Need to take my New Mexicans friends out for a weekend. Ideas please...
I have some friends from Albuquerque visiting next month and would like to introduce them to things specifically made/grown/cultivated here in Los Angeles or California. I would like to take them out for a California cuisine type meal and I would like to take them to a Farmer's Market to buy special things to take back with them. What would you suggest to buy at the Market? Any suggestions for dinner? They will be staying either at The Hotel Figueroa or in Calabasas. Not sure yet...Are there any must-dos while they are here? Please take into consideration that we are working on a small budget so more than a $30 dinner won't do. Also, they do not drink alcohol at all and won't be impressed with trendy hip restaurants. They are not into that. Just good food, good friends and fun things to take back with them.
Musha in Santa Monica for Japanese pub food (Wilshire Blvd. near 5th Street) and Korean BBQ in Korean-town. I doubt that Albuquerque or other smaller cities in NM would offer anything at all similar. If they have the spirit of adventure and something to wear that they don't care if it comes out smelling of smoke then Soot Bull Jeep is the place to take them.
You'll be surprised what they have there in ABQ; they've got a supermarket there (Ta Lin) that shames any market we have here: it's like Whole Foods + Trader Joe + 99 Ranch + ... + ...
When my friends from the Painted Desert come to visit LA, we go out for sushi and Vietnamese. And In-N-Out, of course.
My favorite market is the Sunday Hollywood Farmer's Market. Currently it's squash season, so stock up on your gourds. Grab some mushrooms while you're there. Ramps might still be around, as might tomatoes.
Calabasas is a long ways away. My first rec is normally Shibuya, but it'll blow your budget. My second rec is usually La Paz, but it feels silly to take your Southwestern friends out for Mexican food. My third rec in the Calabasas area is to take Malibu Canyon toward the ocean and have lunch at Taverna Tony for some Greek food.
Near the Hotel Figueroa, I would recommend taking them to a few LA institutions like Pantry or Philippes. You could also swing them through Little Tokyo.
I second a downtown day. Cruise through the Grand Central Market. Not too chowish, but walk down Broadway and get a snack at Cliftons. After a meal at Philippes, walk around Chinatown and explore the markets and malls. A few decent Vietnamese options reside there also. Get a day pass, hop on the MTA rail and see the sights:
Philippe the Original
1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
648 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Original Pantry Cafe
877 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90017
We're considering moving to Santa Fe and one thing that L.A. has that NM doesn't is... seafood and Asian cuisine. I'd either take them for sushi or seafood somewhere or go to the San Gabriel Valley for Chinese... maybe dim sim. Stay away from Mex -- they have plenty of that (though it's diff than New Mex and SWest -- they have it all in spades). They also have great farmer's markets as someone said above -- so give them something different a la San Gabriel Valley or sushi. That's what I'm gonna miss most if we move --
Good luck with your move. I love it out there and considered moving to ABQ a couple years ago. I just wasn't getting the right job offers to do it. Someday...maybe. I love New Mex food and THAT is one thing you can't get out here. There are no shortages of good restaurants out there. I wish you luck.
Thank you all for your recs. I will take them into consideration.
My husband and I travel to Albuquerque frequently in anticipation of relocating in the future ... when we get back to town we're ready for LA fixes:
1)Double-Double - In n Out
2)Good Tom Yum/Thai or chinese - lots of postings for SGV
3)Good Persian or Greek Food - Papa Christos is good.
4)Really good sandwich - usually Pastrami - second Phillipes and my ABQ friends love it when i take them for a classic french dip or lamb sandwich
5)Good Doughnut/Bagels - check the boards
6)Good Ice cream- check the boards
7) almost forgot - fish tacos/fish soup - check the boards
Farmer's Markets - Second the Hollywood FM on Sunday ...even Beverly Hills would be a good choice ... then hit Sprinkles for a cupcake ... everyone should try "the cupcake" if only once. Enjoy your company ... and even though we'll miss our LA food ... can't wait to live in the "Land of Enchantment".
These aren't necessarily dinner, nor "California," but certainly LA treats and good for budgets...
Rahel or Meals by Genet for Ethiopian
Los Balcones de Peru
Sanam Luang or Jitlada Thai
Shamshiri Grill or Javan
26 Beach (if it's not too pricey)
Sa Rit Gol
Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles