The idea is to chronicle our delivery dinners. 5 or 6 of 10 is average delivery. We live in DTLA.
Carousel (Hollywood) — GrubHub
Warrior: 6/10. I find this to be slightly above average Lebanese / Armenian food, which means I like it. Good tastiness x healthiness product. The moussaka (aka maghmour) was great. I could eat this olive-oil-based eggplant and tomato dish any day. The chicken shawarma had a nice cinnamon-y flavor, but it was too dry. The garlic sauce was better than average. I like that the restaurant offers a tasty bulgur pilaf as an alternative to rice. Baba ganoush was good. Fattouch was under-seasoned. While I like this restaurant and appreciate that its menu has unique items, I prefer Marouch.
Peony: 6.5/10. I like the food overall. All the dishes have good flavors. If I were to be picky, I find the chicken is a bit on the dry side by itself, but if you mix it with garlic sauce and eat it with pita, it doesn’t taste so dry. Also, I’m sensitive to sourness, and I found the tahini sauce a little bit on the sour side. Overall, good food, and I’d be happy to eat it again.
Woon (Silver Lake S of 101) — DoorDash
Warrior: 3.5/10. I wasn’t impressed by Woon. The food had little flavor. The best dish was the Chinese broccoli, which was well-seasoned and prepared to a good al dente texture. The fried rice was decent due to the flavor from the black rice, but I found it too oily. The noodles were too oily also, and I wish they could have been a touch more al dente. The cold dishes were lackluster—basic preparations that anyone could do easily at home (and I personally would have added more sesame oil and fresh cilantro). I am curious what Peony, who is Native Chinese, will think, but I believe I already know. (We do not discuss our reviews beforehand.). The much better Chinese delivery option in this area is Pine and Crane.
Peony: 4/10. I think the food is not great. Let’s start with the liang cai (cold dishes). The three liang cai look bad. The vegetables look like they are falling apart. They’re supposed to have bright flavors that are very appetizing, and I do not taste any bright flavors. The five spice tofu tastes like it is directly from the supermarket and doesn’t involve any cooking. The thing they made a little bit of effort for is the shiitake mushroom fried rice, and for some reason the shiitake mushroom didn’t even bring any good flavor to the dish, and the rice was very dry. The vegetable tastes like it was boiled in water without any additional flavors. I think this is supposed to be Cantonese, and the flavors are expected to be light. But I find it is not flavorful at all. So unfortunately, I will not order from here again, although I’d like to support small businesses like this. I feel like there was a lack of effort. You do not serve this in a restaurant in China. You will lose your business.
La Flor de Yucatán (near DTLA)—UberEats / DoorDash
Peony: 6.5/10. I like everything today. I like both chicken tacos, which were cooked differently but both juicy and tasty (the grilled one more al dente, the other more tender). The corn tortillas are good quality. I feel the tamale is a little bit dry and firm, but I think that might be the style. It goes well with the chile sauce (be careful, you only need a tiny little bit if you can’t tolerate heat). The side dishes of beans and rice are also good. The black beans have good flavor, and the rice has good texture. Overall, a good meal, and I enjoyed it.
Warrior: 6.5/10. I like La Flor de Yucatán. I appreciate that this restaurant serves most of its full menu for breakfast, making it one of the few good delivery options at 8 a.m. Their chicken chirmole has excellent flavor, and their grilled annato chicken isn’t far behind. I feel like their chicken preparations have gotten moister over the past couple of years. The beans and rice are just decent, but satisfying. The black eyed pea tamale (which also has black bean paste) is interesting, but it is a little too dry and bland for my tastes. Overall, I think La Flor de Yucatán is slightly better than Chichen Itza. (I will, however, warn against the paunchos and salbutes, which have had dreadfully dry chicken in past orders, though I’m wondering if that has changed recently, because these chicken tacos are really good).
The pibil and the tamales are the winners at La Flor. That colado tamale is airy and dreamy and delicious. The vaporcito is also delightful, but overshadowed by the colado.
Mex Peru Gipsy (DTLA)—DoorDash/ UberEats
Peony: 5.5/10. I like the flavors of the dishes (aji de gallina and pescado con mariscos). They taste good at first bite. Just being critical, after eating them for a while, I noticed the texture of the chicken was a little bit dry, and the seafood was not very flavorful by itself. Everything else was fine. Because I like the flavor, I think it is still good to order again. I just wish they could do better with the texture. We’ve been ordering Peruvian food for delivery from several restaurants, and they all work really well for delivery.
Warrior: 4.5/10. This is another restaurant that has its full menu available for delivery at 8 a.m. For me, it has just one other virtue: solid aji de gallina. For those two reasons, we’ve ordered from here a lot. But it is not that great. The quality of the seafood is disappointing and below the level of other Peruvian delivery options (e.g., Intiraymi in DTLA). Interestingly, this restaurant has five stars on Yelp after 1,100+ reviews. I would be curious to understand the factors that contribute to such great success on Yelp. (For comparison, Osteria Mozza has four stars.).
I believe Mama Fong is Shanghainese-Hong Kong. I don’t really consider them Cantonese food. I am guessing her family moved to HK during/after 1949.
The signature dish here is Shanghai Chow Mein. The key with that dish is to add white vinegar and chile sauce.
Lucy Ethiopian (Washington/Normandie)—UberEats/DoorDash
Warrior: 5/10. I believe Lucy is the only Ethiopian restaurant currently available for delivery to DTLA. (Fairfax is no longer within the delivery range for UberEats/Postmates.). I think Lucy is solid and a fine choice if you’re craving Ethiopian, but I feel it is not on the level of the better restaurants in Little Ethiopia, my favorite being Lalibela. I find the food there richer and more succulent. Still, I did like Lucy’s chicken with collard greens and jalapeños, though I agree with Peony that it was overcooked.
Peony: 5.5/10. I like the food overall. It’s got good flavor. I quite liked the fish, although it took me a while to realize it was fish as I didn’t taste any fish flavor. I didn’t eat too much of the chicken as I found it was very tough to chew. I liked the green salad. The lentils were not very exciting. The beets and carrots had good flavor, but I didn’t think this dish worked well with the other dishes because it was sweet and crunchy. I found the potatoes a little hard, so they didn’t absorb enough flavor.
Factory Kitchen (DTLA) — DoorDash
Peony: 7/10: I like all the food tonight (the steamed vegetables don’t count). I like the salad with little round peppers stuffed with cheese. It has nice, bright flavors. The calamari has the right amount of dressing. The fish and Jerusalem artichokes is a very clever combination. The potato wedges have good flavor too. So I didn’t find any flaws in the dishes tonight, and it was a great meal.
Warrior: 8/10: Factory Kitchen is one of the few restaurants that we often both dine at in person and order from for delivery. For in-person dining, I have mixed (mostly positive) feelings, but for delivery, this food is clearly excellent. The sea robin with thinly sliced sunchokes was delicious and stood up nicely to the delivery. The roasted potatoes, sanremese (calamari salad), and peperu (stuffed peppers) were all tasty too. The steamed greens had no seasoning at all and were too green and bland to enjoy, but at least they were healthy.
Triple Beam Pizza (Echo Park)—DoorDash
Peony: 6/10. I like two of the pizzas most today: the squash pizza and the mushroom pizza. They both have thin crusts and flavorful toppings with great texture. In contrast, I find the pepper/onion pizza is a bit watery. The vegetables were very wet and light flavored. I noticed there was juice dripping from the topping and soaking into the crust, making the pizza soggy, so it didn’t work well as delivery food. For the basil and mozzarella pizza, I find the toppings are a little bit dry, and the crust is too thick for my tastes. I wish they had put more tomato sauce to enhance the flavor.
Warrior: 7/10. Overall, delicious. The acorn squash was my favorite. I loved its sweet, distinctive flavor. Mushroom was a close second. Third was ricotta/pepper, and fourth was the relatively bland margherita. The roasted cauliflower was unimpressive. It may just be cauliflower, but many restaurants (like Bavel) are doing great things with roasted cauliflower.
Sqirl (Silver Lake S of 101)—UberEats
Warrior: 7/10. Sqirl is a favorite delivery option. My go-to dish is the salmon sorrel rice. It is delicious and healthy too. The coconut-milk tapioca with dried fruits and pumpkin seeds is also excellent. Cooking quality at Sqirl is inconsistent, though never bad. Sometimes, the salmon is overcooked (not today), and the rapini / tatsoi in the past two deliveries has had tough green stalks that are impossible to chew. Yes, I know about the past controversies, and no, I don’t care.
Peony: 7/10. The food from Sqirl is very high quality and flavorful. We have ordered from there many times, and it was consistently good. I really like how they turn healthy food into exciting dishes. If I were to be picky, there are a couple of things not really suitable for me. For example, the salad tends to be a little too sour for me, and I have problems eating a lot, although I like it. The bread was really flavorful, but it was a bit hard for me to chew. I had to break it to tiny bits and remove the crust before eating it. The tapioca pudding was just perfect; I have no complaint. Once I read an article that rated Sqirl as the best breakfast in America. I feel very lucky to be able to eat it frequently.
Sabor Colombiano (just W of DTLA)—UberEats
Warrior: 6.5/10. I’ve only eaten at a handful of Colombian restaurants in my life, and Sabor Colombiano is the best of them. We’ve been in person once and ordered delivery several times. Our go-to dish here is the ajiaco—a thick, slightly creamy chicken and potato soup seasoned with herbs and capers and accompanied by avocado. It is delicious and unique. I also like the arepas (both the regular and sweet kinds), which have flavors and textures reminiscent of cornbread. Tonight’s arroz con pollo, while decent, was unimpressive. I have had much better. The beans were tasty.
Peony: 7/10. I really like the food from this restaurant. The best dish for me, all-time, is the chicken and potato soup. The flavor combination was just fabulous. It has not only the juicy chicken with the tasty potatoes, but also capers, cream, and pepper to sharpen up the flavor. I think it probably the best soup I’ve had this year. It’s comforting at a high level.
Mr. Masala (DTLA)—all services
Peony: 6.5/10. I feel this is the type of Indian food that you order when you want comforting food and not too spicy. Overall, the ingredients used are good quality. The level of spice is very mild, so suitable for me. But if you look for strong, pungent Indian food, this may not be the right type for you. Even the lime pickle is not too acidic, so I like it more than the very sour versions.
Warrior: 4.5/10. I feel this food is dull. Indian food should never be dull. Taking the spice and fat out of Indian food, like this restaurant has done, turns a top-five world cuisine into a worthless cuisine. Mr. Masala may be suitable for people who don’t like spicy, pungent, and/or buttery and oily foods. But for these folks, I think other cuisines are much superior. For delivery to DTLA, I recommend Kapoor’s over this restaurant.
Kismet Rotisserie (Los Feliz)—DoorDash
Warrior: 7/10. All this food is tasty and well-prepared. The rotisserie chicken is more flavorful and juicy than Zankou’s. I agree with Peony that the turmeric-seasoned cauliflower is the best side dish, though I also like all of the other side dishes. The peanut muhammara is also a winner. My only complaint is that I found the food, overall, too salty. It left an unpleasant salty taste in my mouth.
Peony: 6.5/10. I find this is another comforting home-cooked-style restaurant. I like how juicy and tender the chicken is. The garlic sauce and chili oil work pretty well with the chicken meat. For the side dishes, I particularly like the cauliflower with their spice mix, because it is the most distinctive. The muhammara, hummus, and cucumbers have less acidity than at most restaurants, which is great because I don’t like the food being too acidic. The cabbage was my least favorite, as I find the cabbage itself is too bland and cannot complement the spices. People who like heavy flavors may find this food on the light side.
Holy Basil (DTLA)—DoorDash
Peony：5.5/10. I find that the food tonight is decent. All the ingredients were fresh and have good quality. The taste is what you expect from a good Thai food delivery place. I like that the spice level is not too strong. For people who can’t eat too spicy, it is a good choice. Other than that, I find the dishes are not very memorable or very special. I also find that the pieces of dried fish in the fried rice are overall too big, so they tasted a bit too salty when you bite into them. Occasionally, when I ate smaller flakes with the rice, they tasted better and not salty.
Warrior：7.5/10. I agree with the Board consensus that this is a very good Thai restaurant. It is the most polished Thai cooking in LA, though not necessarily the best, depending on what you’re looking for. (I prefer the more exotic and powerful flavors of Jitlada.) The green curry is particularly excellent. The curry paste has a legit level of green bird chilis, which is primarily what makes green curry green and cannot be reduced without loss. I also appreciate that they use chicken thighs and Thai apple eggplants, which are authentic main ingredients. While other Thai restaurants cook chicken to the consistency of rubber, Holy Basil does it right—just cooked through, and still tender and juicy. In addition, I like the eggplant and pumpkin dish, which shows off the terrific flavor and texture of both ingredients. By contrast, the chopped long beans, while good, are not impressive in any way. I love the riceberry, which is much better than the white or brown rice that Jitlada or any other Thai restaurant offers. I think the fried rice dish with dried fish flakes is excellent too. All in all, Holy Basil does many things much better than the competition.
Gish Bac (Washington/Crenshaw)—GrubHub
Warrior: 5.5/10. This is our second time trying this restaurant—once in person, once with this delivery. The moles had good flavor—especially the black one, which was fruitier and better than average. The chicken was competently prepared—not too dry. None of the dishes stood out in any way, good or bad. Truthfully, I don’t love Oaxacan food. If I had to pick a favorite Oaxacan restaurant in LA, I would pick Sabores Oaxaqueños. Mezcal, on the other hand, is a hell of a spirit.
Peony: 5.5/10. I find the food is fresh and cooked right. The flavors are a bit on the light side for me. I don’t find that any dish really stands out or is very memorable, but I can’t find any flaws in the food.
Have you had their barbacoa? For me that’s the can’t miss thing there. Pancita too if that’s your thing.
California Kabob Kitchen (DTLA)—UberEats
Warrior: 5.5/10. This is a decent Persian delivery option. There are a few other Persian places downtown, but I don’t have a conviction that any of them are better, with the possible exception of (oddly named) Mediterranean Delight, which was good in one visit and I need to try again. The Cornish hen and chicken koobideh at California Kabob Kitchen were both good. The different rice dishes were solid. The salmon, kashke bademjan, and tabbouleh were just okay.
Peony: 6/10. I found the food from this place decent. We have had this food before, and I seem to consistently only like two things the most: the chicken koobideh and the rice with barberries. Other things are fine, just not as good as these two.
Au Lac (DTLA)—Uber Eats
Warrior: 7/10. Au Lac is a vegan restaurant with big inconsistencies in dish quality, at least from my perspective. We have ordered from Au Lac enough to know what we like. The completely raw Ito Burrito, comprising a “dehydrated green pea tortilla,” “cultured beans,” and “macadamia cheese,” is the finest bean burrito I’ve ever tasted. The fried vegan shrimps (I think they are konjac-based) with purple cabbage is also a winner. Other favorites for me are the curried wild rice (also raw), the crimini mushrooms stuffed with macadamia nuts, and the yuca fries. The only other dish I’ve liked here is the raw baklava (not pictured). Other dishes tend to be too bland and/or too sweet.
Peony: 6.5/10. I like Au Lac. It’s very special and creative. They did a really good job with making the vegan shrimp look like real shrimp. We have ordered from there a few times, and I like the food there overall. Interestingly, the food that really stood out for me today is actually the yuca. It is cooked perfectly.
Warrior: thanks for the tip. We haven’t tried the barbacoa. We usually stick to seafood and poultry unless a tasting menu calls upon us to eat red meat. I think this is often a factor in why we don’t like certain restaurants as much as others on the board. But no apologies from me — if it’s on the restaurant’s menu, the restaurant should be proud of it.
Papa Cristo’s (Mid City)—Uber Eats
Warrior: 5.5/10. Papa Cristo’s is a delivery favorite and a good place to visit in person too. Unfortunately, the quality varies from day to day, and today wasn’t one of their good days. Today’s grilled baby octopus was overcooked and over-charred, and the fish plaki (cooked en papillote) was a little overcooked too. I’ve had both of these dishes multiple times, and I know they can be quite good when prepared well. Even the lemon potatoes didn’t taste as bright and delicious as usual today. The feta plate with Kalamata olives and dolmas were satisfying.
Peony: 6/10. I feel this is a good delivery option for healthy Mediterranean-style food. I find the seasoning, overall, is right for my tastes—not too salty or too light. I particularly like the fish. It is very juicy and flavorful. The dish I disliked most is the grilled octopus. They were too burnt and dehydrated for me. The potatoes accompanying the octopus had very good texture and flavor, interestingly.