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thranduil's Profile

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Cafe Bizou Santa Monica is back

I think closed forever. That was my understanding from our discussions with the wait staff regarding the situation last time we went (lease). Santa Monica location is totally off their website - only Pasadena and Sherman Oaks are listed. We only get over there for dinner, so not sure about the lunch listing but that would seem unlikely.

Feb 23, 2014
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Cafe Bizou Santa Monica is back

Closed again. :(

Feb 22, 2014
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Moon House -- New Chinese in WLA

Got pickup, they were able to identify me from my phone number which is the same thing Mandarin Kitchen does and I was in their system. So pretty much the same operators. Prices I think are a $1 more than Mandarin Kitchen. Chow mein and pea sprouts were exactly the same as at Mandarin Kitchen. The lamb dish was interesting - definitely a lot of cumin. They gave complementary cream cheese fried wontons. I don't think I've eaten one of those since a Chinese restaurant in Minneapolis over 15 years ago. Decor is nicer than Mandarin Kitchen, they advertise free wifi, only one Asian customer only when I popped in. The parking lot is definitely better set up than the mall that contains Mandarin Kitchen.

Aug 22, 2013
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Meeting Friend Staying Near Disneyland

When we make it to Thai Nakorn, we usually go to the Stanton one. We do like the beef tongue dish.

Aug 08, 2013
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Indian Lunch close to Westwood Village

The place in Westwood Village was Bombay Bite but is now Bollywood Bites. I have not gone there since the name change (not sure if new operation or not), but they didn't have a lunch buffet before - only lunch specials.

If you are already thinking of going to Tacos Por Favor for Mexican, you might consider Bombay Cafe on Pico or Nawab on Wilshire. I don't recall if these places do a lunch buffet though since we have usually done dinner at these restaurants. Indian food has always been a head-scratcher for us on the Westside though.

Jun 14, 2013
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Out of Towner Report on Chinatown

Thanks - good to keep in mind the next time we are out in Philly!

Jun 10, 2013
thranduil in Philadelphia

Out of Towner Report on Chinatown

was in Philadelphia last week visiting from California (Los Angeles, previously spent a lot of time in the San Francisco Bay Area). We really appreciate all the postings here which helped us try a few places with the parental units (the true taste test) in tow:

Ocean Harbor: went here for dim sum on a weekday. Wasn't too busy, but had a few carts going around. The shumai, rice noodle rolls, steamed tofu rolls, fun guo were all good. Parents got the spicy chicken feet and seemed to like it.

Tai Lake: Unfortunately, only open for dinner. Most interesting dish was the clams with black bean sauce which included bits of fried ground pork with it. The seafood soft noodle soup (I think this is the English name for the dish with yi mein) was excellent and the beef chow fun with vegetables was a very large portion and tasty. The Shanghai rice cake noodle (nian gao) was also very good (rice noodle home style? on the online menu).

Yummy Lan Zhou Noodle: stopped by for a late lunch. The noodle making is a nice show. Tried a couple of different types of soup bowls (brisket, chicken, combo), all variants on the same theme. A nice change of pace instead of dim sum.

Zhong Gang Bakery: good egg custard tarts (dan taats)- the crusts were very flaky.

Overall, the parental units were pleasantly surprised by the food in Chinatown. Service tended to be a bit slow though.

Jun 10, 2013
thranduil in Philadelphia

Waraya is no more: Ramen Hayatemaru takes its place in West LA

Looking forward to trying this branch out. Was at the Torrance branch recently: the gyoza are really good - light thin wrappers.

Feb 25, 2013
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Ham shanks LA/Westside

How local does local need to be?

Jan 23, 2013
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Burger Wars in Santa Monica

Hole in the Wall is expanding the menu: got a chorizo-egg burger which was tasty, which I never saw at the old West LA location. Milkshakes are not ready yet though. They have a cool bright orange reusable bag that I can't wait to use around town.

Jan 15, 2013
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Huell Howser and that Chocolate Milk

RIP Huell, definitely California's Gold.

My favorite episode is the one where he goes to Stan's Donut in Westwood. Stan shows him the fryer and tells him his not-so-healthy-secret cooking method. Huell tells Stan, "are you sure you want that on air?" The day after that episode aired, Stan's Donut had a B rating by the LA County Department of Public Health. I still go to Stan's though. :)

Jan 07, 2013
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Chinese Deboned Chicken Stuffed with Sticky Rice?

Did you need to order it a day or two in advance?

Dec 23, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Chinese Deboned Chicken Stuffed with Sticky Rice?

For 糯米雞, a friend in SF suggested that you ask Seafood Harbour in advance if they can make it.

Dec 20, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Westwood?

Yes it does. It's the premium shio ramen (chicken/fish)

Oct 20, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Hollywood Pies -- what happened..???

They are moving again. They will be at La Cienega and Pico (I forgot when), and will have more seating (although no wait service) so you can eat your pizza there.

Oct 17, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Shout out for Hole-in-the-wall Burger Joint (WeHo)

The co-owner said across from the DMV but that is Cloverfield. That might suggest Daily Grill / Yahoo Center.

Oct 07, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Shout out for Hole-in-the-wall Burger Joint (WeHo)

The reason why it says Santa Monica is because Hole in the Wall Burger lost their lease in West LA and will be moving to 26th and Colorado (sign at the register at the West LA location). They are expecting the move to occur by the end of the year.

Oct 07, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Breakfast "Happy Hour" at Figtree in Venice

This is our beach breakfast spot, great for people watching on the Strand. The apple butter is a nice touch.

Aug 14, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Good Lunch options around The Counter on Ocean Park in Santa Monica?

A little farther out is the Bergamot Cafe. When we are around on Mondays and Bay Cities Deli is closed, this is where we go.

Jul 30, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Visiting LA. Restaurant recs? (Dietary restricitons)

You probably need a half hour to get back from the restaurant, get parked, and get inside the Playhouse. I would suggest letting them know about your time constraints, so they can advise you on food selections that won't take too much time. Usually we are done after about an hour when we've been there for dinner. We really like Shamshiri, and Persian food is something that we have down here that is not very prevalent in the Bay Area.

Jul 15, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Visiting LA. Restaurant recs? (Dietary restricitons)

Have not eaten at Rahel, we liked Meals by Genet. More so than my last encounter with Ethiopian which was in East Bay around Telegraph quite a while ago.

Jul 09, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Visiting LA. Restaurant recs? (Dietary restricitons)

You may want to try something altogether different that would be closer by to Hollywood, like Red Medicine - there might be enough non-meat dishes there. As you are already looking at Suzanne Goin restaurants (off the Chez Panisse tree), Tavern might be a nice place.

Jul 07, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Help Me Expand My Westwood-based Lunch Rotation

P'tit Soleil opens Wednesday. Depends if you like poutine...

Jul 03, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Help Me Expand My Westwood-based Lunch Rotation

Couple of other suggestions not mentioned yet:

Asian:
Ramen Yamada-ya: bowl of ramen is around $8+
Noodle Planet, Mr. Noodle: slightly different Asian food places, seems like they are better at different things
Bibigo, Gushi: Bibigo is much more traditional, quantity is more at Gushi

Sandwiches:
Sandbags and Angelino's Cafe are the two places I tend to go to. Fundamental-LA was better, but as noted is currently reworking the lunch menu. Take out Italian also at Angelino's.

Burger options:
Have not gone to Five Guys, but every once in a while I will splurge on calories and drive to Hole in the Wall Burger - same distance as going to Zankou.

Newer restaurants:
The new Umami restaurant hasn't opened yet. Have not gone to Native Foods since the remodel.

Jul 02, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Ollalieberry pie on the Westside?

I just found out I missed it at the local Marie Callender's (ran out last weekend) and too far to go to Polly's on short notice. Any suggestions for Ollalieberry pie on the Westside? It's cutting it close for the end of season, but even if not available it will help for next year.

Jun 26, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Red egg and ginger party restaurant suggestions?

Ended up choosing Empress Harbor - Elite too small, NBC not available, Ocean Star and Empress Harbor offered comparable prices but was much more flexible re planning (and ceiling to floor partitions work better in Empress than in Ocean Star). Dim sum taste test passed minimum standards (but then again, being Westside...) Thanks again everyone.

Jun 26, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

New San Gabriel Valley Food Blog

Great write up in the LA Weekly on Chandavkl, which goes a long way towards explaining his encyclopedic knowledge. :) Looking forward to following your blog.

Jun 05, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Best Take Out Dim Sum - SGV

Curious what you ordered for takeout?

May 25, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Shunji is quite the genious, a great chef/cook

I agree - when we've ordered off the sushi/sashimi a la carte menu, the waitress would tell us if what we wanted was not available or what would be really good.

May 04, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Shunji is quite the genious, a great chef/cook

We have not done omakase yet, although a lot of the items we get are probably part of it. I think the ankimo was $6 or $7.

May 03, 2012
thranduil in Los Angeles Area