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Why does baguette s*ck in this country...

South Pasadena and La Canada are not exactly close to Arcadia or Monterey Park. I don't know how you people find the time to drive 20-30 minutes to buy one item...

Apr 14, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Why does baguette s*ck in this country...

Do you have kids? The Westside is probably the safest place with good schools that has SOME decent food. Downtown, Venice, West Hollywood, are not options if want a safe neighborhood with good public schools. So ya, kinda a gun to my head. I hate most of my neighbors but live here for my kids. I'm much more a downtown or Abbott Kinney person...

Apr 14, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Why does baguette s*ck in this country...

Eh - LA is better than most places in the US but is actually below average considering the size of the city. I'm not willing to go down this path again though. Suffice it to say, I can find good almost anything in LA, (especially Middle Eastern / Asian) but baguette is a really basic Western European staple. It's just shocking to me that someone must seek out baguette as if it is a specialty item..

Apr 14, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area
2

Mastro's, CUT, or STK? Looking for best steak in LA

Mastro's and STK are seriously overrated. A randomly great streak is the T-Bone at Divino in Brentwood. Not on the menu but they almost always have it and it is divine. Having a brick oven or some other cooking apparatus that allows for insanely high temperatures to sear in the flavor and juices is an absolute must...

Apr 14, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Why does baguette s*ck in this country...

Fair point but it's BREAD. As in bread and butter. A staple food...

Apr 14, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Why does baguette s*ck in this country...

This is starting to turn into a rerun of my Thai/Indian food on the Westside thread. Sure I know of Lee's Sandwiches etc.. but I can't drive 20 miles to buy a loaf of baguette. I live in the Westside and there are no Lee's, Jon's, or Mr. Baguette's anywhere close to me...

Apr 14, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Why does baguette s*ck in this country...

OK so I'm sure there are a few decent places scattered around LA. I'm in on the Westside, and Amandine is my go to spot. But it's kinda of an annoying special trip which means I do it a couple times a year - drive to Amandine JUST to buy baguette before it sells out at 10AM. Again, anywhere in Europe, you can grab it at any street corner and not think twice about the quality. It's BREAD. I just don't understand how the average person thinks Ralph's or Panera is wonderful and doesn't think twice about eating rubbery, preservative filled Wonder Bread...

Apr 14, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area
1

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

Updating this thread I started a while back - Badmaash downtown is EASILY the best Indian food I've found in LA. Not traditional by any means - it's a hipster nouveau Indian gastropub. But don't let the appearance deceive you. Some seriously good and authentic Indian food. Too bad it's not on the Westside but it's my go to place to eat if I'm ever downtown...

Apr 14, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Why does baguette s*ck in this country...

Sorry - random rant but it ceases to amaze me. Almost anywhere you go in Europe, the baguette it amazing. Crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy in the middle. I can eat it plain all day long, and with butter or spread, it's divine. I have never found one supermarket here that does it right. And almost every bakery is below average or terrible. I can count on one hand, the number of times I've had good baguette in this continent (and almost all are in Montreal). Amandine in West LA is decent but everywhere else I've been is sub par. Places like Panera and Corner Bakery are HORRIBLE. I'm too damn busy to bake it other than holidays. Why is it that no one here appreciates good bread??? Otherwise, why is it soooooo hard to find...

Apr 14, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

LOL! Small world Bob! You're the one who wrote this comment I was referring to today about the owner preparing a special meal!

Jun 12, 2013
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

Sadly we're deep in SM so YES all bets are off. Even Culver City is "FAR". And sorry not going to move as we save $40k a year by not having to send kids to private school. I'll suffer with my lack of ethnic food options but I'll still gripe about it...

Apr 29, 2013
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

We go to Japan almost every year so it's easy for me to directly compare. I'd say the BEST Japanese restaurants in LA are about the same level as GOOD in Japan. So I completely agree with your assessment but stand by my assertion LA has the best Japanese food in the US by a long shot. Once you've had the real deal, all the Japanese fare but in a handful of US cities is basically inedible...

Apr 29, 2013
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

It's stunning that people quote "vapid culinary desert" time and time again out of context. I said that is the reputation, but in fact LA has great ethnic food if you are willing to go to the ethnic neighborhoods. The problem is trendy LA doesn't know the first thing about good food. Whereas GREAT ethnic restaurants are sprinkled all over NY and SF, not just the ethnic neighborhoods.

Please reread the title of my thread. Great Thai or Indian in the WESTSIDE. Emphasis on the WESTSIDE. Jitlada is in Thai Town. I've been there. Good but not great. Again, we have young kids. Leaving the Westside at 530PM to arrive for a 7-730PM casual dinner is just not worth it. Take them and it's a ton of stress. Leave them and we pay a fortune for a sitter. Cholada is fair.

Since I started this thread, I've tried several more Thai restaurants in the WETSIDE. Si Laa on Robertson is easily the best. A little overpriced but I don't mind considering almost everything else on the WESTSIDE is awful.

As for Indian, Lawrence of India is probably the best I've found. Still doesn't compare to the top Indian in the Bay Area, but as I've confirmed with many South Asians, the Bay Area is unparalleled for Indian food because of the massive population up there.

Also Chandni is vegetarian so I have no idea what you are talking about... fish... chicken...

Apr 20, 2013
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Best all inclusive resort in Punta Cana for foodies?

Hi, we're planning a trip to the Domincan Republic and plan to stay at an all inclusive resort in Punta Cana. Never done an all inclusive before and the thing that makes me most nervous is the food. My wife and I are foodies and have always felt that the dining on cruises and guided tours are awful and had much better experiences when we venture off for ourselves. Are there any all inclusives that someone can recommend for those with more discriminating taste? And to clarify we're not looking for fine dining (we have two young kids and don't mind casual). We just want real food, not starchy buffet food - and if it's local cuisine, it should be true to the local recipes, not "Americanized" and blanded down. Thanks in advance.

Aug 10, 2012
m3tan in Latin America & Caribbean

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

Thanks I don't really think Indian food is complete without curry but I'll be sure to check out Zam Zam as well. I'm noticing a trend that most of the recommended places are in Culver City or BHPO area. This just reconfirms that the food in Santa Monica / Brentwood is pretty awful unless you want Italian, Sushi, or California Cuisine...

Jul 25, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

No confusion here. I'm very well aware of the difference. Echoparkdirt advised that I stick to Persian places but frankly I find them very repetitive and nothing like Thai, Chinese, or Indian. Perhaps there are places with more variety, but almost all the restaurants around Westwood have 80% kabob and then 4 or 5 stews like fesenjan, gheymeh, bademjan, and ghormeh sabzi...

Jul 24, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

By quoting me out of context, you've completely distorted what I said. I stated in spite of that reputation, LA does have some excellent food. My contention is that the Hollywood crowd adds little or nothing to the quality of food in town. Some of most overrated restaurants are on La Cienaga's Restaurant Row. It's the huge Korean, Persian, Chinese, Japaneses etc... populations that really raise the bar overall here - but you generally must drive to those neighborhoods. It was my experience when I lived in NYC and SF that an excellent example of almost every type of cuisine could be found within a 10 sq mile radius. I was born and raised here and would say that is definitely not true of LA.

BTW The original Amber is in Mountain View but there is one in downtown SF. I was staying in Sunnyvale so the Mountain View Amber was a 5 minute drive.

Jul 24, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

The problem is Persian food, though good, is nothing like Indian, Chinese, or Thai. To me that's like saying give up on French, Italian, and German food because there are wonderful Polish places...

Jul 23, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

We had Nizam for take out last weekend and it was surprisingly good. I'd kinda lost faith in that place after several consecutive mediocre meals. It's definitely not what it was 20 years ago, but last Saturday was a reminder that on a good night, it can be one of the better Indian places on the Westside.

Jul 22, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

I've been to Si Laa a couple times now and it definitely the best Thai restaurant I've been to in LA. It ranks right up there with some of the top Thai restaurants in SF. It's kind of pricey despite not really being in "Beverly Hills" but food is top notch. The decor is very nice, e.g. excellent for a date, and the service is very friendly. Best of all it's family run. So I'm happy to report that half of my search (Thai) is over. Next up is Lawrence of India and I'm really keeping my fingers crossed...

Jul 22, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

Since I live in Santa Monica, anything south of the 10 or east of the 405 barely qualifies as "Westside". I'm half joking-half serious. It's just too damn difficult to get a sitter, fight through traffic, etc... to try out a new place that might not even be any good. I think I'm going to try out Si Laa, Lawrence of India, and maybe Night Market but all three are a little further then I hoped...

Apr 02, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

I don't think you are going to the right places then. My wife is Japanese and so she has a ton of friends who are from Japan. The consensus amongst them is that the Japanese food in LA is easily the best in North America and several places are every bit as good as you would find in Japan - but many of them are not well known to non-Japanese. What are you looking for besides sushi? Izakaya? Ramen? Teppanyaki? Yakitori? Nabe? I could provide plenty of recommendations.

Apr 01, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

I think Nizam has definitely gone downhill. It's still the same owner but he retired about 8 years ago and relatives are running it now. They are nice people (husband, wife, and kids) but it's nothing like it used to be...

Mar 21, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

Has anyone tried Si Laa on Robertson? Yelpers seem to like it. They describe it as upscale and unpretentious so maybe it has hope for meeting my criteria for better ingredients. I don't mind paying more when I know I'm getting more...

Mar 21, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Furaibo...

Musha on 4th and Wilshire is better. My wife and all her friends are Japanese so I speak with experience. The best izakaya though is in Gardena and Torrance. The original Furaibo and Musha are down there. Heck if you want to know how much better the Japanese food is down there - even the Benihana in Torrance is decent...

Mar 20, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

You're right about Chinese food on the Westside. Thankfully my parents live in Pasadena so we go to SG Valley often. You can pretty much throw a dart and find a great Chinese restaurant there. Actually we found a passable Thai place there too but it's really LAME that there isn't once decent Thai place on the Westside for those times we crave it for takeout or lunch...

Mar 20, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

kid friendly afternoon Sunday evening birthday meal, Santa Monica??

Also M-Street Kitchen on Main Street is modern American cuisine so I'm sure they have steak and kids eat for free before 7PM I think. You may want to check if that offer is valid on Sunday. Food is above average.

Mar 20, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

kid friendly afternoon Sunday evening birthday meal, Santa Monica??

There really aren't many kid friendly restaurants in the Westside that have a great steak. LA isn't really a "steak" town. There are some very famous places like Dan Tana's, Mastro's, the Palm etc... but they are very pricey and not for kids (nor walkable). The only places that come to mind that are walkable in SM are places owned by the Hillstone Group - Bandera, Hillstone, and R + D. They are pretty much all the same restaurant but they fool you into thinking you aren't eating at a chain by changing the name and mixing things up just a little bit. Overall they are pretty good and kid friendly during the day but on the weekends and or later in the evening they definitely take on a meat market vibe... Oh - one other place is BOA which is a modern steak house with a slight Asian flair. Avoid Pacific Dining Car, it's where old people go to overdose on prime rib...

Mar 20, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

Any great Thai / Indian restaurants in the Westside?

I moved to LA a few years ago from the SF and really miss the great Indian and Thai food up there! They are my two favorite cuisines but I've yet to find a place in the Westside or let alone LA that would even rate as average in the Bay Area. I know overall for such a big city, LA has the rep of being a vapid culinary desert, but I generally find that only to be true if you stay within the trendy LA LA land circuit. If you wander into the ethnic neighborhoods, there is some great food to be found. I've had great Korean in k-town, Japanese in Torrance, Chinese anywhere near San Gabriel Valley. The question is, where is the great Thai and Indian food??? I'm looking for places in the Westside as we rarely like to drive more than 15 minutes to eat (have kids now) but I'd be willing to travel up to 45-min on occasion but the food needs to be exceptional!

Up in Mountain View there is a fabulous Northern Indian restaurant called Amber. I just ate there last week when I was in the Bay Area, and it made me kinda depressed because I can't find anything in LA which is even remotely close to as good. Even the run-of-the mill Pakistani-Indian fast food hole in the wall in SF (Nan'n Curry for instance) rates better than anything I've had in LA. That's downright pathetic... As to what type of Indian food, I don't care if it is Northern, Southern , Pakistani etc... I pretty much like it all except vegetarian only is not my first choice. Indian places I've tried in Westside:

Dhaba - OK
Akbar - overpriced crap
Nawab - mediocre
Pradeeps - pretentious crap on Montana, may be healthy but tasteless too...
Chandni - horrible buffet, extremely disappointed considering all the hype on Yelp.
India's Oven - don't remember but not memorable.
Jaipur - mediocre
Ambala Dhaba - good the first time, but disappointing my second time
India's Tandoori - some of the worst Indian food I've ever eaten
Chutneys - rates well compared to others on this list but's it's fast food...
Nizam - my favorite Indian place 20 years ago when I went to school here. Either food has gone downhill or my taste buds have matured.
Bombay Cafe - OK but overpriced.
Clay Pit - OK. Closed though.

As for my Thai food experience in the Westside. Some REALLY REALLY disturbing trends: 1) If they give you chop sticks, run for the hills. They rarely if at all use chop sticks in Thailand. The restaurant is run by Chinese. 2) Please don't give me Chinese rice with my red curry. I want jasmine rice like you get in Thailand. 3) If the rice is clumpy, they reused old rice by adding water and microwaving. Again run for the hills. Thai places I've tried (virtually all are guilty of one of the above):

California Vegan - oddly the best Thai food in the Westside
Thai Dishes - tastes like Chinese people making Thai food.
Pot & Pan - meh
T's Thai - crap
Typhoon - I want real Thai not fusion
Siam Chan - cheap fast food
Chan Dara - the worst crap I've ever eaten in my life
Greenview - good the first time, crossed off list after 2nd and 3rd visit.
Natalee - OK
Tuk Tuk - not memorable

I suppose I need to go to Thai Town to get great Thai food but the 2 or 3 places I randomly picked in the past were all underwhelming. Definitely spicier than the bland fare on the Westside but they were all cheap eat hole in the walls with subpar meats and vegetables. In NY and SF you can find authentic Thai and Indian flavors yet using the finest of ingredients. Does such a place exist in LA? I'd think it has to with 15M+ people...

Mar 20, 2012
m3tan in Los Angeles Area
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