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  1. WOW! Thanks for the feedback, that's much more than I expected!! Some of the nemes have been of places I knew already,so that is a good sign, but lots of others have given me a whole lot of research to do. To follow up one or two questions, we arrive on the 7th in San Fran, then go on fromn there getting to LA a week later. We are driving from Monterey down Hwy 1, so may well pop by to look aty the olive farm. Out of interest, we are allowing 6 hrs for a daytime Thursday drive from Monterey to central LA. IS that realistic?
  2. I am finally making it over to the West Coast having visited the East Side a few times, and cannot wait. I'm a F&B guy for a 5* hotel gorup in London, and am visiting San Fran, Santa Rosa, Monterey and LA, (part work, part holiday) in August. I'm sorry if I am repeating other previous posts, but what I am looking for is some tips of places to visit that have a buzz about them, where locals eat. We don't necessarily want to sit at fine dining tables eating modern french cuisine, we'd much prefer to eat a great breakfast spot or a mexican in LA, or a super steak or seafood in San Fran for example. So I am aksing for some rec's of places you feel I shouldn't miss, places with atmosphere and style, from all cuisines, for all meal times, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thanks for any suggestions you've got! Conor
  3. I'm having lunch with a friend tomorrow in London, and wanted to try somewhere I haven't been, on a deal similar to the one they do at Le Gavroche, the set price including wine etc. Where else does a good version of this? I think Foliage does, does anyone know of any others? Thanks for your help. C
  4. Hello The Lady Pleaser (interesting name, self titled?), Thanks for your report on St Ives and Cornwall. It really helps us egulleteers when one of our "band of brothers" gives tips on unusual and exotic locations. Keep up the good work.
  5. One surprise addition to the list maybe The Ritz getting it's first star.
  6. One other thing I forgot, I am staying on Madison Avenue, near St Patrick's Cathedral. Where is good for breakfast around there, or even further afield if i fancy a little stroll in the mornings?
  7. Thanks for the advice. I had heard of Katz's also so may well try there instead. Reasons for others are: Rosa Mexicano - a good friend used to work there so I just want to see it as he talks about it a lot. Les Halles - I have no expectation of a culinary delight, but when you read a book you build a visual imagination, I'm visiting just to give myself visual reality. Probably just for Brunch on Sunday. Lombardi's - no particular reason, will definitley look up the other's suggested Buddhakan - again no particular reason, i had heard that the decor was fascinating, so i thought i would check it out. Still looking for Dim Sum!!
  8. Thanks for all your help so far. I have identified the following restaurants i want to go to: Brasserie Les Halles Rosa Mexicano Buddhakan Lombardi's The Carnegie Deli I know they may be not everyone's choice but there is method behind my thoughts!! I am still looking for a good place in Chinatown for Dim Sum, and still haven't decided on my "top end" restaurant. Any help would be appreciated.
  9. I'm sure this thread has been started before (and if anyone is able to, please redirect me there), but hey ho: I am visiting New York for the first time on Saturday for a week, I can't wait. What are the must see bars/restaruants/delis etc at all levels. I work as a Food and Beverage manager in a 5* London hotel, so I will go and see the "big players" anyway, but i wanted to know the hidden gems. All styles, all types of cuisine are of interest, I guess I just want to have a defining New York experience. I am staying in Midtown, so I presume it will be easy for me to get around. Either new openings or old favourites, where is the best buzz, the best cuisine, and most impotantly, the best fun. Thanks in advance for all your advice, from a very eager visitor.
  10. Two suggestions: 1. Chris Staines at Foliage runs the best kitchen i have seen in terms of morale and development, and is a bloody good chef to boot. 2. The Square/Phillip Howard is somewhere i always hear that is good to work, good training and good development opportunities. Good luck.
  11. I can understand both sides of not guaranteeing tables. On the restaurant's side, if they have limited tables but a lot of customers, they are bound to create problems by promising tables before people arrive. 2's can become 3's and vice versa, no shows, lates, early tables all mean that it is dangerous to promise specific tables. However, on the other hand, the only reason they put the tables booked early there is so that the problem goes away quickly. By 1pm at lunch, no more window tables, no more problem. Same by 7pm for dinner. This I think is wrong, surely the earlier you book, the higher chance you have of getting a more desirable table. Otherwise it defeats part of the object of booking early, might as well call up a couple of days before if that is the case. On another note, I'm also suprised the hostess let you cancel so easily. There seems to be a little arrogance/lack of care which is a dangerous thing in a hotel dining room. Very soon the spotlight will be on another new opening, the focus will have passed. I wonder whether they'll lose business so willingly then.
  12. A couple from an old Stratfordian!! One Elm on Guild Street is fairly good food for the price: http://www.restaurant-guide.com/details/de...50,2061&cuiID=9 Also The Vintner does a decent English rustic menu on Sheep Street. There are a few restaurants on Sheep Street of varying quality, Lambs is probably the best. But yes, a pint on the grass by the river in front of the Duck is very difficult to beat. But whatever you do, don't order any food at the Duck, it is awful, truly awful! Have fun!!
  13. Menu 2 must be Fleur, as the then head chef is still knocking out the same dishes here at the Langham!!
  14. It will also be interesting to see how many covers they actually do.
  15. I have had the fortune (and misfortune, no names mentioned) to meet and be reviewed by most of the "big" restaurant critics, and have seen the shannanigans of the booking process they use first hand. What i found most interesting was that the "least known", Marina, was easily the most powerful in London, in terms of affect in bookings. It's also interesting to note that she is the one who is truly least known. No TV shows, no pictures and above all, a column entirely devoted to her actual dining experience. I do genuinely like Giles Coren's reviews as i don't think he takes it as seriously as some do, at the end of the day it is a meal in a restaurant. Garlic and Saphires is a really crap book about really uninteresting experiences. In my mind a critic should judge on what experience they recieve, if they choose to be famous for that, then they must understand that their review will never, ever be a true reflection on what i as a member of the public will experience.
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