Restaurants & Bars 1

LA trip report

Miele Maiale | Jul 9, 2005 11:43 PM

Our annual July 4th sojourn down South brought us back to old favorites and introduced us to new ones.

Frida
I picked this restaurant based on name, proximity and Citysearch (yikes) reviews. Thumbs up, overall. We started off with a very accomodating and pleasant hostess, and moved on to a servicable ceviche special, good table salsas, and overlarge portions of chicken in pipian, and carnitas. I was shocked by my portion size, which would have sufficed for two meals, except that we were going back to our hotel.

Newsroom Cafe
A standby for us whenever we go shopping on Robertson (it's just more fun to go to Camper and Agnes B down there than it is up here in SF). I got an excellent grain and vegi salad, chock full of juicy wheat berries and nice chunks of avocado. I have found Newsroom to be great as long as things are kept simple and true to the vegetable/fruit-of-origin. Liberal dashings of hot sauce are needed to amp things up a bit, though.

Dinner that night was at this great no-name sushi place in Santa Monica that functions as a diner during the day - Thomas' I think? Cheap, and really excellent spicy tuna rolls. My uni nigiri was sub par, but then again, what was I thinking ordering uni at a cheap, albeit great diner/sushi joint?

Doughboys
Ordered the SOS and the Waffle with ham and eggs and cheese thing. For those of you who don't know, SOS is a breakfast slop platter of military origin that consists of toast covered with potatoes covered with HUGE quantities of extremely rich greyish creamed chipped beef covered with eggs. After two bites, I was so full my stomach hurt. While I understand that Doughboys is famous for their large portions, some guidance from the server as to the size and appropriateness of the dish would have been appreciated. I don't "look" like a huge eater! 30 minutes after I had stopped eating, he whisked the plate away from me, without a word. Maybe they're used to people wasting huge amounts of food, but it seems a shame.

Luques
Aah! Superb, all around. Loved the building and the atrium area. Wonderful service. We had the 3 course Sunday prix-fixe for $35.00. Our salad, with sprightly sprigs of frisee and mustard leaf was enlivened by shattering crisp tender green and yellow beans, and a super vinaigrette. Mains were a little subdued in the Chez Panisse style - pork with queso fresco and greens, and crispy halibut and clams in a coconut serrano broth (this was good enough to spoon up, and didn't have the salty ickyness that mussel broth sometimes have, making you feel like somehow you weren't meant to slurp the juices!) Dessert was English perfection - a sumptuously tart strawberry/cream parfait with what tasted like a yogurt or creme fraiche ice cream. I could come here every Sunday.

Next time, it's going to be lots of sushi, Oaxacan and a thorough exploration of Koreatown.

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