Grant Fought Auto Service
I have THE BEST mechanic in the land!!!Besides being over-the-top reliable, they are the most honest and affordable. I had my '99 Toyota 4runner that has 393K miles on it serviced with a new starter, water pump and timing belt, oil change, fluids topped off and overall health inspection before going to Yosemite with 2 other people and a heavy load of camping equipment and food in the car with me. My mechanic, Ali, assured me I was good to go and if anything goes wrong to call him immediately, but that he was confident all would be fine. We made it to our Campground just outside of Yosemite Nat'l Park, NO PROBLEM! But after 3 days, we pack up and get ready to go, my car started up and sounded awful and would barely go. We hiked a mile to the local lodge and called AAA for a tow and most fortunately found a VERY reputable and OPEN [on the 4th of July] auto repair shop 30 miles away. Diagnostic tests showed it was merely a defective timing belt, which of course was brand new. He reported that my mechanic has done a perfect job in his repair job. So I called my mechanic to report the news and he told the Groveland Auto Repair shop to fix it and he would take care of the repair costs. Shocker #1 Because this shop was already so busy and had to order the new part, it wasn't going to be fixed till next week. MY MECHANIC INSISTED ON GOING ALL THE WAY TO GROVELAND, 330 miles from Los Angeles, TO GET THE CAR AND TOW IT BACK AND FIX IT HIMSELF!!!! He did that yesterday... ������������WHO DOES THAT?!?!! He has been my mechanic for a little over a year now and he will ALWAYS be my mechanic from now on. He should be yours as well!!
Some gas stations are bright and shiny or sleek and efficient. They at least try not to be eyesores, but here we have a gas station that can only be described as tired, rundown, and generally cruddy. Let's start with the gas pumps themselves: One would not think that erstwhile graffitti artists would bother to deface something as mundane as gas pumps and, in particular, that little window where one needs to see the price of one's gas, but here they do, scratching inanities that all but obscure the numbers. (If these are gang members, they certainly are small-timers.) Thinking of washing your car windows? Forget it; there is no windshield washer fluid to do so, or there is, but it looks so dirty and gross you skip it. Paper towels? Surprise! Someone has broken the dispenser. From a technical (and aesthetic) point, this Chevron station needs help. As for their dubious mechanic services, I avoid it completely; it seems like the kind of garage you take your car to where getting a new battery installed turns into the mechanical version of brain surgery. If the price of the work doesn't give you a heart attack the second hand smoke will. (Armenian men have a love affair with cigarettes; they should familiarize themselves with the mechanics of 24 hour oxygen dependence before fixing one more flat tire.) I might mention that the place does aim for convenience. You can get your soda and chips fix, and they have a working ATM. They also sell some bizarre little novelty gift items at the counter inside for those prone to buying gifts at a gas station.(?) Otherwise, this "engine" needs an overhaul.
Little Bear: A Belgian Beer Cafe
Honestly, this is some of the best food I've ever had in the Los Angeles area. The restaurant is a bit difficult to find, tucked on a side street in the heart of east downtown L.A., but if you know the restaurant State & Church, it's just across the street. It's a big red door.So, first let's talk about the beer. The menu is filled with artisan Belgian style beers, both imported and domestic. You can't go wrong, but talk to your waiter about what you like, or what you feel like having, and you'll get a good recommendation. Be bold - the selection changes all the time. I highly recommend the Ommegang Witte, if available - sweet, summery, just great.Then the appetizers. There are several mussel dishes to choose from - just pick one. I love the smoked salmon bruschetta - it's out of this world. And the mushroom risotto ... ay yi. I got a taste of the salmon sandwich and one of the burgers - they're pretty much fantastic. But let me tell you, it's all about the smoked wild boar sausage, with pureed roasted sweet potatoes, black kale and pearl onions. I haven't tasted boar sausage like this since my last meal in Venice (Italy, not the beach town). And if you're not adventurous for the boar, head straight for the grilled smoked salmon and taste a bit of heaven. Seriously, this is my new favorite restaurant.
I own my Alfa for 28 years. Going on 11 years of bringing it to Johns. The car runs beautifully. I always feel bad when I meet other Alfa owners who are not getting pleasure from owning there car. Usually they are telling me some nightmare story of the car being in the shop, and costing a fortune. I can empathize, I been there. But that was along time ago. One day I parked at a RALPHS Supermarket next to a guy twice my age, driving an Alfa twice as old as mine. So I asked the happy driver where he took his car for service? He pointed to his plate, and said "this is the place you bring it, if you want to keep it". The plate read, "Johns Alfa Romance". He was right. There is genuine enthusiasm here for Alfa Romeo's. And an understanding of "value" and "respect" for a customer. I do not review things, restaurants, or coffee shops etc, but i am going to make sure i put up some reviews for this shop. Because I love Alfa Romeo's. Ever since I was a kid and my Dad's Paisan Aldo took me for a ride in his 71 spider. So I wanted to pass the message on, "You bring it here if you want to keep it" . And to the crew at John's, as my father would say "In Boca Lupo!"
No Pep-talk here; just a nice, grungy garage, a team of muy macho mechanics, and a station manager with an unstoppable sense of humor. (He should've been the next great Latino comic.) And they get the job done. I've been coming to them for years. If they don't get it right, they are always fair and square about it, and don't charge me to nail the problem. I am decidedly not interested in the inner workings of cars,so am admittedly vulnerable in this arena, but they take the time to explain what they did and why. And they don't try to cure alll of the ailments of an ageing car just to beef up the bill; they center on the problem at hand, fix it, and then tell me what else it would be wise or downright life-saving to take care of. I appreciate that, and the friendly attitude of the mechanics, and the manager's good humor. He seems to "get" the underlying anxiety of someone bringing a car in that they are not sure what is wrong with, (and wondering if it will cost half their paycheck to fix it!) I'm a regular for more than one reason. Let's face it: some mechanics are just opportunists and rip-off artists. These guys are blue collar mechanics without the bs.
Affordable Care Of Hollywood
I brought my Toyota Prius here because the steering shaft went out. The owner, Stacey, looked at my car, researched the issue & ended up finding recalls on a part connected to the main shaft. I had already fixed the recall 3 years ago, but something like this shouldn't have gone out. He printed the recalls out for me, sent me youtube videos on the issue (so I would be educated about what to look for if Toyota tried to get out of it) & helped me come up with an argument for Toyota to comp. the service & part for me. He did not have to help me to the extent that he did. If he was like all the other sleazy, money-scraping shops in LA, he could have charged me to do the job himself (a $700-800 job). BUT INSTEAD, he did the kind thing & helped me get my problem fixed on Toyota's dime. AND, he did all that for me for free. He went extra. Without anything in return. Just because he wanted to provide good service. That deserves more than this 5-star review. Anyone & everyone should go to him. There is only one issue, he only services Toyota, Scion, Acura, Honda & Lexus. (I'm almost positive I got all of them, but call incase I'm wrong). :-)
Benny who owns John's Alfa Romance knows Alfa Romeos inside and out. I am the original owner of a 1978 Alfa Spider. I drove the car into the early 90s, parked it at 180,000 miles and in 2010 decided to restore it. Benny has brought this car back to life and in fact it drives better then when new. Benny was trained by Alfa Romeo to work on these cars. This is not something to take lightly as Alfa trained mechanics are hard to find any longer. Benny is an honest man. He prices his work very reasonably. I live over 300 miles from Benny's shop and it is worth it to me to go to the trouble of getting my car to Benny vs having a local mechanic working on this car. Benny is the kind of guy who when I call him, will drop what he is doing to let me blather on about some issue and over the phone and at no charge will walk me through some minor repair. A totally decent guy. Last item, if anyone reading this lives in Southern Nevada and has an Alfa, trust me, there are NO Alfa Mechanices in Las Vegas.
My college student daughter rear ended a mini cooper one day on her way to an internship. Her Ford Focus was pretty torn up on the left front. They place that towed the car estimated the repairs using the most expensive parts they could price out, and I'm sure they'd then replace them with after market parts and pocket the difference. I looked up various repair shops on the Internet, and decided that E & L's glowing reviews made them worth taking a chance. I'm in CT and they are in LA, so this was a leap of faith. They didn't let me down. By using after market parts, etc. they were able to save me almost $1,000 over the rip off artist body shop that originally towed the car. YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF TO GET THEM TO BID ON YOUR CAR. The quality is just as good, and the price with be considerably lower I'll bet. I can recommend them highly. Being 3000 miles away, they could have easily taken advantage of me, but they didn't. That's the sign of an honest operation in my opinion.