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Ipsedixit Was Right--Visit To New Port Seafood Beverly Hills

Still slow unfortunately. The day we went for lunch there were a total of 3 parties. With the lunch special pricing (still all under $10) we'd be all for going more frequently, but getting out to La Cienega is too far for a typical trip from the Westwood area on a weekday. Pea sprout tips were substitutable and the same price as the pea sprouts. Quality of the food was what we would expect in SGV.

Dec 14, 2014
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Best Carrot Cake in West Los Angeles

My wife liked Jamaica's Cakes. You will need to order a few days before. Not sure if they don't have raisins normally, but they make cakes on site so you should be able to specify. We like this better than Coral Tree's. Our recollection is Coral Tree (quite a few years back, so might no longer be accurate) does not make theirs on site, and it will be presliced (since they sell this by piece).

Nov 16, 2014
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Dragon Palace in Santa Monica, for americanzied stuff ?????

My wife has been done take out and dine in here a few times this past year when I'm not around because it is more difficult for her to cross the 405 around rush hour to go to Mandarin Kitchen or Moon House. She thinks it is fine - not flashy but decent food which is more than can be said for some of the other "Chinese" places in Santa Monica unfortunately.

Nov 14, 2014
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

post & beam - trip report

Have gone for the Sunday brunch which was a nice change of pace from Westside options. We'd go more often if we were in the area. The outdoor patio seating is really nice in our regular LA weather.

Sep 21, 2014
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Dulan’s On Crenshaw -- Pass the Pork Chop

My wife loves coming here when she has time in the area, I've made it over a few times. Large portions, good food, really nice staff.

Seeking recos near convention center

Fig & 7th Food Court apparently open on weekends - we were there for lunch Saturday. Tried Oleego (good bulgogi), OOO (good tempura), and Indus (suprising decent - tandoori was tender, saag paneer had good flavor, and naan was fresh. Most things were open - including Loteria (with bar).

Jul 20, 2014
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Westwood Village -- Thai House Gone!!! :-(

Just noticed this too, and got food at the Currywurst truck today. Cousins Maine Lobster was there yesterday. Glad they have found a new place in the Westwood area for food trucks for a change of pace.

The Mio Babbo space also is changing too? It is now going to be House of Meatballs? Not sure if it is just rebranding.

Jul 10, 2014
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Formerly California Wok Opens on Westside With Authentic Chinese Goodies

The kidlet requested "dumplings" so we thought we'd try a new place and stopped by for a very early lunch. Unfortunately we were the only patrons when we arrived and left.

Most important factor is that they have parking (!) although half the slots I believe seemed taken by the restaurant staff since no one else was in the restaurant. All the parking behind the restaurant seem to be for other establishments. But this is pretty key for the Westside. For the Palace a bit further east on Wilshire you have to valet which is a pain. Moon House and Hop Woo and Mandarin Kitchen you have to share with a small lot with other businesses so parking is bad.

They have a lot of booths. Not ideal setup for large parties. The restaurant is very clean and tidy. The DPH sign is a B. Not sure whether that is seen as a "badge of honor" on the Westside as it is in the SGV.

We got potstickers and Cantonese style soup dumplings / XLB - the kinds that come in aluminum cups that are in Cantonese dim sum places and not like ROC or DTF. Our son devoured the XLB - or at least the skins since that is all he really likes anyway. There was an unusual nutmeggy taste to the soup dumpling fillings. Potstickers were ok - lightly fried. We wouldn't have gotten either of these except for the request.

Got braised tofu and mushroom lunch special - we thought it was good. Also got the char siu chow mein (regular menu) - a bit smaller than portion sizes in other Chinese restaurants for the price likely due to Westside pricing - and a bit salty. Complementary hot and sour soups and regular tea (no queries as to which type, so doubt they carry a variety).

We'd go back and would like to try more traditional foods on the main menu (different than the lunch menu), but worried it might not last long if they don't start getting business.

Jul 06, 2014
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Disneyland/California Adventure Reflections

We did stay overnight at the Grand Californian. The information on specific costs is findable pretty easily on the Internet. If your question is whether you should spend $ on food in the park or not, you need to weigh the opportunity cost of not maximizing your time in the park vs. better variety and better less expensive food outside (that is not always close), keeping in mind your overall budget constraint. Since we are semi-local, we have been to a lot of the places in Orange County (e.g. Thai Nakorn) and also Downtown Disney before so these are not so novel for us. If on a tight budget, I would probably not suggest park food as much except as an occasional treat. http://www.Mousesavers.com suggestions are pretty reasonable.

Jun 04, 2014
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Disneyland/California Adventure Reflections

From what I recall:

Entrees at Napa Rose run in the $40s
Entrees at Carthay Circle run in the $30s
Entrees at Blue Bayou (at lunch) run in the high $20s to low $30s (you are paying for ambience, worth it if you are sitting in the row of tables next to the ride). Adding the shrimp cocktail is $6 extra instead of soup/salad
Corn Dogs were in the $7-$8 range, cheese stick is cheaper
Beers are $8, wine is $8 at Flo's $10 in Mendocino Terrace (or at least what we got)

Jun 04, 2014
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Disneyland/California Adventure Reflections

Thanks, good to know about these too. I noticed the upstairs lounge too late at the Trattoria. I suspect we will be making more forays into Tomorrowland, so good to know re Pizza Port and the Plaza Inn is close by to Tomorrowland.

Jun 03, 2014
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

Disneyland/California Adventure Reflections

Haven't been to Disneyland in over two decades. But we now have a two year old who loves Cars so we took him to see Cars Land and got a Parkhopper to also go into both parks this past weekend. Had low expectations for meals, and overall was pleasantly surprised.

Dinners:

Napa Rose (Grand Californian Hotel): the best dinner of our trip, probably because it was a nice change after a painful two hour drive from the Westside in Friday night traffic. They were willing to honor our reservation up to 30 minutes afterwards - we made it in 25. The staff was very helpful with our two year old who couldn't sit for long periods of time likely due to being cooped up in the car. Both my wife's Virginia black sea bass (sustainable fish of the day) and my barbacoa style berkshire pork were tender and flavorful. The "Sizzing Beach Rock" appetizer of garlic seared shrimp, soy glazed spare ribs, and lemon grass chicken skewers was a nice presentation. The bottle of the Lasseter wine (Paysage, Bordeaux style) also helped. :) Most have mentioned that Napa Rose is one of the best restaurants in Orange County - for the combination of service, food, and ambience, it definitely fits the bill.

Storyteller Cafe (Grand Californian Hotel): we opted to do the buffet and were pleasantly surprised. The chicken tenders were really good for both adults and our two year old. They had a carving station of roast beef and roast turkey. Salmon was tender for being part of the buffet. Corn chowder was a bit too creamy for my taste. The desserts were also very good, with petite sized cupcakes and tarts plus a moist bread pudding.

Carthay Circle (California Adventure): we did an early dinner at 5:20 without reservations (doubt this would have worked out on a Saturday) and got to sit on the upstairs terrace. That worked out well for the two year old to watch the entire Pixar Play parade. Wife had the sesame soy glazed salmon and I had the fish of the day, sea bass, which was a bit firmer than the Napa Rose sea bass but also very good. The two year old had a soba noodle bowl which was also quite good. Not at the same level as Napa Rose, but a pleasant dinner.

Lunch:

Corn Dog Castle (California Adventure): we tried all three types: hot link, original, and cheese stick. A good amount of cornmeal, but also the dogs are reasonable sized. The hot link is much more flavorful, but the original is more kid friendly. The cheese stick is smaller, best eaten when you first get it so that the cheese is hot. Opens at 11am - lines not as bad as the corn dog stand in Disneyland which we saw started at 10am.

Blue Bayou (Disneyland): Never been able to do the reservation on prior visits but had the Monte Cristo sandwhich previously at Cafe Orleans. I remember it being way too heavy previously. This time around (maybe I was hungry) the external batter was fairly light. Our two year old ate all of the fruit that came along with it. It is a big portion, I prefer the vanilla dipping sauce over the fruit-based sauces. Do I get a prize for finishing it? The gumbo was ok, less broth than I would have liked and topped with a small spoonful of rice. My wife opted for the jambalaya which had good sized shrimp and andouille sausage in it, and also liked her shrimp cocktail which has one large shrimp and the rest is "ceviche" style where it is chopped. As long as you are not expecting this to be equivalent to the best of New Orleans, I thought it was fine. Plus watching the boats go by was a lot of fun, instead of being on the ride watching people eat at the restaurant.

Breakfast:

Flo's cafe (California Adventure): we got the chicken tamale breakfast and the brioche French toast. Overall reasonable portions. We liked both, particularly the accompanying sauces - salsa verde for the tamale and the caramel for the french toast. Coffee left something to be desired. Better off going to Starbucks in Fiddler, Fifer, & Practical cafe on Buena Vista Street.

Snacks:

Jazz Kitchen Express (Downtown Disney): we got the family pack of beignets. These were big, a bit too chewy, and it was like they dumped the entire box of powdered sugar in the bag. It was just ok, probably would pass on this in the future.

Wine/Beer (California Adventure): couple of choices near Cars Land - Mendocino Terrace at the Golden Vine Winery, Flo's Cafe, Karl Strauss Brewery Truck by Pacific Wharf. Our preferred spot was Flo's Cafe for the combination of wine/beer plus being able to hang out in an air conditioned restaurant. Beer seems like a better value than the wine in terms of liquid volume.

Dole Whip (Disneyland): you can get this outside of the parks or Hawaii these days, but there is still nothing better than a Dole Whip on a hot day in Disneyland. Well worth going to the Tiki Room to get the shorter inside line, I still was faster than the people waiting in the external line.

Jun 03, 2014
thranduil in Los Angeles Area

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