d

djquinnc's Profile

Title Last Reply

Ko reservation policy change

I had such a great time during my visit in January. Aside from the venue change, there was something much more light and lively about the experience. And the meal size was significantly more substantial than at the old locale that I practically waddled out the door! Had lots more interactions with the chefs and they went way above and beyond to address my dietary restrictions and aversions. I now believe that duck is meant to be dressed with lime pickle, that uni should be paired with chickpeas, and lobster should be roasted more often. I do miss the feeling a bit contained in that small space and the almost reverential tone of the space on 1st Ave a little bit. However, this is a most logical and pleasing evolution that has taken place. Good job well done.

Mar 16, 2015
djquinnc in Manhattan
1

Dinner Recs Near Ahmanson Theatre

From time to time, I have enjoyed dining at either Drago Centro (which I really like)or Chaya (which I can take or leave) before going to the Music Center as they have a complimentary shuttle to and from the theater. Alleviates the need to park twice. Having said that, both places are probably at a higher price point than you are aiming for. However, they both have bar menus which offer some more affordable bites if you were willing to go that direction. Might be worth a look at their websites.

Mar 16, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Thai in LA - less spicy options for the kids?

I've had plenty of things at both Sanamluang and Jitlada that cater to my low tolerance for heat. In particular, the morning glory salad at Jitlada which makes me very, very happy. A little conversation with your server should yield some mutually agreeable options for your entire family. Enjoy!

Mar 16, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Hollywood Area and Universal Studios

Similarly, doesn't Mastro's have a celebrity rich clientele? Also, I've always seen a genuinely famous person or two each time I've been to Spago.

Mar 15, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

ROC KITCHEN - WEST LA - LISTOMANIA!

Just went for the first time this morning. Was craving XLB and didn't want to drive from WeHo to SGV or Glendale. It was decent. Certainly can't hold a candle to DTF. At least 20% of the XLB were broken. And although they didn't taste horrible, there was no happy dance to be had either. The scallion pancake was really dry, overcooked, and under-seasoned. Next time, I will head east when I get the itch.

Mar 15, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

family dining for foodies staying at Melrose and Fairfax

Hey! Welcome to my neighborhood! Aside from the other suggestions that I can totally get on board with (Plan Check, Farmer's Market and Golden State), other local options might include:

Angelini Osteria
Animal
AOC
Connie and Ted's
Ink
Ink Sack
L'Assiette
Pitfire Pizza
Salt's Cure
Son of a Gun

I think that the Bazaar is a great idea for kids with adventurous palates -- there's plenty of external stimuli as well. I love Night+Market Song, but I am a total whimp when it comes to heat levels. Last time, I asked them to tone it down a bit, and still, my GI tract was hating me for the next day or so. Keep that in mind, although it is some of the most delicious food to be had in town right now.

Mar 13, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Saturday Night Dinner for One

I've enjoyed three dinners at Commis. I would most certainly not turn down another meal there, but would like to try something new. Thanks for the suggestions. I will take a closer look.

JUNI

I wonder if there is a significant difference between lunch service and dinner. I visited Juni for lunch this past January. A big plus was this super cool server with spiraled curls of hair and well groomed mutton chops. He seemed to take great delight in my beard, which I found kind of intriguing. At any rate, the service was the best part of the meal. My first course was called “uni - tagliatelle – winter truffle.” The pasta was pretty much coagulated together, kind of like inexpensive pad thai that you get from your neighborhood Thai place. The taste of uni was lost in deference to the flavor of truffle, which rendered the dish pretty one note. My second course was a bright red piece of salmon with a broken disc of yogurt sauce on the side. I did find that the acidity of the yogurt served as a nice alternative to a more traditional garnish, like lemon. However, the taste of the dish was somewhat unremarkable, and was more notable for its plating. For dessert, I had a very muddled cup of frozen coffee, sage, and dried pear. It really lacked much focus or refinement. My super cool server comped me a mocktail though, presumably due to his very vocal admiration of my beard. I will have fond memories of him for a long time. The food, on the other hand, was not enough to warrant a return visit.

Mar 11, 2015
djquinnc in Manhattan

Saturday Night Dinner for One

Looks like all signs are pointing me to Bar Tartine so far. I heard that sour and acidic notes are prominent. As as long as its not as painfully aggressive as my one dinner at Coi, I'm sure I'll be fine. If I had another day, Haven looks like a really good bet as well.

Saturday Night Dinner for One

Hello, all

I am coming up to the Bay Area from Los Angeles at the tail end of the month to attend a retreat at Sprit Rock. I'll be staying a couple of days afterwards around Lake Merritt and looking to get a couple of good meals in before I head back home. I already have a Friday night reservation at Saison. I'm looking for a Saturday option. I'm on the waiting list for Benu, but don't necessarily want to hold my breath. I'm perusing OpenTable and saw a few things that caught my eye:

Keiko à Nob Hill
Kusakabe
Mourad
Bar Tartine
Camino

Lazy Bear sounds interesting, but I'd have to snatch a ticket when they go on sale. I'd like to go to the newly opened Manresa, but renting a car for one meal might be a pain. Californios sounds intriguing, but I would have to wait the week prior to book.

My main criteria are that the meal be something I probably cannot get in Los Angeles, as well as being amenable to the single diner (seating, portion size, etc). Any and all feed back would be greatly appreciated. To give some context, my favorite places to eat here at home are Bestia, Din Tai Fung, n/naka, Papilles, Parks BBQ, Petit Trois, and Providence. Thanks in advance.

Guisados Will Soon Transform West Hollywood's Pitiful Taco Scene

And today we get a comprehensive rundown on the Vanderpump culinary empire:

http://jezebel.com/i-cant-get-over-ho...

Mar 09, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

visiting LA from SF

Do any of the Chris Cosentino establishments in the Bay Area offer a fair comparison?

Mar 09, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Animal Review

So glad you enjoyed. The tendon chips, chicken liver toast, and the larb are some of my favorites there.

Mar 09, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Guisados Will Soon Transform West Hollywood's Pitiful Taco Scene

Agreed. There hasn't been anything on that corner that I've found that appealing. Current tenant included.

Mar 08, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Guisados Will Soon Transform West Hollywood's Pitiful Taco Scene

It's good news indeed. But the only two places that have stood the test of time over the decades on that block are Cafe D'Etoile and Greenwich Village Pizza, neither of which are particularly good. Hopefully, all the foot traffic will bode well for the business.

I'm surprised Pump is still intact. I'm convinced that southeast corner of SMB/Roberson is jinxed.

Mar 08, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Best French dinner in LA?

Papilles.

Mar 07, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

visiting LA from SF

Here are some places that I really enjoy that are in your vicinity:

Kang Hodong Baekjeong
Dino’s Chicken and Burgers
Park’s BBQ
Guelaguetza Restaurante
Soot Bull Jeep
Kobawoo House

Mar 07, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Saint Martha

I concur. I went a few weeks ago and found the service and the food to be less than satisfactory. Pace of the meal was painfully slow. The servers did not know the menu, nor did they seem to know who was taking care of me. And the food was a massive dud. Putting an anchovy on a cracker is hardly an amuse. The crudo lacked any acidity at all. In the tasting, I was served two courses of unremarkable starchy vegetables in a row. The main course contained an ingredient that I greatly dislike (the server assured me that the tasting menu did not contain any of my aversions that night) and it was unapologeticly placed right in front of me. And that main course was mostly somewhat dry pork belly laid upon a rather unattractive puddle of black "porridge" that did not taste of anything in particular. The dessert was woefully unbalanced. Every dish fell pretty flat.

And the best part: the server saddling up to me and asking, "Do you like coffee?" "I do, but I think I want to get a good night sleep tonight." "Do you like a tea? Or decaf" "No, I'm alright. I just want to get home." "Well, I'm asking because of what happened with your meal." "I'm OK. I would just like the check, please." "Are you sure you don't want a decaf?" "No, I'm sure I don't want a decaf." I'm not making this up. In the most stereotypicaly millennial way possible, no apology given and this constant offering of something that I did not want. Clearly not recognizing that I just wanted to go home. I couldn't wait to get out of there. Suffice it say, I'm not going back. Other places in town to the "modernist" thing way better: Bazaar, Alma, Ink, etc. It just felt like the entire experience lacked any finesse or refinement. And it seems to me that if you are reaching for such lofty ideals on the plate that the service and the flavors should match those goals.

Mar 01, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

+1 on Trois Mec. Been twice and have left scratching my head each time. Petit Trois, on the other hand, is a total gem. Hard to believe they come from the same hand.

Feb 27, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

Matsuhisa. Stuck in a ponzu drenched 80's time capsule. Everything over-sauced to death. Spring mix and martini glasses. Completely dated, and not in a nostalgic way. I don't get the continued accolades.

Feb 25, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Need a great recommendation for dinner for 1.

If you were judicious with the supplements, Le Comptoir would be a nice choice.

Feb 23, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Visiting Burbank/NOHO area

It's only too early if you think that Grand Central Market, Bottega Louie, and Nickel Diner are fixing to go belly up anytime soon.

Feb 16, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Visiting Burbank/NOHO area

+1 on Portos. Will most likely still be operating when you arrive. For nostalgic reasons, Bob's Big Boy is a Burbank classic. Certainly not gourmet by any stretch of the imagination, but decent diner food and a parade of classic cars that seem to decend upon the parking lot on certain nights.

Feb 16, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Restaurants that don't take reservations near Pantages

Not particularly romantic, but I routinely get into a bowl at ShopHouse prior to Arclight shows.

dinner for 5 near the Ace downtown

Umami Burger is practically right across the street. I've never been to Wood Spoon, but friends that have enjoyed it. And it's walking distance.

Feb 10, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Orsa and Winston Tonight - Which Option?

Lobster, uni, abalone, and geoduck. The base was rice that was sort of the consistency of a soupy risotto. There was a slight amount of kick that I am assuming was togarashi.

Feb 10, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area
1

Orsa and Winston Tonight - Which Option?

Thought that I would re-energize this thread again with a newly formed opinion on Orsa & Winston during a recent visit. I had seen some pics posted on Instagram regarding their current Yakitori-Ya menu concept. First of all, Sunday night in DTLA is fantastic. Street parking was effortless and the area is calm. I was dining solo so I was sat at the chef's counter. I ordered three items: a liver (chicken and foie)terrine, a seafood porridge, and a "waffle" made with mochi. All three were solid, delicious dishes. The porridge was a major highlight: well balanced flavors, perfectly cooked proteins. It was an impressive integration of Japanese and Italian cuisines and easily a contender for best dish of 2015 (I know it's early yet!). I don't think I will be able to do so, but I would love to return to try other dishes on the menu. Not to mention that the service was warm, friendly, and accommodating. A significantly different experience when I went last year for the tasting menu. I sure hope that this temporary idea gets to take root somewhere. It was well worth the effort.

Feb 09, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Blue Hill Stone Barns private table? [630 Bedford Road Pocantico Hills, New York]

I had the pleasure of dining at Blue Hill last month. We were taken to that shed and given a very informative talk about some of the history of the farm as well as some of the current developments. We were also given me some delicious hot dogs that were primarily made out of beets with some homemade condiments. It was a super cool touch to an outstanding meal. If I didn't live all the way on the other side of the country, this would be a special occasion place for me. It's not cheap, but I felt it was worth the money.

Restaurants with chef's counter seating (Kappo-style)

Le Comptoir
Orsa & Winston
Mozzarella Bar at Osteria Mozza
Odys + Penelope

now that it's back, where are the best foie gras dishes?

Although I did not order it during my otherwise outstanding meal last night at Le Comptoir, the seared foie gras supplement looked amazing. And quite a generous portion. A friend says it's worth ordering and I'm pretty sure I'll return to try it out.

Feb 05, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area