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diningdivala's Profile

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Chef's Tables--do they exist anymore?

I love Saam, and it's a great private room, and the menu, service and food are impeccable. But it's not really a chef's table the way I'm thinking. But thanks for reminders on Ortolan (although I'm surprised Eme would want people to see him in the kitchen; I've heard stories), Melisse and Spago.

PS: I meant "greater LA" which includes all of the independent cities--Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, anything in the South Bay, up towards Pasadena.

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Spago
176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

May 19, 2010
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Chef's Tables--do they exist anymore?

I kind of feel like the chef's table has gone the way of fine dining. But I need one, the best one. Any kind of food. I know Providence and Patina both still have them, with direct views into the kitchen, but anywhere else? I'm looking strictly for Los Angeles (no OC, please)

May 18, 2010
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Is there some place in LA that will alter my opinion of Red Velvet Cake?

Not Westside, but the one at Nickel Diner downtown is certainly worth the drive from any point in LA.

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Nickel Diner
524 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

May 11, 2010
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Convention Center for Group

Rivera is definitely very unique and fantastic,and that private room is perfect. There's also Corkbar, which specializes in California-only wines (perfect for out of towners), and has a good menu. If you're here when it's warm out, the patio is incredibly spacious for a group.

LA Live has mostly chains, but some are LA originals like Katsuay and whatever Wolfgang Puck has down there now.

Feb 09, 2010
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Chili with Beans?

Thanks for these responses--I almost forgot I posted. My cravings are fleeting. So Chili John's is a chain?

Feb 03, 2010
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Chili with Beans?

I love chili, but the kind I like (and love to make, except when I'm feeling lazy) is with meat and beans. Beef and kidney beans. Turkey black bean. Sort of fiery, but not so crazy you can't eat it. Top it with some cheese and sour cream, and I'm reallly happy

I'm not a fan of Tommy's chili, or most of those chilis that top hot dogs and burgers around LA. So where can I find the chili I like? I'm at a loss.

Thanks!

Feb 01, 2010
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Whist w/ new chef?

Anyone been since Tony DiSalvo took over? Menu looks boring, but all menus read that way these days. curious.

Oct 16, 2009
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Michaels?

I think Wilshire is another great choice, btw.

Jun 19, 2009
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Michaels?

Animal is amazing, but original poster said no meat. That, my friend, is not impossible at Animal, but close. So delicious though.

Jun 19, 2009
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Where to find Fresh Ricotta in LA for recipe?

From Tasting Table: The mozzarella guys make some fantastic ricotta out of Hawthorne. Sold at Bay cities, Larchmont Larder (I think), and Curious Palate in Culver City
http://bit.ly/bPkE5

Jun 19, 2009
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Michaels?

That's funny because I went about a month ago and it was one of the worst meals I've had recently. Completely overcooked and inedible pork chop, which they replaced with steak frites, which was fine but incredibly overpriced. The salmon we had was over sauced and plated in some ridiculous 1993 hotel-food matter (sauce overwhelming plate, some sort of rice pilaf on top of that--mounded on the entire bottom of the plate--fish on top of that, some sort of squirt bottle something around the edge, ridiculous. I have no recollection of our apps, completely unmemoragle. But the most memorable thing was the price tag: almost $300 for two people, 2 apps, 2 entrs, four glasses of wine, tax and tip.

While the patio is still lovely, Michael has obviously not dropped one dime in upkeep anywhere--worn carpeting and furniture inside and out, etc. This was definitely the grandfather of the kind of market-friendly fare we're eating everywhere today, but I can rattle off a handful of restaurants doing it so, so, so much better and for at least half the price--Hatfield's, Barbrix, Lou on Vine, Gjelina to name a few. And yes, Wilshire, that would be a good choice. Don't think Melisse is intimidating,either. If you're willing to drop that kind of cash, it's wonderful.

And if you're fish only, have you thought about Providence?

Jun 12, 2009
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

a SoCal burger?

Umami actually has a SoCal burger on the menu, kind of In-N-Outesque, I'd say. They even make their own "processed" cheese (begins with comte) and special sauce. Quite good.

Mar 05, 2009
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Who's still doing great weekend brunch these days?

I'm looking for really good food, top-notch, great vibe. Price isn't an issue. But also, what about some of the classics? Is Hotel Bel-Air still any good? Does Spago do brunch? Who are the go-tos?

Mar 05, 2009
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

New Chef at Church and State pulled over from Bastide

Actually, Eater had the story because that's what Steven Arroyo, the owner of Church & State, told them. And then (drama!) Manzke called and said that he only had a meeting with Arroyo, hadn't decided if he was even taking the job, and would give it a test drive. He would be permanent if he wants the job. Sounds like Arroyo jumped the gun a bit, but who wouldn't be excited with Manzke in the kitchen.

Dec 10, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Crazy Decadent Desserts

I'm trying to come up with a list: Who has the most obscenely decadent desserts in LA? Not just sinful, but outrageously priced, too. Thanks!!

Sep 30, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Anyone tried the "new" 750 ml in South Pas?

I was just there last night! Very quickly: It was really, really good. Bottle of nice rose for $29, the housemade charcuterie is excellent (duck pate with truffles was divine; boar salami, chorizo, lardo); we had the marrow which melted into a pool of delicious fat to dip our bread in (it was hot last night, we sat outside), a salad (small, but tasty), the sweet corn agnolotti with mushrooms and parmesan is downright delicious, and the fish special was copia with clams, lima beans and maybe an olive vinaigrette; dessert was this lovely little chocolate souffle with a choc-butterscotch terrine on the side. But oh my goodness do NOT, I repeat, not miss the pork belly confit with apricots and bok choy. So simple, so perfect. Worlds away better than it was even in December.

Aug 14, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Who Won Morimoto/Ophaso Iron Chef Last Night? [SPOILER]

Curry leaves, yellow and red curry powders, and green and red curry paste. They didn't get much more specific than that unless I missed it. And thanks everyone. I channel surfed just a few minutes too long. By the way, Ophaso is no longer at that restaurant in LA.

http://la.eater.com/archives/2008/08/...

Who Won Morimoto/Ophaso Iron Chef Last Night? [SPOILER]

Did anyone watch the Morimoto/Tyson Ophaso ep last night? I watched and switched during a commercial and missed the scores dammit. I assume Morimoto, but I need to know. Thanks!!

What the ?*#$!...... No side au jus at Phillipe's?

Actually, they removed the mustard pots but are supposed to have squirt bottles now, which isn't the same aesthetic but you can still squirt as much as you want vs. spoon.

The story was on Eater LA, not the LAT
http://la.eater.com/archives/2008/07/...

Jul 30, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

New Italian in Pasadena

Jul 29, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Melisse 5x5 Chefs' Collaborative Dinner - Perceptor's Report

Jul 08, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Lot 1: tasting menu is on!

by the by, here's a sample menu and prices, news from Eater LA

http://la.eater.com/archives/2008/07/...

Jul 06, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

New "California cool" restaurant on Cahuenga

You're thinking of the Casting Office, which moved down Cahuenga to the Ice location.
http://la.eater.com/archives/2008/02/...

And a question to the original poster: Did you look on ABC7's website? I'm sure you can find it. They keep all their stories for a long time.

Jun 30, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena breakfast/brunch

Euro Pane has mostly pastries, French toast some days, good coffee, and that egg salad sandwich. The sandwiches and soup are great for more brunchie options.

Marston's: seriously, the French Toast is still decadent and delicious.

I had a horrible bruncha at Cafe Bizou not too long ago. Green Street breakfast is really pedestrian and very crowded, but the zucchini bread is pretty tasty. I saw a nice looking brunch menu on that hidden spot on Green in Old Town, Green Street Tavern I think is the name.
http://la.eater.com/archives/2007/12/...
Haven't tried it yet, but like I said, the menu looked good, not too expensive. My guess is the food is 100 times better than Twin Palms across the way.

Jun 29, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Looking for a chill bar to show around to some NYers

Bowery on Sunset (near Vine), Delcaney a bit east of that (near Gower), Lou on Vine (wine bar), Lubitsch is good if you're into Vodka. Jones is great at the right time of night or right day of the week. Not sure how it is on Fridays after dinner. The Foundry on Melrose isn't a music club, but they have live music on friday and sat nights in the front. Open windows, very nice vibe.

Jun 27, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Venice finally gets a decent grocery store

From a WF employee, I think they're shooting for August 2008.

Apr 14, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Sushi in Pasadena?

Not taking offense, but my husband is a seafood purveyor for a very high-end grocery chain. He buys and tests high-quality products all the time. We go to Sushi of Naples weekly, as I said above, and get the same things; we opt to go there because it's close and because we both do so much driving during the week, we don't want to go all over town. The sushi we get (never rolls, never cooked) always do us justice. But, again, we always order the same thing. The toro is always always fresh, and I like the cut; it's not always the very marbled kind, but never stringy, and not $35 for two pieces. The fresh scallop are two nice slices, slightly overlapped, with a bit of wasabi between the scallop and rice. The albacore is slightly seared and has a subtle char flavor. I'm always amazed at how fresh the uni is. They know how to slice the fish, the rice is never too large nor is the fish too small. The price is always right. Is it Katsuya, Nozawa? No (it's also not warm rice), but I was recently at the original Katsuya (first time) and the cooked dishes far outshone the sushi. Just my opinion.

Apr 02, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Sushi in Pasadena?

Agreed. Sushi of Naples. When I first moved to Pasadena and worked a block away, I didn't like it. There may be new owners now, not sure. But we go just about every Fri or Sat night, sit at the sushi bar, order toro, the fresh sallop sushi, albacore, uni, and maybe we'll throw a spider roll or some chef recommendation and we're always pleased. However, I sat in the dining room once or twice, probably at lunch, and wasn't as happy. I could've been fussy those days, though. In fact, the last time we went, we walked away so darn satisfied, we talked about it for two days. Fresh fish, decent size pieces. But, like I said, we order the same thing just about every time. And decent sake prices, too.

Mar 31, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

amazing bbq in the pasadena area

We always go to Montrose for Zeke's. Order ahead, get to go. Or eat there. It's way better than Big Mama's and (gag) Barn Burner.

Mar 26, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area

Sebastian's in Burbank - anyone been recently?

Closed and will soon be another Italian restaurant, owned by Albano's guy
http://la.eater.com/archives/2008/02/...

Mar 18, 2008
diningdivala in Los Angeles Area