I'm finally getting around to reviewing Empire Bikes, almost two years after buying my Felt ZW5.
I dealt with Rocky who was super accommodating. I ordered the bike before it was actually shipped to the US from the manufacturer (I really wanted that bike!). Rocky hooked me up with a loaner while my bike arrived - how nice is that?! The loaner was a Specialized, pretty comparable to what I ordered.
I was getting anxious because it took the bike a while longer to arrive (an issue with the manufacturer, not Empire) but Rocky and everyone else was pretty patient with me. The bike arrived and all has been perfect since!
The gym is large and machines are very rarely ever out of service. There is almost always a treadmill or an elliptical available, even at peak hours.
That said, I have never been to a gym where etiquette was so piss poor. It's not just one or two bros either. There's a DOMINANT plain 'ol not-giving-a- fuck about anyone else culture that thrives among the members here. Weights are NEVER where they should be - plates, dumbbells, barbells - they're always strewn about. No one here ever racks their weights. The squat racks are constantly left with multiple 45lb plates stacked on them and positioned quite high, same goes for any other weight machine. Perhaps the gym members here are kind and productive members in their community, but inside the gym, they're borderline feral!
Do not sign up for their personal training. The LA Fitness model is not designed for safety or effectiveness (the sessions are 30 mins and they cram as many people into the schedule to fill quotas). If you sign up for personal training and don't cancel within their slim grace period, you owe half of the remainder of your contract should you then decide to cancel. No way out of that.
I was lucky enough to have once been a member of a small boxing gym where the members were respectful and the trainers were dedicated (albeit they charged much more $). This is NOT that kind of gym.
The price of a room per night is a STEAL for the location. The rooms are small (but you're in NYC, so you should expect that) and offer the very basic, but they are clean and safe and you're in the heart of Greenwich Village with a ton of shops, restaurants, bars, etc.
The staff is polite and helpful and didn't even seem bothered that I had booked a room for 1person but was clearly sharing the room with someone else. The shared bathrooms were always clean and I hardly noticed anyone else in the entire hotel.
It made my stay in NYC pretty comf and convenient. I'd definitely recommend it to travelers on a budget or to anyone who doesn't mind saving money on accommodations and spending the rest on food, travel, etc..
Oh yes, NO BED BUGS EITHER!
Don't come here if you're not a fan of sketchy dive bars (or as sketchy as they can get in this part of DTLA). Don't come here if you want a clean atmosphere with fancy drinks and top 40 tunes.
Do come here if you want strong drinks, don't mind smoke in your face and punk rock (on Saturday) tunes floating about. Also, the taco stand right next door is a GODSEND when you've had one too many glasses of scotch.
Start with an order of meat or veggie samosas (both are fantastic), dip those in some sweet chutney with a kick... mmmm! Then order the lamb curry and/or chicken tikka masala, some naan and rice to soak up the sauces... HEAVEN ON YOUR PLATE! But don't take my word for it, you can substitute any of the dishes I just listed with pretty much anything on their menu - I've never had a bad experience with any of their food.
I've been coming to Anarkali for almost 3years now and I've never had a disappointing meal. The staff is very courteous, friendly, and make you feel appreciated. The atmosphere is low key, great for either a date or a small get together with friends.
I don't get to come often, so when I do it's an event! This is the only place that makes me regret the fact that my stomach has shrunk and I can't fit as much deliciousness into it as I used to.
PS: Their vegetable soup and rice pudding are to die for!
Aloo Gobhi - INSANELY OILY and absolutely dull. For swimming in about 1/2 a cup of oil (my arteries will never be the same), this stuff managed to not soak up an ounce of flavor. Tragic.
Garlic Naan - didn't taste much garlic and looked as if it had only half cooked. I've had better store bought naan.
Chicken Tandoori - extra dry, that poor chicken died in vain.
Mutton Tikka - not awful and in comparison to the rest of the mediocre meal, it was a standout, but I've had far better at every single other Indian restaurant I've been to and the pieces of lamb were too small.
Service - how is it that the people who arrive after us get served first? why did the waiter offer us bottled water (at $1.25 a bottle) but not a pitcher of water like he did everyone else? why did one of the employees keep staring at my bald headed chicano friend like he was going to steal something when he was a paying customer like everyone else? why did we wait for almost 40minutes for our food when the restaurant wasn't even crowded? why did they assume we'd even leave a tip?!
The one thing I will thank Shan for, is for reminding me of how lucky I am to have far better Indian cuisine closer to where I live. I had never been to an Indian place that didn't have flavorful food or friendly service, sadly, until today.
Damn you Kincaids! Damn you for setting the bar so high for key lime pie that I fear I'll have to go back to you to taste one so delicious... and I live nowhere near you.
We started our experience at Kincaids at the bar (hell yes for retirees who don't mind picking up bar tabs). I must say this place has quite decent bartenders. They give great recommendations and have a pretty good attitude (the overall service here was very good, they handled our large party well and didn't screw anything up). After some Stoli and some sweet fufu martinis, it was off to the food!
Everything my belly consumed here was fantabulous! Crab cakes were delicious and perfectly textured, as was the filet mignon my boyfriend ordered. I do have a tiny gripe with the seafood linguine I ordered which, although overall being very tasty, was a bit too oily and left my arteries aching. Still, despite the overall amazingness of the meal- I would give it all up for their key lime pie! OH GOOD MERCIFUL GOD THAT PIE WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD! The texture was light, not a super gelatinous slop, it was sweet without being overpowering, and the crust was crisp and not soggy. Seriously, this pie made me want to cry it was sooo goddamn good! The pear pudding pie was damn delicious too, but nothing touches that key lime pie. I AM TELLING YOU - you must eat it!
Two downers about this place:
1- it can be quite pricey but luckily for me, I wasn't footing the bill.
2- there are none in Los Angeles... which on second thought, could actually be a good thing... I'd seriously be over there every other day eating key lime pie.
I often had to come to Calumet to pick up equipment for a photog I was working for. While they do have pretty much anything you would need for a photoshoot - large or small scale - their attitude could use some work. I don't know if it's just the people in the rentals department who are unnecessarily condescending or they had some kind of bone to pick with the person I was working for - but it wasn't unusual for me to deal with some cattiness.
Their sales department on the other hand, are always friendly and helpful. They answer questions thoroughly and don't hassle you into buying something you just happened to be curious about.
Their prices are also pretty reasonable for rentals and sales. My only advice to those who plan on renting and have never been here before is know EXACTLY what you want. Otherwise, you might have to deal with some lip.
Lastly - they do have an awesomely convenient parking parking lot which in Hollywood is a blessing!
Mondays are half off - you get a $75hair cut for $35 and I've never been let down by them. I usually request an a-line bob with side swept bangs, an otherwise simple style but you'd be surprised how many people get it wrong. Elva (I belive that's her name) is super chill and makes you feel at ease while she works magic on your hair.
The place is ultra hipster - but at least they deliver on some rockin' style. Unfortunately times are tough for a poor student and I can't really afford them at the moment - but when I rise up from my impoverished slump I'm definitely going back to them.
For years I drove past this place on my way to school but I finally got to try it out last weekend. I was thoroughly pleased!
Sunday afternoon, my stomach is grumbling and this place has a line going out the door. Good sign! We got there in time for their dinner special - your choice of an entree, three sides, a desert, corn bread, and ice tea for $16 and the portions are huge! The bf and I split : fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, rice with gravy, peach cobbler and corn bread. It was more than enough for both of us.
Although everything was delicious, the highlights of the meal for me were the mashed potatoes and the cobbler. The potatoes were flavorful and the texture was just right, and the cobbler was unbelievable - rich, very cinnamon-y and bold. Also the service was polite, and friendly - all in all a great dinner was had.
This place is definitely a diamond in the rough.