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Authentic Ethnic Eats 10 MIns or Less From Venice?

When I say authentic ethnic, I mean places that are not for da white man or general public. Places where the majority of the peeps eating there are from that ethnic group or from a Chowhound-type community.

Because I am finding Venice the WORST place for authentic ethnic food I've lived in in LA -- Echo Park, Los Feliz, even Redondo Beach had better options. There's not even a kabob place worth its salt. Mao's may be a lot of things, but authentic ethnic it's not.

The closest great ethnic places i've found are the Paki places in Lawndale...and that's it....

Help me please, I'm getting desperate!

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  1. Have you already tried Mariscos Chente? As you could probably discern from your thread a few months ago, cheap ethnic eats are not the strong point of living at the beach, unfortunately. There are a lot of white people in SaMo/Venice and the rents are high so the restaurant scene reflects that.

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

    1. first two thoughts:
      - Guelaguetza @Palms & Sepulveda
      - Cha Cha Chicken @Nielsen Way & Pico in SM

      i could swear there was a really good discussion about this topic last year - i'll see if i can dig it up.

      Cha Cha Chicken
      1906 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405

      3 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Palms Guelaguetza has been closed for quite a while.

        1. re: Servorg

          you know, now that you mention it i think i might have heard that at some point. such a bummer. thanks for the correction!

        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

          There's this:
          and this
          but it looks like OP has seen both threads already and I don't think there's much new that wasn't mentioned in those threads.

        3. Some options up towards Culver City...

          Jasmine Middle Eastern Food on Sepulveda

          Anapurna Southen Indian Food

          Tara's Himalayan Cuisine


          Tara's Himalayan
          10855 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

          9 Replies
          1. re: Dommy

            If that area is an option that are quite a few Brazilian places that would be good choices (didn't Street Gourmet LA do a post on those at some point?) and one of my favorite places, Gloria's Cafe with Mexican and Central American food.

            Gloria's Cafe
            10227 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

            1. re: Servorg

              Gloria's has one of best Cocidos around! :)

              And yes, it's more in the palms are, but Rio Brasil which is pretty darn authentic... Also Sawtelle is not terribly far from Venice...


              1. re: Dommy

                Is that the same one that's in Vegas where they bring about 18 different meats t o your table? Expensive but fantastic food .

                1. re: mucho gordo

                  No, I believe Dommy is referring to Rio Brasil Cafe on Overland, which features authentic Brazilian food (great feijoada), but is not a churrascaria (the "all you can eat Brazilian Steakhouse").

                  1. re: mdpilam

                    Yup! This place has more of the vibe of a cafe than buffet/meat palace...


            2. re: Dommy

              Dommy wins for first mention of Jasmine, which is actually a great "authentic ethnic eat" as per my original request. Amazing stuff. Haven't tried the other two. Zam Zam Market is fantastic as well for Biryani, Kababs, and Pullou

              1. re: echoparkdirt

                YAY!! So glad you liked it!! :DD Hope this gives you some home on ourside of town (Believe me, I was there with you.... I only moved to the Westside for Loooovvveeeee... so I was totally skeptical...)

                Anyway, since your original post, a great Middle Eastern Place opened up in Culver City... Mezza, great Kefta Kabobs and I ADORE Their Gyro... really meaty perfect thing...


                1. re: Dommy

                  Love Mezza! Gyro was excellent, and also tried my friend's fried eggplant which was also very good. Have been impressed every visit.

                  1. re: mdpilam

                    If you like cauliflower, give the fried cauliflower a whirl as well. And if you like eggplant with some smoke, try their baba ganouj - it's some of the best I've had. Their dessert menu is abbreviated, but the ashta is wonderful.

            3. not sure if you saw this thread from '08, maybe it will help:

              1. La Oaxaquena Taco truck on Lincoln & Rose (ish) is pretty good for the West Side.

                La Oaxaquena
                1234 Lomita Blvd, Harbor City, CA 90710

                1. I'm assuming you're considering Mexican cuisine to be de facto local cuisine, but if not, add Gallego's Mexican Deli (on Venice, west of Centinela), Taqueria Sanchez and Tacomiendo on your list. Very good Japanese can be had at the Mitsuwa Market food court on Centinela in Mar Vista. Sakura House on Washington (just east of Glencoe) does some pretty good yaki.

                  If you're willing to extend your travel time to 15 minutes, you will open up your ethnic eats options. Venice proper is just too danged expensive for a mom&pop to open an eatery.

                  The areas around Venice Blvd in the Culver City/Palms neighborhood have tons of ethnic eateries - many have been pointed out already. You want kabobs - two kabob places: Mezza (Lebanese) in Downtown Culver City, and Sofra (Turkish) on Venice Blvd in Palms. Indian food is pretty thick in this area as well. Anapurna (mentioned by Dommy!), Mayura, India Sweets & Spices, and of course, Samosa House. Lawrence of India recently reopened on Venice Blvd. Thai Boom ain't Jitlada - great Thai still avoids the Westside like the plague - but they'll do in a pinch.

                  Taqueria Sanchez
                  4541 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                  Thai Boom
                  10863 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                  4502 Inglewood Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

                  10406 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                  Samosa House
                  11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

                  Sakura House
                  13362 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                  Lawrence of India
                  10032 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    Thank you! I will report back on the Kabob places. I find it hard to believe that I have missed a fine Turkish place (I loved a couple places in the Bronx) but I will check it out.
                    I am a bit down on Mexican on the West side, but I will check out Gallego's. My favorite Mexican were the huarache places in HIghland Park...As for the Indian, my regional needs seem to be taken by Al Noor and Al Watan....but which one of these do you recommend?

                    Al Noor
                    15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

                    1. re: echoparkdirt

                      I vote Al-Watan! And get the beef nahari and salt lassi. mmm...

                      1. re: echoparkdirt

                        Sofra is labeled as, "Mediterranean," but they do some Turkish dishes - their availability varies a lot. Personally, I think Mezza does a better job on kabobs. Their kafta = donar, doner, donor. If you want something really good and filling, give Mezza's gyro a shot.

                        Gallego's isn't overly ethnic - they've been in the Westside for six decades. But they do a mean barbacoa, their tamales are always good, and they have some of the best tortilla chips that I've ever come across. Hearty, just the right thickness, and fried perfectly to where the crispness and the freshness comes through with hardly a trace of oil.

                        Al Noor has a great chicken tikka masala and lamb dishes as well. Al Watan also does a mean chicken tikka masala but the naan and tandoori items in general get the trophy. I haven't been to either in a while though, so your opinions of these places would be far more current.

                        I don't eat a lot of Indian cuisine, but Culver City/Palms and Indian cuisine has been Samosa House for me. I've been going to Samosa House since the 90s when they were just Bharat Bazaar Indian Market. They offer vegetarian and vegan Indian dishes which I can get into even though I'm an omnivore. Their samosas are wonderfully pungent with spices and their various stewed veggie dishes are always good as well. Mango lassi has become so popular there that they usually have them premade now - don't know if that's a good thing, but honestly - they're still as tasty as ever. As much as I like the sweets selection at India Sweets and Spices, it's not enough to regularly pull me in there as I prefer Samosa House's food.

                        Mayura is somewhat of a hybrid. They serve vegetarian dishes (prepared in a separate kitchen), South Indian cuisine in general, and they are also halal, which pushes some of their offerings into the Pakistani category. Our kids go to school with the owner's kids. He told me that he makes trips back to India about once every month to two months in order to source some ingredients there that he feels are better to what he finds here - what, I don't know, but he's pretty serious about the food. They do special friday offerings to attract Muslims, and also have a weekend biryani rice dish that I recall J. Gold really being excited about. In fact, I remember him just really liking this place in general.

                        Since you are willing to venture down to Lawndale for your Pakistani fix, I hope you're also venturing to Torrance/Gardena for your Japanese fix - superb stuff down that way. :)

                        Bharat Bazaar
                        11510 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                        Al Watan
                        13619 Inglewood Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250

                        Al Noor
                        15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

                        10406 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                        Samosa House
                        11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

                        1. re: echoparkdirt

                          Since we're not talkin about a 'last meal' here, I'll say that I like both Al-Watan and Al Noor. If I HAD to pick one it would be the former but only because I like the ambiance, the chow is good at both.

                          Al Noor
                          15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

                      2. Lidia's Pupuseria
                        2 Westminster Ave
                        Venice, CA 90291

                        Perfect, perfect pork, loroco, chile/cheese pupusas. I feel like I want to order every kind... The curtido is tangy and piquant. They have 2 sauce options, one that is very hot and one that is mild and sweet. All the players involved work well together.

                        Also, had their pork tamal and it was also very flavorful and moist.

                        I want Lidia's now... mmmm.

                        1. I'd have to say you just have not found the right places yet. Here's my list (some of which have been mentioned above). If you're looking for a particular cuisine let me know:

                          - Annapurna (southern indian, idly sambar, fish curry, etc.)
                          - Samosa House (steam table, cheap and pretty good)

                          - Monte Alban (Oaxacan)
                          - Mariscos Chente (Nayarit / Sinaloan)
                          - Gallegos Mexican Deli (tamales)

                          - Mori Sushi
                          - Musha (izakaya)
                          - Mitsuwa marketplace (for ramen, udon, katsu curry)

                          Brazilian food at Cafe Brazil
                          Kebabs at Sofra Kabab Express (turkish food: döner, börek)
                          Kebabs at Sham (best hummus, mouhumarra, lentil soup)

                          What I have not been able to find is good chinese food or thai.

                          Monte Alban
                          11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                          Gallegos Mexican Deli
                          12470 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                          Cafe Brazil
                          10831 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

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

                          Samosa House
                          11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

                          Mori Sushi
                          34320 Pacific Coast Hwy Ste B, Dana Point, CA 92629

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: joshekg

                            Oops, I was thinking Mayura for the idly and fish curry. Annapurna is all vegetarian and has good dosas.

                            10406 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                          2. The Mitsuwa Market food market is shockingly, shockingly great. Do not think mall food court. This is actually one of my favorite places to eat in the LA area.

                            Highlights: the best thick, dense pork ramen in town, at Santouko Ramen.

                            The unagidon (eel over rice) at the place in the corner.

                            1. Can't add much to what has been already written. Chego may not be "authentic" Korean, but Roy Choi's take on bibimbap is fantastic to me and may be worth a look. It's packed and parking is a problem, but I just drop the wife off who makes the orders and then we take them home to enjoy.

                              3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                              1. I'll answer this myself. There's no great ethnic food in Venice. On the other hand, Culver City can save us all.

                                1. This place has amazing brazilian food with a really cool and hip vibe. they have over 30 selections in there salad bar as well as 12 different types of meat in the rotation. They gauchos bring the meats to your table. its the best! you should def try this place out!

                                  Libra Churascaria
                                  3833 Main St, Culver City, CA 90232

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: melanieabrantes1

                                    have they changed?
                                    was there with a meetup group a couple of months ago: no gauchos, not particularly impressed with the food.
                                    have they revamped the place?