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The Pastrami List 2014

I tried them once and I have to agree. Shouldn't be on any "best" list. It hurts the list.

It got me to drive downtown to Wexlers - and I thoroughly enjoyed their pastrami sandwich. Not sure if I'd say it was better than Langers, but determining who wins in the all-out best pastrami battle - will be fun.

I thought their smoked salmon was stellar. The sturgeon was a touch dry and too salty for my tastes.

This is from one experience.

Jul 17, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

If can't get into French Laundry for 50th bday where should we eat in Los Angeles?

FYI - Room rates today, as of July 17th, 2014 are up....

Perimeter Courtyard $340 - $555
Interior Courtyard $420 - $635
Villa $525 - $740
Mini Suites $525 - $740

Jul 17, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Saint Estephe? John Sedlar?

Oddly enough, I do remember one dish at La Toque - a calzone - and thought I didn't hate it, it was a bit of disappointment. (3 or 4 tries and La Toque never hit a home run for me.) I liked the idea of it.

Scandia? I remember every meal - but that's because I always got the Veal Oscar.

That's impressive. I tend to remember the overall experience.

Jul 14, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Saint Estephe? John Sedlar?

You can't recall anything you ate over 30 years ago and blame the food for not being memorable?

I mean, if I go to Lawry's I'm always going to remember what I ate, but to be honest I had a fabulous meal in the summer 1988 at Louis XV - and I can't remember one dish either. But the experience, the room, the never ending desserts and candies and the breads added up to an overwhelming experience. I can't remember one dish, but I wouldn't say the food wasn't memorable.

I always thought St. Estephe was kind of stellar in it's day.

Jul 14, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Romantic Restaurant in west LA?

Good. Because I don't get Shunji as being remotely romantic. It's quirky. Fun for a first date, but romantic? Should be a certain cozy elegance to it and table where you're farily intimate - that is, you're not in one of those banquets with chairs on the one side and a row of small tables jammed together. (I kinda hate that). A place where you can talk, be convivial, and hopefully close enough to share a kiss or two. Being candlelit is nice, Subdued lighting is important (not the bright glow of a sushi bar). To me it's all about making the woman feel comfortable and beautiful. A bottle of champagne would be nice. To start. And a slightly formal place - women have lots of clothes they rarely get to wear - so take them to a place where they can dress up and feel pretty.

Jul 14, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area
1

Best bet for an omakase novice

No cooked dishes? You usually get those unless you ask for a sushi-only.

9 times out of 10 I've been served the "appetizers".

Jul 13, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Best bet for an omakase novice

If you want a value omakase - Echigo is a good way to go.

Jul 13, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Best bet for an omakase novice

Zo is good if you want a Omakase quickie. It's served quickly and the moment you finish - the woman behind you scurries up and quickly spirits that empty dish away. 20 minutes and about 100 bucks later - you can be out the door.

Jul 13, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Best bet for an omakase novice

Mori sushi in W. Los Angeles. Always make reservations for omakase at the sushi bar. (never a table). Kiriko is good, but to me more of a "value" omakase. Mori is serious stuff. Zo is very good, but the service strikes me as cold. Q downtown is a beautiful room, but didn't knock me out the one time I went (for lunch). Shunji is very good, but I still put Mori on top. I've found their fish to be the best, the rice to be the best and the actual construction of the nigiri (fish on vinegared rice) and handing to be the best too. A sushi Nazi who isn't familiar with Mori really isn't a real sushi Nazi.

Jul 13, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area
1

Romantic Restaurant in west LA?

Michael's in Santa Monica - in the patio/garden area.

Villetta on 26th in Brentwood. (not sure if they're open. Heard they've been sold to the French bros who own The Little Door.)

Jul 11, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

3 Questions about Gjelina

You'll likely find street parking at 6:00.

Jul 03, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Glove law repealed

I felt vulnerable to joining the ranks of the Tea Party on this stupid law. But now? A sigh of relief.

http://www.latimes.com/local/politics...

Jun 26, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Hopefully the discussion surrounding this pizza list will not set the spark to ignite WWIII

How would an over-hydrated pizza crust present itself? Undercooked? Or...?

Jun 22, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Hopefully the discussion surrounding this pizza list will not set the spark to ignite WWIII

I've given my opinion of Sotto a number of times on this list - and gotten arguments.

I'd been twice - had the pizza - and had big issues with the crust. I was informed that this is traditional Neopolitan crust. But it was way too "bread-y" for me. In that the middle was more like Wonder bread than any pizza (Neopolitan or not) that I've ever had. Too soggy. Wronghead I've been told! Philistine! Yeah, right. Also told by some FB regulards that the pork chop is stellar.

Well, last week I met someone for drink at Picca - she walked in, heard the noise and hustle and bustle - it made her anxious - and she walked right out. (one of the problems of dating actresses - they tend to avoid crowds, prefer secluded, quieter venues). So we tried out Sotto - which she found suitable. I order a pizza margherita and the pork chop. The pizza, this time, was different than my first two experiences - this time it was right and very enjoyable. I guess I'd struck out TWO TIMES in a row, but now - hey, I could go back. (But I wasn't crazy about the pork chop. Not sure if I'd give it another try. )

Jun 22, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Maude

I support your rant. It amounts to a gov't shakedown. Bullshit law.

Jun 22, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area
2

Daily Grill Brentwood Closes June 29

Got my vote senator.

Jun 21, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Providence - Market menu vs Chef's menu -

I think they're both great, but I tend to lean toward Melisse.

I'd put n/naka in that group too.

The Big Three.

Jun 16, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Where Are the Joints? aka smaller, individually run neighborhood places?

The Bib Gourmand's I've been to in Europe were small, interesting, local "joints". They seemed to have a strong neighborhood following.

Jun 13, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Where Are the Joints? aka smaller, individually run neighborhood places?

Do you have one example that fits your description?

I noticed you had about 10, but none quite nailed it.

Would this be the equivalent of a Bib Gourmand in the Michelin guide?

Jun 13, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Where Are the Joints? aka smaller, individually run neighborhood places?

The Rustic Spoon in North Hollywood. Thai Food

Jun 12, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Providence (Chef's Menu) or Melisse (Carte Blanche)?

Later? In the same evening?

Jun 11, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

The Rustic Spoon in North Hollywood

Had to go to the valley for biz and met someone for lunch there (got good marks on Yelp).

It is called Thai "fusion" and fusion usually scares me off, but this place was pretty great. I wouldn't call it traditional Thai, but I tried a few things - Tom Kha soup had a lot of depth to the flavor profile (some places too much lemon grass, some too much creamy coconut - which I kinda like, but this one seemed more sophisticated than any other I'd had before), the chicken satay - the peanut sauce was thin, but good with just that nice hint of curry, but the chicken itself was fresh, seasoned and cooked right - like there was a real chef back there (some places it's rubbery, or almost always over cooked). This was perfect. Tried their scallops with lemon sauces - pretty and precious little morsels. Crispy pork belly on a bed of spinach was crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside. I didn't have any of the main courses - just appetizers (not uncommon for me - I like variety.) Anybody else been there?

Jun 10, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Santa Monica Seafood . . .

I live in Santa Monica - and I drive to 99 Ranch Market.

That's your answer!

May 30, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area
1

Maude

I wish I liked it as much as you did.

This is a concept restaurant. The concept being take one seasonal ingredient and be clever with it in 9 ways (more or less).

I think that's limiting. No matter how much I like one thing, it starts to feel routine after a while. Then again, if I love rhubarbs maybe I would like it more (don't have a problem with rhubarbs but I never crave them, never even bought them before.) I am more enthusiastic over morels and I'm sure I would have enjoyed that. But 9 courses worth? I don't get the idea.

Anyway I love the restaurant, the size, the look. The service was great. Food was expertly prepared and presented. But if I had a chance to go here or say, Providence for the 20th time? I'd go to Providence, or n/naka. Or Melisse. All do not have constrictions of trying to be clever with one ingredient. They're allowed more free range and the culinary fun/buck value is higher. Looking forward to Curtis Stone without the shackles. If that ever happens.

May 29, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area
1

Best Seafood West Hollywood to Santa Monica

Melisse and n/naka. Both can do all seafood brilliantly.

May 26, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Private Room - 15 People - Limited Budget

BTW - I just came back from a meal in a private room at Crustacean - and the menu was selected (you have some choice) and the wine flowed -- we had a choice of a Cal cab or a chard.

May 23, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Private Room - 15 People - Limited Budget

Yeah, that could add up. But instead of getting wine by the glass, get a bottle for $32.

Ask them if you can do the 32/person lunch menu. I'm sure they'd do it. (let us know if they didn't).

http://napavalleygrille.com/home/west...

I think that'd just squeeze into your budget.

And yes, you invite them to a dinner - and you have the menu and wine selected. This is pretty common for a group (most restaurants I find don't want big groups ordering off the menu).

May 23, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Private Room - 15 People - Limited Budget

If you do the ordering - there's a cozy little nook up front to the left of the entrance at Napa Valley Grill in Westwood

May 22, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Jonathan Gold Twitter Chat About 101 List, Noon

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking.

May 22, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Chow faves that are just too f'ing crowded to bother?

The trick is to go early. 11:30 for lunch and you're fine.

May 21, 2014
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area