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mwallace930's Profile

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Going to Fraiche for my birthday - Which one is better?

Thanks for the words of advice. Ended up going to the Culver City one. Had an incredible tagliatelle with sweet breads to start and then a braised veal cheeks which was good but nothing special. More or less just a decent pot roast.

Jan 30, 2011
mwallace930 in Los Angeles Area

Looking for a sunset picnic at a beach or park in Los Angeles Area?

If you do Dockweiler, make sure you get there well in advance of sunset. I took my now-ex there last valentine's day, and we were parking maybe 15-20 minutes before the sun went below the horizon. It was a mad scramble to get a fire pit, but I was fortunate to get the last one on the beach. By the time we got it and got set up with all the stuff from the car, the sun had just gone below the horizon.

Just so you know though, she absolutely loved it. I made a picnic dinner, brought some blankets and firewood, and brought my portable ipod speakers for some nice Van Morrison. She told me it was one of the best things I'd ever done for her. The people there were other couples/groups of couples and really nice, there was no stench, and the airplanes were fun to watch.

Jan 18, 2011
mwallace930 in Los Angeles Area

B.A.D. or BAD sushi on SM Blvd, near Le Saigon

Alright, don't go there if you don't like it. I suppose I'm wrong in my patronage philosophy. I'm not a sushi aficianado or anything, but I didn't get sick when I ate there, the service was very good and friendly, it has a fun sort of vibe that some of the other Japanese restaurants on that strip of SMB could take a page from (I'm looking at you En Sushi and Izakaya Sasaya), and the food tasted perfectly fine, if nothing spectacular. Use your 50% off and enjoy. Maybe try them on a night even after that. I think they have some parts of their menu that are permanently 50% off. As far as supporting that strip, you got it right with Juquila and Videostore Named Desire (Mike is the don of videostore owners, irreplaceable), but my experience has been horrible at Qusqo. Their paella was terrible and the service was very snooty. Will never go back there. Qusqo and Cacao both serve up a healthy serving of smug that I prefer to stay away from. But yes, Juquila, Le Saigon, Videostore Named Desire are all great fixtures in this part of town. Oh yes, and Emil's Swiss Bakery. Let's hope with things keep going with the two new restaurants opening soon.

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Juquila
11619 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Le Saigon
11611 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

En Sushi
11651 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025

Izakaya
8420 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Sep 30, 2010
mwallace930 in Los Angeles Area

B.A.D. or BAD sushi on SM Blvd, near Le Saigon

I live in the neighborhood, and I've been there a couple times to use the 50% off coupons that they have running through September 30th. It definitely does have the gimmicky rolls, but also has sashimi, hand rolls, etc. While it's not the best sushi I've ever had, I don't mind going there to support a neighborhood joint. that strip has potential, and it seems it's beginning to take off a little bit, what with two new restuarants (Naan Hut and Chorros Calientes) opening up in the next couple weeks/month. You'd do better for sushi on Sawtelle, but it's probably better and less crowded than California Sushi Factory down the block.

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Sushi Factory
17870 Newhope St Ste 102, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Sep 28, 2010
mwallace930 in Los Angeles Area

Going to Fraiche for my birthday - Which one is better?

My birthday is this Thursday, and since I have a Groupon for Fraiche, I will be going there with my girlfriend to celebrate. I haven't made reservations yet, so I thought I would ask before I did which one y'all think is better. I live in West LA, so Culver City and Santa Monica are both pretty easy to get to. What say you? Culver City or Santa Monica? Does anything really set one apart from the other or is this six of one, half-dozen of the other?

Sep 27, 2010
mwallace930 in Los Angeles Area

Hard to Find Italian Wines on the Westside

I've been looking for a wine shop on the westside that has a wide selection of Italian wines. I've been to Wally's and Bay City Deli, and they certainly have some great Italian wines, including some interesting ones, but its mostly Northern Italian (Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto). I see the occasional bottle of southern italian wine like a Salice di Salentino or Lacryma Christi, but the DOC(G) range is limited. It would also be great to find some of the Northern Italian wines I enjoy like Carmignano or Est! Est! Est! So what's the deal? Do you know where to find these smaller production wines? Do they just not import them to the US/LA?

Aug 05, 2010
mwallace930 in Los Angeles Area

Some of the Best Mexican Food in LA? A Full Review of Border Grill!

I don't understand why Border Grill gets so much love. I've eaten there twice now and tried a good bit on the menu, and to my mind, it's entirely overrated. Certain menu items, like the lamb tacos, are to die for. Most of it, however, is average to poor. The tamales with mole don't hold a candle to the same dish at Monte Alban. My girlfriend, a pescotarian, had the grilled fish tacos and said they were forgettable. Not to mention every time I sit in that place, I feel like I'm in the bowels of Space Mountain.

The biggest crime however, is their margarita. That crap is piss-poor. We went there after the US/England soccer match and got a pitcher. For $48 bucks (basically $12/marg.), you get the same lime green swill you could get at Chili's. I'd much rather go to El Carmen and get an amazing spicy margarita for $9.

As a Westsider, I go to Monte Alban for my Oaxacan, Taqueria Sanchez for my taco fix, and Mariscos Chente for my Mexican seafood (but not sure if my girlfriend will go back if they're not doing the pescado zerendeado anymore). Border Grill is overpriced and can't compete with any of these restaurants.

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Monte Alban
11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Taqueria Sanchez
4541 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

Mariscos Chente
4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

El Carmen Restaurant
8138 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Jun 15, 2010
mwallace930 in Los Angeles Area