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How's Picca post Zarate?

Used to love going to Picca but for whatever reason haven't been post chef Zarate split. I understand he may not have been much of a presence in the kitchen, but was his influence key? Is the kitchen still turning out quality dishes? Or is it just relying on his same menu and flavors? Would love to hear it's still in the game but want some opinions first.

Jun 11, 2015
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Long Beach deli or caterer for sandwich platter?

Angelo's certainly has the best Italian sandwiches in the area by far, but I'm not sure how they do for catering/large orders. I'm sure you could call to find out. There's 2 locations about 5 minutes away from each other. I think the Seal Beach location is a bit bigger.

Katella deli isn't a bad option if you wanted Jewish deli type food instead.

May 13, 2015
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Great Lentil Soup?

Oh man, you have to get the lentil soup at Attari Sandwich Shop. Not only one of the best lentil soups, but seriously one of the best soups I've had, and I ordered it on a whim because I just wanted half a sandwich.

May 13, 2015
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Best sushi deal?

Kiriko is great, but the dinner omakase can usually be double what Masu's is, and the quality certainly isn't twice as good. If we're talking midweek lunch, then Kirko would win for the $40 special. But for dinner, I'll always choose Masu. Haven't tried Hikko though.

Jul 24, 2013
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Best sushi deal?

Yeah he's definitely one of the funniest, too (if you can get through his thick accent). He has a pretty wicked sense of humor and tells great stories about Japan.

Jul 24, 2013
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Best sushi deal?

If you can make it to the Westside, Sushi Masu is one of my absolute favorites. I always sit at the bar and order omakase, which is all nigiri sushi. And it always comes out to $50pp (plus tax, tip, & drinks if any). It really is great, fresh sushi for the price.

Jul 24, 2013
bucktown in Los Angeles Area
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Madrid - Club Allard, Sergi Arolo Gastro, or Terraza del Casino?

I'm planning out a trip to Spain, and wanted to make sure to make some restaurant reservations before heading out in a couple weeks. I've heard great things about all 3 of the above places, but if I was to choose one, which should it be? Our group will eat almost anything, so strangeness or unfamiliarity is no concern to us. We'll just be coming from Barcelona, where I'd made a reservation to Lasarte, but that's our only other fine dining restaurant we have booked. Thanks for your help!

Mar 15, 2012
bucktown in Spain/Portugal

Birthday Dinner - XIV or Providence?

So my girlfriend bought this deal on one of those deal websites that basically allows 2 people a 6-course tasting menu at XIV for about half off (a $190 value for $95). We thought it would be excellent to use for our birthday dinner on Thursday (our birthdays are mere days apart). But in the last week, we heard that Providence is offering their usual $95 5 course menu for $70. The only thing is, we went there last year for our birthdays, but it seems like too good of a deal to pass up (or isn't it?). We have until July 26th to use the XIV deal we bought, and I guess until June 30th to take up the Providence deal. What would all of you chowhounders do in our position? Thanks!

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XIV
8117 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Jun 06, 2011
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

West Side or South Bay - best egg salad sandwich?

I've got to say, for a classic, diner egg salad sandwich, Nick's Coffee Shop on Pico/La Cienega can't be beat (even by Apple Pan). I go there to get it about once a week.

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Apple Pan
10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Apr 02, 2011
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Trying to Choose Between Kiriko or Sushi Masu

Sushi Masu is my favorite sushi place in the entire Los Angeles area (and I've been to some so called top tier places like Matsuhisa, Kiyokawa, Mori, etc.). It's my standard, go to place for sushi. First of all, for the price, it can't be beat by a longshot. I've had the omakase there for $35pp (average for me is prob around $45 though). He gives you VERY generous portions of fish and doesn't stop dishing 'em out until you're stuffed usually around 11 pieces (of not your commonly found fish either). It's also fantastically delicious. And as someone mentioned before, I counter it certainly has not gone downhill but remains as great as ever. (although I've noticed I have the best experiences Tuesdays and Fridays for whatever reason)

2nd, Masu is hilarious. If you can get passed his very thick Japanese accent, he's one of the funniest people I've ever met (he can be occasionally dirty minded, which often has me laughing out loud). Sometimes it's almost like going to dinner and a show. He's never rude, but can egg on diners who take themselves too seriously. If you want the full Masu though, you sort of have to interact with him to get him going. He'll take it from there.

So, it really depends what kind of experience you want to have. Kiriko is more serious minded, as somebody said more of a destination restaurant. Masu seems a little more like an authentic, neighborhood sushi joint that gives you some of the freshest fish for the best price. If you go to Masu though, just make sure you sit at the bar on Masu's side and only order sushi.

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Matsuhisa
129 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Kiriko
11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Sushi Masu
1911 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Jan 14, 2011
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Birthday Dinner - Tasting menu at Providence or Dining Room at the Langham?

There's a birthday coming up in a couple weeks, and I didn't know at which restaurant I should choose to celebrate. I discovered that Providence is having a special in June, where they are charging $65 for their 5 course tasting menu, which normally runs $85pp, I believe. Dining Room at the Langham has a 4 course tasting menu for $79pp, but it looks like one can choose from a list of dishes, so two people could potentially order completely separate things, thereby creating an 8 course menu if shared.

I have actually been to Providence once before, last year for Valentine's Day. It was fine, but I wasn't too impressed given the cost. Although I didn't know if I should write that off as the near universal "valentines mediocrity," so I thought I'd someday give it another chance on just a regular day. And a $65 tasting menu seems too good to pass up. I have never, on the other hand, been to Dining Room at the Langham, but have always wanted to try Michael Voltaggio's dishes, even before he won Top Chef, and don't really know another opportunity I'll be able to justify going.

Has anybody tried both menus and can definitively say which is better? Thanks!

May 20, 2010
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Going to Conan Show, Need Recs for Universal City --

Last week Pink's just opened a new location at the Citywalk. Not sure if that's what you're looking for, but they do have a pretty darn good chili dog.

Apr 23, 2010
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Sona Blackboard deal worth it?

So you two ordered and shared/split 1 tasting menu? Was that enough food for the both of you? And they were accommodating to it? That seems like a good idea that my gf and I have always wanted to try somewhere, but always thought it was something we weren't supposed to do. I'd love to hear some more details. Thanks!

Mar 25, 2010
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Sona Blackboard deal worth it?

So we decided instead to go to the Hatchi series that Breadbar in Century City is having tomorrow night. Chef Kuniko Yagi from Sona is the guest chef for the evening! It sounds like a good menu, 8 dishes each for $8. If we get all of them and a bottle of wine, that I think would still come out to less than a night out with a free bottle at Sona. But maybe if Chef Yagi really wows us we still have a week left to use that coupon.

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Sona
401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048

Mar 24, 2010
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Sona Blackboard deal worth it?

That's what I'm sort of hesitant about. I did, however, check their winelist online, and it looks like they don't have any wines for less than $50 a bottle, so even if they give you one of those it seems like a pretty good deal. Unless they have some real cheapos that they're only giving out for this specific deal. I made a reservation anyway, and I guess I'll try it out and report back what I find.

Mar 23, 2010
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Sona Blackboard deal worth it?

A few weeks ago, I signed up to get the coupon deal that Sona was offering on blackboard - a free bottle of wine (either chardonnay or pinot noir) with the purchase of an entree. I have never been to Sona, but have heard some good things over the years (I'd never had the justification to pay those prices to go). But a free bottle of wine sounds like a pretty good deal. Has anybody used that coupon yet? Do you actually get a decent bottle? Is Sona worth going to regardless?

Mar 23, 2010
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Any recent feedback about Lucille's BBQ in Long Beach?

Lucille's was actually my go to place for BBQ while I was living in Long Beach. That is until Beachwoods bbq moved into Seal Beach. Now I only go there when I'm in the area. Lucille's is definitely one of the better options around Long Beach, but by no means the best (which would be Bludso's).

Feb 27, 2010
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Seeking Best Baguette au Jambon in LA

It is not on the permanent menu (but both times I've been it's been a special), but Bar Bouchon has one of the best Baguette au Jambon's I've ever had, and that includes Paris. It's a bit on the smaller side, but it comes with a side of soup (in this case tomato, also some of the best I've had). I think I actually like bar bouchon better than the big Bouchon Bistro upstairs. The food is of course simply wonderful, but the restaurant is way too formal and hard to get into for what it's supposed to be. Bar Bouchon, on the other hand, has the small, casual French bistro feel to it, and you can sit outside on a beautifully sunny day. There's no reservations, lines, or stuffiness.

Feb 27, 2010
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Quest for sand dabs

Patty's Place in Seal Beach serves them. They're really fantastic if you are in the area.

Feb 24, 2010
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Recommended Valentine's Day dinner?

I was wondering if anybody recommended a good Valentine's Day dinner in the Los Angeles area. I've noticed that some places metaphorically "take the night off" for Valentine's Day and sometimes even have a 20% surcharge on what their food normally costs. For example, we went to Providence last year and the food was mediocre and disappointing at best (the wine and service were great though). But we've gone before then, and it was fantastic. Does anyone know of anyplace in town that is romantic and sets the bar high for Valentine's Day? My date and I normally would not be so picky for this holiday, but it actually also happens to be our anniversary.

Jan 15, 2010
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Best place for a date tonight: Vinoteque or Tasca?

I am entrusted to make a reservation for a romantic liaison tonight. I was leaning towards Vinoteque or Tasca, although have not been to either. Can someone recommend one over the other or is there another alternative? Thanks!

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Tasca Restaurant
8108 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Vinoteque on Melrose
7469 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Nov 05, 2009
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Help - Casual sushi on the West Side

I second Sushi Masu. It is the definition of casual and cool. Masu is unpretentious and the focus is on the fish - fresh and delicious rather than on rolls. Give it a try (it's not too expensive either for the quality)! Plus, Masu himself is hilarious, so be sure to sit at the bar.

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Sushi Masu
1911 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Aug 19, 2009
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Where Do You Buy Your Pasta and What Do You Buy?

I agree, Al Dente was fantastic. I grew up on their deli sandwiches, some of the best. I've been craving them since they closed, and also have been wondering if they had another store open since then. If you find out, please post a reply.

Aug 11, 2009
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Which Bistro would you pick?

I'd say wait for La Cachette Bistro! It'll be open by the time you're here, and sure to be the best of the lot given it's from the bistro menu at the proper La Cachette, which is some of the best food in the city.

Aug 02, 2009
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Date night Friday -- Animal, Church & State, or Ludobites?

Hi there,

My partner and I of 5 years want to go out tomorrow night and have heard good things regarding the restaurants above. We've never been to any of them, but we love new food and new places. Is one far and away better than the other? Thanks!

Jul 30, 2009
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

8 oz. or Umami or ??

Has anybody tried the burger at Wolfgang's Steakhouse in BH? As that place is modeled after Peter Luger's in Brooklyn (where Wolfgang worked as a chef and head waiter), the NY Times just had an article about a hamburger society naming that the best burger in NY.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/06/din...

I think you can only get it for lunch, however. I haven't been, but let me know if it's as good as they say Peter Luger's is.

May 29, 2009
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Where is the best Red Velvet Cake?

I just ordered a red velvet cake for my first trip to phillip's bbq in leimert park over the memorial day weekend. Not only was it the best bbq i've had in la (i ordered the tri-tip and rib tips), but it was also the best cake i've ever eaten. it was profoundly moist, sweet (but not too sweet), buttery goodness. it was also gigantic! 1 slice could easily fill 3 people. i definitely recommend it way over any of these cutesy bakeries or cupcake shops.

May 29, 2009
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Carte Blanche @ Mélisse, or, Not Quite a 3-Star (Sorry Russ!)

This sounded fantastic. I'm actually going there tomorrow night for an exciting evening. The carte blanche seems like the way to go, but is it quite a bit of food? Is it easy to share with my date? Or could that be interpreted as tacky? We want to sample alot, but also can't really stuff ourselves. Thanks!

May 14, 2009
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Good place to watch the Laker playoff in the Santa Monica/Venice area?

I'm just wondering if there's a good restaurant or bar in that area where one could enjoy the game. It doesn't necessarily have to be a sports bar, just somewhere with a good central television where you could stay for about 2 hours. Or either two places, a restaurant and bar where one could easily travel from one to the other during halftime. Thanks!

May 14, 2009
bucktown in Los Angeles Area

Westside-ish atmospheric, tasty spots?

The new Westside Tavern underneath the Landmark Theatre at the Westside Pavillion on Pico might suit your needs perfectly. They have great sandwiches and entrees for around $15 and fantastic cocktails as well. It's a cool place, and you can check out a movie afterwards!

May 05, 2009
bucktown in Los Angeles Area