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LA's Best Ramen?

I'm also a big fan of Daikokuya regardless of the consensus. Their chashu bowl alone is worth it, in my book. I'm also not a fan of Tsujita, so I guess I'm in the minority here (although Tsukemen was good). Love Yamadaya, not a big fan of Jidaiya or Iroha.

Dec 01, 2012
spicychow in Los Angeles Area

LA's Best Ramen?

Me too, I prefer Yamadaya over Jidaiya. Personal preference.

Dec 01, 2012
spicychow in Los Angeles Area

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #3 - 11/21/12 (Spoilers)

thanks! I might actually try this :)

Dec 01, 2012
spicychow in Food Media & News

Ina Garten - FOOLPROOF

I just made her beef bourguignon dish, and I followed it exactly. It came out a bit watery... is that how it's supposed to be? I've had beef bourguignon in Paris, and it wasn't like that. Do you cook it anymore than she does to thicken it up? I even added extra butter/flour combo but ended up simmering add'l 45 min to make thicker, but just wasn't too happy with the consistency. Just wanted your opinion since you've made it many times. Thanks in advance!

Dec 01, 2012
spicychow in Home Cooking

Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #3 - 11/21/12 (Spoilers)

I just came back from Paris where I had the famous Joel Rubuchon's mashed potatoes, and it is phenomenal. I never knew mashed potatoes could taste so good, by far the best I've ever had (even commented on it on the France board before I saw the TC episode today). Someone on the France board replied to me that he uses 2:1 potato:butter. I think it's part butter, but I could see the kitchen, and they were hand whipping the mashed potatoes for a looong time, ensuring fluffiness and airiness but maintainging creaminess.
When I saw the episode today, I wondered if it was similar to JR's, and the judge made that comment, so I figured it must've been pretty damn good.

Nov 24, 2012
spicychow in Food Media & News

Paris: Best Foodie Neighborhood?

Not a Paris expert by any means, but I just got back from my trip, and we liked the area we stayed in- the Rue Cler area. We walked to the open market they had on the street, walked to several restaurants including Chez L'ami Jean, Au Petit Sud Ouest, FL Restaurant, Le Petit Cler, and I believe Les Coquettes is right there too. You can also walk to Louvre and Champs Elysee, although it's a good 20min walk. Close to a Metro station.
It was pretty dead at night, but I don't know if you want a lively nightime neighborhood.
Good luck, and have a great trip!

Nov 21, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

Hi Topeater,
We had the 9 course, and couple of the dishes were great... but few were just all over the place with flavors, ingredients and presentation. Almost like he was trying too hard to be creative or make a statement.
Couple of dishes were super salty, which I hate.
A fish dish was so undercooked that it wasn't flaky, it was mushy. Also the pheasant was undercooked to the point that it was blood red in some parts, which didn't appeal to me since in the states we are brainwashed to think undercooked poultry is baaaad. I realize raw chicken is eaten in countries like Japan (I've lived in Japan), but I wasn't sure what the norm was in Paris.
The couple sitting next to us had a similar experience, and we talked about how all of us were a bit diappointed with our experience at CLJ.
The dessert course was awesome though. 3 different kinds of desserts, and DIY rice pudding dessert that was lovely.
Not sure if we just went on a bad night, but I definitely regret getting the 9 course, and probably would not go back at all.... there is just too many restaurants I would rather try. Just my opinion. :)

Nov 20, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

The soup was more like butternut squash soup. Creamy and yummy. After 19 days in Europe the details ate a little hazy, but it was really good.

Nov 19, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

Yes, exactly. Got there around 7 and stood in line for about 20 minutes.

Nov 19, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

1st day (Sunday):
got in the morning, had lunch at Le Petit Cler, which was right around our hotel. Delicious omelettes! So much more flavor than the ones in the states. Very pleasant start.
Dinner was at Le Comptoir du Relais. Had a hard time finding the place (and people were very helpful, but steered us completely wrong most of the time). Delicious beef cheek pasta and perfectly cooked beef shoulder. Lovely escargots, but what wouldn't be good drenched in butter and garlic.

2nd day (Mon):
Had lunch at Joel Rubuchon. Delicious!!! Had a great meal, although strangely enough the waiter spoke the least amount of English out of all the restaurants we were at. There was an error in what we ordered (the wine was way more than the one we had shown them) but we decided not to make an issue since the meal was so wonderful.
Dinner was at Chez Josephine Dumonet and we had a light artichoke salad and I had pigeon for the first time, my hubby had the beef bourguignon. We enjoyed everything, but our favorite was the soup they gave us as the amuse bouche. I could've had a whole bowl of that, yum.

3rd day(Tues):
Lunch at Las du Fallafel, I really enjoyed this. I'm not a big fan of falafel, and this was by far the best falafel I've had. The line wasn't too bad, and it was pretty cheap.
Dinner at Au Petit Sud Ouest. It was also walking distance from our hotel, which was nice. Very nice people, we had foie gras with truffle sauce which was great. (again, any foie gras is to be savored since the ban) and I had the duck confit and hubby ahd the duck stew. Loved the cute ducky napkins.

4th day (wed): The weather was nice enough that we did have a simple picnic in the garden of Versailles. We had some baguette, some cheese and bought quiche from the cafe. It was nice, since we were eating so heavy all week.
Dinner was at FL Restaurant, and I loved it. It's really small, very close to our hotel, and the owner (I think?) was very welcoming. We had couple appetizers, and I had pork which was perfectly cooked, and hubby had hake filet which was again perfectly cooked. His was matched with mashed cauliflower that went really well, mine was with mashed potatoes which was just yummy, although the BEST mashed potatoes I've ever had was at Joel Rubuchon. Wow, how do they make their mashed potatoes SOOO good. Dessert was delicious rice pudding with caramel.

5th day(Thurs):
We had reservations at Spring, but unfortunately we had to cancel it. Bummer, but by then all the walking, fatigue, jetlag had caught up with us, and we could not wake up in the morning. Poor excuse, I know, but I think we needed a sleep in day. So we just had lunch close by, Cafe du Marche, and it was fine. Hubby had the beef tartare, and he quite enjoyed it. And it hailed for about 5 min, which was fascinating to watch, being from LA where the weather is never exciting.
Dinner was at Chez L'ami Jean. Now this was something I was looking forward to and it was another reason we cancelled Spring, since we had this lined up, and we were both disappointed. We had the 9 course tasting menu, and we were not impressed. I'll go into details if anyone is interested, but the couple next to us was similarly disappointed. Out of all the places we went to, this would be the one place we would change if we could.

That is the quick wrap up! We thought people in Paris were just lovely, a few times people came up to us and asked us in broken english if they could help when it was clear we were looking for a place. Surprisingly, most of them did not know where anything was by street name, so it wasn't too helpful. Couple times they steered us in the very opposite direction, but we appreciated their gesture. People were also very well dressed, loved the entire city, and the view from the Eiffel Tower was incredible. Loved the trip!!

Nov 18, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

Thank you to everyone that helped me out. Just got back from my trip (6days in paris, 13 days in Italy), and I had an amazing time! Paris was definitely our favorite, we want to go back sometime if we can.
Again, thank you. I appreciated everyone's feedback!

Nov 17, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

yes, my thoughts exactly! I was worried about it, and my hubby was like, what is the big deal, we will cancel if need be. So I'm glad we have enough rezzies to fall back on. Plus we were always planning on eating and drinking our way through Paris and Italy. We kinda do that on a daily basis now anyways. :)

Oct 26, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

That sounds great, I'll def look into the market area. One bad meal won't be so horrific when we have so many great ones (I hope) lined up. I've been wanting to see Versailles since I was little, I doubt anything would get me down from the whole experience.

Oct 26, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

haha, thank you for your post.

Oct 26, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

is there a casual, grab and eat type of lunch place near Versailles? I did want to get a great croque monsieur/madame sometime while in Paris. Maybe it's a stereotypical touristy thing to do, but there are certain images when I think of Paris, and that is one of them. Or do all Parisian cafes have that readily available. Oh and so many people have told me I have to get L'as du Falafel. Need to do that sometime too.

Oct 26, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

oh no, I was so focused on rain, I forgot that it's so cold over there. I live in LA where it's in the 70s right now. I think 9 degrees celsius is about 50 here. Hm, maybe not the ideal picnic conditions :).

Oct 26, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

Yes, I agree. If we feel like we are overdoing it, we will modify as we go along. I was so worried we wouldn't have any reservations since I started so late on the restaurant portion of our trip, but now we seem to have more than enough. So I'm not complaining! I'd rather have too many than not any.

Oct 26, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

lol, yes, I've found out through this experience. So strange that some restaurants don't have a website, even. Will appreciate the restaurant even more, once I get there.

Oct 26, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

Our hotel just contacted us to let us know that they were able to make reservations for us at CLJ on Thurs night.
So,

Sunday: dinner at Le Comptoir du Relais

Monday: Lunch at Joel Robouchon (etolier) Dinner at Chez Josephine Dumonet

Tuesday: Lunch, prob casual Dinner at Au Petit Sud Ouest

Wed: Picnic at Versailles, dinner is open

Thurs: Lunch at Spring, Dinner at Chez L'ami Jean

I think we're doing pretty good... we might try to change CJD to Wed night, but if not, we will just have to enjoy it all. All the places are confirmed, except le comptoir du relais, but it's one place we want to go, since my friend was raving about it.

we will see if we make it to all the places!

Oct 26, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

I was able to confirm reservations at Spring for lunch on Thursday. Still not sure about dinner at CLJ, but at this point, I think we can do without it. Not that we would turn it down if our hotel concierge manages to get a reservation for us.

It's looking like a lot of places, but we are very excited! It's our first time to Paris, so we just want to enjoy it all.

Thank you to everyone that have pitched in, I appreciate it!

Oct 26, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

I tried making reservations at Septime, but it wouldn't let me via their website. It would say the date is available, but after clicking through everything, it would tell me to pick another date. So I gave up on that.

I'm thinking of trying out Perre Sang Boyer on one of the nights we don't have a reservation. I understand they don't take reservations anyways, so it will be perfect, although we will make sure to get there early.

Thank you for all the feedback. I'm actually looking forward to the picnic at Versailles. Hopefully it won't rain on Wed! :)

Oct 26, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

Thank you both for your input. That's what I was thinking too.

And thanks for the suggestions, Plafield. I'll try to move CJD to Wed night once we get to Paris (I've had to ask the hotel to make the rezzies for us, and it's been a bit of a hassle) But if I can't, we will just have to grin and bear all the food. It might be doable, since I'm thinking we will do the 37E lunch special at Joel Robuchon and maybe split the famous beef bourginon at CJD.
Most definitely we will have a light lunch on Tuesday if we need to do all that eating on Monday.
This is all a great problem to have, I'm not complaining!! :)

Oct 25, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

I was able to make reservations for lunch at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon Etoile on Monday and dinner reservation at Chez Josephine Dumonet for dinner.

So now it looks like Sunday dinner: Le Comptoir du Relais

Monday: Lunch at L'atelier de Joel Robuchon, dinner at Chez Josephine Dumonet

Tuesday: Lunch is open, Dinner at Au Petit Sud Ouest

Wed: Picnic to Versailles/day trip

Thurs: Possible lunch at Spring, possible dinner at Chez L'ami Jean

Fri: leave

Does this seem pretty decent? Not sure how heavy the food will be at Joel Robuchon, so it might be a little too much from Sunday to Tuesday. Could we order a la carte (light) at Chez Josephine?

Any feedback will be much appreciated, thanks!

Oct 25, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

thank you!

The emails I've gotten from the restaurant were very pleasant and warm, so it makes sense that the owners are very nice people.

Trying to make sure I get my foie gras fix... I wasn't even a big foie gras fan, but now that it's illegal in CA, I definitely want my fill in France!

Oct 25, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

Just sent an email to the hotel asking them to make reservations for us for Chez Josephine Dumonet and Chea L'ami Jean. Should have asked them weeks ago, hopefully we can still get in.

One other question, what do you think of Au Petit Sud Ouest?

Oct 25, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

Thank you so much for your feedback!

Thanks for your honest "less than slim" chances at Chez Josephine, lol.

We are staying at a hotel, so I appreciate the suggestion for Pleine Mer. I'll look into making reservations.

I tried to make reservations at Chez L'ami Jean, but it won't take online reservations, and there is no email address that I could find on their website. Is phone call the only way to make reservations there?

Thanks much!

Oct 25, 2012
spicychow in France

6 days in Paris, and couple of questions about specific restaurants

Hi there,

My husband and I will be leaving for our belated honeymoon to Paris and Italy in couple of days. Since he is swamped at work (byproduct of taking 3 wks off), I have had to do a lot of research on my own for all things related to the trip... (and I'm kinda swamped at work too).

So...the trip framework is set, and I've done my fair share of perusing the chowhound board for restaurant ideas, but wanted a bit more feedback.

Sunday: we get in the morning. I was planning on Le Comptoir du Relais for dinner, since they don't take reservations anyways. We are not set on lunch, although I was thinking Relais de L'entrecote for steak and frites.

Monday: open

Tuesday: Have reservations for dinner at Au Petit Sud Ouest, mainly because foie gras is illegal in CA and it looked like it specialized in foie gras? Also they were very responsive with their email in setting up the reservation, which has not been the case with some other restaurants.

Wed: Day trip to Versailles, so hopefully do a picnic for lunch. Dinner, I'm waiting to hear back from FL Restaurant regarding reservation

Thurs: Hopefully lunch at Spring, also waiting for confirmation. Dinner is open, and I was hoping to go to Perre Sang, before 7.

Leave for Rome on Fri morning.

My questions were: We do want an authentic parisian bistro experience at least once. Is Chez Josephine Dumonet a good place for that, and what are the chances without reservations?

Also we heard that oysters are great in Paris during this time of the year. Any recs specifically for oysters, or are they just everywhere.

Anywhere else other than Pierre Sang, Les Cocottes and Le comptoir for restaurants without reservations... is the wine bar of Chez L'ami Jean worth it for dinner one of the nights?

Thank you so much in advance, just getting some feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Oct 25, 2012
spicychow in France

Great comments by Bourdain on various TV food shows

I thought it was hilarious. Tony is so on point. And he always balances his wit with genuine respect for his fellow chefs.

Mar 11, 2009
spicychow in Food Media & News

Are tasting menus worth the $$$

I LOVED the tasting menus at Spago, Melisse, and Providence. I think the wine pairing is totally worth it, if you go to a place like Providence where a sommelier comes over to the table, pours the wine for you, and explains why the wine was chosen for the meal (without any intimidation, of course). On the flip side I had the TM at Alan Wong's in Hawaii, and it was verrrry disappointing wine pairing, since the sommelier hardly came to the table and the wine was just brought over from the bar, already opened and poured.

Now that I have a little tighter budget (darn this economy), I'm looking for some good deals on the tasting menus... I think I will try out Hatfield's and the Sunday supper at Lucques next.

Jan 28, 2009
spicychow in Los Angeles Area

what celebrity-owned restaurant in Los Angeles actually serves good food?

I agree. Katsuya is pretty good, and it's not overly expensive either. Depends on how much you order, but you can definitely keep it less than Spago, Mastro's, even Geisha House. And Geisha House is soooo dead now.
STK would be another place... last time my friend went, she saw David Beckham, Victoria, Kate Beckinsale and her husband. I wouldn't mind seeing Becks... even overpriced steak would be worth it!

Jan 10, 2009
spicychow in Los Angeles Area