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Nov 27, 2001 03:35 PM


  • g

Can anyone refer me to a list of BYOB restaurants in the LA area? I have learned of only a few and would like to begin compiling names if a list is not yet available. Are there any other vinos out there?

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  1. Hey Grog. Welcome to the board.

    I see by yr post below that you live in the hood which is the only reason I mention the Morrocanesque joint on Hyperion -- Chameau -- which happens to be BYOB, or at least it was when I went some months ago. Do you know it? I thought the food was tasty, though a tad short of terrific. Still, I intend to back...

    BTW: across the street from Chameau is another BYOB place, Capri, which is charming, friendly, family-run, old-style Italian...and absolutely f-ing terrible. I keep going back hoping that it will be better, but it never is... Enough to drive you to drink!

    Cheers! Rafi

    9 Replies
    1. re: Rafi

      Hey Rafi, I haven't been to Chameau yet, I guess Moroccan food hasn't perked my interest. I will not go to Capri. They took over Il Capriccio and I'm a friend of Tony and Rosie. There is a story there but I won't post it. You are right though, the food is mediocre at best. I regularly go Il Capriccio on Vermont (BYOB). Have you been to Madame Matisse on Sunset just up from Milli's? Killer food at rediculous prices and zero corkage. Only problem is no wine glasses (I usually bring a rhone or Languedoc). They closed for 3 weeks, but hopefully they will reopen soon. If you haven't been definately go. Dinner is Thur-Sat only. They do a big breakfast business also. Stay in touch. Grog

      1. re: Grog

        Mme Matisse: went once and had a great breakfast. Will return for dinner with said rhone or languedoc...

        Il Capriccio: never been but I've heard mixed things. What to order? I take it you like it better than the other e-side Italians, eg Michaelangelo's (for the pizza), Osteria Nonni (for the trout plus putanesca), Farfalla (only when desperate), Palermos (not for me)...


        1. re: Rafi

          Try the lasagna, my wife likes the arrabiata, good antipastos, some specials (osso buco, NY steak with a porcini sauce). Mainly we go for the friendly staff and they have wine glasses!

          I'm not eating a lot of Italian right now-mostly Thai--Rhuen Par, that place on Sunset E of Silverlake B, Indra in Glendale. Any other places you like (any cusine type-hopefully E of Vermont)?

          1. re: Grog

            Too many to mention. But two of my silverlake faves are: Saito's Sushi on Sunset (very hi-qual, friendly, pretty reasonable $) and Thai American Express on Rowena (for fantastic burgers and fries, not for Thai).
            One local place I want to try: that Spanish restaurant on Glendale Bl just so. of the 2 Fwy. Supposed to have good cheap chicken. Anybody been?

            1. re: Rafi

              How much does an average meal at Saito's cost? and is the quality up there with the other top places in town?
              What have you had recently at Saito's that's good? lastly, is it open for lunch and are the lunch prices the same as at dinner?

              1. re: kevin

                Didn't I answer you before on this very topic? Just go already! :)

                I'd say an avg dinner there is $30-35 pp, which I consider very reasonable for quality sushi. I know he's open for lunch but don't remember if the prices are lower -- I think they might be. Is it up there with the best? Maybe. To be honest, the very most memorable sushi I've had has been elsewhere -- a knockout dinner 5 yrs ago at R23 comes to mind. But Saito is very consistent, always good, often great -- at least comparable to the old Katzu on Hillhurst where he was a chef. I've had the best scallops I've ever had there. Also the best saltwater eel. In terms of what's good on a given day, best just to ask Saito himself -- he likes to talk. Speaking of which, last time I was there he really had a good time trashing Shibucho -- a suject I know you appreciate. He said the fish there wasn't fit for eating raw -- he would only order the cooked food. And that the prices varied according to chef's whim. Professional jealously? Probably. Saito says for that kind of money he recommends Nishimura (Sp?) where I've never been but gets good reviews on this board, I believe...

                1. re: Rafi
                  Tom Armitage

                  As readers of this board know, I like Saito's. It's not as good as Tsukiji or Tsukasa, and the selection caters to non-Japanese preferences, but it's still just fine. However, Saito is not the most objective source of information about Nishimura. Hiro Nishimura is a good friend of Saito's. I met him when he came to eat at Saito's. This isn't to say that Nishimura isn't a talented Sushi chef. He is. He was previously the sushi chef at The Hump at the Santa Monica airport, and before that at R-23.

                  1. re: Tom Armitage

                    Tom -- Thanks for the background info. And good to see you posting again!

              2. re: Rafi

                the chicken is good and cheap (5 dollars for a whole roasted bird), which makes it great when you want something quick, you are lazy or both...they have decent mashed taters and some spanish style rice that is yellow...stay away from the stale bread though...for bread go down the street to a mex bakery called la espiga where they make french style rolls called bolillo at some ridiculous price like 5 for a dollar...they also have fresh tamales at that bakery,,try the green chile and cheese!! bye bye

      2. Il Forno on Ocean Park in Santa Monica will waive corkage on any bottle of wine that you bring in from Wine Expo in Santa Monica...with the Wine Expo label on the bottle.

        1. Any of the Cafe Bizous have $2.00 corkage the last time I checked.

          1. Virtually every restaurant is BYOB, as long as you're willing to pay a corkage fee of up to around $15. Just call the restaurant in advance, and instead of asking, "can you BYOB here?" just ask, "what's your corkage?" and they will tell you. Most restaurants will not let you bring your own if it is an item already on the restaurant's wine list, though.

            BTW, I've found that, often, if I bring a bottle that is better (and older) than most on the restaurant's wine list, they never charge me the corkage. Sometimes, if the wine is good enough, the Sommelier hints very strongly at wanting a taste (they never ask outright), and I always oblige.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Hoc

              I should have been more precise in my original post. I meant no corkage by using BYOB. I'm looking for a comprehensive guide to places with a zero-corkage policy. One thing I'm noticing is places are raising corkage fees. I use to think $10-15 was a lot, now I'm seeing over $15 many places. I guess corkage fees have risen right along with wine prices. G

              1. re: Grog
                Carolyn Tillie

                It is true that corkage fees have risen -- I believe that it is in part due to the rising costs of conducting business and the fact that usually, a chunk of profit is normally seen from alcohol sales. Comparing those profits with the shrinking profit margin from food and labor costs, I don't mind paying the corkage.

                And, like Hoc indicated, by bringing in a different/better bottle than might be on their list, I also tend to get corkage fees waived -- especially if I share. Sometimes, though, the bottle does not necessarily have to be more expensive but just a bit more obscure. For example, I belong to several Wine of the Month clubs where I get bottles by virtue of being a member that the restaurants can't even buy through their distributors. They are not very expensive, but are just obsure enough to interest them...

            2. v
              Vanessa On The Town

              Recently went to Cobras & Matadors on Beverly. They don't charge any corkage fee if you buy your bottle at the wine shop next door.(Same owner) They have a minimal but good selection of Spanish wines only. If you BYOB from home, I think the corkage is only $5. Really liked the tapas there. The albondigas, grilled lentils with pork and asparagus were all very good.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Vanessa On The Town
                Heather Cottingham

                Did Cobras used to be Boxer? If not, they have the same deal. Of course, I won't ever eat THERE again. Something to do with the completely unreasonable manager...

                1. re: Heather Cottingham
                  Vanessa On The Town

                  Yes, it used to be Boxer. Sorry to hear about your bad experience.