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Ipsedixit Was Right--Visit To New Port Seafood Beverly Hills

I think word of mouth and presence on yelp will be their determinants. Their arrival to the east edge of the Westside is big news for Hounds and others who are familiar with their food - not so much with the vast majority of eaters. To most, New Port is probably generalized as another restaurant taking a shot at making it on this somewhat hallowed stretch of La Cienega - they just happen to be an ambiguous (albeit bigger) "Chinese" restaurant than most.

Chandavkl already referred to ipse's quote and it's worth repeating:

>>ipsedixit replied to the contrary with words something like don't be fooled by the number of knowledgeable Westside Chowhounds who understood and appreciated SGV Chinese food, but there really weren't enough such Westsiders to actually support a high quality authentic Chinese restaurant.<<

about 6 hours ago
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area
1

I'm Going Deaf Eating Out in LA

Like many on this board, I was mentally MIA in the 70s-80s. You got me on the P&W earpods - I've seen ipse readjusting them after climbing in/out of his Bugatti behind Sea Harbour - not the most practical of rides for that wear. His Hummer is much more fashion-appropriate for those.

about 7 hours ago
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

hound-worthy food near carwash @westside

Just a preemptory strike. This board needs you bro...

about 7 hours ago
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Tony C's Best Dim Sum in Los Angeles

Stinky tofu has to be part of this wicked Venn diagram. I don't think its inventor ever imagined it being used like this.

about 7 hours ago
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

hound-worthy food near carwash @westside

Like in, WOH boy...WOH Flicka... WOH kevin - pull back on those reins, Hoss!

about 7 hours ago
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

I'm Going Deaf Eating Out in LA

I know when I was in my 20s, visiting places with loud music and other distractions made me even stupider than I already was. Young folks, loud music and boisterous crowds create environments for more drinking and more spending, particularly many - no, the majority of the under-30 set. More drinking/eating dulls the senses and (what's left of) any good judgement with one's actions and money (credit cards are even more effective). Moreover, it keeps out the majority of older wiser (especially wiser with their $$) potential customers. Those AARPers that enter do so at their own risk. They order, finish and get the heck out of there as soon as possible, making room for more of the previously mentioned to use more of their or their parents' liquid assets in the same manner as the others whose senses are pretty used to/thrive on extreme stimulus and/or have blunted senses. Wash, rinse, repeat.

about 7 hours ago
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

hound-worthy food near carwash @westside

I get my car washed infrequently - usually ends up being a detail. So most of the recs would work for eaters with my general profile. For a quick wash/"wax"? I agree with you. I guess it also depends on the day and time. Saturday in the AM will tie up a car for at least 45 minutes for even a quickie (WOH kevin - we're talkin' carwash here). Wednesday midday? Maybe a Big Mac and fries if one's lucky.

about 7 hours ago
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

hound-worthy food near carwash @westside

I've been happy with the majority of what I've had here. They have some of the best "restaurant" coffee in the Westside, so breakfast usually is off to a great start.Their toasts are really good - only disappointment for me is their "kaya" toast, which ain't kaya in my book. I've tried most of their other breakfast/lunch/brunch menu items and those have been great.

You've hit on their weak point (in my opinion as well). Their bakery should be kickin' it, but only the bread seems to be good to very good. The other items that I've tried look pretty good, but don't deliver - I've mentioned this in the past. I tried almost everything on the counter - the cookies were stand out items - not the last few times I tried it though. I'm only one set of taste buds, so/but does it count?

about 7 hours ago
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Today is my lucky day, Ike's Place Westwood soft opens with free sandwiches!

I don't think the 3rd Street Promenade crushed Westwood. Westwood started to spiral down before 3rd Street came online. Multiplex movie theatres were the strongest blow. The coup de gras was the influx of riff raff and the shooting that killed a UCLA student.

Westwood used to be a big draw for mostly movie-goers and eaters/shoppers/partiers from the early teens to the mid-30s. Westwood was considered safe (particularly for young folks and couples), a good place to people-watch, to eat, party, and had some large movie houses that were stages for movie premiers as well as always playing first-run movies.

The appeal started to dry up as multiplexes became the rule for moviegoers. Here's the LA Times article on the UCLA student's death. The last part of the article speaks to the rising change in the dynamics of Westwood Village at that time.

Westwood Village can make a comeback, but I doubt it will ever be similar to its peak back in the 70s-80s. I think the draw is no longer movie theatres. It has to be food and shopping. Good food tends to draw more good food. The same goes with shopping. If some beat up street that was directly adjacent to a neighborhood dense with gangs and drugs could do it - Abbot Kinney - a relatively posh and stable village setting should be relatively easier.

http://articles.latimes.com/1988-02-0...

about 9 hours ago
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area
1

I'm Going Deaf Eating Out in LA

ipsedixit: born in the doorway between the kitchen and dining room of a Hong Kong dim sum house next to a ball bearing factory and the harbor's fog horn. As a child, he tested air hoses for burst failure while using maracas for ear plugs. He currently resides next to the north runway at LAX. Neighbor to the left is a night club specializing in AC/DC tribute bands. Neighbor to the right is the noise abatement consultant for Red Medicine, Bottega Louie, Gjelina, Toscana , Playa Provisions, and the restaurant next to Cole's. His favorite hobby is "free-earing" and guessing the decibel levels of top-fuel dragsters, "daisy-cutter" bombs and space ship launches. Ipse's favorite eatery is anywhere that renders his ear trumpet useless for anything except as a funnel for Petrus bong hits. His most famous and often-heard quote (too bad he can't) is, "If I could only read her lips."

hound-worthy food near carwash @westside

The carwash on the corner of Lincoln/Venice blvds in Venice is about two blocks from Superba Food and Bread.

about 10 hours ago
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area
1

Salt and Straw

Been noticing affogato on boards at ice cream places lately.

Sep 19, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Where is Bryant Ng now?

I had to have tried the pork belly on a down day. I found it somewhat dry and flavorless - I think it was on a saturday at around 2-3PM. I liked the catfish (and I don't like catfish), coldcut and eggplant better. I think he also had a chicken banh mi which also didn't do well with me.

Sep 19, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Where is Bryant Ng now?

I agree on all points. And yes - banh mi-centric lunch menu.

>>Is it impolitic for me to say that I think his place (if it IS more "Asian-flavored" inspired) might do better on Santa Monica Blvd than on Wilshire? I feel like there's already greater diversity there and a more lively food scene.<<

Just conjecture but the overhead pressures of being on Wilshire might force the "orange chicken" strategy; i.e., dumbing down the menu. The further from north SaMo, the better.

Sep 19, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Where is Bryant Ng now?

>>I do wonder if he will be toning down the flavors b/c there's a perception that those on the westside aren't interested in that kind of flavor profile....<<

IMHO, I think it would be a mistake to take that approach. Ng's genius is his ability to create dishes with flavors strongly reminiscent of SE Asia. The tastes and smells of Singapore and Malaysia are almost nonexistent in the LA area - even in places like the SGV (heck, relatives in those two countries have repeatedly mentioned how the general quality of local cuisines has been on a downward trend for many years over there as well).

Tastes in general have become far more adventurous and broad for many over the past five to eight years or so. Assuming the target market IS NOT the "gotta eat Italian every night" Brentwood/North SaMo crowd, and if he has a say as to where to open up and what's on the menu, I think those factors will strongly determine who will be attracted to his future place. Spice Table also had some nice beer and wine offerings as well as a relatively casual atmosphere - I hope he does the same here.

Ng also doesn't slack on quality - this is the achilles' heal for so many examples of "ethnic" cuisines one finds here. I only had lunch a few times at Spice Table. While I wasn't blown away by much of the food, I was impressed with the quality. And I really felt that to give an honest opinion of the place, I needed to try their dinner menu - it looked far more promising. I think if Ng does not compromise, he will be far more successful.

Sep 19, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

best ceviche in town?

I liked it all. Totally understand your leaning away from the mayo kind of sauces - not the usual in my experience. But found it to be a nice contrast while trying the several variations side by side.

Sep 18, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

best ceviche in town?

It's relatively innocuous. It's almost like "hearts of palm" surume.

Sep 18, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Tony C's Best Dim Sum in Los Angeles

It's similar on the weekends. We usually arrive around 11AM and recall only waiting once - maybe five minutes. The longest wait there was when we hit it on Mother's Day last year - I think we got there around 12:30 - we waited 15-20 minutes. We got shut out at Sea Harbour and Elite that day - each had two-hour+ waits.

Sep 18, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

best ceviche in town?

It's hard to say which was the best. It really depends on personal preference. The Klauser stood out for me as it seemed more more flavorful in different ways from what I'm used to. This place has so many variations on ceviche that everyone who likes ceviche will find at least a few to their liking. I was overwhelmed by the choices - so much so that I forgot to order the pulpo salad, which was initially tops on my list.

They're close enough to the 710 that if traffic is decent, it's not to much of a burden to/from there.

Sep 17, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

best ceviche in town?

The weather was so dang hot over the weekend - ceviche weather. I drove out to El Coraloense/Leonardo's Ceviche in Bell Gardens to give their ceviches a whirl. This place's cultural roots may sound familiar to many - Nayarit and Sinaloa. Many of the menu items will sound familiar a la Mariscos Chente/Coni'Seafood. I ordered seven different iterations of their ceviches in tostada form, packed them in the ice chest and motored back home to the Westside. I asked them if they could keep the tostada shells separate - they gave me a whole bag of them.

Very interesting and different toppings/condiments that complimented the ceviches. I ordered the mango, Mariquita, Zombie, shrimp chipotle, Klauser, cocodrilo(sp?) and changito. I also got a larger clamshell container of what seemed like their straight-up ceviche (the basis for a lot of their iterations?) that I don't recall ordering and don't think I was charged for - I owe them. The mango, Klauser, shrimp chipotle and cocodrilo were my favorites, but trying all of these ceviches at one sitting (and a little added haze from mas vino) blurred my recall.

Anyway, all this for $38 and change. What a deal. Really fresh, very tasty and interesting, and really nothing compares to it from my past. The menu is long with a lot of potential hits. I didn't order any cooked/fried stuff because I came for ceviche and figured the hot food wouldn't travel well. The slight bummer for me is that krab is "the crab," so I won't be purposefully ordering that. They also use an imitation abalone that unknowingly showed up in a couple of the ceviches - I never tried it before - I just let it pass as some generic surume and ate it. It has a firm texture and delicate in flavor so it didn't distract me. I will be back. Great rec, TonyC - thank you.

Great Outdoor Breakfast in Beach Areas: South Bay, MDR, SM, Malibu

Abigaile in Hermosa has brunch starting at 1100 and has a nice outdoor patio. They have their own brewery - the beers are about a 6-7 on a 1-10 scale IMHO. The menu has some interesting choices - some pan out, some don't. Gaggles of young folks come here to eat, drink and watch any sports that may be on that particular day. The South Bay beach cities are really busy on the weekends, particularly for breakfast/brunch. Be prepared for crowds and parking issues.

Playa Provisions in Playa del Rey has a very good breakfast/brunch menu and a decent courtyard. They also have an abbreviated selection of in-house baked items that are very good. It's relatively calm and quiet in this area at breakfast time (except for noise from LAX). They have a large parking lot - I think it's $2 for diners. Street parking is usually available if you go early.

Sep 16, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

It's obviously pointless to further this with you as you fall back on claiming those who disagree with you suffer from various levels of zany, illogical piss & moan. So I'll end my .02 with something I've already referred to: regardless of your name-calling, intimidation and bullying, you can't disregard any individual's perspective. If anything, you've reinforced opposing opinions with even more purpose.

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

You have repetitively claimed to have no side in this subject, yet you focus your objections and criticisms on the same folks who appear to be opposite of your implied stance. So let's burn that soapbox now.

This is not just about perception. The surcharge - as you and many others have pointed out repeatedly - can be declined by the guest.

Guest: "I don't believe I ordered this 3% surcharge for healthcare - I'd like to have this removed please."

Server: "Sure - I will have this removed from your check."

I've tried to present this scenario devoid of emotion. It seems pretty straight-forward, but the underlying tension, perceived guilt, animosity and potential retribution on future visits is real.

Raising prices avoids such potentials for conflict of conscience and relations. Price increases happen all the time and I don't know of anyone who questions the legitimacy of them. Heck - if the establishment placed a sign or note indicating why the price hike happened - health plan for employees - I'd be fine with it as well. End of story.

There is no reason for the customer to be put in the position of a health plan's gatekeeper to a restaurateur's employee. Creating an artificial point of conflict between customer and employee where money is the issue is similar a door-to-door solicitor who pleads for your money or children and unwanted house pets will die. Do I have to explain to the solicitor, server or anyone else that I truly do generously give at the office? If I agree to the 3%, this form of blood money keeps my conscience intact and safe up to my next tab. If I say no, I'm a heartless jerk who now has to wonder if my green eggs and ham will have an additional bit of green spit under the food. You can call it optics or anything else, but you cannot discount an individual's perception of what is seen through this particular lens.

Umeboshi in Santouka ramen

Don't know which Santouka/Mitsuwa you went to, but the Mitsuwa in Torrance has a very respectable selection of pickled/salted goods. A stand-alone kiosk is located between the produce section and the fresh seafood section. Moreover, at least one obachan is usually on hand to help. If they didn't have it, the other usual suspects would be Nijiya in Torrance or Mitsuwa in Gardena (the big stand-alone one on Artesia). If they don't have it, I don't know where else to look. Shops/counters that specialize in pickled/salted foods are common in Japan but I don't know of any here.

Sep 07, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Zinque in the old Nishimura space on Melrose, near San Vicente, anyone been? from the yelper page it sounds a lot like le pain quotidian

If you're nice, they may give you a small sample at the Venice location. Don't know about the new location. Then you can decide if it's worth ordering.

Sep 04, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Zinque in the old Nishimura space on Melrose, near San Vicente, anyone been? from the yelper page it sounds a lot like le pain quotidian

Baked there/shipped here. Boules hold up pretty good as long as US Customs don't sit on them like seat cushions.

Sep 04, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Zinque in the old Nishimura space on Melrose, near San Vicente, anyone been? from the yelper page it sounds a lot like le pain quotidian

Very good beer on tap and bottles too. Poilane bread imported from France ain't half-bad either.

Sep 04, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Where to get ingredients to make dashi stock?

If you can't find it, ask for either konbu tsukudani, or wakame. Wakame tends to be much thinner.

Sep 04, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Where to get ingredients to make dashi stock?

Most Japanese markets will have prepared konbu products that are either in the aisle where furikake/tsukudani nori stuff is (highly seasoned/salty eat with rice kinda stuff). Even better if you can find these types of products in the refrigerated section. It's usually thinly sliced in a flat pack.

Sep 04, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Where to get ingredients to make dashi stock?

Marukai in Gardena has it.

Sep 04, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area