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Reviews from Is It Any Good


  • MEI Long Village Inc in San Gabriel

    MEI Long Village Inc

    The Dumpling Sauce itself arrives with the sauce and fresh Ginger all ready to go. The sauce itself looks a little...weak to the naked eye, but on dipping stands up well, and makes an already tasty Xiaolongbao even tastier. Yes, I'd have this again in a heartbeat.

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  • Yuca's in Los Angeles


    So I ordered up the Cochinita Pibil which is a Torta filled with stewed Yucatan style Pork on a Telera Roll with beans, mayo, chipotle salsa, lettuce, avocado and of course, Yuca's Special Salsa. Oh man that was good.

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  • Firehouse Restaurant in Tarzana

    Firehouse Restaurant

    This is a place in Reseda, not exactly known as a foodie hotbed, but a place that locals come in for a spot of lunch or for some take out. In that respect, Firehouse Restaurant does it’s job admirably.

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  • Ha Tien Quan

    We’re talking elaborate noodle dishes, stews and curries that I’ve never seen before. I’d like to think I’ve got a little experience with Vietnamese cuisine, but damn. I needs me some more lessons.

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  • Emperor Noodle

    I got the Onion Noodles with Pork Chop, which was exactly what I needed. A good tasty bowl of noodles, flavorful, tasty noodles, good broth, and a fried Pork Chop. Simple and good. Would get this again in a second.

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  • Los Balcones

    A fantastic…let me say that again…a FANTASTIC Peruvian Restaurant in Hollywood.

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  • El Arco Iris Restaurant in Los Angeles

    El Arco Iris Restaurant

    El Arco Iris, at least me, has both the classic dishes and Mexican-American fare that those of us who are not Mexican come to expect from Mexican-American menus. But since Mexican food is so much more than that, there is room for things that most Anglo-Americans have not tried.

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  • Golden Soup Restaurant

    If you’re here for lunch, just get a single dish. Because your single dish is coming with a big bowl of Soup (enough to feel two people), and a big bowl of rice (also enough to feed too people).

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  • Dog Haus

    Dog Haus specializes in the comfort part of the comfort food classics. It makes you happy, and gives you a reason to come back. I’d say it’ll do in a pinch, but it’s better than that.

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  • Max of Manilla

    Dare I say, this is such a generic restaurant, that there isn’t any too weird or strange happening here. It’s family oriented. It’s quiet. It’s a place to chill. That’s about it.

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  • Tasty Noodle House

    This is one of those places that is hard to write about. You’re not coming here for ambiance. They’re not setting gastronomic world on its head. They’re serving good food, and better-than decent prices.

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  • Mi Corazon

    My meal was pretty tasty, especially leading off like I did with the Elote. For those of you who haven’t had it, it’s a grilled ear of corn covered (in this case) with a creamy Mexican cheese and some spices. You who are not into strong assertive flavors, beware. This ain’t for the delicate. But it was delicious and put my already good mood into the stratosphere.

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  • Little Beast

    I started with their Chiplote Hummus, which…really was smoky spicy good. It’s a thick, hearty Hummus infused with pepper. Not bad. Possibly my favorite thing on the menu.

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  • Din Tai Fung

    Which is why I recommend…and this is painful for me to say, given that I live in freakin’ Glendale, that if you are a practiced hand at eating Xiaolongbao, keep going to the Arcadia locations for the foreseeable future. The one at the Americana may be closer and more convenient, but it’s also the minor leagues. You don’t need Xiaolongbao training. Go to the location where they know that.

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  • Grand Central Market in Los Angeles

    Grand Central Market

    It’s primarily a lot of Mexican shops and stalls, offering food, spices, fruits, vegetables, what have you. It’s plenty active, and plenty busy. Be prepared to do a little bit of people dodging as you wander through.

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  • Ford's Filling Station in Culver City

    Ford's Filling Station

    Ford’s Filling Station isn’t ever going to be confused with a stop on the Foodie Station of the Cross. It’s not a hipster haunt a place everyone who’s everyone must show their face at. It’s a neighborhood joint. It is what it is. I can’t give it high marks, but given it’s pedigree, I can’t bring myself to condemn it either.

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  • In-N-Out

    This is one of the best, if not the best Hamburger chains in all of America. Bar none. What makes it so extraordinary is that the menu really hasn’t changed in lo these many years. Its still the basics. Three kinds of burgers, fries, drinks, shakes…and that’s it. No McTurkey Nuggets, or special barbecue hickory sauce. Nope, your choices are ketchup and…well, ketchup.

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  • Carousel Restaurant in Los Angeles

    Carousel Restaurant

    Granted, there is a space for live music, so that can be a bit much on the wrong night. But the food’s good, the pace is relaxed. It’s a place that hits my sweet spot.

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  • Young Dong Tofu in San Gabriel

    Young Dong Tofu

    I went with the Beef and Kimchi variety, but individual tastes may vary. When I was there, which was just after the Lunch Crush, they sold combo platters. Basically, a hunk of Korean pre-prepared Barbecue (no stove tops at your table at Young Dong), combined with the soup of your choice. I went with Spicy Pork.

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  • Maximiliano in Los Angeles


    Maximiliano’s is worth all it’s weight in gold…and then some.

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  • Mama's Lu in Monterey Park

    Mama's Lu

    What I would say is, going to Mama’s Lu is more like going to your Mom’s house for Dumplings, instead of the ever impressive Taipei-Shanghaiese machine that is Din Tai Fung. The food just feels a bit more handcrafted, and handmade.

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  • Elena Greek Armenian Cuisine in Glendale

    Elena Greek Armenian Cuisine

    Let me say first, that the food was good, very good, every bit as good as advertised…when it finally got there. But the getting there part was a total pain. It’s going to keep me from coming back.

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  • Saladang Song in Pasadena

    Saladang Song

    The dishes all have that very particular punch of Southeast Asia, where your tongue is happily assaulted from all angles: sweet, sour, savory all in varying degrees and combinations. I don’t know if it’s the best Southeast Asian I’ve had…ever, but it’s got a seriousness and dedication to craft that’ll keep it in the conversation.

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  • Stella Barra Pizzeria

    Overall, not bad. Not bad at all. Stella Berra isn’t going to set the world on fire, or change the world of gastronomy as we know it, but its comfortable and fun. Friday night before or after a movie, you’re going to want to go there. I can see it being a very popular destination for people too lazy to cross the street.

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  • BCD Tofu House in Los Angeles

    BCD Tofu House

    At the end of the day, despite all the food you’re given, it’s still a pretty light meal. All the veggies and tofu you’re eating? You won’t feel stuff afterwards. All you have to do is figure out exactly how spicy you want it. I’m still dribbling down in the mild area, but after this, I need to work my way up. Overall, I liked my meal here. I still like Young Dong a bit more, but still it was good. I’d come here again.

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  • Happy Family Restaurant 3 in Monterey Park

    Happy Family Restaurant 3

    he flavors here were not as punchy as I would have liked, but it was a satisfying enough of a meal. I did feel better after I left there, just chock full of vitamins and nutrients. Would I go back? Maybe? But there are a number of other Chinese Vegetarian places that I’d want to try first.

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  • Gjelina in Venice


    The Waitstaff was very friendly, very nice, ready to point me in the right direction. The Kitchen serves up was is basically Nouvelle Italian, but with a California twist to it. What we had was tasty, and well prepared.

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  • Beverly Soon Tofu

    For such an old school place, it’s nice to feel as welcomed as I was. Granted it was the middle of the afternoon, well after the lunch crush, so things were more than a little quiet. But the ladies running the place that day treated me grand. They seemed to like the fact that I hadn’t just wandered in off the street looking for some kind of food adventure, that I genuinely loved me some Soon Tofu.

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  • Daikokuya

    I have been seeing lines in front of Daikokuya for months now. Every time I’ve gone to Little Tokyo, no matter what the hour. And even I, your humble publisher just had to know…what was the big deal. So, like any sensible person would, I took a crowbar to my schedule, found me some time, and got in line.

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  • Atlantic Seafood and Dim Sum

    Atlantic Seafood and Dim Sum is set in a compact little space, with low ceilings, and televisions on the wall. But there’s what looks to be a bar at the far end of the space, as well as a crystal and peach colored chandelier. As you sit down, you realize, the place isn’t so compact after all. The tables stretch back and back into what feels like infinity.

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  • Osek Korean Cuisine

    The main problem I had with Osek, as nice as it was is that this is the first time I’ve been to a Korean place where the flavors have been (for lack of a better word) dumbed down for the non-Korean palette.

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  • Jtyh Restaurant in Rosemead

    Jtyh Restaurant

    First off, JTYH isn’t just a restaurant, it’s a Market and a Restaurant, each sitting right next to the other. When you walk in, don’t expect a lot of ambiance, or a lot of style. This is a bare bones joint, just tables and chairs. They save all that for their cooking.

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  • Golden China Restaurant in Culver City

    Golden China Restaurant

    It’s okay. It’s average. You’re not skipping out on Monterey Park or Alhambra to come to here. It’s perfectly fine for Take-Out, and sports a large Vegetarian Menu.

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  • SinBala Restaurant in Arcadia

    SinBala Restaurant

    Sinbala is a Taiwanese joint, but geared a more towards everyday eating that you might find a Banquet/Party place like Taipei Garden. It’s geared for the amazing number of Taiwanese living in and around the San Gabriel valley. The mood inside is neighborhood joint. Families mostly coming in for an evening meal. A few college kids who’ve taken the drive out. One or two dates. The mood is breezy, comfortable. Folks are just kicking back, having a good conversation over a good plate of really good food.

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  • Berlin Food Truck

    Berlin Food Truck does serve a good Bratwurst, and that’s all I’m really here for. It’s not Wurstkuche or anything, and I’m not even sure it’s as good as No. 1 Berlin Currywurst Truck…which is weird, given the similarities I’ve just shared with you.

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  • Bahn Mi My Tho

    Turns out Bahn Mi My Tho is a Vietnamese Convenience Store, for lack of a better term. It sells comfort items targeted at the Vietnamese community of Los Angeles, like Boiled Peanuts, Vietnamese Coffee and other small dishes and pastries I couldn’t identity in a million years. You can get a Lotto Ticket there, as well as couple of Vietnamese Newspapers. Again, all the comforts of home.

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  • NEM Nuong NINH HOA in Rosemead

    NEM Nuong NINH HOA

    My general consensus is that the place was probably better than okay, but what I’d ordered was so dull and boring that I didn’t get the full flavor of what Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa can do. I really need to go back and try something else, possibly one of their many meatballs on a stick. But if the Vietnamese American community of Rosemead is trusting it, then I’m trusting it.

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  • ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen

    Inside, you step up to the counter and…pick a rice (or a starch), pick a meat (or tofu if that’s how you roll), pick a grilled vegetable, and a sauce. That’s it. Sound like Chiplote? Yeah, I thought you’d see things my way.

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  • Singapores Banana Leaf in Los Angeles

    Singapores Banana Leaf

    It’s a cash only establishment. It’s also a walk up, order and wait for your number to be called place. Singapore’s Banana Leaf does have it’s own set of Seats and Table fresh from a 1970s era Pier 1 Catalog, but if those are filled (and a great many of them will be), you can saunter either north or south to find more available seating in the General Farmer’s market.

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  • Petty Cash Taqueria

    I had just about every Taco (or Pork-related Taco) in the place. The Al Pastor Tacos, with a nice hunk of Pineapple were my favorites. Had two of them. I also liked the Cochinita Pibils. Very nice.

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  • Vertical Wine Bistro LLC in Pasadena

    Vertical Wine Bistro LLC

    Vertical is a very nice place. It’s a very comfortable place. I liked my time there, and what I liked had there. Still, I can’t shake this feeling that I don’t need to go there again.

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  • A&J Restaurant

    If you’re in the mood for Beef Noodle Soup, and…if you’re anything like me, when aren’t you in the mood for Beef Noodle Soup…A&J’s should be on your list. You should come in, get in on the rhythm of the place, get yourself some soup, and…something else. Wander a bit along the menu. If anything else, that’s what’s going to get you to come back again…and hopefully again.

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  • Pot

    verything is very shareable, and…like all things Roy Choi…still quite assertive in its flavors. I’m actually writing this review a couple of days after the visit, and even after all that time the sauces are still hitting my happy place. Because of that, Pot’s is a menu that’s going to take some time to work though, but oh what pleasant work it will be.

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  • Bull Demon King Cafe in Temple City

    Bull Demon King Cafe

    The Spicy Beef Noodle Soup was wonderful. Bull Demon’s version comes in slightly behind my favorite over at Sinbala, but they do something here that even the vaunted Sinbala does not do. They let you adjust the spice level.

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  • Congregation Ale House Pasadena

    You’ll like it here. Granted, it’s not setting the gastronomic world on fire. It’s never even in it’s wildest dreams going to supplant a place like Wurstkuche or even the new Picnik in Pasadena, but it’s fun. It’s Beer and Sausages, so of course it’s going to be fun. Plus with as many Beers as they have on Tap, you can spend visit after visit just narrowing down what’s your favorite that way.

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  • Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

    The beers were good. The cocktails…also good. The Burger…hitting my happy spot.

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  • Bourbon Steak

    First thing I started off with was the Duck Spring Rolls, which came with a Garlic Chili Dipping sauce. The whole thing came wrapped in a nice lettuce leaf, which…when factoring in that hunk of Pepper sitting right on top of the rolls, gave the whole thing a nice cooling effect. Pepper heats. Lettuce cools. Ying and Yang, and all that. Very nice.

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  • Picnik

    Picnik has their own in house butcher. Their sausages are hand crafted from the whole hog by Beeler Family farm off of heirloom Heluka Pigs. What makes a Heluka Pig so special? I don’t know. But they certainly were tasty.

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  • CaCao Mexicatessen in Los Angeles

    CaCao Mexicatessen

    For people who favor the low key establishment, who prefer casual dining to all other things, there is no place on earth like CaCao Mexicatessen. It is why you like living in Los Angeles. It is easy. It is relaxed…and more to the point, the food’s damn delicious.

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  • SAPP Coffee Shop in Los Angeles

    SAPP Coffee Shop

    If you don’t get some form of the greatest Boat Noodles in the world (and no, I don’t think that’s an exaggeration) then I don’t want to know you.

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  • Stout in Los Angeles


    You’re going to like it here. Heck, talking to some of you, some of y’all may like it just because it’s not Umami (whatever that means). It’s comfortable, it’s friendly. They’ll serve you good Burgers, good fries and good Beer.

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  • Belly Bombz

    I guess that’s really what it boils down to. In a city that serves up a lot of Mexican-Korean fusion, there are worse than Belly Bombz and way better. So, not half bad’s about where it’s at. Though looking at the menu, I would be tempted by the Bacon Fried Rice next time around. And yes, I intend for there to be a next time around.

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  • 1810

    810 isn’t breaking any culinary ground, remember…for you to have a good time, it doesn’t have to. It’s a pleasant space, a comfortable time out, and a pretty good meal. That’s all you need.

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  • Pine & Crane

    Pine and Crane is a damn good restaurant. You should probably go to there and hang out. It is a damn fine meal.

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  • Golden Deli Vietnamese Restaurant in San Gabriel

    Golden Deli Vietnamese Restaurant

    The Baugette they used for this sandwich was head and shoulders better than anything I’ve ever had before. Seriously, if I could have gotten a couple of them just to take home with me, I’d have been fine. The Pork and the…well Pork was fantastic, and backed by a simple dollop of mayo. Perfect.

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  • Golden Deli Vietnamese Restaurant in San Gabriel

    Golden Deli Vietnamese Restaurant

    The Baugette they used for this sandwich was head and shoulders better than anything I’ve ever had before. Seriously, if I could have gotten a couple of them just to take home with me, I’d have been fine. The Pork and the…well Pork was fantastic, and backed by a simple dollop of mayo. Perfect.

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  • Banh Mi & Che Cali in Rosemead

    Banh Mi & Che Cali

    Well, you should get yourself a Banh Mi, preferably of the Grilled Pork variety. Lovely and fantastic. Still under $6 bucks, and you’re outta there? Yeah, you’re going here.

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  • Paiche

    This was a fantastic experience, even for a light Saturday lunch. Makes me want to get that big Saturday Dinner all the more

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  • Ramen Jinya

    Yes, Jinya is a chain, a national chain with five locations scattered over some very interesting areas. Still, this is the place is what started the grand Ramen revolution here in Los Angeles. It’s hard to believe, since it looks so modern and new.

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  • Comme Ca in West Hollywood

    Comme Ca

    It sits hidden among the boutiques and shops of Beverly Hills. It’s signage is so subtle, you’d almost miss it if you walked on by. When you walk in, you’re surprised by the warmth and the ambiance of the setting. This is Comme Ça, and I think you’re going to like it.

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  • Snow Flower Ice

    ’s not terribly expensive. What you’d pay over at Pinkberry you’ll probably pay over here, if not a little less. It’s not as heavy as what you’d get over at Cold Stone or Pinkberry, so at least you won’t feel bogged down afterwards. Like I said, it’s a different texture. That may take some getting used to..but one bite was enough for me. It’s also not as sweet as other desserts. In my mind that’s a feature, not a bug.

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  • Pub at Golden Road Brewing

    If you are an aficionado of local craft beers, if you’ve done any time drinking beer in the Los Angeles Area (or heck, even if you’ve shopped at a local Whole Foods), you’ve probably heard of, or at least seen a can of Golden Road. But did you know they have a Pub as well?

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  • Chengdu Taste

    I got the Sautéed String Beans as a main dish, and the Pork with Garlic Sauce appetizer. Both carried one Chilies. The Pork was actually not that hot. It was just tasty thin slices of Pork covers in a brown garlic sauce. Flavorful, tasty, and not at all ass-kicking. It was a bit…well…cool, or lukewarm. And my inexperience with this dish makes me uncertain if this was how it was supposed to come out. The Pork was completely cooked through, so…no danger there, but it wasn’t what you’d call piping hot out of the oven.

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  • Park's BBQ in Los Angeles

    Park's BBQ

    o the first thing we were going to get was the Bulgogi, since it’s his Number One food item at that other place, and well…one cannot help but compare. The Bulgogi came out of the kitchen in long strips, and nice and fatty. It also came drenched in marinade. It was actually served in a bowl. Never seen that before. The fattiness of the meat made chewing through it a bit difficult at times, but I think that was more luck of the draw than anything. We also got the Outside Skirt Steak, and that was a fantastic cut of meat. Long cuts of lean, tasty beef, and grilled to perfect (by s at the table). It was a best part of the meal.

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  • Wang Xing Ji

    Now, as you work through your Xiaolongbao, you do it like you do at any Dumpling House. You bite the tiny hole in your dumpling. You suck out the hot, scalding juice, then you give it bath in the vinegar (no pickled ginger here at Wang Xing Ji), and dine.

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  • SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa

    But the food coming out of that kitchen is all Japanese, 100% Sushi. No gimmicks or tricks attached there. Just good fish, prepared the right way and paired with good rice. Even me the guy who can only eat Tuna was fairly impressed.

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  • 3 Dog Catina

    I've been here for both Lunch and Dinner now, and both times the same thing has tempted the hell out of me: The Tacos Al Pastor. Which are basically Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa, Pickled Red Onion and Cilantro. Tasty as hell. Get two or three of those, couple that with some rice and beans, and you're all set.

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  • Bar Verde

    I went with the Neapolitan Thin Crust Pizza, which came with mozzarella, provolone, pear tomatoes, and fresh basil. The Mozzarella was creamy as all get out. You could really taste the tomatoes, and not water with a dash of fiber. It was a nice flatbread sized hunk of pizza. One person could easily take it down, and not feel repulsively stuffed afterward.

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  • Gingergrass

    I went with Crispy Imperial Rolls to start off with, because when at a Vietnamese place when don’t you get the Crispy Imperial Rolls? It’d be rude not to. But instead of diving in any one of a number of Vietnamese classics that I saw on the menu, I went with something they only serve at night and on weekends, the Duck Confit Noodle Bowl that comes with a Poached Duck Egg.

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  • In-N-Out

    This is one of the best, if not the best Hamburger chains in all of America. Bar none. What makes it so extraordinary is that the menu really hasn't changed in lo these many years. Its still the basics. Three kinds of burgers, fries, drinks, shakes...and that's it. No McTurkey Nuggets, or special barbecue hickory sauce. Nope, your choices are ketchup and...well, ketchup.

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  • Lucille's Smokehouse BBQ in Culver City

    Lucille's Smokehouse BBQ

    Look, like all Pit-masters, Lucille's handles their meats wonderfully. The rib was a bit tough, but nothing to really penalize them for. The Hot Link wast the best of the three. Not particularly spicy, but it's sausage, and a rather lean and dry piece of Brisket.

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  • Yard House in Pasadena

    Yard House

    I went with the Pepper Crusted Filet, mostly because it came with the words Pepper and Crusted. Hey, it's a steak, and even the worst restaurants know how to handle a steak at least with a margin of competence. Yard House, despite it being a chain, is a bit better than marginal when it comes to competence.

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  • Top Round Roast Beef

    I went with the first thing on the menu, the Beef on Weck, first thing on the menu, and...let's put it this way, all these weeks later, I'm still thinking about it. So yeah, I'd totally wreck one of those again.

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  • Brand 158

    I went with the Tequila Chicken Fettucini, and it wasn’t bad. Nice cream sauce. Didn't taste a lot of spice...or Tequila for that matter, but I actually wound up enjoying it.

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  • Wurstküche

    I wanted to see if Wurstküche could handle the basics, which for me, includes a Louisiana Hot Link. They can. It was a good and spicy. It packed a decent punch without burning out the inside of your mouth. It’s going to be hard to resist getting it again on visits: two, three, four and beyond.Subsequent visits have made me fall in love with their perfectly prepared, perfectly lovely and just about perfect in every single way... Wurstküche's Bratwurst.

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  • Papa Cristo's in Los Angeles

    Papa Cristo's

    Deep in the heart of the Byzantine-Latino Quarter of Los Angeles (which ironically is close to Koreatown), is Papa Cristo's, which is a combination Greek Grocery Store and Restaurant. I've gotten take out from there, and of course sampled their delightful Baklava.

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  • Fig and Olive in West Hollywood

    Fig and Olive

    I went for their Prix-Fixe Menu, which gave me a Appetizer, a Main Course and a Dessert for a nice $35 price. For me, that meant the Provencal Carrot and Thyme Soup appetizer. It was really good. I came in expecting a little, slight clear broth, but that’s not what I got. It a frothy, tasty concoction, with a bit of a nouveau-cuisine presentation. Remember this is a brew of Carrot, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, crushed tomato, heirloom baby carrot, and olive oil crouton. That little bit of crunch from the crouton is what I remember the most. I still want it all these days later.

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  • Phoenix Inn Chinese Cuisine in Alhambra

    Phoenix Inn Chinese Cuisine

    I went for the Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage, which was a great little meal. Lovely glistening hunks of rice and the ever present flavor of Chinese Sausage

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  • Mr Ramen in Los Angeles

    Mr Ramen

    I went for the Vegetable Miso Ramen, but there are twenty four varieties you can get (including five cold varieties). And if you have any doubts how each and every bowl will play, take a look at the pictures on the wall and pick what looks tastiest to you.

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  • Bouchon in Beverly Hills


    The next thing to arrive was the Croque Madame. This is a massive, massive Ham Sandwich, in between two thick cut pieces of Brioche Toast. Now, there is Ham and Cheese in between those two pieces of Brioche. Atop the Sandwich is a Fried Hen Egg, and a generous helping of sauce Mornay, a creamy white sauce. After all the bread, which I couldn't resist, and the soup, the Croque Madame was tough sledding. I am eternally, eternally grateful for our Waiter for pointing me in the right direction, and just getting the two appetizers.

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  • Berlin Currywurst - The Beer Garden

    I went with the Bratwurst in the bun. Which means I got Sauerkraut as a topping. I also got the Belgian Fries, with the Lemon Aioli dipping sauce. The Fries weren’t bad, but they weren’t nearly as good as the ones at Wurstküche. But the Lemon Aioli sauce, which was urged upon me by both the Cook and my Waitress turned out to be a damn good idea. It was tasty in the extreme. No regrets there. I will have that again.

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  • Momotaro Restaurant in Burbank

    Momotaro Restaurant

    The menu has changed, expanded and contracteed over the years. They still serve the Momotaro Boat, which is just too much food for mere humans to handle. But the thing I usually get is the Japanese classic Tonkatsu, which is a breaded Pork filet, fried up, cut up and put over rice, and served wtih a pugnet Tonkastu sauce, more tangy than sweet. It’s a lovely dish, and like I said, not everyone makes it.

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  • Kalye Hits

    Basically, there are a lot of ten dollar lunch plates, with all manner of meats and treats, but getting anything Pork from a Philippine place is always a good idea. Start there, and work your way around the menu.

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  • Cho Oishi

    Okay, you saw what I said. I’m not into Sushi, so I decided to go after a bunch of their appetizers to get that burst of Japan that I wanted when I walked through the door. Thus, I tried the Yakitori, and it was…bland. Seriously, it tasted like it was boiled instead of charbroiled. Not impressed in the least. I also tried the Gyoza, which wasn’t bad.

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  • Napa Valley Grille in Los Angeles

    Napa Valley Grille

    I had the Lamb Ragu, which was a nice, nice little dish. Little lamb, some red wine, San Marzano tomatoes, some red chili flake (which was the selling point for me), and some parmesan. But it was a difficult choice, because there was a lot of other things I wanted to have.

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  • Bar Marmont

    WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Needless to say, you should step up the bar and have a drink. No one’s going to look at you funny if you just have a beer or a glass of wine. Still, this is one of the better bars in Los Angeles, so usually they get top flight mixologists to work here. It'd be a shame if you didn't take advantage of their skills while you were here.

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  • Mendocino Farms

    But where they had me at Banh-Mi, they doubly had me at Pork Belly. And so I dived in face first to a lovely Banh-Mi Sandwich with Pork Belly on Ciabatta bread. I'll tell you as that bread soaked up the juices from the Pork Belly, melding with the sauces from the sandwich itself, I became a very happy man, despite my circumstances.

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  • Sadie in Los Angeles


    Dinner here seems to be a slightly Southern affair. If I was going to go for it, I'd be going for the Buttermilk Biscuits. I would be tempted by the Maine Lobster Hush Puppies, if I...you know...didn’t have a deadly seafood allergy. Everyone else would probably love 'em. The Bourbon-glazed Ham Chop is probably my main choice off the "Mains" menu., and I'd follow that up with Warm Butter Cake, if only to see what the hell Miso Butterscotch is.

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  • Southern Girl Desserts

    WHAT SHOULD I GET?: It's all about the Cobbler for me, Peach Cobbler. You might think of it as a Pie, but...it's not. It's never been. It's Cobbler. It's a whole different world. So when I judge a Southern Dessert place, I'm judging you by your Cobbler. Know that going in.

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  • Banh Mi & Che Cali in Alhambra

    Banh Mi & Che Cali

    Well, you should get yourself a Banh Mi, preferably of the Grilled Pork Variety. Thinking back on it, it didn't stand out like that first one I had over at Banh Mi My Tho. I mean, it wasn't like I was biting into sunshine for the first time, but it wasn't far off. It's a nice, inexpensive burst of Comfort food joy. Grab a Sandwich and a Coke, and you can walk out of there for four bucks.

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  • Lazy Ox Canteen in Los Angeles

    Lazy Ox Canteen

    Well, you should get here for Dinner for one thing. If I made any mistake, it was coming here for Lunch. Not that Lunch was bad. Believe me, it rocked. But sitting there, enjoying my Lunch...is when I saw that chalkboard. That luscious, delicious, holy good food Batman, chalkboard.

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  • Flying Pig Cafe

    Besides the Duck Fried Rice, I also love me anyplace that has Bao Buns. Now they come in several varieties, but I dove in for the Pork Belly. What made these special was the addition of Japanese pickles. So imagine: soft, sweet steamed bread, a hunk of fatty, buttery pork belly, and sweet and sour pickles. Come, you know want that. EVERYBODY should want that.

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  • Arcadia Tasty Garden Inc. in Arcadia

    Arcadia Tasty Garden Inc.

    There are some real gems here if you know where to look. One of them is (or rather was) the Honey Glazed Fried Chicken, which was really good. I don’t see it on the menu anymore, but I do see a lot of things I would get in its place: Filet Mignon in Black Pepper Sauce, Chinese Style-Sausage with Rice in Hot Pot, Filet Mignon with Ginger Hot Pot. I could go on, and on...

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  • Musso & Frank Grill

    My thing, both visits to Musso & Frank has been the Boneless Garlic Chicken. It actually lands table side in a bowl, smothered in a au jus of chicken stock and garlic, and it is delicious. I'm a couple of days out from having that meal, and I'm STILL thinking about it. I also had a Sidecar. I figured, if I’m dining in an old world Hollywood joint, I might as well have an old world Cocktail.

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  • Hugo's in Houston


    Cochito con Mole Xico, which is a braised pork shoulder, with mashed plantains and papilla dried plum sauce from Veracruz. And if Hugo’s Plum sauce is anything like the Plum Wine Reduction I had at Babitas Mexicuisine, oh Lord watch out.

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  • Haven in Houston


    The Hill Country Wild Boar Chili, on the other hand, was way memorable. Loved it. Get past the whole “Boar” thing. A Boar is just a bigger, meaner, tougher Pig, but a Pig nonetheless…and that pig makes for a delicious chili.

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  • Perch in Los Angeles


    I personally started off with the Pork Belly starter, which was a nice small hunk of tender, fatty, unctuous Pork Belly cooked to perfection, covered with a Maple-sherry Vinegar Glaze. It was nice, but I might have been more impressed if I hadn't had the exact same thing at a Casino in Vegas a couple of weeks before. But it was definitely better here, but only rated a maybe on would I have it again.

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  • Michael's Bar & Grill in Burbank

    Michael's Bar & Grill

    WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Roll New Orleans here. Go with the Gumbos, or the blackened anything. They have veggie varieties if that's how you roll, or if you have a seafood allergy, like me. Most importantly, have their Beignets. They are the best in town, and are the one thing about the place I miss.

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  • House of Blues

    The best Southern Faire? Probably not. I'd still hit The Gumbo Pot or Stevie's before I hit this place (food wise), if for no other reason it’s both easier to get into, and cheaper and better to eat at. Still, we're talking Po 'Boys, Shrimp N' Grits and the works. Oddly enough, and I'll never understand this as long as I live...they have Jambalaya, but not Gumbo. Yeah, I can't explain that either.

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  • The Oinkster in Los Angeles

    The Oinkster

    Oinkster is known for their Pastrami, and that may or may not be your taste. But if you're looking for a quick bite, yet still want to retain your foodie integrity about you, Oinkster is a damn good place to go, especially on a Saturday Afternoon.

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  • Goode Company (Kirby)

    WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, simply put…you should get the Texas Trinity in some form or another. The Texas Trinity is a term I cooked up (I think). It refers to the three main meats that are a part of every Texas Barbecue Plate: Your Brisket, Your Ribs and Your Sausage.

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  • Underbelly

    But there are other things on the menu that just take your breath away. I'd start with the Korean Style Wagyu Sirloin with Sweet Potato Noodle, Cold Broth and an egg. I've had this, and this is emblematic of the of the kind of cooking you'll find here. I'd also take to the Slow Cooked Pork Belly and, Redneck Cheddar Grits. Following on the "Pork Theme", there's the Cornmeal Pork Chop with Onion Bread Pudding, and Maple Mustard. And of course, as near dessert like treat for your table, you can also go with the the Warm Slow Dough Bread, with Sweet Potato and Local Honey Butter.

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  • Fugetsu-Do

    You really can't go wrong with anything. I'm a bit of a Mochi fan, so anything with Mochi is getting my dollar. There are a few baked goods on sale as well. But still...point is, you can't go wrong.

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  • India’s Flavor

    if you're coming here for Lunch, you're getting the Buffet…with the largest…Samosas…I have ever seen. Their version of the Chicken Tikka Masala taste a bit sweeter as I mentioned before, with more of a…tomato taste than I've encountered before. It actually was great.

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  • French Crepe Co.

    You should be getting yourself some Crepes, but you can be excused for going after some of their other Breakfasty items, like Waffles. Just look up and down the menu, decide what kind of a mood you're in: meal style or desert style, pick from their list and go for it. I was in a meal mood, and liked the idea of beef, tomato and cheese, so I went for the Normandie style. You can think of it as a Lasagna inside a Crepe, but it's a little more delicate and tasty than that. Also, the Crepes come with a side salad, with a Mustard dressing that is just spectacular. Almost worth the price of admission by itself.

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  • Kitchen 24 in Los Angeles

    Kitchen 24

    I got something off their Experimental menu, a TBA. It's a Turkey, Brie and Avocado Sandwich on good Ciabatta bread. Which is why I suggest you get the Kitchen 24 Burger. Look, this was totally my fault. I saw Turkey. I saw Brie and figured I could handle a little Avocado. (I might be the only person in California who doesn't like Avocado). The problem was, the sandwich came with a LOT of Avocado. The taste was...well...disturbingly creamily...really disturbing. It was like biting into a wedge of creme de la everything at once. I didn't taste much Turkey until the second half of the Sandwich.

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  • BottleRock

    WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, Wine for sure. How much of it is entirely up to you. The food is going to take a return visit, but anytime someone lists Pork & Duck Sausage, you know what I'm going to get. My friend and part time Wine Editor finds the wine list here passable, so if you're an up and up wine snob, this place may not be for you, but if you just want to hang with a glass, this place is great.

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  • Kabuki Japanese Restaurant in Pasadena

    Kabuki Japanese Restaurant

    The Menu has improved a lot over the years. You can find some decently adventuresome items to choose form. I mean, I like me the Sauteed Asparagus and the Fried Tofu. Their Lobster Dynamites have been popular, but I can't roll that way. Their Tuna Tartare is okay as well. Also, they do Spicy Tuna on Crispy rice, although Gyu-Kaku does it better. You have to pour through to the back of the menu to get what I usually go after, which are the Spicy Miso Ramen, or the Soba Noodles.

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  • FarBar

    Farbar itself is deceptively large. I mean, you don’t think you’re headed into a massive space when you duck down the alley. But within a few feet you see a LOT of space to sit. You turn around and…well, you’ll already see a mess of people kicking back, having a beer, maybe a little lunch. The noise of First Street has mostly faded, and turned into quiet bits of conversation and laughter.

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  • Ba Le French Sandwich and Bakery

    WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, a Banh Mi to be sure. But what kind? I always err on the side of pork. And once again, for just a few dollars out of your pocket, you are treated to one of the best lunch or dinner treats you can ask for. My memories of Bahn Mi My Tho’s sandwiches are a hair bit better, but not enough of a difference to skip this more-than-worthy competitor.

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  • Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach

    Saint Rocke

    this isn't just a Music Venue. It isn't just a bar to hang out in. It’s also got some pretty good eats. I first went with the Teriyaki Skewers. You can get them with Chicken, Filet Mignon or both, I went with Filet Mignon. Meat on a stick always works for me. Very good. Not the most explosive of flavors, but enjoyable. Of course, it comes with a sauce that is made from peanut butter so…if you have a food allergy, be careful.

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  • Kabuki Japanese Restaurant in Pasadena

    Kabuki Japanese Restaurant

    Still, there’s just something plain about the place. Something blunted in their appeal. It’s like you know they’re trying but at the same time, you know that the food’s been dumbed down just a little bit for crazy Gaijin like me.

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  • Sweetsalt in Los Angeles


    So went with the Short Rib Sandwich, which is comes with braised onions, goat cheese and roasted garlic and brioche bun. Like I said, a straight ahead bit of cooking, and quite enjoyable.

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  • Prado in Los Angeles


    The atmosphere is just lovely. Yes, it’s a neighborhood joint atmosphere, but it’s also the textbook definition of "warm" and "inviting". The place has got only three rooms, not a huge number of tables, yet it is always busy, yet, oddly enough, never crowded. They move things at a nice, easy pace.

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  • Coolhaus Shop, The

    You roll up inside, and it's a bit jarring. It's like a bunch of college kids got together and decided to sell Ice Cream out in the front yard. But that's okay, you're here for that ice cream, and it's pretty damn good ice cream too boot.

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  • Apple Pan in Los Angeles

    Apple Pan

    I mean, seriously, you walk into the place through a real old screen door that looks like it's surplus World War II. In a way, you feel like you’re in camp. Once inside, there it is, that unique square top counter. That's all the seating there is in the place. Find yourself a seat, and have at it.

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  • Picanha Churrascaria in Burbank

    Picanha Churrascaria

    You sit down at your table, and there’s a little wood salt-shaker looking thing by your menu. One end is painted green, the other painted red. Red Light, Green Light. Turn that sucker over, and the show starts.

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  • Bistro Provence in Burbank

    Bistro Provence

    It's got some wonderful, pricey appointments. Comfortable seating. Lovely, jazz themed art on the wall. Yes, even though you're in the middle of the hustle and bustle of beautiful downtown Burbank, you feel time slow down a bit when you walk inside, and that's a very French thing.

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  • Real Food Daily in West Hollywood

    Real Food Daily

    First off, Real Food Daily is a nice place. It’s not a hole-in-the-wall, off-the-beaten-path kind of a place. No, no, no. It’s nice. It’s just a couple of blocks from the Beverly Center and Cedars Sinai. It looks like a place you could, and should, hang out on a Friday Night with your…well, non-meat eating friends.

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  • Kabuki in Los Angeles


    Kabuki’s aim is really to give you a good time. In that regard, it seems to see its major competition as places like Gyu-Kaku, where the Sake and the Beer flow freely. It wants to introduce a lot of the standard ideas behind an Izakaya to mainstream American Diners. For the most part, in that regard, it succeeds.

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  • India's Tandoori

    India’s Tandoori isn’t bad. And the fact that its giving you all you can eat of some of India’s Greatest Hits, isn’t bad either. On top of that, they’re only docking you $9.95 for the privilege. So go ahead and stuff yourself silly, and do so moderately guilt free because Indian food is heavy on the vegetables, and equally heavy on the flavor.

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  • Luna Park Restaurant in Los Angeles

    Luna Park Restaurant

    Grilled Marinated Flat Iron Steak Topped with Salsa Verde and Served with French Fries looks promising. As does the Ale Marinated Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Sage Jus.

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  • Kabuki Restaurants Inc

    Kabuki’s aim is really to give you a good time. In that regard, it seems to see its major competition as places like Gyu-Kaku, where the Sake and the Beer flow freely. It wants to introduce a lot of the standard ideas behind an Izakaya to mainstream American Diners. For the most part, in that regard, it succeeds.

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  • LA Piazza in Los Angeles

    LA Piazza

    But here’s why La Piazza has hung on since the day the Grove opened: location, location, location. It is virtually the first thing you see when you come out of the Garage at the Grove (that and Morel’s). Instead of happy diners to your left (Morel’s), you see a bunch of beautiful people hanging out in the patio area sipping on Italian or Californian white wines.

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  • Twin Palms

    Well, one thing you are getting is the Watermelon [X]. Now, you wouldn't think that a combination of compressed Watermelon, dried Prosciutto (Ham), shaved Prosciutto (also Ham), with some picked Watermelon rinds would be worth anything, but you'd be wrong. Very wrong

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  • Amici Trattoria in Glendale

    Amici Trattoria

    WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, first off, if you've having a drink, Deja is who should be serving it to you. And if you want some food, I'll recommend what she recommended: the Penne Arrabbiata. Again, like with Far Niente, it’s not that spicy, but boy is it tasty.

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  • Kabuki Japanese Restaurant in Burbank

    Kabuki Japanese Restaurant

    As I've said, the Menu has improved a lot over the years. You can find some decently adventuresome items to choose form. I mean, I like me the Sauteed Asparagus and the Fried Tofu. Their Lobster Dynamites have been popular, but I can’t roll that way.

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  • Islands in Burbank


    Look, it's Sports Bar Food. It's not like reinventing the wheel or anything. The good part is, it's tasty Sports Bar food. So at least it has that going for it.

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  • The Grids

    I got the Pork Belly Waffle Sandwich (like I was going to get anything else), and bit into it. Hey, it tasted fine. Wasn't the best thing ever. Wasn't the worst, but...the feeling of hanging onto a Waffle that whole time felt…odd. It kinda sorta held together. There were a zing to the sauce that was nice.

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  • Gus's Barbecue in South Pasadena

    Gus's Barbecue

    Sitting down in Gus’s, you get the feeling of being in a first class, white table cloth joint. Yet, there's still a sense of fun. The Wait staff is warm and friendly. You're treated more like a neighbor, coming in to the local joint that you've been coming to for years...even if its your first time.

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  • Gastronomico

    It’s not going to win any style awards, and maybe this isn’t the place you bring your girl on your first date, or second or third. No, you need a level of comfort to bring her here. This is the sort of place you and your girl turn to after a night of bar hopping or dancing or on your way home from somewhere else.

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  • Gyu-Kaku in Beverly Hills


    Let's just say that their Harami Miso Skirt Steak is their bestseller for a reason. And let's also just say that I’m a sucker for anything in Miso.

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  • Equator in Pasadena


    Seriously, I just had a beer here on a hot summer's night and I was very happy. The staff behind the Bar are friendly as hell and want you to come in and have a good time.

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  • Cat and Fiddle in Los Angeles

    Cat and Fiddle

    I’ll give them some credit, they are trying to expand their menu past the whole Pub/Bar Food thing, and try to give you something different. But with Tandoori Chicken Skewers and Mediterranean Appetizers, I'm not sure you're not better served going elsewhere for those.

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  • Mike and Anne's in South Pasadena

    Mike and Anne's

    The one thing, the single menu Item that compelled my attention, that caused me to get to Mike and Anne's when all others were saying "No, no, don’t worry about it. We’ll go one of these days" was the Spicy Pork Sausage and Spaghetti, which came with stewed leeks and Aleppo pepper.

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  • Market City Caffe Burbank in Burbank

    Market City Caffe Burbank

    Overall, Market City Caffe is good at what it does. You'll have a good enough time there. It's just not someplace you need to go out of your way to go to.

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  • Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

    Cafe Bizou

    WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I've had the Roast Pork Tenderloin, which wasn't bad. I've also had the Chicken Balsamic, which was really nice. I've tried their Short Ribs, and I've resolved myself to the idea that they really, really need to be tried again.

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  • Mofongos

    The space itself is small and charming. I’m guessing there’s only about six tables (four inside, two outside). It's set up like a neighborhood joint, where local Puerto Ricans, and other assorted hungry folk, can come in, relax, watch a little TV and have a home cooked meal.

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  • Elephant Bar & Restaurant in Burbank

    Elephant Bar & Restaurant

    It's food. It'll fill you up. The waiters and waitresses aren't going to be mean to you or anything. They do their best to make sure you have a good time, but there’s only so much they can do, you know?

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  • Magnolia

    First off, the look of the place is just gorgeous, dark and intimate. You don't feel like a guilty drunk having a drink there. The bartenders and staff are all friendly, not a "you don’t belong here" glint in anyone's eye. No, they want and appreciate your business.

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  • Marmalade Cafe in Los Angeles

    Marmalade Cafe

    Last time I was there, I was with a lovely young lady (couldn't get her to dive into the Gumbo Pot), and wound up having a nice enough time there. (Company more than the food). I had the Filet Mignon Chili Bowl, which was…all things considered a very nice bowl of Chili…

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  • Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea in Pasadena

    Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea

    But as a place to hang out, as a place to hook up with friends, to go to after the movie, or meet someone for the first time, Intelligensia was fantastic.

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  • The Stinking Rose in Beverly Hills

    The Stinking Rose

    Look, in the end, as a Steakhouse it's okay. They ain't got nothing on places like Arroyo Chop House. But the garlic makes all the difference. Truly, you won't even smell the stuff by the time you leave.

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  • Lotus Vegan Restaurant in North Hollywood

    Lotus Vegan Restaurant

    It's a small, charming little place that gives you a healthy break from the world of pulled pork and sizzling steaks...

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  • The Kansas City BBQ Company in North Hollywood

    The Kansas City BBQ Company

    The world is a different place. And some places that serve Barbecue…are not based in Texas tradition. Yes, I know. Non-Texas Barbecue? Silly. Just silly...

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  • Fosselman's Ice Cream Co in Alhambra

    Fosselman's Ice Cream Co

    There’s almost nothing one can say about long time Alhambra Favorite, Fosselman’s. I mean, it’s a favorite, and putting a critical thumb in the eye of a favorite like Fosselman’s is a useless enterprise...

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  • Russell's in Pasadena


    Listen, I’m not going to tell you Russell’s sucks. It doesn’t. It’s a perfectly serviceable breakfast. It’s perfectly serviceable food. The food doesn’t exactly burst with flavor. You don’t exactly find yourself clamoring to get back (at least I didn’t)...

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  • Whisper Lounge, The

    What works about Whisper Restaurant and Lounge is that how separated it is from the strum and drang of the Grove. You slip away down the little alley across from Barnes and Noble and the “Spirit of Los Angeles” Statue, keep going past all the boutiques, and there it is on your left...

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  • El Coyote Cafe

    That aside, El Coyote as a very tragic place in Hollywood History, as the last place where Sharon Tate (one of the victims in the Manson Family Murders) was seen alive. She had a meal with friends here before returning home...

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  • Grub in Los Angeles


    I’m shocked. Shocked I tell you. I thought this place would be closed by now. Not for the quality of the food, which is pretty good all things considered....

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  • Stevies Creole Cafe & Bar Encino in Encino

    Stevies Creole Cafe & Bar Encino

    Inside, Stevie’s does Southern Cooking the way I like it. Heck, they do it the way I love it. They sit you down. Immediately out come the warm cornbread and butter. Your drink order comes, and odds are it’ll be...

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  • Umamicatessen in Los Angeles


    food is really old school Eastern European Food. It really shouldn’t be a match with old school Made-In-America Burger Joint, but it does anyway. Why? Because it’s all about the comfort food ethic...

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  • Granville Cafe in Burbank

    Granville Cafe

    It’s like the ultimate after-movie dinner place. It’s fun and funky, but it has a sliver of formality that makes it possible for you to walk into the place and not embarrass whoever you’re with...

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  • Morels French Steakhouse in Los Angeles

    Morels French Steakhouse

    I could be effusive in my praise of Morel’s. The thing it’s got going for it, basically, is that it’s one of the first things you’ll see when you arrive at the Grove. It sits right by the entrance to the Parking, so they got you coming or going...

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  • The Gumbo Pot in Los Angeles

    The Gumbo Pot

    They all do different things, different ways. But this place may be the best, because it’s not just giving you the food, it’s giving you a cut the real New Orleans attitude mixed in there. They’re not going to dial the spicy down for you...

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  • Six Restaurant, The

    It has always implied the worst of country living, only intentionally so. It makes it seem that the most primitive, most bumpkin-esque parts of life are the only parts of life worth living. That’s not possible. I mean, any world where iPads and Xboxes don’t exist is I world I don’t want to live in....

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  • La Serenata De Garibaldi in Los Angeles

    La Serenata De Garibaldi

    The first time I went in there, I expected the usual El Torito experience. Oh, how wrong I was. With the exception of the chips you’re served with a sprinkling of shreeded cheese, there is nothing about this place that is Tex-Mex...

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  • Il Fornaio Restaurant in Pasadena

    Il Fornaio Restaurant

    Now, this may not be entirely fair. When I was last in there, there was a problem with tomatoes in Southern California, and a lot of them had to be trashed because of Salmonella. So the bad dish of pasta I got may not have been the Chef’s fault.

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  • LA Luna Negra in Pasadena

    LA Luna Negra

    I’m always on the lookout for good Spanish Cuisine. Where I work, one of the Spanish Film Societies opened up a branch office, so I have access to plenty of advice. That being said, for al the time I’ve spent trying to find someplace to replace La Luna Negra...

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  • Arroyo Chop House in Pasadena

    Arroyo Chop House

    That being said, it’s also a pricey affair, but you will not leave their premises feeling ripped off…ever. It’s a romantic place, a Father’s day place, a Mother’s day place. It cooks a damn good steak, maybe one of the best you’ll ever have. Just go already, will ya...

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  • RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen in Los Angeles

    RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen

    ou step inside, and immediately you leave the confines of the Century City Plaza and enter…enter…I don’t know? A Pier 1 Catalog? Commentators on Urbanspoon often suggested the word Vegas, and that kinda works...

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  • Rays and Stark Bar in Los Angeles

    Rays and Stark Bar

    I could wax on and on about Ray’s “Mediterranean-inspired menu” and their “emphasis on farm-to-table”, and what a talent executive chef Kris Morningstar is, but dude…you’re at a museum. You’re sitting outside, having a glass of wine…at the museum...

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  • Dumpling House

    It’s a House for…well, dumplings. You sit down, and you’re going to be served…dumplings. (I know, what a shock). There’s something very workman-like about Dumpling House, something very plain and down to the brass-tacks. A kind of “Look, we are what we are, now do you want the dumplings or not” kind of an attitude...

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  • Griddle Cafe in Los Angeles

    Griddle Cafe

    Listen, I like the Griddle. I had a great time with the ladies I was with, and had a great meal. The only problem is…is a breakfast…any breakfast…worth an hour’s wait to get to...

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  • Monsieur Marcel in Los Angeles

    Monsieur Marcel

    If there’s one thing that sucks about going to the Farmer’s Market can be finding a decent meal there. And let’s be clear, there are plenty of decent meals there, but what I’m talking about is a nice, sit down meal that you can take a date to and not feel embarrassed afterward...

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  • Frida Mexican Cuisine

    This is kind of a high-end Mexican place that you normally see in someplace like La Serenata or Hugo’s way out in Houston, Texas. They serve the usual Tex-Mex selections...

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  • Cafe Beaujolais in Los Angeles

    Cafe Beaujolais

    The charm of this French Restaurant is its good, solid French cooking, and the fact that it’s in the heart of freakin’ Eagle Rock. I mean, c’mon…

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  • Granville Cafe in Glendale

    Granville Cafe

    It’s like the ultimate after-movie dinner place. It’s fun and funky, but it has a sliver of formality that makes it possible for you to walk into the place and not embarrass whoever you’re with. The inside, has a very Z-Gallerie feel...

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  • Kate Mantilini Restaurants in Woodland Hills

    Kate Mantilini Restaurants

    The restaurant itself is nice. Think the highest end Coffee Shop in existence, right in the heart of Beverly Hills Woodland Hills, and you get the idea. The menu is straight American food, Burgers, fries, Steaks, Chops, but prepared well, making it worth your time and money…

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  • Taste Chicago in Burbank

    Taste Chicago

    Chicagoans have their own unique food culture, and transplants here in L.A. got to get their grub on too. Of course of lot that food culture is going to bring out early onset of Heart Disease, but still…the food’s good...

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  • Bj's Restaurant in Woodland Hills

    Bj's Restaurant

    Truth be told, I almost put BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in with the Fast Food section. There’s nothing about it that’s all that good or extraordinary. You come in, the Waitstaff will take care of you...

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  • Las Brisas Restaurant in Laguna Beach

    Las Brisas Restaurant

    If I have any disagreement with the luminaries over at Zagat’s (the Godfather, the King of Restaurant micro reviews) it is over this restaurant overlooking Laguna Beach. Zagats has sought fit to denigrate it with a rating of only 16 out of 30...

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  • Louise's Trattoria Inc in Pasadena

    Louise's Trattoria Inc

    We try to emphasize local chains here at Is It Any Good, and Louise’s Trattoria is one of them. Even through there are only six locations, they seem to be everywhere, or at least everywhere relevant...

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  • Obika in Los Angeles


    I swear to you, I thought Obika Mozzarella Bar was Japanese. “Obika” kinda looks so much like a Japanese word...

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  • Alibi Room The in Los Angeles

    Alibi Room The

    So, you’re going to be hearing the name Roy Choi a lot if you live in Los Angeles. He started off with a Food Truck, the ever popular Kogi BBQ. He’s followed that up with the very hot, very trendy, and ultimately very good A-Frame...

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  • The Hungry Cat in Los Angeles

    The Hungry Cat

    It’s almost like the Hungry Cat wants to stay below the radar. If you didn’t already know where it was, you’d walk right past it, and never give it a second’s thought. But open that door, and you enter a warm, albeit crowded little joint full of good cookin’...

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  • Burbank Bar & Grill in Burbank

    Burbank Bar & Grill

    I wish I could say more about Burbank Bar & Grille. It’s main advantages are where its located. It’s not too far from the Movies. It’s not too far from the studios. They serve food and drink. Is that a reason to go...

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  • Umami Pasadena

    It’s very funny. Go Burger in Hollywood, started off as a Truck, expanded into a space in Hollywood, and seems to be happy standing pat. Whereas Umami keeps expanding and expanding and expanding… …and they’ve expanded right into Downtown Pasadena...

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  • Post and Beam in Los Angeles

    Post and Beam

    Once upon a time in the far away land of Melrose, there was a place called Georgia’s. It was a pretty popular place. Got a lot of attention throughout town. It’s owner even had a part in an American Express Commercial, but that was a while ago...

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  • Buenos Aires Garden

    I really couldn’t get a hold on Buenos Aires Gardens. I mean, I’ve been in there. I’ve eaten there, but….

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  • Bennett's Ice Cream

    When you go to Bennett’s you feel like you’re in the absolute oldest part of the Farmer’s Market. It’s in a bit of a kitty corner with Bryan’s Pit Barbecue, and a Pizza Place, and Bob’s Coffee and Donuts. Look at the image....

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  • Babita Restaurant in San Gabriel

    Babita Restaurant

    From the outside, it really doesn’t look like much. On top of that, you standing at the edge of a Chinese-American Community in San Gabriel looking at a Mexican Restaurant...

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  • Villa Piacere in Woodland Hills

    Villa Piacere

    When it comes to suburban Restaurants, as a Food Writer, you know don’t want to fillet them too much. Ha-ha. Look at the Food Writer kicking the @#$% out of a Suburban Restaurant. It’s a joke that almost writes itself...

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  • The Smoke House Restaurant in Burbank

    The Smoke House Restaurant

    There are a lot of things one could say about The Smoke House. The food is pretty good. Not out of this world good, but good. They cut a nice prime rib. But that’s not the reason you’re going. There are probably better places for Prime Rib...

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  • Osteria Mamma in Hollywood

    Osteria Mamma

    One of the things that you get used to in working at a Movie Studio is the availability of decent and cheap food options. This is especially important if, like me, you are a cubicle jockey...

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  • Gyu-Kaku

    Now, I shouldn’t have to wax poetic about the joys of grilled meat to sell you on Gyu-Kaku. The fact that there’s also a party going on at the same time could be a bonus…maybe...

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  • Mission 261 Restaurant in San Gabriel

    Mission 261 Restaurant

    Let’s think about this, a massive, first-class Chinese Restaurant converted from the guts of the old San Gabriel City Hall (just across the San Gabriel Mission itself), itself a model of Adobe style architecture. The first time I went there...

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  • Glendale Pho Company, The in Glendale

    Glendale Pho Company, The

    It opened not too long ago in the heart of Downtown Glendale…downtown in the sense of the City Hall, Courthouse and Glendale Police Department HQ all being in walking distance from the restaurant...

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  • Don CUCO in Burbank

    Don CUCO

    Don Cuco’s is a chain of Tex Mex Restaurants in and out of the Southland. It is the typifying example of “meh” or more specifically “blah” Tex Mex food. It’s cheese. It’s enchiladas. It’s quesadillas. It’s everything La Serenata or El Riconchito Del Mar isn’t...

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  • Umami Urban

    This is the other high-end comfort-food, first-class burger joint in Hollywood, outside of Go Burger. The feel of this place is far different. There’s none of the Sports Bar techno hipness of Go Burger (which, I frankly don’t mind in Go Burger’s case).

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  • Octopus Japanese Restaurant in Burbank

    Octopus Japanese Restaurant

    This is the tricky part about writing a Restaurant review: What to say about a perfectly acceptable, but ultimately unmemorable meal. Fact of the matter is, most of the food you’re going to have in your life, particularly when you’re out at restaurants, is not going to suck.

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  • Tsujita L.A. Artisan Noodle in Los Angeles

    Tsujita L.A. Artisan Noodle

    Jonathan Gold listed Tsujita L.A. Artisan Noodle as one of this top ten Ramen Places in the L.A. Times recently. Between that and buzz I’ve been getting from friends, I decided it was time to check this place out...

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  • Off Vine in Hollywood

    Off Vine

    Off Vine is, literally, a house off Vine. It’s half a block from the Arclight, from Go Burger, and even Magnolia Bar and Grill. It’s was, at some point, a private home, and it’s history was written up...

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  • La Grande Orange Cafe in Pasadena

    La Grande Orange Cafe

    he operating philosophy is “Food Is Love” and well, you can certainly tell they love grub. They serve all kinds of it. There are Taco Platters, there are Short Ribs, there is Ceviche. They seem to have a little bit of everything...

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  • Cuisine of India Akbar in Pasadena

    Cuisine of India Akbar

    What I remember about this place more than anything is the Naan Bread. It’s warm and just the right kind of crispy around the edges. As good as the meal was, I could’ve dined on that stuff and left a very happy man. They also have a very handy guide at the front of their menu which delineates how spicy the various dishes are...

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  • Raffi's Place Restaurant in Glendale

    Raffi's Place Restaurant

    What’s nice about the place is that it’s half outdoors (see update). It’s built in the center of a open courtyard. Even the kitchen is only accessible through the courtyard. Now, since this is a little inconvenient if it rains (and believe it or not, it does...

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  • Paty's Restaurant in Toluca Lake

    Paty's Restaurant

    Patys is close by (if you’re in Burbank), and it’ll get you fed, and make sure you leave happy. It’s got plenty of tables inside and outside. You won’t have to wait here like you would at The Griddle. It’s also a real neighborhood joint, so expect to be hanging out with everyone from Studio Execs to Union Carpenters...

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  • Red Ginger

    Allow me to stir uncomfortably as I type this. I walked into this place, somewhat uncomfortably. It was the recommendation of a friend, but it was not a place I would have gone into on my own...

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  • Mambo's Cafe in Glendale

    Mambo's Cafe

    It’s not where you’d expect to find good Cuban. And yet, here is Mambo’s, doing exactly that. Yet another addition to the long, and seemingly proud line of Cuban joints in that bedrock of the Caribbean known as beautiful downtown…Burbank? Did I really type that? Burbank...

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  • Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga Canyon

    Inn of the Seventh Ray

    It’s…colorful…history can be found here. Inn of the Seventh Ray is nestled in some crazy nook of the Santa Monica mountains. All the seating is outdoors, or under tents. Its trees are strung...

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  • Messhall in Los Angeles


    Okay, this is a bit of a technical point since there were many Brown Derbies in Los Angeles. The spot Messhall occupies was the Los Feliz Brown Derby. According to Messhall’s own website...

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  • Ulysses Voyage in Los Angeles

    Ulysses Voyage

    Between the Grove and the Farmer’s Market, you’ve got a plethora of choices for your dining pleasure. But I’ve got to say, in terms of sheer ease and coziness, you might want to try Ulysses’ Greek...

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  • El Rinconcito Del Mar Restaurant in Los Angeles

    El Rinconcito Del Mar Restaurant

    Boyle Heights is an old school Mexican neighborhood in Los Angeles. The food you’ll get here is not Tex-Mex, it’s Mex-Mex. So take the idea of Mexican Food that you’ve grown up with (refried beans and cheesy, cheesy, cheesy cheese) and throw them out. El Rinconcito Del Mar’s first, last and only mission is the serve the Mexican clientele of the neighborhood, and they do it well. You should happily take advantage and learn about all the tastes El Torito has been denying you all these years...

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  • Far Niente Ristorante in Glendale

    Far Niente Ristorante

    This was my gold standard of Italian places until I discovered Osteria Mamma. That being said, there’s no bloom of this rose. It’s good Italian cooking, with very little of the checkered tablecloth DNA that befouled so many Italian places of the past...

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  • Skaf's Lebanese Cuisine in Glendale

    Skaf's Lebanese Cuisine

    I use the term neighborhood joint at lot, but I really mean it in this case. People living here just walk on over to get themselves the Lebanese Family-style good stuff...

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  • Lemon Grass Vietnamese Restaurant in Los Angeles

    Lemon Grass Vietnamese Restaurant

    Quaint is the word I’d use to describe Lemongrass. It opened not too long after Blue Hen. What I liked most about them (just a bit more than Blue Hen down the street) was that they have a bigger menu...

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  • Trattoria Neapolis in Pasadena

    Trattoria Neapolis

    Let’s start with the good. The restaurant is lovely, a truly stunning space. I felt myself transported to maybe New York, San Francisco at the turn of the century. It has a vintage feel mixed with modern elements...

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  • Gyu-Kaku in Los Angeles


    Yakinuku literally translates as to “Grilled Meat”. Now, I shouldn’t have to wax poetic about the joys of grilled meat to sell you on Gyu-Kaku. The fact that there’s also a party going on at the same time could be a bonus…

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  • Mixology 101 in Los Angeles

    Mixology 101

    Drinking is not a skill that I’ve gotten good at. What’s Stephanie Miller’s saying? “No good ever good comes from drinking games involving brown liquor”...

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  • Harold and Belle's in Los Angeles

    Harold and Belle's

    It’s hard to imagine affection for a place you’ve only been to once or twice, but affection is what I have to Harold and Belle’s. One of the reasons I have such affection for it, is that the Restaurant’s origins and the origins of this blog are so similar...

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  • The Cheesecake Factory in Glendale

    The Cheesecake Factory

    Now, the Cheesecake Factory will serve you a meal. The Staff is attentive and will treat you very nicely and professionally. The food will taste reasonably adequate, though it will come in large plates the size of your average Satellite dish. And of course, afterward, for dessert, there will be…gasp and shock…Cheesecakes available for your dining enjoyment.

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  • Joy Feast in Burbank

    Joy Feast

    It's not like you're going to have a terrible meal at Joy Feast. It’s not like the Waitstaff and the Chefs don't care, and that just any old slop will be shovled in front of you. But you've had better. If you've been to Monterey Park or San Gabriel, you've definitely had better.

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  • Roy's

    What Roy's is, on the other hand is a party place. Its Japanese cuisine coated with a layer of Hawaiian. How do I know this? I first hit the place with…gasp and shock…an actual Hawaiian. The food got good enough reviews, but there was no fooling. You'd find food that looked like this on the islands, but it did lack some of the 50th State's…shall we say…earthier kick.

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  • Mama Hong’s Vietnamese Kitchen

    The food's good. You come here and you get a nice cross section of all things Vietnamese, Pho, Banh Mi, Spring Rolls. They've even got a few inventions on the menu I haven't heard before, but that are still, good and fun to eat.

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  • Daisy Mint in Pasadena

    Daisy Mint

    Now, I've been to other Thai places, other places where the menu may be a little more varied, where the food may have a bit more punch to it, and the scene a little hipper. But I really, really liked Daisy Mint. I liked how they did their thing. I liked how comfortable I was. That's why I'll be back.

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  • Blue Hen Vietnamese Kitchen in Los Angeles

    Blue Hen Vietnamese Kitchen

    It’s a nice little place, buried in the heart of a local strip mall. If you’re not careful (and I haven’t been on a few occasions) you can walk in and every table will be filled. (In that case, I recommend hustling over to Lemongrass)...

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  • Cafe Bizou

    Cafe Bizou is a nice little place, albeit a bit out of the way. Like Akbar Cuisine of India, it’s a block or two off Colorado, but nestled in its own little sub-neighborhood of Pasadena Dining spots in Old Town...

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  • San Antonio

    Wind of a strange thing to say, but as far as the San Antonio Winery goes…there are better places to get yourself some wine. There are better places to get yourself some grub...

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  • Philippe the Original Restaurant in Los Angeles

    Philippe the Original Restaurant

    Many legends surround the tale of the invention of the French Dip (all of them are in the video), but forget ‘em and just try one of the dang things. You will not regret it. People come from far and wide to try Phillipe’s...

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  • Elite Restaurant in Monterey Park

    Elite Restaurant

    My very first trip into Monterey Park was to go to a place called “New Concept”. It had just opened, and it was a mind-blowing Dim-Sum...

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  • A-Frame in Los Angeles


    If you weren’t looking closely, you’d swear it was a Howard Johnson’s. Of course, even if you were looking closely, you might still miss it...

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  • ChoSun Galbee

    I always get nervous about Restaurants that have…you know…television commercials (especially in English). But I’m willing to make an exception in this case…

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  • Ramen Nippon

    Just because a place is in the corner of a strip mall in Reseda, doesn’t mean you won’t find good food there. In fact, more often than not, it’s a mark of quality...

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  • Fat Cow, The

    ad truth of the matter is, I don’t know much about Chef Gordon Ramsay, other than the fact he yells at people on TV at lot. Well, he also taught me the basics of how to cook a steak. So that was nice...

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  • Pie 'n Burger in Pasadena

    Pie 'n Burger

    The one thing that happens long enough especially when writing a food blog, is that you’re going to come across the institution, the place that’s been where it’s been for a thousand years and ain’t changing for nothin’. Nor should it, mind you...

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  • Lau's

    It’s not exactly an area where you expect to find a lot in the way of Peruvian cuisine. We’re talking up near the Burbank Airport, in what could be considered the more industrial part of town. There along Victory Blvd. sits Lau’s. It’s small, humble. Not decorated in an obvious “Peruvian” way.

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  • Bludso’s Bar-&-Que in Los Angeles

    Bludso’s Bar-&-Que

    The place was a madhouse at 6:30pm on a Friday, and I don’t expect most places to be madhouses that early…even on a Friday, but this place has a buzz going about it...

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  • Musha

    One of the things I truly treasure about living in Los Angeles is the fact we get a real slice of real, genuine Asian Culture in town...

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  • The Counter in Pasadena

    The Counter

    The 2008 crash did a number of things to our country. It brought us a Black President. It brought us a new understanding about how our economy actually works. (Well, at least for me it did)...

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  • The Hart and the Hunter in Los Angeles

    The Hart and the Hunter

    First off, there is no sign blaring “The Hart and the Hunter”. You only see the sign for the Palihotel on Melrose, which is an actual, functioning Hotel. You drop off your car for Valet service at the corner of Melrose and Whatever...

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  • Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks

    Boneyard Bistro

    I’ve been to this part of Sherman Oaks in the past. Believe it or not, it was for Thanksgiving, when me and my Father went to a local Italian Haunt for their version of the Traditional Thanksgiving Feast...

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  • Gyu-Kaku in Sherman Oaks


    Yakinuku literally translates as to “Grilled Meat”. Now, I shouldn't have to wax poetic about the joys of grilled meat to sell you on Gyu-Kaku. The fact that there’s also a party going on at the same time could be a bonus…maybe...

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  • Jollibee in Los Angeles


    NOTE: This review really isn’t for Philippine Americans. They already know about this place. They already (rightly) love this place. No review anywhere is gonna change that. They are already sold...

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  • French Crepe Company

    So, I took a chance as I walked past the French Crepe Company. Now, you may not think much of it as you walk up to it. After all, it’s a stand in the middle of the Farmer’s Market...

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  • El Cirollo Bar & Grill

    Taking the space of the former Guantanamera, El Cirollo surprised me. I’m not going to make the claim that El Cirollo is as good as those other two places I just named, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was...

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  • Bob's Big Boy in Burbank

    Bob's Big Boy

    ob’s Big Boy in Burbank is one of the original Big Boy restaurants. (We had our share of them, growing up in Washington D.C.) They serve what they serve. Straight up diner food. Not the best, not the worst in the world. When it comes to this particular location, that’s not the point...

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  • Wokcano

    You say “Pan-Asian” and I start to get nervous. And that’s what Wokcano is really, a Pan-Asian restaurant. Where else do you see both Chicken Teriyaki and Mongolian Beef on the same menu. So…Wokcano is a “Pan-Asian” place...

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  • Le Pain Quotidien

    Chef Ludo Lefebvre once gave a very simple answer to the question of whether there was any good French food in Los Angeles. He said “no”...

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  • Eat Spitz in Los Angeles

    Eat Spitz

    After yet another…shall we say disappointing Dinner, I just wanted something that would at least grade as okay. Fortunately, I went to Spitz. I didn’t just get okay, I got some really good, really tasty stuff...

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  • Umami The Grove in Los Angeles

    Umami The Grove

    It’s very funny. Go Burger in Hollywood, started off as a Truck, expanded into a space in Hollywood, and seems to be happy standing pat. Whereas the Umami Empire keeps expanding and expanding and expanding… …and they’ve expanded right into Pasadena…errr, I mean the Grove...

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  • Chi Dynasty

    Chi Dynasty is someplace I never had a good vibe on. Partially, it was how they presented themselves as “Top 7 Chinese Restaurants in Los Angeles.” But after a while, you just want to strike it off your list...

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  • Lemonade in Los Angeles


    It’s strange because I hadn’t heard of them before. They are, for lack of a better word…an upscale cafeteria…basically, a more upscale version of Souplantation, but with more artisanal fare. They call it “Seasonal Southern California”, which I…guess it is...

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  • Wurstkeche in Los Angeles


    This is what I love about this sorta-kinda-job of mine. Going to places I haven’t been before, that are in places that I thought I knew pretty well. Thus, we come to Wurstküche...

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  • Mendocino Farms in Los Angeles

    Mendocino Farms

    Now, Mendocino Farms does say “Sandwich and Market”, but I didn’t see no market. Maybe they meant “Sandwich Market”. I’ve seen that on their signage as well. That’s just as well, where I was, I couldn't bring in a side of beef anyway...

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  • Ajisen Ramen in San Gabriel

    Ajisen Ramen

    The official position of Is It Any Good, is that we likey the Ramen. But we were a mite perturbed when one of our favorite Ramen places, Orochon Ramen didn’t the cut of the Zagat’s Top 7 Ramen places in Los Angeles. (Top ten, maybe?)...

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  • Din Tai Fung Restaurant Inc. in Arcadia

    Din Tai Fung Restaurant Inc.

    Din Tai Fung is ruthless in its machine like efficiency. When I first heard about it, it was buried in a strip mall in Arcadia. Very popular, and of course, very crowded. When my Dad and I first decided to brave the joint, we were surprised to learn that they had opened yet another...

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