Wednesday, December 31, 2008
A: Take him/ her out to dinner (food is the best gift --well after money)
And that's what I did to start the Pre-New Year's Eve celebration. I figured pizza was in my budget, so my unemployed friend Chrissy and I ventured to Pasadena to Little Parlor Pizzeria. I read on Zagat that the owner owns Cobras & Matadors and Church & State.
LPP is a cute pizzeria joint with floor & wall tiles. The front door gets a little stuck...so just pull really hard (or maybe I'm just weak...).
We waited a long time for our food but then I realized that they decided to bring the food all at once even though we requested our soup and appetizer to be brought out first...we ate:
The soup of the day: Carrot Ginger soup
I enjoyed the crème de fraiche with the soup, but then once we bypassed it, the soup suddenly tasted like dish washing soap...the waitress suggested that it must be the ginger but then again I've had carrot ginger soup before and don't recall it tasting soapy...hmm...
I love their burrata cheese! It was surprisingly sweet! I just wished they gave us more bread; I guess that's what the pizza crust was for...
Close up on how thin the slice is:
Their pizza is like Pizzeria Mozza --bubbly on the outer edge, but minus the grease! I probably would have enjoyed their pizza more had I ordered a different pizza (minus the charred parts) as the Woods pizza lacked flavor. I wished they distributed the rosemary evenly as opposed to clumps of it...
Pot de Creme
Our waitress suggested the pot de creme for our dessert, which was thicker than a mousse but still light. It was ok...I should have tried their tiramisu instead.
We had 2 glasses of white wine (waiter's recommendation --not bad) and the total came out to $62 (w/out tips). Ok it was more than what I wanted to spend but we just had to drink ($18 total).
Service was ok. I wished they didn't remove our water when we came back in for dessert.
Overall I do like their thin crust pizza (it's simple) and will come back to try their Old School and Finnochiona pizzas.
Address: 66 Mission Street South Pasadena, CA 91030
Phone#: (626) 799-0711
Rating: 3 out of 5
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Three years ago I came here on a date and had their sushi, which was gross (the sushi, not the date--still friends with the guy). I had refused to eat at Wokcano...until my work started ordering from there...free food...ok, I guess I'll order something... I knew the sushi was disgusting, so I went for the Moo Goo Gai Pan and to my surprise, it was not bad, so every time we order from there, I always get the MGGP -am never disappointed.
Yeah, Wokcano is pricey for Chinese, but just come here for lunch only --you get a lot of food (salad, egg roll, rice and MGGP --oh, and a chocolate fortune cookie) for $7-8 (I think...).
Their pan-fried chicken dumplings were not bad but I had better for less (Wokano's are $8 for 6!!).
My colleague enjoyed his garlic shrimp special. The hippo is allergic to crustacean.
Apparently this Wokcano is a hot spot on the weekends, late nights. The hippo thinks that's very OC partying at a chained restaurant on the weekends....
Address: 8408 W 3rd St Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone#: (323) 951-1122
Rating: 3 out of 5
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I began my quest to find a deli shop that offers Dutch Crunch bread in La La Land. To my surprise, searching for Dutch Crunch bread is like finding a four-leaf clover. I read that Togo's offer Dutch Crunch bread on a certain day...but that's not what I was thinking off..I got all excited when I found out that Frank's Famous Kitchen & Bakery offers Dutch Crunch sandwiches in Monrovia, which is in between Glendale and Pasadena.
I got lost finding this place but it was my fault...there are two Verdugo exits on the 2 freeway: one's near Eagle Rock (the 1st exit) and one's by the 210 freeway (the 2nd exit)...take the 2nd Verdugo exit.
Frank's in a small strip mall with a bunch of other restaurants. The interior is cute. Service is like Alcove --pay at the cashier and you take a number stand with you.
1/2 order of #34 Turkey Club- Swiss, Bacon & Maple Balsamic Sandwich on Dutch Crunch Bread-$6.99
and the close up...
1/2 order of #2 Turkey, Pesto & Cranberry Sandwich on Dutch Crunch Bread -$6.99
Kid size of Housemade Macaroni & Cheese - $3.99
The 1/2 sandwiches look like they were 3" long, but technically 4" long and at a price of $6.99/each is a little pricey...no sides, just the sandwich. I was disappointed with their Dutch Crunch bread; I miss SF's Dutch Crunch bread! A regular Mac & Cheese costs $8.99, but there was no way with all that food I can order a full size, but thank goodness they offer a kid size...well kinda.. for $3.50, I thought their m&c would be to die for, but it's not. Yes, it's very creamy but it has absolutely zero personality--Krafts is better. Save some money and skip their m&c. They offer Dirty potato chips and 2 flavors of Gus sodas.
Oh swell, it's a pretty drive and you can check out Monrovia.
Address: 3315 N Verdugo Rd Glendale, CA 91208
Phone#: (818) 249-6100
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Addendum 4/16/09: Whole sandwhiches are $6.99 and half sandwiches are now $4.99.
Friday, December 19, 2008
My friend's company recently laid him off but was (cough) so graciously kind to invite him to their holiday reception party (cough) at the luxurious Beverly Hills hotel, the Montage...image is everything and if it means firing good, honest, hard working people to "keep up with the Joneses" then so be it.
Anyhoo...the hotel itself is a typical Beverly Hills hotel -beautiful and conservative. The happy holiday event was at the bar on the penthouse level. The indoor bar is cozy with a beautiful view of B.H. and the hills. The service here is impeccable! Everyone was very sweet! If you asked a server who was serving food for a drink, s/he would get it for you. No attitude; s/he would do his/her round and then get the drink for you. The man (I think his name was Robert) greeting us as we entered the bar was just a doll.
The food display was beautiful. I loved how they presented the bread display:
It's artsy and has a personal touch. The cheese selection was excellent.
For the main appetizers, they served vegetarian egg roll, chicken pot sticker, chicken dumpling (?) and vegetarian pot sticker (which was more of a steamed vegetarian dumpling) -items starting from the top, clockwise. The "vegetarian pot sticker" was the best item. I was surprised that they chose a peanut sauce instead of a sweet 'n sour sauce...They also served a tuna appetizer, salmon appetizer, "pigs" in the blanket, the most adorable mini, mini burgers
and let's not forget about the desserts...
While everyone was checking everyone out, I was checking out the 3 cutest cupcakes:
Um...yeah, my friend's friends thought I was a little weird taking pictures of the food...
In a nutshell, if you have a job and are handsomely paid, you'll be very satisfied at the Montage Hotel.
Address: 225 N Canon Dr Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone#: (310) 860-7800
Rating: 4 out of 5
Monday, December 8, 2008
On my quest to try every dumplings in La La Land, I headed to Yu Ga Ne, known for their Beef King Dumplings. I was hoping that Yu Ga Ne would be a great little hole-in-the-wall offering juicy, tasty dumplings, but instead they were flavorless and needed more love. Granted the dumplings are cheap and huge; you get 6 King Dumplings for $4.99, but come on, it's dumplings and it's not that hard to add more salt and sesame oil. Oh beware, they have "C" rating. Eat at your own risk; I'm still alive.
I might still try their Mandu Duk--maybe the soup will add more flavor to the dumplings?
Address: 698 Irolo St Los Angeles, CA 90005
Phone#: (213) 480-1289
Rating: 3 out of 5
Photo credits: Mike L.
You will add 5 lbs eating their burger -don't let the size fool you. I also enjoyed their Roasted Beets.
The Caprese salad was average. You might need to ask for water twice...
Photo credit: Bacaro L.A. (top photo only)
It's ashamed because I was hoping that this new pizzeria joint would be better...
This place is NOT dine-in-friendly. There are (4) 2-top tables inside and (2) 2-top tables outside. There's a window booth (no table) that some people find comfortable to eat on. I understand that they are working with a really small space (my living is room is slightly bigger than the space and it's not consider a big living room), but there are ways to provide more seating--just need to spend more $. If you want to try their pizzas, do take out only and delivery is limited. They don't delivery to the Wilshire Center area (2.8 miles away), and they don't delivery when they are really busy.
The menu is pretty interesting. Pizza combinations that I wouldn't have thought of...you order your food at the cashier counter and head back when they call out your name. My cos ordered the Ringburner and Greek Salad and I ordered the Vegetable Supremo (personal size). You have the option to make your pizza spicy; I picked zero hotness. You get your drinks out of the fridge (no Coke, Pepsi only).
We waited 40 minutes for our food...so you should call-in your order before you head over to Lucifer's.
I've never been to place where they don't have napkins or a trash can readily available... weird.
My pizza looked better that what it tasted. It was pretty oily but then again, I wasn't thinking because I forgot it had pesto on it.
My cos thought that the Ringburner was not spicy enough; she requested it to be very, very, very spicy. She's a liar. I took one bite and gave myself a heart burn, and that's why I don't eat spicy food. Then again, in her previous life, she might have been a Latino eating red chili peppers like they're popcorn. The slice is very thin. Crust is mediocre. The menu said that they use arugula and spinach for the Greek Salad, but it was just spinach, and I didn't read the part where they use sundried tomatoes...what an odd Greek Salad...oh, you don't get plates; it served in the pizza box.
I spent around $32 for everything, and I can check this place off my list!
Address: 1958 Hillhurst Ave Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone#: (323) 906-8603
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Monday, December 1, 2008
The Little Cafe is a tiny Ma & Pa diner. I don't recommend party of 6 or more coming here. Nothing fancy except all the celebrities' headshots adorning the wall. The hippo's picture was not on the wall.
The server and host were nice. The food...eh, could be better. I ordered my usual, the eggs Benedict . The hollandaise sauce was so buttery (you can kinda tell by the sauce's thickness) that I only could only finished 1 egg.
I finished my home fries instead. My friend had omelette -forgot which one but it had bacon and spinach. The omelette was better than the E.B.
Our meal came out to $24.
p.s. CASH only (there's an ATM in the shop next door) & don't forget to write your name on the board -you snooze, you loose.
Address: 19204 Ventura Blvd Tarzana, CA 91356
Phone#: (818) 705-8335
Rating: 2 out of 5
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
My boss had the appetizer special Truffle Mushroom Polenta, which was good, but not as good as it sounds like.
The Antipasto was pretty filling so I shared a Margherita pizza with my boss' wife. It looked more of a cheese pizza...
I was expecting the pizza to look like: My sad slice was so sad...there was nothing special about their pizza.
I tried my boss' daughter's boyfriend's pizza, the D.O.C. (Fresh tomato and buffalo mozzarella) - I think that's what it's called I was hoping that it would taste better, but nope, not at all.
My boss ordered the Gnocchi con Pomodoro (filante potato gnocchi with tomato sauce) and it was tasteless too. What a disappointment!
Thank goodness the desserts were exciting...well at least the Chocolate Souffle. Ladies, their Chocolate Souffle is the perfect meal to have when you are on your period.
Their Tiramisu was just okay...
Service was a hit or miss. They were excellent at refilling our wine glasses but then I had to ask for water THREE times. I am told 10 years ago Caffe Roma's food was amazing...well, now it's gone, and I much prefer La Terza or Osteria La Buca.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I convinced my boss that we must help the economy and take advantage of Open Table's Stimulus plan. Asia De Cuba is a restaurant that I would always hear about but never tried so what better way to dine there on my boss' dime. We lucked out finding meter parking, so I don't know how much valet costs... The restaurant was pretty empty at 1:30pm...guess the special offer didn't really helped. It took a really long time for my boss to get his lemonade...maybe it was freshly squeezed by hand??? I was disappointed when I saw what was offered for the Stimulus plan. Instead of each person getting their own appetizer, entree, and dessert for $24, it was 2 guests choose 2 appetizers, 1 entree, and 1 dessert. If you wanted to get your own entree it was an additional $8. Furthermore, you only had a few options for each category. For appetizer, you could get the Black bean and Chickpea Dumplings
or the Spicy Lobster Roll (yeah...only 2 options). Luckily they were willing to substitute the Spicy Lobster Roll for the Spicy Tuna Roll,
which was good but I had better -at least it was better than the Black bean & Chickpea Dumplings. My entree, the Miso Cured Alaskan Butterfish w/ edamame salad was delicious!
My boss enjoyed his Marinated Crispy Tofu with Caribbean Vegetables.
The best part of the meal was the Cuban Opera dessert! OMG - I died and gone to heaven! It's a must if you go to Asia De Cuba.
Overall, the food was good and service got better. I can see why people love Asia De Cuba.
Address: 8440 W Sunset Boulevard West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone#: (323) 848-6000
Rating: 4 out of 5
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I like their Mandu Duk because they don’t skimp out on the dumplings in its Mandu Duk. They also throw a few beef pieces.
Their dumplings are not bad either. The pork and leeks are evenly mixed in the dumplings.
Like the usual, they throw in rice, kim chi and other banchans. It’s a lot of food and all for $15!
Address: 3470 W 6th St, Ste 6, LA, CA 90020
Friday, November 14, 2008
Farts ordered the burrata salad
and the Classic burger w/ fries.
I ordered their Strawberry Milkshake.
The 8oz burger was pretty good, but I wasn't crazy about their brioche bun, which made it one soggy burger. It soaks up the juice real fast --must eat immediately! The onion rings were ok, nothing to rave about like 25 Degrees' onion rings.
We didn't realized that the menu "states that burgers are cooked to "medium-rare to medium." Farts' burger was pretty medium-rare, rare. The fries were good, but still 25 Degrees' fries are better. The burrata salad was excellent. Love burrata.
Now my Strawberry milkshake?
"My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard,
And they're like
It's better than yours,
Damn right it's better than yours,
I can teach you,
But I have to charge"
And they did for $4.00. Not bad for that yummy shake!
I'll be back!
Address: 7661 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Phone#: (323) 852-0008