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Overrated & Overhyped, 2013

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Dirtywextraolives Oct 10, 2013 08:39 PM

I figured since the last thread that has caught some traction is six years old, lets start a fresh one, shall we?

Since I've now been here close to 20 years, I have lots of opinions about lots of places. But I'd love to hear more about some of the newer spots that I haven't gotten a chance to visit yet....

We can all rehash the standard lightening rods of the city, and whether we think they are all that or not. But it'd be a bit more interesting to discuss more relevant places than CPK, Langers, In n Out, Fathers Office, Apple Pan & Tito's.

I'll start with a few I think are overrated:
Lucques & Tavern
Now I know I will ruffle some feathers here, but my issues aren't even with the food at either of these places, which I think is good. But at both places, I had service issues that are just not on a par with the hype they get, and price they command. In fact, I believe service can make or break you, as there are plenty of spots with shit for food, and yet they stay open forever....

What are some of your picks?

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  1. j
    jessejames RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 10, 2013 09:09 PM

    Providence. Hold the foam!

    13 Replies
    1. re: jessejames
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      carter RE: jessejames Oct 10, 2013 09:26 PM

      Providence and Church & State for sure.
      And can't imagine Connie & Ted's will not also qualify, but I will never step foot in the place to find out.
      I mean, $20+ for a lobster roll!

      1. re: carter
        d
        Dirtywextraolives RE: carter Oct 11, 2013 08:14 AM

        Re: C&T's...... For those of us who grew up on that food and crave it mercilessly, $20 is a small price to pay compared to a ticket to the east coast.....

        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
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          ilysla RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 11, 2013 10:55 AM

          I have not been to Connie and Ted's, $20 for good quality seafood doesn't actually sound that bad to me. It's the same price on the east coast, no? (The lobster roll I had in Boston a few yrs back was $25)

        2. re: carter
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          ns1 RE: carter Oct 11, 2013 08:57 AM

          $20 seems like the going rate for a lobster roll around town.

          1. re: ns1
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            carter RE: ns1 Oct 11, 2013 09:22 PM

            For what quantity should be the next question.
            Locally, lobster has almost no taste distinction and most places tend to sell it as an attraction, yet the end result ends up tasteless, and lobster does not start out with lots of taste, so the effort to achieve that goal has to be significant.
            As to the need for a roll to enjoy lobster, that is nonsense.
            No bread product will improve the taste of another product, especially one like lobster. The sauce is the whole issue, and $20 or more for a sauce, well....

            1. re: ns1
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              Xan7hos RE: ns1 Oct 11, 2013 11:09 PM

              Agreed...beyond the food trucks (where you need to spend more for the "extra/double" lobster to get the same amount as the other places), ~$20 is about the price of a decent lobster roll ...at least the going rate at Little Fork and Joan's on Third circa Spring 2013

            2. re: carter
              n
              ns1 RE: carter Oct 11, 2013 01:33 PM

              LOL wtf is this man. I did a quick search for "best lobster roll boston"

              http://blog.zagat.com/2013/06/11-best...

              Pretty much every freaking lobster roll on this list is $20++

              1. re: ns1
                ipsedixit RE: ns1 Oct 11, 2013 08:05 PM

                You're not figuring in the exchange rate.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  Servorg RE: ipsedixit Oct 11, 2013 08:08 PM

                  1 to 1 -or if you're talking exchange of green stuff to lobster roll 20 to 1.

              2. re: carter
                l
                latindancer RE: carter Oct 11, 2013 08:13 PM

                <$20 for a lobster roll>

                It's not the reason I'll 'never step foot in the place' again....for a great lobster roll in LA it seems to be the average price.

                I find the food mediocre, at best.

              3. re: jessejames
                aching RE: jessejames Oct 11, 2013 09:21 AM

                I've only been once to Providence and it was NYE, so maybe it's not a fair assessment, but I wasn't impressed at all.

                1. re: jessejames
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                  medrite RE: jessejames Oct 29, 2013 08:41 AM

                  Providence: disagree, been there several times & always found the food & service to be sublime. Church & State: absolutely agree: good food but dismal service.

                  1. re: medrite
                    j
                    jessejames RE: medrite Oct 30, 2013 10:13 AM

                    Providence -- wicked overrated, overpriced and too much foam and bullshit...is the boullebaise at church and state the thing to get? those snail puffs look good.

                2. i
                  ilysla RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 10, 2013 09:23 PM

                  Gjelina. I think the food is quite good, but I was expecting to have an experience verging on orgasmic based on the comments here and, well, it wasn't. And I remember someone saying that the interior is "warm and masculine." My thought: "How can you tell??? It's so goddamn dark in here!"

                  1. PeterCC RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 10, 2013 09:58 PM

                    Father's Off--oh, um....

                    I'm not sure if it's really overhyped or if I just had really high expectations, but Bucato was rather disappointing. Similarly Taberna Arros y Vi. Not to say either was bad, and the service at both places were good, but the food didn't wow me.

                    26 Replies
                    1. re: PeterCC
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                      Dirtywextraolives RE: PeterCC Oct 11, 2013 08:15 AM

                      So what were your thoughts on Bucato's supposedly ethereal pasta?

                      1. re: PeterCC
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                        Stravinsky RE: PeterCC Oct 29, 2013 02:48 AM

                        What did you get at Bucato?

                        1. re: Stravinsky
                          Servorg RE: Stravinsky Oct 29, 2013 03:55 AM

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8763...

                          1. re: Servorg
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                            Stravinsky RE: Servorg Oct 29, 2013 04:46 AM

                            It's worth noting that Bucato has seemingly responded to all of the criticism and increased its portion sizes somewhat.

                            Comparing my first time there which was about 2-3 weeks after opening, to my last time there, which was about 2 weeks ago, the pasta's seemed to be almost twice as large. I agree that previously it seemed like it was "individual tasting portions". I think they actually fixed that, so it is worth going back to give it another whirl I'd say.

                            If you were not impressed by the foccacia though, maybe it's not for you. Personally, that is my favorite bread in the world.

                            The vegetables on the menu really shouldn't be missed either. The Sicilian Cauliflower, the simple Figs and Burrata, the Squash Blossoms...all phenomenal. Funke specialized in vegetables at Rustic Canyon. It's a huge miss not ordering any of them.

                            Also, the one miss I had was with the pesto gnochetti. So there are some misses I guess (though by a miss here I mean more of "not mind-blowingly awesome" than "bad"). But if you get the cacio e pepe, or the bianco ragu, I would find it difficult to believe that anyone would not have their mind blown.

                            I personally don't think the meat section of Bucato is it's strong section. The pork chop I had there was ok, even quite good, but nothing compared to what one would have at, say, Salt's Cure.

                            I've had two of the best meals of my life at Bucato, but it seems like going in with some research about what to order can make all the difference in the world.

                            1. re: Stravinsky
                              Servorg RE: Stravinsky Oct 29, 2013 07:13 AM

                              I'll go eventually. Glad to hear that the portion sizes were increased based on feedback from the "blog-o-sphere." I still have an issue with their "same day reservation policy." For those who are celebrating a special occasion that seems really tone deaf.

                              1. re: Servorg
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                                Stravinsky RE: Servorg Oct 30, 2013 11:50 PM

                                Go at/after 9:00 pm. You won't have trouble getting a table.

                                1. re: Stravinsky
                                  Servorg RE: Stravinsky Oct 31, 2013 02:28 AM

                                  I'm up at 2AM to ride my bike (like now), so after 9PM does not work for me.

                                  1. re: Servorg
                                    Tripeler RE: Servorg Oct 31, 2013 02:37 AM

                                    It's just 6:30 pm here in Tokyo and I am about to go out to have dinner. Enjoy your bike ride. Curious to know what you are riding...

                                    1. re: Tripeler
                                      Servorg RE: Tripeler Oct 31, 2013 04:17 AM

                                      Just home and hope you had a nice dinner. Now my day starts in earnest.

                                      http://westwoodcycle.ca/product/12tre...

                                      1. re: Servorg
                                        Tripeler RE: Servorg Nov 1, 2013 07:00 AM

                                        Wow, Servorg, quite a contemporary bike. I have a 1987 Cinelli roadbike with Campy C-record group. Compared to yours, it is The Flintstones, but I like it.

                                    2. re: Servorg
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                                      Stravinsky RE: Servorg Oct 31, 2013 08:16 AM

                                      So, you don't eat dinner at normal times then...how would you go to Bucato anyway?

                                      I guess it's just not the restaurant for you. *shrugs* They can't accommodate everyone

                                      1. re: Stravinsky
                                        Servorg RE: Stravinsky Oct 31, 2013 08:19 AM

                                        "....how would you go to Bucato anyway?"

                                        Uh, earlier?

                                        1. re: Servorg
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                                          Stravinsky RE: Servorg Oct 31, 2013 08:24 AM

                                          You go to bed at 6 PM man! Do you really want to eat right before bed? I think if you went at 5 you could easily get a table.

                                          I guess you could go on the weekend during their brunch? I haven't been for the brunch though, so can't speak about how it holds up to dinner. The main thing is the pastas there, and I'm not sure if they still do them for brunch.

                                          1. re: Stravinsky
                                            Servorg RE: Stravinsky Oct 31, 2013 08:39 AM

                                            Are you just making this up as you go? I generally try to get to bed by 9:30 or so, depending on what happens. And my problem with Bucato's policy of no reservations until the day of one's dinner is because, when you are celebrating a special event like an anniversary or a birthday you like to know you aren't going to fail to deliver on dinner at your chosen restaurant and end up having to scramble something else up at the last minute.

                                            1. re: Servorg
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                                              Stravinsky RE: Servorg Oct 31, 2013 08:54 AM

                                              You said you go on a bike ride at 2 AM. I assume you wakeup before then. Most people sleep about 8 hours. 8 hours from 2AM = 6PM.

                                              Are special occasions you primary way of eating out at restaurants? Or, I mean, do you attend them often enough that the majority of your meals are eaten as part of them?

                                              1. re: Stravinsky
                                                Servorg RE: Stravinsky Oct 31, 2013 09:09 AM

                                                I get about 4 to 5 hours of sleep most nights. I wake up and am out the door and on my bike 12 minutes after that.

                                                I very recently ran into Bucato's policy because I wanted to make a reservation for a birthday dinner and found out about their "same day policy" then. It will change when the next not thing comes along and they rethink their idiocy.

                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                  aching RE: Servorg Oct 31, 2013 09:13 AM

                                                  For what it's worth, I went for brunch on Sunday a few weeks ago, and though I had made a reservation, the restaurant was only about 25% full. Walking in would have been easy.

                                                  1. re: aching
                                                    Servorg RE: aching Oct 31, 2013 09:32 AM

                                                    Sounds like a plan. I just looked at your post on your meal and the green eggs and ham sounds great.. What time were you there?

                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                      aching RE: Servorg Oct 31, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                      I think it was 10:30, might have been 10.

                                  2. re: Servorg
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                                    whatsfordinner RE: Servorg Oct 31, 2013 12:55 PM

                                    I agree. I find their same day reservation policy ridiculous. At the risk of getting slammed since Bucato seems to be the new Chowhound darling, I have to say that while the service was efficient, I didn't love the experience. I fluctuated between being too hot and too cold, which is par for the course with patio heating. Also, I'm getting tired of the "small plates" concept. That said, the food was hit and miss. The highlights of our meal were the squash blossoms and cauliflower and I would return just for those dishes (but sit inside at the bar). The hanger steak was tough and over cooked. The orecchiette with sausage was too salty. The polenta with mushroom and egg as well as the cacio e pepe were just not memorable.

                                    1. re: whatsfordinner
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                                      Dirtywextraolives RE: whatsfordinner Oct 31, 2013 01:03 PM

                                      Good to know. Thanks for the honest assessment of your experience.

                                      1. re: whatsfordinner
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                                        ilysla RE: whatsfordinner Oct 31, 2013 01:39 PM

                                        QUOTE: "Also, I'm getting tired of the 'small plates' concept."

                                        You are not alone in this. Especially when said plates can be very, VERY pricey....

                                        1. re: ilysla
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                                          whatsfordinner RE: ilysla Oct 31, 2013 01:57 PM

                                          I especially dislike the concept when there are more than 2 people and you have to accommodate the individual tastes of everyone in the group. So often the dishes don't work together. Also, I'm greedy - if the dish is really good then I want more than a couple of bites. And, as you mentioned, it can get very expensive very quickly.

                                          1. re: whatsfordinner
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                                            ilysla RE: whatsfordinner Nov 1, 2013 04:32 PM

                                            Har! Yes, sometimes I want the plate to myself. ;) I do have to say, though, that I think that tapas make *more* sense when you have more than 2 people.... The cost not only gets divided, but you get to sample more dishes. Sometimes wait staff at various restaurants will recommend we order like 3-4 tapas per person. I have a big appetite, but that's just a waste of food (esp since I don't think the food at most tapas-style places travels or re-heats well).

                                        2. re: whatsfordinner
                                          s
                                          Stravinsky RE: whatsfordinner Oct 31, 2013 03:11 PM

                                          Yeah, Bucato does not shine in the meat department for some reason.

                                          They excel in vegetables, bread, and pasta.

                                          I am surprised to hear you didn't like the cacio e pepe though. I love that dish. J Gold called it the best pasta dish in LA right now.

                                          Over the summer I had what locals said was the best cacio e pepe in Rome, and I thought Bucato's version was more memorable.

                                          Some of the pasta dishes don't seem as great as the others though. Like the gnochetti with pesto.

                                          If you decide to go back, get the pasta with bianco ragu though. If you don't like that, then I'd say you're safe in never returning.

                                          Maybe try the figs and burrata, too. And get some bread! =P

                                          1. re: Stravinsky
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                                            whatsfordinner RE: Stravinsky Oct 31, 2013 03:33 PM

                                            To be honest, I'm just not crazy about cacio e pepe and we wouldn't have ordered it if it were just my husband and me. We wouldn't have ordered the polenta either. I did like the texture of both pastas though. They ran out of focaccia the night we were there, but the batard with goat cheese butter was amazing. We also had the artichokes, which were good but a little over salted (it's rare that a dish is too salty for me) and not as delicious as the squash blossoms or cauliflower. I'm willing to give Bucato another chance, but only if I go with just my husband and we sit at the bar. Hopefully they'll have the uni, which wasn't on the menu the night we were there.

                              2. l
                                linus RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 10, 2013 10:05 PM

                                overrated and overhyped are two completely different words. and i will say "hype" is one of the most misused words on chowhound.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: linus
                                  Servorg RE: linus Oct 11, 2013 03:24 AM

                                  You seem to be saying that hype is being over hyped on Chowhound...or maybe that's just me being hyper...?

                                  1. re: Servorg
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                                    linus RE: Servorg Oct 11, 2013 04:57 AM

                                    forgive yourself, servorg. surrender to a higher power. don't go chasing waterfalls.

                                    1. re: linus
                                      Servorg RE: linus Oct 11, 2013 07:25 AM

                                      I only chase them in my pype dreams...

                                      As to some of the places mentioned here for not living up to their "publicity" like Lucques for instance. I have loved their short ribs dish and, when they had it on their menu, the suckling pig. It's when I've strayed away from those dishes that it hasn't lived up to its rep.

                                      1. re: Servorg
                                        Ciao Bob RE: Servorg Oct 29, 2013 08:44 AM

                                        Luques' suckling pig was underhyped and underrated!

                                        1. re: Ciao Bob
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                                          maudies5 RE: Ciao Bob Oct 29, 2013 04:16 PM

                                          Lucques' suckling pig was fabulous. The short ribs are still the best in town. I don't feel that Lucques is overrated. The kitchen turns out consistently good food. Is it terribly exciting food? No. It is food that, to me, always tastes good and made with the best ingredients. I always leave Lucques feeling very happy and satisfied.

                                2. s
                                  set0312 RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 11, 2013 02:42 AM

                                  Pizzeria Mozza. The pizza is not that good. The crust is odd and too salty and generally takes up about half the slice. If not for Nancy Silverton at the helm, I'd imagine it would be regarded as merely decent.

                                  It should by no means be considered the number one pizza in LA. Off the top of my head, I prefer Settebello, Sotto, and even Pitfire. Along with Michael's in Long Beach. Even 9th Street in downtown.

                                  (Upon reflection, I must say I have not noticed too much affection for Pizzeria Mozza on here, but the media/critics just cannot get enough.)

                                  24 Replies
                                  1. re: set0312
                                    Porthos RE: set0312 Oct 11, 2013 06:08 AM

                                    You have to remember, back in the day when Pizzeria Mozza opened, Sotto and Settebello had not. LA had not had its Neapolitan pizza renaissance yet. Back then, it might well have been best pizza in LA. After 50-60 visits during that time, I haven't gone once the last year. My tastes also preferring Neapolitan style pizza these days.

                                    1. re: set0312
                                      PeterCC RE: set0312 Oct 11, 2013 07:02 AM

                                      We loved our meal at Pizzeria Mozza, but we didn't get any pizza. :-) we got bone marrow, burrata caprese, chicken liver bruschetta, insalata di testa, and it was plenty of food for two and was excellent. We felt no need to try the pizza (though the clam one beckoned me). And we thought the butterscotch budino was actually not overhyped; it was as amazing as everyone said.

                                      1. re: PeterCC
                                        Tripeler RE: PeterCC Oct 11, 2013 07:07 AM

                                        I wonder if they serve any Mozza Ball Soup?

                                        1. re: Tripeler
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                                          latindancer RE: Tripeler Oct 11, 2013 07:43 AM

                                          Great idea.

                                          They should.

                                        2. re: PeterCC
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                                          latindancer RE: PeterCC Oct 11, 2013 07:10 AM

                                          <The butterscotch budino was actually not overhyped>

                                          This is where I'll chime in...

                                          I used to feel the same and now...
                                          I've had better in some of the most under hyped places.

                                          1. re: latindancer
                                            PeterCC RE: latindancer Oct 11, 2013 07:15 AM

                                            That doesn't necessarily mean Mozza's is overhyped if the others are under. Let's work toward everything being properly hyped!

                                            We can start by you sharing what these places are! My wife would definitely appreciate finding better butterscotch pudding than Mozza, since she loved theirs. ;-) Or are these places not in L.A.?

                                            1. re: PeterCC
                                              Servorg RE: PeterCC Oct 11, 2013 07:28 AM

                                              As you know Peter, we put "them" up on a pedestal just so they can be ripped down (and have farther to fall) because it makes us feel so very good inside (schadenfreude anyone?).

                                              1. re: Servorg
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                                                latindancer RE: Servorg Oct 11, 2013 07:42 AM

                                                Au contraire, Servong.

                                                I love their pudding, have been known to do a u-turn on Melrose to park in front of pick-up, and have eaten it in big 5 bites all the way home while driving.
                                                It's outstanding.
                                                I'm just saying there're others out there that are worth trying.

                                              2. re: PeterCC
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                                                latindancer RE: PeterCC Oct 11, 2013 07:39 AM

                                                Let me rephrase...

                                                I love their budino and don't think it's overhyped AND I've had better butterscotch pudding that satisfies MY tastebuds better.
                                                How's that?

                                                I was in Denver, a few weeks ago, and of all places, because I consider salted butterscotch pudding *crack*, I ordered it at Yardhouse.
                                                Blasphemy, I know. Certainly not CH worthy according to all who know all things 'food' but this pudding was outstanding.
                                                I have no idea what LA's Yardhouse is like because I've only been for drinks at the one downtown.
                                                I've had other places, I'll have to think awhile where (obviously not noteworthy) the pudding was also great.

                                                1. re: PeterCC
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                                                  silence9 RE: PeterCC Oct 30, 2013 10:09 AM

                                                  # 1 butterscotch pudding for me is at Jar. # 2 is at AOC. # 3 is at Pizzeria Mozza. And # 4 (technically a pie) is the butterscotch pie at Pie n Burger. A distant # 5 is the butterscotch pudding at Milk (in their glass display case)...

                                                  1. re: silence9
                                                    PeterCC RE: silence9 Oct 30, 2013 04:02 PM

                                                    Right now for us it's Mozza #1, Gjelina #2, but it's obviously a limited sample. Will have to check out Jar and AOC; the latter (or any of Goin's places) has been on my to-try list for a while. Thanks.

                                                    1. re: PeterCC
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                                                      jessejames RE: PeterCC Oct 30, 2013 04:25 PM

                                                      they have a great hot fudge sundae at jar too with side cars of chocolate fudge and caramel....

                                              3. re: PeterCC
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                                                Dirtywextraolives RE: PeterCC Oct 11, 2013 08:17 AM

                                                Their clam pizza is just okay, IMO. Nothing like the New Haven pies.....

                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                  PeterCC RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 11, 2013 08:30 AM

                                                  Well, kind of like your comment about C&T and a plane ticket, there's just not that many places serving clam pizza here.

                                                  1. re: PeterCC
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                                                    Dirtywextraolives RE: PeterCC Oct 11, 2013 09:28 AM

                                                    True, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a few with it on their menus....I haven't tried them all. I did enjoy the one at Nicky D's in Silverlake...it was like a white clam sauce on pizza dough, which is about how I now make it at home, since what they sell as littlenecks out here aren't even east coast clams.

                                                  2. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                    Savour RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 29, 2013 03:14 PM

                                                    Comparing Mozza Pizza to New Haven Pizza is like comparing apples and oranges. The only thing they have in common, apart from the name, is that they are both yeast based starches topped with cheese. Totally different beast.

                                                    Same with the Mozza vs. Settebello comparison, BTW. It's just a different dish.

                                                    I could so go for some Frank Pepe's...

                                                    1. re: Savour
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                                                      Dirtywextraolives RE: Savour Oct 29, 2013 06:35 PM

                                                      I don't even think the clam pie at Mozza had cheese...... Can't remember, it was a while ago.

                                                      And I wasn't comparing them. I was using NH pizza as a reference point since I knew Petercc would get it.

                                                  3. re: PeterCC
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                                                    ns1 RE: PeterCC Oct 11, 2013 08:59 AM

                                                    Actually I would say that budino was overrated and overhyped (for me). I was expecting something much more.

                                                  4. re: set0312
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                                                    Ernie RE: set0312 Nov 2, 2013 09:10 AM

                                                    Completely agree with you. Pizzeria Mozza is massively overhyped. The pizza is good, but not worth the endless praise, especially considering how meager they are with the toppings. The highly praised sausage pizza, for example, only has a few bits of dried out ordinary sausage on top. You would be lucky to get more than 2 bits of sausage on each piece of your small $17 pizza

                                                    The highly touted butterscotch budino is also OK, but nothing extraordinary the way it is obsessed about. I thought it was pretty boring and reminded me of an expensive version of butterscotch Jell-o

                                                    You are absolutely right about the Silverton name. She must have a very talented PR agency because I have yet to try anything truly spectacular from any of her places

                                                    1. re: Ernie
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                                                      Stravinsky RE: Ernie Nov 2, 2013 10:14 AM

                                                      Not sure if it counts, but try out Chi Spacca!

                                                      1. re: Stravinsky
                                                        Servorg RE: Stravinsky Nov 2, 2013 10:27 AM

                                                        I have to say I was sorely disappointed in my dinner at Chi Spacca last week. We had the foccacia di recco, the beef and bone marrow pie and the roasted cauliflower with crushed lemon bagna cauda. Nothing I had would make me want to go again. The dessert was the saving grace for the meal. The banana mascarpone crostata was delicious.

                                                        1. re: Servorg
                                                          s
                                                          Stravinsky RE: Servorg Nov 2, 2013 11:14 AM

                                                          Wow, completely shocked. We may have to take note that our tastes are very different haha

                                                          However, although last time I went I had the beef and bone marrow pie, and my dining companion still calls me up almost weekly to say we ought to go get it again... I feel that you seem to have missed out on the best parts of the menu.

                                                          You didn't get the affettati misti! How could you go to the place lauded for having THE meat curing program in LA and not get the platter of salumi??

                                                          That pretty much goes for meats in general. The place is very meat-centric, and the more meat you order, the better. The Moorish lamb shoulder chop for example, or the sleeper hit, the chicken diavola. In comparison to the pie, I would say those dishes are outrageously good where the pie is merely good. But clearly it depends upon whether one is a pie person or not I suppose.

                                                          Also, the testa frittata is a fascinating dish of eggs, prawns, Calabrian chiles, and headcheese that I found uniquely wonderful.

                                                          I would suggest returning and ordering more meat dishes, as Chad Colby pours his heart and soul (and a tremendous amount of food science knowledge) into his meat.

                                                          But, full disclosure, I am also partial to the atmosphere of Chi Spacca. One of the few places that plays decent jazz, in an appropriately lit setting.

                                                          Still, I have dreams of the meat there...the lamb, the chicken... one day the bistecca fiorentina, if I can round up some friends. (It appears to be the only true one in town).

                                                          1. re: Servorg
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                                                            Xan7hos RE: Servorg Nov 4, 2013 11:36 PM

                                                            Had the same experience at Mo Chica very beautiful dishes but underwhelming and unmemorable...don't think I'm a fan of Zarate's food.

                                                        2. re: Ernie
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                                                          linus RE: Ernie Nov 5, 2013 07:53 AM

                                                          y'know, just because a lot of people like a restaurant, or a dish at a restaurant, it does not mean it was "massively overhyped."

                                                      2. Porthos RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 11, 2013 06:12 AM

                                                        Agree with Lucques being overrated. From a historical perspective it might have been one of the first cal-cuisine places in LA. Unfortunately, my first visit was after eating 3 years of superior Bay Area cal-cuisine so for me it's been good but never great.

                                                        For me, Josie's is even worse. Just not that good. Never understood the love for that place.

                                                        1. l
                                                          lizziee RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 11, 2013 08:59 AM

                                                          Connie and Ted's is awesome - the best thing to hit the West Coast - Steamed lobster unbelievable - I love lobster roe and they gave me an obscene amount.

                                                           
                                                           
                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: lizziee
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                                                            Dirtywextraolives RE: lizziee Oct 11, 2013 09:25 AM

                                                            Wow, looks awesome, I agree I think the place is great.... Been dying to go back....

                                                          2. Mr Taster RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 12, 2013 01:00 AM

                                                            Based on one and only visit:

                                                            Standing in line with hipsters at Sunset Junction for half an hour, ending up with a taco that sogged out terribly and lacked both flavor and crunch.

                                                            Ricky fish tacos

                                                            Mr Taster

                                                            15 Replies
                                                            1. re: Mr Taster
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                                                              ilysla RE: Mr Taster Oct 12, 2013 01:23 AM

                                                              I might give it another try. I don't think I've ever been in line more than 5-10 min. I find the batter pretty well seasoned, although not super crunchy (relatively light and not saturated in oil, though).

                                                              Can't comment on the hipsters. I know that the one time I went to Proof (not overrated or overhyped), it seemed filled w/ very ironically dressed 30-somethings who seemed to be trying very hard to appear as though they were 20-somethings. I felt rather out of place there. I haven't really found that to be a problem at Ricky's and think the crowd frequently seems endearing nerdy and low-key....

                                                              The new location is also spectacularly "hole in the wall" and yet parking is a bit easier.... Also love their agua frescas.

                                                              1. re: ilysla
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                                                                linus RE: ilysla Oct 12, 2013 09:06 AM

                                                                obviously, tacos taste better when you're standing in line with belgians wearing leisure suits.

                                                                1. re: linus
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                                                                  ilysla RE: linus Oct 12, 2013 09:56 AM

                                                                  Only when said belgians are also eating frites, as well....

                                                                  1. re: ilysla
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                                                                    bulavinaka RE: ilysla Oct 12, 2013 01:20 PM

                                                                    Belgians in leisure suits eating frites while standing in line for fish tacos? Hard to imagine that outside of LA.

                                                                    1. re: bulavinaka
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                                                                      bad nono RE: bulavinaka Oct 13, 2013 07:20 AM

                                                                      Seeing that there is no decent place for tacos of any sort here in Brussels, I concur. The fries, however, are out of this world.

                                                                      1. re: bad nono
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                                                                        bulavinaka RE: bad nono Oct 13, 2013 07:33 AM

                                                                        >>The fries, however, are out of this world.<<

                                                                        Just rub it in... :) I hope you are well.

                                                                        1. re: bulavinaka
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                                                                          bad nono RE: bulavinaka Oct 13, 2013 08:49 AM

                                                                          I am, thanks. Hoping to maybe visit back at the end of 2014 so lurking here from time to time... I'll likely gorge on tacos of all kinds and pay a visit to the SGV next time I'm in town.

                                                                          1. re: bad nono
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                                                                            bulavinaka RE: bad nono Oct 13, 2013 07:20 PM

                                                                            Good to hear. We await your solid posts. In the mean time, have some moules with those frites and a beer or three if you are so inclined on our behalf.

                                                                        2. re: bad nono
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                                                                          ilysla RE: bad nono Oct 13, 2013 05:12 PM

                                                                          I've never had belgian fries (not real ones, anyway). ::sigh:: On my bucket list.

                                                                2. re: Mr Taster
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                                                                  chowseeker1999 RE: Mr Taster Oct 13, 2013 11:41 AM

                                                                  your feelings parallel mine with Kogi Tacos back in the day. :> except i was waiting in line for 1 hour and another 35+ minutes after the order, for the food, in line with an obscene amount of hipsters. definitely overhyped for mediocre tacos.

                                                                  i've only had Ricky's Fish Tacos at their new location in Chinatown. only noticed a couple of hipsters but everyone else seemed fine. we waited maybe 15 minutes? fresh-fried and delicious. :>

                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                    Ciao Bob RE: Mr Taster Oct 29, 2013 08:55 AM

                                                                    Mr. Hipster hates the Tasters...or do I have that bassackwards?
                                                                    The time I went to RFT there were quite a few Silver Lakers (I bet they could probably beat the Laker Lakers this year), and idling actOrs. The tacos, ummm, good but not life-changing. Tortillas, terrible - fish, good but greasy. So, I agree RFT is over hyped. I like Tacos Puntas Cabras much more...though it is filled with Silicon Beach-sters; and St John's Doc-sters.

                                                                    1. re: Ciao Bob
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                                                                      carter RE: Ciao Bob Oct 29, 2013 09:51 AM

                                                                      So you could go to Wahoo's and avoid both scenesters!

                                                                      1. re: carter
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                                                                        latindancer RE: carter Oct 30, 2013 08:01 PM

                                                                        <Wahoo's>

                                                                        Talk about overhyped.
                                                                        Pure drek.

                                                                        1. re: latindancer
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                                                                          carter RE: latindancer Oct 31, 2013 11:38 AM

                                                                          Didn't think there ever was any hype, but maybe I missed something.
                                                                          I agree with your assessment, btw.

                                                                      2. re: Ciao Bob
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                                                                        ilysla RE: Ciao Bob Oct 30, 2013 10:46 AM

                                                                        Have you gone since they moved to the Downtown location? I rather different (and more ethnically diverse) group of folks down there....

                                                                        As much as I like TPC, I still prefer the fish taco at Ricky's. Of course, Ricky's doesn't offer scallops, ceviche, etc....

                                                                    2. t
                                                                      Thor123 RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 12, 2013 10:13 AM

                                                                      Fig & Olive although the hype seems to have rightfully died.

                                                                      1. Searching4Dunny RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 12, 2013 12:15 PM

                                                                        For the OC Heads: Bruxie and Haven Gastropub. Both fall short of the hype that is undeserved IMO.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Searching4Dunny
                                                                          JAB RE: Searching4Dunny Oct 12, 2013 12:41 PM

                                                                          Agree with Bruxie which seems like a chain to me having only been to the RSM location. I do like Haven pretty well however.

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                                                                            ns1 RE: Searching4Dunny Oct 12, 2013 01:45 PM

                                                                            Bruxie is awesome. that patty melt = nom x3

                                                                            1. re: ns1
                                                                              JAB RE: ns1 Oct 12, 2013 02:03 PM

                                                                              I'll stick to my wife's or Pann's.

                                                                              1. re: JAB
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                                                                                ns1 RE: JAB Oct 12, 2013 03:00 PM

                                                                                if your wife and Pann's had more locations I'd agree with you.

                                                                                1. re: ns1
                                                                                  JAB RE: ns1 Oct 12, 2013 03:21 PM

                                                                                  Unfortunately, it's easier to get one from Pann's than from my wife and I live in OC.

                                                                          2. Baron RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 13, 2013 01:29 PM

                                                                            My vote goes to Scarpetto's spaghetti. Despite all the raves, I thought it was nothing special. Four of us agreed.

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Baron
                                                                              ipsedixit RE: Baron Oct 13, 2013 06:15 PM

                                                                              The "special" thing about the spaghetti is the price.

                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                westsidegal RE: ipsedixit Oct 30, 2013 11:26 PM

                                                                                i'm told that the big deal about the scarpetta spaghetti is that the sauce is full of butter.
                                                                                for folks like me, that is a non-starter.
                                                                                spaghetti slathered in butter is just a nothing dish to my palate.
                                                                                putting some tomatoes in the butter-spaghetti AND making it into a high-priced menu item, to me, turns it into something you serve to kids who are dragged along into high-end restaurants:
                                                                                not something i want to eat myself.

                                                                                1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                  perk RE: westsidegal Oct 31, 2013 11:21 AM

                                                                                  I'm guessing there is a fair amount of butter in that sauce. It's very much like the Marcella Hazan recipe for a basic marinara. You don't notice the butter, you notice the taste. But....that said....you certainly know it's in there.

                                                                                  1. re: perk
                                                                                    Porthos RE: perk Oct 31, 2013 12:10 PM

                                                                                    The difference is the butter but also the olive oil infused with basil, garlic, and red pepper flakes that he adds to the sauce at the end. Actually very easy to make at home and tastes very close to the restaurant product.

                                                                                    http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/1...

                                                                              2. re: Baron
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                                                                                manku RE: Baron Oct 13, 2013 07:59 PM

                                                                                The only thing special about this dish was Frank Bruni's (worst NYT food critic in last 30 years - both opinions and writing) love for this dish...I went to Scarpetta in NYC soon after the review, and was baffled his passion for this dish. Had it in LA and was even more disappointed, if possible.

                                                                              3. k
                                                                                kdoc RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 30, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                                                Hinoki and the Bird

                                                                                Loud, spotty service, overseasoned, heavy, sloppy preparations.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: kdoc
                                                                                  Tripeler RE: kdoc Oct 30, 2013 07:52 PM

                                                                                  kdoc,
                                                                                  That's one way to flip them "the Bird."

                                                                                  1. re: kdoc
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                                                                                    Stravinsky RE: kdoc Oct 30, 2013 11:46 PM

                                                                                    Yeah. Entirely agree.

                                                                                    The epitome of pretentious, and that is not a word I use lightly.

                                                                                    Incredibly disappointing.

                                                                                    Chili crab toast was ok. Not mind-blowing enough to make me ever want to return though.

                                                                                  2. Fryboy RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 31, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                                                    Chick-fil-A - It's just a chicken sandwich.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Fryboy
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                                                                                      Xan7hos RE: Fryboy Nov 4, 2013 11:39 PM

                                                                                      Best chicken sandwich I've ever had from a drive thru.

                                                                                      1. re: Fryboy
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                                                                                        jessejames RE: Fryboy Nov 5, 2013 07:51 AM

                                                                                        add a side of hatred sauce.

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