Thursday, March 29, 2007

Gyu Kaku + + + + $ $

Where? La Cienega and 2 blocks south of San Vicente
Who? Howie's Birthday Consortium

Very nice looking Japanese BBQ restaurant that uses in-table coals for self cooking. Wide selection of BBQ'able items. Kalbi, ribs and chicken are fantastically seasoned and succulent, the shrimp was amazing, and the asparagus is jumbo sized. Portions of each item are mini, so you may need to spend in excess of $25 (4-5 plates) to get full. The grill has some heat issues which occasionally limited cooking speed. Park on the streets behind the restaurant.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Coldstone Creamery * * / + + + $

Where? Long Beach Village, Pasadena/South Lake
Who? Andrew and CLEO people, Sushu, Howie

Andrew's take: Absolutely excellent ice cream which is even better in a waffle bowl. Some may cringe at the thought of putting a whole brownie, fudge, and cherries in a bowl that compact. But if you don't mind eating 10,000 calories in one $5 sitting, then this is the place to go. Dine-in interior is sparse.

Themo's take: I'll have to disagree on this one. The ice cream is too thick and too buttery, and the various flavors are not very strong. The great thing is that you can mix various other stuff like nuts, fruits, syrups etc with your ice cream. But the taste is not that great. Gelato Paradiso is 10 times better!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Edison + + + + $ $ (Lounge/Bar)

Where? Main and 2nd

As an electrical engineer, the idea of a power plant turned into a lounge/bar is very exciting. Aesthetics are art deco, 20's and extremely pleasing, complete with a boiler, Westinghouse turbines and energy inefficient bulbs. The music is exclusively swing/early jazz although I did hear some Herbie Hancock. Flapper girls come out every now and again to entertain the patrons. The game of the night plays on a huge screen from a projector. Drinks are $10, no cover. The place does get crowded. Parking is on the street. Get there before 10 to avoid waiting in line.

Cafe 322 * * * * $$

Who? Themos, Dora, Costas, Jun
Where? Sierra Madre
How much? $25

This is a different place. Depending on the night, they may feature jazz, blues, or tenors night! There is live music and most of the tables are very close to the stage so there is no microphone needed. The food is not great but it is very cheap considering what they offer. It mostly consists of italian dishes like pizza, pastas, and some seafood here and there. The environment is very friendly and the waiters polite. You wouldn't expect to find such a place almost in the middle of nowhere! The shows start usually at 7:30 but you may want to go there a bit earlier too get a nice table.

Wild Thai * * $$

Who? Themos, Dora, Melania, Frankie
Where? Somewhere off the 405
How much? $19

Wild Thai is a nice cozy place near the Bridge Cinemas next to the 405 Freeway. They have a variety of dishes from all corners of Thailand, ranging from seafood to all kinds of meats. The portions are not huge but they are cheap, and you can share most of the plates. The environment is decent and the service pretty good. Nothing exceptional, but it is a rational choice if you are around.