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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.

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    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.

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          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! ;))

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            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.

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                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.

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                  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.

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                      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.

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                      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

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                        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.

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                          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.

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                                Giang Nan
                                306 N Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA

                            2. The original comment has been removed