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Brooklyn Chowhound needs places to eat in LA

Will be in LA with my husband (who is there for business) and my 2 kids, age 6 and 3. They are both good in restaurants and are adventurous eaters, so i am looking for places to go with them during the day - and also places to go with my husband at night while grandma babysits. thanks for any tips!

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  1. It would help to know which part of LA you will be in. Also, how far are you willing to drive, are there particular types of food you would like to try (or avoid), and what are your price points? Do you want cheap eats, expensive splurges, or a mix?

    1. As with many other visiting Chowhounders, "visiting and needing places to eat in LA," is a very vague notion in a cluster of towns that can mean from the north end of the San Fernando Valley, to as far east as the San Gabriel Mountains, as far south as parts of Orange County, and of course to the Pacific Ocean to the west. Where are you staying, how far are you willing to go, any preferences, $, $$, $$$, and what you don't want to try, e.g., "don't want any pizza recs because pizza joints are a dime-a-dozen in Brooklyn" would help too. We LA Chowdogs love giving rec's but without a little framework, you will have a list that will end up looking like the NYC phone directory... Hope you get a dose of good weather during your visit - you folks back east deserve it.

      1. Until you get back to us with any geographic restrictions, here's a recent thread with "kid-friendly" restaurants around LA to get you started. (Although there are some CPK and Cheesecake Reccs, there are many good ethnic restaurant suggestions in the thread as well). Personally, I can endorse the Fairfax Farmer's Market as a good place to go with kids. Many decent dining options and much to keep the kiddies occupied.


        1. Also, some info as the range of your young'ns' "adventurousness" wouldn't hurt. Do they eat sushi? OCTOPUS sushi? Tripe? Liver? NATTO?!? (can't do that last one, myself, though there are apparently folks, including kids, who love it...) Little pickled dried Korean fish with little eyes you can see? Thai curry? Thai JUNGLE curry? If you get a chicken or duck in a Chinese restaurant, and they leave the head on the plate, will the presence of the head make the kids go "oooh YUK!!!!!" and flee the meal?

          details, and we can help!

          1. You're right - It's like when people come to the NY board and ask for a NYC recommendation, it's definitely hard to narrow it down! My apologies... we are staying in Venice, and will mostly be in the West LA and Hollywood W. Hollywood areas, though we are heading to Studio City one day to visit old friends


            3 Replies
            1. re: jerryj

              And the budget requirements would be?

              1. re: jerryj

                Joes in Venice is fantastic for you and hubby (no kids).

                1. re: jerryj

                  Try NOOK BISTRO in Santa Monica for lunch - the kids will love the brownie cup dessert. www.nookbistro.com

                  For dinner sans kids, I'd recommend MONTE ALBAN for Mexican. Also check out JOE'S in Venice for Cal-cuisine. www.joesrestaurant.com

                  Monte Alban
                  11927 Santa Monica Blvd
                  (310) 444-7736

                2. Farmer's Market on 3rd and Fairfax as long as its not raining. Many choices in one place, casual, fun. It is next to the Grove shopping mall which is a pretty nice mall if you want to shop.

                  1. I know some kiddies who just love Katsuya in Encino. Good choice if you are in the area. Very family-friendly.

                    1. You'll have lots of good options in Venice and Santa Monica... I would suggest the following...

                      Monte Alban on Santa Monica in West LA for Oaxacan food.

                      La Playita on Lincoln Ave, just north of Rose in Venice for very good ceviche and tacos.

                      Jin Patisserie for an afternoon coffee and wonderful chocolates (Abbot Kinney in venice)

                      Gaby's on Venice Blvd in Culver City for Lebanese...

                      Kiriko on Sawtelle in West LA for sushi and Japanese food.

                      Yakitoriya on Sawtelle in West LA for yakitori.

                      Beard Papa's on Sawtelle for japanese cream puffs (the next big thing in the food world, I tell you)

                      Apple Pan on Pico in West LA for an old-school LA hamburger and a great piece of banana cream pie.

                      The list could go on and on...

                      1. I also recommend the Farmer's Market. Browse through the stands, go for some crepes, or eat at The Farm (sit-down casual place - get the infamous brownie a la mode!). Good shopping, too; If you have a daughter, she'll love The American Girl store.

                        You can also take the children to Susina Bakery for some sandwiches and really excellent desserts - cookies, cakes, brownies, etc. They'll spend minutes just eyeing the display!

                        Finer dining places near by where you can meet up with your husband are Campanile, Jar, Lucques, Grace. I highly recommend Angelini Osteria for Italian, and The Little Door is very romantic (Little Door Next Door is its casual sister). Something less formal is BLD, which serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner - it's a product of Grace restaurant.


                        1. Venice: Joe's, Axe, La Cabana.

                          1. If you're headed out to Studio City and Hollywood areas, the weekend food bazaar at the Wat Thai Temple in North Hollywood would be a great stop if you're out and about in that area on the weekend. I haven't been yet but it's popped up alot this week on CH blogs. I don't know if there's anything like this in NY, but you might gander a peak at some of the postings if you want something really different in LA.

                            1. I'd head up Pacific Coast Highway and spend part of a day in Malibu. There's a fun place right on the ocean called "Duke's." The Barefoot Bar is right on the sand, with waves crashing against plexiglass barriers. I know it's a "bar", but during the day it's really just a casual restaurant. There are kids there at lunch....and it's fun to put your feet in the sand! The menu is salads and sandwiches and a very good fish taco. Food is dependable and tasty. Nothing amazing. But the location is great.

                              1. Weather permitting, I'd recommend both Wat Thai as well as the Farmer's Market on Third/Fairfax. While Wat Thai is obviously going to be Thai food, Farmer's Market has a large variety. Both are very kid friendly, though they'll probably get more of a kick out of Farmer's Market. The Grove is right next door which gives will give the kids something to gawk at, as there is a train that runs through as well as one of those Belagio-style fountains.

                                Farmer's Market on the weekends tend to be more tourists, whereas Wat Thai is almost all locals.

                                For something for just you and hubby, I recommend Joe's in Venice on Abbott Kinney, or Lucques in the West Hollywood area on Melrose.