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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bravo Burgers

Bravo Burgers
14698 Pipeline Ave
Chino Hills, CA 91709

Bravo Burgers is a local chain with another location in Pomona.  Their Chino Hills location is just down the street from 1 + 1 Dumpling and Roscoe's Deli.  It's your typical independent burger restaurant, with a wide variety of items on their menu-burgers to Mexican food.

The dining room is fairly big and was very clean!  They had somebody walking around the dining room cleaning!  At most a table was cleared off 5 minutes after the people left.  And instead of just wiping the crumbs onto the floor and leaving them there; the worker came by and swept the floor!  We were there about 30 minutes and that worker must have swept the floor four times!

Fish taco-tilapia fish with cabbage, cilantro on a flour tortilla, $3.69.  The fish was grill perfectly with a nice flavorful coating.  The cabbage and cilantro were fresh.  There was a bit too much creama, but overall a good taco.

Service was very good.  From the cashier taking our order to the person in the dining room cleaning up!

I was very impressed with Bravo Burgers and I would go back anytime.  

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Coop Pizza

The Coop Pizza
10006 National Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034

LA Eater's 16 places to get a killer slice of pizza in Los Angele, has been a hit with me.  I have tried fivw places; Pie Life Pizza in Pasadena, Pizzanista, Pellicola, Joe's Pizza, and Prime Pizza.  The Coop has been in business since 1968.  They are directly across the street from the Palms Station of the Expo Line.  It's a small take out location.  It is also cash only. 

Medium mushrooms and jalapenos pizza, $11 plus $1.50 per topping, $14.72.  While a couple places on the crust was burnt, this was a good pizza.  The crust was firm, yet chewy and held up the toppings.  The jalapenos were fresh and plentiful.  The mushrooms were plentiful, but I'm pretty sure they came from a can.  Overall a very good pizza, but any pizza place that uses canned mushrooms is a big no-no for me.

Service is good.  The guy, who I believe is the owner is a nice and helpful.

I would go back to The Coop Pizza, but I wouldn't order mushrooms, or at least check to see if the mushrooms are indeed from a can.  Since many of the 16 places are closer to downtown, The Coop is a very good option for those who live in the snotty westside.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Barro's Pizza- Arizona

Barro's Pizza
8940 E Indian Bend
Scottsdale, AZ 85256

What a surprise to see a Barro's Pizza in Scottsdale, Arizona!!  From the Barro's Pizza in Arizona website, the family opened pizza restaurants, with her sons, in California in 1968, then moved to Arizona in 1980!  They now have 38 locations in the Metro Phoenix area!

Barro's Pizza used to be a very popular chain in the Los Angeles area!  I've been to the Diamond Bar Barro's, their official name is Barro Brothers Pizza, (maybe the brothers broke away from the family and opened their own restaurant?) and the Whittier Barro's.

This Barro's is huge, with one dining room filled with long tables and bench seating, another smaller room with about ten tables, a front room with even more tables, and tables outside.  The day I went a youth baseball team came in and basically took over the place!

Large mushrooms and jalapenos, $14.75.  This was a good pizza, reminded me of the old Barro's, but they were just off.  The pizza was a bit well done, if they had taken out the pizza 3-4 minutes earlier, it would have been a just right.  But, towards the outer crust, the crust was break apart, like the dough was stretched too thin in that area.  The ratio of mushroom to jalapeno was off.  The pizza was covered with about 60% mushrooms and 40% jalapenos.  Some slices had all or mostly mushrooms. The sauce was flavorful, with a good mixture of herbs and spices.

Service was very good.  The young lady who helped me was nice and friendly.  Luckily, I came in about 5 minutes before the youth baseball team and my order came out quickly.

When I go back to Scottsdale, I will give Barro's another chance. 

Sakana Sushi & Grill

Sakana Sushi & Grill
6989 N Hayden Rd Ste A12
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

I was in the mood for some sushi in Scottsdale, AZ, and a search lead me to Sakana.  I'm leery of sushi place in landlocked states.  I know that Arizona isn't that far from the West Coast and they can easily get fresh fish shipped in daily.

Sakana is a fairly small, but popular restaurant.  We went for an early dinner on Satuday and about 90% of the tables were filled.  By the time we left, all the tables were taken. 

Tuna sushi, $4.75.

Cucumber roll, $2.99.

Ahi Ahi roll, $12.99. Ahi tuna on the outside, spicy tuna, ceviche salsa, wasabi mayo.

All the sushi was very fresh, well made and tasty. 

Service is very good.  The sushi came out quickly, the servers were always refilling drinks and we didn't lack for anything.

I would go back to Sakana again.  Sakana would rank right up there with the best sushi restaurants I've been to in the LA area. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pita Jungle

Pita Jungle
4340 E Indian School Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Pita Jungle is a chain in the Phoenix area that was started by three Arizona St. students.  There is a Pita Jungle in Newport Beach, CA.  They are planning to expand to other California cities.

This Pita Jungle location is huge, with about 30 tables in the restaurant.  The shopping center is a busy center with a Pei Wei, Starbucks, and other eateries.

Black bean burger, $8.69-homemade black bean patty formed with chipotle, jalapeno and bell peppers, carrots, corn, oats, garlic, onions, cilantro, cranberries, on a bun with chipotle hummus, baby arugula, hothouse tomatoes, red onions, sunflower sprouts with a side of lemon-cilantro mixed beans.

This was a very good burger.  The first thing I noticed was this burger fell apart.  Now some people may think that is a bad thing, but making a black bean burger it is a good thing.  Why?  Because you know it is made fresh and not a pre-made frozen burger.  While the burger patty fell apart, it was very flavorful, bold flavors from the chipotle hummus.   I did think the burger needed some ketchup or even a thousand island dressing, but overall a very good burger.

Service was very good, despite being very busy that night.  The server was very nice and prompt.

I would go back to Pita Jungle anytime!  Hopefully they will open more locations in California!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

CaCao Mexicatessen

CaCao Mexicatessen
1576 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041

CaCao Mexicatessen has been on my bucketlist of places to try for about three years.  Even though I frequently go by the area, I still haven't stopped in.  That changed on a raining day in Los Angeles!  CaCao is a casual restaurant, with counter service.  It's fairly small with limited seating on one side of the restaurant, with a large bar and booth seating on the other side of the restaurant.  There is very limited parking, street parking that is usually taken by shoppers of the Trader's Joe next door. It's not far from the now closed Larkin's, an overpriced soul food restaurant!

Fish taco- fried and pan seared red snapper, crema, red cabbage, pico de gallo, and salsa on a corn tortilla! $3.95 each.

The fried version has a Alesmith Nut Brown beer-batter.  This was very crispy and flaky!  Everything was fresh and full of flavor.

The pan seared is also very fresh and full of flavor.

Service- you order at the counter and they bring the food to your table.  Nice, friendly and helpful.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Fidel’s Pizza

Fidel’s Pizza
307 N Ave 50
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Fidel's Pizza has been serving pizza in Highland Park since 1977.  So, they must be doing something right or there isn't much competition in the area.  Much like Italiano's Pizza, Fidel's is a restaurant built into a house.  There are a few tables in front, but mostly a take out restaurant.

Medium mushrooms and jalapeno pizza, $14.  The crust was good, slightly thicker than thin crust, but held up well to the toppings.  But, the toppings were a disappointment.  The mushrooms are canned!  Big no, no!  The jalapenos were fresh, but they were very stingy with the amount of jalapenos and canned mushrooms.  Jalapenos are relatively cheap, maybe $1/lb, and they maybe put one medium sized jalapeno on the pizza?  The sauce is heavy on the oregano and is about average.  Not impressed with the pizza, because you don't use canned mushrooms!

Service was good. 

I won't go back to Fidel's Pizza, again.  There are too many other options in Highland Park, like Town Pizza, even Italiano's Pizza is better!

Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips

Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips
3545 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109

I don't care enough about "celebrity chefs" to google them, so I had no idea that Gordon Ramsey owned so many restaurants throughout the world.  I thought he was the yelling host of Kitchen Nightmares.  I went to one restaurant, The Capri, that was featured on the show.   It wasn't good, but I don't blame Ramsey for that.  It's the owner of the restaurant, who are responsible for holding the standards Ramsey sets!  The recurring theme of Kitchen Nightmares is using fresh food, not frozen, pre-made food, well trained staff, and cleanliness of the restaurant.  So, when I heard that Ramsey opened a fish and chips restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip, I dropped in on a recent trip to Vegas.

Located in The Linq Promenade shopping area.  It has a very tacky exterior with a huge fish design, in the colors of the British flag, hanging from the front,.  I get we're in Vegas but the design is over the top.  It's basically a to-go place, with limited seating that is consists of tables and some counter spaces.

It was crowded the night I went, but the line moved quickly.

Fish and Chips combo, $16.21, with tartar sauce and mango curry sauce, with soda.  Fish was fresh cod. This was very good.  There wasn't much batter on the fish, most of the weight of the fish is from the fresh cod!  The fish was fried perfectly, light outside, flaky goodness inside.  You can really tell the difference between fresh fish and frozen!  The fries were on the warm side, but very good. Soft on the inside, crispy on the outside.

My only complaint is that they force you to buy a soda!  The soda is listed at $3.99 on the menu. I only drink water, and that's free!  This could be $3.99 cheaper, but I guess you're paying for the name and being on The Strip!

Service was very good.  Not only are the workers friendly, but fast and know their jobs.  When I asked the cashier what fish they used, he said cod.  Most people at restaurants do not know the menu and that's a reflection of management poorly training the workers.  That's not the case here.  They are properly trained and are friendly, non robotic people!

I would come back if I'm in Vegas again!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Doomie’s Home Cookin’

Doomie’s Home Cookin’
1253 N Vine St Ste 9
Hollywood, CA 90038

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun! Yes, that is the line to the Big Mac theme song.  I read that Doomie's Home Cookin' serves up a vegan Big Mac that tastes just like the real thing!  Now, it has been over 5 years since I had a Big Mac. I remember always having a headache after eating a Big Mac, maybe for the special sauce.

Anyways I figured I would try Doomie's.  I talked to two vegetarian friends; one liked Doomies and another doesn't like the concept of vegetarian restaurants trying make making vegetarians items taste like meat!  I'm much more to the center when it comes to vegetarian food.  While I loved the chicken wings at Bulan, I don't always seek out or order vegetarian meat items!

Doomie's is in a shopping center that has the address of Vine, but the store front is on Fountain!  The shopping center has an Eastern European restaurant, which are are in LA.  But, the restaurant had a C grade from the health department!  The best part of the shopping center is that they have free parking!  At least, it was free the Monday night I was there.  No valets or paid parking.  But, it is stacked parking, so make sure you don't get pull to the front parking space!  Doomie's is a good sized restaurant with about 15-20 tables.  It was busy the night I was there.

Vegetarian Big Mac, $14.50.  This is not on their regular menu.  Like In N Out Doomie's has a special menu, and you have to ask for it.  The vegetarian Big Mac was huge!  The patties were Quarter Pounder sized patties, not the small patties from McDonald's.  It had everything a regular Big Mac has-special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and a sesame seed bun!  Now the important thing- it tastes exactly like a Big Mac!  This version is filled with MSG, and it hit me right away.  I got a headache too!  This was good, but greasy and very heavy!  I think the $14.50 price tag is high too. 

The fries were frozen, which is disappointing!  I expected home made fries!

Service is OK.  The server wasn't the most friendly and even though they were busy it took them awhile for them to take my order, and bring my water.

I may go back to Doomies, but I won't make a special trip.  Other menu items have a better price, but the vegetarian Big Mac is overpriced.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

What The Fish

What The Fish
2804 Hyperion Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

WTF?  What the Fish Sushi is a fairly new sushi restaurant in Silver Lake!  Silver Lake isn't known for their Asian restaurants, but I've heard good things about What the Fish!.   It's a very small restaurant with a sushi bar that seats about 6 people and 2-3 tables that seat four, and 3 other tables that seat two.  Surprisingly it wasn't crowded at all on a Friday night about 7:30pm.  But, when we left, there were people waiting in line.

Tuna Sushi- $4.95

Griffith Park Roll $4.50- Salmon, shrimp, avocado and cucumber.

Vegetable Roll $3.95-Cucumber, avocado, asparagus, yamagobo.

Shrimp tempura, spicy tuna roll, $4.50

All the rolls and sushi was fresh and tasted fine.  The prices were very reasonable.  But, the portion is is very small.  This is like diet sushi.

Service is annoying!  WTF??  While our server was nice, she must have come by six times, SIX times in a space of 5-7 minutes to see if we were ready to order.  Can you give us more than 15 seconds before you come by?  The sushi came out quickly.  While she kept asking if we were ready to order over and over, she never bothered to ask how everything was!

I wouldn't go back to What the Fish!  There are plenty of other sushi restaurants that have the same quality and prices, and less annoying servers!

Sunday, October 9, 2016


9359 Central Ave
Montclair, CA 91763

David Allen recently reviewed Burgerim, and new burger chain based in Israel, that opened in Montclair about a month ago.  Burgerim, is Hebrew for “many burgers” and thus, you get at least two burgers in each order.  The burgers are slightly bigger than a slider, they say 2.8 ounces per burger.  You can choose from a wide variety of patties; a few kinds of beef, chicken, turkey, veggie, and salmon.  You also can choose the type of bun.

The duo is two burgers with fries and a drink for $9.95, while a trio is three burgers with fries and a drink $12.95.

I got the duo, $10.77, with a veggie patty-green onions, carrots, tofu and lentils and salmon patty both with a wheat bun.  The burgers come with lettuce, tomato, onions, and house sauce which is a no relish thousand island. 

The veggie patty was very good.  Many restaurants should copy this recipe!  But, the burger was very dry.  They should put the house sauce on both buns and apply a bigger amount!  The veggies were fresh, but the bun was a bit too well toasted. 

The salmon burger was also very dry and the salmon had a weird smell.  I wasn't impressed.

Service needs improvement.  Management needs to train their employees much better.  The young lady who helped me was very nice but she wasn't much help to a first time customer.  Since Burgerim is a new concept, it's not like going to In N Out.  They need to help first time customers!

She didn't tell me I had a choice of bun.  I only found out when the guy next to me was asked by a different employee what kind of bun.  She also got confused about the choose of fries.  She said I had a choice between regular fries, sweet potato, onion rings for $1.50 more, or home fries.  When I picked home fries, she ask her co-worker how to ring that in.  The co-worker told me home fries aren't an option and can only be ordered on their own.  Home fries are cubed potatoes in a sweet chili sauce topped with sesame seeds.  Not a big deal, but it shows the lack of training management is providing their employees.  But, I want to make sure people understand the employees are very nice and willing to help.  They just need to be trained better to know the menu!

Burgerim is in the fast-casual price range and overall I think it is worth it.  You only save $1 ordering al carte, so might as well get the fries and soda.  If I do return I will make sure to order extra sauce on the burgers. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

5 Star Pizza

5 Star Pizza
951 N Haven Ave Ste C & D
Ontario, CA 91764

I'm trying pizza places nearby and Ontario was next up on my list.  I did some search and found 5 Star Pizza.  I think I told David Allen about 5 Star and he actually went there before I did!  Here is David Allen's review of 5 Star Pizza.  Located in a small shopping center next to a coffee house, 5 Star Pizza takes up two spaces.  One space is the kitchen and counter a few tables, the other is a huge dining room, filled with sports items on the wall.  The owner must have gone to Cal Poly Pomona, because there was a Cal Poly Pomona pennant and jersey on the wall, not something you see, even in Pomona!

Medium mushrooms and jalapenos, $12.65. The crust was on the thin side, much thicker than New York style but not as thick as some other pizza places.  A good texture, slightly chewy but not tough.  The sauce was pretty bland.  The jalapenos were plentiful and huge!!  While there could have been a bit more mushrooms, the mushrooms were fresh.  This pizza is pretty much run of the mill pizza.  But, Ontario isn't exactly filled with lots of pizza options.

Service is poor! I walked in and wasn't greeted and stood at the counter for about 2-3 minutes before they acknowledged I was there.  Not much interaction other than the norm.  Not friendly or welcoming.  There were maybe 10 people, who filled 3-4 tables, so not busy with dine in customers and I didn't see one person come in to pick up an order the entire time I was there, maybe 25 minutes.

I wouldn't go back to 5 Star Pizza.  If I had to give them stars it would be 2.5 stars.  Other than a few places, Sal's Pizza in Alta Loma, Fratello’s Pizza and Pasta, and San Biagio's Pizza, it's a pizza wasteland once you get east of La Verne!

Wok Star Express

Wok Star Express
1787 Landess Ave
Milpitas, CA 95035

I'm in Milpitas, which is near San Jose, and I want some Chinese food.  I know there is an area in Milpitas that has a ton of Chinese restaurants, including one Chinese restaurant where I had their take out and that was very good.  But don't recall where the restaurant is located or the name of the restaurant.  So instead I do a quick search and find Wok Star Express.

Wok Star Express is located in an area that has limited Chinese or Asian restaurants.  But, I was already there and figured I should give them a try.  It's a small restaurant and it was empty when I was there, about 5:30 on a Sat.  But, they did get 2-3 people who came in to pick up their orders.

Shrimp Chow Mein, $8.95.  The first thing you'll notice is the noodles is very thin, much thinner than the noodles most Chinese restaurants use for chow mein.  But, the noodles were cooked perfectly.  But, the dish lacked flavor!  There wasn't much in terms of veggies, a few bean sprouts, maybe a few pieces of cabbage, but basically just about 8 shrimps and noodles.  An acceptable dish, lots of food for the price but something I wouldn't order again.

Service is good.

I need to find the name of that that very good Chinese restaurant in Milpitas where I had some great food!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Beola’s Southern Cuisine

Beola’s Southern Cuisine
1845 E Holt Blvd
Ontario, CA 91761

Beola’s Southern Cuisine opened about six weeks ago near Ontario Airport.  It's a large spacious space, and on the Sunday I went they have live entertainment-a woman, who had a wonderful voice, singing songs.  The volume was more background music, than having to SHOUT at your dining companion!

The owners of Beola’s Southern Cuisine used to be partners in the Maple House restaurant that replaced Sal's & Sons Pizza & Pasta.  Beola's is the name of owner's grandmother.

Eight medium shrimp with two sides-mac and cheese and red beans and rice, $16.  The shrimp were jumbo shrimp, not medium sized shrimp.  They were deep fried in cornmeal.  A good dish, maybe a bit pricey, but made up somewhat by the size of the shrimp.  Mac and cheese-a bit greasy but good flavor.  I didn't eat the red beans and rice because there was sausage in the dish.  Most red beans and rice do not come with sausage.

Service was great!  I walked in and while nobody was at the host stand, within a couple minutes I was greeted by one of the servers.  She took my order and I waited for my food. All food is cooked to order and takes time!  I sat in the lobby and every time somebody new came to the front, I was asked if I had already been helped!  There have been restaurants that I reviewed where I wasn't greeted, not even a Hi, when I was right in front of the host!  But at Beola's I was greeted EVERY TIME!!! A couple minor complaints- they should tell people that the red beans and rice contains meat, and when taking to go orders-that they do cook items as ordered so it takes time, up to 20 minutes if ordering fried chicken!

I really enjoyed my experience at Beola's and I will be back. 

Monday, August 29, 2016


922 Williamson

I reviewed Giovanni's on Williamson in Fullerton back in 2006. Now almost 10 years later I went back to review their pizza! Giovanni's on Harbor has long closed! Giovanni's has expanded into the next two spaces.  The bigger Giovanni's now include a much larger dining area. The old area is now the game room for the restaurant. 

Large, 15in, mushrooms and jalapenos, $13.07- $8.50 plus $1.80 per topping, for the Monday Special.  Regular price, $12.50 plus $2.10 per topping.

The crust was medium thickness and firm, holding the toppings very well.  The jalapenos were fresh and spicy.  There weren't that many mushrooms, but the little amount on the pizza was fresh.  This isn't the greatest pizza you'll ever have, but a good solid pizza from a local, family owned restaurant.  Now, the big question- would this pizza be worth the regular price, about $19.  I think yes, and I assume you would get a bit more toppings since the cost per topping is 30 cents more.

Despite only one person at the front, service was good.  When I walked in there was a sign that said Help Wanted.  I can see why.  The lady taking the order was the only person working the front.  She was responsible for taking orders and taking the food to the tables.  There was a party of about 15 people and they kept coming back to order drinks or food.  They really needed somebody else to help the lady.  They could also help themselves by placing the printer for credit cards right next to the register!  The way it is set up now, the customer gives the lady the credit card, she walks about a few feet to the printer then slides the credit card.  I could see two people in the kitchen working on the orders, but they need front of the house help!  Despite being very busy, the lady was very nice and helpful. 

I would go back to Giovanni's for their pizza. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sanamluang Cafe

Sanamluang Cafe
710 S Indian Hill Blvd
Claremont, CA 91711

I visited the very popular Sanamluang Cafe in Pomona back in 2009.  In December of 2014 they opened a second, bigger location about half a mile north on Indian Hill, into the snotty city of Claremont.  The Pomona location stayed open for awhile, then closed.

Now located in a building that once housed a Baker's Square, Sanamluang Cafe is now a huge location with modern decor.  Gone are the old, worn out peeling decor that highlighted the Pomona location.  It was very busy on a Friday night and the hostess told me it would be about a 20 minute wait for a table.  Not a problem because my friend had not arrived yet.  About ten minutes later my table is ready and I told the hostess my friend hadn't arrived yet.  She said no problem and allowed me to take the table for two.  While waiting for my friend there was a steady stream of people coming in.  But, all parties of two were seated quickly.  So, I didn't feel bad that I was taking a table while waiting for my friend.

 Shrimp pad thai-$7.95.  The shrimp was slightly overcooked, tough and chewy.  There were about 8 small sized shrimp in the dish.  But the flavors all mixed well together.  I enjoyed this dish, but it would have been better if the shrimp wasn't overcooked.

Shrimp fried rice- $7.95.  Slightly bigger shrimp, but these were well cooked.   People ask what is the difference between Chinese fried rice and Thai fried rice.  I think Chinese fried rice has more soy sauce, thus a more salty taste.  While Thai fried rice has a slight sweet taste.

Service was very good, from the hostess to the servers.

Sometimes when restaurants move something suffers and it's not the same experience.  But, gladly Sanamluang hasn't changed and is still very good. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Parlor Frozen Yogurt & Creperie

The Parlor Frozen Yogurt & Creperie
1453 W Arrow Hwy
San Dimas, CA 91773

The Parlor Frozen Yogurt & Creperie is located a few doors down from Mike's Pizza.  It's been opened for almost three years.  A fairly large size store with a few tables inside and two tables outside.  You order at the counter and you can watch them make your crepe.

It's a combination Cold Stone and Yogurtland, expect you don't serve yourself.  They offer about 6-8 flavors of frozen yogurt.  You can choose to have your yogurt in a cup, waffle cone or cup, or on a freshly made crepe.

It was empty when I walked on a Wednesday night in summer and only a group of three people came in while I was finishing my cone.  But had a good amount of people when I went to Mike's Pizza. 

Build your own crepe, $9.95. Choice of frozen yogurt-Pistachio, two toppings- Twix bar and almonds, and choice to flavor drizzle-carmel!

Since this is a creperie,  I decided to get build my own crepe.  I watched as the owner put the crepe batter on the hot pan, and in a couple minutes he was forming the crepe cone.  I then picked the flavor of frozen yogurt, two toppings and flavor drizzle.  They will mix the frozen yogurt and the toppings together, just like Cold Stone.  The flavors all worked well together and if they didn't it was my fault! He used an entire regular sized package of the Twix bar- one and a half pieces mixed into the frozen yogurt and half a piece to garnish the cone! 

I liked this crepe cone, but this is an once in awhile indulgence.  It's too pricey for anything else or unless I win the next big lotto!  Or I could come back for just the frozen yogurt. 

Service is good.  The husband and wife team who are the owners are very nice.  Many Cold Stone locations closed because of the high prices.  Maybe a "mom n pop" type store free from the restraints of a franchise, can stay in business much longer.  I hope The Parlor can stay in business for a long time. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Love Letter Pizza & Chicken

Pizza & Chicken Love Letter
18333B Colima Road
Rowland Heights

When I first reviewed Love Letter Pizza & Chicken back in 2010, I only tried their fried chicken.  Yes, I also called them Pizza & Chicken Love Letter. I wanted to see if Rowland Heights had any good non chain pizza places.  The only non chain pizza place I knew of in Rowland Heights was, MaMa & PaPa New York Pizza, but that closed a long time ago.  A quick search led to Love Letter or an Italian restaurant where pizza is on the menu, not exactly what I am looking for.  So Love Letter I went!

Medium bulgogi and bacon pizza-onions, red and green peppers, mushrooms, corn, $13.07. 

Love Letter does not have a pizza without any meat toppings.  Nor do they have a create your own pizza.  But, you can order one of their specialty pizzas without meat.  So that's what I did.  They put the toppings on the sauce, then put a layer of cheese.  Interesting and different.  The sauce is very mild.  I didn't find any red peppers on the pizza, but lots of green peppers.  The toppings were fine but sparse.  But, the crust tasted like Pizza Hut, which isn't a compliment.  Pizza was OK, but considering the smallish size and high price, it wasn't a good value.

Service was pretty good.  Nice and friendly and the pizza was done quickly.  I do wish they would include a veggie pizza on their menu.

Rowland Heights is not a place to get good pizza!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Mike’s Pizza

Mike’s Pizza
1441 W Arrow Hwy
San Dimas, CA 91773

I noticed that I have never been to a non chain pizza place in San Dimas.  A quick search led to Mike's Pizza and that San Dimas is not a pizza eating city!

Located in a small shopping center and near a laundrymat,  Mike's Pizza is actually takes two spaces in the center.  One space is the entire kitchen area.  The other is a combination dining and storage area.  They really need to clean up the dining area, which has about 8-10 tables.  They have pizza boxes, soda bottles, and other stuff that needs to be put somewhere else.

Large mushrooms and jalapeno, $16.  I took a menu home and realized that the menu price is $15.40 with tax that is well over $16.  So, I'm not sure how she got $16.  Anyways this pizza was pretty good.  A good solid medium crust with parts of the pizza piled high with cheese, but they missed some the other outer edges.  The sauce was mild, there is plenty of it, but it doesn't over power the pizza.  The toppings were pretty plentiful and fresh.

Service was pretty good.  It's a family run place.  They told me the pizza would take 25 minutes, which is longer than other pizza places say, but I go the pizza in about 20 minutes.  Unlike other pizza places that say 15 minutes but take 25 minutes for your pizza to be ready!  But, I came to the shopping center to got the grocery store about a week ago and they list their closing time for a Saturday night at 9pm.  They were closed and out the door at 8:30pm.  Of course, I don't know if that was a one time thing.  But, that's not good business.

Mike's is a good pizza place, better than the chains, but I'm not rushing back to San Dimas to try their pizza.  Honestly, if you're near San Dimas, just go a little further east to LaVerne, where there is a ton of good choices for pizza!

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Meat Cellar-Moved

The Meat Cellar
665 E. Foothill Blvd Unit C
Claremont, CA 91711

David Allen reviewed The Meat Cellar a few weeks ago, and I put  them on my list of restaurants to try!  After going though a very hot weekend, I decided to head out to The Meat Cellar and give them a try.

Located just north of Pitzer College and their McConnell Bistro Dining Hall, The Meat Cellar is a combination butcher shop, wine store, and restaurant.  There are good quality meats in the display cases and some wines on the wall to your right as you enter the restaurant.  They have about 15 or so tables set up all over the restaurant and there are even tables outside.  Meat Cellar is next to a Starbucks and there is a huge outdoor seating area.

You order at the counter and they bring your food to you.  Since I don't eat meat-beef, pork, poultry anymore, I knew my options maybe limited.  In worst case, I would order the fries!  But, they had two fish option, halibut and salmon.  But, they were out of salmon-guess they didn't get their shipment of salmon.  So that made my decision much easier.

 Halibut fillet with mixed green salad- $18.  The top picture is what was delivered to my table.  My first thought was I paid $18 for this?  But, the guy- who I think is the owner, said "I know the halibut is kind of small, so we have another piece already on the grill."  If they added about half the size of halibut I would have been happy.

Because the first piece was very thin, it was overcooked. It would have been better on a sandwich or as a taco.

About ten minutes later I got the second piece and it was huge!  I was more than happy and satisfied with the quantity.  Now the big question was quality!  The second piece was well cooked, moist throughout and something I really enjoyed!

The mixed green salad was fresh and had a light vinaigrette dressing.

 Fries- $5. Twice fried kennebec potatoes.

We waited a long time for the fries.  The table next to us, who came in after us, got their poutine-fries with gravy and topped with short ribs before we got our fries!  But, the fries came out lukewarm and there were too many small pieces!  They were well seasoned and tasted good, but would have been better served hot, right out of the fryer!

Service was good.  I liked how they noticed the small size of the halibut and on their own, more than made up for it with a huge second piece.  If you're a meat eater the tomahawk rib eye, even at $37/lb is the way to go for presentation.  Or you can get the ribeye for about $24/lb, you just wouldn't get that huge piece of rib bone.

I would go back to Meat Cellar, to try their salmon, and would take my meat eating friends here anytime.  But, I would ask them to make sure the fries are right out of the fryer.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Prime Pizza

Prime Pizza
446 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

LA Eater's 16 places to get a killer slice of pizza in Los Angele, has been a hit with me.  I have tried four places; Pie Life Pizza in Pasadena, Pizzanista, Pellicola and Joe's Pizza, I loved all four places. Prime Pizza was next up on my list.  As I've mentioned before, I'm not big on ordering slices because who knows how long the slices have been sitting on the counter!  Give me a freshly made whole pie over a slice anyday!!

Prime Pizza is about 100 yards north of Canter's Deli, and while parking is terrible, the pizza is good but damn expensive!  It's a small place, with a few tables and a u-shaped counter, that has been open for about 18 months.  It's mostly a take-out and delivery place.

20 in, they only have one size, mushrooms and jalapenos, $28.32. The crust was a bit too well done, but firm and held up to the all the toppings.  The jalapenos and mushrooms were fresh but there could be a lot more on the pizza.  Overall a good pizza.

Service was good.  Nice, friendly people working there.

I like Prime Pizza, but they were off their game the day I went.  The pizza was a bit too well done, but the pizza was good.  It could be great, but I won't rush back because it's so far away and it is expensive!