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Please help create a must-eat list for last 3 weeks in LA (long)

Dear Hounds,
This board has been an enormous pleasure and resource for me since I discovered it about a year ago. Now I'd like to call on you one last time to help me create a must-eat list for my last remaining weeks in LA. We will be moving soon, and to a less chow friendly environment I am afraid. I guess it will be my motivation to cook more. But in the meantime, if you only had a few remaining weeks in this grand eating city, and you did not know how often you would be returning, where would you stop to eat one last time?

There are no limits on cuisine, although I'd like to keep the price in check to some extent. High end, casual ethnic, moving target (i.e., truck), temple/fair food, bakeries, ice creameries, etc. It doesn't need to be quintessential LA either - just places that you would sorely miss being able to visit. Our base is the Westside, but if I can (temperaments of babies and packing schedules permitting), I will travel. Thank you, and I will do my best to explore our new little nook in the Pacific Northwest so that I can provide suggestions if you visit.

Among the places we have loved in LA: AOC, Parkway Grill, Zankou, Asahi, Kiriko, Abbotts Pizza, Wed Farmers Market, Europane, Bombay Cafe, Triumphal Palace, Mandarin Deli, Wat Thai, Taqueria Sanchez, Malibu Seafood, 21 Choices Yogurt (Pasadena).

Places we have recently tried based on your suggestions: Langers, Triumphal Palace, Krua Thai, Wat Thai, Malan Noodles, Sushi Zo, Casa Bianca, Il Cono Gelateria, Banana Leaf/Gumbo Pot, Amandine, Beard Papa, TacoMiendo, Tacos Por Favor, Lucques, Massimos, Al Gelato, Chabuya, Ramen-ya.

Best,
Sasha

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  1. Awww, which city are you moving to?

    Anyways, the things that came into my mind are Campanile's (esp. for Monday prix fixe or Thursday grilled cheese), Jin Patisserie, Susina's Bakery, Azami Sushi Cafe, Clementine (on weekends), JiRaffe, Joan's on Third, and Julienne's/Marston's if you happen to be in Pasadena.

    Lemme know if you need webbie for any of these places.

    3 Replies
    1. re: AquaW

      Agree with JiRaffe and Julienne--love those places.

      One Pico in Santa Monica for breakfast is superb--with fantastic views.

      My favorite bakery is Amandine--great croissants. I also love the Emmenthaler rolls from Breadbar (slathered with Plugra).

      Roscoe's for chicken and waffles--serious comfort food.

      Since you plan to cook more at your new residence, I would go to Surfas to pick up supplies, and go to Penzey's for spices.

      1. re: AquaW

        I knew I would forget places! I had a wonderful time at Grilled Cheese/Campanile a few months back, although I have yet to convince my husband to go (not a huge cheese fan - I don't know why I married him!). We've also been to Jin and Joan's from recs on this board, and really liked Joans. In fact, I'd love to open up my own version up north (Bellingham, Wa btw). Clementine is a favorite (we always get very excited when work meetings have their catering instead of the lousy sandwich place in the century plaza towers), and my mom discoverred Julienne's in San Marino a while back, being a sweets and b'fast fan.

        Susina is on my list though. Absolutely. Jiraffe will be a date night, if there are any of those left. Amazing how 2 small kids can interfere with a nice dinner :)

        Thank you :)

        1. re: sasha1

          JiRaffe has an excellent Monday Night prix-fixe.... 3-courses for $33 (though on our night out the chef surprised us with an extra gastrique at the end of our meal.)

          and LOL @ "[husband's] not a huge cheese fan - I don't know why I married him!"

      2. I don't know if you have been following this thread but it seems to sum up alot of classic and recent "bests" here abouts.

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        Bon Voyage!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ciao Bob

          I've read the whole thing and taken notes. Thank you for alerting me to it. I haven't been browsing the boards much lately as I try to pack up the office and house.

        2. I'd hit:
          a few more of the serious Chinese places particularly in the SGV; Ocean Star, Mission 261, NBC, and Empress Pavilion come to mind.
          If you're going where there's not much Indian subcontinent food to be had, a pilgrimage to Pioneeer Bl in Artesia, and maybe Al Noor or AlWatan in Hawthorne would be in order.

          Sushi Gen (or Shibucho (OC) or Saito) for sushi and Kokekoko (sp?) or Shinsengumi for yakitori.

          6 Replies
          1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

            What are your favorite Indian stops on Pioneer?

            1. re: sasha1

              Give Woodlands, on Pioneer, a try for Southern Indian (vegetarian) food. The cheese adverse will find plenty to try. Dosas (huge crispy crepes filled with different things like curried potatoes), lentil pancakes, and a fried cauliflower dish, whose name escapes me (it's one of the house specials) are quite fine. Though it may not be your favorite style of Indian food, it's very interesting and will be much harder to come by in cities with a smaller Indian population.

              It's a very casual place, at least on weeknights, and I don't think anyone would be bothered by your chowpups. The owners' kids are usually around when I've been there.

              Good luck in your new life!

              1. re: Mrs Fang

                Thank you - how does it compare to Annapurna? We tried that a while back and weren't thrilled (that puts us in the minority I guess). Maybe I just love the meats too much to go without. I wasn't crazy about the spring veggie dosa I had at Annapurna, and neither of us liked the all deep fried appetizer platter.

                1. re: sasha1

                  Sounds like southern Indian may not be your cup of tea. In addition to Modernist's idea, below, I also like Ashoka the Great for northern Indian (meaty) food. Very reasonable prices.

                  Pioneer Boulevard is worth the trip, in my opinion, just to walk around the shops, and have a snack.

                  1. re: sasha1

                    I second Ashoka the Great for reasonably-priced good food. There's also a cute Dutch bakery nearby (the cheese doughnut/pastry I had there.... YUM!!!)

                2. re: sasha1

                  while southern indian veggie/dosa specialty places are super awesome, and i love both woodlands and udupi, the real gem for me is surati farsan just around the corner from udupi.

                  they are a chaat specialty place (street/snack foods). serving dozens if not hundreds of little snacks. different poori's etc. you can snack on tons of little things. its really fun.

                  i think a decent veggie/dosa joint will be there for a community with some indians or savy chowers but a full on chaat house will only be in a place like pioneer or other community with a big indian population.

              2. Spend the day in the general South Bay area (as I'm going to do today), and go to: Spoon House, Musha, and Chantilly (hence, the general).

                Have you tried Firefly's market Thursday dinner? I sure haven't. It sounds good though, no?

                2 Replies
                1. re: PseudoNerd

                  Musha in Santa Monica is much closer - is the quality different?

                  1. re: sasha1

                    Oh, my God, don't even get me started.

                2. Jin Patisserie

                  Chantilly

                  Dai Ho

                  Urasawa

                  One Pico

                  Spago

                  Dumpling 10053

                  Vietnam House

                  Pho 97 (nee Pho 79)

                  Babita

                  Yuca

                  SinBaLa

                  Pacific Dining Car

                  Saddle Peak Lodge

                  Madeo

                  Indo Kitchen

                  Heavy Noodling

                  Best of luck to you in your new endeavors and do come back and visit (both on the board and physically) ...

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Urusawa, sigh. We are taking a salary hit by moving, so I don't think that's in the picture. Besides, I don't think I am worthy at this point. As far as sushi goes, I am still rather a cautious consumer. I have made it quite a distance past spicy tuna (which I still love), but only recently tried (and didn't like) uni.

                    On the other hand, what is Chantilly? I've never heard of it and now it's been recommended twice as a place not to leave LA without trying. You've peaked my interest!

                    1. re: sasha1

                      Azami's a must-try then for omakase... it's rather affordable ($35-$45 pp) and you get good sushi and great service. I'm curious about Chantilly too.

                      1. re: sasha1

                        Chantilly is a Japanese bakery in Lomita specializing in cream puffs and cheesecakes ... kicks the ass out of anything that the more acclaimed Beard Papa can put out.

                        Try it, well, actually don't, cuz you if you do try it you might not want to leave LA ... LOL.

                        Chantilly,
                        2383 Lomita Blvd. No. 104,
                        Lomita,
                        (310) 257-9454.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          I already don't want to leave LA - the cheese-ambivalent husband is dragging me away.

                    2. Jar
                      Apple Pan
                      Vincenti Ristorante
                      New Concept
                      Piccolo Cipiranni (on sunday when toni is in)
                      L'Oxcana (Taco Truck on Linclon in evenings/night)
                      Yucca
                      Din Tai Fung
                      Nishimura (best sushi on beverly if you can afford it)
                      Musha (torrance location is best)
                      Shin Sen Gumi
                      Beechwood
                      Sushi Gen

                      Those are some of my favorites...

                      1. wow... It must be hard to leave this food mecca...

                        Anyway, I also recommend Al Noor in Inglewood. The food is VERY good and tasty, as well as well priced. Get the tikka massala paneer. Also, get naan (plain) and rice. The sweet lassi is also very good (it's like a sweet yogurt drink). I've also tried the chicken tandoori, palak paneer, saag panner, and one lamb dish which I forgot the name of. Besides the lamb dish, all were good. But whatever you do, the tikka massala is a must!

                        What else? Hmmm... how about pie from the Apple Pan? Have you had the pecan there? It's delightful, especially when you buy one and take it home. Definetly recommend it.

                        Roscoes is very good. Ate there two nights ago, the chicken was good, but those waffles, oh those waffles, they are really amazing. if you go, only go to the original in Hollywood.

                        I'd also recommend Mashti Malons for home made persian ice cream. I like the rosewater, lavendeer, black cherry,... hell I like them all!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: young_chower

                          Yes, of the things I'll miss most by leaving, it is my family, friends, and the food. I am certainly a live to eat type. I love tikka massala - it's on my list. Years ago, I tried Apple Pan and was not impressed - neither by the wait, the counter, or the paper cones for water. I'd rather go to in-n-out. Things change of course, but I think if I am going to try to fit a burger into my last few weeks, it will have to be the much touted father's office burger. Or the Hungry Cat pug. I'm putting Roscoe's on my list too. Thanks!

                          1. re: sasha1

                            I think it you are missing the point with the Apple Pan. You just mentioned their mediocre, overpriced burgers, which I concur. However, it is called the Apple Pan, not the Burger Wrapper, so stay awar from the burgers and get the pie. Since you don't like the counter, just take the pie home. I still suggest trying their pecan pie, especially if you can get one hot and fresh.

                        2. The first place that came to mind for me if I was to leave is La Paz in Calabasas - a bit of a drive but worth it. Best mexican food I've had, bar none!

                          A few more:
                          Domenico's in Pasadena
                          Z-Sushi
                          Little Tokyo in San Dimas
                          Dumpling 10053
                          Cassell's Hamburgers

                          I couldn't live without these...

                          1. oh, and please do NOT forget to go to my favoritestestest bakeries in all of LA: Jin Patisserie (Abbot Kinney) in Venice and Cake House Wien (Olympic/ummm...Irolo?) and Galleria Cake House (Olympic/Western at the market level of the mall) in Koreatown.

                            Seriously, now, in addition to the three places I mentioned in the previous post, I would never leave LA without having eaten at each of these places at least once: Dong Il Jang, Dae Bok, Dragon (Yong Goong), Pollo ala Brasa, and Wako Donkatsu in Ktown; AOC and maybe Doughboys and Susina in Mid-Wilshire; Kiriko, Nagao, Orris, Clementine, Amandine, and maybe Sawtelle Kitchen in W. LA/Brentwood...

                            Actually, the list could go on for quite a bit longer, but I don't really plan on leaving the city for the next few years except to do research. I'm purposely leaving the Silverlake/Los Feliz/Pasadena/S. Pas/Valley-ish places out due to the heat/humidity in those areas. After all, it probably wouldn't be too smart to get heat stroke while trying to move.

                            I haven't eaten in Santa Monica in years because: my aunt no longer has a restaurant there and the Musha there is mediocre.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: PseudoNerd

                              The menu at Doughboys is so appealing, but everything I ate there (in one visit and some take-home baked goods) was pretty forgettable. Unfortunately. I think I had some granola, an olive loaf, and a couple of their muffins passing as scones. We actually live right down Sawtelle and have never been to Sawtelle kitchen or Orris - sounds like it's time. Whenever we're on the strip (often), we are either at Hide, Asahi, little Hong Kong, Hurry Curry, and lately have tried Kiriko, Blue Marlin, Chabuya, Tofu House (is that what it's called - the Korean next to Asahi), and Beard Papas.

                            2. hamji park - bbq pork ribs, kim chee chigae
                              din tai fung - pork dumplings, shrimp fried rice, appetizer
                              hungry cat - hamachi, peeble beach or kumamoto oysters, market salad
                              shin sen gumi - chicken ume & cheese tempura, baked potato, chaawan mushi
                              shik do rak - bbq meat w/ rice paper wrappers
                              taverna tony's - saganaki, the table bread
                              fatty's - (lunch only!) fatty elvis, sloppy joe
                              a&j's - taiwanese style fried fish plate, ong choy
                              seoul garden - beef shabu shabu
                              joan's - most sandwiches, esp. blt, turkey, the lemonade, strawberry muffin thing (tastes like pancakes), chickpea salad
                              casa bianca - half meatball & pepper/ half sausage & tomato
                              ocean star - dim sum (sticky rice, chinese broccoli, spare-ribs, har gow)

                              there's more, but these will make you want to move back!

                              1. No one has mentioned Josie, which we waited a long time to try, but when we did it rocketed to the top of our favorites list (though it's not inexpensive). Also pricy but great are Water Grill & Spago. Two other faves are Osteria Angelini & Ammo. Good luck in the beautiful great Northwest.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Babette

                                  Thank you so much. We're lucky enough to have tried all your suggestions already, other than Ammo. We celebrated past birthdays at Water Grill and Josie, and did a tasting at Spago as our last leaving LA sendoff several years ago. I hope one day we'll make it back here, as we already did once.

                                  Angelini is delicious as well - highly recommend to those who have not had the pleasure.

                                2. The above listed restos are all worth checking out. I'd add Norman's on Sunset for 'New World' fare (or their $19/person Pig and Paella Friday nights), some celebrity and power sightings at Ago (Italian), ocean views at Geoffrey's, unadulterated, fresh seafood on Redondo Beach dock, and a drink at Bonaventure's revolving lounge. :-)

                                  Happy eating wherever you travel, and keep in touch with LA!

                                  1. I think Soot Bull Jeep is a place unlike any you will find in Bellingham, and I don't think Korean bbq is big in Van or Seattle either. Authentic tacos will also be lacking. Baja Ensenada and many others are located to the east but Tacos Por Favor is my favorite on the west side. Don't dispair,you will have access to plenty of great restaurants across the border in BC and Bellingham has quite a few pretty good places, many catering to the budget concious student. Access to fresh seafood is also better in the NW and it's lots of fun to catch it yourself.

                                    1. Wondering if you're still in the area. A couple of great places to try:

                                      1. Dr Hogly Wogly's Texas BBQ, Van Nuys (North of UCLA). Their ribs are okay but beef brisket is scrumptious! Great flavor and texture. Kinda hole in the wallish, but great food.
                                      8136 Sepulveda Blvd. Van Nuys, 91402. (818)782-2480

                                      2. Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt, W. Hollywood. It's become a popular spot so expect long lines, depending on the time of day. Be VERY careful where you park. My sister just got a pricey ticket. Great texture and unique flavor. Yogurt comes in 2 flavors: original (kinda tastes "soda-ish") and green tea. I always get original with sweet rice balls (which you have to ask them to bring from the back). Celebrity sightings once in awhile. Also opening a new store in Bev Hills (not sure if opened yet).
                                      868 Huntley Drive, between Santa Monica Boulevard and Sherwood Drive, West Hollywood (310)659-8285

                                      3. Redondo Beach Pier Crab/Seafood
                                      Amazing steamed crab & korean spicy seafood soup. There are several places to eat steamed crab so be careful which restaurant you go to. We always go to a korean restaurant past the little retail stands, and situated in the middle of a row of restaurants. Sorry that's vague... but you may want to consult with the locals on this one. Definitely worth the trip though!