My Restaurant Tips

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Lunch at Wild Thai on September 10, 2007

September 23rd, 2021 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

September 22nd, 2021 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

September 21st, 2021 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

September 20th, 2021 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

September 19th, 2021 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

September 18th, 2021 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

Dinner at Skycity at the Needle on August 13, 2007

September 17th, 2021 by philippe · Comments Off on Dinner at Skycity at the Needle on August 13, 2007

Skycity at the Needle

SkyCity at the Needle
400 Brod Street
Seattle, WA 98109
USA

+1(206) 905-2100
www.spaceneedle.com/restaurant

Steakhouse and seafood

Restaurant: 3.5/5

The location of SkyCity, on the top of the space needle is probably one of the best in Seattle. The view from that rotating restaurant is simply fantastic. The restaurant itself, with it 70s decor, is comfortable. On the down side, toilets are in the staircase, shared with the observation deck.

Service: 1.5/5

The service was alright. Not only smiling is optional at SkyCity but we felt pushed out of the door: The bill arrived on our table, without been requested, as soon as the desert was served.

Food: 1.5/5

As starter, I had the freshly prepared soup of the day. The soup, tomato and rice, was good but totally unexceptional. The kind that you will get in any decent dinner.As main course, I had the artichoke, fennel, mushroom, cipollini onion, sun-dried tomato sofrito and manchego cheese Tarte Tatin. The tarte tatin was served with a scoop of truffle ice cream. What I was expecting was a nice savory tarte, with nicely caramelized vegetables. Well, I was extremely disappointed. Not only the lack of salt is pretty evident but the amount of sugar used denies you any taste of the vegetables. The truffle ice cream is a low grade industrial vanilla ice cream mixed with with truffles. I would be really surprised if anyone is able to taste truffles in it. In one word: awful.

Skycity at the Needle - Lunar Orbiter

As desert, I had their signature lunar orbitor. The lunar orbitor is a Sundae, presented on the top of a dry ice bowl spitting a cloud of smoke (very unique and very fun). Unfortunately, passed the presentation, that desert is very disappointing. Cheap industrial ice cream topped with as cheap industrial chocolate sauce. You’ll get a better sundae at Mc Donald…

Value for money: 1/5

Around $70, including drinks (ice tea and espresso) and tip. The minimum food charge of $35 per guest give you a clear sense of their priority: make money. Neither food or service are priorities at SkyCity. That place should definitively been avoided until a drastic change happen. In the mean time, if you want to enjoy the view, buy a ticket for the observation deck and bring your own food.

Comments Off on Dinner at Skycity at the Needle on August 13, 2007Tags: Seattle · United States · Washington

Dinner at Hot Wings Cafe on August 16, 2007Hot Wings Cafe

September 16th, 2021 by philippe · No Comments

Hot Wings Cafe

Hot Wings Cafe
7011 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
USA

+1 (323) 930-1233

Fast food

Restaurant: 1.5/5

Hot Wings Cafe is located in the heart of Hollywood, not far from the very famous Pink’s hot dogs. The restaurant is very casual, so don’t expect much comfort. The decor could really do with an update. Additionally, parking is notoriously difficult in the area, mainly because of the proximity of Pink’s hot dogs.

Service: 3/5

The service was good. While she’s not an accomplished professional, our waitress took good care of us and made genuine efforts to please us.

Food: 2.5/5

Of course, going to a place named Hot Wings Cafe, we had Buffalo wings for dinner. The wings, served with curly fries were perfectly cooked, crispy outside and tender inside. The sauce was hot with the right amount of chili for me. I was feeling the heat while still able to continue eating wings. This is definitely the place to eat Buffalo wings in Los Angeles.

Value for money: 4/5

Around $15, including drinks (beer) and tip. At $15, Hot Wings Cafe definitely offers very good value for money. If the decor put you off, you can still order wings to go.

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at Copacabana on August 12, 2007

September 15th, 2021 by philippe · Comments Off on Lunch at Copacabana on August 12, 2007

Copacabana

Copacabana
1520 1/2 pike place
Seattle, WA 98101
USA

+1 (206) 622-6359

Bolivian Cuisine

Restaurant: 2/5

Copacabana is a very casual restaurant located in pike place market. The tables are on a terrace on the first floor of a building, giving you a nice overlooking view of the market. The restaurant is very casual, so don’t expect great comfort here. Still, it really fits the bill as a market restaurant.

Service: 3/5

The service was good. Our waitress made genuine efforts to please us.

Food: 2.5/5

I ordered a paella. With the paella came a small salad as starter (lettuce, carrots and tomatoes). While the presentation of the salad was the most basic, it was good. The paella was very good. apart the shrimps that were a bit dry.

Value for money: 4/5

Around $25, including drinks (sangria and espresso) and tip. Considering the food and the location, Copacabana is a good value for money. I will come back.

Comments Off on Lunch at Copacabana on August 12, 2007Tags: Seattle · United States · Washington

Dinner at Aux Pieds Dans L’Eau on July 31, 2007

September 14th, 2021 by philippe · Comments Off on Dinner at Aux Pieds Dans L’Eau on July 31, 2007

Aux Pieds Dans L’Eau
623, chemin de la Plage
69270 Rochetaillée Sur Saone
France

+33 (0) 4 72 27 85 72
French Cuisine

Restaurant: 2/5

Aux Pieds Dans L’Eau is a guinguette, a very casual outdoor restaurant near the Saone river. The location is great and perfectly fits the bill but don’t expect great comfort. One sour note, there is a train track nearby. Hopefully, trains are not that frequent.

Service: 3/5

It took a bit of time for the aperitifs to come, but, apart that, the service was good. Our waiter was running all over the place to satisfy the numerous tables he had in charge. He probably could have done with a bit of help.

Food: 2/5

I started with the Pâté en croute (pate covered with a crust and cooked in the oven). The pate was served with figue jam and dry apricots. While rustic, it was very good.As main course, I ordered the quintessential guinguette dish: frog legs. If you never had frog legs, you’re probably have a vision very different from what the reality is. To be honest, it’s a bit like chicken. What make the difference is how you cook them. In this instance, the frog legs were cooked with the traditional garlic, parsley and butter sauce. While the meat was crispy on the outside and tender inside as it should be, the sauce was too oily and a bit too bland. Salt and pepper would have been helpful here. Good but somewhat disappointing.

As desert, I had half of a Saint-Marcellin cheese. Saint-Marcellin is a small local cheese produce with non pasteurized milk. If you never had non pasteurized milk cheese, Saint-Marcellin is probably not for you. Simply served with a salad, it was a bit pungent and about medium strength. A bit more salad would have been nice but the cheese was exactly the way I like it.

Value for money: 2.5/5

Around $30, including drinks (white wine and espresso) and tip. While you can probably find better value for money around, the overall experience was certainly pleasant. In a guinguette, food is not the most important thing, the atmosphere is. So, I’m on the fence with Aux Pieds Dans L’Eau. I may go back there.

Comments Off on Dinner at Aux Pieds Dans L’Eau on July 31, 2007Tags: France · Lyon · Rochetaillée Sur Saone