Kang’s Kitchen

Interior
Interior
All you can eat selections
All you can eat selections
Exterior
Exterior

**** (4 stars)

With a stylish interior design and an airy, bright space, this new restaurant offers an inviting place to enjoy traditional Korean BBQ.

Unlike some of the local Korean BBQ spots, Kang offers a full array of starter dishes, including assorted kimchee, salads, and more.

The meat offerings are excellent, and the grills and vents work great.

The downside is the price. Whether you order a single item prepared in the kitchen, or an all-you-can-eat feast, you are going to end up spending $25 to $35 per person, regardless of whether it's lunch or dinner. With a single beer and a coke, and the automatically added gratuity, our lunch for two was over $100.

By chance, we went to another all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ place in Lake Buena Vista last week, and thought it was expensive at $28. But the weekday lunch there was only $18. And that's a tourist area. I'm not sure $35 is going to fly with the locals.

That said, all the food was excellent, and we would definitely go back if in the area.

There is a very limited wine list — mostly sweet — and only one beer (although it is the delicious Terra Korean beer).

Service was excellent.

Kang’s Kitchen
800 N John Young Pkwy
Orlando, FL 32808

https://www.yelp.com/biz/kang-s-kitchen-orlando

KPot Korean BBQ & Hot Pot

Buffet
Buffet
Interior
Interior
Menu - BBQ
Menu – BBQ
Exterior
Exterior
Menu - hot pot
Menu – hot pot
Table grill
Table grill

***** (5 stars)

I'm so happy a good restaurant finally opened after six places went through here in the past couple of decades. I love Korean BBQ, and this is one of the best I've been to.

There are two concepts here: Hot pot, where you select a broth (Tom-Yum is a great choice) and then cook your items in the broth, creating a sort of stew; or, traditional Korean BBQ, where you select items to grill yourself.

Both concepts offer dozens of protein and vegetable choices, and there are no limits, so you can just keep ordering them two or three at a time and incorporating them into your creation. Our selections appeared almost instantly!

Our favorites were the bulgogi beef, spicy bulgogi pork, salmon, smoked garlic pork belly, and steak. There were also garlic shrimp, mussels on the half shell, fish, mushrooms, onions, and more. We were stuffed!

A buffet offers a vast array of sauces and appetizers, plus side dishes such as kimchee, and some kid's items like french fries and fried chicken.

It's all one price, ten dollars less at weekday lunch. And if you want to do both hot pot and grill it's just five dollars more per person.

Beautifully custom-designed tables with four hot pot burners and a central grill. Really modern, trendy decor, and a K-Pop soundtrack. Full bar.

Our server, Christina, was fantastic.

KPot Korean BBQ & Hot Pot
8594 Palm Pkwy
Orlando, FL 32836

https://www.yelp.com/biz/kpot-korean-bbq-and-hot-pot-orlando-2

K-Pot Korean BBQ & Hot Pot

Buffet
Buffet
Interior
Interior
Menu - BBQ
Menu – BBQ
Exterior
Exterior
Menu - hot pot
Menu – hot pot
Table grill
Table grill

***** (5 stars)

I'm so happy a good restaurant finally opened after six places went through here in the past couple of decades. I love Korean BBQ, and this is one of the best I've been to.

There are two concepts here: Hot pot, where you select a broth (Tom-Yum is a great choice) and then cook your items in the broth, creating a sort of stew; or, traditional Korean BBQ, where you select items to grill yourself.

Both concepts offer dozens of protein and vegetable choices, and there are no limits, so you can just keep ordering them two or three at a time and incorporating them into your creation. Our selections appeared almost instantly!

Our favorites were the bulgogi beef, spicy bulgogi pork, salmon, smoked garlic pork belly, and steak. There were also garlic shrimp, mussels on the half shell, fish, mushrooms, onions, and more. We were stuffed!

A buffet offers a vast array of sauces and appetizers, plus side dishes such as kimchee, and some kid's items like french fries and fried chicken.

It's all one price, ten dollars less at weekday lunch. And if you want to do both hot pot and grill it's just five dollars more per person.

Beautifully custom-designed tables with four hot pot burners and a central grill. Really modern, trendy decor, and a K-Pop soundtrack. Full bar.

Our server, Christina, was fantastic.

K-Pot Korean BBQ & Hot Pot
8594 Palm Pkwy
Orlando, FL 32836

https://www.yelp.com/biz/k-pot-korean-bbq-and-hot-pot-orlando

The Melting Pot

Pure Chocolate Fondue
Pure Chocolate Fondue
California salad and siesta fondue
California salad and siesta fondue

***** (5 stars)

I love cheese fondue, but I'm not a fan of boiling food in broth or oil, so I was delighted to discover that The Melting Pot now has a grilling option for the entree.

We had the Big Night Out dinner for two. We started with the fiesta fondue, which had some nice crunchy jalapeno bits in it. The California salad and strawberry pecan salad were both good, somewhat similar, but differing by type of greens and dressing.

Our entree included Filet Mignon, Teriyaki-Marinated Steak, Chicken, Shrimp, Salmon, and a pasta that we subbed for Potstickers because they grill better. My favorite was the Teriyaki-Marinated Steak.

For dessert, we selected a plain dark chocolate fondue. I particularly liked the crunchy chocolate chip waffles that came with it for dipping, but there is also the usual area of fruits and baked goods.

I recommend the Classic Pairing, four wines well-selected to match each course, at a reasonable price.

We went for lunch the day before Mother's Day, so it was very busy, and I have to say you couldn't tell. Tom, the manager, and Harrison, our server had everything totally under control. It was a great experience.

The Melting Pot
7549 W Sand Lake Rd
Orlando, FL 32819

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-melting-pot-orlando-2

The Hammered Lamb

Interior (sort of)
Interior (sort of)
Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
Bacon queso
Bacon queso
Lamb gyro
Lamb gyro
Grilled cheese
Grilled cheese

*** (3 stars)

I wanted to like this place more, but it just seems pretty average. It's mostly outside, with a large bar that serves a decent variety of beer, and some interesting cocktails.

The menu is mostly sandwiches. We started with some bacon queso, which didn't really have any detectable bacon, but was saved by an excellent bottle of hot sauce on the table.

The grilled cheese and the lamb gyro were both fine, but unremarkable. Even though it was well past 1 pm and the place wasn't that busy, our waiter seemed way overworked.

Not bad, just not memorable. Your mileage may vary.

The Hammered Lamb
1235 N Orange Ave
Orlando, FL 32804

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-hammered-lamb-orlando

Lumière Brasserie

Interior
Interior
Baguette
Baguette
Plateau
Plateau
Mille-feuille - not really traditional, but tasty
Mille-feuille – not really traditional, but tasty

***** (5 stars)

Amazing experience all around! Since this is the Fairmont's only restaurant, we were expection more of a coffee shop feel, and indeed this would be a great place for breakfast, but it also has a wonderful evening ambience.

Our waiter was one of the best we've ever had, incredibly personable and knowledgeable about food and especially wine.

We started with the delicious baguette and chicken liver mousse. Then we shared a "plateau" of crab, oysters, and prawns, which was just the right size. We finished with a couple of cheeses, but there are plenty of tempting entrees.

We'll no doubt eat here again during this stay.

Lumière Brasserie
2025 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067

https://www.yelp.com/biz/lumi%C3%A8re-brasserie-los-angeles

Javier’s Century City

Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Ahi tuna crudo
Ahi tuna crudo
Chicken quesadilla
Chicken quesadilla
Enchiladas Mariscos
Enchiladas Mariscos

***** (5 stars)

Javiers has a truly striking interior. Even though the space is huge, it is divided up into enough interconnected areas so that it manages to seem both exotic and cozy at the same time.

We started with the Tuna Crudo, a generous portion served a bit like a poke bowl. Very fresh and flavorful.

For our main course I had the Enchiladas Mariscos, two delicious mixed seafood enchiladas in a tangy green sauce. They were great.

Chicken Quesadillas were a huge serving, accompanied by a giant mount of excellent guacamole.

The house Margarita was just okay. I'd explore alternatives next time.

Service was friendly and very fast.

Javier’s Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067

https://www.yelp.com/biz/javiers-century-city-los-angeles

Michael’s

Interior
Interior
Hamachi crudo
Hamachi crudo
Steak frites
Steak frites
White asparagus
White asparagus

*** (3 stars)

Back in 1979 we regarded Michael's as the best restaurant on the west side, but now it just seems a bit like it's on autopilot, without any real standouts. The hamachi crudo, the white asparagus side dish, and the pizza were all fine, but there was nothing noteworthy about any of them. The steak frites was good, but again a pretty pedestrian dish. Honestly, the nuts were probably the most stellar thing we ordered.

The wine list is extremely eclectic, yet oddly narrow in focus despite its size: lots of obscure French appellations with a narrow range of varietals and almost nothing above an every day table wine level.

The standout here is the ambiance; the rear dining space is a romantic garden of intimacy, albeit one that definitely looks like 1979.

Service was attentive and professional.

Michael’s
1147 3rd St
Santa Monica, CA 90403

https://www.yelp.com/biz/michaels-santa-monica-2

Hinoki & The Bird

Interior
Interior
Interior
Interior
Sourdough bread
Sourdough bread
Lobster roll
Lobster roll
Sashimi
Sashimi
Ceviche
Ceviche
Mushrooms
Mushrooms
Boar ribs
Boar ribs

*** (3 stars)

The good: amazing wine-list with a broad selection of medium to high priced wines from excellent producers and appellations, worldwide.

The bad: crowded and deafeningly noisy making conversation nearly impossible.

The so-so: all the food we tried (ceviche, sashimi, mushrooms, boar ribs, lobster roll, sourdough bread) was just okay. No standouts or anything I'd order again.

Service was friendly, and coping well with the chaos.

Hinoki & The Bird
10 W Century Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90067

https://www.yelp.com/biz/hinoki-and-the-bird-los-angeles