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New Yorkers with Tweens Visiting L.A

We'll be visiting the Los Angeles area for the kids winter break, staying in the Redondo Beach area but hitting all the tourist spots-Hollywood, Disney, Universal, the Getty. Our children have never been to L.A and are fairly adventurous eaters. We have plans for In'n Out and Pinks in terms of great West Coast fast food. Any other tips for some good ethnic eats?

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  1. My tween's love Park's BBQ in Koreatown. Maybe my favorite restaurant in all of LA. Great korean BBQ meats that you cook at your table. The short ribs are incredible, A real treat for everyone.

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

    1 Reply
    1. I like Pink's but it is not worth the very long (over one hour) wait. Maybe try Wurstkuche instead and some rattlesnake sausage or Philippe's for some lamb french dip.

      Philippe the Original
      1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

      800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

      5 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile

        I love Philippe's, but if you're going to eliminate Pinks based upon mediocre food and long waits, well...

        1. re: cls

          Right??! If you go to Pinks off hours, it's not that bad. It is history, after all.

          1. re: Phurstluv

            If you really have your heart set on Pinks there is one in LAX in the Tom Bradley Terminal, one at Universal City Walk, one at Knott's Berry Farm and just announced one coming soon to Cedar Point Amusement park in Sandusky Ohio.

            1. re: wienermobile

              I don't have my heart set on Pinks, wieney! But you're right, you can get them at other places in the city. But it's not the same to me, as driving up Melrose and possibly seeing some celebs. I know, it's touristy, but most of us from anywhere but here have a fantastical image (albeit wrong!!) of Hollywood and it's stars.

              1. re: Phurstluv

                Phurstluv you are right if you want the Pink's experience I guess you have to do the long long line, but if all you want is just a very good hot dog Carney's on The Sunset Strip is just a few miles away.

                Carney's Restaurant
                8351 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

      2. In Redondo Beach there is the Original Pancake House, excellent breakfasts!!! My daughter loves their hot chocolate with homemade whip cream. There a re some excellent asian restaurants locally as well, do a search here for more information.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JEN10

          The 49er flapjacks at The Original Pancake House are the best. Soft and a bit chewy and very thin with a bit of a sourdough taste. These are really good.

          Original Pancake House - 1756 S Pacific Coast Hwy Redondo Beach, CA

        2. I have not been but I have read great reviews of Izakaya Bincho on the Redondo Beach pier. They serve Japanese style barfood. You may want to call for their hours.
          112 Internatl Boardwalk
          Redondo Beach, CA 90277-3611
          (310) 376-3889

          Izakaya Bincho
          112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

          1. A couple of quick ideas for you -

            LA has great Mexican, I would hit a taqueria (or four). We have more upscale places (Loteria in the farmer's market at 3rd and Fairfax could work well for you and the Grove mall is right there if you want to shop) and many excellent neighborhood spots (an easy one is Pinche's Tacos on Washington Blvd in world famous Culver City).

            Another place which is pretty west coast is A-Frame on Washington Blvd, though a couple of miles further west from Pinche's. It's a neat experience with communal tables, a great crowd, drinks for grown ups (always a nice option). Most things are eaten with your hands, big flavors, and my kids love it. Completely kid friendly. Search the board for A-Frame and you'll find out more. Dinner only - and on a Friday or Sat, I recommend getting there by 6:30 or you'll probably have to wait a while.

            Wurstkuche is a great suggestion if you're downtown, too.

            800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

            12565 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, USA

            1 Reply
            1. re: CulverJack

              Agree with CulverJack on the Original Farmers Market on 3rd and Fairfax. It's open everyday and there is something for everyone from gumbo to tacos to Brazilian BBQ to donuts. Great for people watching and right next to the Grove Mall and CBS Television City. A taste of LA.

              Farmers Market
              6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

            2. At Disneyland my 2 favorite things to eat are the amazing corn dogs and the Monte Cristo sandwich. The corn dogs are available at both Disneyland & Cal. Adventure. The Monte Cristo is at Blue Bayou or Cafe Orleans in DL. The ones at Cafe Orleans are much cheaper than Blue Bayou--they are huge and filling so it's best to split them.

              Blue Bayou
              1580 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA

              1. Since you are going to be staying in the Redondo Beach area I strongly suggest you check out Torihei in Torrance.

                In order to properly prime your salivary glands read this CH review: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/602793

                1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

                1. After you visit to hollywood, I suggest Animal. a meat lovers dream. fois gras, pig ears, oxtail fries, etc
                  if you can, i would try to squeeze in Boiling Crab (there is one in Koreatown now) or Newport Seafood (chinese, vietnamese style seafood in Alhambra area). its fun to eat and very tasty!

                  1. personally, i'd skip pinks.

                    1. You might try Ricky's Fish Tacos. It is just a temporary stand and they are only open for lunch Friday-Sunday and only in good weather, but if you are in the Hollywood area they are very good. Check his twitter page first to make sure he is open.

                      Ricky's Fish Tacos
                      1400 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                      1. Saturday is a good night to visit the Getty, the dining room is open for dinner (just lunch on other days). A very memorable place to dine with the family, not a dining adventure they will soon forget.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jackattack

                          Even the cafeteria at The Getty has good food.

                          Getty Center
                          1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049

                        2. Sorry, am native and never cared for Pink's. Go to the Original Tommy's or go to Carneys on the Sunset Strip which is a railroad car and can be fun looking out. I like Phillipe, but then you will be right in Chinatown and Olvera Street..
                          you don't say where you ae coming from, so we don't know what kind of food you get. There are a lot of good Mexican Restaurants out here, korean, thai, etc.

                          Olvera Street
                          845 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: paprkutr

                            +1 for carneys. I don't see a point in waiting for at least 20 minutes (if you're lucky) for average an average chili cheese dog when you can hit carney's on sunset or in studio city.

                          2. I am sure everyone will jump all over me for this but if you ever just want to have dinner in the Redondo area try the Cheesecake Factory. My niece (tween/teen) loves going there when she visits and we sit outside on the pretty patio & look at the boats. I know it's not haute cuisine but it is decent and a pretty setting. We also like to go to Hennesy's in Hermosa and sit on the roof and eat burgers and watch everyone on the beach. Again-atmosphere over cuisine but still decent. Another view place not far from Redondo is the Terranea resort--I can't remember the restaurant that sits on the bluff but it is a beautiful spot to catch a sunset.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: sparkareno

                              Without debating the relative merits of the food at the Cheesecake Factory I would hate to send them someplace that they probably have within easy striking distance of their home in NY.

                              1. re: Servorg

                                sorry--didn't realize they were in NY. But I am guessing not with patios surrounded by a boat harbor. Maybe they do on L.I. Again--I am aware that it is not fine dining but a nice atmosphere close to where they are staying.

                                1. re: sparkareno

                                  Without jumping on you, I have to say that the Cheesecake Factory is tied with Border Grill for Loudest Restaurant in Los Angeles. It's deafening and the food is not... not worth it.

                                  Border Grill
                                  1445 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                    My wife like their chicken salad sandwich on their "Navajo style" fry bread so we go now and again. The trick is to sit in the bar area. Much quieter than the general restaurant dining space.

                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                      well the patio isn't noisy & I don't think tweens care about noise anyway! I merely suggested it because it is a nice setting and near to where they will be staying. Most of the teens & tweens I know like it.

                              2. It's just a stand but I like El Burrito Jr. for fast Mexican food on PCH in Redondo Beach. Really good cheap bean and cheese burritos. Cash only.

                                El Burrito Jr
                                919 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: wienermobile

                                  I actually really like their chile verde burrito. I go to the one on Torrance Ave., but I'm guessing they're all the same. The chile verde used to have a really nice kick. I heard they toned it down, customers complained, and now it's back up to almost the same spiciness as before.

                                  1. re: huaqiao

                                    The El Burrito Jr on Torrance Blvd is only about a mile from Redondo Beach and is nice because unlike the stand on PCH this one has waiter service, indoor seating, beer and wine and they take plastic. I also really the the el pastor tacos here. Very inexpensive.
                                    21141 Hawthorne Blvd (on the corner of Torrance Blvd and Hawthorne)
                                    Torrance, CA 90503

                                    Also just across the street on Torrance Blvd. is The Counter (there are a few all over LA and growing across the country) for custom built burgers. I think your tweens would love it, mine do.
                                    21209-B Hawthorne Blvd.
                                    Torrance, CA 90503

                                2. If you're in Redondo, you're not far from Gaja-mok. It's a fun and unique experience and could be fun for tweens. I know NYC has great Japanese food, but I'm not sure if they have something like this.

                                  Here's a review from our resident uber-reviewer:


                                  One thing not mentioned in the review is their huge list of crazy dessert parfaits. :D

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: huaqiao

                                    Yes, and chowhound favorite Patisserie Chantilly, home of the black sesame cream puff, is located right next door!

                                    I don't know if this is available in NY, but Gardena (+-15 min from Redondo Beach, depending on the part of RB) has both Spoon House and Akane Chaya which serve Japanese-style pasta with interesting toppings like fish roe, seaweed, and sea urchin (in addition to less unusual items).

                                    In LA's Koreatown, not too far from Hollywood, is Mr. Pizza Factory, which is both loved and reviled for its interesting pizzas, including ones with seafood and others with sweet potato mousse in the crust.

                                    A post-Disneyland dinner option could also be Thai Nakorn in Garden Grove, about 3 miles south of Disneyland (but close to the 22 which would take you to the 405 back to Redondo Beach), that is, if you're not too exhausted after the park.

                                    Hope you and your children have a wonderful visit! :)

                                    Patisserie Chantilly
                                    2383 Lomita Blvd., #104, Lomita, CA 90717

                                    Spoon House
                                    1601 W Redondo Beach Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

                                    Thai Nakorn Restaurant
                                    12532 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843

                                    Akane Chaya
                                    1610 W Redondo Beach Blvd Ste 5, Gardena, CA 90247

                                  2. If you're in Redondo Beach, check out The Standing Room (144 N. Catalina Ave). Its fast food but definitely California-inspired food. Mix of Asian, Hawaiian, American, French and Italian. Great burgers and Short Ribs. I think the owner really likes pork cause there is pork or bacon in 80% of the menu. Izakaya Bincho, mentioned above is pretty good although they can be hit or miss when it comes to hours. Closed Monday and every 3rd Tuesday I think, 5pm-ish to 10ish. Hirose in the Torrance Crossroads Plaza is pretty good, they have an In and Out in the same plaza so two birds if you're so inclined.

                                    Park's BBQ is good but it is pricey, there are other Korean BBQ spots that are good and not quite as expensive. Moo Dae Po 2 is on 7th St. in Koreatown, not the best in BBQ but it is an experience that the younger set seems to really like. Hae Jang Chong on 6th St. is also good.

                                    In and Out Burger and Pink's is a necessity. Even though the food isn't "blow your mind" it is California. You should also stop by Tommy's and The Hat as well as Langer's. Although all of the above isn't necessarily ethnic.

                                    Mo-Chica is pretty good Peruvian, Jitlada for some Thai, La Brea has a section called Little Ethiopia that has some pretty good spots all within a block. Arado in Koreatown has live octopus if you're feeling really adventurous. Dwit Gol Mok also in Koreatown is street food fare found on the alleys of Korea. Orochan in Little Tokyo has some good Ramen, super spicy if that's your thing.

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

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Petey McNichols

                                      Dwit Gol Mok is more akin to bar than restaurant, and people often smoke inside (in spite of the law), so I would recommend against taking tweens here.

                                      1. re: PomsMoms

                                        DGM has really cracked down on the smoking last time I was there, maybe they recently got a citation? Later at night I would definitely avoid this place with kids but around 5 or 6 it isn't too bad. Usually empty and smoke free.

                                      2. re: Petey McNichols

                                        "La Brea has a section called Little Ethiopia that has some pretty good spots all within a block."

                                        I think you mean Fairfax south of Wilshire (and not La Brea) for Ethiopian restaurants such as Rahel, etc...

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          Opps, you're right. Sorry for the mislead. Fairfax not La Brea

                                      3. OP here. Thanks for all the tips Chowhounders!

                                        1. "If you're in Redondo Beach, check out The Standing Room (144 N. Catalina Ave). Its fast food but definitely California-inspired food"

                                          Wow--I've lived in Redondo for over 20 years and have never heard of this place! I will have to check it out.

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: sparkareno

                                            Isn't that address (144 N Catalina Ave.) Catalina Liquor and Deli (next door to the cleverly named refinishing business "The Strip Joint")? http://www.yelp.com/biz/catalina-liqu...

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              wierd--that is the address I saw for them on urbanspoon too when I was looking to see if they had a website. Maybe the original poster who mentioned this place can add more info.

                                              1. re: sparkareno

                                                wouldn't be the first time urban spoon has outdated or wrong information.

                                                1. re: Phurstluv

                                                  Urbanspoon is correct. The address is 144 N. Catalina Ave. The Standing Room is more of a food stand than a restaurant. Its located inside the Catalina Liquor. Strange location but the food is pretty spot on for the price. The chef/owner is a pretty young dude, used to be a chef at Roy's and the ill-fated Tiger in Beverly Hills. I think his background is more upscale but he's doing burgers and takeout plates at this place. The Strip Joint is directly next door. Its on the corner of Diamond and Catalina if you're familiar with the area. I live directly next door so I'm pretty sure the address is correct on this one. =)

                                                  1. re: Petey McNichols

                                                    Aha, now I get it. So when you say you've been going for 20 years it hasn't always been the "pretty young dude, (who) used to be a chef at Roy's" doing the food there then?

                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                      I haven't been going for 20 years. I think the place is pretty new, I just moved to Redondo from SF last year. It might have been Sparkareno that lived in RB for 20 years.

                                                      I was told by a neighbor that it was Mickey's Deli a while back and some kind of mexican fast food after that. Not sure if this is accurate though.

                                                      1. re: Petey McNichols

                                                        Sorry for the confusion. Talk about a "mash up" - after a while all the posts start to blend together into one huge amalgamation of food... ;-D>

                                                    2. re: Petey McNichols

                                                      OH---that it explains it--I drove down Catalina this morning & just saw the liquor store. I didn't realize it was INSIDE the store. Boy that must be a well kept secret--I didn't notice any signage outside. I will check it out.....and yes, I am the one that has lived in Redondo for 20 yrs.

                                            2. Unless you have some family history with Pinks, you can skip it. Most people on this board would not waste a meal in LA pinks.

                                              Are they tweens in the sense that they like American Girl (in which case swing by the Grove and Famers Market) or they tweens in the sense that they want to be celebrities (in which case stop by Roberston)

                                              1. Ethnic favorites-- you must get them to a Zankou Chicken (Middle Eastern, multiple locations), Merkato in Little Ethiopia on Fairfax is classic (derek tibbs is a good menu item for kids) and puts you right by the 3rd Street Farmer's Market (worth a visit). Personally I think pupusas are a great LA treat... many options for Salvadorean places so take your pick. If you want super hole in the wall Thai Spicy BBQ on Santa Monica is really unique (a little past Hollywood). India Sweets & Spices in Atwater is delicious for lunch and can be combined with an LA Zoo/Autry Museum/Observatory trip if you are on that side of town. We like Mario's Peruvian on Melrose for Peruvian, really great lomo saltado. Those are my picks for unique-to-LA ethnic food, enjoy! If you do the Huntington (which you should), San Marino Seafood in San Marino/South Pasadena is startlingly good.

                                                Also, I really think Fatburger is better than In'n Out... just putting that out there, not trying to start a war. ;p

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

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

                                                1036 1 2 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                                                1. My favorite tweens love SugarFish and Katsuya, Encino. For subs they like Sabatinis. I know there is a location in BH and Encino, not sure where else. They like Loteria in the 3rd Street Farmer's Market. Also, consider taking them to Venice Beach and having Jodi Maroni sausages, so much better than Pinks. For pizza, they love Pizzeria Mozza. I agree with other poster who suggested cafeteria at The Getty. On a clear day, it's the best view in town. Oh, and they love, love, love, The Apple Pan!

                                                  Katsuya Hollywood
                                                  6300 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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

                                                  1. Ethnic near Disneyland (forgive the terseness, it's a post I've done many times):

                                                    1. El Moctezuma #2, Harbor JSO Lampson, Garden Grove. Oaxacan food hole-in-the-wall, done right. Amazing tortillas, great moles, wonderful cactus salads.

                                                    2. Thai Nakorn. Garden Grove Blvd JEO Palm, Garden Grove. Order anything off the specials menu (nothing but whole fish > $10) but don't miss the beef panang. It's special.

                                                    3. Mas' Islamic Chinese. Orangethorpe between East/Raymond and Lemon, Anaheim. Get sesame bread (thin or thick), dough-sliced noodles with vegetables, lamb with sour cabbage (suancai), or a hotpot.

                                                    4. Olive Tree. Brookhurst JNO Orange, Anaheim. Best Middle Eastern in a ME-heavy part of Anaheim known as Little Arabia. Make sure to ask after daily specials, made by the Jordanian-born cook.

                                                    5. Wadiya. Euclid JNO Ball, Anaheim. Sri Lankan. Delicious—make sure to get egg hoppers and coconut sambal.

                                                    6. El Farolito Jr. East and the 91 Fwy, Anaheim. Go after 6 and they'll have their taco bar set up—real tacos, and good ones.

                                                    7. Los Chilangos. Lincoln 1 light west of Euclid, Anaheim. Mexico City-style antojitos, the best in Orange County. Pambazos are like French toast, but dipped in chile instead of egg, and stuffed with potatoes and chorizo. Squash blossom quesadillas in handmade tortillas, and on the weekends in the mornings they have barbacoa that's excellent.

                                                    8. Punjab Tandoor. Anaheim Blvd and Broadway, Anaheim. Northern Indian which you have plenty of in New York, but good, and made fresh, and very cheap.

                                                    9. Natural. State College JNO Ball, Anaheim. Mexican fruit salads, ice creams and corn cups, quite cheap and excellent. Try an escamocha (fruit salad with yoghurt) or a chamoyada (mango shake with spicy-sweet-salty red apricot syrup called chamoy).

                                                    10. Surah. Beach and La Mirada, Buena Park. Good Korean BBQ.

                                                    11. Cham Sut Gol. Garden Grove Blvd JWO Gilbert, Garden Grove. Good Korean BBQ. Not as good as Surah, but has an AYCE option which is far better than other AYCE KBBQ places.

                                                    12. Anyplace in Little Saigon, about a 10-15 minute drive from Disneyland. Let us know if you want specific recommendations—it's huge.

                                                    Thai Nakorn Restaurant
                                                    12532 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843

                                                    El Farolito Jr
                                                    1339 N East St, Anaheim, CA 92805

                                                    El Moctezuma Restaurant
                                                    809 N Fairview St, Santa Ana, CA 92703

                                                    Mirada Restaurant
                                                    9102 Edinger Ave, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

                                                    Olive Tree
                                                    512 S Brookhurst St, Anaheim, CA 92804

                                                    Cham Sut Gol
                                                    9252 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92844

                                                    Los Chilangos
                                                    1830 W Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801

                                                    Sri Lankan Cafe
                                                    18845 Sherman Way #D, Reseda, CA 91335