FallingLeaves's Profile

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now that it's back, where are the best foie gras dishes?

I was served what I believe to be Foie Gras as one of the many courses featured at chef LQ 's black truffle dinner at Vertical Wine Bar a few weeks ago. But the dish was exquisitely tasty. Plus black galore with every dish.
I am sure Foie Gras at the Vertical will be outstanding if they serve it on their menu.

Large Chinese Seafood Restaurant Opening in Hacienda Heights?

Quality is relative. While many others have praised, I found dim sum quality at Alhambra's SH has been consistent and much better than most other "discounted" dim sum places. Service is also above average. The fact that SH Alhambra has deeply discounted their dim sum without affecting quality should be shared with all Chow Hounds.

Large Chinese Seafood Restaurant Opening in Hacienda Heights?

Yes. that will be a branch of Sai Hai in Alhambra. We had dinner at Alhambra's Sai Hai last month and learned from the manager that the new branch will have Karaoke equipment in most of their VIP rooms. Karaoke is only available in the largest VIP room in Alhambra's Sai Hai.
For dinner, we ordered an Alaskan king crab at the promotional price of $11/lb. Also the Alhambra Sai Hai is now discounting their dim sum prices by 40% M-F and by 20% on weekends. Quality did not seem to have suffered despite the deep discounts.

2014 Top Ten Tastes

An impressive plate indeed but were's the "b..." smoked fish?

Little Hong Kong Cafe Closed

Wanted to get some lunch at Little Hong Kong Cafe on Sawtelle the day after Christmas but saw a sign on their closed door saying that they are closing after 20 years.
Had a few decent lunch there in the past.
We ate at Tatsu ramen a couple doors down instead. Line not as long as Tsujita's. Ramen was tasty. iPad ordering upon entry is novel.

Sweet Crush and Surfas

I went to Surfas this afternoon for some champagne vinegar and encountered their self-serve black and white truffle 'flavored' oil tasting station. Chunks of bread were provided. I liked the taste and aroma of the white truffle oil better than the black truffle version. Almost like the real thing with my eyes closed.

Bistro LQ's 18 course Truffle Menu

Oscetra caviar, foie gras, pigeons, veal kidneys & sweetbreads, bison, bear, crispy snails, etc. Plus truffles? Absolutely irresistible to me.
Sunday was sold out. Made reservations for Monday@8pm.
See you there.

Ipsedixit Was Right--Visit To New Port Seafood Beverly Hills

Exactly, why is acceptable mid-eastern food is only found mostly around Westwood and Glendale but not in the nearby Century City or Burbank?

K-town seafood "omakase on acid" style

I borrowed the "O O A" term from a recent K-town sushi post.
I enjoyed, for the first time, the $100+ set menu seafood at O Dae San after it was written up, with praise, by the Los Angeles Times staff many years ago.
Too bad that O Dae San is now a K-BBQ.
Please rate the restaurants that are currently serving this style of Korean seafood as outstanding (best), excellent, very good and good.

k-town sushi

How does Korean sushi differs from Japanese sushi?

Has Empress Pavilion reopened?

I went to EP yesterday at 10:15am The take-out storefront was not yet open. But I detected activities behind the frosted glass doors. I ventured in and learned that they were serving limited dim-sum specials menu M-F from 8a-11a at $1.98 each. Several local elders were ordering take-out dim sums from the restaurant. I was told that after 11a and on weekends, their full dim sum menu (priced similar to or perhaps higher than Ocean Seafood) will be available. I now wonders if Ocean Seafood has similar early bird discounts?
Tea service is $1.20 per person. What is novel is that there is a $2.00 per person (and perhaps per serving) sauce charge. The server told me that she gave have half chili and half mustard together and only charge me one serving.
Compared to the well orchestrated fundraising dinner at EP that I had attended, yesterday's dim sum crew were not ready. For example, while the hostess did an excellent job, there were zero waiters, ladies pushing carts has to do double duty to deliver and refill tea and to take the check.
I asked to see their lunch and dinner menu but was told that they are still being printed and that their chef can accommodate most requests. I have no doubt that they have competent cooks in the kitchen but at what price?
I was also given a nicely printed brochure listing various banquet and VIP room menu that ranged from $398-$988 for a table of 10.
I awaits reports when EP is fully functional.
PS. Parking is $2/30mins up to $5 max. "No validation" was clearly printed on the early-bird dim sum menu.

Koi ponds?

Outside the Corner Bakery at the Gardens at the Commons Calabasas has a nice setup. Has both turtles and Kois. Smaller scale than other Caruso's developments such as the Grove or the Americana at Brand.
Links with 5 photos to scroll thru:

I do not know if the Corner Bakery serves alcohols. Nearby restaurants definitely do. The garden is not associated with any specific business but is adjacent and open to all.


If you have never been to Saam, then it will be a worthwhile first experience with molecular cooking at a fair price. However, the final price will double or more if one select the more refined/costly wine pairing option.
Saam is my standby to wow the molecularly un-initiated out-of-towners.
Unfortunately, apart from their annual truffle tasting menu, which is available now. Saam tends to repeat their more popular/successful items while adding few new items from year to year. This type of "new/exortic" style of cooking WOWs first timers but gets boring very fast for repeated customers. For example, it is both fun and novel to see smoke come out one's nostrils in a mirror while chewing on tasteless popcorn dipped in liquid nitrogen for the first time. But do it again and again is stupid.
However, Saam get my repeated business because I constantly have new visitors from out of town.

Sushi - who serves Ono?

I don't know if wahoo is ono or not. But the first and last time I had wahoo served sashimi style was at one of the AYCE buffet at Scarpetta's a few years ago. The fish had an amazing transparent light pink hue throughout and tasted head and shoulder fresher and cleaner than any other sashimi I had in LA.
Unfortunately, it was not offered on my subsequent visits.

rangoon kitchen in san gabriel

Sorry, I did not write down their posted email address. Perhaps they have not updated their website.

rangoon kitchen in san gabriel

Wanted to try this place for lunch last weekend. But the place was closed with signs saying that they are relocating and to email them for additional info.

How's Mo-Chica now that Chef Ricardo Zarate is Gone?

Too bad the restaurant is now in turmoil. I was invited for the first time to Picca for dinner last weekend. We scored a table at 8:45p for our party of seven. The place was hopping when we arrived. We ordered two of almost every first plates to share. Food started to show up 30 minutes after our order. We finished our meal with the baby beef ribs as our main course. Followed with 3 out of the 4 deserts offered. Everyone especially enjoyed their delicate versions of macaroons.

Annual Sons of Norway Lutefisk & Meatball Dinner

I went last year. The main attraction, the all you can eat lutefisk, was served warm and has a uniquely dense yet spongy gelatinous texture. Very mild tasting. One adds the desired amount of melted butter to flavor. The more that better. The added butter also make it more slippery and effortless to swallow. A novel way to boost my daily cholesterol supplement. I liked it.
The food from the rest of the menu were all tasty.
They sell two kinds of "frozen" Norwegian aquavit shots in plastic cups to accompany the feast. One was standard issue aquavit and the other has a light golden tint and a special name that I cannot recall indicating that it has travelled in its cask on a boat that had sailed from Norway, pass the equator and return to Norway. A unique way of barrel aging.

L.A. Dish Of the Month, November 2014 -- Nominations

White truffle. Because it is in season.

Another Wonderful Dinner at Chi Spacca

Four of us went last night. Had called to make reservation and was told it was either 5:30p or 9:30p. We were late and showed up at 6p and were promptly seated. There were only two other table seated with one table of 6 next to us near finishing.
Having read the this board's and other's recommendations, we ordered the affettat misti, pickles, and pane biancop with bistacca drippings for appetizers and the 50oz bistecca fiorentina and grilled broccolini as main dish.
The server was delightful and clearly explained everything on the menu to us. We were told that the porterhouse would be cooked only one way and if it were too rare, we can ask to put it back on the grill and cook the carved individual pieces to our likings
The first courses were as delightful as recommended.
The porterhouse was impressive to look at when presented. Perfectly charred allover. We started with the filet side first and everyone enjoyed the flavor and the tenderness of the filet pieces.
Unfortunately, the New York side of the steak was also cooked to medium doneness with no visible pink/redness left. We then realized that it is not possible to un-cook an over-cooked steak. We each took a bite of each of our medium NY steak cuts and all agree that is was tough but not yet chewy. We gave up and ask for the rest of the steak be packed to go. Perhaps they have a new trainee manning the grill last evening.
A warning, the grilled broccolini on the menu yesterday is to be avoided at all cost if it ever shows up again. Burnt on the outside, stringy and overdone on the inside.
By the time we left at 8 pm, the bar seats by the grill are filling up and three empty tables remains. These dinners, like us are probably fashionably late for their reservations.
Final verdict, not going back for the porterhouse.

Splitting from Best LA Trout thread

I am indignant!
A fellow hound that doesn't care about the source of his trout and state as a matter of fact that no one else really cares.
And then to proclaim that "There is NO advantage in ... lying about the trout." This is definitely not true. There is always a clear advantage/motive in every lie.
I did not imply that any one lied. But I am the "the eternal sceptic".
I wonder why one would advertise and sell a product that was transported frozen thousands miles instead of selling one that is readily available fresh locally? Unless it is a Mickey D.

Has Empress Pavilion reopened?

I was deferring to chandavki to report.
However, in his absence, I submit the following:
From hearsay, the answer is Empress Pavilion will probably open for regular business by the end of the year.
Now about Saturday's fundraising event at EP.
The old EP has been remodeled. Everything appears renewed. However, the old EP is still recognizable.
The event was a full house with over 50 tables celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Chinatown's St. Bridget Chinese Catholic Church @ $75 per ticket. I can't think of a more appropriate price.
All the luminaries were there. Both Pope Francis and Mayor Garcetti placed full page addresses on the program.
Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, Edward Clark, Congress women Judy Chow and Assembly member Ed Chau gave praise in person.
For dinner entertainments, there were lion dance, magic shows, raffles and other performances.
The male and female servers were dressed in complimentary uniforms displaying the restaurant's logo and most were also wearing wireless earpieces. Someone must be monitoring the place and remotely running the show. Casino style perhaps. I have seen similar communication devices in use in places such as Ding Tai Fung. For the banquet, the service was both courteous and efficient.
And the food : at par with fund raising events at this price point.
Satisfactory and no one was disappointed.
As this is an one off event, it cannot be any indication of what is to be expected of the future EP.
My guess is that EP will be more than competitive when it re-opens.
The $5 parking was $1 with validation.

Splitting from Best LA Trout thread

If no one really cares, then why does all supermarket now prominently display the source of all their seafood? My understanding is that there had been rampant mislabeling in the seafood industry.
Also can anyone confirm that Little fork's trout is in fact farmed IQF that comes in a box? Management included.

Splitting from Best LA Trout thread

>Pikey's whole Idaho trout ... is ...
>I love the smoked brook trout at Littlefork
I am the eternal sceptic.
Where is the proof that they are serving Idaho trout rather than CA trout, or a rainbow rather than a brook (two different species)?
Several well known restaurants ran into trouble in the past by advertising 'Kobe beef' on their menu but served something else.
Of note, I was served a cod dish at Saam last year. I asked the server whether it was lingcod, black cod, rock cod or true cod. The server didn't know and went to ask the kitchen. The answer was black cod (which is not a cod).
Back to Idaho trout, was it wild caught brook, rainbow, brown, cutthroat or otherwise some hybrids that are farmed.
Idaho has a robust trout farming program. So does CA.
I fail to apprehend the superiority of the Idaho version vs the freshness of CA grown version.
One can buy a life, swimming trout (origin unknown but most likely CA) , for dinner at any one of the Asian Supermarkets, but unfortunately, never at any Asian restaurants that I know of.
What gives?

Giang Nan closed. Where will I get my chestnut clay pot chicken now?

There are good commies and there are bad commies. For example the Mao's Kitchen chain is not the same as Hunan Mao.

The Tokyo-LA Sushi Gap is Closing

Not by miles, since the US and especially CA has bans on importing most politically incorrect, exotic fishes.
For example, I used to be able to order fugu with its cooked skin served on the side at the Hump for lunch while watching planes land and take off, before they were closed down for serving endangered whale sushi. I remember seeing whale meat and by extension whale sushi on display at every other restaurants on certain Tokyo side streets. Just like I saw dog meat openly advertised on certain side streets in Beijing.
As a hound, I will travel to where the chow is available to the best of my ability.
To St. Petersburg for legal authentic beluga caviar. To Las Vegas for legal shark fins soup.
PS. not all shark species are endangered due to overfishing. The less expensive, common types may be. The fins from more costly species are not eaten everyday by everyone. For example, Sea Harbor used to serve a version of a $200/ounce shark fins that I enjoyed. 1.5 to 2 oz will make a respectable bowl of soup per person. IMO, I doubt this kind of quality shark fins will ever be harvested to extinction. But it is also banned like the cheap stuff.

chinese in beverly hills?

>This is about Vibrato and not Chinese in BH.

Was there last week with Stallone's brother singing/performing. $25/person cover. Looks just the movie star brother. Singing not bad. The place was packed. Bar patrons were swinging and hopping. Some dinners got up and danced in the isle.
Food-wise, we had a dozen of oyster to start. 6 Kumamoto and 6 East-coast oyster. Followed by a spectacular coho salmon capriccio (one of the special of the day). I had the double lamb chop, medium rare, with sides of sauteed mushroom and grilled asparagus. My guest, who do not eat meat had the grilled jumbo shrimp half of their surf and turf special of the day. All excellent. Three center cut, double lamb chop showed up on the plate. That's half of what a lamb has to offer. We skipped desert. Service was handsome and attentive.

Maude: Truffles

Truffles, I want it now, not next month. Who is serving truffles now?

Has Empress Pavilion reopened?

Things are looking good. I has just been invited to a fund raising dinner at EP on 10/18.

Who has truffles on their menu now?

The Maude November truffle post piqued my appetite. I want it now. Where can I get it?