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Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

Nope, but I know both well. I also miss Flessel's the German place in lCollege Point. Used to go for Friday Lenten fish dinners.

Sep 11, 2014
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs
1

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

Cafe on the Green is Vivaldi now and is awful. All style, no substance.

Sep 11, 2014
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

There's some really solid Thai in Queens, Ayada in Elmhurst being my fave. The Pok Pok transplant in Brooklyn is also really yum. Full disclosure: for the past 17 years I've owned an exclusively Asian business and I have awesome little Thai, Burmese, Malaysian,Viet grandmas cooking for us all the time. I cook a lot the same dishes, too. Many Thai friends etc. After our native Italian/Sicilian, Northern Chinese food and Thai are the most eaten in our home.

West coast Mexican is definitely better than the vast majority of Mexican we get back in Gotham. I'm actually not a huge NYC Mexican fan having lived in Mexico for a spell as a child (dad is a retired Spanish teacher) but I feel that if I had had more time I would have def scratched the surface more with the South of the Border offerings. Would have loved to have hit up more taquerias. Carbon and pastor are my faves. We had really good Mexican in Santa Barbara at Los Agaves (Super Rica was closed, and I am Julian Child fan) and it sated my rare yen, so I didn't make it a priority during our four days in LA. Next time for sure.

Baco Mercat looked outstanding ( I had looked at the wesbite/menu) but alas, there just was not time.

Sep 09, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

I intentionally missed the fries. I was going to be seated at a baseball game right after and was scared I'd be annoying if I had to keep getting up and down for the bathroom. Wasn't sure anything ooey and gooey and dairy would be the right thing. The prime rib horseradish dish was the thing I really am still wondering about. It looked outstanding!

Sep 09, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

Eudoxus,

Don't get me wrong; it was a solid meal. The ingredients were fresh, the service was excellent, a lot of care clearly went into the menu. It just wasn't as "epic" as it was hyped up to me. Maybe it was an off night? The overall saltiness really killed me. Waterbugs are unique. Stip-club rice with "flower weiners" sounds cool. There's definitely a "different" thing going on, but it didn't translate to "excellent" for me. I feel like I have had exponentially better Thai meals here in Queens, NY. I regret I didn't have time to really delve into Thai Town because I am absolutely certain I would have found some truly transcendent dishes there. Next time.

Sep 09, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area

Thanks for all the suggestions: LA Trip Report. Super Duper Long. I warned you.

Thank YOU! It's the excellent advice that makes me so grateful. I've been with chowhound since practically day one and have gotten so, so much great information during these almost two decades. I'm not always as good as I should be with regard to posting follow ups. But I had a bit of time today and figured why not be a bit indulgent? ;) plus I think the LA 'hounds are extra passionate and you were all so generous with your responses to me. Thanks again!

Thanks for all the suggestions: LA Trip Report. Super Duper Long. I warned you.

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you all with regard to our recent California trip. We arrived back home to NYC and non -stop back to school and sports activities and errands consumed our life causing me to wish I could return to my little seat at Nepenthe and gaze out at the Pacific all day! It was an excellent trip overall and the meals we enjoyed from San Francisco to Santa Monica (another post, another time) were all carefully selected thanks to the passionate advice from fellow 'hounds. Thank you all so much. My 10 year old has already told us he will be moving to your lovely state after college, which by the way, he has decided will be Pepperdine. We’ll have to start looking for condos in Malibu since he’s our only child. Ahh, but I digress…

Our grand entrance into SoCal was made at Nobu Malibu. Even though we've dined at the NYC Nobu and Next Door Nobu quite a few times in the past, it seemed like a "glamorous" choice to begin our SoCal adventure. I called that morning from our hotel in Santa Barbara and was told that a 1:30 lunch reservation was available. We pulled into the little shopping center across the street so the guys could change into unwrinkled collared shirts (no celebs at the Malibu Mart which we had been told was the “epicenter” of celeb sightings) and then made our way over to the restaurant. Ten bucks for valet parking irritated me, but considering we were going to drop 300+ on lunch, I didn’t dwell on it. The view sure didn’t disappoint, the buzz and “energy” was very “LA” or at least what this New Yorker imagines that to be, and the service was excellent. The food was all top notch for sure, but nothing blew me away; if truth be told I was hoping we’d stumble upon an oft-heralded In N Out on the drive to Santa Monica. Every single table seemed to be ordering the rock shrimp (looked like the “bulkiest” offering by FAR) and when we did not order it and asked if by not doing so we were committing some sort of cardinal culinary sin, our server actually complimented us as she deemed it “pedestrian”. Ha. The meal is a blur, but I will upload photos later and you can figure out what we had. The yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno was delicious as was the ribeye with truffled butter and the artichoke salad and the king crab tempura. **Everything** was very good but not worth almost 4oo bucks. I knew it going in, though. I had opted to go heavier on the scene than the food, and I got what I had sought.

That night we met our Santa Monica cousins at Superba Snack Bar for dinner. Within seconds of being seated, Taylor Kitsch (had no clue who he was, but my “Friday Night Lights” obsessed husband and son went bonkers!) walked down the block. I wouldn’t be caught dead asking ANYONE for photo or an autograph, but considering he wasn’t eating or engaged in an activity, my husband and son ran after him and snagged a photo which got like 200 “likes” in 10 minutes on my son’s Instagram. Ka-Ching! My kid had seen Superba on Unique Eats and the smoked pasta carbonara was something he really NEEDED to have on this trip. It did not disappoint. My own caccio e pepe, a dish I make at least twice a month, was divine and the addition of miso brought it over the top. My husband’s wakame spaghettini was OUTSTANDING. The pickled jalapeno and uni gave it such a unique flavor. We plowed through the whole menu, and everything was excellent: the cavolo nero salad, the rainbow carrots, the charcuterie board, fried chicken etc. The highlight of my meal, and a dish I will forever associate with the trip was the peach and ricotta pain au levain with stone fruit jam, vin cotto, and mint. I’ve grilled peaches, had many a peach cream pie from Long Island’s legendary Briermere, but all were second fiddle to this beauty. It tasted like summer. I saw similar incarnations on other menus throughout town, but didn’t order any of them. That first time was so perfect; I didn’t want to jeopardize the memory.

Our second day in LA began leisurely and we ate the cake that had been left on our bed by the Mirimar staff. They always ask if we are celebrating something when we make the reservation, and we always say “Mais Oui!” This time it was my son’s birthday…three months in advance. Hence, the cake. It was a great start to the day. We strolled the beach at Venice as we have many a time before, but it seemed extra smarmy, and after about an hour of navigating Medical Marijuana ‘doctors’ and dodging fistfights, we decided it was time to hightail it out of there and walk down Abbot Kinney instead, possibly my favorite block of the whole trip ( loved the kooky housewares shop, Bountiful!). Which brought us to what I can now say in hindsight was my favorite meal of the trip: Gjelina. We waited for almost 45 minutes, something I never do in NYC. Ever. But here I was a tourist and had limited time and couldn’t be so difficult. The upside of waiting pressed up against the brick wall was that I got to see almost every dish come out of the kitchen. And by the time we were seated, I wanted to order every one of the dishes I had seen. Which I did. Almost. Our server had lived in Queens, NY and it was a love at first sight kind of thing. We all hit it off. She had the bubbly, energy of Kelly Ripa in the best possible way if that makes sense, and she made sure everything came out the way we had ordered it, sequence wise. Lord, I loved this meal. When I think of California, I think of surfboards and avocados. And the Reed avocado, with radish and lemon and sea salt was just perfect. It was an avocado epiphany for me. Seriously. The kale salad with breadcrumbs (something I make at home) was perfectly executed. Julienned with care and definitely massaged- it was so tender. The tuna conserva was perfect. The grilled radicchio with bagna cauda, braised meatballs, squid ink chittara, Hawaian amberjack, and smoke mozzarella pizza with bottarga and lemon were all delicious. And the butterscotch pudding for dessert was just decadent. I was super happy after this meal. I would come back time and again if I lived in the area. I’m still annoyed I didn’t order the grilled nectarines, burrata, terviso and prosciutto. I will be back. Trust me on this.

That night for dinner after an exhausting day of driving around the entire city (the traffic is no joke and it’s not hyperbole when I say we drove around the ENTIRE city) we decided to cruise around Thai Town and then head to Night Market + Song. You guys are going to hate me, because it was the type of place in the type of neighborhood I wanted to gush about, but it was just okay. Left me totally underwhelmed. Again, we ordered a big assortment form the menu. Too lazy to look back at my photo. Party wings, startled pig, larb, greens, noodles…just to start. Everything was so, so salty. There wasn’t a depth of flavor that I have come to associate with the “hard core” places here in Elmhurst and Woodside. That fresh multi-layer flavor explosion etc. It just did not do it for me. It felt very one note. One VERY salty note. Very tough to get my rings off the following day.

Day three we woke up and went to Urth Café. God, I love this place. I’m not even a coffee person but the iced Spanish Latte was awesome. Ended up here every single morning including right before the airport. LA friends told me to swtich it up with Inteligentsia, but I loved all the savory stuff. Never even cared about getting to Eggslut after finding Urth. Or the kale sandwich at Zinque about which a friend waxed poetic. The eggs verde. The Farmer’s Salad. Simple, fresh, total lack of pretension. The orange pound cake kicked some major ass. I was convinced I saw Halle Berry in an Adidas hat and a surgical mask, but my husband who really seems “To Know” Halle Berry was adamant it was not her. I prefer to think it was. Just keep those Spanish Lattes flowing. The tarte tatin looked magnificent but I live in constant fear of developing Type Two Diabetes and what with the sugar from the latte and pound cake decided to do my A1c numbers a favor. Next time.

After Urth we hit up Universal. Forked out the extra cash for the Front of the line shebang. Might have been the best money we spent all trip. Did all the big stuff within three hours and even scored a cheesy, literally and figuratively, Pink’s hotdog since we weren’t going to schelp back to the original location that we had visited years ago. Kid had to cross it off his list. I’m not the “Fun Amusement Park Mom” type, this is my husband’ s territory, but I have to say I found the new Despicable Me and Transformers rides awesome. On to the Dodgers game for “Gay Fireworks Night”. I knew about the awful Dodgers dogs and (Man, did they SUCK. Sorry LA, friends. We are talking major terrible here) and we wanted to eat before the game. We only had about 45 minutes and I knew I had to experience the food of my chef crush Roy Choi. The Kogi Truck was never where we were going to be, I was never in the environs of Commissary, POT, A-Frame etc, my brunch had been decided so no Sunny Spot, so I thought Chego even though a few ‘hounds had deemed it “Meh”. Let me tell you, I loved it. Honest. Delicious. Cheap. In some weird food court with tranisents using public bathrooms. Hip hop on sound system. The menu translated in Viet and Spanish on the door. Everyone eating at communal picnic tables. Black, White, Asian, Hispanic. Reminded me a bit of some of my beloved food malls in the Flushing Underbelly here in Queens, NY. Everything I tasted hit the spot, but the Chubby Pork Belly bowl (my son’s pick) was my fave. The adobo chicken bowl was a bit soupy but still delish. The Beefy T was great. And the lady who sat next to me ordered some prime rib and horseradish bowl that for 10 bucks looked like a steal. The sriracha bar and tres leches were just okay. I’d come back for the Chubby Pork Belly any day. I’m sure Roy is doing much more exciting work at his other places, but this type of humble, accessible place was just what I craved before the baseball game. Also found some awesome flea market type place across the street that was selling off the rack women’s clothes at 70 percent off. After the game and fireworks ( beautiful stadium, great crowd) we thought about Langer’s and some of the tacquerias many of you recommended, but there’s only so much we can eat and being in the presence of toned, taned, glistening people who sport yoga-wear all day is a bit humbling.

Day four brought us to One Pico for brunch. We were treating my uncle and his partner, and I wanted somewhere that was beautiful. I thought the ambiance was indeed lovely and the service okay (they didn’t have my reservation when I called to confirm that morning. Thankfully they had space for us and made a new one) but the food was almost institutional. Oh wait! I was in a hotel. 310 bucks for the five of us. It was a pleasure to treat them and the company was fantastic, but nothing stood out. The lobster sandwich was actually pretty gross. Soggy and wet. Serves me right for ordering a “Maine” lobster BLT on the West Coast. Nothing appealed to me though. Afterwards, we went to the Sweet Rose Creamery which a friend had raved about. It was solid but nothing outrageous. Note to any entrepreneurs: the Third Street Promenade is in desperate need of an ice cream shop (Yogurt Land and Red Mango do not count; sometimes one needs FULL FAT). I suggest a McConnell’s which we had drooled over in Santa Barbara. OMG. Now THAT was great ice cream! That Turkish coffee! The fact that they let you split scoop flavors. Yes! A place where indecision is actually rewarded. Not Sweet Rose. Afterwards we drove through WeHo and the Ethiopian neighborhood and the Grove . Loved the Farmers’ Market there. The Cajun place in the back looked like it was putting out some serious chow. If I were hungry, it’s where I would have gone for sure. Alas…

That night was our last in LA and we got back to the Mirimar at 5pm just in time for Figs at 5 when the entire menu is 50 percent off. My inclination is to NEVER eat in a hotel if I can help it, and considering we had dined at One Pico for lunch, I really wasn’t in the mood to set any records, but our cousins who live in LA said “Figs at 5” was great and considering we had a 100 dollar food credit, we did it. It was really solid. Very enjoyable. Delicious grilled romaine salad, olives and manchego, massive prawns ( not cooked through) sautéed lion’s mane mushrooms, brisket with cherries, stuffed squid, stuffed dates…we were on a mission to use our entire 100 dollars and what with the 50 percent off, we really got a lot of bang for our buck. What we didn’t eat we’d give to the homeless people we saw everywhere  We ended up eating…everything. Well prepared, excellent ingredients and artful presentation. Overall, a great option at 50 percent off.

Super bummed I did not get to Din Tai Fung, but LA is so so SO sprawling and the traffic is so crazy that to drive 25 miles (every time I said I wanted to go, we’d throw the address into GPS and we’d be 25 miles away) and back could have been an extra two hours. Would have loved to have gone to Lucques again, but my friend said it was totally mediocre and she went the night after we flew back. Guisado’s. Son of a Gun. Langer’s. K-Town. Ciro’s. Osteria Mozza. Fathers’ Office. They were ALL on my list, but four days was not enough. Which means one thing: I need to come back to LA again! Thank you all so much for helping to make our visit to your gorgeous part of the world “epic” as my 10 year old likes to say! Let me know if I can help you out when you are in NYC.

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you all with regard to our recent California trip. We arrived back home to NYC and non -stop back to school and sports activities and errands consumed our life causing me to wish I could return to my little seat at Nepenthe and gaze out at the Pacific all day! It was an excellent trip overall and the meals we enjoyed from San Francisco to Santa Monica (another post, another time) were all carefully selected thanks to the passionate advice from fellow 'hounds. Thank you all so much. My 10 year old has already told us he will be moving to your lovely state after college, which by the way, he has decided will be Pepperdine. We’ll have to start looking for condos in Malibu since he’s our only child. Ahh, but I digress…
Our grand entrance into SoCal was made at Nobu Malibu. Even though we've dined at the NYC Nobu and Next Door Nobu quite a few times in the past, it seemed like a "glamorous" choice to begin our SoCal adventure. I called that morning from our hotel in Santa Barbara and was told that a 1:30 lunch reservation was available. We pulled into the little shopping center across the street so the guys could change into unwrinkled Polo shirts (no celebs at the Malibu Mart which we had been told was the “epicenter” of celeb sightings) and then made our way over to the restaurant. Ten bucks for valet parking irritated me, but considering we were going to drop 300+ on lunch, I didn’t dwell on it. The view sure didn’t disappoint, the buzz and “energy” was very “LA” or at least what this New Yorker imagines that to be, and the service was excellent. The food was all top notch for sure, but nothing blew me away; if truth be told I was hoping we’d stumble upon an oft-heralded In N Out on the drive to Santa Monica. Every single table seemed to be ordering the rock shrimp (looked like the “bulkiest” offering by FAR) and when we did not order it and asked if by not doing so we were committing some sort of cardinal culinary sin, our server actually complimented us as she deemed it “pedestrian”. Ha. The meal is a blur, but I will upload photos later and you can figure out what we had. The yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno was delicious as was the ribeye with truffled butter and the artichoke salad and the king crab tempura. **Everything** was very good but not worth almost 4oo bucks. I knew it going in, though. I had opted to go heavier on the scene than the food, and I got what I had sought. That night we met our Santa Monica cousins at Superba Snack Bar for dinner. Within seconds of being seated, Taylor Kitsch (had no clue who he was, but my “Friday Night Lights” obsessed husband and son went bonkers!) walked down the block. I wouldn’t be caught dead asking ANYONE for photo or an autograph, but considering he wasn’t eating or engaged in an activity, my husband and son ran after him and snagged a photo which got like 200 “likes” in 10 minutes on my son’s Instagram. Ka-Ching! My kid had seen Superba on Unique Eats and the smoked pasta carbonara was something he really NEEDED to have on this trip. It did not disappoint. My own caccio e pepe, a dish I make at least twice a month, was divine and the addition of miso brought it over the top. My husband’s wakame spaghettini was OUTSTANDING. The pickled jalapeno and uni gave it such a unique flavor. We plowed through the whole menu, and everything was excellent: the cavolo nero salad, the rainbow carrots, the charcuterie board, fried chicken etc. The highlight of my meal, and a dish I will forever associate with the trip was the peach and ricotta pain au levain with stone fruit jam, vin cotto, and mint. I’ve grilled peaches, had many a peach cream pie from Long Island’s legendary Briermere, but all were second fiddle to this beauty. It tasted like summer. I saw similar incarnations on other menus throughout town, but didn’t order any of them. That first time was so perfect; I didn’t want to jeopardize the memory.
Our second day in LA began leisurely and we ate the cake that had been left on our bed by the Mirimar staff. They always ask if we are celebrating something when we make the reservation, and we always say “Mais Oui!” This time it was my son’s birthday…three months in advance. Hence, the cake. It was a great start to the day. We strolled the beach at Venice as we have many a time before, but it seemed extra smarmy, and after about an hour of navigating Medical Marijuana ‘doctors’ and dodging fistfights, we decided it was time to hightail it out of there and walk down Abbot Kinney instead, possibly my favorite block of the whole trip ( loved the kooky housewares shop, Bountiful!). Which brought us to what I can now say in hindsight was my favorite meal of the trip: Gjelina. We waited for almost 45 minutes, something I never do in NYC. Ever. But here I was a tourist and had limited time and couldn’t be so difficult. The upside of waiting pressed up against the brick wall was that I got to see almost every dish come out of the kitchen. And by the time we were seated, I wanted to order every one of the dishes I had seen. Which I did. Almost. Our server had lived in Queens, NY and it was a love at first sight kind of thing. We all hit it off. She had the bubbly, energy of Kelly Ripa in the best possible way if that makes sense, and she made sure everything came out the way we had ordered it, sequence wise. Lord, I loved this meal. When I think of California, I think of surfboards and avocados. And the Reed avocado, with radish and lemon and sea salt was just perfect. It was an avocado epiphany for me. Seriously. The kale salad with breadcrumbs (something I make at home) was perfectly executed. Julienned with care and definitely massaged- it was so tender. The tuna conserva was perfect. The grilled radicchio with bagna cauda, braised meatballs, squid ink chittara, Hawaian amberjack, and smoke mozzarella pizza with bottarga and lemon were all delicious. And the butterscotch pudding for dessert was just decadent. I was super happy after this meal. I would come back time and again if I lived in the area. I’m still annoyed I didn’t order the grilled nectarines, burrata, terviso and prosciutto. I will be back. Trust me on this. That night for dinner after an exhausting day of driving around the entire city (the traffic is no joke and it’s not hyperbole when I say we drove around the ENTIRE city) we decided to cruise around Thai Town and then head to Night Market + Song. You guys are going to hate me, because it was the type of place in the type of neighborhood I wanted to gush about, but it was just okay. Left me totally underwhelmed. Again, we ordered a big assortment form the menu. Too lazy to look back at my photo. Party wings, startled pig, larb, greens, noodles…just to start. Everything was so, so salty. There wasn’t a depth of flavor that I have come to associate with the “hard core” places here in Elmhurst and Woodside. That fresh multi-layer flavor explosion etc. It just did not do it for me. It felt very one note. One VERY salty note. Very tough to get my rings off the following day.
Day three we woke up and went to Urth Café. God, I love this place. I’m not even a coffee person but the iced Spanish Latte was awesome. Ended up here every single morning including right before the airport. LA friends told me to swtich it up with Inteligentsia, but I loved all the savory stuff. Never even cared about getting to Eggslut after finding Urth. Or the kale sandwich at Zinque about which a friend waxed poetic. The eggs verde. The Farmer’s Salad. Simple, fresh, total lack of pretension. The orange pound cake kicked some major ass. I was convinced I saw Halle Berry in an Adidas hat and a surgical mask, but my husband who really seems “To Know” Halle Berry was adamant it was not her. I prefer to think it was. Just keep those Spanish Lattes flowing. The tarte tatin looked magnificent but I live in constant fear of developing Type Two Diabetes and what with the sugar from the latte and pound cake decided to do my A1c numbers a favor. Next time. After Urth we hit up Universal. Forked out the extra cash for the Front of the line shebang. Might have been the best money we spent all trip. Did all the big stuff within three hours and even scored a cheesy, literally and figuratively, Pink’s hotdog since we weren’t going to schelp back to the original location that we had visited years ago. Kid had to cross it off his list. I’m not the “Fun Amusement Park Mom” type, this is my husband’ s territory, but I have to say I found the new Despicable Me and Transformers rides awesome. On to the Dodgers game for “Gay Fireworks Night”. I knew about the awful Dodgers dogs and (Man, did they SUCK. Sorry LA, friends. We are talking major terrible here) and we wanted to eat before the game. We only had about 45 minutes and I knew I had to experience the food of my chef crush Roy Choi. The Kogi Truck was never where we were going to be, I was never in the environs of Commissary, POT, A-Frame etc, my brunch had been decided so no Sunny Spot, so I thought Chego even though a few ‘hounds had deemed it “Meh”. Let me tell you, I loved it. Honest. Delicious. Cheap. In some weird food court with tranisents using public bathrooms. Hip hop on sound system. The menu translated in Viet and Spanish on the door. Everyone eating at communal picnic tables. Black, White, Asian, Hispanic. Reminded me a bit of some of my beloved food malls in the Flushing Underbelly here in Queens, NY. Everything I tasted hit the spot, but the Chubby Pork Belly bowl (my son’s pick) was my fave. The adobo chicken bowl was a bit soupy but still delish. The Beefy T was great. And the lady who sat next to me ordered some prime rib and horseradish bowl that for 10 bucks looked like a steal. The sriracha bar and tres leches were just okay. I’d come back for the Chubby Pork Belly any day. I’m sure Roy is doing much more exciting work at his other places, but this type of humble, accessible place was just what I craved before the baseball game. Also found some awesome flea market type place across the street that was selling off the rack women’s clothes at 70 percent off. After the game and fireworks ( beautiful stadium, great crowd) we thought about Langer’s and some of the tacquerias many of you recommended, but there’s only so much we can eat and being in the presence of toned, taned, glistening people who sport yoga-wear all day is a bit humbling.

Day four brought us to One Pico for brunch. We were treating my uncle and his partner, and I wanted somewhere that was beautiful. I thought the ambiance was indeed lovely and the service okay (they didn’t have my reservation when I called to confirm that morning. Thankfully they had space for us and made a new one) but the food was almost institutional. Oh wait! I was in a hotel. 310 bucks for the five of us. It was a pleasure to treat them and the company was fantastic, but nothing stood out. The lobster sandwich was actually pretty gross. Soggy and wet. Serves me right for ordering a “Maine” lobster BLT on the West Coast. Nothing appealed to me though. Afterwards, we went to the Sweet Rose Creamery which a friend had raved about. It was solid but nothing outrageous. Note to any entrepreneurs: the Third Street Promenade is in desperate need of an ice cream shop (Yogurt Land and Red Mango do not count; sometimes one needs FULL FAT). I suggest a McConnell’s which we had drooled over in Santa Barbara. OMG. Now THAT was great ice cream! That Turkish coffee! The fact that they let you split scoop flavors. Yes! A place where indecision is actually rewarded. Not Sweet Rose. Afterwards we drove through WeHo and the Ethiopian neighborhood and the Grove . Loved the Farmers’ Market there. The Cajun place in the back looked like it was putting out some serious chow. If I were hungry, it’s where I would have gone for sure. Alas…That night was our last in LA and we got back to the Mirimar at 5pm just in time for Figs at 5 when the entire menu is 50 percent off. My inclination is to NEVER eat in a hotel if I can help it, and considering we had dined at One Pico for lunch, I really wasn’t in the mood to set any records, but our cousins who live in LA said “Figs at 5” was great and considering we had a 100 dollar food credit, we did it. It was really solid. Very enjoyable. Delicious grilled romaine salad, olives and manchego, massive prawns ( not cooked through) sautéed lion’s mane mushrooms, brisket with cherries, stuffed squid, stuffed dates…we were on a mission to use our entire 100 dollars and what with the 50 percent off, we really got a lot of bang for our buck. What we didn’t eat we’d give to the homeless people we saw everywhere  We ended up eating…everything. Well prepared, excellent ingredients and artful presentation. Overall, a great option at 50 percent off.

Super bummed I did not get to Din Tai Fung, but LA is so so SO sprawling and the traffic is so crazy that to drive 25 miles (every time I said I wanted to go, we’d throw the address into GPS and we’d be 25 miles away) and back could have been an extra two hours. Would have loved to have gone to Lucques again, but my friend said it was totally mediocre and she went the night after we flew back. Guisado’s. Son of a Gun. Langer’s. K-Town. Ciro’s. Osteria Mozza. Fathers’ Office. They were ALL on my list, but four days was not enough. Which means one thing: I need to come back to LA again! Thank you all so much for helping to make our visit to your gorgeous part of the world “epic” as my 10 year old likes to say! Let me know if I can help you out when you are in NYC.

One Brunch or Lunch in San Francisco

Ended up at the Slanted Door after a fantastic stroll around the market. Grazed at Cowgirl Creamery, had a Blue Bottle, bought truffle oil at the mushroom place, coffee almond dark choco toffee, flirty with a salted tasty pig part and in the end just didn't want to leave the premises. The meal we had at Slanted Door was light and perfect. The ribs, lemongrass chicken, wonton soup were delicious. The sautéed rainbow chard was so fresh. The cellophane noodles with Dungeness were excellent but very skimpy on the crab. Overall, really enjoyed ourselves. Thanks for the suggestions!

One Brunch or Lunch in San Francisco

Been to yank sing. I think I will go with brunch on the patio bar at Waterbar. We're tourists, after all, and a view is always nice! Thank you so much.

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

Love Korean desserts. We have an Assisi here in Flushing, Queens. Big Ayada fan in Elmhurst, NY. Can't deal with the crowds at Pok Pok. The oroshi soy sauce udon sounds fantastic! My fave dish in Flushing is a cold liang pi noodle at Biang that is dressed so beautifully with a bracing mix of vinegars, chili oils, cilantro, wheat gluten and cucumber. There is nothing I enjoy more on a hot summer day!

Aug 14, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area
1

One Brunch or Lunch in San Francisco

Love the dim sum across the bridge idea. More than 15 years ago I had the most memorable dim sum of my life at a place called ton kiang. We had an spqr in little Italy here in NYC for years.

One Brunch or Lunch in San Francisco

Cotogna's menu looked perfect, however it seems as though it is only open for a Sunday Supper at 5 pm...would have been great! Thanks for the suggestion!

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

Unfortunately or fortunately, the ChowPup just got saw an episode of Unique Eats that had Lee Ann Wong waxing poetic over the smoked bucatini carbonara at a place called " Superba Snack Bar" in Venice. He is insisting we add it to the list. I might just use it as a bargaining tool to get out of Pink's.

Aug 14, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area

One Brunch or Lunch in San Francisco

So, on this particulalr trip we'll be in your gorgeous city for just a little while before driving the coast to LA. Basically it's just Saturday evening
( dinner with family from San Leandro at the vegan restaurant Millenium. We are not vegans by any means) and then until about 2pm Sunday before we drive to Monterey. In a perfect world, the Ferry Terminal Farmers' Market would be taking place and we could simply graze for a few hours. Alas. Next time.

Something decidedly San Francisco would be great. Perhaps with a view. Would like to end up at Ghiradelli for cheesey nostalgic purposes right before departure. Love North Beach. Not a huge fan of the wharf area even though we'll be staying there for the night. In the past we've enjoyed Zuni and Swan Oyster Depot, Ton Kiang ( ages ago for my fave dim sum ever!) etc. We eat everything. No price constraints.

Thanks so much!
Lisa

Ferry Terminal Farmers' Market: Saturday 2pm sharp closing? [San Francisco]

Thanks so much! Saves me a trip trying to get there only to be disappointed. We live San Fran and will be back soon enough. Just wanted to squeeze it in if it were humanely possible on this trip :)

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

Thanks for the head's up. This logistical stuff is just what I need. Might also get some Langer's too and hope there is a cardiologist in the house!

Aug 14, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area

Ferry Terminal Farmers' Market: Saturday 2pm sharp closing? [San Francisco]

Hands down, one of my favorite things in San Francisco is this market. So bummed that I am missing it by about an hour thanks to my later than desired flight from New York City. We're only in San Francisco for the night on this trip because we are driving the coast down to Los Angeles the next day. Do the farmers linger at the end? Or are people in a mad dash to get home after a long day of selling?

Thanks!
Lisa

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

ZenFoodist
just now
When you are in Brooklyn you have to check out Brennan and Carr and Roll and Roaster :)

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Aug 14, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

When you are in Brooklyn you have to check out Brennan and Carr and Roll and Roaster :)

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

We do NOT have A Thai Elvis in Gotham. But we DO have a naked cowboy ;)

Aug 14, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

No Thai Elvis?!?! I'm canceling the whole effing trip.

Aug 14, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area
1

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

Ahhhh. I love all the small places on the fringe that the savvy locals frequent. I wish we had longer. I'd need a full month to bang LA out the way I'd like to. Such a vast area with so many ethnic enclaves. K Town and Thai town really interest me. I pretty much live in K-Town in Queens, but I would love to get a taste of LA's nonetheless. And Southeast Asian is probably my fave cuisine after our native Sicilian/Mediterranean, so a jaunt through Thai town sounds mandatory. The noodle crawl sounds perfect for my carb-loving self.

How would you guys organize the outings? Wednesday night arrival (dinner in Venice at Gjelina) Friday njght Dodgers game. Saturday morning brunch at One Pico. That's the only stuff set in stone. Sunday morning departure. Possibly Universal during the day on Saturday after brunch ( trying to discourage this as we've been there before and will be at the Florida one in the Winter. All that time trapped in a theme park could be so much better spent checking out some of these places!)

Aug 14, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

Night + Market looks seriously good. I need to figure out how to get all this stuff in. In four days. I would have gotten the Number 19 and a matzoh ball soup by the way. Sorry ;)

Aug 13, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

Yep. The 20th through the 24th. And sadly Langer's is out. Hot damn. Figured we'd swing by on the way to the airport. Alas, no Sunday hours.

Aug 13, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

I will reconsider Langer's thanks to that rye bread bit. I have to be completely honest with you. The menu at POT doesn't do it for me. I live in Flushing, Queens. I own a Korean/Chinese business. I eat straight-up home style Korean three times a week. In restaurants and made by sweet Korean ajuma. The thing I like about Chego is is that it seems like more of a mashup. East Meets West Collision Food. Casual. I love that.

Aug 13, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

Wednesday when we arrive from Santa Barbara (first half of the trip is driving the coast from San Francisco) it's Gjelina for dinner. Thursday nothing yet. Friday before the Dodgers game, Chego. Saturday brunch at One Pico. That's all so far in terms of definitive. Flying out Sunday morning. Lots of grazing all throughout the day. Sorry for any confusion.

I'm not above double breakfasts and dinners, by the way ;)

Aug 13, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

Love, love LA. We've been a bunch of times but not in the last couple of years. Really did my HW and have had a great time reading through these boards over the last few weeks; particularly loved the Detroit 'hound's query and all the ensuing responses. Very grateful for all the help picking a nice brunch (ugh) spot for a Saturday. Only have four full days with my husband and son in So Cal. Of course, I want to eat everything.

Thinking Chego before our Dodgers/ Mets game Friday night (obsessed with Roy Choi! Probably will be chasing the Kogi Truck for my 10-year-old chowpup. Like the menu at Chego more than A-Frame etc by the way) Gjelina for dinner with some cousins from Santa Monica, a Saturday brunch at One Pico with our Long Beach family ( chose ambiance over other menus that I like better only because I'm treating and wanted it to be extra nice. If it were just the three of us I would've gone to Sunny Side) Eggslut for a bfast, Ricky's Fish Tacos and Guisado's for snacks (heavy ones; we don't play) Lucques or Nobu Malibu for something snazzy. Briefly flirted with a Osteria Mozza but Batali and crew have such presence in New York City and we've been to all his places here many times. Seems like it might be a bit redundant for us even though Mr. Gold would probably disagree. We **have** to stop into Din Tai Fung because for a few years they would come to Flushing, Queens where I live, and set up shop at the local Sheraton and do their crazy ass XLB magic for a long weekend ( my XLB-obsessed kid swears he still remembers them and says nothing else has come even remotely close since. He was three at the time!) Hollywood's Night + Market also looks like something I would love, but we have some crazy good Thai back at home in Elmhurst. Not sure. Same deal with Langer's which looks scrumptious; I can go to Katz's and get something that's not so different. Animal doesn't really interest me. Neither does Providence. Spago's been done in the past just because it's iconic (happened to have an incredible meal there with my kid in a carriage between us. Chef Puck came out and greeted us. Jack Black and the crew from Saturday Night Live were behind us. Definitely memorable.) Will probably suck it up and take my kid back to Pink's because he loves it. And will try to find a way to stop into Scoops.

So even though I read through all of your passionate responses to our Detroit friend, I'm wondering if your advice would be any different for a food-savvy New Yorker. If not, no worries. If so, set me straight. I welcome the direction. BTW, We'll be staying at the Mirimar and doing all the touristy stuff so if you happen to think of things that are near particular destinations, please don't hesitate to share. My biggest nightmare involves being at some place like Mann's Chinese theater and feeling ravenous and not knowing where to go and begrudgingly ending up at some generic place ("My blood sugar is plummeting!" ) and then finding out two hours later that I was around the corner from something that was truly outrageous. You know you know what I'm talking about ;)

Thanks!
Lisa

Aug 13, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area

No place in my area sells chicory (the lettuce)

It can be found at all the Italian and Greek markets here in Flushing/Whitestone and Astoria. We add it to minestrones or boil it and dress it with olive oil and lemon.

NYC 'Hounds Seeking A Saturday Brunch near the Mirimar

I have to say, I've loved so many of these suggestions and have spent quite a bit of time looking at menus. This most recent one, paired with the Getty, seems very interesting. We've never been to the Getty center or villa on any of or trips to LA, so it might be nice! Thank you all so much for your genrous spirit! I will be back posting some other ideas for fine tuning. My biggest issue is that I really don't like to make too many reservations in advance on vacation because I never know where the day will bring us. But for this brunch, a reservation is in order. Grazie Mille!

Aug 10, 2014
ZenFoodist in Los Angeles Area