manku's Profile

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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.

1 day ago
manku in Los Angeles Area

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.

1 day ago
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!

1 day ago
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

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.


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

Solo Business Trip to LA area - Recommendations?

I'd hit up Grand Central Market for breakfast...the NYT claimed that G&B has the best latte in the country, once again proving how overrated the NYT is! It does make good coffee drinks, even if it's a little too hipster for my taste. And Ruth Reichl raved about the slut at eggslut...I enjoyed it, but it is hardly life changing. As an added bonus, go across Broadway to the Bradbury building (Bladerunner, Wolf and others)...one of the great buildings in LA...and the knife store was patronized by OJ.

I'd go to Langers for lunch, mainly because I think the pastrami sandwich (plain, on rye, guldens...ignore other combos) is the best single dish in LA, at least that you can't get elsewhere in the world.

For dinner, I'd try some fairly trendy place that represents LA - Gjelina in Venice would probably work fairly well. Bestia in downtown is also a good choice, but you might want to leave downtown.

Oct 06, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

So, who's going to the Catfe?

My kids wanted to go...we had two cats, but they died a few years ago and we haven't replaced them.

HOWEVER, they are charging $30 for a twenty minute session! I don't think I'll spring for $90 for my kids to pet some housecats for a few minutes...we can go to the local pet adoption for free!

I don't have an issue with an entry fee/cover charge, but $30 is crazy!

Oinkster Hollywood

Tried Oinkster Pastrami/Pork Adobo Sandwich/Chili Cheese Fries/Onion Rings/2 sodas...total $36 with 10% tip. BTW, how much does one tip in a place where you place the order at a counter, but the food is delivered to your table by the staff?

It's fast food at double the cost, essentially. Probably slightly better quality, but the end result feels the same. Not worth it, IMHO.

The parking situation is excellent!

Sep 29, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Oinkster Hollywood

Never been to either location...meeting a friend for lunch today...

Any recommendations or items to avoid?


Sep 26, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Any great food with ambience in Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Van Nuys or North Hollywood?

Mistral would be ok, I think.

Also, Morton's steakhouse in Burbank.

Neither will amaze you will cutting edge cuisine, but are a safe bet for a business lunch.

Sep 24, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

I'm Going Deaf Eating Out in LA

While not always possible, dining during off-hours seems to mitigate the noise issue substantially.

I agree, however, that most modern restaurant design is too hard and uncomfortable. They do not encourage lingering.

Sep 22, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Never have I been so baffled: Mama's House of Horrors

It's a really pleasant place to have lunch or an early dinner.

Is it overpriced? Yes and no...you ever check the prices at Nick's Fish Market, Merriman's Kapalua, Spago etc. It's about the same. You pay for the location and view. Of course, you can go to Subway and sit on the beach for a lot less!

I was only there once, about a dozen years ago. We had just landed from Kauai around 1:00 PM...it was a beautiful day, the beach and ocean were spectacular, my kids played on the beach and the outrigger while we ate. One of my nicest meals in Hawaii and I couldn't tell you a thing about what we ate.

Sometimes it's not just about the food...

Sep 18, 2014
manku in Hawaii


Capo??? That's one of the priciest restaurants in town, with pastas running nearly $30, and mains mostly over $50.

Maybe when you went you didn't have prices on your menu :)

Sep 17, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Connie and Ted's - pleasantly surprised

It's a solid restaurant...as you mentioned, a little pricey, but what isn't these days? Especially for seafood.

As for parking, I've never had a problem finding street parking within a block of the restaurant.

Sep 17, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Restaurant recommendatins in the Princeville area of Kauai?

I've been to the St. Regis Princeville a half a dozen times over the past decade or so (used to be a Sheraton/Luxury Collection - only difference now is it's pricier and you need to valet for $30/day, also got rid of pool bar:().

The food in Kauai (north shore) is bad...I've been to most places on the north shore, and there isn't one place I look forward to returning to. And most places are pricey too. I could list them all, but won't as there really aren't any highlights.

Other places I've been to on the island were Duane's Ono Burger (fried food, OK, but tiny, burgers), Olympic Cafe in Kapaa (think weak diner food), Monico's Taqueria in Kapaa (average chain at double the prices), Beach House in South Shore (hotel restaurant food).

Despite all of this, the north shore remains my favorite destination in Hawaii. Don't let it deter you.

Lapperts is good ice cream, but hard to make three meals a day out of it (though my family tried!).

Sep 11, 2014
manku in Hawaii

Maude: September's Tomato Dinner

I walked by last night, and from the street at least, it looks really uninviting...like a private club.

I wouldn't mind trying it, and $95 pp is in the ballpark for similar restaurants.

However, I will never patronize a restaurant that is described as "A Restaurant by Curtis Stone"...it's not a film or novel! Too pretentious for me.

Sep 09, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Katsu-ya v. SugarFISH: Pre-Hollywood Bowl Dinner

I like the original Katsu-ya...it can be crowded, so make a reservation. It's busy, but not a scene. Is anything in the valley?

Sugarfish is has no sushi bar, and I was never a huge fan even going back 25 years ago when it was Nozawa. And my last meal there was dreadful...poorly sliced fish on top of lumps of rice. I won't be heading back anytime soon.

Neither one will make your top ten list, fwiw.

And, just wondering, why you don't picnic at the bowl?

Sep 06, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

New in Santa Barbara

Well, we ended up going to all my usual haunts. Had Toma and Lark reservations, but looking at photos on yelp, decided against it.

Super Rica was terrific as always. Katy Perry mentioned it in a video/song, and it's busier than ever.

Via Vai is a wonderfully relaxing spot to dine outside in Montecito...the food isn't great, but good enough especially since the kids love it! (pizza, calamari etc).

Olio Pizzeria has much better pizza, nice salumi and a very Italian vibe.

We ended up going to the new ice cream place in Santa Barbara Public Market - delicious. Returned to location in Montecito next day. BTW, public market looks like a fun place to dine. Not so easy with a family though, as its mostly counter seating and everyone wants something different.

Always nice to spend a weekend in beautiful SB.

Sep 03, 2014
manku in California

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

I got an email today from Starbucks alerting me to the new android app update...now I can tip with my app!

Lucky me :)

If I see this HCS on my tab, it's coming right out of the waiters tip.

Sep 02, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Favorite sushi right now? With low price as a consern.

I went once, about 10-15 years ago, when I read about it somewhere...maybe Zagat. It was so terrible I literally couldn't touch sushi for over a year. Huge pieces of sushi that made me gag.

I've seen Groupons for it in recent months, which, IMHO, is never a great sign for any business, restaurants in particular.

As for the OP, there is no such thing as good cheap sushi. Best option is to do a lunch special, but generally speaking the quality is not as high as the a la carte sushi.

Aug 22, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

Dinner Omakase at Kiriko: A Pictorial Essay

Damage without drinks, tax and tip?

Aug 19, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

South Coast Plaza Din Tai Fung Rates With International Counterparts

I'm surprised anyone is even having this conversation...every DTF I've been to in the USA has been virtually identical. Some blogger, who got invited to the opening and may live in OC, says it's like Taiwan and everyone buys it hook, line an sinker.

Next thing you know we're going to discussing the superiority of the McRib at the newest McDonalds :)

PS. I love DTF, and will probably go next time I'm staying down in OC. But I'd bet the farm it's the same as the other three in LA.

Aug 18, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area

South Coast Plaza Din Tai Fung Rates With International Counterparts

I was in glendale yesterday at lunch..wait was 20 minutes at 2pm.

I've never waited more than 45 minutes at any location, even during peak weekend hours.

Arcadia isn't that far from OC...if people wanted DTF that bad, they would have made the drive already.

It will be a zoo the first few weeks it opens, especially on weekends, I would imagine.

Aug 18, 2014
manku in Los Angeles Area