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"Feel of LA" for visiting New Yorkers

Hello, everyone

My friends and I are visiting LA for a couple of days and would like to experience some of great LA dining - breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks. Specifically, we are looking for restaurants that would give us a true "feel of LA" and that does not necessarily mean fancy & expensive. In fact, if you can recommend us some not so expensive places, but that are very authentic to LA experience, that would be great.

Thank you.

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  1. Likes/dislikes. Area of town you will be in. Car/No car. Price range.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mc michael

      We are pretty much omnivores - love the food, as long as it is good and love to experiment. We are staying in West Hollywood, but we have a car and we don't mind driving.
      $40 - 60 per person I think would be reasonable. Although, if there is a place that's an absolute MUST, then we can go as high as $80, but as I said before, cheap is good.

      1. re: TAHbKA

        There was an excellent thread recently involving dialogue with a fellow New Yorker that pretty much covers all the bases that would intrigue you. If you can't find it on search, somebody will come up with it. As for musts, The Bazaar seems to be the must of the moment.

        1. re: mc michael

          I think a couple of musts are Jitlada for Southern Thai food (coordinate building a menu for the ages with Jazz, one of the owners. She will steer you right.). The other is Mariscos Chente for Sinaloan / Nayarit seafood from Mexico. Just make sure you call to make sure of the hours for that day as it is a small, family run place.

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

          Mariscos Chente
          4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

      2. Kogi Taco truck is truly LA.

        Animal is also a great place, foie gras loco moco is delicious.

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        Animal
        435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

        Kogi
        Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

        4 Replies
        1. re: A5 KOBE

          I love Animal because it's taken the best of California cuisine (market driven, seasonal ingredients) and then added a ton of bacon to it. I ate there on Monday night and it was fabulous, as always. By way of example, we had the most amazing salad of lightly sauteed sprouting broccoli (which is all over the farmer's markets right now) topped with pancetta, shaved parmesan, and a perfectly poached and breaded egg. We also had a gorgeous carrot salad composed of ribbons of carrots, radishes, sunchokes and creamy pieces of avacado. Once we'd made ourselves feel less guilty by eating some veggies, we had pork belly sliders, duck confit, the quail fry and the grilled sardines. All ridiculously good.

            1. re: mollyomormon

              I was going to recommend Animal too! Make sure to save room for dessert ...can't go wrong with the Tres Leche, Donuts or the Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar. This place is a little hard to see, so look closely. Maybe they put signage up since my last visit? Also, be sure to make a reservation!

              Gladstone's at the beach, it's got a great atmosphere and it was a place we always went once we arrived to LA from the East coast.

              A drive down PCH toward Malibu, then around Mulholland. Great places to eat are Taverna Tony's, Nobu, Tra Di Noi, we LOVE a Thai place on PCH in Malibu that has a great outdoor patio, don't remember the name since we always have it delivered, but it's right next door to Johnnie's Pizza.

              The Reel Inn also in Malibu.

              In & Out Burger at least once.

              A walk down Rodeo and lots of great places to have a drink and good meal.

              The Original Farmers Market or the Grove

              Hollywood and Highland

              Lucky Strike for drinks and bowling, great for out of towners and a fun night all around.

              Universal City Walk

              IMHO.....Stay far away from Chinese food, us East Coasters have a whole different view of Chinese, as it's made very different and New Yorker's have the BEST!

              Same with Pizza....no Pizza tastes as good to us as a NY pizza.

              1. re: Penne4YourThoughts

                "Stay far away from Chinese food"

                Does this warning include restaurants like Elite and Dean Sin World in the San Gabriel Valley?

                "Same with Pizza"

                Does this warning include Pizzeria Mozza?

                If so, then this Boston-raised ex-Manhattanite emphatically disagrees.

          1. Philippe the Original French Dip Sandwich. An LA original and one of the oldest restaurants in town.

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            Philippe the Original
            1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

            4 Replies
            1. re: wienermobile

              Split a lamb dip sandwich (skip the other meats as they tend to be dry and flavorless) accented with the tabletop mustard. Don't be tempted to buy a jar to bring home.... I've been hugely disappointed each time. The cream pies are also very good, and for 9 cents their coffee is watery but hard to complain too much about.

              Then go over to Cole's PE Buffet and get a better lamb sandwich ;)

              Mr Taster

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster

                Philippe's mustard always has a place in our house. Taste's just the same, it's especially good when we're cooking big sausages like Polish or Knockwurst.

                1. re: heckonwheels

                  I've bought the take home bottles on two separate occasions over the last 13 years. There were several years between the two purchases.

                  Both times the jarred mustard was bland! It didn't possess *any* of the sinus clearing properties that the fresh mustard on the tables has.

                  I was completely and utterly disappointed both times.

                  So unless you're living in a parallel world from me, I can't see how your Philippe's mustard experience is exactly the opposite of mine.

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    The deal with the jarred stuff is it has to be fresh. If it's been on the shelf awhile before being sold it will lose much of it's punch. Same if you let it hand out at your house too long. It doesn't stay sinus clearing for long.

                    The stuff on the restaurant tables turns over so fast it's always fresh.

            2. definitely try Korean BBQ. never been to NYC but my friends tell me korean food in NYC is not up to par with LA. I suggest Parks BBQ on Vermont and Olympic or an All you can eat place like Tahoe BBQ or many others listed on this board.
              Langers for the best pastrami(better than Katzs!)
              Animal on Fairfax : a meat eaters dream
              breakfast: many trendy places along 3rd street (toast, quality, etc) or you can do The Pantry in downtown.

              1. "Feel of LA" for a NYer would probably be Inn of the Seventh Ray.

                6 Replies
                1. re: FranklinJefferson

                  respectfully disagree with this recommendation:
                  inn of the seventh ray, while one of the prettiest restaurants in the LA area,
                  imho serves a very poor version of 'berkeley-wannabe" food and
                  offers some of the worst service imaginable.

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    I was actually a waitress there back in my wannabe hippie days in the late 70s. I can't imagine the service could be as bad as mine was! Agree on the food.

                    1. re: whatsfordinner

                      the service has been so bad every time, that it would easily qualify as a MAD TV skit.

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        Feel like there's been a lot of negative piling on to this post. I refer back to the OP's request, '...we are looking for restaurants that would give us a true "feel of LA"'.
                        Outdoors in February/March. by a stream, Veggie/Vegan, with Topanga Hippie Service - I'm from Cal and disagree vehemently with the "berkely-wannabe" tag - nonPETA-friendly giftshop... Where else could you possibly find this sort of thing?!!

                    1. re: FranklinJefferson

                      Excellent recommendation Franklin!! That was one of our most memorable dinners when we would visit LA from the East Coast.