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Expensive Lunch at Farmer's Market

Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 03:03 PM

I was down on Fairfax anyway, as I am so seldom these days, so I dropped down to the Farmer's Market to see about some lunch. I saw the FIRST 2 HOURS FREE sign at the parking lot entrance, and on a Monday there was plenty of parking. I wandered around, noting that the Gumbo Pot no longer offers their Cajun potato salad – damn! – and that I really wasn't feeling like a corned beef sandwich or Korean rice bowl after all, but more in the mood for fish. I saw that Tusquellas was offering cod fish & chips with one side for a decent (but far from cheap) price, but what the heck. So I asked for that plus coleslaw. "No fries?" the guy asked.

I was confused. "Excuse me – does fish and chips not come with fries?"

"No," he said. "Fries are a side."

Now that I'm looking at the menu and my charge slip, it appears that the much too large pile of food I got cost me only the F&C+2 that appears in the menu, plus tax. $16.33 total. And when I balked at paying for a bottle of water, he asked me sotto voce if I minded sink water. "It's just city water, right?" to which he nodded, and fetched a tumbler of it, with ice.

The fish was undistinguished but okay – smallish pieces, obviously commercial Portion Control, with an okay but too-smooth crust that did dot cling very well – but the giant pile of fries was perfect and properly seasoned, the tartar sauce was excellent (except I could have used a lot more), and the coleslaw was about the best I've found anywhere but my house.

Then I waddled to my car and pulled to the exit, only to find that I'd neglected to read the "With Validation" part of the entrance sign and now owed eight bucks for my somewhat less than an hour.

And I still don't understand how fries can be an optional extra for a dish labelled "Fish and Chips."

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  1. greygarious RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 03:16 PM

    You should complain to the FM management. That's like offering mac&cheese and charging extra for the cheese. Did they by chance try to chisel customers by including what America calls potato chips, or pickle slices (sometimes called chips)?

    1. n
      ns1 RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 03:24 PM

      dude, FnC with no fries is called "fried fish". you got jacked. @ $16.33 they didn't even have the courtesy to give you a reacharound. @ $24.33 after parking they basically committed a crime against humanity.

      1. A5 KOBE RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 03:25 PM

        Wow, that is pathetic to pay for fries.

        I learned my lesson many times to not eat at FM. Luckily, there is a Mendicino Farms across the street now.

        12 Replies
        1. re: A5 KOBE
          j
          jessejames RE: A5 KOBE Apr 7, 2014 03:28 PM

          still some good stuff there if you ask me...but that sliced steak sandwich at MF is quite nice.

          1. re: jessejames
            A5 KOBE RE: jessejames Apr 7, 2014 03:44 PM

            I agree, they do have some passable food but then you also combat the price and parking. It is highway robbery in pretty much all of the eateries there.

            The crumb donut at Bob's is amazing though.

            1. re: A5 KOBE
              wienermobile RE: A5 KOBE Apr 7, 2014 03:48 PM

              and Littlejohn's English Toffee.

              1. re: wienermobile
                j
                jessejames RE: wienermobile Apr 7, 2014 03:56 PM

                yes to both bobs (im down with the crumb too) and littlejohns (rocky road fudge also)

                i also like:
                magee's nuts and peanut butter
                magees corned beef with horseradish
                singapore banana leaf
                burgers at charlies (def not highway robbery)
                tater tots at that new hotdog place (dogs meh)
                fruit platters at the spot by the "gas station"
                fried catfish po boy at gumbo pot (remove the lemon slices)
                queso fondito at loteria (plus chorizo)
                pancakes, brownies, pie, choc frosted donuts at dupars.
                both butcher shops
                lots of memories at 3d at fairfax

                1. re: jessejames
                  n
                  ns1 RE: jessejames Apr 7, 2014 03:59 PM

                  the place is called fritzi dogs, and their corn dogs are actually quite good. get them extra crispy.

                  1. re: ns1
                    j
                    jessejames RE: ns1 Apr 7, 2014 04:02 PM

                    sounds good...i was disappointed that the regular dogs had no snap...but i have a hard time steering away from a corn dog.

                    you been to the nathans in the mall across the street by whole foods?

                    1. re: ns1
                      l
                      LAgirl2 RE: ns1 Apr 7, 2014 04:04 PM

                      too bad I don't like corn dogs, I was totally underwhelmed by their other dogs (no snap and a bit soft on the inside). I even gave them a second shot---no dice.

                      1. re: ns1
                        j
                        jessejames RE: ns1 Apr 7, 2014 04:05 PM

                        ns-if you want a kickass corndog try the viking food truck...i remember one is called "the nemesis" -- it can slay a six pack in a single swoop.

                        1. re: jessejames
                          n
                          ns1 RE: jessejames Apr 7, 2014 04:10 PM

                          re: viking

                          is that mainly an OC truck?

                          1. re: ns1
                            j
                            jessejames RE: ns1 Apr 7, 2014 04:13 PM

                            unfortunately for me, yes, but they do pillage elsewhere from time to time...

                            1. re: jessejames
                              JAB RE: jessejames Apr 7, 2014 04:16 PM

                              I've seen them at my local brewery in OC.

              2. re: A5 KOBE
                n
                ns1 RE: A5 KOBE Apr 7, 2014 03:29 PM

                all is not lost at FM. But evidently you can't go to Tusquellas for FnC.

                ref: this fairly long thread:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/910576

              3. EarlyBird RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 03:39 PM

                That's like saying "ham and eggs" doesn't come with eggs. Ridiculous.

                I live a stone's throw from the Farmer's Market and though I really enjoy people watching on a sunny afternoon at the 326 Beer and Wine bar, the food prices have pretty much pushed me away. They realize they are a tourist trap, and the prices show it.

                1. perk RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 04:09 PM

                  I like Monsieur Marcel. All outdoor seating....great people watching. Nice wines by the glass selection...and the food, while something standard, is pretty good. Plus...you can get a cheese place with/without salumi. And they validate.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: perk
                    s
                    schrutefarms RE: perk Apr 7, 2014 04:12 PM

                    Yes. I agree. I like Monsieur Matcel as well. A lovely place to have a late afternoon glass of wine and people watch.

                    1. re: perk
                      v
                      VenusCafe RE: perk Apr 11, 2014 05:21 PM

                      And MM has a decent Fondue.

                      Although fondue has enjoyed a little more popularity lately, it is still NOT found in many places.

                    2. s
                      schrutefarms RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 04:09 PM

                      I've kind of given up altogether on food at The Grove or Farmers Market…The price really isn't worth what you are getiing most of the time. My SO and myself each got an ice cream cone (not at the place next to Bobs…the place more in the front of the Farmers Market) and paid $9 for two dipped cones. Ridiculous. A friend and I met for apps and drinks at that Mixology place, a few drinks and three apps was like $120 BEFORE tip…and everytime I get a validation, no matter if I just went to the genious bar, a movie, or to return something…it's like five bucks to park. Every time. WITH a validation! I used to love Farmers Market…It's such a throwback, and even The Grove didn't Disney-fy it to fuck…but between the nightmare parking lots, the waaaay too expensive food that isn't all that great (and there are a few exceptions) and something to satisfy the sweet tooth…it's like $50 without something strong to wash it all down. Grr. Okay, rant done. I love Loteria and also Short Order has grape soda with crushed ice, which is awesome.

                      1. i
                        ilysla RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 04:13 PM

                        I'd contact management and let them know you'll be dropping some reviews on the internet and w/ the LA Times. That's completely disgusting. Thanks for taking one for the team....

                        1. t
                          TailbackU RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 04:58 PM

                          ugh

                          1. daislander RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 05:07 PM

                            you had your $16 receipt isn't that the validation you needed for the parking?

                            Never heard of free bottled water anywhere. Never heard it called 'sink water'. At least most of the food was good! You woulda been really pissed if it all sucked.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: daislander
                              wienermobile RE: daislander Apr 7, 2014 05:11 PM

                              The Grove parking structure will not take validations from The Farmer's Market.

                              1. re: wienermobile
                                n
                                ns1 RE: wienermobile Apr 7, 2014 05:20 PM

                                got burned by this once, never again.

                                1. re: ns1
                                  wienermobile RE: ns1 Apr 7, 2014 05:20 PM

                                  me too

                                2. re: wienermobile
                                  l
                                  LAgirl2 RE: wienermobile Apr 7, 2014 05:59 PM

                                  I believe Marconda's will validate for both the Grove and Farmers Market parking lots

                              2. d
                                Dirtywextraolives RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 05:41 PM

                                That's just not right.

                                1. monavano RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 06:08 PM

                                  Wow, I think management needs to know about the fish n' chipless!

                                  1. n
                                    ns1 RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 06:16 PM

                                    okay, pardon the obvious but WHY DIDN'T YOU SEARCH FOR IT ON YELP FIRST

                                    http://www.yelp.com/biz/tusquellas-se...

                                    2.5*!!!! I counted about 15 reviews for FnC, about 10 of them 1 or 2*.

                                    Back in 2011...

                                    EMPLOYEE: Can I help you?
                                    ME: Yes, I would like the Fish and Chips please, and for the sides I would like the cole slaw and the seafood salad.
                                    EMPLOYEE: So, no fries with that? (he was waiting to go there
                                    )ME: Of course fries.
                                    EMPLOYEE: Then its going to be extra.
                                    ME: How is it going to be extra? Doesn't it come with the meal?
                                    EMPLOYEE: Well, the chips are one of the 2 sides. You just ordered 3 sides, so its extra.
                                    ME: But the sign says Fish AND Chips PLUS two sides...
                                    EMPLOYEE: Yeah, you can order fries as one of the two sides...
                                    ME: ... ok, whatever, forget the seafood salad. I'll take a Diet Coke as well.
                                    EMPLOYEE: We only serve iced tea...

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: ns1
                                      b
                                      BacoMan RE: ns1 Apr 7, 2014 06:46 PM

                                      lol

                                      Awesome.

                                      And yet, this place has been in business for at least 3 years.

                                      It's amazing how non-demanding most consumers are when it comes to food.

                                      1. re: ns1
                                        Will Owen RE: ns1 Apr 7, 2014 08:47 PM

                                        Because I avoid Yelp like the plague it is. Okay, I'm a damn snob – deal with it. I just don't want to let my food searches be guided by semi-literate morons. Who seem to be the bulk of Yelpers nowadays..

                                        1. re: Will Owen
                                          n
                                          ns1 RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 09:17 PM

                                          And yet they would have saved you from this particular foray. Hmmmmm

                                          1. re: ns1
                                            k
                                            kevin RE: ns1 Apr 7, 2014 09:44 PM

                                            It's the principle that counts.

                                      2. j
                                        JudiAU RE: Will Owen Apr 7, 2014 09:07 PM

                                        FM lot doubled in price earlier this year. If it makes you feel better? Worse? I forgot my validation today too and has to fork over $4 for 11 minutes. Three kids and rushing to a dinner.

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: JudiAU
                                          Will Owen RE: JudiAU Apr 8, 2014 11:40 AM

                                          Ouch. At least I was all by myself, and the attendant was courteous and helpful.

                                          It was not a total loss, folks. I discovered that Marconda's Puritan Poultry has rendered duck fat, $14 for 1.75 lb. That's a lot further to drive than Nicole's for me, and I just love the heck out of her and her store, but her duck fat is $12.50/lb …

                                          1. re: JudiAU
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                                            latindancer RE: JudiAU Apr 8, 2014 05:34 PM

                                            Well, I *lost* my entry ticket to The Grove after having my iPhone stolen a few weeks ago in the same place.
                                            They charged me the usual $24 for the lost ticket and then tried to convince me this is the first time they've heard of an iPhone being stolen at their Pleasantville.

                                            1. re: latindancer
                                              k
                                              kevin RE: latindancer Apr 8, 2014 05:44 PM

                                              don't get me started on the Century City shopping center parking prices.

                                              got shafted the last time i was there.

                                              $25 even though i validated the movie ticket.

                                              something is really up.

                                              1. re: kevin
                                                l
                                                latindancer RE: kevin Apr 8, 2014 06:37 PM

                                                <don't get me started>

                                                You got me started.
                                                Century City is strange to me too.
                                                On a couple of occasions the kiosks where we all go to pay, before going to the exit, for some unknown reason wasn't working on a very busy weekend.
                                                I ended up paying CASH (they weren't taking credit cards) to the guy at the exit to get outa there and it wasn't cheap. As you say, this was with validation from the theater.

                                                1. re: latindancer
                                                  k
                                                  kevin RE: latindancer Apr 8, 2014 06:49 PM

                                                  yeah, your preaching to the choir lady :)

                                                2. re: kevin
                                                  Servorg RE: kevin Apr 9, 2014 07:28 AM

                                                  With AMC movie theater validation you will pay nothing for the first 3 hours and for up to 5 hours total you will pay $4.

                                                  http://beta.westfield.com/centurycity...

                                                  1. re: Servorg
                                                    The Chowhound Team RE: Servorg Apr 9, 2014 07:54 AM

                                                    Folks, could we let this 'cost of parking' tangent go, please? It's getting pretty far afield from food at this point.

                                            2. j
                                              jesstifer RE: Will Owen Apr 8, 2014 01:28 PM

                                              That is truly one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. Tusquella's, unless I'm mistaken, is the only place I've ever seen that calls itself an "oyster bar" that doesn't, in fact, serve raw oysters.

                                              Surprised by two things in this state-of-FM discussion. One, no love for the gyros at Moishe's, which I think is the best single thing in the market. Although I too love that catfish sandwich (blackened, and with lemon slices intact!) at Gumbo Pot. Also their seafood salad.

                                              And two, no mention of Lotería, for which I am thankful. Never have understood why it's so popular.

                                              53 Replies
                                              1. re: jesstifer
                                                n
                                                ns1 RE: jesstifer Apr 8, 2014 01:29 PM

                                                1) I wanna check out Moishe's but I can't get past their pricing. Is the gyro cheaper?
                                                2) Same comment. The stuff I've had off the truck is good, but once you factor in price I like it a whole lot less.

                                                1. re: ns1
                                                  Mr Taster RE: ns1 Apr 8, 2014 04:45 PM

                                                  Hey ns1 (and Will Owen),

                                                  I live in the area (I walk through the farmers market to and from work) and the vendors there are a minefield. There are some decent and respectable deals to be had, but you have to choose carefully. Tusquella's is one of the mines.

                                                  Tusquella's seafood has never been a good deal. Their seafood is marked up from their supplier, the already egregiously overpriced Santa Monica Seafood (I live in the area, and see the shipment trucks there often).

                                                  The unofficial "menu pages" for Tusquella's restaurant illustrates the deceptive menu that you described:

                                                  http://losangeles.menupages.com/resta...

                                                  It's ridiculous that they advertise the menu item as "fish and chips", and then charge extra for the chips. Utterly disgraceful.

                                                  I really like the FM poultry shop (the one across from Starbucks, which was just bought by Huntington Meats- another vendor who keeps their prices in a reasonable range considering their location, and prime quality meat.) I make a quick chicken stock with 4 lbs of hacked up chicken legs, and the poultry guys have no problem cleavering them bits and pieces for me. Saves me huge time in the kitchen, the prices are fair, and the guys there are old timers- really friendly folks.

                                                  As for Moishe's, their prices are outrageous, but *really* good. But you will end up paying $15 for a lunch plate of dark meat chicken kebab, pita, tabbouleh and baba ghanouj. But oh, what a lunch plate it is. The tabbouleh is incredibly fresh, and perfectly seasoned. The baba ghanouj is impossibly creamy, and wonderfully smoky. The muhamarra is my most recent favorite, a heady concoction of walnuts, pomegranite seeds, red peppers, cumin... outstanding stuff. The only problem is deciding whether to sub the eggplant or the tabbouleh for it, because otherwise lunch is heading up to $20, and that's ridiculous. Their prices really should be half of what they are charging, but I just can't argue with the quality. The only downside is that they use rubber pita from the bag, but they bring it back to life a bit by grilling it lightly, and finally rubbing the grilled chicken kebab juices into it before plating it up (they use it like a catchers glove to pull the hot chicken off the hot metal kebab skewer.) Moishe's is certainly worth trying it once-- go with my recs and I promise you won't be disappointed by anything other than the price (and the rubber pita).

                                                  Other tips for FM... the Brazilian BBQ is very expensive, pay by the lb. They have two tiers-- a "meat only" price, which is very expensive, and a "meat plus salad bar" price, which is about half. So the secret is to take one leaf of lettuce (or something incredibly light), and load up on meat. Avoid any white meat chicken, as they overcook the hell out of it, and it comes out dry and leathery (but that's to be expected). Otherwise, their various grilled cuts can be quite good.

                                                  Singapore Banana Leaf is OK. It's a nice change of pace from the other vendors in the market, and more affordable. The laksa is fine, and the ice kachang and palm sugar chendol are both refreshing on a hot day.

                                                  Burritos at Loteria are a better deal than the tacos, as you can tell them to go light on the rice and get a much more substantial meal.

                                                  I've had little success at Little Spain-- I can cook much better fideua and paella at home. But it is great having Bomba and Valencia rice available without having to drive down to San Pedro, even if it's quite obvious that they're buying from La Espanola and marking it up.

                                                  Bob's is great as ever. Buttermilk crumb donut and coffee-- a perfect Saturday morning.

                                                  Bennet's Ice Cream (next to Bob's) is very good, but EXPENSIVE. Upward of $4-$5 for a single scoop of good, not great, ice cream. Gill's the soft serve place by the Korean restaurant, is wildly overpriced. $4 for a TINY soft serve dip. If they're going to gouge you, at least make a cursory attempt at providing value by offering 50 cents more ice cream.

                                                  The French creperie is a disgrace. Short Order is a disgrace. The Bear Pit BBQ is a stinky, putrid affront to humanity (and BBQ).

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster
                                                    k
                                                    kevin RE: Mr Taster Apr 8, 2014 05:09 PM

                                                    Ok, I'm solid, I'll hit up Moishe's for the veggie plate, and maybe some gyro in the future.

                                                    I always really liked Singapore's Banana Leaf and it was not nearly as expensive as everywhere else.

                                                    Oh, Maggee's is always great for corned beef sandwiches or plates even though a sandwich is now upwards of $15 before tax with no sides in evidence.

                                                    1. re: kevin
                                                      Mr Taster RE: kevin Apr 8, 2014 10:00 PM

                                                      I have no idea what "veggie plate" you're referring to. I never recommended a. veggie plate.

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster
                                                        k
                                                        kevin RE: Mr Taster Apr 9, 2014 09:20 AM

                                                        I'm talking about the sides that come w the chicken plate if I only order those sides you mentioned as a veggie plate with The falafel.

                                                        My bad.

                                                    2. re: Mr Taster
                                                      k
                                                      kevin RE: Mr Taster Apr 8, 2014 05:10 PM

                                                      Maybe one can get all three on a veggie plate ?????????

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster
                                                        n
                                                        ns1 RE: Mr Taster Apr 8, 2014 05:18 PM

                                                        Bear Pit BBQ is ridiculous. My buddy went there (I did not have a chance to stop him) and got the bland shitty chicken. BBQ chicken = bland chicken prepared in an unknown fashion with bbq sauce all over it. Awful, would not recommend to my worst enemy.

                                                        I actually really like Banana Leaf, mainly because the number of options for that style of cuisine NOT located on the westside can be counted on one hand.

                                                        With AMZ Fresh delivering goods from Huntington, Marconda, AND SM Seafood, I have no reason to go to the farmers market unless it's a holiday and I need Little John's.

                                                        1. re: Mr Taster
                                                          EarlyBird RE: Mr Taster Apr 9, 2014 09:00 AM

                                                          Love the run down, Opt Out. I too live very close to the FM, and generally agree with everything you mention.

                                                          Absolutely the Bear Pit BBQ is an affront to humanity, dare I say a crime against humanity, and BBQ. But what about Short Order, other than its prices, is disagreeable to you?

                                                          1. re: Mr Taster
                                                            t
                                                            trvlcrzy RE: Mr Taster Apr 10, 2014 12:04 AM

                                                            The one good thing about Little Spain is the "chocos"..large calamari. The texture is pretty close to those that Ive'd had in Spain (not overfried hard or rubber chewy). Another highlight is Short Cake's carrot cake….moist and not too sweet.

                                                            1. re: Mr Taster
                                                              omotosando RE: Mr Taster Apr 20, 2014 08:49 PM

                                                              Paid close to $20 this weekend for lamb kebab and muhamarra at Moishe's but I think it was worth it, although the lamb seemed a tad lesser quality than I remembered.

                                                              1. re: omotosando
                                                                Mr Taster RE: omotosando Apr 21, 2014 09:22 AM

                                                                Can't attest to the lamb as I never order it. My order is dark meat schwarma with tabbouleh & baba ghanoush (or mouhamara) and I've never, ever been disappointed with anything other than the price (and the plastic bag pita).

                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                  k
                                                                  kevin RE: Mr Taster Apr 21, 2014 11:09 AM

                                                                  It's like 13 bucks.

                                                                  That's not terrible considering lesser joints charge at least 10 to 11 bucks for supposedly lesser shwarma plates.

                                                                  1. re: kevin
                                                                    Mr Taster RE: kevin Apr 21, 2014 11:24 AM

                                                                    Moishe's is more like $15.

                                                                    Elena's in Glendale is $8-$10.

                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                      k
                                                                      kevin RE: Mr Taster Apr 21, 2014 11:33 AM

                                                                      Ok, but Elena's is also much cheaper than the majority of places around town.

                                                                      But how does elena's baba ghanoush, muhummra, tabbouleh, and morooccan eggplant compared to Moishe's ????????

                                                                      1. re: kevin
                                                                        Mr Taster RE: kevin Apr 21, 2014 01:14 PM

                                                                        I don't get those things at Elena's, generally. Though I do usually sub rice for tabbouleh and it's delicious. Her lamb chops are spectacular.

                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                          2. re: jesstifer
                                                            l
                                                            LAgirl2 RE: jesstifer Apr 8, 2014 01:50 PM

                                                            I like the gyros @ Moishe's---actually that's my usual go-to FM lunch (although I did get the cheeseburger from Charlie's last time I was @ the market). I think it's tasty. Pretty much on par w/ Papa Christos.

                                                            1. re: LAgirl2
                                                              k
                                                              kevin RE: LAgirl2 Apr 8, 2014 03:02 PM

                                                              Wow.

                                                              After all these years, this is the VERY first time that hounds have ever mentioned Moishe's for the gyro.

                                                              1. re: kevin
                                                                l
                                                                LAgirl2 RE: kevin Apr 8, 2014 03:17 PM

                                                                probably because it's not a destination gyro, it's a "I'm @ the Farmers Market and I'm hungry" gyro---in that context it's pretty good but not the best gyro that you will ever have.

                                                                1. re: LAgirl2
                                                                  k
                                                                  kevin RE: LAgirl2 Apr 8, 2014 03:22 PM

                                                                  Ok, then where would the "best gyro that you will ever have" be ??????

                                                                  Thanks.

                                                                  1. re: kevin
                                                                    j
                                                                    jessejames RE: kevin Apr 8, 2014 03:24 PM

                                                                    id love to find something like the kebabs in london with that awesome red sauce...

                                                                    1. re: jessejames
                                                                      k
                                                                      kevin RE: jessejames Apr 20, 2014 08:09 PM

                                                                      Saki's in reseda I think.

                                                                    2. re: kevin
                                                                      l
                                                                      LAgirl2 RE: kevin Apr 8, 2014 03:26 PM

                                                                      There isn't a best gyro in LA. I think you'd need to go to Chicago for that.

                                                                      1. re: LAgirl2
                                                                        k
                                                                        kevin RE: LAgirl2 Apr 8, 2014 03:28 PM

                                                                        Sorry, my bad.

                                                                        Better than the Famer's Market Moishe's then, or rather a decent to good version.

                                                                        1. re: kevin
                                                                          l
                                                                          LAgirl2 RE: kevin Apr 8, 2014 03:31 PM

                                                                          That's a very good question. In LA I've only had Papa Christo's and Moishe's. There are just not enough Greek places here. You could probably get a better gyro at any NY Greek coffee shop.

                                                                          1. re: LAgirl2
                                                                            j
                                                                            jessejames RE: LAgirl2 Apr 8, 2014 03:33 PM

                                                                            the california pita on s. beverly does a reasonable gyro. I like the dogmeat on a spit rather than actual lamb etc piled high. at least it's cheap fast and filing and they have decent sauces and fries.

                                                                            1. re: jessejames
                                                                              k
                                                                              kevin RE: jessejames Apr 8, 2014 03:35 PM

                                                                              yeah, i hit that place up a couple times. followed by slices at mulberry.

                                                                              and a slice of cake.

                                                                              a nice junky meal.

                                                                      2. re: kevin
                                                                        n
                                                                        ns1 RE: kevin Apr 8, 2014 03:32 PM

                                                                        I've since learned there are 2 distinct gyro types: american-style gyro and greek-style gyro.

                                                                        1. re: ns1
                                                                          k
                                                                          kevin RE: ns1 Apr 8, 2014 03:34 PM

                                                                          Can you name places in LA that do the american style ?

                                                                          And then a couple ideas of Greek style so I can get a better idea of what you're talking about ?

                                                                          And all these years I thought it was all one and the same.

                                                                          1. re: kevin
                                                                            n
                                                                            ns1 RE: kevin Apr 8, 2014 03:38 PM

                                                                            I'm not going to try to reinvent the wheel; greek vs american greek gyro:

                                                                            http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/06/gr...

                                                                            Mad Greek / Firehouse / George's Greek make my favorite Greek-American style gyro. Never tried Papa Cristo's, can't comment there.

                                                                            Don't even know where to go to find a legit greek gyro.

                                                                            1. re: ns1
                                                                              Mr Taster RE: ns1 Apr 8, 2014 04:50 PM

                                                                              GO TO PAPA CRISTO

                                                                              ORDER THE GYRO AND AN EXTRA TZATZIKI

                                                                              Have I made my point? :)

                                                                              I don't care if it's Greek or Greek American. It's outrageously delicious. They take the time to griddle the meat before adding to the pita, so it gets crispy edges. The tzatsiki is otherworldly good, made with yogurt they make at the shop, and seasoned better than I've ever been able to do it at home. And it's an insane value if you catch them on one of their $5 internet promo days. For 5 bucks, you have a serious contender for best sandwich/value in Los Angeles. Up there with Rosario's wonderful $5 sandwich at Roma Deli.

                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster
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                                                                                ns1 RE: Mr Taster Apr 8, 2014 05:00 PM

                                                                                crispy edges are the key to a delicious gyro IMO.

                                                                                I'll get to PC...eventually.

                                                                                1. re: Mr Taster
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                                                                                  LAgirl2 RE: Mr Taster Apr 8, 2014 05:01 PM

                                                                                  yes, their tzatsiki is excellent

                                                                              2. re: kevin
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                                                                                Ernie RE: kevin Apr 8, 2014 05:22 PM

                                                                                I have never seen gyros here like you see in Greece. If they call it a "gyro" and cut it from some cone-shaped piece of processed meat, that is American style. The meat in real Greek gyros is not processed and sort of resembles the Mexican al pastor

                                                                                1. re: Ernie
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                                                                                  kevin RE: Ernie Apr 8, 2014 05:54 PM

                                                                                  Ok, I'm starting to get it now.

                                                                                  Thanks Ernie. And probably closer to shwarma meat.

                                                                                  and most american stuff is more processed like this:

                                                                                  http://www.foodservicedirect.com/prod...

                                                                                  1. re: Ernie
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                                                                                    littlestevie RE: Ernie Apr 9, 2014 09:35 AM

                                                                                    If you ever watch Rick Bayless's TV show you might of seen the show on the Yucatan. He discussed the origin of al pastor, and it came to Mexico from the Lebanese that worked in the area making sisal ropes in the early 20th century. So really al pastor should resemble old school gyros.

                                                                                    1. re: littlestevie
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                                                                                      Ernie RE: littlestevie Apr 9, 2014 12:50 PM

                                                                                      Very interesting, that would explain the similar meat and cooking method. Thank you.

                                                                          2. re: kevin
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                                                                            jesstifer RE: kevin Apr 8, 2014 07:21 PM

                                                                            Not true, Kevin. I first read a rec for Moishe's here. I had never even looked at the menu, just assumed it was another Jewish deli! Do a search on this board, plenty of folks like it.

                                                                            1. re: jesstifer
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                                                                              jesstifer RE: jesstifer Apr 9, 2014 10:45 AM

                                                                              Sorry, that was in re: Hounds never having mentioned Moishe's.

                                                                        2. re: jesstifer
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                                                                          ilysla RE: jesstifer Apr 8, 2014 02:11 PM

                                                                          I actually think the Loteria Grill on 3rd St Promenade is almost good, but perhaps it's b/c of the noticeable lack of competition?

                                                                          Went to the FM Loteria after reviewing glowing reviews and found it pretty bland. I also don't understand the love....

                                                                          1. re: ilysla
                                                                            EarlyBird RE: ilysla Apr 8, 2014 02:25 PM

                                                                            If you haven't tried Loteria's huevos rancheros morita, give it a try. Morita is a delicious spicy red sauce, sort of a combination between an enchilada sauce and a mole, which they put over the eggs. It's great.

                                                                            I live a stone's throw from FM, and what keeps me from going back to Loteria is that the portion sizes keep shrinking while the prices keep growing.

                                                                            1. re: EarlyBird
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                                                                              jessejames RE: EarlyBird Apr 8, 2014 02:38 PM

                                                                              EB-I live in the hood too--ever you ever tried the mexican breakfast stuff at Frank's Charbroiler on Fairfax just south of third?

                                                                              1. re: jessejames
                                                                                EarlyBird RE: jessejames Apr 8, 2014 02:45 PM

                                                                                I've had a burrito which was sort of unremarkable, but haven't tried their breakfasts. Do you recommend them?

                                                                                1. re: EarlyBird
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                                                                                  jessejames RE: EarlyBird Apr 8, 2014 02:50 PM

                                                                                  i like the chiliquiles there, and their green salsa/hot sauce...we get the breakfast burritos too which i agree are unremarkable, but still requisite eggs chorizo cheese works for me---cheap and they deliver too. fresh squeezed OJ. bummer is the hours suck...closed sundays, closed dinner.

                                                                                  i generally enjoy the way they do rice (yellow) and carnitas (crispy) too. Also like the fries/burgers for low cost decent food...

                                                                                  Nice family owned place. 1/2 the price (at least) of loteria.

                                                                                  1. re: jessejames
                                                                                    EarlyBird RE: jessejames Apr 8, 2014 03:01 PM

                                                                                    I'll have to try their carnitas. I love carnitas.

                                                                                    1. re: EarlyBird
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                                                                                      jessejames RE: EarlyBird Apr 8, 2014 03:04 PM

                                                                                      me too, and correct me if im wrong but loteria doesn't do that...

                                                                                      1. re: jessejames
                                                                                        EarlyBird RE: jessejames Apr 9, 2014 09:02 AM

                                                                                        I believe you are correct about Loteria. I've never seen them do carnitas.

                                                                                2. re: jessejames
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                                                                                  Butter Fight RE: jessejames Apr 8, 2014 05:54 PM

                                                                                  Nice to see Frank's get a mention. My brother and my nephew have breakfast there every weekend, and when he was living in LA, this was my uncle's favorite restaurant. The food is fine, but the people are warm and friendly and the price is cheap.

                                                                                3. re: EarlyBird
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                                                                                  ilysla RE: EarlyBird Apr 8, 2014 03:05 PM

                                                                                  Wonder if the serve breakfast at the SM location (which is significantly closer to me)? Can't exactly recall what I had all those yrs ago at the FM's location (it was b/f I paid as close attention to food as I do now). I'm pretty sure it was mole, and I remember it being rather bland. =(

                                                                                  Had the mole at the SM location just a few wks-months ago and found it quite tasty. I imagine it'd be great over eggs....

                                                                                  1. re: ilysla
                                                                                    wienermobile RE: ilysla Apr 8, 2014 03:12 PM

                                                                                    Santa Monica location does not open till 11am. No breakfast.

                                                                                    1. re: wienermobile
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                                                                                      kevin RE: wienermobile Apr 8, 2014 03:16 PM

                                                                                      That sure sounds like breakfast to me. :)

                                                                                      1. re: kevin
                                                                                        wienermobile RE: kevin Apr 8, 2014 03:27 PM

                                                                                        The Farmer's Market Loteria Grill Location has breakfast starting at 8am daily.
                                                                                        RANCHEROS • 2 Fried Eggs, Served on Crisp Tortillas. Topped with our Salsa Ranchera. $10.75
                                                                                        RANCHEROS EN SALSA MORITA • 2 Fried Eggs, Served on Crisp Corn Tortillas. Topped with our very Spicy, Smoky Chile Morita Sauce. $11.50
                                                                                        DIVORCIADOS • 2 Fried Eggs, Served on Crisp Corn Tortillas. Topped with two Salsas; Our Salsa Ranchera and Our Salsa Verde. $11.50
                                                                                        CON CHORIZO • 3 Eggs, scrambled with our own homemade Chorizo. $11
                                                                                        A LA MEXICANA • 3 Eggs, scrambled with fresh Tomato, Onion and Chile Serrano. $10.75
                                                                                        add any Beef, Chicken or Chorizo $3
                                                                                        SCRAMBLED WITH • 3 Eggs, scrambled with your choice of any of our Vegetables, Chicken, Beef or Pork Guiso. $10.75
                                                                                        OMELETTE WITH • 3 Egg Omelette, filled with your choice of any of our Vegetable, Chicken, Beef or Pork Guisos. $12.50

                                                                                        1. re: wienermobile
                                                                                          EarlyBird RE: wienermobile Apr 9, 2014 09:05 AM

                                                                                          I love everything you list there, Wiener, except for the price.

                                                                                          What the menu fails to mention is, "We serve tiny portions of everything." If these were decent sized servings I could live with the price - there is a cost to simply being at the Farmer's Market. I get that. But being so stingy on the portions is insulting to me, and I'm not necessarily a big eater.

                                                                                      2. re: wienermobile
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                                                                                        ilysla RE: wienermobile Apr 8, 2014 04:45 PM

                                                                                        Was wondering about that. Thanks for checking. They might be serving an Easter brunch, though....

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                                                                                littlestevie RE: Will Owen Apr 8, 2014 03:39 PM

                                                                                Dang another haunt of my childhood ruined. I am not that surprised however. It seems that the Beverly Blvd.- Fairfax area has been undergoing a bit of a renaissance, and the change has not always been for the better. The last time I was up in that part of LA, I decided to go to one of my old haunts from 30+ years ago, El Coyote. The food always sorta sucked, but it was fun, the crowd was eclectic and the drinks would knock you on your arse. When we went back it was cleaned up and got pricey and the food still sucked. A huge disappointment.

                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                1. re: littlestevie
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                                                                                  jessejames RE: littlestevie Apr 8, 2014 03:44 PM

                                                                                  their support of prop 8 was dumb, and mean, and yes the food does suck.

                                                                                  i still love the neighborhood.

                                                                                  1. re: jessejames
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                                                                                    Sam D. RE: jessejames Apr 11, 2014 02:09 AM

                                                                                    As a restaurant, they didn't support prop 8. That came from one member of the owning family who worked there.

                                                                                    But the larger issue is "Do business owners give up their right to free expression and the right to follow their own principles?"

                                                                                    1. re: Sam D.
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                                                                                      jessejames RE: Sam D. Apr 11, 2014 07:34 AM

                                                                                      Neither do customers

                                                                                      And I don't call bigotry "principles"

                                                                                      1. re: Sam D.
                                                                                        TripleAxel RE: Sam D. Apr 15, 2014 01:22 PM

                                                                                        She didn't follow her principles, unless you consider making the donation because she was told by the Mormon Church that she must abide by their demands a principle...

                                                                                    2. re: littlestevie
                                                                                      EarlyBird RE: littlestevie Apr 9, 2014 09:07 AM

                                                                                      Stevie, I can confirm that even though a lot of the prices have gone through the roof at Farmer's Market, they have done very well keeping the old "feel" of the place - even the smell - that you grew up with. I thought that the addition of the Grove was going to obliterate it, but it has not.

                                                                                      Be discerning about what you eat, but nonetheless sit there and soak it in. You'll feel like a kid again.

                                                                                      1. re: EarlyBird
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                                                                                        littlestevie RE: EarlyBird Apr 9, 2014 09:44 AM

                                                                                        Well at it still looks the same and that would be good..The price thing blows me away, mom used to shop for her meat there because you could get prime and it was way cheaper than the old Jurgensen's market, I guess it's much more a tourist destination than back in the 60's. I am sorta sorry to see the old Pan Pacific go, but I guess it was a dump.

                                                                                        1. re: littlestevie
                                                                                          EarlyBird RE: littlestevie Apr 9, 2014 10:47 AM

                                                                                          Yeah, I believe the Pan Pacific was deteriorating quite badly when it burned to the ground - due to an electric fire.

                                                                                          1. re: EarlyBird
                                                                                            wienermobile RE: EarlyBird Apr 10, 2014 01:40 PM

                                                                                            Before and after

                                                                                             
                                                                                             
                                                                                            1. re: wienermobile
                                                                                              EarlyBird RE: wienermobile Apr 11, 2014 10:45 AM

                                                                                              *sniff*

                                                                                    3. TripleAxel RE: Will Owen Apr 9, 2014 09:10 AM

                                                                                      You should have been firmed and asked the clerk what did they think "chips" meant in fish & chips, and if they didn't offer to give you the fries for free, then demand a refund and file a complaint with the Farmers Market management. Whoever is running this food stand is clueless, much like the staff hired there as well...

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: TripleAxel
                                                                                        EarlyBird RE: TripleAxel Apr 9, 2014 09:29 AM

                                                                                        Others on this thread have talked about filing a complaint with the FM management. But what can FM do unless the tenant establishment is doing something illegal or disruptive? I doubt they have a rule that a tenant must be good business people.

                                                                                        I personally do not know how Tusquellas even stays open. Whenever I go by I see maybe three or four different types of fish that seem to be getting old, and some pre-cooked shrimp with cocktail sauce, and a jar or two of pre-shucked oysters - all at ridiculous prices. I mean, how can they move enough volume to make a profit? I don't get that place.

                                                                                        I do, however, credit one of the guys at the counter, after my disappointment that they didn't sell raw, whole, head-on shrimp, for telling me to go to Seafood City on Vermont.

                                                                                        1. re: EarlyBird
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                                                                                          jessejames RE: EarlyBird Apr 9, 2014 09:32 AM

                                                                                          we've gotten good but not cheap sea bass and lump crab meat at the store portion on the south side

                                                                                      2. Will Owen RE: Will Owen Apr 9, 2014 05:10 PM

                                                                                        Okay, this thread has gotten longer than I'd have thought possible, but there are some choices that we've found to be good and not overpriced, beginning (and perhaps ending) at the Korean rice bowl place facing the court at the Fairfax end. The diner-food place to the left of there is another, and I've gotten a cheap(ish) and filling lunch at the Gumbo Pot. A beer (one's my limit these days) goes nicely with any of this, and there's always something nice on tap. That may be one reason our gang always settles in there and hangs onto a table for two or three hours. My solo sojourn the other day was atypical, and atypically disappointing.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Will Owen
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                                                                                          jesstifer RE: Will Owen Apr 10, 2014 03:20 PM

                                                                                          Same for us. Wife likes Gumbo Pot and the catfish sandwich therein, so we always hunker there and get a glass of wine from the wine/beer place. I often get a Korean bowl, which is okay, but nowhere near K-town quality. Moishe's, on the other hand, is top-ten ME food anywhere in LA.

                                                                                          Interesting, I just typed "ME" food when the discussion above has been all about Greek vs. American gyros. I wonder if Moishe's considers itself to be Greek, or Lebanese, or given the name, Israeli even? I've never travelled in the Middle East (except Turkey), so I ask out of ignorance.

                                                                                        2. Tripeler RE: Will Owen Apr 10, 2014 12:46 AM

                                                                                          Of all the doozies in this thread, the idea of "Fish & Chips" without the chips (fried potatoes) is truly outrageous, and the proprietor needs to be sizzled in hot oil for this farce. Good on Will for being such a gentleman through all this.

                                                                                          18 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Tripeler
                                                                                            Will Owen RE: Tripeler Apr 10, 2014 01:33 PM

                                                                                            Double doozy: F&C with chips extra, from an "oyster bar" that sells only FRIED oysters …

                                                                                            I think the most useful thing to come out of this is to note that Tusquellas has been revealed as a place whose "cooking" is one step above serving TV dinners. Those battered cod bits, I am very sure, came to them in frozen ready-to-fry form, as I'll bet just about all of their "fresh" seafood does. If the fries and coleslaw hadn't been so good the whole experience would have been miserable.

                                                                                            1. re: Will Owen
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                                                                                              kevin RE: Will Owen Apr 10, 2014 02:59 PM

                                                                                              That's like ordering fried chicken at say "Smith's Fried chicken joint" and they served you grilled chicken.

                                                                                              ok, my analogy stinks but you get the proverbial point.

                                                                                              1. re: Will Owen
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                                                                                                kevin RE: Will Owen Apr 10, 2014 02:59 PM

                                                                                                So moral of the story is to maybe just order the fries, which are pretty good, after I've eaten at some other joint in the market ????????

                                                                                                Thanks for doing the legwork.

                                                                                                It hasn't be in vain.

                                                                                                1. re: kevin
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                                                                                                  jessejames RE: kevin Apr 10, 2014 03:00 PM

                                                                                                  fuck the fries/get the tots at fritzies.

                                                                                                  1. re: kevin
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                                                                                                    ns1 RE: kevin Apr 10, 2014 03:03 PM

                                                                                                    moral of the story is don't support crappy/shady establishments.

                                                                                                    1. re: ns1
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                                                                                                      kevin RE: ns1 Apr 10, 2014 03:11 PM

                                                                                                      got it.

                                                                                                      but i will be hitting up Moishe's which sounds quite good.

                                                                                                      1. re: kevin
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                                                                                                        schrutefarms RE: kevin Apr 10, 2014 06:23 PM

                                                                                                        I concur about Moishe's, it's really good.

                                                                                                        1. re: schrutefarms
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                                                                                                          jessejames RE: schrutefarms Apr 10, 2014 06:25 PM

                                                                                                          Wow I've never been and amazed by the props. Gotta be good. Good hot sauce or relishes?

                                                                                                          1. re: jessejames
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                                                                                                            schrutefarms RE: jessejames Apr 10, 2014 06:45 PM

                                                                                                            I'm not really a hot sauce person, so I'm not sure on that one. I've always gotten the veggie plate; i.e. falafel, dolmas, hummus, pita etc…I've always walked away more than happy.

                                                                                                            1. re: schrutefarms
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                                                                                                              kevin RE: schrutefarms Apr 10, 2014 09:06 PM

                                                                                                              Schrutey, you have officially and unquestionably sold me on the joint.

                                                                                                              If you ever want to grab a meal there, lunch is in me.

                                                                                                              You have my email.

                                                                                                              1. re: schrutefarms
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                                                                                                                jessejames RE: schrutefarms Apr 10, 2014 09:17 PM

                                                                                                                Gotta at least have the little yellow hot peppers for me. Bet they got at least that. Some spots have more pepper relishes or sauce. California pita does some kind of jalapeño purée which is nice

                                                                                                                1. re: jessejames
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                                                                                                                  kevin RE: jessejames Apr 10, 2014 10:10 PM

                                                                                                                  From now on. CA Pita followed by crappy Mulberry followed by even crappier Ruth Chris, which is kind of like Chuck E Cheeses but with steak instead of The dastardly pizza.

                                                                                                                  1. re: kevin
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                                                                                                                    jessejames RE: kevin Apr 10, 2014 10:13 PM

                                                                                                                    Ruths Chris quite solid if u ask me.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jessejames
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                                                                                                                      kevin RE: jessejames Apr 10, 2014 10:23 PM

                                                                                                                      But JJ you have to realize that among hounds it sucks to high heaven and then some.

                                                                                                                      1. re: kevin
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                                                                                                                        jessejames RE: kevin Apr 10, 2014 10:29 PM

                                                                                                                        If money no object it's the best meal on s Beverly. For me the beef is among best in town. Steak potatoes wine cheesecake what's so stinky about that?

                                                                                                                        1. re: jessejames
                                                                                                                          k
                                                                                                                          kevin RE: jessejames Apr 10, 2014 10:54 PM

                                                                                                                          Tanas does an exceptionally

                                                                                                                          Better steak.

                                                                                                                          You know that.

                                                                                                                          By now.

                                                                                                                          1. re: kevin
                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                            jessejames RE: kevin Apr 11, 2014 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                            Not if u want a porterhouse or filet

                                                                                                      2. re: kevin
                                                                                                        Will Owen RE: kevin Apr 11, 2014 05:33 PM

                                                                                                        No, don't do that, kevin, because when the side dishes are part of a meal deal they're relatively cheap, but as a separate order the fries are $3 and the coleslaw $3.50. Although they're just about worth that …

                                                                                                  2. k
                                                                                                    kevin RE: Will Owen Apr 20, 2014 08:11 PM

                                                                                                    JJ, Kebab w red sauce. I think you mean iskander.

                                                                                                    http://m.yelp.com/biz/sakos-mediterra...

                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: kevin
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                                                                                                      jessejames RE: kevin Apr 21, 2014 12:15 PM

                                                                                                      Love an iskander w melted butter too. But thinking more London street meat.

                                                                                                      1. re: jessejames
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                                                                                                        kevin RE: jessejames Apr 21, 2014 12:34 PM

                                                                                                        yeah, i think the link above is as close as it gets in the LA area.

                                                                                                        1. re: kevin
                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                          jessejames RE: kevin Apr 21, 2014 12:40 PM

                                                                                                          Will check it out. Should be ez. Ubiquitous in uk. Gyro meat. Pita in half. Cabbage. Hot peppers and the red sauce.

                                                                                                          1. re: jessejames
                                                                                                            k
                                                                                                            kevin RE: jessejames Apr 21, 2014 12:49 PM

                                                                                                            There version of a Sabretts stand, if you will. :)

                                                                                                    2. EatFoodGetMoney RE: Will Owen Apr 21, 2014 11:33 AM

                                                                                                      You knew the fries cost "extra," and proceeded with the transaction anyway. That seems to be the only material fact in this story, other than that it was incorrectly labeled as "fish AND chips".
                                                                                                      Should have just told him you reconsidered and didn't want them anymore

                                                                                                      In any case it sounds really surprising these folks are still in business. WTF kind of joint doesn't include fries with your fish and chips? I'm all about paying only for what you want, but who doesn't want fries with fish? That's blasphemy.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: EatFoodGetMoney
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                                                                                                        ns1 RE: EatFoodGetMoney Apr 21, 2014 05:32 PM

                                                                                                        they do include fries, it just counts as one side. LOL

                                                                                                        1. re: ns1
                                                                                                          Servorg RE: ns1 Apr 21, 2014 05:38 PM

                                                                                                          If the fries count as one side and the fish counts as another side that would mean "side out" - and the serve would go over to the other team...

                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                            EatFoodGetMoney RE: Servorg Apr 21, 2014 07:09 PM

                                                                                                            Hahaha

                                                                                                      2. k
                                                                                                        kevin RE: Will Owen Apr 23, 2014 02:09 PM

                                                                                                        Taster, the walnut and red chile thing was pretty great from Moishe's.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: kevin
                                                                                                          Mr Taster RE: kevin Apr 23, 2014 03:35 PM

                                                                                                          Mouhamara. Yup. It's like a super-chutney.

                                                                                                          Mr Taster

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