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Irish Food in LA?

I have wondered this many times myself (having a partner who was raised in Dublin and hating to always hear what his mom would do for St. Patrick's day). However, we've come to the conclusion that there are no decent answers in LA. The best I can do is go to the Irish Import store on Vine, bring home some sausages and hob nobs, and bake up some brown bread (which is never as good as mom's).

One brilliant thing we have discovered, however, is that there is no one at non-irish bars on St. Patrick's day. It's a perfect time to go out to all of the bars in LA that you would love if only they weren't always so packed...

Mar 02, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Special Occasion Group Dining

Ethiopian on Fairfax?

Feb 19, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Any Birthday Dinner Suggestions?

One Friday night option might be Table 8 for the Feb. tasting menu (assuming your birthday is this month). It was originally the Dine Out LA tasting menu, and got reviewed several times on this board under that description, but it's extended through the month. 4 options for appetizer (a truffled chestnut soup, boucheron with mushrooms (excellent), prawns with broccoli (very yummy) and something else salad-like I cant remember), 4 options for entrees (short rib (was fantastic, soft, flavorful), duck with lentils (very tender and flavorful but I wasn't as crazy about it as my dining partner was), salmon, and another type of fish that currently escapes me), 3 for dessert (tres leches, a decadent and wonderful warm chocolate cake with dulce de leche, and a vanilla panna cotta). As a bonus, they have an inexpensive wine pairing and the cocktails there are fantastic.

Happy birthday!

Feb 13, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Good Italian in West Hollywood area

I second the angelini osteria vote. Pizzas there are also delicious. Make sure to make a reservation.

Feb 13, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

PLEASE POST YOUR VOTES HERE: Ultimate Los Angeles Restaurants 2007

Fraiche
A.O.C.
Hatfield's
Foundry
Angelini Osteria

Feb 08, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Any DineLA Reviews?

Table 8 is extending the menu all month (I am almost hesitant to post that because I am afraid not to be able to get reservations to go back). I ate there once before and was underwhelmed, but I found tonight's meal delicious and a fantastic value. I had a boucheron salad to start, and my dining companion had roasted broccoli with prawns. Both had a nice depth of flavor, although I wasn't crazy about the consistency to which my cheese had been pan fried. I had short ribs with creamy swiss chard and gratineed potatoes as my main and thought it was quite flavorful, even if it didn't barrel me over. My friend had the duck and raved about it. The dulce de leche chocolate cake was perfect-- gooey and warm but with little chocolate shavings to give it some crunch and texture. The tres leches was good, light and subtle, but I might go for the panna cotta on the next round.

Bonus: they have wine pairings ($28, I think) and a delicious-looking cocktail menu (which I did not get to sample as I had more work awaiting me post-dinner).

Feb 07, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

dineLA reports

Right you are. Glad that someone's brain is working today.

Feb 04, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

dineLA reports

One on Sunset: I had a beet salad to start which was lovely, but not outrageous, and the other people in my party had the tuna with eggplant. Our main choices were beef rounds (can't remember exactly but someone in the party liked it) and delicious scallops over butternut squash in a berry gastrique. We shared all of the desserts on the menu (mini red velvet cupcakes, creme brulee, and molten chocolate cakes) and one was worse than the next. We were shocked! I thought those were things that couldn't be made to taste bad!! The creme brulee was way too floral tasting and not properly carmelized on top (very pale), the macaroons that came on the side were so hard you could break your teeth on them, the cupcakes were dry and hard and flavorless, and the chocolate cakes had a tough consistency. Very odd. But overall, the space was beautiful and the scallops were good. If I were to go back, I would ask for a real table (sitting on those couches really only works for cocktails, very awkward for eating), and skip dessert.

Feb 04, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Fraiche, Providence & Foundry-- Must order?

Sorry for the delay in my response. I am writing my dissertation at the moment, so time to read chowhound is a rare luxury.

John, after reading your message I took the time to call my father and get his understanding of the call. It appears that there were some misunderstandings, which I do not attribute completely to you, given my lifelong history of trying to communicate with him myself.

First, her deathly allergy is not to corn, it is to mustard. As she says "if it comes with mustard, I hope it comes with an ambulance on the side." Corn for her is an intolerance, like some people are intolerant to milk. She certainly wouldn't eat corn or it's direct byproducts (polenta, etc), but traces of corn starch and the like certainly won't kill her. It upsets her stomach, but she survives, which is a good thing or eating would be a life-threatening activity in this country. In fact, if that were the case, I doubt that she would ever be able to eat out. Perhaps he miscommunicated that, who knows? However, I should note that she did not experience an upset stomach at all during her visit here (and rarely does now that she knows about that intolerance) which suggests to me that the other restaurants we visited were able to be responsive to her requests. I should note that she eats out several times a week so that tempers the argument that responding to her mustard allergy and corn intolerance is too much to ask. It is quite unreasonable at less high-grade restaurants where packaged sauces or other purchased ingredients are likely to contain high levels of high fructose corn syrup, but she manages to stay well by eating at high quality restaurants that use fresh, handmade ingredients as the bases for their food. I'm not sure what other allergies you could be referring to in your post above, although I know that she does not eat chestnuts. I've never heard her mention that at a restaurant, however, so I don't really know.

Secondly, I am quite confused as to why it was not made clear in the discussion with him that her request would not be accommodated and that we would be asked to sign a wavier. It was certainly a shock to him and to us, and it seems that it would have been more honest to say so up front. Doing so would have left us ample time to explore other options rather than scrambling for last minute reservations for such an important occasion. Again, perhaps you thought you made that clear to him and he was a little too thick to get it (a definite possibility with my dad), but his reaction was one of genuine shock.

Finally, sending a liability wavier just left a bad taste in my mouth about the attitude and tone with which the restaurant approaches clients. This, I am sure, is a matter of personal preference rather than right or wrong, but it just didn't sit well with me that the primary concern seemed to be on making sure no one would sue the restaurant rather than finding a way to work around potential roadblocks. I suppose it made me feel that you presume we are awaiting an opportunity to be litigious, when the reality is quite the opposite. Even when my mother has been sent to the hospital by "just a little bit" of mustard, she has never wanted to press charges or hold anyone responsible. In fact, the last time this happened, which was nearly 10 years ago now, she sent a check to the restaurant the following week when she realized that she had been in such a hurry to get to the hospital that she forgot to pay the check!

Now certainly I appreciate your candor in saying that you cannot protect her from foods to which she might be allergic in your establishment (although I find it odd considering no other restaurant has ever said that to her and we had a wonderful experience at all of the restaurants we did attend during her visit), but I do believe that there would have been a more appropriate way to convey that. Telling us with enough lead time to get another reservation strikes me as the most important way that the transaction could have been improved and finding a way that didn't implicate that my family is somehow seen as a liability rather than a bunch of nice people wanting a nice meal to celebrate together would have also been appreciated.

Feb 04, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Fraiche, Providence & Foundry-- Must order?

Actually, I think that a restaurant could guarantee not to use mustard or otherwise have contact come in contact with her food. It doesn't take that much to ask chefs to change utensils if they are preparing something with mustard. I certainly haven't gotten that response at other "top" restaurants with tasting menus (per se, auberge, french laundry...). Who on earth signs a liability waiver to eat a restaurant??? What restaurant has the nerve to email it to you two days before you are supposed to dine there?

We wouldn't have chosen Grace as the replacement had other options been over, but finding out on Wednesday night that we had to change a Friday night 8pm reservation made the choices in the high end sort of limited.

Jan 30, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Fraiche, Providence & Foundry-- Must order?

Update:
First, we did not end up going to Providence. My mom is seriously allergic to mustard, which we told them when we booked. They made it sound at first like it would not be a problem, but two days before we were supposed to arrive they sent us a liability waiver that they wanted us to sign. The waiver basically said that they could not guarantee to keep her food away from mustard, which of course made us very uncomfortable and we had to cancel. It's not that she's a picky ' I don't eat white carbs' kind of eater; mustard could actually kill her. No food in the world could possibly be worth spending the night in the hospital. Has anyone else ever had that experience before? We've never been someplace that was not willing to try to accommodate or which gave us the sense that they could not control their kitchen. Very weird. I would never go there now.

On the other hand, our last night of tasting menu at the Foundry was wonderful and entirely responsive to her needs. Chef Greenspan came by our table several times to tell my mom if there was anything she could not eat or explain the ingredients when he subbed in a different dish. The Foie Gras course was OUTSTANDING, the best I have ever had. It was paired with a soft bread and cheese (which I wouldn't have expected for something fatty, but it worked perfectly). The texture was amazing. Overall, the meal was wonderful, the service was attentive, the setting was beautiful, and we were quite pleased. At $75 for a 5 course tasting menu, wine pairings at either $25 or $40, it was also a good value.

We also thoroughly enjoyed Fraiche, particularly the pasta courses. The short rib ravioli was everyone's favorite, although the lamb rigatoni was also delicious. I was pretty disappointed in the fish dishes, however, especially the monkfish which our server highly recommended. The texture was weird and unappealing and the sauce and vegetables were pretty bland. The lamb entree was delicious, however, quite tender and flavorful.

Grace was our replacement for Providence. It's an old favorite of mine, but I was a little underwhelmed this time. The pork shank was way too smoky and the rapini that came with it were chewy and flavorless. The winner of the night was the Pork Belly appetizer. Everything else (the scallops, the beet salad) was fine but not outrageous.

In sum, I would not recommend Providence to anyone who has allergy concerns, and would recommend the Foundry tasting menu to everyone. Thanks to everyone who responded!!

Jan 27, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Jian Korean BBQ

update: walked by last night and it was closed. I guess the weekend opening was a mirage.

Jan 23, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

best fish & chips

I know this is going to sound nuts, and it definitely doesn't come with chips, but the best fried fish I have had in LA was at Michelia on 3rd near Cedars. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Perfectly crispy with a little bit of juice as you bite in.

Jan 23, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Angelini Osteria - first time

The salt crusted fish is a personal favorite of mine, but everything is good. They also serve my favorite dessert in the world, torta della nonna, which is hard to find outside of Italy. I recommend it if you have room.

Jan 23, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Jian Korean BBQ

Hmmn... this might require further investigation. It looks very open at night, but I haven't tried to actually walk in yet.

Jan 22, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Mole...where can I find it...?

Guelaguetza, order the festival de moles. Four types of moles and lots of dippers (chicken, chips, etc).

Jan 22, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Jian Korean BBQ

It just opened on Beverly (can't remember the cross street, but near sweetzer). Has anyone been? I don't expect it to compete with Soot Bull Jeep, but it's close enough to my house that I'd eat there if it's decent.... any clues?

Jan 22, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

BOA? Any recent reviews or experiences?

I went to the one on Sunset for an office holiday party. The steak eaters were a little disappointed, but I had a good braised dish (maybe short ribs) that was yummy. The scene was ridiculous... I definitely saw a girl across the room at a table with Jamie Foxx slowly disrobe over the course of the evening.

Overall, not bad for a trendy restaurant but definitely not a quality steak on par with Mastro's or anything like that.

Jan 22, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Dark, atmospheric, vintage hidden gems

You probably know of it already, but I have to put a good word in for Gualeguetza.... no atmosphere (although slightly more at some locations than others) but a festival of mole so good it could make you cry. Not to mention the goat burrito, the carnitas, the tamales.....

Jan 21, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Fraiche, Providence & Foundry-- Must order?

Hmnn... I hope the 9 course TM is on the list of possibilities. Either way, though, you have got to love parental visits! (Particularly if you are a starving gastronomically inclined graduate student). The pastas and raviolis are a definite hit at Friache.
thanks for the advice!

Jan 21, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Fraiche, Providence & Foundry-- Must order?

My parents are coming in to town to celebrate my mom's birthday and we've got reservations at Fraiche, Providence and the Foundry while they're here. Any must order items? We've got some very adventurous eaters, so anything is a possibility.

Thanks!

Jan 21, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Skinny Minnie Yogurt???

In Brentwood, at the third story yogurt shop on San Vincente and before Gorham.

Jan 21, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Bin 8945 - What gives?

I had a pig-based tasting menu there last year (think it was a seasonal Sunday night special) and was incredibly disappointed. The skin on the pork belly was so hard that it literally could not be chewed without breaking a tooth, and the overall quality did not suggest that it was a great value meal in comparison to similarly priced nice restaurants in the area. I'm not sure that we'll be missing anything when it goes.

Jan 02, 2008
danikm in Los Angeles Area

New Years In Buenos Aires Agentina

The problem is that new years in BA is much more similar to an American idea of Christmas eve... and Christmas eve is more of the party night. Or at least that's what we're told by our friend who has been living in BA for the last four years. Seems that there are some decent places open that night but a lot of the hip younger places (bar 6, bar uriarte etc) are closed.

Buenos Aires on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day

Motts (Palermo Soho) is serving a prix fixe menu that night that I think works out to about $80 a person, if I am remembering correctly. Unfortunately, that only includes 1 glass of champagne and they didn't seem to have great times left for reservations, but it's an option.

The SO and I found a menu for $180 Argentinian (including wine and champagne) in a nearby Parilla in Palermo Viejo. The menu included all the typical lomo and bife de ojo, and also an intriguing sounding roasted pork belly with sweet potato puree. Unfortunately, the name presently escapes me, but it is about 2 blocks away from that sandwich place, Mark's. If you wander a bit, you will find it. It has an amazing patio out back.

Hope that helps!

70th b-day on Thursday...Please help!

For a 70th birthday, I would go to Jar. Absolutely. Without hesitation. Excellent, excellent food. Quiet, respectful. You can actually hear the people at your table talk, and cannot hear people at the nearby tables.

Dec 17, 2007
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Lavender?

again, a little too late, but for future searchers: Monsieur Marcel at the 3rd street Farmer's market sells it (and a really amazing selection of salts, for those who might be interested).

Dec 17, 2007
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Toast on Third... never again.

I live up the street from Doughboys, and have been missing the ease of decent comfort food down the street. I got desperate and actually called the other location to see what's up with the 3rd street. They say that they're renovating, not closing. I hope it's true, and that they're going to put in a decent bathroom while they're at it.

Dec 17, 2007
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Italian Italian

If you're looking for authentic italian, Angelini is the way to go. However, like any truly authentic place, that means that the pastas are not giant entree sized platters meant to be focus of the meal. They are delicious, smaller plates. The spaghettis is especially delicious. They do usually have some additional selections, I believe. Pizzas are also quite nice here.

Dec 14, 2007
danikm in Los Angeles Area

Potluck-- with no heat!

wow. I definitely wish I had your office mates instead of mine (most of whom will just bring whatever they can buy at the local Ralph's that morning).

Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. I am definitely doing to make that farro salad at some point, although I might keep it all for myself :)

Dec 01, 2007
danikm in Home Cooking