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Great Outdoor Breakfast in Beach Areas: South Bay, MDR, SM, Malibu

Maison Giraud in Pacific Palisades.

about 22 hours ago
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

BBQ in Brentwood. "Holy Cow!"

I tried a half rack of the ribs ($12), beans ($4), and the hot link ($6). The ribs were some of the meatiest baby backs I have had around here and had a good flavor, though could have used a bit more smoke for my taste. The small container of sauce on the side was a bit sweeter than I would have liked and I was not impelled to ask for more. The beans (with pork) were fine and the hot link (with an ale mustard) was really tasty with a nice bit of heat. There are communal seats and some tables, as well as a counter facing out onto 26th with stools for added seating (and eyeing the lines at Sweet Rose across the way). Ordering is done up at the register and then you are given a number to take to the table so they can bring out your food. Service was fast and good, with lots of servers stopping by to check if you needed anything else. Beer is available. While they have yet to live up to the claim of greatest bbq in town (or even, depending on how you define the term, the Westside), they are a welcome addition to the area.

Taylor's Steakhouse dinner tonight

Republique offers very good bread with Normandie butter but does charge for it (and not just the 3% health charge). Bucato and Superba Food also have very good house made (and sold) breads.

Sep 08, 2014
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Game changer? Newport Seafood -> Beverly HIlls

Perhaps you neglected to read the comments from other hounds in this thread who had said they liked the kung pao chicken at Newport Seafood. Since kung pao chicken is one of the handful of selections the restaurant chose to put on its much shorter lunch menu, it must not have thought it to be a particularly odd choice (nor, given the other selections offered for lunch, was it out of place). In any event, some steakhouses do very nicely with their fish entrees as well but your attempted analogy to ordering pizza at a steakhouse is what is really puzzling--now, if I had tried to order carnitas at a Chinese restaurant, you might have had an actual point there.

Game changer? Newport Seafood -> Beverly HIlls

Had lunch there this weekend and the waiter confirmed $26.95/lb. He said they now also had the crab available at about $20/lb. Smallest sizes were 2lbs. The lobster, which some of the other tables nearby (lunch was only abut a third full, including a couple of large parties) had ordered, looked and smelled terrific.

As for my meal, I had one of the lunch specials: kung pao chicken ($8.95), which came with a cup of soup and a small bowl of rice. The soup was a good hot and sour, with a nice bite to it. The kung pao, a good sized portion, was much blander than I would have liked--there were eight dried peppers added to the dish but it seemed like they had been put on as an afterthought in plating, almost like a garnish, rather than cooked with the dish. Perhaps they "dumbed it down" presuming (wrongly) that is what all non-Asians want. If you prefer some heat, you might try asking when you order as they will not ask you (I always get a kick in Indian and Thai restaurants when they ask how spicy I want a dish). Still, at least the dish was "pure" with just chicken, green onions and peanuts (and the fly over by those eight peppers) rather than the take some places have of adding other (not particularly Chinese) vegetables as filler. The rice came out well in advance of the kung pao, simultaneously with the appetizer, which was mildly annoying. The appetizer was the lobster spring roll ($10.95), which was quite tasty even though it turned out to be a goi cuon style roll rather than the fried roll I had been expecting. There was a small choice of teas ($5 for a small pot), jasmine, oolong or black.

The decor still needs some work but the space (and chairs) proved comfortable. With validation, parking for lunch is $2.50 or, if you are lucky, you can get a meter on La Cienega.

Sep 07, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Sunday brunch in West LA

Perhaps Fig at the Fairmont? The AYCE food and drink at Zengo might be fun as well. Superba also now has Food & Bread on Lincoln a bit North of Venice with a different menu and vibe to the Snack Bar but really good food.

South Coast Plaza Din Tai Fung Rates With International Counterparts

I find the Spectrum location to be the better of the two but not by a large margin--just enough that I tend to choose to go their even though DJ is somewhat closer to my office.

Sep 03, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

High End Hotel Dining from LA to OC

I recently had a disappointing dinner at Andrea--service was excellent, and the view from the terrace lovely, but the food was well below both where it had been before and where it should be. I have had mostly good meals at Pelican Grill and the view is still quite nice from there; however, for a hotel dinner, I would probably choose one of the other coastal choices such as Stonehill Tavern or Studio. If view is not a factor, I rather liked the food and service at the new Oak Grill in the Island Hotel.

Sep 03, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

The Detour: New Spot in Mar Vista

So, I gather it was worth the Detour.

Marina del Rey recommendations please

Actually, A-Frame and Waterloo & City are in Culver City, not Playa, but agree that they are both worthwhile choices (W&C does not offer lunch though so would have to be a dinner option). Since OP is willing to cab or bus it, I would add to the Abbot Kinney list Joe's (which has an excellent three course lunch deal in addition to its very good dinners) for Californian and Willie Jane for Southern. I would also recommend Superba Food & Bread on Lincoln a bit North of Venice and its older sibling Superba Snack Bar on Rose. Sakura House on Washington near Lincoln does really good Japanese skewers and some appetizers/snacks. Venturing only slightly further into Venice and Santa Monica opens up Chaya Venice and the venerable Chinois on Main as options.

For walkable, I prefer Cafe Del Rey for dinner rather than lunch and concur with the recommendations of 26 Beach, Scopa and South End--the rest of what is reasonably walkable for lunch or dinner in that area does not rise even close to the level of "excellent or amazing food" but there are still several reasonably decent choices available for consideration, if the OP is interested.

Schrutefarms, if you mean what used to be called Alejo's (now Eddie's), it is on the corner of Washington and Lincoln (Washington and Venice do not actually cross anywhere in the area) and the only myth was that it was ever fantastic--mostly mediocre food notable only for a prodigious use of garlic.

Aug 23, 2014
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Best lunch in Costa Mesa/Irvine/Santa Ana for under $10

It is on Main between Von Karman and Jamboree in the mini-mall. The name changed to Aioli a year or so ago but they still have an ok Italian beef (better as a combo with the sausage) as well as Chicago style dogs.

Aug 20, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Tsujita opens today. How do you think it'll do, w/Kiriko, Mori, Shunji less than 2 miles away?

Don't you mean two nigiri you know?

Aug 19, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

The Pastrami List 2014

I just tried the "Pastrami Project" [Ugly Drum] pastrami at the new Costa Mesa location [17th near Irvine] of Mendocino Farms: "12-Hour Pecan Wood Smoked Pastrami with Creamy Apple Coleslaw and Side of Moppin’ Mustard Sauce on Drago Bakery Rye, $12.95." The pastrami was quite good (thick cut) and I liked the apple slaw but thought that the Drago rye was too thick and, in any event, I prefer a Jewish corn rye (Langer's rye is still the gold standard). The "Moppin' Mustard" wasn't bad but I liked the pastrami better without it--give me a traditional deli mustard any day! For Costa Mesa Restaurant week (started Friday), Mendocino Farms is running a dinner special: $15 for a choice of one of six sandwiches (including the pastrami), one of their soups or salads, a choice of cookie, and a fountain soft drink or bottled water.

Aug 16, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area
1

Jinya Ramen coming to Main St., Santa Monica

I believe you are thinking of Wildcraft in that wedge where Washington and Culver meet, which also recently closed, albeit temporarily while they retool the concept a bit--expanding beyond pizza (which will remain on the menu) to add more upscale Italian dishes.

Aug 14, 2014
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Hitt up the Palm before it movies, i haven't even been yet myself.

I went for the Summer lobster special for two this week--$99 for a 4lb lobster, two appetizers (soup or salad) and a choice of side. The lobster was great and the half & half as good as usual (your cardiologist might dispute the use of the word "good" here). Not super-crowded though despite the dwindling days before they close. Of course, since a new Palm will reopen in B.H. to take its place perhaps there is less urgency than there otherwise might be. Still, moving right into the midst of so many other high-end steakhouses (5 in walking distance--with Mastro's right across the street) seems to add a curious level of risk.

Aug 14, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

kid friendly near Walt Disney Music Center (edited! oops) on a Friday night??

Easy but closed. Left that location in March of this year. Momed on South Beverly might be a good choice or South Beverly Grill (from the Hillstone Group) for that matter. Lots of other options in the area, too. Of course, depends on how old your child is and how adventurous an eater.

Aug 12, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Dim sum at China Red: A Pictorial Essay

Finally got to try China Red this weekend before heading over to the Huntington (about a 35 minute wait around 11:30). I thought the dim sum was good but not on a par with Elite or Sea Harbour or even King Hua. The place was attractive and service was good. We mostly stuck to standards: siu mai, har gow, shrimp egg roll, egg tart, beef ball, fish ball, rice noodle with shrimp (my least favorite of the items), and fried beef pancake (a bit doughier than others I've had). While I would go back if I were visiting the Huntington again, I would not consider it worth the trip of itself, the way I would for the other three I mentioned.

Aug 12, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Hitt up the Palm before it movies, i haven't even been yet myself.

I miss Gigi--one of the best hosts in town. Still offers my favorite Maine lobster in L.A. but, sadly, no longer that wonderful prime rib it used to be known for (nor the semi-secret Chicken Bruno). At least the Gigi Salad is back to "normal" after the odd attempt at creating an East Coast and a West Coast version.

Aug 12, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Fond memories of the Camellia Grill from my year down there--back then it was called the Cannibal Special, though, as I recall. However, I will be more than content with the goods you already indicated you will be bringing to the table!

La Restaurants with Oxtail

I had a delicious oxtail toast at Superba Snack this week, a bit of hot sauce in the mix made it even more interesting.

Aug 07, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Best Los Angeles area Tasting Menus

No more 9 course, just the two 13 course menus, at $165 as I recall.

Jul 29, 2014
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Alice In Wonderland Themed Eatery Opens on Gale Ave. in Industry

"Curiouser and curiouser!"

Jul 29, 2014
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Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

What about a real Muffuletta a la Central Grocery?

Jul 27, 2014
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Sawtelle coming and going: Tapenade and Tsujita LA Villa and bonus cold noodle question

The replacement is called Avenue Italy Trattoria and is already on OpenTable:

http://avenueitaly.com/

Jul 27, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

It's time to play MR TASTER'S **NAME THAT PASTRAMI SUPERCHALLENGE™**!

You are correct. If you sit at the right place at the counter you can even watch them do it for your sandwich.

Jul 24, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Petit Trois, No Reservations, No Phone, No Cash & No tipping...

Which may be the answer to what your assistant did with the lunch money.

Jul 24, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Belcampo Cheeseburger

Update: ACA is now offering a couple of sausage sandwiches (well, a hot dog and a sausage to be more accurate). Also, I finally tried the cheeseburger after several intervening visits where other sandwiches drew me away from it. While not as good as the Belcampo beast, it was a well-constructed and delicious 1/2 pounder with sauteed onions, nice pickle spears and tomatoes on a decent bun.

Jul 19, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

DineLA Meals Reported -- July 2014

DineLA dinner at Lukshon ($35): I had the crab fritters (normally $12), the Bhutanese red rice with lamb bacon (normally $10), and the lobster and pig ear terrine banh mi (special for DineLA)--not exactly a bargain but quite good. The fritters and the rice are dishes I know well and enjoy. The banh mi was very tasty, albeit smallish (a tad larger than the lobster roll at Son of A Gun) and the strong flavors in the dressing masked the lobster a bit too much. One curiosity, the Sichuan dumplings (normally $11) are listed as being a $5 surcharge on the DineLA menu--does not make a lot of sense and you would probably be better off with one of the other offered starters and then adding the dumplings a la carte (I should also note that the dumplings have a good flavor if not quite the "spicy ma la" mentioned on the menu). The beef and broccoli (normally $31) is offered as an option for a $10 surcharge so, if the portion size is the same, that would be the only option offering any significant savings on the DineLA menu.

Jul 18, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

DineLA Meals Reported -- July 2014

Still on the regular menu at dinner.

Jul 18, 2014
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

The Pastrami List 2014

I finally got to try Wexler's vaunted pastrami Thursday afternoon (the O.G.). I added the cole slaw and pickles for $2, making the sandwich total $13. Verdict was that Langer's still reigns supreme. Wexler's cole slaw and pickles were excellent, the pastrami quite good (if a bit on the dry side, especially as compared to the unctuous mouth feel I get at Langer's) but the rye bread, while not as bad as feared, was certainly not up to the standards of the rest. I was pleased to be able to order my usual: Cel-Ray Tonic and to see what looked like the makings of an egg cream behind the counter. Next time the luscious looking lox beckons! Oh, and I think I saw J. Gold eating there with two others...at least one of them had a Cel-Ray as well.