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Nicaraguan Food?

I've had Nicaraguan food a couple of times, once at an unremarkable place on Fairfax, I think, near the 10, I cannot remember the name, but the meat was all cooked well past death. We had some kind of mixed platter and I didn't really enjoy anything on it (maybe that wasn't the thing to order there?). Many years ago I went to a place (maybe on Pico) called La 27th. Again, over cooked but tasty meat on the Fritanga Platter (maybe that's just how they do it, or maybe a platter of various meat and sausages is just not the thing to keep ordering). I do remember -- and still think fondly about, one thing we ordered there. I remember reading it reviewed as "the most delicious vegetable preparation ever" or something very near that -- and it was. It was a hollowed out zucchini, stuffed with fresh (squeeky) cheese curds, battered and deed fried. Delish.

I'm not sure exactly how similar most central american dishes are, or how much cross over there is, but I have had excellent Honduran Food at Lempira Hondureno on Hollywood Blvd (there are a few write ups you can search for), and I also really enjoy the El Salvadoran dishes from Atlacatl on Beverly. Not sure if either of these will scratch your itch, but if you can't find good Nicaraguan, maybe these will get you close.

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Atlacatl
301 N Berendo St, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Lempira Restaurant
4848 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Aug 22, 2011
debra in Los Angeles Area

Malan Noodles and the Falsehood of Memory

I've been a big fan the few times I've gotten out to Malan in the last year or two. I hope this was just a one off, maybe the regular noodle guy (there must be more than one, the poor guy needs a day off) wasn't there, or maybe as you said, the thin noodles are not the way to go there. I don't mean to make excuses for them, but I I was there again yesterday, and enjoyed it as much as always. We ordered the Chicken Noodles with spicy chefs sauce (my go to) -- dense, chewy wide noodles, and also the Noodles with fried tomato and egg. They recommended the medium round noodles, they tasted great, and had the usual amazing elasticity, these of course were softer than the wide ribbon noodles, but cooked perfectly, retaining a bit of chew. I'm sorry that your experience wasn't stellar, I always feel like this place is such a gem.

Aug 08, 2011
debra in Los Angeles Area

Lempira - Honduran Food in East Hollywood

This place is an absolute gem. That dish is spectacular, and so are the freshly made baleadas.

Jul 14, 2011
debra in Los Angeles Area

The usual question...but (hopefully) more challenging

I 2nd Meals by Genet. It's been a while since I've been there, but they do a fantastic Kitfo (spicy raw beef dish), and a particularly complex doro wat (chicken stew)

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Meals By Genet
1053 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Jul 14, 2011
debra in Los Angeles Area

The usual question...but (hopefully) more challenging

Malan Noodles in Hacienda Heights -- unassuming place that hand pulls noodles to order, great chew, amazing elasticity. I love their spicy chicken noodles.

Porchetta Panino at Mozza2Go -- Crazy delicious. Nancy Silverton bread (enough said, but I'll go on), with a slab of heaven tucked inside. Juicy Fatty Porchetta with a rim of crunchy skin. You'll be eating it on a bench on Melrose, but you won't be sorry.

Bulgarini Gelato in Altadena -- If a piece of fruit could spontaneously combust into creamy smooth gelato, it would land at Bulgarini. This guy knows his ingredients. Pistachio, Olive Oil with Sea Salt, Pear... They're happy to give you a "tour" and let you taste everything before you decide. A don't miss experience.

Tah Dig at Javan in WLA -- Crunchy toasted rice topped with amazing persian stews. I like the walnut/pomegranet Fesenjen and the eggplant bademjan topped version they do at Javan.

So much food, so little time, hope you enjoy your trip.

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Bulgarini Gelato
749 E Altadena Dr, Altadena, CA 91001

Javan
11500 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Malan Noodles
2020 S Hacienda Blvd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

Jul 13, 2011
debra in Los Angeles Area

Unforgettable PIZZA CRUST you ever eaten in Southern California

I'd second the crust at Mozza. Absolutely memorable, but then it's also not your traditional pizza crust, it's been designed by an exquisite baker. It's got crunch, some chew, yet I somehow feel like flaky pastry is a term that feels right at home describing that crust as well. Enjoy!

Jun 16, 2011
debra in Los Angeles Area

Miss Peaches Soul Food Eatery-Burbank

I thought the fried chicken wings were tasty enough, but nothing to go out of my way for. It's got a homey look, but it's not really a by scratch kind of place. The open kitchen and storage let me see way too much -- powdered country time lemonade, bisquick biscuit mix...

May 26, 2011
debra in Los Angeles Area

Ultimate LA Pork Dish

That crispy pata has been on my list for too long. My favorite pork prep is the Porchetta Panino from Mozza to go (I believe it's not available in the pizzeria or the osteria, just the "to go" shop). The porchetta is definitely on my short list of best things I've ever eaten. The rub is perfect, fennel pollin, maybe some sage... so tasty. The pork is so darn moist -- I guess that's what happens when you wrap a lean cut with luscious fatty belly. And the shattering crackly crunch of the skin that surrounds the whole thing --it's a taste and textural party in my mouth. Having all that rich delish crammed in between nancy silverton's amazing bread, heaven!

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Pizzeria Mozza
6602 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038

May 16, 2011
debra in Los Angeles Area

A Philadelphia trip report

Just thinking about scrapple now makes me smile (and salivate a little),

Apr 26, 2011
debra in Philadelphia

A Philadelphia trip report

Very interesting coookie, I didn't consider the actual AMOUNT of duck fat could be a factor. That's probably it. Maybe if the opportunity presents itself again, I'll ask about that before I take the plunge.

Apr 26, 2011
debra in Philadelphia

A Philadelphia trip report

Hi there, I'm an L.A. chowhound, just back from a week in Philadelphia. I did quite a bit of research here and on the web in general, thought I'd say thanks for the great tips, and give a trip report.

I'll start with Reading Terminal Market, let's just say... my home base. As suggested, Dutch Eating Place had one heck of a Apple Dumpling, not too sweet, not too mushy, perfect in my book. It's also the place I discovered possibly the most delicious thing I've ever eaten --scrapple. Thank god it's not readily available here in L.A. or I'd be in trouble. Kind of a pate of pork parts and cornmeal, I gather, crispy edges, and all the porky goodness that only pork parts can bring to the table --ya, I was a repeat visitor at the DEP. They have a sign that say's Leidy's Scrapple -- I have no idea whether that's a good brand or even well known, but man, it was just delicious.

Dienners for large, crispy but not over cooked chicken wings, with a basic, but nice seasoning.

DiNics for the Roast Pork with Provolone and Broccoli Rabe, garlicy, juicy, an excellent sandwich (I thought the sharp provolone was a little overpowering, maybe it just wasn't my thing, I removed it and dug in). Roast Pork and Broccoli Rabe, a marriage made in heaven, thanks for introducing me to this heavenly union. I must have been there early enough that the line was tolerable -- when I went back the line was crazy, and I was really sorry I didn't have the time to have it again.

Mueller's peanut butter/dark chocolate pretzels, delish, what more can be said about that.

Sang Kee sesame noodles and roast duck: the duck was really greasy, but tasty, and the sesame noodles were delish, refreshing and nice with crunch of the veggies.

Beilers Bakery, had a very memorable sticky bun (no nuts, no raisins), loved the ratio of sweet sticky to bready bun, and also that the bun wasn't doughy. It didn't have the "you can really taste the butter" in the bun, but I didn't miss that at all, it wasn't too heavy, just right in my book. This is possibly the most enticing looking bakery counter ever -- how I would have liked to be locked in after hours with a fork.

Had a pretzel at Millers Twist, fresh and good, but not the Philly Pretzel I was looking for, this was an Auntie Anne's type of pretzel.

Outside RTM.

Buddakan for the lamb, which was very good, but I really felt like this place missed the mark, everything underwhelmed me seasoning-wise. It seemed like all of the delicious asian inspired offerings were way too bland. I was particularly disappointed with the "dip sum" donuts, they were fresh and fried and sugary, but so darn heavy, and hardly tasted of the five spice power I was looking forward to.

Village Whisky, wow, 10pm, mid week with a 2+ hour wait at this tiny place. I was lucky to snag a seat at the bar after a short wait on a rainy night. I had to have that burger. (I didn't go for the faux gras). It came out looking like a hockey puck. That must be some hot griddle to produce that kind of crust and still be perfectly medium rare inside, NICE. The burger was very tasty, not sure it would be worth a several hour wait, but a damn good burger. The duck fat fries, well, this is my second foray into DFF, and I have to say, I don't get it. The fries were very good, but I didn't really get what the DF was adding. I think I'll wait until someone offers Bacon Fat Fries, and then I think we might be on to something.

Chifa, another in the Jose Garces empire. I really wanted the Thai Sausage Sandwich which I'd read about, and it was very good, a great melding of flavors, but I was kind of unclear on this restaurants concept. I know there is a large chinese influence in Peruvian cooking, but this menu seemed a little less tight than I was expecting, and more asian and latin american than chinese and peruvian -- nothing wrong with that, just not what I was expecting I guess.

Kanella was fantastic. I had the lamb sandwich. A tad skimpy on the lamb, but the lamb was tender and delicious combined with the feta on that amazing crusty, seedy roll. Also had a wonderful dessert, I can't remember the name of it, but it was a semolina custard with a bit of phylo, drizzled with an orange syrup, lip smacking good -- that custard was really luscious.

Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodles. I'm a big fan of hand pulled noodles, and I'm not sure if it was an off night, or that the noodles weren't as fresh and I like... the noodles didn't have the extreme elasticity I expect from hand pulled, and they were stuck together in kind of a clump which wasn't too appealing.

Good Dog. Great Bar, great burger and fries. Serious late night grub. Who wouldn't love a good burger with cheese oozing from the middle. The combo of sweet potato and regular (maybe yukon gold) fries were really tasty too.

The Cheesesteak situation:

I wanted to try Tony Lukes or Steve's Prince of Steaks. I couldn't get to either. I wanted a really great Philadelphia Cheesesteak. Disappointed at first, but then a couple of people suggested to me (and gosh I hope this isn't offensive...) that the Philly experience isn't necessarily "the best", it could also be where the locals go, what the locals like, and what's traditional. My cousin suggested Jim's on South Street. The line was crazy, clearly a mix of locals and tourists. I got one "whiz wit". Unimpressive, I thought, what are the locals doing here, surely they must know that it's skimpy on the whiz, and onions, and the meat isn't terribly tasty, dry, not greasy enough, grease is flavor after all. (Maybe I had made a mistake, I mean when you come to L.A. and want a great burger (we're oh, so a burger town), there are places I'd be horrified that a visitor might judge our burger scene by.) I will say the Amorosa roll was fanastic -- Philly has the best bread, what's in (or not in) your water? Ok, so later in the trip, I decide to walk over to "SEE" the Pat's vs Geno's thing --no intention of eating, at first. Now this seemed really local, mid afternoon, weekday, not the tourist mob scene I was picturing. I loved the dueling advertising -- Pat's "the original", Geno's touting number one in "quality & cleanliness". So we take a look at what people are eating at Pat's, I can see the meat is chopped up, like it was at Jim's, we walk over to Geno's and I can see them frying individual slices of beef. I opt for Geno's. I was really expecting both Pat's and Geno's to be all tourist, and no flavor. I have to say Geno's was definitely a satisfying experience. It really had the perfect grease to meat to whiz to onion ratio on a really good roll. I'm sure I'm not the best judge of authentic or gourmet, or the best, but I do know what tastes good to me.

I was wondering where the best place to get a pretzel would be, and was told, anywhere... that sounded so wrong to me, but truth be told, it was correct. The street carts sold them fresh and cheap. They were really tasty, and way more substantial than what I've known as a "soft pretzel". Again, whatever it is, the water or maybe several hundred year old starter... the bread is amazing.

Lastly, I cannot say enough about the sandwiches at Paesanos. What a delectable sounding menu, every sandwich sounded better than the last. As I was heading home, I decided on two sandwiches to go. The Arista - Whole Roasted Suckling Pig, Italian Long Hots, Broccoli Rabe & Sharp Provolone. I got mine sans provolone. Fantastic combination, again with the pork and b.rabe. The pork was plentiful, moist, and very tasty. The other sandwich was the Gustaio - House-made Lamb sausage, Sun-dried Cherry Mustarda, Gorgonzola Spread, Roasted Fennel, & Arugula. This was an explosion of flavor. I opened both sandwiches because I couldn't wait, had a few bites of each, and then packed them up with the anticipation that I would get more very soon. Absolutely exciting combinations of flavors, I love this place, my only gripe is that the Gustaio came on a thin flatbread, and it couldn't handle how freaking juicy the sandwich was, I'd get it on a roll next time -- which brings me to my other gripe -- I can't believe I live thousands of miles from the nearest Paesano's. The Bolognese and the Paesano were both calling my name. Two good reasons to return to Philly.

I think that about does it for the culinary portion of my trip. What a tasty city you have. There is definitely more to Philly than the cheesesteak. Thanks!

Apr 25, 2011
debra in Philadelphia

A great duck resturant

Brandywine is a gem of a place, run by a husband and wife, he's in the front of the house, she's in the kitchen. They start you with an amuse bouche of house cured gravlox in their lovely little dining room, everything on the menu that we've tried is always spot on, but my favorite is the muscovy duck breast. Served medium, it eats like a great steak. You should probably call first to be sure it's on the menu (you can probably request it if not, their menu is a chalkboard, so things can change.) Also, they do tableside ceasar salads which is a treat.

Enjoy!

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Brandywine Restaurant
22757 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Mar 03, 2011
debra in Los Angeles Area

Peanut Mochi Bread @ Cloverleaf Bakery (Temple City)

RIP, not the bakery, but the peanut mochi bread. I've been looking forward to trying this for weeks, stopped in on Saturday and the woman behind the counter told me that this wasn't such a popular bread and they elected to discontinue making it. I tried a squid ink roll, very subtle in flavor, a soft, nice roll. Also the Japanese Garlic roll -- looked so good, it had kind of a sweet glaze, or maybe the bread itself was a little sweet, not bad, but not really what I was expecting with the "garlic" moniker.

Has anyone seen this peanut mochi bread type thing anywhere else? It sounds like the perfect combination of flavors and textures.

Feb 07, 2011
debra in Los Angeles Area

Hand Pulled Noodles in Los Angeles?

My experience exactly. They hand pull to order, you can watch yours and everyone elses being made. Depending on the shape you choose, the guy behind the counter makes a rope, or flattens out a blob of dough, then pulls and pulls, and pulls. It wasn't crowded while we were there, so we sat right next to the counter, front and center. If you didn't know they pulled by hand, and sat to the side, it would be possible not to notice it happening, It takes just a few seconds to pull an order. I highly recommend the noodles (and the show).

Jan 31, 2011
debra in Los Angeles Area

Hand Pulled Noodles in Los Angeles?

I finally got the chance to bring my mom to Malan for the hand pulled noodles. Watching them hand pull to order was a real treat, (and the eating was fun and delish too). The fresh noodles had amazing elasticity and a really nice bite, and at 2 or 3 feet a noodle -- a fun challenge to eat. Service was very friendly. We had their Malan Beef Soup, the broth was unexpected, deep and earthy, with kind of a spice base that reminded me more of a vietamese pho than the more mild chinese broth I was expecting, it was really tasty, with a few slices of well cooked beef, and lovely chewy triangle noodles. We also had the pork chowmein, which was nothing extraordinary, although very good with the fresh noodles and tasty bits of cabbage and pork. The Malan Cold Noodles were nice, bean sprouts and cuke were refreshing with a mild sesame sauce. The star of the show was the Chicken with Chef's spicy sauce. I asked for it medium spicy, which worked out nicely, studded with a few chiles and sichuan peppercorns, it was delicious -- super wide, chewy noodles, a nice portion of fairly tender, long cooked chicken, hacked up (watch out for splinters) with some onion (so tasty, we ended up dumping the remaining chowmein into the sauce). A great time (and meal) was had by all.

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Malan Noodles
2020 S Hacienda Blvd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

Jan 18, 2011
debra in Los Angeles Area

Recommendation in Hollywood pre theater

Here are a few of my quick, budget friendly go to's in the area. Mario's Peruvian is not too far at Melrose and Vine -- plain wrap place, but they do a really good lomo saltado, and excellent fried chicken. On Gower (and Sunset I think) Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, and Gower and Hollywood is Al Wazir, excellent rotisserie chicken (similar to Zankou).

On the slighly more upscale side (although not sure if you cook it yourself, you can consider it upscale..) I also like Koji's at Hollywood and Highland for Shabu Shabu, I actually haven't been there in a while, they have really tasty dipping sauces, and offer a nice plate of meat, veggies and noodles. Fun and delish.

Enjoy the show!

Jun 14, 2010
debra in Los Angeles Area

Colorado eating, April 2010

Even though I was sitting near the bar, I was so focused on the food, I didn't have a cocktail. If I'm ever back in Denver, I will add that to the list, because I sure as heck will be back for the bar snacks.

May 03, 2010
debra in Mountain States

Denver recommendations-please review my picks

If I'm not replying too late, I just posted my denver dining adventures. And I can't say enough about my love for Rioja. You can read my post here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7050...

Enjoy!

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Rioja
1431 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202

Apr 30, 2010
debra in Mountain States

Colorado eating, April 2010

LA hound here, just got back from a week and a half in CO, mainly Colorado Springs and Denver, thought I'd post a review/recap since I had such a delicious time.

Denver:

D-Bar: luxurious desserts, some enjoyed their "cake and a shake", I had a couple of their handmade chocolates, the PBnJ was decadent, and kind of unexpected, it was a blob of peanut butter topped with a smaller blob of Jelly, encased in a chocolate shell, what did I expect? All the desserts looked like works of art, no one was disappointed. And the fact that you can get a t-shirt that says "cupcake slut", well, bonus points for that.

HBurger: Very friendly staff, good burger (very nice about redoing it when it came out overcooked), fries were delish, thickish, not the crispy kind, well seasoned. They have sweet n spicy bacon, really tasty, but be sure to ask for it well done, it was kind of limp and fatty, which I didn't love. Didn't get to see it, but apparently they freeze their shakes tableside with liquid nitrogen, probably worth it for the show.

Vesta: I love a place that isn't afraid to season their food. Spicy lamb ribs were excellent, spicy rub with pistachios, drizzled with cooling rose yoghurt a perfect cooling foil to the spicy rub. Seared scallops cooked perfectly, although the sangria reduction was a little too soupy and sweet.

Boney's: I'd read they do great brisket, but I have to say that was the week point for me. I got the combo, and I'd say everything but the brisket was top notch in my book. The hotlink (more like a really spicy, really good, hot dog) was really juicy, with a great snap (which I love). The pulled pork was tender and juicy, and the ribs were meaty and came right off the bone good. The beans were delish, tiny, smokey, and almost like a chili (sort of), mac and cheese was creamy and good.

Marlowe's: Had to try buffalo ribs. They were described by the host as HUGE, my order was not, they were bearly bigger than your average pork rib. I thought that was odd. This is probably NOT the place to really sample them, it wasn't on "my list", but it was near my hotel. Anyway, they were pretty lean, that's how I'd describe them against, say, a regular cow/beef rib. That said, it's worth it just for their sauce. I think the ribs had a rub on them, which was tasty, but the sauce was like candy, I want to say it was an ancho chile cherry sauce. I'd go back just for this sauce, and I'd put it on EVERYTHING.

Rioja: So good I went back the next day. I can't say enough about the bread basket -- except maybe thank god it wasn't left on my table, or I would have inhaled it. The house-made goat cheese rosemary biscuits were too die for tender and delicious. The rest of the basket was just plain delicious. I also sampled the olive bread (like any other great olive bread), the lavender sourdough (a really great sourdough, very light handed with the lavender, probably a good thing, very different). Never made it around to the orange fennel roll, darn it. I first went in for dinner, and had the lamb two ways, the t-bone (chop) was surprisingly a bit tough, but tasty, it was on a bed of a good til the last drop tomato sauce (I was skeptical about this pairing, but it was a beautiful thing, and mopped up by the last bit of sourdough), there was a crispy pocket of quinoa, perfectly tender and sweet, and a patty of lamb merquez sausage, drizzled with a yogurt sauce. Spicy, rich, cooled by the yogurt, a great dish. I needed another go round with that breadbasket, and wanted to try her homemade pasta, so I made a reservation for brunch the next morning before I flew out. Never got to the orange fennel roll... Artichoke Tortelloni, freaking perfection. They came in a fresh artichoke broth with "essence" of truffle. Each flavor sparkled, the tortelloni were stuffed with burst of goat cheese/artichoke, they were tender and amazing. The artichoke broth tasted like freshly squeezed artichoke liquid, if there is such a thing, well complemented by the essence of truffle. I followed that with miniature beignet,stuffed with sweet goat cheese, and black mission fig, on top of a decorative squeeze of port wine reduction --another delectable pairing of flavors. Thank god I don't live nearby, I'd have to have that over and over and over until it hurt.

Colt and Gray: Went in for the crispy pig trotters, not exactly what I was expecting, but very good. I somehow thought these would be more rough and tumble, and a bit more flavorful. What showed up was two fried rounds of very tender shredded pork. Good, but again, not what I was expecting. What was the surprising star of the show... Bacon, cashew, caramel corn. Yep. Nuggets of meaty bacon are an excellent partner for an already sweet and salty snack. There was a dusting of something spicy in there too, which added more depth to the mix. Fantastic.

The Berkshire: Anywhere that offers something called a flight of bacon, is somewhere on "my list". The A strip of balsamic, strip of garlic, strip of curried, strip of cinnamon. Paired with a little extra. Balsamic with a strawberry, cinnamon with an almond, etc... I'm not sure how this could miss, but it fell a little flat. It felt like it wasn't cooked to order, it was so right in concept, just missed it's mark in execution. I so wanted to love this place. We also split the King (I think it was called), Bacon, Peanut Butter, Caramelized Banana, on Hawaiian Sweet Bread -- again, all the fixin's of a Hit... and it was full of bacon alright, but you could hardly taste the banana, or maybe it was just that there wasn't enough of it. Partially disappointing because if I'm going to partake of a heart attack like this, it had better be worth it, and it wasn't spectacular. I love the idea of this place. I'm kind of hoping this was just an off night, but that's my take on the place.

Argyll GastroPub: Had to try their award winning Shrimp Mac & Cheese, and the Lamb Burger. First let me say I love the "gastropub" idea, comfort favorites, made with local fresh ingredients. They start you off with (potato) chips drizzled with what I think is a malt vinegar syrup, clever and of course delicious. The Mac & Cheese was really good, the shrimp were tasteless and felt complete unnecessary, loved the crisp crumbs on top, not overly cheesy (which actually is never a problem for me), I would have liked it to be a little more "sharp", it didn't list them, but I assume the cheese's they use are just on the more mild side. Good, in a gourmet mac and cheese way, not sure this type of M&C is my fav prep. The burger was excellent, great meat, cooked perfectly, on a good soft (but full structured) bun.

Tom's Home Cookin': Read the fried chicken was cooked until a copper color... that was enough to make "my list". It did not disappoint. I was not expecting a cafeteria style chaffing dish line up, but it didn't matter, the chicken was moist, the copper colored crust was crisp and salty, a good combo for sure. The mac and cheese was non memorable, saucy. The greens were good, fresh, and not over cooked, and the cornbread exceptional, not sweet, and not fluffy, but it was also not dense. It was like cornbread made with course cornmeal or something, I've never really had cornbread like this, I loved it, it was very satisfying.

Snooze: How cute is this place, adorable retro would be how I'd capture it's style. Great homemade corned beef hash would be enough to come back for, but the super star of the show was the "pancake of the day" Are you already sensing a trend... yes it's going to involve bacon. It was a bacon, blue cheese pancake, and it was sensational. The pancake itself was more of a savory I'd say, like coffee cake masquerading as a pancake. I'm not sure how that will go over with plain pancake lovers, but for this dish, worked like a charm. Each bite got a bit of the blobs of (good) blue cheese (I was worried they might not go for the gold in the blue department), some bacon, and the cake itself -- if that wasn't enough, drizzed with maple syrup... heaven.

Kolache Factory: Have you ever had a Kolache? It's a slightly sweetened dough, and they stuff them with everything under the sun. We tried the traditional ones, that are more like a danish, with cream cheese, or poppy seed. They were tasty, kind of like a slightly more savory than sweet danish. I thought the place was going to be an adventure itself, this was more like a Czeck Donut Shop.

Casa Bonita: Well, there's cliff divers, and you definitely aren't there for the food. Enough said.

Colorado Springs:

Jake & Telly: Don't order the calamari, they were the tinyest little guys I've ever seen, and over cooked. But it looks like they make their own gyro, it was more like seasoned burgers, different and tasty. Cute place, loved the fun way they "balance" their wine glasses at each place setting.

King Chef: What's not to love about eating breakfast in a little purple castle. Everything seemed fresh, which is a good sign. Great thick bacon. Huge breakfast burrito, and a flavorful, spicy, homemade Green Chile Sauce. Loved that this place really seemed like a local, friendly place where everyone knows your name. Bonus that the cook was grating real potatos over the grill for the hashbrowns.

Dale Street Bistro: Hmmm, another purple palace, this time Victorian. Homemade bread, and good, fresh food. The cream of artichoke bisque was great, you could taste the artichoke (so often disappointing when a cream soup tastes like a bowl of cream). The curried chicken salad was a treat, deep curry flavor (not the mayo heavy version you often find), nicely cooked burger also. Pizza's looked great, as did the eggs florentine which were also on our table, but I didn't get to try. Great service, this place is a gem.

Mason Jar: Ok comfort food, the chicken was moist. The Blackberry Margaritas and Cobbler both used real fruit --albeit they could have benefitted from a few less seeds. Biscuits were flavorful and fluffy. I wouldn't run back, but I wasn't sorry we tried it either.

Culvers: Home of the Buttered Bun? I guess they butter their bun. The burgers are in a completely different category than most burgers. The thinnest patty I can ever imagine someone pressing out, normally a big minus in my book, however, the patty is grilled until it's nearly crisp, which I have to say was unusual, in a good way. The complete package, I'd have to give a thumbs up. And fried cheese curds, well, they get bonus points for sure. They also offered fried Walleye (might have been a special), friends said was good, and everyone loved their custard shakes.

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Vesta Dipping Grill
1822 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80202

Kolache Factory
92 Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood, CO

Snooze
2260 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205

Rioja
1431 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202

Mason Jar
2925 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

Tom's Home Cookin
800 E 26th Ave, Denver, CO 80205

King's Chef Diner
110 E Costilla St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Culver's of Colorado Springs
2925 New Center Pt, Colorado Springs, CO 80922

Dale Street Bistro Cafe
115 E Dale St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Casa Bonita
6715 W Colfax Ave, Lakewood, CO 80214

Marlowe's
501 16th St, Denver, CO 80202

Boney's
1512 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202

Berkshire
7352 E. 29th Ave., Denver, CO 80238

Jake and Telly's Greek Cuisine & Wine Bar
2616 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

D Bar Desserts
1475 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80218

Argyll
2700 E. 3rd Ave, Denver, CO 80206

Colt & Gray
1553 Platte Street, Denver, CO 80202

Apr 30, 2010
debra in Mountain States

Hand Pulled Noodles in Los Angeles?

Do any of the places, like Ma Lan, allow you to watch them hand pull the noodles?

I'd love to surprise my Mom with the experience. Also, if you can help -- do I need to specifically ask for them to be hand pulled at Ma Lan (I don't want to confuse this with knife cut), and do a bonus thanks if you can offer up a recommendation for your favorite noodle prep/sauce. Thanks!

Apr 19, 2010
debra in Los Angeles Area

Smokin' Joint BBQ on 3rd

The Ribs were really great. We ordered the beef and the baby back plates. The baby back were SUPER meaty, plump, and delicious, they had some kind of sweet rub that was lip smacking. The beef ribs were slightly anemic, but had a wonderful smokey flavor (the pork was not nearly as smokey). The beans were very good (and I'm not much of a bean person, their beans were a little different), the greens were fine, didn't seem as "steeped in flavor" as I like them, but they also weren't mush, which I appreciate --and they were topped with cripsy bacon bits -- nice. The bacon stuffed sweet onion, don't let the word bacon sway you -- it's a sweet onion with some kind of minced bacon jam kinda thing stuffed inside, good, but not "mmm bacon'y" like I was wanting it to be. Oh and you get a slice of pickle on your plate, it's sweet and spicy, don't mistake it for garnish you don't need to eat -- try it.

They've only been open a couple weeks I guess, and already the menu I saw online didn't exactly match the one inside -- namely the 7 bone rack of beef ribs, downgraded to 6 for some reason. Not that big a deal, but it irked me to know a few weeks ago I could have gotten one more bone ; ) $25 for a BBQ dinner (albeit a big one) seemed a little obscene to me, but when I considered that I was eating BBQ at 3rd and La Cienega, what did I think it would be? We went on tuesday night, and no one was there, we left around 7:30, and I think there were maybe 4 people there.

Oct 08, 2009
debra in Los Angeles Area

Burgers on Westside

Arnie Mortons (only during lunch, only on the weekend)
Hole in the Wall (great burger, love the pretzel bun option)
tie:
In and Out, double double animal style
Fat Burger (you gotta ask for it "on the char" broiled)

Jul 13, 2009
debra in Los Angeles Area

Meals By Genet--what to get?

Concur on the doro wat, and vegetarian platter -- you cannot go wrong, it'll be like a parade of deliciousness. I also suggest, that you get the Kitfo, if you like steak tartar, and you like it spicy, MbG make an excellent version. Enjoy!

Apr 07, 2009
debra in Los Angeles Area

uWink... I groan.

Ya that's so odd, we were there at lunch a few months ago, at the woodland hills location, and found the staff helpful. The kids burger didn't have the same cheese choices online, IIRC, but they were very accomodating and nice about it. All that eyerolling and condesention deserves a complaint to management. I don't think that's the norm, or at least it shouldn't be, it wasn't our experience at all.

Mar 26, 2009
debra in Los Angeles Area

uWink... I groan.

The main thing is the nieces love to order on screen and play a few games. I like to think of UWink as a place you can get an ok bite (servicable burger), while your amusing the kids -- a step up from ChuckEC. No where non gamers should really bother eathing -- sort of like how you eat at Disneyland, but you don't think, hey I'm in anaheim, maybe I'll grab a bite at Disneyland. My neices are young, but I think part of their adult draw is that you can play games cross tables, probably great for a team or frat.(I think they have a bar)outing.

Mar 26, 2009
debra in Los Angeles Area

Best pretzel bread from a bakery?

Nosh -- did they recently raise their prices, it was $7.95 for the basic cheeseburger (with no fancy extras like bacon), when I was there maybe a month or so ago. I guess that's how the burger drips... I personally don't mind how messy that pretzel roll gets, it's such a darn tasty combination.

Mar 24, 2009
debra in Los Angeles Area

Best pretzel bread from a bakery?

This isn't a bakery, but it is westside -- if you're in the mood for a really good burger on a pretzel roll, check out Hole in the Wall. I don't know if they make the rolls, or where they might get them, but they're tasty. Hole in the Wall is a gem of a burger place at Santa Monica & Sepulveda (literally ,behind Winchell's - park in the strip mall lot, go round the corner, behind Winchell's for HitW). If you like it, maybe they'll sell you a few rolls, or turn you on to their source. Enjoy!

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Hole in the Wall Burger Joint
11058 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Mar 24, 2009
debra in Los Angeles Area

FAMILY FUN

Has anyone been to Giggles and Hugs -- I think it's called. I pass it by, and for some reason I think it might be ChuckECheese like. Anyone been?

Jan 15, 2009
debra in Los Angeles Area

What happened to Jerry's Deli??????

I just wrote a short post about Joseph's deli, which I really like, in Tarzana. If you're now looking for a great deli sandwich, about half the price of Jerry's.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5878...

Jan 15, 2009
debra in Los Angeles Area

Mort's Deli ?

I can't really comment on Mort's -- I'm also in the "haven't been there in 30 years" camp. If you're looking for a solid deli sandwich in the neighborhood, I'd recommend Joseph's Deli, on Ventura Blvd, a few miles west. They have a limited menu, and limited hours -- but the prices are very reasonable. They do a nice fish plate, killer tuna salad, and the best twice baked rye in town on any of their generous sandwiches.

If you're famililar with Lable's -- Joseph's was a Lable's. Joseph bought the place (when Lable's moved and then closed), and kept it going under his own name. A great lunch or brunch option. Enjoy!

And of course there's also Brent's in Northridge, which I really like as well.

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Brent's Deli
19565 Parthenia St, Northridge, CA 91324

Joseph's Delicatessen
19005 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356

Jan 15, 2009
debra in Los Angeles Area