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Marino Italian Restaurant

Okay, I'll admit it: I've been to Marino's a number of times.

BUT (as PeeWee Herman said, yes, the big but) I went because it was the favorite restaurant of a beloved co-worker. We went for every birthday and then some.

Guess who also calls this a favorite? Dr. Phil! So you can dine and be shrunk all at once. Actually, my suspicion is he goes there because it's basically empty (at least at lunch). He even had a show where he fixed up dates and sent them to Marinos -- free advertising for marinos -- and he raved about the place as he broke it to the couple that that was where they were going. (What? No Providence? It's right across the street!)

They have an old-fashioned menu and less-than-attentive service unless, I guess, you're Dr. Phil or Robin or Jay. They used to offer canneloni, which I like, but then stopped. They used to offer some hood chocolate gelatoI only go there when I see that co-worker (but I don't work there anymore!)

I'm not sure how they stay in business, to tell you the truth. The food is average; the service "eh" at best; the place, old and looks tired. Food (for what it is) is overpriced. I once order the "special" lobster ravioli (I should have known better) and go TWO whole (Chef BoyArDee-size) raviolis. No sides. 20-something $ for lunch.

So I'll let Dr.Phil, his family and crew enjoy my share of Marino's food. How's it working for ya, Phil? Let me put verbs in my statement: I didn't like it. I felt ripped off -- and I own that!

Jul 03, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area
1

LAs best spot for CHICKEN FRIED STEAK

The Taylor's in La Canada has country fried steak. Has anyone else tried it? I like it!! I'm a big fan of Taylor's. Last time I went, the Koreatown branch did not have it, but that could have changed. I just plain love Taylors: best value for a great steak dinner -- great Molly salad and good steak. If you wanna feel like Mickey Cohen may come in and shoot you, go to Koreatown. It has history! If you want a slightly more upscale (read clean, less dark, newer) look of the same thing, go to La Canada! I love them both.

Jul 03, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

SF Valley/West Hills

Thank you, Servorg!!! It is a very pretty place -- surprisingly so for a town that has become The Land O' Kardashians. I remember when there were unpaved streets and horses there. Alas and alack....

May 17, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

"Endangered Species" Restaurants: Any Must-Go's Before They Shutter Soon?

Am I the only one who never knew Arby's meant RB (roast beef)...? Singed, Just Curious

May 16, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

SF Valley/West Hills

AND if you're looking for a "cute" place, I have a couple:

Leo & Lily
www.leonlily.com
22420 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
(818) 222-6622

Pedalar's Fork
www.pedalarsfork.com
23504 Calabasas Rd.
Calabasas, CA 91302
(818) 225-8231

Both places are cute, as in date-worthy. Both have organic/hip food such as in kale caesar salad,which I hate (oh and don't forget the quinoa!) -- BUT I have found dishes I like at each! And both places do serve meat! The Calabasas place has a lovely patio alongside a creek. My flatbread margharita pizza there was delicious; my aunt's Cobb-esque salad was a flop.

Welcome to the generally-barren and always-hot west valley!!!

May 16, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

A highly opinionated old Jewish man is taking us out to Yang Chow (Chinatown)

I'd say, "Hi Uncle Rocky."

Apr 17, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

What's your drink of choice to get at a bar/restaurant and what is it and where do you get it at ?

THAT's the drink -- & the place!!! And do like my Mom -- ask for the olives on the side so it doesn't displace any gin (!!)

Apr 12, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

upscale

If your wife loves fish, then it's gotta be Providence. Even if you think you're "medium" on fish, God, is this place wonderful. One of the best meals I've ever had in my life. Each dish was seemingly more magnificent than the last. The service was impeccable, extremely attentive and yet down-to-earth friendly. Expensive and worth it.

If your spouse-lette is something of a romantic, I think Melisse would work. They specialize in making women feel special. No, that's not a slogan on their menu!! It's my opinion only! But, c'mon, there's a chair to hold her purse, for God's sakes! (I actually appreciated it!) Melisse is also very expensive (so are most all of these - but Melisse stands out in my memory, price-wise).

If your wife is a real mush, The Raymond House in Pasadena is very romantic. Food is not excellent -- good, but last I had it, not excellent. If a person is not a gfoodie, this restaurant is perfect (!!) The actual place -- an old home -- is genuine, antiquey but not overly cluttered or pretentious... just really gorgeous.

I found Spago to be formal and business-oriented. We had a great meal there, don't get me wrong, but there were a lot of "suits" and business deals going on all around us.

Patina is fine.... good food, pretty enough, but maybe -- at least to me -- is not the place with the "oomph" that you want for a very special birthday... Maybe I'm jaded(!) Been there a few times (more than a few). My husband likes it there a lot. Me, I can't figure out their faucet in the restroom!! Do In remember my food? The service? The table? NO - I remember that stupid bathroom! (What can I say? I had to ask for help w/ the friggin' faucet and I wasn't the only one by any stretch -- talk about embarrassing and stupid! Just get a normal faucet, Patina!)

The Bel-Aire Hotel is beautiful. I haven't been to their restaurant since they re-did it, but it gets great reviews.(When we went there, pre-renovation, I honest-to-God overheard this conversation between a 60-something year old man with a 20-something year old blonde bombshell: He: Did you hear they're making Hillary Clinton Secretary of State? She: What state? (OY!)

The grounds put you in a different world; you have no idea you're in Los Angeles. It's breathtaking. So, eat your special meal there, kick out your pals, and book a night at the hotel. That would be The Ultimate. If I were your wife, that'd sure say LOVE! ( Okay, that's a little bit "eeeew" for both of us, but you get the point.)

One last place: The Chateau Marmont is very pretty. The outside gardens are lush. But the service is probably the worst I've ever experienced, period. Rude, snooty and completely uncaring. Stay far, far away. (And our food was overcooked too.)

Tell her Happy BD from all of us -- and have an incredible time!!!

Mar 22, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area
1

The World Famous Reno Room in Long Beach ?????????????

Have a friend whose husband -- once upon a time -- frequented The Reno Room (didn't know it was world famous then; we're talking early 2000s). Every time he went she was scared. Thought he'd get shot -- or be the shooter. And not shots of the tequila variety.

And she wasn't kidding.

Mar 19, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

Ha ha ha ha!!!! Thank YOU! By the way, it also sounds like ME at that age (well, younger even!)

Mar 18, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

Hi Tony -

ZEven though I am generally not a fan of chains, i did researchTender Greens (it was suggested early in this thread) and so I DID recommend it to my son! I read up on everything you're saying.

Thanks for seconding that emotion!

Mar 18, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

Canyon Grill is definitely separate from The Castaway! But you can see Castaway from Canyon Grill (they are VERY close to each other).

Castaway is FAR more expensive -- and, in my book, has deeply average, overpriced food with not-so-hot service. Their view is also spectacular (sunset at the Castaways is gorgeous!!) so it's ideal for drinks and an appetizer. They have a great outdoor area just for that. But stop there.

I do know that many people love going to the Castaway for their Sunday brunch. So I will add that! But I really don't go there (and if I do, it's sure not for the food!)

Mar 18, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

You'll never believe this.

So he comes over and I announce I received dozens of responses to the question where is a good non-GMO (etc.) place to eat near Burbank? I described many.

He declared that most non-GMO, organic places seem to be vegan, pretentiously hipster and many lack flavor (!) He also was nostalgic for DeBell (a Burbank locale -- more later). When I said that a lot of these places sounded genuinely delicious (hell, I'M not the organic one!), he responded, "But are they in the mountains?" Uh, ya got me there.

So we went to the cafe at DeBell Golf Course. It's now called the Canyon Grill and the setting is truly stunning. Food is... fine. View can't be beat. My son had a Margherita pizza. I liked that pizza. I had a grilled salmon salad which was edible and didn't make me sick. I hear the burger is fine. Prices are low. Again, whaddaview!!!

BUT my son did ask me (several times) to email him the names and web addresses of all the places all of you all so kindly recommended! And I am.

Isn't life stra-a-a-ange....?

Thank you all a hundred times over!!!

Mar 18, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

My son wants steak for his graduation dinner

I LOVE Taylors!!!

The culotte steak, Molly Salad and even some desserts (key lime pie, for example) are GREAT. The original location in Koreatown looks its age (which I kinda like; you can almost picture Bugsy Siegel there!)... The La Canada location (which is much newer) has been made to look just like the KTown site. BUT the La Canada location still looks newer, cleaner and, all in all, "nicer." So it comes off much more chic-chic (pronounced shee-shee!!) It looks as nice as one of the places that cost four times as much!

Otherwise, you've always got Ruth Chris, Mortons, Cut, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (like Yul Brynner once intoned)!!

Mar 15, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

I did love it about 20 years ago... It was "hidden" then...

Mar 15, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

Not a big Granville fan -- sorry. To me, it's a chain that uses "organic" as a gimmick. I know a lot of people love it, though! And for Burbank, it ain't bad! (Sorry Burbank! I swear I love this town anyway!!!)

Mar 15, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

My son and I both love mideastern food, so it appears great! A wonderful suggestion!! (But where's the lamb??!!)

Thank you so much for the tip!!!

Mar 14, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area
1

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

Dammit Janet. I mean, Xan7hos...

Mar 14, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

I've never eaten there. How is it? It's been there forever!!

Mar 14, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

Thank you too!! I still really like the place....! (But this is not an occasion to spend too much.)

Mar 14, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

That looks good! Did you like it??? Is it as fresh as they claim? Is it loud? Do tell!

Mar 14, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

THANK YOU!!! I spaced out and I've ben there MANY, MANY times!

Mar 14, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

ACTUALLY I took my son to Sweetsalt last time we had lunch!!! Andit does claim some sort of healthi-ness. He ordered the Duck with Lavender sandwich. (I know, I'll get slaughtered by the CHs by this, but -- Eeeeew!)

We had a good time there, but even though we had a late lunch there, it was very loud/crowded inside. Better out on the sidewalk with street traffic!

Other places we've been: that Japanese (sushi) place in the Arts District (I didn't drive) -- what's it called again? Damn.... Frank Gehry chairs... Anyway, that'd be too expensive for this lunch. Also the DeBell Clubhouse (Burbank Hills, by the Castaways) -- with the full knowledge that it was NOT NOT NOT foodie. But it was and is beautiful. New ownership now (same as Burbank Bar & Grill). Not foodie, NOT non-GMO, but I love the views (and low prices). Also, MANY moons ago, Crustacean (no way now) and The Raymond House (again, no way now). I also got him a gift cert to the Inn of the 7th Ray (which I went to in high school!!!!!) and he loved it. Again, ahhh youth.

I checked out Racion (looks a little pricey for tapas), and the place in the San Gabriel Valley (maybe!!!) plus Tender Greens (maybe!! -- but I generally am not keen on chains).

Any other ideas? And did I tell you ALL that I GREATLY appreciate your ideas!!!! Really!!!!

Mar 14, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

"Famous" is a relative term. To ME, it's "famous" meaning that I know about it! I've read reviews. Hence, it is famous. Hey, one man's Girasol is another man's Tommy's.... or something!!!!

Too bad it doesn't have lunch -- but I need a MONday... Any other ideas, youngun?

Mar 14, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

Hilarious! Same age!! Well, you seem (let's say) different from my offspring!!

I'll look up Girasol (again!!) I know it's "famous" and I know I've looked it up before, but (this comes with age -- you'll see) I've forgotten what's on the menu already!

Thanks again VERY much!

Mar 14, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

I don't see any meals there -- just beverages. What am I doing wrong? Can you help me, Ipsedixit?

Mar 14, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

Actually I do NOT wish to venture downtown. :(

Mar 14, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

I know you're right about chemicals, Baco, but he doesn't know how much he doesn't know yet. He is at that age when he knows everything. So I like to think he'll figure that out one of these days! Youth is indeed wasted on the young!

Meanwhile, I'll play along.

AND I'll look into Racion!! Thanks!!

Mar 14, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

Hi all!

My 22 (or as young people say, ALMOST 23) year old son is INTENSE about (well, everything) including eating foods that are strictly NON GMO, organic -- ya know, no carcinogens, no chemicals, no preservatives -- Geez, healthy! (What a concept!!) BUT he does eat meat and, frankly, is a bit of a food snob! Who raised that boy anyway?? :)

We are going to lunch on a Monday and and me half of we live in Burbank.

Can any of you TRES knowledgeable Chowhounds recommend a good place for lunch nearby? I'll be driving (since he tailgates and I nearly have a heart attack as his passenger) so I prefer NOT to go downtown or to West LA. The valley, Glendale, Pasadena and surrounding areas are fine!

Your thoughts? A million (okay, maybe a dozen) thanks in advance!!!

Mar 13, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area

Connie & Ted's - We went back - A Review!!!

Thanks for the compliment on the review! Stuffies in the freezer? Was this NOT in California? The stuffies were new to me.

BY THE WAY, "Hounds", we also ordered the hot buttered rolls on this site's recommendation! I forgot to mention that. They were good! Couldn't finish 'em since our diety pals would not indulge. :( But they WERE good!

PS - I now gather that the chocolate syrup had Amaretto in it. Sorry -- don't know my headache-inducing, overly sweet liqueurs!!!

Mar 12, 2014
susiequeue in Los Angeles Area