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Sep 10, 2007 03:39 PM

Unique foods - LA?

I am doing a project for school that is due next week. I need your help!

I am going to write an article (and reviews) on restaurants in LA but these restaurants need to offer something unique. I'm trying to think "off the beaten path". Are there any restaurants in Los Angeles (and surrounding areas) that offer unique tasty dishes? Something you can't find anywhere else? Weird dishes or silly concoctions? These can be as cheap as roach coaches or up to $30-40 per person. Any unique alcoholic beverages or funky desserts? If you were me, what would you write about? This is my chance to taste some fun unique food and get my school work done at the same time. I need atleast 3 restaurants to write about. Please think outside the box. I'd really appreciate your recs.

I know you awesome folks out there can help. I love you peeps! xoxo

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  1. There was an article in last week's Calendar Weekend in the L.A. Times about Extreme Dining.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Amuse Bouches

      Eep! OK, I don't think I am that brave though. Live octopus and crickets! I was thinking food more unique (not extreme). But please let me know if any of you chowhounders have had experience with this. Maybe a few martinis could induce a bit more bravery in me.

      1. re: Burger Boy

        Cool. Anyone eaten here? Original Bill's Taco House. Any other recs? Hey I heard of a weird donut shop that has mochi donuts. Anyone know about this?

        1. re: missmodular818

          I have and I love it, there are 3 other places that do this, but this is the only one to go to!

          1. re: missmodular818

            mochi donuts!!!!! oh my gosh, please share if you find it.

            another unique street food is hodduk, a korean rice cake dessert thing you can buy at the california market in koreatown.

          2. re: Burger Boy

            A few week's ago on KCRW's radio show "Good Food," there was a piece on eyeball tacos, with a man who writes a blog on this very topic called "Deep End Dining."

            1. re: holleygolitely

              Oh, I am so not down with Cow eyeballs. Maybe I shouldn't have titled this post "Weird" although I am sure there are many weird concoctions/combinations of food that doesn't have to do with the left-over parts of animals. I know I know. I am wimpy. Maybe this post will be harder to answer than originally thought.

          3. I think breakfast at Doughboy's deserves mention -- those guys are doing things with pancakes that only an 8-year old boy with an unlimited grocery budget could dream of.

            4 Replies
            1. re: nick_r

              Here we go! Something I can eat. Serve them up. I've been meaning to try the Rice-Krispies Pancake with Marshmallow cream on top. Now that is unique - a pancake with rice krispie cereal mixed throughout with a dollop of marshie cream? Hello! Genius! Anyone try them?

              1. re: missmodular818

                If I'm not mistaken, Phong Dinh in San Gabriel serves snake and kangaroo, although their most popular dish is the rather mild baked catfish.
                They also serve wild boar and quail.

                1. re: missmodular818

                  I did.

                  I am glad I was brave enough to try them.

                  I will not be ordering them again.

                  If you get them, wear a giant poncho because the marshmallow. Gets. Everywhere.

                  That is all.

                  P.S. It's not really "marshmallow cream" but rather a whole freaking bag of mini marshmallows melted on top.

                2. re: nick_r

                  Griddle Cafe moreso than Doughboys!

                  Griddle Cafe
                  7916 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                3. You can get insects and other creepy crawlies at Typhoon, and there's also that restaurant Opaque where you eat in the dark. Also, Melt in Culver City specializes in grilled cheese (possibly too tame, but I like the idea and am dying to go). I've heard of restaurants that just serve PB&J or Spam dishes, but I don't know names/locations. It's a long hike (and not technically in LA), but Coldspring Tavern near Santa Ynez has interesting dishes featuring various game animals.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Juji

                    Creepy Crawlies = Hebejebees

                    That place Opaque seems really interesting. I checked out their website. That is really unique and cool BUT *boo hoo* outside the budget range. Needs to stay under $40 per person. I saw the menu was $99 per person.

                    Love you all but can we try and avoid insect and eyeball recommendations? xoxo

                    1. re: missmodular818

                      Cold Spring Tavern up north is a fantastic idea... it's an old stagecoach stop which has retained a fantastic rustic charm. Think rough timber, old west, dirt roads.


                      Oh yes, and pretty much the entire San Gabriel Valley for Chinese food.

                      Taiwanese Stinky Tofu? Check.
                      Islamic Chinese? Check.
                      Spicy Szechuan Hotpot? Check.
                      Freshly made hand pulled noodles in beef soup? Check.
                      Dumplings with soup that appears magically *inside* the dumpling? Check.

                      Mr Taster
                      Protect Chowhound
                      Boycott Avatars!

                  2. Mashti Malone's is the only Persian ice cream joynt I know of in the United States, so that's definitely an "only in LA" experience.

                    Some of the Korean places in LA are also pretty special and not nearly as prevalent in other parts of the country.

                    The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills has a much bigger variety of cheese than you can find in most cities in America (SF and NYC would be the only ones who match it), so that could be an interesting eating experience to write about.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: glutton

                      Oh, very good stuff. I went on the website for Mashti Malone's and it looks as if they are opening a new shop in Glendale. Rosewater ice cream. Sounds nice. I do enjoy the persian desserts that have the rosewater sugar syrup drizzled on top. Must try this.

                      1. re: missmodular818

                        The place in Glendale is already opened and has been for a couple years -- I don't think they update their websites very often. the rosewater ice cream is excellent, especially with a bit of the lemon or currant syrup drizzled on top. Or you could try their saffron flavor -- that's a personal favorite.

                        1. re: glutton

                          Is that what they have in the ketchup and mustard bottles? I thought it was lemon juice and sour cherry syrup.

                          1. re: rastan

                            Yes and do give it a try -- they're fantastic.

                      2. re: glutton

                        Mashti's is great, and the sorbet with noodles (forget the name) in it is truly a unique food. It's delicious!

                        1. re: gsw

                          I think it's called "faludeh".