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birthday dinner suggestions?

Thanks. I like Newport Seafood a lot on a food level, and I don't know the ambiance of the new one, but looking for something maybe a bit more tranquil, without the hour-long waits.

So far, a tasting menu at Alma is sounding like the best option...

birthday dinner suggestions?

Thanks. Alma is definitely one I've been thinking about. Bashan I've enjoyed in the past.

Singapore Leaf Gone Already?

Singapore Leaf? Do you mean Singapore's Banana Leaf, or somewhere else?

Jon

birthday dinner suggestions?

Trying to figure out where to go for my birthday dinner with my folks on January 2nd. I've been having a hard time finding anywhere I'm really excited about. I wanted to go to Hatfield's, but unfortunately they are closing as of New Year's Eve. Maude sounded great, but they are closed for winter break until the 15th. Already going to Osteria Mozza a few days before, and I'm sure Trois Mec would be impossible to get into. (Had a bad experience at Lucques and have no interest in going back.)

A few guiding thoughts:
I really enjoy tasting menus.
There doesn't need to be literally a white tablecloth, but the goal is something fine dining and comfortable. Having said that, something like Providence is just a tad too pricey.
Adventurous is fine, but not a place that's so hit or miss that our odds aren't good.
I'm in Hollywood, and happy to travel downtown, to the west side, the Valley or anywhere reasonable (no, Orange County is not reasonable--LOL).

Any suggestions from the foodie brains on here? Thanks!

Jon

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.

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!

Restaurant with Private Room?

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

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!

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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).

mid-week prix fixe menus?

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

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

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

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.

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