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I am shocked that this place is still in business...

With the closing of Wolfe Burger in Pasadena, it made me think that I am shocked that Burger Continental is still in buisness. That is some nasty middle eastern food in a dirty environment.

What places are you surprised are still in business? Just curious so that I can AVOID!

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  1. I had the breakfast buffet at BC a couple weeks ago. And honestly, the food was not bad but when I left I felt like I needed a shower. The place is in drastic need of a deep and thorough cleaning.

    1. Salt Creek Grille. Applebees food at Houstons prices.

      1. Gladstones 4 Fish.

        6 Replies
        1. re: foodiemahoodie

          +1

          1. re: foodiemahoodie

            Gladstones has good drinks and a great outdoor patio. Just go for that on a nice warm sunny afternoon and life is good. Just don't eat anything there.

            1. re: jgilbert

              Yeah, just bring your own food.

              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                Which you actually can do, or so I'm told. Some of the seating Gladstones uses is public property. I think you just need to check in at the front first. I can't recall the details, but I think it was mentioned in Secret Stairs.

                And yeah, the food at Gladstones is a horror show.

                1. re: cacio e pepe

                  +5

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    I think somewhere here on Chow, it was observed that a restaurant could seem to get by with mediocre -or downright bad- food AND mixed drinks, as long as it was right on the water (or at least had a decent view thereof).
                    Such a pity.

                    Oh, and add the Coffee Company for me; not an on-the-water place, just a neighborhood joint near LAX, but their coffee tastes like expired Folger's and the cheese sauce did not have any cheese in it...
                    ....yet people still go in there.

          2. Dennys. McDonalds. In and Out. etc, etc...

            1 Reply
            1. re: RosePearl

              Hmmm ... there's a difference between "places that you're shocked are still in business" and "places that suck". McDonald's and Denny's might well fall into the latter category, but I don't think anyone is all that shocked to find them still alive and well. (I don't think In&Out falls into either of those categories)

            2. Olive Garden.

              1. This place ... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/732842

                1 Reply
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Yes. I actually prefer Panda Express. At least PE is honest when they give it to you in Styrofoam.

                2. Father's Office.

                  I don't care how good YOU think your burger is. If I don't want damn cheese on it don't put on any damn cheese. I could understand if you didn't want to ADD cheese because you object to the subjegation of cows to give milk or if you just don't buy cheese for your restaurant.

                  But to tell me no, you won't leave an add on off is assine in the extreme. I'd rather have to endure a week of meals at Olive Garden then ever go to Father's Office again. They deserve to go out of business. the number of people willing to subject themselves to the Burger Nazi is amazing.

                  27 Replies
                  1. re: scottca075

                    Well if you know what you're getting yourself into it's no big deal...a sort of "burger omakase" if you will. You get what the chef gives you for $15. The only crappy thing about FO is the ordering system IMHO

                    1. re: ns1

                      I only go to FO when that is the exact burger I want. And, I have to say that burger is DELICIOUS ;)

                      1. re: ns1

                        If you think it is a "burger omakase" then I would politely suggest you have no understanding of what "omakase" means.

                        1. re: scottca075

                          Omakase (お任せ?) is a Japanese phrase that means "I'll leave it to you" (from Japanese 任す, entrust).

                          This, imo, perfectly describes my feeling when I step into FO and order a burger.

                          We can agree to disagree.

                          1. re: ns1

                            Omakase in sushi would be something like, "I leave it up to you [the chef] to decide what will be most appetizing for me"

                            Omakase, if one were to use that term for FO, would be something like, "I leave it up to you [Sang Yoon] to decide what the perfect burger should be."

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              "Omakase, if one were to use that term for FO, would be something like, "I leave it up to you [Sang Yoon] to decide what the perfect burger should be."

                              and isn't the answer to that an Office burger?

                              1. re: ns1

                                If we were talking about a composed dish where it would difficult i not impossible tl leave out an ingredient (egg whites in an egg white omelette) I could understand Mr. Yoon's position.

                                I don't go to restaurants, any restaurant, to please the chef, I go to a restaurant to please me. I get that a bacon cheeseburger is so off the wall creative and wonderful, I mean no one ever thought of that amazing combo before. I should swoon like everyone else over the genius of it all, but I can't get past the arrogance of it all.

                                That notoriously picky Westside diners should like such abuse is amusing.

                                1. re: scottca075

                                  I think terming this "abuse" if far more amusing than anything Sang Yoon might offer at any of his establishments...

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    +1, servorg

                                  2. re: scottca075

                                    You don't like FO, we get it. Doesn't stop them from making a killing because if [a person] can accept the burger for what it is, it is damn delicious and it pleases many.

                                    srsly, I will stop talking about FO now.

                                    1. re: ns1

                                      Correct. If you like the burger the way they prepare it, the only way they prepare it, then you will keep on going back. But I have heard of many patrons attempting to modify it.

                                      Actually once I asked if I could get some extra cognac gravy that goes on the steak there to go with my order of fries in addition to my burger one time and they wouldn't go for it.

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        We all have our limits. I'm such a huge fan of the burger that I can't understand why anyone would want to modify it in any way. Who could be offended by such deliciousness?

                                        That said, the same FO wouldn't make me a bourbon Manhattan. They were out of the one SY-approved rye that he allowed the staff to make Manhattans with. They just wouldn't do it. Frustrating when it's also clear that the bartender didn't know rye from moonshine. I'll admit that one pissed me off to no end and certainly had me feeling for those unhappy, burger-modifying patrons.

                                        1. re: cacio e pepe

                                          You have a point there when the bartender does not know his mixology. But if I'm not mistaken the Culver City location has a full bar while the miniscule Santa Monica outpost only serves beer and wines so it may be a vestige of its original location being more a beer proprietor than an expert cocktail producer.

                                          Having said that, the bartenders at the Culver City location should all know there liquors. But you know what ? I have never veered away from beers at either location (and just a few years ago they had the best selection of craft beer in town).

                                          1. re: kevin

                                            The CC location has now been around for quite some time and they presented themselves as members of the early cocktail revival from the get go. And rightfully so. They really were ahead of the curve then. Even though the rest of LA has caught up and even surpassed them, they still make great mixed drinks. I don't want to seem like I was panning the whole bar program. I think they have great stuff, soup to nuts.

                                            The bartenders at both locations can be hit or miss for me. Some know their stuff (beer included) some don't (beer included). But they *always* reflect the arrogance that SY projects. This from a SY fan, I swear.

                                            It was just enlightening for me to be in the position of balking because I couldn't "customize" my drink when for years I couldn't empathize with the legions who made similar complaints about the burger restrictions.

                                          2. re: cacio e pepe

                                            As demonstrated in an older thread about FO, there are a number of people who do not like Bleu Cheese.

                                2. re: ns1

                                  Yup - the term applies to any level of food in Japan, particularly where options/variations are involved. I requested, "Sumimasen-ga, omakase kudasai," from okonomiyaki to sushi in Japan.

                                  The assumption that the chef is the master of his domain is far more accepted there than here. Sang Yoon's approach seems to be in a similar context - the problem is customers here feel they have the right to walk into his place and revise his sharply honed plan to their own liking, many who fully well know the house rules here. If only Sang's ingredients were crap, his executioned flawed and his beer choices hoh-hum, would those critics have some validity. Still - if one doesn't accept the methods to his "madness," then voting, "NO," by taking one's business elsewhere is perceived as the best revenge. But Sang exacts his own by prospering on the fruits of his steadfast vision. It's hard to argue that he doesn't know what he is doing.

                                  1. re: ns1

                                    a) the original idea of "I'll leave it to you" in omakase was a sushi place you went to regularly and the sushi chef knew you, your likes and dislikes and tailored a meal for you

                                    b) in the more recent idea of "I'll leave it to you", the chef chooses what to prepare on what are the best and freshest ingredients available.

                                    In neither case does FO flopping down the same bacon cheeseburger in front of you EVERYTIME fulfill the idea of omakase.

                                    1. re: scottca075

                                      While I understand your point, my point was that I'll leave it up to SY, and SY will give me an office burger.

                                      the end. i don't care enough to argue this point any further.

                                      1. re: scottca075

                                        Just a random thought: Nozawa redefined "omakase" here in LA, because he served the SAME STUFF EVERY TIME. definitely not in the spirit of true omakase, but that's how many people see it nowadays. I wasn't particularly a huge fan because i prefer more variety and seasonal selections.
                                        BTW, love the father's office burger. He can "force" that burger on my palate anytime.

                                        1. re: Bert

                                          Nozawa's sign said "Trust Me", not "Trust Me, I will give you whatever is freshest today and will not give you the same meal twice"

                                          1. re: ns1

                                            Exactly, his omakase never changed since he started the joint back in the mid to late 1980s. Yet, I still liked it and Sushi Nozawa has reserved a place in my heart for introducing me to sushi along with Katsu Michite.

                                          2. re: Bert

                                            Yes and I was appalled the first time I experienced the sushi nazi. I went after that only when I was with clients and it was unavoidable.

                                            1. re: scottca075

                                              Have you ever been to Dai Ho? Same deal.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                Even after the plethora of cheaper beef noodle soup joints opened up in the SGV, my preference remains with Dai Ho kitchen.

                                                It still my favorite place for pseudo- dan dan noodles.

                                  2. re: scottca075

                                    I absolutely love FO and I'm not even a big fan of the burger.

                                    1. re: scottca075

                                      yes, how dare they sell what they want to sell.

                                      1. re: linus

                                        I like 'em too. Great burger. Great fries. Fab beer choice. No brainer.

                                    2. Miceli's in Hollywood. Quite possibly the worst "Italian" food I've ever had in Los Angeles

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Ernie

                                        Definitely the worst Italian, and quite possibly some of the worst, period.

                                        1. re: Ernie

                                          I like the red sauce spaghetti with onions and garlic. ("Caruso?" "Siciliano?") And the free pizza dough rolls. They. Are. Awesome.

                                          Otherwise, godawful.

                                        2. Pinks. Don't understand the draw of the food. Thus, I understand the crowds even less.

                                          32 Replies
                                          1. re: djquinnc

                                            Look at the customers.....then you'll understand fully.

                                            1. re: latindancer

                                              i'm fascinated to find out what you mean by this.

                                              1. re: linus

                                                I've seen a pretty complete cross section of the population of Los Angeles in line there, so not sure either. It sort of reminds me of the folks I stand in line with at Dino's for a crazy chicken plate.

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  What's wrong with the dogs at Pinks? Are they the best? Probably not. But they certainly are from the worst. So that by itself - consistent mediocrity - is probably more than enough to keep them in business. Add in the celebrity factor and the Hollywood schtick and, voila, you get those meandering crowds.

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                    Agree, the tourists love Pink's and that's good for LA. That doesn't mean you'll catch me in that 90 minute line. (but when I'm at Pink's LAX location it never has a line so I'll indulge in a chili dog from time to time).

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      I quite like their spicy polish. I just go when it's "off hours" (I can't abide a long wait anywhere - so I'm not singling out Pink's).

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        i have oft maintained if there was no line at pink's, people wouldn't bitch about the hot dog.

                                                        1. re: linus

                                                          That is not true, because if the product was TRULY good people would not mind waiting in line.

                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                            well, one, saying that is not true is just, y'know, no more supportable than what i said.
                                                            two, there ain't a chili dog on god's green earth worth waiting an hour for.

                                                            1. re: linus

                                                              Cupid's and Larry's. YUM!

                                                              1. re: WildSwede

                                                                cupid's and larry's hot dogs are tasty, that's for sure. no way am i waiting an hour for either of them.

                                                                1. re: linus

                                                                  I would! No question about it! More willing to wait for Cupid's than Larry's, though.

                                                                  1. re: WildSwede

                                                                    well, you're a better man than i.
                                                                    though i haven't been to a cupid's in years, i never saw anything close to an hour line there, or at larry's, for that matter.

                                                                    if i have to wait an hour for a table at a decent restaurant, i'll do it. if there's a bar and i can drink, i'll wait a little longer, even.
                                                                    i might be persuaded to wait in a line for an hour at di fara's pizza in nyc. i've waited almost an hour for a table at one of the good dim sum joints in the sgv.
                                                                    but will i stand in a line for an hour, outside, no drinkiepoo, for a chili dog? a taco? a korean/mexican burrito?
                                                                    nope.

                                                                    someday, someone will buy a chili dog from pink's, cupid's, larry's, wherever, and line them all up in front of some blindfolded judges, and have them taste them all.
                                                                    the results will be fascinating.

                                                                    1. re: linus

                                                                      Here is an older taste test link about the Hot Dogs of LA with chowhounders input:
                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/838065

                                                                      1. re: wienermobile

                                                                        hardly a taste test.

                                                    2. re: linus

                                                      Nothing really that fascinating, actually. I've, occasionally, been in the area for a few hours and watched as large crowds have spilled out of various tourist buses and ran to their spot in line to taste, for the first time, a hotdog at the legendary Pink's. The surrounding area full of industry employees decide to hoof it a few blocks and pick up a cheap lunch/dinner with about 10 friends. Then the star seekers, numerous other diverse LA customers. Then around midnight the post club population begins to flow. It's a steady stream of those who historically come to Pink's for whatever Pink's serves. I've always thought it would be fascinating to stand on the other side of that counter for one day. It's an icon and understand fully why it stays in business and hope it always does.

                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                        so what you're saying is, people go to pink's, therefore you'll understand the draw of pink's.
                                                        to quote keanu: "whoa."

                                                        1. re: linus

                                                          <"to quote keanu: "whoa">

                                                          Can't we say the same about all restaurants, regardless of whether they're half way decent or not? Every Saturday/Sunday morning I can drive by breakfast joints, on and around 3rd on the Westside, and the lines are around the corner....do any of them have outstanding food? I don't know of any.
                                                          I understand the draw at Pink's....the hotdogs aren't anything special but it's an icon. LA is full of places like this and it's one of the reasons I prefer to live here.

                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                            "look at the customers, and you'll understand fully."

                                                            i still don't understand what this statement means. sorry. if you're saying, look at the customers of any restaurant, and you'll understand what the draw is, well, that doesn't make any sense to me, either.
                                                            are you saying no one in line at pink's has ever been there before? how can you tell that by looking at them?
                                                            i guess we could debate whether or not a hotdog could ever be special, but that's kinda boring.

                                                            1. re: linus

                                                              I took this to mean "tourists".

                                                              1. re: linus

                                                                Lines full of people....from all walks of life. It doesn't matter if the food is great/good/mediocre or substandard.
                                                                If people want to be part of an LA legend (Pink's in this case) do you honestly think they're thinking they're going there for the taste of the food?
                                                                If a tourist busload of people from timbuktu has never tasted a Pink's hotdog but they've read about it/heard about it then they're going to want to go. Do you honestly believe that it's because of the food that there are no reservations left to be had on any given Saturday night at Dan Tana's? All I'm saying is that there are lines all over the place in this city and it has nothing to do with the food, imho. Perhaps convenience, perhaps notoriety, perhaps celebrity seeking....a list of things could be the reason but I don't believe it's always the food factor.

                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                  this still doesn't explain your original post of "look at the customers, you'll understand fully."

                                                                  i have no doubt some people go to pink's, and dan tana's, without ever having tasted the food before.
                                                                  i also honestly believe both pink's and dan tana's stay in business because people enjoy the food.

                                                                  1. re: linus

                                                                    Is there a possibility you're over thinking this? Pink's and Dan Tana's stay in business for many reasons. One of the reasons both of them stay in business is because of the food. However, there is also an intangible, unexplainable 'it' factor with places like this. It transcends the food. There's nostalgia, familiarity and a consistency in the food and service with regulars and locals that brings us back again and again.

                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                      seriously, did you just ask if **i**was over thinking this?
                                                                      hey man, all i asked is how i can understand anything by looking at the customers in line at pink's.
                                                                      here, i'll answer my own question, since no else has:
                                                                      you know what you can understand by looking at the customers in line at pink's? there's a lot of customers in line at pink's.
                                                                      simple as.

                                                                      1. re: linus

                                                                        I'm not a man :).

                                                                        There....you answered your own question. Easy.

                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                          "hey man" is a figure of speech.

                                                                          as far as answering goes, someone had to do it.

                                                                  2. re: latindancer

                                                                    Well, Dana Tana's makes an exceptional steak. If every steak lover descended upon D.T.'s, then it would be packed. it's the best steak in town in my humble opinion. The other items there would make up crave Chef Boyardee though.

                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                      don't you think a lot of steak lovers do descend upon dan tana's already?

                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                        Its virtually always packed. While there steak is excellent so is the chicken beckerman (dark meat only), white fish and many other dishes.

                                                                        1. re: Thor123

                                                                          really white fish is good too, i've never tried it. after the steak i just stick to that for the most part. but the pastas are dreadful.

                                                                          maybe i'll give the whitefish a whirl, can you describe it further ?

                                                                          thanks.

                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                            Best grilled with lemon and capers. Really nice. Comes with a side of pasta go garlic or meat sauce

                                                                          2. re: Thor123

                                                                            i'm well aware it's always packed. while i have not had the chicken dish you mention, nothing else i've had there is close to excellent.
                                                                            the steak is great, though, and it's a fun place to go. until the bill comes.

                                                        2. Tommy's burger. But, it's doing fine without me.

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: cfylong

                                                            You are very wrong about that. Still the quintessential L.A. Chili Cheeseburger. Which is why it's doing fine, and always will.

                                                            1. re: jesstifer

                                                              Have you tasted their hamburger? I liked it in high school; taste evolves after 30 years.

                                                              1. re: cfylong

                                                                Yes taste does change, that doesn't mean you can enjoy a nostalgic taste from your past, just like the scene with the food critic in Ratatouille with one bite his food memory starts rushing back to his youth. I may have just one Tommy's chili cheese burgers a year now but it still brings a smile to my face and a wonderful memory just as it always had on Rampart so many years ago.

                                                                1. re: wienermobile

                                                                  you meant "can't" rather than "can", right ???

                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                    Thanks Kevin ....That is correct I meant 'can't".

                                                                2. re: cfylong

                                                                  Also your body's reaction to certain types of foods changes, making the result of eating greasy stuff not worth the eating of it...anymore.

                                                            2. Swingers. I'd add Blue Plate, too. Both are spectacularly bland and yet both are always packed.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: yogachik

                                                                Jerry's Deli.

                                                                1. re: maudies5

                                                                  +1 for Jerry's Deli and add California Pizza Kitchen too.

                                                                  1. re: wienermobile

                                                                    2nd Jerry's Deli.

                                                                    1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                      Plus 3 on both. Both so awesome for like two years: 1989-1990.

                                                                    2. re: wienermobile

                                                                      Concur.

                                                                      1. re: wienermobile

                                                                        +1

                                                                        Nasty.

                                                                      2. re: maudies5

                                                                        I went to Jerry's Deli once for xmas because it was the only thing open. sooo that's a good reason to go there (if you don't live near an asian neighborhood)

                                                                      3. re: yogachik

                                                                        Second on Swingers....awful service, so-so food. Pass.

                                                                      4. I would add Tom's Burgers on Sunset/Silver Laker by virtue of the fact that in 8 years I don't think I have ever seen anyone in that place. A true mystery.

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: ronsilverado

                                                                          GF and I came to the conclusion of "drug front"

                                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                                            "Money laundering" is the correct technical name.

                                                                            1. re: ns1

                                                                              Chin Chin. Uniformly mediocre and overpriced. To the original question.. I am really shocked that this chain is still in business and in high-rent neighborhoods.

                                                                              1. re: maudies5

                                                                                I actually like their ginger soy fish and Szechuan dumplings.

                                                                          2. Raffalo's pizza in hollywood on franklin. why oh why...

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: trolley

                                                                              Because they actually make the best old skool delivery pie in the area. It's thick enough that it doesn't lose all its heat in the delivery; it's not too doughy; and they're generous with ingredients and coupons. That said, God forbid you ever dine in, or order.

                                                                              1. re: trolley

                                                                                Raffallo's on Franklin is now Papilles. There are several other Raffallo's around but that one is now gone.

                                                                                1. re: soniabegonia

                                                                                  Well, based on my experience at Papilles I'd go ahead and add it to this thread.

                                                                              2. Kate Mantilini

                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                1. re: katydid13

                                                                                  The OP query was "Shocked its still in business?"

                                                                                  Answer to Kate Mantilini, obvious: closest full bar to the Writers Guild Theater. Big pours. Accessible bar right at the entrance, where writers can sit and wonder why they're not invited to players' table.

                                                                                  1. re: jesstifer

                                                                                    so much truth it hurts.

                                                                                    1. re: ns1

                                                                                      damn, i still have a soft spot for Kate Matilini's (but for some odd reason, I still never go there even if I'm in the area at the WGA or at the nearby Music Hill).

                                                                                      The scrambled eggs and calf's brain omlette is a dish that I wish they still kept on the menu (Supposedly they pulled it off the menu when Billy Wilder passed away since only he and a couple others ever ordered the dish).

                                                                                      Where can one get scrambled eggs and calf brains these days ???

                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                        I like Kate Mantilini's. GREAT bread. Strong upscale coffee shop food. The design still holds up - still looks contemporary. Late hours. Location is great as I find myself hungry and in that neighborhood and it's my first choice.

                                                                                        1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                                          I agree. I go for the fish and chips.

                                                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                                                            ditto...great description "strong upscale coffee shop food"....I have friends who love the french toast at Kate Mantilini.

                                                                                            1. re: foufou

                                                                                              AND Kate Mantilini is the place where De Niro & Pacino shared their first scene on the same screen in the film "Heat".

                                                                                          2. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                                            Agree. I also remember their mac & cheese being among the best I've ever had. Not that I've gone out of my way to search for great mac & cheese.

                                                                                            1. re: mrhooks

                                                                                              The lobster mac & cheese appetizer at Killer Shrimp in the Marina, is very very good. Molten hot, it easily serves two, and they are generous with the lobster chunks...

                                                                                    2. re: katydid13

                                                                                      Their onion rings are pretty good.

                                                                                    3. Bao 'dim sum'.

                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                                        non-breakfast "dim sum" with alcohol = win

                                                                                        if it doesn't taste that good it's cuz you're not drinking enough.

                                                                                        1. re: ns1

                                                                                          Same could be said for Mr. Chow.

                                                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                                                            Went to a really subpar sushi joint called Hara (if it may earnestly be called sushi, but I digress) and it did not taste as bad as my impressions would have me believe considering the copious amounts of drinking to wash it down.

                                                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                                                              Do you mean the place on Wilshire just west of Bundy? My partner and I were there tonight. I think it's a pretty standard Korean sushi joint (i.e., lots of "specialty" rolls that involve a California roll and varying amounts of tempura and spicy mayo, plus whatever mystery fish they can think of).

                                                                                              It's hardly gourmet, but it scratches an itch. For some of us, it's w/i walking distance. And I'm totally judging a book by its cover, but I don't think the clientele there seems particularly interested in high-quality sushi (just sayin'....). And you've also got a dearth of good restaurants in the immediate area, so the relative "exotic-ness" of ersatz sushi + overly bright, "modern" decor = a line of yuppies coming out the door most Fridays, unfortunately.

                                                                                              1. re: ilysla

                                                                                                Oh, yes. West of Bundy,, but one block east of Sasabune.

                                                                                            2. re: ns1

                                                                                              I'd have to be completely plastered for that s*@t to taste even remotely good.

                                                                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                I dont' know if that means I drink too much or you don't drink enough.

                                                                                              2. re: ns1

                                                                                                plus 1

                                                                                            3. This thread has had many good suggestions. I totally agree with the Olive Garden and Chin Chin recommendations, and will raise you with the Original Pantry downtown LA.

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: carter

                                                                                                well, it's a better option than Denny's.

                                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                                  Would disagree, depending on the location.
                                                                                                  Serves great nostalgia, period!

                                                                                                  1. re: carter

                                                                                                    I like the OP, while understanding pretty much why so many despise it. It's greasy spoon food, though I happen to think it's GOOD greasy spoon food for the most part. They mash real potatoes and put real gravy on them, and it's one of the few remaining places where roast pork and bread stuffing are regularly on the menu. On the other hand, I'll go to Denny's if I have to, but a grilled ham & cheese or eggs and hash browns is it for me there.

                                                                                                    1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                      I'm with you on this one, Will.

                                                                                                      I like the OPC.

                                                                                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                        When I first came to LA nearly sixteen years ago, Original Pantry was one of those places I was eager to love. Alas, I tried and tried, and each time I was disappointed. It's been a very long time since I was there, but I still recall horribly undercooked breakfast potatoes and a chef's salad (which my friend ordered) that was essentially 6 ungainly, grotesque lumps in a plate. It's got to be at least a decade since I was there last.

                                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                                2. Fig & Olive

                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Thor123

                                                                                                    I'm always shocked that Chow's can't see past their view of the world and understand what the general public is eating.

                                                                                                    Olive Garden, Dennys is a great business model.
                                                                                                    They cater to a large base of the public to make money not to win Michelin stars.

                                                                                                    1. re: burntwater

                                                                                                      And making money most of them do, yet this board is not about supporting the middle of the road/who cares kind of food that is consumed by most Americans.
                                                                                                      It is about finding places that separate themselves from that group.

                                                                                                      1. re: carter

                                                                                                        So that leads me to conclude that, the shock is when cutting edge places that serve food that gets mentioned on this board, stay in business...Because as has been said on CH in the past by other posters, we represent 1% of 1% when it comes to our dining preferences (probably a bit of hyperbole in that figure...but you get the idea).

                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                          Maybe even less than that.

                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                            I think ya'll far underestimate the number of lurkers here.

                                                                                                            Sat down more than once to overhear a conversation about chowhound.

                                                                                                        2. re: carter

                                                                                                          Who said anything about supporting Olive Garden?

                                                                                                          If Olive Garden is a restaurant that Chow's don't care about why did you nominate it in this thread?

                                                                                                          According to your criteria you should be telling us about a restaurant that Chows favor or once favored but you are shocked is still in business.

                                                                                                          What's next Applebees?

                                                                                                          1. re: burntwater

                                                                                                            To be fair, I understood carter to be saying that he agreed that it was a shock that Olive Garden was still in business, given the level of food that they delivered (and he then added the Original Pantry to that list of "undeserving but still in business" restaurants).

                                                                                                            1. re: burntwater

                                                                                                              As Servorg stated so well, my original post was for the Original Pantry Cafe in downtown LA. It was then taken elsewhere by others.
                                                                                                              I understand why they survive, it is just that I won't provide the dinero for them to do so.

                                                                                                      2. I completely agree on the BC. Yeech. Also, I would like to add CPK. What the hell is up with that? As far as Olive Garden goes, I agree that the food (mostly) is just awful. However, the soup, salad and breadsticks lunch is one of my favorites (and the only thing I will eat from there). Especially the Zuppa Toscana. Just had it today.

                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: WildSwede

                                                                                                          It's awful and yet the soup, salad and breadsticks are your favorites ? :)

                                                                                                          Is that not like me saying I hate everything on the menu at Dan Tana's but love the steak ??? So wouldn't I still in many ways love Tana's ?

                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                            To correctly quote me, I said "...I agree that the food (mostly) is just awful". So, you are wrong. Everything but the soup, salad and breadsticks suck.

                                                                                                            1. re: WildSwede

                                                                                                              It's very possible that it built its reputation on those three items.

                                                                                                              1. re: WildSwede

                                                                                                                My bad.

                                                                                                                But you really like those three items, ?

                                                                                                            2. re: WildSwede

                                                                                                              <Also, I would like to add CPK>

                                                                                                              California Pizza Kitchen was sold over a year ago....the success story of 2 attorneys with no restaurant experience came to an end. What remains of the restaurant and food is not even remotely close to what it once was.

                                                                                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                But it is still better than Olive Garden!

                                                                                                                1. re: carter

                                                                                                                  It is?

                                                                                                            3. Sounds like most people don't quite understand the point of this thread.

                                                                                                              Are people really "shocked" that Olive Garden or CPK are still in business? They serve reasonable food at reasonable prices - which is what most people want. Or Tommy's, where there are almost always customers?

                                                                                                              I am shocked that La Canada Pizzeria & Grill in La Canada is still in business. Not so much for the food (which is okay), but because it always seems empty and is not too conspicuous of a space.

                                                                                                              1. I am shocked that ... Kingston Cafe is still open. NOT.

                                                                                                                It actually finally shuttered. Replaced by some rum bar and tapas place (of course, right?) called "The Triples".

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                  Hey, I resemble that remark!

                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                    Same ownership as Kingston Cafe, btw, just new concept.

                                                                                                                  2. Bob's Big Boy!. They were once pretty good. Evidence that the one in Pasadena and West Covina shut down. The one in Diamond Bar is still standing though. Cheap-quality food.