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sivanlives's Profile

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Post-Economic Crisis Park Slope / Prospect Heights Sushi: How to Avoid Old Fish

What I want to know is, which restaurant has the freshest fish for the best price, and what days do they get it delivered? I've had good and bad fish at the same places, so I figure, if I know when they get it delivered and only go on those days I'll get the best stuff.

Sep 08, 2009
sivanlives in Outer Boroughs

Park Slope area sushi wars

The less contact you have with the sushi chefs, the less accountable they are for the quality of the fish. I take it as a rule that the best sushi is sitting at the bar. The second best is at a table. And the lowest form of sushi is takeout/delivery. I suspect they save the worst fish for the takeout orders. I have made peace with the fact that to eat good sushi, I need to sit at the sushi bar. Any sushi chefs care to comment?

Sep 08, 2009
sivanlives in Outer Boroughs

Fluffy pita anywhere?

I'll definitely try both. I tried the pita from damascus bakery on Atlantic and while it was a giant step up from the tortilla-esque pita bread in the supermarket, it still wasn't as thick as what you find in the middle east.

Sep 02, 2008
sivanlives in Outer Boroughs

Fluffy pita anywhere?

Where can I find thick moist and fluffy pita around here? I live in Bedstuy but would be willing to bike ride to the good pita.

Sep 01, 2008
sivanlives in Outer Boroughs

Franny's Clam Pizza

Last night I went to Franny's for the first time and ordered the clams chili's and parsley pizza. I will preface by saying that I am a salt lover, and put salt on everything. Upon the first bite I found this pizza to be inedibly salty. When I told the waitress, she said, "oh that's the salt from the brine that the clams are in. Salt freaks love it." Seriously, it was way too much salt. The pizza was ruined. I wasn't hungry enough to ask for a new one, but found the waitresses response frustrating. Has anyone else had an overly salty experience at Franny's with the clam pizza or was it just an off night?

Sep 01, 2008
sivanlives in Outer Boroughs

Great Jones Cafe is repulsive

Great Jones has the best burgers in town. The meat is always fresh. A burger done rare with melted american cheese and a 6 point IPA accompanied by the soulful music on the iconic jukebox are all I need to make my night great.
But you guys who are hating on it, stay away! We don't need you anyway.

Jun 23, 2008
sivanlives in Manhattan

Nice Bottle of Wine

I highly recommend CG Di Arie winery. Totally obscure and totally delicious. They make zin, syrah, petite syrah, even primitivo (much better than the italian primitivo) You can find them at Bev Mo I think. Look them up: www.cgdiarie.com
You will thank me.

Apr 05, 2007
sivanlives in Wine

Madrid's Cheap Secrets

Thanks! I will visit your recommendations. Much obliged.

Apr 05, 2007
sivanlives in Spain/Portugal

Madrid's Cheap Secrets

My husband and I are traveling to Madrid for 6 nights and want to eat delicious food where the locals eat. We are also on a tight budget because we're young and struggling and we spent all our money on the airfare. Please let me in on Madrid's cheap food secrets!

Apr 04, 2007
sivanlives in Spain/Portugal

Oysters in L.A.

I had a great oyster appetizer at Sushi Roku. It was oysters in a half shell with a dolup of sea urchin and salmon eggs on top of each oyster. Does anyone know what this appetizer is called? It is really tasty.

Mar 30, 2007
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Vegetarian Suggestions, anyone?

Zen Zoo both in Bev Hills and Hollywood have great choices. I recommend the Tofu Delight, which is a medley of sauteed veggies and mushrooms and tofu over sticky white or brown steamed rice. I also recommend all of their dumplings which are clean and simple in flavor and texture.
Another great Veggie choice in Silverlake/Echo park is The Elf Cafe. I've never been there, but it got great reviews on Chowhound.
Aroma Cafe in Sherman Oaks serves up an amazing array of Israeli favorites, and is completely vegetarian. It's truly an awsome restaurant, and you won't find many Americans dining there. The waiters barely speak English. The hummus is to die for, and try the bourekas!

Mar 30, 2007
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Thoughts on the Rainbow Bar & Grill?

Thanks to all of you for the recommendations! I got the pizza with mushrooms and pepperoni and although the mushrooms were from a can, there was something inexplicably yummy about them. It was a really really good hot gooey pizza, and paired with a pilsner urquel it was delish! The atmosphere was awsome as well. Loved it all the way and will definitely revisit when I'm in the neighborhood.

Mar 29, 2007
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Indian delivery in Los Feliz/Silverlake?

Makkah Halal Tandoori on Vermont delivers. We had it last night. Not that great, but that's just my opinion. Some other people really like it. Do a search on it and you'll find my posting.

Mar 27, 2007
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Thoughts on the Rainbow Bar & Grill?

I'd love to get some thoughts on what to order... I hear it's a dive, but some people swear by it. What do you think?

Mar 27, 2007
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Good Indian in LA?

My husband and I ordered Makkah Halal last night for delivery and neither of us were too impressed. The garlic naan wasn't much more than a glorified pita. The chicken biryani didn't hold up against some of the biryanis I've had in Chicago, namely, Ghareeb Nawaz, which is heavenly (is there anyone out there who knows what I'm talking about?). It was honestly kind of boring and oily. I kept fishing for raisins and pinenuts to satisfy my tastebuds. A lemon wedge and a single slice of raw tomato sat on top of the dish. I squeezed the lemon over the rice to add flavor. It didn't really help. I bit into the tomato. It was mealy and flavorless.
The eggplant bahrta was extremely oily. A half inch layer of oil sat on top of the dish. From what I can tell, it's deep fried eggplant that is then pureed and mixed with spices. But just like the biryani, it too lacked every flavor other than it was spicy. I was not impressed by it at all.
We also ate a lamb dish that tasted exactly like the eggplant bahrta except had different ingredients.
None of the meat was tasty. Nothing was impressive. Nothing was disgusting either. And they did deliver it to our house which is a plus.
The End.

Mar 27, 2007
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Spago - oh no

My parents and I dined at SPAGO last week for the first time and here's my take. It's a very well oiled machine, but has a bit of a mass produced pseudo artistic feel. In the same way that Starbucks has this quizi bohemian decor with writing scrawled on the wall, Spago's decor is one step past elegant towards kitch. Stained glass windows with cheezy designs, paintings that look mass produced. The art isn't exactly high class.
In much the same way, the presentation of the food is just a bit too much to be truly classy and elegant. It's kitchy. Too many dolups, drips, colors, layers.
The food itself is busy with flavors, but are the flavor choices always thoughtful or just boastful?
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the food very much, but felt that both the food and and atmosphere were trying very hard to put on a flashy show.

To start we shared the MARINATED JAPANESE HAMACHI & TUNA SASHIMI with Soy-Yuzu Ponzu, Sticky Rice, Wasabi and Pumpkin Seed Oil ($21). The slices of fish were wrapped around each other to form a fez shape and the sauces were dribbled onto the plate around the tower. Both the hamachi and the tuna were extremely fresh and delectable and created a wonderful flavor texture when dragged through the unusual pumpkin seed oil infused wasabi drizzle. Yes, it was delicious, however the presentation was too much- it came off ostentatious.

For the main meal my mother ordered the SAUTEED DIVER SEA SCALLOPS with Lemongrass, Keffir Lime, “Thai Spices”, Peanuts, Holy Basil and Pad Thai Noodles ($32). The scallops were cooked perfectly and were placed around a tuft of delectable pad thai noodles. The dish was rich with sweet, salty, sour, and a hint of spicy and was wonderfully prepared. It didn't feel very thai, but it was delicious.

My father ordered the LINE CAUGHT WILD STRIPED BASS with Littleneck Clams, Sauteed Spinach, Garlic-Potato Puree and Marjoram-Clam Broth ($30). This was a majorly disappointing entree because the fish was dry and overcooked. I only had one bite of it and so I can't really tell you any more details about it other than I didn't like it at all because it makes me really angry when fish is overcooked, especially when it's $30 worth of fish.

We all agreed that the best thing on the whole menu was its simplest item: ORIGINAL VEAL “WIENER SCHNITZEL” with Fingerling Potato Salad and Young Mache ($39). My austrian grandmother used to make me schnitzel growing up, so I just couldn't resist ordering it, and I was not disappointed. Not only was it excellent, it was simple. I drizzled lemon over it and went to town. The crust was perfectly browned, crisp, savory and flavorful. The veal inside was soft, buttery, just the right thickness, clearly a very expensive cut of meat. Best schnitzel ever, but for a $39 schnitzel it had better be.

After the successful schnitzel, I was very excited about the apfelstrudel for dessert, as I have yet to find a good apfelstrudel outside of Vienna or my mother's kitchen. Sadly, they were all out, so we decided to go with the apple crumble served a la mode. It was simple and wonderful, but of course not as good as a warm flakey slice of apfelstrudel would have been.

I don't agree with some of the Spago reviews that say the chef doesn't know how to do Asian dishes. I enjoy the marriage of German food with Asian food that Wolfgang Puck has created and find it fun, exciting, and innovative. My biggest complaint is the art both in the restaurant's interior design and the way the food is arranged on the plate.

Mar 27, 2007
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

African food(not Ethopiean or Moroccan)??

I highly recommend Ngoma. The stews are simple comfort food with wonderfully mild spices and the meat falling off the bone. The ambiance is warm and light and relaxing. The wait staff are very friendly. If you want a satisfying happy dining experience, Ngoma is a great choice.

Mar 12, 2007
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Egg in a Nest

Thank you for this wonderfully simple recipe. One can easily dress this up with some grated cheese on top and some freshly chopped basil or oregano or cilantro or whatever your in the mood for! I can't wait till Saturday when I can cook this up for breakfast.

Mar 12, 2007
sivanlives in Recipes

Any Tofu House Experts Around???

Thank you for the helpful advice. I'll try Sokongdong and Beverly Soon Tofu. Cheers!

Jan 01, 2007
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Best last burger before meat fast?

Don't over think it. Go to In-N-Out and get a double double.

Dec 31, 2006
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Any Tofu House Experts Around???

I'm in need of tofu house advice. Which tofu house on Wilshire between La Cienega and Virgil is worth a visit? What to order? Is anybody out there?

Dec 31, 2006
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Brunch in Oakland

Mama's Royal Cafe - This is a classic oakland joint. Food is fresh and just greasy enough to be comforting, and the ambiance is cozy cozy. Excellent hangover remedy.
4012 Broadway

Rockridge Cafe- Another classic Oakland spot. And it's on a great part of College Ave so you can walk around afterwards and enjoy the day.

Dec 31, 2006
sivanlives in San Francisco Bay Area

BEST PIZZA IN EAST BAY

Blondie's is the best pizza in the Bay Area.

Dec 31, 2006
sivanlives in San Francisco Bay Area

Hungry for Real Fried Chicken

Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles satisfies and is a fun dining experience.

Dec 31, 2006
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Dusty's or Musty's

I think if you care enough about Dusty's and feel it's worth your while, let the owner/chef know about the Chowhound message board. If they are smart, they'll try to change their ways.

Dec 31, 2006
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Israeli super markets- the real deal

Thank you all. This is so helpful!

Dec 14, 2006
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Israeli super markets- the real deal

I need a list of Israeli supermarkets. Which one do you think is best? A place where I can buy the best brand of Tehini, the good Israeli Telma bouillon cubes. Bisli. Bamba. Begaleh.

Dec 12, 2006
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Champagne: a lovely bakery & cafe in beverly hills (Moved from LA)

I highly recommend this cute little spot on the corner of Beverly Drive and Charleville for anyone in the area for breakfast or lunch.
The croissants are simply divine. Fresh. Flakey. Melt in your mouth.
The bread is freshly baked, and my favorite is the organic baguette, which is the closest thing to San Francisco sourdough I've tasted here in LA.
The sandwiches are excellent if you like European style sandwiches. A bit more dainty. A bit more attention to the simple flavors. Fresh.
The food is relatively light, and there is always a hearty soup of the day. I recommend the half sandwich, soup, salad combo.
And the ambiance is french, quaint, and delightful.

Dec 12, 2006
sivanlives in California

Help! NEED DINNER IDEAS FOR SOMEPLACE SOMEWHERE BETWEEN BEVERLY HILLS AND SANTA MONICA!

kate mantelini's on Wilshire

Dec 11, 2006
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area

Seeking amazing sushi near the Arclight Cinema

I'm also looking for a sushi restaurant with excellent fish near the Arclight Cinema. Any suggestions?

Dec 11, 2006
sivanlives in Los Angeles Area