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Dec 8, 2007 09:43 AM

Visiting for the first time

We're visiting family in LA in January and it'll my first time in LA. I'm mostly looking for well priced (aka cheap under $50 for two w/out alcohol) food. My wife doesn't really like Asian and she doesn't like Sushi. Unfortunately I really like both. She likes pretty much anything else, especially Indian, Mexican, and pizza. Maybe there is some street food where we both can find some things we like? I'm from Pittsburgh and there isn't a lot of good sushi out here so I would like to try at least one good sushi place on my vist. We really enjoy finding all the good chowing ethnic places in a city and don't usually do fine dining. A great bakery for several morning breakfast visits would be great, as would a place just for some good desserts. We'll have a car and GPS navigation and don't mind driving. Also, is my anticipated budge of under $50 for two per meal a good price point or does it need to be higher?

I did a search before I posted but couldn't find much.


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  1. Los Angeles is spread out and HUGE. Even if you have a car, you will not want to drive far for breakfast or even dinner (rush hours last forever). You probably want to plan your excursions for lunch -- easier traffic. So whereabouts will you be staying?

    2 Replies
    1. re: nosh

      We'll be staying very near Hollywood.

      1. re: Rick

        In 'n' Out burger fer sure.

        I'd say a lunch at Philppe's is in order... supposed home of the french dip, a broad menu and unique scene make it a 'hound must when in LA.

    2. Here's a list of restaurants that you can eat for under $25 pp as per Michelin Guide. It's not comprehensive at all, but a good reference.

      1. Being "very near Hollywood" these would be some suggestions:

        Langer's Deli -- Alvarado at Seventh (caddy-corner from MacArthur Park, parking lot a block east). Many say this is the best pastrami on rye in the country. Not a mile-high piled sandwich, but succulent and perfect in its way. Supplement with a bowl of matzoh ball soup or an order of well-done fries.

        Carnitas Michaocan -- North Broadway at 19th (above Chinatown) -- take Sunset all the way into downtown then left on Broadway, north thru Chinatown til 19th -- Bandini's "The Great Taco Hunt" blog gave them the top rating a year ago. A covered patio where you order at one window and pick up at the other. Good carne asada, great al pastor from a rotisserie, and the best complex hot smoky wonderful salsa roja anywhere. Fill up on tacos and burritos and quesadillas and special nachos with quac and meat and bring a lot home. Beats the hell out of any sitdown Mexican in town at dirtcheap prices.

        You are very close to the original Tommy's Burger on Rampart and Alvarado for a chili-cheeseburger. You can also find an In-and-Out Burger on Sunset for a double-double (if you must order fries, get them well-done).

        A terrible tragedy that you may not have company to eat Asian. The best Chinese is further east, but Hollywood is Thai-town. Will your wife join you at Palm Thai on Hollywood Blvd. to see the Thai Elvis while you scarf some great food? Can you get anyone to join you at Jitlada?

        enough for now... best wishes and good luck

        1. Yuca's Hut for one thing -- the cochinita pibil in either taco or burrito format.

          2056 N. Hillhurst Ave.
          Los Angeles, CA
          323 662 1214

          1. It's certainly not the best sushi (even remotely) in the city, but if you want to have some sushi/Japanese and still have something for your wife to eat, try Katana on Sunset. It's "robata" style so they have plenty of cooked/BBQ foods.

            4 Replies
            1. re: soccerandlost

              I might be able to get her to do dim sum. What are some of the best dim sum places in town?

              1. re: Rick

                For dim sum go to Sea Harbour in Rosemead.

                1. re: Rick

                  There is, of course, disagreement and controversy on these boards re dim sum. I have always enjoyed the dim sum at the Empress Pavilion, at the north end of Chinatown, though lots of folks hold out for places in Monterey Park. One of the reasons I like the Empress is that it's big and crowded, and always reminds me of being in Hong Kong. They open at 10 every day (I think) for dim sum, and if you get there before 11 you probably won't have to wait; if you get there at noon, on the other hand, you might have to wait for 45 minutes. On the other hand, my experience has been that you'll have a bigger choice if you get there later. But if it's just you and the missus, there will be plenty of choice no matter when you come in, i.e., two of you won't possibly be able to have everything offered and so you will have good stuff in any event. And of course the great thing about dim sum is that the two of you will eat and eat and eat and eat, and after the meal it will look as if World War III took place on your table -- and the bill will be $22. Maybe less.

                  1. re: Rick

                    You know, I really envy you -- coming to Los Angeles for a first visit and being attuned to eating all kinds of stuff. L.A. is probably THE best city in the world for somebody with eclectic taste. Have a ball!!!