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Jul 3, 2008 12:48 PM

Odd, Unique and Weird

Hello Chowhounders-
I am the editor of a travel magazine and just posted an article about unique dining experiences in San Francisco.

I am curious to know what spots in Los Angeles would fall into this category. What L.A. restaurants would you recommend as a 'different' or unusual?


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  1. Tokyo Delve's-bad 80's music, games, dancing on Barstools, Sushi

    Typhoon insects

    any HK cafe

    Follow your Heart-one of the last remaining 70's heath food hippie joints

    The Dresden Room-two olsters croon golden oldies

    The Palms Thai- Thai Elvis, no kidding

    Scoops-odd flavors of Ice cream, yes even Foie Gras and Nicotine mint

    there's a place somewhere where you grill your own steak...where is that, gang?

    That odd Korean Pizza joint, Mr Pizza Factory. Sweet Potato on Pizza? Dessert crust? Yes!

    Bahooka, tiki to the max!

    Caioti pizza with a salad the makes overdue women deliver, how can you go wrong!

    Pink's-it sucks, hot dog wise, but the lines go forever. Why the Hell is that?

    Hurry Curry: i know, it ain't that odd, but japanese curry just seems weird to me.

    there's somewhere you can eat sushi off a lady..where is that? (like I'd ever go


    tranquility Base Space themed high end food. Sort of like Tang made by Crystal?

    The Magic Castle-magic with mediocre food, They DID pull off a whopper of sleight of hand-in the kithcen and at the register!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Diana

      Venice Room on Garfield is where you cook your own steaks.
      Bills Original House of Tacos, a 1940's-50's fusion of a chili-burger sort of in a taco shell, really good in a comfort food kind of way

      Venice Room
      2428 S Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

      1. re: Diana

        I think the place you were thinking of that you grill your own steaks was Rock, which if so, is no longer...

        1. re: Emme

          There is the Venice Room which is still in business.

      2. For sheer weirdness of concept, any Clearman's North Woods Inn - the food is ordinary, but the sight of a rustic timber lodge with frost on the windows and snow on the roof on a blazing-hot LA day is at least worth a mention. The effect is much better when the "snow" has been washed recently...

        LA is of course the birthplace of the classic midcentury "Googie" drive-in diners, several of which are still functioning. The original Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake/Burbank, the Parasol in Seal Beach (which may or may not still be in existence; it was being threatened when we were there a couple of years ago), and Pann's, just off the western edge of Inglewood, are all sterling examples. Pann's is the best choice for both food and undiminished authenticity, having been under essentially the same management since it opened in '58. Amazing fried chicken wings, not only delicious but bigger than the Colonel's drumsticks!

        The San Gabriel Valley has hundreds of excellent Chinese and other Asian restaurants, an increasing number of them specializing in specific Chinese cuisines, and most offering very good food at prices San Franciscans can only dream about. If you search this website you'll find many, many threads about these places.

        1. Addendum: I just found out that The Parasol has been renovated (which included replacing all the delightful parasol-shaped light fixtures, dammit!) and re-named Mel's Diner. You can see it here:

          1. Opaque - dining in the dark

            Mouns of Tunis or Dar Maghreb - Moroccan eat with your hands feasts

            Palms Thai - the Thai Elvis

            Mashti Malone's - rosewater ice cream and other Persian treats

            The Griddle Cafe - the largest collection of decadent breakfast feasts many the size of your head

            Saddle Peak Lodge - the location and variety of meats on the menu

            Urasawa - the most insanely wonderful expensive omakase in LA

            Shabu Shabu places

            1. How about Encounter Restaurant at LAX for its architecture. It is under renovation, though.