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Odd, Unique and Weird

alexa52 Jul 3, 2008 12:48 PM

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?


  1. CookieEater Jul 21, 2008 02:00 PM

    Clifton's is weird, I peeked in there once.

    I would say Polka in Eagle Rock. Not for the Polish food, that's normal and really good. But the decor is just crazy - one room packed to the gills with every kitschy piece of decoration you can think of from singing fish and Christmas ornaments to cuckoo clocks and candelabras.

    1. p
      poggibonzzi Jul 21, 2008 01:53 AM

      Boiling Crab for scrumptious, inexpensive Vietnamese Cajun seafood served in plastic bags plopped on your table by cheerful waitresses.

      1. lotta_cox Jul 20, 2008 01:37 PM

        Tapas and Wine Bar C: East/west Geisha/French Maid Japanese food & fondue, turns into karaoke late night, Honda Plaza

        Maria's Ramada: Mexican in an unsual atmosphere, off Melrose (?) on heading east toward Silverlake

        Gualagetza for cricket tacos....i have only seen them at the one on 8th

        1. ipsedixit Jul 20, 2008 12:27 AM


          The fact that it is still open is odd, unique and weird.

          1. m
            mrhooks Jul 5, 2008 11:21 AM

            How about the Prince in Koreatown for live octopus tentacles?

            1 Reply
            1. re: mrhooks
              lotta_cox Jul 20, 2008 01:38 PM

              the prince is the bomb.

            2. w
              wasabica Jul 4, 2008 10:09 PM

              one more - Chez Melange in redondo has been featuring buffalo frog's legs on their menu. Call first, they change their menu a lot but it has been there a while so hopefully they still have them. They are really, really good; succulent and buttery-spicy

              1. w
                wasabica Jul 4, 2008 10:05 PM

                oh, basic but classic LA - pick your taco truck and get a lengua (tongue) taco. Succulent and oh so tasty...

                1. w
                  wasabica Jul 4, 2008 10:02 PM

                  Lots of good suggestions. No one mentioned my favorite-the live (they twitch in your mouth) prawn (ama ebi) at pacific fish company in redondo on the pier. They also have the best dungeness around - way better than SF. and they have live lobster sashimi.

                  Also, lots of local south bay korean and japanese bbq places have things like raw beef liver, raw chicken breast sashimi, and raw cow tongue - ya gotta ask, as that is typically not on the english menu. I am not Korean but I know to ask.

                  Has anyone steered you to deependdining.com? That dude is notorious for everything odd, unique, and weird in LA dining

                  BTW, Alexa52 or anyone else out there interested in a hound get-together for odd, unique, and weird? I would love to put something together.

                  1. Peripatetic Jul 4, 2008 04:56 PM

                    Hmm, I hope Yank Sing isn't "some of the best dim sum in the country can be found in San Francisco" -- I found it to be depressingly average.

                    In any case, I'd add the following to the so-far impressive list here:

                    Ogamdo Cafe - Korean-accented Chinese restaurant with bizarre Adirondack-hunting-lodge-themed interior.
                    842 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (near Fairfax district)

                    Randy's Donuts - landmark building with 22' donut on top. And good donuts.
                    805 W Manchester Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301 (near LAX)

                    Pann's Restaurant - classic Googie architecture and excellent fried chicken.
                    6710 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (near LAX

                    Jay Bee's House of Fine Bar-B-Que - good barbecue purchased through bullet-proof glass partition.
                    15911 S Avalon Blvd, Gardena, CA 90248 (South Bay

                    1. d
                      Diana Jul 4, 2008 07:43 AM

                      And of course, one of the O.G. LA odd spots, Clifton's Cafeteria on Broadway.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Diana
                        Feed_me Jul 4, 2008 09:02 AM

                        For food...I'll throw in Oki Dog with their concoctions with franks, pastrami, et. al wrapped into a tortilla. I wish I could remember the name, but there used to be a place that had a space alien motif. Somebody told me they were singing there and I never got there. Otherwise, I'm sure I'd remember at least where the place was if it still exists. Trying to google it I found some posting for some place called the Space Alien Bar and Grill in Fargo, N.D. Guess that space alien place here wasn't so special. The Hot Dog Spot link for Oki Dog http://hotdogspot.com/2004/07/oki-dog...

                      2. s
                        selfportrait93 Jul 3, 2008 09:41 PM

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

                        1. Emme Jul 3, 2008 08:31 PM

                          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. Will Owen Jul 3, 2008 01:45 PM

                            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. Will Owen Jul 3, 2008 01:41 PM

                              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. d
                                Diana Jul 3, 2008 01:11 PM

                                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
                                  Burger Boy Jul 3, 2008 07:46 PM

                                  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
                                    Emme Jul 3, 2008 08:32 PM

                                    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
                                      Burger Boy Jul 3, 2008 08:53 PM

                                      There is the Venice Room which is still in business.

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