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manku's Profile

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Tacoteca--Good, Irritating, and Overpriced

$6 for a taco is not necessarily unreasonable...from a taco truck, yes. However, order fish tacos, or a taco plate at any restaurant and you'll get two tacos, maybe 3 if you're lucky, with some rice/beans for $12-18.

I went to Blue Plate in SM, had fish tacos, and got two tacos, no sides at all, for $17...or $8.50/taco. Let's not even talk about resort hotels, where I've spent north of $20!

If we're paying $20 for an individual pizza, and mid teens for a burger with no fries, then $6.00 tacos fall right in line.

Dec 19, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Tacoteca--Good, Irritating, and Overpriced

I've had mostly good service at 800 degrees (westwood)...it seems to be staffed by UCLA students, so I tend to give them a break!

Try and remember what it was like to be 25 (or younger) working a job like that next time...your mood may improve.

Dec 19, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Kokekokko (Little Tokyo) Will Close in Late January 2015

I've only been a few times, last time I struck up a conversation with a Japanese couple who had the black plates. Nothing they were served seemed like I was missing anything - personally, the offal and gizzards are my least favorite meats. I'll take the porterhouse...you can have the oxtail. There is a reason that the rich ate the "premium" cuts while the poor were left with the "undesirable" meats.

And the food is delicious...I've never had any attitude at all.

Dec 16, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Corona and Riverside???

My son has upcoming AYSO Soccer tournaments in Corona and Riverside coming up in the next few months.

I may have a bunch of 10-11 year old boys, or maybe just one or two.

Any recommendations, with or without the kids! No chains please...I'm familiar with all of them, unfortunately.

Thanks.

Dec 10, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

One dinner, seven months of planning.

Planning that far in advance will almost invariably lead to disappointment. Your expectations will be too high. And only choosing one restaurant really makes it a crapshoot.

Personally, I'd just go to LOS, maybe Raku Deserts afterwards. Save a bunch of money.

The restaurants on the strip don't have a lot of soul, IMHO.

Dec 05, 2014
manku in Las Vegas

terroni

Don't know how it could be worse, sound wise that is.

Last time I was at Beverly location, it made Bottega Louie seems quiet!

Dec 05, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Alimento adds separate gratuity line for BOH

One more reason not to dine out these days...

I despise the entire tipping culture in this country - just factor it into the price!

Maybe that's why I'm going to Kazu Nori tonight with my daughter.

Dec 05, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

I'm going to The Apple Pan tonight.

You haven't tried it, yet you're attacking it? I'm a little confused.

I've had Belcampo's burger...it isn't life changing, or even worth waiting for a stool - nor, for that matter, is anything else at GCM worth waiting in line for.

Dec 04, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

I'm going to The Apple Pan tonight.

I like the apple pan, but it's always been too expensive for what it is.

It's no worse, price wise, than what's being served at GCM (save pupusas and tacos)...yet GCM is getting a free pass!

As an aside, I went to Gulp across the street the other day before a movie at Landmark. Great happy hour special...burger with fries and any beer for $12...so I had a nice goblet of Chimay and a very respectable burger in a much better setting!

Dec 04, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Alimento adds separate gratuity line for BOH

Stuff like this makes me want to dine out less, not more.

Eating out is supposed to be relaxing...figuring out my tab at the end of the meal is becoming more stressful with every surcharge and option.

Even though I'm not the biggest fan, I'd rather go to Sugarfish, just sign and leave!

Dec 04, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Mama's Fish House or Nick's In Maui?

I wouldn't dine at Mama's past Sunset...the ambiance is half, or more, of the experience. BTW, that goes for almost all oceanview restaurants in Hawaii - you are not paying $50+ for entrees for the food - save your $$$ for the mainland, or Honolulu at least!

If you do decide to dine at Mama's in the dark, it won't matter where you sit.

If I were you, I'd eat at Flatbread or Paia Fish House instead. Or even Da Kitchen.

Nov 27, 2014
manku in Hawaii

What time do I have to show up to get Tsujita tonkotsu ramen

I'm clearly in the minority, but have been to both Tsujita's multiple times and EVERY SINGLE TIME I feel ill the rest of the day...something about their food doesn't sit well with me, and I'm a fairly adventurous eater. FWIW, no other ramen place makes me feel this way - and I've tried a good dozen in LA.

Nov 15, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Vegas with boring old farts...

Quick report back:

Mon Ami Gabi - Sat outside, view of Bellagio fountains great, ambulance sirens and lowlifes walking by not so nice. Interior seemed fun as well. Very crowded for a Tuesday night - especially as Vegas seemed fairly dead. Service was terrific. Food was standard Bistro fare - nothing exceptional, nothing terrible. Bread was good.

Pantry at Mirage - Ate both days, as we were staying here and food was comped (high roller - not me, friend!). Solid breakfast chow, standard fare, nice setting. A little slow, but would return if I were staying at hotel.

Lotus of Siam - Never went, ended up going twice. Terrific meals both times - not sure what to order, but we had 6 different dishes, all of which I'd eat again. Very friendly and warm service. In a dreary mini mall (actually, a huge mini mall) between Sahara and Karen - not on Sahara directly. Makes me want to go to Thai Town in Hollywood - but there probably is nothing as good!

Looked for a place with a good beer selection - tried Public House, but Amazon.com convention just ended and it was packed 30 year old male geeks - literally couldn't get in. Ended up at BLT Burger at Mirage, which had a decent selection - bartenders were a**holes however (at 5 in afternoon, fairly empty).

Nov 14, 2014
manku in Las Vegas

Sushi Tsujita or Q?

Better people watching too!

Nov 04, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area
1

2014 Sammy Awards - Who's In?

1. Langers Pastrami on Rye, Gulden's spicy brown mustard (never yellow mustard!). Nothing else.

2. Joe's Falafel on Lafa (not pita) sandwich.

3. Bay Cities Meatball hero...though personally I prefer buying 5 meatballs and a loaf of bread instead.

Nov 04, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Kauai in January

Agree...also, Kauai is really not a culinary destination. Having been numerous times over the past decade, I don't think there is one restaurant I look forward to revisting. Food should be the last item on your daily agenda - for me, food in Kauai is nourishment, nothing more!

It still remains my favorite island and one of the great spots in the world (especially the north shore)!

Nov 04, 2014
manku in Hawaii

Sushi Tsujita or Q?

Makes me glad I had the $17.50 five-roll special at kazunori the other day instead!

Nov 04, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area
1

Restaurant Wine - Opened two days ago

Wine open for more than 12 hours, or sometimes even less (especially with old wines - generally not an issue with restaurants by the glass), can change dramatically.

I insist on a freshly opened bottle every time - if I'm paying a 500%+ markup on my drink it better be in perfect condition!

Oct 31, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

LA 1st Timer, MUST TRY? Any & all food, a variety of prices would be great...

Neither did I...personally, I think egg dishes are about the easiest things in the world to make at home.

Also, I really dislike the trend of putting fried eggs on food. I don't want a egg on my burger...thank you very much. For me, fried eggs are breakfast food.

Oct 29, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area
1

LA 1st Timer, MUST TRY? Any & all food, a variety of prices would be great...

Jeans at Tar and Roses...I don't think I've ever seen anyone wearing anything else there!

Now Providence is a different story.

Oct 28, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

LA 1st Timer, MUST TRY? Any & all food, a variety of prices would be great...

I've been going to GCM for years, and while I like the changes, it's gotten out of hand...last Saturday I went and there was a 20+ person wait at many of the vendors...so bad my son and I won't return, at least not on weekends or prime time hours.

We went to DTF in Glendale instead...even though there was a 20 minute wait, we could at least window shop to kill time!

Oct 28, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Best Steak within 200 miles not 201

Why not just ask them to cook it unseasoned? I'd imagine any steakhouse would do that - unlike chef driven restaurants, steakhouses are generally more customer friendly.

Personally, I always liked Morton's in BH (on La Cienega) - it was served with very little seasoning and no butter. Also, they made a decent baked potato.

Oct 27, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Recommendations for an out-of-town sushi snob ;)

I don't do many high end omakase anymore, but I had a terrific meal at Jinpachi on SM Blvd in Weho earlier this year...it was as good sushi as I've had in LA. And the ambiance was very relaxed and low key.

A hidden gem, IMHO.

Oct 23, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Final meals before saying good-bye to LA...

If I were leaving town in a week, I'd go to my old favorites, whatever they may be.

Oct 22, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Another Wonderful Dinner at Chi Spacca

Wow...they overcook a $175 steak and you don't send it back! If there was ever a time where the customer was justified in returning a dish, this seems to have been the time to do so.

Oops..just checked menu...it was a $210 steak, plus tax and tip so nearly $300.

Oct 20, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Connie and Ted's happy hour

Tried this pm...not too crowded around 430pm...oysters solid and priced well, fish dip very tasty, clam cakes were sort of gross - tasted like savory zepole - wouldn't reorder, burger slider was excellent, clam strip slider was a little dull, but edible.

Everything was on the salty side...not surprising, as it is happy hour!

I'd return for oysters, dip and burger.

Oct 17, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area
1

Vegas with boring old farts...

Well, I cancelled my Heritage Steak reservation...frankly, I'm not that enamored with Craft here in LA or his other restaurants.

I've made a reservation at Joe's Stone Crab...never went in Miami, it's crab season and my fits my friends requirements.

Oct 17, 2014
manku in Las Vegas

Vegas with boring old farts...

Thanks for recs...I think our host went to Carnevino last time, wasn't too impressed.

I'm thinking about TC Heritage Steak, mainly because it's at the Mirage - we're getting a 2br suite comped, and maybe we can get dinner too! Stack looks interesting too.

How about Rao's, Il Mulino or Joe's Stone Crab? No one has mentioned them...

Oct 15, 2014
manku in Las Vegas

Vegas with boring old farts...

Going to Vegas next month with a few friends...one in early 30's, one around 60, another just turned 70. I'm 49, though I'm told I look 48!

Haven't been in a few years, but everytime I go I end up with a bunch of boring eaters (ate at Smith&Wollensky and a swanky, yet dull, restaurant at the Wynn overlooking waterfall last time...about 3 years back).

The older guys are both wine nuts...they'll probably BYOB if they can. They are also pretty boring eaters...one is a steak guy, who's favorite restaurant in the world in L'ami louis. Other is more interested in drinking.

I've made a reservation at Mon Ami Gabi for one night...we have a Bouchon here in LA, not that impressed. Is there a better option for French Bistro?

For second night, thinking of Steak or Italian. Any recs? I despise CUT (not food, but vibe), and other chains that are in LA don't really interest me.

Thanks.

Oct 13, 2014
manku in Las Vegas

Cheese (West LA and Northwest suburbs)

Beverly Hills Cheese Store is hands down the best in LA...I don't think any other store is even in the same league, HOWEVER...

the prices are obscene...in fact, they don't even have prices on their cheeses...they just ring up your order, and it's usually between $50-100 for a moderate amount of cheese/meats. An example, proscuitto is 50/lb, tallegio is 30/lb. The only reason I know is because I looked while they weighed my food. At least that's what they charged me on a recent visit...who knows what others are paying!

Other stores, like Wally's Cheesebox, isn't bad but the selection is much more limited, the cheeses are all wrapped in cellophane, and the prices aren't much different. At least they have prices, though :)

I picked up some nice cheese at Bay Cities the other day, and it was well priced. It is pre cut, however, and I'm not sure if they sample.

Silver Lake was pretty good too.

Oct 07, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area