SB foodie's Profile

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Hi Sue - an old post but we are in Seville now for one more day. Azotea now has four locations and we went to the one near the Alcazar and Cathedral, and we're underwhelmed. Which did you hit? Maybe it's the location, or expansion overall. No comparison to anything in San Sebastián, more like overpriced tapas, some modern twists, served on or in hip plates.

about 8 hours ago
SB foodie in Spain/Portugal

Elkano - when to book?

While Elkano has an outstanding reputation, we were very disappointed in our lunch there. Unless you have a compelling need to dine there, I would advise one of the local casual seafood establishments. You'll save tons of money for other parts of your adventure. Sorry but I do not recall names. Also, we walked much of the way from San Sebastian, along the beaches and through txakoli vineyards. It was lovely. The bus is also a snap.

We dined at several highly regarded restaurants and had wonderful meals. Among them - Arzak, Etxebarri, Akelarre. We also discovered a fabulous asador in Tolosa called Burruntzi. My review is here - http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant...

I am so glad that Julian was closed during our visit! Tolosa is the former capital of the region, and remains an agricultural center with the best farmers market in the Basque region. It's a 40 minute train ride from San Sebastian.

May 28, 2015
SB foodie in Spain/Portugal

How long can I leave eggs out of the fridge?

Eggs have a protective coating, and when unwashed, can be kept unrefrigerated for weeks. Once washed, they must be refrigerated. This is the reason Europeans and others can leave eggs unrefrigerated. I buy mine from California farmers markets, unwashed and don't refrigerate. They are the most delicious eggs. EVER

Dec 18, 2014
SB foodie in General Topics

Defunct Restaurants ......are these all long gone ?

I cure my own salmon. So easy and so much better than the deli versions!

Jul 22, 2014
SB foodie in Los Angeles Area

No Dunkin' Donuts in SoCal = crime (moved from LA)

OK, six years later, your dream has come true! The Dunker is back in Santa Monica with more locations to follow!

Jun 12, 2014
SB foodie in Chains

Another Paso Robles Winery Question (with specifics)

Terry isn't the only winemaker at Terry Hoage. Jen Hoage makes the excellent whites, and has a hand in the reds too. It's truly a family affair!

Jun 07, 2014
SB foodie in California

Paso Robles help please

We used to love Artisan until last year, where we had a terrible experience. It started with the hostess, the seating (in the bar even after a long advanced reservation) to the service and finally the food. A big letdown after their big move.

I don't measure against city standards; Kobayashi was recognized by the James Beard Society. He no longer lives up to that standard!

Jun 07, 2014
SB foodie in California

Scallion/Spring Onion/Green Onion Recipes

So excited! I have 3 bunches and am going to plop one in the garden...NOT where my dogs live. My big boy would pluck them out and eat them. :-)

May 19, 2014
SB foodie in Home Cooking

What restaurant do you really really really miss that is now closed?

You're taking me back to college days, when we'd go to La Barbara's for pizza and the Fox Inn down the street for beers and bawdy songs. Chants of "Zicke zacke, zicke zacke, hoi hoi hoi!" as the Fox downed another frosty mug! Bill Foster went on to perform on The Man Show with Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Fos...

How's that for memory lane?

Kate Mantilini Calls It Quits in Beverly Hills on June 14

I figured Kate's was on it's way out when I spotted a Groupon deal a while ago. Good in it's day; it was well past its prime.

May 13, 2014
SB foodie in Los Angeles Area

Chez Soi, Mark Gold's new restaurant in Manhattan Beach

I agree with you FO. Darren has made it without backing from other locals. The Abigaile's team has succeeded with multiple restaurants now in the beach cities. La Sosta has been there for many years - pricy, authentic Italian. I never thought they'd survive.

I'm just glad we finally do have at least a bit of a dining culture at the beach!

Mar 18, 2014
SB foodie in Los Angeles Area

Chez Soi, Mark Gold's new restaurant in Manhattan Beach

Chez Soi was bad from the word GO. Thierry made us wait in the bar, where there was no staff to serve and the bar was three deep with 20-somethings. He then tried to seat us next to the rear door of the kitchen, after we requested an outdoor table. Oh, the patio was empty, other than the "beautiful people" that he was chatting up. We were finally seated outside. Mark's food was all poorly executed. He was in the kitchen, arguing with the line cooks in plain view.

Bottom line - Thierry is a crook; this isn't the first time that he has absconded without paying bills. Mark was eager to make a new start, and made a bad decision to partner with an unscrupulous "businessman."

Mar 18, 2014
SB foodie in Los Angeles Area

Interesting thoughts/laws re: BYOB

I'm late to the party, but must add that I've seen so many restaurants without liquor licenses receive big fines and deferrals of their licenses once caught by the ABC for allowing BYO. I believe restauranteurs and patrons alike are ignorant of the law regarding BYO. I also believe the ABC doesn't go out of the way to cite restaurants, but they do so when a complaint is received, usually from another local restaurant - quite pathetic! I've also seen a restaurant cited when the local press publicized their BYO policy.

I've never taken partial bottles to a restaurant, but a friend has. She went ballistic when she was charged corkage! I've left fine restaurants in Los Angeles, New York, and Italy with partial bottles. No issues; always given a bag if I didn't have a wine bag with me.

Feb 24, 2014
SB foodie in Wine

Random thoughts re: ***out-of-town*** BYOB

My primary reason for BYOB is to have the special bottle that I want to enjoy, most likely a well-aged bottle, not one that is barely ready to be drunk, which most on wine lists tend to be. I usually do travel with a few bottles of wine, after researching BYO/corkage policy at restaurants I'm planning to frequent

We're in Rhode Island often to visit family, and it not a big BYO state, but getting better. While there are wine shops, age is often a problem. That said, there are a couple of great shops in the Providence area, and I often do buy local wine rather than rely on wine lists.

We brought a few bottles to New Orleans our last visit, and felt that it was the right way to go. At Herbsaint, for instance, we purchased a bottle of white, then opened our own red. Corkage was waived. August - free corkage.

Feb 24, 2014
SB foodie in Wine

4 Days in DC area, mid-April

We're celebrating our anniversary and want great food experiences to be part of our celebration. We are considering Restaurant Eve and Komi tasting menus. If you had to choose one, which would it be and why? Thanks!

The Wallace in Culver City

HA! I was going to ask the same question! :-)

Jan 13, 2014
SB foodie in Los Angeles Area

Researched foodie itinerary, help me narrow down

Went to Brigtsen's last night. Very mixed. All mains included precut veg mix- carrot, broccoli, squash - with a couple of green beans thrown in. It was cheap space filler. Food was ok. Rabbit dry. I'd skip it.

Jan 03, 2014
SB foodie in New Orleans

Trader Joes... Please, just ring up my groceries.

I know this post is old, but WOW, you're really over the top about this!

I live in Los Angeles, and have had a TJs near my home since the 1970s. Yes, the store clerks have always been friendly, for the most part. I, for one, love discussing my latest finds with employees and other customers. It's part of an old tradition because products come and go, unlike at the usual grocery store. TJ's sources new items, loses their source, and often has to move on to a new products, not new sources for the same delicious product. It's how it goes. The dialogues are how we make new discoveries, as well as becoming part of each other's lives. Last night, we discussed our upcoming trip to New Orleans with our cashier, and had some great tales about prior trips, his and ours! He can't wait to hear of our adventures when we return.

No, we don't get judgement from employees about buying a lifetime supply of dried blueberries or whatever, so maybe you're a bit sensitive.

Oh yeah. And because we're friendly and the TJs team is friendly, we found our new fabulous petsitter! You don't like making friends, just don't respond or glare. I'm sure they'll get your message!

Corkage fees in New Orleans restaurants?

Perfect timing! I'm in the midst of packing and deciding whether and how much wine to take for our two week trip. One week in NOLA and one in Rhode Island. (As an aside, there are virtually no fine restaurants that allow BYO, corkage or otherwise). I couldn't help but note that brought a 2011 Pinot Noir. I must say that my reason for bringing wines when dining out is not only the mark-up, but primary because I've cellared and aged my wine, and most restaurant lists feature young wines with a few collectibles that are exorbitantly priced to cover their investment and storage costs!

Any add'l NOLA feedback you have will be much appreciated!

Dec 14, 2013
SB foodie in New Orleans

Los Angeles Restaurants in the 80's

I loved Rockenwagner when Hans was on Abbott Kinney. The patio was intimate, charming, romantic, and the food was out of this world!

Jul 08, 2013
SB foodie in Los Angeles Area

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - March 2013 [OLD]

Have to agree with olyolyy - why give the baby all the fat and sodium when you can feed him/her regular frozen butternut squash, also cooked and mashed?

Mar 04, 2013
SB foodie in Chains

La Bistecca?

Thanks Ric. The lobby idea was a turn-off to me, too. I was wondering why they'd serve caponata AND another sauce with a good steak! Going to Church and State instead. A bit far from the Ahmanson, but we'll make it!

Sep 27, 2009
SB foodie in Los Angeles Area

La Bistecca?

Still no reports.... La Bistecca downtown, anyone?

Sep 27, 2009
SB foodie in Los Angeles Area

South Bay Favorites (VERY LONG)

Tapa Meze - truly a nightmare. Granted we haven't returned since just after they opened. Was that because it took 45 minutes to serve 4 wine flights? Or because THE OWNER TOLD US HE WAS FIRING OUR SERVER. No apology, nothing comped, just that she'll be gone, please come back. BTW - the wine flights took so long because the owner insisted that they use an idiotic tree that holds glasses all on different angles, then didn't have the right fitted glasses, so they tipped and spilled, and the poor ditzy waitress was trying and trying to make it work (stupid, yes, but stupid hired stupid...), and the bartender was too busy chatting up the TWO - countem TWO barflys - so he couldn't pour our wine.

Yes, on to the food. Really mediocre. Nothing fresh, nothing special. EH! For tapas, spend the money, sit on the patio at Petros, and relax. Just don't go for dinner unless you like tight, loud spaces with minimal service.

Jun 21, 2009
SB foodie in Los Angeles Area

Good Sushi on Westside tonight?

WOW - we love Kiriko and always have great service. Had omakase there last night - all fabulous, fresh, perfect fish, flavors that shined through all preparations. $230 for two, with a $50 bottle of sake.

Only flaw was that they tried to not let us take the rest of our sake to go. We were going to the theatre and didn't have time to finish it. They said they would not be responsible. We suggested they'd be responsible if we finished it there, then left and got injured, so they ultimately gave in. Still, we'd go back in a minute!

Jun 21, 2009
SB foodie in Los Angeles Area

Nice, Lyon and Paris: 12/25-1/03

If you can get in and want to make an incredibly memorable detour, go south of Lyon to the Rhone, to Valence. There you'll find Maison Pic. Anne-Sophie Pic is an accomplished chef, only the third woman chef to achieve 3 Michelin stars. The food is fabulous, light, elegant, Asian influenced. The rooms are elegant yet comfortable, as is the service. Anne-Sophie is warm, charming, and an amazing talent!

Dec 01, 2008
SB foodie in France

Manhattan Beach / Highland Ave.

There are few solid options in the SB beach cities. I live in this culinary wasteland. Melba's is great. Very good fresh fish and seafood, good pastas, something to satisfy everyone. Open kitchen and charming Chef Melba make it fun! Our home away from home!

Dec 01, 2008
SB foodie in Los Angeles Area

Brix @ 1601

Brix still doesn't cut it. My lunch experience today included a menu more limited than that on Brix own website, a server who didn't know the menu, and some really poor execution of dishes. The long version:

I really wanted to like Brix. It's a beautifully appointed room, but the menu just doesn't match. We went for lunch today and had a hard time making a selection. Not because there were so many choices, but because there are so few. Don't go by the website; half of the items are not on the lunch menu. For such an elegant space, the menu was comprised largely of run of the mill sandwiches and a couple of steaks. I had settled on the skirt steak with arugula, only to be informed that it was replaced by skirt steak with a fried egg and black beans. UGH! I was informed that I could not get the menu item, even though they had all the ingredients. SO - I ordered the corn ravioli with sweetbreads. Along came ravioli topped by cream sauce with a few kernels of corn and some deep fried chunks of.... ??? The waiter said bacon. I asked where the sweetbreads might be and he said they were inside the ravioli. SO - the raviolis were filled with.... the same cream sauce that was on the outside. After consulting with the kitchen, the waiter returned and proudly announced that the "bacon" was really sweetbreads. Deep fried sweetbreads.... I returned it, and ordered the other steak on the menu, requesting that the fries be substituted with roasted vegetables. The waiter informed me that there might be an upcharge; I informed him that I would not pay anything additional. They complied, ultimately. While the waiter apologized, I was appalled by his lack of knowledge of the menu. Furthermore, I would expect that my entree be comped for the inconvenience. All in all, a disappointment. I always look for new restaurants near home. Took a while to get to Brix because I hadn't heard many raves. Maybe dinner service is better; one more chance in a few months. Unfortunately, my husband will not return due to today's service.

Sep 30, 2008
SB foodie in Los Angeles Area

Shhh...Melisse Chef in the South Bay!

I know the chef is from Avenue, which closed primarily for financial reasons. Couldn't draw clientele. Food was ok, not great. Maybe poorly managed as well. The only e-mail I ever received from Avenue in two years was the one informing me of their closure - no events, seasonal menus, nothing! Darren's in the same location is doing incredibly well. Can't get in on the weekend after six months.

As for Catalina, I was unimpressed with the food. Appetizers all served at wrong temperatures, flavors not fresh. Waiters not knowledgeable. The space remodel is great, but I won't go back. So he cooked at Melisse, maybe. He wasn't the chef.

Coccole in the same location struggled with service problems and a pace that Americans are not accustomed to - slow, relaxed, an evening spent with family and friends.

South Bay? I live there. I would be more than happy to support local restaurants. Meanwhile, we drive a Prius.....

Apr 30, 2008
SB foodie in Los Angeles Area