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Pasadena Lunch Spot Needed

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I'll look into these places.

Aug 04, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena Lunch Spot Needed

I'm looking for a place to take around 15 people to lunch this Friday for around $10-15 a person. I'd prefer to avoid Old Town, but would be open to it if it presents the best options. Open to any sort of cuisine. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Aug 04, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, August 2014: COCKTAILS and Bar Food

As someone who lives a few blocks from Bar Food and has had many potato puffs, I can assure you that they are indeed fantastic.

On another note, I miss the early days of Bar Food when happy hour beer and wine was $3-5, and you got a free hot dog with each drink ordered.

Aug 03, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area
1

Saint Martha

I went to Saint Martha a couple of nights ago with a group of six and was surprised to find no mention of it on this board. Between us, we made it through most of the menu (http://www.saintmartharestaurant.com/...). The dinner was fantastic.

First, the location is unexpected. Its in a strip mall in Koreatown a few blocks south of Wilshire on Western. A simple sign giving the restaurants name sits above a heavy looking wooden door. Once through the door, it is a lovely space. Very small and intimate.

After an amuse whose ingredients I can't remember with the exception of goat cheese, we started with items from the Snacks and Rawesome categories. Chicken liver moose was a huge portion for $8 and had a great flavor. The octupus served over Koshikari rice with squid ink was good, but was outshone by many of the other dishes. For a few in my party, the sea urchin tataki with avocado mousse and "doroitos" made from seaweed was the first exposure to uni. It was another great dish. I really wanted to try the spot prawn tartare served over a block of Himalayan salt, but our server reported that they did not have spot prawns available that night because they are caught and shipped in daily, but the waters were too rough off Santa Barbara earlier for the fishermen to go out.

Oysters are found in several places on the menu. The steak and oyster tartare with champagne sabayon and bone marrow beignets was another unexpected winner. The oyster complimented the steak very well. We also had two rounds of oysters on the half shell. While a little expensive ($14 for three), I can't think of a time I have had a better oyster. They were served in a large bowl filled with polished stones. Accouterments included caviar, cucumber, and horseradish. They were divine.

We next tried 3 out of 4 of the vegetable dishes. Asparagus was served with deviled egg puree and fried oyster. The puree was an interesting take on the typical asparagus and egg dish. The asparagus was outshone through, by the brassicas with poached egg, brewer's yeast and mushroom and the summer corn served with avocado, whitefish roe, chicken skin, and watermelon radish.

After sharing the above smaller plates, we each ordered our own entree, with the addition of the sardines for the table. The entrees were all very generous portions considering the prices and quality of cooking. The sardines, despite being a lovely plate of two larger speciimens of fish, were by fall the weakest dish of the evening and lacked flavor with a mushy texture. The other entrees we tried, through, were far more successful. Scallops were cooked slightly rare. Pork belly was good, but not the best rendition I've had. 3 of our group went for the brisket. Amazingly tender and a huge portion with a bold flavor. My entree was the dug leg confit with beets, laveder granola, and parsnip milk. For $22 I was expecting one duck leg, but the dish actually came with two large legs and was plated resembling a massacre in a way that reminded me of a dish you would see at a Wolvesmouth dinner. The lavender granola certainly had a very strong lavender flavor and added a nice crunch.

Three deserts were available that night and we had one of each. Forgive me for not having access to the desert menu and not being able to provide a full list of ingredients. First was a peanut butter and jelly dessert with pound cake, grilled grapes, peanut butter ice cream, and grape granache (or something like that). I don't like peanut butter, but others liked the dish. Next was a chocolate and beet desert that I don't remember much about. Finally was a grilled peach dessert with some sort of cake, honey ice cream, and a couple of other items. Get this last one. Seriously one of my new favorite desserts. The meal ended with complimentary cubes of grape gelee.

Pictures of the duck and sardines are below. Pictures of most of the dishes are available on yelp.

The wine list (which I believe changes frequently) is a decent size. All of the wines are available in four serving sizes (taste, glass, pinche, and bottle). The list is heavily French, but does include others. Our sever was very knowledgeable about the wine and made some great pairing suggestions. Service was fantastic.

As I wasn't paying, I'm not sure exactly what the bill came out too, but on a per dish basis, I though the prices were very reasonable. I assume Saint Martha pays a lot less in rent given its location than most similar restaurants.

Aug 03, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Where to buy Lechon

LA Rose Cafe in Hollywood.

Jun 06, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Which wine tasting room in Temecula has the best red wine?

My favorite in Temecula was Gershon-Bacchus Vinters, but I think they're open sporadically and require an appointment.

May 15, 2014
jsandler in California

Brunch in Santa Monica

Zengo. I've been there for a brunch a few times, most recently this past weekend. $35 for all you can eat (made to order, not a buffet) and drink from a variety of brunch cocktails. Food ranges from good to great, with only a couple of dishes we didn't like (after making it through the whole menu with a large group). Great patio on the roof of Santa Monica place overlooking the promenade.

Menu: http://www.richardsandoval.com/zengos...

LA Weekly: The Essentials March 8 - Anyone Going?

I noticed the same thing about TPC. Perhaps that explains why they did not run out of food as fast as most other vendors, though.

Mar 10, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

LA Weekly: The Essentials March 8 - Anyone Going?

Agree with what a few others have said. There was some good food, but the number of places running out less than half way through the event was highly unfortunate. I didn't go last year, but the two previous years were much better. I also liked the Peterson better as a venue. I do not remember there ever being such a wait at so many booths, and many of the lines were merging into each other.

Mar 09, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

LA Weekly: The Essentials March 8 - Anyone Going?

All inclusive. Compared to most of the other food festivals out there (especially those that are fundraisers), I've always found it a really good deal.

Mar 03, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Wolvesmouth dinner 1-25-14

The lobster and pork belly followed by citrus dessert. I did a write up here: http://cenarela.blogspot.com/2014/01/...

Jan 26, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Wolvesmouth dinner 1-25-14

No.

Jan 26, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Wolvesmouth dinner 1-25-14

Jan 26, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Wolvesmouth dinner 1-25-14

Actually, there is technically no cost. At the end of the meal you are given an envelope and are asked to contribute whatever you want. From what I've gathered, people usually leave around $100 but I'd imagine there is a considerable range.

Jan 26, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Wolvesmouth dinner 1-25-14

Forgot one picture.

Jan 26, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Wolvesmouth dinner 1-25-14

I got into Wolvesmouth the day before you did, also after trying for quite a while. Looks like our meals were mostly the same, though our second course was skate instead of cod, and a few other ingredients in some of the other course look like they were changed. Thanks for posting. I was actually wondering how much different the next day's menu would be.

I agree about how incredible the meal was. My favorites were the pork belly/lobster dish and the final desert but everything was great. The guests also brought some great wines to share.

Pictures below.

Jan 26, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area
1

FRIED FOODS - LA Dish of the Month (January 2014)

I was there around 1 pm and there was no wait and around 5 other parties eating.

The entire menu consisted of shrimp and fish tacos and a really good cucumber and mint agua fresca.

Jan 04, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

FRIED FOODS - LA Dish of the Month (January 2014)

I had Ricky's Fish Tacos yesterday for the first time. Both the fish and shrimp are the best I've had in Los Angeles. The fish was pretty close to what I remember having in Ensenada, though that was a few years ago.

Jan 02, 2014
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Food truck wedding at a beach?

Wasn't beach side, but I attended a wedding catered by Kogi. I believe you pay a set price for unlimited food based on the length of time and menu you want.

Nov 14, 2013
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Schweppes Bitter Lemon

I just returned from a few months overseas, during which I came to really like Schweppes Bitter Lemon. A little research has revealed that it is rare, though not unheard of, in the United States. Anyone know where it is available in the Los Angeles (preferably West Side) area? Thanks!

Jul 23, 2013
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

So what's the average Chowhound's age?? (Part 2)

28 and have been posting for a few years.

Jul 02, 2013
jsandler in Not About Food

Constanta, Romania

I am headed to Constanta, Romania this weekend. For anyone who has been, any suggestions for good food?

Jun 18, 2013
jsandler in Europe

Dinner @ The Tasting Kitchen

Its been a couple of years since I have been to The Tasting Kitchen, but I remember that clam dish. Really good.

Feb 21, 2013
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Short Review of New Curry House Coco Ichibanya Location

The new Curry House Coco Ichibanya location had its grand opening last night in Brentwood. We had the pork cutlet (regular spicy level) and thin sliced work with mushroom (spicy level 3) curries. Probably should have tried something other than two pork dishes, but I was a bit let down. The food was good and the portions were more than enough, but I thought that the curry really wasn't all that different from what you can get boxed in any Asian grocery store and wasn't worth the price. I'll probably try it again to give their other type of curry a try, but I was really hoping it would be more worthwhile since its close to home. For opening night (and the next few days) they were giving away few mugs. Does anyone who has tried one of their other locations have a recommendation for anything noteworthy on their menu?

Feb 21, 2013
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Restaurant Selection Help

Thanks for the responses. I think I'll go with Westside Tavern.

Dec 05, 2012
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Restaurant Selection Help

Thanks. This was actually my next thought.

Dec 04, 2012
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Restaurant Selection Help

Hi everyone,

I'm organizing an end of the semester dinner for my graduate school class this Saturday. I had originally want to do it at FIG in Santa Monica to take advantage of the half priced menu between 5 and 6. However, I called to make a reservation only to discover that they have a full restaurant buy out Saturday night. Anyone have any suggestions for something comparable, Santa Monica or West LA preferred with a $20-30 a person price range? Thanks

Dec 04, 2012
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

New Menu at Chego

Has anyone tried the new menu items at Chego? Worthwhile? I enjoy Chego (and I know that many members of these board abhor it), but was getting tired of the old menu.

Oct 15, 2012
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Kotoya Japanese Ramen: A Pictorial Essay

And its not just his parents he's bringing over. When I spoke to the owner, he mention 3 daughters..

Sep 21, 2012
jsandler in Los Angeles Area

Shrimp & Grits

I had shrimp and grits recently at Blue Stove in Nordstrom at Santa Monica Place. First time having the dish, but everyone at the table loved it.

I was skeptical about Blue Stove at first, as many seem to be. But for a restaurant inside a department store, its surprisingly good.

Sep 14, 2012
jsandler in Los Angeles Area