A good indication of a good lunch spot is how they handle take out orders. Do they treat you differently? Do they give preference to their dine in customers? Is it easy to order, and how long is the turn-around time? In an area filled with office buildings, this place handled it well. I just walked in and ordered off their paper menu right at the front, and was greeted promptly during the height of lunch hour. They took my order after giving me a few moments to peruse the menu (he went away to give me some space), and afterwards, i went out to deposit money into the bank next door. By the time I came back, it was ready. I ordered the Ginger Chicken, and it was piping hot and tasty! One nice touch is they put it in foil within the box so it would stay hot, and to prevent spillage.
Very convenient and surprisingly good food -- you would expect Chili's or TGI Fridays quality food, but this place seems to top them in every way. Their Fish burgers are actually very tasty and flaky, and their fries and burgers are good too. Easy to get to, easy parking, and it's a big restaurant, so plenty of seating available. The staff is good, too.
This hotel sits on the top of a hill, overlooking the city. The rooms are nice, the taste is modern. It also has a golf course, which provides lots of scenic opportunities for photos. There is also free internet access, a big plus for business travelers. The one minus would be that if you had a wedding there, the ceremony site is very far from the hotel on the course, so you have to shuttle people to and from the area in large golf carts. you could walk it, but it's pretty far to be walking in dresses and tuxes. The ceremony site is nice, though, with a long curving walkway to the gazebo. The reception room is also nice, with lots of windows so you can enjoy the LA skyline.
The place is pretty small, and it doesn't seem like you get much of a selection. The actual suits are pretty good quality though, with some good name brands to choose from. One minus is they don't give out socks (like Men's Wearhouse), so for a moment there I was sporting the white socks as I rushed to get pictures taken. Luckily someone had an extra pair, or... it just wouldn't have looked very sexy.
Anyways, their systems are very antiquated, as they do not link their computer systems with other After Hours stores, so you have to return the tux to that specific store, and they have to manually look through a paper file system for your record in order to finish the transaction. When I first came in, I didn't have the group number on me but I knew the group name, but they still had to call around trying to find the paper trail -- this took forever. Live into now! Network!
This place is a little hidden -- you wouldn't think that there would be a restaurant here, as it is mostly a residential area. But keep looking, and you'll find it in a little plaza off of Beach Park Blvd.
It seems like they have 2 different menus, one in English and one in chinese -- and they're not the same. We're pretty bad at reading Chinese, so we opted for the English menu. This menu however, catered more towards the "Kung-Pao chicken" and "Mu-shu Pork" type of deal (although I personally like mu shu pork ;P ). We wanted some more authentic stuff, so we braved the Chinese menu and ordered some things that we could recognize. We weren't disappointed!
We had the Lion's head dish (tzu-ze-toe, describing these large meatballs with napa cabbage in a big stew pot with broth - delicious!) the steamed soup dumplings (shiao-loong bao, pork dumplings with hot soup contained in a dumpling wrapper -- i've had better elsewhere, some of these had no soup in them), and the A-choy (veggie-- yum).
It's a little "hole-in-the-wallish," but I still liked it a lot.
This place has pretty good dishes-- From what we saw, mostly Cantonese style. Order "family-style" if you want to get the most benefit from the meal. We had the Salt Chicken (nice juicy and meaty pieces), the Ong-choy (hollow green vegetable -- stir fried with garlic), the rock cod hot pot (a stew) and beef with oyster sauce. Everything was pretty tasty, though the ong-choy was a bit on the rough side. The hot pot was good, not great, but I still liked it. We'll definitely come back!
I found this place in the Prospect Plaza off of Valley Blvd -- apparently they have several locations in the US, but man, do I want to shake the hand of the owner of this one!
They specialize in cream puffs -- their slogan is: "fresh'n natural cream puffs" -- we got a six-pack of their vanilla cream puffs, and they went about filling six empty puffs in a mini-assembly line, with one filling, one sprinkling powdered sugar on each and then wrapping each in a tissue before placing them in a small yellow box with handles. I love Japanese packaging! Everything is so nice and well presented.
Of course, bite into the cream puff and you will taste why they are so successful! Delicious and fresh..mmmm. They sell 3 other variations of pastries there, a chocolate cream puff, a cheese pastry (i think) and a chocolate cake with a hot fudge filling I believe. I'm already a big fan.
With a name like that, you just gotta try it.
This place has some of the best tea in the area. Some places that have boba tea have either tasteless tea or chewy/bland boba -- not this place. Both are excellent. Yes, you're gonna pay a little more, but they use Ten Ren tea leaves, which are some of my favorite. I usually order the regular green or jasmine tea without milk, and it always comes out flavorful and refreshing. If you're there to eat (they open till 11pm or so on weekdays) -- the many dishes they have are tasty and will fill you up, and range from $4-6.
PROS: open late
This place is very relaxed and comfortable -- and has a "barn-like" setting. Sawdust and peanut shells all over the floors (with popcorn-like stations where you can scoop out a plateful of peanuts to pick at while you wait for your food), picnic tables lined up with their own paper towel dispensers in a well decorated setting. Order one of their specials which include a sampling of everything in different quantities, or order straight from their meat menu by the pound. Don't waste time with the chicken -- We usually just order the tri-tip by the pound, plus some sides of corn and mashed potatoes or fries. It all gets served true to the setting, in plastic trays lined with paper. All this can get a bit pricey, but the tri-tip is tender and juicy, and with their bbq sauce, is like heaven. Try their mint-lemonade in jars for a tasty beverage accompaniment!
Hate to spoil the fun, and I love this place, but there was a rumor back in my days at UCLA that the cookies taste so good because they're made of lard. Makes sense, cause fat tastes good. I have a friend that can sense the fat content in food -- (e.g. I tried to trick him into eating frozen yogurt instead of ice cream once, and he screamed -- he loves the taste of full fat ice cream), and he absolutely adores this place. "Lard rumor" gets a huge point there.
Still, that doesn't stop me from buying a bucket-load of these suckers. Since when do whole wheat no-fat cookies taste good? Might as well eat bread. If you want a cookie, might as well go all the way.