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Lucques, Craft or Grace for my Sunday birthday dinner for 6?

Thanks all, I really appreciate the honest feedback and recos. I've been to Joe's in Venice and had a similar experience that you did, Nicole. Orris has been on my list of places to try, but that's probably somewhere I'd go on a regular night. Hatfield's would've been my first choice too - too bad my birthday's on a Sun. night.

So Grace is looking like a good option then, sounds like. Are there any other must-do restaurants that I may have missed? Thanks again!

Nov 04, 2008
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Lucques, Craft or Grace for my Sunday birthday dinner for 6?

Hi All,

I'd love some help figuring out where I should do my birthday dinner. My family is flying into town for Thanksgiving and my bday the Sun. before so there will be 6 of us. I've lived in LA for 3 years but have yet to get to Lucques, Craft or Grace.

If I had a bday "wishlist" it would read as follows: (in order of priority)
1. Seriously good food
2. Good cocktails
3. Nice "special" atmosphere

My BF and I have been to many of the tasting menu spots...Providence, Bastide, Ortolan, Sona, but since this is a family dinner, we're looking to go a notch below that. (The first year they visited for my bday we went to Jiraffe in SM and it was great.)

I know Lucques has its $45 Sunday Supper, which is a nice deal but depending on what's on offer that week, I may or may not be psyched for the limited options available. Also, we've been to AOC which I realize is a different experience altogether than Lucques, however, while it was perfectly fine...we weren't exactly bowled over by it.

We've had some experience with Tom Colicchio's places. My BF's brother was a chef under him at Gramercy Tavern in NYC, and we've been to Craftsteak (very good) in Vegas.

Hatfield's would've been my third choice, but they are closed on Sun. I took my BF to Animal for his bday in Aug., and the food was fabulous, but I'd really like to check out some place new. Also Animal's decor was just a bit too austere as a place I want to celebrate my 35th bday.

Appreciate any thoughts on the ones I've listed or suggestions on others!!
Thx the bday girl

Nov 04, 2008
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Only 3 Nights in Midtown on Business - Where to Dine?

Thanks rustykup. I was wondering if I was going to get a GT rec. My brother-in-law-to-be was a sous chef under Tom Colicchio for a few years, but I didn't get there before he'd left. Coincidentally enough, I will be heading to Vegas the latter part of next week and have a reservation at Craftsteak.

How does CT compare with Michael Anthony at the helm now? Sounds like he's keeping the GT claim to fame going nicely.

Jul 31, 2008
purediva in Manhattan

Only 3 Nights in Midtown on Business - Where to Dine?

Hi Hounds,

I'm heading to NY on business early this week and am determined to have 1 - 2 good dinners while in town. I don't get to NY often enough so I need to make each visit count

I'll be staying at the Royalton in Midtown, which is close to my company's offices on Park Ave. Would greatly appreciate any advice on some must-do spots, ideally quintessential NY experience-type places, that are in relatively close proximity to where I'll be.

As far as my food taste goes, my fave haute temple of the moment is Alinea in Chicago. Since my dining will be on the company, I will likely want to stick with options a notch below the Per Se's and such.

Really appreciate any input!

Jul 31, 2008
purediva in Manhattan

Help me decide where to have a nice meal on my BF's boss

I have to admit...the word "rich" has a nice ring to it. Any rec's on the current menu?

Feb 23, 2008
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Help me decide where to have a nice meal on my BF's boss

Nosh (and anyone who recommends/has been to Craft)...any advice on must-order dishes...apps, mains, sides, desserts? I took a look at the Craft menu on the site and was a little overwhelmed by the various options.

I think it's down to Craft or Hatfield's...

Feb 23, 2008
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Help me decide where to have a nice meal on my BF's boss

I tend to agree LMelba...Boa's not really on the radar. It's someplace I'd probably be cool with if it were a company outing, but not necessarily a place I'd seek out on my own.

Feb 23, 2008
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Help me decide where to have a nice meal on my BF's boss

Ouch, so we would have to watch what we're getting at Spago to come in at our price range. Might be more fun/relaxing to go somewhere where we wouldn't have to be as "vigilant" when ordering. :)

Feb 23, 2008
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Help me decide where to have a nice meal on my BF's boss

Thanks all for the responses...having to choose between so many great restaurants is such a great "problem" to have. :)

We actually have been to Bastide (under Lefevre) and Providence 3x (in fact BF's brother did a chefing stint at Providence). Have also been to Jiraffe. Nosh is correct re our wanting to keep the tab in the $200> range, which is what was driving my shortlist. Sounds like Craft, Hatfield's and Spago are all strong contenders...don't know much about Bashan, but will look that up as well.

Will let you know which way we're going and of course report back!

Feb 22, 2008
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Help me decide where to have a nice meal on my BF's boss

My BF has become a bit of a supah-star at his company so they've offered to buy us dinner. Yay us!

Last time we had dinner on "the Company," we went all out with extended omakase at our beloved Sushi Zo. We were contemplating an encore performance at Zo, but am realizing that there are still SO many LA foodie destinations that have been lingering on our to-do list. In our target price range ($200 or less for two), Hatfield's, Lucques, Craft or Grace (in that order) are topping the list.

I'm leaning towards Hatfield's based on everything I've read here on Chow.

I know Lucques is lauded as an LA institution, and I do want to get there, but my hesitation stems from our underwhelment of Coin's AOC. This was one of the first places we tried when we moved out here almost 3 years ago, and it was good, but I wasn't exactly blown away. (We're from Chicago and AOC isn't quite up there with Avec.)

Actually, BF's brother worked as a sous chef under Tom Colicchio at Gramercy Tavern in NY, so it would interesting to visit for that reason as well.

Would also consider any other recommended venues I haven't listed, though I should probably mention we've already been to and enjoyed Osteria Mozza. Have also been to Fraiche a number of times (I work in Culver City) and the food can be good, but overall feel it's overrated.

Appreciate any and all thoughts and suggestions!!

Feb 21, 2008
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Chicago/LA Foodie in Manhattan tomorrow - Fri. on business: Where must I dine?

Hi NY 'Hounds...

This urbanite is ashamed to say I've never really had a proper trip to NY...been once when I was youngling with the family and only been back on very quick in-and-out business trips.

Unfortunately I'm back again on business for a 2.5 day stretch but would like to make a point of sampling some must-do NY fare if my schedule will allow. I'll be staying in Midtown at the W and would greatly appreciate any suggestions for lunch, dinner, cafe, bakery and snacks in and around the vicinity. I was thinking about heading to the West Village to check out that Peanut Butter place I've heard a lot about...

Thanks! :)

Feb 19, 2008
purediva in Manhattan

Santa Fe Req's for Thanksgiving/Bday Trip?

Thanks all for the continued input. Right now our schedule is shaking out like this:

Friday:
Breakfast - Pasqual's
Late lunch/tapas - La Boca
Birthday dinner - Fuego (From the feedback I've gotten, sounds like this is a solid choice, if nothing else, for the cheese cart alone. I heard the chef used to do a lobster tasting menu...anyone aware if they're still offering it?)

Saturday:
Breakfast - Grandpa's choice :)
Lunch - The Shed
Dinner - Aqua Santa

Would love to get to Nostrani or Anasazi but with only two nights for dinner, we'll have to reserve them for our next trip. Appreciate any additional thoughts on the above! =]

Nov 12, 2007
purediva in Southwest

Santa Fe Req's for Thanksgiving/Bday Trip?

Thanks, I will check both Anasazi and Fuego out!

Nov 09, 2007
purediva in Southwest

Santa Fe Req's for Thanksgiving/Bday Trip?

Anyone?

Nov 09, 2007
purediva in Southwest

Santa Fe Req's for Thanksgiving/Bday Trip?

My BF and I will be heading to Santa Fe for a long Thanksgiving weekend to visit BF's grandparents and we'll also be celebrating my birthday on Fri. the 23rd. As semi-deprived foodies living in LA (Hermosa Beach), we always look forward to the fantastic food and myriad dining options of Santa Fe, among other cultural delights to be found there.

The last three years we've visited we've done Geronimo, the Compound, Casa Sena, and Coyote Cafe....enjoyed them all, but the first three especially. Based on what I've read online, Aqua Santa and La Boca are topping my list of places to try for dinner, most likely the former for my actual bday dinner. (Love locally-sourced, organic ingredients and am obsessed with Spanish food.) I gather these two venues to be more casual and relaxed then either Geronimo and the Compound, so I'm wondering if I should be seeking out a new special occasion place for my bday meal to try out (well, new to us, that is, such as Fuego, Anasazi, etc.).

I'm also thinking about Trattoria Nostrani, but though I'm an avid lover of Italian,.I must admit I'm not overly motivated to seek out Italian-proper cooking when in Santa Fe, so I'd love to know if it's everything I've seen it hyped up to be.

Would like to try Pasqual's for breakfast, The Shed (too touristy?) for chile lunch, and will most likely be taken whether I like it or not to a few of Grandpa's regular haunts (Steak Smith, Pink Adobe, Tecalote, Tomasitas, Bobcat Bite, Tesuque - which I love despite the often slow service). Appreciate any thoughts and recs for my potential dinner candidates listed or others...

Nov 09, 2007
purediva in Southwest

Visiting Hound in SF Needs Dinner Recs

I've been dying to try Bocadillos for some time now. How's the wait on weekends these days for dinner there? The fact that they don't take reservations scares me a little...

Visiting Hound in SF Needs Dinner Recs

Any thoughts about Limon or Terza? My brother and sis-in-law are great friends of the chef so we were thinking of going there one night. We're also starved for authentic tapas (hard to come by in LA), which is why we were thinking Terza...

Visiting Hound in SF Needs Dinner Recs

Thanks margieco & chris. We have 3 dinners to plan for and I'm thinking we'd want to stick with the mid-range places. My shortlist right now is:

Range (got a rez for Thurs. - weekend doesn't look like it's happening)
Myth
Salt House
Terza
Nopa
A16

So Bar Tartine's a no?

Visiting Hound in SF Needs Dinner Recs

Anyone?

Visiting Hound in SF Needs Dinner Recs

Hi SF Hounds,

My BF and I will be heading from Hermosa Beach to SF next weekend to visit both his brother and my brother/sis-in-law, and will also be celebrating said BF's birthday. It's been a while since we were last in your fair city, and we're soooo looking forward to some quality chow, which--ahem--can be a tad more difficult to come by in LA.

Would love to hear about any must-try places (both special occasion and casual) that have come on the scene of late. Places we've been to and love include Delfina, Slanted Door, Plumpjack, Betelnut, Bix, Gary Danko, Girl & the Fig, Tartine.

We're contemplating whether to go to Michael Mina, where BF's brother has been sous-chef'ing at.

Thanks!

Suggestions for Las Vegas dining?

My BF and I will be in Vegas this weekend and this thread was extremely helpful. I'd love to check out both Stripsteak and Craftsteak (esp. since my BF's brother was a souschef at Collichio's Gramercy Tavern in NY and is now at Michael Mina in SF), but I'm wondering if that's too repetitive (high-end steakhouse) in one weekend. Any preferences for one over another? We live in LA and are planning to check out the newly opened Craft at some point and visit his brother up in SF at MM, so....

Would love to hear back from folks who've been to both, and if there are any other places worth checking out. (Guy Savoy's closed until Aug.)

Thanks!

Jul 25, 2007
purediva in Southwest

Sonora Cafe- Don't go!

I'm a 2-yrs.-new to LA via Chicago resident and have been underwhelmed by more than my share of LA restaurants. But I actually like Sonora. Their cocktails are tasty and priced on par to other LA restaurants....their signature green lip mussel appetizer is fantastic, as is the cowboy steak and pork chop.

I've had the enchiladas and do agree with the other poster who said it that it's my least favorite thing on the menu. Everything else is wonderful. Sounds like a case of a bad ordering choice (has happened to me as well).

Jul 06, 2007
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Nook or Beechwood ?

Nook has way better food than Beechwood. If you want celebratory, you shouldn't sit in the back room where the dining tables are at Beechwood cuz it's pretty isolated there.

Jun 27, 2007
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Can someone explain what the deal is with South Bay sushi?

Yeah I used to work by Sakura and I have to say I was underwhelmed by their sushi. Wasn't sure what all the hype was about...Mahi, try Zo. It'll knock your socks off.

Irori was our weekly sushi standby when we lived in MDR. Great quality to price value ratio, we could get in and out for under $60 for two no problem. Zo has forever ruined me for all other sushi, such that we don't enjoy Irori like we used to, but I would still recommend it over Sakura or anything we've had in South Bay yet.

Jun 27, 2007
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Can someone explain what the deal is with South Bay sushi?

It looks like my earlier post was deleted by the moderator, and I'm not sure why since there was nothing inappropriate in it. So I'm going to try this again.

I'm not interested in soft, mushy and sauced sushi. I'm interested in silky texture and pure, intense flavors. Bottom line, this comes down to personal preference. Omotosando, E Eto, Ernie...you're totally welcome to your opinion. As am I.

Jun 25, 2007
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Who has the best blue crab handroll?

This is related to my other post re South Bay sushi, but I have yet to find blue crab hand rolls anywhere in the South Bay. Does anyone know where to find these in the area?

Jun 22, 2007
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Can someone explain what the deal is with South Bay sushi?

Thanks Spicychow! I will google it, but what town is Miura in?

That's how we love our scallop too...

Jun 22, 2007
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Who has the best blue crab handroll?

Zo. Perfect ratio of succulent crab, warm rice, and the mayo enhances rather than overwhelms.

Jun 22, 2007
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Can someone explain what the deal is with South Bay sushi?

Would you have ever described the fish Tsujiki as being "buttery" or "melt-in-your-mouth"? Is SenNari in Gardena worth trying? I'm really starting to think there's a conspiracy in the SB, Gardena and Torrance included, where everyone is supposed to offer dry, non-buttery sushi.

Jun 21, 2007
purediva in Los Angeles Area

Cheap Filipino Food??

We went to Papillon with high hopes (we live in Hermosa Beach and there's a dearth of any filipino places, good or bad, west of the 405). I had heard that their chicken adobo is good. No bueno. Whatever it was, it wasn't adobo (no tartness whatsoever to be found). In fact, the sauce was mostly a bland white sauce with a bunch of peppercorns thrown in.

I had to send it back. The shanghai egg rolls were decent though.

Jun 21, 2007
purediva in Los Angeles Area