a slight suggestion of a very light barbecue sauce but I was completely enamored from the first bite. I live even closer to Father's Office, went there once when they first opened. I really am not a fan of the FO burger--all the blue cheese is way too salty for me (almost inedible actually). Anyway, Belcampo burger is just the right size--not too thin (unlike the really appalling thin greasy truffle burger I had once at the SM Umami Burger). If I weren't concerned about my cholesterol issues, I would be back for another burger at Belcampo before the week is up.

I did sub a small salad (delicious dressing) for the "tallow fries". They looked fabulous gotta say. At SM Belcampo burger and tallow fries is $16.50. Tried a buttermilk panna cotta for dessert (their other dessert was a creampuff with chocolate).

They also have visiting bartenders from around town--Tuesday it was a guy from Acabar. I'm not much of a drinker, so didn't sample.

Anyway, am urging my friends to come back with me so we can try the beef hearts and a few of the other things on the limited menu. They told me in the fall the menu will be much bigger and that as Wayno said, everything will be completely different. They have to be open for a month to be grandfathered in as a restaurant for SM zoning purposes. (SM Seafood down the street had to do the same thing before they opened permanently.)

May 08, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Brunch in Santa Monica

Penthouse has the best ocean view of any restaurant in Santa Monica.

Apr 14, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Brunch in Santa Monica

Didn't see your post. I just recommended it above.

Apr 14, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Brunch in Santa Monica

My cousin and I have been to Farmshop on 26th Street for Sunday brunch a couple of times in recent months and have really liked it--had a really nice fritatta last time with gorgeous pea tendrils and some other lovely green on top. Very tasty. It's also nice there because it's in the Brentwood Country Mart, which is a nice old place (for LA) that's been revived in recent years, and you can walk around and window shop the little boutiques after. They also have wonderful deli stuff with all kinds of imports for sale. Get a reservation on open table.

Apr 14, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Where to take my 4 friends in March--my birthday, my treat--Santa Monica, etc.

Did try Bar Pintxo again and the tapas and pintxos were quite decent and made me feel like I was back in Spain (where I spent 3 weeks last October). Would like to go back and try their paella sometime (I think they have some kind of Sunday/Monday paella special going.) Thanks!

Apr 14, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Where to take my 4 friends in March--my birthday, my treat--Santa Monica, etc.

My birthday dinner wasn't until March 22, so I am pretty late in getting back to you, but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed Fork in the Road. Four of us shared four small plates (esp recommend salmon tartar jar and hearts of palm with edamame (IIRC) and two desserts. 3/4 had one glass of wine and bill came to $125 before T/T. Really generous portions, esp. as compared to some of the other small place joints around--i.e, Superba, The Wallace, etc. Liked it so much went back this Saturday with another friend and she was equally charmed. Service is very nice, only down side is noise factor kicks in the later you go--there are a lot of hard surfaces. Pretty deafening by 8 p.m. on a Saturday. But at 6-7:30ish quite acceptable. The menu is big enough and interesting enough that I'd like to go back again soon and try something else. Thanks again for the great tip!

Apr 14, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

LA Trip Report (mostly Santa Monica and Venice)

I'm a little late to the party, so to speak, but really enjoyed reading your trip report. I live in Santa Monica, so am always interested in hearing what people are recommending these days and also how people like the recs. You made me want to go back to Tar & Roses--haven't been there in a year or so.

You asked what does N/Naka mean and since nobody responded-- it has to do with Chef Niki's name--Niki Nakayama. And yes, she does always come out and greet the guests at the end of the meal. I'm guessing that might be a Japanese tradition in the kind of family-run inn that she trained in in Japan (though she is American born). You can read her bio online BTW if you google. Anyway, I've been there twice, and it's a very special place--the wait staff are remarkably nice and welcoming, and the restaurant makes a note of what you had the time before so that they can cook you something different on your next visit (or so I was told by a regular customer--it's a little pricey for me to be a regular there LOL).

Mar 08, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Fish: Lent- and Paleo-free friendly near Brentwood (Friday lunch)

Lemonade in Brentwood is a good paleo-ish option BUT ridiculously bad acoustics unless you eat at the few outside tables. The Larder has a limited menu and it's ok food-wise, not great.

Restaurant 2117 has been there forever (15-20 years maybe?). I haven't been in quite a while. I guess they're still open for lunch. It is light French food cooked by a Japanese (maybe French-trained) owner-chef. It's quite good and used to be quite a deal price-wise. Worth trying, and would work with your dietary preference.

Mar 07, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Where to take my 4 friends in March--my birthday, my treat--Santa Monica, etc.

Well, this was 2 years ago, so maybe pizzas were better then? Not sure myself. I have not been blown away by Hostaria (only been to Santa Monica location) so haven't been in quite a while.

Feb 23, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Best Dimsum place - Westside

Just at ROC last night for the fourth time in about a month. I went there first a couple months after they opened, and then hadn't been there in a long time and when I went back just before Christmas, they had doubled in size (took over the adjacent storefront) and greatly improved the xiao long bao dough texture. Usually I get the pork XLB and some pork combination (pork/shrimp is maybe best). Last night friend and I tried the chicken/lobster, and it was pretty tasteless. However, to my knowledge (very limited), XLB are not dim sum, right experts? Anyway, ROC is really good and is a great choice when you go to a movie at the Nuart (which is why I've been there so much--have been at the Nuart fairly often lately and ROC has become my go to).

Edit: I see that the experts have already explained that XLB are not dim sum--just hadn't read the whole thread yet.

Feb 23, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Where to take my 4 friends in March--my birthday, my treat--Santa Monica, etc.

Really good to know about Fork in the Road. This might be the place since it's close for everybody and it's new for everybody. I think it's the former location (a couple of incarnations ago) of the original Gilliland's, but haven't been there. Thanks!

Feb 23, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Where to take my 4 friends in March--my birthday, my treat--Santa Monica, etc.

Salt Air is a place I need to check out--read the name but don't know much about it. What do you recommend there?

Hal's wasn't very good the last time I was there, but that was a long time ago.

Feb 23, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Where to take my 4 friends in March--my birthday, my treat--Santa Monica, etc.

Gjelina is just too loud and too hipster for me. But have enjoyed it the couple of times I was there when sitting in the patio and on the early side.

Feb 23, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Where to take my 4 friends in March--my birthday, my treat--Santa Monica, etc.

I also like Superba and had thought of it. I've been twice--thought it was very good the first time and so went back taking a friend and food was much less good--some of it not even hot enough (temp wise) and sloppy service. But some of their vegetable dishes are better than Gjelina IMO. It is pricey, but now we're only 4, so that might be a good choice. Thanks!

Feb 23, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Where to take my 4 friends in March--my birthday, my treat--Santa Monica, etc.

Thanks--Meet is only good for mussels IMO (moules marinieres) and for being cute and Frenchified. Want to stay on the Westside for the usual reasons. Where is Phorage--will have to look. Thanks for the link.

Feb 23, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Where to take my 4 friends in March--my birthday, my treat--Santa Monica, etc.

Apparently the pizza at Hostaria (Santa Monica at least) is very typical of Milan, since the owner apparently is from there. I used to take occasional Italian lessons down the street at Funnel Mill coffee with two different Italian guys from Milan (by coincidence), and they both said that Hostaria's pizza is the closest to what you get back home. I think most Americans prefer Neapolitan style pizza (even Florentines prefer it--I was in Florence for a month in '09) or New York style, etc. Anyway, don't eat pizza much at all anymore for dietary reasons. Also looking for someplace new to me and I've been to Hostaria quite a few times, though not maybe in a year or so. But grazie mille for the idea!

Feb 23, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Where to take my 4 friends in March--my birthday, my treat--Santa Monica, etc.

Thanks, see above.

Feb 23, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Where to take my 4 friends in March--my birthday, my treat--Santa Monica, etc.

Thanks. I have been to Superba--twice I think. I liked some of the vegetable dishes a lot and really didn't like the crab tagliatelle--way too cheesy and rich for me. What do you recommend there?

Feb 19, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

What restaurant do you really really really miss that is now closed ?????

Has anyone mentioned Mako yet? The one on Beverly Drive? I also miss Orris, which was really good and such a good deal for the quality for a long time (on Sawtelle).

Feb 19, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

What restaurant do you really really really miss that is now closed ?????

I am old. When I was a teenager I saw Lucy & Desi at the Luau. I think this might have been 1964ish. I remember thinking how tall she was.

Feb 19, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Where to take my 4 friends in March--my birthday, my treat--Santa Monica, etc.

Should be moderate price, since I plan to treat everybody.

My two favorite restaurants in LA are Providence and Hart and the Hunter I would say. Providence is too expensive for even treating myself LOL (I was just there Monday night for the third time, first time for the 9-course--wow!), and Hart and the Hunter is too far away for a week night from the westside, too noisy and doesn't take reservations. I love their food though.

Have had birthdays at Musha several times in the past and not inclined to go again. Not impressed with Rustic Canyon (and the price is too high).

Last two birthdays have been at Hinoki & the Bird (too expensive, too loud, food way over-rated), and Tar & Roses--enjoyable but uneven.

Even though it's not all that special food-wise (except for the mussels, which I was impressed with) was thinking about Meet in Culver City--have been there only once though. Not so impressed with other dishes I tried, but it's a cute place (if rather small) and fairly reasonable. The Frenchy thing might be festive (and France has been on my mind since I'm starting to plan a trip in the fall).

Other ideas: never been to The Misfit--when I've looked inside walking by I felt like I was definitely about 30 years too old but maybe it would be fun for a smallish group dinner? I'm sure the food is just so-so from reviews I've read. Bar Pintxo--haven't eaten there since the year they opened and they had those horrible high tables and terrible chairs. How's the food lately? Was in Spain last year, so the idea seems fun to me. Taberna Arroz Y Vi around the corner from Pintxo gets bad reviews (and I was not impressed with their so-called tapas my one brief time there).

Have been looking at various lists and sites, and nothing really pops out, so any suggestions/comments are very welcome!

Feb 19, 2014
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

Bulgarini Gelato Culver City Problem

FYI: Spent a month in Florence in 2009 and had gelato three times a day. Pistacchi (Italian for pistachio) is usually a yellowish-brown, not green, at least in Italy. I think the green in the US is usually done with food coloring.

Nov 13, 2013
ThatPat in Los Angeles Area

A week in Venice solo end of September

Thanks, flirtinfilly! I did go to Burano for a couple of hours on my last trip. I don't think I ate there though, so this is a great recommendation. Grazie mille! (gotta practice my Italian a little here)

Jun 21, 2013
ThatPat in Italy