My Restaurant Tips

Because man does not live by bread alone

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Dinner at Vermont on June 10, 2008

October 30th, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

Vermont

Vermont
1714 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
USA

+1 (323) 661-6163
www.vermontrestaurantonline.com

Comtemporary American Cuisine

Restaurant: 2.5/5

Vermont is located in the Los Feliz, between Hollywood and Glendale. The restaurant has a nice spanish classical decor and is fairly comfortable. The lighting is particularly nice late in the evening, so don’t go there too early. As parking is difficult in the area, you may want to use their valet parking located behind the restaurant at a cost of about $6.

Service: 2.5/5

Service was good but not remarkable. Our waiter made some efforts to please us.

Food: 2/5

The bread selection, served with a pesto sauce, was good but again, not remarkable.

Vermont - Bread

As main course, I had the oxtail. The oxtail was served with baby spinach and carots. While the oxtail was very tasty, there wasn’t much meat in the pieces and they could have been prepared a bit better.

Vermont - Oxtail

For dessert, I had the apple tart. The apple tart, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream was very good. Between the apples and the crust, they use a layer of almond paste that work very well.

Vermont - Apple Tart

Value for money: 2/5

Around $60, including drinks (lemonade, a glass of red wine and coffee) and tip. Vermont is not a particularly good value for money. Considering the restaurant, the food and the service, you can definitly find better places in Los Feliz.

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Dinner at The Tower Bar on April 1, 2008

October 29th, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

The Tower Bar
Sunset Tower Hotel
8358 Sunset boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
USA

+1 (323) 654-7100
www.sunsettowerhotel.com

Hip Bistro Cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

The Tower Bar is located in the heart of West Hollywood on Sunset boulevard. The restaurant has a nice cozy classical decor with his wood paneling and is relatively comfortable. The view of Los Angeles is particularly impressive. You will have to use the valet parking at a cost of $14.

Service: 0.5/5

Service was poor. It seems that every person we talked with had better things to do and that we were really bothering them with our outrageous demands like having some bread (we had to ask three time only to get lavash bread as they didn’t had anything else left).

Food: 1/5

I was really surprised by the menu which is very simple and bistro like for that kind of establishment, especially at that kind of price.

For starter, we shared a grilled artichoke. The artichoke, accompanied with salad and mayonnaise, was very good. It would have been nice to get a full artichoke as only half was served.

As main course, I had the lobster Cobb salad. The salad was good but had nothing special. I had the opportunity to taste the truffle and caviar omelet. The omelet was good. The caviar served generously was relatively good and a good complement to the eggs but the truffles (probably cheap canned truffles) were absolutely tasteless. While I was extremely disappointed by the truffles, the salad served with the omelet was very good with just the right amount of dressing.

For dessert, we shared a bread pudding and a glass of port. The bread pudding was very good and certainly the best part of the meal.

Value for money:1/5

Around $90, including drinks (sparkling water, glass of champagne and coffee) and tip. The Tower Bar is a very poor value for money. Considering the food and the service, you are better of going to Le Petit Four a bit further west on Sunset. Because of the view, I may come back for a drink but certainly not for dinner.

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States · West Hollywood

Dinner at The Little Door on March 29, 2008

October 28th, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

The Little Door
8164 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
USA

+1 (323) 951-1210
www.thelittledoor.com

French Cuisine with a Mediteranean flair

Restaurant: 3/5

The Little Door is located on 3rd street between the Beverly Center and The Grove. The restaurant has a very nice French provencal decor and is relatively comfortable. It is a very hip place with, of course, a very hip clientele (the usual crowd of models, celebrities, etc…). You probably will have to use the valet parking as parking is difficult to find around there.

Service: 3/5

Despite having a reservation, we had to wait about 20 minutes for our table. Apart from that, the service was excellent and our waiter made genuine efforts to please us.

Food: 2.5/5

To start, we shared the seared foie gras and the meze. The meze was good with a low point of a very dry fallafel. The foie gras, served on French toast was truly excellent.

As main course, we shared the osso buco, the chicken tagine and the sea bass. Everything was good but nothing was exceptional: The osso buco cream sauce was good but the meat was a bit too fatty. The chicken was good but the coucous was swimming in the tagine. The sea bass was a bit too dry.

I didn’t order any dessert but I had the opportunity to taste the ice cream (honey, pistachio and vanilla). Again, the ice cream was good but wasn’t exceptional.

Value for money:2/5

Around $90, including drinks (sparkling water, a glass of wine and coffee) and tip. The decor, the food and the service are good but The Little Door is expensive if not overpriced (there is a minimum of $35 per person for dinner). Still, I may come back as the place is charming and the crowd interesting.

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at Purple Fusion on February 29, 2008

October 27th, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

Purple Fusion

Purple Fusion
The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center
6081 Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045
USA

+1 (310) 568-9736

Chinese Cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

Purple Fusion is located on the upper deck on at The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center just at the edge of Culver City. This unassuming mixed-bag of shops and quick-bite eats has been my happy lunch-hour provider for the last four years. So it’s a joy when somewhere new opens, especially if they bring the promise of well prepared food you might want to eat on a regular basis.

Service: 4/5

Very friendly, if a little chaotic as they get started. Don’t expect expensive utensils or fancy surroundings. They’ve just opened, and the spartan feel presents a fresh startup feel that has plenty of potential. The service is a little disorganized, but again, they’re finding their feet.I would imagine they’ll tweak things around a little in the coming weeks and months.

Food: 3.5/5 – Based on dim sum menu

It’s rather interesting that it’s pitched as a “fusion” restaurant, as there are really two halves to the menu. The unusual mix of Asian and western food blended (as seems to be all the rage), but also a wonderful little dim sum menu that stays true to its roots. I chose to skip the fusion, and go for the dim sum. Out of interest, I was interested in the reaction of a Malaysian co-worker who knows a thing or two about growing up with Chinese food.

The dim sum menu is short and sweet, around 12 simple dim sum dishes are available, ranging from pork rolls, shrimp dumplings, turnip cake, ribs with black bean sauce, and other dinky little dishes that go down easy. If you’re not careful, you’ll have ordered four or five dishes before you know it, and be nicely satisfied. If you’ve ever lived near a big-city Chinatown (such as LA or Chicago), you’ll know the craving for dim sum never leaves after you’ve had it once!Like all good dim sum, it’s not meant to be anything special, but the joy here is that it’s wonderfully fresh and tasty, made by a friendly family who’ve been in the business for three generations.

I’m reserving judgment on their various curry dishes and eclectic fusion menu until I’ve had a chance to dive in. But for now, I heartily recommend a 30 minute stop at Purple Fusion if you want just enough to fill you up, but don’t come away feeling stuffed stupid.

The mango lemonade is interesting too.

Purple Fusion - Lotus Leaf Rice 1

Purple Fusion - Lotus Leaf Rice 2

Purple Fusion - Spring Rolls

Purple Fusion - Shrimp Dumpling

Purple Fusion - Shrimp Rolls

Purple Fusion - Pork

Purple Fusion - Pork Buns

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Dinner at Massimo on January 27, 2008

October 26th, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

Massimo
9513 Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
USA

+1 (310) 273-7588
www.massimobh.com

Italian Cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

Massimo is located in the heart of Beverly Hills. The restaurant has a nice cozy classical decor and is comfortable. If parking on the street is the problem (usually it is), try one of the Beverly Hills city public parking.

Service: 2.5/5

Service was good. Our waiters spilled some wine and some soup but I will attribute that to the moon as they were very professional and made genuine efforts to please us.

Food: 3.5/5

I started with the minestrone. The minestrone, prepared with fresh vegetables was excellent. While I had to add salt, the vegetable were perfect cooked and the broth was really flavorful.

As main course, I had the Gnocchi Verdi, one of Massimo’s signature dish. The gnocchi, served with a porcini mushroom sauce, are made with spinach and ricotta. They are surprisingly light. Absolutely delicious and definitely some of the best gnocchi I’ve had.

For desert, I had the special which was a dark chocolate custard. The custard was served with a decoration of raspberries and mint. It was very good.

Value for money:4/5

Around $60, including drinks (sparkling water, wine and coffee) and tip. While $60 is a lot of money, the location, the athmosphere and the food make Massimo a very good value for money. I will certainly come back.

→ No CommentsTags: Beverly Hills · California · United States

Lunch at Du-par’s on January 1, 2008

October 25th, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

Du-par’s

Du-par’s
6333 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90036
USA

+1 (323) 933-8446
www.dupars.com

Diner

Restaurant: 2/5

Du-par’s is located in the very popular farmer’s market of West Hollywood, at the corner of Third and Fairfax. The restaurant, renovated in 2006, has a typical diner decor and is relatively comfortable. The patio is very nice and I highly recommend to get a table there if the weather is clement enough. Du-par’s is conveniently open 24 hours a day.

Service: 2/5

Service was good but definitely slow. It’s a very popular and crowded place. They definitely could do with a bit more staff.

Food: 2.5/5

I had a very typical diner dish: the meat-loaf sandwich. The meat-loaf sandwich is served as an open sandwich with mash potatoes and mushroom gravy. The both the meat-loaf and the mash potatoes were very good. The mushroom gravy works very well with the meat-loaf. One regret, the meat-loaf was a bit cold.

Du-par’s - Meatloaf Sandwich

Value for money:2/5

Around $20, including drinks (orange juice and coffee) and tip. Du-par’s is a bit expensive considering the quality of the food and the service but it’s a Los Angeles institution with a good location and a nice atmosphere, so I will certainly come back.

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at The Ivy on December 1, 2007

October 24th, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

The Ivy

The Ivy
113 N Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
USA

+1 (310) 274-8303

New American cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

The Ivy is located in the heart of West Hollywood. The restaurant is comfortable and has a nice shabby chic decor. The patio is very nice and definitely the place to be. If you can get a table on the patio (I had to push), you will rubbing shoulder with the Hollywood crowd. It’s the place for power lunches and paparazzi. Because of the celebrity clientele, I didn’t take pictures of the food as I usually do. Parking in the area is difficult. Think about using the valet parking if you have a nice car or as default use the public parking structure a bit lower on Robertson.

Service: 4/5

Passed the maître d’hôtel who tried to put us in the back of the restaurant, the service was fantastic, prompt and professional.

Food: 3.5/5

I started with the daily special, the italian seafood soup. Served in a small bowl, the soup made with salmon, cod, squid, muscles and clams in broth was terrific. Simple but delicious.

As main course, I ordered the spinach and ricotta raviolis, served with a basil and tomato sauce. Obviously homemade, the raviolis were very good. I would have preferred a bit more ricotta in the raviolis but it’s a minor detail on a very well executed dish.

As desert, I had the tarte tatin. The tart was terrific. Certainly one of the best I had. The apples were perfectly cooked and really flavorful.

Value for money:2.5/5

Around $90, including drinks (champagne cocktail, still water, capucino and espresso) and tip. The Ivy is an expensive place but considering the food (simple but perfectly executed), the location and the beautiful people crowd, I will certainly come back.

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at Firebirds on November 23, 2007

October 23rd, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

Firebirds

Firebirds
Suite 910
8030 Renaissance Parkway
Durham, NC 27713
USA

+1 (323) 933-8446
www.firebirdsrockymountaingrill.com

Grill

Restaurant: 2.5/5

Du-par’s is located at the very nice Southpoint mall in Durham. The restaurant is pretty comfortable and has a western decor.

Service: 2/5

Service was good but unremarkable and a bit slow. They could do with a bit more staff.

Food: 0.5/5

I had buffalo meat-loaf. The meat-loaf was served with parmesan mash potatoes and pecan green beans. While the mash potatoes were good, the meat-loaf was too salty and had too much pepper in it. I couldn’t taste the meat… Additionnally the green beans were cold and the gravy was far too salty. It’s pretty hard for a restaurant to mess up meat-loaf but they successfully did it. In one word: a disaster.

Firebirds - Buffalo Meat-loaf

Value for money: 1/5

Around $20, including drinks (beer) and tip. Considering the food, Firebirds can’t be a good value for money. It’s a place that I will definitely avoid.

→ No CommentsTags: Durham · North Carolina · United States

Dinner at Kyochon Chicken on November 9, 2007

October 22nd, 2014 by philippe · 1 Comment

Kyochon Chicken

Kyochon Chicken
3833 West 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90006
USA

+1 (213) 739-9292

Fast food

Restaurant: 1.5/5

Kyochon Chicken is located in the heart of Koreatown. As you can expect from a fast food, there is no real decor and the comfort is minimum. Additionally, parking in the area may be difficult.

Service: 3/5

Service was very good for a fast food: we were served quickly at our table.

Food: 2.5/5

First, we were served radishes in cold water. It’s a nice attention that kept us busy while we were waiting for our diner and later helped to alleviate the amount of chili use on the chicken.

Kyochon Chicken - Radish Bol

We started sharing a chicken and rice cake combo. The broiled chicken was served with long round rice cakes, peppers, onions and carrots. All of that in a tomato chili sauce, topped with sesame seeds. It was very tasty but very hot.

Kyochon Chicken - Chicken And Rice Cakes

After the chicken and rice cake combo, we shared a hot combo. The combo comprised chicken wings and drumstick, served with cabbage. The cabbage was topped with mayonnaise and ketchup sauces. It was really good but really really hot. Finishing the dish, my lips were burning while my tongue was hurting.

Kyochon Chicken - Hot Chicken Combo

At the end of the meal, we were served vanilla ice cream. It’s another really nice attention that really help me to recover after eating food that hot.

Kyochon Chicken - Ice Cream

Value for money:4.5/5

Around $15, including drinks (orange juice and coffee) and tip. Considering the food and the service, Kyochon Chicken offers excellent value for money. I will definitely come back.

→ 1 CommentTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at The Belvedere (Peninsula Hotel) on October 21, 2007

October 21st, 2014 by philippe · No Comments

The Belvedere

The Belvedere
Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel
9882 Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA

+1 (310) 551-2888
beverlyhills.peninsula.com

Modern American Cuisine

Restaurant: 4.5/5

The Belvedere is located at the Peninsula Hotel, in the heart of Beverly Hills. The restaurant, with it’s traditional decor, is really comfortable. The patio at the back of the restaurant is really nice. I highly advise to get a table there is the weather is nice.

Service: 5/5

from the beginning to the end, the service was perfect. They really pay attention to every detail.

Food: 4.5/5

For brunch, you only have to select your main course. You get a selection of starters, served family style, and access to the desert buffet. The selection of started comprised their very famous macaronis and cheese, the organic beet salad, the sauteed prawns, the smoked salmon, the peking duck (carved in front of you in the dining room) and the fruit salad. The macaronis and cheese were absolutely spectacular. Definitely the best I had so far.

The Belvedere - Macaronis and Cheese

The organic beet salad was served with tomato, arugula, nuts and a well balanced sauce.

The Belvedere - Organic Beet Salad

The sauteed prawns, served with crispy noodles on the top of cabbage, were excellent.

The Belvedere - Sauteed Prawns

The smoked salmon with it’s mustard sauce was very good.

The Belvedere - Smoked Salmon

The peking duck, served ready to eat in pancakes with spring onions and sauce is definitely one of the best.

The Belvedere - Peking Duck

The fruit salad had nothing remarkable but was pretty good.

The Belvedere - Fruit Salad

As main course, I had the potato crusted chilean sea bass. The sea bass was perfectly cooked with the potato bater being crusty and the fish being juicy and flavorful. it was served with orange quarters on the top of vegetables.

The Belvedere - Crusted Sea Bass

The desert buffet is pretty extensive and should satisfy about everybody. The plum clafouti and the warm bread pudding were truly excellent. Unfortunately, I found the rest of the deserts overly sweet.

The Belvedere - Deserts

Value for money: 4.5/5

Around $100, including drinks (orange juice, water and espresso) and tip. Considering the restaurant, the service, the food and the location, The Belvedere is a excellent value for money. I will definitely come back.

→ No CommentsTags: Beverly Hills · California · Los Angeles · United States