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Toronto foodie looking for LA suggestions

Hello - my sister and I are planning to go sightseeing in Los Angeles during the second week of August, before heading up to the Bay area. She lives in Sacramento but neither of us have been to LA before. We're planning to do a couple of blow-out meals while we're here - Nepenthe (sp?) in Big Sur and Chez Panisse in Berkeley - but we are on a budget for the most part and looking for reasonably-priced meals while in LA. Any recommendations would be gratefully appreciated!

TIA :-)

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  1. where inLA will you be, what kind of food do you like, and most of all, what kind of dining experience do you want.

    Do you want to explore our ethnic diversity?

    Would you like to eat Los Angeles "traditional" dishes and foods (Pink's, Dan Tana's, etc)

    Would you like to explore the healthier options?

    Would you like an overview of celeb hang outs?

    A seafood tour of LA?

    Food matched with wine or beer?

    New gems, or old favorites?

    So many options, it would help to narrow it down!

    7 Replies
    1. re: Diana

      Thanks for your reply, diana and katkoupai (thanks for the links) - I'll try to be more specific :-D

      We're staying in the Santa Monica/Culver City area, we love all different types of food (especially Indian, Mexican and Thai/Vietnamese), would definitely be interested in checking out landmarks like Pink's, and seafood for sure. Neither of us are big drinkers so that wouldn't matter quite so much. In addition, my sister is a vegetarian (not vegan) and would be interested in some good (but not super-pricey) veggie options.

      Thanks again! Hope that clarifies our needs a little bit ...

      1. re: Welshgirl

        Okay, Shamshiri Grill, also on Westwood Blvd. is a Persian restaurant that may have a few more veggie options for your sis. I like their couscous, their Shirazi salad and their eggplant (bademjan) appetizer. If your sis is not vegan, she might also enjoy the yogurt with shallots or yogurt with cucumbers appetizer, available at both Shahrzad and Shamshiri. Ash-e-reshteh is a thick all-vegetable (and noodle) soup that I really love, but it is an acquired taste. Shahrzad does a fair rendition of this soup, and it's only $6.

        There's a vegan restaurant called Native Foods, also in Westwood, that my non-vegan vegetarian friends like. I have never tried it, but I have heard them talk about how good it is, many times. They usually go to the Costa Mesa location, but it's a small chain.

        www.nativefoods.com

        I recently drove from Westwood to Santa Monica. They are neighboring areas, and it should take you only about 10-15 minutes to get to Westwood from there, depending upon traffic and which part of Santa Monica you're in. :)

        1. re: katkoupai

          Here are the links to Native Foods and Shamshiri Grill in Westwood. :)

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          Shamshiri Grill
          1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

          Native Foods Restaurant
          1110 1/2 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

            1. re: Welshgirl

              You're welcome. :)

              I hope you have a great time eating in LA and seeing LA. :)

        2. re: Welshgirl

          In Santa Monica my favorites are:
          Musha - Japanese pub food, with lots of vegetarian options and very reasonably priced
          Father's Office - best burger in LA. Many love their sweet potato fries, but I'm addicted to the regular.
          Bay Cities Italian Deli - great sandwiches to take to the beach. Be sure to order the Godmother.
          Tacos Por Favor - chorizo and cheese tacos to die for. Tastes especially good after the beach.

          1. re: whatsfordinner

            Great suggestions!
            Also: Becon in Culver City for great Japanese-Euro fusion
            Rose Cafe in Venice or The Omlette Parlor in Santa Monica, Both for B'fast and local color.
            Taiko for excellent Japanese noodles in Brentwood

      2. Where in LA will you be staying (which area)?

        I'll give you some suggestions. Enjoy LA. :)

        Shahrzad is a good Persian restaurant near UCLA.

        21 Choices is a good frozen yogurt shop in Old Pasadena. Both areas would be fun to see for a tourist from out of town.

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        Shaherzad
        1422 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

        21 Choices Frozen Yogurt
        85 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105

        1. I reccomend a Day at the Original Farmer's market on Fairfax, next to The Grove. Down south on Fairfax from there is Little Ethiopia. Go to Rahel or Messob and get a combo platter, you won't regret it. Rahel is 100% vegggie!

          Providence is good for fish, but not many veggie options.

          Sabor A Mexico in Culver City has great mexican and a fabulous veggie burrito (with other veggie options)

          3 square cafe in Venice is good for breakfast.

          The supposed best burger in LA is at Father's Office in Santa Monica. Personally, I find the owenr pretentious and the crowds not woth it.

          The Lobster does lobster right, and has a great view of the Santa Monica Pier. But stick to the steamed lobbies.

          Diddy Reese in westwood has fabulous cookies.

          In west Hollywood, Angeli Caffe has great italian, less wait and better prices than Mozza.

          1. Might as well join the other 10 million people and head out to Pinkberry for some frozen "yogurt".

            www.pinkberry.com

            1. Thanks to all for these great suggestions! I'm pasting them into a word document to take with me along with maps etc. Sis is not vegan, but we both enjoy well prepared vegan food so will check out Native Foods.

              I'm getting very hungry looking at this thread :-D

              1 Reply
              1. re: Welshgirl

                If you like Mexican, definitely check out Babita in San Gabriel.

                Babita
                1823 South San Gabriel Blvd
                San Gabriel, CA 91776
                (626) 288-7265

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                Babita
                1823 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776