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Doug Arango's in WeHo?

RacerX Nov 14, 2006 05:57 PM

Hey All,

Going there for a birthday celebration tonite.

Doing a quick search, I haven't come up with any recent reviews of the place other than Chica's and Carter's spirited discussion in this Spago thread:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/81731...

Any must have's or must avoids?

TIA

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  1. k
    kotter Nov 14, 2006 11:40 PM

    Definitely the ribs!!! Very unexpected at an Italian restaurant.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kotter
      c
      carter Nov 15, 2006 12:47 AM

      Funny, I never even thought of the place as an Italian restaurant. Since you know my feelings on the place, they will not be repeated.

    2. BombayUpWithaTwist Nov 15, 2006 12:44 AM

      I've enjoyed the featured oysters as an appetizer.

      1. h
        Hackenbush Nov 15, 2006 06:07 AM

        The last time there, I had a cripsy, non-breaded chicken breast that was outstanding.

        1. d
          Dave and Stuff Nov 15, 2006 04:23 PM

          I really had a horrible time food-wise the last time I was at Doug Arango's.

          Steak was over-cooked/charred...the manager/host/owner came to the table and politely told us that indeed the steak was way overcooked, and quickly took it away, saying she would bring us a pizza instead and take the steak off our check(her offer)...

          She returned to the table a few minutes later and told us that the chef says that "The steak is done perfectly, and you probably just don't know what a steak on a char grill tastes like." I'm not kidding.

          She obviously didn't know that between the two of us, my girlfriend and I have over 30 years in the restaurant business (she's an accomplished, semi-famous chef and I am a fine dining room manager). We know what a char grilled, medium rare steak should taste like, and it's not a dry, cooked well piece of charcoal!

          I couldn't believe that we had been told that the Chef said we were wrong (you know, in this business, it should have been enough to say we didn't like it), but to then charge us for the steak that THEY took away really took guts.

          I was furious, and my GF wanted to just walk out, but I paid the check (plus 15% gratuity, just to show I wasn't mad at the server), and left, making it my goal to tell as many people as I could about this experience.

          I will never, ever go back. It was worth the $300 I spent to have learned exactly how not to treat customers.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Dave and Stuff
            g
            globlamega Dec 6, 2006 09:34 PM

            It seems to me, when I read your post, that you have a personal ax to grind at Doug Arango's. I have never heard of anyone being treated like that by those people. The owners are always sweet as pie, talkative and friendly. I enjoy the fact that it is solely run by the same family. It makes it a more relaxed evening as opposed to say, The Obnoxious LOOK-AT-ME, LOOK-AT-ME I'm sitting at THE IVY, paying $29 for a piece of crap lasagne and am in the background of a papparazzi shot with Paris Hilton ( who I happened to see behaving quite well at Doug Arango's with her sister and Kevin Connoly sans papparazzi nonsense).

            Anyway, perhaps you're so critical of Doug's because the place you are the host at is around the corner, and they're the competition. Something smells fishy, because I've had great steak there (the fries are the best) as well as knockout seafood and pizza.

            And as someone said earlier, I was surprised at how good the ribs were.

            1. re: globlamega
              d
              Dave and Stuff Dec 6, 2006 10:40 PM

              Absolutely not. But good guess. Believe me, no personal ax to grind. Was really looking forward to the meal, and had a bad experience...no more, no less...

              1. re: Dave and Stuff
                c
                carter Dec 7, 2006 12:39 AM

                Dave and Stuff - totally agree with you. Lifeless environs, listless food and a wine list that is not all that good, contrary to thoughts of other posters, and nearly as expensive as Spago.
                Hostess pleasant enough until she decided to talk to the help at the bar the rest of a very slow week night(Wed), and thus never came around again until we complained about a discrepancy on the bill, argued with us until she realized we were correct, and then she begrudingly decided to remove it from the bill.
                Would never return even if someone else paid.

                1. re: carter
                  g
                  globlamega Dec 7, 2006 07:43 AM

                  carter you've got too be kidding me when you say that place is almost as expensive as Spago. Had a steak at Spago 3 wks ago that was $58 (and it wasn't Kobe). That's just insane. And it was charred just as it is at Arangos where it's in the low $30s. Spagos appetizers are all priced in the high $20's and the desserts are $14( but are still amongst my favorites in the city). I've also been at Spago and Laurent (the host) usually just greets us when we are first at the table, and then he buzzes around like Kazoo from the Flintstones the rest of the night and you never see him again. I didn't realize that when dining out, the host is supposed to constantly come back to the table and make conversation as well as check on you. Maybe that's a needy LA thing, cause in NY it's considered annoying.
                  Additionally, I find their wine list well priced and quite vast with lots of half bottles for those of us who might like a white and a red and don't want to be arrested on the way home.
                  carter you should try it again. I can honestly say, I've never had a bad experience there, and actually thought it was reasonably priced for the quality.
                  If you want to really overpay and get treated like crap, go to the Ivy.

                  1. re: globlamega
                    l
                    largel Dec 8, 2006 07:03 PM

                    Re: Doug Arango's: Buzzless, hypeless, only the best spicy tuna, soups, buttersquash raviols and wild salmon in town (say nothing of pizza, lamb chops, hamburgers and - I should really just reprint their menu here). Assuredly not "in" - except for those who appreciate the best of ingredients prepared by a caring chef, who has no interested in becoming a celebrity and is quite content to his food be his stars. Did I mention that I love this place?

                    1. re: largel
                      chica Dec 8, 2006 07:42 PM

                      Have you ever tried the hamachi tasting app? It's sublime. :)

                      http://static.flickr.com/139/31732036...

                      1. re: chica
                        g
                        globlamega Dec 8, 2006 09:50 PM

                        Yeah the spicy tuna at Doug Arangos is excellent. I love that rice cake thing it's on. I have to say I like it as much as my favorite tuna of all time...drumroll please................."The famed Spago tuna cone". I can eat a dozen of those things. I love going to an event there cause they are passed as hors d'oevres and I make a pig of myself. I try to rotate waiters so they don't know how many cones I can put away.
                        The hamachi tasting app at Doug's is awesome, but I like the progressive scallop version even better.

                        I have also ordered a second tuna appetizer at Doug's on occasion, because it's that good.

            2. re: Dave and Stuff
              Veggietales Dec 7, 2006 01:51 AM

              Without revealing too much, I have to agree that the remarks the Chef made that night is the general attitude and tone I've experienced when-in dealing with him.

              No service or social skills for that matter. The manager/hostess is the wife of the Chef.

              1. re: Veggietales
                d
                Dave and Stuff Dec 7, 2006 06:54 PM

                Wow. I just assumed that it was a one-time thing...I can't imagine a business where that attitude prevails.

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