Lala’s Argentine Grill

7229 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 934-6838

A wonderful restaurant in a lovely neighborhood good for shopping. The clothes? Hip. The food? Delicious. Also down the street is PinkBerry if you’re interested in that. So, the food is Argentinian, and most of us ordered the special dishes, which were enormous (I only ate half of mine) and fabulous. I had some steak that was breaded and covered with cheese and sauce of some kind, with mashed potatoes. Dinner was preceded by bread and herb-y/garlic-y oil. The sangria was good as well, not too flavorful, but much like good wine.

Everyone enjoyed their food, we sat outside (in the back, which is recommended by the way) so it was warm, but still outside-ish (it’s covered by a roof), and not too noisy and the lighting was excellent. I know this is a rave review, but that’s usually the best kinds, and this place definitely deserved it.

Price: 6 (it’s on the expensive end)
Taste: 10
Service: 10 (our poor waiter kept bringing us more bread and oil…)
Food Amount: 10
Average Rating: 9

April 30, 2007 at 2:11 pm 1 comment

Euro Cafe

546 E. Baseline
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-4666
http://www.eurocafeclaremont.com/

An intimate café that I’ve passed many times and never looked twice towards, yet it’s now a place I’d journey to on purpose again and again. The menu is the same for lunch and dinner and consists of panini, salads, pastas as well as specials of the day. Their beverage menu was extensive and included Italian sodas (which I had a blackberry one, which was as expected), as well as coffees and other drinks. I had half of two sandwiches (the beauty of sharing): Di Prosciutto and Ham & Brie, both of which were excellent and very flavorful and fresh. Each sandwich was accompanied with a choice of chips or salad, the chips were regular and typical, and the salad had very nice dressing.

The food is European in location overall, yet their specialties include Portuguese food – and the people I went with had some of the specials, and were very satisfied. I’d love to go again and try some of the Portuguese dishes, especially now that I know the place to go.

Price: 8 for dinner, 7 for lunch
Taste: 10
Service: 10
Food Amount: 7
Average Rating: 8.75

February 10, 2007 at 11:31 pm 1 comment

The Grind

4613 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
http://www.thegrindco.com/

I just have to say I love little cafe-type places, before I go on to say I dislike coffee, but the Grind had plenty of non-coffee drinks (in addition to the typical coffee ones), and food items as well. The restaurant/cafe itself was very nicely-styled with art on the walls, and an open back where you could see the kitchen. It’s right in the heart of Lincoln Square and a much better choice than the Starbucks down the block as The Grind is truly a local find. The treats in their cases looked delicious, and the vanilla cupcake really was; a milkshake and hot-chocolate were both tasted and determined to be fabulous.

Price: 8
Taste: 10
Service: 10
Food Amount: 8
Average Rating: 9

August 28, 2006 at 9:52 pm Leave a comment

Chipotle

1092 North Mountain Avenue
Upland, CA 91786
909-579-0999 (phone)
909-579-0666 (fax)
http://www.chipotle.com/ (order online, get a fax order form online, see a menu, find locations)

Arguably one of the best places for burritos around Claremont. At the very least, it’s popular. Some people prefer Patty’s (citing superior tortillas and hot sauces). Personally, I like both restaurants, but I prefer Chipotle slightly since I think it has better tasting food. The burritos at Chipotle are very large. Plan on eating a big meal, or just take some back home for a snack later (much healthier than consuming a whole burrito in one sitting).

Service is generally very good. You get to choose your own ingredients – pick a meat with or without rice and black/pinto beans. Then pick at least one: salsa (mild tomato, medium corn, medium tomatillo green, hot tomatillo red), cheese, and sour cream. Lettuce and cilantro are also options. Guacomole is very good too, though expensive at $1.40 (another reason to prefer Chipotle to Patty’s, if guacomole is a favorite of yours and you think it’s worth the price). Most people get burritos, but there are also tacos, quesadillas, burritos in bowls, salads, and other things. The burritos are highly recommended though.

The restaurant is clean most of the time. It is arguably fast food, though the quality is much better, the cost is higher, and the restaurant atmosphere is slightly more sophisticated than fast food.

To eat a burrito at Chipotle, do not remove the burrito completely from the aluminum foil. Simply unwrap a little at a time in order to keep the burrito in one piece.

Important things to know:

  • Students: show your student ID at the Chipotle in Upland for a free drink.
  • Sometimes it is faster to fax or order online during busy hours to avoid waiting in line. The line wait is never that long though, as normally they can make burritos fairly quickly. It’s faster than Patty’s at least.
  • Accepts Claremont Cash
  • Resides next to a Quiznos, a Shell Gas Station, an Albertsons, a UPS store, and a Blockbuster.

Price: 7
Taste: 8-9
Service: 8
Food Amount: 7-9 (depending on what’s in your burrito)
Average Rating: 9

August 25, 2006 at 5:53 pm Leave a comment

Brasserie Astuce

510 E Foothill Blvd
Pomona, CA 91767
http://www.brasserieastuce.com/

A french restaurant, which was quaint and very nice and large inside, which was unexpected from the many times I’ve passed by and never thought twice. It’s quite a fancy type restaurant, with a winery on the side, with oh so many bottles of wine. Apparently they have wine tasting weekly, if anyone ever is interested. The lunch menu made it hard to decide what to get — I got the Astuce Wrap, which was delicious, but I examined everyone else’s food (which looked as good as mine tasted). They had carrot-ginger and onion (with bread and melted cheese) soups; sandwiches, salads, and meats, and everyone was very pleased with their food decisions. Quite fabulous for a night out I’d guess, and although not crowded for lunch, it is apparently sometimes busy for dinner (always a good sign).

Atmosphere: Fancy (but not the formal dress up kind)
Price: 6
Taste: 10
Service: 10
Food Amount: 10 (not overly much, but just the right amount)
Average Rating: 9

August 5, 2006 at 1:58 am Leave a comment

China Gate

365 S. Mountain Avenue
Upland, CA 91786

A Chinese restaurant in the nearby area of HMC, down Mountain Ave., in the plaza that has Trader Joes.  One person mentioned that it was more Schezuan style, which they liked.  I ordered a spicy chicken dish off of the Chef’s Specials part of the menu, and was very satisfied — spicy and delicious.  The others whom I went with this time ordered: A beef soup, a sizzling beef dish, and a spicy beef dish.  All were very satisfied with their food orders, and all were fairly quick to come after our ordering them (except the soup which was very fast to arrive at the table).  We ate quickly through the rice (average); the tea was average as well.

A bit more expensive than restaurants such as China Star, but perhaps so because we each ordered a dish and only shared a tiny bit — which left plenty of leftovers.  A delicious meal overall.

Atmosphere: Oriental, but not too much decoration
Price: 6
Taste: 8
Service: 8
Food Amount: 10
Average Rating: 8

July 22, 2006 at 1:32 am 4 comments

Sakana: Teppan Steak & Sushi Bar

820 W. Foothill Blvd.,
Upland , CA 91786
WEBITE HERE

Although I’m not a sushi eater at heart, we went to this restaurant for lunch, where they have half off sushi during lunch. We ordered the sushi boat (which serves two and includes chicken teryaki, beef teryaki, california rolls, tempura shrimp and vegetables, and fried potatoes) and four sushi plates. The one I did try (besides the food from the boat) was called sweet egg and I thought it was very good. They all seemed to love the sushi, so I would count on them knowing and saying it was fabulous. I thought the restaurant to be very clean, and the service was slow, but it was busy for the lunch hour considering. Besides the dining room (where we ate) they also have hibachi grills where they make the fancy show of cooking your food in front of you in another room.

Atmosphere: Oriental with 80s music playing in the background
Price: 8 for lunch, probably 6 for dinner
Taste: 9
Service: 6
Food Amount: 7
Average Rating: 8

July 22, 2006 at 1:16 am Leave a comment

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