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Restaurants & Bars 20

Two restaurants in my neighborhood I just don't get ...

PaulF | Jan 13, 200610:58 PM

It's not my habit to write negative reviews, but ...

There are two restaurants in my neighborhood I just don't get. I pass them by every night on my way home from work and they are always packed.

Lines of people waiting.

But I've been to both and just don't get the appeal.

One of them is Paco's Mexican Restaurant on Centinela near Washington. When my brother lived in my neighborhood it was the only place he ever went. So I went a couple of times and, well ...

Let's put it this way:

I live close to El Abajeno, Mi Ranchito, Taqueria Sanchez, Guela -- ummm -- that Oaxacan place I can't spell, Taqueria Estillo, Cora's and about ten other family owned Mexican restaurants and taquerias. I'm within a short drive of Gilbert's, Lares and the rest of Pico's Mexican restaurant row. Some of you will like some of those, some won't like some. But they are all perfectly capable of serving up a fine Mexican meal, depending what you order and what you are in the mood for.

Paco's is no better than El Torito. The adjective that first comes to mind is goopy. The food is goopy. And the place isn't even hip in an El Coyote sort of way.

Someone explain the lines at Paco's to me.

The other place is just down the street. It's a super popular Japanese place called Sakura. Now, mind you, I'm not super fussy when it comes to Japanese and sushi. I'll eat a California roll. But I like it to be great, fresh. I've got a Japanese-American wife and we eat good Japanese or we don't eat it. We roll to Sawtelle. We'll eat in Hama. There's a place up on Washington near Best Buy we'll go.

But Sakura was just plain ... ummm, what's the word ... ordinary. The teriyaki was greasy in a bad way. The fish was flavorless. We went once and have never been back.

Someone explain Sakura to me.

(Both Paco's and Sakura are on Centinela between Culver and Washington on the west side of the street.)

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