February 14, 2016

Lido di Manhattan Ristorante & Bar, Los Angeles…vodka pasta at a Kitchen Nightmares restaurant

Whether you’re craving a simple plate of spaghetti and meatballs, or an osso buco that melts in your mouth, there’s an abundance of Italian restaurants in Los Angeles. Wanting to go beyond specialty pizzerias and ho-hum red sauce joints, I landed in Lido di Manhattan Ristorante & Bar at Manhattan Beach.

The restaurant itself is beautiful, with a modern, spacious layout. The menu itself is pretty extensive and looks very enticing. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I ordered Lido’s famous vodka pasta – prosciutt0, basil, shallots, garlic, Lido’s famous spicy vodka sauce, tossed with penne. It was good but there was nothing out of the ordinary. Overall I would rate it as so-so. The food was okay. The service was fair

After dining here, I’d found out that this restaurant was featured on Kitchen Nightmares Season 3 Episode 5. Who would have thought?! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

lido's la2

January 17, 2016

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Los Angeles…looks like it’s come out of a Gucci bag

LA is a city with what feels like an infinite amount of steakhouses. So what differentiates one steakhouse from the other?

First off, I really like the scene of this spot. Elegant ambience of rich, welcoming environment of wood, leather, and subdued lighting. It is so important for me for the wait staff to be pleasant so that I can enjoy my food and evening. EVERYONE was actually nice in this place. Definitely wins points from me.

So much exciting food… so little space to write about it. The certified Angus beef porterhouse for two was cooked to perfection and absolutely divine. If it ain’t obvious to you already, I like meat. I deal with it a lot. It’s tasty. I’m good at it. It was an amazing piece of steak but so damaging to the waistline!! Whatever, we only live once, right? Having steaks and don’t know what to order for the sides?  Asparagus is a no-brainer. The grilled high country asparagus taste as awesome as MacGyver was cool.

Fleming’s holds up against the top tier steak houses in LA, which says a lot. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

fleming's 2 nla

fleming's8 la

August 2, 2015

Smashburger, Los Angeles…By far one of the Best Burgers I’ve ever had. Soooo juicyyy!!!

Smashburger is a thoroughly modern fast-casual restaurant (where you order at a counter just as you would in a fast food joint but the food is delivered to your table by servers), offering healthy and fresh better-burger chain, using certified Angus beef. Instead of just one bun, it lets customers select from four artisan bun offerings: egg, multigrain, spicy chipotle and even brioche. As the name suggests, the Smashburger kitchen uses the much-talked-about “smashing, seared and seasoned” technique.

I happily gobbled a highly laudable Classic smash – American cheese, Smash sauce, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion on an “artisan”egg bun. The egg bun has a texture and robustness that compliment the seared patty. The crust on the patty is truly impressive, adding a significant amount of crunch and snap to each bite. Besides conventional fries, there’s smashfries – shoestring fries tossed in Italian olive oil, rosemary and garlic.

As a gourmet burger and at $10 to $12, a meal at Smashburger will typically set folks back $2 to $4 more than a meal at McDonald’s. Moreover, with the TV overhead, you can watch sport channel while eating.

The verdict? It is not only good; it’s in the same big-time league as Shake Shack’s. This is the true truth as I still say it as it is…

smashburger2 la

snashburger la

June 3, 2012

The Cheesecake Factory, Glendale, Los Angeles…Classically American

The Cheesecake Factory is a major chain that’s always packed and with an absurdly large menu. It is a great place if you want delicious food and a grandiose atmosphere with high ceilings and dim lighting.  There’s pretty much something for everyone here. The food is mostly good.  Not $$$$ fine-dining good, but well, for what it is, it’s good….and the service was spot on.

Located at the Americana at Brand in Glendale, this is one of the nicer Cheesecake Factory that I’ve been to. The place was super packed. There was a line just to put your name on the list, and even then you had to wait about 15 minutes just to get the pager thingy, with an expected total wait time of over an hour. Luckily I stood outside because I had a chance to see The Americana, which was really nice at night with perfectly manicured lawn resembling astro-turf, a local “train”, and picturesque stores.

Their slice of cheesecake is massive! Don’t be a pig and be prepared to share this collossal piece of yumminess. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

March 17, 2012

Joe’s Crab Shack, Los Angeles…crab may be their name, but crab didn’t seem to be their game.

This is a tough one to write, because my first visit about 10 years ago was unforgettable. This recent visit, was quite forgettable.

The ambience is a laid-back, roomy restaurant. Desiree, our waitress was friendly and service was good and quick. However, it is definitely overpriced for the quality of food you get.

We started with a classic sampler and had the steam Pot for 2 (a nice collection of seafood) as the main.  The crab was plain, lacking flavour, dry, not juicy and extra SALTY. Crab may be their name, but crab didn’t seem to be their game.

As soon as the song “Love shack” comes on, the servers put on a little dance thing in the middle of the restaurant…makes the dining experience that much cheesier and corny.

I wouldn’t return. Sorry Joe’s! This is the true truth and I say it as it is…

January 24, 2012

Warner Bros. Studio VIP Tour, Los Angeles…I can’t believe how fast those two hours flew by


If you are a movie fanatic but want something more educational other than the  ‘rides’ as at Universal Studios this tour is for you. They take you on a tram tour throughout the studio and even go inside the working studios . You get to see sets (The Big Bang Theory, The Mentalist, Friends etc) . They show you the prop rooms ,sets , costume rooms . It’s a interesting day if you’re into television.
One highlight is a warehouse where the Batmobile, Harry Potter’s flying car, Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine and other various famed automobiles are proudly displayed. There is also the museum where  the entire second floor was dedicated to memorabilia from the Harry Potter films. I had only seen the first few Harry Potter movie, but I was excited to see so many familiar items. There was also the magic hat for “sorting” of young wizards. When placed on a visitor’s head, that person would be “sorted”! Fun! 
The tour takes just over 2 hours and we came out having learnt a lot about the movies. I don’t believe how fast those two hours flew by. This is the true truth and I am still saying it as it is…


December 17, 2011

Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles…King Kong 360 3D: a whole new way to experience the movies

While Disney is still king of little kiddie amusements, I really loved Universal Studios!

The main draw is the famous Studio Tour, the tram ride through Universal’s back lot that remains the heart of the park. At 45 minutes, the Studio Tour lasts far longer than your typical theme park ride. The star experience of the tour is King Kong 3D, a rockin’, rollin’ face-to-face encounter with the big ape. We were transported into Skull Island’s jungle and they made that tram do things I never thought it could. I’ll tell y’all right now that I screamed like a little girl in pigtails. So much stuff happens, though I don’t want to spoil it by giving it away except that the images completely surround the tram and there is stuff going on no matter where you look. King King 360 3D ROCKS! BIG TIME!!! This tram ride is most definitely the best place to start.

ACE and I checked out Revenge Of The Mummy – The Ride. Wow! This bone-rattling coaster left us breathless as unexpected turns and twists came at us right after one another! We liked it so much we went on it three times! Yah… it’s definitely two thumbs up! (And oh yes, it’s a major difference from the one in singapore)

Jurassic park ride (also a few notches above the singapore version) was cool but it’s a pity that the sound system of the T-Rex was not functioning well. Hence instead of a R-O-A-R, we get a muted roar from the right hand side.

We were there over a Wednesday and Thursday so it wasn’t too packed and it was easy to get on the rides.  Aside from the park, CityWalk is a separate venue, with shops, restaurants, nightclubs, and movie theaters. This is the true truth as i say it as it is…

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