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Los Angeles - Scandinavian (preferably Danish or Dutch) Restaurant

b
Baris May 27, 2004 01:12 AM

Hi,

for our grandfather's 90th birthday, we would like to throw a birthday party at Scandinavian, preferable Danish or Dutch restaurant in Los Angeles.
Any recommendations?

thanks,
Baris
cetinok@hotmail.com

  1. j
    jsandler Sep 16, 2010 01:37 PM

    In college, I took a class on the Vikings. We had a guest lecturer one day from Iceland who brought in Hakarl (Icelandic-style fermented shark) for us to sample. Tasted like solid ammonia.

    12 Replies
    1. re: jsandler
      Das Ubergeek Sep 16, 2010 02:20 PM

      Even the Icelanders do not eat hákarl (pronounced "HOW-carl") every day. It's basically a way to prove how strong and stoic you are, and a great excuse to drink copious quantities of brennivín. Now, puffin, on the other hand...

      1. re: Das Ubergeek
        r
        rastan Sep 16, 2010 03:31 PM

        The discussion of rotten shark reminds me of a comic titled "Nordics like Fish":

        http://humoncomics.com/nordics-like-fish

        1. re: rastan
          WildSwede Sep 17, 2010 01:32 PM

          ;-)

          1. re: WildSwede
            m
            MissCast Sep 19, 2010 06:18 PM

            When I l worked in Sweden, the locals told me they eat surströmming because the smell keeps people from coming around and asking for some of your vodka.

            1. re: MissCast
              WildSwede Sep 20, 2010 11:24 AM

              My mom told me they eat surstromming (they even served it at one of their parties here in LA when I was little) as an excuse to drink loads of Acquavit!! ;-)

        2. re: Das Ubergeek
          f
          fishyak Feb 6, 2012 03:17 PM

          Hakarl comes from the huge Greenland Shark. Sounds like the name is descriptive of the sound you make when you projectile vomit after ingestion. "Poi" is no where near as bad, but the name offers the same sound concept. (Universal translation: "How can you eat that s*it?)

          1. re: fishyak
            J.L. Feb 6, 2012 04:09 PM

            What's wrong with ingesting some decomposing shark carcass every once in a while?! :-)

            1. re: fishyak
              Das Ubergeek Feb 8, 2012 05:18 PM

              I actually don't mind poi. But hákarl... eeeeegh. What is it about Scandinavians and disgusting ways to preserve fish? The Icelanders have hákarl; the Norwegians make lutefisk, which is salted cod that's reconstituted with lye; the Swedes eat surströmming, which is fermented herring sold in cans that bulge like botulism.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                m
                maudies5 Feb 8, 2012 05:38 PM

                When I think of great Scandinavian Cuisine, I grow quite nostalgic about Scandia. No one presented it better than Ken Hansen (R.I.P.). Scandinavian cuisine is earning quite a bit of respect these days, with Marcus Sammuelsen (former chef of Acqavit in NYC and cooked for a White House State Dinner). There is a restaurant in Denmark which is receiving very high acclaim. . NOMA is the Michelin 2 star restaurant in Copenhagen

                1. re: maudies5
                  Das Ubergeek Feb 8, 2012 05:45 PM

                  I agree wholeheartedly—and as a Dane, I applaud this and love Scandinavian food—but it's completely unavailable in Southern Califas.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                    m
                    maudies5 Feb 8, 2012 11:01 PM

                    Konditori was a wonderful little restaurant in Beverly Hills on Camden Drive, They were there for many years and their open faced sandwiches were delicious. I really loved the baby shrimp on dark bread with their dill sauce. Even after the restaurant closed, they continued to sell the dill sauce. Wouldn't it be just great if someone with a bit of imagination would open a little Scandinavian restaurant. Olson's just doesn't work as a restaurant.

                    1. re: maudies5
                      khh1138 Feb 12, 2012 10:01 AM

                      We used to have a Konditori in Pasadena as well, on Lake. Lovely swedish pancakes (with lingonberry, of course!) and smørrebrød. sigh.

        3. r
          rastan Sep 16, 2010 04:28 AM

          If driving (100+ miles) outside of LA isn’t a problem, then perhaps make the trip up to Solvang for some Danish restaurants. I haven’t been to any before, but a quick search turned up this place: www.theredvikingrestaurant.com

          Shifting to the Benelux (slightly on topic with this thread) are there any Dutch restaurants in Los Angeles? I understand you can find Dutch cheeses at the European Deli on Main Street in Santa Monica, and I’ve seen Dutch foods at some Indonesian markets, but I have no idea where to find stamppot, snert, hutspot, rookworst, etc.

          23 Replies
          1. re: rastan
            Mr Taster Sep 16, 2010 07:28 AM

            The closest I've ever come to seeing real Dutch food in LA was taking a trip to Winchester Cheese Co. out in Winchester, in the country beyond Temecula. The elderly Dutch couple that runs the farm came to LA during a wave of Dutch immigration in the 1960s from Haarlem, and aside from making some very good gouda they have a makeshift Dutch goods import shop (albeit a very small one). If you call ahead,you can arrange to come visit when the cheese is being made. In addition, the town of Winchester is sort of like a sad, failed version of Solvang. There's a dilapidated windmill and a few squat, inelegant gabled buildings surrounded by tall weeds. Since you're already there for the cheese, it's worth checking out for the creepy Salton City factor.

            Mr Taster

            1. re: rastan
              m
              mrhooks Sep 16, 2010 04:46 PM

              I think the food at Andersen's in Santa Barbara is better than the places in Solvang, if perhaps not 100% authentic (nor focused entirely on Danish/Scandinavian cuisines). I wish the owner of Hygge Bakery would finally open up that adjoining café he's talked about.

              The chef at Noma in Copenhagen, René Redzepi, once told me half-jokingly that, as far as European culinary destinations go, the only place worse than Scandinavia is the Netherlands. (I thought Munich was worse than Copenhagen.)

              -----
              Hygge Bakery
              1106 S Hope St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

              1. re: mrhooks
                Peripatetic Sep 16, 2010 05:44 PM

                "the only place worse than Scandinavia is the Netherlands. (I thought Munich was worse than Copenhagen.)"

                Amusingly, this echoes the sentiment of some San Franciscans and New Yorkers who lament that LA is not a good eating town. With Munich, Copenhagen and the Netherlands, as with LA, if you're not eating great food, you're either not looking in the right places or have a limited palate.

                1. re: Peripatetic
                  m
                  mrhooks Sep 20, 2010 12:13 PM

                  Chef Redzepi was speaking more about reputation than truth. I actually loved the food in Copenhagen. Never been to the Netherlands. I found great places to eat in Munich, but on average _Bavarian food_ wasn't very good - lots of pork, hardly any vegetables, one-dimensional and heavy. Or if it was beef, it was overcooked. Even when it was prepared well, I could only take so much of it.

                  And my palate is just fine, thank you.

                  1. re: mrhooks
                    rdeman Feb 5, 2012 01:12 PM

                    The Netherlands- unlike the Scandinavians and Germans- had set up colonies in each continent in the world, and especially in Asia. Long time before the first Brits ever arrived in Asia, the Dutch had established large scale spice trading all over Asia, and back to Europe- operating from Batavia (Djakarta) Indonesia. 400+ years later this reflects in Dutch cuisine.

                    It's pretty much all over the food being consumed - also 'traditionally' in The Netherlands. Just look for example at the spice ingredients of the very traditional speculaas kookies ('speculoos') pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg - that stuff does not grow in Europe...

                    However it always seems that when people speak of 'Dutch' food, it has to be bland and excluding any Asian influence. If you want to zoom into that kind of food, fine. It's Dutch as well. But it's not just all the typical food the people in the Netherlands eat- or have been eating.

                    If I want some typical Dutch stuff in Los Angeles- I need to visit an Indonesian supermarket. go figure.

                    1. re: rdeman
                      J.L. Feb 6, 2012 04:11 PM

                      The rijstaffel (rice table, a multi-dish Dutch-Indonesian feast) at Ramayani is quite excellent! Call ahead to reserve.

                      It's located on Westwood Blvd.

                      1. re: J.L.
                        Will Owen Feb 8, 2012 06:13 PM

                        We tripped over and into that place one day when we were looking for lunch after the Hammer. Mid-afternoon, we were the only people in there except for some owner's relatives w/kids. Had an excellent and not expensive meal, and bought some of the Indonesian grocery items on sale at the front. Now that the Indonesian place in Pasadena is but a fond memory, we may need to go back. Thanks for reminding me.

                        1. re: Will Owen
                          c
                          condiment Feb 9, 2012 02:22 AM

                          Top, the Indonesian place on Colorado, is still there, isn't it? Was a month or so ago at any rate. It's pretty basic - really basic - but fine for a plate of nasi goreng. Anyway: Not particularly Dutch. Carry on.

                          The Indonesian/Dutch crossover that was so common here even a decade ago seems to have faded away - you used to find wooden shoes and spice pastes in the same markets, and you never had a good Indonesian meal in a restaurant in which at least one table was filled with Dutch ex-colonials reminiscing about the war.

                          1. re: condiment
                            Mr Taster Feb 9, 2012 09:10 AM

                            I feel like the disappearance of the Dutch bakery in Artesia was the harbinger of the End Times for Dutch food in LA.

                            As for homemade Dutch foodstuffs, you certainly can't go wrong with the raw milk gouda from Winchester Cheese Company.

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: condiment
                              Servorg Feb 9, 2012 09:22 AM

                              Is this the Colorado Blvd. Indonesian restaurant of which you speak? http://www.yelp.com/biz/top-restaurant-pasadena

                              ADD: http://gastronomyblog.com/2010/09/15/...

                          2. re: J.L.
                            iL Divo Feb 10, 2012 06:04 AM

                            JL, how would I find the address to the place you mentioned?

                            1. re: iL Divo
                              Servorg Feb 10, 2012 06:10 AM

                              http://sites.google.com/site/herthata...

                              1. re: Servorg
                                iL Divo Feb 10, 2012 06:34 AM

                                Serv........I so appreciate you telling that to me and others. Sounds like a fun maybe Saturday late afternoon adventure.

                              2. re: iL Divo
                                J.L. Feb 10, 2012 11:10 AM

                                Go to:

                                http://lmgtfy.com/

                                At the prompt, type in: Ramayani

                                and follow the instructions...

                        2. re: Peripatetic
                          a
                          AlkieGourmand Feb 12, 2012 09:28 PM

                          To be fair, Dutch food is horrendous.

                          1. re: AlkieGourmand
                            rdeman Feb 12, 2012 09:53 PM

                            really?? not really more horrendous than say Scaninavian, German or English food- or is it?

                            1. re: AlkieGourmand
                              Das Ubergeek Feb 12, 2012 09:53 PM

                              And such small portions! </joke>

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                rdeman Feb 12, 2012 10:05 PM

                                haha well, maybe that's the Dutch secret recipe to how they became the tallest people in the world: eat less!

                              2. re: AlkieGourmand
                                l
                                latindancer Feb 12, 2012 10:14 PM

                                Says you.
                                No frite sauce for you then or Dutch cheese, 5 yr. aged Gouda to be specific.
                                Not Dutch but I've been around enough of it, and enough of the culture and people, to realize it isn't 'horrendous' by any stretch of the imagination...

                                1. re: latindancer
                                  Mr Taster Feb 12, 2012 11:04 PM

                                  Frikandel.

                                  Mr Taster

                                  1. re: Mr Taster
                                    l
                                    latindancer Feb 13, 2012 08:14 AM

                                    Good Frikandel is delicious.
                                    Rijsttafel at any great Indies restaurant, including Gado Gado or Sayur Lodeh is one of my favorites.

                                    1. re: latindancer
                                      Mr Taster Feb 13, 2012 09:16 AM

                                      Frikandel. Mmm.
                                      http://www.febodelekkerste.nl/catalog...

                                      I think it's relatively non-controversial to say that Indonesian food is the tastiest food in The Netherlands. However, to categorize rijsttafel under the umbrella of Dutch food is a little too colonial for my taste!

                                      Mr Taster
                                      (who took several trips to Friesland while dating a Dutch girl for about a year)

                                2. re: AlkieGourmand
                                  Peripatetic Feb 13, 2012 01:43 AM

                                  > Dutch food is horrendous

                                  Could you elaborate? What have you tried and where have you tried it?

                          2. LATrapp Sep 15, 2010 10:18 PM

                            I don't know of any LA restaurants that focus on Scandinavian food (AK on Abbot Kinney came close in a very contemporary way), but Olsen's Market would be the best place to go if you want to put some food together yourself or ask about possible catering at a venue of your choice:

                            Olson's Scandinavian Delicatessen

                            5660 W Pico Blvd
                            Los Angeles, CA 90019

                            (323) 938-0742

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: LATrapp
                              a
                              aurora50 Sep 15, 2010 10:28 PM

                              Aren't there a couple of Scandanavian restaurants in Anaheim? (Though not exactly L.A.)

                              1. re: aurora50
                                Das Ubergeek Sep 16, 2010 11:23 AM

                                There are two German restaurants and a Danish-sort-of Bakery.

                            2. mnosyne Sep 15, 2010 09:28 PM

                              The list of Scandinavian restaurants that have come and gone in Los Angeles is long; I think we're going have to hope that Wild Swede weighs in here with some suggestions.

                              1. a
                                andytseng Sep 15, 2010 05:45 PM

                                How bout buying a bunch of meatballs from Ikea w/ some Lingonberry jam and doing it in the backyard?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: andytseng
                                  f
                                  foodiemahoodie Sep 16, 2010 12:43 AM

                                  Was that supposed to be funny?

                                  1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                    J.L. Feb 5, 2012 01:28 PM

                                    No joke. Actually the Swedish Köttbullar (meatballs) from you local Ikea bear a strikingly good resemblance to the great stuff we enjoyed in Stockholm on our last visit.

                                2. b
                                  belge May 27, 2004 02:38 AM

                                  to avoid confusion, dutch food would not be scandinavian. scandinavia is comprised of denmark, sweden, finland, and norway.

                                  were you looking for dutch food (from holland)? or scandinavian food?

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: belge
                                    r
                                    RMal Sep 15, 2010 04:53 PM

                                    Finland is not Scandinavia.

                                    1. re: belge
                                      y
                                      yummyewe Sep 15, 2010 11:41 PM

                                      Iceland, Sweden, norway and Denmark. Not finland.

                                      1. re: yummyewe
                                        WildSwede Sep 16, 2010 10:11 AM

                                        Definitely not Finland. Even Iceland is iffy. Unfortunately, there are no Scandinavian restaurants in LA that I know of. I just googled The Nordic Fox in Downey and it says they are closed. I can't call since I am participating in a training, but will call later to confirm. I have never been. We all did realize this post is from 2004, right? Hope they found something.
                                        Anyway, as I have posted ad nauseum (and no one needs to remind me of this fact, thankyouverymuch), the only Scandinavian food to be had (this is authentic food made by real Scandahoovians) is at the Annual Lutefisk dinner at the Sons of Norway in Van Nuys (second weekend in November - I will post closer to the date) and their Julebord (closer to Christmas) in which they add fiskeboller (fish balls, my fave - don't scrunch your noses!) amongst other things. The Julebord sells out quickly. I can post about it when I know the exact date (only one night vs the two nights of the lutefisk dinner). One of the Swedish Clubs (Vasa? Hollywood?) does a Christmas Lucia program somewhere near downtown - they have goodies there, too.
                                        The Scandinavian festival at Cal Lutheran in Moorpark in April offers a meatball plate amongst other things - Aebleskiver, lefse and krumkake making demos, etc.
                                        Ikea. Yep. But really, the food is really pretty good. I always go for the shrimp sandwich (served open faced on a bed of lettuce, hardboiled eggs and lettuce. Sprinkle dill and lemon juice on top and this girl is transported back to childhood summers in Sweden - YUM!! The meatballs are really good (my mom doesn't even make homemade meatballs anymore - they are Ikea's with the brown sauce!). Add some boiled potatoes with dill and some lingon and you are good to go. Their other frozen items (shrimp - you gotta try the frozen "greenland shrimp" that they sell, they are great). The Princepolse is also really good. Dajm candy, Bilar, cheeses and Kalles spreads. Anchovies for Janssons Frestelse... ok, now I am getting hungry!!
                                        Maybe someone should open a Scandinavian restaurant! There used to be so many when my mom first came here. Now, sadly, they are all gone.

                                        -----
                                        Sons of Norway
                                        14312 Friar St, Los Angeles, CA 91401

                                        1. re: WildSwede
                                          Mr Taster Sep 16, 2010 10:59 AM

                                          Ok WildSwede, after how many years(?) of reading your effusive enthusiasm for all things lutefisky, you've finally convinced me to head out to Sons of Norway this year. (Though I'll admit that Huell Howser's show helped too!) http://www.calgold.com/visiting/Defau...

                                          Mr Taster

                                          -----
                                          Sons of Norway
                                          14312 Friar St, Los Angeles, CA 91401

                                          1. re: Mr Taster
                                            WildSwede Sep 16, 2010 12:29 PM

                                            YAY! If you don't enjoy the lutefisk, there is plenty of Norwegian meatballs, veggies, lefse, Limpa (Swedish, I know), etc.
                                            Huell goes every year, although I have been very good at missing him each time. Maybe we will be there at the same time this year. He always reruns his visit (it was many years ago that this was taped) the weekend before (I think the Friday a week before) the dinner. I will post once I confirm that dates (I think it is the 2nd weekend in November (Fri & Sat).
                                            Hope to see ya there!!!

                                            http://norronalodge.org/lutefiskdinne...

                                            1. re: WildSwede
                                              iL Divo Feb 10, 2012 06:02 AM

                                              can a wildswede stand the idea of eating next to a crazy Norwegian? we have plenty of time to save the date in November. my poor husband will enjoy the meatballs :)

                                              1. re: iL Divo
                                                WildSwede Feb 10, 2012 10:08 AM

                                                Actually, I am 50% Norwegian and 50% Swedish! I am ALWAYS sitting next to a crazy Norwegian! LOL!! :-)

                                                1. re: WildSwede
                                                  Mr Taster Feb 10, 2012 10:37 AM

                                                  And after all these years, I thought I knew you :)

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster
                                                    WildSwede Feb 10, 2012 10:45 AM

                                                    LOL!! ;-)

                                            2. re: Mr Taster
                                              iL Divo Feb 10, 2012 06:00 AM

                                              Oh How Funny Mr. Taster. Lutefisk.............oh I'm chuckling here.
                                              And Huell Howser to boot. Too funny. Nobody made lutefisk like my grandfather.
                                              Even us little ones loved it but smothered in lots of butter, no problem there, grams was famous for her home made butter, and lots of ketchup salt and pepper, it's really, well, maybe you had to grow up with it.

                                              Huell Howser...................hahahhaahh

                                            3. re: WildSwede
                                              m
                                              momontherun Nov 28, 2010 11:29 AM

                                              Yes! We do need some Scandinavian restaurants here in the LA area - there used to be so many - the smorgasboards were a favorite gathering place for our family back in the day. Seal Beach had one - Huntington Beach had one, but the younger generations didn't want to keep them going!
                                              PS: the annual Scandinavian Festival (usually a weekend in mid-April) at Cal Lutheran is in Thousand Oaks, not Moorpark - although it is located on Olson Rd which is off Moorpark RD. We've been going to it for 30 years and they also offer a Viking dinner on the Sat night

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