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Chowhound or Cuisinepoodle?

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Like many here, I've been around this board since the Usenet days. Is it just me or has it gotten more and more elitist over the years? I always thought that part of the "chow" aesthetic was finding great food _at a great value_. Hence the déclassé name. But the frequency with which posts like "NY Hound coming to LA for one day, where should I go?" now receive answers like "Urasawa" (as opposed to, say, "Tommy's") freaks me out. Is it just that hounds have done well for themselves over the years and/or have big expense accounts? Is money (like drive time) no object? This is not meant to troll; it's a genuine philosophical question.

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  1. When a diner asks for suggestions w/o a budget, it is best to just respond with the highest price option you can think of until the original poster realizes the error in his/her ways.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ns1

      ns1, it honestly didn't occur to me that a lot of those replies might be facetious. I obviously need to have my sarcasm filter cleaned or replaced!

      1. re: jesstifer

        yup

        "Where do I go eat in NYC?"
        - "I hear Per Se is good"

        "Where do I go to eat in LA?"
        - "I hear Urasawa is good"

        "Where do I eat in SF?"
        - "I hear French Laundry is good"

        you get the jist ;)

        1. re: ns1

          I'm gonna disagree that the "majority" of posts suggesting places like Urasawa are facetious. There's little doubt that this board features its fair share or moneyed folks who have no problem dropping serious bank on meals.

          Sadly, I'm not one of them. For PLU, there's the SGV and all it has to offer, taco trucks, some solid delis, etc.

          1. re: JeMange

            I won't speak for others, only myself ^_^

            1. re: ns1

              I guess I read too much into the previous posts - I'm the only one here who used the word "majority." My bad.

            2. re: JeMange

              I actually don't think a lot of those responses are being sarcastic, either. However, some of the blame also needs to fall on the OP (not the OP of this thread but the OP of threads described below).

              I'm fairly new around here (was lurking for awhile b/f posting), but I do have to say that posts where the OP writes, "Here for a day. Where do I eat?" w/ NO other information (such as "willing [or not] to drive" or "here's my budget" or "here's the kind of food I'd like to eat") are quite frankly annoying b/c then we're left to guess what the OP wants.

              When I posted on the London (or is it Europe?) board, I was very specific w/ details. And I got very useful responses. I think the same hold true for the LA board. When someone gives a budget, a lot of posters will chime in if they think recs are over budget.

              And sometimes, even when posters try to clarify, the OP gives a vague response. When people don't clarify what they want, you kind of assume they're really not interested in food....

              When I give recs that are kind of expensive (IMO), I state this. And when I give a rec that's a bit of a drive, I also state this (esp when the OP makes it clear that they're not from here).

              As for the lack of finding new, fresh places, I can only speak for myself.... I work long hrs, and I'm exhausted when I get back home. I like to read what other people recommend b/c I don't have a lot of time to drive to random places only to have mediocre food. If I had more time, I'd have no problem exploring....

              But I think your question/observation also just reflects how LA in general is changing....

              As for Yelp, I find it useful in aggregate, but the overly self-referential, trying-too-hard-to-be-hip-and-witty style that the site seems to cultivate just makes me cringe while reading. ::shrug::

      2. I always interpret these answers as being a little facetious because the OP usually doesn't list a price point or any restrictions, so people just say places they would go if money didn't matter.

        I haven't been here as long as you, but I always thought this place was for a discussion of good food no matter the price.
        That being said, the posts and places I'm most interested in are the hole in the wall little known cheap places.

        I still wouldn't send anyone to Tommy's unless I didn't like them very much, though.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Butter Fight

          If you don't like Tommy's I am really worried about you.

          1. re: bringiton

            Worry then, as I find it pretty darned gross as well.

            1. re: JeMange

              Add another.

              1. re: JAB

                +3 (I used to love Tommy's when I was younger too)

                1. re: ns1

                  I hope Linus doesn't get jealous.

                  1. re: JAB

                    of what? huh?

                    1. re: linus

                      Hopefully, ns1 got it.

            2. re: bringiton

              Another dissenter of Tommy's here. But I never say never.

              1. re: bringiton

                You've got a world of worry, because Tommy's is at the bottom of the LA food chain.

              2. re: Butter Fight

                + 1, tommy's is, imho, disgusting.

              3. The first place I want to send out of towners is Langer's or Ricky's Fish Tacos. Whenever I travel I look for the best food at the best price.

                1 Reply
                1. re: wienermobile

                  When I was going to London I posted on Chowhound "Looking for Good Eats and Cheap Eats with teenagers" and I got 100 replies and had some great meals.

                2. I have been noticing this for a while check my post. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8510...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jefpen2

                    Right. Very interesting the direction the comments on that topic took. It became about whether or not to let Chowhound guide you to restaurants or not. To which I say, "Wait...what?"

                  2. You and Mr. T. need to talk:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/931576

                    Personally, I find the lack of exploration and trail blazing more concerning than the big budget responses. Those big time recs were around even back in the day. Many times, threads discussing/reporting on the low budget hole in the wall finds get ignored for the bigger flashier names. The community as a whole has changed.

                    As much crap as Yelp gets, it's great for locating new and interesting hole in the wall places. Just google "best X in Y city". You'll get a huge list of places not discussed here and sorting through the photos, you can usually figure out what's going to be good and worth trying and what's not.

                    16 Replies
                    1. re: Porthos

                      Thanks, not sure how I missed that thread. Especially relevant is this from Jim Leff's post regarding his Manifesto:

                      'We never aimed for this to be a "cheap eats" site, and I've been pleased that it didn't turn into one. When Ducasse (most expensive restaurant in NYC at the time) opened, we had several reports the very next morning...from the same people who'd been scouting tacos and knishes. Deliciousness is deliciousness, and we aim to chart the full spectrum.'

                      In that spirit, the umpteenth discussion of Urasawa is absolutely within the site's scope. I just get the feeling--and maybe I'm wrong--that the overall weight of posts and comments on the site has shifted over time toward the $$$$ end. Not that one can't find posts about Carney's or Ricky's or the new hole in the wall that just opened around the corner, but they seem to be fewer and farther between.

                      1. re: jesstifer

                        Not that one can't find posts about Carney's or Ricky's or the new hole in the wall that just opened around the corner, but they seem to be fewer and farther between.
                        =====================
                        And that is where you, the individual Hound, come in! :-)

                        1. re: jesstifer

                          Yes, but how much of this is a reflection of LA in general? There's lots of cheap eats in the SGV, but they come and go so quickly that only David can keep track of them. Are cheap places opening up in Santa Monica? If they are, I'm not hearing about it (or even seeing it for myself, aside from TPC). =(

                          Also, what is "cheap"? Even a relatively small sub at Jersey Mike's is $7. For the quality of the food, I don't find that to be particularly cheap. I really like Layla's in Brentwood (and have posted about it), but you can easily blow $20/person there. To me, that's relatively affordable, but definitely not "cheap." Add in dietary issues for some people (meaning no Carney's or Ricky's) and the fact that high-quality, farm-to-table, yadda, yadda, yadaa, is very "in" right now, and I think that explains some of the change that you're seeing.

                          Also, food is a relatively affordable luxury. The economy is still crap, so people don't have much discretionary income for things that are "truly" expensive. You may not be able to buy a Bentley, but you might able to save up enough to eat at Urasawa once in your life (I haven't, but that doesn't bother me so much).

                          1. re: ilysla

                            It doesn't have to be a newly minted restaurant. Maybe it's that place you've driven by every single day on the way back from work. There are so many established hole in the walls out there serving the local population for years or decades. Just unknown here to CH.

                            Someone the other day posted on a restaurant they tried just because they were stopped at a stop light and noticed a sign for good eats. I thought that was awesome.

                            1. re: Porthos

                              On a somewhat unrelated note, some of the "established," cheaper places I've liked have disappeared. =( I really liked one place in the old Century City mall food court that had good spanikopita. My parents would occasionally take me there when I was young. I didn't move to the westside until recently, and I remember being terribly excited about being so close to the mall. I went there seeking the food stall, only to discover that the mall had gone all upscale on me. It was horribly disappointing. =(

                              Loved the chinese-food place across the street from the Edwards theater in Alhambra (Main and Atlantic? Next to car wash). The inside was SO dingy and outdated, but they had great guo-tieh. Place disappeared unexpectedly when that whole area underwent a renovation a few yrs ago.

                              Perhaps I just like the places that don't have any customers.... ::sigh::

                              1. re: ilysla

                                lisa, i miss that too.

                            2. re: ilysla

                              I think all you can do is report your experience. If you are clear about what you had and how much it cost, the reader can make his own decision.

                              1. re: sr44

                                Agreed.... But sometimes posters aren't telling people what they paid (at least, not initially)....

                              2. re: ilysla

                                what is TPC?
                                I am really sick of acronym-speak instead of words!

                                1. re: VenusCafe

                                  I'm not quite sure but I believe its Tacos Punta Cabras.

                                  1. re: VenusCafe

                                    I punish those that use that speak by not replying ;-)

                                    1. re: VenusCafe

                                      Oh Venus, you and me both. WT*, OMG, and the like just leaves me cold. Why do we have to guess what the poster is saying about the restaurant or some restaurant.
                                      I've got to see if there is a rant page for us.

                                      1. re: Hughlipton

                                        I wonder where you draw the line? Is NYC ok? I only learned NOLA recently, and had to ask, but use it all the time now. What about AIDS? Is FYI ok? Is ok okay?

                                        You can always ask.

                                        1. re: jesstifer

                                          Ask??? No, that would require too much effort.... ;)

                                2. re: Porthos

                                  I know what you mean. I am still waiting for some local hounds to get to M&T Seafood Village...

                                  posted almost four weeks ago…
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/929926

                                  but already on Yelp...
                                  http://www.yelp.com/biz/m-and-t-seafo...

                                  1. re: scoopG

                                    Ok, i'm on it.

                                3. Very good point. I agree 100%. Just because it is expensive doesn't mean its good. I think some people on this board think like we do, but are afraid to post places that aren't expensive because they will be flamed.

                                  1. There is no such thing as an expensive good meal, only an expensive bad one. It is a question of relative value.
                                    Personally, I dine the complete spectrum from taco tuck to fine dining, so I appreciate all of the posts. And...truthfully, the NY coming to LA posts used to annoy me, but now I realize that those are really MY people: chowhounds with high expectations.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: orythedog

                                      It's not the high expectations that are the problem it's the posts that only say:

                                      "I'm coming to LA in two weeks. What should I eat? I love everything."

                                      1. re: Butter Fight

                                        Those people we gently and patiently probe, then make additional recs based on what we learn about their preferences...OR...we send them to Tommy's. LOL.

                                      2. re: orythedog

                                        Ugh. No. This is precisely the attitude I take issue with. Even a good meal can be very, very expensive. I dine the complete spectrum, too. I fucking love, with an unholy love, a steak at Mastro's. But it's unquestionably expensive. To assert otherwise is to be, IMHO, tone deaf to teh Poors.

                                        1. re: jesstifer

                                          The POORS? perhaps you mean those who seek value?
                                          Persons conscious of cost can hardly be labeled 'poor'.
                                          A more likely scenario is that their habit will enable them to wind up richer!

                                      3. I'm mostly a lurker and like to find new places. We certainly can't afford to go to places like Urasawa, but it's nice knowing where the finest places are. We're more interested in the places for the $10-20 range for dinner and around $10 or less for lunches. I think there are plenty of choices here on Chowhound. I use Yelp to find some places and then I'll crosscheck on Chow for a more discerning critique.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: granadafan

                                          We are in the same price bracket. I enjoy reading about some of the higher end meals, but we won't be partaking of them. We look for dinners between fifteen to twenty. Anything over that either needs to yield leftovers or becomes a special occasion destination.

                                        2. But the frequency with which posts like "NY Hound coming to LA for one day, where should I go?" now receive answers like "Urasawa" (as opposed to, say, "Tommy's") freaks me out.
                                          ____________________

                                          Really? Why?

                                          An out-of-towner is coming to your hometown and asking *you* for recommendations and you're going to tell them to go fucking Tommy's?

                                          Nothing wrong with Tommy's, per se, and you may like it quite a bit, but if an out-of-town guest is coming to my town and seeks a restaurant to go without any implicit budgetary parameters, the first word out of my mouth is never going to be "Tommy's"

                                          Look a it this way.

                                          If the situations was reversed, and the poster said "LA Hound coming to NYC for one day, where should I go" there's no fucking way a NYC 'hound would utter the word "Papaya" and "Dog" in consecutive order.

                                          It has nothing to do with money, or being déclassé, or whatever. It's about taking fucking pride in your hometown, and wanting to showcase the best that your city has to offer -- at whatever price point.

                                          Someone recommending Tommy's for an out-of-town guest is neither a Chowound, or Cuisinepoodle, but more like a GarbageRat.

                                          11 Replies
                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            Okay, so maybe I was trolling, to get this exact response from ipse. Muahaha!

                                            It is precisely this type of recommendation to out-of-towners with which I take issue. Because apparently, for ipse, "price point" is never, ever a concern. For me, that's a philosophical problem.

                                            Mind you, I've dined at plenty of high end NYC restos, LA restos, London restos, NOLA restos. Spouse and I recently did Urasawa for our 20th anniversary (because cheaper than a weekend in some exotic locale, and my wife's a "hound" too). While delicious, none of them particularly memorable. (Providence=um, foam? Urasawa=eating gold!)

                                            The truth is, high end food is pretty much the same in any major city in the world. A meal at Nobu vs. Matsuhisa vs. Ducasse vs. Providence vs. any of dem NOLA chefs? Whatevs. It's the same here as in NY as in Vegas.

                                            To answer the "if the situations were reversed" question. My lasting memories of food in NY have nothing to do with "showcasing the best the city has to offer," as in Babbu, Nobu, or the $$$$ of the week. SNORE!

                                            My precious NY food memories are: Katz's for a pastrami sandwich; Grimaldi's Brooklyn for a pie; and, most of all, Nathan's at Coney Island, because that is the QUINTESSENTIAL NY DOG, of which any CA knockoffs are a pale imitation.

                                            (Ipse is correct about this at any rate: no NY hound would use Papaya and Dog in the same sentence regarding where to get a dog. They would use "Nathan's" and "Coney Island.")

                                            Which brings me back to Tommy's. Ipse actually tried to send me to the aggressively mediocre fussy-food First and Hope when (fucking) Tommy's is five mins away. I find that most un-Chowlike behavior.

                                            And that's why I would send any NY Hound to Tommy's. Because they (arguably) _invented_ the chili cheeseburger...and that is something you simply cannot get in NY. I would also send them to Phillipe's (because French Dip). I would also send them to Henry's Tacos (because tacos). And of course, I would also send them to the SGV and Ricky's and Langer's (if only for comparison...I think Katz's is better).

                                            But I would NOT send them to a $300 meal for two. Too many cities do that better than we do. And $$$$ do not equal memories of great food.

                                            In short, yes, I would tell them to go to fucking Tommy's. Without hesitation. And if that gets me the GarbageRat screenname, I will take it.

                                            1. re: jesstifer

                                              I really find nothing wrong with recommending Tommy's on one end of the spectrum to Urasawa on the other (or anything in between). Ramparts Tommy's for a late night foray shows off our city in a way that is more interesting in many respects than Urasawa. In fact I'd say Tommy's and Dino's are both excellent recommendations if you are trying to get a sense of the heartbeat of LA where we all (black, brown yellow and white) come together for chow.

                                              1. re: jesstifer

                                                Here's the thing, my friend, I never said that price point was not a consideration.

                                                But when the OP does not mention price as a consideration, then my recommendation -- whatever it might be -- will not factor in price. Why should it?

                                                Your post sounds like a rant that the recommendations on Chowhound do not agree with your personal preferences. That's all well and good, but that's a "you" problem. Not a systemic Chowhound issue.

                                                Next time you see a request for "one night in LA" and the litany of responses begins and ends with Urasawa, feel free to chime in with whatever other alternative you think is better or more appropriate -- be it Tommy's or any other joint in town.

                                                And if there are recommendations that I provided to you that didn't suit your preferences, again that's a "you" problem. You asked. I answered, You followed. No arm-twisting involved.

                                                Nobody's opinions here on Chowhound are ever wrong, unless they objectively wrong (e.g. recommending Tommy's when someone is asking for pizza). When I make a recommendation it is based on what I like, not what I think the rest of the Chowhound community would kowtow to, or what any other individual poster thinks is appropriate.

                                                Such is life on the Internet. Not everyone is going to agree with you, and everyone is going to disagree with you at some point.

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  Fair enough, for the most part. But I disagree with your characterizing my post as a rant that recs on Chowhound don't agree with my personal preferences. I like spendy meals, too. My concern is that the weight of opinion has, over time, become skewed toward a -- dare I say -- very 1% demographic.

                                                  As you rightly say, though...that is no one individual's fault, and your recommendations, even when I don't agree with them, are always appreciated. Don't ever change.

                                                  1. re: jesstifer

                                                    A site like this is really what we want to make of it.

                                                    Just as there are people who share your sentiments about seeking out more obscure, hole-in-the-wall joints there are just as many who come here looking for the exact opposite.

                                                    Neither side is entitled to stifle the other's right to express their opinions. And both have a seat at the table here.

                                                    If it were any other way, then this site would seriously have lost what little soul it had to begin with.

                                                    I, for one, know that a majority of the folks here do not necessarily agree with all my recommendations, but so what? I'm not seeking consensus, I'm merely seeking to contribute to the discussion so that, by chance or not, my opinion (popular or otherwise) will hopefully benefit at least one person. If I do that, then that's enough. And the site has served its purpose.

                                                    1. re: jesstifer

                                                      over time, become skewed toward a -- dare I say -- very 1% demographic.
                                                      ============
                                                      Now you're trolling ;-)

                                                      Maybe you should look through the DOM posts and the ramen posts and stop fixating on the high end posts? If you look hard enough, you'll find it.

                                                    2. re: ipsedixit

                                                      Just an aside… I was quickly scanning this to catch up (you guys were busy!) to where I had left off, and I read ipse's above post as "nobody's opinions here on chowhound are ever wrong unless they are wrong"

                                                      which

                                                      for a guy who doesn't always feel like driving to t he SGV for dim sum, may also be an accurate statement about this board. :)

                                                    3. re: jesstifer

                                                      Well, most likely I wouldn't send one to Urasawa if they were looking for a triple chili cheese dog.

                                                      In which case, I would likely send them to Carney's, not Tommy's.

                                                      But sometimes stuffing one's mouth with unadulterated refuse really hits the spot.

                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                        Agreed re: Carney's for a dog. Dogs at Tommy's suck.

                                                      2. re: jesstifer

                                                        Just because your preferences are in lower budget restaurants doesn't mean that everybody sees it the same way. And one strength of CH is that here is interest on restaurant in every price point.
                                                        I think your problem is more that a lot of people seem not to have similar priorities/favorite restaurants as you have which also shows in "The truth is, high end food is pretty much the same in any major city in the world. A meal at Nobu vs. Matsuhisa vs. Ducasse vs. Providence vs. any of dem NOLA chefs? Whatevs. It's the same here as in NY as in Vegas." which I think many people would strongly disagree.

                                                        1. re: honkman

                                                          Matsuhia as opposed to say Brigtsen's in NOLA is completey different. Yes, honker, you are correct.

                                                          They both may be on the higher end and that's were the similarities end.

                                                          good point.

                                                    4. There was a period of time where 1/2-1/3 of the threads on the front page were "looking for suggestions for my kids bday/business lunch/casual date" where the thread starters didn't even bother to yelp or anything beforehand

                                                      kinda threw me off

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: blimpbinge

                                                        Forget about looking at Yelp, those types of OPs didn't even bother to use the search engine for the board (and sometimes don't even look at the board itself since there are sometimes active threads w/ the same topic!). And then of course they don't bother to report back. ::shrug::

                                                        1. re: ilysla

                                                          Yeah, anyone notice Servorg isn't policing that as much these days? What gives?

                                                          1. re: jdwdeville

                                                            How exactly did I get dragged into this? I'm for board "neutrality" - fine or gross dining. I enjoy it all...

                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                              Haha, sorry. In my early days on this board I could always skip to your post on a thread and find the "Greatest Hits" of threads I missed…

                                                              Didn't mean you had a dog in this here fight.

                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                God, can we please have a "gross dining" thread sometime?

                                                        2. To suggest that the best food is elitist is a statement in itself. Cuisinepoodle? Really? You don't mean to troll?

                                                          I appear you don't want to troll, but in fact that what your'e doing when you set up a question like that.

                                                          I read a bunch of car magazines - and they have reviews of cars for a lot of money - 100,000 -1,000,000. I love those reviews. It's the state of art.

                                                          Same in cuisine. Tommy's is a guilty pleasure, perhaps a lot of bang for the buck - and it deserves mention. But it's not the state of the art. It isn't something I'd be proud to take an out of towner and expect them to be impressed. It would come with many caveats. And in fact I have never, EVER brought anyone there. That was good food back in the days when I hit a bong on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. You love it? Fine. I respect that.

                                                          If I thought this board was just for the value-oriented - i'd beg off and go someplace.

                                                          1. Gosh, I sort of like the alternate reality vibe of a site called CuisinePoodle. Sounds like it is part of a weird dream.

                                                            1. Although I did not participate in the original Chowhound site, it seems clear to me that this one is much broader in its appeal. That is a consequence of more people being web-connected and the website being easier to use and offering more. There is still some true "chow hound" content, but it has been greatly diluted by everything else. You might say the concept has been spoiled by success.

                                                              I don't think it's a matter of individual hounds becoming wealthier, I think the site just attracts more foodies than hounds, some with generous budgets for eating out.

                                                              It doesn't matter to me, because I was sniffing out food joints long before there was a World Wide Web, and I still tend to sniff them out the old-fashioned way.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                I also think that upscale dining (read $$$$) tends to mean that a much more detailed (often with a full array of photos) write up is posted here. That seems to suck a little bit of oxygen out of the site (and the low end dining threads) at times.

                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                  NOw servorg get to that hot dog stand next to USC already.

                                                                  And rite it up.

                                                                2. re: GH1618

                                                                  I hope you share them once you find them

                                                                3. Quite frequently, the OP will just mention they are coming to the LA but not much else. I believe the OP should mention any restrictions. Otherwise, no restrictions should be assumed.

                                                                  For example, if they wanted the best Chinese food, I would immediately suggest something in the SGV. But if they want the best NY-style egg roll within walking distance of their hotel in Santa Monica, I would no recommend any place in the SGV.

                                                                  1. The technology has enabled some of the more compulsive to post course by course photo/narratives of multi-course tasting menus, which may tilt toward the "visibility" of the reporting of high-dollar meals, but I don't think, over-all, that the tilt is significant,

                                                                    Particularly outside of the NY/Chicago/LA/SF axis, lots of the board talk is often pretty down-home, and even on the LA board, a quick search for posts about, say, Dino's or India's Sweets/Spices, or Superking, will show that there's lots of budget action.

                                                                    Also, as some folks get a LITTLE discretionary money in their pockets, sometimes they're willing to save up for an occasional big splurge.

                                                                    Cam the Man (The Artist fka "the Chowpup") now that he's out of the nest, independent, and living and working in NJ, saves up his dimes and dollars, and once a month or so, buys himself lunch at a REALLY nice Manhattan resto (Bouley). He says it's worth it to him, and costs not much more than "a night out drinking".

                                                                    Doesn't mean that he doesn't appreciate the nuances of whose "halal chicken and rice" cart is best, or that whenever he gets back to LA, his REQUIRED stops, in order, aren't Yai (Vermont) Tacos Mexicali, and NBC for dim sum, with a possible burrito for the plane from TVC...

                                                                    If you go back to John Gold's original "Counter-Intelligence" compilation book, he reviewed many out-of-the-way holes-in-the-wall, but he reviewed Urasawa, (or Ginza Sushi-Ko, which preceded it) too.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                                      Yes, he did in fact review Ginza Sushi Ko.

                                                                      Btw, how does it compare to Urasawa ?

                                                                      Does the pupil overtake the master ?????

                                                                    2. Wh.

                                                                      1. BTW, like the "Cuisinepoodle' coinage. Sounds like Groundskeeper Willie...

                                                                        1. The only thing about this site I dislike is the conspicous snobbery of it. It's a real turn off.

                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                          1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                            Sounds like another vote for Tommy's.

                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                              Sure, I love Tommy's, and love good high end food too. I like food, generally. But even when talking about Tommy's level hamburgers people find ways to try to fluff their feathers. It's ridiculous.

                                                                              1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                The best of that ilk was Jay's Jayburgers on SM/virgil.

                                                                                exceptional triple chili cheese burgers and fretted-squeezed lemonade to wash it all down.

                                                                                buff said.

                                                                                end of story.

                                                                                the platonic ideal of a chili cheese burger.

                                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                                  Damn, I never made it to Jay's. I love the idea of Plato eating a chili cheeseburger though. That ought to have been a scene in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

                                                                            2. re: EarlyBird

                                                                              I don't think a lot on this board are snobby at all.

                                                                              But maybe I'm wrong.

                                                                              As I usually am, natch.

                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                kevin, you're posting on the Internet. You are, by definition, wrong. ;-)

                                                                                1. re: jesstifer

                                                                                  By definition I'm wrong ????

                                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                                    Everyone on the internet is always wrong. That's why I have to spend so much time here, correcting them. ;-)

                                                                                    1. re: jesstifer

                                                                                      ok. It sounds like it may be a full-time job in that case.

                                                                                      1. re: jesstifer

                                                                                        Everyone except me....

                                                                                        1. re: jesstifer

                                                                                          Sorry, a bit of an inside family joke. This cartoon lives on our fridge. http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_call...

                                                                                2. I don't get this. Generally, high end restaurants are considered the "best" restaurants from an overall standpoint when you include factors like service, environment, and food quality. So when someone asks for the "best" restaurant, the answers will include a lot of high end restaurants.

                                                                                  When someone asks for one day, which means limited meals, it's not surprising that a lot of people will mention higher-end restaurants.

                                                                                  But if you read threads asking for several meals or a foodie itinerary, the responses invariably include more economical choices. That is reflective of the variety of chow options in LA.

                                                                                  On a personal level, Chowhound has introduced me to a lot of hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Just off the top of my head (and being a SFV denizen), I would list Fab Hot Dogs, Tampa Garden, Sri Siam, Krua Thai, Smoke City BBQ, the pho places on Sepulveda at Victory, and a half-dozen taquerias as places I first read about here that have become part of my current local circle of places I eat. My newest discovery is Apey Kade, a Sri Lankan restaurant in Woodland Hills, which has about two tables and is located in a strip mall. There is nothing at all elitist about it.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Jwsel

                                                                                    Next time you go to Apey Kade, if the tables on the ground floor are occupied, there are more tables upstairs... : )

                                                                                  2. It is all about the highs and lows for me. I am as comfortable eating chiliburgers at 2am at Tommy's or street dog vendor as I am with a formal meal at Mélisse. I think it is very important to enjoy the full gamut of styles here

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Ernie

                                                                                      Ernie, I absolutely concur.

                                                                                      My post is being misconstrued as saying that there shouldn't be discussions of high end restaurants here. Also that I prefer low end food to high end food. Neither is true.

                                                                                      But because my money, at least, doesn't grow on trees, I tend to eat much more often at low to middle range restaurants, as I suspect most people do. Like 90%-10%, at most. I imagine I'm not far off the bell curve. Yet the discussions here have slowly, over the years, moved toward discussing high end, to the point where a suggestion for a restaurant has to specifically state "Budget" or "Family" in order not to automatically return Melisse and Park's BBQ. That's alls I'm sayin'.

                                                                                      My point is made, and I see lots of agreement and lots of posts about regular vittles these past few days. So carry on!

                                                                                      1. re: jesstifer

                                                                                        I actually see a majority in this discussion disagreeing with your assessment of the current state of CH

                                                                                        1. re: honkman

                                                                                          Really? Although I never said anything about a "majority" I would be most interested to see your final tabulation of "agree" vs. "disagree" comments, and what criteria you used to judge which was which.

                                                                                    2. I started to type a response and knocked myself off the site. I was pretty worked up because I could see myself some seven years ago talking about things like where to go to drink a 1982 Lafite and then the next day talk about the best Philly Cheesesteak in Los Angeles County.

                                                                                      Those days seem to be gone. Everything now is like Acabar a loud raucous place with a limited and textbook menu but not the class of a Rangoon Racquet Club or a Chasen's. The Beverly Wilshire Hotel had Hernando Courtright's and if you could bust in a dinner at Jack's At the Beach where pompano was served with a sparkler for presentation.

                                                                                      Those days definitely seem to be gone. To all of our loss.

                                                                                      1. Hey, I've got some real action going on Chicken Livers, What To Do? Maybe it's the way questions are posted. I'm not saying I'm the end all but check it out. People are a little lively on that post. I even got referred to The Cellar Restaurant in Geneseo, Il. Of course it cost $1057 to drive there so I'm trying to find something a little closer to home (Los Angles proper, San Fernando Valley).

                                                                                        1. What are the price points for cheap/medium/expensive?

                                                                                          How much should we factor price into taste as a ratio of overall experience?

                                                                                          I had what I would call a good dinner at Little Sister last night, but at $75/person, it is a little hard to totally justify. I have had GREAT meals for $40/person at, say, Bäco Mercat.

                                                                                          Heck, I've had a great meal at Ruen Pair for $15/person.

                                                                                          It's pretty hard to judge =/

                                                                                          I guess anything in the $60-$100/person range is expensive? Or is that reserved for the $150-$300/person range (Alma, Providence, Melisse, Urasawa, Trois Mec)?

                                                                                          And what is the range of $20-$40/person? It always seems like that range gets skipped somehow. It seems like I'm either paying $5-$15/person, or $60-$100. A kind of odd jump when you step back and think about it.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: BacoMan

                                                                                            Interesting. I would say I probably pay $20-40 the most frequently when I go out to eat (unless I'm getting something from, say, California Chicken Café).

                                                                                            I'd say $30 (not a typo) - 40 is "moderately" expensive, $60-100 is "expensive," and $100+ is "special occasion expensive."

                                                                                            1. re: ilysla

                                                                                              Where do you find you spend in the $20-$30 range most often?

                                                                                              If we're talking for dinner, and sitting down, it's almost impossible it seems like. =/

                                                                                              I guess I did fall into that range at Colonia Taco Lounge recently.

                                                                                              1. re: BacoMan

                                                                                                Layla
                                                                                                La Bottega
                                                                                                Flores (brunch)
                                                                                                Huckleberry
                                                                                                Hostaria del Piccolo
                                                                                                All India Cafe (which can actually top-off a little above $30pp)

                                                                                                If we can tweak the price range, to $15-30, I'd add in
                                                                                                Siam Chan
                                                                                                Javan
                                                                                                800 Deg

                                                                                                Helping my cause is that I don't drink enough to make it worth it to order wine at dinner, and I don't like sweets all that much.

                                                                                                The price range is not that difficult to adhere to at sit-down places if you don't order alcohol or dessert....

                                                                                                1. re: BacoMan

                                                                                                  In the valley I can go very very good Italian food at a place called Antonio's. Pizza, a salad and maybe a split dessert for easily in to the $20 per person price range

                                                                                            2. My experience is that this venue serves both. I have discovered some great less expensive places and found valuable commentary on more expensive places. Both valuable, appreciated and informative. No other venue like it in my view.

                                                                                              1. I definitely like that Chow is elitist. That's why I came here. If I wanted the plebe reviews I'd go to Yelp (actually I do).