Visiting LA...where are my must-eats?
I'll be in town for 5 days next week and want to know where people's best eats are. I'm more interested in mid-range to cheap than fancy. I eat anything/everything, especially Mexican. I'll be staying in Los Feliz and would love to hear about local spots around there. I'm also definitely going to the farmers market in Santa Monica...any tips about that place?
I already know about Yuca's!
Love from Brooklyn,
"I eat anything/everything, especially Mexican."
If you don't have access to much Oaxacan food in Brooklyn, let me suggest Monte Alban, on Santa Monica Blvd. between Barrington and Bundy, in West LA -- close to the Santa Monica/West LA line. Not terribly close to where you will be staying, but perhaps a good stop for lunch after the SM farmers' market, or for dinner if you spend the rest of that day on the west side. It is not fancy, but far from a dive, and the food is terrific; great moles, wonderful chicken soup, and (my favorite) the barbacoa de chiva -- a braised hunk of tender, sweet goat meat in a dense, red, spicy-but-not-hot broth, served with a plate of chopped onions and herbs to stir in. Everything I've tried there has been good, and the prices are more than reasonable, especially for lunch (lunch specials are, I think, $7, and include pretty much everything on the menu). If "Mexican," to you, denotes tacos / burritos / enchiladas / combo plates with beans and rice, Oaxacan food will be a revelation.
A little light reading for those visitors looking for excellence in Mexican food in LA:
Finally - there is a new Sinaloan seafood place in Mar Vista called Mariscos Chente that is brilliant. If you'll click on the place link below and then scroll down past the basic info you will see the threads that have been written about by various hounds on their visits here and what they ate.
4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066
I'll stick with Mexican recs since you keyed on that. I hope you don't mind travelling since that's just what we do here.
1. Moles La Tia -- this place has a lot of recent buzz for good reason. If you are looking to try a variety of authentic mole then this is your stop.
2. Chichen Itza -- Yucatecan food of a very high quality. Cochinita Pibil is maravillosa.
3. Monte Alban -- Second Ozhead's review. My favorite dish is the estofado, but the mole negro and chivo are awesome, too.
4. Mariscos Chente -- Servorg's rec is a good one. To my mind, what makes the place special is the shrimp that the chef uses. They are cooked with the head on and they are really high quality. That infuses the sauce with a natural shellfish stock so the flavors are just wonderful.
5. TACO CRAWL! There are some awesome taco trucks and tables all over the eastside of Los Angeles. Plan a tour of several of them and have a taco at each. End the evening at a bar and you've got a first class LA night. Except for the driver, I guess. If that seems like fun then let us know. There are tons of people on the board that have their favorite stops.
Here's an anything/everything (but not Mexican) option for you....In-N-Out...you guys don't have that in NY. Love the burgers...love the shakes! It's a chain, so there's bound to be one near you.
Two of my favorite restaurants in Los Feliz are Palermo's (Italian) and Electric Lotus (Indian). I'm sure if you search around here a bit using Los Feliz you'll find tons of other recommendations.