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(PHX) LGO: Why all the haters?

I happen to enjoy all of the LGO restaurants: La Grande Orange, Postino, Chelsea's Kitchen, and Radio Milano. I was even impressed by their catering at a recent party (at which I was a guest). I am usually pretty critical of restaurants, so I am curious to learn why others may feel differently.

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  1. I'm not a "hater" by any means. My take -- the pizzeria is very, very, good -- good food, good value, reasonably good experience. The salads are also good and I hear the burgers are bueno. I don't dig Postino at all. Liked it the first time, but after that, the reality -- ordinary wine, mediocre food, lovely building, way too much scene for its substance. The grocery? Paltry. Not much there. Hanging over all this is the general hassle dealing with it. It's in a neighborhood, like mine, so I'm reluctant to impose, but then I can't see doing valet -- it's not Westwood or Russian Hill, y'know? The hearsay I've had on Radio is negative, FWIW -- haven't sampled it; the hearsay on Chelsea's (haven't sampled it) is divided. Do they really need valet parking out there? Really ...

    4 Replies
    1. re: misohungrychewlow

      I don't think of their valet service as pretention, rather a neccessity. They DO have limited parking, and valet seems to be the best way to deal with it. On a few occasions, when I didn't feel like walking the mile from my house, or paying for valet, I have parked on the street about a block away. And there is parking available in the lots at many times of the day.

      1. re: hollyeve

        At 40th and Campbell, it is necessary to manage the surplus of vehicles since the transit options aren't very attractive for most of the people who choose to drive there, I would prefer pay parking to the valet thing -- I'm a city boy from way back, having paid for parking, trains, buses ... I cheerfully (er, semi-grudgingly) pay for parking and eat frequently in downtown Tempe. But there is no justification for valets at Chelsea's! That's what many find objectionable. Half of a half-empty parking lot roped off -- just another disengenouus way to seperate a hungry hombre from his cash ...

        1. re: misohungrychewlow

          Yes! Half-empty roped off parking lots enrage me to no end. Ever try to find parking at places like the Biltmore, only to realize that cars are circling endlessly because the only available lots are valet-reserved? Plus, the lots dont even have cars in them.

      2. re: misohungrychewlow

        I appreciate the valet option. It makes it pretty effortless to stop by. You think -- you could have a more expensive meal elsewhere, but even factoring in the $5 to valet, the pizzas are still a great value, for the ingredients they use.

        I think some people have a mental block when it comes to paying for parking, I know I used to. Now, If I can street park without imposing, I'll do it, but I don't borrow pointless aggravation if it looks full. Life's too short.

      3. i happen to really like the food of LGO and Postino. Cheleas and Radio... eh. But the thing is this: the no reservations/no viable parking thing is out of hand.

        1. We like breakfast at LGO. We've been for the pizza as well and thought it was pretty good.

          We don't live in the neighborhood though, or even central Phoenix for that matter. We've stopped going. Driving up from Chandler and then not being able to find parking anywhere is too frustrating. I've tried stopping in for lunch on weekday afternoons when I've been in the area for tennis matches...and had trouble with parking even at that time.

          Haven't tried any of their other ventures. Can't say we hate LGO either...we've just pretty much given up. It's good but not good enough to be worth the distance from home or the difficulty parking.

          1. i like lgo and postino. haven't had a good meal at chelsea's kitchen since it opened, and radio milano is just meh.

            after having spent a ton of time at the three fountains, the al beadle condo complex, with an s.o. for several years, we gave up going to postino unless it was an off off off hour because you'd never get in. even if we walked from 3 fountains. same for lgo - i'm glad you're able to get a parking spot at 8 am, but that hasn't been our experience for the last 3 years.

            1. Parking is a pain but we love LGO and having Arlecchino's right there. Breakfast, pizza. Happy to fight the parking anytime.