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Singapore Leaf Gone Already?

The coming soon sign also says "Henry's Cuisine". No idea what that is.

Dec 15, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Pho Ha Long (San Gabriel) already gone, replaced by Spiceone

Spiceone closed down (well, that was fast), and now open in its space is Ko Ichi Sushi. It will take a braver hound than I to report back on the new place.

Nov 14, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Cafe Bizou, Pasadena?

Don't mean to harp on about Union, but they have plenty of items that are pretty straightforward, done very well. And it's Italian... who doesn't love that? That's all I'll say about that.

And to address the Cheesecake Factory thing, I didn't mean to say that Cafe Bizou and CF are the same/worse/better. I just think the average non-adventurous person, who I imagine eats at CF, would think that Bizou is fine. Personally, I would rather eat at Cafe Bizou than CF, but grab a slice of cheesecake at CF after.

Nov 07, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area
1

Cafe Bizou, Pasadena?

It's not loud. I would never choose to go there, but I think people who don't care too much about food or are perfectly fine eating at cheesecake factory would find it to be not bad.

I think Union around the corner would be a much better option, though harder to reserve.

Nov 06, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Petit Trois, No Reservations, No Phone, No Cash & No tipping...

I ended up going last night (Tuesday) for a late dinner.

Showed up at 8:35 (party of 2), and the hostess told us it would be about 25 minutes. We got seated at 30 minutes, so pretty accurate (nothing the hostess could do about two ladies sitting there, meal completed, bill paid, playing on their phones).

Service was pretty spotty throughout the night. We didn't receive bread or water for a little bit, but the waitress, chefs, and busser were all plenty nice. They ended up sending us a complimentary gougere to make up for the lack of bread service.

We had the salmon rillettes, escargot, chicken leg, and omelette. I thought everything was tasty, and expertly prepared. No issues with the food whatsoever. The dishes are not overwrought like I thought they were at Trois Mec. The thought crossed my mind that, okay this is just escargot or this is just an omelette, but I don't know where else you could find things like this so flawlessly executed in LA (maybe Bouchon).

The night ended with a few service hiccups. I ordered a napoleon and a cappuccino to finish off the meal. The napoleon was delivered (tasty) but it was a while before I could catch the waitress's attention to ask for the cappuccino. She apologized, went to go check out, and then came back and let me know that their espresso machine was down. Also, she dropped off the check at this point.

I wanted to ask if they had regular coffee available, but dropping off the check was the last interaction we had with her. I think she had some friends dining at the restaurant that night, who she went outside to talk with for a little bit. Normally, I don't think that would have a huge effect on service, but she was the only waitress.

I would normally just aggressively flag someone down, but I wanted to test the limits of this, so we sat and waited, credit card in hand for about 10 minutes. My gf eventually got tired of it, so we just walked up to the bartender to pay.

This experience makes me a little curious if this is the flaw with having a service charge built in. I get the feeling most servers pick up the service towards the end to work for that extra tip. At the end of our night, we were basically ignored.

The cocktails were spot on. I loved the food. But the service issues will keep me from returning on a regular basis.

Oct 15, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Solo Business Trip to LA area - Recommendations?

I'm gonna disagree here. DTLA is the hot new thing for us, but it's a revival of city living, which the OP gets plenty of. Venice may not have the best in food, but it has an experience and atmosphere that is very LA (laid-back, beachy vibe), and very not NY.

Anyway, I like the new plan as far as logistics go (SaMo->DTLA->WeHo)

Oct 14, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Petit Trois, No Reservations, No Phone, No Cash & No tipping...

I was thinking about checking this place out tonight, but I wanted to see what the wait times are like. Especially after the reviews came out.

So how about it? Has anybody gone recently, and how has the wait been?

Oct 14, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Solo Business Trip to LA area - Recommendations?

I've only skimmed the thread, so there will probably be some redundancies, but my eyes glazed over from all the transportation talk.

I would actually try to change the location timings a little bit. Rustic Canyon, Gjelina, and Tar & Roses are all very "California," but RC and T&R only open for dinner. Unfortunately, this puts you in the beach-y areas at later hours.

You could do an early lunch at GCM, which I don't think is the best food, but the environment is nice and fun.

Then you could do a late lunch at Guerrilla Tacos (Personally meh about it, but most people seem to like it, and represents a very ubiquitous, nouevau hipster LA scene), or Ricky's Fish Tacos or Kogi.

Ricky's Fish Tacos would also put you pretty close to good Thai food, but the meals are starting to pile up.

What's more LA than either of these taco experiences is going to a regular, ol'-fashioned taco truck. I would probably choose a taco truck based on what part of the city you're in, versus going out of your way to find a specific one.

Night+Market (original or Song) is kind of like Pok Pok in that it's pretty aggressive, good Thai food, but most of the people in there are white (which would usually be a bad sign, but not so much in this case). I think N+M Song is one of the hotter restaurants in LA atm.

I would also try some ice cream. I think something like Sweet Rose is very different from the places I've been to in NY.

Downtown LA is not great for dinner. Options are pretty limited and a lot of it is Italian and not near the quality of NY. I hope you find a replacement for Peking Tavern though... If you left LA with that being your only "Chinese" food experience, I think a piece of my Chow-heart would die.

Oct 12, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area
1

The burgers at Dog Haus (Pasadena Biergarten)

I've only tried the fancy western bacon cheeseburger and it tasted like a fancy western bacon cheeseburger (which is my favorite fast food non-straight-burger burger. It's not terrible, but I won't be going back for burgers anytime soon.

Sep 30, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Wexler's- meh.

I think it's a little weird that you would expect much from the sandwiches, considering that Wexler's #1 ranking on a top 10 Pastrami list spawned a 500+ post, contentious thread.

If you're ever so inclined, I would give the smoked fish a try... I don't think you can get any better in the near vicinity.

Sep 30, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Red Medicine Announces It Will Close at the End of October

I think a certain (read: tiny) segment of the city can support these types of places, but that's it. But just look at the size of those restaurants vs. a Red Medicine. How many seats are at Trois Mec? 25?

Sep 27, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Red Medicine Announces It Will Close at the End of October

I think the problem is that you're asking the wrong person. It seems like bula was willing to give it a go, but the average person who doesn't visit an online forum to talk about food and restaurants every day (and whose business is probably more important to the success of a restaurant) wasn't interested, and how something looks for that person might be a deterrent.

Anyway, for me, the statement from the recent closings (plus allumette) is that LA doesn't like the protein-rolled-in-ash, paintbrush-streak of sauce, dots-of-sorrel-oil, edible-flower-topped dishes. Maybe you could say that people aren't into creative, or interesting, or challenging type foods. I just think that creativity is less of a factor when it comes to the average LA diner's decisions.

Sep 24, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area
1

Fifty Seven - Joining BOS in restaurant purgatory

Didn't Test Kitchen try the rotating chefs thing? Has that worked anywhere?

Edit: FIXED!

Sep 22, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Today is my lucky day, Ike's Place Westwood soft opens with free sandwiches!

Some Yelpers left 1-star reviews (that managed to stay up there) because they were reacting to news that they didn't completely understand and had nothing to do with food or service in any way.

And that is why Yelp is the greatest.

I'm sure if Ike wants to fork over some cash, that confusion could be cleared right up.

Sep 19, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

JapaDog May Be Coming to L.A.!

I had it for the first time a few months ago. Thought it was pretty good. Didn't blow my mind, but certainly would not hesitate to get another one if I happened to see the truck.
The concept seems easy to replicate, so I would imagine if you loved it in Vancouver, you would probably love it here

Trendy, good food for out of town guest from Hong Kong

Just wanted to +1 these sentiments.

Was in HK about a year ago, and tried a Vietnamese place near Central that had a giant line outside of it during lunch, and the much-lauded, now-closed TBLS that does some sort of new-American. Both very underwhelming to say the least.

Sep 11, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Singapore Leaf Open in Alhambra

Wow.

Well, thanks for taking the hit for the rest of us.

Sep 10, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Gordon Ramsay - The London?

Just FYI, I don't think Gordon Ramsay has anything to do with this location anymore, other than it still bearing his name. Don't know whether that could affect your plans. Might have to do some googling.

Sep 10, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

Not to rub it in, but I think the prime rib bowl is one of the best things there, and it's not super sauced up like the other bowls.

The SO is pretty sensitive to salt and she's never had an issue with it at n+m, so I might chalk that up to an off night, but I don't think you need to give it another shot.

Is it Last Call for B.o.s. ? (Closing)

I know the comments were just in passing, and the guy was probably a little defensive about it, but the idea of LA not "being ready" rubs me the wrong way a bit.

My kneejerk, angry response is, "Yes, LA isn't interested in the gimmick of nose-to-tail and is more interested in food that tastes good." Purely anecdotal, but between all the tacos and menudo and boat noodles and pho dac biets and chicken feet that are consumed in LA, I really don't think offal carries that much of a stigma to the people here.

I know CH isn't representative of the people out there, but all the restaurants that serve those dishes aren't being filled by CHers.

Sep 09, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area
1

Is Baco Mercat really this bad?

This type of experience is why I always opt for the bar when possible. Bartenders are usually easier to flag down, and seem to be more in the habit of checking on you every now and then.

Sep 03, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

friend wants to have dinner at bazaar - realistically, how much am i going to spend??

I don't know how plausible this would be for your friends, but you could try calling bazaar and asking if they could do a tasting of sorts at a given budget, say... $100/pp. But then again, with 2 cocktails and tax and tip, maybe that'll get you close to $200 anyway. But at least you will have been able to taste a representative sample of the menu.

Sep 03, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

This topic didn't really shift things one way or the other for me. Most of these places are special occasion restaurants where a 3% surcharge won't make that much of a difference on the 5-6 visits I make in a year.

But reading that e-mail does get my goat a little bit. Their reasoning for using it and keeping the menu costs as is sounds like b.s. to me. Particularly when the RC people start talking about how hard it is to get by in the restaurant world...

They seem to be doing well enough to open up multiple ice cream shops, a large restaurant in Santa Monica, an expansion on an existing restaurant, a wine bar/store, and who knows what else that hasn't hit the newswire yet.

Chicken & Rice Truck - anyone been?

Might be two different things now? The other site and twitter are still active. I know there were some strange goings-on before. Don't know the relation between the two. If it happens to be anywhere I'm at, I'll give it a try though.

Edit: From the ChickenRiceLA twitter feed:
So our worst partner , shady, dirty, no passion just greediness has announced that he is launching a replica truck please don't support .GYB
We have a copy cat truck .. Please guys support us . Don't let these none passionate or creative people get the best .

Aug 27, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena City Hall lunch options?

Probably on the outer limits of your radius, but Union is my favorite restaurant in Pasadena right now. Outside of that, the only other things I eat when in Pasadena are Europane and the fast-casual joints like Blaze, Tender Greens, Lemonade, and Settebello.

Aug 25, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

Probably worth mentioning in case the OP doesn't know...
Dodger Dogs are the worst. Just get one for the kid if he insists, and you can try a piece of that one.

Aug 14, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

LA "Musts" Tailored to a Strategic New Yorker

Some random thoughts (some might be redundant):

Would definitely skip Pot for someone that's willing to be more adventurous.
Would try Night+Market. I haven't eaten Thai in Elmhurst in 10 years (used to spend my summers there), but I really can't imagine it being the same experience. Especially considering how NY has flipped out over Pok Pok.
Like others have mentioned, if you have an extra meal, trying Langer's will show you how bread can take a pastrami sandwich to another level.

Not exactly a CH-favorite, but I would go to Philippe's before the Dodgers game for the tradition of it. And Chego is open late, so you can grab that afterwards. But I guess that might be tight if they're doing Friday night fireworks and the kid is pooped.
If Chego is closed, I would get some tacos. Everyone seems to have their own favorite truck/stand, so it just depends on what area you're in. I'm partial to the one on Arlington Ave. and Washington Blvd in the Chevron station. I know you're doing Guisados also, but it's just a very different experience.

Din Tai Fung is a great place. I think if you asked 10 people for their favorite dumpling place, you'd get 10 different answers, but for me, DTF is always consistent.

Not as big of a fan of Eggslut as others here are, but I don't really have an alternative for you.

Aug 14, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Beijing Tasty House Moves Into Jinxed Location

Have you been to either? Any recommendations on what to get?

Aug 12, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Wexler's Deli - Yesterday

Went today (Tuesday) around 11:30. A pair of seats available at the bar, line was about 4 deep.
At around 11:45, the line ballooned up to about 10-12 people, and it seemed like people tend to order individually, so it wasn't the fastest moving line, but it still moves at a reasonable pace.
Food comes out pretty fast.

I had a bagel w/ lox and cream cheese, and it also came with capers and onions. I thought it was pretty good. I wasn't very excited about it, but then I thought, I don't know where I could go around here to get anything better.

Guidance needed for week-long LA visit

+1 on all these and CiaoBob's sentiments. To me, an itinerary like the original one is why a lot of people travel here and don't think much of the food scene. There are restaurants like these popping up all over the country and none of them comment on much about what is going on that is unique to LA.

Aug 05, 2014
andytseng in Los Angeles Area