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Chowhound (un-touristy) Recs for L.A.

I'm spending Easter week in L.A. I've been away for 20 years and too many things have changed.
I'm staying in Pasadena but will do Santa Monica, the Getty, the garment district, Highland Center, Disney Concert hall and a bunch of other tourist stuff.
My "have to's" are Maison Akira and my old hangout, Shiro's. I will get a great green chile burrito at El Arco Iris on York Blvd. And hit one of the Oaxacan places.
I'd like recs for a GREAT Chinese place...Alhambra, Monterrey Park, etc, preferably spicy or with great sea food.
Also lunch recs for downtown LA and Santa Monica and any favorites in Glendale, Echo Park, Sierra Madre, Altadena areas for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Sorry to be so general but I'll welcome any suggestions instead of reading thru all the past posts. AND..I'll report back.
Thanks.
Also, if anyone remembers, please help me out. There was a place downtown by the produce district that used to serve great breakfasts and wonderful homemade pies. I can't remember the name of it.

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  1. you should definitely go to Orris, chef Shiro's newer restaurant, on Sawtelle

    1. The downtown place in the produce district was Vickman's. I agree, great breakfests, but sadly it's long gone.

      1. It's getting hot in L.A. - I suggest a trip to Fosselman's (Alhambra) or Scoops (712 N. Heliotrope, not sure which neighborhood it is but near the Vermont & Normandie exits off 101) for great ice creams!

        If you're going to eat with a group - you should also check out Lu Din gee in San Gabriel for their Peking duck (call at least an hour ahead to reserve). http://www.pearlcatering.com

        ~H.C.
        http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

        1. For a nice rundown of good options in SGV for Chinese (and others), check out this site from one of our 'hounds: http://www.geocities.com/raytamsgv/

          For high-end dining in downtown LA, try Water Grill or Patina (in the Disney Concert Hall complex).

          1. Thanks to all of you. Special thanks, Sel, for recalling Vickman's. I know it's gone, I remember when Joe died but I couldn't think of the name.
            If I get a chance I'll have a world famous Langer's pastrami. It's been my favorite since I was pregnant in 1959 and used to crave them! Whoa.
            Thanks also for the links, I'll check them all out.