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small dining room for intimate wedding reception?

It might be hard to do a quality steakhouse dinner in a private room with food and wine for much less. But you might want to contact Agora to see what it can offer. It is a Brazilian churrascaria in Irvine and, without beverages, the per adult cost for a full AYCE meal (extensive hot and cold self serve "salad" bar and tableside meats delivered on skewers) is just under $50. I would presume Agora has private rooms but have not been in a while so do not recall.

2 days ago
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Best Chicken Pot Pie in LA?

I have gotten both the chicken and pork to go--I just don't have Gjusta reheat it there and, instead, finish them off at home. Gjusta recommends a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes but my experience has been that does not really do the job--expect about double that time at that temperature. The pork and the chicken pot pies are excellent and quite filling.

Mar 30, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Lark Creek at Fashion Island

Can't say I'm surprised. The last few times I passed by the place was practically empty even though other nearby places were jumping. The food and menu were underwhelming when I went. Pity considering I have enjoyed some of Ogden's other restaurants.

Mar 30, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

small dining room for intimate wedding reception?

Where have you looked already? Some places that come to mind as worth asking about, if you have not done so already, are enoSteak at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point (a small restaurant to begin with so you would probably be taking over the whole space), one of the private dining rooms at the Ranch in Anaheim, and the private dining room at Capital Grille in Costa Mesa.

Mar 28, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Connie and Teds

I prefer the Stuffies to the Clam Cakes.

Mar 28, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Palm springs to LAX, Sunday night

For excellent pastas and other Italian dishes, there is Bucato in the Helms Bakery complex just off the 10 between La Cienega and Robertson in Culver City. If you would prefer a more formal Italian meal with an amazing wine list, Valentino's in Santa Monica is just off the 10 West of the Centinela exit (so near where the 10 crosses the 405). For steak, there is a Ruth's Chris in Marina Del Rey and the new Steak and Whiskey in Manhattan Beach (there is also a Fleming's in El Segundo but I am not a fan). Hard to do better in that area for casual "farm-to-table" type restaurants than the recommendation wienermobile made for MB Post.

Mar 21, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Fullerton, CA.. save me from Disney!

You might want to try Mas' Chinese Islamic, right near the Fullerton border with Anaheim--excellent lamb dishes and a killer sesame and green onion bread. 601 E Orangethorpe Ave in Anaheim, but note it is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays...as I found out from personal experience.

Thai Nakorn, which has a slightly closer to you location in Garden Grove, in addition to the one in Stanton, is another great choice.

Mar 20, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area
1

Avenue Italy - West L A

The Avenue is already in the process of being repaved. I walked by Tuesday, after a bite at New School Kitchen, and it was papered-over with a change of ownership notice for a place that will apparently be called "The Butcher's Dog."

Mar 19, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

I'm On A Quest

Hungry Cat in SM is offering "Santa Barbara rock crab claws" but I do not know how they compare with Florida stone crabs.

Mar 17, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

visiting LA from SF

You also should try the focaccia di Recco there next time--really excellent albeit best shared if you want to have room to explore the rest of the menu.

Mar 17, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Kitchen Story in Sawtelle

Good service, fair prices (before tax and tip, under $20), tasty food and large portions. I had the Korean fried chicken wings, which were pretty good (though the KFC at nearby Seoul Sausage is superior) and came with two dipping sauces. I also tried the kimchee stew with beef, which was even spicier than I thought it would be (a pleasant surprise) and quite filling. They also offer a variety of large fried rice platters that looked and smelled great and a version of cut sushi rolls. Some of the dishes come with a small (4-5 items including two versions of radish) but nicely prepared selection of banchan.

Mar 17, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Casual dinner tomorrow night 3/15 - Westside but not too far west, and some other requirements

In Culver City: Bucato (Ital.), Casa Oaxaca (Mex.), East Borough (Viet.), Gloria's (Mex/Salvadoran) and the Wallace (small plates). Lukshon, mentioned by Perk, is closed Sundays so would not be a viable option.

In Marina Del Rey: Settebello (Pizza)

In Mar Vista: Status Kuo (eclectic with Asian influence)

In Venice: Superba Food & Bread (Sundays they offer an excellent fried chicken special) or Superba Snack Bar.

In West L.A.: Monte Alban (Mex.)

Traffic-wise, they might be better off heading South to the 105 and taking that to the 605 North so they can then pick up the 10 well East of Downtown. If so you might want to consider options the other side of LAX.

In Inglewood: Coni's Seafood (Mex. seafood)

Mar 14, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Ode to The Godmother

The pastrami is good, for non-Jewish style pastrami, though I would prefer a sharper mustard, and I like the meatballs a lot--I just wish they did really melty-cheese with it like in a pizzeria (not set up to finish it off in an oven or broiler there, though). The sausage is also great on the same bread. Monday, I had a Godmother that I had picked up on Sunday to take into work. While the bread had lost some of its crispness in the interim, it was still one tasty, and filling, sandwich.

Mar 10, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Nice Mexican restaurant

Near the airport, Board favorite Coni's Seafood comes to mind (with the usual caveat to make sure that Sergio is cooking--do a search for Sergio and see what I mean!). The Mexican seafood there really is very good though I would call the ambience pleasant rather than "nice." If you are looking for more than just seafood, though, Loteria Grill or Mercado, mentioned elsewhere in this thread, should work well,

L.A. Weekly's 99 Essential Restaurants in Los Angeles 2015 is Out

Urasawa (the too obvious choice)

Valentino (for nostalgia and the wine list)

Warszawa (due to the dearth of other Polish restaurants)

Xiomara (because the only other "X" I could think of was Xi'an)

Yamakase (as Igor said, "What Hump?)

Zengo (albeit not for much longer)

Mar 05, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

where to stop on the way from LAX to Carlsbad

Near ARC and adjacent to Iron Press.

Feb 28, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area
1

where to stop on the way from LAX to Carlsbad

If you enjoy Spanish food, it is certainly one of the better options in Orange County (for comparison, I also like Ole Spanish Deli for lunch but think Tapas Flavors of Spain is mediocre) and is a good addition to SOCO.

Here is what OCWeekly had to say:

http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforki...

Feb 28, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Recs Near Santa Monica Boulevard and Canon

9021pho might be a good option for your needs (Beverly Dr. @ SM Blvd.).

Feb 27, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

where to stop on the way from LAX to Carlsbad

What time do you expect to be on the road and on what day of the week? Also, are you looking for a leisurely dinner or will you be eager to get back on the road so you get to Carlsbad earlier? Depending on your answers, the recommendations might vary due to potential traffic issues and restaurant hours. For example, if you were going to otherwise be traveling in the thick of rush hour, there might be reason to steer you to places nearer the airport such as the wonderful Mexican seafood place, Coni's Seafood or the eclectic but terrific Manhattan Beach Post. Conversely, if it meant getting a jump on rush hour, somewhere further South might be better (Taco Maria, while excellent, offers only a prix fixe menu Wed. - Sat. so, if you did not want to spend that time, you might want to consider other options such as the new, nearby Spanish tapas specialist Pueblo or one of the great Vietnamese places in Westminster).

Feb 27, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Molecular/ Modern Cuisine in LA or Malibu

Here are three options, all on Melrose, albeit different parts.

Ink

Providence

Trois Mec

However, Trois Mec is probably too small to work as even a hired out venue, even if they were inclined to do so.

Feb 27, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Now that Mr. Tasterâ„¢ is gone, can we please discuss Gjusta?

I have been several times and, in addition to the excellent sandwiches (the roast beef and the reuben were my two favorites, though I have yet to try the brisket), the pork pot pie was very good--a bit pricey but delicious. I have yet to try the chicken pot pie but it looked good as well as does the smoked fish.

Feb 27, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Seeking Recommendations for a Celebratory Dinner

In addition to some of the great recommendations already made here, if Japanese works for the two of you, perhaps n/naka for its elegant and excellent modern kaiseki. Of course, if he is planning on a church wedding, you could also get him in the right frame of mind by taking him to Neal Fraser's new and wonderful Redbird in the former St. Vibiana's Cathedral downtown.

Feb 22, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Good & easy casual dinner in SaMo/Venice TONIGHT

The Tavern in Brentwood (not to be confused with the Westside Tavern) might be an option for their burgers. Bandera on Wilshire at Barrington is another possibility. I also thought about Plan Check on Sawtelle but the seating is not the most comfortable and it can get loud.

Feb 22, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

The Pastrami List 2014

It's back! And it is spectacular! I had it at BigMista's this weekend and it was my favorite item in the B.A.P.O.M. mini (the bbq turkey--a meat I usually don't like--was surprisingly tasty as well). Next time, I would be tempted to just get the pastrami and maybe a 1/4 lb of one or two other meats.

L.A. Dish of the Month, February 2015 -- BURGERS

I had the burger at the new Salt in MDR (not to be confused with Salt Air in Venice)--a nice, thick burger with a good char, cooked as ordered and topped with red onion, lettuce and tomato as well as a slice of Hook's Cheddar on a good, unseeded bun with a housemade remoulade. The burger ($16) was quite good, suffering only from an excess of the remoulade and an unfortunate decision by the kitchen not to melt the cheddar onto the burger. The accompanying fries were excellent. The chef at Salt is Mark Gold, of the late, lamented Eva and the late but less lamented Chez Soi--it will be interesting to see if he resurrects the wonderful Sunday suppers he used to offer but the hotel space and neighborhood he is now in might not be conducive to the concept.

Feb 16, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Need Chinese catering for wedding in South Bay - including the whole pig

Try Sea Empress in Gardena.

Feb 13, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Mr Taster is leaving Los Angeles!

If nostalgia is the draw, Musso & Frank's seems a must...and, so Kevin can say so long, perhaps Dan Tana's. Pity that Clifton's will not likely be open before you leave.

Were it me, I would hit a mix of old favorites, promising newcomers and places serving food that Portland does not do well. The food scene there has gotten quite good from what I hear and read but there are sure to be gaps.

Is there some place you have always been meaning to get to and just never got around to visiting? Now is the perfect time to try it.

Good luck and happy dining!

Feb 10, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

Salvadoran Tamales in Los Angeles: Banana Leaf!

Gloria's Cafe in Culver City has Salvadoran tamales. For a Mexican version, Monte Alban in Santa Monica offers a Tamal de Mole cooked in a banana leaf.

Feb 06, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

What's Best Reasonably Priced Restaurant for Table of 10 not more than couple blocks from corner of Bagley Ave/Venice Blvd, Culver City?

A few other options: East Borough (Vietnamese), Gloria's (Mexican and Salvadoran). Golden China, Natalee Thai. A bit further of a walk (about .7 miles) is Mayura for Indian. I also thought about the Wallace but that might be more than your group wants to spend, albeit it is small plates for sharing.

Feb 06, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area

TERRINE on Beverly

I thought the onion soup was good, albeit a bit too large a piece of bread and not as enticing as the oxtail onion soup at Cadet. Foie gras terrine was a little too creamy (almost mousse-like) but had a lovely flavor The bavette steak (recommended by the server) was fine but not memorable and I found the accompanying frites too limp. Wines are rather pricey and I was not impressed with the service overall. Still, I am eager to return to try the choucroute.

Feb 05, 2015
New Trial in Los Angeles Area