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GK in SO's Profile

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Your favorite grocery store ice cream

I wholeheartedly and respectfully disagree, but I think it depends where you buy it.

I'm a HUGE fan of McConnells salted caramel chip.

Used to buy it at Ralph's, but stopped buying any ice cream there due to texture issues with practically every brand and flavor. Having worked in the grocery business, I know this is due to poor handling (e.g. Frozen foods left on the loading dock, only to be thawed to some degree, then re-frozen). Yuk, just plain yuk. And I got tired of returning every single ice cream purchase, complaining to deaf ears, etc.

Now I buy ALL my ice cream from Gelsons. Never once had a texture issue. Plus they have a much better selection of IC, and their prices are about the same as Ralph's especially when you catch one of thei frequent specials on IC.

Aug 01, 2015
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Chicken Parmesan

Jul 29, 2015
GK in SO in Recipes

Chicken Parmesan

Apr 19, 2015
GK in SO in Recipes

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - March 2015 [Old]

OMG, major YAY for the new product called "Partially Popped Popcorn".

I could eat an entire bag in one sitting, it's so freakin' good.

Does anyone else like the not fully popped crunchies at the bottom of your popcorn bowl?

This product is JUST those crunchy thingies, without the teeth-damaging "old maids". Like a slightly less hard "Corn Nut", these amazing little guys are seasoned with just butter and sea salt, exactly the way I like my popcorn.

Has anyone else tried these? They may just be my favorite TJ's product EVER!!!!!

Mar 26, 2015
GK in SO in Chains

Bill's Hamburgers Bang for your Burger Buck

I like Billy's buffalo burgers.

Nice and juicy, with fresh green leaf lettuce (not iceberg, which an ex co-worker of mine used to refer to as "the polyester of vegetables"), and a thousand island-type sauce.

Fries are pretty good, but they must be ordered well done, otherwise, they're too soft/limp IMO (but, not quite like the aberrations that In-N-Out fries are).

Mar 05, 2015
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena help, please!!

Thanks again, Savour.

On another visit, we'd consider either Seco or Kimagure, especially after the feedback from you and the other Hounds who've contributed to this thread.

Feb 06, 2015
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena help, please!!

Andytseng, thank you for your input!!

We looked at Union's menu, and it just didn't tickle our fancy, at least for this occasion. Besides, before we viewed the menu, we tried to get a reservation but no luck.

As a local Pasadenan, you obviously know the area well, what do you think about Shiro?

That seems to be where we're leaning towards, even though my wife has now made us reservations everywhere (Houston's, Shiro's, Smitty's Grill, Arroyo Chop House and Gus's...sounds like we'll be doing a lot of reservation cancelling!!).

Feb 05, 2015
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena help, please!!

Thanks again, TailbackU.

My wife is a very light eater, so we don't do omakase.

Any other recommendations, such as nigiri not to be missed, or rolls of some type (I trust they wouldn't be the gloppy mayo or cream cheese type, correct?).

Feb 05, 2015
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena help, please!!

Thank you, mc Michael.

Looks pretty good, but perhaps for another occasion. Not enough seafood choices for our tastes (not into oysters or tuna salads or trout...Shiro looks more like our seafood "cup of tea").

Feb 05, 2015
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena help, please!!

Savour, thank you for the detailed feedback.

I couldn't access Seco's menu for some Adobe Acrobat-related issue, but from their website description of their cuisine, doesn't seem to be what we're looking for.

Gus's sounds too casual and not too good; TV's playing sports will not be OK for this dinner (it's my birthday dinner).

I would prefer to avoid Houston's, and all the great ideas offered in this thread will help me do just that!!

We'd prefer not to leave Pas or South Pas. As for what type of food, we prefer seafood-centric (pretty much any type, including French, Japanese/sushi, Pacific Rim, American, etc.), but also do chicken but for this dinner, want some good fish!! Casual or formal doesn't matter as much as the food, but again, want decent atmosphere where we can have pleasant dinner conversation, hopefully without screaming to hear each other.

Feb 05, 2015
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena help, please!!

Thanks, Barryc, I appreciate your feedback!!

Doesn't sound like Gus's will fit the bill.

We don't eat beef, but do occasionally eat pork (baby back ribs are a rare treat for us!).

As for Bistro De La Gare, it looks OK, but the menu seems somewhat limited. What do you like there? Any seafood dishes you could recommend?

Feb 05, 2015
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena help, please!!

Thank you, Tailback U. We just might be in the sushi mood.

What do you like to order there, and, what's the atmosphere like?

Feb 05, 2015
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena help, please!!

Thank you, mc Michael. Seems Shiro may be the place for us.

Feb 05, 2015
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena help, please!!

Thank you, Ipse!! I appreciate the feedback.

After looking at their website and menu, Shiro looks very intriguing; the seafood choices especially.

Racion seems good, too, a bit too "French" (we like the fact that Shiro is also "Pacific Rim" in addition to French).

Feb 05, 2015
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena help, please!!

My wife and I are staying in the area this Saturday night (South Pasadena, actually), and not being familiar with the area, did some research and narrowed our choices to either Arroyo Chop House, Houston's, Smitty's Grill, or Gus's BBQ.

We just want some good food in a nice atmosphere, one where hopefully, we don't need to scream at each other to hear the conversation. We will be doing dinner early, at around 6pm.

Arroyo - has great reviews on Yelp. Will be ordering seafood dishes, since we don't eat red meat and didn't find any other decent looking places in the area (except Houston's).

Houston's - looks good and good reviews, but too "chain-y"?

Smitty's - mixed reviews. One Yelper called it "Pasadena's version of the Daily Grill" (ugh). The most recent thread on Chowhound about this place dates back to 2008, so has any Hounds tried this place lately?

Gus's - good reviews, but not sure if BBQ is the cuisine we'll want. Does anyone have any recent experiences here that can persuade us to try it?

TIA for any help, Hounds.

Feb 05, 2015
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Cafeterias in LA?

You got that right, Thor.

We especially like the blood orange lemonade. So, so tasty and sweet, but not sickeningly so.

All their lemonades are homemade, unlike the powdered crap that many resto's seem to offer.

Jan 13, 2015
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

The Wien Truck or The Wiener Factory, anyone happen to have any scoop on whether or not it might just possibly be returning ??????????????????

Anna and Kevin, sorry, nothing hopeful here.

Kevin, you and I both would love nothing better than for the original WF, and especially Kevin and Sher (the original WF owners), to come back and re-open and have all the original dogs, knishes, etc. that we knew and loved. However, the original WF closed December 31, 2007 (a very sad day in my household, for one) and nobody has since heard from Kevin, who once told me that he was just going to scuba dive for the rest of his days. If they were going to attempt a comeback, I would have assumed we would have heard SOMETHING by now. My guess is that the original WF, et al, is gone for good.

As for the Wien Truck (which was a close facsimile to the original WF), they went defunct last year and have no plans to re-open. I know one of the three owners, so have first-hand knowledge of this.

Unless one or the other essentially "rises from the dead" (a late Halloween pun, sorry folks), WF and The Wien are long gone along with the tasty turkey dogs, chili, knishes, etc. that we all knew and loved.

Nov 03, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Sushi - who serves Ono?

I recall seeing "ono" on the menu at Midori Sushi, the all-you-can eat sushi place, in Studio City (there are other locations as well).

I made the mistake of ordering this, and even in small quantities (like one or two orders of nigiri), caused me some of the, um, "gastric distress" that Bert refers to above.

Oct 27, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Shish Mediterranean Cuisine- Taste of Istanbul (also same complex as Tortas Mexico).

Kevin, Shish is pretty good. When I used to go there, I used to get the chicken kabob and tabouli salad. They have pretty decent falafels, too, if I recall correctly.

However, when Joe's Falafel opened down the street a few years ago, it ruined me for pretty much any other M.E. food and so I haven't returned to Shish since.

Joe's kicks serious ***!!!

Oct 21, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Best Po'Boy in L.A.

BB, that location of Stevie's closed down, as Kevin mentioned above, a while back.

Looks like a ghost town now. The location is one of those cursed restaurant locations that can never seem to have something good so it has constant turnover/vacancy.

Sep 25, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

"Mother-in-law" restaurant in the Valley

Salsa and Beer is kind of a dive, but has some pretty darn good, but Americanized, Mexican food.

However, on pretty much any night (especially Fridays and Saturdays), unless you're there by 5pm or so, you'll have a good 30-45 minute wait.

I'm talking specifically about the Encino location. Can't speak for the North Hollywood location, to which I've only been once and since it's much larger than the Encino location, we didn't have a long wait at all.

Sep 12, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Katsu-ya v. SugarFISH: Pre-Hollywood Bowl Dinner

Yes, I would say so. I have been to a few different Katsuya locations (including Studio City) and found them all to be so so. Not a huge difference between locations in my book.

Believe me, from one hound to another, Sugarfish is a much better choice.

Sep 06, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Katsu-ya v. SugarFISH: Pre-Hollywood Bowl Dinner

Katsuya's sushi leaves much to be desired. It's mainly a place to see beautiful people/porn stars, etc.

Sugarfish is delish, especially the hand rolls, between the crispy nori, warm rice and top quality fish. My personal faves are the lobster, blue crab and scallop hand rolls.

Sep 06, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Sherman Oaks dining 'renaissance' - will it draw Angelenos?

Well, I think there is hope for KS fans, as we recently dined at the new location in Santa Barbara, and found it to be pretty darn tasty.

The killer shrimp (in shell, with bread) was as tasty as I remembered from the olden days of KS. Shrimps were plump and the sauce wonderfully savory, perfect for dunking the crusty French bread into.

Also, my wife, who's not a big shrimp fan, had the half a roast chicken in a Dijon-type sauce, and it was cooked perfectly and was very moist and flavorful.

Let's all keep our fingers crossed on this.

Aug 19, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

GCM is Getting The Best Ice Cream Parlour

I agree with you, Ann.

I'm usually a chocolate ice cream lover; caramel has always been OK but usually not something I would ever really seek out.

McConnell's SCC, however, is a different story. The caramel base is just so tasty, almost like a "burnt" flavor, or as the sign says at the Santa Barara shop, has a slightly "rummy" flavor which again, since I don't care for rum, would not be something I would normally seek out.

There's just something about SCC. Part of it is the prescence of the delish, dark, flaky and kind of crispy chocolate "chips".

To be fair, I have started liking most Salted Caramel ice creams I've tried, but SCC stands at the top of the mountain IMO.

Jul 19, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

GCM is Getting The Best Ice Cream Parlour

They have two kinds of vanilla ("Golden State Vanilla", whatever that is, plus Vanilla Bean). But, alas, no French Vanilla.

Jul 18, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

GCM is Getting The Best Ice Cream Parlour

Guys and gals, it's all about the McConnell's Salted Caramel Chip. A truly orgasmic experience, whether from one of their scoop shops or in pints.

I like to add some crunch almonds to mine. OMG, what an ice cream!!

One of my all time favorites, right up there with the Caramel with Salted Dark Chocolate from Ruby Jewel in Portland or the Salted Caramel from Bi-Rite Creamery in SF.

Jul 18, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Cafe Bizou Sherman Oaks for Mother's Day?

I see they have the Sand Dabs on the menu. Always a great choice!!!

May 05, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Looking for great food and the Kings game

Sorry mods, not food related...GO KINGS GO!!!

What a great game last night, was there screaming my lungs out so my voice is thrashed today.

Back to food...went to the Farm of BH in LA Live, had a decent buffalo burger but have had way better, especially for the $16 price tag.

Also, ordered my fries well done, and they sure LOOKED well done, but in fact were limp and greasy.

How does such a thing happen?

I'm convinced all the food at LA Live (since all chains) is basically inedible, save for Lawry's Carvery, where you can get a decent sandwich or salad that won't break the bank.

Apr 29, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good - Do You Notice the Difference Now?

Typical corporate BS "spin" on nutrition, of which most large food providers know absolutely nothing (at least, they don't prepare their food like they know anything).

Reading that, you'd think that their beef is actually "healthy". LOL.

Mar 06, 2014
GK in SO in Chains