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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Warszawa


Warszawa
1414 Lincoln Blvd
Santa Monica
310-393-8831

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. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Petrilli’s Pizza

Petrilli’s Pizza
110 S Mountain Ave
Upland
909-981-8114

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
909-861-1200

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.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ocie's Texas BBQ at The Crossing

Ocie's Texas BBQ at The Crossing
3245 Casitas Ave
Los Angeles
323-522-3488

The Crossing is actually an industrial park split into artist studios, the Atwater Village Performing Arts Center, and the dining options.

I really don't know how to describe dining options at The Crossing; a neighborhood meeting spot with a few dining options?  Two separate restaurants?  Anyways, The Crossing has Ocie's Texas BBQ, a pizza restaurant, and a coffee place.  There are plenty of tables inside and outside. 




Spare ribs plate, $12, with double mac and cheese.  Texas BBQ means mesquite wood is used to smoke the meats.  The smokers are right next to the patio, so they do smoke their meats.  But, they haven't perfected their meat.  The ribs were tough, chewy and needed to be in the smoker for another two hours, at least one more hour.  The rub is heavy on the paprika with slight hints of cumin.  I wasn't impressed.

The mac and cheese needed more cheese sauce, though the macaroni was well cooked.

Service left a lot to be desired.  While the server was friendly, she didn't come around often.  We lacked for refills and somebody at the table had to ask three times for coffee before finally getting it. 

I wouldn't come back to Ocie's Texas BBQ again.  Poor food and service.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Nonno's Pizzeria

Nonno's Pizzeria
15870 Soquel Canyon Pkwy, Ste E,
Chino Hills
909-597-9977

So, I'm craving pizza tonight and I remember a friend mentioning that Nonno's Pizzeria in Chino Hills has been on her list of places to try.  So, a quick search to get directions and I'm off to most southern part of Chino Hills.

I arrive to an nearly empty parking with and Nonno's is another take out only pizza place, like Sal's Pizza. Funny, I passed by Nonno's other location in Upland on my way to Sal's and placed it on my list of places to look into. 


Silician pizza, with sausage and I asked for four sliced to be just cheese.  I liked the crust, with it's nice velvety inside texture and the firm outside.  The cheese was plentiful and the sauce was well balanced, though some my think it is on the bland side.  But, the sausage was bland and lacked flavor.  It was just unseasoned meat.  But, I really didn't like the amount of sausage on the pizza.  They also had a one sausage piece to slice ratio and that sucked.  It made this pizza a very bad value.  I mean I might as well go to Little Ceasar's and get their $8 pan pizza.  From a local pizzeria I'm expecting a lot more.

Service was ok.  I placed a phone order because I didn't want to wait around for the pizza.  The guy was friendly on the phone, but clueless when I asked for the four slices to be just cheese.  I mean it can't be that tough to leave four slices without any toppings!  I mean it won't cost anymore time or actually saves them money.  What would be the difference if I asked for half cheese and half sausage?  Four more slices would not have sausage!  So what's the big deal about having only four slices just cheese?

Overall the pizza was pretty good, not great, but the high price tag and the small amount of toppings on the pizza makes it a very bad value.  I won't be back to Nonno's. 

Greenblatt's Delicatessen & Fine Wine Shop

Greenblatt's Delicatessen & Fine Wine Shop
8017 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood
323-656-0606

A few blocks east of Carney's is Greenblatt's Deli.  I had planned to eat at Carney's but there was a long line at Carney's.  When I passed Greenblatt's on the way to Carney's, I realized it has been on my list of places to try.  So I came here.

Greenblatt's is a two story restaurant.  The ground floor has a small number of tables, the deli counter, and a huge retail store.  The upper floor has seating for about 40 people.  It was pretty busy when we arrived, all the tables were taken on the ground floor.  So, the bus boy said there was seating up stairs.  Notice, there was no host or hostess greeting people. Anyways, we were seated at the last empty table upstairs.


Pastrami sandwich, $12.95.  The menu at Greenblatt's said their pastrami was rated best pastrami.  Now The New Diner readers know I'm not a fan of Langers, what people says is the holy grail for pastrami; it's good pastrami but nothing great, certainly not the holy grail!  Personally, my holy grail for pastrami is Katz's in New York City!

So, I had to order the pastrami.  Sliced thin, the pastrami was flavorful and tasty, but a bit dry.  There was a good amount of pastrami on the sandwich, well worth the $12.95 price tag.  What made up for it was the great rye bread!  The crust was tough but chewy and the bread was just fantastic!   I got a side of fresh fruit and everything was good, expect for the very sour orange slice.

Service is below average.  While the server was nice, he wasn't around that often.  It took a long time to even place our order, get refills, he forgot to bring the extra napkins we asked for. To cut him some slack, I think it's how the restaurant assigns servers.  It seems our server had a couple tables upstairs but had all the tables downstairs.  I also didn't like the no host policy.  If the busboy didn't happen to walk by, I may still be standing there waiting for a table!

I wouldn't go back to Greenblatt's.  The pastrami sandwich was fine, but nothing great and service left a lot to be desired.