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xanderjoon's Profile

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Anything decent in Yorba Linda?!!!

Thanks for the rec, will give Maguroya another try. Love their Salmon skin salad but did not find them to be consistent on sushi quality. Have to tried Sushi Koyo in Diamond Bar? Heard good things about it and would like to try Koi and Koyo soon.

Feb 07, 2008
xanderjoon in Los Angeles Area

One night in Bangkok, where to eat?

We are stopping over in Bangkok for one night and only have time for one dinner there. Looking for authentic Thai but in a pleasant atmosphere, not street food but does not have to be fancy. Currently thinking of Cabbages and Condom, but please let me know if there are better choices out there. Want to order dishes like Pandan wrapped chicken, tom kah kai, som tum, steamed fish, and pineapple fried rice. We will first pick the restaurant, then the closest 5 star luxury hotel!

Feb 07, 2008
xanderjoon in China & Southeast Asia

Picasso Vs. Bartolotta? Please Help

May I suggest the line-up to be L'Atelier first, LOS second, and grand finale at Picasso. Food is good at Rosemary's but atmosphere is drab, esp. for out of town visitors. Having said that, I suggested LOS in the middle to break up the continental/french cuisines and the atmosphere really fits the authentic food. Picasso is a definite winner over Bartolotta in terms of service, quality of food, and atmosphere for visitors. Who can beat being surrounded by Picasso, Andre Bocelli and dancing waters? They can find good Italian anywhere but could not replicate this experience outside of LV! Another restaurant to try with a different type of cuisine would be Okada at the Wynn. Bouchon is great for breakfast or sunday brunch. Alize is great for the Panoramic view, but alas, they are all French! I would avoid Bartolotta since we had terrible and slow service while we were there. Overpriced for what you get.

Aug 09, 2007
xanderjoon in Southwest

Picasso and Lotus of Siam

Very nice review! Going to LV tomorrow and have Lotus of Siam, Alize, and Picasso in line for dinners. Can't wait to try the latter two restaurants for the first time!

Aug 08, 2007
xanderjoon in Southwest

Ultimate OC Restaurants 2006

Wow, this is the BEST blog topic ever! Can't wait to try some of these places starting with Blue Fin tonight!

Aug 04, 2007
xanderjoon in Los Angeles Area

Iron Chef Restaurants - Are they overrated?

What is the name of that restaurant and how much did it cost you? Can you describe your meal in more detail?

Jul 20, 2007
xanderjoon in Japan

Thai Nakorn, what to order?

We visited the new location in Stanton recently and had a difficult time choosing what to order. Most of our dishes were reliable but we had a couple of misses. The fried morning glory and the basil clams were outstanding. Catfish with mango salad also good, but more so for the salad than the fish. Tomyum and yum woon sen were disappointing. I would appreciate a few favorites of fellow chowhounders to try on our next round. The board was very helpful in our selection of dishes over at Lotus of Siam....EVERYTHING we ordered was amazing!

Jul 14, 2007
xanderjoon in Los Angeles Area

Little Tokyo Shabu Shabu, Rowland Heights

We had a huge family dinner at the Little Tokyo Shabu Shabu in Diamond Plaza, Rowland Heights this week. Got to try practically everything on the menu because there were just so many of us! Service was good and attentive even though we made many requests for this and that. Decor was bright and cheerful, though the music was a tad loud in the beginning. Drink selection was good, they even had 3 flavors of Kalpico, a slew of beers and other drinks. Now we come to the best part....

First the appetizers. This place is my new favorite for fried chicken wings. One of the best batter I've tasted, light yet flavorful. Comes with it's own sauce, but tasty enough with just a hint of lemon. Both the seaweed and the jellyfish appetizers were popular with our group. Then the main course, the BEEF! A few of us ordered seafood and pork but mostly we ordered the beef. High quality, tender, fresh.Good marbling and thinness. I prefered mine with ponzu loaded with lots of green onion, radish, green chili,and ground garlic (upon request). The seafood shabu is served with miso soup base. A few of us ordered sukiyaki as well but I forgot to get their feedback. I would stick to the beef shabu though. They have kobe beef on the menu but we didn't try it. Even the regular beef was deliheavenlicious!

Our finale was the desserts. We had two, the fried banana accompanied with green tea icecream and the fried tortilla cheesecake, accompanied by red bean icecream. I enjoyed the fried banana, especially. Nice presentation and both icecream flavors were tasty. All in all, we will return to this place. Unusually high quality of ingredients for a restaurant in Rowland Heights where most everyone is looking for a bargain.

Jul 14, 2007
xanderjoon in Los Angeles Area

Tokyo report

Wow, sounds like French Laundry experience! Did you find any inexpensive options or hidden gems on this trip?

Jun 10, 2007
xanderjoon in Japan

Royal Park Hotel next to TCAT

Thanks for your suggestions...unfortunately we have decided to move to Courtyard Ginza Tobu instead....any ideas for Ginza area?

Jun 10, 2007
xanderjoon in Japan

Iron Chef Restaurants - Are they overrated?

Thanks, Charles. You mentioned their lunch pre-fixe was $40 per person, do you remember their dinner prices? On tastingmenu.com, I found sometimes Sakai is in the kitchen himself!

Jun 09, 2007
xanderjoon in Japan

Royal Park Hotel next to TCAT

For our first stopover, we are arriving at Royal Park Hotel between 7 and 8pm and departing the next day. Which restaurant can we go to that night? I saw a fine list on tastingmenu.com but none of the choices are near our hotel. We don't mind taking a cab or subway, if not too complicated (first time in Tokyo). Convenience is key but we don't want to just eat hotel food. We are flexible, can be fine dining, casual ramen, or fresh sushi. Preferably not over US$100 per person.

Jun 08, 2007
xanderjoon in Japan

Iron Chef Restaurants - Are they overrated?

Thanks for your feedback. Will definitely give it a go! Did you have to make advance reservations?

Jun 08, 2007
xanderjoon in Japan

Iron Chef Restaurants - Are they overrated?

We are planning to stay at Cerulean Towers. Found out Iron Chef Chen has restaurant in hotel and Iron Chef Sakai has restaurant across the street, La Rochelle. Are they worth checking out? Does anyone have any recent experiences?

Jun 08, 2007
xanderjoon in Japan

One day in Tokyo near Mandarin Oriental

What do you think of the Cerulean Towers in Shibuya? Not in the same league as the top tier hotels but comfortable enough for us. Iron chef Chen has a restaurant in the hotel and iron chef Sakai's La Rochelle is across the street from there. Are those restaurants worth going to or overrated?

Jun 07, 2007
xanderjoon in Japan

Recommendations near Ritz Carlton Tokyo

Now we're covered....many thanks! Beef tongue and ramen sound especially yummy:) Let's see how many meals we can have in 36 hours!

Jun 02, 2007
xanderjoon in Japan

Recommendations near Ritz Carlton Tokyo

We are going to Japan for the first time and staying at the new Ritz Carlton in Ropponggi area. Would like to try authentic Japanese sushi, ramen, fusion, or anything we can't get (the same quality) in LA. Prefer to stay in vicinity of hotel if possible, but willing to travel if simple enough (taxi is ok) and not too many transfers on the subway. Any not to be missed meals? Please advise!!

Jun 01, 2007
xanderjoon in Japan

The Ubergeeks are moving to north OC!

Thanks for the info, can't wait to try! What else is good there? Only Lebanese I've had is Papa Hassan's in Old Town Orange. Very quaint place with excellent lamb shawirma!

May 31, 2007
xanderjoon in Los Angeles Area

Favorite Maui Restaurants?

Ate there only once several years ago....did not leave an impression on me. Heard Io's (sister restaurant of Pacific O) have good foie gras too. WM, the ill-fated restaurant near Star Market, also did a great preparation. Too bad they went out of business! Las Vegas decor with 5 star service and food did not fare too well in touristy Honokawai/Kaanapali.

May 31, 2007
xanderjoon in Hawaii

One day in Tokyo near Mandarin Oriental

Thanks for the invaluable advice! We are staying at Ritz Carlton instead. Any suggestions for places to eat and hang out? What's the best way to get there from Narita?

May 31, 2007
xanderjoon in Japan

Favorite Maui Restaurants?

Chef Patrick at Chez Paul does prepare his foie gras with flair! He is a perfectionist. If you're set on ordering foie gras, please let them know when you're making the reservation (at least 2 days in advance). It's not always on the menu...I found out the hard way last time we were there. Highly recommend rack of lamb also. Overall a bit expensive, but sometimes they do have a coupon in the Maui Menu Magazine. Bon Appetit!

May 31, 2007
xanderjoon in Hawaii

One day in Tokyo near Mandarin Oriental

Bringing my husband to Malaysia for first time and transiting through Tokyo. We have 2 days and 1 night, staying at Mandarin Oriental Tokyo. It will be first time in Japan for both of us. Since we have so little time and prefer not to navigate the subway, we would like to stay within walking distance (up to 30 minutes) of our hotel. Can you recommend any breakfast, lunch or dinner places not to be missed? We are planning a visit to the fish market but he prefers something warm for breakfast! We are going to save our sushi meal for lunch or dinner. Ramen for lunch sounds good as well! Dinner can be more fancy.

May 30, 2007
xanderjoon in Japan

KOKKARI or GARY DANKO to impress visitors?

I appreciate all your wonderful suggestions and will try them out on our next trip. After a series of californian, french, and italian cuisine in Napa and Sonoma, our guests were craving Greek food(very close to Persian). Took them to Kokkari and they LOVED it! Everything from the service to dessert was absolutely flawless! We had one of the best waiters there...Michael. The wood-oven roasted seabass(imported from Greece) was a surprise hit! On the other hand, their famous lamb chops were a let-down, especially when compared to the phenomenal lamb we had at General's Daughter just the night before. Moussaka was delicious, as was the goat stew. The flourless chocolate cake was one of the best and I don't even like flourless cakes!

May 29, 2007
xanderjoon in San Francisco Bay Area

CYRUS ALTERNATIVES?

You are on the money, Navin! Just savored sublime food and service at the General's Daughter last night. Prefixe menu offers unbeatable value and flexibility. Highlights include perfectly made foie gras, ravioli, fantastic lamb chops(more like rack of lamb), and chocolate souffle....everything was well executed. Our guests also enjoyed their Hawaiian Snapper, Asparagus and Beet Salad, and White Bean and Vegetable Soup. Definitely the best meal we had on this trip! Memorable for our guests:)

May 26, 2007
xanderjoon in San Francisco Bay Area

WHICH CHINESE RESTAURANT TO IMPRESS VISITORS?

Great advice, thanks! So far, read about crabs, beef with fried rice, peking duck, beef chow fun, fried tofu...did I miss anything?

May 24, 2007
xanderjoon in San Francisco Bay Area

KOKKARI or GARY DANKO to impress visitors?

My definition of impressive is....Well-prepared and quality ingredients, good service, inviting atmosphere, and preferably something unique about the cuisine or place. Something to leave an impression on the guests for a long time, not just another expensive meal.

May 24, 2007
xanderjoon in San Francisco Bay Area

Romantic Restaurant in Sonoma County

Agree with carrie218. General's Daughter is in a different class from Girl and Fig, also more expensive BUT well worth it. Sublime food and service where prefixe menu offers unbeatable value and flexibility. Highlights include foie gras, ravioli, lamb chops, and chocolate souffle....everything was well executed. Our guests also enjoyed their Hawaiian Snapper, Asparagus and Beet Salad, and White Bean and Vegetable Soup. Definitely the best meal we had on this trip! Girl and Fig is more of a lunch place or early light dinner in patio. Overall food does not even compare to General's Daughter. Hint...girl and fig does have the BEST butter to go with their bread though!

May 24, 2007
xanderjoon in San Francisco Bay Area

The General's Daughter - Any recent experience?

Just savored sublime food and service at the General's Daughter tonight. Prefixe menu offers unbeatable value and flexibility. Highlights include foie gras, ravioli, lamb chops, and chocolate souffle....everything was well executed. Our guests also enjoyed their Hawaiian Snapper, Asparagus and Beet Salad, and White Bean and Vegetable Soup. Definitely the best meal we had on this trip!

May 24, 2007
xanderjoon in San Francisco Bay Area

WHICH CHINESE RESTAURANT TO IMPRESS VISITORS?

Thank you all for the advice! Since R & G is just around the corner from our hotel, it works out perfectly for us:) Will report after our meal....

May 24, 2007
xanderjoon in San Francisco Bay Area

KOKKARI or GARY DANKO to impress visitors?

Our guests are Persians from Canada in San Francisco for the first time. We are from Orange County, just wrapping up a lovely trip to Sonoma continuing on to SF tomorrow. Enjoyed sublime food and service at the General's Daughter....unbeatable value in Sonoma! Thank you all for all the suggestions. Waitstaff with bad attitude are a big turn off! (Since we are all tourists, would we be PATRONIZED?) No food is worth such treatment! I'm looking to make a memorable meal, not necessarily someplace ostentacious and $$$$$.

May 24, 2007
xanderjoon in San Francisco Bay Area