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
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...
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.
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)
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
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
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
-- 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
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!
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!!!
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
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!!!!!!
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
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
re: judge dee
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)?!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.....
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
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)
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.
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.
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!
~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
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
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...)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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...
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
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!!!
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.
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...
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...
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...