b

bulavinaka's Profile

Title Last Reply

Hummus Bar and Grill

They have a counter on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Has anyone tried it?

Dec 16, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Is there a single good Thai place in Santa Monica or Venice?

Someone messed up then. Never had that sweet aftertaste. Spice level is up to you - they normally ask and tend to be spicier than what we might expect.

Dec 12, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Is there a single good Thai place in Santa Monica or Venice?

Too sweet? That's weird. Sweet is something I've never associated with that dish - shrug.

Dec 11, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Is there a single good Thai place in Santa Monica or Venice?

We usually stick with the dishes on the North/South parts of the menu. The anchovy or shrimp salads and the dry curry dishes are regular items we order. We also check for specials. I can't remember what dish it was but I think it had green (not dried) pepper berries in it - really good and atypical (as are most of their regional items) of the usual suspects found on most menus.

L.A. Dish of the Month, December 2014 -- TAMALES

The Spanish were worldwide conduits of food and culture in their empire-building days:

http://www.pinoyhapagkainan.com/tamales/

Dec 02, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Is there a single good Thai place in Santa Monica or Venice?

What ns1 said. And I think when one plays the numbers, it's been said before: Chowhound-types are such a small percentage of the eating public - this includes those who are willing to try more Thai Town-like dishes. In order for the owner to commit to such a change, it can be pretty scary for such a small place. I don't see him doing a major overhaul of the menu - it would be a gamble. But I think baby steps would be acceptable, and that is why I feel feedback is important. Otherwise, it's like the dog chasing its tail.

The last time I spoke with him, he said he was in the process of opening a tea shop a door or two over - it sounded somewhat like the ones in SGV. If he gets some momentum, who knows what might be next. I'm hopeful and patient.

Dec 02, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area
1

Is there a single good Thai place in Santa Monica or Venice?

We like Lum-Ka-Naad in Northridge - we haven't been to their Encino location.

Dec 02, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Is there a single good Thai place in Santa Monica or Venice?

We also like the shrimp/crab in yellow curry, as well as the green curry shrimp coconut. They use crab meat - not k-r-a-b. So any mention of crab will be real crab meat (not crab in the shell though). We also like the crab fried rice for this reason.

Gai kua with chicken has a nice umami-ness.

Any rolls with rice paper and peanut sauce - as mentioned above, the produce here has always been fresh.

The crispy pork items are made with pork belly. The chinese brocolli one is tame but good. The one with green beans and prik khing is spicy enough.

Omelette over white rice w/ chili sauce is simple but very good and comforting. It also holds up well - makes for good leftover candidate.

The crispy brown rice salad has lots of great flavors and textures.

Keep an eye on the specials board behind the counter. I once had a pork knuckle that was (I think) roasted then deep-fried - excellent.

The beers and wines are far better than one would hope for at a Thai eatery - the owner is partial to Belgian brews.

The owner is (at least) second-generation and relatively young. Culturally, he has one foot in Thailand and the other foot here. I get the impression that he goes to Thailand regularly. He knows what "real" Thai food is like, and mentioned that his trips are more for learning than visiting relatives or leisure. He is very attuned to the various food cultures here as well. I am sure he wants to replace stuff like orange or teriyaki chicken with more traditional and adventurous stuff, but the reality is that those standard Thai and other-Asian dishes are what pays the bills - Lowest Common Denominator items. Therefore, feedback is important to him. If he knows that there is a market for stuff that would be considered more Thai Town, he might give it a go. But another constraint is the size of his kitchen - it's small - so he can do only so much.

Is there a single good Thai place in Santa Monica or Venice?

We like Ekkamai because they offer a handful of dishes not found at the usual kinda-Thai places. They also have limited storage space, so the produce tends to be very fresh - I'm pretty sure they get daily deliveries. And it's the only Thai eatery that I've been to that has a solid selection of beer and wine.

Dec 01, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

85°C Bakery Cafe opens in Pasadena

"Real" coffee in SGV seems like sodas at Chinese eateries - it's so low on the totem pole. Is Cloverleaf's coffee/espresso at least still acceptable?

Nov 26, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

85°C Bakery Cafe opens in Pasadena

I think most who prefer Taiwanese-style breads/pastries over here don't mind/like/prefer the soft pillowy texture. So what ever sog occurs is acceptable/preferred to a point. I know you've spent time in Taiwan and beyond so you're experiences may tell you otherwise as far as what's preferred over there.

Nov 26, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

85°C Bakery Cafe opens in Pasadena

I forgot to mention Cloverleaf on Las Tunas in Temple City. I haven't been in a year, but their baked goods were worthy. Like 85C, the goods are placed on trays and displayed inside of acrylic bins. The selection is pretty broad as well. Small batches, better quality than 85C IMHO, and real coffee/espresso as well. If you're getting a fair amount, ask for a box; otherwise, they will chuck the items in bags.

Edit: The pastries are not placed in bags until you get to the counter - if you don't want the bags...

Nov 25, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Live Lobster Prices - Old topic, but a new year.

I was there this past saturday. The tanks were full.

Nov 25, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Live Lobster Prices - Old topic, but a new year.

99 Ranch on Del Mar had lobsters at $8/lb and Dungeness for $5/lb this past saturday.

Broguiere's Eggnog Update – seen any yet?

Same here. Broguiere's is pimped-up egg nog on steroids to me. I think it has its place as in Will Owens' application. I'm not a big egg nog drinker, but Strauss will do for me.

Nov 25, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

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

Of the two, I prefer the SG location. I can see another one doing well somewhere around Monterey Park or Arcadia.

Nov 24, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Broguiere's Eggnog Update – seen any yet?

It's been a while but I think Strauss eggnog has a much lighter flavor profile - more in the dairy flavor realm. I recall Broguiere's to be far stronger in all other flavors, as well as having serious viscosity. There's a booze-like component in it that lends itself to more booze. If you like Broguiere's, you might find Strauss too plain.

Nov 24, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

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

If they opened another unit somewhere in the western half of the SGV, I'd bet they'd be packed for dinner as well. They are always crazy-busy for dinner - lunch isn't as nutzo. Slack time is service between lunch and dinner, but we've noticed a fall in prep/flavor during that time period. Maybe they have some sort of apprenticeship system in place where the second string gives the first string a break in between? Anyway, the Las Tunas location is way over capacity.

Their current location in BH doesn't do anything for me. I don't know how competent the kitchen is either way, but we are willing to drive the extra 20-30 minutes to the SG location. Outside of those who are familiar with Newport, most probably assume it's just another "Chinese" eatery but in designer duds. If tour companies that cater to Asians put this place on the meal list for trips to the general BH area, this might sustain Newport as long many are ordering crab/lobster/seafood. Otherwise, there's no strong Asian base to sustain Newport. BH has large Persian and OG Jewish populations - I just don't see these demographics getting down and dirty, fiddling with crabs and lobsters.

If I were to pick a location, it would be further west (lots of Asians in the Westside proper) or even south - way south to either South Bay or Irvine. The southern part of the South Bay and the general middle OC area have growing Chinese-Asian populations.

Nov 24, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Broguiere's Eggnog Update – seen any yet?

Sprouts in Culver City had Broguiere's and Strauss on Friday.

Nov 23, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

If You Could Only Drink One Beer Forever...

I can't argue with jonkyo - I literally can't. I don't think anyone has...

Nov 15, 2014
bulavinaka in Beer
1

If You Could Only Drink One Beer Forever...

Rare Vos is one of my favorites as well. "Damn, that's good," after the first sip.

Nov 14, 2014
bulavinaka in Beer
1

Zam Zam market closing in Culver City

That's always the feeling I got as well - and that is why I have to wonder if they actually will reopen anywhere soon, if at all. This seemed to be an almost optimal location for them (based on what they seemed to want) prior to having the higher rent imposed. To find another location that is so near a slam-dunk source of customers without any other nearby competition seems pretty slim.

Nov 14, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Zam Zam market closing in Culver City

>>But I've seen great places close with plans to re-open that never come to fruition.<<

So true. I don't know either way how serious the family is about operating their eatery above what it currently is. So far, they've been plugging along almost exclusively on their reputation, which I think says a lot about their food but... The mosque is one source of business and the rest is just general word-of-mouth/online posts for the most part. One could easily drive by this place for years and not even notice it - there hasn't been any signage out front since the re-do of the building. They've never made any effort in creating a more inviting interior either.

Nov 14, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

First time at Coni Seafood, select items for a group of 4? Paging WSG

The worcester sauce-like taste and the mango just about complete all the tastebud and olfactory coverage in that ceviche marinero - thanks for mentioning that one.

Nov 12, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

First time at Coni Seafood, select items for a group of 4? Paging WSG

Contact WSG via her email. I recall Coni comments by her are off the board.

I've only tried Coni once, but have been a regular at Mariscos Chente during and after Sergio was in the house. If you're getting the PZ, how many other dishes you order is dependent on how big a PZ you get, how many folks in your party, and how big your appetites are.

The PZ is typically the first thing you order because it will take the longest to prepare - it will most likely be the last thing arriving to your table, so save room or plan on bringing home a lot of left over PZ - it travels and keeps relatively well, and be sure to take home all the other stuff, especially the braised onions (ask to separate or toss the produce stuff - keep the limes). The PZ are usually between 1-2 kilos. 1 1/2 to 2 kilos is is a standard for four to six mouthes. If any OG fish eaters from Asia are in your group, they will bat clean-up. We've served this dish to a number of OGs and they all enjoyed this dish.

The menu is pretty heavy on shrimp - no worries - Sergio is very adept at serving shrimp from just about all angles. Just as others have mentioned, the camarones borrachos is excellent - the tequila makes this dish. I'm a head-to-tail eater when quality and freshness underscore shrimp - don't leave the heads behind on this dish. My family used to pull the heads off the shrimp on this dish and put them on my plate. Slowly, most of my family have become converts, so the shrimp heads are not so easy to come by like before... The camarones cucaracha is great for the same reason - it the whole thing. The camarones al barbacoa is different as well - nice smokey flavor. I've never tried the langostinos - they have always been out when I've asked for them.

The shrimp and fish tacos are really good. The smoked marlin tacos are excellent - these are somewhat unique - order these over the other tacos if you have to choose. I have not tried the tostaditos - they seem enticing and I hope someone can chime in about those. You probably should ask about any specials/off-menu items as well. Sergio almost always has them up his sleeve. The mojarra frita is excellent as well, but this would probably be overkill if you're getting the PZ.

Nov 12, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Are Meyer lemons in season now?

Ew.

Recent news cites that Los Angeles restaurants are serving huge amounts of duck...

They're great folks and eager to offer samples, which are always superb.

Nov 10, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Recent news cites that Los Angeles restaurants are serving huge amounts of duck...

The Mar Vista FM is a very good one. I think you will find its size and selection to be more than adequate. I only wish it was held on saturdays instead.

Nov 10, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Recent news cites that Los Angeles restaurants are serving huge amounts of duck...

I can't remember if they have the cucumber and dill cheese, but their cheeses are great. Are these the folks?

http://www.localharvest.org/goat-chee...

Nov 10, 2014
bulavinaka in Los Angeles Area

Oil-poaching fish?

Ditto on the texture. The temp is very low - like gentle poaching but with oil. I'm sure there's a scientific explantion as to the heat stability in oil vs. water and why this contributes to being able to poach the delicate fish proteins at a low but stable temp. This method also is great for infusing the flavor of herbs and apices as well.

One of my favorite sandwiches is a tuna conserva at a local place called Gjelina Take Away in L.A.

Nov 09, 2014
bulavinaka in General Topics