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Restaurants & Bars 5

SF hound's report : Picanha (churascerria), Sam Woo, Indonesian & some Disneyland's places

Han Lukito | Sep 14, 200502:21 AM

Due to proximity to the Hollywood area, I selected Picanha as my first experience with churascerria. The salads and soups were competent, nothing really blew me away. But the meats is where it got really bad. Almost all the meats were NOT juicy with the exception of the Brazillian beef which was quite good but not outstanding. The chickens, lambs, all were a bit dry and some were very salty.

Disneyland experience: after long morning with the kids, we took the monorail to downtown Disney and settled down at ESPN cafe. All the hotel's restaurants were NOT near the station at all and many closed in the Sat afternoon - unbelievable. The ESPN cafe food was decent, quite tasty in fact. Price was not outrageous although on the high side maybe $9-12 for burgers with all the fixings. In the evening, there was a nice place by the Jungle River. The outside seatings overlook the site for the Fantasmic show. But the food is where it fails. If you're just feeding the kids, you're better off ordering the kid's menu which is a lot cheaper and probably won't get much complaints if your kids are not too picky.

Indonesian restaurants in LA is actually pretty good IMO compared to SF. At least the two places I visitted.

Ramayani restaurant near Santa Monica area had great squid dish in a greenish sauce with a hint of terasi and garlic. The squid were probably baby squids, some had eggs in them. Also the otak-otak and their dry mixed noodles were great. Avoid the empek-empek and soto ayam at all costs. Price were a little on the high side.

Simpang Asia is also close by and this place is truly outstanding. You can order rice dishes and they are simply great. We had nasi gudeg that was authentic in taste, complete with the chicken and krecek. Nasi bungkus with rendang beef, sauteed green beans/chili, chicken that was lip smacking good. Ayam kalasan is chicken marinated in special sweet sauce is also great. Sop buntut (oxtail soup) is allright. Their fried noodles are great although it was a bit salty. All the dishes came with its own special chili sauces in little containers. We also got some achar (pickled cucumbers) and even the chili sauces are great. This place also sells a lot of specialty grocery items from Indonesia. On top of that, they sell finger food items such as risoles with chicken ragout inside, some greenish risoles but with sweet fillings and probably a tapioca cake (white and orange colour) - all were tasty. This place has ALL the food interests covered !! I was simply satisfied with all the things they offered. This is a must-not miss place in LA for those interested in Indonesian food.

Sam Woo in Monterey Park: at first I did not think much about this place when I entered. But when I tasted the house special chowmein than I know this is a special place indeed. Very tasty sauce and noodle. Simply prepared but superb execution. Their salt baked chicken was also outstanding. Juicy and tasty. Their wonton noodle soup was not as good IMO.

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