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Feb 5, 2008 12:03 AM

New List: Culver City's What Is Everyone Thinking?

The following restaurants, based on, and this is important, one visit each, are hereby nominated for "why do people care" list for Culver City restaurants. New nominations welcomed so we can all avoid future misery.

Campos Famous Burritos - Terrible; soupy, runny, lousy meat, chewy tortilla.

Johnnie's Pastrami - Tough, gristled meat; boring bread. Fries only ok. Pickles good.

Thai Boom - Very pleasant service; pretty bland food.

George Petrelli's - Hugely overpriced relative to value; false effort to offer old fashioned steakhouse that serves very ordinary cuts of meat, even if the place is in fact old.

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  1. No complaints yet, except I've had tender meat at Johnnie's. I've had gristle too, but tender meat. I love the fries, but I always get them with chile & cheese. My biggest complaint is that Johnnie's serves the driest "dipped" sandwich in human history. Still, the waitresses, the ambiance, the cops....I love that place!

    (I admit I haven't hit Petrelli's)

    1 Reply
    1. re: SaltCod

      Just went to UGO's on Washington in CC. Very good Italian food for reasonable prices. Bisteca was good as well as the Lamb chops ($16). Great deserts. Friendly service.

    2. I have to agree with SaltCod. I like Johnnie's Pastrami - the atmosphere, the waitresses, the customers, etc. Campos is also a favorite of mine, especially the one on Pico. Don't know much about Thai Boom or Petrelli's, except I heard Petrelli's made a good burger.

      1. Tito's Tacos - The only time in recent memory that I threw out my meal into the trash after only a few bites. You can better food a few blocks away at Tacqueria Sanchez.

        Fraiche - It's good food, but not excellent. So not worth the price I paid for it.

        Thai Boom - I agree. It's average westside blandified Thai food. Nothing worth the hype.

        Meltdown - Ok if you love grilled cheese, but their cheeses are pretty ordinary. With a better selection of cheeses I might eat here more.

        2 Replies
        1. re: WBGuy

          I'd have to qualify your Meltdown review by saying that it's not only ordinary, but quite expensive for what you actually get. It's not that hard to make your own grilled cheese, with comparable results, for a third of the price.

          1. re: WBGuy

            i thought i was the only one who threw the tito's food in the trash. good to know that i'm not alone.

          2. Hmmm....I would say Tito's belongs on the ??? list, since we have at least 5 or 10 better places in a 2 mile radius, and I don't get the allure and haven't since high school. So I am with WBGuy here.

            I prefer Cafe Brasil and Brasa to Pampa's, which is now in CC and is doing pretty well by the numbers of people going there. The price by pound at Pampa's adds up pretty quickly, and Brasa is really pretty good.

            That said, there isn't much else in CC that I find hyped yet slacking. There's truly a lot to like here on most fronts. If you're looking for a great burrito with stewed meat and fab flavor, try Gallego's on Venice 1 blk west of Centinela. Search the board for this - I like the all meat version best.

            But I DO suggest you folks with a bland memory of Thai Boom go back for another try and ask for your food "thai spicy" - try it with the spicy eggplant and one of the curries. Repost and let us know how it went. That eggplant is killer - I don't believe you'll find bland.

            2 Replies
            1. re: CulverJack

              Agreed on Thai Boom; if you ask them to do it extra spicy, they're better than the other crap on the ws

              1. re: coreyander

                it's at least average. they don't really make it spicy even when i ask though. but the sticky rice with bananas is amazing.

            2. campos - not sure, but you may have to have grown up on the westside of la to love this place. it's just so delicious and nothing tastes even remotely similar. maybe bad to others - but so good. best bean & cheese burrito ever.

              johnnies - ? i used to love love love this place and over the years the meat has become worse and worse. so, i don't go anymore - but it did really used to be good.

              other overrated places in cc:

              gaby's on venice - ugh. really not so great greek;

              cafe brasil - ok, nothin' special.

              ford's filling station - absurdly overrated, tasteless (maybe they don't mention salt in gastropub U.), (and as a result overpriced). i could care less if the "chef" is the son of someone. . .he can't cook yummy food.

              6 Replies
              1. re: dtud

                i always like johnnies pastrami, even if it is a bit expensive, ia gree titos tacos is really bad, why do people like it so much>?

                1. re: dtud

                  Is Gaby's on Venice even a Greek restaurant?

                  Frankly, there really hasn't been any Thai Boom hype for about a year now, so any notion of it being overrated is an exaggeration. (All the Thai Boom recs died down when Jitlada broke through.)

                  And while I agree with you that Cafe Brasil is just fine, who is rating it so highly that it becomes overrated? I don't see threads popping up saying OMG You gotta go to Cafe Brasil it's so yummo!!!1!

                    1. re: Foodandwine

                      I think it's only closed for renovation. Maybe it won't be a tarp-covered restaurant in a parking lot anymore.

                      1. re: Foodandwine

                        Gaby's has opened up at a new location on Washington Blvd just west of Lincoln, Marina del Rey, with a much better menu, great service, drive thru and the best grape leaves around. No more parking lot location. The Gaby's on Venice is being remodled.

                    2. re: dtud

                      Um, Gaby's is not supposed to be Greek dtud.