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.
Since our charming Angelz coffee shop closed (replaced by some truly icky "gourmet" food outfit) I haven't been able to find a replacement that combines good food and reasonable prices. I've tried to "bond" with HOP but it's been a fail more often than not. I will list the problems in order of greatest annoyance: 1. the atmosphere. I hate the counter. It's like having breakfast in a high chair for a baby. One need not be seated on a precipice, thank you. 2. the waiters and waitresses are mostly nice, but often harried and they radar their work drama too much to the customer. It's like watching a reality show set in a coffee shop sometimes. That is not friendly pleasantry or banter, it's torture. 3.the food is a real crap shoot. Breakfast is fairly lousy here; take the extra mile and go the Astro for a good breakfast. Frozen hash browns? YUKK! The omelettes are okay but pricy. Their version of anything Mexican is really bad, don't bother. They do have a really good fresh roasted turkey sandwhich, and a good burger, but the fires are generic and ho-hum. And the tab fails to please; too high for such mediocrity! 4. They seem to get a lot of return business from neighborhood folks, elders, and...unfortunately... families with shrieking children. I left with a half headache one morning; it was like eating in a day care for pre-schoolers. Which brings us around to what they are really selling: pie. order it, pick it up, take it home. They have a convenient location in their favor, but this is one House that is rarely in order. There is also a most unpleasant Asian woman of sour demeanour who seems to be the manager; warning: she can't handle criticism. I don't plan to spend much time in this House. There are 2 better options within a couple miles east or west (Astro and The Dunes on Sunset) with better food.
The essence of a coffee shop is usually not its coffee, but its comfort. How comfortable is it to get some work done? How comfortable is it to hang out and relax with the morning paper? For while the coffee itself is important, if it were the most important part of a coffee shop, I'm afraid, McDonalds and 7eleven might be the Shangrilla of coffee.But seriously, I am not a fan of the overly strong Starbucks coffee that gives me a heart burn every time I take a swig. Rather, I prefer light, tasty coffee, a la Dunkin Donuts.So when it comes to coffee shops, I prefer to rate it on "ambiance, attitude and allure". I think I should patent this - the 3 A's. Anyway, Swork has all of the above. They have free Wi-Fi, ample tables for singles and accessible power outlets to juice those laptops.They have great outdoor seating as well for those babysitting their dogs or those interesting in people watching.Inside, they have a couple of computer terminals for pay-as-you-go use. So it serves as a decent internet cafe. But bring your own laptop, buy a coffee and you will get free Wi-Fi.So why the 4 stars? Well, the coffee is still a part (albeit a small part) of the experience and it does not measure up. It is way too strong (even their breakfast blend is strong).Also, while some might consider being infant friendly a plus, I really have no patience for loud toddlers. Swork has a play pen area inside for young boys and girls to play around in while the parent catches a break. Some might give that an extra star and maybe one day I will too, but not today
Wow. I'll admit, I have shyed away from here just because it kind of looked a little corporate coffee-ee. Well, whatever it is, they serve up good coffee and awesome customer service. I'll warn you, not a lot of electical outlets here- when I asked about plugging in my laptop, the staff here went on a mission. When they were all taken, they offered an extension cord from the back bar. They said we could move tables. There happened to be an empty table near said back bar, but when the extension cord and my laptop didn't work, the staff climbed under the counter to see if they could make the cord stretch. It did. Viola. The barista on staff was great- double-checked with me if my in-house coffee size was okay, if I didn't like my milk choice, let her know and she would redo, the works. Apologized to ME because of the weird tipping- can't tip on a credit card. She apologized that they did not have a workable system on a credit card. I am impressed. I hope I see this staff again. Very customer oriented. Very rare to get this level of interest in most coffee places!
If you are hungry for good old crunchy fried fish then go! The chips are not particularly good; I barely touch them, in fact. Everything else on the menu is OK if you want a fried food fix. (As you may have gathered this is not exactly a place you'll want to tell your cardiologist you sneak off to from time to time). It's all about FRIED shrimp, mushrooms, prawns,scallops,etc. If they could fry the cole slaw they probably would! Thus it's a little like carnival food, and can be fun once in awhile. As for the staff taking orders, they are a rather dour lot; I have honestly never seen a smile there once. Perhaps being around all that boiling grease is unpleasant. More likely, it is nothing more than a language issue. I have almost always found their counter staff a little hard to understand, but so what? Bring on the fish! It is what it is, (and sometimes I marvel that it remains in business; one would think it would go the way of, say, Pioneer Chicken, which was a grease-lovers' delight as well.) It's a guilty pleasure once in a while and the fish is yummy.
Our visit to Cafe Beaujolais was by happenstance - my wife and I were on our way from Pasadena to Santa Monica for a xmas party, but wound up stuck on the Glendale 5S for over 30 minutes before deciding to abort the westside foray. On our way back through Eagle Rock on local streets, we decided to salvage the night out by swinging by a french bistro I've heard a few times but never had a reason to stop by at until now!The best about Cafe Beaujolais is the atmosphere - it's as authentic as one can get. It's in a bit gritty neighborhood, walk-ins only, and the dark interior is plastered with '20s french movie posters and blaring Forget Paris soundtrack ;-). And all the waiters speak French. OK food - it's good. We got the duck pate (congealed innards is always fabulous), rainbow trout (awesome sauce) and steak fritte (this was a bit of a letdown - authentic, but a bit disappointing on the quality of meat). And for dessert, of course: creme brule. The service was friendly and well coordinated, and overall the experience was tres bien!
This Starbucks is my favorite one downtown. Even though there were two Starbucks locations closer to my work I always ended up walking to this one because they always got my drink of choice absolutely perfect everytime.Starbucks wants your experience and your drink to be exactly the same at every location you go to. This does not happen and I cannot imagine they aren't aware of it. I order an iced green tea latte a lot of the time. Sometimes they shake it, sometimes they stir it, sometimes it has milk, sometimes it's all water (blegh!), sometimes it's sweetened just right, unsweetened or way too sweet, etc, etc. You get the point. At this location they always get it right and I am so glad someone knows what they're doing! I've also ordered green teas, iced coffees and caramel macchiatos here and they all end up tasting like they're supposed to. Also, the people are really nice. Rarely do I have a bad customer service experience here. Way to go Starbucks on Fig! You always make my day that much better.
The San Antonio Winery Is The Only One Left In Southern California!Anthony DeGoede and I were finally able to visit the San Antonio Winery back on Sunday, August 21, 2016.I have been living in Los Angeles since 1994 & I was Not sure if the winery in business or Not & I did some research & learned that they are still around & paid a visit!The winery started back in 1917 & tours are offered daily which will include showing you the wine kept in barrels, the fermentation area & where they process, pack and box up the wine & after you can taste many delicious wines.I also met Stefano, the former owner who is now 95 years old & his uncle is the one who actually started up the business.Thank You to Arturo, our Tour Guide who gave us a wonderful tour, as well as to all of the people, including Rosemarhy who served us the wine.You Are All The Best And We Hope To Visit You All Very Soon!Howard Paul Shore, Customer And TouristAnthony DeGoede, Customer And Tourist
We went to Clifton's tonight and found it really underwhelming. The atmosphere is interesting - the faux woodland diorama thing makes it like a hipster Rainforest Cafe. Some of the place was clearly renovated with care, while other parts appear half done. Most of the floors were not open to the public tonight, so we were stuck on floors 1 and 2 (got to go up to the front of 3 for about 10 minutes before it closed for evening set up). The decor in the center by the giant tree is cool, but it looked better on the higher floors. The food is...fine? I guess? Not bad, not great. We originally wanted to get into the new Tiki section, but it was invite only tonight, which wasn't advertised anywhere - and only some of the staff knew about it. The basement bathrooms were so bad: one stall out for busted (overstuffed) toilet, one stall closed with a laptop on the floor of it, a third stall working, and a fourth with no toilet paper. Overall, not super impressed.
I love this place. We go here at least once every two weeks or so and try our best to get one of the large booths by the front windows. Great place to have one of the best Bloody Mary's in town on a warm Saturday afternoon. I love the menu - it's not huge, but what they do offer is usually fantastic. I dream of their mussels with bread sops, the brussel sprouts with bacon would make a few vegetarians go back to the dark side and the savory pies take me back to London. They also feature a great beer menu plus all sorts of interesting cocktails. My favorite drink is the Ginger Top - a glorious amber beer topped with ginger beer.I had my 40th birthday party here a few weeks ago in the back room and the chef, managers and staff went above and beyond in terms of helping me plan and prep. It was the best bang for our buck and our guests had a fabulous time.In a nutshell: great food, great staff and never a negative experience.