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What's your LEAST favorite restaurant in LA ? (excepting of course for chains).

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  • kevin Dec 2, 2013 11:28 AM
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  1. do you mean ones still in business, or out of business (doesn't count?

    1 Reply
    1. re: laxfoodfeedback

      Either or

    2. Also just the food or service too?

      1. Ez. Red medicine. The price and snootiness just another FU on top of mushy gross food. Apologies and no offense to its fans. Runner up, pinks

        4 Replies
        1. re: jessejames

          +1 on Red Medicine. Horrible atmosphere and service. The room is extremely loud and gets worse as the night goes on. God help you if you're at one of the 2 tops under the window looking into the kitchen. You'll sweat off the same amount of weight as you consume. The food doesn't make up for it and I hate seeing shared plates for tasting menus. The only redeeming thing about the place is the birch/redwood/whatever-tree ice dessert.

          1. re: Ponder99

            I thought desserts sucked too.

            1. re: jessejames

              which desserts have u tried there?? i've had all but the milk choco cream and thought they were superb.

              1. re: namstermonster

                I definitely had the vaunted maple ice thing. Some coconut puff thing too. I think they cook mushy food specially designed for toothless people.

        2. Fig & Olive

          1. Is Jerry's Deli a considered a chain?

            2 Replies
            1. re: wienermobile

              Yes...a choke chain.

              1. re: wienermobile

                Aw,you beat me to it. :)

              2. Patreiili's in Culver City. Terrible.

                1. Sad to say, because I do love the food, but Bucato really makes me madder and madder.

                  I hate that it is impossible to reserve a table indoors for a party of four. A table for more than 4 isn't even fathomable unless you are Joni Mitchell or Henry Winkler; a story I cannot claim is positively true, but I have very strong suspicions that Bucato would not take my earlier-made request for a table for 6, on a night that found both of them celebrating birthdays.

                  Another time I called at the moment they allow reservations -- 9:30 AM -- and gotten right through and left a message (so I know I could not have been far down the line, most likely first) and this is on a weeknight, not a busy weekend. I begged for an indoor table for 4 because my elderly parents would be very uncomfortable outside. The did not accommodate us. My Dad nearly froze. The "heaters" outside are those pretty, triangular, glassed-in jobs that throw off less heat than a wooden kitchen match would.

                  The indoor set up is idiotic and the outdoor seating unworkable, other than on the handful of balmy evenings we get each year. And now that rain is starting I can not imagine what they will do to further infuriate the dining public.

                  From now on, I am only going by myself, or possibly with one other person, to sit at the bar.

                  At the moment, Bucato is my LEAST favorite restaurant in LA. By far.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                    Damn, so tell me how you really feel about the joint.

                    But I'm guessing the food is still pretty darn good, correct ?

                    1. re: kevin

                      The food is ok, though it's not good enough to support its reservation policies. I wonder if their policies are designed to accommodate weather - do they only seat people inside if it's raining? Do they tent the patios in the rain?

                    2. re: Ciao Bob

                      This sort of reads as a strangely glowing review of Bucato. The food most be almost unimaginably great if you're willing to put up with such infuriating policies haha

                      1. re: Ciao Bob

                        So much for the recent positive words from you before...

                        But yes, that interior is very problematic. I actually really like outdoors too, but for that space to be bigger than inside isn't logical at all.

                        1. re: chrishei

                          I think the food is great.

                      2. Doesn't seem like a very 'houndish topic. How awful do they have to be? Difficult to discern nuances of awfulness, or a reason to bother to do so...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                          I guess it's not very chowish, but it may be.

                          One man's ... is another man's...

                          Like with Bucato, I would still be swayed to go there if I were swaying myself to go on my ownsome.

                        2. I love this thread. Hopefully it hits 300 posts. That is all.

                          1. Gladstone's…need I say more?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: wienermobile

                              Darn. Jerry's was already mentioned.

                              Jan's on Beverly Blvd. Its jusf kind of... Blah...

                            2. El Coyote

                              1. I was about to say Salt Creek Grille, but a quick glance at their website confirms that they in fact have 3 locations in SoCal, plus 2 in New Jersey.

                                None in between, presumably because midwesterners would have enough homespun common sense not to pay those prices for inedible steaks, watery drinks, and AWOL service.

                                1. Larchmont Pizza. Their big crust just unnecessarily fills you up. Their teeny shop is half taken up by never used reserved tables. They other tables outside are surrounded by flies and the misbehaving dogs.

                                  1. Mistral in Sherman Oaks. Geezers would not be comfortable here. The food is good but you can't enjoy it because the location is terrible. The store is too small and narrow for the amount of business they do. There is one central row from front to back with a narrow aisle on both sides, one row of tables on the right wall and a half row on the left side next to the bar. The noise level is horrendous, you've got waitstaff and customers traipsing back and forth bumping into your chair and the restrooms are located just outside the kitchen where your food is prepared.

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: mucho gordo

                                      Wow, I love Mistral. While I would agree its "cozy", I never experienced any bumping or extreme traipsing. Food and service are always excellent and I do enjoy their chocolate souffle.

                                      I would be hard pressed to come up with 3 better restaurants within the extended neighborhood.

                                      1. re: bigredd

                                        Then, you must not be a geezer. It is a place for a younger crowd. A better place in the area, for me, would be Café Bizou and Gio Cucina isn't that much further away.

                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                          I certainly am on my way at 52 but I guess I overlook the coziness and noise for the food and service.

                                          I will check out Gio Cucina.

                                          Thanks!

                                          1. re: bigredd

                                            Gio Cucina is also a bit 'cozy' but you'll notice a big difference between the two places. Great Italian food and impeccable service. If you don't see what you want on the menu, ask. If they can make it, they will.
                                            Yes, I agree the food was good at Mistral.

                                            1. re: mucho gordo

                                              I like Gio Cucina, though it is on the 2nd floor of a pod mall, and its beyond tiny but good. 1/3 the price of Madeo but of course not as great either.

                                              1. re: kevin

                                                Kevin, you and carter fascinate me. You say Gio food is not as good as Madeo and carter is saying that Mistral food is better than all the others. How do you guys compare them? What if Gio and Madeo made the same dish exactly. Would you be able to tell the difference in a blind taste test? Both follow basic recipes but each chef might put a personal spin on it; a little less garlic, more pepper flakes, etc. How could you possibly determine that the one you might prefer is made by Madeo?

                                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                                  I said Mistral food is better than Café Bizou and Gio, which I will stand behind. I think it is one of the Valley's best restaurants, period!
                                                  Best on the boulevard in Studio City/Sherman Oaks, which I will also stand behind.
                                                  Gio is in Encino, and is Italian, which I find very uninteresting, as many already know, Kevin among them.

                                        2. re: bigredd

                                          1. I'm a geezer (65).

                                          2, This is one of my favorites. Excellent food and service.

                                        3. re: mucho gordo

                                          Mistral may be the best restaurant on the boulevard in the Sherman Oaks/Studio City area.
                                          While you may not like its coziness factor, then I suppose you don't like that close proximity when visiting places in NYC or maybe SF?
                                          This place appeals to all demographics, old and young. Many nights, you will find primarily industry folks, other nights, you might find mostly the old folks with no association to the industry.
                                          Noise is high, yet no more so than Café Bizou, or Local Peasant, or Rocco's Tavern, or Laurel Tavern, or Black Market, or Raphael, or Mexicali Cantina, or Casa Vega, or.....
                                          But the food is better than all of those, and the prices higher!
                                          Just hope you don't have to go to the bathroom...

                                          1. re: carter

                                            I can agree that Mistral may be the best as far as the food is concerned but, the crowding, jostling and noise level was just too much for our party which included 2 90ish aunts using walkers.
                                            I remember the night that we were there a customer came in using an electric wheelchair and they had a problem configuring the space to accommodate him at a table.

                                            1. re: mucho gordo

                                              Only hope that wheelchair bound customer reserved ahead of time, telling Henri or Raul of that fact.
                                              If not, well, good luck to all around, but don't blame the restaurant for that problem.
                                              As to the two 90ish aunts, can't imagine Bizou would be any easier to navigate, and the noise level there is no better, as but one example.

                                              1. re: carter

                                                The noise level at Bizou was tolerable because it is dissipated over a wider area whereas Mistral is confined to a narrower space. Bizou would also have been a bit easier to maneuver the walkers. As for the guy in the wheelchair, the only place they could put him was just inside the front door where they set up a round table for him. There is no way he could go up/down the narrow aisles.

                                        4. oh yeah, wolfgang's steakhouse...strike three and you're out ... if you call yourself a steakhouse, learn to cook a medium rare steak...had blue and also brown, and always attitude from the jackass "entourage" dude that manages it.

                                          1. Do you mean LEAST FAVORITE OR WORST FOOD?

                                            1. Twin Dragon and Canter's are tied for me....

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: foufou

                                                yes, cantors can be a very annoying experience in every way...it's on my don't fly list now

                                              2. Here are some restaurants I don't like. I'm only listing restaurants that some people I know think are good.

                                                Bottega Louie. Mediocre food, miserable atmosphere.
                                                Sugarfish by Nozawa. Poor-quality fish, prepared with incompetence.
                                                Umami Burger. Crap.
                                                Phillipe's. Worse than crap.
                                                Baco Mercat. J. Gold and everyone else are on crack. This food is mostly slop. (To be fair, I have had good vegetable side dishes here.)
                                                Chego. Amazingly disgusting.
                                                Nickel Diner. Yuck.

                                                18 Replies
                                                1. re: AlkieGourmand

                                                  Let me add: All the burrito places, whether it be the Westernized ones like Qdoba, Chipotle, and Ocho or the more "authentic" Mexican American places that Chowhounders seem to love. In my opinion, Mexican American food--burritos and the like--is far superior on the east coast, especially in the Boston area.

                                                  1. re: AlkieGourmand

                                                    How far are you willing to travel? I ask because every place on your list above is between downtown and WeHo. If you spend some time in, say, Huntington Park or Santa Ana, it might disabuse you of the notion that the burritos are better in Boston...

                                                    1. re: Bradbury

                                                      Patty's in Claremont. that is all.

                                                      1. re: Bradbury

                                                        the Alcove in Los Feliz. Basic, boring food and crappy service. The 2 times I've ordered food there, they straight up forgot to bring either my dish or my companion's.

                                                        And the place is a total madhouse! People are packed in their like it's the new Eataly LA or something. Puzzling. To each his own...

                                                        1. re: MoreMolecules

                                                          I second this. I forget what I ordered at The Alcove the one time I went but I do remember not eating 90% of it.

                                                          1. re: MoreMolecules

                                                            Alcove is just okay and yes, with terrible terrible service. But the customers are the real problem. I've had to ask a douche bag to stop talking so loud on his phone because I couldn't enjoy my meal. I was reprimanded for invading his space.

                                                            1. re: ivankrueger

                                                              Oh, geez.

                                                              Those Hollywood hipsters...

                                                        2. re: AlkieGourmand

                                                          "Mexican American food--burritos and the like--is far superior on the east coast, especially in the Boston area."

                                                          LOL, are you trying to start a war here? That's like saying New England clam chowdah and lobster rolls suck in Boston and you can find better in Montana. What is your basis for a "good" burrito?

                                                          1. re: AlkieGourmand

                                                            I don't disagree with your "least favorite" list, but the burrito thing is perhaps the most ridiculous proposition ever floated here.

                                                          2. re: AlkieGourmand

                                                            completely concur with you about the yuckiness of:
                                                            bottega louie
                                                            sugarfish
                                                            and
                                                            chego.

                                                            1. re: AlkieGourmand

                                                              Phillipe's. Worse than crap.

                                                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                              I could not agree more....one of my worst disappointments ever.

                                                              1. re: fourunder

                                                                +1 for Phillipe's, the enduring popularity of this place has always mystified me.

                                                              2. re: AlkieGourmand

                                                                Second Umami. Not worth it at all.

                                                                1. re: Michelly

                                                                  Third thumbs down on Umami. Not only was I overwhelmed by the prices and underwhelmed by the food and service (I was the first one there one lunch time, nobody else around) but had the additional misfortune to be in the presence of owner, Adam Fleischman. He was truculent towards me and rude to his employees. Regretfully, I've watched his franchise expand but I certainly won't be back.

                                                                  1. re: Steve2 in LA

                                                                    Hey, what's wrong with running a very successful money laundering gig for Sam Nazarian?

                                                                    1. re: OscarFox

                                                                      :)

                                                                2. re: AlkieGourmand

                                                                  Umami ketchup is straight up nasty.

                                                                  Sugarfish was very un-fresh the one time I went, although to be fair it was a Sunday and I've been warned against ordering sushi on Sundays.

                                                                  1. re: yd914

                                                                    i too, have been served sub par fish at sugarfish.

                                                                3. It's pho, It's thai, Pimai Its thai... Are those considered chains?
                                                                  Not a fan of Philippes or Pink's

                                                                  1. Il Cielo, on Burton Way.

                                                                    1. Jitlada, way overrated and expensive. So many better options.
                                                                      Umami, been to several haven't been wowed by anything.
                                                                      Pink's, the dogs they sell on the cookie sheets on the street are better.
                                                                      Canters, never had anything good there. Mediocre at best.

                                                                      60 Replies
                                                                      1. re: veronykah

                                                                        yup, yup, yup and yup.

                                                                        Actually, yup to the third degree on the first one.

                                                                        1. re: fgrade

                                                                          Jitlada, so much Jitlada.

                                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                                            Good to hear it's not just me. Everything I read, people just LOVE that place and talk about it like the food is amazing for people who actually know about food. No no no.

                                                                            1. re: veronykah

                                                                              The food is okay (not the second coming of christ by any stretch of the imagination) but the whole package is most certainly not okay at that price point.

                                                                        2. re: veronykah

                                                                          << So many better options. >>

                                                                          I'd like one alternative to Jitlada for Southern Thai, not even a better one at that. Just one. In fact, let's expand that to all of America. One better Southern Thai restaurant in America than Jitlada.

                                                                          What are you going to suggest? Pok Pok? Lotus of Siam? Yes, prices have risen steadily over the last few years, but eating here remains far cheaper than dinner at, say, Connie & Teds, and far more interesting. Why aren't people willing to pay market rate for Thai food (or Asian food in general) unless it's run by some tatted guy?

                                                                          1. re: TonyC

                                                                            cuz the environment/service/food do not match up with the price. They got a monopoly on southern thai cuisine and they know it and charge prices accordingly.

                                                                            1. re: ns1

                                                                              I would say they charge prices that allow them to meet their obligations and save some money toward retirement. What nerve!

                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                Sorry, $7 for a thai tea w/ boba aint gonna cut it in my book. YMMV.

                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                  Try running a successful small business in L.A. and you will be singing a totally different tune in no time.

                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                    I see a lot of successful small businesses in thai town not charging $7 for a thai boba tea or $14 for a pad thai.

                                                                                    1. re: ns1

                                                                                      But then they might not be able to live very comfortably as their attorney or doctor counterparts would.

                                                                                  2. re: ns1

                                                                                    you've been carrying this vendetta against the unaffordable boba thai tea for a while now. can we please look beyond it? No one's going to Jitlada for that. why not just order a beer? and if not beer, a can of coke is $1 which, while no refill, isn't exorbitant.

                                                                                    also, i believe i've already explained the $14 plain pad thai price structure: p'Tui and team hates cooking it. they've hatefully priced the dish at $14 so no one would order it. if you're stupid enough to ask it, your wallet is going to get punished. and, just like the boba thai tea, no one is (nor should be) ordering that at Jitlada.

                                                                                    i personally find that pretty hilarious, tho, TBH, i haven't been able to afford the whole seabass in a long time, nor have i ever ordered fanciful things such as the lobster tail/dungeness crab, etc. then again, that's totally OK with me, cuz i personally have no need to clear all ~200+ menu items.

                                                                                    1. re: TonyC

                                                                                      Pretty sure I got charged ~3.50 for a coke last time.

                                                                                      Also, I'm pretty offended by the $6 12oz bottle of Singha too.

                                                                                      My only goal is to inform, because nobody (on chowhound) told me about the ridiculous Jitlada prices before I got there. Of course, if I had looked at yelp I would have found THOSE reviews.

                                                                                      1. re: ns1

                                                                                        Until you own a small business in L.A. then you don't have a clue about what kind of pricing is needed to stay in business - depending on rent, salaries and overhead. And I'm willing to bet that if the folks at Jitlada end up dividing their pay by the number of hours they put in, they will be working for a wage that is lower than anyone here would want to work for...

                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                          Well their pricing cost them at least 1 customer (me) and I most certainly won't be taking any groups back.

                                                                                          There are other alternatives to increasing revenue besides increasing prices. Not that there is anything wrong (from a business perspective) with the "increase prices" strategy.

                                                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                                                            "There are other alternatives to increasing revenue besides increasing prices."

                                                                                            That's true. Using cheaper ingredients and cutting back on portion size are two of the most popular (and most odious to me) ways.

                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                              It is definitely expensive but people will keep going there since they keep hearing so much about it.

                                                                                              Yeah last I was there I had two dishes, a soda, and an iced coffee. And it was $65 bucks just for me.

                                                                                              No joke.

                                                                                        2. re: ns1

                                                                                          gotta admit, ns1, i was blindsided by their prices as well.

                                                                                          when my nephew returned from an internship in Thailand, i took him out to dinner at Jitlada.
                                                                                          wasn't paying too much attention to the prices, just went along with the dishes Jaz recommended.
                                                                                          no alcohol whatsoever was ordered.

                                                                                          in the end, the price came out to be over $70/pp.
                                                                                          i never went back.

                                                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                            wsg, and ns1, and whoever couldn't decipher the 200-item+ menu at Jitlada, hence felt molested by the resulting bill: your next dinner at Jitlada on me, providing I order and you allow me to bar you from soft drinks, so you can experience the heat, and tame it, on your own volition, just like the Thais in Nakhon would. offer stands as long as Jazz/Tui owns the joint (which undoubtedly will be for a long time, because they have NOT been getting rich from the place).

                                                                                            A typical order at Jitlada for 4, once you done learnt the menu: sator with mixed seafood, lamb pumpkin curry, kua kling pork, stuffed fish ball green curry, light oxtail or stuffed squid soup, ~$86, plus rice. Call it $23/pp++. dishes reported by Saveur, JG, blogger-douches, ad nausea, typicall gets upmarketed.

                                                                                            Lastly, Ba Bar's Eric Banh's plea: http://babarseattle.com/blog/2013/12/... please allow Jitlada to charge $18 for a plate of Thai curry, please.

                                                                                            what I'm really trying to say: Jitlada has no place in this particular(ly detailed) thread.

                                                                                            1. re: TonyC

                                                                                              jeez, all i have to do is complain and i get a free meal at jitlada courtesy tonyc?
                                                                                              can i drink beer?
                                                                                              i'm in.

                                                                                              1. re: TonyC

                                                                                                TonyC:
                                                                                                i didn't feel "molested" at all, blindsided, yes, but not violated/molested.
                                                                                                truly, it was my own fault because i didn't want to interrupt the "flow" of the meal to ascertain the prices before blithely agreeing to the suggestions being made.
                                                                                                it was a celebratory dinner and i didn't want to turn it into considered, deliberate, cost-conscious, process.
                                                                                                it was my first time at the restaurant, and i didn't know my way around the menu and chose to rely on jaz.
                                                                                                my bad.

                                                                                                on the other hand,
                                                                                                there was NO effort to order
                                                                                                <<Dishes reported by Saveur, JG, blogger-douches, ad nausea>>.
                                                                                                i just ordered whatever Jaz recommended.
                                                                                                (maybe what she recommends are the the blogger-douche dishes.)

                                                                                                it's just that for $70/pp before tax, tip, and ANY beverages (we didn't order any soft drinks nor alcohol), i would rather partake of the many opportunities on the westside.

                                                                                                i'm grateful for your kind offer, but since i don't eat meat nor poultry, your ordering system can't work for me.

                                                                                                will keep your list of dishes in mind, though, in case i ever end up on that side of town again.
                                                                                                it's pretty obvious that,on my own, there is no way i could devise a workable menu that i can afford .

                                                                                                much thanks for your generous offer.

                                                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                  WG, can you transfer TonyC generous offer to me ? :)

                                                                                                  Thanks.

                                                                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                    though i dont have either menu in front of me, i find it hard to believe you couldnt get a satisfying non meat meal at jitlada for around the same price as the snook at coni's.

                                                                                                    i am happy to be corrected if i am wrong about this.

                                                                                                    1. re: linus

                                                                                                      Soft shell crab at least 18 bucks.

                                                                                                      The whole turmeric sea bass 35 bucks.

                                                                                                      Mussels 15 bucks.

                                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                                        conis' snook is 24 bucks or so a kilo. never seen one there below 1.5 kilos.

                                                                                                        tasty food sometimes costs money, especially seafood.

                                                                                                        1. re: linus

                                                                                                          So how much do they charge for a coke @ Coni's? Is there a "Christmas lights in June" markup?

                                                                                                          Okay I'll stop now. Maybe.

                                                                                                          1. re: linus

                                                                                                            before tax, tip, and beverage, my average bill at coni's is always below $25/pp with PLENTY to eat and to take home.
                                                                                                            (after tax, tip, and beverage i walk out paying about $37/pp all in with everyone eating like a pig and tipping generously)
                                                                                                            fwiw, i never order soft drinks at any restaurant.

                                                                                                          2. re: kevin

                                                                                                            Mussels for $15 is about the going rate for any LA restaurant. If they're much cheaper, they aren't giving you as many.....

                                                                                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                              I did hit up CandT's btw.

                                                                                                              I'll post later.

                                                                                                              And if you're down to meet at Jitladas one time I'm hella down.

                                                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                ;)

                                                                                                          3. re: linus

                                                                                                            linus: i don't doubt that it is possible, but i am not willing to make the investment in driving and money to discover how to arrange it.

                                                                                                            when i took my nephew out, i vaguely expected the bill to come in at about $50/pp all in.
                                                                                                            it actually came in closer to $90/pp all in.
                                                                                                            at that level, i can find a lot of good food without needing to do a lot of work/driving/trial-and-error ordering etc.

                                                                                                            probably, if they were located closer to me so that i could undertake the sorting process one dish/lunch at time, i'd be more open to it.

                                                                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                              well, everyone's experience is different. i've been to jitlada, and i'm fairly certain the bill has never been anywhere near 90 bucks a person.
                                                                                                              and i/we like beer.

                                                                                                              as for "how to arrange it," me, i just look at a menu and order.

                                                                                                              i find both jitlada and conis well worth the money.

                                                                                                          4. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                            blindsided, butt-hurt, molested; semantics.

                                                                                                            Jitlada's menu can be sliced & diced 9999 ways and I guarantee, with slight diligence, pescetarian can be done here for $30/pp++ and it'll be 3x more interesting than any meal at Coni, or hell, even C&T (which, seriously, aside from cocktails, lobster roll, chowdah and some fried clams,, isn't much better than a good seafood joint in SGV)

                                                                                                            hor mok, nam-ya fish dip, kaeng tai shrimp curry, lotus root fish fillet soup, < $80 for 3 . Nakhon Si Thammarat abuts Gulf of Thailand. Them people know how to affordably fux w/ seafood just as well as the next guy from Nayarit.

                                                                                                            Jazz is a restaurateur with a kaffir lime tree in her backyard. Read that as you may. My offer to rectify any hurt feels at Jitlada stands for anyone not vegan.

                                                                                                            1. re: TonyC

                                                                                                              your passion for the place will make me give it another shot.
                                                                                                              (sometime after the first of the year)
                                                                                                              i'll use the list in the post above as a starting point.

                                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                JUST LET ME TAKE YOU, WSG! OMGAR! (no kevin, you can not come).

                                                                                                                fwiw, this 17-entree '09 Jitlada dinner for ~20+, before the Saveur piece: http://www.bsideblog.com/2009/04/eati... was < $30/pp with buckets of suds.

                                                                                                                granted, this was before ryan gosling started posing for photo-ops, but, still..

                                                                                                                1. re: TonyC

                                                                                                                  TonyC-

                                                                                                                  while i agree with your general sentiment, I think it's an incorrect mentality to force the diner to wade through 20+ pages of menu items in order to find the 10-20 gems that are ridiculous delicious and reasonably priced. it most certainly makes it inappropriate to bring non-foodie work colleagues for a lunch, although that was my mistake for taking them there without scouting out the place first. Bringing non-foodie work friends results in bitterness from ordering things like $14 pad thai (there was nothing in there worth $14 btw) and $5 thai iced teas.

                                                                                                                  I actually compared 2009 era prices to 2013 era prices and noticed ~50% increases in some areas. I get cost of everything has gone up, but relative to other restaurants Jitlada seems to have taken price increases to a new level.

                                                                                                                  that said, whenever you're down I'm willing to check out Jitlada and let you order w/e. No need to cover. I wouldn't be a 'hound if I didn't have an open mind.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                    i get your point, ns1, but in this age of the world wide interwebs, is there any excuse for not taking a few minutes before you hop in the car, straddle the bike, pop on the skateboard, velcro your shoes and hit up yelp or chowhound or wherever and see what they specialize in?

                                                                                                                    sure, i knew enough to flip to the back of the menu where the southern thai stuff was because i had read about it, but it's pretty plain that's where the choice stuff is, isn't it?
                                                                                                                    i haven't been in a while, so i'm not sure how familiar i am with the current menu.

                                                                                                                    also, anyone expecting crab and lobster and whole fish to be cheap is being rather disingenuous, though, of course, that doesn't excuse the price of your boba tea.
                                                                                                                    an argument could be made anyone ordering boba tea deserves what they get, but i am an avowed anti bobite.
                                                                                                                    the prices of stuff are right there on the menu.

                                                                                                                    but, again, i see your point if there has been an abnormal increase in prices.
                                                                                                                    and i see the point dragging someone from work who's not chow inclined, who's expecting the stuff and prices from their thai local, could be a hassle.

                                                                                                                    to me, the food is "special" enough to warrant a higher price.

                                                                                                                    1. re: linus

                                                                                                                      I'd posit that the pricing on the boba tea at Jitlada is so out of whack with what one normally sees around town strictly to encourage diners to order something else that fits the flavor profile of their food better...The same thing can be said for their pad Thai, etc. YMMV

                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                        i'm not saying you're right or wrong, serv, but isn't that kinda mean spirited?
                                                                                                                        i mean, if you don't dig people ordering pad thai or boba tea, wouldn't the mister rogers way of doing things be to not put it on the menu in the first place?

                                                                                                                        1. re: linus

                                                                                                                          You are damned if you do and damned if you don't...but by at least offering the drink/dish it's there in a caveat emptor type of situation.

                                                                                                                          1. re: linus

                                                                                                                            Mean spirited perhaps, but restaurants always seem to have a few dishes on the menu that are priced to help subsidize some of the other dishes. I think that $7 boba (who get's boba with a meal? who gets boba for that matter?) helps defray some of the cost of the more labor intensive Southern Thai dishes.

                                                                                                                            Just a guess, though.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                            the same sticker shock occurred to me and nobody in my party ordered boba tea nor pad thai.
                                                                                                                            we all ordered water to drink.

                                                                                                                            i guess my takeaway from the experience is that this is not the place to go if you are interested in a celebratory meal (i.e. not going to get involved in "careful ordering" and scoping out all the dishes and their prices beforehand, and are unfamiliar with the menu.)

                                                                                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                              i disagree, wsg, respectfully. the food there is unique enough to make it celebratory.
                                                                                                                              and the menu isn't hard to parse.

                                                                                                                          3. re: linus

                                                                                                                            i get your point, ns1, but in this age of the world wide interwebs, is there any excuse for not taking a few minutes before you hop in the car, straddle the bike, pop on the skateboard, velcro your shoes and hit up yelp or chowhound or wherever and see what they specialize in?
                                                                                                                            ------------

                                                                                                                            That's the foodie in you, and that's exactly what I did. The problem is I took a work group there and there were non-foodies, hence the ridiculous pad thai order. and i wouldn't mind if there was something in that $14 pad thai to make it worth it, but they didn't even fake it to make it - at least describe it as hand pulled noodles with sustainable shrimp and organic bean sprouts or SOMETHING. Nope, just generic $5.50 pad thai marked up 150%.

                                                                                                                            if you don't want people to order it, you shouldn't put it on the menu.

                                                                                                                            Clearly Jitlada is very polarizing - I took a look at the last 20-30 yelp reviews, sorted by date, and it's basically a rehash of the discussion we are having in this very thread. Split about the same way too.

                                                                                                                          4. re: ns1

                                                                                                                            << I think it's an incorrect mentality to force the diner to wade through 20+ pages of menu items >>

                                                                                                                            Agreed, and then some. I voiced this concern with TeamJitlada back in '10, but the man is so talented, who are we to edit his voluminous menu? Which brings me to a point I've previously made: the current online culture regarding Jitlada , aided by some douche-blogger, is to wantonly order through 200+ dishes, some of which are the EXACT SAME recipe, save for the protein (kua kling salmon/pork/beef/shrimp/tofu fucking ad nausea).

                                                                                                                            homey don't play that, and homey does NOT play no Jitlada burger.

                                                                                                                            Mike D, I want to put the Jitlada satin in your panties, but your profile has no email. let's aim for 2nd week of Jan. I also choose not to consume Singha, so maybe there'll be a bottle, or 2, of Black Tuesday.

                                                                                                                            1. re: TonyC

                                                                                                                              TC- shot you an email to the address in your profile.

                                                                                                                          5. re: TonyC

                                                                                                                            TonyC: anytime after the first of the year.
                                                                                                                            passion like yours is persuasive.
                                                                                                                            no need to treat.

                                                                                                                            genesis.036 at gmail

                                                                                                                    2. re: TonyC

                                                                                                                      I also purchased sodas TonyC and felt it was way too expensive.

                                                                                                                      I'm on board for that free meal with Ns1 and Westside.

                                                                                                                      Thanks Tony. Much appreciated.

                                                                                                                  2. re: ns1

                                                                                                                    I'm preety sure you are correct on the Coke prices and I'm positive there are no free refills.

                                                                                                                  3. re: TonyC

                                                                                                                    "If you're stupid enough to ask it, your wallet is going to get punished" huh???

                                                                                                                    More like, if you're stupid enough to pay a premium for third class meals your wallet is gonna punish you.

                                                                                                                    This place is a perfect sad example of supply and demand.

                                                                                                            2. re: TonyC

                                                                                                              What am I going to suggest?

                                                                                                              Ruen Pair is my favorite, the food is closest to the food I actually ate when I was in Thailand.
                                                                                                              Sapp Coffeeshop is another that had great food.
                                                                                                              Both of those are half the price of Jitlada and the food is better.
                                                                                                              Not sure why people go to Jitlada, other than it seems "safe" and more palatable to dare I say it? White people?

                                                                                                              1. re: veronykah

                                                                                                                Well, I think one thing that Jitlada does is that it has monopolized the market on Southern thai like someone mentioned earlier, including oddities such as sator beans, and seafood such as soft shell crabs and mussels and frog legs and whole sea basses that the other two joints don't serve, i.e. Ruen Pair and Sapp's, which would make the comparison between them quite difficult.

                                                                                                            3. re: veronykah

                                                                                                              I cannot fathom this. I really can't. The food at Jitlada is otherwise unattainable anywhere in LA, possibly the US.

                                                                                                              I don't even know what Tony C is talking about. You do not need a guide to get good dishes here. I've blundered my way through some random samplings from the Southern Thai menu and, aside from my meal lacking the proper balance, the individual dishes were spectacular. A guide or some research can get you the balance to make the whole meal an even better experience.

                                                                                                              Jitlada is so worth the money. I do think service can be fairly spotty and the ambience is actually shitty. But it's about the food, yes? I can legitimately critique Jitlada because there are definitely places where the restaurant can improve. But it's really an academic exercise. The food is that good/interesting/memorable.

                                                                                                              Everyone has a right to their own tastes, but I don't think anyone can make a coherent case for Jitlada being less than extraordinary.

                                                                                                              1. re: Frommtron

                                                                                                                Everyone has a right to their own tastes, but I don't think anyone can make a coherent case for Jitlada being less than extraordinary.
                                                                                                                ________________________________
                                                                                                                I'm pretty sure we all did right above you.

                                                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                  Snideness aside, I'm pretty sure you failed miserably at making your case.

                                                                                                                  Your criticism of the place is that it's a little expensive and some of the dishes are stinkers. You're simply perseverating on price point and pad thai.

                                                                                                                  I think I'll judge Alma on the parking situation and the size of their ice cubes. I'm mean, why not?

                                                                                                                  In all earnestness, I really do hope you go back with and give it a shot when you're in a positive mindset. Don't look at the bill, order primarily from the Thai menu, and just enjoy. If you still hate it, I'd be surprised, but interested in hearing what about the food they do best you didn't think was up to snuff.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Frommtron

                                                                                                                    I'm waiting for TonyC to blow my mind. I might be the most vocal in this thread, but I'm most certainly not the only one to voice these sentiments.

                                                                                                                    Previously: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/904414
                                                                                                                    ______________________________
                                                                                                                    Ok so we had the following this time:

                                                                                                                    - Coco mango salad
                                                                                                                    - Fresh papaya salad
                                                                                                                    - crying tiger beef
                                                                                                                    - steamed mussels
                                                                                                                    - pineapple fried rice
                                                                                                                    - pad thai
                                                                                                                    - chicken satay

                                                                                                                    I will say everything was tasty enough, if you don't factor in the price. Once you factor in the price, it's a harder pill to swallow. Nothing was legendary/mind blowing, not even the papaya salad/coco mango salad. Maybe it didn't have that "new" feeling that it had the first time.

                                                                                                                    $6 for a small singha and $3 soft drink no refills is absurd.

                                                                                                                    1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                      I'd have to double check, but I think perhaps one of those dishes is off the Southern Thai menu, no?

                                                                                                                      Let me throw pineapple fried rice and chicken satay into the "and why are you at Jitlada if you're just going to order stuff that Thai Dishes serves" group.

                                                                                                                      I'm just saying, many are criticizing Jitlada for some awfully strange dishes and the fact that they're pricey compared to other Thai bargains.

                                                                                                                      Try Jitlada for it's strengths. I do Hope TonyC can blow your mind. I am very optimistic that he will.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Frommtron

                                                                                                                        "Let me throw pineapple fried rice and chicken satay into the "and why are you at Jitlada if you're just going to order stuff that Thai Dishes serves" group."

                                                                                                                        No arguments here. My bad for bringing my work peoples there, Jitlada's bad for leaving those things on the menu.

                                                                                                                        1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                          Catfish salad is so unique and great

                                                                                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                            Fair enough.

                                                                                                              2. Peppone. I feel as if they have 3 saucepans and whatever you choose to order will have one of the 3 pre-made sauces.
                                                                                                                Can't stand the place. Many years ago when Gianni Paoletti was an enthusiastic young chef, at the time he split with Piero of Valentino, Peppone was a terrific restaurant. Really the only decent Italian restaurant in the Brentwood area. Now it just seems extremely expensive and the food is mediocre. Also, lousy cocktails, but they do have a great wine list.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                  Peppone is one of those places I wish would come up for sale. Get rid of the art and those "Tiffany" lamps (that's Italian?)

                                                                                                                  And get a real chef in there. Place should be like Madeo's.

                                                                                                                  Is may be the worst Italian food in Brentwood. In a very cool location.

                                                                                                                  Best memory there? Had dinner with a friend - and we came out and there was this sorrowful looking couple who were down on their luck with a sob story. She - a struggling actress at the time - gave them $20. Later she saw I didn't really respond to their story - and she asked me if I believed them. "No, they're con artists." "Well, if they are, they're very good." A week or two later they (the con artists) were featured in the L.A. Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1989-01-3...

                                                                                                                  1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                                                                    Foodie you are awesome.

                                                                                                                    My hat goes off to you.

                                                                                                                2. Pink's. I just don't get how slopping all manner of crap on a hotdog makes it good.

                                                                                                                  Home. Both the Silver Lake and Los Feliz locations serve brunch for people who don't like food.

                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: JeMange

                                                                                                                    It's a shitty dog too

                                                                                                                    1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                      I agree. I love natural casing hot dogs/franks but they should be able to stand on their own - or with minimal toppings. A squirt of brown mustard... A smattering of 'kraut...

                                                                                                                      I'll take a Cupid's dog any day over the slop they serve at Pink's.

                                                                                                                      I'll add The Hat to my list for the same reason. How is mounding cafeteria-grade pastrami onto anything and everything supposed to make it taste better?

                                                                                                                      1. re: JeMange

                                                                                                                        " mounding cafeteria-grade pastrami onto anything and everything" Yum….

                                                                                                                    2. re: JeMange

                                                                                                                      Pinks was very good at one time, as I recall. Something changed in the early 90's. Maybe it was me growing up, but I haven't liked it since then. I think for most people Pinks is more about nostalgia than anything else.

                                                                                                                      Don't even get me started on Home! I have no idea why folks like this place.

                                                                                                                      1. re: JeMange

                                                                                                                        Agreed on the 'Home' front: How can they still exist? And in two locations?

                                                                                                                        How can you fuck up an egg? An. Egg?

                                                                                                                        I used to go to the Los Feliz one because there was nothing else in that area. Now with all the choices, I cannot understand their presence.

                                                                                                                        And the worst service imaginable.

                                                                                                                      2. Difficult to believe that Tito's hasn't come up yet on this thread...

                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                          It certainly hovers around number one in my book......

                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                            Thanks for that reminder Servorg!
                                                                                                                            Twin Dragon definitely does qualify, as does Pink's.

                                                                                                                            1. re: carter

                                                                                                                              And no mention of the Apple Pan...the institutional memory of the LA board appears to be in need of repair.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                Yes! The burgers are not worth the snarly, angry service. If I get treated that badly, I want the food to be ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE....which it certainly is not.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Michelly

                                                                                                                                  and the stupid two headed line system...

                                                                                                                                2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                  I like the Pan, but despise the prices to hell and a hand basket.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                    After all these years I am still a fan of The Apple Pan. An LA Classic. You may now feel free to attack me.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: wienermobile

                                                                                                                                      great pie

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                        I dunno, I gotta take pie n burger over apple pan for burgers fried and pie...

                                                                                                                              2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                Ditto...

                                                                                                                              3. urasawa

                                                                                                                                just on principle for being extreme dickbags.

                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                  Why do you say they're dick bags?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: budlit

                                                                                                                                    a little side of oppression with your toro?

                                                                                                                                    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                      Yes, Dick bags indeed!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                        The blood sweat and tears are what makes it so delicious

                                                                                                                                    2. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                      completely concur with you, jessejames.
                                                                                                                                      will not be setting foot in the place.

                                                                                                                                    3. Oki Dog.

                                                                                                                                      Finally had one and thought it was the most disgusting thing I'd ever tasted. Walked out after three bites. And the atmosphere! One notch above the inside of a septic tank.

                                                                                                                                      Oh, and +1 on Gladstone's.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: jesstifer

                                                                                                                                        As Spinal Taps says, 'you know where you stand in a hellhole' .... sometimes it would turn my stomach but i kinda like it at a certain hour and in a certain state of mind!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: jesstifer

                                                                                                                                          That septic tank atmosphere is quite endearing.

                                                                                                                                        2. Umami by a mile

                                                                                                                                          Vile, unbearably greasy (and I love rich foods), poor value and poor service

                                                                                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ernie

                                                                                                                                            Ernie, re: your assessment of Unami. My thoughts exactly.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                              My enjoyment of Umami decreased exponentially after I visited a couple times when it was a sole burger joint on LaBrea.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Ernie

                                                                                                                                              Agreed! The place is a rip off and the food is overly greasy and VERY poor service.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ernie

                                                                                                                                                Add Plan Check to that list. Terrible food and unoriginal owner/chef.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: jspepper

                                                                                                                                                  Kindly disagree about Plan Check. Some of the best fried chicken in the city

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: wienermobile

                                                                                                                                                    Try Edibles in Century City for fried chicken. Only served once a month.

                                                                                                                                                    And that's one dish. And doesn't overcome the attitude of the place.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jspepper

                                                                                                                                                      I guess we've eaten at Plan Check 5 or 6 times and I've never encountered any sort of problematic attitude by anybody. The servers have all been quite friendly and helpful. What attitude did you run into that has made you so negative on the place?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                        It was a terrible overall experience from the GM to the executive chef owner to the hostess to the waitstaff ... and then the food coming out cold (when the restaurant was empty).

                                                                                                                                                        The executive chef and GM were busy watching the Lakers, though, so that was okay.

                                                                                                                                                        And overall, for the price, the food was fair, cold, and small portions.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jspepper

                                                                                                                                                          I'll just say since they cook the food to order so I'm not sure how it would come out cold? I do find their burgers slightly smaller than a lot of the behemoth ones you find out there these days. But the burgers are quite tasty and rich so they end up being filling. Their fried chicken sandwich and their pastrami "nosh" with the egg on top are both excellent as well.

                                                                                                                                                          If this was your only visit and things went that horribly wrong maybe another try is in order? I just can't believe you would be unlucky enough to catch so many bad breaks at Plan Check a second time.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                            Exactly - we watched our food sit up there, no one watching the kitchen or waitstaff until 10-15 minutes later, someone brought us our food.

                                                                                                                                                            The burgers were okay. Nothing to write home about. And that's my point - if you're going to mock Umami, you can't give the former executive chef who left to do his own (albeit unoriginal) thing with burgers a break with him being so great and original. It's the same stuff but with just 2 locations.

                                                                                                                                                            And my friend who went with me went back. Was still unimpressed. I won't go back - I don't want to give them my money.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: wienermobile

                                                                                                                                                      my favorite burgers esp the blue print burger ... unlike so many others they are consistent in cooking to medium rare -- take note golden state!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                        My golden state burger was cooked perfectly medium rare.....

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                                          Glad to hear it

                                                                                                                                                    3. re: jspepper

                                                                                                                                                      Will join in the disagreement about Plan Check. Been there many times and always a very fine experience, food and service-wise. Given the overwhelming acclaim for Plan Check on this board, which doesn't shy away from dissing a place, I'm going to believe you had an aberrational experience (and, if it's a convenient location for you and you would like it to be good, hope you'll give it another try). Also, not sure what the "unoriginal" comment even means, other than something of a personal attack on the proprietor of the place where you no doubt had a bad experience.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Wayno

                                                                                                                                                        I do hve to say that usually when I leave Plan Check I leave with that very heavy feeling even though the burgers are small.

                                                                                                                                                        And I don't have much of an appetite for the rest of the day if I partook during lunch service.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Villa Blanca (eye candy notwithstanding).

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Wayno

                                                                                                                                                      Oh, yeah, we had a previous discussion about that joint. I just recalled.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Bar Ama. I was enthusiastic about sampling upgraded Tex-Mex in our fair land but nothing satisfied. Puffy tacos, queso, et al. were disappointments.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Lemonade. I always feel a little sick after eating their food

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                          funny - my bro says that about some places like tsujita that he goes to over and over again -- he says there are some places worth the diar...

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                            food is really mediocre at Lemonade....unfortunately I have had worse

                                                                                                                                                          2. Pie n Burger and Burger Continental in Pasadena are on my list...

                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: foufou

                                                                                                                                                              Thank you. Complete agreement here.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foufou

                                                                                                                                                                Interesting. I love Pie'n'Burger and loathe Burger Continental, though the worst of our problems with BC have probably been settled after their recent prolonged closure, when they had to make major repairs and extensive cleanup. But then there was the night we were alone in the (stinky) back patio except for one waitress and several of her friends, with who she was conversing instead of acknowledging our presence … for a good thirty minutes. Finally I approached and politely inquired as to the possibility of buying some food, whereupon she damn near took my face off. Haven't been back since.

                                                                                                                                                                Pie'n'Burger, on the other hand, has disappointed me only once, with a very underachieving patty melt. It bore no resemblance to the monster J. Gold had raved about a few days before; I've been told I need to try again. I also adore their tuna sandwiches and the potato salad. Almost as good as Philippe's, or mine,

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                                                  I have never had a good meal at either place but yes Burger Continental is by far the lesser of the two.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: foufou

                                                                                                                                                                  I absolutely agree with Pie N Burger nomination... old decor, overly greasy burgers and meh pie.

                                                                                                                                                                3. The Yukon Mining Company Restaurant in West Hollywood. Thank god it is now gone for good. Truly horrific.

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: love2eat

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh god, yes. Used to get dragged there by a housemate all the time. OT, I do already miss the Los Burritos in the same lot that just closed a few weeks ago. 'Twas my go-to local chile verde.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Is it possible to have Two Least Favorites?
                                                                                                                                                                    If so, I will add Mr. Chow as well.
                                                                                                                                                                    Frightening Food, Frighteningly Expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Urth Cafe on Melrose. Long wait to order, long wait to be served, long time before tables are cleared, deafening noise level. Good coffee and good desserts. Entrees are meh. Also, lousy parking.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Another (generic) choice for my Least Favorite list: any gourmet/artisan/third-wave/etc. coffee house that doesn't open until 9am. C'mon, guys, we don't *all* get to live on Eurotrash Standard Time...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. How could I forget? VILLA BLANCA!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Thor123

                                                                                                                                                                            dude, took a lot of balls to even try it out!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                                              It was when it first opened and the staff was a big draw. However, no one is attractive enough to compensate for the horrific service, vapid staff, crummy food and clueless trash that frequent the place IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Thor123

                                                                                                                                                                                this is better, and the food is decent...

                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.buckwilds.net/menu/

                                                                                                                                                                                not for everyone

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                                                  Menu looks interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                  With so many places people are critical of, thank god we can all agree and take refuge at The Stinking Rose!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Thor123

                                                                                                                                                                                    Undoubtedly sounds like a great chow meet joint.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                                                    So the food is better than dames n games? (Also owned by Spearmint Rhino, with essentially the same menu.)

                                                                                                                                                                                    I've tried the $3 burger (for research purposes only, also took a lot of balls): http://www.damesngames.net/menu/ and it was about the same quality as a $6 burger @ Carl's Jr.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TonyC

                                                                                                                                                                                      id say better than you'd expect...didn't thor said he liked his skin with juicy breasts? maybe more research is necessary...after all this is the worst restaurants in la thread

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                                                        Caution is the watchword - too much dry rub on those perky breasts and you can develop a thor spot...

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                          the menu features a yanked bbq pork sandwich and happy endings...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                            I came to this thread late and, Servorg, that's just awful punishing.

                                                                                                                                                                                            That is all.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                                                        There's something about the combination of (live) flesh and food I find deeply unappetizing but the addition of a mechanical bull may cause me to reassess this particular prejudice.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JeMange

                                                                                                                                                                                          SADDLE RANCH!

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Thor123

                                                                                                                                                                                        "vapid intelligence"?
                                                                                                                                                                                        is that like "diet poutine" or "non alcoholic vodka"?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                                          Something like that. I hope my edit is more to your liking.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Polentino in Culver City! The absolute worst.

                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Baron

                                                                                                                                                                                      not only is polentino awful now, it was also awful in it's previous incarnations.
                                                                                                                                                                                      judging from the food, the same person has been running the show through all the generations of this awfulness.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe its just a front for money laundering...its so bad.. as in Breaking Bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I think someone already mentioned Gladstones...but it bears repeating......stay away!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Baron

                                                                                                                                                                                          Totally agree with Gladstones. The food is way bland and then has the nerve to be expensive to boot.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Baron

                                                                                                                                                                                            Like Sfixio and the Indian joint on Doheney just south of Wilshire. Money laundering is the only explanation. Never anyone there and (at least at Sfixio) the food is beyond bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Recess in Glendale.

                                                                                                                                                                                        It's close to my office so my coworkers flock there for birthdays/team lunches. I've been there a few times and have never liked it but the most recent occasion was a disaster:
                                                                                                                                                                                        I tried ordering a burger medium rare and it came out well-done. The server noticed I was disappointed so he brought me a new one, but the second one was raw. I've eaten my body's weight many times over in beef tartar and carpaccio so I don't have a problem with raw meat but this patty was cold on the inside and still pink on the rim. I felt bad because the chef and waiter were so nice and came out and apologized and generously gave us tons of free dessert, but man, they really need to learn how to make a proper burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Stinking Rose.....but I guess it is good for my diet.

                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll say one thing about the SR...there are almost 1700 "reviews" about it on Yelp, and yet the restaurant still is averaging 4 stars. While I don't read individual Yelp reviews for any reason other than entertainment (some of those 1 star reviews are absolute gems in terms of making me laugh) the fact that there is truth in sheer data numbers can't be ignored. I am willing to bet that for those that love them some garlic, the SR is usually a hit.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                              the menu looked good to me! steaks (and not $60 type), prime rib, crab, shrimp, clams... if it weren't right across the street from my favorite restaurant (lawrys) i probably would have tried it by now!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                                                                JJ. Hit both of those suckers up on the same night and report back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And then you can report back why you should have just visited Shunjis instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                    first of all i can't walk to shunjis...but i love lawrys....no back to back...i also got a special soft spot for matsuhisa across the street...heck, fogo de chao is solid!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Best steak in town as you well know.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Yamashiro. Horrifying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I'd like to think I haven't been to my least favorite place. Not sure what this thread is trying to do - but I see complaining about a restaurant is much more popular than praising it. I try to find good restaurants. Perhaps if this was worded something along the lines of "place you try to avoid but cannot and end up eating there despite the now unbroken promise to yourself that you would never, ever return." And to add another qualifier to that "because the food sucks".

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And, least favorite - is that still on your favorites list? Just the least one?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gladstones - went there with a group. One friend was dying and he wanted to go. So, to accommodate a man's last dyinig wish - we went to Gladstone's. He got good and blitzed and everything was great (including weather) but the food still sucked. RIP. (natural causes, not the food)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Musso & Franks. I always have fun here, but the food is just ridiculous. I assume this was great food 70 years ago. We've come a long way baby. Fun memories here too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pacific Dining Car. Really? You can't do a better than decent prime rib at this price? This place is like visiting a prostitute - you do it because it's late, you're drunk and feeling desperate, but afterwards you feel cheap, degraded, but you're no longer hungry. And you swear you'l never do it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Polo Lounge. Some people think it has good food. I say, at best, "not bad". Great, kookie memories here - especially the time Phil Spector threatened to kill me. And I ended up leaving with the girl he came in with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dan Tana's. Okay, it has a great steak. Best in the city perhaps. The "lamb chops" are also great. Everything else? Like Musso's. Mediocre. Great steak, but at a price so high if feels exploitative Best memory here? Too many to mention. My fav is a blind date with a girl who recounted the exciting adventure of dream date by friend of hers went on. Turns out - I not only knew the girl in question - I was on that dream date with her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry, for orignally posting this question.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But your post in response just made my day especially in regards to your thoughts on the Polo Lounge and Dan Tana's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    And you made a terrible original post exceedingly better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Musso's and Tana's are both lots of fun. But these days Tana's is even funner and hte food is better in my opinion. I do like their Americanzied interpretation of Italian food and after more than a few drinks it all tastes good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great post!
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think you are safe from Phil now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree tons of misses at dan tanas and musso and franks. But some gems and fun atmosphere for me. So don't fuck up and misorder!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Best post I have ever read on this board. I also happen to agree with you. Terrific writing. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree with you on Mr foodie's post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Please let us know when you write your memoirs. That sounds like a book I'd like to read.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: medrite

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Me too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Juicy tidbits, et al.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Chin Chin.....horrifying food. And Real Food Daily. Like eating cardboard. (And I love M by chaya, great healthy food)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Cafe Figaro. Horrible, fake French food. Terrible, snooty, fake French waiters. Filled with Los Feliz d-bag types/celebrities, all not aware that, while the ambiance is Paris-esque, the food and service is poop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ivankrueger

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bingo! Figaro may be it for me; pricey, uninspired food, served barely competently, but with tons of 'tude. ...and the atmosphere isn't particularly Parisian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ivankrueger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Don't you mean that the food and service are le poop?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. If only for the fact that they don't do any substitutions of any kind then Father's Office. And for what I did have I wasn't that impressed anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                And I agree with others about Umami... fad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TriggyLA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'd like to throw in an honorable mention to Terroni in the "Chef is God, and you shall not blaspheme his food" category for "NO, we will NOT bring you a knife to cut the pizza! You may not cut your pizza with a knife! What are you, some sort of uncultured Philistine s**t-heap!?!?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OMG, did that really happen??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Wayno

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All but the last sentence, which was implied in the tone and facial expression.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't ever tell them what the knife is for (and if you really want to slip under the radar then only ask the busboy - the no attitude dude at every restaurant). (g)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "the no attitude dude at every restaurant" ---- that is very true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wait, how are you supposed to eat the pizza then? Like a dog?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MoreMolecules

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think you're supposed to use your butter knives...... Don't know, won't go...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MoreMolecules

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You pick up the slice with your bare hand. No forks/knives allowed except for princesses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But I thought the pizza wasn't sliced. Oh bother I don't even care anymore!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mucho, the whole pie arrives unsliced. They expect you to slice it at the table.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm assuming they don't provide a cutting wheel, either, correct? I've never heard of that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: MoreMolecules

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Read this article:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Micah Wexler's Mezze for closing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: wienermobile

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm with you on that one! Loved that place. I had hoped they would re-open, but so far no. Though not as good and Italian, Mercato di Vetro is a bit similar to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Katsuya, Gottsui, and Natalee Thai are three of the worst. Katsuya is breathtakingly overhyped, expensive, and packed with tourists. Gottsui has overwhelmed servers and gummy, one-note, generic, bad-Chinese-food-brown-sauce-covered okonomiyaki. And Natalee Thai personally offended me with their food, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised with thai food in Beverly Hills.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: smntstatus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There are actually a couple of things at Natalee Thai I really like, although they may be Thai hybrid. The Thai Chicken and the pork are both very tasty IMO. Dont totally diss thai in BH if you have not been to Night & Market. Its really West Hollywood, but just by a block.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smntstatus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I completely agree with your assessment of Katsuya. Their prices are much too high, service and food do not justify those prices. I'm talking about Brentwood location.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also keep in mind that the Katsuyas on the south side of Mulholland Drive are operated by SBE Entertainment, while the Valley places are under control of Katsuya himself.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Big difference, as in local control. Valley ones still very busy, and good sushi is never going to be cheap, or it is not good sushi.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. The Original Pantry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I was a long time frequent customer when they used to serve decent meals in large portions at reasonable prices. In the late 1990s they went into a long, steady decline in quality while at the same time their menu prices were steadily rising. For a while I kept returning occasionally in the hope that they would somehow return to their former stature. The last meal I had there was a chicken fried steak which was absolutely horrible except for the cole slaw. That was about 4-5 years ago and I’ll never go back there again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam D.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the riordan curse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sam D.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There are those who've opined that when the Health Department shuttered them for a day, when Riordan first bought the place, and made them steam-clean behind the stoves and stuff, the removal of the patina of the preceding 40+ years of baked-on smoke and grease caused a deterioration in the food...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i think their breakfast potatos are some of the best of the non-shredded variety, and their toast has also always been on point for me...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I remember the breakfast potatoes tasting of margarine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i thought bacon grease

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That I would have loved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                margarine always a turnoff for me too -- can you hear me IHOP?