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Jan 13, 2010 10:21 PM

Dinela it just me?

Not having yet participated in Dinela, is it just me or do the menus seem uninspired and devised to get the most bang for the buck?
I see a lot of Clam Chowder, Jidori Chx and Panna Cotta's on the menu. Any suggestions from previous years standouts appreciated.

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  1. i felt the same way.
    most of the time that fish was an option, it was salmon, salmon, salmon.

    1. I don't know. For instance, take a look at Angeli Caffe's (on Melrose) DineLA lunch menu below. It looks pretty creative.


      Choice of Appetizers

      Soup of the Day
      All our soups are vegan
      Eggplant Croquettes
      A delicious fried tidbit of roast eggplant puree, parmesan, garlic, herbs

      Insalata Forte
      Salad of baby greens, fennel, Belgian endive with garlicky parmesan vinaigrette

      Choice of Entrees
      Beet Ricotta Gnocchi with Melted Butter, Sage and Parmesan
      Butternut Squash Lasagne
      Rosemary Garlic Lemon Roast Chicken

      Choice of Desserts
      Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding
      Seasonal Fruit Crumble

      2 Replies
      1. re: Servorg

        i think it's worth giving it all a shot.... especially in these economically trying times, restaurants are trying really hard to put out good food at a reduced price that will please everyone and get people in to try out what they are doing. you never know, you could stumble upon your new favorite restaurant!

        1. re: Servorg

          That Angeli Caffe chicken is outrageously, addictively good, and it's normally around $18. The salad is delicious too. (Was just there last week, hadn't been in several years.) Seems like decent deal.

        2. some are kind of blah, but i think that's typical. ones i think look intersting:

          while i don't think the menu looks particularly interesting from the descriptions, i'm kind of excited ortolan is on the list this time around.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mollyomormon

            two more that I think sound good and have interesting choices (braised tongue? alright!): FIG and Akasha.

          2. yea, most look uninteresting, though I still plan on trying lots of them since I haven't really eaten in LA. I think I'll do:

            Lunch: Spago, Maison Akira, Water Grill, Michael's
            Dinner: XIV, Bazaar, Ortolan, Foundry, Grace, Cafe la Boheme.

            yes, that's a lot of eating... any other good values that stand out? or the list I've mentioned that are not good values? The key here is value, otherwise I'd just go on any random day of the year.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kerosundae

              I enjoyed the Cafe Was menu last time this came around.

            2. Josie's menu does have Jidori Chicken but also offers lots of other tempting items. Although I haven't been there during dineLA, all the other times were quite memorable (I still miss their roasted bone marrow app).



              Choice of Appetizers

              Oro Blanco Grapefruit Salad
              baby lettuces, radishes, tarragon vinaigrette
              Picpoul de Pinet, Cave de Pomerols, Côteaux du Languedoc, 2008

              Kabocha Pumpkin and Heirloom Apple Soup
              roasted vegetable hash
              Riesling, Reuscher-Haart, Mosel, 2007

              Crispy Berkshire Pork Belly
              celery root purée, blood orange
              Pinot Noir, ‘T. Solomon Wellborn,’ Tantara, Santa Barbara County, 2007

              Choice of Entrees

              Josie's Famous 'Campfire' Trout
              whole boneless trout, green beans, asparagus, tomato, lemongrass nage
              Sauvignon Blanc, ‘Paragon Vineyard,’ Tangent, Edna Valley, 2007

              Brittany Salt-Crusted Jidori Chicken Breast
              Allen Brothers’ grits, pancetta-roasted carrots, baby mustard greens
              Garnacha, ‘Tres Ojos,’ Bodegas San Gregorio, Calatayud, Spain, 2007

              Braised Pork ‘Osso Buco’
              black barley risotto, cavolo nero
              Syrah, ‘La Coppa,’ Stolpman, Santa Ynez Valley, 2005

              Choice of Desserts

              Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding
              chocolate sauce, whipped cream
              Brachetto d’Acqui, Braida, Piemonte, 2007

              Sticky Pecan Pumpkin Cake
              muscovado sugar ice cream, caramel sauce
              Banyuls, ‘Rimage’ Cornet & Cie, Banyuls, 2006

              Heirloom Apple Crisp
              toasted oatmeal crumble, vanilla bean ice cream
              Moscato, ‘Vigna Senza Nome’ Braida, 2008


              (Not included in dineLA Restaurant Week menu pricing.
              )Appetizer: Seared East Coast Diver Scallops - baby pink turnips, butter-roasted cauliflower, horseradish sauce $5
              Chardonnay, luli, Santa Lucia Highlands, 2008

              Entree: Prime ‘Bistro-Cut’ New York Steak - garlic mashed potatoes, candied garlic – watercress – Gorgonzola salad, Pop’s peppercorn sauce $10
              Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Alexander Valley, 2007