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Best Eggplant dish?

  • d

Who's the king or queen of eggplant in L.A.? I mean where eggplant is the star of the dish.

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  1. I hope you had a chance to try the eggplant stuffed with shrimp paste when you had your sublime dim sum experience at 888. If you didn't, please head back to the SGV and give it a whirl. In fact, you could probably go to just about any respectable Chinese eatery that offers some kind of eggplant dish that most eggplant lovers would enjoy. Probably the most common ways to prepare eggplant is to braise, stew, or stir-fry it with garlic, black bean sauce, some sort of pork, and chile of some sort for a little heat.

    The Japanese typically cook eggplant with miso paste. It's simple but the two marry well together. I've eaten it pickled as well, which goes well with the customary bowl of steamed short-grain rice.

    What I like in particular about the Chinese and Japanese eggplant varieties is that they are wonderfully creamy in texture, on the sweet side, and the skins are very much edible - a plus for those lazy like me who hate peeling.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bulavinaka

      I had the stuffed eggplant, and it was *divine*!

      1. re: Diana

        Good job, Diana... And that's just the tip of the eggplant!

        1. re: bulavinaka

          At Orris on Sawtelle,Yamashiro from time to time puts on the menu a beautiful stuffed with foie gras Japanese eggplant in a miso sauce.

    2. Kashk-e-bademjan and borani (bademjan) are two eggplant appetizers that can be found at most Persian restaurants in LA. Both are good. I think Shamshiri Grill in West LA serves good borani.

      There is also a dish called gheymeh bademjan (yellow split peas, eggplant and meat in a tomato based sauce) that is delicious over Persian rice. I usually eat this at home, but it may be on the menu at some Persian restaurants.

      1. The stir-fried eggplant at Chang's Garden, but only if you enjoy spicy food and a pool of fluorescent red glow staring back at you.

        Chang's Garden
        627 W Duarte Rd, Arcadia, CA 91007

        3 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          How about eggplant in garlic sauce? Is this similar to what is offered at Chang's Garden?

          1. re: katkoupai

            No. Chang's eggplant dish is chili oil based.

          2. re: ipsedixit

            I do, I do!

            Too bad arcadia is a bit far away.

            Any good aubergine dishes in LA, Santa Monica, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Venice, Malibu, Redondo Beach (a bit far) Pasadena or the SFV?

            I live in Sherman Oaks.

            I had a marvelous eggplant stuffed with fontina and baked with parmesian and tomato sauce at Il Tiramisu!

            I love baba ganouj and japanese eggplant dishes, Indian dishes, and more!

            I'll try all types of cuisines!

            Any other standouts?

            Sanwiches, Salads, Sides, Mains, Appetizers, heck even desserts, if they exist.

            I love eggplant so much, I have a jar of eggplant sweet preserves!

          3. My favorite eggplant dish is at Suehiro in Little Tokyo... their house special...


            2 Replies
              1. re: Diana

                Big chunks of Japanese Eggplant in Miso Sauce. It's simple, hearty, and SO yummy!


            1. I love the moussaka at Alexis in Northridge.

              For a quick fix, the eggplant parm at Trader Joes is damn good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: markn

                Oh yes!!! I completely forgot about the Eggplant Parm at Vitos... EXCELLENT!!


              2. I truly enjoy the Bengan ka Salan (Sautéed eggplant prepared in coconut-tamarind sauce) at Akbar in Pasadena.

                Yujean Kang's in Pasadena has a surprisingly tender, Eggplant with Garlic dish.

                1 Reply
                1. All these delectable sounding eggplant dishes are making my mouth absolutely water.

                  Perchance I should do an eggplant tour!

                  1. I am not quite the Eggplant afficionado you are, but I always (very frequently) order:

                    Eggplant Special or Eggplant with Miso - Matsuhisa - Beverly Hills
                    I acutally don't know which is which, but it's cooked, sweet-ish. and it's "THE" star. They also have Eggplant tempura.

                    Melintzanosalata - All/most Greek restaurants - L.A. Uber-opolous
                    Baked eggplant with garlic + _________, depending on where you go. A dip w/ pita.

                    Roasted red pepper & eggplant - Danube (Bulgarian) - Westwood
                    An App where the red pepper edges out the eggplant as the star along with olive oil, garlic, onion & parsley (In my fridge I have "Zergut Hot Ajvar" product of Bulgaria with a few different minor ingridents). Also, they have "Eggplant Rolls in tomato sauce" - never tried that.

                    FYI (*) - If I lusted to try Eggplant in various interpretations at one place, I'd might go here:

                    Coupa Cafe - Venezuelan - Beverly Hills (310) 385-0420

                    Eggplant Bruschetta
                    Eggplant capresa salad
                    Grilled Eggplant, mozzarella & tomato Panini
                    Vegetarian pizza - .... eggplant.....
                    Eggplant Pasta
                    Grilled Eggplant Crepe (savory)
                    Grilled Eggplant Arepa
                    An Empanada? No luck; however, I counted 8 different veggies, so maybe the'd substitute.

                    (*) Which means I've never tried any of them.

                    Question on Sandwiches - Is there an "Eggplant Burger" out there? . . . . . . All I found in a quick 5 minute search of my menu drawer was a "Goat Cheese and Eggplant Melt".

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JBC

                      Oh yummy! I gotta go there!


                    2. There was a little kosher restaurant on Victory in Van Nuys named Golan who had the best eggplant pitas. I'd get it with hummous and it was to die for. They moved further east to a larger space and I moved out of the valley, so I don't know if they are still there, but if they are, you'd love this.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: hpcat

                        I thought I was the only one who knew about Golan!! Tehyar e still there. Doncha love em!

                        Maybe I should go again soon!

                      2. I enjoy Il Fornaio's Carpaccio Melanzane - grilled eggplant, roasted red and yellow peppers, goat cheese, kalamata olives, basil, capers, balsamic reduction, extra-virgin olive oil. It's a light meal, but full of great flavors.

                        1. My enthusiastic vote would be for the Duck and Eggplant dish at Izayoi in Little Tokyo. I order this EVERY time and it is absolutely fantastic. The duck is delicious and the eggplant sweet and crispy. I think you'll love it!

                          1. I love the eggplant parm at Palermos on Vermont. Their eggplant is freshly fried and not heavy, but very crispy. Also try a small pizza with fried eggplant on it. Just had eggplant parm sandwich at Vito's, the eggplant was small and fried to death, doesn't compare.

                            1. eggplant with tomato sauce in the to go case at LA BOTTEGA MARINO both on larchmont and in west l.a. also the mutahbel at ZANKOU HOLLYWOOD.