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Argentinian Food

cincyn Jul 6, 2008 11:49 AM

I need your guys' best rec for Argentinian. Please no La la's, either location.
Much appreciated

  1. l
    Low Blood Sugar Jul 9, 2008 09:43 AM

    In the South Bay area, El Gaucho market(in the plaza located on the corner of Inglewood Blvd & Manhattan Beach Blvd)is my go-to spot for Argentinian food: great empanadas, great sandwiches(favorites: italian, prosciutto, lomito steak w/ chimichurri)and a nicely stocked market.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Low Blood Sugar
      wykkedwilly Jul 9, 2008 10:40 AM

      Do you know if the owners of El Gaucho are the same as Bambino's Bakery that used to be on Hawthorne next to El Pollo Inka? Their pastries and baked goods were better than Grand Casino's.

      1. re: wykkedwilly
        Low Blood Sugar Jul 9, 2008 04:57 PM

        No idea, they're argentinian also?

    2. v
      valleychowhound Jul 8, 2008 11:08 PM

      Pampa's for sure!

      1. streetgourmetla Jul 8, 2008 07:20 PM

        La Nueva Portena is under new management.The old Portena was pretty lame, but this no longer the case.They are on Nordhoff in North Hills.

        Mercado Buenos Aires is my go to Argentinian spot.Carlitos Gardel is a great date night with fine wine and cuisine, but you can do the same at el Mercadito for almost half the price.

        House of Sandwiches is great Argentine sandwiches like migas, breakfast, and pizzas.They are in Glendora.

        1. l
          Low Blood Sugar Jul 8, 2008 10:58 AM

          Anybody know of a good meaty Argentinian restaurant? I'm a big fan of Brazilian churrascerias but never had the Argentinian version.. I've heard their beef is amazing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Low Blood Sugar
            RicRios Jul 8, 2008 11:55 AM

            Any of the above.

            "meaty Argentinian restaurant" is pretty much a redundancy, at least outside of Argentina.

          2. tablefor1 Jul 7, 2008 06:44 PM

            Carlitos Gardel -- be sure to get dessert! The mascarpone tart with dulce de leche at the bottom, mascarpone mousse center and dark chocolate shell on top is plays really well in the mouth with the strawberry sauce they spoon on the plate. It sounds simple enough, but it's rare to find simple desserts done really well. The flan is also top notch, being the perfect balance of cool-jiggly and melt-in-your-mouth creamy, setting it apart from the heavier French creme caramel and all-in-all ending a great meal (Argentinian or otherwise) perfectly. Bravo on staying away from LaLa's; their meat isn't bad but they can keep their sides (powdered mashed potatoes!) and horridly over-cooked flan for those not in the know.

            1. s
              slacker Jul 7, 2008 04:06 PM

              Grand Casino bakery in culver city, bakery and cafe.

              1. m
                markn Jul 7, 2008 12:11 PM

                Check out Buenos Aires Grill in Northridge.


                1 Reply
                1. re: markn
                  carter Jul 7, 2008 04:38 PM

                  btw - Buenos Aires Grill is being sold. Not sure of the credentials of the buyer though.

                2. ElsieDee Jul 6, 2008 12:39 PM

                  How about Malbec New Argentinian Quisine in Pasadena on Green Street? I've not been there, and can't find much on the web, but we drove by last night and the place was packed (which could be good or could be bad).

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: ElsieDee
                    Jack Flash Jul 6, 2008 02:45 PM

                    I've noticed this place has been packed a lot recently as well, and not just on the weekends. We may give it a try this week. I'll post if we do.

                    1. re: Jack Flash
                      ElsieDee Jul 6, 2008 07:59 PM

                      Great - for some reason I never recall that there are dining options on that end of Green Street until driving home from somewhere else. I gotta get better about getting those places on my radar - maybe an intriguing review will get it twined into my memory.

                      1. re: ElsieDee
                        slacker Jul 7, 2008 04:04 PM

                        Whereabouts on Green? I have not noticed this place.

                        1. re: slacker
                          Jack Flash Jul 7, 2008 06:28 PM

                          in the same block as Cafe Verde, just a bit farther east, almost at Catalina.


                          1. re: Jack Flash
                            laurie.hunter Jul 9, 2008 02:00 AM

                            Malbec on Green is Excellent, reasonably priced, perfectly grilled steaks. Nice chimichurri. Good wine. Highly recommend this neighborhood gem. I asked for grilled provolone, and the chef explained that the provolone in Argentina grilled differently, and he would not recommend our american provolone with its improper consistency. The management and chef are rightfully proud, and attentive. Try the dessert with an interesting jam in a pastry with a scoop of ice cream... I'd go in just for that!

                            1. re: laurie.hunter
                              ipsedixit Jul 9, 2008 09:24 AM

                              Was at Malbac during the 4th of July weekend.

                              Quick rundown:

                              Empanadas: bad, was very dry and mushy.
                              Carpaccio: stellar, maybe the star of the evening
                              Gnocchi: very good, rich and unctuous
                              Brochette: the beef was unmemorable, but the dipping sauces were stellar esp. the chimichurri sauce

                  2. e
                    estone888 Jul 6, 2008 12:10 PM

                    Mercado Buenos Aires, 7540 Sepulveda Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91497, (818) 786-0522
                    is an Argentinian market with a cafe attached. Very informal but truly great steaks, great Argentinian sausages, matambre, empanadas, parillada, great chimichuri on the table - all about as authentically like a neighborhood cafe in Argentina as you can find. No wine though, and they seem to discourage bringing any in.

                    1. c
                      cincyn Jul 6, 2008 12:02 PM

                      yes. I have been there, and we love it. Just curious if anyone knows any others.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: cincyn
                        RicRios Jul 6, 2008 12:08 PM

                        The epitome of Argentinean food in LA is Mercado Buenos Aires in Van Nuys ( Saticoy & Sepulveda ). The service is very authentic (which means as bad as it gets ...), TV screens allthe time broadcasting soccer, excellen food and pastas, very low prices. No alcohol, no BYOB.


                        1. re: RicRios
                          cincyn Jul 6, 2008 12:09 PM

                          oo la la thanks!

                          1. re: cincyn
                            RicRios Jul 6, 2008 12:57 PM

                            Or, for a more extensive list, check this link:


                          2. re: RicRios
                            anothernotch Jul 7, 2008 04:14 PM

                            Agreed. Mercado Buenos Aires is as good as it gets. In addition to the great food, we buy most of our meat from the market.

                            On a related note, while I have not tried the place, I noticed a new Argentinean restaurant on Nordhoff near Havenhurst. I do not recall the name.

                          3. re: cincyn
                            carter Jul 6, 2008 05:39 PM

                            A new one just opened in sherman Oaks called Pampas Cafe, at 5242 Van Nuys Blvd., just north of Magnolia, yet south of the carwash.
                            They also have one in Granada Hills.
                            Went once, food was quite good, and their wine selection is due in this week, and will then be posted on their website, so they said. Will be wines from Chile and Argentina only, and quality ones at that.
                            www.pampascafe.com for some more details.
                            And here is a recent review and post on the place:

                            1. re: carter
                              valleychowhound Jul 8, 2008 11:06 PM

                              SO yummy! You must try the tres leches cake.

                              1. re: valleychowhound
                                carter Jul 9, 2008 05:11 PM

                                Oh, but I did, and my companion who I talked to today still comments rhapsodically about that tres leches cake - she can't wait to return just for it alone. I liked it, yet not to that level, as dessert is never overly high on my list of favorite parts of the dinner, but I would eat it any time anyone wanted to share a bite with me. The serving is enormous, btw!

                          4. Servorg Jul 6, 2008 12:02 PM

                            Well, that was the Gardel's trifecta and all within the space of 4 minutes. Great minds...

                            1. Hughlipton Jul 6, 2008 11:59 AM

                              Every year I take my wife to a restaurant that she has never been to before. This year I picked Gardels and she absolutely loved it. Short of doing Churrascaria (bring a 20 year old appetite) Gardel's is the real thing and value for the money.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Hughlipton
                                tomritza Jul 6, 2008 07:27 PM

                                We considered going to Gardels but I did not see Morcilla on the menu. Do they have it? If not, that is a deal killer.

                              2. Foodandwine Jul 6, 2008 11:56 AM

                                Carlitos Gardel and Max really knows his wine especially Malbec..

                                Carlitos Gardel
                                7963 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046

                                1. Servorg Jul 6, 2008 11:55 AM


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