t

toothsome's Profile

Title Last Reply

Korean tacos at La Taquiza of all places

Tried both the short rib and pork last night. Good, grungy, scrummy, epically messy tacos -- and no, the kimchi is not bargain basement. As many have commented here, the flavors are bold, brash Korean. You can't compare these to Kogi as the two are doing something entirely different. Kogi is street food that tastes like superb and innovative restaurant food; La Taquiza is street, period. Kogi is flavor profiles and nuance. La Taquiza is Korean red sauce dripping down your chin, unweildy hunks of short rib falling out your taco and an LAPD officer to your right demolishing a seafood burrito.

On a side not, earlier we had checked out the new Lab Gastro pub (also on Figueroa.) The beer is OK, although there's no Craftsman in sight. The two appetizers we tried -- calamari and artichoke fritters, were the two most disgusting things I've eaten in 18 months: both undersalted, over fried, the batter not even adhering to the tasteless calamari. One of the dips actually tasted of vomit. I felt like I was in an episode of Kitchen Confidential surrounded by the cast of Greek. Shockingly, epically bad.

Mar 28, 2009
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Best Korean Restaurants in K-Town

If you have a little one and you're looking for some smoke-free spots, you might want to try the more low-key, family style restaurants. There's Jeon Ju on Olympic for awesome bi bim bap, Western Doma Noodle (lots of choices here including sicy rice cakes, seafood pancake, torn dough soup, black cod and kal gook soo), Mapo on 6th for great fish dishes, and Seongbukdong at 6th and Berendo for Spicy Mackerel stew. Service can be a tad spotty at some of these, in particualar Western Doma and Mapo where the ajummas seem a bit short on help, but the home-cooking more than makes up for it.

Mar 27, 2009
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

korean plaza on western

The dumpling place is great, cheap and cheerful. To the right of that, there's a fine kimchi soup and a pretty good soon dobu as well -- they used to do a soon dae version but alas, no more. To the left, down two, is some pretty darn good soon dae blood sausage up straight -- I get the small plate of it. I tried the fried squid at one of the places inbetween; I'd skip it. I'm a fan of the supermarket in there too, which is great value and offers superior quality to the other two main Korean markets.

Mar 27, 2009
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

An amazing Chef's Tasting at Providence - Thanks to all you great LA Chowhounds!

Thank you uhockey for enabling those of us who cannot afford Providence to live vicariously through your beautifully detailed post!

Mar 27, 2009
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Yxta Downtown

Point taken; I guess my issue is the amount -- when you come away from every bite tasting pineapple chunk it robs that wonderful meat of the spotlight. Perhaps they were just a bit heavy-handed with it last night.

Mar 27, 2009
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Yxta Downtown

Went back last night to try the al pastor -- tender, juicy, fab! But what up with this place and pineapple?! Now I know pineapple plays a role in the cooking process but much like I don't want a bunch of orange segments in my conchita pibil, I don't want cubes of pineapple in my al pastor. We also tried the vegetarian dish -- Calabacitas, sp?. I never usually order the vegetarian dish but I'm slightly concerned about my risk of scurvy at the moment due to two weeks of meat and potato dining so I thought I'd sling some veggies down there for good measure. I was a bit put off when it arrived; it looked like a mess of diced veg spooned over rice but I have to say I was very presently suprised - diced Mexican zucchini, grilled corn, crema fresca, queso cotija all served over lime rice with a side of beans. As with my previous visit, the flavors seemed almost French, there's a wonderful richness going on. As I was feeling very saintly for ordering the veggie dish we added a side of the Chipotle Mashed Potatoes and WOW -- ultimate comfort food, generous portion, piping hot, perfectly mashed and far better than the Loteria version. And on the drinks front, the blood orange cocktail is an absolute winner - - a great deal of thought has gone into the drinks here and they're definitely competing with my current Downtown favorites: the French 75 at Association and the Dealer's Choice with gin at Church and State.

Mar 27, 2009
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Best Breakfast in LA?

Nick's Ham & Eggs Downtown
Pork Belly dish at Hungry Cat
Raisin pastry and espresso at Anisette

Mar 25, 2009
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Four days in LA--your top picks?

Mussos is for history and a martini. It's not for food. Chateau is for people watching and a glass of something sparkly in the garden. Again, not for food. There are places you go in LA because they are part of the character of the city (the coffee shop in the Beverly Hills Hotel for example) and there are places you go for the food -- Mozza, Father's Office, Hungry Cat, A.O.C, Comme Ca, Langers etc. . For a great, fun weekend in LA, I'd do a bit of both.

Mar 25, 2009
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Yxta Downtown

Hubby had decided we had to try this Yxta spot downtown.

I was none too thrilled when we pulled up – housed in a spectacularly ugly mini mall at 6th and Central, Yxta is a dumpy looking, gruel-colored hunk of concrete. I love a good hole in the wall, but this place is alarmingly large, spectacularly lacking in character and comes complete with a mega tacky “Now Open!” plastic thingy slung across its front. “Man,” thought I, “This place better serve booze.”

We go inside; I feel a little better. The interior is brick and tile and lined with eye-catching art. The light fixtures are exquisite. There’s a bar. And even though the place is two-thirds empty, it’s welcoming and casual and the wait-staff seems relaxed….no smell of desperation in the air…yet.

We order drinks. Hubby has the classic margarita. I order the escabeche martini with gin. The chips arrive – they’re warm and crispy; the salsa’s fresh and zingy. And then I see our drinks arrive and that warm, fuzzy feeling I always get when we’re at some place I feel is about to reveal itself as really, really special, comes sweeping over me. My martini (boozy to the rafters and brimming with at least half the daily allowance of veg) is heaven. Any sailor returning to shore should be administered this upon arrival.

We began with tostadas with sashimi grade tuna. They arrive with alarming speed, which makes me nervous. I needn’t have worried. First off, holy generous portion size, second, they’re not kidding when they say sashimi grade. Not a whiff of fish here – just pure, gorgeous, perfect tuna – I ate the fried onion topping separately.

For the entrees, we ordered one of the sweet shrimp dishes – Camarones de Ajillo. We’d guzzled an incredible sweet shrimp sashimi special at Shin Sen Gumi in Torrance the night before, and figured we may as well continue a winning trend.

Honestly, this is a dish that makes a restaurant. This dish is INSANE. It seems…French?! So unctuous, so rich, so deeply in your face flavorful, this dish…it has my undying love. But share it. That’s my advice. It’s intense. We shared the carnitas simultaneously and welcomed the more muted, earthy flavors to balance out the extravagant flavor.

And then we made a mistake…kind of. We ordered the flan; it’s called pineapple flan actually which is unfortunate because anything involving pineapple sounds wholly unappetizing unless you’re on vacation. Anyhoo, I pictured some light-as-air, caramel goodness and what turns up is a) ENORMOUS and b) has the texture of the richest cheesecake ever. Delicious? Yes! But prepare to wear baggy pants for the next 48 hours – a party of four could easily share this sucker. We asked what the secret was. The waiter scuttled off and returned with some empty, opaque explanation involving condensed milk. I called BS. He finally admitted the chef would not reveal the recipe. Whatever. It’s the sweet shrimp I’m coming back for.

Mar 22, 2009
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Comme Ca? You're kidding, Right?

I wasn't suggesting you hadn't eaten all over the world; I was suggesting that if you're going to give a restaurant such an absolute, head-to-toe trashing you might want to do it on the basis of a broader experience, not two dishes and an iced tea.

Jan 30, 2009
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Comme Ca? You're kidding, Right?

I think perhaps you ought to try it again in a better frame of mind. I've eaten there at lunch and dinner, as a party of two and with 9 out-of-towners who've eaten all over the world and enjoyed the best of the best. On every visit the consensus was the same: great food, attentive service and a laid back, lively environment. Admittedly I've never had the burger but I have had the marrow, the sweetbreads, the escargot, the mussels, a rabbit special, fish dishes and more, and without exception I've thoroughly enjoyed them all. Respectfully, I think your take on the bread service is a little much. Perhaps you were simply looking for a different style of restaurant?

Jan 29, 2009
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

arepas

Coupa Cafe in Beverly Hills serves a somewhat refined arepa. And the coffee's nuclear.

Aug 04, 2008
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Traditional English Breakfast

I'd suggest Anisette or Fox and Hounds (Studio City.)
King's Head is awful

Aug 03, 2008
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Another take on 8 oz - lots of potential here

Went for the first time last night and sat at the bar I have to say I think they've ironed out some issues that others have raised. First off the service was impeccable; not only were orders taken promptly (both food and drink) but we had more than one follow-up from our server.

I have to admit we hedged our bets; having read the mixed reviews we decided to order cocktails and snacks at the bar and if things seemed to be up to snuff we'd stick around for dinner. We started with a Whiskey Sour and a Manhattan and ordered the Deviled Eggs and Kennebec fries -- and yes, we threw in the heirloom ketchup to see what all the fuss is about. At $8, ($8!!!) the cocktails are hands down one of the best deals in the city. Are they Hungry Cat standard? Well no, but then again they're $8 and they're pretty damn fantastic, not to mention sizeable and strong. As for the food, the eggs were very good and the fries were crisp, hot and a good portion. And yes, the ketchup is worth it.

At this point we decided to stay for dinner and try the burger. We ordered the $15 combo: 8oz burger, choice of side, draft beer. For sides, I had the fried pickles and my better half had the onion rings. We both had Telegraph ales.

Ah, the burger. Can a burger be misunderstood? I think this one might be. This is not a gourmet burger so it's somewhat unfair to be lining it up against F.O and it's ilk. This is a counter burger -- yes, one with ambitions but still very much a counter burger. This is about iceberg and white onion and mayo, not arugula and blue cheese. It's messy, unwieldy and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. And as for the bun, I think a lesser one would be obliterated by all the mess. It took a minute to get past but a few minutes in and I was sold on it's ability to hang on to all the juice. Both burgers were cooked perfectly medium rare.

As for the quibbles about portion size, I think they have may have bumped up the servings because both the pickles and onions were generous. And while the onion rings were very good, the pickles were the slam dunk and by far the favorite side of the night.

For my money, this is great recession dining -- budget friendly comfort food with a ton of good beer on tap and affordable stiff cocktails. I think this will be my sort of middle of the week, I've-had-a-bad-day spot. Village Idiot has served that purpose from time to time but I always leave feeling underwhelmed, over charged, and vaguely irritated. Will 8oz replace F.O as my favorite burger? Certainly not, but I think this place will serve a different purpose and I'll probably end up here just as much,

Jul 26, 2008
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Best Steak Tartare in LA?

Father's Office (Culver City) has had a great one on special recently.

Jun 24, 2008
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Anisette: Heavenly breakfast

Hubster and I were celebrating the anniversary this weekend and decided to kick things off with breakfast at Anisette, mainly because I had read about their English breakfast. As I've suffered through some fairly limp and tepid renditions in LA, nearly all of which fail to feature the all important black pudding, I was postively salivating at the prospect. Too bad then that I failed to read the fine print and arrived too late to try it; the brunch menu kicks in at 9am on weekends.

I knew we were in for a treat as soon as we stepped inside. The interior is incredible. Every detail down to the light fixtures speaks to the tremendous thought that has gone into creating a truly lived in, authentic atmosphere. I loved the fact that the waiters, impeccable in their black pants and long white aprons, were all sporting Converse. In typical Parisian style the tables are extremely close together, which can prove a blessing when sat next to a softly spoken older couple, or a curse when you get the loud-mouthed chatterbox who interrupts your breakfast to ask, 'Do you like that? I was going to order it but it sounded horrible.' Er, thanks lady.

We started with Bloody Marys ($12). Hubster opted for the fairly standard Farmers Market option, I chose the Pour Moi with mustard and blue-cheese stuffed olives. I was a wee bit alarmed when it arrived as the mustard gives it a pinkish hue but I have to say this is a knock-out drink and the blue-cheese olives tasted as if they had been stuffed only moments before. I imagine it's an instant hangover killer. I ordered Eggs Purgatory (poached eggs on thick slices of bacon brioche with a specatularly fresh tomato sauce), hubster opted for the Anisette omlette topped with exceptionally tasty mushrooms and asparagus. These two dishes proved very easy to split at the table, which we did and we were torn between the two. Following that, we decided what the hell, we'd throw in some coffee and road test the croissant and pain au raisin. Well, it ended up being the total highlight; the croissant is stunning with that wonderful crisp-soft texture and the pain au raisin is hands-down Anisette's secret breakfast weapon. As you eat towards the center it becomes richer and more buttery and those gorgeous yellow raisins grow increasingly juicy and sweet. At less than 3 bucks each, these two pastries put Little Next Door's efforts to shame. As for the coffee, it was rich and strong and refills were constant. Total bill for this monstrous feast came to $65 before tip. As we'll never be able to afford dinner at this place, we consider that a steal.

But I couldn't get that English breakfast out of mind and so today it was back to Anisette to vet the ultimate artery clogger. Well, praise be that I don't live in this hood or I'd be dead inside the year. Here's what you get for $15.25:
Grilled field mushroom and tomato
3 rashers of English bacon (the sliver of rind barely crisp as it should be)
2 gargantuan sausages (the skin postively pops at the bite)
4 wee triangles of fried bread (not too heavy, not too hard)
2 eggs to order
4 pieces of blood pudding (presumably made in-house as there is nothing like it anywhere)
And coffee.
I could kiss whoever made this breakfast. It was perfection. Flawless. Heavenly. Just thumping wonderful. And it's not easy to do a perfect English breakfast with all those different components; something always ends up cold or over cooked. Considering this meal will feed me for oh, probably the next 3 days, this may well be the best deal in the city.

Anisette
225 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 395-3200

Jun 24, 2008
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Best live/eat neighborhood in LA

I live around the 6th and La Brea area (90036) and it meets many of your requirements -- I can easily walk to La Brea Bakery, Campanile, Luna Park and also Trader Joes for groceries. If I'm in the mood for a slightly longer walk, I can get to Milk and Insomnia for coffee and treats and to the Farmers Market, which has numerous food options. A very quick drive gets me to Mozza, Larchmont (for killer sandwichs and one of the most interesting wine selections in the city at Larchmont Wine and Cheese), and to all the many options down Beverly -- Jar, Grace, Hatfields etc. 3rd street (A.O.C) is also right by. And then there's Pico, which has a ton of great food and a fantastic little French coffee shop called Maison du Pain. And at La Brea and Olympic is a taco truck that is superb. You're right by the entrance to the 10 or, if traffic's bad, you can also take 6th all the way to Downtown. It never takes me more than 20-25 minutes to get down there -- although to be fair I rarely head that way during peek traffic so you'd probably want to scope out those times.

May 02, 2008
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Osteria La Buca LOVE/almost HATE experience…

Hubby and I LOVED the old La Buca. It was the perfect Friday night restaurant; low-key, great atmosphere, good value and consistently delicious food. Even the abrupt manner of the waiters couldn't put us off. But the new La Buca is a total disappoinment; we gave it two tries and we will not return. The great cosy atmosphere is gone, the prices are inflated and the love in the food has been lost. Simply put, it just wasn't fun. And for the same price (or less) you can get a spectacular meal down the road at Mozza. They have squandered the magic of a true LA gem.

May 01, 2008
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Father's Office, What's the big deal?

I went last night for the first time to the new location; I had been a loyal patron of the Santa Monica F.O but jumped ship after having to send overcooked meat back 3 times on one vist. They never got it right and frankly after fighting for a table and going through the whole culinary combat that is F.O, I turned my back. If the food isn't 100% on point, I'm not going to fight for it. The new location is back to the original standard. Hubby and I shared the curry mussels and the burger. The burger was cooked to perfection; the fries were crisp and hot. The mussels were fine although when Jitlada's slinging mussels 3 times the size for 3 bucks less I wouldn't order them again. The F.O martini was the discovery of the night. We got there early (just before 6) and scored a table no problem -- by the time we left however there was a line around the block. My only real complaint about last night would be the Frat boy contingent whining about cheese, asking for "light" beers and requesting that the volume on the TV be turned up...got nothing against you guys but it is what it is and if you don't like it, please go elsewhere.

May 01, 2008
toothsome in Los Angeles Area

Ceviche

Los Balcones del Peru has truly awesome ceviche if you can bare the bitty service.
Here's the link to a JGold review that includes address etc:
http://www.laweekly.com/eat+drink/cou...
I also am fond of the ceviches at El Polla Inka and if you visit the Torrance branch you can get a Pisco Sour, a foamy gorgeous cocktail not readily available in LA.
http://www.elpolloinka.com/

May 01, 2008
toothsome in Los Angeles Area