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New Yorker SUPER FOODIE Needs Recs.

New to L.A. via Manhattan - work transfer :( . Where can I get some good ethnic food around the city? I'm a super foodie whose been around the world and MUST be impressed. What's Up L.A?

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  1. First of all, start listening to the Good Food podcasts on KCRW (kcrw.com). Start reading Jonathan Gold's Counter Intelligence article in the LA Weekly (laweekly.com). For the best tacos, read the blog lataco.com

    LA is filled with ethnic food but, unlike Manhattan, you might have to drive 30-60 minutes to get the best of the best.

    1. Some of the best Asian ethnic foods - including, but not limited to, Chinese (Szechuan, Canton, Hunan, etc.), Taiwanese, Vietnamese, et. al - found in San Gabriel Valley/Monterey Park.

      Korean BBQ and tofu houses found in or near Koreatown.

      Many people enjoy Thai food in the Wat Thai temple...

      1. Find a local coffee shop with WiFi, buy a large cup o' joe, hunker down with your laptop, boot up Chowhound's LA board and read up ...

        From a Queens native ... welcome to LA!

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          The two strongest offerings are obviously from LA's biggest immigrant communities. Those of the various cuisines of Mexico/Central America & the various cuisines of China.

        2. Let's see -- I live in the Valley (the Brooklyn of LA) so most of these will be up here, but they're generally cheap and all great.

          Pho 999 or Pho So 1 (Van Nuys)
          Quan Hy (Westminster)
          Nha Hang My Hanh (South El Monte)
          S Vietnamese Fine Dining (Westminster)
          Banh Mi Che Cali (Rosemead, Westminster)
          Vinh Loi Tofu (Reseda)

          CHINESE -- ask Jerome for better recs, he's much better than I
          China Islamic (Monterey Park)
          Sin Ba La Taiwanese (Arcadia)
          Din Tai Fung (Arcadia)
          NBC Seafood for dim sum (Monterey Park)
          Malan Noodles (Hacienda Heights)

          Soot Bull Jeep (Koreatown)
          Sa Rit Gol (Koreatown)
          Chosun Galbee (Koreatown)
          Beverly Soon Tofu (Koreatown)
          Sokongdong (Koreatown)
          Sagan (Buena Park)
          Seoul Grindz (Glendale)
          Ka-San (La Crescenta)

          Honda-Ya (Tustin)
          Shinsengumi (Torrance, Gardena, Fountain Valley)
          Daichan (Studio City - not the kaiten sushi place)
          Santouka Ramen (Torrance)
          Hakata Ramen (Torrance, Fountain Valley)
          Gyu-Kaku (Sherman Oaks)

          Urasawa (Beverly Hills)
          Tama (Studio City)
          Asanebo (Studio City)
          Nozawa (Studio City)
          Hide (West LA)

          Wat Thai (North Hollywood, weekend lunches only)
          Thai Nakorn (Garden Grove)
          Yai (Thai Town)
          Krua (North Hollywood, West Covina)
          Swan (North Hollywood)
          Sanamluang (Thai Town, North Hollywood)
          Bua Siam (North Hollywood)
          Sri Siam (North Hollywood)
          Ayara (Westchester)

          Ambala Dhaba (Artesia)
          Woodlands (Artesia, Chatsworth)
          India Sweets & Spices (Canoga Park, West LA)

          To be continued...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Oh man, I'm from here and I need to try a few of these. Bravo

            1. FILIPINO
              Manila Good-Ha (Panorama City, Glendale, Koreatown)
              Max's of Manila (Glendale)

              Babita (San Gabriel)
              La Serenata de Garibaldi (East LA -- don't go to WLA/SM branches)
              Tacos Baja Ensenada (East LA)
              El Taco Nazo (South El Monte)
              Mariscos Colima (North Hollywood)
              Carnitas Michoacan (Valley Glen/North Hollywood)
              El Taco Llama (North Hollywood -- Magnolia/Bakman branch ONLY)

              Skaf's Grill (North Hollywood)
              Carnival (Sherman Oaks)
              Mandaloun (Glendale)
              Carousel (Glendale)
              Shamshiri (Glendale)
              Olive Branch (La Crescenta)
              Sunnin (West LA)
              Javan (West LA -- service alert)

              Meals By Genet (Mid-City)
              Nyala (Mid-City)
              Merkato (Mid-City)
              Rahel (Mid-City)
              Fassica (Culver City)

              And before you get homesick and ask, no, we haven't got any New York pizza, New York bagels, or New York egg rolls that measure up to snuff. Langer's pastrami is excellent and would do a land-office business even if it were next door to Katz's.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                Nice. You went above and beyond. Thanks.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  For Filipino Food, I think two better options are:

                  Magic Work (Artesia) - assuming that they re-opened.

                  Alejandro's (Glassell Park


                  1. re: pleasurepalate

                    I haven't been to Alejandro's -- I should amend my list to say that I only ever eat breakfast and pansit palabok at Manila Good-Ha, so I can't speak to their other food.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      One place that you may want to try Pansit Palabok is Manila Sunset, which has different locations. That's actually their specialty and what we always order for parties when my Mom doesn't want to cook.

                2. I was only there for a summer, but these were some of my ethnic favs:

                  Katmandu (Nepalese) in Culver City
                  Sanamluang (Thai) in Thai Town
                  Annapurna (South Indian) in Culver City (very good dosas)
                  La Golondrina (Mexican) in Olvera Street. (A popular choice but probably not a Chowhound choice--nevertheless, the perfect guacamole, thick, seed-based hot sauce, fantastic homemade flour tortillas, and fresh fish make it a winner in my eyes.)

                  1. How to capture a lifetime of eating recommendations into one email? it's impossible, so I'll just share a couple of my favorites. Or maybe more than a couple...

                    Langer's for pastrami
                    Mama's Hot Tamales for central american tamales
                    Whittier Blvd in East LA for taco trucks
                    La Playita for ceviche
                    Tacos Baja Ensenada for fish tacos
                    Monte Alban for Oaxacan food
                    Sa Rit Gol for Korean food
                    Hide Sushi for good, cheaper, cash-only sushi
                    Sushi Sasabune for more expensive omakase
                    Sushi Zo for high quality, classic sushi

                    Santa Monica farmers markets for produce that will blow away a New Yorker.

                    1. I agree about Jonathan Gold's list. Just read LA Weekly and let his list take care of you.

                      1. Add to all the great suggestions above:

                        Chicken-Itza for panuchos (near USC)
                        La Flor de Yucatan a bakery, for that amazing ham/cheese torte (la hardro? I'm butchering the language) and chocinita pibil (weekends only) - Hoover & Washington
                        Kobawoo for acorn noodles, mung-bean pancake, on Vermont
                        Daikokuya for Ramen Japantown
                        Palms Thai for the fun of watching the Asian Elvis impersonator (dinner only)
                        Chameau - French Moroccon (Fairfax/Beverly)
                        Ma Dang Gook Soo (Korean noodles) on Western
                        Magic Carpet - Yemenite Jewish, eggplant assortment appetizer and the melawach, a crunchy pancake, choose your topping (closed for Shabbat)

                        Wednesday farmer's market in Santa Monica is astounding. Love the Caribbean curry at the Hollywood F.M. on Sunday.

                        1. haha "super foodie." oh reeeaaaally? =P

                          santouka in torrance for ramen.
                          manpuku (sawtelle) and tama-en (lomita) for yakiniku, unless you can get into totoraku.
                          shin sen gumi in gardena for yakitori.
                          gaja in lomita for okonomiyaki.
                          urasawa for sushi but if you truly are a super foodie you're probably in with masa in nyc.

                          overall, you will not find better japanese food in new york than in LA that's for sure.

                          *throws down the gauntlet*


                          1. A real super foodie goes to Cut, Spago, Urasawa, Valentino, AOC, Langer's, Water Grill, Serenata de Garabaldi.
                            A poser goes to Taylor's, Chameau, Hide, Mulberry Street, Angelique Cafe, Canter's, the Lobster, Tito's Tacos.
                            You make the call.

                            8 Replies
                              1. re: mc michael

                                Come on now...

                                We all know that a REAL super foodie goes to Wat Thai Temple, Shibucho Costa Mesa, Bulgarini, Monte Alban, Bay Cities Italian Deli, Roscoes Chicken and Waffles, Mashti Malone's, Langer's, Krua Thai, Taco's Baja Ensenada, Zankou, Phillipes, Sapp Coffee House, La Playita/Mariscos Gullen, and Indo Cafe...

                                ...all in one day and still hasn't spent what you'd spend on one meal at Cut, Spago, Urasawa, Valentino, AOC, or the Water Grill.

                                Again, you make the call.

                                1. re: Moomin

                                  Mashti Malone's ice cream is awesome, but you should also check out Indian ice cream at a place called Saffron in Artesia.

                                  Pics at:

                                  1. re: pleasurepalate

                                    is this more like gelato like consistency or regular ice cream?

                                    1. re: kevin

                                      It's more like regular ice cream and actually, I found the Indian ice cream to be denser than Mashti Malone's ice cream.

                                    1. re: mc michael

                                      not sure about the list here, mc michael. i could skip on several from the super foodie group, dismissing them as overpriced loud places with mediocre food, at best. super disappointments?

                                      just shows how complicated the world of opinons is

                                    2. Sushi Katsu-ya for the best sushi in town
                                      Los Toros - awesome Mexican in Chatsworth
                                      Loteria - best tacos in LA (Farmers Market)
                                      El Cholo - classic Mexican
                                      Golden Deli - divine Vietnamese

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jwobkk

                                        sushi katsu-ya = mediocre sushi at best
                                        loteria = decent eats, but by no stretch of the imagination the best tacos in LA
                                        el cholo = gringo-rized mexican food, might as well go to el torito