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If you had to pick one neighborhood in LA to live in for best dining options, where would it be?

t
TailbackU May 18, 2007 03:25 PM

Los Feliz/Silverlake
Beverly Hills
Sunset Strip
Beverly (Farmer's Market area)
Westwood
Culver City
Hollywood
etc.....

I live in Los Feliz and I guess I'm pretty fortunate to live in an area where there's a good mix of cheap casual dining and more fancy sit down places (although, no shi shi places, which is a good thing). Some of my favorite places to eat in my area are Alcove, Fred 62, il capriccio, Palermos (only for pizza), Yuca's, Gingergrass, Blairs, Rustic Inn (for the wings).

  1. Emme May 18, 2007 03:29 PM

    West Hollywood or BH Adj (3rd/Bev area up by Doheny or farther east near Cedars)

    20 Replies
    1. re: Emme
      m
      mc michael May 18, 2007 04:08 PM

      On an unlimited budget, it's WeHo/BH, no question. Otherwise, it's hard to argue with SGV or just J Town/Arts District.

      1. re: mc michael
        tony michaels May 18, 2007 04:17 PM

        WeHo / B Hills is good from another perspective, it's placed in the middle between going to the westside (Santa Monica / West LA / Venice) and the mid-Wilshire, Silverlake, Los Feliz and even downtown / East LA areas. If it weren't for the summers and the heat and smog away from the beach it would be my choice.

        1. re: tony michaels
          b
          bulavinaka May 18, 2007 06:16 PM

          I'm breathing the cool clean air with you... To leave the Westside to eat is a chore in my mind, no matter what it is or how good it is... maybe I'm a sloth in that sense. If I have a reason to visit another part of town, then I can happily include a visit to an eatery. Otherwise, I'll just keep slummin' it west of LaCienega...

          1. re: bulavinaka
            b
            Burger Boy May 19, 2007 06:16 AM

            I have a friend on the west side and we got into it about east side, west side eating, and he grew up in Los Feliz. I said okay, what do you consider the east side, to me, La Cienega is the divider. His answer, everything east of Lincoln! Spoken like a true west sider.....LOL

            1. re: Burger Boy
              b
              bulavinaka May 19, 2007 07:13 AM

              I know coastal folks who live the life of Samwise Gamjee in Lord of the Rings. Like Sam living in the town of Bag End, they're content with where they are. Crossing Lincoln is like Sam taking that first step with Frodo beyond the fields that he never stepped beyond before. You'd think there were Ringwraithes waiting for them in spooky enclaves of Mar Vista and West LA...

              As good as some of the food is West of Lincoln, you can only go to places like Chaya, Chinois, Jiraffe, Joe's and Josie so many times before the average credit card begins to tire. Throw in one visit to Valentino and you're into credit counseling...

              1. re: bulavinaka
                h
                Hapafish Jun 7, 2007 07:20 PM

                LOL! This is so true! I hear way too often from Westsiders that there simply is no reason to venture west of Sepulveda. They really are agoraphobic in some sense. Too bad they are missing out on some great restaurants!

              2. re: Burger Boy
                c
                Cinnamon May 19, 2007 04:36 PM

                The coastal side of any highway named "1" is generally good, in North America.

                1. re: Burger Boy
                  n
                  navystreet May 20, 2007 12:03 PM

                  Your friend is AWOL - Always West of Lincoln.

                  1. re: Burger Boy
                    j
                    JeetJet May 21, 2007 10:07 AM

                    When driving on Melrose I notice that something happens once I cross La Brea and every few blocks I go West I get deeper and deeper. Many post discuss traffic as a barrier blocking egress and regress from the Westside. Therefore, Perhaps traffic problems is the criteria to draw the borders, and the area West of the 405 may as well be mapped as the first island in the pacific ocean. But I believe “LA is a great big freeway”which makes it a great big chow neighborhood. Therefore, IMO any traffic-locked area cannot have the best LA dining options. I stick with Diamond Bar as having the best options because it has the best freeway access to the entire Los Angeles Area Board.

                    1. re: JeetJet
                      Das Ubergeek May 21, 2007 10:31 AM

                      I think maybe you're more willing to drive than many of us, JeetJet... there are days when I'm totally down with driving from the 714 to Vito's, and there are days when I settle for mediocre Thai because I can't even hack the drive to Thai Nakorn, which is all of like 10-15 minutes away.

                      I'll give you that Diamond Bar is convenient if you're willing to drive a lot (though I'd still give the crown to somewhere in the SGV or maybe Norwalk) but for those days when you just can't hack the commute, man, Diamond Bar seems like a desert.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek
                        j
                        JeetJet May 21, 2007 11:07 AM

                        I agree with Norwalk. Norwalk (and Downey) may have the best access to the great big chow neighborhood of LA (the great big Freeway) because using Norwalk as a starting point you can actually drive against traffic in any direction on the 605, 105, 91, and the 5, to have access to food. Also, the 60 and 405 are not far away. Ya, at dinner time Diamond Bar would be traffic-locked and from Norwalk there is a better chance to headout at least in some directions. Good point!

                      2. re: JeetJet
                        m
                        martasiete May 21, 2007 02:18 PM

                        Freway access = good restaurants? I missed math class that day. This thread is becoming circular, like all Champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne...

                        Every town has access. The question is, what happens once you're on it/in it AND is the dining destination worth it. Traffic-locked areas can't or shouldn't be excluded from having a 'best dining option' merely because they're traffic-locked. That line of reason would exclude those areas as an option to people who, 1) don't care, 2) don't have to deal with the traffic issue. As we have seen, many can walk or do an in-town shuttle or some other thing - it's all relative. What I've taken from this thread is that every town/district/city in L.A. county (even ones I would not have considered before i.e. anyplace east of the 60 and 605 fwys), has a gem or two or three - worth, yes, L.A. traffic.

                        Personally, I've been willing to deal with Customs officials to get to a good meal;talk about traffic-locked, but man was it worth it. If traffic is the criteria, I'll be having a less than 'my ideal' dining experience a greater part of the year, relegating dining to 'special occasions.'

                        1. re: martasiete
                          j
                          JeetJet May 21, 2007 03:44 PM

                          Not sure what you mean about the math thing but I really respect you for your comment about your willing to deal with Customs officials to get to a good meal. That is the crux of it. Whether people are willing to travel for a donut or a pizza or.... I read someplace on Chowhound that for lunch a choundhound will drive to one end of the city for soup and to other end of the city for that special dessert. I have been watching the Boston Board to see if Boston Speeds sets up his hot dog truck again this summer. If he does I just might jump a jet because if he has not already retired this year he will soon and then that chance is gone forever. But the bottom line, IMO, is that LA is a great big freeway and the BEST place for access (not simply access) to the great food of LA/OC is an area that allows you the best Freeway access in each direction and Downey / Norwalk is sounding even better now that I realize it is in the middle of the LAX, John Wayne, and Ontario Airport triangle.

                        2. re: JeetJet
                          h
                          Hapafish Jun 7, 2007 07:51 PM

                          I grew up in Diamond Bar and I am tickled that it is getting props on CH!! Having recently been told that I'm not really from L.A. this makes me smile. Thanks for the mention JeetJet and Das Ubergeek!

                      3. re: bulavinaka
                        m
                        miffy May 20, 2007 08:25 PM

                        I agree-- as much as I want to visit Alhambra, I have never been to the area- after oh gosh so many years of being in WLA/Santa Monica- I always want to but never did for 10+ years

                        1. re: miffy
                          b
                          bulavinaka May 20, 2007 09:44 PM

                          Do yourself a favor and make the effort. If you truly enjoy food, it's worth the trip out to SGV at least once in a while. We make it outside of the Westside often, but it's usually for things relating to our kids. We just add on a food place or two to try that's in the general area of our destination - this allows us less guilt about increasing our carbon footprint. As a rule, that's how we set up our eating outings. But once in a while, maybe once every month or two, we head out specifically to eat somewhere outside of the Westside, and it's usually SGV.

                          1. re: miffy
                            Das Ubergeek May 21, 2007 10:32 AM

                            Oh man... you should see what you're missing. Go at a time when traffic is lighter (most evenings after 7 PM is better, though not Friday, obviously) and just... drive around Valley Blvd and Garvey Ave. and explore. It's the culinary wonderland bar none of the LA area.

                            1. re: miffy
                              m
                              mc michael May 21, 2007 10:45 AM

                              You need to get over your agoraphobia and live a little. Take a drive on the wild side.

                              1. re: mc michael
                                SauceSupreme May 21, 2007 12:49 PM

                                The furthest west I'd go for food is Calabasas. I'll keep my Agoura-phobia, thank you very much. :D

                                Actually, that's not true. Brent's. Char Fasl. Crown and Anchor. Mastro's in a pinch, I suppose.

                                1. re: SauceSupreme
                                  b
                                  bulavinaka May 21, 2007 01:08 PM

                                  Man, you SINKs know how to live... not that I'd trade places... but it's nice to live vicariously through folks like you...

                    2. d
                      danikm May 18, 2007 03:32 PM

                      My Neighborhood! (Between the farmer's market and the Beverly Center, off third). Places within walking distance include some high end places (AOC, sona, ortolan, hatfields, grace, hirozen), lots of yummy cafes (doughboys, bld, kings road, breadbar), some places that are super popular despite having so-so food (toast, newsroom cafe, cobras & matadors), and the farmers market, of course. There's also yummy ethiopian food right there and some good take out places.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: danikm
                        t
                        TailbackU May 18, 2007 03:36 PM

                        yes, that area would be tops on my list of places. Not a fan of AOC at all, but love Doughboys, Angelini, and C&M. Also been meaning to try Hatfields.

                        1. re: danikm
                          Ndelible May 18, 2007 06:23 PM

                          That's my old neighborhood and I miss it terribly. Luckily now I work nearby so I can still feel like everything is close. Don't forget that Beverly is nearby as well as Melrose. It's close to almost everything.

                          1. re: danikm
                            aching May 20, 2007 08:18 PM

                            I love that neighborhood! That's where I would choose to live if food were the only consideration...All those great restaurants, and Whole Foods too!

                          2. m
                            mojoeater May 18, 2007 03:34 PM

                            I love Silverlake. Blair's, the bar at Edendale, Pho Cafe, Yuca's, Gingergrass...then Alcove, Home & Cliff's Edge for the patios (not as much the food)...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: mojoeater
                              m
                              mojoeater May 18, 2007 04:12 PM

                              I should add that I work near the Farmer's Market, so have access to that lovely food area duing the weekday.

                              1. re: mojoeater
                                PseudoNerd May 19, 2007 12:06 AM

                                I can't stand Silver Lake for the exact same reasons (although I do like the Alcove's patio)! I feel bad throwing about so much money away at mediocre places.

                                The only places that are good in the area are Saito's and Canele...

                              2. sku May 18, 2007 03:36 PM

                                I'm a Koreatown denizen and I think there is a pretty strong argument for K-Town: Korean BBQs, soontofu, noodles, bibimbop; pupuserias, Guelaguetza, Papa Christos...if you include East Hollywood, you get Armenian and Thai.

                                Culver City certainly has a lot going for it as well.

                                www.recenteats.blogspot.com

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: sku
                                  David Kahn May 18, 2007 04:56 PM

                                  I think I'm with you sku. Plus, K-town is centrally located, so downtown, West Hollywood, Highland Park, East LA, Mid-Wilshire, Farmer's Market, Beverly/Melrose/3rd, and even the SGV, and BH are all within easy striking distance. Hancock Park works for all of the same reasons.

                                  1. re: David Kahn
                                    PseudoNerd May 19, 2007 12:07 AM

                                    agreed!

                                2. t
                                  tnilsson May 18, 2007 03:36 PM

                                  West Hollywood. I don't think you can beat its variety (or number) of restaurants. And since it is on the border of Beverly Hills and Hollywood proper, you are very close to many other dining options too.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: tnilsson
                                    o
                                    Obessed May 18, 2007 03:47 PM

                                    I ditto West Hollywood. I'm happy to say I live in West Hollywood too.

                                    1. re: tnilsson
                                      j
                                      JudiAU May 18, 2007 03:53 PM

                                      West Hollywood is good and where I currently live but I still think there is a slight edge to being farther south. My old neighborhood of the Fairfax district was perfect because everything was just a little bit closer. BH/Weho/KoreaTown/Fairfax/Ethiopian/Hollywood...plus good shopping for vittles. Only Chinese required effort...

                                    2. l
                                      letynjery May 18, 2007 03:36 PM

                                      Yeah if you have a scooter or a horse to tie up while dining. Have you tried to park in those areas, OMG!! You have to venture out kiddo. Try SPAGI's in Upland, Rosa's in Ontario across from the Ontario DoubleTree and Rancho Cucamonga has many fab places that are not chain restaurants. Even Chino shopping plaza has Johnny Corrino's. Try to drive over the hill and you'll be in for a surprise!! Anyone out there agree?

                                      20 Replies
                                      1. re: letynjery
                                        j
                                        JBC May 18, 2007 03:50 PM

                                        No Agree. I can walk (*) to over 80 restaurants, so parking is "not' an issue.

                                        (*) And have.

                                        1. re: JBC
                                          h
                                          hazelnutty May 20, 2007 07:06 PM

                                          My location is really central but I can't think of 80 restaurants within walking range...
                                          Curious where do you live? I suppose I could come up with 80 but I would only eat at a few. Still though do tell, location???

                                          1. re: hazelnutty
                                            j
                                            JBC May 21, 2007 01:44 PM

                                            Location - Westwood = UCLA south to Wilshire, then south along Westwood Blvd. to Santa Monica Blvd. I got the number over 80 from Menupages:

                                            http://losangeles.menupages.com/resta...

                                            Starting at the Intersection of Wilshire & Westwood Blvd. I believe I can walk to any of those restaurants listed in about 15 minutes or less with Sunnin (*) farthest south & anything in Westwood Village (north). The lone exception would be Rubio's in Ackerman (spelling) Hall in UCLA, which would probably take longer. One might argue that Rubio's or In-n-Out don't qualify as a "restaurant" since they're fast food chains, have questionable food quality throught their menu, and they don't have any waiters. But that's another discussion......

                                            But your right, I no longer eat at many of them anymore, but have eaten over the years in just about every one.

                                            (*) I've walked the 6 to 7 blocks to Sunnin from there, but honestly haven't timed it. It could easily take longer...?

                                            1. re: JBC
                                              j
                                              JBC May 29, 2007 08:25 AM

                                              To be filed in the Not Very Important Folder - but out of curiosity, I timed the walk (briskly done but no running or troting) to Sunnin from the South West corner of Wilshire & Westwood at 10 minutes and 45 seconds - having to stop at only 1 red light along the way. So if a 15 minute walk time is a benchmark for in one neighborhood, than there's over 100 hundred I could walk from that starting point since MenuPages as a source guide does not list them all....

                                              1. re: JBC
                                                SauceSupreme May 30, 2007 09:12 AM

                                                Would you eat at all 100 of them? Best dining options probably should be a mix of quantity and quality, n'est-ce pas?

                                                1. re: SauceSupreme
                                                  j
                                                  JBC May 31, 2007 10:00 AM

                                                  No - I would eliminate:

                                                  UN-appealing Chains - Burger King, Olive Garden, Chili's, Papa John's ....
                                                  Never Gonig Back to(s) - Jerry's Deli, Noodle Planet....
                                                  Refuse to ever try - Old World Cafe, For Tuna...
                                                  Dessert Spots (they don't count) - Diddy Reese, Pinkberry, Hagen Dazs...

                                                  That would leave 64 in all price categories including basic, and very basic, hole-in-the-walls that qualify under food-for-value (i.e., Bella Pita).

                                        2. re: letynjery
                                          t
                                          TailbackU May 18, 2007 03:52 PM

                                          sorry, but 1. Upland/Ontario/Rancho is not LA. 2. you couldn't pay me to live out there.

                                          Tough parking is just part of living in the city. But like JBC said, I can walk to many of the restaurants that I listed, so it's not a huge deal.

                                          1. re: letynjery
                                            Das Ubergeek May 18, 2007 05:00 PM

                                            Johnny Carino's is a chain, and a mediocre one at that. I wouldn't live in the 909 for free... the smog, the weather and the impossible drive to anywhere more interesting just kill it for me.

                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                              m
                                              mc michael May 18, 2007 05:19 PM

                                              I think it's about the real estate and the schools.

                                              1. re: mc michael
                                                Das Ubergeek May 18, 2007 05:22 PM

                                                That seems right... it isn't for the restaurants, that's for certain.

                                              2. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                j
                                                JeetJet May 19, 2007 06:40 AM

                                                Johnny Carino's is not mediocre. It’s Great. More specifically, the one off the 71 in Chino Hills is outstanding. Moreover, the best waiter I have had (Albert) has been our server twice there and has made our dinner even more enjoyable because of his attention to every detail. Really, Upland /Ontario / Rancho is not LA? That statement reminds me of that New Yourker mag., map that shows Mamhattan as the Whole county and L.A. is just a little rock out west. "You have to venture out kiddo" sums it up. West L.A. is not "L.A." but only a part -- a small part at that. However, the OP did not imply that West L.A. was an exhustive list of L.A. but asked where would your neighborhood for best dining options be? Finally, Diamond Bar is in the 909 and there is no place better situated in L.A. to drive north, south, east and west for food. Look at the map and think LA city from the 60 and the 10, SGV from the 10, 60 and 210, Pasadena from the 210, OC from the 57 and 71, Upland / Ontario / Rancho from the 210, 10 and 60. With good traffic from Diamond Bar you could be at almost 90 precent of the places discussed on the "Los Angeles Area" Board within 40 min.--- OMG!

                                                Johnny Carino's
                                                3801 Grand Ave.
                                                Chino, CA 91710
                                                (909) 902-1800

                                                1. re: JeetJet
                                                  r
                                                  running pig May 19, 2007 07:21 AM

                                                  Jeet, while you are absolutely entitled to your opinion, I have to wonder if you are teasing us? I have never been to this particular location but have been to 2 others and found them worse than the Olive Garden. Even the 2 kiddos with me who usually love "anything pasta" thought Carinos was "OK, not worth going back for". Of course, in Chino Hills you don't have all that many options....

                                                  1. re: JeetJet
                                                    m
                                                    martasiete May 19, 2007 10:23 AM

                                                    With good traffic you could be anywhere. Who wants to plan an outing on a crap shoot. Chino Hills is outstanding for what it is - a quiet community (the sunsets are almost as comforting as Santa Barbara County - if you've ever been in SB county dusk to sunset, you know what I mean), but it is NOT L.A.. Come on now. It's L.A. County and no one said L.A. is the End All, Be All. Though I've never been there myself, I've heard a lot of excellent stuff about Johnny Carino's (on Grand) from people I respect when it comes to food and dining experiences. But that's about as good as it gets, unless you do the chain restaurant thing, or head out. The people I know who live there dine outside of Chino Hills and neighboring areas for the good stuff. If you close your eyes real tight, tap your heels three times, and have a taste for adventure, you can be anywhere you want to be - traffic be damned.

                                                    1. re: martasiete
                                                      r
                                                      running pig May 19, 2007 12:08 PM

                                                      Fair enough. But maybe you can advise me as to what I should order if I ever end up in Carinos again...because I was really disinterested in what I have tasted on previous trips. THANKS.

                                                      1. re: running pig
                                                        j
                                                        JeetJet May 19, 2007 01:14 PM

                                                        We have enjoyed every dinner on each visit to Johnny Carino's. My family has only been to the Temecula location (3 times) and the Chino Hills location (2 times). We all liked the Chino Hills location best. From the moment we entered until the time we left we were treated like we were special. Each time we have gone we were in a group of five. Of the five dinners that we had at Chino Hills I would say the Spicy Shrimp and Chicken and the Skilletini were best – both are spicy meals. We have not been to the Chino Hills location since last Summer (time to go back). I want to add that during one dinner our waiter (Albert) was serving half the tables in the place because two other servers, who were supposed to begin their shift, were not there. We were warned up-front that service may be slow unless we wish to eat someplace else or wait 30 minutes until replacements show-up. We agreed to be seated ASAP and Albert ran our table as if we were his only customers. We were driving back toward SGV from Temecula and were hungry the first time we ate at Chino Hills. That dinner was so good we went back a second time several weeks later. Although the food is enough reason for us to return to this location I do hope Albert is still there because it is so nice to see this guy run the tables – personality and work ethic! It is also fun to watch the women in this place ACT like they don’t notice him walk by.

                                                        I always order the Spicy Shrimp and Chicken (Shrimp, grilled chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, green onions and fresh mushrooms in a cayenne pepper sauce over penne pasta)

                                                        My son orders Skilletini (the Combo w/ shrimp, chicken and sausage w/ marinated onions and green bell peppers in a spicy marinara sauce served over spaghetti – kind of like Jambalaya but with pasta).

                                                        My wife always orders the Homemade Baked Lasagna

                                                        My daughter-in-law had the Chicken Marsala twice and loved it.

                                                        My little girl always gets Chicken Fettuccine which is – Chicken Fettuccine.

                                                        Johnny Carino's
                                                        3801 Grand Ave.
                                                        Chino, CA 91710
                                                        (909) 902-1800

                                                        1. re: JeetJet
                                                          katkoupai May 19, 2007 01:28 PM

                                                          Great write up, JeetJet. I've heard of this place. Is there a location in Rancho Cucamonga? I think a friend of mine mentioned that she and her family enjoyed their food. I have never tried it, but I will.

                                                          Interestingly, I thought this was a small chain, but it looks like it's all over the US! Check out the map of locations:

                                                          http://www.carinos.com/location/searc...

                                                          1. re: katkoupai
                                                            j
                                                            JeetJet May 19, 2007 01:43 PM

                                                            Ya, The locator on there cite list many nearby when you type in a zip. However, my rec is for Chino Hills out of the two I have been to. My son and I are partial to the spicy meals. It seems to me that the spicy meals are the ones that this group does best.

                                                            I will add. I really do not eat at any chain unless I hear something good about a particular location.

                                                            http://www.carinos.com/location/searc...

                                                            12240 Foothill Blvd.
                                                            Rancho Cucamonga, CA
                                                            (909) 646-9985

                                                            1. re: JeetJet
                                                              Das Ubergeek May 19, 2007 02:56 PM

                                                              I've never been to Johnny Carino's in California but in Tennessee they're absolutely just horrendous, like Olive Garden but without the soup-salad-breadsticks that makes OG not a suicide-before-dining destination.

                                                              There's a Carino's Grill opening in Orange, I assume it's related, but I'm hesitating to check it out based on my Johnny Carino's experiences.

                                                              Chino Hills is San Bernardino County, by the way, not LA County. Not that it REALLY matters, because Chino Hills is in many ways more a part of LA than, say, Lancaster.

                                                              You're absolutely entitled to your opinion, JeetJet, and if you like Johnny Carino's then I'm glad you have a dining option in Chino Hills that works for you. And while technically you can be anywhere from Downtown to Mo Valley in 40 minutes from Diamond Bar, at your typical weeknight dinner time your options within 40 minutes are much, much more limited. Technically in 40 minutes from Anaheim (which, while it has many good dining options, is not in the running for Best Chow Neighbourhood in LA) I could be anywhere from Oceanside to Burbank to Temecula, more typically traffic doesn't allow that.

                                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                m
                                                                miffy May 20, 2007 08:40 PM

                                                                but all these places are not a 10 minute drive from WLA or BH or WeHo or SM... didn't the line ended at about Silver Lake for the search?

                                                2. re: letynjery
                                                  c
                                                  coreyander May 21, 2007 09:51 PM

                                                  I disagree. I lived in the Pomona Valley for several years and now live in LA. Parking isn't always that bad and there are lots of neighborhoods with good restaurants within walking distance. For most people living in LA, "Venturing out" would be a much bigger inconvenience than finding parking. Upland, for example, is at least 35 minutes from my place in LA -- and I'm a fast driver. While I can't help but chuckle at the folks above who won't go east of Lincoln, it is equally ridiculous to suggest that driving to the other side of the county (or into San Bernardino county) is better than taking a few minutes to find parking.

                                                3. Cicely May 18, 2007 04:08 PM

                                                  I long to live in the San Gabriel Valley, but this obviously wouldn't work if you didn't love Chinese food.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Cicely
                                                    ipsedixit May 18, 2007 04:14 PM

                                                    Is San Gabriel Valley really considered a "neighborhood"?

                                                    I mean, it's a "Valley" after all and basically spans the areas east of of 710 all the way through the 57 and bounded (roughly) by the 210 and the 60 on the northern/southern ends.

                                                    That's one BIG 'hood ...

                                                    :-)

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                      m
                                                      mc michael May 18, 2007 04:21 PM

                                                      That's why we have cars.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                        Will Owen May 21, 2007 01:04 PM

                                                        Well, I consider it MY neighborhood! When we drive (as we very frequently do) to the Farmer's Market just to have lunch with a Koreatown-dwelling friend, we figure we're visiting her neighborhood...and when she drives (frequently) to the SGV to join us for dinner or a dim sum brunch, we all figure she's visiting ours. If it's less than half an hour away and you don't have to take the freeway, it's practically home, is how we look at it.

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                          raytamsgv May 21, 2007 02:20 PM

                                                          It's not one big 'hood...it's the ONLY 'hood worth mentioning.
                                                          :-)

                                                      2. SauceSupreme May 18, 2007 05:09 PM

                                                        Fairfax District. The small area bordered Beverly, 3rd Street, La Cienega and La Brea is chock full of destination eats as well as great neighborhood places. All the best restaurants not named Spago are here. Thai Town, K-Town, WeHo, Larchmont and Little Ethiopia are a short short drive away (~5 miles).

                                                        Let's see who's there... AOC, La Terza, Ortolan, Angelini, Grace, Jar, Hatfields, and the Farmer's Market. Other neighborhood stars include Hirozen, Celadon, Cobras and Matador, Pastis, BLD, Milk, Doughboys, Toast, Little Next Door, Joan's on Third. Extend the boundary two blocks and you'll include Melrose and you get Lucques to the north, and both Mozzas to the east, and Campanile to the southeast, 3rd Stop and Barefoot to the west.

                                                        I'd be loathe to consider the SGV as one giant neighborhood. Alhambra, maybe?

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: SauceSupreme
                                                          j
                                                          jono37 May 18, 2007 05:33 PM

                                                          I'll put a plug in for my digs in Mar Vista/Culver City. My reasons? Guelaguetza, Japanese strip on Sawtelle/Barrington, Bombay Cafe, Beacon, Ford's Filling Station, Wilson, Bottle Rocket, Surfas, Thai Boom, Fassica, Mitsuwa, Rockenwagner Bakery, Hot Cake Bakes, near Javan in SM for Persian. I guess we've got everything except Chinese and higher-end dining, which makes it easy on the pocketbook. Actually the nearest fancy place I can think of is Joe's, which still is quite good as of last New Year's; extending out that far would draw in Primitivo and Axe. Include SM, and then I guess you can add in Valentino, Michael's and Melisse. And don't forget Casablanca!!!

                                                          1. re: jono37
                                                            SauceSupreme May 19, 2007 11:10 AM

                                                            You forgot the newest star of the Culver City scene, Fraiche.

                                                            1. re: jono37
                                                              Xericx May 19, 2007 02:46 PM

                                                              I agree! although i'm one of those guys that stays west of the 405 at all costs! don't forget Tito's tacos!!!! (for some of course).

                                                              All those mexican restaurants (El Abanejo, Tacomiendo, etc) around Culver and Inglewood too.....japanese on sawtelle, persian restaurants 10-15 minutes away....great area for food!

                                                              1. re: Xericx
                                                                tony michaels May 19, 2007 03:10 PM

                                                                The cost of Tito's, straying east of the 405. See what a little craving can do to you! ;-D

                                                              2. re: jono37
                                                                c
                                                                coreyander May 21, 2007 10:03 PM

                                                                Hey, thanks for the food round-up in what is also my neighborhood. Haven't been to a few of those places, I'll have to check them out. But, yeah, Thai Boom and Fassica pretty much rock my world. And thanks to Mitsuwa, I will never want for red bean mochi. Oh, but you forgot Gaby's. Best baba ganoosh in the city.

                                                            2. Chowpatty May 18, 2007 05:29 PM

                                                              I agree with Silverlake, but it's not necessarily because I eat in very many restaurants there that often. It's more because it's pretty easy to get to a lot of great places from there -- Thai town is just five minutes away for a quick fix, and North Hollywood is 15 minutes away on a weekend for even better Thai food. It takes only 20 minutes or so to get to most Chinese places in the San Gabriel Valley, and the Japanese restaurants and the rest of downtown are close by. There's plenty of good middle eastern in east Hollywood and Glendale. The entire Beverly/La Brea area is easy to get to also. The Westside is the only place that's a little harder to get to, but I don't miss it that much.

                                                              1. w
                                                                WHills May 18, 2007 05:42 PM

                                                                San Gabriel Valley, most definitely....if it had to be more specific, the Arcadia/Pasadena area. It has everything:

                                                                American food in Pasadena/old town
                                                                Parkway Grill, Arroyo Chophouse, Ruth's Chris's

                                                                Chinese food
                                                                Korean food
                                                                Japanese food

                                                                Heaven....

                                                                1. katkoupai May 18, 2007 06:52 PM

                                                                  I'm pretty happy and well-fed in Pasadena. My favorite part about living here is that people actually walk in this part of town. So, one can walk or drive, when eating out. :)

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: katkoupai
                                                                    a
                                                                    ac929 May 18, 2007 08:14 PM

                                                                    I also live around Mar Vista/ Culver City area and although I enjoy my area, I really enjoy trying new places to eat around the 3rd/ La Cienega/ Beverly area. It takes effort to get out there because of traffic and parking, but when I'm there I'm loving it. I don't think I can move out of LA proper. I mean I've been to SGV several times to eat and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than eating on the westside, but I can never find anything exciting to try and most of the Chinese restaurants have horrible service. My vote is for just about anything west of downtown in LA proper.

                                                                    1. re: katkoupai
                                                                      e
                                                                      Ernie May 20, 2007 12:49 PM

                                                                      Pasadena is a great town, nice well-mannered people, a great central location to explore the best of what Los Angeles dining is really about. Close to all the best Asian and Mexican in Greater SGV, great Armenian and Mediterranean options, and convenient direct Metro Rail access to Downtown and Hollywood

                                                                    2. h
                                                                      hungrygirl106 May 18, 2007 08:36 PM

                                                                      I am going to take it to an even more specific level: the Miracle Mile North Historical Preservation Overlay Zone. (Beverly to 3rd, Gardener to Detroit) Among other things, we've got Hatfield's, Grace, BLD, Angelini Osteria, Ita-Cho, Milk, El Coyote, Lulu's Cafe, Cayenne, India's Oven, Buddha's Belly, two Coffee Beans, Topper's for frozen yogust, and a glatt kosher bagel joint.

                                                                      www.infinitefress.blogspot.com

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: hungrygirl106
                                                                        m
                                                                        martasiete May 19, 2007 12:49 AM

                                                                        oh, nooooo...two Coffee Beans in your hood...I feel so sad for you.
                                                                        But look on the bright side, at least it's not three. I hope things get better. Oh, and Lulu's makes up for that a bit.

                                                                        1. re: martasiete
                                                                          s
                                                                          Spiff May 19, 2007 07:40 AM

                                                                          I have to say I love Coffee Bean's Morrocan Mint Lattes...yum!

                                                                          1. re: martasiete
                                                                            h
                                                                            hungrygirl106 May 20, 2007 06:41 PM

                                                                            I don't really go to the Coffee Bean, but it's a nice convenience. I'd rather have multiple Coffee Beans around than Starbucks -- tho' we've got one of those, too.

                                                                            The truth is, I am not particularly fond of all the places I listed -- for example, I can't stand Buddha's Belly. But it's nice to have options, especially when some of them (Hatfield's, Angelini, etc.) are so terrific. It all balances out and makes for a terrific neighborhood food-wise (and otherwise).

                                                                            www.infinitefress.blogspot.com

                                                                          2. re: hungrygirl106
                                                                            SauceSupreme May 19, 2007 11:07 AM

                                                                            Agreed, HungryGirl. There was a house right behind Milk that I was thinking of buying last year (before it was Milk, of course). I'm a SINK* so I had moved out there specifically for the restaurants. 3rd and Beverly is definitely one of the central Chow capitals of the city. The upside to having moved there: no parking issues for me!

                                                                            I've now moved to Hollywood for the barhopping.

                                                                            * single income, no kids

                                                                            1. re: SauceSupreme
                                                                              h
                                                                              hungrygirl106 May 20, 2007 06:37 PM

                                                                              I remember seeing that house on the market -- nice, but right on the alley, right? Not the ideal location, except, I suppose, for the die-hard foodie who needs super easy access to the restaurants on Beverly.

                                                                              As for barhopping, we may have to walk a few extra blocks to reach a bar, but we don't have to go far to get to BLD for a glass of wine, Hatfield's for a killer cocktail, and El Coyote for cheap margaritas.... :)

                                                                              www.infinitefress.blogspot.com

                                                                              1. re: SauceSupreme
                                                                                h
                                                                                hazelnutty May 20, 2007 07:02 PM

                                                                                I like that, SINK--I may use that....3rdst, Beverly Blvd. and Melrose are the chow capitals for sure!!! From Santa Monica to Downtown and what's in between is where it's at in terms of food and everything else except for schools, but b/c of SINK I could care less.

                                                                            2. y
                                                                              yogachik May 18, 2007 09:15 PM

                                                                              Anytime I venture away from Santa Monica, I yearn to get back. While I love restaurants in West Hollywood and Hollywood, I am totally happy with my choices nearby - and really happy with the attitude - people are just nicer by the beach.

                                                                              1. r
                                                                                running pig May 19, 2007 07:17 AM

                                                                                TOUGH question. I live in Burbank and know what the best neighborhood IS NOT! HAHA. It seems that I am usually hearing about WeHo and Farmer's Market joints I would love to try...but am not willing to drive for. On the other hand, some of the smaller "ethnic" neighborhoods like Highland Park have just as many offerings at 1/4 the price.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: running pig
                                                                                  katkoupai May 19, 2007 01:35 PM

                                                                                  I used to work in Burbank, and I noticed so many small Mexican restaurants. I tried a few of them-- pretty good-- but I can't remember the names. I actually like Burbank. :)

                                                                                2. m
                                                                                  malisa May 19, 2007 02:18 PM

                                                                                  Having lived in San Marino for all my life, I'd had the best Chinese food. Then it was time to explore the hot places. I moved to the mid-Wilshire area for the experience for a few years. It was great to be near WeHo, Korea town, Culver City, Santa Monica!

                                                                                  1. e
                                                                                    Ernie May 20, 2007 11:53 AM

                                                                                    Anywhere but west of La Brea. I don't know which is worse, the very limited choices for exceptional and cheap Asian and non-Oaxacan Mexican, the obnoxious crowds, unjustifiably expensive restaurants, or the overall congestion.

                                                                                    I like where I'm at in San Pedro. Nice ocean breezes, interesting history, nice mix of people and food, and it is sunnier and brighter than Santa Monica or the westside.

                                                                                    13 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Ernie
                                                                                      j
                                                                                      JeetJet May 20, 2007 12:08 PM

                                                                                      San Pedro is a great center spot for breakfast, burgers and sandwich lovers also. Long Beach to LAX and San Pedro is in the center of things. I agree that living in thre middle of that food and among people who know how to smile like a human must really be nice. Maybe it is because of strarting the day with a great bereakfast, and then looking forwand to a great burger or sandwich for lunch or dinner, that makes for friendly people.

                                                                                      1. re: JeetJet
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                                                                                        Ernie May 20, 2007 12:34 PM

                                                                                        I love the great nonpretentious breakfast and sandwich places in San Pedro. Also love the local flavors of our large Italian and Croatian communities and a couple of neat old markets and delis

                                                                                        1. re: Ernie
                                                                                          j
                                                                                          JeetJet May 20, 2007 12:44 PM

                                                                                          nonpretentious is so nice -- give me real people anytime. The West side is like going to Ed Debevicks in Chicago only the rudeness is not done in fun -- its for real. Have you noticed recent post on Sweet Lady Jane and Boule? The only place near there that I get treated like a human is Veto's Pizza. What is your fav breakfast in San Pedro?

                                                                                          1. re: JeetJet
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                                                                                            Ernie May 20, 2007 12:57 PM

                                                                                            I frequent the Omelette and Waffle Shop on Gaffey. Good egg dishes, daily specials and also like their pancakes. Rex's Cafe and Lighthouse Cafe are also good for breakfast in Pedro

                                                                                            1. re: Ernie
                                                                                              j
                                                                                              JeetJet May 20, 2007 06:33 PM

                                                                                              Ernie, I am trying to update my beach town breakfast list. Can you advise what is safe and what not to order at these places?

                                                                                              Omelette & Waffle Shop
                                                                                              1103 S Gaffey St (near W. 11th. St.)
                                                                                              San Pedro, CA
                                                                                              90731-4035
                                                                                              (310) 831-3277

                                                                                              Rex’s Cafe
                                                                                              2136 S Pacific Ave (near 22 nd. St.)
                                                                                              San Pedro, CA
                                                                                              90731-5922
                                                                                              (310) 519-7190

                                                                                              Lighthouse Café
                                                                                              508 39th Street. (At Pacific Ave.)
                                                                                              San Pedro, CA
                                                                                              (310) 548-3354

                                                                                              1. re: JeetJet
                                                                                                e
                                                                                                Ernie May 21, 2007 04:59 PM

                                                                                                Omelette & Waffle Shop
                                                                                                - I frequent this the most. Good, hearty egg dishes, pancakes, and daily chalkboard specials. Very local vibe with good service despite being frequently busy

                                                                                                Rex’s Cafe
                                                                                                - It has been a while but they have a nice selection of more health-food style breakfast choices with big portions. Good oatmeal, pancakes, etc.

                                                                                                Lighthouse Café
                                                                                                - Smaller but eclectic breakfast menu, nice sidewalk dining location and neighborhood. Simpler items are best

                                                                                            2. re: JeetJet
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                                                                                              epop May 20, 2007 01:14 PM

                                                                                              the whole world is full of fake people, not just the west side. first time i've heard a place like melisse or sushi zo compared to debevic's

                                                                                              1. re: epop
                                                                                                m
                                                                                                mc michael May 20, 2007 01:19 PM

                                                                                                Yeah, and San Pedro is awful (OK, I'm thinking of moving there if I ever move again. So, please tell everyone it's the worst!).

                                                                                                1. re: epop
                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                  JeetJet May 20, 2007 06:18 PM

                                                                                                  OK, I am wrong. Not every place. I do like Pann's, Rutt's, Primo's, California Chicken Cafe, Apple Pan, Feast From the East, and I can go on. My focus really is not "...west of La Brea," as wikipedia states some include as the Westside, but I find the closer I get to 3rd. St. or Melrose from the Grove to the Beverly Center .... ExCuuuuuuussseeee ME. There are so many good places to eat in that area but there is an Act soooooo many put-on. Sometimes it is like the world full of fake people held a "Trendy convention" in that part of town.

                                                                                                  Great Chowhound post on,
                                                                                                  Boule on La Cienega- SOOOO pretentious
                                                                                                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/74019?query=boule%20priceless

                                                                                                  West L.A.
                                                                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Los...

                                                                                                2. re: JeetJet
                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                  bulavinaka May 20, 2007 09:22 PM

                                                                                                  Jeet, I don't know about anyone else's definition of the Westside, but Sweet Lady Jane and Boule are definitely another part of town - more like Beverly/Melrose. Some folks consider La Cienega the cutoff, but once you get past the 405, every few blocks further east increasingly gives one the sense that this ain't the Westside any more... But you're dead-on about the attitude at those places...

                                                                                            3. re: Ernie
                                                                                              b
                                                                                              bulavinaka May 20, 2007 09:35 PM

                                                                                              I've lived in the Westside for all but two or three years of my life... maybe I'm used to it, but I love the overcast days- and obviously so do many others - and willing to pay for it as well... As long as you're west of the 405 - my cutoff for the Westside - the prevailing onshore breeze is the Westside's natural air conditioning. I'll take 70 degrees with a nice breeze in the summer any time... I can dig your assessment about Pedro's down-to-earth feel and the general friendliness - it reminds me of my youth here in the Westside. As McMichael below jokingly suggests (or maybe not so), people need to stop moving there - or risk what happened to the Westside starting in the early 80s...

                                                                                              1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                                                e
                                                                                                Ernie May 21, 2007 12:41 PM

                                                                                                Thankfully Pedro is tight-knit, many old families that have been here for generations and hold on to their homes compared to the westside which tends to have a much more transitory population, so no risk of what happened to that side of town over here.

                                                                                                The Catalina and downtown views, breeze, and sunshine being on the hilly side of the PV peninsula is incomparable in Los Angeles and the fact that the entertainment industry and big law firms are far away is a very nice bonus.

                                                                                                1. re: Ernie
                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                  bulavinaka May 21, 2007 01:23 PM

                                                                                                  The neighborhood I live in has folks who have lived in the Westside multigenerationally since the turn of the last century. Granted they are becoming living treasures at this point, given their age and the admitted turnover that has become rampent here, where old empty-nesters are cashing out their equity and living out their golden years elsewhere, and their offspring move not by choice, but by necessity because of housing prices.

                                                                                                  I think Pedro benefits from its somewhat geographically isolated location from the various industries that you have in mind. I just hope it stays that way. I do enjoy the view in Pedro, but if you want dramatic, go to Palisades, or even better - North Malibu... it's like walking onto clouds for your view...

                                                                                                  I've lived here for a long time - back when kids could play in the surrounding fields for hours without ever reaching the other end of the fields, ride bikes up and down the Fox Hills where you really saw foxes, and lie in the middle of the street at night and count stars without fear of getting run over - there weren't enough people (and crazy ones at that) living around here back then... I never imagined this area would become so popular - it was considered isolated back then as well...

                                                                                                  Let's both admit it though - no matter what hood you consider home of those mentioned above, most folks outside of this great collection of towns are envious...

                                                                                            4. g
                                                                                              greengelato May 20, 2007 10:33 PM

                                                                                              PALMS!!!

                                                                                              all my food needs are met within a 5 mile radius of sawtelle and national...except the occasional trip to either koreatown or SGV. i really think Palms is where it's at...esp with the growing restaurant community in culver city.

                                                                                              1. Reeter1 May 20, 2007 11:40 PM

                                                                                                This thread is hilarious. Clearly, EVERYONE is passionate about their local eateries no matter what region of the Greater L.A. area they live in!

                                                                                                What does that tell you? This is a great food town, no matter if you're East or West, Valleys or O.C. Really, TailbackU, were you looking to move? Or just stir up trouble?

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Reeter1
                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                  thericequeen May 21, 2007 08:56 PM

                                                                                                  Palms. So many little eclectic eating places to explore - so little time!

                                                                                                  1. re: thericequeen
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                                                                                                    foodconnoseur May 22, 2007 02:06 AM

                                                                                                    west LA...near sawtelle and olympic..asian food galore!!

                                                                                                2. chowfun784 May 22, 2007 10:46 AM

                                                                                                  hollywood! the best thai food is in thai town.

                                                                                                  1. t
                                                                                                    TailbackU May 22, 2007 01:06 PM

                                                                                                    Thanks for the read guys. Looks like this thread really took a life on it's own. Bottom line is, no matter where you go in LA, you'll find great food somewhere!

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: TailbackU
                                                                                                      SauceSupreme May 22, 2007 02:03 PM

                                                                                                      And the cool part all of the neighborhoods has its various strenghts and weaknesses. Some have no Chinese, no Mexican, no high end, no low end. It all balances out.

                                                                                                      And for a lot of people, they don't miss what a neighborhood lacks anyway. I know many in the SGV could care less about the crowds on any given Sunday on 3rd street or Beverly, and I for one could care less about the crowds on any given Sunday at dim sum.

                                                                                                      Similarly, those on Abbott Kinney or Los Feliz might rail against the gentrification, while others in Calabasas and Agoura are dying for new places to eat.

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