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Foie Gras Is Legal in California Again!

I hope this mean we can bring back horse as well.

Pro knife sharpeners in Santa Monica?

I decided to give Magnus a try. He came over to our house and I give him 4 Global knives (2 long - Chef's, 2 short - paring). He dropped them off 2 hours later, clean and sharp! It was $32 total. He is super passionate and knowledgeable about knives, and the the price and convenience was amazing.

Feb 27, 2012
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Pro knife sharpeners in Santa Monica?

Has anyone tried Magnus Pettersson Hand Knife Sharpening in Santa Monica? I was looking up Japanese Knife Imports based on this thread and came across Magnus Petterson's blog. Doesn't look like there is a shop, just free pick up and drop off. Prices seem closer to Ross than JKI.


Feb 10, 2012
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

baked chicken wings?

i've tried a couple times now to bake chicken wings, and haven't been able to get good results. It's frustrating, because I love the wings off a simple baked whole chicken (450 degrees, trussed, salted, about 50 minutes). When i do the whole chicken, the wings come out golden brown, and crispy.

I wanted to get the same result with just wings, so I put them on a baking sheet, cooked for about 40 minutes, and it they really just seemed to stew in their own fat, and never got crispy. So i tried again, putting the wings on a rack in a roasting pan so the fat could drain. This time they came out somewhat crispy, but more of an unappetizing fleshy brown than a golden brown. Maybe they just need more time? Next time I'll try tossing them in baking soda as recommend earlier in the thread, but I'm curious why they cook so differently than the whole chicken. I was expecting them to be even more crispy since they weren't attached to main mass of the chicken.

Jan 29, 2012
MrShoop in Home Cooking

attention pho aficionados....good pho in the south bay...anyone?

I was down in the south bay on a sunday, and ended up at Pho Ever (a lot of other places seemed to be closed). It really exceeded my expectations - the pho broth was complex (not one note and overpowered by anise like some places). We also got a pork broken rice plate which was good (com dia?). I think it is a good Westminster worthy alternative.

Pho Ever Restaurant
2228 W Rosecrans Ave
Gardena, CA 90249

Jan 02, 2012
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Monta Noodle House

I gave Monta a try for dinner on Monday and it was really good. I had the tonkotsu and the broth was delicious. The chashu was also amazingly tender and flavorful. I had them add mustard greens which like everything else brought a surprising amount of flavor. I live in Los Angeles and think it's as good as any of the ramen houses here. Thanks for the recommendation!!

Sep 09, 2010
MrShoop in Las Vegas

Best place for loose leaf tea?

If you happen to be in the south bay, try Tea Habitat which is in the mall at the top of the hill in PV. Nice mom & pop Chinese tea place. http://www.teahabitat.com/

Jul 09, 2009
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Whats your favorite Tea Cafe? Why?

Green Tea Terrace in Westwood - good quality Japanese green tea that is brewed carefully (most of the time). Never tried the boba there, but for traditional green tea, it is great.

Sep 21, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Echigo-dinner Omakase

If you sit at a table for dinner, you don't have to order Omakase, you can dine a la carte. The dinner at Echigo (Omakkase, or a la carte) is now substantially better than what you get for the lunch special. I don't think it was always the case though. The size and quality of the lunch special has gone down over the last couple years.

Jul 23, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Zankou today: dry, bland chicken

Was the chicken at Zankou ever really great? I love it, but it has always been about the garlic sauce.

Jul 19, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Bay Cities vs. Claro's Italian Sandwich

I'm surprised people are complaining about the meat - last time I was there I ordered a spicy salami w/works, and ended up peeling about half the meat because it was too much. Everyone has their own bread preference, and there is no right answer, but objectively, the bread at bay cities has a thin but crunchy crust, and is definitely chewy in the middle. I think it is perfect for sandwiches.

Claro's sounds awesome, but not really an option for mostpeople on the westside to got to Arcadia or Tustin to grab lunch. Maybe a good stop next time on the way to Vegas. :)

Jul 12, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

In need of recommendations for Santa Monica Farmer's Market

Are you sure it is accurate to say a small percentage? I haven't counted but it feels like a majority are organic - almost everything west of the promenade.

Jul 12, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Persian Restaurants in the South Bay

The only one I know of is Seaside Palace in Torrance, on the corner of Sepulveda and Hawthorne. I haven't eating there in 5+ years (call to make sure it is still open), but back in the day it wasn't quite as good as some of the best westside Persian places, but pretty close.

Jul 12, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Beer Garden / Outdoor Drinking in LA?

Sagebrush Cantina in Calabasas has one of the biggest patios I can think of. It is a great place for a cold beer on a hot night (food is pretty weak). Speaking of Cantina's, Baja Cantina in MDR/Venice also has a nice patio.

Jul 01, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Pinkberry Locations

The Brentwood/San Vicente location was open today. Unfortunately the parking lot was blocked of for construction. Still looked to be a line out the door.

Jun 18, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Tender Greens is a great deal

It's a really pleasant indoor/outdoor space as well. It is really a great package of food/space/value. The thing they need to work on is the ordering process which can get chaotic as it gets crowded. You end up ordering multiple times to multiple people before you are done.

Jun 15, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Pinkberry Locations

It looks like the one on San Vicente is about to open - I drove past this evening and they pulled the paper covering off the door and windows. It looked like there may just be some cleanup work remaining.

Jun 14, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Finally did the Sabor thing ...

At Sabor do you order at the counter, or is it a sit down place?

Jun 11, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

What Should I Drink?

I agree that high alcohol and low acidity are bad trends, but a sweetness in an acidic wine can really work towards a good food pairing, as well as balancing its own acidity.

May 08, 2007
MrShoop in Features

Imitation Pinkberry

Who has the most tart yogurt? That's what stands out to me and I like the most about Pinkberry.

May 07, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Pinkberry Locations

Where in Brentwood are they opening?

Apr 25, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

REVIEW: Beacon (with pix!)

I think their hangar steak is one of the best beef dishes in LA. The sweet sauce with the wasabi relish is a great combo.

Apr 24, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Sprinkles cupcakes

They are some of the best looking cupcakes, but I think they are overly sweet, and maybe a little light on salt.

Apr 20, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Bay Cities Deli- bad attitude of the managmt

You have to ask for "the works" to get the pepper concoction (which I think is one of the best parts of the sandwich), so you just need to remember not to ask for it unless you want it. The second part (preferential treatment) is indefensible, but I've been going for a while and never seen it.

Apr 15, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

montana of santa monica: is there a best?

I think Vincenzo is often overlooked when people talk about Montana. Definitely a cut above Rosti (which I like for a quick bite) and not as cramped as Locanda Postofino. If you aren't totally locked into Mpontana, it is only 3 blocks down 11th St to Wilshire where you could try Rustic Canyon.

Apr 10, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

PHX hound visiting Santa Monica

Do make sure to try Cora's, which is just a block or south from your hotel, for breakfast or lunch. Simple food with great ingredients.

Mar 31, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Best Tea in Los Angeles

I understand it isn't the classiest expereince - it is a casual place, but I don't think that a waxpaper cup is going to ruin, or even affect the flavor. Oversteeping or overheating has a much bigger effect, and they tend to be good about that.

Feb 25, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Best Asian tea shops in Los Angeles?

I've had the highest grade green Oolong from Ten Ren, which was really good, but you can get better for about half the price online. My favorite is this seller in Taiwan:

Jan 18, 2007
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area


I really like Susiecakes. The cupcakes taste much better than Sprinkles, which I find sickeningly sweet and bland. Sprinkles' cupcakes do look beautiful, but the taste never lives up to the look. Susiecakes has a much more home made look and taste. I wouldn't drive 24 miles for one, but a great addition to the westside.

Dec 16, 2006
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area

Sawtelle dining

Yakitoriya is really good, if a little expensive. I like the ground chicken bowl/quail egg, but the skewers are where it really shines. All sorts of yummy chicken parts. They used to do chicken sashimi, but I didn't see it there the last few times I ate there.

Nov 17, 2006
MrShoop in Los Angeles Area