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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Veggie Grill

Veggie Grill
200 S Lake
Pasadena, CA 91101

A couple doors down from Dupar's Restaurant, which used to be Hamburger Hamlet, is Veggie Grill.  Veggie Grill is a chain plant based restaurant.  There is no meat products in their food.  You can enter Veggie Grill from the back parking lot or from Lake Ave.  It's a good sized restaurant with a long section of tables for two, as you enter from the back and tables that can seat larger groups in the front.  You order at the counter and your food is brought to you.

Crab cake sandwich, $9.95, Crispy ''crab'' cake, spiced tartar sauce, pickles, tomato, lettuce, red onion on a whole wheat bun, with a a choice of side, I got the tomato basil soup, which was more appealing than Yukon gold fries or cole slaw.

The crab cake is made with a soy protein and was indeed very crispy, with good flavor.  Of course, it didn't have the same texture as a crab cake made with real crab, but this was good.  But, they could have put more tartar sauce on the sandwich, it was fairly dry.

The tomato basil soup was seasoned perfectly and creamy. 

Mac and cheese, $4.45.  The macaroni was cooked perfectly.  But, the "cheese" sauce was so chalky and dry.  Not good at all.  Portion size was very small and not worth the high price.

Service was good.  I got my order quickly.

Veggie Grill is pretty good in my book.  I won't rush back, but I wouldn't rule out going there if in the area.  Though, I would not order the mac and cheese again.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Little Jewel of New Orleans

Little Jewel of New Orleans
207 Ord St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Orleans & York Deli has been on my bucketlist since I heard their po boys were very good.  But, after reading a Yelp review of Orleans & York Deli, somebody said that Little Jewel of New Orleans, has better po boys and service.  I searched and found that Little Jewel is just up the street from the place that copied Coles, the real inventor of the French Dip sandwich; that overrated Philippe The Original, in Chinatown!!  Yes, weird that you can only get decent Chinese food in Chinatown, but can get great New Orleans/ Cajun food in Chinatown!!

Little Jewel is part market and part deli.  Their shelves are stocked with New Orleans staples, including a good selection of hot sauce.  You order at the cash register, not the deli counter-that's where you pick up your food.

Shrimp po boy, $14, deep fried shrimp, mayo, pickles, lettuce, cabbage, and tomatoes.  The french bread is shipped from New Orleans and is soft, yet has a good firm chewy texture.  There were a ton of shrimp, each perfectly cooked-lightly breaded, with good flavor.  The menu warns that their sandwiches come with a lot of mayo, so I asked for light mayo.  The veggies were fresh.  This was a great sandwich, very filling and well worth the price!!

Service is good.  The guy at the register was nice and helpful.  The sandwich came out quickly and the lady was very nice.  She took the time to write out their wi-fi password.  The only thing I see they need to improve upon is that they should make it more clear that you order at the cash register, not the deli counter.  While I was eating a couple people tried to order at the deli counter.

While I still haven't been to Orleans & York Deli, they have a huge mountain to climb, because Little Jewel has a great po boy sandwich!! 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Nancy’s Pizza

Nancy’s Pizza
410 W Main St Ste 100
Alhambra, CA 91801

I first heard of Nancy's Pizza when I drove by a new building on Foothill Blvd. in La Verne and saw a sign that said future home of Nancy's Pizza.  A quick search and I found out Nancy's is a Chicago area chain that is expanding to Southern California.  Nancy's claims to have invented the stuffed pizza!  The difference between deep dish pizza and stuffed pizza, is that there is a layer of dough and sauce, on top of the stuffed pizza.

Nancy's Pizza in Alhambra is across from Alondra Hot Wings, is in a mixed use building that has retail space on the ground floor and condos or apartments on the upper levels.  Nancy's is next to Al's Chicago Beef, another chain that serves a Chicago staple- Italian beef sandwiches!

Medium, Original 2in, Nana's Special, baby spinach, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese, $23.98.  There is no  cornmeal on the crust.  But, the crust was buttery and flakely.  There was plenty of cheese, but the toppings were pretty spare.  And it was only mushrooms and spinach, not expensive toppings.  The pizza is pretty good but very pricey, almost $24 for a medium???

Service was pretty good.  I called in my order, because I know stuffed/deep dish pizza take awhile to bake.  I saw Nancy's menu online, but forgot that they called baby spinach, mushrooms, and mozzarella was called Nana's Special.  The young lady who took my phone order didn't know the menu and had to look at the menu to figure out I wanted the Nana's Special.  Not that big of a deal but, something that needs to be worked on.  The pizza was ready when I arrived, so that was good.  I asked for a box and the box can flat, not folded.  Again, not a big deal, but come on, fold the box.

My go to places for deep dish pizza in LA are Masa of Echo Park, Hollywood Pies, and Union Pizza.  Nancy's is pretty good but not worth the price.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Pizza Di Marco

Pizza Di Marco
23758 Newhall Ave
Newhall, CA 91321

I was going to a potluck out in Newhall and didn't have time to make anything.  A quick search led me to Pizza Di Marco.  A standard suburban pizza place in a strip mall.  There are about 8-10 tables and a TV, turned to a stupid kick ball game, instead of the NFL!! 

Two large, one topping pizza, $19.99.  I asked if I could get a cheese pizza and two toppings on the other pizza.  The lady who took my order said no problem.  I have yet to encounter a pizza place that will not allow customers to do this!! 

Since I only ate a slice or two of the cheese pizza, that's what is pictured and reviewed.  The crust was about twice as thick as thin crust pizza.  The sauce didn't have much flavor.  The cheese as fine.  There was nothing outstanding about this pizza.  It was fine for what it is.  Better than the chains, but nothing great.

Service was good.  The lady was nice and friendly. 

I only went to Pizza Di Marco because I needed something close by and this met the requirement.  The pizza was fine, but I'm not in a rush to go back.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Bulan Thai Vegetarian Kitchen

Bulan Thai Vegetarian Kitchen
4114 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029

A friend and I were trying to decide where to eat.  The two choices were My Vegan Gold and Bulan Thai Vegetarian Kitchen.  Since I already went to My Vegan Gold, the choice was easy!.  Bulan Thai Vegetarian Kitchen is a small restaurant, tucked into a corner on Santa Monica Blvd, just south of Sunset Blvd.  Parking is terrible nearby!!  Many streets are permit only at night.  There is another Bulan on Melrose.

Hot wings, $8, veggie chicken wings deep-fried, flavored with special hot sauce, served with carrot sticks and ranch dressing.

This tasted just like chicken!!  The texture and flavor were perfect!  You could eat this and never miss the real thing!!

Chow mein, $9, broccoli, celery, carrots, and tofu in a garlic sauce.  Again, like My Vegan Gold, the garlic sauce in this chow mein dish was sweet.  The tofu were cut into thicker squares and were perfectly good.  The veggies were fresh.  I thought the portion was a bit small but otherwise this is a good dish!

Service is good.  The servers are nice and friendly, and the food comes out quickly.

I prefer My Vegan Gold, but Bulan is very good. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

My Vegan Gold

My Vegan Gold
4319 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029

My Vegan Gold is in the same shopping center as Agra Cafe and Garage Pizza, at the very busy corner of Fountain and Sunset.  The shopping center once housed the now closed, Tang's Donuts and Sandwiches, that served up a good sandwich for $5.  Much better than the crap at Subway.  In this shopping center there are Saito Sushi and Jay's Bar-which is suppose to have good food, that I could still try.

There is another vegan restaurant a few miles away, Sage, where the food is overpriced and the service is terrible. I went there once and will never go back!

Nacho cheese bomb fries, $4.95.  I'm guessing these are frozen fries, but they were cooked perfectly!!  Very crispy on the outside and soft inside.  The nacho cheese was pretty good, a thick sauce, not sure how it's made, but came close to nacho cheese.  I would order both the nacho cheese bomb fries or the regular fries again!!

Chow mein, $9.95, wheat yellow noodles, organic tofu, assorted veggies-cabbage, snap peas, carrots, onions, bean sprouts, and zucchini, in a garlic sauce.  This was outstanding!!  You won't miss the meat, because there is so much flavor in this dish.  The noodles were cooked perfectly, the veggies fresh and crisp, the tofu-fried perfectly.  Though the garlic sauce was a bit too sweet, it wasn't overpowering.

Service was ok.  Though when I first got there, I waited at the counter and saw a man, who I believe is the owner, look at a lady and asked her what she wanted to order.  Even though there were three other ladies in line ahead of her.  It turned out two of three ladies were together, but the third lady, who was in line ahead of the lady that owner helped, got screwed.  The owner should have asked who is next?  But, the young lady who took my order and brought my food was good.  Not overly friendly, but did her job.

I would go back to My Vegan Gold again.  I like their food and the prices are reasonable, which is something that you can't say about all vegan or vegetarian places.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Agra Cafe

Agra Cafe
4325 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029

Agra Cafe is tucked into a corner in the same retail center as Garage Pizza in Silver Lake.  The shopping center once housed the now closed, Tang's Donuts and Sandwiches.

It is a very nicely decorated restaurant, with lots of tables.  I got my order for take out.

Samosa, $3.95.  The outside was a bit overdone.  But, had a good crispy texture.  The inside was just too bland, no flavor at all.

Shrimp Saagwala, $13.95, shrimp with chopped spinach and spices.  I asked for medium spiciness.  Not what I expected, but this was a very good dish.  About eight medium sized shrimp were covered in a spinach stew.  The spinach was nicely flavored but, it wasn't even spicy!!  The shrimp were pretty fresh and pretty good.  I don't think this was worth the price tag, even if this dish had the right spiciness!

Service by the guy who took my order was good.  He was nice and helpful.  The lady who gave me my order, was terrible.  She didn't say anything, not even a Thank you!!  She needs to learn customer service skills!!

The lack of customer service by that lady wouldn't prevent me from going back to Agra Cafe, but the high prices and only pretty good food, would prevent me from going back!