Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Royal Clayton's




This afternoon, by dear friend photographer William Short (English-Scottish-American) went to Royal Clayton's, 1855 Industrial Street, LA CA 90021, 213-622-0512, for lunch. The fish and chips were pretty damn good and the velvet cake was well done but a bit too sweet for us. Between the two of us, we couldn't finish it. We suspect that had more to do with our age than the cake. Unfortunately, Bill is allergic to beer and I can't drink liquor while on the job. Lastly, the fish and chips were missing the newspaper taste.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Focus




One of the only eateries in Little Tokyo, if not LA, where you can still smoke indoors is Focus, 319 E. 2nd St #202, LA CA 90012, 213-680-3015. They have fantastic ramen but today we stopped in for their master brewed coffee. Yummy!!!

Sanuki No Sato


Known for their Japanese noodle dishes, Sanuki no Sato is located atn 18206 S. Western Avenue Gardena CA 90248, 310-324-9184. Yesterday, it rained violently, was windy and cold. We clamoured to find a parking spot and ran under the mini-mall canopy walk way. By the time our party of 25+ was seated in their banquet room, I was wet and cold. This is the perfect moment for Curry Udon. Hot, spicy, nourishing, Curry Udon is a sauna with noodles. The noodles here are thin and delicious. By the end of the meal, I was ready for the crappy weather awaiting behind the front door.

Pampas


What a great surprise! I stumbled onto Pampas, Brazilian food, at 3857 Overland Avenue, Culver City CA 90232, 310-836-0080 this weekend. Who knew? It's in a shopping mall. I had only 15 minutes to eat so I did a take out and ate it in my car. The food was excellent! I ordered a salmon dish that was really delicious, fried banana's so sweet and evil and really fresh vegetables. I am going back soon. It was so delicious.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Warehouse



The Warehouse, 4499 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey CA 90292, 310-823-5451, is in the marina neighborhood in that row with other high-end restaurants. A basic dinner may run you around $50. This is the place they shot that scene in the movie, Meet the Fockers, where everyone's wearing Hawaiian shirts. They have really delicious crab legs, salad and mash potatoes. The fun dish is their brownie sundae.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

India Sweets and Spices




India Sweets and Spices has locations across Los Angeles. Today, we went to the one between Glendale and Atwater at 3126 Los Feliz Blvd., L.A. CA 90038, 323-345-0360.

A delicious, inexpensive lunch. It was a good meal with much affection.

Javan

It was my daughter's 14th birthday last night and she wanted to eat Persian food which she was introduced to at her friend Lisa's home several months ago. They recommended Javan and i called to arrange a take out. Javan is located at 11500 Santa Monica Blvd. LA CA 90025, 310-207-5555. They were very helpful and we got delicious kabobs with salad and rice. Sorry, no pix. It's kind of a fancy place and everyone was super kind. They even gave me a hot cup of tea with mint leaves and lemon while I waited for the take out.

Retiring Nikon Coolpix 5000

After several years of service, I had to retire my Nikon Coolpix 5000. The camera was first purchased in 2001 by my workplace and used till about 2003 when it malfunctioned. It sat in storage for a couple of months and then in 2004 they were going to throw it away. I retrieved it from the trash and sent it to Nikon. When it came back, I began to use it for everything including this blog. Over the weekend, it began to malfunction again and then just stopped. it was a great camera and really was used to death. I'm gonna miss that bulky digital but the new one i bought last night, also a Nikon Coolpix, is 60% smaller and has 2 more mega pixels. The 2-gig card was only $24.00 and I don't have to buy those odd camera batteries anymore.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sprinkles




Not my cup of tea. Wow, this place is really popular. There was a constant 20+ people in line the 30 minutes I was there. I am told that's the norm. I ordered the six cupcakes for $20 box set. They had around 12 flavors so i got a good mix. I ate three last night with Meg. For me, I don't like frosting that's packed with sugar and cake that's dense and heavy. It reminded me of the supermarket cupcakes we used to buy for our kids nursery school parent meetings. You end up having to take them home and then two days later, you decide to eat the leftovers; dry, bready and rough. The intense sugary frosting reminded me of the pink donut with sprinkles I got from the 7-11 when it was re-designed into a Simpson's Quikee-mart mid last year. I really like the exterior and interior design, however. Overall, I was disappointed. Location, location, location!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Rustys Surf Ranch



My brother bought me concert tickets and dinner to Rusty's Surf Ranch on the Santa Monica Pier, 256 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monca CA 310-393-PIER. It was Saturday night and the pier was packed with locals and tourists. Rusty's is very close to the historic merry go round building. It's a simple restaurant on the pier with lots of surfboards attached to the ceiling. I used to work with Ron Viola at Drum City Guitar Villa in Hollywood in the early 80's. This was during the heyday of Ron's band, Billy Vera and the Beaters. They had two top 40 hits and were on the TV a couple of times. well, there they were sounding great as ever. The four sax horn section is awesome and Billy was in great form, his vocals as smooth and nasty as ever. Since my brother gave me a gift certificate, I decided to order one of the most expensive things on the menu, Fillet Mignon. It was awesome and tender. Wrapped in a strip of smoked bacon and laying on top of garlic filled mash potatoes, I loved it.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Spanish Kitchen

Spanish Kitchen, 829 North La Cienega Blvd, LA CA 90069, is a bit trendy for my taste and pretty noisy and dark but it sure is popular. We sat next to the fireplace which was pleasant and when I saw paella on the menu, I was very happy. It's about $27.00 and filling. I loved it. Lots of shrimp and sausages and all the good stuff you want in your paella. Tuesdays seem to be Taco night and Monday's (I think) is enchilada night. Valet parking at $6.00, by the way.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

101 Cafe


This is perhaps the most intense dessert I ever had. I couldn't finish it. It's the brownie pancake at the 101 cafe. The street-level restaurant at a hotel, this place is retro and fun! It's on Franklin one block north of the 101 freeway in Hollywood. It's a block north of Capitol Records. My friend Aandrea Stang reccomended it. She said her friends go there after a concert, late at night and share this thing. It's worth ordering atleast once. Let the sugar rush begin!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pitfire Pizza



Pitfire Pizza, 108 West 2nd Street, LA CA 90012, 213-808-1200; Is this Shakey's with a bow tie or much more? I'm not in love with this place but my steak salad today was very tasty. I've had the pizza and it's mediocre. The crust is too bready and the cusine-ish toppings are not excellent. At this point, with all of the great pizza places opening up in LA, you have to be excellent with all "pizza points". Less than great on any of them and the pizza falls. Also, it's too crowded during lunch (which is a good thing for them) and the second floor back room smells funky-moldy. The service is fairly prompt and friendly. I heard they're watermelon lemonade is delicious. I'll have to try that someday.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Stone Fire Pizza Co

Stone Fire Pizza Company, 829 North La Cienega Blvd, LA CA 90069, 310-659-8848, was recommended to us by artist Mona Kasra and her husband and digital guru, David Meharania. Luckily, they had valet parking ($6) because it was raining really hard and there weren't any parking spaces available. I wonder where they parked my car? Anyway, the interior was semi-romantic and as my college art teacher Helen Watson would say, "very handsom design".

We ordered the crab pot stickers for an appetizer (light and tasty), wild mushroom pizza (yumm!), smoked chicken salad (fresh and sophisticated) and I had a root beer float (they were out of root beer so they made it a Coke float) for dessert and Megan had a sundae. We were full but not super bloated. It was a very good experience and the service was fun and helpful. We are definitely going back. I want to try the prosciutto and fig salad as well as their Chicago deep dish pizza which they fashion after the Chicago's Uno's (I once had pizza at the other restaurant Ike Sewel opened, Duo's. I think he opened it?). They also serve Port which I would love to have for dessert.

Friday, January 4, 2008

R and W BBQ





I've been meaning to put this on this blog from the start but oh well, better late than never. R and W BBQ, 522 West Willow Street, Long Beach CA 90806, 562-426-2129, makes my favorite gumbo and fried catfish in LA County. I'm not going to describe it to you. I just hope you get a chance to go there someday. It's the best!

Sam's Bagel


I walked up to Sam's Bagels this morning, 150 N Larchmont Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90004, 323-469-1249, and saw the typed memo on the window. They were open but the memo announced they had lost there lease and where closing soon. Wow, I've been going there since I was in High School (that's a really long time). I just love they're toasted onion bagel with cream cheese and lox. They put slices of tomatoes, capers and thin slivers of onion on it. So sad. They said if they can find another place, they will re-open. So, so sad.

Full House





In LA's Chinatown, there's a restaurant very close to the art gallery area called Full House, 963 North Hill Street, LA CA 90012, 213-617-8382.

I liked the part where they bring a big bucket filled with water and they pull out the live fish for your approval. That was pretty cool. I think there's a lot of msg in the food. I was very hungry so I reached my "zone" pretty early into the meal. I munched throughout while just listening to everyone's conversation. I especially liked the crab. It was awesome! I use to go there when it was the Plum Tree but this was my first time there since it changed into Full House. That's the title of the 80's TV program my Daughter used to watch the reruns on cable everyday. I don't think there's a relations there. This is a fun place with a good size group. We were 11 people last night. The service is alittle bit slow but I'm cool with that.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Red Cat

Lately and perhaps due to the weather, I've been enjoying hot cups of de-caff coffee. I had an errand to run up on Bunker Hill in Downtown LA this afternoon and decided to go to the Red Cat, 631 West 2nd Street, LA CA 90012, 213-237-2800. The Red Cat was voted, several years ago, as the place to get the best coffee in Downtown LA. The Red Cat is home to a small experimental theater and this other ever so slightly bigger venue, Disney Concert Hall. I have had their cappuccino and espresso before and they were delicious but I wanted a decaff and so they recommended the Americano. It was ambient, full of flavor and slightly milky. It was perfect for the pre-storm Downtown LA atmosphere we have today. Evidentally one is on the way that will rival the 2004 El Nino? In the Red Cat exhibit space were sculptures and assemblages by contemporary Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa that I found colorful, fascinating and eclectic. He is evidently known as the father of pop art in Korea.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sanouku



Natto breath forever!!!! Natto is fermented soybeans that you can eat by itself or with a raw egg and cut green onions. It's often laid out on a bed of hot rice. Half of Japan eats it for breakfast, the other half doesn't consider it a food. If there was ever a Japanese culinary civil war, it must be natto. Very few places serve it in LA. One place is Sanouku in the Mitsuwa Food corner on the corner of Centinela and Venice in West LA/ Venice. They make a mean miso ramen too.