- Jeff Shore
Okay, so this is a bit of a long shot: throw any recommendations in the Hawthorne area my way. I am now working south of the intersection of the 105 and 405 freeways, just off La Cienega. It is a wasteland of...well, anything. There's hardly any restaurants around, let alone chowhound-worthy establishments. Proceeding east takes me into Hawthorne, and fake neighborhoods like "Del Aire." If people have suggestions, I'd love to hear them...
On Hawthorne Bl. about 2 blocks north of the 405 (roughly the 15700 block) is an interesting shopping center on the west side of the street. As I recall it has a Vietnamese market and a pretty good Vietnamese restaurant. Also, next to the Vietnamese restaurant was an unusual combination restaurant--Italian Peruvian or something like that. Don't think I'd go much further north on Hawthorne because that puts you into Lennox.
re: Sweet Tooth
If you like Islamic food, you're in luck--two of the best halal Pakistani places in the Southland, Al-Watan and Al-Noor are pretty close. (Al-Watan has especially great tandoor meats.)
The original El Pollo Inka isn't far, in Lawndale, and has swell Peruvian chicken among other things. Madras Chicken has pretty good Indian takeout. And there are passable Vietnamese noodles at Mekong.
The Diplomat has good roast chicken, very good Peruvian dishes, and good simple Italian food. The staff's command of English is highly variable but they are friendly. Lunches are a great value. The drawbacks are a big-screen TV that is often at blaring levels during the day and very loud Peruvian disco music on weekends.
The Vietnamese place next door is OK, but the staff has poor command of English and they weren't very friendly the last time I was there. A new Pakistani place opened this week next to the Vietnamese place.
There are several Mexican places on Hawthorne between Rosecrans and Century, and as far as I can tell they are all awful. This is mysterious as there is a large Hispanic population in the area. There are a few Salvadoran places on Prairie near Imperial that are pretty good.
The best restaurant in a wide radius is Chicken Madras at the corner of Rosecrans and Inglewood. The lunch buffet is good but not outstanding, but they have lots of unusual dishes. If you are there for dinner then ask the owner to provide a dinner as appropriate for an Indian family - you will not be disappointed. Things that aren't listed on the menu will arrive and they will be excellent. The variety of stuffed breads is particularly good.