HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

Chowhound's 99 Essential Restaurants in Los Angeles

Ok, motivated by these two threads bashing(?), and maybe even whining(?), about Jonathan Gold's 99 Essential Restaurants 2010:

Here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7465...
and
Here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7464...

How about we stop the negativity and we 'Hounds compile our own 99 Essential Restaurants list?

Not the "Best" (that's maxzook's balliwick), but your list of essential restaurants for Los Angeles.

I think 99 would be difficult for even the most intrepid of 'Hounds.

So how about we limit the choices to 10 per 'Hound.

And, if I've got time, I'll actually complie a list of the 99 most mentioned restaurants from the post.

Deal?

Have it at ...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. This is actually a lot harder narrowing down a list. Honorable mention has to be The Hat. Wish I could put it on the list. : (

    Sea Harbour
    Luscious Dumpling
    CUT
    Wolfgang's
    Mama's Lu
    Langer's
    Brent's
    Mozza
    Animal
    Santouka

    5 Replies
    1. re: A5 KOBE

      mariscos chente in inglewood on imperial highway near yukon.

      shamshiri grill on westwood blvd near santa monica blvd.

      rahel's on fairfax near pico for ethiopian food

      -----
      shamshiri
      1712 Westwood Blvd, Westwood, CA 90024

      1. re: westsidegal

        since i'm not sure what they mean by 'essential," i'll just go with my regular rotation:

        mariscos chente's on west imperial highway
        la cachette bistro on ocean
        (these two, although very different from each other have the best fish. la cachette bistro also has some supurb desserts)

        fig (best cheese and very good food--ate there for dinner tonight. had a large cheese flight along with ther fresh-from-the-oven terrific crusty french bread)
        hosteria del piccolo (great pasta and starters and fabulous desserts)''

        gjelina, going about 2pm to avoid the annoying wait and to avoid the annoying abbreviated menu that they serve between 3pm and 5:30 and after 10pm

        stella rossa (best westside pizza even though it only is open during drinking hours)

        and, although i no longer have the funds for this to be in m regular rotation, i did eat there recently and the fish is still terrific: sushi zo. ( i know, a matter of controversy on his board, but i, personally, have only have had lovely experiences there.)

        1. re: westsidegal

          I'm sure your choices are excellent. But you might want to try some fish at Orris, Mori, Providence, Water Grill, (I'm moving Eastward) Shiro, Full House, Seafood Village, Newport Seafood, Sea Harbour and so on.

          -----
          Water Grill
          544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

          Shiro Restaurant
          1505 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

          1. re: mc michael

            i've tried the fish at Orris.
            it was fine,
            but the "no reservations" policy coupled with no comfortable place to sit or stand while waiting for a seat, took away my motivation to learn the game for timing my meal there.

            Gelina (which i mostly go to for their take on vegetables and salads has the same problem, but since it's closer to my home, i was willing to spend some time to figure out the game. my Gjelina approach, btw, is to go about 2pm or so for a late lunch).
            providence, of course, serves superb food, but too costly to be on my regular rotation.
            mori is fine, but if i'm spending that kind of money, i prefer the way the fish tastes at sushi zo (controversial position, i know).

            have yet to try your other recommendations.
            probably won't try water grill because of the location (at this point, getting off the freeway downtown is a minus for me), but will definitely put your other recommendations on my list.
            thanks

            1. re: mc michael

              Bit of advice - seek out ABC Seafood in Chinatown, as the owner, Danny Lam, was formerly with Full House, and thus many of the customers have now moved over a few blocks.
              ABC was completely remodeled, changed ownership, and is now busier than you might expect.
              Tried it today - see an earlier post.

              -----
              ABC Seafood Restaurant
              708 New High St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

      2. Jitlada
        Urasawa
        Water Grill
        Spago
        Mori Sushi
        Zelo
        Renu Nakorn
        Yoma
        Lemonade
        Al Noor

        -----
        Water Grill
        544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

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

        Spago
        176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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

        Al Noor
        15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

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

        Yoma Restaurant
        713 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA

        Renu Nakorn Restaurant
        13019 Rosecrans Ave, Norwalk, CA 90650

        1. Dean Sin World: Shanghai dumplings
          26 Beach: California Roll Burger
          Get Shaved: Best shave ice not in Hawaii
          Antojitos Carmen: Mexican street food
          Bite: Best croissants
          Kagura: millefieu tonkatsu
          Big Mista: brisket and pork ribs
          Donut Man: outrageous strawberry donuts
          Sea Harbor: Dim sum
          Bulgarini: unmatched gelato

          Honorable Mention:
          Park Korean BBQ
          Jongewaard's: pies and cakes
          Fab Dogs:
          Pizzeria Mozza:
          Langers:
          Brents
          Bludso's
          Flossie's
          Bay Cities
          Vito's
          Porto's
          Chego

          -----
          26 Beach
          3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

          Donut Man
          915 E Rte 66, Glendora, CA 91740

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

          Pizzeria Mozza
          641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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

          Chego
          3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

          7 Replies
          1. re: Ogawak

            Urasawa
            Providence
            Sushi Zo
            Asanebo
            Elite
            Nanbankan
            101 Noodle Express (for the beef roll)
            Park's BBQ
            Quality Seafood
            Eva's Lechon

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

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

            Sushi Zo
            9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

            Asanebo
            11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

            101 Noodle Express
            1408 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

            Quality Seafood
            130 International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA

            1. re: Ogawak

              I can't believe I forgot Bludso's.

              1. re: A5 KOBE

                ooooh, for shame!

                bludso's
                the park's finest
                jim dandy's
                new chong qing
                kingburg kitchen
                pailin thai
                ricky's fish tacos
                al watan
                handel's
                l'artisan du chocolat

                1. re: raizans

                  Love New Chong Qing

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

                  1. re: yoyo

                    when's the last time you went? I have chronicled steep decline....

                    1. re: echoparkdirt

                      I was there last weekend. The hot pot is not as spicy and everything was salty. The dan dan noodle was too salty for me. i thought it was just an off day. I hope it won't go downhill. I love this place.

                      1. re: yoyo

                        keep us posted. in the meantime, check out taste of chongqing on valley -- it's a contender.

            2. Cut
              Drago Centro
              Langers
              Jitlada
              Loteria Grill
              Sea Harbour
              Elite Restaurant
              Mori
              Newport Seafood
              R23

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

              Cut
              9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212

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

              Elite Restaurant
              700 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

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

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

              R23
              923 E. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

              Drago Centro
              525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                1. re: RicRios

                  Defining essential takes away all the fun.

                  1. re: mc michael

                    Petitio principii!

                    Got to go.
                    Taquitos dorados in the oven, to be washed down with a Langhe Rosso from Luigi Baudana.

                    I'm out.

                    1. re: RicRios

                      au contraire. it's metaphysical. the restaurants chosen by the peeps define "essential." now, start pickin'.

                      1. re: mc michael

                        I'd rather say, it's more practical than metaphysical.
                        I'm sure pretty soon we'll have maxzook's "ultimate" list brewing.
                        I need to know at least what's the difference, as far as this board is concerned, btw "essential" and "ultimate". If we can't separate the concepts, what's the purpose of compiling two lists?

                          1. re: RicRios

                            As I see it, RicRios, the essential restaurants are those that you consider to be part of what makes Los Angeles unique and different from every other major metropolitan city.

                            These are the restaurants that represent (maybe even define?) the quiddity of Los Angeles, if you will.

                            Cheers my friend!

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              In other words, essential means "what it is." It being Los Angeles.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                That being the case, it must include Pink's.
                                And I refuse.
                                Period.
                                Now back to my taquitos. This time, the emulsifying medium being a 2007 Savigny-les-Beaune from Hospices de Beaune. Wow!

                              2. re: RicRios

                                examples:

                                Essential: Philippe's French Dip
                                Ultimate: Houston's French Dip

                                edit: While Houston's *may* have a superior french dip, I find myself going to Philippes more often...for atmosphere, nostalgia, history, etc.

                                1. re: OCAnn

                                  I suppose I can agree to this. Essential =/= best.

                                  1. re: OCAnn

                                    Here's another one:

                                    Essential: Din Tai Fung XLB
                                    Best / Utlimate: Dean Sin World XLB

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

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

                                    1. re: OCAnn

                                      i find myself going to Houston's more often for the free corkage.. . .
                                      since i eat more meals out in restaurants than i cook at home, free corkage turns into a tidy savings for me over the course of time.

                                      nostalgia, to me, is a top dog at Berkeley and the smell of my hair and my clothes being permeated by hot dog grease after every shift.. . .