j

josephnl's Profile

Title Last Reply

What I Want When I Go Out

We have loved C & S in the past, but the last time we were there (on a Sunday evening), our food was not great. Was this an aberration? We've generally dined there at about 6 pm, and agree that the noise is not too bad.

about 1 hour ago
josephnl in Not About Food

What I Want When I Go Out

Can you really enjoy great food if the ambient decibel level is comparable to that emitted by a jet engine? I sure can't!

1 day ago
josephnl in Not About Food

What I Want When I Go Out

You are so spot on! We had an absolutely dreadful dinner a few weeks ago at Bestia, one of LA's hottest restaurant. Reservations are impossible to snag! The food was terrific, but the noise and chaos were so over-the-top that we couldn't get out soon enough.

Last evening we had a wonderfully pleasant dinner in a neighborhood restaurant (Rothschild's, Newport Beach, CA) wher the food is always very good (albeit not terribly creative, but very well prepared classical Italian/continental fare) and we are always warmly greeted, comfortably seated in very pleasant generally quiet surroundings, served excellent cocktails and wine with our food, have excellent service from knowledgeable, competent and professional servers, and thanked sincerely for coming, on the way out. And the tab is always quite reasonable. This place is a gem, and this combination is almost impossible to find nowadays!

The bigger question for me, is why do customers flock to the horrendously noisy spots which seem to be all the rage?

Jan 25, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Easy Beef Stew

Please, per my earlier post. You obviously were not thrilled with this stew. It would be most welcome if you could share with us what you liked, what you didn't, and any suggestions you might have to make it better. I think that most CH's would truly like to hear why you gave it 3 stars!

Jan 24, 2015
josephnl in Recipes

What I Want When I Go Out

You are not alone eatinginsf. It's really very difficult to find such places in LA. Pretty much all the places that have great food, have intolerable noise and/or indifferent service. The few exceptions are very, very expensive. It's truly pretty close to impossible to find a restaurant in LA with great food and service, with a conversationally conducive ambiance, for a reasonable price. The very, very few places with great food, service and ambiance in LA are extremely expensive and number less than a handful.

Jan 24, 2015
josephnl in Not About Food

Excellent Peruvian food in L.A.?

My original post was about finding excellent Peruvian food in L.A. I've read your post twice, and cannot find a relevant response. Did I miss something?

salt mills - how to stop the mess?

I too love the K-R mills, both for salt and pepper. The ceramic mills are excellent, they are easy to fill, and no rings on the table...the mills are on top! They are terrific!

Jan 23, 2015
josephnl in Cookware

Lekué microwave cookers??

Recently I was talked into buying a Lekué microwave popcorn cooker by a salesperson at Sur la Table. I was hesitant, but after using it for a month now, I absolutely love it. After figuring out how to judge the timing by listening to the pops, the corn pops perfectly with or without oil (or butter) and is a snap to clean. Was again in SLT this morning and same salesperson tried to convince me to buy the omelette maker and some other food cookers. I resisted, being very hesitant about microwaved eggs, or most other foods. Do others use Lekué cookers...and what do you think!

Jan 23, 2015
josephnl in Cookware

Is there anywhere to have a nice dinner in downtown LA?

I'll accept that you didn't mean to call me cheap, but when you say "if you're going to be cheap about it" it seems difficult to interpret it otherwise. Enough said.

So...what price point is necessary to pay for what I think you understand I mean by a "nice dinner" (great food, good service and pleasant reasonably quiet conversationally conducive environment) in downtown LA, and where is such available other than Patina (or perhaps Red Bird which I've not tried as yet)?

Is there anywhere to have a nice dinner in downtown LA?

ipse...I don't know! I've truly enjoyed your posts in the past, but I really don't appreciate your insult. I've been called many things in my life (mostly correct), but I've never been called cheap, and I truly don't think it applies to me. We've literally just come home from a local restaurant where we were treated well and I tipped $40 on a $60 tab! Two months ago, we spent close to $1,000 for a wonderful dinner in the Napa Valley (The French Laundry) and really thought that the value (what we received for the dollars spent) was terrific. We regularly spend $100 pp for dinner, and never think it's excessive...if the food, service and ambiance are good. So yes, call me cheap if you wish, but there are times when I do not wish to spend the price that a wonderful dinner at Patina will cost (likely $200 with drinks, nice wine and a generous and deserving tip). And yes, although the food at the Water Grill is pretty good, the ambiance and service (to me) are not worth the price.

I have high expectations of dinner at RedBird which we'll try for the first time in a few weeks (and quite frankly, if it's terrific, the cost is pretty much irrelevant). We loved Grace, and ate there many times and we're keeping our fingers crossed for Neal Fraser's new spot. But aside from Patina, or Noe (where the food is respectable, but not that interesting), it's hard to find all three...food, service, and ambiance in downtown LA at any price. And no ipse...I'm not cheap!!

Is there anywhere to have a nice dinner in downtown LA?

Great idea! Thanks...we loved Grace, and have wanted to try RedBird!

Jan 21, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Is there anywhere to have a nice dinner in downtown LA?

We've had very mediocre food at F & F!

Jan 21, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Is there anywhere to have a nice dinner in downtown LA?

Sure PDC is good (for basic steak and grill items), and likely Noé at the Omni comes closest to what we're looking for, but I guess my point is that most (if not all) of the newer restaurants in LA that serve interesting and terrific food (such as Bestia) do so in an environment that is loud and uncomfortable. Is there someplace that I've not considered ?

Jan 20, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Is there anywhere to have a nice dinner in downtown LA?

I really mean it. We're at a loss to have a nice dinner anywhere in downtown LA. By "nice", I mean really excellent food, good service, and an environment where easy conversation is possible. Yes, Patina fits the bill, but it's terribly expensive. Bestia has great food, but the noise is totally intolerable (at least to me). The food at Ravera, Chaya and Drago are all ok, but sort of corporate/chain-like and nothing special. Church and State was very good, but seems to be slipping. Water Grill was terrific before their remodel, but is now just ok, and not worth the cost. I know this sounds (and likely is) really negative, but we like great food served in a nice and reasonably quiet environment with good service. Does this exist downtown?

Jan 20, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Faith & Flower - anyone been yet?

Totally agree. When we were last at Bestia the noise and overall chaos were such that the food became irrelevant...we couldn't wait to get out!

Will have to look at Wood Spoon!

Jan 20, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Faith & Flower - anyone been yet?

If you want all three...food, service and ambiance (pleasant and conversation friendly), it still seems that the picks are very few. Which restaurants would qualify, do you think?

Jan 20, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Non-ethnic, (ok maybe Italian is ok) not further than 10 miles East or West from Beverly Hilton

We also hate noisy restaurants, but we've had very good meals at Sotto in pretty quiet surroundings...by eating at 5:30 or 6:00pm during the week!

Jan 19, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Faith & Flower - anyone been yet?

Couldn't agree more re the food. Everything we had (2 of us and 5 plates) was either just ok or poorer. The drinks were tasty, but very short pours for the money. Couldn't understand why the place was packed (on a Sunday night)! We definitely will not return. It seems like downtown restaurants are for the most part lots of hype, and truly terrific restaurants (food, service and ambiance) are not easily found!

Jan 19, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area
1

Easy Beef Stew

Just giving star ratings is all well and good, but for me (and I suspect other CH's) unless you give a recipe 5 stars and think it's absolutely perfect as is, it's much more useful to hear your comments...what you liked, what you didn't, and how you would make it better!

Jan 19, 2015
josephnl in Recipes

Orange County -- Can't-miss markets, bakeries, butchers, etc.?

Taco Maria is the star in SoCo. I know that's not what the op is about, but TM may well be the best dining experience in all of OC!

Jan 19, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Newport Beach dinner recs

What is unique about the atmosphere at The Dock? Do they serve cocktails?

Bayside can be terrific, but is IMHO much less consistent than their sister restaurant in Irvine, Bistango which is pretty much always on target.

Jan 18, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

How Do You Say "Pho"?

If you consider that the origin of the word "pho" is from the French "feu" which means fire, it's pretty obvious how it should be pronounced. The traditional Vietnamese soup got its name from the street vendors who kept their broth bubbling over small burners and folks seeing the flame would refer to it using the French word "feu".

Jan 18, 2015
josephnl in Features

Non-ethnic, (ok maybe Italian is ok) not further than 10 miles East or West from Beverly Hilton

Unless you are going to order the food for your guests (which I personally can't imagine doing), it's pretty close to impossible to host a dinner party at any good restaurant in LA, and keep the food cost at $30pp. If you are going to be a gracious host, you have to be comfortable with your guests ordering what they really want to eat. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I can't really think of any good restaurant where if your guests order what they want, the food cost will average $30pp, and with alcohol, tax and tip, it'll likely be at least (likely more than) twice that. If that's really your budget, unfortunately your choices are between slim and none and perhaps you need to rethink the whole thing.

Non-ethnic, (ok maybe Italian is ok) not further than 10 miles East or West from Beverly Hilton

I would disagree that the food is consistently good. In my opinion, the food is consistently very mediocre. The flatbreads (if you can get one hot) are pretty tasty, but I've yet to have an entree that was anything I'd want to order again.

Jan 18, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Newport Beach dinner recs

Had dinner again Friday night at the Quiet Woman. I think it's likely perfect for your group. The food is good, and not fussy. The menu is pretty extensive with something for everyone. The drinks and wine list are both excellent, and service is very good. It's not terribly noisy, but it's not so quiet that if you folks raise your voices a bit you'll be noticed.

Jan 18, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Signs that someone is a GOOD cook

Of course if the pantry is stocked with Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup and Rice 'r Roni, and the frig contains Kraft Swiss and Velveeta cheese it's not a good sign. Nevertheless, the bottom line is the food on the table. If the host/hostess serves nice drinks and wine, and puts ample and tasty food on the table and provides a convivial environment, that's all I need and in my book, he or she is a "good cook".

Jan 17, 2015
josephnl in General Topics
1

Easy Greek Salad

We had an extended visit to Nafplion (Pelopenese peninsula) and Athens and had a "Greek salad" either for lunch or dinner pretty much every day during our several week stay. I can't say for certain that none ever had vinegar in the dressing, but on most occasions (many composed in front of us), lemon was sqeezed over the olive oil dressed salad. It may differ regionally, but that was our experience. The most consistent fact was that unlike Greek salads served in the US, there was never lettuce on the salad, and feta was always a slice or block, sprinkled with abundant oregano!

Jan 17, 2015
josephnl in Recipes

Orange County -- Can't-miss markets, bakeries, butchers, etc.?

Santa Monica Seafood in Costa Mesa for fish (of course the Dory fishing fleet is better if you can get there)
85c Bakery in Irvine
Sabatino's in Newport Beach for Italian sausages
Bristol Farms (Newport) and Gelson's (irvine or Newport) are probably the best supers.

Jan 17, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Easy Greek Salad

In Greece, lemon is almost always used...not vinegar!

Jan 17, 2015
josephnl in Recipes

Newport Beach dinner recs

Don't know if it's important for your group, but I don't believe that The Dock serves cocktails! Per Yelp it's B&W only.

Jan 17, 2015
josephnl in Los Angeles Area