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West Hollywood = Chowhound Wasteland?

I live in the heart of West Hollywood, close to Santa Monica, and have for about a year. I'm convinced that West Hollywood is an utterly empty foodie wasteland. Every meal my gf and I have consumed near where we live hasn't surpassed mediocrity. Some, like Gardens of Taxco, may scar us forever.

I'm looking for some unpretentious, good food. I really like Mexican, Thai, Korean, Japanese, and come to think of it, pretty much anything as long as it's good. I generally go for places that aren't too sceney, no bs, and not super pricey. I'm very willing to travel to Koreatown or Little Tokyo or San Gabriel, as me and my girl do when we can.

...But sometimes you just want to step out and grab a decent meal. Am I asking too much? Any seasoned west hollywood chowhounders out there with some good recommendations??

Much appreciated!

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  1. Oh my dear: right in the heart of WH you got a gem, Carlitos Gardel.

    http://www.carlitosgardel.com/

    Don't walk, RUN.

    Get empanadas (beef), sweetbreads, chorizos, matambre, entraña, ...

    And for desert get ( a bottle of ) THE desert wine: Weinert Cosecha de Otoño 2002. Forget Tokaj's Putonyos, forget Ports, Madeiras, Yquem. Just enjoy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RicRios

      RicRios, It's all about the Amazing FRIES at Carlitos?

      1. re: russkar

        Sweetbreads, entraña, beef empanadas, even chorizo: refined meatiness.
        As oppose to: Fries provenzal, good but in a rather porno way, if you know what I mean.
        And by all means, get the Cosecha de Otoño with gorgonzola.

    2. What didnt you like about Taxco? I've never been but keep having people recommend it to me.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Josh90004

        I agree with tkemeny, Gardens is truly bad.

      2. Hollywood, alas not West, has Los Balcones del Peru and Mario's Peruvian Seafood which are both chow-worthy.
        In WeHO proper there are a few that would seem to meet your needs:
        Tere's Mexican
        Amarone Kitchen and Wine
        Mishima (just had lunch there today, love their tofu salad)
        Yabu (for soba and cooked dishes, their sushi is quite pricey)
        Ita Cho
        3rd Stop

        5 Replies
        1. re: Ciao Bob

          Ciao Bob - Not everyone likes Amarone:
          http://la.eater.com/archives/2008/02/...
          Secondly, totally agree with your assessment of the Gardens of El Taxco - truly who cares in a pleasant enough setting.
          Thirdly, Tere's which we both like, is definitely in Hollywood, not West Hollywood, which stops at La Brea for all practical purposes, except one block on Santa Monica Blvd. which extends almost to Sycamore.
          Poster might try Melrose B&G or Murano on Melrose just west of Doheny. Latter not cheap, however.
          Kumo for high priced sushi in a Michael Ovitz-owned power setting.
          Also, the Carlito's Gardel recommendation is an outstanding one. In addition to Ric's food and beverage recommendations, add the steaks and Malbec wine selection as well. And you must get the garlic fries!
          As to the French Market it was the test restaurant for the Mimi's Cafe chain, so if you like Mimi's, you will like the Market.

          1. re: carter

            I saw that little piece, Carter, but c'mon Valentine's Day is about the worst day to judge a place by, especially a new place doing their first. Have you tried Amarone? I think it is quite good and nicely priced.

            I will second Servorg's Carney's rec below...great hot dogs, wonderful saurkraut and the best parking on the Strip!

            1. re: Ciao Bob

              Agree as well regarding anything I have ever eaten at Carney's, at least the one here in Studio City, and the parking here is at least as good.
              As to the Amarone comment, I happen to know the person who wrote that diatribe, and there was much more to it than what was put into print.

            2. re: carter

              Melrose B&G is just as mediocre as the rest. I'm sorry. Cute place, nice wines. But the last time I was there, had a couple of apps before having to get somewhere else. Spicy tuna something...i don't know who thought spicy tuna should have liquid smoke in it, but it was inundated. Unpalatable.

              Below some other suggestions are good (Tanzore, AOC, etc.) but expensive. Not really the chowiest of chowhound spots, at least by what the original poster describes. However, i will throw in that Comme Ca still for my money, is a great addition to the WeHo scene.

              1. re: diningdivala

                Having never tried Melrosse B&G since its conversion from Doug Arango, but if the same chef is in the kitchen, and I am sure that is the case as he is an owner, then your assessment must be correct. Arango was just who cares at high prices and awful decor. At least now they may have solved the decor issue!

          2. I like the French Quarter Market Place, right by 7969 and across from the gas station.

            Across from the Abbey, there's the WeHo branch of Bossa Nova.

            3 Replies
            1. re: SauceSupreme

              I had the worst breakfast I've ever had in LA at the French Marketplace. It was about 3 yrs ago. Nice porch, but that's the only thing going for it IMO.

              1. re: katydid13

                Sorry you had a bad experience. I've enjoyed French Quarter in the past. My last visit I got a cup of french onion soup, which they do quite well, and a warm chevre/pear/caramelized onion sandwich, which tasted about as good as it sounds. I've never had anything bad there. I wouldn't make a special trip to eat there, but if I'm in the area and hungry I won't hesitate to stop.

                1. re: katydid13

                  Have been going to The French Quarter Marketplace for many years and haven't been disappointed yet, breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack. Fresh, homemade food, good size portions, reasonable prices and free parking lot. Had prime rib there recently, the week-end dinner special and it is to love. Friends and loved ones love it too. From soup to dessert, you can't go wrong.

              2. If you are ever having an intense chili cheese dog craving then you are in luck:

                http://www.carneytrain.com/