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Animal tonight!

Found a ton of reviews but am overwhelmed and would like to wrangle a Chowhound consensus.

Two people will be dining. Medium/Large appetites. No aversions.

Is it best to just order a bunch of small plates? Or a handful of small plates and split an entree? Or a small plate or two, and two entrees?

And what MUST we order?

Many thanks.

Dec 01, 2009
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

West Hollywood/Hollywood first date?

Don't go to Vivoli on a first date. Food is great but there's not much atmosphere, it tends to get really crowded, and the tables are arranged somewhat oddly and close together.

Mar 26, 2008
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Shrinkage at Lucky Devil's

The shake glasses are smaller than the metal cups they used to use, but hardly "tiny" and certainly not half the old serving size. I'm sure you're still getting a day's worth of calories from the shake.

Mar 02, 2008
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Trader Joes... Please, just ring up my groceries.

The 'chattiness' at TJ has been pretty consistent from store to store in L.A., in my experience. I know someone said that TJ just happens to hire friendly people, but I'd be very surprised if this isn't part of their corporate training. Like they're instructed to comment on at least one item per customer. It certainly seems that way.

(I don't really like it)

Dec 07, 2007
mehfactor in Chains

Comme Ça visit this weekend

Melrose Bar & Grill is not an appropriate alternative to either Comme Ca or Lucques. It's an okay, modestly priced neighborhood restaurant (expect chidren) but they serve things like chicken fingers and pretzels with cheese dip.

Nov 14, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

VITO'S PIZZA, La Cienega Blvd.

Vito's pizza has good flavor, but every slice I've gotten has been floppy, bordering on soggy. Wish the crust was more firm so that I didn't have to break out a knife and fork. Maybe the oven just isn't hot enough.

Sep 14, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Frida - Revisited (food is still good)

How the heck did you spend 250 bucks last time??

Sep 11, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Grand Lux Cafe

Grand Lux is big portions of dull but generally inoffensive food, a la the Cheesecake Factory. However, there is one tremendous land mine of an entree on their menu that I think takes the prize for "Worst Conceived Dish of All Time." It's called the "Indochine," chunks of chicken served in a brown gravy that "melds the flavors of India and China." The sauce is basically one part soy sauce, one part yellow curry powder. Totally vomitous!

Aug 25, 2007
mehfactor in Chains

del taco - is it any good?

I find it boring boring boring. Nothing has any flavor, and it's not like it's any healthier than Taco Bell. So if I want "fast food" Mexican, I go to Taco Bell, where everything has that distinctive "Taco Bell taste," i.e. processed cheese, sodium and MSG-loaded seasoning, etc. It's a very specific desire.

Aug 21, 2007
mehfactor in Chains

La Buca since expansion?

Oh, thanks. Good to know.

I assume the restaurant is open though? (have a res. tomorrow)

Aug 15, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

La Buca since expansion?

Haven't seen anything on La Buca (melrose at wilton) in some time. I've never been.

Is the expansion finished? Is it still good? What to order?


Aug 15, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Quintessential "New York Chinese"

I live in L.A., where we have access to a vast amount of authentic regional Chinese cuisine. But many NY'ers who move here bemoan the lack of Chinese food "like you can find everywhere in New York."

Honestly, I'm sure this is a simplification, and I'm not entirely sure what it means, but I assume you guys do! I'll be in NYC soon and would love to try whatever you think is the quintessential New York Chinese restaurant. Manhattan preferred! Thanks.

Jun 20, 2007
mehfactor in Manhattan

Anyone been to Wilson recently?

I like Wilson. The food tends to be unusual and flavorful, even if it always work. I don't find the service to be "bad" per se, but it's rather casual given the price points. (You could say the same about the Swingers-esque decor).

May 23, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

MOZZA -- takeout?

That's obnoxious. Why not just eat it at the restaurant at that point?

May 22, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Defining "Comfort Food"

Oh let's just call it what it is.

Lots of calories, lots of fat. Leaves you feeling lethargic and sleepy. It's comforting because your body is using all its energy to digest the food, which gives your anxiety-prone nervous system a bit of a break.

May 21, 2007
mehfactor in General Topics

Go's Mart Review with Pictures

The food looks great but...225/person?

Oh my. You could have gone to Urasawa.

May 20, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Vito's -- it's perfect!

I really enjoyed the white pizza - incredibly flavorful, but I wish there was more sauce on the terra firma and other slices. Also - I know that pizza like this doesn't travel well, but literally after 4 or 5 minutes in the box (I live a block away), the crust was soggy and floppy and it had to be eaten with a fork and a knife.

Apr 22, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

girls night at the rooselvelt in June, where for dinner?

Boat noodles at the dingy Sapp Coffee Shop does not strike me as appropriate for a "girls night out," chowish though it may be.

Would second the Hungry Cat rec though. Also Magnolia on Sunset near Vine, or Social Hollywood.

Apr 21, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Best Dessert at Urth Caffe?

I saw the thread title and clicked on it so I could respond with "the pumpkin pie!"

Umm, I've had the coconut custard cake and the low-fat cheesecake and both were fine, but not as good as the pumpkin pie. Would be curious to hear opinions of the berry cream cake, carrot cake, and deep dish berry pies since those always look tempting.

Apr 18, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Quick dinner near Arclight? (Sunset/Vine)

Love Los Balcones del Peru, but they're very very slow.

Apr 10, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Quick dinner near Arclight? (Sunset/Vine)

Fabiolus Cafe is just east on Sunset, about a block away. It's nothing special, but solid Italian with a big menu and good service. They're used to people in a rush and can be very snappy.

Apr 09, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Zo - two bad experiences

Yeah the experience seemed rather "Nozawa-esque" to me (albeit even more expensive), which can be okay if you're in the right mindset, but wasn't at all what I was expecting given the descriptions on this board.

Apr 08, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Zo - two bad experiences

I had omakase at the bar there a few nights ago. My first time. I had read all the chowhound reviews about how great this place is...but, I didn't get it. The chef was definitely gruff, I saw him practically bark at a couple to get their attention as he handed over their crab rolls. A lot of rules and regulations (no cell phones, etc), which I'm fine with, except that the atmosphere was hardly tranquil (extremely bright flourescent lighting, ugly decor, hard surfaces and a lot of noise). Fish was good but very basic nigiri and sashimi. Not a worthwhile experience at $100/person.

Apr 08, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Korean BBQ for Beginners

It's not all you can eat, and it's a notch more expensive than its Koreatown competitors, but Chosun Galbee is probably the most newbie-friendly spot. Really nice and clean atmosphere, helpful staff, and something for everyone on the menu.

Apr 06, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Trader Joe's canned coffee drinks

The TJ "Triple Shot" drinks taste exactly like Starbucks' bottled Frappuccinos to me, but they have fewer calories, fat, and carbs. And they're cheaper too. I like them as a guilty pleasure pick-me-up.

Mar 25, 2007
mehfactor in General Topics

Royale - New Restaurant Near Downtown

Thanks for the review. How crowded did it get?

I find big, empty restaurants a tad depressing. (See: Opus).

Mar 17, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

New En Sushi on Hillhurst

I had heard negative things about the one in West L.A. but stopped by for dinner at the Los Feliz location a few weeks back and really enjoyed the meal. Didn't order anything particularly unusual that I recall, but the fish seemed extremely fresh, service was on top of it, and the atmosphere was tranquil and pleasant. Dinner for two was 90 w/ tax and tip and plenty of food.

Mar 10, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Caterers Offering/Not Offering Free Tasting

I would give them a pass, if they're otherwise polite and professional.

How would you feel if there were interlopers in the kitchen at your wedding, eating the catered food you paid for? I know it's just one hors d'oeuvres, but that situation could snowball, and anyway, weddings are tightly managed, control freaky affairs.

The photos look good, I'd love to try this place when I'm in the neighborhood.

Mar 07, 2007
mehfactor in Not About Food

Sandwiches in Culver City

The pulled pork sandwich at Wilson is pretty awesome, and huge. That said, it's served open-face, so it's more of a knife-and-fork meal than the typical sandwich experience.

Mar 07, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area

Need a quiet bar/restaurant --midtown or points west

The chairs at Opus are high-backed and very comfortable, the tables are nice and big, and there's generally a lot of privacy because nobody seems to go there.

Food is ambitious but somewhat lacking, very reasonably priced though.

Mar 06, 2007
mehfactor in Los Angeles Area