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Read, realized and confused - please HELP!

p
prats Aug 26, 2010 11:48 AM

Hi everyone,

First of all I want to congratulate the members here. I think it's incredible what you people have been doing over the years on the boards here. I have often looked up Chowhound but since I am based in India (I am a journalist) and I do not travel a whole lot, I haven't had the opportunity to understand the detailing and the method to the madness that is Chowhound. Thanks for this online culinary h(e)aven.

I am going to LA for 6 days on work and I will be staying near the Del Mar station in Pasadena. I am not sure I will have the dozen meals wherever I want because I have to eat the boring work lunch with my colleagues more than a couple of times. But for the rest of the meals, I really want to explore LA the hound way. So i have been reading the boards here like crazy for the last week or so and to be honest while I am incredibly impressed, I am so confused... what to hit and what to miss.

Yes, I have shortlisted a few places but I am no longer sure about any place anymore because the reviews have been mixed and there are so many. Can you guys please help me decide on 7-8 must go places? I should go on my own or with one or two friends/colleagues.

Here's a few I have shortlisted. Please feel free to trash my choice and suggest other places.

Sea Harbor for the Dim Sum (I am a sucker for Chinese and love dim sums; I believe this is better than Elite as of now)
Philippe's (for the history mainly, never had a dipped sandwich and the potato salad... not sure which sandwich to go for, though)
El Tepeyac (for the Chilli Verde burrito, as seen on Man Vs Food)
Pink's Hot Dog (I believe one shouldn't miss this)

Now I need a great taco place, more Chinese food ideas for lunch and dinner, maybe Korean food (I have never had it) and any other must-go places. I can go anywhere in and around LA.

Please suggest! Thanks in advance...

-----
El Tepeyac Restaurant
385 E Mill St Ste 4, San Bernardino, CA 92408

  1. j
    joshekg Aug 30, 2010 04:03 PM

    There are tons of good recommendations in this thread, but don't forget about barbeque. There's Bludso's, Big Mista's and I also like Beachwood BBQ - party due to the great beer selection.

    Now if only you could point me in the direction of some great meals in Delhi for my trip in a couple weeks.

    -----
    Beachwood BBQ
    131 1/2 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740

    1. p
      paprkutr Aug 30, 2010 03:11 PM

      I hope you enjoy your visit. I disagree with some of the posts. I happen to really enjoy El Tepeyac, and all the people that I take there love it. We happen to love their all meat machaca burrito. If you want guacamole, which is good, order a side of Taquitos and you get a huge order of guacamole.

      Langers is good, just make sure of the hours.

      I prefer the original Tommys to Pinks. I don't really care for Pinks, and I am not going to stand in those lines.

      We really like Soot Bull Jeep for Korean BBQ, just know you are going to come out smelling like charcoal, so wear old clothes.

      I have not been, but I hear good praises about Wurstkuche. They are supposed to have a good selection of brats, and a lot of beer on tap.

      Someone suggested the Original Farmers Market, and that is fun, and is an institution.

      -----
      Soot Bull Jeep
      3136 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

      Wurstkuche
      800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

      El Tepeyac Restaurant
      385 E Mill St Ste 4, San Bernardino, CA 92408

      1. l
        lalaw05 Aug 27, 2010 11:30 PM

        you've generated a fantastic discussion about our food. in fact, my cousin and i are heading for spot prawns at sea harbour tomorrow in response.

        ipdesixit mentions soot bull jeep. you need to bring a change of clothes, and go straight home and shower after eating here because of the charcoal smoke. you may also be risking cancer, BUT the flavors are amazing. I LOVE this place.

        best taco - tacos are simple and local. my current favorite tacos are at the truck on wilshire just east of vermont, open from 7pm to 4am. maybe it's because i only go after a few drinks, or because they make their own tortillas by hand, but i love this taco truck.

        have fun in la - you've been well-directed by those above.

        1. n
          noahbites Aug 27, 2010 08:50 AM

          If you are deciding between Langer's and Pink's for "L.A. institution serving old-line American food," Langer's is by far the superior choice.

          Oh, and do whatever you'd like of course, but I recommend avoiding the more popular condiments, and getting plain pastrami on their excellent rye bread, with nothing else on it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: noahbites
            monku Aug 27, 2010 12:22 PM

            Pink's...you can get a chili cheese dog with bacon and pastrami. They use Hoffy a locally made hot dog that can stand up on it's own without the chili.
            Go when they first open and avoid the crowds, but go.
            The Original Farmer's Market on Fairfax and 3rd is close by for some great donuts at Bob's and Benett's ice cream.

          2. s
            Sandra W Aug 27, 2010 08:13 AM

            Warning about Din Tai Fung... the juicy/soup dumplings are amazing. The rest of the food is only so-so.

            I second Langers for the best pastrami sandwich ever!

            I'd also recommend going to the Mercado la Paloma, downtown. Several food stalls, including two really great ones... Chichen-Itza for Yucatanean/Mexican (you must have the panuchos and a cochinita pibil taco), and Mo-Chica for Peruvian. FYI, Mo-Chica is closed on Sundays.

            http://www.mo-chica.com/
            http://www.chichenitzarestaurant.com/...

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

            Mo-Chica
            3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

            4 Replies
            1. re: Sandra W
              Ciao Bob Aug 27, 2010 11:08 AM

              FWIW, Sandra W, I love many other dishes at DTF. Of course, one can get most of these simple dishes at other places (without DTF's long wait) but it is hard to think of a place with similar high quality that serves all these goodies under one (well, really two) roof.
              Grilled Pork Chop
              Hot and Sour Soup (one of LA's best, IMHO)
              Shanghai Rice Cake
              Whatever the steamed green of the day is.
              Chicken Soup
              Beef Noodle Soup

              1. re: Ciao Bob
                b
                bulavinaka Aug 27, 2010 11:23 AM

                Shanghai Rice Cakes - WOOHOO!!! Or is that I don't get out much? :) I think the somewhat educational experience that DTF's crew demonstrates through the kitchen window is not to be discounted as well. I think it's kinda matter-of-fact for many who are immersed in the Chinese culture. But for those who aren't, watching the process is interesting and makes one appreciate the effort that goes into our food. I know many feel there are better xlb to be had in the SGV (me included but splitting hairs), but DTF is no slouch either. They are consistent and the restaurant itself is very nice.

                1. re: Ciao Bob
                  aching Aug 27, 2010 12:02 PM

                  I totally agree about the Shanghai Rice Cake and whatever the steamed green of the day is - excellent!

                  1. re: aching
                    f
                    Fru Aug 28, 2010 02:38 AM

                    Ditto! I have to say though, the last 2 times we went, the tops of the dumplings were dry almost to the point of being crisp. When the waitstaff brings them to the table, don't let them take the lid!

              2. monku Aug 27, 2010 06:24 AM

                Pink's is an institution and get's a bad vibe from CH because of their success. I like to go the first hour they open (opens 9:30am 7 days/wk), I wouldn't wait 30+ minutes.
                There's a Original Tommy's in Pasadena on Hill Street close to where you're staying...chili burgers and chili dogs are their specialty.

                You want to go to El Tepeyac, go and check it out. It's Los Angeles-Mexican, and it's worth a visit. The Hollenbeck burrito is the most popular. Two or more people then share the Manuel Special.

                I went to Sea Harbor Monday for dim sum and was a bit disappointed. Even though you order off the menu and they bring it out, I suspect maybe the shu mai was left over from the day before. It didn't taste fresh and was somewhat "hard". I prefer Elite over Sea Harbor for dim sum.

                Check out Moodaepo II for an initial Korean BBQ experience. $16.99 all you can eat-cook it yourself menu. Food and quality is good and the place has a fun atomosphere.
                http://www.moodaepobbq.com/

                Pictures (Elite dim sum, El Tepeyac, Manuels Special burrito

                )

                -----
                El Tepeyac Cafe
                812 N Evergreen Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033

                 
                 
                 
                1. Professor Salt Aug 26, 2010 03:50 PM

                  For Mexican, I would skip El Tepeyac. It is an L.A. institution, and the food is very old time, Americanized Mexican food. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but my preference leans toward Mexican food as you might find it in Mexico. I'd steer you toward Antojitos Carmen in the Boyle Heights neighborhood. Very casual restaurant, with tacos, burritos and so on, but also antojitos - small, for lack of a better word, appetizer dishes. They're open incredibly long hours, from breakfast to late night post-drinking grub.

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6835...

                  I too would skip Pink's Hot Dog. Unless waiting in a long lines with other tourists is your idea of a good time, the food just isn't worth it. It's just hot dogs, and not very good ones at that. There's a fledgling trend in L.A. for gourmet sausage & hot dog places, like Wurstkuche in downtown LA, two Berkeley Dogs in Orange County, Fab Hot Dog in Reseda, Brat Brothers in Sherman Oaks, and Slaw Dogs in Pasadena (which I haven't been to). I think all of these are better in every way than Pink's and you can say you've eaten at the new wave of hot dog house, instead of the old school one.

                  Save your old school meal for Phillipe's. I like the lamb sandwich, double dip, with blue cheese.

                  Sea Harbour, Elite, Din Tai Fung, Langer's. All must-go winners in my book.

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

                  Wurstkuche
                  800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                  El Tepeyac Restaurant
                  385 E Mill St Ste 4, San Bernardino, CA 92408

                  Antojitos Carmen
                  2510 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90033

                  Berkeley Dog
                  25522 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Professor Salt
                    WildSwede Aug 30, 2010 03:36 PM

                    Agreed on all your points, Professor - especially Pink's. I was one of the people who liked it until my last visit a few months ago. I will never stand in that line again! As others have mentioned, Tommy's would be good if you like chili (like me!).

                    1. re: WildSwede
                      oakjoan Aug 31, 2010 03:04 PM

                      WildSwede: What's now wrong with Pinks' dogs? Don't they still serve the ones from Chicago? Is the chilie not as good? This is terrible news. I'll admit I haven't been there in a couple of years, but.....

                      1. re: oakjoan
                        wienermobile Aug 31, 2010 03:09 PM

                        It's not that Pink's is bad. The question is do you want to wait 90 minutes in line for a hot dog? Well do you?

                        1. re: oakjoan
                          WildSwede Aug 31, 2010 10:51 PM

                          I have always gotten the same items every time I have gone - Chili Cheese Dog and Chili Cheese Fries. The fries well done, The last time I went (a few months ago) I ordered that same order and was told, very rudely, by that dark-haired old hag, that "we can't do well done" and then she proceeded to roll her eyes at the guy who was putting my order together. I had been standing in line for the better part of an hour staring at the fries cooking machine - and yes, you could do well done, and yes, you never had a problem cooking them that way in the past. Could have been the shitty attitude that made the meal taste awful that night or could have been that the fries were barely cooked and almost raw in the middle, however, I do not need to spend an hour in line to get snotty, rude service for mediocre food. Therefore, no more for me.

                    2. ipsedixit Aug 26, 2010 03:01 PM

                      Chinese food ideas for lunch/dinner
                      - JTYH for lunch (get the noodles)
                      - Dean Sin World (aka Tastio) for lunch (get the dumplings)
                      - Seafood Village or Elite for dinner
                      - Indian Beer House for dinner (Taiwanese pub food)

                      Korean food
                      - Don Dae Gam for pork themed Korean BBQ
                      - Park's for beef themed Korean BBQ
                      - Soot Bull Jeep for a charcoal-smoke bath themed Korean BBQ

                      Some ideas for taco
                      - Kogi Taco Truck
                      - Tacos Baja Ensenada
                      - Yuca's

                      -----
                      Yuca's
                      2056 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                      Soot Bull Jeep
                      3136 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

                      Dean Sin World
                      306 N Garfield Ave # 2, Monterey Park, CA

                      Tacos Baja Ensenada
                      385 W Whittier Blvd, Montebello, CA 90640

                      Kogi
                      Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

                      1. Servorg Aug 26, 2010 02:54 PM

                        Here is a link to a post I put up (derived from a story that the LA Times ran covering Gold Line dining) and I pulled out all of the restaurants and websites (if they had websites) they had listed: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6664...

                        I really like Teresitas for great all around Mexican food. Moles la Tia for Oaxacan food ought to be considered as well.

                        1. ChinoWayne Aug 26, 2010 02:13 PM

                          I would not recommend El Tepeyc for one of their burritos, yes, very large and overabundant, but nothing remarkable taste wise.

                          You might want to check out Mariscos Chente for Mexican seafood or Guelagetxa for Mexican (Oaxacan) tood, both in Los Angeles.

                          You might want to check out Din Tai Fung in Arcadia for dim sum. Here is and old report of mine which is fairly comprehensive about the experience there: chowhound.chow.com/topics/50446?

                          You wil be able to catch the light rail at the Del Mar Station which would take you to Union Station and further on in to downtown L.A. where you could transfer to other public transportation, but if you have access to a car, it will improve the speed and range of area you can cover in the greater L.A. area, Expect traffic congestion any time of day, before mid-evening.

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

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

                          Del Mar Cafe
                          712 S Del Mar Ave, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: ChinoWayne
                            n
                            namstermonster Aug 26, 2010 02:44 PM

                            at the very least, add langers.

                            1. re: namstermonster
                              wienermobile Aug 26, 2010 02:54 PM

                              Yes Langer's Deli has the best pastrami on earth. Also it's right off the Red Line subway.
                              http://www.langersdeli.com/

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

                              1. re: wienermobile
                                Servorg Aug 26, 2010 02:58 PM

                                Check Langer's website for their restricted hours (IIRC they are open from around 7 AM until 4 PM and are closed on Sundays).

                                1. re: Servorg
                                  wienermobile Aug 26, 2010 03:09 PM

                                  Langer's hours are Monday - Saturday, 8am - 4pm.

                                2. re: wienermobile
                                  wienermobile Aug 28, 2010 09:04 AM

                                  I love Langer's

                                   
                                3. re: namstermonster
                                  WildSwede Aug 30, 2010 03:30 PM

                                  Agree on the Langer's recs. Also agree on the In N Out Burger - many locations. Also, how about Shabu-Shabu?

                                4. re: ChinoWayne
                                  ipsedixit Aug 26, 2010 02:48 PM

                                  "You might want to check out Din Tai Fung in Arcadia for dim sum."
                                  ___________________________________________

                                  There is no dim sum at Din Tai Fung.

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

                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                    ChinoWayne Aug 26, 2010 05:28 PM

                                    I meant, juicy dumplings and soup dumplings, as noted in my related post.

                                5. raytamsgv Aug 26, 2010 02:06 PM

                                  It depends on how long you have for lunch, how much you're willing to spend on meals, and how far you are willing to drive.

                                  Sea Harbour is good for dim sum, but you would need at least 90 minutes for lunch to account for driving (assuming your work is in Pasadena). You can also go there for dinner (the menu will be completely different from the lunch menu).

                                  If you eat beef, try In-and-Out Burgers for the quintessential California experience.
                                  2114 E. Foothill
                                  Pasadena, CA 91107
                                  1-800-786-1000

                                  The food in El Tepeyac isn't gourmet, but it's definitely quite an experience to eat there. I'd go for Manny's/Manuel's Special to be shared by your co-workers. It's big enough to feed three or four people, depending on your appetite.

                                  If you're willing to drive, go to Garden Grove for Vietnamese food. But if you can't make it that far, try Golden Deli:
                                  815 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel
                                  (626) 308-0803

                                  20 Replies
                                  1. re: raytamsgv
                                    b
                                    bulavinaka Aug 27, 2010 07:27 AM

                                    To piggyback on raytamsgv's post, Sea Harbour's dinner menu is pretty amazing for seafood lovers. I would guess that only a small percentage of Sea Harbour fans have actually experienced their dinners, which is a real shame. They literally have three separate menus for their dinner, which are heavily focused on seafood and live seafood. The live seafood is top-shelf quality. They do offer other dishes that include tofu, chicken, squab, pork and beef, many of them braised or roasted. You will also find a good handful of standards like fried rice or noodles, but these are leagues above what one would typically expect from a decent Chinese eatery. And because of their Cantonese pedigree, Sea Harbour's flavors will be light and balanced, particularly on the seafood dishes. I think it is almost instinctual in the way that the Cantonese offer reverence to quality seafood by highlighting the natural flavors, rather than bludgeoning them with heavy-handed sauces.

                                    Right now, Santa Barbara Spot Prawns are in their tanks. These are a regional specialty that are considered to be one of the best eating crustaceans on the planet. The Spot Prawn can be very delicate and must be live up to the point of preparation to be enjoyed properly. Because of this, it is rare to find them served in restaurants, with the exception of vaunted seafood places like Providence, and of course, the Chinese seafood restaurants that have the tanks to keep their specimens live. We ordered it poached in Chinese wine (they will do this tableside for you), which we then enjoyed by dipping the tails in a flavorful yet light soy-based dipping sauce. And do enjoy the contents within the head as well. Some of the specimens we enjoyed were quite large - about 18-20 centimeters from head to tail.

                                    It sounds like you are seriously considering dim sum at Sea Harbour. If so, you can give their dinner skills a test run by ordering something off-menu during their dim sum service. They will gladly accommodate your request as long as the kitchen has access to the ingredients that are involved in your requested dish. And if you are serious about having dinner there as well, please request their dinner menus while at dim sum, as some of the dishes do require advance notice.

                                    1. re: bulavinaka
                                      p
                                      prats Aug 27, 2010 07:50 AM

                                      Honestly bulavinaka, there have been so many contradictory reports about Sea Harbor and Elite... I am not even sure now. I really like dim sums and dumplings and want to have LA's best. Now, tell me what should I do... You are a veteran here! :)

                                      1. re: prats
                                        ipsedixit Aug 27, 2010 09:34 AM

                                        You can't go wrong with either Elite or Sea Harbour for dim sum, both are excellent. Just comes down to personal preference. Sort of like Pepsi or Coke?

                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          monku Aug 27, 2010 09:41 AM

                                          I find Elite steps it up a notch in their creativity.

                                        2. re: prats
                                          b
                                          bulavinaka Aug 27, 2010 10:21 AM

                                          Both ipsedixit and monku have valid points. And I think the contradictory reports that you mention comes down to two things - splitting hairs and personal allegiance.

                                          Both are excellent and I'm sure timing is important as well. I have never experienced anything that seemed like it was left over from the past dim sum cycle at Sea Harbour. Monku says he has. But he has also posted the same about Elite, and I have had what seemed to be something "pre-prepared" there as well, on the same past Mother's Day when they opened extra early (which we both unknowingly attended!). Most who are well-versed in dim sum will tell you to go mid-cycle for the best selection, but I think this applies more to the cart places. But maybe following this strategy will also lower the chances of getting "yesterday's dim sum," as those will be rotated out first no matter where one goes.

                                          - We've been to Sea Harbour many times for dim sum and have never had a slip-up.

                                          - We've actually been to Elite more often - only because their proximity and hours work better for us on weekends - and have had but a few minor quibbles (e.g., as stated above) - we'd expect that since we've been here more often (statistical inevitability, right?).

                                          - I personally prefer Sea Harbour because I feel their quality and execution shines, and the dining room is very nice, open and crisp.

                                          - I like Elite almost as much because the kitchen shows more whimsy and creativity. And if some particular dim sum item becomes a star here, rest assured Sea Harbour will probably try to offer it as well.

                                          - If someone were to insist on going to one over the other, I wouldn't feel short-changed either way for the stated reasons.

                                          And if I'm a veteran on these boards, then the serious all-stars who have posted on this thread are by far legendary hall-of-famers!

                                          1. re: bulavinaka
                                            monku Aug 27, 2010 10:40 AM

                                            The taste in the shu mai I experienced at Sea Harbor was like it was steamed with other items and may have picked up some other flavors.

                                            Thanks for reminding me of the perceived leftover shu mai I had at Elite.
                                            Beginning to think maybe going early for dim sum has it's drawbacks.

                                            1. re: monku
                                              ipsedixit Aug 27, 2010 10:54 AM

                                              Did you ever consider sending either of the shu mai items back, either at Elite or Sea Harbour?

                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                monku Aug 27, 2010 12:07 PM

                                                I've never sent anything back at a Chinese restaurant unless it was the wrong order for fear of retaliation.
                                                You've got to believe nothing from the day before is thrown away and the risk you take when you go early.
                                                It's a few bucks a dish, I'm not that cheap.
                                                Yes, you've mentioned they cook to order, but I don't think so.

                                                1. re: monku
                                                  ipsedixit Aug 27, 2010 02:53 PM

                                                  I don't know if it's necessarily being cheap, but more about getting what you want and enjoying it.

                                                  I've returned fries at In N Out that weren't "well-done" enough.

                                                  Re: cook to order. I know for a fact that certain items are definitely made and then cooked when the order comes in, e.g. things that are less commonly ordered, or do not hold up well.. But for something like shu mai I'd imagine they are continuously making and cooking them throughout the morning/lunch hours.

                                                  And I certainly can't imagine them (either Elite or SH) holding something over that was cooked from the day before. It just doesn't hold up that well. Now they might make it the day before and cook it the next day (that happens quite often), but certainly the items are "cooked" that day.

                                                  And if there are leftovers, I'd imagine they go home with the staff.

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                    monku Aug 27, 2010 07:08 PM

                                                    I've been to both SH and Elite many times and trust my taste buds.

                                                    Despite what you may think is the right way, they all (all dim sum places) reheat leftovers from the day before and try to sell them first. (FIFO)
                                                    Matter of fact I've been the first customer at Elite on several occasions and see dim sum containers steaming in the kitchen...if they aren't pre-cooking what are they doing?....sterilizing the containers?

                                                    Leftover or not, if they can sell it they will sell it and not give it to the staff to take home.
                                                    My grandfather had Chinese restaurants.

                                                    1. re: monku
                                                      ipsedixit Aug 27, 2010 07:34 PM

                                                      Pre-cooking, yes. Re-heating leftovers? No.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                        monku Aug 27, 2010 07:47 PM

                                                        "Re-heating leftovers? No"
                                                        Do you believe in the tooth fairy?

                                                        It's not a sin or against the law to reheat leftovers from the day before in the restaurant business. You go to a place like Yum Cha Cafe and see all that stuff when they first open and you think it's all "fresh" ?

                                                        1. re: monku
                                                          ipsedixit Aug 27, 2010 09:09 PM

                                                          What?

                                                          I never said anything about Yum Cha? And who brought legality into this?

                                                          All I'm saying is that I do not think either Elite or Sea Harbour are reheating leftovers from the day before. Why would you bring Yum Cha into this? Or the law?

                                                          It's like following up with, Do you think McDonald's reheats their leftover burgers Just a total non sequitur.

                                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                                            monku Aug 27, 2010 10:03 PM

                                                            "Pre-cooking, yes."

                                                            In this post you said they wouldn't pre-cook.
                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/706708

                                                            I can think of several items at any dim sum place that are cooked and if they weren't served that day they would reheat it and serve it the next day.

                                                            1. re: monku
                                                              ipsedixit Aug 28, 2010 10:50 AM

                                                              Hmm, where in that thread did I say that exactly?

                                                              I could only find a suggestions that menu-style dim sum places would not have overruns because they made things to order, probably a little sloppy on part with the choice of words, as I probably should've said "cooked when ordered".

                                                              [shrug] Believe what you want.

                                            2. re: bulavinaka
                                              monku Aug 27, 2010 10:43 AM

                                              I was at Elite Father's Day, were you?

                                              1. re: monku
                                                b
                                                bulavinaka Aug 27, 2010 11:07 AM

                                                My dad had to head out of town during Father's Day. :( I hope Elite treated you and your family well...

                                                1. re: bulavinaka
                                                  monku Aug 27, 2010 12:10 PM

                                                  No complaints, except my SIL ordered way too much as usual.

                                                  1. re: monku
                                                    p
                                                    prats Aug 27, 2010 11:48 PM

                                                    Now, thinking of doing both Elite and Sea Harbor. :) Maybe Elite for Dim Sums and Sea Harbor for dinner. But not sure what should I order for dinner at Harbor...

                                                    1. re: prats
                                                      Servorg Aug 28, 2010 04:18 AM

                                                      "But not sure what should I order for dinner at Harbor..."

                                                      That was covered in great detail recently by exilekiss: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7269...

                                      2. cant talk...eating Aug 26, 2010 02:05 PM

                                        Prats -

                                        Agree w/ Exilekiss (of course) - let us know your preferences. Hole-in-the-wall type places vs. knock-your-socks-off, blow-out feasts, or maybe a little of both? L.A. has so many small cheap places with food you can't really find without traveling to several continents, things like the whole fish at Mariscos chente, or the Szechuan places of San Gabriel/Monterey Park, or amazing sushi at crippling prices. All depends on your angle, which is probably why you're confused - option overload. Maybe have some fun with it and limit your play to the Gold Line and Red Lines? You can move through Mexican of E. L.A., then hit up Koreatown (Wilshire) then double back up to Thai Town? And not have to deal w/ L.A. traffic on the way.

                                        Anyway, reconsider Pink's. Sort of like saying, "I'm planning a trip to India and hitting the Taj Mahal, the western Ghats, and this really cool vending machine at the airport I've heard a lot about." You get the idea.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: cant talk...eating
                                          p
                                          prats Aug 27, 2010 06:10 AM

                                          cant talk...eating & wienermobile

                                          Pink's is gone from my list! Thanks so much!!

                                          1. re: prats
                                            oakjoan Aug 31, 2010 02:57 PM

                                            prats: I seriously disagree with the anti-Pink's movement. I have had a zillion Pinks dogs over the years, mostly at 1 a.m. They may not be the best things L.A. has to offer, but they're pretty great. It's also a scene late at night. If you want to make room for other, "better" food, share a dog with a friend.

                                            I now live in NorCal and rarely get to eat them anymore. Sigh. Husband and I are bringing son and DIL down to L.A. next week and we're taking them there.

                                        2. wienermobile Aug 26, 2010 01:31 PM

                                          For Korean food I love Park's BBQ in Koreatown. They have some of the best cuts of meat in Los Angeles. Make sure you try the beef short ribs, they are incredible. Everything is cooked at your table. At Park's the more people you bring the more dishes you can share. Great flavors, service and a wonderful meal.
                                          http://www.parksbbq.com/

                                          As for Pinks Hot Dogs, I don't think they're worth the 60 to 90 minutes lines on La Brea but now you can get them right a LAX on the second floor of The Tom Bradley International Terminal.
                                          Same Pink's Hot Dogs but now with just a 5 minute wait right at the airport..

                                          For a real taste of LA visit the Original Farmers Market on 3rd and Fairfax. It is a permanent outdoor market open everyday. You can try everything from Tacos at Loteria Grill to Pizza to Cajun to Greek to Brazilian BBQ and everything in between. Great local produce too. Great for people watching. Welcome to LA.
                                          http://www.farmersmarketla.com/

                                          -----
                                          Park's BBQ
                                          955 S. Vermont Ave, Suite G, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                                          Farmers Market
                                          6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                          1. e
                                            exilekiss Aug 26, 2010 01:23 PM

                                            Hi prats,

                                            I hope you enjoy your stay in LA. 6 Days affords you a lot of opportunities to explore some of our best restaurants. :)

                                            A few questions if I may:

                                            1. Any budget considerations? Are you willing to try any of LA's best restaurants regardless of budget?

                                            2. I see you mention "more Chinese food ideas" but nothing about French, Italian or Japanese. Is Chinese cuisine your primary focus?

                                            As to your list so far, hehe, you've included some controversial places for sure. You mention that you want to "explore LA the hound way." I would take that to mean you want the focus on great food first, right? :)

                                            For your first time exploring the best of LA's restaurants, I'm not sure I'd put El Tepeyac and Pink's Hot Dogs as the 2 "must go" places, unless you want to go for other reasons than the best food LA has to offer. :)

                                            * Sea Harbour - I love their Dim Sum, and it's my favorite in So Cal. I don't think you'd have a bad time trying Dim Sum here (versus any of the other possibilities).

                                            Other suggestions (which may change based on your answer to 1 and 2 above (but these are "must-go places" you're asking about)):

                                            * Urasawa - Just do a search and you'll see what the fuss is about. Amazing creations from Chef Urasawa, and a Michelin 2 Star Restaurant (FYI).

                                            * Providence - Go for their Chef's Menu, and let Chef Cimarusti wow you with his creations that night (you can request specific ingredients to focus on, or just let him do his thing :).

                                            * Mori Sushi - Some of LA's best Sushi prepared by a master in Mori-san. Be sure to sit at the bar and request to be seated in front of Mori-san for the evening and go for their Omakase.

                                            * Torihei - Amazing Yakitori (Grilled Chicken Skewers) and Kushiyaki (Meat & Veggie Skewers), along with Kyoto-style Oden (Stewed Vegetables and Meats).

                                            We can provide more recs based on your answers.

                                            Enjoy~ :)

                                            -----
                                            Providence
                                            5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                                            Urasawa Restaurant
                                            218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                            Mori Sushi
                                            11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                            Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant
                                            3939 N. Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead, CA 91770, USA

                                            Torihei
                                            1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: exilekiss
                                              p
                                              prats Aug 27, 2010 05:57 AM

                                              Exilekiss, you didn't let me sleep last night! Don't take it in a bad way... But I was up all night reading your blog and I must say it is the most comprehensive coverage of a restaurant that I have come across. Great great going! I hope it becomes bigger and bigger!

                                              As for me, budget isn't a problem but at the same time, I am a very street food, hole-in-the-wall joint kind of a person. I see myself munching a secret burger than appreciating the finer nuances of a Michelin 3 chef as opposed to a Michelin 2 chef. But if you think I must eat at some restaurant, sure recommend. Let me go through your new reccos.

                                              Just to give you an idea, reading your post on Metro Balderas made me simply salivate! That's the kind of place I am really looking for.

                                              Cheers and thanks for replying!

                                              1. re: prats
                                                e
                                                exilekiss Aug 27, 2010 10:54 AM

                                                Hi prats,

                                                Hehehe, I'm glad you found something useful from my ramblings. :)

                                                And thanks for clarifying your preferences. If the post on Metro Balderas got you excited then that helps us with recommendations for you. :) So, based on that, I'd say the previous recommendations still stand, but I'll add some others:

                                                * Sea Harbour - I love their Dim Sum, and it's my favorite in So Cal. I don't think you'd have a bad time trying Dim Sum here (versus any of the other possibilities).

                                                * Urasawa - This is more on the "fancy" side, but if you want to try one of LA's best restaurants, hands down, you owe it to yourself to try Urasawa if it's within your budget. Just amazing execution and there's no "stuffiness" involved. Do a search and you'll see what the fuss is about. Amazing creations from Chef Urasawa, and a Michelin 2 Star Restaurant (FYI).

                                                * Providence - If Urasawa is out of your budget, and/or you want to experience another of LA's great "fancier" restaurants, Providence is worth stopping by. Go for their Chef's Menu, and let Chef Cimarusti wow you with his creations that night (you can request specific ingredients to focus on, or just let him do his thing :).

                                                * Mori Sushi - Some of LA's best Sushi prepared by a master in Mori-san. Be sure to sit at the bar and request to be seated in front of Mori-san for the evening and go for their Omakase.

                                                * Torihei - This is great, "street food" in a sense. Simple, humble, deliciously amazing Yakitori (Grilled Chicken Skewers) and Kushiyaki (Meat & Veggie Skewers), along with Kyoto-style Oden (Stewed Vegetables and Meats). Inexpensive and a fun vibe. :)

                                                * Metro Balderas - You said you saw my post on Metro Balderas, so you know what to expect. 8 types of juicy Carnitas, so good and cheap! :)

                                                * Langer's Deli - As others have mentioned below, Langer's is a great LA institution and their Pastrami has been rated the best in the world by some.

                                                * Golden State - Depending on how much you enjoy "Burgers" The Golden State makes a pretty good Burger (get it medium rare :), and you can get a free "download" of Beer knowledge from Jason and Jim (the owners who run the place), enjoying some fantastic Micro-Brews. And at the same time, they carry the famous SCOOPS Gelato, so you can enjoy the madness and creativity of what Tai Kim makes that day. All in 1 place. :)

                                                * Father's Office - If you don't care for the Gelato, or want to try the most (in)famous of the Chowhound Burgers in LA, give Father's Office a try. The Office Burger is distinctive and different and quite excellent. And they have a lot of craft beers on tap as well.

                                                * Mariscos Chente - I haven't been to the new location of where Chef Sergio moved to, so I can't vouch for it, but he was the mastermind behind the brilliant Mariscos Chente in Mar Vista (if you search this board for threads and see all those excited posts, that's what it's referring to :). He moved to a new location recently, but if he's there, then I'm sure the Sinaloan / Nayarit Camarones (Shrimp) dishes he creates will be just as good. He's at the Inglewood location now, I believe (westsidegal, Servorg and others please correct me if I'm mistaken).

                                                * Sea Harbour (Dinner) - As bulavinaka so eloquently put it, the very same place you're thinking of trying for Dim Sum serves some great Hong Kong / Cantonese Seafood dinner items as well! Go for their Live Seafood and you can't go wrong (except skip the Tilapia :). Their "Boiled Prawns" is the way to go. You can see some Pics and thoughts from everyone if you do a Search on it.

                                                * Animal - This is a rustic, but stylish, fantastic meat-lover's restaurant. :) It's also one of LA's hottest at the moment (rightfully so). Forgive the last link (there are so many threads linking Animal that you might give up before reading some reviews of it and I posted some pictures in case that helps):

                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/598498
                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/645671
                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/620960

                                                * Izakaya Bincho - Small, hole-in-the-wall (no sign!) Izakaya (Japanese Pub) delivering some of the best Izakaya items in So Cal. Let Tomo-san and his wife Megumi-san, take care of you with their made-from-scratch Japanese Small Plates like Agedashi Tofu, Buta no Kakuni (Slow Braised Pork Belly in Mirin, Soy Sauce, etc.), their amazing Zosui (simple, awesome Chicken Rice Porridge), amongst many other dishes. All situated on the Redondo Beach Pier.

                                                * New Chong Qing - Recently veteran Hound ipsedixit got us excited about this Szechuan restaurant's Dan Dan Noodles and Cold Spicy Noodles. Delicious stuff, and their Ma La Huo Guo (Spicy Hot Pot) isn't too bad either. :) (it's quite good.)

                                                * Patisserie Chantilly - Outstanding Cream Puffs. I know, you might be thinking, "Cream Puffs?" But try their Kurogoma Choux (Black Sesame Cream Puff) and be stunned at how good that is. :)

                                                Running a bit late, but I'll add some more suggestions later.

                                                Enjoy your trip! :)

                                                -----
                                                Patisserie Chantilly
                                                2383 Lomita Blvd., #104, Lomita, CA 90717

                                                Providence
                                                5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                                                Urasawa Restaurant
                                                218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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

                                                Mori Sushi
                                                11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant
                                                3939 N. Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead, CA 91770, USA

                                                Metro Balderas
                                                5305 N Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90042

                                                Father's Office
                                                3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                                Animal
                                                435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                Izakaya Bincho
                                                112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                                                The Golden State
                                                426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                Torihei
                                                1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

                                                New Chong Qing
                                                120 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775

                                              2. re: exilekiss
                                                monku Aug 27, 2010 06:35 AM

                                                Hole-in-the-wall for breakfast...Nick's Cafe in downtown Los Angeles. One block from the Chinatown Gold Line stop. (Few blocks from Philippes)
                                                Ham and eggs are their signature dish. Opens 5:30am M-F 6:30am Sat/Sun.

                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7278...

                                                 
                                                 
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