Dave M.

Orange County, CA

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Recent reviews by Dave M. - Page 9 of 19
Restaurant Name City
Rating
Shogun Restaurant Mountain View, CA
Average priced but decent Japanese Food restaurant located in a small strip mall off El Camino Real.
Lunches average under $10. Dinner entrees average under $15.
Service is generally good. Parking can occasionally be a problem. Nothing particularly unusual or special here. The cuisine is good and the service is good.
Prices are on par with what is available elsewhere.
Pacific Dining Car - Santa Monica Santa Monica, CA
This small chain of top scale steak houses is still excellent after decades of business.
It's still expensive, too, as you can easily drop $200 on a nice dinner for 2-3 people. Typical entrees are in the $20 to $40 range, are cooked to order with precision, and have generous portions.
This location is on Santa Monica between 27th and Harvard.
Other locations on 6th Street across from Hospital of the Good Samaritan near downtown Los Angeles, and a Santa Monica Location on Wilshire Blvd.
Great place for extremely big power business lunches and dinners, or a quiet, classy dinner with someone really special. Yes, it is a dress up place, but you can also go more casual in dress.
It's a good place with outstanding USDA Prime meats on the menu.
Use of their valet parking is highly recommended.
High recommendation!
Ristorante Dado Santa Monica, CA
Excellent small Italian Bistro on Sawtelle between Olympic and Pico Blvds nestled in between many popular Japanese restaurants.
Limited number of tables with indoor and outdoor seating.
Parking can be a real headache, as it is almost non-existent.
Entrees are generally in the $8 to $13 range. Service is excellent.
Cuisine is new Italian Cuisine and Northern Italian Cuisine. There are only 1 or 2 items served Bolognese (meat sauce), and these are generally limited to lunch time pasta dishes. Expect primarily white sauces with good portions and presentation similar to Wolfgang Puck (but larger portions).
It's a shame, as the meat sauce is particularly good.
Seafood pasta dishes are excellent.
Broiler Northridge, CA
Pricey, and you get horrible food.
This is one of the poorest and most disappointing seafood grille restaurants that I have ever been to.
While service is good, the food is simply not up to anyone's standards of decency. Rarely have I run into a restaurant that could make Red Lobster and Sizzler look like they are seafood experts -- but this one certainly does it.
Daddy Bruces Bar-B-Que Denver, CO
Daddy Bruce's is something of a Denver tradition.
This is an old BBQ stand primarily for take out - not really a full blown restaurant - with some limited seating where you can get some of the best BBQ in the area.
It stands up well in comparison to any of the really terrific BBQ places in Texas or the Midwest.
High Recommendation!
Rossi's Steak & Spaghetti Big Pine, CA
Rossi's Steak & Spaghetti Family Style Dining PO Box 243 100 North Main Street Big Pine, CA 93513
760-938-2254
This is a fair sized restaurant located right on US Highway 395 in the small town of Big Pine, CA. The highway cuts straight through this town, and the town is quite small. You should have no trouble at all finding Rossi's, which is located almost midway through the small town, on the eastern side of Highway 395.
Big Pine is approximately 15 miles south of the town of Bishop, CA. on US Highway 395.
As the name implies, Steak and Spaghetti are the two primary dishes, here. Very unusually, they have a steak and spaghetti combination dinner, as well as pasta and ravioli combinations, etc. Pizza is also available, but it actually is not listed on the menu - you have to specifically ask for it.
The only notation is "ask about our pizza". Prices of a standard pizza is about $12.95. It is a medium crust to thin crust type pizza, about 8 slices, 12 inches in diameter. Crust is almost akin to a Boboli type crust you might buy in a supermarket. All the standard add on items are available - pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage, olives, etc.
Other entrees on the menu average around $8.95 to $12.95 in price. The restaurant is affordable and casual, but it is old and could use a face lift and some new booths and tables. Pasta dishes are offered with choice of alfredo, marinara, or meat sauce. The meat sauce is hearty and thick, but far too sweet. They need to reduce the sugar substantially. It's not bad, but Bolognese italian meat sauces simply should not be sweet tasting.
Rossi's is not fantastic, but it is affordable and represents acceptably decent italian food. The restaurant would not win any awards for its food in a larger city, but it is not bad for the area (remember that you are in the middle of nowhere), and it is affordable.
Carrow Family Restaurant Northridge, CA
This is your basic Coffee Shop type of restaurant chain, somewhere between a Denny's and Bakers Square in quality, decor and service.
There is nothing particularly special here, but the chain is more than adequate when you are travelling with kids, or otherwise on a limited budget. Like chains of this type, breakfasts tend to be a little better here than lunches or dinners.
This Carrows is located in a shopping center on the southwest corner of Devonshire Street ad Reseda.



Cocos Northridge, CA
Another example in a languishing chain of Coffee Shop type restaurants. This place is perhaps a step up in quality and decor from a Denny's or a Baker's Square - but not much of a step up.
Breakfasts are relatively good here, as are lunchtime burgers -- but these is nothing particularly wonderful or special about Cocos. Generally speaking, they are adequate when travelling with kids, or when you are in a hurry.
Presidente Northridge, CA
Very standard Tex-Mex restaurant chain, with several locations in the San Fernando Valley and Valencia Area.
El Presidente is owned by the same chain that owns El Queso Grande in Granada Hills.
Nothing unusual or spectacular here, but the prices are fair, service is generally good, and the food quality is standard for Mexican restaurants.
Most combination plates and entrees are under $10. Separate bar and eating areas.
Mimis Cafe Chatsworth, CA
Example of a chain of restaurants approximately half a step up in quality from a place like Marie Callenders.
Locations are all over the state and region.
There is nothing particularly special at Mimi's. Despite its attempt at a quasi-French image, this is very much an American restaurant with everything from burgers to whatever.
Entrees are typically all under $11.00. Service is generally good to very good. Menu is regularly rotated.
If you like restaurants like Marie Callenders, yoou will probably like Mimi's.
Chompie Of Torrance Torrance, CA
This is a small submarine sandwich shop located in a shopping center on Hawthorne Blvd.
Chompie makes cold cut sandwiches very similar to chains like Blimpie, etc.
Seating is limited, and selection is not very wide, but the Chompie sandwich is not bad at all.
Not a sit down restaurant, but it is not bad wehen you want a slight change of pace.
Chart House Redondo Beach, CA
Pricey example of a small chain of upscale seafood and steak restaurants. Most of the other Chart Houses disappeared in the early 1990s.
Decor and view are good, and still a bit too reminiscent of a Charley Browns Restaurant. Service is generally good to very good. Menu rotates on occasion.
Parking is a bit weird, as it is literally located under the restaurant.
This place is a good quiet, upscale place to take someone special, however the food is no longer what it once was, and there are many other seafood and prime rib places which represent superior value for your dollar.
Los Domingos - Restaurant & Lounge Victorville, CA
Los Domingos Restaurant and Lounge 15509 Park Avenue East Victorville, CA 92392 760-962-0195

Other Locations:
15885 Main Street Hesperia, CA 760-948-6161
593 Highway 138 Pinon Hills, CA 760-868-6558

Surprisingly good mexican restaurant chain in the Victorville - Apple Valley Area.
This restaurant can literally stand up to any other major chain of Mexican restaurants, or any individual Mexican restaurant I have been to in the Southwestern USA.
Food is good. Prices are nearly the same as any major chain or restaurants, and quality of food is virtually identical. Service is generally excellent.
Décor is properly southwestern. Entrees run from $5.85 to $14.50, with nearly all items on a very extensive menu costing under $12.95.
Food is standard Sonoran Mexican dishes - the type most people are familiar with as Mexican Food. Good selection of Mariscos (Seafood) dishes. Combination dinners run on average around $7.95.
For those not quite in the mood for Mexican Food, a New York Steak, other steak dishes, fried chicken, Steak and Lobster, Steak Sandwich, and even burgers are on the menu, priced reasonably at $5.95 for a burger to $14.50 for Filet Mignon.
Excellent selection of salads. The Cuban Salad is recommended at $6.95 for those wanting to watch calories.
If you visit the Victorville location, it is off Interstate 15 at the California 18 WEST - Palmdale Road exit. Park Avenue runs parallel to Palmdale Road, and you have to do a little bit of turning and driving to get to it, so first time patrons are urged to print out a map for this place. It is only a very short distance away from the offramp, but it is tucked away in a cul-de-sac road that can be tricky to get to when traffic is heavy. Parking can be a little bit of a hassle.
Hours are:
Mon-Thurs 11 AM - 10 PM Friday 11 AM - 11 PM Saturday 10 AM - 11 PM Sunday 10 AM - 10 PM
Sunday Champagne Brunch from 10 AM - 3 PM
Separate Full Bar and eating areas.

Recommended.
Bono's Las Vegas, NV

Bonos Real Chicago Food 2501 E. Tropicana Las Vegas, NV 456-6248 456-8027 fax
Located in the Raley?s Shopping Center. For those who have been here in the past years, but have not been here more recently, Bono?s moved a few years back to occupy a newer and cleaner and more modern storefront, closer to Raley?s but still in the same shopping center on Eastern Avenue at Tropicana Avenue.
Former location was 4902 S. Eastern (Tropicana & Eastern) New location is 2501 E. Tropicana (Tropicana & Eastern) - but still in the same shopping center.

Other Locations:
In the Stardust Hotel Las Vegas Blvd & Convention Center Drive 212-6692 212-6693 fax
310 E. Warm Springs Road Las Vegas, NV 260-3335 260-9810 fax
This place has become a small chain since I started going here many years back.
For Chicagoans and Ex-Chicagoans, this place is about as close as you get - when you?re west of the Mississippi River - to finding a proper Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich or Chicago Italian Sausage sandwich.
The meat is right. The meat is shaved and flaked properly. Vienna Beef and Scala?s products are used. The spices and bread are correct. About the only thing to complain about is that the italian beef au jus is a little too light colored, and as a result, the italian beef comes out looking too light. It is not dark brown like Al?s Number One BBQ in Chicago.
Bell peppers and giardinaria peppers are available upon request. Bell peppers have been properly cooked in the au jus.
The smart thing to do is to simply close your eyes and eat. The food most certainly TASTES correct in every sense of the word.
Vienna Hot dogs, snap dogs, polish dogs and fire dogs are available. This place is Chicago when it comes to everything on a bun.
This place also offers ?The Chicago Tamale? from Supreme. By any standards, this is a horrible tamale, but it is 100% Chicago, and it comes properly steamed and wrapped, looking all too tubular at a price of $1.75.
For those of you who were fans of the Chicago Area chain of fast food restaurants ?Henry?s Hamburgers? from the 1950s and mid 1960s - this tamale is the same one that Henry?s used to sell. Horrible by Mexican food standards, but a pleasant trip down nostalgia lane for an old Chicagoan.
Highly Recommended.
Los Domingos - Restaurant & Lounge Victorville, CA
Los Domingos Restaurant and Lounge 15509 Park Avenue East Victorville, CA 92392 760-962-0195

Other Locations:
15885 Main Street Hesperia, CA 760-948-6161
593 Highway 138 Pinon Hills, CA 760-868-6558

Surprisingly good mexican restaurant chain in the Victorville - Apple Valley Area.
This restaurant can literally stand up to any other major chain of Mexican restaurants, or any individual Mexican restaurant I have been to in the Southwestern USA.
Food is good. Prices are nearly the same as any major chain or restaurants, and quality of food is virtually identical. Service is generally excellent.
Décor is properly southwestern. Entrees run from $5.85 to $14.50, with nearly all items on a very extensive menu costing under $12.95.
Food is standard Sonoran Mexican dishes - the type most people are familiar with as Mexican Food. Good selection of Mariscos (Seafood) dishes. Combination dinners run on average around $7.95.
For those not quite in the mood for Mexican Food, a New York Steak, other steak dishes, fried chicken, Steak and Lobster, Steak Sandwich, and even burgers are on the menu, priced reasonably at $5.95 for a burger to $14.50 for Filet Mignon.
Excellent selection of salads. The Cuban Salad is recommended at $6.95 for those wanting to watch calories.
If you visit the Victorville location, it is off Interstate 15 at the California 18 WEST - Palmdale Road exit. Park Avenue runs parallel to Palmdale Road, and you have to do a little bit of turning and driving to get to it, so first time patrons are urged to print out a map for this place. It is only a very short distance away from the offramp, but it is tucked away in a cul-de-sac road that can be tricky to get to when traffic is heavy. Parking can be a little bit of a hassle.
Hours are:
Mon-Thurs 11 AM - 10 PM Friday 11 AM - 11 PM Saturday 10 AM - 11 PM Sunday 10 AM - 10 PM
Sunday Champagne Brunch from 10 AM - 3 PM
Separate Full Bar and eating areas.

Recommended.
Carluccio's Tivoli Gardens Las Vegas, NV
This place is on Tropicana in the same complex as the Liberace Museum. It's almost a shrine to Liberace itself.
As others have noted, I too have found that the quality of this place seems to fluctuate between 2 and 3 stars, depending upon which cook is on duty when you arrive. 2000 was a bad year, I guess. 2001 they appear to have resolved most of their problems, and it is now more consistently closer to 3 stars.
It has become slightly pricier with age. Average dishes cost closer to $15 than $10. Portions are still good and service can still be a bit spotty, fluctuating from poor to very good - but it is fair to say that this is true of most restaurants in the Las Vegas area.
Mostly Bolognese type dishes - meat sauces - with a number of other Italian Cuisine regional dishes on the menu. This place used to be a favorite of mine, and I have been going here for close to 12 years.
This is a good, quiet type place to go. It's off the strip and away from some of the noisier places.
Zankou Chicken Van Nuys, CA
Unusual rotisserie chicken restaurant on Sepulveda Blvd near Burbank Blvd, just northeast of the 405 Freeway.
The food is priced a little higher than what one would normally pay for rotisserie chicken at fast food places like Kenny Rogers Roasters, El Pollo Loco, etc. but what you are getting is different due to its middle eastern cuisine.
I have to admit that I was not as impressed with the chicken as I had hoped to be. Chicken is good, but nothing really special.
Villa Italian Restaurant Culver City, CA
Villa Italian restaurant 3973 Sepulveda Blvd Culver City, CA 90230 310-391-3243 310-391-9613 Fax
Hours: Tues - Thurs 11:30 AM - 9:00 PM Friday 11:30 AM - 9:30 PM Saturday 4:00 PM - 9:30 PM Sunday 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Small Italian restaurant on the west side of Sepulveda Blvd north of Washington Place. Parking is free, but limited.
Sandwiches are only served until 4 PM:
Italian Sausage sandwich runs $4.75. Italian Meatball sandwich is $4.75. A steak sandwich is available for $5.50. For those trying to watch their weight, a Tuna Deluxe Sandwich or an Eggplant Sandwich are available for $4.95.
Pizzas are a PAN PIZZA. They are square, bready and surprisingly good. I have run into few places that can properly to justice to Pan Pizzas. This place seems to have it done properly.
Pizzas run from $7.00 for a small Cheese Pizza to $11.00 for a small pizza with 5 toppings. Large pizzas run from $9.50 on a cheese pizza to $15.00 for 5 toppings.
A full range of pasta dishes here, come with soup or salad, italian rolls and choice of meatball or sausage accompanying the pasta dish. Spaghettini, Linguini, Ravioli, Rigatini, Manicotti, and Lasagna. Pasta dishes come in SMALL or LARGE sizes as well, and run from $5.15 to $6.25 on small pasta dishes - and from $7.35 to $9.50 on large dishes.
Specialties of the house include Eva?s Special - rigatini topped with mozzarella cheese with a choice of meatballs or sausages. This is a hearty dish at $8.65. Chicken Parmigiana comes in at $9.25 and is good - coming with a side order of either spaghetti or ravioli. Calamari Delight is calamari sauteed with fresh mushrooms, basil and garlic in a marinara sauce served over linguini. Thic costs $10.00.
Service is generally excellent to outstanding. A fine casual Mom and Pop Italian place place to take someone to after work. It is not elegant or trendy, but it is well run and has very good food.
Recommended
Pizza Cookery Granada Hills, CA
The Pizza Cookery 10371 Balboa Blvd Granada Hills, CA 818 363-7705
Small chain of old time pizza establishments with various locations in the San Fernando Valley and elsewhere. Sawdust floors and an old time pizza parlor feel out of the 1970s. The pizza is surprisingly decent and affordably priced. Good, but not terrific or memorable.
Thin and thick dough pizzas available to order.
7" individual pizzas run from $3.50 for basic cheese pizza to $5.75 for four toppings. 11" small pizza runs from $7.45 to 12.45 14" medium pizza runs from $9.95 to $14.95 16" large runs from $11.95 to $1845.
Calzones are good. A calzone with one filling is $7.99 two fillings for $8.99
Pasta dishes from $5.95 to $6.50 a la carte, with a $9.95 pasta dinner combination with salad. Spaghetti, mostaccioli, angel hair, shells linguini - your choice of meat sauce, marinara, alfredo sauce or garlic, oil and tomato.
Other standard specialties like tortellini, lasagna, chicken parmesan, etc. run from $7.25 to $10.95.
Good variety of salads avaialble. vegetarian pizza and pasta dishes available.
Hot and Cold sub sandwiches running from $5.40 to $10.50 - two sizes (small and large).
This is an interesting place of good value, but it is nothing terrific.

Crabby Bobs Seafood Grill Burbank, CA
Crabby Bobs Seafood Grill 600 North First Street Burbank 91502 (Near Media Center Mall) 818-848-7100

This is a really good seafood grill restaurant, located on First Street, alongside the Golden State Freeway (Interstate 5) about 1.5 blocks south of Burbank Blvd.
Parking is shared with the Media Center Mall - ample parking.
Casual, with a noisy sports bar type feel. The décor is funky, like something out of CHILIS or TGI FRIDAYS - harpoons, surf boards, a bar decorated like a grass hut out of Gilligan?s Island, coupled next to framed old covers of LIFE Magazine and non-ocean sports items like a snow sled and baseball bat.
Ample seating: Lots of tables and booths. There is a very good sized bar with an extensive full array of available drinks, wide screen sports TV running in a large shared area with regular dining seating. There are also booths and tables well away from the bar area, for those who want a slightly more sedate dining experience. This is very thoughtfully planned out, and is rare is a restaurant.
Bob?s has its own seasonal brews as well coming in at $4.25 a pint.
Rolls come before dinner, and are served with both garlic butter and regular butter. The rolls are hot, and slightly sour dough, but they are nothing special.
Fresh fish changes daily and is surprisingly very reasonable:
Farm Raised Southern Catfish ($13.95), Thresher Shark ($15.95), Pacific Red Snapper ($14.95), Swordfish ($17.95) and Filet of Sole ($12.95)as examples on the rotating menu. Alaskan Halibut came in at $18.95 and was the most expensive fresh fish item on the menu during my visit.
Fish dishes are cooked to order:
1. BLACKENED - cajun spices and grilled 2. KONA - Bob?s Hawaiian Marinade grilled 3. LAGUNA - basted with green tabasco, dill flour and pab broiled 4. GRILLED - basted with citrus butter and grilled
Appetizers run from $5.95 to $12.95, with an average price around $8.95.
CRAB, as the name implies, is the forte here, and it is available as a dinner or as an a la carte (Bucket) item.
Crab can be cooked to Order:
1. Steamed - with Old Bay Crab Boil and Lemons 2. Garlic Cooked - with fresh roasted garlic and ginger 3. Bob?d - rubbed with seasonings and flash fried.
Dinners include choice of two sides: hush puppies, vegetables, fries, cole slaw, rice pilaf, Bob?s Spuds or cottage cheese & tomatoes.
Crab is also quite reasonably priced.
Snow Crab - half order dinner - $16.95 Snow Crab - full order dinner - $22.95
Bucket of Snow Crab (a la carte) 1 lb bucket - $15.95 Bucket of Snow Crab (a la carte) 1.5 lb bucket - $22.95 Bucket of Snow Crab (a la carte) 2 lb bucket - $26.95
Alaskan King Crab is available at $29.95 Dungeness Crab at $26.95 Western Austrailian Lobster Tail (3/4 lbs) at $36.95
A really good variety of shrimp and seafood dishes is available:
Shrimp and seafood pasta dishes run from $13.95 to $14.95. Pasta dishes are quite large.
Jambalaya $13.95 and Southern Fried Catfish $13.95 are here.
The Ribeye Steak comes in at $19.95. It is available as a combination with shrimp ($22.95), with Snow Crab ($24.95) or with lobster tail ($45.95)
Baby Back Ribs come in at $19.95 and are also available as combinations with snow crab, with chicken or with shrimp.
For smaller appetites, there is a selection of SEAFOOD AND CHIPS items, all coming in at $13.95, whether you order shrimp and chips or fish and chips. Bob?s seafood Tacos run from $8.95 for fish tacos to $10.95 for lobster tacos. Shrimp tacos or Ahi Tuna tacos are available for $9.95
Portions on all items are generally good sized, and represent a sound value for what you are getting. The food is generally very good to excellent in quality.
Service is generally OUTSTANDING. On my last trip here, I had the good fortune to get Amanda, a petite blonde waitress from Tupelo, MS. Friendly, prompt, thinks ahead, attentive and helpful. Everything a waitress or waiter should be. The waitresses, waiters and bar staff are really excellent, and seem to enjoy working together. Whenever I see this in a restaurant, I know the experience at least is going to be stellar.
Missing from Bob?s Menu:
The should probably have a Seafood Gumbo and they should probably also offer a Shrimp Po?Boy Sandwich. Sorry, folks, but not on the menu - although Bob?s has added four new items to the menu since my previous visit, so maybe there is some hope?
Applause and Pans:
Crabby Bob?s gets an A+ for service and for putting together a good menu with overally reasonable prices. This really is a very good restaurant.
Their ribeye steak and snow crab combination that I had on this visit was very good. The steak was large and tender - but pretty thin. Only about a quarter to half inch thick. Almost sandwich thin - but still a sizeable cut of meat. As a result, it cooked fast, but came out more well done than medium rare. I personally am not that picky about how rare a steak is - as long as the meat is good (and this was good), but many people are very picky about it. Medium rare needs to have at least a hint of pinkness to it.
The snow crab was properly steamed and obviously boiled with a proper New Orleans Style Crab Boil - with a hint of spice and crab boil peppercorns still flavoring the crab. Excellent and exactly as ordered. Couldn?t have been better.
This is a really good place to take family, friends, co-workers and business guests for everything from a nice but casual dinner together to a power business dinner to a birthday party. There is something on the menu for almost everyone, and the food and service are terrific, with a reasonable price for nearly everything.
High Recommendation!




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