Los Angeles Eating Itinerary
My girlfriend and I (late 20s/early 30s) are heading to LA/Orange County for a wedding next month and we are just trying to finalize our eating itinerary. We are coming from Manhattan and both have been in LA before and are open from the finest dining to a roadside shack. We have a rental car and are willing to travel. Any comments or suggestions are welcome, particularly with regard to cookies, soft pretzels, ice cream and other quick bites as our sit-down meals are pretty well accounted for.
Cut - were debating this and Bayless's Red O
Tomato Pie (have heard it doesn't warrant GQ Top 25 status but the grandma slice does look good)
walking through The Grove/Farmer's Market
Carmela Artisan Creamery
Any thought, comments, suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!
6602 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038
7009 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212
6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Diddy Riese Cookies
926 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
805 West Manchester Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301
Tomato Pie Pizza Joint
7751 1/2 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
The Bazaar by José Andrés
465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048
8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
I really would try Maestro's in Beverly Hills. Cut is outrageous, but the food is really good, but to me, Maestro's beats both Cut and certainly a far better experience than anything you can get at Red O. Umami for sure, and the best location is the one on Cahuenga just north of Suynset. You will feel very at home there. Adam Richman just wrote this up as maybe the "best burger in the U.S."....pretty major words for a burger, but I must admit that the meat is second to none in MHO. If you want a really good deal on an excellent steak...Fleming's at LA Live is outstanding! Best au gratin potatoes in this city...and maybe the best I've ever eaten. Donut Man is the bomb, and yes, I'm a fan of Bob's as well, but I love the Farmer's Market. MaGee's for a great french dip. Marmalade has terrific food all around. There are so many choices, but these, to me personally, are regular favs. BTW...I love Mozza. Their fennel sausage pizza is the bomb, not to mention the butterscotch budino for dessert!! YUMMMMMMMY Enjoy your trip ladies. Also a huge fan of Gloria's Salvadorian/mexican cafe in Cuver City on Venice. Been going there for a long time, and they finally made it to the big time when they were visited by Guy Fiere last year on DD&D's. Oustanding Carne Adobada....melts in your mouth, and their supa de siete mare is scrumptious!! Highly recommend it. It's on the "divey" side, but a family run operation with Gloria at the helm in the kitchen. I recommend going before 6pm or after 1:30 pm for lunch...far less crowds and you can relax and enjoy your food.
915 E Rte 66, Glendora, CA 91740
8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
If the weather is nice, and you find yourself on PCH head to the Ventura county line to Neptune's Net. The quintessential California experience. Order from the fried side a basket of clam strips, then head to the fresh fish side and have some of the sweetest king crab legs. Sit at a communal table and watch the surfers. Enjoy your trip.
Please consider checking out the dozens of taco trucks that are stationed on Western and Vermont Avenues, just north of 3rd Street, in the southern edge of Hollywood, and surrounds. They show up every night usually about 7:00 p.m., and any number of them are going to serve very good, authentic tacos and other Mexican food. To me, it's a very "LA" experience. They stay open late, especially on weekends, so if you find yourself passing the are and want a quick bite, they would be fun.
BOBs has amazing donuts. yummy cinnamon rolls donuts & apple fritters. didn't jonathan gold claim the plane cake donut to be a must-try? If you are coming in from NY (I am an ex-NYer) do not even bother with pizza here. it's just never going to beat a slice off the street. eat some mexican food instead!
Regarding Tomato Pie Pizza Joint, definitely go to the Silver Lake location rather than Melrose. Even they admit the Crust is better there. Get a fresh "Grand Ma" or just by the slice and you will not be disappointed.
T-Pie is kind of new on the pizza scene in LA and it seems that beyond the GQ thing that they are just crushing other pizza places with older reps and bigger chef's. I would choose the grand ma over anything at Mozza and go spend the savings on something else.
Although it touts East Coast Style, which their pizza is, I would liken it to a 60's California style fast food joint. Very good selection, great service, fantastic vibe.
Tomato Pie Pizza Joint, Silver lake
2457 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90027
Tomato Pie Pizza Joint
7751 1/2 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
respectfully disagree with the diddy riese recommendation.
lot - o- cookie for the money, but the combination of tremendous amounts of sugar and artificial flavor is, imho, yuck.
do admit, though, that i would not have felt that way when i was in my teens and that if i had any nostalgia for ucla food, maybe i'd see it differently
>>do admit, though, that i would not have felt that way when i was in my teens and that if i had any nostalgia for ucla food, maybe i'd see it differently<<
That has a lot to do with this place - those of us who spent years with our noses in the books and our pockets always on the light side would consider Diddy Riese to be an affordable alter of brief and joyous reprieve. One of the rare places in the village where pleasure could be had even on a student's budget.
It sounds like you've got the set meals set, so I will stick with the grab&go kinds of places - pretty much found along the coastal part of "LA". Sweet Rose Creamery in Santa Monica/Brentwood has excellent ice cream. The ice creams are rich and the flavors ring true to their description.
Delicieuse in Redondo Beach has exceptional ice cream as well. While not at rich in general as Sweet Cream, the flavors are on the mark as well, the texture/consistency has a great mouthfeel, and they offer goat's milk ice creams that are amazing as well. My only caviat is their relatively narrow hours.
While Diddy Riese is a Westwood favorite for their Q/P ratio, I wouldn't consider it to be destination-worthy - definitely worth hitting up if you're in Westwood Village. Their cookies are soft and chewy, and while the quality is great for the price, I've had better versions that I'd walk over a mile of broken beer bottles for. Stan's Donuts was mentioned and they are more worthy than either Diddy Reese or Randy's. Randy's has been the location for so many movie and TV spots primarily for it's giant donut figure. The donuts themselves are okay to pretty good, but can be downright stale if you go at the wrong time - usually late in the evening. Stan's is more known for their unique/filled donuts. Primo's Donuts - right off the 405/National on Sawtelle - is one of the better shops for conventional donuts. I personally like buttermilk bars, and their versions are considered to be the best. It doesn't hurt that the Primo family are incredibly nice folks and have been here for over 50 years - really nice folks who know how to make incredibly great donuts. Get your photo-op at Randy's, jump back on the 405 North, and exit at either National for Primo's or Wilshire for Stan's.
Back to cookie-type things, Platine in Culver City also deserves some props. The owner and head chef of this relatively small op is a French Laundry alum. The baked goods - mostly cookies - are great, and their s'mores and ice cream sandwiches are very good as well. They only have a counter - no tables - so grab & go, head a few of blocks further east on Washington to the Conservatory for Coffee for one of the better cups of coffee in LA and pair away.
You folks are from New York. I know New York expats wax nostalgic for their pizza slices ad nauseam - ad nauseam. I've never been to your fair city, but I can tell you that while your residents consider their slices to be the best, I would just like to think of them as one version of a slice. LA is the land of no rules when it comes to food, and pizza is no different. We have Japanese-style pizza that have been called abominations to the term pizza (mayo, fish roe, etc.), we have Domino's which is an abomination to the term food, we have Napolitano pizza by the book, we have Pizzeria Mozza which gets New Yorkers' undies all bunched up because they fear that they may have actually tasted a "slice" that might be better than their revered version (again, I like to think of our various slices as different), and there's just about every other iteration of pizza here. I personally like Abbot's Pizza in Venice. Their pizza is based on a bagel-dough crust. I know that hits another sacred anointed food item in New York, so consider me the devil, blasphemous and uncultured - I am your typical native Angeleno who couldn't care less - remember, I was born and raised in this chaotic cluster of towns that has no real center to ground myself. Abbot's feels like they tip their hat to the New York slice - they always have lots of different slices ready to go - but has pizza combos that would strongly appeal to just about any Angeleno (or open-minded New Yorker). Here's their menu and you decide if this sounds like a pizza kitchen born in the Westside of LA and not the Eastside of New York:
If I were to make a quick but substantial meal here, I'd start with the salad pizza (the avocados are pretty good this time of year), segue to a wild mushroom slice (serious umami effect), and finish off with either a spicy chicken or popeye's chicken slice ("flavorful" and "chicken" is are not mutually exclusive). There are two locations - only go to the Venice location. I've never had good luck at the Santa Monica location - maybe they feel that Santa Monica College students will eat anything.
2503 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Sweet Rose Creamery
225 26th St #51, Los Angeles, CA 90049
I would take Cut over Red O in a heartbeat but they are very different places and, as to Cut, there are better steaks to be had in NYC--I find that Cut shines more in its terrific appetizers, sides and desserts. If you want better "upscale" Mexican options than Red O, take a look at Babita (food is upscale, decor much less so), Playa and Rivera (more Southwestern); for more casual, consider El Parian (birria), Monte Alban (Oaxacan), Pal Cabron (cemitas--address is listed below as Guelaguetza, which it used to be a branch of until the son and daughter decided to make it a branch of their new concept), and Tinga (tacos, etc.). Of course, there are also any number of great taco trucks....
1823 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776
11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
1528 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015
3337 1/2 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005
1050 S. Flower Street, #102, Los Angeles, CA 90015
142 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
7360 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
re: New Trial
The Donuts at Stan's in Westwood are far better than Randy's, Randy's is just a cool historical landmark. Scoops is a unique place with some great flavors, be sure to go to the Melrose & Heliotrope one as they have 3 times the flavors of Golden State or Scoops on the westside. If you want a burger I suggest, yes I am their PIMP, 26 Beach for a California Roll Hamburger, they also have many many good burgers. 26 Beach also has some serious brunch action with their French Toasts. If you want Pizza, I like Vito's, I have yet to try Tomato Pie but do have friends who swear by it. You might want to experience some Oaxacan food at Guelaguetza in Palms. There is also amazing Thai food in Thai Town, Western & Hollywood Blvd. If you want to try some great Chinese, just 15 minutes east of Downtown L.A. there is great stuff in Alhambra , San Gabriel & Rosemead just do a search here. Enjoy your trip.
3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292
The Golden State
426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
re: New Trial
one note on the cookie choices- try the standout chocolate ooey gooey cookie from MILK on Beverly. Ice Cream, try some gelato at Scoops at Melrose & Heliotrope (they also serve it with less flavors and more $$$ at Garden State, but the location on Fairfax may be worth the extra few bucks), Great ice cream at Masthi Malone's in hollywood at Sunset & La Brea. Also Bazaar is a great choice. loved my meal there.
I highly recommend trying some korean food. Parks BBQ, Beverly Soon Tofu, Western Doma Noodle (service is extremely SLOW, but the food is fantastic), Soot Bull Jeep, Genwa. Mexican- Lotteria is good. Also if you are anywhere near eagle rock you must try Cacao.
Soot Bull Jeep
3136 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant
2717 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006
5115 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Another vote for Park's BBQ. One of my favorite restaurants in all of LA. The highest quality meats and their short ribs are incredible. You're in for a wonderful meal here. Great service and open late.
955 S. Vermont Ave, Suite G, Los Angeles, CA 90006
Some ideas (and favorites of mine):
Also, it doesn't sound like you're hitting any of our many, many ethnic offerings (Mexican everything, Korean BBQ, Vietnamese banh mi, Chinese XLB, to name a few) - do they interest you at all?
1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403
749 E Altadena Dr, Altadena, CA 91001
118 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, CA 90012
3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034
800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
4655 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
12159 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
bulgarini is fantastic - if you love ice cream you cannot miss it - and you can get it at the Yamashiro farmer's market which reopens on April 7th. this market doesn't feature a ton of produce but has great people watching, a stunning view of the city, and wine tasting. i highly recommend checking out this or another farmer's market such as the hollywood sunday market which carries carmela ice cream, treats from valerie's confections (amazing cookies, pastries, and handmade toffee), as well as pupusas, tamales, and oysters shucked to order, not to mention the best produce around.
1999 N Sycamore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068