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elttle2's Profile

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group dinner suggestion: 50 people under $50 pp

Thanks! this is a hard task. Our dinner is on a Friday. I called around a few places. Most have a required minimum over the budget. Any other suggestion?

Jul 02, 2013
elttle2 in Houston

group dinner suggestion: 50 people under $50 pp

I need some suggestion. Ideally within 5-mile radius from downtown area, not too casual, for 50 people under $50 pp (including tips and tax and at most one glass of wine pp). It will be better if there is a private room.

Thank you.

Jun 27, 2013
elttle2 in Houston

breakfast in Houston?

canopy which is in museum district is not too far from where you will stay.. I like their challah french toast and their pastry.

Feb 05, 2013
elttle2 in Houston

Looking for REAL Japanese Ramen

we went to Teppay last week. I was very happy with the ramen and the broth there.

Feb 05, 2013
elttle2 in Houston

New Year's Eve in Tokyo; suggestion for restaurants that open during NYE.

I am planning to be in Tokyo from Dec 28 to Jan 2.
I didn't realize it's the biggest holiday in Japan and many of the restaurants that are on my list are close at the end of New Year.

I would certainly need suggestion for any good places that open on December 30/December 31.
(I think for 12/30, I prefer omakase, but on 12/31, perhaps somewhere busier, less formal and more festive and it will be great if anyone can suggest places/bar we can go for countdown).

Also we are arriving around 8pm on December 28, I also realize many places with prefix menu have the last seating around 8:30pm. I don't think we can make it from the airport that fast. Any suggestion for late night dining? (izakaya will be great!)

FYI,my SO and I are adventurous foodies. Last time we visited Japan, thanks to chowhound's recommendation, we had a great meal at Ryogin.

Thank you.

Nov 24, 2012
elttle2 in Japan

Houston's Best Ethnic Restaurants

Here is my list:

Mi Pueblito -- Colombian
Thai Gourmet - Thai
Himalaya-Indian/Pakistani
Thien - An - Vietnamese
Myung Dong - Korean
Au Petit Paris - French

Jul 30, 2012
elttle2 in Houston

Looking for REAL Japanese Ramen

i also moved from NYC/Jersey already since '08.

While i love Houston for in many ways, i have yet been able to find a good izakaya and ramen.

I know exactly the type of soup/broth you were looking for. i crave for that especially during the cold winter days...

Nabi's ramen isn't anywhere close.

Jul 30, 2012
elttle2 in Houston

Best pho in Houston?

this is a rec from my vietnamese friends.

Thien An in midtown.

I am allergic to MSG, so as soon as I have a sip of beef broth that has MSG, I can tell.

I haven't yet tried Pho Binh, but I can say that many of places in town use MSG to get that flavor. Thien An doesn't use MSG. (at least not the amount that I can detect)

Pho Ngon on Bellaire is not bad either.

Jul 30, 2012
elttle2 in Houston

wine recommendation to go with Fusion Taco (less than $15 / bottle)

I am hosting a dinner party of 40 people and will get fusion tacos as our main entree. (mainly beef, bulgogi/kalbi taco, also some might have chicken/pork taco).

This is my first time hosting such a big party and inviting my boss and mostly colleagues, so is it about right to assume that every 2.5~3 person would consume one bottle? (we will also have some beer and non alcoholic drink)

My budget for the wine is about $500.

What would you recommend for < $15 / bottle of wine to go with fusion taco?

Thanks!

Sep 15, 2010
elttle2 in Wine

new to houston, wanting something spicy!!!!!!

Try Chinese Sichuan Restaurant. It's in the same plaza but to the left of Golden Foods Market. I can't remember the English name, but it shouldn't be hard to find, just look for Sichuan on the sign. 9896 Bellaire Boulevard is the add for golden foods.

Sep 06, 2010
elttle2 in Houston

which restaurant in Bonn--only one evening

I am traveling to Bonn for business, and there will be one evening where I will be dining alone can finally choose the restaurant.

I am very willing to go the extra mile for food. So even though I will be staying at Bonn, I have made reservation for Vendome only because I saw the most recent top 50 restaurant ranking.

However, after reading the mixed reviews on Chowhound and the only English review on tripadvisor makes me wonder if it is worth the trip (and safe enough) to be taking the taxi all the way from Bonn, especially I am a girl all alone and I will be very jet lagged. And another concern is that from the blogs/reviews I have read, they mention the 25 course prix-fixe meal. I would usually take the prix-fixe so I can sample many dishes, but 25 course would be really too much for me. I tried to find their menu on the web but failed, what other options do I have?

FYR, my most recent fine dining experience is at Alinea and it totally blow me away. I'd say I care more about the taste and the creativity of the dish rather than the decor and service. I imagine for the rest of the trip I will be dining at somewhat mid-upscale (but not super pricy) more local cuisine type of places.

Thanks in advance.

Sep 06, 2010
elttle2 in Europe

which restaurant in Bonn--only one evening.

I am traveling to Bonn for business, and there will be one evening where I will be dining alone can finally choose the restaurant.

I am very willing to go the extra mile for food. So even though I will be staying at Bonn, I have made reservation for Vendome only because I saw the most recent top 50 restaurant ranking.

However, after reading the mixed reviews on Chowhound and the only English review on tripadvisor makes me wonder if it is worth the trip (and safe enough) to be taking the taxi all the way from Bonn, especially I am a girl all alone and I will be very jet lagged. And another concern is that from the blogs/reviews I have read, they mention the 25 course prix-fixe meal. I would usually take the prix-fixe so I can sample many dishes, but 25 course would be really too much for me. I tried to find their menu on the web but failed, what other options do I have?

FYR, my most recent fine dining experience is at Alinea and it totally blow me away. I'd say I care more about the taste and the creativity of the dish rather than the decor and service. I imagine for the rest of the trip I will be dining at somewhat mid-upscale (but not super pricy) more local cuisine type of places.

Thanks in advance.

Sep 05, 2010
elttle2 in Europe

Restaurant week in Houston

avoid *17 at all cost.

We were there during last year's restaurant week. It was my first restaurant week experience (and also the last) in Houston, so I wasn't sure how the restaurant week work. I booked through opentable for 4 people but on the day of the reservation, a friend wanted to join us, so I changed my opentable reservation to 5. I understood that it was only hours before reservation, so I also called to confirm the change over the phone I also asked whether they still have the restaurant week promotion.

I was told by a female voice they can accommodate us with the original time over the phone. When the 5 of us arrived, they claimed that i only had a reservation for 4, so they can't seat us right away. The next table availability should be 15 minutes later. I asked about the phone call, they claim that no one had ever talked to me. According to the manager (a man), there were only two people there in the afternoon, he and the female maitre D. (so it had to be her who answered the phone but messed up). Since the female maitre D denied in front of his manager that she had answered my call, the manager believed her. I even showed them my call history in my cell , but he still didn't believe that I have called to make the change. Then, I asked about my opentable reservation (which should be for 5) They mysteriously couldn't find the 'new' record of my opentable for 5 people. (had I wished I print out the confirmation)

We decided to wait since all of us had valet parked and it should only be a 15 minute wait. 40 mins later, we still stood there with no table, no apology.

forget it, i vow will never go back to that place again.

Aug 10, 2010
elttle2 in Houston

Have I had Kobe Beef Yet? Does A-1 Steakhouse serve Kobe beef?

Yes. I don't even know whether I have had Kobe beef or not.
I went to Kobe last month with friends. My friends have a smaller food budget, so we went to A-1 steakhouse because of another friend's recommendation.
Their menu is simple enough they are serve two kinds of steaks We choose the more expensive one which is about $70 USD per person (180g). At the end of meal, I wasn't quite sure whether we had Kobe beef or not. For the following 3 reasons

1. too cheap? I expect kobe beef to be super expensive. We passed by another place while walking toward A-1, the steak there (180g) starts from $100+ USD per person
2. menu didn't indicate its kobe beef. I don't understand Japanese, but I can read Kanji (Chinese characters on the menu). Nowhere it says the steak is kobe beef. It only says it's Wagyu (Japanese beef). (whereas the fancy one we passed by did say "kobe" beef)
3. i was underwhelmed..... the steak we had at A-1 tasted good, but it didn't blow my mind.

Regarding point #2, I tried to read up online about the difference between Kobe and Wagyu, I think beef in Japan has many grades, A5 being the top, and to be 'real kobe beef' it has to be above A4/A5 (please correct me if i am wrong.. . i am happy to learn). does the name A-1 steakhouse mean that they serve A1 grade of steak (which is the equivalent of most USDA prime steak)?
(reading from this site: http://www.nikuya.ca/products/japanese_wagyu_kobe_beef.htm

)

Can someone who understand Japanese beef grade or can read Japanese check out A-1 homepage for me? http://www.kobe-a-1.com/menu.html

I want to find out if I have had Kobe beef, if I haven't, then there is one more reason why I should visit Japan again! (or that I can continue my search for real kobe beef)

Thanks a lot!

Aug 10, 2010
elttle2 in Japan

Help with my itinerary -celebrating my 30th birthday in Chicago

Thanks for the suggestion of Topo, except we are from the South. We've got some pretty good Mexican restaurant down here, so I'll skip. I made reservation at Cafe Spiaggia at 11:30 on Friday. Would we be able to catch our 3 o'clock flight? Or is Cafe Des Architects's executive lunch faster? (it also starts at 11:30) (Graham Elliot, publican aren't open for lunch)

my new itinerary revised

Wed Lunch Blackbird
Wed Evening Alinea
Thursday Lunch Purple Pig (walk in, no reservation)
Thursday dinner Schwa
Friday lunch Cafe Spiaggia

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Alinea
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Cafe Spiaggia
980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Jul 22, 2010
elttle2 in Chicago Area

Help with my itinerary -celebrating my 30th birthday in Chicago

Thank you all for your reply. My Thursday dinner at Schwa is all set. I can't believe for once the phone got connected and the voicemail isn't full! It's the best birthday gift ever!

Jul 22, 2010
elttle2 in Chicago Area

Help with my itinerary -celebrating my 30th birthday in Chicago

I have been dying to try Alinea, so for my 30th birthday, my husband booked a reservation with Alinea. We snapped the first spot available, which isn't great a weekday 9:30. I suppose we won't finish our meal until 1am? We will be visiting Chicago from the South during the week in mid August.

After reading thru the Chicago board for a while, here is my itinerary

We are staying on Magnificent Mile

Wednesday: Lunch Blackbird
Dinner Alinea

Thursday Lunch : Purple Pig
Dinner: hoping to get Schwa

Friday Lunch: ?? (we have to catch a 3 o'clock flight, so this place would have to take reservation).

My concern:

1. Blackbird seems to be a bit out of the way. what's some touristy stuff we can do around the area?
2: If we can't get Schwa, I really don't know where to eat. I have read about some reviews of Tru, Everest, L2O, but there seem to be a few 'mixed reviews'. need suggestion...
Or should we try the the goat and the girl? or the publican? these two places seem to be getting lots of positive reviews too.

3. Friday lunch.... need suggestion.. thank you

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Alinea
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

L2O
2300 Lincoln Park West, Chicago, IL 60614

Jul 22, 2010
elttle2 in Chicago Area

any recommendation for restaurants that opened after 2008?

My bf and I have moved to South from NY since summer 2008.
This is our first time visiting NYC since our move. We would love to try some new places this time. (of course, we would also visit some of our favorites from the past) Before moving, we love to dine at places such as Degustation, Eleven Madison Park, and Sushi of Gari.

Any recommendation among the new restaurants in nyc? that could be comparable in cost/food quality?

Thanks a lot!

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Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

Gari
370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

Apr 13, 2010
elttle2 in Manhattan

Where can I find the best chocolate lava cake in Houston???

Great suggestion. It works! thanks!

Sep 21, 2009
elttle2 in Houston

Where can I find the best chocolate lava cake in Houston???

I just moved to Houston from NYC less than a year ago, so I don't know the restaurants that well yet.
I have had craving for chocolate lava cake for two weeks now. Just went to Hugo's couple days ago and had the chocolate cake, which was yummy, but that only suppresses my craving for two days!

Anyone can recommend the best chocolate lava cake in town?

Thanks a lot!

Sep 18, 2009
elttle2 in Houston