Came here for a work function the other night. Woohoo! I didn't have to pay except for the valet tip! Score! Thanks Boss! Let me start off with the one negative aspect of this restaurant. I http://YP.com'ed it - Mapquested it - I Yelped it and I STILL COULDN'T FIND THE BLOODY RESTAURANT! I ended up passing it (no well lit up sign), busted a U and almost passed it again if I hadn't seen the unlit address numbers "3626". The valet suggested I complain to the manager. I'm complaining on YP.com since we all know they read our reviews, right? Service: Waitress was friendly & informative. Water boy was all smiles & constantly refilling our water glasses. *thumbs up* Appetizers: - Cheese Plate (looked delicious but my coworkers all scarfed it down...I was sitting at one end of a long table for 10 so I didn't bother trying to nab a piece or two or the whole plate) - Fried calamari & mixed veggie tempura (pretty tasty - not too oily) to be dipped in a side of balsamic-tarragon mayo...I preferred using a Tabasco mix to create my own special concoction - yum! Entree: Was trying to choose between the scallop/shrimp risotto, grilled rib eye w/ peppercorn sauce (one of the chef's special of the day) or the sauteed rainbow trout. Waitress said the trout was her fave. Done! The trout skin was nicely crisped on the outside, de-boned (except I did chew on one small piece of bone that I promptly fished out & left on the side of my plate), 2 thin slivers of lemon slices in the middle to flavor the flesh, covered with crunchy almond slivers & parsley. It was slightly saltier than I like my food - but I am a bland eater. It was very savory & flavorful. I would definitely order it again...but might ask for "low sodium". Dessert(s): Mine: Chocolate Pot de Creme - very thick w/ a dollop of whipped cream on top & 2 strawberry slices. I prefer it to be made more with dark chocolate than milk chocolate but we all liked it (shared it w/ coworkers - so I could finagle a tasting of their desserts as well - hehe, my master plan!) My Coworkers: - Flourless Chocolate Cake w/ orange marmalade - very dark & rich & delicious! - Creme Brulee - nice crisp burnt top w/ a smooth custard underneath - also delicious! Ambience: Outdoor patio w/ super hot heating fans above - I didn't even need to start drinking my wine to feel like my forehead was being burnt to a crisp. They kindly shut that thing down asap & turned on the other standalone heating lamp behind us that actually had an adjustable temp. All in all a nice place to come for dinner. I think I'll bring my mom here - she always wants to "try something new" that isn't "Asian food".
We had a lovely double-date experience at Water Grill. We started with cocktails, fresh oysters and stone crab claws (first of the season). Two members of our party ordered the same cocktail and upon delivery, one was noticeably more well-crafted than the other. We sent the one back with a busboy and when it returned, it was only half-heartidly fixed. Thankfully, our server quickly fixed the situation and everything was uphill after that moment. Our oysters included the Tomahawks and Mermaid Cove's, (all east coast). They were wonderfully briny and super fresh. The crab claws did not dissapoint. In addition to the raw bar, each couple ordered wedge salads and clam chowder. Our server was smart enough to have the kitchen split each item without us asking. Kudos to her. The chowder was probably one of the best I have ever had. It was loaded with clams which were sweet and tender. It also included thinly sliced fingerling potatoes which I thought was a nice touch. The wedge was wonderfully crisp, and had the perfect amount of blue cheese with generous bits of lardon. The soup and salad alone would have been a perfect meal. Since we were so full from the first two courses, we each decided to split lobster rolls and get a couple of sides. Having had lobster rolls all over the east coast, in addition to many of the popular sea food places around LA (Connie & Teds, Hungry Cat, Littlefork, assorted food trucks), I can honestly say, this was one of the best I've had. The roll was piled with tender lobster. It contained the perfect amount of mayo which allowed the flavor of the lobster to shine. I washed it down with a glass of Turley Zin, which is one of my all-time favorites. I was super-excited to see it on the wine menu. We finished with the Key Lime pie, which was good, but maybe a tad bit tart for my taste. Overall, service was spot-on. The staff understood we were two couples catching up and enjoying each others company. They were attentive and not obstrusive. The food itself is amazing and I'm already craving the clam chowder. We had a great experience and we're looking forward to going back.
I found U Salon by searching the Internet when I moved to this area. It is supposed to be a more affordable version of the upscale Umberto Salon in Beverly Hills. I get that "affordable" in L.A. is definitely a switch from what that meant in the SF Valley where I used to live! My only gripe is that if you get a 2-process color job, they charge you double! Ouch! So a cut & style is around $40-60 depending on how long or short your hair is. And 1-color is $50-60 depending on length also. So for my long hair, it ends up being $60 for the cut & style, + $120 for 2 colors = $180. For the same, I used to pay $80 less in the Valley. But then, I was living in the Valley, and that's no bargain! :D BUT the salon is very spacious & airy and relaxed, the staff is friendly, and I am stuck on Helen like glue! She used to do hair in London at a high-end salon that catered to the Royals and local celebrities. I got her when I asked for a long-hair specialist, and sure enough, my hair looked even LONGER after she colored it, cut it, and styled it! And I look even better than ever!!!! So, the little extra is totally worth it, and it is WAY less than the $300 and up you could end up paying in Beverly Hills. I also love the nail salon - I did not think I could get a pedicure for $14 in a salon w/Umberto's name on it. And they do a very good job. I especially love Quincy's pink & white acrylics - I could stare at them forever! & the girls are very nice. I never get the feeling anyone is talking snarky about me behind my back in another language :). For another $15, which is no more than at any other carwash nearby, you can have your car washed while you get all dolled up. Great find!