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BearCity's Profile

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BBQ Hot Spot - Pasadena

The beef at Flame Broiler is inedible, but I agree with ElsieDee that it's a good spot for a quick chicken/veggie/brown rice teriyaki-style bowl. Certainly not a destination, but good for a healthier fast lunch if you're in the area.

Jul 08, 2013
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Pho Banh Mi Che Cali coming to Pasadena?

Tried the Banh Mi across from PCC this weekend, and came away unimpressed.

Is this an actual Banh Mi Che Cali? It's completely different from the Banh Mi Che Cali on San Gabriel Blvd near Las Tunas, where I've been getting my banh mi fix recently. Every aspect of the sandwich (bread, meat, veggies, condiments) is better at the San Gabriel Blvd location.

Jul 08, 2013
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Best Indian closest to Glendale?

I lived a few blocks from Salomi for several years, and it is bland, IMO. I'm a chicken tikka masala lover, and their version is lame, even when ordered extra-hot. And their service ranges from indifferent to terrible. Definitely not a destination worth driving to in my view (I wouldn't even recommend it if you're already parked in the neighborhood), but I guess it depends what you're looking for, which you didn't specify.

India Sweets and Spices is good for samosas, but their cafeteria-style entrees are generally sub-par.

Lal Mirch in Studio City is not perfect, but is far better than these aforementioned options, and they have the best chicken tikka masala and veggie korma in the area. That's where I would go from Glendale.

Jun 27, 2013
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Great Indian Food

If you're looking for Thali or anything super-authentic, go to Artesia.

If you're looking for some delicious, fattening Tikka Masala (which is what I'm generally looking for at an Indian restaurant), I like Lal Mirch in Studio City.

Jun 20, 2013
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Does anyone also agree with me that Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles is just not that great?

I've tried the chicken at Bill's in Altadena. It was pretty good, not great. The guys are very nice, though, and I dig their old console stereo. I prefer the Louisiana Fried Chicken at 1515 N. Lake.

I haven't tried Bonnie's or Big Mama's, though. Those will have to go on the to-do list.

Jun 20, 2013
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Chichen Itza Not So Great

Yeah, I've found the entree version of the cochinita pibil to be consistently delicious. Haven't tried the sandwich. Also, they have that awesome spicy potato salad.

May 28, 2013
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

BBQ in Los Angeles

Agreed. Bludso's. Worth the drive.

May 21, 2013
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Donut Man. I get it.

And the crullers...but seriously, the tigertails.

May 02, 2013
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Bulk Fried Chicken Prices

I'd recommend Louisiana Fried Chicken in Pasadena, on north Lake Street. Reasonable prices, great fried chicken, and excellent service level. Their ratio of cost/deliciousness is terrific, even when not buying in quantity, and it's not far from San Gabriel. They have a catering menu, though I'm only there for smaller quantities at lunch, so I haven't partaken of their catering.

Apr 12, 2013
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Burritos - LA Dish of the Month (April 2013)

The Alberto's locations vary greatly. The one across from PCC makes a pretty damn good chili verde burrito, although their bean & cheese is not great. However, the Alberto's on Rosemead Blvd at Garvey makes my favorite bean & cheese burrito anywhere. And on Rosemead, the chili verde isn't even an option.

Apr 04, 2013
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

San Fernando Valley

They also have the best Tom Kah Kai ever. I hesitate to order it anywhere else, because I know it will be a disappointment compared to Sri Siam. The flavor of that broth just sings. And yes, the crispy rice salad, with sour sausage, is also sublime. It's not a fancy place, but they have some great food.

Mar 11, 2013
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Who makes a kick-ass Spaghetti Carbonara?

Second Osteria La Buca. That is a really delicious carbonara. Ricotta croquettes w/ truffle honey are also a taste-gasm.

Feb 19, 2013
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Papa George's Hy Mart in North Hollywood

It's at the crazy six-way intersection of Lankershim and Vineland, at Camarillo street. It's on the southwest corner, in the strip mall behind the H.Salt Fish & Chips.

Sep 17, 2012
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Not Impressed by Renu Nakorn

Agreed. For people who have all of Hollywood and North Hollywood's Thai offerings at their disposal, Lotus of Siam is nothing special.

Sep 13, 2012
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Where to get the best FLAN in LA?

I have to agree. I just recently tried the flan at EPL, and my next flan from a sit-down Mexican restaurant didn't measure up. It's more delicious than one would expect.

Sep 13, 2012
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Papa George's Hy Mart in North Hollywood

I've been there a lot. I'm a meat eater, but this place turned me vegetarian for many a lunch hour. It's fantastic, a neighborhood gem.
I'd recommend the Veggie Baby on a French roll (which they finish by crisping up in a panini press), or the Shakloot Special lavash wrap. They're best at the Mediterranean-style sandwiches and wraps, often with a ton of ingredients; a turkey and swiss is going to be nothing to write home about. I do not recommend gyros. There are much, much better places for gyros, but there's nowhere else to go for a Shakloot Special. I get mine extra-spicy.

Sep 13, 2012
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Best Pasadena take-out?

I'm fairly new to the area as well, but so far I'd recommend:

Daisy Mint - The panang curry w/Japanese pumpkin is great, as is the pad see ewe. I suspect the whole menu is good, but I haven't tried enough of it yet.

Mediterranean Cafe - Great wraps, falafel and garlic sauce, but closes at 7:00.

Zankou Chicken - A local chain, similar to Mediterranean Cafe, but bigger and open later.

The Luggage Room - Thin-crust, non-traditional pizzas, and pretty delicious salads.

If you don't mind a short drive down the 210, Zelo Gourmet Pizza in Arcadia is delicious, and travels well.

Jul 25, 2012
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

good, affordable food in North Hollywood?

Interesting. Thanks.

Dec 06, 2011
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

good, affordable food in North Hollywood?

Yeah, you can choose something lackluster at Porto's, but there are so many great options-
Potato ball, meat pie, croquettes, cheese rolls, guava cheese pastries, coconut macaroons, mango cheesecake, cupcakes, croissants, the list goes on - and many of these are under a buck. Stay away from the potato salad, to be sure.

Hayat's is just about 2 yrs old now, so not all that new. Certainly newer than Skaf's, which is by no means without its charm.

What specifically should one order at Skaf's? I've had their kebab plate and shawarma, which I found good but not great. I recall their hummus being really good. Even before Hayat's existed, though, I found I'd rather drive to Pita Kitchen in Sherman Oaks. Am I missing out on something, or is it just a matter of preference?

Dec 05, 2011
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

good, affordable food in North Hollywood?

This is my neighborhood, and I'm happy to help.

At the corner of Vineland/Lankershim, there are two good lunch/dinner options:

Hy Mart Deli: Amazing Mediterranean sandwiches. You can get it on a lavash wrap or a french roll that's been toasted on the panini press. Any of their sandwiches with falafel is going to be a winner, especially the Shahkloot Special and the Veggie Baby.

Habit Burger: If you want a fast-food burger done right in L.A., skip In-n-Out and get to Habit Burger. Order a burger. Get it with bacon. Enough said.

There are a lot of other good food options within short driving distance. Skaf's is alright, but it's surpassed by the new-ish Hyat's Kitchen for good middle eastern/ Lebanese food in the area.

If you're driving around, it's worth the 5-7 minute drive to go to Porto's Bakery in Burbank for an amazing, and amazingly affordable, array of sweets and savories. Try the potato balls and meat pies from the hot case.

The Thai options in the north part of North Hollywood are great, esp. Sri Siam.

Good luck and happy eating.

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Porto's Bakery
3614 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Sri Siam Cafe
12843 Vanowen St, North Hollywood, CA 91605

Hy Mart
4762 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602

Hyat's Kitchen
11009 Burbank Blvd #117, Los Angeles, CA 91601

Habit Burger
4770 Lankershim Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91602

Dec 05, 2011
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

good, affordable food in North Hollywood?

North Hollywood is a great area for Thai food.

I'll second Sri Siam Cafe on Vanowen. Soups are especially terrific. Try the Tom Kha Kai (coconut chicken soup) and the Crispy Rice Salad with Thai sour sausage.

Also, not quite as spectacular as Sri Siam, but still very good, and open much later, is Sanam Luang Cafe on Sherman Way. Great noodles, especially the Pad Kee Mao and Pad See Ewe.

Most entrees at these places run about $6 - $8.

Dec 05, 2011
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Indian in SFV

I live by Salomi and have ordered a couple of times, but both times I asked for hot, and was served ultra-mild food. I don't understand the appeal. Is there something they're particularly good at? Any specific dishes that you find excellent there?

Oct 12, 2011
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Indian in SFV

That's true about the onion bhajis. I haven't used the third-party delivery service, so no bad experiences here. When they did their own delivery, it was pretty stellar. I really like that Lal Mirch will serve you very spicy food if you ask for it. Also, it should be noted, they have particularly delicious samosas and mint chutney.

Oct 12, 2011
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

ISO restaurant recs near Universal but not on City Walk

Rustic Spoon on Lankershim has been consistently good. It's Thai fusion.

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The Rustic Spoon
4384 Lankershim Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91602

Oct 11, 2011
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Indian in SFV

I like Lal Mirch in Studio City. Significantly better than Bollywood Cafe, which is nearby. Their Chicken Tikka Masala and Vegetable Korma are excellent. Used to be my favorite delivery place, until they stopped delivering.

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Lal Mirch
11138 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Oct 11, 2011
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Did Red Medicine commit suicide?

If you believe you're doing things right, you welcome a review.

Dec 23, 2010
BearCity in Food Media & News

Alberto's, now in Van Nuys

Tried it this weekend. Very good carne asada burrito. The California burrito is good as well, but I wouldn't want french fries in my burrito on a regular basis. The bean & cheese wasn't great; only okay. The Alberto's in Rosemead makes a great B&C, but this one was quite a bit different, and not as good. Carne asada is probably a little better at Van Nuys, though. Prices are slightly higher than the Rosemead location across the board.

Alberto's
14525 1/2 Vanowen St
Van Nuys, CA 91405
(818) 782-0440

Aug 09, 2010
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

My friend works in Hollywood, I work in Anaheim- need to meet halfway!

Renu Nakorn in Norwalk, right by the freeway.

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Renu Nakorn Restaurant
13019 Rosecrans Ave, Norwalk, CA 90650

May 12, 2010
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Looking for great pizza place in Sherman Oaks/Studio City Area

The regular pizza at Joe Peep's is a soggy mess.

BUT they offer a thin-crust, light-topping version called "Blue-collar Pizza" that is pretty damn good. The crust doesn't get overwhelmed by all the weight and moisture like the regular pizza.

Also, if you want a more non-traditional "California-style" pizza, Caioti Pizza Cafe is the spot. I love the Sunchoke, Bacon and Dill. Unfortunately, their "traditional" pizza is...a soggy mess.

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Caioti Pizza Cafe
4346 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

May 04, 2010
BearCity in Los Angeles Area

Bludso's vs BigMistah BBQ update

Being a big fan of pork ribs, I've gotta say that both Big Mista and Bludso's are delicious. Their subtle differences make it hard to pick a favorite. Both good, just slightly different preparation and sauce.

May 04, 2010
BearCity in Los Angeles Area