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Need suggestions for LA dining (mid-Wilshire/Koreatown)

We will be visitng a school that is on Olympic between Western and Olympic. Hoping to find a place for dinner within fifteen minutes drive from there. I would like something really delicous and not too expensive. It turns out it will be on my fortieth birthday; so I would really like it to be good. We really like ethnic foods but have some picky eaters that would request that if they were to eat meat to not have any "picky bits" and if if it was chicken to have a chicken breast. I know that this some times limits things. Does anyone have some suggestions?

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  1. It may not be fancy, but Papa Cristo's Greek Taverna on Pico near Normandie is delicious and can be festive (check the hours, though, I don't think they're open late every night--but have a family dinner on Thursday nights). For a safe choice, try the Liberty Grill downtown at Flower, just south of Olympic. They have a nice patio and a decent spin on American comfort food. If it were MY birthday, I'd want to visit Taylor's at 8th and Normandie--a classic steakhouse with a great bar and well-priced cuts of meat.

    2 Replies
    1. re: HungryGirl

      Wow, that sounds great. We will be in the area on a Thurdsay night and very early. Could you tell me more about the family dinner?
      Thank You!

      1. re: sparklegem

        I found the website for Papa Cristo's: http://www.papacristos.com/index1.html
        It sounds wonderful! I think that it might be too spendy for our group that night only because there will be two ten year olds and the cost is $18.95 for them, too. I will check with the other family but I think that it is out of the budget (unfortunately).

    2. Two places come to mind. There's the old standby El Cholo, mixed reviews on the board, been around for a long time, great margaritas and green corn tamales. On western just south of Olympic. A great Korean bbq, is Soot Bull Jeep on 8th street just east of Vermont. Good Korean bbq, inexpensive, about $21.00 have great beef, chicken, shrimp, plenty to choose from. But it is bbq and you come out smelling like charcoal. If you want something a little more upscale, go to Taylors on eighth and a block west of Normandie. Great steak dinners, complete dinner for about 30.00 but can be alot less. Have fish, chicken etc. Happy Birthday.

      7 Replies
      1. re: paprkutr

        Thank you, Paprkutr! I think that I will pass on El Cholo, I love good Mexican food, but Soot Bull Jeep sounds perfect. I have heard about so many good things about it but was not really sure where it was. I will also look into Taylor's. It might be a little out of our group's budget but I will investigate. Thank you for the birthday wishes.

        1. re: sparklegem

          Taylor's is out of our budget, but would fun to try another time.

          Any idea what the cost is at Soot Bull Jeep? Do they offer chicken breast or lean cuts of beef?

          1. re: sparklegem

            SBJ is $15 -20 for each plate of meat for the grill, as they are shared you may be able to order less items than you have people if everyone is not a big eater. They have chicken and beef (rib eye and shot {short} ribs).

            1. re: Mateo R

              If you like Korean food, ChoSun:

              or Manna:

              Cho Sun is fancier and more expensive, but there's more variety other than grilled meats. Manna is a very good value. It's "all you can eat", but strictly for meat lovers :)

              1. re: Mateo R

                I have to respectfully disagree with the SBJ recommendation. I really like the restaurant; it's very delicious and quite fun. But the OP's comments about picky eaters suggest it might not be the best place for the situation. Platters of raw meat can put such people off, I've found. The restaurant is also, frankly, kind of dirty and extremely smelly. Your clothes will reek of smoke and fat when you leave. "Picky eaters" are often sensitive to such matters too. Let me reiterate, though. In general, it's a great place.

                1. re: rupertmonkey

                  Good point, as much fun as it is to eat Korean BBQ, you do inevitably end up smelling like a piece of galbee youself afterwards, haha.

                  El Cholo is a good idea, or else, Luna Park is close to the area as well:

          2. re: paprkutr

            Soot Bull Jeep is lots of fun but only if your picky eaters will be okay with lots of raw meat as well as obviously fatty cuts. Also, the hygenie is not first rate.

          3. I'm not sure exactly which direction from Western on Olympic you are talking about, but Guelaguetza is just a few blocks east of Western on Olympic. The food is delicious and not too expensive, and you can even get chicken breasts. Here is a link to the menu (it says Palms, but I think the menu is pretty much the same for all branches): http://www.zagat.com/verticals/Menu.a...

            1. guelaguetza on olympic is a great idea.

              i think koreanized chinese would work well, too. the 10 year olds should like jjajangmyun or tangsooyook. for instance,

              Shin Peking
              3101 W Olympic Blvd
              Los Angeles, CA 90006

              happy 40th.

              1. Park's Barbecue on Vermont (just north of Olympic) has great korean barbecue in a pretty "clean" setting. Good quality meats.

                And of course, there's always Opus :)

                1. hmmm i don't recommend SBC-very dirty and just not a great b-day place...
                  if you're gonna have korean bbq, either park's grill on vermont bet olympic and 8th, it's really crowded so you might have to call in for reservations, it's usually an hour wait.. any time of day... but omg.... so delish.
                  korean-chinese - i don't recommend the place on olympic.
                  last time i went there... the food was just really burnt, and old.
                  if you'd like, there is another one right across from park's grill on vermont bet olympic and 8th called... i believe dragon?? not sure...the translation in korean = yong gung

                  hmm if you'd like high quality meat and you're really picky w. your food.
                  i'd have to say you do have to pay the price.
                  many korean bbq places do serve great deals of all you can eat... but do you really want to eat all you can eat of that meat??? no offense....

                  hmmm... i'd say by far check out park's grill... it's a small restaurant but super good w. the meat quality.. yummmm.... now i'm hungry!

                  1. Thank you all for the suggestions and birthday wishes. I guess I am still looking; it doesn't seem like any of the suggested restaurants will quite fit our bill.

                    1. No question to fit your needs: Opus. There's something on the menu for everyone; great food and extremely well priced for what you get. Good wine list if you are willing to hunt a little bit. Chef puts his heart and soul in to it.......

                      1. I agree with Opus and Park's Grill. There's also Seoul Garden on Olympic, b/w Hoover & Alvarado (I think). The place is best known for the Korean-style version of shabu shabu, Genghis-khan. In Korean, its pronounced as Jjing-ggi skan (not sure how to spell it). At dinner it's about $19.99 per person but I highly recommend you order 1 less than the number of people in your group b/c not only do you get the Genghis-khan, but it also comes with u-don noodles and then the best part - jjook, which is somewhat akin to risotto. I also recommend the ros gui (a type of Korean bbq - it's not marinated) because afterwards, they make fried rice on the grill. YUMMY.