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Good Food near Mt. Rushmore, Badlands Area

Thanks for the rec of Colonial House! I was on a 5 week road trip around the U.S. and had no idea where to turn for breakfast in Rapid City.

Colonial House offers a pretty interesting and varied breakfast menu using most of the basic ingredients. What REALLY sold me, though, were the huge cheese danishes and caramel rolls and pecan rolls in the front bakery case.

I got a bagel egg sandwich to eat there, and it was nicely put together with fluffy scrambled eggs. So as not to seem too piggy, I got my peach/cheese danish to go. These are the largest pastries I have ever seen, one can completely fill a large to-go container. Light, flaky pastry dough, filled with a not-too-dense cheese filling and fresh peaches in a light glaze. This is a danish I will have dreams about for years to come. Perfect road trip fuel when the back roads of Wyoming started to become a chore to navigate.

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Colonial House Restaurant
2501 Mount Rushmore Rd, Rapid City, SD 57701

May 17, 2010
annalulu in Great Plains

NOMBE CHOWHOUND EVENT - REVIEW

Forgive me, huge thanks to David for organizing this event!!!

Jan 19, 2010
annalulu in San Francisco Bay Area

NOMBE CHOWHOUND EVENT - REVIEW

Thanks Maria, for the great details!
It was a great welcome to the SF chowhounds scene for me (I just moved back here from Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago.)

My only izakaya experience was at Izayoi in Los Angeles, Nombe was quite different from that since Izayoi is a little "high end" for pub food, plus they have a decent sushi bar.

The menu was smaller than expected (but the little booklet of sake, beer, etc. seemed appropriately in the izakaya spirit!) The Chow dinner is such a great way to really taste a lot of different selections. It can be noted that it was fairly obvious we took our tasting seriously since our server took great care of us and we received a few special dishes on the house.

My favorite items included the Odango rice balls, which were about 1 1/2 inches round and completely infused with the smoky grill flavor. Crisp on the outside and with a mild, earthy grain flavor, these were so simple, but so tasty.

The Brussels sprouts our server recommended after we had ordered everything were dead on. Other reports back this! One serving was a generous bowl of halved sprouts, they also had the smokey notes along with a nice tart dressing and the mildest zing of mint.

Butternut squash tempura rolls were a delight. Sweet shredded squash around a slightly tangy bit of cheese, wrapped in nori then battered and fried. The combo of sweet, salty, tangy was a great surprise.

The pork belly was just okay in my book, I've had better/more tender/more flavorful.

One dish I thought I'd like more was the Satsumo Imo korokke. These croquettes were large, about the size of a medium potato, then halved. The interior had a cloying sweetness and thick creamy texture that was at first comforting in a strange way, then it turned on me and coated my mouth and I decided it wasn't that great.

The desserts were heaven, as far as I'm concerned. The Beignets were light and tasty, but it was the yuzu jam that really got me. Perfectly tart and sweet, like good lemonade should taste. Paired with that slightly fermented cream, I could have eaten the entire serving if I had the chance.

I would definitely return to Nombe, especially for their late night menu.

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Nombe
2491 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Jan 19, 2010
annalulu in San Francisco Bay Area

Best lobster thermidor in the Bay Area

I just had the lobster thermidor at Tadich on Tuesday. It's not all THAT cheesy, but it does have that wonderful broiled sherry cream sauce on it. The sheer quantity of lobster meat was stunning, I had dinner, my mom had leftovers, I made a lobster omelet AND my mom had yet another meal from it. I think there's STILL some left.

I recommend Tadich for a lobster thermidor fix, for sure.

Jan 14, 2010
annalulu in San Francisco Bay Area

Best fried chicken in LA? where is it?

Nobody will believe me, but here is my recommendation:
I was craving fried chicken yesterday, so I found it funny that this thread was at the top of the Chow list when I logged on. We tossed around a few of the suggestions, but then decided to hit up a restaurant near my friend's house because we were curious. I put having fried chicken out of my head and was ready to order pasta or steak.

The restaurant? The Barkley Restaurant & Bar in South Pasadena. Yes, old black vinyl booths, nobody under 50 in sight.

I was amused to see fried chicken on the menu and figured I'd go ahead and give it a shot. I had no hopes at all for it, but I couldn't resist.

It was REALLY REALLY GOOD. Now, I'm no fried chicken expert, but I agree with what most posters are saying. I don't like it greasy, I like the meat as well as the coating to be well seasoned, and I like it moist. This chicken was all of those things. It's not cheap, rolls (VERY GOOD!) salad/soup, and half a chicken in pieces with a small lump of unadorned mashed potatoes and some nice steamed veggies was $15. But it was worth it. The leftovers I had for lunch held up great, nice meaty pieces, not too much fat and flavorful throughout.

Would love to hear if any brave souls give it a shot. You may be surprised!

The Barkley Restaurant and Bar
1400 Huntington Dr
South Pasadena, CA 91030
(626) 799-0758

Nov 24, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

The Best Breakfast Sandwich

The York on York in Highland Park does an egg sandwich on a flaky, buttery croissant with bacon, over medium egg, arugula, tomato, and white cheddar.

It is FANTASTIC.

Sunday only from 10:30am to around 2:30pm.

Nov 14, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Umami Burger, Los Feliz - Really?

I finally visited this location of Umami Burger, but for one specific reason. The "happy hour" special in the bar of $4 draft beers and the Smash Burger, which is a REALLY juicy burger with grilled onions, "artisan" American cheese, and pickles. No fries, no garnish, but a REALLY REALLY good, dripping burger. It's only at the bar, and I believe the hours are from 4 to 7. The burger comes out as is, take it or leave it. For $5.00, I'll take it.

Also, Monroe, our bartender, was extremely good at his job.

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Umami Burger
850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Nov 03, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Oktoberfest is a scam - Next year, you're forewarned: caveat emptor!

and they didn't even spell "bear" correctly! Jeez! I'd rather NOT bare anything with those people!

Oct 11, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Loungey Bachelor-Party Bars in Downtown

I also veto Bottega Louie. LOUD and the bar area seating is pretty uncomfortable.

I want to recommend the revolving bar at the Westin Bonaventure, but it's not cool in any way, in fact, it's almost kitschy. That said, I've always had a relaxed, good time there, they serve food, the drinks are pretty good, and there's a bit of a view.

I'm sure some better ideas will come along!

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The Westin Bonaventure Hotel And Suites
404 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA

Oct 09, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Oysters Rockefeller ?

The Dal Rae does it, and it's not too far of a drive.

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Dal Rae
9023 E. Washington Blvd., Pico Rivera, CA 90660

Oct 01, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

First date help! "Deep" valley Encino/Reseda/Northridge? Tues. Sept. 15th.

I love The Sherman Room, and I did consider it!
Date went well, we ended up eating at Versailles. It was.. . okay, I love how they get that crispy skin on the chicken, but I made a huge mistake and ordered it with BBQ sauce and that was straight out of a jar.

Second date was at Henry's Hat, very fun place and excellent fish and chips!

Sep 21, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

First date help! "Deep" valley Encino/Reseda/Northridge? Tues. Sept. 15th.

Thank you everyone! Don't laugh, but. . .um. . . we are going to meet in the lounge at Corbin Bowl! PERFECT! Am storing away the suggestions for another time, though!

Sep 15, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

First date help! "Deep" valley Encino/Reseda/Northridge? Tues. Sept. 15th.

EEK!

Tomorrow! Tuesday, Sept. 15th!!

First date, he's in Thousand Oaks I'm in L.A. proper. Midway point (taking into account that I'll be driving in somewhat worse traffic,) seems to be Encino area. We are meeting around 7PM, so it doesn't have to be a late night place.

Ideal: FUNKY/GOOFY, but with decent beer/cocktails. Seriously, like a lounge in a bowling alley, a bingo night at a Lions Club hall, something really weird would be perfect.

Barring that, a straight up bar or a restaurant with bar lounge area would be second choice. Obviously, a good place to talk without a loud band (unless it's a polka band.)

Does not have to be trendy (god forbid!) Just comfortable. A place where we could maybe sit for a while if the convo goes well.

I'm at a loss! I like the Stovepiper, but they have sports going all the time and that won't work. Have looked at Vino Wine Room in Encino, and it's a little "nicer" than I was hoping for, but the vibe might work.

I wish I had more time!

Sep 14, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Charlotte, NC Saturday Brunch/Lunch 10-15 ppl HELP! (plus a few other requests!)

Ikymettle, thanks!!! Wow, so many options, I can't wait to forward the links and assure everyone we will eat and drink well!

jrc31957, I will look into Cajun Queen, sounds like a blast.

Thanks again!

Sep 12, 2009
annalulu in General South Archive

Charlotte, NC Saturday Brunch/Lunch 10-15 ppl HELP! (plus a few other requests!)

There is a music festival happening in Charlotte Sept 24-26 and a bunch of us are flying in from all over the country. We have no idea what Charlotte has to offer and there is nothing worse than a bunch of people standing around, trying to figure out where to go.

I'm trying to plan a few things, somewhat location dependent.

The first is Wednesday night, I'm going to a show at the Visulite Theater at
1615 Elizabeth Avenue.
Is there any hope of a bar with food, or late night restaurant, that might be open Wednesday night? Can be a diner type of place, just somewhere that will be open at least past midnight.

Second, I'm trying to get a group together for brunch/lunch. We are attending early performances at the Festival in the Park at Freedom Lake Park. We'll be done around noon, but we want to get back to the park by 4. There will be 10-15 of us, no real dietary restrictions, but variety is always good! Is there anything around there? Perhaps a place we can make a reservation, since the party might be large?

FINALLY, is there anyplace good to eat/drink near Queens University?

Thanks so much, we are flying without a net and on a tight schedule, so exploring isn't really an option!

Sep 12, 2009
annalulu in General South Archive

Decent Mexican food between LAX and Culver City, open past 10.

I'd like to try that place some other time. Unfortunately, my guest REALLY wants Mexican food as soon as she gets off the plane. I'll keep poking around!

Jul 16, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Decent Mexican food between LAX and Culver City, open past 10.

I'm picking up a friend at LAX to take her to the Tattle Tale room and the Scarlet Lady (I know, I know, I'm a classy broad,) on Sepulveda. She really wants to get some good Mexican food first. Her plane is supposed to land around 8, meaning she won't be in my car until 8:30PM or so.

Any suggestions of where to go to eat?

Thanks!!

Jul 15, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Divey Birthday Rec w/ Patio?

lowenbrou keller has been gone over a year now. It's "Medusa's Lounge" and I haven't tried it. But it's not the same German place.

Jul 09, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Best Prepared Grocery Store Chicken to Go?

I'm a fan of the Gelson's Lemon Herb chicken myself. Fantastic, and perfect every time.

Jul 08, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

shopsin's-like restaurant.

Granted, I haven't been to Millie's in about a year, but what is "weird" about their menu or the service? The servers tend to have tattoos, but are unfailingly sweet, and the owners are wonderful, always working hard to refill waters and coffees and the food is hearty and good.

The menu is just your basic egg dishes, pancakes, waffles, burgers, and sandwiches.

I have heard that back in the '90s, Millie's was a bit odd, but I've been going since 2000 and never experienced anything beyond typical divey diner service.

Jul 02, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Now *THAT'S* an egg sandwich! The York in Highland Park

oooh, I love Little Dom's for breakfast, but it has gotten crazy crowded in the last few months! Used to be able to walk right in! They do reservations through opentable.com, a plus in my book. The bar is too small for my solo dining tendencies, though. Good spot for celeb spotting.

Jun 07, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Now *THAT'S* an egg sandwich! The York in Highland Park

I often dine alone and seem to have fallen into a breakfast rut since I like old restaurants and I love counter seating. My stand by is the Tallyrand in Burbank, but I'll hit Frank's now and then. If I'm feeling "fancy" I'll brave a short wait at Millie's, but parking is so nasty, I often skip it.

This morning, I remembered that The York in Highland Park offers a brunch on weekends. I love the idea of being in a bar during the day, plus I have had some very good meals there. Good vibe, good music, good laid back crowd there too.

They open at 10:30AM on Sunday, I arrived around 11 and there were only a few people there. Ordering is done at the bar, menus are on the walls only. I felt bad watching new people come in, sit for 10 minutes, wonder where their "waiter" was, then finally get the run down from the bartenders. I guess this is how we learn.

Since I was at the bar already, i set up with a pear cider on tap and a cup of coffee. The coffee is fine, served in a tall clear glass mug, which I find endlessly amusing. I feel like I have to hold my pinky out to drink it. They offer only a few breakfast basics, a couple of specials, plus the full dinner menu. I decided on the croissant egg sandwich.

Oh lord, was this a great breakfast sandwich! The croissant was flaky and seemed fresh baked. It was possibly heated in an oven, definitely not microwaved, though. The eggs were over hard, but not TOO hard, the bacon was high quality but not TOO thick, and the cheese. Oh god the cheese. I don't remember now, I believe it's a mild-ish white cheddar. Melted to absolute perfect consistency, it mingled with the egg and draped over the bacon just so. A few pieces of arugula added just the tiniest kick to the creation. Comes with wedge potatoes, I ignored them for the most part, although they were fine.

this is the kind of breakfast sandwich I wake up craving and didn't know where to find. Now I know.

Sandwich, pear cider, cup of coffee came to $19 including tax. Smiths and then the Pixies on the cd player an added bonus.

Wow, I sure wrote a long post about a sandwich!

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The York
5018 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Jun 07, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Old-School LA Recs?

Wow, this is great! thanks for the update! I believe he was at Mikado, that weird, old "Japanese" place right off the 134 in the Valley. I forget where. We went once just to see what he was doing and it was. . .odd. But this is more to my liking!

May 18, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Great burgers in Glendale?

I will agree about Gold Star. It looks like a really greasy, cheesy place, but the staff is very attentive and the food is good! They are always cleaning in there, not what I expected from the looks of it.

It's just "order at the counter" fast food, but they throw a few Mexi favorites in there and I had a really nice grilled ham and cheese the last time I went.

May 18, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Old-School LA Recs?

I am a huge fan of the Venice Room, but it doesn't really fit the bill. Service consists of a server bringing you your drinks and MAYBE, if you are lucky, pointing to the grill where your steak will be placed. What I'm saying is, there is no service to speak of. Also, the only thing on the "menu" is the steak. You get a baked potato and a roll with it. There is also chilled iceberg you serve yourself (the Ranch is the only worthwhile dressing.) If there is a Lakers game or karaoke, it gets LOUD!

It sounds like I'm knocking it, but I'm not, I LOVE IT, but it's not in the same league with any of these places. It's pretty much a dive with a great steak source.

Dal Rae is my fave from the lists, though.

May 09, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Somewhere new/good around Arclight for tonight?

I had a decent meal at Ivan Kane's Cafe Was. Service was top notch, the mixed drink menu was delicious (pricey, but worth it.) Not a cheap place to go, but they usually offer a prix fixe that's a nice deal. Good options between the tiny starters, up through apps and salads, and larger, meatier entrees.

May 01, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Pasta Carbonara with Peas

The sweet/"green" taste of the peas cuts the richness of the egg and the saltiness of the pork. I LOVE it with peas!

May 01, 2009
annalulu in Recipes

LA Grilled Cheese Invitational

From what I remember about last year it's not much of a spectator event if you expect to eat. The people competing can only make so much so there were MOBS at each station as sandwiches were finished.

Maybe this year they will have vendors, but I left hungry last time. Also, not a fan of pushing and shoving for something I can easily make in the comfort of my own home. People got a little out of control!

Mar 30, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Decent Breakfast: South Redondo?

in my experience, if you can get there before 9, or maybe 9:30AM, you shouldn't have too much of a wait. They really keep things moving there.

Mar 27, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area

Allston Yacht Club in Echo Park?

I was going to a show at the Echoplex and I remembered reading about Allston Yacht Club. It was a Saturday night and I was so relieved they took reservations. I was curious about The Park and Elf Cafe, but with no reservations on a Saturday night, I just didn't want to risk it. Also, Allston Yacht club has a full bar, always a plus in my book!

I had a stunning cocktail featuring violet infused syrup. A real winner, and very refreshing.

I don't know a thing about wine, but the prices were reasonable and my dining companion seemed to think the limited selection was well thought out. I had a glass of Chardonnay with the salmon and it was just right.

Here is the great thing about this place. Nothing on the menu is over $9. Yes, it's "small plates" and the selections range from green papaya salad to plank roasted salmon to braised brussels sprouts. Everything was nicely paced and it was easy and fun to share. We ended with a baked apple tart, it was just right.

A plus here? Really comfortable seating! They offer valet parking, it can be a little tight in the neighborhood.

Another plus for us, but not for the business, is that it never got very crowded. I wish them the best because I think it's a really nice neighborhood place.

Mar 23, 2009
annalulu in Los Angeles Area