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Dining alone

We're visiting NO as a couple this weekend, but then on Monday and Tuesday, my spouse is busy in the evening at a conference. What is a good place for a woman alone to dine on a Monday and Tuesday, within a reasonable cab or streetcar ride or walk from the area of Tulane?

we have reservations on Saturday and Sunday at Lilette and at Dantes. I know Monday is particularly tricky - is this the evening I should pick up a po'boy and take it back to the hotel?

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Lilette
3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115

Feb 23, 2011
gsw in New Orleans

Uptown weekend before Mardi Gras

We're coming to town on an unexpected business trip that we're extending to stay the weekend. We'll be in town Feb 28 - March 3, and staying Uptown near Audubon Park. I'm not as familiar with that neighborhood as I am of the French Quarter.

What's a good place to eat in that neighborhood, especially for late-night on the evening we fly in? What's great cheap food as well as fine food, and what can we enjoy without too many crowds and drunks?

I'm a repeat visitor to the city, but I've never been to New Orleans during the Mardi Gras season, and I don't know how that affects restaurants, nightlife, or even daytime life. How does carnival affect things, even if there aren't any parades on the nights we're there?

What should we make sure to see or eat to deepen our already profound love of the City?

Jan 20, 2011
gsw in New Orleans

What’s a good Mexican restaurant for B-day dinner?

Lula's is a nice choice. it's a nice room and they have a patio out back if you need a space that's a little more private than the main room. they definitely have vegetarian offerings, and they are convenient to the airport.

Apr 26, 2010
gsw in Los Angeles Area

NY'er looking for Westside feedback (Business dinner, date night, Mexican...)

I wouldn't consider Father's Office a date place or a brunch place.

If you want the Father's Office experience a little more user-friendly and accessible, try the Culver City location - more tables same food and same beer.

For dates Jiraffe is nice, also Warzawa. You might also try the Nook, Josie, or Anisette.

Taco truck - La Oaxaquena, as someone else said, also I like La Isla Bonita on Rose at 4th in Venice - they are there almost every day except Thursday. And if you don't mind a brick-and-mortar version of a similar experience, try Tacos Por Favor.

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Jiraffe Restaurant
502 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

Tacos Por Favor
1406 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Father's Office Bar
1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

Apr 26, 2010
gsw in Los Angeles Area

NY'er looking for Westside feedback (Business dinner, date night, Mexican...)

I second the comment on Moonshadows. If you're looking for a view, try The Lobster or event the Penthouse at the Huntley Hotel.

Apr 26, 2010
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Alcazar in Encino

Hi,

I have a get-together with some casual friends who haven't seen each other for a while. I suggested Alcazar in Encino, because the courtyard would be perfect for this size group who like to talk and eat and drink. We are coming from all different parts of LA and Encino is centrally located.

My family and I like Alcazar and make it out there every couple of months or so. Today (Monday) when I called Alcazar, the message said they are only serving Thursday - Sunday, not 7 days a week as their website proclaims. I emailed them requesting a Thursday evening reservation for the courtyard.

That would be fine, but our get together is Thursday night, so unless they respond to my email before then, I won't be able to confirm until Thursday morning, which is cutting it a little close.

Has anyone been there recently, and is something going on that might spoil our plans?

Also - if we show up and there's a problem, I need an alternative. I've been reading reviews of Itzak Hagadol, which is in the same complex. Has anyone been there, and would it work for a party of 8 or so talkative people?

Apr 19, 2010
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Help with food for daughter's Bat Mitzvah party at the Santa Monica Carousel..

The restaurant "Back on the Beach" and "Back on Broadway" (http://www.yelp.com/biz/back-on-the-b...) is convenient and I think the staff is used to catering at beach properties. Fred Deni is also a great guy and very helpful. This is a recommendation more for convenience and budget than stellar quality food - food is good and fresh but no great stand-out. But he will be dependable, pleasant, and reasonable. Do pre-teens care that much about the food?

Apr 04, 2010
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Celebration Dinner in Westwood?

Napa Valley Grille has several nice private rooms, and a good menu. It's not stellar, but it's good and the rooms are very nice.

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Napa Valley Grille
1100 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024

Mar 18, 2010
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Todai Woodland Hills AYCE lunch for $10.95

It's as good as the sushi at Ralphs, I'll say that for it.

Mar 18, 2010
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Any good places for seafood with oyster bar in the SF Valley?

Kings Fish House in Calabasas is the only one I know of. It's not bad, and the prices are good for half-shell. If I had to stay in the Valley, this would be where I'd go. It wouldn't be my first choice if I was willing to leave the Valley.

Jan 09, 2010
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Mexican NOT Tex-Mex in LA

I would be interesting in hearing what the OP meant by the Tex-mex remark, because, frankly, as the child of Texans, and frequent visitor to my parents' home town, there is nothing I've tasted in Texas that resembles any of the Mexican food I've enjoyed here in LA. Texas food is good, but it's way different than LA food.

If "gourmet" is what you want, Babita, La Casita, and La Sereneta would be great; you could also try the Border Grill for "gourmet" via celebrity chefs.

But you also might want to just try some of the small taquerias and taco trucks around town - this is real Mexican food, not sure whether you could call it gourmet.

You can get great Oaxacan food here - on the Westside alone there's Juquila, Monte Alban, and Gueleguetza. Mariscos Chente for seafood in the Nayarit/Sinaloan style. A great taqueria on the West Side is Tacos Por Favor; I'm also fond of the Mariscos taco truck parked on Rose at 4th in Venice.

OP - can you reply and clarify the Tex-mex question?

Jan 09, 2010
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Mexican NOT Tex-Mex in LA

I adore Enriques.

Jan 09, 2010
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Mexican NOT Tex-Mex in LA

Yes, we are eating out way through their menu. It's excellent.

Jan 09, 2010
gsw in Los Angeles Area

santa monica restaurant to take out of towners?

Park in Santa Monica Place or park at the Olympic and 4th parking structure (its the one with the colored panels); they're both within easy walking distance from the Lobster.

Jan 09, 2010
gsw in Los Angeles Area

santa monica restaurant to take out of towners?

I concur with the suggestion of the Lobster as an alternative to Gladstones. Gladstones is wretched.

If you can't get into the Lobster and you don't want to go as far as Geoffreys, and you want an oceanfront view, you can also try the Chart House or Moonshadows. The food here is better than Gladstones, but not exceptional, but the restos are right on the water. I've enjoyed having a cocktail and an appetizer at the Chart House, and watching the dolphins in the water.

For a spectacular view, even though its not oceanside, take your friends up to the Penthouse at the Huntley Hotel for a drink. Another great drink spot is the lobby bar at the Casa del Mar - get a table right by the bay window and watch the sun go down.

I agree with others that Musha and Anisette would be great choices. And if you like old fashioned steakhouses like Chez Jay, the Galley on Main Street is similar.

Jan 09, 2010
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Breed Street evening food vendors - still there?

One night I went there and there was a rumor going around they were about to get busted. Everybody packed up and left.

But they were back within the hour. So maybe when your friends went, there was some kind of incident.

Sep 17, 2009
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Old School Red Sauce Italian on the Westside

A couple good places on the far west side - Cantalini's Salerno Beach in Play del Rey is a great neighborhood red-sauce place by the beach. The staff treats you like family. They sometimes have music on weekends, but its acoustic and always interesting.

We also like Vittorio's in Pacific Palisades - it's off the beaten track, not in the village. A real neighborhood joint.

We also like La Bruschetta in Westwood, but that's a little higher end than a red-sauce joint.

A great little place, tiny, but really good especially for lunch, is Angelino's Cafe on Kinross in Westwood Village. There are only a few tables, so most of the time you do take-out, but the food is great.

Aug 14, 2009
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Nasty, guilty pleasures

Plus - don't forget Tito's Tacos for a nasty, guilty pleasure.

Aug 09, 2009
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Nasty, guilty pleasures

I'm embarrassed to say that the J in the B Ultimate Cheeseburger was the thing I fell off the wagon with one evening while on Weightwatchers - and I thought it was the most delicious thing I had eaten in a month! I felt terribly guilty, but very satisfied.

Even now I occasionally get one - but I usually only eat less than half of it.

Aug 09, 2009
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Is there a non-touristy restaurant in SM with great outdoor seating/view?

A midpoint between, both in quality and in distance, is The Chart House, on PCH between Sunset and Topanga. Nice place for drinks and maybe bar apps. You frequently see dolphins in the surf here.

Moonshadows in Malibu is supposed to have a good chef - I haven't been there in years, so I dont know for sure.

Jul 31, 2009
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Looking for the hat trick in West LA!

All good choices, I'll throw in a few more alternatives. You don't say what your price point is.

Cocktails - there are great possibilities in Santa Monica since all the beach hotels seem to be competing for Happy Hour. In addition to the Penthouse and Copa D' Oro, try the Casa del Mar, Shutters on the beach, and Bar Chloe.

Mexican - Monte Alban is Oxacan cuisine, very good, but not what a lot of Americans think of as Mexican. Other Oxacan places on the westside are El Texate, Gueleguetza in Palms, and Juquila. On the other hand, if you want other variations, try Taqueria Sanchez, Tacos por Favor, or Lares or Gilbert's El Indo. Do you want high end? Try Border Grill, Tlapazola, or La Sereneta di Garibaldi - Santa Monica or W.LA.

Burger - FO is great, try the one on Helms Ave so you don't have to go through the seating difficulties at the Montana location. Or if you want 'fast food", try In-And-Out. Or do it custom-style at the Counter

Steaks - Try Pacific Dining Car, Houstons, or, if you like a little atmosphere, Chez Jay.

May 19, 2009
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Ado, Venice?

Antonio also was chef at the now-closed Il Carpaccio in Pacific Palisades.

May 12, 2009
gsw in Los Angeles Area

La Feria de Big Buy Foods-Boyle Heights

Hey, I wonder which person you were!!! We were probably there at the same time. We didn't look for a refund, figuring that it was a contribution to the effort. But when we came back, we got a To Go order of posole, which we ate Sunday night. It was AWESOME.

May 04, 2009
gsw in Los Angeles Area

La Feria de Big Buy Foods-Boyle Heights

She's on the sidewalk side of the wall? When I read about her at your blog i wondered if she was the lady further in the City parking lot, she had tacos de camarones and other things. With all the scramble to pack up, we didn't get the chance to explore - we'll be back, though.

May 04, 2009
gsw in Los Angeles Area

La Feria de Big Buy Foods-Boyle Heights

went here tonight, and the scene was pretty amazing. We arrived around 7:40, and strolled among vendors looking at everything.l The posole looked fantastic, and I thought we'd order it last to take home. I went to another vendor and ordered a chorizo taco for starters. My husband ordered 2 sopes from Ninas, and they took a while, so I got us some aguas frescas while we waited. Guys were pulling folding chairs out of vans and placing them in circles in the parking lot, convenient for diners. There were toy vendors, too, and vans with big beach towels with Mickey Mouse pictures. Nina had just called the number before ours when suddenly the mood changed - like a wave rushing through the crowd. Vendors started packing up - it was amazing how quickly they packed everything away, even the giant pots of posole, and the deep fryers and griddles. They rushed everything into trucks and within minutes the vans had pulled out of the parking lot and were gone and the place was deserted. I talked to one guy and he said that someone had started a rumor that the Dept. of Sanitation was videotaping the gathering. "Come back in a half hour," he said, "everyone will be back."

We didn't even get the sopes we paid for. We drove south to Breed and First, because previous descriptions of this street fair had said there was another outpost. There were two taco trucks at the muffler shop, so we pulled in and each got a quesadilla - delicious, and filling. Mine was flor de calabaza.

When we finished, we decided to drive back by the other gathering place to see if they were still gone - and amazingly, they were all back, setting up again and doing business. The Barbacoa guy wasn't there, nor the Mariscos truck, but everyone else was. We waited while the posole lady set up, and then bought a tub of posole rojo to take home. We also got some tamales.

The guy I'd talked to was back, and he recognized me and said, "See? i told you they'd be back."

May 02, 2009
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Beginning a BBQ Journey

sounds like a fun journey. Rib Ranch is kind our "local" as its own our grocery shopping route. I like the pork ribs, I don't care for beef ribs much.

I read the thread, and the one great place I haven't seen mentioned is J & J's at 5754 West Adams. It's just down the road from JR's on La Cienega, but a different thing entirely. Jonathan Gold reviewed it - much better than I could, so go read it. It's fantastic and the people who run it are great.

Mar 10, 2009
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Brown bread and caviar-- Little Odessa on SM Blvd

My local Von's in Pacific Palisades just started selling this bread this year. It is pretty good! I haven't had it with caviar, though!

Mar 10, 2009
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Oyster/Raw Bar

Hungry Cat is wonderful, pricey, has marvelous food, and last time I went hard to get a table. Sitting at the bar is pretty nice, though.

King's in Calabasas is kind of a hidden treasure. I've never had anything off the dinner menu, but I have really enjoyed just having oysters and a glass of chilled white wine. A bit down-scale in ambiance, yet not authentically downscale like Acme Oyster Bar in New Orleans, but its inoffensive. I always feel like I've scored a bargain here - it's good and satisfying.

We like Ocean Avenue Seafood, in Santa Monica. Casual quiet, good service. We like to sit in the window, but they have a nice bar you can sit at, and they have an oyster/wine sample thing that's fun. I think they also have an Happy Hour offering at the bar, but I can't find it on their site righ now. I think they are owned by the same people that own King's and Water Grill.

Went to Anisette this weekend, actually, on a whim, walk-in, in the afternoon. We had the cheapest plat de mer for 2, with 4 each clams, oysters, shrimp, mussels and a dish of crab salad, then we split another dozen oysters. The plat, while good, with fresh delicious items, looked underwhelming, the dish was so large - all that ice and those four tiny mussels! The freshness of the seafood was wonderful. the house white carafe was lovely - perfect with the seafood. The decor is beautiful in a very studied way - I wanted to like it but I couldn't suspend disbelief that it was contrived. Just as contrived as the fake seafood-shack decor of King's. Here's the not-so-hot part of my impression of Anisette - The prices were incredibly high. $18 for a half dozen oysters?

I think they have a Happy Hour, but it wasn't while we were there. When we arrived the place was almost empty - one other couple at the bar, another trio came in while we were there. The bar staff told us immediately that the kitchen was closed and the only items available was the raw bar. OK - not even a lunch menu? In Santa Monica on a Saturday afternoon? Hmm.

Also - while we were there enjoying our meal, we were subjected to a loud and foul-mouthed rant by one of the other customers nearby - some over-achiever telling his friend a story about his girlfriend, thanks for sharing the fact that you're an a**hole, a**hole! - I'm no prude, but I would think that the bartender would politely ask someone using that much profanity to keep his volume down so others can enjoy their $100+ food and drink?

Mar 10, 2009
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Options Near Millenium Biltmore Hotel?

Not for fine dining, but for great chow, during the daytime walk up to the Grand Central Market. It's between Broadway and Hill at Third. Great food stalls. Try Sarita's pupusas, anamarie's tacos, Roast to Go tacos.....

Oct 05, 2008
gsw in Los Angeles Area

Chinese frozen salmon [moved from L.A. board]

Hey - I've noticed that packages of flash-frozen "wild caught" salmon are showing up in my local Ralph's. The prices are great, around $7 a pound. The product is from China. there are other kinds of fish in the freezer case packaged the same way.

Each time I've seen them, I couldn't buy it because I was on my way somewhere else and couldn't keep frozen food in the car. So I haven't tried it.

Does anyone know anything about these? Is it the real deal?

Oct 05, 2008
gsw in General Topics