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nwyles

Los Angeles Restaurants: Recommendations & Reviews

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Jons Market way at the end of Santa Monica away from the water..East? just past hgwy 101 has the single largest selection of feta cheese and all kinds of Eastern European foods ..I have no words ..it took another suitcase for me to bring home cheese meat and olives from there...

place is a bargain


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Sour cherry rice - sounds very interesting and I do love Persian (although I've never lumped all of the countries that way). I would like to find time for that. Thanks. This is a work trip (drug treatment), but I'm also going to double duty for my store and visit my Armenian distributor. Maybe I can get him to take me out to his favorite dinner.

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Sour cherry rice - sounds very interesting and I do love Persian (although I've never lumped all of the countries that way).  I would like to find time for that.  Thanks.  This is a work trip (drug treatment), but I'm also going to double duty for my store and visit my Armenian distributor.  Maybe I can get him to take me out to his favorite dinner.

well if you don't go eat Persian food (I am not sure what you meant by lumping the countries Persian food is old school Iranian food) you can at least make it someday when you feel ambitious I have this cookbook and made this recipe it is perfect...not as perfect as someone bringing a platter to me in LA but it is a great recipe

have a safe and wonderful trip Rob

Sour Cherry Rice


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I guess when I've seen Middle Eastern restaurants, they tend to be more regional than country. So, I don't know if I've ever seen a restaurant called Persian or Iranian, so if someone could make an appropriate recommendation - its definitely something I'd like to have.

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I  guess when I've seen Middle Eastern restaurants, they tend to be more regional than country.  So, I don't know if I've ever seen a restaurant called Persian or Iranian, so if someone could make an appropriate recommendation - its definitely something I'd like to have.

Persian food is distinct ..there are a lot of Persian Jews in LA and the food is awesome I think

I did make a rec look above there is a link to Darya :smile:


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Darya

here you go the link


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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wow - I don't know that I've ever been to a Middle Eastern restaurant that wasn't a hole in the wall.  That'll be quite the experience.

you are in for a treat I think ..and a reasonably priced one!


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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the cornish hens with the sour cherry rice that would be my rec


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I'm staying in LA for a few days out near LAX. My mom is more of a picky eater than I am, but I'm always up for anything. Any recommendations? We're here doing some kind of stressful family stuff, so I don't want to drag her someplace fancy or too crazy, but I want to eat some good food! Where should we go?


"An appetite for destruction, but I scrape the plate."

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I'm staying in LA for a few days out near LAX.  My mom is more of a picky eater than I am, but I'm always up for anything.  Any recommendations?  We're here doing some kind of stressful family stuff, so I don't want to drag her someplace fancy or too crazy, but I want to eat some good food!  Where should we go?

phlox, I have a few questions for you:

What kind of cuisine would your mother eat and/or NOT eat? What cost or price would you and your mother consider too fancy? Due to your situation, do you want more quiet places, more of a local neighborhood restaurant? Do you want some popular places with some people-watching scene?

You probably want to stay on the Westside (west of the San Diego Freeway, aka the 405). Wait a minute! I remember a discussion thread that talks about restaurants over on the Westside. Let me try and find it and I'll put the link for it. I'll be back, unless someone else finds it ...

I think I found it ...

I hope this helps.


Edited by rjwong (log)

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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gfron -- If you are at the Wilshire Grand, and as RJ says at the 7th & Fig Metro Center Station, hop on the Red/Purple Line and go 1 stop to MacArthur Park, come up from the station and turn left, walk 1/2 block and cross 7th Street to Langer's for arguably the best pastrami sandwich anywhere -- hand sliced, yummy, delicious rye bread. Yum! Not open for dinner but well worth it for lunch.


So long and thanks for all the fish.

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RJWong has me in such a whirlwind of culinary activity that I haven't been able to post, but l wanted to get my Water Grill meal up. This was my scary meal since it was for a group of small town judges and attorneys who I had no idea what there preferences or financial tolerances were. The end of the story is that everyone loved it, and none had ever enjoyed meals such as this where artistry and very high quality came into play.

I chose the tasting menu ($95) with wine pairings ($55). They call it a six course menu but they throw in an amuse plus a small petit four (is that overly redundant?).

The amuse was seared tuna rolled inside cucumber with wasabi, creme fraiche, roe, and some type of vinegar that I pegged as muscat, but it could have been champagne. Served with San Gregorio Falanghina, 2006.

gallery_41282_4708_12214.jpg

Next was Big eye tuna with artichoke, kalamata, Weiser farm potato, marinated white anchovy and basil puree. Served with Leroy Burgundy, 1999.

gallery_41282_4708_1773.jpg

This was my favorite of the courses, so it was unfortunate that it was at the beginning.

Hand harvested seared Divers Scallops, white asparagus soup, black truffle and lobster agnalotti (ravioli). Served with Gardies. Cotes du Roussibi Villages, 2005.

gallery_41282_4708_15263.jpg

At this point, my photography skills declined as the wine pours increased.

Roasted tubor with sage, prosciutto, Pommery mustard dumplings and juniper strewn choucroute. Served with Mijolo G.A.M. Shiraz, 2006.

Mango-Pineapple soup with pomegranate, Marcona almonds, Basil seeds, and blood orange and greek yogurt sorbets. Served with Ch. Souchenet Coleax du Lyon, 2005.

Finally a fresh fruit assortment with vanilla ice cream served with Gramms 10 yr Tawny.

gallery_41282_4708_31869.jpg

The irony here was that the meal was intended to be a means to some great desserts. The tasting menu called for a chocolate dessert, and since I am so desserted out today, I asked for anything else quote "Something without dessert. Maybe something citrusy." Meaning, I love how your other 15 desserts sound, maybe you could give me any of them instead. But I ended up with fruit. It was nice. I got my just desserts.

The wine pairings were all solid but not exceptional (I'll forever be tainted by Alinea's pairings that elevated each dish, not just complemented.) A few minor service hiccups, but they allowed a partial table to do the tasting menu, and a last minute table downsizing, so I didn't hold anything against them.

Overall a really good meal and highly recommended.

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Here are some more of our visits during the week.

Guelaguetza

A small LA chain of Oaxacan restaurants with a fun atmosphere, live music (at least on our Monday night visit), and plenty of food at a good price. We were intrigued by the crickets that they serve, but I bowed because of the price on the crickets - as the kids say, "Hell I can capture crickets in my basement for free!" I enjoyed the mole verde with chicken which turned out to be a soup. Nice flavor. The shortribs were very tender and juicy. We also started with the appetizer platter - that did us in and could have easily been a light meal for the three of us. The mole negro was on the platter, and comes with a couple of the entrees, and tasted very nice - one of the better moles I have had.

Last night RJWong took me on a dessert tour. First was Spago, Beverly Hills. We had our star siting with Randy Jackson from American Idol. A very attentive staff and reasonable prices highlighted the meal in the courtyard. I had the 5-Spice duck breast for entree which was well prepared. For dessert I had Sherry Yard's toffee cake which was very decadent and just to my liking.

Next we headed to Citrus @ Social Hollywood, the creation of Michel Richard. Being already slightly full from Spago, I had the lobster, "begula" pearls - lobster meat topped with poached egg and covered by what I assumed to be Israeli cous cous cooked with squid ink - but don't quote me on that - and served in a caviar tin. Dessert was a light citrus souffle, ice cream with chocolate pearls, and fresh grapefruit. Perfect for dessert #2.

Our last stop was Hatfield's where we had our final desserts. I had a Fresh citrus napoleon: crispy phyllo, almond cake, mascarpone, and tangerine sorbet . This truly was the best dessert of the night - not only because I was so full of sugar, but the balance of textures, tastes, temperatures...the whole package made it a perfect dessert - and the type I aspire to make.

The house then shared with us a Chocolate mousse tartlet: chewy caramel, chocolate coffee crumble, and espresso ice cream. That was simply too much for me at that point in the evening, but the texture and taste was very nice and certainly one I would choose had it not been my fourth full dessert in four hours.

Prior to that, for lunch, I went to Langer's. And I ordered the #19 - hot pastrami with slaw. Worth every penny! I'm not a huge meat eater and I wanted to go back every day for another - great stuff.

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Last night was Providence. RJWong and I enjoyed the Chef's tasting menu with the full dessert tasting menu. What I lack in details I'll make up by saying that this was the best meal I've had since Alinea. Frankly I'm too tired to remember most of the specific dishes, but there were a few that linger this morning. An amuse that included a miniature mug of cold potato leek soup/foam atop a warm saffron broth - my favorite savory experience. The veal was so incredibly tender and well flavored - possibly the only savory that I wanted a slightly bigger bite. My favorite dessert was the opening dish - a Thai-inspired soup with sweet pink grapefruit. I can't wait to try and re-create.

Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto were such gracious and caring hosts. The service staff was perfectly attentive without the pretention that could exist in a restaurant of this quality. The sommalier (Gino?) did a nice job with his pairings - not on par with Alinea's pairings, but every match was excellent. But for me the star of the night was Adrian Vasquez (xdrixn). Adrian not only dazzled me with the dessert tasting menu, but also shared some of his chocolates from his newly developed chocolate lab reported here. His thematic continuations from the plated desserts shone in these truffles, in particular the mushroom chocolate - not only a perfect flavor, but incredible texture (loose ganache I think).

Thanks to Russell for an incredible week of food. His mantra for the week was that LA was a major food city (my interpretation of his words) and he definitely made the case.

(post note: I never made it to a few of the recommendations above - Darya, etc., just too much to do and too little time. Thanks to everyone who offered their suggestions.)

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Last night was Providence.  RJWong and I enjoyed the Chef's tasting menu with the full dessert tasting menu.  What I lack in details I'll make up by saying that this was the best meal I've had since Alinea.  Frankly I'm too tired to remember most of the specific dishes, but there were a few that linger this morning.  An amuse that included a miniature mug of cold potato leek soup/foam atop a warm saffron broth - my favorite savory experience.  The veal was so incredibly tender and well flavored - possibly the only savory that I wanted a slightly bigger bite.  My favorite dessert was the opening dish - a Thai-inspired soup with sweet pink grapefruit.  I can't wait to try and re-create.

Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto were such gracious and caring hosts.  The service staff was perfectly attentive without the pretention that could exist in a restaurant of this quality.  The sommalier (Gino?) did a nice job with his pairings - not on par with Alinea's pairings, but every match was excellent.  But for me the star of the night was Adrian Vasquez (xdrixn).  Adrian not only dazzled me with the dessert tasting menu, but also shared some of his chocolates from his newly developed chocolate lab reported here. His thematic continuations from the plated desserts shone in these truffles, in particular the mushroom chocolate - not only a perfect flavor, but incredible texture (loose ganache I think).

Thanks to Russell for an incredible week of food.  His mantra for the week was that LA was a major food city (my interpretation of his words) and he definitely made the case.

(post note: I never made it to a few of the recommendations above - Darya, etc., just too much to do and too little time.  Thanks to everyone who offered their suggestions.)

Sounds like quite a meal at Providence, are we going to have the pleasure of seeing a report with more details and photos?

If anyone could help make the case for LA, Russell is definitely the person.

Now we just need to see about making OC more of a serious food location...hmmm :hmmm:


Edited by Swicks (log)

"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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Okay, since I have our chicago dinners (almost) settled, I need to plan for our 4-night-stop in Los Angeles.

Where should we go for fine dining (2 nights) and casual dining (2 nights)?

We will stay either in Santa Monca or West Hollywood.

For casual dining I have no idea where to go.

Our fine dining shortlist so far:

Providence

Ortolan

Sona

Mori Sushi (price range? the webiste gives no real info, nor any pictures of the place)

Any comments?

We do not like too formal places, let alone stiff waiters. We are not looking for "classic french" cuisine, like Melisse seems to offer. We are more into "modern" or "experimental" cuisine. Our limit is 400-500$ for 2, including drinks, tax & tip.

On the other hand, for casual dining, we have no preferences - good asian, good french bistro fare, good american comfort food or even a place for good steak, burgers or takeout-sandwiches is appreciated.

Oh, and: where is a good area to have some casual after dinner drinks? Meaning: is there such a place in L.A. where you can actually *walk* a little bit and have a selection of bars/pubs at hand?

And gfron1 & rjwong: could you let me know where to get those wonderful sweets...??

Thank you!

best

kai


Edited by kai-m (log)

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Okay, since I have our chicago dinners (almost) settled, I need to plan for our 4-night-stop in Los Angeles.

Where should we go for fine dining (2 nights) and casual dining (2 nights)?

We will stay either in Santa Monca or West Hollywood.

For casual dining I have no idea where to go.

Our fine dining shortlist so far:

Providence

Ortolan

Sona

Mori Sushi (price range? the webiste gives no real info, nor any pictures of the place)

Any comments?

We do not like too formal places, let alone stiff waiters. We are not looking for "classic french" cuisine, like Melisse seems to offer. We are more into "modern" or "experimental" cuisine. Our limit is 400-500$ for 2, including drinks, tax & tip.

On the other hand, for casual dining, we have no preferences - good asian, good french bistro fare, good american comfort food or even a place for good steak, burgers or takeout-sandwiches is appreciated.

Oh, and: where is a good area to have some casual after dinner drinks? Meaning: is there such a place in L.A. where you can actually *walk* a little bit and have a selection of bars/pubs at hand?

And gfron1 & rjwong: could you let me know where to get those wonderful sweets...??

Thank you!

best

kai

kai, just to let you know, I brake for dinners ... :rolleyes::rolleyes:

As for the fine dining, definitely Providence. Michael Cimarusti knows how to cook fish. And Adrian Vasquez really pushes the limits of dessert creativity.

Sona is really good. I hope to go there again.

Ortolan is definitely French. If you're not into Melisse, you might want to skip Ortolan on this trip.

Casual dining, try anything on Beverly Blvd., between La Brea and the Farmer's Market/Grove. Hatfield's, BLD, Grace, Angelini Osteria, Ita-Cho, and Milk (for ice cream). Don't go to El Coyote. You've been warned.

Also, there's the two Mozza places: Pizzeria Mozza & Osteria Mozza. And even though Mario Batali is a partner, these two places belong to Nancy Silverton, IMO. They're located on Melrose and Highland. Melrose also has a number of places you can try for eating and/or drinking: All'Angelo, The Foundry, The Village Idiot (bar), and way further down Melrose near La Cienega are Comme Ca and Lucques.

If you have more questions, please let us know.


Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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We were in LA over the 4th weekend. We had three nights, and we went to Josie, The Lobster (on the 4th, but alas no fireworks in Santa Monica this year) and Spago for our anniversary. The Lobster is fun, has a great view, and is still better than I think it is going to be.

Josie was excellent- fresh ingredients and a very interesting menu in a nice, comfortable setting. The wine list had many excellent choices in all price ranges. I would go back anytime.

Spago was once again exceptional. Perfect ingredients, perfectly executed in a Southern California style, incorporating French, Italian, Asian and Austrian influences. The wine list is varied and well-chosen, and not badly priced at all. The patio is great this time of the year. if you hold the wine in check, you can easily get out for $200 a head all in.

We also had lunch at Musso & Frank for old time sake (great martinis and a generous Crab Louis), breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel (very expensive but pleasant), and Sunday brunch at Campanile, which I think remains one of the best restaurants in LA.

I also agree that the Mozzas are outstanding, but we didn't make it there this time. Joe's in Venice is also a good choice, expecially if you stay in Santa Monica.

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Thank you!

That is interesting, because I thought that Sona's cuisine was way more "classical" than Ortolan's, judging from these reviews and food-picture (but overall Ortolan seems way more formal):

Sona:

http://www.potatomato.com/blog/?p=1220

Ortolan:

http://www.potatomato.com/blog/?p=1127

Spago doesn't really appeal to me...

And not to give wrong impression, rjwong: I have never been to Melisse- but from what I see and read it is too much in the vain of a classical french fine dining cuisine to make me wanna spend top dollars...

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Our fine dining shortlist so far:

Providence

Ortolan

Sona

Mori Sushi (price range? the webiste gives no real info, nor any pictures of the place)

Any comments?

We do not like too formal places, let alone stiff waiters. We are not looking for "classic french" cuisine, like Melisse seems to offer. We are more into "modern" or "experimental" cuisine. Our limit is 400-500$ for 2, including drinks, tax & tip.

I haven't been to Ortolan, but Sona fits your criteria for modern cuisine with a more relaxed environment. Great clean flavors and dish conception. Definite Japanese influence coming into the menu (probably due to David Myers spending more time with other projects).

Just went to providence last month, and was underwhelmed. The dishes were well executed, but the dishes weren't well integrated and/or the flavors were uninspiring, IMHO.

David Myers of Sona also owns Comme Ca, which may fit your casual criteria.

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