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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Heywood A Grilled Cheese Shoppe

Heywood A Grilled Cheese Shoppe
3337 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

I loved grilled cheese sandwiches as a kid but rarely eat it as an adult.  I just don't think it's worth the money restaurants charge for grilled cheese sandwiches.  Gourmet store to buy cheese and bread.  A pannini maker or just a hot pan, and you can make a grilled cheese for much less.

But, I've been by Heywood a few times and read good reviews.  But, last week I read they had lost their lease and will be closing at the end of June.  So, I figured give them a try.  While they are closing, the coffee shop/cafe that is taking over will serve some of the grilled cheese sandwiches from Heywood's menu.

Vintage, $9,-cheddar, butter, on multi-grain bread.  All grilled cheese comes with tomato soup and salad.

The Vintage was fine, good quality cheddar and nice oversized multi grain bread.  But, nothing great and not worth the $9 price tag.  Yes, it includes soup and salad but still not a good value.

Tomato soup and salad included with all grilled cheese sandwiches.  Salad was fresh, probably from a package. 

Tomato soup- served lukewarm.  Nice tangy flavor, but nothing special.

Service was OK. 

Again, the grilled cheese sandwich was fine.  But, not worth the price.  But, the hipsters who have taken over Silver Lake, must love Heywood, because many people are coming by for a grilled cheese before they close.

The Supreme Plate

The Supreme Plate
9849 Foothill Blvd Ste K
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

As many long time readers of The New Diner know, I use David Allen as a resource for my restaurant choices.  Back in December of 2014, he reviewed The Supreme Plate and I put it on my bucket list of places to try.  I finally made it out to Supreme Plate and wondering why it took so long!  What a great place!

A New Orleans style seafood restaurant, located in a mini mall that doesn't have a sign-other than on the window, that's Supreme Plate.  A small sized restaurant with 10 tables and counter service.

Shrimp o' Boy, $9.99!  This was amazing.  First of all, it was huge! The bread is shipped in from New Orleans-nice and pillow soft, perfectly toasted, with tomatoes, lettuce and pickles.  But, the fresh shrimp were the highlight!  Lightly breaded in cornmeal, fried perfectly, and plenty of them.  Must have had at least half a pound of shrimp on the sandwich. 

Mac n Cheese, $4.50. A unique mac n cheese!  Lots of different spices than regular mac n cheese, but very tasty and creamy.  Maybe a bit overpriced for the portion size, but quality was spot on!

Hush puppies, $2.00.  Deep fried balls of cornmeal with some onions.  Very good but they could have been served hotter. 

Service is friendly but slow.  The people working there are very nice.  But, service is slow, it took about 25 minutes for our order to arrive.  That would be fine if the food was served pipping hot.  But, the food was warm, not hot. 

Next time I go to Supreme Plate, I'll just call in my order.  Very good food served by nice friendly people.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lobster Grill-Updated Review

Lobster Grill
3210 Chino Ave Ste A
Chino Hills

Things do change quickly in Chino Hills!   Lobster Grill is the same space that housed Villaggio Pizzeria then Bad Bob's BBQ.  Too bad that chain Buffalo Wild Wings, in the same center, is still open!  Lobster Grill is a combination of Boiling Crab and a Cape Cod seaside lobster restaurant.  They have the bags of seafood with the spicy sauces and the lobster rolls, along with whole lobsters, oysters, and shrimp.

Lobster Grill really brightened up the place.  The walls are white with shades of orange, a dramatic contrast to the dark wood of Villaggio Pizzeria.  A very welcoming place.  It's order at the counter and they will bring your food to your table.

There is a very good happy hour, Tues-Fri from 3:30 to 5:30pm, they are closed Mondays.  The lobster roll, regular price, $10.95 are $8.95.   So I stopped in for happy hour.

 Clam chowder, cup. $2.95 happy hour price.  This was very good.  Came pipping hot and full of flavor.  A rich, thick, hearty broth with bigs chucks of clams and potatoes.  Hit the spot on a raining day in May!  This clam chowder is pescetarian, as there is no bacon.   

 Calamari, $4.95 happy hour price.  Regular price, $7.95.  This was served lukewarm.  This a just frozen calamari fried up.  Very rubbery and soggy.  This could be good, if served right out of the fryer. 

Lobster roll, with fries, $8.95, happy hour price.  Regular price, $10.95.  Lobster roll was great.  Lots of lobster mixed with celery and some herbs,  in a ketchup and mayo sauce.  The lobster is served cold but the roll is nicely toasted and holds up to the large amount of lobster. 

Fries were served lukewarm, but could be good if served hot!  

Service is good.  The guy who took my order was nice and helpful.  When he brought out the clam chowder, he went and got a spoon for me.  Food came out quickly. 

The idiots on Yelp give Lobster Grill three stars, mostly because they got butt hurt their groupon wasn't accepted.  One stupid yelper got mad because they wouldn't allow her to use her groupon, which included alcohol, because she didn't have her ID.  No wonder yelp is a damn joke!

They do need to work on getting out fried items while they are hot.  But, overall I like Lobster Grill, especially for their lobster roll.  I would go back and would gladly pay the full price for the lobster roll.  It's a steal at their happy hour price!

Updated June 24, 2015

So I went back to Lobster Grill and tried the Crab Melt sandwich, $8.95, during Happy Hour.  $10.95 regular price, which comes with fries.  The sandwich has cheese, provolone or white cheddar and a ton of dungeness crab!  A bit salty and there were three small pieces of shell in the crab.  Despite that, it's a good sandwich and worth the price, a good deal at the Happy Hour price.  Fries were barely warm and a bit salty.

Service was terrible!  The lady was nice but my order took about 40 minutes and it wasn't busy at all!!!!  Not sure why it took so long.  Did they forget my order?  Is the kitchen and the front, not communicating with each other? Whatever it is, they need to improve.  No way a sandwich takes 40 minutes to make.  TERRIBLE!!

My second time at Lobster Grill wasn't as good as my first time. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

New York Pizzeria

New York Pizzeria
364 N Lemon Ave
Walnut, CA 91789

New York Pizzeria is in the Vons Shopping Center in Walnut.  It's been around for a long time, but I've never gone in.  But, I was driving by the area and decided to finally give them a try.  New York Pizzeria has a L shaped dining area, with a huge TV in one corner.  The night I went, there was a small group of LA Kings fans, watching the Kings lose to the Blackhawks!  The dining area is clean and they quickly clear the tables, which doesn't always happen at pizza places!

Monday night there is a special, large one topping pizza for $9.75.  So I got a large mushroom pizza, $10.63 with tax.  I wasn't expecting New York style pizza, even though they have New York in it's name!   Just because a pizza place has New York in it's name, doesn't mean they serve New York style pizza! But, the crust was a medium thickness, firm and very good.  It will hold almost any amount of toppings.  The sauce was tangy and bold.  A good amount of cheese and less amount of mushrooms.  I couldn't figure out if the mushrooms were from a can or not.  But, the pizza was good.  I forgot to check what the regular price of a large one topping is, but if it is around $12, it would be worth the price.  Maybe the best in Walnut, but Walnut isn't a city known for it's pizza.  I've tried two pizza restaurants in Walnut, Paradise Pizza and, the now closed, Bella Napoli Trattoria & Pizza, which has been replaced by the chain Pieology. 

Service was very good.  The lady taking my order was nice and friendly.

I would go back to New York Pizzeria. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Italiano's Pizza

Italiano’s Pizza
6500 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles

When I reviewed Town Pizza a few weeks ago, I was reminded that I have not reviewed Italiano's Pizza.  Town Pizza took over the old Italiano's location on York Blvd. in Highland Park.  But, their location on Figueroa is still open. 

 Italiano's is basically built onto a house.  The kitchen is the back part of a house and the dining area is the patio, where there are about 8 tables!  The dining area needs a good cleaning!   Not an appealing place to walk into.

But, the kitchen area is clean.

Medium mushrooms and jalapenos, $12.53.  The crust is nice and firm, holding the topping very well.  It maybe a bit dry, but I like the firmness, nothing worse than your toppings falling off the pizza because the crust fell apart.  The sauce is a very mild sauce and there is plenty of it.  The cheese is also plentiful.  The jalapenos were plentiful, but the mushrooms were a bit lacking.  But, both were fresh.  They also have a 28in pizza that is just huge!  Once, I saw the delivery driver put four of the 28in pizza in his car! 

Service is good.  The lady taking my order was nice and helpful.

Despite the dirty dining area, I like Italiano's Pizza.  Is it the best pizza in Highland Park?  No.  But, it is a good value and will satisfy your pizza craving. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Donut Man

The Donut Man
915 E Route 66

I reviewed The Donut Man in 2008, when their famous strawberry donuts were out of season!  So, I went back after seeing a TV show that strawberry donuts are back! According to the owner of Donut Man, strawberries are in season from about Feb to September.  Peaches-the other fresh fruit donuts, are usually in season around July.

Bear claw, $2.  I always saw bear claws on the menu board but never on the racks.  One day I asked about them and here is the story.  Since bear claws take so much time to make, they are only made once a day, about 2 am!  Yes, that's 2 in the MORNING.  They are usually gone by about 8am that morning.  You can order them in advance.  So I placed an order for some bear claws.

This huge donut is filled with apple, that isn't as overpowering as the apple filled donuts I had in my first visit.  There are also some raisins mixed in with the apples.  The donut itself is very dense, moist and topped with a frosting, with peanuts, that has just the right amount of sweetness.  I liked this donut and it's well worth the $2 price tag.

Tiger Tail, $1.75. A long glazed donut with chocolate stripe, this is one of my favorite donuts from Donut Man.  Pretty simple, yet so good. 

Strawberry donut, $4.  Now, the world famous strawberry donut is packed with fresh strawberries in a nice sauce.  It's good, but not my favorite.  But, worth the time in line and drive, if you never had one before.

Service.  The day I went, service was good.  People were nice and friendly.  Now, if you go at night, service can be lacking.  I'm not talking about the long lines.  During strawberry donut season, long lines are the norm.  Hell, even when strawberry donuts aren't in season, lines can be long around 8pm, because Tiger tails are just coming out, hot and fresh!!  One night I dropped by and I was the only person there.  I walked up and the workers clearly saw me through the window.  I watched as they were making the strawberry donuts.  But, when I got to the window, it took about 5 minutes before anybody said anything to me.  Now, remind you, this is after making eye contact with the worker making the donuts.  They were too busy talking about the NFL playoffs.  When the guy finally came, he kept talking about football, that even though I ordered two donuts, a tiger tail and a chocolate with nuts, he kept forgetting which donut I wanted.  Maybe, if he concentrated on helping the customer, instead of saying the Seahawks are going to win the Super Bowl, he would have been done in about a minute, instead of the 3-4 minutes it took to finally get my order of TWO donuts, right.

A couple weeks later, I called and the owner happened to answer the phone.  To the credit of the owner, I told him the story and he said he would talk to his night manager and staff.  I hope he followed through!

If you're a foodie, Donut Man has to be on your bucket list!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


4200 Chino Hills Pkwy
Chino Hills.

Chino Hills already has Pacific Fish Grill, and now they have some competition.  Fish-O-Licious was reviewed by David Allen, and I decided to give them a try.  Fish-O-Licious, is a new chain, with locations in Commerce and Corona.  A Long Beach location is suppose to open soon. 

Fish-O-Licious has a fairly big sized dining area with nice neutral colors, that makes for a nice pleasing dining experience.  You don't feel like you're at a fast food restaurant or cafeteria.

Every Tuesday, they have a $1 fish taco special, so I decided to drop in.  I go there about noon and surprisingly, there were only five people in line.  I expected the lines to be out the door. 

Battered fish taco, $1 on Tuesday, regular price, $2.75. Sole.  On their menu, sole is listed as sole (basa).  Well sole and basa are two different type of fish.  Sole is generally more expensive.  So, if I had to guess this battered fish taco is made with basa fish.  It was pretty good.  The light crunchy batter was very good and hot.  This came right out of the fryer!  The fish had good flavor.  Cabbage, red onions, cilantro, and tomatoes were all fresh.  The flour tortilla was nice and warm.  The only thing I didn't like is the small size of the fish.  But, at  $1, it's a decent size piece of fish.  I hope the fish is bigger at the regular price!

Grilled fish taco, $1 on Tuesday, regular price, $2.75.  They use salmon and sole (basa) for their grilled fish tacos.  While I didn't see much salmon, the fish was well seasoned and well cooked.  The veggies were fresh.  If I had to choose, I think the battered fish taco was better, but both were good.

Calamari plate, with fries and cole slaw, $7.95.  The roll is a sourdough roll from a package.  The fries are standard frozen fries, nothing bad or great about them.  The calamari was clearly from a frozen bag.  They were very chewy and not fresh.  I wasn't impressed.

Service was very good, though my order seemed to take a bit longer than it should.  Nice friendly people who know the menu.

Both Pacific Fish Grill and Fish-O-Licious have their good and bad points.  I would say Pacific Fish Grill has the better deal on the fish tacos, because there is more fish in the tacos during their $1 special.