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Mar 10, 2007 10:44 AM

Neighborhood Joints

This question isn't to find the "spot". really, i just want to ask if there is a small place in your neighborhood that you enjoy going to. not the most popular, maybe not even the best food--but its got the neighborhood vibe and you keep going back?

for me it is this little corner restaurant on Figueroa and Ave 37 in Highland Park called La Abeja. it's not the snazziest diner, the hours are modest, just breakfast and lunch, but the waiter is attentive and generous with coffee, the food is made to order, the food is always solid---their carne en mole rojo is just fantastic, they run out of their specialty friday soups by lunchtime, the prices are always really so refreshing, and best of all, just a walk across the street from my home.

do you have a neighborhood joint you love that isn't overrun by crowds and zagat postings?

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  1. The Reyn coffee shop on North Lake in Pasadena has the jokey waitress, the old guys flirting with her, decent coffee and pleasant breakfast skillets and sandwiches. Breakfast and lunch only, cash only, but the grub's OK and cheap.

    For an evening hangout we still love Amigo's at Colorado and Wilson, despite the food's being just tolerable (and some on this Board don't think it's even that). Comfy booths, friendly service, good margaritas and a killer jukebox. For just the two of us, or for meeting friends and/or neighbors for anything from party planning to gossip-fests, we love it.

    1. Rutt's Cafe on Washington Blvd. in Culver City. Hawaiian / Japanese food with a great neighborhood vibe and really friendly down-to-earth service. The interesting thing about Rutt's is that they offer just about ever dish in 3 sizes, Regular - Queen and King, so differences in appetites are addressed and you can save money. My wife and our son went the other night for dinner and the tab was $28.75 + tip for the three of us, (and no one left hungry)

      1. Our neighborhood is one of the big restaurant hotspots in LA -- we are within immediate walking distance of Hatfield's, BLD, Angelini Osteria, Grace, Cobras & Matadors, etc.
        We treat these restaurants like our neighborhood go-tos, but it's not always practical to do so. With the popularity of this area in full bloom, we would love to find some good neighborhood spots (in other words, not Buddha's Belly, which is vile) that are not super pricey or overrun with people. Walking distance would be great, too. Any suggestions?

        6 Replies
        1. re: hungrygirl106

          Dou you ever go to Fiddler's Bistro? What do you think? I used to go for lunch fairly often and always found it pretty good, but haven't been in a while.

          1. re: hungrygirl106

            I really like Chao Krung on Fairfax, just around the corner from Beverly. Always good, never seems to be too crowded when we go. Addictive green curry. Also, we spend a lot of time at the Banana Leaf at the Farmer's Market. I know it doesn't quite fill the bill as far as being crowded, but I love it for the curry (again) and roti paratha.

            Atch-Kotch on Vine and Fountain. Mmmmm...delicious ramen and udon!

            1. re: hungrygirl106

              Living in this neck of the woods kind of spoils you in terms of what your "neighborhood" joints are. Have you tried Doughboy's yet?

              1. re: SauceSupreme

                Have not yet tried Doughboys. I'm trying to eat healthfully these days, so I'm sticking with M Chaya, sushi (tried Izaka-ya last night -- great!), and Soot Bull Jeep these days.

                1. re: hungrygirl106

                  Izakaya is on my radar, too. How was it?

                  And did you get the marinated shrimp at Soot Bull Jeep?

                  1. re: SauceSupreme

                    Izakaya was terrific; perhaps I'll post on it later, when I have more time. As for the marinated shrimp at Soot Bull, that is one of my go-tos -- especially when I'm trying to watch my diet. Grilled shrimp and some kimchee, and I don't even feel like I'm being "good." :)

            2. Won Won Kitchen (Temple City)

              The Sushi (Temple City)

              Dai Ho (Temple City)

              Sin Ba La (Arcadia)

              Tony's Pizza (San Marino)

              Dumpling House (Temple City)

              Connal's (Pasadena)

              Wolfe Burgers (Pasadena)

              Gerlach's Grill (Pasadena)

              1. Well, we used to have Frank's at the corner of Oxnard and Vineland, but they closed it down and the building's sitting there, sad, empty and occasionally graffiti-tagged ever since. Since Sitton's NoHo Diner decided to go a tad more upscale (in keeping with the whole "Arts District" thing) it's no longer the fun "watch the trannies come in loaded at 2am" place it used to be. I guess the closest place we got these days is Kerry's Grill (formerly Pat's Grill) at Riverside and Laurel. Kerry's a hoot, slings a mean patty melt and keeps the breaded mushrooms around for us even though they're not officially on the menu anymore.