Monday, January 01, 2007

New Restaurants for 2007

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to eat at one new restaurant a month. I might've set my goals a bit too low! Acquiring the Zagat guide has really upped the awareness of new restaurants all over the city. Plus, I have lots of friends that like to eat! Some of these restaurants may warrant a full review and if so, I'll link to my review for ease of reference. If not, I'll try to refer to a website or review elsewhere online.

  1. John O'Groats - 1/6/07. A breakfast/lunch diner with good food and quick service. Their bacon is yummy and they have all kinds of different waffles/pancakes. The French fries were delicious!
  2. Kansas City BBQ Company - 1/7/07. A hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint new to NoHo. Be warned: the ribs are OK, but sauce is spicy! I love spicy, so it's OK for me, but not for people with delicate palates. Their sweet potato fries are delicious! Cole slaw a bit too creamy for me and the potato salad was a bit sweet. I think it has relish in it.
  3. Gorikee - 1/10/07. Full review with photos to come! Really good food, reasonable prices. They have a happy hour dinner special. If you're seated between 5-6 PM (weekdays only?), you get the entree as well as soup, salad and dessert! Service was a bit laid back, decor is nice, but minimal.
  4. Blue Hen Restaurant - 1/18/07. They serve Vietnamese food made with all organic chicken. The consensus was the tumeric fries and jasmine green tea are phenomenal. The food is pretty good, but not excellent. The service was pretty attentive and good. They tacked on an automatic 20% tip for having 6 people. I ordered the BH sandwich and it was pretty tasty. Bottom line: It's good and it's cute. I'd totally go back.
  5. Caioti Pizza - 1/20/07. Dawn, Evan & I went to check out this California-style pizza in this cute little (about 10 tables) pizza shop. They serve thin crust pizzas. The dough was pretty good and I'm not usually a crust eater. We also ordered the "The Salad" and it was good, but the Italian vinaigrette was a bit sweet. Service was good.
  6. Pink's Hot Dogs - 1/23/07. Stopped by after watching a revival of Gone with the Wind at the New Beverly Cinema. We ordered a couple chili cheese dogs, a "Lord of the Rings" dog and a Polish sausage dog with fries. Good! Normally, there's at least an hour wait, but at 12:30 AM on a Tuesday morning, the wait was less than 10 minutes. It was good, but I could never imagine myself waiting an hour to order a hot dog.
  7. Baker's Burgers in Victorville - 1/25/07. Fast food joint with good food.
  8. Bellagio Buffet - 1/26/07. Breakfast is $14.99
  9. Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay - 1/26/07. Owned by Hubert Keller - the burgers are out of this world!!!
  10. Blueberry Hill - 1/27/07. A really good 24 hour diner in Las Vegas. They make their desserts fresh everyday. The chocolate cake was out of this world.
  11. Viva Mercado - 1/27/07. Good Mexican food (and salsa) in Las Vegas. Be warned, portions are huge, split a meal with a friend!
  12. Sushizo - 2/2/07. New sushi place in L.A. and the food is divine and prices are reasonable. Best pieces of the omakase were: toro, yellowtail and butterfish. The shot of yuzu at the end was a rare treat too!
  13. Chinese Deli - 2/7/07. The Chinese food place around the corner from my apt. and the food is delicious!!
  14. Eegee's - 2/9/07. Fast food favorite of Tucson. They have those slushy/icee type drinks there.
  15. Las Margaritas - 2/9/07. Mexican restaurant in Tucson. I had the "Tacos de la Casa" which are yummy tacos with beef and potato. Plus, they have choco-tacos!
  16. Lo Lo's Chicken and Waffles - 2/10/07. Grandson of Mrs. White, he's taken her recipe for chicken and combined it with waffles a la Roscoe's.
  17. Carnival - 3/9/07. Seth took me to this Lebanese restaurant and it was pretty good. You definitely want to go as early as possible though to avoid the wait!
  18. Trattoria Farfalla - 3/21/07. Excellent food. I had the spinace, olivo, penne pasta and it was delicious. The sauce on the gnocchi was outstanding. Service was good. My only complaint about it is that it's a bit noisy inside and crowded. Also, unless the parking gods are smiling on you, you'll probably have to valet.
  19. Asia de Cuba - 4/23/07. A deliciously modern restaurant located in the Mondrian on Sunset. I would highly recommend the lobster mash, plantain fried rice with avocado salad, calamari salad, char sui short ribs and the butterfish. It's pricy though. For seven people, we ordered four appetizers, five entrees and one dessert. Plus alcohol, tax and tip, it was about $85 pp. The unexpected part? $15 for the valet (and that's with validation!).
  20. Jack Stack BBQ - 5/4/07. For a full review, see here.
  21. Stroud's Restaurant - 5/5/07. For a full review, see here.
  22. Scoops - 5/12/07. Check this post out for a description of my first visit to have bacon caramel ice cream!
  23. Mozza - 5/28/07. This is Mario Batali's new restaurant. I took some pictures of the pizzas, but don't have them posted just yet. I had the oregano salame, mozzarella, tomato & fresno chiles pizza and it was a favorite of everyone at the table. I also really liked the gorgonzola dulce & fingerling potato pizza. All of the pizzas we ordered were good, the crust was super-thin, and the service was good too. I'd highly recommend reservations, probably at least a couple weeks in advance. We made our reservation about a month in advance.
  24. Frida Mexican Restaurant - 6/7/07. Went here with eHarmony date #7. Located in Beverly Hills, it's set on this street full of eateries. Great for people watching! If you want to make sure you get a table without a wait, make a reservation. The lobster tacos were delicious and the other food was good too. I don't think it's necessarily worth the price though. There are just too many good Mexican places for way less money to justify spending close to $120 on 4 margaritas, an appetizer and two entrees.
  25. Mother's Tavern - 6/8/07, San Luis Obispo, CA. We jump started Shane's birthday weekend here. The Caesar salad was nice and tangy. I had the ribeye sandwich and Shane had the red-headed step-child pasta, which I enjoyed more than she did. The vibe of this bar is pretty good and the bartenders were cute!
  26. F. McLintock's - 6/9/07, Paso Robles, CA. Originally, we had reservations for Artisan, but after waiting 45 minutes past our reservation time, we walked down the street and had a blast at this more casual establishment. Food was good! I realized that I think I may enjoy the NY strip steak better than ribeyes!
  27. Zia Cafe - 6/10/07, Santa Barbara, CA. We stopped here on the way back to L.A. and it was so-so at best. My carne asada tacos were edible, but not great. The meat was cut up into too big of pieces for me. They were like chunks of meat. The corn tamales were actually pretty good. I don't need to go there again.
  28. Las Fuentes - 6/13/07. The molcajete salsa was delicious at just the right heat level and the carnitas taco was SOOOO good. There's enough meat for two tacos, so I split my taco into two of them (they give you two tortillas). The carne asada was OK, but again, the meat was cut into pieces that were too big. The guacamole was surprisingly good too. The color is a little pale, but the flavor isn't too bad. I would recommend this place!
  29. 94th Aero Squadron - 7/6/07. Went there for date #5.4. The great thing is that you're right by the Van Nuys airport airstrip so you get to watch planes taking off and landing all dinner. The bad? The food was just so-so. However, the service was pretty good. Maybe just my particular dish wasn't that great. It was overly salty! And I love salt!
  30. Providence - 7/29/07. It lived up to my expectations. After reading on their website that Gourmet magazine has them listed as one of America's top 50 restaurants... this dinner was amazing! I ordered the sea bass, but in reality, the other dishes I had were more amazing. Some of the highlights were salt and pepper ice cream, the king crab appetizer, a shot of chilled melon soup topped with a lemon emulsification and a teeny bit of olive oil... actually, all of it was great. I could basically list everything I had. Let's see if this link to the photostream will work.
  31. Johnnie's Pastrami Restaurant - 7/30/07. This place has pretty yummy pastrami. And a price tag to go with it. But I do have to say that I think this tastes better to me than the Hat. I still hold that one of the best pastrami sandwiches (not a dip though) is at Dino's in Burbank.
  32. Mama D's Italian - 8/6/07. The calamari was delicious and the fra diavolo was spicy, garlicky goodness. I would highly recommend this place, but be forewarned, it gets crowded!!!
  33. Bossa Nova - 8/26/07. Brazilian food that was fairly good & reasonably priced. Went there at the suggestion of my French teacher!
  34. Rock'n Fish - 8/30/07. Yummy food, steps from the Manhattan Beach pier. You can't get a better location. Food was pretty good too.
  35. Valentino - 8/30/07. Excellent food, excellent wine list, excellent service. I'm not sure you can get better than this in Los Angeles for Italian...
  36. C & O Cucina - 9/3/07. Delicious garlic knots and huge portions of pretty good pasta! I'd highly recommend this place.
  37. The Crepevine - 9/5/07. I'd been wanting to try this place since it opened a few years ago. I'm not a huge crepe fan, but I liked the other stuff on the menu. The mac & cheese was pretty good, the apple walnut salad with blue cheese was awesome. I'd go back just for that. I was surprised by my French dip sandwich, which looked more like a panini than a sandwich made for dipping. They only serve wine and beer though, no hard alcohol. They had a guitarist playing music and it was great! He played regular mellow mood music, but then started in with mellow Metallica and Britney! It was awesome!
  38. El Patron - 10/23/07. I went here on a date. The service was SUPER fast, beans and rice were actually decent, but I really liked the chips and salsa! The salsa was spicy and really good.

1 comment:

sedjtroll said...

I'm told you should try Carnival, which is a Lebonese restaurant on Ventura... maybe it's this one:
http://tinyurl.com/24pddn

My cousin's GF works there, and she says it's real good, and there's always famous people like Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz, William Shatner, etc going in there.