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Upscale Superbowl

Are there any upscale restaurants/bars/hotels on the Westside that would be great for Superbowl watching?

By "upscale" I mean to include that the seating is comfortable/cushy, service is outstanding and the crowd is mostly over 30. We're looking for a little more sophisticated atmosphere and better food than is offered at the Wilshire string of Q's/Cabo/BruHaus,etc.

The Hillstone Group's restaurants (Bandera, R+D) could be perfect BUT they either don't open early enough or have TV's that never have the volume up. What do you think?

Jan 30, 2014
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Thanksgiving 2013

Keep the sweet potatoes AND the mac and cheese! It's Thanksgiving. :-)

You need something for guests to drink before dinner. Spiked Spiced Cider (add brandy or cognac) works for us. A nice dry ginger ale like Schwepps for those on the wagon is good.

People are going to be shocked but some extra cans of Heinz canned gravy with juices from the turkey pan will work in a pinch if you run out of the homemade gravy.

There is a national magazine, that I'm not sure I can mention the name of here, that prints a Thanksgiving to-do list every year around this time and it's very helpful for planning the big day with some tasks beginning now in October. Let's just say their list keeps everything stress free and SIMPLE. ;-) Good luck!

Oct 26, 2013
SugarFrosted in Home Cooking

Your preferred Burgundy brand for Beef Bourguignon and Coq Au Vin?

I like to go to Trader Joe's and pick up something around $10 that I can sip while browning the bacon for the bourguignon. They have a lot of great choices for cooking that are the right price for using in the pot and enjoying in the glass.

Oct 26, 2013
SugarFrosted in Home Cooking

Your Most Nontraditional Thanksgiving Dish or Dessert

Stuffed Miriliton. It's only non-traditional if you're not in New Orleans. It's a Creole classic of chayote squash that's stuffed with a mixture of shrimp,onions, butter, cheese, breadcrumbs and spices and baked. Really delicious and only about 2,000 calories per serving.

Oct 26, 2013
SugarFrosted in Home Cooking
1

"Best Quality" Olive Oil Advice Please

Wow, thanks for all the great advice!

The only tasting I've ever done was in SF at the wonderful Ferry Building, and I did find a couple there that I really liked. The idea now is to expand on that experience. I'll do it one bottle at a time, but didn't know what to look for to get the process going in the right way. Now, I know what to consider when making a purchase, and I can get moving on finding tastings at foodie stores here in LA. Hadn't even thought of that...duh!

This will be mostly for use at the table and after cooking, but I'll try some other oils for cooking as well to see how they compare to my old standby Bertolli... the yellow one(!). It's really lovely in salad dressings, or just plain with a squeeze of lemon and some salt.

Thanks again you guys!

Mar 26, 2012
SugarFrosted in General Topics

"Best Quality" Olive Oil Advice Please

Ok, so what does it mean when a recipe asks for "good quality" or "high quality" olive oil? I mean is there a way to tell if an olive oil is better just by looking at it?

Other than price or tasting it is there any other indicator of quality that I can use to find the best of the bunch? Label info? Origin? Types of olives? Shades of green for EVOO?

If you can't tell just by looking at the bottle,since they all have such lovely packaging, what are the brands that are considered to have the best quality?

I know all about the different grades of olive oil but am just lost when a recipe requires "best quality." I know what I like (mostly Bertolli) and now I'd like to try some others without spending a fortune on taste tests.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Mar 26, 2012
SugarFrosted in General Topics

What discontinued products do you miss?

Hagen-Daaz Fleur De Sel Caramel ice cream was the best ice cream flavor ever! There were ribbons of caramel and crunchy grains of salt running through it, and chunks of chocolate. It was one of their special flavors during the summer of 2009, and then it disappeared forever. It was divine!

What discontinued products do you miss?

You can still get Pedigree's Denta Bones at Target. All the big supermarkets stopped carrying them and my dog loves them too, so it's worth the extra trip.

Mar 26, 2012
SugarFrosted in General Topics

Looking for Moderately Priced ($30 and under) dinner options for this Friday

There are a few things on A-Frame's menu that a "non-adventurous eater" might be ok with: Beer Can Chicken comes immediately to mind, and you'll definitely be WAY under your $30 price... if they can take waiting for a table, since they don't take reservations.

Jan 23, 2012
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Best Soup

It makes me hesitant to tell you since usually I can go there and get some of it without waiting in the longest line in the world for the other part of their deli counter but...very conflicted...

Since it will help them stay in business another 100 years if even more people shop there, ok.

The soup at Bay Cities Italian Grocery and Deli is some of the best soup I've ever had anywhere, including the kind that the fancy and expensive restaurants I often go to serve. They make it in house from scratch and they'll sell you a whole delicious quart of it with a large piece of their house-made bread for $5.98. It's incredibly great!

Dec 10, 2011
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

The CHEW

I think you're right about her role on the show wntersummer, I just don't think she's flowing with the overall vibe of the program ... yet.

Has anyone else noticed that in recent episodes Daphne is saying things like, 'wow, that looks delicious" and I heard her say the other day, "I'm going to indulge." There are also close-ups of Daphne taking big bites out of things lately with no one else in the shot. And other chefs are mentioning ways to cut salt/sugar/etc. during their segments so she doesn't have to jump in to ask about "healthier" modifications to the recipe. Smart!

Looks to me like producers have noticed the problem and are taking clear steps to correct it. They even wheeled out a hot dog cart the other day and to make "Daphne's First Hot Dog." I think there are a lot of people out there who don't have much knowledge about food as some of us do, and if they can incorporate that kind of personality into the show without bringing us down, cool!

It was funny the other day when there was a call-in from Daphne's vegetarian mom and Clinton Kelly (love him!) said, "So you're a vegetarian... and you inflicted that on your children?" Since I used to be one, funnier still. I hope the show succeeds, and the positive changes in production continue. Now, into the kitchen for Carla's stovetop Mac and Cheese recipe!

The CHEW

I'm going to make that sandwich tonight because like any foodie I'm enthusiastic about great tasting food! I don't need or want to know how many calories or grams of fat are in it, and I DON'T need or want to hear someone dissing it, AND EVERYTHING ELSE on the show made by these wonderful chefs. I wish they would make a special segment of the show apart from the rest where Daphne could talk about "low-calorie/healthy" eating so I could fast forward past that part and get back to the fun stuff. Why is someone who mentioned the other day that she's "never (even) heard of Bratwurst" on a foodie cooking show? Such a downer! There has to be someone who really KNOWS and ENJOYS food who could be on this show and give a healthy viewpoint. I agree with you mona, and I hate to say it but she brings the fun to a crashing halt. Kudos to Michael Symon for being unapologetic about that sandwich. I can't wait to try it. It looks delicious! Yay Michael!

Late-Night Dining at 3rd Street Promenade

Where's the best mid-priced dining on 3rd Street Promenade after 10pm? Is there anyplace around there or within short walking distance that's still serving after 10pm, can accomodate a large group, AND that has great tasting foodie-pleasing food?
Thanks for you help!

Jul 05, 2011
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Iconic Dishes of the Decade?

Oh, it's gotta be Roasted Beet Salad. And I like beets, but I'm really tired of seeing them on every menu.

Apr 17, 2011
SugarFrosted in General Topics

REVIEW w/ pics: Dinner at Lazy Ox Canteen

It's divine! The Rice Pudding at Bar Pintxo in Santa Monica is also incredibly delicious. Here's a photo of the Lazy Ox dish.

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Bar Pintxo
109 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Apr 16, 2011
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Three Nights In LA: East Coast Hound Curious About Solo Dining?

Dining alone in LA isn't so challenging. I do it all the time when I'm not out with a foodie group that I started for some great company. Places with bars are the best and I usually meet some other friendly food fanatics just like me to chat with between courses.

You should absolutely go to Lazy Ox Canteen. In my 4 or 5 different visits every dish has been a hit, and their outstanding Burger is my favorite in the city. The menu is full of delicious and creative things. I've attached a photo of the Burger. If it weren't for LA traffic I'd be there every week for one. It's better than Father's Office in my opinion. In addition to the bar they have a communal table so seating for a solo girl is a breeze. And the price is just right. LA Mag just named them the #1 New Restaurant in the city. It's tiny, though. So you might find it easier to get in if you make a reservation.

Another rec I have for you is Pizzeria Mozza. A seat at their pizza bar is the best in the house, mostly because you can watch the pies being put into the blazing oven, and you can see Nancy Silverton finish each plate before sending it on it's way to someone's table. Also lots of happy foodies will be at the barstools around you.

Are you driving to the Westside for the beach? If so, make sure to stop at another LA food institution (like Phillipe's), Bay Cities Italian Grocery and Deli on Lincoln Boulevard. They're not far from the beach in Santa Monica and they've been around since 1925. It's always packed, and you'll have to take a number and stand in line to order a sandwich made by one of the butcher looking guys behind the glass counter. And wow, it's delicious! They bake their own bread, and make mind-blowing soups from scratch, and the cannoli's are perfect. They've also got a grocery that's full of imported Italian stuff. It's one of the best experiences in LA, with first come first served seating on cement and brick benches on their patio. You can stuff yourself for less than $20, but it tastes like they could charge twice that much.

Also, on the subject of price Rivera's dishes ARE beautiful but portions are tiny and prices are sky high. I left there hungry for the 3rd and final time last November. A better choice for a small plates experience is A.O.C. in the mid-city area. After 7pm or so you can make it there from Downtown in about 20 minutes, and you'll find a bustling bar full of enthusiastic diners. The food is GREAT and they have about 30 wines by the glass. Don't miss their Bacon Wrapped Roasted Dates. Yum!

I disagree with other comments about WP24. We had a wonderful time there ordering lots and lots of delectable things, and they showered us with 4 or 5 amuse bouches that were so large they could have been full sized appetizers. Everything was yummy and I can hardly wait to go back. Maybe I can find a photo of one of those dishes too... Yes, here's WP24's Soft-Shelled Crab (the best I've ever had anywhere!), a beautiful sampler platter and a dessert called The Death Star. Delish! And worth every penny.

There's more, perfect for a solo female foodie in LA, but now I'm hungry! Oh, almost forgot... if you go to Langer's for Pastrami other posts here are correct. The area is unsafe. It's improved a lot from years ago when they drained the nearby lake to build the subway and found something like 300 guns at the bottom of it. It's a GREAT sandwich in a (still) TERRIBLE neighborhood.

Have fun!

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Pizzeria Mozza
641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Lazy Ox Canteen
241 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

WP24
900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Jan 23, 2011
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Best Burger in LA?

The burger at Lazy Ox Canteen is so delicious! It's worth a drive downtown and lately I've been thinking about it a lot!

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Lazy Ox Canteen
241 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dec 04, 2010
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Angelini Osteria, Anything To Avoid?

I'm going with a group of friends to Angelini Osteria tonight. We're all excited about it and I'm wondering if there's anything I SHOULDN'T order? Have any of you hounds eaten there recently and had something that disappointed you?

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Angelini Osteria
7313 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Dec 04, 2010
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Help Please - Spur of moment trip to New Orleans - Need Critique

I think you should keep in mind that this is really the only place in America where you can find GREAT Creole, Creole-French and Creole-Italian cuisine. The only place. I used to live there and in my opinion these are the places you should not miss on a first visit:

1. Emeril's Restaurant in the Warehouse District. They have an incredibly fine dish that might make you think you've died and gone to heaven. It's Darian's Chicken and Waffles. It comes with a side of Watermelon Slaw and is served with syrup made with Crystal Hot Sauce. They also serve Emeril's personal specialty, Banana Cream Pie. Don't miss it. It's mind blowing! And I'm not even a "banana person." This is the restaurant that launched an empire and it shows.

Of coure, being in New Orleans, finding Seafood on the menu for your wife won't be a problem at all, anywhere.

2. Frankie & Johnny's in the Uptown Neighborhood. They're a family owned Creole-Italian restaurant that specializes in Seafood. They're very popular with locals and are famous for their (stuffed) Fried Green Peppers. Again, this is one of the only places in America with this kind of food. It's a casual, inexpensive place and you may be some of the only tourists in the house.

3. Commander's Palace for Sunday Brunch or Galatoire's for Friday Dinner. They're Creole and Creole-French respectively, and are Big Easy institution's and you should go for the experience, especially since it's your first visit. Commander's Turtle Soup takes them 3 days to make, their Bread Pudding Souffle is legendary (created by Emeril when he was their exec chef years ago) and they have 25 cent martini's during weekday lunch. They can also make you a perfect Sazerac. Galatoire's is the only place that I know of that still serves the classic and historic New Orleans dessert drink, Cafe Brulot. It's beautiful to watch them prepare and delicious to drink, so if you go I highly recommend that you order it.

4. The Columns Hotel, Uptown. The only reason to go here is to sit on the patio and relax with a cocktail and watch the St. Charles streetcar roll by. Don't eat because it's not good, but the people watching experience and atmosphere with the streetcar and the live oaks is one that is totally New Orleans. It's particularly beautiful at night, but any time is good.

5. Cafe Du Monde, in the Quarter. They're open 24 hours and getting a plate of beingets and some Chicory Coffee is another must. It's right across from Jackson Square and very touristy, but another "only in New Orleans" experience.

6. Cameila Grill, Uptown. This is very, very crowded and you'll have to wait to be seated because they don't take reservations. Your reward for waiting will be a seat at their counter where you can watch your Breakfast being made right before your eyes. The waiters behind the counter put on a show with their colorful, polite and entertaining service. Inexpensive and delicious. You can ride the St. Charles Streetcar there, too. Just hop off of it at Riverbend. After eating walk two blocks and up the levee for an up close view of the mighty Mississippi River. Locals take their visitors from out of town here, and also drop in on their own.

6. Central Grocery, French Quarter. This is a real grocery with a small sandwich counter for take-out. They make the best Muffellata Sandwich in the world, a New Orleans delicacy that you can't find in any other city. Well, you might be able to find one elsewhere, but it won't be good like this. Take it out into the Quarter to eat on a bench somewhere, and ship some of their bottled Olive Spread home so you can make another sandwich when you're craving it months later.

Also, if you're in the area of Emeril's and want to try another New Orleans cocktail that's difficult to find made correctly, walk down to the Renaissance Hotel on Tchoupitoulas and order a Brandy Milk Punch. There are a lot of ingredients in it (including Bourbon, not Brandy) and it takes a little time to do the right way, but this hotel bar will make it authentically. Not true at other bars in town, including the one inside Commander's. The perfect Breakfast cocktail.

There's A Lot more to do, but this will get you started. Have fun!

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Columns Hotel
3811 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

Commander's Palace Restaurant
1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

Emeril's Restaurant
800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

Galatoire's Restaurant
209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Oct 07, 2010
SugarFrosted in New Orleans

Visit From SF Foodies! Help!

My top three right now for food, service and decor/wow factor:

Hatfield's
Cut by Wolfgang Puck
The Bazaar

Also the new WP24 inside the Ritz-Carlton was incredibly great when we were there last weekend. Every dish a pleasure, great service and spectacular decor enhanced by a breathtaking view of downtown LA from the 24th floor of the hotel.

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WP24
900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Sep 18, 2010
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

You would have a hard time finding _________in Los Angeles...

You would have a hard time finding authentic, great Creole food in Los Angeles. 'Aint that a shame?

Jul 14, 2010
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Corn Ice Cream --- where to find it??

I've seen it by the pint at Whole Foods.

Jul 14, 2010
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

You would have a hard time finding _________in Los Angeles...

They also have Zapp's Potato Chips from New Orleans and Utz Potato Chips from the East Coast!

Jul 14, 2010
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

You would have a hard time finding _________in Los Angeles...

Boudin can be found, but alas, great Creole food is nowhere in this town. You'd think with so many families with roots in New Orleans and Louisiana living here in LA that there would be a GREAT Creole restaurant here. I've heard that Harold and Belle's is just ok, and that Uncle Darrow's is a nice idea but not even close to the real thing. Can anyone show us the way to authentic Creole-French or Creole-Italian food in Los Angeles?

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Uncle Darrow's
2560 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

Jul 14, 2010
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Where's the SPICIEST, Most Mouth BURNING YUMMINESS in Town

I'll second Jiltada. You'd better order a lot of rice and keep it close! It's balanced heat, though. Not overpowering the other wonderful flavors in every dish. Now I'm jonesing for their Mango Coconut Salad. Perfect on a blazing hot day in July.

Jul 14, 2010
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Jitlada - first time visit

It's in both languages. Hopefully that won't lead to more people who don't like spicy food going there and asking for "something that's not spicy" eventually ruining the whole menu for the rest of us. :-)

Jun 18, 2010
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Bachelorette Party Recs: The Foundry, Campanile, or Others?

I'll second Hatfield's. Was there recently with a group of 10. The new space has great energy and a plush feel. Plus, the food and service were outstanding!

Jun 18, 2010
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Maryland Blue Crab lump meat?

Fish King in Glendale used to carry it a few years ago. Fresh, too. Better call to check. SM Seafood doesn't have it by the pound, but they do have individual crab cakes for sale at about $6 each. They have two kinds, one's Dungennes and the other is made with Maryland Blue Crab. Have to say they're pretty good and it tastes like they even put a little Old Bay in the recipe.

Jun 17, 2010
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Hatfield's! What To Order?

Going out with a group of foodies to Hatfiled's tomorrow night. Have any of you 'hounds been there since they moved to the new location? Any "don't miss" dishes in your opinion? Should we do the tasting menu? Why or why not?
Thanks!

May 14, 2010
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area

Is there some place in LA that will alter my opinion of Red Velvet Cake?

SusieCakes Red Velvet is also the best I've ever had, and they also do it by the slice. Probably 6,000 calories and worth every one of them!

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SusieCakes
2043 Westcliff Dr, Newport Beach, CA

May 14, 2010
SugarFrosted in Los Angeles Area