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New to neighborhood, Pico and La Cienega

Hey everyone.

I recently moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles. I live about a block from Pico and La Cienega and I was wondering about good food in the area.

What I'm specifically looking for is cheap to moderate food, good happy hours, good Mexican, Sushi, Indian, Thai, bakery and breakfast. So what are the best bets in the area? I really eat all sorts of food, but these are some of my favorites, but suggestions for any type of cuisine, as long as it's moderately priced, are more than welcome.

So far, Ive had Mulberry's pizza and Natalee Thai off the recs of a roommate, but I'd love help from the people on this board. Must try places? Secret neighborhood gems? Best burger? Best fries? Thanks in advance.

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  1. I love India's Tandoori. It's a little further east on Pico, about 2 blocks before Fairfax on the North side of the street. Right across from McDonalds in a strip mall. It's family owned, and they will make the food with very little ghee or oil if you request. It's not too expensive and they deliver super fast too.
    Also, lots of Ethipian on Fairfax near Pico. Everyone here has their fave so check the boards for a few to try.

    1. living in that neighborhood, someday you might try to expand your horizons to include ethiopian cuisine.
      los angeles' 'little ethiopia' is right around the corner (fairfax between olympic and pico).
      my personal favorite is rahel, a vegan ethiopian restaurant.
      my second favorite is meals by genet which does serve meat. (but is closed mondays and tuesdays)

      you're in LA now, might as well take advantage of all that it offers!

      1 Reply
      1. re: westsidegal

        Thanks. I really do like Ethiopian food and didn't realize Little Ethiopia was close. Sucks that none of my friends are really adventurous eaters. Thanks for the suggestion.

      2. You'll definitely want to make Bloom Cafe a regular stop for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a perfect neighborhood place at 5544 Pico.

        Also, La Maison du Pain has great baguettes and other lovely French pastries at 5373 Pico.

        On La Cienega, just south of Pico there's a branch of Versailles for Cuban fare. Good garlicey roast chicken and some pork items with plaintains. Unfortunately, it can be uneven at times but the price is right.

        For Mexican, you can try Chulada Grill on San Vicente. Oaxacan style in a very cozy atmosphere. They do a very good Huevos a la Mexicana for breakfast.

        For the best happy hour in town, go to McCormicks and Schmicks at Two Rodeo in Beverly Hills. A decent burger is $1.95 and there are other good options on a regularly changing menu in the bar.

        For higher end happy hour, check out Nic's Martini Bar, on Canon in B.H.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Bob Brooks

          I used to live in that neighborhood, so here are some of my go-to places.

          I second Chulada Grill. The pico de gallo is great and, if you want something very greasy, ask if they will make you a chorizo taco. As an added bonus, they deliver.

          There also is Hoagies and Wings for buffalo wings. One opened fairly recently on La Cienega.

          For Indian, I also recommend India's Grill in the little strip mall at the corner of San Vicente and La Cienega (near the Beverly Center).

          Mishima for Japanese noodles is on Third St. just east of La Cienega.

          Hirozen is a good neighborhood sushi place. I believe it is on Beverly, just east of La Cienega.

          For Thai, I do not know the name or even if it is still there, but there was a little storefront in the strip mall on the corner of Olympic and Crescent Heights.

          You also are pretty close to Maurice's Snack & Chat, which has great fried chicken and soul food. It is takeout only. There also is a branch of Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles on Pico near La Brea.

          1. re: Jwsel

            Regarding Hoagies & Wings -- even if you're not a fan of wings, try out the other titular item. I absolutely love the chicken hoagie at H&W. It's currently my favorite sandwich in the area, and it's mere blocks from you. Give it a shot.

            Regarding other low-cost meals in the area:

            Speaking of strip malls near the Beverly Center, Beverly Falafel is awesome for quick falafel and other mediterranean food. It's directly across from the center on the south-west corner of 6th & La Cienega. Fast and low cost.

            If you're feeling adventurous, try the tacos out at the taco truck on Venice usually near Cattaraugus on the north side. $1.25 per taco, and they are absolutely incredible. Blogged about here (awesome site to check out btw):

            http://tacohunt.blogspot.com/2006/01/...

            Oooh! If you like bbq you must check out J&R's on La Cienega a block south of Washington on the west side. I go there for lunch all the time and it's one of my favorites.

            1. re: QualityMart

              Yes! JR's is amazing. Delicious food and friendly atmosphere. Hard to go wrong there.

            2. re: Jwsel

              The strip mall you're referring to is on Wilshire & Crescent Heights. You'll starve on Olympic.

              1. re: rudy buci

                You're right. It is Wilshire and Crescent Heights.

                Speaking of correcting locations, isn't Beverly Falafel on the corner of Third & La Cienega?

                Another good, mid-price option, but a little farther west, is Al Gelato on Robertson between Olympic and Wilshire. I love the gnocchi. There is a split of opinion on this board about the tomato basil sauce. I love it, but others think it is too sweet. The meatballs are huge and excellent, as is the homemade bread. It is cash only. Finish the meal with very good gelato (my favorite is the pineapple ice) or a slice of massive cake or pie.

                1. re: Jwsel

                  Sorry, yes, Beverly Falafel is THIRD and La Cienega.

                2. re: rudy buci

                  The Thai place is Tawanna Thai. Decent Thai, but it won't blow you away. They deliver though, so that's a plus. We like the soups, spare ribs, and coconut fried rice.

            3. Tuk Tuk for thai, boss sushi is ok but close by- if you're willing to travel to sawtelle, u can find some better sushi, breakfast- i like breadbar and doughboys on 3rd, for pizza try Village Pizza on larchmont; thai town has the best thai food(well of course), love the garlic fries at carlito's gardel

              2 Replies
                1. re: alliebear

                  east hollywood, on hollywood blvd just east of the 101

              1. Vito's Pizzeria is on La Cienega just north of Melrose on the east side of the street in a strip mall. Though famous for thin crust New York style pizza, their sandwiches and desserts are also excellent. Warm and friendly staff.

                1. For good, moderately priced sushi, there's Asuka on Westwood Blvd. It's a little west of where you are, but this is worth the 5-10 minute drive. The sushi is always fresh, their specialty rolls (especially the Nomo) are delicious, and you can't beat the price. Granted, there are better sushi places that are more expensive, but Asuka is good for the price.

                  1. Nick's is a coffee shop right near you. Doesn't look like much, but they serve a good breakfast.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rupertmonkey

                      I second Nick's... it's a family-owned greasy spoon from a bygone era, but the menu is impressively broad.

                    2. You are also very close to the Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax. Search the boards for posts about this--there you will find great, cheap to moderate priced food in pretty much any food category.
                      Among the favorites are Mexican food at Loteria and Brazilian BBQ.