Dinner around the world - help!
I'm on a quest to eat a representative meal from every country in the world. Of course, most I'll have to make myself, but whenever possible I want to eat the real deal at restaurants.
I'm from Texas, coming to Anaheim for a conference at the end of October. Will be in the area for 7 days, and I'd like to have 7 great lunches and an equal number of great dinners - from as many countries as possible. I've had the basics - Thai, Chinese, French, etc.
What would really please me would be some not-so-basics. How about Tunisian food? Cambodian? Bangladeshi? Nicaraguan? You get the idea - things I'd not easily find anywhere but in a place like LA.
So, can you help out this ambitious taste-bud-traveler?
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Noah of Man Bites World. He ate in a different country's restaurant every day until he'd exhausted the possibilities that he found here in L.A. The link to his archive is: http://manbitesworld.com/Archives/76/... and it will have a great deal of potentially useful information. It's a couple of years old at this point, so you might want to call some of these places to make sure they're still around.
You may also want to consider one of the only (they call themselves "THE only") Portuguese restaurant in the L.A. area. Euro Cafe. It's in Claremont. From Anaheim you can take the 57 Freeway to the 210 Freeway. The restaurant is just off the 210 at Baseline and Mills. This is a post-drive-time trip.
Filipino food can be found in Cerrotis, which isn't too far from OC.
Magic Wok is good for traditional food, in a hole in the wall setting. Uhh....the link thing didn't work right for it.....but its the one in Cerritos near ARtesia Blvd. Here's a review from elmomonster.
If you want grilled meats and other assorted filipino food in a nicer seting, check out
Two of the world's most eclectic and varied cuisines have a fair amount of representation in the general LA area. Peruvian and Persian cuisines have tons of history and cultures attributing to their respective evolutions.
Peruvian is somewhat scattered all over So Cal, and I don't know the ones in OC. But in the LA area, a few come to mind in no order:
Las Quenas on Sherman Way
12708 Sherman Way
North Hollywood, CA 91605
Los Balcones del Peru
1360 Vine St
Hollywood, CA 90028
5786 Melrose Ave
LA, CA 90038
Kotosh at Kamiyama
Persian restos for the most part are concentrated in the Westwood area of Los Angeles called, "Tehrangeles," Beverly Hills, the San Fernando Valley, and some Glendale. Moreover, alot of Persian restos, markets and bakeries are on Westwood Blvd in Westwood.
Shamshiri (lots of loveon this board for price/quality/service/quantity
)1712 Westwood Blvd
LA, CA 90024
Flame (recently reviewed by J. Gold, LA Weekly)
1422 Westwood Blvd
LA, CA 90024
Rose Market (various Persian groceries, but known for their Persian ice creams
)1922 Westwood Blvd
LA, CA 90024
I envy you for all the choices that you're having to choose from, especially if it's your first shot at all of these recs from our posters. But on the same token I feel for you in having to narrow your choices down to the final list. Realistically, if you choose to head to LA from the OC, try to travel on our freeways during the off-hours. AM and PM rush hours on the 5 can be horrid, as well as alot of the other freeways that you'll most likely be navigating. And I'm not sure if your experiences in Thai and Chinese have been in the general LA and San Gabriel Valley areas - if not, then give these cuisines another shot - I think you'll be amazed.
Ah, a post after my own heart. I've eliminated all those in the San Fernando Valley as being too far. The info is not complete on all of them and I hope they're all still in business:
Argentina - Carlito's Gardel - West Hollywood
Bangladesh - Makkah Halal - Korea Town
Belgium - Brussels Bistro - Laguna Beach
Benin - Uncle Al's Seafood - Long Beach
Belize - Little Belize - Inglewood
Bosnia - Aroma Cafe - W.L.A.
Bulgaria - Danube - Westwood
1303 Westwood Blvd., (310) 473-2414
Burma - Golden Triangle - Whittier
Chile - Rincon Chileno - Hollywood
Costa Rica - La Casa de Fernando - Anaheim
Crotia - Ante's - San Pedro
Ecuador - El Caserio - Silverlake
Egypt - Pharaoh's Restaurant - Orange
1841 E Chapman Ave, (714) 633-8570
Enteria - Red Sea - Culver City
German - Jagerhaus - Anaheim
Haiti - Tigeorge's Chicken - Downtown-ish L.A.
Hungary - Duna Csarda - West(?) Hollywood
Kenya - Ngoma - Mid-Wilshire (& other mid-African countries).
Korea - Soot Bull Jeep - KoreaTown
Indonesia - Toko Rame - Bellflower
Ivory Coast - Sweet Africa Fast Food - Inglewood (6 tables).
Lebanese - Sunnin - Long Beach
Lithuanian - Tanya's Russian Bistro - Rancho Palos Verdes
(310) 521-9621 (Cook/Chef is from Kaunas).
Mayalsian - Belacan Grill - Rendodo Beach
Morocco - Tagine - West Hollywood
Mozambique - Mozambique - Laguna Beach
Nepal - Katmandu Kitchen - WLA (south)
Nigeria - Lagos Cafe - Gardena
No. Korea - Yongsusan - K-Town
Pakistan - Shan - Artesia
Peru - Kotosh at Kamiyana - Torance (Peruvian/Japanese).
Poland - Warszawa - Santa Monica
Russia - Trakir - West Hollywood
Senegal - Bistro 4040 - Baldwin Hills
Serbia - Metro Cafe - Culver City
Singapore - Banana Leaf - West Hollywood
3rd st Farmer's market
South Africa - Springbok - Long Beach
Switzerland - Waterfront cafe - Venice
Syria - Sham - Santa Monica
Trinidad & Tobago - Caribbean Treehouse - Inglewood
Tunisia - Moun of Tunis - Hollywood
Uzbekistan - Uzbekistan - Hollywood
Venezuela - Coupa Cafe - Beverly Hills
Since you're willing to drive in the evening, how about the Tibet-Nepal House in Pasadena for dinner one night? This is a link to the full menu: http://tibetnepalhouse.com/menu_print.html and this is a link to the website:http://tibetnepalhouse.com .
Not a bad drive from Anaheim - straight up the 57 to the 210 and then head west - can be done in an hour if not at rush hour.
Tibet Nepal House
36 E. Holly Street, Pasadena, CA 91103
...but in rush hour will take 2 or more hours (trust me on this, I split my worktime between Orange and Burbank and have lived both in the Valley and in Anaheim)... always, always, always check sigalert.com or commuteview.net. Chow is worth driving for, but if you're angry and upset when you get there, the food won't taste as good.
re: Das Ubergeek
Excellent point on the two hours and the anger affecting enjoyment of food.
Perhaps it'd be worth considering on the day after the OP's conference ends, when they say that they'll have more time for travel? It's my understanding that the lunch buffet is quite good.
Another idea (may have been suggested up-thread, but I'm having trouble expanding the previous posts) would be to check out some of the Ethiopian places in LA (a search should yield decent results).
There's an Ethiopian place and an Eritrean place (why the distinction, I don't know, the food is identical but named in Tigrinya at Merhaba and Amharic at Tana) both in Anaheim. Not as good as South Fairfax Avenue, but good enough to save the drive.
And my explorations last night turned up a North Korean place in Garden Grove, Ham-hung. (Naengmyon is a speciality of North Korea, but it's certainly not limited to North Korean restaurants -- the menu, however, advertises Pyongyang-style and Hamhung-style naengmyon, which are North Korean.)
re: Das Ubergeek
How far are you willing to drive? While OC has many choices like Vietnamese, Korean, etc, your options expand immensely if you expand your driving radius. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're attending a conference, you might not have time to drive out to all these recommendations and then come back for the afternoon session. Thrown in the Orange Crush factor and it's conceivable that you end up spending more time in a car than you will in a restaurant.
Your point about drive time is well taken. I'm willing to drive far for the unusual. How far? 90 minutes I guess.
However, given my parameters (in Anaheim for a conference), part of what's great about this board and the input I've had is that I can start mapping out what could be reached for lunch and what would need to wait until dinner. I'll also stay 1.5 days after the conference for fun and have more time/space at my disposal.
These suggestions are fantastic! I'm most grateful.
Warszawa (or Polka ) for Polish
Los Balcones de Peru or Qusqo for Peruvian
Chibcha for Colombian
Derrick's for Jamaican
Aristo Cafe (or Sofra) for Turkish
Manila Sunrise (or Aristocrat) for Filipino
Tigeorges' Kitchen for Haitian
El Asador for Nicaraguan
Uzbekistan for Uzbek
Csardas for Hungarian
Vienna Cafe for Austrian
Selamat Detang (or Belacan Grill) for Malaysian
Indo Cafe (or Ramayani) for Indonesian
Tagine or Mouns of Tunis or Katoubia for Moroccan
Rinconcito Ecuatoriano for Ecuadorian
Los Chorros for El Salvadorean
Well, immediately adjacent to Anaheim is Orange County's Little Saigon -- you can definitely get Vietnamese food there. You can have Indonesian in Rowland Heights (in Yes Plaza at the corner of Colima and Fullerton Rd). Anaheim has an Eritrean restaurant called Merhaba at the corner of Ball Rd and Dale St and an Ethiopian place (honestly, the food is identical) called Tana on La Palma Avenue. Palestine is represented by Anaheim's Little Gaza, near the intersection of Ball and Brookhurst, Lebanon by Zena's Lebanese on Tustin Street in the city of Orange. There's North Korean in LA's Koreatown, though I disremember the name of the restaurant -- someone will chime in, it's the dongchimi place where they won't let you take the leftovers.
There are Pakistani restaurants in Artesia, about a 30 minute drive from Anaheim, and an Uzbek restaurant (Uzbekistan) in Hollywood. Burmese food can be had in Whittier (Golden Triangle); Laotian can be had in Long Beach, but no specific restaurant names spring to mind.
We have Turner New Zealand in Costa Mesa, and Springbok Bar & Grill in Long Beach for South African; Kabo Cafe in Long Beach has Belgian, American and Congolese food. (OK, it has like two Congolese dishes, but still... where are you going to get a Congolese restaurant anywhere??) There's Kalesa Grill in Anaheim which will give you Filipino food and Dunarea, also in Anaheim, has Romanian food despite describing itself as "European cuisine".
Further afield is a Bolivian restaurant in North Hollywood's arts district; more Guatemalan bakeries than you can shake a stick at in the San Fernando Valley; a Colombian restaurant that's technically in Burbank; a bunch of Jamaican places in Inglewood.
For a start, take advantage of L.A.'s vast Central American and South American communities and have food from El Salvador, Columbia, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and Ecuador. Don't have time to list them all but search the L.A. board under these countries and you'll find plenty of choices.
Also, Long Beach for Cambodian, Hollywood and North Hollywood for the best Thai.
Cambodian is easy. Long Beach actually has a designated Cambodia Town. Two restaurants that have both received good reviews here are:
1. Monorom 2150 East Anaheim Street Long Beach (562) 987-0130
2, Siem Reap 1810-1812 East Anaheim Street Long Beach (562) 591-7414
I'm sure you will be getting more recommendations for other places to try to complete your "trip"