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Who's familiar with 'old' San Diego restaurants?

Yes! Consuelos! I STILL miss that quesadilla (but we favored the one near Hillcrest). Old and theme-y were: Chuy's in a (basically) a quonset near "Chicano Park," Mexican Village in Coronado, and Miyako's.

Mar 18, 2012
comedor in San Diego

Nichols Restaurant-Has it reopened?

The reference to Houston's wanna-be is apt.
Fish taco, about $14.00. Three tortillas containing just grilled fish w/condiments alongside (the condiments seemed a bit sparse). Mother in law called them bland-- which is slightly terrifying because I can imagine no bland that is blander than her bland. Shoestring fries were very good, served in a paper-lined cup, stayed nice and crisp and warm. Cole slaw verged on inedible as it seemed to be nothing more than green cabbage drowned in Thousand Island dressing. Burger was about $12.00 and S/O who requested it to be dressed light said it was oozing with dressing. The sauce was reminiscent of Apple Pan (but not as good) It kind of fell apart (brioche). But some people may like that. Very generous portion, though.
No more breakfast all day.
We will try it again because we're so desperate to want to like it, but still, we're a little disappointed, frankly. Maybe just moping that the old Nichols is gone because it was good at what it did...

Dec 10, 2011
comedor in Los Angeles Area

HELP! Need Central/ Southern Coastal California Recs!!

It depends on what days of the week you will be in the Central Coast, but north of Santa Barbara (in Los Alamos) is a great restaurant that actually does what so many say they do (serve local, in-season food). My most memorable meal in years... Just know that there can be a wait to get in (no reservations accepted) and they're not open every day.
http://www.fulloflifefoods.com/Full_o...
Solid, reasonably-priced sandwiches can be had at Panino, which has several locations:
http://paninorestaurants.com/location...

Jun 29, 2011
comedor in Los Angeles Area

I am so bored , stop the hype

Not getting the NYC reference, sorry...
Agree about the oil in many Hong Kong restos, but not necessarily the sauces- but then, they vary based on the dish.
And so we slip into the territory of "total package" versus "food alone", and "authenticity" versus "close-enough." I'm often troubled by the ultra-purist debates, but I confess that I have those tendencies, too. (And one just happens to be Chinese dishes-- and some across-the-menu dining at Mao's in the course of selecting a caterer for a party left me unimpressed and wondering why people praise it). Yet, it sounds like you have "total package" reasons for going to Mao's, and that's great. I think all of us have some of those places and dishes, too.
I guess all I'm saying is that I don't think anyone at Mao's is suffering for their food (their piercings remain an open question...).

Jun 29, 2011
comedor in Los Angeles Area

Where Can a Girl Get a Decent Po'Boy in This Town?!

Agree that the main problem is the bread (and not just here in LA, I also had this problem in the Bay Area). Don't know if this is true, but I was told that the main reason that California bakers can't get those recipes to work right here is the substantial difference in humidity.
I've just accepted that the best croissants will be in France, and the best po' boys in Louisiana... But I'm glad for the thread so I can try the referenced Hermosa resto.

Jun 27, 2011
comedor in Los Angeles Area

I am so bored , stop the hype

Agree that Mao's is not worth the time and money (uneven food and service). And OP's title is especially apropos in terms of Mao's-- "stop the hype."

Jun 27, 2011
comedor in Los Angeles Area

Freebirds World Burrito Is Now Open In Marina Del Rey

I've been to Freebirds both in IV and MDR, and it is way over-rated. My friend (who had no prior Freebirds exposure) also compared it to Chipotle! Great for college kids, no doubt, but we won't bother going back because there are so many other great burritos in LA (even the Westside).

Jun 27, 2011
comedor in Los Angeles Area

Waterloo & City - Mar Vista - Dinner Last Night

I'm happy to chime in with those who love Waterloo and City. After four visits, I'm very comfortable recommending this place to friends (one time was take-out salad and pizza). The spouse and I think the food is consistently good and reasonably priced. As LA restaurant food (especially in more casual places like this) slides toward ever-stronger flavors (a la Emeril's "bam" and "punched-up" notes in dishes), it's fun to find so many menu items that show flnesse and balance (e.g., the salad dressings). Twice here I've had the rare experience of liking a dish even better as I finished it than I did when I started it.
We've enjoyed very professional service on each visit and concur that W&C gets an A-.

-----
Waterloo and City
12517 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066

Jul 24, 2010
comedor in Los Angeles Area

the best SANDWICH in (San Francisco) period.

So happy to see Little Lucca listed here! I don't have the perspective needed to declare it "the best," but I'll be back! I stopped in totally by chance and was pleasantly surprised even beyond the expectations I formed while I was there watching them do their thing. (Went to the Burlingame store). Also liked their potato salad. (Didn't particularly care for the dill pickle.) This place, plus Shanghai Dumpling shop made a recent business stay in Millbrae worthwhile!

No cream of broccoli soup at the Organic Panificio Cafe in Marina del Rey?

I haven't tasted that particular soup, but, it's not uncommon to also simmer a potato with the other veg to "cream" up the texture upon pureeing.

Sep 06, 2008
comedor in Home Cooking

New Restaurant on Abbot Kinney?

I believe I remember a hangar steak, another steak (one might have been a special?), and salmon. Plates of grilled veggies went past, and also plates of fries (frites size). I also didn't find a menu online.

Aug 02, 2008
comedor in Los Angeles Area

New Restaurant on Abbot Kinney?

We tried Gjelina Sunday night. Sat on the patio-- a really nice little area. A few dining tables and a few couch/chairs with low-slung tables. The interior decor is a bit dark, but I found it more sleek than depressing. Favorite non-food thing: the music was the PERFECT volume. Not so loud as to interfere w/conversation but enough that you could hear the tunes. Nice mix, as well.
Food was good. We plan to go again and try more on the menu. We had a "cured meats" platter ($12) with what we joked were "baguette chips" (baguette slices smashed in panini press). There was a country pate, a duck rillette, and some smoked proscuitto along with garnishes to give some acidic balance: roasted red pepper, tiny pickles, onion, mustard. I wasn't expecting much from the green salad, $8, but we loved it. The dressing has some subtle heat that snuck up on you after several bites. The croutons were fun little pieces as well. We'll definitely have that again. We also had the prawns ($12) and a tortellini stuffed w/asparagus in an arugula pesto ($15). My first few tortellini seemed to have a bland filling, but later ones were very nice (perhaps a little cooking water had gotten in). The flavors on both these dishes were straightforward, clean, and balanced. The mint iced tea (a carafe for $3) was quite good-- again, well-balanced. We tried the honey pine nut tart ($7); we liked that it was not cloyingly sweet. There's a nice selection of wines by the glass (enjoyed the Pinot Grigio $12-- others are less expensive).
Saw dishes go by headed for other tables and most looked great. Yeah, the service had a couple very minor glitches-- but it was easy to flag a bus boy or runner when we needed s/t. Already thinking about what to order next time.

Jul 29, 2008
comedor in Los Angeles Area

Berkeley dinner after lunch at Chez Panisse?

Second the Rivoli suggestion. Picante-- "not so much."

Running short on ideas...

I don't know about s/t carbonated on the bottom... I'd actually thought about it (I've been playing with Bitter Lemon lately), but imagined that the carbonation may present a problem for the burning. Can't hurt to try, I imagine. The blood orange soda may be worth a try; thanks.

Jul 19, 2008
comedor in Spirits

Running short on ideas...

Thanks. I'll take a stab at this.

Jul 19, 2008
comedor in Spirits

Running short on ideas...

I'm having a party the night of the opening ceremonies for the Olympics, and since I have some left-over mandarin-infused everclear from an experimental "mandarincello" batch, I decided to make up an "Olympic Flame" flaming cocktail (more of a shot, really).
I've been kicking around some ideas for what's under that thin layer of everclear and none have really grabbed me (plus I'm generally ignorant about cocktails). I don't want anything too high-octane (or maybe I can have a "virgin" option as well). Yet, orange juice and grenadine seem somehow not enough (although the visual effect is a no-brainer).
Any opinions/ideas would be gratefully received.

Jul 13, 2008
comedor in Spirits

Great China salad question

Robert's right about which salad. And I think the pea shoots are the dark green gap in my memory! Thank you all for the help.

Great China salad question

So, it's been awhile since I've had lunch at Great China in Berkeley, and I am working to remember what greens are in the salad there. Because, of course, I'm looking to do a recreation. Any suggestions?

Let's Be Frank on Abbot Kinney?

Oh... Top Dog... sigh... Now I gotta try this.

Jun 20, 2008
comedor in Los Angeles Area

Cantalini's Salerno Beach Restaurant

This is, of course, a late reply. But I'd often wondered the same thing as OP when driving by. So after a thousand turns at that intersection, and after reading the conflicting opinions on Chow, we finally tried it. First visit was "prime time" on a Friday night. We walked in to find a packed house which surprised me considering what I'd read. The crowd was mostly older folks. We were directed to the attached "Harbor Room" to wait. The Harbor Room is a little nook of a bar with old photos of the area as decor. Our table was ready earlier than promised. Throughout the experience, all the service was very professional and pleasant (both visits).
The vibe is accurately described as "old school/kischy" and it was fun. Booths along one wall, two-tops down the center, and a couple tables that accomodated slightly larger groups on the opposite wall. On the second visit, we didn't go until about 8:45 (also a Friday) and the room was about 1/3 full.
The food was about what other posters have noted: uneven. A bread basket with two types of bread (one a foccacia) was placed. There's probably room for improvement on the bread. We agreed that the sauteed spinach garlic olio (a huge portion for $6.95) was great. The garlic cloves were perfectly roasted, carmelized, and mellow. We ordered it again on the second visit and the garlic was even better that time. The dinner salad lettuce mix, and the dressing, are pretty b-flat; as an entree salad it was $2.50. But, it comes with a tasty cheeseroll- and that's what earned it a repeat on the 2nd visit. On the second visit we tried the ceasar salad ($4.95). I've had better and I've had worse. On the first visit, I had the rack of lamb special. It was OK, but I probably won't order it again-- hard to put my finger on what the problem was. The surprise was the potatoes on the side. I was initially disappointed b/c they looked like steak fries, which I don't care for. I tried one anyway and ended up eating them all. They turned out to have this great pan-roasted crust of varying degrees on different pieces. Dining parter thought the ravioli was OK (I'll have to check to see if she ever served time in the CYA under the watchful eye of Westsidegal who compared this dish to prison food). I didn't think to try it. On the second visit we split the Rigatoni al Pesto. ($13.95) It didn't have that overly oily separation that can be common in pestos. The noodles were properly cooked and the ratio of noodle to sauce was right. The dish grew on me. Lastly, as noted by others, the Spumoni is great.
I forget the tab on the first visit. The second visit was less that $41.00 (before tip) for the spinach app, two salads, the pasta, a glass of wine (decent size pour) and spumoni. They apparently have complimentary valet parking, but we found parking w/in 75 yards both times. Yes, it's no Mozza; but frankly, we can't go to Mozza all the time. We love the food at a number of other Italian restaurants on the westside, but Cantalini's atmosphere and service are better than some and their prices are better than others. We'll return to Cantalini's occasionally because of the total package.

Mar 09, 2008
comedor in Los Angeles Area

Long Beach & beyond, please help!

Re: Mozza-- I concur with the Pizzeria suggestion (though, in fairness, I haven't been to the Osteria). I found it every bit as good as Chez Panisse cafe and the room has a similar, but a little louder, vibe. Most places have a spot on my "most memorable _____" list.
I can tell your time is limited so this may be moot, but I also agree with the Guelagetza recommendation. My entire tenure in the Bay Area was full of longing for good Mexican food. You can swing a cat and hit a good Mexican restaurant here, but Guelagetza is very special. My friend's opinion (a Mexican national from Puebla, who lived in Albany, but visited me in LA) was that he wanted to eat every meal there during the rest of his stay. You will not find anything like this in the Bay Area.

Mar 09, 2008
comedor in Los Angeles Area

Taco Miendo should be re-named Taco Bland

Yeah, dtud, I was just trying to be balanced. And yeah, I laughed at what was labelled "hot" salsa.
OTOH... the fact is, I'll go back over and over again for their tortas and tacos dorados. Loved every one so far, except the chx was bland in the torta and sope. I originally picked the tortas and tacos dorados b/c they were singled-out as good things at this place. Kinda like how the shrimp taco is singled-out at Sanchez (and kinda like how that's REALLY good, but not everything at Sanchez is). It's the beauty of the Board!
And now I'll commit heresy... I only had King Tacos once and that was my "don't get it" experience (granted it was from a truck at the Rose Bowl- so I'm still open to it, I just won't go out of my way).

Mar 05, 2008
comedor in Los Angeles Area

Newport Beach Places to eat

Sort of an old family hang...Newport Beach (second location in Tustin) seafood that's not especially fancy or expensive:
http://www.crabcooker.com/

Mar 05, 2008
comedor in Los Angeles Area

Taco Miendo should be re-named Taco Bland

Sorry you had a bad experience. I think the key to lots of places is to get the items they're good at and maybe skip the others. I ate at Tacomiendo two nights in a row and had very different experiences. The reason? The second night I decided to try one of the Lent specials (Hmm... lesson learned... the Tortitas camarones con nopales was really, really not so good [but the shrimp "broth" had the salt your food was missing!]). I agree that the salsas aren't the hottest, but sometimes I like that b/c I want to taste the base product and not just fire; still... there could be more heat for those who crave it. I'm kind of working my way through the Tacomiendo menu to ferret out what's special; sure, not all of it is, but some's pretty great. (E.g., IMO the sope was too tough, but OK for my companion; I agree that the pollo is a little bland-- but we found only good quality breast meat, which was nice). So... consider not letting a bad taco al carbon experience force you to miss out on what I think are some great Tortas and some tasty tacos dorados.

Mar 04, 2008
comedor in Los Angeles Area

Chorizo

I'm partial to the chorizo at Guelaguetza, Palms and Seplulveda WLA. Not at all greasy, IMO.

Feb 29, 2008
comedor in Los Angeles Area

Your opinions on these HK restaurants, please

Thanks for specific suggestions to try instead.

Your opinions on these HK restaurants, please

What a great, frank, detailed reply... just what I was hoping for. Thank you!

Your opinions on these HK restaurants, please

Thank you all so much for your advice! This is why I love Chow!

Your opinions on these HK restaurants, please

Hi, a California foodie here, about to visit HK for a week during New Years. I've gathered some restaurant names from various sources and would like to get opinions.

Anyone have experience with the HKTB pamphlet "Eat Your Way Around Hong Kong" and an opinion as to its recommendations? (I don't want to list all 50 of em!).

Do you have any thoughts on these places?
Luk Yu tea house for dim sum 24-25 Stanley St Central
Maxim Restaurant 3rd floor (for dim sum) City Hall 5 Edinburgh Place
Cafe Siam in Lan Kwai Fong
Hutong, Tsim Sha Tsui (worth the money?)
Wing Hop Shing 113 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan
Tasty Congee & Noodle Won Ton Shop 21 King Kwong St., Happy Valley
Lang Heung Noodles 15A Auston Rd Tsim Sha Tsui
Recs for claypot rice? (We're staying in Kowloon, but obviously will be getting around) Recs for around the midlevel escalators?
All suggestions are welcome!

Thanks in advance for your help.

Report- Parkway Grill on NYE

Visited this place on NYE with a small group. No charge for the valet service. 9:30 res; arrived a bit early and we were seated early, after a very brief wait. Excellent ambiance for a group of middle-aged folks (some decorations and a small jazz group playing). Felt lively, but not raucous. The highpoint of the meal was the service, as opposed to the food, which was good enough. From the time of making the reservation, to a confirmation call inquiring about corkage ($20.00), to our early arrival and seating, the reception staff were efficient and pleasant. The server, runners, and bussers were all excellent. I can't think of a service detail that was missed or botched.
We had some duplications in our ordering, so most dishes produced multiple opinions.
The butter lettuce salads had good quality lettuce, and the dressing was tasty enough, but they were overdressed. The beet salad was nicely composed, again with good quality ingredients, but the flavor was somehow lacking (specifically, seasoning on the beets). The salmon was very good (quality and cooking) as was the beef filet. I enjoyed the pork belly (nice flavor and texture), but the sides were slightly congealed and a bit cool. My guess is that it sat on the line for awhile, waiting for another dish. One dessert stood out, one disappointed, and another was fine. The riff on a bannana split did not meet anyones' expectation for presentation or flavor. The molten chocolate cakes were good enough, but not spectacular. The creme brulee "napoleon" was the hit of the bunch. A nice custard and caramel sauce, with perfectly crisp and appropriately sweet layers of pastry.
We didn't avail ourselves of the champagne, but it was nice to know it was there.
I generally tilt toward food as more important than service, but this was a great example of the vital contribution that top notch service makes to the whole experience. We'll visit again, and hopefully on a night that's not an "event" so we can experience the cooking in more of the kitchen's usual groove.

Jan 03, 2008
comedor in Los Angeles Area