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suggestions for people trying to learn to like fish, especially salmon?

iheat, I *completely* understand because I'm not a big fish person, either. But I will say that there is a dish that completely changed my mind about salmon, and it's the wild salmon, prepared on a cedar plank at King's Fish House. I usually go to the Long Beach location, and when wild salmon is in season, I truly think it will change your life.

King's Fish House
100 W Broadway Ste 1000, Long Beach, CA 90802

Apr 05, 2010
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Late Night in Pasadena Area

Dommy - there is a place called Bella Pizza that took over the location formerly Manny's Pizza. I think on Thurs, Fri and Sat they are open until 3am or something crazy like that. I have been several times for lunch, and their food is pretty good.

side note: Bella Pizza first opened as Mama Edda's Pizza, but it appears that the local operators bought out the franchise, so they had to change the name.

Nov 05, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Latest W SGV Openings & Closings

goodness gracious you did a ton of homework. Not surrpised about the whole Corner House closure, but wondering if something decent will take its place.

Sep 22, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Kings Seafood in Calabasas

is this the same as King's Fish house? If it's still in season, the wild salmon is actually pretty good. Not sure if you like salmon, tho. The cedar plank preparation is really quite nice, with a dry rub that's slightly spicy. Don't be shy about substituting sides - they freely let you do that.

Sep 18, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Thai in Alhambra

Don't do it, Neta. I think Thai is one of the cuisines that Alhambra just can't nail down. It's a former noodle world, called Thai world. Have no idea if it's the same owners, but it's pretty bad. And having been to Green papaya, Thai Paradaise, and Thai Purple I really can'[t recommend any of them. I think it's worth the effort to drive to Pasadena and go to Saladang or Chandra. I won't state which because that sparks a whole separate thread. :)

Sep 01, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Silly place for 40th Bday Pasadena for work related party

Ack. Sorry you had to take one for the team, Purple. I've made a mental note to not go here until the positive comments start to flow.

Aug 14, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Silly place for 40th Bday Pasadena for work related party

At Brix 42 in old town pasadena, I think they have a Wii night 1 day a week. Not sure if there is a prize or anything, but I think *watching* people play Wii is often just as hysterical as playing Wii. Not sure if the food is good, tho. You might want to research?

Aug 13, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

BD dinner: Mike and Anne's or Central Park?

It's hard to say either one is a poor choice, but I definitely think of Mike and Anne's as fitting for special occasions. It's fancy enough that I asked about having a rehearsal dinner there. (They very politely declined.) Almost every time I've had excellent service, and the menu is varied enough that everyone can be happy. If you go, start with sweet potato fries as an appetizer and they will be GONE before you know it. Right now they are doing a special steak with chimmichuri sauce, but I think that the flat iron steak on the regular menu is slightly better. Happy Birthday!

Aug 07, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area


I tried 38 degrees and Alondra Hot Wings (both on Main St. between Atlantic and Garfield) and they are ok, but not sure how eager I would be to repeat. The other thing I would caution you on is the Thai food in Alhambra - I never really much cared for Thai Paradise nor Thai Purple nor Green Papaya.

However, there are a few decent lunch spots. Lovebirds, across the street from the Alhambra Library is pretty good, and so is Mahan indian buffet. (Mahan is my new favorite for local Indian food since the close of Radhika's in Pasadena.) If you're into Chinese/Asian, obviously the food choices for that open up exponentially if you're in Alhambra, but I'll throw out a few faves:
Superbowl Pho on Main, slightly west of where Main/Mission meet
Luscious Dumpling - SE corner of Main and Mission
Michelle Pancake - same plaza as Luscious Dumpling

I haven't been to any of the Hong Kong-style restaurants in a long time, such as Sunday Bistro, Face Cafe, Tasty Garden, Bacalli, etc but maybe someone else can chime in.

Don't neglect the VERY edible pizza at Costco!

Jul 27, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Just moved back to Pasadena

Welcome back! You didn't state how long you were away, but I'll assume it has been around 4 or 5 years if you are a college student. I completely understand because when I moved away, I couldn't wait to pack up my college apartment and move back home. At any rate, you have lots of homework to do and I'll throw out a few.

Central Park on Fair Oaks. One of the few places that has a good breakfast, lunch AND dinner. (Breakfast - ham and eggs. Lunch - dagwood burger or chicken caprese sandwich. Dinner - balsamic chicken.)

Mike and Annes in South Pasadena. Really like this place.

Old Town has undergone a lot of changes. I could list the places that have closed, but that wouldn't really help you. Two places I do enjoy tho, are All India Cafe and Cafe Santorini.

If you don't feel like cookng dinner, there is Porto Via Italian Deli (Fair Oaks), Zankou (by PCC), Mediterranean Cafe (South Lake). Also check out the Trader Joes on Lake and the new and homongous Whole Foods.

Neighboring Eagle Rock, Glendale & Alhambra have also really expanded, but you said Pasadena so I'll stop here. Hope you enjoy.

Jul 22, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Michelle's Pancakes in SGV ?

I went the same day the article came out on LA Times. The picture in their article is of the smoked pork pancake plate, and it is not to be missed. You can tell that they are still working out some things in the kitchen, because the pacing of the dishes is pretty slow. But if you're willing to cut them some slack for being a new restaurant, it's pretty good.

Jul 21, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Trader Joe's Wine Recs?

Scott - I don't mind posting that there is a very drinkable chardonnay made by Clos du Bois that also cooks down nicely. I see it in TJs all the time for less than $10. I don't have the most sophtsticated taste in wines, but I've served this guests who were either very polite (and hated it) or actually liked it.

Jul 20, 2009
kotatsu in Wine

Pyrex blue and red lids question

It's been a while since I've visited, but in Los Angeles there is a Corning Revere outlet, where pyrex containers and lids are sold separately. Maybe they would ship you an order, if you provided enough detail about what you are looking for.

The shopping center in the LA area is called Citadel.

Corningware Corelle Revere
Phone: 323.725.3155 / Location: 309 / View Directory Map

Jul 14, 2009
kotatsu in Cookware

Improvised steamer = ring at the bottom of stainless steel pot

you guys are the bomb! I let some dilute vinegar sit in the pan overnight, and tah-dah it's gone! There is a super super faint ring, but it's sooooooo much better. Like 90% better. thanks!!!!

Jul 14, 2009
kotatsu in Cookware

Improvised steamer = ring at the bottom of stainless steel pot

Searched the cookware thread and couldn't find a similar topic, so looking for some help from your collective wisdom. A visiting relative insisted on making lunch, and used a stainless steel pot (inside also stainless steel) to make a steamer. The assembly was a small glass bowl used as a stand to elevate a large glass bowl. We steamed some stuff for about 2 hours by filling the bottom with water and putting on a lid. Unfortunately, I now have a ring at the bottom of the pot, in same size and shape as the small glass bowl that was touching the pan. I used a paste of baking soda + water immediately, but the stain hasn't budged a bit. It seems to resemble a hard water stain.

Any suggestions? CLR? Steel wool? Thanks for your help.

Jul 13, 2009
kotatsu in Cookware

los angeles cooking school?

Aqua - I have been to this this cooking school many times, and always enjoyed myself. The instruction is excellent, and it's very hands-on, unlike some places that claim to be cooking schools but are really demonstration only. The fees may seem kind of high, but at the end of class you get to taste everything that the class made and they open wine, so it's like getting a meal at the end. If you are the slightest interested in baking, be sure get one of the classes where Cindy Mushet is teaching. She is my fave.

New School of Cooking, in Culver City

Jun 12, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

awful meal at Corner House in Alhambra

At the corner of Valley and New in Alhambra, there is a "new" restaurant called Corner House. I write "new" with quotes because when Mrs. Kotatsu I got our bill, it clearly stated Dodoro Cafe at the top, which means that 1) it's really the same owners, or 2) someone was too lazy to re-program the cash register receipt.

It wouldn't surprise me if it were the latter, because everything about our meal was just *terrible.* When we walked up at 7pm on Friday, the place was full. So full, in fact, that the only seating was on the patio. The menu is fairly typical HK cafe-style fare, with the standard choice of rice or pasta as your side. The Tibet-style short ribs were really the short ribs that you normally see at Korean BBQ. Only these came out of the kitchen about 2 minutes after ordering. The sauces served on the side were a very suspicious-looking green and orange color (2 flavors in a divided dish) and both pretty spicy. The food.... it just tasted odd. It was soft, almost filet mignon soft, but had NO taste. The chicken that I ordered came with a side of spaghetti and the sauce tasted like canned Chef Boyardee, except that Chef Boyardee would have been the better tasting of the two. I mean, a salty, pale-colored mess. Chicken was cooked ok, but once again no taste. It was accompanied by 2 steam-cooked (but served refrigerator-cold) pieces of broccoli. The drinks arrive. Ok, maybe they serve good hot tea. OMG it tasted like soapy water with a gallon of corn syrup. Slippery, sweet, and smelled like a bar of Dove or Dial. We left at least 1/2 of our food on our plates and couldn't get out of there quickly enough. I just couldn't believe how quickly everything came out, and it clearly reflected in the food. This was a restaurant whose kitchen had no soul. The waiters didn't even seem to sense that the slightest thing was wrong when they saw plates barely touched but someone asking for the bill.

I have experimented before, and stumbled upon some very happy finds without any prior research on them. My best such experience, thus far, probably being Mike & Anne's in South Pasadena. "Hey, that place is new" and just walked in. Corner house was the complete opposite, in every sense of the word and since I have benefited greatly from the advice of the many chowhounds who frequent the SGV, I am obligated to post something that I hope will be of some benefit, which is I-went-so-please-don't-go.

Jun 05, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Breakfast in Pasadena?

I'll add Central Park on Fair Oaks and Kathleen's, just slightly north of the 210 Fwy on Lake.

May 20, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

slider buns. anyone know where to buy eastside?

It's not exact, but I think a pretty close approximation is the King's Hawaiian rolls that you can buy at Costco. They come 24 to a pack, and are more or less a perfect square that (if I were eating a slider) would probably be 3 bites or so.

The only thing that I think might be a negative is that the rolls have a slightly sweet taste to them. It's not really a distraction for me, but I can see how some purists might not enjoy it. If you happen to be near a Costco, it might be worth your effort to do a taste test.

May 18, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Aloha Food Factory (Review + Pics) - Alhambra

thanks for posting the menu! i always like to see the menu before making the effort to trek to a new place.

May 15, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Need Rec for Rehearsal Dinner in Pasadena

sonia - do you have to be an alum of CalTech to have an event there? i have seen that space it is quite hidden (in a good way) and very nice

May 14, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Need Rec for Rehearsal Dinner in Pasadena

Do you have a few out of towners? I had my rehearsal dinner at Cafe Santorini because I wanted to showcase a type of food that not every city may have, and I think people were very pleasantly surprised. Cafe Santorini also has a kids' menu, which sounds like might come in handy in your case. In order to reserve one of their private rooms, they may ask for a room fee. However, I stopped by to say hello to the catering manager and they *might* waive it because I'm hearing that bookings everywhere seem to be much lower this year. If you don't want a room, 18-20 of you would fit quite nicely on the patio, and the patio really is nice. The other thing about getting the patio is that you might be able to use the regular dinner menu, rather than the banquet menu. However, for around $40 per head, the banquet menu includes salad, main, dessert and soft drinks so it's pretty good.

If you haven't eaten at Cafe Santorini, maybe you want to be a secret shopper and take your fiancee for lunch or dinner, just to make sure you like hummus, kebobs, that sort of thing.

I have to say, their servers and the catering manager really worked with me and in the end, I was quite happy with how it turned out. This places is such a hidden gem in Old Town. Congrats!

May 13, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

New Pasadena Restaurants

Would also love to hear is anyone has been to Maikobe, in the former Rose City Diner --> La Hausteca space.

Apr 30, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

14 weeks left -- what do I have to try?

Have to get yourself some Mexican food. When I moved away from LA for 3 years, it was probably the thing that I missed the most. Tacos Tumbras a Tomas & Ana Maria in Grand Central Market (downtown) serve some mighty fine Mexican food. I'm sure others will suggest their faves.

How about the Vietnamese sandwiches at Mr. Baguette? Prolly don't got those in Boston.

Maybe the Hat? Not because they serve the best pastrami, or the best onion rings, but goodness gracious do I love having that every 6 months or so.

Some good Hawaiian food. Prolly don't have that in Boston, either. I'd recommend the Loft, but I have been a little unhappy with my last 2 meals there.

Apr 24, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Cooking Classes

Rachael - down the street from you (well not literally, but figuratively) there is a great cooking school called New School of Cooking. It's very good, very hands-oh, and the instruction is excellent. If you love to bake you MUST try a class with Cindy Mushet.

They serve all of the student-made dishes at the end with wine, so don't be put off by price. You'll still get a meal out of it too. I started with the beginner knife skills class and have been back frequently

Apr 03, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Lemon birthday cake

If a bundt style cake would be acceptable, I really enjoy the Mrs. Grace lemo cakes. It looks like Mrs. Beasley and Mrs. Grace have combined forces and I'm pretty sure there is a location right on Fair Oaks.

Apr 02, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Sierra Madre-What's Good?

Ii think you mean Cafe 322. A pretty good choice, with reasonably priced food. The last time I was there, the house bread they served was REALLY salty. Like nearly inedible. But, the entrees are pretty good. I was actually gonna suggest this place, or Only Place in Town, which just a short walk away.

I think Only Place in Town serves some fairly typical fare, but I just cannot get over the chicken pot pie I was served there - incredible! instead of the traditional presentation, it was on a bed of mashed potatoes, a piece of puff pastry and what would normally be the filing spooned on top. I still dream about that dish.

Mar 06, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

fish and chips?

Any comments about Little London, on Garfield in Alhambra? It's this teeny tiny place that you'd miss if you didn't know it was there. Always been curious, but never tried.

Feb 27, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Dinner spots in Pasadena

you didn't really place any parameters/likes/dislikes, but I'll throw out a few of my faves

Cafe Bizou in Old Town
Cafe Sanrtorini in Old Town (awesome mediterranean food)
Central Park
Mike & Anne's
Matsuri (Japanese food) on Green St.

Feb 11, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area

Anyone Taken a Course at The New School of Cooking?

I have never taken a series of classes there, but always been curious. I have, however, done the 1sey, 2sey approach of picking classes that were interesting to me, and always found the quality of instruction to be excellent. If you want to bake, you must take one of Cindy Mushet's classes. I'm not sure if she teaches a series (she actually lives in San Diego) but she is truly first-class. If you're a science nerd like me, she explains baking from a scientific point of view. If you're more of a creative chef, she explains baking that way as well. Highly recommend.

Feb 05, 2009
kotatsu in Los Angeles Area