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Feb 25, 2009 07:50 AM

near Hollyhock House? near The Getty Villa?

We'll be at Hollyhock House on Friday afternoon, visiting the City of Angels from San Francisco for a long weekend. My plea to the LA board; what's good-to-eat nearby?
Starting point: Little Tokyo; Destination: Griffith Park Observatory & Hollyhock House

I find myself with the "shoe on the other foot" - instead of the usual SF board inquires from visitors, now I am myself The Tourist. I've been reading the LA board and I am rather overwhelmed by the range of diversity, mileage, and freeways but I seek Adventure and the Los Angeles horizon promises fertile ground.

The Weekend Road trip might encompass the Getty Villa, Norton Simon,....La Brea Bakery, Sushi Gen, Din Tai Dumpling House, Grand Central Market and Ross Cutlery, tamales at Celaya Bakery Panderia, Hennessey & Ingalls Bookstore in Santa Monica, Old Pasadena, Sunday's Farmers Market in Hollywood... but we will want to eat, too. We'll be on the move; a push in the right direction will be helpful and appreciated, fellow Chowhounds. TIA

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  1. Didn't Hennessey & Ingalls Bookstore close the Santa Monica location many years ago? I think it's now in "Hollywood."

    1 Reply
    1. re: The Old Man

      no, the SM location is still there. they moved to a new location in SM many years ago. recently, they just opened up a new store within a store in Space 20twenty in hollywood.

    2. Thry Marouch in Hollywood for middle eastern appetizers (Tapas), El Gran Burrito on Vermont & Santa Monica, Golden Fish on Hollywood for Armenian/Russian, Zankou for roasted chicken with Garlic Sauce, Sahags for a great Basturma or Soujuk sandwich. All these places are funky but good, they are all also abouta mile or less from Hollyhock House. Sushi Gen is great, get there about 20-30 minutes before they open. Go to Marias Roast to go in The Grand Central Market, get a Gordita. Sunday Framer;s Market has a Lady cooking Mexican food from the San Gabriel are, get the chilaqilles, spicy.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Burger Boy

        where is hollyhock house and what's so great about it? is this a frank loyd wright designed home nestled in the hollywood hills or am i just completely out of the loop?

        have you been to marouch recently i completely forgot about that joint.

        1. re: kevin

          The Hollyhock House is a Frank Lloyd Wright house, right on top of the hill of Barnsdale Park. It is right in the middle of everything (just southwest of the Vermont and Hollywood instersection), but hidden mostly by the trees. If you like architecture, check it out! One of the first "ranch" houses in SoCal.

          1. re: Lmo1823

            Up it's up the hill, a few blocks west of the Corner of Vermont and Hollywood right???
            Always seem to pass by it, though I have not visited yet.


        2. re: Burger Boy

          thank you, Burger Boy, for your reply. I want to do each one!
          kevin, go to

          1. re: Cynsa

            Try to do each one and share. These are some great yet very different places! manggia

        3. Whoa, you're going to be all over our fine city. Here's some suggestions, mostly places I like to take visitors. My discriminating in-laws are from Berkeley so I've narrowed this list down over the years:

          Pasadena/South Pasadena:
          Pie n Burger
          Nicole's Gourmet
          Porta Via Italian Foods

          Glendale (near Pasadena):
          Palate Food and Wine (dinner only)

          Little Tokyo:
          Spitz (killer doner kebabs)

          Langer's (the #19 is pretty perfect, some say the best pastrami in the city)

          Jitlada (close to Hollyhock)
          Yes, Sunday farmer's market is great, but try to get there on the early side as it gets very crowded)

          Hancock Park/Hollywood:
          Pizzeria Mozza (a no-brainer, but a must, imho - wait for a table)

          West Hollywood:
          Lucques (a classic LA spot, always spot-on, dinner only)
          Angelini Osteria

          The Farmer's Market (not a farmer's market, but THE Farmer's Market. There since 1930's, a landmark and something for everyone. Love Littlejohn's toffee and Loteria. A must)
          Joan's on Third (amazing cupcakes and other baked goods)

          Baby Blues BBQ
          The Godmother at Bay Cities Italian Deli
          Vanilla Cupcakes

          I'll add more as I think on this. Also, post any more detailed updates as far as your itinerary and perhaps you'll get additional suggestions.


          1. May I make a suggestion? Take a pass on Din Tai Fung. It's not bad -- it doesn't garner as much love as other places -- but frankly it's not worth it when there are so many other things available.

            I'd concentrate on things SF doesn't do very well -- Korean food, for example, or Mexican (which SF does but just completely differently to LA). Thai food is huge here, and Central American is much more represented down here. I don't recall SF having much in the way of Ethiopian food (though Telegraph Rd in Oakland/Berkeley does), and you'll find the produce seasons are very different down here -- we're already well into green garlic down here at the farmers' markets and I saw zucchini blossoms already.

            So, to make this more concrete:

            1. Park's BBQ, Vermont Ave. near Olympic Blvd. -- get prime kalbi and Tokyo X pork belly.
            2. Sokongdong or Beverly Tofu House, across Olympic from each other one block west of Vermont -- get soon dubu jjigae, which is soft tofu stew that's quite spicy. Beverly has better BBQ accompaniments, Sokongdong has better panchan (side dishes, free and refillable).
            3. Definitely do Grand Central Market, but also if you want adventure, go down to Plaza Mexico on Imperial Hwy. and Long Beach Blvd. in Lynwood, browse around, pretend you're in Tijuana's Zona Rio, and then eat at La Huasteca.
            4. Thai Town is not very far from the Hollyhock House at all -- go to Jitlada and have Southern Thai food that will make you cry it's so good. Just order off the Southern Thai part of the menu, that's all. And then go over to Bhan Khanom Thai (BKT to everyone) and get dessert -- if they have khanom krok, which are sweet coconut dumplings, get them!
            5. The Hollywood Sunday market is definitely the Sunday winner.

            Hope this helps!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              haven't been to jitlada in a while?

              what are a few seafood dishes to order? besides the soft shell crab in green curry sauce or in garlic sauce/ thanks.

            2. THANK YOU to all; we had a wonderful weekend; sunshine and 84°F and OMG - eating in LA is fantastic!
              Thank you for the excellent posts; we'll return to follow up on those we missed this time:
              Day One: The Getty Center; dinner at Sushi Gen, seated at a 2-top, we shared sushi and
              "butter"salmon with tempura - served with the best gohan I have ever tasted and I am
              picky about rice; it must be new rice! After 6 hours on Hwy 5 and 4 hours at The Getty Center, we were road zombies; we were startled as we were seated immediately at Sushi Gen as walk-ins, then, to pinkberry for dessert. My take on pinkberry, too-rich, too-sweet.
              Day Two: tortas at the Grand Central Market for breakfast with succulent carnitas, beans, avocado, lettuce, tomato, superb! I felt like a pin ball machine bouncing between delicious food vendors and wafting great smells - a siren's call not to be denied, I had to bring home mole poblano, mole verde, and another mole with almonds - a full day at The Huntington from noon to 5:30 pm, dinner at Pie 'n Burger for a really good bacon cheeseburger, coconut cream pie, tuna melt with potato salad and warm pecan pie w/vanilla ice cream - Thumbs Up and Tummy Rubs.
              Day Three: 11 am Lunch with friends at Saladang sharing tasty plump Pun Klib dumplings of ground chicken and peanut, a wonderful Laab salad of ground chicken, sweet Thai sausage salad with shreds of pickled ginger, and Saladang spicy noodles with pork... I only wish we could have Thai food this delicious in San Francisco, we have nothing that compares. Noon at Norton Simon. 4 pm at Pacific Asia Museum. Dinner with friends at Honda Ya in the tatami room, drinking sake and beer and noshing on chicken livers, ginko nuts, yaki-tori, short ribs, braised pumpkin slices, shishamo sardines, takoyaki, bacon udon - be prepared to eat, drink, laugh loudly - go with friends!
              Day Four: walk through Union Station, Olvera Street, Chinatown...Basturma sandwich for lunch with olives, peppers, and pickled turnip slices at Sahag's, friendly owner... delicious fresh pistachio divinity candies from Damascus... now, I must go back for the soujouk which is house-made with seven spices, I am charmed... on to the tour of Hollyhock House and the art museum, visit friends in Eagle Rock, dinner at Hama Sushi in Little Tokyo. This was our Anniversary Dinner #30; sushi, sashimi and sake for two, under $100 w/tip - a bargain - now I will be longing for this freshness of taste and the excellent skills of the itamae who served me ika with shiso. Brilliant. I could fall in love.
              Last Day: drive along Wilshire Blvd. to the Ocean to the Getty Villa, then homeward bound with sighs of delight to recall. OK - I am home in San Francisco with food envy! We walked by Spitz in Little Tokyo - next time, we'll stop for doner kebabs...and Langer's for pastrami...and...Lucques, Pizzeria Mozza, back to Grand Central Market for Gorditas, next time!
              (Baby Blues BBQ has opened in the Mission, so I'll check it out...) :^)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Cynsa

                Good to hear an SF hound not putting down Los Angeles.

                Cool that you made it to Sahag's, it's great stuff. Though not as garlicky, as I had previously expected.