San Franciscans planning LA trip
- Robert Lauriston Feb 13, 2008 04:45 PM
We'll have a week to eat. Looking particularly for cuisines we can't get at home. Possibilities so far:
hand-cut fatty pastrami - Langer's?
Keralan - Mayura?
Oaxacan - Guelagetza? La Morenita? Antequera de Oaxaca? any of these have first-rate Mezcal?
Yunnan - Yun Gui?
Uighur - Malan?
Goan - Addi's Tandoor?
Liaoning - Shenyang?
Izakaya - ?
My brother lives in San Francisco and swears there is no decent deli there. Thus, he always opts for Nate 'n'Al's in Beverly Hills when he visits Los Angeles.
langer's if you like pastrami yes. nate'n'al's is more of a nostalgic place; the food isn't that great. if you feel like driving, head to brent's deli in northridge. if not, there's also factor's deli on pico that's pretty good, and some swear by junior's on westwood, though i don't.
mexican, guelaguetza is good. if you want to drive, there's also babita. you might look to tacos por favor or tacomiendo for an afternoon snack (don't take up a whole meal?)
you could do ethiopian, persian, southern thai (don't know too much of the SF varietals), burger like father's office, sandwiches like bay cities deli... if any of thse cuisines appeal, we can give further suggestions.
i'd hit the farmers' market one day too.
While Musha in Santa Monica is very good, I have a tough time categorizing it as an "izakaya" restaurant -- more an adventurous small-plates fusion. As such, I've got to recommend Orris on Sawtelle in W.L.A. Yep, even though Orris does not take reservations. But I'll admit it is a close call. I'd go to the online website menus to see if either offered more of your preferences. (And this is despite Orris's online menu not mentioning prices -- I'm told most are between $7 and $9 -- which is a big pet peeve.)
I'm not going to quibble about the precise classification. If Robert's party is closer to Musha, great. But if he is going to devote one dinner to that style, I think the best dishes and overall vibe at Orris beats the equivalent at Musha. Close call, and could depend on which menu had the dish (grilled romaine at Orris) the diner craved.
re: Robert Lauriston
Which is exactly why I differentiated Orris, and Musha as well. Both are tasty, innovative, and excellent. I can recommend either. If you wind up near the coast in Santa Monica, try Musha. But overall, I prefer my favorite dishes at Orris. And I think it is interesting to check out the Japanese enclave on the westside on Sawtelle.
re: Robert Lauriston
Yeesh, go to Jtown or the new Shin Sen Gumi in Monterey Park for izakaya.
Jtown (Little Tokyo):
Izayoi (more upscale)
Haru Ulala (down home)
Honda Ya (I guess somewhere in between, it's the newest opening, nice space)
i love 'em all.
Also enjoyed all the variety at Shin Sen Gumi, they grill up everything. Plus they do shabu shabu. But all the "fun" loud yelling by the waitstaff got on my nerves after awhile.
>>I'm not going to quibble about the precise classification.<< (While Musha in Santa Monica is very good, I have a tough time categorizing it as an "izakaya" restaurant -- more an adventurous small-plates fusion.)
Since I only replied to your quibble above in parens I am now totally confused.
We like Orris. I just didn't recommend it in the first place because it didn't fit the definition of an izakaya to me. YMMV
Closer to Orris is Place Yuu which is another izakaya we like. Also the Korean Raku (SE corner of Barrington and Olympic Blvd. in WLA) is another good izakaya.
2101 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Yunchuang Garden in Monterey Park (the latest corporate incarnation of what used to be called Yunan Garden) would be a good choice since I'm not aware of any other Yunnan style restaurant in the U.S. (except for their second branch in Hacienda Heights). Malan is good for hand made noodles, but it's not Uighur in the sense of Uighur in Montreal or A Fan Ti in Flushing. Shenyang in San Gabriel or Northern Chinese Restaurant (8450 E. Valley Bl. in Rosemead), the latter having its Shenyang Fake Dog Meat would be something different, too. Might also consider one of the many dumpling restaurants such as Dumpling 10053 or Luscious Dumpling, since the few Bay Area choices (Tong Dumpling in San Jose or H C Dumpling in Cupertino) pale in comparison.
Might also try China Islamic for Uighur type "da-bing", i.e. the thick sesame, green onion bread
Also, might want to consider Liuzhou cuisine and get some "Luo Si Fen" at NRN Noodle.
7727 Garvey Ave
Rosemead, CA 91770
301 W Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91778