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Why does baguette s*ck in this country...

I easily could've misread the jests as jabs, I admit

about 8 hours ago
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Why does baguette s*ck in this country...

DWEO, I think you've unfairly taken a few lumps in this thread - versus the OP who probably earned one or two with the writing style.

That being said, I applaud you swinging by MG; do you feel it was worth it, and how would you compare the taste to ones you've tried in Paris (if you've had the opportunity)?

about 11 hours ago
a213b in Los Angeles Area
1

Birthday cake, good place to order?

Another vote for Susiecakes.

I do not believe their Studio City location is open yet.

about 23 hours ago
a213b in Los Angeles Area

LA Weekly 20 Best Restaurants in LA. I know "Not another list"

I get an out-of-proportion sense of satisfaction from never clicking the link when this type of thread pops up.

Suffice to say, I maybe (MAYBE) agree with half of the list.

1 day ago
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Mastro's, CUT, or STK? Looking for best steak in LA

Agree with all of the above, and in conjunction with being underwhelmed (to put it mildly) in my several meals at Cut, I'd recommend Mastros.

Apr 15, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Blue Bottle is Taking Over The World

My gut reaction: though I've enjoyed Blue Bottle when up North, I've become quite a fan of Handsome over the past couple years.

And while I'm happy for the crew there - and especially with BB offering all of the employees continued employment - I feel a little let down it's going away.

tl;dr I'm not particularly thrilled

Apr 08, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Bucato

Well, now you don't have to imagine.

I never said it's not good ... but over the four times I've been - though I've certainly enjoyed it - I haven't found it remotely near "borderline perfection".

Apr 07, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Romantic Italian Restaurants on the West Side?

Agree with all of this, including the geographical/cartographical musings.

But if BH is in the mix, Scarpetta Chefs counter was a fun anniversary meal a few years ago.

Sotto and Bucato are better by a good bit, but never what I'd call romantic.

Apr 07, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Downtown suggestions?

And a newly gained 5 lbs!

Great suggestions.

Apr 07, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Bucato

I'm sure this isn't quite Momo Ko in its early days ... I'd bet there are "Friends of the House" who may book in advance.

Though, to be fair, I have absolutely zero evidence of this.

Apr 07, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Bucato

Yes, though - for me - it's really not that difficult. Called at 9:30, left a message as directed, and heard back within the hour that we were all set.

I can understand why it irritates/infuriates others , though.

Apr 07, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Bucato

I don't have the receipt in front of me, but think Baco's pretty spot-on: ~ $210

Apr 07, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Bucato

I looked around for an older thread to add on to, but couldn't really find anything dedicated solely to Bucato. Well … to be fair I didn't come close to over-exerting myself in the search, so apologies if there has been a recent report.

Went for the first time last night; will certainly not be the last. Between three of us we had:

Focaccia
Arancini
Cauliflower
Crispy Polenta
All 5 pastas (currently posted menu seems to be accurate), thus:

Strascinati w/Ragu Bianco
Cavatelli w/Duck Ragu
Stringozzi Cacio e Pepe
Pappardelle w/Lamb Shoulder
Orecchiette w/Sausage

And finished with Medjool Date cake

(Also had a bottle of the Verdicchio)

After being slightly underwhelmed with both Bestia and Factory Kitchen (just given all the hype), I was really prepared to be let down again. Though a chef friend at a local CH favorite assured me we would be happy.

Holy smokes! This place is fantastic. Not since Sotto have I been so impressed with a new Italian spot. We all loved it … everything.

Every. Single. Bite.

If you haven't been; go.

Apr 06, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area
1

Downtown suggestions?

Well, with a nom de guerre that includes "Baco", I suppose I ought not be surprised.

Still, I smiled to see the backpedalling even within the next post.

BacoMan, please know I'm only teasing. After all, I did recommend it in my first post.

Apr 06, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Downtown suggestions?

"Iconic" seems a bit hyperbolic, no?

It's been open for, what, 2 years … tops?

Apr 06, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Downtown suggestions?

I'll play, though you should take a look around via search:

Food: Bar Ama, Bestia, Factory Kitchen, Perch (brunch), Grand Central Market, Bottega Louie, Baco Mercat, Nickel Diner ...

Drinks: The Edison, The Varnish, Ace Hotel, Standard Rooftop, Handsome (coffee)

Apr 05, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Maude in Beverly Hills. Any early reports?

FWIW I just called in and, after a short (< 2:00) wait, got my first choice date and time in May.

Easy peasy.

Apr 01, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Bars that use Nikiri in Los Angeles

It is incredible, isn't it? I went by the Abbey last fall while in the area ... still have, I think, 27 left.

Am slllllooowwwly savoring them.

Apr 01, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Trois Mec!!!

I'd argue Noma has a fairly painless solution.

They use an online "queue", almost akin to a doorman at a club.

You know how long you have to wait before you are given access to the site, and once in you have a fair amount of time to peruse and find a reservation that works for you.

Maybe others would have a problem, but I had no issues.

Come to think of it, I've never had a problem getting a reservation anywhere, though I'm willing to expend a little effort/call in a favor or two.

Mar 21, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Red Medicine

Too bad … dessert is one of, if not the, best parts.

Mar 08, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

DONUT FRIEND

Swung by here this weekend. Nice space and staff, and I like the concept, but ...

The two we tried (Blink 182 and Apple/Cheddar) simply were not good.

Donut itself (yeast, in both cases) was chewy, and despite the signage the toppings did not at all seem "premium".

In short, not worth a drive.

Feb 03, 2014
a213b in Los Angeles Area

Very quick recap of our two days in Paris (Frenchie, Spring)

Made a last minute diversion through Paris on our way back to the US . As we'd just had more than our fill of large, tasting menus in Scandinavia, we could not possibly handle one more OTT, 3* style meal. And as we've been to the city many times, and it was last minute, we prepared ourselves to "wing it".

But, our hotel concierge was able to secure dinner reservations at both Frenchie and Spring (from a much larger list we curated from recs here and elsewhere), so we though we ought to give them a shot.

Both were enjoyable. But I do think general expectations should be tempered -- especially given the general degree of difficulty in securing reservations. These places are not otherworldly, and I feel if one goes in expecting to be blown away, one may be setting him or herself up for disappointment.

That being said, by far the clear "winner" between the two, for us, is Spring. Every single bite we thoroughly enjoyed. Nothing ground-breaking, just perfectly balanced, harmonious dishes that were not needlessly complicated or made overly frilly. And a very well selected wine pairing. Great overall value, given we've paid far more for far less satisfying meals.

Not to say Frenchie was not also quite good; it is. I enjoyed the intimate space, and the menu as well. Dishes were all tasty, though nothing earth-shattering (not that I expected this). Still, good value as well, and a place to which I would return … though not if I had to exert any real effort to book. Perhaps a better way to put it is, I'm having a hard time recalling a single dish (other than dessert), and it was only a few days ago.

But, I do remember thinking to myself when we left, "That was nice". So, I dunno … there you have it.

We also rumbled our way through a few patisseries: Herme, Laduree, des Reves, Genin (no more pastries!?!?) etc etc, and collected quite a few treats. I am still in a sugar coma.

I know this isn't detailed, and I would normally post much more, but these places are both well-covered, and I don't really feel I have too much in the way of "new" to add. Mainly wanted to thank the board for the help, and chuck in our .02

Am planning on coming back in February, for 3 - 4 nights, and am starting to plan out our dining itinerary then. If we make it, will let you know what we experience.

Merci!

Dec 19, 2013
a213b in France

Quick Help: Singapore Tonight & Tomorrow

Thanks for the help. Did end up eating at the hotel last night -- you're right, Klyeoh, it's quite good.

And thanks for the other recs, lecker. As we've just got to Singapore from Vietnam, we passed on those recs - but are tucking them away for our next visit.

Today we had breakfast at the hotel - One Ninety - as it was included, and actually quite enjoyed the fried carrot cake (white). We were very pleasantly surprised.

Just got back now from a massive Orchard Food Hall walking tour. Probably enjoyed the XLB @ DTF the most, but we've had those many times (have a location in LA).

Didn't really love the CroDos at Da Paolo ... but did enjoy a couple items at Boulangerie Française Donq, in Takashimaya, I think.

Hit a few other stalls, but I'm in a bit of a food coma at the moment and they're all running together ... sorry, I know this report isn't that helpful.

Thanks again for all the recs, and as I said we will file them away for our next visit. Off to Changi now.

Nov 05, 2013
a213b in China & Southeast Asia

Quick Help: Singapore Tonight & Tomorrow

Plans have changed and the Mrs. and I will now be stopping over in Singapore for one night tonight, before moving onward tomorrow. I would normally do a good bit of searching/researching, but this is last minute and we are about to board our flight to Changi.

Will be staying in the Orchard RD area (Four Seasons), and have been to SIN several times. Have gone through Hawker centers during other stops, and I am really looking for low-to-mid suggestions along Orchard RD (even if it's mall food courts).

We've just come off a few weeks collecting stars in Benelux, and then pigging out in Bangkok, so we're just looking for good, flavorful anything.

I do have my eye on Da Paolo Crodo at Paragon, so maybe something else there?

Or, are any of the spots at FS any good?

Thanks for your help!

Nov 04, 2013
a213b in China & Southeast Asia

AMSTERDAM: Which is the most authentic Indonesian restaurant?

We ate at Cafe Kadijk last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Found it off of the http://www.eat-amsterdam.com site, run by the former Food/Restaurant editor of Time Out Amsterdam.

Oct 26, 2013
a213b in Europe

Cologne in Late November

Glad to see this posted, as my wife and I are swinging through en route from Amsterdam to Frankfurt ... specifically for a reservation at Vendome.

It's a 3 star, and - for whatever this is worth - a top 10 rated restaurant in the world by San Pellegrino.

But that's lunch, so nice to see a dinner and lunch options for the next day.

Oct 26, 2013
a213b in Europe

SALADS - LA Dish of the Month (August 2013)

I enjoyed this so much the first time I ordered it again for lunch yesterday.

Unfortunately it was not quite as good - though still solid. Less mint, watermelon was not as sweet/juicy, and the olives tasted a bit vinegar-y.

Aug 22, 2013
a213b in Los Angeles Area

SALADS - LA Dish of the Month (August 2013)

Mediterranean Salad at Zach's Cafe ...

Such a sad salad. Bland Iceberg, jarred olives, canned artichoke hearts, generic feta.

Ugh.

Aug 20, 2013
a213b in Los Angeles Area

SALADS - LA Dish of the Month (August 2013)

No idea, though IMO the salad would lack for it (removing feta). Gives a nice salty, tangy flavor to cut the sweetness of the watermelon and tomatoes.

Also, forgot to say there're greens as well (arugula, IIRC).

Aug 12, 2013
a213b in Los Angeles Area

SALADS - LA Dish of the Month (August 2013)

Just had the Watermelon & Heirloom Tomato salad at Sweetsalt, and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Juicy, almost overripe tomatoes; sweet watermelon; EVOO; Feta; Fresh Mint ... yum!

Aug 12, 2013
a213b in Los Angeles Area