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Feb 23, 2010 06:54 PM

If you could pick three restaurants to be within walking distance of where you live...

What would they be? Of course, they have to be in the LA area. This is different from a best restaurant in LA thread. For example, I think Spago and Urasawa are great restaurants, but I don't really care if they're close to me or not--I don't eat at them all that often. The restaurants should be restaurants you'd eat at so frequently that they would have a significant impact on your life.

I've given this a great deal of thought. Actually, I've given it precisely 10 minutes of drunken thought. My three choices:

Zelo's Pizza. I would eat here at least once a week were it not in Arcadia. In my really humble opinion, this is the best pizza in the area, beating the much lauded Pizzeria Mozza and also Tomato Pie (which deserves a shout-out for not sucking like all its peers).
Udipi Palace. I would eat here at least weekly if it were not in Artesia. I guess I'm weird. I'd kill to have their idli with coconut chutney right across the street, not to mention the dosas and everything else.
Sam's Bagels. Average bagels are not worth eating at all. But I'll eat good bagels on a daily basis. I'd probably have a bagel from Sam's 3-4 times a week were it nearby.

There you have it: three idiosyncratic choices. I thought about Joans on Third but I'm not sure it qualifies because it's not really a restaurant.

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    1. re: miss chai latte

      Interesting. I've never been much of a noodle soup or a dumpling girl. What do you like at J&J?

      1. re: sillygoosedown

        J&J--love their XLB. Shio Ramen with special pork at Santouka and Dan Dan Mien at Dai Ho. Zelo's is on my list of places to try.

    2. Elite Restaurant
      Langer's Delicatessen
      Caioti Pizza Cafe

      Langer's Delicatessen
      704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

      Elite Restaurant
      700 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

      Caioti Pizza Cafe
      4346 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

      9 Replies
        1. re: NYCnowLA

          You move the restaurants to you, silly.

          1. re: NYCnowLA

            I think the idea is to pick three places you *wish* were walking distance from you and from each other, not necessarily places that *are* within walking distance.

            For example, the OP's first two suggestions are 28 miles from each other, and Sam's Bagels on Larchmont is 26 miles from Artesia.

          2. re: maxzook

            Never been to or even heard of Caioti but I will have to check that out sometime.

            1. re: sillygoosedown

              Caioti is a legendary place. The original owner, Ed Ladou, who passed away a little while ago, was grought from SF by Wolfgang Puck to make the now famous California pizzas at Spagos. Then he was consulted by the founders of the California Pizza Kitchen chain. I hope he got a nickel for every California pizza ever served.


              1. re: Ogawak

                "I hope he got a nickel for every California pizza ever served"

                Don't count on it ... ;)

                He was a wonderful, sweet man, and Caioti is a fine memorial to his tastes and influence.

                1. re: maxzook

                  I've never eaten at Caioti. Would do you folks recommend getting there when I visit?

                  1. re: mrshankly

                    My personal all-time fave is the lamb sausage pizza, although I've never been disappointed with any of their pizzas. Also, remember that Ed Ladou invented the BBQ chicken pizza.

            2. re: maxzook

              On further reflection, while I love Elite it's more of a special occasion place. I can more easily see myself walking to Din Tai Fung for a last-minute weekend meal.

              Din Tai Fung Restaurant
              1108 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

            3. Phillippe's
              Original Pantry

     sue me!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Muskrat

                OK...I have a confession. I think the pancakes at the Pantry are good.

                1. re: sillygoosedown

                  A worthy confession... the pancakes ARE good and the buckwheat pancakes are spectacular!

                  my three places... Langer's, Mantee Cafe, Golden State

                2. Piccola Trattoria- which IS across the street from me. Handmade pastas w/amazing sauces. Wish I could eat it daily w/o it sticking to my body! ...And, I don't even like pasta....

                  Sea Harbour - See it in my dreams! Esp. those egg white and coconut, buttery light as a feather puffs and,

                  Babita - Then I wouldn't have to bother with licking the plate 'cuz it would be across the street and not a 45 minute drive away

                  1. Langer's
                    BigMista BBQ
                    Chema's Tacos