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Favorite burger for $5 or less?

You know what ... I never knew that. Makes sense, but I never caught on.

May 20, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Favorite burger for $5 or less?

How much is the burger at Hinano's in Venice?

I can't remember, but I remember it being very inexpensive. I drink when I go there and don't really remember if the burger goes for 5 or less on its own.

But if it does -- that would be my pick.

May 20, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Cosmo Grill & Bar, Westwood

Yeah, I was walking past it a few weeks ago and there was a sign or something that indicated it was closed. I work in Westwood and kept meaning to try it -- so when I saw it was closed I took note.

Maybe yogacat knows more?

May 20, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Early Sunday dinner in Culver City (or nearby)?

Cafe Vida is right next door. They have pretty good food, there is a long line on the weekends for brunch. They also always have Groupons, so there is that, if you're into the money saving thing.

Cafe Vida has, for lack of a better term, a full menu that leads towards healthier food. We like it, I wouldn't drive 25 miles to eat there but we're in the neighborhood and we enjoy it.

May 03, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Fish Tacos between LAX and Marina del Ray?

The mom-and-pop Tacomiendo stores (I think there are two locations) also do grilled fish tacos. I like 'em because they use fresh, handmade corn tortillas. That just adds a nice touch for me -- I'm not a huge fan of the regular, factory made corn tortillas. There is one on Inglewood near Culver in "Del Rey" and I think the other is on Gateway near Pico in WLA.

Apr 29, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area
1

Amazon Local is offering a deal on a food photography course ...

I know that many here like to take pictures of their meals.

Amazon Local (for L.A.) is offering a discount on a food photography class.

Here is the link:

http://local.amazon.com/westside-sout...

Apr 28, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, May 2015 -- Voting

BREAKFAST

(Because it can't be curry)

Apr 27, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Fish Tacos between LAX and Marina del Ray?

The location on Inglewood (near Culver) is definitely open on Sunday as well.

Apr 27, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, May 2015 -- Voting

As a Clippers fan, I object to anything that sheds positive light on Curry until after the NBA playoffs.

Screw Curry.

Apr 27, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Shake Shack is coming

Nope. They don't have one here.

Apr 23, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Shake Shack is coming

For a family of four, that would be almost a 40 dollar difference per meal.

Or we could go to In and Out and each have two double-doubles, two orders of fries and two shakes and still have some change left over to put towards our bypass surgeries.

Shake Shack is coming

Yes, but that was an aside, not my point.

And, while the shells are on purpose, I'm not really sure what purpose a bunch of peanut shells on the tables serve.

Even without the on purpose peanut shells, the store was really dirty. I wanted to like Five Guys, just didn't like eating at tables covered with trash that weren't wiped. The peanuts were just sticking to the congealing ketchup.

Apr 21, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Anyone tried Gladstone's recently?

Truly, I didn't look it up.

The server at A-Frame also works at Gladstone's. He mentioned it.

If I got it wrong, my bad.

Apr 21, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Shake Shack is coming

In Paris, you can get a beer in McDonald's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYSt8...

Apr 21, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Tacos Por Favor Comes To Venice

Thanks.

As above -- The real Brickhouse left a few years ago.

Apr 21, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Shake Shack is coming

I tried out FGs a couple of times and the reason we stopped going (mostly) was that the restaurant was always filthy.

We went to the Fox Hills Malls location and there was never any place to sit because the tables were covered with trash and ketchup and stuff. Not to mention all the peanut shells.

I dunno, I just felt like if the store was that poorly kept, I didn't want to eat anything that came out of the kitchen. It was really gross in that place.

Apr 21, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Shake Shack is coming

It's interesting to watch this stuff.

I remember reading similar stuff about Five Guys and Smashburger -- both though to better than InO by those who grew up on those chains from other parts of the country. I wonder how much nostalgia plays into our enjoyment of food, because I've tried FGs and SB and yet I keep returning to InO -- currently prefer the double meat protein burger.

For whatever reason, InO keeps on, keeping on -- with the same long lines. I know my kids and their friends (with admittedly tighter budgers) love InO.

I have to admit: Part of the appeal of InO is the overall experience. The lines go fast. The restaurants are always clean. The people who work there are nice. They have a reputation for treating their workers really well in an industry known for exploiting workers. So, for me, the overall experience is part of the appeal. (And that includes the can't-be-beat low price.)

Always good to have more choices -- look forward to seeing what SS has to offer.

Shake Shack is coming

According to their website (and also their reputation) In n Out never freezes anything. They claim to "not own a freezer."

InO isn't my favorite, but I eat them once in a while and I've never, ever had one that was cold. Your post surprises me because I've had plenty of InO burgers over the years and always found them to be, at the very least, fresh and consistently prepared.

Apr 21, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Tacos Por Favor Comes To Venice

Is it replacing The Brickhouse?

I really liked The Brickhouse when I lived nearby. One of the best tofu scrambles around, plus lots of healthy choice breakfast and lunch items. The old owner always hired really pretty girls to work there, too.

After we moved away, we stopped going so much. I've been once or twice in the last year and they had changed owners and changed the menu and were now open for dinner and doing barbecue and pizza. It wasn't nearly the same.

There was a time a long time ago when weekends at The Brickhouse were pretty crowded and they'd serve you a cup of coffee while you were waiting for a table.

Tacos Por Favor is good, but there are two of them already.

Is TPF going into the Brickhouse spot?

Apr 21, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Anyone tried Gladstone's recently?

Gladstone's is a spot that I wish had great food.

One of the things that's fun to do with a first-time visitor to Los Angeles is start a day downtown and then make your way all the way west on Sunset. Sunset cuts through so many interesting and somewhat iconic neighborhoods and there are places to stop along the way. So, it would be great if Gladstone's was a worthy destination because after starting the day downtown you could end up at the beach with a good meal.

So, I was just hoping ...

Apr 21, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Anyone tried Gladstone's recently?

I was chatting with someone at A-Frame this weekend during brunch and they were telling me how much better Gladstone's has been lately. From what they said, the group that runs Water Grill now runs Gladstone's and they've greatly improved the quality of the fish and the menu is much better overall.

I've never enjoyed Gladstone's food -- thought it just wasn't very enjoyable and way overpriced. It's only use -- for me -- was for a drink with a tourist after a drive down Sunset and a long time ago we tried breakfast there a few times because when my son was very small he liked to pick up shells on the beach after we ate. But since he's grown now, it's probably been 20 years since I've had any food there.

So, just curious: Anyone tried Gladstone's recently since the new management supposedly improved the quality and the menu?

Apr 21, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area
1

Pizza Restaurant Westside?

That's my fault.

I only knew is met the stylistic criteria. I've never tried the pizza, just seen it on that metal stand.

Apr 17, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Pizza Restaurant Westside?

I was going to suggest a place on Wilshire called DiVita's.

I rarely eat pizza because I rarely eat pizza, so I don't know how great the pizza is at DiVita's. But they have metal pizza stand and the overpriced Cokes and the pizza guy works next to the chicken picatta guy. I used to eat in the neighborhood and get food delivered from there, but I'm not in that neighborhood anymore.

Jase also turned me on to a place on Centinela called Compari's. Same vibe: the metal pizza stands and the pizza guy is next to the chicken picatta guy.

Finally, there's a spot I haven't been to in years called Bruno's on Ocean in Santa Monica. Same as the above.

I can't really vouch for the pizza at these places because I eat it so rarely, but from a "vibe" point of view they fit the bill.

None of them have a bar -- as far as I know. Beer and wine, yes, but not a "bar."

Apr 16, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Where did the cooks end up who worked at Pepy's Galley?

We went last night on this rec.

I had the machaca and eggs with refried beans and it was very good. Sons had chorizo and eggs and a pastrami burger.

I couldn't quite tell if the food was the same as Pepy's but Pepy's had a very distinctive (and tasty) spicy salsa and KJs salsa was the same. My older son recognized it right away as Pepy's salsa.

The restaurant was quiet, but man, the attached bowling alley was packed. It made me want to roll a few frames.

Apr 16, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Daily Grill

I agree with your post.

Apr 09, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Brunch in Long Beach CA

Once a year my brother-in-law takes the whole family to the Queen Mary for Sunday brunch to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday. We'll be there at the end of May.

It's very old school. They have the omelette bar, scrambled eggs, all the breakfast meats and potatoes. They have prime rib and shrimp cocktail and bagels, cream cheese and lox. There's a kids section with pizza and cookies.

I can't even remember everything they have -- it's massive and you need to make a reservation. It fills up.

It's AYCE. I honestly don't think there's anything "great' there but the basic stuff is solid.

If you go for the brunch, they let you wander around the Queen Mary for free. (Tours cost a few bucks). We've gone so many times I don't bother walking around the ship anymore (except to walk off the meal), but it's pretty cool to check out if you've never seen it.

Apr 03, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Ode to The Godmother

The staff of the Daily Bruin puts out a magazine called Prime. The latest issue includes an ode to Bay Cities' "The Godmother."

Sample 'graph:

"The first bite into the deli’s freshly baked bread is a religious experience. It has just the right amount of crunch on the crust to ward off sogginess from the sloppy sandwich fillings, but not so much to suggest staleness. Its pillow-like, doughy center pairs beautifully with the spiciness of the mustard and peppers, turning down the heat when needed."

http://graphics.dailybruin.com/prime/...

Mar 09, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area
1

Memphis' Gus's Fried Chicken (World Famous) Coming To Los Angeles

http://www.commercialappeal.com/busin...

"Gus’s Fried Chicken announced Wednesday that it plans to open eight new locations nationwide this year.

The company said on its Facebook page that it will open restaurants in Atlanta, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Ft. Worth, Knoxville, Kansas City, Chicago, Philadelphia.

“There are more to come, but we have to take it slow to ensure you get the same quality and experience you have come to expect from Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken!,” the post said. “As we progress, we will be sure to share locations and opening dates.”

The chain, famous for its closely guarded hot and spicy batter, got its start in the 1950s in the town of Mason, east of Memphis. It currently has ten locations, six of which are in the Memphis-area."

I've never had it, but would love to try it.

Feb 18, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area
1

Thank You, Austin: A Few Notes on My Vacation Visit

Mostly I'm writing this post to thank Austin for the hospitality my wife and I experienced. We were their this past weekend (arrived Friday am and left Tuesday afternoon). We were celebrating our 25th anniversary. (Not that it matters, I post on the Los Angeles board, sometimes frequently, sometimes not at all frequently. This is probably my first post anywhere on CH in 5 or so months.)

Everyone we met was nice and gracious. From the Uber drivers to the restaurant servers and bartenders to the hotel staff to the nice lady at the LBJ Library everyone treated us well. Without fail. I'd recommend a trip to Austin anyone who asked.

Since this is a food board, I'd like to make a few observations about our dining experiences. I didn't take notes on our trip or anything, so details are sketchy. And I'm not expecting anything in this post to be new to any of the regular readers on this board. I just want to share my experience and maybe other vacationers might get something out of this.

Or not, but here goes.

Before our trip, when we told people we were going to Austin, everyone said just one word: Barbecue.

Even my vegetarian friends recommended we eat the barbecue. With that in mind, I'm not going to focus on our barbecue meals, though we have a few of them. Just so everyone knows, I didn't post a "where should we eat in Austin" query before coming. We're the type to rely on a few recs from friends and also play things by ear. When I've traveled and done the "where should we eat thing," I get all OCD about where to go and what to order and while it makes the food better, I find it makes my vacation stressful. It's just my personality. Plus, my wife is a "this looks good, let's try it type" so we just wanted to play things semi by ear.

I did read my friend from LA's post about eating 15 barbecue meals in one week and had some recommendations from a couple of friends here in L.A. with Austin connections.

Barbecue first (and, again, not at all suggesting we went to the best spots. We just went where we went):

We actually walked to Franklin's just to look at the line and then laughed and left. That line was so long, I assume the brisket included a weekend in the Bahamas with Kate Upton. We walked from there to the LBJ Library instead. The lady in the Longhorn bookstore suggested Stubb's for lunch so we walked back there and had a nice lunch with sausage and brisket and tacos. It was good, at least to us: as a plus we buy their sauce in the grocery store in California (didn't realize it was the same place until we got there, LOL. And I did buy a cool tee shirt.)

A couple of days later we went to Stiles Switch in (I think?) midtown? I might have the neighborhood wrong. We went there for two reasons. A buddy had recommended it and also told us they had some TVs. The Clippers (our team) were playing the Thunder (our second favorite team because Russell Westbrook is a UCLA guy) and we figured that we could eat and watch the game. Oddly enough, after we went there, we leafed through a copy of the Austin Chronicle and they mentioned SS as one of the 100 restaurants that define Austin. We had chicken, beef ribs, brisket and I can't remember. Maybe that's all. This was, to us, better than Stubb's. I would eat there again.

One thing about eating all that barbecue. It made me really tired. I would have to go back to the hotel to recover after eating it. So, while I enjoyed it, I didn't necessarily want to eat a bunch of it or eat it again so soon. (My mom makes brisket for holidays, not barbecue, in the oven, and it has the same effect on me. And here I thought that sleepy feeling was just from seeing my family.)

The other time we had barbecue was for breakfast tacos. We just went to a joint downtown not to far from our hotel (as a point of reference we were at the Hilton between Fourth and Fifth) called Slake's. Just a little shop and we dug the egg and brisket tacos. One was plenty and it kept us filled until we got on our airplane.

I think that's it for barbecue except for the sausage sandwich I had at the Salt Lick stand at the airport, which I ate out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. As for going to some of the really highly recommended places, we just didn't make it. We didn't want to rent a car and some of those places seemed too far to walk or Uber. (Uber + Ausin = perfect, btw.) We were going to eat at La Barbecue (another rec from a friend) but they are closed on Monday.

Now, to some of the other spots we tried.

I have to say, that the people who said "just eat barbecue" to me were doing Austin a disservice. Like I noted, I didn't query this board, so I'm not referencing you guys. I'm talking about the people I knew personally. I say that because we really enjoyed some of our other meals just as much and more than our barbecue meals.

Like I already wrote, I don't think I'm telling anyone here things they don't know. But maybe some other vacationer will burn out out on brisket and want to find something else and they might see this post.

Friday night we ate dinner at a spot called Perla's on South Congress. It's roughly two miles from the Hilton, maybe a bit less and we walked there. A great seafood dinner. We didn't have oysters, though they looked great. My wife had the Redfish on a halfshell and I had the Crispy Texas Gulfcoast Snapper. We shared the brussel sprouts and the dirty rice. The fish was moist and juicy and really well-seasoned. I like the crispy skin a lot. Sides were superb. It was a nice setting with a nice crowd and the bartender made me a tasty tequila drink. A very good meal.

Saturday we had breakfast at Kerby Lane, the one close to UT. The Uber driver told us his girlfriend swore by the Vegan breakfast so we both had that. We were meated out and needed it. Great breakfast. Vanilla pancakes, the best vegan sausage I've had (and I was an LA vegan for 14 years) and a fine tofu scramble. For the record for those reading this who don't know the place, KL was jumping and had all manner of breakfast and non-breakfast items. It's a coffee shop menu with just really great food. The line was justified and the staff was fun.

While waiting for a table at KL, we saw the Hole in the Wall club a block away. I remembered that a friend who teaches at UT mentioned there was some ramen place in the back, but we couldn't tell from the front. Long story short, we came back to check it out and had dinner at East Side King. For those who don't know, Paul Qui (the chef) is from the TV show Top Chef (I don't watch it so I didn't know about him). He has a fancy place in Austin and then he has this ramen shop in the back of a rock n roll club called East Side King. He might have a food truck, too. You literally enter through the alley, you'd never know it was there if you didn't know to look for it or who to ask.

Loved the food there. We eat a lot of ramen (LA just went through sort of a ramen explosion that's almost in the past now). This wasn't traditional ramen and that was fine by me. I think I had the Shiner Beer Ramen and it was just what I needed. A nicely spiced broth, plenty of noodles and fun stuff to find in the soup. My wife had the pork belly buns and we split the beet fries. Inventive, different and excellent. (Then we stayed for the show and dug it. Three bands who all fell on the ZZ Top/Motorhead spectrum. We also walked up the street and had vegan chocolate cake at Kerby Lane while the bands switched up their gear).

The same Uber driver who rec'd the vegan breakfast also rec'd a spot called Bouldin Creek Cafe on South First. So, we walked all the way from downtown to eat there because it sounded cool. (This was a long walk through a nice residential neighborhood.) It was. It's sort of funky, it would not be out of place in Venice (California, not Italy). I had a vegetarian take on eggs benedict (with eggs, not tofu). My wife had pumpkin tamales and poached eggs. Really good breakfast, the type of place we would put on our list if it was in L.A. For those not from Austin, this stretch of First has a bunch of cools shops and record stores and stuff. (We did go to Waterloo Records, also, but that's in a different area, near the Whole Foods.) First is a block over from South Congress, which is where Perla's is (as well as the Continental Club, where we also spent an evening).

We had a dinner at a place called Pelon's for Tex Mex. I don't know what made it different than just "Mex" because we can get fajitas and enchiladas in about 50 Mexican places walking distance to our home. We picked it because it was close to our hotel. It was fine, but nothing I couldn't get at home. I don't do "negative" reviews but I have to say this is not necessarily a place I'd go out of my way to recommend. Nice people, nice mean, but not special. There are probably some iconic Tex Mex places that I just missed this trip.

(LOL -- I'm totally mixed up on days now, lots of beer and tequila will do that).

At one point we stopped for a drink at Lambert's downtown. it was only after we stopped in that we remembered that this was the other place the lady at the UT store recommended along with Stubb's. We just had a baked oyster appetizer and it was a nice snack. Place seemed cool, but we were only there for a couple of drinks -- watching my wife shop in Urban Outfitter's is thirsty work.

Our last dinner in Austin was really great.

We ate at Swift's Attic on Congress. This is when we were going to go to La Barbecue but they were closed. We picked Swift's Attic because it was (1) walking distance to our hotel and (2) because it was also mentioned in that same restaurant issue of the Austin Chronicle.

Swift's Attic is up a flight of stairs in a nice building downtown. There is a bar to your left as up come up the stairs and the restaurant it towards the back of the building. We got a great table in the bar near a window. Perfect.

It's small plates, we shared everything.

We had the Seasonal Farm Vegetable Salad and thank heavens -- we were craving a nice salad. This was super fresh, with a light lemon dressing.

We ordered the pork cheeks with fig, mustard and toast and -- OMG -- so tender and tasty. I won't blaspheme your wonderful city by saying that it was juicier and better than all the brisket I ate -- but it was really delicious.

We had the shrimp boil with sausage and new potatoes and a couscous special that isn't on the online menu. Both were superb. It was also 3 dollar pint night and I got drunker than I realized on craft beer. This place also has a Monday night burger special that is only available after 9 pm and we were about an hour too early. It's supposed to be great, people were ordering them and just waiting for them to come out, but I never saw one.

That's about it for the food. For the last time: I wasn't trying to tell Austin regulars stuff they didn't know, just sharing what we had and letting visitors know some places that we tried. The trip was much more than just food; like hanging out on Sixth Street was an experience, but it didn't include any food.

Oh wait -- we did have a nice chocolate croissant on The Driskill, which is a lovely, old-fashioned hotel with a restaurant and bakery.

Thanks again, Austin. We'll be back.

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

I've never had anything but breakfast there and we only go for the happy hour.

And, by the way, I never go in the summer. We only go to VB after school starts and the tourists have gone home.

The breakfast is fine and a bargain before nine.

Sep 16, 2014
PaulF in Los Angeles Area