Sometimes I feel like Goldilocks tasting food across the city; some dishes are bad, some are just bland, and I keep searching for ones that are just right, hoping to find the best ones. Unlike the notoriously bad review by the New York Times of American Kitchen and Bar, I do my best to post something likeable or hopeful about every place I go, unless something happens so beyond good taste or good manners that I remove a review, which has only happened once (for exceedingly bad manners).
So with all this being said, I will begin with the bad. Jinya Ramen recently opened on Sawtelle and I was looking forward to good broth to rival the excellent Tsujita which has lines around the block for a table. Unfortunately when their own press release says the broth is "pumped up with industrial quantities of dashi and dried fish" it means INDUSTRIAL, which a is distinctly different than QUALITY. As a franchise, I did not expect much, but I was appalled to see them using a MICROWAVE to heat up some ingredients! The spicy pork miso I ordered was presented beautifully, but after a few spoonfuls, I could not eat this exceedingly sweet slightly foul smelling soup.
After that experience I had to go get a bowl of something good to put into my system, so I headed over to Urth Cafe for their marvelous vegetarian chili. It is on their menu everyday and my favorite vegetarian chili (besides the one I make myself).
After trying something new and something old, I wanted to try something different, so I went to Vino and Tapas in the Valley before a movie screening in the area. They have a Happy Hour from 4-7pm with drinks ranging from $4-7 and tapas for only $5. Since they open at 4pm the place was empty, but that was fine with me since that meant I could get in and out before my movie with ease.