Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Jan 24, 2011 03:00 AM

Coming to LA for a short trip... would love to experience the local food

Hi there

We are a small group of 3 (no kids) flying to the US for a short holiday in mid Feb (2 days in Universal City and 3 days in Ananheim).

During our stay, we'd really love to experience the best that LA has to offer in the reasonably priced segment (i.e. max of $30 per dish).

Things we'd love to try out are :

Steaks (incl. ribs)
Sea Food

Would appreciate any recommendations you can provide (non-smoking places only..)



  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hi Syd, and welcome to the LA Chowhound board. As you may (or may not realize) the LA Chowhound board resembles LA. That means it is huge, spread out and chaotic. ;-D> So when you ask for recommendations on very well represented and hotly debated cuisines/food like "burgers" or "Japanese" or (most broadly and hotly of all probably) "Mexican" you are calling for something that is going to take you a month of nightly reading just to survey.

    To give you an idea of the depth and breadth of these areas lets just start with one (out of probably hundreds) of threads on burgers:

    As you can see, narrowing down your choices won't be an easy task. That said a lot of the narrowing may well come down to "geographic serendipity" - in other words, where will you be in relationship to the choices available and how much time do you want to spend driving (and waiting) in traffic?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg

      Another example of the passion and breadth of the LA board. This thread is about fish tacos. So, while the greater board discussion of Mexican still exists and is discussed at even greater length covering things like Oaxacan and Yucatecan and Sinaloan food, this one is looking at only fish tacos:

    2. Would appreciate any recommendations you can provide (non-smoking places only..)
      In Los Angeles County all restaurants are thankfully non-smoking. And beginning March 8th 2011 you can no longer smoke in any outdoor dining areas.

      3 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile

        Smoking in the enclosed portion of a restaurant is banned statewide, as is smoking within 20 feet of the entrance or an open window of a public (i.e., government-owned or government-leased) building. The patio ban is strictly Los Angeles City, though, and Universal Studios is not in Los Angeles City (it's on unincorporated land in Los Angeles County).

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Strangely enough U City is actually 70% unincorporated LA County and 30% LA City. Now that's a "mash up." ;-D>

        1. One question: will you have a car? I would assume you will, but please let us know just in case you are planning on using public transportation instead...

          2 Replies
          1. re: rmb123

            I recently took the 2 hour Disneyland "Express" bus from downtown LA . Not recommended.

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster

              I did too! It was definitely NOT the happiest ride on earth.

          2. lots of good places off the redline if you're @ Universal

            Langers, Grand Central Market, Little Tokyo/Arts District, various DTLA spots, thai town, ktown...

            kinda old but here's a start:


            1. Sticking to your price range, and close to Universal (nothing is close to Anaheim)

              Umami or Father's Office for a burger
              Jar for a steak in that price range
              Sea Food, go to Hungry Cat
              Mexican, Loteria Grill
              Japanese, if you have a car, head to Musha in Santa Monica

              The Hungry Cat
              1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

              424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

              1 Reply
              1. re: yogachik

                Agree withj Umami, and Fathers Office as the go to burger places.
                Jar and Hungry Cat I think are both well above the price range (the last seafood main I had at Hungry Cat was $37) I would instead recommend Taylor's for steak, and either Chinese or Mexican for seafood.
                You will be close to Nozawa and (while not my favorite place for esoteric sushi snob reasons) is something you will likely enjoy. It's a bit much for dinner, but sit at a table for lunch and it can be in your price range.

                The Hungry Cat
                1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028