What are your favorite, small local food chains?
I'm very fond of Carnitas Michoacan and Farmer Boy's. So far as I know they only exist in the Greater L.A. area. What are some of the other local chains that you like?
How many is a chain?
If it's two or more, then I like Tacomiendo a ton. I go to the one on Inglewood (near Culve) and the one on Gateway (near Pico).
I like all the tacos, prepared on fresh tortillas. Mostly I order carnitas and pollo. I sometimes order their pollo burrito and it's good, even though it falls apart and I honestly prefer refried beans in a burrito than whole pintos. My younger son lives on the chicken quesadilla and one of the smoothies (I forget which one).
I think Bagel Factory has great bagels and great soups. I go to the one on Sepulveda, though the commissary one is on Robertson near Cadillac.
There are probably others, too. I like some of the Campos burritos places, particularly the one at Pico and 20th where they have turkey tacos. I like Tanner's for coffee, but I only go to the one on Sepulveda near Culver.
campos! taquitos. chunky beef burritos with chile colorado, wet. eaten on chips. my comfort food. i spend a lot of time at zankou too, and sometimes i wake up with a craving for (blush) one of those Polish burgers at the shack, and the big mess or the chilaquiles (really more like migas) at eat well.
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A few mostly L.A.-limited chains off the top of my head:
El Gallo Giro taquerias for tortas, tortillas, and killer salsa verde. El Taco Nazo for shrimp & fish tacos.
Shin Sen Gumi's array of Japanese specialist restaurants
Pollo a la Brasa, and to a lesser degree, El Pollo Inka's Peruvian roasted chicken
Cho Dang's soon tofu, Soot Bull Jeep for Korean BBQ
Phillip's BBQ and Woody's BBQ
Phoenix Food Boutique for the Chinese desserts (the jellies and custards, not the baked desserts, which are meh)
Skooby's for the garlic lover's dog and the fries, when the cooks pay attention. Quality's inconsistent, I find.
Pho 79 and Mr. Baguette for Viet noodles & sandwiches, respectively.
Little Sheep for "Mongolian" hot pot (although this is a global chain with three L.A. stores).
Killer Shrimp for pretty decent cajun style shrimp.
Gelato Paradiso's ice creams and the Filing Station's pies
I also like Versailles. People here don't, and its inconsistent but its not too expensive and I like their lechon asado.