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Jul 29, 2008 01:35 AM

Recommendations for weekend visit?

I'm coming to LA from Portland Oregon for the weekend soon. I'm looking for some recommendations from you folks for some great places to try--we'll be mostly in the Monterey Park/Pasadena area, with a jaunt into Hollywood for a tour of the movie sets and possibly a trip to the Farmer's Market--I remember being awed by it 30 years ago but perhaps it is different now?? I have already found your running commentary on the Noodle House in Monterey Park and that is on our "must visit" list. That is exactly the kind of place we love, in any cuisine (Chinese, Thai, tapas, Japanese, local sourced, Mexican, whatever), with the main criteria being great food and great value for money, and definitely not your everyday chain restaurant scene. It is also my birthday that weekend, so perhaps a recommendation for a place for dinner that night that is a little more special but again great food is the most important criteria. And oh yes, where do you think is the best dim sum?

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  1. Here is a link to a recent dim sum thread that should help you decide on where to go.

    For Thai food you won't do better than Jitlada in Thai Town (east Hollywood) for its "Southern Thai" specialties. Put yourself in the hands of Jazz and she will take care of you for ordering the right dishes. Just don't go and order pad Thai and the other "usual suspects" and come back and tell us that the food didn't live up to the hype. Southern Thai food is their strength.

    Finally, for birthday recommendations (and probably most importantly - unless you have an unlimited budget) what is your price range? Are you looking in the same geographic area of Hollywood? Do you like any specific cuisine better than another?

    For Mexican (and to get a better understanding of why it can prove difficult to give someone a "simple" recommendation for good Mexican food in Los Angeles) take a look at this thread:

    2 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Servorg wrote:
      Finally, for birthday recommendations (and probably most importantly - unless you have an unlimited budget) what is your price range? Are you looking in the same geographic area of Hollywood? Do you like any specific cuisine better than another?

      For the birthday dinner, we are staying in Pasadena, so somewhere not too far from there would be good. Here in Portland, where I live, many of my favorite "special" restaurants all offer some version of "small plates", be it at an upscale Peruvian restaurant, a boisterous tapas place with great food, and a kinda Italian, kinda NW cuisine place again with lots of small plates, but everything exceedingly well prepared and kinda knock-your-socks off great taste. Price range: I really appreciate "good value for money" .........I'd like to spend $30-40/person, and we aren't big drinkers so that doesn't need to be factored in.

      1. re: sarosenthall

        Then Palate Food + Wine is where you will want to go. See this review for more detailed information.

    2. Hi sarosenthall,

      Agree with the excellent suggestions so far :) (these are mainly in the area you are staying at) -

      * Noodle House (Mian Hsiang Yuan)

      * Sea Harbour (Dim Sum) - Show up around 9:45 a.m. if on a Sat or Sun to beat the crowds.

      * Babita (Mexican) - This is fancier Mexican cuisine than the average restaurant, but great food.

      * Palate Food+Wine (Mediterranean Small Dishes) - Fun, energetic vibe, great Small Plates-style food.

      * Jitlada (Southern Thai) - see Servorg's response. :)

      * Elite (Hong Kong / Cantonese Seafood) - (For Dinner) You might consider this place or Sea Harbour for your Birthday Dinner. There's plenty of great Live Seafood (Giant Live Prawns, Boiled are amazing) and fancier (and delicious) dishes to be had during dinner at both of these restaurants.

      Happy (early) Birthday! :)

      1823 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

      5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

      Elite Restaurant
      700 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

      Palate Food & Wine
      933 South Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91204

      Noodle House (Mian Hsiang Yuan)
      958 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91755

      Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant
      3939 Rosemead Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

      2 Replies
      1. re: exilekiss

        Thanks for all the input so far
        So many restaurants, so little time!!
        But I think we're getting things narrowed down.
        If you could only go to one of these, which would you choose, and why-- (this is of course my dilemna):
        Jitlada, Babita or Palate Food + Wine

        1. re: sarosenthall

          Hi Susan,

          No problem. :) Just hope you enjoy your visit to L.A.

          I would say between the three you're asking about, you should ask yourself what you're craving most and maybe look at what you gain in those three restaurants that you couldn't get back home. They're all completely different. :)

          If it's just a nice date / evening out on the town, I'd say Palate Food + Wine would be the best of the three choices. It's got a cool, energized setting, fun, classy and good food to back it up (and if you enjoy wine, that's even better, but you don't have to drink wine to enjoy the evening there :).

          There's nothing wrong with any of the three choices, it's what you're looking for most that'll help define where you should go.