I remember when this version of the Cerritos Library first opened in 2002. My eyes widen as I was part of the first public group to get a walking tour of the place. I was a senior in high school and the opening was much anticipated...the teaching staff at Cerritos High School across the street got an early glimpse and was hyping it up to their students in the weeks leading up to the grand opening.
The high architectural elements (like the use of titanium) and the incorporation of state-of-the-art technology are some of the bigger selling points. The themed rooms and being one of the first places to allow DVD checkouts for free (assuming you were a resident and didn't have to pay $100 for a library card) were some of the country's first. I remember thinking that using the self-checkout was pretty cool as well.
There are some study rooms on the second floor that I've utilized while studying for my LSATs as well as dozens of computer terminals scattered throughout the building. I actually realized how well the city treated its residents, seeing how I didn't have to pay to be surrounded by these niceties.
And, honestly, any city that splurges on a large saltwater aquarium, a dinosaur skeleton, and a Victorian-era reading room has to be in pretty good shape, right?
The Sky Room may be a bit difficult to find from street level because you generally have to look up to the top of the towers in downtown Long Beach to see if you're heading towards the art deco venue from the road. You can at least know if you're on the right track or not, I suppose.
First off, the valet is $10 here. Be ready to shell that out or walk a bit, if you want to try your luck finding street or structured parking. You can technically take the Metro Blue Line here too, however, you may stand out from the rest of the crowd on the train if you decide to dress formally for this venue.
Speaking of formal, either formal or business attire seem to be the norm here. It's recommended that you make reservations, unless you're like me and decide to just hang out at the bar. There will be dancing on the most popular nights, so probably dark colored something would be apt.
The elevator up to the Sky Room has a bellhop that limits the number of riders to 4 or 5, depending on people's weight, so there could be a bit of a bottleneck at the onset. Either consider losing some weight or arrive early, if you think this may be an issue during your event or party.
Once I arrived to the top of the building, the bellhop asked me and several others where in the Sky Room we were going.
"Where ever the drinking is," said one of the passengers.
The bellhop explained that there's also an additional upstairs bar, separate from the main dining room and dance floor, which is accessible via a flight of stairs.
I found it interesting that there are no buttons to recall the elevator, as, apparently, they "see us" and will come and get us once you've assembled at the elevator. I'm guessing there's a camera someplace.
The host/house manager during my first visit was really polite and offered to walk me to the bar, once I indicated that I wasn't going to be dining, but just here to enjoy the view and partake in an adult beverage. I arrived right before the band was going to be playing at 8pm, and once the music started, several parties got down on the dance floor. Though the crowd was older, it seemed the more popular times when the dance floor was poppin' were all when the upbeat ballroom style dances and big band era songs (cha-cha et al.) played.
The bartenders worked great as a team on the primary floor, but were progressively inundated as more and more drink orders came in. Apparently, the way to get people to dance is to liquor them up, and once on the dance floor, more drinks are required to keep them going and the good times rolling. I was immediately reminded of my own grandparents and parents, who were and are avid ballroom dancers. The extent of my ballroom experience is a bit of cha-cha, but that's about it. My party sat around the main dining room bar (which seats only about 10 people on one side), to listen to the music for a bit before going upstairs to the patio bar.
While the dance floor upstairs was just warming up (the DJ was just finishing hooking up his Macbook), there were several bartenders ready to take orders. They were attentive and looked professional. Though the drinks are on the pricey side, I suppose it discourages things from getting out of hand or messy. It also effectively prices out pretty much the ordinary drinker who can't stand paying for $12 gin and tonics.
Finally, the sweeping view is really the main reason many people go here, I think. You get the best view on the patio bar on the topmost level. I suppose you can also get a great view from the mens restroom, but it's really odd to have your back turned to the unadulterated window as you use the urinal or to have someone standing looking out the window while your back is turned to them as you answer nature's call. I'm just glad that there aren't any office employees left in the building across Ocean Avenue once dinner service starts and the mens restroom is being used regularly.
The rundown: There's security and valet service downstairs, so the place is definitely safe from hooligans. The fact that there are no recall buttons on the elevator only reinforces this. The prices for drinks and food are a bit high, but serve a purpose in keeping the crowds high-end and exclusive. The view is amazing and the feel of a bygone Hollywood era, complete with live American songbook music and dancing are the main draws. I can see myself having my family return here for an event like a birthday or anniversary and getting down to the sound of Michael Buble with a glass of bubbly in hand.
It's really difficult to compare the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, coming from Cerritos next door. I'm always comparing each concert hall or theater to the one I have back home. But to put things into some context, both come from different eras, and thus have different esthetics when it comes to how a performing arts theater should be and operates. Plus, my city splurged on their performing arts center to make it world-class and one-of-a-kind.
Nonetheless, some positives:
The La Mirada Theatre is much more intimate and has a definite old-school feel to it. Once you step inside the lobby, it's almost as if you're going back to simpler times where the focus is more on the performances, and not on the proscenium that frame it. As a result, the performances have to be up to snuff, or at least be in a purer form, since there won't be other things distracting the audience from it. I always feel that I would be sitting fairly close to the performers on stage whenever I come here. The initial impression I get, especially in the lobby, is more like a cabin, or a woodsy feel. It's definitely different from what I'm used to with the ultramodern or really classical architecture in most performing arts theaters.
Additionally, the abundant parking and surrounding retail is a huge plus. There's nothing worse than having to shell out extra to park your car or to have mandatory valet service.
Thirdly, they have their own in-house symphony and production groups. That's impressive...not even the Cerritos Center has that.
A couple areas to improve on:
They should really emphasize the bar and the concession stands more. Make the offerings more robust. Perhaps add a high quality café or restaurant to the premises. The added revenue would definitely help, especially in a time when more cities are cutting funding for the arts in their budgets. Cerritos has two concession areas/bars plus a wine bar section. La Mirada can and should definitely have a really robust one.
Emphasize a high level of customer service. It's nice to see the volunteers and the staff accommodate the patrons, however, there aren't enough of them (which in that case, a strong marketing drive needs to happen). In Cerritos, they have all staff and volunteers dress in a formal uniform, greet each patron at one of the doors, and show patrons to their seats after taking their tickets. I wish I could see that here as well.
This is more of a city issue than it is a performing arts issue, but, they should consider having more hotels or motels on the grounds immediately surrounding the theater. It would encourage people from farther areas to travel there, especially to catch those really rare and unique, headlining shows that swing by every so often. Not to mention that the added bed-taxes from increased hotel rooms would help out the city, which in turn, would help out the theater.
Overall, it's a quaint, nice theater, and I think there are just a couple main areas to improve on. If they do so, I can only predict that it will continue to be a treasured part of the community and actually grow in its market share.
This is my 500th Review! In any case...
I've never had to come in when the light goes on, thankfully, however, I do go here to get extra lights to light the light that would normally light up when there is a problem.
Probably the main thing I purchase at this Pep Boys are light bulbs for the car. They have the nifty computer that helps you look up the compatible light bulb that would go with your make and model. The people who work here are very helpful as well.
In all honesty, there's never a big line to pay here. This location knows that demand is a steady trickle and mans the register accordingly with just one person.
The repair garages have more activity, however, so I'm presuming you may have to take a number if you actually bring in your car for service. I would just recommend to Pep Boys to possibly consider remodeling the interior of the main store to make it more modern and state-of-the-art.
I've gone here with friends who needed other stuff done, like purchase new windshield wipers. The staff was helpful enough to install the new wipers and take away the old ones right there in the parking lot. Though the employees may look like they won't help, it really surprises me to see them offer assistance and actually carry it out.
This location has been here in Artesia forever and I hope that it continues to persist for just as long...there just aren't that many around anymore.
I was feeling pretty 1920s from wearing pinstripes all day, so I decided to enter Prohibition-era Chicago here in my own backyard in nearby Buena Park.
The theme of the restaurant is definitely nice. I actually like the really high ceilings and neon signs that litter the inside. The outside facade is also pretty nice, with the brick and incandescent light bulbs. The jazzy music also helps set the tone. It feels as if a gangster and flapper are about to come waltzing in any time during your meal.
One really interesting thing that actually made me feel appreciated for eating here was a sign they currently have at the front door advertising their Ash Wednesday/Fridays of Lent egg and pepper special. I don't really know what that is, but I think that's a type of sandwich popular in the Chicago area. They also have an expanded Lenten menu! Either way, it made me feel happy to be taken into consideration during this Lenten season. That one day of abstaining from meat is supplemented by near-meat dishes. I just love being Catholic.
This was only my second visit tonight, and one difficulty I had then and even now, was knowing what they serve to drink. When the cashier asked if I wanted anything to drink with my chili dogs and fries, my eyes scrambled around for something to indicate what my choices were. I couldn't find anything within that 5 second window before you're obliged to say anything, so I rushed through with a safe answer: "a medium diet coke."
Since I was eating so early in the evening, there weren't that many people. Then again, unfortunately, I don't think that many people frequent the Buena Park mall that much either. They had my order ready to go, but one of my biggest pet peeves is that if I say "for here" instead of "to go," I want to be served on a tray, not a bag. It just makes for an easier dining experience to have your food already exposed instead of you having to dig around for it. A paper bag indicates "to go," something I explicitly said I did not want to do just yet.
I sucked it up and I sat down in a booth reading a comic book excerpt about the Great War and staring at photos of convicts from the turn of the 20th century.
The crinkled fries aren't stellar, but they get the job done. You may want to have something mixed with it. The chili dog is enhanced only if you get the onion grilled. Raw onions will leave your breath smelling terrible for the rest of the day. Take your neighbor or significant other into consideration when eating onions and get them grilled.
The owner of the place is clearly visible, because he has that distinct big city attitude and speaks loudly. He constantly oversees the assembly line of employees and acknowledges other, sophisticated people such as the Don.
The next time I come here, I need to have some beers. It was one of the first things spray painted near the entrance...that this place serves it. I think I need to take them up on that offer and do something that couldn't have been done in public during Al Capone's era: consume booze.
Joe Jost's is a Long Beach institution and has been around for nearly a century. It serves a vital function (historical and social), and is old enough to be a cultural landmark. Someone should write to the Department of the Interior and have this place designated as part of the national registry of historic places...alongside the White House.
Though their web site tells you much of the back story of this place, once you enter through the very small doors on Anaheim Street, you'll immediately realize that they don't make places like this anymore. You tend see more of these kind of pubs over on the east coast, but to see one here in Southern California, where everything is about being new, exotic and hip, is rare.
The service is very friendly and attentive. The bartenders are always checking up on you if you're at the bar. From the time I went a couple weeks ago, there didn't seem to be any table service for those sitting at the tables on the sides. I imagine that most of them just ordered at the bar and brought back their drinks to their party. I recommend sitting at the bar for that reason, primarily.
In keeping up with their old-fashioned ways, they don't accept credit cards. Normally, that aspect prevents me from giving a perfect score, since people usually like to keep tabs open at bars, but the oldness and uniqueness of the place overrides that fact.
Honestly, I would cash out a paycheck once in a while just so I have some cash on hand to dispose of here. Sure, they have an ATM in the pool room, but it charges an arm and a leg ($2.00 and $1.50 for a grand total of $3.50) to pull money. Believe me, I have personal experience with the damn machine there to know that first-hand. There are a number of TVs around the back and a couple up front, so if there's a game going on, you can catch it here.
There's an interesting sign that prevents people under 21 from entering the pool room. The only thing is that you need to get through the bar to get to the pool room. That means that if you're under 21 and made it somehow past the bar, you can't go any further than the rear of the pub itself. Another twist, the bathrooms are located in the pool room. You'd have to just hold it in if you're a 20 year old, I suppose.
As far as food and drinks go, go with schooners of any beer on tap and the Joe's Special. The beers and schooners are frozen constantly and the beer is at a nice, chilly 29 degrees Fahrenheit. The sandwich is cheap and good, and reminds me of a modified Polish dog. I also recommend getting a bag of peanuts just to munch on as you shoot the shit with the staff or friends.
Parking to Joe Jost's is in the rear, or if you're lucky, right on Anaheim Street outside the place. Just be careful, since it may be a rougher neighborhood than most of you may be used to around there. It's best to leave your BMW's or any bling at home.
I never really had a valid reason to review Forever 21, until after their grand "re"-opening on January 23, 2010 and when it suddenly grew in size and extended offerings to men.
Out of pure curiosity, and as an concerned member of the community, I needed to check out this new, updated store, much like how any other owner of shit checks out his new shit.
I actually saw them have their soft grand opening a day before on January 22nd, and I was totally surprised at the high-quality design and architecture of the new store. It's so damn bright, but it surely beats going into a dreary, dark store. I recommend going there in person to see what I'm talking about or at least browse the pictures here on Yelp to get an idea of what others are talking about.
There are definitely many parallels to the Bloomingdale's department store at South Coast Plaza, from the exterior of the mall (see pictures) to the interior design and color scheme of white and black. In fact, if you review Cerritos city council meetings, the Bloomingdale's flagship store in Costa Mesa served as the inspiration for the design of the place.
The store is so bright and dominant that it lights up the entire corridor in which it's located. That first day, people were actually taking pictures in front of the store and making all sorts of comments and getting wide-eyed. There were a ton of people, probably all like me...just curious what this new store might offer and to check out the new player in this beloved mall.
On grand opening day, my dad actually called me at work to tell me how surprised he was with this new store (in a good way). He's a regular at the mall and is abreast of what's up there. Sitting there at the office, I knew that that was very telling of how impressive it probably was at its grand opening.
My mother, who normally didn't shop at Forever 21 when it was an ordinary store at the mall, actually bought stuff there that opening weekend. She was joined by thousands of others who probably never bothered giving Forever 21 a chance as well. The huge crowds going into the store and purchasing items here and in the mall are definitely a boon, not only to the owners of the store but, for the residents of Cerritos, because of the tax revenue that is being generated. Residents will be smiling all the way to the bank alongside this franchise.
On the way back to my car, I realized that this store could very well be the demise of other similar stores in the mall like Charlotte Russe, Metropark, and Parallel. The appeal at this Forever 21 is much stronger (nice store, affordable prices) than any of the other stores and can work to consolidate juniors' fashion into a single location at the mall. If the other competitors fall in Cerritos, this will then open up those spaces for possibly other designer names and restaurants to step in (I'm talking Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Lacoste, Ferragamo and others) that is not currently being addressed at the Los Cerritos Center.
I actually even dare say that this store probably came at a right time in our economic history in the community, when residents in the surrounding communities are more budget-conscious and are avoiding luxury items. This also means that I can see this store siphoning customers from giants like Nordstrom (which also plans on a grand re-opening later this year as well).
The next few months should be interesting.
So, out of a pure concern about the needs of the community, jobs, and the economic benefits a store like this new Forever 21 will bring, I'm excited about this new store and the upgrades to the entire Cerritos mall in general.
The Metro Green Line is actually decent by comparison to the next nearest one, the Blue Line. So, automatically, when I think of the Green Line, I find myself shortly saying, "at least it isn't the Blue Line". It's sad, but true.
Although the Green Line has only two cars per train, it's usually enough to accommodate all the riders who use it on the weekends and work days. The cars are decent, run fast and generally on time, however, I usually get annoyed at the amount of scratched graffiti that appears inside some of the cars. It's not as bad as other trains I've been on in this country (ahem, Philadelphia), but still annoying to observe and lowers the quality of the riding experience overall. There's a popular theory called the "Broken Windows" theory that I think everyone in urban planning and public transit should be familiar with and try to correct quickly on the trains.
The parking lot at the Norwalk Station, where I typically park and ride whenever I decide to use the train, can be hellishly packed. Be prepared to walk a great distance in the unadulterated sun if you find yourself deciding to get onto the Metro system anytime after noon. Bring a parasol and/or a segway. Or better yet, get dropped off/picked up there. My critique is that there is no visible security in the parking lot. There needs to be more "eyes in the sky" or a toll/security gate here.
The ticketing system along the Green Line is still (as of 11/9/12) unenforced. I personally don't like it and I wish that the turnstiles would lock unless you have a valid TAP Card. Heck, I wish more train platforms simply had turnstiles and an attendant and/or security in order to crack down on free riding. Los Angeles County is missing out on operating funds/revenue by ignoring this important upgrade. Metro forcing everyone to purchase a TAP Card is step one towards the right direction. The next step is making sure people actually tap into the system. I'm sure that the cost of having an attendant and security would be mainly offset by the revenues that are captured from making free riders actually pay for their fare.
The stop at Willowbrook (formerly Wilmington/Imperial) is a rough one. It's the connector to the Blue Line, and unfortunately, it carries many "interesting" individuals as well. I would be able to more easily count how many times I DON'T see some questionable activity, deranged individuals harassing others, or inappropriate acts happening on that line. That's for another review though.
Finally, I can't write this review and ignore the most glaring shortcoming here. There is no direct stop to LAX airport! For first timers or people from out of town, you have to exit at the Aviation/LAX stop and take Shuttle G in the parking lot in order to arrive at the airport. There were all sorts of local opposition from locals who didn't want the train to come through, but as a result, created a sort of incomplete (or half-assed) Green Line. I hope the future Metro plans call for an extension of the line into LAX directly...perhaps ending at the upcoming Passenger Processing Center at the airport. (Crosses fingers).
I know LA County Supervisor Don Knabe and others have championed a direct connection to LAX, and since Measure J recently failed by a narrow margin (technically if it was any other proposition, it would have passed with the 64.75% it received, but a 66% "Yes" majority is required for new taxes), a direct connection that could have been made by 2020 will need to be reevaluated or pursued through the legislatures or another referendum. The Metro board and LA County will need to decide now how to improve and reallocate resources they currently have from Measure R to first clean up what they have now and make the Green Line and other lines truly world class. Once people are convinced and see that we have a great thing going with the transit system today, it would make future funding and expansion a lot easier.
As part of a monthly Long Beach happy hour that a fellow business school colleague instituted, Octopus was part of the checklist a few months back.
Being located in downtown Long Beach, be prepared to shell out extra for parking and/or perhaps a bit of walking from the car.
Our group sat at the bar, and they served the usual fare of Japanese beer, such as Sapporo. They did have harder liquors available as well, if that's more your thing. There were also several televisions tuned to the day's sports.
They have a separate menu at the bar for happy hour, so I recommend sticking to that if you want to stay on budget and not deviate from the original plan. The various rolls they offered were okay I thought...nothing to write home about. I think the fact that the sushi chefs were located on the other side of the restaurant also made a difference, as that key component--giving a shit in preparation--was a bit lacking. Had we chose to sit in front of the chefs instead, that would have probably made a difference in the way our food was prepared.
I didn't realize how big the inside of the place was from the outside. There's actually a lower level to accommodate private parties, and where the restrooms are.
The service was pretty good. I recall our bartender being friendly and attentive to us the entire night and clearing out plates as more and more of our happy hour specials kept coming out.
I would return here to definitely take advantage of the HH specials to get my sushi fix, but I think I will probably come here more to eat and save the imbibing and other good times for other places along Pine Street and the surrounding area.
As I mentioned 100 reviews ago, I was born in a Kaiser almost 26 years ago. Although I only go to this location in La Palma to purchase some OTC medication and pick up the occasional prescription, the place is very efficient, and you don't have to put up with all the bullshit that typified HMOs ten years ago.
They have TVs with some family-friendly stuff to keep the kids quiet. The signage that calls up people to pick up their prescriptions at the counter is undeniably large, so even the oldest of us can read it without our spectacles.
They have plenty of cashiers open as well as technicians in their pharmacy department, so the wait in line is always very short. Everyone has been very polite and responded to me whenever I say "thank you."
The beauty of the overall system is that you can just phone in your prescription or have them transfer it from one Kaiser to another. I like transferring to this location because it's "quieter" than other ones located in heavily congested or urban areas.
Parking can get a little confusing on the way out because sometimes you end up in a dead end in the parking lot. The layout isn't the greatest thought out thing, but, if you're a local, you'll get used to it soon enough like me.
Now I know what you're wondering: where the hell are the restrooms in this damn place? Well, they're upstairs in the second level. Take the elevator up, make a left, then turn right down the hallway and it'll be to your right-hand side. Just be careful, there's this smell that doesn't go away (at least in the men's restroom). It's something along the lines of baby puke and something stagnant from the urinals...don't ask me how I know what that smells like.
Geez, a five-star average, even after nearly four dozen reviews! Well, District Wine deserves it, and I'm here to keep it up.
During my first visit here with a group of business school colleagues a couple weeks ago, I was warmly greeted by the co-owner, Mark, who was very accommodating and cordial the entire visit.
I had just missed the Yelp event here a week or so earlier with the bus, and I was kinda bummed about that.
I arrived first in my group and sat at the larger table towards the rear of the establishment and ordered off their daily happy hour menu (which runs from 4pm to 7pm daily). They have $9 flatbreads and $4 glasses of house chardonnay or cabernet. Over the course of the night, I would end up ordering each flatbread a couple of times. I also got each glass of wine...also a couple of times. Perhaps more. I also had some of the roasted/spiced nuts with chocolate and man, I was impressed with that.
Since it was a Friday night, it got pretty crowded. Compounded by the facts that it's a pretty small joint and there was a birthday going on in the private room. The night I was there, apparently, the birthday group next to us had so much cake left over that they shared it with everyone in the wine bar! It was a very kind gesture by those fellow wine lovers.
They also have live music, and when you have that with a bunch of people, it definitely adds to the life of the place. Normally, when no live musician is playing, District Wine has a pretty cool vinyl collection that Mark plays of some of the classics.
Since we did have the largest table with my group, we shared it with others looking for a place to sit down a bit. That kindness paid off and a very warm lady (her name was Claudia) sat down and ordered a couple primo bottles of wine to be shared by my party. The whole time, Mark, his wife and his staff kept checking up on us, making sure that we had plenty of water to offset the strong effects of (several glasses of) wine.
One of my colleagues, Greg, is also a photographer, so he took several photos of us with Mark and some of the lively people we met that night. I didn't plan on staying that long, but in the end, I ended up staying over 7 hours! Thankfully, I found free street parking earlier and didn't have to worry about any meters going up on me.
I highly recommend this place. It's in a nice part of the East Village and...walking distance to Roscoe's. Tell the owners Jason A. sent you.
I remember when I was going to school in Irvine, one of the many questions that I asked myself was: when will my hometown of Cerritos get their own crepe place?
Well, God heard my thoughts and shortly thereafter, California Crepes opened up. I remember, this place was initially in the works and took forever to open up. I asked the first owner shortly after they first opened what the hell took so long. She indicated that there were some personal issues that ate the majority of her time and thus the restaurant had to be delayed. I immediately felt bad for using profanity in my inquiry.
At the initial opening, my biggest critique at the time was that they didn't accept credit cards. They were "working on it," but apparently "working on it" meant several months. I did not patronize the place during those months. That's how much my decisions are affected by the simple gesture of accepting credit.
I finally decided to come back here over the weekend after a long hiatus, and I figured it was under new management, as the people inside were different from a year ago. They also accept all sorts of credit cards now, so at least that part has improved.
They have this lunch special whereby you buy a crepe and a drink and get a second crepe free. Just look for the little sign which indicates which flavors are eligible for the promotion. This past trip here, I took the chicken pesto and the chicken Marseilles and had an iced tea.
Both the crepes were very good and I was pleased with the quality of the food. They were creamy and had a good amount of chicken inside.
I also noticed that this place also serves funnel cakes! Damn, this has to be the only place in Cerritos that has that. Funny thing was that, in addition to my prayer for crepes when I was in Irvine, I was also wishing for funnel cakes...either here or inside the mall. And so it was done. In fact, all consolidated in one place!
My only suggestion is that the place work on fixing its air conditioning immediately (as it's the peak of summertime), and that the place invest in some silverware and real plates instead of all plastic forks, knives and Styrofoam plates. If you think about it, having real plates and silverware may result in either slightly extra work (washing dishes), but the savings will result in not having to constantly buy plates and forks and constantly taking out the trash. Patrons will also have an easier time eating the crepes, which tends to fall apart easier with plastic tableware. Let's face it: having real silverware will also enhance the quality of the place and make it more Don-worthy.
I wasn't sure if the place offered free drink refills, but thankfully the manager was more than willing to give free refills. God bless the place that still offers free refills! The only way this can improve, I suppose, would be if the owner relocated the soda fountain to face out into the restaurant and create a self-serve station. This would be towards the bottom of things to improve upon, only after the earlier items have been addressed.
Honestly, I can't believe it's taken me this long to write a review on a great place.
In any case, after visiting their web site and seeing others like the great Hazel Q. endorsing this place before it started to get real poppin' enticed me to come out here about a year ago. I wasn't disappointed and the Congregation Ale House (C-House) now has a lifelong fan.
From offering (arguably) one of the widest choices in imported and craft beers around, to having the correct glasses to compliment your beer (such as the Duvel glass to drink Duvel beer out of), to their flush metal cooling plates at the bar, to actually having a priest from Maredsous come and bless the pub during their grand opening...this place just had a lot of right things going for it from the very start.
The food is also outstanding. Their rib-eye burger is one of the best I've had and rivals the high-end establishment of Charlie Palmer in Costa Mesa. It's always done medium and it tastes juicy, with just enough crispiness on the outside to keep it solid. The fries and their dipping sauces, to which you're limited to two per basket because they're so awesome, are surprisingly a good buy, especially if you're not totally hungry but want something to pick on. The flatbreads, served on pizza planks reminiscent of a nun's paddle, taste fresh and isn't too heavy...which is probably a good thing, as you'd want to keep as much as space for the stars of the pub: the assortment of beers here.
The C-House plays the theme well. It has elements of an abbey or European Catholic church (stained glass, self-serve "holy water" fonts, collection plates for the bill, donation/tip boxes, pews for seating, and medieval styled chandeliers) and banners and advertising from old trappist beer traditions. "Mass" (happy hour) is all day Monday and mid-day most weekdays. They have "midnight masses" pretty much every night. The menu (which I call a "missalette") showcases their international beers and food. Be on the lookout for the daily specials on the blackboard near the restrooms as well. My advice: try them all.
The friendliness of the bartenders and staff, most of which appropriately wear Catholic school dress, was important in ensuring my repeat visits as well. If you manage to sit at a table, the servers have the luxury of placing orders on wireless tablets and opening separate tabs on the spot, which is always a welcomed convenience. Alternatively, you'd have to wait in a line to order your beer at the bar.
Like Benjamin Franklin said, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." And judging from the crowds that one would encounter here most nights, it seems that the Congregation Ale House indeed has God's blessing.
Have you ever wanted really spicy noodles and live near the Cerritos/Artesia region? If so, then this place is for you. They offer spicy noodle soup with five (count 'em, five) degrees of spiciness.
I, having been a recent convert to the world of spicy foods, decided to be slightly modest and go for the 4th echelon of hotness.
I also gave some forethought and realized that I wouldn't be satisfied with just noodle soup, so I went ahead and ordered a curry plate with shrimp.
The lady saw my fat ass picking at all the side dishes and so she came out with an additional salad and an omelets sort of side dish. They were a welcomed precursor to the meal.
The actual soup was really tasty and I'm not kidding around when I say that it was HOT. It was so hot, that I had to chase it down with their spicy kimchi, because the kimchi was a milder contrast to the ass whipping my tongue was receiving.
The curry dish was also hot, but in a piping sort of way. The rice and the curry were freshly made and hot as hell. Hot, as in caliente, not picante. They use really good curry and I think the owner/server/cook person doubted that I could finish it all.
Well, then again, they probably didn't know that I was a veteran Yelper and that I can eat in my sleep. They checked up with me periodically and I only asked for a refill on the water once. I was so proud of myself.
The restaurant itself is really in "between" several other restaurants. They claim to be between East and West, however, I believe the name derives from the harden rice between the rice pot and the steamed grains in the traditional Korean dish. The part that many people like to eat as a "bonus soup."
I highly recommend coming here. It's homey and pretty true to its roots. You know the very minute you enter it's an authentic Korean joint, because the walls are decorated with Korean soap opera scenes and they're blasting the Jesus praising music.
What a Mighty God We Serve!
Kensco's essentially a cheaper 99 Cents Only store...if that's even possible. I'm also saying this as I listen to Handel's "For Unto Us a Child is Born," which means that elitism from my previous Newport Beach review has kicked in. That's a song you'd hear at South Coast Plaza during Christmas.
I haven't even heard of the place until today, when one of my friends mentioned that they have smaller charcoal bags and lighter fluid and that we can use that for our barbecue at the beach later in the day. So in that regard (having smaller portions of stuff) is commendable, however, I was uninspired by the setup of the place.
The store that the Kensco is set up in used to be a former Lucky's grocery store. The lot has long been considered a ghetto bastion by wealthier Cerritos residents across the street to the south, just because of a danky former next door neighbor: Zacatecas. If you're from the area, you know what that place was.
In any case, there were "supermarket" qualities left over from the Lucky's time here, and it immediately gave the place a cheap look, since it was retrofitted from the former supermarket. I still think that the landlord should have attracted a legitimate grocery store instead of a discount retailer, since this would only promote the ghettoness that was first brought about by Zacatecas many years ago (and should have disappeared with it).
They also don't accept credit card/debit card transactions less that $5.00, which pisses me off. I means that I have to buy significant shit (around five items) just so I can use plastic.
I still feel that if you want to patronize a discount retailer, you either go to Wal-Mart, Marukai or the 99 Cents Only store. Those places are a little more organized and inspired and meant to get to you to spend some coin(s) rather than looking like they don't give a shit whether or not you spend.
There's been a surge of ethnic markets in and around Cerritos and Island Pacific Supermarket has been an original part of the Cerritos Promenade shopping strip since it first opened in 2002.
I have a feeling that the business here has declined somewhat thanks in part to the much larger, and heavily-hyped about, Seafood City across town on Norwalk and Artesia Boulevard.
The offerings here are actually quite good for a market this size. I do remember when I first came here back in 2002 or so, that the ceilings were a little low, so that made the whole thing seem smaller to me. In fact, some of the products they stack almost reach the ceiling!
I honestly think that if Island Pacific wants to stay competitive in light of the numerous ethnic markets in the area, they need to expand to be brighter, offer a large variety of American and Pinoy goods, and have wider aisles and higher ceilings.
The parking outside is difficult because the city did not anticipate the large success of the overall shopping center where Island Pacific is located. That's a good thing if you live in Cerritos, as it's an indicator of the health of local economy, but terrible if you're from out of town trying to get your fried fish on Saturday afternoon.
From what I last remember, the cashier did not take my credit card, either because the system was down or because I did not have a "minimum purchase" amount. But, if I remember correctly, they do take debit cards. Loads of crap, I remember thinking to myself.
Island Pacific does have the mandatory lotto counter next to the karaoke vendor upon entering the store. That, unlike what you may think of the store, is a sign of a true Asian market. Gambling and singing.
Just came back from the Sheraton Hotel/Grille 91 watching the Laker game, and apparently, they have live music there every Thursday night. The band is a jazz group called the Art of Sax, and they played a very eclectic mix. They also sound very good and a few ladies even danced when their songs played. I highly recommend coming here for the live music and dinner or relaxing at the bar. They play from 5pm to 8pm.
For Thursdays during the summer, the restaurant has special buffet-like deals also from 5-8pm, in addition to their regular dinner menu. Today's happened to be an all-you-can eat pasta buffet with garlic bread, roasted vegetables, salad and a drink all for $8.95!
I felt I just had to share this gem with everyone.
This was a one-star place, but was bumped up to a second star because of the upgrades to the place in recent months.
It's such a damn shame because the restaurant is right next to a five-star place, namely, Goody's Donuts. It's literally "Hit & Miss" on the same strip mall.
One of the reasons I don't go here is because of the perceived messiness. It's been so long since I've sat at a clean table here that I forgot when it was. It's also has sticky floors, especially next to the soda fountain. I think the place should spend a little extra money and try putting a few seats outside, so people can eat with some fresh air. The place should also play music. Last I remember, it was silent. And that's a no-no.
The service is sluggish and the employees aren't enthusiastic. Just as enthusiasm is contagious, so too is the opposite.
I remember back in the day when the place was only a KFC and wasn't a Taco Bell. In many ways I liked it better like that. The odor of fried chicken was stronger (a good thing) and the employees were more lively.
My earliest memory of the place was when I was like six years old and my mom was helping me order dinner. Rather than order for me, which was the norm during my childhood, she asked me what I wanted and I didn't know exactly how to respond. I just stood there staring at the large menu trying to make sense of it all. It was silent for like three minutes before the nice man working the counter suggested the "brand new" Hot Wings. I went with that. Unfortunately, I wasn't accustomed to spicy stuff either.
During Starbuck's peak in Cerritos, this was the fourth one within my town's limits. After the closure of the one in the Los Cerritos Center, it's now the third.
The building is a nice development located strategically along the Lakewood/Cerritos border. It provides Starbucks access to people of Lakewood, while maintaining a Cerritos address. This means more tax revenue going to the snootiest city in Los Angeles county.
In any case, the corner is shared by a Quizno's Subs and has architectural elements consistent with the rest of the shopping center its located in and actually is reminiscent of the Cerritos Towne Center, specifically with the use of granite materials on the facade.
There's a nice fountain and bronze statue on the corner facing the intersection to allow for nice street visibility of the busiest street in Cerritos, Del Amo Boulevard. You also get a nice view of the more dogeared northeast Lakewood (a stark contrast to Cerritos across the street).
The coffee is standard, as per all Starbucks. I see many commuters go here before getting on to the 605 freeway about a block west of here. I only swing by after doing some banking across the street at Ralphs.
The baristas were polite and were accurate in the orders and they have a clean bathroom (definite plus). That's become expected as more and more of us require that consistency.
This is a good, reliable place to go to for that chili dog fix. For some reason whenever I go to this Wienerschnitzel, I always think of Dr. Brown the orthodontist and the free toothbrushes he used to send in the mail back in the day. Could that be because he's across the street? This unlikely association is permanently engraved into my head.
Anyhow, this actual Wienerschnitzel is so reliable. The food is consistent and the quality is good. One of my favorite things to do is to take fries and stick them into the chili dog and eat the whole thing at once. Not only does that make economic sense, but it also makes for one really tasty hot dog.
This location actually has THREE ways of dining. Drive-thru (remember that this is right on the border of Artesia/Cerritos on the Artesia side), indoor dining room and outdoor patio. Every once in a while you'll see brave individuals stick it out and eat outside, because as we all know, doing anything you can do indoors outdoors is vastly superior.
The only issue with eating outdoors, if you want to make it an issue, is that you are facing South Street right in the busiest part of town as you enter Cerritos and the Los Cerritos Center complex. Chances are, if you want to be seen, there's no better place than to announce your presence than to eat outdoors at this Wienerschnitzel.
Once you're done, you can walk across and visit Dr. Brown to have those chili dog pieces removed from your braces.
Do you like dealing with touchy people? If so, then this place is for you.
If you're like the rest of us and would rather not put up with people who disrespect you or can't give you good prices or try to take you for a sucker, then avoid this place.
The worst thing is that I dealt with the owner. I was trying to buy an AC adapter for a laptop and he offered to sell me one for $80.00. I told him he was batshit crazy if he thought that I would pay that much.
I mentioned that C Technologies in Fullerton sold one to me for $35.00 a couple years back.
To dismiss the valid comparison, he dissed C Technologies and acted as if his dump was any better. And who can blame him, especially when he just got moted.
He dismissed me simply for being a savvy customer. As I put my laptop back into my bag, I told him "Have a good one."
He replied, "Yeah, okay."
He deserves to go out of business.
I've come here more recently about a month ago for my grandmother's 91st birthday. It was the first time my entire extended family got together for the most part (less one of my brothers).
The variety of food was surprisingly larger than I last imagined and wasn't that bad. They even had a pho bar up and running. There was a good amount of people here for a Sunday night. I was also pleased to see that they take credit cards here. This was the place where I broke in my new black card.
The only reason why I'm dinging points is because the place felt stark and too quiet at times and staff kept reminding us to leave a tip every time they cleared our plates. This could have been because we were a large party, but it's really not necessary to keep reminding us to do so like we're new to America. I always thought the purpose of tips were "To Insure Proper Service," and was at the total discretion of the patron(s).
Like most Asian buffets, what place would be complete if there wasn't any soft-serve ice cream dispensers? This the way to top off any meal. Cones are better because you can take them out and scarf it down as you walk to your car in the parking lot.
So long as music is being played in the background and a little more decor is hung up on the walls to liven up the place, and the servers stop insisting on large parties to leave tips, then the place will gain an additional star or two from me.
This location is a Cerritos institution. As of this writing, they are celebrating their 20th anniversary and have specials on dim sum and a dollar menu!
What's funny is that despite knowing about this place's existence for so long (it's a large building right smack in the middle of a shopping center facing South Street), I haven't been inside its halls until this past Monday. I have this feeling that the building used to be a bank, as it certainly has that former converted bank feel. (And as someone mentioned to me earlier: because this place is SO MONEY).
It's a restaurant that's comparable to Ten Ten Seafood over in Artesia in that it's a white tablecloth restaurant, but it has a huge, cavernous dining room where the ceiling is extremely vaulted. There's a second floor (accessible by elevator) that can be reserved for private functions that overlooks the main dining hall. There are also several smaller banquet rooms on the first floor that can be closed off from the rest of the hall.
The service is actually pretty good considering it's a Chinese restaurant. The waiters were polite, sociable, understanding, and offered refills on my drinks (something you almost never encounter in Chinese restaurants).
The food was very well prepared and tasted pretty good. We ordered a whole fried chicken, wor wonton soup, Mongolian beef, sweet and sour fish fillets, honey walnut shrimp, soft chow mein, and fried calamari.
For most of our dinner that night, our party of six were the only people in the large dining hall. The servers tended to us pretty attentively, probably because it was a slow night. They indicated that dim sum was way more popular and the main source of their business. I feel that the restaurant should play some type of ambient music to liven things up especially when it's slow. I felt bad for talking out loud, as it was dead silent outside of our table.
The parking is easy, as they actually have underground parking as well as surface parking. It's direct competition is the Sam Woo restaurant on the other side of the shopping center, but what this place offers is a little more class and, in my opinion, better tasting food and service. And...here's the kicker that makes it a five-star place...they take all credit cards and don't charge a fee (yes, even you American Express!).
I was client #97 on opening day on March 1st, 2007. I had a wristband that saved my place in line. Now, I just needed to stick it out for the night in order to get the payoff...a year's worth of vouchers good for a Combo #1!
My brother who works at the Cerritos mall indicated that the standalone Chick-Fil-A was going to open on March 1st, 2007. It was February 28th. I just left work and was planning on going back home.
I passed by the Chick-Fil-A and saw the banners saying when it was going to open tomorrow and saw a large crowd gathering. They all knew about the contest: The first 100 people at a new Chick-Fil-A will get a year's worth of free food. Tents were going up for those diehard people. High school friends of mine called me and urged me to join them.
But I needed to use the bathroom and change clothes, so I went home. After sitting at my desk, I thought about it long and hard and decided that I wasn't going to let my friends stick it out without me. There was no way I was going to have regrets.
I got in my 5-Series and burned rubber back to the Los Cerritos Center. The traffic lights were all green on the way there. It was a good omen too. Had I got caught with one red light, I would have missed out on it, as number 98, 99 and 100 signed up a few seconds after I ran up to the registration table and showed them my drivers license.
My friends were numbers 78 thru 80 or so. They barely made it themselves.
Only after I signed up did I realize that they won't let you go back to your car or leave the parking lot. "Shit," I thought. I had to have my brothers and other friends come in and drop off essential supplies, like lawn chairs, blankets, Carl's Jr. and Starbucks. It was 6PM when the contest began for me.
And that night of Feb. 28th, 2007 was the coldest night in this part of Los Angeles County in the past 120 years! No matter how many layers of clothes and blankets I put on, I could not warm up. It was about 25 degrees!
Everyone there had tents and heaters. Apparently, they were all pros at this. The only ones who didn't have bedding were me and my friends. We did have a television and DVD player though, plugged into the side of the restaurant. We were such noobs.
Thankfully, Chick-Fil-A fed us throughout the course of the night. The only downside was that there would be random roll calls to check to make sure that the 100 people who registered were still in the parking lot. If you didn't report or left at some point, then you were disqualified.
They did open up the bathroom for public use, but you were not able to loiter around inside for too long. You had to keep moving, much like when you were ten years old walking through a Las Vegas casino.
I did not sleep a wink that night. I was wired on free coffee and did not crash yet. It was freezing also, so that kept me from getting comfortable and falling . Did I forget to mention that I had work the next day at 7am? It opened on a Thursday morning, of all days.
As soon as they made us line up and rattled pots and pans, we received our vouchers in the order that we registered and under the condition that we wear some grand opening swag they handed out. So that meant I was bringing up the rear and almost late to work the next day. By the time I collected my pay and got out, it was 6:30 on Thursday morning, and so I got into my car and hauled ass back to work on the 605 Freeway.
My coworkers were surprised seeing me in my unkempt state and wondered if I got any sleep because I was particularly hyper for the first few hours of the day. The answer was no, but I had an awesome story to tell them the next day. I crashed hard by around noon and passed out at my desk.
All I can say was that 2007 was an awesome year for chicken.
I like the concept and how it still maintains a clean kitchen environment consistently. Usually most Asian food places get worn out and abused pretty quick...it could be because of all the grease and oil.
Thankfully dumplings don't require that much grease or oil. In fact, I think it's just steamed for the most part.
This particular location in the food court has been a bad luck space. There have been several things in this food court location prior...the most recent was Great Wraps and I think an Indian restaurant before that.
But with the arrival of this dim sum place, I think the direction of the chi has changed and feng shui order has been restored.
There's a pretty constant flow of people who come here, and I personally have only gone here once when they just opened. The electronic menus are reminiscent of the kinds you see in Indian casinos out in the desert. I like how they employ that new form of technology into the store though. It makes it more attractive and can communicate a lot more information.
The dumplings are made in-house fresh every single day. I know this because there is a person standing off to the side behind bulletproof glass who labors all day to make your dumplings. There's always a tall stack of the filling meats and the guy just starts laying them out in the dumpling wrapper and creates trays of them in no time. Think of him as the equivalent of the guy working at a Wetzel's Pretzels rolling the dough and making the pretzels.
The quality here is pretty good. Though I feel it's pricey for what you get (one or two item combo over rice is hardly enough to fill a hungry man like myself). Thankfully, the time I went there, the lady saw how disappointed I was at the portions and how much they were charging me, so she offered to throw in an additional shiopao bun to sweeten the deal.
That made me feel better and earns this place an extra star.
I used to come to this Dairy Queen every Friday when I was a senior in high school and drag my brothers to come with me. They came mainly because I was their ride. I used to get so much allowance money from both my parents and grandparents that I was able to buy my bros their own Blizzards.
That also leads me to say that my favorite item in this, and any, Dairy Queen is the Chocolate Extreme Blizzard (I think that's what it was called). It's essentially chocolate chunks, brownies, fudge and syrup in chocolate ice cream and blended thick. I still order it when I do find myself at a DQ (which isn't as often as it used to be).
Little known fact: The strip mall this DQ is located is called the Cerritos Triangle. Just look across the parking lot and you'll see a white sign identifying the place as such.
As I would leave this DQ, I notice they always have posters up for their normal food items. I always wondered how "real" food at Dairy Queen tastes (like burgers or hot dogs). For some reason, getting food other than ice cream at Dairy Queen never really crossed my mind. I suppose I will eventually update this review after tasting non-dairy foods there.
My chiropractor, Dr. Ernest Kam, suggested that I get my shoes fixed in order to improve my walking posture. Being also a diehard Cerritocean, he suggested this place at the mall across town. I've taken my favorite pair of Italian shoes here for a sole repair about half a year ago. I've worn the crap out of those things, and it was getting pretty thin.
Sam, the guy who helped me, replaced the heel and the rest of the sole for both shoes for $45. Whether that's too much or a bargain, I didn't care. I was tired of not being able to find a decent place close to home that could repair shoes.
The part I liked upon getting my shoes back is the fact that they're extra shiny and repainted black.
The heaviness of the shoe is added back on when you get a new heel and I heavily insisted that he use thick leather...even if it did cost extra, as I'm a fan of the clacking noise when I walk. Hell, if I was able to get wood, I would have. I became a fan when I used to walk the halls of the US Congress and my shoes would make a loud echoing clack with every step.
And, much like the crocodile in Peter Pan, the loud steps announce my every arrival.
Great pretzel stand. Back in the day, Auntie Anne's occupied the space where the Dumpling Express is now before moving around the corner.
Ever since they were in that old location, I've had their cinnamon pretzel. I fell in love with it from Day One, and continue to get that exact same flavor whenever I feel like getting a pretzel. The taste hasn't changed at all.
If you're a mall employee, you get free pretzels. I found this out because when I ordered a cinnamon pretzel once, the owner asked for which store I worked for then offered it to me for free. (I never worked at the Los Cerritos Center, but I'm there so often that employees for the stores probably think I do).
Every so often, Auntie Anne's gives away a free pretzel to every customer for a few hours during the day. I think this has to do with their anniversary celebration, but when it does...the lines here are ridiculous. And, sadly, I've found myself passing by two years in a row and waiting in line to get a free cinnamon pretzel.
Not a bad place. I like wings. Boneless or otherwise. Ever since I became old enough to enjoy happy hours, I've liked going and getting hot wings and beer.
This place offers that and some pretty sweet fries, literally. There's a certain sweetness to the seasoning that most people will either really like or hate. Thankfully, I fall on the "like" side of the debate.
My favorite wings here are the Cajun and regular hot. I've never veered into the atomic level, but I will someday just to say I have.
I usually take my orders to go, as the inside is pretty small. I do appreciate that the place shows Laker games over other sports. They just need to get some HD boxes to convert the TVs when we all go digital next month.
Since it's part of the Cerritos Promenade, it's kind of hidden in the middle of the center and not very visible from the main streets. You'll have to go in a little bit before you can find it. Parking can be a problem, as there just isn't enough...but circle around a couple times or park far and just walk, you fat ass.
It's come down to this place being the classiest thing you can buy at the food court. This particular Steak Escape gives out free samples to passersby, and several walk-bys will be enough to tide the hunger pangs.
However, if you're angry at your money and want to get rid of it at the food court, this is the place to visit. Sometimes watching every penny gets tiresome and you just stop caring and want to splurge.
The fries here are pretty good, but piping hot, as they fry each order fresh. Be sure you get it seasoned. I usually don't like having mayo on the sandwich, but having everything else thrown in is pretty good. Oh, and have the onions grilled so that it doesn't leave that after taste in your mouth that will linger for the rest of the day.
Most of the time, whenever I go here, there's no one in line. Partly moved by sympathy, I patronize the place. By the time I reach the end of the production line, several other patrons always follow close behind me. I like to think that I bring on the good luck to any eating establishment. Once people see me giving a place a shot, people follow like sheep. I should get a cut of their profits, come to think of it.
Man, I haven't rented a video in such a long time. Most of the movies I see are either in the theater during their theatrical run or online.
The only edge that Blockbuster has over Netflix is that you can return the movie at a brick and mortar location rather than have to wait that extra day or two while your next movie comes in the mail.
This particular Blockbuster is next to the It's A Grind and Johnny's Frozen Yogurt, and it's safe to say that I go to either store much more often than I do Blockbuster. Hell, I even go to Tall Mouse more often and that place really isn't welcoming.
One of my biggest memorable moments from this Blockbuster though was when Final Fantasy X came out on PS2. I rented it the day it came out and I beat the game in four days, as that was how long I was able to rent it out for. Man, I was so under-leveled and probably didn't get much of a chance to take in the state-of-the-art graphics and voicework. I also didn't get much sleep during that weekend.
But I digress.
For a while, this Blockbuster was in direct competition with a fellow Blockbuster a couple of blocks west on South Street as well. These stores cannibalized each other and the end result was a Washington Mutual that appeared at the location of the other, loser one. What's also ironic is that there's also a Washington Mutual in the same plaza as this one remaining Blockbuster.
So now, it's the WaMus's turn to cannibalize each other. Oh wait, that's right, there's no such thing as WaMu anymore...it's all JP Morgan Chase's world now.
Anyone who says that Native American culture has been wiped out hasn't been to Native Visions. This store has been around for over a decade now. Initially, I thought that this store would not last as people don't always need to buy Native American items, but I've been proved wrong. People love to get their powwow on apparently and pass it on.
I've personally only bought one item here in the last 12 or so years. The other handful of times I've been here, I've mainly just window shopped. I think I got some figurine once a long time ago as a gift for my brother.
The store is pretty narrow and well-stocked. The lights are bright and actually make the room a tad bit hot. There's a counter in the center of the store as well as the register at the back. They usually have pretty interesting displays out on the store front that doesn't always pertain to Native American culture (i.e.: African American culture, for example).
Come to think of it, they never really specify which "Native" Vision they're talking about. We only assume that the owner means Native American.
If you have any soul, you'd come here and buy something...or just take really long looks.
This is a very hidden Taco Bell, as it's away from the main corridor and off to a small wing on the way to a less trafficked exit. As a result, this Taco Bell is never full. There also is never a really long line that would discourage you from patronizing the place.
This Taco Bell used to be located on the main hallway of the mall back in the 80s and early 90s facing the Time Out! arcade and Victoria's Secret. They've since moved to the rear of the mall and stuck it out for the last fifteen or so years. I love suggesting this place to eat with friends, as I always get the same reaction: "Oh shit! I totally forgot about this Taco Bell!"
This Taco Bell is also one of three sit-down places to eat in the Cerritos mall...which is pretty trippy if you think about it. The stores in this small wing are hardly visited. Their remaining open is a testament that they are under God's Providence. This Taco Bell has also been lucky enough to avoid having been forced to move to the food court and can brag that they have a dining room.
The quality of the food is typical and nothing extraordinary. The chalupas here taste the same as chalupas in any other Taco Bell. The drinks are self-serve, which is nice. It cuts back on having to walk up to the counter and ask for refills. I often times like to order a small drink here and just keep on getting refills. You save on valuable cents doing so.
There is a stool and bar area that I prefer eating on, simply because I like being elevated when I eat. It's just a tad bit weird at times blatantly staring at people as they walk by this sparsely visited corridor.
I hope the mall eventually moves this Taco Bell to the food court, as it belongs there more so than here. They can always put something more trendy in its place to help drum up more foot traffic.
I'm probably going to get stoned for giving this place three stars, but really...the owners could do more with the interior of the store and spruce it up a bit.
Whenever I go inside, it feels part warehouse and part thrift store. For that reason alone, I don't really enjoy my visits here and I feel like I need to just buy what I need and GTFO. I would like to see the place update itself a bit and tone down the harsh lighting. I mean, the place is an arts and crafts store...I'm sure there are people who work here who have the imagination to utilize those artsy skills to make the place more aesthetically pleasing.
I'm willing to update my grade of the place to four or five stars so long as this store brings itself up to regular Cerritocean standards.
Besides that, the place has an impressive selection of all the things you'd ever imagine to fulfill your inner artist. If you like making bric-a-brac, assembling models or doing something traditional like painting, they have it here all under one roof, which vastly makes Tall Mouse very convenient in that respect.
I do admit, I have bought supplies here to help me make an atom model back for 8th grade science and have bought several model airplanes that you have to assemble. Having this place around is very helpful and will probably continue to be helpful to a new generation of kids and those with creative spirits.
For those from the Cerritos area, I posit to you that it was this store that brought down the venerable Michael's across town. Whether that was for the best or not, that's up to your interpretation.
This is a decent Bath & Body Works. Although I only really go here during the holiday season. I spend no time browsing and I typically just get a pre-made gift package that's ready to give.
I may wash my hands in the sink just to prep myself up for lunch or dinner afterwards. It's my last opportunity to use kick-ass soap rather than the standard stuff you find in public restrooms.
You can spot the husbands getting their wives something because they're about as lost as I am and they have one or two pre-packaged things in their hands as they stand in line.
The major setback are the long lines here. I'm sure it's like this with all other Bath & Body Works, but for some reason, despite there being like four or five registers open, lines that extend from each register in the back all the way to the entrance of the store exist during the Christmas shopping season.
I literally waited 45 minutes yesterday in line holding onto my pre-made gift until I got to the front of the line. I don't get what everyone's deal is. I just go up, get my item scanned, swipe a card, sign and get the receipt in the bag. That's it. I don't change my mind halfway through that I need or not need something else. I also don't fiddle with finding exact change or pay in cash for that matter. I also don't buy half the store.
This location can really do something to fix the long lines that happen each Christmas. Perhaps have more hired help. Perhaps have another couple of registers towards the entrance so that people don't have to back track and swim through a sea of people to get back out.
I felt like Moses parting the Red Sea after I finished paying for my item, making my way back out to the mall.
This location, and most others either need to have less sales or reconfigure their set up so that people line up and leave rather than line up and get lost in a crowd.
They did initiate a cool thing this year by which people who were paying credit card had a person take their card and swipe them from where they were standing, so as to help thin out the line a bit. That's actually how I was processed last night. If only that had come by sooner, it would have been a greater help.
I've only bought a scarf here once last year and the main reason I don't come here as often is because the store has no appeal from the outside looking in.
There are usually bins of clothes just waiting for you to rummage through. This doesn't make me feel encouraged to shop there, especially since a normal purchase here would probably end up costing you upwards of a hundred dollars. For that price, you should demand more customer service, and a cleaner and more organized shopping environment.
Today, there were just a ton of people trying to vulture for post-holiday bargains. It wasn't very motivating to also see empty walls, as if they were going out of business. The prices are a tad on the higher side, but, I feel that instead of buying here, you might as well go all out and get designer stuff. Hence, why I don't go here that often.
The staffers were pretty cool in that when I did buy that scarf last year, they were out of stock initially, but they were cool enough to nab the one on display from a mannequin. No feelings hurt there!
This places serves Leinenkugal Sunset Wheat! That's bumps it up from an average sports bar to a four-star institution! Not too many places serve it on tap (outside of Yard House), so to have a local hangout like Shipmates carry it is a nice alternative.
They have this large fish tank which greets visitors and seating around the back side of the bar for people who want to eat at a table. The bar itself is located on the left side when you walk in (I know that's counterintuitive if you go to a lot of bars). They are big with sports and boast that every Laker game can be watched here.
The bar itself has lots of padding under the bar, so you don't hurt your shins when you pull up a stool. There are several televisions scattered throughout the place and a very loud coin-operated juke box that people constantly play requests on. Depending on when you go, you either hear underground rap or something more mainstream like Coldplay.
The big noticeable feature is the fact that there is a billiards table right smack in the center of the bar. Just watch the back of your head if you're sitting at the bar so that you don't get clocked by a cue stick.
The bar actually has nice wood and the place as a whole is considerably brighter than what I've come to expect from a dive bar. Though there were sports memorabilia around, it was not disorganized. They also have several signs that promote drinking like, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beerholder!" Classic.
The place just needs to get pay-per-view items like boxing matches and a little graffiti removal in the bathrooms, then I will be happy to update my grade to five-stars!
This Lucille's opened last year and I only recently ate here once. The restaurant itself is pretty decent sized, but not as big as the one in the Long Beach Towne Center. You enter the entrance off to the side next to the take-out window and to the right is the enclosed patio section and the left is the main dining room.
The owner of the Lucille's is also the same owner of the former Hof's Hut that used to be located on this same parcel a couple years ago. He closed out virtually all his Hof's Huts and replaced the one in Cerritos with his other restaurant concept.
The quality of the barbecue is pretty good. The sauce was really what sold the rib rack that me and a friend had. This sweet barbecue added with sweet tea probably made me diabetic overnight. It was only offset with biscuits (with sweet butter). The waitress actually recognized my last name whe I paid the bill with my credit card. Apparently, she used to work over at the California Pizza Kitchen across the street with my brother before moving here to Lucille's. That was a nice surprise and made me more pleased with the service.
My only complaint is the oil and fatty goodness of the barbecue pits pervade the restaurant and the area outside it. So much so, that my and my friend's noses started to itch. We kept on rubbing and scratching it so much you could have sworn we were coke addicts.
This Rubio's is an original tenant of the Cerritos Towne Center since the center first opened in 1994. It has undergone some cosmetic upgrades, but essentially, it remains the same restaurant that opened up 15 years ago.
This Rubio's was my first experience with fish tacos. I didn't actually start eating here until I was probably in high school, as fish tacos just simply weren't appealing to me at the time. But after my mother, God bless her, introduced me to food outside American and Asian influences, I realized I was missing out on some pretty good food.
To this day, I eat at this particular Rubio's and I bump into many people from different aspects of my life. People from school, church, work, neighbors and relatives I don't keep in constant contact with.
I usually order the fish or crispy shrimp burrito or the tres fish tacos combo on flour tortillas. I think I like the texture of flour tortillas better than corn, as it molds around the fish easier and it's actually warmer than the corn.
Speaking of the tres fish combo, I still can't decide which is a better value: the tres fish combo or just getting three fish tacos and a drink piecemeal. I don't care too much for the tortilla chips, as I feel those are bland, so I try to see if I can save a few cents by getting the three fish tacos and drink without the chips. I can't figure out which is cheaper as their calculus for it changes, but last I recall, it's actually more expensive to order three fish tacos and a drink outside of the tres fish combo.
Try this out and let me know. I think I'm going to just flat out ask next time. Usually I get too overcome with hunger to give a damn though.
This is it! This is the one! This is the restaurant that makes the entire food court smell like greasy Asian food!
This is obvious because they cook the food right there over a hot stove behind glass. Despite the industrial fan going off to try and redirect the smoke, the scent still wafts into the rest of the Los Cerritos food court and will stick to your clothes.
This is also the reason why I sit at the farthest end of the food court near the main corridor. By sitting at the far end, you minimize the extent to which you smell like a Chinese restaurant. My friends have all learned this technique and now whenever we eat here, it's a given where to sit in the dining hall. I recommend hightailing it over to Nordstrom and spraying on some perfume or cologne to help cover up the scent once you finish eating.
Honestly, even though this fast food restaurant has been here for years now, I've only eaten here a handful of times. The food's okay and will fill you up, which is pretty much what you go for when you come to a budget food court, right? It's an all-you-can-eat style Mongolian restaurant. Actually, it's an all-you-can-stuff-onto-your bowl Mongolian style restaurant.
On an interesting side note: I actually almost bought the owner's car from him once. He drove a brown Volvo and even let me test drive it around the mall area when I visited one day. I put money down to have him hold on to it, but at the last minute walked away from it. I had the opposite of buyer's remorse/regret. That was back when I was in high school and I was looking to buy a car for use to and from school to possibly replace the Phoenix Wonderwagon (see my Norwalk Costco review for more).
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|Southern California has probably the most, and best malls in the country. They are a part of our everyday lives and we take it for granted that there are so many choices here.||Just because I write a review for an establishment recently, doesn't mean I just found out about it. Sometimes, silence is indeed really golden...until others point it out.|
|When given the grand honor from my colleagues, these reviews find their permanent place in Yelp history.||Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.|
|Probably the one food one can eat everyday and not get sick of.||The goal is to write 100 reviews in 2013. I can do it!|
|That's the actual name for the glitzy city found within the outer reaches of the Greater Los Angeles agglomeration.|
"Stimulating the economy one review at a time."
Cerritos, CA, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
September 2008Dinge, die ich mag
places with high levels of customer service.Hier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
and around the Greater Los Angeles area.Heimatort
Cerritos, CA--Los Angeles, CAMein Blog oder meine Website Wenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I'm probably working.Warum du meine Beiträge unbedingt lesen solltest
You just may be featured in one.Meine Henkersmahlzeit
Anything higher than a 2-star average on Yelp.Erzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
I don't care much for sweet potato anything.