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Animal Review

Last night's dinner was terrific. Dinner was casual, leisurely, and straight-out yummy. Service was great, and wine suggestions were good. We had an overall good experience.
We ordered the chicken liver toast (yum), the hamachi tostada (AMAZING!), roasted bone marrow (very nice), poutine (it was good), and the BBQ pork belly (lovely). That tostada was so good, I still can taste it in the back of my mouth 24 hours later.
For dessert we tried the bacon crunch bar (that S&P ice cream was something special...the rest was okay) and the cheesecake pudding (admittedly, anything cheesecake-y that I can get my husband to enjoy is good...but on a serious note, I liked it...didn't love it, but liked it just fine).
Thanks to everyone for their input.

Feb 10, 2014
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

Animal Review

I'm set to go there this weekend. I'm so excited, and yet so sad that foie is no longer on the table. The poutine and bone marrow are definitely on my list of must eats, and it sounds like I should eat the hamachi, too. Any other recs from CHs who have recently gone?

Thanks!

Feb 04, 2014
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

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

Providence...hand down winner each time I go.

Jan 30, 2014
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

Hip Trendy Birthday Dinner

Sorry, I meant I'm not sure what's around the neighborhood should they want to do a nightcap or hangout nearby afterwards. DTLA is nice because of all the bars and lounges that are close by.

Jan 29, 2014
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

Europane ???? Is it still good for egg salad sandwiches ?????

It remains amazing. I had one a few months ago.

Jan 25, 2014
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

Hip Trendy Birthday Dinner

Would love to try Trois Mec, but don't know what my cousins would think of the neighborhood.

Jan 24, 2014
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

Hip Trendy Birthday Dinner

Thanks, all! I'm loving the Alma/Bestia idea with a stop at the Ace for drinks. Eveleigh...I've wanted to try for sometime, and Hinoki and the Bird...I've wanted to hit up since I saw the chef compete on Top Chef. I'm going to present to the cousins and see where this takes us.

Jan 24, 2014
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

Hip Trendy Birthday Dinner

Mid-30s. They don't get out sans husbands and kids often, so when they do, they like a scene and dress the part. However, we all agree that we're too old for the club scene.

Jan 18, 2014
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

Hip Trendy Birthday Dinner

I adore Providence, but it's not as hip and trendy for my cousin. She rarely goes into L.A., and a civilized first-class dinner won't do it for her. The Mozzas are fun, but not dressy enough for her. As you can tell, she's a bit hard to please.
I like the idea of Bestia and Alma. The close proximity to the Varnish or nice bar would be great to cap off a night of birthday fun. Thanks!

Jan 17, 2014
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

Hip Trendy Birthday Dinner

If you were going to ask me where to have a great birthday dinner, give me some general parameters and I'll point you in the right direction. Add trendy and hip in, and I'm in trouble.
My cousins want to do a hip and trendy L.A. birthday dinner in March. I'm assigned the task of finding the right place. While I'm adept at finding delicious food, I'm inept at determining what's hip and trendy at the moment.
They had suggested The Bazaar, but we hit Jaleo in Vegas when we were last there together. I had considered the new Hakkasan in BH, but think that might skew more towards the club scene than dinner. Perch was also on the list, but being that it's a place known for the view, I'm not sure how the food is.
Any area of LA from DTLA to the Westside works. They won't think the South Bay and Valley is trendy enough. Open to any type of cuisine. Budget is about $100/pp including drinks.
Please help...I would be extraordinarily grateful.
Thanks!

Jan 17, 2014
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

New Bay Seafood Opens In Alhambra

Thanks all for your recs. I'm going to make a reservation now. The birthday is next month. I hope there's abalone and geoduck available.

Oct 23, 2013
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

New Bay Seafood Opens In Alhambra

ipsedixit, If no, any suggestions? I'm not entirely familiar with SGV for dinner. We usually go to the OC for dinner, but I want to take my Mom somewhere delicious and new. Thanks!

Oct 22, 2013
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

New Bay Seafood Opens In Alhambra

I'm looking for a place to host my Mom's 60th birthday dinner. She's an avid seafood-eating fan. Would this be appropriate for a family dinner? The family's not big on spicy Chinese. Just looking for a nice place to have a good meal to celebrate in the SGV. No specific budget. Party of at least 10. Thanks in advance.

Oct 21, 2013
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

Dinner and drinks (open later than 10PM) in Palm Springs

We're out in the Palm Springs/Palm Desert area for a friend's birthday. My friend made a reservation for a local Mexican place only to find out that it closes at 10PM. Any chow worthy places around here that stay open past 10PM? Open to any cuisine. Budget set to about $50 per person drinks included.
Thanks!

Aug 17, 2013
attran99 in California

Anyone tried or seen the "Cotton Candy" grapes in L.A.?

They used to be available at Sprouts, but I didn't see them last year.

Aug 14, 2013
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

Upland Tonight

Caffe Allegro in downtown on 2nd Street. French/Italian. We used to go there quite often when we lived in the area. Do not go to Christophe's. It's just not that great for the prices they charge.
There's plenty of sushi in Upland, too. Arigato on Foothill was a haunt of ours. Not a fan of the Mora teppanyaki place down the street.
If you're willing to drive another 15 mins or so to Chino, go to Owen's Bistro (New American). Dinners there are amazing. Chef James and his wife, Denise, will take good care of you.
Claremont offers Back Abbey for beers and great burgers.

Aug 06, 2013
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

DineLA Summer 2013 (7/15-26)

DineLA #1 - Stefan's at LA Farm
My husband and I are big fans of Stefan from Top Chef, so we decided to give this place a try. The restaurant itself is lovely and chic. The service was okay and the food only so-so. There were two choices for each of the 6 courses offered, so naturally, we decided to turn 6 courses into 12. The food was okay, not done as well as we thought. It just didn't make that great of an impression. Our pork tenderloin came out super chewy, at first, and they fired another one. Same result...cooked well, but the protein was gristly-like. So it wasn't the technique because it was slightly pink, it was more inferior quality of the protein. Chef was not in the house as he was on vacation that night. Stefan's at LA Farm...not a winner.

DineLA #2 - Drago Centro
A friend and I met up for dinner. He was running a tinge late, so I hung out at the bar to enjoy some wine. The restaurant is lovely, modern, and sleek. The bar and lounge area was very nice, too. I found out that they offer an all-day happy hour with nicely priced drinks and snacks.
Once my friend arrived, we were seated in a lovely corner booth. Service was swift and thoughtful. Dinner was terrific as well. The tagliatelini with seafood ragu was so good. Seafood cooked perfectly, and the broth...well, it was amazing. Pasta was slightly overcooked, but it was delicious. The duck confit and summer vegetable risotto was almost perfect. Risotto was perfect...I loved it. The duck confit was good, but wasn't perfect because the skin was missing the crispness that I'm used to. Dessert was a vanilla panna cotta with roasted figs. It was a nice way to end the meal. I enjoyed the wine pairings with each course. Drago Centro was a winner.

Jul 24, 2013
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

Tips on purchasing a wine storage unit

The insulation in our current house is not great, and the house doesn't have ample closet space that would allow me to store wine properly. I don't mind spending a bit to ensure peace of mind.
Ideally, the wines should age 5 years...with 2 being the bare minimum if I'm unable to exercise patience.
I'm thinking dual temperature control is a must, and I'm getting that humidity control is unnecessary. A quiet model would be good, too, as the unit would be going in our bedroom. Anything else I should look for or makes/models of units that I should consider. We've about 25 bottles now, how big should we go?

Jun 25, 2013
attran99 in Wine

Tips on purchasing a wine storage unit

My husband and I just recently returned from a trip to Napa where we shipped home about two cases of wine. Now the dilemma is how to store it properly. We're looking to purchase a wine storage unit, and are a little intimidated after doing some initial research online. There are so many tips and so many options.
Some info on what we currently own:
Mixture of reds, whites, and sparklings.
There are about 5-7 ready to drink reds.
We have a few reds that we're planning on aging for at least another couple of years before we can open them.
Total bottle current bottle count 25.
Any tips, advice, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Jun 24, 2013
attran99 in Wine

First trip to Seattle (from Florida), looking for ideas

It was Piroshky Piroshky. Had trouble remembering the name.

Jun 20, 2013
attran99 in Greater Seattle

First trip to Seattle (from Florida), looking for ideas

This thread was terrific. We made it to the Walrus and the Caprenter for an amazing seafood-focused meals. The food was nice and clean...and not at all pretentious. We were quoted an 1.5 hour wait and only waited about half an hour. The neighborhood wasn't what we were expecting (so industrial there was no way we thought a great restaurant could be here), but food and service was terrific. I'm a fan of the Kumamotos and the smoked trout. Loved the foie (because we're from L.A. and it's illegal) and the steak tartare, too.
Didn't make it to Palace Kitchen, but we went to Dahlia for dessert and drinks and Lola for breakfast/brunch. Loved the drinks and dessert at Dahlia...homemade doughnuts with fresh strawberry jam and passion fruit tart were outstanding. Coconut cream pie was good, but I'm just not a fan of coconut. The eggs Benedict at Lola was outstanding.
We had a really nice dinner at Restaurant Zoe, too. Simple, clean flavors makes the food really shine.
The rest of our meals were taken at Pike Place Market, We were big fans of Le Panier and the Russian pastry place next door. That smoked salmon pasty was delish.

Jun 19, 2013
attran99 in Greater Seattle

Napa Valley Wine Tours...without a car

Thanks, maria and goldangl95...for some terrific recs. We were most impressed with Adastra...so impressed we joined their wine club. Chris Thorpe gave us an amazing tour of his property and showed us the entire Adastra line up. His winery was the kind of winery we had envisioned visiting...small, personable, and a true love of the land.
Etude, Luna, Darioush, and Trefethen were excellent recs, too. We bought all of our gift wines from those locations. Darioush was some adventure...that place was almost one the the last places on Earth that would have tasty wine. The Persian palace really throws you off.
We weren't able to go to Shafer, and a warning to everyone out there, if you want Relentless, they won't sell it to you unless you go on the tour. The consider if sold out. This made me sad.

Jun 19, 2013
attran99 in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Napa Valley Wine Tours...without a car

Thanks, vday, for the excellent rec. We toured with Bruce at Wine Country Safari while we were in town. He was super knowledgeable and took us to some wonderful small producers. We learned a lot about wine, wine tasting, wine making, and wine purchasing.
We spent our rainy day touring the Calistoga/St. Helena area. We went to Frank Family Winery (champagne and Cab), V Madrone (Pinot Noir and Cab), Heitz Cellers (port) , Midsummer Cellars (Pinot Noir and Cab), and Delgadillo Cellars (aged Cab). Each of the stops was informative and delicious. DH and I became big fans of the Heitz Port and the Delgadillo Cabs. Delgadillo cabs were all aged at least 9 years...we were tasting 2003 and 2004 vintages. They were all spectacular. The tour ran longer than we anticipated, so don't make early dinner reservations if you decide to tour with Wine Country Safari.
We were impressed with the personal service that we got at each winery. The smaller the producer, the better sense we got about the winemaker. This was exactly the kind of tour that I had envisioned going on. I would be more than happy to tour with him, again.

Jun 19, 2013
attran99 in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa Cheap Eats

Thanks LaBounaForchetta and CarrieWas218. We hit up Ca'Momi and Dean and Deluca while we were there. Managed to eat pretty well without breaking the bank. The pizza crust at Ca'Momi was one of the best I've had. I love how it's a little salty. The displays at Dean and Deluca should be enough to attract visitors. They were both great options.
We also hit up Gott's and I fell in love with the tuna tacos. It was like poke/sushi in a taco shell. Especially nice because it was a warm day.

Jun 18, 2013
attran99 in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa Valley Wine Tours...without a car

Thanks, maria! This list is terrific We'll be there this weekend.

Jun 03, 2013
attran99 in San Francisco Bay Area

Long Beach eats walking distance from Shoreline Marina

Queen Mary brunch is indeed not worth it.

Mar 29, 2013
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

Napa Cheap Eats

My husband and I are headed to Napa for 4 days (from L.A.), and we're set on wineries to visit and fine dining. One thing we're not set on is occasional lunches and dinners that are more moderately priced. We're staying in downtown Napa, and will be tasting in the Yountville and St. Helena areas. I saw the two threads regarding cheap eats (meal for two drinks and perhaps a dessert for $50 or less total). I'm aware of the food trucks, Gott's, and Oxbow Public Market. We're open to all cuisines, and wouldn't mind going to places that the locals go to.

Thanks!

Mar 29, 2013
attran99 in San Francisco Bay Area

Reservations at Pizzeria Mozza

You have to call them everyday...up to the day that you want to go. I was only offered 5PM and 10PM reservations when I called to get reservations 2 weeks in advance. However, when I called the day of my reservation as soon as the lines open for the day, they were able to get us in at 8PM. It's almost as if they hold on to reservations until the last possible chance. Keep calling...good luck!

Feb 22, 2013
attran99 in Los Angeles Area

Seattle specialties

This thread is perfect! My cousins and I are traveling up (from L.A.) in June for UW commencement. We're looking forward to trying anything that's the best of and quintessentially Seattle.

Feb 18, 2013
attran99 in Greater Seattle

First trip to Seattle (from Florida), looking for ideas

This list is great. We're coming into town (from L.A.) for my cousin's UW graduation in June. This board is going to give us a lot of ideas. Which Tom Douglas location do you suggest? I've seen him on Top Chef and love his enthusiasm and approach to food.
Is Salume still a good place to go to? I love charcuterie.
We're looking for quintessential Seattle dining.

Feb 17, 2013
attran99 in Greater Seattle