Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Jan 2, 2011 05:03 PM

sushi, mexico and ?

This is probably the millionth time someone has said,"I am coming to LA and want some really amazing .........etc....". My wife, 3 yr old son and I love food and eat out alot. We are from NYC and I really want to eat some things that NYC doesn't do so well. For instance, food from mexico or thailand or vietnam. We have good sushi and our son loves anything japanese. So, a good Japanese restaurant would be helpful and then what would be surprising? Our budget is small, say up to $15 an entree. We are staying in Marina del Rey thanks to priceline but we will be in and around the rest of the city for a week. I am excited by the posts on taco trucks but is In and Out Burger really that good?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Go to Soot Bull Jeep for Korean BBQ. It is the best Korean BBQ that fits within your budget. Park's BBQ is better, but also pricier.

    Jitlada for Thai.

    For sushi near Marina Del Rey, try Irori. For Japanese try Musha in nearby Santa Monica.

    Re: In N Out. Whether it is worth it will depend on the individual. Since it's already piqued your interest, you might as well try it or else you'll go back to NYC always left wondering with lingering doubt if you've missed out on something extraordinary.

    Let us know if you have other questions.

    Enjoy your visit.

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

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

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

    424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

    4 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      You're probably not going to be that wowed by In N Out, but to avoid second guessing by people who have been you have to have a double-double animal style and the fries well done. It's probably better than Shake Shack but with a similar cache.

      1. re: mc michael

        I agree with mc michael

        I say you should give In and Out a try. It's not the best or the worst LA has to offer but it's inexpensive and worth a trip for your own burger edification.
        If you do decide to go you won't find Animal Style on the menu.
        It's a specific way to have your burger done.

        Here is a list of customizations you can have done to your burger that are not mentioned on the menu.

        I can't recall if it's better then the Shake Shack or not. It's been a while since I've had a burger from there but they do move the line a lot faster.

        1. re: burntwater

          I Like the idea of a double double animal style and I love a crisp fry! thanks mc.
          Shake shack is good but only for new york. My hometown of Peoria, IL had burgers just as good or better while growing up. So, I kinda shrug my shoulders at the lines at SS and go to Pauls in the east village. You should try it next time in NY burntwater.

          1. re: richeast

            Rich, thanks for the recommendation.

            I happened to stumble upon Paul's walking around the East Village.
            I wasn't intending to go there at the time but it was one of the places my NYC friends had mentioned to me so I checked it out. I would frequent the Corner Bistro the most for my quick burger fix since it's only a few minutes walking distance from where I stay in New York.

            In Venice Beach we have dive bar / burger institution called the Hinano.
            Although totally different they are similar to me.

    2. check out Mariscos Chente for excellent Mexican seafood. there are several locations, so be sure to hit the one on Imperial Highway in Inglewood - it's an easy drive from MDR. the address in the "places" link is wrong, so here's the correct info:

      Mariscos Chente
      3544 W Imperial Hwy, Inglewood, CA 90303
      (310) 672-2339

      and ipse gave you some excellent suggestions.

      Mariscos Chente
      10020 Inglewood Ave, Lennox, CA 90304

      1 Reply
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        In n Out is great but you can have a great fast food burger anywhere. For breakfast, amazing french toasts, try 26 Beach Restaurant right on Washington just west of Lincoln. 26 Beach also does an amazing array of gourmet hamburgers. Mexicali Tacos & Co. does some great tacos and things, they are open wednesday-saturday and located in a parking lot at 1st & Beaudry in Downtown, subject to the weather. Enjoy your stay.

        26 Beach
        3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

        Mexicali Taco & Co
        1820 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

      2. You can sample some excellent Oaxacan food fairly close to Marina Del Rey (MDR) in the West LA area (just barely outside the eastern boundary of Santa Monica) at Monte Alban. For just plain old (but very good Mexican fair) you should seek out Tacomiendo in either of its two locations (also fairly close to MDR)

        Monte Alban
        11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

        4502 Inglewood Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

        11462 Gateway Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

        1. My $.02 -- In-and-Out is nothing special at all, hardly better than McD/BK/Wendy's.

          These days most burgs, and of course NYC, have terrific sushi. The thing LA has far more than most is great non-sushi Japanese - fantastic udon/soba/ramen (Kotohira, Otofuko, Oumi Sasaya, Santouka), great izakaya and yakitori joints (Nanbankan, Kokeekoko), or pubs (Musha and Torahei).

          7 Replies
          1. re: Ciao Bob

            Anthony Bourdain was recently interviewed and extolled the virtues of the In-n-Out Burger. The first thing he does when he arrives in LA is go to the In-n-Out next to LAX and get a large to-go order for his hotel room and I have to agree with his cravings.

            1. re: wienermobile

              Plus Gordon Ramsey has said that In-n-Out would be his choice for his last meal.

              1. re: jsandler

                I think debating the merits of In N Out is sort of Sisphysian -- there are those who are ardent supporters and others who find it no better than just "another burger".

                Whenever the question of whether In N Out is worthwhile for an out-of-towner pops up on the LA Board, I just think that the best answer is "As an out-of-towner, if you have to ask, then you have to try it for yourself and make your own determination."

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  You're not exactly risking the family fortune...

                  1. re: Servorg

                    You're not exactly risking the family fortune...
                    You might be if you order a 4 by 4.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        I think it's $6.75.
                        Found this on line when they still used to make them as big as you wanted,
                        a 120×120 was 117.33 including tax.
                        Now a 4x4 is as big as In n Out will go and even that is too big for me.

          2. Welcome to LA!

            I'd heavily second the choice for Monte Alban for Oaxacan. It is close enough to MDR and their prices will be well within your budget and still give you a fantastic Mexican food experience that you won't find in NYC.

            If you're interested in a taco truck experience, there is a truck on Lincoln near Rose. You want the one at night, they make a great clayuda. Their tacos aren't bad but the clayuda is very good. Get one to split as they are large.

            Also second the Mexicali Taco stand. Their meats are a considerable step up from most taco places. It's in downtown LA with plenty of parking, the people are extremely friendly and the price to quality and quantity ratio is ridiculous good.

            For Japanese, another inexpensive option near you would be Santouka Ramen inside the Mitsuwa food court off Centinela. Great ramen, you'll be in a food court with minimal ambiance. But it will be inexpensive, about $8-9 depending on choice for a very filling and flavorful bowl. The one most people start with is the shio or salt ramen. All choices come in small, regular or large bowls. Be forewarned that these are very filling and for most a large is a lot of food. They have a display showing each kind but it can be deceiving how big it is.

            I love In and Out and grew up with it. That said, I'd say go in with realistic expectations if you decide to go. It's a good fast food burger and pretty cheap if you get a double double. There's one on Washington near Lincoln. Maybe grab one to split as you're coming home from the freeway on your way back to MDR just to try it. It's in the same center as Costco and that parking lot can be a little hectic. If you were hard pressed for time and stomach space, I'd would not recommend it heavily.

            There's plenty of good value and inexpensive Japanese in the Sawtelle corridor between Olympic and Santa Monica blvd. Two different kinds of curry houses. I'd stay away from the ramen places. Hide is cash only but good value and quality sushi, a favorite of this board. Furaibo is also there, a fun izakaya. We actually prefer Nanbankan near the corner of Santa Monica and Sawtelle for skewers an izakaya style small plates. With a 3 year old, I think Nanbankan would be better as it's a little more sedate than Furaibo which might be a little too crowded and loud for a young kid. Nanbankan also has dinner sets which are a good value. The cheapest is about $20, you get a variety of skewers, rice, veggies and dessert. Make reservations if you go.

            For Thai food, Jitlada is definitely a board fave. They can get busy and service a bit slow. It's not a problem if you're aware of it but some newcomers go in seeming like they're expecting fine dining service.

            Have fun and report back!

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

            Monte Alban
            11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

            Santouka Ramen
            21515 S Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

            Centinela Cafe
            4800 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066