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Restaurants in Los Angeles

SunCafe Organic ****

Studio City, CA

We went here for lunch with a couple of vegan friends who eat here regularly and like a lot of businesses in Los Angeles you really have no idea from the street whats behind the door. There's no hint of the almost pastoral setting behind the nondescript frontage on Ventura Blvd. I must have been passed here a thousand times and haven't even been curious about it. Maybe they like it that way, I don't know, I guess word of mouth is enough sometimes.
Once inside the gate there is a beautiful relaxing patio area, dotted with the Studio City elite and the occasional celebrity, but we didn't come here for that, we came to eat.
We chose to sit indoors as it was quite hot out, midday in the San Fernando valley can be a little toasty, even in April. Inside was cool and pleasant, surprisingly large and pretty busy. An amusing touch was a large photograph of some cute piglets running free on the farm. Either a gentle reminder to those who needed reminding that meat is murder or just some food porn for the occasional carnivore who'd wandered in off the street by mistake, it make me smile for both reasons.
Vegan food often confuses me, especially when it sounds like a meat-lovers menu. If you're so disgusted by killing animals why do you have vegan bacon? Thats just weird isn't it? I'm not trying to judge or upset my vegan friends by any means, I have no problem with any of it, I just think its a bit odd, like the vegan burger injected with beet juice so it 'bleeds' when its cut into, thats just creepy.
Anyway, onto our lunch, I went for a BLT that I must say was delicious, made with tempeh, which I think is a soy based product thats been tampered with in some way to make it taste almost like bacon and cashew mayo which is really good.
My wife had a white truffle pizza and our friends had the Portobello sandwich, I loath mushrooms with a passion so I can't really comment, but the boys seemed to enjoy them very much.
Also worth a mention is the house made lemonade that for once didnt have fifteen pounds of sugar in each glass like it does everywhere else in America, it was pleasantly tart and refreshing, the whole idea of lemonade. I salute them for that.
We had a very nice lunch, the service was spot on and the setting was lovely and we had good company to go with it, excellent.

http://www.suncafe.com/


Sattdown Jamaica Grill ***

Studio City, CA

If you don't like Jamaican food then you should probably go and see a doctor as there's obviously something wrong with you. The Sattdown Grill has been in the same little mini-mall in Studio City for years and has consistently really tasty food. 
The patties are homemade and delicious, beef, jerk chicken, curried chicken, wonderful flavours and perfect pastry means you have to get your order in quick, they sell out every day.
The brisket with rice and peas and plantains is really really good, slow cooked so it just melts in your mouth. Shrimp curry? Oh yeah, fantastic. Portions are generous and the staff couldn't be more friendly and nice. I love this place and I hope you will too, definitely give it a try, and its next door to Feu, my favourite Pho joint!

http://www.sattdownjamaicangrill.com/home.html

The Hearth & Hound *****

Hollywood, CA

The Hearth & Hound is the latest restaurant set up by the immensely talented April Bloomfield of Spotted Pig fame. We took our grown up children out for a family dinner and thought this would be a good idea. It turned out to be one of the best ideas I've had in a very long time. 
The first treat came when we arrived a little early and decided to have a cocktail at the bar, very nice drinks including a delicious home-made ginger ale. While we stood there admiring the fantastic job they'd done with the interior I spotted the great chef herself, working away in the busy kitchen with her staff, all smiles and looking like she was really enjoying herself. When was the last time you saw a celebrity chef actually working in a kitchen?
We were sat down at a very nice table outside on the patio and when the menu came we ordered pretty much everything!
The pickle plate, pork rillette with toast and the radish and ham with cultured butter were tasty little snacks to get the taste buds ready for what was to come.

Starters were spectacular, bibb lettuce salad, not something I would normally think twice about, was superb. Octopus, fresh as could be and grilled to perfection. Beef tartare was the best I've ever had and the fat juicy prawns in brown butter were simply divine.

 

We ordered three vegetable dishes, whole roasted beets with walnuts and blue cheese, cabbage with an oyster reduction and meat drippings and squash with baharat spiced greens. All three were incredibly delicious but we all agreed that the squash was the outstanding dish so far, the flavours and textures just in that dish alone made the visit worthwhile, absolutely brilliant.

Then came the meat...the girls went for hanger steaks and my son and I went for the lamb shanks. The steaks were incredibly tender, perfectly seasoned and grilled. The lamb was falling off the bone and exquisite, There was nothing but oohs and ahhs around the table.

Washed down with a fantastic Nervo Ranch zinfandel from Bedrock wine co, I was a very happy camper indeed.

Just when I thought it was all over, our delightful young waitress, who by the way did a splendid job and was funny and charming and not the least bit sycophantic or smarmy or wanting to be our new best friend, handed out dessert menus, so we bravely soldiered on.

My wife had the upside-down cake, my daughter went for the triple chocolate cake and my son had a sundae that was enormous. All three were sublime but not being that big on desserts I went for a glass of Banyuls Rimage, a delicious sweet wine that finished off a wonderful meal perfectly.

The bill was considerable, but we did have drinks and four courses and I must admit, not only was it worth every dime, but at $150 a head it wasn't at much as I thought it would be and although I can't afford to eat there very often, I'm looking forward to going back. April Bloomfield is an enormous talent, not just with the food but the whole deal, from picking the wallpaper to picking the staff, she gets it right every time. Genius.

https://www.thehearthandhound.com/

AROMA CAFÉ   ****

Los Angeles, California

This place is hilarious. I've been going here on and off for many years, the food is pretty good honest fare, reasonably priced and served by pleasant friendly staff. It doubles as a coffee shop that opens early and brews good coffee. The seating area is mostly outside under cover in a charming garden like space. All in all it's pretty great and must make a lot of money as it's always busy. What makes it so funny is to sit there with a coffee and a salad and just watch and listen to the Hollywood hopeful brigade, it's brilliant, some of the conversations you can eavesdrop on you couldn't make up, actors, writers, directors, producers, all trying hard to get rich and famous, rubbing elbows with all the 'yummy mummies' from Studio City who are worn out from shopping all morning, this local spot is essential for those looking for a true Los Angeles experience.

http://www.aromacoffeeandtea.com/

GRAND CENTRAL MARKET   ****

Los Angeles, California

This place is a must if you're anywhere near downtown L.A, or make a special trip, it's great. There's a lot of different vendors catering for pretty much all tastes plus it's fun to just wander around and look at all the different food and all the different people eating it!
The vendors I highly recommend would have to be;


The Oyster Gourmet - have the chef’s choice and a chilled glass of Sancerre, delicious. 

http://www.grandcentralmarket.com/vendors/70/the-oyster-gourmet

Horse Thief BBQ - great name, great meat, great sides and a bar next door, perfect.

http://www.horsethiefbbq.com/

Bombo - wonderful seafood but I went for braised short ribs on a bed of fresh made pappardelle that was a perfect lunch, yummy.

http://bombofoods.com/

Pershing square train station is a block away and the best bookstore in L.A is just around the corner, The Last Bookstore -  always worth a visit.

http://lastbookstorela.com/

CHATEAU MARMONT    ****

Los Angeles, California

The Chateau is a Los Angeles classic, get a table in the garden, enjoy a cocktail or two and savour some delicious food in a casual but sophisticated atmosphere. The place itself is beautiful and a great place to bring visitors, you may well get to rub shoulders with some celebrity types!

http://www.chateaumarmont.com/

LANGER’S    ****

Los Angeles, California

Much as I'm a big fan of all things New York I'm afraid the mantle of the best pastrami sandwich on the planet has to go to Langer’s delicatessen here in good old Los Angeles. It. Seems almost pointless to harp on about how great the meat is, their own signature rye bread, the fantastic staff, some of whom look like they've been working there since it opened in god knows when as so many people have reviewed this place and loved it, it's been featured in several food shows on tv and is the spot on the west coast for a proper job pastrami sandwich. The #19 is the classic pastrami, coleslaw on rye bread, beautiful. Bring your kids and the whole family, it has a great atmosphere and free parking around back. Wonderful.

http://www.langersdeli.com/

THE PIKEY    *****

Los Angeles, California

I've already reviewed The Pikey once before but felt I had to do another as my wife and I went for Sunday lunch last weekend and it was definitely one of the best I've ever had, and having grown up in the UK I've had quite a few over the years. I had roast pork which was divine while my wife had short rib beef with horseradish, truly scrumptious. The yorkshires were perfect as were all the vegetables and of course gravy that I could easily have drunk out of a wine glass. I chose not to embarrass the wife so I had a Bloody Mary instead that was also spot on. Mixed with charming surroundings and the nicest staff in L.A this place is very high on my list of favorites, in fact I'm going all out and placing it at the top, outstanding.

http://thepikeyla.com/

BARREL & ASHES    **

Los Angeles, California

We came here on a Wednesday evening with my brother and sister in-law who are visiting from the U.K. They've never really had proper American bbq so I thought this would be a treat. Sadly it was a bit disappointing as the food wasn't great and the televisions blaring out various sports nonsense don’t help. Why people feel the need to put televisions in restaurants I will never understand.
Anyway, I had a brisket sandwich that was okay but the bread was that nasty doughy sweet stuff they sell in Vons on the cheap shelf, not good enough I'm afraid. As a side I chose mac & cheese, big mistake, the cheese was very runny and milky poured over a bowl of penne pasta. Our waiter tried very hard but it was an uphill struggle for him and I hope his acting career takes off soon.
The general consensus was that the meat was alright but everything else was poor. A shame really as it looks great from the outside and I like the name but there are much better bbq joints in L.A to choose from so I probably won't be rushing back to this one.

http://barrelandashes.com/

JACK’S CLASSIC HAMBURGERS    ****

Los Angeles, California

This place is called "Jacks Classic burgers" for a very good reason, the food here reminds me of when I was a kid in England and once a month my dad would take us to the local USAF base, he was a master sergeant, and he would buy us lunch at the burger stand near the bookshop where we would buy all the dc and marvel comics that you couldn't get in the UK back then, but I digress...
Pretty much every time I go here I have to have the pastrami burger, skinny fries well done and a root beer, life is good and all for ten bucks. 
There's a bunch of good burger spots in LA these days, The Counter, Five Guys etc but they don't have that truly authentic vibe that Jacks does, it's the real deal and I love it.

http://www.jacksclassichamburgers.com/

SUSHI STOP    ***

studio city, California

I like this place a lot, it's not pretentious at all and has some really good dishes. It's not high end by any stretch but it's not trying to be either, it's just good honest fare at very reasonable prices. The staff are helpful and cheery and the crowd tend to be young as the general idea of the place seems to be sushi for the masses, and why not?
Sushi stop in studio city doesn't deliver but you can order online and go to pick it up. Give it a try.

http://sushistop.com/

TALESAI    ****

Los Angeles, California

I went here a few nights ago with my wife and two friends. We arrived quite late and the place was empty but I put that down to it being almost closing time and MLK day so probably a quiet time anyway.
They waitress sat us down with a warm welcome rather than being pissed off that we showed up that late which made a nice change for L.A as generally restaurants here hate it if you arrive after 9:00pm on a weekday...
Anyway we quickly ordered what turned out to be a very pleasant surprise, lots of food that I must say was very tasty indeed. I went for drunken noodles with short ribs that just melted in my mouth, delicious. We also had dim sum that was sooo tasty, scallops to die for and on and on. I wanted to try everything on the menu, it all sounded really good. I intend to go back often and work my way down the list.!
The only I thought was a little odd was the room temp, it was quite cold but again I put that down to place being empty, I imagine once it fills up it would heat up considerably.
If you're ever in studio city and need some noodles this is the spot.

http://talesaistudiocity.com/

LA TAVERNA CUBANA    ***

Los Angeles, California

I just took a friend here for lunch and like me he loved it. Like a lot of places in Los Angeles, especially in the valley, it doesn't look like much from outside but you really shouldn't judge a book by its cover in this town, this little place is a gem.
It has a very euro feel about it as soon as you walk in the door, you could be in Spain or Bulgaria or anywhere other than laurel canyon! We both had the Lechon Cuban style, delicious marinated pork full of garlicky yumminess with rice, beans and very nice plantains. With a couple of sodas and chicken empanadas to kick off with the whole bill was $35. Service was charming and helpful, I can't wait to go back. Very good.

https://www.facebook.com/sutavernacubana/

L’ASSIETTE    ****

Los Angeles, California

I went here recently for a friend’s birthday dinner. There were eight of us and we all had a wonderful meal. The service was excellent and we met the owner who was good fun and very friendly and helpful. The food was amazing, the steak is cooked using a sous vide system so it melts in your mouth and the frites are just yummy. The only disappointment was although the portions were okay I wanted more, and then I got more! I didn't realise that they serve the food in two sittings so its stays hot, brilliant, why don't more places do this? Great wine list as well. Superb and excellent value.

https://lassiettesteakfrites.com/

PALEY    *****

Los Angeles, California

Six of us came here for dinner and we're not disappointed. The building itself is worth a visit, built on the site of LA's first film studio the architect and interior designer have done a great job. 
We were greeted by a charming young lady with a beautiful and seemingly genuine smile who led us to the gorgeous curved bar where to be honest I could have sat for hours.
The menu is small but of the six main courses there was something for everyone. I had raw albacore to start that was so delicious followed by a steak that was perfectly cooked. The only thing that could have been better was the sides were late coming which I think was the fault of our waiter but again they were all superb, especially the fresh asparagus and carrots. Scrumptious.
The thing that really made me happy though was the fact that we were made to feel very welcome and the staff didn't have that annoying attitude that they often have in high-end places like this in Hollywood, sometimes you feel like they're doing you a big favour just by letting you sit down but thankfully not here, I highly recommend Paley.

http://www.paleyhollywood.com/

FEU PHO KITCHEN    ****

Los Angeles, California

Just discovered this place and I'm very glad I did, it's kind of a pho/fusion menu but nothing too crazy, very tasty food all cooked to order in the busy open kitchen, super friendly and helpful staff and a great place to pop in for a quick healthy and delicious meal. I wanted to go back for lunch the next day but my wife wouldn't let me, she's mean that way. Try the Brussels sprouts and the chicken Banh Mi.

http://feuphokitchen.com

LITTLE NEXT DOOR    ****

Los Angeles, California

My wife and I went here for dinner last night, its a busy little French bistro that is literally next door to The Little Door which is much more up market. Little Next Door has a much friendlier less pretentious vibe. It also has a nice bakery with some delicious cakes and pastries, I imagine it would be a great spot for a coffee and croissant.
I had bone marrow to start followed by steak frites with truffle oil both of which were scrumptious. I was tempted by the deserts and cheese platter but couldn't eat another thing. Our waiter was very busy but still attentive although I did have a strong temptation to grab a pair of scissors and cut off his annoying little man bun from the top of his head but I suppose that’s just me being mean. We had a nice bottle of Pinot to wash it all down and with a tip it came to $160 which I was kind of expecting but for what it was it seemed a wee bit pricey, albeit very tasty.

http://littlenextdoor.com/

CINDY'S    ****

Eagle Rock, CA

My wife and I found this charming diner this morning on our way home from a trip to Pasadena, we were both suffering from appalling hangovers and desperately needed some sort of cure. Luckily we landed here. Our waitress Jackie, who is fabulous by the way and used to work at the famous Cat & Fiddle on Sunset, convinced the missus to go for the pulled pork sandwich while I went for the brisket hash. Both were excellent choices and while we sat at the counter waiting we got to see all the other mouthwatering dishes being served by the very busy and competent staff. The brisket hash was a tasty treat so say the least and the pulled pork was one of the best I've had, with home made dill pickles that really finished it off nicely. The menu here has a bit of a southern, New Orleans vibe, the serve a gumbo and some creole-like shrimp and grits, that sort of thing. They also have a huge selection of scrumptious pies and everything is made on site, even the maple syrup! Needless to say our hangovers were both gone in no time and we waddled off to the car and raced back home to have a lay down. I'll have to try this one again when i'm not so fragile but I bet it will be just as good.

http://cindyseaglerock.com/

SWEET BUTTER    **

Sherman Oaks, CA

My wife and I went here for lunch yesterday as she had met a couple of her friends here at the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. Its on Ventura blvd near Woodman. At first I had high hopes as it looks very nice and the decor inside is all french looking and the menu seemed pretty good, lots of salads and healthy things , not too much in the way of meaty products but thats okay, nothing wrong with that, I'm hip to a bit of healthy eating once in a while so we ordered a Chinese chicken salad and a Croque Monsieur, fries and a glass of oj.
While we were waiting for our food I realised that I was one of very few males and this place was a haven for what they call in London the 'Yummy Mummies', lots of local mums with their little darlings running about having a quick salad before they start popping the vicadins, fair enough I thought to myself, they need to get out of the house just like the rest of us.
When the food arrived my wife's salad was really good. The 'Croque Monsieur? Not so much. It's basically ham & cheese on toast with a bit of bechamel sauce, not the hardest thing in the world to make. The toast was warm bread, not toast, the cheese looked like it had been melted in a microwave, not under a salamander or a grill, the dijon mustard was layered on so thick it was all I could taste and the Rocket salad that came with it was a pile of rocket with a splash of olive oil. Very disappointing I must say. On the plus side the service was very good but that was about it. Way overpriced but to be honest its absolutely perfect for the yummy mummies and men with hair buns.

http://www.sweetbutterkitchen.com/

GANGADIN    ***

Studio City, CA

We decided to go here because a couple of weeks ago as we wandered around the farmers market they have here every Sunday the restaurant had a stall set up outside their front door selling lunches you could munch on as you meandered through the crowds. We paid $5 each for a yummy curry and onion pakoras and were sold.
When we came for the meal we were not disappointed, very nice people and delicious food, I can see this becoming a regular visit. Its been here for 32 years and is still run by the same family which says something I suppose. Attentive service and quite reasonable, L.A is not really known for good Indian food so finding this place has made me very happy, num num num...

http://eatgangadin.com/about.html

TUNING FORK    ***

Studio City, CA

Stumbled upon this place recently and what a pleasant surprise! Apparently it's been here a couple of years but I had never noticed it before. Very nice, helpful and charming staff, good range of excellent beers and a decent pub grub kind of menu, good sandwiches etc, nothing too fancy but what you'd expect in a good pub. Well done chaps.

http://tuningforkla.com/

Stoney Point   ****

Pasadena, CA

We went here with a couple of friends who live locally and eat here on a regular basis. Taking their advice we sat at the bar and enjoyed a couple of martinis while the lady playing the piano entertained us with her 'tinkling of the ivories' and the back and forth banter. After a starter of carpaccio which was very tasty, I chose vongole for the main event and was not disappointed. It was delicious. We ended up sitting at the bar for a while and as well as a really good meal the wine began to flow and it ended up being a bit pricey but only because we decided to drink quite a lot. The staff were great fun and just the right side of attentive. When I asked one of the waiters what part of Italy he was from he replied "Mexico, but I speak Italian". Briliant.

http://stoneypointrestaurant.com/

India's Clay Pit   ****

North hollywood, CA

India's Clay Pit has a new location in North Hollywood, 5667 Lankershim Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91601, 818-980-5400. I had a delivery on Saturday night and was blown away, I've lived in L.A for many years now and this is without a doubt the best Indian food I've had since I left London. Portions are very generous, chicken tikka was the best I've ever had and the daal was sublime, everything was right on the money, I'll be calling them again very soon!

http://www.indiasclaypit.com/

Birch   **

Hollywood, CA

Okay. Today is Fathers Day and my wife and a friend said we'd go to the Pikey for lunch, but we hadn't booked so it was too late and we couldn't get a table. Someone had recommended Birch so we thought we'd try it out. I had reasonably high hopes as the website looked interesting and the menu looked good.
Before we got to our table I was already annoyed by the girl on the door who was plainly confused and more concerned with her manicure than our dining experience, but I told myself to let it go and give them a chance, we got drinks, all good and then ordered our food...
The girls both ordered the Sunday roast, one beef, one chicken. I didn't fancy the big roast dinner thing so I went for two starters, a burrata plate and eggs benedict, that'll do nicely. 3 mins later my eggs arrive, a bit quick I thought but whatever, then the burrata comes, very nice but no sign of the roasts. I mentioned this to the waiter and so the front of house guy shows up trying to charm us into submission with a lot of chat about how the chef is English and has cooked lots of roast dinners, like that has anything to do with anything. I swear the guy was either drunk or high but he made no sense at all, which is really the problem with this place, it just doesn't make any sense, which I think is why the service is so bad, they don't know whats going on either!
Eventually the roasts showed up, after I had finished, and again it was a bit odd, all the food was presented on a board, a la Jamie Oliver, chicken, beef, vegetables everything piled up on one plank of wood with no serving utensils or anything, just plonked on the table and that was that. Again, thats all fine, it's just stupid and pretentious but whatever, who cares? 
The beef was very good, the chicken was unremarkable, sprouts like bullets, roast potatoes hadn't been roasted, they were boiled and seared in a frying pan, rubbish. Cauliflower cheese was inedible, runny american cheddar that made me gag.
The man in charge of this place should be ashamed of himself, it's such a let down. For someone who claims to be English he should really try a bit harder. Maybe he's really Australian and the owners just think he's a brit, at least that would be funny.

http://birchlosangeles.com/

Marie et Cie   ****

Studio City, CA

I love this place, it's my local coffee spot and the best one around here. I don't know where they get their beans but the coffee is delicious and always served with a smile. The cakes and pastries are yummy too. The owner is French/American and a very sweet man, there's also a section where they sell greeting cards, artwork and various bits and bobs. You can enjoy your cappuccino and pastry inside or outside at one of the tables set out by the fountain.
If you're ever in valley village and need a good cup of coffee this is the spot.

http://www.marieetcie.com/cafe/

Laurel Point   **

Studio City, CA

This restaurant has recently opened in Studio City in what was the Daily Grill on Laurel Canyon and Ventura Blvd. We sat at the bar which we both like to do at times as you often get a better view of what's going on. A pleasant young man made us a couple of decent margaritas and we went to work on the menu. We started with crab deviled eggs which we shared and were delicious and then I went for a soft shell crab sandwich which was good but more of a burger really and a little heavy on the mayo. My wife had mussels that were presented on a skillet perched on top of one of those wire rack things that a large pizza would sit on, a bit unnecessary I thought, what's wrong with a nice bowl so you can mop up all the liquid with half a baguette? The mussels were cooked in a sauce that had way too much vinegar, we are both big fans of the stuff but it almost made our eyes water. There were also four unopened mussels on the plate.

We had three drinks, two starters and a sandwich, with a tip it was $115 which was at least $30 more than it should have been, even for Studio City where I know the rents are astronomical. They also need to get rid of the tv's from behind the bar, I don't need to watch the world darts championship while I'm being overcharged for some fish.

This all sounds disappointing and I suppose it was really but the other dishes being served around us looked really good and the staff were nice enough, as was the decor, (except for the tellys), the lighting is good and the space itself is well thought out and feels like it's by the sea somewhere, there's a good size outdoor area and a theY were pretty busy. I think we'll definitely go back and give it another try, there's bound to be teething problems when a new spot opens so we'll give it a month or so to find its feet and have another crack at it, I have high hopes.

https://www.thepointseafood.com/

Fratello's   **

Idyllwild CA

 

Had lunch here yesterday and although the food was good the portions were ridiculous, we had one starter, carpaccio, and two main courses, spaghetti carbonara and sea bass, that could have easily fed four people, even Americans!
It's a nice place and the service was fair, they even had some live music that was really good but when I got the bill it was $88! That was about double what I was expecting, it's certainly not fine dining but with a tip it was a hundred bucks for a bowl of pasta and a bit of fish. Outrageous, we won't be in a hurry to come back here.

https://www.fratellosidyllwild.com/


Ferro   ****

Idyllwild, CA

 

Went here for lunch with some friends and was pleasantly surprised, the last time I came here it was a Chinese restaurant but that was a couple of years ago. It's now a very nice Italian pizzeria with a proper pizza oven in the garden. We sat in the large garden patio area which was comfortable and spacious.
I had a Caesar salad that was the best I'd had in a while and the pizza was delicious. The portions were a sensible size and we walked away very happy.

http://www.ferrorestaurant.com/

The Chowder Barge   ****

San Pedro, CA

I imagine you can get here by car but I was taken here by an old pal who is now a local, we arrived in his dinghy thingy, a very small boat with a little engine and a cooler full of beer. We meandered all over San Pedro harbour, allegedly the largest in the U.S, and eventually 'docked' at a jetty thing, which is like a car park for ships. The Chowder Barge looked like it had been closed for a considerable time but I think thats just to confuse any land-lubbers that might come wandering along by mistake. 
Once inside I immediately felt completely at home, surrounded by Longshoremen having their lunch from 32oz glasses and a few old 'salty dogs' who looked like they'd been there since the place opened 40 years ago. Fantastic.
We sat at the bar and ordered some refreshments and I was warned that the Chowder Burger is "a little bit heavy, but good" which I took as a throwing down of the gauntlet and had no choice but to accept the challenge. 
The bowl of chowder arrived and it was delicious, but it had a cheeseburger sitting in the bowl, smothered in chowder. I didn't think IO would but amazingly I finished the whole thing, even though I was full after about a third of it. Yummy yum yum. 
The staff here seem really good too, nice and friendly and a bit of a laugh, perfect after a morning messing about on the water. I might make it a road trip next time, I don't understand boats.

http://www.chowderbarge.com/index.html

 

The District  **

Downtown L.A.

We went here for dinner last night with some friends, six of us in all. Cocktails at the bar was nice enough, the barman was getting a little flustered even though it wasn't busy, not a good sign but I thought nothing of it. The Moscow Mule was refreshing and tasty so that made up for it. The place itself is pretty big and has that faux industrial thing going on, to be honest the decor feels a bit forced, like those pre-torn jeans people in Beverley Hills spend too much money on, but we were having fun and I was looking forward to the meal.

Once we sat down and ordered some wine we asked our waitress to bring us three starters for the table to share, on the menu the starters are listed as 'Sharing Plates' although I easily could have eaten at least one of them by myself. The Korean style 'LA Tacos' were by far the tastiest item, 'Octomari' sounded good but didn't really deliver, the squid was not very fresh and a bit tough, last and possibly least was the 'House Baked Artisan Loaf' which was half a loaf of warm bread with some tapenade and herb butter. Yawn.

The mains were a list of the most dreary and uninspired dishes I've seen in a long time. There wasn't one thing that stood out, steaks, ribs, salmon, burger, pasta. I went for the Steak Frites which turned out to be a plate of spring greens, a tiny but fairly tasty flatiron steak that was way past the medium rare I asked for, joined by a basket of frozen french fries that had a little truffle oil spilt on them.

The bill came to over six hundred dollars, which seemed a tad steep to me, but to be fair we did have a few bottles of wine so that jacked the price up but even so, for 100 bucks a head I'd like to see a bit more effort.

This is the kind of restaurant that someone spent an awful lot of money on and then hired an under-achieving and probably under-paid chef to come up with a menu I'd expect to see in mid-west airport. Disappointing I'm afraid.

https://www.districtdtla.com/