sugarpie's Profile

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organic food co-op/ delivery

I subscribe to the South Central Famers coop (http://scfcoop.southcentralfarmers.com/) and think it's a great value, only $15 for a bushel box and there is no commitment. You can pick up a box at the whole food in Pasadena. They only offer vegetables and as mentioned in some of the other post there is not a ton of variety. They are also a bit of a homespun operation so don't expect a ton of customer service.

Feb 09, 2010
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Australians please Help! ISO : a butcher that has Pork Loin with the skin on/crackling

Yes, I think you are right . I called Harvey Guss Meat CO, on Fairfaix-ish and his staff said they don't carry it. All Iowa hogs come without the skin. So I am starting to look at a purveyor in Simi Valley. I'll also call Olson's before I head out to SImi.

But if someone knows of a place that's closer, that will really help. At least we know that cut exist (thanks H. Nile).

Dec 22, 2009
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Westwood Winner

I like Upstairs 2 just south (1.5 miles) of Westwood Village on Cotner and Olympic. It's located above a wine shop, so they have good wines and small dishes.

Dec 21, 2009
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Australians please Help! ISO : a butcher that has Pork Loin with the skin on/crackling

A few months ago I was in Australia and had the pleasure of being invited to a roast lunch. I helped prepare the meal and noticed that the package said it was a pork loin ( I think ) but it had the skin attached, something I had never seen before. It was lovely to say the least.

Since I have been back in LA I have not been able to find it . Most of our pork has been stripped of the fat. I went to an Asian market and they had what they called a leg roast that had the skin but it was not the loin. I asked a butcher at the 3rd st farmers market and they had no clue what I was talking about. I live on the west side but I am willing to travel.

Please help me find a pork loin with the skin on or let me know if I have the wrong cut in mind.

Dec 20, 2009
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

ISO: Restaurants with seasonal menus and local produce in Sydney and Melbourne

Leaving sydney today. Thank you all for your tips, everyone was spot on. I still can't get over the variety of produce grown in one place. I know its a big place but WOW. Although it seems that there are no traditional seasons either, as saw a lot of stone fruits available.

I laughed about the garlic being imported from china because that is also very common in California despite the fact the we have a town that claims to be the garlic growing capital of the world or something like that :) Thanks again.

Nov 28, 2009
sugarpie in Australia/New Zealand

Sydney & Melbourne - what is new and well regarded?

Thank you all for all the great tips. My husband and I are almost finishing up our trip and all your ccomments are spot on. Got to run, I am headed to Bodega right now.

Nov 26, 2009
sugarpie in Australia/New Zealand

ISO: Restaurants with seasonal menus and local produce in Sydney and Melbourne

I am from California and I am interested in finding restaurants that feature Australian produce. I don't want to spend a lot but realize that these place aren't cheap.

i also have a few etiquette question:
Do most people order an entree and main for dinner ? Is it ok to split an entree and dessert, if you and your partner are having your own main dish?

Any other rules people from the US should know when dinning out in OZ?

thanks,

Nov 11, 2009
sugarpie in Australia/New Zealand

ISO of a good restaurant with entertainment...does it exist?

Looking for a restaurant that has good entertainment and good food in the metro LA area. I am hosting a bachelorette and would like to started it off with a nice lively dinner. I am thinking of El CId but have no clue about what the food is like. Then I want to head to a good bar. Looking for good bar suggestions too. Price point $45/pp.

Jun 19, 2009
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Good food and entertainment

Looking for a restaurant that has good entertainment and good food in the metro LA area. I am hosting a bachelorette and would like to started it off with a nice lively dinner. I am thinking of El CId but have no clue about what the food is like. Then I want to head to a good bar. Looking for good bar suggestions too.

Jun 17, 2009
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Tres Leches Cake

I recently got one a Juniors Deli in West LA. It was the best bang for the buck and they make in a full sheet if you ask too. I had the by the "slice" ( they put it in bowl) but perfer the full cake version because it had less frosting.

Jun 22, 2008
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

which farmers market can I find La Boulangerie bread?

I believe he is at the Sundays West LA Farmers market on Purdue and Santa Monica.

Apr 18, 2008
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

SGV Dim Sum Update?

I held my post wedding sunday brunch at Triumphal Palace with 50 people (45 adults + 5 kids) and the total was $768 including tip. There was plenty of food. No abolone or sharks fin was ordered but that was a pretty good deal because one unruly guess had two beers and ordered more than one order of the batter langostine.

Jan 10, 2008
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Reherasal Dinner in Pasadena for 25 guests

Sorry for the delayed post but I thought I would let you all know that after many phone calls and visits we decided to go with Xiomara. It worked out really well. We had a 3 course prix fixe dinner with 4 options per course for $28 dollars/person (tip and tax not included). They let us keep the center pieces too! The food was very good for the price point. No Complaints.

Dec 28, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

SGV Dim Sum Update?

Thanks for the posting liu.
Based on your posts I decided to try Elite for xmas. I was very pleased. The shu mei (sp?) had a bay scallop on top! Yummy! I also really like the turnip and scallop pie. I think it is better than my recent Sea Harbour experience. It's a better value too.

Dec 27, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

SGV Dim Sum Update?

I went to Sea Harbour a couple of weeks ago and was disappointed. I think they recently changed ownership. They got rid of the rooster and the prices where higher then I remember. The name was slightly different too. I just can't remember now. Things were not cooked well, at least not how I remember it.

Dec 20, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Something good for a group of 15 near South El Monte thats not Chinese

I found the phone number to Ajos y Cebollas (626) 279-6511. Good luck.

Nov 15, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Something good for a group of 15 near South El Monte thats not Chinese

Not sure if its still around, but for such events I like ajos y cebellos (1648 Tyler Ave Ste D, El Monte). It's a family run mexican place that is on Santa Anita and Tyler. It's got a nice vibe and pretty good food. Lots of cheese!

Nov 14, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

vegetarian and meat eaters unite

What kinda place where you thinking of casual or formal? If you are looking for very casual eats, I would reccommend Fred 62 in Los Feliz. It's a trendy diner though.

Oct 25, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

California Vegan in West L.A. - Any Good?

I was there last year and was a bit disappointed. The food felt kinda bland and it didn't hold up to places like Real Food Daily or smaller SGV vegan restaurants. Their imitations meats were very rubbery.

Oct 25, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Zo new policy

Yes, you still get the Yuzu even when you don't spend a lot. Unless there is some new rule.

Perhaps I am not a big eater, but even when I have eaten until I am quite full, I have spent no more than $80. Most pieces are about $2.80 + or - 40 cents with the exception of Toro and other MP fish. Keep in mind that when he gives you sashimi he is going to charge you about $2.80 for each piece on that plate, so that will run closer to $9. If possible, I would skip the miso soup because at $3.00 I would rather spend it on a piece of fish. Hope this helps.

Oct 25, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Zo new policy

Exactly, Nicole. I guess the likes of me will have to Hide.

Oct 18, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Zo new policy

That's exactly what I was getting at kevin. He was really nice in the begining then he started being very gruff and that there really is no differnce between what you get during the omakase and the a la carte. The best he can do is to pick things that he remembers you like, but that's only if you're at the bar and it's not busy. But I can do that too, it's called a la carte.

To save money kevin you should try eating a very light meal before hand and then just tell him to stop after a few pieces. You can tell him to stop at anytime. I think he has caught on to people doing this because the pace of the omakase is pretty fast. The last time I did the omakase I ate about 7 pieces and told the server I was done, but she said that he had already started another piece for me. So I felt bad and took the piece, of course that piece just happen to the toro. But still my omakase runs more like $45.00.

I think in the future I may try to beat him at his own game and tell him that I don't want any of the Tuna family (which I am not a huge fan of) just to avoid the more expensive pieces. Although like I said in the earlier post, the vibe has just changed and I am tired of him and his staff being so pushy with the omakase so I think it's time to start searching for a new place.

Also, no one has complained about his staff but I have had a few uncomfortable moments with some of them. Anybody else? I think they must be family. They don't seem to have a lot of experience.

Oct 18, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Zo new policy

I hear you Paulf.

I've been to ZO many many times (and love it ), but I think I have just about had it with all the rules. I started going to Zo when you could sit at the bar and order a la carte. Then you could no longer sit at the bar if you weren't doing omakase. Fine. Then you could not make reservations if you were not ordering Omakase on weekends. Fine. Next, you were informed you would have very slow service if you order a la carte at the table. Not cool. Now you can't have a la carte on weekends? Honestly, service and ambience is big with me and there have been a few times that I have felt uncomfortable at ZO. As Zo has become more popular, there has been more pressure for you to order omakase and servers rushing you after your last bite. Once you are done they want you to leave. I don't like feeling rushed. Sometimes Keizo is really friendly and sometimes he is not. I always feel I have to dip my fish in soy sauce while he is not looking. I'm tired of feeling guilty about dipping my fish and about not ordering omakase.

While I understand that it is more efficient, traditional, and cost effective to do Omakase, I was under the impression that Keizo wanted Zo to be a more casual neighborhood type place. A place where people like me could get excellant sushi without a heavy price tag. Not to mention that there really isn't a difference between the omakase and the a la carte menu, except he gives you the more expensive stuff. He won't put anything on the a la cart menu that is not good and you can always ask him for whatever specials he has or what he recommends that is not on the menu and he will give it to you. The only time I have omakase is when I want the yuzu.

As other have suggested, try it out for yourself. I think you'll find it good but may not be worth it. In the end, I am addicted so I 'll never say i'll never go, but the rules are becoming more and more obtrusive.

Oct 17, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Fresh, homemade tortillas in the SGV?

My favorite is in El Monte. It's called La Mano tortilleria. It is located on Garvey about 2 blocks east of Rosemead on the north side of Garvey. It's across the street from the Taconazo in El Monte.

Sep 17, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

MILK, the new Sweet Lady Jane. . .

Thanks for the info peanut112.

Yes, perhaps my view was clouded by the services. I think I will be willing to go again if the managment is responsive to our call/letter.

Aug 19, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

MILK, the new Sweet Lady Jane. . .

And not in a good way. While they mainly offer just counter service, Milk has runners bring your food to the table (i.e., they give you a number and drop off the food). Our runner, Lawrence, was totally obnoxious the whole time. From the start, he seemed annoyed and asked why my co-workers and I had taken so many numbers (a feeble attempt at humor? Or perhaps simply a lack of manners?). We explained to Lawrence, that we had all paid separately and he then proceeded to take all our numbers. We told him that we were still waiting for food/dessert and he told us not to worry, that he would remember. Seemed odd to us to do it that way, but we weren’t going to argue it.

Well, at the end of our meal, he not only brought out the wrong dessert but lied to us in order for us to eat it. When he found out that he had brought out the wrong dessert, he tried to coax us into eating it anyway by telling us that he had made this himself and we would like it better than the ice cream sandwich we had ordered. When we insisted on having the dessert that we had ordered, he said they were out of the other one anyway. We later discovered that he flat out lied to us when we saw the dessert we had ordered in the case on our way out.

When he came back to check on us and asked us how we were doing, we asked for a box for our leftovers and he said we could go grab one inside ourselves. We noticed that other runners brought out boxes for their guests, so it seemed odd to us that Lazy Larry would bother asking us if we needed help and then proceed NOT to help us.

The food was average. I found that my salad had salty pockets in it. I think they may have used kosher salt to season it. The sandwiches were nice but nothing to write home about. Their desserts I have to admit are good, but I haven't decided if it’s worth going there.

Has anyone else experienced this? If this is a one time/one person issue I may go back but if this happening a lot then this is management issue and I don’t want to support them.

Aug 19, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

nice dinners in Pasadena

I recently went to Xiomara and was pleasantly surprised by the food based on other chowhounder's post. It's the same chef and the service was good. I posted about it here http://www.chowhound.com/topics/413074

I was so impressed that I am holding my rehearsal dinner there. I must warn you that they are planning some remodeling in the next week or so that may affect service and quality. The named hasn't changed yet, but it is in the works.

Aug 14, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

NEW XIOMARA

I been there twice since in the last month and had a great time. So much so that my fiance and I are planning to hold our rehersal dinner there. Perhaps they read your review or or just got the hang of things.
I went in late June and was worried after reading your review. But to my surprise, the food and service were actually better than what I experienced under the Xiomara managment. It is a bit more casual then I remember it being, which is actually a plus for me. The duck ropa vieja was delicious along with the mojitos and the scene was lively.The dishes were inventive a tasty especially for the price. I still don't love the bartender's persona, she comes off a little pushy and loud, but otherwise we had a good time.
The new owner Carmen, is trying really hard and tries to greet everyone. My only concern is that they plan to keep the place open during renovations which I think will hurt the ambience and possibly the food.

Jul 28, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

Where do I find the best Croque Monsieur in LA

Are they open for dinner?

May 12, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area

LA Mill Coffee Opening On Silver Lake Blvd.?!

Great. I heard the same thing a few months ago at one of their "tastings." They said they had found a place, but last year I remember they said something similar about pasadena. Then nothing happened. So while, I am excited about a retail space, I am not going to hold my breath.

May 10, 2007
sugarpie in Los Angeles Area