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New Yorker in LA looking for the best Indian, Chinese, and Pizza! Where do ex-NYers eat??

Hey all! I'm an ex New Yorker that moved out to LA about a year ago. Still have a lot of exploring to do, but am curious if there are any other ex-NYers here in LA who have found it tough to find the same quality food for the same prices as New York City when it comes to Indian, Chinese, and Pizza. So far can't find an Indian restaurant that isn't twice the price and half the quality of any Indian place in the East Village, have resorted to PF Chang's when I want Chinese, and Joe's Pizza (same owner as the one on Bleecker Street - still not as good) when I need a slice.

Love LA but miss the NY food! Any tips from Ex-NYers living in LA?

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  1. Ex, shmex. Step one: get a car. Step two: get insurance. Step three: start driving. Indian: Artesia. Chinese: San Gabriel Valley. Pizza: Vito's, Mozza, Spago. Step four: to really be an ex-Nyer, stop kvetching.

    -----
    Spago
    176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    22 Replies
    1. re: mc michael

      well said. and to add, focus on what LA HAS that NYC doesn't.

      1. re: Emme

        Hey, don't pile on the guy/gal, give 'em a break! New York is an awesome city with awesome food, and it takes a while for east coasters to acclimate to the sprawl of LA, which is filled up more with mediocre to poor imitations of good cuisine, than most cities. At least OP had the good sense to ask US for advice, so take that as a compliment!

        Comehomenow, I have lived here for 15 years, and I still cannot find the great Italian food I grew up with outside the Big Apple. There really is no comparison, and tho there are many good authentic Italian restos, there are very few that will compare to the southern Italian-American cooking we crave. I've had to get used to that fact. Vito's, Joe's, Mozza, are all good pies, but not NYC pies, even tho Joe's is from Bleecker St, it is not the same.

        And instead of being snarky, mc michael should have been nice enough to link you to some of his favorite Indian places in Artesia, which is about 40 minutes south of LA, when traffic is good. Same with the SGV Chinese.

        And Emme does have a good point tho - we rock at regional Mexican, Central & South American, Thai and Korean cuisines, so go out and explore a bit to find some new faves. Good luck!

        1. re: Phurstluv

          So you can take the hound out of New York but you can't take the New York out ot the hound. O well, kvetch away.
          Unfortunately, I don't get to Artesia, but I'm told Rajdhani and Tirupathi Bhimas (both on Pioneer Blvd) are good.
          Locally, All India Cafe in Pasadena is purportedly Stephen Hawking's favorite Indian hang. For take out, I like Bombay Grill in WeHo.
          I'm told that for vegetarian, both India Sweets and Spices and Bawarchi in Culver City are above average.
          But I guess my overall fave is Ambala Dhaba on Westwood Blvd (there's also an Artesia branch).
          As for Chinese, that's just too big a topic and a search will produce a wealth of info.

          -----
          All India Cafe
          39 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

          Tirupathi Bhimas
          18792 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

          Rajdhani
          18525 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

          Ambala Dhaba
          17631 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

          Bombay Grill
          7306 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

          1. re: mc michael

            That's right, friend. Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker. Same goes for New Englanders.

            All India Cafe is really good, haven't been to the one on the westside, but used to get the lamb frankies at the Pasadena joint when we lived there. My DH spent a year at Oxford, ate a lot of Indian food and claimed AIC was rather good.

            That's much better, mc, knew you could come up with more than just snark! ;))

            -----
            All India Cafe
            39 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

              1. re: mc michael

                I think it was the French. We stole it, though. ;p

              2. re: mc michael

                I am sad to report that Tirupathi Bhimas has gone on a major downhill slide. Rajdhani is still very good, though, and Jay Bharat is as good as anything in Edison, New Jersey.

                -----
                Tirupathi Bhimas
                18792 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                Jay Bharat
                18701 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                Rajdhani
                18525 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                1. re: mc michael

                  India Sweets and Spices in Culver City is NOT good. Nor is the service or cleanliness of the joint. Samosa House is much better.

                  -----
                  Samosa House
                  11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

                    1. re: 1newyorkguy

                      The one on Sherman Way and Topanga Canyon is much better, but it's way up in the Valley.

                    2. re: mc michael

                      Thank MC - seen a lot about Ambala and Bombay Grill on other boards. Will definitely add those to the list.

                      True, New Yorkers do indeed like to kvetch, but believe me when I say that I am thankful for my move to the West Coast each and every day. Just a little homesick and adjusting.

                      -----
                      Bombay Grill
                      7306 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

                      1. re: comehomenow

                        Maybe it's time to test your LA cred by having an OkiDog???

                        1. re: mc michael

                          We don't want our new poster to die, mc michael.

                    3. re: Phurstluv

                      Will do! Can already vouch for the Mexican. Stumbled into a hole in the wall in SFV (Carnitas Michoacans in Reseda) and ordered a $1.07 taco. Came with chips, salsa, beans. Best taco I've ever had.

                      -----
                      Carnitas Michoacans
                      6764 Tampa Ave, Los Angeles, CA 91335

                      1. re: Phurstluv

                        Well, I've found a great Italian place in Santa Monica called Fritto Misto - handmade pasta, cheap (VERY CHEAP) prices, really great. So, I'm good on Italian (sans pizza)! You should try it.

                        LA is just a very different city from New York in every aspect. In NY, all of the best places are in the city proper (Manhattan/Brooklyn/Queens), where here, if it's in "LA County", which is HUGE, people say it's part of 'LA.' The sprawl, as you said. It's hard to adjust to driving an hour to Artesia when I'm craving Indian as opposed to jumping on the F for 10 minutes.

                        But as Emme pointed out, I'm definitely aware of all of the great things LA has that NYC doesn't. I left for a reason ;p

                        -----
                        Fritto Misto
                        601 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                        1. re: comehomenow

                          It's so true!! I was amazed at the sprawl when I first visited at age 13!!

                          And I sooooo know what you mean when you crave something, but don't want to deal with traffic to get there. I live on the westside, and we have a dearth of mediocre to poor restaurants, not like SGV with Chinese, Artesia w/Indian, No Hollywood w/Thai & East LA with great Mexican joints. It gets tiresome, but then sometimes you have to just take the bull by the horns and go. Or put off the craving until you can't stand it anymore, which is what I do. And I have to usually wait until kids are in school, and even then, I have a time crunch!!

                          PS- good to know you liked Fritto Misto, I haven't been, but there's decent Italian in SaMo. BTW, try Bay Cities Deli in SaMo when you get a chance, closed Mondays, but it's the best substitute for that Italian bread we crave!!

                      2. re: Emme

                        agreed...I spent a decade in NYC and have also lived in the Midwest. In time you will no longer miss NYC food as intensely. When I first moved to NYC from Chicago I really missed deep dish pizza that Chgo is known for but I now find the notion of eating deep dish pizza abhorrent. As much as I enjoyed the Hunan style chinese restaurants in NYC I actually enjoy the chinese restaurants in LA just as much. Don't look for what you liked in NYC and you will not be disappointed but focus on what is delightful here including the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables all year.

                      3. re: mc michael

                        Ditto. Ex-Ny'er here who prefers the food in L.A.

                        Joe's for pizza. Forget about the Chinese in NYC b/c SGV is a million times better than anything in NYC. What I will say is that Americanized Chinese food is better than the same stuff in West LA.
                        I don't like Indian food at all but Artesia has places that compare to Jackson Heights and Lex/28th.

                        French food is better in NYC, as is the higher end. I haven't found a steakhouse I like, but haven't been to Cut. I don't like corporate account places.

                        1. re: epop

                          Thank epop - any fav Chinese places in SGV?

                          1. re: comehomenow

                            Savoy, Sea Harbour to start you off

                      4. Yes one tip from one ex-new yorker to another. Little box on the top right that says "search"

                        That said - vitos on Los cieniga for NYC pizza. Genghis cohen on fairfax for NYC Chinese. Neither as good as you remember from new York but closest approximation to NYC tastes. Once you get used to la versions there's tons of better but different options.

                        1. Learn to love the 10 and 60 freeways; they are our answer to the number 7 train and they will take you to L.A.'s absolutely funhungus new Chinatown, known as the San Gabriel Valley (SGV).

                          I'll tell you frankly, as an ex-NJite, there is noplace, not even Genghis Cohen, that does the little delivery specials (you know, pork fried rice, shrimp with lobster sauce and the proper fat egg roll with the cabbage and pork and tiny shrimp inside). Give up on that.

                          Pizza? Ours is different, but Vito's is the closest you'll come, and it's slice-joint quality. We don't have a Lombardi's, Totonno's or Angelo's here... no coal ovens.

                          Indian: hie thee to Artesia. Along Pioneer south of the 91 freeway is all the Indian you could ever want.

                          Los Angeles: home of the long drive but the amazing food.

                          -----
                          Genghis Cohen
                          740 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            Thanks Das. I'm definitely learning that!

                          2. Get on the 10 and/or the the 60 and get off anywhere in the San Gabriel Valley. Throw a rock in any direction and you'll find better Chinese food than in NYC (yes, I lived in NYC for 1o years, I have a very good handle on the quality of Chinese food available there). If you let us know exactly what kind of Chinese food you have a yen for (dim sum, dumplings, soup dumplings, hand-pulled noodles, knife cut noodles, etc.), we can direct you to specific places.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: sidwich

                              Looking for some fried wontons and chicken dishes! Any specific places in SGV I can try? Thanks! And thanks :)

                              1. re: comehomenow

                                Eeeeek... fried wontons are not a feature of the SGV. You're more likely to get those with a Thai lunch combo, frankly... and stuffed with a tiny dot of curried something or other, not cream cheese.

                                As for the chicken, you should go to Giang Nan in Monterey Park and order chicken with chestnuts. It doesn't sound authentic Chinese but it is, and it's outstanding. If you go with a group, also order the pork pump, which is actually pork knuckle braised with slightly sweet "red cook" sauce. It's very good—look for the menu item with the word "defatted" in it, that's the one.

                                -----
                                Giang Nan
                                306 N Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA

                            2. pizza - u'll def have to settle. indian - LA has a pretty good selection tho i've heard it's still not as good as NY's. as for chinese, unless u really are looking for the americanized, egg rolls and mushu pork type cuisine, LA has NY beat hands down, abs NO CONTEST. skip chinatown as the san gabriel valley area has a plethora of awesome chinese food, be it cantonese, shanghainese, taiwanese, hunan, etc. just like how the korean and mexican food sucks balls in NY, u really will be hard-pressed to find chinese even remotely comparable to what we have here in LA.

                              1. You like those East Village Indian restaurants? Every one I've ever been to was overpriced and mediocre. I don't know where you are, but if you're Hollywood-local and Artesia too long a drive, I've had decent food at Paru's on Sunset.

                                -----
                                Paru's
                                5140 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: 1newyorkguy

                                  In a way, it makes the bread a PITA, doesn't it?

                                  1. re: sammycakes

                                    Had a few favorites on 1st Avenue (have you ever tried Panna II? It was BYOB, cheap, free dessert, awesome place). Will try Paru's! Thanks!

                                    -----
                                    Paru's
                                    5140 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                                    Panna II
                                    93 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                  2. For NYC style pizza, I recommend giving Brownstone Pizza in Eagle Rock a try. I'm not an ex-New Yorker, but have had plenty of NY style pizza and I must say that Brownstone comes pretty dang close. Also, Casa Bianca is up the same street, which also serves up a great pie.

                                    -----
                                    Brownstone Pizza
                                    2108 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: DAWK

                                      Village Pizzeria is very popular with ex NYers. I like Village better than Vito's, and I would drive to Village, even if Vito's was closer to me. But Vito's is very good, too.

                                        1. re: reality check

                                          Agree with this post. Vitos is good but IMHO Village is better. And I like the salad and soup at Village.

                                        2. re: DAWK

                                          i'm an ex ny'er too and have had ZERO luck finding chinese food and especially DUCK SAUCE. i dream about duck sauce. Genghis Cohen has it but the food isn't the best so it's not even really worth it.
                                          Pizza... Brownstone is great! I love it. Also nearby is Foliero's, probably my favorite in LA. I had Joe's for the first time yesterday and liked it very much - but it's not as good as NY pizza. I'm also a fan of Vitos.
                                          Indian, not sure i'm the right person to ask b/c i love india's oven on beverly and i don't know if that's considered good or not, but i usually eat til the point of exploding there so i guess i like it :)
                                          i have taken a huge liking to the great food LA has here that i never had growing up in NY. Korean, Mexican, Thai, Japanese, etc. It's worth an exploration, that's for sure.

                                          -----
                                          Genghis Cohen
                                          740 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                                          1. re: Clyde

                                            You can buy duck sauce at Assi Supermarket in Koreatown. It is on a shelf display to the left of the refrigerated jars of kimchee. What do Korean people do with duck sauce? I'd love to know.

                                            1. re: Clyde

                                              Duck sauce (Dynasty brand, the kind that comes in packets back East) is available in jars at the Albertsons on Malvern Ave. and Gilbert Ave. in Fullerton.

                                            2. re: DAWK

                                              Ny'er probably won't like Casa Bianca (though I do). It is Chicago flat style.

                                              1. re: epop

                                                I'm entertained by the assumption that New Yorkers only like their native pizza! I have yet to find a style of pizza that, when well-executed, I don't love. NB: I haven't tried Japanese (e.g., Strawberry Cones, RIP) or Korean (e.g., Mr Pizza, Pizza & Chicken Love Letter) styles yet.

                                                1. re: Peripatetic

                                                  I gotta agree with you there, peri, I love almost all pizzas. (haven't tried your asian list either). But when it's done poorly, it can be pretty bad, and when you come from NY or the Northeast, with it's large southern Italian community, and then try pizza out here, especially some of the tired, chain versions, it can be pretty disheartening.

                                                  1. re: Peripatetic

                                                    as an ex-new yorker, i've gone to the other side--
                                                    i no longer crave ny style.
                                                    i now prefer antica pizza or eatalian style with the VERY thin crust and fresh mozzarella cheese (pref bufala).
                                                    when i go back to ny on trips and eat the stuff i used to inhale, the stuff made with low-moisture cheese, it just doesn't taste as good as it used to. . .

                                              2. If its NYC Pizza that you are craving. I have lived here since 1980 and the best rendition of a NYC Pie is at Pasianos in Hermosa Beach. Extra large, pass on the slices have them cook a whole pie for you.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. btw, is this the first time an NY chowhounder has complained about prices in LA? I thought everything in NY cost an arm and a leg.

                                                  1. While most of the best pizza is in New York, I find that many New Yorkers assume that ANY pizza there is superior. Not the case. What pizza places do you like in New York? If you want Motorino, Keste or Co. you're out of luck but if you've been doing slice places, there might be something. Besides Mozza, I've had luck at Village, Garage, Vito's and Lamonica's.

                                                    16 Replies
                                                    1. re: sloanedone

                                                      Comehomenow,

                                                      I'm moving to LA in the next month or so from NYC (Queens). I was looking for just such a discussion. I had hoped the rumors about LA being subpar on Chinese (or at least NY-Chinese) were wrong. I know that I won't be able the same as Flushing (ah the pan fried flounder and lamb noodle soup ) but I guess the days of shrimp with lobster sauce with a fat egg roll are over. Glad to know SGV has some decent places.
                                                      Im sure this question has been asked before over and over but is the pizza and chinese objectively worse or just worse to the ny'ers? What's different about it? Why is not possible to create the same food as in NY? Any close approximation would be a huge success. Please don't say the water.

                                                      1. re: SushiChinesefan

                                                        >>Glad to know SGV has some decent places.<<

                                                        If I ever saw an understatement, this is the one. First, I would welcome you to LA, but based on your apparent bias and expectations for carbon copies of your beloved food from back home, you might reconsider the move. Second, I'd consider moving to NY, but I'm still waiting for a NY Hound to confirm that I can find summer temps that hover around 72 degrees before I do so. :)

                                                        1. re: SushiChinesefan

                                                          "...but is the pizza and chinese objectively worse or just worse to the ny'ers?"

                                                          What does "objectively worse" mean? Unless we trade taste buds for a meal the idea that there is an "objective" measurement when it comes to matters of taste is meaningless.

                                                          1. re: SushiChinesefan

                                                            As I said elsewhen, learn to love the 10 and 60 freeways, our answer to the #7 train.

                                                            Yes, the days of pork fried rice with shrimp in lobster sauce and an eggroll of pornographic girth are over; while you can get all of those three things, I can't think of a place where you can get all three at once. Pan-fried fish and lamb noodle soup, however, are commonplace, the latter particularly in Hui (Chinese Islamic) places, where they're typically served with toothsome dao xiao mian (knife-cut noodles).

                                                            No, there's no objective comparison. Chacun à son goût—I have found pizza I like and pizza that scratches the New York itch, but as soon as you realize you'll just get your fill on visits back East, life will be easier. Also hard to find around here: truly excellent Eastern European.

                                                            I've finally come to realise that if I ever moved back to the East Coast, the first things I'd miss were Vietnamese, Korean and Mexican—and I'm not talking about pho, kalbi and cheesey gloopy combo plates—so embrace your new home and learn to love what we do.

                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                              I'm with Das - explore and rejoice. You can do it!

                                                              We've got tons of fun here. For my dad, an ex-new yorker on his visits? He loved LA's Vietnamese food. Loved HK Market and it's fresh fried squid. Loved the sourdough that is unique to the west coast. But then he also took me to a tasty chinatown in AZ. Ate his way through Montreal and Quebec. Threw $5 a person lobster parties and had giant shrimp cookoffs. Taught me to make dim sum wrappers from scratch. In the midwest. So maybe he's not the norm.

                                                              But maybe you are like him.

                                                              Maybe you can find amazing stuff in this town most folks don't even know about. Or simply enjoy the somewhat undiscovered thrills.

                                                              So read the above links and keep exploring. As for me? My fav NY slices here are Lamonicas, Antica if I am feeling fancy and in that hood. (I've only had Vito's once and Mozza is a joy all it's ownsome.) Palermo's in Los Feliz for down and dirty. And by village pizza, you all mean the one in Larchmont, right? Good stuff. Best kosher pizza, Nagila in the Pico Robertson area. Divine, actually.

                                                              For chinese, it's been years since I've been there but Hu's on the westside did good work. Fortune Inn in Glendale keeps me calm. I LOVE Hong Kong Palace for dim sum. And I don't order shrimp and lobster sauce out anymore, it's so easy and my dad had a killer recipe, so I make it myself.

                                                              I used to live on the westside and have since moved to northwest la. And it was a whole different world. But I took one day a week to read, research, drive and explore - and now I love my neighborhood. It won't happen in a day, but budget some car time, some tummy room - and the whole world is waiting for you.

                                                              Good luck and keep us posted!

                                                              -----
                                                              Fortune Inn
                                                              117 E Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205

                                                              Hong Kong Palace
                                                              19101 Colima Rd, Rowland Heights, CA 91748

                                                              1. re: happybaker

                                                                Slightly more Americanized than Hu's - Fu's Palace on Pico by Robertson. Nice folks, good servings.

                                                                -----
                                                                Fu's Palace
                                                                8751 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                                                                1. re: happybaker

                                                                  I was going to mention Fu's as well. Great place to go on Christmas Day after the movie!! And other times too.

                                                                2. re: happybaker

                                                                  Does anybody like Tomato Pie in Silver Lake? No one ever mentions it but I think the pies are great there: crust a little too thin but almost perfect chew in the middle, and the (dusty/grainy) sausage pie with a Yoohoo was super nostalgic.

                                                                  I'm from back east and I do miss those fat eggrolls with duck sauce and even having crispy noodles with mustard sitting on the table when you sit down. That said, wanting to eat NY style Chinese in LA is tantamount to asking for McDonald's in the south of France.

                                                                  Places are DIFFERENT. It's what makes them special, not being the same. Try to enjoy that. Going home to have a decent steak-wit' makes me appreciate where I came from; but eating my way through Koreatown is thrilling.

                                                                  1. re: desylicious

                                                                    The difference being that, sadly, one can actually get McDonald's in the South of France if one so wants: http://www.mcdonalds.fr/#/find-restau...

                                                                    1. re: desylicious

                                                                      I love Tomato Pie. Hell I was there today. Grandma slice > *

                                                                      Vito's makes better pizza OVERALL but that Grandma pie is magical.

                                                                    2. re: happybaker

                                                                      Hu's is a terrifying concoction of Western gloop and Chinese service.

                                                                      1. re: echoparkdirt

                                                                        @echoparkdirt: I must say, that is probably the most brilliantly hilarious single sentence I've read in a while.

                                                                  2. re: SushiChinesefan

                                                                    It's a distribution of quality issue. There's great pizza in NYC and there's great Pizza in LA. The key difference is that on average, your random corner pizza joint in NYC comparitively is much better than one in LA. Village Pizza on Larchmont is a great example, in LA it's considered to be above average, in NYC no one would notice it as its fairly generic. There's just so much more bad pizza here. Having grown up in NYC I lamented this for a while but after a few years in LA, I've come to realization that if I ever went back to NYC I'd be complaining that there's no good tacos anywhere.

                                                                    The chinese thing I never understood, it's just a totally different way of cooking it in LA. Don't understand why I can't find a real egg roll anywhere.

                                                                    1. re: SushiChinesefan

                                                                      I'm from NY and have been in LA for 2 1/2 years and I can, without a doubt, say that SGV has BETTER Chinese food than Flushings. You will be quite pleased if you take the time to explore a bit.

                                                                  3. If you are still pining for NY when you are perusing a farmers' market in January, let us know.

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: PAQuaker

                                                                      Beside the fact that Flushing is nothing compared to SGV.

                                                                      1. re: epop

                                                                        Seriously. I'm all for nostalgia and all that, but the idea that LA doesn't have good Chinese food and NY does is a joke to this Chinese Angeleno. We all like what we like, and that's cool, but call it what it is.

                                                                        1. re: mrhooks

                                                                          agreed. i think the OP is just looking for americanized chinese food, which ny does do better. authentic chinese cuisine is outta the question, however... LA hands down.

                                                                          1. re: namstermonster

                                                                            I couldn't agree more, hands down.

                                                                            I wish there was some decent (even Americanized) Chinese or Thai takeout west of the 405 and north of Venice. Nothing I try is even acceptable.

                                                                        2. re: PAQuaker

                                                                          Didn't say I was pining over NY, just asking a harmless question about certain foods in a new city.

                                                                        3. Los Angeles is full of New Yorkers. We actually like it here. Where are you living in LA? That's what determines alot of the advice.

                                                                          But, if you want Indian, Chinese, and Pizza, you have lots of choices.
                                                                          These are all fantastic:

                                                                          Chinese: Chung King in San Gabriel
                                                                          Indian: Al Watan or Al Noor in Lawndale
                                                                          Pizza -- Vitos, Casa Bianca, Mozza, or Bollini's in Monterey Park

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Chung King Restaurant
                                                                          1000 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                                                          Al Watan
                                                                          13619 Inglewood Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250

                                                                          Al Noor
                                                                          15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: echoparkdirt

                                                                            The concise nature of this reply is truly refreshing. Go forward, not backward, is the key here.
                                                                            Thanks EPD !

                                                                            1. re: Tripeler

                                                                              I agree with the fact that when I travel I like the local flavor. Perhaps we loose sight of that when we move to a new area? I get my fix of NYC things when I travel there. However, I am always on the hunt of true local foods that I cannot find elsewhere ( and if I can they have a regional flair for where I am having them )
                                                                              We take up allot of bandwith here with the sparring and one ups.. Some love to hear themselves speak with nothing to ad at all. This is all good. As we are one in all and all in one. Asto the Pizza and Chinese I have my spots. But heck they may not be what you are seeking. Lamonicas, Vitos, and best of all as I stated above Pasianos in Hermosa. For Chinese, I have changed my tastes. No more Clams and Black Bean sauce after a Ranger Game, its changed for a Bacon Wrapped Street dog sans mayo :)

                                                                          2. For Indian (Pakistani, technically, but who's counting), I second other readers, Al Watan in Lawndale is at the top of the list. Akbar in Pasadena or Hermosa Beach is also quite good (Dhaba Lamb is my favorite, only available at those locations though). Bombay Tandoori is good also. If you are in West LA, also consider Ambala Dhaba.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Al Watan
                                                                            13619 Inglewood Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250

                                                                            Ambala Dhaba
                                                                            1781 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: walkitoff

                                                                              Thanks! Like Akbar, haven't tried the others!

                                                                            2. Wow, hope this thread hasn't put you off LA! I was in NYC for a couple of days in 2009 and it was totally awesome! I did have amazing chowhoundy hosts, to whom I am very grateful.

                                                                              I wish I could help you with the cheap slices because I myself want them now that I ate a ton of slices in Manhattan. I even liked the 99 cent slice place, so maybe I'm not exactly a discerning connoisseur.

                                                                              I cannot stand driving and I wish I could move to NYC for that reason alone. Okay, that said, if you *erm* happen to be in Artesia (about 20-30 min drive south of LA, depending on how bad traffic is) you might like India's Oven. In particular, I would have you try their buffet because it's a pretty decent deal and you get to try lots of things. Lots of interesting meat dishes, good naan, etc. I forget the prices, but I think its about ten dollars? I went to a couple of Indian places in Manhattan for lunch and they sucked in comparison and even though they were cheap (like $8 or so) I felt gypped.

                                                                              I personally like Radjhani's way better, but it's not a good comparison because Radjhani's is vegetarian and India's Oven has lots of meat dishes. That said, Radjhani's is is awesome because they come out with trays of different dishes every five minutes or so. And also, if you don't like, say, butter on your chapatis, they will smile and make you a special one (saw that done once). Kind of pricey at I think $13 for lunch and $16 for dinner. I go to treat myself once in a while. Thirupathi Bhimas is another good vegetarian suggestion, much cheaper if you get a combo.

                                                                              Also in Artesia and nowhere in Manhattan (except at this chichi place in uptown, now that I think about it), I love, love, love Surati Farsan Mart for vegetarian snacks and sweets (farsan means snacks so everything is snack sized and cheaper). I love the sev puri, but they have lots of great dishes. I used to love them more when they were cheaper but now they've gotten confident with their pricing. Still, quite inexpensive. Lunch of about 3-4 dishes split among two people should be around $12-14 or thereabouts.

                                                                              I also really love the CHEAP (but vegetarian) dishes at Ambhala Sweets and Spices. I usually get the chole batura, which is still the best I've ever had in a restaurant and about $4 and comes with 2 big freshly fried baturas and various pickles, I think I remember carrot last time.

                                                                              I wish I could help you with those cheap and cheerful Chinese recs that i think you want. Hmm, Chinatown should have places like that. I passed by a bunch of places on the way to Yum Cha Cafe (very cheap, but use tons of MSG in their soup noodle broth, fyi) that were hawking inexpensive meat/rice combos to go. If I ate meat and rice, I would probably be able to dredge up a rec. Maybe someone else can.

                                                                              Happy Hunting!

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Surati Farsan Mart
                                                                              11814 186th St, Artesia, CA 90701

                                                                              1. Lol, grew up in NY, have lived lots of places since. This post is funny because it fundamentally wonders why NY things are not found in LA. The answer is obvious: because LA is not NY. The food of any given place winds up an amalgam of the immigrant culture, the local culture that evolves from it, the climate/geography, the cost of living, etc, etc. We have also lived in Maine, Boston, North Carolina, and many other places. I never attempted to get a lobster roll in NC, understood chowdah in Boston will be different from that in NY, realize that I am not going to get invited to a back yard pig pickin' out here in LA.

                                                                                I totally know what you are pining for (well not the Indian part)- that cheap, pretty good Chinese, pizza or bagel joint that is everywhere in NY. I also love in NY the "deli" being everywhere- yes there are delis out here but they are a different beast. The little Chinese joint you desire does not exist out here as best I can tell- Genghis Cohen is similar but not a cheap joint just down the corner with those paper placemats that list your horoscope. Vito's is NY pizza IMO. Just not cheap and on the corner.

                                                                                All that said, I am so glad to live in LA. It is a GREAT food town and we are all very lucky. So I would suggest that you don't seek to find NY food in LA (or lobster rolls or NC pork BBQ). Wallow around in what LA can feed you and you will be sated. Then when you go back to NY for a visit, it will all taste so much better.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Genghis Cohen
                                                                                740 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: heathpack

                                                                                  Agreed....you said it better but I tried to say the same thing above....LA is a great food town and we are lucky for our abundance of great choices

                                                                                  1. re: foufou

                                                                                    Last fall, we were in NY for a week. Our flight out was cancelled, it was a big hassle. I call my mother, the first thing I said was, "Flight cancelled. We are in a cab headed to your house." second thing was, "Can we eat at Hunan?"

                                                                                    My mother on the other hand now craves the Oroblanco grapefruit.

                                                                                  2. re: heathpack

                                                                                    And if blind to all that's better here there are always flights (and movers) heading that way, heathpack. I'm from NY and I'm constantly surprised by the chutzpah of my natives. Very often they pine for the food I wouldn't even eat when I lived there, like bad Chinese and, even worse, 6th street Indian.

                                                                                    1. re: epop

                                                                                      definitely don't miss NYC pizza!

                                                                                  3. Nothing wrong with trying to blend in. Los Angeles has great Korean food, killer Mexican food, Japanese food of a high order and so on. Like San Francisco, Los Angeles also has a bunch of mid-upper middle priced places that showcase something called California Cuisine. It will take you a lifetime to explore all the options.

                                                                                    Go with the local strengths, save the New York Dreaming for a return visit back East. I think you'll enjoy both better that way.

                                                                                    1. frankly, i know the indian slop on 6th street in teh east village. Used to eat there all the time, it was cheap. it wasn't horrible.

                                                                                      Surati farsan is a world apart. Love it. Also, like paru's on sunset in hollywood. If you crave 6th st indian, india's oven is fine. As are taste of india and clay oven in sherman oaks.

                                                                                      in manhattan oriental pearl was passable. town of taste in chinatwon ny had the 24 hour soups you can get at 888 seafood here. I used to find some nice fujian places in flushing with some friends. i've written long posts here on chinese food in the sgv. it's not new york chinese food. table 8 for guilin noodles, ma lan for handpulled northern style, jtyh for shanxi cut noodles and cat's ear noodles. i like giang-nan for huaiyang food, others like meilong village. 101 noodle express for shandong jiaozi, other's like luscious dumpling.

                                                                                      pizza - i like ny style pizza. have had decent pizza here. on occasion, robano's on riverside dr in toluca lake if eaten hot right from oven is ok. and relatively close.
                                                                                      otherwise, maybe learn to like quesadilla.s

                                                                                      the second part of the question - where do ex ny'ers eat?
                                                                                      please let us know - maybe we can avoid those places

                                                                                      (kidding, i grew up here, but many many friends are from nyc, i love visiting , outerboroughs and westchester and jersey and long island included. go to surati farsan. enjoy yourself. and leave behind the things that you loved... if you moved from LA to NYC as many of my friends have, you'll be miserable if you try to recreate the life you had here, and vice versa).

                                                                                      also, we have real hunanese xiangcai here. you might not like it, hyou might - it features frogs and preserved chicken. it's quite good. there's a place on valley blvd... someone help...

                                                                                      1. Not one mention of Paul's Kitchen on So. San Pedro? I've never been to Genghis Cohen's so I can't compare, but Paul's Kitchen is A#1 in my book. DON'T order the egg rolls, though. And please, don't attack my choice. I love it, you may not.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Genghis Cohen
                                                                                        740 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                                                                                        Paul's Kitchen
                                                                                        1012 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                                                                                        1. I know chains aren't always the best suggestion, but you should hit up your local BJ's for pizza. They have a great selection of pizzas that are heartier than your typical pepperoni. I've accomplished my goal to eat pizza in NY, and although the presentation of food differs on both coasts differs, I think BJ's won't disappoint when it comes to flavor.

                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: A_Will

                                                                                            Nothing personal but are you talking about BJ's chicago pizza???

                                                                                            There are countless people on this site, including myself, who would never go back there. I've friends who aren't even picky about pizza who find it gross.

                                                                                            Any of the Chicago pizza discussions will reveal it, and there've been many.

                                                                                            1. re: epop

                                                                                              The place I'm referring to is BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse.

                                                                                              1. re: A_Will

                                                                                                Yes, that's the one. I agree with epop - it is one of the worst restaurants I've ever had the misfortune to visit. Admittedly I don't like Chicago-style pizza, but BJ's is especially bad.

                                                                                                1. re: mrhooks

                                                                                                  I'm with epop and mrhooks on this. The beer is not too bad but the pizza is pretty awful.

                                                                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                    BJ's is Terrible pizza. Any frozen pizza is better.

                                                                                            2. re: A_Will

                                                                                              Hi A_Will, welcome to Chowhound.

                                                                                              I've never eaten at BJ's so I can't comment on the pizza. But since I am from NJ, I know where the original poster is coming from.

                                                                                              In the NY metro area, pizza is a VERY specific , defined concept that has deep, historic roots. Back home, if you say "let's get pizza for dinner" it NEVER means, for example, Pizza Hut (if you wanted Pizza Hut, you'd say "lets get Pizza Hut").

                                                                                              Similarly, recommending Chicago style pizza to a New Yorker looking for a taste of home would be akin to recommending a Japanese curry to a homesick Indian, or Subway to a French person looking for a Parisian baguette sandwich. It just doesn't do the trick.

                                                                                              Others have said it elsewhere on this thread. Good (not great) NY style pizza can be had at Vito's, Joe's, Village Pizza, Mulberry St. (Is Lamonica's still around?) I can also vouch for Seal Beach's "Taste of NY", as others here have.

                                                                                              Many other pizzerias attempt the NY style, but miss the mark. If you're interested in learning the subtle differences, you might consider doing an experiment... after eating a slice at Vito's and a slice at Joe's (which are slightly different variants of an authentic NY style pie), head to nearby D'Amore's on 3rd. It attempts to be NY style but it misses the mark. Or go to the chain Johnnie's on Wilshire Museum Square, which advertises itself as "NY style" pizza, but is completely not that.

                                                                                              Welcome to the LA Chowhound board :)

                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              D'Amore's
                                                                                              12910 Magnolia Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91423

                                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                (hi adam)
                                                                                                so is the vito's the one on la cienega and the joe's the one on sunset?

                                                                                                1. re: Jerome

                                                                                                  Yes... they're all nearby (and sell by the slice) so it would be easy to do a side by side tasting. Joe's crust is thinner and the sauce is definitely different. I like Joe's Sicilian (square) slice better than his standard one.

                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                            3. I am not an Ex-New Yorker but I come from a line of Ex-New Yorkers. Now, I'm not say'in I agree or disagree with your taste but I can offer a few suggestions that won't get a lot of love but I think you'll like them. II do) I don't think I've seen a rec for this but if you are ever in the Seal Beach area, there is a hole in the wall called Slice of New York Pizza @ 142 Main St
                                                                                              Seal Beach, CA 90740 (562) 493-4430 that to me is pretty darn good and I think it is what you are looking for. Next, Barone's in Sherman Oaks http://www.baronesfamousitalian.com/ While it isn't traditional New York style, it is a place that my family has been eating at for over 60 years. The House Combination is almost exclusively what we get. Regarding Chinese, I think you should take peoples' suggestions and venture out to SGV as there are sooo many great places to try. If Man Fook Low were still around, that is where I would send you but Paul's is probably the closest for 1950s style Cantonese. Also, I would suggest you try New Moon http://www.newmoonrestaurants.com/ Again, I'm not a purist, I just like good.

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              New Moon
                                                                                              112 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                                                                                              Main St Cafe
                                                                                              450 Main St, El Segundo, CA 90245

                                                                                              Slice of New York
                                                                                              34665 Golden Lantern St, Dana Point, CA 92629

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Fru

                                                                                                Slice of New York is about as close as we get to New York pie in Orange County. I love it.

                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                Slice of New York
                                                                                                , San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

                                                                                              2. yeesh. this topic is always ripe for east vs. west coast snark.

                                                                                                i'm a recently relocated NYer and ravenous hounder of the east village and have found a few faves here:

                                                                                                PIZZA: Mozza (closer to otto, keste or motorino); there's also a Two Boots in silver lake if you want some of that old orleans charm, and i personally kinda like La Rocco's in Culver City off Main St., where you can grab a slice. Cali pizza is different than old school NY slices (no fold em and scarf as you walk down the street; plus the crust seems denser) but there are good spots, though i''ve yet to find a Grimaldi's type place here.

                                                                                                Italian in general: i love Angelini Osteria & Caffe Angelli. Both have great pasta.

                                                                                                CHINESE: NY-style Chinese (what I think of as Seinfeld Chinese) has turned into its own unique thing over the years. Overall the chinese i've had here far surpasses what i've had in NY, both in chinatown and flushing. in NY, chinatown is more fuxianese & canto-style, while flushing used to be more taiwanese. here, there are similar, better and more authentic taiwanese spots in the SGV (though look elsewhere on the board for specific recs), monterey park, alhambra, etc.

                                                                                                Indian - i never liked those spots on 6th St, but i do like Samosa House here in Culver, for the chaat (which reminds of some Curry Hill spots).

                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                Angelini Osteria
                                                                                                7313 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                                                                Samosa House
                                                                                                11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

                                                                                                Two Boots
                                                                                                1818 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

                                                                                                Main St Cafe
                                                                                                450 Main St, El Segundo, CA 90245

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: emilia

                                                                                                  As an ex-New Yorker who's lived in L.A. for the past four years - to sum it up:
                                                                                                  You can find very good authentic - and Americanized - Chinese food in both NY and LA
                                                                                                  There's better Italian in NY - still can't find great NY-style pizza in L.A. !(Vito's is close and I'm not knocking Mozza style at all, it's just different)
                                                                                                  Better Japanese/sushi in L.A.
                                                                                                  Amazing Mexican in L.A.
                                                                                                  And... I'm married to a Brit who says neither NY nor L.A. have good Indian food!