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TracyO's Profile

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Lunch in Camarillo, and an afternoon snack/early dinner between there and LAX?

Camarillo is so very far from LAX time-wise. I cannot speak to lunch options there, but if he doesn't have a late departure from LAX, he could go to the gjelina takeaway window on the way back to bring food on the plane - just a thought in case he's in a rush (then he can book down Lincoln to Sepulveda which is better than the freeway after you pass the Marina). Also, the desserts at Superba make my heart soar (truly amazing), but the service is so poor, that I feel compelled to say it's not representative of the norm here!

Jun 04, 2014
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Grocery Delivery?

WOW! What is the Trader Joes delivery service?! We live in Santa Monica and use Yummy.com. They have never taken more than 15 minutes to get here and we've used them at least once a week for about 2.5 years. The selection isn't wide, but the produce quality is very good (fresh bread, unless you order LaBrea bakery isn't good). I'm a parent with a very intense job and they DO make my life much, much easier.

Jun 04, 2014
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Santa Monica for one night-need the perfect restaurant. Foodie from NY

FIG for its for the quality of the food and setting (and, can't be beat proximity). If it's for something intimate or you want a great conversation, try One Pico (but, you need to call first and get a window table) - that will be within easy walking distance for you (and, a nice bar on the water for conversation afterward - also, One Pico is more traditional than foody - it's just super nice). If you want something very unusual and memorable try Josie - very dark and clubby with very "call of the wild" food. If you want an all-out extravaganza with wines try Valentino and ask them for the three sided alcove room. All are in SM. Don't pay heed to the out-door "look" of the restaurants - that has no bearing on what goes on inside. I love Joes in Venice (sometimes food is a tiny bit uneven, but service is impeccable). And, of course, Melisse is the obvious food/service choice - but again, depending on the person, I think you could make another choice with a really nice outcome.

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One Pico
1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Sep 25, 2011
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

where to take foodie, last minute, westside

Really good point, foodiemahoodlie - I love the food here, but it may be more of my love of this type of atmosphere (which I'd NOT thought of as melancholy, but hey, I'm Russian Swedish so that's probably in my blood) than the au courant-ness of the food. I never thought to answer FIG, which is actually maybe the best type of answer here - very unusual ingredient parings, up to date crowd and cocktails.

Sep 25, 2011
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Melisse--Prime time two tops?

I would just say that I've always had better luck calling the restaurant (and, describing the event/meeting/whatever that I'm coming for). I love Open Table and use it all of the time, but if this is important, call Melisse (where they are so nice) or Providence and tell them. And, I think I'm probably much older than you, but the tasting menus do take forever and you want to relax and enjoy yourself, so going earlier might not be a horrible thing (I've often thought that I wished they would let you walk around the block after every few courses). You can go some place fun for drinks afterward.

Sep 25, 2011
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

LA'S OWN KITCHEN NIGHTMARE

Taking people out for dinner is part of my job. I understand that you'd like to hear about the food. But, frankly, if the service is truly like this, I can't bring anyone here - regardless of what the food is like - I don't know this member of chowhound, but I respect her reviews and comments. In the US expense accounts make up a good deal of dining out, and if clients aren't treated well there's nothing more to talk about. I'll tolerate being treated badly (unlike most), but I'll never tolerate having a client treated badly. So, again, if this is the deal I can't afford the risk, no matter how much I enjoy your programs.

Sep 25, 2011
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Westside/Bay Cities Recommendations Needed.

If you really want a hole in wall try Gilberts in SM (on Pico) - (the Fernandos burrito is die for) or La Cabana in Venice (on Rose & Lincoln) for the Puchugas d;Angel or the seafood enchiladas (also, the margaritas there are really good). La Cabana has an outdoor patio that is very nice for eating out. Funky, but great. My friend from SF loved La Cabana - there's nothing like our Mexican anywhere else.

Sep 24, 2011
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

where to take foodie, last minute, westside

I've vever had a bad meal or service at Warszawa in the last 20 years. It's original (food and setting), the service is great. Best choices are the pieorgies, the bigos stew, COLD (NOT hot) borscht), tomato salad. They can put you in the main or side room and you'll have dinner that's truly great and distinctive. And, no, I don't know them, but my family has had our birthdays at this restaurant for literally 20 years. It is a solid choice if you think it might be up your alley.

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Warszawa Restaurant
1414 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Sep 24, 2011
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Concert tonight at Staples with 86 yr old mom-- where to eat?

I promise I'll keep my mouth shut after this, but I took a friend/client to dinner at the bowl and we ordered off of their menu - the food was very good. Just a thought.... You can order right off of their web site. And, save the $ for tipping you parking lot person to put you in the "right" place so you and your mom aren't waiting after the show.

Sep 24, 2011
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

You would have a hard time finding _________in Los Angeles...

Way back to the pirogues. I'm Russian, not Polish, but the ones at Warszawa are REALLY great. My favorite are the mushroom. Better fried than steamed (like most things). If you want something non-traditional try their salmon dumplings which are sublime. This is the only truly European restaurant I've been to in Los Angeles. I'd love to hear of others.

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Warszawa Restaurant
1414 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Sep 24, 2011
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Concert tonight at Staples with 86 yr old mom-- where to eat?

What about Cicada if it's still around? The room is SO vintage and timeless? The food (and, gee, obviously I haven't been in a long time), was wonderful. And, it's super close to Staples. Just a thought.

Sep 24, 2011
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Stand Up OpenTable and It Will Dump Your Ass

If you want to be treated nicely, it should come naturally to you to do the right thing. You wouldn't pass up a dinner invitation at someone's house without calling first so why would you do that with a restaurant? Rude is rude. If you have to cancel last minute it happens - but, be courteous enough to call because someone else might want your table (without waiting for your no-show). Why is there anyone on the planet raised by wolves who doesn't understand normal social rules? If your parents didn't educate you, then just think how you would feel if YOU were the person cooking the meal? Meals are a social rite - don't act like an uneducated beast about them.

Sep 24, 2011
TracyO in Features

Is It Safe to Leave Butter Out at Room Temperature?

Since I can remember my family has refigeratered "long-term" butter, but we keep butter on the stick in a butter container on the kitchen counter. I've done this for 45 years. I cannot stand trying to use hard butter on bread, etc. - it's not the optimal temperature for toast/baking from my novice perspective. Everyone in my family does this (we're all in the Pacific region). If there's health risk we've not encountered it. I think pats of butter that you can see when you eat are super yucky!

Sep 24, 2011
TracyO in Features

Very "LA" restaurants with outdoor seating to take visitors?

Here are my out of left field suggestions. What about Inn of the Seventh Ray (the food is NOT the best, but the outside patio/creek) in Topanga - VERY So Cal. Also, One Pico doesn't have outside seating, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better view or more serene setting (but, you would need to specify window searing).

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One Pico
1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Jul 31, 2011
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Must Eats in Westside...Not too $$$$

What? You are asking about Bagel Nosh in SM and asking about another alternative? That would be Rae's on Pico and Stewart. The wait for tables on the weekends is bad, but you can get a seat at the counter fairly quickly. My tip is try the stawberry shakes because the make them with whole strawberries and there are big chucks left in the canister. If I've mis-shot I apologize, but it sort of sounds like you are looking for kick-ass diner-food and not the Michelin star.

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Bagel Nosh
17271 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA

Mar 12, 2011
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Best Pizza Delivery on Westside

Joe's has the best pizza in Santa Monica, but for delivery folks may want to consider Bravo. I'm NOT from NY and I'm not saying it's the best or anything, but the pizza is very good, the folks that answer the phone are totally nice and the delivery is prompt (and, us non-NY people think think the pizza is great - but, I know the crust is much more doughy than the NY variety).

Mar 12, 2011
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

pacos tacos vs casa sanchez?

La Cabana on Rose in Venice makes their own tortillas. Also, for Westside Mexican I love Gilberts El Indio in SM on Pico and Gallegos Brothers on Venice in Mar Vista (the last is heavy on burritos and you'd do better to take out). Finally, check out La Playita on Lincoln in SM just up from Rose - it is a take out stand and their shrimp tacos are great.

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La Playita
3306 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

El Indio
22816 S Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

Sep 26, 2010
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena area -- looking for weekend lunch spot with patio

I second Julienne's in San Marino. I had lunch there on Monday with three other people and the salads and sandwiches were WONDERFUL. However, they do not take reservations and they will not seat you until everyone in your group is there.

Sep 24, 2010
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Local, pastured, humanely-raised eggs, chicken and milk

So, this is probably not truly up your alley, - I buy Healthy Family Farms eggs at the SM market and we really like them (per another person's wise recommendation). But just in case you care and don't know, Alta Dena has delivery folks in certain parts of LA (they have them on the Westside although my neighbors stopped having them come because we can buy Alta Dena here and the delivery of milk and eggs is not cheaper than at the store) - they come to your house and have a pretty good array of non-pasturized dairy products in glass jars. I'll look for the number if this is up your alley.

Sep 23, 2010
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Who is your favorite bakery to make a birthday cake???

Someone else (bulavinaka) made the great observation that this depends on what you are looking for. So, don't shoot me, but if this cake is primarily for a child (and, for the parents) the cakes at Victor Benes (inside of Gelsons) are actually quite good and they've been able to run with some of the strange themes I've thrown their way (I've only done this at the Marina Del Rey location). The best and most beautiful, beautiful (it needs two) cake I've had someone give to me was from Sweet Lady Jane in Hollywood - it was so gorgeous we didn't want to eat it, but once we did we attacked it and it was gone in minutes. Also, for other folks recommendations I've had the Susie Cakes cupcakes and they are WONDERFUL!

Sep 23, 2010
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Mastro's or CUT for best steak in LA?

Yeah, I totally get you. But, I'm taking folks from Duluth, Houston, Humboldt, etc. to Josie's and even though I live within walking distance they are totally freaked out. I LOVE Josie's so don't get me wrong, but our neighborhood isn't BH and there are people who don't get it (like I said I can walk over right now, but it doesn't look like Kansas and lots of folks expect Kansas). Or, even, Jaipur, Hong Kong and Dublin where I've also been stuck recently - we just expect people to get everything here (and, I'm speaking about me), but they don't.

Jun 19, 2010
TracyO in Los Angeles Area

Mastro's or CUT for best steak in LA?

I do not like beef or red meat AT ALL. That being said, taking people to restaurants that serve very good beef to people who want to eat it is is part of my job. Downtown you go to Nick and Stef's (unless you want the old fogy experience) and on the westside, if you're with folks who can deal with the least bit of edgy vibe you to to Josie's which is not the least bit edgy, but the neighbohood is and if you're with someone who wants steak they may care about the neighborhood. If you are with someone who likes beef AND Italian food AND you are on the westside you go to Valentinos. If you want more old fogy choices I've got 'em and just say the word.

Oh, and for gosh sakes don't ever take a business prospect to a chain like Hoston's if you want to keep a piece of business - that's not where you go to a keep the business meal - really - going to a place like that means you don't care (in capital letters).

Jun 19, 2010
TracyO in Los Angeles Area