amandine's Profile

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High fructose corn syrup commercial on Food Network?!?

Flourgirl and everyone else who thinks there's no fat epidemic, you need to get out of Pasadena and open your eyes. Disneyland? Try stepping into County hospital. Have you been there yet? No? Well, that's a shame. Feel free to continue pontificating from your pedestal, the rest of us have real work to do.

Sep 19, 2008
amandine in Food Media & News

Comparing Persian Restaurants

Fourth. I've been to Shamshiri, Shiraz, Javan, Darya, Caspian, and Flame, some of those more than half a dozen times... Raffi's has the best chelokebab hands down.

May 08, 2008
amandine in Los Angeles Area

casual, interesting date place w/ potential for a quiet walk afterward

Restos in the South Bay are pretty lame, but I'd suggest dinner around the Hermosa Pier (I went to Mediterraneo once, and it wasn't bad. Nice outdoor patio) just so you can take a long sunset walk on the Strand (kind of like a wide sidewalk with the beach on one side and beach bungalows on the other). Or skip dinner altogether and get drinks at Shutters in Manhattan. More low key than walking around SaMo IMO, so depends on what kind of casual you're thinking about.

I'm an Eastsider, so walking by the beach without the 'sketch element' of SaMo and Venice is a draw.

Apr 30, 2008
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Are there ANY bar/lounges worth going for the food?

After reading a rather amusing riff on the bar I visited recenctly http://www.chowhound.com/topics/80617, I got to thinking... are there any bar/lounges in L.A. with good food? And by 'good' I don't mean passable given the location, I mean places to which you could conceivably go JUST for the food. Thanks!

Aug 19, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Restaurants you will defend no matter what anybody says...

Raffi Kabob in Glendale. I still stand by that place as the best Persian chelokebab in the area.

Aug 17, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Best Korean Banchan in LA?

I've been to Shik Do Rak and Dae Sung Oak in Ktown... both alright, neither had quite the varied and delicious banchan (Korean BBQ sides) that I used to adore at a place in Northern CA. I miss it. Where should my next Korean BBQ stop be?

Jul 29, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

father's office

And another good idea (just to spread the good karma) is to look around when you're about to vacate your table, see if there's a party that's been standing around for a while, and try to make eye contact and offer your table. The worst part about having to wait for tables is that awkward moment when two groups want the same table and no one wants to be rude and no one wants to be a pushover

Jun 24, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Auntie Em's cupcakes are overrated

Aw, thanks! ... I think I was clued into AE's from the L.A. edition of dailycandy.com. Good luck with the cupcakes, make Auntie Em proud...

Jun 24, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Best of LA: Order-and-sit-down spots

Okay, here's our list so far for all of you order-and-sit-down fans like myself.

EAST
Auntie Em's (Eagle Rock)
Europane (Pasadena)
Lovebirds Cafe (Pasadena)
Pitfire Pizza (DTLA)
Clearman's (San Gabriel)
Oinkster (ER)

WEST
Leaf Cafe (Culver City)
Tender Greens (Culver City)
Fresh Corn Grill (WLA)
M Cafe de Chaya <-- my next spot to try
Amandine (WLA)
Clementine (Century City)
Lemon Moon
Joan's on Third
Rose Cafe (Venice)
Little Next Door
Cafe Brasil
Milk

VARIOUS
Coral Tree (chain)
Stonefire Grill (chain)
Corner Bakery (chain)
Famima (chain)
u-Wink <-- never heard of this one..
Le Pain Quotidien (chain)
California Chicken Cafe (chain)
Paris Baguette Cafe
Shakas
Shakey's
Original Rinaldi's (El Segundo)

Awesome everyone... keep the suggestions coming and I'll update the list

Jun 24, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Crab Fest 2007 at Hungry Cat (+pics)

What was the tab? (And what camera do you use? It takes amazingly good food pics, not to say less of the photographer)

Jun 24, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Best of LA: Order-and-sit-down spots

where's rose cafe? i'm on the eastside

Jun 23, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Coupa Cafe -- Beverly HIlls

Definitely is the sister cafe of the Coupa in PA-- owned by the same family. That little spot is the warmest, most comfortable coffee shop in the Stanford area, and classy and chic to boot. Really really great espresso. Of all the places I could have taken my family after dinner on my last night there, I took them to Coupa. I am thrilled to hear they are continuing the same tradition here in L.A... I haven't had a chance to visit yet (I live on the eastside) but it's at the top of my list.

Jun 23, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Best of LA: Order-and-sit-down spots

The comfortable *non-chain* in-between that doesn't have a good name to distinguish it... far more than fast food, but a notch less than full-waitservice restaurants, perfect for a lunch with a friend. Where you order at the counter, find a table, and wait til the staff brings it.

Along the lines of Auntie Em's Kitchen, Leaf Cafe, Coral Tree, Tender Greens... What places are out there in LA.?

Jun 23, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Auntie Em's cupcakes are overrated

Soo.... I was there for lunch yesterday. Yep, still stand by AE's as one of my fave spots around here. Tried her chocolate cupcake for the 1st time-- definitely the most complex tasting frosting I've had so far. Dark and just bitter enough, great texture. And I don't think anyone can ever complain about the service there-- incredibly warm, welcoming and friendly, even in the middle of lunch rush while several employees were buzzing around with what looked like an enormous catering order.

Jun 23, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

You Are What You Don't Eat

I'd add one of my favorite terms, Beady-eyed vegetarians. Vegetarians who'll eat chicken and fish (animals with beady eyes) but never any meat from cows, pigs, or lambs because awwwwwthey'resocute!!!

Jun 21, 2007
amandine in Features

Auntie Em's cupcakes are overrated

I didn't even pick up on the fact that it was a pronunciation issue. Heck, I find that I get away with mangled foreign words better in snobby places where honestly the come-and-go waitstaff often aren't too sure of it themselves. I always get the biggest earful at the little mom&pop corners where the service is... less gentrified, shall we say?

Maybe all us ER fans ought to pipe down a little.. and keep our little treasure finds to ourselves. :)

Jun 21, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Unusual/good bottled beer besides WF/Bristol Farms?

Cost Plus has a decent selection. That's where I get my Unibroue.

Jun 21, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Anything like Pinkberry in Pasadena?

Amazing, they're still there! Been at least 7 years since I was there last... and figured it had closed. On days that I can't handle the pain of going to Old Town to 21 Choices, they're a great alternative (with easy parking in the lots out back)

I will definitely go try... I haven't been to Pinkberry yet (oh the humanity) and it really doesn't look like the Pas one is going to open decently soon.

Jun 20, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Auntie Em's cupcakes are overrated

Yeah, let's not forget when Bobby Flay danced on the cutting board and insulted Morimoto when Flay beat him on Iron Chef.

I give Flay negative points for fried mangos on cupcakes. Cupcakes are SUPPOSED to be comfort food. Give me one chowhound-- ONE!-- who had fried mangoes on their cupcakes when they were a kid. Fried mango all you want on creme brulees and souffles and such... but DON'T. TOUCH. THE CUPCAKE.

Jun 20, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Gold's 99 Best of L.A. 2007 are out...

Ooh, touche, ipsedixit. Very perceptive of you, I didn't notice that.

Jun 20, 2007
amandine in Food Media & News

Gold's 99 Best of L.A. 2007 are out...

... and I've only been to 7 of them. Suddenly I feel like less of a chowhound... :(

Here they are:
http://www.laweekly.com/eat+drink/din...

Not much change from last year, I noticed.

Jun 20, 2007
amandine in Food Media & News

Auntie Em's cupcakes are overrated

I was really impressed by the carrot cake cupcake. Compared to, say, Violet's in Pasadena, Auntie Em's cupcakes are denser, with more heft to them, moist but I wouldn't say "light." I am NOT a fan of airy, cake-mix style cake texture (unless it's angelfood)-- I love denser cakes that you can really sink a fork into.

Some of the dishes I've had there were a little bland (needed more salt maybe?) but I've come to realize that many natural/organic/health food restaurants tend to be that way, perhaps due to an emphasis on deconstructing the elements, keeping it clean and simple. But overall I love the place and am always eager to return because 1) I enjoy the food both taste and presentation, 2) I am into healthy 3) I LOVE the cheery bright walls, mismatched silverware, and the patio out back, and 4) service is unpretentious, quirky, and true to the feel of the place. Going there, I'm as comfortable as I would be if I were having lunch in the kitchen of a friend.

Jun 20, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Why are chains so big with younger people?

When I was a freshman in a northern california college, way back in, oh, 2001, it seemed like kids from "small towns" were more comfortable with chains and chain-type food in the dorm (I almost choked when one dormmate said he had never had sushi before and never would), and the "big city" kids (myself included) were almost self-consciously driven towards foodier choices. One of my dear friends is in love with the Olive Garden, and I always strong-armed the poor guy and our friends to go elsewhere because I couldn't handle it. Gross generalization here but what I'm getting at is that it's more an issue of EXPOSURE and less an issue of AGE.

But Chipotle... I don't understand why people my age (yes, let's all admit it) are downright OBSESSED with Chipotle. I mean, foaming at the mouth obsessed with Chipotle. Counting down the days til one opens nearby obsessed with Chipotle.

Check out this website run by a student at GW... it has a "burrito generator" that you can post on your myspace page. Chipotle, burrito, and myspace-- three words that would only come out in the same sentence of a college student. :)
http://www.chipotlefan.com/index.php?...

Jun 19, 2007
amandine in Chains

One Sunset, anyone been?

Another food/bar/lounge just opened, has anyone been?

The menu looks pretty interesting, with some new-looking compositions and some interesting takes on the usual trend parade (miniburgers -->minireubens, mac and cheese-->m&c carbonara, beet/humboldt fog/pecans-->served with candied pistachio, mint, citrus)

http://www.theonerestaurants.com/

Jun 19, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Le Pain Quotidien--- How do they do it?

I've been twice... once in Brentwood, once in Pasadena... maybe I'm not ordering the right thing? because I got some kind of tartine both times, and fresh and tasty yes, but they have the substance of a communion wafer. Fussy and expensive. I wrote them off as too froufy a place for me, and I'm a decently froufy person. Recs outside of the tartines?

Jun 18, 2007
amandine in Chains

Larkin's finally open!

no menu online yet... what's it all about?

(hooray for eagle rock!)

Jun 18, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

LA Times Restaurant Guide... yawn

It's not so much the Westside bent that gets to me... it's that the reviews more or less blur together. It's either some aesthetically pleasing, expensive-ish, Cal-French spot around the Westside (and have you all noticed how she never fails to mention the presence of svelte females giggling somewhere in the restaurant?) or a dim sum place in the San Gabriel Valley, at a 90:10 ratio. Her opinions are so predictable, I can almost guess what "unctuous" item she's going to swoon over, or apple cobbler that will not live up to some supposed hype.

Jun 18, 2007
amandine in Food Media & News

Another One Bites The Dust: Monty's

Sad. Sadder if the spot is taken over by more pseudo-lofts.

Jun 18, 2007
amandine in Los Angeles Area

Ordering PB&J at restaurants ...

honestly? cashew butter and jelly sandwich on buttered brioche bread (organic free-trade cashews, no doubt)? how it irks me when comfort food gets all fancied up and fussy. (like how we have taken down the simple pleasure of a good old-fashioned cupcake..i won't get myself started...) cashew butter, so avant garde, but ordering peanut butter in a restaurant? how gauche! i am sure it was delicious, but i am even more sure that it was so popular because it sounds so "innovative" on a menu. and then there's the current flip over mac and cheese! ok i said i wouldn't get started....

Jun 17, 2007
amandine in General Topics

Ordering PB&J at restaurants ...

ipsedixit, probably the same people who would order pbj in a restaurant. some people have a one-track palate.

Jun 17, 2007
amandine in General Topics