HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >



My girlfriend and I live in Shanghai. When we come back to the states we eat destructively trying to down anything in our path that we cannot get in China. A few months ago in NYC we managed 11 meals in 60 hours ranging from Banh Mi, Pizza, Oysters, BBQ, Sushi, Middle Eastern, Tapas, and a little fine dining thrown in (Madison Square Park). I am a cook and must eat everything and my girlfriend, well she just loves food.
Anyways, we are coming to LA in a few weeks for about the same time, and would pretty much like to do the same thing. I am open to all suggestions from anything from the low end (yes, taco trucks...actually please, taco trucks) to Banh Mi (my favorite sandwich in the world) to high end to best sushi to burgers to korean and on and on..My stomach awaits.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. Whatever else you do, make sure you have a car.

      1. Head east on Valley Blvd. from Alhambra to Rosemead and you'll hit dozens of Bahn Mi joints.

        1. Thank you for the reccomendations....I forgot that I am also a chef and unfamiliar with Chef Supply stores in LA. Can anyone fill me in on where to go to get the good stuff....Like in NY they have JB Prince, Bridge Kitchenware, and Broadway Panhandler as well as Bowery Kitchen Supply.....Is there anything comparable in LA?

          6 Replies
            1. re: chinaboy

              Star Restaurant Supply on Sepulveda (between Burbank and Victory) in Van Nuys is good for kitchen supplies and knives. It is probably cheaper than Surfas, which is great for high-end food stuff.

              1. re: Jwsel

                Agree totally -- Star is where we went for stuff, but then to Surfas for speciality items. And you can go get bo bay mon (beef seven ways) at Pho So 1 next to the 99 Ranch afterwards.

              2. re: chinaboy

                Surfas is great. Definitely stop by while you're in town.

                The gritty underbelly of the restaurant supply business lies along Washington Blvd. between Western Ave and Crenshaw Blvd (roughly) were there are no-nonsense, commercial fixture fabricators and equipment dealers.

                What the Bowery is to NYC's restaurant supply industry, Washington Blvd is to L.A.

                Here's a couple off the top of my head. B&B is somewhere on that stretch too, but I don't have an address for you.

                Charlie's Fixtures
                2251 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                Alpine Fixtures & Sheet Metal
                2378 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                1. re: chinaboy

                  There isn't an area like in NY with a whole lot of kitchen supply stores on one block. I'm partial to Action Sales in Monterey Park. Not super high end, so I guess it depends what you're looking for, but their prices are quite good.

                  Surfa's is great too, but it's much pricier overall. Lots of good specialty food ingredients there, though.

                  Action Sales
                  415 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

                  1. re: chinaboy

                    There is a supply co. in Monterey Park, I think it's called Atlas supplies. So when you hit the San Gabriel Valley you can just drive down Atlantic Blvd, it's south of the Atlantic Blvd. and Garvey intersection. Wish I had the exact address . . . maybe some here does.

                  2. Ursawa for sushi
                    Providence for great seafood
                    Valentino for high end italian

                    1. For banh mi, try Banh Mi Cho Cu. The most revelatory banh mi experience for me since I discovered banh mi in the first place, in Laos. I had the "xiu mai" banh mi (not what you might think it is, coming from China!)

                      I first read about it here:

                      The guy who wrote the post is a really good source for info on all kinds of eating.

                      For sushi, check out Mori, Zo and Kiriko. Urasawa is supposed to be amazing, but it's very expensive. There's a place in OC, a father-son operation, that's supposed to have excellent sushi, very inexpensive, but the name is escaping me.

                      Looks like people are weighing in on Mexican food and tacos... Sabor a Mexico is a great taco place. But Mexican food isn't just street stuff... try Babita or La Casita or La Huasteca for upscale but authentic cooking.

                      For Korean, lots of people have recs on beef BBQ, but it's not my favorite thing. Honey Pig has excellent pork bbq... you cook it on more of a griddle than a grill, though. The "griddle" is actually an iron lid for one of the old-fashioned rice cookers. Make sure to get the top grade of pork belly. You get mushrooms and other stuff to throw on the griddle, too... I think kimchi even enters the picture at some point. Mmm. Really nice ambience, the modern and the traditional combined throughout.

                      Also, check out Korean fried chicken at Kyochon. There's one in LA in Koreatown, and another in Torrance. Really amazing stuff... my husband is addicted and even I feel a twinge when I drive by and don't pull in.

                      Sorry, no time to post addresses!

                      1. Ethiopian (Rahel is my fave, though it's vegetarian) on Fairfax

                        Jitlada Thai for southern thai; Sanam Luang for Thai

                        Tacos Por Favor or Tacomiendo or for high end Babita

                        second the rec for Urasawa if you can afford it; also really like Tama, Zo,

                        for Japanese, Musha is good in Santa Monica

                        go to San Gabriel for Dim Sum

                        for a decadent breakfast/brunch, The Griddle Cafe

                        for tapas, Tasca or for small plates, Lou on Vine or Cube, or Hungry Cat

                        for Peruvian, Los Balcones de Peru or Mario's Peruvian

                        for Italian, so many suggestions, but Via Veneto is one of my faves in Santa Monica, or Angelli Cafe near Cedars-Sinai

                        for sandwiches, Bay Cities Deli in Santa Monica for the Godfather

                        burgers provide a debate, but Father's Office is definitely an LA thing

                        for pastrami, Langer's

                        for Polish, Warszawa

                        for Pizza (...), Joe's, Vito

                        for Persian, Shamshiri; for Lebanese, Sunnin Lebanese Cafe

                        for fried chicken and southern soul food, Aunt Kizzy's

                        for high end, concur w/ Providence; also, Jiraffe, Grace, Josie, Melisse, AOC, Lucques (Sunday Supper), Jar (Mozzarella Monday or Sunday Brunch), Campanile (if you're here for grilled cheese thursdays)

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Emme

                          Peruvian: Las Quenas and El Hatuchay are better than Los Balcones and Mario's.

                          Concur on Shamshiri and Musha, though I assume Shanghai has Cantonese-style dim sum places in the same way that HK and Guangzhou have Shanghai hairy-crab restaurants. :)

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            i like los balcones and particular dishes (soup!) at mario's very much.

                            dim sum? what was i thinking? i guess the "goods" of la and its "buroughs" ;)

                        2. the hat for pastrami dips.
                          in-n-out for a double double.
                          john o'groat's for breakfast.
                          pie 'n burger for pie.

                          mmmm, i'm getting hungry again.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: WannaBe

                            The HAT! IS THE FIRST place you guys should hit!

                            A SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ORIGINAL!
                            Alhambra Ca. the intersection of Valley Blvd. and Garfield Blvd. which is the original location for this SUPERB chain.

                            Order two Pastami's Double Beef and one order of Chile Cheese fries and two medium cokes. American food at it's FINEST.

                            If you two can finish this meal and HAVE room for ANY of the other wonderful restaurants in Alhambra you are truly a WORLD class eater!

                          2. One thing I forgot I want to eat is Pozole. Preferably Red Pozole. If anybody has the spot, let me know?

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: chinaboy

                              In addition to the above,
                              King Taco for tacos...its an LA classic.
                              Kiriko in for sushi....I second that...I am there at least weekly.
                              Grub LA in Hollywood for weekend breakfast or lunch any day.

                              I think Star Restaurant Supply in Van Nuys as mentioned above...is better for "basics." But Surfas is also worth a trip.

                              1. re: chinaboy

                                The pozole at Lupito's Bierra in Van Nuys is good but I don't know if it's red. Everything on their menu is fantastic. It's near Van Nuys and Victory in the same block as the 99 Cent store. A tiny hole in the wall with very sweet staff. Best corn tortillas I've ever had.

                                1. re: chinaboy

                                  Pure Luck (a vegetarian restaurant in east Hollywood / bike district area) sometimes has Pozole (red) as a special, and I think their take is quite tasty, but I don't know if it's "authentic" or not. I've also had it at Ciudad downtown, but I don't know if they still have it on the menu all the time.

                                2. chinaboy -hope you will be so kind as to provide a nice write up of your experience and maybe, just maybe do a ny v. la comparison of the various cuisines you partake in - 11 meals in 60 hours...come on you're a chef...you can do better then that !!! LOL

                                  1. LA's a good city for certain types of ethnic food (those with large populations here, mostly). Mexican (of course, some good recommendations above) - try some Oaxacan food as well as the standard tacos / burritos. Definitely try some Persian food at Shamshiri. Korean BBQ in Koreatown (I'm vegetarian, but the gf recommends Mu Dung San), Indian food in Cerritos, maybe Ethiopian food on Fairfax at Nayala or Meals by Genet. If you like Pho, try Golden Deli or Pho 79. I suggest Palms Thai on the weekend if only to see Thai Elvis (the food is pretty good too).

                                    I'd skip the pizza in LA, esp. since you just got back from NY, though maybe give Mozza a try for a good (and very different) experience. Make reservations if you can, or just show up and sit at the bar.

                                    My gf's from Shanghai (though she's lived here since she was 4), and we had a very hospitable reception when we visited a few months ago; we'd be very happy to go out for dinner or drinks with you guys while you're here if you want. My website (linked from my profile) has a contact email address. Oh, and if you bring me a lot of those small walnut snacks in a package, I'll be your best friend for life.

                                    1. Can anyone recommend a place for oyster? You think, China, yeah, near the Pacific..there should be oysters. But China is funny. There are crazy huge oysters that they BBQ but are not that great and then there are $7 kumamotos at nice western places...Where can I slurp down a ton of good oyster in LA?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: chinaboy

                                        As you can imagine, that is a topic of discussion that's seen its share of posts here over the years. Here is one pretty exhaustive, recent thread:


                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          Hungry Cat would be a good choice for oysters. They don't have the largest selection, just about four the night I was there. They cost about $2 to $2.50 an oyster.

                                      2. Tyr in n out burgers, get the double double animal style. They are all over LA. Another burger spot is Tommys burgers, get the double chili cheeseburger with extra chili and onions. Titos tacos in culver city is also good for tacos and burritos.