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Creme Caramel - Van Nuys: Easter Sunday

They show up at a number of farmers markets (see link below), including the Thursday afternoon La Cienega & 18th Street market, which happens to be right by my son's school.

So we have brought home quite a few of their treats. The ube upside down pie is a particular favorite, along with the basic creme caramel, nicely flavored. Has become a definite hindrance to my diet!

Apr 21, 2014
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Romantic Italian Restaurants on the West Side?

Guido's was the first place that came to mind -- romantic old school atmosphere.

Valentino was my next choice.

And one more: Il Moro doesn't get mentioned a lot but has been around forever, and the back patio can be nice.

Apr 07, 2014
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El Nido Restaurant: Worth A Try

I reviewed this place back in 2005, but haven't been back in a few years, so I am grateful for the reminder and glad to read that it's still doing well. According to Yelp ownership changed a few years ago. Back then they had a wide selection of unusual aguas frescas in flavors like cashew fruit and cacao; I hope they still do.

My 2005 writeup:

Mar 29, 2014
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Help w Birthday dinner for adult son who works in food biz!

"Better than expected" is exactly my review of Yamashiro as well -- went there last weekend, under mild duress because my mother-in-law really wanted to go. The food was not great but not bad either; in fact the wagyu steak on a sizzling Himalayan salt platter (my MIL's selection) was actually rather tasty, in an unsubtle and expensive way.

Feb 19, 2014
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Los Angeles Soup Dumpling Flowchart

Wonderful! Loved the Robert Therrien/Wang Xing Ji reference. Bravo, Thi N.!

Dec 06, 2013
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Copenhagen Pastry in Culver City

Just want to echo what bulavinka said about the rye bread a year ago: superdense, nutty-tasting, really really good.

Nov 25, 2013
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Best Dishes to Eat When Sick? OC/LA

Even when sick, man cannot live by chicken alone, so:

Lentil soup ("Osh") or a Kuku sabzi (green omelette) sandwich on french bread at Attari Sandwich in Westwood.

Lima bean soup at Nate 'n Al in Beverly Hills

Tenshinhan (shrimp omelette) at Ramen-ya on Olympic

Nov 19, 2013
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Chino Wayne

I'm also just seeing the news about Wayne for the first time, and I'm very sad. I can remember reading that Amtrak story back in 2002; it was one of the key posts that got me to stop stalking the site and start posting.

And I have some emails with Wayne from 2004, only tangentially on the subject of food, and more focused on railroading. PayOrPlay Jr. was then not yet three years old, very much in a toddler-train-loving phase, and Wayne generously shared his expertise. One of the places he recommended was the Orange Empire Railroad Museum in Perris. Somehow we never made it out there until just a few months ago, and we thought of Wayne while we were there.

Jul 29, 2013
PayOrPlay in Site Talk

Flash and Scripting Errors on Chowhound

Yes, I've had the same problem several times over the last couple of days with Flash scripts on chowhound pages.

Jul 18, 2013
PayOrPlay in Site Talk

Ah, Nickel Diner!

PayOrPlay Jr. and I had to go downtown early one day last week and made our way there for breakfast; The early morning walk on Main St. was a bit . . . adventurous . . . but the food (french toast, BBQ pork hash) was first-rate breakfast fare and the service and crowd were super-friendly. Nice place!

Jul 18, 2013
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How long have you LA Chowhounders been posting on Chowhound ?

The search says my first post was August 29, 2002. (Kevin was in that thread too!) And I still have copies of email correspondence with Mr. Leff Himself from September of that year.

Jul 16, 2013
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Expensive and worth it versus Expensive and not worth it

Not gonna touch Crustacean (ick). But as to Providence . . . it used to be clearly, unmistakeably worth it. But I am not so sure since the introduction of the mandatory prix-fixe. It's certainly no longer our place of choice for celebrations that include family members with small appetites: at our last meal there, what once was a reliably wonderful night of indulgence became instead an ordeal. Luxurious expensive food is one thing. A table full of expensive food that no one has room to eat--or that a couple of the diners feel obliged to gorge down--is another.

Jul 09, 2013
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Western Smoke House on Overland in Palms

Because it's the closest BBQ place to our house (and there's hardly any alternatives), we've given it a chance every couple of years. On occasion and unpredictably they've turned out a decent meal, but our last attempt, a few months ago, was a near-disaster: extremely slow, mediocre meats, poor sides.

At this point I'd have to prefer even the in-store BBQ stand at Whole Foods Westwood Village.

Jul 08, 2013
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Zurich Switzerland Airport?

I will have a 5 hour layover in Zurich in a few months. Have never been there, or anywhere near there, before. Am wondering if the OP has already been and if so where he ate, and also hoping anyone out there might pick up this unanswered thread. Thx.

Jan 10, 2013
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ROC This Town (maybe not yet)

Unexpectedly, ROC's line was very short when we walked by on Saturday night (it got much longer by the time we left), so we decided to give it a shot. We were pretty happy with what we got. Service was less chaotic than I was expecting, although they were out of bottled water(!) and also out of everything involving fish. Xlb were pretty darn good, if a little thicker-skinned than my druthers; 3 cup chicken and chewy rice cake were also both pleasers. We also ordered a bunch of veggies: corn (delicious but laborious to eat with chopsticks), snap peas, broccoli, all tasty. They gave us a complimentary order of popcorn chicken, which, honestly, we didn't like so much, but it's not one of our favorite dishes in the first place.

Fried crab balls at another table looked delicious; will try those next time.

It is on the expensive side, as others have noted--about $70 to stuff three hungry eaters but In these days of $4 gas it's really nice to be able to get this kind of food near home. (And I agree with Bradbury's comments about DTF's pricing.) I hope the early promise holds up and eventually draws some Westside imitators!

Nov 26, 2012
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LA Pumpkin Pie Pursuit Report -- 2012

We had lunch at the Apple Pan on Wednesday and watched dozens of delicious-looking whole pumpkin pies go out the door. Since we knew we'd be eating a different pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving (which unfortunately turned out to be just ordinary), we ourselves opted for other flavors for our Weds. dessert (notably an even-better-than-usual slice of boysenberry cream).

So I can't comment directly on Apple Pan's pumpkin pie, but it certainly looked good. Can anyone else opine?

Nov 23, 2012
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Brougiere's Egg Nog Sighted...

On a related note, egg nog ice creams are also starting to show up as well: Talenti Egg Nog Ice Cream at Gelson's Century City this week.

Oct 31, 2012
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Your favorite Avocado Shake...

Yes, Simpang Asia.

(Although we're also making some very nice ones at home now, using coconut milk, chocolate sauce, and a bit of warm caramel for "body".)

Oct 11, 2012
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True Food Kitchen - Hidden in Santa Monica

I've had a couple of good meals at the Santa Monica True Foods--interesting menu, even if you have no idea who Andrew Weil is. (It helps if you like kale. :-) )

On the other hand, the waits can be unpleasantly long, and the last time we tried to go, early on a Sunday evening, they were talking about 30-60 minute waits even though there were clearly more empty, unused tables in the restaurant than there were groups waiting--maybe they had a staffing problem. At any rate, we moved on and ended up at The King's Head, which must be about as far from the True Foods approach as you can get!

Sep 13, 2012
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Jonesing for Italian wedding soup and stuffed artichokes!

Not a restaurant, but I'm fond of the wedding soup at Gelson's. You'll want to call first, since they don't have it everyday or at every store.

Sep 12, 2012
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Wensleydale Cranberry Cheese

I've bought it at Whole Foods in Beverly Hills.

Aug 28, 2012
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Montezuma - Oxnard

Thank you for the advisory. So, which of the many Mexican places in Oxnard are still worth stopping in?

Aug 22, 2012
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Any Great Turkish Places in Los Angeles?

There's also a brand new Turkish place called Cafe Istanbul, at 326 S. Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills (where Jacopo's and Clay Pit used to be). Haven't tried this one yet. Nor have we tried Anatolia on Westwood. Neither of these places seems to have a website, and when I asked the owner at Anatolia for a take-out menu he said they didn't have one.

Aug 16, 2012
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Help Me Expand My Westwood-based Lunch Rotation

I concur enthusiastically with the suggestions of Simpang Asia, Attari Sandwich. Mary & Robbs is also on our family's regular dinner rotation, although I'm not sure if it quite fits your price point. Another classic coffee shop well worth a try is the one at Rancho Park Golf Course, at Pico & Patricia.

I'd also suggest Fresh Corn Grill (especially the soup; Cajun shrimp pizza is also good but again might not fit your price point). You could give Aroma, on Overland S of Pico, a shot: the best thing on the menu, the pljeskavica (onion burger) is $12, I think, but very much worth it, one of the best burgers in LA.

The salads and sandwiches at John O'Groats are mostly too expensive for your budget, but if you stick to the breakfast side of the menu you could probably do pretty well.

Apple Pan's inflated prices put it outside your budget, as many have bemoaned here, but if you just had pie for lunch, once in a while, I think it might be worth it. :-)

Jul 02, 2012
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Help Me Expand My Westwood-based Lunch Rotation

Fundamental's website has a 2 day olf tweet: "still closed for lunch/brunch temporarily. " Too bad, because we still haven't gotten around to trying this place and want to do so.

Jul 02, 2012
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looking for "chewy" gelato

As noted above, the place south of Wilshire is Saffron and Rose. 1387 Westwood Blvd. This is a great place: the flavor choices there go way beyond the traditional choices, and he's often coming up with something new--last time I was there, he had cherry/cactus flavor, which was very soft but stunning in flavor. Over time, this has become one of the best ice cream shops in L.A.

There's also more traditional (albeit less spectacular) Persian ice cream at Super Sun Market (formerly Rose Market), 1922 Westwood, and

Jun 25, 2012
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Bulgarini Gelato served in Culver City

Yes, they clearly have reduced the scoop size, and no, they usually won't serve the 2-scoop portion to an adult. (They did allow to me to have 2 scoops last week, but only because my son got 3.)

The other downside of the CC location is the limited flavor choices.

On the other hand, the hazelnut I had last week was utterly sublime--somehow had never ordered that at Bulgarini before, perhaps because the pistachio gets so much press.

Jun 25, 2012
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Great pancakes in L.A. please?

It's a busy place. At 9:30am there was a short wait for tables, and a moderate stream of customers coming in the door. We sat at the counter.

Jun 21, 2012
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Great pancakes in L.A. please?

I was surprised not to find any mention on Chowhound of Jacks N Joe, near USC at Figueroa and Adams. My son and I took the car in for maintenance at one of the nearby auto dealers this morning, and to pass the time we decided to try this place out, based on some warm reviews in the Daily Trojan and Yelp. Although they have other breakfast offerings, it is very much a pancake specialist.

I ordered this month's special, simple pancakes made with brown sugar in the batter and fresh peaches on top: these were outstandingly flavorful, and best eaten without any syrup. PoPJr. had the french toast made with sweet Hawaiian bread and served with eggs and Portuguese sausage; the toast was very eggy, and a very well done example of that style. It looked like the great majority of diners were having some sort of pancake--the banana/walnut cakes and the goofy "WTF pancakes", made by squirting the batter onto the grill in odd squiggly shapes and serving the crusty result with berries and cream cheese, both looked like winners. Based on our first visit, I don't think JnJ will compete for the best overall breakfast against a place like O'Groats, but when talking about pancakes, they belong on the list.

Jacks N Joe
2498 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Phone (213) 748-4565
Closes at 5pm most nights

Jun 20, 2012
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Places w/ TVs to watch Games

A-Won has a TV: not visible from everywhere and often tuned to mysterious Korean programming, but we recently watched an NBA playoff game while enjoying our usual hwe dup bap/al bap/fishcake soup fest.

Steingarten has plenty of TVs and a nice sausage selection.

Jun 15, 2012
PayOrPlay in Los Angeles Area