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Need help finding a "tasting walk"

I'm trying to think up some original date ideas, and I thought a "tasting walk" sounded like fun. I'd like to find a stretch of sidewalk somewhere where I can take a walk and occasionally stop along the way to sample tastes of unique food. Bakeries and fro-yos are great, but I'd also like non-dessert options since I don't feel like pigging out. Trees, shops, and a generally pleasant atmosphere would also be a plus.

Ideally this would be somewhere around west hollywood, but I'm open to a drive (the epitome of being an Angelino...driving to take a walk).


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  1. Belmont Shore, Long Beach. Seriously good eats and tons of great shopping in many non-corporate-owned stores. The way Westwood and Melrose was two dozen years ago...

    5 Replies
    1. re: Carrie 218

      The Shore is great. Definitely go to Open Sesame and try the potatoes. I've mentioned them in a previous post. Ask for a side of garlic sauce and prepare to be transported to Nirvana. Take a stroll to Sweet Jill's and have a cinnamon roll. Cafe Gazelle is a nice little place tucked away on a side street. Stop at SupeMex and have a plate of chips and cheese. Panama Joe's is good for a drink. Check out the beautiful antique bar that the owner salvaged from a saloon in the midwest 30 years ago before it was the cool thing to do. The Creperie is good and if you are there at the right time, they have live music in the PM.

      The shore has becomed yuppified over the last 20 years much to the chagrin of the locals ( like my big sister). Shopping is still somewhat unique, but the gap has had a store there for at least the last 15 years. All the major chain outlets are represented from Banana Republic to Jamba Juice. Within a 10 block or so stip there are 2 Starbucks, 1 Peet's, and Polly's coffee - an original LBC retailer and kicks %#@ on the other two. And the 2nd outpost for the LBC - the dreaded Pinkberry!!!

      1. re: gaylenwaydelich

        But there is also Aroma di Aroma for gelato, very yummy. And around the corner from Blockbusters there is a cupcake shop too. Finally, don't forget, we now have our second Famima!! near the West end close to Lucille's and Whiskers.

        1. re: justagthing

          My favorite sweet is from Babette's: they still make the best Opera Cake I've ever had.

          1. re: justagthing

            Do you know the name of the cupcake place??? Have you tried them? I will have to check it out this week. I need an Open sesame fix this week.

            1. re: gaylenwaydelich

              no, i went in to check it out, they have few on the shelves and seem expensive. I would rather one from sweet jill's

      2. It's hard to get a large variety of cuisines and course in one area, except for the Farmer's Market, and then a walk down Fairfax to Ethiopian.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Emme

          Duh, Farmer's Market! Thank you Emme.

          1. re: Emme

            I don't know if that stretch down Fairfax from the Farmer's Market is a walk, certainly not one for a date. You have to cross Wilshire and 6th before you finally get to San Vicente.

            Personally, I'd start with the Farmer's Market on 3rd and then head west toward spots like Celadon and AOC.

            Alternatively you could go onto Beverly and head east toward Angelini Osteria, BLD, Hatfields, Grace and Milk.

            8022 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

            7910 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

            1. re: SauceSupreme

              3rd street from FairFax to La Cienaga is a great option. There are bunch of boutiques, unique shops and great restaurants (too many to name). At the end of 3rd near La Cienaga is a Kiwiberry so you can get your fro-yo fix there. You can also do some star-seeing at Toast.

          2. little india - pioneer blvd. in artesia. there are loads of restaurants and places for dessert. plus there are fun shops to stop in b/w meals. it's really fun.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dtud

              Little India is fun, lots of great little stores to explore. Go to Udupi Palace for the Channa baturra. Sort of a chickpea stew with a huge popover. YUMMY. Great peas with farmer cheese too. I think it's called mater paneer. My Indian BFF swears by the Dosa's. Check out all the stores and pick up a sari for your next special occasion.

              Head over to Portugal Imports, 11655 Artesia Blvd, Artesia CA 90701, 1-562-809-7021 and pick up some Portugese sausage to have for breakfast. Do it Island style and serve it with white rice and fried eggs. Pick up some of their freshly made cheese and check out the imported stuff too. You must not leave without a loaf of Portugese Sweet bread. Makes deadly french toast.

              On Pioneer there are also several strip malls that concentrate on Asian products.
              there is an outpost of 99 Ranch in one of the centers.

              Of course you can go to Farmers Market/The Grove which is one of my favorite places in the world to waste time and my ex-husband's hard earned money!

            2. Sawtelle for the Japanese/Asian places?

              Sometimes Chinatown can be fun, good bakeries and OK dim sum.

              Also Main Street in Santa Monica, and Abbot Kinney in Venice.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Diana

                I was thinking about Abbott Kinney and I agree with you.

                You could start on the east end, walk and shop and drink, then from the west end you could walk to the beach and stroll.

                Depending on how "in shape" a person was, they could walk Abbott Kinney west to Main then head north and keep going.

                Good call ...

                I wonder if downtown Culver City fits the bill?

                1. re: Diana

                  Abbot Kinney is a great rec! There's really no worthwhile chow on Main St, with the exception of a couple of good Italian restaurants.

                  I think Sawtelle is the best suggestion by far.

                2. OC also has some fun places to do a tasting walk...
                  Huntington Beach-Main Street and the pier
                  Laguna Beach-so much variety and lots of art shops
                  Orange-Traffic Circle, not sure of the name of the streets

                  1. You have nailed it on the head !!! Only in L.A. would you have to drive to go on your walk. That is really very funny.

                    Now, I must be honest, I've been married 8 years so I'm rusty in the dating dept but I can tell you that a tasting walk/drive would not appeal to me on a date, or at any time, unless I had a tape worm, and a pesonal driver so I didn't have to deal with parking at each locaiton. Every time we settled in at a retaurant, I would not want to order just a small taste -- if it were even possible. But, here's another idea. WeHo is a great place to go on a gallery walk -- melrose or beverly. or, if you're remodeling a kitchen or bathroom so many great showrooms to check out. or, if you're into design and furniture, so many great places. So, I would tailor the walk around what's interesting in the city, and I would book end it with a restaurant --one place for prior to the walk and anothr for after. So, one could be lunch and the other be drinks or dinner, or you start with breakfrast and end with lunch. How does something like that sound?

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: Bite Me

                      You must be thinking of New York or San Francisco. Here in LA we have very few good outdoor walking places like the streets of NY. Here we have malls, strip malls, indoor and outdoor, but still malls. We have a few street scenes in theme parks, too.

                      We may be blessed with excellent weather, but for some reason (a sociologist may have an answer), LA has very few authentic streets that have the requisite restaurants and shops you are seeking. And most of the few that are in LA will close very early. Shame that.

                      1. re: Golem

                        You must not have read all of the replies with suggestions. Or else you're stuck in Thousand Oaks or some other suburban hellhole.

                        1. re: mlgb

                          No, I've read them. NY, SF, and a few other "cities" have a real street scene going on. LA has some small pockets, but they pale next to the other cities. Parts of Culver City, Hollywood, and a few other places are good, and it's exciting to see it, but it's still limited.

                          Have you ever been to New York? Parts of Manhatten, for example, are open and fun to visit at all hours. The same is true of San Francisco. I'd love to see LA with 24-hour neighborhoods and an exciting night-life, where you can eat and drink, and walk around 'til the wee hours. We're not there, yet. I hope someday....

                            1. re: Golem

                              Perhaps, but the OP is asking for a stretch of sidewalk, not an entire Manhattan-like city to wander. Although LA is different from the cities you mention (and most on this board recognize that), there are still plenty of pockets, neighborhoods, and streets that should fulfill the OP's purpose. Personally, I'm partial to Little Tokyo, Sawtelle, Thai Town, and Abbot Kinney ...

                              1. re: Golem

                                At all hours in San Francisco? When I lived up there, it was a struggle to find anywhere to go that was open after 10. That was a big part of why I came to LA, because places are actually open later here! Maybe SF has livened up since then?

                                1. re: LisaStitch

                                  I don't think so... we've been a few times in the last year and we found the SAME thing!! I thought perhaps it was just a neighborhood thing... and also, to walk from neighborhood to neighborhood... wasn't always 'pleasant' either... and don't even get me STARTED on Bart...


                                2. re: Golem

                                  If you took ALL of the pockets of street life in LA and ran them end to end I suspect they would far exceed in distance whatever few corners you can find around SF. Of course, West San Fernando Valley and similar environs need not apply.

                          1. Culver City around the Pacific movie theater. would be a good place. Lots of restaurants, a couple of wine bars, coldstone, starbucks, trader joes. This area covers a lot of possibilities.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Bict

                              I concur that its a nice place but last time I went it was pretty dead at night time. Restaurants were empty and it seemed like everything closed early but that was a weekday. Carbon is a good place to drink.

                              1. re: kek is khmer

                                I was just in Culver City on Monday night at 9pm and the area was bustling with a lot of people out and about. I went to Ford's Filling Station for dinner and it was packed. All other places around there were very busy as well - Fraiche packed, Tender Greens packed, the wine bar packed. Not dead at all. And this on a Monday! I was very surprised...

                                1. re: LisaStitch

                                  Yup. Despite the fact that Craft and Osteria Mozza have stolen a bit of Fraiche's thunder, it's still a 45 minute wait for walk-ins with no reservations.

                            2. PlatypusJ, I completely "get" your idea of a "tasting walk," and it is my favorite thing to do!

                              I agree with all of the areas mentioned, and I will add downtown and Little Tokyo. These might be two ideas or one, depending on how much walking you want to do. Downtown you can walk from major attraction to major attraction (Disney Center and Cathedral, etc.) and sample from the various cafes. Little Tokyo, of course, will offer a huge selection of "unique foods" which you are seeking.

                              Valley Boulevard in the San Gabriel Valley is yet another option, as is Ventura Boulevard in the Encino-Sherman Oaks area.

                              1. What about Abbot Kinney in Venice?
                                There's a slice at Abbot's Pizza, something healthy and pretty at Axe, beautiful chocolates and pastries at Jin Patisserie,
                                Nice glass of wine or pasta at Capri
                                And if you felt like stopping in, Primitovo, Lily's, Hals, play some pool at the Brig. And cute little shops to stop in on the way.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                  Second Abbot Kinney in Venice. It does have a nice eclectic mix of dining/tasting choices. Drove through last Friday night to grab a slice from Abbot's Pizza and the street was filled with people, from end to end. Don't forget Hal's Bar and The Other Room. Actually, from Abbot Kinney, you could even walk on up to Main St. in Santa Monica or scoot on over to Santa Monica or Venice Beach walk.


                                  1. re: foodfoodfood

                                    No food, but the Venice canals offer pleasant walking -- with an ice cream in each hand, perhaps!

                                2. Just had another thought, but Old Town Pasadena can be quite an fun adventure as well.

                                  1. Darling... South Pasadena... Sangria & appetizer at FireFly, cheese and salamis at Nicoles, dessert at 750ml, chocolates at the chocolate box, coffee at busters... trees, benches, shops, galleries and lovely people

                                    1. It's funny, I live in Venice only blocks away from Abbot Kinney, so I just sort of assumed that there were these types of walks all over the place. South Pasadena sounds like a great idea for an afternoon adventure, and the various Farmer's Markets sound great for an impromptu get together.

                                      Skorgirl was right, I was more interested in a stretch of sidewalk (even a long one) than an entire city. Thanks for all the suggestions!

                                      1. You might try the corner of Garfield and Main in Alhambra. Within a few blocks (mostly heading west on Main) you can hit representations of at least a dozen different cuisines I can think of off the top of my head. My niece lives a couple blocks from there, and I'm always envious of the variety she has just down the street.

                                        It's not nearly as picturesque as the ocean-front options already posted, and some of the eateries aren't the best in show in their category. But many of them are quite good, and you can definitely cover a lot of geo-culinary territory. It's more an array of full-on restaurants than little specialty shoppes.

                                        There's also a big new Edwards multiplex with stadium seating, in case catching a flick rounds things out for you. On Friday nights (I think it's Fridays) they close off a nearby street for music and dancing, a little Alhambra effort at a street-festival scene.