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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.
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


        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.

            1. You didn't ask for this, but if you get a chance, you should definately try Babita's in SGV - uniquely wonderful Mexican cuisine.

              1. Try Tiara Cafe for lunch in the Fashion district in downtown.

                1. If you're staying in Pasadena, you should try out a place called Zankou Chicken(I really love this place). It's really tasty Armenian/Lebanese food, and it's always very tasty!

                  They have tarna(chicken shawerma), beef shawerma, falafel, rotisserie chicken, various sandwiches, and hummus. All of the meals(and sandwiches) come with a side of pickled turnips. Also they have a garlic paste that is seriously delicious and addictive(I don't care if I reek for days afterwards...it's worth it!) :)

                  The Pasadena location is along Colorado Blvd. (Heading towards the community college I believe)

                  1. If you're going to be near the downtown flower market (not far from the fashion district, I think), there's a little place worthy of coffee and maybe a breakfast croissant across the street from the main flower market - I don't know the name

                    Also ran across this on Angelique Cafe:

                    And this description of the garment district's venues notes some restaurants:

                    1. The Getty has a restaurant with a gorgeous view of the city below.

                      In Glendale, try dropping by Porto's. They have excellent pastries and Cuban sandwiches.

                      In Santa Monica, try a light lunch at Acadie Crepes, or some Mexican at Border Grill.

                      In downtown LA, I'd head to Little Tokyo, where you can find great sushi deals. Sushi Go 55 is one of my favorites; you can also get some frozen yogurt, or better yet -- mochi ice cream in the plaza market, Mikawaya!

                      There's a small cafe called Elf Cafe in Echo Park that many have been raving about.

                      Since you're staying in Pasadena, you might also want to consider Marston's for breakfast: http://www.marstonsrestaurant.com/

                      Welcome and have a great Easter in LA!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chica

                        The Restaurant at the Getty does food well, the portions are nice, the service is very good, and the view is pretty hard to beat on a clear day...

                      2. Clementine or Amandine for brunch/lunch if you head towards Santa Monica.

                        For a nice meal, I'd rec Providence

                        Again in Santa Monica, Blue Plate is good, esp if you want to maybe see Patrick Dempsey (I did this weekend). I like Babalu, Cafe Montana, and 17th St. Cafe on Montana as well.

                        1. I would suggest Brigante in South Pasadena, really good Italian, Sierra Madre (my home town) really doesnt have anything really special, although I eat breakfast at corfu and am happy with their omelets also only place in town has a decent breakfast if you order the hash browns extra crispy, if the weather is nice you can sit outside and enjoy the little downtown. Also Lucky Baldwins opened in Sierra Madre they are offering an English Breakfast and have good fish and chips for lunch. Wysteria Festival is 3/25, that is always fun too.

                          1. if you are going to the garment district I think you may like the food court on Santee street not Santee alley. it is on Santee street between 9th and 10th directly parallel to i think the west of Michael Levine ((which is on Maple street) it is pretty awesome not fancy as it caters to the workers (no chains here) there is Indian food (that my British friends swears is better than the Indian in England) Japanese that is suprisingly good. Vietnamese pho that is way better than Pho in Silverlake plus Armenian and I think hawaiian that I have not tried , all very inexpensive. unfortunetaly , the area with all the clothes and hand bags and is very overwhelming and can make you have severe sensory overload but it is a lot of fun is you stay focused. or there is grand central market with some pretty intersting Mexican food last time I wast here we had some fried tiny fish with chiles that were really good.