Tag Archives: los angeles

Universal Studios: What to Do and Not to Do

I challenged myself to write ten Yelp reviews a day… until I have no more reviews to write. The suggestions are based on your activity history and I’ve stumbled upon a time that I decided to check-in to everything that I went to at Universal one day. Well, it’s a lot of rides and food stands, etc. and it got me into thinking, why don’t we give some tips for Universal because… everything is good if you play your cards right. BUT it can be one tough day if you don’t make the right moves.

Here are some tips to make the most out of your visit.

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Tatsu Ramen

So here I am, ready to deliver a three-star review to this ramen spot, Tatsu, when my partner-in-crime stops me and says… no. She demands I put five stars up so we settle for four and I’ll tell you why. She’s strictly judging the ramen, which is one of her favorites in LA. I’m judging the overall experience, which is always going to be lackluster on Sawtelle.

This place is PACKED to the point that it’s more than competitive with Tsujita. You get a lot more of the younger West LA crowd (middle/jr/high school) waiting outside here, so it’s hard to weave your way through even if it’s not your destination. This of course means wait times, so good luck dining in. I’ve only ever gotten take out and delivery. I give Tatsu credit for delivering the same product at their multiple locations. That consistency builds them a strong following because you know what to expect.

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Seasalt Fish Grill

After looking up churros on Yelp and finding that this place offered churro waffles, we decided to check out Seasalt Fish Grill. It helped that it was a seafood specialty stop because we both favor fish-based diets. We expected to be walking into some busy and posh new spot in downtown Culver City, but that isn’t the case. It’s easily accessible and even has free parking. The spot itself offers both outdoor and indoor seating with your very casual order and take a number system. Again, this wasn’t what we were expecting and while I thought there was going to be a small, specialty menu, I was wrong again.

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Fit’s plate (the garlic fries were for both of us)

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Plan Check Review

Plan Check has a few locations and I’ve only been to this one, although I have been here multiple times. Since I worked across the street, I would take my staff here for meetings/lunches AND since we knew how to navigate Sawtelle so well, we never had to wait for a table. I also know how long the wait can be because I could see the line from outside my window, so my first bit of advice is… try to time your visit… if you can.

Whenever you go to a hipster-gastropub/New American joint like this, you have to know that you’ll be paying a lot for small portions. If you’re surprised by that when you arrive, I apologize for your ignorance of the LA food scene. So again, coming here is about managing expectations and being strategic. My staff would fill up on fries so they don’t leave hungry.

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Tsujita (Yelp Review)

3 stars given on Yelp

Having worked a few buildings over for two and a half years, I saw the lines outside of Tsujita, a ramen eatery on Sawtelle. I knew it was heavily hyped because of its presence on Gold’s 101 List multiple times. I think he even claimed it was the best ramen in LA. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case the only time I visited.

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The Crustacean: Restaurant Review

Can we just avoid writing any words and let you eat with your eyes for a moment? As you can tell from all the pictures below, the food here is beautiful and a considerable amount of extra time is spent on presentation, which we appreciate, because it’s a testament to their high standards. The elephant in the room is that The Crustacean, owned and operated by the House of An from Vietnam, is a little on the expensive side, impossible to get a reservation, and requires you to dress up like you’re heading to a wedding, right? Wrong and none of these are necessarily true. 

While you can’t walk in off the streets on a Friday night wearing sandals and a fitted cap, expecting to be seated quickly and fill your stomach with a $10 bill, The Crustacean is a lot more than a “fancy restaurant” in the heart of Beverly Hills. Its atmosphere can be magical with the elaborate indoor setup that makes you feel like you’re in the Vietnamese equivalent of a castle grand dining hall. As the host walks you through the entry into the two-level main room, passing over bridges made from beautiful wood, it’s impossible to ignore the glass-covered river underneath the floor filled with large koi. You’ve been successfully transported into a different part of the world and then you eat.

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Pizza Press Restaurant Review

Another contender enters the ring, but this isn’t Super Smash Bros although you might think a Mario and Luigi have something to do with this. Good one, right? Looking back through the blog, we’ve talked about pizza… a lot. Can you blame us? We’ve highlighted our favorite pizza ever, our favorite pizza in LA, simple homemade pizza, a healthy homemade recipe, and much more. We even wrote a blog post about pizza on our other blog. More recently, we realized that there’s a growing market here in LA that is heavily influenced by the success of Subway, Chipotle, and other “build your own” food stops. At the time, we tried Pieology and Pizza Rev, and we wrote about our comparative review HERE.

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LA’s Best Dessert Right Now

With social media acting more as an IV for people across all generations in 2016 than actual medical care, there isn’t a single new item that isn’t known to the world within a scroll of the finger. (Your choice of finger would depend on whether your phone still fits in your pocket or is bigger than your laptop.) So with that in mind, it’s only a matter of time before someone like Jeanette Settembre writes an article for the New York Daily News about this find. 

Asian dishes constantly find their way to the spotlight and since there are so many cultures and peoples in that area of the world, I can’t see an end to the discovery on this side of the ocean. Recently, bao have been gaining popularity and a spot in LA called Take a Bao (clever names, although they usually involve pho) has been delivering options from tofu to duck and bbq pork. You need to make sure that you don’t just look at their savory bao. Just like with a crepe, you can stick something sweet in that bun.

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