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I'll be travelling to LA with my wife in a couple of weeks. Any suggestions for lunch and dinner places?

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  1. How much are you looking to spend on meals? It makes a difference, as LA has tons of kosher options. I was there this past summer and the summer before.. loved every place we went to.

    Some of my favorites for dinner-
    Pat's (on Pico)- meat restaurant- the prime rib for two is delicious. Last time we went, we both had chicken dishes that were great.

    Tierra Sur- in Oxnard- definitely worth the drive.. it's about an hour from LA

    Milk n Honey- dairy restaurant- on Pico. We've had the pastas and salads, and heard good things about the fish. Not too expensive.

    Lunch-
    Nagila Pizza- excellent pizza. The falafel is also very good. They have a meat fast food restaurant (burgers, shwarma, schintzel) next door.

    Jeff's Sausages- homemade sausages- I've never tried anything like it before. Great place, good for a meat lunch or a casual dinner. My husband loved it.

    Also, note that all Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf locations are kosher. It's a chain like Starbucks- and they're everywhere in LA. The salads and sandwiches are prewrapped and there's a kosher certificate in the refrigerated case. Sandwiches and salads are good, not awesome, but it's nice to know that you can pick something up wherever you are.

    We also got Shabbat takeout from several different places... if you want more info about that, I can post it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cheesecake17

      I definitely second Pat's and Jeff's - opposites on the diuning experience but both are excellent!

    2. Well, it's too bad that I went out of business, because I had great reviews. But I agree with what cheesecake 17 said in terms of current restaurants to hit. One addition, though... if you're in the Valley at all, or if you want a bit of Chinese, better than the other Chinese in the city, Golan is the place. Better Chinese (in terms of quality, though you'll find far greater variety elsewhere), in a location with no ambience, but with good Israeli-style food and acceptable American.

      I also heard there was a good new shawarma place opening on Pico, though I haven't been there yet. In the Valley, Brami's is the place for pizza and milchigs- 2 locations.

      1. A third vote for Jeff's. Their deli is made in-house and even the burgers are excellent.

        We like Shanghai Garden, but only if you don't have "real" Chinese food where you live. It's clean and usually quiet (though this past weekend it was very noisy.) Go early!!

        If you go to either Pat's or Shanghai Garden be VERY careful to read the parking signs carefully. We get parking tickets so often in that neighborhood (because the signs are confusing) that we have totally given up and we use the valet parking. A $3 fee and a tip is less than a $40 parking ticket.

        We are not Nagila fans.

        My family's favorite pizza is Pizza World (Fairfax neighborhood) and if you have never eaten a bean chimichanga you need to do 100 sit ups tonight and then go get one. I love their "beef" (vegetarian) faijitas as well. The "Yummy" sandwiches are also, well, yummy. The pasta Alfredo was disappointing.

        1. I love the pastrami sandwich at Pico Kosher Deli.

          I don't know the taco truck's hours but the tacos are ok plus you get a very L.A. experience.

          Fish Grill at the beach in Malibu is a nice option, lunch or dinner. Nothing fancy but pretty good and at the beach in Malibu.

          It's a shame Smokin' closed. The ribs were fantastic. It's the only place I've been to in the valley (twice).

          3 Replies
          1. re: elmoz

            Pico Kosher Deli was just ok. They had no idea what a half sour pickle was. ( is that a new york thing?) Maztah ball soup was nothing special. The round potato knish was surprisingly excellent.

            1. re: cheesecake17

              Haven't tasted much from their menu. I didn't like the corned beef sanwhich.

            2. re: elmoz

              Thanks!

            3. +1 for Jeff's (have never had a bad meal there - tons of variety), and I love Got Kosher (just about a block down). Grab a pretzel challah from Got Kosher for home - yum!

              A big thumbs down for me at Shilo's. I had the worst kosher meal I've ever had the displeasure to pay for there. Would never go back.

              1. There's a new place that I'd love to try out next time I'm there - La Seine - it's a steakhouse - and there's a really interesting dairy restaurant called 'Cow Jumped over the Moon' - it's on Rodeo - the location is beautiful and their wine selection is superb.

                2 Replies
                1. re: brooklynkoshereater

                  Cow Jumped over the moon closed shortly after moving into Prime Grill's old space. I miss it!
                  Don't forget Delice Bistro and Delice Bakery.

                  1. re: mamaleh

                    We went to Cow Jumped Over the Moon the first time we were in LA about 4 years ago. I believe they had just opened in a tiny space on Rodeo. The food was delicious- I had a salad with rounds of aged goat cheese. We also bought some wine from them to bring back home.

                    Delice Bakery is fantastic! We bought challah and rolls there for Shabbat- they sell out early. Their desserts are beautiful too.

                2. Definitely go to Jeff's, love their sausages on their onion rolls. Don't care for Pico Kosher Deli at all. Milk and honey is very good, just make sure you don't go to the Milky way. You can't beat Pat's, it is always good. Haven't been to La Gondola since they moved to their new place on Wilshire, but it was alway good. If you want breakfast, there is a lot of Schwartz/s around.
                  Definitely go to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Their drinks are great, and all of their stuff is kosher.
                  If you find yourself at the Grove, there is a kosher hot dog stand.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: paprkutr

                    The kosher hot dog stand (hot dogs and sausages from Jeff's) was heaven sent. We were at the Grove, and we both wanted a snack. Husband had a chili dog and I had an iced coffee from CBTL.

                  2. I'll be in LA late this week through early next week. I'm definitely planning on a visit to Jeff's, and I was going to visit Craig's place until I heard that it had closed. Instead of that, I think I'd like to go Persian, if there's anything good; it seems to me that there ought to be, in a city nicknamed "Teherangeles". So, any recommendations? (The standard I have for comparison is Colbeh, in NYC; is there anywhere in LA that's equal or better?)

                    PS: I understand that Beverly Hills Colbeh (formerly Beverly Hills Cuisine) has closed.

                    24 Replies
                    1. re: zsero

                      Unfortunately, the best Persian restaurants in Los Angeles are not kosher. There is a kosher Persian restaurant called Kolah Ferengi (Pico-Robertson area), but I don't think it is anything special compared to what I've eaten in my Persian friends' homes. Both Kolah Ferengi and Shanghai Diamond Garden are partially owned by Persians and they also have Chinese food on the menu - go figure :) Shanghai Diamond Garden has a dish called Aromatic Fish which is a nice Persian/Chinese blend if you want to try something a little different.
                      Two other restaurant suggestions: Delice Bistro for French food and a great wine list, and the newly opened Bodhi Thai which is vegan Thai (more fast-food-like and they have Mexican dishes on the menu too).

                      1. re: mamaleh

                        Kolah Ferengi is good not great. Avoid the Chinese dishes there. If you really want good Persian food, get yourself invited to a Persian wedding or engagement party.

                        I still recommend Pizza World. Better than any NY pizza since Irving's on Ralph Ave. closed.

                        But don't miss Jeff's, especially the best-kept secret in California, Jeff's deli. Even better than the dearly missed Essex on Coney if that's possible.

                        1. re: SoCal Mother

                          Oh, Jeff's was first on my list. But I'll be in LA for most of a week, so a second meal out is on the agenda; that was to be Smokin', but since that's no longer an option I'm looking for a replacement. Given the lack of enthusiasm for the only Persian places I'll skip that, but thanks for the suggestion of Bodhi Thai; is there a web site with a menu? Has anyone here tried it and can give pointers?

                          1. re: zsero

                            It is a little bit of a splurge but I would also recommend Pat's -

                            1. re: zsero

                              Sorry, I accidentally threw out my take out menu for Bodhi Thai and the do not have a website yet. Here is the contact info I have:
                              9303 W Pico Blvd
                              Los Angeles, CA 90035
                              Pico at Glenville (next to Chick 'n Chow)
                              (310) 248-2777
                              Pad thai was very good. I also tasted most of the soups and they were very flavorful. A welcome addition to the same old kosher fare. I still find it hilarious that they feel compelled to put Mexican food on the menu too - I can't bring myself to try it. It is definitely not a fine dining atmosphere, but the food is good. Lunch specials are a steal at $7-9. Just a reminder that it is vegan, so if you are really craving meat this is not the place for you.

                              If you are looking to sit down and have a relaxing fine dining kosher experience, I think there are only 2 places in the Pico Robertson area worth mentioning and they are Pat's and Delice Bistro (Delice Bakery next door is great for breakfast - I dream about their croissants).

                              Got Kosher is a very interesting place for lunch. It is set up mostly for take out, but it has a few tables crammed into the front and outside. I highly recommend their sandwiches. Make sure you order them fresh and don't take the ones sitting in the refrigerator. They make a seared blue fin fricasse sandwich on mini brioche that is out of this world. At lunch time, the outdoor tables are filled with cigarette smoking francophones downing them by the dozen. The tunisian tuna sandwich is also great, and my husband loves the Memphis inspired brisket sandwich. If you are there for Shabbat, pick up a Belgian chocolate pretzel challah.

                              If you venture farther out, there is Bocca (and it's dairy counterpart Mocca) in the valley. There is also a very good sushi place in the valley called Le Sushi. I think Brami's Pizza has great pizza and stuffed pretzels. If you venture much farther out to Oxnard, Tierra Sur is wonderful.

                              Unfortunately, the downturn in the economy has taken it's toll on many of the Kosher restaurants in the last few years, and several really good ones have disappeared.

                              I hope this helps.

                              1. re: mamaleh

                                Pat's is one of my favorites. The service is excellent and the menu had a wide range of dishes. It's on the pricey side, but not super expensive, and the portions are large. If you mention that you'll be sharing a salad, they split it into two portions without asking.

                                We went to Oxnard on two trips to LA. It's definitely worth the experience. The restaurant itself is beautiful, as is the wine tasting gallery. Service was fantastic and the menu changes often. We've never really driven from LA to Oxnard, but rather spent the day in Malibu and then drove to Oxnard for dinner.

                        2. re: zsero

                          That's really sweet of you, Zev. Would have enjoyed seeing you. Perhaps you'd consider dinner at my house, if we can arrange it. I still have a few ribs, and a bunch of hickory.

                          1. re: zsero

                            After much to-ing and fro-ing, we've agreed to go to Sushi Kosher. (Not everyone liked the hechsher on the Thai place, and Jeffs is likely to be too crowded for a party of eight. Got Kosher is similarly small, and it closes at 7. Shnitzly seems to be just like Shnitzi in Brooklyn, where I can eat any time.)

                            Any views/recommendations? I'm not a huge sushi fan, though I don't actually dislike it.

                            1. re: zsero

                              Jeff's has some tables outside that can accommodate groups. Last time I was there we were a constantly changing group of between 4-10 teenagers (and SoCal Mom with the credit card.) Only problem is that it's been chilly this week.

                              1. re: SoCal Mother

                                Remember chilly is a state of mind - those of us in Chicago might enjoy a Jeff's sausage outside -

                                1. re: SoCal Mother

                                  There were supposed to be a thunderstorm (which didn't materialise), so outside wasn't an option.

                                  1. re: zsero

                                    It's raining now. Remember we don't get the most experienced meteorologists here. How much experience does it take to say "70 degrees and sunny" every day?

                                2. re: zsero

                                  At SushiKo we usually order rolls. Hawaiian, Volcano, Spicy Deep Fried Tuna and Basketballs. The sushi pizza is interesting. I'm a bit of a sushi snob, and I think this place is just OK. Le Sushi in West LA is better. However, my kids love it but - they order tamago and ikura.
                                  If you don't like sushi, go to Delice Bistro or Pat's instead. There are great fish options in both of these places for those that want fish.
                                  Curious what is wrong with the KOLA hechsher. I have not met anyone yet that has a problem with it. It is the same one that Coffee Bean and a bunch of other places use. Is it because it is not chalav yisroel?

                                  1. re: mamaleh

                                    We went to Sushiko, where I had tamago and a yellowtail (or, as the menu called it, "yellow tale") collarbone. Those who like sushi had it.

                                    Chalav Yisrael shouldn't be a problem with the Thai place, because it's vegan. But some insiders in the kashrut biz do seem to have a problem with KOLA, and two members of our party were advised not eat there. So I went there myself on Sunday and had a rather nice pad thai. Question: is pad thai meant to be sweet?

                                    1. re: zsero

                                      Yes, Pad Thai is meant to be a little sweet. If you want to try to make it yourself at home, Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home has a nice recipe that I make all of the time.

                                      1. re: mamaleh

                                        OK then. Wikipedia informs me that it contains tamarind juice, which I suppose is what makes it sweet.

                                        Following Craig's recommendation, some time ago, of the fried chicken at Chick'n'Chow, I went across the street after dinner and got a piece for the plane; naturally it wasn't crispy by the time I ate it, but it was very good nonetheless.

                                        1. re: zsero

                                          Tamarind is used to flavor many of the popular Mexican sweets that kids here seem to like. I would imagine that Smart N Final would have tamarind juice. The Mexico City Va'ad hashgacha symbol is the letters VK on top of two alefs.

                                          Next time try the lo mein. I like Chinese style food at Chick N Chow, but the salads look pretty tired. Somehow I can't bring myself to order takeout fried chicken. We almost always take out rather than eat in because someone has to sit in the car.

                                    2. re: mamaleh

                                      a friend of mine loves the sushi pizza. what is it exactly? something I could replicate at home?

                                      1. re: cheesecake17

                                        To me, it tastes a little like a tuna melt. Cooked rice pressed into the bottom of a small pan, topped with spicy tuna mix, then topped with sushi mayo mixture, then put under the broiler for a few minutes. I watched them make it last time I was there.

                                        1. re: mamaleh

                                          Interesting. No raw fish for me though

                                          1. re: cheesecake17

                                            it gets pretty well done under the broiler.

                                            1. re: mamaleh

                                              I'm funny like that- I won't eat cooked fish (don't like it at all) and I can't eat raw fish. So I guess no sushi pizza for me :)

                                              1. re: cheesecake17

                                                If you want to try an unusual "pizza" in LA, go to Pizza World and get their Mexican pizza. It's basically nacho toppings (refried beans, cheese, jalapenos, etc. ) on top of pizza dough instead of corn chips. It's really much better than it sounds.

                                                Sushi pizza on the other hand, sounds too weird for me. I love sushi but only the fake crab and veggies with the sushi rice, not the raw fish.

                                                1. re: SoCal Mother

                                                  Next time we're in LA I'll definitely put Pizza World on my list. The Mexican Pizza sounds like something my husband would adore.

                                                  Sushi pizza doesn't exactly sound super appetizing to me, but a friend of mine LOVES it. I like sushi- especially the raw fish- but for now I'm stuck on veggie rolls. My favorite combos are mango/avocado and cucumber/jalepeno.