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L.A. Foodies to the rescue!!!!!!!!

Coming down from S.F. and heard a few things about the following places. What do y'all think????

The Foundry
Father’s Office
Robata Bar
Angelini Osteria
Holy Cow India Express

Please let me know which ones you like and why.

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  1. First and foremost, cross Charcoal OFF that list. Nothing but nightmare reviews.

    And Holy Cow is just an above average Indian take-out place. Not worth your attention, unless you happen to live in that 'hood.

    The rest are all worthy of consideration, though so are dozens more. Depends what you're looking for?

    1. Campanile is a long-standing good choice for a California/French meal -- it's a beautiful space. Used to be run by Nancy Silverton and husband Mark Peel, but Nancy is now cooking at Osteria Mozza. There are probably newer places out there that would be more of a "wow" experience these days.

      Father's Office is a gastropub in Santa Monica heralded for its amazing hamburgers -- they only come one way, with bacon, bleu cheese and caramelized onions. Very, very tasty burger, but you typically have to put up with crowds and lines to eat.

      Angelini Osteria is a very good choice for Italian, along with Osteria Mozza, which wasn't among your options, but is sort of the new thing in the Italian category.

      1. cut charcoal and holy cow off the list. campanile is tried and true, alays a lovely meal. father's office is great if you can get a table. their burger really is spectacular.

        1. A more expansive explanation of the trip and what we want:


          1. don't waste your time on holy cow. it's awful.

            1. We just had a delicious dinner at Fraiche on Saturday, they have changed some of their menu from whats on the webpage. I would recommend the braised rabbit pasta and the oxtail pasta. I also really enjoyed the pork chop and the beef tartar. I would make reservations soon though, they are pretty booked up on weekends.


              1 Reply
              1. re: CarlieInLA

                Likely to get even more booked - Frank Bruni's column in NT Times Food today was about meals at Guy Savoy in Las Vegas, Coi in San Francisco and Fraiche, and the last was the only one that was totally satisfactory. That kind of word gets around...

              2. For heaven's sake, if you're staying in Long Beach why on EARTH would you eat at Holy Cow when Artesia -- the "Fremont" of Los Angeles -- is just down the street, practically?

                Go to Tirupathi Bhimas or Woodlands for South Indian vegetarian; go to Rajdhani or Jay Bharat for Gujarati.

                Also close to Long Beach is Torrance/Gardena's "Little Japan" -- you could have a rollicking good time at Shinsengumi Yakitori, or go to the chanko-nabe restaurant adjacent (it's a tatami room).

                Eat Korean food. Korean food in SF is dismal -- yes, dismal -- compared to the wonders of LA's Koreatown or Orange County's Garden Grove and Buena Park.

                Head for Little Saigon. Do a search -- there are hundreds of great holes-in-the-wall. If you're the type that need a fancier atmosphere, go to Quan Hy or Xanh or S. None of those are fancy, but by Little Saigon standards they're the Ritz.

                I don't eat in fancy SF-type restaurants like Campanile or Fraiche, so I can't offer any local options for that; I would rather spend less money on less fancy but just as tasty food.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  a totally helpful post that I wholeheartedly agree with. In fact, I now need to head out to these places!

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    THANKS! You're suggestions are greatly appreciated!

                    Where are Quan Hy or Xanh or S?

                    1. re: chemchef

                      All in Little Saigon, which is Westminster, Garden Grove, a small part of Fountain Valley and a small part of Santa Ana.

                      Another place you might think about is Tsuruhashi, in Fountain Valley, for very good Japanese yakiniku (grill-it-yourself meat -- they have American wagyu).

                      Don't be frightened about the "Westminster Mall" address for S -- it's outside the mall, in the parking lot.

                      18798 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

                      Quan Hy Restaurant
                      9727 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA 92683

                      Xanh Bistro
                      16161 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

                      S Vietnamese Fine Dining
                      545 Westminster Mall, Westminster, CA 92683

                      1. re: rickym13

                        I believe this place is next door to shinsengumi yakitori location. We wanted to eat at shinsengumi a few weeks ago and made the cardinal sin of arriving at 6:20 when they open at 6:00. By that time, all the tables in the main restaurant were taken, even the bar. There were 5 of us and I was about to go to option B, when the waitress came out and asked if we would like our own room. She led us to the next door. There are about 3 tatami rooms there. The walkway is lined with stones. Quite nice, actually. The end of the hall connects to shinsengumi kitchen. Our menu was the same as the main restaurant, so I am not sure if this is the "chanko nabe" place The Uber-one mentioned. In any event, it is a nice addtion to the restaurant.

                        1. re: zruilong

                          Yes, that's the place. You need to call ahead if you want chanko-nabe, though, so they can reserve the room and set up the nabe.

                    2. Ok, it looks like you're looking for a mix of high-end and ethnic.

                      Campanile gets decent word of mouth; the Foundry has fans and detractors- it seems to still be in a shakedown phaze. Father's Office is a good burger in a bar- if it's too crowded and you want a good burger in Santa Monica, consider the Counter. Fraiche is good, but for roughly the same money I'd go to Grace for more gracious service and better food. Dunno about Robata Bar, E Hara Ulua (I think I murdered that spelling) in J-town is excellent Japanese small plates. Angelini Osteria is quite good, but very crowded and loud. The same chef also runs La Terza, if you want a quieter venue with a slightly different menu focus.

                      Also consider-
                      Korean- Soot Bul Jeep or Sa Rit Gol
                      Oaxacan- Guelegetza
                      Mexican bistro- I dunno what to call these places- uniquely, wonderful technically well executed exquistely fresh Mexican 'Alta Cocina'- Babita and La Casita
                      Ultra-high end- Spago tasting menu, Cut (Puck's steakhouse), Providence (too delicate a style of cooking for me, but technically superb), Bastide (amazing tasting menus kinda impressionist/Gauguin food- not overly technical, a few intense wonderful ingredients combined and contrasted perfectly)

                      Hope that helps,


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: AndrewS

                        Where are Grace, Babita, and la Casita?

                        1. re: chemchef

                          Don't forget La Huasteca for alta cocina!

                          If you go to Babita -- and you should, despite the long-ish drive up the 710 from Long Beach -- don't be put off by its exterior appearance (it's got an ugly sign that says "Babita Mexicuisine" and looks like it should be serving cockroach tacos inside) -- it truly is a wonderful place.

                          Some of the very best places in Los Angeles look like absolute dumps from the outside.

                          1823 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                          Grace Restaurant
                          7360 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                          La Casita Mexicana
                          4030 Gage Ave, Bell, CA 90201

                          La Huasteca
                          3150 E Imperial Hwy, Lynwood, CA 90262