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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Neptune’s Net

Neptune’s Net
42505 Pacific Coast Hwy

I've always had Neptune's Net on my bucket list of places to try, but never made it out there.  I've been to other seafood places on PCH in Malibu like, Malibu Seafood and Reel Inn.   So, I finally made it to Neptune's Net.

Neptune's Net has basically the same concept like Malibu Seafood.  Communal picnic tables, great views of the oceans, and seafood!  The location says Malibu, but I didn't know Malibu continued in Ventura County!  When driving north on PCH, you see a sign- Entering Ventura County!  It's about a 30 mile drive from Santa Monica!  Neptune's Net draws a very diverse crowd; from the douchebag hipsters, to hikers-lots of hiking trails nearby, surfers, and bikers-more the wannabe Hell's Angels type than the hard core bikers!

Clam chowder, 8oz, $3.95.  Lots of potatoes, but clams were hard to find.  Nice creamy, hearty broth.  Not too impressed with this example of clam chowder.

Fried fish and shrimp, double combo with fries, $13.95.  The fish is wild Alaskan cod.  Two big pieces that had been sitting under heat lamps for awhile.  Nice, crunchy batter.  If I had to bet, I would bet the fish were fresh but I wouldn't be surprised if it was frozen.

I'm pretty sure the shrimp was frozen.  Six butterflied shrimp are nice and crunchy, but again, had been sitting under heat lamps. 

I asked for fries to be well done, they weren't, again sitting under heat lamps.  As you can tell, I wasn't that impressed with the food at Neptune's Net. 

Service was good.  The lady who took my order was very nice and well trained.  She knew who kind of fish they used for the fish and chips, and if there was any bacon in the clam chowder; there isn't.  My order came out quickly, another clue it had been sitting under heat lamps.

If Malibu Seafood was a longer drive than Neptune's Net, I would still go to Malibu Seafood, at least for the fried seafood.  Food wise Malibu Seafood is slightly better, but neither are anything great.  Location gives both places are great advantage, but I don't think they are worth the drive.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Hollywood Pies

Hollywood Pies
6116 1/2 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles

November 9, 1989 is recognized as the day the Berlin Wall came down!  Today is the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall!  This couldn't have happened without President Reagan, in June of 1987, telling those commie bastards to "TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!!! "  About two years later, the Berlin Wall came down and those commie bastards lost the Cold War!! USA!!  USA!! USA!!

Los Angeles has the largest section of the Berlin Wall, outside of Germany, across from LACMA and hosted by the Wende Museum.

What does the Berlin Wall have to do with Hollywood Pies?  Nothing really, expect that the Berlin Wall display is about a mile away from Hollywood Pies.  But, on such a historic occasion, people should remember the fall of the wall!!

When Hollywood Pies first opened up in 2011, they were making their pizzas in a rented kitchen and selling them through the back door, near the Beverly Center.  I went back to Hollywood Pies a few more times times at their Beverly Center location.  Then they moved to another similar setup on Boylston.   A third move saw them in West LA or the Culver City area, and finally they opened a sit down restaurant on Pico, in the Mid City area.  Then sadly, sometime within the past year, their Pico location closed. 

Two weeks ago, a friend told me he had Hollywood Pies for dinner the night before, and loved the pizza.  I thought he was joking or something.  But, sure enough I checked and Hollywood Pies Pico location is open!!  So, I finally go to Hollywood Pies sit down restaurant!

Hollywood Pies is on a very busy street, Pico, and the restaurant is small and easy to miss when driving.  There are four tables (two tables for four and four tables for two ) and a couple more seats outside.  You order at the counter and they bring your pizza to your table.  Call ahead, since a deep dish takes about 35 minutes to bake.  They are currently open from 1-9 pm on Sundays.  Other days they open at 4pm.  They are closed on Mondays.

Small Italian Garden ($16)-Whole milk mozzarella, sweet red peppers, baby bella mushrooms and onions.  I added spinach, which they did not charge me for.  A very nice thing for them to do!  The crust was the same, light, flaky and buttery.  Two toppings, spinach and onions, were loaded up.  But, the mushrooms and red peppers were few and far in between.  I would have preferred more mushrooms, but all the toppings were fresh.

Now, the sauce has changed.  It's more mild, lacking the boldness of their other sauce.  It's almost as though there wasn't any sauce.  Overall still a damn good deep dish pizza, but not something I would go rushing back for.

Service is ok.  The kid who took my order was pretty friendly and helpful when taking my order.  But, when my pizza was done, he just handed me the pizza.  No, thank you or come again.  And it wasn't like it was busy, I was the only customer there.

While I'm glad to know that Hollywood Pies has reopened, and you can actually dine in, I was disappointed that the sauce is different.  I won't rush back but will go back again.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sal & Sons Pizza & Pasta

Sal & Sons Pizza & Pasta
1520 N Mountain Ave
Ste A-101
(909) 984-2300

Yes, another review of a pizza place with Sal or Sal's in it's name!  This time it is Sal and Sons Pizza & Pasta in Ontario.  The other pizza places with Sal or Sal's in their name are, Two Sal's in Montebello-which is now closed, Sal's Pizza and Bagelry in La Verne, and Sal's Pizza in Alta Loma. I found out about Sal & Sons Pizza and Pasta from a review by David Allen.

Sal & Sons Pizza & Pasta is located in a very diverse shopping center just south of the 10 Freeway and Mountain Ave. exit.  There is also a Chinese, Mexican, and an American restaurant (A wings place called Wing Nuts.  I reviewed their Costa Mesa location, but have not been to this location) in that same shopping center.  There could be other restaurants, but those three I noticed.  Sal & Sons is a large sized, casual restaurant.  You order at the counter and they will bring your food to your table.  I was surprised how busy they were at about 3pm on a Sunday afternoon.

Sicilian two topping- mushrooms and jalapenos, $24.46.  This pizza had 16 slices, with lots of cheese and a mild tasting sauce.  There was a decent amount of toppings and the toppings were pretty fresh.  But, the crust was the worst part of the pizza.  The crust was too crispy for the slices from the sides and the slices from the middle were soggy.  

Service was good.  The lady was friendly and helpful.  But, one interesting thing about Sal & Sons is they consider toppings like broccoli and spinach as two toppings.  Not sure why because mushrooms are more expensive at the supermarket than broccoli and spinach!  

Standing on a soapbox now:  This is something I don't understand about the pricing at pizza places.  If you order a veggie pizza, the veggies are what the restaurant decides-most have mushrooms, bell peppers, olives and tomatoes.  Well, if most toppings are priced the same, why can't a customer substitute any of the toppings?  Say instead of olives, you want jalapenos?  I mean if you delete a topping they still charge you the same price.  So why not allow the customers to substitute a different veggie topping on a veggie pizza?

I thought Sal & Sons was ok.  Maybe their regular pizza is better, but I don't think I'll be back any time soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


1414 Lincoln Blvd
Santa Monica

Yes, there are two reviews in one week on The New Diner!  Hope you enjoy!

I always wanted to compare the two Polish restaurants, Polka Polish Restaurant, and Warszawa in Santa Monica, in the LA area.  I finally made it Warszawa about three weeks ago, without a camera.  I wasn't that impressed with the food, but a friend invited me back for dinner, so I went to take pictures.

Located at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Lincoln Ave, Warszawa has been in business for 35 years!  Warszawa is a little more upscale and bigger than Polka.  It's really an old house converted into a restaurant.  I believe there is a bar at the very back, but I've only been in the dining area.

Campari tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, goat cheese salad, $8.  A good, refreshing salad with fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, goat cheese, and romaine lettuce.  But, it was mostly lettuce and small amounts of mushrooms and goat cheese.  A bit overpriced, but this is Santa Monica.

Steamed wild mushroom and shredded cabbage pierogi, $5, as an appetizer.  You get two pierogies per order and a choice between steamed and fried.  A dinner portion is $17 with six pierogies and veggies and potatoes.  The pierogies are much smaller than Polka.  They were very bland and lacked flavor. 

Service by the server was very good.  She was nice, helpful, and cared about providing good service.  But, a few minutes after getting our food, the hostess brought the check to our table.  When the server came by, she apologized for the error.  It wasn't a big deal- even though the hostess didn't say anything (Thank you?) when dropping off the check.

Warszawa is very average,  I really doubt I would go back!  I much prefer Polka, and think they are the best Polish restaurant in LA. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Petrilli’s Pizza

Petrilli’s Pizza
110 S Mountain Ave

Yes, this is an actual review by The New Diner!!  No, The New Diner has not reopened.  I just wanted to do a review about what used to be Petrillo's location in Upland!  I recently reread David Allen's review about Fratello’s Pizza and Pasta in Upland where he mentioned Petrilli's.  Two years after David's review, I went to Fratello’s Pizza and Pasta.   I emailed him and we decided to meet for dinner at Petrilli's.  Interesting that the last time David and I met, we went to another pizza place, Sal's Pizza!

I went to Petrillo's Pizza in Glendora and San Gabriel, and heard that they used to have a third location in Upland.  Apparently, the story goes, the Petrillo's in Upland was owned by Petrillo's but, they changed ownership and the name to Petrilli's about ten years ago!

Located in the same shopping center as, to my shock, the still open, Windy C's hotdog stand, Petrilli's is a small, mostly take out location.  There are two tables inside, if you want to eat there.

I got a small three topping pizza; mushrooms, onions, and jalapenos, $14.  On Monday and Tuesday, Petrilli's has a special, if you order a medium or large pizza, you get a small pizza for half price.  The offer is also good for salads and pastas.  

The pizza was heavy, which is always a good sign.  There were a ton of jalapenos, and onions, but not as many mushrooms as I prefer.  But, the toppings were fresh and tasty.  The pizza is loaded with cheese-a good quality mozzarella cheese.

But, I thought the sauce was lacking, both in flavor and quantity! I had to check and see if there was sauce.  Now, the crust-the weakest part of this pizza.  It was a cracker crust, which I do not like at all.  While it held up the toppings well, I would have much preferred a softer chewier crust.

Service is good.  The guy taking our order was friendly and helpful.  Something I noticed was that he was happy to see us take pictures of the food.  When I first started The New Diner, people would always ask why am I taking pictures of the food.  My normal response was "None of your damn business." but now with camera phones, most restaurants embrace people taking pictures of their food.  Unless you're a pompous asshole like the owner of Father's Office.

If you like a cracker-crust pizza, you'll love Petrilli's.  If you prefer a softer crust, go to somewhere else, like San Biagio's Pizza, just across Mountain Ave!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Future of The New Diner 2

For the past eight years or so, I've had a blast trying different restaurants and writing reviews on The New Diner and The New Diner 2.  I started The New Diner as a way for me to learn how to use the new digital camera I got in 2005.   Then, I couldn't believe people actually read my reviews!

Now it's 2014 and I've decided it's time to close The New Diner 2.   Maybe not completely close it, but there won't be many reviews.  If I find a really good restaurant, I may comment on it but don't expect pictures, since my motto is there is no I in phone!

Thank you to all the loyal The New Diner and The New Diner 2 readers. 

Added April 21, 2014

I'll try to keep the list of closed restaurants updated.  Usually what happens is that I'll be in the area and notice that a restaurant is no longer there.  For example, I was in Long Beach recently and  noticed Shorehouse Cafe and Sushi Saurus, were no longer there. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Intiraymi Restaurant

Intiraymi Restaurant
23545 Palomino Dr
Diamond Bar

So Diamond Bar gets a Peruvian restaurant and I finally get a chance to try it.  Located in a strip mall behind a gas station and an overpriced Chinese restaurant-that I won't go to, Intiraymi Restaurant has been in Diamond Bar for about a year.  It is a good sized restaurant with seating for about 20-25 people, though the decor is very basic.  

Pescado Frito-fried fish-sea bass with steamed rice and salad, $11.95.  The fish was lightly battered and well fried but very bland.  The fish itself was moist and flavorful.  I would guess they use fresh, not frozen fish, but I could be mistaken.  The rice was fine.  The salad was standard.

Service was good.  The man who took my order, who I believe is the owner, was nice, friendly and helpful.  I got the order quickly, considering they had to fry the fish. 

I was disappointed with the fried fish.  Some of their other dishes look great and I may give them a try the next time I go to Intiraymi Restaurant.