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Great Eats Downtown SF

thx, I figured this has been asked many times.

Aug 23, 2011
brentbacher in San Francisco Bay Area

Any REAL North Italian in or near OC?

I like finbars in seal beach.
papalucci in belmont shore is good, great value. crowded.
fora in naples, long beach--expensive.
however my fav. italian is parolaccia osteria long beach--great value, crowded.

Aug 23, 2011
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Indian Lunch Buffet Recommendations

in irvine i like--

1. India cook house and
2. clay pot.

Aug 23, 2011
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Maui Great Eats

many thx, you are spot on with your recommendaions.

Aug 23, 2011
brentbacher in Hawaii

Maui Great Eats

We have been to Maui several times and I wanted to update our "great eats" that we have found over the years.

1. sansei--fusion japanese.
2. hulu grill--hawaii regional cusine. super kid friendly. great views.
3. merriman's kapalua--farm to table. my favorite rest. in maui, expensive, super view.
4. pacific O--hawaii regional cusine, farm to table. good food. too pricey.
5. star noodle--japanese. great value! odd locatoion, wonderful food. ramen and noodles. my favorite find of 2011. getting great reviews. seems to be more of a local place.
6. fish market--wonderful fish sandwiches and fish tacos. they don't have the lobster roll any longer.
7. mama's fish house--need to go back, still a favorite, wonderful view, fresh fish.
8. Paia fish market--casual, great fish plates. the mahi mahi fish and chips are killer!
9. gazebo--no longer a secret, that the travel channel, great for breakfast. decent prices.
10. pineapple grill--good food, expensive.
11. Haiimaile General Store--another one of our favs, super food. farm to table, near the airport, usually our last great meal in maui. i loved their BBQ last time!
12. cheeseburger in paradise--fun for kids, over priced hamburgers. great view!

I would not recommend the sea house in napili, just not as good as it once was, too bad as it has a super location.

Aug 23, 2011
brentbacher in Hawaii

Great Eats Downtown SF

My family is from Orange County and we are staying a weekend in SF in November this year. we are staying at the Grand Hyatt on Stockton street, cross street is post. we have dined at crustacen before and loved it. we would love to hear from the chow hounds where we can find some "great eats" off the beaten path. we are open to any cusine and any price range, cheaper the better! not looking for long reviews, just unique places with yummy food.

Aug 23, 2011
brentbacher in San Francisco Bay Area

Maui Great Eats

In Maui for 1 week with the family, we just LOVED our meal and service at Sansei last evening. any other awesome places to dine, no limit on price however needs to be family friendly?

Aug 06, 2010
brentbacher in Hawaii

The Bazaar--A Memorable Dining Experience!

On Saturday Dec. 19th my wife and I dined at Jose Andres’ Bazaar Restaurant located in LA's SLS Hotel. The minute we walked in to the restaurant we noticed that the vibes were cool and trendy, we knew at that moment we were at “the new popular L.A. hang-out.” We checked in with the hostess and strolled around the vast area called the Bazaar. We found the central bar and ordered a few cocktails. Cocktails in hand we wondered over to an art gallery created by Murray Moss [I had to look this up on the web]. The MOSS gallery of the Bazaar is similar to an art gallery, a unique collection of art, books, statues, etc.. The hostess found us in the gallery and guided us to our table located in the Blanca tapas bar section of the Bazaar. We sat comfortably and opened the menu; you could say that we were overwhelmed with the number of tapas. Shortly after sitting, our server welcomed us and presented the menu. This was our first tapas meal, so we had really no idea what to expect. At this time the manager introduced himself and answered all of our questions. After the menu presentation we defaulted to them to order our entire meal. My wife ordered a glass of 2006 L’Argata, Joan d’Anguera Spanish Red Wine and I ordered my favorite cocktail, a cotton candy mojito. The first tapas to hit our table were salt infused baby potatoes served with a unique dipping sauce consisting of olive oil, cilantro, cumin and parsley, a simple dish but rewarding. Next served were the sweet potato crisps served with a dip which tasted of yogurt, olive oil and anise, it was refreshing. The next two dishes were canned versions of tapas—sea urchin with vegetables and a crab dish. The crab was served with a raspberry sauce which was a perfect match; this dish surprised me on how delicious it was. Our server then brought out a tomato and mozzarella salad, simple and tasty, the cool thing about this salad was that the mozzarella cheese was actually a liquid ball an amazingly play of textures, a wonderful salad! The selection of ham was truly unique and delicious. We were served three different types of ham; the best was the back pig ham [Jamon Iberico de bellota Fermin] which had a fat content similar to Kobe beef. After the ham, we enjoyed tomato cheese toast, Spanish sausages [similar to the sausages served at Black sheep Bistro], brussel sprouts, an egg and potato foam dish and boneless chicken wings. A tapas dish that really stood out was the squid in its own ink, the ink was salty but delicious when paired the squid. The final tapas were wagyu beef cheeks and the famous Jose Andres’ Philly cheese steak which consisted of air bread, cheese foam inside and a few strips of waygu beef on the outside; this was a hit, delicious!

After dinner, our server guided us to the Patisserie section of the Bazaar where my wife was overwhelmed by the selection of candy, bon bons, cookies, cakes, lollipops, fruit pate and assorted pastries. Our new server took us on a small tour of the desert display, wow! I’m not one for deserts, so I ordered a 10 year old Laphroaig while my wife sampled several treats. Simply put my wife was in heaven. Then our server surprised both of us with a birthday desert along with a candle. We stayed at the Bazaar for almost 5 hours but it only felt like 2 hours, time flys when you’re having fun! We will go back.

Dec 29, 2009
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

No Corkage Fees

Looking for restaurants [dinner service, med. price range] in Orange County and or Long Beach that do not charge corkage Fees. the few that I know are: Houstons, Blacksheep, Cafe R&D, Pinot Providence and Gulfstream.

Oct 30, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

My Upcoming Las Vegas Vacation

I have not tried Cut, Craftsteak and or SW. the only other steakhouse I've tried is Delmonicos.

I only get to Vegas about once every 3 years. I will say that Vegas sure has many killer choices, its hard to narrow it down.

Aug 22, 2008
brentbacher in Las Vegas

My Upcoming Las Vegas Vacation

Had a great meal at Stripsteak. Stripsteak is one of Michael Mina's restaurants, the 10 oz filet mignon was perfect, in fact the best I can remember. The filet was cooked and seasoned perfectly. Also, we ordered up the trio of duck fat fries, grilled foie gras, bacon wrapped fritters, chicken fried steak and butter poached lobster tail which we all enjoyed. We were not impressed by the salads, i.e. bibb wedge and Caesar. A big hit were the two veggie dishes, creamed spinach and the jalapeño cream corn wow! And for desserts, we ordered the dunkin' mini doughnuts and beignets which we all consumed in record time. BTW, the wine and scotch selection is out of this world. The wait staff was courteous and friendly. Stripsteak was certainly a great place to dine, we all enjoyed our experience.

Aug 18, 2008
brentbacher in Las Vegas

Stromboli?

My favorite stromboli is at Papalucci's in Long Beach.

Papalucci's
4611 E. 2nd
Long Beach, CA
562.434.4454

Papalucci is casual and gets crowded on the weekends. I will be going to 4Kegs this Saturday in Vegas for a comparison.

Aug 05, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

My Upcoming Las Vegas Vacation

I'm heading to Stripsteak at the MB Casino on Saturday evening with a group of Friends. from the reviews its seems like a wonderful place. what did you order or what do you recommend to order at Stripsteak?

Aug 05, 2008
brentbacher in Las Vegas

Park Ave in Stanton

Our experience at Park Ave is as follows--as we pulled into the parking lot, the 50's decor was apparent. When we opened the door, it all came together. We were greeted by the hostess and then we retreated to the bar. I really liked the star light fixtures directly above the bar and the black and white pictures of Hollywood celebrities was fun. As we sat down we both ordered a glass of white wine. We settled in and began our first journey at Park Ave.. We started off with the lobster fritters, these were a hit! In fact, we ordered two orders of these and we were pleased that both orders were consistent and tasty--only the fresh garnish changed. I loved the large pieces of fresh corn and the sauce which marries all the flavors. After the fritters, we ordered the marinated black angus and the braised pork belly. The angus tenderloin was excellent, a unique marinate with a bold flavor that I loved. After this, I ordered the cocktail Tommy Bahamas, which was amazing. This was the best cocktail I've had in a long time. The fresh mint was apparent and I nursed this drink for a good 30 minutes.

The wait staff had opened our bottle of wine when we arrived and it was at our table when we sat down. BTW, no need to bring your own bottle, the wine list at Park Ave. in impressive. We loved the decor of the dining room and especially the garden room. As we settled in at our table our waiter introduced himself and suggested the heirloom tomatoes which I loved. The tomatoes paired with the watermelon and the feta was nice, I've never had a dish like this. We did try the Park Ave. sage extra virgin olive oil with the 3 varieties of bread. We loved those flatbread crisps. The warm spinach salad was prepared for us tableside. I loved the pepper bacon and the fresh garlic chips. After our salad we ordered the mahi-mahi and the medallions of filet mignon. The fish was cooked properly and seasoned nice, but what I really was amazed by what was I thought were sweet potatoes. I ran this by our waiter, he mentioned they were plantains. Cool approach, I loved this take on sweet potatoes. After the fish, I was becoming very full and was unsure that we would finish all of the food. At this time, my wife had ordered the bread pudding and the chocolate soufflé. Our waiter put the order in and brought out the medallions of filet mignon. I knew I'd love this dish and I've tried to make a version of this at home. The demi-glace sauce, most likely from a red wine reduction and veal or beef stock was heavenly. The beef was perfectly cooked and the sauce really brought out the bold flavors of the beef. Onto dessert, this is my wife's passion. She devoured both dishes in a snap. She was in heaven. I typically don't eat desserts but the sour cream ice cream was nice and the soufflé was perfect, excellent texture.

I love Chef Slay's approach to clean eating--fresh ingredients, attention to detail and everything made from scratch. Our dining experience at Park Ave. Restaurant exceeded our expectations. We will go back.

Jul 31, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Need meeting place near OC Airport

A little over your budget, my bad.
Adult Lunch=$23
Adult dinner=$41

Jul 07, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Need meeting place near OC Airport

I'd suggest Agora. Its a Brazilian Steakhouse near the airport.

http://www.agorachurrascaria.com/

Jul 04, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Excellent Pizza in OC?

the best that I have found is located in Long Beach, slightly north of OC.

La-Parolaccia
2945 East Broadway
Long Beach, California 90803
(562) 438-1235

http://www.laparolacciausa.com/

Jul 01, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

OC Sushi (In need of Big Fusion Rolls/Cucumbr wrapped)

My favorite for amazing rolls is Mahe in Seal Beach.

http://www.maherestaurant.com/

Jul 01, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Anniversary Dinner in Irvine or Surrounding Area??

Below are some of my favorites:

Italian--Antonello or Villa Nova
Seafood--Fish Company in Los Alamitos or Walt's Wharf in Seal Beach
Steak--Flemings or Mastros or Mortons
Persian--Caspian or Darya

Fine Dining--The Hobbit or Five Crowns. Some of the restaurants listed above could fit the category of fine dining.

Enjoy.
Brent

PS--Try Fukada [near the Spectrum] for lunch, its amazing and always full, they are closed on Monday.

Jul 01, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Fine Dining in Vegas [moved from L.A. board]

I know this is the LA board, but I have been very pleased with the recommedations I have received from the LA Chowhound community.

We are going to Vegas in Sept. with a group of Friends, we all know that there are so many wonderful places to eat. In the past we have dined at Delmonico's Steakhouse and really enjoyed it.

other recommendations for dining in Vegas that I have received have included: Lotus of Siam, Bradley Odgen, 4 Kegs and Bouchon. Any other thoughts?

Jun 30, 2008
brentbacher in Southwest

Anniversary Dinner in Hollywood--recommendations

Yes the 5 course tasting was just fine, you can always add on an item during the meal i.e. spot prawns, turbot for two or the cheese tray. My wife and I did not add on any items and we were completely satisfied. the table next to us got the "full tasting" which looked amazing. for a first timer the 5 course is adequate, note that the portions are small but amazing in flavor and very creative. our menu included yellowtail, diver scallops, halibut, veal and a dessert. We had 3 white wines from around the world, 1 red wine from CA [which was my favorite--Sean Thackrey Pleiades] and then a dessert wine. The atmosphere is hip, fresh and very confortable. BTW, the martinis are wonderful as well we tried 3 different ones our favorite was the Asian Pear.

Jun 30, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Anniversary Dinner in Hollywood--recommendations

Thanks a million, we dined at Providence last night. This was the best meal I've ever had, we did the 5 course tasting along with the wine pairing.

Jun 29, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Anniversary Dinner in Hollywood--recommendations

thx ill investigate.

Jun 25, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Anniversary Dinner in Hollywood--recommendations

I'm taking my wife to see Wicked at the Pantages in Hollywood for our 11 year anniversary. For lunch we will be dining in Thai Town. However, for dinner I wanted to get some recommendations for a great dinner spot. We love great food and are willing to try just about anything.

Jun 24, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

need dinner suggestions for this Saturday

I agree Fora is great. here are a few more:

Long Beach
1. Italian--La Parolaccia http://www.laparolacciausa.com/
2. Vietnamese--Benely at 8191 East Wardlow Rd Long Beach, CA 90808 (562) 596-8130

Seal Beach
1. Seafood / Sushi--Mahe http://www.maherestaurant.com/
2. Seafood--Walts Wharf http://www.waltswharf.com/

Los Alamitos
1. Seafood--Fish Company http://www.originalfishcompany.com/

Jun 20, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Romantic celebratory dinner...

If you don't mind driving to Orange, try the Hobbit. Reservations are a MUST. The food, service and wine are superb--some of the best I've ever had. Its a unique dining experience indeed and will impress your boyfriend. there is a dress code.

http://www.hobbitrestaurant.com/

Jun 20, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Cooking and cake decorating kids classes

Prep Kitchen Essentials in Los Alamitos. I've sent my kids to cooking camp and I've personally have taken classes there.

http://www.prepkitchenessentials.com/

Jun 14, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Recommendations for Carne Asada in OC / Long Beach

I love it, I usually go there now 1-2 times per month. tacos are killer and the red salsa / sauce is perfect. great value.

Jun 08, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Veal Bones in Orange County

Thx for the tip, there is a Bristol farms in LB as well, near my house.

1. Brees Meats in Garden Grove--714.892.1115

2. El Toro Meats in Lake Forest--949.355.0215

May 27, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area

Veal Bones in Orange County

I've called a few butchers in OC, and I have had no luck finding veal bones, any ideas in OC or Long Beach?

May 24, 2008
brentbacher in Los Angeles Area