So y’all the most important thing to me on vacation is food. I am so serious. If I don’t have at least one meal that is memorable I leave in a straight up sour mood. Vacation is ruined! I know that may seem a little dramatic but I am a foodie. I take food and dining out to eat very seriously. Anyway, I did have several meals in LA that were pretty flipping amazing and some entrées and appetizers I had were a straight up bust. When I say bust I went to one place and found a bug in my soup.
One of my tips for eating out is don’t always trust a restaurant with lots of reviews it doesn’t always mean good quality, charm, or service. For example, I am sure the Olive Garden has a lot of reviews but you won’t catch me their on vacation. Well let’s get to it.
I dined out for every meal but only two places are worth mentioning. A fellow blogger friend of mine @coatandcoffee on IG recommend I go to Gracias Madre ( VEGAN) and I also was really craving seafood so after a lot of research and failing at several other places I ended up at EMC Seafood & Rawbar.
If you are new to my blog I rate all restaurants on the same 5 categories and give my honest and unbiased review on each. Let’s start with EMC Seafood and Rawbar , only because I ate there first.
EMC SEAFOOD AND RAWBAR ( Koreatown Location)
Atmosphere and Décor : 5/5 Nice with a classy jazzy vibe. Even though there was no live band the music was amazing and the lighting was incredible as well.
Value : 5/5 The best pricing for a seafood restaurant that I have ever been to. It is clean, classy, and not a chain restaurant. $70 on about 5 menu items and I would have ordered more if I didn’t get so full. I was so mad I wanted to eat sooo much more.
Service: 5/5 The service was great the waiter gave excellent menu recommendations and answered all of my annoying menu questions without an attitude or annoyance lol. Note that this place is so amazing that they have a two hour limit per table when there is a wait to be seated because the place is just THAT GOOD.
Quality of food: 1298024/5 I cried, I happy danced, I was acting a straight up fool. This was the best meal I have had all year and I have done A LOT of traveling and eat out at least 3 times a week. If you are in LA and love seafood I cannot express enough how much you need to eat here. Everything I ate was amazing and I left with the happiest food baby of my life.
Happy hour/ Specials: 3/5 I did not eat during happy hour, but the hostess did let me review it before I left and it was ok. Wasn’t amazing but definitely worth the trip during happy hour. This place is so good that every penny saved is worth it.
Menu Variety: 5/5 All the basic seafood options and then some. However, if you are looking for something fancy like blowfish you won’t find it here.
Don’ts: I have no don’ts I loved everything about this place. I guess I would say don’t go unless you ready to eat a lot because the menu and quality of food is incredible. The restaurant has time limit of how long people can be at the table so prepare for that .
Do’s: Try everything the menu is incredible. I had a very good selection off the menu and I don’t think you can go wrong. Make a reservation if you can. Especially during peak hours.
What I had: crispy pepper calamari, salmon carpaccio, oyster shooter, claims with crispy garlic (spicy) , seafood stew. Everything was 5/5 however my favorites are the salmon carpaccio and seafood stew.
Atmosphere and Décor : 5/5 one of the most unique on theme and trend restaurants. The décor is simply impeccable and you can tell very well thought out and extreme attention to minor details. The flooring, lights, and statues are all breathtaking.
Value: 2/5 The guacamole is outrageously priced. Sorry, I do not care how fresh your avocados are they are not worth $12. I also don’t care how hip and trendy the neighborhood is. Had I know it was that expensive I would never had ordered it. Which I technically didn’t but decided to just keep because the server brought it out anyway. I only wanted the chips because they provide salsa. Additionally one taco is $7 served al la carte. I am sure it is good but I wasn’t willing to find out. Not sure why one taco is $7. Where I am from that is basically burrito prices.
Service: 4/5 I arrived right when they opened. There were only 3 other tables at the time. I am not complaining about speed but I just believe that I could have been serviced better when the waiter was at my table and could have answered my questions better. Instead of just saying everything on the menu is good. Which was not true at all. I appreciate
Quality of Food: 5/5 The quality of food was great. Everything taste fresh and you can tell a lot of effort went into the quality of ingredients.
Happy Hour/ Specials: 0/5 From what I saw and have read there really is not a happy hour. If you do go be prepared to spend at least $40 for two people and that is without drinks.
Menu Variety: The menu variety is great. There is traditional Mexican dishes that you would expect to have along with unique and trendy dishes. The drink menu looks amazing too. I did not get to partake because I went a little to hard the night before and was not feeling daytime drinking activities. Gracias Madre is completely vegan menu so non vegans and vegans, and vegetarians can all eat here.
Don’ts :I would not recommend the guacamole although it does taste good it has a lack of a unique flavor profile there is no flavor besides the avocado. I don’t want to pay 12 for avocado mush. I really need more effort and flavor than that. It is pretty boring dish and not worth the price. I also would not recommend the pozole. In my opinion it was awful. It was too greasy and had no flavor. I returned it. According to the waiter it is either a love it or hate it menu item. The couple next to me loved it. I found it useless except for the photo opportunity. I am still salty about the cost of the guacamole though. If it was for my torta and the corn this place would not be getting a review. A restaurant cannot thrive on décor alone.
Do’s: I had the crab cake torta it was seriously amazing. It was a little messy and was falling apart even with the toothpick holding it together. However, it was totally worth it. I also really enjoyed the elote, it was seasoned to perfection. It was nice to have a dairy free option as this is usually a treat I am not able to partake in. I went during brunch so I don’t really have any tips for the dinner and lunch menu.