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WestsideLisa's Profile

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Anyone been to Craft lately?

Reporting back, in case anyone is interested.

We went to Craft last night, and really enjoyed our meal. The space itself was pretty, relaxing, and not very noisy. We were warmly greeted -- I would not be exaggerating if I said that at least 5 different staff members welcomed us as we made our way from the entrance to our table. Our server was helpful and very attentive.

We started with the pork belly appetizer. There were 4 very generous sized pieces of pork, and they were delicious. We also shared a calamari, chorizo, spinach and golden raisin salad. I really enjoyed this, and find myself thinking about it today. The salad was very large, and between this and the pork...I was already pretty satisfied.

For the next course, we shared the short ribs. We had sides of gnocchi and assorted mushrooms. I'm not a huge gnocchi fan, but hubby is and it was his birthday. I have to say that the gnocchi was the lightest I've ever tasted. The mushrooms were delicious. The short ribs were good, but I won't say they were the best I've ever had.

Note that this was too much food for the two of us. We did not finish any of the dishes in our 2nd course. Judging from the number of doggie bags I saw in the lobby (they have a nice system of packing up your leftovers and then leaving them with the host for pick up), it seems that many people were taking home their extra food.

Of course, being full did not stop us from getting dessert. We tried the doughnuts, which were really delicious. We also had the butterscotch pie, which hubby really enjoyed. They also brought out a birthday dessert (we didn't know that was coming until after we ordered 2 desserts), which was a chocolate cake. That one is still in our refrigerator, so no review there!

There were lots of little goodies during the meal, and also a bag of biscotti (not granola) to take home.

I would go back for DineLA for sure. If I were to go again when it's not DineLA, I think I'd like to go with a larger group so that we could try a bigger variety of dishes.

There was one slight hiccup at the end of the meal. We were using a gift card, and the server said we could not use the balance for tip. We thought this odd, as we have not found this rule to be the case in other establishments. After we scoffed a bit, the server went to ask if there was a way around the policy. He brought another server back with him, and she said it was no problem and she'd show our server how it was done. Not a big deal, but we did feel a little awkward about having to push the issue a little.

Anyone been to Craft lately?

Thanks, everyone. I will report back.

Feb 18, 2015
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

Anyone been to Craft lately?

Thanks for the feedback. Are there any specialties and/or "don't miss" dishes?

Feb 18, 2015
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

Anyone been to Craft lately?

So it's 5 years since this post. Any updates? We were thinking of going for my husband's 50th.

Feb 17, 2015
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

Du-Par's Opening in Encino

Not sure if this has been reported yet, but I was driving by the former John O'Groat's space this morning...and there's a sign in the window that says Du-Par's is returning to Encino.

There are no signs across the street in the former Island's space. For a while, it said that My Fit Foods was going in...but then that disappeared. The space has been vacant for a few years now.

Oct 13, 2014
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

Empty Valley Spaces

Thanks for the links. I was aware of the Public School information, but it's been over 6 months and I haven't seen any movement at all on the space. I was wondered if something had changed.

Jul 09, 2014
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

Empty Valley Spaces

For a long time, there was a My Fit Foods sign up at the former Islands Encino location. I noticed that the sign is gone now. Does anyone know if something else is going into this space?

What about the spaces of the former Sisley (Sherman Oaks) and Mr. Cecil's (also Sherman Oaks)?

Jul 08, 2014
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

Help!!!! - Business lunch off the 405 in the north Valley

Any news on this, Carter? Not much going on in the old Sisley space, from what I can see.

Jun 27, 2014
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

Fairfax (near Chantilly) Recs

Thanks, everyone! I think the Great American Restaurants look like a safe bet -- something for everyone. Thanks again.

Fairfax (near Chantilly) Recs

Thanks for the replies! I should have mentioned that the gift card would be $200, and I'd like it to cover dinner for 3 people without alcohol...but including tax & tip. I think that would leave about $50pp for food.

Do the restaurants suggested fit into this category?

Fairfax (near Chantilly) Recs

My elderly cousin just moved from Queens, NY to Fairfax. Based on her address, it looks like she's off Hwy 50 a little bit west of Chantilly. She moved to be near her grandson and his fiancee, and they moved her and are taking care of her.

I would like to get her a gift card to a nice restaurant so that she can take the "kids" out to dinner. I'm not sure how adventurous they are, so maybe something American, Italian, steakhouse, etc.

They have cars, and can drive a bit...but I wanted to give you the general vicinity so that you can help. Thanks in advance!

Help!!!! - Business lunch off the 405 in the north Valley

Thanks for the info, Carter. We live nearby, and were hoping something decent would go into that space. I guess we shall see....

Feb 06, 2014
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

Help!!!! - Business lunch off the 405 in the north Valley

Sisley is now [thankfully] gone. Does anyone know what might be going into that space?

Feb 04, 2014
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

Easter Brunch

Thanks for the replies. The Raymond looks good to me. We go to Bizou and Marmalade often enough, but have never been to The Raymond.

We tried the 94th Aerosquadron once. My son most definitely enjoyed watching the planes. However, I found the food to be inedible (and I'm not that picky). I kept trying different things, thinking "how can they mess up eggs cooked to order?", or "well, a bagel is a safe bet, right?" No matter what I tried, it just wasn't edible. I wish they had decent food, as watching the planes really is nice!

Mar 20, 2013
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

Easter Brunch

Looking for ideas for a moderately-priced (e.g. not the Langham for $95/person) brunch anywhere between Sherman Oaks and Pasadena. Nothing exotic, just standard American brunch fare. Grandma will be coming, as will our 5-year old. Not big drinkers (or big eaters, for that matter)...so we don't need bottomless anything.

Thanks!

Mar 14, 2013
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

St Armands Sarasota

Thanks...we decided to go with Cafe L'Europe. It seemed like the best choice, and they also allowed us to do a gift certificate via email...perfect for this occasion.

Feb 26, 2013
WestsideLisa in Florida

St Armands Sarasota

I've searched the boards, but it looks like all of the discussions about this particular area are quite old. For my MIL's birthday, I want to get a gift certificate for a nice restaurant in St Armands Circle. She is visiting that area this week, and I don't think she has a car...otherwise, I'd go with Derek's in Sarasota. Any ideas for St Armands? I've read mixed about The Columbia and Cafe LEurope.

Thanks!

Feb 25, 2013
WestsideLisa in Florida

Help with Aulani (Ko Olina) Trip

Hi all,

Just got back, and I'm afraid I don't have much to report. Things didn't go as planned (Grandma injured her leg on the rental car shuttle from the HNL airport...and was in a wheelchair for the ENTIRE trip!), and we just didn't get out much. Because of the mobility issues, we stayed at the resort almost the whole time.

We ate at Makihiki twice (once for dinner, and once for the character breakfast). We ordered from the a la carte menu for dinner. Grandma had crab cakes from the appetizer menu, and she enjoyed them. We shared spring rolls, which were bland and a little over-cooked. I had the seared ahi. The fish itself was cooked just right, but had a little too much pepper and sauce for my tastes. The asparagus tempura was soggy. DH enjoyed his bacon cheeseburger; kinda hard to screw that up too badly, isn't it? The kid's meal was pretty good...nice crudite to start, then DS had pasta, and Mickey chocolate cake for dessert. There was enough pasta left over so that he could have it again the next night. The character breakfast at Makihiki was about what you'd expect. Not worth the money in regards to food, but DS enjoyed the entertainment.

We had 2 breakfasts at Ama Ama. The food was fine, and the view was great. I enjoyed the food much more than at Makihiki's buffet. We also had our anniversary dinner here. DH enjoyed the catch of the day (Opa with brown butter sauce), and I had the seafood platter from the appetizer menu. The ceviche was bland, and everything else (shrimp, oysters, and crab) were okay. The onion soup starter was too cheesy, and broth was bland.

We did a breakfast at KOA Pancake House on our way to the Dole Plantation. The food was decent if you don't mind a place serving on paper plates. But all 4 of us ate for $25, and that was a nice change from the resort. Later that day, we stopped at Aoki's Shave Ice near the North Shore. Boy, was that some darn good shave ice! I highly recommend it...it's the real deal, not like the stuff you get around here which is more like a snow cone.

On our last night, we went to dinner at Kazoku Sushi. It's a conveyer belt place, which I normally steer clear of since I have such great sushi options in LA. But the place got decent Yelp reviews and we were tired of the resort. Grandma had a chicken teriyaki and tempura combo, DH and I ate off the belt, and DS had a little bit of everything. A few hours later, DS was throwing up, DH and I had it coming out the other end, and Grandma had a sore stomach but no other symptoms. Needless to say, it was not a good way to end our trip!

Sorry I don't have more to report from outside the resort. Thanks for everyone's help!

Nov 10, 2012
WestsideLisa in Hawaii

Help with Aulani (Ko Olina) Trip

I've been to Alan Wong, but never to Mavro. Maybe I should look into that instead of Ama Ama or Roy's. Thanks!

Nov 01, 2012
WestsideLisa in Hawaii

Help with Aulani (Ko Olina) Trip

Thanks for the link, PattyC! It sounds like you didn't like either restaurant you tried at Aulani. We have a reservation at Ama Ama for our anniversary dinner...I'm on the fence as to whether to keep it, or go to Roy's instead. I have had such bad meals at Roy's here in CA that I'm really hesitant to go in Hawaii. Ah, what to do!

Thai Lao sounds like a winner, but 3 out of 4 in our party don't enjoy Thai food.

Anything else you suggest? Thanks.

Nov 01, 2012
WestsideLisa in Hawaii

Help with Aulani (Ko Olina) Trip

Actually, we are coming in on a Saturday. Is it really that bad on a Saturday afternoon?

Oct 15, 2012
WestsideLisa in Hawaii

Help with Aulani (Ko Olina) Trip

I'm from Los Angeles, and yet I didn't consider the traffic :-) Thanks for the tip. It almost sounds like I might be better off hitting the road and driving straight to Kapolei to get something to eat. Then, once we're not hungry anymore, we can do a little grocery shopping there, and then check in at the resort.

Oct 15, 2012
WestsideLisa in Hawaii

Help with Aulani (Ko Olina) Trip

Hey, are you following me?! Ha ha. I just like to cover all of my bases.

Oct 07, 2012
WestsideLisa in Hawaii

Help with Aulani (Ko Olina) Trip

Thanks for the info. We will be visiting the first week of November, so it sounds like the Ihilani is not an option.

Our flight arrives on a Saturday at about 2:00PM local time. While it will be in between lunch and dinner times, it will be 5:00 for us...and my son will be getting hungry! So if there's something anywhere in between the airport and resort, that would be great.

Unfortunately, Thai and Filipino won't work with our group. I know about Roy's. Every time I go (at least in California), I wonder why I just spent so much money on food I didn't really enjoy. I was hoping it would be better in HI!

So...still looking for the Saturday meal, and maybe Italian, Japanese or American near the resort.

I've been to Alan Wong...could go back, but was thinking maybe we'd try someplace we haven't been. Mavro? I'll look into that one :-)

Oct 02, 2012
WestsideLisa in Hawaii

Help with Aulani (Ko Olina) Trip

We are going to be staying at Aulani for 6 nights. I've heard the food is pretty weak (okay, that might be an understatement!) at the resort, and really no better at the Marriott next door. We will definitely make some trips to the Island Market/ABC Store across from the hotel, and know that there are grocery stores in Kapolei. So here's what I'm looking for:

- Someplace casual and kid-friendly to stop for dinner on the way from HNL to Aulani. My 4 year old will be tired after a long flight, so please, nothing fancy :-)

- Family-friendly dinner recommendations in/around Ko Olina so that we don't have to eat at the resort every night.

- One special-occasion type restaurant for an anniversary dinner without the 4 year old, also near Ko Olina (but we will have a car, so any reasonable distance will work). Note that we are from Los Angeles, so a reasonable drive could be 45 minutes or so.

The kiddo likes Japanese, Italian, and American...but is not too adventurous with much of anything else.

Thanks for your help!

Oct 01, 2012
WestsideLisa in Hawaii

Lobsta Truck: A Pictorial Essay

Does anyone know if the Lobsta Roll will survive "take out", so to speak? Is it even worth it if you can't eat right there at the truck, and want to take it home instead?

Aug 07, 2012
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

Restaurant Suggestions for Quick Trip

OP here, just circling back. Nothing went as planned! We had no idea that almost all public transportation would be shut down in the Wharf area on the 4th. We tried to go to Tony's at 4:45PM, but I called first and found out there was an hour and 45 minute wait. Meanwhile, the cable cars had shut down, as had the buses and street cars. We were stuck. After about 40 minutes of trying to find a way out of the area, we finally got a cab and decided we should just go back to our hotel because our 4 year old had had it. The best laid plans....

I appreciate all the help, and will definitely use the information on our next trip!

Providence for a First-Timer

Maybe I'll drop them an email, just as an FYI. We really did enjoy our meal, so I don't want to complain, per se. But maybe feedback would be helpful for them?

Jul 31, 2012
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

Berry Pie

I debated between strawberry-rhubarb and boysenberry when I got there this morning. The guy working the counter encouraged me to get boysenberry, so that's what I went with. Unfortunately, I didn't get to taste the pie because it was for someone else's birthday. Apparently, the recipient has had pie from this location before, and was very pleased when I told him that it was boysenberry.

Thanks for the help!

Jul 31, 2012
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area

Berry Pie

I have never heard of this place, but it's VERY close by. Do you have recommendations for a specific pie? A couple that looked interesting are strawberry rhubarb and boysenberry. Thanks!

Jul 30, 2012
WestsideLisa in Los Angeles Area