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HAPPY HOUR SPOT NEAR SKIRBALL CENTER FOR 40

So far they're great suggestions, but too pricey. West had a $3500 minimum! That is far to spendy for our school budget!
I'm so sad that there's no place in the Village anymore. That would have been perfect. Sigh... Bel Air Bar & Grill will likely be too pricey as well and SF Saloon isn't really nice enough.
What about ideas down the hill in Sherman Oaks or Encino. Suggestions?

May 27, 2014
compucook in Los Angeles Area

HAPPY HOUR SPOT NEAR SKIRBALL CENTER FOR 40

Our group will be a Skirball for a ceremony on a Friday in June and want to head to a happy hour on the the Westside around 4pm.
I need suggestions on the Westside but not too far from the 405. Many people come from south of LAX so keeping it central without hitting too much traffic on a Friday afternoon would be a plus. Also needed is good prices on food, drinks and most important-- a private area (doesn't have to be a room) for us to mingle. We will be celebrating and we can be a bit boisterous. A variety of ages, but economy is the key.
The group wanted to go to the Marina, but that drive will take nearly 45 min at that hour.
Can you suggest somewhere that's reasonable, easy access and easy parking?
Thanks!

May 27, 2014
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Sixtieth (gulp) Birthday Party

My family wants to celebrate my birthday. I'm in denial. I want to have a nice day for mostly our friends, but also our grandkids and a some younger friends. I was considering a Sunday brunch or luncheon, but I do not want it in some interior banquet room @any restaurant. It's in the beginning of November and I'd like somewhere that's either interesting, or pretty. The caveat is that the menu has to be pretty broad. We're from the SFV, but will go anywhere in the valley, westside or L.A.. I have looked at the Westlake Village Inn as they have a variety of different rooms. I would also consider Saddle Peak. Someone suggested the Culver Hotel's second floor, I've not seen it.
Good food is primary, with a varied menu. The space is important too. Anywhere from 25-50 guests. Room to mingle would be great. Our home would have been ideal, but we will have some construction happening Suggestions please!

Sep 06, 2013
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Looking for high-quality fruit platters that can be picked up at a grocery store

Ralph's fresh fare does a nice job. Nothing exotic but nice quality. $29.95. Serves 15

Aug 23, 2013
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Pei Wei Asian Diner in Culver City---- UGH!!!

I know it's owned by PF Chang's. I was attracted to the "idea" that all the food was cooked fresh. WRONG! They get points for having a gluten free menu option, but my sodden potato starch coated chicken was far from "fresh". More likely reheated from frozen. And reheated in gooey, super sweet sauce.
All I wanted was stir fried chicken without wheat or soy, fresh veggies and maybe all in a lettuce cup. Is chicken, veggies and a bit of heat too much to ask? Apparently so. The veggies were fresh, but that's it. Other meals at our table were too salty, too sweet and very mediocre! C'mon folks you can do better!

Aug 22, 2013
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Sawtelle Corridor - LA Neighborhood of the Month (Oct 2012)

I completely agree. Their burgers aren't for those of us whose stomachs are overwhelmed with too much fat. I wish they had a couple of healthier options on the menu. It's on my way home and the vibe was great, but I feel really guilty and overly full when I'm done. Adding a dessert or greasy fries might do me in.

Oct 11, 2012
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Shishito peppers--where else to try them

My DH heard good things about them and wants to try them. I'll check the Japanese markets, but can you suggest restaurants in Culver City or the SFvalley where we can find them already cooked?

Aug 08, 2012
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Quiet Dinner on the Westside

Tlapazola Grill on Venice? Not super quiet, but good. I also really like the Nook on the of Santa Monica and Barry. Ask for a quieter booth. Midpriced, always good.

Jun 02, 2012
compucook in Los Angeles Area

T-Day Postmortem: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Your technique may have left something to be desired, but I'm sensing a theme with Diestel birds this year!

Nov 26, 2011
compucook in Home Cooking

T-Day Postmortem: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Very informative, thanks for sharing. Our Diestel turkey was running red with blood. In 35 years of cooking I've never seen white meat that was fully cooked, but stained red. It was my first time preparing a Diestel. I imagine since it was a caged free hen, she did lots of running. Nevertheless it was unappetizing and not particularly good. Thankfully I had two Empire Kosher 1/2 breasts to fill in with. They're always juicy and succulent!

Nov 26, 2011
compucook in Home Cooking

60th b-day lunch

Skimming the article, I'm not excited. We were married at the Bel Air and it holds a special charm. I'm not excited to go and just order a steak but the other items mentioned, weren't appealing. In fact, I thought the photo of the poached egg with the foam looked revolting!

Nov 20, 2011
compucook in Los Angeles Area

DELICATA SQUASH- WHERE TO BUY IT?

Thanks all. Our Encino Farmer's Market was bare last week. :( if it doesn't rain, I'll be there!

Nov 20, 2011
compucook in Los Angeles Area

DELICATA SQUASH- WHERE TO BUY IT?

I live in Sherman Oaks, but can go anywhere on the Westside too. Have you seen any to buy this week? I'd love to bake some and serve for Thanksgiving!

Thanks in advance!

Nov 19, 2011
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Maximiliano in Highland Park

Tonight, friends spirited me from Sherman Oaks to Highland Park to try out this gem! Only later did I find out that it was owned by Max, previously of Sherman Oaks! I enjoyed "Max" in its heyday and was delighted with my meal tonight.

It's a comfortable, hip space, not too noisy and with a comfortable seat. There are normal tables and a communal table in the center of the room, as well as an eating bar for seating. Thankfully reservations were accepted and honored!

My appetizer was baked polenta pomodoro with gorgonzola. It was such a nice blend of flavor and texture, I wanted to lick the empty dish! Others had the risotto and the meatballs, all good! Main dish was their delicious pork chop. What a great value for an outstanding piece of meat. The sauce was a bit sweet, but yummy. I tasted the salmon piccata, it was also very good. We didn't sample the pizza, nor try a salad, but I would definitely try the Roasted Italian Squashes or the Baked Fennel on my return trip.

The lemon tart or their version of cream brulee were good, the cannoli also looked good at the next table. Service was quick, the kitchen's only hiccup was running out of decaf coffee. If that's the worst occurence with only one week in business, I'd say they're doing it right! I hope Max will someday consider opening a branch back here in Sherman Oaks!

Oct 29, 2011
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Concert tonight at Staples with 86 yr old mom-- where to eat?

You're all too cute. Probably going to eat somewhere mundane in the valley. Thanks for the good suggestions, next time Hubs and I make an event downtown, I'll have these ideas in my pocket!

Sep 24, 2011
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Concert tonight at Staples with 86 yr old mom-- where to eat?

Not close enough...I think to minimize the unknown factor we'll eat in the valley. Maybe near Universal or the edge of Studio City.
Suggestions?

Sep 24, 2011
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Concert tonight at Staples with 86 yr old mom-- where to eat?

Any other suggestions (coming from the valley) are also appreciated. Mom's a meat eater but our friend only eats fish & chicken and I'm gluten free. I'm trying to accommodate everyone's preferences. Suggest away...!

Sep 24, 2011
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Concert tonight at Staples with 86 yr old mom-- where to eat?

I'm taking Mom & a friend to see Tony Bennett tonight at Staples. The concert begins at 7pm.

Mom loves Prime Rib, so I though the Carvery would be great for a quick bite before the concert. I'm totally unfamilar with LA Live & Staples area. How much walking is involved? Can you park close to both or do I have to move the car?
Mom's very capable of walking, but she is 86!

Thanks in advance for your help!

Sep 24, 2011
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Goodbye Zankou

Rudeness is rudeness the world around. Zankou seems to specialize in counter help who take rudeness to an artform. Tonight's counter service in WLA was particularly offensive. They couldn't have cared less. For so-so chicken and pretty good shwarma, I think we will visit only when there's no other choice!

May 24, 2011
compucook in Los Angeles Area

It's Artichoke Season - Who's Got 'Em?

Our favorite would be Bandera in West LA. Their smoky grilled artichoke is heavenly!

Apr 21, 2011
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Disney Fans: Goofy's Kitchen or Storyteller's Cafe for Dinner

There's nothing to fear as far as I am concerned. We did pay Disney prices for a birthday brunch at Goofy's kitchen a year ago for our grandson's birthday. I'm fairly picky, but we found the food to be good fare, loads of variety, a bright and sunny room and good service. It's Disneyland, not known for fine dining, but this was seriously good for a brunch. I specifically liked that they served lots of options for breakfast, even pizza! We were with a 3 year old and two 5 year olds, 4 adults and no one was unhappy. The 3 year old loved Goofy and we were staying in the hotel, so it was perfect!
Frankly, the entire birthday stay in the hotel was a blast!

Apr 21, 2011
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Chain Restaurants in the San Fernando Valley

Why are they so inconsistent? I would think as a chain that the formulas are standard and many ingredients are pre-assembled in a central commissary with little room for error. But instead I'm finding more of a wasteland when I want/need a quick meal with wide options. I eat few carbs due to allergies, but I can usually find a salad or a burger that will satisfy me.

That said, in the past few weeks I've had awful burgers at Islands (gristle and mediocre taste), Ruby's (burger just about inedible-- it took a ton of catsup to make that dry, lettuce-wrapped patty go down) and tonight at Red Robin the server was a poorly trained imbecile and the kitchen was inconsistent on food temperatures.
It's not just limited to burgers because the "Kobb Salad" at Islands was appalling! The chicken was ice cold and sliced paper thin, filled with red cabbage and with almost no avocado or bacon added. It was truly awful! In my estimation Island's burgers have always been underwhelming, but they've had other choices like their tortilla soup that redeemed them. Just so you know my standard, I think CPK's Cobb salad is delicious.

We want/need/must have some other options when we dine with our pre-school grandchildren and need a fast meal. Is anyone else feeling like the chains are going down the tubes?

Oct 17, 2010
compucook in Chains

Simon's restaurant Sherman Oaks

Again last night this charming man made us feel like honored guests as he welcomed us into his humble establishment. DH loves his lamb tagine, and although my diet is tied to the avoidance of a huge number of allergy provoking substances, Simon accommodated us both. The food is delicious, consistent and fresh, the prices are excellent and everything appears to be homemade.

After "dining" (I use that word loosely) at a number of the regular mediocre chain restaurants with our kids and grands, I have to ask why isn't Simon's packed with guests?

Oct 17, 2010
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Sick in the valley

Once again we had a delicious meal at Simon's in Sherman Oaks. As usual my husband and mother had his delicious lamb tagine and I opted for the salmon. The veggies were fantastic-- he purchased them that day from the farmer's market. The red bliss potatoes were so sweet and the yellow cauliflower tasted as if it had been slightly buttered, however Simon swore that he had just steamed them- it was a natural buttery-ness. Whatever it was-- they were awesome! Hubby finished his meal with a homemade sour cherry torte. All of his baked goods are homemade and special. they're not overly rich and often have ground almonds and fruit.

We love going in and being treated like honored guests. Apparently so does a certain celeb who was at an adjacent table!

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Simon's Cafe
7748 Highway 290 W, Austin, TX 78736

Aug 31, 2010
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Anyone been to Craft lately?

I'm glad to see that I'm not alone in disliking this restaurant. My one experience was underwhelming and that was back in '08. This past week we were being treated to lunch in the same complex. I fully expected our host to suggest Craft, but instead we dined at Breezes in the Century Plaza. When I mentioned that I had thought that he would suggest Craft, he assured me that he didn't care for the food, family style dining (w/o the family) or the noise level. Definitely not somewhere that he wants to have a business lunch!
After reading comments here, I'm glad that he chose Breezes. Their varied menu and good food (if not epicurean) was excellent. I especially loved their vanilla SORBET.

It fascinates me that Tom Colicchio can critique the Top Chef contestants' food but not his own!

Aug 21, 2010
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Dining out with food allergies - strategies?

Hey I'm right up there with you too! I'm not sure if they're intolerances or allergies. The allergist would say allergies but in speaking with a nurse at the National Jewish Medical Center in Denver about allergies, she said if I didn't have immediate severe symptoms it might be an intolerance. See the recent Wall Street Journal article on this subject.

Now where to go with my mother tonight. DH is fed and gone, I need to take mom to dinner..somewhere.Geez with my limitations and boring diet, this foodie is ultra frustrated!

May 29, 2010
compucook in Not About Food

Hooray - Farewell to Koo Koo Roo Beverly Hills

They'd really gone down hill, I just tried the WLA number and it's disconnected. My only regret is that they'd deliver food when we were having a board meeting. Now I'm left with fewer choices. Cafe Dijon on Sawtelle seems to have been sold or lowered their standards on the chicken, so I'm less inclined to order from them either. Sigh...

May 29, 2010
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Hooray - Farewell to Koo Koo Roo Beverly Hills

My daughter informed me that the woodland hills location if boarded up! I wonder if the chain has closed.

May 29, 2010
compucook in Los Angeles Area

Anna's in WLA to Close (not that most of you will care)

Good! Emilio's can use another good waiter!

May 29, 2010
compucook in Los Angeles Area

85th Birthday luncheon for 12 in the SFV on a Saturday?

Rive Gauche, I haven't considered that one at all. I'll make some calls today. Sunday Brunch would have been a great idea...unfortunately I've already called most everyone to hold the date.

Where would you suggest for brunch if I'm able to change the date?

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Rive Gauche Cafe
14106 Ventura Blvd Ste 200, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

May 27, 2010
compucook in Los Angeles Area