Clueless NY Hound Transplant Needs LA Help!
- emilia Jan 5, 2010 11:37 AM
I'm a die-hard New York hounder who's recently reluctantly moved here to LA. I'm so used to being able to walk out my door in the east village and get my regular favorites that now that I'm here in this land of driving everywhere, I'm utterly clueless!
So, suggestions for building new favorites for a new NYC transplant? I've searched the boards but especially since i"m not too familiar w/ the lay of the land, I'm pretty clueless as to how the board favorites apply to me.
I'm living in the Miracle Mile area (close to 3rd/La Brea) and am looking specifically for places within a 2 mile radius. I love all types of cuisine but tend to side on the healthier / veg / seafood friendly places. That said, I am not a fan of granola crunching macrobiotic stuff. Just fresh, authentic, good solid food. Love thai, japanese, ethiopian, mex, italian, korean, greek, etc. Nothing too expensive.
Please let me know your favorites for this area (and any must try's beyond). Good coffee shops, specific food trucks on Wilshire, everyday sushi bars, breakfast spots where i can grab an oatmeal or omelette, or delivery would be great.
To give you an idea of what I've tried here and liked: Angelini Osteria, Sapp Coffee Shop, Spicy BBQ, meals by genet, merkato, the mex place in farmer's market, Osteria Mozza, BCD tofu house, best fish tacos in ensenada, la brea bakery, joan's on 3rd, bottega louie, hama sushi.
Two miles in any direction is basically from Hollywood Blvd to the 10, from Robertson to Western. There's a hell of a lot of food in there.
If you like Sapp, go to Jitlada.
If you like BCD, go to Beverly Tofu House and Sokongdong.
If you like Ethiopian, go to Rahel. Ignore the "vegan" thing. It's still great.
Search the board for Koreatown (or K-town). There are dozens of places to go, and if Angelini is in your budget then you shouldn't have any trouble even at Park's BBQ.
Japanese is more troublesome. There is lots of sushi, some good, some bad, but if you want other things you might do best to head to Little Tokyo (accessible via the metro) or Sawtelle/Olympic (most definitely not accessible via the metro, the mayor's best efforts notwithstanding).
Give up on delivery. It happens, but not everywhere, and not always free, and rarely reliable. SeamlessWeb is really only built-out in New York.
Second the Rahel recommendation. It's hard for me to go anywhere else on that stretch at this point because it's so delicious and the people are so sweet.
You are right next to Koreatown, so you have all of that to explore, but for starters, one fun place near you is Ondal 2, a place that makes spicy crab soup. The serving is enormous, so it's better to go with a group and specify that you actually do want it hot if you like spicy.
If you like beer and burgers (although they have other options on the menu, you should definitely check out the Golden State on Fairfax.
I think Bloom Cafe is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner and I've heard good things about their sister restaurant, Chic Wine Bar.
Yabu is my call for everyday sushi in that locale. K-Zo isn't too far, Culver City, and a better value for similar quality.
Thanks, all! Will def'ly check these out and report. mollyomormon, i've heard about this legendary korean crab soup. can't wait to try it!
is there any place that's good for quick take out breakfasts? eg, egg & cheese sandwiches, oatmeal? and any particular food trucks on wilshire that is hould try?
As a transplanted New Yorker myself, it took me awhile to discover Nate 'n Al in Beverly Hills. While this is the sort of diner/deli/take out place found all over Manhattan, it is a rare find in LA & will make you feel at home. Even has fried egg sandwiches! natenal.com
Welcome to LA!
i tried yabu and sushi-zo (is this different than k-zo?). the place i went was omakase only and reeeally expensive. it was in palms (close to culver) and in a strip mall right by a starbucks?
both were phenomenal. yabu i really liked as an everyday sushi joint- really fresh stuff, fantastic eel. the omakase place was even better-- but the bill was a $300 for two of us. eep.
Sorry, emelia. You are not the first to do that. I really liked Sushi Zo for the first year or so that it was opened. Then it got pricier and I got a little bored with it. But it is truly wonderful when you want to splurge.
Glad you liked Yabu and thanks so much for reporting back!
Other splurge-worthy sushi destinations not very far from WeHo:
Kiyokawa on Robertson,
Kiriko on Sawtelle,
and, of course, the ultimo in splurgio,
Urasawa in Beverly Hills.
And, I'll throw in another (relative) bargain too: Ike Sushi on Hollywood.
6051 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034
11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064
Kiyokawa Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar
265 S Robertson Blvd Ste 10, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
here are my local favorites. i've lived and worked in this area for 10 years...
Jitlada for Thai, however that is out of the 2mile radius so try Joom for Thai, my local favorite. It's located on Beverly and Orange, just one block east of Fairfax.
Vito's for pizza- that's on La Cienega just south of Santa Monica Blvd. also, they have the most wonderful egglant parm there.
Singapore's Banana Leaf in the Farmers Market on third/fairfax. mmm, noodles, curry, etc etc etc.
Angeli cafe on Melrose (my fave!). the bread is outstanding! i'm addicted to the gnocci of the day.
Bob's Donuts in the Farmers Market third/fairfax.
Susina Bakery for scones/croissants/dessert/coffee - on Beverly just west of La Brea
Fish Grill - i love the salmon chowder soup and fried fish sandwich, and fish tacos! (kosher, so it's closed friday nights and saturdays). located on Beverly by poinsettia
Antonio's mexican on Melrose and Gardner. very fresh. very good and it's been there for ages and family run. love the interior.
Hirozen is my favorite neighborhood sushi joint. Beverly and Orlando.
Real food daily is always reliably good for a healthy meal. La Cienega and Oakwood.
Quality food on 3rd has good breakfast from what i remember, but i have not been there in many years. griddle cafe- on sunset and fairfax is delish for breakfast, but i haven't been there in ages b/c it's such a scene. somewhere closer and less of a scene perhaps is cafe latte on wilshire and crescent heights, next to wahoos fish tacos.
clyde, i tried Angelli Cafe last week with a friend who i used to live in Rome with years ago. We'd been on an eternal search for the basic, simple pastas we used to live on in the trattorias over there, especially a decent penne arrabbiatta. happy to say that Angelli's stood up pretty well to our test. yum! the service was spotty, but it didn't matter- with the awesome bread and the arrabbiatta (complete with enough spice, garlic, and parsley) we were both pretty happy. plus got a few bites of her boyfriend's butternut squash lasagna. not something i'd normally order, but it was buttery and delish. i'll definitely be back when i'm craving some standard, fresh simple italian. (though i wasn't the biggest fan of the caprese salad-- very non-traditional and the roasted tomatoes / olives threw me off.)
4 times into Angelli, and i've grown to love it even more every single time! the spaghetti alla checca (sp?) reminds me of the stuff i ate often in rome too, and i daydream about the gnocchi of the day. all throughout KCRW's summer membership drive i kept hoping that evan kleinman would announce some kind of angelli deal, but no such luck...
hi emilia. i feel your pain. i am a transplanted brooklynite out here. what i've found is you cannot search for the stuff you loved in new york, which includes good bread, homeade pasta (besides mozza), gelato, pizza (besides mozza), bagels and italian food for the most part. i am surpised that you mention bottega louie as a place you like.
los angeles does have, however incredible farmers markets, regional chinese food, thai, vietnamese and mexican. none of it is 2 miles from your house. i just had an incredible dinner at babita in san gabriel. its a trek but is worth is just for the incredible tortillas. blows all mexican food on the east coast away. incredible...
re: josh L
thank you all for these wonderful suggestions! jitlada seems to be the spot, eh? i will definitely also try out Rahel (i was stuck on merkato and Genet but i suppose i should branch out).
and clyde- i'm so excited to hear that fish grill is good. i've passed by it several times now and wondered if it was. how is the french cafe in American Rag?
i've been to griddle, but other than the enormous size of the pancakes, was not that impressed with the quality of them. i wanted fluffy, and these were like heavy winter blankets. they were 'good', but not fantastic.
josh, my good experience at bottega louie may have been skewed by the company i was with, who seemed to be a VIP with the staff over there, who waited on us hand and foot and gifted some delicious meals from the chef. that said, i did like the vibe there (reminded me a bit of tribeca or meatpacking distrcit), but my pasta was just pretty good ( i went back to Frank in the e. village over the holidays, which i'd long considered just a 'pretty good' fallback standard, and this time around it was just spectacular in comparison!), but the veggie sides we ordered were stellar.
i'm beginning to learn that the trek is just a part of the life here. Will drive for food.
Los Angeles really doesn't have "egg on a roll" to go in so many places like new york. Our version? The breakfast burrito! Office coffeeshops make them, food trucks have them, even fast food drive throughs.
As for bagels "I N Joy" is gone, you would have loved them. My fav is Brooklyn Bagel downtown (although they supply many delis and shops.) Get the water poppy, pumpernickel or rye and you will be happy.
This definately is a drive for food town, but that can be a part of the fun. Go to a restaurant in a new part of town and you get to wander a whole new neighborhood.
Oh and for breakfast - Square One in Los Feliz is amazing. Caffe Latte by LACMA went through some tough times but rumor has it is back to being good again. And if you are ever in the Glendale area, go to DISH for breakfast. Their pancakes are fluffy, flavorful and huge. They change their specialities with the season (cinnamon cream on your pumpkin pancakes anyone?) and, get great locally made sausages from Shrieners.
Enjoy your new town - it si different but it's also good!
re: josh L
Still curious to know which places josh L has actually tried to reach such sweeping conclusions regarding bread in LA. I just can't imagine someone being disappointed by the bread at, say, Amandine. Really, the only bread products I miss from NYC are Sullivan Street/Grandaisy. For pastries, Huckleberry is superior to most places I tried in NYC.
i have not tried Amandine but will try it soon and i am hopeful it is good. So far I have not been impressed with La Brea, Bay Cities, Le Pain Du Jour, Bread Bar. The only bread I have really liked is Huckleberry, which is more of an artisanal product.
As someone who grew up in Brooklyn eating bread from great old Italian bakeries, I have to tell you Bay Cities bread is like wonder bread, souless supermarket mass produced and low quality.
re: josh L
When you go to Amandine, try the following:
pan di mie: dense and crusty bread with a hint of sweetness.
regular croissant (not the mini): buttery flaky goodness that needs no condiments.
banana chocolate danish: my last one had too many almonds and not enough fresh banana, but this is still one of the best pastries I've ever tried.
soft baguette: others disagree, but I really like their version.
soft brioche: Dip this in coffee and it tastes like caramel brioche.
re: josh L
As an LA native and someone who lived in New York for awhile, I have to disagree. Try Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills for fresh pasta, or Madeo on Beverly. For bagels, try La Brea Bagel Co. on Beverly. It will remind of you of Ess-a-bagel back in New York. And when it comes to farmers' markets, thai, vietnamese, mexican, indian, middle eastern, ethiopian, etc....welcome to LA, you've just found the best/most authentic world cuisine in America.
8897 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Il Pastaio Restaurant
400 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
I lived in your area several years ago. Chulada Grill at San Vicente and Hauser was my go-to Mexican place. I mainly stuck to their tacos, and love their spicy pico de gallo, but they also have oaxacan dishes. They deliver, also, which is a nice plus. www.chuladagrill.com
You did not mention Indian, but in the strip mall at the triangle where San Vicente meets La Cienega is India's Grill (not to be confused with East India Grill, India's Oven, or India's Tandoori). The food is good and reasonably priced, and they do a great vegetable curry. http://www.indiasgrill.com/
2nd Sake House! It's the great underrated joint in the area. Though I wouldn't really call it a sushi joint per se ... they have some sushi but it isn't their specialty. Link attached.
A few more thoughts sticking to your 2-mile radius ... many good places have already been covered, so here are a few extras.
For quick breakfasts like you mentioned, check out Frank's. Inexpensive, simple food done right. They do a good simple fried egg sandwich, great for breakfast take-out. Great tacos too. Coffee shop style meets Mexican.
Also right down the street from it is Mani's. A bit overpriced, but I like their food. I mostly only get their salads or turkey chili. Full menu on their web site.
I had an awesome meal at Cube a few months ago. It's an upscale Italian cheese/fine-foods store that also has a sit-down menu. Only been there that once but I say check it out.
You asked about food trucks ... the best "permanent" taco truck in the area is El Chato on Olympic and La Brea at night. Search it on yelp. Of course you should monitor findlafoodtrucks.com for all the roaming nouveau ones that blow through.
Also for "fast food" my favorite in the area is Wahoo's Fish Tacos on Wilshire and Crescent Heights. It's a small-ish chain, excellent quality for the price.
615 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Mani's Bakery & Cafe
519 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Sake House Miro
809 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
363 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
If you're going through NY pizza slice withdrawal, Joe's in the West Village has opened up shops in Santa Monica and on Sunset just west of LaCienega. And nearby the latter is Vito's on LaCienega. Both excellent.
where in miracle mile that's a big area.
you already tknowthe ethiopian strip.
you don't seem interested in hopping a bus or the red bus on wilshire whch is scary fast (the 720)
so - nearby - Fung mao (feng mao) on Olympic and Norton for korean version of xinjiang kebabs. some chinese dishes as well. There is some seafood and a few veggie dishes.
Milk at poinsettia and beverly has decent lunches - salads, chicken and seafood stuff and not break the bank expensive
for an italian place that's pretty and quiet and off the chowhound map - not the greatest but wil d - Cafe Verona at 2nd and La brea. You can walk to it from miracle mile.
If you have a car - go toward downtown for brooklyn bagel. Frankly, H(H in new york is better BUT ikt's only better if you get it atthe outlet and tha'ts nowhere near the east village and getting there by public transport in ny would take longer than driving to brooklyn bagel on beverly.
when i am in new york, i don't try and replicate what i can get here that's fantastic. As a friend who worked in SF while living here once told me, if you move north and want to keep the kind of life you had in LA or come south and try to keep the life you had in SF, you will fail and be miserable. Learn what makes each place special, let go of trying to copy the other city, and you'll enjoy both places that much more.
NY as well. Hell, new orleans, or lexington kentucky or canton ohio for that matter.
also - i'f you're looking at nate n al's. check out brent's deli in northridge (once you get to driving), langer's for pastrami near macarthur park, and art's deli for the corned beef.
enjoy your stay in LA and I hope you get to go home soon. New York's great.
Okay, I came out from the east coast a few years back and here's a couple recs... for those recommending Jitlada for Thai (it's great, but mainly for the mussells & southern thai menu items on the back page of the menu), but I would also check out Thai Patio & Red Corner Asia. They are NOT to be ignored! (all are better than Sapp, which I live down the street from). Check out the newly re-opened Doughboys (near Joan's on Third) for sandwiches, salads, soups, deserts! Vito's is the best NY/NJ pizza in LA, hands down! Agree about Rahel in Little Ethiopia. Also, things nearby worth noting: Damiano's Mr. Pizza (i like it, but Vito's blows it out of the water, but it's closer) on fairfax, Benito's for burritos on beverly, Canter's Deli on fairfax, explore K-Town, Blue Jam Cafe for brunch on Melrose. Definitely don't be afraid to warm up to the great mexican, korean, and japanese foods out here. Also, if you want good chinese food (different regional styles than back east) head out to San Gabriel Valley. Best of luck!!!
re: mc michael
As a NY transplant myself, who's now been in LA for 7 years, you have to just accept that LA food simply does not compare to NY's. It's pretty impossible to find a particular restaurant or cuisine that outshines the NY version of it. Well, maybe In 'n Out. That said, LA has improved greatly since I first came here, so you are lucky to have the options that are now avail, particularly in terms of worthwhile Italian, which used to be nonexistent with the exception of Angeli Caffe and Angelini Osteria. The places you mentioned you like are all amongst my favorites. And a lot of good places have already been covered by the other posters. But my personal faves in your area are A.O.C., Loteria Grill (great for breakfast, too, if you've only had for lunch or dinner), Frank's, Joom, Hatfield's (my fave restaurant in LA; it reopens 2/1), Pampas Grill, Village Pizzeria for NY style pizza, Umami Burger (much tastier than Golden State, although Golden State carries ice cream from Scoops, which you definitely must try), Susina Bakery for dessert, Jar, Milk, Taste on Melrose, Chic Wine Bar, Anarkali and India Sweets & Spices (the one at Pico & Fairfax) for Indian, Hoagies 'n Wings, Izakaya by Katsuya, XIV for a special, fun occasion. Forget Chinese in LA proper -- you have to trek to San Gabriel/Monterey Park/Rosemead. For dim sum: Elite and Sea Harbour. For Chinese desserts: any of the Phoenix Restaurant/Bakeries. Best Japanese: Sushi Zo (I have not had the privilege of trying Urasawa). Apple Pan is an old school institution for burgers and their cream pies (their apple is overrated). For Afghani, Azeen's Afghani in Pasadena. Overall I haven't been impressed with the brunch places here, although I do like Doughboy's. For Thai outside of Thai town, check out Sri Siam in North Hollywood and Ayara when you're near LAX. Be sure to explore all the great ethnic restaurants in Culver City, which is LA's equivalent to Hell's Kitchen -- Cafe Brasil, Annapurna, Samosa house to name a few. And for incredible doughnuts that are worth the trek (esp. when you go after 10pm when they're still hot...after dinner and a foot massage in SGV to spread out the driving): Donut Man in Glendora. Love the Tiger Tail! Have fun exploring LA's food scene!
"...you have to just accept that LA food simply does not compare to NY's. It's pretty impossible to find a particular restaurant or cuisine that outshines the NY version of it."
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH - That NY Mexican food quality must of picked up A LOT recently...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
"As a NY transplant myself, who's now been in LA for 7 years, you have to just accept that LA food simply does not compare to NY's. It's pretty impossible to find a particular restaurant or cuisine that outshines the NY version of it."
From one transplanted NYer to another, that's just nonsense.
NYer born and bred - LAite for the past decade and a half. And honestly I'm so tired of the comparisons.
Time to give up comparing. NY is not LA. LA is not NY. There are things here that are unsurpassed in NY and things in NY you won't find here. Would you move to Europe and moan "They don't have the bagels I like!". You're in a new place. Embrace it. Different, not better.
Sure, you can't jump into the nearest corner Greek deli in the morning and get your egg on roll and a cup of regular. But in NYC you can't stop at dozens of wonderful stands/trucks/drive thrus and get a perfect breakfast burritto. Different, not better.
NY Chinese isn't what it was... unless you head to Flushing. Well... hear you head to Monterey Park.
What you will find here that my mother a die hard Queens to Long Island to "The City" girl says you can't find in abundance in NYC is great great salads. All kinds of salads at all kinds of places.
It is a driving town. That should come as no surprise to anyone who moves here. No you can't just walk down the street and find a dozen places. Such is life.
My emigration took me from 10019 to 90019... Mid Wilshire. Not far from where you are. My neighborhood faves?
There are many posts that will expound on the high end trendy... so I'll talk about the everyday eats.
For cheap fast... the breakfast and bean/cheese burittos at Lucy's on the corner of La Brea and Pico.
Lulu on Beverly / Toast on 3rd... owned by the same people. Great breakfasts. Great salads. Long lines on weekend mornings.
Mishima on Third. The other side of Japanese food. I lived in Japan for a year and this is the sort of place I'd stop for lunch all over Tokyo.
The Nickel Diner downtown. A drive and in a NYer warming divey neighborhood next to an SRO hotel. It will remind you of home.
El Pollo Brasa Western and 8th. Wood fired chicken you won't find in LA.
There are more but the fun is also stumbling into things. Embrace the car. It is your ticket to even more adventurous dining.
Welcome to LA!
... "Time to give up comparing. NY is not LA. LA is not NY. There are things here that are unsurpassed in NY and things in NY you won't find here. Would you move to Europe and moan "They don't have the bagels I like!". You're in a new place. Embrace it. Different, not better."...
re: josh L
if that's the case, then i'm glad it happened to be closed when i went for breakfast on CH recommendation monday (for Pres day i suppose it was closed). guess i'll skip it next time around.
i ended up at Bottega Louie, where i had some rockin french toast and a fantastic farmers market brunch (although the eggs were overpoached w/ fully cooked yolks).
I'm thinking you could have worded that better; "LA's food isn't like New York's" would have been better, I think. If you actually meant that statement about there's little LA does better than New York, you're either delusional or on drugs.
Some specifics: even one of the grandes dames of New York dining, Ruth Reichl admits the Thai here beats New York. You've skipped Jitlada, Krua, Sunshine, Swan, Khun Daeng, Sapp, Renu Nakorn, etc., etc., etc.
You've skipped Koreatown, which makes the east 30s look like a joke.
And even though the Mexican in LA makes me weep from frustration sometimes (WHY can we not have more nice Mexican places that aren't just jumped-up El Torito?), the Mexican situation in New York is, with the exception of a few great Poblano restaurants, execrable.
And with only a few exceptions, you have to trek for the great Chinese in New York too; great ethnic restaurants and Midtown rents don't exactly go hand-in-hand. New York foodies get to know the 7 train; Los Angeles foodies get to know the 10 freeway.
It's no secret that New York has better Italian and high-end. If you didn't know that coming here, then you were hiding under a rock or something. Eastern European food is not something we do well here; it requires unassimilated Eastern Europeans, and those are in short supply (which is actually at least part of the Italian restaurant problem too).
Also, it's January. Look at the greenmarkets here, full of the most luscious citrus, guavas, avocadoes, and spring vegetables that won't be available in New York until April May. While there's nothing (nothing!!) to beat a Jersey tomato in August, the growing season is shorter in the New York area.
re: Das Ubergeek
Two more: Have you been down to Torrance and Gardena yet? While high-end sushi is available in both towns and I'm not going to get into yet another argument about which is better (they're both excellent), the breadth of Japanese food available here is amazing. SF and Vancouver are better, of course, but we're not talking about those places.
And of course, there's Glendale and North Hollywood and its zillions of Armenians, and Anaheim and its zillions of Lebanese. Both of these are available in New York, particularly in Queens, but my feeling is they're better here; the average quality is higher here.
<<As a NY transplant myself, who's now been in LA for 7 years, you have to just accept that LA food simply does not compare to NY's. It's pretty impossible to find a particular restaurant or cuisine that outshines the NY version of it>>
i'm a transplanted new yorker who's moved back and forth between the two cities over the last couple of decades.
you're statement is absolutely ridiculous.
re: Ciao Bob
whoah! I don't log on for 2 weeks and i come back to find a treasure trove of responses. thanks, guys! i can't WAIT to try all of these. they sound amazing and delish.
my last few weeks in LA has introduced me to: Sushi-Gen, where i had some really great fresh fish and one of the yummiest spicy yellowtail handrolls in recent memory;
and Rahel! i tried it and it was fantastic. i'm not used to so many veg options at an ethiopian restaurant (i'm used to the usual 5 or 6 standard dishes), so I naturally overate and left completely happy and stuffed.
re: ciao bob about what i had at spicy BBQ: I went with a Thai friend of mine, so she did all the ordering & i'm not sure of what they're called. It was really yummy. The dishes that stuck in mind are a very northern specialty-- a spicy ground beef chili paste with lettuce leaf wraps; khao soy, which is a rice noodle in a coconut based curry with little pickles and add ins, and my favorite, and a really amazing spicy jackfruit salad appetizer.
one last thing-- a friend and i were wandering around for places to eat around 10:30 pm and found that most everything was closed. favorite late night spots in the area?
Some of the main late night options (a few already mentioned in this thread):
Du Pars (24 hr)
El Chato (taco stand) (1am?)
Lucy's (permanent drive-through stand, 24 hrs)
BCD Tofu House (24 hrs)
Original Pantry (24 hrs, great for old-school late-night experience if you are near downtown)
I also live in Miracle MIle. Bossanova on Sunset just West of La Brea is a great late night or delivery option.
For lunch or brunch check out Cafe Verona at 2nd and La Brea next to the EZ Lube.
There's a new coffee shop that also has yummy sandwiches and baked goods at 1st and Larchmont called Larchmont Bungalow.
Other options if you walk up La Brea between 3rd and Beverly are: Inaka (japanese microbiotic), Sante La Brea (healthy mostly veg), and Amalfi (romantic italian).
finally tried Jitlada yesterday. After about an hour-long wait, my hungry friends and I ordered the Coco Mango salad, the steamed green mussels, the fried basil & soft shell crab, the spicy-as-hell-beef-dry-curry dish (jonathan gold & the waitress's rec), & a tofu pad si-iew.
The mussels & Coco Mango were phenomenal. Both the perfect balance of spice and tart and tang, and the broth for the mussels was a table favorite.
Where we started to suffer was the basil soft shell crab. It was good, but so incredibly fried (and i don't often too much fried food) that my companions didn't touch much. Then came the curry beef, which we'd asked for a mild "2" (of 5) hotness rating knowing that Southern Thai is known for its heat. The 2 was like a 6. And I'm not a spice wimp. I love my chili and spice on all kinds of food. I enjoyed it, but it was the type of heat that I've become a wimp about as i've grown older-- the type that radiates a slow burn throughout your mouth, and no matter how much water, rice, cucumber or thai ice tea you drink, manages to stop all enjoyment or taste of the dish. The curry, or what i could gather of its taste between my sips of water, was good, and the beef was tender-- but my companions had only 2 pieces and ate no more.
Pad si-ew was standard and good.
Today, all of our stomachs have been roiling. I ran into friends at the restaurant and they told me they've been having the same (it was also their first time.) I don't think it was bad food, but i do think it was because we were unaccustomed to such levels of spiciness, in combination w/ the extreme friedness.
In all, I'm still glad i went, and I'd gladly go back, but i'd probably not order the same things, and would try some of the other, less spicy dishes. Thanks for the rec!
M de Chaya on Melrose may be macrobiotic but you should try it!
525 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Looking at the original post again -
check out sushi shibucho on beverly blvd toward downtown.
walk around larchmont -maybe bottega marino - or other places - you might like it.
for russian - try traktir at santa moncia and crescent heights.
watking distance for you - not the greatest but about ok - is cafe verona la brea and 2nd st.
For good italian - as good as anything i've had in new york - la botte, santa monica, 7th and santa moncia blvd. pricey. michelin one star. casunziei are phenomenal. whole branzino very good.
i've sadly rarely been that impressed with the regular food in new york. perhaps i've had as bad luck finding places as antoher poster above has had finding good places here.
Wow, look at all the repsonses! I'll make mine quick. I'm up at La Brea and Sunset and enjoy Magnoila, The Mercantile, The Bowery, and recently The Big Fix on Sunset which is changing its name this week to Vintage Enoteca - they just got their wine and beer license and had to change the name - food is great and the owners are front and center behind the counter, recognize regulars and make you feel very welcome. It's a regular weekend destination for us.