J.L.'s Profile

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South Coast Plaza Din Tai Fung Rates With International Counterparts

Now that's good slummin'...

about 7 hours ago
J.L. in Los Angeles Area
1

Molecular/ Modern Cuisine in LA or Malibu

Not exactly. Saam is the special "chef's table" within Bazaar itself. Tasting menu only - no a la carte options.

about 11 hours ago
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Molecular/ Modern Cuisine in LA or Malibu

Do Saam. Just a warning though: L.A. is not a particularly strong molecular town.

Try Atelier Crenn in S.F. - they might be able to hold your reception. But do also understand it may not be realistic to expect decent off-site molecular catering from any chef of renown - this genre of food preparation may not exactly be "off-site friendly".

about 21 hours ago
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Random musings on Don Antonio's and life

Yay for finding what you were looking for. Chowhound is great like that. We miss Servorg.

about 21 hours ago
J.L. in Los Angeles Area
1

New School Kitchen Brings Dim Sum To The Sawtelle Corridor (Well Sort Of)

OK I made the initial visit - Soft opening discount of 15% off prices until tomorrow (when the grand opening party happens). They were pretty busy, but I got my food fast. Service is very friendly.

Not dim sum, but I liked it nonetheless: Their brussel sprouts.

As for the dim sum, it's fairly middle-of-the-road fare. I thought their best dishes were the har gow and lotus leaf sticky rice (bonus points scored for including Taiwanese sausage in the rice!). The baked char siu bao were a tad cold, and the filling tasted a bit "limp".

Taking a cue from Momofuku, their pork belly "bao" was pretty good. The pork belly was tasty, but the slaw that goes on it overpowered the texture - cilantro alone would have sufficed (but that's just my preference). Also, I would have liked plum sauce instead of hoisin or Sriracha on that bao.

We're spoiled in L.A. in that the dim sum selections are numerous throughout the city. But I gotta say, if you live on the Westside, there is definitely a value in not having to leave Westside for a decent quick takeout har gow. This place, with its Sawtelle location, will likely do well.

Planned menu item (the staff says they should be starting to serve it within the next week): Hainan Chicken Rice!!! If they do a good job with this dish, then I predict a significant surge of new business here. This place is definitely looking to fill some niches & scratch some itches here on Sawtelle.

1 day ago
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Altadena Rising

Bulgarini's gelato alone makes the trek to Altadena worthy.

But it's always great to hear about new openings. Thanks!

1 day ago
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

What about that vertical ring around Uranus?

Feb 26, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area
1

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

f.o. = Father's Office

Feb 26, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Need a great recommendation for dinner for 1.

Both food & service. Distracted server, and cold, overcooked fish (it was supposed to be sauteed). Truly a "blech" meal.

It was a business lunch (and I wasn't paying) so I didn't want to make a scene at that time.

I still have confidence in the Downtown WG location, though.

Feb 26, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Need a great recommendation for dinner for 1.

The Culinary Institute of America should engineer a coup in that kitchen.

Feb 26, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area
1

10 Best Sausages In LA

I wish that Kasey Kasem (RIP) would have written some "Top 40" food lists during his lifetime. I'd read that.

Feb 26, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area
1

Need a great recommendation for dinner for 1.

If you decide to Water Grill, go Downtown, not Santa Monica. I had a really bad meal at WG SM, and now I call that location Water Board.

Feb 26, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Going to Mori, which omakase should I get?

Depends on how much you want to eat. Maru-san's sashimi/neta is unerringly fresh, and the knifework is meticulous.

The observation about omakases in general I've noted is that the amount of nigiri does decrease somewhat if you go heavier on the otsumami/cooked courses up front. This likely follows the Law of Conservation of Stomach Size.

If you'd really rather skip everything else, you can ask for your meal to be nigiri only. I think they'd accommodate you. (But I do enjoy Maru-san's otsumami so, so much...)

Feb 26, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area
2

Best place for fun graduation dinner near ucla

Nonetheless, this thread may still be of value to the UCLA Class of 2015 (Go Bruins!)

10 Best Sausages In LA

La Espanola (Harbor City) for chorizo y morcilla.

Good & easy casual dinner in SaMo/Venice TONIGHT

A handful of goldfish is better than frozen raccoon. :-)

Feb 24, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Need a great recommendation for dinner for 1.

If you order carefully, you can eat very well at Petrossian (in West Hollywood) for just under $100pp. It's a wonderful place for the solo diner.

Feb 24, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

hangari kalgooksu

Hey what's your favorite Korean-style (black sauce) ZJM currently? My usual go-to place (King Dragon in Cerritos) is closed.

Feb 24, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Mr Taster is leaving Los Angeles!

How are Persian & Ethiopian faring in PDX? You may want to load up on some hearty ash soup (Attari), soltani (Raffi's), rosewater bastani (Saffron & Rose) and grab a handful of injera bread (on Fairfax) before leaving L.A...

Feb 24, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Buffet To Go Collides With Chinese Steam Table At L A Kitchen

Chow-trek! Grab some fish fillet (probably tilapia, yes?) and put it on some Langer's rye.

Feb 24, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

Hear, hear... I like the vibe at Bestia, but the food takes a second seat.

Feb 23, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Shi Hai Makes GQ's Top 25 Restaurant List

On occasion, I peruse GQ for suits, shoes, and various other bits of haberdashery.

But not for restaurants.

Feb 23, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Seeking Recommendations for a Celebratory Dinner

Don't let that dissuade you. It's a Japanese thing - You can actually email them for an invite. The place only seats 11, and it's a delightful dining experience.

Feb 23, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Where can I get frozen raccoons?

Pepe?

Feb 23, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Seeking Recommendations for a Celebratory Dinner

Yamakase.

(Urasawa may be priced beyond the OP's budget)

Feb 22, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Good & easy casual dinner in SaMo/Venice TONIGHT

Good rec, but be warned that the noise level at Westside Tavern is a tad above "not too loud".

My pick is Nook Bistro on Santa Monica Blvd. Closes at 10PM today.

Feb 22, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Sushi-ya question for Ninisix (or other sushi enthusiasts)

The American Express concierge can possibly help you make reservations.

Feb 21, 2015
J.L. in Japan
1

Planning an eating trip, need some input (Japanese, Korean, fine dining, Taiwanese, regional Chinese, Vietnamese, coffee, raw oysters etc)

Hi K K,

Your list looks quite good. Here are my thoughts:

Even without his sushi, Shunji’s otsumami/cooked plates are definitely worth a trip unto itself. As with almost all sushi-yas in the L.A. area, I’d recommend patronizing Shunji & Mori between Tuesday and Saturday for freshest fare (coinciding with the weekdays on which the wholesale fishmongers are open for business). Note: Chef Shunji himself takes every other Tuesday off, I believe (hey, the man’s gotta rest). The cooked dishes in the set omakase at Shunji will come from mostly the a la carte board - but there can be exceptions. It’s totally up to Shunji’s whims. Occasionally, Shunji will throw a special ‘curveball’ (like truffle gohan) in there for the occasional interested customer.

Mori, now helmed by Maru-san, is still bringing their A-game.

The Oyster Gourmet at Grand Central market may allow you to sate your oyster cravings while allowing you to check GCM off your list at the same time. While I’m not a big fan of the Baja oysters in general, I believe this would be the place to try them if you haven’t already done so. Other have said Connie & Ted’s, and yes, it’s also my other pick. Also grab an eggslut, a Belcampo burger, & McConnell’s for ice cream while you’re at GCM.

I agree with ipse on Si Hai (Four Seas) over Huge Tree Pastry for your TW brekkies.

Bonus SGV chow: Hit Hui Tou Xiang for the Chinese pork/beef "blintzes" & enjoy the salted Nanjing-style duck at Nanjing Kitchen - in the same shopping center (yes, Luscious Dumpling is there too).

XLB: Food-wise, Din Tai Fung in Arcadia is probably still the best DTF location in North America. As for the other SoCal branches, the Costa Mesa branch is better than the Glendale branch, IMHO.

If you do manage to drive all the way to Altadena to hit Bulgarini Gelato (and if Leo is making any of it)… Get the PISTACHIO!!!

In the Pasadena area (and if you like seafood), Chef Laurent Quenioux (AKA 'LQ') is still not-so-quietly taking over Vertical Wine Bistro and presenting his Popup Seafood Bar on Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays.

Korean: Currently I like Kang Hodong Baekjeong over Park’s. Eat at Genwa if you want lots of great banchan.

Speaking of Ktown: Saint Martha is worth the detour.

Brunch: Status Kuo in Mar Vista. For me, it doesn’t get better than properly made feijoada on a Sunday.

Fine Dining: Maude (for the concept) and Providence (the perennially outstanding favorite). But the best fine dining meal I had in L.A. in 2014 was actually at Saam at The Bazaar (Beverly Hills) - Wonderful execution, tasty creations, and professional service.

Lower end (price-wise), but consistently satisfying, is Papilles in Hollywood.

And oh, in Hollywood, do the jade noodles at Sapp Coffee House.

Taiwanese: Bebe Fusion. SinBaLa is still worth the trip for the sausages. I like their “oily rice” 油飯, too. For great vegetable-intensive Chinese/TW fare, try Pine & Crane in Silver Lake.

Japanese comfort food: Best oden in town (even though our 77-degree weather doesn’t exactly scream for oden these days) has always been served at Morinoya. Heck, Morinoya is a damn fine izakaya overall. Further up the street on Sawtelle, I really like the menchi katsu, bratwurst potato salad, tonkatsu and ramen at Kimukatsu as well.

Don't forget to grab a fish taco at Ricky’s and a pastrami on rye at Langer's.

Happy chowing!

Feb 21, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area
1

L.A. Dish of the Month, March 2015 -- Nominations

Las Vegas food... :-)

Feb 20, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area

Restaurants in Sierra Madre pre-theatre?

For future reference:

Not in Sierra Madre, but not too distant either: AltaEats

Feb 20, 2015
J.L. in Los Angeles Area