I know this place is a cult destination and always has VERY LONG lines, and I agree that their dumplings are finely made, etc. etc. BUT the waitresses funnel you in brusquely, make you order immediately and then try to shuffle you out before you're done so they can do more seatings. It's overcrowded, overpriced and overpraised. It's all engineered as a money-making machine. Try San Gabriel's Luscious Dumplings (off Las Tunas) instead. Better and no attitude
Came highly recommended. Good quality installation but extremely busy, and -- like most contractors -- will forsake you for bigger jobs. Kenny will do the walk-through and give you quotes, then sends his underlings to complete the job. We had one bath remodelled and another one installed. They took over 3 weeks (coming in for a day or two at a time). High quality and detailed work, price was on the high side but I guess you don't want leaky pipes. Kenny's very reasonable and will take complaints and requests.
They deserve 5 stars for their plain (very French) baguettes alone! BUT the real stars of this chain are their Vietnamese pork sandwiches (I highly recommend their grilled pork and their Chinese BBQ pork), each costs only $1.75. Service is the MOST efficient I've ever seen, assembly line quick and yet very friendly. Their smoothies are a great (if high-caloric) accompaniment. The aroma from the hotcake booth are seductive but it's all about the SANDWICHES.
EYE-BOGGLING, ear-jangling, wallet-crunching. Nice in the daytime when it's relatively attitude-free (clerks are great, hipster customers can be annoying). Their DVD section has expanded recently -- and is the best place to buy rare/used international films, including Asian cult anime and Criterion Collection. Downstairs, their music section is irresistible, everything from '50s one-hit-wonders and gamelan music from Bali to The Killers -- the only thing missing is a rack devoted to '20s swing. Theyalso pay great money (better credit) for your DVDs.
Mr. Mosher is probably the crankiest and most light-phobic bookstore owner in the LA area. He guards this dense tomb of English-language books about things Asian like a bulldog, plonked at his seat watching old reruns and asking you which section you'll be at so he can flick on the appropriate light. He has A LOT of stuff, from arcane early-1900s encyclopedias to rare paperback novels by postwar Japanese writers, and he KNOWS exactly where EVERYTHING is. How does he stay in business? Who knows. A realdestination for bibliophiles and dustmites.
Old-school used bookstore but not remotely as stuffy as you'd expect from the exterior. Crusty-but-friendly owner completes the cliche. Great selection of old books, especially rare and out of print 1st editions at fair prices. Good on history (American and world), Shakespeare and arcana. Don't expect to find the latest hot novel here. Another nice touch: When I asked for William Bennett's "Book of Virtues", the clerk sneered. You gotta love 'em.
VERY good place to get your eyes checked and fixed, provided your insurance covers it. Large showroom with eyeglasses and a range of contact lenses, if you are so inclined. But be aware of LONG waiting hours if you don't specify a particular doctor (I highly recommend Dr. Tracy Mayo) and/or on weekends or holidays.
This man is an unethical CREEP. He came highly recommended and seemed nice enough when he walked through our house and gave us a quote on painting all of our interior walls, which we accepted. He seemed nice enough, though he made clear our house wasn't one of those "Hancock Park houses" he was used to painting. Then when we called him a few weeks later to schedule the painting of our house, he NEVER RETURNED any of our phone calls for OVER ONE WEEK. Which was extremely inconsiderate -- he could have called to say he was too busy. We would then have been able to hire someone else. As it happened, he just never bothered to call back! He shafted us bigtime and we wound up having to pay an extra month's rent in our old place because we couldn't move into the new one without the painting. We just couldn't find another good-quality painter who could come in to give us a quote, then schedule his crew in time. This man is the grinch who stole our Christmas!
Carey is the most meticulous (and most entertainingly talkative) wallpaper removal artist you will find. She came highly recommended by a movie production designer/interior designer friend. Surprisingly, Carey was very affordable and did a great job. She LOVES her wallpaper (down to removing ugly old wallpaper and describing the shoddy way it was originally laid on, etc.) She gets VERY busy and works on houses as far north as Ventura but she always calls back in the evening if you leave her a message. We had to wait about 2 weeks for her to have time to work on our walls, but she was quick, very affordable and a gas. Delightful.
BEFORE you buy your house, do yourself a favor and HIRE A METICULOUS HOME INSPECTOR who loves his job and may take longer than most, but finds EVERY FLAW. We hired Craig (twice -- we didn't buy the first house, he found too many flaws invisible to our untrained eyes) on the recommendation of our (very honest) real-estate agent who said they Craig is notoriously thorough, and that sellers and sellers' agents usually hate him because he's ruined more than a few sales for them. Craig wears pressed shirts and dress shoes to work, but don't be fooled by them. He gets up on the roof in them and into the basement and will tell you about gas lines that are installed just 10 degrees wrong and cracks you won't even notice. He's a TOTAL OLD HOMES enthusiast who LOVES telling you about construction history so if you're looking to buy an old home, hire Craig. He'll spend much of the inspection time ranting against shoddy modern construction and will tell you the truth about the house you're about to buy.