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Thanks for the post. French cuisine is not my favorite; but I am ready to have my mind changed.

Personally, I enjoy Spanish cooking, with an emphasis on seafood. I live in Los Angeles, a very trendy eating hamlet, and must admit, I'm still enamored with the highly-creative modern style of a Jose Andres.

I was being cheeky about the Shanghai dumplings in Paris. I've been all over China and even in my backyard of Monterey Park, I have access to world-class dim sum.

My last trip to Europe, I spend some time in Barcelona and enjoyed what I consider the finest meal of my life: Alkimia. Stylish, creative, and not to sound pretentious, but 'told a story.'

But I'm just as happy to eat in a tiny hole in the wall, experiencing hand crafted and simple dishes.

I'm 44 and came late to good eating, as my parents were no into food. But living in Los Angeles has afforded me access to some great Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and regional Chinese food. But everything in LA is 'California-French' which is sort of bores me.

Personally, I like restaurants that cook just a few things, but does them well. Traditional is fine, but I'm always impressed by the unconventional.

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Oct 10, 2014
ivankrueger in France


I've been to Paris before and, foolishly, fucked myself by not contacting Chowhound and setting forth a plan of attack prior to my leaving.

I want to know where I simply MUST eat.

Fancy=fine. Expensive=not a problem. But I'm open to ethnic, out of the way, weird, hell, I'll take the best Xiao Long Bao in the 6th Arrondissement. I'm there for three weeks, spending some time in the south of France and possibly some time in Belgium. Other rec's are welcomed.

Help me avenge my last time in Paris where I literally ate at Jules Verne inside the Eiffel Tower. And it was not good.

Thanking you in advance...

Oct 09, 2014
ivankrueger in France

A deeper examination of NOLA eating

Tried bacchanal last night and it was worthy of the hype. Great call.

Dec 28, 2013
ivankrueger in New Orleans

A deeper examination of NOLA eating

Been all around NOLA... Need new foodventures. What are some places that I might not know about or are new and haven't hit the blogosphere? I've done all the places recommended to me on Chowhound. Commanders palace, august, tiny shacks uptown that make po'boys. I'm looking for an insiders go-to list of places that haven't tipped yet. In exchange, I will reveal some of Los Angeles undiscovered gems. (Okay, I realize this isn't really worth much...) So open up the vaults and let me how where to go!

Dec 12, 2013
ivankrueger in New Orleans

What's your LEAST favorite restaurant in LA ? (excepting of course for chains).

Alcove is just okay and yes, with terrible terrible service. But the customers are the real problem. I've had to ask a douche bag to stop talking so loud on his phone because I couldn't enjoy my meal. I was reprimanded for invading his space.

Dec 12, 2013
ivankrueger in Los Angeles Area

What's your LEAST favorite restaurant in LA ? (excepting of course for chains).

Cafe Figaro. Horrible, fake French food. Terrible, snooty, fake French waiters. Filled with Los Feliz d-bag types/celebrities, all not aware that, while the ambiance is Paris-esque, the food and service is poop.

Dec 11, 2013
ivankrueger in Los Angeles Area

What's your LEAST favorite restaurant in LA ? (excepting of course for chains).

Agreed on the 'Home' front: How can they still exist? And in two locations?

How can you fuck up an egg? An. Egg?

I used to go to the Los Feliz one because there was nothing else in that area. Now with all the choices, I cannot understand their presence.

And the worst service imaginable.

Dec 11, 2013
ivankrueger in Los Angeles Area

What should Feniger do with the STREET location?

Mozza annex.

Nov 13, 2013
ivankrueger in Los Angeles Area

Shanghai -- some high end and low end recommendations for a US traveler who has never been...

I'm going in two weeks. Been to Beijing and loved it. Want real down and dirty local places as well as the top-shelf, fine dining rec's...

Best Burger in LA?

I've been down this road before. Tried a lot of burgers in LA. Many, many burgers. Yes, In/Out is great. Father's Office is not too shabby.

But hands down, the best burger I've ever had is the dry aged burger at The Oaks Gourmet (On Franklin in Hollywood...)

Simply amazing. Not the most fun place to eat -- it's more of a deli/market and littered with Hollywood Hills actor/musician types, but I have to say, that it's totally worth it.

So good....

Jan 23, 2013
ivankrueger in Los Angeles Area

Taking a first-timer to Austin this Xmas

We hit both. Swifts Attic was really amazing. Best of the entire trip. Thanks for the rec.

Dec 29, 2012
ivankrueger in Austin

Taking a first-timer to Austin this Xmas

Perfect. Looks amazing. Will definitely give it a try.

Dec 21, 2012
ivankrueger in Austin

Taking a first-timer to Austin this Xmas

We are Los Angeles folk and I've been to Austin before. Loved the food. Aside from the obligatory BBQ and Tex-Mex, what places must we taste.

We lean towards small plates, seafood, wildly inventive over classic, big portions, comfort food. Very friendly to vegan and veggie styles, as well as Southeast Asia.

Breakfast and sweets are low on our priorities.


Dec 19, 2012
ivankrueger in Austin

Where can I buy ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE???

The BEST, BEST andouille sausage can be purchased at WURSTKUTCHE (SP?) -- Downtown. Hewitt Street. They will sell you uncooked ones. (It is a restaurant.) Alligator and pork andouille. The BEST.

Apr 14, 2010
ivankrueger in Los Angeles Area

Gumbo recipe

The Chowhound Team split this tangent from a discussion of gumbo in Los Angeles.

* * * * * * * *

Since there is no good gumbo, here's a foolproof recipe:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cut flour

Cook. Low heat. NOT NON-STICK PAN. Stainless steel or cast iron. Cook until dark red/brown. It might take 45 minutes. Your patience will be rewarded.

Dutch Oven.

A big one. Add roux (butter & flour) and saute 1 large onion, 1 cup red peppers, 1 cup celery. Then add about two to three cloves of garlic.

In separate pan, brown 2 lbs chicken (i prefer breasts) Add to dutch oven. Add one drained can (14.5 oz) of tomatoes.

Cover with stock (homemade is best; seafood stock from Whole Foods is amazing)

Add two bay leaves, two teaspoons of fresh thyme, teaspoon of cayenne, few shakes of red pepper flakes, fresh cracked pepper, some fresh parsley. And a pinch of sugar or honey. High heat.

While coming to boil, in same pan you cooked chicken, brown 2 andouille sausages. (Go to Wurstkutche downtown...they have the best). When nice and brown, add to dutch oven. Bring to boil.

Cook for 45 minutes. Add 1 1/3 cups (thereabouts) of FROZEN OKRA. It works much better than fresh. Cook ten more minutes. Take off heat. Cool for several hours. Then put in the fridge (after removing bay leaves) and chill overnight. Sounds nuts but the flavors will grow exponentially.

When ready to serve, heat up to simmer. Add 1 pound de-veined shrimp and just barely cook them -- like 2 minutes.

Serve over rice. File is an absolute must (It's not Gumbo without file in my mind) Go get some and sprinkle over.

Works every time...

Aug 27, 2009
ivankrueger in Home Cooking

Where is the "real" cajun/Creole in LA county?

Not a NO native, but a huge fan. Just went and miss the food terribly. I've scoured this town up and down, and always find myself disappointed. Here's where I think it's lacking:

1) Gumbo Pot -- not real gumbo.
2) Harold & Belles -- okay, but uber-expensive.
3) Uncle Darrows -- something you'd find at an airport in NO and laugh at

And so on and so on. Where is the real deal? I want to feel like I'm in the quarter, Abita in my hand, wishing I could live here forever...

Aug 27, 2009
ivankrueger in Los Angeles Area

Nasty, guilty pleasures

Aside from being a foodie, I occasionally enjoy some of this town's lesser delights. Fast food, drunk food, late night food, and all around general crap.

In no particular order:

1) Ultimate Cheeseburger at Jack In The Box: Just what it says it is. Burgers and cheese. No condiments. (Perhaps no meat, either. Just 'meat like' substance that they call meat at fast food.) No cares, it's good and it's bad for you. Why not?

2) Veggie works burrito at Del Taco. Healthy, right? Just has cheese and sour cream. But not meat. (Or 'meat like' substance.)

3) Entenmann's donuts. Just like Nana used to buy for me. Disgusting. And with those rabbit pellets on top -- what the hell are those things? Tastes good, though. Hard to find but lesser Vons are known to carry them.

4) Casa Vega. Food is terrible but the lighting is great for a first date. And look at those porn stars. Wonder what they're ordering...

Aug 05, 2009
ivankrueger in Los Angeles Area


LA Pizza:

1) Vito's is great. Been going there since they were on Vermont. (And caught them once closed at 7pm to host a 'sit-down' between some middle-aged men with pinky rings and a COP acting as security. Killer.

2) Two Boots. Cornmeal crust might not be for everyone, but it makes for a crunch experience. While they're not as close to true NY Pizza as Vito's, I have to give them props for creativity. Signature slices are pretty fun. Crawfish on pizza, who knew?

3) Casa Bianca. For years, people have commuted to Eaglerock and waiting an hour for their pizza. Personally, I didn't think it was all that great but...yes, the sausage is made in house and is great. Not a meat guy, so I don't know... It has great atmo but if you require a slice and little more, go to one of the above.

4) Joe's in Santa Monica. Great pizza, when they do it right. I've had a couple of iffy pies from them, albeit takeout. I'd go in and pick out a slice.

But who just want to laud the best? What about the WORST pizza is LA? (And I don't mean Pizza Hut or other offenders of the palate...) What place should you avoid at all costs?

Domianos? Greasy, floppy, nasty.


Aug 05, 2009
ivankrueger in Los Angeles Area

Where is the best turkey burger in LA?

Just consumed a "California Rosemary Turkey Burger" from Novel Cafe in Santa Monica. Very tasty indeed. Great fries, too. On Ocean Avenue. Near The Counter.

Dec 19, 2008
ivankrueger in Los Angeles Area

Disappointment at Canele

Had a so-so meal there two or so months ago. The Paella was just not good. Bland and overcooked. I was looking for salt and pepper. And I never salt or pepper anything. I thought the design of the space was somewhat stirring and brave, but the food was such a letdown. I live two blocks away and haven't been back since.

Does anyone know if they've closed down? I driven past recently and not seen them open.

Not that I want to go back. Just curious.

Jan 11, 2007
ivankrueger in Los Angeles Area

I need a new burrito in my life. Any suggestions?

El Tepeyac -- it's in East L.A. and worth the gas money to get out there. The Hollenbeck Burrito is the size of a Duraflame log. Huge does not describe it. Awesome and delicious.

Jan 10, 2007
ivankrueger in Los Angeles Area