I have 2 days in LA --- where and what should I eat?
I am attending a food writing workshop in Los Angeles in two weeks, and have some ideas of where I want to eat while I am there (I know I want a hot dog from Pink's and to perhaps grab a bite at Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles) but I wanted to get some advice from you seasoned Angelenos.
This will be my first visit to your fair city. I will be staying at a hotel near LAX and will have a rental car. My workshop is in West Hollywood. I am a food editor for a regional magazine in the Norfolk, Va. area.
Any suggestions on where I can get a good flavor of your town in the two days I will be there?
You'll need to get some Mexican food and some sushi because those are two things that LA does better than any other city, IMO. There are a lot of options for both, so I will just pick out a couple of my favorites. Monte Alban (West LA, on Santa Monica Blvd) is an outstanding Oaxacan restaurant. Casual, cheap, generous, tasty. For sushi, I would suggest you head to West LA again. Sushi Zo has really good sushi with a very attentive sushi chef. You might need a reservation if you want to sit at the counter and get omakase, but it probably depends on the night and time you go.
Hi and welcome! Get to West L.A. (nearby) and find the corner of Sawtelle blvd and Olympic. Park, and start walking up (north) Sawtelle blvd., and sample the various japanese shops that include ramen, small plates, cafes, sushi,and desserts. Very reasonable prices and all within a few blocks walking distance, once parked... Also, if here on the weekend, go for late morning/early afternoon lunch at the Wat Thai (temple) location in North Hollywood, where you can sample low cost street vendor vittles... Lastly, go to Surfas cooking supply store and cafe in Culver City, buy a ton of foodie goodies you never knew you needed, pack up a lunch from their adjoining cafe, then head due west and drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, park near the beach, and enjoy the sand, sky and surf of a 70 degree perfect California day...
specifically on the corner of Sawtelle and Olympic:
right off the sidewalk is Kiriko, an excellent choice for omakase in the area now that Sasabune has moved to a sushi warehouse. Even if you don't sit in front of Ken-san, Shinji-san is still deft with the knife and the omakase still fun.
across the street is the surprise dessert hit of '06: Beard Papa 's: http://www.muginohousa.com/
You'll be *relatively* close to Culver City. Surfas closes kinda early.
Also, I recommend the Westwood Blvd. north of Santa Monica Blvd. area - especially Shamshiri Grill. Where if you want something to write about you might try the fesenjan lamb shank (intense tamarind/walnut puree and melt-in-the-mouth lamb) and you MUST get the rosewater ice cream for dessert.
If you do decide to go to Malibu, Taverna Tony (Greek place) is great... try the flaming saganaki cheese appetizer, the tiramosalata (spelling uncertain there) and the roast baby lamb kleftiko. That's also a good write-about topic if you google the origin of kleftiko and this type of dish.
Sushi Gen for Japanese (lunch is great deal)
Cha Cha Cha for carribean/spanish
Head to San Gabriel Valley for Chinese food (Ocean Star for dim sum or seafood dinner)
Korean tofu (if you like tofu) in Koreatown
I grew up in Norfolk! This far away from the Chesapeake, you'll probably want to stay away from the seafood as it will pale in comparison to your fine estuary.
Versaille for cuban -
Musha in Torrance for creative Japanese small plates
Hama sushi in Venice for Sushi and Vibe
Urth Cafe for good organic joe and salads (Nr Melrose and Westborne)
Cheap Mexican at the GRove on Fairfax (forget the name)
Head east on Hollywood Blvd to Thai town. Try either the Palms, Sanamluang Cafe or dozens other very authentic Thai restaurants.