foodiemahoodie's Profile

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Hal's Bar & Grill on Abbot Kinney Will Shutter After 30 Years

I'm not sure who the owner is - or if his name is Hal.

But Hal of Hal's is Hal Frederick, formerly of the West Beach (which is where his Caesar salad, fries and "Mexican Breakfast" came from). Before that he was at Robert's on Ocean Front Walk. Not sure before that - I think he worked with Bruce Marder at his first restaurant on Main St. Name escapes me at the moment.

He also used to be an actor. His credits.


He is not the actual owner of Hal's - but one of the owners. Novack is the majority holder. I'm not sure if his title there is GM or what. Never asked! Too late, huh?

What restaurant do you really really really miss that is now closed ?????

Jumping the gun - Hal's Bar and Grill.

What restaurant do you really really really miss that is now closed ?????

Without question, the West Beach Cafe. It its heyday it was the only serious restaurant west of Beverly Hills (or perhaps West Hollywood for that matter).

Cool, upscale crowd. All the Venice artists would go there, as would local writers/directors/actors, etc. Fun! Before cocaine was addictive and sex couldn't kill you. Which meant a lot of great food, wine, staying up late and getting frisky 'til dawn. It was not uncommon, (after they closed) to turn up the music, push the tables back and continue the party on the impromptu dance floor.

Hal's Bar & Grill on Abbot Kinney Will Shutter After 30 Years

$40k. New owner is looking at $11,000/mo in property taxes alone.


Sounds like you went whole hog for evening- and you did it the right way (I expect nothing less from you) - where it appears you asked the proprietors what you should get - and you got it.

Not sure how many were in your group, but perhaps too full to really give the desserts a fair assessment - I know when I've hit the limit and gone a little too far past - that the best I can do with dessert is a distant, clinical critique.

Il Grano?

I consider this a romantic place. It's quiet, and often nearly empty. It has to be the right person as some people like to go where the action is - this ain't that place.

But it's great for a last minute tasting menu. Put yourself in Sal's hands. His enthusiasm for cooking is half the fun.

Shunji Update: More Seats at the Sushi Bar!

Good idea. Thanks.

Shunji Update: More Seats at the Sushi Bar!

What are the chances you can walk in there on any given night without a reservation, sit at the sushi bar and get an omakase?

I've done that at Shunji and Mori for lunch.

Reason I asked is that I was tempted to drop in there solo around 9:00 and sit at this lovely new sushi bar.

Shunji Update: More Seats at the Sushi Bar!

Looks great!

Fine dining in West Los Angeles/Santa Monica

Melisse and n/naka.

Maude should count - but I find it depends on the ingredient. And I think the whole "Iron Chef" concept is kinda lame for a diner. More sense for a competition. I like variety.

Fine dining in West Los Angeles/Santa Monica

It's not. West side, yeah, but not West L.A. But you knew that.

Mori Sushi Premium Omakase + YOLO = YOLOmakase

Great review. Mori Sushi rocks.

Apr 15, 2015
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

What does New York have that LA doesn't?

Oh, I politely disagree. We definitely have fine dining here - and it's great. New York has twice as much, sure, but that's largely because they have more demand.

If you lived in Paris or Tokyo where they have twice as many fine dining restaurants as New York - wouldn't it be unfair to say York as no fine dining?


It's about your birthday and it's your choice. The worst that could happen is that they'll go in knowing your tastes are adventurous and they will have to brace themselves accordingly.

When the uni dish comes and some people refuse to try it? Great! More for you! (I love it when a date or a friend is afraid of uni - I can't get enough of the stuff).


No, take out the "by far" qualifier and you might get some bites.


Which would kinda piss off Niki. She doesn't want to be lumped into a category of "female chefs".

It's not only one of the best in L.A. I'm surprised it hasn't shown up as #1 on someone's list.


Book ahead and you shouldn't have a problem. Open Table gives you alternative, open dates.


Terrific. Surprised you haven't been. A few times at least.

What does New York have that LA doesn't?

Disagree. This was true 25 years ago - now they're all over the place.

But then I live but minutes from Brentwood - which has a plethora of Italian offerings. And then, a minute from me is West Channel - Giorgio's and Delfini. To be honest, I can't imagine anyone opening an Italian restaurant - there are so many.

But maybe we just disgree on what is or isn't affordable (Giorgio's is too damn expensive - yah got me there!).

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

You might consider trying it yourself.

I usually get the 10. And I totally disagree that it is not world class. I've been around the block. A few times. And it's great. I'm grateful we've got it.

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

Gotta chime in here. I like their fries, but they're reconstituted and frozen. Pretty great considering, but not considering? They're a pale imitation to the fries they made back in the '50's - those were fantastic. And they've slowly gotten worse and cheaper and easier and more about productivity than taste.

In and Out oughta figure out the twice fried (and some refrigeration in the middle). It's an extra step, it would cost them more, but good god would they be improved!

What does New York have that LA doesn't?

You have that here (fancy restaurants with complicated food). You do have more choices for a formal dining experience in New York. After all, it's a more formal, gotham environment.

But you do have that here.

Neighborhood Restaurant on Westside

Right in the neighborhood of Delini's (right across the street) is Sam's. Kinda nails it for your neighborhood requirement. Quiet, not a lot of hipsters. Get the fish specials (Sam's at IMP early in the morning picking out stuff).


What does New York have that LA doesn't?

The all too-occasional smell of urine when walking anywhere.

How many Maude attempts?

I think that kind of reservation scheme is an insulting burden to the diner.

Great place for lunch place in Burbank?

Thanks! I got this a little late, but neverthless I will take this all into consideration on the next journey. We tried to go to Girasol - but upon arrival there was a film crew and they were shooting. What luck! So we wanted to miss the afternoon traffic and hotfooted back over the hill.

Great place for lunch place in Burbank?

No budget constraints.

Define adventurous? Anything! Doesn't have to be adventurous. I'm just trying to open the window as wide as possible.

I know it's "normal", etc. Which is why I'm on Chowhound beating the bushes for ideas.

Great place for lunch place in Burbank?

I'm heading out there with a friend. We're adventurous eaters - anything would apply. Sherman Oaks and Studio City would also work.

Best Chicken Pot Pie in LA?

I haven't tried them all. But if you're doing a comparo - consider The Daily Grill's pot pie. It's a hangover favorite for me.

Connie and Teds

I've been there probably a dozen times - fries (and all the fried food) was perfect. LOVE their fries. And I hate limp fries.