Alli411 photo

your go to girl for everything yum in Los Angeles

Alli411 is your go to girl for everything yum in Los Angeles. She makes a sport of going to new restaurants and reviewing them here. None of the meals here were comped. All were paid for, so you get her honest reviews.

Blank

Paul Martin's American Grill

 2361 Rosecrans Ave, Ste 180
El Segundo, CA
 

Lunch/ Dinner by the Airport: Paul Martin's American Bistro

For years I’ve looked for a good restaurant near Los Angeles Airport (LAX), one that would be fine going to alone or with a group of people. Sounds like an it would be easy to find. It was not. Daily Grill used to have a restaurant at the International terminal that fit the bill. It closed though, and parking was a mess.

The newly opened Paul Martin’s American Bistro is now my lunch or dinner restaurant, convenient to LAX. It’s located on Rosecrans, around the corner from Aviation. Door to door travel time from the airport to Paul Martin’s American Bistro is about 10 minutes, give or take (depending on traffic). Even with its close proximity to the airport, ambiance, quality nor taste is not compromised.

It’s the second location for the neighborhood restaurant from Roseville, CA (near Sacramento). The huge 7200 square foot space feels warm and inviting. It has high ceilings, wood beams and exposed bricks. I loved the huge lampshades hanging from the ceilings; my eyes kept wandering upward to admire them. There’s large tables with comfortable seating, and a comfortable bar area.

The menus center around organic, sustainable, fresh and local ingredients, even for the fresh bread and butter. There’s a wide variety of options to select from. Check out the lunch and dinner menus.

I asked the friendly waiter for suggestions and he raved about the Bistro Burger ($11.95). The thing was, I wasn’t really in the mood for a burger, next time. Instead I ordered the tasty Warm Bacon-Spinach Salad with Redwoodhill Farms feta and toasted pine nuts ($8.95). The warm dressing was so sweet from the caramelized onions. I was surprised how quickly I devoured it. I also had a side of the Mac & Cheese ($4.95), fine yet not my fave, a little too rich. The menu nor the waiter didn’t mention it had bacon in it. Now I love bacon, but the bacon in the mac wasn’t crispy enough. Come to think of it, I’d prefer ham or prosciutto in mac & cheese.

Alli411 Tips

1. Free valet parking during the day.

2. From 3-6 pm they have the “Taste of Paul Martin’s” happy hour. Wines, cocktails and appetizers are $4 each during those times. The Slow Cooked St. Louis Pork Ribs with apple slaw and coffee-chili & molasses dipping sauce sounds really tasty. And the Smoked Salmon Lettuce Cups with house creamed salmon and sliced apples looks fun.

Found this article useful? Mention Alli411 in your post, subscribe to our feed, link to us, or bookmark this site. Thanks for your support!

Paul Martin’s American Bistro
2361 Rosecrans Ave.
El Segundo, CA90245
(310) 643-9300

Blank

Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood

 1020 N San Vicente Blvd
West Hollywood, CA
 

Sophisticated Dining

Dinner at Gordon Ramsay at the London felt like a true European dining experience. It reminded me of many high end restaurants in England and France. The service was impeccable. It didn’t feel like actors were our waiters (no offense to actors), they had a professionalism that is often lacking in many restaurants in Los Angeles. It was all about the customers, their experience and the food. It was simply refreshing.

The amuse bouche and the dessert were my favorites of the meal, a perfect start and ending. The Steamed Bamboo and Shitake Mushroom Chawanmushi was a rich custard that woke my taste buds up as if to say “you’re in good hands”. I savored it and interspersed it with bites of bacon bread (yes fresh bacon bits in the bread).

Next I had the Confit Beet Salad with Ricotta Cheese and Beetroot Dressing, Crispy Endive. Purple, orange and yellow beets were displayed amongst endive and cheese. The sheer beauty of this dish amazed me. It looked as if an artist had arranged the food. I’m sorry that my photos of the food were too dark to post.

It was Dine LA Week but I had a hankering for the Whole Butter Poached Maine Lobster, Glazed Autumn Vegetables, Lobster Sauce which was on the main menu, not the DineLA one. Again the appearance was beautiful, this time it surpassed the taste. I suppose when I saw Maine lobster on the menu I thought of eating lobster from those wonderful shacks in Maine. The elegant little pieces of lobster just didn’t satisfy.

I quickly forgot about the previous dish when I tasted the Myer Lemon Pudding Cake with Confit Blueberries, Tarragon and Buttermilk Sorbet. It was an elegant, delicate dessert, each component separately was lovely on it’s own. And when I took a little bit of everything on the dish together it tasted like lemon, blueberry cheesecake, unexpected and fun.

We paid for the check and waited a little while to get the change. When we brought to our waiters attention that we were still waiting, he apologized then brought the change back. I replied something like “no problem” and to that he said “no, this is unacceptable”, a nice touch to see that he cared so much.

This is a great place for a special occasions and for groups. I eyed a wonderful private room in front with a huge circular table. I’ll keep it in mind for the future.

Tips:

1. Ordering tap water instead of bottled water will save you serious $$. We were shocked that each bottle of water was a colossal $12 each, uh-huh!

2. The portions here are not big enough for sharing.

3. This is a great spot for afternoon tea.

For photos view www.alli411.com

Blank

Copa d'Oro

 217 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA
 

A Cup of Gold

LOVE the Copa, Copa d’’Oro. (I can’t seem to get Copacabana, that Barry Manilow song out of my head when I think of the name). It’s a mellow, cozy Mediterranean vibe: terracotta hues, high ceilings, tile floors, handsome wooden bar on the left side, comfy sofas and chairs, exposed brick, high ceilings. There are two make out or conversation alcoves, slightly hidden. Of course they are occupied when I’m there. Grab those first if you can.

I’m introduced to Vincenzo Marianella the master mixologist (previously at Providence) and asked what kind of drink I like. “I’m not a big drinker”, I tell him. “Beer, wine, or bubbly are my usuals. I’d like something light and sweet”. (I’d already had a couple of drinks at dinner.) He comes back with this delicious concoction, perfect for my taste, yet something I haven’t had before. It’s so good I don’t even ask him what it is. I just keep sipping. When I finish I notice 2 deep purple, practically black grapes sitting on the ice in my glass. Popping them into my mouth the sweetness clears the alcohol from my mouth. “Nice touch” I think.

Owner JC later tells me about the concept, market fresh cocktails. There’s a menu of fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs from the Santa Monica Farmers Market to mix with spirits. Design your own or let the mixologist delight you. There’s even a drink with red peppers, sweet with a little edge. I’ll have to have that one when I return, along with a bite from their bar menu.

Blank

A.O.C.

 8022 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA
 

Another Outstanding Chow at AOC

Buddy and I have an annual tradition of having our holiday feast at A.O.C. on 3rd Street. We finally got around to meeting there this week and it felt like Christmas all over again. I just love the place (and Buddy). Good food with a good friend, it’s a recipe for a lovely evening.

We started with the Goat Cheese, Dried Figs and Saba, a creamy goat that we spread on the delicious bread. We ate that with the Assorted Fra’mani Salumi, two types, both good. It reminded Buddy of Italy. They sell it at most cheese shops around the city.

The Hamachi “Crudo”, Avocado and Pomegranate- fab-u-lous!!!! The fish was so fresh, seasoned to perfection; the combination of the three worked marvelously. It was the star dish of the evening, just as good as the scallop and mango dish I had at The Bazaar.

The Sweetbreads, Sunchokes and Truffle Butter were cooked crispy to perfection. Buddy was in heaven. The Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Romesco, WOW! The down home portion had a full bodied, earthy taste. It went really well with the 2006 Flowers Wine.

By the time we finished our meal I was stuffed. We shared the Mexican Chocolate Pot de Creme with Caramel Cream and Spiced Almonds and were a bit disappointed. The chocolate was very light and the cream quite rich. After a couple tastes we stopped eating it. We’d decided we didn’t want to waste the calories on it (as if we were counting calories).

OK, so here’s the thing, ordering here is really important. I’ve been here a number of times and have tried some dishes I would not recommend. Those are the Fried Tetilla, Quince Paste and Romesco as well as the Arroz Negro with Squid and Saffron Aioli.

On the other hand, the Roasted Dates, Parmesan and Bacon is out of-this-world. We didn’t order it this time because we already were ordering other pork dishes. I do highly recommend ordering it though. It is simply sublime. For photos go to www.alli411.com.

Blank

Whole in the Wall Burger Joint

 11058 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
 

Best Burger

WITWBJ’s beef burger wins the best burger award in my book. A well-seasoned, 8 oz. meaty burger served on a pretzel roll (you gotta try the pretzel roll) is the way to go. The house-made zucchini pickles are tasty, and I don’t even like pickles . The casual, whole in the wall decor is in sharp contrast to the first rate gourmet burgers. Located in an obscure location behind Winchell’s Donuts, it is worth a visit.

Beef Burger

Amazing 8 oz. Juicy burger on a fab pretzel roll.

Blank

BOKX 109 American Prime

 399 Grove St
Newton Lower Falls, MA
 

A Great Surprise

Hidden away in the basement in a small hotel in Newton, I discovered this place purely by accident one night last week when I stayed overnight at the Indigo Hotel.

The wood paneled steakhouse specializes in beef. I wasn’t in the mood for meat. Instead I had creamy mac n’ cheese as an appetizer then the Scottish salmon to follow. Both were good. The mac n’ cheese was a little too rich for my taste, that didn’t stop me from eating it though. The salmon was cooked perfectly, a pleasant surprise. My favorite things at this restaurant weren’t on the menu, but served gratis to every table.

Cotton candy was a prelude to dessert. They have different flavors daily. The cherry flavor I ate tasted oddly of Sucrets (the cough drops). Eating it stirred up childhood memories of county fairs and sore throats.For full review visit http://www.alli411.com

Blank

Loteria Grill Hollywood

 6627 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
 

Really Good Mexican

I tried all 12 of the tacos on the menu last night. At $12 it was a pretty good deal. My two faves were the potato taco and the shredded beef. The Papa con Rajas- was vegetarian, light and flavorful. Potatoes with roasted Poblano peppers were served with finely chopped onion, cilantro, Queso Fresco and salsa verde. The Carne Deshebrada had brisket-like shredded beef served with fresh guacamole, salsa chipoltle, finely chopped onion and cilantro.

The Probaditas Sampler is brilliant, as far as I’m concerned. It caters to customers that want to try a little of everything and still be able to walk out the door. All 12 of their tacos come on a plate, each served on mini hand-made tortillas. There were 4 types of vegetable tacos, 3 chicken, 2 beef and 3 pork. See the menu for details.

We also had Guacamole y Chips to start. Win really liked the creaminess of it. Beers and the side of Platano Frito (fried plantains) helped cool my tongue in between spicy taco tasting. It was a fun evening at Loteria Grill. For photos view http://www.alli411.com.

Blank

The Bazaar @ SLS Hotel

 465 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
 

Best Meal of the Year

Molecular gastronomy has finally come to Los Angeles! Best of all, it is served on the same menu with traditional Spanish cuisine. This is, well… food heaven by my standards. The meal I had at Bazaar was tres exciting. Before this meal I’d had more exposure to molecular gastronomy theoretically then actually tasting it, so this was a big event and I was not disappointed.

There are 2 sides to the menu, Rojo and Blanca. Rojo contains traditional Spanish cuisine, Blanca non-traditional. Each dish is served tapas style, in smaller portions, the perfect size for 2 people dining together. Knowing that that the avante-garde cuisine would be more satisfying as a dining adventure when I was not experiencing hunger pangs, I ordered some traditional Spanish fare to start with, so that I would not be hungry when we tasted the Blanca dishes.

The Jamón Ibérico de bellota and Croquetas is on the Rojo side of the menu. The hand-sliced, acorn-fed, free-range Ibérico ham was divine. A friend from Barcelona told me that the ham Andres imports is not available anywhere else in the US. It’s good!

The jamon was served with a brown bread with tomato spread, a Catalan dish served in almost every restaurant in Barcelona. Brown bread is rubbed with garlic then topped with olive oil and tomato pulp. When I was in Barcelona last summer I remember it being a bit different, same components just less oil and tomato on the bread. This was still very good. The Croquetas de Pollo were excellent: perfectly crisp outside and creamy inside. I could fill up on just croquetas alone. Luckily I did not. The rest of the meal was my most exciting meal all year. Really.

We started with Olives Ferran Adria, FA being his teacher, the molecular gastronomy guru in Barcelona. It looks like an egg yolk, only green as an olive. The inside was filled with an olive tasting liquid. They were served on porcelain spoons. The instructions we were given: slide it onto your tongue then press your tongue to the roof of your mouth. As I did so the salty liquid exploded in my mouth. It was an unusual almost pornographic sensation. One of those things you want to try at least once for the experience more than the taste. For full post view http://www.alli411.com

Displaying all 8 entries
Click to view the interactive map
  • Remember your favorite restaurants by saving it to your personal dining journal.
  • Read and write reviews on individual dishes, and upload your food photos for all to see.
  • Interact with local foodies with comments and Menuism mail.
  • View top rated dishes and online restaurant menus (we're the web's largest menu aggregator).

Sign Up

or


Have a Menuism account? Sign in first to link it.

Print this page