Monthly Archives: January 2012

REVIEW: SUN HA JANG

You love duck.  You crave Korean BBQ.  You have one option.  Sun Ha Jang.  In a brightly lit strip mall in Koreatown is this haven for those cravin’ duck.  Never mind the language barrier and skip past the rest of the menu, for you have arrived at your temple.

Soon you will be in duck heaven as the sizzling morsels of bird simmer alongside whole cloves of radiant garlic.  The room becomes a pungent dream of spicy kimchi, laughing Koreans and tasty beer.   Your eyes dilate and your heartbeat quickens, the meat is turning golden hues announcing it’s almost go time.  And then the duck is ready and you prepare to eat your prize wrapped in bonchon goodness.

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REVIEW: THE SHERBOURNE

The Sherbourne has a spud mixologist.  The Monster will repeat.  The Sherbourne has a spud mixologist.

Intrigued?

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REVIEW: NAPA ROSE

Mere minutes from Disneyland at the Grand Californian Hotel, Napa Rose is an adult haven away from the maddening yap of countless misbehaved kids high on sugar and seeing Mickey and even worse parents who just want to escape and have a drink.  Generally considered the best restaurant in the area, it’s a beautiful room, Californian art deco from which pleasant servers doll out overpriced but proficient food from the open kitchen.

The Monsters are going to see Andrea Bocelli and even though Disneyland scares the bejeezus out of The Monster (been once, never again) there aren’t many other options in the area for adult food.  Just getting to the restaurant The Monster sees scores of children whose parents have obviously given up.  While The Monster doesn’t yet have children, he’s pretty sure when he does watching them beat each other over the head with a large stick (and laughing about it) won’t be part of the program.

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REVIEW: AL GELATO

All hail Al Gelato.  Decadently delicious food, great gelato and desserts, friendly people and they have adopted to this century and now accept credit cards!  There is not much to dislike save the weird techno blasting The Monster’s eardrums into submission and the dearth of parking on this stretch of Robertson.

It’s a mostly nondescript space with inside and outside seating, letting the gelato and desserts behind the counter be the rightful stars of the show.  They must be doing something right, placards on the table proudly announce they have over one hundred five star reviews on Yelp.

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REVIEW: CONI’SEAFOOD

Very simply, all seafood lovers must go to Coni’Seafood.  Right now.  Remember all the Mariscos Chente buzz?  That was all due to maestro chef Sergio Penuelas and he has taken over the original Mariscos Chente space in Inglewood and set up shop with a new name but the same great menu. 

The space this time around is much nicer, with a huge outdoor patio to boot.  The Monster cannot come to this mecca of sea creatures and not order the whole fish pescado zarandeado (they added guacamole to the dish and it is ridiculously awesome), the shrimp a la pimienta and some killer shrimp or marlin tacos.  Oh yea, The Monster also loads up on the insanely addictive chips and salsa.     

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REVIEW: CENTANNI

The Monster has Centanni all to himself.  Four people working, one person eating, and an annoying Sting song as background music.  The space itself is a bit of a hodgepodge, design elements mix and match rustic, mid-century and plain old ugly. 

In an effort to kick off 2012 in a healthy fashion The Monster skips over all the pastas that he desperately wants and gets himself a cup of pasta e fagioli soup and some chicken piccata with a side of broccoli.

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REVIEW: RAY’S AND STARK BAR

A lot of very smart people very much like Ray’s and the Stark Bar.  Esquire hailed it as one of the best new restaurants nationally.  The LA Times gave it a great review.  LA Magazine lauded it as a winner.  That’s all fine and dandy.  Because The Monster disagrees.

Situated within LACMA, this has all the ingredients to be great.  Hip space, cool cocktails, celebrated chef.  Somewhere though the night The Monster visits everything is just so…

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REVIEW: MALIBU SEAFOOD

Malibu Seafood.  The Monster wants chowder.  He gets some.  He also wants taste.  Where is it?    

There is a fantastic quality about a diminutive space selling fresh seafood yards from the coast in Malibu.  It feels right.  You want some fried this and that?  Malibu Seafood.  You want to sit on a picnic table and hear the crash of the surf?  Malibu Seafood.  You want to pick up some grub and grill it yourself?  Malibu Seafood.

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REVIEW: SHAKA SHACK

The Monster went to the Shaka Shack in Santa Monica and isn’t sure what exactly is going on.  It’s like the Brady Bunch Hawaiian episode come alive minus the tarantula (hopefully) but loaded up with the tikis, loud prints and a sort of island vibe.  It’s apparently meant for take-out, what with there being one singular table and one tall counter with four stools.  Besides that, two couches to relax on as you wait for your burger (beef, turkey, salmon, chicken) and some fries or slaw.

From first blush not sure the guy behind the grill has any idea what’s going on.  Taking island casual to new lengths, the guy at the counter is teaching him how to grill the burger as they go.  This will be an apprenticeship turkey shaka burger apparently.  Hey guys, The Monster can hear you. 

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WHY THE MONSTER DOESN’T DRINK MILK

Never has The Monster remembered liking milk.  A glass of milk has not once been poured for his enjoyment.  A bowl of cereal never polluted by its presence.   A cookie nary proffered to be dipped in its ineffable whiteness.

And so The Monster went to the source.  He asked Mama Monster, for she would know. Has he ever really liked milk?  Did he ever drink it?  And she told him…

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