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Eastsider's Profile

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Canelé in Atwater? Don't bother....

Like you, I don't eat meat and here is my advice for Canele: have either their omelet appetizer as an entree or ask if they're serving an off the menu veg entree.
Although, the one bad time I've ever had at this restaurant was when I ordered that special option -- which was greens over polenta. I'm not sure what was happening on the line that night, but the greens were overcooked and had about a 1/4 cup of oil on them. I should have sent it back. Which, BTW, is what I would have done if I received a plate of dry pasta with pepperoncini (truly?pepperoncini?) on it.

Mar 21, 2007
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Paso Robles Best

We were in town and went to Artisan last weekend -- I was pleasantly surprised with the food (with the exception of desserts, which felt like an afterthought). I had a mushroom lasagna with creme fraiche which was really good, and big enough that I could have shared it. Nice service, too.

Mar 19, 2007
Eastsider in California

Quick lunchtime dessert place in Pasadena?

Europane also usually has a handful of great cakes -- if you have time you could go by to check it out and see if it's what you are looking for. I'm a fan of their individual, frosted chocolate bundt cake with berries (if they have it -- it may be seasonal). Strangely, their regular chocolate cake is not as good.

Mar 08, 2007
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area


I agree - very good bagels.

Mar 08, 2007
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Sunday. Pasadena. Brunch.

1) I wouldn't go to Burger Continental if I lived next door, so I would take that one off your list.
2) The Huntington Library tea room is really commercial feeling, with serve-yourself buffet from refrigerated cases, and not at all exciting -- and unless you're really planning to walk the grounds, keep in mind you have to pay the admission fee plus the cost of the meal.
3) Saladang for Thai is OK, and so is Japon Bistro. Both are fairly nice inside and walkable to shopping -- although you will be eating lunch, not breakfast, food.
4) However ... if it was me and the weather was not too terrible, I would opt for brunch at Firefly in South Pasadena. Alternate picks: the Raymond or Marstons (someone mentioned Marstons is a mob scene, so lingering is pretty much not happening there, but it is right near Old Town's shops).
Hope that's helpful.

Mar 01, 2007
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Looking for higher end dining near USC

There's also the Water Grill.

Mar 01, 2007
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Challah bread in OC?

Katella's frequently wins raves ...

Feb 26, 2007
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Looking for French Cookies and Chocolate

Ralphs has Petit Ecolier. They even had the extra dark kind at the "Ralphs Fresh" in Pasadena.

Feb 21, 2007
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Ice Cream/Frozen Treats in Downtown LA?

if (formerly Fiore) in the Japanese Village plaza in Little Tokyo fits the bill for Pinkberry-esque. There is also an ice cream shop in that plaza that sells mochi ice cream.

Feb 20, 2007
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Trattoria Tre Venezie review w/ photos

I sadly had a similar feeling when I went there for my birthday this fall -- I was really expecting a great meal, had known the prices were high for what it is, but still felt disappointed. I had the butternut squash risotto and a salad with apples and celery, and was not overwhelmed. Also, there was a canned taste to something we had that night -- may have been the risotto, I can't remember -- but I do recall thinking there's no excuse for a restaurant charging those kinds of prices to be serving something that tastes like the inside of a can. To be fair, my boyfriend did like his meal better, and the restaurant was busy, so other people must feel it's worth the price ...

Feb 14, 2007
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

LA Cake Roundup

Add Auntie Em's in Eagle Rock to the list ... her cakes are actually better than her cupcakes because they stay moist longer. I can't vouch, though, for if you are buying by the slice ... any cut cake will start to dry out.

Feb 06, 2007
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Pomi Marinara sauce?

Does anyone know where on the Eastside I can find Pomi marinara sauce -- the kind in the vacuum-sealed box? Trader Joe's used to carry it, but no longer it seems ... and Whole Foods seems to only carry Pomi crushed tomatoes.

Some days I just want convenience and that's the only brand that actually tastes like tomatoes (with the exception of some other fancy brands that cost so much I feel silly buying them.)

Jan 24, 2007
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

New Years Day Soulfood (Eagle Rockish)

There's the new soul food restaurant in Eagle Rock. Anyone been?

1496 Colorado Blvd., (323) 254-0934.

Dec 27, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Looking for MY perfect cup of hot chocolate...

Two recent hot chocolates I've had have been very good, and fit the bill I think:

-- Downtown, at the "coffee" side of the sandwich shop Mendocino Farms in the Watercourt food area. This used to be Tao of Tea, but apparently they decided that concept wasn't working and converted it to part of the Mendocino shop ... tasted like nice milk chocolate but was not too thick. (I suspect they are not open weekends.)

-- Somewhat nearby, had a hot chocolate this weekend at Mama's Hot Tamales (across the street from MacArthur Park). They also have a Mexican hot chocolate on the menu, which I'm guessing is good, but I went for the normal chocolate ... also not too thick, with really good foamy consistency.

Dec 14, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Best Root Beer Float

Not sure it is the best or not, but the Oinkster in Eagle Rock has a float with Boylan's Root Beer -- they may also use Fosselman's ice cream? Maybe someone else can remember that part ...

Dec 05, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Whole Foods Vegetarian thanksgiving dishes?

I have had a sort of roulade(?) of faux turkey around a dressing of some kind. Obviously it didn't make an impression, but it was OK and provided a similar feel to turkey when I wasn't up to doing a whole dish just for me. I bought it in the deli section at Whole Foods -- as I recall you can buy a whole roll or just a section. I can't remember the price but I think it was a little pricey for what it was (like a lot of things in their deli).

Nov 15, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Disappointment at Canele

I concur with your assessment.

About the tomatoes and the other poster's concern about "seasonality" ... with this year's weather, yes, tomatoes are still in season here in SoCal.

Nov 06, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

where can i get HAZEL NUT paste?

Whole Foods carries a product called hazelnut butter -- it is ground roasted hazelnuts, with no sugar added. I have found it two holiday seasons in a row in the area with the peanut butter.

Oct 19, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Trendy, Small, and Avant-Garde?

How about Wilson in Culver City? Chic design, intimate space, interesting food ...

Oct 17, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Lucques - Disappointing

I agree -- we went last week and I was also disappointed. For roughly the same price, you could go to someplace in New York that would have a) mindblowing food and b) impeccable service. Lucques had neither. As far as the service, our waiter was rushed and we were often served by busboys who couldn't seem to figure out how to get the plates onto our two-top -- they would stand there hovering until I moved the little vase or the candle so they had more room. A couple instances of awkward reaching, too (which seemed curious since there should have been enough room -- the two-top next to us wasn't even occupied). We enjoyed our food, but I did think my eggplant gratin main was a bit greasy, and coupled with the saltiness from the olives baked in the dish it wasn't something I would order again. The heirloom salad with feta was "heh" -- good but I have had better versions elsewhere. The desserts were not high points either -- the chocolates on the confectioner's plate were too sweet, and I didn't enjoy the grainy texture of the sugar in a Mexican chocolate cake.
Overall, I'd give it a B. For service, a C.

Sep 29, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Canale in Atwater

We went Sunday, and I really don't know what everyone is talking about with the small portions complaint -- our portions were fine. Appetizers were normal size, the paella was maybe even just a bit more than could finish, and the desserts were very large.
I'm also puzzled by people's comments about the prices. I really don't recall Nonni's prices being much cheaper than $8 or $9 for an appetizer, or $6 for desserts -- which is what we paid Sunday. Perhaps the mains at Canele are a couple dollars more, as I said I don't recall exactly. BUT when you look at the quality and taste of the ingredients -- there's no comparison. Gaspacho was very nice: a smooth version with sherry vinegar, with a quarter of an egg and julienned cucumbers for accent. Pissaladiere was good; I am a fan of herb salad, which came on the side. Shrimp paella got a positive review from my SO, whose only complaint was regarding a creme fraiche-dressed farmer's market salad with shallots (he said the flavor was excellent, he was just expecting a few other vegetables to pop up in the mix -- maybe if the description had just said "farmer's market greens" he would have been happier.) He was also a bit disappointed they did not have their machine yet for an after-dinner espresso, but he seemed to get over it when he tasted their chocolate almond cake.
Overall, the menu at Canele was an interesting mix, prepared with care. I'm hoping the menu changes frequently according to the season.
A final note, though, regarding service: their staff is a bit green. Very well meaning, friendly and attentive -- all of which goes a long way with me -- but they'll hopefully get polished a bit more now that they're up and running.

Sep 28, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena brunch, I'm hungry!

Try Firefly in South Pasadena. Some are not impressed, but I like their brunch quite a bit. My one gripe -- and I haven't been often enough to know if this is a regular thing -- but on a nice weekend morning, I feel like there's no reason for having them to have keep their tent structure (which houses their dining room) all buttoned down.

Sep 15, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Organic Farm Produce

There was one advertised once on Daily Candy -- I think it may have been this one, tho I'm not sure ...

Aug 31, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

The great pastry trek is over... (Long)

Auntie Em's has been open much longer than a year. You may be thinking of their gourmet shop.

Aug 29, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Why all the Casa Bianca bashing?!

I completely agree. The pizza is not bad, but it is overhyped. The hype + the classic look of the place generates the long line.

Aug 15, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Liberty Grill

FYI, the search function only turns up the previous ?, and the link in the only response does not work.

Aug 04, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Tapas place in OC?

Wondering if anyone out there knows of any tapas places in the OC -- we are looking for a place to have a 60th birthday celebration, any suggestions would be very welcome ...

Jul 18, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

food in Ojai / Ventura?

If you are looking for nice but trying not to spend a lot, you might check out Azu (not sure on spelling) on the main drag in Ojai. Gelato counter, small plates and large plates. I've tried a few things and liked them, can't say they are mind-blowing, but a pleasant experience. And they seemed to have bar seating in the front -- if that makes you more comfortable as a solo diner.

Jul 13, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

old school Italian -- Eagle Rock, Glendale, etc.?

My vote is split:

If it was for me, I would go to Colombo's in Eagle Rock. Yes, it's a steakhouse, so not just Italian food, but it has the red booths, and the garlic bread, and there is pasta on the menu. (As for wine I would bring my own, maybe, or have a basic cocktail instead). I particularly like it because of the piano player and the singing guests.

If, though, you are looking more for old school Italian and want to steer clear of the Vegas vibe, Casa Bianca would be a good option if you could stand the wait.

The third good option is the Capri, which doesn't have the wait, and has OK pizza plus a wide variety of pasta options, plus the garlic bread. At Capri, though, you will definitely want to bring your own wine (maybe call ahead to make sure you can). And beware -- their desert options are very limited; I once went there for my birthday and got a foil cup of ice cream that appeared to have been in the freezer for several years. Even so, I'm still fond of the place, so take from that what you will.

Jul 11, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area

Forthcoming Restaurants in Eagle Rock

I've been wondering about both spots ... and wondering about the Michelangelo's location that LAT has said is supposed to open in the neighborhood ... anyone know anything?

Jul 03, 2006
Eastsider in Los Angeles Area