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Moving To Santa Monica and searched a lot! Check my list?!

Sunin in Westwood is must for Lebanese .... Mezza Combo and their chicken skewers.
North Hollywood - Swan is the best Thai (Nam kao tod, cry tiger, Plah Goong, rice soup and TONS of other dishes).
Also - Hole in the Wall Burgers, Empanadas Place .... and of course Umami Burger (there's one in Santa Monica).
My two cents ....

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

Empanadas Place
3011 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

taking customers to a steak restaurant - Mastros? Ruth Chris? Houstons?

Mastros is excellent, but yes, more expensive. The Houston's in Santa Monica can yield a great meal. I forgot the name but they have a "hawaiian style" Rib Eye that I love and my wife likes a Thai Steak noodle salad - raved about it.

Mastros Restaurant
2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Mastro's or CUT for best steak in LA?

I would say Mastros by far (IMHO).
My experience with CUT has been slightly rude/impatient staff both on phone and there. But that completely aside, Mastro's steaks are always excellent. I go with a foodie group and we all get different cuts and preparations and share. All 100%. Can't say the same for cut.

And the one in TO is worth the drive.

Last point - gave my Nephew in OC a Mastros GC for xmas a few years back and he and his wife thanked us profusely after, said it was the best meal they ever had.

Mastros Restaurant
2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

San Diego this weekend!

I'm originally from SD (live in LA) and a group of foodie friends and I jsut went to SD three weeks ago for a burger and food crawl. Best Burgers - Rocky's and Hodads. Our group of six split between these two as our number ones. Here's a cut and paste from my research (other highlights - Dumpling Inn - reminiscent of Din Tai Fun for the soup dumplings they had and their fish Entrees were MAGNIFICENT)

• Hodads in OB 619-224-4623 5010 Newport Ave. Ocean Beach CA 92107
• Rocky's in PB – Basic but good – “BEST BURGER EVER EATEN” recent post this week 3786 Ingraham St San Diego, CA 92109
• Tiolis Crazy Burger: A relatively new place to the game, but darn good. They have some 27 variations of burgers - including Gator and Rattlesnake. I personally prefer the Dansk, which is a simple burger with lots of bleu cheese on top. Darn good french fries too. GUY FIERI WENT HERE - Also a solid second or third: 4201 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104,
• Sammy's - They have mini Kobe beef sliders on sweet Hawaiian egg bread. And Pizza and other stuff – last stop after checking in? They have one in Gaslamp. 770 4th ave
• Phil's BBQ in Sports Arena – #1 of all Restaurants on trip advisor - grind own chuck – open flame Lot’s of BBQ stuff too – ribs, etc. 3750 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110
• Linkery in North Park – more fancy “farm to table” and more sausages/links 3794 30th St. San Diego, CA 92104 (619) 255-8778

Deserts - #3 in TripAdvisor
Extraordinary Deserts - Little Italy - 1430 Union St, San Diego
Heavenly Cupcake – Gaslamp - 518 6th AvenueSan Diego, CA 92101

Chinese (Taiwansese
)Dumpling Inn – noodles and dumplings. WELL rated 4619 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

Italian -#7 of TripAdvisor Buon Appetito Little Italy 1609 India St, San Diego, CA 92101
I used to go to Fillipi’s Pizza Grotto – in San Diego 50+ years 1747 India Street

Japanese / Sushi
Sushi Ota - #3 in Trip Advisor - 4529 Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA 92109 Almost 5 stars on 60+ reviews

The Mission #14 on Trip Advisor
Original Pancake House - #33 of 2000 - 3906 Convoy Street San Diego, California 92111 858-565-1740
Broken Yolk - #98

May 24, 2009
engorgedbuddha in San Diego

Lunch places in Glendale

Thanks for the tip on Kozy Korner !
Went there today - had their special - fried Tilapia, got it Spicy (and it was).
Really good.

NEW YORKER in LA 4 Nites Best Chinese? Mexican?

I won't add any more to the Dim Sum recs - all (most) listed by everyone are good IMHO. One small addition - i fyou have been to and like the liquid filled soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai in NYC, ( I would recommend checking out Din Tai Fung dumpling house in Arcadia. Even just to swing by (early) and get some dumplings to go.

Lunch places in Glendale

Thanks to everyone!
I tried Portos today and really liked the Cuban Sammie and the banana chips. The baked goods were tempting but I stayed away (but will come back).
I plan to check out Kozy Korner tomorrow and will try and make it to Mario's and Billy's sometime soon. I'll be back next year for another week or two of classes.
Earlier this week (before I got all these replies) I went to Skaf's Lebanese Cuisine and really liked it - up there with Sunin (on the Westside) for me. Even their simple in concept cabbage salad (which comes with the meals) was excellent. Babganoush, Hummos and Tobouleh were great.

Lunch places in Glendale

Looking for some suggestions from Das Ubergeek or others familiar with the Glendale area. I am in a training class all week on Brand right off the 134 and wanted 3-4 suggestions for lunch..... I like most any cuisine. But to give you an idea of my tastes .... I love Swan in North Hollwood, frequented Gorikee before it closed, go to numerous Korean BBQ places and sushi around town, always love a good burger (Bradley Ogden in Las Vegas was my recent favorite), LOVE Sunin Lebanese in Westwood, also fond of Baby Blues BBQ in Venice .....
Also liked Snapper Jon's in WHills when it was open (a fish market and lunch place). So any suggestions would be welcomed with a large and open stomach!

BEST THAI or JAPANESE near Sherman Oaks?

Not for a date (it's a bit of a hole in the wall) but it is our favorite of all the places on Sherman way of coldwater :
Their Nam Kao Tod (golden rice with spicy pork), Cry Tiger, Plah Goong (spicy shrimp salad), egg noodles with pork (and garlic) and many other dishes are quite excellent.
I would agree for a date Asanebo would be nice for a date.

Gorikee closed

It was great to have this place in our neighborhood while it lasted.
Chef and Pat (and everyone else there) and the quality of the food (sauces, soups, wimpy burger) always made it a great choice for eating.
But I too have been delinquent in going there ..... frequented it much more regularly earlier on. I agree with creamfinger - I think I would have been lured back more frequently if there weer more "specials" or changes in the menu.
Gorikee and Snapper Jon's .... RIP.

Gorikee being sold??

I just talked to Pat. It is 100% true.
But - here's the details. It will be happening over the next few months. Tsuji is going to train the new chefs and then take off (not sure where he's going) - but according to Pat the hopes that with Tsuji's tutelage Gorikee will stay "the same" as far as food/menu .... we'll see!
Sad news.

Thai Bakery in North Hollywood??

Great tip - I think they (Bhan Kanom Thai) may have even that day, I was just short on time that day.
I was picking up many (16 dishes) to bring for a work lunch from Swan.

Whole roasted turkey to-go for Thanksgiving?

We had done Whole Foods in years past but becuase of posts we tried Gelson's this year. The Turkey was EXCELLENT - best we'd had in years. Very tender and easy to prepare (pre cooked - keep in bag - that's what kept it really moist and then 10 minutes for each pound). Very transportable and very tasty. Their ginger yams were very good too.
Overall had a low stress and near perfect turkey day going with Gelson's.

Thai Bakery in North Hollywood??

Thanks! I called Bhan Kanom Thai, they have janom krok but weren't making any batches until 2pm ... bummer, as I would have made the drive.
So I tried my luck at New King Seafood and got some fried bananas and taro and some thai "cookies" (coconut topped). These were decent but definitely no kanom krok. But all was well with the lunch of plah goong, nam kao tod, cry tiger, garlic noodles with grilled pork and shrimp fried rice. Swan is definitely my favorit Thai place in the area.
Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where to get the best tacos west side

Mainly just repeating/affirming others .....
- I work next to La Playita .... it is definitely good, but after they raised prices on shimp/seafood a few months back I haven't been going as much. Burrito's are good but I've been sticking to Carne Asada and Al Pastor.
- Tito's (you either love em or you don't - I love em, my wife doesn't get them)
- Campos on Pico is pretty solid but not spectacular.
I've never tried Taqueria Sanchez .... sound's like I'll have to!

Cheese in Glendale and Northridge

Artisan Chees in Studio City is good. They have an EXCELLENT and unique toasted cheese there as well ......
More info:

Thai Bakery in North Hollywood??

We frequent Swan regularly and used to go to the Bhan Kanom Thai that was in the same mini mall (unfortunately they closed up show there) ...... I'm picking up food for a work party at Swan tomorrow but got a request for "those sticky coconut flavored things" they used to cook up and sell at Bhan Kanom Thai.
Anyone know of another Thai bakery close to Swan (I can't drive too far as I'm on a time schedule for tomorrow's lunch ....) Anyone? Das Ubergeek? Any help is MUCH appreciated in advance.....