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Showing posts from May, 2010

La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill

While running errands on Pico today I swung into La Salsa for a quick lunch to go. I'd been here years ago - and recalled their yummy fish tacos. I was greeted by a busy yet happy staff who offered me water and chips and salsa while my order was processed. They recommended both the Sonora and Baja fish tacos so I got both.

Let me just stop for a moment and re-live my pleasure at sitting and munching free chips & salsa in the minutes that my tacos were being made. Hmmmm. Ahhhh. Yes. La Salsa may look like Subway or Quizno's, but they don't turn their backs and ignore you as soon as they have slammed the cash register closed on your money. All of the customers munched happily and made little salsa cup treats while we waited.

In about 5 minutes I was on my way out of the parking lot with 2 tacos, assorted salsas from mild to "very hot wash your hands after touching" plus black beans and rice. Not too much food for a hungry working gal - but you'd have thought…

Island Fresh Fish Market & Restaurant

5101 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 936-9778

In the mood for shrimp or fish? Check out this neighborhood spot for everything from gumbo to curried shrimp bowls to salmon steak. And their eclectic menu offers more than just fish – locals crowd in for offerings like jerk chicken wings, steak kebabs and veggie burgers.

Last night we received a hearty welcome from Andrew, the owner, who was happy to recommend his favorites in his soft Jamaican accent. He took great care in his preparation of our lemon pepper snapper on the griddle so it was still juicy on the inside, and lightly crisp on the outside. The fried fish was equally delicious, and while both dinner specials were served with tartar sauce, he beamed with pride as he presented us with his secret Island Fresh Sauce. That sauce is a real winner! Sweet with a light spice that lends a warmth and excitement to anything you could put it on. I had to close my eyes and savor it on every part of my meal, fish, shrimp, greens, hush …

ENJOY YOUR FOOD

Yes. That's my simple philosophy of dining. Enjoy your food. When you get to a point where you're so hungry you don't care what you eat, you're not dining... your settling and then shoveling... aren't you? Hey, I'm borderline hypoglycemic so when I need food, I go into a nervous meltdown and am capable of violence for ANYTHING to eat.

But that's not what I'm talking about here. If I'm paying for a dining experience, it should be enjoyable. Here are my enjoyment criteria:

1. Inviting entrance. One of my favorite entrances is Mario Batali's little Greenwich Village restaurant LUPA which has a homey neighborhood presence and amazing aromas wafting subtly into the residential street.

2. Staff with personality who take their jobs seriously. Pretty simple actually. Greet me. And then communicate with me. Will it be a few minutes until my table is ready? Tell me that and offer me a seat at the bar. Or bring me an iced tea and a menu in the host area.

3. W…