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overrated/over hyped?

What do you think are some regularly overrated places in LA? Of course Pinkberry comes to mind, but maybe also Pink's?

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  1. Lotería Grill, Pete's Café, El Coyote, Royale, Gladstone's, Pho 79, Fred 62, The Gumbo Pot, Doughboys - all of them have their supporters (some of them quite devoted), all of them are restaurants whose alleged merits are completely lost on me.

    And I absolutely hate the Sugar Bean and Tea Leaf. Coffee with cheap Nestlé Quik in it. It's diabetes in a cup, and it's disgusting.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Woolsey

      Pho 79? You take that back! Take it back!

      Not gonna argue with the rest, though. I lived on the east coast for a while, where all the mexican restaurants were like El Coyote. It was pretty sad.

      1. re: wafflesnsegways

        Pho 79 is awful. I will never take it back. Never! It's awful from the bland broth to the mildew smell coming off the table tops. Pho 87 up Broadway has it beat hands down.

        1. re: wafflesnsegways

          I was in Chinatown yesterday and came across the old Pho 79. I will take it back: They've changed their name, so I can now say that Pho 97 is awful.

      2. california pizza kitchen.
        their crust has the flavor and consistency of white bread, even their 'honey wheat' crust is awful.
        also, alejos always gets praised on this board. covering up the worst quality ingredients with a lot of chopped raw garlic in oil doesn't cut it in my mind.

        1 Reply
        1. Ultimately, because of the sheer volume of people who post to the LA Area boards combined with the fact that over 4 million people live in the city of Los Angeles alone, I would expect *almost*any* restaurant to fall into this category.

          Our tastes are different enough and our voices vocal enough that it just ends up that way.

          Are you looking for places that aren't worth the crowd, the wait or the reservation time?
          My answers would be Toast or Pinkberry. Some say Pink's, but I'm okay with it.

          Are you looking for places whose culinary result is unequal to their culinary reputation?
          Ford's Filling Station and Table 8 immediately come to mind.

          Are you looking for places that are overpriced and/or serving inferior product but seem to be doing pretty well for themselves as a business anyway?
          I'd say any of the food stands at 3rd Street Farmer's Market.

          3 Replies
          1. re: SauceSupreme

            I'm okay with Pink's, too. I think the food at Pink's is just so-so, but then the food to me has never really been the point at there. Everyone always complains about the long line, but that's really the reason to go, to stand in the long line and gawk at everyone else in the long line (especially at the oddballs in line at 3:00 A.M. - and yes, I can include myself amongst the Pink's 3:00 A.M. oddballs). I personally think the food at Skooby's on Hollywood is better, but the scene at Pink's is a real Los Angeles treasure, which is why I'd never consider it overrated.

            1. re: Woolsey

              I agree about Pink's. I once saw David Lynch eating there. A real people-watching highlight!

              1. re: Woolsey

                I stumbled into Skooby's after their garlic fries caught my attention. And the fact that they have GUINNESS in their chili! Great dogs, great fries, love that aoili as well.

            2. Geihsa House, Yamashiro
              Pinkberry, Pinks, CPK, California Chicken Cafe,
              Pizzaria Mozza, Sprinkles, Patina Group anything,
              Canter's Deli, The Standard, House of Pies
              Pizzaria Mozza, Nozawa, katsu ya, Fratelli's,
              Brent's, Anarkali,Starbuck's, Juliano's Raw,
              The Stinking Rose, Jerry's Famous Deli,
              Cut, Beard Papa,

              umm, lemme think

              8 Replies
              1. re: Diana

                You mentioned Mozza twice. On purpose? : )

                1. re: monkuboy

                  no..just me being interrupted in the iddle and then not editing before I hit "post" sorry.

                2. re: Diana

                  Yamashiro is for the Ambiance and View ( which do rock) I dunno I never expect ther food to be spectacular so i guess i feel like i'm getting what i pay for ( and I'm paying for ambiance and the view)

                  1. re: Mando

                    their food is less than average, IMO.

                    1. re: lotta_cox

                      That's a coincidence - I just posted on Yamashiro: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/425600

                      And not only is the food WAY less than average, the ambience is horrible too.

                    2. re: Mando

                      Both my parents and I have been their at separate time and we both had really bad service and food. I really think it's a waste of money to go there. I would probably just go there for a before dinner cocktail and save my money to eat a place that is more worthy. It does have a nice ambiance but there are plenty of places with a nice ambiance plus quality of food.

                    3. re: Diana

                      GOTTA STOP...GOTTA GO EAT.

                      1. re: Diana

                        I was very frustrated with Beard Papa. Very rude, brisk service, no real selection, and the cream puffs came straight out of the fridge - yuck! They weren't even fresh, so I didn't bother eating one.

                        1. re: monkuboy

                          Did you know that Jonathan Gold when asked where he would like his last meal to be he replied, after some careful thought ... Pie N Burger.


                          1. re: monkuboy

                            Oooh, I agree! And the much hyped apple pie is just icky. The banana cream, however, is to die for.

                            1. re: Diana

                              Would have to disagree with Dan Tana's. The chicken parm is awesome old school Italian... and yes, I've had plenty of it in Long Island to know. Plus, the crowd watching is the best appetizer on the menu.

                              1. re: grrlgamer

                                What did I ever say about Dan Tana's?

                                1. re: Diana

                                  Dan Tana's food is pretty ordinary. Nothing special. Plus, it's way too crowded. It's like they found the smallest place to pack the most tables and chairs in.

                            2. re: monkuboy

                              I was totally going to say that. Let me add to that list - Dan Tana's, Musso and Franks and any and all "old school" LA places - LA is new not old - you want old school? Go to New York - thats old school.

                              1. re: blackbookali

                                Buddy, buddy, buddy...Musso and Franks is a good spot.

                                We should still have some connection to the history of this town, no?

                                1. re: therealbigtasty

                                  What he said. Besides, most of the new places that open can be pretty craptacular, which is why they eventually end up closing, and we get more new places. There's often a reason the old places have been able to hang around.

                                  1. re: therealbigtasty

                                    Old is OK providing they keep up their standards. I've had some pretty disgusting stuff at Musso & Franks, sufficient to make me direct my steps to Miceli's or Famima! instead. Do not ever order their fried onion rings -- truly dégoulasse!

                                    1. re: therealbigtasty

                                      Classics still do manage to pump out good food in "old" spaces--as long as the quality and management don't age worse than the restaurant itself.

                                      1. re: umami

                                        The original pantry needs to close down for a day so they can get that annoying grease smell out of the dining hall. Also, they need to mop.

                                        1. re: caligreatest

                                          I second, third, and fourth The Original Pantry. Some coworkers and I went there a couple of weeks back for lunch and it was awful. We were expecting diner-quality food, but it was atrocious. I've had significantly better meals at Denny's or IHOP. Blah!

                                      2. re: blackbookali

                                        being that musso and frank's is 80+ years old and the oldest restaurant in NY, Barbetta, is exactly 100 years old, I would definitely classify musso and frank's as old school and i believe that taylor's could also be classified as old school although it is a paltry 56 years old. LA is home to a couple of truly old school places. and i find neither taylor's nor musso's to be overrated. both are a certain thing, but i love them both dearly for what they are.

                                        1. re: blackbookali

                                          I've got to side with blackbookali on Musso and Frank's. I don't know, maybe I'm a rube, but the hype/price to food quality ratio I experienced there had to have been the most staggering I've ever seen.

                                        2. re: monkuboy

                                          Ditto and Ditto to Apple Pan and Pie & Burger!

                                          1. re: monkuboy

                                            Hmm. This is my first post and I do not want to offend but I'm such a lover of both places. The steak burger at the Apple Pan would be my last meal as well and I would follow it up with pie from Pie N' Burger. Of course I do hate the hickory burger at the apple pan, could that be what you had??

                                            I've been eating at the Apple Pan since I was like 5 and it is so consistent, the dudes justt keep get older.

                                            1. re: monkuboy

                                              I don't know - Pie n' Burger seems just about perfect to me.

                                                1. re: wilafur

                                                  ya know, i really really want to disagree with you, but.... you're right.

                                                  1. re: wilafur

                                                    Truly at the bottom of the pile when it comes to hole in the wall taco joints

                                                    1. Folks, please help us keep this board focused on chow that's unique to the Los Angeles area. if you'd like to discuss overrated chain restaurants, please head over to the Chains board. Thanks.

                                                      1. I can never understand the reccs for Nyala. I found it the blandest Ethiopian food ever. I much prefer Rahel.

                                                        Never been, but people tell me Sona is Overrated.

                                                        Father's Office, for sure.

                                                        Bottle Rock.
                                                        I have more fun at Vendome in Toluca Lake for the afternoon beer and evening wine tastings. No food, though.

                                                        19 Replies
                                                        1. re: Diana

                                                          I think the burger at Father's Office is truly a thing of wonder, but the horrible ordering/seating system they have there combined with the faux indifference from the barkeeps gives it a deserving place on this list.

                                                          1. re: djquinnc

                                                            LOVE THE BURGER AT FATHERS OFFICE
                                                            I AGREE WITH THE COMMENT ...
                                                            NOT WORTH THE HUPLA !

                                                            1. re: djquinnc

                                                              I don't think the bartenders' indifference is faux at all - I'm pretty sure it's genuine indifference! =)

                                                              1. re: aching

                                                                I have long sworn off of Father's Office, despite the excellent selection of brews. The attitude from both staff and patrons severely hampers my enjoyment of the offerings. Combined with the crowding and the stupid service style...meh.

                                                            2. re: Diana

                                                              How can you say Sona is overrated when you've never been. It is truly the best restaurant in the city: food, wine and service. Not an everyday affair, for sure. But always spectacular.

                                                              1. re: seedling

                                                                what I typed was
                                                                "peoplek tell me sona is overrated"

                                                                People tell me, I don't know for sure. I've heard it often on this very board!

                                                                1. re: Diana

                                                                  I'll say it, then: Sona IS overrated.

                                                                2. re: seedling

                                                                  Amen seedling. I think Sona is a great restaurant as well. A unique addition to the culinary landscape.

                                                                  1. re: dac_1971

                                                                    Sona has killer food/service not 100% perfect, still worth every penny. one of my top memorable meals in LA.

                                                                3. re: Diana

                                                                  Diana, Bottlerock I like. it just seems to me we dont agree on much lately.. That is why they make vanilla and choclate ice cream.. You and I do have the love of food though..

                                                                  1. re: Foodandwine

                                                                    Yep! And that's what counts. :)

                                                                    If there wasn't variety in tastes and flavors and dining establishments, the world would be such a boring place.

                                                                  2. re: Diana

                                                                    I was disappointed at Bootlerock last night they listed a 23 oz. beer on the menu but came out with an 11 oz. beer. Initially we just thought she brought out a different size, but the realized that the waitress would not acknowledge or understand the issue After speaking with the manager and the issue was resolved. Another person in our party ordered another beer and that too was smaller than what was on the menu. While the quality of the food and beer was good, the waitresses obstinatious demeanor and terrible music will not bring me back there.

                                                                    1. re: Diana

                                                                      completely agree with you about rahel being far superior to nyala.
                                                                      (although, they seem to have changed their cooking method for the green beans, and i liked the old way better)

                                                                      1. re: Diana

                                                                        I like Rahel but I like meat too so I go to Messob.

                                                                        Sona is very good. I guess you ate there after posting this.

                                                                        Father's Office very very good but only if you go early like before they open and wait. I think the Counter is more overrated and their burger has no taste.

                                                                        Vinum Populi is more fun that Bottlerock. I don't know if the wine is better but I like it better.

                                                                        Can you tell me more about Vendome? How much for tastings?

                                                                        1. re: LAfoodfiend

                                                                          The wine & food at Bottlerock is pretty poor, despite its interesting model as being a wine bar and a wine store. Had a many bad experiences there. Loved Vinum Populi, although not sure how often they rotate wine selection.

                                                                          1. re: ElJeffe

                                                                            I like Vinum too. My only gripe is that their wines are mostly Italian reds, and I'd appreciate a bit more variety.

                                                                            I'm looking forward to hearing more about Vendome that Diana mentioned above, my friends would certainly appreciate a beer tasting.

                                                                        2. re: Diana

                                                                          Diana, can you elaborate more on Vendome please? Inquiring minds want to know and noone else has posted on it :-))

                                                                          1. re: LAfoodfiend

                                                                            Diana and I both live in the Valley, and so her thoughts would reflect Vendomes here, yet from my viewing of their selections in both the Toluca Lake and Studio City locations, the breadth and quality of wines they carry are not all that wonderful

                                                                            1. re: carter

                                                                              Thanks Carter, you've saved me a very long drive.

                                                                        3. The Pantry
                                                                          Tommy's Burgers
                                                                          Chez Jay
                                                                          Geoffrey's in Malibu

                                                                          And pretty much any sushi bar

                                                                          1. 26 Beach, Nook, The Omelette Parlor, Angeli Caffe and The Counter get my vote.

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: hrhboo

                                                                              I'll certainly second you on the Counter. I don't get it at all! 26 Beach is okay, certainly better burgers than the Counter! lol
                                                                              Yes to Titos Tacos and Apple Pan too!

                                                                              1. re: hrhboo

                                                                                i agree with a lot of whats been said, however a lot of the restaurants mentioned i think have historical value if anything else.

                                                                                1. re: hrhboo

                                                                                  I forgot C & O! I'll never understand why people line up for that place.

                                                                                  1. re: hrhboo

                                                                                    The Counter came to mind right after AOC and Lucques leapt into it. I have gone a few times to each odf the two latter places wanting to like them, and finding them really lacking in terms of food quality (it's either too much butter/oil or salt, or simply bland food that's been worked over too much) and indifferent service. Tables crammed together making seating uncomfortable and you can practically grope the stranger adjacent to you without so much as a "by your leave."

                                                                                    1. re: NAspy

                                                                                      I have to agree w/you on AOC. For a similar restaurant w/better food and 1/2 the price, I'd recommend Cube on La Brea.

                                                                                    1. re: EatinThePizzaNaked

                                                                                      You take that back...at least it's not all blacklights and club adjacent like Velvet Margarita. I will agree that maybe the salsa is slightly lacking but they actually put their focus on food as opposed to the "vibe"

                                                                                    2. Also keep in mind that what 'Hounds consider overrated/overhyped can come through as a result of others doing the rating and the hyping.

                                                                                      Titos Tacos immediately comes to mind; very rare is the 'Hound singing its praises.

                                                                                      So perhaps another question would be "What are places that Chowhounds overrate?" I don't have an answer, but I know that some would respond with Sushi Zo.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                                                        I suspect the answer to the question "What are places that Chowhounds overrate?" might be Opus. After reading all the raves here, I asked a friend who is not a Chowhound type but loves a good restaurant - she still swoons over past meals at Lucques and Valentino, but she is picky - she won't touch most dim sum for the MSG in it - and can be very dismissive of restaurants that try too hard. I asked her about her recent meal at Opus. She very dismissively replied, "Typical fancy restaurant food." With that, her review was finished. I can't be certain, but it's just my hunch...

                                                                                      2. Definitely Sasabune. I don't get the love that some people on the board for this place.

                                                                                        1. Davino's, Toscana and most of the Brentwood Italian restaurants (except Vincente's), Tito's Tacos, the Counter, In-N-Out, Neptune's Net.

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: whatsfordinner

                                                                                            I know this will be unpopular, but I will NEVER understand the appeal of In-N-Out. These are decent hamburgers but are by no means better than many other places here in LA. Somehow this joint has become an icon of the city, and I'm at a loss to understand it. If we were talking about a regular fast food restaurant, I'd sing a different tune. But anywhere that requires a 20 minute wait just to get to the drive thru window- that is no normal "fast" food place. I have lost a good part of my adult life sitting in the drive thru line waiting for my companions over the years to get what is essentially boring, generic food. I'll be happy to never go near another one of those lines, thanks. Just NOT worth it! I'll take a real thick hamburger anytime over that bland nonsense. Those super-vocal die-hard In-N-Out fans could use some quality juicy red meat in their lives! Beef is so GOOD when it has flavor!!!

                                                                                            1. re: ilovegobo

                                                                                              You make a good point: In-N-Out is certainly not fast. The name is now ironic; it should be changed to "In-N-Wait."

                                                                                              As for its not tasting of beef, of course it doesn't. That's not really the point. A Big Mac doesn't taste of beef, either. Nor does a Quarter Pounder, a Whopper, or pretty much any other classic fast food hamburger. They all taste of the toppings, the calorie-laden condiments, the cheese (if included), the grease from the grill accumulated on the patty and the bun, the bread, and then, maybe after all those other flavors, then it has a little flavor of low-quality beef. As far as such burgers go, In-N-Out's rendition is pretty good.

                                                                                              I think that the long wait involved to get the food actually adds to the mystique. It's all a part of the sales pitch. "It's taking you a half-hour to get a burger because it's all freshly made!" It gives it this patina of quality and desirability that McDonald's et al don't have. What they lose in quick service they gain in reputation for quality, something that sets them apart from their competitors.

                                                                                              1. re: ilovegobo

                                                                                                I think it is simply because In-N-Out is better than the other big hamburger chains (my apologies to fans of other chains . . . to each his own, no disrespect intended). I don't think most think their burger is better than those from good, non-chain places.

                                                                                                1. re: ilovegobo

                                                                                                  I get the In N Out fascination (and totally love an I-N-O burger) but what i don't get is THE FRIES...sure they are real taters but they are always limp and lifeless. And don't even think about getting them to go...

                                                                                                  1. re: daniel7720

                                                                                                    I always order them well done, you get some really crunchy bits from that. Or Animal style when I'm really in a mood.

                                                                                              2. After that incredibly long, vitriolic thread that kept finding its most venomous portions mysteriously disappearing - and that will occasionally pop up from time to time when a disgruntled Chowhounder runs afoul of the place - I'm surprised Sweet Lady Jane has yet to be nominated...

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Woolsey

                                                                                                  I'd nominate Sweet Lady Jane, but the question posed was "overrated", and I think there are very few Jane loyalists left who would even rate it high enough to matter.

                                                                                                  My gripe is about the Brasilian place at the 3rd Street Farmer's market, Pampas Grill. First of all, I see them measure the food on the heavy plates without discounting the weight of the plate all of the time (in fact they use the same scale for the plate as they do for the take-out containers), and I just don't get the hype. To walk away with a decent portion of food you're spending at least $15, if not $20 or more. And the food isn't THAT good. It comes off of a buffet line for heaven's sake. Maybe it's just hype and tourists, but I don't understand why that place is always busy.

                                                                                                  1. re: Faulkner99

                                                                                                    IMHO sweet lady jane IS overrated in this town. everyone at work raves about them. in fact, when i first started my new job we had a cake for someone's b-day and the assistant tells me proudly she got it at SLJ like it was some big secret society i wasn't a part of and then everyone chimes in and goes on to tell me about this great bakery that i HAVE to go to. HA! only if they knew!

                                                                                                    1. re: trolley

                                                                                                      It's possible we may work together

                                                                                                2. Zankou Chicken, Cobras and Matadors (horrible), Sasabune, Apple Pan burgers, and any frozen yogurt joint that is serves plain or greent tea krapp with cereal, fruit, or cookies.........

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. Wasn't this a recurring thread at year-end the last couple of years? (sort of a coutnerpoint to "best places in 20__" thread each year)? Haven't pulled up the link, but I remember a multi-hundred-post thread on the topic not so long ago....

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                                                                      think of it as christmas in July!!! - this is the 25th after all.
                                                                                                      But that list as I remember it was worst, as opposed to over-rated - fine line I realize.

                                                                                                    2. ¡El Cholo! Remember the original?

                                                                                                      I thought another location El Cholo would be as good - but NO. The food has gone so far south it's crossed into Antarctica. Bland, boring, might as well go to Mexican Chain X. What a disappointment. I'm afraid to go back to the original and see if they've slipped too.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: salutlemonde

                                                                                                        DARN you beat me to it. I agree 100% el cholo stinks and the south pas. location is nothing but a menu of enchiladas.
                                                                                                        Let's continue.....
                                                                                                        Du Par's
                                                                                                        cafe Bizou
                                                                                                        PATINA PATINA PATINA
                                                                                                        the lobster

                                                                                                        1. re: afs

                                                                                                          ALL the restaurants owned by El Cholo - Barn Burner, Margarita Jones, Dona Maria - BLEECH!!!

                                                                                                          1. re: WildSwede

                                                                                                            Specifically, Blair Salisbury in pasadena in your list, as he owns them all, and is sort of the outcast of the family.
                                                                                                            One they do operate I like better than any is the Sonora Cafe on La Brea, although you will live to tell about it at the original El Cholo on Western Ave.

                                                                                                      2. Porto's Bakery
                                                                                                        Sa Rit Gol
                                                                                                        Whole Foods
                                                                                                        L.A. Tofu Festival
                                                                                                        Sushi Nozawa
                                                                                                        Culver City

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Gohantabeyoka

                                                                                                            I beg to differ on Sa Rit Gol. While other Korean bbq places have better meat, usually people recommend Sa Rit Gol because their panchan (side dishes) have more variety and are fresher than other Korean restaurants.

                                                                                                            I'm one of those people that like Sa Rit Gol. I don't love it, but I do like it, and I don't think it is overrated.

                                                                                                          2. Pinkberry!!

                                                                                                            Pinkberry is frozen yugurt, it is not the Second Coming of Thomas Keller. Every time they open another franchise, it is trumpeted on this Board as if were that Second Coming.

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Paliman

                                                                                                              I would argue that Keller is overrated and overhyped so maybe Pinkberry IS the second coming of Keller.

                                                                                                              I'm going to get blasted for this but Josie's. I can't understand it. The burger is just huge, not really dynamic. Truffle fries? It's as ubiquitous as miso cod or molten chocolate cake. The short ribs were fatty and not properly trimmed. It's pretty much improssibe to mess up short ribs. The only good dish I had there out of 12 was the sepia and lentils.

                                                                                                              And of course that one-trick-pony, Sasabune.

                                                                                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                  I agree on Josie too, it just doesn't do it for me. The burger is very disappointing too. In fact, the only thing I've ever eaten there that I love is the skinny slice of gruyere quiche served before the meal. That quiche is fantastic.

                                                                                                                2. A listing of UNDERRATED places is more fun. I need balance, ya know.

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: hrhboo

                                                                                                                        Here's one of my responses on that underrated thread:

                                                                                                                        "One might walk away from this thread thinking that in Los Angeles, ALL OF IT is overrated."

                                                                                                                        This thread is certainly playing that out, and as I said above, we're all opinionated and vocal enough that there will always be hype. And Los Angeles is a big enough city that you're more likely to find a crowd than not.

                                                                                                                        In addition to our varying tastes, there's also varying tolerances for things like decor, service, wait time, and overall inconveniences.

                                                                                                                    1. Let me cut to the chase......CUT, overrated, overpriced, not even the Kobe is good. $48 for a bone in rib eye and $2 more for sauce? Just charge me $50 for the meat and throw in the sauce for free.....

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: eder

                                                                                                                        Couldn't agree more. Overpriced, pretentious, and arrogant. The steaks are fine, but I've had much better. People rave so they won't feel like fools because they paid so much for so little. Yes, you each have your own server when the entrees come. And Chuck E. Cheese has a guy dressed up like a mouse. Concentrate on the food and not the show. And try to get your attitude together. I don't want to feel like you're doing me a favor taking my money.

                                                                                                                        1. LA Tofu Festival
                                                                                                                          Scoops (Probably the only person who thinks so)
                                                                                                                          Beard Papa's
                                                                                                                          Yujean Kang's
                                                                                                                          All India Cafe
                                                                                                                          Mexico City
                                                                                                                          Marston's Blueberry pancakes
                                                                                                                          Hirozen Gourmet
                                                                                                                          Tama Sushi (I'm a faithful follower of Nozawa)
                                                                                                                          Tacos Baja Ensenada

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: adevejian

                                                                                                                            I don't see how Zankou could ever end up on this list. Its a low key spot so not really 'hyped' but just great fast food mediterranean. The more places I go to (Gabi's, Daphne's) the more I appreciate Zankou.

                                                                                                                            1. re: ElJeffe

                                                                                                                              Oh, it gets hyped. I've been brought along to a few Zankou-hype meals, where someone who has "discovered" Zankou and dragged someone else to share their new revelation with them. And, surprise, surprise, the chicken is invariably dry as the Gobi that day, and the service rude, and the restaurant packed, and I have to hold back the smirks as one person keeps pumping out the desperately positive, "Isn't this place great?! So much food for just that! Did you try the garlic sauce? The garlic sauce is AWESOME!", all while the other person just rolls his/her eyes as he/she saws away in exasperation at a dusty bird carcass.

                                                                                                                              Besides, Vince Vaughn wore a Zankou Chicken t-shirt in some movie several years back. (I want to say it was "Made.") That alone was enough to vault the place into hype territory.

                                                                                                                          2. I have no doubt I'll get slammed for saying this, especially given how opinionated some CH'ers can be, but I'm just foolish enough to say it anyway: In my humble opinion, the Apple Pan is overrated to the Nth degree. Yes, it's part of Los Angeles' history (like Pink's in jchaire's posting above). Yes, Huell Howser did an episode of "California's Gold" on this place. Yes, people will gladly wait a long time for an open bar stool. The Apple Pan's burgers, to me, taste probably one notch better than Bob's Big Boy burger, although I'm probably more partial to the latter's special sauce. The bread is nothing special. The staff know that they work at a place which is on the State's "historic registry," and show it by acting like they are doing you a favor by serving you. I remember my first visit fondly: how gauche of me to actually ask for a menu! The drive down Westwood Blvd. to search for the In N' Out is worth the extra few minutes of hunger. And now, if you don't mind, I'm going to duck before the protests start!

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: OCKevin

                                                                                                                              Totally agree with you, but would never look for In N' Out as an alternative - they both suffer the same malaise - over-exposure and uninteresting!

                                                                                                                            2. Definitely Pinkberry is so overrated. Red Mango is the OG, and it is so much better. Had it every day when I was in South Korea for a week, and had it just recently at the one in Westwood when it opened. It is SO much better than Pinkberry. Have it with watermelon. So good.

                                                                                                                              1. Dulce and anything by the Patina group.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: lotta_cox

                                                                                                                                  here's an example of where this thread is not really about over-rated places ....i've yet to see a positive review about this place...heck...i didn't even know dulce was still open !!! earlier, someone mentioned dupars...overated ?!?!? didn't even know it had a rating ...lol...personally, sona would be in my top 5 of overated places...also, when was the last time someone wrote anything positive about el cholo....it's been awhile !!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: kjs

                                                                                                                                    I take it you guys are referring to Dolce, and it is still in business.

                                                                                                                                    I think that sometimes overrated on the Chowhound board and overrated with non-Chowhounders could be something else entirely. While Dolce may not be highly thought of by the food cognoscenti here, it was, at least at one time, one of the hottest dining tickets in town. Of course, judging by the fact that they've finally had to go and put the name of the restaurant on the building, it would seem Dolce's glory days are definitely behind it.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: wilafur

                                                                                                                                      Totally agree! Soup dumpling are better elsewhere!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: azibo

                                                                                                                                        Totally disagree. DTF has a nice variety of xlb, great flavor and skin that's not too thick.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: slacker

                                                                                                                                          I still like the more rustic ones (and the wait) at Mei Long Village better, but this is all subject to individual interpretation, I guess. I just know I go to Valley for XLBs much more often than I go to DTF!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: azibo

                                                                                                                                            Yes, I completely agree that it just comes down to individual taste. For me for XLB, the Taiwanese do it better.
                                                                                                                                            And not to be geographically nitpicky, but Arcadia is part of the San Gabriel Valley.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: azibo

                                                                                                                                              DTF's xlb's is like Rita Coolidge singing, "Your Love is Lifting Me Higher"

                                                                                                                                              Mei Long Village's xlb's is like Jackie Wilson singing the original version.

                                                                                                                                              DTF does it well, but seems to lack the soul that MLV's has...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                It is true. Those that I had in Beijing tasted and had a consistency much more similar to the MLV ones! But to each their own. That's all that matters!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: azibo

                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I thought the MLV ones were just ok. That northern china food is just generally heavier and blander than what I like.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: slacker

                                                                                                                                              We see eye to eye on this Slacker. There's an art to making a thinner skin that doesn't break when picked up. I enjoy both that and the flavor over the more "rustic" versions.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                          Totally agree. Wife and in (out) laws tried it twice both times major disapointment! Mei Long much better. I feel this is one of those places that is tough to get in so people that see the line, wait are too embarrassed to admit it is average or feel if there is a line it must be good. It is just not the best by far. I also think Jiraffe, Z Sushi (ashame since I live two blocks from it) and Roscoes Chicken and Wafles are way over rated. We went with a party of four to Jiraffe and no one enjoyed their meal and no one can remember even what we ate.... And Roscoes....geez I dont know where to begin...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: monkey

                                                                                                                                            Roscoe's used to be great. The prices were pretty low, the quality was excellent, and the portions were huge. But throw them on Food Network, name drop them in a Tarantino film, and then presto, watch the lines get long, the prices go up, and quality suffer. If you go now, I can easily see how one would think they're overrated. I was amused to hear a customer at another table at my last visit to the Hollywood location debating his waitress about the rise in prices as she steadfastly denied it. I've had too many soggy heat lamp waffles on recent visits, and I don't know if they've taken to frying up Cornish game hens or what, but if the chicken pieces keep getting any smaller, they'll need to change their name to "Roscoe's House of Pigeon 'n' Waffles."

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Woolsey

                                                                                                                                              "Roscoe's House of Pigeon 'n' Waffles."


                                                                                                                                              1. re: Woolsey

                                                                                                                                                I went to the location on Pico a couple of years ago and remember having a really nice side of mac n' cheese. Is that still good there?

                                                                                                                                                Another gentleman also told me they serve proper sausage gravy...I need some now.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                                                                                                                  The Pico and La Brea is, I think, the best of the Roscoe's locations, but I'm not a macaroni and cheese fan, so I never order that. Their grits are decent enough to please my picky Southern mama, though, who always gets the giblets plate, grits, and fried eggs when she's in town.

                                                                                                                                                  I always get dragged to Roscoe's by my visiting relations. Why Southerners come to L.A. to eat fried chicken, I don't know. It would be like my going to Louisiana and demanding to eat at CPK...

                                                                                                                                              2. re: monkey

                                                                                                                                                "I feel this is one of those places that is tough to get in so people that see the line, wait are too embarrassed to admit it is average or feel if there is a line it must be good."

                                                                                                                                                At first this seems like a ridiculous statement but maybe the wait is what the naysayers have a problem with. If DTF XLB were served in dingy settings without a wait, there would be no elevated expectations and you could just judge the XLB on the basis of taste alone. Maybe the preference for MLV is that there is a minimal wait and less hassel and that's factored in to the preference of some for MLV over DTF. If the wait at MLV ballooned to 2 hours you might get a similar adverse reaction.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                                                  The times I went we had no wait we got there early and were int he first sitting. My comments are directed to quality and taste of dumplings as to why I feel it is over rated. I was speculating as to why people would think it is so great. I just dont get it.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: monkey

                                                                                                                                                    Overrated is such a loaded word. Is it the best XLB out there? No. Is it below average? No also. Certainly you could do worse, even in SGV. On a 1-10 scale, it probably drops between a 5 - 9 depending on if you like a thin wrapper vs thick or a more delicate filling vs a stronger filling. Those that think it's below average would have to come up with a list of at least 50 that do it better based on how many restaurants serve XLB in SGV. Saying 5 places do it better still puts DTF in the 90th percentile.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                                                      I believe we are posting on what we feel are overrated. I have gone there was not impressed in my eyes it is overrated. We can debate debate debate but that is not the purpose.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: monkey

                                                                                                                                                  That's like saying people who say Mei Long is better are doing it just so they can appear to have higher standard when it comes to XLB. More people like Din Tai Fong over Mei Long for a reason.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: absurd

                                                                                                                                                    Yes - it's called name recognition. DTF is known throughout most of Asia as being The Chain that makes a decent XLB, whether you're in Taiwan, Japan, Korea, or Arcadia.

                                                                                                                                                    Everyone has their personal perferences towards taste. I would rarely turn down a visit to DTF if I knew there would be wait less than 30 minutes. However, I know I can go elsewhere and get XLBs that I find at least as good if not more to my taste (MLV). I think DTF does what they do well. They market well also. It's a great place for a newbie to XLBs or Chinese cuisine in general to start their journey. How could one not appreciate watching the effort that goes into making those dumplings? With that said, one can then decide from there what he or she prefers. And as many have stated on this site, there are many choices others prefer over DTF. In my opinion, DTF lacks a certain soul that the others like MLV has. What DTF does have is consistancy. No one can fault them for not having that.

                                                                                                                                                    As much as I would want to agree with your logic that "More people like Din Tai Fong (sic) over Mei Long for a reason," it's like saying more people like SCUBA diving off Hawaii over Fiji for a reason. Again, the reason is name recognition, consistancy, and marketing. Those are very laudable traits. However, if I want the what I feel is better, whether it's XLBs or diving, I'm going down the less-beaten path as herd mentality does not equate to a great experience.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                      My response was to monkey for the comment that people like Din Tai Fung because they are embarrassed. You also imply that "newbies" like Din Tai Fung. As if to imply that more distinguishing palates like Mei Long. Like you said, it is a matter of taste. Not age or experience, newbie or professional. Many Taiwanese and Chinese families eat at Din Tai Fung in Arcadia. Not all are newbies. Of course they know about Mei Long also. What you call soul, some people call coarse or crude.

                                                                                                                                                      The road less traveled can lead to greater rewards, sometimes. But the less-beaten path also does not = great experience. I can also say to you, good things come to those who wait. Then someone will say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...or is it (Kant)? Philosophy is interesting but does not always pertain to real life.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: absurd

                                                                                                                                                        As I stated, if I want what I feel is better, that's the path I'm going down. Whether it's greater experience for you or not, I couldn't judge that. It's my perspective and my experience. Like Fred and Ethel from Iowa heading to Waikiki for the first time, they've just had a brief taste of what they perceive as paradise. Once they learn that they've only stepped on the edge of paradise, and that there's a whole lot more to experience, it's up to them whether or not they want to keep going. I feel the same for Din Tai Fung. Great starting point, but keep going and the road less traveled can lead to greater rewards for those with an open mind.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                          then you realize that first dive off Waikiki really was as good as it gets, and you go to DTF for your dumplings

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Eater15

                                                                                                                                                            Your diving experience is obviously very limited. Severely limited.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                              Biting my tongue (typing fingers?) - so hard it's probably going to draw blood. Don't set me up that way...please. it's too hard on my health...(g)

                                                                                                                                              3. Royal Claytons - great ambiance and great for grabbing drinks but the food is not good. stay away from the pizza.

                                                                                                                                                Katsu-ya. The last few times I've been I wasn't thrilled at all. Rather go to Hamasaku.

                                                                                                                                                El Cholo - agree with everything that's been said about this place.

                                                                                                                                                Serenata de Garibaldi (west la) - i dont know why, but this is just baaad. i'd rather drive to the eastside original.

                                                                                                                                                Dusty's - good for breakfast only. the dinners there not so much.

                                                                                                                                                25 degrees - Mediocre burgers, bad service. Lucky Devils down the street is better.

                                                                                                                                                1. To clarify (sorry, it's taken me awhile - been busy), I guess I meant there are these places that people in LA rave about and/or wait in long lines and/or are perenially popular, but then I hear just as many people trash them. So I was just curious which ones are really good and which are just inexplicable hype.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Agree on Pinkberry, Pizzeria Mozza, and Dolce. Must add Crustacean to the list! Chowhounds largely know it's terrible, but the general public does not. Same deal with Bistro 45...not a chowhound favorite, but inexplicably a zagat favorite. While not bad, the Lobster is greatly overrated as well.

                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Nicole

                                                                                                                                                      The Nook
                                                                                                                                                      Sawtelle Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                      Coral Tree Cafe
                                                                                                                                                      Cora's Coffee Shoppe

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                        Really maudie, I don't see how you can say Orris is overrated

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: budlit

                                                                                                                                                          Agreed... solid food, great concepts...

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                            Great topic because almost anything that's good once gets hyped after that and then it's disappointing. I would add Art's Deli, some In-and-Out's (which by the way vary wildly), Pink's, Pinkberry, Pizza Bianca, and a whole slew of others that we chowers deam about discovering before they get hyped!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TastELA

                                                                                                                                                              I've eaten at dozens of In-N-Outs in three states over a period of 30 years.

                                                                                                                                                              They have amazed me at their flawless consistency. I have two people standing next to me who agree 100%.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: budlit

                                                                                                                                                            Budlit, I'm with you on that. Consistently excellent for years.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Hmm, as it seems, anything with the word "Pink" in it is overrated.

                                                                                                                                                        Pink Taco

                                                                                                                                                        "pink" seems to be the watch word for over hyped mediocrity. I mean, just look at Angelyne. She's all hype. (But I think she's cool for knowing how to work the system)

                                                                                                                                                        13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                                                          I don't think Pink's is overrated. I hardly see it rated, let alone raved about. You could say that it's over patronized given what they serve. i disagree also on Pizzeria Mozza being overrated. I've seen raves, rants and a few in betweens; how does that make it overrated?
                                                                                                                                                          I thought FO was overrated for a couple of years but after 2 wonderful burgers lately, I'm back in the fold of FO celebrants.
                                                                                                                                                          I don't know if this counts, but I was very disappointed in the raw carne asada from Carniceria Sanchez after some recommendations on this board.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Wolfgang

                                                                                                                                                            I like Pink's for what it is, but to say it's hardly rated let alone raved about? It gets more good / undeserved publicity than any food place in LA, (or maybe the US). From the LA Times to the Food Network to star sightings here being mentioned in gossip rags to the out of town folks from everywhere in the US and Europe flocking here because they read about or heard about it on the net or on T.V -- this place is badly over hyped.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                              I guess I don't read or watch what you read and watch. I only read the food section of the l.a. times and besides the second half of Giada's L.A. weekend getaway, I've never watched a FN personality visit or talk about L.A.
                                                                                                                                                              And being born and raised here, I don't recall being in environments where friends or acquaintances were going on about Pink's. Everyone I know doesn't get it.
                                                                                                                                                              Honestly, more people I know talk about the goodness of Cheesecake Factory than about any other singular place. I hadn't been to one my whole life until last year and I finally went and it was a place that I won't go to again unless I have no vote.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Wolfgang

                                                                                                                                                                Just look at the sheer number of people you run into who know of Pink's, even if they haven't gone there themselves, gives one a pretty good idea of how widely their "fame" has been spread.

                                                                                                                                                                You don't have to watch FN to be subjected to Pink's propaganda. Just within the last few months the LA Times columnist Steve Lopez (a non food related writer) had a story on a $15 hot dog at, (IIRC) the sports bar & restaurant downtown called Trifecta. He took along two of the principles of Pink's to sample the "haute" dog and give him their opinion on it.

                                                                                                                                                                Just one more illustration of the "Pink's" over hyped phenomena.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                  But where do you draw the line between hype and influence? For instance, the burger at Father's Office is certainly among those that others feel fall under the overhyped category (me <-- not one of them), but you still use it as a known reference point. You'll say "not as crowded as Father's Office" or "more friendly than Father's Office" or "better quality than Father's Office".

                                                                                                                                                                  If hype stems from the fact that it gets mentioned a lot, then it speaks more of the fact that it's the standard bearer, even if others (like the Pug Burger at Hungry Cat) exceed that standard.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                                                                                                                                    I draw the line between waiting in line at FO for an A grade burger and waiting in line at Pink's for a C grade dog.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Wolfgang

                                                                                                                                                              Sorry to hear you didn't care for C. Sanchez's take-home carne asada. Don't know if this makes a difference, but if you're trying to duplicate their style, they oven-roast it. I know that's not "traditional," but that's their gig...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Wolfgang

                                                                                                                                                                I'm not the only one who thinks Mozza is over hyped. Check other posts.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: budlit

                                                                                                                                                                    No, I got the sausage pizza and it was totally oily and I also didn't like the flavor and texture of the sausage. I loved the crust, though. Got some sort of salad and just can't remember it. But I do plan to go back and try more from the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: slacker

                                                                                                                                                                      I agree that Pizzeria Mozza is overrated. Went there last week and had the clam pizza and margherita. The clam one was just dripping in oil, the clams overcooked, and the crust was like a cracker bubble(if that makes any sense). I can't imagine going back unless there was absolutely nothing else to eat and I was stuck in the area.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Wolfgang

                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with Servog, Pink's is really part of the culture now. A friend from SF just came down and one of the places he wanted to be sure to go to was Pink's. There's a car commercial (Lexus?) where the couple are speeding through LA wondering "do you think we'll make it?" and they pull up to Pink's just before it closes. PBS has a documentary called "The Hot Dog Program" and Pink's is in it. I was with a friend who found out I'd never been, and he wanted to take me even though we had just had dinner. He couldn't fathom that I lived in LA and hadn't been to Pink's...it's just one of those things that's part of pop culture now.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: writergirl

                                                                                                                                                                    I LOVE PINKS. I'M WRITING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE I'M YELLING FROM THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN.

                                                                                                                                                                    SORRY GUYS, BUT THE 12" JALAPENO DOG IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS IN THE UNIVERSE, IT REALLY IS. THE SNAP OF THE CASING FOLLOWED BY THE SPICE OF THE CHUNKS OF ACTUAL JALAPENOS ROCKS MY ASS OFF.

                                                                                                                                                                    thank you, and good night.


                                                                                                                                                              2. In the category of overrated by Chowhounds, I have to put in my vote for Fraiche. I know it has a lot of fans here, but I honestly thought it was bad by any standard, and certainly it was bad for the price.

                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                  The Four Seasons Gardens Dining room in Beverly Hills. Please read my other post to understand my feelings. All trendy ingredients that don't work together!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                    I concur about Fraiche. My DH and I ate there for his birthday in May and were pretty underwhelmed by the food, as well as the rather small portions. I ordered the ravioli and there were about seven on the plate when it arrived. I've said this before: I don't eat a lot, so enormous portions don't wow me, but for the price of an entree, I was given the amount of food of an appetizer. There was nothing about the place that prompts me to go back.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LAmonkeygirl

                                                                                                                                                                      Great, their dinner portions are just as small as their lunch portions? The first time I ate there, I thought, what is this, a throwback to the haute tiny portion days of the early 90s?
                                                                                                                                                                      But I did enjoy my food, small portion as it was. And I'll keep my dinner reservation there and see how it goes.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: slacker

                                                                                                                                                                        The portions are pretty small, but what really killed me was that the pasta was horribly undercooked. Not al dente, but undercooked. NOT COOL.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                          Agree with you about the pasta at Fraiche being undercooked. The last time we were there, we had the short rib ravioli and the lobster linguine. My ravioli was very undercooked, and my partner's linguine was very fishy tasting and she left most of it on the plate.

                                                                                                                                                                          The rest of the meal was excellent (beet salad, roasted pumpkin soup, cured branzino for apps and the cookie assortment for dessert). I was quite surprised by the bad pasta, since the chef is an alumnus of La Terza, but I did not see him in the kitchen at all that evening. We were there quite early (6 PM) which might explain his absence.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Recently went to Geisha House for the first time and left thinking it was the biggest joke! Drinks were like $15 ea and were extremely sugary. The appetizers and sushi of Todai grade. The tuna tataki I had was soooo fishy it was not even funny. How can you charge so much for such bad fish? And the crowd? Mainly Hollywood Wannabes.

                                                                                                                                                                    Nobu... been to 3 different ones.. Miami, Malibu, Las Vegas. We always spend over $400 and leave feeling so ripped off.

                                                                                                                                                                    Ruth Chris .. Just an old man's steakhouse. I've had the filet mignon there twice and didn't see what the hype was. Choices of sides are few and bland. I prefer Mastros Steakhouse.. even Houston's.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: karynx78

                                                                                                                                                                      ugh...sorry, but MASTRO'S gets my #1 vote for most overrated.

                                                                                                                                                                      [close behind are stinkberry and the santa monica location of sushi roku.]

                                                                                                                                                                    2. I agree with the early posters about Pinks, Doughboys and CPK.

                                                                                                                                                                      The thing with Pinks is that I like a plain dog, and they don't have a very good plain dog. I think it's probably better for people who like all kinds of crap on it.

                                                                                                                                                                      I only ate at Doughboy's once and I don't remember what I got there, but it was so hyped and it was so blah.


                                                                                                                                                                      I have to disagree with all the Zankou haters though. I like Zankou quite a lot -- but I suppose it's not the best place I've ever eaten. Perhaps it's overhyped. But if you have reasonable expectations you'll be more than reasonably happy. I have one in walking distance and I eat there with disturbing regularity. And their hummus and falafels are some of my favorite in the city.

                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: zeprosnepsid

                                                                                                                                                                        As far as Middle Eastern rotisserie chicken goes though, Al-Wazir Chicken in the strip mall on the NW corner of Hollywood & Gower is much better -- juicier, more flavorful, and they are not as stingy with their garlic sauce & pickled beets.....

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tijn2001

                                                                                                                                                                          You know, I always see that spot when I go to Sushi Ike. Now I'll have to make it a point to, um, duck in for chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Overrated = Cassell's Hamburgers

                                                                                                                                                                        It's not a bad burger joint, but you can find better burgers at Pie N Burger or any In-N-Out around.

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SumYungGai

                                                                                                                                                                          Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

                                                                                                                                                                          Cassell's is completely overrated. This place is like eating the boring burgers people make at home, down to the bland supermarket buns they don't even bother to grill. No way is Cassell's worthy of the praise it's garnered.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Woolsey

                                                                                                                                                                            It used to be, though - when it was The Patio. But that was 20+ years ago. The patties were huge, fresh ground prime beef, and the toppings were an afterthought. Heck, the bun was an afterthought. But then nothing lasts forever, and Cassell's time has apparently come and gone.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Hype is such an overused word these days. The best way to fight through the noise is to start going to places, finding out restaurants you like/dislike, see who regularly ends up agreeing with you, and then trust their opinion on future matters.

                                                                                                                                                                          It's easy to say that, for instance, Osteria Mozza is overhyped if you listen to every single review, which are numerous when a high profile restaurant opens. But look at the opposite end. Riordan's opened and only 1 thread has been created. Does that all of a sudden make it _under_rated? Of course not.

                                                                                                                                                                          If there's a restaurant you haven't been to yet, I challenge you to stop using hype as an excuse why you haven't gone.

                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                                                                                                                                            Poor Riordan's. It hasn't been overhyped enough.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Hopefully I am not committing a mortal sin here, but as far as overrated goes.... I recently had a business dinner at Giorgio Baldi. We got sufficiently drunk that I had a good time regardless, and maybe my sense of taste is not refined enough but some of the dishes tasted like they could have come from the Olive Garden. But that's just me.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Toast. I live close by and have tried it several times, thinking I might have order an "off dish." The food is not bad, but does not match the popularity. For breakfast, Blu Jam, BLD, or the Griddle is better.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Providence. Beautiful decor. Excellent staff. The food presents like art, but did not move me.

                                                                                                                                                                                  El Coyote, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Tito's Taco's. They seem relatively ordinary to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Apple Pan. I must confess, I don't get it, but am ready to be corrected.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Gardens of Tasco. Often packed, but most of the dishes are ordinary.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Pacific Dining Car. Retire this dreary dog already!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ilike2eat

                                                                                                                                                                                      I so respectfully disagree. They do what they do perfectly all the time. Great classics and great service.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ilike2eat

                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree . . . I like the PDC and never understood the seeming disrespect from some. Yes, there is another place who's steaks I like better, but, still the food is good. And, the actual PDC near the Good Samaritan hosp is a real piece of LA.

                                                                                                                                                                                        And, what better place to roll into at 3:00 a.m (or later) for a comfortable, "classy but relaxed" breakfast?

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Chaya Beverly Hills...sheesh, is this even still there?! It's been years since I lived in LA, and despite the regularity with which we used to eat at "popular" places, this one still sticks in my mind as the VERY WORST we ever visited...

                                                                                                                                                                                        It was extremely popular, but we found it to be annoying and the food to be very bland, boring and unexciting. Total dud.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Pardon if this place is closed by now...it should be...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Is Jerry's deli still in LA? What about Banderos(spelling) I lived there 8 years ago for like 8 years. Just wondering.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Shaylala

                                                                                                                                                                                              Jerry's Deli is alive and well in Marina del Rey. Between it being one of a small handful of Westside restos that serves the late crowd, and there being so so many East Coast transplants in Marina del Rey, Jerry's has a lock on the Westside deli business.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't get Beacon. I know lots of people think its a big deal but I don't get it. I have tried it a few times and every time I wish that I had eaten some where else...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: handlertaper

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree. I had a very just ok meal there. But is it hyped? I don't notice many people talking about it, but it might just be that I don't live in that part of town.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Boa, Katana, Sushi Roku, Katsu-Ya, Gladestone's, Pinkberry, Krispy Kreme, Lucy 51, Jerry's Famous Deli, Fattys, El Cholo, Broadway Deli (ew, ew, ew), Yummy's cupcakes, Sprinkles, Du-Pars...

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. APPLE PAN Way Way Way OVERRRATED AND OVER HYPED
                                                                                                                                                                                                Average, to Below average All Day Long. In my world 3 on 10
                                                                                                                                                                                                Many other places do a Better Burger


                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Nick & Stef's, McCormick & Schmick's, Lawry's, El Cholo in Santa Monica, Daily Grill, Engine Co. No. 28, Ciccada, Joe's Crab Shack (yuck!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I can now add Grace to this list - a good meal, but certainly nowhere near the level of the hype

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Sushi Roku
                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Counter
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cobras y Matadors
                                                                                                                                                                                                      The A.O.C
                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Courtyard
                                                                                                                                                                                                      La Paella
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Abbott's Pizza
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mulberry St.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      La Serenta de Garibaldi
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pink's Hot Dogs
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dodger Dog
                                                                                                                                                                                                      La Bodega Wine Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ford's Filling Station
                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Galley
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Buddha's Belly
                                                                                                                                                                                                      El Cholo
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cholata Thai
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Apple Pan
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Urth Cafe
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tito's Tacos
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sushi Wabi
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Reel Inn

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Spago when ordering off the menu. Most people who eat there order from the menu and rave and rave about it. I wasn't so happy with the pizza but I know people here love the tasting menu. Must try it next time.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LAfoodfiend

                                                                                                                                                                                                          We took my cousin, a chef from south america, for dinner and ordered off the menu. We were pretty happy, but my cousin wasn't blown away, especially considering the cost. My wife was going to take a picture of him, to show my uncle (also a chef) and my cousin stopped her so he could first clean some sloppy plating off a plate edge. I don't pay attention to that stuff, but he was horrified that anyone would send out a plate with a big blob of sauce a half inch from the edge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. El Portal in Pasadena is just awful. I went here for the first and last time this weekend.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                              WATER GRILL!!! I once ordered crab on ice. Generous with the ice, stingy with the crab. Good seafood restaurants in L.A. are hard to find.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. My #1 vote: Campanellis. Also, AOC, cobras and matadors, Reel Inn, Zankou, Mulberry St. pizza... And I must add that I will enjoy the day that the pinkberry trend fades away, which I'm sure will be any second now.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: barclayspot

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed on the Pinkberry...but save my Cantaloop

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: daniel7720

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cantaloop rocks. Unfortunately, Stinkberry is the only chain that has gotten a huge influx of cash behind it, and the sheep will line up there to plunk their cash down for a tiny gop of flavorless whatever even when there are superior yogurt places just steps away. (Examine the empty CéFiore store in Little Tokyo or the sno:la store on Beverly when there are crowds at the nearby Stinkberry locations and tell me the masses aren't idiots.) If any chain will stay, it will, sadly, be the devil's own, Stinkberry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Woolsey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thankfully Cantaloop has started accepting credit cards because far too many of the indoctrinated masses were turned off by the thought of paying with actual CASH. I live in the area so I will do my best to keep it alive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: daniel7720

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I must admit, I'm one of those who almost never has cash on them, and my lack of cash has stopped me from visiting Cantaloop on more than one occasion. I'm glad they've starting accepting plastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Osteria Mozza
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tre Venezie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thai Nakorn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pie & Burger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Even though Pinkberry and Pink's are overrated, at least they are cheap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: notmartha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I did not think Campanile was worth the hype when I was there last Thursday. Certainly not worth the expense. I agree on Mozza -- my pizza was eh at best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: guzelsu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Too bad about Campanile. I noticed that their quality seems to have gone downhill. We stopped going after a bad meal last July 4. But I haven't heard much hype on Campanile lately though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. California Pizza Kitchen - pizzas were cold, so meanwhile we had to nibble on rubbish cold bread while waiting; the crust is all wrong and the flavors just don't work; their ASAP variant is equally crappy, I'd rather have Sammys, Dominos, our school cafeteria's... anything

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Casa Bianca - while we're on the subject of pizza, I thought it was a glorified Tombstones; I have to disagree with Jonathan Gold on this one; sure, its good, but not Lombardis-good

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mia's Sushi - its the epitome of the pretentious hipness of eagle rock restaurants, more style than substance; the actual sashimi quality was average.. that's probably why they have to dress it up with marinades and jalapenos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fatty's - see Mia's, except add to it ruder service and better food (I'm not a veg expert or anything, so IDK)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Blue Hen - you can prolly tell I'm in Eagle Rock by now; this place is overhyped regardless of how low its hype may be; simply the worst pho I've had; apparently their specialty isn't food but organics instead

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tommy's/Pinks - more about nostalgia and "the experience" than actual quality of food; if it's hyped for its burgers or hotdogs, then it's definitely overrated

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    SaMo farmers market - I don't know, it just reeks of tourist trap; I found a much better meal across the street at Whole Foods

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Matsuhisa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Katsu-Ya (either one)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sushi Roku
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Geisha House

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      C&O, Allejo's (the sauce is all so runny!), New Concept (or whatever it's called now), Crustacean (except for the secret kitchen noodles), Ivy, Hollywood Roscoe's (Pico 4 life)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tender Greens (flavorless!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Soot Bull Jeep (a shell of its former glory, imo)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Palm Thai

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NOT OVERRATED:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Apple Pan, Counter, In-N-Out, either Mozza, Sasabune,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Roscoes chicken, like the movie "Gravity," totally over hyped.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Titos, once great now uneatable.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tyler Texas ribs, once great now not.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jack in the box...what happened to the SUPER TACO..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Boneyard Bistro. Really mediocre, overpriced barbecue with bad service. I also agree with the comments about California Pizza Kitchen. They've been systematically removing everything good from the menu there. Oh, and that phony sushi "master" Nozawa, who wouldn't know a good fish if it bit him. Tommy's has the worst chili in town. Tito's Tacos are inedible. Geez, I was gonna eat lunch, but now I've lost my appetite. Better move to another thread.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: farmertomato

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            CPK was sold two years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It never was that great but now it's just plain bad.