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Dim Sum in Chinatown?

Yes, that does seem to be the consensus elsewhere as well. I think I'll take him to the SGV when he's in LA, as we do have pretty excellent dim sum there. My recollection of Rangoon is that it's great, but he's opted for Penang and Malaysian. The latter was, as I recall, a solid restaurant.

Jul 29, 2013
jonplaywright in Philadelphia

Most Interesting Bakeries in LA?

Exactly what I was thinking. Especially Sycamore Kitchen.

Jul 29, 2013
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

Dim Sum in Chinatown?

I grew up here but live in LA. I am back visiting, and my friend wanted to experience dim sum, as he's never had it before. Where in Chinatown/Philly should we go for lunch tomorrow? Hoping for the whole rolling carts thing--but good. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Jul 29, 2013
jonplaywright in Philadelphia

Good Asian Restaurants Open on New Year's Day?

I'm sure Newport Seafood in the SGV is open, and they're fantastic if you can brave the lines, but anyone have any intel on other good Asian places that might be open? Would love something in Little Tokyo, or failing that, Little Osaka or Koreatown. Thanks!

Dec 31, 2012
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

Restaurant with Private Room?

Thanks, though we're looking for something a bit closer to Hollywood, I think.

Nov 23, 2012
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

Restaurant with Private Room?

My writers' group has its annual board meeting in early December, and we've always had it at Hugo's in West Hollywood, because they have a back room (and serve alcohol). While that's OK, I wouldn't mind something a little more foodie-oriented. Trying to explore some other options in the same general area (Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Blvd, etc) that would be comparable in price for a group of about 10 or so. Any ideas? Thanks!

Nov 23, 2012
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

Lunch recommendations for Downtown LA

Sushi Gen has a great sushi lunch special. Daikokuya is a great choice, as is Shabu Shabu House, which is cheaper at lunch time and excellent always.

Nov 03, 2012
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

What's up in Huntsville?

I'm glad this thread is here, as I'm currently visiting Huntsville from Los Angeles and could use some more recs. Ate at Garam Korean, which I thought was pretty authentic and, while it's not LA, it's pretty solid. Tried Viet Huong--only had a hot pot, which seemed more Chinese than Vietnamese to me, though it was all right. Service was definitely very friendly and tried hard.

Tried calling Charm Thai and got a disconnected number notice, which doesn't bode well (and being from LA, I hesitate to try Thai or Japanese here for fear of being disappointed). Sitar India's lunch buffet is ok, though I found it mostly underspiced (not in terms of heat but flavor), and for BBQ, I tried Dreamland and found the pork ribs were a bit on the chewy side. Super nice people, but just didn't rate against Memphis BBQ. Would love to experience better ribs somewhere.

Also tried 1892 East, and while the food was solid again, just didn't find the flavors terribly assertive. Is there anywhere doing more adventurous cooking around here?

Nov 03, 2012
jonplaywright in Central South

Pre-Theatre dinner in Ventura?

Thanks, Bruce. I saw that one, and it looks great, but the problem is they don't open until 5:30, which makes it a little tight for a 7:00 PM show.

Oct 18, 2011
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

Native New Yorker moving to LA - hancock park/larchmont village area and need some recs in the hood!

While it's not really a dinner place (though they do serve panini and a few other items), for dessert, you can't beat Susina Bakery on Beverly just west of La Brea.

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Susina Bakery & Cafe
7122 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Oct 18, 2011
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

Pre-Theatre dinner in Ventura?

We're seeing a show on a Wednesday at 7 PM in Ventura next week, and so we're looking for a high quality place to eat that opens at 5 PM--anything else would be too much of a rush, I think. I don't know the restaurant scene there too well, as I usually just drive on to Santa Barbara to eat after a show. Any recommendations in Ventura itself? Could be anything from high end New American to seafood to ethnic--as long as it's good. Thanks!

Jon

Oct 18, 2011
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

New Year's Eve suggestions

I like Orris too. Ultimately, assuming we can get in, I think we're going to end up at Angeli Caffe. Good food, good prices, close to us.

Jon

Dec 29, 2010
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

New Year's Eve suggestions

Thanks. Right now, looks like it's between Angeli Caffe, 2117, Minestraio Trattoria and Orris.

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Minestraio Trattoria
8384 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Dec 29, 2010
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

New Year's Eve suggestions

My friend is in visiting me, and we want to go out to dinner for New Year's Eve. While we'd like to go somewhere we can have a good meal in a pleasant atmosphere, he doesn't have the budget to shell out for a super high end meal. Bashan's $75 prix fixe, for example, is a bit rich for his tastes--given that it will add up to $100+ with drinks, tax and tip--though I think he could be persuaded to spend $50 or $60. A place like Canele would have been great, but they're not open on New Year's Eve. (We're considering Minestraio Trattoria, Angelini's more moderately priced place, assuming they're open.)

We're in the Hollywood area, though we could travel within reason. We're open to any type of food, and we're fine with eating earlier (6 or 7), particularly if it helps dodge expensive late night prix fixe menus. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Jon

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Canele
3219 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Bashan
3459 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208

Minestraio Trattoria
8384 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Dec 28, 2010
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

good restaurants nearish to Skokie?

Went with a friend for the tasting menu at Chef's Station, and it was very, very good. Lovely sauces, great flavors. Great rec. Hit up Thai Pavilion for their lunch buffet today--solid, though I wouldn't say it was quite as flavorful as some of our LA Thai restaurants.

On Sunday, I'm going to be on my way back to the airport, but should have time for a decent dinner, so long as I get back to O'Hare by 7:30. Is there anything on the way from Skokie that's worthy of recommendation? Thanks much.

Cheers,
Jon

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Thai Pavilion
4654 Church St, Skokie, IL 60076

Chef's Station
915 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201

May 14, 2010
jonplaywright in Chicago Area

good restaurants nearish to Skokie?

By this coming, I meant May 13-16, so all suggestions are good and useful! Thanks.

Jon

May 12, 2010
jonplaywright in Chicago Area

good restaurants nearish to Skokie?

Thanks so much for all of the suggestions! Will start looking into them.

May 10, 2010
jonplaywright in Chicago Area

good restaurants nearish to Skokie?

I'm going to be visiting Chicago this coming weekend, arriving in time for dinner on Thursday and leaving after an early Sunday dinner. I'll be staying in Skokie, though I'll have a rental car.

I'd love recommendations for quality places in that general area. I'm also fine with going into Chicago itself, though my guess is that parking may be difficult and/or expensive, so if there are good places in the outlying areas, that's great. I'd like to go to at least one higher end restaurant (not $150/person, but $75 or so would be ok if it's good--I'd prefer not to have to wear a jacket, though), and I'm always into great little finds, ethnic food, etc.--just nothing that's a chain. I also have time for a great breakfast place on Friday potentially.

Any recommendations? Thanks much!

Cheers,
Jon

May 09, 2010
jonplaywright in Chicago Area

More than Le Bec-Fin and Genos

Just came back from a wonderful meal at Bibou tonight. Delicious escargots with a sauce that was perfect for sopping up with bread, perfectly cooked duck and a revelatory baba au rhum. But alas for you, if it's Wednesday lunch you seek, Bibou is only open for dinner.

Apr 08, 2010
jonplaywright in Philadelphia

sushi in the Valley

I'm headed to a play tomorrow night with a friend, and we were thinking of hitting Iroha in Studio City before. I've never been, but on Zagat, reviews were generally positive, and some said it was good bang for the buck. But then I discovered that on Yelp, other folks are saying it's very pricey.

I can't find an actual menu anywhere, but I'd love to get some feedback from those who may have tried it, or to get other recommendations of restaurants near Studio City/NoHo (the theatre is in NoHo off Chandler). I'm looking for a place that isn't quite as expensive as Nozawa or Asanebo, but is still very good.

Thanks for your help!

Cheers,
Jon

Jan 21, 2010
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

Mantee in Studio City - Anyone Been?

I've eaten at Mantee twice. Delicious, well-executed food, and the Mantee appetizer is unique and very flavorful. Prices aren't super cheap, but not unreasonable, though desserts are strangely expensive (around $9).

Jan 21, 2010
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

mid-week prix fixe menus?

Turns out Canele is no longer doing their mid-week prix fixe. Guess business is good.

Jan 20, 2010
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

mid-week prix fixe menus?

Canele in Atwater Village has a fantastic $24 set menu Tuesday through Thursday for dinner that shifts by the season. There's no choice, but you know in advance what the menu will be--and as long as you're into what they're serving that night, it's excellent and one of the best values in town.

I believe Bashan has a mid-week prix fixe as well ($40 or $45?), and I think Shiro has something on Wednesday nights. All of these represent a chance to try higher-end places at much more reasonable prices than their standard a la carte menus.

Does anyone know of other great (mid-week or otherwise) deals at better restaurants? I'm trying to expand my horizons without bankruptcy!

Thanks.

Cheers,
Jon

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Canele
3219 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Shiro Restaurant
1505 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

Bashan
3459 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208

Jan 14, 2010
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

good place for a small group in Hollywood/West Hollywood?

Hey there,

My writers' organization is looking for a place to have our annual officers meeting. The last few years, we've had it at Hugo's in West Hollywood, which has the advantage of having a small private room (there would be 8-10 people). The problem is that I find their menu dull, and last year I had a disastrous food experience and had to send things back twice.

Does anyone know of a restaurant in the West Hollywood or Hollywood area (or relatively near those) that would be reasonable in cost but with better, more interesting food and might have a similar private/semi-private sort of enclave?

Thanks.

Cheers,
Jon

Nov 04, 2009
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

Long Beach dining? Benley Vietnamese Kitchen open or closed?

I told the restaurant about what the poster had written in Zagat--that certainly can't help their business if people think it's closed. I'm going to go there tomorrow night, I think, and post a Zagat review, in part to refute this misinformation.

Jul 16, 2009
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

Long Beach dining? Benley Vietnamese Kitchen open or closed?

Looks like Benley still exists--got a hold of them after a couple of tries. Not sure what the person posting in Zagat was thinking. Still, I'd welcome other suggestions for LB eateries.

Jon

Jul 16, 2009
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

Long Beach dining? Benley Vietnamese Kitchen open or closed?

I'm headed to the Carpenter Center for the Arts in Long Beach tomorrow night. Benley Vietnamese Kitchen sounded like a good possibility, but a poster in Zagat from June said the restaurant was no longer there. I called and got an answering machine (seems like they ought to be open and answering their phone, but at least it wasn't disconnected).

Does anyone know if they're still open? And if they're not, does anyone have any other good suggestions (preferably not too pricey, but ethnic and interesting would be great) for places close to the Carpenter Center (6200 E. Atherton St.)? I'll be coming from Hollywood, so something on the way would also be possible.

Thanks!

Cheers,
Jon

Jul 16, 2009
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

La Cachette Closing in July

The food was good, but the last time I was there was several years ago when, as a single diner, the waiter treated me as if I had leprosy. I wrote them a letter, never even received the courtesy of a reply, and never went back again. I won't particularly miss them.

May 13, 2009
jonplaywright in Los Angeles Area

downtown Toledo restaurants?

I'm going to be in Toledo next week, staying at the Toledo Club (near Toledo School for the Arts). I won't have a car, so I'm looking for restaurant recommendations that are within walking or reasonable taxi distance. Unfortunately, I don't know the area at all, so trying to figure out from previous threads what was located downtown and what was in the "environs" was difficult.

Anyone have any suggestions? I particularly love tasty and reasonably priced ethnic food, though I'm also open to fine dining and other options. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Best,
Jon

Feb 18, 2009
jonplaywright in General Midwest Archive

good spots in Barbados?

While others will know more, the buffet at Brown Sugar at lunch would probably be fun for a kid--especially on Sunday, when they have steel pan music. It's B$60 per person, so not super cheap, but not super pricey given restaurant prices in general here.

Dec 15, 2008
jonplaywright in Latin America & Caribbean