Dining Reviews

Dining Review: Small plates, small pleasures

Dining Review: Small plates, small pleasures

The most prominent thing at Cascabel is the giant slithering rattlesnake painted on the walls. The image prepares you for a night of drama. Turquoise wooden tables and benches prepare you, on the other hand, for a casual fish meal like on the beach in Cozumel. Unless a trip to coastal Mexico or...

Dining Review: A new sweet spot in Montrose

Dining Review: A new sweet spot in Montrose

The restaurants in Montrose might want to up their dessert game.

Dining Review: Modern menu mixes well at brew pub

Dining Review: Modern menu mixes well at brew pub

I made reservations to go to a pub last weekend. I can’t help but think my friends in England would laugh heartily at this totally L.A. phenomenon. But this isn’t just any pub. This is the new Eagle Rock Brewery Public House in the former Fatty’s location in Eagle Rock.

Dining Review: Opening the book on a tale of two sushis

Dining Review: Opening the book on a tale of two sushis

People are very opinionated about sushi. First of all, you have to like it. Let's assume you do. You're going to want it fresh, that's a given. But after that, are you a hand roll person or do you prefer straight sashimi? Will you be satisfied with only the most exquisite toro nigiri or does a...

Dining Review: Dining in the New Year

Dining Review: Dining in the New Year

Christmas is all about family, friends and food. But by this time in the holiday season, it’s hard to face another shrimp canape, spinach dip or piece of fudge. I find myself longing for a full meal, well-thought out and overseen by one cook. There are a number of fine restaurants in our...

Dining Review: Area Asian eateries offer tasty soup options

Dining Review: Area Asian eateries offer tasty soup options

Ludwig Van Beethoven once said, "Only the pure of heart can make good soup."

Dining Review: International thrills in Atwater

Dining Review: International thrills in Atwater

There aren't many places in Los Angeles where you can be sipping wine and nibbling appetizers when all of a sudden, 20 feet away, a train roars by. That's just one of the little thrills you can expect at the brand-new restaurant Momed in Atwater Crossing, the creative-arts district just over the...

Curvy roads and cauliflower soup: Newcomb's Ranch celebrates 75 years

Curvy roads and cauliflower soup: Newcomb's Ranch celebrates 75 years

Perched alongside State Route 2, Newcomb's Ranch maintains its rustic, homestyle feel at 75.

Dining Review: Crossings is perfect for a date night

Delicious fare and a warm ambience put Pasadena restaurant ahead.

Perhaps it was the Old Fashioned. Maybe it was the Oysters Rockefeller. It might have been the artful elegance of the decor. Whatever the reason, at more than one point in the evening I expected to look over and see Don Draper and Roger Sterling from “Mad Men” chatting at the next table....

Area offers wine-tasting choices

Area offers wine-tasting choices

When it comes to wine, Tuesdays are for tastings. Three area wine shops offer terrific Tuesday night tipples for a small fee. The fourth shop is strictly a Friday/Saturday thing but it's too good to omit.

Dining Review: Pickles help form a more perfect Union

Dining Review: Pickles help form a more perfect Union

In the past decade, chefs have reached celebrity superstar status. Bruce Kalman has his credentials — winner of "Chopped" Season 15 and head chef at the Churchill. At his new Pasadena restaurant, Union, Kalman is definitely in charge but he seems to have lots of friends helping him, friends...

Dining Out: Save Sunday for Bashan's burgers

Dining Out: Save Sunday for Bashan's burgers

Gourmet burgers are nothing new, but in the hands of Chef Nadav Bashan they're something special. Bashan recently launched a Sunday Gourmet Burger Night at his eponymous bistro on Verdugo Road, and it's been all the rage.

A GLAZA gala for the jet set

A GLAZA gala for the jet set

If there were a Yelp site for fundraisers, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn.'s Beastly Ball would probably rank five stars. The event, a casual nighttime affair taking place in different locations around the Griffith Park zoo, is known in social circles as one of the most enjoyable ways to raise...

Dining Out: Check out these vintage diners

Dining Out: Check out these vintage diners

The 1950s and '60s saw a construction boom in the San Fernando Valley, Burbank in particular. Armed with newly invented building materials and a sleek car culture aesthetic, soldiers returning from war helped construct businesses and restaurants frequented by their growing families. Some of the...

The Asian Project gives diners a few choices

The Asian Project gives diners a few choices

An interesting new fast-casual concept has sprung up in a strip mall in Burbank. The Chipotle motif (based on the Subway motif) is continuing to gain traction in dining culture but mostly with Mexican-style foods. This restaurant, called the Asian Project or TAP for short, uses foods and flavors...

Dining Review: Seasoning Alley is creative on the sides

Dining Review: Seasoning Alley is creative on the sides

Walking into Seasoning Alley is a little like walking into a sunrise. Bright orange and yellow paint coat the walls and prints of big red poppies lift your spirits.

Dining Review: Commonwealth dishes up uncommon delights

Dining Review: Commonwealth dishes up uncommon delights

Forget the fact you have to park in an auto repair shop across a busy stretch of Glenoaks Boulevard. Ignore that this hard-to-find eatery is next to a hectic multipump gas station. Overlook the limitation that it's only open at night. Just get yourself to Commonwealth, an outstanding little...

 Expect fair fare at high-flying Bourbon Steak

Expect fair fare at high-flying Bourbon Steak

It's official. Glendale has arrived. It now has a supper club on par with steakhouses in San Francisco, Miami and Las Vegas. It's no surprise because Michael Mina, head of the Mina Group of restaurants and the force behind Bourbon Steak Los Angeles, has 20 other concept restaurants in cities like...

Cooking up the competition at Gelson's, Ralphs and Whole Foods

Cooking up the competition at Gelson's, Ralphs and Whole Foods

A parking lot lined with red tassels marks the opening of the 18th Gelson's Market location in La Cañada Flintridge. Food chat sites like Chowhound suggest that the shopping experience at Gelson's is somewhere between that at Whole Foods and Ralphs. In an effort to get to know the store...

Dining Review: Room for improvement at Thee Elbow Room

Dining Review: Room for improvement at Thee Elbow Room

New restaurants are popping up, or set to pop up, all along Honolulu Avenue in Montrose. The most recent opening is Thee Elbow Room at the eastern end of town. With a Cordon Blue chef-curated menu of unique sandwiches and salads and a quiet patio to enjoy them in, Thee Elbow Room carves a distinct...

Dining Review: Modern Coffee Commissary fills an old-school niche

Dining Review: Modern Coffee Commissary fills an old-school niche

Back when I worked in television, I was always on the lookout for a place to get a quick breakfast that wasn’t made of sugar and white flour. Those early morning shoots required more substance. If Coffee Commissary had been around, it would’ve been my go-to spot. It’s no...

Dining Out: A French café that is a crêpe above

Dining Out: A French café that is a crêpe above

In the charming village of Sierra Madre, a new French cafe has popped up with an atmosphere as fresh as the food they serve. Monsieur Crêpe is a light-filled space with easy counter service, making it a top choice for local workers, shoppers and residents wanting a place to read the paper or...

Dining Out: Bar Verde proves to be hidden treasure

Dining Out: Bar Verde proves to be hidden treasure

There's a secret spot in the Americana with a wicked hamburger and a mean Mai Tai. You won't find it street side as you wander down shopping lanes. You probably won't see it from the fountain or green. No, this hidden gem is up three escalators, past mannequins bearing high-end children's clothing,...

Dining Review: Rediscovering an old favorite

Dining Review: Rediscovering an old favorite

Have you ever had a favorite restaurant but for one reason or another stopped going there? Such was the case with the Olive Branch in La Crescenta. Perhaps it was the chipping exterior in need of a facelift that kept me away. Or the fact that I go to dozens of kebab places. But when a friend from...

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