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Birthday dinner in Hollywood for 16 y/o and friends

KatsuYa?

Me, when I'm in Hollywood, I usually end up at Moun of Tunis, or someplace really low endy.

Or Lucky Devil's.

But I don't think my spots would work.

I bet they'd like the House of Blues.

she'd find more sceney places outside of Hollywood, like in West Hollywood (Mozza, and such) Beverly Hills (Spago, Cut and so on)

Oct 01, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Giada: Not a Porn Star

Defending oneself is fine, even if you are known as 'Chef Cleavage" For what it's worth, Giada's recipes usually turn out pretty good for me-end up just like I see them come out on the show.

But putting down a well-established industry queen like the Supreme Bastianich? -bad form, Giada. VERY bad form. Please, I hope she gets over the Hilton-esque immaturity and apologizes VERY publicly right away. Even though she is a good chef, in my mind, Giada has not yet earned the right to stand in Bastianich's shadow, or even be in the same room.

Oh, and just cause you gots big boobs doesn't mean you have to wear a low cut shirt and bend over the pasta machine a few extra times. If you want to be taken seriously as a chef, then act like a serious chef.

Giada has the ability, will eventually get the experience in cooking. A little humility will go a long way.

Oct 01, 2008
Diana in Features

Bad Dinner, No Tip

Lousy service, awful food, well gee, here's 10%! Is that some sort of kinky S&M dining, where you pay extra to be treated like crap.

"ooh, baby, my flatware and water glass are filthy, the food is gross, and the waiter just laughed in my face-I'm so turned ON!"

First, waiters should be paid properly, and should be trained right. Waiting tables is an art that is sadly given too low a status in the US. If we regarded them more highly and demanded they be artisans, as in other parts of the world, they would take pride and do a good job. This means paying them a decent wage.

Second, if we paid and respected good waiters right, then they wouldn't NEED tips to just get by. IN that case, a tip would be what it was supposed to be, a reward for going above and beyond. This should go for all people who do similar service, such as bartenders and such.

It seems ludicrous and backwards that at least a 10% tip is expected, no matter what. Because it IS ludicrous. Somehow, we have allowed this whole tipping thing to skew way out of control. Making staff share tips is even crazier. I didn't tip the chef, I wanted my tip to go to my amazing waiter. The chef should also be paid properly, as the busboys and other staff.

And personally, no, I will not tip for absolutely lousy service. Then I try to explain to the manager why. THEN I write a letter to the owner, also explaining why. If service is bad, somehow, something broke down in the chain of command-either the owner doesn't care, the manager doesn't care or the server doesn't care. By not tipping, I show I do not agree with the lackluster product( service, whatever.)

Now, I have to balance this by saying when I do receive great service, I tip exorbitantly. I tip in direct proportion to the service, really. I gave the waiter who ran down to CVS to get me benadryl after I accidentally consumed nuts a huge tip, as well as the other wiater who put herself out one evening because I was sick, alone, and dining to try and feel good somehow. The waiter who treated us like Gold on our first anniversary as well.

The waiter who told me he didn't consider peanut oil a nut, and therefore it was MY fault I was going into anaphylaxis after he had assured me the food had "no peanuts, nuts or nut oils in it" and served me a heaping plate of seafood fried in peanut oil and THEN informed my husband I was a whiney bitch and "faking it" when I began to wheeze, THEN brought out the check with the food on the bill while we were tying to rush out to get my epi, well, he got zilch. He deserved me socking him in the googlies, but I was otherwise indisposed.

The one who spilled hot soup all over my new dress, then demanded I let him pay for the meal, the dry cleaning, and the extra dessert he brought us got a VERY big tip.

Sep 30, 2008
Diana in Features

Cheaper Studio City Sushi Row options?

No, sushi Dan is Ghastly. Midori is OK. Not amazing, but OK

Sep 30, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Where would you go for a romantic special occasion (anniversary)?

Food is definitely not the focus there. Eew.
Take her to Chez Mimi, Spago, Inn f the Seventh Ray, The Saddlepeak Lodge, JiRaffe, or Valentino's. Luques would be good too. So would the Little Door

Sep 30, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Chowish Spots between Sherman Oaks and Tehachapi?

Driving up to get apples and Cider on Sat. Any good munchy spots on the way?

Going up through Mojave and stuff.

Sep 30, 2008
Diana in California

"Strange and fabulous" downtown... Not pricey, but not Philippes.....

check out the site

http://www.barc.biz/menu.html

Sep 30, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

"Strange and fabulous" downtown... Not pricey, but not Philippes.....

Tapas and Wine Bar C
Some sort of Izakaya, like Honda Ya?
Tranquility Base
The Rooftop Bar at New Otani
Traxx

Sep 30, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Interview with Tai Kim, proprietor of Scoops, in the LA Times

No, JL, Kris means Zimmern.

Sep 30, 2008
Diana in Food Media & News

HELP HOUNDS!!!! CHINESE IN THE VALLEY????

I only ate there once, but I have to say, it was VERY good for Valley Chinese

Sep 30, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Supplication Ale

Do you mean "Pliny The Elder"? A few bottles were around all over this year, but just a few. Some places had it on tap. Me, I'm not a super hop head, so it isn't up my alley, but it makes most beer Geeks swoon.

I suppose one could say Supplication was kind of a brown/Kriek, having cherries.

I like Temptation, it's a nice brew.

Sep 30, 2008
Diana in Features

HELP HOUNDS!!!! CHINESE IN THE VALLEY????

Does A and W do cart service?

Sep 29, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Indian Food in the SFV?

sel, I haven't been to Woodlands in a bit. Did they drop the Friday Buffet and Dosa feed?

Sep 29, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Awesome breakfasts in LA, I can name two. How about you?

ooh, did I forget breakfast at Follow Your HEart? Yummy!

Sep 29, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

HELP HOUNDS!!!! CHINESE IN THE VALLEY????

Hey, is vegetable delight still going? That's good chinese food!

Sep 29, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Affordable Wedding Caterer

Places I like that (I'm Pretty Sure) also cater:

Angeli Caffe

Rahel Vegetarian Ethiopian

Carnival Middle Eastern in Sherman Oaks

Boneyard Bistro

Inn Of the Seventh Ray

Maybe Alexis Greek Cafe (not sure about that one)

Cheaper Options:

Aloha Hawaiian BBQ

El Torito (yes fauxican, but edible)

Pomodoro (another chain, but OK)

The Dressing Room

Gelson's (good food, though..the Deli can't be beat.

I figure most of these places will have to get rental on the side. Here's how I saved money whilst having an outdoor wedding/reception that wowed the crowd.

We had special glasses made, and used them on the tables as wine/beer/water glasses AND as favors. Keep with the buffet style, it end us having waste, yes, but being cheaper.

For cocktail hour, rather than passed fancy crap, we had some great cheese, giant fresh soft pretzels, and kegs of homebrew. If you have a beer geek friend, use him or her. If not, try and find one! :) Still, beer, pretzels and good cheese is way more affordable than frou frou stacky things. Plus, everyone was thrilled with them.

paper napkins and nice plastic flatware. You heard me, I used plastic. Higher end plastic, but plastic. It was wrapped with raffia and wheat stalks (harvest theme) in a lovely high end paper napkin. And nice, solid disposable plates. I was a little worried, but the guests didn't notice, and I save a bundle (there is a washing up fee, you know!) It looked good but saved $$, and added a picknicy feel to it all. Also,, no plates for drunk guests to break means no fee for lost/broken items.

Rent tables and chairs and tablecloths from a company that will do the set up and break down, or ask them to drop it all off and have friends and family do it. Drop off is cheaper, but do you really have people that will do it for you?

Our cake was lovely, 3 tier, three flavors and made entirely by my mom-in law's book group. IT was fabulous, flavorful and a gift. The catering company had the servers cut and serve it. IT was white, with decorative frosting, and the florist used clean roses and rose petals to add more beauty. I saved over $600. Don't do a dessert and cake, no one ever has room. Just do cake. You can also get a baker to make a nice, small cake for you to cut, and have sheet cakes in the kitchen for the servers to serve. You cut for the cameras, they roll the cake to the kitchen, out comes cake on plates for guest who are none the wiser.

OR do something different, like a bunch of different wonderful pies, or rally great brownies with special decoration, a do-it-yourself bulk candy buffet or, the now overdone but still yummy cupcake platter. Or how about a milkshake bar? That would be new and fun!

Micheal's sells good stuff. I got supplies for invites, save the dates, my cake knife and server ( looked nice, was inexpensive, but only I was close enough to tell, and do you really need to keep them as an heirloom? Trust me, you don't) Heck, I got some gold wire, pearl beads, crystals and a basic veil kit and made my own headpiece and veil. People thought it was a custom one that cost $$. it was custom, but I paid all of $30, if that, for supplies-the same ones the fancy veil makers buy! And it was fun to do.

Pay as many vendors as you can in cash. Why? They don't have to declare it if the bank can't track it. They save on tax, and often pass this along to you.

If you bother with a seating chart, keep in mind that most people mingle, anyhow. Maybe a few long communal tables? Probably less expensive!

Don't forget lighting!

Check with Orcutt for any restrictions on vendors, a lot of people will only let you use ones they have on a list.

Have fun!

If you DO need a caterer, Pure Joy based in SB is VERY good, and will work down here, too.

Sep 29, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

HELP HOUNDS!!!! CHINESE IN THE VALLEY????

I second 88 Chinese (and Sushi) next to Zankou.

San Woo, also, might be an option.

Sep 29, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Indian Food in the SFV?

Clay Oven is much better than Clay Pit. I second Gangadin, very good. If you can bear the haul out to Chatsworth, Woodlands is some of the best ever. Vegetarian, yes, but super flavorful and amazing!

Sep 29, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Best middle eastern in the valley?

That's odd, I think you are the only one I've ever seen say that!
What didn't you like?

Sep 28, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Cheaper Studio City Sushi Row options?

See, I don't eat rolls, that's not sushi to me.

I don't know which Midori you've been going to, but the Encino branch has good size cuts.-the same as many places and often thicker. maybe I just get that from the itame, I don't know. It isn't Asanebo quality, but then again, every time I go, something shines crazily good.

Midori has been open for a while, and I go every other month or so (I eat out once a week in a good month, so I don't get to go out often-a fitness thing and a money thing.

Sep 27, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Good Baklava on Westside...

Compared to Baklava Factory, yes.

Sep 27, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

URGENT:Puro Sabor Peruvian-what should I eat?

Why avoid the exotic? You're going for peruvain, eat it all! There is nothing "icky" in peruvian cuisine-order what looks good! You'll love it! PArt of being a 'hound is having no fear of exploring food!

Sep 27, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Daughter's Birthday - Decor vs Food - Yikes!

Man, if they had sweaty men in armor bashing themselves about at Boneyard, it would be even BETTER -Boneyard Bistro and Beefy Buff Bashers. two ways to enjoy wads of meat.

Sorry.

TIA, be one of the best 'rents and take your kid where she asked to go!

Sep 26, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Good Baklava on Westside...

If you can haul over to Encino or Glendale to Baklava Factory, then you'll find all you dream of.

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Baklava Factory
1415 E Colorado St, Glendale, CA 91205

Baklava Factory
17540 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316

Sep 26, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Daughter's Birthday - Decor vs Food - Yikes!

My suggestion? Take her to Jar, cause that's what she wants. You go out to spots for you all the time. On her day, take her where she wants to go!

If you can't bear to eat the food, give her the $$$ to go herself.

I one time asked to go to Medieval Times for my birthday. I knew the food sucked, I wanted to see sexy sweaty men in armor bashing each other about. My father instead, "surprised" me and took me somewhere else-somewhere more to his tastes really. The food was probably better -no, wait, it was Palermo, the food still sucked! There was a definite dearth of sweaty-armor-bashing men, so I didn't really notice.

I was disappointed. It was my special day, and all I wanted was the bashing, sweat, armor dudes and a really screwed up pretend feast. What I got was Palermo. What a let down!

Yeesh, with a little research, he could have split the difference and taken me to Picana and asked the poofy pants servers to whack each other with the skewers. But it still wouldn't have been the same.

Never have been to Medieval Times. I guess I should go to the next Ren Faire, if I can force my husband against his will. A turkey leg and jousting may have to do.

Sep 26, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Cheaper Studio City Sushi Row options?

IN Sherman Oaks, Taka is a little cheaper (on Van Nuys, off of Ventura) Good fish, too. Nice ambiance, and always a friendly itame.

When I want a less expensive fix, I do AYCE at Midori. It really can be pretty good.

Still, I would go to House of Taka.

Don Sasabune is good, but sorta strip mall fast foody inside.

Also good is Sushi Delivery, USE on Riverside near coldwater. They DO serve in house as well as deliver, and it is pretty dang good stuff.

Then again, if it is a business contact, I would not worry about $$. The contact boosting alone is worth a little extra.

Sep 26, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Interview with Tai Kim, proprietor of Scoops, in the LA Times

I STILL have yet to go. WHY haven't I gone??

Sep 26, 2008
Diana in Food Media & News

Boneyard Bistro Tonight

The ribs are good. I'm going Saturday night for din din. Can't wait!

There is no snooty 'tude at Boneyard. It is "upscale", but the food is down home real, as are the people.

"Upscale" does not mean "trendy"!

Sep 26, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

bLamb! bLamb! Where is the best?

Any unusual lamb dishes?

I like the lamb at China Islamic. nothing beats a nice shank with the bone and marrow still intact!

Is there someone out there doing new things with wooly beast?

Sep 26, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area

Best middle eastern in the valley?

Yeah, but he puts peanuts in his pilaf/rice. A no no for me. I like Ceadr House a lot.
Hummus Bar is good, but a bit of a ways from Sherman Oaks.

Aroma Bakery Cafe in Encino is AMAZING! More cafe like, fabulous food. the sweet potato salad thing (I order it sans nuts) is just mind blowingly good.

Sep 26, 2008
Diana in Los Angeles Area