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Vote for the best Hole-In-The-Wall (Michelin-style)

SauceSupreme Nov 15, 2007 07:51 AM

Obviously the Michelin guide has a different, more rigorous set of standards. But hole-in-the-wall restaurants are a vital part of the Los Angeles food scene, and deserve just as much recognition as their white-linen cousins. And while I'm sure we would all love to eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant every time we go out, chances are we're more likely to hit up something a bit less lofty. Plus, finding these hidden gems are what Chowhound is all about. So I propose we vote for who think are best, in the style of the Michelin guide:

3 stars - Worth making your destination
2 stars - Worth a detour
1 star - Interesting, if you're already the area

Here are my votes for the, uh, Micholein Guide. Don't be afraid to let your neighborhoood bias shine since you probably know your immediate surroundings the best.

Hungry Cat

Pie N Burger
Beverly Soon Tofu
Pho 79 (San Gabriel)
Vito's Pizza

Chili My Soul
Cactus Taqueria
Pho So 1
Las Fuentes
Village Pizzeria
Father's Office

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  1. westsidegal RE: SauceSupreme Nov 15, 2007 08:54 AM

    three stars--samosa house
    two stars--hungry pocket for falafal sandwiches (across the street from santa monica college)

    don't know if they are too fancy to be considered a 'hole-in-the-wall' but rahel for ethiopian food on fairfax--three stars

    6 Replies
    1. re: westsidegal
      Slatty RE: westsidegal Nov 29, 2007 04:52 PM

      I second Samosa House. That place is seriously awesome.

      1. re: Slatty
        dtud RE: Slatty Dec 2, 2007 10:35 AM

        is samosa house on washington in mar vista? is there more than one?

        1. re: dtud
          westsidegal RE: dtud Dec 2, 2007 05:51 PM

          there is only one
          11510 W Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA, 90066. (310) 398-6766

          1. re: westsidegal
            vicious RE: westsidegal Apr 27, 2010 03:05 PM


            Samosa House East‎
            10700 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232-3314
            (310) 559-6350‎

            1. re: vicious
              Servorg RE: vicious Apr 27, 2010 03:18 PM

              You can hardly call WRONG when she was right when she wrote that in 2007...so she was RIGHT at the time...

              1. re: vicious
                westsidegal RE: vicious Apr 27, 2010 04:38 PM

                check the date of the original post.
                it was correct as of the time of posting: 12/2/2007.

      2. d
        Diana RE: SauceSupreme Nov 15, 2007 10:43 AM

        Three Stars
        Woodlands Pure Chatsworth
        Rahel Veggie Cuisine Little Ethiopia
        Leda's Bake Shop
        Artisan Cheese Gallery

        Two Stars
        El Katracho Van Nuys
        Alexis Greek Northridge
        Follow Your Heart Canoga Park

        One Star
        Chili My Soul
        Lucky Baldwin's
        Kyushu Ramen
        Studio Yogurt

        3 Replies
        1. re: Diana
          goodhealthgourmet RE: Diana Nov 16, 2007 10:43 AM

          well, if we're including yogurt places, sno:la gets 3 stars from me.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
            westsidegal RE: goodhealthgourmet Nov 21, 2007 08:12 PM

            completely concur

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
              logan RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 26, 2008 11:56 PM

              sno:la? lol what a hilarious name.

          2. hrhboo RE: SauceSupreme Nov 15, 2007 11:27 AM

            Michelin does acknowledge outstanding cheaper options in it's Bib Gourmand category. These are usually places you can have a full dinner for under (I think) $25.

            Mine would be:
            3 Stars - Guelaguetza, Musha, Orris, La Buca
            2 Stars - Beechwood, Father's Office, 3 Square, Meals By Genet, Sabor a Mexico
            1 Star - Abbot's Pizza, Sakura House, Hinano, Il Tramezzino, J&J, Shamshiri

            13 Replies
            1. re: hrhboo
              Das Ubergeek RE: hrhboo Nov 16, 2007 09:23 AM

              Bib Gourmand is still a place where you're expected to have a French-style three-course meal (entrée, plat, dessert), though.

              3 Stars - Santouka, Skaf's, La Huasteca, Porto's, Tony's Little Italy, Tsuruhashi, El Taco Nazo
              2 Stars - Raffi's, Shamshiri, Top Falafel (NH), Spumoni, Park's BBQ, Banh Mi Che Cali, Banh Mi Cho Cu
              Too many 1 Stars to count

              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                hrhboo RE: Das Ubergeek Nov 16, 2007 10:11 AM

                Not really. The Bib Gourmand restaurants for LA include Kiriko, Baran, Cholada, Lares, La Serenata, Hide, Monte Alban, Nyala and many others where 3-course meals are not necessarily the norm.

                1. re: hrhboo
                  SauceSupreme RE: hrhboo Nov 16, 2007 01:59 PM

                  I can't believe I forgot Monte Alban, Shamshiri and Guelaguetza. I'll give 'em all a star.

                  La Super Rica gets two stars from me. I don't know if I'd drive to Santa Barbara just for their calabacita, but I'd definitely swing by.

                  1. re: SauceSupreme
                    eatdrinknbmerry RE: SauceSupreme Nov 17, 2007 09:59 AM

                    With you on La Super Rica. expensive, but i love their sunday pozole.

                2. re: Das Ubergeek
                  banquisha RE: Das Ubergeek Nov 18, 2007 08:59 AM

                  Shamshiri doesn't really strike me as a hole in the wall place though...

                  1. re: banquisha
                    Das Ubergeek RE: banquisha Nov 18, 2007 09:05 AM

                    It's not a hole in the wall but it's a little hidden restaurant and not exactly the height of elegance, you know?

                    1. re: banquisha
                      FortyDeuce RE: banquisha Dec 2, 2007 12:16 PM

                      shamshiri is good stuff.

                      I love the beef soltani. But the best deal on the menu there is the shwarma.

                    2. re: Das Ubergeek
                      1newyorkguy RE: Das Ubergeek Jan 26, 2008 11:50 PM

                      porto's? really? I disagree whole heartedly. There is nothing noteworthy about their food.

                      1. re: 1newyorkguy
                        Das Ubergeek RE: 1newyorkguy Jan 27, 2008 09:46 AM

                        More for me then -- their pastries, potato balls and cakes are terrific.

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                          bigtums RE: Das Ubergeek Jan 27, 2008 11:38 AM

                          I don't know of any fruit tart better than theirs.

                        2. re: 1newyorkguy
                          NeNePie RE: 1newyorkguy Mar 6, 2008 01:45 PM

                          Wow, have you tried the pastries? The guava strudel? The meringue frosted cakes? The mango mousse?

                          1. re: NeNePie
                            dana_what RE: NeNePie Apr 29, 2008 11:22 AM

                            And I've got to give love to their sandwiches. Their medianoche preperada is my ultimate comfort food fix.

                            1. re: NeNePie
                              schrutefarms RE: NeNePie Apr 23, 2010 11:32 AM

                              I hate guava, yet somehow love their guava/cream cheese tarts. Weird.

                      2. g
                        glutton RE: SauceSupreme Nov 15, 2007 04:10 PM

                        3 stars: Monte Alban, Mateo's Paletas, Brent's Deli, Woodlands, La Super Rica, Tacos Baja Ensenada, Sa Rit Gol, Phillippe's

                        2 stars: Mama's Hot Tamales, 3 Square, Brodard, Skaf's, Mei Long Village

                        1 star: Antica Pizzeria

                        Would taco trucks ever make the list? You'd think Michelin of all people would embrace the taco truck...

                        1. ipsedixit RE: SauceSupreme Nov 16, 2007 10:08 AM

                          ONE STAR
                          Won Won Kitchen
                          Sin Ba La
                          Dai Ho
                          Wood Spoon
                          Seafood Village
                          Yuca's (for the burgers)
                          Golden Deli

                          TWO STARS
                          Sushi Ike
                          Luscious Dumplings
                          Chang's Garden

                          THREE STARS
                          Sea Harbour
                          Park's BBQ

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: ipsedixit
                            Will Owen RE: ipsedixit Nov 16, 2007 04:51 PM

                            Having made numerous detours and something like three full crosstown trips to Pann's, I would give it another star at least. I do agree with your two-star choices, though Julienne qualifies IF you're in the general vicinity and IF your bank balance is healthy. Fosselman's worth a detour? Hey, that's why we patronize the Alhambra Costco!

                            As for making my own list, I just can't. Whatever place I'm eating in right now is usually my favorite...

                            1. re: Will Owen
                              ipsedixit RE: Will Owen Nov 16, 2007 08:56 PM

                              "Fosselman's worth a detour? Hey, that's why we patronize the Alhambra Costco!"

                              Spoken like a true intrepid chowhound. My favorite treat? A Costco churro matched with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream from Fosselman's.

                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                ns1 RE: ipsedixit Nov 20, 2007 04:36 PM


                                ipsedixit, we do that all the time! GO to costco, pick up a churro, and then go to fosselman's

                                taro/cherry vanilla FTW

                                1. re: ns1
                                  danniethepooh RE: ns1 Apr 21, 2010 05:13 PM

                                  ohhhhhh FOSSELMANS!!! :)
                                  yumyum delicious TARO :)

                          2. Schweinhaxen RE: SauceSupreme Nov 16, 2007 10:18 AM

                            3 Stars: Monte Alban, Vito's, El Taurino, Newport Seafood (Santa Ana), Langer's
                            2 Stars: Mei Long Village, Din Tai Fung, Surya, India's Grill
                            1 Stars: Tuk Tuk, Yabu (La Cienega), Versailles (La Cienega), Chabuya, Absolutely

                            Guess where I live?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Schweinhaxen
                              Ciao Bob RE: Schweinhaxen Nov 16, 2007 02:16 PM

                              Near Vito's I would say!

                              1. re: Ciao Bob
                                Schweinhaxen RE: Ciao Bob Nov 16, 2007 02:20 PM

                                Yes, too close for a cannoli.....

                            2. maxzook RE: SauceSupreme Nov 16, 2007 10:34 AM

                              THREE STARS
                              Father’s Office
                              John O’Groats
                              La Super Rica

                              TWO STARS
                              Casa Bianca
                              Chili John’s
                              Swinging Door
                              Yang Chow

                              ONE STAR
                              The Bucket
                              Fat Jack’s
                              Fred 62
                              Gumbo Pot

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: maxzook
                                glutton RE: maxzook Nov 16, 2007 02:14 PM

                                I'm surprised to see Fred 62 on this otherwise stellar list. The meals I've had there over the last couple years have been pretty mediocre.

                                1. re: glutton
                                  maxzook RE: glutton Nov 16, 2007 02:32 PM

                                  The definition of one star is "Interesting, if you're already in the area." I live within walking distance of Fred 62 and I have breakfast there four or five times a week. I wouldn't recommend anyone drive from Tustin to go there, that's for sure.

                                  As they say, YMMV. Come to think of it, I was in the area of Encino last night and I had dinner at The Stand, which probably deserves to be on the one-star list as well.

                                  1. re: glutton
                                    LaLa Eat RE: glutton Nov 16, 2007 08:00 PM

                                    Always derided Fred 62 based on lunch and dinner, recently had b-fast there and surprised that it was above decent for in the area.
                                    Agree with other post , no Chichen Itza ? 3!
                                    Also not mentioned Marouch, Carousel- 2
                                    Parus, Yuca's for the taco's -1

                                  2. re: maxzook
                                    roasted138 RE: maxzook Nov 16, 2007 05:12 PM

                                    Hey Max,

                                    what do you like at Fat Jack's? I've lived a couple blocks from there for a while now but have never been.

                                    1. re: roasted138
                                      maxzook RE: roasted138 Nov 17, 2007 10:55 AM

                                      Fat Jack's is the Official Restaurant For After You've Been Kicked Out Of Nozawa For Asking For California Roll.

                                      Triple Fat Jack with everything and steak fries. Here's a menu:


                                      Fat Jacks
                                      11402 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA

                                  3. r
                                    rameniac RE: SauceSupreme Nov 16, 2007 02:26 PM

                                    LAWL Sauce... I'ma upend your rules a little bit, take out the budget criteria, and just make my own dang personal Michelin guide. They're ALL destination places anyway, as far as I'm concerned, depending on what I'm craving at the moment, and if there's any place I've forgotten, chalk it up to... exclusivity! Yeah, that's it!

                                    * * * Manpuku
                                    * * * Mon Land Hot Pot
                                    * * * Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori
                                    * * * Sushi Zo
                                    * * * Tama-en
                                    * * * The Boiling Crab

                                    * * Asa Ramen
                                    * * El Taurino
                                    * * Golden Deli
                                    * * Ichimi-an Honten
                                    * * Little Fat Sheep
                                    * * Mei Long Village
                                    * * Park's BBQ
                                    * * Quality Seafood
                                    * * Ruen Pair
                                    * * Santouka Ramen
                                    * * Torimatsu
                                    * * The Hungry Cat
                                    * * Yu Chun

                                    * 101 Noodle Express
                                    * Albene's
                                    * Bacon-wrapped Hot Dog Guy
                                    * Daikokuya
                                    * Dan Sung Sa
                                    * Gaja
                                    * Gardena Ramen
                                    * Gingergrass
                                    * Hakata Shin-Sen-Gumi
                                    * Han Bat
                                    * Hanaichimonme
                                    * Hoan Kiem
                                    * Honda-ya
                                    * Izakaya Kan Yuzen
                                    * Kiriko
                                    * Kokkekokko
                                    * Kyochon
                                    * Lee's Sandwiches
                                    * Orochon Ramen
                                    * Papa George's Hy-Mart Deli
                                    * Pho 79 (Alhambra)
                                    * Ramen-ya
                                    * Ryo Zan Paku
                                    * So Kong Dong
                                    * Sushi Don Sasabune
                                    * That Taco Stand at Vermont and Venice or was it Pico
                                    * Yabu
                                    * Yakitoriya

                                    oh and uh,

                                    * * * * T-------
                                    (Think the Michelin guys made it in there? "Reservation sil vous plait?" "Eh, to... eh... to... mmm... gomen...")

                                    yeah. i know. i'm super bored at work as our clients are out for the day.

                                    31 Replies
                                    1. re: rameniac
                                      SauceSupreme RE: rameniac Nov 16, 2007 02:52 PM

                                      I really doubt that even the Michelin guys made it to That Secret House On Pico That Shall Not Be Named.

                                      1. re: SauceSupreme
                                        ipsedixit RE: SauceSupreme Nov 16, 2007 03:06 PM


                                        Teriyaki House on Pico


                                        Teriyaki House on Pico


                                        Teriyaki House on Pico


                                        Teriyaki House on Pico


                                        Teriyaki House on Pico


                                        Teriyaki House on Pico


                                        Teriyaki House on Pico


                                        Teriyaki House on Pico


                                        Teriyaki House on Pico


                                        Teriyaki House on Pico


                                        Teriyaki House on Pico

                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          SauceSupreme RE: ipsedixit Nov 16, 2007 03:34 PM

                                          Yeah that's the one. Sssh! Don't tell anyone! They can't get in anyway!

                                      2. re: rameniac
                                        bigtums RE: rameniac Nov 16, 2007 08:26 PM

                                        Wow! Very impressive. Even in alphabetical order.

                                        1. re: rameniac
                                          eatdrinknbmerry RE: rameniac Nov 17, 2007 10:09 AM

                                          Rameniac, we are both pigs I have pretty much the same list but i'll list anyway.

                                          3 Stars
                                          Seafood Village
                                          So Kong Dong
                                          Han Bat Shul-Lung Tang (hangover soup)
                                          Park's BBQ
                                          Mien Nghia
                                          Golden Deli
                                          Shin Sen Gumi - Yakitori and Ramen
                                          Sushi Zo
                                          Yuca's - burger and cochinita pibil
                                          Musha - torrance
                                          Father's Office
                                          Elite Restaurant

                                          2 Stars
                                          Viet Soy Cafe
                                          Corner Place
                                          Pho 79
                                          Noodle King
                                          Yun Gui Garden
                                          Dumpling 10053
                                          Kiriko Sushi
                                          Sushi Komasa

                                          1 Star
                                          Terried Sake House
                                          Honda Ya/Kappo Honda
                                          Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa - bun bo hue
                                          Fatburger - with EGG!
                                          Sanuki No Sato
                                          Mario's Peruvian

                                          1. re: eatdrinknbmerry
                                            Das Ubergeek RE: eatdrinknbmerry Nov 18, 2007 05:45 AM

                                            Okay, I've passed Mien Nghia on Garvey for YEARS and never stopped in. What's good there?

                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                              rameniac RE: Das Ubergeek Nov 19, 2007 09:27 PM

                                              mien nghia serves chiuchow style noodles with stuff like fish balls and shredded chicken atop a half egg noodle/half pho noodle concotion. our good buddy edbm mainlines their soups like a fish guzzles water...


                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                eatdrinknbmerry RE: Das Ubergeek Nov 27, 2007 10:43 PM

                                                haha thanks rameniac.

                                                das ubergeek, seriously, i've been there over 25 times. they know me by name.

                                                if you eat there, i recommend the chinatown location over rosemead/alhambra locations. try out #36 with fresh chicken (from poultry shop around the corner) and fresh fish slices on egg/rice noodles. try with their homemade saute sauce (i bought my own jar for home) and pickled green chiles. their chicken stock is quite flavorful.

                                                1. re: eatdrinknbmerry
                                                  Das Ubergeek RE: eatdrinknbmerry Nov 28, 2007 04:58 AM

                                                  Mmmmm... you know, I always thought, "Could that be a Chaozhou place?" I will definitely make a point of stopping in when I get out that way at a time that makes sense... perhaps one day I'll deke out of work a bit early and make a C-town detour on my train ride home.

                                                  About that poultry shop... they wouldn't happen to carry roosters, would they?

                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                    eatdrinknbmerry RE: Das Ubergeek Nov 29, 2007 10:55 AM

                                                    Uber, i'm sure they have all walks of life in that store haha.

                                                    reply back once you try Mien Nghia. Not my favorite Chao Zhou (chiu chow) place, but definitely a solid soup. My favorite Chao Zhou place is in Santa Ana, called Trieu Chau Restaurant on Newhope/1st St.

                                                    Straying off topic, i saw your fish taco face-off topic recently. loved it. i had to do my own fish taco taste-off... with Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada, Siete Mares and Tacos Baja Ensenada in East LA. I still have one more to add to the list... El Taco Nazo. posting will be on my blog next week. cheers.

                                                    1. re: eatdrinknbmerry
                                                      Das Ubergeek RE: eatdrinknbmerry Nov 29, 2007 04:24 PM

                                                      Trieu Chau, huh??

                                                      Hm... I *am* on my own for dinner tonight... and I live in Anaheim... and I'm home early for once... hard to decide between the "legal crack" pizza of Luigi's D'Italia or driving down to Trieu Chau... hmmmmmmm...

                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                        eatdrinknbmerry RE: Das Ubergeek Nov 29, 2007 04:44 PM

                                                        Yeah, great soup. not sure what you're into, but i always get the beef ball/fried fish cake rice noodles. seafood rice noodles is good too. i think they open from 7am - 5 pm and expect lines and random table mates at your table. they stopped opening at night b/c of gang shootings around the area.

                                                        4401 W 1st St
                                                        Santa Ana, CA 92703

                                                        1. re: eatdrinknbmerry
                                                          Das Ubergeek RE: eatdrinknbmerry Nov 29, 2007 07:10 PM

                                                          Alas, I am reading this AFTER I went to go check it out. I went to "New Trieu Chau" instead, and it was a crime against food.

                                                          I noticed a bunch of random people standing in the shadows as I peeled out of the lot. That's not a good sign in Santa Ana.

                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                            rameniac RE: Das Ubergeek Nov 29, 2007 10:55 PM

                                                            note that edbm didn't put trieu chau oin his quasi-michelin list, despite it being his fave chiuchow place. a simple oversight? or could it be because of a traumatic experience there? dah dah daaaaahahaha...

                                              2. re: eatdrinknbmerry
                                                fatnoodles RE: eatdrinknbmerry Nov 25, 2007 12:32 AM

                                                i keep seeing Park's BBQ. what and where is this?

                                                1. re: fatnoodles
                                                  Servorg RE: fatnoodles Nov 25, 2007 04:19 AM

                                                  It's the board favorite for Korean BBQ and it's located in K town.

                                                  Park's BBQ
                                                  955 S Vermont Ave
                                                  Los Angeles, CA 90006
                                                  (213) 380-1717

                                                  1. re: Servorg
                                                    Das Ubergeek RE: Servorg Nov 25, 2007 02:40 PM

                                                    They make a marinated kalbi -- that is, rib plus a long ribbon of meat about a foot long -- that is the best friggin' piece of meat ever to be associated with the Korean people.

                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                      eatdrinknbmerry RE: Das Ubergeek Nov 29, 2007 10:28 PM

                                                      i must agree with Das... the belt o' beef is truly a beauty. nothing is easier than grilling a long length of beef. only 1 flip and it's ready to be devoured. Park's is also known for its solid and tasty line of ban chan... 11 i counted last time i went.

                                                      1. re: eatdrinknbmerry
                                                        rameniac RE: eatdrinknbmerry Nov 29, 2007 10:50 PM

                                                        the spicy raw crab banchan at park's approaches divinity, as far as spicy raw crab banchans go. whatever that means.

                                                    2. re: Servorg
                                                      exilekiss RE: Servorg Nov 30, 2007 12:35 PM

                                                      Das, EDBM, Rameniac,

                                                      Would Park's be your favorite Korean BBQ place of all-time? :) I've been searching...

                                                      1. re: exilekiss
                                                        rameniac RE: exilekiss Nov 30, 2007 01:30 PM

                                                        i'd have to say so, at least based on my kbbq (not counting yakiniku) experiences in LA - cham sut gol, soot bul jeep, chosun galbi, shurabal, etc. i think the quality of the meat at park's is tops, and if you stick to the salted, non-marinated cuts there, you can't go wrong. some of the other places might have deeper flavor in their marinade, but for an overall kbbq experience, i'd go with park's.

                                                        however, there are a billion kbbq places in town so there might be better, but i haven't found anything else yet. ...paging meowmixx!!

                                                        1. re: rameniac
                                                          MeowMixx RE: rameniac Nov 30, 2007 03:51 PM

                                                          I love love love Park's bbq. Best banchan selection. Good service. Great quality meats. The rest of their menu rocks too. It is pricier than other places but it's really good stuff.

                                                          My other go-to korean bbq place recently has been Su Won Soot Bull Galbi on Vermont, between 8th and 9th (in the tiny shopping plaza with the laundromat). Meats are about $8-12 cheaper than at Park's. Not as high quality but solid stuff. Not as much banchan either but the ones they do give you are good. And the ladies who work here are REALLY nice.

                                                          1. re: MeowMixx
                                                            fatnoodles RE: MeowMixx Nov 30, 2007 05:55 PM

                                                            wow! thanks, i must try. how is it compared to Ma Dang Sae on vermont? it's our current favorite hole in the wall AYCE bbq place in k-town.

                                                            1. re: fatnoodles
                                                              MeowMixx RE: fatnoodles Dec 4, 2007 03:01 PM

                                                              I didn't care much for Ma Dang Sae the few times I've been. For AYCE joints, I'd have to go for Soot Bull Gui Rim on 6th and Manhattan (haven't been to Gui Rim 2). It gets smoky as heck inside from the charcoal but service is great and the meat is I think the best around for AYCE.

                                                        2. re: exilekiss
                                                          Das Ubergeek RE: exilekiss Dec 1, 2007 03:34 PM

                                                          Favourite?? Hmmmm... well, it IS charcoal-fired (though lit by gas), but it depends on my mood. It's not "nice" enough for a nice dinner (that is reserved for Chosun Galbee in K-Town and Sagan in Buena Park); they don't have dduk, like Shik Do Rak.

                                                          That said, that "roll o' MEAT" is pretty convincing. It's definitely in my top 5.

                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                            Servorg RE: Das Ubergeek Dec 1, 2007 03:40 PM

                                                            DU you say "though lit by gas" As opposed to what, lighter fluid? What else do they use to light the charcoal at the charcoal places like Soot Bull Jeep, et al?

                                                            1. re: Servorg
                                                              rameniac RE: Servorg Dec 2, 2007 12:30 AM

                                                              park's might have gas fires going underneath the charcoal. as opposed to, say, tama-en in the south bay, which has solid metal pots of moku tan.

                                                              1. re: rameniac
                                                                Das Ubergeek RE: rameniac Dec 3, 2007 06:42 AM

                                                                Exactly... there's gas flame continually on underneath the charcoal at Park's, where at other places they use the gas to light the charcoal and then kill the gas once the coals are lit.

                                                            2. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                              exilekiss RE: Das Ubergeek Dec 3, 2007 03:49 PM

                                                              Thanks Das.

                                                              Do you have a link for your "nice" K-BBQ joints? :) I tried looking here for Chosun Galbee but found nothing.

                                                              1. re: exilekiss
                                                                Servorg RE: exilekiss Dec 3, 2007 03:52 PM


                                                                1. re: exilekiss
                                                                  Das Ubergeek RE: exilekiss Dec 4, 2007 01:10 PM

                                                                  Links below...

                                                                  9691 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92844

                                                                  Sagan Korean & Japanese Restaurant
                                                                  7801 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620

                                                    3. c
                                                      cjla RE: SauceSupreme Nov 16, 2007 02:30 PM

                                                      Three Stars
                                                      Krua Thai-North Hollywood

                                                      1. SauceSupreme RE: SauceSupreme Nov 16, 2007 02:57 PM

                                                        D'oh! Forgot about Jitlada (three stars).

                                                        1. s
                                                          silverlakebodhisattva RE: SauceSupreme Nov 16, 2007 04:13 PM

                                                          What? No Chichen Itza?

                                                          r gould-saltman

                                                          no avatar

                                                          1. v
                                                            VealParmGuy RE: SauceSupreme Nov 16, 2007 04:35 PM

                                                            ***: J&J (SGV), El Parian, Mario's Peruvian, Bay Cities, Sanamluang, Empress Pavillion, Phillipe
                                                            **: J&J Burger Shack, Apple Pan, Vivoli, Irv's Burgers, Father's Office
                                                            *: Twin Dragon, Vito's, Ro-Ro, El Pollo Brassa, Traktir, Marty's, Sake House, Greenblatt's, Bowery

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: VealParmGuy
                                                              banquisha RE: VealParmGuy Nov 18, 2007 09:15 AM

                                                              I've been by Twin Dragon many times and it doesn't really seem like a hole in the wall at all.

                                                            2. k
                                                              keaton RE: SauceSupreme Nov 16, 2007 08:26 PM

                                                              Speaking of hole in the walls, I'm wondering about all the pizza, burger, Greek, etc. places on Hollywood between Vine and, oh, say La Brea. I know Skooby's, but are any of these other places decent? There's so many, and frankly, I've always assumed they were all no good. But maybe some of them are?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: keaton
                                                                katydid13 RE: keaton Feb 21, 2008 06:56 AM

                                                                Definitely NOT Miceli's. Worst Italian food I've ever had.

                                                              2. b
                                                                broncosaurus RE: SauceSupreme Nov 16, 2007 09:46 PM

                                                                What? No Dino's for the chicken meal?

                                                                1. westsidegal RE: SauceSupreme Nov 17, 2007 12:11 AM

                                                                  how are you defining "hole-in-the-wall?"

                                                                  some of the restaurants mentioned in this thread are, to me, mid-priced.

                                                                  1. Emme RE: SauceSupreme Nov 17, 2007 07:58 PM

                                                                    Jitlada Thai
                                                                    Monte Alban
                                                                    Los Balcones de Peru
                                                                    Sanam Luang
                                                                    Urasawa (okay it's SOOOO not hole-in-the-wall)
                                                                    Bay Cities

                                                                    Two Stars
                                                                    Mashti Malone's
                                                                    Coupa Cafe
                                                                    Mario's Peruvian
                                                                    Chocolatt... the Belgian chocolate place on Wilshire near Bundy
                                                                    Amandine (for a croissant)

                                                                    One Star
                                                                    Elysee Bakery
                                                                    Babalu (can we say banana cream or coconut cream pie!)
                                                                    Diddy Riese
                                                                    Eat Well (addicted to the buddha bowl...)
                                                                    The Yogurt Factory
                                                                    Aunt Kizzy's
                                                                    A Cow Jumped Over the Moon
                                                                    Whole Foods Salad Bar (Santa Monica, El Segundo, Woodland Hills, Thousand Oaks)
                                                                    Chili My Soul

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Emme
                                                                      glutton RE: Emme Nov 18, 2007 07:01 AM

                                                                      I'm surprised to see Crumbs... I went there for the first time yesterday and was very underwhelmed. The cupcakes are enormous, big enough that even a pig like me gets a sugar high tummy ache afterwards. They should sell the small cupcakes by the piece so that you could get two or three of them. The cupcake itself wasn't bad -- the frosting was pretty good, the cake was moist and fresh, etc. The flavors seemed entirely targeted at 12 year olds who simply want a sweeter and sweeter cupcake. And I say this as someone who has an enormous sweet tooth (i.e. I'd main-line maple sugar candy if I could).

                                                                      When will this whole cupcake frenzy just die down so that the cupcake returns to its rightful manifestation -- a small, simple treat that isn't mean to be gussied up. It feels like we're putting lipstick on a pig these days.

                                                                      1. re: glutton
                                                                        Emme RE: glutton Nov 18, 2007 08:49 AM

                                                                        i'm convinced that it's so much easier to not be let down when you taste something not knowing the source. i had an idle vanilla cupcake at a party, and really enjoyed it, so i asked the hostess from whence she purchased the yummy miniature. she said, "crumbs." and i walked away thinking "oh really... interesting." i'm certain that if i had gone to crumbs on a cupcake mission of sorts that i would not have enjoyed my cupcake and walked away with the same underwhelmed experience. would i drive there to pick up a dozen or two to bring to an affair? most likely yes, but i wouldn't tell folks where they came from...

                                                                        1. re: glutton
                                                                          ashlee RE: glutton Nov 18, 2007 06:11 PM

                                                                          Underwhelmed?!? Try over whelmed!

                                                                          I completely agree with your analysis. I too have an insatiable sweet tooth...sugar is a food group as far as I am concerned. But, I was literally overwhelmed at the cupcake large enough to be a main course! The caramel apple was screaming out at me...but the overkill of crumble on top coated in caramel and filled with apple chunks left my belly screaming.

                                                                          Too bad.

                                                                      2. The Chowhound Team RE: SauceSupreme Nov 18, 2007 09:25 AM

                                                                        Hey Folks, let's keep this board focused on where to find great chow in LA. General discussions of holes-in-the-wall and how they are defined belong on the General Topics Board. There is a recent discussion here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/450182


                                                                        1. susancinsf RE: SauceSupreme Nov 18, 2007 07:19 PM

                                                                          Sauce, I don't have a list (yet) but just have to say, this thread seals the deal: I am moving to Los Angeles!

                                                                          (seriously, in addition to the business trips I now take once a month or so, I will be staying on the west side for about six weeks this spring, and plan to use this as my guide!)

                                                                          I am presuming and hoping that Cactus Taqueria is not related to the small mediocre chain in the bay area...

                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                          1. re: susancinsf
                                                                            a_and_w RE: susancinsf Nov 19, 2007 01:16 PM

                                                                            Welcome to LA LA Land, susancinsf! As far as I know, the Cactus Taqueria mentioned here is no relation to the Bay Area mini-chain (which is a pale shadow of what it used to be).

                                                                            1. re: susancinsf
                                                                              Das Ubergeek RE: susancinsf Nov 19, 2007 07:33 PM

                                                                              Well, welcome!

                                                                              I lived in SF and in the East Bay (which everyone knows is just Pig Latin for "beast") for a while -- well, OK, I lived there five days a week.

                                                                              You're going to have to get out of the Westside for the best of what LA has to offer, which is not the market-directed food so beloved by Bay Areans (and, before all the Angelenos jump down my throat, yes, I *know* we have it, but it's not as institutionalised in the minds of Elayans as it is in those of our brethren in Norcalistan), but rather the mind-boggling number of tiny, cheap, ethnic holes-in-the-wall we have down here... so yes, a good place to start.

                                                                              There is good food, and great food, on the Westside, but the recently-arrived can't usually afford to live on the Westside, so the truly insanely good Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, etc. is east, north or south of the 310.

                                                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                                susancinsf RE: Das Ubergeek Nov 19, 2007 08:46 PM

                                                                                thanks! I totally agree that the 'holes in the wall' are one of LA's biggest food strengths. If anyone could argue, this thread settles that issue....and yes, it doesn't take much exploring to figure out that some of insanely good Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, etc. (wow...I really can't wait, especially for those three!) is east, north or south....

                                                                                but since it appears quite likely that my first grandchild will have the privilege of being born in the 310 (my reason for the upcoming extended stay...I really was kidding about moving to LA. I think. :-)) I will start my search for great food in that area code.....though come to think of it; car rides with babies to quiet them down are a trick Grandma knows a thing or two about...

                                                                                Sigh. My parents were both Angelenos, but I never thought a child (and thus grandchild) of mine would end up as such. Oh well, the food definitely compensates.

                                                                                As long as she (yes, we know that much already) doesn't become a Dodger's fan......

                                                                                1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                  Das Ubergeek RE: susancinsf Nov 20, 2007 03:37 PM

                                                                                  Well, congratulations!! (How is it possible that you are having your first grandchild when you're only 29 years old!!)

                                                                                  There IS perfectly good HITW food on the Westside -- I didn't mean to imply there was none. Just off the top of my head, and I haven't lived on the Westside in the better part of a decade (glerk!), there's a fantastic Oaxacan place called Monte Alban, a great Thai place in Westchester, and even an Ethiopian place, Fassica, on Washington directly across from the Sony lot (watch out for picketers). There's Santouka in the Mitsuwa food court (mmmm, shio ramen and negimeshi!!) and a couple of good pizza places sprinkled here and there, not to mention Musha in Santa Monica.

                                                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                                    susancinsf RE: Das Ubergeek Nov 20, 2007 05:15 PM

                                                                                    LOL! actually, I only LOOK 29! :-)

                                                                                    Anyway, I am looking forward to trying Monte Alban soon; it has been on my list for awhile. Right now, my favorite Westside restaurant is Sabor a Mexico: based on the guide standards above I'd give it two stars.

                                                                                    Any chance you or anyone remembers the name of the Thai place in Westchester? Thai is my daughter's favorite...

                                                                                    SIL , OTOH, has been bugging me to take him for sushi: he hasn't been able to find any he likes since they moved to LA, but they haven't been to Sushi Zo (nor have I) so that is on our list to try just as soon as daughter can also indulge...

                                                                                    1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                      broncosaurus RE: susancinsf Nov 20, 2007 05:36 PM

                                                                                      The Tahi place is called Ayara Thai and frankly, I was (contrary to many opinions around here) completely underwhelmed. I posted on my experience and there was no response, so I suppose it may just be me. But I'm well aquainted with Thai food and frequent all those great Hollywood haunts; Ayara doesn't come anywhere near them. It's classic westside mundane thai, toned down for farangs. It has a sparse menu. It's a bit pricey for slightly smallish serving sizes. I really don't see any positive, say it is nicely decorated with images of changs (elephants) everywhere.

                                                                                      It is perhaps slightly superior to the couple of thai-chinese places that have littered Westchester for years, but just a tad. If you want the real stuff, you know where to head. Or perhaps visit Pam's which is somewhat better if they ever get around to serving you.

                                                                                      1. re: broncosaurus
                                                                                        hrhboo RE: broncosaurus Nov 20, 2007 07:03 PM

                                                                                        I find Ayara underwhelming too. Thai Boom is not too far away and much tastier.

                                                                                        1. re: hrhboo
                                                                                          susancinsf RE: hrhboo Nov 21, 2007 05:52 AM

                                                                                          Thanks for the replies. Ok, I have heard of Ayara, I think of it as the place near LAX, (seems like it usually gets recommended in threads on where to eat near the airport) and either it or Thai Boom will probably be on the itinerary for my work trip the end of this month: have a meeting during the day, but want to visit with daughter before catching the last SF flight out....

                                                                                          Will definitely report back if I make it to either one.

                                                                                          1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                            Das Ubergeek RE: susancinsf Nov 21, 2007 06:01 AM

                                                                                            Let me quite clear, though -- it's tasty but it's not at the level of Thai Nakorn, or any of the Hollywood Thai Town or NoHo Thai Gulch places. That said, it was only a few months ago that I was in the place your kids will be in, and the first Chow trip we made was to Rowland Heights, about as far from us as Thai Town is from the Westside... it did not end well... Ubergeeklette made it halfway through the meal.

                                                                                            I still think Ayara's one of the better ones on the Westside.

                                                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                                              glutton RE: Das Ubergeek Nov 21, 2007 07:25 AM

                                                                                              How does it compare to Tuk Tuk Thai, which is in the Pico/Robertson area?

                                                                                              1. re: glutton
                                                                                                Das Ubergeek RE: glutton Nov 21, 2007 06:41 PM

                                                                                                Dunno. Never been to Tuk Tuk.

                                                                                                1. re: glutton
                                                                                                  ElissaInPlaya RE: glutton Apr 10, 2008 02:41 PM

                                                                                                  I live near Ayara and work near Tuk Tuk. I like Ayara a lot -- the quality of the produce is high, and the cooks will spice things up for a farang like me. I like the chili-encrusted fish (not called that btw) at Tuk Tuk and the rice is good, but I don't like Tuk Tuk as well as Ayara. However, both places will continue to get my cash because of proximity. (I think Ayara was as good as or better than some of the "non-chowish" thai food I just had this month in Bangkok.)

                                                                                                  1. re: ElissaInPlaya
                                                                                                    susancinsf RE: ElissaInPlaya Apr 13, 2008 08:44 PM

                                                                                                    I stopped back into Ayara the other day because I needed dinner at four pm before heading out of LAX (love that it is open all afternoon, and that parking is so easy and free: that and the fast service are big bonuses when one is heading to the airport)...the larb I had was good, ginger tofu was only ok, but after I ordered the staff sat down to staff meal, which included some type of roast chicken and about four other dishes, all of which looked wonderful! I found myself wishing I had walked in about 15 minutes later, in which case I probably would have just said, "I'll have what you're having!".

                                                                                            2. re: hrhboo
                                                                                              westsidegal RE: hrhboo Nov 21, 2007 07:30 PM

                                                                                              the noodle dishes at ayara are superior to those at thai boom
                                                                                              the prik king and the prik pao and the salads at thai boom are much better than those at ayara.

                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                susancinsf RE: westsidegal Mar 28, 2008 10:47 PM

                                                                                                westside gal: I have had a chance to eat at both Thai Boom and Ayara the past few weeks, and agree with your assessment: I'd stick to noodle dishes at Ayara, would rather eat at Jitlada than either, but not on a weeknight after sitting in traffic for an hour or more....both are good options on the west side, and Ayara definitely is one the better restaurants I've found within a few blocks of LAX.

                                                                                                Thai Boom is a bit cheaper, but parking is a bit easier at Ayara, (Thai Boom has a small lot that fills up; Ayara has easy street parking and a big parking lot nearby....though the area was closed off for a few days after that explosion nearby, all now appears to be back to more or less normal) and you can get Chang beer at Ayara (no beer or wine at Thai Boom). Service is fine at Ayara but better than fine (friendly, accomodating) at Thai Boom.

                                                                                                Thai Boom
                                                                                                10863 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                                                                                Ayara Thai Cuisine
                                                                                                6245 W 87th St, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                                                                                2. m
                                                                                  miffy RE: SauceSupreme Nov 20, 2007 09:29 PM

                                                                                  I am not sure of the stars but:
                                                                                  -Tokyo 7-11; Nijiya for bento boxes, Big Tomy's (Sawtelle/Pico); Indian Sweets & Spices, Terried Sake House; Spoons (Gardena)

                                                                                  1. parantoux RE: SauceSupreme Nov 20, 2007 09:52 PM

                                                                                    Three Stars:
                                                                                    Bin8945 www.bin8945.com
                                                                                    Jinpachi: Santa Monica just west of LaCienaga
                                                                                    Hide Sushi

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: parantoux
                                                                                      maxzook RE: parantoux Nov 21, 2007 09:07 AM

                                                                                      Bin 8945 is a hole in the wall? I mean, its small, but so is Urasawa ...

                                                                                      1. re: maxzook
                                                                                        Servorg RE: maxzook Nov 21, 2007 09:55 AM

                                                                                        I believe that they meant Bin 8945 is a hole in the wallet

                                                                                        1. re: Servorg
                                                                                          maxzook RE: Servorg Nov 21, 2007 10:20 AM

                                                                                          Well, if THAT'S the list you want, I got a few ideas!!!

                                                                                    2. a
                                                                                      alexfood RE: SauceSupreme Nov 30, 2007 09:31 AM

                                                                                      I know I'm forgetting plenty of places but here's a few...

                                                                                      Three Stars
                                                                                      SoKongDong (Soontofu)
                                                                                      Brent's Deli (not exactly a hole-in-the-wall, but far from central L.A.)
                                                                                      Swan Thai

                                                                                      Two Stars
                                                                                      Vito's Pizza
                                                                                      Pazzo Gelato
                                                                                      Soot Bull Jeep
                                                                                      Krua Thai
                                                                                      Koshiji (yakitori-ya in Little Tokyo)
                                                                                      Artisan Cheese Gallery (duck confit sandwich!)
                                                                                      Dr. Hogly Woggly's (I know people are divided, but I'm a defender of the brisket)
                                                                                      Kansas City BBQ on Lankershim
                                                                                      NBC Seafood
                                                                                      Soccoro's (Van Nuys) - good handmade tortillas

                                                                                      One Star
                                                                                      Pitfire Pizza Co. (cheap alternative to overhyped Mozza)
                                                                                      Sa Rit Gol
                                                                                      Al Gelato
                                                                                      Sabor a Mexico
                                                                                      Terried Sake House
                                                                                      Apple Pan
                                                                                      Sam Woo (Van Nuys)

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: alexfood
                                                                                        LA Buckeye Fan RE: alexfood Apr 26, 2010 04:38 PM

                                                                                        I agree with you on the brisket at Hoggly Woggly's. Get the brisket with beans and mac salad...and NOTHING ELSE. You'll be glad you did.

                                                                                      2. tatertots RE: SauceSupreme Nov 30, 2007 02:07 PM

                                                                                        Three Stars:
                                                                                        ***Yai Thai
                                                                                        ***Corner Place

                                                                                        Two Star:
                                                                                        **Damon & Pythias (Westwood)

                                                                                        One Star:
                                                                                        *Tacos Por Favor
                                                                                        *Three Flames Mongolian BBQ
                                                                                        *Lamonica's Pizza

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: tatertots
                                                                                          maxzook RE: tatertots Nov 30, 2007 05:11 PM

                                                                                          I gotta tell you how much I love when I see a list like this and I realize I've only heard of two places on it.

                                                                                          Corner Place Restaurant
                                                                                          2819 James M Wood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                                                                                          Kobawoo Restaurant
                                                                                          698 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005

                                                                                          Three Flames Mongolian Bar-B-Q
                                                                                          5608 W Manchester Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                                                                                          11555 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                                          Tacos Por Favor
                                                                                          1406 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

                                                                                          4560 Whittier Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90022

                                                                                          Yai Thai Food
                                                                                          1627 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                                                                                          Blue Bird
                                                                                          233 S La Fayette Park PL, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                                          Isshin Restaurant
                                                                                          10861 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                                                                          Damon & Pythias Food-The Gods
                                                                                          1061 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                                                                          Lamonica's New York Pizza
                                                                                          1066 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                                                                          1. re: maxzook
                                                                                            writergirl RE: maxzook Dec 2, 2007 10:38 AM

                                                                                            I think you may have the wrong Bluebird. From previous posts, I'm pretty sure Tater is referring to the Bluebird in Culver City.

                                                                                            Bluebird Cafe
                                                                                            8572 National Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                                                                                        2. r
                                                                                          rancherostyl RE: SauceSupreme Dec 3, 2007 01:40 PM

                                                                                          A vastly incomplete list for me, sans stars, has to include:

                                                                                          Phoenix Inn Chinatown for porridge
                                                                                          Texi's (Vermont loc) for pupusas
                                                                                          Matador taco truck at Fountain & Western
                                                                                          Attari for asht & tongue sandwich
                                                                                          Mario's Italian Deli in G-dale (RIP Bebe Jesus Salami)
                                                                                          Elvira's in Eagle Rock
                                                                                          Taylor's Prime Steak (on payday)
                                                                                          El Huarache
                                                                                          Super Tortas (Alvarado location)
                                                                                          Korean Rice cake dessert thingies trailer at California Market on Western(1$! each)
                                                                                          Monte Cristo at The Bounty
                                                                                          TITO'S TACOS!!
                                                                                          Wandering Tamale Guy outside of Shortstop in Echo Park around 1:30 AM
                                                                                          Chung King on San Gabriel
                                                                                          Tarzana Chevron Breakfast Taco Bar on Ventura Blvd.

                                                                                          last but definitely not least, The Talpa on Pico w of Barrington, where apparently my mom went into labor with me - opinions differ (manteca) but obviously a weird emotional pull.

                                                                                          1. PommeDeGuerre RE: SauceSupreme Feb 18, 2008 01:39 PM

                                                                                            Given that I've dropped over $100 for two at the Hungry Cat, I'm pretty sure that It can't be considered a "hole-in-the-wall." It's also got a zinc bar, serves caviar, and is located on the corner of Sunset and Vine. I'm pretty sure that these are all grounds for not qualifying for this list.

                                                                                            1. katydid13 RE: SauceSupreme Feb 21, 2008 06:57 AM

                                                                                              3 stars: Cafe Verona, Marouch
                                                                                              2 stars: Los Balcones, Mama's Hot Tamales

                                                                                              1. s
                                                                                                smcat RE: SauceSupreme Mar 23, 2008 01:04 AM

                                                                                                Pot and Pan Thai on SM and 24th in SM is a great hole in the wall -- but never busy -- terrific Thai.

                                                                                                1. m
                                                                                                  Mr Grub RE: SauceSupreme Mar 23, 2008 10:01 AM

                                                                                                  Great fun to re-read a great thread. Here's a few more.

                                                                                                  La Buca

                                                                                                  Maria’s Seafood (Grand Central Market)

                                                                                                  Ma Dong Gook Su
                                                                                                  Lu Din Gee

                                                                                                  1. susancinsf RE: SauceSupreme Mar 28, 2008 10:34 PM

                                                                                                    I just had to bump up this thread, because is has been a bit of a bible for me during my recent sojurn in LA...

                                                                                                    well, actually, it is mostly an excuse to announce that World's Greatest Grandchild (see my post above) finally arrived, healthy and happpy, and everyone is doing well. Since her arrival Monday I haven't had time for restaurants; my time has been taken up doing Grandma things like cooking tasty meals for sleep deprived new parents and holding Grandchild so they can sleep now and then...

                                                                                                    But I am happy to say that I've tried a few of the spots that seem to get mentioned in a few replies, including Jitlada, Babita and Musha...great meals at all three, but despite my love for all things Mexican and tremendous respect for the what the chef is doing at Babita, Musha was my favorite, and one of my favorite dining experiences of the year (yes, I know, only March, but I have a feeling this one will hold up). The rice cracker with mushroom dish was beyond description and one of my 'wow' tastes this year...but then, I dined there the first night after Grandchild showed up (but before she left the hospital), so I have to go back SOON to make sure it wasn't just my elated mood that made the food taste so good..... :-) I am curious about one thing: someone specifically mentions the branch of Musha in Torrance: is there a difference between the two (I ate at Musha Santa Monica)/

                                                                                                    Anyway, thanks so much to the LA hounds for ideas for good food and good memories. Have to head back home again tomorrow but I will be back soon, very soon, and looking forward to trying more on these lists...

                                                                                                    1823 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                                                                                    424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                      whatsfordinner RE: susancinsf Mar 29, 2008 08:57 AM


                                                                                                      1. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                        Dommy RE: susancinsf Mar 30, 2008 12:18 PM

                                                                                                        Congrats Susan!! :D So glad the little one made it safe and sound and you are being fed well! :) The Musha in Torrance is bigger and has more dishes. It's def. worth the trip if you liked the Musha in SM! :)


                                                                                                        1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                          susancinsf RE: Dommy Mar 30, 2008 07:11 PM

                                                                                                          Thanks Dommy! Once I make it through the list of dishes in SM, I will have to head over to Torrance and check it out!

                                                                                                        2. re: susancinsf
                                                                                                          laliz RE: susancinsf Apr 27, 2010 01:47 PM

                                                                                                          " As long as she (yes, we know that much already) doesn't become a Dodger's fan...... "

                                                                                                          ** you can only wish ** GO BLUE

                                                                                                          And congratulations

                                                                                                        3. Phood RE: SauceSupreme Mar 30, 2008 07:39 PM

                                                                                                          When GF announced hunger in an unknown part of the valley I bolted into the nearest interesting looking place. Shamshiri Restaurant (19249 ROSCOE BLVD) stuck out from the context of the Mexican places that surrounded it. The menu made no reference to the Westwood Shamshiri Grill.
                                                                                                          Not quite a hole-in-the-wall, just a simple mini-mall storefront, yet the quality, tasty food spoke volumes while the environment was relatively quiet.
                                                                                                          More downscale, yet compares favorably to the Javan, Darya, Shamshiri westside Persian that I am familiar with. The Koobideh and Barg were juicy, flavorful, and tender. The friendly regulars seated next to us suggested Flame in Westwood as being a step up and meat oriented. I hope to find out soon.

                                                                                                          1. bogdevotchka RE: SauceSupreme Apr 9, 2008 10:04 PM

                                                                                                            Stuff in West LA

                                                                                                            Three stars:
                                                                                                            Thai Taste on Venice for their red curry and crab fried rice
                                                                                                            Baja Buds for their Nachos and cheap beer on tap and pickled carrots
                                                                                                            Tacomiendo on Pico and Gateway for their Plato de Tacos and Chilequiles
                                                                                                            Mitsuwa on Venice and Centinela for their awesome asianness
                                                                                                            Tofu-ya on Sawtelle for the waitresses who come over and crack a raw egg in your boiling soup (now thats service), and for their plentiful side dishes
                                                                                                            GR/EATS for their eclectic menu choices, and all around good tasting food
                                                                                                            Anna's on Pico near the Westside Pavillion has really good specials on I think Monday through Thursday which include a glass of wine wiith your meal, and ice cream and coffee after:)
                                                                                                            Cecil's on Pico and Bundy? for awesome all natural ribs!

                                                                                                            Two Stars:

                                                                                                            India Sweets and Spices on Venice near Motor: You get a lot for your money and they have interesting items in their store
                                                                                                            Toi: Kind of hole in the wallish. fun to go to in LA after hours the food is pretty good too.
                                                                                                            Habayit: I've been going there since I was very young. They have good pickled beats. They used to have a good red sauce but I think they don't have it anymore:(

                                                                                                            One star:

                                                                                                            Fassica on Washington and Motor? Definitely a hole in the wall. it is the only Ethiopian place in culver city, so if you are there, and feel like Ethiopian food, you best hit up that place.

                                                                                                            Hmmm .....

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: bogdevotchka
                                                                                                              Servorg RE: bogdevotchka Apr 10, 2008 08:59 AM

                                                                                                              Seeing as how your praised Mr. Cecil's on Pico between Centinela and Bundy have you tried Baby Blues on Lincoln for BBQ? The Chow Link below includes a link to their web site:


                                                                                                              1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                bogdevotchka RE: Servorg Apr 10, 2008 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                Thanks for the heads up, Cecil's was the first time I've ever had ribs. They were tasty and organic :P

                                                                                                              2. re: bogdevotchka
                                                                                                                1newyorkguy RE: bogdevotchka Apr 22, 2010 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                india sweets and spices on venice in culver city is awful. canned and boring ingredients, dirty surroundings, and rude workers.

                                                                                                              3. g
                                                                                                                glutton RE: SauceSupreme Apr 21, 2010 05:24 PM

                                                                                                                Skaf's for baba ghanoush
                                                                                                                Monte Alban for queso fundido and a tlayuda
                                                                                                                Tacos Baja Ensenada for a fish taco

                                                                                                                Monte Alban
                                                                                                                11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                                                                Tacos Baja Ensenada
                                                                                                                385 W Whittier Blvd, Montebello, CA 90640

                                                                                                                1. p
                                                                                                                  P3R3 RE: SauceSupreme Apr 22, 2010 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                  -Langers Deli
                                                                                                                  -Raffis Place
                                                                                                                  -Starry Kitchen (NoHo)
                                                                                                                  - Vin Loi Tofu

                                                                                                                  -Las Fuentes
                                                                                                                  -Border Grill Truck (I think thats it)

                                                                                                                  -Froggys Topanga
                                                                                                                  -Zankou Chicken
                                                                                                                  -Follow Your Heart
                                                                                                                  -Dr Hogly Wogglies
                                                                                                                  -Daglas Drive In

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: P3R3
                                                                                                                    maxzook RE: P3R3 Apr 22, 2010 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                    Starry Kitchen closed in NoHo last November :( but reopened downtown in February :) ...

                                                                                                                    350 S Grand Ave
                                                                                                                    Los Angeles, CA 90071
                                                                                                                    (213) 617-3474

                                                                                                                    1. re: maxzook
                                                                                                                      P3R3 RE: maxzook Apr 23, 2010 10:20 AM

                                                                                                                      Yea I refering to the old place, that was a destination. New place is good but not inside someones apartment anymore :)

                                                                                                                  2. aching RE: SauceSupreme Apr 23, 2010 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                    Wow, this is fantastic stuff. Is somebody going to obsessively tally the results and let us know the winners?

                                                                                                                    1. westsidegal RE: SauceSupreme Apr 27, 2010 01:55 PM

                                                                                                                      as of this moment in time,
                                                                                                                      mariscos chente in lennox when sergio is behind the stove.

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