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Los Feliz and environs

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benner Jun 5, 2007 11:11 AM

So I am new to the country, new to the state, new to the city. Interested in any recommendations for culinary highlights in the Los Feliz area. My interests in food range in dodgy (but quality) street Mexican, to sit down, fancy (I could have bought a new pair of designer jeans instead) gastronomy. Places of interest thus far Palermo's on Vermont and Mexico City on Hillhurst. Oh also any deli's or gourmet food wholesalers nearby? And best bakery - selection at the Boulangerie on Vermont is not vast.

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    aurora50 RE: benner Jun 5, 2007 11:31 AM

    Tam O'Shanter. Great Prime Rib, steaks, chops, roasts, "Olde English/Scottish" atmosphere. (Walt Disney used to go here.)

    1. m
      Muskrat RE: benner Jun 5, 2007 11:39 AM

      This and neighboring Silver Lake are among the more discussed locales here. Scroll down through the last several pages (as far as you care to go), and keep an eye out in the future.

      Your question, while valid, is like reading on the NYC board "I just arrived in town. Anybody got any recommendations for the Village?"

      1. m
        mojoeater RE: benner Jun 5, 2007 11:44 AM

        The food at Asia is very good, if a little pricey. I guess you'd call it Thai Fusion (http://www.asialosfeliz.com

        )

        I also like Tropicalia (http://www.tropicaliabraziliangrill.com) which is less expensive. Blair's in nearby Silverlake is a local fave (http://www.blairsrestaurant.com).

        For cheap burgers and Mexican, check out Yuca's on Hillhurst. They are really good, better than Mexico City. I also like Pho Cafe on Sunset at Silverlake Blvd. (no website). Not authentic, but a great meal for $6. Good Americanized Chinese food at Chi Dynasty, also on Hillhurst.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mojoeater
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          teach RE: mojoeater Jun 5, 2007 06:44 PM

          I just wen to Tropicalia for the first time on Sunday. I highly recommend it. Get the sangria. I also like Farfalla for good, fresh Italian. Interestingly enough while I love their skirt steak and fish dishes, I find their pasta only OK. They also do a good arugula salad.

          1. re: teach
            m
            mojoeater RE: teach Jun 5, 2007 07:09 PM

            Farfalle, Vinotecca, and Tropicalia are all owned by the same folks. All are good, too.

            1. re: mojoeater
              t
              teach RE: mojoeater Jun 5, 2007 07:27 PM

              I love Santino, the chef behind the three. I had my first glass of Borolo ever at Vinoteca and he started fervently explaining the tough conditions the grapes endure to make it such hearty wine. In his fantastic Italian accent of course. I also love the bartenders at the wine bar for their lack of pretension.

        2. b
          Burger Boy RE: benner Jun 5, 2007 06:13 PM

          El Gran Burrito Al Pastor/Asada/Pollo anything try the taquitos Vermont & Santa Monica
          Sahags Basturma for a Basturma or Soujook(Sausage) Sandwich Sunset west of Normandie
          Zankou Chicken Sunset & Normandie
          Nicky D's Pizza Clam & Garlic w/bacon Pizza,Eat In, in Silver Lake
          Palermos for a good delivered Pizza, great cold in the morning
          Burrito King for a Bean & Cheese Burro, Cheese Burger, Hard Shell Taco, Taquitos or Quesadilla
          Som Pun for Thai on Santa Monica near Sunset Junction, food is good but enjoy the patio
          Scoops Gelateria on Heliotrope & Melrose near LACC
          Tam O'Shanter for sandwiches in the bar & Toad in the Hole
          El Rubys for a Cemitas Poblano sandwich San Fernando Road just north of Los Feliz, next to Dinahs fried Chicken
          Yucas for the Conchita Pibil or a Tamale(only on saturday) Hillhurst & south of Ambrose
          Ise Automotive on Hillhurst, most honest mechanic in LA (LA Weekly)
          Golden Fish Deli/Take Out Great Kebobs on Hollywood Blvd west of Normandie
          Trail Cafe in Ferndell part of Griffith Park, just went today, damn! Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Fosselmans Ice Cream, Baby! and not to sweet. They are redoing some of the menu since the Griffith Park Fires, they where closed and are taking the things off the menu that did not move.
          Ye Rustic Inn for a Beer and some GREAT Hot Wings! Hillhurst south of Franklin
          Los Feliz Pastry for the richest croissants you have ever had flakey hot gooey goodness, get there around 7:30 or 8 for a right out of the oven treat. Hillhurst north of Ambrose.
          Tropical Bakery for a cuban coffee, a guava cream cheese slice, a cuban sandwich or the pasilles(meat, chicken or cheese) on Sunset & Silver Lake.
          The Italian Chees guy at the Silver Lake Farmers Market on Saturday Griffth Park Blvd. & Sunset.
          There are many good places in Downtown / Silver Lake / Chinatown / Gledale / Atwater / Hollywood / Burbank all less than 15 minutes away. 30 minutes away you have Pasadena / San Gabriel Valley / West LA etc etc etc
          As we say, Mangia Mangia ! ! !

          8 Replies
          1. re: Burger Boy
            Vikzen RE: Burger Boy Jun 5, 2007 08:06 PM

            That's a great start! I second Yuca's on Hillhurst though haven't been there in ages. I live in EP and tend to find many Silver Lake/Los Feliz establishments too little bang for the buck, but I still have a few suggestions:
            Blair's (on Rowena); the chef used to cook at Water Grill;
            Dusty's on Sunset; the restaurauteurs hail from Montreal - nice salads at lunch especially the Scheherezade;
            Rambutan Thai; also the inexpensive Vietnamese place in the same mini-mall with no sign but great big bowls of steaming pho and nice spring rolls in rice paper.
            Pretty decent daily fare is to be had at Alegria on Sunset (near Michillinda) - they make a nice brothy tortilla soup and serve delicious fresh fruit drinks and limondas. Decor is pleasant; cash only; no alcohol. Their Alegria budin with chicken is good comfort food.
            Tropical also recommended for guava/cream cheese pie and other baked breakfast goods.
            When you are on a budget, don't be embarrassed about hanging out for one dollar taco Monday's at Barragan's; Sunset just east of Echo Park Avenue - they have good margaritas (mango being my favorite) and very friendly staff some of whom have been there for decades; it's an old family-style Mexican place that is reminiscent of the old LA fare I grew up with. You can't beat the dollar beef taco - a mixture ground up with potatoes in a deep fried corn tortilla. Decent fish tacos and an okay chile relleno. The best beans (made with lard) are at the burrito stand next to House of Spirits Liquor Store on Echo Park Ave (just north of Sunset); they also serve up a mean chile verde burrito!

            1. re: Burger Boy
              c
              carter RE: Burger Boy Jun 6, 2007 05:57 AM

              Isn't Los Feliz Pasry on Los Feliz Blvd. in Atwater across I-5 on the way to Costco, or do they have a second location on Hillhurst?

              1. re: carter
                b
                Burger Boy RE: carter Jun 6, 2007 05:25 PM

                I think that is the name, Hillhurst & Avocado used to be Le Conversation. Amazing Croissants!

                1. re: Burger Boy
                  c
                  carter RE: Burger Boy Jun 6, 2007 05:46 PM

                  I thought you were thinking of La Belle Epoque, and sure enough you were. They went out of business around 4 months ago, and Little Dom's will be taking the space - they also own Dominicks in Weho and 101 Coffee Shop on Franklin - so do not expect any qualitative croissants any longer.
                  La Belle did do a wonderful croissant as well as a bran muffin, both of which were worth the drive from Sherman Oaks!
                  rip!
                  yes, corner was Avocado.

                  1. re: carter
                    HPLsauce RE: carter Jun 7, 2007 01:32 AM

                    There's another pastry place just south of the former Belle Epoque (i.e. a few doors S of Avocado) which sells similar pastries and was, last I checked, still in business. Perhaps BB refers to this?

                    1. re: HPLsauce
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                      Burger Boy RE: HPLsauce Jun 7, 2007 07:13 AM

                      You are correct, you win the prize! I am gonna tell you about a little gem I went to called Original Bill's Taco House, get down there, it sounds weird, but if you like interesting junk food, this is it, been doing it for 57 years!

                      http://www.calendarlive.com/dining/10...

                    2. re: carter
                      b
                      Burger Boy RE: carter Jun 7, 2007 07:10 AM

                      Nope, never a fan of LaBelle, except for breakfast. It is the place 3 doors south of the corner. La Belle pastries, for me where average and over priced, I used to go to Sarno's for pastries, now I go to Claro's or make my own Cannoli!

                  2. re: carter
                    SilverlakeGirl RE: carter Nov 12, 2007 03:01 AM

                    I think he means Los Feliz Cafe.

                2. m
                  mc michael RE: benner Jun 5, 2007 07:03 PM

                  Just search for these places: Yuca's, Fred 62, Farfalle, Fatburger, Brooklyn Bagel Bakery, Victor's Deli, Saito, Zankou Chicken, Mayfair Market, Gelson's, Trader Joe's and Costco (become a member if you really mean wholesale). Don't get anything at Palermo's except the pizza. If you really want street stuff, head to the corner of Normandie & Santa Monica in the morning. People on the corner will be selling tamales, pupusas and if it's cool, champurrado. At night they sell bacon wrapped hot dogs. OK, fine.

                  1. o
                    oro3030 RE: benner Jun 5, 2007 07:39 PM

                    You won't find much dodgy street Mexican in Los Feliz but you are not too far from Echo Park, Eagle Rock, and Highland Park where plenty of street food is to be found (search the board for those places) also the taco blog is useful:
                    http://tacohunt.blogspot.com/

                    The Alcove on Hillhurst, is a scene and the food is good but not great, but its a nice place for weekend brunch on a nice day. Even better is Square One but it is not technically in Los Feliz (more like East Hollywood). Same thing for Scoops- the ice cream shop of a foodie's dream.

                    The Buffalo Wings are pretty good at Ye Rustic Inn on Hillhurst.

                    1. b
                      benner RE: benner Jun 5, 2007 10:34 PM

                      Hey thanks for all the advice folks, have taken note, and will do my best to try everything mentioned favouribly here. I also heard today that the Key Lime Pie at The Vermont is the best bar none. Any second opinions???

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: benner
                        m
                        mojoeater RE: benner Jun 5, 2007 10:37 PM

                        Can't say specific to Key Lime (which is seasonal), but House of Pies in Los Feliz is open late and has dozens of pies and cheescakes available whole and by the slice.

                        1. re: mojoeater
                          PseudoNerd RE: mojoeater Jun 5, 2007 11:17 PM

                          But they're not very good at all, as most of the pies have a strange mouthfeel and chemical-infused aftertaste. I'd hate to be introduced to pies through the House of Pies, but I suppose it's about the same as having one's very first slice of (bad) coconut cream pie at that diner attached to the bowling alley in Mar Vista (as my friend did a couple of weeks ago).

                          1. re: PseudoNerd
                            m
                            mojoeater RE: PseudoNerd Jun 5, 2007 11:27 PM

                            I disagree completely. My mother's favorite food is the pecan pie/cheesecake combo, and there is no chemical aftertaste.

                            1. re: mojoeater
                              PseudoNerd RE: mojoeater Jun 6, 2007 12:42 AM

                              Can't say I've tried the cheesecakes there.

                              The ones at the Alcove, which, by the way, look as if they're from the Essential Chocolate Collection on the Westside (http://www.essentialchocolate.com/) are the cheesecake draws for me in Los Feliz.

                              1. re: PseudoNerd
                                EliseT RE: PseudoNerd Nov 12, 2007 12:05 AM

                                I know the lemon tart at Vermont is killer. We often go there for dessert after Farfalle since Farfalles' desserts are ordered out.

                                House of Pies is unpredictable. I also love the pecan pie cheesecake, but have been served slices that were way past their prime and often taste like the refrigerator.

                        2. re: benner
                          Vikzen RE: benner Jun 5, 2007 10:59 PM

                          I've gotta try the croissants at that Los Feliz Bakery Burger Boy mentions but living in Echo Park it's highly unlikely I'll get over there by 8 to get the hot ones. (I admit, I'm new to this board and tend to cook much more than I actually go out to eat ... then I slum around at the same old places because I don't want to drive!). Masa in Echo Park - where the Cuban place used to be on Lemoyne and Sunset - has a good simple bread loaf for about $1.50. Their croissants are not worth touting, but they have a good chocolate chip cookie and a yummy if not vastly overpriced bread pudding made from leftover croissants if you count the extra buck you have to fork over for "extra" caramel sauce. They also have a good Chicago deep-dish style pizza, but I wouldn't recommend much else there. You have to wait at least an hour for the deep dish pizza so have a beer on tap and enjoy the friendly, cozy, unpretentious atmosphere of an Echo Park happy hangout. It's the kind of place you can sit for as long as you like; they have a couple of couches and, again, the owners and staff are all friendly.
                          http://masaofechopark.com/
                          If you want to make a trip to Pasadena, try Euro Pane for croissants and tarts.
                          The pear tart across the street at Taix is fabulous and a better deal. Sit in the dark bar, have the soup and salade and get that pear tart for dessert.

                          1. re: Vikzen
                            b
                            Burger Boy RE: Vikzen Jun 5, 2007 11:05 PM

                            It is so worth it to have an out of the oven croissant from them, get up early once, it is a 10 minute drive at the most. I would get there even earlier. get the almond or the ham & cheese, the mushroom is also very good.

                            1. re: Burger Boy
                              Vikzen RE: Burger Boy Jun 6, 2007 12:05 PM

                              Thanks, you've convinced me!

                              1. re: Vikzen
                                b
                                Burger Boy RE: Vikzen Jun 7, 2007 07:15 AM

                                I am going right now, got a craving for butter & flour.....LOL with some cheese & mushrooms!

                                1. re: Burger Boy
                                  Vikzen RE: Burger Boy Jun 13, 2007 12:48 PM

                                  Okay, I have just returned from Cafe Los Feliz - the bakery between Ambrose and Avocado on HIllhurst. And Burger Boy, you are correct, their ham and cheese croissant is delish! But it's HUGE, like a sandwich, full of tons of ham! I am not complaining; this is my lunch.

                                  I notice too on their menu - this is an Armenian-owned bakery - and every Thursday they have "Armenian summer dolma." Has anybody ever tried these? Am I referring to the right place? They had some nice-looking tarts, but I resisted since I'll be making a fresh pineapple upside down cake today.

                        3. c
                          cls RE: benner Jun 6, 2007 08:19 AM

                          I'm new to the area too and here's what I have discovered:
                          A little, dirty restaurant / pupuseria called Restaurant El Salvador on Sunset and Silverlake. Try the enchiladas.
                          Went to Paermo, and besided the throwback to the unbeliveably bad 70s style Italian food from that era, stay far away. The Olive Garden is better.
                          Cheese Store of Silverlake.
                          Silverlake Wine
                          El Compadre on Sunset is pretty good for that old school booth type Mexican.
                          Nicky D's can be good.
                          Shibucho on Beverly near Virgil is the only good sushi around.
                          Breakfast at Millie's on Sunset.
                          Gingergrass Thai on Glendale
                          The Gelato place on Sunset (Pazzo?)
                          Eastside Deli but it's off Sunset near downtown.

                          Most other restaurants I have tried have been pretty bad including, all sushi, Chi Dynasty, Barragan's, Michelangelo (mostly server attitude though,) SanSui, etc.

                          I have a 10 month old so I haven't ventured out to anything fancy yet.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: cls
                            Chowpatty RE: cls Jun 6, 2007 09:53 AM

                            CLS, have you tried Saito sushi? I would be surprised if you disliked it, although the ambiance can be a bit quiet for some people and it's not bargain-priced.
                            Gingergrass is Vietnamese, not Thai, but I second the rec.
                            I prefer Barragan's to El Compadre, but agree on Palermo, Chi Dynasty, etc.
                            Not mentioned so far: Other good Thai places include Pattaya in Los Feliz (not that authentic, but clean and tasty and they deliver)
                            Yai's on Vermont and Nadpob at Sunset and Fountain for more authentic Thai
                            http://eatingla.blogspot.com/2007/01/...
                            Malo on Sunset for Mexican and good drinks.
                            Canele in Atwater for imaginative Cali/French type fare -- I prefer it to Blair's or Vermont for more upscale dining.
                            Carousel in East Hollywood for middle eastern, tons of good food at low prices
                            If you must have Indian, Agra in the same mini mall as Saito and Nadpob is ok, India Sweets and Spices in Atwater is a bit greasy but dirt cheap and has good desserts, and Makkah Halal in Koreatown delivers to Los Feliz and Silver Lake.
                            http://eatingla.blogspot.com/2006/12/...
                            Enjoy!

                            1. re: Chowpatty
                              c
                              cls RE: Chowpatty Jun 6, 2007 09:08 PM

                              I need to try Saito's but having a baby makes it difficult. I used to like Izayoi for sushi but it has gone downhill a bit, although the izakaya is still good. Which reminds me, I went to Koda and thought that was as bad as it gets until I went to the sushi bar on Hyperion near Trader Joe's which reached a new level of low. A friend of mine is trying to open a Japanese restaurant in Silverlake, I hope he does.

                              Oops on Gingergrass, like it a lot even with the hit and miss service.

                              I really wanted to like Barragans but went twice and just didn't like anything. I have only been to Malo twice, the first time I found the ground beef and relish tacos disgusting and the second time, they wouldn't seat us because we had a baby. (At 6:30P.M.) Never going back.

                              Just ordered delivery from Masa for the second time and although it has received some negative reviews, both times it was pretty good.

                              1. re: cls
                                c
                                carter RE: cls Jun 6, 2007 10:37 PM

                                cls - totally agree with you on Barragans - makes Casita del Campo sound like a good idea. El Conquistador is slightly better, and while nothing overly wonderful, or close to it, El Compadre is decent. Their lengua is a pleasant treat as are some of their specialties. Carnitas are not their strong suit, regardless of what they tell you.

                                1. re: carter
                                  c
                                  Cubancoffee RE: carter Jun 7, 2007 10:05 PM

                                  A co-workers has recommended El Chavo in Silver Lake. Any impressions?

                                  1. re: Cubancoffee
                                    j
                                    JPomer RE: Cubancoffee Jun 8, 2007 03:54 PM

                                    Last i heard El chavo was being taken over by somebody new and let's hope that's the case...do NOT eat there unless you like eating in places with a 'c' rating, which was the case the last time we went. It was awful. Stick with Mexico City or Malo for Mexican in Los Feliz

                                    1. re: JPomer
                                      Chowpatty RE: JPomer Jun 8, 2007 03:58 PM

                                      It has been taken over by someone new -- she's the owner of the Edendale Grill...she hasn't changed the menu or the cooks yet, she's concentrating right now on staying open later and making it (even) more of a place to go for drinks -- I don't get the impression that upgrading the menu is her first priority.

                            2. re: cls
                              Vikzen RE: cls Jun 6, 2007 12:12 PM

                              Agree with Chowpatty that El Compadre is not as good as Barragan's; different styles of old school family style Mexican; also depends on what you order but I'm loyal to Barragan's.They have a really good marinated chicken tostada, yummy fish tacos, good chips, guac, and margaritas that work, and they've been around forever so there's a positive locals vibe and sense of camaraderie among the employees (also great to watch Dodgers games there!). El Compadre serves potatoes with chorizo and maybe the really dark atmosphere mitigates the mediocrity of their food? Their flaming margarita also gives a thrill.

                              Go downtown for sushi - Mako (Weller Court), Sushi Gen (though service is abominable), Hama (friendly, tiny, but if you're an anti-mayo purist don't go, they put it in their spicy mixtures and Cali Roll).

                              1. re: Vikzen
                                HPLsauce RE: Vikzen Jun 7, 2007 01:38 AM

                                I have been known to go downtown for sushi (never mind Ventura Blvd), but Saito (4339 W Sunset Blvd) and Shibucho (3114 Beverly Blvd) are both excellent (if spendy).

                            3. cooktastical RE: benner Jun 6, 2007 06:29 PM

                              Delilah Bakery (1665 Echo Park Blvd) for sandwiches, desserts, great mac and cheese and, when they have it, the best key lime pie in the world (Fresh squeezed key limes, none of that bottled juice.) they rock for breakfasts, lunches and desserts.
                              www.delilahbakery.com

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: cooktastical
                                Chowpatty RE: cooktastical Jun 7, 2007 08:02 AM

                                I forgot to mention Il Capriccio Pizzeria on Hollywood Blvd. For us, it's a huge improvement on Nicky D's which was so inconsistent with such flustered service I had to stop going.

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