Louie, my boyfriend, and I had dinner last Sunday at A Taste of L.A. (or “L.A. Cafe”) in Don A. Roces Avenue, Tomas Morato, Quezon City. I give all credit to him for always finding unique places where we can spend a romantic night out. The fine quality food served complemented with dedicated service by this restaurant made our overall dining experience especially memorable, as we celebrated our sixth Valentine’s Day together. 🙂

Review of A Taste of L.A. (Tomas Morato, Quezon City)

Ambiance: ★★★★★

As the saying goes, we should not judge a book by its cover. A Taste of L. A. has been opened since 1995. While its exterior looked pretty shabby, seemingly reflecting how the building has aged through the years, the interior design still offers an old-world charm that’s all about the details.

From the historic wood-paneled walls to the pieces of paintings displayed in every room, A Taste of L.A. is filled with quaint and romantic touches.

Its outdoor space is equally as wonderful, with an unexpected water fountain that works as a good backdrop for picture-taking.

Since we came at nighttime, the tables were just lit with candles. Match the dim ambiance with understated decors and relaxing instrumental music, and you get the feeling of coziness you deserve on a date.

What also exuded sophistication and elegance was how the different neighboring tables were set to fit over a hundred customers in two separate levels. We had a tour prior sitting down and found the entire arrangement tasteful, one that gives exclusivity or that desired level of privacy.

Service: ★★★★★

Despite the large number of guests (mostly couples) celebrating Valentine’s Day, there was no hiccup with the efficiency of service. The attendants never slowed down or were sub par. They were knowledgeable about the menu and also paid close attention to make sure that meals take place with enjoyment. All in all, they showcased a balanced warmth of friendliness and professionalism.

Food: ★★★★★

We shared a bowl of the Fresh Onion Soup (PhP 380) as a starter.  Baked with a crust of Emmental and Gruyère cheese, the soup had a combination of slightly sweet and salty flavors with watery consistency. The bubbling crust of cheese was somewhat like mozzarella—gooey, nutty, and sharp. Its fragrance and savory texture managed to bring the simple onion soup to a next level.

For the main courses, we went for the house recommendations. A Taste of L.A.’s U.S. Rib Eye Salpicao Rice (PhP 560) was amazing and became our easy favorite. The steak cubes cut size was just great for chewing, and the marinade composed of garlic and chili did not overwhelm the beef. I suddenly remembered The Nest’s version of Beef Salpicao. (I can’t decide which one fared the notch better.) The bed of garlic fried rice was also tasty, and there was nothing to complain about.


Cooked to perfection, the Grilled Chicken “Hotel de Paris” (PhP 520) with fresh mushrooms, smoky bacon, Béarnaise sauce, and mashed potatoes on the side was another winning dish that’s well prepared by the café. The name sounded a mouthful but a delicious one. A twist to the tandoori chicken, the grilled chicken was tender and juicy. A worthy shout out was the Béarnaise sauce which was made of clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks, white wine vinegar, and flavored with herbs. Thumbs up!


Price for Value: ★★★★☆

Reminiscing the meal, I realized that A Taste of L.A. (L.A. Cafe) in an almost-hidden spot near the popular commercial area of Tomas Morato did a sublime job in injecting Italian and American food selections into the menu while retaining conventional Filipino recipes. They also offer a fine collection of wine and various types of liquor to choose from.

If you are looking for a decent venue in QC to discuss business ventures, catch up with friends and associates, or impress someone and are willing to spend about PhP 500-1000/pax, A Taste of L.A. is the place to be.

A Taste of L.A.
171 Don A. Roces Avenue, Tomas Morato, Laging Handa, Quezon City
For inquiries/reservations, call 374-2461, 415-7911
Date Published: 02/16/2015
19 / 20 stars

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Digital marketing strategist. Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

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81 Responses

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    I love the rustic decor of that restaurant. The food there looks absolutely amazing, too! Fun date night!

    Reply
  2. mr_jeng

    wooot woooooot!!!!! cutie couple!!! hehehehe… nice venue for a date ^_^ I usually pass by it when I go to tomas morato hmmm …. the chicken dish looks good… but it seems a little pricey? but i guess the tastes makes up for it.^_^ have a good one dear ^_^

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks, Jeng! 🙂 I don’t frequent this area so it was honestly my first time to know about L.A. Cafe. Price are quite high but justifiable with luxurious setup and top-notch service. Check it out next time and bring a date. 😛

      Reply
  3. Amanda

    I absolutely love reading restaurant reviews…I get to enjoy the food and ambiance without having to pay the bill! The restaurant looked like a nice romantic spot and I must admit that I was drooling over the picture of the French onion soup. It is totally my weakness.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha me too. That’s why I randomly read restaurant reviews whether local or international just to get to know more about experiences of other people in various locations. L.A. Cafe is a nice place to celebrate anything! 🙂 The French Onion Soup was really great!

      Reply
  4. Ashleigh Walls

    This looks like a great place for a date night. Normally I don’t like french onion soup but seeing the picture of theirs it looks so delicious! Really nice rustic look to the place too.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The French Onion Soup wasn’t much of a looker but the taste was pleasant. I want to learn how to make it. 🙂 Only possible disadvantage is the price but then again, you won’t mind paying for something really satisfying.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      This is a great cafe where you can treat your sweetheart to a tantalizing meal of everything from American are and Italian food to Filipino bites and some wine to complete a meal. 😉

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha I think I’m just lucky to be having more great experiences with the nicest restaurants than boring ones. Dining at L.A. Cafe is true class and a sure way to impress a date.

      Reply
  5. Donna Ward

    Gosh – it’s been so long since I’ve been to an exquisite restaurant – but you certainly brought the feeling and the taste back – What fun you had 🙂

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      It was a very elegant experience. Service is amazing and names of dishes on the menu seem foreign but are insanely delicious. I definitely recommend this cafe for its romantic setting. 😀

      Reply
  6. Amy @ Will Run For Ice Cream

    I love french onion soup! And I love the interior and the decor! We stayed in for Valentine’s day, but I’m glad that even though it was busy there that there wasn’t any hiccups in service. It looks like the food was awesome and a great place to eat.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah, we had a superb fine dining with the highest level of service, short of being in a royal palace. A Taste of L.A. is a great spot for a special dinner if you want a delicious high end meal.

      Reply
  7. Debbie Harrell

    I appreciate finding these new places, and like you mentioned, when the outside doesn’t give any indication as to how it is inside. It’s like finding a gem. Your description of the food and the service makes this place seem like a wonderful place to visit.

    Reply
  8. Eileen

    I love the rustic look of this restaurant. Some of the best restaurants are the ones that have been around for a long time!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      For sure! That or the establishment won’t stay long for more than three to five years. Rental space and utility bills to manage and maintain the restaurant is getting higher every year. If L.A. Cafe is able to sustain the business, we can how it’s loved and appreciated by people. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Jeanine

    Looks like a very nice place! I love the decor. I haven’t heard of it prior to this post. The food looks super good!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      This place has an old-school charm that boasts a contemporary look at the same time with its vibe. The ambiance is super classy, and since orders are a la carte, you can mix and match selections as you desire. 🙂

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Oh yeah I have heard several “horror stories” about the taste of French onion soup (e.g. tastes like rubber). This one is a solid portion that anyone who has an appetite will like. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Breanna

    Okay, first of all, you are absolutely beautiful – what a cute couple you are! 🙂 Your dinner looked amazing, and I love the ambience of the restaurant! It was very chic-cozy, if that’s even a thing 🙂 Happy 6th Valentine’s Day together!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yes, the ambiance must be the highlight here. Food-wise, we also got lucky with the dishes we ordered. It’s quite rare for us to say that every dish was a bit. This time, the flavors worked and nothing was bad.

      Reply
  11. Elizabeth O.

    The place looks amazing! The food looks delicious, too! Hope you had a grand time!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yes, we did. 🙂 Everything was amazing. Food was delicious and presentation was creative. The staff took away our plates as soon as we were done. They also filled our glasses as needed but not obstrusive to our conversation.

      Reply
  12. Nancy

    Looking through these restaurants, and the pictures you took doesn’t seem like a lifetime away. I’m excited to try those food! The french onion soup looks good – and I love the smell of it soo much (my parents always used to make it) but I just can’t stand onions lol. Random.

    Reply
  13. tammileetips

    I love when we find new restaurants! How great they were able to keep up with the Valentine’s Day rush. I think it says a lot about the restaurant on how they handle the busy times. The food looks amazing!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Booking for a reservation at L.A. Cafe is a must. Almost every table was already reserved so it was a good thing that my boyfriend took time and consideration to call way ahead. You’ll love it here, Tammilee! 🙂

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks! Note the dress code when you visit. I am not sure how they deal with those who are under-dressed but certainly it ruins the atmosphere when people will just be clad in jeans and a non-collared shirt.

      Reply
  14. Courtney

    omg! This restaurant looks absolutely amazing. Totally loving the decor… And the food….omg looks beyond delicious. I always have to have French Onion when I’m at restaurants. So yummy!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The restaurant is tastefully appointed and has a welcoming atmosphere. The wait staff is very professional and supports a private dining experience while tending to every need. Order the French Onion Soup next time – you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

      Reply
  15. Ashley

    I love the decor of the restaurant, it looks like a great place for a variety of events (girls night, date night, business meeting)! Thanks for such a thorough review!

    Reply
  16. Natalie

    That place looks really amazing! That first few pictures, that lamp made out of a bottle, that’s super cool! OMG like always the food always looks amazing! I’m loving that Rib Eye Salpicao Rice. That looks so good, I want steak now!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Oh yes, the Rib Eye Salpicao Rice was truly remarkable. That aside, there are too many interesting options on the menu. You may have a hard time to decide which one to get. 😛

      Reply
  17. Giveaways 4 Mom

    It looks like they have a great setup. However, I am not too sure that I like the wood tables honestly. But, the food looks like it is amazing and it appears as though you had a great time.

    Reply
  18. mindy

    I agree about the exterior looking shabby and not very promising, the interior’s very quaint and suitable for romantic dinner though so that’s nice! I am salivating looking at that picture of US ribeye salpicao rice, although i have no idea what salpicao tastes like but the beef’s more than inviting for the carnivore in me!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Salpicao is served mostly in Filipino and Spanish restaurants here. The taste was excellent in all regards. Knowing how much you love meat, you will totally mark this as one of your favorites. 🙂

      Reply
  19. Kori

    That ribeye steak and onion soup looks so tasty. I also really like the interior of the restaurant, very nice.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah, we really liked the food despite having discriminating palates. Our experience was nothing short of incredible. It was a great way to celebrate V-Day! 🙂

      Reply
  20. Jamie

    Thy looks like such an amazing restaurant! I love romantic atmospheres with dim candlelight and this place looks perfect for that. That French onion soup looks and sounds amazing as well. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Without my camera flash, I would not be able to capture anything decent in photos. Haha. That was how dim the place was. Anyway, A Taste of L.A. is a pretty awesome restaurant. I wonder how it looks like at daytime.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah, it will be extra fun while conversing on interesting topics with your loved one as we did. This restaurant is an amazing option for a high price point, and I highly recommend it for a romantic dinner. 🙂

      Reply
  21. Amanda @ Adorkablii

    Oh My. Why do you have to keep sharing this beautiful places with this amazing looking food! Ugh, my tummy just said feed me! LOL Everything looks amazing! I think the first dish looks amazing!!! I now want soup!! =P haha Thank you so much for sharing!!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha #sorrynotsorry. 😛 You’re welcome, Amanda! For a great food experience that is reliable to deliver, this cafe near Tomas Morato cannot be beat! You have to get here one time. 🙂

      Reply
  22. HilLesha

    Not only the restaurant looks lovely, but the food looks scrumptious. By the way, congratulations on your 6th Valentine’s Day with your significant other! 🙂

    Reply
  23. Lynndee

    Looks like your boyfriend did a great job in choosing that resto. We always go to a new restaurant whenever we go out except for the holidays where we have the traditions. What camera did you use in taking those photos?

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Match the lovely pieces of furniture with very creative and delectable dishes that warm you right to the soul, and you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck. 😉

      Reply
  24. Modern Pilgrim

    I love trying out new restaurants and A Taste of L.A. would be amazing! Everything looks wonderful! I would have chosen the exact same dishes that you did. Yum!

    Reply
  25. Val

    Amazing description of what looks like a real fine restaurant with good taste and good looks . . . but, pls correct the Fresh Onion Soup. It’s French Onion Soup, my dear. I have lots of “Bumbay” friends and they’re planning to drag me to go to L.A. – barangay size – to savor the taste of the Fresh Onion Soup if it’s any better from the ones they have in Calcutta or Delhi ! he-he, just kidding. You’re a darn good writer with good taste. Never write in a hurry or if you’re sooooo inspired, in high spirits with your feet off the ground, your head way up there among the clouds. Lost and drowned in the sweetness of your thoughts that you forgot to “read it again b4 u click ENTER, SUBMIT, POST, or DONE”. But I believe that you’ll go a long long way with your writing skills. The late great Ms. Doreen Fernandez must be all smiles for you with two thumbs up! Let your thoughts soar up to the heavens but keep your feet on the ground

    Reply
    • Mercy Antonio

      Kindly send me menus and the price please. I went and ate there 10 yrs ago. I like the salad. There’s an alpha alpha veg on top of it. Forgot the name of the saladm

      Reply

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