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$200 Open Table Certificate - Where to go?

Good to know. Have you tried the special?

Jun 26, 2014
condementia in Los Angeles Area

$200 Open Table Certificate - Where to go?

Thanks.

Jun 26, 2014
condementia in Los Angeles Area

$200 Open Table Certificate - Where to go?

Thanks. I will check them out.

Jun 26, 2014
condementia in Los Angeles Area

$200 Open Table Certificate - Where to go?

Also good to know:

*If you book on OT through a resto's website link, you do not get any credit. Best to go directly to OT site.

*OT is very particular about arrival time for 1000 pt reservations (I think it's a 15-min window).

*When booking a 1000 pt table on OT, make sure to book through the 1000 pt page (red tile with the fork and spoon link). I had once booked the eligible time without going through that page and only got 100 pts.

$200 Open Table Certificate - Where to go?

You're right about it being honored only at those places that use it for booking. BTW, Maude is allowing OT bookings for only a party of 2. It'll be interesting to see how crazy it will be on July 1st...on the phone and online.

Maude said that they will accept the cert. I will be going this Saturday but I haven't decided yet if I'll use it then. I was thinking about trying something I haven't experienced before (been to Maude in Jan, Mar & May).

Jun 25, 2014
condementia in Los Angeles Area

$200 Open Table Certificate - Where to go?

Thanks. I haven't been to the new one. I felt the old one deteriorated over the years and the new one hasn't called out to me.

Jun 25, 2014
condementia in Los Angeles Area

$200 Open Table Certificate - Where to go?

Thanks. I do Petrossian. They had a caviar 301 class/prix fixe a few years ago and that was awesome...you got to try 3-4 kinds of caviars and their respective grades (classic, royal and tsar).

Jun 25, 2014
condementia in Los Angeles Area

$200 Open Table Certificate - Where to go?

yup...solo flight

you got me (I was trying to be discreet).

Jun 25, 2014
condementia in Los Angeles Area

$200 Open Table Certificate - Where to go?

Any suggestions?
-DTLA and areas west of it (preferably on the westside)
-Open to any kind of cuisine...something that would be considered a special meal
-Willing to add another $100 or so to the kitty (up to $300pp) if it's really worth it..

I was initially thinking about Providence or Melisse (was there once, for the foie finale).

Jun 25, 2014
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Exceptionnel chocolate pudding or chocolate pot de creme ????

Platine in Culver City has a delicious chocolate pot de crème with black lava salt. The ceramic containers and bamboo spoons are adorable and I've brought it for picnics at the Hollywood Bowl.

http://platinecookies.com/tasty-offer...

Jun 05, 2014
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Suggestions for SGV Chinese Restaurant, No Shellfish

+1 Elite - have been there a few times over the past month for dim sum and they continue to be great. I love their baked buns - chicken, pork, snow, etc.

You check off what you want from a menu (no carts) and they make it for you. You can easily tell that it hasn't been sitting on the cart, making the rounds. I usually have to be careful since it's steaming hot.

Best Take Out Options in LA?

Sorry I can't be of much help. I haven't tried their biryanis (more of a steamed rice or polao person) and the only thing in the vegetable category I tried was the jalapeno. I like the flavor but it usually has a lot of oil.

Apr 10, 2014
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Best Take Out Options in LA?

I recently got an amazing deal through the KCRW online store -- dinner for 2 at n/naka for $87.50.

Feb 06, 2014
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Best Take Out Options in LA?

The whole roasted chicken (under the heat lamp, used to be on a cart near the entrance) from the Albertson's in WLA, at the intersection of Sepulveda and Palms.

Zankou chicken (some locations are better than others but if I get a sudden craving, I go to the closest one)

Fish tacos from Tacos Baja in ELA, on Whittier just east of Atlantic (http://tacosbaja.com/

)

Behari kabab and nehari, with naan from Shahnawaz in Lakewood (12225 Centralia St, Lakewood, CA 90715; 562-402-7443)

Feb 05, 2014
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Favorite Restaurants West of Downtown

The Factory Kitchen in DTLA
+4? for n/naka
ink
+1 Maude (Curtis Stone's place mentioned above; dined there on Saturday and am looking forward to going back again and again)

Jan 29, 2014
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Yamakase "Reservation"

I'm not that familiar with it to say but I looked at pictures online and the instagram pictures that Servorg posted and the ones served the night I was there were a little different. They were thinner (didn't have a bulge); possibly shorter (using the cucumber and bowl as reference points) it looks like they were the size of the body alone; the ratio of body:legs were different, with the legs being much smaller; and, they were creamy white in color (I couldn't say if they were skinned).
Next time, I should bring a camera and take better notes!

Apr 03, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Shufeng Garden (Saporous Grill) in Monterey Park

I think I have good news to report. I went today and asked if there were any updates about the ownership change date. The man said that they are only changing the name of the place. He said the owner and chef were going to be the same. When I asked if they would have the same menu, there was a slight hesitation before he said yes. I asked if the items we had ordered would still be there and he said yes. I confirmed multiple times and also asked what the new name is going to be and that's when he said it was going to be Ma Po Tofu House and gave me the business card.

I'm so hoping that it's not a misunderstanding due to language differences.

Ma Po Tofu House
639 W. Garvey Ave.
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 576-9088

M-Su/11a-9:30p

Apr 02, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

AYCE sushi restaurant in LA

Kuma Sushi Seafood Buffet in Torrance (in the former Onami space). Haven't been yet but thoufht to put it out there for you.

Kuma Sushi Seafood Buffet
1925 W Carson St
Torrance, CA 90501
http://www.kumabuffet.com/

Apr 01, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Shufeng Garden (Saporous Grill) in Monterey Park

Thanks, JThur01! I'm bummed that I didn't see this in time for lunch today. I used to go to the SG location and then made the trek out to RH only once since it didn't meet my expectations (spicy lobster). Funny, a woman at the RH location said she recognized me. I wasn't sure if she was just saying that but when she commented on my haircut, I knew she meant it.

I'll have to go to the MP one tomorrow.

Apr 01, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Yamakase "Reservation"

Here goes...

Here are some notes on my dinner last month. I arrived right on time and was the first one there (street parking is a challenge). While waiting for the others, I got to see Yama-san prep the hairy crab that was still moving about. There were five diners that night and the pace was slightly on the faster side (I think it was done within 2 hours). I missed some things because I was the only one writing things down and did not want to hold everybody up or throw off Yama-san’s timing (he set timers for certain items). Combined with my not-so-stellar memory, I’m afraid this report may be lacking and imprecise. In any case, it is what it is so I’ll just give you what I have.

Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and want to return when it’s fiscally responsible for me to do so. Service was wonderful. The two things that really stood out for me were the toro and the nori, both of which were the best I’ve had.

1. Jamón Ibérico de Bellota, Cinco Jotas (J5) + caviar
I feel bad as I write this but, honestly, I was a little disappointed. A dollop of caviar was placed atop pieces of the ham. I didn’t understand the name of the caviar or the label (he said it was an Italian purveyor). The flavor of each component was great but I would have preferred to have eaten them separately, which I ended up doing. IM(very)HO, I also thought that the pieces were a little too thick. I think thinner slices would have emphasized the unctuousness of this coveted ham.

2. Fresh baby eel with green peach and sesame sauce
The baby eel were small, thin and semi-translucent and almost looked like fresh noodles. It had a clean and delicate flavor with a somewhat rich mouth-feel. The green peach was totally new to me. It was about the size of a gingko nut or small kumquat. I thought it would be tart but it was sweet and had a definite peach flavor.

3. Baby squid + cucumber, yuzu sauce
These were the tiniest squid I’ve ever seen, maybe about 1-1/2 inches long, end to end.

4. Steamed ice fish with plum jam
This was the one dish that I did not enjoy because I did not like the texture of the fish. It was steamed and the flesh was soft but when you chewed it, it felt like there were tiny, delicate needles (which, of course wasn’t the case). It was a weird sensation; it was not like biting into fish bones that are fine.

5. Tofu 2 ways, uni from Hokkaido and custardy crab innards (maybe kani miso)
Both were delicious. The uni from Hokkaido was darker in color than the one from Sta. Barbara. It was my first time trying it and I think I prefer the SB ones. It may have been just a color thing but I felt that the SB ones have a more prominent fruitiness/mango flavor.

6. Torched belt fish with 600-year old Himalayan pink salt rock
I loved the smokiness of the fish and the salt, which he grated from a large-sized rock (it looked like it was larger than an American football), was quite impressive. Yama-san said that it was about a 1/3 of the size of what it was when he first started using it.

7. Kusshi oysters from Washington with soft poached quail eggs 2 ways, uni from Santa Barbara wih yuzu sauce and blue crab with sesame sauce
The oysters were small, sweet and creamy and the eggs were divine, with the creaminess matching the oysters.

8. Steamed live hairy crab from Hokkaido
Served straight up. Very sweet and succulent. I thought that the hairy part was going to be more prickly but it was more brush-like.

9. Chawanmushi, gingko nut, beltfish, shrimp, clams, +++
There were several other items and I remember being amazed that he was able to fit them all in the little vessel. It was amazing. The only thing that I thought was that there could have been more of the custard.

10. Toro with freshly grated wasabi, eggplant, crab, poached quail egg and soy sauce-maui onion sauce
It was the softest, most supple toro I have ever tasted. I hadn't seen this before but Yama-san peeled off a layer/ring of the flesh and then sliced it in such a way that there was no connective tissue in the piece.

11. Pan seared A5 wagyu tenderloin from kagoshima prefecture, with buna shimeji mushrooms and WhistlePig Rye whiskey sauce.
All the flavors and textures went really well together. The loin was just as you'd expect an A5 wagyu to taste like, a luscious and divine bovine experience. I was almost full at this point so I asked if I could bring the rest home and they obliged.

12. Sashimi: bluefin tuna, toro, line-caught spanish mackerel from Japan,kanpachi
All were excellent but if I had to pick the best of the best, it would be the toro and the spanish mackeral from Japan

13. Hand roll with toro and ?
I can't remember what the other protein was but the nori was exceptional. tt was very dark and firm but it almost melted in your mouth. The warmth of the rice made it seem as if it had just been toasted.

14. Acai sorbet
The perfect end. It had an herbaceous quality to it, not too sweet and not too tart. I thought that he had mixed in some matcha or some kind of tea but Yama-san said that it was only the berry.

The bill came out to about $215 (pre-grat)

Apr 01, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Yamakase "Reservation"

It was quite a treat and I hope to return.

I loved almost all of the dishes (the only one I didn't like was only due to me not liking the texture of the fish, needlefish). The nori was truly a revelation; the best I've ever tasted.

I'm not a sake drinker but I imagine that it would pair very well with the dishes.

Mar 27, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Yamakase "Reservation"

Will do...I have been trying to find the piece of paper where I wrote down the courses.

@Thor123, I brought a bottle of NV Agrapart et Fils champagne and a half bottle of 2007 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel Lytton Springs, which actually turned out to be the perfect complement for the wagyu.

Mar 27, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Yamakase "Reservation"

Should also mention that it's BYOB and there's no corkage fee (they don't offer any alcoholic beverages).

Mar 15, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Yamakase "Reservation"

They said starting at $200.

Mar 15, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Yamakase "Reservation"

Yes, but it's to submit a request only; it's not an actual reservation.

Mar 15, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

TONIGHT -- Solo dining recommendation in Santa Monica (near Loews)?

Ocean Avenue Seafood. I was there a while ago and had started the night off during happy hour. I was in bivalve and crustacean heaven. I can't recall the deals but I do remember that I found a happy medium (satiety-satisfaction-fiscal responsibility).

Mar 15, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Yamakase "Reservation"

Thanks, everyone. I'm happy to say that I now have first-hand knowledge of it. I got in and will be going tomorrow. They were very gracious in their email messages. Now to figure out what wine(s) to bring...

Mar 15, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Yamakase "Reservation"

Has anyone been able to get in using their reservation request form?

Mar 08, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Tsurumaru Udon in DTLA

New udon restaurant where the noodles are made to order in front of you and you customize it with your choice of toppings. They have limited non-udon options.

It is located on the third floor of the Little Tokyo Shopping Center at the corner of Alameda and 3rd (in the old Issen Joki space). Serving is cafeteria-style. Grab a tray, go down the line as you assemble your bowl, pay at the cashier, sit and eat and then return your tray at a window.

12 types of udon (hot and cold options, offered in 3 sizes, comes with scallions and grated daikon):
kake (just broth), bukkake (sauce, daikon, ginger, bonito flakes), ume (plum), ume bukkake, zaru (dry, dipping sauce), ki-jyo-yu (soy sauce, radish, ginger), kitsune (broth, deep fried tofu), wakame (broth, seaweed), niku (broth, thinly sliced stewed beef), kobu (broth, kelp/kombu), kizami and kama age (in hot water with dipping sauce)

Additional Toppings (extra):
Kitsune (deep fried tofu), wakame (seaweed), kizami (chopped deep fried tofu), kobu (kelp/kombu), ume (plum) and niku (beef).

Omusubi:
Sake (salmon), ume (plum) and konbu (kelp).

Tempura:
Yasai kakiage (veggie), ebi (shrimp), chikuwa (fish cake), ika (squid), tori (chicken) and sweet potato.

I went last week and was the first in line when it opened for lunch (a few minutes after 11 AM). They were still prepping. The noodles were ready but they were waiting for the broth to reach the right temperature. They were also still frying the tempura and the omusubi wasn't out yet. I had the large niku with kizame and 3 shrimp tempura and 1 sweet potato tempura.

It was a delicious lunch. The noodles were firm and chewy. The light brown colored broth was deep and rounded. It didn't taste like any dashi I've had/made before. After I stirred the beef into the noodles, the broth became umami heaven. The tempura was very crisp and not very oily. They didn't have any tentsuyu for it but dipping it into the broth was just fine (I usually don't like my tempura in my soup).

The charges for the extras can add up quickly (I ended up paying more for the tempura than the soup) but I can't wait to go back. I took the leftovers home for dinner and the noodles held up well.

Tsurumaru Udon
333 S. Alameda Street
3rd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Mar 06, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area

Chi Spacca

They did not have a sausage course that night but they may possibly have it at another dinner. The menus and the featured animal change so if you're really interested in having that course, I would recommend contacting them.

Feb 19, 2013
condementia in Los Angeles Area