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NYer visiting LA - suggestions please

I'm a New Yorker visiting LA next week from wed - sunday. I'd really like to experience the all organic, local foodie culture I'm always hearing all about while I'm there. Recommendations for neighborhoods? restaurants? and websites/blogs about LA happenings and restaurants will be most appreciated. thank you in advance!

also, am looking for a food/wine related day trip outside the city? suggestions?

thank you. thank you. thank you.

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    1. Gjelina http://www.gjelina.com/

      1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA

      1 Reply
      1. re: Servorg

        second servorg's gjelina recommendation

      2. Veggie Grill, 2 newer locations in LA area:
        - 8000 Sunset - Los Angeles
        8000 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
        - Plaza El Segundo
        720 Allied Way, El Segundo, CA 90245

        I loved my trip to NYC last year, but I did miss all the Mexican and ethnic Asian that NYC doesn't have as much of.

        1. Getting around the LA area can involve a lot of driving and traffic, so you might mention where you're staying so people can give you some better direction. There are also a number of threads on Chowhound that other New Yorkers have started looking for LA-specific foods.

          One of many food blogs in LA: http://eatingla.blogspot.com/

          Check out the Santa Monica farmers market on Wednesday or Hollywood market on Sunday.

          Local ingredients for a really good breakfast: Square One in Hollywood.

          1 Reply
          1. For your food and wine day trip go out to Santa Ynez, north of Santa Barbara (maybe 2-3 hours from West LA?). Post on the California board for specific restaurant suggestions near Los Olivos, Buellton and Solvang. There's also a smaller wine area in Temecula, about 2 hours from downtown LA, with spas and Indian casinos too.

            Try foodgps.com for a blog, but there are zillions.

            Me, I'm all about the incredible, cheap ethnic food, rather than high-end organic produce, but you absolutely cannot go wrong with the Santa Monica farmers' market (Weds or Sat at 3rd and Arizona from 8 AM to noon, Weds is bigger). I believe Josie does a Wednesday night meal based on what's current at the SMFM. Hollywood is another huge market, this time on Sunday mornings a block northeast of Hollywood and Vine.

            Skip Real Food Daily. My experiences there have taught me that they apparently like to avoid spice and flavour as well. If you want to experience an LA diet-based restaurant go to M Cafe de Chaya, it's 10x the restaurant RFD is, but is not vegan (it is a macrobiotic restaurant).

            5 Replies
            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              A quick note folks, please take any further discussion of food and wine available in Santa Barbara County (including Santa Ynez) to the California board.


                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  thank you! i am also interested in the ethnic cuisine. where are your favorite spots for this?

                  1. re: lindapugphoto

                    Oh, my God, I don't even know where to start. There is SO much great ethnic food, and it's all over LA.

                    Definitely go to Mariscos Chente in Mar Vista, on Centinela Ave. There is no Mexican seafood like it in New York, because they go down to Mazatlan on a bus (seriously) with coolers to source the fish and shrimp right at the harbour. Unbelievable -- and CHEAP for what it is. I believe pescado zarandeado, the best thing on the menu, is $18 per kilo, prepared and served with tortillas. (You buy the whole fish. Don't forget to eat the meat out of the cheeks!) Also excellent are any number of the shrimp dishes, though I love love LOVE the camarones borrachos. Also, it's spiny lobster season, so if you're lucky they may have some langostinos.

                    Koreatown is the largest Korean ethnic enclave in the US and it is an amazing place to eat. If you like Korean barbecue, the place to go is Park's BBQ.

                    I believe Monte Alban has reopened in its home on Santa Monica Blvd. in West LA, if you want Oaxacan food. (If you've never had it, it is unbelievably complex.)

                    You'll be right up the street from "Tehrangeles" -- Javan is a good place to eat for Persian food.

                    There's a stunning array of great Thai food in Hollywood. My favourite is Jitlada for their southern menu. (While New York has Sripraphai, LA has at least half a dozen places the equal and that's without thinking too hard about it.)

                    If you will have a car and want to drive out to the San Gabriel Valley, the 10 freeway is our answer to the 7 train.

                2. You need to place yourself and tell us where you are. This is a big, diverse area. We could spend a lot of time coming up with recs of no use to you otherwise. Presumably, you want recs that you can use. Therefore, advise where you will be; if you will have a car; what your price points are; what you hope to experience, etc. Then you will get help you can use. For example, there's lots of good wine and food right in the city. No need to travel far.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: mc michael

                    sorry, i forget its a bit harder to get around LA than NY. i'm at the W hotel. http://www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels.... the reason I really was interested in going outside the city for a bit is because i am always in a big city... it would be nice to do something a bit more rural while we're there too.

                    1. re: lindapugphoto

                      you don't even need to go too far outside the city. Drive a bit up PCH to Malibu Seafood, just north of Pepperdine. It's a fish shack kind of place, but you can eat outside at a picnic table with a great view of the Pacific if it's a nice day.
                      Defniitely also hit up the Wed. Santa Monica farmer's market, or Sunday either Hollywood or Santa Monica farmer's markets.

                      1. re: JPomer

                        Be warned, Malibu Seafood is closed on Mondays, and has no liquor license. And parking is tight.

                      2. re: lindapugphoto

                        The Saddle Peak Lodge in the Santa Monica Mountains has wonderful food in a rural setting and is only 30 minutes out of town. The elk is incredible,

                        1. re: lindapugphoto

                          For a sort of rural feel in the city, you can check the aforementioned Saddlepeak Lodge or Pace. http://www.peaceinthecanyon.com/main.... For real rural, check the California Board for recs for Ojai and San Luis Obispo. Nice places.

                      3. Hi lindapugphoto,

                        Unless you're training for the Tour De France, bicycling around L.A. wouldn't really be an option unfortunately. :( For another organic restaurant that's partially locavore, you might consider Shojin, a Japanese macrobiotic, vegan restaurant. Enjoy~.

                        333 S Alameda St Ste 310, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: exilekiss

                          i LOVE shojin.
                          would recommend going for dinner as their lunch menu is more limited.
                          go AFTER rush hour traffic has died down a little.
                          parking is free in the structure. (can't remember if validation is required).
                          walkway from the parking structure to the restaurant is, i believe, on the fourth floor of the parking structure.

                        2. for ethnic seafood,
                          a mom and pop operation
                          MARISCOS CHENTE serves seafood in the style of sinaloa and nayarit.
                          they really only serve seafood.
                          it is spectacular.
                          it is reasonably priced
                          there are tons of chowhound threads about this place.
                          call before you go, because as a mom and pop establishment, if there is a family emergency, they will just close the restaurant.
                          be aware, that some of the dishes are served with raw shrimp. in others (like the coctels and camarones plates), the shrimp is cooked.
                          also order the pescado zarandeado, a butterflied barbecued snook which is served by the kilo.

                          310) 390-9241

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: westsidegal

                            Mariscos Chente is incredible. Some of the best seafood in LA.

                          2. for japanese izakaya,
                            i would go to MUSHA which is located in santa monica, very near the ocean.
                            they are only open for dinner.
                            be sure to have a reservation.
                            this, too, is a very reasonably priced dinner option--no white tablecloths here.

                            1. a general comment for you:
                              stay aware of the rush hours.
                              the traffic in LA can be absolutely gruesome at those hours, and a pleasant dinner can be transformed into something resembling the Bataan death march.

                              1. Don't over look Nine Thirty, the restaurant at the W where you are staying at.

                                Also, there's lots of good Japanese to be had in the Sawtelle area, right around the bend from Westwood where you're staying at.

                                And if you want Chinese, head out to the San Gabriel Valley. Here are some links from previous posts to get you started.

                                If you have additional questions, come back and post followups.

                                Enjoy your trip and stay.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Nine Thirty is surprisingly good. Agree with ipse (again).

                                2. If you find yourself coming out to the westside, to check out Santa Monica's farmer's markets, check out FIG in the Fairmount (Ocean & WIlshire) and Rustic Canyon for seasonal fresh & organic food.

                                  For ethnic, no one beats Jitlada for spectacular Thai food. In Hollywood. Which you may want to avoid entirely, since it's a dump. And the Mexican food can't be beat. But there are so many good spots, in just about every area of the city, including the taco trucks that roam around, it's hard to nail it down to just one. Also, we have great Korean food in K-town, which is just west of downtown, on Olympic Blvd. We really like Park's.

                                  And second the 'Geek's rec for Sta Ynez or Sta Barbara area for wine tours. Not as impressed with Temecula. They need a few more years, wines are too young.

                                  Rustic Canyon Wine Bar
                                  1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                                  5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                                  FIG Restaurant Santa Monica
                                  101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA

                                  1. akasha in culver city probably is the closest thing to what you're looking for.

                                    it does the local organic/local foodie thing. it's a nice restaurant. a tad overpriced and the food is not good enough, for my tastes. it's not enough to be organic and local. but that's just me.

                                    it's on jonathan gold's must try lists.


                                    if this is the style of food you want, this is the golden child right now. been written up everywhere, including conde nast for their hot tables list 2009.

                                    1. A restaurant I have not been to but heard good things about from listening to Good Food on KCRW is Palate Food & Wine in Glendale. They do the farmer's market thing.

                                      In fact, you should try looking at the Good Food website: http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/gf. They normally talk to restaurants owners/chefs who are shopping at the santa monica farmer's market. they list those restaurants in their blog.

                                      You might also want to try Umami Burger. Campanile also fits your description, but I've always thought it was just okay.

                                      Honestly, I'm an eastsider, a downtowner, and while I've been to a few of the places they are not my favorite. la's gems are found in the "ethnic" places but it doesn't seem like you're into that.

                                      I would encourage you to spend a bit of time downtown. For whiskey: 7 Grand, across the street from Bottega Louie - you might wanna eat there. They've got something like more than 100 kinds of whiskey.

                                      Varnish is also a place you might want to try for freshly made cocktails/drinks. no mixes, etc.

                                      Italian: Drago
                                      "Haute" Latin/Americana: Riverarestaurant (riverarestaurant.com) or provecho
                                      Sushi: Hama Sushi or Restaurant Komasa in Little Tokyo

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: clearly

                                        i would be very pleased with any neighborhood and ethnic food suggestions you have. i'm not SOLELY interested in organic and local, i just have heard such raves about the scene there. the ethnic food is something i haven't heard as much about. please, enlighten me. thank you!

                                        to give you more or an idea of which neighborhood i would personally find appealing... i am very interested to learn more about LAs art scene.

                                        1. re: lindapugphoto

                                          Really must try Gjelina. It hits the local, farmer's-market-driven vibe while also being more than that. Just read that David Myers thinks the chef there (Travis something) is cooking the most interesting, soulful food on the LA scene right now. I sent some out-of-towners there Sunday night, they called it a revelation. This would be my "non-ethnic" pick.

                                          1. re: la tache burger

                                            Along with having one of the prettiest patio settings in LA (and, being outdoors, makes the noise factor must less problematic).

                                      2. If you want to get out of the city head south to Redondo Beach and Palos Verdes. Driving through Palos Verdes is beautiful, with nice coastal views.You could go to Trump Golf course and have lunch there or at Terranea. Make a reservation at Izakaya Bincho for a real treat at the Redondo Pier. Dinner only, small Mom and Pop shop near to Quality seafood on the lower level of the pier.

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

                                        Catalina Kitchen at Terranea Resort
                                        100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

                                        Trump National Golf Club
                                        One Ocean Trails Drive, Palos Verdes, CA 90275