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....
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Well worth linking ...
Tacos Baja Ensenada
5385 Whittier Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90022
Din Tai Fung Restaurant
1108 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007
1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Los Balcones Del Peru
1360 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028
9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034
11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064
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
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
1303 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
12908 Sherman Way North, Hollywood, CA
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.
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...
Catching up, link-wise (not sure if the Mandoo place at 450 S. Western is the place das Ubergeek had in mind, and I couldn't find a Kaesung in Garden Grove)
Moun Of Tunis Restaurant
7445 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Meals By Genet
1053 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019
12728 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, CA 91605
700 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754
Harold & Belle's Restaurant
2920 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018
1414 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
339 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
11951 Beach Blvd, Stanton, CA 90680
2501 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant
2717 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006
So Kong Dong
2716 W Olympic Blvd Ste 104, Los Angeles, CA 90006
315 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203
Brasa Brasil Grill
10022 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
8205 Woodman Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91402
Mercado Buenos Aires
7540 Sepulveda Blvd, Van Nuys, CA
Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori
18517 S Western Ave, Gardena, CA 90248
360 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
La Louisianne Express
1854 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93065
Big Buy Foods
2233 E Cesar E Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90063
301 N Berendo St, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Man Doo Chon Restaurant
450 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA
Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant
3939 Rosemead Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770
second jitlada, ethiopian, chameau, shamshiri, monte alban, warszawa, los balcones de peru...
nata's pastries in sherman oaks
carnival in sherman oaks
qusqo in west LA
pho 79 or pho 999
courtyard for spanish tapas
lou on vine or cube for small plates
drive out to donut man one late night/early morn
tea at the tudor house
dessert crawl? mashti malone's, MILK, scoops, bulgarini gelato, simonLA, fritelli's
bakery crawl? portos (tres leches), doughboys or auntie ems (red velvet), nata's for natas, susina (berry cream cake), leda's (almost every cupcake is great),
CHINESE STOP in SAN GABRIEL VALLEY (one day tour):
9:00 a.m.: dim sum at Sea Harbour on Rosemead Blvd. in Rosemead, but don't stuff yourselves
1:00 p.m.: Din Tai Fung in Arcadia for some soup dumplings, pastries at JJ's for dessert or Phoenix Bakery (next door to Din Tai Fung)
7:00 p.m.: House special crab at Seafood Village in Monterey Park on Las Tunas Drive; if you like hot pot, go to Litlte Fat Sheep down the street, or Elite for more dinner items
lunch: BCD Tofu or Beverly Soon Tofu
dinner: Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo
Nem Nuong Kanh Hoa for Bun Bo Hue and amazing Nem Nuong Spring Rolls. The owners are really sweet and everything I've had is good.
Mr. Baguette or Banh Mi Che Cali for Banh Mi sandwiches. If you go to BMCC, the Che (Vietnamese desserts) are very good. I like the sandwiches better at Mr. Baguette.
Boiling Crab - the Vietnamese version of New Orleans food. I've had better Crawfish in NO, but these are really good for Monterey Park. It also has a young friendly staff and a fun atmosphere.
Dim Sum? Just went to Elite today and it is always good, but crowded. I also really like Seafood Harbor, which is also always crowded.
It is great to see all the restaurants mentioned. Some of my all-time favorites. Mashti Malones was mentioned, but Fosselman's also has some good ethnic flavors. I like their Taro ice cream.
Great great idea!
Ethiopian - Rahel has the most flavor, but I adore the fish (Asa Tibs) at Nyala.
Japanese - Musha or Izakaya Kan Yuzen if you want to dine in a room full of Japanese.
Indian - Surati Farsan Mart is incredible. Everything we've had there is excellent. However, it is mostly fried snack food and service when they are busy can be very very slow.
Malaysian - Our favorite is Little Malaysia, but hounds give Belacan Grill good reviews.
I have to second La Espanola. It's very charming. Make sure you get some of their homemade olives and be prepared to spend money if you like Spanish cheeses and cured meats.
When you go to Thai Town, don't forget Banh Kanom Thai. It's a great little store.
Don't forget to post a report after all the eating is over.
I have counted specific cuisine restuarants from 75 different countries in the tri-county L.A. area ( = L.A., Orange, & Ventura) and a few more just outside. Maybe one place you ought to try is "Magic Carpet", not one of the 75, as you can build a country specific meal with several dishes from:
Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Israel, Turkey, Iraq (& a few more that have only one):