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Iceman's Profile

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Westwood Italian

Pomodoro is good too. A bit more casual than Prazzo -- and right next door -- but it's a nice place and worth trying.

Jul 17, 2012
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

What happened to Hakata?

Just re-opened under a new name, which I will refrain from posting. Not that Hakata of late was all that terrific, but the new establishment is not worth going to.

Oct 16, 2011
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Do you order take away from restaurants that you would never actually eat at?

Yeah, the chicken at Versailles is good, as is the roast pork. But it's crowded and the service is spotty so we normally do take out there.

Szechuan in the Marina is another place we do that, the atmosphere isn't great and the bathrooms are pretty icky. They have great chow fun though, and are one of the few chinese places that have lamb dishes on the menu,

Finally, the Cheesecake Factory in the Marina is a must for takeout, the wait is just interminable

Aug 28, 2011
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Banquet Room on the Westside?

We're hosting a dinner for out of town guests the night before my son's wedding early next year. The ceremony will be held in a hotel in the Marina, and we're looking for a banquet room or restaurant with a separate area to host a dinner for about 60 people.

The hotel offered a room but it's very pricey. We're open to any cuisine, but with 60 people want to avoid spending a fortune on this. The other issue is it will be in January so need something inside, an enclosed patio may be a problem if the weather doesn't cooperate.

Appreciate any suggestions. Ideally looking at the marina, Culver City, Venice, Santa Monica, West LA.

Thanks much.

Aug 28, 2011
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Best Velvet Shrimp?

Reason for asking is that Hunan Taste is not all that convenient for me to drive to, especially on a Saturday night. It can often take 40-45 minutes from Santa Monica.

The slippery shrimp at Hop Li is not the same thing as the Velvet Shrimp at Hunan Taste. The only other place I've had a similar Velvet Shrimp was at the Plumtree on Wilshire, and that's long gone.

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Hunan Taste
6031 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Jul 17, 2011
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Tipping for take out?

Thanks. I tried doing a search on this subject , but didn't come up with these threads. This is helpful.

Jul 17, 2011
Iceman in Not About Food

Tipping for take out?

I'm wondering if there is any rule of thumb for tipping on a take out order. I always see the gratuity line, even on a to go order, and while I normally tip 20% on table service that seems way too high for take out... but I also feel weird leaving it blank, figuring someone had to box the food up.

Was wondering if anyone knew of a standard practice here.

Jul 16, 2011
Iceman in Not About Food

Crossroads Barbecue - Sepulveda Blvd. @ National WLA

I thought the baby back ribs were good not great, the sauce was on the side and had a decided peppery kick. Definitely plump and meaty but for $19 I was expecting a little more than 6 ribs out of a half-rack.

Sides were okay, the collard greens and mac and cheese were certainly acceptable, but again nothing impressive on the portions side. I ordered these to go and was a little disappointed it didn't come with a few potato chips or corn bread, but it looks like that costs extra.

I scanned the menu for other things but it struck me that $14 for a burger was pretty steep for a mid-range BBQ place. I might go back and try it, but no great hurry, the value equation doesn't seem to add up here. I don't mind spending the money, but would like to leave feeling I got a fair deal, and I'm not so sure I did.

Jul 16, 2011
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Two weeks in Santa Monica...what to eat, where to eat it!

While i would agree there are better Mexican restaurants than El Cholo, it is worth going there just or the green corn tamales. It is a fairly unique dish, and they do it well.

Rustic Canyon has a really good burger, can't say much about other things on the menu. But Father's office has the most original take on a cheeseburger and is worth trying, especially if you like craft beer, they have a marvelous selection there.

If you're into ice cream try Angelato at 3rd St and Arizona, very good quality of gelato and lots of flavor choices.

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Angelato Cafe
301 Arizona Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Jun 25, 2011
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Best Velvet Shrimp?

I love the Velvet Shrimp at Hunan Taste by Fairfax and Olympic. It's not the type of dish you see at a lot of chinese restaurants though. Was wondering if anyone knew of another good Chinese restaurant in LA / Westside that made velvet shrimp they could recommend.

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Hunan Taste
6031 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Jun 25, 2011
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Randy's Donuts

Can't say if they're the best in the area but they're pretty good. I usually just go for the chocolate doughnut there and like it. Line moves efficiently, and they do have drive-through service. Not a bad choice at all if you're in the area.

May 22, 2011
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

A-Frame

I may need to stick with more conventional fare. Bacon is great, but I've never liked it in a dessert....

May 01, 2011
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

A-Frame

So we heard a lot of buzz about A-Frame, in Culver City, so decided to check it out.

It's a cool place, the beer list is awesome, the menu is interesting. We started with the salads and this was very good, nice maui onion slices, fresh, and tasty dressing. The beers had a nice bite, craftsman good.

But I had the knuckle sandwich and it was awful. Imagine a plate of stewed oxtail combined with cartelage and grissle, with a side of bread for either dipping or munching or making your own sandwiches. After a few bites of a rather tasteless product, I got pretty tired of eating what amounted to a big bowl of fat swimming in a puddle of bland muck. The bread was actually very good, but that was about it, and paying $23 for some nice toast is crazy.

GF has the cheeseburger which wasn't much better. Bland meat, weird toppings.

Maybe we ordered the wrong things, which does happen sometimes, but I was a little astounded at how a place which was getting rave reviews turned out to be pretty lame.

Dessert was okay, service was nice, atmosphere was good, but in the end it all comes down to the food and the main courses were borderline inedible.

My two cents. Hope others had a better experience.

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A-Frame
12565 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

May 01, 2011
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Kid Friendly Restaurants in Culver City?

Going to a movie with a bunch of 11 year-olds at the Pacific 12 theatre in Culver City, wondering if there was a place to eat dinner afterwards that the kids would like and the patrons wouldn't mind.

Would need to be walking distance, any thoughts appreciated....

Dec 09, 2009
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Lunchless in Culver City

Beacon is wonderful. Love the hamburger and the black cod.

Nov 10, 2009
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Steak Question - moved from Los Angeles Board

A few nights ago we went to Pacific Dining Car in SM. I had the boneless ribeye which was excellent, but my SO had the bone-in ribeye -- and was disappointed with the flavor.

Now my understanding is that bone-in steaks are normally more flavorful, not less so. Are there any carnavores out there can give clarity to this? Was the bone-in steak my SO had maybe older, from a different, ahem, animal, or is there maybe something else going on here we were missing?

The rest of the meal was uneventful. PDC's salads and side dishes were decent but unremarkable. Their service however was impeccable, they treat you like royalty. And in a city like LA, where there are far too many restaurants that don't know how to treat customers who drop $300 on a meal, there is real value in that.

As long as the steaks are good.

Any thoughts welcomed.

May 31, 2009
Iceman in General Topics

Santa Maria BBQ in Culver City

I was there this weekend, the tri-tip continues to be terrific, the ribs and chicken were very good too. Agree on the blue cheese dressing, quite tasty.

I found the baked potato okay, but the beans were clearly seasoned to soomeone else's taste -- spicy, not sweet. The grilled vegetables are fantastic though, a little pricey but worth it.

Biggest downside was the service was very uneven, I don't think they have enough help there, it was in a constant state of confusion.

I'll definitely go back but will do take out next time.

Sep 08, 2008
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Santa Maria BBQ in Culver City

There are more of us, but the sentiment on the board is indeed mixed. Personally I like the place, the tri-tip is really good, but I like it because it's simply one of the few in LA where you can get this somewhat unusual style of BBQ.

Tip on the sides -- the grilled vegetables are very good.

Jul 29, 2008
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Mexican L.A. for Serious / Old Line Chowhounds

This list is so long... but I don't think anyone has mentioned La Paz in Calabasas. That was my first taste of goat, but not my last. Very good, they also have an excellent whole fried fish, and great shrimp and rice.

Jul 29, 2008
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Kid Friendly Restaurants in Los Angeles

CPK by the Beverly Center.

Jul 28, 2008
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Beware when the Waiter asks "Have you been here before?"

I appreciate all of the comments -- calm and otherwise.

I was merely throwing out an idea, trying to better understand why I got a not-so-great steak at a high end restaurant. The answer probably was a simple one -- BLT Steak isn't that great a restaurant, and we dropped $200 for a meal that was something of a disappointment.

I certainly don't think any restaurant would go out of its way to give a new customer (or any customer for that matter) a bad experience. But I also sense that some restaurants do want to make sure regulars are taken care of -- maybe that's not true.

Jul 21, 2008
Iceman in Not About Food

Beware when the Waiter asks "Have you been here before?"

So we were at BLT Steak on Sunset recently and our waiter asked us if we had been here before. we answered truthfully that we had not -- and now regret it.

What we got were two very ordinary steaks -- a Ribeye and a New York Strip -- and I'm sorry but for $45 a shot that just doesn't compute. When you spend $45 you should get something that's at least "good" not "ordinary." The meat was not very flavorful, not exceptionally tender, and halfway through i just stopped eating it -- why waste lots of calories on something that's not satisfying?

Which made me wonder -- did the waiter's initial question land us in the place where we would not be getting top food for the dollar?

Now I recognize high end places stay afloat by treating regulars well. They're the ones who come back a few times a month and drop a big wad. But it also means the one and done crowd get inferior treatment. So folks like us, who like trying lots of new places as well as returning to old favorites don't get the best treatment. And I'm wondering if that's happened to others at various restaurants around town.

The rest of our meal at BLT Steak was pretty good. The sides were excellent, the desserts were very good, salads, wine, all that were acceptable. But let's face it -- you go to a steakhouse for a good steak. And we sure didn't get that at BLT.

Future tip -- when the waiter asks that key question, don't be so quick with the honest response. You may pay for it in the end.

Jul 20, 2008
Iceman in Not About Food

I Want Fries, the Sweet Potato Kind

Yeah, the "sweetheart fries" at Veggie grill are very good, I like the Counter's a little more but it's close.

Jul 19, 2008
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Pacific Dining Car - Never Again

Sorry to disagree, but I've always had good luck with the steaks at the PDC in Santa Monica. I don't think Taylor is any where close to being in the same league. Maybe dollar for dollar it's better value, but I'll go with the PDC steaks any day.

My favorite comment about Taylor's was a few years ago someone wrote that the waiter boasted there were only two "culotte steaks" on the cattle, cut form the top sirloin; they also have two ears as well but you might not want to eat them...

Jul 19, 2008
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

koba- korean food in west la

I was there about two months ago and was very disappointed in the food. The beef was not seasoned, just spread out on a plate to be tossed on the grill -- the end product was not very flavorable. My son had the noodle soup, it was a little bland. Altogether a forgettable experience, which is perhaps why details are a little hazy.

It's possible this was a function of Koba being new, but I've been to a few places in Koreatown which were far better. I hope things improve, as we don't live far away -- and we were also excited about having a cool new place nearby, since the Red Moon was not especially good either.

Would appreciate a follow up post from someone who tries it now, I'm not inclined to give them a second chance on my own, life is too short.....

Jul 14, 2008
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Filipino Food in the Southbay Area

It's been about a year since I've last visited Iba'n Express, this is a nice little hole-in-the-wall, good food, cheap, nice people. They make a good pancit, and a good dinaguan if you're so inclined.

Iba'n Express
21620 Figueroa St.
Carson 90745

Jul 12, 2008
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

What happened to Killer Shrimp?

Thanks. I had not been in a while but loved that spicy shrimp over rice. Hope they find a new home.

Jul 12, 2008
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Silly Father's Office Question (I think)

I was there a few Saturdays ago at 6:00p. Got in right away but it was pretty crowded.

Jul 11, 2008
Iceman in Los Angeles Area

Is The Sam Woo Empire Crumbling?

I used to love the duck at the Sam Woo in Van Nuys, but admit it's been awhile since I've gone.

Jul 11, 2008
Iceman in Chains

Wolfgang's Steakhouse or Jar?

Was at Cut last year and had a $59 steak I could barely finish because it was very over-salted. Everything else on the menu there was fine.

I've been to Jar at least four times and have always enjoyed it. It's not the classic steakhouse like the Palm, but everything is very good, and the service is wonderful.

Jul 10, 2008
Iceman in Los Angeles Area