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Kosher Gourmet? is there such a thing....

rantoit Aug 24, 2006 05:15 AM

Have some cousins coming to town.....I know they love good food, and need to take them to a kosher restaurant since my home is not kosher....Which and where are the best ones?

  1. m
    msmd310 Aug 24, 2006 05:39 PM

    you might want to check on the kosher section of chowhound,

    probably the best gourmet kosher is Pat's on Pico near Doheny. I can't think of any other fancy kosher meat places at all....

    for milk, there is a restaurant that is half italian and half japanese on the corner of Robertson and Cashio (south of Pico). The japanese half is called KoSushi, and I can't remember the name of the italian side, but you can order from both menus at the same table.

    for more casual meat restaurant, Haifa restaurant on Pico between Robertson and Doheny is great for grilled meat, felafel, etc. It is a sit-down restaurant, but VERY casual.

    BTW- I am not kosher, but live in the neighborhood and hang with the crowd- LA kosher doens't have the upscale choices that they have in NY.....

    1. Arthur Aug 24, 2006 08:44 PM

      One choice not to be overlooked is The Milky Way, which is on Pico just a couple of doors west of Doheny. It is a glatt kosher dairy restaurant owned and run by Steven Spielberg's mother, Leah Adler, who is almost always there to meet and schmooze up the customers. Without exception, every one of the many out-of-towners I have taken there has been charmed by their encounter with this lovely woman, not mention has greatly enjoyed the entire dining experience to be had there.

      I've seen several surprisingly critical reviews of The Milky Way's food on Chowhound's kosher board, but I can't say I agree with those comments. Among its many other options, The Milky Way is one of the few kosher restaurants I've been to anywhere in the world that so successfully fuses so many different food genres, from traditional Jewish to southwestern American/Tex-Mex to Thai. They will customize the food to be as hot or mild as requested. (Trust me, their famous jalapeno potato latkes can set your mouth on fire for days.)

      It is very much a gourmet dairy restaurant, not tumultuous and fabulously fattening like the legendary Ratner's on New York's Lower East Side. Nor is it in any way a Planet Hollywood, but don't be taken aback by the numerous posters of Spielberg films that adorn all of the restaurant's non-dining areas. Inside, the booth decor is extremely comfortable and subdued, although not particularly elegant. (Then again, I don't consider Pat's to be particularly elegant either.) I've always found the service at The Milky Way to be impeccable and attentive. And FWIW, whenever my Orthodox friends and family from New York come back to L.A., they almost always eagerly insist on going to The Milky Way - and these are discerning, discriminating foodies who routinely patronize all of the finest, priciest kosher restaurants in Manhattan.


      3 Replies
      1. re: Arthur
        Aubstopper Aug 25, 2006 12:51 AM

        Leah Adler is a very nice woman, but I thought that the food was so-so..nothing special really.

        I also noticed that it had a "B" rating from the Health people..not always a good sign, especially knowing what the people with the "A" rating can get away with.

        1. re: Aubstopper
          Arthur Aug 25, 2006 01:15 AM

          I've never fathomed the grading system of the L.A. health department. I've been to "A"-graded restaurants that have decades of visibly ground-in grime on the floors. Meanwhile, others that seem meticulous in every detail get grades of "B" or worse. (My cynical side suspects that graft demands may be involved.)

          As for the food at The Milky Way being "so-so..nothing special really," to each his/her own, I guess. I've certainly at times felt that way about the good-but-overrated-and-way-overpriced Pat's. So when faced with L.A.'s extremely limited gourmet kosher options, I think The Milky Way is an undeniably strong choice, and a fairly unique one at that.

          1. re: Arthur
            dano Aug 25, 2006 04:37 PM

            I've never fathomed the grading system of the L.A. health department. I've been to "A"-graded restaurants that have decades of visibly ground-in grime on the floors. Meanwhile, others that seem meticulous in every detail get grades of "B" or worse. (My cynical side suspects that graft demands may be involved.)

            never dealt with an inspector have ya.

      2. j
        Jerome Aug 24, 2006 09:12 PM

        no hechsher, but i've taken several observant relatives to happy family - no meat at all, no fish even, no fowl, no onions or wine (so no hekhsher worries there) no olive oil, no issues of shvi'it or other problems with israeli produce (no ye'en nesekh).
        just good vegetarian chinese food. if halav yisrael is an issue, avoid the one or two dishes with dairy. if pat yisrael is an issue stick to rice.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jerome
          westsidegal Aug 25, 2006 06:48 AM

          i didn't know that any of their dishes had dairy.

          1. re: westsidegal
            Jerome Aug 25, 2006 07:59 PM

            Check. no butter. but I think there may be a cabbage with cream, a cantonese specialty (also shanghai, more contact with europeans).
            On a side note, years ago when I was in Beijing, a Muslim specialty was butter cookies - no lard, they were unusual enough to merit their own bakery.

        2. d
          dano Aug 24, 2006 09:36 PM

          oxnard, see herzog winery.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dano
            SIMIHOUND Aug 25, 2006 03:06 AM

            Tierra Del Sur At Herzog Winery in Oxnard. See

          2. Emme Aug 25, 2006 01:53 AM

            Here's a page of Kosher LA restaurants, and their menus as well...


            1. s
              Sandra W Aug 25, 2006 04:43 AM

              What about the Tunisian place, Gretas, on Melrose. Not gourmet, but another choice.

              1. j
                jlq3d3 Aug 29, 2006 05:15 AM

                Pat's, Milkyway, and Milk and Honey all on Pico are nice. Pat's is overpriced but its good food.
                For good Moroccan food, try the BBC cafe on Wilshire. It is not fancy, just nice casual. It is kind of crowded but has excellent tasty meat dishes.

                Greta's, a tunisian place on Melrose I hear is good but I have not been there.

                1. k
                  kevin Aug 30, 2006 02:23 AM

                  Greta's WAS very good, but alas it's no longer there. i guess it couldn't make a go of it. difficult location for a glatt kosher primarily steakhouse on melrose. but oh, those steaks were great, esp the steak diane, rib eye, and the merguez sausage sandwich with harrissa.

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