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Santa Monica Openings

Cadet was mostly quite good-definitely worth a salute--really delicious oxtail and onion soup with gruyere (perfect starter now that we are getting some cooler nights) and excellent rabbit boulettes (served with tasty herb dumplings and a maple cream). The only major disappointment was the clams with hen of the wood mushrooms and pork jowls in a cider broth, which had a rather murky flavor profile to my taste. The menu has lots of intriguing sounding items and I am looking forward to going back.

Nov 22, 2014
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Steak in DTLA

I would rate the Palm steak well (or, to my taste, medium rare) above the one at Fleming's but the steak at Morton's is much better than at either of them and not too far a walk from Staples. The Palm is best for lobster and some of the Italian dishes, though they also used to offer the best prime rib (sadly removed from the menu a few years back). I also agree that the downtown Palm was never quite as good as the one that used to be in WeHo (which just reopened this month in Beverly Hills--right near half a dozen other steak houses!).

Nov 18, 2014
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Tis the season for...Pot Pie.

An excellent chicken pot pie is usually on special at Waterloo & City (which, alas, will close early next year to be replaced by Brian Dunsmoor's new project)--I just had it for dinner a few hours ago.

The pot pie at Side Door in CDM is inconsistent but, more often than not, is also very good.

Nov 14, 2014
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Dinner close to Cedars Sinai - Public Transit-friendly locations most appreciated

A few more options, not yet mentioned:

Pizzeria Il Fico, just South of 3rd on Robertson for great pizza and pastas

On 3rd, the other side of La Cienega are:

BP Oysterette - casual seafood
Gusto - excellent Italian
Joan's on Third - assorted sandwiches, salads, some hot dishes
Magnolia Bakery - for good desserts
Son of A Gun - quirky but delicious seafood and a killer fried chicken sandwich

Nov 14, 2014
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New Banh Mi Shop in Venice, Southwest Corner of Rose and Lincoln

Sadly, no. The bread was rather disappointing, though the filling (I had the Moo MI--short rib with chili paste $12), albeit not ample, was spicy and delicious). The crispy rolls ($5) were not (delicious or crispy). Nice people, though I prefer the banh mi at East Borough in Culver City.

Nov 11, 2014
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Smallest entree ever!

"And how did you find your lamb, Sir?"

"I moved the Black Trumpet mushroom and there it was."

Little Jewel

The bread looks right--how was the olive salad on top?

Oct 31, 2014
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Petit Trois, No Reservations, No Phone, No Cash & No tipping...

I had a late supper there this weekend. Definitely designed for a quick bite rather than a leisurely meal (stools and counters rather than chairs and tables) but, on the other hand, at no time did I feel rushed and the Chef even inquired whether I wanted him to start my croque or wait a bit longer since I still had a dish of garlic and butter from the escargot into which I was dipping from the very good baguette. I tried the gougere first--tasty with a nice, flaky crust but one large piece rather than several small ones and unevenly heated through ($5). Next up were the escargot, which were excellent; six plump specimens served in shell with an abundance of garlic and butter and that very good baguette that is made for them (along with a small crock of good French butter in case one wanted a breather from all the garlic and hot butter from the escargot ($18). The croque came next (after I finished dipping a bit more) and was exemplary but, for $18, I thought it could have come with some frites rather than just a few cornichon. Service, as noted by others, is included (though the check gives you the option of boosting it) and was fine. The complete menu is now served throughout the day, from 12 - 11.

Oct 26, 2014
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TonyC Finds Shaanxi style food on Westwood Blvd.

I got there at 9 tonight and was told that they were already closed (there were still some people eating but no new diners being accepted). The cashier said the hours were 11- 9 daily. Wound up at Moon House instead and had a very tasty shrimp in black bean sauce.

Oct 24, 2014
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Birria - a perfect rainy day meal

Monte Alban offers a nice bowl of goat.

Oct 17, 2014
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Quiet small romantic restaurant near LA Music Center

Did you realize that this is a more than 6 year old post? PDC is the same as it ever was, by the way, for good or ill--and the meat, at least, is prime.

Oct 15, 2014
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Need beautiful unique lunch spot for special BD

The patio at Spago is lovely for lunch.

Oct 10, 2014
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Villa Italian (culver city) closed?

Sep 18, 2014
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BBQ in Brentwood. "Holy Cow!"

Mix of sandwiches and plates but only the sandwiches come with bread. The fried chicken is a sandwich but they will also dispense with the bread if one prefers. They do sell a fried corn bread which they tout but it was sold out when I went.

Sep 17, 2014
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Great Outdoor Breakfast in Beach Areas: South Bay, MDR, SM, Malibu

Maison Giraud in Pacific Palisades.

Sep 15, 2014
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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