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RUSTIC INN first-timer

THANKS for this insightful and constructive reply. Seeing your note that they do fine as leftovers was enough for me to make a move. My first time there I got the soft-shell crabs so i wouldn't have to handle all the shelling but I didn't like them very much. Still, I've looked forward to trying these because the place is always packed, plus they're always eating crabs on THE WIRE and I figured I've been missing out.

I did a bucket of garlic blue crabs. I'll have to get better at handling them because this experience was glass-half-empty. I had done some homework on how to handle them and how to crack them etc for best results, but these crabs are a lot smaller than any I saw in my research, which seems to just make it more difficult to get the meat out. Also several of these were already cut before being packed in the bucket to-go. I'm sure the handlers know how + where to cut, but I found myself eating a lot of shell pieces and trying to retrieve meat that eventually had a consistency closer to peanut butter by the time it came out of the shell.

On round 1, I ate more shell than meat, no question. Maybe round 2 I'll fare better, as the meat has chilled overnight in the fridge, hoping it's firmer as you mentioned. I'm guessing anyone can do this well with some practice so it's going to be a learning process. The linguine was a life-saver, very good and plenty of it as you suggested. Thanks again!

RUSTIC INN first-timer

Hi guys I'm looking for insight / advice regarding the garlic crabs at Rustic Inn . . . technically it's not my FIRST time at Rustic Inn (it's my second) but I've never had the garlic crabs there. My questions . . .

The smallest carry-out order is 3 or 4 lbs -- am I likely to eat that much by myself in one sitting? Are these good to put in the fridge for a day or two and eat throughout the weekend?

Do I need mallets and tools to crack and eat these crabs or can I just break them up with a strong fork? Are these serious shells like king crab legs have, requiring the real tools?

I'm eager to try them but I want to know what I'm in for, as this is a $50-60 learning experience, just for a takeout order . . . THANKS!

Late Night Eats in South Beach

Taxi is definitely the way to go for either . . . Pubbelly is too far to walk, it would take 30 mins from 10th & Collins. Yardbirds is closer but still a 20-minute walk. Both are good late dining destinations.


Cheeze Me is very good, and Ms Cheezious is good too.

Montaco is pretty good, the closest I've found thus far to a good authentic-tasting truck taco, still has some gourmet touches but nothing that ruins it. They have a pretty strong bacon-wrapped hot dog, which I've not found anywhere else in my three years here in south Florida. On the whole, I wish they offered a hotter hot sauce.

Dim SSam a GoGo is tasty, the kalbi tacos are made with high quality rib meat, I have had four or five different items from this truck.

Jefe's basic Ensenada fish taco is very good, but they were out of hot salsa the night I ordered.

I'm told the lobster sandwich on Fishbox is excellent.

Red Velvet Cake -- Recommendations?

A couple months ago I had a very good dessert of Red Velvet Cake at Spoto's Oyster Bar on PGA in West Palm Beach. I had never had red velvet cake before, nor have I had it since.
On my last visit there, I learned it's an occasional menu item, not served all the time.

I'm seeking recommendations on where I can find it, in Miami or in Broward or Palm Beach counties. I live in Miami and regularly go to West Palm Beach so I have no trouble going out-of-the-way. I'm thinking of this as a carryout item, rather than planning a meal or destination around it, so any suggestions are welcome for bakeries or restaurants that do it well.

Any insight is appreciated . . . thanks.

Shorty's (BBQ?) in Palm Beach Gardens on PGA

Park Ave BBQ (several locations) might be worth a visit for those lacking good BBQ in PB county. I can't debate the authenticity of their smoking techniques or any nuanced comparisons to Carolina BBQ, I'm not tuned to those criteria. But they use high quality meat for their ribs and most locations have a good beer selection. Their management seems very good, these places have a simple clean interior with a couple tvs for games and outdoor smoking areas. I eat here a few times a month. It's worth a shot for those without good BBQ.

Inexpensive Japanese and Korean Must-Trys in LA area

ALSO the chain BCD Tofu House is good for a moderately - priced authentic Korean menu, and they have locations in Irvine, the south bay and a couple spots in KTown. Open 24 hrs too.

Tofu House
928 S Western Ave Ste 139, Los Angeles, CA 90006

Inexpensive Japanese and Korean Must-Trys in LA area

May I suggest The Corner Place for kbbq on James Wood at Westmoreland, one block east of Vermont in KTown? The setting is casual but the kalbi is VERY good, filled every night with KTown locals (the restaurant, not the kalbi) and the menus are in English and Korean.
Two can eat and drink plenty for $100.

Corner Place Restaurant
2819 James M Wood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

What's worthy in my new hood? La Cienega between Pico & Olympic?

Natalee Thai, at Olympic and Robertson
Yabu for sushi on LaCienega (near Melrose)

Yabu Restaurant
521 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90048

Natalee Thai Restaurant
998 S Robertson Blvd Ste 101, Los Angeles, CA 90035

New to West Hollywood, please help

i 2nd this

Culinary summer camps?

First, I don't know . . . but it doesn't seem like anyone else here does either so I thought about other places you might learn . . .

Maybe the food columnists at the Herald or Sun-Sentinel would know, or there might be a kids activity column in the Herald's Tropical Life section, you can usually find the columnists' email addresses below the column or maybe at the papers' websites

New to West Hollywood, please help

I no longer live there, but if the sushi joint Yabu is still open it's definitely worth visiting, it's on the west side of LaCienega about a block below Melrose. SORRY if any of these places are no longer there, just going from my experience.

And although Lucque's is cetainly upscale, they used to do a bargain dinner on Sunday nights, I don't know if it's seasonal or always offered but it's a great way to try a great restaurant for a bargain price.

El Carmen is on 3rd between Crescent Heights and Fairfax, it's more popular as a bar but they serve good small mexican dishes in the early evening, I think they close the kitchen down later when the place fills up.

Joan's on Third is a good cafe with gourmet options, and there's a place called Doughboys also on this stretch of Third but only go there if you truly have all day to sit around because it's s-l-o-w. The food at both is very good.

Greenblatt's on Sunset near Crescent Heights is a good old-school deli with a very good wine inventory . . . the deli is very good, and you can buy wine in the store and cork it in the deli with no fees and no attitude.

Hope you have a chance to try some of these casual options, you're in a pretty good place considering how tricky it can be to get around LA, good luck.

Best Chips & Salsa in LA/OC?

This is an excellent suggestion, very good chips & salsa at Gilbert's. I also love Border Grill's chips and all three salsas they put out on the bar.

Taco crazy

This is a good taco truck but not so good that I would roadtrip from Tampa or from anywhere in the western part of the state to get a piece of it.

Mar 15, 2010
jimmyodonnell in Florida

Healthy cheap eats in MacArthur Park/Westlake neighborhood

Sure -- first choice is Pollo ala Brasa on southeast corner of Western at 8th Street . . . small shack for rotisserie chicken, you can see the firewood piled high all sides outside the place. The chicken is very fresh, you can do a 1/4 or a 1/2 chicken with sides under $10, choices include black beans, white rice, simple green salad or fries.

A little further west into Koreatown you can find a couple locations of BCD Tofu House (one on Wilshire near Western, the other on Vermont just south of Wilshire I think) . . . the whole first page of the menu offers different types of tofu bowls mixed with meat or seafood with kimchee sides for just under $10.

On Hoover just below Olympic is El Taurino which is some of the best carne asada in the city, if you skip the fried stuff you can do an all-meat carne asada burrito (even add extra steak) for about $7.50 . . . same offering at King Taco at Pico & Alvarado, as they are under the same ownership and the menus are very similar.

Lastly, haven't been there for a while but there was a place on west side of Western just below Wilshire called Pho 2000 which had several varieties of Pho for $7.50, I've tried several of them and never been disappointed.


I have not yet been there but will be glad to go and post my findings, THANKS for the tip!

Mar 03, 2010
jimmyodonnell in Florida


TACOS LOS ALTOS is on the north side of Calle 8, so it's on your left as you head east into downtown. It's a two or three-story building and the whole facade is painted in the restaurant's colors though the restaurant occupies only the first floor.

I went there this past weekend after spotting it several times via drive-by. I'd say it's "promising" but by no means a slam-dunk . . . some things were good, others weren't.

1 -- The carne asado tacos were no good, the meat was dry and tough and they came dressed like a Taco Bell taco with chunked tomato and shredded cheese, maybe you can order them without the dressings but on my first visit I chose to go with the default presentation. Don't think I'll order them again

2 -- The chips were homemade and hot (good sign) but not seasoned at all with anything, so very crispy but not very tasteful. The default salsa served with the chips was the worst I've had in a long time . . . making fresh salsa takes some work, and I can't see how somebody regularly goes through the process to yield something so tasteless.

At this point -- if you can't put out a decent carne asada and your chips & salsa suck -- things weren't looking so good. However . . .

3 -- The al pastor tacos were pretty good, surprising me after the carne asada was not. I did NOT see the vertical spit roaster, but the meat was quality and well-seasoned nonetheless. Served with chopped onions and cilantro, the real thing . . . I came for the al pastor and I will go back for it again.

4 -- I asked for a hotter salsa, and was brought salsa verde . . . I wouldn't call it hot by any stretch, but it was still very tasty and I'll be glad to have that again too.

5 -- The place was busy, the staff was friendly and everyone seemed to be having a good time. It's not the best taco joint I've had but surely not the worst, and I'll go a couple more times and try a little more before concluding.

Mar 01, 2010
jimmyodonnell in Florida

South Beach Visit! Help!

One of the few places in south beach to sit waterside is the Lido restaurant at the Standard Hotel on the Venetian Causeway. The have a very pleasant outdoor dining deck overlooking Biscayne Bay with city views across the bay. I have eaten here just once, but the food was very very good, the emphasis was on very fresh ingredients and they have a selection of raw and vegan options it that appeals to you. If you're eager to sit on the water and willing to try some innovative dishes I think you will like this place -- great food, absolutely attitude-free.

1st Time at Michy's

Last month I had a ceviche served in lime juice, it was garnished with popcorn and Corn Nuts at it was FANTASTIC though it sounds strange. It was not a special so it should still be on the menu. It was so good that next time I might get the large appetizer serving as my entree, it was very fresh and very good.

deciding between Michael's Genuine, Michy's or Sra Martinez?

I have eaten at Michy's and Sra Martinez, not yet at Michael's. Both were EXCELLENT with inventive menu choices. For consideration, Sra Martinez serves mostly small plates tapas-style, most of it is reasonably priced and you could try several things in the course of your sitting, which might be fun if dining alone. Michy's serves beer and wine only, no hard stuff, and if you intend to buy a bottle of wine rather than a glass or two you might prefer Michy's wine list to Sra Martinez'. I think Sra Martinez has two bar seating options, upstairs quieter and downstairs livelier, while Michy's has one bar that seats maybe 10 people.

Inexpensive in Mid-City/Miracle Mile

This would be Crescent Heights and Wilshire, not to be confused with Crescent Drive in bev Hills. Good suggestion, dinner with a discounted beer at Wahoo would run you $10 or so.

Also at the $10 mark with no beer served is BCD Tofu House at Wilshire near Carondolet, good Korean hotpot varieties for $10, they also have more elaborate options for higher prices and they are open 24hrs.

Delray bar -- GOTTROCKS (???)

I order just what you describe here -- I take the grilled option and the wings come dry, then get the hot sauce on the side, great way to go for Bru's wings

Sep 08, 2009
jimmyodonnell in Florida


I haven't tried them yet but I live close so it won't be long, and I read a few good comments touting the wings in the general B&B Joint thread a week ago

Sep 04, 2009
jimmyodonnell in Florida

Florida Taco spots. One place closed, but found a great alternative for Mexican food

ALL RIGHT!!! Thanks CFB, just in time for a long weekend in PB county!

Sep 04, 2009
jimmyodonnell in Florida

Florida Taco spots. One place closed, but found a great alternative for Mexican food

Well one difference -- I don't know that it's THE difference, but -- is that I find the best al pastor is roasted on the vertical spit, rotating like gyro meat (although al pastor is MUCH better than gyro meat, I know I know . . .), and my guess is that fresh roast makes the difference. I'm speculating here because i noticed in SoCal many of the trucks and good taco stands served al pastor only on weekends or certain nights when I'm guessing they were confident it would SELL enough to warrant a fresh roast. SO, maybe that's a challenge when a truck cooks al pastor and doesn't sell it out fresh, maybe it's refrigerated and re-grilled on subsequent days. I'm speculating here, but I believe that could be one difference, the freshness. I bet there's some truth there, but I'm more of an expert taco EATER than taco MAKER . . .

Sep 04, 2009
jimmyodonnell in Florida

Florida Taco spots. One place closed, but found a great alternative for Mexican food

I made my first visit here a couple weeks ago and wasn't impressed with the flavor on the carne asada or the al pastor tacos with salsa verde. My comments are strictly food-based, I'm not harboring any concerns about the atmosphere or the notion of eating off a truck, I am a longtime Southern Cal taco truck patron recently relocated to south Florida.

However, one visit does not make or break a taco truck so I will be back for a second try and for other menu selections, and hopefully I can reach a breakthrough here. The place definitely seems the real deal and I give extra points for the 24 hrs as well as the info board that highlights the truck's schedule at other WBP locations throughout the week.

Aug 31, 2009
jimmyodonnell in Florida

Aqui es Texcoco Now Open / Chula Recon

This place was closed at 830 on a Friday night

Aug 07, 2009
jimmyodonnell in San Diego

Casual South Beach near south of 5th

Second this . . . TAP TAP on 5th, near Euclid I think.

Are Stone Crabs Only Served Seasonally?

I recently saw something (sorry cannot recall the source) indicating that stone crab fishing season ends in May or June . . . does anyone know if this is correct? If so, are they off limits at Miami-area restaurants until the season reopens?

May 12, 2009
jimmyodonnell in Florida

South Florida Jamaican?

THANKS EVERYONE for the good suggestions, I've got some places to check out, appreciate the help.