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May 24, 2009 11:01 AM

Planning a one-day "little bites" tour of L.A.

My brother is visiting me in L.A. for the first time next weekend, and as part of my campaign to get him to move here I'm making next Saturday as complete a food tour of L.A. as I can manage. What I'd like to do is go to as many places as possible, sampling as many kinds of cuisine as we can without breaking our wallets or busting our guts. Recommend your favorite L.A. snacks, please, especially from cool little ethnic spots. We're plenty adventurous. We'll be based in West Hollywood but of course will be driving all over the place.

To give you an idea of what I mean, here's the start of my list (these are some of my favorites and are non-negotiable, so I'm looking to add to them).:

A drumstick at Kyochon
A paleta at PaleterĂ­a La Michoacana.
A mulita at La Taquiza
Hojaldra at La Flor de Yucatan
Al pastor taco from El Taurino

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  1. Here's a South Bay "little bites" tour around Harbor City, Lomita, Torrance, and Redondo Beach:

    Harbor City:
    Saturday paella at La Espanola

    The next three are at the intersection of Lomita and Pennsylvania in Lomita:
    Any tiradito or cebiche at Kotosh at Kamiyama
    The three mini-okonomiyaki plate and split a Koshihikari Echigo beer at Gaja Moc
    Cream puffs (plain, black sesame, green tea) and coffee at Patisserie Chantilly

    The next four are within a block of each other in Torrance. The first two are across from each other in a shopping center at Carson and Western. The second two are in the Mitsuwa shopping center on Western:
    Risotto with parmesan cheese at Musha
    Any yakitori at Torihei
    Split a ramen at Santouka
    Have high-end manju/other Japanese confections at Minamoto Kitchoan - I didn't find a link to this place but they are directly adjacent to the actual Mitsuwa market inside the shopping center.

    Redondo Beach Pier:
    Tsukune dango nabe (nah-beh) or zosui at Izakaya Bincho.

    Frankly, I'd have a hard time sticking to just one item at any of these places, but you probably have a lot more discipline than me. You mentioned La Flor de Yucatan - don't forget the Cochinita Pibil!

    Patisserie Chantilly
    2383 Lomita Blvd., #104, Lomita, CA 90717

    Santouka Ramen
    21515 S Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

    1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

    Kotosh at Kamiyama
    2408 Lomita Blvd, Lomita, CA 90717

    Gaja Moc
    2383 Lomita Blvd, Lomita, CA 90717

    La Espanola Meats
    25020 Doble Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90710

    Izakaya Bincho
    112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

    1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

    1 Reply
    1. re: bulavinaka

      re: izakaya bincho,
      be positive about their hours before you go. they are closed one tuesday every month also they are never open during the day. i can't remember their normal day off (mondays???).

    2. The branch of Carnitas Michaocan above Chinatown on North Broadway on the west corner of 19th, for the carne asada and even better al pastor, but mostly for the hot sauce, the brick red thin smoky salsa roja -- best in SoCal. Open 24/7.

      Porking out at the various stands in the Grand Central Market, on Broadway between 3rd and 4th, for big, cheap succulent carnitas tacos. A couple of bucks each, fatty (at their best) crisp longcooked goodness.

      The half rotisserie chicken from Zankou -- strips of meat plucked from the breast and the thigh or leg mixed with shreds of skin, tucked into a piece of pita with a big glob of that phenomenal garlic paste. Don't wimp out and get the white quarter or tarna -- it takes a bit of work, but get the half or whole bird and be sure to incorporate parts of each section in each minisandwich...

      1. Boong-uh bbang from the little shop in the back of HK market in koreatown- a common street snack in Korea, it's a red-bean filled pastry shaped like a fish. I love them

        Gyros from Papa Cristos

        Mochi from Fugetsu-do in Little Tokyo

        Almond croissants from Amandine

        Split a pastrami sandwich (hand-cut) from Langer's

        The list is a bit random and scattered- just typed what was on the top of my head. Have fun!

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Not sure these qulify as snacks, maybe more like not fancy sit down can be relatively quick dining experiences:

            carne asada burrito from El Parian (I don't like their goat burrito)

            I like Skaf's better than Zankou, love their chicken, hummus and cabbage salad

            Falafel sanwich or falafel ball plate (wonderful falafel balls) from Amir

            Lengua burrito from Don Felix

            Pupusas, any kind, from El Salvador Con Sabor

            El Parian
            1528 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

            Skaf's Grill
            6008 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606

            Don Felix Meat Market
            3985 1/2 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

            Con Sabor
            5105 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

            Amir's Falafel
            11711 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604