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Jun 18, 2009 10:11 AM

Seattle vs. Los Angeles

I don't want to sound stuck up... please excuse the ignorance because, that's just what it really is and I need your help!
Is there anything that Seattle offers that is so great that L.A. can't offer? I don't like coffee so, that takes out the most famous claim that Seattle offers.
L.A. has some amazing chocolate places so, I'm not interested in visiting any of those in Seattle either. L.A. has some amazing pizzerias that I'd say would be really hard to top so, not interested in pizza either.
I have *heard* about the amazing selection of micro brews Seattle offers so, perhaps a suggestion as to where I could go for that would be great!
But, what else does Seattle have that makes it such a "foodie" destination that L.A. doesn't have???
I will be staying at the Fairmont Olympic and won't have a car :( However, if there is something REALLY worth my time then I certainly won't mind taking public transportation or a taxi to get there. Another note, I will have an ENTIRE day (Saturday) to explore. I really want to fall in love with Seattle. Please help me put together an itinerary that will help me do so.
Much appreciated!

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    1. I lived in LA for 8 years, and moved up here last September. There are *great* strengths in the Seattle food scene which AMG PHD is appearantly unaware of. LA is stronger for most ethnic (but not Vietnamese or Ethiopian). LA is stronger at the ultra-high end- Spago, Providence, Valentino's, Craft- there's little to compare to that here.

      These are Seattle's strengths, in my considered, informed, experienced, and not at all humble opinion:

      1). The produce and local producers. Hit the U-district Farmer's Market on Saturday and see what's there. The options for locally raised meat are particularly good (far better than LA) with great heritage pork (see Heath for Mangalitza, or Sammish Bay for pork raised on whey from his cheese making operation). Check out the local fromagiers- Estrella family farms cheeses are exceptional and there are a number of excellent local cheese makers- far greater depth of talent than you'll find in Hollywood or Santa Monica.

      2). The mid-range- the number of joints you can get really great food at here for under $100 for two is exceptional. Places like Poppy, Pair, Joule, Hudson Public and a slew of others do great food as a regular dining option, not a special occasion. There is next to nothing equivalent in LA to the thoughtful bistros that many local chefs run with great care. Part of this is because of the close relationships developed between them and the local producers- something typical only of the upper range restaurants in LA.

      3). The beer scene- yeah it's amazing. Jolly Rodger, Brouwer's, Quinn's and 10 more I'll get yelled at for not naming.

      4). High end Asian- Tamarind Tree, and Monsoon- nothing like them in LA. Worth a trip.

      5). Pie- I've had one bad piece of pie since I moved up here- it's like there's a higher standard- Shoofly in West Seattle is my fave. Grab something tasty at a Farmer's Market.

      6). I've heard there's a cold cut place in town some people give respect to, too. . .

      Others can chime in, but as someone who explored LA in depth, I'm not feeling at all cheated for eating up here and am *ecstatic* when it comes to my cooking options.


      1. re: AndrewS

        Nice list! AndrewS, especially the suggestion of hitting the U-District market which can be easily reached from downtown on public transport.

        note that its cherry season----you will never get the variety of cherries in LA that you get in Seattle. Perhaps the original poster should hit the market pick up some pounds of cherries and some bread from Tall grass and some pate from Sea Breeze and some cheese from Port Madison and Mount Townsend and some salmon from Loki and go have a nice picnic........................

    2. I'm sorry but I'm not sure what you seem to have already made up your mind. Just because LA has good versions of something [and I say that as someone who lived there for 18 years] I can't imagine not trying things elsewhere. I mean when it comes to chocolate, would you not try chocolate in Paris because you have good chocolate in LA?

      In Seattle, I like cheese, I like vietnamese food, I like Salumi [near pioneer square], I like microbrews--think there is a post about a beer fest this weekend, I like seafood.

      Oh and while I'm at it....."like LA Better for almost everything"????? don't think so.....

      1 Reply
      1. re: jenn

        Go to harvest vine, nothing like it in LA.
        Go to Salumi, ditto.
        Go to Pike place market.
        Go to Elliott's for oysters.
        Eat the local seasonal food.
        Seattle has much better bakeries than LA.
        Come open minded and you may enjoy yourself.

      2. I like the suggestions so far. I'll add Green Leaf for Vietnamese, Market Grill for grilled salmon sandwiches, Pike Place Chowder for seafood soups/chowders, the Ballard Farmer's Market for local goods, and I'll add Olivar to the list of a fantastic restaurant where 2 people can eat and drink well for under $100.
        Oh, also we have some great cocktail bars, maybe LA does too but not every city does--but there are whole threads about that.

        1 Reply
        1. re: christy319

          LA is getting there, but does not now, have the same cocktail scene that Seattle does.

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