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martan's Profile

Title Last Reply

Easter Brunch/Lunch - Downtown

Water Grill
Church and State

Apr 17, 2014
martan in Los Angeles Area

You would have a hard time finding _________in Los Angeles...

Barbrix on Monday nights...$1 each.

Apr 03, 2014
martan in Los Angeles Area

best 100 yards of food in LA

Around 4th and Main, downtown? Sushi Zo, Orso, Baco, etc.
Or, 5th and Figueroa? Drago Centro, Chaya, Pinot, Border Grill.
7th and Grand? Q, Sugarfish, Mo Chica, Bottega Louis (Maybe more scene than food for some with the last one.)

Apr 03, 2014
martan in Los Angeles Area
1

Pacific Dining Car. How is it?

Tell us how you really feel. Maybe you're missing the point of the place.
The Dining Car is pricey but the service and setting is gracious. The ingredients are high quality and well presented. Old fashioned, but a welcome occasional change.

Mar 23, 2014
martan in Los Angeles Area
2

Steak & Booze b/w Silver Lake and WeHo

+1

Mar 17, 2014
martan in Los Angeles Area

Food Crawl of the Gods

Again, in no particular order:

Musso's: Two off the menu items--prime rib on the bone, finished on the grill, and grilled asparagus.
Phillipe's: lamb double dip with blue cheese, with the lamb cut from the crisp edges (they'll do it if you ask).
Barbrix: whatever octopus salad they are serving.
L & E: Oysters Rockefeller and clams casino.
Drago Cento: whatever shrimp or other similar seafood that is a special.
Langer's pastrami.
Lamb cheeks from one of the stands at the Grand Central Market.
Bryan's brisket at the Farmer's Market.

Mar 07, 2014
martan in Los Angeles Area

LA Weekly's 99 essential restaurants released today...what did they miss?

It could be that we disagree about "essential".

You said: "there are two senses of 'being essential: 1) Essential to having made the doing scene was it is, 2) essential in shaping the dining scene into what it is becoming."

If those are the only two criteria, more weight should be given to restaurants like Valentino, Chinois, Border Grill. Michael's, Chaya Brasserie and The Ivy. And less weight should be given to restaurants that are really new.

I would also include restaurants that personify the character of aspects of LA (like Phillipe's or Musso's, and some that I just mentioned) or others that fill a void for an important city like LA.

LA has only a small handful of restaurants that have a metropolitan aura with great food that is available for a business setting and after-work. To me, Drago Centro is the best of that genre. If Rivera was more in the center of downtown, it would have a similar role. Rivera should be on the list too. But, that has been addressed above.

Mar 07, 2014
martan in Los Angeles Area

LA Weekly's 99 essential restaurants released today...what did they miss?

No Musso's? Maybe I missed it due to the format, but Musso's is truly essential. Drago Centro belongs as well. Lots of others for that matter.

Mar 06, 2014
martan in Los Angeles Area

What restaurant do you really really really miss that is now closed ?????

The Windsor is now occupied by The Prince, a Korean bar-restaurant.

Mar 05, 2014
martan in Los Angeles Area

Yelp Top 100 (LA edit)

Shows the shortcomings o yelp.

Feb 26, 2014
martan in Los Angeles Area

Where to eat Gioia burrata in West LA?

The burrata at Barbrix is always excellent.

Feb 26, 2014
martan in Los Angeles Area

What restaurant do you really really really miss that is now closed ?????

The Lipp was on Melrose in a bistro setting with clever takes (kind of an homage) on brasserie food. It was prior to Fred Eric opening Vida on Hillhurst. Great place, great food, great prices, short longevity.

Kathy Gallagher's was on Third just east of Robertson and it was an airy place with light wood floors and "California cuisine" before it was clichéd. Great ambience.

Feb 13, 2014
martan in Los Angeles Area

What restaurant do you really really really miss that is now closed ?????

La Toque
Le Dome
Ma Maison
Trumps
Au Petit Café
The Lipp (Fred Eric's place on Melrose)
Au Petit Café
Kathy Gallagher's
Fenix (on Beverly Drive)
Shin (on Hillhurst)
Vida Hymie's Fish Market
Ritz Café
Orleans
The Windsor (and the similar place across the street0
Rex Il Ristorante
Chianti
Central Park (in Brentwood)
Rangoon Racquet Club
The Ginger Man
7th Street Bistro
Palete
Ports

Feb 13, 2014
martan in Los Angeles Area

Moving to Atwater Village

Barbrix for the best wine bar around.

Oct 03, 2013
martan in Los Angeles Area

cream pies

House of Pies on Vermont for coconut cream pie...and I generally don't like coconut.

Oct 03, 2013
martan in Los Angeles Area

Red Medicine Boots S. Irene Virbila Out of Restaurant

I understand the dynamics of Broadway...it is not a newsflash. (Your style of writing might qualify you for the LATimes.) You seem to put a lot of stock in critics. But, tell me, does every Broadway failure doomed by critics deserve failure? Does every success buoyed up by critics deserve success? Since you are apparently part of the theater world, do you base your opinion on critics, or people you know who have seen the shows?

Dec 30, 2010
martan in Food Media & News

Red Medicine Boots S. Irene Virbila Out of Restaurant

I see you had the good manners not to say where you ate this sawdust tamal chapin.

Dec 30, 2010
martan in Food Media & News

Red Medicine Boots S. Irene Virbila Out of Restaurant

I beg to differ. Gold and Gourmet frequently write (wrote) about high-end well known places. If the LATimes wants to slam a place, they should at least have multiple reviewers, or some other means of increasing fairness. Why does a large media outlet need to critically slam a small enterprise? It doesn't happen in any other business, except perhaps Broadway shows--an example which proves my point.

Dec 30, 2010
martan in Food Media & News

Red Medicine Boots S. Irene Virbila Out of Restaurant

1. It makes a huge difference when a restaurateur knows a critic is present. To suggest otherwise is silly. If you've ever been a "regular" at any restaurant, you know that the experience is very different. The same would be more true for a recognized critic.
2. The point is not that she can give big names mediocre reviews, it is how often she fawns over apparent favorites.
3. No food needs to be described as sawdust. I just googled "virbila" and "sawdust" and it was three restaurants, not two.
4. Glad you agree.
5. As to Gourmet, I was speaking of the monthly column on NY restaurants, which was always favorable overall. Jonathan Gold (who used to write that column and is revered by nearly everyone in LA) doesn't have unfavorable reviews in his column. The LATimes can set the bar for excellence by focusing on excellence and foregoing reviews that talk about food as sawdust.

Dec 30, 2010
martan in Food Media & News

Red Medicine Boots S. Irene Virbila Out of Restaurant

A few points:

1. Because some (apparently many high end places) know what SIV looks like, they have a substantial advantage over those establishments that do not. This entire drama about her anonymity is therefore turned on its head.

2. Many readers apparently view SIV as someone who fawns over some big names. My own view is that she really appears to favor some restaurateurs.

3. SIV has often been mean-spirited, although less so in recent times. For instance, in two separate reviews, she described food as tasting like "sawdust".

4. Anyone who thinks that the LATimes reviews have no relevance are wrapped up in the importance of their own blogs. The LATimes can still make and break restaurants.

5. Restaurants are generally small businesses. Is there some reason the reviews aren't limited to those with favorable evaluations? Gourmet magazine used to do that. Why should a small business live in fear of a bad/unfair review from one person? I understand that the "explanation" is that only places that are already very popular really get slammed. But it sure doesn't seem that way. Restaurants are not huge corporations, like motion picture studios or auto makers, that can withstand bad reviews; and in the case of large companies, there are literally hundreds of critics nationally that offer reviews. I doubt any business, any sole proprietor, or any professional, pleases all their customers. The LATimes should re-consider how it covers restaurants.

Dec 29, 2010
martan in Food Media & News

ISO romantic restaurant in Pasadena area

Tre Venezie is very intimate and romantic. The food is unusual and quirky. Be prepared to linger.

Apr 26, 2010
martan in Los Angeles Area

Best Salami Selection

You might try the Cheese Store of Silver Lake.

Mar 17, 2010
martan in Los Angeles Area

DEUS AND TOMOLIVES

I have purchased Tomolives many times at Gelson's markets. I don't know if they still stock them, but I assume so.

Mar 17, 2010
martan in Los Angeles Area