Restaurants & Bars

A weekend of circumstantial dining

Slow Foodie | Jun 9, 200308:12 PM     3

This was one of those weekends where we had to eat where we were. Friday night we took the pups to see the Buzzcocks at the El Rey. Lest you think we're the hippest family in town, our 7 and 10 year olds were not the only children at the concert, nor were they the youngest. Pup minor and I had to have a little catnap in the car during the 2nd act but we all managed to stay awake for the entire main event which didn't begin until 11:30. If one is going to the El Rey, one must eat at Hill's Backyard Barbecue. Period. The food isn't memorable. The service is comically (albeit sweetly) unprofessional. They were out of almost everything we ordered--including every beverage but WATER. The tri tip and the mac and cheese were palatable but nothing I'd ever go out of my way for...BUT...if you eat at Hill's, the staff of Hill's will take it upon themselves to make sure you are the first admitted to the El Rey--which for us insured comfortable seating on the balcony for the entire marathon performance. Very nice people. The food didn't poison us. We sat for the concert. Good deal!

Saturday night found the elder pup finishing his 4th grade California report. We needed a few minutes work before a Trader Joe's run. Six hours later, the report was finally put to bed but we were famished and still badly in need of TJ's provisions. We decided to have a quick bite a Giannino before facing our grocery shopping. It's a bizarrely overdecorated mini-mall place and for the very first time in my life, I've valet parked in Silverlake! ($2.00). The service was genuinely warm. The pup loved the garlic bread (made with slivered fresh garlic) and his ministrone soup. I tasted the soup and it was bland and only luke warm. My Caesar had the soggy outer leaves of romaine and a very salty dressing. There were some nice anchovies on the top but otherwise the salad was a big snooze. We shared the fettucine Aurora which had mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and chicken in a light cream sauce. Edible but nothing to write home about. The folks were incredibly sweet but I thought the prices a bit high for a neighborhood joint. The pasta was $12.00 and the soup was $5.50 and the salad $7.00. It's a convenient location for us and they were so nice to us that I'll probably give it another shot.

Sunday nights the pups were rioting for Curry House in Little Tokyo. However, our friend the food wuss was with us and noted that there was no chicken terriyaki on the Curry House menu and put the kabosh on it. We ended up at Daisuke Daiichi, also in the Weller Court. They have the traditional menu with photographs including terriyaki and tempura combos so the wuss was happy. The rest of us did udon which was really delicious. Also, some nice steamed spinach and better than average edamame. I also found the non-tourist (no photos!) menu and ordered sliced yam in plum sauce with great excitement. Silly me. The yam was raw and just didn't give me a thrill. The pups wouldn't bite, the chow hub sneered at me and the wuss turned a bit green around the gills. The sprats had clear jello in pear juice with red beans for dessert which I ended up eating while they scarfed down the deep fried green tea ice cream that I ordered, apparently on the same whim that led to the raw yam. Nevertheless, the noodles satisfied and the folks were patient and friendly.

So, wherever you go...there you are.

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