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Feb 13, 2008 04:45 PM

San Franciscans planning LA trip

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 - ?

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Emme

        Thanks for the tip on southern Thai. I'm not sure we have that.


        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Jitlada is the best place to go for the Southern Thai specialities, yes.

        1. re: Servorg

          Yep, Musha or Wakasan both in Santa Monica.

          1. re: Servorg

            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.)

            1. re: nosh

              Musha has always been characterized as "Japanese pub" style food, which to me is the definition of an izakaya so I'm not sure what you mean? Orris seems much more of an Asian fusion restaurant in the style of Mako in Beverly Hills to me.

              1. re: Servorg

                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.

                1. re: nosh

                  My ignorant notion of izakaya (never having been to one) is that it should be more of a bar than a restaurant, the Japanese equivalent of a Korean soju bang.

                  1. 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.

                    1. 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.

                    2. re: nosh

                      >>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.

                      Place Yuu
                      2101 Sawtelle Blvd
                      Los Angeles, CA 90025
                      (310) 478-7450

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Would you really classify Place Yuu as an izakaya? I always think of it as a karaoke bar that happens to have some food on the menu... more like a noraebang than a pub.

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          It is kind of a funny, (but tasty) amalgamation.

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Perhaps Musha is the Japanese equivalent of a gastropub?

              2. Birria estilo Jalisco at El Parian ( Pico & Union ).

                1 Reply
                1. re: RicRios

                  El Parian was the catalyst for my love of Mexican cuisine. The place changed my life.

                  Their birria is birthed in heaven.

                2. 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.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    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.

                    China Islamic
                    7727 Garvey Ave
                    Rosemead, CA 91770
                    (626) 288-4246

                    NRN Noodle
                    301 W Valley Blvd.
                    San Gabriel, CA 91778