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Strip Mall Haute

I just moved to Los Angeles from NYC and enjoy exploring good grub in the strip malls. Last night I discovered Lou and fell in love with it. Though I like the low end ethnic divey places in strip malls, I'm looking for more mid-range to high-end places atmospheric places. But really I'm interested in any strip mall gems. Any suggestions?

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  1. Marouch -- great Lebanese in a fairly nice atmosphere (nice for East Hollywood anyway)
    Hirozen - excellent sushi and cooked specials (on Beverly)
    Aroma on Sunset in Silver Lake - solid upscale Italian
    Rambutan and Pho Cafe also on Sunset in Silver Lake -- upscale Thai and designy pho
    Saito on Sunset in Silver Lake -- good low-key sushi, decent Indian and Thai in the same minimall

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chowpatty

      Sadly, the indian has gone way down hill.

    2. Sushi Zo and Echigo. There's a ton of strip mall sushi out there! Manpuku on Sawtelle is excellent, and I like Sakura House on Washington a lot too. A bit more upscale Japanese food can be enjoyed at Restaurant 2117, in the same strip mall as Manpuku. Nook Bistro and Vito's pizza are in strip malls, as is perennial CH favorite Monte Alban.

      In SGV Mei Long Village, J&J and Dragon Mark are all in the same building and serve very good dumplings.

      How could I forget my favorite strip mall restaurant of all - Hungry Cat!

      2 Replies
      1. re: hrhboo

        hungry cat isn't in a strip mall.

        unless there's a new location that just opened in LA.

        1. re: kevin

          It's an apartment block with bunch of stores and Hungry Cat tucked in the back corner. Not technically a strip mall, but close enough in the sense that it's a restaurant sharing a building with a selection of shops at street level.

      2. Check out Nook Cafe in Santa Monica.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Food Good

          it's actually nook bistro. =)

          i'd also like to add terried sake house (may be too low end for you) and izakaya sasaya to the list.

          1. re: wilafur

            Wilafur: Terried sake used to be one of my favorites but the quality seemed to decline and I stopped going about two years ago (I switched to Nanbankan). Have you been recently? Maybe it's time to give it another try. I do miss the sauteed baby squid.

            1. re: whatsfordinner

              last time i was there was @ 5mo's ago. the skewers are still good and i was pleasantly surprised with their sushi as well.

              oh, the tofu steak rocked.

          2. re: Food Good

            Nook Bistro technically is not in a strip mall, which is a row of storefronts running parallel to the street. More accurately it is tucked in the back corner of a minimall, with two rows of storefronts meeting in an L shape, set on a corner with both rows perpendicular to the streets.

          3. Asenebo is in a strip mall in Studio City. One of the best Japanese restaurants in L.A.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hpcat

              nozawa is in a strip mall, gorikee too, nook bistro,

              in fact, ginza sushiko back when it started in koreatown was in a strip mall.

            2. antica pizza in marina del rey.
              it is more of a full-service italien restaurant than a pizzeria.
              good napolean-style pizza. (very thin crust)

              1. Alexis Greek Cafe in Northridge

                Gorikee in Woodland Hills

                Nats Early Bite in Sherman Oaks

                Amir's Falafel in Studio City

                Sushi 4 on 6 in Encino

                Gochi in Encino

                Gio Neopolitan in Encino

                Vinh Loi tofu in Reseda

                2 Replies
                1. re: Diana

                  just passed by vinh loi tofu in reseda, how is it right now?

                  worth a try.????

                  1. re: kevin

                    yep! Also try the bahn mi place in the same center

                2. another strip mall sushi place...irori in marina del rey

                  1. Hirozen on Beverly and Orlando, just east of the Beverly Center. Not necessarily the best for purely sushi (though the ocean trout and spanish makerel are delicious), but tasty small dishes and purple yam yokan for dessert--with coconut tapioca, my personal favorite. Enjoy! And welcome to Los Angeles : )

                    8385 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                    1. A gem in my eyes is Alejos on Lincoln and Washington in MDR. Small Italian with solid pasta dishes and the likes. My favorite are the seafood pastas. Not the mid to high range in atmosphere but High in food taste in my opinion.. BYOB

                      Alejo Presto Trattoria
                      4002 Lincoln Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

                      1. tajrish in marina del rey, tucked next to a subway is some seriously good persian food (500-600 block of washington blvd). The wine list sucks as do the pink table cloths but the food is excellent.

                        Upstairs in this strip mall is Killer Shrimp. It has a very loyal following but I am not one of them. Only three items on the menu, OK, but when I asked for some butter for my bread, I was told they do not have that. WTF?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: marlane

                          The bread is for dipping in the broth, which has more than enough oil and butter in!

                        2. mario's peruvian

                          m cafe de chaya, sort of

                          mogo's mongolian bbq

                          more than waffles

                          california vegan

                          divino, sort of

                          tere's mexican grill

                          carnival in sherman oaks

                          wa sushi




                          sanamluang cafe

                          1. "But really I'm interested in any strip mall gems. Any suggestions?"

                            Well, if that's your criteria, then just about every single Chinese restaurant in the SGV, with a few notable exceptions for banquet type places.