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Hidden, Amazing BYO Italian in Philly?

Hello everyone. I just moved to the area and already have some friends from out of town coming into visit.

I am looking for a very small, hidden, authentic Italian BYO somewhere in downtown Philly. Essentially, I want to impress my friends by taking them to a "mom and pop" restaurant without pretension, but with tremendous food and an intimate atmosphere. I remember visiting a restaurant once in South Philly that was basically an expanded dining room in an Italian family's house with no sign on the wall - but had the best food I've ever tasted. Anyone have any ideas? Or can post me to another thread that discussed this topic?

Thank you for your help!

Aug 11, 2009
poppasmiths in Pennsylvania

Late Night Dinner and Drinks

I have some savvy New Yorkers (or so they think) coming into LA next weekend... they get in late (9:45pm) but then I would like to take them somewhere fun for a late dinner that would also have a good drinking scene. I know some bars have late night food... but I think that I'd rather go to a place where we can sit down and enjoy ourselves. I'd go anywhere from Santa Monica to Hollywood... and I'm flexible as far as pricing/ambiance... I'd consider anything from El Compadre to Hungry Cat to One Sunset... if it has good food/scene. Thanks for the help!

Apr 11, 2008
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Best "Indie" Chocolates in L.A.??

For Thanksgiving I bought a nice selection of chocolates from Mel and Rose (on Melrose and Kings). They have a great selection of indie and artisan chocolates and some other fun confectionaries and wine as well. Although they are not independent, LA chocolatiers you can still get a lot of fun chocolates there that you won't find in Whole Foods.

Dec 12, 2007
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Pearl Sugar in Los Angeles?

Does anyone know where I can find Belgian Pearl Sugar in Los Angeles. I am making my French friend's cookie recipe and it calls for pearl sugar. Apparently confectioner's sugar won't do the trick.

If anyone has any ideas please let me know! Thank you!

Dec 11, 2007
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Nexxt Cafe (on Miracle Mile)

I'm from Los Angeles and was in Miami for business. We needed a quick lunch and a friend recommended the Nexxt Cafe on Miracle Mile. He said that he went to their other location in South Beach and the food was great there, but that the service was slow.

I took his advice and we had our most pleasant meal of the trip. The food was excellent and the service was quick, courteous, and pleasant. The restaurant is a light, airy cafe that wasn't too loud. I would say that the biggest negative is the giant, overwhelming menu. Although it was strange for me to see Thai food next to Mexican food next to salads - our server Jen was very sweet and helped walk us through it. We decided to get a little bit of each cuisine.

Per Jen's recommendation we started with Avocado Wontons. They came out nice and hot and did not fall apart on the plate. They were served with an interesting tamarind sauce that added some sweetness to the unique dish.

I had the Kobe Beef Burger which came out slightly pink medium rare. The bun was nice and toasty and the burger itself was delicious. I asked for extra mushrooms and Jen brought a small, complimentary plate of the sauteed shrooms!

My friend got the Baja Chicken Tacos which was served as heaping plate of Mexican food. There was plenty of avacado on it (which was almost overkill given the fact that we had avacado as an appetizer) and tasted like the taco stands back in LA - which is a good thing.

The manager, Ron, even came by to check on us (which might happen all the time in Miami, but is interesting to me as an out-of-towner). In any event, I will be returning to Miami a couple more times over the next few months and will make sure to check out this restaurant and try more items off the giant menu.

Nov 17, 2007
poppasmiths in Florida

Sports Bar near Beverly/Fairfax?

Does anyone know of a sports bar with good food where I can watch football games? I used to live in Santa Monica and would rather find places near my new home by the Grove. I went to Busby's down on Wilshire, but the menu and seating options leave something to be desired. Thank you!

Oct 01, 2007
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

It's 2 a.m., where do you go to get your chowhound fix?

I saw this guide online:

It's a handy print out thing with where to find late-night eats in LA. Maybe not all of these restaurants are up to Chowhound snuff... but at least its conveniently organized!

Mar 20, 2007
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Ammonium Carbonate?

Does anyone know where in LA I can get ammonium carbonate in order to make some old italian ammonia cookies?

I don't know if it'd be available in a commercial bakery, or a pharmacy, or online anywhere... but if anyone knows where I can find some around here I would greatly appreciate the help.

Thank you!

Jan 30, 2007
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Fun Sushi on Westside?

Hi, going to a dinner tonight with a couple of college-grads. We are looking for a fun sushi place in Santa Monica, Venice, West LA area. I like the vibe of both Chaya Venice and Orris... is there a sushi spot nearby that can match the ambiance? Any help would be much appreciated... thank you! Happy holidays!

Dec 22, 2006
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Santa Monica- quiet-ish wine bar type of place?

Bodega Wine Bar (Broadway and Lincoln)

Air Conditioned (Pico and Stewart)

Both places are quiet, dark wine bars. Bodega has a limited menu and Air Conditioned only has a cheese plate option.

Nov 16, 2006
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Best delivery options near wilshire & doheny

I work right on Doheney and Wilshire and lunchtime seems like a daily chore. We shrug our shoulders and tend to stick with our standby's because there are limited delivery options, and not all of them are amazing.

These are our choices for lunch delivery:

Lazy Daisy (Wilshire and Doheny)- Quick and easy sandwiches and salads
Beverly Hills Market and Deli (Crescent and Dayton) - Large delivery menu, not bad food, quick delivery
Cafe Connection (Wilshire and Palm) - Nothing special, but walking distance and they have hot food lunch specials
Silk (Santa Monica and Charleville) - Thai. Very Americanized, cheap lunch specials.
Bossa Nova (Beverly) - Brazilian-Californian. Good food, takes forever for delivery.
Marchello's (Pico and La Cienega) - Our preference for Italian Sandwiches. Quick delivery, good value.
Shah Abbas (San Vincente and La Cienega) - Persian food. Not terrible for lunch delivery.
India's Grill (San Vincente and La Cienega) - Indian Food. Not terrible lunch specials. Quick delivery.

I hope this helps. Please let me know of the new places you find because we are going crazy here too!

Nov 15, 2006
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

ISO PUMPKIN ale in los angeles

I do not remember the name, but the Library Ale House on Main Street has a killer pumpkin ale on tap.

Nov 01, 2006
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Kimchi in West LA?

Yes I know that it is very difficult to find good Asian food west of the 405, but I am craving kimchi and do not feel like driving to Koreatown tonight. Does anyone know where I can get some good kimchi either in a restaurant or a supermarket in West LA/Santa Monica. Thank you.

Oct 30, 2006
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Sourdough - where to find the real thing in LA?

The Vienna Cafe on Melrose and Fuller Ave. makes a mean sourdough. I was having lunch there, and the baker was giving away free loaves. I doubt you'll get a free loaf of sourdough if you go, but it's worth checking out. Spongy with a crunchy crust. Perfect.

Oct 26, 2006
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

cheap, good Indian buffets on the westside

The India Cafe on Santa Monica Blvd and Bundy (right next to California Vegan) has a small but tasty lunch buffet. They keep the buffet nice and hot and make sure to bring you toasty Naan with the meal. I'd recommend it.

Oct 24, 2006
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Westside birthday dinner for about 8-12 ppl, good STEAK

Bandera is not bad at all and makes a pretty good steak. Because it is owned by the Houston's corporation, it still has much of a similar feel as a Houston's. Needless to say, they have a delicious steak, tender ribs, and good non-meat options.

Punch Grill on Wilshire and 26th Street is a new joint and has been discussed in these boards in the past few weeks. I personally thought that the filet was magnificent.

Chaya Venice is an excellent option as well with great ambiance and a diverse menu... there really is something for everyone.

Oct 24, 2006
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

santa monica lunch options around 14th and broadway

I don't know if it is necessarily walking distance, but Babalu (10th and Montana) is a great option that is close to you. Their Ahi Tuna sandwich is excellent!

Oct 20, 2006
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Trendy, Small, and Avant-Garde?

Great, thanks for the help. Do you know if any of these places have a good wine program?

Actually on that note, do you know of any good restaurants in general that have a 'funky' or an 'obscure' wine list? My friend is a sommelier, and a self-proclaimed rockstar somm at that. So, I'm looking for great food and wine that is different than the usual fare. Thanks for the help!

Oct 17, 2006
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Trendy, Small, and Avant-Garde?

Hello! I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for new, off-the-beaten-path places that serve excellent food and have an intimate vibe. They can be anywhere in the city - because I am new and still trying to get the lay of the land.

I have friends from France coming to stay with me for a month and I really like the trendy, avant-garde places with chefs doing crazy things with the food.

Examples include Nook, Orris, Empress, BLD, etc.

Please let me know if you tihnk of anything. Thank you!

Oct 17, 2006
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Best Lunch Delivery in Los Angeles?

Hello! I just moved here from New York and am working an office job. One thing that I really miss is the ability to get excellent, fresh sandwiches and salads delivered to my office quickly. Are there fast, easy delivery places here in LA? If so, what are the best sandwich and salad places that deliver?

I also jump around to different offices around the city, so any locations in the city would be useful. Thank you for the help!

Oct 03, 2006
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area

Looking for a Good First Date Spot in Santa Monica/Manhattan Beach

I am taking this girl out for the first time (both of us in our mid-twenties) and am looking for a fun first date spot. Somewhere in between South Bay and Santa Monica is perfect. Something relatively affordable, excellent food, lively yet cozy, and doesn't give this original small-town girl a feeling of Los Angeles pretension. Tapas perhaps? Help me out please!

Sep 29, 2006
poppasmiths in Los Angeles Area