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Up-to-date recs for Saddle Peak Lodge

Was there last week with a group of 8. Everyone got a different entree. The elk was everyone's fave, followed by my dish, the kangaroo sirloin, which was surprisingly tasty.

One other tip, they charge no corkage on wines purchased from Woodland Hills Wine Company or Duke of Bourbon.

about 5 hours ago
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Vintage LA diners with great food

Running, is it open to the public, when it's open?

Apr 21, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Vintage LA diners with great food

I love these places, too.

I've never been to Nat's (will go now, though!), but for me:

Pann's is the clear winner. Its menu has a Southern inflection that just makes it better all around than the rest.

Clear second is Nick's Chinatown.

Below that it starts to meld together, but I give the third to Tallyrand. The sign (in approximately same font as the original Disneyland sign) is classic. The food, as mentioned, is rock solid. Plus and, unlike almost all others on your list, they have an excellent full bar, complete with sidecar martinis.

You could do a crawl of just the places within a couple of miles of each other in Burbank/Toluca Lake: Tallyrand, Bob's, Frank's, Paty's, (not mentioned here yet, but definitely in your wheelhouse; also has a nice patio, which is rare on your list) Chili John's (likewise, minus the patio).

And please, no Mel's Diner. It's an 80's knockoff of a 50s diner. Might as well go to Johnny Rocket's. (not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Spicy in the North SGV, Tomorrow

This Yelper's review is encouraging, too:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/chong-king-re...

I'm going! I'll report back.

Apr 09, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Spicy in the North SGV, Tomorrow

That's actually good news to me. I have always been a fan of Chong/Chung King, and particularly the Garfield branch. Maybe because it was my first sichuan peppercorn. One never forgets that experience!

Apr 09, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

What does New York have that LA doesn't?

Can we please say "pooh-pooh?" Poo-poo is another thing, and we're eating here.

The SGV sucks

How amusing. I just cross-posted requesting something "beyond hot pot" in the north SGV.

Apr 09, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Spicy in the North SGV, Tomorrow

I have a New Yorker in town who doesn't know Korean food and "hates Chinese food," but is really only familiar with old school Cantonese. She loves spicy Thai and Indian, though, and I think some SGV Hunan/Sichuan would blow her mind. We'll be spending the day at Santa Anita tomorrow and then she's off to Irwindale.

I know North SGV is more about Shanghainese and Taiwanese, and the best spicy would be closer to the 10 than the 210, but don't necessarily want to go ALL the way back and forth from Chengdu or Yunnan Garden or the like. So who brings the best heat in the Arcadia/Duarte/Monrovia corridor?

Considering:

Hai Di Lao, although options beyond hot pot would be nice;
Chang's Garden, because IIRC they serve some pretty solid Sichuan style dishes.
Young Dong Tofu for soondobu.

Any recommendations or other ideas?

Apr 09, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Beef ramen in LA? So over tonkotsu.

甲基苯丙胺和我的敌人汤的灵魂

Fun with Google Translate!

Apr 03, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

McCormick & Schmick’s: Another One Bites the Dust

When it was one of the few reliable places in town to get raw oysters, I went to the DTLA location a lot. I also used to park there before Disney Hall concerts and take their free shuttle.

There are oysters galore now. The shuttle was shuttered. M&S has long since outlived its usefulness. I wonder what will take over that space?

Mar 17, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Hollywood Area and Universal Studios

Angelyne defines "celebrity." She is famous for absolutely no good reason. She's also a smart and generally kind person. She's often selling merch out of the trunk of her car in front of El Coyote these days.

Mar 15, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Interesting Thread on Reddit Asking Expats Most Authentic Home Country Restaurant in LA

Yeah, this is a great reddit. So many restaurants outside of the Chowhound bubble. Get to work, people! Thanks for sharing.

Mar 02, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area
1

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

What is f.o.?

Feb 26, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, March 2015 -- Voting

SEAFOOD SANDWICHES

Feb 24, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

Only one? That's tough. I'll go with Pink's. I mean it's a fine hot dog and all, but who in their right mind would line up for even ten minutes, much less 45, to get one? Utterly mystifying.

Feb 24, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, February 2015 -- BURGERS

I just discovered Fat Sal's in Hollywood. Went there for a chili dog that was delish so today I returned for a burger. Quarter pound chili cheesburger with everything: shredded lettuce, thin sliced tomato, thin sliced onion, pickles, special sauce (I'm usually mustard-instead but I like to try places' "as is" burgers first).

It was an A- . Flavor was terrific. 1/4 pound Angus patty was nicely griddled, cheddar cheese nicely melted. The standout (and why I loved the chili dog) is the the chili, which is flavorful and has an unusually strong kick to it for a condiment chili. The bun was excellent: fluffy, fresh, and sesame-seeded, the way I like it.

Only two strikes against. One is subjective: I prefer leaf lettuce to shredded. The other is presentation. Even "for here" orders come in a foil wrapper. That's it. Not even a bag like at Five Guys to use as a plate. And a plate is necessary, as the burger (and the chili dog) are messy, and foil has zero absorbency.

So bring a wet nap or two and give it a try.

Feb 11, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area
1

Tiki bars? And tiki food?

Yeah, Trader Sam's is kind of a blast.

Feb 08, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Tiki bars? And tiki food?

Tiki Ti doesn't serve food.

Most tiki bars worthy of the name don't. Food just kills the rum and sugar headache buzz.

Trader Vic's probably the main exception.

Feb 06, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

What am I missing?

There are plenty of good recommendations for specific restaurants, but whatever you do you MUST have:

2 Mexican meals
1 Koreatown Korean meal
1 SGV (San Gabriel Valley) Chinese meal

Otherwise you're seriously missing out.

Feb 04, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area
1

For Future Reference--Chinese Restaurants That Don't Use MSG

Revisiting this thread after finally making it to Elite today, and then spending the afternoon in bed with an MSG hangover. I can handle MSG in small amounts, but large doses smack me down.

I recently did massive research on all the top SGV dim sum joints here on Yelp and I came across one where a user had accused the kitchen of MSG overdose. Management responded saying they used no MSG. Can't find it now.

Does anyone know a no-or-minimal-MSG option for dim sum? This and other threads on the topic refer mostly to dinner menus, I think.

Feb 03, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Along the 118: Moorpark > La Canada - Anything Chow-Worthy?

Well if Brent's isn't too far off the 118, there's also the last great Cupid's Hot Dogs, on Lindley and Nordhoff.

Jan 29, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Zankou

Barry, do you have a reference for this? I've never heard of potato in this sauce, just garlic and olive oil, which jibes with the recipe linked below.

Jan 26, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

LA's Oldest Still-Thriving Restaurants

FYI, Greenblatt's claims 1926 on their signage.

Jan 24, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Is there anywhere to have a nice dinner in downtown LA?

I've only been for oyster happy hour, but Faith and Flower seems to fit the bill. If the food at Cicada were a notch better, I'd suggest that. But I'm not.

Jan 21, 2015
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Tacos El Gavilan Coming to La Brea/Sunset

Even an approximate emulation of King Taco would be welcome in the heart of Hollywood.

Dec 30, 2014
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Tacos El Gavilan Coming to La Brea/Sunset

Apparently the cursed space that has been variously a Boston Market (remember them?) and a Pho Citi in the horrible Ross mini-mall is transforming into a Tacos El Gavilan.

Is something to be even moderately excited about?

Dec 30, 2014
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Best Mexican in Sherman Oaks?

Man, this list just goes to show how desperate the Valley Mexican scene is, when Don Cuco's gets some love.

Dec 29, 2014
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

Tito's Tacos

"Tito's NOSTALGIA and COMFORT food is true, but not the heart of the matter. Umami and RITUALIZATION are the reasons I love Tito's. The flavor profiles are CARVED INTO THE NEURO PATHWAYS of my brain."

(My emphasis)

---

See what you did there? The heart of the matter is precisely nostalgia and comfort: You were conditioned to love the flavor, and love the ritual that you have performed countless times before.

All discussion of authenticity and eggrolls and pizza (what, no bagels?) aside, the point is that even in the genre of crispy-shelled, shredded lettuce, orange cheese, SoCal style tacos (a genre I love!), Tito's are not even in the top twenty. Love for them is strictly nostalgia. (And there's nothing wrong with that. My favorite taquitos are still the ones at Lupe's in Thousand Oaks. But I would not try to convince anyone that they should go try them.)

I think we can prove it. Chime in here if all of the following are true:

a) You grew up in SoCal.
b) You like the style of taco under discussion, and have been eating them since you were a kid.
c) You didn't have a Tito's taco until you were an adult.
d) You think Tito's tacos are something special.

Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

Best Mexican in Sherman Oaks?

"We have access to so much of the real stuff here in the area"

Where, please?

Dec 28, 2014
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area

PIZZA TAKE OUT MELROSE AND SWEETZER

Hounds here are mostly thin crust aficionados. Mozza, Tomato Pie, Vito's...all thin, which IMHO is less desirabe for takeout as it doesn't hold the heat. Especially true if it's for office lunch where there's no oven to re-heat.

Dec 28, 2014
jesstifer in Los Angeles Area