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Good British Food...Is there such a thing?

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To all U British Folks, please pardon my limited culinary exposure to British food.

All I know and have been craving a good/great pasty or a minced meat pie. Not a big fan of Fish & Chips, but willing to try other things. Please point me in the right direction for primarily, pasties, minced meat/shepherds pie, and other British/English treats in L.A. Area. I guess it'll be safe to assume that most recommendations will probably be in the Santa Monica area.

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  1. Tally ho, tea and strumpets and all that sort of thing!

    You'll want to head to Ye Olde King's Head on 2nd and Santa Monica for British food, just pop round the corner from the Promenade and Jack's your nuncle, there you are!

    In the Valley, the best choice is Robin Hood near Woodman and Burbank. The fish and chips are absolutely ten-eight, as are the bangers and mash, and it's much more friendly than the Pig and Bollocks (or whatever that place near Vineland and Ventura is called).

    If you do end up having to eat at the place on Ventura, just lie back and think of England and it'll be all over soon.

    Pip pip!

    9 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      I love the black pudding at Ye Olde King's Head! I asked the waitress what was in it and she seemed really hesitant to disclose the use of blood. I was like "!#)* woman, I don't WANT it unless there IS blood!"

      1. re: Pei

        Yes, last time I had breakfast there I specifically requested a side of the black pudding...you'd THINK that would make it clear enough that I wanted it, but of course, it never came....

      2. re: Das Ubergeek

        I agree. The King's Head rocks. It is sometimes hard to find Scottish-style minced beef pies outside of Highland games, but the bakeries/tea houses surrounding the King's Head have little pasties and sausage rolls.

        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          The place on Ventura is called Fox and Hounds, I've never been there. We go to Robin Hood since it's in our 'hood. The food is good but the service is deadly slow, so be prepared.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                We went there because we wanted a good dose of English tukka and apint or two (dual citezin child of ex pats talking here, I've been brought up with good English food here and when back "home" ). We normally go to Robin Hood, but figured we'd try fox and hounds.

                It was dinner.

                It was full of pretty young things and desperatly hip guys, drinking very non-English beer (they had a few Guinneses, which is Irish, anyhow), and eating food that had nothing to do with England. The menu was uninspiring, the place was overcrowded, the music was deafening, and the crowd was tiresome as the food.

                I know a few real English pubs are like that in England..but I wouldn't go to those, either. A telling thing about the Fox and Hounds is that no one there when I visited was English, not the staff, customers, no one. Some lady had a Bulldog, but it was a French Bulldog (sacre bleu!)

                The OP asked for GOOD english food. Fox and Hounds doesn't deliver that.

                Robin Hood does. With a few English beers, staff and patrons to boot.

                1. re: Diana

                  Amen to that! But people with real interest in "ethnic" bars and cuisine aren't going to be there or at Fado or any other place like that. They know that what makes a pub is comfort and geniune experiences being had with people who can appreciate what really makes places like that fun and special.
                  If I'm at a "Irish" or "English" pub and I see a lime wedge go into a beer bottle or between someone's teeth it's just not a pub to me.

                  1. re: Diana

                    Well, I agree about the non-English staff. The food's not bad at all -- certainly I have chosen to eat there (though I lived closer to Robin Hood most recently)... they DO have quite a few English beers at the Pig & Boll... er... Fox & Hounds.

                    Robin Hood IS better, there's no doubt there, but I don't think F&H is bad.

          1. Hello... I greatly enjoy the take-out counter/case at the Tudor House, at 2nd st. and Santa Monica Blvd. They have available all manner of savory meat pies, curry pies, sausage rolls, etc., plus english pastry items, desserts and triffles (sp). The small grocery store in which this take-out counter is located carries many many british products, from bizarro candies to canned sauces to beverages. The actual on-site Tudor House is a two room english tea house, for brunchinton. But the take-out case and grocery store is the real find here...

            2 Replies
            1. re: silence9

              I love that take out case at the Tudor House, all those little Brit pastries and the chicken and mushroom pie make me very happy.

              My answer to the OP's question: No, there is no such thing as good British food! Except I had the best roasted potatoes ever at the Brighton Palace.

              1. re: slacker

                Oh dear - no such thing as good British food..? I'll admit, it's almost impossible to find in SoCal where all the supplies are brought in by just two importers, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist! Get hold of an early Keith Floyd book or a Delia Smith classic, have your butcher give you some beef suet and off you go. This website is pretty good too, especially for stews: http://www.britannia.com/cooking/reci...

            2. *giggling* Das Ubergeek, I'm cracking up because a "strumpet" is old-fashioned slang meaning slut -- I think you meant to say "crumpet" which is like an English muffin. :) But hey, if you want tea with your strumpets, go for it!

              O'Briens Irish pub on Main Street in Santa Monica also offers a mean fish and chips, and also bangers and mash (which for some reason my little Chinese mother LOVES).

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kishari

                Well, you may keep your crumpets (and your Devonshire cream) if you like, I'll take your share of the strumpets!

                O'Briens Irish Pub has (had? haven't been in forever) a great ploughman's lunch.

              2. chicken tikka masala can be had just about anywhere =P

                1. Btw there is a Brit place in Pasadena on the south side of Colorado just east of Lake (I think). I pass by it and keep meaning to check it out, but haven't yet. Sorry can't remember the name nor the exact location! But just to let you know there's a place there if you're in that part of town.

                  Just did a quick search, I think this is the place, Brit's Fish and Chips, 1770 E. Colorado: http://www.pasadenacitycenter.com/din...

                  There's also Beckham Grill in Pasadena. I've only been there once a very long time ago, and don't recall thinking much of it then, but really just don't remember the food very well, the decor was very old dark English, as I recall.

                  http://www.beckhamgrill.com/

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: slacker

                    Brit's is really good. Much too tidy and clean to be a proper pub, and the food's too fresh to be trad pub grub as well (the peas are bright GREEN??? Egads!), but the fish'n'chips are as good as it gets.

                    After checking out the C&F menu below, I'll add that Brit's is a bit cheaper than that as well.

                    1. re: slacker

                      There's also Lucky Baldwin's on Raymond in Pasadena, just south of Colorado. I haven't been in a few years but I remember the food being good and pretty authentically British pub menu (ie, they do have curry and they do have jacket potatoes).

                      1. re: slacker

                        I second Brit's. Like I've said in the past, it doesn't have the charm that Lucky Baldwins has, but their food is spot on. Easily the best fish and chips in the area. Here is their site..
                        http://www.britspasadena.com/

                        There is also the Old Ship (two locations, Santa Ana and Fullerton
                        )http://www.theoldeship.com/ - This place is the real deal.

                        1. re: spankbot

                          But there's also that British place across from Parsons in Pasadena that BLOWS! I forget what it's called, but I had the misfortune to be taken there on a business lunch and it was horrific!