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Pret a manger- Fast food, with a smile? And decent food? [moved from Food Media and News]

I was in London working and I was staying at Claridges Hotel with a low per diem which sucks obviously. The PAM down the road saved me big time. They had enough different types of foods that I would load up in the am, load up my emptied mini-bar and be cool till the next day at least. The had a hummas wrap that was great, and a duck (yes duck) wrap that was most excellent!!!! And great salad's too; thet were not giving them away but were very reasonable.

Aug 09, 2011
winstars in Chains

Restaurant and Kitchen Supply Stores, South Bay Edition, 2011

I was there last week and it is a very large space. Walked up and down every aisle, I so need a bigger kitchen. I bought a few things, but passed on the 60qt stock pot and the mixing bowl that someone else mentioned you could take a bath in. The guys there are nice to deal with, they seem to have a big online biz going, since there seemed to be about 8-10 desks with computers, seemingly many more than "the store" would need. It's the only restaurant supply store that I have seen in the South Bay. But....

May 24, 2011
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Does anyone remember La Focacceria on 1st Avenue?

That was a great great place!!! It was on First Ave and like 10th for years till they moved to a store a couple of blocks South between I think 7th and St Marks (Both on the Eastside of First Ave.. Yes, Vinnie was a great guy, kinda looked like Paulie from the Bowery Boys. The food was down home from Sicily, vesteddi, rice balls, stuffed peppers and stuffed artichokes in addition to some great pasta dishes. They hung in there through some shaky neighborhood changes in the late 70's and 80's. Once the health department made him change a wood cutting board for bread that actually was bowed in the middle (like a mezzaluna) from many years of use. The last few years it seemed his son was working there and not to cast aspersions, he looked like he HATED WORKING THERE. I thought then that when the old man goes, this place is history... So after a out of town trip I returned to the hood with it shuttered and closed... The store is now a gyro place or something... Progress BLOWS, There is nothing really like it downtown I think, My Dad many, many years ago first turned me on to vesteddi at place on Union St . Brookyn, maybe it's the one noted above....

Apr 21, 2011
winstars in Manhattan

Embarrassing gadget you love?

I second the onion glasses, I love my bright green ones!!!!!!!

Feb 27, 2011
winstars in Cookware

5 hour layover at LAX - accessible by taxi

Friend in from NYC, am going to take him there tomorrow for lunch, will have a look...

Feb 15, 2011
winstars in Los Angeles Area

5 hour layover at LAX - accessible by taxi

Hope the mods don't off topic me but one more thing. The MB location does seem better but the La Cienega location does sell bottle's of garlic marinade for use at home, although my chicken does not come out like theirs does....

Feb 14, 2011
winstars in Los Angeles Area

5 hour layover at LAX - accessible by taxi

Versailles is the best!!! I'm reading down this thread and just as I remembered that I would get their fine garlic chicken virtually every time on my way to LAX BEFORE I LIVED HERE, someone brings them up... Depending on the time of day, it's not more than 10-15 minutes away. And probably less than $20, more like $15ish. Thanks for the pic, I saved it!!!!

Feb 13, 2011
winstars in Los Angeles Area

“… I’ve been there a hundred times.”

I just said to someone that I must be old because I still say the "New Dukes!!!"

Mar 12, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Rincon Chileno - Delicious Empenadas

The same owners also have a deli with best empenadas and some other great stuff in Lawndale. I think it's on Hawthorn and 154th street in a little mini mall on the east side of the Ave... The best part is the green salsa that come with them, its very, very good and I always get a tub or two extra at a nominal cost... ($2.00) It's great on everything!!!

BTW, my GF and her entire family are from Chile so the restaurant and deli are heartily approved by the people who know the real thing!!!

Saw the restaurant on the news last night as I think knbc went there looking for reaction to the quake... Thank God all my GF's peeps seem to have made it OK...

Although, the empenadas from the El Gaucho Market on Ingelwood (Argentine) eaten with the green salsa from Rincon Chileno is really the stuff that dreams are made of... according to Bogey and this gringo!!!!

Feb 28, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Pad Thai Differences Boston vs. LA

There is some REALLY TERRIBLE pizza in NYC if you are not careful... Usually, the Gyro's in addition to the pies are a dead giveaway. LOL NYC transplant...

Feb 13, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Pad Thai Differences Boston vs. LA

Boy, it does not take much to get pooh-poohed around here rather quickly.. Yes you should try other Thai dish's, I think you probably knew that... As for the question, yes the pad thai here is different then what we see on the east coast. (NYC for me) Never saw chicken in it as an option before coming here 5 or 6 shrimp where I had it in many different place in NYC. I get the different region thing of different countries just fine thank you. And yes, outside of Thailand, LA has the largest Thai population... So with that said, in addition to you (OP), I too seek a good pad thai even though I am quite aware that there are many other dish's I can try when dining out...

Feb 11, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Seafood restaurant recommendations needed for Redondo Beach

Captain Kidds is fine but I do wish they would do things slightly different. Far be it for me, they have been open for a long long time and do just fine biz wise, so what do I know... ......It's just that it is sorta like no matter what type of fish you order, no matter how you get it cooked, it sorta all TASTES THE SAME... It's good but to me, its like getting a good fish dinner in a nice federal prison on the coast... I go there but I ain't really lovin' it so much... Now I love me some Izakaya Bincho, not a "seafood" restaurant, but has fish and ROCKS OUT. So good!!!

Feb 11, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Best Charcuterie

Roma here Roma there, multi thread recs, I gotta get up there, thanks man...

Feb 09, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

A beautiful Italian sausage?

More excellent info thanks everyone... Sounds like a trip to Pasadena is in my future!!!

AND CLARO'S TOO!!!

Jan 27, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

A beautiful Italian sausage?

That's some good info thanks... BTW, not previously mentioned is that Bay Cities and Sorrento's (in Culver City) sell the Maestro brand which are very nice BUT not freshly made... I think a box of 20 was like $22.00... The conversion per pound per sausage I don't/can't remember...

Jan 27, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Need help with Ramen Marathon - State of Ramen in Gardena/Torrance currently?

Thanks everyone , my bookmarked places to eat ramen might exceed my life span, maybe two per day will do it... Thanks again

Jan 25, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

A beautiful Italian sausage?

Excellent!!! I knew I could bait you guys into giving up some other great bread choice's!!!!!!

THANKS

Jan 25, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Marrow Bones and Foie Gras - where to buy?

The Whole Foods in Redondo off Beryl has them and if they don't they will order them for you. Something like $4.00 a pound. I get them for my dog there. Yeah, I know.... but ...

Jan 24, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Best Pizza in Los Angeles (& surrounding)????!!

Wow, So I finally join "THE PIZZA WARS" Hey Uber, I went to Vito's the other day and i have to say was not impressed. Very flat and thin, the crust was hardly thicker (higher???) than the actual slice and I am not talking like I want thick crust just something ya know. The sauce- cheese was OK but the worst thing was that is was undercooked in general. I do not want it burned to a crisp I don't even need or want brown edges in a big way, I just want the thing cooked... All the pies that were 'under glass' there looked the same way. You really can't have them put it in the oven longer to get it the way I am used to it, it will sort of burn in in there alone, not surrounded by it's brother and sister slices. It must be done when it is cooked initially. In NYC you find this at lunch time even in the best spots when it's busy, they are pumping out the pies... It might get busy at Vito's but I don't know... Maybe I will try it again, I am working in the 'hood all this week....

Jan 24, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

A beautiful Italian sausage?

WOW!!! Chicago, New Jersey and now New York... Thanks for all the great tips everyone. A-1 is great and Roma is now on the list with Claros... BTW, the Torrance Farmers Market is THE place to get the bell peppers (red, yellow and GREEN) very cheap in the summer. I buy bags and bags, cut them up, cook the off and freeze them. To make the Sauce-edge and Peppppers in the winter can be very expensive.

So how about Sabatino's or Claro's or Roma's or A-1's sausages--- AND peppers from the TFM--- and the bread from Bay Cities??????

Jan 24, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Real Calzones

I am working over that side of town next week and I am there!!!!

Jan 20, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Real Calzones

Mine were delivered also. I am not sure what made them 'bleed out' but they surely did. I was gonna try making my own with some of that Angelo and Franco's mooz and ricotta but my current diet says a BIG NO!!!! It might be the ricotta was thin or maybe overcooked. Is it possible that someone here has a clue????

Jan 19, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Best Farmers Markets!

I also agree, you really need to have a good look and taste from the various venders there. I went with a friend from Santa Fe to Torrance this past Saturday and he loved the many choices that we have at Torrance FM. They are not all the same as I used to think and with some thought and memory use it's fun to figure who is better and at what price... Good hunting!!!!

Jan 18, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Real Calzones

Sorry to disagree, maybe I caught them on a bad night but Valentino's Calzone's were NOT good. Looked good, but when cut open all the very thin hot ricotta and mooz ran out like a mudslide down a street... This is not supposed to happen. Maybe in NYC where I am from I missed the part about letting the Calzone rest like meat or something. Their pizza is not terrible but I prefer Paisanos down in Hermosa Beach...

Jan 18, 2010
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Fresh Fish in LA

Yes sir at Ranch 99 I do get all Brooklyn with some of the countermen there. They rather scale and bag then filet or even chop. But being where I am from I have no problem with cajoling out of them what I need done. The lobster went from $10.99 per lb to $14.99 for the christmas rush I guess... Saw a guy buy a nice looking 3 pound Maine female (female for the roe I was told) last week there and it's very, very tempting not to go score a couple of 'em for me and my girl for New Years Eve!!!! It's just these prices and quality on this coast are wild. I mean ain't that an ocean down the road from me or are we just a wee bit late getting out here... Talapia anyone????

Dec 29, 2009
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Opinions about Sprouts

Thanks for the tips my friend, I'll check those two out. My sushi place is in that shopping center past the Mitsuwa... I went to izakaya Bincho at the pier in Redondo last week and it was a good as the reviews here. (although I would have liked to try it when they were able to have flames ie real yakatori) Said I read about his place here and he did not seem to grasp he is famous at least to some here. Maybe I will print out some of the tick tock of his travals as documented here...

Sprouts is owned by smart and final, OK now things make more sense (cents???) to me.

Dec 29, 2009
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Fresh Fish in LA

Any lobster news to report for us epop??????????? Think of it for New years Eve,,,

Dec 27, 2009
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Buche de Noel

Maybe we should just have them on the 26th and save save save. I am gonna try to make my own next year... I can do it I think. Although, they really were impressive, we even passed them around the table before in tribute like in Godfather Part 2 in Havana with the heads of all the companies and criminals pass that solid gold phone around. (except for Hyman Roth of course.... LOL

Dec 27, 2009
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Opinions about Sprouts

Right on with the Japanese markets. Is it Mitsuwa thats on Western and Carson. That place rocks big time. (Bad with names sorry) I have actually spent like $350.00-400,00 there TWICE buying various sushi and sashimi for "my sushi chef" to come to my house for some tremendous sushi parties. Truly great stuff and I think I fed 12 people each time. And their food court makes me feel like I am back in Osaka or Nagoya...

It's funny that SMF has gotten the yellow card here. On Christmas Eve one of my guest said, "you should check out this place Santa Monica Seafood"... Because I now frequent this site, I was able to smile politely and and completely disregard inside what he was saying...

And Sprouts can be good but sometimes only real average stuff!!!

Dec 27, 2009
winstars in Los Angeles Area

Opinions about Sprouts

Sprouts produce does have a 'second division' kinds feel to it. Good but not great looking stuff. Like others here, I go Whole Foods or Bristol Farms only if I want to spend $$$ for their quality fruit or veg. Ranch 99 actually rocks out in produce as long as you know what it is... I extensively used their fish department for my Christmas Eve dinner and it was fresh and inexpensive. I am officially forgetting about Quality Seafood (and I live in Redondo!!!) and that Santa Mpnica fish place whose name escapes me that most people here like but say it was better before they moved and/or is too expensive for what you get.... Ranch 99 had some beautiful fish and the 'fishmongers' actually could filet a fish without destroying it. Some salmon that my SO brought home one day was OK but not as good as the regular farmed salmon at Costco for instance. Finally the Torrance Farmers Market on Tuesday and Saturday at Wilson High School is to me the best one in the South Bay. Now they have some great stuff there. And, unlike Santa Monica or even Hollywood, the ability to make several trips BACK TO YOUR CAR to empty your sacks and go back for MORE make Torrance the big winner to me!!!

Dec 26, 2009
winstars in Los Angeles Area