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Hal's Bar & Grill on Abbot Kinney Will Shutter After 30 Years

Ah ok. So we're talking about them expanding from the current Hampton Drive location, which is in Venice albeit right by the Santa Monica border. Not relocating to somewhere in SM.

about 18 hours ago
cookie monster in Los Angeles Area

Hal's Bar & Grill on Abbot Kinney Will Shutter After 30 Years

Yes I also hope that's wrong. Where is the Google Santa Monica location btw?

about 20 hours ago
cookie monster in Los Angeles Area

air travel with sushi

I hadn't heard that rule about certain food items being subject to further inspection even if they aren't liquids or gels. Now I know why the loaf of banana bread I had in my carry on last weekend got examined very closely. But TSA did let me take it through.

Hal's Bar & Grill on Abbot Kinney Will Shutter After 30 Years

we went for a farewell dinner earlier this week. Still love that turkey burger and the baby artichokes. I may stop by for a drink this weekend if I can even get anywhere near the bar. Have it on good authority that they're moving to the Primitivo space further up Abbot Kinney.

What add-ins (if any) would your ideal cookie contain? Soft and chewy or crispy-crunchy?

Thank you both!

Apr 23, 2015
cookie monster in Home Cooking

What add-ins (if any) would your ideal cookie contain? Soft and chewy or crispy-crunchy?

Do you have a recipe for that Milk Bar cookie? I had one the last time I was in NYC and I'd love to recreate it. Might be as simple as a basic toll house dough with different add-ins. also tried the compost cookie which has a lot of devotees, but I didn't love the coffee grounds.

Otherwise, I'm a fan of basic dark chocolate chunks (no nuts), and I've been working on perfecting a caramel and pretzel combo.

Apr 22, 2015
cookie monster in Home Cooking

Birthday Lunch for me near Sony Bldg. West 50's

Bar Room at the Modern should work within those time limits, yes? And it's really good.

Apr 22, 2015
cookie monster in Manhattan

Los Angeles - West Side - Good food/Good view/Good value

Can't beat the view from the rooftop lounge at the Hotel Erwin in Venice. I don't think it has a happy hour however. And if you're coming during this next week, it'll be a bit chilly. The penthouse at the Huntley is pretty upscale, but it has a good happy hour menu and spectacular views. I like the happy hour at Chaya Venice also - no view, but it's a block from the beach so you could walk around before or after. Venice Ale House is a little more casual and right on the boardwalk. Venice Beach Wines is more of local hangout and has a decent happy hour - it's on Rose Ave. a few blocks from the beach. Note that you will encounter tourists at some of these places - it's the nature of the beast.

More food expiration date hype, this time on Dr. Oz

It was in the freezer or the refrigerator? I can't imagine a piece of beef lasting that long in the fridge. Otoh if it came out of the freezer it might be severely freezer burned, but not dangerous.

Banana cake failure

1/2 a cup of sugar (I assume that's what it meant to say) doesn't seem like nearly enough for 2 cups of flour. A lot of cake recipes are close to 1:1 on the sugar:flour ratio, and I don't know that I've seen anything less than 1:2.

Apr 19, 2015
cookie monster in Home Cooking
1

This Guy is Plating Junk Food Like High End Cuisine and It's Awesome

That's pretty cool. Reminds me of a friend's birthday dinner several years ago. When it came time to order dessert, the birthday girl made a comment about wishing they had something with coconut on the menu, as coconut desserts were her favorite. 10 minutes later the waiter came back with the desserts we had ordered and also a Hostess snowball, cut into wedges and beautifully plated with chocolate sauce, creme anglaise and fresh berries. Birthday girl was very touched.

Expired baking chocolate?

hmm. Medium hot climate - Los Angeles, but at the coast. My kitchen definitely gets well above 65-70' in the summer.

Apr 15, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

"Wine Product": Is it a strange and horrible new phenomenon?

I know this is an old thread, but I had to chime in that I feel better not to be the only out-of-stater who fell for this in New York. I was in Manhattan for work a couple months ago, wanted an inexpensive bottle of wine to go with my hotel room takeout dinner, and picked up something in a market that was shaped just like a wine bottle and labeled pinot grigio. Didn't see the "wine product" in much smaller print until I tasted it and nearly spit it it out (and I'm not that picky about wine). Like reisling mixed with Sprite. Dumped it down the sink and went to a wine shop for the real thing the next day.

Apr 15, 2015
cookie monster in Wine

Hal's Bar & Grill on Abbot Kinney Will Shutter After 30 Years

I know changes on Abbot Kinney are a fact of Venice life, but this one makes me sad.

Expired baking chocolate?

Now that this old post has been resurrected . . . I'll use it maybe 6 months past the "best by" date, but not longer. To be clear, I'm not remotely concerned that it's unsafe, just that the flavor and texture seem to suffer, and the last thing I want to do is make low quality baked goods.

I've also started keeping chocolate in the freezer if I'm going to have it around for a while, but I don't know if that really makes a difference.

Apr 07, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

Anybody trying to start eating dinner? I haven't for years.

I'm with you, Hobbert. If anything, lately I've been trying to stop eating dinner, kind of. Or at least not feel compelled to make and eat a full meal just because it's dinner time if I'm not that hungry. In recent years I've shifted toward eating more in the mornings to help maximize my workouts. Sometimes by the time I get home from work at 7:30/8pm I've had breakfast, lunch and three snacks, so unsurprisingly I'm not hungry for a full meal. Dinner is often a simple salad, or cheese and crackers, or a bowl of soup, and that's it.

Girls Weekend Wine Etiquette

I've been in similar group situations before, and my solution is . . . bring and drink cheap wine for one weekend. it's the best way to not feel resentful or p*** off other people. I mean there's cheap and then there's cheap. I'm not talking about 2 buck chuck, but there are plenty of drinkable wines in the $10-$15 range. (There are also more passive/aggressive options that I have availed myself of, like if the group is mostly red wine drinkers, bring a decent white or rose that you'll be more likely to actually get to drink.)

small dining room for intimate wedding reception?

Have you checked with Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis? They have a private room but I don't know the capacity. Food and atmosphere are excellent.

Bring your shopping cart back where it belongs, please!

I've been watching this thread from the sidelines, but I have to share my personal "oops, wrong car" experience (yes, completely off the topic of wayward shopping carts which I'm still staying away from). A few years ago I was out Christmas shopping and my bags were getting heavy so I decided to take them out to my car and then continue shopping. Walked across the parking lot to my fairly common small SUV, pushed the unlock button on the remote, and opened the rear gate. I was puzzled to see some non-perishable grocery items (bottled water, laundry detergent) that I didn't recall leaving back there. Then I was startled to see a friendly brown dog pop his head up from the back seat. At that point I realized this was not my car and shut the gate quickly before I got accused of attempted grand theft auto or dognapping. My car was parked two spaces away. I'm still not sure whether my remote had actually opened the other car or the owner left it unlocked.

Which ice cream sandwich do you recommend?

We had some recently that I'm pretty sure were purchased at Ralph's in Santa Monica.

Additional charges that seem unjustified that the establishment might think twice about

In general I don't have an issue with charging for extras as long as it's disclosed, especially when you're talking about a $10 meal at a deli or diner. The one that does get me is the steakhouses that charge an extra $2-3 for a sauce or rub with your $50 a la carte steak.

Host gifts for challenging hosts

Second the Penzy's spice selection suggestion. My other fallback is some very high-end olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar.

Chocolate Cake with Whipped Fudge Filling and Chocolate Buttercream

Mar 20, 2015
cookie monster in Recipes

Restaurant Recommendations Midtown West

I just stayed there last week! Only dinner in the area was at the Bar Room at the Modern - definitely memorable but definitely not cozy. Might be a good place to go for a drink though. Otherwise I second Betony.

Mar 18, 2015
cookie monster in Manhattan

Casual dinner tomorrow night 3/15 - Westside but not too far west, and some other requirements

Sure, just didn't have time last night. And I will say up front that (a) I don't see a menu online so I'm going from memory, and (b) for the most part we stuck to pretty mainstream dishes. For starters we shared the When Tigers Cry (beef dish - that name I remember) and Golden Baskets (? - little fried baskets that you fill with a ground chicken and vegetable mixture). Loved the former; latter was fun to eat but not particularly interesting. Drunken Noodles and Pad Thai were both excellent versions of popular dishes. Star of the meal was a special that I didn't eat (not a seafood lover) - called something like Clay Pot Prawns. Came to the table in a covered clay pot (duh) that the waiter opened with a flourish and a swirl of steam. Bed of vegetables topped with 3, might even have been 4, big prawns and a tangle of thin rice noodles, and came with some sort of green sauce. My friends loved that one. At $25 it was more than 2x the price of anything else we ordered, but it seemed like a bargain compared to the prices I've seen for prawn dishes elsewhere.

Rehersal dinner in Santa Monica area

Whaddayaknow? I guess I can't read before 8am.

Rehersal dinner in Santa Monica area

Those are all great suggestions. The patio at Wilshire is indeed very pretty. I've been to a couple private parties there and they did an excellent job, but I haven't eaten there since their latest change of chefs.

Rehersal dinner in Santa Monica area

How many people?

Casual dinner tomorrow night 3/15 - Westside but not too far west, and some other requirements

To report back, we ended up at Ayara Thai in Westchester and it worked out very well. Thanks again for all the suggestions.

Casual dinner tomorrow night 3/15 - Westside but not too far west, and some other requirements

Thanks everyone for the ideas so far. Trying to stay away from Venice / MDR because the traffic on Lincoln will no doubt be horrible with all the beachgoers trying to get home. i know on summer Sunday evenings it can take me half an hour just to get out of Venice. Hoping that it'll be late enough and we'll be far enough south to avoid the worst of the marathon traffic, but that is another concern. Fathers Office in CC Is 21+, correct? I'm not sure how old my friend's son is. And steering them toward the 105 might indeed be a better option.