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Looking for a Tasting Menu or Omakase near Pasadena


Aug 14, 2015
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Which OO KOOK?

Whoops, by Arcadia, I meant the San Gabriel/Rosemead branch, which is NEAR arcadia/temple city.

Feb 24, 2015
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Which OO KOOK?

I've been to Arcadia and the original K-Town location, and agree they're comparable. Meat is solid, banchan is limited and self-serve but that little buffet includes chap chae and braised short ribs.

Feb 23, 2015
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Chicken Pot Pie At Costco?

+1 on the salt! very tasty at first, but then the salt just beats you up.

Feb 18, 2015
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Sushi - who serves Ono?

The "ono" being served in sushi bars is not wahoo/ono. It is Escolar, which is usually served with some ponzu sauce (and which can cause some, um, gastric distress, if eaten in large quantities). Quite delicious, but there's a whole "truth in advertising issue" with this fish, which is also very incorrectly called "white tuna" or "butterfish" at some sushi bars.
The dept of health started cracking down on this a bit, and I noticed one place I went to recently actually change the name on the menus. Can't remember where, though I think it was in studio city (I didn't order it). Sorry, not a particularly helpful post in finding a specific restaurant, but hopefully helpful in helping you find someone who has the fish.

Oct 27, 2014
Bert in Los Angeles Area

What is Boston Lobster in San Gabriel?

All of my relatives from hong kong refer to what we call "maine lobster" as "boston lobster." it's basically the same thing, different branding that probably resonates more with the overseas crowd.

Jun 08, 2014
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Slater's 50/50 - Pasadena

Just went for the first time, and I think I understand why there are a lot of people who are disappointed by it. Most people imagine that the promise of a burger containing 50% bacon is that it will be a rich, juicy, fatty mess (in a good way). The reality is actually quite different, and that's because of the SALT content of the bacon. When that salt mixes in with ground beef and stays there for a while, it cures the meat and turns everything into sausage.
This is exactly what you get at Slater's when you order a 50/50 - a beef/pork sausage patty that has a lot of smoky and cured/nitrate-y bacon flavor. It's not particularly juicy or melt-in-your mouth; rather, it's firm and springy like a sausage.
Not that the 50/50 doesn't have its merits, it's actually quite tasty. You just have to understand that you're getting a "bacon-flavored sausage burger."

In other news, the beer cheese chili fries are fantastic.

May 27, 2014
Bert in Los Angeles Area

BEST Chicken Tenders in Los Angeles

Actually, the Ralph's ones are really quite good, but the key is that you need to get them when they're fresh out of the fryer. otherwise, as you probably discovered, they stay under the heat lamp for an indefinite amount of time. so i'd go with ralph's again, but ask the person when they tend to make them. if you see any in the counter, just ask how fresh they are, the counter person always lets me know.

Feb 01, 2014
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Family that loves Asian food coming for 4 days, please help us plan

Genwa is a great korean place maybe only a mile away from LACMA. Awesome bibimbap, and they give you about 20 different banchan dishes to snack on. Barbecue is fine, too, though if you're there for lunch, they cook it in the back and bring it to you on a sizzling platter (instead of you cooking it). If you're looking for the best quality korean bbq, it's park's, though that's pretty spendy. Plenty of AYCE choices now, too, though the meat quality at most of those is pretty similar.
Second the suggestions of hitting Sawtelle for a myriad of non-sushi japanese food. I'd recommend just parking and walking around until you find a restaurant that sounds interesting. If you're at the Santa Monica Pier, you can walk to Musha in Santa Monica for a wide variety of Izakaya food as well.
Nate n Al's is fine if you have to stay in beverly hills, but I also agree that if you're looking for the best sandwich, it's gotta be Langer's.
Chinese/Vietnamese really requires a trip to the San Gabriel Valley.

Dec 10, 2013
Bert in Los Angeles Area

White Truffle Tasting @ Saam

Porthos, does the discount require a coupon code? I couldn't find it on their site, but that sounds fantastic...

Nov 27, 2013
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Hong Kong foodie visiting for 1 day to eat: Where do I take her?

Concur on mexican. If you guys went through singapore, phillippines and thailand, you have to do mexican. I'd recommend Grand Central Market in downtown for sure. Great tacos, gorditas, etc. (i love the gorditas at Ana Maria's), and there are various other food stands as well (salvadoran pupusas, a mexican seafood place, etc). Nice to have a place to walk around and basically have a variety of street food in one location (kind of like singapore).

Nov 19, 2013
Bert in Los Angeles Area

is there anyplace in the SGV that does a decent pasta with mentaiko?

A little late to the party here, but Kiyosuzu in Arcadia has Mentai Udon made with a mentaiko cream sauce. Delicious, if a bit rich. something like $8 or $9, so quite reasonable.

Oct 17, 2013
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Spago Tasting Menu Report

I think the main difference appears to be that the $125 price tag used to get an 8-course menu (which used to feel even bigger due to the 5 amuses). I believe that there used to be a cheese course and a second dessert, which would account for 2 of the missing ones.
Anyway, given the fewer courses and FIDO's comment about the big courses being a bit smaller, then that would mean that you're getting about 30% less food for the same price, which is the same effective difference as being charged 30% more, which proves that Wolfgang knows exactly what he's doing.

Oct 11, 2013
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Spago Tasting Menu Report

Whoa, this sounds like the old-school spago tasting menu, from the 5 amuses (including the tuna cone) to the signature agnolotti. I thought it was gone, but it sounds like it's back?

Oct 10, 2013
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Newport tan cang lobster dish

Chiu Chow style is the one with fried garlice. In this case, the lobster is chopped up, dredged in corn starch, and wok fried, then stir fried with aromatics (garlic, black pepper, scallions, jalapenos), lobster roe (how much you get depends on how much they got out of the lobsters that day), and i believe (but am not positive) some butter (it's that French influence on vietnamese cuisine).

Sep 24, 2013
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Jitlada: Downhill alert?

Everyone else already mentioned the price, but that's what did me in with Jitlada as far back as 3 years ago. Other northern style places started popping up, and while I still crave the mango salad (always fantastic) and steamed mussels (favorite version in any restaurant, thai or otherwise), I've simply moved on to other places that I think cook just as well at a fraction of the cost.

Jun 06, 2013
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Yuzu in Toluca Lake...YES!

never been, but I'm always looking for decent lunches in the area. any insight on the lunch specials you can share?

May 27, 2013
Bert in Los Angeles Area

AYCE korean bbq

Oo Kook for the best meat selection, though their panchan is really weak.

May 17, 2013
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Langham Pasadena Mother Day Buffet

Actually, it is definitely a Langham problem because until a couple of years ago, their expensive Sunday buffet brunch ($75 on normal days, $95 on special occasions) was maybe the best in the city. Even their cheese selection was ridiculously high-end - i remember having brillat savarin, fourme d'ambert, and other expensive cheeses. The only comparison I can make today is Scarpetta Beverly Hills, which is also very good (and whose cheese station is filled by Beverly HIlls Cheese Co).
Anyway, the Langham made a decision to move away from that business, which certainly their call to make. The problem is that when you bring back the brunch and charge the same price you used to, it's not unreasonable for your old customers to expect the same quality level as before. Sadly, that was unfortunately not the case here.

May 14, 2013
Bert in Los Angeles Area

do you guys like Newport Seafood, or rather Tan Cang ?

You're actually correct, they use less spice/seasonings than they used to, and i knew it for a fact because i always use the leftovers to make lobster fried rice. to solve the problem, we just ask them to add more of their scallion/jalapeno/garlic mix when we order, and they always agree to the request. there's still less lobster roe than there used to be, but oh well. still the best around.

Apr 12, 2013
Bert in Los Angeles Area

I am shocked that this place is still in business...

Just a random thought: Nozawa redefined "omakase" here in LA, because he served the SAME STUFF EVERY TIME. definitely not in the spirit of true omakase, but that's how many people see it nowadays. I wasn't particularly a huge fan because i prefer more variety and seasonal selections.
BTW, love the father's office burger. He can "force" that burger on my palate anytime.

Nov 13, 2012
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Monrovia Canyon Park

Just saw the question about dumplings. If that's what you're looking for, you should definitely hit up Din Tai Fung in Arcadia, only 2 freeway exits away to the west. It's at the corner of Baldwin and Duarte. They're usually super crowded, but if you're getting there that early, you won't have a problem.
When you finish, you can even take the quicker surface street route to monrovia by going east on Duarte until you hit Myrtle or Mountain, which you can then take north to get to the Canyon Park.

Nov 07, 2012
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Monrovia Canyon Park

market grill is great, but there's only seating for maybe 10 people there... though i can't imagine it will be particularly crowded on friday at 5 pm. total hole in the wall, but great burgers and they may have bacon chocolate chip cookies.

Nov 07, 2012
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Orleans Corner, Arcadia... anyone been?

Second, Sesame Grill is horrible. I've had pasta that was way overcooked, and a lamb chop that was practically gelatinous from being so raw. Shiro is solid, though more expensive than Sesame Grill.

Oct 08, 2012
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Help! Looking for good TAIWANESE Restaurant near Huntington Gardens (San Marino)...

As well as May Mei (homestyle cantonese). And Liquid Sky, pretty much all taiwanese in the area is casual.

Oct 01, 2012
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Steakhouse Paradox - sceney but not too overpriced

The Dabney Coleman costs about $60 by itself before any tax/tip/etc and, if i remember correctly, is just a hunk of meat (no sides or anything). so this may be pricier than you want.

Sep 24, 2012
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Papa George's Hy Mart in North Hollywood

Not bad. I can only speek for the mediterranean wraps, but they're big and tasty. Very american-ized, too - the Gyros Gone Wild is a lavash wrap with gyro meat AND falafel together, for example (the gyros aren't freshly cooked on a spit or anything but are tasty enough). good selection of vegetarian stuff. i like that you can get a spicy option with each sandwich. Not a destination joint, but a good little lunch if you're in the neighborhood.

Sep 12, 2012
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Tasting Menu at The Bazaar's Saam

The mojito is great and fun. so is the caipirinha, though as Porthos mentions, it's more of a slushy rather than a drink. Other signatures are Salt Air margarita and the dirty martini. Those are probably the 4 drinks that you'll see every table with. They have new / seasonal drinks all the time, though, so feel free to see whats' out there.

Jul 24, 2012
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Tasting Menu at The Bazaar's Saam

Agreed with the other posters that the food already includes the "greatest hits." I wasn't stuffed, but it was definitely plenty of food. If you want the full bazaar experience, you should supplement your menu with some of their unique cocktails (i think that's definitely the way to go instead of getting wine).

Jul 23, 2012
Bert in Los Angeles Area

Unique/Impressive Dinner Experience in Los Angeles

I was just going to suggest Bazaar, too. Both the food and the cocktails are as unique as you're going to get.

Jul 18, 2012
Bert in Los Angeles Area