hnsbmg's Profile

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Jury duty in Inglewood

degustateur, I go past The Serving Spoon every time I go to Pann's -- at dinnertime -- and they're always closed. But your review has made me determined to get over there soon. "Among the standouts are the fried chicken, catfish, pork chops, buttery grits ..." -- those are the four primary food groups and all I needed to hear!

Aug 19, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

6 hours in L.A.

bulavinaka, I agree that Father's Office deserves a look -- even a serious look. I just think that the OP and his buddies have many better choices for a one-night stand. (But you're right to emphasize the beer service, in case they're really serious about beer.) I prefer Rustic Canyon for the non-burger items (and superior atmosphere, compared to FO), but I wouldn't recommend it to in-and-out visitors, either. There are plenty of good ideas in this thread, however, so they should be able to find a memorable experience. What about chowing down on live octopus, as someone just mentioned in another thread! ;-)

Aug 19, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

6 hours in L.A.

Well said, bulavinaka, but getting back to the OP's quest: Is there anything on the F.O. non-burger menu that would cause you to stop there on a quick trip through LA, choosing the place over all the others you've recommended on CH? I went back to Father's Office recently (and will write a short blurb on it after I complete a couple of meals at all the burger joints I visited) and didn't eat, smell, or see anything that would push it to the top of the LA restaurant list. Nowhere near the top.

Aug 19, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Jury duty in Inglewood

Where do you like the fried chicken, R.C.?

Aug 19, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

6 hours in L.A.

Excellent point, estone888. Even the greatest burger -- one that, unlike the Office Burger, doesn't require you to eat at least the scraped remnants of arugula, blue cheese, caramelized onion, personal pride, etc. (all of which I love, by the way ;-) -- isn't SO much better than the average fine burger available around the country, perhaps at home or in your favorite diner, that I'd choose it for a single, quick visit over every one of the extraordinary ethnic restaurants in Los Angeles. I say that as a matter of common sense and as someone who has just finished a survey of ten well-known local burgeries.

Aug 19, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Jury duty in Inglewood

All kidding aside, do try those biscuits, whatever else you have. They may not take the prize at a Clarksdale, Mississippi, church picnic, but they're very tasty and better than any other I've found in LA. The fried chicken is also excellent.

Aug 19, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Jury duty in Inglewood

Servorg, I meant a milder choice (between Pann's and Phillips) *for lunch.* You don't want to be burping BBQ all afternoon unless you're trying to get thrown off the jury. ;-)

Aug 19, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Jury duty in Inglewood

Pann's, in and for the County of Los Angeles. In a moment, the results of that meal. (No doubt, our younger Hounds have no idea what I'm saying, but I'd love to hear otherwise. ;-)

Also, a branch of Phillips Barbecue. Both places are less than two miles from Superior Court.

For anyone who doesn't know, Pann's is a fine, homey cafe with friendly service and the best biscuits in Los Angeles. Phillips has long been regarded as one of the finest BBQ places in Southern California. If you've actually been put on a jury, handlertaper, Pann's might be the preferable milder choice for an afternoon of listening and deliberation in the cause of justice.

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Pann's Restaurant & Coffee Shop
6710 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Phillips Barbecue
1517 Centinela Ave, Inglewood, CA 90302

Aug 19, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Sprouts Market open in Culver City

"My thinking is that they are very aware of TJ's"

They should be more aware of the new, upgraded Smart & Final extra! stores, where the grocery selection is much better than before, where more products are now sized for home, not restaurant, consumption, and where the prices are great. Yes, S&F doesn't overwork the "organic" marketing strategy, but they appeal to workaday, as opposed to CH, families and, from what I've seen, are doing a booming business. I know they got mine for at least half our holiday menus last year, as I balanced the cost of a $180 heritage turkey with excellent baking potatoes, fresh spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, meats for the turkey stock, etc.

It's your money, but giving it to the Sprouts chain primarily because they're not yet huge -- as someone suggested -- would tend to defeat the market mechanism and is contrary to common sense. Make them earn that dough! Don't forget that the Boney family started Henry's, sold out to an "evil corporation," and may have the same idea in mind with Sprouts, given their choice of explosive growth (now 50 stores and moving fast) over exceptional service and general high quality.

Getting back to the main point, I've been going to the Sprouts in Claremont for the last couple of years and think it's a great pit stop when you plan to dine at bathroom-less Donut Man up the road in Glendora and have a long drive afterward.

Aug 19, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Lobster Pie/Newberg

Michael Mina's restaurants (Stonehill Tavern, e.g.) usually have Maine Lobster Pot Pie on the menu. I haven't had it since I lived in the Bay Area, where the dish always seemed to be available at his namesake restaurant in San Francisco. My recollection is that it was delicious, and the lobster meat was not overcooked. However, to say the least, none of his places is a diner, a drive-in, or a dive, and it's damned hard starting a fistfight in any of them!

Aug 18, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Water Grill- what to order?

I haven't been recently but always order the tasting menu to get a good cross-section of the best and the brightest. And don't discount non-fish items. The last time I was there, the tasting's meat course was a superb piece of steak. Of course, it would be a shame to have steak as your only entree, with all the good fish and shellfish.

Occasionally, WG has served fish cooked slightly too long for my taste, so, if you're sensitive to overcooking -- I emphasize, it was slight and only on occasion -- make your preferences clear.

Sorry I can only offer this general advice. You've reminded me that I need to get back down there sometime soon.

Aug 18, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

6 hours in L.A.

If you have eight hours altogether and don't land until very late afternoon or early evening (meaning that rush hour will be nearly over by the time you deplane and get to Avis), you should have no problem going anywhere recommended here, unless the president is visiting. When I lived back East, I occasionally had a four-hour layover (total) at LAX and always rented a car for a quick (non-rush-hour) trip to places from downtown to Santa Monica and points between. My advantage was that I knew the city very well -- but with EIGHT hours? I would have driven up Pacific Coast Highway to Downey's or La Super-Rica in Santa Barbara!

Getting back to reality, you should consider Torihei (see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/602793 for a great review and discussion) or Musha ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/632215 , another very helpful review), which are actually across from each other in Torrance, a mere 12-13 miles from LAX. Neither is expensive, but you may want to loosen the purse strings if your proposed $20 pp limit includes drinks, tax, and tip. (See reviews.

)

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Musha
1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

Torihei
1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

Aug 18, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Where can I buy European butter?

There will be as soon as Los Angalus changes its name to Culver City. ;-)

TerriDawn may be thinking of the one on National Blvd., not far from CC.

Aug 18, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Restaurants in Blythe, CA?

I've had fast food in Blythe, and it was not my friend! If forced to eat in this burg again, I'd go to the Starbucks and get one of those cheese and fruit plates. Better alternative: it's only about an hour-and-a-half to the Coachella Valley, where you can have a decent roadfood meal not far from the freeway -- the Burger Box, e.g. (81201 Indio Blvd., Indio).

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Burger Box
81201 Indio Blvd, Indio, CA 92201

Aug 18, 2010
hnsbmg in California

Need help with a casual dinner spot tonight (Pasadena area)

"I've been in more posh bus stations."

Yes, Will's right. Tonny's is not fancy, but it is "a clean, well-lighted place." Nothing to write home about except the food (and, often, very pleasant service, by the way).

Aug 18, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Lobster Roll???

Lobster rolls, milkshakes, Labor Day approaching, hmmm ... sounds like a good time to check on Twohey's. Thanks, Peripatetic.

Aug 18, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Need help with a casual dinner spot tonight (Pasadena area)

Pie 'n Burger was going to be my first recommendation, but since she's been there before, I say Tonny's for authentic, homey, non-fussy Mexican dishes in a casual sit-down cafe. Their carnitas and costillas are swell, as are the aguas frescas.

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Tonny's Restaurant
843 E Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104

Aug 18, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Where can I buy European butter?

Lurpak from Denmark is indeed good (and widely available), but I put Celles sur Belle Beurre Grand Cru AOC above it -- not only creamy but actually delicious, both on bread and in prepared dishes. I also really like the butter (Delitia brand) from the dairy farms that supply parmigiano reggiano cheesemakers. It's delicate and mild, excellent on bread, crackers, and muffins. I've gotten all three butters at Surfas.

Aug 18, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Lobster Roll???

Isn't Twohey's supposed to have good milkshakes? I generally go past while threading the needle down to Fosselman's and so have never stopped in.

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Twohey's Restaurant
1224 N Atlantic Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

Aug 18, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Hatch Chile Roasting 2010

What's the name and location of the Barstow market, dnutz?

Aug 17, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

A Real Submarine Sandwich

The Bobbie is also my favorite. Except for gravy and Cousin Ralphie, it's Thanksgiving dinner on a roll.

Aug 17, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Nick's Cafe ... best hash browns ever.

If ipsedixit is right about those hash browns, I'd go for dinner -- as long as they have the Red O doormen outside to watch your car.

Aug 17, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Nick's Cafe ... best hash browns ever.

I'm also surprised the site didn't have their hours but wouldn't be surprised if you merely had trouble finding them. That's one of my biggest Web site aggravations -- restaurants that hide their hours under "Contact Us" or "Location," etc. In this case, however, they're not anywhere -- not even on the "Nutrition" page. ;-) A Google site search for "hours" found nothing, so we have to look elsewhere. The Google Maps place page gives a slightly different report from Burger Boy's:

Mon 5:30am – 2pm
Tue 5:30am – 2pm
Wed 5:30am – 2pm
Thu 5:30am – 2pm
Fri 5:30am – 2pm
Sat 6:30am – 2pm
Sun 6:30am – 2pm

EDIT: Considering Servorg's warning below, take these with a double grain of salt, since they aren't even the sometimes-suspect hours posted on a restaurant Web site. They're from another source, as indicated.

Aug 17, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Berkeley Dog opening in O.C.

"It seems to me that there is only so much goodness that can be built into a hot dog!"

As much as I advocate Chicago-style Vienna Beef hot dogs, I have to agree that no dog I've ever had reaches the sandwich heights of the best-quality Italian Beef, cheese steak, or beef on 'weck, for example. I do want to try Berkeley Dog. I lived in the Bay Area four years but never had one, despite hearing a lot about it (probably on the old chowhound).

Aug 16, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Nick's Cafe ... best hash browns ever.

That, I have to try! Thanks for the recommendation.

Aug 16, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

TX. BBQ coming to Van Nuys:

I wasn't replying to your post, R.C., and did not complain because the Web site had nothing about menus, hours, etc. My gripe was, how can they scoop up all that boiler-plate -- implying they are Texas BBQ experts -- without including one or two sentences describing their experience actually cooking Texas BBQ?

"And if you already think a place is going to be bad, why even bother going?"

My answer was: bad PR doesn't necessarily imply bad food, and we need more good BBQ places in California. So I'm ready to try almost anything.

Smoke City has missed its first chance to impress, but I do intend to give them a shot.

Aug 16, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

TX. BBQ coming to Van Nuys:

There's nothing at the Web site but a rambling essay on Texas BBQ -- no indication that they know more about the subject than you can find on Wikipedia or that the kitchen team has a Texas background. An la.eater article says the whole concept is based on one trip to Texas by the owner. It advises, "Think along the lines of Texas' Luling City Market, Smitty's and Kreuz's," casually naming three of the giants of Texas BBQ (no doubt getting the idea from the Smoke City flack). Imagine if someone from Bakersfield had a couple of meals at Langer's and then announced he was opening a deli in his hometown with great Langer's-style pastrami. Would you believe it?

Incidentally, la.eater, "Luling City Market" is a second-rate place in Houston. I hope you're thinking about the City Market in Luling, Tex., a whole 'nother animal.

All that said, I'm ready to declare Smoke City great, if it is. The proof is in the tasting, not bungled PR. According to latest estimates, we need approximately 10,000 more good BBQ places in Southern California, so let's keep our fingers crossed.

Aug 16, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Nick's Cafe ... best hash browns ever.

How do they compare to the classic LA hash browns of Russell's and Pie 'n Burger, both of which I'd describe as "creamy" in texture with crisp around the outside (when fried properly)?

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Pie 'n Burger
913 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

Aug 16, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Tacos de Guisados & Masa Fresca

I cook beef, veal, or pork stews all the time without reducing the meat to mush, and La Casita uses an outstanding beef/pork ground (or chopped) mixture for their chiles en nogada that is never mushy and which I much prefer to Babita's or La Cabañita's. Also, when I lived in Texas, I don't remember that mush -- MOOSH would be a better term -- in the guisados. I've tried to think back to what I might have eaten as a little kid in South Texas and on the California/Mexico border that might have soured me on too-soft guisado and can't recall any specific thing, but I do know that I can't stand the texture. Anyway, I appreciate the comments. (Just send me your bill, Doc, and I'll remit promptly. ;-)

Aug 16, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area

Tacos de Guisados & Masa Fresca

Does the meat have the mushy texture that you often find in guisado-style meats here, even in Babita's filling for chiles en nogada, e.g.?

Aug 16, 2010
hnsbmg in Los Angeles Area