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Taco's Baja Ensenada, Park's BBQ, Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa, Jitlada, etc. Yet another nyc hound looking for advice

Hello all,

I’ll spend the next two of weekend in LA. I searched the board and came up with this list of must try places. Are there any specialties I should order there or times I should avoid them (because of long lines etc)?


Taco's Baja Ensenada
Park's BBQ
Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa
Seafood Village Restaurant
(or Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant instead)
Diddy Riese Cookies

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  1. Taco's Baja Ensenada ... fish tacos
    Park's BBQ ... get the Pork X
    Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa ... what else but nem nuong rolls
    Seafood Village ... get the house special crab and fish soup
    Sea Harbour ... geoduck, shark's fin soup, and abalone are all good choices
    Milk ... bon bons

    1. ipsiedixit left out Jitlada so I will fill in: Green Mussels in Lemongrass, Fried Fish in Turmeric

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ciao Bob

        My favorites in Jitlada are anything in the green curry (catfish or fishballs both work), the massamun lamb, and the rice salad.

      2. Diddy Riese is not worth a special trip unless you happen to be walking around Westwood anyway and need a cookie. I'd rather have a peanut butter chocolate doughnut from Stan's though if I was in Westwood. But first I would hit Falafel King.
        Anyway, I highly recommend Sea Harbour for dim sum in addition to the dinner dishes described by ipsedixit. Try anything that's a departure from the standard dim sum fare. I think you can make a reservation, even.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chowpatty

          I like Diddy Riese... especially the cheap ice cream sandwiches with the scoop of ice cream and the two cookies of your choice (used to be $1, I hear it went up).

          Tacos Baja Ensenada... fish tacos, shrimp ceviche tostada, and those wonderful chiles gueros.

          Park's BBQ -- get the prime beef kalbi. It's like the bone and a ROLL of unbelievably good beef.
          Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa -- get the hamburger. Just kidding. What else would you get there?? But nem nuong does not a meal make... you could get banh mi or pho or banh xeo (is there still a Brodard in Rosemead?) at other places.
          Seafood Village -- ong choy with dried tofu, house special crab, and chiu chow jook.
          Sea Harbour -- go for dim sum!!

        2. taco's baja ensenada tacos are only 99cents on wednesdays (might want to confirm thats still the case) i normally only order it with one tortilla so i can eat more tacos... its actually not too far from monterey park chinese food so you could conceivably make a day trip out of it... (el taco nazo has its supporters too but i think TBE is better)

          i'd also suggest going to the mercadito on first and lorena for some snacks like churros or cactus fruit or a crazy diabolito shaved ice with tamarind and spicy chili powder, and then go upstairs for a beer and listen to mariachi... one of the raddest places in la.

          the food at sea harbor seafood is much more refined and also more expensive than seafood village... its good for both dim sum and a fine cantonese seafood dinner.
          however if you are itching for chiu chow food then hit seafood village... the lines here are longer. (its pretty low priced in general so the crowds will come)

          diddy reese you get the ice cream sandwich.

          1. Seafood Village also has some interesting Abalone dishes. I enjoy their French style beef and also they have a tofu dish that has fermented shrimp on top that is quite enjoyable if you like to expand your horizons.

            1. Nem Nuong Nihn Hoa: Nem Nuong Cuon voi Cha Ram Tom, Nem Bo Nuong Cuon voi Cha Ram Tom, Bun Bo Hue. The best way to enter the parking lot is going eastbound on Mission or northbound on Rosemead Blvd. Here is some more info:

              Sea Harbour Seafood: Go for dim sum. I wasn't all that impressed with the dinner, but other people rave about it. It is located a few blocks south of Nem Nuong Nihn Hoa. They open rather late on weekends: 10 AM. Here is some more info: http://www.geocities.com/raytamsgv/ch...

              Seafood Village: Definitely get the house special crab. And bring a few mints along, too. The garlic is deliciously pungent. Their congee/jook is also Chiu Chow style--more water than most Cantonese versions. There is no dim sum here. Go early on weekends--preferably no later than 6 PM. Enter from the back parking lot. Otherwise, the staff won't know you're there. Here's some more info: http://www.geocities.com/raytamsgv/ch...

              1. Thank you all for the replies, this is very helpful.

                If Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa is not a full meal place, where would you go for a Vietnamese meal? I don't think I ever had a real Vietnamese full meal, only banh-mi.

                This Jitlada fired fish in tumeric sounds like a great dish I had at an Indonesian restaurant in Queens - Minangasli. I guess southern Thai is similar to Indonesian?

                3 Replies
                1. re: ow77

                  If you're looking to stay in the San Gabriel Valley, I will let someone more familiar with the Vietnamese options in Rosemead judge.

                  I'd go to Little Saigon (in Garden Grove/Westminster) -- there are hundreds of places to go, from upscalish (S Vietnamese Cuisine, Xanh Bistro) to mid-range (Pagolac for seven courses of beef), to hole-in-the-wall but scrumptious (Vien Dong for grilled catfish noodle bowls and bun cha, Com Tam Thuan Kieu for delicious broken rice plates, Pho Thanh Lich for filet mignon beef noodle soup, etc.) The prices are better in Little Saigon, too -- S and Xanh are going to run you $20 a head, Pagolac about $15 and the rest under $10.

                  1. re: ow77

                    for something more out of the ordinary you can check out vietnamese pub food


                    or if you like goat:

                    for seven courses of beef i go here:
                    Hong An Bo 7 Mon
                    which my vietnamese friends claim is better than pagolac, but im sure the rankings rise and fall anually.
                    the catfish at this place is stunning, with the crisp lacqured skin like peking duck

                    otherwise you can do a food crawl getting single dishes at single restaurants and hitting like 4 places which is something i love to do.

                    bun bo hue here, nem nuong there, then a bahn mi over there etc, pho etc...

                    1. re: ow77

                      Nem Nuong Nihn Hoa is a full meal place. However, it specializes in dishes from Central Vietnam, so you can't get pho there. It's menu is a somewhat limited compared to others: 12 rice dishes, 6 vermicelli (bun) dishes, and 2 rice stick (bahn hoi) dishes, but they are perfectly fine for a meal.

                      If you are looking for Pho or other Southern Vietnamese-style dishes in the San Gabriel Valley, here are some other options:
                      Golden Deli (San Gabriel)
                      Vietnam Restaurant (San Gabriel)
                      Pho 79 (Alhambra)
                      Saigon Eden (San Gabriel)
                      All of these have many, many items to choose from. Please note that Golden Deli and Vietnam Restaurant are both run by the same family. Yet another family operates Pho 79 and Saigon Eden.

                      If you are looking for a more traditional, family-style Vietnamese dinner, I whole-heartedly recommend Phong Dinh in Rosemead. They have dishes here that you will not find in most Vietnamese restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley. I have a review of this place here:

                      Little Saigon is a different story, and I'm sure Ubergeek's recommendations are pretty accurate. As we say in Cantonese (translated), "He really knows how to eat!"

                    2. I would add these to your list:
                      Sapp Coffee Shop - for their Sukhothai noodles soup. It's not on their menu so you have to ask for it. Trust me, it's much worth it. Also their Isaan bbq chicken, and they also have a special dish every Saturday.

                      El Caserio - for quality Ecuadorian/South American cuisine, try the seco de chivo - goat in tomato/chile sauce. Not too gamey, delicious sauce.

                      Daikokuya - excellent ramen.

                      Sushi Gen - best value/quality ratio.

                      TBE is over-rated in my opinion but I think many would disagree.