Westside Hounds in Silver Lake tonight...where to eat?
Hey Hounds -
My SO and I will be in SL tonight looking at houses and figured we should probably check out the cuisine scene if we're going to become Eastsiders. :)
Already been to Gingergrass and loved. Would love to check out another option in the same vein (reasonably priced but good quality & fun atmosphere). Any suggestions?
I really like Alegria on Sunset for Mexican/Central American cuisine. Plus, it's BYOB! Oh, and cash only.
Pho Cafe, across the street, for Americanized, yet tasty, Vietnamese food.
Rambutan Thai next door for Thai tapas, plus the usual staples. Use your KCRW card for a discount.
For a bit more money, people really like Canele in Atwater Village. I found the food good, but inconsistent.
There's a good Brazilian place next to Vinoteca on Hillhurst. The name escapes me.
Agra Cafe for Indian.
Malo for hipster Mexican.
Siete Mares for ceviche.
Decent and fun diner food, Fred 62 on Vermont.
Italian Il Capriccio on Vermont and for a bit more $, Aroma on Sunset. You get a KCRW discount at Il Capriccio and the corkage fee is quite reasonable!
Messy, greasy, which means yummy, Mexican, go to Yuca's.
Have fun eating!
The one time I ate at Alegria it struck me as earnest but inauthentic Mexican food made by and for Americans. On the other hand, La Parilla -- on the other side of Sunset and about a block or two east, next to Siete Mares -- is a dead ringer for a restaurant in Baja California -- more authentic and fun.
Haven't been to Aroma but Farfalla in Los Feliz has long set the standard for Italian food in this part of town.
re: Mr. Cookie
I'm pretty sure the owners - the mom and her two daughters (and certainly the kitchen staff) at Alegria are of Mexican descent.  In either event, my friend's boyfriend is Mexican (born and grew up in Mexico), and generally pretty opinionated -- and he pronounced the food very authentic, at least based on where he grew up.
I know this is a very polarized debate, and while I generally like Alegria, I've had some bad experiences there... While their clientele is definitely predominantly Anglo, I think calling it inauthentic and made by / for Americans a bit of a stretch.
It's definitely not typical Southern California style Mexican food, though.
That's a pretty good list, Elle -- just a few notes -- Yuca's is not open for dinner and is just a stand, so not really a dinner destination.
At Siete Mares, the usual advice is to eat at the stand only, not in the sit-down restaurant.
The Brazilian place is Tropicalia and you can also get their food served at the wine bar at Vinoteca.
Everyone will recommend Blair's but I would go to Canele over Blairs.
Best restaurants in the hood include vermont on Vermont just north of Hollywood Blvd., Blair's on Rowena near Hyperion, and Canele on Glendale Blvd. in Atwater east of I-5. Below that might include Edendale Grill, with very good bar/drinks-ok food, Mexican restaurants coming out of every pore-not one significantly better than the other, Cliff's Edge on Sunset at corner of EdgeCliff, and cha cha cha on Virgil at Melrose.
All the Italian is from the ho-hum to ok school, yet not any of major importance.
Proximity to 626 area code yields every Chinese cuisine imaginable, and proximity to Pasadena opens vastly greater opportunities with no more than a 15-minute drive, plus Bistro K in So. Pasadena in a similar time frame for the best French food, prepared and delivered slowly yet with a no corkage BYOB policy. Many options within commutable distances, including Thai Town in Hollywood plus Marouch on Santa Monica & Edgemont for superb Middle Eastern.
And then there is Silver Lake Wine shop across from Gingergrass Vietnamese restaurant on Glendale Blvd. for a superb wine buying experience(plus tastings) with boutique wines offered by the nicest owners in the industry.
Welcome to the 'hood!!!
Wow, thanks Hounds! Still going through all the recs. So many options, only one dinner to eat. Are Vermont/Blair's/Canele really casual, weeknight spots or are they somewhat higher-end?
Somewhat higher end, although everything in the neighborhood is casual as far as dress, and Canele will be easier to get into on a weeknight as it is small, new and popular. We spent about $40 each there.
I couldn't help but notice the lack of sushi rec's. (Ack, if there are no serious sushi options in w/in a 3-mile radius, that may be a dealbreaker on the move.) Any raw fish venues worthy of note for discerning sushi aficionados?
Saito on Sunset is very good.
Do not under any circumstances consider Koda or the wierd place by Trader Joe's.
Asia Los Feliz is not bad, a bit overpriced, not just sushi but full fusion menu.
Haven't tried En Sushi on Hillhurst but I think it's a chain-type place.
I don't think the place on Vermont by Tiger Lily is very good, can't remember the name.
So it's basically Saito or drive to Little Tokyo or Sushi Ike in Hollywood.
I agree - Saito very good.
I tried En Sushi a few months ago (it's only a few blocks away from my apt., had to try it) and it was surprisingly bad. We went with low expectations, hoping it might at least be ok for rolls or something, but everything was terrible. Between 4 of us, got a wide variety and everything was crappy, and as much - if not more - $ than Saito.
Glad you liked Canele - I love that broccoli!
I second the recommendation on Saito, I think it is excellent. No one has mentioned that Yai has recently opened a branch in the shopping center at Hollywood and Vermont, by the Rite Aid. After the Thai Temple in North Hollywood, it's my favorite Thai in town (well, at least the original, but I've had a very good meal at the new one as well.)
Oh, and I forgot and am probably going to start some sort of rumble over this, but I rather like Tantra on Sunset. I don't care if it's particularly authentic or not - plenty of truly authentic Indian food is plenty awful - but I do like it and I like the atmosphere.
And for cheap and cheerful and excellent simple Cuban, there is El Cochinito in the same strip mall as Allegria and for my money a far far better choice than Allegria.
Saito's is very good, although it's a bit expensive. (Spent ~$100/2 ppl for omakase.) I typically head down to Little Tokyo for my sushi fix because the prices are slightly cheaper, although recently the restaurants have been getting more and more packed. The last few times I've had to wait 1 hour+. The only expensive place in Little Tokyo is Sushi Gen, which has top notch quality fish and is considered the "favorite" among a few chowhounders.
Someone mentioned the new outpost of Yai. If it's anything at all like the branch a bit farther west on Hollywood, you're in for a treat.
Another Thai option in the neighborhood is Pattaya, which is in a minimall on Vermont, on the West side of the street just north of Prospect (Hollywood Blvd.)
alergia is always consitent and so good(excellent mole). but for a first venture out to silverlake i'd do a little less casual and go to cafe stella or blairs.
Just thought I'd report back after all the great input I received. We did end up going to Canele, and I have to say it a was fabulous experience overall. As soon as you walk through the door, you know you're in for a treat. They've created a nice stylish but cozy atmosphere with the brick walls, open kitchen, wood furniture, chalkboard menu and low lighting.
My BF and I shared the squash salad starter, beef tenderloin with slow roasted broccoli and potatoes anna, and trout with brown butter and capers. The preparations, while subtly decadent, allowed the flavors of the high quality ingredients to come through nicely. We had a really nice Spanish red, the Sexto, and a viognier which complemented the food beautifully. We were so satiated that we passed on dessert, but were treated to a complimentary canele on our way out the door. I've seen the negative posts related to these, and while we're hardly canele connoisseurs, we both enjoyed them last night. Service was delightful...our server sported one of the brightest genuine smiles we'd seen in a while.
We would definitely be regulars if we move out to the Eastside, and in fact, our real estate agent will be paying Canele visit in the next few days after hearing how much we loved it. :)