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maudies5's Profile

Title Last Reply

Quiche: Anything Close To Amandine?

+1 "huh?"

4 minutes ago
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

BBQ in Brentwood. "Holy Cow!"

I predict that if the food is good and prices remain reasonable and they deliver than every mediocre pizza joint (e.g. Fresh Bros, Marias) will soon be committing "hari Kari."

7 minutes ago
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

BBQ in Brentwood. "Holy Cow!"

Holy Cow opened yesterday in the former Louisa's space on 26th street across from the Brentwood Country Mart . Menu looks so good. If the food is good, I am predicting a real winner. The website states that they will be taking reservations and, ultimately, delivery. The smell of good BBQ on 26th street will almost be a guarantee of success. Interested in hearing first impressions. I'll be out of town for a couple of days but eager to hear feedback.
http://www.holycowbbq.com

about 2 hours ago
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, August 2014: COCKTAILS and Bar Food

Bar Toscana seems to have become the "Cheers" of an area of Brentwood. Saw several neighbors last night. Very good vibe along with very good cocktails and food.

about 2 hours ago
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area
1

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

Lots of Sturm und Drang here How about everyone take a big, deep breath and carefully read the email which was sent by the Huckleberry/Rustic Canyon Group and the Lucques group. As I read this email, these restaurateurs are paying for HMOs and the employees can choose to go to a PPO if the employee chooses to do so. What I find noble (yes, there is that "noble" world again) is that these restaurateurs are willing to do what it takes to make part time employee, get the same benefits as full time employees. This is HUGE. They are saying that they will do what it takes to make sure that the 30 hour a week employee gets full health care. To those who say, raise the prices? I am going to take these credible restaurateurs at their word; that they will show transparency. Back to why not raise the prices? Do you not think there would be a huge outcry if suddenly Melisse raises the price of its tasting menu? Get real, folks. Are you seriously prepared to dock your server 3% of a tip? Have a heart. Perhaps that server has a kid with a heart condition and this will make a difference. These are reputable people putting this out there. They promise transparency. Fine. Ask for it. Don't dock your server? Ask management for financial statements.

about 23 hours ago
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area
2

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

I have had family members with chronic illnesses and employers tried their best to keep them as "part time" workers, e.g. under 32 hours in order to avoid paying health insurance. This is not an unusual circumstance. Even if these folks had not had chronic illnesses they would have had to go to the E.R. for a variety of conditions.
I understand that some are ticked off at having to supplement what some perceive as onerous charges. I see the Lucques Group singled out on this board. Isn't anybody pissed off at Josiah Citrin at Melisse? So much love for Melisse on this Board. Will that 3% really drive any one away from that beautiful roast chicken for two? What will 3% add to that mighty check? The guys from from Animal and Son of a Gun aren't getting beaten up. Nor is Ludo. Presumably, along with the Animal and Trois Mec& Petit Trois folks, they are ALL adding 3%, as are all of the Huckleberry/Rustic Canyon/Milo and Olive folks as well as Republique.
I know some of the owners of the aforementioned restaurants. They are dedicated to their profession; are not in the business to make a killing. They love what they do and to the extent that they want us to pay a few extra $$ to keep those folks who work even under 32 hours a chance at affordable health care, I'm just fine with it.

Sep 11, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

Who do you follow on the Los Angeles board, and why?

Spoonlicker is a great asset to this board. Very intelligent commentary, even when I don't agree.

Sep 10, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

Moderately priced large b-day cake

Here are some Ralphs Locations within the Baldwin Hills area.
http://www.yellowpages.com/baldwin-hi...

Sep 05, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

Likely "voice recognition" system got the spelling wrong.

Sep 05, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area
1

Sunday brunch in West LA

OP said her guests are having dinner Sat Night at Tavern.
AOC serves a great brunch if they are willing to travel a bit east.

Sep 05, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

First Dunkin' Donuts Lands in Santa Monica

I couldn't believe my eyes when I drove by after shopping at Santa Monica Seafood. That line was insane; stretched as far as the eye could see. Also, parking around S.M.Seafood was a mess. Lot was full and I had to drive around the block a couple of times to find a metered space. My guess is that the lot behind S.M. Seafood and Huckleberry will soon require parking validations.

Sep 04, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

Moderately priced large b-day cake

Ralph's Market makes terrific birthday cakes.

Sunday brunch in West LA

Barney Greengrass is still closed for remodeling. It will be an entirely different restaurant when it re-opens.

Sep 04, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

Does anyone pay attention to Merril Shindler reviews?

George Christy?
Jay Weston?

Sep 03, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

We had lunch Saturday afternoon. Food was just o.k., but service was horrible. The Sunday brunch really was outstanding. We ate it in a private room which was just off of the bar/restaurant where the buffet was set up. I know the cost was $60.00 pp. Service, generally in the hotel was an abomination.

Sep 03, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

Wedding party took 10 rooms but wedding was elsewhere. Glad that Fairmont bought the property a it is in serious need of a facelift. The brunch buffet there on Sunday was one of the best I have ever attended. Indeed, it would have been fun to meet you "outside."

Sep 03, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

I was also at the Claremont this past weekend. Were we at the same wedding?

Sep 03, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

The folks who are deciding to go to different restaurants because of your sense of outrage: were you regular customers at Animal, Son of a Gun, Melisse, Lucques, AOC, Tavern, Hungry Cat? As WSG often mentions, Some of these these are on "my usual (regular) rotation." The 3% surcharge won't deter me . Taking the e-mail notifications in the best possible light, I think they are doing something noble. I wonder how many of you have had friends or family members who were ineligible for health benefits because they worked less than 30-32 hours a week. Kudos to these establishments for thinking about health care benefits for their employees. BTW, never second guess the commitments of these chefs. They are among the chefs who are willing to donate their time to fight pediatric cancer at the Alex Loves Lemonade Stand on September 20. So, knowing the track record of some of the most exhalted chefs and restaurateurs in Los Angeles, I feel comfortable in saying that altruism is front and center. Drop the cynicism. There are some good people in the restaurant business.

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

This is the email I received from the Rustic Canyon, Huckleberry folks. Note that Melisse, and the Animal/Son of a Gun folks will also be joining in addition to the Lucques restaurant group.
A Happy Day - Healthcare for our Staff
We’re really excited to announce that beginning October 1st, we at the Rustic Canyon Family of Restaurants will be offering fully covered health care coverage to all of our employees who work 30 or more hours a week. Offering health care is something we’ve always wanted to do, but for a long time felt it was financially unrealistic. We’ve recently sat down with other like-minded local chefs and restaurant owners like Suzanne Goin, Carolyn Stein & David Lentz, Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo, and Josiah Citrin to come up with a plan to offer coverage and have decided to implement a 3% employee benefit surcharge added to all of our checks beginning September 1st to pay the October 1 premium. This will cover the majority of the cost of providing this benefit. Everyone on this list will also be offering health care plans to all full time staff beginning on October 1st or by the end of the year.

We understand that health care related surcharges have been a hot topic at times, both in San Francisco, where they’re widely used in many of the best restaurants in the city, and here locally when Walter Manske and Bill Chaite introduced the first charge of that sort at Republique. We felt that it was best that we take a minute to explain why and how we’ll be offering benefits, the reason for the surcharge, and how we intend to show transparency so that our customers can understand how the money is spent. The major point is that this is not a political statement or endorsement of any kind. Our desire to offer health benefits is not even really tied to the Affordable Care Act, which at this point wouldn’t require businesses to provide health benefits to their employees until January 2016 at the earliest, and where ultimately businesses of our size might not be required to provide health benefits at all. Our desire to do this is because, quite frankly, we believe it’s the right thing to do, and that as a community of independent and family run restaurants we want to provide the best work environment we can so that we can provide long term jobs and careers for our staff instead of the usual transient employment that is associated with the restaurant business.

The plan to roll out health care coverage is pretty simple. We will be offering all staff members who work full time (30 hours a week) an opportunity to have a fully covered HMO plan with a top tier carrier, or if they choose, we’ll pay a significant portion of a PPO plan if the employee chooses a more specialized plan. In addition we’ve pledged to work with any employee who is currently below the minimum hours threshold to give them enough hours to meet the minimum so that they can qualify for benefits.

The cost of offering these benefits is significant and the reality is that restaurants, particularly smaller restaurants like the ones many of us own, have a very high ratio of staff members to revenue and run on very slim profit margins. Successfully run restaurants generally make between 5-10% net profits so a health care benefit which eats away 3% of gross sales will take away anywhere from 30% to 50% of annual profits for a restaurant. We’ve discussed simply raising menu prices, but ultimately food prices are tied in many ways to the ingredients we purchase . Those ingredient costs have increased astronomically recently so we’re already struggling with working creatively to keep menu prices down and don’t feel it’s right to try to factor health care costs into menu prices as well. We’d rather keep our menu costs as an accurate refection of our ingredient prices so that customers know that if we have to raise them it’s because we can’t avoid passing on our increased costs.. So that leaves with us a surcharge, which based on our calculations of 3% allows us to cover 100% of our employees in full. In addition, a 3% charge on your bill gives the customer options they wouldn’t have if the cost was simply folded into menu prices. Customers can simply pay the surcharge and support a healthier staff, choose to adjust their gratuity down by 3% in order to end up paying the same amount they originally anticipated while still supporting health benefits for the entire staff, or if they strongly oppose, ask to have the charge removed from their bill. In addition, to avoid any misconceptions, we as a group pledge to post total transparency on our websites by the end of the first quarter of each year for the previous calendar year showing the total that was collected for employee benefit surcharges the previous year, how it was spent, and in the case of a surplus how every dollar of that surplus will be applied to employee benefits. Rest assured that none of us would use any of this surcharge for anything other than wellness benefits for our staff.

We’re extremely happy to be able to offer these health benefits to our staff and our staff has been extremely excited to get signed up to receive them. Many of our staff were not previously covered or were covered but it was a significant financial burden. Feel free to check in with our staff and ask questions about the health plan or the surcharge on your next visit and we’ll happily address them in a candid and transparent manner. We are eternally grateful to you, our customers, who support our restaurants and allow us to do what we love for a living. We thank you all for your support and as always will constantly strive to be the best restaurants we can be day in and day out.

weekend trip to downtown LA

I was there a few months ago. Major disappointment and I used to love that place. To be fair, my tastes may have changed. I ordered the Slippery shrimp, enjoyed it but it was a tasty shrimp dish loaded with cornstarch. See no reason to go out of my way for that dish. Soup was watery, orange chicken a fried gloppy mess. Worst Cantonese food I have had in years.

Sep 01, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, September 2014: OFFAL

If caviar and lardo are offal, then I am glad to have found two more items beside chopped chicken livers

L.A. Dish of the Month, September 2014: OFFAL

I think it is a bit unfair to characterize the lack of enthusiasm for offal as "hate-on." Some of my best friends love offal. My husband adores sweetbreads, but knows that is a dish I will never prepare. Ditto: liver and onions and veal kidneys.

Sep 01, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, September 2014: OFFAL

There is not one appealing dish on that list.

Sep 01, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, September 2014: OFFAL

Chopped liver from Nate ' Al's is the closest I ever get to even considering offal. I eat chopped liver about every 2 years. Way too much cholesterol in that stuff, but sure tastes good. So, I'm with gr8pimpin, "see you next month." Can't stand even the thought of eating most offal. Offal=awful choice for DOTM. Sitting this one out.

Sep 01, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

West Hollywood restaurant recommendation?

Sunday Night Supper at Luqcues. $45.00 pp, 3 courses. Vegetarian option always offered.
This Sunday on Labor Day weekend, I suspect a reservation would not be a problem. Always make a reservation at Lucques.

Aug 29, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area

Sadness

I did last night at Ivy at the Shore

Aug 29, 2014
maudies5 in Site Talk

Sadness

Proud to be your fellow hound, as well, jessejames.

Aug 29, 2014
maudies5 in Site Talk
1

What 5 TJ's products...?

Dorot frozen garlic. Each cube =one clove of garlic. I am a serious cook and after a professional chef turned me on to this product a couple of years ago I stopped buying fresh garlic

Red peppers stuffed with ground turkey and brown rice

Orchids

Vahlrona dark chocolate

Aug 28, 2014
maudies5 in Chains

Sadness

:
Sorry about this, but we've removed this post. We're asking people to keep discussions of recent site changes and your impressions of how those changes affect the site on the Site Talk board, so we can keep this board focused on sharing tips on chow in Los Angeles.

Laurel

The Chowhound Team
Chowhound.com
For Those Who Live to Eat
__________________

Discussion: Who do you follow on the Los Angeles board, and why?

A copy of your post:

I am bumping this thread as it seems that some of our usual, reliable posters are no longer contributing..e.g. Servorg, just to mention one. In revisiting this thread I see that many of our very credible contributors are M.I.A. Sorry to see a forum I have really enjoyed devolve. Clearly, the focus has changed. Sad to see. Missing Servorg and others.

Where to eat Labor Day early evening in Santa Monica, Venice, etc.

Ivy at the Shore serves some really nice seafood

Aug 28, 2014
maudies5 in Los Angeles Area