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Restaurants you love that are rarely mentioned on Chowhound

fdb Nov 1, 2007 10:57 PM


  1. hrhboo Nov 2, 2007 10:17 AM

    I rarely see it mentioned here, but I adore Toscana in Brentwood. I also really like El Rincon Crillo for Cuban. Wabi-Sabi never gets mentioned here because their sushi is not very good, but I like their cooked dishes a lot. Il Tramezzino in BH has some of the best panini I've ever eaten.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hrhboo
      Diana Nov 2, 2007 01:06 PM

      Il Tramezzino is also in Studio City, and theyre building one in Tarzana

      1. re: Diana
        fdb Nov 2, 2007 04:24 PM

        I, too, feel Il Tramezzino makes the best panini to my liking. Been to both BH and SC places. Somehow I feel the SC store can be inconsistent with sandwich flavoring.

    2. PaulF Nov 2, 2007 10:32 AM

      Ronnie's Diner in Culver City.

      I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner there all the time.

      It gets crowded on the weekend and it's kid friendly. I've mentioned it a few times on the board, but I don't think readers here have caught on to it.


      I also like Phil Trani's in Long Beach. I never post about it though. I just like the old school meat and fish menu, mixed in with the Italian dishes. I like the bar and the music when they have a band.

      But I never recommend it because I don't know the Long Beach area and there might be other places down there that are better.


      Ronnie's and Phil's are my rarely mentioned places.

      I go to one way more than the other, due to where I live.

      9 Replies
      1. re: PaulF
        cakewhole Nov 2, 2007 11:47 AM

        I am THRILLED to hear about Ronnie's Diner. We live nearby and I have been unable to convince my breakast-out-reticent spouse to give this place a try. Now I have ammunition/proof that it's at least worth a shot! Thanks, PaulF. Their menu looks like good, solid diner food. Will report back.

        1. re: cakewhole
          PaulF Nov 2, 2007 12:21 PM

          We love it.

          Definitely our go to place when we can't think of any other place.

          We like the dinner specials, the turkey chili, the healthy breakfast plates ...

          Oh, wait, it's crowded enough ...

          Ronnie's sucks. don't go there. You won't like it.

          1. re: PaulF
            nosh Nov 2, 2007 12:43 PM

            Agree that the best breakfast place/diner in W.L.A. is in Culver City, but I always thought it was S & W. Where is Ronnie's? What do they do better? (Probably impossible for them to be less costly or give bigger, hotter portions.)

            1. re: nosh
              PaulF Nov 2, 2007 01:05 PM

              They are different.

              Ronnie's leans towards healthier fare, though you can get anything you want there.

              I've only ordered the hash at S&W. It's great, btw.

              Ronnie's is just different, that's all.

              I don't know what they do better. S&W might actually be better. I like Ronnie's because the food is really good and it's more convenient.

              Ronnie's also has a fare share of healthier items.

              I can't explain the difference, but they are really different.

              YMMV ...

              1. re: PaulF
                kevin Nov 2, 2007 11:57 PM

                is it in the same complext as an italian restaurant on cluvler blvd, closer to say playa del rey, than downtown culver city proper????

                did you once say it had great turkey meatloaf too????

                1. re: kevin
                  fdb Nov 3, 2007 01:30 AM

                  Ronnie's Diner
                  12740 Culver Blvd # J (at McConnell)
                  Los Angeles, CA

                  1. re: kevin
                    PaulF Nov 3, 2007 08:36 AM

                    I think of it as Culver City, because Culver City has odd tendrils that snake towards the Marina.

                    It's in the same lot as an Italian place, a Japanese curry/noodle place and a bar.

          2. re: PaulF
            cakewhole Nov 3, 2007 11:27 AM

            I'm reporting back on Ronnie's. We went there for the first time this morning and really liked this place. The people are friendly, the vibe is unpretentious, the prices are reasonable, and hot food arrived quickly. The food isn't "gourmet" or high-end but it's not meant to be. It's meant to be solid, dependable food served up, it seemed to us, in a neighborhood atmosphere-- and we think it lives up to these goals.

            As for the food, I had blueberry pancakes with poached eggs and bacon. The pancakes were fluffy and not too sweet (though they could've used a few more of those tasty blueberries), the eggs perfectly poached. I like my bacon thinner and crispier than they served it but this is a matter of personal preference. Something I really appreciate is that in addition to "table syrup" (artifically flavored corn syrup) they offer a good sized ramekin of REAL maple syrup for a very resonable price: an additional fifty cents. Why have pancakes if you can't have real maple syrup?

            My companions had the Louisiana Hot Links breakfast (very nice flavor) and a breakfast burrito which was pronounced to be very good. We also had a small taste of the Chile Verde, which was rich and flavorful.

            We all ordered coffee which was respectable but not as strong as we prefer. Our only real disappointment was that, this morning, anyway, we were not offered refills. I have the sense, though, that refills would've come quickly and cheerfully had we spoken up.

            PaulF, I can see why you'd like to keep this neighborhood place on the hush-hush. It's very solid, affordable diner food served in a pleasant, kid-friendly atmosphere. My breakfast out-averse spouse proclaimed that he'd happily go there anytime. We're looking forward to trying their lunch and dinner menu, too.

            1. re: cakewhole
              PaulF Nov 5, 2007 10:18 AM

              Nice report ...

              accurate to my experiences there ...

              I don't think I need to make excuses for the coffee refills, you already liked the place (and I feel responsible for you trying it). They do refill coffee as much as you want ... not sure why they didn't this time. They even bring me "soymilk on the side" without charging me.

              Were they playing horse racing on the tvs. (Ronnie's has a few tvs scattered around, with no sound on.) They always seem to have the races on, I've always guessed that one of the waiters/waitresses/chefs is a horse racing buff. I don't go for the tvs ... they are really sort of small an unobtrusive, but I have taken my younger son to Ronnie's for dessert and a few minutes of Monday Night Football on a silent tv when the older son has homework and we don't want to distract him.

              Nice report -- it is a neighborhood spot, not a destination. But if you're in the neighborhood ... it nicely fills a niche.

              Glad you liked it ...

          3. a_and_w Nov 2, 2007 10:38 AM

            Eduardo's -- definitely the best chicken, and possibly the best all-around burrito, I've had thus far in LA.

            Sham -- imo, better than Shamshiri and Sunin, which get a lot more love.

            Taco Plus -- my other go-to taqueria with burritos that are comparable to Tacomiendo's.

            13 Replies
            1. re: a_and_w
              Bria Silbert Nov 2, 2007 11:05 AM

              Totally agree with Tacos Plus - clean, inexpensive, fast.

              1. re: a_and_w
                Sandra W Nov 2, 2007 11:11 AM

                Love Eduardo's steak nachos, too.

                1. re: Sandra W
                  broncosaurus Nov 2, 2007 11:29 AM


                2. re: a_and_w
                  NAspy Nov 2, 2007 11:43 AM

                  I have been a regular at Tacos Plus but last time I ate there (last week) their al pastor tacos were really dried out and tasteless.

                  1. re: NAspy
                    nosh Nov 2, 2007 12:04 PM

                    Eduardo's is on the east side of Westwood Blvd, south of Santa Monica Blvd, in the strip mall just south of the car wash and north of Philly West, where you can get the best burger in L.A. for less than one of Eduardo's burritos. Taco Plus is on the S/W corner of Bundy and Santa Monica Blvd (or could it possibly be Pico?) but a block or two east on the north side of Santa Monica Blvd. is El Super Taco, associated with the fine folks from Monte Alban, which serves grilled onions with their (just over a) dollar tacos. Fine al pastor, good carnitas, inconsistent carne asada (often good, sometimes grey and awful), but the highlight is the orangeish habanero salsa available at their salsa bar.

                    1. re: nosh
                      mollyomormon Nov 2, 2007 02:50 PM

                      nope, you're correct that Taco Plus is on Santa Monica. I love the shrimp quesadilla there.

                      1. re: nosh
                        Servorg Nov 3, 2007 04:35 AM

                        Just so folks looking for Taco Plus aren't confused. It's actually on the SW corner of Ohio (Broadway when it's in Santa Monica) and Bundy in the little mall with the 7-11).

                        1. re: nosh
                          a_and_w Nov 3, 2007 09:19 AM

                          Yep. I keep meaning to try Philly West on your recommendation and Paul F's, but I always get distracted by Eduardo's...

                        2. re: NAspy
                          writergirl Nov 2, 2007 03:54 PM

                          There's also a Taco Plus next door to Sushi Zo. Are they the same? That one looks pretty generic. I'd be pleasantly surprised if they even have al Pastor.

                          1. re: writergirl
                            NAspy Nov 2, 2007 08:39 PM

                            That's the one I frequented and they do have al Pastor. The other location is the Santa Monica one.

                            1. re: NAspy
                              kevin Nov 2, 2007 11:58 PM

                              speaking of sushi zo isn't mentioned that off on chowhound.

                              (so i make a joke).

                          2. re: NAspy
                            a_and_w Nov 3, 2007 09:24 AM

                            Weird...I go to the S Bundy location and have never had that problem. When the al pastor at that branch sits too long, it tends to get oily and shredded, almost like carnitas. I try to avoid the problem by glancing at the steam table and deciding between the carne asada and al pastor (the two best meats there) based on which looks fresher.

                          3. re: a_and_w
                            Emme Nov 3, 2007 07:38 PM

                            LOVE eduardo's... charbroiled healthy chicken and a tub of salsa and i'm good to go, baby!

                          4. LAcupcake Nov 2, 2007 12:08 PM

                            I heart Fiddler's Bistro on Third by Pan Pacific park. It's sort of like a mediterranean diner, they deliver and we can bring our dog there for "family dinner". I also just went to Peppone in Brentwood last weekend and liked it a lot. It surprised me that I hadn't seen in mentioned on CH before (for comfort food at least).

                            1. b
                              banquisha Nov 2, 2007 12:10 PM

                              "The Coffe Shop" located within the Penmar Golf Course. The best simple breakfast and lunch.
                              Mako in Beverly Hills.
                              Nanbankan in West L.A.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: banquisha
                                nimo Nov 3, 2007 04:09 PM

                                Mako is mentioned a fair amount. It's consistently in the top 20 of each year's Ultimate Restaurant poll.

                                4 on 6 in Encino, however, is rarely mentioned. Some of the best sushi in the city. Although I do kind of like the fact that it's never too crowded.

                                1. re: nimo
                                  Diana Nov 4, 2007 02:38 PM

                                  me too, why'd you mention it!? Now more people will go! :)

                              2. s
                                snooze button Nov 2, 2007 01:01 PM

                                Arthur's -- on Telegraph and Rosemead (south Montebello maybe?). I like everything I've tried so far, especially their homemade Orange Julius along with whatever breakfast entree I get. Big portions for the hungry diner. Yum.

                                There's a cemitas place that JGold mentioned, but I've never tried cemitas here. It's on 1st street (3010 1st St, I believe). Anyway, BEST tacos de cueritos I've ever had. OK it's the only place I've tried them. I stumbled onto this place upon my friend's recommendation. You can easily make 2 tacos out of one that they give you. Order it "con todo y con chile verde." Service.... not so good... but the tacos are worth it.

                                1. d
                                  Diana Nov 2, 2007 01:13 PM

                                  The Natural Gourmet has good, absolutely MASSVIE salads. It's in Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks on Van Nuys Blvd.

                                  4 and 20 on Van Nuys (one on Laurel canyon) has amazing pies, but forget the regular food.

                                  Shiraz Persian on Ventura in Sherman oaks is really good, with a sort of funky interior...but great food.

                                  Yogurt Zone has good fro you without all the ____ berry/ manglo/ fiore hype. it was there before Pinkberry was a scheme in it's creator's head.

                                  Haru tea house on Ventura is a little odd, and has no food, but good Japanese tea, plus they'll do the Japanese tea ceremony if you call ahead.

                                  1. c
                                    carter Nov 2, 2007 01:14 PM

                                    Carlito's Gardel on Melrose west of Fairfax for Argentinian cuisine and superb Malbec wines, Hatfields on Beverly near Pan Pacific Park(fabulous food there last night), Max in Sherman Oaks.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: carter
                                      Chowpatty Nov 2, 2007 01:32 PM

                                      I'm pretty sure Hatfield's and Mako get PLENTY of attention on Chowhound. But I agree about Fiddler's Bistro, although I didn't know they deliver. Good omelets and Greekish stuff.
                                      Also, although I'm always game to try the most authentic, spiciest Thai restaurants, I like to stop in at Torung every so often for more homey Thai food.

                                    2. j
                                      jlrobe Nov 2, 2007 01:48 PM

                                      I live in the beach cities, which is a true foodie desert, and as a result, is a chowhound and yelp review desert. however there are a few good standouts

                                      1) Japonica (One of the better izakaya, even compared to sawtelle, Jtown, mid-city, and torrance area. The sake tasting used to be one of the better ones until bar hayama opened)
                                      2) Ebizos (suprisingly good kobe beef burger joint with special japanese beers like Hitachino, kirin reserve, etc. It is in the middle of complete mediocrity. I go back every so often to see if they have fallen off yet, but continue on strong.)
                                      3) New Orleans in Hermosa Beach (Although this place is overpriced by 30% it has the freshest ingredients and is the closest to Harold and Belles I have found. Some dishes like Po Boys and beans and rice arent the best, but the more complicated dishes are a slam dunk. Everyone mentions Rajun Cajun on this board instead)
                                      4) La sosta enoteca (Sure it is about 20% overpriced, and places like All Angelo and Osteria Mozza are better, but this is one of the better italian restaurants outside of the main foodie areas of LA, and the cutting board is quite great. The wine soaked cheese is very good)

                                      Outside of the beach cities

                                      3) Joes in Venice (I think Joes in venice is better than many highly lauded mid-priced neighorhood restaurants in SF. For all the talk about LA not having enough true neighorhood chef owned food places with decent prices and actually good food, Joes gets very little burn on chowhound)

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: jlrobe
                                        glutton Nov 2, 2007 02:15 PM

                                        I must recommend Joe's to every person that posts the "Having dinner in Venice tonight" question. Yet, beyond me and a few other Venice folks (that would be you, hrhboo), I don't see many suggestions for Joe's and it's a shame because it's a wonderful place. A great setting, a great kitchen, and lots of good deals. Their brunch is particularly a steal, but their prix fixe menus are also very reasonably priced, given teh quality and service.

                                        1. re: glutton
                                          jlrobe Nov 2, 2007 06:51 PM

                                          I too love brunch at Joes too. Luckily it has been in business for like 10 years and is always full, so I dont have to worry about it closing. I love it because it is mostly filled with neighorhood regulars from all walks of life and doesnt try to be super cheap or super expensive. It reminds me of SF.

                                        2. re: jlrobe
                                          maxzook Nov 2, 2007 06:56 PM

                                          I was heartbroken when they closed JoeJoe's in Sherman Oaks. Definitely worth recommending.

                                          Joe's Restaurant
                                          1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                                        3. d
                                          danikm Nov 2, 2007 02:08 PM

                                          Sushi Park on Sunset. No atmosphere (in a strip mall) but amazing, thoughtfully prepared and presented omakase. I have always been torn between wanting to write a long, loving review and wanting to keep it a secret.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: danikm
                                            kevin Nov 3, 2007 12:00 AM

                                            yeah, why does zo get all the hoopla, but no nada, nothing on sushi park which is also omakase.

                                            i'll tell you one reason why, because Sushi Park is on the SUNSET STRIP, nuff said.

                                          2. ipsedixit Nov 2, 2007 02:52 PM

                                            Won Won Kitchen

                                            410 Boyd

                                            Ondal 2 (not to be confused with "Ondal")

                                            Battambang (not to be confused with "New Battambang")



                                            Pa Pa Walk

                                            Ho Ho Kitchen

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                              fdb Nov 3, 2007 01:32 AM

                                              won won,pa pa, ho ho.....interesting names....do they all serve taiwanese cuisine?

                                              1. re: fdb
                                                ipsedixit Nov 3, 2007 02:32 PM

                                                More or less.

                                                Won Won is classic Taiwanese comfort food -- e.g. pork chop rice, dan dan mien, etc.

                                                Pa Pa Walk is sort of HK cafe fused with Taiwanese food.

                                                Ho Ho Kitchen makes really good XLB and has good noodles, cheap good fun.

                                            2. mollyomormon Nov 2, 2007 02:53 PM

                                              For Panda Express-style Chinese food except with better ingredients, I really like the Green Bamboo in the same strip mall as Izayoi. They have this pepper chili sauce that they make in house that I love even more than sriracha.

                                              1. n
                                                nick_r Nov 2, 2007 03:43 PM

                                                2 restaurants without which I could not exist but rarely get a mention here (and that's pretty much only when I mention them) are Overland Cafe (in Palms) and Lula (on Main Street). The former provides me with delicious breakfasts on pretty much a weekly basis; the latter has lovingly killed many a brain cell with its margaritas.

                                                1. maxzook Nov 2, 2007 03:44 PM

                                                  Two of my favorite neglected treasures happen to be within walking distance of my office in North Hollywood.

                                                  Le Petit Chateau is that rarest of rarities, a decently priced classic French restaurant, in a charming building that gets lost in the shadow of a truly ugly office building on Lankershim just north of the 134. I have never gone wrong with a fish entrée here, or with the desserts (profiteroles or crème brûlée for $8!)

                                                  The Eclectic Cafe (recently renamed the Eclectic Wine Bar and Grille) is farther up Lankershim just south of Magnolia. It's the culinary gem of the NoHo theater/gallery district, a Mediterranean mix of pastas, salads, sandwiches and pizzas. Both places seem to have good wine selections and full bars (I don't drink so I can't speak to it.)

                                                  Whoever votes for Zagat should be ashamed that neither of these places has ever made the cut.

                                                  Eclectic Wine Bar & Grille
                                                  5156 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

                                                  Le Petit Chateau Restaurant
                                                  4615 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: maxzook
                                                    Servorg Nov 3, 2007 06:14 AM

                                                    Thanks for reiterating Le Petit Chateau after my recent review, maxzook. I'll write it up again towards the end of the month after our visit for my wife's birthday dinner there. I know she will be having the Wellington again, but if I can tear myself away from the Welly and branch out a little bit, I'll have something new to add to my write up in terms of food.

                                                  2. SauceSupreme Nov 2, 2007 03:45 PM

                                                    Back when I was working in Calabasas, I loved to go to Shirin in Woodland Hills, especially for their stews and tahdig. Now that I live in a different part of town, my Persian Excursions don't take me that far west.

                                                    1. ilovegobo Nov 2, 2007 04:46 PM

                                                      This is such a great question! And I've really enjoyed reading the responses. Some good new ideas.
                                                      I am afraid my response will be unpopular, but my choice would be chez melange in RB. I've seen it pop up only rarely on this board, and even when it is mentioned, it is usually accompanied by some pretty harsh criticism. But I love that place and for me, going for dinner there is a treat that only comes around a few times a year (you know, the broke grad student story...). Service is always friendly and they've gone out of their way to make us feel welcome. They have consistently fresh food, my dad LOVES their meatloaf... I know it is easy to criticize restaurants on here but I have nothing but good things to say about the staff and the gentleman I see there all the time who I suspect is the owner...? He is so courteous and friendly. I'm at a loss to understand why people think the place is so outdated and ridiculously priced. I think it is yummy all around and reliable. I'd be proud to take any friend there for a meal.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: ilovegobo
                                                        wiz Nov 3, 2007 04:18 PM

                                                        I agree on Chez Melange, I don't know why they don't get much love from the hounds, their loyal customers love the place. I have been eating there since the day it opened, and have had some of my best meals there. The service is efficient and friendly, the food is from good to excellent, and although the ambience is not the Bel-air hotel, it is still special occasion nice. They are very wine friendly, and have a great winelist, also teach cooking classes, foodie club, and wine club.

                                                        1. re: ilovegobo
                                                          mke2lax Nov 9, 2007 07:44 PM

                                                          Thank You for mentioning Chez Melange. I have been going there from practically day one. Never had a bad meal or experience. One is always treated as if you mattered (not like some LA places) It has been fun seeing the family grow up. When I lived within walking distance, I was there weekly at least. Best Benedict..ever!

                                                          1. re: mke2lax
                                                            carter Nov 9, 2007 08:02 PM

                                                            Still looks like a coffee shop!

                                                        2. martyR Nov 2, 2007 05:03 PM

                                                          Colombos on Colorado in Eagle Rock
                                                          Joe's on PCH in Redondo Beach
                                                          Ocean Diner on Aviation in Hermosa Beach
                                                          Amy's Patio on Altadena and Lake in Altadena
                                                          Red Corner on San Gabriel and Las Tunas

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: martyR
                                                            ipsedixit Nov 2, 2007 08:31 PM

                                                            What do you get at Red Corner?

                                                            I've been there twice, and each time it has been utterly unmemorable.

                                                          2. a
                                                            AquaW Nov 2, 2007 05:17 PM

                                                            Japon Bistro in Pasadena (their modernized rolls are much more creative than the usual mayo & teriyaki sauce ladened stuff)

                                                            Aloha Food Factory in Alhambra (it only gets brought up every now and then on Hawaiian food discussion threads)

                                                            M&M Soul Food in Leimert Park area (I love their fried chicken)

                                                            Basix Cafe in WeHo (I find their fare pretty solid and service good)


                                                            1. f
                                                              ForenameSurname Nov 2, 2007 05:18 PM

                                                              I don't remember what the place is called, but it's on PCH and Cross Creek Road (by the shopping center). It's a huge Greek restaurant. Their vegetarian platter makes me see God.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: ForenameSurname
                                                                liu Nov 2, 2007 05:41 PM

                                                                Taverna Tony in Malibu.

                                                                1. re: ForenameSurname
                                                                  whatsfordinner Nov 3, 2007 08:30 AM

                                                                  I know! And their avocado and garlic puree, and their lamb sandwich and their bread and pita!

                                                                  1. re: whatsfordinner
                                                                    a_and_w Nov 3, 2007 05:19 PM

                                                                    You had me at "avocado and garlic puree"...

                                                                  2. re: ForenameSurname
                                                                    Diana Nov 3, 2007 01:36 PM

                                                                    Which God? A greek God?

                                                                    Tell us all more about the veggie platter. I happen to adore a well made Greek veggie platter. Great Greek's is OK, Alexis' is fabulous...

                                                                    1. re: Diana
                                                                      whatsfordinner Nov 4, 2007 08:01 AM

                                                                      Tony's has: hummus, tzatziki, melitzanosalata, tabouli, spanakopita, tiropita, feta, horta

                                                                    2. re: ForenameSurname
                                                                      carter Nov 3, 2007 09:41 PM

                                                                      Is that Tony's Taverna you are referring to?

                                                                      1. re: carter
                                                                        whatsfordinner Nov 4, 2007 08:00 AM


                                                                      2. re: ForenameSurname
                                                                        Emme Nov 4, 2007 08:23 AM

                                                                        so strange because ive never been impressed with this place... we often end up here as a compromise--nicer restaurant, nice setting, big enough menu to satisfy most, but nothing outstanding that has ever blown me over, or made me actually suggest this place, or even re-think over my meal later in the day/evening (usually a good sign that i'm still ruminating over the gustatory and digestive delights).

                                                                      3. l
                                                                        lisako Nov 2, 2007 09:34 PM

                                                                        I love the coffee shop inside Gardena Bowl. Makes me feel like a "local".

                                                                        1. w
                                                                          WHills Nov 2, 2007 10:47 PM

                                                                          H&C Seafood at Channel Island Harbors in Oxnard

                                                                          Capital Seafood in Rowland Heights

                                                                          Mei Mei in Arcadia for cassarole rice

                                                                          Little Brother's Sushi in Woodland Hills (it has been mentioned on chowhound but mostly by me)

                                                                          1. f
                                                                            fdb Nov 3, 2007 01:33 AM

                                                                            Raku is my favorite izakaya in WLA.

                                                                            1. Foodandwine Nov 3, 2007 05:53 AM

                                                                              Tsukiji in Redondo. Best Sushi Bar I have come across in many years.

                                                                              1745 W Redondo Beach Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

                                                                              1. h
                                                                                hello12345 Nov 3, 2007 09:07 AM

                                                                                La Maschera in pasadena- First time i went the whole restaurant was pretty empty so i was a bit worried, but service and food was all great. i tried their smoked salmon and goat cheese pizza, pork chops, and lamb ragu gnocci and everything was perfect~ it's on fair oaks and holly.

                                                                                1. w
                                                                                  writergirl Nov 3, 2007 02:18 PM

                                                                                  Skratch in Culver City. It used to be called Bag-ete. Despite their annoying penchant for misspelled names, they make really good fresh salads and sandwiches. They recently cut their prices, so each item is about $6.95. It's all organic and they make it to order. For some reason it gets no Chowhound love, and I fear it will go under soon. I've tried their turkey sandwich and tuna salad (it's not mayo based, it has olives and I believe capers, very savory.) and crab bisque, and it was all flavorful, and they didn't skimp on the good stuff. It's on Hughes, right across the street from the WaMu parking lot, in the old Cubby's spot.

                                                                                  Skratch Restaurant
                                                                                  3867 Hughes Ave, Culver City, CA

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: writergirl
                                                                                    frizdog Nov 15, 2007 09:00 AM

                                                                                    My favorite everyday place in the area...
                                                                                    Their Braised Pulled pork sandwich is out of this world! fig and white grape compote, slices of apple..soooo soo delicious.

                                                                                  2. westsidegal Nov 3, 2007 05:40 PM

                                                                                    my 'cheap thrill': for falafal sandwiches:
                                                                                    the hungry pocket
                                                                                    across the street from santa monica college.
                                                                                    great, freshly prepared falafal balls
                                                                                    they will serve the sandwich on your choice of freshly warmed white pita or whole wheat pita.
                                                                                    their homemade piquante sauce is the best in town

                                                                                    1. Emme Nov 3, 2007 07:57 PM

                                                                                      a cow jumped over the moon (for a casual lunch in bev hills)

                                                                                      via veneto (mentioned, just not as often as i'd think with how much i really like it)

                                                                                      firehouse in venice

                                                                                      oliva italian in van nuys

                                                                                      amici in brentwood... had some really great fish and chicken the past couple of visits and good wine... plus i like the brick interior

                                                                                      lola's... nothing amazing, but a good go-to place when in the area

                                                                                      1. Woolsey Nov 3, 2007 08:40 PM

                                                                                        Pho 87, on the far northern edge of Chinatown, is pretty much the only decent, genuine bowl of pho I've found in the central L.A. area. I'm not in the habit of driving thither and yon just for a $6 bowl of soup, so it's nice to have one decent pho place that's not in OC's Little Saigon or the SGV. (Too bad I've yet to find only one.) Pho 87 is everything a certain food critic claims the watery, bland stuff a few blocks down Broadway at Pho 97 (until recently numbered 79) to be. I was just there last Sunday, and the place was as packed as I've ever seen it; apparently my little secret pho place isn't so secret anymore. Still, I think I've seen it mentioned maybe once here.

                                                                                        Pho 87
                                                                                        1019 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                                                                        1. b
                                                                                          BHAppeal Nov 4, 2007 03:56 PM

                                                                                          Pane E Vino on the 8200 block of Beverly Boulevard surfaces on the board once in awhile, but given that the bistecca piedmontese for two is one of the best steaks in the city, it is a bit under the radar. Another vote for Nanbankan here too.

                                                                                          1. a_and_w Nov 5, 2007 01:26 PM

                                                                                            Two more: Chang's on San Vicente and Bangkok West on Santa Monica Blvd. Both are thoroughly Americanized but serve some of the best Americanized Chinese and Thai I've found on the west side. The produce is particularly good at Chang's -- I'm a big fan of the sauteed green beans with garlic. At Bangkok West, I usually get the prik king and their crispy egg rolls.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                              PaulF Nov 5, 2007 01:40 PM

                                                                                              I haven't eaten in Bangkok West in years ... we moved ... but always liked it and we always ordered the Prik King when we went there.

                                                                                              The Prik King with tofu, IIRC ...

                                                                                              1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                                AAQjr Nov 6, 2007 07:14 PM

                                                                                                Chang's? really? I always thought that place was a mob front! It's been around seemingly for ever. But is almost always empty.

                                                                                                I will say the couple times I've been the food has been good.

                                                                                                1. re: AAQjr
                                                                                                  banquisha Nov 9, 2007 04:55 PM

                                                                                                  They do most of their buisness in catering offices.

                                                                                              2. ElsieDee Nov 6, 2007 01:04 AM

                                                                                                Milano's Deli in east Pasadena - excellent food, very good prices, and the friendliest service ever.

                                                                                                1. ellaystingray Nov 6, 2007 06:35 PM

                                                                                                  Orris, Musha, Bay Cities, er wait.

                                                                                                  Le Petite Cafe on Colorado in Santa Monica for basic French. Nothing world shattering but such a neat little place with chalkboard specials and simple food.
                                                                                                  While it doesn't have the accoutrements of a stylized French Bistro, it reminds me of real places I went when going to school in Bordeaux.

                                                                                                  Perry's cafes on the beach in Santa Monica--Seriously, they serve Illy coffee!!!! The food is fine, but a great cup of coffee on the beach was so unexpected I feel like there is some need to support that.

                                                                                                  The Old Place out in Agoura HIlls area on Mulholland near Cannan. This is such a totally bizarre place. They break every rule of being a restaurant and I love them for it. Not for everyone, in fact, they get crowded so don't go. ;)

                                                                                                  La Flama in West L.A. This is a nice little carneceria and taco shop. Not Tacos Por Favor, La Playita, tacomeindo etc. but solid stuff. I really like their chile relleno burrito.

                                                                                                  Costco hot dog and a soda for $1.50.

                                                                                                  Berri's Pizza in Playa Del Rey. Thin crust pizza where the large is so big you can't fit the freaking box in your frigde. And I have a big fridge.

                                                                                                  Dear John's on Sepulveda in Culver City. Get a double Johnny Walker Black and the prime rib sandwhich.

                                                                                                  Concur with Bangkok West, Taverna Tony and Peppone (get's play but not a lot of love--but damnit, I like it).

                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: ellaystingray
                                                                                                    Servorg Nov 6, 2007 06:49 PM

                                                                                                    The Old Place got so old it expired.

                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                      ellaystingray Nov 7, 2007 08:39 PM

                                                                                                      Yikes! That blows. Serves me right for only going there about once a year...or so.

                                                                                                      1. re: ellaystingray
                                                                                                        kevin Nov 8, 2007 07:46 AM

                                                                                                        can you describe the old place in more detail.

                                                                                                        1. re: kevin
                                                                                                          ellaystingray Nov 9, 2007 12:50 PM

                                                                                                          Evidently it is no longer around but it was run by an eccentric old couple who served only steak and clams. Sunday's they made stew. They didn't have regular hours and sometimes didn't open at all. Hopefully some one will take up the cause.

                                                                                                  2. d
                                                                                                    droyal Nov 7, 2007 09:00 PM

                                                                                                    For Indian take-out: Holy Cow, on 3td st, just east of La Cienega. Very clean Indian food. No gee, so not swimming in fat.

                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                      Joe Nov 8, 2007 08:32 AM

                                                                                                      Not sure why but Di Pilla's in Rosemead is seldom if at all ever mentioned when it comes to Italian Restaurants. Yes, there are fancier and hipper places but when it comes to good ol' hearty Italian Food and authentic sauces, not much can beat Di Pilla's. Living in Pasadena, I've hit-up every Italian establishment in town and the only one I routinely return to is Di Pilla's. We try to go there once every couple of weeks. I've never had a bad food experience there. Some of the servers are okay, not great. It's owned by an Italian man and his wife and she's always there making her rounds table to table talking to customers. She's very warm and friendly. To boot, prices are very reasonable and portions are big. Every entry comes with soup or salad and unlimited supply of delicious bread. Wine list is very limited but enough to suffice.

                                                                                                      Di Pilla's Italian Restaurant
                                                                                                      9013 Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

                                                                                                      1. d
                                                                                                        droyal Nov 9, 2007 10:47 PM

                                                                                                        Tokyo Table, on La Cienega, is not bad.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: droyal
                                                                                                          fdb Nov 9, 2007 11:35 PM


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