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Oct 5, 2009 07:43 AM

NY Hound with Questions for Trip To LA

My boyfriend and I are coming to LA late Tuesday night and driving to San Diego Thursday. We are staying downtown and will have a car with us.

We plan on hitting In & Out Tuesday night when we land. Wednesday we will be on the USC & UCLA campus during the day. Wednesday night we are having dinner near Bel Air with friends. Any suggestions on good but not too pricey lunch/dinner's for Wednesday? For lunch we will probably have time to sit down but won't want to spend more then $40 for lunch. We would even do an amazing cheap lunch as well. For dinner someone suggested a restaurant called Q or The Lobster? We want nice but not to expensive again. Max $50 a person. We love food so we are open cuisine. I would even eat at a food truck if it was worth it.

Thursday we will drive from LA to SD. Any suggestions on where to stop, possibly grab a bite? I was told Laguna is a good spot. Thanks for your help.

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  1. For the Wednesday dinner I would go to Animal on Fairfax and split 4 appetizers and get a carafe of wine to go with them. I would order:

    Foie gras, biscuit, maple sausage gravy $22

    Barebeque pork belly sandwiches, slaw $10

    Pig ear, chile, lime, fried egg $10

    Poutine, oxtail gravy, cheddar $15

    and with a carafe of wine for $22 you come out after tax and tip at $102.

    But that's just me.

    435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

    1. Hi fein,

      Welcome to L.A. :) Here are some suggestions:

      * Animal - Decadent dishes with Pork Belly, Foie Gras, and more. Fair prices that should fit in your budget (if you don't go crazy with alcohol :). Plus you can walk across the street (literally) and enjoy the amazing creations of Scoops (so many crazy flavors) and/or enjoy an excellent microbrew Beer at Golden State.

      * Izakaya Bincho - This humble little Izakaya run by a husband-and-wife team from Tokyo makes some of the best Japanese Small Plates dishes around town. And their prices are very fair to make it within your budget. Be sure to order their wonderful Agedashi Tofu, Buta no Kakuni (Slow Braised Pork Belly), Yu Rin Chi (Fried Chicken with Green Onions and Sesame Oil) and Zosui (Chicken Rice Stew) all made-from-scratch by Tomo-san. :)

      * Torihei - wonderful Kyoto-style Oden and Yakitori / Kushiyaki (Roasted Meat and Vegetable Skewers) all very fairly priced.

      435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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

      1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

      1 Reply
      1. re: exilekiss

        I will have to second Izakaya Bincho, it is one of my favorites, a bit hard to find but well worth it!!!

      2. Wednesday, go to Mariscos Chente on Centinela near Culver. The best Mexican seafood you'll have in the US, and absolutely not a thing like it in New York. It's a dive -- plain formica tables and folding chairs -- but the food is outstanding. Get the pescado zarandeado, which at last check was $18 a kilo, so figure that a 2 kg snook will run you $36 and will definitely feed you and your boyfriend. If you bring friends, get some of the shrimp dishes as well -- camarones borrachos, for example (shrimp dishes are about $12 each and generally have 10-12 very large shrimp).

        Drinks: either soda or beer. Get a cubeta (bucket) of beer.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          what is the bucket of beer? containers of beer in a bucket or actually beer served in a bucket? or neither. this reminds me of thailand and sounds exciting.

          1. re: dtud

            A bucket of ice with five bottles of beer (or so) stuck in it, business end up.

          2. re: Das Ubergeek

            I second Mariscos Chente, boy have I had great meals there!

          3. You might want to post your last question specifically on the California board where you'll get better replies. The suggestions you've received so far for LA are terrific.

            1 Reply
            1. re: barham turner

              Still on topic for the LA board in San Juan Capistrano (and about half way to San Diego) I recalled this very inexpensive and delicious sounding option courtesy of "lil mikey":

            2. when you get to SD, i highly recommend the linkery. they also usually have great specials/ special pairings on thursdays