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DTLA Night Market reports?

Apologies, I didn't have a chance to check my phone again after I posted last night. Looks like a few others responded so hopefully you got the info you needed to make a decision.

Yeah, I've been to the Arcadia one and the DTLA version was far more enjoyable. It had maybe half the vendors (which is still a *lot* of vendors compared to most food fests) and yes it didn't have the most adventurous ones (I wasn't planning on getting stinky tofu anyway, although we could swear that we smelled it at one point), but the crowd was just so much more manageable and the layout more roomy. Also a fun art section, good bands, etc.. Unfortunately it seems like they didn't do a good enough job marketing this event because nearly all vendors I spoke to said that sales hadn't been very good, at least not on Friday night. They were all more optimistic for Saturday and by 6:30 several vendors said that they had already sold more than they had all of Friday. But other than a 3-4 very popular booths there were almost no lines at any booth. Some of the highlights of what I sampled:

- Finally tried the ramenburger, and only waited 5 minutes! It was really good, but I'm glad I didn't wait 2 hours for it as people have at other events.
- Had an *amazing* "fusion" fried chicken sandwich w/ ube spread from the new Formosa Cafe kitchen led by chef Brian Huskey. I will definitely be heading over there to try out the new service.
- Excellent lamb skewers from "L.A. Original Yang Rou Chuan".
- Paella from The Paella Artisan.
- Lots of miscellaneous taiwanese savory and sweet items.

I'll be curious to see if they do this event again next year. Maybe the crowds weren't big enough to justify doing it again, unless if Saturday night was a massive success. I think they should have done it Saturday and Sunday rather than Friday and Saturday. I'm guessing there's something at The Staples Center on Sunday night that ruled it out.

Jun 22, 2014
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Where Are the Joints? aka smaller, individually run neighborhood places?

All' Angolo on 3rd St in Koreatown is both insanely good and insanely inexpensive, has just a few tables and is definitely a neighborhood joint. The pasta there beats most places that charge 2x as much or more. I know what kind of place you are thinking of, and this is maybe a bit more diamond-in-the-rough than your ideal spot, but I highly recommend trying it. Caveat: parking in that neighborhood is horrible if you can't get a spot in the cramped lot in front.

Jun 22, 2014
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area
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DTLA Night Market reports?

Ok, I'm here right now, and I'm posting because I highly recommend it to anyone who sees this in time! It's open until midnight tonight. Lots of great stands and, as of right now, not crowded at all. I'll send a more detailed report later...

Jun 21, 2014
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

DTLA Night Market reports?

Encouraging, thanks! As of this moment you can still buy presale tickets online, so that's also a good sign.

Jun 21, 2014
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

DTLA Night Market reports?

Any reports from Friday night? Trying to decide whether or not to go on Saturday (tonight). Would be nice to know if it was crowded, although lack of crowds on a Friday might not be a good predictor for Saturday.

Jun 21, 2014
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Where to get my knives sharpened??

I've never done it, but I always see the sign for knife sharpening at Koontz Hardware in West Hollywood.

Feb 25, 2014
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

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

Dec 14, 2013
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

626 Night Market?

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'll be following the "go early or not at all" advice, especially since I would be with kids. The next one, July 6 & 7, is going to part of a (sorta) long holiday weekend, so I wouldn't be surprised if the crowds are even bigger.

Jun 28, 2013
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

626 Night Market?

Ha! My username is inspired by the name of an old corner store thousands of miles away. I wouldn't recommend that anyone here go there. :)

Jun 28, 2013
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

626 Night Market?

Has anyone attended this year's 626 Night Market in Arcadia? Thumbs up or thumbs down? It's supposed to be much bigger and more roomy than last year's.

Jun 15, 2013
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Best Philly (style) Cheese Steak in LA?

Absolutely 100% agreed. SPE truck has the best flavor and is the most authentic.

Dec 30, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Chipwich - is this available in LA???

Whoah, the pic on the TJ's box looks reeeally similar to Chipwiches. That's the only one I've seen besides Chipwich with the chocolate chips on the outside. Will definitely have to try, hopefully avoiding the melting problems seen by Clyde.

Dec 13, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Short Order, Long Price

Went last weekend, shared a Nancy's Backyard and Ida's Old School between two people, both medium rare. Sorry, I love Nancy, I've even been buying her burger blend at Huntington Meats in the FM for years now, and I don't really care about the price that much (I'd pay $13 again if it were as good as I was hoping), but I don't plan on coming back for either burger. Sure, I could tell that the ingredients were top quality, but there was just a lack of savory intense flavor that I expect from a gourmet burger. Maybe it's the grass-fed beef, or maybe it's the way it's being ground (it breaks apart in a weird way), but somehow it was just lacking. I can think of at least a dozen burgers I'd rather have over these, especially Golden State just a few blocks away. Not to mention that the Ida's had waay too much special sauce and ended up being a goopy mess, but not in a good way.

Not a fan of the fried spuds, but the french fries were fantastic.

The vanilla custard shake was superb, but hardly worth $6. (To be fair, a milkshake at Bennet's is also $6, but there I can get far more interesting flavors.)

Curious to hear about the turkey and lamb burgers, I *might* go back one more time if I hear good things about either of those.

Dec 11, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Chipwich - is this available in LA???

Awww ... I haven't thought about Chipwiches in over 15 years, and just seeing this thread title got me craving one. Only to be sadly disappointed by the thread contents. I googled around a bit and found something even more sad: the dated chipwich.com site, with quotes like this: "In 2003, we will expand distribution of Chipwich for the first time to supermarkets across the U.S., with new flavors including Mint Chocolate Chip, with delicious dark chocolate cookies."

Still seeking Jello Pudding Pops, which supposedly came *back* on shelves in recent years. But I've never spotted on in LA anywhere.

Dec 11, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Good venue for holiday party near The Grove?

Maybe Vodvil, recently opened on Fairfax? Never been, but seems like it might fit the bill based on what I've read about it and what I would guess about their cost.

Oct 16, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Native New Yorker moving to LA - hancock park/larchmont village area and need some recs in the hood!

Mario's Peruvian. Osteria Mamma. Lou On Vine. Cactus Taqueria (it's a stand). Millions of things in Koreatown. :)

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Lou on Vine
724 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Mario's Peruvian & Seafood
5786 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Cactus
950 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Osteria Mamma
5730 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Oct 15, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

baby/toddler friendly restaurants mostly on the west side?

Oh just remembered another: Pitfire Pizza. Super kid friendly (gone many times successfully -- they have a kid's pie) and pizza is always a great option when there's a 2 yo. Better there for pizza than Shakey's or whatever. Feels very LA in there so I think it'd be fun for an out-of-towner for a low-stress lunch.

[Edit - I've only been to the Culver City one]

Oct 11, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

baby/toddler friendly restaurants mostly on the west side?

Huckleberry is a pain when you have small children, especially two. Doable but barely worth it unless if you time it beat the crowd. Too little room, too much effort to get a table, etc..

Malibu Seafood is totally fine with small kids, as long as you or the kids' parents aren't germaphobes. I wouldn't call the tables highly sanitary. Some people bring tablecloths. Personally I'm ok with it, brought the two kids several times without any tablecloth. Another option is the "Carbon Beach Club" restaurant at the Malibu Beach Inn. Had a wonderful brunch there with kids and relatives, and it's literally over the water.

Other ideas:

Three Square on AK is a great choice, although if there are two of you *and* two adults + two kids, that's a bit tight. You could fit three adults and two kids for sure in one of the booths by having one of the kids in a high chair at the head of the booth. (Done it several times.) They might be able to join two tables on the patio but I'm not sure.

Lots of options on the roof of Santa Monica Place, including the food court, which isn't amazing food, but you can eat outside with amazing views of the beach if there are free tables. Plus there are some other options in the Market Place or whatever it's called.

Oct 11, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Lasagna at Bay Cities in Santa Monica

Not just the hot case, but whole (small) frozen lasagnas in the freezer in the back. Perfect for a family dinner, I get them for us all the time.

Oct 01, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Chez Jay in Santa Monica

I come here for lunch sometimes. The sand dabs are surprisingly good for what the place is. Not gonna earn it any Michelin stars, but goes well with their excellent bloody mary! Expect friendly but slowish service, mostly from being understaffed usually. It's perfectly fine for a leisurely meal, but don't go if you're in any kind of rush. I love this place for long Friday lunches ...

Aug 30, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Hollywood Pies - FINALLY some decent Chicago Pizza in LA

Tried it tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm not at all an expert in Chicago style, the only thing I really know is Zachary's from the Bay Area, but this was about what I imagine perfect Chicago-style to be. I kept it simple -- got a large cheese, picked it up and was eating it at home within 5 minutes, so the heat level was perfect. It kept its form well -- no goopy falling apart of the pie. The sauce was tangy, almost made me thing there was a little bit of pepper of some kind in it. (In a good way.)

Agreed that the pickup was very, very odd and drug-deal like. But I'll happily put up with that again and continue to patronize. I can only assume that if all goes well they'll upgrade at some point to a proper pizza place.

Jul 27, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

AOC Open table spotlight drama and rude service

Yeah, I am shocked at the apologists in the room here. Your description of the situation makes it blindingly obvious that *AOC* and not *you* should have noticed a problem and gone completely out of their way to check the deals with Open Table before they even talked to you. Think about it ... if you're the manager at a restaurant, and a customer hands you or one of your waiters a deal, and the deal doesn't appear to be in your system, you better be damned sure that you know what you are talking about if you are going to accuse the customer of making a mistake.

Ugh, I see this time and time again, restaurant staff that begrudgingly accepts pre-arranged deals. It's very, very simple: restaurants, if you don't like honoring deals, then DON'T OFFER THEM. How is that so hard to get? And restaurant staff: if you are in any position other than one that decides if your place makes deals, then you should *always* accept the deals with a *smile*. And if you're the manager who decided to offer the deal, then it's your own doing in the first place.

Jul 27, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

AOC Open table spotlight drama and rude service

Their *email* mailbox was *full*? I could understand voicemail being full, but email? If their email mailbox was full, god help us all ... anyone using an email system in the last ten+ years that gets "full" must be so technologically illiterate that they can't possibly be capable of running a business.

Jul 27, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Coney Dog

Hearts are *extremely* common in chile recipes, much more than you would think. Especially in restaurant chile. It gives it a certain unique meaty richness. It's not the same as just using a bunch of offal as filler.

If you like how it tastes, who cares? Heart is a muscle. No more or less healthy than any other average piece of meat.

Jul 16, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Gjelina Take Away - first thoughts

I couldn't disagree more about the breakfast sandwich. I thought it was incredible, especially the kale which I thought balanced perfectly with the other flavors. And I got it in 5 minutes on a busy weekday morning @9.

Jun 08, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

best al pastor tacos on the west side?

I'm not gonna say that fresh cut wouldn't be awesome, but I've always been happy with the quality of the pastor I've gotten there either way. It's a different style than most trucks I've had but not worse, just different. Did you find the quality lacking? I've only ever gone during busy lunch and dinner hours so the greater the volume the higher likelihood that what I got was cut recently. If I manage to get them to cut it fresh I'll report back about that too. (That said, I'd be curious what percentage of the time what you're getting on a truck was just cooked that instant too.)

May 17, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

best al pastor tacos on the west side?

Check out Casa Linda on Abbot Kinney. They do a real spit with pineapple on top and cut from it fairly regularly throughout the day although not right onto the taco. I've never asked but they might cut from it on request. Either way it's super good and their other tacos and everything else there is superb. Cheap and low-key but a step up atmosphere-wise from a lot of other places. I love eating at trucks myself but an out-of-towner might feel more comfortable at a place like Casa Linda.

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Casa Linda
1357 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

May 16, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Gang of newbies @ Mei Long Village

Phew ... the subject line scared me there for a minute. I thought this was going to be a complaint about a brand new staff there and a horrible visit!

Apr 27, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

Favorite Soondubu (soon tofu)?

Umm ... you kinda already nailed it in your list, I think! I love Beverly Soon Tofu. And several others on your list are great too.

Apr 27, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area

It's time to talk about ROBATA JINYA on 3rd and Crescent Heights (aka the robata-ya what serves up RAMEN?!)

Umm ... no ramen?? :)

Apr 27, 2011
QualityMart in Los Angeles Area