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Jul 24, 2001 11:52 AM

Fine Kosher Dining in LA?

  • m

I have a cousin coming to visit who keeps kosher and I'd like to take her out for a nice meal. I've heard good things about Pat's on Pico but not much else. Any recommendations?

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  1. You ask, I answer:

    There's "fine" Kosher dining, and there's "good" Kosher dining. Having eaten at a number of Kosher restaurants, I have to say that the Yemenite restaurant Magic Carpet on Pico is far and away my favorite. J. Gold's take on this place is great: the main courses are fine, but the appetizers, lead by the devastatingly good (and rich) melawech.

    (Though I've never eaten inside, Nessim's on Pico does have wonderful pureed vegetable soups...)


    5 Replies
    1. re: Jeff Shore

      Will she eat grilled fish in a non-kosher restaurant? If so, water grill is fine. If she only eats "Pat (Pas) Yisrael" and "Halav Yisrael", then vegetarian Indian restaurants are out because of the dairy, like Dasaprakash or Paru's or Chameli's in Alhambra. But, Vegetable Delight in Northridge and Happy Family in Monterey Park (ALhambra border, 608 N. Atlantic Blvd) are good choices.
      I've taken religious relatives from Israel there and they were delighted. It also gives them the opportunity to taste mock bbq pork etc. which interested them. As no animal fats or meats are used (or garlic or onion or alcohol or for kashrut, any seafood), everything is kosher. And there are some very sophisticated dishes on both Vegetable Delight and Happy Family's menus, some quite expensive made with unusual seaweeds and fungi.
      If she's interested in Mizrahi food, the Grill Express on Fairfax and Rosewood has some Iraqi Jewish dishes and Shula and Esthers has some Yemenite Jewish dishes (both have a hekhsher). There was a glatt kosher persian restaurant in Westwood but it has either closed or moved. Maybe somebody else may have details.
      Another thing that might be fun would be Fisherman's Outlet on Central (529 S. Central) near 5th which has a good selection of ceviches made with kosher finfish. Since it's not cooked, there isn't an issue with dishes. As well, consider going to a sushi restaurant and ordering the fish carefully so as not to include shellfish or eel (check with your cousin as to whether she eats monkfish so you'll know if the monkfish liver (an-kimo) is allowed - I believe some authorities allow it, others don't).
      Also, a walk around the Grand Central Market, having some juice at the old-fashioned juice bar and picking out some fruit combined with a ride on Angels Flight (if it's reopened) can be fun.
      Good luck and please post a follow-up as to what happened.

      1. re: jerome

        do you have the address for Shula and Esther? also, is this a fancy place or really casual place like magic carpet? what are the prices and do they serve meat dishes or just vegetable/dairy dishes? also, any good desserts?

        1. re: kevin

          The address is
          519 N FAIRFAX AVE
          I don't remember having dessert. They are a meat restaurant. They have Teimani (yemenite) Khamin (hebrew for cholent, already known in 2nd c., related to cassoulet), and it's a casual place. Most Israeli places tend to be casual, an outgrowth of anti-bourgeois sentiment of Mandate culture. They're a Yemeni Jewish place but via Israel, so there are a few Levantine and Moroccan dishes available, as at Grill Express although the specialties there are Iraqi Jewish.
          (this mixture can also be seen with Waisheng Chinese from Taiwan who've added dishes from other regions of China into their repertoire from contact in Taiwan).

        2. re: jerome

          i may not have seen this suggested yet, but on pico, just east of beverly hills is a real frumm neighborhood, and there's a simpley wonderful yemenite glatt kosher meat rest on the south side of pico-it's a mitzvah being able to recommend it to you-name something like magic carpet- or similar-i has aan absolutely scrumptios leg of lamb that simply fell off the bone when looking at it-and since i eat treyfe (no pork tho), this place compares ever so favorably with non-kosher places that serve similar foods-and how many yemenite rests are you going to find? much less glatt kosher ones- this is byob but i really don't know the rules for that in this case... meal was enjoyed end of june this year....

        3. re: Jeff Shore

          Funny you mention Magic Carpet because that's what I was leaning towards, even though it isn't that fancy the food there is extremely wonderful...

        4. Hey to you all I'm Nir Margalith! We are two Israeli chefs coming to La for the week of Rosh Hashana (20th to the 26th and looking for a host to come a cook the biggest Holiday Diner we can !
          any thoughts ? Look us up on Face book at - Puzzle Israel !

          1. I have not tried the place, but the menu looks more interesting than Pat's. A kosher steakhouse, but the bar menu look interesting as well as some other items. I have a friend who keeps kosher - I'll try this place next time he's in town.