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Sunset Strip Restaurant Recs Needed

I second Yatai for a more intimate dining experience.

For one of the scenier places on Sunset, I do enjoy Katana which does robata-yaki and sushi (any place that serves tasty fried chicken cartilage is good in my books). Nice ambiance, good for people watching.

8439 W. Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Apr 20, 2010
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

Cut - Any "Must Haves"?

I second the bone marrow flan. Simply genius.
I agree with the others that the Japanese Kobe is super rich. It's definitely worth trying, but you won't want more than a few bites.

Apr 01, 2010
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

Healthy cheap eats in MacArthur Park/Westlake neighborhood

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!! I showed my class your suggestions, and I think the kids really appreciated seeing adults in the real world responding to them.

Several of the students also recommended el Taurino, so it must be a local fave.
I'm a fan of Village Kitchen and Mama's Tamales (a fellow teacher is a server there on weekends). Great recs.

The other places I will have to check out after school sometime.

Mar 06, 2010
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

Healthy cheap eats in MacArthur Park/Westlake neighborhood

Hi 'hounds,

I'm an English teacher at a high-need secondary school in the MacArthur Park/Westlake area. My 12th Grade English class is completing a unit on fast food and obesity and we have been reading about the links between poverty and obesity. We have read about how childhood obesity is greater in low-income areas such as ours because of the lack of cheap, healthy options and the proliferation of fast food restaurants.

To further our learning and promote healthy eating, we're investigating non-fast food alternatives in our neighborhood.

Can we think of any cheap, healthy options in MacArthur Park/Westlake? By "cheap," I mean within a similar price range as we would spend at MacDonald's--so ideally under $10. As great of a value as it is, we can't necessarily afford the $13 pastrami sandwich at Langer's!


Mar 04, 2010
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

Foie Gras in Los Angeles

When I introduced my boyfriend to foie gras, I took him to La Cachette which has three preparations available on their menu (including seared). The food was excellent and the restaurant very romantic!

Feb 26, 2008
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

Good, nice, affordable dining in dwtn LA

Pete's cafe? I've only been for their late night menu, but I like the vibe and LOVE the bleu cheese fries.

Feb 25, 2008
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

Din Tai Fung Dumpling House: New Location

I went the Saturday before last, and they said they had just opened the new location that weekend. We'd been waiting in line outside the old location since 10:30, and when they opened at 11, they led the first wave of us around the corner to the other side of the building without telling us why, but we all followed obediently like a herd of dumpling-starved sheep. The new location is more modern, and I agree that it was a much-needed expansion!

Dec 03, 2007
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

Holiday dinner for Hollywood production company--boss rejected initial suggestions, please help!

Wow, thank you for all the great suggestions so far. We really appreciate it! My boyfriend is investigating your recommendations. Please keep them coming if there are more! But this thread has paid off already--a friend of ours was looking for a restaurant to have his group birthday dinner this past weekend and ended up going to Malo. Actually he read this thread without even realizing that he knew the poster, and that the boyfriend in question was actually his roommate.

(Shoutout to Peter if you're reading this... now you know what my alias is)

Dec 03, 2007
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

Holiday dinner for Hollywood production company--boss rejected initial suggestions, please help!

Hi 'hounds,

Here's the situation:
My boyfriend is in charge of planning his company's holiday dinner, but his initial suggestions of Il Fornaio and Houston's were shot down by his boss. PLEASE help him find better restaurant suggestions for Round 2 (I'm posting on his behalf because I'm in the process of converting him into a CH...)

They're a small production company based in Hollywood and we're looking at dinner for 30-35 people. His boss didn't say how much they were willing to spend, but my boyfriend was estimating $30-$50 a person (although I suspect they could be willing to spend more).

I'm guessing the initial suggestions were shot down because they probably want some place with a certain swank factor. They are all guys mostly in their 30s, after all, and they celebrated the end of their last shoot at Geisha House. So I think they're looking for someplace very "LA" like that, but that can still accommodate such a large group, has good food, but also enough selection to meet everyone's tastes.

Location wise, I'm thinking Hollywood area and westward.


Dec 01, 2007
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

best tasting menu? celebrating a b-day

My bf and I also had the 10 course tasting menu last Friday, and would also highly recommend it. Almost every dish was a "wow" for us, but the standouts were the pumpkin agnolotti with white truffle, the most tender squab either of us have ever had, and, in contrast to NAspy, the cheese course. We also had one cheese, but it was delicious! I think it was a triple creme brie with huge shavings of white truffle on top.

We had no problems with the service (they changed the glasses for every new wine) and they were especially generous with the brut rose champagne that started our meal, giving us three refills (and I think they stopped only because we had to save room for the following 9 glasses...). Wolfgang Puck was also in the restaurant that night making the rounds to each table, so that was a bonus as well. Total for us came to $600 for two, which included two tasting menus, two wine pairings, two cups of coffee and an 18% gratuity which they included.

I had the Blue Velvet tasting menu (which someone else recommended earlier) back in June and I would say both Spago and BV are excellent. The sommelier at BV was young and very enthusiastic and really took the time to talk to us about each wine and why he chose it, but you just get more (and pay more) at Spago. 8 amuses at Spago vs 1 at BV. So both amazing, but I'd still choose Spago over BV (of course two tasting menus with wine pairings at BV was only $400 rather than $600).

Nov 28, 2007
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

New Downtown L.A. Rooftop Sushi Place?

Ate at Takami last night. The view, like everyone else has said, was amazing. The food was pretty good too. We had the spicy tuna tacos, lamb chops, sunomono salad, mackerel sushi and a lemon albacore roll. For robata, we ordered the filet mignon and foie gras, duck breast, Chilean sea bass, and New York steak w/ asparagus. The spicy tuna tacos were a standout, and the light and tart sunomono and lemon albacore roll were a nice complement to the rich, meaty robata skewers, which were all cooked perfectly. The only robata I wouldn’t order again is the filet and foie because I didn’t really taste the foie so I’m not sure it really added anything besides dollars to the dish. For dessert, we had the ube panna cotta, which was amazing—creamy and naturally sweet.

My only complaints are that our server forgot about us after we were initially seated, and they were out of several food items that we tried to order. After we were seated, nobody attended to us for a full 30 minutes. This was rather dismaying, since as diners, we’re in a uniquely vulnerable position. Like helpless infants, we’re completely dependent on our servers to fulfill our basic needs for food and water. Eventually, my DC got up and alerted our hostess, who asked him to point out where we were seated. He pointed out our table on the computer screen, which was dark, whereas other tables were lit up—so it looks like we literally fell off their radar somehow. The hostess, and our server who attended to us immediately, were all profusely apologetic, and we had no problems with service after that. As for running out of food, we tried to order shishito peppers, Spanish mackerel, and a white rose tea martini, but they were out of all three. Disappointing.

However, they comped our ($4) mackerel sushi—a small, but still kind, gesture. Dinner with two cocktails before tip came to $132. I think once they work out a few kinks with service and keeping the kitchen supplied, the restaurant will do just fine.

Aug 24, 2007
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

Chowhound Special - Best food at a Carwash?

Machos Tacos at Vermont Handwash in Los Feliz. I've never eaten there, but you could be enjoying your tacos while your car drove by you, mere feet away, out of the car wash tunnel. I get my car washed here all the time-- anyone know if the taco place is actually any good?

Aug 21, 2007
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

Spitz - doner kebab?

The lightly fried pita strips are addictive!

Aug 20, 2007
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

German Food

I'm far from an expert on real, hardcore, authentic German food, but I've always enjoyed the Upland German Deli at 985 W. Foothill Blvd in Upland, CA. I love their bratwursts, potato salad, and reuben sandwich. Plus, the staff are exceptionally warm and friendly.

Feb 21, 2007
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

Claremont Dinner- discussed before, but need specific help...

You might consider the Brasserie Astuce over in Pomona. The food is very good and the atmosphere is more hushed and serene than any place I can think of in the Claremont Village. For some reason, it's never busy on weekends.

Sep 08, 2006
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

fountain valley sushi hunt question

I was eating at the counter of an excellent sushi restaurant up in Vancouver a few days ago and the chef showed me the business card for Kasen and asked me if I'd ever been. At the time I'd never heard of it, but he said that he had been told that if he ever moved to LA, this is where he should try to work. After hearing about it here too, I'm going to have to try it out next time I'm in that area!

Aug 25, 2006
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

Shishito peppers--where else to try them

Yep, Haru Ulala has them, or did last October when I ate there. Tasty!

Aug 25, 2006
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area

Good pastries and coffee in Vancouver?

Mm yes! I was at the one in Kerrisdale this past weekend on my visit to Vancouver. I had a lovely prosciutto, cheese and artichoke panini and their other desserts and pastries looked delicious. I think the best thing about the one in Kerrisdale on 41st is that if you sit by the window, you can see the Starbucks and Bean Bros across the street and appreciate being in Cafe Artigiano all the more (although I like Bean Bros too).

Reviews of Brix, Zest, Shiru-Bay in Vancouver

I was in Vancouver this past weekend, the city where I grew up, and was reminded of what a great dining scene it has. I now live in LA and the two things I appreciate most about Vancouver, in comparison to LA are: 1) the profusion of bubble tea cafes where you can get not just good pearls (or boba, as Los Angelenos like to call it), but also a wide selection of Asian snacks like spicy wontons and fried chicken knees and have a Jolin music video playing in the background (having spent the last half a year in Taipei, I'm particularly nostalgic) and 2) In Vancouver, one can actually afford a nice meal on a regular basis, whereas a lot of the good LA restaurants tend to be pretty expensive.
On to the restaurant reviews:

Zest, 2775 West 16th Ave.
My companion and I sat front and center at the counter where the sushi chef worked in front of us the whole time. The service was professional and friendly and my friend struck up a lengthy conversation with the chef about the restaurant, about the hyper expensive sushi restaurants in the US like Masa and Urasawa, about sushi in Japan and other topics. Some of the most memorable dishes were the tuna carpaccio (sliced slightly thicker than I've seen at other places, but it works really well) and the wine jelly for dessert (chilled and refreshing, it managed to taste exactly like wine without the bitter alcoholic aftertaste). The food was excellent, but I think the humility and warmth of the chef also really added to our experience.

Brix, 1138 Homer St.
This was my third visit to the restaurant over a period of five or six years, and it's been consistently strong. They did lose our reservation but were seated right away on a Saturday night nonetheless. We started with a sundried tomato, boccacio and butter lettuce salad dressed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil with olive and tomato tapenades (tasty and refreshing) and also a foie gras which I paired with a Sauternes (very nice, but then I've never had foie gras that wasn't). After that, we had the prosciutto wrapped scallops which were done just right and had that almost-gooey-but-not-quite texture in the middle. We also had the mussels with bananas in green curry sauce. The mussels were really large and plump, and surprisingly good with the banana. We had ordered tapas style, and we couldn't even finish our four dishes, but mostly because there were so many mussels (I think you get a pound or something). Still, we saved room for dessert, which were doughnut ball things with chocolate and kahlua sauce. We both loved them and my companion said he could never have another Timbit again. Very considerate service and a good meal overall.

Shiru-Bay, 1193 Hamilton St,
This was probably the most fun restaurant of all. As a Japanese fusion restaurant, it had a lot of fun, inventive dishes. Some of the standouts were: cheese tofu (a light, sweet spread that went on bread... it was almost like a dessert), the red dragonball (sushi rice topped with smoked salmon, salmon roe and masago.. I am still salivating over this one), and asparagus gyoza (imagine a regular gyoza with an asparagus stalk speared through it). I had one of their Tokyo cocktails which come in all kinds of fruity flavors (I had the mixed berry). They were under five bucks and were more like smoothies than cocktails. The atmosphere is fun and hip with the youthful waitstaff heartily yelling out "welcome" in Japanese every two minutes or so (it was almost rather startling).

Oh, and if you are dining in Yaletown (at Brix, Shiru-Bay or any other restaurant) you might consider stopping by Afterglow (attached to Glowbal restaurant) for a tasty cocktail and some prawn, scallop, or lamb skewers. I was there on Monday night and the small intimate setting was a good space for catching up with friends.

Hm, I'm seriously considering moving back to Vancouver in the next few years. Appreciate what you've got, Vancouverites!

dinner with a famous foodie- claremont recs needed

For Italian in the village, what about La Piccoletta? I always thought that was a good back-to-basics Italian restaurant.

Aug 23, 2006
ironykettle in Los Angeles Area