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If I was to eat 5 meals in LA in one day, where...?

Heading up to check out the LA food scene.

Looking to eat Brunch, Lunch and 3 dinners in 1 day.

Where can we get serious food, in a casual neighborhood setting with no B.S.?

Your help is appreciated.

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  1. What kind of palate are you looking for?

    More nice, trendier restaurants? Low budget ethnic eats? Anything you don't eat? Also what part of L.A. are you talking.

    L.A. has a plethora of great places to eat, one of the things though is that its so big its hard to just give pple straight recommendations unless we really know what to dial into.

    here are a few Generic Recs. Like I said I'm not sure if this is what you're aiming for so more feedback would help.

    Brunch
    Dim Sum in SGV - Numerous Choices I like NBC, 888 for traditional, Mission 261 and sea harbour tend to be popular of nuevo style.

    Lunch - Silverlake has a few nice places. I you can always do something like Phillipes for a cheaper lunch. Its an L.A. landmark for a reason (and get the lamb over the beef). The place is in Downtown right between chinatown and GC station. Can always go to olvera st afterward and get some churro's, or those wheat chip things with the chili or some other kinda snack as well.

    Dinner - I would say somewhere in K-town for a reasonably priced decent dinner. Korean BBQ or Soon Doo Boo.

    Those are some quick recs. Nothing too trendy of flashy but solid and playing to some of L.A. strengths in its ethnic diversity as well as its history.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Mando

      We're actually up there for the purpose of research and development...

      We're looking for neighborhood spots with great food...Not so interested in Asian food for this visit, want more Mediterranean fare, CA cuisine, Tapas, and comfort food...

      What would you recommend for this?

      Thanks for your help...

        1. re: SauceSupreme

          Tasca, AOC & Little Next Door seem like a good fit for us.

          What other alternatives are there for us...

          I'm looking for something that truly captures what a neighborhood restaurant is all about, with great food of course...

          Doesn't all have to be in the same vicinity...

          Your help is invaluable...

          TY

          1. re: purensimple

            I have not gone yet, but by all reports, All'Angelo seems to be a hit, able to take on (and to some, surpass) nearby heavyweights such as Osteria Mozza and Angelini Osteria. Also, if you're sticking to comfort food, I still reach for Doughboys. They have a dish called "the afterschool special" which is grilled cheese sandwich and a cream of tomato soup.

            Another neighborhood to scope out is the rejuvenated Culver City scene, with stalwarts like Ford's Filling Station and newcomers like Fraiche. With its movie theaters, shopping and coffee/wine shops, it's still far enough away from tourist drags like Hollywood and Santa Monica that it retains a locals-only vibe. Culver City/Palms/West LA is also home to many ethnic holes-in-the-wall to counterbalance the finer-dining scene. My most recent stops there in that category include Gaby's on Venice and a Brazilian joint whose name escapes me right now (next to the Brazilian joint is a halal market; next to that is a panaderia).

            Abbott Kinney is another neighborhood that could even be described as defiantly locals only. I like the Other Room there as well as Joe's, but admittedly I don't make it to that neck of the woods nearly enough.

            It won't help you out in terms of your restraurant concept in La Jolla, but I'd recommend at least driving through the Sawtelle neighborhood, between Olympic and Wilshire. Here, Japanese food is the coin of the realm. Actually, lately I've found myself frequently recommending Orris, and I'll do the same here, because it still follows under the small-plates philosophy, but is Japan by way of Provence.

            Last time I was in your neck of the woods, I had a wonderful meal at the Sky Room at La Valencia.

            1. re: SauceSupreme

              I would agree with the Abbot Kinney rec. The restaurants are very nice, but they have a decidedly neighborhood feel to them. That is the case with Joe's, Lilly's, Piccolo, and Hal's. I prefer them in that order. I did not include Axe, Wabi Sabi, and a few other places on the list because they frankly have a too-cool-for-school atttitude that doesn't feel so neighborly.

              1. re: glutton

                I forgot to mention 3 Square on Abbot Kinney. Great brunch. It's Austrian-California food, which sounds like an odd match, but this chef has pulled off this trick for years at various restaurants. He serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The brunch on the weekends is especially good. Wonderful baked goods, especially if you like pretzel rolls.

        2. re: purensimple

          Father's Office on Montana in Santa Monica. It's a neighborhood bar that focuses on beer, but their office burger, fries and small plates are incredibly delicious.

          1. re: purensimple

            For neighborhood spots serving CA Cuisine/Mediterranean/comfort food, I'd check out Blair's in Silverlake, Canele in Atwater Village, Nook Bistro in West LA, and Violet in Santa Monica. I think Blair's is the only one open for breakfast, and Canele is only open for dinner. Violet and Nook are open for lunch and dinner.

            http://www.blairsrestaurant.com/

            http://www.canele-la.com/

            http://www.nookbistro.com/

            http://www.violetrestaurant.com/

            1. re: purensimple

              1. Ford's Filling Station in Culver City - great food - great wine - no bs
              2. M & M Soul Food Cafe on Centinenla in Culver City - authentic southern fried chicken, candied yams, greens, black eyed peas, and cornbread and a lot more - it's the real deal - the waitresses will call you, baby.
              3. Zeke's Smokehouse in Montrose - Great BBQ of all kinds in a quaint, retro downtown area - aweome pulled pork sandwiches - you will not be disappointed (dont go to the Hollywood location - it lost something in the translation)
              http://www.zekessmokehouse.com/
              4. 26 Beach Cafe in Venice for awesome burgers, fries,and salads
              5. Cora's Coffee Shop on Ocean in Santa Monica - have a memorable breakfast of orange pancakes with blueberries or a lunch of roast chicken, pasta and homemade bread for lunch - only open for dinner in the summer as most of the tables are on a patio - and there will be a wait....(same food as its' upscale sister restaurant, Capo, at a fraction of the cost and and none of the attitude)

          2. Boys, I’m not sure everyone is able to read between the lines. You don’t want Asian and I don’t imagine you really want classic Italian either.

            AOC is wonderful but know that it’s rather upscale and pricey, not really comfort food. Tasca is much more casual and possibly worth a peak.

            But, I believe what you’re really looking for is:

            Brunch at SQUARE ONE- definitely.

            Then, places like:

            YORK in Highland Park
            BLAIR’S in Silver Lake
            THE 3RD STOP across from Cedars

            And the Culver City duo of FORD’S FILLING STATION and FRAICHE was a good rec. too.

            1. Welcome to chowhound purensimple. OK, Brunch, Lunch and 3 dinners in 1 day I will focus on my impression of CA cuisine and comfort food ideas, with no Bull Shit, for your research and development of a neighborhood spot. My dream California neighborhood place to eat would have to have Chicken and Waffles for a Calif. brunch, and for lunch and dinner a Chinese Chicken Salad (an LA creation), a steak salad (asada is best), a burger, a chili dog, a California pizza, shrimp tacos, and cakes and pies. IMO, in Calif. most other food items seem to come and go with the ocean tides and therefore are Bull Shit that do not pay the bills of a neighborhood place unless they are extra special. If one single place could re-create this stuff below they would never have time to make anything else.

              The best Chinese Chicken Salad IMO, is at California Chicken Café (seven locations and growing fast, IMO, proves MO). I order it without the pasta and with extra almonds. The dressing is special and the chicken is made on their rotisserie. Closed on Sunday.
              California Chicken Café
              6805 Melrose Avenue
              (between LaBrea & Highland at NW corner of Mansfield)
              Los Angeles, CA 90038
              (323) 935-5877
              http://www.californiachickencafe.com/

              Tops makes the best burger in LA, IMO, for under $10. The Kobe Bistro Cheese Burger for $6.49 is ½ lb. American Kobe Beef Burger, Smoked Mozzarella Cheese, Caramelized onions, Tomato and Greens, and Herb Mayonnaise on a Ciabatta roll. Try it with a small order of the deep fried zucchini (enough food for two hungry adults). Also a must try is the Asada Totasda which is a very large steak salad served in a large deep fried tortilla bowl)
              Tops
              3838 E Colorado Blvd (Between Rosemead Blvd. And Michillinda)
              Pasadena, CA 91107-3940
              (626) 449-4412
              www.theoriginaltops.com/

              The best chili dog (meat and chili being the best) is Carneys.
              http://www.carneytrain.com/

              The best Chicken Fried Steak, cakes and pies in LA, IMO, is at Bake 'n Broil (maybe the best neighborhood place in LA) Try the Red Velvet cupcake which is actually a sexy naughty crimson. Also try the chocolate cupcake and the banana cream pie. They also make a great burger specail which comes with a slice of pie.
              Jongeward's Bake 'n Broil
              3697 Atlantic Ave (North of 405 – corner of 37th st.)
              Long Beach, CA 90807
              (562) 595-0396

              You may hear others say that a place in East LA (Tacos Baja) makes a good fish or shrimp taco. IMO, they are good but the best is at Tacos la Bufadora - outstanding! Nuff said.
              Tacos la Bufadora (Deep Fried Fish and Shrimp tacos and burritos. Try Shrimp Burrito with NO rice & beans request only the taco ingredients. Menudo Sat/Sun while it last
              )10990 Lower Azusa Rd (Just West of Santa Anita.)
              El Monte, CA 91731
              (626) 575-7174

              Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles (5 locations of bliss)
              830 N Lake Ave.,
              Pasadena, ca
              http://www.roscoeschickenandwaffles.com/

              For a very good example of Calif. Pizza I suggest the Pizza Bakery.
              Pizza Bakery (try the Margartia and the Chevre pizza)
              1741 Westcliff Dr,
              Newport Beach, CA 92660
              (949) 631-1166
              thepizzabakery.com/
              http://www.chow.com/places/7471

              1 Reply
              1. Serious food! I love it.

                Sounds like you're onto a fun project.
                For your research, I agree with recommendations for Ford/Fraiche and Orris.

                I also recommend 26 Beach (bfast/salads), Clementine (bfast/lunch for the work crowd), Nook (comfort food/beverage list), Rustic Canyon (wine list/vibe), Fritto Misto (modifiable healthy/unique menu) and BLD (sandwiches and flair)

                1 Reply
                1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                  I'd endorse Nook, Rustic Canyon and BLD as contenders.

                2. if you are willing to reconsider the no-asian stipulation -- definitely make one of those meals in koreatown. of course you can't go wrong with any of the suggestions made here, but k-town is really unique to L.A. and offers food and an experience found nowhere else in the country. not to mention that korean bbq-type cuisine is very different from other asian cuisines popular in the u.s. (more carnivorous -- resembles u.s. bbq more than chinese/japanese cuisine) so it might pleasantly surprise you by fitting in with your tastes. whatever you decide to do though enjoy la and happy hunting!