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Quintessential LA???

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Greeting fellow Chowhounders,

I have heard a lot of wonderful things about LA, but I have never had the chance to visit. Until now that is, well, March. I'll be in LA, for a week in March and I am looking for "must eats" recs. I'm open to both fancy and hole in the wall/ greasy spoons, so long as it's quintessential LA. I would be interested in both old school top chefs and new up and comers. I look forward to your recommendation!

Thank you in advance.

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  1. This first thread should be helpful to you and the second linked thread will take you to the recent 2009 Ultimate Restaurants as voted on by the LA hounds broken down into over and under $25 pp categories. .

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/667336

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/673605

    1. Thank you - that's a great start!

      1. this has nothing to do with foodie la - but is a list of quintessential la from north west to eastish:

        geoffrey's malibu
        moonshadows malibu
        duke's malibu
        gladstones malibu
        patrick's roadhouse santa monica
        father's office santa monica
        hot dog on a stick under / next to the pier santa monica
        veince bistro on venice boardwalk
        gjelina abbot kinney
        westside tavern in westside pavillion
        in & out westwood village
        beverly hills hotel - pool restaurant or polo lounge
        spago beverly hills
        nate & al's beverly hills
        grill on the alley bevery hills
        dan tana's west hollywood
        rainbow west hollywood
        chateau marmot - west hollywood
        canter's - near the grove
        loteria - the grove
        el compadre hollywood
        24 degrees hollywood
        musso & frank's hollywood
        cat & fiddle hollywood
        roscoe's hollywood
        thai town
        k town
        langer's - almost downtown
        barrangan's - almost downtown
        king taco - almost downtown
        nick & stefs downtown
        sushi gen downtown
        hama sushi downtown
        cole's downtown
        nickle diner downtown
        traxx downtown
        yang chow chinatown

        2 Replies
        1. re: nachosaurus

          What's 24 degrees? Or did you mean 25 degrees??

          1. re: Phurstluv

            ha ha - yeah. really, i meant the roosevelt hotel. but if you add chow. . .

        2. Here are my picks!

          Good upscale restaurants:
          Providence
          Melisse
          Spago

          Awful restaurants that have been around for ages:
          Phillipe's
          The Pantry
          Musso and Frank

          Authentic ethnic restaurants that appeal to 1% of the population:
          Jitlada
          China Islamic
          [Some place that serves xiaolongbao. Is Din Tai Fung too prosaic? Let me agonize about the best XLB for a few months and I'll fill this in later.]

          Niche restaurants unique to LA:
          Wurstkuche
          Pizzeria Mozza
          Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles

          6 Replies
          1. re: sillygoosedown

            Those are all good choices, but the #1 choice is "In & Out Burgers". LA is a hamburger town and In & Out is a very unique LA chain. The quality has been good for years and they also have the crazy hidden menu that would be fun for tourists.

              1. re: excel

                In-n-Out Burger's Secret (hidden) Menu ...

                These links may serve to enhance your InO experience. Have fun! (^_^)

                http://www.badmouth.net/in-n-outs-sec...
                http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/In-n-Out...

                For the record, my usual order:

                - 3 x 2, animal style, medium, whole grilled onion, extra toast, extra mustard,
                chopped chiles, no spread, no pickles
                - Fries, extra crispy
                - Root beer float or Lemon-up

                1. re: degustateur

                  my order
                  cheeseburger protein style w/grilled onions
                  Extra crispy fries, animal style
                  Large Diet Coke

            1. re: sillygoosedown

              I think you're off about 5% on your 1% selections. I also think you are in error about Musso. Just my opinion. Din Tai Fung is not too prosaic. It's just crowded. And it is definitely not a 1% spot.

              1. re: sillygoosedown

                But you don't go to Musso & Frank for the food, you go for the martinis! And, should you go for the food, you can eat very decently there, if you pick up wisely.

                And, if you really want to put in "awful restaurants that have been around for ages", I want to nominate Taix.

              2. Wow guys thanks for the list!

                How about some up and comers?

                2 Replies
                1. re: excel

                  A lot of neat, cool new places in downtown:

                  Church & State - excellent bistro, in the industrial part of LA / ELA
                  Rivera - cool Latin place, with a ceviche bar, in downtown at LA Live, by the Staples ctr
                  La Descarga - a rum bar with live jazz, not sure re: the food
                  Lazy Ox Canteen - in Little Tokyo, downtown, with interesting, eclectic pub food
                  The Tar Pit - another bar with a well known chef and interesting bar food

                  Have fun!!

                  1. re: Phurstluv

                    Great list!

                    La Descarga is truly happening. Only a few powerful rum cocktails down the hatch. Enjoyed a Trinidad (Fundadore - Habana) on the patio. Intense, heady vibe.