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Nov 20, 2007 10:35 AM

Ethnic Food Tour 07

My fiancee is a huge foodie. As part of her birthday celebration (I love coming up with creative multi day celebrations) I want to take her on a tour of great, delicious ethnic LA restaurants. Like every night do a different location - these can be nice restaurants but hole in the walls are just as good for us....the only thing we don't really like is Korean BBQ otherwise we are adventuresome...

anyone have any out of the way great places to add to our food travels??

any part of town will do....

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  1. She's a lucky, lucky girl!
    How about Ethiopian one of the nights? Little Ethiopia is on Fairfax just south of Pico. My favorite is Merkato - the vegetarian combo, beef with jalapenos & whole fried fish. Also, don't forget to try some of the Honey Wine. End it with the coffee service. A great evening!

    1. Jitlada...the curried soft-shelled crab and the mussels.

      1. Din Tai Fung for xiao long bao

        Monte Alban for Oaxacan

        Skaf's for Lebanese

        Kiriko or Sushi Zo for sushi

        Uzbekistan for, well, Uzbekistani food

        Woodlands for South Indian

        Renu Nakorn for Isaan Thai

        Tacos Baja Ensenada for fish tacos

        Shamshiri or Javan for Persian

        Messob for Ethiopian

        Tagine for Moroccan

        Danube for Bulgarian

        La Espanola Meats/Deli for paella (Saturday lunch only)

        La Fonda Antioquena for Colombian

        Los Balcones de Peru for Peruvian

        Mashti Malone's for Persian ice cream

        Dream Bakery for Georgian

        There are a million more... I'm barely doing this justice.

        11 Replies
        1. re: glutton

          If you had to choose among Shamshiri, Javan & Messob, which would you choose (we love meat, if that helps)? We'll be visiting L.A. soon & hopefully you can help us decide! We are a family of 4 plus my parents.

          1. re: ceekskat

            Well, the first two are Persian and the latter is Ethiopian, so the food is really different. Here are some pros and cons...

            If you're looking at kids, parents, and grandparents sharing a meal, then they'll each get their own plate at the Persian places, but they won't at Messob -- everyone will share a communal platter and eat with their hands.

            For finicky eaters, there is a greater chance they'll find something plain and basic to eat at Persian restaurants, where simple grilled meat, plain rice, and plain breads are typically offered somewhere on the menu. Ethiopian tends to require a greater sense of adventure for many people.

            If there are vegetarians, then Ethiopian probably has better options than Persian.

            If there are beer drinkers, then they'll get to enjoy really good Ethiopian beer at Messob (or whichever Ethiopian place you try).

            Ethiopian probably ends up being a bit cheaper than Persian.

            Service will be faster and more attentive at Persian, but the atmosphere can be a little less exotic and fun than Ethiopian.

            If you love meat, then I'd go with Persian.

            1. re: glutton

              And with those pros/cons, I'll put it up to vote. Thanks!

              1. re: ceekskat

                Just to clarify - with Ethiopian your utensil is the thin, sourdough based "pancake" which you tear into pieces and scoop the food up with. My trick is to order a Samosa right when we sit down, eat some of it and order another - then you get 2 plates!! So your hands really do not get dirty. And the food is absolutely delicious and the prices really reasonable.

                1. re: ceekskat

                  re: vegetarians and persian restaurants

                  shamshiri grill, unlike most persian restaurants, does have an extensive 'vegetarian' section of their menu.

              1. re: glutton


                I'd vote for:

                Meals by Genet for Ethiopian, (I'm getting the sense that EVERY Ethiopian place on Fairfax has its supporters!)
                Moun of Tunis or Chameau for Moroccan,
                Chichen Itza (the 6th St. location) on a Friday or Saturday night when they've got music, for Yucatecan,
                Al Noor for Northern Indian/Pakistani, and
                Shinsengumi (Gardena) or Kokokeko downtown for yakitori and sake or beer.

                1. re: silverlakebodhisattva


                  Harold & Belle's or La Lousisianne for Creole.

                2. re: glutton

                  Well worth linking ...

                  Tacos Baja Ensenada
                  5385 Whittier Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90022

                  Din Tai Fung Restaurant
                  1108 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

                  Shamshiri Grill
                  1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                  Los Balcones Del Peru
                  1360 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                  Sushi Zo
                  9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                  11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                  Monte Alban
                  11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                  7077 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                  132 N Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

                  Mashti Malone's Ice Cream
                  1525 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                  La Espanola Meats
                  25020 Doble Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90710

                  11500 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                  Messob Ethiopian Restaurant
                  1041 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

                  Skaf's Grill
                  6008 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606

                  La Fonda Antioquena
                  4903 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029

                  Woodlands Indian Cuisine
                  11833 Artesia Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                  Renu Nakorn Restaurant
                  13019 Rosecrans Ave, Norwalk, CA 90650

                  Danube Restaurant
                  1303 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                  Dream Bakery
                  12908 Sherman Way North, Hollywood, CA

                  1. re: glutton

                    You've got a fantastic list there, except that Renu Nakorn is still closed the last time I passed by... so swap that out for Swan or Thai Nakorn.

                    1. re: glutton

                      These are all my favorites. A definite thumbs up!!!!

                    2. The Breed St. Mexican street food "puestos" next to the Big Buy Foods parking lot on Saturdays and Sundays from 7PM to around 10PM.They set up in smaller numbers starting on Thursdays but the weekend is the ticket.A variety of authentic Mexican street food and ambience on Breed St. at Cesar Chavez.

                      Atlacatl for El Salvadorean
                      Mercado Buenos Aires for Agentinean
                      Brasa Brazil Grill for excellent and affordable Brazilian churrasco.

                      1. How about something Korean that's not BBQ? There's fantastic soondubu (tofu stew) at Sokongdong or Beverly Tofu House, there's a mandoo (dumpling) shop at Western and 8th, there's a place here in Garden Grove (Kaesung) that does great Northern-style black pork stew...

                        If you're into other things besides dinner, how about breakfast at a turo-turo type Filipino cafeteria? I'm thinking of Manila Good-Ha (in Panorama City, on Woodman just south of Roscoe) or something like it, where you order tapsilog or longsilog, and champorado (which is like chocolate rice pudding), and daing (fried fish)...

                        Or maybe for breakfast you could go to Porto's, the Cuban bakery in Burbank or Glendale, and sit and have a cup of FANTASTIC coffee and a pastry (or four, or six...) or a papa rellena (or fifty...)

                        Or you could have some truly fantastic dim sum (Elite, Sea Harbour, etc.), or you could have a good Hong Kong breakfast like you get in a cha chaan teng, where you drink junjong, a blend of coffee and tea (which is sweetened and has milk and is very, very good) and have porridge with a fried savoury bread, or else maybe noodles in broth...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          FYI, the mandoo shop you mentioned above is located in 7th & western. The shop is called as " You and Me restaurants". I love their mandoo.