LA Food Show

by janet on March 8th, 2007

Whoa. How long has this draft been sitting around? I think we went to LA Food Show in…October? November? of 2006.

Anyway. Sometimes we like to ditch the ghetto Target on Jefferson and instead go to the nice one down in Manhattan Beach on Sepulveda. While we’re there, sometimes we hang out in the mall area near that Target, and that is where we first noticed LA Food Show. I thought it was another Pier One kind of place. James thought it was a Home Depot for kitchen equipment. We were both wrong.

LA Food Show is a restaurant brought to you by the same guys who brought us California Pizza Kitchen. It’s more upscale, and the idea behind LA Food Show is to showcase the “sensory universe” that is Los Angeles. What? Whatever.

The interior is quite nice, modern with tall booths sitting at odd angles against one another. James, ever the smoothie lover, zoomed in the strawberry banana smoothie. It came out looking like a milkshake, so it threw me off when I drank it and it was sour. Looks can be so deceiving. But seriously, when’s the last time you saw whipped cream on a smoothie? It seems weird.

We started with the Beijing Chicken Dumpling Soup for two. (You can have it for one, too.) “Wonton chicken dumplings are wok-simmered to order with bok choy, Shiitake mushrooms, scallions and water chestnuts in a hearty stock.” I wouldn’t call this stock “hearty,” since it was clear, but it was very nicely and solidly flavored. I especially appreciated the slight burnt taste (see the flecks below?) which I think came from them pre-stirfrying the mushrooms, scallions, bok choy, and water chestnuts. I adored this soup, and ate waay more than my share. The slight downside was that this soup will give you Beijing burps all day. I think even the day after I was tasting it every time I burped.

I ordered the homemade veggie burger for my entree; James a real burger. LA Food Show has some weird accounting going on. Their Show Burger consists of a USDA Certified Angus Beef patty served with sweet onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles and “feature sauce.” They also say “You can modify it by adding grilled onions and your choice of a variety of cheeses” at no extra cost. The Show Burger costs $9.99. Their Double Feature Burger is two flat-grilled USDA Certified Angus Beef patties, double American cheese, lettuce, tomato and their “feature sauce.” The Double Feature Burger costs $9.49. So…you can pay 50 cents less to get one more patty. What? It’s not the onions, because James got the Double Feature with grilled onions at no extra charge. I guess…the pickles cost a lot?

My veggie burger looked like a mess, and it tasted like a mess too. The burger had way too much rice in it, and rice does NOT go with bread under any circumstances. It was pretty mushy and sticky, and they were way stingy with the feature sauce (which was basically BBQ sauce). If the concept behind the restaurant is to highlight yummy Los Angeles food, then they must must must have a kick ass veggie burger. There are a bazillion vegetarians in SoCal, for god’s sake!

At least they got the soup right, as an homage to the yellows in Los Angeles. And that makes this yellow verry happy.

LA Food Show
Manhattan Village
3212 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

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