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Miketsu's Profile

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Discontinued at Trader Joe's - January thru June 2012 [OLD]

A crewmember once told me sometimes it's that the item isn't popular, and other times it's some kind of problem with the supplier (price or availability mostly).

I still miss the frozen cha sui bao they had back in the mid-90's. I practically lived off those until they discontinued 'em.

Jan 29, 2012
Miketsu in Chains

Anyone familiar with Olga's Kitchen?

Well for me at least, Olga's is all about the memories rather than the food quality. It's a taste of childhood and it's comfort food, so I can't review it as I would any old chain restaurant. I'd probably feel differently if I still lived near one, but maybe not, judging by some of the comments above.

I used to make the lengthy drive to the one in Thousand Oaks after I moved to CA, was very sorry when I heard it closed. According to a local newspaper article at the time, the owner wanted to move on, corporate didn't want to buy it, and he was contractually forbidden from selling it (no idea why that would be). So it closed. Now if I want an Olga's fix, it's a 2,000 mile trip.

Jan 29, 2012
Miketsu in Chains

Moving to LA. Which neighborhood for a Hound?

Agreed for hiking around. I love to go for walks and bike rides in lots of places in Culver City.

I meant that urban walking in order to get somewhere commercial (shops, restaurants) is typically not terribly pretty. Often quite practical -- I could comfortably walk to two grocery stores, a yogurt place, a couple other stores, and a few moderate-quality restaurants, but the trips were mostly along busy arterial roads and through parking lots.

May 31, 2010
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

Best Lobster Roll in Los Angeles area?

It's the cold with mayo at Neptune's Net, so not what you're looking for. But stacyface1 has what sounds like a great (although expensive) solution anyway. Sounds really good and simple, I've never had it that way and now I want to try it.

May 31, 2010
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

Best Lobster Roll in Los Angeles area?

It's been a long time since i was in Maine, so my lobster roll discrimination isn't what it once was, but I really enjoyed the one I had last Friday at Neptune's Net in Malibu. Plus you order from a counter and eat at a big old picnic bench overlooking the ocean, so it's a real lobster roll experience.

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Neptune's Net Seafood
42505 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

May 31, 2010
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

Moving to LA. Which neighborhood for a Hound?

Good info about the Culver City bus, especially if the OP doesn't have parking in Westwood. I lived in Culver City and worked in Westwood about four years ago and my commute was great, almost never more than 25 minutes from getting in the car to walking in the office door. But that was because the job came with parking, so I never had to hunt down a spot. If the OP's going to need to look for Westwood parking, then public transit is the way to go most of the time.

Downtown Culver City is pretty decent for walking, but it's a very small area. For most of the city, cant talk...eating is right that it's not very pleasant for walking, at least out of the residential areas and over to businesses.

May 31, 2010
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

Viking, Themador, DCS or Blue Star, what's the best?

Thanks for the info, this is very helpful. I'd actually already tried calling a repairman recommended by a friend with a Wolf, but they guy wouldn't even consider touching our BS, even though this is not warranty work. Of course, that's just one guy, so I will either try DIY or find another recommendation. Probably DIY, since my spouse actually IS a rocket scientist. :-)

I do realize the range isn't actually dying, that was meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek. But this isn't the first problem we've had with it, although it's only been in service for a bit less than four years.

I guess my point is that the range should hold up better, and that it shouldn't be this hard to get it repaired. I think Prizer Painter and their distributors and retailers really ought to have a network of repair people to recommend and be willing to provide that information to any Blue Star owner, regardless of when or where they bought. I know Trevor at Eurostoves does, but they're all on the East Coast, which isn't useful for us. I've never had to call around like this for any other appliance unless I was looking for a better price or repair schedule. In this case, we just want someone qualified to come fix the darn thing, we're not shopping for a great deal.

May 31, 2010
Miketsu in Cookware

How fast (or slow) will a 5 cu. ft. to 6.4 cu. ft. oven heat?

You don't want a 36" Blue Star if you want a fast-heating oven. Mine takes about 30 minutes to get to 350. My ancient 36" Magic Chef (came with the house) was MUCH quicker. And while it probably had a slightly smaller oven in cubic feet, it wasn't one of these actually-a-30"-but-padded-to-fill-36" ones. New tech isn't always better tech, I guess.

I wouldn't buy Blue Star again, but not because of the oven heating time. Ours has other problems and it's been tough to get service.

May 29, 2010
Miketsu in Cookware

Viking, Themador, DCS or Blue Star, what's the best?

We bought a 36" BlueStar range with 4 burners and a grill in 2006. We would not buy BS again. At the moment, we have ONE working burner, plus the grill and the oven. The others three burners will light, but the igniters will not stop clicking. We're still trying to find a repair person who will come out and service it. I've tried calling a local dealer, but when the guy realized we didn't buy from them, he stonewalled and wouldn't give us a name. Obviously, I'll be making more calls to other dealers and hope to find someone soon.

Back when we had a serious problem under warranty (the grill exploded during a dinner party--drama!), we had a horrible time getting any service out of Prizer Painter or the regional distributor that they designated for their warranty work coordination. It took them three weeks to ship us the replacement part and another 3.5 beyond that to find a local service person to install it. Trevor from Eurostoves (our dealer) had to go to bat for us with the regional distributor or it might have been even longer.

This difficulty in finding a repair person makes it sound like we live way out in the hinterlands, but we're on the west side of Los Angeles.

The huge oven is fantastic when cooking something larger (several trays of cookies or a big turkey), but it takes what feels like forever to heat up. I've timed it at about 30 minutes to get to 350. It has broken me of the frozen pizza habit, since with a 36" BS that's no longer a quick just-get-it-on-the-table dinner. Our old stove was an ancient 36" Magic Chef with a 36" oven (not a 30" oven with padding!) that came with our house and it didn't take anywhere near as long. It probably wasn't quite as big, though...I didn't measure but I'm pretty sure the BS oven is somewhat larger.

The burners on the BS were the big draw for us, with the large-capacity oven second. And the burners, when they work, are fabulous. When we have to go to another stove when this one dies (or more accurately, finishes dying), I will miss their super high-power and wonderful control.

I read things before we bought saying the BS has very sharp edges on some parts, is hard to clean, and the front of the range heats up to the point that it's dangerous for small children...all true in our experience but not a deal breaker for us. Right after I cut my fingers cleaning the grill (you have to disassemble that part completely to clean it), I was ready to ship the whole thing back, but over time I've gotten used to being careful when cleaning it and it's not such a big deal. As for cleaning the grates and stovetop, I second what johnb wrote above. And the exterior of the oven does heat up, but I didn't want to allow my young kid close enough to the oven for this to be a problem anyway.

Sorry for such a long post, this is my first time writing about our BS experience and I guess I tried to fit everything in. I've been meaning to write something up for quite a while not, but just hadn't made the time until now.

Bottom line, we would not buy Blue Star again. And if you're still considering one, get your dealer to give you the names and phone numbers of TWO repair people BEFORE you buy, so if it breaks later you at least have some options for repair.

May 29, 2010
Miketsu in Cookware

Any Chow-worthy lunch places around Slauson/405?

I've eaten at King's Kabab pretty frequently when I have a gyro craving and it's always been reasonably decent. No idea how their falafel is, though, since I've never had it. I wouldn't travel far to go there, but it's a nice local place, no complaints. Be sure to order over the phone for pick-up, otherwise the wait can chew up your whole lunch hour.

Mar 21, 2010
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

Drunken Crab and the Art of Being a Waiter.

All the problems have caught up with them. The place is closed and there's a notice of eviction on the door dated August 6th. Fastest restaurant death I've seen in that location yet. And there have been a lot of them.

Aug 15, 2009
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

Ethnic Breakfasts

Little Ethiopia Restaurant on Fairfax has an Ethiopian breakfast that my friend Rick raves about. I haven't tried it yet, but did have an enjoyable dinner there not too long ago.

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Little Ethiopia Restaurant
1048 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Jun 10, 2008
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

Sandwiches in Culver City

Joyce's subs are great and huge. The atmosphere is very strip-mall, with those brown formica tables, video games, and a pinball machine, but the sandwiches are really tasty. Wish I could remember one well enough to describe it, but all my brain can come up with right now is "yummy."

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Joyce's Submarine Sandwiches
10712 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

Mar 13, 2008
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

Sandwiches in Culver City

Outdoor Grill is actually in Culver City. The City is about a block and a half wide at that point, but the Grill is still technically within city limits! And I second your vote for it...everything I've had there has been so tasty.

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Outdoor Grill
12630 1/2 Washington Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90066

Mar 13, 2008
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

Cupcakes?

Susiecakes!!! Oh my god, these are good cupcakes! I have a neighbor who pays me in Susiecakes cupcakes for watching her house and taking in her mail when she travels. I haven't actually been there, so can't comment on their customer service (except that they were very nice on the phone when I called about cake pricing once). But I've eaten lots of their cupcakes and I am totally addicted to their icing. My two favorites are the coconut and the chocolate, but everything has been wonderful.

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SusieCakes Bakery
11708 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Mar 13, 2008
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

help scottish tourists looking for good cheap food in lax area of los angeles

Truxton's is great, but not cheap. At least not as I define "cheap," but budgets vary.

And if Bay CIties is too far, what about Sorrento? No place to eat there (it's a crowded little market), but great for a take-out picnic on a nice day.

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Sorrento Italian Market
5518 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

Mar 13, 2008
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

NEED GIRL SCOUT COOKIES

I was curious, so I Googled it. Several sources say that the two names are because the cookies are produced by two different bakeries and there are very slight differences between the two cookies. Samoas are made by Little Brownie Bakers and Caramel deLites are from ABC Bakers. Nothing to do with being politically correct. Each Girl Scout Council chooses which bakery to buy from (not sure what the criteria are). Since the LA area has several Councils, we might see different names around town, depending on where we go. Apparently I have WAY too much free time. :-)

Mar 13, 2008
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

All you can eat sushi

Otom is still there, but ownership has changed and they don't offer AYCE any more. It's an okay place without it, but the prices have gone up slightly and the quality has gone down. I didn't do AYCE before, so I don't miss that. But I sure miss Katsu....he got the good fish!

This was once our go-to neighborhood sushi place. Now we're looking for a new one.

Mar 13, 2008
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

NEED GIRL SCOUT COOKIES

I have a box in my pantry right now (but not for long!) and they're still called Samoas. I think the photo on the box is the same also...those girls must be pushing thirty by now. :-)

Mar 13, 2008
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

Best breakfast in L.A.

Mmm...I second your recommendation of Cafe Laurent. The best Eggs Benedict I have ever eaten, bar none. They use brioche instead of English muffin and the result is incredibly rich and tasty. I keep trying to get myself to order something else, but end up with the classic Benedict at least 80% of the time.

Service is friendly and occasionally a little slow, but never enough that it's bothered me. The hostess is a bit reserved and very French. The inside room is light and bright, while the outdoor patio is charming. And amazingly, we've never had to wait for a table, even for Sunday brunch.

Mar 13, 2008
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area

Sushi from Vons

We've been getting the sushi from the case at our Pavillions in Culver City for a while now (it's not very upscale, so basically a Vons). For what it is, it's really pretty good. The fish is reasonably fresh and the rice holds up okay. Definitely fixes the sushi craving when we don't have time or a babysitter to get over to a sushi bar.

They don't seem to have a chef at all, but do have a sushi assembler who takes requests during the daytime. She doesn't cut the fish, though, just puts together the prepared materials. It is fresher tasting than what's in the case, but the case stuff isn't bad.

T.J.'s sushi is nasty...won't buy it anymore even when desperate. Whole Foods in El Segundo had decent sushi when we tried it a few month's back, but the wait for custom-made was long and the price wasn't that great. Would rather go to a bar and have the whole experience and better sushi. Haven't tried the other stores mentioned here.

Mar 13, 2008
Miketsu in Los Angeles Area