Griffith Park area restaurants
I'm heading over to the Observatory to show a visiting friend the twinkling lights of LA. Afterwards, would love to go to a good, inexpensive LA place for dinner, but I'm not familiar with the Los Feliz and Silverlake scene. Any suggestions? How is Fred 62? Any type of food is fine.
Thanks in advance.
Don't mind spending some money? The Restaurant LOS FELIZE on Hillhurst is serious about the food and service and has an excellent wine list. The vibe is a little "nice restaurant in Orange County" though. Excellent New Orleans style brunch.Only place I have found in LA who serves a Ramos Gin Fizz.
CAFE FIGARO on Vermont makes you forget you are in LA, very french in the best ways and a few of the worst. It has A LOT of regulars who go 2 to 3 times a week who are VERY sophisticated sorts and would not frequent a bland, boring, bad place.Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so is really making an effort to be a locals place and it is succeeding.Great Cabernet for $20.00 a bottle, excellent frites, mussels, seafood and real honest to goodness properly cooked scrambled eggs for breakfast. Excellent freshly baked breads, and croissants.
Cheap? You can not beat JITLADA for Thai on Sunset east of Western across from the 99 cent store and the Strip Joint. I was in Thailand for over a month last year and Jitlada is as good as most of what I was eating over there and a hell of a lot better than anything else I have had here. So, it is delicious! Try the Green mussels, sausage salad, and anything with the prawns.
Also, CAROUSEL on Hollywood Blvd. East of Western in the HYE PLAZA strip mall is an EXCELLENT Armenian Kabob place. You will become addicted to the Chicken Breast Kabob with Garlic Sauce and the Muhammara, spicy walnut and red pepper dip. Open for lunch and dinner.Niether of the 2 above have focused on decor. These places cater towards Their ethnic population and are very popular with the locals.They are closed on Mondays.
Another local favorite is San Sui on Hillhurst -- tasty, virtuous Japanese "country food" served on huge platters. Especially good is the tofu in garlic sauce and crock pot of vegtables and shrimp. Boost your karma!
Cafe Stella is indeed still going strong. Very intimate, great steak, nice vibe -- where else can you dine so romantically next to a Magic & Fetish emporium (where they do weekly spanking classes) and a Salvadoran dog grooming shop? The other local French joint still in business (after a few months of mysterious closure - rumors were the maitre d' pulled a hissy fit and demanded a bigger kitchen? or else all the waiters got their work permits pulled?) is Cafe Figaro. Good, but not worth the pricy tab.
Everyone round here agrees (sorry Pepper): Fred 62 blows. Unless you crave fussy food, utterly indifferent service and crappy coffee.
I find Fred 62 thoroughly mediocre, although the ambience is kind of cool, and it's open late. Aside from that, avoid.
I also tried Electric Lotus on that strip but was unimpressed -- dumbed down indian food, again in kind of a cool atmosphere. There's a french bistro there that looks interesting whose name escapes me.
I thought that Vermont was pretty good, probably the best I've had in the neighborhood, though not perfect. I am a fan of the tiny Cafe Stella in nearby Silverlake.
Fred 62, although is not a expensive restaurant is not really worth the money. At least for the amount of food that they give. It's a diner setting, but with a twist to the usual diner meals. They have better greens in their salads, rather than boring, limp, and unfresh iceberg lettuce. You can find a few thai noodle dishes there too. Some of their entrees are rip offs, the burgers are around $8, although that's not the most I've ever seen it, it's one of the smallest. The meatloaf is around $13.
If you've decided beforehand that you would like breakfast for dinner at Fred 62, then I'd say it's more worth the money. I guess you're paying for ambiance and an ecclectic menu.
Maybe I'm just feeling contrary tonight, but I like Fred 62. A lot. And while it is somewhat more expensive than most greasy spoons, it uses real ingredients--the $13 meatloaf tastes like a $17 meatloaf, at least, and the mac n cheese and most of the sadwiches are swell. Its real competition isn't Sanamluang, which Fred Eric would readily admit makes better noodles than he does, or Tommy's, or Vermont, but places like Blueberry and Swingers, which it beats hands down.
Fred 62 is especially handy for those omnipresent L.A. occasions when you are out late with a vegan, somebody who wants Italian food, somebody who wants a burger and somebody who wants Chinese noodles and a glass of carrot juice.
See Nancy Rommelmann's review of The Kitchen (4348 Fountain Ave, Silver Lake, 323-664-3663) in the current L.A. Weekly (link below), which sounds great and is perhaps exactly what you're looking for.
There's also Netty's (1700 Silver Lake Blvd), a local standard and favourite.
Cafe Stella, a tiny French place at 3932 Sunset Blvd, Silver Lake, 323-666-0265, altho I haven't heard anything of them in a while so you'd best check they're still there (does anyone here know?).
Something more formal/pricier is Los Feliz Restaurant (California-French), which has had very good reviews (2138 Hillhurst Ave, Los Feliz, 323-666-8666). There's a jazz club in the back room.
But if you want something inexpensive, Gretchen's recommendation of Sanamluang is also a good one. Depending on what you're looking for, however, you may prefer the ambience of one of the others.
My first thought is Palermo's. However, not too far away are the excellent Thai restaurants along Hollywood Blvd in East Hollywood. (Hollywood Blvd. Between Western and Normandie). I would suggest Sanamluang. Cheap and Excellent...what more should a Chowhound want, eh?
re: Gretchen Ehrenberg
I second the recommendation of Palermo. The food is average but dependable. But I've been going there for 20 years and enjoy the friendly, neighborhood feel of a New York place like I remember from my years in the Big Apple. The owner, Tony, has also opened a second place in Montrose.