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WORD ASSOCIATION: I say [restaurant name], you think [specific dish]?

Ok, so this is self-explanatory.

What dishes to you immediately associate with a given restaurant?

I'm not talking about what restaurant makes the "best" dish. For example, you might think that Brent's has the "best" pastrami, but most people I think would say "Langer's" if you said, "pastrami sandwich".

And let's exclude one-item specialty joints -- i.e. Pink's (hot dogs) or Father's Office (burgers). That's just too easy.

With that said, here's my preliminary list ... feel free to add, disagree, etc.

Langer's - Pastrami Sandwich
Din Tai Fung - XLB
101 Noodle House - Beef Roll
Lou - Pig Candy
AOC - Bacon wrapped figs
Babita - Shrimp Topolobampo
Tacos Baja Ensenada - Fish tacos
Wood Spoon - Pork Burger
El Cholo - Green corn tamales
Old Country Cafe - Taiwanese pork chop rice
Dong Nguyen - Hainan Chicken Rice
Yang Chow - Slippery Shrimp
Pete's Cafe - Blue Cheese Fries

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  1. fun topic!

    The Ivy - Grilled Vegetable Salad
    Crustacean - Garlic Noodles (with the caveat that i'm *not* a fan of them, but there was a recent thread about this dish)
    Hugo's - Oatmeal Frittata
    Cynthia's - Fried Chicken
    BLD - Blueberry-Ricotta Pancakes
    Jar - pot roast
    Il Grano - Heirloom Tomato Salad
    Nobu/Matsuhisa - Miso-Glazed Black Cod
    Houston's - a toss-up between the Veggie Burger & the Artichoke Dip
    Chin Chin - Chinese Chicken Salad
    Pizzeria Mozza -Fennel Sausage Pizza
    Katsu-Ya - Spicy Tuna w/Crispy Rice

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Ivy - yup
      Hugo's - i think of mung beans and of course my egg white omelettes...
      Cynthia's... COBBLER! :)
      Katsu-Ya - albacore with ponzu sauce... sob

      1. Savoy - Hainan Chicken with rice
        Yung Ho - Dou jiang and you tiao
        Apple Pan - Banana cream pie

        1. For me, AOC = arugula with apples and speck, since a photo of that dish accompanied the first review I ever read. And El Cholo = nachos, since they claim to have invented that dish.

          Lucques = short ribs
          Saddle Peak Lodge = elk
          Kang Kang Food Court = shengjianbao
          Izakaya Bincho = buta no kakuni
          Kate Mantilini = mac 'n' cheese
          Josie = buffalo burger (or tagine)
          Campanile = grilled cheese
          Canelé = pommes Anna (just a side dish, but still)
          Providence = some fancy cocktail-flavored gelée
          Urasawa = gold ;-)

          6 Replies
          1. re: mrhooks

            Huckleberry -- maple bacon biscuit
            Amandine -- croissant
            Nook -- shrimp and grits
            Echigo -- monkfish liver
            Zo -- blue crab handrolls
            Mariscos Chente -- snook or shrimp diablo
            Animal -- loco moco
            Surfa's -- tuna fish sandwich
            Bay Cities -- Godmother
            Hinano -- burger
            Golden State -- beer floats
            Wurstkuche -- fries
            Sapp -- boat noodles
            Jitlada -- green mussels
            Orris -- grilled romaine
            Susiecakes -- red velvet cake
            El Parian -- birria
            Tacos Por Favor -- chorizo and cheese tacos
            Primo's -- buttermilk bars
            Masan -- octopus
            Gilbert's -- fernando's burrito
            ondal2 -- spicy crab soup

            1. re: mollyomormon

              Awww, I forgot Tacos Por Favor!!! Only for me it = tacos al pastor w/ red salsa!

              Surfas = tuna fish sandwich??? I would say: Surfa's = the start of great cookin'
              Wurstkuche = rabbit/veal sausages & Chimay
              Great list, M O'M!!

              1. re: Phurstluv

                Thanks! I know the tuna fish sandwich one is weird, but it's my favorite tuna fish sandwich ever. I should specify that I meant from Cafe Surfas. I just looked at their online menu, though, and it looks like they're no longer making it with fiscalini cheddar. Damn!

                1. re: mollyomormon

                  WHAT??! How could they, that's the best cheese!! And you're right, now I get it and I also like the tuna, but had a different sammie last time I was there, and cannot recall what it was for the life of me!! Oh well, due to go back real soon!

                  1. re: mollyomormon

                    some more I thought of:

                    Venice Beach Wines -- Lambwich
                    Santa Monica Seafood -- clam chowder (the other food i've tried there is NOT good but this is really delicious)
                    Senor Fred -- scallop burrito
                    Church & State -- bone marrow
                    Comme Ca -- croque madame (at brunch)
                    Mama's Kitchen -- beef rolls
                    China Islamic -- hand cut noodles
                    Lu din Gee -- peking duck

                    1. re: mollyomormon

                      God, you're good!!!

                      Totally agree with the Church & State = bone marrow app (un freakin' believable!!)

                      Okay, you eat out way too much, obviously don't have two little kids to take care of, lucky girl!!!!

            2. phillipes = french dip

              1. Dino's = Chicken Plate

                1. Ranch House = New Orleans delight
                  Hugo's = Pasta Mama / Papa
                  Musso & Frank = flannel cakes, sauerbraten
                  Square One = eggs Benedict
                  The Kitchen = Belgian beef stew
                  Fred 62 = Mac Daddy & Cheese
                  Gumbo Pot = jambalaya
                  Salomi = lamb rogan josh
                  Jonathan's at Peirano's = paella
                  Downey's = steak with asparagus
                  Big Mista's = brisket, mac & cheese
                  Oinkster = Oinkster Pastrami

                  As soon as i save this I'll think of a bunch more ...

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: maxzook

                    Where's the ranch House and what is their NO delight??

                    1. re: Phurstluv

                      The Ranch House is a beautiful restaurant in the wilds of Ojai. The New Orleans Delight is their best dessert, coffee ice cream with caramel sauce and pecans over meringue.


                      Ranch House
                      500 W Lomita Ave, Ojai, CA 93023

                      1. re: maxzook

                        OMG. Thanks, glad it's too far away, I don't need that kind of new orleans food, tho, it sounds wonderful!!

                  2. Bay Cities Deli = Godmother Sub
                    Kate Mantilini = fresh guacamole (if you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out)
                    PF Changs = crispy green beans w/ spicy dipping sauce
                    Malo (Silverlake) = chips w/ salsa flight & cucumber margaritas
                    Crustacean = Roasted Cracked Crab
                    Cheesecake Factory = Boston House Salad
                    Ruth’s Chris & Roy’s (tie) = Crab Cakes (FYI Roy’s isn’t carrying them right now due to ‘the high cost of crab’ – if they served them, they’d ‘have to charge $40 for them’).

                    This is a realllly short list…

                    1. Bludso's - Texas sampler
                      Bob's Okazuya - Hawaiian style mac/potato salad
                      Guiliano's - Torpedo sandwich
                      El Tepeyac - Hollenbeck
                      TnT Aloha Cafe - Portuguese sausage patty
                      XIV - Caviar parfait

                      1. Mastro's - Bone in ________
                        Umami Bruger - _________ Burger
                        Pizzeria Mozza - _________ Pizza
                        Pho Filet - Pho _________
                        Nom Nom truck - Bahn Mi
                        Mandarin House - Ja-Jiang-Myun
                        Dai Ho - Sesame Noodle
                        Kogi Truck - Galbi Taco
                        Popeye's - Biscuits
                        Pink's - line

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Ciao Bob

                          > Pink's - line


                          Father's Office = 'tude

                            1. re: maxzook

                              Awesome post!! Love the Pink's & FO references the most!!!

                              Can't believe nobody listed:

                              Roscoe's = fried chicken & waffles w/gravy
                              El Tepeyac = monster burritos (insert your fave flavor) (never mind)
                              Chinois = crispy mongolian lamb (I think that's what it's called if not just the description)
                              Chavez Ravine = Dodger dogs
                              Gladstones = Grease

                          1. TOFU - Vinh Loi !!!
                            3 times in 2 weeks... Monday, Kevin was there. He and I "experimented for fun" . I gave him a suggestion taken from a dish I love at Sanamluang.. He said, "Give me 5 minutes"...I said, "ok". Then out came this insanely delish garlic, chili shrimp...genius. Not on the menu but, anything you want, he says, when he is there, he'll custom and make for you!!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Kitchen Queen

                              Kitchen Queen...I know we're off topic, but this is good to know! I have found everyone there to be nice.
                              Their tofu is really good!

                              1. re: liu

                                He seemed more than willing to please anyone who stepped in his place, but I would ask anyway. And, only him. not his wife or anyone else behind the counter. He also said that he soon will be the subject on a vegetarian T.V. special airing for Channel 9 and 5 -perhaps during the evening news??? He also said he has been on the Discovery Channel 57 times!!

                                1. re: Kitchen Queen

                                  Kitchen Queen -- He is exactly as you describe! His website is very personal as well, with lots of photos:


                            2. Square One = Brioche French Toast
                              Oinkster = Ube Shake
                              Pizzeria Mozza = Butterscotch Budino

                              What's with my sweet tooth today???

                              1. 101 Noodle Express - BEEF ROLL!
                                Jitlada - Green Curry w/Fish balls
                                Taco Zone - Suadero Tacos (although I prefer the cabeza)
                                The Kitchen - Pan Seared Chicken

                                1. Ragin Cajun - Gumbalaya
                                  The Gardens of Taxco - Chicken Mole (Not hot...SPIIIIICY!)
                                  The Original Pancake House - Bacon Pancakes
                                  Johnny's Pastrami - Pastrami (duh.)
                                  Havana Mania - Lechon or Oxtails