Went all around town and had all kinds of food. Starting with the good:
GORIKEE- Have been reading about this place on the boards for a while, and was very curious. I was a little put-off by the fact that they call themselves a garlic restaurant. I wasn't really in the mood for The Stinking Rose, and the location seemed pretty shady...but...the food was REALLY good. Started off with the crab cake in filo dough and a very crisp caesar, then for the main course had the garlic wasabi rib-eye steak. My girlfriend found the steak to be a little too fatty, but I thought the flavor was delicious. The other delicious thing at the table was the chicken breast in a garlic (i guess there is a theme here) sake pepper sauce. Really excellent flavor. The only weird part of the meal was when one of our friends received the wrong order...the waiter said that he couldn't take the meal off the bill because "once the order goes in, if we send it back, it comes out of my paycheck". it got a little awkward for a second, but the waiter did seem genuinely sorry about it, and everything was cool. Overall, I definitely recommend it, despite being a total hole in the wall.
GR/EATS- The restaurant off-shoot of the Giant Robot clothing stores. Another hole in the wall, although as opposed to Gorikee, where everything decor-wise just seemed slapped together, the sparse look was intentional here. I had the teriyaki chicken/tempura shrimp special which was a TON of food for only $8.95. everything was very fresh, the tempura was crispy...absolutely no complaints. if you're in west l.a. and you need a quick, cheap bite, this place is totally solid.
URTH CAFE- The one on beverly, not melrose. Oy. I usually like this place, but the experience this weekend was really unpleasant. First of all, there's the new seating policy, which makes it look like tables are reserved. We stood around for 5 minutes waiting for a place to sit, until finally the busboy comes by and tells us to take a table. i guess theoretically, we could have just sat down, but i don't understand why they felt the need to change things from the old free-for-all system. Anyway, the food took FOREVER to come. We waited over 30 min. for an egg sandwich and a bowl of oatmeal. Plus, on top of that, they have the nerve to charge you for refills on the coffee. While we were waiting, the busboy shattered a glass on the table next to us, sent the shards flying all over our table (nobody was hurt) and then didn't even apologize. the capper came after breakfast, when my girlfriend was using the bathroom. there was a dude in there cleaning, who didn't even bother to leave when she entered the stall. Only after she said something, did he take the hint...but then he COMES BACK IN while she's doing her thing. Really uncool. The food itself was fine, nothing special...but not worth the hassle of dealing with all the BS.