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October, 2011 - DineDelish

October 2011

Neptune’s Net – Fresh Seafood On A PCH Landmark

by Franklin on October 28, 2011

On my way to Neptune’s Net, I couldn’t help but notice how expansive Malibu is.  I was driving almost 30 minutes north on the PCH, and I was still in Malibu?  Crazy right?  So why would anyone want to drive so far for some seafood?  Well, it’s “The Net” — people from all walks of life come here just to be a part of it. It’s far enough to feel like you went away, but close enough because it’s still Malibu.

Upon arriving, it was just like I imagined it.  Hoards of people in line, motorcycles parked in the front, and the smell of fried seafood.  People from all walks of life were there –families with children, couples, bikers, and all were sitting together, enjoying some delicious seafood. The beer selection they have is amazing.  Half of the stuff were beers I had never heard of before.  All in all, it was a great and new experience for me.

We ordered the fried fish and shrimp combo plate, and the calimari plate.  Honestly, the shrimp and calimari were amazing, and the fish was even more so. It was the best fried fish I have ever had.  I was surprised.  Most of the time, the fried fish I get is always either too greasy or tasteless.  The fried fish at Neptune’s Net was so crispy and had so much flavor.  I would order that all the time.

I was sad to find out that they did not have the lobster rolls anymore.  I was in the mood for some lobster and couldn’t have my lobster roll fix.  On the other side of the restaurant is their fresh seafood section.  There you can get whole lobsters and crabs and oysters. I wanted to get some fresh raw oysters, but the line for that side was much too long, and my fried goods were getting cold every second I stood there, so I bailed.  Finding a seat is kind of difficult, but a group of bikers were friendly enough to share their table with us.  They formed a wall of beer bottles between us — we all need borders right?

All in all, I am glad we made the trip up here.  The scene is great, and eating fresh seafood near the ocean is always fun.  This place always reminds me of the The Fast and the Furious.  Vin Diesels character and Brian O Connor race down PCH against a black Ferarri, and after beating it, they enjoy some food at Neptune’s Net. Except, in the movie, nobody was there except those two. Don’t ask me why I know that movie so well. Let’s just say I wrote a paper on the movie back in college.  Anyways, before I go off topic any further, Neptune’s Net is a cool place to have lunch or dinner.  Imagine driving down with your bike crew or friends before sunset, eating fresh seafood and drinking some beers.  That is what Neptune’s Net is all about.  Cheers.

Neptune's Net on Urbanspoon


I have always wanted to eat here.  I knew the food was going to be average, I knew it was exactly like Cheesecake Factory inside and out, and I knew there still would be a wait. Despite these foreseen events, I still wanted to go.  I mean, its Grand Lux Cafe.  It is what Las Vegasians  don’t eat (Yes, you read that right, Las Vegasians. Is that not the right term?) and what everyone else visiting Las Vegas do eat.  It is open 24 hours and is probably the busiest restaurants on the strip.  I came ate here not knowing they opened one up in LA inside Beverly Center.  I had to try it once at least, where it all started.

Just like the people at Cheesecake, complimentary bread and butter was served.  Thankfully, it wasn’t white and pumpernickel.  The bread was a great start as always.

I ordered the fried chicken and waffles.  I couldn’t decide between lunch and breakfast, so I had brunch. Before heading back to LA, I had to get some Roscoe’s-esque chicken and waffles.  Though this dish didn’t come close, the fried chicken strips were crispy.  The pecan honey butter sauce was good on the waffle which was also light and crispy.

I also tried the short rib grilled cheese sandwich.  It had slow roasted short rib slices, caramelized and picked onion,s arugula, and melted cheese. It was a solid sandwich and tasted really good.  It was rich in flavor and the side salad was a great companion.  The flavor was nicely balanced.

It was a pleasure trying the food at Grand Lux Cafe.  Having heavy influences from Cheesecake Factory, the similarities are evident. The food is consistently good and the price is always even better.  Gran Lux Cafe, attracts the masses.  The gamblers, clubbers, families, and older couples all eat here.  What you end up here is a standard meal for a decent price.  You get a little something for everyone.

Grand Lux Cafe (Venetian) on Urbanspoon


Why is it that the dirtier and grungier the establishment, the better the food?  I’m not talking about having a C rating for food health and safety.  I mean those hole in the wall mom and pop joints.  Boca Del Rio is one such establishment. Their Mexican food is so street food and so “unhealthy”, but really tasty.

I noticed they put cheese on everything.  The cook literally shaves a block of monterey jack cheese through a shredder.  He makes the tacos, then just starts shaving cheese all over the tacos. It literally snows cheese over the plate.  That is what makes this so delicious.

I ordered carne asada tacos.  It started off like a regular taco — tortillas, meat, onions, cilantro.  It doesn’t stop there.  They shave large amounts of cheese over the tacos, then top each one with red or green sauce.  These tacos were packed to the fullest — no room for anything else. The tacos were really good and the carne asada was seasoned well.  I never had cheese on a taco like this, and thought it was a bit weird at first.  After the first bite, I knew what I was missing.

The lengua quesadilla was the best.  Lengua is beef tongue, and could possibly be the best part of the cow. The texture of it is so different and beefy.  It was even better inside a large flour tortilla and copious amounts of monterey jack cheese.  The quesadilla was a bit greasy, but that was fine by me. The grease was flavor, and this had a lot of it.  It was so simple, but so delicious.  Lengua is king.

Boca Del Rio is a small Mexican spot.  They have a nice menu full of the favorites.  I would want to try the burritos next time I go.  Cheese on everything.  That is their secret.

Boca del Rio on Urbanspoon


So a donut shop is a donut shop is a donut shop right?  Donuts from this mom and pop shop is the same as this other one.  Well, in this case, no.  First of all, what kind of donut shop opens only at 9PM?  Kind of sketchy right? On weekends, this Disneyland neighbor opens at 9PM, all the way through the morning till before noon.  What kind of donut shop is this?  Maybe it’s all a front and it actually is a secret CIA hub, or maybe some kind of crack dealing operation.  No, probably not.  Though, the crack dealing operation accusation is only half false.

So what are all these people in cars, and people standing around waiting for?  They all get one thing, the blueberry donut.  Yes, I am one of many who made it an event to wait over 2 hours for donuts.  Before you start to judge me, I would like to say that “everyone was doing it”.

It all started with a tip I got saying that the drive through window is faster.  All lies!  I waited and waited, I was basically stuck.  Not by any means of a disabled car or a road block, but all because of me and my stubbornness. 45 minutes in, I couldn’t leave.  I could have just left, cut my losses and be comfortable at home.  I am the type of person who finishes what I started.  In the end of it all, it was all worth it.

There is no way I am waiting this long and just getting 1 dozen.  I got 2 dozen and a croissant sandwich.  Yeah, random, I got a sandwich too.  I wanted to get more than just donuts.  This was nothing compared to the car behind us who ordered 5 dozen. Yes, if you are thinking crack, we are on the same page.

You get your donuts, in a pizza box of all things.  It is warm and straight right out of the fryer.  I took a bite, and all the stresses of waiting were gone.  It was so crispy on the outside and cakey on the inside.  The donut wasn’t overly sweet and the blueberry flavor was amazing. This tops all other donuts and is in a class of its own.  The best donut I ever had?  Maybe.  Even leftover days later were nice after a little trip to the toaster oven.  Amazing I tell you.  Amazing.

Some people might be turned off by the long lines and wait.  I agree, it’s idiotic and ridiculous to wait that long for donuts. But I promise, after the seemingly never ending wait, there is a glorious donut(s) with your name on it.

M & M Donuts on Urbanspoon


One in a while, you come across a BBQ spot that that really hits the spot.  A good BBQ restaurant is hard to find.  Checking my best friend yelp, I found this Blake’s Place, literally off the grid. Located in the industrial parts of Anaheim, they are hard to find.  You wouldn’t even think there would be a restaurant within a few blocks from there.  But once you get there and try the food, you will be glad you found it.

Walking in, I had a good feeling about this place.  Not only did I see the catering trucks outside, there were a few police officers enjoying a meal.  You know if the police eat there, it has to be good food.

I read many good things about the Blake’s pulled pork pile.  Once it came out, my mouth dropped to the floor.  This thing was huge.  As they say,  You definitely need napkins for this one. The pork was not dry at all.  Most pulled pork I tried was overly sauced because the meat was so dry.  Blake does the pulled pork right.  The cole slaw gave it a nice crunch and the red onion really made every come together.  This was one of my favorite pulled pork sandwiches.

We also ordered the rib plate.  It included a lot of different cuts so we got to try everything.  It included baby back ribs, pork spare ribs, and of course a beef rib.  The plate also came with bbq beans, mac and cheese, cole slaw, and garlic bread. The BBQ at Blake’s really is delicious.  The meat was so fall off the bone tender and is never dry or burnt.  My favorite of course, was the beef rib.  Not only was it humongous, it was delicious.  Eating it with the mac and cheese and garlic toast was good too.  It was a great BBQ meal.

Of course, we ended the meal off with a nice dessert.  The banana cream pudding was really good.  It wasn’t too sweet and there were nice slices of banana and vanilla cookies inside. Delicious.

This was a cool spot.  I would never have came here or found this place if it wasn’t for the internet.  Hopefully, someone will read this blog post and find it to be a nice BBQ spot as well. So where is this place?  Its near the 91 and 57 around the outskirts of Anaheim.  You can Google Blake’s Place.  Make sure you keep that map open and GPS on.

Blake's Place on Urbanspoon

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The Pint House – Oktobeerfest Is On And Poppin’

by Franklin on October 25, 2011

I was in Downtown Fullerton, and I came across The Pint House.  From the back, where the parking is, there were lights outside streaming across the dining area. There was a smokey smell coming from this place and it looked nice.  We wanted to give it a try.

The inside was like an upscale pub with a bar and nice seating area.  I was surprised to see all of the prices so low.  The interior was really nice.  You can get the nice quiet and quaint inside or the live music filled air, a little rowdy outside. Check the bottom for the video of the live band playing fun German style music.

Lucky for us, Oktobeerfest was going on.  Every Sunday in October, from 4 to 8, they had a special going on for food.  $6 got you parmasan fries and a bratwurst, and all appetizers were 25% off.  Awesome if you ask me.

The bratwurst was really tasty.  It was juicy on the inside and it had a nice snap. I did not like the bread they used — too much bread for the amount of sausage.  Also, the bread was a bit chewy.  I kind of liked the chewiness, though others might not like it.  The parmasan fries were tasty as well.  It was nicely seasoned and the cheese was a great addition.  For 6 bucks, you would expect just regular fries, but the fact that they give you parmasan fries was a plus.

What is better with bratwurst than some beer.  We ordered a beer in the take home pint class mug. They surprised us with any kind of beer, but we had an inkling it was Blue Moon.  We got to take home the mug as a souvenir.

You can also substitute the parasan fries for onion rings.  Their onion rings were surprisingly tasty.  The batter was light, and the flavor was definitely there.  Dipping it in the ranch dressing was great.  I was expecting maybe 6 to 8 pieces, but the plate was filled with onion rings.  This too was only 6 bucks. Amazing.

We were a bit hungry so we ordered the cheese quesadilla.  This was only 5 bucks, plus 25% off.  That is less that 5 bucks, if my math is correct.  The quesadilla was supposedly grilled, but that was not the good part.  Their fire roasted salsa was amazing.  It made this normal quesadilla taste so much better. A quesadilla is a  quesadilla — melted cheese between tortillas.  The fire roasted salsa had a deep dark color from the char, and it was amazingly delicious. If not, I would come again just for that salsa.
I was surprised at this place.  The menu was was impressive and the prices for the Sunday Oktobeerfest was even more appealing. What was cool to me was the live band playing Planning where to eat isn’t the best.  You sometimes stumble upon something new and something great.  I tried The Pint House, and I was happy to find their menu to be tasty and cheap.  The food was delicious and the salsa was memorable.

The Pint House on Urbanspoon


It was late, we were hungry, and we just had an awesome time at Disneyland.  Of course, we don’t want to settle nor go broke and eat at Disneyland.  We already saw what we wanted to see and rode Pirates, so the day was complete. We just needed to eat.  One of the more decent places to eat is at Naples Rostorante E Pizzeria.  I wasn’t hungry for a meal, but just a quick bite to eat.

I ordered the Bianca white pizza — Prosciutto e Melone.  It had fontina, mozzarella parmesan, prosciutto, cantelope, and arugula.  I never had cantalope on a pizza, paired with prosciutto.  It was new and refreshing, and really tasty.  The mozzarella was fresh — you could taste it.  The saltiness of the prosciutto and sweetness of the cantelope worked well. Everything was balanced perfectly, and the bitterness of the arugula helped cleanse the richness of the pizza.

Downtown Disney has a bunch of places to eat.  They are a lot better than the restaurants inside the park. It seems like you can’t go wrong with Italian here, as Catal/Uva Bar was delicious as well.  Pizza is awesome here with unique flavor combinations.  Ditch the food inside and eat here.

Naples Ristorante E Pizzeria (Downtown Disney) on Urbanspoon


Some days, you have to let loose.  Diets and counting calories don’t matter.  You shut down your hunger sensors and gorge in a all you can eat meat fest.  Koreatown has Korean BBQ restaurant at almost every corner.  One of my favorites is Hae Jang Chon on 6th Street. They offer some good quality meat and I personally like their selection.  This is one of my favorites because of the stone plates that the meat is cooked on.  These things are like the iron skillets that get passed down generation to generation.  All the meat essence that was cooked before is still on there from past patrons.  Time after time after time, all that meat essence is still there, and it comes out in the food.

The time me and my family went, just like any other night, was a busy one.  We waited nearly over an hour, so plan on doing the same.  It was particularly loud inside.  People were binge eating and drinking — nothing out of the ordinary on a Saturday night in Koreatown. This is all part of the Korean BBQ experience.

The food here is just as good as the experience.  Besides their many side plates, my favorite meat options are thinly sliced beef, short rib meat, and pork belly. I also like to get the tongue.  The tongue has a nice beef flavor but is not as chewy.  It is tender and the flavor is really nice., contrary to what others may think.

I also tried the baby octopus.  The beef on pork on beef was getting kind of tiring.  I roasted the baby octopus for a little, making sure not to over cook it. It was very tender and wasn’t rubbery at all.

The ending is the best.  Once you are done with the meat, it is time to eat more.  They clean the rock slate and cook this vegetable rice mix.  It is crispy on the bottom and so good as a finisher.  Check out the video to see the waiter in action.

Eating all you can eat is good, but not all the time.  Once in a while though, you have to give in.  Cook all the meat that you want, just the way you like.  It is right in front of you and once it is done, you just eat.  Watch your tongue though, that grill is hot.

Hae Jang Chon Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Remember back in the days, before The Grove, before The Americana?  Everyone used to hang out at Universal City Walk.  Though still a popular spot, it wasn’t what it used to be – at least to me.  After watching a movie on IMAX, my family and friends wanted to eat.

This was the first time eating at Hard Rock Cafe, anywhere.  Sadly, it might be my last.  Judging by the food alone, I did not enjoy it.  Nothing about the food stood out.  Dare I say, Chili’s or TGI Fridays has better tasting food. This mega chain with locations all around the world is amazing.  There is a Hard Rock Cafe in almost every major city in the world.  That is a feat in itself, but sadly, I did not enjoy the food.  Nothing stood out.

Though I’m not much of a rock music fan, I was impressed with all of the stuff they had here.  Autographed guitars and instruments glittered the walls in here. Even the classic car in the middle of the restaurant was pretty impressive.  They have all these cool decorations and memorabilia, but that is about it.

My swiss burger was just ok.  The patty wasn’t medium rare as I requested, and therefore, the patty was a bit dry. The side salad made it go down easier, but my bloody meat craving wasn’t met.

My cousin ordered the mac and cheese with chicken.  It wasn’t really cheesy or remarkable.  It tasted just like pasta, cheese sauce, and chicken. Maybe bacon would have done the trick?  There was nothing special about this dish.

The cheddar burger was dry as well.  The blanket of cheddar cheese over it looked, cool, but was deceiving. But by the time it reached my table, it was nearly room temperature and turned into a solid state.  That was really a turn off.  I wanted my ooey gooey, and I didn’t get it.

My brother’s mushroom steak was another non-special item.  The steak was nicely cooked, but it seemed a bit cold.  The mushroom sauce on top was alright, kind of bland.  Nothing stood out.

I can go on and on about how the food was average — below average.  Maybe it is just the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood, and other locations are better. I saw the Hard Rock Cafe in movies, in Vegas, and is widely known.  LA even made a new one, so close closely related to this one on Hollywood Blvd. Once I sat down and ate the food, I was instantly turned off by it.  The decor and memorabilia is nice, yes, do go here for that.  But for a good meal, no.

Hard Rock Café on Urbanspoon


Colima Burger is one of those spots.   It is a no name, hole in the wall burger joint.  Interestingly though, the interior was clean and the food wasn’t really greasy.  Good and bad, depending on how you look at it. Their menu is pretty standard — burgers and fries.  The food here was alright, nothing really special.  Everything was solid though, and very tasty.

The bacon cheese burger was probably my favorite.  I mean, who doesn’t like bacon, right?  The bacon was nice and salty and the patty was flavorful. The grilled onions they put on everything was a plus.  The patty was thin, but was a perfect balance of meat and bread.

The cheese fries here are great.  Not only do they put shredded cheese, but they put grilled onions on top.  All melted nicely, the fries were a treat.

My pastrami burger was good as well.  Though the picture doesn’t do it justice, but the thing was huge.  Though it doesn’t come close to The Hat, it was a good pastrami burger.

Colima Burger is really a hole in the wall, but it is a little too clean.  That may sound weird, but it’s true.  The location is kind of weird and you have to know about it somehow to eat here.  You might have heard from a friend or found it online.  It is indeed unassuming. The food is solid for a joint like this.  The food is somewhat healthy, considering you don’t feel like a grease ball after a meal.  It seems as if they put grilled onions on everything.  Not complaining, by the way.

Colima Burgers on Urbanspoon


No, I didn’t eat here.  I just visited the store that was right across from Earl of Sandwich, inside Planet Hollywood.  It was cool to see all of the interesting candies they sold.  I’m not going to lie, this store is for chicks, not me.  They had clothes for girls, candies, cupcakes and such.  They even bragged that famous people walk in there all the time. It looks like they do get a lot of endorsement from people in entertainment. One of their popular items were these lollipops that swirl.  I think they even had glitter.  Who knows.

I wanted to try their pastries and gelato, but I had already eaten lunch.  This is a cool spot just to see all the types of treats that aren’t at your ordinary candy store. Maybe next time I will eat at the actual restaurant at the Paris Resort.  Until then, enjoy all the candy!

Sugar Factory on Urbanspoon


Having an annual pass at Disneyland is a perk. 10% off almost everything at the theme park is awesome. The best part of course would be being able to go pretty much whenever I want, excluding those annoying black out dates of course. Walking around, riding rides, and watching the fireworks really take it out of you.  Good thing Disneyland has a place to eat at every corner.

Walking into Blue Ribbon Bakery on Main Street, it was like an old school coffee and cake shop.  They offer a lot of baked goods as well as coffees and other drinks.  I opted for the sticky cinnamon bun. I hadn’t had one for a while, and I thought this would be perfect.  In my head, it was warm, gooey, and oh so chewy.  Sadly, this was not the case.

This honey bun was dry.  The bun was not chewy — each bite was like biting off a piece of stale bread.  Not my kind of sweet treat.  Though kind of sweet and cinnamon-y, it did not satisfy my honey bun craving.

I did buy one of their fresh out of the oven macaroons, and that was pretty good.  It was kind of warm and dense inside.  This was exactly what I was looking for.  As you may already know where I stand, I will tell you again.  There aren’t many good places to eat at Disneyland.  In hind sight, I should have opted for a nice churro instead.

Blue Ribbon Bakery (Disneyland) on Urbanspoon


Crepes de Paris – No Passport Necessary

by Franklin on October 18, 2011

Crepes are so delicious.  That paper thin pancake like disc, filled with whatever your heart desires — that is what a crepe is all about. Though, I can’t seem to get over the savory crepe.  I prefer the sweet kind, the ones for dessert.  Crepes de Paris in Brea is a quaint little crepe shop.  Once you enter, you feel like you are in Paris.  The cute European accents in the building and cafe style seating really brings you to Paris.

I am a sucker for Nutella. I can eat that over chocolate sauce any day.  Yes, Nutella is better than chocolate.  With that said, my favorite crepe has to have Nutella in it.  Their batter was near perfect.  The crepe was nice and chewy, which I like. It is just simple and delicious.

The strawberry crepe was good too.  The whole strawberries inside the crepe was tasty.    Having a crepe with ice cream is even better. Of course, you need to have whipped cream on top of your crepe, and they put a lot of it.  It was a joy eating this.

This is a cool place, and one of my favorite spots to get crepes in Orange County.  I don’t need to hop on a plane to get to Paris, I just need to go here. I can order my Nutella crepe and eat my dessert in Paris.

Crepes de Paris on Urbanspoon


If you are thinking about eating here, let me save you the time.  Don’t do it.  The pictures look good, and the lines are long; It must be good! I waited in the line and I had my taste.  It wasn’t worth the wait.  There was nothing that wowed me.  In the end of it all, I was disappointed.

I ordered the original, the Original 1762.  It had roast beef, sharp cheddar, and creamy horseradish sauce.  Everyone was ordering the Earl Club, but this was the original.  I had to get it.  In my naive little head, I imagine John Montague, the Earl of Sandwich in 1762 eating this exact sandwich. I imagine this, the original, is supposedly the first sandwich ever made.  Because of this reason, I had to order this one.  In the end, it was just a hot chiabata with meat, cheese, and sauce.  There was nothing special about this.

Their soup was tasty.  I had the broccoli cheddar and it was creamy.  It was a good match with the sandwich.  This would be perfect on a cold winter night.




Their treats looked good too.  I heard many good things about their brownies.  I also wanted to try one of their ice cream sandwiches which looked amazing.

Am I missing something here?  Did I miss on something spectacular?  Maybe the bacon club would have better suited me.  Maybe it was the mechanical way of how my sandwich was made.  Heck, maybe I am just bitter that I lost at the craps tables. Who knows?  I want to come back and try it one more time.  I really wanted to like Earl of Sandwich in Planet Hollywood.  Next time, I will get the club perhaps.

Earl of Sandwich (Planet Hollywood) on Urbanspoon


Taste on Melrose – I Dine LA And I Love Taste

October 14, 2011

I’ve heard so much stuff about Taste on Melrose.  I’ve seen that building so many times on Melrose with the words “taste” on it.  “What is Taste?” I would ask myself. Thanks to Dine LA’s Restaurant Week, I took advantage of their 3 course menu.  Looking at their menu, I realized that all or most […]

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Gordon Ramsey at The London – A Michelin Star Well Deserved?

October 14, 2011

DineLA’s Restaurant Week really lets people try many different kind of food.  After looking and what they had to offer.  I was caught between so many choices.  After a few reservations being booked, I was left with Gordon Ramsey at The London.  I am not saying this was a second best or last resort.  I […]

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Bar + Kitchen – Slow Service, But I don’t Mind It

October 14, 2011

It is always nice to eat with family.  Being Dine LA Restaurant Week and all, we all wanted to take advantage and have lunch.  Since restaurant week comes in 3 courses and 3 dishes to choose from, the trio, my brother, cousin, and I went to Bar + Kitchen. Perfectly situated in Downtown, it was […]

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Luna Park – Eat This, And That, And That…

October 13, 2011

Finding out about Luna Park, I always how I missed this place on such a busy intersection, Wilshire and La Brea.  I must have passed by this place hundreds of times and didn’t even notice it.  That is the beauty of restaurant week by Dine LA. It opens up your city with wonderful eateries that […]

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Cucina Alessa – Homemade Pasta On The PCH In Newport Beach

October 13, 2011

Nothing is as comforting as Italian food. The starchy noodles and pasta with a nice warm sauce, and maybe some cheese is all it takes to feel comforted. A pint of ice cream after a bad breakup?  Try a bowl of cheesy, creamy penne.   You will be right back on your feet.  When you […]

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21 Choices Frozen Yorgurt – It Is Do Dang Hot Outside

October 12, 2011

The weather in LA can be tricky.  I could have sworn it rained last week.  Today, it is nearly 100 degrees!  The Southern Californian sun is flexing its powers for its last hurrah before the winter I guess.  It’s hot, muggy, and just burning out there.  My AC is working overtime, and I don’t even […]

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