NAspy's Profile

Title Last Reply

College Visits and 3 Days in Portland

"Upscale hipster" probably is an oxymoron, but generally means anything that might be considered cool and/or desirable to someone under the age of 25-- this can range from an underground club where you need to be on the list, to a trendy, overpriced mediocre sushi place like Katsu-ya in LA. Instagram-worthy a plus.

Jul 21, 2014
NAspy in Metro Portland

DineLA Meals Reported -- July 2014

DineLA at BLD for dinner was excellent: $25 for 3 courses (on a few dishes they added a supplement), generous portions, friendly good service. Starters were lobster roll, kobe beef tataki, tomato/arugula salad, and mains included pan seared branzino, surf n turf (hangar steak and langoustine), veggie lobster mushroom with hand torn pasta, and 2 yummy desserts. Great place for a casual, high quality meal at a great price

Jul 19, 2014
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

College Visits and 3 Days in Portland

My 17 year old daughter and I are traveling to Portland (with another mother and daughter) in September to check out Reed, and Lewis & Clark colleges. We are staying at the Benson and have 3 lunches, 3 dinners and 3 breakfasts, though with early-ish appointments at the schools, breakfast may be of the grab-and-go variety, except on Saturday. We live in LA, eat out a lot, like pretty much everything (except for offal) and definitely want to experience the cultural cuisine of Portland -- the coffee, pastries, local food, seafood, ice cream. I've been trolling the boards a bit and while Roe looks very intriguing, I have to consider that my daughter and her friend are going to want to be checking out the upscale hipster places, as well as the more popular college haunts, and may not be all that interested in a 15 seat chef's table experience. How do Higgins and Paley's Place fit in to this scheme? How is Vie on the waterfront? Other thoughts on places near the water that will give us a feel for Portland? We all love sushi, so Boxer looked good. What would be the best place for a good Saturday breakfast / brunch before we leave town? Also, the girls may want to go out on their own -- good, fun places for high school seniors who will want to be mistaken for college girls? Thanks in advance!

Jul 18, 2014
NAspy in Metro Portland

Christmas Eve and Day for a family of Jews visiting SF

Hi All

Our family of 4 (with 2 daughters, 16 & 13) will be staying in SF for a few days over Christmas. It's Bat Mitzvah season! I've checked the Board and other than the Top O the Mark, not seeing a lot of options for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We may still do one of those Top O the Mark meals, but haven't decided. Is it really worth it? Something one "needs" to have done?

Christmas Eve we'll be seeing a ballet at the Yerba Buena Performing Arts Center at 2 PM and afterward, would like to go somewhere nearby. I lived in SF back in the day when SoMa was a druggie wasteland, so I'm not real familiar with what is good there now. I did eat at an overpriced Indian place near the Marriott Marquis a year or so back. It was good, not great, and we aren't looking for anything crazy wonderful, but a good, upscale interesting place with a fun scene.

We looked into the Kosher Chinese Food thing but it's not really our scene. We will be having Dim Sum at Yank Sing on Sunday, as part of a pre Bat Mitzvah celebration.

Our kids' first real appreciation of good food came when we ate at Zuni Cafe in 2007. They seem to be booked solid, and/or closed -- thoughts about a restaurant that is similar? Innovative, but homey food? I also have enjoyed La Mer for dinner, but that was a few years back. Is Absinthe still around? Also, a friend took me for lunch at a really wonderful nuevo Italian place in the financial district/area last year. The name is escaping me. I know SF has some great new places, or even some "old" ones we need to get to, but I'm really drawing a blank at the moment.

Help! We are staying at the Adagio and will have a car, though we'd probably prefer to let it stay in its $50/night crib, rather than drive around the city.

thanks in advance!

Dec 17, 2013
NAspy in San Francisco Bay Area

THE One Best Place to Have Dinner in the East Bay?

Hi Hounds -- I am going to guess that this is a very open question. My family and I will be visiting the East Bay very briefly, to attend a Bat Mitzvah and do some college touring.

We have openings for one breakfast (is the Brick Hut still around?) 2 lunches (probably in Berkeley and Palo Alto), and one Saturday night dinner. I'd like help with all, but mostly would like to take the family to dinner at the ONE place that is the quintessence of East Bay dining. For me that place has been The Bay Wolf and we have reservations there, but I haven't eaten there in years. The menu looks good, but does the place stand up and is there someplace else that would be better?

In the past I've liked Lalime's, Chez Panisse (both up and down), Yujean's Modern Cuisine of China, the aforementioned Brick Hut, Fat Apple's, the Cheese Board, yes I am TOTALLY dating myself as I don't even know if any of these places exist anymore! I went to school in the Bay Area in the mid 80's, and precious pennies were occasionally squandered on good meals. I've been up since but I think Lalime's was the last place I tried, and that must have been in the late 80's. So I NEED HELP!

Suggestions? thanks in advance!!!!


Oct 01, 2013
NAspy in San Francisco Bay Area

Recommendations for a newish, innovative birthday restaurant?

I'm looking for a place for my wife and our two teenaged, foodie-esque daughters for a birthday dinner. I'd like to find a place we haven't tried -- we don't jump on every new place in town anymore, so I'm sure there is something out there that fills the bill! I was thinking of Larchmont, on Melrose, or Littlefork, but haven't seen any reviews here. I'd certainly like to hear from anyone who's been to either of these places.

Places we've been and enjoyed somewhat recently: Lazy Ox, Ammo, Sadie, Son of a Gun, Sotto, Public School (wife's thought, but we've been there) and most places in Culver City except for Bucato. Also have eaten at the Foundry and Hatfields.
In the past we've enjoyed Rustic Canyon, the now-shuttered Fraiche, JiRaffe (but haven't been in ages), you get the idea. Tried the Little Door, Melisse, Wilshire (used to really like it, but it's declined), Muddy Leek (undecided after 4 visits). We always have liked Hatfield's casual excellence, so anything like that or Ammo or Sadie would be nice.
Thanks in advance! Also, if I've missed a thread that discusses Larchmont or Littlefork, please clue me in.

Aug 29, 2013
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

staying at the ontario sheraton without a car - am i totally out of luck for good restaurants?

I stayed at the Doubletree recently for a conference and ate there with colleagues. It was "fine." Decent wine selection, wedge salad terribly overdressed, steak pretty good. Nice service. There is not much in Ontario with or without a car.

Jul 15, 2013
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Good Chinese restaurant NOT in SGV?

And that will earn you a misdemeanor for making a false police report, which will will at least ensure that dinner conversation won't be lacking

May 11, 2013
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Reasonably Priced ($20) Italian or Mexican or American for a dozen teenage volleyballers?

Maybe Chowhound isn't the place to ask where a dozen 16 year old girls, their coach AND their parents can go to have fun, reasonably priced, and decent food, preferably on the Strip...but I have faith that someone's low brow instincts will kick in...
So we are talking about 30 people total, nothing very exotic, but fun and filling and not too pricey. I'll even settle for a decent chain recommendation. I've never been to Vegas so I don't know what's where. We'll be staying at the Mandalay Bay, the team will be at a Hilton Convention Center hotel. I thought a restaurant in the heart of the strip would be fun. Thoughts?

Jan 10, 2013
NAspy in Las Vegas

World Comes To End; Lee Kam Kee in Alhambra Being Replaced By Mexican Restaurant

So sad about Lee Kam Kee! I've worked in Monterey Park for years and always split the Pho#1 and chicken curry with a friend. Darn....

Oct 19, 2012
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

What is the best Steakhouse in LA?

I'm a big fan of Morton's, good old fashioned tasty steaks at ridiculously high prices. They also offer pretty good 3 course deals from time to time.

But I would venture that most posters on CH favor either Cut, Mastro's or Wolfgang's, all in Beverly Hills.

Sep 08, 2012
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Westwood Italian

Sprazzo is a solid, nice neighborhood place. It's got a relaxed atmosphere, and the staff is great. Took visiting French relatives there and they were happy! (they were staying nearby). La Bruschetta is also nice, but it's got a more old world, stuffy feeling to it in my opinion.

Jul 17, 2012
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Pre-theatre Culver City dinner suggestions

We have really liked City Tavern on Culver in downtown Culver City. Better than Ford's, really good food (owned by the Rush Street people, but I think it's better, albeit less formal).

Mar 25, 2012
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Good Thin-Crust Pizza on Westside?

There is a new branch of Abbot's Pizza by the way on Sepulveda Boulevard, south of Washington.

Good thin crust pizza can be found at the Coop, which is literally a hole in the wall joint. We just had it last night and it's our favorite NY style on the Westside.

Feb 09, 2012
NAspy in Los Angeles Area


The original location is in Culver City, on Venice Blvd. The food is still the same, so if you liked it then, you will like it now. I think the plantains may not be as good as they were, but the Cuban style roast pork is still a favorite in our family.

I will say I don't think their chicken is of the best quality, but it's "fine,"

Feb 05, 2012
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Jersey-style Italian Hero (AKA Sub)

I might get run off the board, but I thought Jersey Mike's was pretty good. I grew up on PA hoagies and subs. They have a branch in Westwood Village, next to the new Trader Joe's.

Feb 01, 2012
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Sushi help

Zo is great, but pricey and the chef can be rude. I have come to prefer Kiriko, because of ambience, food selection and quality.

I also like Sasabune, which many decry.

Jan 08, 2012
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

The Best Sandwich in Los Angeles

+1 for Larchmont Wine and Cheese -- the sandwiches are fresh, somewhat unique and oh so good

Oct 29, 2011
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Native New Yorker moving to LA - hancock park/larchmont village area and need some recs in the hood!

Village Pizza on Larchmont Blvd itself is really pretty good "NY style" pizza in LA and it's definitely casual.

Also, don't miss out on Larchmont Food and Wine sandwiches -- just follow the gaggle of Marlborough girls in skirts and polos around 4 PM. There's usually a line that moves pretty quickly and they make the sandwiches til they run out of bread.

Le Petit Greek is pretty good, but nothing outstanding, which is my rating for the rest of the places on Larchmont Blvd itself. And prices tend to be higher on this street for the food you get, simply because of the neighborhood's boutiquey vibe.

BLD, somewhat further west on Beverly and Vista is a restaurant we really like -- casual with excellent food, particularly breakfast (ricotta pancakes!) and dinner.

BLD Restaurant
7450 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Le Petit Restaurant
13360 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Oct 20, 2011
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Looking for good food and a bit of fun for BDay Dinner on Westside

Heading to Son of A Gun for dinner on Sunday -- sounds like a great time with excellent food!! I'll report back...

Sep 16, 2011
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Looking for good food and a bit of fun for BDay Dinner on Westside

We have been to Spago a couple times... I suggested it, but no go...but Beverly Hills is close, are there other places that would be fun and good food (no Urasawa -- "too much food")

Do people like Eva or Fig? We haven't been there yet...

176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Urasawa Restaurant
218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Sep 10, 2011
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Looking for good food and a bit of fun for BDay Dinner on Westside

Thanks for these suggestions so far! Gjelina and the Foundry are "out" primarily because we have been a few times before and fairly recently (though I could eat at the Foundry all the time) -- we are looking for something new. I will try to sell Animal and/or Son of a Gun again -- I think the "dudes with meat" concept is not her thing -- but the menus look wonderful

We would go to Wilshire, except we have been there quite a bit also -- but that's the sort of food/vibe we are looking for...

Son of a Gun
8370 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

Sep 10, 2011
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Looking for good food and a bit of fun for BDay Dinner on Westside

Hi -- So a party of 5 (with one 80 year old) is looking for a restaurant with good to excellent food and a fun atmosphere for a birthday. We have done the Morroccan belly dancing route before, but really looking for good energy and good food together.

Places we like to eat: Foundry, Street, Ammo, Fraiche, Rustic Canyon, Sublime, Lukshon, Hatfield's. We haven't been to AOC in a long time, and weren't too impressed last time. Gjenlina will be too loud for the 80 year old.

Foundry was dinged as not "fun" enough -- ditto Hatfield's and Ammo. Animal was deemed too extreme (not sure what that means, but it's her birthday).

The Tasting Kitchen doesn't have an opening for 2 months. We'd love to try someplace new. We will have been at a 1 PM Dodger game so will be coming back to the Westside, but the Lazy Ox could still be in the running.


Thanks in advance!

8022 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

9411 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

3239 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90034

Tasting Kitchen
1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291

Sep 10, 2011
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Restaurant to impress an eighteen year old?

Father's Office is a bar, but Rustic Canyon is not.

Father's Office
1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Aug 30, 2011
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Needed: Quintessential LA

I think Pink's is on everyone's list b/c it was so hyped that Michelle O and the girls went there on their trip to LA

Aug 26, 2011
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Palm Springs for 3 dinners?

We were just in PS and enjoyed Johannes and Zin. Out in the Indian Wells area, Castelli is a nice traditional Italian choice.

73098 Highway 111, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Jul 23, 2011
NAspy in California

Please help with a sushi place on 4th of july.!!

Great idea, I think it will take closer to a half hour to get there, as going through Culver City always takes longer than usual. About 20 minutes up La Cienega and then about 10 to get into CC. Fun place.

Jun 29, 2011
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

Chili Dog at Tub's Fine Chili

Just checked out Tub's this evening for the second time and we really enjoyed the turkey chili and their new "Miner's Special" -- the name is slipping me, but it was with bacon, beef and pinto beans and very good. Served over your choice of pasta, brown rice or in a bread roll. They have at least 8 different kinds of chili, including a vegetarian one, and a steak one, and a pork one, in addition to other items like amazing "buffalo chips" and massive home made ice cream sandwiches. Eat in or make it a great take out dinner. They also welcome your own chili recipe and if they like it enough, they will feature it!

Jun 16, 2011
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

One week's worth of meals traveling with Teenagers?

It's funny, but even my self-described "celebrity averse" out of state pals truly like to see a star in LA. It's almost a compulsory part of the landscape, though I agree daily exposure to the mosquitoes they attract can be a drag.

May 28, 2011
NAspy in Los Angeles Area

One week's worth of meals traveling with Teenagers?

Brentwood Country Mart is a great suggestion. They may see a star or two, which for teenagers, could more than compensate for the Reddi-Chick. Farmer's Market has a plethora of great food selections, quintessential LA, and adjacent to the Grove (don't eat at any restaurant at the Grove, though) with some pretty cool stores.

A restaurant that may help your son "break through" his pickiness is Tender Greens. I think it was one of the first places that made my daughter realize that good food is good even if it's not macaroni and pizza. They have locations in Culver City and West Hollywood. Casual, you stand in line and order from a decently sized menu that is ever so slightly upscale American -- hangar steak with mashed potatoes, roast chicken, seared ahi, a large variety of salads, and by the time you reach the cashier, your meal is ready. Everything is made to order in front of you. The one in Culver City affords lots of people watching (there is often a line out the door) and the value is great.

Down the street from there is City Tavern, recently opened (and they do serve underage) and the first restaurant that has little beer taps for self service at 3 of the booths (under 21s can't sit there). I've been twice -- the ct burger ($10) is wonderful, as is the tomato tartine, the spinach salad, grilled romaine, and my foodie 10 year old inhaled her arctic char. Also a great selection of beers on tap and wines by the glass.

The Counter may vary in quality at different locations. I have never liked the Santa Monica location, but very much like the one in Pasadena.

Tender Greens
9523 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

City Tavern
9739 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

May 23, 2011
NAspy in Los Angeles Area