Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Aug 16, 2007 10:13 AM

Restaurants you will defend no matter what anybody says...

For me it's:

La Paz in Calabasas. Yeah, so it's not "authentic" Yucatan-style (according to somebody else), so what. The food is still tremendous, and the portions are big enough to feed a small army. I just wish it was closer. The key here is to order a la carte.

Domenico's in Pasadena. Old-school italian. The thing here is consistency. The food is always hot(amazing isn't it how many places serve cold "hot food" and act like it's no big deal) and delicious. If they make something that's not to your liking, they will go out of their way to make it right and act like it's no big deal.

I'm sure many of you have places like this...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I don't really know the foodie culture well enough to know how much this needs defending, but I love The Stinking Rose and I think their stuff stands up to many of the better restaurants in L.A.

    6 Replies
    1. re: nick_r

      Stinking Rose definitely needs defending, though admittedly I like the bagna calda there. But then again, how hard is it to stick a bulb of garlic in a ramekin with some olive oil and shove it in the oven?

      1. re: SauceSupreme

        I could not agree more. I'm a pretty easy-going diner. I also just love food. I ate about a 1/4 of my meal at The Stinking Rose. I love garlic and I rarely cook without it. But, the smell of the restaurant was overwhelming and made me sick. I cannot bring myself to make a return visit.

        1. re: foodientraining

          Here's my memory of the Stinking Rose: waiter gives me a glass of what appears to be something different from the red wine I ordered. I ask the waiter about this. He sticks his entire nose into the glass, and his face touches all of the rim of the glass. He then states unequivocally that it is indeed what I ordered and puts the glass on the table for me to drink from.

          The food? Not memorable to me. Besides, I now have an electric garlic roaster that perfectly roasts three bulbs at a time.

      2. re: nick_r

        Don't mean to gang up on you, but I have to put my vote in there against the Stinking Rose and I love garlic. I can see how the kitchy atmosphere could be fun for some though.

        1. re: Hapafish

          Kitchy atmosphere or not, I think their toy box tomato salad could go mano a mano with any other like it in town. They even make great mojitos.

          But, no worries, y'all. You're just making it easier for me to get in on a weekend night.

        2. re: nick_r

          I loved the Stinking Rose- have been there twice...but maybe being a garlic devotee made it more like a pilgrimage to Mecca than merely "dining out." True, the prices are a bit higher than other places, but this is THE Temple of Garlic.

        3. Jiraffe in Santa Monica. Consistently exceptional over the last 7 years or so that I have been going.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AlabasterDisaster

            Absolutely!!...Jiraffe is one of the few consistant, better quality restaurants in the area...As someone who goes at least once a month, I have never had a bad meal...and most have been outstanding!...and a decent value as well!

          2. Il Tiramisu in Sherman Oaks.

            I find the food there really good, and the srvice above and beyond most other places. I've only had better service at Providence and Spago. Also, their wine and beer dinners are great!

            Midori AYCE Sushi

            Okay, it isn't the best sushi in the world. But it's actually (to me) better than a lot of place. No matter what, it's better than supermarket sushi. You can really stuff yourself with pretty good sushi for around $30. Ther are other sushi bars with worse sushi and a higher price.

            Gelson's salad bar/Bakery/ Deli I just find it fresh and good, and again, great service.

            Rahel. I love her food, I love that it's BYOB.

            Mel's Diner: I like going there late for a shake and a good piece of apple pie. If Lucky Devil's did a good pie, though, i'd leave Mel's in a second.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Diana

              Diana, you've posted about Rahel a lot. Maybe I'll try it this weekend. What should I order?

              1. re: whatsfordinner

                The special combo or hudade combo the besso drink, the vegan cheesecake.

                If you get the hudade combo, be sure to get sambussas on the side.

                Here's a link to the site, which has a coupon on it!

                1. re: whatsfordinner

                  also, at rahel get the shiro and order some of their red pepper condiment, awazay, on the side.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      you get shiro on the combo platters.

                      1. re: Diana

                        it isn't on the 'lunch special' combination platter.

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          No, it is on two or all of the offered dinner combos-house special, hudade or vegetarian (I forget which). I always prefer to go for dinner.

                2. My Brother's BBQ, in Woodland Hills. Everybody on this board hates it, except me! I like the combo dinners, with pork and beef ribs and tri-tip, and cole slaw and baked beans and greasy texas toast, with leftovers for the next day, for under $20. Ask for the goofy re-usable I HEART BBQ bib (which I wear casually around my friends to freak them out)... But even the haters kinda like their broasted chicken (not the BBQ chicken), which is better than the fried chicken at most other valley spots. This is BBQ for the anti-purists, of which there is apparently only one on these boards: me! :-)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: silence9

                    There are a number of us that have been supporting My Brothers...I have been going since the early 60s when it was one of the only places to eat in this part of the Valley!...and you are correct about the broasted chicken...when it is on, it is the best "fried" chicken in SoCal!!...and their BBQ beans are wonderful as well!

                    1. re: silence9

                      I'll support it with you! Love their tri-tip and the waitress is always so nice.

                    2. Tito's and Johnnies Pastrami. I'm inexpensive.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: monkuboy

                        You're not walking out of Johnnies without dropping at least $12.

                        1. re: monkuboy

                          That's funny. I quit going there because I thought some of their price increases were out of line.

                          1. re: BeenThereAteThat

                            I guess I should correct myself... I meant Tito's when I said "inexpensive." (as slink out of the room..)