GK in SO's Profile

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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

What restaurant do you really really really miss that is now closed ?????

Oh my lord, the Helms truck...there was nothing better than the smell that smacked you in the face as the guy rolled out the wooden racks of fresh baked heaven (I was always partial to the jelly donuts, so fresh and SO full of jelly, not like most jelly donuts these days that just have a frickin' thimble's full of jelly!!

Really, was there a jelly shortage somewhere? ;-)

What restaurant do you really really really miss that is now closed ?????

Funny you should mention Good Earth, because the one in Studio City just closed a couple weeks ago, after about a hundred years located on Ventura Blvd.

It's no wonder, every time I either ate there or went by there the past few years it was a ghost town.

Feb 17, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Jelly Doughnuts

Back in the day, the Helms Bakery man had the best, freshest, most kick ass jelly doughnuts!!

Besides the delicious glaze on the outside, the best thing about them was the huge amount of jelly they filled them with.

From what I recall, you couldn't take a bite without biting into jelly, whereas with many jelly doughnuts today, it's usually like "find the jelly".

Nov 25, 2013
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Burger King to unveil new "satisfries"

I can't imagine anything at BK tasting good, no matter the amount or type of chemicals they use in their food.

"A batter coating that resists oil penetration during frying"...man, that sounds just awful.

Theirs has to be the worst tasting food on the planet. Makes McD's seem gourmet by comparison, and that isn't saying much.

Sep 25, 2013
GK in SO in Chains

Best taquitos in LA?

I think the difference is that flautas are made from flour tortillas, while taquitos are made from corn tortillas.

As a result, since corn tortillas are usually smaller than flour tortillas, taquitos are usually smaller than flautas.

Sep 06, 2013
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

McConnell's Ice Cream - New Flavors!

I too stock up at Gelson's when they have a sale on McConnell's. Their usual price is $6.79 a pint, which is pretty steep but I willingly pay for such high quality and delicious ice cream.

The new flavors you mentioned are pretty good, but for me, it's all about their Salted Caramel Chip. OMG is that a frickin' great ice cream, pretty much my current favorite store bought ice cream at the moment. The only thing it's lacking is some crunch, so I add some chopped, salted almonds which sends me straight to heaven.

They really should disclose the presence of crack in the ingredient list of SCC...it's that good!!!

Sep 05, 2013
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Is there any better toffee than the LittleJohn's stall in the original farmer's market ?

ENSTROM'S, THAT'S IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry for yelling, but thanks you so much, squeak!!!

My old boss used to order this for all our clients and employees each year, but I had forgot the name and really wanted to buy some to share with my family a few years back.

I just recall, most people's reaction when they tried it for the first time....eyes rolling back in the head, and a guttural "OMG, where did you get this!!!!!".

Kevin, do yourself a HUGE favor and order some. You won't be sorry, and I'd put this up against LJ's anytime (yes, I've had LJ's and it's very, very good, but Enstrom's kicks LJ's ass, IMO.

Jul 16, 2013
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

My old stomping ground - Santa Barbara

Well, the Palace became our favorite SB resto, without either of us knowing about the Reagan-era fame it apparently has.

We just came to know it as a place with incredibly attentive, team-based service along with excellent quality, incredibly delish food.

I love, love, love the soft shell crabs they have in season (just about now, I believe!!) and blackened redfish. Of course, you fill up on those tasty little muffins they serve while you're waiting.

Jun 16, 2013
GK in SO in California

My old stomping ground - Santa Barbara

I haven't been in a few years, but every time I've gone to the Palace over the years, it's been excellent.

Jun 14, 2013
GK in SO in California

Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab in Arroyo Grande - Good Stuff

I've never been to McConnells location in SB, but absolutely LOVE their pints of salted caramel chip.

Now, THAT is what ice cream is supposed to be like!! Thick, creamy, wondefully flavored...plus, look at their ingredient list...strange things like eggs, milk, cream, but no preservatives, corn/soy oil, etc. found in many other ice creams.

P.S. I concur with your description of Doc's ice cream. Ice cream should not be PASTY!!!!

Jun 12, 2013
GK in SO in California

Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab in Arroyo Grande - Good Stuff

While staying in Pismo Beach last year, and after reading about Doc's (including on their website), we visited DB's and were very under-whelmed at the ice cream.

It tasted puffed full of air, like Coldstone Creamery's ice cream. That was the worst part. The other part was the flavors just didn't "wow" us. For as many as they had, there were very few chocolate flavors other than plain chocolate.

I really, really wanted to like this place but won't ever stop there again. I'd rather stop at the local Trader Joe's and have some of their branded ice creams, since DB's is the only ice cream parlor in the area (other than chains, of course).

Jun 10, 2013
GK in SO in California

Freebird's World Burritos,any good?

I had the same experience when I ate at a Freebirds in Austin, TX last year.

Easily the worst fast food meal I've ever had. Cold, bland and flavorless food that not even hot sauce could salvage.

Makes Chipotle look like gourmet grub, and I despise Chipotle.

Mar 11, 2013
GK in SO in Chains

What's taking over Roman's in Sherman Oaks?

I agree. It would have been nice to have another eatery there (unlike the predecessor, Roman's). The immediate neighborhood is sorely lacking quality choices.

But, Chase Bank is exactly what the neighborhood needed, after all, I'm sure their local customers appreciate not having to go all the way down to Ventura/Sepulveda (where they have a "mega-branch") to do their banking. For crying out loud, they also just built one on Burbank/Van Nuys Blvd., since Van Nuys/Sylvan (less than one mile) must have been too far away.

In both cases, while being built, were hoping for some kind of restaurant to go in, but was dissapointed both times. Sad reflection on our neighborhoods. Sigh.

Feb 19, 2013
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Knife Sharpening in the Valley?

There is a booth at the Encino Farmers Marke on Sundays that does knife and scissor sharpening.

Never used him, but usually seems quite busy.

Jan 02, 2013
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Ravanelli's Pizza closes after 50 years

Jen, not sure if you know of Lido Pizza in Van Nuys, but if not, I think you should check them out.

I used to love Ravanelli's as well when I lived in that neck of the SFV, but now I'm in Sherman Oaks so Lido fits the bill well. Both have been (or were, in the case of Ravanelli's) around for 45-50 years or so, and I believe for that reason the pizza at these places is similar in style, crust thickness, cheese ratio, etc.

It's certainly not gourmet or groundbreaking pizza in any way, just good old fashioned, kinda thin to medium crust pizza (with a tasty sauce and generous, but not too much, real mozzerella cheese) that was popularized in a bygone era in neighborhoods all across the USA.

Please give it a try and report back!! I know it may be a bit far (where do you live?), but I'd bet you and your family will enjoy. My nine year old daughter LOVES it!!!

Nov 14, 2012
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area