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lunch and dinner options within a 10 minute drive/30 minute walk of the Grove

Especially interested in Mexican, Latin American, Russian, Japanese, Thai or Persian restaurants. I realize the best Mexican is further afield, but I'm happy enough with fair-good quality that's within a 10 minute drive.

Not very interested in French/bistros/Italian/standard Continental, but open to other suggestions.

Should I go to Loteria Grill? I realize several Chowhounds consider it to be watered-down and/or mediocre. Am I better off with Tex Mex at Marix? Are there any other sitdown Mexican or Tex Mex restaurants nearby that you like better?

Has anyone been to Hirozen since the change in management? Is it still open? The old website link doesn't seem to work.

I have Traktir on my list for a Russian option that isn't too far away. Are there any others you'd recommend?

For a Thai option, I have Joom on my list. What dishes does Joom do best?

Would prefer places that are relatively hype-free, and places where a solo diner wouldn't feel awkward.

Would like to keep prices to under $30 per main, under $15 for starters.

Thanks for any of your suggestions or comments.

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Traktir
8151 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Loteria Grill
6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Hirozen
8385 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Marix L. A. Cuisine
8350 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Joom
7825 Beverly Blvd Ste 2, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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  1. Red O

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    Red O
    8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

    1. That was a joke, as is Red O.

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      Red O
      8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ciao Bob

        Thanks for letting me know it was a joke ;-)

        Good way to test whether I'm doing thorough chow research ;-) Found your review: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7119...
        Although, sounds like some Chowhounds actually like Red O ;-): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7133...

      2. Seriously:
        Mexican: Pinches Tacos on Sunset, Tere's Mexican Grill, Loteria
        Thai: Thaitown, might be a 20 min drive mid-day - Jitlada, Palin, Nadpob Thai Cafe, Sapp Coffee Shop, Spicy BBQ
        Peruvian: Mario's Peruvian Seafood, Los Balcones del Peru

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        Jitlada
        5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

        Tere's Mexican Grill
        5870 Melrose Ave Ste 1, Los Angeles, CA 90038

        Sapp Coffee Shop
        5183 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

        Spicy BBQ
        5101 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

        Nadpob Thai Cafe
        4321 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

        Pinches Tacos
        8200 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ciao Bob

          Awesome, thanks Ciao Bob. I love good Peruvian food, so happy you mentioned those Mario's & Los Balcones del Peru.

          Thanks for the other Mexican & Thai recs, they're on my list!

        2. Yes, definitely definitely do Loteria. Forget all the naysayers, it's still one of the best and most unique in town for that kind of food. My recommended order of five tacos: one chicken mole, one chicken tinga, one meatball, one cochinita pibil, and one potato. Just do it!

          Grab a burger at Golden State, chased with some scoops of Scoops ice cream. Search the forum if you need more info on GS. Again -- don't think, just do it! GS isn't hype free necessarily, but it's never crowded in a way that makes it feel hyped. Sometimes all the tables are taken but I've never waited more than a few minutes. And the vast majority of time it's very chill and there are free tables.

          For an interesting Japanese experience, check out Sake House on La Brea. It's not really a sushi place, it's more like an old 60's style izakaya with Godzilla posters and a pachinko machine. One of my favorite understated places in the area.

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          Sake House Miro
          809 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: QualityMart

            Thanks for the recommended order at Loteria, QualityMart ;-) I'll give Loteria at try. I've never had meatball tacos or potato tacos before.

            Thanks also for the Golden State, Scoops and Sake House suggestions.

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

          2. How about Ethiopian?

            A couple of blocks south on Fairfax from the Grove are Meals by Genet and Rahel, both are great, with Rahel being Vegetarian (and Vegan maybe?).

            Meals by Genet http://www.mealsbygenet.com/
            Rahel: http://www.rahelveggiecuisine.com/

            12 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              I'd like to throw Merkado into the mix for Ethiopian (just a few minutes south on Fairfax). Yum!

              1. re: WildSwede

                Sure, Ethiopian would work ;-) Looks like I've got lots of good options nearby.

                Are there particular dishes you'd recommend at Meals by Genet, Rahel or Merkado?

                1. re: phoenikia

                  I prefer Meals by Genet to Rahel (never been to Merkado).

                  At Genet, try the Ktifo or the Beef Tibs. I hear the lamb is good as well, but have not tried it yet.

                  If you go, you might just want to walk around that area, affectionately known as "LIttle Ethiopia," because it has lots of nooks and crannies worth exploring, both for buying food products and for dining.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Only reason we haven't been to Genet is it's not open for lunch. We've been to the one directly across the street from it - Rosamond's? - twice, once with great service and food, second time with curt service and stuff that had been sitting too long. Of course that second time we'd brought friends, to show off our new find ;-)

                      These are more than just a couple of blocks south from the Grove! Wilshire is half a mile south, and Little Ethiopia is maybe another mile south from there.

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                      Little Ethiopia Restaurant
                      1048 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        I think you mean Rosalind's.

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                        Rosalind's Ethiopian
                        1044 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

                        1. re: New Trial

                          Yes I did. I knew it was Rosa-something...

                          By the way, could someone tell me how to pronounce "Genet"? I assume it's Ethiopian, not French, but I see that and feel compelled to say "Zhenay".

                            1. re: Will Owen

                              One of the scientists at my office who is Ethiopian told me it is Genet - just as written. Not Jeanette (as I used to say). G sound like in garnet - as New Trial's link says.

                      2. re: phoenikia

                        I have been to Genet and a few others in Little Ethiopia. Merkado is my most favorite - seems more flavorful. My standard is the fried whole fish and the Vegetarian Sampler. I also like the Yedoro Wot (#11). The Sambusas are also very good. If you can, get a glass of their delicious honey wine.

                        http://ethiopianmerkato.com/

                    2. re: ipsedixit

                      if you decide on meals by genet, be aware that they are closed on mondays and tuesdays.

                    3. If you haven't been to Animal then I say, without the least hesitation, go. Go soon. Go more than once (which you'll want to after the first time).

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                      Animal
                      435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Servorg

                        I've not been to Animal. I wasn't sure it would be a great option for me since I tend to lean towards pescatarian options when I visit California (mostly because your shellfish, fish and veggies are way better than what I can get at home!), and I'm not a fan of the taste or texture of marrow or foie. That being said, I'm not meat-adverse, and some of the seafood/veg dishes on the sample menu sound innovative & interesting. Some parts of the menu (mostly the ingredients, rather than approach) remind me of Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal, which is one of my favourite restaurants in Canada right now. http://animalmenu.wordpress.com/

                        Interestingly, a restaurant named Beast recently opened in Toronto, so I'm guessing we've got some of that "imitation being the sincerest form of flattery" going on in the Great White North. The menu at Beast appears to be much more tame than the menu at Animal. That's Toronto for ya! http://thebeastrestaurant.com/?page_i...

                        1. re: phoenikia

                          I still think you would have a great time (and meal) sitting at the bar at Animal. Lots to see and there undoubtedly will be others to talk with (along with staff). It really is the most creative and vibrant food that I've had in LA. You could get a couple of appetizers (like the sweetbreads with hen of the woods mushrooms if available and one dessert and you would be a happy Canadian camper for sure)...

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Thanks for the sweetbread rec & hen of the woods mushrooms (if available) rec.

                            I love that in L.A. diners & staff might actually talk to one another at the bar ;-)

                            You've convinced me, I've moved Animal up on the list.

                          2. re: phoenikia

                            Not to mention Animal has poutine! Represent...

                            1. re: outshined

                              Yeah, but it isn't one of their better dishes. It isn't even remotely as good as what's available in Montreal.

                              OTOH, since the OP was looking for fish, the hamachi tostada was probably my favorite dish.

                              1. re: mrhooks

                                Thanks for the hamachi tostada rec ;-)

                                I'm surprised how the novelty of poutine has been spreading beyond Canada to California and beyond. Someone recently opened a poutine shop in Munich.

                        2. Ruby Room on Wilshire, near San Vicente, for Persian.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: tablefor1

                            Thanks for recommending Ruby Room. The Persian dishes look promising.

                            Was puzzled by the blended ice coffee with banana on the Ruby Room drinks menu. Have any Chowhounds tried it?

                            1. re: phoenikia

                              I don't really recommend Ruby Room. I mean, you did mention Persian, and I suppose it's one of the better ones (of only a few anyway) in the area you're looking at, but there's not much special about the food (there are far better Persian places in other parts of the city) and with all the other food options you have I don't think it's worth the trip.

                              1. re: QualityMart

                                Thanks for mentioning that, QualityMart.

                          2. Hirozen and Traktir remain tasty. I like Loteria for what it is and also like Moishes at the FM. Pinches is okay. We go to Golden State pretty regularly as well as Jitlada. Lucques, Animal, Lou Wine Bar are our favorites at the higher end.

                            -----
                            Jitlada
                            5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                            Traktir
                            8151 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

                            Hirozen
                            8385 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                            Lucques
                            8474 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90069

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

                            Moishe's Restaurant
                            6333 W 3rd St Ste 336, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: JudiAU

                              Thanks JudiAU.

                              Good to hear Hirozen and Traktir are still tasty.

                              Have added your additional suggestions. Looks like I've got a fantastic list to work with.

                            2. Great suggestions!!

                              For Thai, I LOVE Nakkara, especially for their soft shell crab curry... DELISH!

                              http://www.nakkaraonbeverly.com/

                              --Dommy!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Dommy

                                Thanks for the rec, Dommy! That dish sounds delish!

                              2. Thanks for all your help so far. I have a great working list, with lots of restaurants offering dishes that are hard to find in the Great White North where I live.

                                Out of the restaurants that have been mentioned, which ones would be open later? I remember reading Animal is open until 11pm most nights, but until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays. I'll have at least one late night bite, probably sometime between 11 pm and 1 am on a Thu, so Animal won't be open. Which restaurants near the Grove would be my best bets on a Thursday after 11 pm?

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: phoenikia

                                  If nothing else really Chow worthy shows up don't forget that Canter's and Dupars are both open 24/7 and Canter's is very close and there is a branch of Dupar's http://www.du-pars.com/ right there at the Grove adjacent Farmer's Market.

                                  ADD: One idea - Cecconi's: http://www.cecconiswesthollywood.com/ open till 1 AM on Thursdays according to their website.

                                  -----
                                  Canter's Fairfax Restaurant
                                  419 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    Thanks Servorg! I'm guessing I'll end up at Canter's for a late night Reuben!

                                    1. re: phoenikia

                                      Canters and Swingers on Beverly are both open all night and within a short and safe walk of The Grove/Farmers Market. I took an out of towner to Canters for a midnight Reuben acouple of weeks ago, and although I was kind of embarrassed by the yukkiness of the place (and it is not LA's best deli) , he loved the authenticity, the pickles and the Reuben. Not to mention the convenience of the location.

                                      Don't overlook Chao Krung on Fairfax for Thai. I understand it was the first or second Thai restaurant to open in the area, and it is an old faithful, with well-prepared food, and a cheesy straight from the seventies black light diorama in the back room. It lacks the wow factor of Jitlada, but if you are dining alone and want to somewhere you can walk to easily, it is a block or so from Farmers Market, quiet and never crowded. (To put it in perspective, it ranks as good Thai takeout but not a destination for us.)

                                      -----
                                      Jitlada
                                      5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                                      Chao Krung Restaurant
                                      111 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                      1. re: coffeebrownies

                                        I think Swingers actually closes for a couple of hours (from 4 AM to 6:30 AM or so). Why they do that I'm not really sure, but at least if you happen to hit them in that window there are other all night places close by in Canter's and Dupars. And one more place in that same area with nearly all night hours is Damiano's Mr. Pizza. They are open from something like 10 AM to 6 AM or so: http://www.menupix.com/menudirectory/...

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          Thanks for the Damiano's Mr. Pizza rec, Servorg.

                                        2. re: coffeebrownies

                                          Thanks for mentioning Chao Krung on Fairfax. Are there any dishes that you always order, coffeebrownies?

                                          Besides the Reuben or other deli sandwiches, what else does Canters do well enough for a midnight nosh ;-) ?

                                          How are their blintzes, potato pancakes and cabbage borscht? How much is their "small delivery fee" (according to their website, they deliver for a small delivery fee), if a small order was to be delivered 10-15 blocks away?

                                          -----
                                          Chao Krung Restaurant
                                          111 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                          1. re: phoenikia

                                            Their other stuff isn't really all that super. Not bad, but not amazing at all. I mean, some things are ok. Most of their chicken-based soups are very good. I love the mish-mash (matzoh ball, kreplach, noodles, veggies). Borsch is nothing to write home about, you're far better off going to the aforementioned Traktir for real borsch!

                                            -----
                                            Traktir
                                            8151 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

                                            1. re: QualityMart

                                              Thanks for your input, QualityMart. Much appreciated!

                                  2. oh good, i love joom. i usually get the orange tofu (if i feel like something sweet), pad se ew, green curry, or the tom kha soup. they have chefs specials on the menu that look great, but i always stick with tofu. i wish i knew about hirozen, i love it and haven't been since new owners, but try haru sushi (i think that's the name) on san vicente south of the beverly center. very mellow when i've gone for lunch alone. if you want korean bbq, genwa is great and i've seen people eat there alone a lot, on wilshire between la brea and highland. in the farmers market i like singapore's banana leaf. the noodle dish is great and so are the soups.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Clyde

                                      Thanks for the recs for Joom, Clyde!

                                      Thanks also for the recs for Haru, Genwa and Singapore's Banana Leaf!

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                                      Singapore's Banana Leaf
                                      6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                      Haru Sushi Cafe
                                      480 S San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                      Joom
                                      7825 Beverly Blvd Ste 2, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                      Genwa
                                      5115 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                    2. Thanks again to everyone for all their responses. I loved staying near the Grove, and will certainly keep this thread as a reference for future visits to LA. All my lunch and dinner choices ended up in the hands of the people with whom I was dining, and breakfast was included at my hotel, so I didn't end up getting to try any of these great recs.

                                      Even though I stayed in LA for 4 days and 4 nights, my only restaurant meal in LA ended up being a prix fixe lunch at Bouchon in Beverly Hills (chosen by a dear friend)- which was very nice. Wasn't sure what to expect given the mixed reviews. I ordered their take on a Wedge, and a Steak salad, followed by Strawberry Sorbet.

                                      I did almost order something from Joan's on 3rd to go when I was peckish and didn't have time for a sit-down meal, but after waiting 10 minutes, and still having 10 people ahead of me, I decided to l didn't feel like waiting any longer so I left. As did the guy who had been in front of me.

                                      Didn't end up satisfying my Russian food fix at Traktir or my taco fix. Will have to take care of that on my next trip to LA.

                                      -----
                                      Traktir
                                      8151 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

                                      1. Two words: Joans on Third.