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Opentable Irritating Telephone Confirmations

This happens with non-open table ressies as well. I do find if I'm don't tke the call I get a crappy table, which isn't too surprising. They're not sure I'm going to show. A lot of people blow off reservations without a second thought.

Dec 18, 2008
writergirl in Not About Food

UGO Culver City - going downhill

I agree..when was it ever going uphill?

Dec 28, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

Tipping BEFORE the meal - what would you have done?

According to pretty much every ettiquette book (I would say every, but ya never know what's out there) the host tips, so the guests don't have to. I'm with Jfood, I'd feel horrible if I thought my guests were ponying up tips. When I got married, I checked to make sure the staff wouldn't be accepting tips. The caterers were appalled that I would think they would allow tips to be accepted from guests. If you're at a work funcion with a no-host bar, that's one thing, but if you're at a catered affair, that's completely different. The hosts should pay the tip, and the guests should be free to enjoy themselves without feeling dunned. (I wouldn't go so far as saying it's a faux pas, but the reasoning behind it being a faux pas is you're implying your hosts didn't tip their wait staff appropriately.)

Dec 15, 2007
writergirl in Not About Food

Portion Size at Finer Restaurants

Have you had that problem at a Keller restaurant, or are you just using him as an example? People keep mentioning all these outrageous examples of small food/big prices, but no one's saying what restaurants they're supposedly occuring in. Are these anecdotal? If not, names would be helpful to warn your fellow hounds.

Dec 15, 2007
writergirl in General Topics

Pre-made Mexican Layered Dip?

The guacamole in the TJs version has that horrible chemically/lemon taste to it that cheap store-bought guacs sometimes have. I bought some for a tailgate party, and wouldn't do it again. Come to think of it...most store bought Mexican layer dips have that weird taste.

Dec 15, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

Going nuts for donuts!

Ah King Pin! Yum! I vote for Royal Donuts as well. The fritters aren't as big as King Pin, but I found that sometimes the middle of theirs didn't get cooked all the way. Royal's cinamon rolls are good too.

Dec 13, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Zo: My First Visit - A Review & Comparison

Hmm, good to know. I tend to like sauce, but have always felt the fish at Zo has enough. Puddles might be a bit much. But I'll give it a chance.

Dec 02, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

Halal Food In Los Angeles

I don't know if it's too late, but I found this link:

http://www.zabihah.com/ls.php?id=70

I've only been to two places on the list. Beverly Falafel is a good quick lunch kind of place, the food's not amazing. I remember their falafel and hummus were good, but didn't care for their chicken so much. Gaby's in Culver City is quite good. But under "Halal Authenticity" it says "verbal assurance by staff." The waitressess seem, shall we say, well, kinda ditzy. I'd just make sure you were getting "verbal assurances" from someone with some authority, like Gaby himself. Beverly Falafel is much closer to Hollywood, but still isn't especially close. Good luck, enjoy your stay!

Dec 02, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

Vote for the best Hole-In-The-Wall (Michelin-style)

I think you may have the wrong Bluebird. From previous posts, I'm pretty sure Tater is referring to the Bluebird in Culver City.

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Bluebird Cafe
8572 National Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

Dec 02, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

Coming from SF for 25th Anniversary...

I agree about Fraiche. It's very good, but it wouldn't be my choice for my anniversary, and we're only up to 6! For your 25th, you definitely want something that's more special. And Tuesday night in Culver City, I'm not sure how much buzz you'll feel. The same goes for Opus, and I'm a BIG Opus fan. There are a lot of good suggestions above, many that I haven't been to, and some of the ones I was going to suggest you've been to. Of all of the suggestions, Grace is the one I'd most want to go to (and it's where I had reservations for our recent anniversary, until my husband surprised ME with reservations at Spago.)

Dec 02, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Zo: My First Visit - A Review & Comparison

Nice report, and thanks for the comparison to two other widely mentioned places. I want to give Sasabune a try, but it's so hard for me to go somewhere that's NOT Zo!

Dec 01, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

otter pops?

Walmart (husband is addicted to otter pops, we seriously go there just to buy them.)

Nov 28, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

Giovanni's Trattoria - Still a Gem

You had me at $3 corkage. This is one of the few places in Culver City that I just haven't managed to get to yet, and I'm not sure why. Especially now that Cucina Paradiso has become enedible. Thanks for refreshing my memory about this place.

Nov 25, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

What Food Products Have Changed?

Oh, I totally agree, I wouldn't say most people used it. But from what I can tell, it was much more popular in the 60s than today. (I wasn't around in the 60s.) I think the pendulum is starting to swing away from chemicals (thank goodness!)

Nov 25, 2007
writergirl in General Topics

What Food Products Have Changed?

Good point about the GMOs. But I think hydrogenated oils became popular in the 60s (margarine anyone?) MSG was called "Accent" and people used it at home! (which would so not happen in most homes today.) I think the 60s were the decade that processed foods really took off. I guess I just don't buy it that all those processed foods that people are waxing nostalgically about weren't chock full o' chemicals.

Nov 25, 2007
writergirl in General Topics

Home Plate Burgers in Reseda for a Detroit Coney Island Dog

"Coney" is a generic term for chili dogs in Detroit. They're not small, and you'd have a serious tummy ache if you ate three! It's a very popular regional thing (my sister-in-law had Coneys for a midnight snack at her wedding reception, very cool.) Everyone has their favorite Coney place (Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island are two popular, supposedly feuding Coney places in Downtown Detroit.) There's no specific Detroit chili (like for example, Cincinnati chili.) At some restaurants the chili is disgusting, others it's delish. In general, it's chili with no beans. Here in LA, the closest I've found to a Coney is at Hamburger Habit in West LA. I don't know this place in Reseda.

I would say Coneys are to Detroit what tacos are to here...everyone has there opinion on who has the best, and are convinced that no other city does them as well! (And the uninitiated aren't sure what the fuss is about.)

Nov 25, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

What Food Products Have Changed?

I'm amazed at the amount of processed foods people ate in the 60s! I really doubt there were significantly fewer chemicals used back then, I'd need to see some empirical proof, not just boomer nostaligia. My dad, who grew up in the country then moved to the city, says produce tastes better now, more like when he was a country boy. Maybe it's the whole organic/locally grown thing.

Nov 24, 2007
writergirl in General Topics

What menu items need to be retired?

When did you grow up in California? (Clearly before the slang term "Cali" was in use!) I grew up here in the 70s/80s and Ranch was definitely the salad dressing of choice. Maybe it is generational...and the generation younger than me uses it on everything.

Nov 22, 2007
writergirl in General Topics

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich

Enthusiastic second of S&W. They have grill cheese w/tomato on the menu. It gets worse (or better) you can also get it with BACON! Soooo good. S&W is a diner, cash only, great waitresses (although quite a few look like starlets, they are some of the best wait staff in LA.) They're only open for breakfast/lunch. I've never had anything I didn't like there EXCEPT for the biscuits and gravy which are disgusting (I think they've never tasted biscuits before, these taste like cake.) Everything else there is delicious.

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S & W Country Diner
9748 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

Nov 21, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

What menu items need to be retired?

I AM SO WITH YOU! The problem with wraps is I have NEVER had a good tortilla/other wrapping. They're always hard, cold, flavorless. Also, there never seems to be a good filling ratio. It's always too much lettuce, or too much rice. And underspiced.

Nov 18, 2007
writergirl in General Topics

What menu items need to be retired?

I've lived in both halfs of Cali, native of So Cal, don't go blaming us! I you're right that the ranch on everything trend comes from the middle of the country (where I have tons of ranch-loving relatives.) Ranch goes on salad and the occasional french fry. Ranch on pizza sounds disgusting!

Nov 18, 2007
writergirl in General Topics

Farm Boy - Palms Area

Shop carefully because of quality or prices? I've been watching this place under construction, and didn't realize it was open. I'd never heard of the chain before, I'll be dropping by this week!

Nov 18, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

Carpaccio....... NOT! (slightly oversized rant)

I think if the chef had used that as his reasoning, as well as not called it "raw" (which is not "rare") on the menu the OP wouldn't have had an issue. It's the mis-labeling and the aiming for the less adventurous palate that is annoying. If the menu description read "Chef X's interpretation of traditional carpaccio, seared slightly to bring out the flavors" then there would be no issue.

Nov 18, 2007
writergirl in General Topics

Tesco/Fresh and Easy Markets - Good?

You're not the only one who's noticed that:

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedit...

Nov 18, 2007
writergirl in Chains

TESCO Fresh and Easy

ooh, really?? I never see it at the Farmer's Market Cost Plus. Mmmm! Thanks Das!

Nov 13, 2007
writergirl in Chains

dinner/drinks near Beverly Hills/Century City

Did a new Trader Vics open? They were saying they were "moving" to Las Vegas, and there's definitely a Vics in Vegas now. I don't see a Beverly Hills Trader Vics on their website.

Nov 13, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

French 75 in Century City

Oh Spaniel, if only you had seen my post! We had the same horrible meal (I was trying to figure out which was worse, the disgusting coq au vin, or the from-a-box mashed potatoes.) I noticed in your other anti-French 75 post, you put "stay far away." I had similar sentiments of "run away, run away!" But just to prove the adage "to each his own" some folks seemed to take it personally that I didn't care for it.

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/324878

Nov 13, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

TESCO Fresh and Easy

I agree with Chowpatty, it's not fear, it's the market economy. The British expat community is beyond miniscule compared to the Latino community. Plus, a few years ago British food was hard to come by, but it's pretty easy to find now, so it doesn't make that much sense for F&E to offer it. Like I mentioned before, Cost Plus has a nice selection, most Indian places offer things, larger branches of chain grocers have British foods as well (I never see clotted cream - except in my dreams!)

Nov 12, 2007
writergirl in Chains

Sushi Zo: Caveat Emptor

I'm not a regular at all. I've only been three times in well over a year, and each time he's been really nice, and the last two he remembered me. But clearly some his manner is such that it puts some people off, who knows, maybe he is rude to certain people. But, I'm glad I'm part of the lucky "liked" crowd, because I do love his sushi whenever I get a chance to eat there!

Nov 12, 2007
writergirl in Los Angeles Area

Are potatoes cleaner these days?

This may seem like a random question, but are potatoes cleaner than they were, say 20-30 years ago? I seem to remember when I was a little kid, potatoes were really dirty, taking a fair amount of scrubbing for my mom to get rid of the soil. But now they seem like they're clean after a little rinse and a rub. (I usually get fingerlings, yukon gold, and russets) Is it just me? I know this is a weird question, but I'm very curious!

Nov 12, 2007
writergirl in General Topics