schmamo's Profile

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Spago dineLA Review. One of DineLA's Best Deals.

I must woefully disagree - not with the contention that you are getting a bargain price on a Spago meal, but that it is actually worth it to dine at Spago, one of the most overrated eateries in Beverly Hills. Even at $44 per person, the menu offerings have zero wow factor in taste or creative preparation. It is always a travesty to me when one peaks at the appetizer course, as was the case here. Despite enjoying the fig salad described above, I felt each of the main courses offered was only "okay," as with the desserts. In fact, I actually felt bad for my dining companion, whose chicken was dry and tasteless. Thank goodness for the wine.

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Spago
176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Oct 19, 2009
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Best place for TEPPANYAKI?

Musashi in Northridge (two locations, but the older one on Tampa at Nordhoff is my personal favorite). It used to be my choice for birthday restaurant every year growing up.

Aug 06, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Nabe Restaurant in Little Tokyo

I am thinking of going here with coworkers on Friday.... any other opinions out there on this place? Are there any other shabu shabu restaurants that are open for lunch (downtown area)?

Aug 06, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

very specific dessert needed in downtown...

A good friend of mine is leaving my office and we are taking her out to lunch. She has made one request, but it has proven to be a difficult one - she wants to go somewhere with "traditional" (I take it to mean "American classic") desserts. Most specifically, she wants to go somewhere with brownie sundaes. I think she'd also be thrilled if they had some sort of warm cookies with ice cream. What places can you think of that fit the bill? I know Engine Co. 28 and Liberty Grill have brownie sundaes, but I have never been impressed with the food at either....

Jul 10, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Fun group dinner spot pre-Dodger game

We are coming from downtown, so mainly looking for a place in the near vicinity to have a few drinks and some tasty, pre-game nosh. Maybe some good Chinese food? Or somewhere cool in Echo Park? I suggested the Red Lion, but that was ruled out. Mexican food is sort of my last resort on this one (I have it a ton).

Jun 23, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Osteria Mozza pasta tasting menu (pictures)

Don't bother. I treated my boyfriend here on Tuesday night and it was one of the most disappointing dining experiences I have had in Los Angeles (including the return of a dish TWICE for being burnt on bottom). I have concluded that this place is 90% hype, and 10% chance - that chance being that you will find a dish that is actually worth the cost (one example being the Beef Brazato). If part of the price is the ambiance and service, this place has neither. It is loud, and in my opinion rather inattentive in the way of service (we actually gave up getting the sommalier's attention). I had very high expectations (probably part of the problem), and left disappointed and underwhelmed.

May 31, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Mac & Cheese

I am surprised how little mention there has been of Lola's M&C. I have ordered it as my meal on more than a few occasions. It is just that good. Cheddary goodness and a parmesan crust that just takes it one notch past heavenly. NOTHING I have had anywhere else in the city even comes close.

May 31, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

great place downtown b4 a concert?

Depends on the price range... If the weather is as nice as today, I would suggest dining al fresco at either Cafe Pinot (pricy) or Blue Dahlia (inexpensive). IMHO the Water Grill is bar none the best restaurant downtown, but it is not cheap. Roys is another good option.

May 31, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Grilled Cheese Invitational: Who had the best sandwich?

Wasn't there, but have had the Foundry grilled cheese with short ribs. It's terrific!

Apr 22, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

SEVEN restaurant downtown? or?

I am headed there next Weds. for lunch... if someone goes sooner, do tell what you thought of the food!

Apr 22, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Downtown lunch for $50 (or less) per head

Using $50 pp (all inclusive) as the benchmark, where among the many downtown options would you choose to have a company lunch for 8 people?

My firm pays for a group lunch once a month, and I am looking for a new option. In the past few months, we've hit up: Kendall's, Daily Grill, Pete's, R-23, La Golandrina, Blue Velvet, Casey's, J Restaurant, and the Liberty Grill.

One stip: Must serve alcohol or allow patrons to bring their own.

Mar 10, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Citrus at Social @ Hollywood?

I can't find the menu anywhere online! It doesn't come up on their webpage. Can anyone give a general breakdown of cost for apps, entrees, etc?

Mar 05, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Trilussa Beverly Hills...Any Good?

Has anyone been to Trilussa? Was thinking of checking it out, but hadn't read much about it on the boards.... I hear their pizza is good, and a former post recommends their pomodoro sauce. Anything else of note?

Mar 02, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Pizza with Mushrooms (Fresh, Canned or Frozen)?

Bloom Cafe has a terrific three mushroom pizza made with shitakes, portabellas and white mushrooms. You might want to give that a try in your hunt for perfect mushroom pizza. My guess is that these are of the fresh variety, but I've never asked.

Feb 14, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Katsuya or Geisha House?

At least with Katsuya you chance getting good sushi. The vibe at Geisha is cool, but the food has always failed to impress me.

Feb 14, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Patina - DineLA - "Really? That's it?" Sums it Up

Boo, boo, boo, boo, boo.

Just returned from DineLA lunch at Patina. Had never been before, was dying to try, can now say that I will probably never return.

I went with a group of seven people. Two couldn't find an appetizer they liked, so they just ordered off the regular menu. The rest of us chose the "study" of market beets on watercress salad with citrus fruit, pistachio crusted goat cheese and a "goat cheese cloud." It was simply OKAY, a few pieces of watercress, some sliced fruit and a dollup of whipped cheese. Nothing inspiring and definitely no "wow" factor.

For mains, four of us went with the osso buco and one went with the short rib ravioli (the other two ordered off the regular menu and fared a bit better). I do not think I have ever seen such a small portion of osso buco, not that the THREE ravioli was a much better option. Nothing was provided to assist removing the marrow, so we all worked at it with our knives. Not entirely dignified. The highlight of the dish were the diced morsels of zucchini and the sliver of tomato adorning the dish. All in all, the mains were as weak as the appetizer.

The finale of petit fours rounded out our OKAY meal. Our socks were definitely not knocked off, so to speak.

Had I paid regular prices, I would have been angry, rather than simply disappointed by the mediocrety of the meal.

Jan 31, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Best DineLA Picks?

I canceled our reservation and took the group to Ruth's Chris. While the boys complained that the Caesar was just average, my tuna appetizer was delicious and the petite filet was melt-in-your-mouth yummy. Both sides (creamed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes) were plentiful and appetizing, and the chocolate sin cake was simply sinful (with chocolate and espresso, how could you go wrong!). We also got the bread pudding, but it was completely overshadowed, in my opinion. I am really glad I made the last minute switch in venue! Thanks for the head's up kelvlam.

Jan 31, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

DineLA Grace Warning

I certainly think you are being a bit harsh, given that they supplement their menu to allow further choices at still reduced costs. DineLA does not stipulate how many offerings are provided at each course; it only stipulates that there be three courses. Some restaurants only offer one choice (which is not a choice, and is a bit absurd), and some go the extra mile. Grace has done both by providing two offerings without extra charge and then providing additional options with a small supplement. One of its options included without extra charge, the filet, is one of its most expensive menu items. Hardly a bait and switch... All in all, my boyfriend and I greatly enjoyed our meal there without spending over $100.

Jan 31, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Fraiche, Providence & Foundry-- Must order?

I find the idea that they would make her sign a liability waiver stunning. My close friend is allergic to soy and he has never been asked to accommodate a kitchen with such a waiver. It's their job to know what is going into the food on your plate. Given the price tag, I think the job is on them to get the food done right.

Jan 30, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Best DineLA Picks?

I thought that was the menu? Where do you find the "revised" options? I am going to have a fairly irate group on my hands later, I fear. :-O

Jan 30, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Review: Table 8 for Restaurant Week

Did they allow you to order it from your table, or did you have it prior to dinner at the bar? When I went, I was callously informed that I would not be allowed to try anything from the "bar menu" at the table.

On a later occasion, I tried the sandwich, along with a host of other bar menu options. Of the bunch, it was my least favorite, the bread overpowering the cheese.

Jan 30, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Best DineLA Picks?

Glad to hear it. I'm there on Friday night. Tonight we head to Circa 55. Heard mixed reviews, but the Dine Out options sound terrific. We also have Ford's Filling Station, Simon LA, Patina, and Chaya Brasserie lined up over the coming week. Hopefully all as good as Grace was on Sunday!

Jan 30, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

DineLA Report: Grace

I concur. I attended on Sunday night, the first night of DineLA, and found the squash soup and the filet both quite delicious. The filet is perfectly cooked to order, is exquisitely tender, and perfectly complemented by the farro, onions and blood sausage. The cheese that tops this dish sends it into another realm. Nothing was off-mark, and I did not feel puny at all dining under the Dine LA menu. I will definitely return and recommend wholeheartedly.

Jan 30, 2008
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Where to get the best tacos west side

I couldn't agree more. TITOS IS THE BEST. Maybe not for everyone, but I was an LA city school kid (which is to say that I don't really judge whether I will like something over naysayers opinions of meat...if you've survived school lunch meat, you will survive anything). Bean, beef and cheese burrito + two tacos with cheese and I am one happy (and fully satisfied) girl.

Nov 20, 2007
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Pumpkin, Eggplant, a good bread basket and fish at one place?

Well, minus the hummus, I'd say you've landed in an Italian restaurant! Ca'Brea has great pumpkin ravioli, offers eggplant in yet another pasta dish, and has wonderful fish specials. I can't recall whether I was a fan of their bread basket, but I would assume it is as good as everything else I have eaten there!

Nov 15, 2007
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Beaujolais nouveau in LA?

Actually, the answer re: Pastis would be NO.

Me: Are you doing anything special for Beaujolais Nouveau Day?
Them: Yeah, I think we...may I put you on hold.
Me: Sure
Them: No we're... its a bit late in the end of the season to do anything like that.
Me: But today is THE day. TODAY is BND.
Them: Oh really? Well, then I guess the answer is no, but we have bottles in stock.

I feel I am finding a serious gap in the LA dining scene! Where are the cute little French bistros pouring the new vintage BN, creating festivity out of this day, and serving up cheap bistro fare? I guess a Michelin rated restaurant will have to do... ;-)

Nov 15, 2007
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Blind date - on the westside tomorrow night

For both sushi and Thai, and free parking, and close to the 10 - Natalee Thai on Venice (not their other location on Robertson...). Reasonably priced, good food, appropriate first date ambiance.

Nov 15, 2007
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Beaujolais nouveau in LA?

Indeed. I have heard that BevMo is doing a tasting, but I was really looking for a restaurant/bar. I am surprised that none of the French places I know of have anything listed on their websites, and everything listed on Local Wine Events is out of the way.

Nov 15, 2007
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Beaujolais nouveau in LA?

Have you been? I have only been to events at restaurants, which was what I was looking for but unable to find...

Nov 15, 2007
schmamo in Los Angeles Area

Dinner near Los Angeles Union Station (Train Station)?

I must ditto the suggestion of La Golondrina. Best of the places on Olvera Street. Get the chicken mole. It's the best.

Nov 15, 2007
schmamo in Los Angeles Area