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Saturday, October 17, 2015


146 S Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101

A few doors north of Veggie Grill is Lemonade-a fast casual, healthy food restaurant.  I first found out about Lemonade, after seeing their Larchmont Blvd. location across from Cafe Gratitude!  People have said Lemonade is better than Veggie Grill and Tender Greens.

Lemonade is cafeteria style setting.  Paper plates and plastic silverware.  You start at the first section which is called Market Place- You can get your salads by portions, $2.75 per portion.  As you move along there is Hot Market Veggies-mashed potatoes, roasted veggies etc.  Land/Sea- fish, chicken, and beef options.  Braises-meat options like BBQ brisket and lemongrass chicken , sandwiches, and hot portions-soups, mac and cheese, and chili including a vegetarian option.  Finally at the end of the line you can order drinks and of course pay. 

Edamame, Snap Pea, Carrots, Breakfast Radish, $2.75.  I really liked this salad-very fresh and refreshing.

Israeli Couscous, Wild Mushroom, Parmesan, Lemon Truffle, $2.75. A very good dish with flavorful mushrooms and perfectly cooked and seasoned couscous!

Spicy Crab and Avocado Salad Stuffed Vine Ripe Tomato- $6.50.  Not a fan.  The crab was mushy and very bland-not spicy at all.  The tomato wasn't ripe, a very sour taste.  I should have stuck with my first choice a citrus salmon. 

Mac and cheese, $3.75. This mac and cheese was horrible!  So dry and bland!  There wasn't enough cheese sauce and the little sauce was flavorless!  Good thing the macaroni was cooked right.

Service is good.  All workers on the line were nice and friendly.

I liked my salads but the proteins and mac and cheese were not good at all.  I would go back and give Lemonade another chance, but I was disappointed with the food in my first visit.

Orleans & York Deli

Orleans & York Deli
333 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Orleans & York Deli has been on my bucketlist of places to try, but I found Little Jewel, and since I was nearby, I went there first to try their shrimp po boy- very good!!  So I finally went to Orleans and York, their downtown LA location.  I understand they also have locations in Inglewood, Windsors Hills-on Slauson, and they are opening one in Carson soon.

Orleans & York tries to combine New Orleans style sandwiches with New York style sandwiches.  Their downtown location is on Spring-a one way street, there is street parking and paid lots nearby.  Orleans & York is a small restaurant with a long refrigerated section- stocked with drinks, salads, and other items.  There is counter to sit, and tables outside, in a breezeway between the restaurant and a bank. 

Shrimp po boy, $11.49, mayo, lettuce, and tomato.  The shrimp is huge, they must use jumbo sized shrimp!  It's lightly fried in a well seasoned battered.  Very good and filling.  The roll is soft with a very good texture!  The lettuce and tomatoes are very fresh.  A great sandwich and worth the price!!  I do wish they would put pickles like Little Jewel and how most po boys in New Orleans are served!

Service is below average.  When I arrived there were two people taking orders, a young lady and a guy.  The guy was helping a group of young women.  Then he went out and sat with the young women.  Is this a pick up joint or a restaurant?  Who leaves the register to hit on a group of women?  So, that left the young lady and she was ok- she did her job like a robot.

If you can put up with ok service, Orleans & York has the better po boy than Little Jewel, and about $2 less, with bigger pieces of shrimp.  I would go back despite the below average service.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Veggie Grill-Updated Review

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.

Update August 22, 2017:

Beyond Burger, $12.95. Burger by Beyond Meat, American "cheese", grilled onions, house made sauce, tomato, iceberg lettuce, sesame buns.  Beyond Meat is a 100% plant based, non GMO, veggie patty.  In other words it's a better veggie burger than that genetically modified Impossible Burger from Umami!  Veggie Grill has carried the Beyond Burger for about six months and is such a great seller, it now has a permanent place on their menu!!

This was very tasty, full of flavor, well seasoned veggie burger.  The toppings were fresh.  I really liked the thousand island house made sauce.   It was so good, I almost ordered another burger!!  It's a steal at $12.95 with your choice of fries or the soup.

Service was good.  But, for whatever after I ordered they suddenly got a rush of people.  They didn't handle it well, as some people were waiting a long time for their orders.  Maybe somebody called in sick, but it seemed as though they were understaffed.

I loved the Beyond Meat burger and I like Veggie Grill, so I'll return soon!

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!!