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Palmdale/Lancaster/Antelope Valley Eats

Queen Bruin Feb 26, 2007 07:22 PM

Hi there, new poster checking in. A quick search of my general location reveals threads bemoaning the general lack of good food in the AV. I thought I would check in and recommend some of my AV gems and hopefully seek other great places and people. :)

Mexican: For taqueria-style dining, I recommend Sammy's on Sierra Hwy, housed in a former Del Taco (my Mom worked in that particular location in the 70s). The house special is the Carlos burrito, a smothered style burrito. I have not sampled it myself, but use the bean and cheese burrito as my yardstick of Mexican fast food. Go on Wednesdays or Saturdays when the tortillas are fresh. The salsa verde is to die for and is handmade, and the beans are laden with lard like the Good Lord intended. Sammy himself is sometimes in on the weekend but has mostly turned the operation over to his family. The drinks are a little overpriced; however 10 bucks gets my husband and I two B&C burritos and 4 carne asada tacos (and is the only meal I need all day).

I read an earlier LA area thread lamenting the "LA style" carne asada burritos with beans and rice; I'm sorry SD folks but that's how they serve 'em at Sammy's, too. Very delicious, half of one fills me up. My only complaint about Sammy's is no Negro Modela, and the occasional spottiness of the food quality. Again, go later in the week, and grab a Tecate or a Corona instead.

For sit down Mexican, El Toreo is decent but once again I point the AV foodie to Sierra Hwy. to Nico's. Really folks - the hookers won't bite, unless you pay 'em. ;) Good eats and cheap cheap cheap! The Rusten House (K and 20th W) used to be the family standard but seems like it hasn't stood the test of time the past few times I've visited.

For Japanese I recommend Big Tuna in Palmdale, located in the Trader Joe's shopping center on 10th W. The sushi is excellent; I recommend the crunch roll (tempura shrimp in a California roll with eel sauce) and the veggie roll. On the dinner menu, about $15 will snag you a bento box with tempura, sashimi, nigiri, rice, salad and a potsticker, with miso soup before hand and a scoop of ice cream after. The service is always spectacular, with around a dozen waitstaff working a room of no more than 60 (best guess). Things get rowdy on Saturday night around 9-10 PM at the bar, so drink some sake and be ready for antics by your itamae!

I hear great things about Miso's in Lancaster as well, but the Big Tuna ain't broke, so I haven't fixed it. However, the opinions I have heard come from sources I trust. I keep meaning to go there but I would feel so disloyal to the mighty Tuna.

For sandwiches and the like, take a trip to Littlerock and head to the Valley Hungarian Sausage & Meat place on Pearblossom. Great pastrami, and I always pick up some fresh homemade andouille while I am there to make my great big pot of jambalaya. All sorts of meats, sausages, cheeses, spices (great paprika to be had here!) and other miscellany are up for grabs. If you're the two-wheeling type, it's the perfect stop after a long day in the canyons and on the dam. Old standard Charlie Brown's is up the street for date shakes and jerky.

As far as Thai goes though I despair of finding a decent place. Thai Garden (now Salatip Thai on K and 20th W) always had great food but very poor service. Thai Cafe on Palmdale Blvd. (by Sizzler) had pretty much the same story - great food, terrible service. Any recs for Thai would be greatly appreciated.

There was already a thread on Korea Kitchen, I will only add that I've loved the food and the service has always been stellar.

Sadly Italian in the area seems to suffer, with old standbys Gino's/Barone's not good for much else beside pizza - sadly, I have to resort to chains for my Italian cravings (I prefer Johnny Carino's over Olive Garden, however). If anyone knows of better Italian in the AV, I'd love a rec.!

Hope to hear from some desert denizens!

  1. ttriche Feb 27, 2007 12:22 PM

    There's a nice Indian place in Lancaster near the Baja Fresh in the mall with the Barnes & Nobles, etc. Across the street from the Trader Joe's location. I'm blocking on the name.

    I seem to end up there every time I transit the 14 nowadays.

    8 Replies
    1. re: ttriche
      s
      sel Feb 27, 2007 12:49 PM

      I have not stopped here but have seen this place:

      Malhi Indian Cuisine
      1233 W. Avenue P
      Palmdale, CA 93551
      661-266-9700

      1. re: sel
        debbie sterk Nov 10, 2007 12:51 PM

        The food is so good but they take like forever to get it to you, and they will not rush with your bill..

        1. re: sel
          a
          angs01 Oct 17, 2010 01:45 PM

          That address is incorrect. That address is the mall. Malhi's isn't at the mall. There's the one in Lancaster on 20th West and Ave. J and the one in Palmdale is on 10th West South of the mall.

        2. re: ttriche
          Queen Bruin Feb 27, 2007 01:20 PM

          Is it Malhi's? The original is in Lancaster next to the excellent Chinese place, Great Wall. I've only been once and I'm generally unfamiliar with Indian food, so I have no basis for comparison. My husband used to be really picky and has only recently started eating Japanese etc. (used to be, his idea of "ethnic cuisine" was Italian), so I have to try one thing at a time. Their tandoori was yummy though.

          1. re: Queen Bruin
            ttriche Feb 27, 2007 03:48 PM

            Yeah that's the place. Their saag was really good and (unless I'm confusing it with the place in Joshua Tree) their spicy chicken masala was very tasty as well. It may not be spicy unless you request that they make it spicy, but I always do that anyways.

            1. re: ttriche
              Queen Bruin Feb 27, 2007 09:03 PM

              I will remember to order the masala spicy - I've got my husband talked into a trip to Malhi's this weekend 8).

          2. re: ttriche
            a
            angs01 Nov 11, 2008 06:26 PM

            Sorry. The site keeps replying to the wrong person

            1. re: ttriche
              a
              angs01 Nov 11, 2008 06:36 PM

              It is Malhi's but I suggest the Lancaster location even though they are owned by the same people. I thought I would hate Indian food but my bf and I LOVE the one in Lancaster. I like to try different dishes but my current favorite dish is the Moglai Chicken. YUMMMY! I also like the chicken Korma and chicken Vindaloo. You have to order the garlic naan to go w/your meal. I am Cajun and can handle the "kick" but you don't have to get it hot for it to taste good. They ask you how spicy you want it. Skip the Great Wall next door and get a much tastier meal at Malhi's. I think the owner's name is Saab (spelling?) and the regular waitress is Wahita (?) who is kinda shy but alway sweet and accommodating. We love this place. They are closed on Monday which is their only downfall. ;)

            2. p
              peanut112 Feb 27, 2007 11:15 PM

              In Lancaster, you can visit the Lemon Leaf at 653 W. Lancaster Blvd. 661-942-6500. They are a new addition to the neighborhood and serve basically all day. They have a huge dining area that is inviting and airy with tons of salad and sandwich options, not to mention dessert, plus a full service coffee and espresso bar with loose-leaf tea options also.
              It's casual dining, for sure, but inviting and fun.
              They tend to be slammed for lunches between 11am-2pm, so if you're looking for quick-eats, try and avoid those times. :)

              2 Replies
              1. re: peanut112
                Queen Bruin Feb 28, 2007 06:11 PM

                Thanks peanut, I will add Lemon Leaf to my list of places to try!

                1. re: peanut112
                  w
                  wandering seniors May 19, 2008 05:00 PM

                  Lemon Leaf is one of the most fantastic places to eat and we're so happy that it's in our neighborhood. Try the quattro formagio pizza, the cranberry cobb salad, the tuna wrap... the list goes on and on. We haven't found anything we didn't like yet. The people are all very friendly and the restaurant is adorable. GO!!

                2. k
                  kimjharvey Mar 24, 2007 07:27 PM

                  Those mexican restaurants listed are good! And I agree with all your recommendations! If you like those places, you've GOT to try Pepe El Toro on 20th St. West between J and K, across the street from home depot. It's a little family owned hole-in-the-wall, with consistently excellent food. It is our absolute favorite mexican restaurant!

                  1. g
                    gopdean Apr 9, 2007 11:13 PM

                    Lancaster is fortunate to have one of the best Italian Restaurant you will find anywhere. It is Tina's Ristorante Italiano, 43953 15th St W, Lancaster, CA 93534. 661.942.9939. It is Northern Italian. It is a very classy place and great for special occasions. They have the best veal chops you will ever encounter anywhere. Everything is cooked to perfection. The owner/chef is a perfectionist and he cooks everything himself in an open exhibition kitchen. The filet mignon is also to die for. Dinner for a couple without wine runs about $60.

                    Best Mexican Food is Pepe El Toro, 44219 20th St W, Lancaster, CA 93534. 661-726-7859. It is a liitle hole in the wall with just a few table but the food it great! Try the taco trio with carne asada or carnitas. Simple and delicious. Consistantly fresh.

                    The newer sushi places (Big Tuna and Miso) are good but expensive. Try Uozumi's(formerly Takeo's) in Palmdale in an industrial area near the new Multimodal Transportation Center. 38575 6th St E Palmdale, CA (661)274-7777. Great Food, Great Service, Great prices. Cozy little hole in the wall off the beaten track.

                    1. l
                      LadySweetbriar Jun 18, 2007 09:51 PM

                      This evening my daughter and I tried out "The Lemon Leaf" restaurant at 653 W Lancaster Blvd in Lancaster, CA, PH#(661) 942-6500. We instantly fell in LOVE with the Italian countryside mural painted on one entire wall. However, you have to order cafeteria style ala 'Carl's Jr.' and are then given a number to set on your table where they bring the food to you. The tables themselves have white linen tablecloths that have what appears to be 'meat wrapping paper' on top of them for easy clean-up (?). They have 80's style pop music playing. We ate our food while listening to Michael Jackson's 'Beat It' of all things. Simple linen tablecloths with perhaps a canhdle atop each table and music befitting the Italian faire would have provided an ambience to the place that was sorely lacking. We ordered the 'Striped Ravioli with Artichoke in Cream Sauce' for $10.95. When served, it consisted of '7' rather smallish ravioli's and two short pieces of artichoke literally swimming in cream sauce. No salad or bread came with the meal. While the ravioli was indeed tasty, it did NOT fill us up. The drinks (soda's, wine; teas, cappachino's etc.) are all incredibly over-priced as well. My daughter order a large Cappachino which they served in a to-go StarBucks style paper cup with lid that was the size of a StarBucks 'Grande' (medium size). For the price, and seeing as how we were 'dining in', you'd think they would have used realo cappachino cups to serve it in. The Staff was very polite and courteous and prompt and the restroom was clean and well-stocked. Overall, we weren't impressed with our visit. I doubt we'll be patronizing their establishment again.

                      1. l
                        LadySweetbriar Jun 18, 2007 10:04 PM

                        A new place worth checking out is "The Health Tree Wellness" at 2797 W Avenue L in Lancaster, CA., PH#(661) 722-1101. This is relatively new and serves fantastic and filling salads, wraps, coffees, teas and smoothies. The place is always clean..always busy...and the prices are very reasonable considering what you get. There are tables sprinkled about with couches and overstuffed chairs mixed in as well. A very "homey" atmosphere. Very comfortable. There is even a separate section with vitamins you can buy, like a little store all its own. There is an enormous fishtank set up inside and a very small little area that is used as a stage on weekends only when they have 'live' entertainment. Last time we went, there were two men playing acoustic guitar and singing. They could sing well. Very cool! You've got to give this place a try!

                        1. g
                          Golfer_70 Sep 26, 2007 09:59 AM

                          Where is the thread on Korea Kitchen?? I'd like to add some comments to it. I have to say that my experience at Korea Kitchen BBQ Restaurant in Lancaster was just unbelievable. Food, Service and decors were just excellent. I never imagined such Korean BBQ restaurant existed in AV area. They also started Monday/Sunday night football in a huge screen TV with a great sound system. Although I did not get to sit in for long time since I visited them on Thur, I get to see one of the colllege games in the 200 inch screen (well, I think it is larger than that, but the host told me) for a few mins. I am definitely going back for Monday night football. They serve Mexican appetizers during the game show. What a concept!! Serving Mexican dishes in a Korean restaurant... I think it is a great idea since everyone likes Nachos, Hot wings with their beers watching a football!! The other thing I wanted to mention is the hospitality of everyone working there. I felt like I was a VIP although I did not spend too much $$ (just a order of Appetizer and a beer). Everyone treated me like a VIP and very friendly. I'd recommend this restaurant to everyone I meet. I am also going to bring my crew for a dinner and Sunday/Monday night football soon.

                          1. l
                            ldfinder Oct 7, 2007 02:11 PM

                            Here are a few good restaurants in the Valley:
                            The Blue Marlin West. It's relatively new, and serves seafood, steak, and chicken. Great food, friendly atmosphere. Try the crab cakes, chowder, fried talapia, and spider crab sandwich. Food is not greasy at all, fried perfectly, including the hush puppies.
                            The Country Cafe. Not nearly as crowded as Crazy Otto's, and the food comes in human-size portions! Good waffles and pancakes. Also open for lunch and dinner.
                            Eduardo's Cantina. Good italian food. Service is a little slow, but the food is worth the wait. Nice, quiet atmosphere. Try the cheese ravioli.
                            Bakery Express. Good sandwiches, pizza, and salads. I little pricey for dinner, but reasonable lunches.
                            Katz and Jammers. 50's style diner. Great burgers, fries, and awesome milkshakes. Also has good breakfasts.
                            Mythos. Very good Greek food. Try the gyro and moussaka. Also has excellent baklava.
                            Fresco II. Upscale Mediterranian. The prawn and artichoke pizza is excellent, and so is the calamari.
                            Great Wall. There is a reason it wins "AV's Best" every year. MUCH better than The Phoenix Inn. Get past the early 80's decor. The food is actually really good. Try the egg foo young and the moo shu pork. Everything is good!
                            Don Cuco's. Mexican food. Great casual atmosphere, reasonable prices, excellent food. They don't cover everything in cilantro, which I prefer. Try the burritos and the enchiladas.
                            Even though we are being taken over by chain restaurants, there are still plenty of nice, family-owned, small-scale restaurants in town. Check them out!

                            1. debbie sterk Nov 10, 2007 12:48 PM

                              I love the Thai place in the little plaza across from the indoor swapmeet off 25th street east the liquor store next door also has the thai beer the owner is very nice the food is just like it is in thailand fresh and served fast and the people are great i love it! khop khun.

                              1. w
                                westlafoodie Mar 1, 2008 02:12 PM

                                I recently moved to the AV, from west LA. In general I have to admit, it does seem like a desert out here in comparison to the lushness of the LA restaurant scene. However I've tried a few restaurants out here, and there are some bright spots. Some notes on the restaurants already mentioned.

                                Korea kitchen - while not as good as being in Koreatown, it's the next best thing. Their little side dishes could be better, (maybe they're trying to appeal to the American palate), but their BBQ meats are pretty good. Our first experience was better than our second. Our second experience was dampered by the lounge singer.

                                Tina's ristorante - no objection to some of the best italian food around with a to die for dessert cart and beautiful ambiance. But what's up with the price? And why do they nickle and dime you for refills on soda? I've been there twice for group events and we ended up paying more like $80 - 90 a couple without wine or appetizers. When we tasted the food we decided we would come back on our own. When we got the bill we decided we would never go back again.

                                Big Tuna - I like it, but what about Goldfish in Palmdale on Rancho Vista Blvd. before Marie Kerr Park? same concept, better music, atmosphere more fun, better food.

                                Mahli's (the one on Ave. J) - I'm not Indian, but I liked it.

                                The Great Wall - I am Chinese, and I got a stomach ache.

                                For a good Thai place I really liked Thai Cafe on Ave. K and 15th St. West next to the Target. I've been there several times and I've never been disappointed. It's smaller and a little less fancy than Salatip, but much better I thought. Tasty, good portions, cheap, fast. It's so far my favorite in the AV.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: westlafoodie
                                  kaszeta Mar 4, 2008 10:42 PM

                                  My sushi searches around here have led me to Uozumi on 6th Ave. It's a small place in an industrial area, but it's been quite pleasant my two visits, and the fish quality is very good there.

                                  I'm still tempted to try Mahli's, it's just down the way from me.

                                  Korean Kitchen: I'll agree with you that the side dishes were a little bland to my tastes, but I rather liked the rest of the menu. Luckily, I've avoided lounge singers.

                                  I'm still sticking to Pines Cafe as one of my go-to places when I'm in town, but I'm glad I'm finding some nice variety here.

                                  1. re: westlafoodie
                                    p
                                    PalmdaleRookie Mar 22, 2008 09:16 AM

                                    A little picky, aren't you :-)
                                    Big Tuna - which one did you try? I liked the new Big Tuna in Lancaster, Although it seems a little small place, I think the food was very clean and good just like the one in Palmdale by Circuit City.

                                    The Great Wall - I am not a Chinese, but the food seems to be somewhat oily for me.

                                    Mahli's (the one in Palmdale) - I walked in the first time and did not like the smell of the restaurant. I've been to many Indian restaurants in San Fernando Valley area (where I moved from) and somehow this one turned me off. I had visited the one in Lancaster and I did like the place and food though. Is it owned by the same owner? I wonder...

                                    Korea Kitchen - I am not a Korean either, but I thought the food was pretty good - side dishes were just perfect for me, a native California dude :-) I've been to a number of different Korean restaurants in Korea Town with my Korean coworkers, and so far none of them can compare to this place in food wise and atmosphere wise. Lounge singers bothered you? Wow, I thought the Jazz singer last week was a knock out. I think she is a daughter of one of well known Jazz singer and I felt in love with her and her singing. Not sure if they have other lounge singers though. Food was good, the music was good, the place was awsome in my view.

                                    Super King Buffet - Don't go there, the bottom line. You get what you paid for.

                                    Thai Cafe - Never tried one in Lancaster, but one in Palmdale next to Sizzler between 10th W and Palmdale Blvd. Although this place was empty, the food was pretty good. Try their Panang Curry with Tofu - excellent taste.

                                    Baja Fresh (in Palmndale) - I love Mexican food and I usually go there when I don't have enough time to sit down. They started Shrimp Burritos which I love to eat. I always get one of the shrimp burritos without any beans and fills my stomach with a good taste. Second choice is Burrito Mexicano with steak and no beans. Hmmm I am hungry now :-)

                                    Well, that's enough for now. I do have many other places I can mention, but next time.. Going to Baja for a lunch..

                                  2. debbie sterk Mar 2, 2008 06:12 PM

                                    know what is so fun sat night about 9:00 pm till 11:00 at the rock in lake hughs they have a live band beer and food.. lots of fun and you can check on line at the rock to see when the band starts

                                    1. kat_dew Mar 2, 2008 06:55 PM

                                      I am not familiar with area so I don't know if any of these restaurants are in Mojave. My BF's dad is racing out at Rosamond in April and we are going to be staying in Mojave - Any recs? Reading this post I wish we were staying in Lancaster

                                      TIA!

                                      KD

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: kat_dew
                                        s
                                        Swooze Mar 5, 2008 01:46 AM

                                        Perhaps Mike's Roadhouse? I've heard their stew is good...

                                        1. re: Swooze
                                          c
                                          chpsteve May 6, 2008 04:50 PM

                                          I've eaten at Mike's, and I can't recommend it. I wish I could; I love the old pedal cars and the idea of "Mike's Roadhouse", but the food wasn't acceptable. If the stew is good I might try again, but the food we had was worth avoiding.

                                      2. b
                                        Billow Fair Mar 3, 2008 12:00 PM

                                        At the risk of showing my age (and how long it's been since I frequented the desert) is La Sere still there? (Sierra Hwy near Acton) I had a couple of great meals there.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Billow Fair
                                          s
                                          Swooze Mar 5, 2008 01:45 AM

                                          I'm thinking you mean Le Chene. or La Chene. It's still there. I've lived in this area for most my life and never been there.

                                          1. re: Swooze
                                            b
                                            Billow Fair Mar 6, 2008 08:44 AM

                                            Maybe it was La Chene, memory isn't what it used to be...heck, it was never great. The chef/owner was an the sous chef from some fancy-pants (Swedish?) restaurant in BH. I'll have to drive out there some weekend soon.

                                            1. re: Billow Fair
                                              c
                                              carriedushey Mar 22, 2008 09:38 AM

                                              LeChene is good but kind of pricey for where it is. Also, the chef/owner has a seriously snooty attitude...again for where it is. The crowd is nouveau riche cowboy types and the place can get quite loud with everyone trying to explain to each other how "high class" they really are.

                                              1. re: carriedushey
                                                s
                                                SeaCook May 21, 2008 02:25 PM

                                                I haven't been to Le Chene for many years but it was quiet good. Not the best French food I've had but not the worst either. I rate it about a 7. I do recall it was worth the trip form Northridge when I lived there. Although noisy the setting is lovely. The chef was not snotty to me at all quiet the contrary. Maybe he likes petite redheads. ;-) In any case here's a website:
                                                http://www.lechene.com/

                                        2. w
                                          wandering seniors May 21, 2008 01:47 PM

                                          We've loved Big Tuna since it opened, but at some point they quit providing low sodium soy sauce (replaced it with VERY salty soy sauce... open mouth, pour in salt, swallow salty) so we won't be going there anymore. They should realize that so many people have heart/blood pressure problems and can't eat the high sodium stuff. Personally, we like the low sodium because it tastes so much better. If it's a cost-cutting move, well, they must be doing quite good to do without our $60-$120 each week (and who knows how many other regulars have jumped ship). They do have great sushi that includes some of their own creations that are excellent and the staff has always been very friendly, until our last visit when a new waitress was very rude. I would have thought it was a bad kharma day for me, but she was rude to everyone. We're now in the process of trying all the other sushi places in the Antelope Valley (never realized there were so many!) to find a new sushi "home" (one that has great sushi AND provides low-sodium soy sauce). I hear Miso is good and someone here mentioned Goldfish. The hunt is on.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: wandering seniors
                                            kaszeta May 22, 2008 07:18 AM

                                            As I've mentioned above, I rather like Uozumi. I don't know about low sodium soy sauce, but the owner is very friendly, and probably worth going there to ask him about it.

                                            I'm not surprised by the Big Tuna rudeness, since my one and only visit there in late February was the rudest I've *ever* been treated by waitstaff. I'm wondering why the service seems to have plummeted, since I know several people that have said the exact opposite about it (good service).

                                          2. k
                                            katie1 Jun 11, 2008 06:53 PM

                                            Thanks for your recommendations. I have not tried Sammy's yet but I am looking forward to some good mexican food. I don't like Medranos, I think their food is lousy. The waitress at Big Tuna was very rude! It's like they stand there and constantly watch you. I am looking for a good BBQ place, any suggestions?
                                            Katie

                                            1. n
                                              NeedMoarPho Jun 16, 2008 01:09 AM

                                              I recommend a lot of the restaurants already previously mentioned but strongly disagree on some others.

                                              As far as Mexican food goes in the AV my favorite places are Don Juans in Quartz Hill, Casa Gutierrez in Leona Valley, any of the El Toreos, Rusten House in Lancaster and the lesser known Los Arcos in Palmdale. I've heard Don Cucos in Lacaster is pretty good as well but I've never been so I can't vouch for them.

                                              Asian cuisine is seriously lacking in the AV. There's an abundance of crappy Japanese restaurants and mediocre Thai food. The only real place I would recommend for Japanese food is Uozumi in east Palmdale. I've never had a bad meal there. The only downside is that they've raised their prices in the past year and it's one of the more expensive Japanese restaurants in the valley. Big Tuna is a good bang for the buck place and is a local favorite. It's definitely not as authentic as Uozomi but it's great for a fast cheap lunch. Goldfish is opened by a Big Tuna defector so it looks and feels very similar. Goldfish is very affordable and is quickly becoming a local favorite as well. The downside is the place smells fishy most of the time and I've had some bad tuna there more than once.

                                              Thai food is where it starts to get tricky. I haven't found any horrible Thai places but lots of mediocre places. Thai Cafe as previously mentioned by the original poster has horrible service. Theres one dude that runs the place and he'll disappear into the kitchen for 15 minutes at a time. Salatip is very similar. They have more people working but the service is still lacking. My favorite Thai places are NopGow in Palmdale and Thai & Chinese II in Lancaster. Thai & Chinese II also serves some Chinese food which is pretty much absent in the entire valley. The ladies that work there kick out your order lightening quick. You can't really go wrong with any of the Thai places in the AV in terms of cost and taste but services varies greatly.

                                              Korea Kitchen is a horrible attempt at K-Town Korean BBQ. It's way overpriced and the quality and quantity of meat sucks. You don't really have any other options in the AV so if you really want to sit down and cook your own food I guess you'll have to go to Korea Kitchen. I would recommend trying Korean Palace in Lancaster. It doubles as a mini Korean supermarket. It's got a really shady looking store front in a not so nice strip mall. I doubted it the first time I went in but there's a nice Korean lady that runs the place and all her stuff is authentic Korean. It's by far the best Korean food in the AV.

                                              A quick comment on some of the other restaurants mentioned on here.

                                              Le Chene - Overpriced and not as great as it's hyped up to be. For the price I'd rather just drive down to Santa Clarita or LA for something much better.
                                              Fresco II - Great place. Pricey for the AV but definitely worth it.
                                              Lemon Leaf - Great place. Had some bad experiences (had to wait more than 45 minutes more than once for 2 pizzas) when they first opened but I think they've ironed out all their kinks now.
                                              Health Tree - Decent place. I love their chicken salad. It has a nice young hip vibe inside .
                                              Mahlis - Good Indian food. There buffet is back!
                                              Katz n Jammers - Decent breakfast place. Has an old school feel and serves milkshakes!

                                              For you Pinkberry fans. There's a kiosk in the mall next to the food court called Loveswirl that sells frozen yogurt very similar to Pinkberry.

                                              I've been so a bunch of other places in the AV. When I remember the rest of them I'll try to post some commentary on my experiences. Hope this helps anyone new to the area.

                                              By the way, the only BBQ place I know of here is Famous Dave's in the mall.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: NeedMoarPho
                                                Queen Bruin Jul 15, 2008 08:48 PM

                                                Wow I had no idea this thread was still so active!

                                                For La Chene: I've been once and liked it - great service and all that, but yeah it is very expensive, and only a bit above what I can make myself. I haven't been in a few years.

                                                I'm somewhat surprised to hear about the Big Tuna having bad service. Can anyone report whether the bad service was in the original Palmdale location or the new Lancaster location? I haven't been to either in a while, although I noticed that some of the long-time waitstaff had mostly gone. What a shame.

                                                NeedMoarPho, thanks for the heads-up on the Korean place! Korea Kitchen was a fun experience for me but it is so pricey that I can't talk myself into going often.

                                                1. re: Queen Bruin
                                                  kaszeta Jul 16, 2008 06:43 AM

                                                  For my bad BigTuna experience, it was the Palmdale location (39409 10th St. W ). The experience and followup was bad enough that I'm never going to try the Lancaster location, either.

                                                2. re: NeedMoarPho
                                                  Queen Bruin Jul 31, 2008 11:29 PM

                                                  OK, I just got back from my first trip to Uozumi. It is safe to say that I've been eating sushi with training wheels until tonight. Holy crap. GO TO UOZUMI!

                                                  1. re: Queen Bruin
                                                    kaszeta Aug 1, 2008 04:04 AM

                                                    Glad you enjoyed it. Uozumi is definitely on of my favorite AV spots.

                                                3. b
                                                  borax_lil Jul 20, 2008 10:18 AM

                                                  I encourage everyone to patronize local restaurants. Not only is the food better, but you're supporting your neighbors and not some microdepartment of Pepsico. I think the service is better as well, because the waitstaff isn't just doing time until they can get a real job.
                                                  Our favorite Japanese place is Uozumi on 6th Street East. Last night I had a wonderful sunset roll there - the tuna was delish and masago just popped in my mouth. The fish is always sooo fresh. The service and the quality of the sushi and sashimi is a lot better than Big Tuna (yuck) or Geisha (never again). They even have a tatami room if you want the real-deal-take-your-shoes-off Japanese experience. It is owned and operated by a local Japanese-American family.
                                                  For Thai, try The Thai on Sierra Highway immediately across from the Lancaster Metrolink station. The green curry is oh so good. The black beauty beef is truly yummy.
                                                  Blue Marlin West is pretty good as well. All the seafood I've had has been good and my hubbie raved about the fried chicken he had. It's southern food with an emphasis on seafood.
                                                  For Mexican, it's a drive from Lancaster/Palmdale, but Domingo's is the place to go. It's in downtown Boron. Really worth your while if you are on the way to Las Vegas. He also has a location in Tehachapi, but Boron is the original and Domingo lives across the street. The service is incredible (your tea will never empty), but the food is even better. Some of the servers have been there since he opened in 1988.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: borax_lil
                                                    Queen Bruin Jul 25, 2008 03:20 PM

                                                    OK, I've gotten so many recs for Uozomi that I must try it on my next sushi outing (probably next month).

                                                  2. Will Owen Jul 25, 2008 07:01 PM

                                                    Our Alfa Romeo club is having its August meeting at an Italian place in Agua Dulce (after a stop at the winery on Sierra Hwy.) they're claiming is pretty good, but it's primarily a pizza joint too. That's not until the 23rd; I will file a report, though.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Will Owen
                                                      k
                                                      kevin Aug 2, 2008 09:22 PM

                                                      Please do report on that one.

                                                      1. re: Will Owen
                                                        Will Owen Jan 29, 2010 01:36 PM

                                                        Okay, a mere year and a half late...! There appears to be two places to eat and/or drink in Agua Dulce, and they're right across the street from each other. Vincenzo's is on the west side of the main (and it appears only) street, with a nice big parking lot and plenty of room inside. This may have been a year ago last August, but I remember very well that the first most important thing was the AC, as it seemed to be about 200º in the shade. Much nicer inside.

                                                        This is a very informal kind of place, where you order at the counter and then go sit down. Most of our crowd ordered pizza; Mrs. O and I were doing South Beach at the time and decided that sandwiches would be marginally better, so we each ordered a ham and cheese. As the day's activities had started at the Agua Dulce winery, most of the Alfa gang had brought some of their wine in with them, with which Vincenzo's folks had no problem at all, and happily provided cups for everyone. When the food started coming, the pizzas looked so good and the pizza-eaters looked so happy I was regretting our choice, until a huge, crunchy home-baked roll was put in front of me, stuffed with hot ham and lots of good cheese. This was not after all going to be a low-carb lunch by any stretch, but (South Beach be damned!) it was awfully good.

                                                        What I don't remember was the price, or what else we had (water was about it, I think), but I do remember feeling that I'd gotten more than my money's worth. I also know that this place is on the Alfa club's agenda every year, and is one of our most popular weekend driving destinations. The people are very friendly and accommodating; we'll be back there in July this year, and if I find myself in that area between now and then I'll see if I can squeeze in another lunch. Maybe pizza this time.

                                                      2. l
                                                        lovinight Aug 2, 2008 04:36 PM

                                                        I love the Japanese restaurant in Palmdale on the Blvd in the Home Depot shopping center. I think it is Tokyo Sushi & across the street is Tokyo Steak, I don't recommend the one on the south side. If you like teriyaki steak, mmm!!
                                                        The whole meal is a treat.

                                                        I always crave oriental food (I'm not oriental either :). I agree I wish we had a better selection. I've tried so many different places in this valley that were so bad I've become weary most of the time of the new ones I spot. When did so many oriental restaurants decide low mien is chow mien?

                                                        I grew up in the Valley & we used to go to a place called Ah Fongs & that I think spoiled me for life.

                                                        I like The great Wall well enough, I think the chow mien could use some more flavor, as well as the beef & broccoli, but that is just my opinion.

                                                        I also like China Garden on Ave S in Palmdale but the same issue with lack of seasoning in my opinion. China Garden service can be a little slow.

                                                        This last Chinese restaurant is across the street from Sizzler on Palmdale Blvd. & 10th W. The place is a hole in the wall. Terrible decor, if you go, get the food to go :), the food possibly is better then here then either of the other 2 mentioned above, but the ambiance is shocking, truly. I'm laughing as I type this, if you go, when you enter, you'll understand. I had to fight the urge to walk right back out. My 11 yr old won't touch anything with vegetables & I am sure feels my oriental cuisine fetish is mostly absurd but sometimes annoying, thought I’d lost my mind. He did love the beef of on a stick & would be happy to return for more.

                                                        Now I am hungry.

                                                        We actually used to have more good places to choose from, hopefully someday well have new ones to fill the void.

                                                        Anybody else wish the Desert Inn still had Steak Anacapa (not sure of spelling)? Steak stuffed with crab, asparagus & whatever else that made it taste so good.

                                                        Please let them know if you do. I don’t eat there anymore but if that was back on the menu I’d be a regular.

                                                        Re: Le Chen, I agree overrated.

                                                        9 Replies
                                                        1. re: lovinight
                                                          k
                                                          KraigG Aug 14, 2008 04:29 PM

                                                          I've seen plenty of reviews of Japanese sushi restaurants. Even though I'm not Japanese, I did grow up there, and being new to the AV, would love to find a place up here that serves Japanese "comfort" food, i.e., Japanese curry, udon, yakisoba, etc.

                                                          Is there such a place up here?

                                                          1. re: KraigG
                                                            b
                                                            borax_lil Aug 22, 2008 01:37 PM

                                                            Uozumi has udon, sukiyaki, veggie croquettes, teriyaki and some other homestyle fare. My Japanese-American hubby loves their udon. I can't remember if they have yakisoba.
                                                            If you're craving curry, see if you can find a hawaiian bbq place. About two years ago, three or four opened up in the AV. The two we went to have since closed. Nothing like Curry House in L.A., and I make better curry at home, but both of those had J. curry on the menu.

                                                          2. re: lovinight
                                                            a
                                                            angs01 Nov 11, 2008 06:15 PM

                                                            sorry, keeps replying to wrong post

                                                            1. re: lovinight
                                                              a
                                                              angs01 Nov 11, 2008 06:35 PM

                                                              Tokyo Sushi is my second favorite in the AV. I love their salad and miso! People who think Big Tuna and Gold Fish are authentic Japanese/Sushi restaurants, they don't know what it's all about. I used to think they were good but as one of my Japanese friends said, "Those are like the Mc Donald's of sushi!"
                                                              You have to try Shogun on Q6 just off Sierra Hwy. and 10th St. East. It's a bit hard to find (looks like a house) and in a "not so good" part of town. Masa San (the owner and only chef) goes all the way down to Long Beach daily to pick his fresh fish. Trust me, once you eat the fresh stuff you'll never want anything else. We are so spoiled now every time we try a new place that people have told us was so great. Shogun is not cheap but it's worth every penny. Not only do we love his sashimi and sushi but his salad is addictive. My bf calls it "crack salad" 'cause once you try it, you're hooked! Most of the all you can eat sushi places are Korean owned but Shogun is 100% Japanese. Masa San and his wife, Mieko San are so warm and welcoming. I catch Masa watching customer's reaction to his food to make sure they are happy w/what he made. He's quite a perfectionist and takes so much pride in what he does. I always give him my nod of approval. His 2 long time waitresses are wonderful too. Their names are Judy and Matsuko San. I don't know exactly how he does it but his Chilean Sea Bass is UNBELIEVABLE! It's easy to drop $70 for 2 people there but he never serves week old frozen crap. The freshest in the AV!

                                                              1. re: angs01
                                                                Queen Bruin Dec 6, 2008 09:03 PM

                                                                I'll be trying this next. Uozumi is awesome, but I'm willing to try new things.

                                                                Sometimes a little too willing, as I went to Ginza tonight. That place needs a visit from Gordon Ramsay. Just terrible. Worse than the Blue Bayou at Disneyland, and that's saying something.

                                                                1. re: angs01
                                                                  e
                                                                  Elainie Dec 16, 2009 10:29 AM

                                                                  I know Big Tuna is cookie cutter, but in case AV peeps didn't know -- they have a 30%-off-all-orders special going on now through December 31st.

                                                                2. re: lovinight
                                                                  Queen Bruin Dec 6, 2008 09:04 PM

                                                                  I've seen that Chinese restaurant that you are describing and I keep wanting to try it. Invariably I am always disappointed in places with great decor and impressed with holes in the wall.

                                                                  1. re: lovinight
                                                                    j
                                                                    JThur01 Nov 3, 2009 10:11 AM

                                                                    The Chinese restaurant at Palmdale Blvd. & 10th St. West is PFC's Tea House, and it has to rank as one of the closer to authentic Chinese places in the AV. Menu items one doesn't find at other places in the AV. Good food, inexpensive and has been around for 50 years.

                                                                    Little Szechuan recently opened in downtown Lancaster (Lancaster & Elm) and it seems promising, but I'll have to make more visits.

                                                                    There's nothing here that will remotely make anyone forget the San Gabriel Valley, but these come closest.

                                                                    1. re: JThur01
                                                                      j
                                                                      JThur01 Jan 29, 2010 11:01 AM

                                                                      I've made a couple of visits to Little Szechuan, and it's disappointingly "Americanized" like everything else in the AV. Bad point: "Szechuan Chicken" had just a few peppers on it and a teriyaki sauce on it (!). Good point: the chicken itself was very good. The Mapo Tofu was well flavored, but very mild as well.

                                                                      I still rank PFC's Tea House as the best Chinese in the Antelope Valley. Again, it's not going to make anyone forget anything in the San Gabriel Valley, but beggers can't be choosers.

                                                                  2. m
                                                                    Mst917198 Dec 16, 2009 02:23 PM

                                                                    New poster here and so glad to see something about the AV on CH! I'm not a gourmand, but like good food and know what I like. After reading the postings on this thread, it's sad to know that some of the restaurants mentioned are no longer in business. Tina's Restorante was a great "special occasion" place, pricey but worth it for the quality and service. Barone's on Ave. I used to be really good, but sadly prices have gone up in recent years, while the quality went down.

                                                                    For Mexican I do agree with previous postings. Sammy's on Sierra Hwy is yummy when it's good, and not so much when it's an off day. Nico's has a great "inexpensive" buffet and never lets us down. It's good to know that you can always find the same great taste you remember.

                                                                    For Sushi, although I'm not a big sushi person, my friends that are, like the Big Tuna in Palmdale better than Lancaster. I'm going to guide them towards the places on this board to broaden their sushi horizens.

                                                                    The Chinese restaurant in Palmdale at 10th St. West (PFC's?) has been here forever! I think it was the first Chinese restaurant in the AV. They have decent, more authentic food that anyplace in the AV. The previous posting's remarks about the "decor" and "abmience" is spot on. It's nothing to look at, but the food is great!

                                                                    Katz and Jammer's on Beech for breakfasts is good and a fun place to go, but my favorite breakfast place is Judy's Cafe, on Sierra Highway between Ave. J & Ave. K (at the old scales and truck stop). I go there for the atmosphere almost as much as the food. Judy and Earl, the owners serve up good home cooking with a side of wit, humor, and even sarcasm. Judy has people that go to this place every day that have been going there for years. Regular customers that have moved out of state keep in touch with her. She remembers your orders, what you drink, and service couldn't be better. It's more like visiting family. What you want is what you get. They have eggbeaters for those watching what they eat, and S.O.S or biscuits and gravy for those that don't! It's a little hole in the wall with a patio attached for outdoor smokers and overflow. I also must say that on Fridays, Earl cooks the ABSOLUTE BEST fried shrimp that I've ever sunk my teeth into in the AV! He's also renowned for his Spagetti Sauce. They're only open until 2pm each day, but worth the trip to visit.

                                                                    1. l
                                                                      L8nsky Jan 9, 2010 02:18 PM

                                                                      For Thai I've been going to Thai Cafe(K and 10th w next to target)for at least 15 years,this place is the best thai have had,consistent and great service.Also they offer a great vegetarian menu try the tofu satay!

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: L8nsky
                                                                        m
                                                                        Mst917198 Jan 11, 2010 02:29 PM

                                                                        Agreed! Good service too and their soups are divine!

                                                                      2. b
                                                                        Bruce in SLO Jan 29, 2010 12:26 PM

                                                                        Great to see current postings on the AV. Now that we had a California BoaRD (EX SD)
                                                                        We can have a lot more discussion and reviews of areas outside of the big Cities.
                                                                        How about more Eastern Sierra coverage.

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