poltergeist restaurant review

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poltergeist restaurant review

The Rundown   Los Angeles

Poltergeist Is Echo Park’s Most Unhinged New Hit (In A Good Way)

By Kelly Dobkin May 1, 2023

Poltergeist at Button Mash

4.7 · Fusion · $$

Chef Diego Argoti is breathing new life into beloved Echo Park barcade Button Mash with Poltergeist , a small plates-driven concept that’s anything but formulaic. Known for his viral pop-up, Estrano, which took a delightfully chaotic approach to combining flavors and techniques, Argoti doesn’t particularly like to be pinned down in one place (or even inside of a kitchen, for that matter). 

But when friends and Button Mash co-owners Jordan Weiss and Gabe Fowlkes asked him to come in-house, Argoti saw it as an opportunity to lay down roots and create something unique. In doing so, the project has taken on deep personal significance for him, as he confronts old ghosts and creates a new kitchen culture that’s a far cry from his haunted past.

Here are five things you need to know before dining at Poltergeist.

poltergeist restaurant review

1. It might be in an arcade, but that doesn’t mean burgers and fries. 

Since opening in 2015, Echo Park’s Button Mash has been a neighborhood go-to for offbeat beers and delicious food. It previously housed beloved pan-Asian concept Starry Kitchen, helmed by husband-and-wife team Nguyen and Thi Tran. Button Mash was closed for the majority of the pandemic, since its all-indoor concept was not particularly conducive to social distancing. It reopened last summer with food from popular chainlet Tacos 1986, but the partnership didn’t last long. 

In the fall of 2022, Argoti and Button Mash teamed up to host a month-long series of rotating pop-ups, including Estrano. The group soon recognized the need for a more permanent restaurant concept, and asked him to come on full-time. The chef tossed around various ideas, including a Middle Eastern concept, but decided to go in another direction: “Honestly, they kind of gave me free rein and I wanted to do something crazy,” he tells us. “I’m always going to want to do something that makes a ruckus and pushes boundaries.” He spent December and January fleshing out the concept for Poltergeist before officially kicking it off in late February.

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2. This restaurant is the first brick-and-mortar venture for the ever-roving chef. 

A stalwart of top tier L.A. restaurant kitchens for nearly a decade, Argoti struck out on his own during the pandemic with his viral street-pasta concept, Estrano. Launched in 2021, Estrano popped up everywhere from an alley behind Silver Lake’s Cafe Tropical, to the backyard behind Club Tee Gee in Atwater, to the lawns of Echo Park. When presented with the opportunity to go in-house, Argoti’s feelings were mixed. “I didn’t want to be in the kitchen anymore. To be honest, there’s a part of me that still doesn’t. I’m very happy with what I have and what I’m doing. But I don’t want to work in a ‘normal’ kitchen. We created Poltergeist to be different.”

Despite his past — which includes punk rock band stints, volatile restaurant kitchens, drug use, and family trauma — Argoti refuses to let any negativity from that past life seep into Poltergeist’s DNA. “It’s kind of like a halfway house for chefs,” says Argoti. “Everyone is welcome.” In many ways, Poltergeist is a growth experience for Argoti, learning to be comfortable in the kitchen, with himself, and in his relationship with others. “The most important thing to me now,” he says, “is my staff and my team.”

poltergeist restaurant review

3. The menu’s influences span the globe as well as the chef’s own culinary past.

Separated into small, medium, and large plates, the menu’s influences run the gamut: Mediterranean, Italian, American, Southeast Asian, Latin American, and European flavors meld together in unexpected fashion. You’ll find a mapo tofu stuffed cabbage, a green curry bucatino, a Thai Caesar salad. Poltergeist is both a playful dedication and a simultaneous middle finger to ‘90s fusion cuisine.

For Argoti, it’s all about taking artistic risks using a familiar canvas. Poltergeist’s menu uses a template of crowd-pleasing items such as a Caesar salad, burrata, and Parker House rolls as jumping off points. “This menu is all about taking risks with simple things,” Argoti says. “Each dish is based on something people have had before: a bucatini, a long noodle, ravioli — but doing it in a completely new way.” 

Followers of Estrano can expect two familiar items: the broccoli beef ravioli (short rib-filled ravioli cooked in brown butter and dark soy sauce served with a single stalk of broccolini) and honey walnut prawns (head-on, deep-fried New Caledonian prawns served with horchata panna cotta, encircled by a crispy rice salad alongside a puddle of celery root mayo).

Also on the menu are hat tips to the ghosts of Argoti’s past, in dishes such as the grilled dorade, served atop green malawach (a flaky Yemenite bread), an ode to his time at Bavel. The Panang lamb neck is a reference to the lamb neck shawarma at Bavel, but done instead with a saffron bao that you’ll fill with persimmon amba, pickled shiitakes, brusselkraut, and pomegranate molasses along with the meat. 

Panang lamb neck at Poltergeist.

4. Drinks focus on unique, affordable natural wines.

What Button Mash did for craft beers, Poltergeist hopes to do for natural wines, leaning heavily into Eastern Europe. “Button Mash became a place where you get the weirdest beers, and we want to do that with wine, but in a way that’s not pretentious and pretty affordable and fun,” says Argoti. Note: no cocktails, just beer and wine on the menu here.

“We’ve had a better-than-it-needed-to-be wine list since the beginning,” says Button Mash co-owner Jordan Weiss. “When we reopened last April, prior to having Diego involved, I noticed people were buying more wine. I took that as an opportunity. When we went back to full service dining, I figured we would take it a step further.”

For the first time ever, that means by-the-bottle wine options. “I just wanted to have stuff on there that was fun and approachable but also things that you’ve never heard of that are well-priced,” says Weiss of the selections.

5. Don’t skip out on the equally inventive desserts.

D on’t miss the tres leches carrot cake, which feels like the ultimate mashup — purple carrot sponge cake, Bavarian cream cheese, and carrot top tapioca, served with a Thai iced tea sorbet. (Believe it or not, it works.) You’ll also find a banana split made with parsnip horchata, coconut ube, celeriac beer, and green plantain brittle; and a lemon bar made with taro gelée, avocado gelato, shortbread, and Meyer lemons. It’s a fitting end to a wildly creative meal that pushes all the right buttons. 

Kelly Dobkin is an L.A.-based writer/editor and former New Yorker. She has contributed to Bon Appétit, Grub Street, Michelin, Here Magazine, and is a former editor at Thrillist, Zagat, and Eater. Follow her on  Instagram  and  Twitter . Follow  Resy , too.

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poltergeist restaurant review

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Poltergeist image

Poltergeist

Sylvio Martins

Sylvio Martins

June 6, 2023

If you've ever watched weird performance art, you know what it's like to be amused, confused, and slightly on edge all at once. That's the emotional cocktail you're served at Poltergeist. This cross-cultural fusion restaurant lives inside Button Mash , a retro Echo Park barcade where Eastside bros with mullets flex their bachelor's degree in craft beer. And in many ways, Poltergeist feels like a social experiment: a place where the food can be so messily experimental that it's divisive (which maybe is a turn-on if you're into rebellious types). But if you're simply looking for a delicious meal—one with zero unpleasant surprises that leave you questioning your choices—you probably won't be as charmed. 

Poltergeist image

A pre-dinner note: get comfortable with the sound of pinball machines verberating through your skull, because—as stated—you're dining in an arcade. Tiny skeletons pole dance from lampshades, there are cute demonic cartoons on your napkin, and your cutlery is the same shade of iridescent purple as Kelly Osbourne's hair. And whether or not you look back fondly on your pubescent Hot Topic phase, Poltergeist's offbeat goth-core aesthetic is easy to like. It's fun without feeling gimmicky and an exciting change of pace, especially if the most interesting thing about the last restaurant you visited was the fancy soap in the bathroom.

Ordering from Poltergeist's pastiche of a menu can feel like spinning a giant mystery prize wheel —and what you land on will likely drastically shape your opinion of this place. Much like trying to meditate to Swedish death metal, there's zero chill here: every dish screams in your face with bright colors, loud flavors, and combinations that vary from unexpectedly delicious to downright head-scratching. You'll see clear pasta skills from the chef's Bestia days in the bucatino coated in spicy, fluorescent green curry, and the lemongrass-y Thai caesar might be the most interesting frisée has ever looked. But then there's the rest of the menu, where everything is potentially great but unevenly seasoned, or just straight-up unpleasant, like a "banana split" with pop rocks and what the menu calls: "unique" "seasonal" "flavors." (Maybe you will be a fan of the celeriac root beer ice cream. We were not.)

To experience Poltergeist means weighing pros and cons. There's truly nothing like it anywhere in LA, and you can always turn a good, bad, or dizzying meal here into a fun night of drinking interesting beers and natural wine and getting way too competitive over a game of Street Fighter II. But if food is the critical factor, your tolerance for Poltergeist's quirkiness might run thin. As much as we appreciate this barcade restaurant's unique and chaotically unhinged POV, we'd rather send you to other restaurants in the area that offer something less cool but just as important: consistency.

Food Rundown

Poltergeist image

Thai Caesar Salad

This riff makes a classic caesar look like a boring pile of leaves. It's got great texture from twisty sheets of puffed rice paper and friseé lettuce, plus big pops of flavor in the dressing: salty parmesan, brininess from the smoked anchovies, and fragrant lemongrass that perfume each bite.

Poltergeist image

Mapo Tofu Stuffed Cabbage

This bright purple dish looks like Barney laid an egg in a bowl, but the flavors mostly work—that is, until you get to the salt-bomb sauce at the bottom, which tastes like someone went wild with a bottle of soy sauce. The mixture of sweet rice, mushrooms, and tofu tucked inside is pretty nice though, even if it doesn't really suggest mapo tofu.

Poltergeist image

Octopus Burrata

Does the squid ink in this fry bread add anything besides color? No, but we get it—it looks neat. This dish is fine, but tastes like a jumbled mix of things that don't necessarily go together. The al pastor octopus is tender and spicy enough to make your lips tingle, but the cold burrata kills the fun. There's also a random potato wedge thrown in and some pickled tomatillos on the side.

Poltergeist image

Broccoli Beef Ravioli

These ravioli filled with beef short rib are so rich you don't need more than one or two pieces. Their thick, sticky sauce exists somewhere between oyster sauce, Thanksgiving gravy, and a melted jar of Marmite (which is another way of saying it's extremely salty). Grated parmesan adds more salt, and the sweet browned butter lends even more richness this dish doesn't need. Consider the pile of crispy onions the overkill cherry on top.

Poltergeist image

Green Curry Bucatino

This is the best pasta dish at Poltergeist and a clear must-order. The noodles have a great chew to them and are so long you can't tell where they begin or end. The tangy, fragrant curry clings to the pasta like a thick layer of paint. Those little piles on top? Charred sunchokes, chili paste, and crunchy pistachio gremolata—make sure to mix them in for maximum effect.

Poltergeist image

Sticky Rice Stuffed Game Hen

This gorgeous bird has glossy skin and juicy meat, but falls victim to a recurring problem: too much salt. The chicken gizzard dirty rice stuffed inside, though, is moist and smoky with spices. The other small touches on this dish, like the fried thai basil and sweet pickled papaya, are tasty, but feel like garnishes for the sake of garnishes.

Poltergeist image

Panang Lamb Neck

Like the game hen, this dish has a lot of potential: it's perfectly cooked and fall-off-the-bone tender but, once again, so salty you'll need a gulp of beer between bites. There's a mound of fresh herbs and a sweet persimmon amba that help cut through the salt, and some saffron baos to load the lamb on (the saffron is just for color). Weirdly, there seems to be no trace of panang curry in this dish.

Poltergeist image

Grilled Dorade

If you're going to get one protein for the table, make it this one. This butterflied fish is kind of a flex: it's perfectly cooked and presented beautifully with fresh herbs, a garlicky salsa verde, and a blueberry chili crisp that surprises with bursts of sweetness. The malawach on the bottom, however, is too dense and chewy. It'd make a good frisbee.

Poltergeist image

Tres Leches Carrot Cake

This dessert hybrid is more carrot cake than a moist tres leches, and its cream cheese frosting (like most things here) is offputtingly salty. The carrot top tapioca on top doesn't add anything except some color, but the out-of-place thai tea sorbet on the side was a delicious bonus.

Poltergeist image

Banana Split

Our server warned us that this dessert is divisive, but we found the opposite. In fact, our table all agreed that this might be the world's worst banana split, starting with the brittle trail mix of dried coconut, plantain chips, and pop rocks at the bottom. The ice cream in "unique" "seasonal" "flavors" (yes, that's how it's written on the menu) sounds intriguing, but the scoops of blueberry bubblegum and celeriac root beer we got tasted like those gross Jelly Belly flavors you get as a gag gift.

FOOD RUNDOWN

A new restaurant from one of L.A.’s wildest chefs opens inside a video game arcade

Dishes of game hen, the surf and turf and Thai Caesar salad arranged on a table

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Poltergeist

The chef behind L.A.’s wild, irreverent, lines-around-the-block pasta pop-up Estrano Things is opening a new restaurant inside the beloved Echo Park arcade and bar Button Mash. Diego Argoti ran a series of collaborative pop-ups in the space last fall. His latest — Poltergeist — is meant to be a departure from his popular pasta-focused alleyway appearances.

A roasted game hen is suspended above pickled papaya and raddichio.

“The heart and the feeling of it is definitely there,” said Argoti, who also had worked at Bestia and Bavel. “The style of whatever people are calling it — chaos cooking or fusion or my troll-y mashups of different things I see on TikTok or that I want to cook or things I grew up with — it’s me. It’s very Asian-Italian, kind of a play on ’90s fusion.”

Poltergeist launches Friday and is meant to feel slightly more sophisticated than the one-off but still thoughtfully devised noodle dishes eaten out of disposable bowls on the street; this menu is built to last, but still built to play with format and flavor. The menu is grouped into small, medium and large plates to encourage sharing and sampling, with options such as honey walnut shrimp that involves a horchata-inspired take on panna cotta, while the Caesar leans Thai with ample lemongrass and puffed rice “croutons.” There’s game hen stuffed with chicken-gizzard dirty rice; panang lamb neck; vegan green curry bucatini with pistachio gremolata; and an off-menu dish of lamb chops with fried prawn heads, sautéed morning glory and mint tapioca — Argoti’s take on surf and turf — to round out the larger plates. He’s taking over the space and hoping to make noise doing it: a culinary poltergeist filling the dining room half of Button Mash beginning this weekend.

The Poltergeist menu will be available at the dine-in tables and booths of the space, while Argoti’s existing bar menu (with options such as a chile crisp burger, ricotta gnocchi, and Korean fried cauliflower) will still be available throughout the rest, as well as during the day on weekends, prior to Poltergeist dinner service. This marks a new culinary beginning for Button Mash, which closed with an uncertain future during the pandemic. Its previous kitchen tenants include Starry Kitchen (a former L.A. Times 101 list honoree ) as well as a more recent stint from Tacos 1986 , but co-owner Jordan Weiss says Poltergeist feels like a return to the format and weirdness that Button Mash does best.

The Thai Ceasar salad at Poltergeist.

“This is a place that was conceived foremost as a restaurant, and was designed this way, with a real dining room,” he said. “I think it’s something we kind of got away from. We wanted people to be here and be excited here, and [Argoti’s pop-ups] were a friendly reminder that people like weird stuff here. That’s what works here.”

Argoti still plans on popping up as Estrano Things in the future, but starting this week he’s haunting the arcade. Poltergeist will be open Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight.

The Sticky Rice Game Hen dish is photographed by Chef Diego Argoti.

1391 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 250-9903, instagram.com/eatpoltergeist

Arroz and Fun

This month the family behind Eagle Rock’s Chifa and Arcadia’s new Monarch opened a third restaurant, this time a Lincoln Heights cafe that marries Asian and Latin flavor in the former Gamboge space. “If you look at the history of Chinese and Latin immigrants, they kind of all connected in Northeast L.A., so we wanted to celebrate,” said co-owner Rica Leon. “And I’m Chinese Peruvian; we wanted to bring that whole culture together.” The Leon family relocated from Peru to East L.A. in 1977; they riff on Chinese and Peruvian flavor at Chifa and modern Cantonese and Taiwanese dishes at Monarch, but at Arroz and Fun — translating to “rice and noodles” — they offer a more casual menu with breakfast options such as savory oatmeal with mushroom, and egg-and-cheese sandwiches on sweet-savory pineapple buns (spam or bacon optional).

The lunch menu includes kabocha congee, pollo guisado, cold sesame noodle bowls and salpicon salad, with the food program helmed by Monarch and Chifa chef — and Rica Leon’s husband — John Liu. Their son, Jarod Wang, oversees the cafe, while his girlfriend, Gardi Rosales, roasts coffee under her label Cipota Coffee and fashions drinks such as espresso with lychee purée and tamarind. The cafe also serves small-batch loose-leaf Chinese teas from Tea Drunk, and Taiwanese beer. Arroz and Fun is open Tuesday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; plans for extended days and hours of operation, as well as evening service with beer and wine, are in the works.

1822 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, instagram.com/arrozandfun_la

An overhead view of a tray with tea and a smoked chicken rice bowl topped by an egg yolk

Bang Bang Noodles

One of the Eastside’s most popular street food pop-ups now has a bricks-and-mortar stall in Culver City. Chef Robert Lee began slapping, pulling and boiling his handmade biang biang noodles on the sidewalks of Highland Park in 2019, offering the traditional noodle bowls and other specialties of the Shaanxi province, made here with a bit of showmanship. He and his brother, owner Nelson Lee, expanded the operation with a pop-up downtown as well, but this month landed a space within Citizen Public Market food hall. “Street vending is super difficult because I have to constantly set up, break down and take it home and clean it, and somehow bring it back,” the chef said. “This whole process of having things set up and stationary was the dream to make everybody’s life easier and better.”

Having a permanent cook station has meant the capabilities for new items, too, such as mala-tinged, collaborative dumplings that Robert Lee makes with their mother, who is also responsible for Bang Bang’s various noodle sauces; and a seasonal agua fresca that adds Asian fruit to the Latin staple. In the future, the chef hopes to add Taiwanese beef rolls to the Culver menu as well. The downtown location is currently closed, serving more as a central prep kitchen for the team, and the Highland Park pop-ups are on pause. A return to the Eastside, ideally with a bricks-and-mortar location, is planned. Bang Bang Noodles is now open on the ground floor of Citizen Public Market on Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

9355 Culver Blvd., Suite J, Culver City, bangbangnoodlesla.com

Taco Bell Cantina

The first L.A.-area location of Taco Bell’s alcohol-serving cantina is now open in Hollywood, filling a space that once housed Old Hollywood-beloved Pickwick Books in the 1930s. Themed to its 1920s architecture, L.A.’s Taco Bell Cantina features a faux movie theater marquee inside, along with other trappings — such as Taco Bell-inspired movie posters — of a Hollywood theme. The food menu mirrors that of every Taco Bell, but from behind the six-seat bar, it will serve slushies in a rotation of flavors that can feature whiskey, rum, tequila or vodka beginning the first week of March. A small “taco shop” stand at the front of the restaurant, near the touchscreen ordering systems, will sell merchandise from the brand. Taco Bell Cantina is open in Hollywood from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

6741 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, tacobell.com

An interior of Taco Bell Cantina; to the left, over the bar, is a faux movie theater marquee, illuminated by rows of bulbs.

Re: Her returns

L.A.’s women-forward food fest is back in March with 10 days of events, cooking classes and special menus. From March 3-12 the Re: Her fest — from the eponymous L.A.-founded, national nonprofit — will amplify female chefs and women-owned restaurants across the region through a range of events such as a Molly Baz dinner at Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s Caldo Verde (March 3); a full day of hands-on cooking classes through Impastiamo, where chefs such as Friends and Family’s Roxana Jullapat will share tricks of pie making and other dishes (March 4); a five-course fundraiser at Rossoblu cooked by female chefs from Hatchet Hall, Guerrilla Tacos, Love & Salt and Rossoblu (March 8); and a Smorgasburg takeover, wherein the nonprofit’s members, guest chefs and retailers will set up booths at the weekly outdoor food fair (March 5).

Various locations, regardingherfood.com

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poltergeist restaurant review

Stephanie Breijo is a reporter for the Food section and the author of its weekly news column. Previously, she served as the restaurants and bars editor for Time Out Los Angeles, and prior to that, the award-winning food editor of Richmond magazine in Richmond, Va. Born and primarily raised in Los Angeles, she believes L.A. to be the finest food city in the country and might be biased on that count but doesn’t believe she’s wrong.

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Complete list of nominees and winners (updating live)

A new restaurant from one of l.a.'s wildest chefs opens inside a video game arcade, poltergeist.

The chef behind L.A.’s wild, irreverent, lines-around-the-block pasta pop-up Estrano Things is opening a new restaurant inside the beloved Echo Park arcade and bar Button Mash. Diego Argoti ran a series of collaborative pop-ups in the space last fall. His latest — Poltergeist — is meant to be a departure from his popular pasta-focused alleyway appearances.

“The heart and the feeling of it is definitely there,” said Argoti, who also had worked at Bestia and Bavel. “The style of whatever people are calling it — chaos cooking or fusion or my troll-y mashups of different things I see on TikTok or that I want to cook or things I grew up with — it's me. It's very Asian-Italian, kind of a play on ’90s fusion.”

Poltergeist launches Friday and is meant to feel slightly more sophisticated than the one-off but still thoughtfully devised noodle dishes eaten out of disposable bowls on the street; this menu is built to last, but still built to play with format and flavor. The menu is grouped into small, medium and large plates to encourage sharing and sampling, with options such as honey walnut shrimp that involves a horchata-inspired take on panna cotta, while the Caesar leans Thai with ample lemongrass and puffed rice “croutons.” There’s game hen stuffed with chicken-gizzard dirty rice; panang lamb neck; vegan green curry bucatini with pistachio gremolata; and an off-menu dish of lamb chops with fried prawn heads, sautéed morning glory and mint tapioca — Argoti’s take on surf and turf — to round out the larger plates. He’s taking over the space and hoping to make noise doing it: a culinary poltergeist filling the dining room half of Button Mash beginning this weekend.

The Poltergeist menu will be available at the dine-in tables and booths of the space, while Argoti’s existing bar menu (with options such as a chile crisp burger, ricotta gnocchi, and Korean fried cauliflower) will still be available throughout the rest, as well as during the day on weekends, prior to Poltergeist dinner service. This marks a new culinary beginning for Button Mash, which closed with an uncertain future during the pandemic. Its previous kitchen tenants include Starry Kitchen (a former L.A. Times 101 list honoree ) as well as a more recent stint from Tacos 1986 , but co-owner Jordan Weiss says Poltergeist feels like a return to the format and weirdness that Button Mash does best.

“This is a place that was conceived foremost as a restaurant, and was designed this way, with a real dining room,” he said. “I think it's something we kind of got away from. We wanted people to be here and be excited here, and [Argoti’s pop-ups] were a friendly reminder that people like weird stuff here. That's what works here.”

Argoti still plans on popping up as Estrano Things in the future, but starting this week he’s haunting the arcade. Poltergeist will be open Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight.

1391 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 250-9903, instagram.com/eatpoltergeist

Arroz and Fun

This month the family behind Eagle Rock’s Chifa and Arcadia’s new Monarch opened a third restaurant, this time a Lincoln Heights cafe that marries Asian and Latin flavor in the former Gamboge space. “If you look at the history of Chinese and Latin immigrants, they kind of all connected in Northeast L.A., so we wanted to celebrate,” said co-owner Rica Leon. “And I'm Chinese Peruvian; we wanted to bring that whole culture together.” The Leon family relocated from Peru to East L.A. in 1977; they riff on Chinese and Peruvian flavor at Chifa and modern Cantonese and Taiwanese dishes at Monarch, but at Arroz and Fun — translating to “rice and noodles” — they offer a more casual menu with breakfast options such as savory oatmeal with mushroom, and egg-and-cheese sandwiches on sweet-savory pineapple buns (spam or bacon optional).

The lunch menu includes kabocha congee, pollo guisado, cold sesame noodle bowls and salpicon salad, with the food program helmed by Monarch and Chifa chef — and Rica Leon’s husband — John Liu. Their son, Jarod Wang, oversees the cafe, while his girlfriend, Gardi Rosales, roasts coffee under her label Cipota Coffee and fashions drinks such as espresso with lychee purée and tamarind. The cafe also serves small-batch loose-leaf Chinese teas from Tea Drunk, and Taiwanese beer. Arroz and Fun is open Tuesday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; plans for extended days and hours of operation, as well as evening service with beer and wine, are in the works.

1822 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, instagram.com/arrozandfun_la

Bang Bang Noodles

One of the Eastside’s most popular street food pop-ups now has a bricks-and-mortar stall in Culver City. Chef Robert Lee began slapping, pulling and boiling his handmade biang biang noodles on the sidewalks of Highland Park in 2019, offering the traditional noodle bowls and other specialties of the Shaanxi province, made here with a bit of showmanship. He and his brother, owner Nelson Lee, expanded the operation with a pop-up downtown as well, but this month landed a space within Citizen Public Market food hall. “Street vending is super difficult because I have to constantly set up, break down and take it home and clean it, and somehow bring it back,” the chef said. “This whole process of having things set up and stationary was the dream to make everybody's life easier and better.”

Having a permanent cook station has meant the capabilities for new items, too, such as mala-tinged, collaborative dumplings that Robert Lee makes with their mother, who is also responsible for Bang Bang’s various noodle sauces; and a seasonal agua fresca that adds Asian fruit to the Latin staple. In the future, the chef hopes to add Taiwanese beef rolls to the Culver menu as well. The downtown location is currently closed, serving more as a central prep kitchen for the team, and the Highland Park pop-ups are on pause. A return to the Eastside, ideally with a bricks-and-mortar location, is planned. Bang Bang Noodles is now open on the ground floor of Citizen Public Market on Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

9355 Culver Blvd., Suite J, Culver City, bangbangnoodlesla.com

Taco Bell Cantina

The first L.A.-area location of Taco Bell’s alcohol-serving cantina is now open in Hollywood, filling a space that once housed Old Hollywood-beloved Pickwick Books in the 1930s. Themed to its 1920s architecture, L.A.’s Taco Bell Cantina features a faux movie theater marquee inside, along with other trappings — such as Taco Bell-inspired movie posters — of a Hollywood theme. The food menu mirrors that of every Taco Bell, but from behind the six-seat bar, it will serve slushies in a rotation of flavors that can feature whiskey, rum, tequila or vodka beginning the first week of March. A small “taco shop” stand at the front of the restaurant, near the touchscreen ordering systems, will sell merchandise from the brand. Taco Bell Cantina is open in Hollywood from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

6741 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, tacobell.com

Re: Her returns

L.A.’s women-forward food fest is back in March with 10 days of events, cooking classes and special menus. From March 3-12 the Re: Her fest — from the eponymous L.A.-founded, national nonprofit — will amplify female chefs and women-owned restaurants across the region through a range of events such as a Molly Baz dinner at Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s Caldo Verde (March 3); a full day of hands-on cooking classes through Impastiamo, where chefs such as Friends and Family’s Roxana Jullapat will share tricks of pie making and other dishes (March 4); a five-course fundraiser at Rossoblu cooked by female chefs from Hatchet Hall, Guerrilla Tacos, Love & Salt and Rossoblu (March 8); and a Smorgasburg takeover, wherein the nonprofit’s members, guest chefs and retailers will set up booths at the weekly outdoor food fair (March 5).

Various locations, regardingherfood.com

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times .

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Poltergeist

Opens today inside button mash. review forthcoming?

https://www.instagram.com/p/CpC0-j4rAxe/

I’ll bring quarters.

:grin:

This looks interesting. And a nice bang bang opportunity with Quarter Sheets a short walk away.

Aw yeah. It’s on like Donkey Kong!

and like Tron! (Both of which they have)

Went to a preview night and really enjoyed the hell out of it. If you like Estrano, I think you’ll dig this - still totally wild, but found it maybe a little more refined/focused/precise.

Red Curry Chochyote Fondue and Mapo Tofu Stuffed Cabbage were highlights at our table. Heard really good things about octopus and lamb neck from friends. Doesn’t hurt that there’s great beer too.

Srsly, so you’re saying they have more than a ghost of a chance at success.

this place sounds fantastic

I hope so! Not to reply too earnestly to casual wordplay, but Silver Lake and Echo Park restaurants in particular seem to be going through a rough patch (as covered elsewhere), so I hope this place gets the support it really deserves.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens come dodger season, and how the neighborhood responds to something so far out in a barcade setting. Are families with kids going to let them wander and play games while parents crush a game hen stuffed with gizzard dirty rice? They should!

As long as the kids earn the game time with good grades lol.

image

Is no one else tempted to say: “They’re here”?

They're here: Looking back at Poltergeist

No, that movie scared the f*ck out of me as a kid, and I was scared of static on a TV screen for a fairly long time!

“Ringu” just made me stop watching any screen for quite some time. #VHS

Mostly liked, with a few reservations.

Highlights: Lamb Neck - the panang didn’t quite come through, but delicious nonetheless. reminiscent of the pig’s tail at spice table (RIP), herbs, sauces and pickles, though the baos were kinda weak, and it all needed a lime. Huge portion as well. Green Goddess Salad - loved the lime leaf in the dressing. a shade underdressed, anomalous given most restaurants drench their salads. Octopus Burrata - fun combination, though the bread again was a little flat/weak.

Liked With Reservations: Green Curry Bucatino - liked this, though the green curry wasn’t quite as flavorful as expected. not Holy Basil level curry paste I guess. Also wouldn’t be crazy to put cheese on this. Parker House Roll - A little busy but my group liked.

I’d definitely go back for the lamb neck alone and to try more stuff. For me the breads could be improved(think i’m implicitly comparing to mission chinese when they had a pizza oven), but overall it’s fun and not expensive(relative to LA restaurants)! The lamb is a crazy value at $27.

first time having sergio’s “chaos cooking” and it was a bit of a mixed bag. (didn’t they call this “dude food” and “stoner cuisine” 15 years ago when animal opened?)

the grilled dorade with crispy malawach was probably the best dish of the night, moist flaky fish on crispy fried malawach. the game hen and lamb neck were good but couldn’t get over how bad the lamb accompaniments were. the saffron bao was cold and hard and the brusselkraut was extremely sour. salads were pretty good. prawns nicely fried, didn’t get the panna cotta. mapo tofu and broccoli beef were a bit too sweet. octopus was good.

on a positive note, i got the high score in tetris.

PXL_20230304_020942415~2

parker house roll, miso honey, furikake duqqa, fresno butter

PXL_20230304_022417112.PORTRAIT~2

green goddess salad, little gem lettuce, coconut lime leaf vinaigrette, rarragon, pandan flakes

PXL_20230304_022717481.PORTRAIT~2

honey walnut prawns, new caledonian blue prawns, celeriac kewpie, candied walnuts, horchata panna cotta, crispy rice salad

PXL_20230304_022950171.PORTRAIT~2

thai caesar salad, frisee, lemongrass, puffed rice crouton, smoked anchovies, parmesan

PXL_20230304_023044231.PORTRAIT~2

mapo tofu stuffed cabbage, silken tofu, smoked shiitakes, coconut rice, sichuan, calabrian chili paste

PXL_20230304_025833515.PORTRAIT~3

green curry bucatino, lime leaf noodles, sunchoke curry, scallion confit, pistachio gremolata

PXL_20230304_031222518.PORTRAIT~3

broccoli beef ravioli, short rib, dark soy, brown butter, broccolini, parmesano reggiano

PXL_20230304_032402127.PORTRAIT~2

coconut curry chochyotes, red curry fondue, blue masa dumplings, oyster, shumeji, and king trumpet mushrooms, fried dill

PXL_20230304_034100869~2

sticky rice stuffed game hen, banana ketchup, pickled papaya, chicken gizzard dirty rice, radicchio

PXL_20230304_035013211.PORTRAIT~2

panang lamb neck, saffron bao, persimmon amba, pickled shiitake, pomegranate molasses, brusselkraut

PXL_20230304_035430822.PORTRAIT~2

grilled dorade, green malawach, blueberry gooseberry chili crisp, salsa verde, soft herbs

PXL_20230304_041350341.PORTRAIT~2

tres leches carrot cake, purple carrot sponge cake, cream cheese, bavarian, carrot top tapioca, thai iced tea sorbet

PXL_20230304_044227065.PORTRAIT~2

Is that the big wet-looking lump on the right?

Which part is the “bucatino”?

Some, er, interesting plating/presentation choices.

Glad they called it fusion, it’s just old school not very warm global fusion…

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A Lush New Courtyard Restaurant Lands Next to the Santa Monica Pier This Spring

Plus, a peek at Poltergeist’s opening menu at Button Mash, a chat with Keith Corbin, and more

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Share All sharing options for: A Lush New Courtyard Restaurant Lands Next to the Santa Monica Pier This Spring

poltergeist restaurant review

A lush new courtyard hideaway is coming to Santa Monica this spring, and it’s brought to the city by some very familiar names. Pacific Coast Hospitality Group — the folks behind Canary in Santa Monica as well as a number of European restaurants — will open Mon Ami in late March or early April in the former 41 Ocean space, pulling together a green and pastel-hued Mediterranean restaurant that is sure to be the vibe of the summer. John Sofio is on to build the project, which sits well off of Ocean Avenue proper, tucked behind a segmenting stucco wall that hides the courtyard beyond. While the menu is still coming together, expect a pan-Mediterranean experience with flavors from Spain, Italy, North Africa, and beyond.

Drink and dine at Disney

Disney is once again running its Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival this spring, with activations, one-off booths, food demonstrations, and tastings set to run from March 3 to April 25 in Anaheim. Park tickets are required to attend.

Permits and pessimism

LAist takes a long look at outdoor dining permitting and fee changes coming to greater Los Angeles soon. While the piece touches on the ongoing issues within the city of LA proper, it also focuses heavily on Crudo e Nudo in Santa Monica (which has its own permitting process) and Long Beach’s Gusto Bread, both of which have been vocal about parklet issues and fees stemming from recent permitting changes.

Spend a day at the Canyon Country Store

Ever wondered what it’s like to work at the grocery store, neighborhood hangout, and everyday deli that is the Canyon Country Store on Laurel Canyon Boulevard? LA Times has the tale of Tommy Bina, the eccentric owner who does it all and seemingly knows everyone in this little upscale-rustic slice of LA.

Keith Corbin talks shop

Alta chef Keith Corbin gets animated on a recent episode of the storytelling podcast Riveted with Mary Melton and Amy Wallace. Corbin talks about his early years in Watts, his culinary perspective, and wanting to more deeply reconnect soul food with its farm-to-table, dock-to-dish history. Listen here .

The party is here

Poltergeist , the new restaurant inside Button Mash from Estrano’s Diego Argoti, opens this weekend. The so-called King of Chaos Cooking is turning out a uniquely inventive menu that includes sticky rice-stuffed game hen, panang lamb neck, and more. Argoti — who has worked at Bestia, Bavel, Broken Spanish, and elsewhere — will also be working a more straightforward bar menu (including butter noodles for the kids, and a burger), with seating for Poltergeist in the arcade restaurant’s formal dining room space. Hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with an extension to midnight on Friday and Saturday. The opening menu is below.

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Poltergeist

1982, Horror/Mystery & thriller, 1h 54m

What to know

Critics Consensus

Smartly filmed, tightly scripted, and -- most importantly -- consistently frightening, Poltergeist is a modern horror classic. Read critic reviews

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Poltergeist   photos.

Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings -- Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), teenaged Dana (Dominique Dunne), eight-year-old Robbie (Oliver Robins), and five-year-old Carol Ann (Heather O'Rourke) -- when ghosts commune with them through the television set. Initially friendly and playful, the spirits turn unexpectedly menacing, and, when Carol Ann goes missing, Steve and Diane turn to a parapsychologist and eventually an exorcist for help.

Genre: Horror, Mystery & thriller

Original Language: English

Director: Tobe Hooper

Producer: Frank Marshall , Steven Spielberg

Writer: Steven Spielberg , Michael Grais , Mark Victor

Release Date (Theaters): Jun 4, 1982  original

Release Date (Streaming): Apr 1, 2009

Box Office (Gross USA): $121.8M

Runtime: 1h 54m

Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Production Co: Metro Goldwyn Mayer

Sound Mix: Surround, Stereo, Dolby

Aspect Ratio: Scope (2.35:1)

Cast & Crew

Craig T. Nelson

Steve Freeling

JoBeth Williams

Diane Freeling

Beatrice Straight

Dominique Dunne

Dana Freeling

Oliver Robins

Robbie Freeling

Heather O'Rourke

Carol Anne Freeling

Zelda Rubinstein

Tangina Barrons

Martin Casella

Richard Lawson

Michael McManus

Ben Tuthill

Virginia Kiser

Mrs. Tuthill

James Karen

Lou Perryman

Clair E. Leucart

Bulldozer Driver

Dirk Blocker

Tobe Hooper

Steven Spielberg

Screenwriter

Michael Grais

Mark Victor

Frank Marshall

Jerry Goldsmith

Original Music

Matthew F. Leonetti

Cinematographer

Michael Kahn

Film Editing

Jane Feinberg

Mike Fenton

Marci Liroff

James Spencer

Production Design

Cheryal Kearney

Set Decoration

News & Interviews for Poltergeist

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Antrum and 12 Other Cursed Movies That Will Make Your Skin Crawl

Three Family-Friendly Haunted House Movies That Are Better than Insidious: The Last Key

Critic Reviews for Poltergeist

Audience reviews for poltergeist.

"They're here." From Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper comes the seminal horror film Poltergeist. The story follows a family that begins to experience strange phenomenon at their house, but when things turn violent they seek out help from a team of paranormal researches. The casting of Heather O'Rourke is inspired, as she has a natural charisma and an innocence about her that juxtaposes the malevolence of the evil spirits of the house. Additionally, the score is incredibly well-done and captures the ethereal quality of the film. And, Hooper does an extraordinary job at creating some frightful scenes that are quite terrifying. Poltergeist is an iconic horror film and set a new standard for the genre.

poltergeist restaurant review

Short, sweet, and grippingly to the point, Poltergeist still earns top marks as a straight-head haunted house tale told with great humor and verve. Rather than walk out of Gil Kenans C-Grade Poltergeist remake, Tobe Hoopers superior original definitely deserves a revisit. Brilliantly directed and tautly scripted, the film wastes not a second of your time, bringing on the terror early on in the first act and never letting up. Even then (E.T. got released the same year), Steven Spielberg knew the makings of great entertainment and his story connects with the audience on every level. You laugh with the Frelings and laugh often, building a camaraderie that makes their daughters abduction and mothers love all the more compelling. Indeed, even when the cadavers fly at you, Poltergeist feels more like a fun house than haunted house. In this PG-rated classic slice of horror, the Freling family's home gets haunted by a host of ghosts. Building on what made 1974's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre so bone-rattlingly scary, Hooper uses tracking shots and oft kilter angles to ratchet up the thrills. With just a PG rating, he amazingly scores some of the most organic boos in cinematic history (it honestly feels R-rated sometimes). Of course, genius casting plays no small part as well. Williams as the mother, Heather O'Rourke as the apple-cheeked daughter and Zelda Rubenstein as the pint-sized paranormal investigator leave such an indelible mark that version 2.0 never stood a chance. Bottom line: The Amityville Honor

I remembered Poltergeist scared me a lot when I was a kid and was awkwardly gory on a couple of scenes too, that are forever burned in my mind. I also remember that there are stretches that dragged on for too long without adding much to the movie. After many years later, I rewatched it and not many things have changed from the original impact. Still great overall, but could use some trimming on the editing amongst other things. But it's still a very fun lil' horror movie for teens, with heart and a good Spielberg message about family unity.

If Halloween is the holy grail of slasher movies, this surely is the holy grail of haunted house movies. None are close. There are always three things I think of whenever I watch Poltergeist. First, I am always stunned that this film somehow avoided an "R" rating. You have to wonder if that would have been possible had anyone other than Spielberg been involved. Having Tobe "Texas Chainsaw" Hooper on board certainly couldn't have helped. In any event, this has to be the most frightening "PG" movie ever made. Had "PG13" been around at the time, this movie certainly would have qualified. Incidentally, it was two other Spielberg productions, "Gremlins" and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" that caused the MPAA to invent "PG13." 2 years, too late. Second, I always wonder just how good this movie might have been had Spielberg fully committed to it, instead of devoting most of his time and interest into the more dramatic but overall inferior, "E.T." This movie is very good. It's almost great. Regardless, it's a thrill ride right from the ominous opening "Star Spangled Banner" scene. I can't help but think of the opening of this movie whenever I hear that song now. Oh, and third, this movie contains some of the scariest scenes ever filmed and THE scariest scene ever involving a clown doll. (See "Amusement" for the second scariest). This movie is what Hooper's "Funhouse" should have been. Fantastic score by Jerry Goldsmith.

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Poltergeist Still Delivers Surprises, Delights, and Frights After Almost 40 Years

A crop of the poster for Poltergeist.

Poltergeist is fantastic because it somehow both includes, and subverts, seemingly every convention the horror genre has. The family doesn’t leave the haunted house , they stay. They instantly accept what’s happening. The ghosts are revealed early in the story. People actually capture them on videotape. What you think is the big ending, isn’t. And along the way, there’s a unique, lovely yet off-putting blending of tones that keeps anyone watching riveted and engaged.

Of course, none of this is a revelation. When Poltergeist was released in June of 1982 it was a big hit that spawned two sequels and, eventually, a remake . Most people agree the film is a classic of the horror genre (it holds an 85% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes , which seems low to be honest), but with the film newly on Netflix , we thought it was a good time to revisit and appreciate just how good this Tobe Hooper, Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Kathleen Kennedy work truly is.

The basic story of Poltergeist , if you don’t know, is that the Freelings—a normal, suburban, Southern California family—are terrorized by an evil spirit that lives in their house. This spirit initiates communication through the static on the television and eventually kidnaps the family’s youngest child, Carol Anne. Most of the film follows the family trying to get her back.

It all starts fairly quickly. The film opens with a seriously disturbing—because it’s so out of left field —rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a TV channel goes off-air. Static begins and young Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) sits in front of the TV and begins talking to it. Even people who don’t necessarily know Poltergeist know this iconic image and the film just opens with it. Boom. Something is inside the TV and this girl can talk to it. Later she delivers the iconic line “They’re here.”

The Freelings, minus Carol Anne.

From there we get to meet the family, which also includes mother Diane (JoBeth Williams), father Steve (Craig T. Nelson), oldest daughter Dana (Dominique Dunne), and middle child Robbie (Oliver Robins). Creepy things are afoot in the Freeling house but no one seems overly worried for a while, even when the kitchen chairs start to stack themselves and move in front of the family. Things change in an instant though when, all of a sudden, the scary tree looming outside Robbie and Carol Anne’s window comes to life , grabbing Robbie while the closet sucks in the entire bedroom, Carol Anne included.

I mention these things not because I want to summarize the film, but because the story’s structure and ability to shock is built into its every fiber. It starts with a bang and lulls you into a safety net, even while acknowledging the weirdness, and then all of a sudden hits you with a ton of terror. Once Carol Anne has been taken, Steve instantly knows where to go and who to talk to. Help arrives, and then more help arrives, and so on. Which is to say Poltergeist has almost no fat on it. Every scene is used to the maximum, whether it’s to build sympathy and character or to scare the living shit out of you.

As this is all happening, Poltergeist brilliantly plays emotions off each other to keep that shock and awe going. After Steve comes back with the paranormal investigators, the whole group endures a terrifying night in the house. Diane calls out to Carol Anne, who hears her and responds from another plane of existence. Jerry Goldsmith’s Oscar-nominated score sets the mood, but instead of a typical, intense, horror score, it sounds more like a lullaby, making the moment surprisingly sweet and emotional. And yet, the whole thing is drenched in the implicit knowledge and horror of knowing a five-year-old girl is alone in some horrific purgatory. That balance of sweet and scary works so well and really makes Poltergeist stand on its own.

Zelda Rubinstein. Icon.

And so, for a good half of the movie, Poltergeist uses those strengths. Then the paranormal investigators bring in Tangina, played by Zelda Rubinstein , and everything shifts. She’s an intimidating presence in a diminutive body and the juxtaposition works perfectly; with her voice and her confidence, she adds a whole new flavor to the movie building to the big “cleaning” of the house and rescue of Carol Anne. That scene, combining flashing lights, blaring music, and sound design that dials up everyone’s screaming, all combine to make a scene so intense, so scary, it simply has to be the climax. Right?

Carol Anne is back and all is well with the world but... the movie hasn’t ended? Why hasn’t it ended? After the rescue, Poltergeist has built up so much tension and anticipation that every single normal thing the family does makes you want to look away. Brother and sister playing? Mom taking a bath? All terrifying. We all know something bad is coming. We just don’t know when or how. When that bad thing happens though, which it most certainly does, it leads to another series of unexpected shocks and thrills and ends the film in spectacular fashion.

JoBeth Williams is amazing in Poltergeist.

All of this is anchored by two things. First is the film’s PG rating. Released a few years before the PG-13 rating existed, it pushes way more boundaries than many PG-13 films do. It’s gory, creepy, and risqué, all under the guise of simple “Parental Guidance.” Nearly four decades later, that adds a certain delight to it. Then, saving the best for last, there’s the magnificent, layered performance by JoBeth Williams. She’s undoubtedly the star of the film, and I’m actually at a loss as to why this performance isn’t mentioned alongside Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley in Alien as a groundbreaking turn by a woman in genre film. The character goes through the emotional wringer while maintaining a believable, vulnerable core. Nelson’s performance as her husband is undoubtedly great too, but his portrayal of an ‘80s dad feels fairly typical. Williams is not that at all—she’s powerful, poignant, perfect.

Watching Poltergeist for the first time in years I was left stunned by just how good the film was and left pondering its intentions. In several ways, it’s kind of a film student’s dream. Not only is it a tour-de-force of filmmaking, acting, and blockbuster sensibilities , the layers beyond that are ripe for interpretation. Here we have a film set in the early ‘80s, opening with the national anthem, where the dad reads a Ronald Reagan biography and helps build indistinguishable suburban homes that are basically on top of one another. And, spoiler alert, this modern version of lemming-like suburbia is literally built on top of relics of the past. Plus, the film came out the week before Spielberg’s E.T, which is set in the same kind of neighborhood. There’s so much going on beyond the surface and it’s saying a lot about America , suburbia, society, the past, the present, the ‘80s . That a film as fun, entertaining, and scary as Poltergeist could have that going for it too just cements its place as a classic.

WHY WOULD YOU KEEP THIS CLOWN?

Assorted Musings:

  • As a Star Wars buff, I love that Robbie’s side of the room is chock full of Star Wars merch . He’s got action figures, posters, and clothing, all of which adds not just a layer of realism—a young kid in 1982 would obviously be obsessed with Star Wars —but a level of distinction other films couldn’t achieve simply because of the permissions and clearances. Thankfully, Spielberg knew George Lucas a little bit. (And yes, there’s Star Wars in E.T. too.)
  • Speaking of directors, there is a long-standing theory that Tobe Hooper didn’t actually direct Poltergeist , Spielberg did. While that’s never been “officially” confirmed, it’s basically considered fact these days . Watching the film, it seems if not obvious, very likely. Hooper was obviously a talented horror director but Poltergeist , which Spielberg conceived and co-wrote, just has a perfect tonal balance much like the other Spielberg films of the era. And, for my money, it’s right up there with the others. If you watch the film thinking it’s a Spielberg movie, you won’t be able to unsee it.
  • Finally, the clown . I don’t get the clown. There’s this gruesome looking clown in Robbie and Carol Anne’s bedroom that sits in a chair facing Robbie’s bed, and eventually, inevitably , it attacks him. Robbie, what are you doing? Get rid of the clown! Why do you keep the clown? Why does anyone own a clown??

For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @ io9dotcom .

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Special effects in the movies have grown so skilled, sensational, and scary that they sometimes upstage the human actors. And they often cost a lot more. In "Poltergeist," for example, the cast is made up of relatively unknown performers, but that's all right because the real stars are producer Steven Spielberg (" Raiders of the Lost Ark "), director Tobe Hooper ("The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"), and their reputations for special effects and realistic violence. Their names on this horror film suggest that its technology will be impeccable. And they don't disappoint us. This is the movie " The Amityville Horror " dreamed of being. It begins with the same ingredients (a happy American family, living in a big, comfortable house). It provides similar warnings of doom (household objects move by themselves, the weather seems different around the house than anywhere else). And it ends with a similar apocalypse (spirits take total possession of the house, and terrorize the family). Even some of the special effects are quite similar, as when greasy goo begins to ooze around the edges of a doorjamb.

But "Poltergeist" is an effective thriller, not so much because of the special effects, as because Hooper and Spielberg have tried to see the movie's strange events through the eyes of the family members, instead of just standing back and letting the special effects overwhelm the cast along with the audience. The movie takes place in Spielberg's favorite terrain, the American suburb (also the locale of parts of " Close Encounters of the Third Kind ," " Jaws " and " E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial "). The haunted house doesn't have seven gables, but it does have a two-car garage. It is occupied by a fairly normal family (two parents, three kids) and the movie begins on a somewhat hopeful note with the playing of "The Star Spangled Banner" as a TV station signs off.

The opening visuals, however, are somewhat ominous. They're an extreme close-up of a TV screen, filled with the usual patriotic images (Iwo Jima, the Lincoln Memorial). Why so close? We're almost being invited to look between the dots on the screen and see something else. And indeed, the family's youngest daughter, an open-faced, long-haired, innocent little cherub, begins to talk to the screen. She's in touch with the "TV people." Before long she disappears from this plane of existence and goes to live with the TV people, wherever they are. Weird events begin to happen in the house. An old tree behaves ominously. The swimming pool seems to have a mind of its own. And the villains are the same people who were the bad guys in Spielberg's "Jaws" -- the real estate developers. This time, instead of encouraging people to go back into the water, they're building a subdivision on top of an old graveyard.

This is all ridiculous, but Hooper and Spielberg hold our interest by observing the everyday rituals of this family so closely that, since the family seems real, the weird events take on a certain credibility by association. That's during the first hour of the movie. Then all hell breaks loose, and the movie begins to operate on the same plane as " Alien " or " Altered States ," as a shocking special-effects sound-and-light show. A closet seems to exist in another dimension. The swimming pool is filled with grasping, despairing forms of the undead. The search for the missing little girl involves a professional psionics expert, and a lady dwarf who specializes in "cleaning" haunted homes. Nobody ever does decide whether a poltergeist really is involved in the events in the house, or who the poltergeist may be, but if that doesn't prevent them from naming the movie "Poltergeist" I guess it shouldn't keep us from enjoying it.

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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Poltergeist movie poster

Poltergeist (1982)

114 minutes

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Poltergeist (4K UHD Review)

  • Reviewed by: Stephen Bjork
  • Review Date: Oct 18, 2022
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc

Poltergeist (4K UHD Review)

Release Date(s)

  • Film/Program Grade: B
  • Video Grade: A
  • Audio Grade: A-
  • Extras Grade: D

Poltergeist (4K UHD)

Here’s a seemingly simple three-word phrase, but it’s one that’s fraught with peril: “Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist .” In some circles, those could be considered fighting words, so use them at your own risk. The controversy over who’s the real author of Citizen Kane has largely been settled at this point in film history (well, at least until David Fincher tried to stir it up again with Mank ), but for the last four decades, there’s been an unresolved debate about whether or not Steven Spielberg ghost-directed Poltergeist . The problem with that question is that it completely misses the point of why the film is so effective.

Some people think that Hooper hid in the bathroom doing blow while Spielberg actually handled all of the real work on set. There have been various bits of evidence adduced over the years to support that conclusion, including statements by Tangina herself, Zelda Rubenstein—although it’s worth noting that the rest of the cast has generally rallied to Hooper’s defense. Yet the debate started long before there was any evidence to support it (real or imagined), so the prime mover has always been the fact that some people simply can’t believe that Hooper could have made a good movie, therefore Spielberg must have directed it himself. The argument started with that conclusion, and then worked its way backwards into finding proof. That does a disservice to Hooper, who directed plenty of fine films. In a way, it’s also a disservice to Spielberg, as it greatly oversimplifies the complexities of motion picture production.

“Steven Spielberg” was a brand name back in the Eighties to an extent that it’s never quite matched since that time. He attached his name to many projects during the Eighties where he served as executive producer, and wasn’t involved with the day-to-day production. On the other hand, not only did he come up with the story and contribute to the screenplay for Poltergeist , but he also worked as a full producer on the project—the film is credited (accurately) as “A Steven Spielberg Production.” There’s no question that he was an active producer, too, and his guiding hand was definitely involved behind the scenes, especially during post-production. But that’s no less true of producers like Daryl F. Zanuck, who shaped his own projects decisively without actually directing them. One of the problems with so-called auteur theory is that it overlooks the ways that roles sometimes intertwine or overlap, and producers can definitely become dominant figures on (and off) set. That doesn’t change the fact that “Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist ” would have been a very different film minus Hooper’s involvement.

There are unquestionably many Spielbergian touches in Poltergeist ; he did indeed co-write and produce it, after all. The suburban family milieu is pure Spielberg, as are the more melodramatic moments in the film. When Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams have their dramatic farewell before she plunges into the abyss, the camera cuts away to Beatrice Straight’s tearful reaction, and that’s one of Spielberg’s standard techniques to manipulate the audience by letting them know that it’s time to cry. Yet Hooper’s stamp is present on the final product as well, as there are numerous shots and bits of editing that didn’t quite fit into Spielberg’s house style at the time—for example, the repeated use of crash cut zooms onto faces, or the montage of Nelson screaming from different camera angles after the appearance of the ghost head. (Spielberg would go on to use similar setups two years later in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom , but he arguably learned the technique from Hooper and The Texas Chain S aw Massacre .)

The reality is that the success of Poltergeist can’t be attributed to any one person. Film is a collaborative medium, and neither Spielberg or Hooper could have created it alone. It took a legion of talented artists including co-writers Michael Grais and Mark Victor; co-producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall; cinematographer Matthew F. Leonetti; editor Michael Kahn; visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund (as well as his own legions of supporting crew); and myriad others. Jerry Goldsmith also contributed one of his finest scores (even though calling it “one of his finest” doesn’t really narrow things down very much, as that could be said of nearly half of the scores that he wrote). It took a village to make Poltergeist work, and Spielberg tends to get too much deference simply because his name is the most recognizable one in the credits.

Of course, there’s a different element of Poltergeist that provides the single biggest reason why it works, and it’s one that tends to get overlooked. Without a solid family dynamic at the heart of the film, everything else would have been little more than sound and fury, signifying nothing. The Freeling household is a credible family unit, and without having that to anchor the film, the supernatural shenanigans wouldn’t work nearly as well as they do. The action may not be believable, but the family dynamic is, and that’s what keeps audiences grounded even when the film goes on its flights of fancy. Yet it’s not really the children who matter. Heather O’Rourke is fine as Carol Anne, and both Oliver Robins and Dominique Dunne make adequate siblings for her, but everything depends on Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams as Steven and Diane Freeling. Carol Anne may have become the face of the franchise, but Steven and Diane were its heart and soul. Nelson and Williams have a natural, easygoing chemistry with each other that works on multiple levels. They don’t just make a plausible couple; they make plausible parents as well, and that’s the real key to Poltergeist . Even when the dialogue fails them, the sincerity of their performances manages to sell it anyway—Williams manages to take that cringeworthy line about Carol Anne passing through her soul, and play it with utterly believable conviction. There’s an argument to be made that the film could be called “Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams’ Poltergeist .”

That would be silly, of course, but Poltergeist is the kind of film where any possessory credit is dubious at best. It’s old-school Hollywood factory filmmaking, but in the best possible sense. Both Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg deserve fair credit, as does everyone else involved. There’s enough quality craftsmanship on display here that it overcomes any weaknesses in the story and the dialogue—the whole of Poltergeist is far greater than the sum of its parts.

All that, and we haven’t even talked about the clown doll yet. Maybe it’s better that we don’t.

Matthew F. Leonetti shot Poltergeist on 35 mm film using his Ultracam 35 cameras with anamorphic lenses, framed at 2.39:1 for 35 mm prints, and 2.20:1 for 70 mm blowups. (Most sources online state that he used Cooke Xtal Express J-D-C Scope lenses, but in a podcast interview for American Cinematographer in 2008, he said that he used Cineovision lenses that he had purchased “from a man in Italy.”) This restoration utilized a 4K scan of the original camera negative, although the abundance of optical work means that there’s a lot of footage that had to be derived from a secondary element instead. Everything looks pristine and immaculately clean, without the slightest trace of damage or any other issues, and there aren’t any noteworthy compression artifacts, either. Opticals like the opening titles and the effects sequences naturally look just a bit softer and grainier, but they still blend in surprisingly well. The rest of the footage is as sharp and detailed as the anamorphic lenses would allow, with just a trace of softness around the edges of some shots, and the usual barrel distortion that’s really noticeable during lateral pans. The detail is definitely improved over previous versions—the grass and dirt of the Freeling’s lawn is more precisely delineated, especially in the shot where the caterpillar fires up to break ground for their new pool. Other textures like faces and clothing are also better resolved, though it’s an incremental improvement, not necessarily a dramatic one.

It’s with the new grade for high dynamic range that things get particularly dramatic. (Only HDR10 has been included on the disc.) Warner Bros. has added multiple epilepsy warnings to the disc, including a sticker right on the slipcover, and more inside the case. There haven’t been warnings like that on any prior releases of Poltergeist , but it’s pretty clear why they did so this time. The HDR makes any of the stroboscopic lighting patterns in the film really, really intense. Even those who don’t have any sensitivity issues may find themselves looking away from the screen at a few points—a good example would be when Carol Anne crawls toward the TV while she’s in bed with the family during the first storm. Even static lights like the glow from the closet door are blindingly bright. Yet nothing ever seems blown or exaggerated in an unnatural way (well, maybe in a supernatural way, but that’s the whole intent). Keep in mind that all of that is just from the point of view of someone watching via projection, and since projectors have significantly lower peak brightness levels than what a flat panel can produce, the lighting is going to be even more intense for most people. There’s eye candy, and then there’s eye candy, but this is practically eye abuse—yet in a good way. This HDR grade doesn’t simply provide prettier pictures; it noticeably enhances the experience of watching the film.

Two points need to be mentioned about both the master used for this 4K presentation, and the disc itself. The first is that this isn’t quite the original theatrical version of the film. The infamous jump cut at 34:13 is still present, of course, as some dialogue about Pizza Hut was removed long before Poltergeist ever hit home video in any version. (Whether or not the dialogue was actually present in theatrical prints is a debate for another time.) That’s old news, but the new changes involve digital fixes like the ones that were performed for the Indiana Jones series. Wires have been removed, the dog trainer has been erased from the opening of the film, and a few other mistakes like that have been corrected. There are still a few that haven’t, like the reflection in the toaster when the crew members swapped chairs offscreen for the table gag, but the most prominent ones are now gone. (For a complete list of the changes with time codes, see Movie-Censorship.com.)

The second point is that some people have reported issues with the disc freezing for them at approximately 13:50. There’s no consistency regarding the players that seem to be having the issue—for example, some people have had the problem using an Oppo UDP-203, while others haven’t. (For the record, it played fine for me on an Oppo UDP-205, which is mechanically identical to the 203.) Strangely enough, it hasn’t always occurred consistently, as some users have reported that it played fine the first time, but then froze every time after that. It may not affect your specific player, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Primary audio is offered in English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio. Poltergeist was originally released in optical Dolby Stereo, though the 70 mm blowups did feature a six-channel magnetic mix. It’s not clear if the 5.1 track is derived from the latter, or if it’s simply a discrete encoding of the four matrixed channels from the Dolby Stereo mix. The 2.0 track does have encoded surround channels, so it’s definitely the original Dolby Stereo, and not just a fold-down of the 5.1. Either way, the differences between the two aren’t significant, though there’s better channel separation in the 5.1. It also has deeper bass, so that fact alone gives it the edge between the two. (That’s really prominent during the moments when the coffins burst through the ground near the end of the film, with the 5.1 providing significantly more rumble than the 2.0.) The good news is that both tracks have reportedly been remastered for this edition. Compared to the previous Blu-rays, the remastered 5.1 audio does sound a little more robust. The levels don’t match between the two, but even after attempting to adjust for any differences, this DTS version still has a slight edge over the older Dolby TrueHD. Jerry Goldsmith’s score seems to benefit the most, but there’s more of a sense of presence in the soundstage as a whole. (Since the older 2.0 was only in lossy Dolby Digital, there’s no comparison in that case.)

Additional audio options include French, German, Italian, Spanish (Spain), and Spanish (Latin America) 2.0 Dolby Digital. Subtitle options include English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Spanish (Spain), Dutch, Spanish (Latin America), Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish.

The Warner Bros. 4K Ultra HD release of Poltergeist is a two-disc set that includes a 1080p Blu-ray copy of the film, with a Digital code on a paper insert tucked inside, as well as a slipcover. (It’s a remastered Blu-ray, too, not just a repressing of the old one.) Both the insert and the slipcover feature the same artwork that has caused gnashing of teeth on some corners of the internet, but it’s worth pointing out that it’s based on the cover for the Official Poster Magazine from 1982. It’s been recolored, but it’s still authentic promotional artwork from the film. Opinions will vary, but since variations of the exact same basic poster design have been used for VHS, LaserDisc, DVD, and Blu-ray, at least it’s something different. Note that the epilepsy warning sticker on the slipcover is removable, although doing so will require some caution. All of the extras are on the Blu-ray only:

  • They Are Here: The Real World of Poltergeists, Part 1 – Science of the Spirits (Upscaled SD – 15:31)
  • They Are Here: The Real World of Poltergeists, Part 2 – Communing with the Dead (Upscaled SD – 15:33)
  • The Making of Poltergeist (Upscaled SD – 7:18)
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD – 2:26)

They Are Here was originally produced for the 2007 Warner Bros. DVD. It combines interviews with various experts on the paranormal with clips from Poltergeist . They try to connect their beliefs about the supernatural to events in the film, which doesn’t exactly support their case. As documentaries go, it’s about as persuasive as the average Shark Week program on Discovery . If those programs have managed to convince you that megalodon are still alive and well in the oceans today, then this may be the show for you. The Making of Poltergeist is a vintage promotional featurette from 1982. Like most such EPK material, there’s little substance to it, though it does show some behind-the-scenes footage that provides a tantalizing glimpse of the rotating room in action. The fact that it focuses entirely on Steven Spielberg might add fuel to the fire for those who support the ghost directing theory, but it’s worth pointing out that it was directed by Frank Marshall, who could hardly be considered an unbiased source.

Unfortunately, that’s it. For the 40th anniversary release of a film as significant as Poltergeist , it’s a shame that Warner Bros. hasn’t offered a single new extra. If anything deserves a comprehensive making-of documentary, it’s Poltergeist . On the other hand, this is an absolutely stellar 4K presentation that’s a significant upgrade over all previous versions. It’s near reference-quality, so that’s a 40th anniversary celebration of its own. Even if it didn’t include any extras whatsoever, this disc is still a must-own for fans of the film. It’s never looked this good.

- Stephen Bjork

(You can follow Stephen on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook .)

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Poltergeist roller coaster

Poltergeist roller coaster

This is probably the most themed ride in the park and did a cool looking remodel to it as it looks better on the outside and inside. The green and black look awesome and the trains got a paint job which is cool. The inside looks like a haunted house. After reading some of the reviews yeah the ride does have a similar layout to the flight of fear at Kings Island and Kings Dominion. But it does ride slower than I remembered and you can get dizzy by going around and around and can get a headache. The cars do get cramp inside too.

Photo of Eric S.

I ain't afraid of no ghost! Having ridden Kings Island's 'Flight of Fear' (back when it still had "The Outer Limits" attached to its title), I have to say that the experience just doesn't compare. They share an identical track layout, but 'indoor plus theming' versus 'outdoor minus theming' is like comparing apples to.....celery. One of them keeps the doctor away, and the other isn't good unless it's loaded up with peanut butter and raisins. [editor's note: how did I go from roller coasters to picnic food? me so crazy] Point is, only in the outdoor version can you actually see the spaghetti bowl that is Premier Rides' quadruple-inversion coaster track. I say 'spaghetti bowl' because it operates on a very compact footprint and the abundance of track gives a convoluted appearance that works indoor (as it's hidden amidst darkness) but sitting in the light of day just looks messy. The sad attempt at theming the station to look like a haunted mansion (hence the ride's name) is totally half-assed and out-of-place, although to be fair, thorough ride theming was never Six Flags' strength. For whatever reason, this coaster was sponsored/presented by göt2b Styling Glue, and with the pervasive amount of hanging banners, ads plastered on the walls--and even the train itself--this coaster might as well be called Extreme HairGel: The Ride. It was stupid. Ride experience wise, a little rough on the body, but not too bad. The initial launch is lots of fun, and like most rides, front row is the way to go. Dispatching was quick and the wait times were short on my visit. Cars are rather cramped and NOT at all comfortable for guests with long legs (like yours truly). ~Special ride elements~ *LIM launch (0-60mph in 3.5 seconds) *Cobra roll *Sidewinder *Corkscrew Worth a ride or two. But do it twice in the front, and once in the rear! Giggity. reviewed by the ©ôa§†è® Júñk¡ë

poltergeist restaurant review

Awesome roller coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. 0-60 in a few seconds.

poltergeist restaurant review

See all photos from Stan C. for Poltergeist

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Review: Hyde A New Pjoltergeist is Back to Haunt Rosteds Gate

A new Pjoltergeist is back to haunt Rosteds gate 15 B in Fredensborg – the address that was once home to my all-time favorite restaurant in Oslo. It’s the same venue, with a similar concept, including a former Pjoltergeist chef in the kitchen, but there are new people behind the bar. The name of the place is Hyde . Gone is the sign on the door that said  no kids, no dogs, no credit cards, no flash photography. Although some of the same rules may still apply, they do take credit cards now. Hyde’s opening hours are Wednesdays to Saturdays, and the kitchen is open from 17.00 to 22.00. Sadly, this means that, unlike Pjoltergeist, Hyde is not a place you can order late-night food past midnight. If you book a table, you automatically sign up for the five-course menu (which turned out to be seven courses including snacks), but you can also drop by the bar, or hope for an available table, in which case there is an à la carte menu with different dishes.

As before, you shouldn’t be fooled by the casual, low-key setting, or the loud music, because the level of cooking will surprise you. Matthew North, a British chef who worked at Pjoltergeist under Chef Atli Mar Yngvason, uses just a few quality ingredients for each plate and manages to create harmonic dishes packed with flavor that leave you wanting more with every bite. His style of cooking, which draws on several cuisines, involves a lot of spice, salt, fat, and umami, and strikes a good balance between vegetables, meat, and seafood. With a wine list that is not too far from the former Pjoltergeist selection, and bartender Andreas Lohne behind the bar, I think Hyde is bound to become an industry hangout and a favorite among foodies in Oslo, just like its predecessor.

Update: Hyde received a Michelin star in 2022.

Looking for more great spots for food and drinks in Norway’s capital? Check out our city map of Oslo !

Hyde is located on Rosteds gate 15, in the old venue of Pjoltergeist.

To Understand Hyde, You First Have to Know Pjoltergeist

Pjoltergeist was one of those legendary restaurants, which, for five sweet years, helped define the food scene in Oslo. In 2013, Susanne Låstad and Sverre Bøyum, together with the Icelandic-born chef Atli Mar Yngvason, took over the venue Rubber Duck from Hell’s Angels. The address was Rosteds gate 15 B – on a street that otherwise is dominated by massage parlors, a sex shop, and an old pub. On Friday the 13th of September, they opened Pjoltergeist. The name was a combination of the words poltergeist (ghost) and pjolter (a simple cocktail of cheap booze and soda water), a drink that was a specialty. Soon after, rumors started to spread about a restaurant where Korean flavors and techniques went hand in hand with Icelandic ingredients and traditions. Yngvason’s background from the now-closed one-Michelin-starred restaurant Ylajali was evident in the high level of craftsmanship that came out of the tiny little kitchen. Hip hop blasted over the speakers in a cramped dining room that was a little darker, dirtier, and more dressed down than any other eatery in Oslo.

Pjoltergeist became an industry hangout. Chefs, sommeliers, foodies, and other industry professionals would frequent the place to savor Atli’s satisfying dishes and to drink all the exciting wines, mostly natural, that Sverre and Susanne collected. L ife was great, but alas, all good things must come to an end. On December 22nd, 2017, with a heavy heart, I broke the news that Pjoltergeist was scheduled to close for good on June 2nd, 2018. Later on, I also announced the new venue of Atli, Katla , where he would continue his style of cooking. I love Katla for what it is, but like many others, I’ve missed the vibe of the old Pjoltergeist venue. Thus, it was exciting to be the first to reveal the opening of Hyde on my rumors page back in October.

One and a half years after the closing of Pjoltergeist, we finally have access to this magical place again. It turns out that Sverre, Susanne, and Atli never gave up the lease of Rosteds gate 15 B; they are not only subletting the space to the Hyde team, they are also investing in the project of North and Lohne. For some time, Hyde will be judged with Pjoltergeist as a reference, but eventually, it will become a place of its own.

Rosteds gate 15 B is still very recognizable.

Natural Wines & Tommy’s Margarita?

Since we had booked a table at Hyde, the tasting menu was mandatory. In fact, the printed menu already lay on our table when we sat down, indicating that we were having five courses. Having reserved online, I knew it would be 700 NOK per person for the food, which isn’t cheap for the number of dishes. However, the value for money could still be good, given the right quality of ingredients and the kitchen’s ability to transform them into delectable delights.

A friendly waiter took our drink order and let us know that, similar to Pjoltergeist, there are no drink pairings offered at Hyde. With lots of wines from Jura, Burgundy, and Mosel, and producers like Keller and Julian Haart, the selection should be recognizable for old-timers – perhaps because they’ve inherited parts of the Pjoltergeist wine cellar? We ordered a Pet Nat rosé, Peek A Boo , from the Australian producer  Jauma . It was juicy and fresh with foamy bubbles and a tart strawberry flavor.

We were also curious about “Tommy’s margarita? “. Having received our inquiry, bartender Andreas Lohne came over to give us some background information. The drink, he explained, was invented at Tommy’s in San Francisco; it is a variation on the original margarita drink, with a substitution of agave nectar for orange liqueur. This really makes all the difference. The honey-like sweetness balances out the boozy elements of the drink, while still tasting citrusy and fresh. Let’s just say our initial order of one drink each had tripled by the end of the night.

Of course, the room has been altered a bit since the Pjoltergeist era. The wine fridges are now behind the bar, the ceiling has been stripped down, and the lighting is different (albeit still pretty crappy for photos). Hardcore hip hop has been replaced by slightly more mainstream rappers and rock music. Yet, I certainly felt at home again. With the wines and vibe in place, all we needed was for the food to convince us that Oslo had been granted the sanctuary of Rosteds gate 15 B again.

The interior has been updated ever so slightly.

The Five-Course Tasting Menu at Hyde

The first snack and one out of two off-menu items of the night arrived in the form of a butter-basted potato cake topped with smoked eel, cherry-glaze, and chopped chives. It was warm, salty, sweet, and smoky, with tender pieces of fish contrasting nicely with the crispy potato layers. We were off to a good start, and the kitchen was only warming up!

Brown crab was the centerpiece of the next dish, the meat carefully picked from the claws and assembled in a pile in the middle of the plate, surrounded by a warming sauce of almonds, nduja fat, celeriac, and tarragon. The sweetness of crab is so easily camouflaged, especially by spicy elements, but this was masterfully balanced. Next, a pan-fried flatbread with grilled vegetables and tomatillo transported us to the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine for a brief moment. Although delicious, it was the least interesting plate of the night, but it was quickly forgotten since my favorite dish on the menu followed.

Turbot, the king of fish, was cooked on the bone and glazed with dry-aged beef fat. This standout dish came with a side of cauliflower and caramelized onions, as well as a curry beurre blanc. We used our forks to lift the succulent meat off the bone, but we might as well have lifted the bones and let the meat slide right off – that’s how perfectly cooked it was. The quality of the fish and the perfection in cooking was nothing short of what I experienced at Elkano – the palace of turbot in Getaria, Spain. We sucked every single one of the razor-sharp toothpick bones dry of meat, our fingers left sticky from the gelatinous tendons and fat (both edible, by the way). We slurped it all down with a bite of the roasted cauliflower and a generous dab of the mouthwatering curry-butter sauce. The flavor of the ox fat lurked in the background of every bite, adding a pleasant smokiness and more umami flavor. This is shortlisted for my best dishes of 2019.

Turbot cooked on the bone and glazed with dry-aged beef fat. Cauliflower, onions, and a curry beurre blanc.

A New Pjoltergeist is Back to Haunt Rosteds Gate

Another delicious off-menu snack, deep-fried frog legs with confit garlic mayo, transitioned us towards the main course. Dare I say it tasted like chicken, but softer? We ended our savory servings with a slow-cooked ox tongue that was as tender in the middle as it was crispy around the edges. This mouthful of a dish came with a velvety smooth potato purée, rich in butter, parsley chimichurri, and horseradish. The freshness of the herbs balanced the otherwise rich and filling dish. Pjoltergeist used to serve ten courses – Hyde has shaved that down to seven, but dishes like this send you home feeling more than satisfied.

Desserts were always simple during Atli’s reign, and by the looks of it, one could presume that Matthew has kept with the same style. However, the techniques required to craft a creamy tart, and balance unusual flavor combinations like chocolate, coriander, yuzu, and ginger, are more advanced than they appear. This dessert was heaven for any chocolate lover out there!

Another round of Tommy’s margaritas ended a great night that brought back memories of the ghost of Pjoltergeist past.

Tommy’s margarita?

How do you rank Hyde against Pjoltergeist? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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Payment Accepts Credit Cards

Parking Yes

Good for Kids

Attire Casual

Alcohol Yes - full bar

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Cuisines: Bar Food

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Rafael Onate in dark blue chef's apron, carrying a board of dips in colourful dining room at Gordo's

Gordo’s, Guildford: ‘It’s a food adventure playground’ – restaurant review

Gordo’s, 73a North Street, Guildford GU1 4AW (07737 981825; gordos.uk ). Starters £8.95-£13, mains £10.50-£15, dessert £6.50-£10.25, beers £5.50, wines from £23

The first time I met Guildford it was drunk. Proper raging, steaming drunk. An editor with a dark sense of humour had sent me to the town’s booze barns on a Friday night 20 years ago, to report a piece on binge-drinking Britain . You try interviewing inebriated twentysomethings just as their blood alcohol is rising. I remember one of them shouting all their indignant comments at my notebook, as if it was a Dictaphone. Happily, I later learned that, courtesy of the Guildford School of Acting, it also has one of the UK’s pre-eminent musical theatre courses. I much preferred to think of Guildford as all jazz hands, time steps and moistly emotional choruses of 525,600 Minutes.

Now I can attach to Guildford’s name another story, one which, as it happens, is also a little intoxicating and equally plump with drama and emotion. Its name is Gordo’s. It’s a Mexican restaurant and it may well be exactly what you need in these, the darkest, dreariest days of the year, when all the things to look forward to in winter have passed. It’s a simple, utilitarian-looking place: white frontage, the name spelled out against a turquoise sign. The only mark of what it’s offering is flagged up by the Latin American bunting hung from the ceiling, just visible through the plateglass. Inside, the open kitchen’s splashback is tiled in the colours of the Mexican flag and the tables are laid with vivid textiles. As you sit down a basket of golden tortilla chips arrives, still warm from the fryer, alongside a little hot sauce. It feels like the product of a tight budget, a focused imagination and a commitment to the fundamentals of looking after people.

Vegetable empanadas with a green dip and a red dip, on a pale blue plate set on a colourful Mexican cloth

Rafael Onate arrived in Guildford from Latin America two decades ago, hungry to work as a chef. He had just enough money in his pocket to call a friend, which is to say 20p. Goddamn those bloody migrants coming over here with their recipes and their skills and their driving ambition. In one London restaurant kitchen there were three cooks called Rafael. So Onate became Gordo, which was his nickname. It means “fat”, although I’ve seen the man and, frankly, he’s not even trying. Both he and his wife, Johanna, who he met in Guildford, wanted to open their own place. They finally managed it in 2021, as we were emerging from the pandemic. He told a local paper he was worried customers wouldn’t like too much spice, “But we put the spices separate and they can add as much or as little as they want.” And here they are on the table: a parade of El Yucateco hot sauces direct from Mexico, in various strengths of habanero and chipotle. Take note of the multiple letters in the “Exxxtra picante”. Mind you I really did meet some of the locals once, and as I wiped down my notebook of spittle, I concluded they would be up for most things. Never underestimate the good people of Guildford, or the bad ones for that matter.

Nachos with lots of toppings on a pale yellow plate set on a colourful Mexican cloth

The menu is built around the familiar and the classic: tacos, chimichangas, quesadillas and the like, with various braised and grilled fillings and toppings. We get a large bowl of still-warm nachos, crowned with fronds of greenery, with crumbly, seared chorizo and, on the side, a deep soothing bowl of their long-simmered black beans. It’s the kind of thing designed to make you feel better after a long grey walk through a drizzle-dampened British high street. Another portion of fried tortillas comes lubricated with a sauce of chopped fresh green herbs and topped with fried eggs, their sunshine-liquid yolks binding it all together. Vegetable empanadas are made with soft, flaky pastry and puff billows of spiced potato at you as you bite in. All of this comes sprinkled liberally with various grated cheeses and sliced fresh chilli. There are few things that aren’t improved by the addition of cheeses and fresh chilli.

Turning gently in the kitchen, looking much like a shawarma, is the pork al pastor, topped by a caramelising pineapple. Onate slices the meat from the bottom of the vertical skewer and the fruit from the top and serves it alongside a cast-iron skillet of rugged, warm corn tortillas, made to order for them locally. Get the Taco Board at £22 with enough for two, and it comes with pots of this, the slow-braised pork and the slow-braised chicken, black beans, sour cream, fresh chopped onion, chilli, lime wedges, chopped fresh herbs, more hot sauce and a brilliantly industrial cheese sauce the colour of fake tan. It’s a food adventure playground; a place to experiment and dip and dive and spread. Eventually, we abandon the tortillas and just fork away the fillings.

Two triangles of black bean and cheese quesadillas on a green plate set on a colourful Mexican cloth

A black bean and three-cheese quesadilla is, of course, the grandest of toasted cheese sandwiches elevated to main event. If this is all too much softness, have a chimichanga: a crisp, golden, deep-fried tortilla wrap, filled with any of the above proteins, then dolloped with cheese and guacamole, sour cream and chilli. There were, to be clear, four of us shaking down the menu. Studied in this much detail, patterns emerge: they are offering permutations of proteins, toppings and things to wrap them in or dip into them. It’s an observation, not a criticism. Because all the constituent parts have a beguiling freshness and vivacity.

Gordo’s really do give a damn about what they are doing. The compact repertoire also keeps the cost down with main courses struggling to get above the low teens. Plus, there’s a breakfast menu of eggs in various Mexican ways, which naturally enough involves tortillas, hot sauces, cheese and black beans. It’s all the things that will make the day ahead look better, especially if it’s January.

Dulce de leche churros in a red/brown bowl with a chocolate dip, both on a pale yellow plate, set on a colourful Mexican cloth

If you want to be on first-name terms with your booze the drinks list includes a choice of mezcals and tequilas with titles like Don Julio Anejo and Jose Cuervo. We, however, have places to be and decide instead to get merry on sugar. Here come the sugar-crusted, deep-fat fryer-fresh churros, with both dulce de leche and chocolate sauces. You could, of course, come to Guildford for a lost night at All Bar One . Obviously, you could come here for the musical theatre course and learn to tap dance. But if you didn’t stop by Gordo’s on the way you’d be seriously missing out.

It’s not uncommon for restaurants to move from one location to another, but there can be few that have done it across such a vast distance as Riverine Rabbit. It started as a pop-up in South Africa’s Cape Town last year and will now open next month on the Pershore Road in the Birmingham suburb of Stirchley. Chef Ash Valenzuela-Heeger, who represented South Africa in the Netflix cooking show The Final Table , will offer a menu of about 16 small plates, divided between seafood and game and plant-based dishes ( riverinerabbit.co.uk ).

Sky News has reported that restaurant owner Richard Caring has asked HSBC to advise on a possible sale of a controlling interest in the 40-strong Ivy Café and Ivy Asia chain. The brand is a rollout of the name belonging to the original and once highly respected Ivy on London’s West Street, which Caring began expanding in 2014. Last year parent company The Ivy Collection reported turnover up £100m from £200m to £302m and profits before tax of £29m.

On the day my less than positive review of Café Laperouse at London’s Old War Office was published just before Christmas, a reader got in touch to point out that it had received a damning one out of five for hygiene from the Food Standards Agency, meaning “major improvement necessary”. It has since been re-inspected and now has five out of five. None of that changes my opinion of the dreary, grossly over-priced cooking. A second restaurant at OWO, the Italian Paper Moon, was also given a one out of five rating and, in a mark of consistency, continues to have that score on the FSA website.

Email Jay at [email protected] or follow him on X @jayrayner1

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At Casa Teresa, a veteran Spanish chef makes magic

poltergeist restaurant review

I have hope for downtown Washington , and I have Rubén García to thank for my optimism.

A longtime chef with ThinkFoodGroup, led by the man who needs no introduction, José Andrés , García left shortly ahead of the pandemic to open his debut restaurant in November. It’s called Casa Teresa, and it’s named for the Spanish native’s great-grandmother.

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One of several reasons for my bullishness is the location. The restaurant shares a building with the Square , the enticing new food hall near Farragut Square, whose vendors in the cheery complex include jamon and churros stalls from García, 45, and his business partner, Richie Brandenburg.

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Another rationale for pulling out the cava is a menu that mixes traditional Spanish plates with some personal recollections from García. As at the veteran Jaleo in Penn Quarter, Casa Teresa injects a little whimsy into a meal. Do diners need instructions for eating bread with tomatoes they crush themselves and gloss with olive oil and airy sea salt? Maybe not. But just in case, a little card comes with every order of the Catalan classic pa amb tomàquet.

Some dishes show off choice-shopping. It’s hard to say no to the attendant wielding a sharp knife behind the rolling ham cart when the object of their fascination, soon to be yours, is ham from Iberian pigs, raised on a diet of acorns that explains the nutty flavor. The pigs’ fat, meanwhile, is silken and truly melts on the tongue. The combined taste and texture prove very seductive. From the water, specifically the Cantabrian Sea, come meaty and sweet anchovies with a slick of olive oil to balance their salinity. “You haven’t tasted anchovies before,” or so the menu suggests. The menu is right.

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The more rustic the dish, the more I’m inclined to try it. Think coarse pork sausages made with the shoulder and jowl of the pig and served with lightly caramelized navy beans and pork belly. If a dish is linked to the maternal figures in García’s life, get it as well. The golden chicken croquettes, based on a recipe from his mother, are exceptionally creamy and flavorful; the chef’s use of milk and chicken stock in the filling helps. His grandmother gets credit for the tubes of pasta stuffed with roasted pork and shredded chicken and presented under a blanket of pungent Los Cameros cheese . Eating the rich combination explains why it’s typically a winter dish, served around Christmas.

The chef’s great-grandmother, Teresa Espinosa Moreno, is rewarded with her name on the restaurant, and her painted likeness is on display near the bar. García was 6 when she died in 1984, but he has memories of her presiding over the kitchen, “the warmest room in the house,” and where he started to cook. Teresa wore several hats, says García. She was also an activist who brought attention to women’s rights and was jailed for three years as a suspected communist during the reign of dictator Francisco Franco.

Women figure large here. Wine director Sarah Vanags is happy to point you in the direction of something sip-worthy from a list that focuses on female wine producers.

Claudio’s Table is set with expert takes on Italian classics

García worked 16 years for ThinkFoodGroup, where he estimates he helped open nearly 30 restaurants, including the original Minibar by José Andrés . While he considers his former colleagues “family,” he says he was also “tired of other people’s ambitions. I wanted to go back to my roots.” The refocus included a distinct look for his maiden restaurant, whose 120 or so seats include a bar, a sunken room next to the kitchen for private gatherings of up to 18 revelers (ask for Teresa’s Table) and a quarry’s worth of tile throughout the interior.

García uses oak to fuel his fire, “the way we cook in Spain,” he says. Oak burns clean and doesn’t alter the flavor of whatever is being grilled. Sure enough, the flat iron steak tastes mostly of juicy beef and cilantro, from the accompanying vivid mojo verde. (Good luck trying not to eat all the double-cooked french fries.) The octopus, arranged on its plate as if for an art exhibition, is creamy inside and crisp from bite to bite; nearby, halved potatoes are bright green with herb sauce and brick-colored with mojo rojo.

The menu devotes a section to vegetables, some of which incorporate meat as a grace note. Beef fat flavors the slow-cooked potatoes with garlic and parsley, and sobrasada (spreadable chorizo) provides the delightful spark atop the whole roasted onions, drizzled with honey and so soft that segments fall off at the touch of a knife. I rarely eat here that I don’t ask for the velvety, bordering-on-black piquillo peppers, as intense as any I’ve eaten in America or abroad and more delicious when there’s Spanish guitar in the background.

Really, the lone disappointment throughout my survey was whole roast chicken, splayed on its platter as if it were sunbathing and without the deep flavor or succulence of the other shareable dishes.

You’ll want to indulge in the Basque cheesecake. I know, I know, it’s as ever-present on dessert menus as bots on dating apps, but take it from someone who has eaten scores of the dessert with the blackened surface and even bakes it at home for dinner parties to great applause. Casa Teresa serves the best version I’ve encountered. The tang of goat cheese helps, as does a pool of not-too-sweet walnut sauce. “That is magic ,” says a friend after tasting the cheesecake, which a host insists we try with a sip of sherry. (Bend my rubber arm. The fortified wine gilds the lily.) The second-best ending is the flan, little more than eggs and condensed milk embellished with a tuft of boozy Chantilly cream.

Yet another incentive for dining here is three hours of free parking in the building after 5 p.m. weekdays and all day on weekends.

García says he likes challenges. Luring diners downtown is a big one. While he’s looking back with his latest project, the chef is open to seeing Casa Teresa evolve. Right now, it feels like the right restaurant at the right time in the right place.

Casa Teresa

919 19th St. NW. 202-856-7979. teresadc.com . Open for indoor dining 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Prices: appetizers $5 to $20, main courses $18 to $120 (for shareable 30-ounce rib-eye steak). Sound check: 73 decibels/Must speak with raised voice. Accessibility: No barriers to entrance; ADA-compliant restrooms.

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  • McDonald's

McDonald's

Ratings and reviews, location and contact.

Don't matter in what country you're in France or in Japan. If you need a food you could it. just go to Mcdonalds. They're reviewing the quality all aroud the world. So cheaper or more expancieve you could it good food in every country yo... see Mcdonalds. Hope this place still exist & wan't close.It helped med much with the fast lunch. More

MCDONALD'S, Moscow - Krasnaya Presnya 31, Presnensky - Restaurant Reviews & Phone Number - Tripadvisor

  • Atmosphere: 3.5

IMAGES

  1. Poltergeist filmed inside restaurant

    poltergeist restaurant review

  2. Haunted Poltergeist Restaurant!!

    poltergeist restaurant review

  3. - YouTube

    poltergeist restaurant review

  4. Poltergeist at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen

    poltergeist restaurant review

  5. Scene from the movie "Poltergeist" featuring the clown that is now on

    poltergeist restaurant review

  6. Scene from the movie "Poltergeist" featuring the clown that is now on

    poltergeist restaurant review

VIDEO

  1. Poltergeist

  2. Poltergeist 4K UHD REVIEW + Unboxing / Menu

  3. Poltergeist movie review

  4. Poltergeist

  5. Poltergeist 2015 Official Trailer 2 + Trailer Review : Beyond The Trailer

  6. Poltergeist 2: The Other Side (1986) Restaurant Scene

COMMENTS

  1. Poltergeist Is Echo Park's Most Unhinged New Hit (In A Good Way)

    1. It might be in an arcade, but that doesn't mean burgers and fries. Since opening in 2015, Echo Park's Button Mash has been a neighborhood go-to for offbeat beers and delicious food. It previously housed beloved pan-Asian concept Starry Kitchen, helmed by husband-and-wife team Nguyen and Thi Tran.

  2. The undefinable cooking at Poltergeist will haunt you

    This is white noise rendered as Funfetti. The tinny '80s synth chimes of "Galaga" and "Ms. Pac-Man" weirdly soothe my Gen-X nervous system. Since February, Diego Argoti has been chef-in-residence...

  3. Poltergeist Review

    ratings guide 6.9 Poltergeist Save to a list Website Directions Fusion Echo Park $$$$ Perfect For: Unique Dining Experience Casual Weeknight Dinner Date Night Earn 3x points with your sapphire card Sylvio Martins June 6, 2023

  4. Poltergeist opens inside Echo Park arcade Button Mash with weird and

    Poltergeist launches Friday and is meant to feel slightly more sophisticated than the one-off but still thoughtfully devised noodle dishes eaten out of disposable bowls on the street; this menu...

  5. Seven Months In, How Is Echo Park Restaurant Poltergeist Doing

    "I feel like a liar and a thief, every day." Diego Argoti is no stranger to speaking bluntly about himself. The chef-owner of Poltergeist, easily Los Angeles's most inventive, unstructured new...

  6. Estrano Chef Diego Argoti Finds a New Home Inside Button ...

    "Here I'm trying to cook food that's sustainable for a community. I'm going to have this menu here every day." Octopus burrata with squid ink fry bread. For Weiss and Fowlkes, having Argoti open...

  7. A new restaurant from one of L.A.'s wildest chefs opens inside a video

    Poltergeist launches Friday and is meant to feel slightly more sophisticated than the one-off but still thoughtfully devised noodle dishes eaten out of disposable bowls on the street; this menu...

  8. Poltergeist

    2 Likes Srsly February 24, 2023, 6:50pm 6 Went to a preview night and really enjoyed the hell out of it. If you like Estrano, I think you'll dig this - still totally wild, but found it maybe a little more refined/focused/precise. Red Curry Chochyote Fondue and Mapo Tofu Stuffed Cabbage were highlights at our table.

  9. New Courtyard Restaurant Lands Next to the Santa Monica Pier ...

    Poltergeist, the new restaurant inside Button Mash from Estrano's Diego Argoti, opens this weekend. The so-called King of Chaos Cooking is turning out a uniquely inventive menu that includes...

  10. Book Your Poltergeist at Button Mash Reservation Now on Resy

    Poltergiest is an exciting new dining experience from Chef Diego Argoti paired with Button Mash's vintage arcade games and pinball machines and a highly eclectic rotating craft beer list to provide a unique LA experience. Button Mash becomes 21+ Only starting at 9:00 pm. Anyone under 21 must be in the restaurant prior to 8:30pm or will not be allowed inside regardless of reservation.

  11. Poltergeist

    Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings -- Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), teenaged Dana (Dominique Dunne), eight-year-old Robbie (Oliver ...

  12. BUTTON MASH

    I wasn't sure how to review Button Mash, after giving Poltergeist 5 stars. Go read my other review! But, we went to the arcade on Sunday to get out of the heatwave, and it was a good call! Nicely air conditioned, CLEAN (I thought there would be grubby keys and grossness from sweaty kids...sorry I was raised in the Chuck E. Cheese era), well ...

  13. Poltergeist Retro Review: As Scary and Good Now As Ever Before

    Most people agree the film is a classic of the horror genre (it holds an 85% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which seems low to be honest), but with the film newly on Netflix, we thought it was a...

  14. PROTAGONIST

    The restaurant is located inside the wood lake center clinic. Parking is located in the clinic ramp behind all the buildings. You can enter the ramp from either lyndale or 66th sides. It's a little confusing at first but pretty easy to figure out. The directions are also on their website. It was pretty dead around two o clock on a Tuesday.

  15. Poltergeist movie review & film summary (1982)

    This is the movie "The Amityville Horror" dreamed of being. It begins with the same ingredients (a happy American family, living in a big, comfortable house). It provides similar warnings of doom (household objects move by themselves, the weather seems different around the house than anywhere else).

  16. Delicious

    Yakitoriya: Delicious - See 17 traveler reviews, 7 candid photos, and great deals for Elektrostal, Russia, at Tripadvisor.

  17. Poltergeist (4K UHD Review)

    Unfortunately, that's it. For the 40th anniversary release of a film as significant as Poltergeist, it's a shame that Warner Bros. hasn't offered a single new extra. If anything deserves a comprehensive making-of documentary, it's Poltergeist. On the other hand, this is an absolutely stellar 4K presentation that's a significant ...

  18. POLTERGEIST

    4.8 miles away from Poltergeist Rebecca C. said "Daycare was always a scary thing for us as new parents to experience. I did SO MUCH research and interviewed so many places and krk Deerfield truly popped out with their reviews, low employment turnover, inspections, certifications,…"

  19. Review: Hyde A New Pjoltergeist is Back to Haunt Rosteds Gate

    5 Comments A new Pjoltergeist is back to haunt Rosteds gate 15 B in Fredensborg - the address that was once home to my all-time favorite restaurant in Oslo. It's the same venue, with a similar concept, including a former Pjoltergeist chef in the kitchen, but there are new people behind the bar. The name of the place is Hyde.

  20. Online Menu of Poltergeist Pub, Clinton, IA

    Select a Rating! View Menus. 517 S 3rd St. Clinton, IA 52732 (Map & Directions) (563) 242-9503. Reported as permanently closed. Find something similiar nearby . Cuisine: Bar Food. Neighborhood: Clinton.

  21. PEKIN, Elektrostal

    17 reviews #12 of 30 Restaurants in Elektrostal $$ - $$$ Asian. Lenina Ave., 40/8, Elektrostal 144005 Russia +7 495 120-35-45 Website + Add hours Improve this listing. See all (5)

  22. Gordo's, Guildford: 'It's a food adventure playground'

    Jay Rayner. Gordo's, 73a North Street, Guildford GU1 4AW (07737 981825; gordos.uk ). Starters £8.95-£13, mains £10.50-£15, dessert £6.50-£10.25, beers £5.50, wines from £23. The first ...

  23. Casa Teresa restaurant review: A Spanish chef pays homage to women

    Review by Tom Sietsema. January 5, 2024 at 6:30 a.m. EST. Chef and co-owner Rubén García beneath a portrait of his great-grandmother, Teresa, for whom his new restaurant downtown, Casa Teresa ...

  24. LA PIAZZA, Moscow

    Review. Save. Share. 30 reviews #2,149 of 11,087 Restaurants in Moscow $$ - $$$ Italian Vegetarian Friendly. Admirala Lazareva St., 24, Moscow 117042 Russia +7 496 787-26-15 + Add website + Add hours Improve this listing.

  25. MCDONALD'S, Moscow

    McDonald's, Moscow: See 26 unbiased reviews of McDonald's, rated 3.5 of 5 on Tripadvisor and ranked #5,003 of 15,901 restaurants in Moscow.