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Anyone tried Polentoni in Culver City??

Funny to see everyone ragey. I've never had a bad meal there. It's near my office (and not many restaurants with vegetarian food are) so I've been about 6 or 7 times. I get the impression from Yelp that they have good days and bad days and I think I've just lucked out and only been there on the good days.

Mar 04, 2013
rednikki in Los Angeles Area


I'm late to the party, but I thought I'd throw in anyway on my new favorite topic!

Bota Box's chardonnay is a smash hit among my friends. It's very drinkable and even my wine-fan friends are shocked to learn that it came out of a box. Have not been fond of their other wines.

Chateau Margene in Paso Robles has their own boxed wine called El Pistolero and it is divine. Tastes like a $30 bottle of wine and it's $54 for 3 liters! I need to find more like that.

Jan 28, 2013
rednikki in Wine

Distilled vinegar in olive salad?

Thanks! That helps a ton. If it says "Vinegar" it's usually distilled.

Jul 15, 2011
rednikki in New Orleans

Distilled vinegar in olive salad?

This is an obscure question, but I have faith that the Hounds here will have the answer!

Short version: does the olive salad at Central Grocery, Maspero's or Napoleon House have distilled vinegar in it?

Longer version: I'll be going to New Orleans and am dying to have a vegetarian muffuletta, as hotly debated here:

However - and here's where it gets obscure - I am catastrophically allergic to distilled vinegar. Every single other vinegar - red wine, balsamic, rice, whatever - is fine. It's just distilled vinegar that's a problem. Hence my question.

Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

601 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Jul 14, 2011
rednikki in New Orleans

Is it OK to shell Favas 24 hours ahead?

Have Favas. Love Favas. Would like to have them tomorrow night. Due to scheduling I can shell them tonight and eat them tomorrow, or not have them for DAYS. DAYS, I tell you.

So: if I shell them a day ahead, will they still be awesome or will I have ruined them?

May 04, 2011
rednikki in Home Cooking

Canned goods safety question!

Thanks, everyone!

Apr 24, 2011
rednikki in General Topics

Canned goods safety question!

We opened a (storebought) can of tomatoes to discover it was half-full. It smells fine, but is it still safe to eat?

Apr 23, 2011
rednikki in General Topics

Stokes in Monterey

The restaurant will be called Restaurant 1833. It's run by Coastal Luxury Management, who run the Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival and who just opened the Cannery Row Brewing Company.

More info here:

To quote: Don't assume a high-end dining experience. Bernahl envisions martinis at a vintage bar with an "old apothecary shop vibe," small bites in the lounge, an outdoor patio in front surrounded by an ivy-covered wall, and "great, affordable food in a cool, hip setting."

Jun 28, 2010
rednikki in California

Monterey for pre-concert dinner

They haven't done dinner for a while (at least a year - I did a special beer dinner there as part of Beer Week over a year ago, but that was the only time they'd served dinner in a while). Great for breakfast and lunch, though.

Apr 30, 2010
rednikki in California

Visiting Monterey Peninsula soon and need a hard to find combination

I'll third this. I'm a vegetarian and my partner is very much not, and we've always had great meals together at Passionfish. (I hate portobello mushrooms too!) If she's OK with a good pasta meal, there is also The Fishwife.

Aug 26, 2009
rednikki in California

Dinner in Paso Robles

I've eaten there once for dinner and LOVED it. (Usually I go there for lunch and hit Artisan at dinner.)

Aug 17, 2009
rednikki in California

1st Time in Paso Robles

I'm seconding Thomas Hill Organics. It's my must-stop whenever I go to Paso.

Artisan is also good, but pricier and the food's a little richer. If we're staying for two meals, that is our OTHER must-stop.

Aug 12, 2009
rednikki in California

Dining in Carmel with our Dog

Sorry for taking so long to respond!

We have a gigantic list of all the dog-friendly places in Monterey County here:

Some good dog-friendly Carmel restaurants with patios that aren't on your list:
Anton and Michel (warning: no heat lamps
)Bistro Beaujolais at the Carmel Plaza (their outdoor dining is right in the middle of Carmel Plaza and great for people-watching)
Il Fornaio

I hope this helps!

Aug 07, 2009
rednikki in California

Help Out! Looking for the best pizza in Monterey.

I am a huge fan of Pizza My Heart. They are a Central Coast chain, but they're a tasty, tasty chain. Slices the size of your head.

The two locally famous ones that I have never tried are Paradiso on Cannery Row and Allegro Gourmet Pizzeria in the Barnyard in Carmel.

Pizza My Heart
660 Del Monte Ctr, Monterey, CA 93940

Jul 06, 2009
rednikki in California

Milwaukee: fine dining, beer, cheese?

Thanks, Mike, that helps a lot!

I was hoping that there was a high-end Indian or Mediterranean restaurant in Milwaukee, and that I just wasn't looking hard enough, but it doesn't seem like that's the case. I know she'd really prefer Indian or Mediterranean, so I think I'll have to accept that I'll have to notch down my ambiance expectations (which she really won't care much about anyway) so she can get her wish.

Milwaukee: fine dining, beer, cheese?

Nsxtasy, I'm not just thinking of myself. My guest had never even tried Chinese, Mexican or Indian food until two years ago, when I forced it on her :-) She grew up in an area where pizza was considered ethnic food. I have seen her really expand her comfort zone over the past two years, but I am concerned that someplace with pickled hedgehogs on the menu would frankly freak her the heck out.

I've been really digging, and I thought I was just not looking hard enough, but - there's really no such thing as high-end Indian, Greek or Mediterranean in Milwaukee, is there?

Milwaukee: fine dining, beer, cheese?

Thank you for this tip!

Milwaukee: fine dining, beer, cheese?

Thanks for the recommendations, Mike! I don't think we can get Lakefront Brewery beers here, so I'll give them and Furthermore a shot. And I'm pretty close to the Milwaukee Public Market, and goat cheese is my fave, so I'll try it out!

Milwaukee: fine dining, beer, cheese?

Thanks for the sample menu, Mike! You're right, I think that might be a little too adventuresome for my friend (elk! pheasant! pickled hedgehogs! beef cheeks!). They also don't have a vegetarian entree on the list, which makes me wary. (I've been to one too many restaurants who, when I ask for something vegetarian, say "We have *tons* of seafood!")

Nsxtasy, from the sample menu, all of their entrees seem very driven by the slab of meat or fish at the center. If I just had to ask them to tweak something around food allergies, that would be one thing, but asking them to create something whole-cloth that is not centered around meat/fish seems like it's very far outside of what they do.

If I ever stop being a vegetarian, I'll keep this place in mind!

Milwaukee: fine dining, beer, cheese?

I am coming out to Milwaukee the weekend of the 9th for a close friend's graduation. I've never been there before, and she's going to a college in a suburb and hasn't really ventured into Milwaukee much. I'm staying near the Midwest Airlines Center, for reference.


I want to take her out to a really great place for dinner on Saturday night. She's said she'd like Indian, Greek or Mediterranean but NOT Italian. I would like to take her to someplace that is pretty swanky or at least has fantastic ambiance. I won't say money is NO object (no diamond-encrusted ice cream sundaes wanted), but she's worked really hard and deserves a very special experience.

The added monkey-wrenches in this scenario are that I'm a vegetarian who's allergic to soy (i.e. tofu and edamame), and while her palate has gotten much more adventurous over the past four years I think she'd find someplace like Roots daunting.

Fuzion Cafe and Lounge keeps coming across my radar for a variety of reasons, but I've only seen one review and am not sure if this would fit the bill. I looked at Hinterlands, but their one vegetarian item didn't send me.


My other half is a big beer fan, and I'd like to bring back for him some good Milwaukee-brewed beer that we can't get in California. Milwaukee Ale House gets raves - do they do six packs to take home, is it all growlers and kegs, or is it bar-only? Is there something else I should pick up?


I hear y'all in Wisconsin make a little cheese. Where would one go in Milwaukee to pick up organic small-production cheeses, and is there anything in particular you'd recommend?

Thanks very much for your help!

Thomas Hill Organics Restaurant ?

I had grilled cheese and tomato soup. They normally serve a salad with the sandwich, but subbed in a full-size bowl of the tomato soup they were serving that day at my request. The bread was from a bakery that's around the corner (I don't remember the name right now, but it's about three doors down from Artisan), the cheese was something gooey and tasty that I'd never heard of, and the tomato soup was obviously made from actual tomatoes - very fresh tasting.

My other half had what I think was listed as beef goulash but was more of a beef stew. Again, the ingredients were very clearly fresh from what he said.

We also got an olive plate as an appetizer that had olives that were GIGANTIC. Seriously. Like, the size of a smallish plum tomato. We had to eat them as if we were eating a small nectarine, because you couldn't easily pop it in your mouth and take off the meat. Seriously tasty, though!

He got beer and I got wine. We asked the waitress what to pair with our meals. She looked at us like a deer in headlights, and not-so-subtly went to the manager for advice. The manager has good taste, though, so it was not a problem.

Mar 31, 2009
rednikki in California

Thomas Hill Organics Restaurant ?

We ate there on a Saturday about three weeks ago and it was outstanding! It has catapulted to the top of our list in the area (sorry, Artisan). The food is tasty, organic, and - most importantly - reasonably priced. I'm a vegetarian with a bunch of food allergies and they took care of me without batting an eye - and my meat-eating other half was well-satisfied, too! They were having some technical problems in the kitchen, which made things a little slow-paced when we went, but we were looking for slow.

Warning: the portions are BIG. Bring your appetite!

Mar 30, 2009
rednikki in California

Your Favorite Inexpensive Restaurants in Monterey County, Please.

Gotta second the Breakfast Club in Seaside. Their pancakes and waffles are not too sweet; they're just perfect. Incredibly tasty biscuits, and yummy potatoes. The thing that would make it perfect would be if they had real maple syrup (even if you had to pay extra for it). I bring my own. :-)

Breakfast Club
1130 Fremont Blvd Ste 201, Seaside, CA 93955

Feb 20, 2009
rednikki in California

Paso Robles: Is Silver Stone Winery closed?

I heard a rumor that the folks at Vinoteca on 12th St. might have some inside info. Unfortunately, we won't be coming through there for another 2-3 weeks. Let us know if you hear anything!

Feb 09, 2009
rednikki in California

Paso Robles: Is Silver Stone Winery closed?

Ha, no. We'll just be sad if they're gone, is all!

Feb 06, 2009
rednikki in California

Paso Robles: Is Silver Stone Winery closed?

I'd heard rumors in December that Silver Stone Winery in Paso Robles was closing their tasting room - or possibly closing altogether. I looked for them today online, and their website is gone! Anyone know whether the tasting room is still there? (I'm a wine club member, and was really looking forward to my next pickup this month, but now I have no way to reach them!)

Feb 05, 2009
rednikki in California

Paso Robles Wineries to avoid

Is Silver Stone still open? I remember in December there was some question as to whether the tasting room was going to stay in the same spot, move, or just shut down altogether. (They are, hands down, my favorite Paso wine! We bought their very last case of the '04 Zin.)

Feb 05, 2009
rednikki in California

Where to have a nice lunch in Salinas?

It's not Mexican, but I've always had stellar meals at Monterey Coast Brewing Company. Their grilled artichokes are literally the best I've ever eaten, their pizzas are fabulous, and their short ribs confirmed my other half would never be a vegetarian. I've never eaten anything here that wasn't great. The beer's good, too!

Monterey Coast Brewing
165 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901

Sep 26, 2008
rednikki in California

Restaurant suggestion for anniversary dinner in Carmel, CA

Casanova is said by many to be the most romantic restaurant in Carmel. Fantastic wine list (wins awards every year from Wine Spectator), great food. It's a country-Italian vibe.

Casanova Restaurant
5th Ave, Carmel-By-the-Sea, CA 93923

Sep 04, 2008
rednikki in California

Monterey Bay Eats...HELP! [moved from SF Bay board]

Darn it, can't edit to put in places. Here I go...

Unfortunately, it doesn't like Casanova because nothing in Carmel-by-the Sea has street addresses. It's on Fifth near Mission.

Sweet Elena's Bakery & Cafe
465 Olympia Ave, Seaside, CA 93955

Pizza My Heart
660 Del Monte Ctr, Monterey, CA 93940

Ol' Factory Cafe
1725 Contra, Costa Sand City, CA

Aug 20, 2008
rednikki in California