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Yeshiva Break In L A

Looking for info for lodging & kid friendly (not just pizza) restarurants L A for January Yeshiva break- Hopfully will be staying in the Jewish Pico area

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  1. Ca not get more friendly than Jeff Kosher Gourmet Sausage on Pico- Kid friendly and the food is excellent!

    1. I second Jeff's. Nagila meat and dairy places are also popular.

      1. Nagila's a great idea. The grocery stores in the Pico area also carry so much Kosher stuff, you don't even need to eat out if you don't want to!

        1. Jeff's is a solid choice, but be aware that virtually all of their varied sausages may strike you as little more than differently spiced/flavored hot dogs. I don't mean that disparagingly and, after all, all hot dogs by definition are sausages. I mention it only because a few of the people I've taken there were expecting something more along the treif, greasy lines of what Jimmy Dean sells or the crumbly meat they'd seen on non-kosher pizzas. Still, all of the food at Jeff's is excellent, and don't be afraid to order something other than sausages there. Their hamburgers and pastrami, for example, are top-notch.

          In a similar but broader vein, I also recommend Pico Deli, which many locals hail as perhaps the best deli in all of Los Angeles (kosher or otherwise). Further down the scale is the decent but outrageously overpriced glatt-kosher Subway franchise on Pico; a far meatier meal at Pico Deli will cost you less than a comparable sandwich at this fast-food joint.

          I haven't been there in a while, but I've always enjoyed The Milky Way, a dairy restaurant with a slight Tex-Mex bent on Pico owned by Steven Spielberg's mother, who is usually there as hostess. I recommend it with a caveat: I've never had a bad meal there, the staff has always been incredibly accommodating, every one of the dozen or so people with whom I've ever dined there has loved it, but there's a vocal contingent on this board who openly despise the place with a suspiciously virulent degree of animosity.

          I also strongly encourage sampling some of the food from L.A.'s famed Persian-Jewish community. My favorites are all of the kebabs and basmati rice dishes at an inexpensive hole-in-the-wall kosher Persian butcher shop on Pico called Sinai F & Y. Be forewarned, though, that its hechsher apparently is not glatt.

          Nagila's meat and dairy (standard pizza and falafel) restaurants are indeed popular, but I've always found them mediocre at best. The same goes for Shanghai Garden, the kosher Chinese/Japanese restaurant on the same block.

          1. Jeff's is really kid friendly- guys behind the counter are really great with telling you what's spicy and what's not. We loved the chili fries.

            Nagila has great food. The falafel is excellent as is the stuffed pizza. Great place to go if you can't decide what to eat- they have a meat restaurant and a dairy/pizza restaurant connected by an outdoor atrium. You can bring your food and sit together in the atrium.

            Milk n Honey has really good dairy food. We've only been for dinner.. pasta, salad, fish etc. Portions are huge and can be shared. Not so expensive. Definitely better than Milky Way

            Pico Deli was good, we ate there before going to the airport to get home. Not NY, but good anyway. They didn't know what a half sour pickle was and they don't do 1/2 sandwiches. They had a kids menu with spaghetti and meatballs (looked awesome) and fried chicken.

            Delice Bakery is a good breakfast spot. Awesome pastries and coffee.. they also have eggs and sandwiches.

            To keep in mind.. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is all over LA and the food is all prepacked and kosher. Good to know if you're on the go and don't want to worry about bringing food or going back to Pico for a quick lunch.

            2 Replies
            1. re: cheesecake17

              Re: Nagila, there is an atrium with meat and dairy sections, so if some want dairy and others want meat, there is no way to sit together short of hopping the fence, somthing they wouldn't like or tolerate, I'm sure. I'm sure you didn't mean to imply otherwise.

              1. re: ganeden

                That's what I meant- thanks for clarifying.

            2. Szchechuan (sp?) Garden is a kosher Chinese restaurant with a sushi bar. Chick 'n Chow is a small but decent fried chicken place. There is a restaurant right next door to it that has a buffet Shabbos take out.

              17 Replies
              1. re: koshermasterchef

                I believe you are talking about Shanghai Garden on Pico, which I mentioned somewhat negatively above. (Actually, its full name is Shanghai Diamond Garden, but no one I know calls it that.)

                Chick 'n Chow is decent, as you said, but it's thoroughly unremarkable and has such a bare-bones storefront dining area that, given the more interesting alternatives, I'd be wary of directing a vacationing tourist there.

                1. re: Arthur

                  I think the fried chicken at Chick n' Chow is really pretty good. There is no decent Chinese kosher food that I've had in Los Angeles from places which are not now defunct, and even then was iffy, so obviously I'm down on Shanghai Diamond Garden. I do like Jeff's a lot, and differ with you considerably on the quality and sensory qualities of the sausages. While they do make their fair share of emulsified sausages, they also make other hybrid and medium ground sausages, and Los Angeles definitely likes links in sandwiches far more than patties (#1 sausage consumption in the USA, #2 Hot Dog consumption). Finally, nobody has yet seemed to mention Fish Grill, but I think the value and quality are there.

                  1. re: ganeden

                    I think Jeff's is fantastic, ganeden, and I made it clear in my post higher up on this page that I was not in any way knocking it. I was only trying to give a clear picture of what some novices unfamiliar with sausages might expect there. It's my experience that many kosher people often cringe at the very word "sausages," with its ubiquitous pork connotations, and don't know much about them beyond what they may have seen in TV commercials for specials at Denny's or Pizza Hut. The fare at Jeff's IMO does not resemble those.

                    I get and appreciate what you're saying about different degrees of emulsification and grinding. But at least from my experience, none of those highly finessed details are enough to stop a lot of first-timers from walking into Jeff's and mistakenly seeing little more than a glorified hot dog stand.

                  2. re: Arthur

                    Yes, it's been over a year since I was there and I couldn't remember it off the top of my head. Actually, my recommendations were based more on the "kid friendly" comment than the idea that the food in the area is "gourmet." Milk and Honey for dairy or Pat's might be more "upscale," though I admit there is nothing gourmet in Los Angeles for the kosher palate. After 24 years there, I resigned myself to the idea of tasty ethnic, rather than "gourmet."

                  3. re: koshermasterchef

                    We got takeout from the place next door to Chick N Chow. I remember getting schnitzel, Israeli salad, carrot salad, knishes, and pickles. The food was good (not the best but solidly prepared) and they gave us more than enough paper plates and silverware.

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      I think Glatt Hut is better for Israeli-type food than it is for hamburgers, which my kids abhored. But there are plenty of places like that all over Pico, and so it won't be missed.

                      1. re: ganeden

                        I recommended Glatt Hut only as a source for take-out Shabbos food.

                        1. re: koshermasterchef

                          Thank you all for the recomendations - Kid friendly is the focal point
                          Dining with my wife seems to be out of the question -
                          I'll report back at the end of January -
                          Thanks again

                          1. re: caterman

                            "Kid friendly is the focal point"

                            IMO all of the restaurants listed on this page so far are kid-friendly. Truth be told, I haven't been to a single kosher establishment still in existence in LA that is not accommodating to families. Given the enormous Jewish population, it's actually something of a local cultural shondah that there is almost no demand for finer, more exclusive kosher dining options here in culinarily trendy, star-powered LA. Attempts at more posh or business-oriented kosher restaurants in this city have generally flopped in a big way (e.g., last year's disastrously short-lived importation of NY's Prime Grill).

                            1. re: Arthur

                              I agree with you in that most of the restaurants are kid friendly. Even Pat's was kid friendly. We were there on a Sunday evening, and one family came with two toddlers. The kids were absolutely freaking out- the waitress brought over a plate of carrot sticks to keep the kids busy. When that didn't work, she suggested that one of the parents take the kids out for a short walk, and she would have the chef wait on cooking the entrees.

                        2. re: ganeden

                          Honestly, I didn't know they served hamburgers. Someone recommended we go there for Shabbat takeout.. and we went. The place was totally empty and the young guy behind the counter didn't seem too interested in helping us. But, the food was good, and they gave us lots of plates and utensils...

                          1. re: cheesecake17

                            I looked at their Shabbos takeout this past summer, with flies buzzing around open disposable "steam tables" over sterno, and I must say, I wasn't inspired about the sanitation situation, nor did the food really look that great. The nice thing about hamburgers is that being made to order, they're not subject to the onslaught of critters. The bad thing in this case was that they were not up to snuff.

                            1. re: ganeden

                              Very true about the hamburgers. We were there this summer- right when they opened. The trays were first coming out of the oven, and they fried chicken to order.

                              1. re: cheesecake17

                                I'm back-
                                btw- will be staying at the Carlyle Inn on Robertson off Pico
                                walking distance to Jeff's -Pats- M&H Pats etc etc & shuls
                                (cant wait to get there)

                                Now need additional info:
                                Will be driving to San Fransico -- looked online "kosher San Fran" - doesnt look that great - a few "kosher " & 100% veggie places -
                                help - again - kid friendly

                                1. re: caterman

                                  Sabra in china town I would not call it non-kid friendly the decor leaves something to be desired but the food is decent. In Mountain View is one of my favorties and IMHO one of the best kosher restaurants in the US - The Kitchen Table (http://www.thekitchentablerestaurant....) - might not have the cuisine suitable for the kids but it is very good. Izzy's Bagels in Palo Alto makes a decent bagel

                                  1. re: weinstein5

                                    I agree about Sabra- decent food with no atmosphere.

                                    If you are driving from LA to SF, maybe bring some packages of turkey or cheese with you. Easy sandwiches for lunch...

                                  2. re: caterman

                                    Not sure about SF but on the way there is Mt. View and Palo Alto, which are about an hour south. Mt. View has The Kitchen Table which is very good nice restaurant. Palo Alto has Izzy's which is a bagel/pizza place. If you're interested, Palo Alto also has a supermarket called Molly Stones which carries a lot of kosher products and meats.

                      2. I went to Mashu Mashu in North Hollywood, which is the valley area. I was visiting Universal Studios that day and it was 10 minutes away. I have to say, it was better than the chinese food I go to in NY, and my wife loved the salads they have.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: foodcritic18

                          Chowhounders - again thanks for your input
                          Back from the west coast - Didn't get to really dine out in L A / Arrived in the most terrible rain storm ( it was the worst weather the coast has seen in 10 years ) & ran to the first pizza place I saw (Shalom Pizza) - just a pizza store - nothing special -but the fries were made from fresh potatoes . Dinner at Pico Deli- got there right before they closed - pea soup & juicy burger with grilled pastrami were just perfect - kids meals were great - service was ok , they had a hard time setting up for a large group- 11ppl .
                          Went Shabbos shopping at Glatt Mart - as nice as any 5T kosher supermarket & a great wine section with fantastic pricing - every kosher packaged item that is in NY is there also- fresh breads , pita-laffa-& challa - plenty of snack items for the road
                          Motzi Shabbos - The hot dog kiosk In "The Grove" was a real hit with the kids & me also (The Pacific Movie Theater allows the kosher food to be brought into the theater) -
                          Regular hot dogs-veal sausages - chili dogs - fries - just hit the spot-
                          On the road to S F - stopped in Agora Hills another schwarma place with Chabad R S-
                          Herbavore in Berkley was the best Vegan I have ever been too - An extensive menu - Kids had pasta - but i had red chili veggies with basmati rice & grilled tofu chicken - fab- My wife ha a veggie burger with salad & fries -
                          Friends had Moussaka -Ravioli with pesto -& Burritos
                          Sabra in S F China town was what you all had said- but it was the only meat place
                          in S F - Went there 2 times - First was with a large group - the owner was having a
                          melt down -They couln't handle a busy night - Bean soup & the Chummus combo was good- Falaffel balls fresh & green inside - the deep fried whole Talapia was perfect but they ran out of "rice"(in Chinatown?) as the side dish , only fries - Friends had chicken kabobs - a little burnt -service was very poor - 1 waiter - he couldn't keep up - I went to refill the water pitchers myself
                          2nd time only a few ppl in the place -the waiter remembered - he was very nice
                          Looking ahead to visit again one day & really try the L A Places

                          1. re: caterman

                            We were at the Pico Deli in the summer.. good food and the waitress was really sweet. However, when we asked for 'half sour pickles' the waitress took the regular sour pickle and cut it in half. Apparently they don't have half sour pickles in LA!

                            Loved Herbivore- we went to the one in SF a few years ago!