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ISO MOST UNUSUAL restaurant in general LA county / area ... just someplace!

Entertaining some jaded foodies. Need someplace UNUSUAL. Tried Soul Food downtown, but not open. Suggestions?

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  1. hmm... define unusual? if all you know are american or chain restaurants, (insert ethnic food here) would probably be pretty unusual. if your hound name were 'jerome' or 'modernist,' you'd probably be yawning while eating barbecued aliens at a UFO crash site.

    1. ethnic is a definite yes. they're from NY if that helps. wenth through "Modernist"s huge list and ...not that it's not a great list...but they've already done some of those. will go through some of jerome's posts now tho'
      any other help is welcome!

      2 Replies
      1. re: cater5help

        actually just take em to langer's pastrami. and they will be humbled and immediately move to the west coast. =)

        1. re: rameniac

          Laughing, rameniac! Langer's is amazingly delicious...

      2. I don't mean to be difficult, but I hate those posts where someone is trying to please "really picky people" or "jaded foodies." If they're that jaded, we really don't feel like helping them anyway. It might help to be more specific, like, "they love Chinese food but would like to try some more "extreme" examples like the live lobster where you eat the lobster while it's still wiggling..."
        If they're from New York, they probably already think everything they have is better, so why not just take them to In and Out and call it a day?

        3 Replies
        1. re: Chowpatty

          .......and stop in at See's candies!

          1. re: Chowpatty

            Love it. Thanks for saying what we were all thinking Chowpatty! Jaded foodies don't seem to really enjoy the food anymore, so what's the point? And even if they've already been to some of the places on modernist's list, um, hel-lo, there's the rest of the gi-normous list to explore...

            My suggestion is to do a late-night round of all the great taco trucks in LA and points east. They don't have THAT in New York.

            1. re: Kishari

              i am so thankful that my "jaded NYC friend" thinks that the sushi served at sushi zo is superior to the sushi served served to him in manhattan.
              also, thankfully, this person has an expense account that he is happy to use at sushi zo whenever he comes out here so that i can get my fix.

          2. how about typhoon near the SM airport? their menu includes quite a few insect dishes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: wilafur

              And a cry grew up out of the multitude...

              "Let them eat ANTS!"

            2. How about that place where it's totally dark and blind people feed you? Is it still open?

              1. I've got 2 for you.

                There is a Jamaican place on Washington well east of Culver City (probably in West Adams, I guess) called Natraliart. Food is good, like out of someone's home kitchen. It feels like you're dining during the daytime in a place that is a dancehall by night. Fitting, cause that's what it is. Very down home and funky. Get the homemade punky reggae ginger beer.

                3426 W WASHINGTON BLVD
                LOS ANGELES, CA 90018
                323 732 8865

                Next suggestion would be the Inn of the Seventh Ray. Food fine, setting perfect - outdoor in a canyon near Topanga. We've seen deer and coyetes dart by in the brush near the tables. Unusual and fantastic.

                Should be easy to find links to the Inn of the Seventh Ray, so I won't bother. Enjoy!

                6 Replies
                  1. re: CulverJack

                    Thanks for reminding me of The Inn of the Seventh Ray, used to go there, but totally forgot about the place. I like the spiritual premise, and so romantic. Plus funny how they grudgingly included red meat on the menu.

                    1. re: CulverJack

                      That is too funny! Natraliart is right across the street from me!!! Will definitely pass that suggestion along. Thanks!

                      1. re: CulverJack

                        beware, natriliart closes at 9pm... i got there at 9:30 once when the day before they said they close at 10pm.

                        1. re: CulverJack

                          Considering the large number of Jamaicans in the New York area (especially Brooklyn), I wonder if New Yorkers will consider Jamaican unusual.

                        2. This is a modified copy of a very recent reply to different question.

                          Moun of Tunis fits Bill. A different experience to be sure but lots of fun and good food and lots of it.

                          My couisen is one odf the most picky eaters I have met. He loved the food here. It is exotic to be sure but not so much that a meat and potatos guy wouldn't like it.

                          You will like it.

                          The Morocan Feast at $28 is our choice but the Sahara @ $20 looks good too. Try to get a choice with B'stilla.

                          Do a search here and see if it might fit.

                          A large sign on Sunset Blvd. Pull into the 'alley' looking entrance to the parking lot. Free parking.

                          Their Web pabe is


                          The belly dancing is G-rated. You might want to get a reservation (recommended for any time) when she is going to dance.

                          Over an hour to eat and using their great bread as eating utensils is fun too. Large towels on you lap.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Wes

                            Think i've seen the sign. Never knew!

                            1. re: Wes

                              I'm a huge fan of the food at Moun of Tunis. I particularly love the couscous, lentil soup, and B'stilla. Just wanted to point out that the correct address for Moun of Tunis is www.mounoftunis.la. That old URL (in the post above) doesn't work anymore.

                              1. re: GorgeousSoul

                                Place Link with updated website information included (thanks for that).

                                Moun Of Tunis Restaurant
                                7445 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                            2. The Stinking Rose on La Cienega - I'm sure you will think they deserve it - the worst restaurant serving food that is not easily forgotten, or at least not for the next several hours!!

                              1. The Restaurant at the Getty.

                                Bet there's no restaurant in NEW YORK that you have to take a tramway to get to!

                                2 Replies
                                  1. re: jackattack

                                    Sure there is, anything on Roosevelt Island!

                                    What about Nyala Ethiopian Restaurant? Although I am sure they have Ethiopian in NYC.

                                    What about Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa in Alhambra?

                                    Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
                                    1700 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

                                  2. There's always Ogamdo on La Brea that supposedly serves chicken anus. That oughta impress 'em.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Chowpatty

                                      That's always something to look forward too!

                                    2. I suggest HAROLD AND BELLE on Jefferson Blvd. A high end, very authentic creole food experience, white napkins and all. When I say high end, I mean oldschool style. If you go on a weekend night, it is really fun because they have live music that goes PERFECTLY with the food. Now, this is an experience, and a cultural one as well.

                                      here is a recent reveiw in the LAWEEKLY:

                                      Many of the best Cajun and creole restaurants in Los Angeles seem to have gone the way of the dinosaur. Orleans and Patout’s and Gagnier’s and Sid’s Jase Café have been gone for years. The Gumbo Pot, in Farmers Market, is past its glory days. And we recently had a Cajun-ish meal, in Monrovia, so bad that we believe the state of Louisiana may be entitled to sue for damages. We highly recommend Harold & Belle’s, an old-line creole restaurant down by USC, where the smoked sausage is delicious, the fried seafood is formidable, the crawfish étouffée is really worth checking out, and the oyster po’ boys are fine. Plus, you can get a decent drink at Harold & Belle’s, which, as anybody who has spent more than a couple of days in New Orleans can tell you, is what dinner is all about. Mon.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–10:45 p.m., Sun.–Thurs. 11:30 a.m.–9:45 p.m. Full bar. Takeout. Parking lot. AE, MC, V. JG
                                      2920 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, (323) 735-9023

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. There is nothing even closely resembling good Mexican food in NYC. Take them to any number of good regional Mexican places. For fancy food: Babita or Malverde. Seafood: Serenata de Garibaldi (preferably the Boyle Heights branch on 1st). For mariachi battle of the bands and your typical enchiladas, etc: El Mercado at First & Lorena. For Oaxacan, Guelaguetza. Mama's Hot Tamale Cafe for tamales and a taste of MacArthur Park. (While you're there you can take them to Langer's and gloat over how much better the pastrami sandwich is there than anything they've got in NYC.) Take them to Mercado La Paloma for Chichen-Itza. Or take them touring around East L.A. sampling from taco trucks - or the sidewalk al pastor stands along Whittier Blvd. east of downtown.

                                        They also have mediocre Thai food in NYC, so Wat Thai, Renu Nakorn or Yai are all good bets.

                                        And, they probably wouldn't know Cambodian food if it bit them - so why not down to New Paradise or somewhere like that - call first to make sure there's live music and they aren't closed for a private party - in Long Beach.

                                        2 Replies
                                          1. re: estone888

                                            Great suggestions, Estone888. Yes the Mexican food in NYC is awful. If they are that jaded, order up some chapulines at Guelaguetza. They'll be talking about that for days!

                                              1. re: budlit

                                                I was thinking Saddlepeak too. It's out in the canyon (drive up during daylight past the ocean), has unique decor (the lamps made of animal feet are quite unusual and they've probably never eaten venison while being stared at by a deer head), and the food is damn good.

                                              2. As a general rule of thumb, taking out-of-towners to Asian or Latin restaurants is a good bet. Something really different would be some of the places in Koreatown (no specific tips but Johnathan Gold's book has a few and I'm sure this board has some tips) or a Szechuan hotpot place like Lu Gi in San Gabriel. If they haven't tried any veggie-type restaurants, there's Juliano's Raw in Santa Monica and Inn of the 7th Ray in Topanga Canyon for fairly unique dining experiences.

                                                1. Picca on Pico in West LA/Fairfax area.

                                                  9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                                    In 2006 (when this thread originated), a pop-up (a la Ludobites, et al.) would have been "most unusual".

                                                  2. Euphoria Loves Rawvolution
                                                    Yoma Myanmar
                                                    Mariscos Chente

                                                    Euphoria Loves Rawvolution
                                                    2301 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: sushigirlie

                                                      if you go to Mariscos Chente be sure to go to the location on west imperial highway near Yukon.
                                                      be sure to order a pescado zarandeado for the table.
                                                      also, i'd suggest ordering a ceviche for the table. (i no longer specify to sergio which type of ceviche, i just let him surprise me.
                                                      because the ceviche is made to order, instead of sitting pre-made in the refrigerator all day, it is different from what most people expect)
                                                      don't forget to bring your own booze, and if you're fussy about glassware, bring your own glasses. (i always tip as though i had bought the booze from them even i byob)

                                                    2. Although this string originated 5 years ago (and I'm guessing that dinner is LOOOOONG past) if you want something unique, I recommend The Gorbals. I mean "Bacon Wrapped Matzoh Balls". Where else can you find something like that?

                                                      The Gorbals
                                                      501 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013