GK in SO's Profile

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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? ;-)

Feb 17, 2014
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

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

Quick Cheap Good Lunch After Golf at Encino/Balboa/Woodley?

The S&W shrimp is definintely cooked the same way (with a light coat of cornstarch, I believe). The Orange Shrimp, I'm not sure about the cornstarch part, but the shrimp in this dish definitely have that crispness to them.

Oh, forgot to mention, that the Orange Shrimp is not served with broccoli, so it sounds as if they'd have to add it to the dish for you. Sounds kinda good actually, to have their yummy orange sauce coating some broccoli!!

Oct 26, 2012
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Quick Cheap Good Lunch After Golf at Encino/Balboa/Woodley?

Nosh, since you like Aromatic Shrimp at BF, I recommend you also try their Sweet and Pungent Shrimp, as well as their Orange Shrimp, of course customized as you request.

Something for the next golf outing!! Let us know what you think.

I'm really glad to see BF get some love on this board, especially from an established poster like Nosh.

Oct 25, 2012
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Quick Cheap Good Lunch After Golf at Encino/Balboa/Woodley?

I didn't, Nosh.

I usually get my food to go, and so I stock some La Yu (I think is the brand) chili oil at our house, purchased from the 99 Ranch Market on Victory/Sepulveda, just for this purpose.

Oct 25, 2012
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Quick Cheap Good Lunch After Golf at Encino/Balboa/Woodley?

I too live near Bamboo Forest, and really enjoy it for what it is - Americanized chinese food.

They are open for lunch Tuesday thru Saturday. Sundays they only open for dinner, and they're closed on Mondays.

I really like their orange chicken, orange shrimp, mu shu chicken, aromatic shrimp, and shrimp sizzling rice soup. My nine year-old daughter loves their chicken wonton soup (which I think is bland as hell, and needs lots of chili oil to pep it up).

They use really tender white meat chicken in their chicken dishes, which I know is not very Chow-ish, but turns out really nice and tasty. Their orange chicken is the "gold standard" IMO.

But, as with any Americanized chinese resto, YMMV.

Oct 24, 2012
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Food Shopping in Cambria

If one goes to Cambria, and one enjoys fudge, one MUST stop to visit the fudge lady (Erika) for the best fudge on the PLANET!! Seriously!!

So many types of fresh (and I mean FRESH) made fudge, you won't be dissapointed. Erika only uses real stuff (butter, sugar, cream, nuts, etc.) in her fudge, which is why it's so high quality.


Oct 05, 2012
GK in SO in California

The Wiener Factory - has it resurfaced anywhere???

Glad to see that others have been able to rekindle their love affair w/WF's dogs (alas, Kevin and Sher of WF are still MIA, still heard nothing of their post-WF life...).

The Wien truck's turkey dog rocks my world!!! With mustard, chili and onions...that's how I roll (loved Cupid's as a kid).

Aug 19, 2012
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Falafel in Los Angeles

Joe's Falafel; see this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/852663

Best I've ever had.

Aug 12, 2012
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

For lovers of Cupid's Hot Dogs... GREAT news!!!

Well, this may not be the original Weiner Factory, but a darn close facsimile!!

See my post dated September 7, 2011 and beyond in this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/803286

Which is referring to this: http://www.thewien.com/

I really enjoy the dogs from this truck, and for what I order (turkey dog, mustard, chili, onions...same flavor profile as a Cupid's dog), it's pretty damn similiar to the original WF. I've heard their beef dogs are the same as well as the old WF's; they are made by the same sausage maker and have a great "snap" to them.

Les, I'd be curious to get your thoughts on this.

Jul 25, 2012
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Best Mediterranean/Middle East in the Valley (Encino, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks)

Second the recommendation for Joe's.

As a matter of fact, I just had lunch there. You can't go wrong with either the falafel or chicken schwarma lafa sandwiches.

The schwarma is delicious, however, best to get it early in the day when it's still freshly cooked on the spit and moist....had it for dinner once, and it was pretty dried out.

Jul 12, 2012
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Best food truck

If you guys will be anywhere near Universal Studios, there is a park across the street where between 2 to 7 trucks will be there on any given weekday.

You can check this link, updated daily by about 10am or so.


Jul 10, 2012
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

JOE'S FALAFEL freshly baked lafa Studio City

Based on the OP's review, I tried Joe's a week or so ago.

Since I love falafel, and since the name of the resto is "Joe's FALAFEL", I of course ordered a falafel sandwich.

I have tried many, many falafels over the years, and I must say, this is the BEST I have ever had!!!!

From the warm, fresh, yeasty and soft lafa bread that it came wrapped in, to the veggies used (VERY fresh and crunchy), to the falafel balls (perfectly fried, crunchy, and seasoned just right...none of that funky saffron, cinnamon or other weird spices that some places use in their falafels), to the tasty hummus and tahini used to sauce the sandwich, the combination of all these wonderful ingredients combined to make Joe's falafel practically a life-changing experience!!!!

Since this is near my office, I plan to return many, many times. Do yourself a favor and check them out for yourself.

Jun 27, 2012
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area

Lobsta Truck: A Pictorial Essay

Not particularly, especially when it's just gooped on as is common. Sometimes its both mixed into the tuna as well as spread on the bread. That's just waaaay too much mayo for me (and, its for taste not health reasons).

I don't mind it if it's very, very light in texture and not noticable in flavor. Otherwise, forget about it!!

Jun 20, 2012
GK in SO in Los Angeles Area