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paigeharrison's Profile

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Nice Bar/Lounge in Santa Monica/Westside?

I would suggest Upper West on Pico. They have a great happy hour with amazing food, excellent wines by the glass and interesting cocktails. The lighting is really inviting and I generally find that the bar is easily accessible. The atmosphere is very relaxed, I have often engaged with interesting conversation, but never felt the "pick-up" vibe.

Another great happy hour is Copa d'Oro on Broadway and 4th. The best $5 cocktail in town.

Adventurous Anniversary, not too $$$?

Maybe try someplace that has free corkage - that would definitely help with the tab. If you can go on a Monday, perhaps head down to the beach for a walk and then have dinner at Josie? There is also a few great thai massage places that are local - you could turn it into quite a day.

Girls' Night Out in the SF Valley

This is closer to Studio City than Woodland Hills, but my girlfriend and I had a blast at Pinot Bistro on Ventura. It is part of the Pinot chain, which I have never been dissapointed with. The food was excellent, the wine was great and it had a really nice feel.

Absolut LA vodka--where is it?

Jerry's Liquor on Wilshire a bit west of Bundy had it about five days ago.

Breast Practices

Having made my comments about breast-feeding, I would like to re-direct my attention to the real issue at hand. Here's the deal, people. Many of us witness behaviors that are either odd, creepy or just bug us for reasons unknown. Sometimes we witness these behaviors when we are dining. Who the f@ck cares? Ignore it and get back to your dinner. If you are so otherwise involved in other people's behavior, you have bigger problems.

It really shouldn't make a difference if someone is nursing, kissing or doing some other sort of non-eating activity (although I guess the baby is eating) while you are in a reataurant. Eat your own damn dinner and let it go.

Aug 09, 2008
paigeharrison in Features

Breast Practices

shellyesq, I am not offended so much as I feel strongly that there is a better choice. We clearly are in a health care crisis in this country, mostly for lifestyle choices. Breast-feeding is one lifestyle choice. I feel this way about other choices, such as smoking or drinking too much or eating poor quality food. I freely admit to an extra (and un-needed) glass of wine on occasion. I'm not saying you should be damned for your choice, but I'm also making a stand here by saying that breast-feeding is the *better* choice.

I agree with you that everyone should mind their own business. I was making the point that however you feed your child, (bottle or breast) is not something that should be commented upon by other people in a restaurant setting.

Aug 06, 2008
paigeharrison in Features

Breast Practices

Cheflambo, to echo suebebe, yes, people actually came up to me and told me that nursing my baby was wonderful, that more women should and that my husband should be proud of me. (I'm not so sure about that last part, I would like to think spousal pride rests upon things other than child-rearing).

On more than one occasion, I had verbal evidence that people (some anyway) thought the practice of breast-feeding in a restaurant was commendable. You hint at something that might be right - it is possible and probably likely that those who were troubled did not speak up.

But, like I mentioned earlier, I happen to think using commercial formula is appaling, yet I have never once gone up to a woman and said so. It would be terribly rude.

I think one part of this issue is that people do all sorts of things that are bothersome to others. Breastfeeding might be one of them. I think people who eat too loudly or who are grossly overweight or wear too much perfume are all rude. Would I ever say anything? No. Usually, I look up from my dinner and my conversation, notice whatever obnoxious thing they are doing and forget about it moments later.

I find it ridiculous that people find breasfeeding to be rude or obnoxious, but if they do, they should probably find some more entertaining dinner companions to distract them.

Aug 06, 2008
paigeharrison in Features

Breast Practices

I'm actually more offended when I see a woman pull out a bottle of formula, especially when the baby is a real infant. Babies are meant to be breastfed. Formula doesn't even come close to meeting the same quality of nutrition.

I know this is a very hot topic. I also know that some mother's can't. However, by and large, most women make a choice that I think is ultimately detrimental to their child's health. I realize that lots of people are formula fed and turn out "fine". But, that is a poor justification.

If we started a philosophical shift that shunned anything other than breast-feeding, it would be interesting to see the effects on the health care system in 20 years.

Personally, I have breast-fed in some very nice restaurants, including Valentino and Spago and found 99% of the time, people thought it was great.

Aug 06, 2008
paigeharrison in Features

Going to Melisse for 1 year anniversary

I believe the tasting menu is $120. I *think* it is four courses - every time we go, we do the wine pairings, so my memory is always fuzzy by the end of the evening! I can tell you that we have never left for under $400. That is usually with both of us having the tasting menu with wine. Sometimes I have done the wine pairings and my husband has done his own thing. I think the wine supplement is $70. Also, you should be prepared that sometimes they offer food supplements, such as truffles, which incur an extra cost.

The food is amazing and while you will have a fine meal either way, the tasting menu sort of turns it into a food "experience" as opposed to just having a meal, and for that reason, I really prefer that route while at Melisse.

Enjoy!! What a fabulous gift!

Comparison Grocery Shopping in LA

thanks, guys! i will definitely check out bob's and das ubergeek's suggestions. i think i've seen the mitsuwa, but i don't know where the nijya or safe and save is.

Comparison Grocery Shopping in LA

What about the westside? We have the big markets (pavillions, ralphs, wfm, etc.) Where are the Jons and the Superking? A better question is where else can I go (aside from the farmer's markets, which are great when I can get to them.)

Kreation Kafe - Santa Monica

Prices are in the $18-$20 range for the plates which include a protein, some veggies and a side. They emphasize organic ingredients. Dishes include Niman ranch beef kabobs, free range chicken, quinoa, some mediteranean inspired sides and appetizers. I think the food is good - not mind blowing, but tasty and certainly healthy. The nice thing is that they don't charge for corkage. I've had breakfast, lunch and dinner and lunch was probably my favorite. Dinner was nice, but again nothing extraordinary - much like a very quality home cooked meal. Breakfast was very mediocre.

Best Turkey Burger in OC

Have you tried Hof's Hut in Long Beach? I loved these...of course I have only eaten them pregnant, so perhaps a person with normal tastebuds would disagree, but I thought their turkey burger was fantastic, thick with lots of flavor. And, you can't beat the pie that they serve.

R&D Kitchen debuts on Montana Ave.

That stinks...I had no idea you couldn't just have a drink. That totally destroys my idea of having a drink here and going to FO for food. Like I said earlier, I would not actually get in my car to come to this restaurant, but for a place within walking distance, it is nice to have.

R&D Kitchen debuts on Montana Ave.

My mom and I were strolling Montana today in search of lunch and we were happy to find that they started lunch service today. They were running a few minutes behind, but offered to call us when the restaurant was ready. After a few minutes of shopping, we received a call and headed back to the restaurant. The service was accomodating, gracious and incredibly attentive. For example, everytime I used a Splenda packet for my iced tea, someone came around and not only took the packet away, but wiped the table where the smallest amount of Splenda might still be lingering.

We had both the Mediteranean Salad and another salad whose name escapes me. The Mediteranean had seared tuna, beets, goat cheese, tomotoes and olives. The tomotoes were a bit weak, especially considering it is the height of summer, but maybe the samonella issue is to blame. The tuna was seared perfectly and well seasoned. The beets were lovely as was the goat cheese.

The other salad had poached chicken, which might have been the best chicken I've had...ever. The rest of the ingredients were forgettable. I really enjoyed both dishes, however they were both a bit light on the lettuce. I know this sounds odd, but I felt like they both needed more greens.

Overall, I am so happy that this restaurant is in walking distance of my house. I checked out the wine list and very much wished it wasn't lunch, oh, and that my 4 month old daughter were safe at home, instead of breastfeeding with me. I will definitely go back for dinner to sample some of the wines, I liked that several of them were not the usual bottles that I see for $20 at Whole Foods and then appear on a wine list for $18 a glass. (this just happened to me at Rustic Canyon last week). I'm not sure that I would drive here from another part of town, but if you are a local, I highly reccomend this restaurant.

A Week of Eating Alone at LA's Best Restaurants

I'm jealous! Being that I enjoy those same restaurants (except I've not been to Mozza) I would suggest Josie, Anisette, Jiraffe, Wilshire and Rustic Canyon (these are all in Santa Monica, which is what I know best)

Pinot Bistro - Valley

Had dinner with a friend last week mostly due to suggestions on the board (i think diane suggested it) Got there early. The bartender was very mellow and relaxed, and allowed me to sample several wines. Turned out he used to work for the Chronicle, which if there are any old Pasadena residents, this will ring a bell with you. Anyway, super nice guy and the wines were good, nothing unusual, but perfectly tasty, if not cheap (but then again wine is by the glass is so riduculously priced - I might as well stop complaining about gas prices).

Once my friend got there, we settled in. She had a goat cheese salad and I had a green salad. I then had a beef tartare and she had a smoked salmon concoction of some kind. We also had a side of broccoli, and some lentils. Everything was tasty. I didn't like her salmon dish very much, but the tartare was great.

I honestly would never go out of my way to eat there, but as a halfway point between my best friend and I, it was perfect and much better than the chain restaurants that we would have otherwise been reduced to.

Just for reference, it is on Ventura, just slightly west off Coldwater Cyn.

michel richard's pâté

I've always been curious about that place. How is the rest of the food?

Cedars Sinai

i would strongly reccomend you not order take-out. there is a really steep charge for them to deliver. if you can walk, definitely do so. the surcharge is around 30%. newsroom would also be a good choice - the ahi sandwich is great.

Cedars Sinai

Chaya. I was there recently (having a baby!!) and my husband brought me dinner from Chaya, we had a lobster salad that was amazing.

Needed old school steakhouse in LA

damon's in glendale, columbo's in eagle rock, maybe billingsly's (i'm sure i spelled this wrong) it's the place on pico, just west of the 405. i haven't eaten there, just had a drink, but i do recall red vinyl!

What's the Best Eating Street in LA?

What about Wilshire Blvd (the west la/SM end)? Wilshire, Musha, Rustic Canyon, Melisse, Amandine, Literati, Nawab, the sausage place by 11th, etc. Defintely there are some misses on that street (El Cholo?!) and of course tons of crappy fast food, but there are a lot of gems.

do any bars still have decent, cheap drinks??

Like I said, this is from LA Magazine, so I can't vouch for the accuracy, but according to their story on cheap stuff in LA, you can go on Thursday nights and get a martini for the price offered in the 30's. I think this issue came out close to the beginning of the year.

do any bars still have decent, cheap drinks??

According to LA Magazine, the Edison downtown serves martinis on Thursdays for 15 cents. I have not sampled said drinks, but I would be wary. The problem with cheap drinks is that they are usually made with cheap alcohol.

I do recall friends talking about Damons in Glendale, supposedly they pour a good drink that is pretty inexpensive.

Looking for a new place on the Westside

What about La Botte? I know it's not new, but the food is quite good and I feel as though it's something you might not find in SF. They do ethnic so much better than we do, so I think it would be hard to impress someone from SF with our ethnic offerings.

ISO Great Place close to 405/101 intersection

Meeting my best friend for dinner. Looking for something with great food, somewhat interesting atmosphere, preferably close to the freeway and has good wine/drinks. I've searched the board, but can't find anything this exact. Thanks in advance.

Sapporo Reserve (the gold can)

i'm not a beer girl, but my husband loves that brand. i buy it at santa monica trader joes

kid friendly restarants

I second the rec for Kay and Dave's. Food is definitely healthy, just stay away from the yucky margaritas. If you want less healthy mexican, but very kid-friendly, check out Gilberts on Pico. I have seen kids throw beans and the servers clean it up with chuckle.

Other great places on Montana Ave include 17th St. Cafe. Many healthy options, pretty good prices, crayons, kids menu, high chairs, lots of other families.

Blue Plate is small, but they are very health orientated (and I believe they use a lot of organic ingredients) have high chairs, menu options for babies (pureed veg) and a somewhat accomodating staff. The wait can be long for lunch and weekend breakfast.

Of course, in the end, it is entirely up to you and your comfort level. You can always bring crayons, etc. to make it more enjoyable. I've been to almost every restaurant listed here with success and I've also taken my kids to Spago and Valentino, also with success. Happy dining!!

Anisette, gentille Anisette

Had dinner with my husband last night. I will spare a repeat of the same details as several other posters, only to say that my experience was very similiar. Wonderful, wonderful place with excellent service and great food.

Anisette, gentille Anisette

It *is* your birthday, perhaps you can stay somewhere local - Shutters is quite nice! ;) Or you can remind him that one of the messages on the board a couple of weeks ago was about a husband taking his wife to Melisse for her birthday. Although, if you are in the SGV, another cool French option would be Cafe Beaugalouis (I know I totally screwed up the spelling) in Eagle Rock.