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If you want to avoid entering the hosting hell dimension, here are 10 potential entertaining glitches, and how to avoid them.
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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've been going to this restaurant because they have that hard to find authentic home style taste and they make tortillas fresh - on the spot - and they're so good you could eat them by themselves. Their menu is just right, having all the components that make up just about every dish you can think of - it's a small (hole in the wall) restaurant and at times you may have to wait 10 minutes, but it's worth it and you will see people waiting - why? Because honestly, there's almost no dish that is not good (and they serve menudo and cocido every day, even birria!) - and there are some that are just plain great. Before my mother passed away I would go to lunch with her all the time and she was a great cook, so she was as picky as the sun is hot - and more then 1/2 the time when I asked her where to? She'd say, with a smile on her face, 'Chispa!'....which made me happy to make her happy. I couldn't rate this any better, to impress my mom meant you took care in the details (to mom that was roasting fresh chiles, cooking on low heat when necessary, fresh ingredients, just the right amount of spices - never too salty or bland, salsas that let you know someone knows how to cook and consistant, consistant, consistant). And everyone there is friendly and they already know what I like -so I don't even have to say the whole dish (lengua en salsa de tomatillo con frijoles y arroz - THE BEST!) - I almost regret rating it cause that means I might have to wait longer....but my mom shared this place so can I. Take your parent(s) out to this little place...they'll want to go back and so will you.
After a fun visit to a nearby costume shop, our hungry group of 12 set out to find some good food to enjoy together before returning to the office. One of our group said that Loteria was a favorite of hers, so we trekked on over on her recommendation. I found the menu to be interesting - a variety of vegetarian selections (the one who recommended the place is a vegetarian) including a cactus salad and a succotash of zucchini and roasted corn to name a few. It was cool that there was something on the menu for everyone in our mixed bunch. I'm a big fan of carnitas myself, so I ordered a carnitas burrito. In addition to being super spicy - just the way I like it - the meat was tender and tasty, and the composition featured black beans instead of the refried variety. The burrito was also on the larger side. I could only finish half, but was delighted to have something to enjoy or share later on. The only downside to our visit was the service. We arrived before the lunch hour - around 11:30 or so - and were the only patrons in the place for at least the first 20 minutes of our time there. Yet table service was slow (i.e. bringing water to the table and taking drink orders), and one entree was completely forgotten about. Also requests for salsa, chips and other sides / condiments were either ignored or completely forgotten. Still the place is promising, has a nice atmosphere, and is a real find that's just a few blocks away from Hollywood & Highland.
Being the first time I've ever been to a Trader Vic's, I have to say I was very much surprised on how good it was. Not that I had low expectations, but it was way better than I had imagine Hawaiian / Asian Fusion cuisine could be. First things first... start off with a nice strong drink from their Tiki Bar. They have a huge variety, and who can say no to a drink from the people who invented the Mai Tai. I went with the Big Kahuna which came topped with a flamming lime .... interesting, crowd pleasing, and tasty. If you're there for more than just drinks, I'd recommend several items on their dinner menu. The lamb by far was my favorite. It was flavorful and tender. Cooked perfectly in their Han Dynasty old smoking oven. My second pick would probably be the Miso Sea Bass. Although it's "normal" for a Asian fusion restaurant, it was cooked perfectly with just the right amount of miso. The sea bas was tender, flakey, and buttery ... just perfect. The pork chop was pretty good as well, not super juicy but not dry either. The portions were at least pretty good. Lastly, their cheese cake was awesome. We also had the banana fritters, but they were more "regular". I'd definitely go again, but I have to save up. It ended up being a little pricey at $60 / person (tip + tax included)
We just had our wedding here and it was fantastic! Stephanie is easy to work with, she allowed us to come and look at the venue as many times as we needed to figure things out during the planning process. The venue is very modern, and if you are not looking for a cookie cutter garden wedding, then this place is definitely for you. We help the ceremony on the rooftop with SPECTACULAR downtown LA views, and dinner was downstairs served family style at long tables. You will save money on decorations (the place hardly needs any) and on AVL because the whole venue is wired for sound, and has awesome LED lights set up everywhere. When the TV in "bridal suite" didn't work, Stephanie brought up her own laptop so we could watch movies while getting ready. The only room for improvement I would say would be to have a full length mirror installed in that room and maybe add a couple of chairs and a table in there (we had to bring some in, really no big deal, but honestly the only fault I could find with the venue) Pricing wise, it was comparable if not less expensive for the WOW factor your guests will receive when they get to the rooftop. I am so glad we checked this place out in person when we were shopping for venues, you will see what I mean.
I was a bit hesitant to eat here due to having shellfish allergies, but my son wanted to give it a try. I took a look at the menu before we were seated and saw that there were some "safe" dishes for me to try, so I figured why not. I wasn't very hungry so I ordered a "Fork and Knife" Caesar Salad. I wanted to get a lunch-sized portion but we were too late for that, so our server suggested that I get the Garden Fresh Starter Salad and substitute the dressing with Caesar which actually was pretty good and just the right size. It was perfectly complimented with warm, crusty bread. My son was quite hungry and ordered the Penne Pesto and substituted halibut for the standard Blackened Salmon. The dish also featured kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms. I'd say from the cleanliness of the plate that the dish was quite tasty. In spite of how chaotic the place was - it was a Friday night, the Lakers were playing, and there were concerts at both the Nokia Theatre and the smaller Club Nokia - we were seated quickly and served promptly. I'll definitely go back when I have more of an appetite, and will update this review accordingly.
I recently moved to the area and this place is just a few blocks away. Happy to say, it's become one of my neighborhood joints. I typically stick with the small plates since they're great to share with my significant other. Our favorites so far have been the fried oysters, the chicken and waffle croquettes, the spinach pierogi, the pumpkin ravioli and of course, the kaya toast. I'm all about the kaya toast and we've been known to get two orders on occasion. Also, and to pretend like we're being healthy, we'll order something green, such as the (crispy) brussels sprouts or the house salad. They have a terrific drink menu with cocktails that are too difficult or time consuming for me to make at home, (which is what I look for in a drink list). I can make my own, great old fashioned. I like trying a new drink every time I go. They also have a nice wine list when I'm in the mood for a glass. The service has always been great and the staff has always been friendly. I would recommend making a reservation before going since seating fills up pretty fast. Otherwise, get there once they open for dinner, like we usually do, and seating shouldn't be an issue.
Fun family environment and great food! We ordered Flame Burgers this time. Very juicy and delicious burgers on special buns. We also ordered 3 orders of fries and three baskets full of home-made fresh cut fries were served; two orders would have been enough for the 4 of us. The desert was excellent too, we ordered churros and a special ice cream that was rolled in delicious crispy flakes and served a soft fried sugary dough. Very happy with the quality of the food. Very clean and modern environment. When signing my credit card on the screen I was able to enter my cell phone number and a receipt was texted to me. Service was A+. The chef was going around between orders and asking if everyone was enjoying their meal. A few large-screen TV's, we watched the Dodgers game during our meal. Then the kids went to their play room and had the time of their life with video games, other electronic games, basketball hoops, Foosball, etc, while my wife and I sat in the beautiful balcony and relaxed. The kids wanted to do something special on a summer afternoon and this worked out perfectly. Two thumbs up!
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.
Amazing service, impeccable food, amazing atmosphere! Words cannot describe my experience here! The kabob so juicy it literally felt like I was in Tehran again. In my honest opinion, many generic persian kabob restaurants in los angeles dont even come close to the taste you can get here. Friendly and attentive staff is the icing on the cake here. They were constantly making sure our water was filled, and if we needed extra napkins or utensils. They even went out their way to make sure we enjoyed our lunch. Apparently they bake their bread daily! I had the koobideh (ground beef) and my coworker had the joojeh (chicken) kabob wrap. Both were extremely juicy and perfectly cooked with a blend of spices that blew my mind and my taste buds. Definitely will come back here! Oh and I just realized its kosher!?! How could that be? Last time I had kosher kabob, it tasted like cardboard grilled on a flame. Not here. This place never ceases to amaze me! Thank you for being so attentive and tasty, kababi mahala!