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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.

          -----
          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.

        -----
        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.

            -----
            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.

                    2. Try Chinese food in the SGV: Elite, Seafood Harbour, 888, Luscious Dumpling, etc.

                      1. I would recommend a martini at Musso and Franks, and if you have time...some king crab legs up the coast at Neptune's Net.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                          Neptune's Net for sure. Go when there are amillion bikers and a car show in the parking lot. LA at its finest.

                        2. Also go to Jody Maroni's on Venice Beach. Sausage Snack but the people watching is the best ever.

                          1. Two words: Taco truck. I like the el matador truck at the end of the Western at ramp off the 101. Two more words: Carne Asada

                            1. Have lunch at Spago. It's reasonably priced at lunch, not difficult to get a reservation, and it's as LA as you can get. It's also still one of the best restaurants in the USA.

                                1. Thank you very much everybody, your recommendations and links to previous discussions were very helpful - now I have a lot of data to sort through :)

                                    1. re: yogachik

                                      This looks very good. Is there a bar you can dine at?

                                      1. re: aventinus

                                        No, but there's a communal table if you're into it.

                                    2. Hmm? “Feel of LA”. I like the sound of it … it evokes a tailored response. Here goes:

                                      BREAKFAST

                                      Original Pantry Cafe
                                      877 S. Figueroa St.
                                      Los Angeles, CA 90017
                                      (213) 972-9279
                                      (BLD 24/7)
                                      www.pantrycafe.com

                                      Same location for over 100 years. Now owned by ex LA Mayor Richard Riordan. The place never closes. Wonderful, over-filling breakfasts. Superior, old school service. $$

                                      Pacific Dining Car
                                      1310 W. 6th St.
                                      Los Angeles, CA 90017
                                      (213) 483-6000
                                      www.pacificdiningcar.com

                                      BLD 24/7/365. Exceptional Breakfasts. Truffled Eggs, Banana Pecan Pancakes. Great Bloody Marys. Historic LA food venue inside an authentic railway dining car. Same location, style and classic service for over 90 years. $$$

                                      LUNCH

                                      Langer’s Deli
                                      704 S. Alvarado St
                                      Los Angeles, CA 90057
                                      (213) 483-8050
                                      www.langersdeli.com

                                      A bone fide LA icon since 1947. One visit and you’ll understand why. THE best pastrami ever. Katz’s in NYC is a close second. Everyone raves about and suggests the #19 sandwich. I prefer to go with the special platter of soft, tender, hand-sliced pastrami; comes with chopped chicken liver, rye bread and all the trimmings to make your own. I tend to wolf down most of the meat and make smaller sandwiches with the rest to go. LAnger’s is LA! $$

                                      Sea Harbour
                                      3939 Rosemead Blvd.
                                      Rosemead, CA
                                      (626) 288-3939

                                      Seriously good Dim Sum (recommended daily 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM). Go early and be prepared to wait, especially on Sat./Sun. So worth it. $

                                      LUNCH/DINNER

                                      Church & State
                                      1850 Industrial St.
                                      Los Angeles, CA 90021
                                      (213) 405-1434

                                      Unequivocally, my favorite LA restaurant for either lunch or dinner. Located in the former loading dock of the old Nabisco Biscuit Co. Owner Yassmin Sarmadi has entrusted none other than Walter Manzke at the helm, along with Walter’s wife as pastry chef, to assure consummate culinary excellence. Everything on the menu is absolutely phenomenal. I’m particularly fond of the fresh Kumamoto oysters, the roasted bone marrow, the Santa Barbara prawns, the crispy pig ear and the bouillabaisse. Their puffed pastry-topped escargots are the best ever! ‘Nuff said. $$$

                                      The Water Grill
                                      544 S. Grand Ave.
                                      Los Angeles, CA 90071
                                      (213) 891-0900
                                      www.watergrill.com

                                      $95 Chef's Tasting Menu. One of LA’s finest seafood restaurants (along with Providence). An LA dining institution. $$$$

                                      www.pantrycafe.com

                                      Sushi Nozawa
                                      11288 Ventura Boulevard
                                      Studio City, CA 91604
                                      (818) 508-7017

                                      LA’s own, original “Sushi Nazi”. Itamae (Chef) Kazunori Nozawa commands a very traditional sushi bar ands serves up some of the freshest and finest sushi to be found anywhere. No reservations. Be prepared for a brief wait. Sit at the bar and request the “Omakase” (Itamae’s selection). Trust him, he will do you right. Whatever you do, please DON’T ask for a California Roll unless you want to be the day’s entertainment! One of the most delicious items that Nozawa-san will serve you will be his Blue Crab Hand Roll. Alone, worth the trip. Wow! $$

                                      Pizzeria Mozza
                                      641 N. Highland Ave.
                                      Los Angeles, CA
                                      (323) 297-0101
                                      www.mozza-la.com

                                      High-end, designer pizzas. Absolute greatness! Start with a wonderfully flavorful antipasti followed by chicken liver crostinis with guanciale. For the main, be sure to include the fennel sausage pizza with panna, red onions and scallions. The guanciale pizza is extraordinary albeit a bit salty. The Bianca with fontina, mozzarella, sottocenere and sage is awesome. Next time, I’m goin’ for the goat cheese, leeks roasted garlic and bacon pizza as well as the squash blossom, tomatoes and burrata. Super service and wine pairings. $$$

                                      Babita
                                      1823 S. San Gabriel Blvd.
                                      San Gabriel, CA 91776
                                      (626) 288-7265

                                      Superb, high-end Mexican cuisine. Chef Ramon and his wife take undeniable pride in delivering some of the most exquisite alta cocina Mexican cuisine in SoCal. Fabulous Braised Lamb Shank, Beef Cheeks and seafood specials. THE best handmade tortillas on the planet. Ramon has a very broad and deep knowledge of wine and food pairings that he is more than willing, time permitting, to discuss with you passionately and at great length. Attentive service. Like eating in someone’s homey dining room. $$$

                                      DRINKS

                                      The Edison
                                      108 W 2nd St
                                      Los Angeles, CA 90012
                                      (213) 613-0000
                                      www.edisondowntown.com

                                      The old power plant has been reincarnated as one of LA’s hippest, coolest venues for drinks, entertainment, seeing and being seen. Don’t miss it. Check web site for hours, show schedule and specials. Closed Sun. – Tues. $$$

                                      The Varnish
                                      118 E Sixth St
                                      Los Angeles, CA 90014
                                      (213) 622-9999
                                      www.thevarnishbar.com

                                      A straight up bar with panache. Total vibe. Serious drinks by competent bartenders. Located behind P.E. Cole’s, the “other original ” French Dip place. $$

                                      Bon Appetit!

                                      26 Replies
                                      1. re: degustateur

                                        Great Stuff degustateur, except I was just in NY and Katz's pastrami is king ! ! ! ; )

                                        1. re: degustateur

                                          I was gonna say, you don't send a NYer for pastrami or even pizza in LA. There's something wrong with that!!! LOL

                                          Pizzeria Mozza is good, even great, IMO, but it's NOT NY pizza, so don't expect that, it's LA pizza.....

                                          1. re: Phurstluv

                                            TOTALLY AGREE :) Coming from the East Coast we have this discussion a lot with our LA friends that Pizza, Deli's, Chinese, Italian, Bread, and Donuts are NOTHING like the taste we are used to back East. It just doesn't cut it for us no matter how long we are here. It's not worth going to a Pizza place or Chinese place because they will never compare in our eyes. Thai or Korean is a great choice, there are some great one's here in LA.

                                            1. re: Penne4YourThoughts

                                              "Coming from the East Coast we have this discussion a lot with our LA friends that Pizza, Deli's, Chinese, Italian, Bread, and Donuts are NOTHING like the taste we are used to back East."

                                              Having lived on the East Coast for over a decade, I think that's just insane. Donuts are INFINITELY better in LA. And the only Chinese places I miss are the ubiquitous sichuan joints in Manhattan. If you can't find good Chinese in the SGV, you just aren't trying.

                                            2. re: Phurstluv

                                              My NY friends actually love Mozza pizza and want to go every time they visit. That said, I agree it doesn't make much sense to send NYers to pizza places in LA.

                                            3. re: degustateur

                                              Yeah, sending a New Yorker out for pastrami and pizza in LA is kiiind of absurd. That would be like a New Yorker recommending Mexican food to you.

                                              Speaking of which, good call on Babita but that's hardly representative of the Mexican food that widely found in LA. Where's the taco trucks, the street vendors, the Moles La Tia, the Guelaguetza, the Ricky's Fish Tacos, the al pastor taco table on Vermont north of the 10. The former Breed St. vendors. The shopping cart hot dogs at the fashion district. This kind of food is much more representative of LA's Mexican food than Babita.

                                              And the Pantry... good lord, the place may be an LA landmark, but the food is atrocious. Mega huge piles of bland, mushy home fries and overcooked eggs. For old school breakfast in the same vein, Philippes is much better.

                                              Also, I'd avoid dim sum for the same reasons I'd avoid recommending patrami and pizza... NY has got the Cantonese thing down in spades. Much harder to find are the regional specialties of China (though Flushing is getting more & more of these, & they do have some particularly good sichuan in Queens these days).... I'd recommend china islamic, jtyh, noodle express 101, Mei Long Village (and the $15 foot massage next to it... tell them "Chung Ya-Dan" sent you), and the korean bbq/chinese hybrid cumin lamb kabobs at feng mao.

                                              And speaking of Korean..... holy cow, is that a huge gap in the list! NY's korean is way below what's on offer in LA. With such a massive Korean population, any "feel of LA" list has gotta include some korean food. Soot Bull Jeep, Parks BBQ, sokongdong soondubu, for starters, etc. And Assi supermarket is a great place to browse (and buy) with some food vendors in the back.

                                              Mr Taster

                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                You said everything I was thinking, down to the letter. Good Job, Mr. T!!

                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                  Don't send a New Yorker to Langers, when Langer's consistently beats NY Pastrami?(don't want to take my word for it? Read the recent book "Save The Deli". ) I'm a NY native. Langer's wins hands-down. Yes, do go to Langers.

                                                  1. re: JPomer

                                                    JPomer, I'm not making the argument that Langer's isn't better than Katz's. In fact, I'd posted here many years ago about my own Langers/Katz's 24 hour taste-off and found the Langer's overall sandwich to be better, but found the spicing of Katz's pastrami slightly more pleasing.

                                                    My argument is why send someone with easy access to Katz's to a place which makes a comparable (if not marginally better) product when you can send them to a Korean place and have a *substantially* better experience than anything you can find in New York.

                                                    Don't go to Langer's unless you're really insanely crazy or curious about pastrami. Spend your limited time and meals on quintessentially LA food that you simply can't get in NYC

                                                    Mr Taster

                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                      I think a lot of people, especially if they come from a large, very cosmopolitan city like NY, are interested in seeing how a place like LA (and Langer's) stacks up against their best. Just sort of the nature of trying to gauge the competition as it were.

                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                        Sure, I was curious too, which is why I did it. But I'm a pastrami freak. I wouldn't recommend it to someone looking for something quintessentially LA... in fact, the pastrami that is quintessentially LA is more of the Johnnie's/The Hat/random hamburger type pastrami. Langer's is like Babita... delicious but not truly representative of what is widely found across the southland.

                                                        Mr Taster

                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                          "Langer's is like Babita... delicious but not truly representative of what is widely found across the southland."

                                                          Which just proves to make it an even more intriguing, must try for visiting NY'ers. They want to see what all the fuss out here is about, and whether Langer's really does measures up - or is the Hollywood Hype machine at work once again.

                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                            With the caveat that I only eat poultry and fish as far as meat goes, I've found both Langer's and Babita lackluster. The hype for Langer's is particularly astounding. Most of the food I've eaten there is mediocre crap. It's not even close to good NYC deli quality. I have similar comments for Phillipe's, another old-time favorite which I've found literally inedible--worse than McDonalds quality. The Pantry I find slightly--*slightly*--above McDonalds quality.

                                                            1. re: aventinus

                                                              Granted I've never strayed from the pastrami (except for chilli cheese fries and potato salad), but the pastrami is the STAR of the menu at Langers, and if you don't eat it, then I'm sure that you're not going to understand the hype.

                                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                                            Maybe different people have different takes on "feel of LA." It could mean most representative. It could mean the best. It could mean something iconic--glitziest, beachiest, rockingist, sceniest, etc.

                                                            1. re: mc michael

                                                              All too true... the original poster might like to clarify what she means by "true feel of LA".

                                                              Mr Taster

                                                          3. re: Servorg

                                                            but not only that...i'd argue that Langers IS a part of the fabric of LA in a way. How long has it been around? 50 years is it? 60? You not only get a great lunch, you get a sense of LA history. To me, that is a part of the feel of LA

                                                        2. re: JPomer

                                                          I'm telling you I have been to both recently and Katz's wins hands down - BETTER PASTRAMI, CORNED BEEF, BRISKET and RUSSIAN DRESSING.

                                                          Katz's pastrami is so good I get two of them vacuum packed and take in on the plane with me. All I need is a proxy service for their Russian Dressing and I'm good to go.

                                                          1. re: A5 KOBE

                                                            Katz's no longer does vacuum sealing.

                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                              Where did you hear that? I was just there for Christmas and bought a couple of them. They vacuum sealed them right there by all the salamis.

                                                              I also purchased some online a 4 months ago and they shipped them vacuum sealed.

                                                              1. re: A5 KOBE

                                                                I heard it from the counterman when I was there visiting my family in September. I desperately wanted to bring some home and was quite upset to hear that I wasn't going to be able to.

                                                                Mr Taster

                                                        3. re: Mr Taster

                                                          NYC dim sum is not on par with the stuff at SGV.

                                                          In the western hemisphere, only Vancouver probably tops SGV in terms of dim sum quality and variety.

                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                            Hear hear... Maybe Toronto too...

                                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                                            In terms of dim sum and HK-style Cantonese food, LA is far superior to NY.

                                                            As for Korean food, LA blows NY away as well with a huge selection that cannot be found anywhere else in the US.

                                                        4. Speaking of pastrami, you have to go to THE HAT and get chili cheese fries with pastrami on top. THE HAT is like an LA institution.

                                                          CHILI CHEESE FRIES w/ PASTRAMI = $10 (feeds at least 2 people)

                                                          1. I am native Angeleno and am finding these suggestions below kinda odd, with the exception of Musso and Frank, Phillipes, Neptunes Net and The Pantry. Musso and Frank is as quintessential Hollywood as it gets. Phillipes awesome 5 cent coffee and hot mustard on au jus soaked buns with beef. My suggstions include SEEING LA in at it s best:

                                                            See the city from it's best vantage point, hands down is Yamashiro. It's a old fashioned Japanese Restaurant in the hills above Hollywood that overlooks the entire city. Food is debatable, cocktails are fun, but it's a must go at night. Get seated in a window. It looks like a set from a Japanese movie, central pavilion koi pond and Japanese architectural details.

                                                            Must go to The Hollywood Bowl. See anything that's playing. Bring a picnic of yummy food and wine and eat it there on the lawn before the concert.

                                                            The Sunset Strip - betweeen Cresent Heights and Doheny. Walk. Go to the Viper Room,. Better yet, go to the vintage Rainbow or the Whiskey and see quinessentail LA bands making their way to the top. Best food in this area, I think, is Sona on La Cienega. Very expensive, but in my book, the top restaurant in LA right now. Tell sommelier Mark Mendoza that Alyson sent you. He's a kick, fun, young and knows his stuff. Another cool place in that area is Katano. Beautiful, modern Japanese on Sunset across from the House of Blues. A "cool" place to be seen and see celebs is Boa. On Sunset at the edge of Beverly Hills at Doheny. Dress to impress. Hot women and men, it's quite the scene. Though it's past it's prime now, the SkyBar in the Mondrian on Sunset has an incredible view of the city. Perched from atop Sunset and around a pool, it's a must for drinks at night. The restaurant in the hotel is now Cuban, I think, very good, but the bar is better.

                                                            Downtown: yes we have one. Go to the Standard Hotel for drinks on the rooftop pool lounge. It's actually quite NY in LA, but really fun. Eat at Riviera. It's the most elegant and delicious Mexican food you've every put in your mouth. LA chef, John Sedlar's place, they have a tequila bar and a secret tequila room if you throw down a bit more. Gorgeous interiors.......a tamale bar. Oh, yes, a must, must. If you go there during the day, find any Mexican dive on the corner anywhere and just stop. You can't go wrong at Mexican dives anywhere in LA. Avoid the big chains like El Torito and, yes, even El Cholo (even though it's considered a legend here).

                                                            Beverly Hills - you should see it at least. As for food......I like Il Pastaio. The food is very good and they have a nice patio that wraps the sidewalk. Good for people watching and oh, get ready for some serious BH glitterati.

                                                            The Beaches: Must go to Malibu, Go for breakfast at Malibu Kitchen at Cross Creek. The owner is the former road manager for Led Zepp and Frank Sinatra. He's a grouch and the service is terrible, but food is amazing. Make sure you get there before 10 for breakfast, otherwise you are SOL. And they are Nazi's about it. If you get there for lunch, have the meatloaf sandwich with coleslaw and swiss. Lots of celeb sightings, especially early in the am. Howdy's Mexican in Cross Creek is incredible too. John's Garden, serves great sandwiches and salads on the sandbox at Cross Creek. Tra Di Noi, the italian restaurant on the sandbox is excellent, also the place for celeb power lunches. Have the gnocchi and pesto or the whitefish in buerre blanc. Nobu is great, but you'll have to throw down at least 250 for 2 and do the oma kase. Whatever you do, do not go there for yellowtail and salmon sushi, it's just stupid expensive for nothing interesting. You have to do the menu. The Rock Shrimp Tempura with shitake mushrooms and spicy creamy Yuzu sauce is incredible. Anything the chef presents will rock your world .... and pocketbook. Serious celeb sightings here. Seems that Britney Spears is there everytime I go. Up the street 10 miles or so, must go to Neptunes Net. Go in the daytime Go to the fresh seafood side (as opposed to the fried food side). Tons o bikers, it's the underbelly of LA-ites on motorcycles, but fun. Moonshadows on PCH has a great deck that heated with cool music at night. Owner, Andreas does his own Moonshadow music mixes. Lounges to lay around on; it's nice. If it's a sunny day (which it is usually), brunch at Geoffrey's is top notch. It's the best view on the Pacific in this area. Sit on the deck. I love the watermelon mojitos and the Paella is delicious. Call Malibu Village Wines to find out when wine dinners are held. They often do them at Geoffreys or The Sunset...if you are lucky enough to be here when one is held, you must go. You'll have the best time ever, but bring a good bottle with you, because this crowd really dig through their excellent cellars when these dinners are held.

                                                            I know I"m missing lots, but that's a very fair and good tour of this place. Enjoy!

                                                            Santa Monica - avoid The Lobster. Overpriced and not very good. Go to the Huntley Hotel penthouse on 2nd and Wilshire. Sexy, modern, incredible, incredible food, excellent wine and overlooks the whole SMonica bay.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: FoodKitCat

                                                              Wow! Great stuff FoodKitCat! Thanks...I may be checking a few of those out myself! :)

                                                              1. re: Penne4YourThoughts

                                                                I'm surprised no one else here mentioned Porto's Bakery.

                                                                King Taco is another LA staple. Yes it's rather fast food, but Unique to LA.

                                                                Highland Park, Echo Park has some really nice dive bars as well. Definitely check out The Edison in Downtown LA.

                                                                -----
                                                                Porto's Bakery
                                                                3614 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505