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Looking to join someone @ n/naka

Another dissenter... Went mid-May (maybe my 5th time there), and the experience had no hitches. Service and food were great. We are usually stuffed 3/4 of the way through the meal (light eaters), and that happened again in May.

The only difference I noticed that maybe 90% of the guests were Asian/Chinese versus... I dunno 60% on average?, and everyone wanted to take photos with the chef.

about 24 hours ago
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

SF hound in LA tomorrow. Is itinerary okay?

To me, Guerrilla Tacos is kind of tacos white-ified, and I can imagine something like that existing in SF. I would replace that with something like El Coraloense or Coni Seafood, or even stuff like Ricky's Fish Tacos, Guisados, or King Taco. Most of the good taco trucks come out at night, so maybe you can slip that in somewhere.

On Sunday, that route can take you through most of Thai Town, so you should have your pick of the litter of Thai food if you want. Or if you want something clean, simple and brunch-y by then, Sqirl and Square One Dining are on the way. You probably have stuff like the last 2 in SF, but just suggestions in case you got tired of all the strong flavors and needed something light.

Aug 06, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Where to eat - foodies from NYC?

CH-style-hardcore foodie spot of the moment? Pretty tough one, but I would say the crab curry noodle dish at Luv2eat is pretty bonkers.

But based on the list of stuff you are considering, n/naka might be the type of thing you are looking for... still riding high off the heat from Chef's Table.

Jul 30, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Coffee Gear - Who Has The Best Selection?

Bought most of my gear at SCG. Great prices, plus there are ways to get % discounts most of the time. And they have a pretty thorough library of reviews and walkthroughs for a lot of their stuff.

Jul 03, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Clarissa Wei's Crowdsourcing Hopes?

I commented on that post: "Can't knock a girl for trying..."

but then I read one of the other comments that mentioned her blog and her family's means.

So now, I will go ahead and knock her. How about instead of asking other people for $20,000, you take it easy on the camping trips to Yosemite and Utah, vacations in Cozumel and Cancun, the scuba diving in Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, the tours of Napa Valley wine country and Kona, Hawaii coffee plantations, etc...

Visiting with limited time—need help editing list of Mexican, tacos, Viet, Korean, Thai!

The Sturtevant Falls waterfall seems to be down to a trickle these days. I recently did the Eaton Canyon hike, and it has a just slightly healthier waterfall atm. Dunno if the difference is worth altering plans, but you can generally see some up-to-date pictures on that other food site.

Also, if it's nightlife/people you're after, Pot might be better suited for Friday night. Bar/lounge is usually packed, and down the street are plenty of places to grab a drink or snacks. People watching here is mostly Korean.
N+M Song is on a quiet stretch of Silverlake, so there isn't really anywhere to walk around while you're waiting. People watching here is mostly hipsters.

Jun 04, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Visiting with limited time—need help editing list of Mexican, tacos, Viet, Korean, Thai!

Since they are all relatively close proximity...
N+M Song doesn't take reservations and is pretty insane at dinner hours, unless you can go around 5. I would move N+M Song to Tuesday night, eat at Pot on Sunday night, and at Luv2eat on Friday night.

As to your question about Pot vs. Beverly Soon Tofu, Beverly is probably my most frequented Korean restaurant, but for someone visiting from NY, I wouldn't recommend it. They do a version of food that you have access to (they probably do it better, but still, available in most big cities).

On Saturday, I'd take the early afternoon to peruse Grand Central Market.

Visiting with limited time—need help editing list of Mexican, tacos, Viet, Korean, Thai!

Since not too many have addressed the ice cream thing, I'll take a swing at that first...
I'd downvote the Mashti Malone's rec
Also, I think Scoops' texture is too inconsistent to recommend it to a visitor who's just giving it 1 shot.
There's plenty of solid ice cream these days, but there isn't really a concensus, so I would just go to one of these places when it happens to be close to where I'm at:
Bulgarini (Altadena)
Carmela's (Pasadena and Hollywood Farmer's Market)
Sweet Rose (Couple locations)
Neveux (Melrose)
Salt & Straw (Larchmont)
McConnell's (Downtown)
They don't necessarily have weird flavors, but they have flavors that they take to what some would say an extreme.

There are probably more interesting Korean options than Pot, but it is a more trendy option for Korean if you're looking for that.

Traffic talk is a bit overdone to me. The reason we have good ethnic food is because we have these enclaves of minorities away from city centers. Other cities have that too, and how long does it take to get from Manhattan to Flushing or from San Francisco to San Jose. Yes, you probably don't want to go from Santa Monica to San Gabriel at 6pm, but I've found that to be true for a lot of cities.

You could do Guelaguetza to Guerilla to Guisados to Mariscos without ever hitting the freeway.

Dying for awesome taco truck tacos in theSGV Temple City, Arcadia area

Not awesome, but the most popular trucks around me are the one on Rosemead and Duarte (mentioned above) and one that's picking up steam business-wise on Valley and San Gabriel. Not exactly your neck of the woods, but not too far. Again, not the greatest, but you just moved somewhere that is 60% Asian.

May 28, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Vietnamese food in Little Saigon vs. SGV

You should probably mention the places you've gone, because there are specialty restaurants in the SGV for pretty much every dish you singled out.

Apr 15, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

What does New York have that LA doesn't?

Others have said it better, but basically...
NY is a better city to dine in.
LA is a better city to eat in.

I don't think there's anything to freak out about.

Apr 09, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

What does New York have that LA doesn't?

I'll bite... I think their cocktail scene is much better than LA's. Specifically, they have the talent to provide a larger number of bars with good cocktails. LA is so desperate to proliferate that scene that we just throw "mixologist" in front of any joe-schmoe that infuses his gin with a bag of lipton's because that's what julian cox told him to do.

Apr 08, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

SGV: Duke Bakery update (?)

I am personally not a big fan of either, but they both have plenty of free samples for you to try if you're able to visit.

Apr 05, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

any rhubarb sightings lately? in desserts/pastries or raw at farmer's markets/grocery stores?

There's a dessert on the menu at Rustic Canyon. Haven't tried it myself, but Jeremy Fox posted a picture of it on his instagram:

Mar 24, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Bestia is excellent.

I don't care too much about the noise level, particularly because whenever I eat at Bestia, I seem to end up at a counter, where it's easier to hear your dining partner; BUT some (if not all? can't recall) of the servers like to do the, I-don't-need-to-write-down-your-order thing, and I've had a dish or two missing from the order a few times.

Why not just jot down the order?!? Always hated that.

Mar 20, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

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

Haven't been able to try their sandwiches, but I had their duck rillettes and head cheese, and they were my favorite rillettes and head cheese in LA. Also had a rabbit terrine that was pretty good. Everything was quite pricey, but to me, worth it.

Feb 26, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Pok pok phat thai

(in response to J. Gold, not so much barryc)
I'm guessing this is J. Gold's way of not really saying anything bad about the place, but so the party line is that phat thai is supposed to be bland? What about pad see ew and hoi thawt? When I ate there and thought it was bland, I meant every plate we had was bland, not just the phat thai.

We added the sauces. I've mainly heard about saucing the eponymous dish, but we're supposed to be adding some of the sauces to everything? Doesn't that just make every dish taste more or less the same? Was I supposed to add sugar to the hoi thawt? (I didn't, just used the hot sauce and fish sauce)

Feb 24, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Impossible Expectations?

I think what's a bit offensive (to me, but maybe this will extend to others) and triggers that nativist attitude is that some time ago, LA was considered a culinarily poor city. People from NY and SF (generally speaking, of course) would talk about their great dining scenes, and how LA was superficial. All style, no substance.

People from here know that we've had great Asian and Mexican food for a while, but outsiders never seemed to give those cuisines the respect they deserved. Now that casual Asian food is the hottest thing, every big city wants to hype up their place like it's the second coming (i.e. Pok Pok, Mission Chinese). But we've been LIVING in this space for a while. Authentic Asian food is a part of life in LA; not just a novelty that hipsters flock to because of the trend.

Thinking along those lines, the opening of Red O comes to mind. The audacity of someone to come in and say that he is going to introduce LA to authentic Mexican food is a bit infuriating. Not to mention that in another interview, he stated that Mexican food in San Francisco was better than in LA.

Pasadena help, please!!

Shiro feels to me like 90s Asian Fusion, but the catfish is always good. If you're looking for something a little different, Shiro is probably the place to go. I end up at Houston's the most out of the 5 just to satisfy my french dip cravings every now and then. Arroyo Chop House is probably the safest bet for your average steak and a salad kind of meal. Nicer ambiance than Houston's, and quieter as you'll be probably dining with more of the blue-haired folks from San Marino.

Not a fan of Smitty's and Gus's.

Feb 05, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena help, please!!

That's what I came here to post. Union is my favorite restaurant in Pasadena by a mile.

As a side note, I would take that other site's reviews in Pasadena with a grain of salt. I feel like the locals have a case of Stockholm syndrome after being stuck in a food desert for so long.

Feb 05, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Favorite Asian-Style pastries in/around SGV?

+1 on that
Also, my gf says it's gross, but I have a thing for the super-mayonnaise-y pork sung bun from JJ Bakery and the pork sung roll from Jim's Bakery. I think it's from growing up on a similar one from Cathy Bakery.

Jan 27, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

honeymoon thru Cali (2.5 nights at LA)

Don't want to spark any sort of argument, but I've got to vote against The House. I really don't think they're anywhere near the best of what San Francisco has to offer.

Jan 21, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

HK style desserts

Everything is in the same vicinity, so I prefer going to each place for whatever it is they tend to do better. You can get pretty much everything at Tea Station (for example), but I would just stick to the drinks, and leave the sticky rice soup and sesame balls to Phoenix, shaved ice to whoever else (haven't eaten that in a while), and HK egg waffle to Tasty Garden.

Jan 13, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

CA Foie Gras Import Ban-Struck Down by Court

Shunji comes to mind for me.
As soon as Animal puts that biscuit back on the menu (fingers crossed), I'm heading straight there.

And there are a few newer restaurants that I would like to see what they could do with foie; particularly, Chi Spacca and Rustic Canyon

Jan 08, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Pok pok phat thai

I did not enjoy it. I thought the flavors were very tame, similar to an average Thai takeout place. I guess I was hoping for something more aggressive.

The hip-looking couple with their 2 kids that sat next to us seemed to really enjoy their food though... so there's that.

Jan 05, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

Pok pok phat thai

Went on Saturday at 1PM. The short line moved quickly and the food was delivered within 10 minutes. I think they may have their food timing issues sorted out, so that shouldn't be too much of a deterrent.

The food on the other hand...

Jan 05, 2015
andytseng in Los Angeles Area

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

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