Sunday, January 25, 2015

Zinque : Melrose Cafe

This is where the cool kids go to eat. Upon entering the cute courtyard, you'll notice all the hip couples with their equally hip dogs. There's a fireplace to the right where you can lounge with some friends while drinking wine. 

The interior entrance is to your left and there's a counter for you to order food as well as tables, counters and some sofas in the back for lounging with friends. 

The ordering process is quite confusing as no one greets you, no one is at the counter to take your order and busboys pass you by without offering any assistance. 

We stood at the counter for a while before the guy took notice and asked us if we were ordering food to-go or dining in. I said we were dining in and he told us to have a seat anywhere. We went to sit at a table and 5 minutes later, a busboy appeared with a carafe of water and some glasses. It took another 10 minutes for the waitress to acknowledge us and ask us if we were ready to order. I mean, really? The place wasn't that busy and she had walked by our table a few times already!

I asked for the brown rice bowl with rotisserie chicken but she said they were out of brown rice! She offered up quinoa as a replacement and informed me there would be a $2 extra charge for that. I declined the offer since them being out of brown rice does not constitute me having to pay an extra $2 for something that be offered gratis. 

I opted for the rotisserie chicken salad instead. My child got the pork banh mi and my bf got the zucchini quiche with a side of fries. Well, he wanted fries, but she told him that they were out of fries as well!!! So, he reluctantly got the salad. 

At this point, I was thinking WTF, why do people rave about this place? Out of brown rice and fries?! And these are two of your most popular items!

Anyway, 5 minutes later she returns and tells us that the fryer has resumed working so he could indeed get his fries. Well, hallelujah!

The food arrives shortly after and we all dig in. My salad was pretty generous and I liked the arugula and dressing. I wish the chicken was only white meat as I did get some pieces of tendon that I could have done without. 

The pork banh mi was tasty, but tiny for $12. Bread was also a tad bit hard and cut my mouth a bit. 

Quiche and fries were good as well, although kinda small for $12. 

Overall, the experience was nothing special, and the service could use some improvement. I spent $45 for this meal and we were all still hungry.

Riesling. This was a separate visit, but really good.

8684 Melrose
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Maru Restaurant Video Review

Check out West LA's delicious Japanese restaurant featuring fresh ingredients and amazing omakase.

12400 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone number(310) 820-7240

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Brunch at Bar Bouchon - Beverly HIlls

Bar Bouchon is located in the patio area right across from the Montage Hotel.

This past weekend was our second visit and the service was just atrocious. For an upscale place, you'd think they would hire competent servers.

We asked to move to a bigger table because one of our friends was planning to join us. The waitress said hesitated at first, but then said it was fine as long as it wasn't busy. If it got busy, she was insinuating that she'd ask us to move. Considering the place was 75% empty and it was already lunch time, she sure had some nerve.

What's with restaurants and their table reservation policy? If the place was packed, I would understand. But, nope - more than half empty!

Nonetheless, we sat down and looked over the menu. We waited another 10 minutes before we had to flag her down to tell her we were ready to order. She took our order without writing it down. Gotta love servers who *think* they have a great memory!

Food comes out after about 10-15 minutes. My bf had the tomato soup, I had the chicken liver mousse to start. Both were good. I thought the mousse could have been a bigger portion, but you know fancy places - presentation over portion.

chicken liver mousse 

We weren't even done with our apps when our salads arrive. Guess what? The steak salad my bf ordered had cheese on it, even though he specifically requested it without. Hm... guess you should have written down our orders huh?

flank steak salad

My chicken salad was good, but it was way better last time. This time around it had way too much mayo on the chicken and the grapes were green instead of red. Sure, I sound picky, but trust me, the red grapes tasted way better AND looked better than the green ones. Be consistent.

roast chicken salad

We finished our meals and asked for the check. Oh, forgot to mention that I had to ask for water a few times. Is it that hard to keep the water glasses filled? Especially if they are small glasses?!

Anyway, my bf asked for some toothpicks and the waitress brought our check. No toothpicks. He asked for them again. She brought them a few minutes later to the table next to us. LMAO! Seriously? Finally, she brought them to us, but just dropped them on the table without saying sorry or making any eye contact. WOW.

Service sucks here! For a $55 lunch, the service better be on point! It wasn't and really left a sour taste in my mouth.

not so sure about this place

Food is important, but service at an upscale place is just as if not MORE important.

Keep it classy and keep it real. Bar Bouchon, you need to step up your game.

Bar Bouchon
235 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Zankou Chicken

What's so special about this place?

The prices are expensive for what you get, and the food is just mediocre at best. 

I got a lule plate for $11.99 and my DC got the try-tip shawerma wrap for $6.99. 

We had to wait 15 minuted for my plate to be done, and then we headed home. 

Um, the lule meat was overcooked and dry and so not worth the $11.99. Also, the onions had a weird, old, stanky flavor to them. Disgusting. The hummus was decent though. 

Lule plate
My DC liked his wrap and ate it pretty fast, however for $7, it was pretty pricey. 

Overall, I would not go back. The food at Panini Cafe is better and is a tad bit less expensive.

Zankou Chicken
1716 S Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 444-0550

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hot Pot on Sawtelle: Morinoya

With the current chilly weather that LA is enduring, it's quite fitting that this review is for hot pot. 

Hot pot is usually associated with Chinese restaurants, but Morinoya serves up individual hot pots that hit the spot. 

You wouldn't know this restaurant exists since it's pretty much hidden on the second level of the Olympic Collection plaza, but if you're up for trying a new place, get yourself there asap.

They used to be open for lunch, but unfortunately have now made themselves strictly a dinner establishment. (boo)

On every occasion that I've been here, I always order the hot pot, either kimchi or the soy milk. Both are delicious, yet very different in taste.

Opt for the kimchi hot pot if you want more flavor and a bit of spice. There are small pieces of pork as well, so this would be good for meat lovers. 

kimchi hot pot
The soy milk hot pot is one-of-a-kind and I highly recommend it for fish lovers or those who prefer a milder flavor. It's more of a savory soy milk, so don't be scared off by the soy. It comes with bits of fish, mushrooms, and napa cabbage. 

soy milk hot pot
veggie tempura

Both hot pots come with a small salad, rice, and an appetizer of your choice. 
salmon + yellowtail sushi

I've tried the sushi here, but it's just okay. If you're here, take advantage of the hot pots and forgo the sushi.
Service ranges from good to just okay. I guess it depends on how busy they are, but the only complaint is having to wait for long periods of time if you are more than a group of 2.

They provide free parking validation for 1.5 hours, so feel free to park underground.

11301 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 473-3960

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Valley Ramen Joint: Tamashii Ramen House

tonkotsu shoya ramen

I was so excited to see a new ramen joint in the valley, but alas, it wasn't that good. 

Let's start with the positives of this place.

#1: Free parking the back lot. It's tiny though, so you might have to end up parking on Ventura Blvd which isn't that easy.

#2: Service was friendly

#3: Cute decor

Now, on to the negatives.

#1: Ramen wasn't very flavorful. I ordered the tonkotsu shoyu ramen which came with bamboo shoots, green onions, 1/2 of a hard boiled egg, crispy onions, and "succulent" pork. 

The pork was not succulent at all. It was quite chewy and hard to eat. The noodles are huge and curly. I'm more a fan of the thin, straight noodles. I felt the noodles were comparable to the ones in Top Ramen

#2: They charge you $.50 for garlic. Really? It's just a side of garlic! Throw it in for free, like most other ramen places do.

#3: The huge wooden spoon provided does not make it easy for you to drink your soup or put your noodles in. We had to ask for a regular soup spoon. 

#4: Portions are on the smaller side for ramen.

All in all, the place wasn't horrible, but I won't be coming back. There's way better ramen places in the area.

Tamashii Ramen House
14531 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 990-1268

Monday, December 24, 2012

Tatsu Ramen: Sawtelle

The only good thing about this place is their iPad ordering system. 

Other than that, this ramen joint falls short on everything. 

The ramen runs around $10 per bowl, which is more expensive than other ramen restaurants in the area. 

Jinya down the street runs about $9 and tastes 100 times better. 

The ramen was salty, yet lacked real flavor. How is that even possible? The broth was this weird cloudy color, so not appetizing. 

Old Skool Ramen

The pork was inedible and tasted and looked like rubber. 

Noodles were like the ones you could buy at the supermarket for $0.35 each. 

Epic fail all around. 

Service was fine, but they didn't have to do much except bring the food, water and the bill. 


2123 Sawtelle Blvd
Los AngelesCA 90025