Saturday, April 26, 2008

Chutneys Indian Fast Food

A review of Tacos La Flama is coming, but for today we'll talk about its neighbor, Chutneys Indian Fast Food. The idea of Indian fast food is great. I love Indian food and am frequently in a rush. However, I already have a favorite Indian restaurant (Nizam) which has a lunch buffet for $7.99 and you can eat that pretty quickly, too. I went into this ready for a new place, but Chutneys didn't win the challenge. I don't imagine myself going back unless Nizam is closed for some reason.
The above picture is what Rachel ordered. They do have a lot of vegetarian options, so yay for that. Nevertheless, I don't think she enjoyed her meal. Perhaps she will weigh in in the comments.
I ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala. Overall, it was satisfying, but it wasn't great. The sauce was too watery and oily--which you can see in the above picture was kinda grossly separating as it sat there. Also, there wasn't enough chicken in it. It did come with an ample amount of rice and salad and naan for quite a reasonable price. It was also very speedy. Their restaurant name is, indeed, correct. But it just wasn't good enough.

The 0% juice Lemonade was also a bit disconcerting. ;-)

The restaurant has a Barrington address but its door faces Pico, so it still counts.

Chutneys Indian Fast Food
2406 S Barrington Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Beware, the parking lot is a disaster.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Don Antonio's

What a gorgeous photo, if I may say so myself. This photo belies the outward appearance of Don Antonio's, however. It's in the middle of whatever-land, very non-descript and then you get here and it all seems very Disney's-idea-of-Mexico. But, the neon sign is glorious and I heard they have $1 tacos on Wednesday nights. So we venture in.

First, be warned, it is fairly difficult to find parking around here so you might have to pay for valet. Second, if you go on one of these Wednesday nights, you may have a substantial wait. We were willing to sit outside, so we only waited about five minutes. It was actually very pleasant outside--a good choice. The inside had some super cheesy non-fitting aquariums (what?) and was very crowded. Outside, it was only slightly lit with candles and christmas lights, plus some nice tiling.

Okay--to the important stuff. They give you chips and salsa, as to be expected. I couldn't tell if there were two distinct salsas or if one was just way watery. Either way, they were sufficient but not great.

This $1 taco deal is fairly limited. Or at least we thought from the extremely unclear answers the waiter gave us. We each ordered different tacos. I ordered two crispy chicken tacos because I was led to believe that a soft taco was more expensive (even though that didn't make that much sense). Anyways, they tasted mediocre and were dripping with grease. I was still hungry, and, since the first two were only a dollar each, I decided to order a soft taco even if it wasn't a dollar. This taco was delicious, much better than the crispy ones. Highly recommended.

It turns out the soft taco was a dollar, as well. The waiter was crazy. He also was a bad waiter--very slow. Plus, our water was never refilled! Tsk tsk. I know we're in a drought, folks, (run-on sentence alert!) but the law is that you can't serve water until someone asks for it, not that you shouldn't ask if we want water, which I most definitely did!

Don Antonio's
11755 W Pico Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90064

I'll try to go back soon to try non-Wednesday night fare and report! Especially something with fish, since their sign says glowingly, SEAFOOD.

You get another chance to see their beautiful sign. Now from the other side, later in the evening. All together now: Oooooo.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tuk Tuk!

A Tuk Tuk is a Thai automobile rickshaw, especially popular in highly congested areas like Bangkok. Tuk Tuk is also a delicious restaurant on Pico Blvd where it crosses Swall.

First, you must admit that they have pretty good signage--in addition to the tuk tuk jutting out of the wall! The atmosphere on the inside is pretty great. Little tables with high-backed wooden banquettes on one side fill up the very small space, but it doesn't feel cramped. The tops of these banquettes are filled with little tuk tuk sculptures, super cute. One complaint is that it is a bit too dark, even in the middle of the afternoon. Hence, the following picture is of obvious low quality since I had to manipulate it a lot to be anything other than a big dark mess.

Nevermind the graininess, in this picture you can see my favorite dish--the one that has brought me back to this restaurant three times since I first tasted them! These are the Thai curry shrimp and scallop dumplings. It should be known that scallops and shrimp are my favorite seafood (in that order, too). If we were eating Dim Sum, my favorite would be Har Gow (shrimp dumpling) and whatever the real name of the shrimp and scallop dumpling is. So when I first went to Tuk Tuk several years ago, I immediately ordered whatever had scallops in it; this dish did not disappoint. The dough is light but substantial, the filling is hearty, and the carrots provide a nice crunchy counterpoint to the smooth texture of the dumpling itself. The most important part of this dish, however, is the Thai curry sauce. Oh man, it is amazing. After finishing the dumplings, I make sure the waiter doesn't take away the plate so I can use the sauce on whatever else I order--it's that good.

I also recommend the garlic pepper chicken with brown rice. The sauce is really strong but smooth and the chicken works really well with the thicker brown rice rather than the usual white rice. But you definitely need to like garlic for this one.

The prices are slightly expensive but totally worth it. Your best bet is to go with a couple people and share several dishes. You'll probably each want 1.5 dishes.

Tuk Tuk
8875 Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035

P.S. Blogger, thanks for letting me upload multiple pictures simultaneously!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Welcome to my new blog! This is where I will document my quest to eat at every restaurant on Pico Boulevard. This quest was started when I was eight years old and it will probably continue for a very long time, indefinitely as new places keep appearing. I've so far covered about 16 blocks. Look out for posts about once a week. Leave suggestions of restaurants on Pico Blvd. you really like in the comments.