My Restaurant Tips

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Dinner at Brasserie Georges on September 26, 2007

August 28th, 2016 by philippe · No Comments

Brasserie Georges

Brasserie Georges
30, Cours de Verdun
69002 Lyon
France

+33 (0) 4 72 56 54 54
www.brasseriegeorges.com

French food

Restaurant: 3/5

The Brasserie Georges was created in 1836. It is located in the heart of Lyon, near the Perrache train station. While a bit noisy (it’s a very large room), the restaurant is comfortable. The list of celebrities who visited the Brasserie Georges is practically endless. From Auguste Rodin and Jean-Paul Sartres to the Emperor of Japan and Bill Clinton, the list looks like a compilation of the who’s who from the 19th to the 20th century.

Service: 3/5

The service was very good. Our waiter made genuine efforts to please us. As a practical detail, the card is both in French and English.

Food: 3/5

I started with a very typical salad lyonnaise (Salad, warm bacon cubes, croutons and poached egg). It was very good but the egg was a bit too cooked to my taste. I would have preferred to be able to mix the warm and still liquid yolk to the salad.

As main course I had the saucisson chaud. Again a very typical dish from Lyon. It is a pistachio sausage that is cooked on order. The saucisson chaud was server with absolutely terrific mash potatoes.

Brasserie Georges - Saucisson Chaud

As desert, I shared a baked Alaska. As strange as it sounds it’s a baked ice cream. You put ice cream on a sponge cake, cover it with meringue and bake it just enough to cook the meringue without melting the ice cream. At the Brasserie Georges, they add Fruits confits on top of the ice cream and a bit of Kirsch in the meringue. It was very good but far too large for me to finish it.

Brasserie Georges - Baked Alaska

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $50, including drinks (kir, red wine, espresso) and tip. If you consider the food, the restaurant and the current strength of the euro the Brasserie Georges offers excellent value for money. I will definitely come back.

→ No CommentsTags: France · Lyon

Dinner at Forte Ristorante on September 11, 2007

August 27th, 2016 by philippe · 2 Comments

Forte Ristorante

Forte Ristorante
362 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
USA

+1 (310) 277-7346

Italian cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

Forte Ristorante, previously Prego, is located in the heart of Beverly Hills. The mediterranean decor is nice and the restaurant is very comfortable. Parking in the area can be problematic. So, if you don’t find a parking space straight away, head to one of Beverly Hills public parkings.

Service: 3/5

Service was very good. The maître d’hôtel took care of us and provided good advice. While we leaved sometime after the restaurant closing time, we weren’t pushed out of the door.

Food: 3/5

I started with a tricolore salad. This version of the tricolore salad was arugula, endive and radicchio. The salad has nothing exceptional but was good.

As main course, I had swordfish. It was served with diced tomatoes lightly cooked with olive oil and caper, potatoes, beans and carrots. Swordfish is usually dry as most of the restaurant overcook it but not this time. It was tasty and juicy. The vegetables were perfectly cooked, neither too soft or hard.

Forte Ristorante - Swordfish

As desert, I had the fruit tart. The fruit tart that day was raspberry, peach and blackcurrant. It was served with a decor of whipped cream and strawberry on a strawberry coulis. It was very good. The pastry was not too hard or too soft and the glaze wasn’t too sweet.

Forte Ristorante - Fruit Tart

I had an opportunity to taste the Panacotta cheese cake. It was truly delicious. Light, fluffy and tasty. Perfectly complemented with strawberries.

Forte Ristorante - Panacotta Cheese Cake

Value for money: 2.5/5

Around $65, including drinks (red wine, sparkling water and espresso) and tip. Considering the food and the location, Forte Ristorante offers good value for money. I will probably come back.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Beverly Hills · California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at Spice Street on September 2, 2007

August 26th, 2016 by philippe · No Comments

Spice Street

Spice Street
University Mall
201 South Estes Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
USA

+1 (919) 928-8200

www.ghgrestaurants.com

Mediterranean and Japanese food

Restaurant: 3/5

Spice Street is located in the University Mall, in the center of Chapel Hill. While inside the restaurant is pretty large, the Mediterranean themed decor doesn’t make it fell like it. Additionally, they have a beautiful terrace.

Spice Street

Service: 3/5

The service was good. Our waiter made genuine efforts to please us and the maître d’hôtel payed constant attention to every customer. The only problem was with the busboy which obviously was bored to death by her occupation.

Food: 3/5

As we waited, we were served some flatbread with a very nice tomato and harisa dip.

Spice Street - Tomato Dip

As main course I had a spinach, broccoli, tomato, pepper and potatoes frittata. The frittata was served with a small mixed green, cucumber, tomato and radish salad. It was very good, cooked but still moist with tasty vegetables.

I had the opportunity to taste the lamb flatbread. It look a bit like a pizza but is actually minced lamb meat, crumbled feta cheese, tabbouleh and tzatziki sauce on a flat bread. The combination sounds pretty strange, it is truly excellent.

Spice Street - Lamb Flatbread

For desert, I had a green tea crème brûlée. While the taste was good, the texture could have been better. It was bit watery.

Value for money: 4.5/5

Around $30, including drinks (orange juice and espresso) and tip. Spice Street offers excellent value for money. I will definitly come back.

→ No CommentsTags: Chapel Hill · North Carolina · United States

Dinner at Pink’s Hot Dogs on September 9, 2007

August 25th, 2016 by philippe · No Comments

Pink’s Hot Dogs

Pink’s Hot Dogs
709 North La Brea Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90038
USA

+1 (323) 931-4223
www.pinkshollywood.com

Fast food

Restaurant: 1/5

Pink’s Hot Dogs is located in the heart of Hollywood. The restaurant is extremely casual, so don’t expect much comfort. The place could really do with an update. As parking is difficult in the area, Pink’s Hot Dogs provide a decent parking lot for customers.

Service: 1/5

There is no real service at Pink’s Hot Dogs. You queue to order your food and when your food is ready, you move to the cashier to get your drink and pay. While the line is usually pretty long, it goes pretty fast and the staff really seems to make an effort.

Food: 2.5/5

I ordered a “Ozzy” spicy dog and onion rings. The “Ozzy” spicy dog is a spicy polish sausage topped with Nacho cheese, American cheese, grilled onions, guacamole & chopped tomatoes. I have to say that I heard so much about Pink’s Hot Dogs that I was skeptical. What I was served convinced me. The bun was fresh, the sausage was really good, far from the cheap industrial kind you usually gets, and they are generous on the topping. One regret: the onion rings were a bit overcooked.

Pink’s Hot Dogs - Ozzie Spicy Dog

Value for money: 4/5

Around $10, including drinks (coke) and tip. Without doubt, Pink’s Hot Dogs offers the best dog in town and an excellent value for money. Watch out for updates as I will go back.

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at Wild Thai on September 10, 2007

August 24th, 2016 by philippe · Comments Off on Lunch at Wild Thai on September 10, 2007

Wild Thai

Wild Thai
Promenade Howard Hughes Center
6081 Center Drive Unit 209
Los Angeles, CA 90045
USA

+1 (310) 215-0209
www.wildthairestaurant.com

Thai food

Restaurant: 2/5

Wild Thai is located on the first floor of the promenade, a Los Angeles mall bordering Culver City. The Thai themed decor is alright. Seating is more or less comfortable, depending on the table. Priority is given to practicality over customer care. For example, tables are covered with glass. That make them easy to glass but it definitely detracts from the experience.

Service: 2.5/5

The service was good but no special effort is made. They just try to keep up with the flow of customers coming for lunch.

Food: 3/5

To start, I shared steam shrimp dumplings. The dumplings were good but a bit overcooked. The crunchy bits on the top are definitely a good idea.

- Wild Thai - Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

As main course, I had Prik King with chicken and tofu. The dish is marked as spicy but is relatively mild. It was very good apart the tofu which was very rubbery.

Wild Thai - Prik King

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $20, including drinks (ice tea) and tip. While Wild Thai is far from the ultimate Thai food experience, it’s a good lunch place that offer good value for money

Comments Off on Lunch at Wild Thai on September 10, 2007Tags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Diner at Mama Dip’s Kitchen on September 1, 2007

August 23rd, 2016 by philippe · Comments Off on Diner at Mama Dip’s Kitchen on September 1, 2007

Mama Dip’s Kitchen

Mama Dip’s Kitchen
408 W. Rosemary Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
USA

+1 (919) 942-5837
www.mamadips.com

Traditional Country Cooking

Restaurant: 2/5

Mama Dip’s Kitchen is located in the center of Chapel hill. You can eat either inside or on the terrace. Inside, the restaurant is reasonably comfortable for a casual place.

Service: 2.5/5

The service was good. You waitress always made sure that our sweet tea was always filled up. You can definitely feel a southern flair here.

Food: 3/5

I shared a Sampler Platter as starter. The platter was composed of hushpuppies, fried green tomatoes, fried zucchini, fried cheese and broccoli sticks and bread and butter pickles. I had hushpuppies at Mama Dip’s Kitchen before that were better than this ones. Don’t get wrong, they were not bad but they could have been a bit softer. If you have never tried bread and butter pickles before, this is your chance as they are really excellent.

As main course, I had southern fried chicken. The side dishes were buttered broccoli, baby Lima beans, green peas & potatoes and cornbread. The chicken was really good, crispy outside and tender inside. While all the side dishes were good the Lima beans were particularly good, just cooked right with the right amount of butter.

For desert, I had a slice of sweet potato pie. The pie was really light and truly excellent.

Value for money: 4/5

Around $25, including drinks (sweet tea) and tip. Mama Dip’s Kitchen offers very good value for money and an authentic southern cooking experience. One word of advice: If you don’t like fried food or butter, this is not a restaurant for you.

Comments Off on Diner at Mama Dip’s Kitchen on September 1, 2007Tags: Chapel Hill · North Carolina · United States

Lunch at Langer’s Deli on August 25, 2007

August 22nd, 2016 by philippe · Comments Off on Lunch at Langer’s Deli on August 25, 2007

Langer’s Deli

Langer’s Deli
704 South Alvarado
Los Angeles, CA 90057
USA

+1 (213) 483-8050
www.langersdeli.com

Deli

Restaurant: 2/5

Langer’s Deli is located at the corner of MacArthur park, in the heart of Los Angeles. While the retro look has it charm, the restaurant could do with an update. Parking in the area is difficult, so you should take advantage of the fact that Langer’s Deli give one hour of parking validation.

Service: 2/5

Service was good but totally unremarkable. An effort on that side would be appreciated.

Food: 3/5

I had the very famous number 19. Number 19 is a pastrami sandwich with swiss cheese, cole slaw and a Russian style dressing. The bread was toasted in a way to make it crackling outside and tender in the middle. The very good cole slaw was home made and the pastrami, thick sliced, was warm and delicious. Averall, one of the best pastrami sandwich I had. You should note that the semi-sour pickles served on the side were equally good.

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $15, including drinks (ice tea) and tip. At $15, Langer’s Deli offers both a good value for money and a really authentic deli experience. I will certainly come back.

Comments Off on Lunch at Langer’s Deli on August 25, 2007Tags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at The Restaurant (Hotel Bel-Air) on August 19, 2007

August 21st, 2016 by philippe · 1 Comment

The Restaurant
Hotel Bel-Air
701 Stone Canyon Road
Los Angeles, CA 90077
USA

+1 (310) 472-1211
www.hotelbelair.com

Contemporary French cuisine

Restaurant: 5/5

The Restaurant is part of Hotel Bel-Air, a boutique hotel located in the quiet Stone Canyon, in the heart of Bel-Air. You can eat either in the dining room or on the totally delightful terrace. Both are very comfortable. Parking is never a problem as the Hotel Bel-Air offers complimentary valet parking.

Service: 2/5

I am a frequent customer of The Restaurant and I usually enjoy very good service there. Unfortunately, this time, the service was below par. First of all, I had extreme difficulties to reserve a table. Expecting an overbooked place, I was very surprised to find half of the tables empty when arriving. The service was pretty slow and, for a restaurant of that class, it was disappointing to see that many stains on our waiter outfit.

Food: 3/5

I started with smoked salmon. The salmon was thin sliced, served with eggs and bacon toasts which were prepared in a very creative way, looking more like a salad. Both the salmon and the toasts were very good.

As main course, I had the Chilean sea bass. The sea bass was very well executed, being completely cooked and still very moist. It was served with fresh lentils and a bit of salad. I truly enjoyed the combination of sea bass and lentils.

For desert, I had a molten chocolate cake, served with vanilla ice cream. While the chocolate cake was very good, it was, in term of execution, a bit below the starter and the main course. It seems to me that less attention is given to desert.

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $80, including drinks (mimosa, sparkling water, espresso) and tip. The Restaurant is certainly not a cheap place but considering the location, the comfort and the food it offers good value for money. The terrace make it my favorite brunch place. I will certainly come back.

→ 1 CommentTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at Le Petit Four on August 18, 2007

August 20th, 2016 by philippe · 1 Comment

Le Petit Four

Le Petit Four
8654 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
USA

+1 (310) 652-3863
www.lepetitfour.net

International cuisine

Restaurant: 2/5

Le petit four is located at the very hip sunset plaza. You can eat either inside or outside. Inside, the restaurant is quite comfortable. Outside, while the terrace is significantly less comfortable (cramped tables, noisy street) the atmosphere below the yellow awnings is very pleasant. Don’t be surprise if a tourist bus stop by for pictures, Le petit four is a favorite eating spot of the entertainment industry.

Service: 2/5

While the service was relatively good, they certainly could do with more staff.

Food: 3/5

I started with a tomato gazpacho. The gazpacho was served mostly blended in a large soup plate. Lightly spicy, it was very refreshing.

As main course, I had the onglet (French for hanger steak). The onglet was served with an excellent shallot and wine sauce and accompanied by French fries with herbes de Provence. Served medium rare to keep it tender, the meat was tender and tasty. The Herbes de provence (a blend of dried aromatic herbs invented in the 1970s in Provence) add a very nice twist to the French fries.

Le Petit Four - Hanger Steak

For desert, we were asked to choose from their very large desert platter. I had a very classic creme caramel. The creme caramel, small and tasty, was very good. A light refreshing end to the meal.

Le Petit Four - Creme Caramel

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $40, including drinks (ice tea, espresso) and tip. Considering the neighborhood and the food, Le petit four offers a very good value for money. I’ve been going there regularly and it is still one of my favorite brunch spot. See you there!

→ 1 CommentTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Dinner at Chaya Brasserie on August 17, 2007

August 19th, 2016 by philippe · Comments Off on Dinner at Chaya Brasserie on August 17, 2007

Chaya Brasserie

Chaya Brasserie
8741 Alden Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90048
USA

+1 (310) 859-8833
www.thechaya.com

Fusion French – Japanese

Restaurant: 3/5

Chaya Brasserie is located in heart of WeHo (West Hollywood). Because of it’s proximity to popular places on Robertson boulevard like The Ivy, parking in the area can be difficult. A good way around is to use their valet parking. The restaurant is very comfortable with a nice Asian themed decor. While the decor is very nice, more attention should have been put to the acoustic of the place as it is very noisy for a restaurant.

Service: 3/5

The service was very good. The staff made every effort to accommodate us. One thing, they could do with a bit more staff on busy nights like Saturday.

Food: 3.5/5

As main course, we ordered 3 portions of the chef entrée selection to be shared between the 2 of us. The entrée selection included escargots cooked with mushrooms in a traditional butter parsley and garlic sauce, seared tuna sashimi, jumbo shrimp cocktail, egg rolls, fried calamari and shrimp rolls. This allowed us to tried a wide variety of food. Everything was very good with a special mention for the seared tuna sashimi that was clearly above everything else.

As desert, we shared a desert sampler. The desert sampler included a molten chocolate cake served with a red fruits coulis, a coffee creme brulee and a kind of ladyfinger cake with chocolate and ice cream. Again, everything was very good. I particularly appreciated the molten chocolate cake.

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $50, including drinks (cocktail, sparking water, espresso) and tip. You should expect to pay a bit more depending on what you order. Still, considering the very hip neighborhood and the food, Chaya Brasserie offers very good value for money. I will definitely come back.

Comments Off on Dinner at Chaya Brasserie on August 17, 2007Tags: California · Los Angeles · United States