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thegrifter's Profile

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Rosewood Tavern Fail

Went this past Friday. Yes, it was opening night, and problems were expected. However, I think the problems run pretty deep.

The biggest problem was the steaks. Steaks, scotch and beer is the concept. I ordered a strip rare and my girlfriend had a ribeye medium-rare. Both were overcooked, but more worrisome was the mediocre quality of the meat. At reasonable prices (both steaks were around $25), I wasn't expecting prime, but the steaks seemed to be Ralphs quality. Also, they come alone on the plate, so it would get pricier if you wanted to have a complete meal.

We also ordered drinks - I had a Manhattan and she had a martini. Neither were good. There was no liquor list ready.

I'm a big fan of Bowery, and I know Rosewood just opened, but even if it streamlines things (everyone working there was completely overwhelmed, the place was understaffed, total mayhem), I doubt it will be able to overcome its core problems. If you're advertising yourself on steak, you need to have decent steaks.

And your bartenders should be able to make a decent drink.

May 23, 2011
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

One Sandwich for Every American City

Philly - The cheesesteak is clearly the most famous sandwich from Philadelphia, but I think many Philadelphians would agree it's not the best. For me, the "one" sandwich from my hometown is the Italiano: roast pork, sharp provolone, broccoli rabe. Tony Luke's has a great version - lately my favorite is from Paesano's.

May 23, 2011
thegrifter in General Topics

Dinner in Gaslamp district

Sorry for the delay - so we went to Searsucker. Loved the cocktails, great service. The menu was very intriguing, but unfortunately I didn't feel the execution was there. Many of the dishes were underseasoned, and certain things (farm bird lollipops) were simply not good. Don't think I'd return.

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Searsucker
611 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

May 19, 2011
thegrifter in San Diego

Sushi around Miracle Mile

I need to try. I've been going to Haru and really enjoying it. But always up for trying a new place.

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Haru Sushi Cafe
480 S San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

May 19, 2011
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Dinner in Gaslamp district

chose Searsucker. menu looks interesting.

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Searsucker
611 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Apr 14, 2011
thegrifter in San Diego

Dinner in Gaslamp district

Thanks everyone for the recs - appreciate it!

Apr 13, 2011
thegrifter in San Diego

Sushi around Miracle Mile

interesting - thanks for the rec!

Apr 13, 2011
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Dinner in Gaslamp district

Heading down to San Diego for one night next Saturday and staying at Hard Rock. I'd love to go somewhere other than Nobu which is in the hotel - any recommendations for somewhere within walking distance?

Thanks in advance!

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Nobu
207 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

Apr 13, 2011
thegrifter in San Diego

Sushi around Miracle Mile

Really like Haru. Very good omakase and friendly owner and staff. They do a variation of the ubiquitous albacore and crispy onions with fried onions like you'd see on a good steak sandwich instead of the fried strings you see at other places. fantastic.

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Haru Sushi Cafe
480 S San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Apr 13, 2011
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Sushi around Miracle Mile

thanks for the recs! I'll try and report back.

Mar 16, 2011
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Sushi around Miracle Mile

I recently took a job on Wilshire in the Miracle Mile and am in dire need of a go-to sushi spot nearby. I had been working in the Valley and had the luxury of Ventura Blvd...is there anywhere in the Miracle Mile/3rd St./Fairfax/La Brea area that serves high-quality, traditional edo-style sushi? I don't love Hirozen, and Izakaya doesn't do it for me. Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

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Hirozen
8385 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Izakaya
8420 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Mar 15, 2011
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

My own private North End -- a report

This is extremely helpful - heading to Boston for a weekend in October and trying Prezza and then coffee/cannolis at Caffe Vittoria!

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Prezza
24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

Caffe Vittoria
296 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113

Best Italian in the North End?

I think I've decided on Prezza followed by coffee and cannolis at Caffe Vittoria. Thanks for the rec!

Best Italian in the North End?

Thank you everyone for your thoughts. Looking forward to it (wherever i end up going!)

Best Italian in the North End?

I'll be in Boston for a wedding this October and am looking for the best North End Italian for a Friday night dinner. Not looking for any kind of scene, just for great food. I love red gravy and I love more refined Italian - open to any place. I've received a lot of recommendations from friends and family that seem to be all over the place, so thought I'd see if I could get any consensus on here.

Here are the places that have been suggested to me, please let me know what you all think or if you suggest a different place:

- Lucca

- Antico Forno

- Bricco

- Mother Anna's

- Carmen

- Cannoli's at Mike's

Thanks in advance!

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Antico Forno
93 Salem Street, Boston, MA 02113

Lucca Restaurant
226 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113

Bricco
241 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113

Mother Anna's
211 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113

updated ultimate list to a lot of different types of cuisine

Modernist,

This is a great list. One question re: your choices for Japanese: I noticed you omitted Nozawa. Are you not a fan? I feel it's the best around for straight-up nigiri. Also, Asanebo is excellent right up the street. Curious to know your thoughts.

Jan 12, 2009
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Ça Va

I was there last night as well and agree with Woolsey about the chairs. It's not that they were terribly uncomfortable, it's more that they are cheap and ugly, and don't match the decor of the rest of the restaurant. It almost seemed that the chairs the designer ordered weren't delivered yet, and these were placeholders. I hope that's the case, because I really liked the design of the rest of the place. Loved the bar (but, as pointed out, not the tiny kindergarten tables near the bar).

For dinner, I started with the onion soup (classic preparation, very satisfying, flavorful without being too salty, quality cheese). Had the Coq Au Vin as the main course. Good, but not great - I prefer the heartier Coq Au Vin prepared at Jar. Had a few cheeses for dessert that the cheese guru (cheese chef? guru sounds better) selected for me. Solid.

The waiter was very friendly, but I found the service a little convoluted at times. For example, when we began ordering, he stopped us to explain that the restaurant takes appetizers and entrees at the same time, since it's a busy kitchen. Thanks, Radar. It would have been madness at the table without that info, madness I tell you! Also, he referred to the "mixologist" at the bar as offering the best "drink program" in town. It's a program? What degrees are offered? Also, it's a bartender, ok? I'm sure the guy is a fantastic bartender, but calling him a mixologist is akin to calling a Subway worker a "Sandwich Artist." Last complaint would be that there was no dessert menu, the waiter had to describe everything at length (and of course everything was "amazing," "the best in town," or both). I'd rather just read it than hear about it, but maybe that's just me.

So, overall, very solid experience, especially considering that the place just opened. Once they replace those horrendous chairs and give the waiters some "notes" about overbearance and pretension, the place will be a solid A. For now, it's a B+.

Oct 24, 2007
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

BEST SUSHI OF LOS ANGELES

I went to Sushi Gen a few weeks ago and was really disappointed. Maybe I went on an off night, but I don't think it comes close to stacking up with Nozawa (my fave, although I've yet to try Urusawa). I second the Tama shout out, that place is very good and Katsu is a great guy. Never heard of Sakura - looking it up right now.

Oct 17, 2007
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Best Chinese delivery in West Hollywood?

hunan cafe is good but i have problems every time i order from there. one time the woman said "too busy" and just hung up. that really wasn't that bad, i can live with that. but the last time i ordered, the delivery came and the guy said "$4 delivery charge". i said, "no one mentioned that to me on the phone" and he said "it's always that way", which is not true, never happened before when i ordered. i live really close too.

anyway, maybe i should just do carry out next time.

Oct 17, 2007
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Best Chinese delivery in West Hollywood?

I can absolutely invalidate (is that a word? probably not) Fortune West being good. It is not. That gridskipper article is garbage.

Oct 17, 2007
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Hadaka Sushi (review+pics)

Are you kidding? You are lucky enough to live in the mecca of Sushi in L.A. Ventura Blvd. (intersects w/ Lankershim) has Sushi Nozawa (my pick for best in LA), Asanebo, Tama, Kazu - all worth going to. And Katsu-Ya, overrated as it is and annoyingly popping up all over LA now, is still good in its original Ventura blvd. location.

Oct 17, 2007
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Hadaka Sushi (review+pics)

Hadaka is a complete disgrace - I am sorry that anyone besides myself was tricked into trying it. AWFUL in all the ways mentioned above. Just want to point out that there ARE a few worthwhile restaurants on Sunset in WeHo. Not many, but a few: Vivoli Cafe, Hunan Cafe (both across from Laugh Factory) are not bad. Sushi Park is overpriced but pretty good. Yatai Asian Tapas is good and interesting. I like Les Petits Fours in Sunset Plaza. Il Sole is really expensive but good. It's not a complete culinary wasteland, unfortunately it's overshadowed by theme restaurants like Hadaka, Miyagi's and Saddle Ranch.

Oct 17, 2007
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Best Chinese delivery in West Hollywood?

Thanks ahuactl. I ordered once from KP Bistro and found it unimpressive, but I'll try it again. Anything to avoid Rice. Mandarette on Beverly delivers and is not your traditional Chinese delivery food, but it's edible. Only problem is the high prices.

I don't think they'd deliver to me, but anyone else like Twin Dragon? I know there are haters out there, but I think it delivers for traditional, basic americanized Chinese food.

I also like Hop Woo on Olympic and Sepulveda.

Oct 09, 2007
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Best Chinese delivery in West Hollywood?

I'm curious to know what the consensus is on the best Chinese delivery in West Hollywood. So far the only place that I think qualifies as truly good is Hunan Cafe, but that woman is just so hostile sometimes...

Oct 07, 2007
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

The Foundry on Melrose

I'm the friend that had the halibut. I thought it was very good, cooked perfectly, seasoned with sea salt and no sauce, which it didn't need. The polenta was light and flavorful.

The biggest problem I had w/ the place was the piano player, who was clangin' around the keys way too loudly for such a small room. The hard surfaces didn't help matters either.

Still, an intriguing restaurant that I would recommend, especially since the food (admittedly, I only tried one entree) was so strong.

May 08, 2007
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Jar, Lucques or Hatfields

JAR. Can't go wrong there.

Mar 08, 2007
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Which LA Restaurants are UNDERrated?

Completely agree that Matsuhisa is absurdly ovverrated, first of all...as to underrated:

1. La Buca - great Italian place, many people know of it but it still never gets mentioned along with the best Italian restaurants in L.A. The handmade pastas are the best around. This place makes Vivoli look like The Olive Garden.

2. Ro-Ro's Chicken - Hollywood counter-service Lebanese food a la Zankou, but IMO better than Zankou. Get the #4 Chicken Shawerma Plate.

3. Nozawa - OK, it's not underrated at all - but every time someone mentions other sushi places as being better, they are in a way underrating Nozawa because he is the one true master.

Mar 01, 2007
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

The Water Trick [split from LA]

what's the "water trick"? this is fascinating

Feb 28, 2007
thegrifter in Not About Food

If money were no object.....

Providence may be the best restaurant in L.A. but not sure it'd be a good atmosphere for a group of 40 people. I think a 40-person table at CUT would be extremely fun.

Jan 25, 2007
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area

Good Place That Delivers to Universal?

Stuck in the office here, anyone know of a good place that's near Universal that delivers other than the Applebee's of the world?

Jan 13, 2007
thegrifter in Los Angeles Area