SmokeyDoke's Profile

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Any hip restaurants in Anaheim?

Does it have to be Anaheim? I'm drawing a blank for Anaheim but I know a few in nearby Fullerton.

Sep 12, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Dinner "Specials" in Los Angeles

I agree with Chart House but I read good things about Roy's, especially their chocolate lava cake.

I mean, for $35, isn't it a better deal than most chains?

Sep 12, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Dinner "Specials" in Los Angeles

I've been wanting to try Little Dom's. Drove by the other day, it's such a cute place. Thanks for reminding me.

Sep 12, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Dinner "Specials" in Los Angeles

I'll try the Rocksugar, I've never been and that sounds like a great deal.

But DO NOT go to Opus at any cost, the food is horrible and service is bad. I drove by last week and it looked like they closed. It was dark and completely empty.

Sep 12, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Is it normal you have different opinion on the restaurant which is highly (not) recommended by the board?

I think it's okay to post contrary opinions as long as you state the reasons why and you're polite about it.

TBH: I rarely take CH's advice anymore. I have different tastebuds than most of the popular posters. But I still love reading their reviews. If anything, it piques my interest about a certain region or food that I haven't known before.

Aug 31, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Not About Food

did you change your mind

I remember receiving A LOT of hate on another board because I tipped 17% on a $120 bill instead of 20%.

Being the naive idiot that I am, I started tipping 20%.

A few months ago, my other half told me that I was a fool, most people only tip 10%!!! And that 15% is generous, 20% is for exceptional service and a business expense account. I disagreed with him saying that most people tip 20%, THE INTERBUTTS TOLD ME SO.

A few weeks ago, we asked a mutual friend, a server in a very well known, popular restaurant, what the average tip was. Mind you, this restaurant is in the wealthiest part of LA, and he had no reason to lie to us. He told us 10%!!! He said that when the bill is over $100 or it is mostly drinks, the tip is almost ALWAYS 10%. Then he went on to tell stories how cheap most people are, it was a real eye opener.

To answer your question: have I been re-educated? Unfortunately, yes, but I was mislead. Don't always believe the internets. Words are cheap.

Do I still tip 20%? No, I only tip 20% at restaurants that we're regulars and they provided good service. I've tipped 10% lately for bad service, something I wouldn't have dreamed of doing before.

Aug 31, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Site Talk

What is a "food snob"?

This is the best response I have ever read.

I hope the Chowhound team reads this and enforces it on the boards.

Aug 30, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Not About Food

Where to buy Rambutan in LA?

Tien Phat in Westminister. I saw them when I was there last week.

Aug 26, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Eat What Bourdain Just Ate: Sausage, Noodles, Curry and Social Unrest

Great post. Great restaurant picks. Only one I haven't tried is Talesai, which will be my next stop.

BTW: I can't go wrong with LA Weekly's Thai recommendations. So far, it's been 4 for 4. Woo-hoo!

Aug 20, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Bottege Louie or Vertigo Wine Bistro

FYI: Daisy Mint is a different genre than BL or VWB, just saying. It's much more homestyle and casual (ignore the chandelier, haha). It's also much cheaper. DM gets a lot of love on the Chowboards but I thought it was only okay, not a place to impress someone, more like a quick bite to eat with a roommate.

In Pasadena I recommend Cafe Bizou, a very cute, French, hole-in-the-wall, with good food.
Cafe Bizou
91 N Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 792-9923

I'm drawing a blank on DTLA, although I'm a self-professed DTLA expert, I think it's the dessert that got me. The only place that I can recall having good food and good dessert is Magnolia near LA Live. It's reasonably priced, especially during happy hour, and I've read raves about their desserts, especially their homemade mint choco chip ice cream sandwich.

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Magnolia Restaurant
825 W. 9th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Aug 20, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

First dates a go-go

Both liked Father's Office, it made for a pleasant date.

:)

A lady doesn't kiss and tell.

Aug 15, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

What's the big deal with the KOGI TRUCK? Long lines, but is it worth it?

No.

Aug 15, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Golden State - 3 strikes and out

For what it's worth, I think Rockewagner is overrated and I wouldn't be surprised if they put out an inferior bun.

And I agree about Comme Ca's burger, although I agree with Mr. Gold 90% of the time.

Aug 14, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

First dates a go-go

FO in Culver City? or SM?

I thought the FO in CC was nice; dark, intimate, nice couches, all the variables needed for a romantic conversation. Only problem is it can get too crowded and they may get stuck outside in the park benches.

Aug 14, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Tracht’s restaurant in Long Beach- closed

It was a nice space, I never ate there but I've stopped by. I could've guessed they were doing badly from all the crazy promotions they were doing, but I didn't think they'd close. They got good reviews, even being touted as one of LB's finest ( a very honorable title, imho).

I'm sad to see it go. Best wishes to Suzanne Tracht in her next endeavor.

Aug 13, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

First dates a go-go

Lucky you, I think Hollywood is a central location for dates. I guess it depends what you consider "casual" as so many places offer good happy hours and prix fixe these days.

Here are some places I'd recommend, all of them have a romantic vibe, are smallish and have good, reasonably priced eats.

Magnolia http://www.magnoliala.com/
Boho http://www.bohorestaurant.com/ I believe they have a good wine selection.
Hungry Cat for happy hour
Kitchen 24

As for the midway spot, I recommend Culver City. It's fun to stroll along Helms, or shop at Surfas. I believe there's a museum there too. Good luck!

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The Hungry Cat
1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Aug 12, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

First dates a go-go

I agree about the Foundry, I love the place and believe it or not, their patio menu is very reasonable.

And I want to second Father's Office, I've taken two first dates there, both were successful!

Aug 12, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Your Favorite Take Out in Santa Monica.....?

Love, love, love Baycities.

Aug 12, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Finally good eats in HB

I wanted to report that I went to Sushi on Fire and it was a horrible experience. It only further proves that there are no good foodie places along Main.

Firstly, I showed the boy this post, as he's a long time HB resident and has visited almost all, if not all, the mediocre "sushi" joints in HB (which in his last estimate, is around 30). His first opinion on Sushi on Fire is that it's a "Thai" sushi place, filled with tourist, completely opposite of Matsu. He said the biggest draw is the flaming fire put on the plates, not the sushi. He goaded me into trying Sushi on Fire but his motives must've been more to see the skinny, tightly-cladded, Thai waitresses than to eat good sushi.

Talk about an overload of fish drenched in ponzu sauce... yuck. I'm not a sushi snob, I like a sushi roll, just as much as I like a muffalata sammich or a cheese pizza, but what irked me most was the outrageous prices on very mediocre food.

And at the cost of the boy never being welcome at Sushi on Fire again, I thought the hostess was annoying and the place was loud. Go there if you want expensive, mediocre food and want to see young Thai girls. DO NOT go if you want good Japanese food.

Aug 10, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Stefan's LA Farm - First Taste

After reading your review, I'm not in a hurry to go. It sounds like bland, typical American food. I'm so disappointed, I was hoping to FINALLY find a place to dazzle the boy. Oh well...

Aug 09, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Alhambra

Honestly, I don't remember... I believe it was the pumpkin ice cream and mint chocolate chip. If I remember correctly, it's smooth, with no fun swirls of pumpkin and no bits of pie crust. The chocolate chips in the mint were tiny, it resembled Thrifty's mint choco chip. I remember thinking I could've gone to Coldstone's for better ice cream. I don't remember an extensive list of flavors either.

I've been back recently to find the sweet corn ice cream and they were out. As the server told me, "it's seasonal and they make it when they want to." I got their taro instead and it was good, but not worth driving 15 mins for.

As for BC, it's my fav in Alhambra, but it's not the best, especialy if one's from the South and has had real cajun seafood. BC is the first Cajun joint I went to and I had a lot of fun, it's much better than it's competitors. But charging for water is a joykill.

Aug 09, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Alhambra

My go-to place in Alhambra is Boiling Crab. It's cajun style seafood. I recommend the shrimp and crawfish (when in season). They serve it in a bag and you eat off the picnic tables. If you've never been to the South and had this type of food, you gotta go, it's a trip.

Alhambra is not my favorite foodie place, I much prefer nearby Monterey Park, but some other decent eats is Noodle World, many different types of noodles and cool drinks, and Banh Mi Che Cali for really, really cheap food.

Everyone recommends Fosselmans, but I've found it to be meh. Go with low expectations if you must, people have a lot of sentimental attachment to the place.

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Boiling Crab
742 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

Aug 08, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Alhambra

Tamaya is HORRIBLE!

Sorry, don't mean to be mean, but it's true.

Aug 08, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Best Upscale Burger

Just got back from the Foundry's and their new Patio Burger is delish. It's only $12 but Foundry does fit the bill for an upscale restaurant. I'm not going to say it's better than Father's office, they're both my faves and they're very different burgers. Foundry's is more fun, you can play with the toppings. It's juicier. So far it's a tie for my #1 burger in LA.

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Foundry On Melrose
7465 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Aug 06, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

mexican food near downtown LA?

Casa is a short cab drive away.

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Casa
350 South Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Aug 05, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Cheap late night options in OC?

Thanks for all the replies, they were great suggestions. I can't wait to try them, especially Tsuruhashi. I'll report back.

Aug 05, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

REVIEW: Matsu, Huntington Beach

I would not recommend Sushi on Fire. It's a place known for their tourists and rolls. Although I'm not a sushi snob and I like rolls, Sushi on Fire is expensive and it may not have the unique and special fish that other traditional Japanese places would have.

If you're looking for decent, it may fit the bill, but I don't recommend it.

Aug 04, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Finally good eats in HB

Wow, that's quite a change of opinion since this post in April
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/614253

And is Yuki also referred to as Hatsu? I know he's been there for a long time.

Well, to each his own, I know I'll not be going to Sushi on Fire anytime soon and hopefully Matsu won't be as crowded next time I go.

Aug 04, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Finally good eats in HB

I read your review, and honestly, I was shocked. I trust your opinion but it sounded like we visited two different restaurants. My only conclusion can be the sushi chefs in the kitchen aren't as good as the ones in the bar (I forgot his name, but he's been there forever). Also, they're very busy, so they must mass produce and I'm sure Joe-blow makes the sushi in the kitchen.

They may have stepped up their game since reading your review. I only discovered Matsu a month ago, I've been back 3 times.

Here's my review from Urbanspoons:
1. Assorted Sashimi for $7.50. Yes, $7.50!!! That's cheaper than the day old sashimi at Marukai Market and 100x better. It's fresh and melt in your mouth good.
2. Sabrina Roll, Everything Roll - Mmmm... soy rice paper rolls.
3. Suicide Roll - it gets a honorable mention. It's a spicy tuna roll topped with another raw fish and crunchy (don't know what the crunchy is, maybe chicarrones?) It's good but it's pedestrian. Chris loves it, so we always get it.

Aug 04, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area

Cheap late night options in OC?

Midnight.

I've been wanting to try 85 degrees. Thanks!

Aug 04, 2009
SmokeyDoke in Los Angeles Area