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grubtrotters's Profile

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A Frame Wait

Has anyone been to A Frame on a Saturday night recently? Is there still a long wait, or has it calmed down? Is Waterloo & City within walking distance if the wait is absurd?

Nov 05, 2011
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Kid-friendly and affordable on the Strip?

I live in Venice, and it takes an hour to get to The Strip. I don't go that often and not typically for a chili dog. I'm actually not a big hot dog person (un-American, I know.) But it sounds great for a kid, and my husband will love the chili dog, too. Thanks for the tip.

Apr 03, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Kid-friendly and affordable on the Strip?

Thanks. Never been there, either, but it looks like Carney's is closer. They're probably walking from their hotel.

Apr 03, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Kid-friendly and affordable on the Strip?

Free parking sounds VERY attractive on a Friday night.

Apr 03, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Kid-friendly and affordable on the Strip?

Sounds kind of fun. Never been there.

Apr 03, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Kid-friendly and affordable on the Strip?

I have a friend coming into town tonight, and she's staying at the Andaz Hotel in West Hollywood. She has a three-year-old and wants to go out to dinner nearby on the Sunset Strip. Is there anything casual, decent and kid-friendly up there? She doesn't want to spend a fortune.

Apr 03, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Santa Monica / Venice - Date Night Dinner Recs

People definitely hover. I always arrive early and have never waited for a seat but never on a Saturday night. People HAVE hovered behind me, though.

Apr 02, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Santa Monica / Venice - Date Night Dinner Recs

Joe's (on Abbot Kinney not main Street) has fantastic food. It is the same chef as Bar Pintxo but totally different food, much better in my opinion. It's a little fancy and not as crazy a scene, but if you haven't eaten at Joe's I would highly recommend it. I still think Wilshire is the best bet for a date. But the advantage of Abbot Kinney is you can wander around, especially the first Friday of the month, all the shops and galleries are open late. Oops, edited to say I see your date is Saturday. Still, speaking as a Venetian, Abbot Kinney is a great place to hang. Hal's doesn't have the greatest food, but it's also a classic spot on the street with a decent bar scene. It's hard to go wrong on Abbot Kinney.

Apr 02, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Santa Monica / Venice - Date Night Dinner Recs

But very uncomfortable chairs at Bar Pintxo, and you're sort of squeezed together. It's a great place for a quick stop, but not the best for a date night, IMHO. Primitivo is more date-like if you're looking for a wine bar/small plates.

Apr 02, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Santa Monica / Venice - Date Night Dinner Recs

Chinois is really nice, has good food, but it's not nearly as hip as Gjelina, and it's a little pricey. Gjelina would be perfect. They do have communal tables where you can just show up and grab a seat. But you'd have to arrive early. Probably best not to risk it. I don't like AK as much, but it is also hopping. Same type of "buzz" factor as Gjelina. Wilshire's back patio is gorgeous, romantic and still kind of cool with wonderful food. It's not as crazy in terms of "scene" as these other places, but I love Wilshire. You said you don't want to, but if you're willing to drive a little, you should check out The Bazaar in Beverly Hills. It's the most fun "experience" for a sceney night out: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/605717

Apr 02, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Cupcake bakery trend being replaced by french cookie bakeries?

Yes, they had the soft opening about six weeks ago. This was their "official" opening party. She's had her business, but not her shop for a long time. The shop is new. Lots of bakeries/dessert shops on that little nondescript block of Culver City. I haven't tried the others.

Apr 02, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

STK Anyone?

Yeah, our ribeye was not good, either. They removed the link to my blog post about it. But that's why I recommended the duck. A place called STK should have better steak.

Apr 02, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Moving to Santa Monica's Main Street

The French Market is also a nice, low-key spot that's often overlooked. It's on Abbot Kinney, but closer to Washington Blvd.

Apr 02, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Looking for fun, tapas, wine, ambiance

Definitely try The Bazaar next time. It will impress, especially the first time you go:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/605717

Apr 02, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Wealthy Manhattanite in Santa Monica - what would impress?

My first thought was Melisse, but why not enjoy something more Californian? My vote would be the back patio of Wilshire. Food is fresh, local and wonderful, and the outdoor patio is lovely. The Bazaar is also a must see for out-of-towners.

Apr 01, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

STREET finally opens Monday

It's pretty funny.

Apr 01, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

STREET finally opens Monday

It's definitely an April Fool's Day joke, but Eating LA said she is dopping food prices to street level. In any case, she gave the Hounds here a shout out.

Apr 01, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

STK Anyone?

I'm not a fan. It's really all about the scene. I only went once, but the duck was actually better than the steak. Shrimp rice krispies are worth trying, too.

Mar 31, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Best Sandwich at Bay Cities?

Godmother!

Mar 31, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

The Bazaar by José Andrés

Adding my Chowhound review: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/605717

Mar 31, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Dinner at Bazaar

Here's my Chowhound review: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/605717

Mar 31, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

STREET finally opens Monday

Excellent point. I also don't think there's any other place where I can go and try all these different ethnic street foods in one place in a tasting menu format. That saves me the time and money driving all over the greater LA area. It's a new and different experience altogether, and I'll just have to see for myself if it works. Reserving judgmnt until then.

Mar 31, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

26 Beach question

I have eaten there for more than a decade and never had the pizza. Always burgers and salads and jerk chicken.

Mar 30, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Taste in Pacific Palisades

My husband and I were in a bit of a mood Sunday, but after checking out Taste in Pacific Palisades, we cheered right up. Taste is the new beach outpost of the West Hollywood restaurant of the same name. Located just 15-20 minutes from our Venice pad in a nondescript strip mall a few blocks up from the beach, this location is a lot more convenient for us. We’ve never been to the WeHo spot so we can’t compare the two. But a hearty meal of pure comfort food in huge portions was just what we needed on a cloudy beach Sunday.

When we walked in at 6 p.m., it was still light outside, but Taste was a contrast in dark — low lighting, curtains blocking out the sun, dark wood furniture and candles on the wall. It’s not exactly a beachy spot with a patio or sidewalk cafe. It looks more like a casually elegant place you’d find, well, in West Hollywood. We weren’t feeling sunny and cheery so it suited our mood just fine.

Our helpful waiter/actor Brian Lloyd looks like the younger brother of Samantha’s boyfriend on “Sex and the City,” but I digress. He suggested we order the white truffle oil and mushroom mac & cheese, and how could I resist? Whatever you say, Brian. Made with white cheddar and Parmesan and topped with smoked mozzarella, it was quite yummy. The smoke of the mozzarella really dominated, and the truffle oil let you know it was there without overwhelming the dish like the drunk guest at a party. My husband ordered chicken tortilla soup, which seemed oddly out of place on the menu. We also couldn’t find any tortillas, but my husband thought the soup was a winner — zesty and flavorful. He actually preferred it to the mac & cheese. (Maybe that’s just because it was one dish Brian didn’t recommend.)

Our entrees were both creamy and rich. Vic got the Kobe beef meatballs over linguine with white truffle cheese fondue. (The chef doesn’t skimp on his truffle oil here.) The meatballs were coated in a sweet tomato sauce. My dish, the wild mushroom risotto, also reeked pleasantly of truffles. The menu lists two optional additions to the risotto, chicken and black tiger shrimp. But if you ask nicely, your waiter might let you do what I did, which is to top the risotto with braised short ribs, another entree on the menu. You can’t get any more decadent than that. This heavenly dish was so filling that I couldn’t finish it and had no room left for dessert. Thankfully, my amazing human vacuum cleaner of a husband saved us from having to bring home any leftovers. The entire meal with three glasses of wine came to $94 before tip.

For those who are not inclined to carbo load like we did, there are healthier menu items. The table next to us was feasting on a lovely salmon salad, and Brian recommends the pear and prosciutto salad starter. Order that, and you might even have room left for the bread pudding. — Jenny.

Pic of the Kobe meatballs on our blog at: http://grubtrotters.com/2009/03/29/ta...

Taste, 538 Palisades Drive; 310-459-9808

Mar 30, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Where can I find gourmet SPECIALTY STORES in Los Angeles and surrounding areas?

I second Surfas in Culver City. I also love Cube on La Brea. There's a great cheese shop on Montana in Santa Monica called Andrew's Cheese Shop and one in Silverlake called the CheeseStore of Silverlake. The Market Gourmet in Venice has some good stuff.

Mar 30, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Casual Business Lunch in Santa Monica

I meant Rustic Canyon. Just checked They're closed for lunch. How about Wilshire? If that's too fancy, maybe Newsroom Cafe?

Mar 30, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

STREET finally opens Monday

Think of it this way, that's cheap for an entree at a restaurant with a famous chef. Nevertheless, you are right. The pho better be good. Actually, I'd probably skip the pho and order dishes that are harder to find in ethnic enclaves here in LA.

Mar 30, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Casual Business Lunch in Santa Monica

Now that Huckleberry Cafe has opened, I don't think Rustic park is doing lunch anymore.

Mar 30, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Review of the Bazaar at the SLS Hotel

Yes, it's true, and a lot can depend on your mood that day, too.

Mar 30, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area

Is there a better sandwich place than Bay Cities???

I haven't found a better sandwich in LA than the Godmother at Bay Cities. I always order online, and yes, the parking lot is insane. But my husband's car was dinged, and we still go back. He, by the way, grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Jersey and raves about the meatball sub at Bay Cities.

Mar 30, 2009
grubtrotters in Los Angeles Area