Monthly Archives: December 2013

Kate Mantilini

9101 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

(310) 278-3699

http://www.yelp.com/biz/kate-mantilini-beverly-hills

http://katemantilinirestaurant.com/

 

I’ve been to Kate Mantilini’s a few years ago for an alumni networking lunch and had a pretty good impression of the food.  But, since LA has so many diverse offerings, I haven’t been back until one of my friends said that she had a Groupon.  So, dinner was decided.  🙂

Surprisingly, there is ample street parking near Kate Mantilini’s.  The meters are free after 6pm.  However, for those of you squeamish about street parking, valet parking is also available. On the night that we dined, the restaurant was pretty packed, so reservations are recommended.  Service was very friendly and our waiter kept checking on us throughout our meal.  He  entertained us with the restaurant’s history, some new potential menu items and even let us sample some dessert!  It was quite a memorable meal.

 

Seafood linguini with pesto — this was one of the daily specials, so not sure how often they have this.  Since I still have a bit of shellfish allergy, I informed our waiter, who immediately said that it was not a problem.  He had the kitchen substitute the prawns with extra seafood!  There were lots of clams, salmon, mussels and squid.  The seafood was perfectly cooked and the pesto sauce was garlicky and flavorful.  Awesome!  $22

 

The hobo steak — is basically grilled meatloaf with sauteed kale and mashed potatoes.  The meatloaf tasted so good!  Our waiter even made us his secret hot sauce to accompany it.  Yum!  $18.50

 

Homemade lemon icebox pie — this was so good!  Light and tart~  $6.95

 

Our waiter treated us to this dessert – apple cobbler with cinnamon ice cream.  The warm apple cobbler had a vanilla sauce.  The cinnamon ice cream tasted like horchata.  Both were really tasty!  $8.50

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Corner Place

2819 James M Wood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
 
(213) 487-0968

http://www.yelp.com/biz/corner-place-los-angeles

http://www.cornerplacerestaurant.com/

 

After hiking at the nearby Griffith Park on a hot day, a friend and I were craving something refreshing.  So we started searching for good Korean cold noodle places on Yelp.  This place came up as the #1 choice.  However, we weren’t sure if this place specialized in cold noodles, so we wanted to try other naeng myun places.  Alas, most of the naeng myun places seem to be closed on Sundays, so off we went to the Corner Place!

Corner Place is located in a corner of a small strip mall. Parking is a bit tricky — the parking lot has restricted spaces reserved for the laundromat and the market, so read the signs!  There is additional free parking at a lot across from the strip mall — you can ask the security guard to point you to the right direction.  The restaurant itself is fairly large and the customers are quite diverse.  So, unlike other Korean BBQ joints, English is understandable here.  🙂  Apparently, the signature dish here is the cold noodles aka dong chi mi gook soo.  Dong chi mi gook soo is a little different than naeng myun — naeng myun is a darker clear noodle in an icy pear broth whereas dong chi mi gook soo is a white noodle less chewier than naeng myun, in a cold fermented vegetable broth.

 

The menu — cold noodles seem to be the signature dish here!

 

The cold noodles!  Like all the Yelp reviews said, it is very refreshing!!!  Unlike other restaurants, Corner Place DOES NOT give you any condiments (hot sauce, mustard, vinegar, etc) to add to the noodles.  The soup itself is light and not as vinegary as the ones I’ve had.  Mmmm….  $4.75 for a regular bowl, portions are generous.

 

There is quite a bit of banchans / side-dishes as well!  Everything was so good and not overly spicy.

 

I wasn’t really sure how filling the cold noodles were going to be, so I ordered the rib-eye too, expecting it to be only 1 steak.  So when the order arrived, and it was 2 huge steaks, we had to double-check with our waitress that it was only 1 order.  OMG, can I just say that it was perfect marbling?  She also came by a few times to cook & cut the steak, and trimmed off the fat!  The steak is cooked with 2 pats of butter, an onion slice and some mushrooms.  So meaty, juicy and delicious. Be careful not to overcook the steaks!  $25.95 per order

I’ll definitely be back, Corner Place!!!

Lala’s Argentine Grill

7229 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

(323) 934-6838

 

http://www.lalasgrill.com/

http://www.yelp.com/biz/lalas-argentine-grill-los-angeles

 

One of my friends has always raved about this place, especially the sangria,  So, for one of my birthday dinners, this is where we went!  🙂  Since Lala’s is located on Melrose, street parking is pretty difficult.  It was only after we got to the restaurant, that we found out valet was available.  So I’d definitely recommend the valet to save you street parking hassles (I believe it’s coins only and 2 hour limit in the immediate area).  The restaurant itself is pretty large, with inside and outside patio seating.  Since we had a large party, we went for the patio seating.  I think even without reservations, you’d be able to get seated fairly quickly.

 

The outside patio seating, perfect for large parties!

 

The bread was warm and chewy.

 

Chimichurri accompanied the bread and was the perfect dip.  Chimichurri is a typical Argentine sauce made of parsley, garlic, olive oil etc, so it is very flavorful.  It’s traditionally used with grilled meats, so try it on steak!

 

We got a pitcher of the white sangria, although it’s not exactly “white” in color.  There’s also the regular sangria.  The white sangria was not on the menu, but available upon request.  It was sweet and strong – delicious! I think 1 pitcher was $15.

 

Calamari came out in a very large platter, to our surprise.  It was very light and crispy, with marinara sauce on the side.  Yum!  $10.95

 

Large portions is the theme here, and the salad con salmon did not disappoint.  The salad arrived in a large platter, with a generous piece of perfectly cooked salmon.  The salmon is drizzled with dijon sauce, while the salad’s been tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.  It was a refreshing salad! $14.95

 

Bife encebollado – certified Angus Beef skirt steak topped with grilled onions, garlic & parsley.  Traditional Argentine steak.  Lots of great flavors, the steak was so tasty with the grilled onions, garlic and parsley.  Loved the mashed potatoes too!  $21.95

 

Entraña al ajo – certified Angus Beef skirt steak topped with sautéed garlic & parsley.  This is basically the one above, except without the grilled onions.  Don’t be fooled – the steak is a decent size — it’s just that Lala’s give out a very generous amount of mashed potatoes!  $19.95

 

Costilla – ribeye steak.  This one does not have any sauce, just a plain steak. But, it was very well cooked and you can really taste the meatiness!  Yum yum yum…. $18.95

 

We loved all of the dishes!  All of the steak was so good and satisfied all of the meat eaters in the group.  🙂  Service was prompt and friendly.  We’ll be back soon!  And next time we’ll valet.

Maruhide Uni Club 丸秀

2130 W Redondo Beach Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504

(310) 323-2864

http://www.yelp.com/biz/maruhide-uni-club-torrance

 

Maruhide Uni Club started as a store that sells uni (aka sea urchin)… many varieties of uni at that.  In order to introduce their uni to more customers, Maruhide Uni Club launched its restaurant business earlier this year, in May.  The restaurant is located in a small shopping plaza, across the way from Target.  Parking lot is a little small, so try your luck at street parking (shouldn’t be too hard to find) if the lot is full.  The restaurant itself is medium-sized, and we didn’t have much of a wait for a large party on a Saturday at noon.  However, it filled up pretty fast, and by the time we left, there were a few parties waiting.  So, best come earlier!

 

The store front

 

You can also buy the different uni choices to go!

 

From the store’s website — it’s the only factory-direct uni restaurant in the US! And now an omakase (chef’s choice) menu is offered, but must be reserved 7 days in advance.  Tempting…

 

   

The menu

 

The uni cream pasta —  one of my friends ordered this.  It tasted pretty good, there was a lot of uni and the pasta was relatively light.  However, if you like more uni flavor and stronger taste, go for the one at Marugame Monzo in Little Tokyo.

 

The rest of us opted for the nigiyaka bowl – which is basically a chirashi bowl with lots of uni!  And it came with a small side salad…

 

And a bowl of broth, which had a sliver of uni…

 

And the nigiyaka bowl itself!  There’s scallops, salmon, salmon roe, albacore tuna, sea cucumber and 4 different types of uni (fresh uni, marinated uni with squid, salted uni, and uni omelette).  Everything was fresh and the portions were really generous.  I was pretty much uni-ed out by the end of the meal.  I think I definitely prefer fresh uni!  $19.80

I think the nigiyaka bowl is a really good chirashi bowl.  However, if I’m in the mood to just eat good uni, I’d opt for the uni bowl at Nozomi!