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Apr 1, 2002 05:33 PM

Save us some $$ - Westside Frauds

  • t

[I originally posted this mistakenly, as a reply in another thread. Sorry for the inconvience/stupidity -tw]

What highly rated restaurants have you spent big-$$ on in the West Side of LA with unstatisfactory results? Save us all some money!

For instance;
I don't get what people see in Micheal's. It's expensive and the food is at best average. If I can cook better, then it's pretty much a waste of big dollars. I've been dragged there for business dinners so I've tasted about everything. Oh, plus this place looks like it was designed in the early 80s. A definately no-no for lunch too, since I'm convinced that's when they're training the dishwashers to cook.

Also Chinois on Main (wait wait don't kill me!) has MIXED results. It should be flawless and I've had poorly prepared meals and even bad cuts of meat (which should NEVER happen here), as has my wife. But, I've also had some very very tasty meals here. I think the emperor has new clothes when people talk about this place. I think the emperor may have nice socks and a cool looking hat, but not all his clothes are so pretty.

Cafe Del Rey, good, ok, and bad (again a lot of business meals) and the bad is horrendous... don't touch the pizzas.

Sushi Roku.... Oh please. I hope the sushi heads will back me up. Decent depending but, way over priced, annoyingly yuppified.

Nobu/Malibu.. Ok, I love the food here. It's amazing. Really amazing. Some of the sauces, are blow your mind inventive. Nobu actually started bringing his best fish here to get the place going (and that's saying something!) But the prices and the scene. Well mostly the scene...LA..industry..malibu.. I actually had one studio bigwig tell my table how you could tell the wannabees by "the size of their "rolexs". Made me wanna get sick, not sure if it was the comment, or the fact that it looked like he was right. Or the fact that I actually checked it out to see if he was right...I'm so ashamed.

On the upside, Josie's is remarkable, inventive and consistent (except for the too-bland squash gnocchi)
Also on the upside, Joe's Venice, Abbott Pizza, Rosalee Thai, and others.


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  1. OK, I'll stick my neck out and say Crustacean. Lovely place, lovely people, and the food wasn't exactly *bad*, but .... 32 bucks for a couple shrimp on some noodles? Good thing it was an expense account; I don't plan to head there on my own dime, as I regrettably did to ...

    . Moomba. Reserved a week in advance, still got stuck banging my knees (I'm 6'7" most days) on a tiny outside table with my mercifully-still-narrow butt repeatedly slipping between the sliding bench cushions. Food was decent but lukewarm and twice the going rate, lady at the next table was gesticulating wildly with a cigarette, tossing ashes onto our table. Won't be heading back, period.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bradbury

      Amen on Crustacean. Lovely setting, mediocre food for the price.

      1. re: Marco Polo

        Mediocre food for ANY price.

        1. re: soccerdad

          Before Crustacean, I think the first rest. was was Thanh Long in SF (you could correct me if I'm wrong) It was a small hole in the wall serving great garlic noodles and crabs.
          When I moved to LA, I found out about Crustacean, serving the same things. I guess they are the same outlet except Crus. is the upscale version (I think there's a Crus in SF). I haven't been there but from what I've heard, it's way overpriced for what you get.
          If any of you are ever up in the Bay Area, try to see if Thanh Long is still around.

      2. re: Bradbury
        Barbara Nevens

        I couldn't agree more about Crustacean. Been there three times for lunch/dinner and will not be going back. It is a great place to take out-of-town guests for a drink before going elswhere for dinner. We usually walk over to Nouveau Cafe Blanc from there.

      3. You are so Right!!!!!!!!!!! Except for a minor boo-boo. Joe's isn't anything to write home about and I've been there more than a dozen times, sometimes ,dragged there kicking and screaming( the last experience was his (private) 10th anniversary, YUCK!!!! To think I could have been at MELISSE or LA CACHETTE instead? I agree with all your other reviews totally!!!!!!!!!!

        4 Replies
        1. re: russkar

          Joe's was great before he expanded. Every move to get larger has been a quantum leap toward mediocrity. As the place got more popular the service got snobbier and the food became more uneven. It is so cheap that you put up with it on occasion but it is no longer the perfect inexpensive fine dining destination that it was. It used to be my #3 favorite restaurant in LA now it barely makes the top 25. I am happy for him that he has become so successful but I no longer can be sure of a great meal, the odds have been against that happening for a number of years now.

          1. re: Just Larry

            Yes, you are both right, but in defense of the recent Joe's experience I did have a great sand dab lunch special about three weeks ago. But it was more consistent in the past, now it pays to ask what's good.


            1. re: Just Larry

              So what are your top 10?

              1. re: Kara Elise

                Spago Beverly Hills
                Fenix at the Argyle
                Sushi Sasabune
                Ocean Star

                Off the top of my head. I may chose to revise these in ten minutes but these are the ones for now in no particular order.