Tag Archives: restaurant review

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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The Ramen Joint (Westchester, Los Angeles)

Ramen in LA is as common as concrete in K-town. It’s everywhere, and every single place, claims to be the best. Every single place has a cult following of people who will tell you the same. This happened when I went down to visit a friend who worked in Westchester and wanted to go to The Ramen Joint and I told her… this better be good.

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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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Mutari: Serious Hot Chocolate in Santa Cruz, CA

Recently, we went on an amazing road trip up the California coast. Mutari is a little hot chocolate joint we visited in Santa Cruz, California. We stopped by to escape a rainy Santa Cruz night after dinner and before returning to our hotel on our trip up the coast. It was an experience. I’ll get straight to the point that I did not love their chocolate. But I loved their passion and it made everything taste a little better.

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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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Chado Tea Room

My Nana passed away a little over a year ago and I wanted to celebrate her somehow. So, I started looking up places where the family could have high tea. After searching around a bit, I found Chado Tea. It was close by (we went to the Hollywood location), didn’t seem too pricey, and had good reviews. You may have seen some pictures from there in an earlier post. All in all, it was a good and fun experience. 

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The Carving Board

Whenever we move to a new place, it’s fun for us to explore new eateries around us. We have certainly not failed that mission, eating at all different kind of joints: Indian, Thai, American, English, and so forth. Settled in a West Hollywood strip mall with many other food choices, the Carving Board offers a variety of American plates; salads, soups, and sandwiches. I would say it specializes in sandwiches, but we’ve tried all the different types of fares. While it may be a little overpriced, the Carving Board is a regular stop for us. 

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