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Do L.A. ex-pats to other cities ....

end up on Chowhound looking for L.A. style dishes?

Has there ever been a thread on the Chicago board from an L.A. native jonesing for a Hot Dog on a Stick?

Anyone ever move to Manhattan from Cali and come to chowhound wondering where they could find an L.A. style taco?

I suppose there are, there must be.

I'm not native Californian, but I've lived in L.A. since I'm a kid. I only have vague memories of liking the deli in Brooklyn or pizza. It's been so long that I don't long for egg creams or pizza or pastrami. (I sort of miss Lundy's, oddly enough, but mostly because as a kid I liked the whole stand-next-to-someone-who-is-just-about-done-and-wait-for-their-table thing. Is that place still there?)

Anywhooo ...

Lot's of people from around the country end up living in Los Angeles. And they bring with them their cravings for ... well, recently it's been egg sandwiches on a kaiser roll and gooey deli sandwiches. You know it includes pizza, wings, and cheesesteak sandwiches, too.

So, if you frequent other boards, what to the El Lay people look for when they move to your city? What's the Cali thing I'll miss most 'cuz I can't find it in your town?

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  1. I assume they must... fish tacos and burritos and Korean food and really excellent sushi in the suburbs are not, perhaps, staples of Kansas City.

    My question is, are they as dismissive of what IS available as some of the ex-pats that post on the LA board (naming no names... *coughNEWYORKcough*)?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      On the SF Bay Area board we have folks who are fond of replicated New England seaside shacks featuring well-traveled Atlantic seafood. Lobster rolls, anyone?

    2. SF Bay Area 25+ years...now in Maine. One of the things I most miss is "real" Mexican food, including what Chowhounds call "Mission-style" burritos.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HDinCentralME

        I'm in the Twin Cities. I, too, sorely miss "Mission-style" burritos. There is lots of Mexican food in the Twin Cities and many of my fellow posters on the Twin Cities boards love their local Mexican joints, but it's nothing like what I was used to in San Francisco, and I miss it.


      2. Los Angeles native...now in Houston.

        Hubby misses certain restaurants/fast food chains....In and Out, Carl's Jr, Pinks, Claim Jumper's.

        I on the other hand tend to miss grocery stores....Trader Joe's, Marukan, Giovanni's, certain mexican markets.

        I also miss farmer's markets. There are farmers market's here in Houston but they don't compare in goods or size.

        1. I teach a class on California in the Boston area and talk much about the culture of food (California food). Of course this includes great spirited debates with NYCers about whether LA or NYC is the best place to find food from home.

          1. I grew up in LA, have lived in Berkeley, SF and Oakland for the past 20 years. The thing I miss from LA is abundant, inexpensive old school TexMex combo plates. I can get Mission burritos and decent Mexican food but there's something about paying $5.15 for a two item sit down combo that can't be replicated.

            Good, inexpensive Mexican food in LA is like good, inexpensive Chinese food in SF...you're not going to find the shear volume, price and variety anywhere else. Also saturation and competition usually drives quality up and prices down.

            Other then that when I'm in LA I always go to Phillipe's French Dip (use to go w/ my Dad before Dodger games) and Tito's Taco's if I can.

            1. Yes, I've been looking for a decent taco in DC for awhile now. Getting close, but nothing substancial yet.

              If you want good pizza in L.A., go to Tony's in San Marino.

              2 Replies
              1. re: biscuit

                I've already got the DC board angry at me, so I might as well jump in again. The problem I found with the "Mexican" food in DC is all the "Mexican" restaurants are run by Salvadorans. Salvadoran cuisine is not the same as Mexican, so most of the Mexican food there was horrible. I guess they figure there's more of a market for Mexican than there is for Salvadoran. That's probably changing now though, people are becoming more adventurous with the types of food they'll try. I craved Mexican food more than anything when I lived in DC.

                1. re: writergirl

                  I feel your pain. Salvadorian is by no means a good substitute. I don't know if you ever made it to Tacos Pepitos Bakery, but that is my fave so far.

              2. When I'm traveling out of the LA area, I find I miss the sheer variety of ethnic food at reasonable prices, as well as the availability of fresh produce year-round.

                I also find that Angelenos tend to simply shrug their shoulders and accept the culinary foibles of wherever they are without complaint. So I can't find a good Baja-style fish taco in Phillie? I wipe a tiny tear and move on with my life. I don't spend the entire time there whining about it.

                But drop a New Yorker in LA around breakfast time, and watch the bitching and moaning start. Yeah, no New York-style bagels, no bacon egg and cheese made with Kaiser roll and plastic American cheese food product. Catch him/her at lunchtime. Don't see him/her? Listen for someone complaining about the lack of good pizza/delis. The constant need for everything here to be just like it is back in NY (DISCLOSURE: I do happen to LOVE New York AND the great bagels, pizza and deli food!!!) gets tiring. Don't like LA? Fine. New York awaits your return with open arms and yummy brisket. Just don't expect you'll find a great Mexican place like Enrique's.

                Bottom line: LA is not a neurotic impression of Europe. It's different. Time to accept it and embrace its unique nature. And we'll try to stop needling San Francisco about the Mission burritos!!

                1. this is a great thread.

                  When I lived in NY for college I missed mexican food. I remember my cousin from Jersey visiting me in the dorms and offering me to take me to dinner at this new restaurant that serves "Tex-MEx" Have you heard of it?, he asks. This ws in the early-mid 90s, I rolled me eyes.

                  I remember thinking food back east was so much more heavy, rich and meat based. It took some effort to find a nice affordable (remember, I'm college) neighborhood bistro to find a good, clean and simple salad; which I think can be attributed being raised in cali where "fresh and seasonal" was all year round.

                  1. Not an expat but would absolutely have to fill my fish taco craving. And would need plentiful cilantro.

                    There was awhile ago an episode of House (the medical drama) where it turns out (spoiler...) the main character was having a dream sequence throughout almost the entire show. The show is set up northeast somewhere and my first clue that there was something awry with the episode was that House and his fellow docs go munch fish tacos at a fish taco stand. I doubt there are any where the series is set: http://unifiedtheorynothingmuch.blogs...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Cinnamon

                      Bwah! I burst out with the same thing when I watched that episode of House. Especially since I spent 5 years in Princeton and was completely disgusted with the lack of decent Mexican food. I remember having to spend upwards of $20 for a barely passable carne asada dinner that costs me $4 here...finally I learned to cook Mexican food in desperation before I could move back to my beloved L.A.

                      A tiny bunch of old cilantro cost $1.99 there. Ugh. It helped when a TJs opened about an hour away from Princeton, but I complained bitterly (to myself) almost every day I was there. The food was heavy, rich, underspiced, and the produce was limp, unless you went to great lengths and expense to get better. The people who lived there simply had no idea there was anything different out there.

                    2. I spent most of my years away from LA whining about not being able to find Taiwanese food.