Monday, October 30, 2017
3920 Grand Ave
Chino, CA 91710
Yum Buffet & Grill replaced the Hometown Buffet in Chino. They really gave the space a huge upgrade. They put tile on the walls and it's a much nicer place to have dinner.
There is a huge buffet line along the back wall, with the Mongolian BBQ at the far left!
The buffet on a Sunday night is $16.99.
The coconut shrimp was way too sweet. The shrimp was coated in a thick batter and then deep fried, then a sweet coconut sauce. Not a good dish.
The shrimp from the seafood delight entree was well cooked and seasoned.
The greenbeans were cooked with some garlic and this was a good dish.
Mongolian BBQ- shrimp, mushrooms, green onions, red and brown onions, and jalapenos! This is cooked to order. This was great! Fresh veggies, and shrimp and loved the fact they had some jalapenos, which added a nice heat to the dish!
The fried shrimp was your standard frozen shrimp dropped into the fryer. Some pieces were good depending how how long the shrimp was on the steam tray. I got some pieces that just came from the fryer and tasted good. Others had been on the steam tray for too long. Just the way things go at a buffet.
Service was pretty good. But, one of the servers just stood there staring at the 2-3 tables, waiting to take away any used dishes. It was like you were being watched by the lunch aides during elementary school lunch.
Overall Yum Buffet and Grill was a good value. I would go back there.
Friday, October 27, 2017
1106 S Diamond Bar Blvd
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
A few doors down from The Whole Enchilada, is King Bap, a Korean rolls and bowls place. I've seen Korean sushi and many Koreans own sushi restaurants. I thought this was going to be a poke bowl type place.
It's a small restaurant with the counter right in front of you as you walk in. There are tables around the other parts of the restaurant.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Elbows Mac N Cheese
215 W Birch St
Brea, CA 92821
Elbows Mac N Cheese might be where Berkeley Dog used to be. Anyways, a new restaurant in the ever changing Birch Street dining and entertainment center. There was a Red Brick Pizza and a Fatburger that also called this address home.
It's a fairly small restaurant with counter service. There are tables as you walk in and the counter is along the back of the building. There are also about 3-4 tables outside.
Service is ok. The girl who helped us was nice and friendly, but when we walked to the counter she just disappeared to the back. She made eye contact with us, but still went to the back. Not sure why, but at least say something before leaving us hanging at the counter.
But, what I found unsettling Elbows, is that the staff treated their job as if they were at home. I saw staff members eating while on the job. I saw staff members just sit at tables meant for customers and talk as if they were sitting around the dinner table. Whoever the manager is, they need to get their staff members to treat their jobs as a job, not a social network.
I wouldn't go back to Elbows again. The main draw, the mac and cheese, was ok. But, nothing outstanding.
Friday, October 20, 2017
2064 Verdugo Blvd
Montrose, CA 91020
Just east of Sushi Plus, is Hikari Sushi, a fairly new all you can eat sushi restaurant. Back in the late 1980's in this strip mall, there used to be a great fried chicken restaurant. I can't remember the name, but if any readers remember the name of that fried chicken restaurant, please email me. I remember the fried chicken came in plain white buckets, at a time when the Colonel gave his fried chicken in boxes!
Anyways, Hikari has taken over three units in this complex. You enter at the far right door. If you walk straight there are some tables. To the left is the large sushi bar and more tables. It's a well lit restaurant.
Most of the sushi was good quality for all you can eat.
Service while dining was very good. The two ladies who helped me were nice and brought food quickly. They explained how the all you can eat system works. I had no issues with service while I was dining. I have big issues with the lady who was the host. She is a server too, but she is a bitch! I wanted to watch Game 6 of the ALCS. They had a couple tv's that were showing a commercial. I asked her what game is on that TV. She was rude and mean and a bitch! It's a good thing she didn't come to my table, because I would have told her to get the hell away from my table.
Overall the sushi here is good. Decent sized fish, that is fresh. But, the server/hostess needs to go. I won't be back!
Thursday, October 19, 2017
4430 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Noshi Sushi has been around since 1983. They moved to the larger Beverly location a few years after opening. It's a huge restaurant with booths lining two walls of the restaurant. Along the western wall are tables, and the sushi bar covers the south wall. I went to Noshi for the first time about two years ago. I thought their sushi was good, and wanted to come back.
One thing to remember, it's cash only! Go to the ATM before coming or get charged a service fee for using their ATM. Surprisingly on a Thursday night, they weren't that crowded, maybe 70% full. If you come on a Friday or Saturday during dinner, expect a long wait!
Shrimp tempura roll was only ok. Five huge pieces but a very small piece of shrimp tempura that went straight from the freezer to the fryer!
Service was good. The servers are nice and friendly. The sushi arrived quickly.
It was hit and miss this time at Noshi. I won't rush back, but if I do, I will get the California roll! I wish more sushi restaurants would use real crab for their California rolls!!
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Modan Artisanal Ramen
700 Fair Oaks Ave
South Pasadena, CA 91030
Modan Artisanal Ramen is owned by the same people as Nori Sushi Wrap! It's in the same center as Bristol Farms, which is across Fair Oaks and a little north of Nori. I went with a friend, but I hate ramen. I was glad to see other non ramen items on the menu.
Modan is a fairly small restaurant with tables along both sides as you enter and the prep area in the back of the room. It's tastefully decorated in wood tones.
Service is good. One guy took care of about four tables. He was friendly and helpful.
I would go back to Modan just for this rice dish. My friend had a huge poke bowl and I may try that the next time!
Monday, October 16, 2017
2121 Rosecrans Ave Ste 1399
El Segundo, CA 90245
I reviewed the Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn a few years ago. A few weeks back I read about a Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in El Segundo, and they have a $10 Monday special in October! So, the first Monday I could, I made a trip to El Segundo. Located across Rosecrams Ave from Union Pizza Company, on the ground floor of a business complex, Grimaldi’s is a huge restaurant.
There is a huge dining room to the right as you enter. To the left is a galley style bar area. Red and white checked tablecloths and New York City subway signs finish off the decor.
Service, if you're ordering take out you order at the bar, was good. The bartender, who was working a couple tables in the dining room, was very nice and helpful.
I was disappointed about the quality standards. It would have been a very good pizza, if the crust wasn't well done. I may go back to Grimaldi’s, but I wouldn't rush back to this El Segundo location. I would go back to Union Pizza Company before going back to Grimaldi’s.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
13212 Sherman Way
Los Angeles, CA 91605
Kazuki Sushi was named one of the 12 Essential sushi restaurants in the San Fernando Valley by LA Eater. They have been opened for about 5-6 months. Located in a very industrial area of Valley Glen, which used to be part of North Hollywood and Van Nuys! Guess the NIMBY's wanted to their property values to increase with a name change. Anyways there are a lot of auto repair shops nearby and a very nice vanity and bathroom decor store nearby.
Kazuki Sushi is a repurposed Rainbow Thai restaurant. A fresh coat of paint, and simple decor makes for a nice setting.
Service was good. While the restaurant wasn't busy, they were attentive, friendly and helpful. A minor complaint, they took awhile to bring my check after I finished eating. For about 4-5 minutes they didn't come around at all. They were too busy gossiping. Not a major issue, but something they need to work on.
Overall I was impressed with Kazuki Sushi! I would go back! I just wouldn't order the crunch roll or the halibut again.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
711 Fair Oaks Ave Ste K
South Pasadena, CA 91030
Nori Sushi Wraps is an interesting take on sushi. They put everything you find in a sushi roll, into a sushi burrito! Located in a strip mall on busy Fair Oaks Ave., Nori is a small place. There are tables and high top tables as you walk in. Then the counter is along the back wall, where you order and they prepare your food.
The fries are standard frozen fries, but pretty good. The spicy tuna is very good and they pile it on! They give you a huge portion of the spicy tuna! I wasn't sure about ordering this, fries topped with sushi, but it works! Next time I will ask for the fries to be well done!
Shrimp Tempura wrap, $9.50-Tempura shrimp, cucumber, avocado, crab meat, spicy tuna, and kale lettuce slaw. Inside sauces are Spicy mayo and Eel sauce. This was good, but a bit dry. Ok, maybe I should have put some soy sauce or more spicy maco, but it was dry. But, all the ingredients were good. I'm betting the shrimp tempura was frozen, but everything else is fresh. It's a huge portion and well worth the price.
Service is good. The guy who took my order was new, because somebody was helping him take orders. But, they were friendly and the guy did a good job. The only thing that doesn't make sense is, after ordering they give you a number on a metal stand that you take to your table. So, I figure they will bring my food to my table. Instead they call out your number and you bring the number to them and they give you your food. What a waste! Just say give customers their number on their receipt.
I enjoyed Nori and would go back anytime!!
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
2135 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
A few block west on Sunset Blvd. from Sage Organic Vegan, and right next door to Mohawk Bend, is Elf Cafe, a vegetarian/ vegan restaurant. One thing both have in common is that they are home to douchebag hipsters! I went to Elf about three years ago came away underwhelmed with the food, and a bad taste for their service.
Elf is a very small restaurant with very limited hours, they open at 6pm Mon-Sat. They aren't open on Sundays or for lunch! The restaurant covers two buildings, but they are both small. But, driving on busy Sunset Blvd, it is hard to see their sign, since it is covered by overgrown trees and it's not lit! Look for Mohawk Bend and it is right next door.
You enter Elf there is a bar and the kitchen, and a few tables. Walk into the other room and more tables along with restrooms in the back. It's a dimly lit room with dark paint, making for a very morbid atmosphere!
I ate the meal at a nearby stand, that had very good lighting. The lighting in the restaurant would make for terrible pictures. Plus being around douchebag hipsters isn't my idea of fun.
This was a good dish, full of flavor and very well cooked. But, hardly worth the $20 price tag! There were 3 king oyster mushroom, well cooked, good flavor. 3 small purple potatoes-good. A couple grape tomatoes. The house harissa was well balanced and flavorful. The tzatzki was fine. The wild rice pilaf was cooked well. The quality of the food nor the portion size is worth the price.
Service, this time was good. The server greeted me and was friendly. She told me the order would take about 25 minutes. I came back and she said they were boxing up my order. So, very good communication. My first time at Elf I went with a date. We get there at about 6:10pm. 10 minutes after they open and there are only two people in the restaurant. In a snotty tone the hostess/server asked if we had a reservation. I'm thinking your damn restaurant is empty, you just opened 10 minutes ago, you should be able to seat us. We get a table, we have dinner and by the time we left, maybe an hour later, there may have been 5 tables that had customers! The hostess/server gave off the attitude that we're such a popular restaurant that people need to make reservations! The service wasn't that great that first time either. Our server came to take our drink orders, then our dinner orders, bring our food and then our check. Never once asking if we needed anything or how the food was.
I won't go back to Elf again. Too pretentious, while the food is good, the prices are too high for the quality and portion size. I'll let the douchebag hipsters have Elf all to themselves! Little Pine has better food, better prices, and they are less pretentious!
Monday, October 9, 2017
Avanti Italian Bistro & Bar
187 N Sierra Madre Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91107
Avanti Italian Bistro & Bar is owned by the same owners as the now closed Avanti Cafe. The story is that running two restaurants was just getting too much for the owners. Luckily they brought all the pizza over, but not the wood fire oven!
I went to Avanti Italian Bistro & Bar about 2-3 years ago, had the lasagna and thought it was pretty good. Of course I didn't do a review. So, I drove by the other day and figured I should do a review.
Avanti Italian Bistro & Bar is a huge restaurant on a corner lot. As you enter there is a small bar area. Then the huge dining room. They also have a small patio. At night the lighting is low and it makes for a nice quiet evening.
I sat at the bar and when the bartender finally came by, I got good service. It just took awhile for the bartender, or anybody to get there. Ok, I know it's a slow period. But, this was an hour or so after the happy hour times had started. Somebody should be at the bar.
I may go back and try their pizza. But, I love the wood fire pizza, and they didn't bring the wood fire ovens!
Native Foods Cafe
1114 Gayley Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Native Foods Cafe came onto the scene for vegan and vegetarians like Haley's Comet. Now you see them, now you don't. They had locations in Culver City and Santa Monica, but they closed in early 2016. The only Los Angeles location is in Westwood! I went to the Santa Monica location in 2015. Thought the food was pretty good. Figured I would do a review and went to their Westwood location.
Located in the very busy Westwood Village, Native Foods Cafe, occupies a medium sized space. The line starts to your left as you enter the restaurant. There are dining tables in front and even a couple tables in the upstairs loft-like area. Nothing fancy about the decor. But, the tables were dirty and a couple tables still hadn't been cleared of plates, even though nobody was at the table for the entire time I was there, roughly 30 minutes.
When I went to their Santa Monica location, I had their Soul Bowl- which is a vegan version of soul food- fried chicken with rice, black beans and cornbread! The native chicken was delicious! Full of flavor and it actually tasted just like chicken! I figured I would try something else and got the native chicken, bacon and avocado club. This was only ok. The bottom part of the sandwich with the chicken, was hot as hell! The chicken was ok, a bit tough. The sandwich could use a bit more chipotle sauce, kinda of dry. The avocado wasn't the freshest! The fries were good.
Service was good. The young lady who helped me was nice and helpful. But, as I mentioned earlier, there were a couple tables that weren't cleared off the entire time I was there. The tables had dirty dishes when I walked in and still hadn't been cleared when I left. The table I saw sitting at first, needed to be wiped down, there were crumbs on the table! There were plenty of workers behind the counter just talking. It was a slow time for the restaurant. They could have gotten somebody to wipe down and clear the tables!
I can see why Native Foods Cafe didn't get a hold of the very strong vegan/vegetarian market in Los Angeles. Places like Veggie Grill, serve up better food and their restaurants are cleaner! No reason to come back to Native Foods Cafe.
2911 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
I went to the The Library Alehouse about two years ago. If I recall correctly I had the fish and chips and thought they were pretty good. I was in snotty Santa Monica and dropped in. The Library Alehouse is a galley style bar with the bar on the left and tables running down the length of the building. They do have a nice patio area in the back. Their sign says they have been opened since 1995!
Service was overall good. The bartender, I sat at a table, was serving the entire room, a few people at the bar and a couple tables were taken. So, it wasn't busy. She was nice, friendly, and I didn't really lack for anything. But, she never told me that it was Burger Monday. I saw the sign in the patio when I went to the restroom. Then I saw it on the back of the menu. When I was walking out the door, she didn't say thanks for coming. Little things make a big difference!
I loved the veggie burger and if I'm back in snotty Santa Monica, I will go back. I may try their vegan enchiladas!!
Sunday, October 8, 2017
123 S Topanga Canyon Blvd
Topanga, CA 90290
Rocco’s In the Canyon, according to the sign, has been opened since 1980. Located just off of Topanga Canyon Blvd, next to the Post Office, is a dated restaurant that could use a facelift. The entrance to the restaurant is to the right, in the photo above. The over lattice work is the patio. The interior has dated carpets, walls, and decor.
Service was good. The lady was nice and helpful. What I liked most was she said the pizza would take about 20 minutes! Many pizza places do not give you the amount of time it will take! So major points for that!
I wouldn't go back to Rocco's in the Canyon! I realize there may not be many options for pizza along Topanga, but make the drive into the valley! There has to be good pizza!
Thursday, October 5, 2017
11669 Sherman Way
North Hollywood, CA 91607
Salsa & Beer is a very busy Mexican restaurant in North Hollywood. Their parking lot is so damn small for such a big building, and street parking is tough to find. But, the place is still packed!
It's a dark restaurant with dark woods, and very low lighting. As you walk into the restaurant, the hostess stand is on the left. Walk in further and there are two bars! A smaller bar with just seating along the bar, to the right. A bigger bar with seating at the bar and along the counter. Dining areas are all over.
Shrimp enchilada, $8.99, with rice and beans. The shrimp enchilada was damn good. There was a good amount of small sized shrimp, that was well cooked and seasoned. The tortilla held up well to the sauce. A good dish and really a steal at the $8.99 price! I didn't touch the beans. But, the rice was overcooked. I should have asked for new rice, but I was parking on the street which is only one hour parking.
Service at the larger bar area was good. The lady was nice. She took my drink order and brought chips and bean dip quickly. But, then she took awhile to come back to take my order. She wasn't the bartender, so I don't know where she went. I was looking at my watch because I was coming close to the one hour time limit. One of the biggest reasons, was the bad service by the hostess! She asked how many. I said one. She asked if I wanted to sit at the bar. I looked around, saw no seats and said I'll sit at a table. Then I asked how long is the wait, she said about 5-10 minutes. Well, the wait was more like 15-20 minutes! Come on now! The thing is, as I was sitting in their waiting area with a lot of other people, I saw empty tables!! Get your act together!
While the shrimp enchiladas were very good and a great price, I won't go back to Salsa & Beer again. It's really not worth the hassle of finding parking and the long wait times!