- Sandra W.
I remember all those years ago when mini-malls seemed to explode on every street in Los Angeles. As a transplanted New Yorker I could think of nothing uglier. Today I appreciate the mini-mall for it's housing of those little gems... cheap and cheerful, ethnic restaurants hidden between one hour photo shops, beauty supplies and postal boxes.
All those delectable Thai restaurants on Hollywood Blvd. are in mini-malls. The restaurants in Monterey Park are in over-sized mini-malls (hmmm, do we call them maxi-malls?) My old standbys are India's Oven at the La Cienega/San Vicente intersection; and Los Tacos on Santa Monica Blvd. near Fairfax (between the 7-11 and the laundramat.) What's your favorite mini-mall gem?
Din Tai Fung
El Gallo Giro
Side Street Cafe
OK, I could go on, but I'm getting too hungry... :)
Patty's right, I meant India's Grill. Oops. It's my old stand-by neighborhood Indian restaurant, and sometimes it's wonderful and sometimes it isn't. Complete dinners run about $12-15 (with rice, naan, raita, and vegetables), and the portions are kind of small; or you can order everything a la carte, with dishes starting around $7.
I just ate at a new Indian place that I thought was much better, Saffron, on Westwood Blvd. north of Santa Monica, the lunch specials are a really good deal. Dinners are all a la carte and can get really pricy (I posted in detail not too long ago).
If you're looking for cheap and cheerful, very limited menu, there are two sweet/snack shops -- one is on the west side of Fairfax just north of Pico, and the other one (I think it's called Bombay Sweets), is on the south side of Pico between Fairfax and Crescent Heights. I prefer the Pico shop, they have a delicious Bomay snack made of puffed rice, crispy bits, cilantro, curried rice, lime juice, peanuts, etc. (yum).