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Napa on Monday for lunch

We're in Napa on Monday and Sonoma for a couple days. Any lunch suggestions for Napa. Wide open on cuisine and price. We're stopping at Ox Bow Market. Could that possibly be our lunch stop? The choices there looked really fun.

Thanks!

Central Coast Lunch or Dinner Recommendation?

Thank you, PolarB for the list. Do they all have tasting rooms at this i.p. or just production and storage?

Mar 29, 2009
brieflunchcounter in California

Central Coast Lunch or Dinner Recommendation?

We ended up going in the other direction and went to Foley, Melville, Buttonwood and Rideau. Foley was our favorite. Will do the Foxen Canyon Trail on the next trip, which will be for the Vintner's Festival, in April. Bought amazingly huge strawberries across the street from Buttonwood.

Oh! We also ended up, in a very funny crossing of signals, at the industrial park in Lompoc, where Sea Smoke has their production facility. Fortunately, we needed some things from Home Depot! Excellent strawberry banana smoothie and tofu dog at the snack stand outside the Home Depot in Lompoc.

Mar 28, 2009
brieflunchcounter in California

Central Coast Lunch or Dinner Recommendation?

Thank you so much for the Brothers Restaurant at Mattei's Tavern recommendation. We loved it. Arrived at 5:30, so was still quiet. We were seated in the sun room (porch) area, which is so peaceful. Had a red pepper tart and mussels in a Pernod cream sauce to start. Both were excellent, especially with the rosemary focaccia and cornbread, which is baked on premises every day. For entrees we ordered the pork chops with bacon mashed potatoes and chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese, served with mashed potatoes and au jus. All perfectly cooked, tender, moist, delicious. Wine list offered a lot of local wines, of course, so if you know the region, you can pick a winner and avoid the less-than-stellar selections. We chose Great Oaks Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. For dessert we chose a mud pie with homemade whipped cream, coffee ice cream and an Oreo Crust.

We'll be going back. Again and again.

Mar 28, 2009
brieflunchcounter in California

Central Coast Lunch or Dinner Recommendation?

I love these recommendations. Thank you so much for taking the time. I'm probably going to buy a cookbook or two on the trip. as well.

Mar 26, 2009
brieflunchcounter in California

Central Coast Lunch or Dinner Recommendation?

We're heading to Zaca Mesa Winery this Friday for a media event and will be looking for a lunch or dinner reservation in the Los Olivos area, Any recommendations? We're open to any cuisine and price.

Thanks!

Mar 23, 2009
brieflunchcounter in California

Central Coast Lunch or Dinner Recommendation?

Thank you. I'll post on the California Board. Have been to Hitching Post . Always an excellent suggestion.

Mar 23, 2009
brieflunchcounter in California

Central Coast Lunch or Dinner Recommendation?

We're heading to Zaca Mesa Winery this Friday for a media event and will be looking for a lunch or dinner reservation in the Los Olivos area, Any recommendations? We're open to any cuisine and price.

Thanks!

Mar 23, 2009
brieflunchcounter in California

Is there a better sandwich place than Bay Cities???

My experience with Bay Cities bread has been a disappointment, as well. I recently picked up two wonderfully warm loaves. Sadly, the bread was far too dense and chewy, with no lightness to it. However, I'm guessing many people like their bread made in this dense style. I find it tough to eat. I like the aroma of Bay Cities bread, though.

I recently bought a loaf of lovely Italian bread from a restaurant in Culver City called Ugo. I slipped into Ugo out of sheer horror a the size of the line at Tender Greens. Had a salad at Ugo with the Italian bread. Fell in love with its texture and flavor and asked if they would sell me a loaf. Since they don't sell their bread as a rule, it came to my table oddly wrapped but so warm, just out of the oven. I served it that evening with lentil soup and wild mushroom angnolotti with seared scallops in lemon burnt butter sauce. So comforting.

Lala's Grill. Sheesh......

We ate at the Lala's on Melrose. Glad to know there are others who find this type of kitchen shortcut offensive - for any cuisine.

Lala's Grill. Sheesh......

Garlic chicken smothered in bottled, pre-minced garlic?! Mashed potatoes made with some very odd tasting, low grade oil? I couldn't get home fast enough to brush my teeth and get the taste out of my mouth.

When I asked our waiter why the restaurant was using old, pre-minced garlic on their garlic chicken dishes, he said this is traditional Argentinian style food. I immediately imagined people all across Argentina throwing their fresh garlic aside and rushing to the nearest grocery store for a bottle or tube of minced garlic.

The restaurant's Web site states the owners insist on high caliber ingredients. High quality cooking oils and fresh garlic would fall into this category.

Old, fusty garlic.

Ewww,,,,

Culver City Saturday Night Dinner Rec?

Thank you. Reservation made for tomorrow evening at Brunello. Looking forward to the experience. Will report.

Culver City Saturday Night Dinner Rec?

We're taking a friend to dinner Saturday night in Culver City. Any suggestions? Any cuisine and price range is fine.

Thanks, chows!

Romantic Restaurants in the Santa Clarita Valley

Thanks for all the suggestions. This is a tough one!

Romantic Restaurants in the Santa Clarita Valley

I've got that one on our list. Thanks for reconfirming that it does belong there.

Romantic Restaurants in the Santa Clarita Valley

I'm currently working on a project that requires me to come up with a list of romantic restaurants in the Santa Clarita Valley (Newhall, Saugus, Valencia, Stevenson Ranch...). So far, I've come up with a very slim list. Anyone have a suggestion? Cuisine and price are wide open.

Thanks!

Pies for Birthday Party

Thanks for the choices. We'll check them all out.

Pies for Birthday Party

We have a friend celebrating her 40th birthday and she wants pies this year, instead of cake. Her favorites are apple, blueberry and lemon meringue. Any suggestions on the best places to buy these pies in Los Angeles?

Thanks!

Traxx Restaurant

The last time my husband and I ate at Traxx we enjoyed the mussels appetizer, cooked in a spicy tomato saffron broth. Lovely with sourdough bread. We also sampled the venison carpaccio, served with horseradish dijonais. Had to get it. How often do you see venison carpaccio on a menu in Southern California?! We also had the Roasted Half Chicken Under a Brick with Green Chile Posole, Cilantro-Almond Pesto and Fire Roasted Tortilla. The chicken was moist but I found the flavor of the posole and the pesto just a little too busy for this dish.

Anniversary Lunch

Two excellent suggestions. Thanks!

Anniversary Lunch

My husband and I are looking for a romantic restaurant for lunch on Wednesday to celebrate our anniversary. Any recommendations somewhere between between, say, Larchmont Boulevard and Beverly Hills? Price and cuisine all open.

Thanks for the help!

What restaurant dish if you have to eat it for 30 days straight...GO

30 days?

Definitely, the Lasagna Verde from Angelini Osteria. Then I would pop across the street to Milk and have a a malted milk shake 30 days in a row. Man, would I be fat and happy!

Please help me find this cake!

You're right. That particular cake is a signature specialty cake from SLJ. I am certain you can get the amazing bakers at Susina to recreate this cake for you. If you have a photograph, even better.

Dinner around the world - help!

You may also want to consider one of the only (they call themselves "THE only") Portuguese restaurant in the L.A. area. Euro Cafe. It's in Claremont. From Anaheim you can take the 57 Freeway to the 210 Freeway. The restaurant is just off the 210 at Baseline and Mills. This is a post-drive-time trip.

http://www.eurocafeclaremont.com/inde...

Dinner around the world - help!

If you'd like to add a taste of yak to your dining experience, do try Tibet-Nepal House, as ElsieDee suggested. The restaurant has a great Sat-Sun brunch, though you'll have to order the yak from the menu.

Cafe La Boheme Opening Party Food Review - Disappointment

I like your blog, Ron and your writing style. I look forward to reading your thoughts on La Boheme's new Pan-Asian menu, after your first visit.

Cafe La Boheme Opening Party Food Review - Disappointment

I went to the reopening party for La Boheme last evening. The West Hollywood restaurant has been closed since July for a remodel and a change of menu. The new Pan-Asian menu was introduced to invited guests last evening in the form of tray-served hors d’œuvres. I asked if all the hors d’œuvres served last evening would be on the menu and was told many would be served regularly. Our party of four was completely underwhelmed with the food. The first hors d’œuvre we were served was a minced-meat filled wonton that was utterly tasteless. We asked the server if it was pork or chicken and he didn't know. After eating the wonton, neither did we. That was followed by a seared piece of 55-day aged meat on toast with a dab of cream sauce. This hors d’œuvre was the absolute winner of the evening's offerings and we were happy to see that selection come out of the kitchen twice. Forgettable sushi was next, dull and lackluster with hardened rice. I asked the server if sushi was going to be on the menu at the new Cafe La Boheme and he said it would be served at the bar. I'm guessing sushi may be one of the foods the restaurant gets right, as they have experience with it from their La Cienega-eatery, Gonpachi.

The biggest food disappointments also included the dates stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon. Even bacon couldn't save this nuclear morsel. Far too much blue cheese overwhelmed this little bite. More than one person at our table took one nibble and left the rest in a napkin. Just awful. Crabcakes were next. In fairness, they were cooked to a golden perfection. But the crab mixture was completely dry and tasteless. Nobody in our group finished theirs and we saw other guests depositing half-eaten crab cakes on any available space. The kitchen needs to get this right or drop it from the menu.

Firecracker shrimp followed. No culinary explosion, just a bite of mealy shrimp in innocuous coating. Then came the oysters in lime juice, served in shooter glasses. The two people in our party who had this, loved it. The big sin was the steak tartare. The texture had all the earmarkings of a food processor. Unforgivable. Even if chef Christine Banta was under a time constraint with the number of party guests, this was an unfortunate decision.

Some would say, food has always been La Boheme's weak spot. The decor may have changed slightly, but the weak spot is even more precarious than ever.

One final observation, service has also been a week spot for La Boheme. We may have discovered why last evening and leave the restaurant with a suggestion. Get your thug-like GM to lay off the servers and they will probably have less reason to stalk the restaurant floor with the look of taunted junkyard dogs on their faces. La Boheme's GM needs to dial down the anger directed at staff and customers for this revamped West Hollywood spot to succeed.

Organic Restaurant Suggestions?

All great suggestions. I think we are going to reserve a table at AOC. Our business meeting is with a group from Italy and one of them mentioned AOC on the phone this afternoon.

Organic Restaurant Suggestions?

Thanks for the suggestions!

Organic Restaurant Suggestions?

I'm looking for a couple of suggestions on restaurants that serve organic foods. This is for a dinner meeting and can be anywhere between the Westside and Universal City. The restaurant does not have to be vegetarian.

I appreciate the help.