cookie monster's Profile

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Vegetarian-friendly and upscale on Westside?

Exactly! It can be intimate or awkward, depending on how well you know your dining companion ...

about 16 hours ago
cookie monster in Los Angeles Area

How many different appetizers should I serve for a party of 40 for 4 hours?

How many M&Ms per person?

Vegetarian-friendly and upscale on Westside?

Yes! My carnivorous friend ordered the curried vegetable entree when we were there a couple weeks ago and loved it.

Vegetarian-friendly and upscale on Westside?

You know how much I love Gjelina, but the being able to have a conversation part is tough unless you're on the patio, which they won't guarantee when you make a reservation.

Vegetarian-friendly and upscale on Westside?

Rustic Canyon is good but loud with a capital L in my experience. Tough for a first date. Hinoki & The Bird in Century City has a bunch of interesting vegetarian dishes, and the patio is pretty with a reasonable decibel level. Fig in Santa Monica could also work, especially if the vegetarian is a cheese lover - great cheese selection. Or maybe Wilshire in Santa Monica.

Two New Yorkers spending two nights in Los Angeles. Help us eat great!

Not sure what you're reading, but they're definitely open for dinner on Saturday nights (unless there's a private party or such)

Looking for some good restaurant mushroom dishes

Mushroom toast and mushroom truffle goat cheese pizza at Gjelina

Mushroom pizza at South End

Mushroom pasta at Republique (preparations vary)

Weird bananas

I don't shop at Costco, but I have had that happen with supermarket bananas a few times. Super annoying since I like to buy a few that are really green so they'll gradually become ripe enough to eat through the course of the week. But they're still good for banana bread :-)

Saturday Lunch

That's Salt, right, Mark Gold's latest spot? I'm curious to hear what you think of the food. I haven't eaten there yet even though it's right in my neighborhood, but the view certainly is lovely.

Beloved picky guests

You're right, Isolda. And you sound like an exceptionally considerate host. I suppose my point is that a host could avoid having pickiness/aversions sprung on him/her at the last minute by asking in advance, setting aside the people whose aversions change with every shift of the wind - I don't know anyone like that, and I don't envy the hosts who do have to deal with that.

Jul 23, 2015
cookie monster in Not About Food

Rustic Canyon - good, but way too expensive!

I have to say I agree (other than that the 3% health care charge is obscene, but that's another thread). I liked Rustin Canyon pre-Jeremy Fox, for dinner or a glass of wine and a cheese plate at the bar. I was excited when he came on board, but pretty disappointed by two subsequent dinners. The bill seemed pretty high compared to similar places in the area (by similar I mean farm-to-table, small plates, buzzy, no table cloths or cushioned chairs - a style of restaurant that I quite love btw), and at my last visit a couple of the male members of my party actually left the restaurant still hungry.

Beloved picky guests

Geez I had a feeling some of the responses here would harsh. People who know me would not describe me as a picky eater, and I never "declare" or "announce" anything (I will "inform" if asked), but I have a very strong aversion to seafood of all kinds (exceptions being the occasional well-cooked scallop or heavily seasoned and sauced crab cake). I cannot force myself to eat it for the sake of being a polite guest. If I'm asked in advance of being someone's guest for a meal, I will tell the person about this. And I'm always grateful when I am asked, since it's pretty awkward for both host and guest when the beautifully grilled salmon or seared ahi sits untouched on my plate. If I'm asked why I'm not eating it I will tell the truth in as gentle a way as possible - no fake allergies for me.

Because I have this aversion to an entire protein group, I always ask my own guests for their own lists of strong dislikes, as well as allergies - especially since I know that some of my favorite foods make frequent appearances on other people's hate lists -mushrooms, blue cheese, beets, brussels sprouts, coconut ...

There's No Such Thing As Bad…

I tried it. Vanilla was ok (but won't fool you into thinking you're eating real ice cream). Chocolate and chocolate peanut butter both had an unpleasant not-creamy texture. I am however a fan of the Halo Top light ice creams. Not as low calorie as Arctic Zero, but still pretty darn low and the taste and texture is much better imho.

Taste of egg

I agree. I have a friend who despises eggs in any form, and he can detect egginess in baked goods when it's not noticeable to anyone else. two eggs in an entire batch of cake batter or cookie dough seems to be his limit. It's like when someone tells me "yes, there are anchovies in the salad dressing / pasta sauce / etc. but you can't taste them."

Raspberry desserts

I really like this raspberry cake from Smitten Kitchen. You'd probably need two for your size group. It's pretty simple to make and can be dressed up with ice cream, whipped cream, more fresh berries ...

Jul 16, 2015
cookie monster in Home Cooking

There's No Such Thing As Bad…

The only use of that exact phrase that I've heard is "there's no such thing as bad publicity." Splitting hairs maybe (but isn't that what we do here?), but I think what most people mean is more along the lines of "even when ____ is bad, and objectively I know it's bad, it's still pretty good. Or at least good enough that i'll still eat it." So yes, pizza falls into that category for me. Also cake, wine, french fries.

Jul 15, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

Grand Junction: new and good

I don't have much to add but I hope someone else does . . . I now have family living in GJ so I'm there a couple times a year and the restaurant options seem a little sparse. 626 on Rood is definitely the best meal that I've had there so far. Bin 707 also sounds interesting but I haven't tried it yet. Red Rose (I think that's the name) in nearby Palisade was also pretty good.

Now that Mr. Taster™ is gone, can we please discuss Gjusta?

Had the brisket sandwich for lunch today. It was really really good - great smokey flavor - but I think I still prefer the brisket banh mi at GTA. I fantasize about that sandwich. (Gjusta has a couple kinds of banh mi but no brisket.) Also a very tasty side of green beans with carmelized onions and hazel nuts.

On the seating issue - they now have some real tables and benches in the back. The milk crates were not a hipster affectation but rather an under the radar seating solution while they dealt with zoning issues. Next step, beer and wine license.

In addition to the ready to eat foods, meats and fish, and baked goods, they have an amazing selection of housemade pickles, condiments, sauces, etc. Some rather pricey, but the refrigeratored pickles are a great deal at $4-5 a container. I have giardana (sp?) and pickled daikon in my fridge at the moment.

Does anyone know of this cookie from my childhood?

I was wondering if it was an Archway cookie, but I realized I was thinking of their iced lemon cookies which have a scalloped edge and a hole in the middle. Loved those when I was a kid in the 70s.

Jul 12, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

What’s in your cookie jar?

My freezer is my cookie jar. Right now there's homemade chocolate chip and butterscotch chip w/ pecans (plus more dough for both), homemade snickerdoodles, and some assorted flavors of shortbread from the bakery at Whole Foods. There's no packaged cookie that I like enough to buy and eat a whole box by myself, but I do love homemade and (some) bakery cookies.

Jul 11, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

Venice updates

True, and the rent can't be cheap. I suppose it didn't make a lot of sense for them to have two locations so close together.

Venice updates

So this is kind of exciting for those of us near the bastion of mediocre food (Hinano's burgers excepted) that is Washington Blvd near the beach. I was a fan of Nyesha on Top Chef and enjoyed her food at Wilshire.

Speaking of changes in the hood, anybody know why Hostaria del Piccolo on Rose closed and/or what's going to replace it? That's one closure that surprised me.

QUIZ: Which of These Cookbooks Are Actually Real?

that was great. I got 16 out of 26. Author's name was usually the giveaway on the fakes.

What has happened to Friendship Cottage Cheese? (not good changes)

That is disappointing. I was a big fan of their no salt added cottage cheese but my local Whole Foods stopped carrying it and I haven't spotted it anywhere else.

Jul 10, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

Best Desserts in LA?

More favorites (with chocolate as the unifying theme): "snickers" bar at Tavern in Brentwood; salted caramel chocolate cake at Republique; chocolate pudding at Jar (the butterscotch pudding and banana cream pie are also pretty great).

Best Desserts in LA?

do they buy the hot fudge too? If so I'd love to be able to get a jar . . .

Best Desserts in LA?

One of my all time favorites. But I also love the warm date cake, kind of like a sticky toffee pudding. It's not always on the menu though.

Best Desserts in LA?

oooh i do love that sundae. Hillstone makes an excellent hot fudge sundae as well. so did Hal's (sigh).

Is it okay to ask guests at a suprise party to pay to attend?

I'm with you, Harters. the fact that this is a surprise party changes my response to the situation. Yes, we can all agree that it's tacky to ask guests (and only some guests at that) to contribute cash towards a party one is hosting at one's home, and yes it's even tackier to spring that condition on guests after they've already rsvp'd. But I have to go on the assumption that the guests of honor don't know this is being done, and might well be mortified if they found out. As you say, all they're going to know is how disappointed they are when a bunch of their friends don't show up to celebrate their birthdays (and even more so if they ask the host "Hey, do you know why Harters isn't here?' and the response is "I'm not sure what happened - s/he rsvp'd yes but then cancelled last minute.") Plus it's $15, not $100. So I would be plenty annoyed at the host, but then I'd suck it up, put on smile, pick up a $10 bottle of wine, and go celebrate my friend's big day.

Your favorite pub or restaurant . Would you mention to the manager that the restrooms are getting a little dirty ?

Absolutely, I would mention it while I was there. Why ever not? More than once I've let a manager know the bathroom is out of paper towels, the trash is overflowing, etc.