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djquinnc's Profile

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Top 5 restaurants in San Francisco...?

Don't forget about the broth.

about 1 hour ago
djquinnc in San Francisco Bay Area

Top 5 restaurants in San Francisco...?

I clicked on the photo and it expanded into another window.

about 1 hour ago
djquinnc in San Francisco Bay Area

Top 5 restaurants in San Francisco...?

I didn't get any gold leaf, but some of the presentations were just so damn precious. Take this asparagus, for example. And guess what it tasted like. Asparagus. This is a gilded lily if I ever did see one. I'm all about chefs using restraint when indicated. But these baby flowers did not one thing to advance this dish beyond being a small plate of cooked asparagus.

about 1 hour ago
djquinnc in San Francisco Bay Area

Top 5 restaurants in San Francisco...?

I was up in the Bay Area last month and had meals at Saison, Bar Tartine, and Benu. Bar Tartine and Benu were excellent in their own unique ways. Similar to your comment, I feel like I got swindled at Saison. If the price point was significantly lower, I might not come away with the same opinion. But man, I really felt like Patrick Bateman was taking me to Dorsia. There was a series of four "bites" that I would hardly call "dishes" that were sublime. However, the rest of the meal failed to wow at all. At that cost, I really feel like I need to be pretty much constantly delighted. Save this one for the whales and the wanna-bes.

about 6 hours ago
djquinnc in San Francisco Bay Area
1

How One Acclaimed Restaurant Went From Critical Darling to Almost Broke in Just a Couple of Years

Selected quotes from the IndieGoGo page:

"$75000 USD
AN 'ALMA' WEEK IN FRANCE FOR 8
A weeklong stay in Southern France for up to 8 guests. We'll take care of accommodations, food and wine and James Beard nominated chef Ari Taymor and and his staff will cook for you for the week. * just travel yourself there and we're all yours !"

Soooooo, who's going to man the fort that week? And you would think that they would at least have the decency to fly you coach at that level of commitment. The audacity of this premium really grabbed my attention.

"The restaurant is our anchor, our base and our home; and yet we also believe in Alma to be something more than just a restaurant."

True that sometimes restaurants are "more" than just a place to grab a bite. But could this be part of the dilemma? A place that serves food without some overarching mission is fine by me. Alma is not Blue Hill at Stone Barns, by any stretch of the imagination. Perhaps its goals and self-appraisal are far larger than need be,

"Too often artists, inventors, thinkers and small business owners are intimidated, bullied and silenced by powerful individuals and corporations."

Zzzzzzzzz...perhaps I'm a bit jaded from being a lifelong Angelino. But the lamentations of the long suffering artist just give me automatic eye rolls.

"In this coming year, we have plans to pioneer a rooftop garden program in downtown LA, expand our outreach program and of course to strengthen our ties to local farmers, providing practical support through responsible sourcing during this historic drought. We have so much growing to do within our community and so much to share."

Again, absent the suit, could this desire to be so expansive be a factor in the macro level issues that serve as barriers to ongoing success? Not to say that there is anything wrong with these goals. But they certainly require mindful and targeted plans of action that require a lot of time and skill.

Jun 21, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Best Cambodian restaurant(s) in Long Beach

When I was going to grad school in Long Beach, I used to stop into Sophy's from time to time. It's been almost eight years since my last visit, but I remember it being quite good. Any recent reports?

Little India, Artesia

Thanks to all for the feedback. Just got back from Udupi Palace. Everyone in our party was very please with the meal. Really good idli and dosa. The service was very attentive and spot on. Still a strong choice in my book.

Jun 20, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

CHI SPACCA - New Chef

Maude, in my experience, is one of the best examples of the Emperor's New Clothes and social desirability this town has to offer. Nakayama, Goin, and Menashe, for example, have substantially more deliverable perfectionism and purism than Stone demonstrates. Give me a little more time and I can easily come up with some more names.

Jun 12, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

CHI SPACCA - New Chef

Moving from Silverton/Batali/Bastianich to Stone makes zero sense to me.

Jun 11, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Little India, Artesia

Hello, all

I am going to meet some friends for a late lunch later this month in Artesia. I haven't been down there in about a year or so and tend to prefer the veg places over the carnivorous ones. My usual go-to places in the past have been Surati Farsan Mart, Rajdhani, and Udupi Palace. Woodlands used to be my fave, but I have heard that the quality has gone a bit south since they reopened.

If anyone has any recent trip reports to share, I would be greatly appreciative. Thanks.

Jun 09, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Dinner for 25 foodies in LA? Suggestions please!

Papilles seats about 30. Maybe you could do a buy out.

Jun 08, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Favorite food items at Disneyland (ex. Club 33)?

+1 on the fried chicken
Also, Safari Skewers at the Bengal BBQ and a corn dog in Frontierland (they serve fries as an option rather than the bag of chips or sliced apples at the other locations). Garlic Parmesan fries and beignets in New Orleans Square from time to time. Not very exotic, but a root beer float at Gibson Girl on Main Street can make me very, very happy .

Jun 03, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Republique or Odys and Penelope tonight?

Been to O&P three times now. Ready for round four. I think they did a smart transition from Hatfield's to the current concept. And just for the fact that Karen Hatfield is the best pastry chef in town in impetus enough for me.

May 25, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

first time in LA!!! give me your top 5.

At this particular place in time, I get the most cravings for:

Bestia
Kang Hodong Baekjong
Mariscos Jalisco
n/naka
Papilles

May 25, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Chowhound's Impression of Popular Food Critics

I really enjoy Gold's weekly talks on Good Food as well, and I continue to enjoy his writing. One of the things that I have always dug about Gold's style is that he leaves a bit of ambiguity for the reader to make some preliminary conclusions on their own. As a long time reader, I fail to see where he might be faltering at this time and place. I think he's consistently good. Certainly, there is a particular level of accountability that working for the Times vs the Weekly that certainly directs his output in a particular way.

Besha does not seem to get a lot of love on this board, and I think that's a shame. I also enjoy her style as well and give her additional props for being able to slide right into the Angelino culinary zeitgeist with relative ease. I find her wit engaging. When she first started at the Weekly, there was an uncanny accuracy in shared opinions. It sways a bit more now, but I respect most of her reporting.

On the other hand, I have become unnecessarily infuriated with the Eater LA team. Eater NYC gets Ryan Sutton (who is hands down my favorite food critic right now) and Robert Sietsema. What we get is a never-ending slew of paraphrased press releases from not very interesting restaurants, and editors whose overtly subjective posts outnumber those of the readership in the comments section. I still read it on a regular basis, much like sitting at a slot machine waiting to hear some intermittent bells go off. But the jackpots are far and few between.

May 18, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area
1

Chinese For One

I guess to clarify a bit more, my concerns are more with portion size. Leftovers tend to die of neglect or become like Petri dishes in my fridge. Would love to have a tasty meal of a manageable size and not have to worry too much about over ordering.

May 06, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Chinese For One

Those are more than sufficient. Thank you!

May 06, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Chinese For One

I will certainly give these a look. Thanks for the list.

May 06, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Anniversary dinner: Osteria Mozza or A.O.C.?

Of course the styles of food are quite different and I enjoy both very much. I would say that Osteria Mozza is more "special" and AOC's patio could certainly skew more as "romantic." I don't think you can go wrong either way.

May 06, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Chinese For One

Really craving good Chinese food, but don't want to rally the troops. Any place y'all can think of where I can get a good meal where I would not be looking peculiar sitting alone? Certainly don't need to have a ton of dishes sitting in front of me that I would not be able to finish. Location is not that important and I'm open to styles. I work in Norwalk and live in WeHo. I'd be willing to drive a bit for some good grub. Thanks in advance.

May 06, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

n/naka

Like a good fanboy, I watched Niki's episode of "Chef's Table" on Netflix today. To say I was moved is an understatement. It was a beautiful document of the steps that she has taken to get to n/naka that left me a bit misty-eyed and my heart very full. I think I'm going to have to make up a special occasion and get over there sometime soon.

In contrast, I also watched Dan Barber's episode as well, having had an outstanding meal at Blue Hill at Stone Barns this past January. A very compelling story, but what a mouth that guy's got on him! Can't wait to watch the other episodes soon.

Jon & Vinny's

I live in the neighborhood, was craving pasta, and headed over about 9pm last night. Bustling scene. I advised the hostess that I was a solo diner and she told me that they could squeeze me into the bar in 10-15 minutes. She asked me for my name, which I provided. She looked down at her list, but didn't write anything. She told me to come back in 10. Cautiously, I did as instructed. Zero acknowledgment from the FOH staff, hostess included. But I waited. And waited. And waited (Had the new Jon Ronson book on my phone to pass the time, so I wasn't suffering per se). Seats open up at the bar. Party that sauntered in were briskly seated before me. I left. Sure, they might have been in the weeds. But if the FOH is going to exhibit this inattentive/millennial/head-in-the-clouds reception on the front end, I might be reluctant to return at all. A simple "I'm sorry this is taking longer than I expected" goes a very long way.

Apr 24, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Connie & Teds

I'm a big fan of the hot lobster roll with butter and the Blondie for dessert.

Apr 21, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

Shake Shack is coming

Preach! Just had my first Shake Shake burger this past January. A very bland affair. Kudos to the marketing department, though.

Apr 21, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

midtown/west hollywood/hollywood help

Papilles?

Apr 21, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area
1

Le Bernardin - what to order?

It was two savory courses and one dessert. They had a section on the menu that had two categories of appetizers: "amost raw" and "barely touched", and mains that were titled: "lightly cooked." I think there were a couple of non-seafood items to choose, but the menu is overwhelmingly seafood based. There was also an amuse of salmon rilettes and the bread service was fantastic (I might return if only to have one more of those perfect pretzel breads).

Apr 20, 2015
djquinnc in Manhattan
1

ISO Good food near Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Whenever I am in that neck of the woods, I always try to hit up Yuca's, either on Hillhurst (which I prefer) or on Hollywood. The cochinita pibil is superb, but friend swear by their carne asada and hamburgers as well. Nothing to speak of - just a small stand, but some of the best Mexican food to be found in the area. Both have parking lots.

Apr 18, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

n/naka

Every time I've gone, Niki has graciously and skillfully accommodated my one dietary restriction and my one food aversion. I went with someone who did not like uni last time. Solution: double uni for me! I reached right over the table and took seconds off of my dining companion's plate. Easy fix that benefited me greatly.

Apr 13, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

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

Was just driving down Melrose this morning and thought of a good one to add to the list: Blu Jam Cafe. I have no idea why throngs of people pour out into the street for some mediocre breakfast items every weekend. It completely boggles my mind.

Apr 13, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area

n/naka

I'm a long time Niki fan. Azami on Melrose was my favorite sushi spot until its closure, and I regret that I never took the initiative to experience any of her prototype kaiseki meals in the SGV prior to the opening of n/naka. When asked by others what my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles is, my rote answer has usually been Providence through the years. It still may be, depending on how my mind is functioning on a particular day. n/naka is obviously a restaurant, but it's in another class. It may be trite to call it an "experience" (quotes intended for dramatic effect), but it's more than just a series of plates of food. It is meditative, precise, heartfelt, mindful, and profoundly delicious. There is nothing quite like it in Los Angeles. And at the end of the day, it is my favorite place to sit down and have a meal anywhere in the world.

Apr 12, 2015
djquinnc in Los Angeles Area