m

Marvin's Profile

Title Last Reply

Last minute dinner downtown tonight?

Due to a miss-communication, I was mistaken that performance was at 7PM, was actually at 7:30 PM, we made it to restaurant at 5:30 PM, left about 6:45PM.

Nov 08, 2014
Marvin in Los Angeles Area

Last minute dinner downtown tonight?

Hi All - just to let you all know we ended up going to Drago Centro and was one of the best meals I've had in a long time.

For appetizers my wife had baby kale salad, which was the only thing I didn't try. I had a beet 'carpaccio' salad which consisted of very thinly sliced discs of red beet, candied pine nuts, blue cheese crumbles, olive oil 'pearls' (sort of like small boba filled with olive oil) and some greens.

Entree, my wife had scallops which were superb. Perfectly seared and cooked, the melt-in-your-mouth way that scallops should be. Accompanied by roasted cherry tomatoes, roasted egg plant and a puree of peas, if I recall correctly. I had the 'La Farfalle' pasta, which was duram wheat bowtie pasta in a vodka tomato sauce - I probably would have preferred the pasta to be a little less al dente and a little more cooked, but that is a personal preference. The sauce on the other hand was beyond delicious. I order pasta with vodka sauce often and this was the best I've had, bar none.

For desert, my wife had the pana cotta which had some rhubarb and other fruit on top. I only tried a little bit of, but was light and refreshing. I forgot the name of the desert I had but it was basically a couple bars of three chocolate 'moouses' - white, milk, and dark, accompanied by a scoop of salted carmel gelato, some chocolate cookies (similar to a macaroon without the filling), some chocolate drizzle and a few dollops of a strawberry (I think) syrup. Very yummy.

Beyond that, the space is great - it was visually appealing, not too noisy despite it being fairly crowded. The wait staff was very attentive as well. And the price to quality ratio was very reasonable. So overall we were quite happy, would certainly recommend to others and plan to come back ourselves.

Thanks to all for the advice and suggestions.

Retaurants for Thanksgiving?

Thanks. Tavern seems promising and I will also look in to Ruth's Chris. We all went to Craft a few months ago so probably not looking to go back so soon, but it was really good - very memorable meal - so it would certainly be a good choice if nothing else works out.

Nov 07, 2014
Marvin in Los Angeles Area

Last minute dinner downtown tonight?

Any suggestions for dinner downtown where I could still conceivably get an table for early this evening - 5:30 or 6:00 PM? We are attending a show at the music center at 7PM. Italian or French preferred but want to skip all the Patina Group places (have been to all or don't like the menu at those we haven't been to), Bottega Louie we were at recently so want to skip that as well. Am thinking of perhaps one of three we haven't been to before - Drago Centro, Chaya downtown (love the one in Venice have never been to the downtown location) or perhaps Colori Kitchen which I've always heard good things about. Any comments on these or any other suggestions?

Nov 07, 2014
Marvin in Los Angeles Area

Retaurants for Thanksgiving?

Thinking of just going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving this year rather than taking on the whole ordeal of preparation, hosting and cleanup, or having another family member do so. Has anyone dined out on Thanksgiving, preferably somewhere that will provide a traditional dinner, that they could recommend? South Bay or West Side would be best but other areas ok too.

Nov 07, 2014
Marvin in Los Angeles Area

French press question

Hi Kaleo, and thank you for your reply. Its actually true grounds on top of the filter, not the 'mud' that one usually gets at the bottom of a french pressed cup of coffee. They are not nearly fine enough to have seeped through the filter directly, they would have had to go around the sides. I'm also not seeing / tasting any grounds other than the 'mud' in the coffee I'm pouring, so for whatever reason they're not floating up off of the top of the filter.

Regarding how the plunger is stored when not in use, I received the press as a gift about a year ago and only started using it a few months ago. I don't recall how it was when I opened it, but if they shipped it from the factory with the plunger in place then perhaps it was not good to leave it boxed like that for many months. Beyond that I have generally stored the plunger as you've just said not to do so I will stop doing that. I do normally disassemble and wash everything shortly after I'm done brewing.

In any case when I get home I will try to examine what's going on in more detail. Right now when the plunger is not in the pot the edges of the filter are not in direct contact with the spring which I think is normal. I suspect that when placed in the pot the filter is pressed inward by the walls of the pot and the spring should be pushing back at that point.

Jul 15, 2014
Marvin in Cookware

French press question

Hi tcamp, thanks for your response. I'm basically filling the french press with about 18 oz of water which is for this particular one only filling it a bit over half way. After 4 minutes pass I press down the plunger and leave it there while pouring. I then lift the plunger up and remove the assembly from the pot and this is when I'm finding grinds on top of the filter. So I don't think its overfilled but I may not be understanding correctly what you are describing.

Jul 15, 2014
Marvin in Cookware

French press question

Hi all -quick question about the French Press. is it normal after brewing for some of the grinds to be stuck to the top side of the wire mesh filter? The vast majority are on the bottom of the filter or left in the pot but some end up on the top of the filter. I'm not grinding so fine that the grinds can slip through the mesh, so I am gathering that the filter is not tightly pressed against the edge of the pot and so some are floating up past the sides of the filter. Is this normal or have I perhaps re-assembled it incorrectly after cleaning?

Jul 15, 2014
Marvin in Cookware

Suggestions for an inexpensive coffee grinder?

Hi all - looking to buy a coffee grinder for home use for the first time, but not looking to spend a fortune - ideally $50-75 at most unless someone can convince me that nothing in this price range is worth it and its substantially worthwhile to spend more.

Can anyone suggest any specific models? Is a Burr grinder worth the extra $ or is a blade grinder adequate? Use will be with a French press and possibly an adapter for k-cup machine.

Mar 31, 2014
Marvin in Cookware

French Macaroons - alternative to Bottega Louie?

Hi all - any alternate sources for French Macaroons? I love the ones at Bottega Louie but at about $2.50 each the cost adds up pretty quickly. Are there any better 'bang for the buck' options out there?

Mar 21, 2014
Marvin in Los Angeles Area

Zachary's Chicago Pizza - yay or nay? [Berkeley]

One thing is that I'm from LA and so I don't have a shortage of California-style pizza that I can get pretty easily. Unless there's a night and day improvement in California style pizza in SF vs. LA, I'd probably pass on it this trip.

As for thin vs. thick / NY vs. Chicago style, I like both, though I prefer Chicago style but in LA we don't have a lot of good Chicago style around, especially places that are easy to reach from the central parts of LA. My go-to thick crust pizza in LA is, sadly, Numero Uno, because its the only thing that's easy to get to that's remotely like what I'm after. So that's why I'm looking to take advantage of my time in SF if possible to get some better thick crust pizza than what I can get at home.

Aug 29, 2013
Marvin in San Francisco Bay Area

Zachary's Chicago Pizza - yay or nay? [Berkeley]

Thanks all for the replies so far. From the sounds of it, I am going to give Zachary's a pass, but Little Star sounds pretty good so I'm going to try and give that a go.

Aug 26, 2013
Marvin in San Francisco Bay Area

Over-the-top theme decor restaurant?

If Proud Bird appeals to you and you're in the SFV, you may want instead to go to 94th Aero Squadron at the Van Nuys Airport - same basic idea as Proud Bird - 94th is WW1 themed, PB is WW2 themed - both owned by the same company. That said the replica aircraft at PB are better, and while you can see planes landing at both, at PB you do see much larger and more impressive airliners, rather than light planes and business jets at 94th.

Aug 26, 2013
Marvin in Los Angeles Area

Upmarket 'Chain' burgers.

I too was sent a coupon for Smashburger near where I live so am planning to try it after reading this thread.

For chain fast food burgers, In-N-Out still wins for me - I don't know if it qualifies as up-market, but its the same type of place as Five Guys. Fat Burger would be a close 2nd to In-N-Out, mainly because they're a bit more money.

My favorite fast food burger chain here in LA is "The Habbit" which is really good, but I think they are limited to the Southern California area. Their "Santa Barbara" burger on grilled sourdough with avocado is to die for, IMHO.

For a little bit more up-market (above fast-food), I agree about The Counter - they do a very good, customized burger there.

Aug 26, 2013
Marvin in Chains

Upmarket 'Chain' burgers.

Along these same lines, at least here in LA, McCormick & Schmick offers their burger for only a couple of dollars during happy hour - one of the best deals in town. Not sure if they have any locations in your area, however.

Aug 26, 2013
Marvin in Chains

Zachary's Chicago Pizza - yay or nay? [Berkeley]

Hi all...

Headed to SF in a couple of weeks, staying at the Intercontinental near the convention center, no car. Is a trip over to Zachary's in Berkeley worth it? Way back in college a couple of buddies were raving about this place, to the point where they had their pizza's shipped down to LA - since then, I've been curious to try it and since I'm going to be in SF, figure that I might as well, but since its out of the way from the rest of my itinerary, I wonder if its worth bothering? Are there any other Chicago style pizza places that would be comparable / as good and closer to my hotel / easier to reach without a car?

Aug 26, 2013
Marvin in San Francisco Bay Area

Moving to Studio City

1. Ca Del Sol

2. Caioti Pizza Cafe

5. The original Katsu-ya is in Studio City - from before the fancier, trendy Katsu-ya's opened up. Its pretty good as I recall.

6. Not much in the area as I recall - there is a place called "The Steak Joynt" but it doesn't really live up to anything of the sort that you mentioned.

9. Kung Pao Bistro is pretty good

Aug 07, 2013
Marvin in Los Angeles Area
1

Lunch in Newport beach with ocean or waterfront view?

Hi all - any suggestions for lunch this Sunday with an ocean or waterfront view? Type of food and price not necessarily important. I've been looking at Google Maps etc. but difficult to tell what restaurants actually have views and are not just near the water with no view. A couple of places that seem like possibilities are The Dock, SOL Cocina and 3-Thirty-3 - any thoughts on these or other suggestions would be welcome.

May 22, 2013
Marvin in Los Angeles Area

What's Chow-worthy near the Intercontinental on Howard St.? [San Francisco]

Thanks again bbulknow - One probably silly follow-up question - what area do you mean when you say "the Peninsula"? Do you mean the same peninsula on which San Francisco lies, but outside of San Francisco (i.e. south of San Francisco), or do you mean somewhere else?

In any case, I checked the web sites for these restaurants - Flower + Water, AQ, Zare, Cotogna, Barbacco certainly look like our cup of tea. By Sam's, did you mean Sam's Grill?

May 16, 2013
Marvin in San Francisco Bay Area

What's Chow-worthy near the Intercontinental on Howard St.? [San Francisco]

Hi bbulkow - I'll try to narrow it down further.

First, for the most part, I'd like to stick to things we either don't have much of in LA, or in general are much better in SF than what we have in LA. I'm not sure quite what those would be, necessarily, so that's one aspect where I could use some help. for instance, while we certainly don't have a shortage of good Mexican food in LA, from what I understand, SF has its own variations of Mexican food (i.e. Mission-style burritos?), possibly better Chinese food than what we have in LA, at least outside of the SGV which I hardly ever get to go to, and I'm not really sure what other types of foods are in SF but not LA, or that SF excels at.

I was also under the impression that the better restaurants in SF are generally more money than in LA, so that's where the $100pp came from. I certainly don't mind splurging at that level, but I'd certainly find $50 pp more budget friendly, so if that helps narrow things down, any suggestions along those lines would be appreciated.

May 15, 2013
Marvin in San Francisco Bay Area

What's Chow-worthy near the Intercontinental on Howard St.? [San Francisco]

Hi Dave - thanks for the prompt reply. I'm visiting from Los Angeles, arriving late afternoon Sunday and flight out of SFO early Wednesday morning, so basically have 3 dinners and 2 lunches and breakfasts to consider. Breakfast might just be at the hotel (we're club members there), depending, but certainly lunch and dinner. Dinner probably would prefer suggestions closer to the hotel. At lunch time, we'll probably be out and about in other parts of the city so I know that doesn't narrow it down but geographically I'd be open to a wider area. We're mostly going to do the usual touristy stuff - Golden Gate Park, Union Square, the Presidio area, China Town, etc.

May 13, 2013
Marvin in San Francisco Bay Area

What's Chow-worthy near the Intercontinental on Howard St.? [San Francisco]

Hi all - am going to be staying at this hotel in early-mid September. Would appreciate any suggestions nearby - walking distance preferred but short taxi ride or easy to reach from here via Muni would be great too. Any type of food is fine, we're adventurous eaters, and pretty much any price point / type of place, from hole in the wall to $100 or so per person should be ok for us.

May 13, 2013
Marvin in San Francisco Bay Area

Ground turkey - need ideas

This might be too simple, but I like to cook some pasta (usually spinach penne, but other shapes will do, as will whole wheat or egg pasta) and mix some in with some ground turkey that I simply cook up on the stove in a non-stick frying pan. Maybe a ratio of turkey to pasta of about 2 or 3 to 1 (I'm not scientific about it), then sprinkle some parm. and/or ground black pepper to taste.

Sep 03, 2010
Marvin in Home Cooking

Bringing food into Dodger Stadium?

Hi All - am headed to the Dodger's game tomorrow. Does anyone know if the security guys will give you a hard time if you try to bring in some food with you - i.e. just sandwiches from Subway or Quiznos or something like that?

Sep 03, 2010
Marvin in Los Angeles Area

Tacqueria in LA that makes tortillas on the spot like La Super Rica in SB?

Paco's Tacos (a couple of locations, one near LAX, the other near Centinella & Washington) make their own, I believe they come with the queso dip, not sure which other menu items they're included with. Yum!

-----
Paco's Tacos
4141 Centinela Ave, Culver City, CA 90230

Sep 01, 2010
Marvin in Los Angeles Area

Lunch or dinner in Miracle Mile or Park La Brea

Also next door to the La Brea Bakery is Campanile which is pretty good though not all that cheap. Thursdays are grilled cheese nights there, and they have a lot of good variations on the classic grilled cheese sandwich.

Aug 13, 2010
Marvin in Los Angeles Area

Good, Hearty, Authentic Italian Restaurant on the Westside?

Rather liked Sor Tino in Brentwood when I went recently. Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills is always really good too, as is Ugo in Culver City. I'm not Italian and never been to Italy, so couldn't tell you authentic Italian from Chef Boyardee, but these places are all good.

Aug 13, 2010
Marvin in Los Angeles Area

Antica Pizzeria in the Marina is LA's best and most authentic Neapolitan pizza experience

Reading through this I was also going to complain that the pizza is soggy there too. If that's how its supposed to be, I won't fault them, I'll just say I must prefer a different style then.

I will say that the pastas there are divine, especially the Penne Alla Vodka.

May 04, 2010
Marvin in Los Angeles Area

Swiss Matterhorn returning to Van Nuys

It wasn't exactly fine Italian dining, but San Remo was a family favorite for years. We just did my Grandmother's 95th birthday their last year in fact. I'll miss it. I vaguely remember driving by Matterhorn in the old days, but never went their. I hope its good too.

-----
San Remo Restaurant
13729 Victory Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91401

Apr 15, 2010
Marvin in Los Angeles Area

Persian in LA

I rather like Darya, which is on Santa Monica Blvd. just west of Bundy Dr. in Santa Monica.

Aug 04, 2009
Marvin in Los Angeles Area