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gnarlex's Profile

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Depressing Places You Like

El Charro in Montrose. Depressing and tight booths, so you know they haven't remodeled since humans were smaller. The kind of Mexican food best described as 'orange.' Tasty, but embarrassing in its cheesy, lardy excess. Bar full of regulars. Paper placemats have rudimentary Spanish lesson on them. Best part is it's 100% irony free.

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay - February 2014! [OLD]

NAY. According to two staffers stocking the bread in Burbank, TJ's has stopped carrying the sliced, round caraway "corn" rye bread, labeled Jewish Rye. It was perfect. Dense enough, perfect caraway balance, coarse cornmeal on the bottom. I just can't face adding yet another store to my 3-4 a week run.
Bring. It. Back.

Feb 02, 2014
gnarlex in Chains

Fish and Chips

I was pleasantly surprised that someone mentioned Big Willie's. You would never dream that a local liquor store could have such high quality fresh fish and chips. Second this one!

Mar 17, 2013
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

BBQ smoked Cod

Yes, it disappeared, and at the time (5 years ago?) was told it had become too expensive, but that doesn't seem like a reasonable explanation. If Greengrass can chg $40/lb. for lox, could BBQ cod possibly cost more? I miss it, too.

Jan 18, 2011
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

You would have a hard time finding _________in Los Angeles...

Victor Jr's in Culver City has an excellent chicken parm sandwich. Closed weekends

Victor Jr's
10113 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

Jun 25, 2010
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

You would have a hard time finding _________in Los Angeles...

Back when there were only a handful of high-end restaurants in L.A. (early-'70's, pre- Ma Maison), there was Scandia on the Sunset Strip. High-end, special occasion Scandinavian dining. Long gone, of course.

Jun 25, 2010
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Is Porto's Glendale less insane than Porto's Burbank on Saturdays?

Many thanks esp to all the CH backbones!
Burbank was eerily uncrowded last Saturday @1PM. Easy parking, no wait in line, found a table. As always, the feta & tomato sandwich was much better than the sum of its parts. Papa Preparada (their delicious potato balls smushed in a sandwich w/ swiss, L&T) was not as good as it sounded. Tasted their fllan for the first time, exemplary of the super-dense variety. Tres leches very good but for some ultra-sweet meringue on top. Mille feuille was also v. good.

Jun 07, 2010
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Is Porto's Glendale less insane than Porto's Burbank on Saturdays?

I know Glendale doesn't have as large a dining room as Burbank, but if it's just to take out, are they equally packed on weekends? Burbank can be daunting, although I know the lines do move. Whose parking is worse ? Gracias, CH-ers.

Jun 04, 2010
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Elegant Saturday ladies lunch in Beverly Hills - Any suggestions?

Lucques is not far from BH, and their Saturday lunch is a well-kept secret. Lovely quiet patio, fine service. Short-ish menu, but always delicious food.

Feb 04, 2010
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Huge Armenian/lebanese/Persian grocery superstores in the Glendale/Pasadena/Burbank area

I second Golden Farms which, in addition to the above specialties, has Russian and Latin American products and favored produce, plus Indian and Filipino specialties. I almost bought a two-liter bottle of Kvas, then remembered I had no fridge-space, plus no clue what it was, but the drawings of Russian monks on the label drew me in. Don't overlook the frozen foods case with tamarind paste, fried onions, pierogi, Mashti Malone ice cream. Amazing assortment. The jams and the canned bean array are also fascinating. It's such an L.A. synthesis, we call it Blade Runner Market.

Dec 23, 2009
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Boss Sushi on La Cienega

Some of the sushi chefs at Boss came from the former Kokyo (now Yen) at Pico & Beverwil. There were many Kokyo fans here who might find this encouraging.

Dec 10, 2009
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Boulangerie "au desir de manon", on rue de Rivoli near St. Paul metro

Thank you for clarifying the address. I thought the whole street was rue de Rivoli, but I it seems rue Saint-Antoine is the bit that's set apart by the row of trees. They're parallel and do appear to be the parts of the same street.

The link you attached does say they make everything in-house. Attention documentarians, can we see a day in the life of this place, or one like it?

Nov 29, 2009
gnarlex in France

Boulangerie "au desir de manon", on rue de Rivoli near St. Paul metro

It may not be Poilane or Mulot, but we stayed in the Marais last week and were referred to this bakery by the apartment agency's neighborhood guidebook. Everything we bought there was delicious, including their regular baguette, which was more rustic than supermarket loaves; it stayed fresh for 2 days. We had a small (5") pear/cherry cake that was not very sweet, a rectangle of classic French flan, an apple tart, and some other treats to nibble on, and they were all very good and reasonably priced.

I'm generally amazed by how these tiny local bakeries provide well over 100 different items every day. from rustic breads to gorgeous decorated patisserie, huge quiches, viennoiserie, sandwiches, etc. Are there 30 people in the basement?

Nov 28, 2009
gnarlex in France

Paris: Middle Eastern and N. African reccomendations?

When the jambon et fromage becomes too much, is there good mezze and coucous to be found, say, well within the Peripherique? We'll be in the Marais, but can venture afield.

Oct 07, 2009
gnarlex in France

Hayat's Kitchen:Serious Lebanese home cooking returns, but don't call it a comeback

OMG! I was just reminiscing with some co-workers about how we loved Cafe Med. The baklava and the lentil soup were the best ever. My mouth would burn from the lemon in almost everything, but it was so good. This is awesome news, thank you.

Sep 18, 2009
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Bistro de l'Hermitage in Culver City is closed.

Not surprising, given the opening of Le Saint Amour next door with a relatively similar bistro menu. Some waitstaff from Hermitage seems to be at Saint Amour, too. LSA is a very nice space, w/ high ceilings. Food was solid, not exceptional. Frites were very good.

I didn't have time to read the change of ownership notice in the l'Hermitage window. Does anybody know what's coming?

Aug 05, 2009
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

What to eat at AOC, Lucques, Campanile

In Summer, i.e. NOW!, Lucques has an heirloom tomato and burrata salad starter that should be mandatory for all diners to order and eat. In fact, the summer menu should only list one starter. It is Sofa King good!!

Jul 28, 2009
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

LA suggestions for New Yorkers?

Bulgarini's gelato is very good, but I don't find it worth a special trip to Altadena. It's also hella expensive.

Jul 23, 2009
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Ensenada Style Fish Tacos in LA

Whew, I'd thought I was nuts, so I kept my good opinion of Del Taco's fish tacos to myself. Sure, there's a fish stick in there, more or less, but the whole is definitely better than the sum of its parts. Word to the hounds, as of now, you can print a 2-for1 coupon online, one coupon per customer per visit. $1.69 for 2 fish tacos.

Apr 27, 2009
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Carambouche in LA area

search the board for croquembouche

Mar 04, 2009
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

who and where has the best baba au rum in los angeles?

I don't know what makes a good one, but I've seen them at Porto's.

Feb 02, 2009
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

favorite steak frites?

my bad! N.B., they're strict regarding the bar menu. Available only after 9:30pm weeknights, 10pm friday and saturday. A friend raved about the grilled cheese with sauteed shallots, but it's unobtainable outside stated hours. We've asked repeatedly, including last week, when we mistakenly got a bar menu at lunch instead of the nearly identical cocktail menu. No go.

Jan 10, 2009
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

favorite steak frites?

Lucques, but it's only on the lunch menu. Steak, frites, and a bit of arugula salad, all on one plate so at the bottom of the frites pile, the last ones are soaked in meat juices. There's also some bearnaise on the side. To quote the great Perecptor, it's "damn good."

Jan 02, 2009
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Best outdoor space in LA

Odd, but yes, Zip Fusion, downtown, which has fairly bad sushi, has a charming patio. Lucques has a most civilized patio, nice and quiet for conversing. I haven't seen the Hotel Bel Air patio mentioned, which is pretty. Pane e Vina and Orso are always solid patios.
Wolfe Burger in Pasadena has a nice hidden patio, too.

Dec 13, 2008
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

English Toffee - Dark / Bittersweet Chocolate?

I second It's not local, but it transcends geography. Milk or semisweet chocolate.

Nov 03, 2008
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Blue Cheese Dressing?

Costco has Bob's Bleu Cheese

Oct 05, 2008
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Unpretentious Saturday lunch in late June-where?

Lucques. Not pretentious, especially at the very laid back Saturday lunch, never crowded, lovely patio, excellent food, BH close.

Jun 10, 2008
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Lunch

Yen Sushi, corner of Beverwil and Pico, upstairs in the Ralph's/Long's complex, is decent, and more importantly, open for lunch on Saturdays. The spicy tuna salad (dressing on side) is a good value. Granted, it's not serious, Zo quality sushi, but it's good and it's 5 minutes from Culver City.

Jun 04, 2008
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

My graduation dinner planning, am I on or off target with i.cugini?

Outside is fine, but inside is loud, loud, loud! Lots of hard surfaces, big room, really tough to converse.

May 02, 2008
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area

Baba Ghanoush

My fave is the muttabal (sp?) (aka baba ghanoush) at Zankou Chicken. Nicely smoky, no holding back on the oil that makes it so velvety. The store in Burbank also has very good tabbouleh, just the right proportion of ingredients, lemony but not mouth-burning.

Mar 18, 2008
gnarlex in Los Angeles Area