HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


NYCer heading to LA nxt week... Top destinations for a 5 nite stay?

Looking for MUST HIT recommendations during a 5 night stay in LA... More interested in the cheap-moderate price range.

Fish Tacos? Sushi? Pink's? Etc? Just looking to eat well-

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 1a.Fish tacos = TACOS DE BAJA ENCENADA
    1b.Hot Dogs= AVOID Pinks,
    1c.French Dip= HOUSTON'S
    2.Sun Prix fixe- LUCQUE'S
    3.Mon Prix fixe- JIRAFFE
    4.BEST Cheap Sushi Lunch deal- SUSHI GO 55 (downtown) ECHIGO (west side)
    5.Dim Sum- NBC(monterey park)
    6.BEST PASTRAMI SANDWICH - LANGER'S (you'll be able to brag to your friends "you've had the best" when you return to NYC).
    8.French Bistro- L'DIJONISE (culver city)
    9.Lamb Sandwich- PHILLIPPE's
    10.Mex Chicken Soup-AVILIA'S (Huntington Park)

    1. I'm assuming you have a car, a map, and patience to deal with the legendary traffic, thus forthwith:

      MEXICAN: La Cabanita (North Glendale) or La Serenata de Garibaldi (Boyle Heights -- can't recommend the Westside ones)

      DIM SUM: NBC (Monterey Park)

      FISH TACOS: Tacos Baja Ensenada (East LA) or El Taco Nazo (South El Monte)

      SUSHI: Tama (Studio City) or Hide (West LA) -- note that Hide is cash-only.

      VIETNAMESE: Quan Hy (Westminster) or Banh Mi Che Cali (Westminster or Rosemead).

      KOREAN: Beverly Soon Tofu (Koreatown), Chosun Galbi (Koreatown), Sagan (Buena Park) or Sa Rit Gol (Koreatown)

      THAI: Thai Nakorn (Garden Grove), Renu Nakorn (Norwalk), Yai (Hollywood), Krua (North Hollywood), Wat Thai (North Hollywood, weekend lunches only)... edit, Renu Nakorn's closed until spring for renovations.

      I'd skip Italian and French, since New York does those better than LA anyway.

      1. Having lived and dined well in both cities, I would agree with the recs to stay heavy on ethnic food. Avoid french and italian in LA.

        I second the rec for Beverly Soon Tofu. Get the extra hot and a nice order of kalbe as part of your combo meal

        Lucques is a nice LA type dining experience. I would also toss in AOC and Campanille into that genre.

        Dim Sum in LA is excellent compared to NYC.

        I'll throw in the obligatory Din Tai Fung rec for fresh, handmade dumplings.

        Phillipes for french dipped pork, lamb, or beef is a nice old school LA experience.

        I respectfully disagree about Langer's being better than Katz's but you should try for yourself.

        As for Sushi, I'm a firm believer that NYC's best beats LA's best (Masa spawned Urasawa and Yasuda trumps everyone else). In the moderate range, I would have to recommend Kiriko. Try the fresh matsutake soup if it's still available and ask for some baby bluefin tuna if they have it. Try the house smoked salmon (the only time I would order salmon as part of my nigiri).

        Don't leave without trying mexican.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Porthos

          As an ex NY'er, I can testify that Langer's pastrami is better than Katz's, and Katz's corned beef is better than Langer's. Langer's wins the rye bread comparison easily. Langer's closes 4:30 PM, has private parking 1 block away

          1. re: Porthos

            I thought of Lucques and AOC (but not Campanile, I'm so over it), and of course Urasawa is the best sushi in the city, but none of those are even in the "moderate" category.

            And let's not forget that Takayama started in L.A., with Ginza Sushi-Ko. :-P

          2. Where are you staying? A worthy Mexican restaurant is:
            1823 South San Gabriel Blvd
            San Gabriel
            (626) 288-7265

            Here is a list of Mexican restaurants with brief reviews compiled by the LA Weekly which includes Babita:
            http://www.laweekly.com/index.php?opt... as well as 1a in russkar's list above.

            1. If you want burgers, here are some good choices, but most LA burgers are going to be of the thin patty variety:

              1. Westside: Apple Pan -- one of the few remaining "classic" counters in L.A., serviing its Hickory Burger, sandwiches and excellent pies. closed Monday. Very reasonable prices.

              2. In-N-Out: L.A. Institution and the burger is made to order with fresh ingredients. It's a fast-food type setting, most of them also have drive-thrus. Locations all over L.A. -- check their website.

              3. Cassell's: I went with high expectations and was a bit disappointed, though many think it the best burger in L.A.

              4. Twohey's in Alhambra: Classic 60's atmosphere with lots of burger choices. They serve them with "chips," too which are really circular french fries.

              5. Gourmet Burger: Now we're talking $12 and up for a burger. My current favorite is Lucky Devils in Hollywood, but I've had good ones at Literati II and Wilson most recently.
              Lots of great raves on this board for Father's Office, which gets slammed from late afternoon on. It is a pub, so you've got to be 21 to go in. And if you like ketchup, bring your own.

              Agree with the majority of posters above -- this is the place to dig in and enjoy Mexican and almost all Asian cuisines. Luckily, you have many options in the moderate range.

              1. Dim Sum: Triumphal Palace or Sea Harbour

                Mexican: Babita

                Korean: Sa Rit Gol or Soot Bull Jeep

                Vietnamese: Golden Deli or Vietnam House

                Taiwanese: SinBaLa

                1. Thank you all for the fantastic response. I will let you know how it goes...

                  1. Hope you have free time and given your parameters hope you are staying downtown. This would put you close to sushi (Sushi Gen, Honda Plaza, Little Tokyo, luncheon special); Mexican (Serenata, seafood in Boyle Heights, fish tacos at Senor Fish on First, tacos, burritos, sopes, gorditas at Grand Central Market, Third & Broadway, carnitas at La Luz del Dia in Olvera Street, Oaxacan at Guelaguetza on Sixth and on Olympic), French Dips (at Philippe's on Alameda), not far from Langer's (for pastrami at Seventh & Alvarado), etc. You should get downtown and fan out for all sorts of goodies.

                    1. Chichen-Itza in La Mercada de la Paloma, for Mexican/Yucatan food. The must try -- panuchos. Near USC, off Exposition Blvd. Very inexpensive.

                      The Wat Thai Temple in the valley -- little food booths serving Thai food. (Coldwater Canyon) Very inexpensive.

                      Korean BBQ, Sa Rit Gol, or Soot Bull Jeep if you want to cook over live charcoal (and be prepared for smokeyness.) Moderate

                      Chameau/ French Moroccan, a little picey, but amazing food. http://www.chameaurestaurant.com/rest... on Fairfax. Moderate (I think?


                      Orris, Franco/Japanese little plates.
                      http://www.orrisrestaurant.com/menu.html (A little pricey but worth it.


                      Lots of information about all these places on the board.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Sandra W

                        Kang Suh in NYC lets you grill over coals. It's more expensive but the meat, especially the kalbe, is of a better quality than Soot Bull Jeep.

                      2. My 2 cents:

                        To get locations, use the following link:


                        I find it pretty accurate for addresses, but doesnt have telephone numbers unfortunately.

                        I like Tacos Baja Ensenada in East Los Angeles, La Barca in Bell for Birria or el parian on Pico-just southwest of staples center- for birria and asada, both Chichen Itza for food from yucatan and the taqueria in the stall next door to it for al pastor. There are also a large number of mexican style seafood restaurants specializing in tomato based broth seafood cocktails-try the shrimp cocktail at Lindas in East Los Angeles.

                        Sushi Gen for lunch, Daikoyuka for noodles, izakaya haru ulala-a japanese style pub for braised pork belly and fried items, as well as grilled seasonal vegetables, Kokekoko for Yakitori-everything chicken skewered and grilled--all of these within a two block radius of Alameda and First in the little tokyo area.

                        Grand Central Market: Torta at Tomas; Pupusas at Saras

                        1. i'd recc considering specific locations. plan your events for the day and im most neighborhoods you'll find good eats. get back to us on details....like i'll be at the zoo, what should i eat for dinner? you don't want to be driving all day.

                          1. If you've never tried pho, I would highly recommend it. Usually $5-$6 a bowl a very good deal and tasty!

                            I would recommend Pho So 1 but there are many good places.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ladius

                              There are actually quite a few good pho places in/around NYC (incl. esp. Queens).