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Chow Bella's Profile

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Any great places to dine for dinner in Studio City?

Well, you definitely will have plenty of sushi options.......hope you likey. For those other days:

Art's Deli (south side of Ventura, west of Laurel Canyon)

For a nice dining experience, RISOTTO (south side of Ventura, between Whitsett and Coldwater). They have a wonderful squid ink risotto and carry my favorite wine - an Amarone.

Mistral is also nice - although technically I think they are in Sherman Oaks.

Don't forget the CARNEY's train for hot dogs!!! (north side of Ventura near Whitsett)

Oct 03, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Peninsula or Four Seasons Hotel - lunch banquet

The Belvedere at the Peninsula!!

Oct 01, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Which Wedding Venue has the Best Food?

I am not familiar with the venues you mentioned and don't know if you are limited to a certain geographical location -- but my daughter's wedding reception was at the Sheraton Universal in the Roof Garden ballroom. The room itself is magnificent -- located on the 26th (27th?) floor of the hotel with 3 sides of floor to ceiling windows with sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills, San Fernando Valley and Burbank/Glendale and beyond. We had many out-of-state guests and they were going nuts for the incredible views (especially since the reception was at night and you got all the twinkling city lights).

The meal......well, 3 years later we are still receiving accolades. We started with a soup course: Fresh Tomato Basil served en croute. Not only was the presentation lovely but the soup and crust were delish. Next we had a salad of mixed baby greens served with chilled asparagus spears, goat cheese and kalamata olive bruschetta. Very tasty. The entree was a duet of filet mignon and norwegian salmon. The filet was cooked to perfect temperature and the salmon was not dry or overcooked......which is no easy thing when you are serving 250 people at the same time. Which, by the way, brings me to service. Each table (we had 25) had two servers assigned. When the food exited the kitchen - it ALL exited the kitchen. The servers placed their trays next to each table and like a perfectly orchestrated ballet, ALL the tables were served at the same time and with 2 servers per table there was maybe a 30 second lag between the first person at the table getting served and the last. I highly recommend them.

Sep 30, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Im looking for a good baby shower cake.....any suggestions?

Without a doubt, the most beautiful (and tasty) cake will come from Hansen's. You will never be disappointed by their cakes and I agree with FrogCreek, their basket weave is soooo pretty. Unfortunately, you will also pay a pretty penny.

If good-but-on-a-budget is what you want, I would recommend Porto's. There is no beating the value of their products and everything, really, is delish. They have locations in Glendale and Burbank......and coming soon to Downey too??!!!!

Sep 26, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Unfortunately, 5 great chefs, 1 not-so-special meal @ 5X5 Collaborative: Angelini Osteria

Yikes! I would be disappointed too. That's rather serious cash - which, if you were happy with the evening would be a non-issue, but.........

Personally, I have never cared for Angelini Osteria. Even if the food is good, I just can't get past the "ambience" or lack thereof. So cramped, so noisy.........and the wait staff is always so lacking. Although if you are into people watching, we dined one night with the chief of police to one side and Wolfgang Puck to the other.

Sep 24, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Marche L.A. ...........A true disappointment!!

Wow Servorg! Thank you for this. I had no clue! The menu looks great......will definitely plan a pilgrimage.

Sep 24, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Best French Food in L.A. or the S.F. Valley

There's a reason it's off the radar......and it is highly unlikely that you will get out of there for under $100/pp.

Sep 21, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

CARNE ASADA IN MEAT MARKETS?

The quality of the prepared meat from Vallarta is really poor. Very fatty and lots of little pieces that makes it really hard to grill (the pieces fall through the grill). The flavor of the prepared meat was also not as good as everyone said it would be. My recommendation: by ranchera meat and season it yourself. Try seasoning it with garlic powder, onion powder, and a bit of chili powder for a kick (and a bit of salt if you want). Slice some lemons, brown onions and scallions and layer in between the layers of the meat. Pour a little of the lemon juice over the meat and pour beer into it all (you will want to use a deep dish like a pyrex while you marinade) let it soak in the beer for several hours then grill and enjoy!!!

Sep 19, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

chowhound in thousand oaks

For 4 years while the offspring attended California Lutheran University, I would drive to T.O. a couple of nites a week to meet up with her for dinner and we spent many a Saturdays shopping and lunching in the area. We never had much success finding any good, small, ethnic places -- although you can certainly find every chain in the book up there!! Nice to read that things have improved......slightly.

We did, however, have many a lovely family dinners on Sundays at The Landing Grill & Sushi Bar.......right on the lake in Westlake. You can't beat the setting and while the service was always a bit slow and the wait staff less than attentive, the food never disappointed.

She has since graduated, married and produced another generation of potential chowhounders.......might be time to head back up there and try some of these recommendations.......for old times sake.

Sep 19, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Dried California Apricots

I agree that Hadley's is awesome, but if you gotta have 'em now............I just got back from my tri-weekly trip to my local Trader Joe's and they had 3 different varieties of California dried apricots.

Sep 18, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Dried California Apricots

I'm pretty sure you will be able to get them at Trader Joe's, but if they don't have them, then definitely Hadley's will have California apricots. And you don't have to drive to the dessert, Hadley's has an on line store.

Sep 18, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Marche L.A. ...........A true disappointment!!

With all due respect to everyone's personal SUBJECTIVE opinions, I am not a moron. Perhaps I was not at eloquent in my writing as I could have been, that may have resulted in some confusion. Let me clarify........I know what GOOD tepanade tastes like and am familiar with the ingredients. The tepenade at Marche was EXTREMELY salty. (This, by the way, coming from someone who would trade a cookie or anything sweet for a bag of chips or anything salty!). As to the peppery nature of the argula, I get the scarcasm. However, we would much have rather had PLAIN argula in all it's peppery glory than the way it was dressed. The dressing was the problem, not the arugula,

Sep 17, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Marche L.A. ...........A true disappointment!!

Went to dinner at Marche. While the S.O. and I were not exactly regulars at Max, we did have several fine dining experiences there. Last night however, we dined with friends who - well - let's just say they were fixtures at Max. Because of our dining companions, our table received more than average attention from the staff. There is really zero negative to say about the service we received.

Sadly, the food was another story. First of all, they present the menu on a ridiculous wooden board with a rubber band holding together loose pages of menu and wine list. It's awkward and silly.

Secondly, the portions are all "bite size". You are intended to order several items just to make a regular size dinner portion. I started with the tepenade which, aside from being extremely and unusually salty, was so small that they should just offer it complimentary with bread, not actually charge and serve it as an appetizer. The S.O. had an arugula salad which is best described as 'barely edible' but yet, was the most generous portion of the night.

We next had gnocchi. That was laughable. There were 4, maybe 5, tiny, tiny dumplings in a bland sauce. Awful. We also had the halibut - which actually was not bad - not great - but not bad. We had the potatoes which were -- well potatoes. The coup de grace, however, was the pork belly. It literally makes me nauseaus to think back on it. Bad. Bad I tell you.

By the end of the meal everyone was so disappointed and disgusted that we all politely refused coffee and dessert and just ran out.

All in all it was quite the disappointment......and we couldn't help but feel that the entire time someone somewhere was having a good laugh at everyone in the restaurant carrying on with such a ridiculous charade!

Sep 17, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

What makes Tito's so good

This Valley Girl doesn't get over the hill as often as I used to........yay for jobs close to home...... so it is with much sadness that I read all the critical posts about Tito's. Many moons ago this was definitely THE place for good, unpretentious mexican. My goodness was there anything better than that little styrofoam container filled with that delicate, tender, saucy beef................

Jan 30, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Anniversary Dinner Suggestions - Valley

Try Risotto in Studio City. You should have no problem staying within your budget (including wine) and I challenge anyone to a nicer venue than their rear patio.

Jan 08, 2009
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

where to buy cazuelas

Believe it or not, I got mine at Walmart. It was a 3 pack with sizes ranging from (I think) 8", 12" and 16". Very inexpensive (compared to what you would pay at Sur la Table). I think Walmart sells on line........if you need them sent to the east coast.

Jul 06, 2007
Chow Bella in General Topics

Anyone know where to buy M&M's by color in the area?

She should order blank ones from M&M.com when she places the order for the personalized ones. That way the colors will match exactly. I did personalized M&Ms for my daughter's bridal shower a few months ago - what a hit!!

Jul 06, 2007
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Does Porto's have Big Balls?

Porto's Potato Balls come in two sizes. The "normal" ones are slightly smaller than a tennis ball. The "party" size is comparable to a golf ball. The smaller size must be pre-ordered.

Jun 14, 2007
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Lunch ideas for Studio City

In Studio City, I would suggest Risotto. Yes, it's open for lunch and with the winds calming down and no rain in the forecast, their patio should be just wonderful.

Jan 24, 2007
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Lunch near Loyola Marymount?

Define "near"? I have two words for you: Tito's Tacos.

Sep 30, 2006
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

enough is enough... WHATS THE BEST SUSHI IN LA??

Once again, I bow to you Master Das. Ever so wise.

Sep 25, 2006
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Leisurely lunch in Glendale (or nearby)?

I just made contact with an old friend and we're going to meet for lunch next Saturday. I need help finding a place in the Glendale area (Burbank, etc) which not only has good food and a nice ambience, but will allow us to sit and tie up a table for a few hours while we have a huge gab fest. Any ideas?

Sep 25, 2006
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

George's Bistro in Valencia ?

Anyone ever been to this place? Apparently there is a George's Bistro in Santa Monica (at the 3rd Street Promenade) but I want feedback about the one in Valencia specifically. Food any good? Is this a chain?

Sep 22, 2006
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Moving to Northridge ... need recommendations

Yuuum. Love Chichi's antipasto salad.

Sep 22, 2006
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Camping

BBQ chicken is always on the menu when we camp. I usually pre-cook the chicken either by boiling or baking and stop about half way. I then package it in ziploc bags and freeze it. Not only does it add "ice" to the ice chest but it keeps really well. At the campsite I finish cooking it on the grill and then add the BBQ sauce. (You said that you will be cooking with propane, but I assume you will also have a BBQ). I use this technique for almost everything......baked beans, chili, etc. Pre-cook everything at home, freeze in ziplocs, and reheat or finish cooking on the range.

Sep 21, 2006
Chow Bella in Home Cooking

PIE DOUGH QUESTION

I'm not a baker (way too precise for me) but I have always heard that the best and flakiest pie crusts are made with duck fat. It seems like way too much work to roast a duck and collect the fat. I have no idea if duck fat is available for purchase. ????

Sep 21, 2006
Chow Bella in Home Cooking

Food gifts?

What about something with an olive theme....eerrrrr, I mean element. Local olives, like Graber's and some gourmet, flavored olive oils. You can expand from there with tepanade and perhaphs some local dried fruit.

http://graberolives.com/

P.S. You might consider shipping since this will all be a challenge with the current air travel restrictions.

Sep 21, 2006
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

ISO Good Food in a Private Room

Do you want people to be able to order off the menu or are you going to pre-select? Many restaurants will not allow you to order off the menu for a group that large.

Sep 21, 2006
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Octoberfest in LA?

Alpine Village is pretty hokey and the food pretty gross, but hey, with a large enough stein of beer and the oompah band playing the chicken dance...who cares?

Sep 21, 2006
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area

Authentic French in the Valley

I will admit that the ambience at Le Sanglier was lovely. Quiet, nice music, good service. Certainly NOT crowded or loud. I just wish the food could have been better.

Sep 21, 2006
Chow Bella in Los Angeles Area