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Your favorite simple, yet AWESOME, dish at an LA eatery?

This whole potato ball at Porto's discussion has led me to investigate other simple, yet awesome concepts in food around LA. Take the potato ball - simply mashed potatoes around ground beef, fried to a golden crisp. It's not brain surgery, but soooooooooo good.

I'll go ahead and throw some out there:

*Roasted beet and buffalo mozzerella salad at Chateau Marmont: Fresh, delicious balls of cheese with roasted golden and red beets. So simple, yet so refined. A drizzle of good olive oil adds the perfect finish.

*Egg salad sandwich at Europane: Big chunks of soft-boiled eggs, chopped into big pieces, piled on top of a piece of crusty, toasted bread. A simple, think mayo dressing and chives top it all off.

*Eggs from Hell at Coffee Table: Super spicy sauce scrambled with eggs, served with a side of black beans and a tortilla. Can you say hangover fix? It's so spicy that I actually ask for "easy hell."

*Strawberry and brown sugar ice cream at Zanzabelle in Silverlake. It's cold, creamy and has bits of brown sugar in it.

*Tomato bisque at Granville Cafe, Burbank: Tomato-y and creamy, it's really the right thing to do on a cold day.

*Scallop sushi at Z's in Alhambra

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  1. Stir fried shrimp - just plain, simple with some green onions and that's it - at J&J Shanghai;

    and the green beans at Din Tai Fung;

    and the cheese, butter and ham sandwich at Portugal Imports in Artesia.

    4 Replies
    1. re: estone888

      Those green beans are KILLER!! :)

      Also the Chinese Broccoli at Dim Sum places (especially Ocean Star) YUM!!! :)


      1. re: Dommy

        That Chinese Broccoli is the one dish I need to have at Dim Sum... just not complete without it...

        1. re: bulavinaka

          YES!! That is how I rate Dim Sum places... how good ws their Broccoli! :)


          1. re: Dommy

            Sorry - not sure which place you're asking about... but to recall the best one for me is hard as I will slurp them down even if the stalks are hard and stringy... However, I think the nicest most tender ones I had were at Mission 261... the other places I've tried seem to vary in tenderness from time to time... maybe it's seasonal thing... maybe it's a supplier thing... Ocean Star, Sam Woo, and NBC is where we usually go, and while others at the table might complain about the stalks being too tough, I jsut keep chomping... Been reading alot of buzz about that place, The Kitchen... J. Gold's favorite for the time being...

    2. Shish kabob at Skaf's grill. Mmmmmmmmmm....

      1. The queso fundido and guacomole with fresh tortillas at Monte Alban...

        The beet salad at Joan's on Third...

        The tamago at Hide Sushi...

        The blue crab handroll at Sushi Zo...

        The five-grain bread at BreadBar...

        The gargantuan bowl of french onion soup at Doughboys...

        The sea bass "ala ben" at the Dal Rae...

        The pretzel rolls at Rockenwagner Bakery...

        The butterscoth budino at Mozza...

        The chai tea at Urth Cafe...

        2 Replies
        1. re: glutton

          Second the handroll and the Five Grain bread... Here's a sandwich I made of it... YUM!! :)


          Although at Rockenwagner, NOTHING beats there Cheesy Bacon Scone... I'm so glad we moved from that neighborhood... it would have been the DEATH to my woredrobe...


          1. re: glutton

            Pretzel rolls at the Big R - with bacon and cheese... gotta have it!

          2. Scrambled egg shrimp at OK Seafood in downtown L.A. The shrimp is perfectly pink and sweet and the eggs have a beautifully silky texture. Very satisfying.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bob Brooks

              Yum! My favorite dish in the world is "Wa Ton Har Yen" but I never had a version better than Ocean Star's. Will have to try this one.

            2. The oatmeal and raisin cookies at COSTCO.
              Guess I need a snack, huh?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Gohantabeyoka

                Try the oatmeal and raisin cookies from Trader Joes. They are my favorite TJ's cookie.

              2. Hudade Combo at Rahel veggie

                Tuna Tartare appetizer at Mamalade cafe in Sherman Oaks

                Fried Cauliflower from Woodlands Pure in Chatsworth

                "Stuffed tomato" sashimi dish at Sushi House of Taka

                Gelson's country cornbread with sweet unsalted butter

                Friday Night Pizza night pizza at Follow Your Heart cafe

                Chocolate croissant at breadbar

                Midnight madness at Jerry's (well, once in a blue moon. AND I get a milkshake AND it eat it all myself. Then I roll over and die)

                Spinach naan at Gungadin

                Htapodi (grilled octopus with scallions and balsamic) at Alexis Greek Cafe

                Pancakes and biscuits at John 'o Groats

                Mezze at Alcazar

                Fatoush and hummus with pine nuts at Cedar House cafe

                Ginger rosewater ice cream from Mashti Malone's

                Pastrami sandwiches from Langer's

                Salad with caviar and mixed sashimi salad from O dae San\

                so much more to love!!!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Diana

                  i love the lunch special at rahel.
                  it is a combination plate of about 4 or 5 different items served with the best injera in town. to top it off, if you're still hungry when you've finished your food, they will bring you more for no extra charge.

                  also the PRA PRIK PAO at Thai Boom is excellent

                  the curried jackfruit at Bharat Bazaar is great.

                  1. re: Diana

                    Have a pint of ginger rosewater ice cream and another of the falloudeh in my freezer... Just wish the weather would warm up!

                  2. In no particular order:

                    Langer's Number 19

                    Shanghai rice cakes at Din Tai Fung

                    Al bondigas at Mi India Bonita

                    Fish tacos at Tacos Baja Ensenada

                    Carnitas burrito at Ana Marias in the Grand Central Market

                    Steak and eggs at the Pacific Dining Car (downtown)

                    Chicken fried steak at the Pines Cafe

                    Chili relleno burrito at Tere's

                    Carne asada burrito at El Parian

                    Lamb hot pot with sesame scallion bread at China Islamic

                    Those crispy, chewy, rice flour, melted brown sugar Korean pancake treats sold at the stand behind the Korean market at Western and 5th.

                    Lamb chops at Papa Christos

                    Florescent orange chicken and fries at Dino's Burger

                    Truffled french fries at Josie

                    Live king crab at NBC Seafood

                    Rotisserie chicken at Marouche

                    Prime sirloin burger with cheddar cheese and sauteed mushrooms at Arnie Morton's downtown

                    Coconut waffle balls from the Thai vendor at the Hollywood Farmers' Market

                    Carrot cake cupcakes with blood orange filling and mascarpone frosting from Leda's

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: David Kahn

                      The coconut waffle balls are enough to get me to try the HFM.

                      1. re: Cinnamon

                        The HFM is probably the second best farmer's market in L.A. We make the trek for it from the Westside... we always have a great time there... The Waffle balls are just an added bonus! :)


                        1. re: Dommy

                          where is this thai vendor and the coconut waffle balls? i've been going to the HFM for 6 years and have never seen this! East or West of Vine?

                          1. re: cinzia

                            They are almost across the way from the Pupusa Lady, on the side street, facing the few tables they have out...


                      2. re: David Kahn

                        Knew I forgot something: The summer BLT, and the steak frites (year round) at Lucques.

                      3. The small, lower-priced lengua tacos at Fiesta Taco on Hollywood Way in--yep---BURBANK!

                        1. The beet salad at Jiraffe in Santa Monica.

                          The nicoise salad at Broadway Bar & Grill at the south end of Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. (Who knew nicoise could be good?)

                          The bread pudding at The Minotaure in Playa del Rey.

                          1. The plain pastrami-only sandwich, whatever number that is, at Langer's.

                            The split-pea soup at Pann's.

                            I'm still looking for a truly transcendental local manifestation of my favorite minimalist food, the Margherita pizza. Found a couple that were OK, but none that killed me...

                            Pie'n'Burger's cheeseburger comes damned close, if they'd just lighten up on the lettuce.

                            Almost forgot: New Concept's crisp-fried salt pork and greens. So simple, so perfect, so wish I could have some every day...

                            1. The roasted chicken at Corner Cafe in Burbank. The owner claims all she adds is salt and the rotisserie does the rest.

                              Pan fried XLB at Kang Kang food court.

                              An in-n-out cheeseburger. Simplicity itself.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ozzygee

                                Tell us more about this CORNER CAFE.

                                1. re: Gohantabeyoka

                                  It's at the corner of Riverside & Maple in Bbank. They pretty much only sell rotisserie chicken (ala zankou) but it's much better. Consistently juicy and flavorful. I could eat a whole chicken, it's that good. (Zankou's got them beat on the hummous, though. The flavors a little too mild & the consistency is runny, more like a sauce than a side dish.)

                              2. I'll add the "after school special" at Doughboys: tomato soup plus a grilled-cheese sandwich.

                                Dates at AOC.

                                Chili at Chili My Soul.

                                1 Reply
                                1. soft tofu with a bit of sugar at dim sum.

                                  that olive spread with bread at AOC.

                                  vanilla bean ice cream and berries in a cookie crust bowl at Spago.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: chica

                                    mmmmmm... dou fu fa, with the ginger syrup. Love it. You can get it at any 99 Ranch in the refrigerated section near the tofu -- the tofu's in a large quart and the ginger syrup's in a separate container stacked on top, the whole thing's wrapped in a plastic sack and it's like $1.50.

                                  2. After reading this list, I have to add my local and recent favorite: the beef tenderloin entree at Canele in Atwater Village. Best beef -- well cooked, medium rare (really), tender beef with a side of the best potato side dish (a perfect potatoes anna) and a delectible roasted green veggie with garlic -- I think i was broccoli rabe or the chinese version of broccoli rabe. It was a perfect dinner. Started with a perfect salad (greens with a "creme fraiche vinaigrette which tasted like the green salad you are served in France) and ended with a chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream that had me licking the plate.

                                    I want to eat that meal again.

                                    1. fried tetilla from AOC
                                      cauliflower soup at Clementine
                                      toro with sesame oil, salt, pepper, and nori (not too hard to come by, but some Japanese restaurants are bad about providing ccertain ingredients)
                                      ankimo at Kiriko
                                      salads at Doughboys (I know, I know...)
                                      orange blossom ice cream at Mashti Malone's
                                      sweet potato fries and onion rings at the Bowery

                                      a tiny green tea cookie filched from Tortoise, which gets it from Jin Patisserie...it's pretty much all the flour I can handle

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: PseudoNerd

                                        where is Mashti Malones? Is it an ice cream shoppe?

                                        1. re: MalibuAly

                                          Google is your friend, 1st listing:


                                          Mashti Malone's Ice Cream
                                          1525 North La Brea Avenue
                                          Los Angeles, California 90028
                                          Toll Free: 1-866-767-3423

                                          Order whatever you like but do be sure to taste some of the herb and/or flower flavors!

                                          1. re: MalibuAly

                                            You can find Mashti Malone's at their stores in Hollywood (Sunset/La Brea) or Glendale. I've seen it a couple times in cold cases at specialty food stores, such as the French Market on Abbot Kinney in Venice. However, I suggest going to the store for the fresh product and the sour cherry/sour lemon syrup that goes perfectly with the saffron, ginger, rosewater, and other Persian specialties. Unbelievable. Best ice cream in LA (oh no, I've thrown down the gauntlet and started that whole debate again...)

                                            1. re: glutton

                                              For my last birthdya, my husband made a dark chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate chip cookie the size of a platter and topped it with Mashti's ginger rosewater ice cream.


                                              1. re: glutton

                                                Just a note... the ice cream is made on La Brea and transported to Glendale. They're not as attentive about refrigeration at Glendale (or, I guess, in the truck) so a lot of it can be melted and refrozen (hello, ice crystals!).

                                                La Brea is much, much superior.

                                                1. re: glutton

                                                  mashti malone's is THE persian ice cream supplier to what seems to me like the entire state of CA. you will find their prepackaged quarts and gallons at most every Persian / Armenian market... I also found Mashti's at all the iranian spots I visited in Nor Cal too.

                                                  1. re: glutton

                                                    Don't worry - you're standing on solid ground....but... if you get a chance, and if you're in Westwood, try the Persian ice creams at Rose Market... all the standards, plus - cucumber, cantelope, etc.,,, whatever produce is in season that even remotely sound like they could be spun into an ice cream flavor, they will have it. 1922 Westwood Blvd.

                                              2. ~tomato beef chow mein at pheonix

                                                ~creme brulee napoleon at parkway grill

                                                ~beef double dip american sandwich with a chili straight from Phillipe's

                                                ~what i call "footballs" from any good dim sum place

                                                ~my moms sloppy joe's

                                                ~chocolate bread pudding extra hot from parkway grill

                                                ~yes egg salad sammie from europane

                                                ~tarte tatin pancakes from Fred 62

                                                7 Replies
                                                  1. re: JAB

                                                    ok, please tell me you do know. oh that made me so happy. i=they are called (i am completely spelling them wrong) hom sui gok? ohhh, those greasy lil things.....

                                                    1. re: caitybirdie

                                                      After eating Dim Sum for some 20 + years, the funny
                                                      thing is that I just learned that they were referred to as "footballs" at Seafood Paradise in Westminster where they along with the rest of the Dim Sum is very good. Previously, I had just pointed to them.

                                                      1. re: JAB

                                                        Never heard that being referred to as 'football'. I guess that's _American_ football.

                                                        Literally it means salt water pointy turnover/pastry in chinese, I always just called it salt water dumpling to my hubbie. It's his favorite.

                                                      2. re: caitybirdie

                                                        The sort of fried things? Yeah, they're hom sui gok.

                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                          Just remembered there's actually another type of fried dim sum that's football shaped. That's made out of taro root, looked a bit fluffy and I think called foo gok. Hom sui gok is made out of sticky rice dough.

                                                          1. re: notmartha

                                                            Yes, I don't care for that one myself. It is the same shape as the hom sui gok (football) but, has a crispy flakey outer texture as oppossed to the smooth texture of the hom sui gok.

                                                  2. Spicey Rock Shrimp at Nobu

                                                    Pastrami Bueger at Lucky Boy in Pasadena

                                                    Anthing at The Hat in Pasadena

                                                    The Egg and Caviar at Melisse

                                                    Rack of Lamb at Jiraffe

                                                    Anything at Go's Sushi in Canoga Park

                                                    Yogi Tea at the Fig Tree Cafe in Venice

                                                    Eggs Lulu at the Fig Tree Cafe in Venice

                                                    Super garlic, tomato, olive oil tampanade at Allegria in Malibu

                                                    Flourless Chocolate Cake in Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise at Allegria

                                                    Double Cheese Burger at In n Out

                                                    Mac n Cheese at Cafe D'Artiste

                                                    Dim sum at Empress Pavilion downtown

                                                    Meatball sandwiches at Bay Cities Italian Deli in Santa Monica

                                                    Salmon and pineapple salsa tacos at Howdy's in Malibu

                                                    Harris Ranch Chipotle Marinated Flank Steak at Smart n Final!

                                                    1. The curries at Gate of India in Santa Monica

                                                      1. The first bites after the dish comes to the table of the Slippery Shrimp at Yang Chow, with a drop or two of chili oil for heat.

                                                        The al pastor taco or burrito at Carnitas Michaocan on North Broadway at 19th, but only if freshly sliced off of the rotisserie, with their amazingly dusky spicy hot sauce.

                                                        1. Grilled Salmon at GERLACH'S GRILL (Pasadena)

                                                          Sausages with wasabi at SIN BA LA (Arcadia)

                                                          Cinnamon roll at PIE N BURGER (Pasadena)

                                                          Abalone sashimi at SEA HARBOUR (Rosemead)

                                                          Uni and grilled octopus at IKE SUSHI (Hollywood)

                                                          Garlic fries at JAR (Los Angeles)

                                                          Grilled cheese sandwiches at CAMPANILE (Los Angeles)

                                                          Chinese potato salad sandwiches at JJ BAKERY (Arcadia)

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                            Ipsedixit, a few questions:

                                                            Are the sausages the Japanese santokun saugages?
                                                            Are the Chineses potato salad sandwiches special -in any way- or just a la Yakisoba sandwich (bun and noodle) by Mitsuwa?

                                                            1. re: kare_raisu

                                                              The sausages at SinBaLa are the Taiwanese variety (香腸). A bit sweet, with a nice snap from the casing.

                                                              The potato salad sandwiches are a bit different from the Japanese iteration. They are served in a sort of large round, oversized type of hot-dog bun (sort of like what they use for a yakisoba sandwich) and then stuffed with potato salad and usu. then garnished with 1/4 slices of whole eggs.

                                                          2. BBQ Beef Ribs at Chris n Pitts - Whittier Location
                                                            Cajun Potato Salad at Les Sisters Chatsworth
                                                            BBQ Chicken @ Thai n I - Encino
                                                            Caldo de Pollo @ Tacos Kenia in Van Nuys
                                                            Baked Ziti @ Uncle Mikes Pizza in Canoga Park
                                                            Clam Chowder@ Weiler's Deli (Victory/Woodland Hills)
                                                            Garlic Shrimp Roll @ Brothers Sushi - Woodland Hills
                                                            Cappucino Creme Brulee - Rive Gauche Cafe - Sherman Oaks

                                                            1. in no particular order:
                                                              -dates at aoc;
                                                              -chicken liver w/ pancetta at aoc;
                                                              -what I call the "holy trinity" of lotus root, shishito and eggplant in sweet miso at ita-cho;
                                                              -the murakami salad (now ari-ya sushi);
                                                              -truffled mac'n'cheese at blair's;
                                                              -curried garbanzos at joan's on third;
                                                              -farmhouse tort at la brea bakery;
                                                              -cherry rustic at la brea bakery;
                                                              -chicken in mole taco at loteria!;
                                                              -chicken in pipian rojo taco at loteria!;
                                                              -ice cream at mashti malone's;
                                                              -ricotta gnocchi at angeli caffe;
                                                              -fennel sausage, carmelized onion and fontina pizza at angeli caffe;
                                                              -roast chicken at angeli caffe;
                                                              ok, now i'm hungry.....

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: cinzia

                                                                Ah, the truffled mac & cheese at Blair's - one of my favorites as well.

                                                              2. omg. am i damn hungry now...

                                                                1. The number 1 at Langers
                                                                  Chiles en Nogada at Babita
                                                                  The asada burrito at Amy's in Pasadena
                                                                  Sausage and garlic pizza at Casa Bianca
                                                                  The margarita at Colombos in Eagle Rock
                                                                  Chicken fried steak at Joes in Redondo
                                                                  Menudo con pata at Alfredos in Lomita
                                                                  Al Pastor burrito at El Gran Burrito
                                                                  Pork ribs at J n J's

                                                                  1. Oh I almost forgot: The habanero creme fraiche salsa at Malo.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Clare K

                                                                      omg...I am in love with this stuff!! I even wrote to the RSVP columns in Bon Appetit and Gourmet to try and get the recipe.

                                                                      1. re: mellycooks

                                                                        Pleeeeeeeease let me know if you get it. I have been trying to decipher it myself for a few years now :(

                                                                    2. Chicken tarna wrap at Zankou

                                                                      Langer's Pastrami (just had it for lunch today)

                                                                      yes, the hard shell tacos with cheese from Tito's

                                                                      The Godmother from Bay Cities Deli

                                                                      Matzo ball soup from Fromin's

                                                                      Chicken wings from Pann's

                                                                      Pizza from the Coop

                                                                      Falafel from Sunnin

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: NAspy

                                                                        Is Fromin's Matzo ball soup better than Brent's? I'm hankering for a good bowl!

                                                                        1. re: Diana

                                                                          Negative, had it a few weeks ago. Brents is better than Fromins, but not EVEN on par with Weilers (Victory location). Their soup is amazing. I keep touting it, hopefully someone will try it one of these days ;-)

                                                                        2. re: NAspy

                                                                          Ah the Godmother - still the standard for great Italian sandwiches...

                                                                        3. Spaghetti Carbonara, straight up, at Enoteca Drago

                                                                          Anything with Mole at Monte Alban

                                                                          Nigiri at Sushi Zo

                                                                          Double-Double, animal style, at In-n-Out

                                                                          Chicken wings at Furaibo

                                                                          1. ooh, kibbeh balls at Sunin

                                                                            1. Great posts and topic. Major Pavlovian response to this thread.

                                                                              Soboro chicken rice from Yakitori-Ya. I've had the soboro chicken @ multiple other yakitori and robata places in LA and OC. Yakitori-Ya's is the best.

                                                                              Grilled chicken wings from Yakitori-ya. Perfect ratio of crispy skin, salt, and succulent meat.

                                                                              Banana cream pie from Apple Pan. Their best pie there.

                                                                              Bacon-wrapped prunes from Warszawa.

                                                                              Stone pot bibimbap from Young Soon Tofu in San Gabriel.

                                                                              1. Chupa de camarones at Mario’s Peruvian
                                                                                Bistecca ala fiorentino at Pane e Vino
                                                                                Gnocchi w wild mushroom sauce at La Buca
                                                                                Patty melt at Pann's
                                                                                BLT at Burger Continental
                                                                                Clams w chorizo at The Hungry Cat
                                                                                Grilled seabass at Fisherman’s Outlet
                                                                                Rotisserie chicken at Pollo ala Brasa

                                                                                  1. the entrana at Lala's on melrose. good, simple beef, and fries to soak up the beef juices. mmmm

                                                                                    1. I was recently reminded that this restaurant is closing soon, so I must make go there and have this dish one more time.
                                                                                      The caviar and eggs in egg shells at L'Orangerie. That....and champagne. All the really important food groups....I think. And one of the most beautiful settings anywhere!

                                                                                      1. Simple and non-fancy to me means the freshest ingredients, simply prepared, and without a lot of intricate sauces and condiments.

                                                                                        Onion pancakes at Earthen
                                                                                        In-N-Out protein style double double
                                                                                        Rice noodle wraps at dim sum places
                                                                                        Chinese style steamed fish
                                                                                        Second those string beans at Din Tai Fung
                                                                                        Beef & Tendon noodles at Supreme Dragon
                                                                                        Any pho from any Vietnamese places
                                                                                        Chinese roast duck

                                                                                        My most recent pure bliss moment for the simplest of all dishes - a pastrami sandwich at Katz's Deli NYC.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: notmartha

                                                                                          You can get those rice noodle wraps (they're called cheung fun) frozen at 99 Ranch -- they're not quite to the level of a dim sum palace but they do in a pinch when you don't want to drive and wait!

                                                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                            Driving to a 99 Ranch and to a dim sum place is about the same distance for me, so I'll rather do the dim sum.

                                                                                            I also like the non-stuffed cheung fun from the bakery section of the 99 Ranch (just plain with dry shrimps). Still very good with hoisin sauce and sweetened soy sauce.

                                                                                        2. The grilled cheese sandwich at Lucques...served after 9:30 at the bar. Perhaps one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth!

                                                                                          1. For veeeerrry simple dishes more like the Porto's potato ball; snacks, I guess...my faves are:

                                                                                            --spring rolls at Giang Nan: molten lava in a tube.
                                                                                            --samosas and "patties" at Indias Sweets & Spices: spicy and flavorful...I like 'em straight, no chutney.
                                                                                            --laaaaaarge fries at The Hat: dinner for four.
                                                                                            --refried beans, chips & salsa at Tito's (hate away): lunch for $1.35.
                                                                                            --potato balls at Venice's Bakery (10943 Venice Blvd): may not be Porto's, but it's on the Westside.
                                                                                            --empenada's at Coppelia's Bakery (10829 Venice Blvd): flaky, tasty, savory.
                                                                                            --Glutinous Rice & Chicken parcels at CBS: lotus-y goodness.
                                                                                            --chicken kebab at Sham: juicy, garlicky...and the sauce, oh, the sauce.
                                                                                            --Thai sausages at Wat Thai: especially fresh off the grill.
                                                                                            --Turnip/Radish cakes (luobuogao): Ocean Star, et al.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: yclops

                                                                                              NO WAY!! I didn't know El Camaguey had potato balls... I am going to bike on over this weekend!! :) WHEE!!! :)


                                                                                            2. Enchiladas Del Mar at Zumaya's in Uptown Whittier. Enchiladas Del Mar are Shrimp stuffed Enchiladas covered with a wonderfully rich, smokey and very spice Chipotle sauce. I've been going there for years and when I walk in they already know what I'm going to order.

                                                                                              1. Soft Shell crabs at The Ivy

                                                                                                1. The beef roll (niu rou juan) at 101 dumpling express in Alhambra.

                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Jerome

                                                                                                    Jerome, you haven't steered me wrong yet so I traveled to 101 Noodle Express today for lunch. Ordered the Beef Roll and it was really tasty. Not like anything that I've ever had before so I have no basis for comparison regarding this dish in other venues. The waitress was pushing soup as well and strongly suggested the hot and sour soup and even though I usually prefer a beef and tendon noodle soup I agreed. It was ok but next time I'll order differently!

                                                                                                    Other diners seemed to have dumplings and noodle soups in addition to the beef rolls. What should I try on my next trip which will most likely be this week?

                                                                                                    101 Noodle Express
                                                                                                    1408 E. Valley Blvd.
                                                                                                    Alhambra, CA
                                                                                                    (626) 300-8654

                                                                                                    1. re: sel

                                                                                                      Unfortunately, many places have waitstaff that recommend things they're sure people will like that aren't all that good. Once at Best Szechwan, I'd broken through a bit with the waitress, we were speaking mandarin, and she started pushing a particular dish. I said that we really didn't want the dish, and she continued by saying that my friends, non-Chinese (as am I), would like this dish, Americans like this dish. I pointed out that I'm an american and didn't really like it, and she said I should trust her, Americans like the dish.

                                                                                                      what're you going to do?

                                                                                                      Anyway, the dumplings are great there. The pumpkin/shrimp dumpling, the wild vegetable dumpling, the new sole dumpling all very good. You can get a plate of two kinds by asking for the combo plate - and then choose two kinds for the plate.

                                                                                                      The beef and tendon soup is good there. I wouldn't get hot and sour soup at a shandong place like 101 noodle express. The other specialty (not everyone's fave) is the Dezhou braised chicken - it's the thing that brought me there, they had huge characters advertising it on the storefront. This chicken is highly regarded in china, they vacuum pack it and ship it all over (not101, but industrial concerns in Dezhou). Give it a try.

                                                                                                      1. re: Jerome

                                                                                                        Before pointing out to the waitress that you, in addition to being non-Chinese, were "american," you should have added that the chinese here are american, too. :)

                                                                                                        1. re: chica

                                                                                                          possibly - some were and some weren't. but good point.

                                                                                                  2. Wonton noodle with beef and beef tendon at Sam Woo in the San Gabriel Mall

                                                                                                    Rock shrimp tempura at Asanebo

                                                                                                    Fried calamari at Antica Pizzeria

                                                                                                    Fried chicken knee at Sea Harbor

                                                                                                    Combination of sauteed shrimp, Peng-styled tofu, and Giang Nan stir-fry at Giang Nan

                                                                                                    Hickory burger with cheese at the Apple Pan

                                                                                                    Crab salad at R-23

                                                                                                    Potato salad and lobster bisque at the Kitchen for Exploring Foods

                                                                                                    Shanghai XLB at Mei Long Village

                                                                                                    Combination of pot sticker and hot and sour soup at Chinatown's Mandarin Deli

                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: judge dee

                                                                                                      What's the fried chicken knee? I am guessing that's not the chicken feet dim sum (braised reddish) nor the white cooked?

                                                                                                      1. re: notmartha

                                                                                                        No, they're little fried nuggets. Tasty if you don't mind extracting tiny chicken kneecaps from each mouthful, which I did mind after the first few.

                                                                                                        1. re: Chowpatty

                                                                                                          As soon as I saw "chicken knee" I knew it had to be a Chinese -- and probably Cantonese -- place.

                                                                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                            Thanks for the explanation. That's different - I'll have to try it. Still haven't got the courage to try the foie gras dumpling at Sea Harbour.

                                                                                                            Well, chinese/cantonese doesn't have the market cornered on odd food, but I have to say chicken knees don't strike me normally as something edible (too boney)?!

                                                                                                            1. re: notmartha

                                                                                                              martha: Oh my God! Foie gras dumplings?? Where is Sea Harbour?

                                                                                                              1. re: Liquid Sky

                                                                                                                Off Rosemead exit, on 10 freeway.

                                                                                                                3939 Rosemead Blvd
                                                                                                                Rosemead, CA 91770

                                                                                                                Technically speaking the chinese dimsum menu said 'goose liver' dumplings. It's about $15 or so (can't remember), so I am guessing it's foie gras due to price, not just ordinary goose liver.

                                                                                                    2. French martini at the Chalet in Eagle Rock
                                                                                                      The arugula salad at Briganti in South Pasadena
                                                                                                      Chana Masala at Akbar in Pasadena
                                                                                                      Veggie Burger at the Counter in Santa Monica
                                                                                                      Vegetarian delight platter at Carousel in Glendale
                                                                                                      vegetarian burrito (with black beans) at Taco Spot in Eagle Rock
                                                                                                      Sweet Potato Fries at Spitz in Eagle Rock
                                                                                                      ravioli at giovanni's in Culver City
                                                                                                      brownie's at Essential Chocolate in Culver City
                                                                                                      light roast coffee at Swork in Eagle Rock
                                                                                                      french toast at Auntie Em's in Eagle Rock
                                                                                                      french vanilla frozen yogurt with rasberries and chocolate shavings mixed in at 21 choices in Pasadena

                                                                                                      1. mouhamara at Marouch....also their little sausages with cloves....

                                                                                                        oxtain terrine at Bistro K...anything with organ meats at Bistro K....

                                                                                                        1. Pineapple fried rice @ Swan - Thai on Sherman Way
                                                                                                          Second the Carbonara @ Enoteca Drago
                                                                                                          Scallop sushi @ Azami
                                                                                                          Tsukune (chicken meatballs) @ Koshiji
                                                                                                          Chili dog @ Pink's
                                                                                                          Pistacchio gelato @ Al Gelato
                                                                                                          Cheesecake @ Amandine
                                                                                                          Chocolate souffle @ Off Vine
                                                                                                          Shio-ramen @ Santouka
                                                                                                          Reuben @ Brent's deli
                                                                                                          Beard Papa's cream puffs!!!!!!

                                                                                                          1. Fries at Skooby's, the drunken shrimp at Tidal Wave, animal fries well-done at In N Out and anything at Mozzarella Mondays at Jar.

                                                                                                            I've got some serious munchies from this thread...

                                                                                                            1. pork chop with polenta and greens-canalle
                                                                                                              sausage and cheddar grits-auntie em's kitchen
                                                                                                              strauss dairy chocolate ice cream

                                                                                                              1. The corned beef and cabbage at the LA Farmer's Market. No sauce, no oil. Just plain corned beef with fresh minced horseradish and steamed cabbage. Yum.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: la.sf.la

                                                                                                                  That's at Magee's, I'm assuming. I have not had the CB and cabbage just because I can't stay away from their sandwiches! That's easily the best corned-beef sandwich I've ever had, and their potato salad and coleslaw are PDG as well.

                                                                                                                2. Chinese Butter Noodle at Yardhouse.

                                                                                                                  1. The tomato soup from Clementine
                                                                                                                    Rare roast beef sandwich and tuna melt from Clementine
                                                                                                                    Profiteroles from Spago
                                                                                                                    G6 roll from Hamasaku
                                                                                                                    Spaghettini de la casa from Vito on Ocean Park
                                                                                                                    Chocolate chip strawberry pancakes from Jinkys
                                                                                                                    Burger in a Bowl at the Counter
                                                                                                                    Spicy chopped tuna salad at Nagao

                                                                                                                    1. smashed pea and barley soup - any CPK location
                                                                                                                      grilled chicken skin - haru ulala
                                                                                                                      red miso soup - izayoi
                                                                                                                      slice of white pizza - mulberry st. pizza
                                                                                                                      al pastor burrito - cactus tacqueria
                                                                                                                      shio ramen level 3, with egg and extra cha-siu - orochon ramen

                                                                                                                      1. I really like the cognac flambee'd Tomato Bisque at Soleil on westwood blvd. Its so tantalizingly rich and piquant. It helps that they serve it in a small shallow bowl for $8... cause then I can never get enough to completely satisfy my craving at one sitting!

                                                                                                                        It sooo good that i started a quest to make it myself. Although I have made some really popular versions, the real deal still eludes me. Awesome with Poutine Christine and a glass of rose wine on a cold, gloomy day!!!

                                                                                                                        1. I have not lived in LA for three years, so when I visit at Xmas these are the places I head directly for:

                                                                                                                          Soft Tostada at J&S - Montebello
                                                                                                                          Chili Fries at The Hat - Alhambra
                                                                                                                          Pastrami Burrito at OkiDog - LA Pico
                                                                                                                          Chicken Tarna at Zankou - Pasadena
                                                                                                                          Red Cabbage Salad & Cheesebread at Clearman's Galley - San Gabriel
                                                                                                                          Breakfast Burrito at Lucky Boy's - Pasadena
                                                                                                                          Chili Tamale at Tommy's - LA
                                                                                                                          Rib's at Bahooka's - San Gabriel
                                                                                                                          Bulgogi at The Corner Place - LA

                                                                                                                          Three more weeks! You guys don't know how good you have it. Of course, I usually gain 10 pounds after visiting!

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: caje

                                                                                                                            LOVE the Corner Place. the dong-chi-mi gook-soo (cold noodles) there are one of a kind!

                                                                                                                          2. Everyone... stop it! Please stop it! (._. )
                                                                                                                            SABROSO GUACACHIP Guacamole Tortilla Chips "The dip's in the chips." Marukai Market, Gardena.

                                                                                                                            1. Wow. I'm hungry. All great mentions here.

                                                                                                                              Can't think of any right now except for:

                                                                                                                              Tuna tofu caprese at Mori

                                                                                                                              Dong chi mi noodles at Corner Place

                                                                                                                              1. Chicken fingers w/ranch @ Red Robin

                                                                                                                                Go-Go taquitos @ 7-11

                                                                                                                                Chicken Bake Sandwich @ Costco

                                                                                                                                Big Mac @ McDonalds

                                                                                                                                1. love the thread... and so my take on "simple" is that i will at some point even attempt (i am a terrible cook!) making a version of whatever it is at home...

                                                                                                                                  shepard's pie
                                                                                                                                  at ye ole king's head in santa monica

                                                                                                                                  soboro don
                                                                                                                                  at yakitoriya

                                                                                                                                  1. yea the soboro don is GOOD
                                                                                                                                    also, I must add, Chopped Salad from La Scala
                                                                                                                                    French toast from City Bakery

                                                                                                                                    1. -- Absolutely a Chopped Salad at La Scala!
                                                                                                                                      -- Slippery Shrimp at Yang Chow, also the green beans w/ minced pork
                                                                                                                                      -- Praline square (with homemade tahitian vanilla bean ice cream and hot fudge sauce) at Ivy at the Shore
                                                                                                                                      -- CPK Potato-Leek soup
                                                                                                                                      -- Nate n' Al's chopped chicken liver and the best whitefish salad EVER!
                                                                                                                                      -- Fried chicken at Angelena's (now in Alhambra)
                                                                                                                                      -- and there is or was a cold shrimp appetizer at Prego in Beverly Hills, with feta, olive oil and lime juice that knocks me out, especially rolling those long skinny breadsticks in the marinated feta mush ... YUMMY

                                                                                                                                      1. wow, i can't believe nobody mentioned the pasta dishes (the sauce!!!) at al gelato.

                                                                                                                                        1. Tuna melt sandwich at Clementine. The best ever.

                                                                                                                                          1. Perhaps not haute cuisine but:

                                                                                                                                            Baseball Steak - HMS Bounty
                                                                                                                                            Blueberry Pancakes - Pacific Dining Car
                                                                                                                                            Korean Fried Chicken - The Prince
                                                                                                                                            Hot Turkey sandwich - Musso and Franks
                                                                                                                                            Caprese Salad - Miceli's
                                                                                                                                            Any Pizza - Patsy D'Amore's in Farmers market

                                                                                                                                            1. The mussels and a Chimay at Crepe and Vine in Old Pasadena. The perfect comfort food.

                                                                                                                                              1. I'd like to add the club sandwich at Joan's on Third.

                                                                                                                                                1. Bread products:
                                                                                                                                                  Biscuits at John O'Groats
                                                                                                                                                  Flour tortillas at Paco's

                                                                                                                                                  Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding at Pinot Bistro
                                                                                                                                                  Peanut butter cookie at Clementine

                                                                                                                                                  Caprese at Bay Cities

                                                                                                                                                  Josie's amuse bouche (I always want more!)

                                                                                                                                                  1. Best entree of 2006: venison with foie gras at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks.

                                                                                                                                                    Best appetizer of 2006: Croque Madame at Hatfield's on Beverly.

                                                                                                                                                    Best lunch item of 2006: Chile relleno burrito at Tere's Mexican Grill on Melrose & Cahuenga.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Lobster roll at Azami

                                                                                                                                                      Uni/squid at Zo

                                                                                                                                                      Turkey burger at MCafe

                                                                                                                                                      Som tum thai at RedCornerAsia

                                                                                                                                                      Oysters at Hungry Cat (++ cocktail or two)

                                                                                                                                                      Shrimp & broccoli at Mako

                                                                                                                                                      Turkey/avocado sammich at Auntie Em's

                                                                                                                                                      Ceviche at El Siete Mares

                                                                                                                                                      Chloe's Shrimp at New Moon

                                                                                                                                                      Shiitake, oyster 'shroom and feta omelette at Square One

                                                                                                                                                      Grilled Ono & Wild Salmon at Fish King

                                                                                                                                                      1. all time faves:

                                                                                                                                                        oatmeal raison cookies at Au Bon Pain

                                                                                                                                                        seafood gumbo, corn bread, green salad and iced tea at Gumbo Pot at Farmer's Market

                                                                                                                                                        cafe con leche and a piece of guava cheese pie at Cafe Tropical on Sunset

                                                                                                                                                        raspberry muffin at Europane

                                                                                                                                                        bacon burger at Lucky Boy on Colorado

                                                                                                                                                        Rick's french fries

                                                                                                                                                        1. Amazing list, folks, to which I'll add just one thing. Run, don't walk to buy a dozen....

                                                                                                                                                          -little round baklava from Ara's Pastry on Hollywood Blvd. I'm talking about the horseshoe shaped ones that are about as big as the bottom of a soda can. You will thank me.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TutorTed

                                                                                                                                                            must try that. I've been a panos man from way back but I'll give it a go.

                                                                                                                                                          2. This is far from gourmet, and I'm sure it's really bad for you, but I have a new favorite (which I can only get once in a while):

                                                                                                                                                            Fried Curry Bread at Famima!!

                                                                                                                                                            plus a few I'd forgotten:

                                                                                                                                                            Beef Carpaccio at Il Fornaio

                                                                                                                                                            Roasted turkey breast sandwich at Europane

                                                                                                                                                            Spicy tuna on crispy rice at Koi

                                                                                                                                                            1. Great posts. Here's mine for starters:
                                                                                                                                                              Pastrami on rye at Brent's
                                                                                                                                                              Grilled fish tacos from Sharky's
                                                                                                                                                              Costco Hot Dogs (can't beat a Polish dog and drink for $1.60)
                                                                                                                                                              All the grilled fish at the Reel Inn in Malibu (PCH/Topanga)
                                                                                                                                                              Tuna melt at Fromin's in Encino (they know how to do it)
                                                                                                                                                              Chopin potato vodka martini from anyplace that has Chopin's.

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Golem

                                                                                                                                                                1) A tender Ojo Argentinian steak with a side of garlic fries at CARLITOS GARDEL (Melsore);

                                                                                                                                                                2) Fresh crab and avocado hand roll from AZAMI SUSHI (Melrose);

                                                                                                                                                                3) Fresh avocado and portobello mushroom wrap from TULA'S CAFE next to the Beverly Garland Hotel(North Hollywood/Studio City);

                                                                                                                                                                4) Spicy basil duck AND spicy basil eggplant at GALANGA Thai Fusion (Santa Monica Blvd)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Liquid Sky

                                                                                                                                                                  You like the ojo better than the lomo(filet) done with the chimichurri sauce, huh?! Have to try it next time.
                                                                                                                                                                  And, yes, the garlic fries qualify as the best side dish as I see it.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: carter

                                                                                                                                                                    The great waiter at Carlitos recommended the ojo. It was so incredibly tender. With a nice malbec to wash it down with. Had no room for the desserts!!

                                                                                                                                                              2. Bachelor toast for breakfast at Caoti in Studio City. Toast with a fried egg embedded in the center. Yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Hotate sushi at Mori

                                                                                                                                                                  Ramen at Daikokuya

                                                                                                                                                                  Blueberry pancakes at Marston's

                                                                                                                                                                  Macarons (lemon, malted milk chocolate or pistachio) at Boule

                                                                                                                                                                  Congee with chicken at Mission 261

                                                                                                                                                                  Galbi and oyster tofu combo at Young Dong Garden

                                                                                                                                                                  Lobster cocktail at The Lobster

                                                                                                                                                                  Seiro soba at Otafuku

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Steamed Fingerling Potatoes with Creme Fraiche and Chives at AOC
                                                                                                                                                                    Emmenthal Bread at Breadbar
                                                                                                                                                                    Fatoush Salad at Sunin
                                                                                                                                                                    Burrata Salad at La Terza

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Caramel Chomeur at Chez Mimi

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Wow - great lists! Okay - just a couple but I don't think I saw these mentioned:

                                                                                                                                                                        Anything from Sweet Lady Jane on Melrose, but just had a slice of the Bread Pudding with Bananas coated in dark chocolate for dessert last night - Wow! Great especially with the weather cooling off. Talk about a simple dessert with a nice twist...

                                                                                                                                                                        Cream Puffs from Patisserie Chantilly in Lomita. Another seemingly simple item that this place makes so well... I can't get it out of my mind...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Blueberry ricotta pancakes at BLD