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

I didn't really ask for a recommendation. I said it was a rant. It was prompted by finally breaking down and trying a Panera for the first time and discovering it was worse than I imagined. I've tried every supermarket (except Jon's) and they are all bad. Jon's is not on the Westside. I'll stick to my occasional visit to Amandine and Huckleberry and call it day.

Apr 17, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

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

I could extend my comments to almost all breads. I lived in Vienna and Munich for about a year and there was amazing baguette, pretzels, strudels, and croissants at every market, corner, and street vendor.

Apr 17, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

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

90403

Apr 17, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

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

QUOTE:

The irony about the tortilla comment is that you can't even find good tortilla chips at most supermarkets. The stuff that they sell at Whole Foods, Bristol Farms etc.. may be healthy but it pales in comparison to anything you get at a decent Mexican restaurant. You need to go to a Mexican grocery store to get good tortilla chips. So I guess I'm asking way too much to expect decent baguette except at a speciality bakery.

Apr 17, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

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

The baguette at Bristol Farms and Whole Foods are not very good. I haven't shopped at a Gelsons in years as they are quite far from me. My food life does not stink. There are plenty of great places to eat near me. Shockingly, good baguette is hard to find though.

Apr 17, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

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

WeHo actually has a much higher crime rate than most neighborhoods on the Westside.

http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-...

Apr 17, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area
1

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

C'mon. I'm not lamenting not being able to find pot-au-feu or ratatouille at every street corner. It's BREAD. There are thousands of businesses in LA that bake fresh bread every day. Yet, most people will need to make a special trip to find very good bread. Being a staple food of all Western cuisines, that's kinda surprising to me. It's not very hard to make.

The only logical conclusion I can draw is that most people (Chowhounds on this thread excluded), have never had good bread. And most who have, don't care for it enough to tolerate the short shelf life. Good bread does go stale very quickly. I suspect that is the real reason...

Apr 17, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

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

Ramen and pizza, both cited over and over on this thread, are not very good analogies. There is decent to very good pizza all over LA. And the same could be said for ramen. West LA is a desert for most asian foods other than Japanese and Middle Eastern. Western food here is generally pretty good if you are willing to pay. But the baguette thing (and bread in general) still baffles me. I'm really surprised that specialty supermarkets like Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and Bristol Farms are well below average.

I'm glad my rant produced a lively thread though and I've become aware of a few more bakeries on the Westside. It still really doesn't solve the issue I have though because driving 30-45 minutes roundtrip to MG to buy baguette isn't practical.

Apr 17, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

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

One shouldn't have to try every bakery you can to find decent bread. I don't believe it's an unreasonable expectation to find decent bread even at a chain. I actually started this thread right after going to a Panera for the first time. I was shocked at how mediocre all the baked goods were. 25 years ago the Westside had a small chain of restaurants called Cafe Casino that had decent baguette amongst other things. We've actually regressed in that department as it's harder to find now than in 1989...

Apr 17, 2014
m3tan in Los Angeles Area

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