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Favorite LA Dishes

As a native, I've built up some favorite choices of dishes at joints and some items that aren't from restaurants, but my memories of them would be hard to duplicate.

slippery shrimp at Yang Chow's
fried chicken at the original Golden Bird
roasted chicken and garlic paste at Zankou
cake - one chocolate layer & one white layer, moca chip filing & white icing at Hansen's
sweet potato pie & peach cobbler at 27th Street Bakery
baked beans at Porky's
apple pancakes at Fred 62
pumpkin ravioli at CaBrea
garlic noodles at Crustacean
lunch or dinner at Fogo de Chao
tempura sushi with soft shell crab at Cafe del Rey
pretzel burger at Rockenwagner
cuban fried chicken salad at Kokomo's
chicken and waffles at Roscoe's
fondue with chorizo & fresch guacamole at La Parilla
melauah and the salad combination plate at Shula & Esther's
tortilla crusted chicken at The Authentic Cafe
german chocolate cake ice cream at Baskin Robbins
oreo shakes at Johnny Rockets
turkey panini sandwiches at Ralph's deli counter
chinese chicken salad & sesame chicken at Feast from the East
jamacian jerk chicken pizza at CPK
vegetarian plate at Cha Cha Cha
croissants at Maison du Pain

I'm sure my memory will be jogged after folks pipe up with their favorites (here or gone).

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  1. Some of my favs:

    Eggplant Parmesan at Little Taste of Hoboken
    Baked Ziti at Mazzarino's
    Pizza at Antica (Margarita), Valentino's in Manhattan Beach (by the slice at the counter)
    crab cakes at Gulf Stream
    Sweet Potato Fries and Spinach/Feta/Apricot Salad at Double Dutch Diner
    Lobster Taquitos at Ocean Seafood
    Veggie Burger at Tip Top in Pacoima
    Margaritas at Lucy's El Adobe made by Frank (God rest!)
    Winter White Chocolate Ice Cream at 31 Flavors (although have to check out the german choc cake)
    sushi at Katsu
    grilled giant prawns at Caffe Penguini
    shrimp burrito at Paquito Mas
    Quesadilla at Sabor a Mexico
    Oatmeal Blueberry Bar at Starbucks
    Gua Coin (mispelled I am sure) Vietnamese Rice Paper rolls and Shrimp Shu Mai at Typhoon

    1 Reply
    1. re: Densible

      Hurrah! I also love the Quesadilla at Sabor! :D


    2. The dates and arroz negro at AOC
      Blue crab hand roll at Sushi Zo
      After school special at Doughboys. Also the hummingbird
      Braised short ribs w/ hearts of palm at Grace
      Toro at Sushi Ike
      Lobster roll and pug burger at Hungry Cat.
      Bacon and cheddar scone at Milk.
      Pho dac biet at Pho So 1
      Nem nuong cuon at Brodard
      Kobe sliders at Red White + Bluezz
      Tuna tartare cornets at Spago. Also the agnolotti.
      Tamal con mole negro at Monte Alban
      Club sandwich at Joans on Third
      Marinated shrimp at Soot Bull Jeep.
      Soon tofu at Beverly Soon Tofu.
      Mindy Remix at Chili My Soul

      1 Reply
      1. re: SauceSupreme

        ITA with you about the dates and Blue Crab!


      2. Wholey Moly or Apple Cobbler French Toast at The Griddle Cafe
        Tuna cornets at Spago
        Natas at Nata's Pastries
        Croissant at Amandine
        Apple and Peach Bran muffins straight from Zen Bakery
        Green Corn Tamales at... gasp! El Cholo (May - Oct)
        Chicken Nachos and Potato Taquitos at Loteria
        Blackberry Cobbler at Cynthia's (she's gone now and I LOVE it! so sue me!)
        Korean BBQ at Soot Bull Jeep
        Blue Collar Special Pizza at Joe Peep's
        Chopped Salad w/ Chicken, Eggplant, and Hearts of Palm at Sisley
        Make-Your-Own-Salad at The Dressing Room
        Custard Tart at The Tudor House
        Grilled Veggie Salad at the Ivy
        Grilled Veggie Salad at 26 Beach
        Omelettes at (don't shoot!) Jerry's
        Omakase at Echigo and Zo
        Omakase at Urasawa (SOOO worth the 275)
        Charbroiled Chicken w/ a massive side of salsa at Eduardo's
        Rotisserie Chicken from Costco and Ralphs

        3 Replies
        1. re: Emme

          Oh Cynthia's - I adored their Mississippi Mud Pie - so amazing!
          I love El Cholo - the peach margaritas (in season) are fantabulous.

          1. re: Emme

            I forgot about those green corn tamales! Yum

            1. re: Emme

              and I heard CaBrea is gone- so long raviolis..

            2. Fried spinach served with lobster at Chinois on Main

              1. A few of mine:

                Mac n' cheese at Violet
                Wild mushroom slice at Abbot's Pizza
                Penny's poached eggs at Meditirina
                House-smoked salmon croquettes at Orris
                Chocolate souffle at Lilly's
                Polenta cake at Ford's
                Burrata with speck at La Buca
                Pork belly/carnitas baco at Opus
                Chorizo and Cheese taco at Pacos Por Favor
                Seafood cocktail at La Playita
                Tater Tots at BLD
                Chicken pesto panini at La Tramezzino
                Bacon cheese twist at Rockenwagner
                Amusing burger at Beechwood
                Queso Fundido at Sabor a Mexico
                Spaghetti Mare at Toscana
                Lardo pizza at Mozza
                Pig candy at Lou
                Tiger shrimp at Primitivo
                Toro hand rolls at Sushi Zo
                Kalua pig quesadilla at Rutts
                Foie Gras 4 ways at Abode
                Slow Roasted pork at Wilson
                Potato fig tortelli at Piccolo
                Tamal de rajas at Guelaguetza
                Clyuda con chorizo from La Oaxaquena truck

                4 Replies
                1. re: hrhboo

                  Okay, I'll bite....what is "pig candy"? Thanks!

                  1. re: hrhboo

                    I feel like such a 'tard for never ordering the tater tots at BLD. Now I have a new goal in life.

                    1. re: SauceSupreme

                      Second, as well as that Canitas Pork Baco... It's ON the list!!


                  2. Some of mine are duplicates, but oh well.

                    Pork belly at Musha
                    godmother sandwhich from Bay Cities
                    roasted duck at Warszawa
                    blue crab handroll at Sushi Zo
                    eggs benedict at Pacific Dining Car
                    burger at Father's Office
                    salsa flight with chips and shrimp diablo at Malo
                    huevos rancheros at Bloom Cafe
                    lentil soup from Mrs. Winston's
                    shrimp scampi at Mercedes' Grill
                    mushroom quiche at Joise
                    Fernando's burrito at Gilbert's El Indio
                    magaritas at El Conquistador
                    pizza bread at Angeli
                    moules frites at Cafe Stella
                    cheese plate at Melisse
                    rock shrimp gnocchi at Jiraffe

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: mollyomormon

                      Do you know if Mercede's Grill still has those killer jerk enchiladas on the menu?

                      1. re: Ndelible

                        I'm pretty sure they do, but not completely positive. I also looove their mojitos and the addictive herb butter they bring out with the bread basket.

                      2. re: mollyomormon

                        Oh, I forgot to add the grilled romaine at Orris and the soft-boiled egg course at Opus!

                        1. re: mollyomormon

                          Your first two make me SWOON!!! :)


                        2. Kafta from Open Sesame in Long Beach
                          Turkey Hummus melt from Aroma Cafe in Studio City
                          Greek Salad from Sydney's Cafe in Fullerton (spinach + tofu + kalamata olives = a very stereotypical what-the-rest-of-the-country-thinks-we-eat-all-the-time meal)
                          Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs from the guys with the carts after a concert

                          1. Oh, and potato balls and guava pastries from Porto's

                            1. Yuca's - Cochinita pibil
                              Tama - scallop sushi
                              Josie - Short rib tagine
                              Rite Aid (thrifty) - pistachio ice cream
                              Tlaopazola - any mole
                              Baby Blues BBQ - corn on the cob, BBQ shrimp
                              Le Saigon - Nem Nuong
                              Bay Cities - sausage and peppers sandwich
                              Trader Vic's - mai tai

                              1. Chicken Chipotle Pasta - 26 Beach
                                Plantain Fried Rice w/ Avocado - Asia de Cuba
                                Turkey Pesto w/ Cranberries Sandwich - Starbucks
                                Barbacoa - Chipotle
                                Chucho's Chicken Club w/ fries - Bossa Nova
                                Thai Chicken Salad - CPK

                                P.S. The Slippery Chicken at Yang Chow is also divine!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: LisaStitch

                                  The one time I tried the Slippery Chicken, I was very disappointed and have never ordered again. Perhaps it was a bad day at the kitchen. I'll try it again one day.

                                2. Gyosa (pork dumplings) at Ashi Ramen on Sawtelle
                                  Caesar salad at Mastro's Beverly Hills
                                  Pork ribeye (special) at Figaro Bistrot on Vermont
                                  Fresh pea soup (seasonal special) Spago in Beverly Hills
                                  Pizza ala checca (fresh tomatoes, sliced garlic, fresh basil) at Angeli Caffe on Melrose
                                  Dirty triple-olive marinti at Musso and Franks on Hollywood Blvd.
                                  Cheeseburger (sold at lunch, only) at Molly Malone's on Fairax (avoid the ketchup...or bring packets from a fast food joint...the ketchup will make you ill) but ohhhhh, what a juicy burger!
                                  Cashew chicken at Hunan on Broadway downtown...spicy and tender (hmmm, Hunan appears to have vanished. Ah well)
                                  Spicy chicken burrito at Poquito Mas on Ventura near Lankershim (they used to use steamed chicken, now just charbroiled...not quite as tender, but still great)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ecaitlin

                                    the grilled tofu sandwich at erewhon (on beverly blvd)...perfection.

                                  2. There are SO many... Here's a quick list from those that haven't been mentioned... I don't eat at many places twice, but these are dishes that keep me wanting to come back...

                                    * Chilaquilles @ Pepy's Galley in Mar Vista
                                    * Chile Relleno @ Jar Mozzerlla Mondays
                                    * Boat Noodle Soup @ Sapp Coffee House in Thai Town
                                    * Black Mole Tamales and Champurado @ Mama's Hot Tamales
                                    * Carnita Gorditas @ Ana Marias in Grand Central Market
                                    * Cabeza Mamela @ La Oxacaquena Taco Truck on Lincoln and Rose
                                    * Chicken Hollenbeck and Taquitos and Guac @ El Tepayac in ELA
                                    * Chiles en Nogada @ Babita in San Gabriel
                                    * Cochinita Torta and Panuchos @ Chichen Itza at Mercado la Paloma
                                    * Gnoochi @ La Buca on Melrose
                                    * Little Coconut Cakes @ Wat Thai Temple
                                    * Any Quiche @ Europane in Pasadena
                                    * Sausage Quesadilla @ Sausage Stand at Hollywood Farmer's Market and Santa Monica on Sundays.
                                    * Sausage, Mushroom and Onion Pizza @ Vitos


                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: Dommy

                                      D'oh! I was just at Grand Central Market walking around while waiting for my wife to finish up some business close by - walked right by Ana Maria's wondering, "Hmmm... lots of folks lined up to order here - meats look really good - onions and cilantro going on..." My wife calls me and wants a bowl of ramen at Daikokuya in JTown... Not a bad consolation, but carnita and gordita together trumps most foods! I'll know next time! Stupid cell phones!

                                      1. re: Dommy

                                        I have to try those chilaquiles soon! I keep meaning to based on your recommendation, but still haven't made it over there. Maybe over the long weekend...

                                        1. re: Dommy

                                          Oh my...I just had chilaquiles from Pepy's today. Unbelievably good - I'm a little embarrassed to admit I ate the WHOLE thing.

                                          Mr Boo's breakfast burrito was disappointing. It was the usual flour tortilla filled with egg, bacon and, inexplicably, a ton of iceberg lettuce. The accompanying salsa was delicious though. Next time (and there will certainly be a next time) he's going with the machaca.

                                          1. re: hrhboo

                                            Ask them for a little side of their "chunky" salsa next time. Absolutely delicious and addictive.

                                            1. re: tony michaels

                                              I did try the salsa, and couldn't agree more. Great stuff.

                                              I have to add that this place is run by the NICEST people. We weren't aware that it is cash only and tried to pay with a credit card. The owner came back and told us not to worry about it and to pay him next time we ate there. I thought this was extremely trusting of him, considering we had never been there before today. Luckily we had enough cash to cover the bill and a healthy tip, but I was pretty blown away by his generosity.

                                              1. re: hrhboo

                                                They get a big LAPD turnout most Saturday mornings at 6:15. Nice folks and the sort of great dive I gravitate to.

                                        2. I'll give you two unique standouts:

                                          Baker's Muffin at City Bakery
                                          -- cross btw muffin and dry bread pudding with raisins and apple bits... not too sweet, great crispy top. haven't found anything like it anywhere
                                          Saladang Salad at Saladang
                                          -- shaved green apple, tart peanut dressing, with or without chicken. did i mention apples and peanut butter?

                                          1. Some are repeats I'm sure but here are some of my current notables:

                                            Rotisserie chicken with Hummus and Garlic paste on the side..no pickles =p -Zankou Chicken. If this chain ever went public, I'd buy stock in it...

                                            Roast Beef Hash-Pacific Dining Car. I can't think of a better way to start the day....

                                            Fennel Sausage Pizza and the Baby squash with Mascarpone-Mozza. Lard schmard, these 2 are my faves!...

                                            Butterscotch Pudding-Mozza-Among the most complex desserts I've ever had in my life. An orgasm of the taste buds ensued after taking one bite. Been hooker ever since...

                                            Oaxacan Chile Relleno's with the the spicy tomato sauce-Guelaguetza People come for the mole which are great but these are the best Relleno's I've had.

                                            Hard shelled tacos with extra cheese-Tito's Taco's-Almost as good my grandmothers but not quite since she used 2 cheeses and cabbage...mmm...

                                            Oysters/Stone Crab Legs with a glass of wine/champagne-Water Grill. Kumamoto's, Hama Hama's. They consistly have the freshest/tastiest seafood in the city.

                                            Chicken and Waffles-Roscoes. oddest pairing but of so good.

                                            Blue Cheese Burger-Father's Office. Pompous attitude with the worst service anywhere is easily offset by providing Great beers with the best burger in the world...

                                            Chopped Salad with dry salami- Emilio's (Encino). La Scala Boutique may be the thing of the past but it's nice to know you can still find some old school faves...

                                            Grilled Shrimp Plate. Fisherman's Inn on Central. Lobster size shrimp at a great price.

                                            Grand Marnier Souffle. Moustache Cafe. Still the best although Bistro Garden makes a good one as well.

                                            Scallops with Garlic Stems- 4 on 6. ex Nobu/Malibu chefs doing it right while the clueless ones dine across the street at Katsu-ya which isn't the same as the old Katsu.

                                            Chasu Ramen-Kyushu Ramen/Van Nuys. Best chasu that melts in your mouth with the best textured ramen in the city.

                                            Panini with a luscious at Giuliani's/Gardena. It's a rare fare thats off the menu but if you're lucky, you'll experience one of the best sandwiches created...

                                            Spaghetti-Spoon House/Gardena. Japanese Style Spaghetti better than their Italian counterparts? Blasphemous you say? Go check it out and get back to me...

                                            Prix fixe dinner at Valentino-If you catch Pierro Selvaggio there and have him pick a wine for you, you will have the chefs their come up with a meal that will complement it. Still among the best Italian restaurants in the world.

                                            Baby Backs from Philips/Crenshaw. Best BBQ this side of the Mississippi.

                                            Pork Side-Park's BBQ/Koreatown. Now that's what I call bacon and with panchun to boot!

                                            Sushi-Old Sushi-ko before Urosawa back when they were in mid Wilshire. Now that was when it was worth the $$ per person...

                                            Culotte Cut Steak. Taylor's. Still the best steak bargain in the city. Love the salad on the super chilled plates too....

                                            Garlic Fries- People go for the dogs but I come for the fries in the plastic dodger helm. Nothing at the stadium goes better with a few beers. =p

                                            Strawberries-Tapia Brothers on Hayvenhurst and the 101. They are picked daily and are in season. Go....NOW...

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Tacomato

                                              Grilled octopus salad at Petros in Manhattan Beach

                                            2. Barbequed beef with Lime an Garlic, spicy at Palm Thai
                                              Thom Yum Mushroom soup at Palm Thai in Hollywood
                                              Morning Glory at Palm Thai in Hollywood
                                              Swordfish at Hungry Cat in Hollywood
                                              Chicken Katsu Curry Extra Hot with Rice at Curry House in Little Tokyo
                                              Phó Tai at Noodle City in San Gabriel
                                              A whole chicken and a Fallafel plate at Zankou Chicken in Hollywood
                                              Chicken Dumplings at Dumpling House in Temple City
                                              Hot Sichuan Beef and Fish in Oil at Yungui Garden in Monterey Park
                                              Corn Tamales at Corn Maiden at the Hollywood Farmers Market on Sunday Mornings
                                              Corned Beef Rueben at Victor's in Hollywood
                                              Espresso Gellato at Creme De La Creme in Burbank
                                              Margaritas at Cuidad in Downtown
                                              Tacos at El Mexicano in Burbank