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Mr Grub’s Big Birthday Adventure

Mr Grub | Feb 24, 200412:29 PM

In loving consideration of Mr Grub’s fondness-—well, passion-—well, obsession—-w food, good food, & lots o’ good food, Mme Grubbe, in conspiracy w La Familia Gruba, tour-directed a Gourmand Birthday Weekend Spectacular much to the delight of the big fella.

Fri lunch: Noshi Sushi (Beverly, just east of Western). Nothing fussy here. Noshi features straightforward, exemplary nigiri. Huge (relatively) pieces of mouthwatering fish on virtually unflavored rice. On Fri, both salmon & albacore were simply melt-in-your-mouth. Inexpensive to boot—-most nigiri in $3 neighborhood. Speaking of neighborhoods, Noshi’s is a bit of a puzzling place for a sushi bar, but Noshi delivers simple, superb sushi at a reasonable (cash only) price.

Fri dinner: Fleming’s (Rosecrans, west of Aviation). Part of relatively small national chain, F’s is an almost-Ruth’s Chris. The Grubber’s huge bone-in ribeye, cooked to perfection & slathered in butter, was splendid. Other folks less successful. A la carte only. Sides, esp au gratin potatoes excellent, but pricey. Service issues: wrong entrée brought to the fetching Mrs. G, another steak improperly cooked, server magic disappearing act. Room issues: noisy (about 98 db to Mastro’s 100 db. What is it w steakhouses? Even when he SHOUTED specials, server could not be heard cross-table. May be reason messed up Grubmama’s order.), crowded tables, low light, mid-room pillar-adjacent table. Bottom line: Excellent steaks, but if you want to pay $35-ish for a steak amidst ear-bleeding noise, Mastro’s still the choice.

Sat lunch: Wat Thai Temple (Roscoe/Coldwater Canyon). Dazzling food makes one forget, kinda, the cold, rain, wind & wet tables. Items ordered from individual stands range from $1-3! Amazing, simply amazing. Soaring: fish curry in banana leaf stapled (yes, stapled) into a cup shape, papaya salad, karam krok (the coconut mini-crepe cakes). Wonderful: ribs on a stick (listed as grilled pork, not to be confused w sate), sausage on a stick, mango sticky rice (note stick theme here). Excellent: fish balls, chicken noodle soup, red curry. Good: sate. Not-so-good: bamboo salad. Just wish they had Thai iced tea.

Sat dinner: Green Field (Azusa Ave, n of 10, West Covina). 4th or 5th pilgrimage to this churrascaria shrine to carnivores. On this night, simply outstanding. All meats served hot & perfectly cooked, i.e., rare & juicy. Best of show: rabbit w a curry-like rub, short ribs, beef tenderloin. Rockin’ fun place for a big group of all ages. Not, um, vegetarian friendly. At $22 a pop, one of the great bargains for big eaters.

Sun Brunch: Universal Hilton (Lankershim, just n of 101). Huge spread, w most dishes safely & nicely executed. Greatly anticipated gorging on king crab legs & oysters, so disappointed when no oysters were offered. Crab legs & shrimp were excellent, however, cooked firm, not a bit watery. Indulged in mediocre dim sum, sushi & sashimi. Nice to have that grazing ability. Pates were canned, French & excellent for the breed. Cheese selection embarrassing; bread selection virtually non-existent. Fresh fruit station excellent. Desserts brought in, but good selection. Pasta, omelet, waffle stations also available – didn’t partake. “American” main dishes pretty underwhelming, tho eggs benedict worked fairly well. Chinese station pretty dismal as well, tho Grubs did manage to wolf down some of the spicy scallops & asparagus. Turns out only highlights were the shellfish & the beverages—the champagne glasses are kept constantly full & the fresh oj is terrific. If only someone could make a decent drink out of cheap champagne & oj. The Grubs might drink 4, or 8, or a bazillion, glasses. Overall, pretty disappointed, altho the room & the service were admirable. At $35 per ($30 before 11), a bargain for folks who are jonesing for a brunch buffet or who are hosting other folks who need their Sun buffet brunch.

Plan for Shieng Garden Sunday dinner cancelled. Even we Grubs have limits.

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