HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

what foods do you miss most when you leave LA?

greengelato Feb 13, 2007 09:57 PM

i started a similar post on the NY boards due to an upcoming visit and it made me wonder how LA hounds would respond. here's the post: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/370520

this is not a question about your favorite foods or restaurants as a dose of homesickness can often render cravings for surprising things. it's "home" food.

my list (in no particular order):

in-n-out (clearly
)zankou chicken
burritos from el taurino and carnitas michoacan
chicken cutlet curry and chicken pasta at hurry curry
soontofu from sokongdong
dongchimi gooksu from the corner place (gil mok)
jja jjiang myun (noodles with black bean sauce from any chinese/korean restaurant)
berry blossom cake from susina
fried potato balls from porto's
feast from the east chinese chicken salad
california chicken cafe salads
breakfast burritos at lucky boy
dumplings and veggies from din tai fung

oh and i'd still appreciate any NYC recs. i figure it's a more appropriate question to ask on a non-NY boards but i think against the Law.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. f
    Fuser RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 12:10 AM

    Don't forget Santa Maria style barbecued trip tip, a Southern California tradition.

    1. moto RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 12:15 AM

      samosas and vegetarian combo plates from Samosa House; moles and chiles en nogada at La Casita. cheers

      1. r
        rameniac RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 03:53 AM

        perhaps not surprisingly, i missed corn tortillas when i was living in japan. but now i just miss ramen (;_;)

        1. Jeet Yet RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 05:17 AM

          Dodger Dogs, In-N-Out, DiDi Reese

          1. Curt the Soi Hound RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 05:39 AM

            Because leaving "LA" usually means heading to Bangkok, I miss good Mexican and decent pizza.

            1. AtetotheBar RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 05:56 AM

              Sigh. I moved from L.A. a while ago and the food favorites I miss most are:

              Senor Fish's Fish Tacos
              El Pollo Loco
              Outdoor Grill (Washington Place, Los Angeles)
              Good Mexican food
              Buster's (South Pas)
              caffeine free Diet Dr. Pepper (hard to get in Northeast markets)
              Korean BBQ
              Yahaira's (Pasadena)

              1. Pei RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 07:40 AM

                Korean, Japanese, and Chinese food in general.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Pei
                  bijoux16 RE: Pei Feb 14, 2007 08:25 AM

                  agree re: korean food

                2. jazzlover RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 08:05 AM

                  Mexican food, no 2 ways about it. Most especially carnitas from La Cabanita. But a bad LA burrito is still way better than NY burritos.

                  And a second on the potato balls from Porto's!

                  Yes, I am LA-centric

                  1. k
                    koreankorean RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 08:07 AM

                    dongchimee gooksu from gilmok/corner place
                    din tai fun
                    boba/bubble tea from life market (never found its equal anywhere; in fact, now i'm questioning if i even like boba or if i only like the life market's version)
                    gyushintei shabu shabu (torrance) - extra marble
                    baja fresh
                    janchi gooksu (market noodles?) from california market on 3rd and western
                    furaibo fried chicken
                    dduk bossam (bbq with thin rice cake)
                    chadol-baegi (thin beef bbq) from shigol-ssambap on western north of beverly, with their free cheap but addicting ice cream
                    samgaetang (korean style chicken soup) from the food court in Galleria in ktown (no restaurant here seems to be better than this tiny food court place)
                    soondae (korean pork sausage) from Seoul Soondae on 6th and Alexandria
                    chik-neng-myun (buckwheat noodles) at yoochun on 6th and alexandria (while this is a chain and there's a branch on the east coast, for some reason it doesnt taste the same)

                    1. wilafur RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 08:24 AM

                      my list is prety general:

                      good korean food
                      good taiwanese food

                      1. s
                        SoCalMuncher RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 09:06 AM

                        When I lived in Napa, the first place that I stopped to eat on my trips back to LA was Versailles - man, I missed that roast pork!

                        1. w
                          WHills RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 12:20 PM

                          Soon tofu
                          Taco Bell
                          Mexican food

                          1. ipsedixit RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 12:26 PM

                            Fresh and abundant (and sometimes very cheap) produce.

                            1. m
                              malibumike RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 12:32 PM

                              In n out, tommys hamburger, and a #7 from eastside market.

                              1. TonyC RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 12:36 PM

                                Taiwanese food. (Simbala/Tea Station/shau mei, etc.)
                                Korean BBQ joints in Rowland Heights.

                                I'm over the In-n-out thang. So 90s.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: TonyC
                                  Jeet Yet RE: TonyC Feb 15, 2007 05:23 AM

                                  and so 80's, and 70's, 60's, 50's...moderation is key for In-N-Out...

                                2. SauceSupreme RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 03:48 PM

                                  I concur with most every listed thing so far. For me, also, when I'm away (thankfully for only short bursts of time) I miss the ubiquitous food options, that no matter where you go (for the most part) there's a variety of different eats and all price points.

                                  1. k
                                    Kishari RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 04:00 PM

                                    I never realize how much good cheap Mexican food I eat until I leave LA. I'm used to being able to order any unusual combination of food (so many people here on weird diets that it takes a LOT to make a waiter blink here). And like SauceSupreme, I agree that I miss having lots of choices in any neighborhood, except for maybe Manhattan Beach.

                                    That said, I miss:

                                    La Playita
                                    Taco trucks La Oaxacena and La Isla Bonita
                                    Mitsuwa Marketplace food court
                                    Tito's Tacos
                                    Asian food in general (it's usually bad/non-authentic in most other cities)
                                    Being able to get sushi everywhere
                                    Santa Monica farmers markets (3rd street on Wed/Sat)


                                    1. s
                                      sidwich RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 04:25 PM

                                      When I leave LA: good Chinese food, good Mexican food, good sushi that's affordable, fresh and affordable produce, Dodger dogs.

                                      When I leave NY: bagels, great bakeries every few streets. Not exactly "home food," but I also miss the great and affordable bar dining and fixed price lunches at high-end restaurants.

                                      1. q
                                        Quesera RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 04:48 PM

                                        SUSHI! I just can't bear it back east. When I go away for more than a week, I start craving it and sometimes have to give in...and then remember that Bristol Farms has better sushi than 99% of the good places on the East Coast. There are exceptions in NY, of course, and Morimoto in Philadelphia, but the fish is just different (is it Atlantic Salmon vs Pacific Salmon?), and it's appreciated differently for sure.

                                        Vegetarian food is also lacking in less health conscious cities. Sometimes I want a veg day and there are only so many places that serve good tofu!

                                        HOWEVER, I do like the general dining scene better in Philadelphia- even with the thematic Stephen Starr restaurants, it's more about the food and not the scene. menus actually vary from place to place, restaurants try different things out AND places tend to stick around for a while. People actually seem to enjoy food and wine and the experience.

                                        1. Veggietales RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 06:30 PM

                                          breakfast burritos
                                          Tacos- asada, carnitas, cabeza w/ all the real fixins... not flour tortilla, iceberg lettuce, shredded cheese, etc!
                                          animal style fries
                                          thai food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                          and everything said above.

                                          1. t
                                            TravelJack RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 06:50 PM

                                            roscos chicken and waffles.

                                            1. Nikki NYC RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 07:31 PM

                                              Definitely Paquito Mas. The one in West Hollywood.

                                              1. Skunk2Racer RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 09:04 PM

                                                Soon Dobu-Beverly Tofu
                                                TOMMYS Double Sausage & Cheese & Egg Sandwich
                                                Oki Dog- Pastrami Burrito
                                                New Seoul Korean BBQ Buffet
                                                Double King Burger Combo- Best Burger
                                                Breakfast Burrito Combo- Dinos
                                                Chicken Chili Verde Tamales- La Mascota Bakery
                                                Hollenback Burrito- Eltepeyac
                                                Shrimp Enchiladas-Talpa
                                                Caldo De Pollo- Llamarda
                                                Cream Puffs- Beard papas
                                                BBQ- Philips
                                                Soul Food- Chef Marylins
                                                Soul Food-Aunt Rosa Lees
                                                Soul Food RIP Stevies on tha Strip 'SHAW ........... Crenshaw Wooo wOOOOOO!!!!

                                                1. Skunk2Racer RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 09:36 PM

                                                  A few more......
                                                  fried Shrimp- Jonnies Shrimp Boat
                                                  Sushi-Daikichi Sushi- Mitusawa Market
                                                  Tito's Tacos
                                                  Roast Beef Baguett- Lee's Sandwichs
                                                  Cafe Su Da- Lee's Sandwichs
                                                  Pastrami Sandwich- Coles
                                                  Carne Asada Burrito- Carnitas Michocan
                                                  Albondigas Soup- Lupitas "Roach Coach"
                                                  polish Sausage &Egg Breakfast Sandwich on Armenian Bread-lupitas roach coach
                                                  "SPECIAL" Massias Grill- Glendale Galleria
                                                  Beef Chili Verde Dinner- Ramonas
                                                  Fried Chicken-EL POLLO CAMPARO
                                                  And MORE I Can't EVEN Think of right now..... I LOVE LA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  1. f
                                                    flyerfan182 RE: greengelato Feb 14, 2007 11:19 PM

                                                    Since I have moved away from LA and back again three times I can vouch for myself on these:

                                                    Ricardo's El Ranchito flour chips - La Habra
                                                    Claim Jumper
                                                    Gondola's Pizza - La Mirada
                                                    Masaba - Westwood
                                                    Thai Chicken Pasta from Huntington Beer Factory
                                                    Golden Spoon which is soooo much better then Pink Berry ;)
                                                    Tony's Little Italy Sausage Stuffed Pizza
                                                    Mole in Long Beach
                                                    Tommy's Chili Cheese Burgers
                                                    Dodger Dogs on a Saturday afternoon or warm summer night at the ravine
                                                    Burrito's from Pedro's Tacos
                                                    Fish Tacos from Wahoo's
                                                    Pad Thai from Renu Nakorn!

                                                    1. ozzygee RE: greengelato Feb 15, 2007 09:50 AM

                                                      Everything. LA is a glutton's paradise.

                                                      1. d
                                                        Diana RE: greengelato Feb 15, 2007 10:16 AM

                                                        I concur with sushi.

                                                        I once had despiration sushi in Kansas City. I'll NEVER do that again. Also, the fact that we can get sushi in gorcoery stores. It may not be Asanebo, but Gelson's sushi is LIGHT YEARS better than anything than most mid-west or central Sushi restaurants have.

                                                        I also miss our supermarket salad bar (Gelson's, whole foods, etc). It's odd to go into a supermaket elsewhere and see no or a rotten salad bar. We complain about ours, but still.

                                                        I miss Rahel Ehtiopian,

                                                        Good Indian, such as Woodlands.

                                                        Good Vegetarian or health food, such as Follow Your HEart, The NAtural Cafe, Native Foods and more.

                                                        Avocados from anywhere.

                                                        1. choctastic RE: greengelato Feb 15, 2007 10:44 AM

                                                          assuming that i'm not flying outside the country, too many to count but in general:

                                                          local choclolates like kron's truffles.
                                                          the dim sum
                                                          the good and relatively cheap sushi
                                                          the l.a. korean food and all the nagging korean ladies.
                                                          good indian food in artesia
                                                          pho in westminster
                                                          langers handcut pastrami on rye

                                                          1. chica RE: greengelato Feb 15, 2007 10:46 AM

                                                            authentic Chinese food, generally
                                                            surfside restaurants
                                                            California cuisine

                                                            1. l
                                                              LenaNE RE: greengelato Feb 15, 2007 10:50 AM

                                                              Good Mexican
                                                              Good Thai
                                                              Wine in the grocery store
                                                              shredded chichen salad from ChinChin

                                                              1. rantsnravesnreviews RE: greengelato Feb 15, 2007 10:51 AM

                                                                farmers markets in winter


                                                                1. WildSwede RE: greengelato Feb 15, 2007 11:41 AM

                                                                  The only time I was away from LA for a large amount of time was when I lived in Norway/Sweden for a little over a year when I was in my teens. I missed the same things that have already been mentioned... Taco Bell, In-N-Out, Tommy's, Root Beer (but then we took a school trip to Sweden and I found Dr Pepper, so I bought a lot of that!! Interestingly, no one that I offered it to liked it; oh well, more for me!), all the wonderful hot-weather fruits and veggies that we take for granted living here!

                                                                  1. e
                                                                    Ernie RE: greengelato Feb 15, 2007 05:10 PM

                                                                    All the cheap and great Mexican, especially tacos, al pastor, huevos rancheros, and Yucatecan cuisine
                                                                    All the amazing and inexpensive Korean (especially BBQ), Thai (pad kee mao), Chinese (dim sum), and Vietnamese (banh mi and pho)
                                                                    Pastrami at Langer's
                                                                    French dips at Bandera and Phillipe's
                                                                    Los Angeles-style hamburgers
                                                                    All the excellent citrus and avocado that literally grow in our backyards

                                                                    1. b
                                                                      bulavinaka RE: greengelato Feb 17, 2007 07:32 AM

                                                                      Abbot's pizza, the produce at the farmers markets, and the ability to have just about any cuisine one could want, all within a 40-minute drive. Oh yes, mom's croquettes... love you mom!

                                                                      1. c
                                                                        chaussonauxpommes RE: greengelato Feb 17, 2007 09:58 AM

                                                                        When I leave LA I miss Trader Joe's. Even when I'm in a Midwestern city that has a Trader Joe's, it's not the same as TJ's in LA. The selection is way smaller, and many of the great local products TJ's carries here they just don't carry in all of their stores. Here TJ's is my grocery staple, in Midwestern cities they are more a place to go for a few specialty items. I also miss year-round farmers' markets. From my home base in West LA I have options of nearby farmers' markets 4 days a week, year round. It really is incredible, and something I don't always appreciate until it's not available. Midwestern farmers' markets can be great in the summer for Michigan cherries or Indiana tomatoes, but it's such a short season.

                                                                        1. d
                                                                          djquinnc RE: greengelato Feb 17, 2007 03:58 PM

                                                                          El Gran Burrito
                                                                          Tito's Tacos


                                                                          I Heart Mozza now too

                                                                          In n Out


                                                                          That's all I can come up with for now

                                                                          1. ttriche RE: greengelato Feb 17, 2007 04:34 PM

                                                                            Trader Joe's
                                                                            Tonny's chile verde
                                                                            Macau Street special crab
                                                                            Golden Deli rolls & banh mi
                                                                            Caroussel maaneh and soujuk
                                                                            Ma dang gooksoo and everything at Sa Rit Gol
                                                                            Senor Fish ceviche scooped up with their seafood quesadilla

                                                                            What may be more interesting (and is certainly a lot more of a challenge) is to contrast this list with "things that I miss and can't get good versions of in Los Angeles" (or not without driving for 45 minutes). That would include inexpensive Brazilian (Burlington, VT, of all places), proper Cajun eateries and Eritrean food (DC -- can't throw a rock in Addams Morgan without hitting something like Meskerem or Bardia's New Orleans Cafe), and 2-pound burritos from El Farolito in the Mission District (SF) at 4am for $3 with 2 quarts of free salsa aquacate. I've taken to making the latter stuff at home out of quiet desperation...

                                                                            1. y
                                                                              yummi RE: greengelato Feb 17, 2007 05:24 PM

                                                                              Trader Joe's, Trader Joe's, Trader Joe's! I LOVE THAT DUDE!
                                                                              Middle Eastern Food
                                                                              Thai Food
                                                                              Potato Balls from Porto's
                                                                              Having all of the culinary options that are a hop skip and a jump away.
                                                                              Fake freaking Mexican food

                                                                              1. c
                                                                                calabasas_trafalgar RE: greengelato Feb 17, 2007 08:11 PM

                                                                                Burgers in general

                                                                                North Woods Inn

                                                                                1. m
                                                                                  mlgb RE: greengelato Feb 18, 2007 02:53 PM

                                                                                  Mochi from Fugetsudo
                                                                                  Suehiro grilled mackerel lunch
                                                                                  Chinese steamed rice cake, Wu Gok, Sesame Seed Balls at Dim Sum lunch
                                                                                  Thai Food- Green Papaya Salad, Spicy Chicken salad. eggplant dishes
                                                                                  Korean BBQ buffet,
                                                                                  Indian buffet
                                                                                  Korean supermarkets, rice cake snacks
                                                                                  Nopalitos salad,
                                                                                  green chile cheese tamales
                                                                                  Chocolate Malted Krunch Ice Cream from Thriftys
                                                                                  Z Pizza
                                                                                  Plaza Inn Broasted Chicken
                                                                                  Cheap and good chicken meal chains: Baja Fresh, Pollo Loco, Zankou Chicken
                                                                                  Back yard fruit and veg swaps-Avocados, citrus, persimmons, plums, peaches, passionfruit, guavas, tomatoes, summer squash, eggplant, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves!

                                                                                  1. ChefGirl412 RE: greengelato Feb 18, 2007 02:59 PM

                                                                                    hot dogs at Pink's

                                                                                    1. u
                                                                                      umeakai RE: greengelato Feb 18, 2007 03:52 PM

                                                                                      Happy Hour at Border Grill
                                                                                      Ramen anywhere in Little Osaka
                                                                                      Tuk Tuk Thai
                                                                                      Tito's Tacos or Campos Tacos
                                                                                      Original Panty Cafe
                                                                                      Gilbert's El Indio
                                                                                      Ocean Ave. Seafood (oysters)
                                                                                      Father's Office (beer and burger)
                                                                                      Library Alehouse (beer and great food)

                                                                                      1. c
                                                                                        calabasas_trafalgar RE: greengelato Feb 18, 2007 11:07 PM

                                                                                        "Original Panty Cafe"

                                                                                        Inside Victoria's Secret?

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                                                                                          umeakai RE: calabasas_trafalgar Feb 20, 2007 04:19 PM

                                                                                          lol whoops...Freudian slip?

                                                                                        2. u
                                                                                          unlazyboy285 RE: greengelato Feb 19, 2007 08:48 AM

                                                                                          KINGS on Reseda.

                                                                                          1. MeAFoodieYep RE: greengelato Feb 19, 2007 02:44 PM

                                                                                            I've lived outside of California a few times and I admit that nothing beats the food diversity in Los Angeles. Here's what I normally miss:
                                                                                            Lee's Sandwiches
                                                                                            Portos Bakery & Cafe
                                                                                            In n out Burgers
                                                                                            Authenic sushi (Japanese), Korean BBQ, Thai, and Dim Sum restaurants.
                                                                                            Boba Tea

                                                                                            1. s
                                                                                              soyarra RE: greengelato Feb 20, 2007 10:33 PM

                                                                                              Phillippe's French-dipped sandwiches
                                                                                              Decent burritos and tacos (and don't believe all the hype in the NY Times -- even though there has been an influx of Mexican nationals to NYC, they're all in the boroughs. Manhattan Mexican still stinks)
                                                                                              Really good dim sum (again, our Chinese trumps their Chinese)
                                                                                              Really good sushi (and again, our Japanese trumps their Japanese AND ALWAYS HAS)
                                                                                              Regular homestyle Japanese food (see above)
                                                                                              Cuban food -- oddly the Cuban food in NYC sucks.
                                                                                              Hawaiian local food (yeah, ours isn't as good as the crummiest place in Honolulu, but it's better than nothing, and some of it is actually good)
                                                                                              In N Out Burgers (ha HA)
                                                                                              Teacakes from Martino's
                                                                                              Fosselman's ice cream (particularly the peach, mango or peppermint stick ice creams)
                                                                                              Hot caramel sundaes at Twohey's
                                                                                              And I know some people will take issue with this, but I think our Indian food is better than theirs (certainly closer to what you get in London)

                                                                                              Pffft! So there. :P

                                                                                              1. katkoupai RE: greengelato Feb 21, 2007 11:05 AM


                                                                                                1. s
                                                                                                  SRosie RE: greengelato Feb 21, 2007 01:55 PM

                                                                                                  Since I moved from WeHo to Long Beach AND gone from working professional with income to Full Time student... I've gone through some serious withdrawl... and I know, Long Beach is still IN LA County!
                                                                                                  but I mostly miss: Canter's Deli (Fairfax), Yoshi's Sushi (SM blvd), Elixer (Melrose), and all the good, NON-FAST FOOD lunch choices in Beverly Hills and W. LA.

                                                                                                  1. wineguy7 RE: greengelato Mar 17, 2007 01:21 PM

                                                                                                    I was born and raised in LA and left in 1988, Every time I return for a visit I must have Cochinita Pibil Tacos at Pacos in Culver City and a Fresh Banana, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Donut at Stan's in Westwood. Sometimes in the same day!!

                                                                                                    1. w
                                                                                                      will_forfood RE: greengelato Mar 17, 2007 01:33 PM

                                                                                                      this topic is making me homesick. i agree with alsmot ALL of the above but hands-down it has to be mexican food. there's nothing like the mexican food in la (and the bay area). everytime i go back to ca, i have to make a pit-stop at mexico city, loteria, la estrella, la cabanita or el arco iris.

                                                                                                      1. m
                                                                                                        mojoeater RE: greengelato Mar 17, 2007 01:35 PM

                                                                                                        Moved from LA back to the Dc area, and really miss good authentic Asian - Chinese, Dim Sum, Thai, Korean, etc.

                                                                                                        1. p
                                                                                                          panoz RE: greengelato Mar 17, 2007 08:46 PM

                                                                                                          Are you moving to NYC? I made the move a few months ago. Here's what you'll miss:

                                                                                                          - In-N-Out (NYers will tell you about Blue 9 burgers. Don't believe it. It's a joke)
                                                                                                          - Taco trucks
                                                                                                          - fish tacos
                                                                                                          - Thai Town
                                                                                                          - decent Chinese food
                                                                                                          - Taiwanese food
                                                                                                          - tomatoes
                                                                                                          - Chinese markets like 99 Ranch
                                                                                                          - hash browns (I discovered that today)
                                                                                                          - burritos
                                                                                                          - Hawaiian food
                                                                                                          - bahn mi
                                                                                                          - a Trader Joe's where you can be in and out in less than 5 minutes
                                                                                                          - BBQ joints on Crenshaw

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: panoz
                                                                                                            choctastic RE: panoz Mar 17, 2007 10:32 PM

                                                                                                            You miss tomatoes? But I hear so much about how those Jersey Devils kick ass.

                                                                                                          2. Liz RE: greengelato Mar 17, 2007 09:46 PM

                                                                                                            You don't know how good and inexpensive food are in LA, until you moved to, say Australia. One could only eat lamb and fish and chips so many times before I got sick of them.
                                                                                                            - Chinese take-out food in places like XiaoMei
                                                                                                            - Mexican
                                                                                                            - Korean, Japanese, Thai, Indian... Any kind of Asian food
                                                                                                            - in-n-out
                                                                                                            - BBQ joints
                                                                                                            - A good sandwich (spreading butter instead of mayo on the bread just wasn't the same)

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Liz
                                                                                                              Maxmillion RE: Liz Oct 8, 2008 10:05 PM

                                                                                                              What about all the fantastic Asian restaurants there? Vietnamese, Malaysian, Japanese, Thai etc etc Practically every pub is a gastropub, too. It sounds as if you haven't visited for quite some time or only went to remote locales. I agree it's pricey -- I was just there last month.

                                                                                                            2. h
                                                                                                              holybull RE: greengelato Mar 18, 2007 09:26 AM

                                                                                                              Carne Asada Tacos
                                                                                                              Korean BBQ

                                                                                                              No other place in the US seems to do those well

                                                                                                              1. Carrie 218 RE: greengelato Mar 18, 2007 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                I moved to San Francisco four years ago so I still get In-N-Out but, even living right next to SF's Japantown, I think the Japanese food in Gardena is far superior. I especially miss Shin-Sen-Gumi. Shockingly, there are NO yakitori restaurants in San Francisco where you can't throw a dead cat without hitting a Japanese restaurant.

                                                                                                                I also miss the mediocre German restaurants in that little Old World Village. Something about the fact they immediately serve rye bread with butter AND liverwurst!

                                                                                                                Zankou chicken and Philippe's French dips are obvious misses, but I also miss the amazing Cuban roast pork with black beans and rice from Versailles. Last month, before taking an international flight, I deliberately flew in several hours earlier just to drive to the one in Manhattan Beach for a long-missed fix.

                                                                                                                I'll be there next month for a week and am looking forward to Zankou and another missed restaurant, Katsu-Ya - the first sushi restaurant I went to that had foie gras.

                                                                                                                1. f
                                                                                                                  Fat Billie RE: greengelato Mar 18, 2007 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                  Al Pastor, Menudo, Korean Food, Japanese food

                                                                                                                  1. katkoupai RE: greengelato Mar 18, 2007 11:22 AM

                                                                                                                    I will also add Persian food to this list. Can't get it in every city...

                                                                                                                    1. c
                                                                                                                      Cinnamon RE: greengelato Mar 18, 2007 11:44 AM

                                                                                                                      Fish tacos with white sauce and anything (else) involving cilantro.

                                                                                                                      1. SauceSupreme RE: greengelato Mar 18, 2007 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                        Specific things that I missed when I took a long weekend in Idaho last week were Mexican food and sushi. There was one tacqueria in town and it amazed me that they had lengua and al pastor on the menu, but trying it out, it just didn't quite right. Carnitas weren't bad.

                                                                                                                        And believe it or not, I ran into more sushi houses than tacquerias. I am steering far far away from that one; I know for a fact that they aren't shipping fish fresh daily into the this time zone unless it's Denver, Phoenix or Las Vegas.

                                                                                                                        1. groover808 RE: greengelato Mar 18, 2007 06:13 PM

                                                                                                                          Vietnamese food, especially viet food you douse in fish sauce.

                                                                                                                          1. rlknapp1 RE: greengelato Mar 18, 2007 06:15 PM

                                                                                                                            Mexican food, specifically the salsa (most back east is like tomato paste)
                                                                                                                            Costco Rotissierie Chicken

                                                                                                                            1. d
                                                                                                                              dpalombo RE: greengelato Jun 14, 2008 04:35 PM

                                                                                                                              I grew up in LA and left Los Angeles in 1995 -- have only been back a few times but here are some things I CRAVE every time I think of home:

                                                                                                                              1. El Pollo Loco
                                                                                                                              2. In-N-Out
                                                                                                                              3. Carl's Jr.
                                                                                                                              4. Green Burritto (When I left they hadn't mixed the two yet).
                                                                                                                              5. King Taco
                                                                                                                              6. All the local taquerias
                                                                                                                              7. Yoshinoya Beef Bowl (I spotted one in Tokyo this year and went running for it!)
                                                                                                                              8. Pink's
                                                                                                                              9. Jack In The Box (ecoli shmecoli)
                                                                                                                              10. Not really fast food -- but the Claim Jumper was an awesome restaurant.
                                                                                                                              11. The Hat (AWESOME Pastrami's)
                                                                                                                              12. North Woods Inn.
                                                                                                                              13. Tommy Burgers

                                                                                                                              1. o
                                                                                                                                owoolley RE: greengelato Oct 7, 2008 09:21 PM

                                                                                                                                Tacos Por Favor on Olympic!
                                                                                                                                Santa Monica Farmers Markets
                                                                                                                                Fathers Office burgers
                                                                                                                                Millies in Silver Lake
                                                                                                                                Hoagies and Wings
                                                                                                                                Every mexican guy grilling on the street
                                                                                                                                Korean food
                                                                                                                                Cha Cha Chicken!

                                                                                                                                1. kiwi RE: greengelato Oct 8, 2008 09:00 PM

                                                                                                                                  I thought reading all these answers would put a smile on my homesick face, but, alas, it only brought a tear. Been gone 13 months.

                                                                                                                                  We miss:

                                                                                                                                  Casita Tacos al carbon
                                                                                                                                  Pepe's breakfast burritos
                                                                                                                                  buying California produce IN California.
                                                                                                                                  burgers with 1000 island
                                                                                                                                  picking lemons/oranges/grapefruit/avocados/pomegranates off a back yard tree
                                                                                                                                  Tony's Little Italy (seriously folks, his pizza is waaay better than Chicago pizza in Chicago!)
                                                                                                                                  Getting tacos or agua fresca or alote anywhere anytime
                                                                                                                                  mom and pop donut shops
                                                                                                                                  oh, and Pioneer giblets

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: kiwi
                                                                                                                                    kiwi RE: kiwi Oct 11, 2008 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                                    meant to say elote not alote...or maybe I meant atole? No. I meant elote. My experience is that street atole is a baaad idea.

                                                                                                                                  2. Maxmillion RE: greengelato Oct 8, 2008 10:08 PM

                                                                                                                                    Nuthin'! Too busy feasting on the local chow. (I took this to mean when travelling Internationally...)

                                                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                                                      jaymor RE: greengelato Oct 8, 2008 10:41 PM

                                                                                                                                      am heading for new york in a week and so will miss in order of severity:

                                                                                                                                      el burrito jr for chicken enchilada redondo beach
                                                                                                                                      rice things for chicken teriyaki/calif. roll in redondo beach
                                                                                                                                      local place for kalua pork in gardena
                                                                                                                                      sakae sushi for take out sushi in gardena
                                                                                                                                      philippe's for pork french dip la
                                                                                                                                      langers and labels table for pastrami la/beverly hills
                                                                                                                                      sam woo for roast duck/wonton etc monterey park
                                                                                                                                      pho hana for pho/etc in rancho palos verdes
                                                                                                                                      shisengumi for hakata ramen in gardena
                                                                                                                                      neil's for seafood risotto in san pedro
                                                                                                                                      flemings for an occasional steak in manhattan beach
                                                                                                                                      martha's for a good breakfast in hermosa beach
                                                                                                                                      uncle bill's for another good breakfast manhattan beach
                                                                                                                                      big mike's for philly cheesesteak in hermosa beach
                                                                                                                                      aunt kizzy's for some southern cooking marina del rey

                                                                                                                                      so much more but these are the ones i miss when i am gone for an extended time....i have my equivalents in ny but not yet for all......am slowly building it up though.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: jaymor
                                                                                                                                        CucumberBoy RE: jaymor Oct 9, 2008 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                        Carrie218 wrote:

                                                                                                                                        >>you can't throw a dead cat without hitting a Japanese restaurant<<

                                                                                                                                        There's a Korean joke in here somewhere...

                                                                                                                                        Whenever I leave Los Angeles, I miss things like the carne asada burrito at El Nopal, the "special" at Ma Ya in Santa Monica, the Ethiopian district on Fairfax, Irv's Burgers in WeHo, Fatburger (any location), Ranch 99, the carnitas dinner at Vallarta (corn tortillas to die for), Porto's (everything), the roast chicken at Versailles, Damiano's, Canters, Brent's, Won's Coffee Shop, Sherman Room, Billingslys, dim sum at Empress on Sunday mornings, the WeHo Astroburger fried tacos (deadly delicious), Tommy's, Phillipe's beef double-dipped with bleu cheese and a pickle, and, last but not least, Don Antonio's on Pico in WLA.

                                                                                                                                        Luckily, I don't travel out of state too often these days.


                                                                                                                                      2. p
                                                                                                                                        pharmnerd RE: greengelato Oct 11, 2008 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                        Mexican, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese. But, mostly miss good & cheap Mexican food.

                                                                                                                                        1. r
                                                                                                                                          ronsilverado RE: greengelato Oct 12, 2008 10:42 PM

                                                                                                                                          i am currently sitting here in nyc very much longing for a langer's #19. katz's does not even come close.

                                                                                                                                          and of course the taco trucks.

                                                                                                                                          1. SauceSupreme RE: greengelato Oct 13, 2008 02:16 AM

                                                                                                                                            I've been in Portland for about nine months now and here are the things that I miss about LA:

                                                                                                                                            Sushi (though I did find a sushiya in Seattle that would be comparable to Zo and Ike)
                                                                                                                                            Non-Sichuan Chinese

                                                                                                                                            Specific restaurants I miss:
                                                                                                                                            The Hungry Cat
                                                                                                                                            Sushi Ike
                                                                                                                                            Father's Office

                                                                                                                                            Show Hidden Posts