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A Few Days in Los Angeles — Report

A Few Days in Los Angeles — Report
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  • Post #211 - August 30th, 2017, 7:07 am
    Post #211 - August 30th, 2017, 7:07 am Post #211 - August 30th, 2017, 7:07 am
    Spent a few weeks in DTLA recently and a lot of lunches at Grand Central. Definitely the carnitas place, even though we've got the goods here in Chicago as well. Being a carnitas joint, it tends to be open earlier in the day. They sell beer, too.

    http://www.grandcentralmarket.com/vendo ... -moreliana

    Sticky Rice for khao man gai.

    Golden Road brewery is good - esp for LA which had redisted good beer for decades despite San Diego and Northern California as craft brew centers.

    Egg Slut- long lines for sandwiches in the Eastman Egg Co. mold. Good but not worth the wait with other options abounding.

    If you are scratching off bucket list items downtown, consider Philppe the Original in Chinatown. You'll want to Uber a lot. Pretty spread out - and moderately hilly- downtown. If you are trying to do public transportation, do as the locals don't and use the subway- gets you from downtown to Los Feliz/Thai Town vicinity to points west where you'll end up. Enjoy.
  • Post #212 - September 26th, 2017, 7:57 pm
    Post #212 - September 26th, 2017, 7:57 pm Post #212 - September 26th, 2017, 7:57 pm
    So I'm en route to LA right now...to be very exact, I'm on an Amtrak train which is delayed in Santa Barbara for who knows how long. Looks like I'll be taking the red line train from Union Station to 7th St and then transferring to the Expo line...or, if I'm cranky enough, I'll just grab a Lyft. What's a good late-night dive to eat in (aka LA equivalent of El Farolito in SF) roughly along that route?
  • Post #213 - September 26th, 2017, 8:39 pm
    Post #213 - September 26th, 2017, 8:39 pm Post #213 - September 26th, 2017, 8:39 pm
    Union Station is about a 10-minute walk to either Little Tokyo or Chinatown, but finding places that are open late may be a challenge. K-Town should be hopping, but it's too far. I got nothing.

    Depending on how late your train is, you may be able to make Howlin' Ray's 11am opening tomorrow.... :)
  • Post #214 - September 26th, 2017, 9:14 pm
    Post #214 - September 26th, 2017, 9:14 pm Post #214 - September 26th, 2017, 9:14 pm
    Yelp shows a Japanese diner called Suehiro Cafe open til 1am, not too far from the train station, so I think that's my game plan. How nasty is that part of LA at night?

    Interestingly, I thought this would be the night to correct my shocking failure to eat In-N-Out since moving to CA, but Googling reveals a byzantine dispute centering on In-N-Out refusing to build in downtown LA if they can't have a drive-thru...
  • Post #215 - September 26th, 2017, 9:22 pm
    Post #215 - September 26th, 2017, 9:22 pm Post #215 - September 26th, 2017, 9:22 pm
    Wisco wrote:How nasty is that part of LA at night?

    It's not great. Think deep in the Mission.
  • Post #216 - September 26th, 2017, 9:25 pm
    Post #216 - September 26th, 2017, 9:25 pm Post #216 - September 26th, 2017, 9:25 pm
    Gotcha. I'll put my game face on.
  • Post #217 - October 25th, 2017, 4:46 pm
    Post #217 - October 25th, 2017, 4:46 pm Post #217 - October 25th, 2017, 4:46 pm
    I'm going to be in LA over the weekend - anything that's a must hit? I should be free most of Sunday and Saturday evening, I have a car and I can spend a a reasonable amount but really interested in local flair more than fine dining - TIA!
  • Post #218 - October 25th, 2017, 5:33 pm
    Post #218 - October 25th, 2017, 5:33 pm Post #218 - October 25th, 2017, 5:33 pm
    What area will be you based in? Have you been to LA before, and is there any food or cuisine you particularly love, or are indifferent to?

    For me: I can't imagine going out of my way to eat a great burger in any of my travels. I'm sure I'm missing out on things, but we all have a finite amount of meals, you know?
  • Post #219 - October 25th, 2017, 6:23 pm
    Post #219 - October 25th, 2017, 6:23 pm Post #219 - October 25th, 2017, 6:23 pm
    Never been to LA - staying in Burbank - not much around here it seems. Honestly I'm up for any kind of food, if there's anything interesting I'm game
  • Post #220 - October 25th, 2017, 6:38 pm
    Post #220 - October 25th, 2017, 6:38 pm Post #220 - October 25th, 2017, 6:38 pm
    Places I keep coming back to every time: Thai (Jitlada, Pailin, Luv2Eat, Night + Market Song), Japanese (Aburiya Raku, Tsujita — also looking forward to their new tan tan ramen place — various sushi), Mexican like we can’t really get here (Guerilla Tacos, Ricky’s Fish Tacos), pure LA (Sqirl, Gjusta). Oh, and too many places in the San Gabriel Valley to list.
  • Post #221 - October 25th, 2017, 7:02 pm
    Post #221 - October 25th, 2017, 7:02 pm Post #221 - October 25th, 2017, 7:02 pm
    Touristy thing in Burbank: the Warner Bros lot tour. It's great, and the studio still has a significant amount of property.

    Restaurants: maybe go over into North Hollywood, Sherman Way for Thai Gulch, my go-to is Krua Thai. You could also drive to North Hollywood, take the red line to downtown LA, hit Grand Central market/all the buzzy delicious places, take in the Bradbury building and Grand Central library.

    You are staying quite far from the West side, if you want to see the ocean it'll take about a day, taking into account traffic both ways, and general noodling around time.
  • Post #222 - October 25th, 2017, 8:30 pm
    Post #222 - October 25th, 2017, 8:30 pm Post #222 - October 25th, 2017, 8:30 pm
    Thanks! Good suggestions!
  • Post #223 - December 15th, 2017, 12:28 pm
    Post #223 - December 15th, 2017, 12:28 pm Post #223 - December 15th, 2017, 12:28 pm
    Very excited to be moving to LA in late January. We're renting in Westchester, close to LAX and a short drive from the ocean and all the beach cities. Westchester seems to be a desert in terms of interesting food - good taco tricks and some interesting Jamaican, a nice brewery - anyone got any intel otherwise?
  • Post #224 - December 18th, 2017, 10:07 pm
    Post #224 - December 18th, 2017, 10:07 pm Post #224 - December 18th, 2017, 10:07 pm
    KevinM wrote:Very excited to be moving to LA in late January. We're renting in Westchester, close to LAX and a short drive from the ocean and all the beach cities. Westchester seems to be a desert in terms of interesting food - good taco tricks and some interesting Jamaican, a nice brewery - anyone got any intel otherwise?


    I would search here: http://foodtalkcentral.com/c/usa-west/los-angeles
  • Post #225 - December 22nd, 2017, 11:37 pm
    Post #225 - December 22nd, 2017, 11:37 pm Post #225 - December 22nd, 2017, 11:37 pm
    Looking at this thread, it occurs to me that I never updated with the results of my last trip to LA. Unfortunately, I only had one sit-down meal which was at all noteworthy--a fine bowl of 'Spicy Breakfast Ramen' and a very fine kimchi and pork belly appetizer ('Butakimu') at the Shin Sen Gumi franchise on Sawtelle--and my experience was somewhat ruined by a very intoxicated and belligerent patron seated next to me at the counter who was not handled properly by the staff (to be fair, he outweighed any visible ones by about 80lbs) and was pretty annoying to deal with. Food was good, though! And the giant carnitas tacos at the Grand Central Market are as good as everyone says!

    Anyway, I'm heading back to LA next week for 5 days. My girlfriend is a native Angeleno and has a bunch of spots to show me, many of which overlap with the recs in this thread. We'll be staying in Echo Park and have some access to a car, but will probably try to stay in East LA/Downtown with a possible excursion to Pasadena.

    1. I want to explore Mexican food, both exemplars of a particular item, even if common (i.e. pastor tacos, burritos, etc) or less common (regional stuff, birria, pozole, mariscos), but the caveat is that anywhere that's a sit-down restaurant (as opposed to a taco truck to hit on the fly) needs to have a decent vegetable-heavy (doesn't have to be meat-free) option for my girlfriend.
    2. If such a thing exists, I would be interested in worthwhile, budget Japanese options convenient to Echo Park/DTLA.
    3. If I decide to venture up to Pasadena (I want to see the historic observatory), is there any can't-miss food there?

    Thanks in advance.
  • Post #226 - December 27th, 2017, 10:01 am
    Post #226 - December 27th, 2017, 10:01 am Post #226 - December 27th, 2017, 10:01 am
    Aha, I assumed you’d been murdered outside Union Station. One less death on my conscience!

    1. Is seafood okay with your gf? Coni Seafood in Inglewood is known for pescado zarandeado and smoked marlin tacos, but many other dishes are top notch, too. And Guerilla Tacos is extremely veg-friendly. (Though possibly closed until the new year? Their webpage is confusing on this point.)

    2. I’m not that familiar with Little Tokyo, but definitely check out Marugame Monzo for fresh-made udon. The uni udon is their signature dish, but you should also try a cold dish to really appreciate the texture of the noodles. Budget-friendly, for sure. Elsewhere, your best bet for budget Japanese may be lunch, when many places have specials/set menus. Aburiya Raku is the best I’ve had here, but I can also wholeheartedly recommend Sushi Tsujita and Sushi Sasabune.

    3. When I’m in Pasadena (as I am now, in fact), I usually drive 20 minutes to SGV for some of the best Chinese food in the U.S. (also Vietnamese, Burmese, etc.) But in Pasadena proper, I’m a big fan of Euro Pane Bakery for great pastry and the best egg-salad sandwich I’ve ever had (two locations, the one farther west is a bit fancier inside). Prices are very reasonable, especially for the quality. I also hear that Osawa is very good, but haven’t tried it yet. Finally, consider going up to Altadena for great gelato at Bulgarini.

    Edit: Just reconfirmed yesterday what an insanely good deal Sushi Tsujita's chirashi lunch special is. $18 gets you a nice-sized box chock full of amazing quality seafood over seasoned rice, plus soup (not always miso, although that’s great there, too). They only have 15 of these per day, but in my experience you'll have no problem snagging one if you get there before noon; yesterday, I bet they still had them around 1. The other lunch specials are great too, just not quite an astounding a value. Quality is top notch across the board.

    Open New Year's Eve and Day, then closed for vacation 1/2-1/4.

    Edit #2: Tsujita Killer Noodle is awesome. Highly recommend the “Tokyo style” tantanmen — either with soup or without. I eat a lot of spicy food and 5/5 on heat/numbing was more than sufficiently hot for me; might even go lower next time.
  • Post #227 - May 17th, 2018, 8:24 am
    Post #227 - May 17th, 2018, 8:24 am Post #227 - May 17th, 2018, 8:24 am
    Any recent recommendations? I have time for a breakfast, lunch and dinner near Culver City squeezed into a wedding weekend. I'm looking for something moderately priced that I can't get in Chicago. Happy hour food is always a plus. Tsujita tsukemen is already a must on every visit. I've already read this thread and Food Talk Central. TIA.
    "And if you don't know, now you know." -BIG
  • Post #228 - May 23rd, 2018, 7:34 pm
    Post #228 - May 23rd, 2018, 7:34 pm Post #228 - May 23rd, 2018, 7:34 pm
    Don’t know Culver City that well; I’d suggest Guerilla Tacos, but they’re not in CC on weekends. I really liked my meal at Lukshon a couple of years ago — every dish was a winner. The FTC crowd hates it for some reason, though.
  • Post #229 - May 24th, 2018, 12:35 pm
    Post #229 - May 24th, 2018, 12:35 pm Post #229 - May 24th, 2018, 12:35 pm
    If you like Hawaiian, Rutts and A-Frame are two good options right in Culver City. A-Frame is a Roy Choi spot, so it's really hip (just avoid the housemade Spam because it doesn't come close to Hormel's crown jewel).

    For a great and mad unique burger, the Plan Check on Sawtelle will be right near where you are too.
  • Post #230 - June 5th, 2018, 10:00 pm
    Post #230 - June 5th, 2018, 10:00 pm Post #230 - June 5th, 2018, 10:00 pm
    Thanks for the replies. My free time for meals quickly disappeared so I created time for fourth and fifth meal on the night I landed.

    Tsujita for tsukemen with extra broth and extra noodles proved as consistent as previous visits. Ten minute wait at 11pm. Damn, their tsukemen is luxurious. Why can't any place in Chicago do a decent version?

    Leo's taco truck at midnight also hit the right notes. I managed to put down four Al Pastor tacos ($1.25 each) before settling into a food coma at the hotel. They had two trompos going with two trompodores(they should be called this) slicing to give an idea of demand.

    Each day was packed full of great food but the highlight may have been the rehearsal dinner which included an In & Out Food Truck, a Kogi Food Truck and a fry cart.

    The wedding cake from SusieCakes was no slouch either.

    Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle
    2057 Sawtelle Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90025

    Leo's Taco Truck
    1515 S La Brea Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90019
    "And if you don't know, now you know." -BIG
  • Post #231 - October 25th, 2018, 11:05 pm
    Post #231 - October 25th, 2018, 11:05 pm Post #231 - October 25th, 2018, 11:05 pm
    I am in awe of the Pho 87 instagram account, I might have to make a trip out there to check the place out

    https://www.instagram.com/pho87vietnameserestaurant/
  • Post #232 - October 30th, 2018, 7:15 am
    Post #232 - October 30th, 2018, 7:15 am Post #232 - October 30th, 2018, 7:15 am
    Baroo Has Closed, but Leaves a Rare Culinary Legacy in Los Angeles

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/29/dini ... losed.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #233 - December 15th, 2018, 12:56 am
    Post #233 - December 15th, 2018, 12:56 am Post #233 - December 15th, 2018, 12:56 am
    LTH'ers, I'm heading to LA on Monday. Looking for fine recommendations. Staying in Echo Park and will be hitting up Park's Finest.

    Is the Apple Pan worth it? What about HiHo cheeseburgers? What's the name of that fabulous taco joint with the fried camaron tacos? Anything else I HAVE to eat? My budget is $-$$.

    Thanks!
  • Post #234 - December 15th, 2018, 7:55 am
    Post #234 - December 15th, 2018, 7:55 am Post #234 - December 15th, 2018, 7:55 am
    epicFades wrote:LTH'ers, I'm heading to LA on Monday. Looking for fine recommendations. Staying in Echo Park and will be hitting up Park's Finest.

    Is the Apple Pan worth it? What about HiHo cheeseburgers? What's the name of that fabulous taco joint with the fried camaron tacos? Anything else I HAVE to eat? My budget is $-$$.

    Thanks!

    Mariscos Jalisco
    Leo's Tacos (on La Brea)
    Sonoran dog from any lady you see making them on the corner
  • Post #235 - December 16th, 2018, 10:04 pm
    Post #235 - December 16th, 2018, 10:04 pm Post #235 - December 16th, 2018, 10:04 pm
    Walk down Sunset to Silver Lake and eat a Cubano at Cafe Tropical. Iced coffee is great too. If you're still hungry (like I was last time), go across the street to Siete Mares (the orange drive-thru lookin' thing) and get a shrimp ceviche tostada. Fish tacos were good too although that's definitely not my area of expertise.
  • Post #236 - January 18th, 2019, 11:33 pm
    Post #236 - January 18th, 2019, 11:33 pm Post #236 - January 18th, 2019, 11:33 pm
    Park's Finest was good

    Mariscos Jalisco was GREAT. Those shrimp tacos, goddamn.

    Also had some great taco and mulitas from Taco Zone.

    And, Langer's Deli. Pastrami Heaven.
  • Post #237 - December 10th, 2019, 2:20 pm
    Post #237 - December 10th, 2019, 2:20 pm Post #237 - December 10th, 2019, 2:20 pm
    Sitting at lax with a bit of a wait in front of me, so I'll do my best to recap my eating adventures over the past few days.

    Spoon by H - this place gained fame after David Chang posted about it and well its worth the hype. First meal of the trip, and probably my favorite. It's a dessert shop first, but they do a handful of savory dishes. The kalbitang and pork dumpling soup were unexpectedly remarkably different broths. Kalbitang was much more traditional with a heavy dose of black pepper. And the pork soup was way more rich and luscious and creamy. It was fantastic. (sorry looks like pics won't attach)

    the Prince - staying in koreatown and the quantity of bars/restaurants are overwhelming. Made a quick stop in here for a drink and a small order of fried chicken. The prince is a retro restaurant turned Korean bar and its got a great old school vibe. The fried chicken was batter less and fried perfectly.

    Shibumi - had an omakase dinner here on Saturday that was very good. There were about 7-9 courses in total and the few highballs I had are clouding my memory. But the main course was a couple different preparations of beef w rice that was fantastic. And the raw fish preparations early on were my favorite courses. Again the details are a little fuzzy... :)

    Grand Central Market - stopped in early Sunday morning and unfortunately a lot of the stalls were closed. Because of this, I passed on eating but the everything bagel with lox at Wexlers was well received by the fam.

    Mariscos Jaliscos - had 3 of the fried shrimp tacos here and they were as advertised! I need more Dorado style tacos in my life.

    tacos y Birria La Unica - a buddy suggested this place and since it was a block from mariscos Jaliscos, I stopped at the truck. The quesatacos with shredded goat was fantastic

    ahgassi gopchang - one of the never-ending options for Korean BBQ in ktown. We stopped in and had one order of samgyupsal (pork belly) and kimchi chigae. Probably the best version of samgyupsal I've ever had.

    park's bbq - another place that lived up to the hype was park's. Seems to be the consensus champ out here and I get it. Marinated galbi was remarkably tender. Also appreciated the waitress recommending we decrease 1 portion of galbi, which we would've never been able to finish.

    Langers - old school Jewish deli and sorry for the amount of hyperbole, but damn that pastrami was incredible. The #19 with coleslaw, Russian dressing and cheese on rye was perfect. And I've never had such good rye bread. Perfectly light and there was a great crunch to the crust

    Tsujita ramen annex - I'm still not sure what the difference between the 2 Tsujitas across the street from one another. But the tsukemen was spot on. Thick noodles were chewy and delicious. The soup wasn't as concentrated as the versions in Tokyo, but were well flavored.

    pizzana west Hollywood - fantastic neapolitan style pizza here. The neo margharita was a modern take and that was great. Pepperoni was also tatty but was lacking a little acidity. But just being a little nitpicky. One of the best crusts on a pizza I've tasted.

    Dan Sung Sa - no frills Korean bar that served cheap bar food, mainly revolving around grilled skewers. I was unpleasantly full (this was a common theme), but we still ate some soondae, grilled gizzards and ddukbopki. All tasted great and well executed

    Han Bat - last meal was at Han Bat. Very similar to the one in Chicago and was a damn fine version of sulungtang.

    Sorry, no addresses but I'm sure you can easily find them on the interwebs. Hope this is helpful for future travelers. Reach out w any questions as I did a ton of research before heading out here.
  • Post #238 - December 10th, 2019, 7:27 pm
    Post #238 - December 10th, 2019, 7:27 pm Post #238 - December 10th, 2019, 7:27 pm
    WhyBeeSea wrote:I'll do my best to recap my eating adventures over the past few days.


    Nice recap. We had some overlap in spots visited from my trip(s) this past year. Here's my 'best of' rundown.

    - Favorite restaurant was Baroo Canteen which is chef driven Korean in a Hollywood bazaar. It's much like the old Hanbun actually. So, so good.

    - Favorite meal was all the yakitori we could eat from Yakitoriya. This place is the real deal. We went here before visiting Japan but I'd be just as happy with it had we gotten the same meal in Tokyo. Oyster, chest, neck etc. All the good stuff.

    - Favorite noodles were the spicy oil knife cut noodles from Mandarin Deli in the SGV. Insanely delicious. I need to go back and explore just there for a few days bc this place was just another spot. That said bad restaurants don't survive out there.

    - Favorite taco is a hard one (I went to 20+ spots) but I'm going to give the bronze to the cochinita pibil tacos from Chichen Itza. Silver goes to the spider taco (shredded beef with cheese overlapping the tortilla and crisped on a flattop) at L.A. Birria. And the gold medal winner for this tour was the carnitas mixto tacos from Carnitas El Momo. You cant go wrong with any of these.

    Now the big winner - best bite of the trip(s). That award goes to the Callo de Lobina (salt cured seabass tostada) from Mariscos El Faro. I ate this Sinaloan snack on the sidewalk of what was the hottest day of the year in LA and it was perfection. This Highland Park taco truck is one of the best seafood restaurants in the States. Feel free to @ me.

    Full Taco Tour found HERE. Everything else I ate found HERE.
  • Post #239 - December 10th, 2019, 7:39 pm
    Post #239 - December 10th, 2019, 7:39 pm Post #239 - December 10th, 2019, 7:39 pm
    Da Beef wrote:
    WhyBeeSea wrote:I'll do my best to recap my eating adventures over the past few days.


    Nice recap. We had some overlap in spots visited from my trip(s) this past year. Here's my 'best of' rundown.

    Full Taco Tour found HERE. Everything else I ate found HERE.


    Your taco recap was great!! I was actually sitting at a bar Sunday night reading it over since the fooditor posted a link on his newsletter. Wanted to hit a couple more spots on your list yesterday but just couldn't make it happen.
  • Post #240 - December 12th, 2019, 8:41 pm
    Post #240 - December 12th, 2019, 8:41 pm Post #240 - December 12th, 2019, 8:41 pm
    Han Bat - last meal was at Han Bat. Very similar to the one in Chicago and was a damn fine version of sulungtang.


    Happened to run across this article and it does turn out that Han Bat in LA and Chicago are related. Fascinating. Makes sense why they're so similar! :)

    https://interactive.wttw.com/playlist/2019/12/10/han-bat

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