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Latest Urasawa prices?

Can someone point me to the latest prices for Urasawa? Last I heard it was $375/pp. Does that include tax & gratuity?

I also recall seeing a drink menu once. Anyone have a link to a 2012 version? I remember seeing very expensive champagne and sake but also beers for $10. That was a few years ago, however.

Planning to take myself and 3 others. Just want to get a accurate picture of how much I'll be shelling out. I realize it's "a lot" but I'm curious!

May 04, 2012
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

LA's best Indo-Chinese?

Nice, I will check it out!

Oct 26, 2011
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

LA's best Indo-Chinese?

I am a big fan of Chicken or Gobi (Cauliflower) Manchurian. You can't find it at every Indian restaurant, but it is a heavenly dish. It's a mix of tender, flour-dusted chicken or cauliflower mixed with spicy chilis, garlic-ginger paste, green onion, soy sauce, and more. It's addictive to say the least.

India's Tandoori on Wilshire in Miracle Mile has an excellent buffet and sometimes includes Gobi Manchurian during lunchtime. However, neither version appears on their official menu.

Any recommendations on where to find the best Chicken or Gobi Manchurian? Other Indo-Chinese dishes?

Oct 25, 2011
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Short stay in Siem Reap

I was just there as well and really enjoyed the food. Khmer Kitchen was nice. My favorite had to be Le Malreux. It gets mixed reviews but we went there numerous times and it was stellar. Fantastic burger, better than many I've had in Los Angeles.

Questions about Chez L'Ami Jean

I was there a couple days ago and they said 10 days advance was their average booking. They had seatings from 7 to 11:30pm (this was a Friday). I was there around 6:30ish trying to scoop a table and the staff was having dinner and finishing their setup for the evening.

Jun 07, 2009
foodmonster in France

One night in Paris...where to eat?

Thanks both for the great recommendations! I wish I could have ate at them all :)

The price at l'Arpege was 360eur for the tasting, which I was tempted to do but when I realized I'd be alone (girlfriend is visiting her parents while I head back stateside) I balked. I felt it wouldn't be as good if I couldn't share it!

I tried very hard to pry a seat at Chez L'Ami Jean, but alas I was too hungry to wait around and figured I'd try it next time. It'll give me good reason to come back.

In the end it was a delightful meal at la Régalade. Far from perfect, but wholly enjoyable. I had a cold tomato soup with goat cheese, pigeon w/ foie gras, and the grand marnier souffle. And a fair amount of terrine and cornichons. And they gave me a complimentary plate of cheese and salad w/ herbs when one of the servers accidentally took my plate away while I went outside for a sec.

Overall, great experience. And by the way, FoodSnob, awesome blog!

Jun 06, 2009
foodmonster in France

Unusual and un-PC, but I have to know! Ortolan?

1. Find ortolan
2. Poke its eyes out
3. Force feed it millet until it swells up to 3 or 4x it's normal size
4. Drown it in cognac
5. Pluck feathers (I'm surprised they don't do this while it's still alive, considering the brutality so far)
6. Roast it whole
7. Place in deep bowl
8. Place napkin over head (to savor aroma and hide your shame from God)
9. Insert into mouth, whole, with only beak sticking out
10. Chew

First you taste the skin/juice of the bird, which is supposedly amazing. Then you get the bitterness of the organs. Then the tiny bones begin to lacerate your gums and cheeks, and the resulting blood draw from your own mouth mixes with the bird and is part of the flavor. Many people spit it out. Apparently former French President Mitterand ate 2 for his last meal, then ate nothing for 8 days, then died.

I highly suggest listening to Michael Paterniti's staggering, funny, and shocking tale about ortolan and recreating Mitterand's last meal. It's act 2 on the episode of This American Life linked below. Don't miss it!

http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode...

Jun 04, 2009
foodmonster in General Topics

One night in Paris...where to eat?

I'm ending a 3-week European vacation tomorrow with one last night in Paris. My girlfriend and I spent the first 5 days of our trip in Paris and sampled a lot of great brasseries, boulangeries, and patisseries (one of my favs being Le Brebant). Now I want to end my trip with something especially scrumptious to really cap a wonderful time. Any ideas for a not-to-miss restaurant? I was originally thinking about L'Atelier du Robuchon but heard some fairly unimpressive reviews.

I'm willing to spend a lot if it's worth it, but my sole restriction is that it needs to be a place where casual/smart casual is okay. I have nice pants and a nice shirt but no fancy shoes or jackets with me.

Jun 04, 2009
foodmonster in France

Mozza - Closest thing to pepperoni pizza?

The fennel salami with leeks and green onions is so good.

Jul 19, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Pink Taco (moved from LA)

Not sure about the one in Century City, but the PT in Vegas is fantastic. Especially when you've been drinking at the pool all day.

Jul 15, 2007
foodmonster in Chains

Mangosteens

Weren't they banned from import? Something to do with insects, I believe. Anyhow, if they are around, I'd love to find some as well.

Jul 14, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Lobster bisque?

Le Petit Four, tasty and inexpensive. http://www.lepetitfour.net/main/index...

I can't stand Morton's bisque, I find it way too creamy.

Jul 09, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

drinks near the grove...

Not Morels, but the other place across from the Grove cinemas is nice. Piazza, I think? Anyhow, I like sitting on their patio and drinking mojitos.

Jul 07, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Dim Sum - NBC is better than Ocean Star

Went to Ocean Star this morning, NBC last week. Coke v Pepsi, or something like that.

Ocean Star has its perks: it's cleaner, nicer, a bit more variety, and a more helpful and attentive staff. However, NBC has better tasting food. The shanghai dumplings at OS were bigger, but had less broth and were lukewarm. The same at NBC were tight, plump, and bursting with piping hot broth. Didn't see any char sui buns at OS, but the grilled chicken buns were good. NBC had better ones, and pretty good egg custard buns as well. Everything else was just a tad better and NBC. Sticky rice, taro, dumplings, rice noodles, etc.

Last but not least, I ate more and paid less at NBC. 4 of us ate a feast and paid $10 each. We ate much less at OS and paid about $15 per. I have yet to try Mission 261, 888, Elite, or Sea Harbour, so those are still to come.

Jul 07, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Dim Sum in LA?

Just checking again--can anyone comment on the prices at Sea Harbour? Is it ultra-cheap like NBC?

Jul 07, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Dim Sum in LA?

NBC is my favorite, Ocean Star is also solid. Both in Monterey Park.

Never been to Sea Harbour, but it sounds great. How's the prices though? I've eaten feasts at NBC and only paid $10 flat.

Jul 05, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Need good rec for Arabic/Lebanese food in LA Area

Thirding Cedar House. Very good and inexpensive.

Jun 25, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Any suggestions for great street food vendors or tiny unknown places anywhere in LA?

Seconding GCM. Other than that, hit the outlaw taco carts and trucks of east LA.

http://tacohunt.blogspot.com/

Leo's is on his front page right now and that's a pretty good bet. If you want more "street,"

http://tacohunt.blogspot.com/2005/12/...

Jun 25, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Looking for a Great Dinner spot in Long Beach

Seriously, I can't stress this enough! :)

Jun 25, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Looking for a Great Dinner spot in Long Beach

Ah, bummer. I loved that place. Apparently I haven't been to Pine in longer than I originally thought!

Jun 25, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Something Delicious in Cerritos Area

Haven't been to Susie's, but I have to agree about Arte. I don't want to admit it, though. It's the only restaurant of its kind in Cerritos, and they've been feeling uninspired as of late. Sometimes I just go to Cafe Camelia instead (his other restaurant in Bellflower). Tends to be superior. The wine tastings and special events at Arte are always nice, however.

As for Indian...that's true, I forgot about the whole stretch on Pioneer. I'm not the biggest Indian fan, but the dosas are pretty good. I imagine it would be a Hindi lover's dream though. :)

Jun 25, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Good east coast pizza anywhere on the east side of los angeles?

Nicky D's on Rowena in Silverlake.

Maybe Hard Times on Hyperion, also in Silverlake.

Damiano's on Fairfax, across from Canter's.

Albano's Brooklyn (basil+tomato is the only one I can vouch for) on Melrose.

Jun 25, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Looking for a Great Dinner spot in Long Beach

My new fav in the area is Koi Sushi, assuming you sit with Taka. He'll do you right. Technically in Seal Beach, 5th and PCH.

Belmont Shore has L'Creperie for good dessert crepes and even lunch/dinner. Yen Sushi and Bono's next door are also solid. I like Babette's for croissants, and Open Sesame for very good, inexpensive middle eastern. Bigg's had a very inventive grilled cheese, too bad that place is gone. We'll see if Vint's (the replacement) is any good.

L'Opera and Mums down on Pine St have always been my favorites in LB, but it's been a while since I've been. There's a good cigar place above Mums. There's also good tapas downtown as well...Sevilla, perhaps?

Jun 24, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Sona 9-Course Spontanée Tasting Menu, in Photos

Fantastic review, Kevin. You are fast becoming my favorite food blogger! I'm surprised you haven't done Melisse yet, but perhaps that's on its way. I haven't done Sona yet but it sounds exceptional, I have to try.

Jun 24, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Blue Velvet?

I'm a big fan of Kris Morningstar ever since he used to be the chef at Casey's. I discovered Casey's a few months before the World Cup, and fell in love with the place. It's a wonderful Irish Bar with a very Washington DC, "bricks below the street" vibe. Take a staircase down to the open patio, all dark wood inside. The gastro-pub menu was out of this world. Crab roll, open faced chicken, and especially the Casey's burger (a mimic of the Father's Office burger). Coupled with the steadily pouring Guinness and fab atmosphere, the place was an immediate favorite. When the World Cup got underway and the place was packed with eager fans, it was the best thing in Downtown, bar none.

Well, for some reason or another, Morningstar left. I guess he wanted to do his own thing, and maybe got sick of pub food? Maybe there was pay issues? For whatever reason, he moved to the Loft and started Blue Velvet.

The only reason I go there is for the Casey's burger, now called the BV Burger and fetching 2 bucks more ($14). Big beef patty, spongey bun, thick trimmed bacon and carmelized onion compote, bleu cheese, wild arugula. Casey's was slightly better, with a cracked-wheat dusted bun and gruyere melted on the bleu, but this works. His homemade fries are fantastic. And I love, love, love the house-made buttermilk aioli. Think a more liquidy, gourmet ranch sauce.

I see he has a tasting menu for $85, I'd like to try it some time. I had a smoke with Morningstar outside Casey's once (I think he's only 27 or 28) and he seems like a cool guy. So far, it's a lunch place for me, but I'll be there for dinner soon.

Criticisms? Hopefully he'll get some more comfy chairs, the current ones suck! Also, the downtown tap water is absolutely disgusting. Would it kill to provide even, say, complimentary auqafina? How bout a Brita? You don't have to tell me where it came from, just make it taste good. For the price of the food this is a no-brainer. You can't have a classy restaurant and serve gutter water. Then again, maybe this is a ploy to make people buy the $6 bottles of water. Meh.

Lastly, the service could be better. The waiters are routinely absent-minded. I tried to order a beer (the only one for $6, the rest were Belgian ales anywhere between $12-18) and the waiter disappeared for five minutes and returned saying they were too warm to serve. I said fine and spent the $6 on water. He left the beer on the check. Not a big deal, but far from top-notch.

Jun 24, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Something Delicious in Cerritos Area

There's nothing jaw-dropping in Cerritos or Artesia, unfortunately. However, there are some good spots:

Arte Cafe at the Town Center. It's Pacific Rim fusion, they have a good sushi bar and even better drink selection. Ask for a goat cheese fritter. The Kung Pao shrimp appetizer is good. I had really good pork chops, filet, and lamb chops there in the past.

Ten Ten for Chinese is good. On Pioneer. Lobster with butter sauce noodles is very good, peking duck is a fav as well.

Ave 3 on South and Bloomfield is good pizza.

Jun 24, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Best of LA: Order-and-sit-down spots

ALCOVE Cafe in Los Feliz.

http://alcovecafe.com/

Jun 24, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Go's Mart Review with Pictures

I don't know if I can shell out that kind of money for such a crummy atmosphere. Does he really need to rent sleazy videos? As far as the food goes, the overuse of tasteless, odorless gold is a bit strange. Also, why does he use imitation wasabi? $225pp and you get powdered horseradish? This place is bizarre.

Jun 24, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

Downtown food court battle is on! Office cog survey!

My Favs For Lunch Downtown:

1. Patina's Market Cafe - Wells Fargo Center. Chicken soba and spinach w/ shrimp salad are great from the salad bar. I liked the beets too. Simple. The rib eye sandwich is good, and my favorite are the 3 sourdough crostinis with red pepper hommus and smoked salmon. 7.50 gets you the 3 plus a small mixed field green salad. Pretty good eats.

2. Hot off the Press - Underneath La Salsa, 5th and Grand. Miguel will do you right. The Subscription sandwich is my fav, hot or cold. Very good chicken salad, especially when they have marbled sourdough available. Cookies are good, try the strawberry shortcake cookie. If you like spicy, ask for their house hot sauce. Great buffalo-ish flavor.

3. Organic To Go - Gas Company Tower. Good salads, great soups, sandwiches are good too.

4. Blue Velvet. If you asked me last year, Casey's would be in this spot. But Morningstar moved, and now that wonderful burger, fries, and buttermilk aioli are at BV. Service could be better, and those chairs (nouveau hip as they may be) are uncomfortale. Twice now beers have been tepid, but its work lunch, you shouldn't be drinking anyway. Burger is $14 but well worth it.

5. Ana Maria's in Grand Central Market - Great tortas for only $4. Huge tacos for $2.50. Sizable portions for cheap, huge pieces of chicken they chop up right in front of you, though sometimes they throw in the gristle too. I always ask they throw it out. Torta is piled high with onions, avocado, tomato, crema. Get the salsa verde.

6. The Chinese stall just a few down. Try their jalapeno chicken. Like orange chicken, but no sauce and sliced jalapenos. Unhealthy and fried, but a guilty pleasure. I usually stop by for a toothpick sample.

7. Oomasa. Good sushi, old school place. I go here cause it's cheap. Good for after work.

8. Gas Company Tower Cafeteria is dece, hit and miss. I work in that building so I may have just gotten used to it. Fridays there's a pretty good fish taco set, Tuesdays has indian thats been incredible some days and bleech on others. The most consistent is talking to Maritza at the easy-to-miss sandwich bar and getting her special mexican chicken salad (on squaw). There's also mexican tuna salad. Add avocado.

For a bit of a drive:

-- La Taquiza down Fig close to USC has the best al pastor and pretty solid veggie burritos (try the avocado salsa). Fish and aguas frescas are really good too.

-- Ocean Seafood or Empress Pavilion for bao zi and other take out dim sum. Not as good as NBC or Ocean Star but passable.

Jun 23, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area

BlowFish in L.A.-suggestions?

And save $200 bucks while he's at it.

Jun 16, 2007
foodmonster in Los Angeles Area