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Otius Gojius's Profile

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Big Thai veggie Egg Rolls?

I seek the big (2 or 3 in. diameter) and thick (several layers of wonton skins) and vegetarian (glass noodles, lots of carrots and cabbage) variety of Thai egg roll. Due to the thick skin, the veggies inside are relatively fresh and still crisp as if lightly steamed. I usually see them on carts at outdoor events, but who can tell me Thai restaurants in the SFV that serve these? Thank you for your prompt attention to my need for big, fat egg rolls.

Aug 08, 2013
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

BBQ in Los Angeles

I stumbled upon a Santa Maria-style tri tip parking lot cart, right near me that was as good as I've ever had. I regret they vanished.

May 27, 2013
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Needed: Quintessential LA

Here's the latest: Philippe The Original. This is Los Angeles.
Now on to get you some tacos...

Jul 19, 2011
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

TX. BBQ coming to Van Nuys:

Oh, the experience of driving out to Taylor, Texas and stepping back in time eating that brisket with your fingers next to the local faithful cannot be duplicated here in Los Angeles.
But then neither can we enjoy the long gone beef ribs (hot sauce, please) from Leo's BBQ on Crenshaw.
I returned to Smoke City Market and the plain chopped beef sandwich was delilghtful, just the way I want it. I like the vinegar/pepper sauce so I was very happy.

Jan 16, 2011
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

TX. BBQ coming to Van Nuys:

Yeah, any thread about BBQ usually goes into the dark part of the woods, but still... First, I have found that beef is best at lunch. I have had most dry BBQ beef after dark as it tends to dry out all day. (and BBQ is easier on my system at lunchtime, but that's not important now.)
I tried Smoke City Market at noon last week and I was pleased with the brisket. I got the mix of "juicy" and "lean" watching them cut each from opposite ends of the same brisket. The meat was about the prettiest I've seen. I had the cole slaw w/apple and tried my friend's pit beans; both were good.
My problem area was the single beef rib I ordered. It too was a thing of beauty, a Flintstone sized bone with a steak atop it. Just gorgeous to look at, but the meat literally (seriously) fell off the bone and it tasted less beautiful than it looked and again it just seemed un-naturally tender. The big problem was the price, way far, too excessively over-priced. But it did look spectacular.
I like the sweetish tomato-based BBQ sauce but I really, really liked the vinegar/pepper sauce.
I will return for the brisket and pit beans, and try the sausage and the rest of the menu.

Nov 16, 2010
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Coffee in Chatsworth?

Java Centrale is indeed at the theater at Prairie/Winnetka and it is run by people who do not care about the customers or coffee. The only time I would consider this coffee house of pain is to grab an iced Americano with milk to take into the theater. Avoid otherwise.

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Java Centrale
9201 Winnetka Ave, Chatsworth, CA 91311

Nov 04, 2010
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Your favorite restaurants for healthy food

Vinh Loi Tofu
http://www.vinhloitofu.com/menu.htm

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Vinh Loi Tofu
18625 Sherman Way Ste 101, Reseda, CA 91335

Oct 12, 2010
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Disappointed with the Beef French Dip Sandwich at Philippe or Am I Missing Something?

I agree that "it" has something to do with nostalgia. If a Philippe sandwich was on a table in a sterile taste-test lab somewhere next to another French Dip, it may not be the best.

However, I find in the venerable shrine at 1001 N.Alameda, double-dipped with a dab of mustard, a Philippe's sandwich is a treat.
I think I got a turkey sandwich double-dipped and a cup of coffee with a side of cole slaw ("Dry, please") for less than $8.

Oct 06, 2010
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Disappointed with the Beef French Dip Sandwich at Philippe or Am I Missing Something?

Philippe The Original invented the French Dipped Sandwich and serves the best French dipped sandwich in Los Angeles.

Oct 06, 2010
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Hatch green chile cheese dog @ Fabs

The title says everything except "Yom, yom, yom, yom!" And Hatch green chile burgers and Hatch green chile cheese fries.

Sep 29, 2010
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Grandpa Fred's BBQ - thumbs down!!

I like weird restaurants, BBQ beef and I will tolerate bad service if the food is good, but Grampa Fred's has finally worn me down. I guess it's just as well because my wife and friends won't go anymore; something to do with the inconsistencies or the owners' friends that are always hanging around, watching that blaring, booming Mega-TV.
Once I got into this surreal, incomprehensible Marx Borthers-style conversation with the guy taking my order about their hot sauce. I wanted hot sauce on the side and the guy asked me how hot I wanted the sauce because they have 27 levels of heat, but I couldn't have the hottest one because they will not be liable for what might happen if I swallowed some, so I guess he was offering me 26. After a few minutes I gave up trying to understand the system and I just ordered various numbers like, "I'll try #16," but there was always some reason he didn't want to serve me my choice as if he didn't trust my grasp of the seriousness of the situation. Finally I just let him give me the hot sauce he thought (in his professionsl opinion) I could handle.

Another time, I asked the server for some hot sauce. The cute young lady brought a small bowl of sauce and I dipped a tiny corner of beef in for a drop or two as it might be the dangerous #27. Good thing I only had a tiny amount as it was as if lighter fluid had detonated on my tounge. Someboody must has mixed equal parts of Dave's Insanity and habanero oil because my mouth and throat seemed to burn without end. About the time I began to think I might be able to continue my meal, the sweet young thing came around the corner smiling with a twinkle in her eyes asking "So, how'd you like the hot sauce?"

Jul 01, 2010
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Vegan Hotspots

Another "Hells YEAH" for Vinh Loi Tofu. I think Kevin said he procures the mock meat and they make the tofu.

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Vinh Loi Tofu
18625 Sherman Way Ste 101, Reseda, CA 91335

May 18, 2010
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

unique only in LA regional specialty

Yet, again, I chirp The Chili Size.
BTW, I spotted (on line) a vintage Thrifty drug store counter menu with both The Chili Size and The Burger Size.

Jan 31, 2010
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Best Breakfast Burritos

Carrillo's (I go to Canoga Park) for Machaca w/egg burrito. They might be having a Mon-fri morning special with breakfasts being crazy cheap and I think this burrito is included in that offer.
The Machaca burrito has onions and green peppers with the beef and egg (I ask for whole beans too). It's quite filling, so I recommend making a brunch of it and have several hours of manual labor or rigorous exercise to work it off, then plan on having a light dinner.

19744 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, CA 91307

Dec 03, 2009
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

ISO California style open pit bbq (think harry's or love's)

Back in the 1950s and '60s I enjoyed a closed pit BBQ at my catholic church's annual fiesta almost exactly as described in perfesser salt's post. The wood was burned the night before, the pit was covered with big metal plates and somehow enough oxygen got in to keep the coals smoldering all night. I understand several other L.A area catholic parishes had similar BBQs. I did not know the historical background of the tradition until recently.
I'd be extremely happy to find that stuff again, but I doubt it's possible for a restaurant to be that elaborate in preparation.

Nov 21, 2009
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

REVIEW w/ pics: The Traditional Japanese Breakfast at Fukagawa

Natto? Not-O!

I enjoyed something like plain kefir at a breakfast in Japan.

Sep 02, 2009
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Nasty, guilty pleasures

Brent's knockwurst Reuben; salty, oily... I LOVE IT!

Aug 10, 2009
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Best BBQ - Tyler TX?

I recommend taking Highway 31 east from Tyler towards Kilgore for Country Tavern.

Aug 05, 2009
Otius Gojius in Texas

Best French Fries in SF Valley???

I don't think they have a garlic mayo dip, but Fab Hot Dogs has my new favorite fries.

Jun 29, 2009
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Chili My SoAK US DRY!

I agree that $27 is pretty steep for two bowls of chili. But, and this is a big but, it is my favorite chili joint and I will probably continue to eat there, but much less often.
I doubt Randy is just trying to maximize profits. Keeping ten varieties of handmade chili ready to serve daily must be very costly.
Consider CMS may be the first of a tidal wave of restaurants having to raise prices by 30% due to all the increases especialy in transportation and ingredient foodstuffs.

Apr 26, 2008
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Breakfast in the Valley

Oh, for sure -- the coffee shop at Winnetka/Vanowen bowling alley is a great place. (I just discovered the chili con carne -- a very honest bowl of red and they'll make a chili-cheese omelet.) The people there used to run The Hungry Fox at Sherman Way near Ethel in North Hollywood, before the Ventura/Corbin location. I think it's called The Village now (I call it "The Breakfast All Day place") Great corned beef hash, and several Greek-influenced breakfasts. Great place for breakfast. See you there tomorrow morning!

Feb 27, 2008
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Les Sisters- Utter Dissapointment

One visit, service was shockingly bad, cannot remember food, just wondering what I did to trigger such bad vibes..

Feb 09, 2008
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Nishi-ya in Glendale

So, I'm like all, "Me Too!"
I just stumbled onto this place one afternoon, I forget why I was on that corner looking for lunch, and I went in and SHAZ-BOT! It was wonderful, but just too far from my area of operations to get back.

Dec 19, 2007
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

In search of the perfect Reuben...

My secret salty sin (I have mild hypertension and supposed to cool it with the sodium) is Brents knockwurst Reuben! It's heretical and simultaneoously saltily sinful. Jeez, don't EVEN tell me how much sodium must be in that tasty thing. Oh, dang, now I'm thinking about it...

Oct 24, 2007
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Finally a bad meal at Dr. Hogly Wogly

After eating at Dr. Hogly Wogly Tyler Texas BBQ about a thousand times over 35 years, I finally got a bad meal! I prefer beef, and love the brisket there and rarely was disappointed. I had a weird desire for spare ribs, so at about 7:30 last Saturday I ordered the regular spare rib dinner. they came dry and chewy, but it tasted okay. As I worked half-way down from the long ribs toward the tip end it got worse; drier, tougher and less tasty. Finally, as I was trying to eat toward the tip, I accepted that it was terrible and I should have sent it back, but after I'd eaten more than half of it, that seemed not an option. BTW, my girlfriend's brisket was excellent as usual. The bread, cole slaw, beans and the service were all excellent, but those ribs, ay caramba!

Now I see how someone who was served that on their first visit would write one of those scathing bad reviews the Dr. HW regularly receives.

Regardless, that was one meal out of a thousand (okay several hundred) I forgive the Dr. and I will soon return, but I'll stick with the beef..

Oct 01, 2007
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Nice mexican dinner in sherman oaks / encino area?

Senor Fred = LOUD bar teeming with trendy drunks, but...
for a "nice" Mexican dinner, if you can all the way west past Tampa on Ventura, there is Sol y Luna. They do have a popular happy hour, but the bar is separate from the dining room. Might be busy on weekends, but great food in fine atmosphere.

19601 Ventura Blvd, north side, one block east of Corbin

Sep 21, 2007
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Phillipe's Famous French Dip

I guess Philippe's is my Tito's Tacos. I know it's not the best, but I will continue to enjoy going there a couple times a month for as long as I live here.
Some of my earliest memories are going there from the Valley on Riverside Drive past the Mulholland fountain at Los Feliz long before the I-5 was built. My Uncle Joe went to the old place before WWII and my parents went there in the late '40s before they were married. My father used to work at Terminal Annex and sometimes we'd go pick him up after work and stop at Philippes. I've eaten there innumerable times during the '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s right up to about two weeks ago, and I still love it! I'm sure that the quality has slipped, but I've come to really like the turkey now. The point is asking for it doubled-dipped (don't EVER let anyone try to tell you the carvers automatically double-dip), and of course that mustard. It's not so much the meat with me, it's the package of the roll with the juice and mustard. I just like to sit there and enjoy the only recurring reality of my entire life. I never have any problem parking, it's just all good.
Your foodie mileage may vary.

Sep 18, 2007
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Thai in West Valley

We've got a secret here in the Village of Winnetka:
Jasmine Thai Cuisine
818-718-7000
20156 Roscoe Blvd
Winnetka, CA 91306

Surviving a bad location by providing the local egg ranchers excellent cuisine with great service in an elegant environment for moderate prices, but shhhhh, it's our local secret. The benchmark is chicken noodle. Deceptively simple as the name, it's an exercise in superb simplicity with a few ingredents and the result is a deeply sublime experience that leaves me wondering "How did they do that?"

But nevermind, it's in a dopey teeny mini-mall.
Don't come, there's nowhere to park.
Go to Top Thai.

Sep 08, 2007
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Any recent meals at El Parian?

¡ El Parian! ¿Por Que?
Is it always this fatty?
I can overlook many hassles, like tricky location, bad neighborhood, parking issues, run down decor/ambience, hard to navigate menus, little English, etc., but the food has to be right. After putting up with many inconveniences (some of my own making) I ordered two tacos asada at El Parian this afternon (Saturday). My first bite was a big piece of fat; moist, gooey, fat ( delicately spat out into the napkin. The second bite was the same. After a while I wondered if I got the trimmings off someone else's asada or I was inadvertantly served buche or chicharone.
Sorry, Parianistas, I got all the asada the way I like it up here in the SFV, so I'll see you at El Rincon Taurino, vato!

Sep 08, 2007
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area

Chili Dogs

Cupids!
Last week, at the Lindley store by CSUN) I got two Cupids dogs (chili, onions, mustard) and a small drink, I think it was less than $6. Bun = fresh, perfectly steamed, onions = fresh, sweet, chili = just what I want in chili, weiner = tasty and snappy.
I hit the jackpot, two perfect chili dogs, in my neighborhood for $6, no waiting, it's a rich full life.

Sep 05, 2007
Otius Gojius in Los Angeles Area