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West Coast Bias (WCB)

Hungrierthanever May 24, 2011 03:06 PM

Good day Los Angeles area,

Next month I'll be visiting LA, I'm from Philadelphia and have never been to LA. For about 3 weeks to a month I'll be staying with family. I know there are so many things to see and do, I just don't know where to start first. While in the area I hope to visit a few college friends, see the sights, and catch a Dodgers game. I'm not sure as of yet where in LA I'll be staying but when I do I'll update this post. I'm 24 years old and will probably be spending my 25th birthday (June 22nd) in LA. I would like to make the most of this visit by being entertained and eating in the places that the locals deem the best. I don't understand how certain TV shows can claim that a certain restaurant, bar, or shop is tops when the city is so big. I want to hear the opinions of the LA CHOWHOUNDS, the people who matter. Because you live, breathe, and eat in the city of Angels. I want your opinion on the most underrated, underappreciated, and diamond in the rough Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Dessert spots in all of LA. For the record I don't eat pork. Without further adieu engulf me with your knowledge LA Chowhounds.

  1. Hungrierthanever Jun 6, 2011 04:57 PM

    Just found out where I'll be staying. My cousin lives in Central Alameda just outside LA. It's been a while but I've doing research on a lot of the restaurants that were posted here. Keep them coming, I think I'll begin to ask a few more questions about certain restaurant if it pleases the board.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Hungrierthanever
      Das Ubergeek Jun 6, 2011 10:14 PM

      Hm... do you mean Central and Alameda, which are streets parallel to each other in downtown LA? Or did you mean central Alameda, which is just outside San Francisco?

      1. re: Das Ubergeek
        Peripatetic Jun 7, 2011 04:43 AM

        I suspect he's referring to this section of The Neighborhood Formerly Known As South Central:

        http://projects.latimes.com/mapping-l...

        I hadn't heard of it before, either.

        1. re: Peripatetic
          JAB Jun 7, 2011 06:44 AM

          I used to work in that neighborhood and had to Google it as well as I'd never heard of it referenced as such.

          1. re: Peripatetic
            Das Ubergeek Jun 7, 2011 08:49 AM

            In that case, La Casita Mexicana ought to be a slam-dunk—it's just a few minutes east on Gage and is one of the best Mexican restaurants in LA.

            -----
            La Casita Mexicana
            4030 Gage Ave, Bell, CA 90201

            1. re: Das Ubergeek
              JAB Jun 7, 2011 09:26 AM

              I think that Plaza Mexico and La Huasteca are even closer.

              -----
              Plaza Mexico
              3100 E Imperial Hwy, Lynwood, CA 90262

              1. re: JAB
                Das Ubergeek Jun 7, 2011 09:29 AM

                Well, La Casita is better than La Huasteca (in my utterly humble opinion) and it's closer than La Huasteca, which is way down by the 105. La Huasteca might be a better party place, though... especially on nights they have the full mariachi.

                -----
                La Huasteca
                3150 E Imperial Hwy, Lynwood, CA 90262

            2. re: Peripatetic
              Hungrierthanever Jun 7, 2011 08:53 AM

              Yes, it's South Central.

              1. re: Hungrierthanever
                b
                bulavinaka Jun 7, 2011 11:00 PM

                Mo Chica is pretty close to your cousin's home.

                -----
                Mo-Chica
                3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

                1. re: bulavinaka
                  JAB Jun 8, 2011 07:32 AM

                  Good call. Chichen Itza and Taqueria Vista Hermosa in the same "food court" as Mo Chica are worthy as well.

                  -----
                  Chichen Itza
                  3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

                  Taqueria Vista Hermosa
                  3655 S Grand Ave Ste C5, Los Angeles, CA 90007

                  1. re: JAB
                    c
                    carter Jun 8, 2011 08:24 PM

                    Talk about one stop shopping for several cuisines. Not far from the USC campus, yet just south of downtown LA by 1-2 miles.

                    For the convenience factor, read up all the commentary regarding downtown LA places, as proximity will be good, food will be even better.

                    If a wine bar/wine shop/place to meet people might be of interest, check into Silver Lake Wine as it has wine tastings on Monday and Thursday evenings as well as 3pm on Sunday. Great way to meet people, have very good food and wine, etc. Website is www.silverlakewine.com for details.

                    1. re: carter
                      b
                      bulavinaka Jun 8, 2011 11:17 PM

                      The OP's proximity to the 10/110 interchange puts him in the general vicinity of where J Gold would choose to live if he didn't want to be car-dependent...

                      http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...

        2. Emme May 31, 2011 08:23 PM

          you've got a lot of great feedback here regarding where to and where not to eat... i'll just add a few of my 'i ain't gotta get dressed up to grub" places...

          mariscos chente - as mentioned above. if i want good fresh seafood, i'm here for the aguachiles.

          mario's peruvian - been going here since high school ... don't know if it's nostalgia still, but i still like it

          monte alban - good oaxacan

          kiyokawa - great no frills sushi bar, quality, great service

          huckleberry - not as hole-in-the-wall but we do lunch/brunch here fairly often

          nate'n'al's - perhaps a nostalgia thing, but i like an omelette here; my mom loves the burnt matzo brei (blanking on who it's named after) and the blintzes

          jitlada- for southern thai

          2 Replies
          1. re: Emme
            n
            ns1 Jun 6, 2011 04:34 PM

            jitalda - high ratings for food but constant scorn over service

            ie if the food weren't so damn good we'd never come back, and even then...

            1. re: ns1
              Emme Jun 6, 2011 06:42 PM

              you're not wrong... i don't go as often as i used to. and never when i'm not willing to tough it out. i tend to go with people i need to "catch up" with...

          2. Hungrierthanever May 27, 2011 07:14 PM

            I understand there isn't a consensus but I want "u guys" (in no way do I mean disrespect) to recommend to me the places that when you leave there's a smile on your face. I don't want the typical "everybody goes here" place because I won't be impressed and I want to be WOW'd. I know there are at least three places that can be agreed upon that are either underrated or unknown.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Hungrierthanever
              f
              foodiemahoodie May 28, 2011 01:10 AM

              Your profile says you favorite restaurants are Maggiano's Little Italy, Buffalo Wild Wings, Koch's Deli,

              Are those the kind of places you're interested in?

              -----
              Maggiano's Little Italy
              189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036

              Buffalo Wild Wings
              40155 10th St W, Palmdale, CA 93551

              1. re: foodiemahoodie
                Hungrierthanever May 28, 2011 06:35 AM

                These are few places that I travel to with friends. Koch's is Philly favorite, they serve some of the best cold sandwiches in the city. I've visited many places that weren't mentioned, when I created this profile I rushed through it. I'll eventually resvise the restaurants and put new ones.

                1. re: Hungrierthanever
                  f
                  foodiemahoodie May 30, 2011 01:49 PM

                  The reason I make this point is that - I find - to use Chowhound effectively is to not blindly listen to everyone, but to check their profiles. If they love a restaurant you think is mediocre, andt then they rave about some hold in the wall as being something special -- you probably won't agree. I see a variety of suggestions on this thread, but not sure if they would appeal to you or not. Do you like the find dining experience? Do you prefer a creative, contemporary, casual cuisine? Ethnic foods? And if so, which ethnicity?

            2. j
              Jase May 27, 2011 02:42 PM

              Another thing I'll add. Since you'll be here 3 weeks to a month, it might be helpful if you posted a to do list of the first week for review. That'll prompt more discussion and help you focus in other places for the succeeding weeks. As you've probably gathered by now, LA is such a huge sprawling place and there's so much diversity even within one ethnicity of food, your question is very broad and hard to answer.

              If you were to say, I'm spending two days exploring Korea town, people will be happy to give you a ton of suggestions within that area. That would make your exploration more efficient. Sitting in LA traffic is one of the biggest frustrations of this wonderful city.

              On that note, I'd suggest Beverly Soon Tofu and Park's. The first is a great soft tofu place and you can get a combo with a grilled dish. High quality version of that dish and the banchan is also solid.

              Park's is a top line version of Korean bbq. You may be familiar with the all you can eat bbq Park's isn't but their meat quality is tops. Their banchan quality is also great and that is unlimited refills.

              -----
              Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant
              2717 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

              1. g
                gr8pimpin May 26, 2011 12:48 PM

                I don't think a trip to LA would be complete without some tasty Mexican food. An L.A. classic is Manny's El Tepeyac Cafe. Get a GIANT yet wonderfully tasty burrito. I always take my out-of-towners there and get great reviews.

                For some greasy fried shell tacos (I will not apologize for liking them) is Tito's tacos. Long lines, not as good as they used to be but still different. I drown them in the salsa and love 'em still. Cash only. Lines can get hefty.

                Have a great trip!

                -----
                Tito's Tacos
                11222 Washington Pl, Culver City, CA 90230

                El Tepeyac Cafe
                812 N Evergreen Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033

                15 Replies
                1. re: gr8pimpin
                  DiveFan May 26, 2011 04:30 PM

                  I agree that 'tasty Mexican food' should be on the radar but the above places are not 'destination' restos. The best topic that I can recall is this one:
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/540566
                  A ton of great places to try ranging from regional specialists (especially Oaxacan and Yucatecan) to alta cocina (upscale and modern). There are also some great 'fusion' dishes, the Greek inspired 'DayGlo' Chicken at Dino's Chicken and Burgers on W Pico and N Main coming to mind.

                  Of course being 25, the OP could probably dive into a Manuels Special Burrito at El Tepeyac and still live :-).

                  To the OP, it would be helpful if you could post the neighborhood where you will be staying - Los Angeles is a huge place to navigate!

                  -----
                  Dino's Burgers
                  2817 N Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90031

                  El Tepeyac Cafe
                  812 N Evergreen Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033

                  1. re: DiveFan
                    b
                    bulavinaka May 26, 2011 04:43 PM

                    For Yucatecan, we really enjoy La Flor de Yucatan - I can see a 25 year-old downing all those great baked, cooked and fried items with his buds and chasing it all down with a few cold ones.

                    1. re: DiveFan
                      Hungrierthanever May 27, 2011 12:35 PM

                      I'm not sure right now, when I do I'll definitely post it.

                      1. re: DiveFan
                        g
                        gr8pimpin May 27, 2011 12:59 PM

                        I agree there are better places, but most are not uniquely touristy L.A. I was thinking he wanted to see those famous spots. Sorry if I missed. But there are hundreds of people lining up at these places each day, disagreeing with us on Tito's.

                        I like that list you suggested. Thanks!

                        1. re: gr8pimpin
                          j
                          Jase May 27, 2011 01:09 PM

                          It doesn't sound like the OP wants uniquely touristy though. Looking for the local gems.

                          1. re: Jase
                            Hungrierthanever May 27, 2011 01:19 PM

                            Correct, I want to go to the places where the locals go and enjoy eating.

                            1. re: Hungrierthanever
                              g
                              gr8pimpin May 27, 2011 01:30 PM

                              I stand corrected :-)

                              1. re: gr8pimpin
                                Hungrierthanever May 27, 2011 01:37 PM

                                I will probably try some of the place on that list but I want try the places where u guys call the best

                                1. re: Hungrierthanever
                                  Servorg May 27, 2011 01:49 PM

                                  Us "guys" fight more over what constitutes the best like maladjusted dogs fight psycho cats...on the LA board "consensus" is not a word that gets much play... ;-D>

                                  1. re: Servorg
                                    j
                                    Jase May 27, 2011 02:36 PM

                                    I think there's a consensus that no one can agree on anything. I can't think of a single place that doesn't have it's share of detractors. Well, maybe Urasawa.

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

                                    1. re: Jase
                                      Discokill May 28, 2011 06:49 AM

                                      Blah, overpriced, awful service, just a bunch of hipsters with expense accounts. I prefer the California rolls at Ralphs.

                                      (just to be safe, that was a joke)

                                      1. re: Discokill
                                        Servorg May 28, 2011 06:55 AM

                                        "(just to be safe, that was a joke)"

                                        Obviously it was joke. Everyone knows you prefer the CA rolls from Vons! ;-D>

                      2. re: gr8pimpin
                        p
                        paprkutr May 27, 2011 08:14 PM

                        I would definitely go to El Tepyeac. I love their machaca burritos. Nobody mentioned La Casita Mexicana in Bell. It is not the typical mexican restaurant, they make everything from scratch and it is goo. You might consider doing a taco truck tasting one night, we just did it with friends from Hawaii and they loved it. We tried the new Mexicali Taco Truck and it was awesome, then went to El Chato, and ended up at Leo's for their al pastor.

                        -----
                        La Casita Mexicana
                        4030 Gage Ave, Bell, CA 90201

                        1. re: paprkutr
                          Das Ubergeek May 30, 2011 11:39 PM

                          Second La Casita.

                          El Tepeyac... el tepid-yuck, really. I never saw the appeal. Giant burritos that were neither as tasty nor as gut-bomby as the Pregnant Burrito at El Nopal (also not a destination).

                          Head for East Los Angeles. Eat at trucks and taco tables after dark. Or head for Mariscos Chente.

                          Eat Korean food (Parks? Beverly Tofu House?); eat Vietnamese. Have dim sum on a weekend morning at Elite or Sea Harbour.

                          -----
                          El Tepeyac Cafe
                          812 N Evergreen Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033

                          Mariscos Chente
                          4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                          Tofu House
                          928 S Western Ave Ste 139, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                          El Nopal Restaurant
                          10426 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                          1. re: paprkutr
                            g
                            gr8pimpin Jun 7, 2011 04:00 PM

                            Great call on a Taco truck tasting! I have done that a few times and it's great fun.

                        2. Hungrierthanever May 26, 2011 08:03 AM

                          Why is Providence such a popular place to eat? What is it that the restaurant possess that others don't?

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Hungrierthanever
                            b
                            bulavinaka May 26, 2011 09:21 AM

                            Read through this current thread about two other well-respected restaurants and the issue of Providence comes up:

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/727128

                            I echo wienermobile's suggestions on the linked thread and Langer's as well. You might also search for "The Best _____" types of lists of what might interest you. Another thread pertaining to lists has recently moved up again:

                            Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate". What have you tried in L.A.?
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/723911

                            Some of these foods and places listed are tourist traps and/or not considered worthy by many on this board, but it might be interesting for you to pick and choose what appeals to you. Since this list is based on a cable TV program, you and your friends (here and back home) might be familiar with it, and you can affirm or out the ones that you try.

                            Downtown LA has been going through a long-overdue revival (maybe 60 years overdue?) and this would be easy for you to hit up a lot of places that have popped up over the past few years. Downtown LA is very condense relative to the rest of "LA," where most of the streets are laid out like a grid, and the public transit around there (LA Dash) is very user-friendly. Thinking of what might be unique to LA (or at least probably not normally found back home for you), I would consider Rivera, Starry Kitchen, Lazy Ox, Spice Table, Chimu (and Grand Central Market where Chimu is located), Aburiya Toranoko, Church & State, The Gorbals, The Wood Spoon, Honda-ya, Izayoi, Haru Ulala, Sushi Gen, Sushi Go 55, and please make a trip to Langer's which is directly adjacent to Downtown LA.

                            I think one of the best represented cuisines in the general LA area is Chinese. The influence of Chinese culture spans so much of Asia, and so many of those various groups and regions are found via food in the San Gabriel Valley (SGV). This region of the general LA area is home to one of the largest ex-pat populations outside of East Asia. You could easily spend your whole stay in this general area and only scratch the surface of the SGV's offerings. The price/quality ratio is high, the food is so varied, and it's relatively easy traveling around here during the week. The downside for someone new to the area is that the addresses can start and stop along main streets like Valley, Las Tunas/Main or Garfield because this general area is made up of many small cities. GPS or any Mapquest-type site will be your friend. Also, language can be a challenge as Mandarin and Cantonese for the most part are widely spoken around here. Still - don't let that stop you. Many non-Chinese speaking eaters frequent the area, so one way or another, your desires and orders will be conveyed. Probably the easiest and most accessible Chinese food experience would be dim sum in the traditional cart-style - it's point and nod for ordering the various dishes that come to your table. Wake your buddies up on the weekend and head out to a place like 888, NBC or Ocean Star and take in the frenetic energy and great food. The service is amazingly fast, the food is unique yet very approachable for the most part (chicken feet and pig's blood usually curl the toes of dim sum newbies), and the cost is relatively negligible.

                            Welcome to our town and have a great stay...

                            -----
                            Haru Ulala
                            368 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                            Izayoi
                            132 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                            Grand Central Market
                            317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                            Sushi Go 55
                            333 S Alameda St Ste 317, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                            Wood Spoon
                            107 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                            Church & State
                            1850 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

                            Starry Kitchen
                            350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                            The Gorbals
                            501 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                            The Spice Table
                            114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                            Aburiya Toranoko
                            243 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

                            1. re: bulavinaka
                              Porthos May 26, 2011 12:36 PM

                              I forget, how do you make this post a "stickie" again?

                              1. re: Porthos
                                b
                                bulavinaka May 26, 2011 01:05 PM

                                Sorry, but my computer literacy goes as far as tapping those button-thingies with letters and numbers on them and rolling around that ping pong ball doo-hicky to make the arrow move...

                                1. re: bulavinaka
                                  Porthos May 26, 2011 01:34 PM

                                  I was joking. CH mods should make this a "stickie" and add it to the top of the LA page since it's such a comprehensive answer to a very often asked question.

                                  1. re: Porthos
                                    b
                                    bulavinaka May 26, 2011 01:59 PM

                                    thanks - I'm the run-on king.

                              2. re: bulavinaka
                                j
                                Jase May 27, 2011 01:08 PM

                                I would heartily endorse exploring SGV offerings for anyone looking to do a food tour of LA. Especially dim sum, you have to do that. The one caution I would add is the pork restriction. Lots of dishes without pork but just have to be a bit careful.

                            2. wienermobile May 25, 2011 05:38 PM

                              Thanks to local chow-hounder maxzook this is a link to Choundhound's vote for our favorite restaurants in 2010 in two categories over $25 and under $25. Take a look and ask away. Welcome to LA and stay away from Dodger Dogs.
                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/755966

                              P.S. I love that Langer's Pastrami.
                              http://www.langersdeli.com/

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

                              1. ocshooter May 25, 2011 05:27 PM

                                Not on the other list is Philippe's one of two places in LA that lay claim to the origin of the French Dip. My favorite is the lamb, and the mustard (heavy with horseradish) is great. It is adjacent to Chinatown and a good spot to eat before going to Dodger Stadium. If you do go to the Stadium, make sure you get an all-beef dog, since the original Dodger Dog is pork.

                                Another can't miss hole in the wall is Tommy's Burgers on Rampart and Beverly, a good option after a Dodger Game (though it is in a very dodgy neighborhood); one of the best burgers anywhere is the Double Double Animal Style you can order at any In-and-Out, but your college buddies should know about the In-and-Out.

                                I am not a huge fan of Pink's, but it is an LA Institution and great for people watching. If you have adventurous friends/families, LA has large Thai, Korean and Vietnamese populations. Thai Town is near Hollywood, and the Korean and Vietnamese centers are in Northern Orange County. I really like Lighthouse Korean BBQ and Brodard (very casual) and Brodard Chateau (more upscale) are very good Vietnamese spots, though there are lots and lots of other good options as well.

                                One of my favorite places for a drink in LA is the rooftop bar at the Standard in Downtown LA. Make sure you get there early, I love the transition from daytime to night time nestled among the big buildings Downtown. I would stay away on weekends though, it will be expensive and club-like, if not reserved outright.

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

                                Tommy's Original World Famous
                                2575 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

                                Pink's
                                709 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                                Brodard Restaurant
                                9892 Westminster Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92844

                                Cole's
                                118 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

                                Brodard Chateau
                                9100 Trask Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92844

                                Lighthouse Korean BBQ
                                1307 S Beach Blvd, La Habra, CA 90631

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: ocshooter
                                  m
                                  mrhooks May 27, 2011 10:53 AM

                                  Philippe's is mediocre. I've had the double-dipped lamb several times, and the meat is kinda dry (thus needing the double-dipping) while the double-dipping makes the bread soggy, not to mention not every part of the sandwich gets dipped. I think not providing the au jus on the side so diners can dip as they eat is a detriment. The mustard is great though. I don't know if the French dip at Cole's is any better, but inside Cole's is The Varnish, if you want good (but expensive) "artisan" cocktails.

                                  Pink's is terrible. Skooby's on Hollywood Blvd. is much better, though its menu is much more limited.

                                  I prefer Japanese yakiniku to Korean BBQ (Tsuruhashi in Fountain Valley is my go-to place), but if it's Korean you seek, Park's BBQ in Koreatown is probably the best. Go with lots of people though, because the portions of meat are sized accordingly.

                                  I definitely think the OP should concentrate on the great ethnic cuisines we have that Philly is lacking.

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

                                  Skooby's
                                  6654 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                                  1. re: mrhooks
                                    n
                                    ns1 May 27, 2011 12:33 PM

                                    agree with MrHooks, re: Philippes

                                    A lot of people LOVE Philippes but the fact that it is such a polarizing institution should tell you something.

                                    1. re: ns1
                                      ocshooter May 27, 2011 01:02 PM

                                      Love it or hate it, doing a food tour of what is unique from LA would be incomplete without Philippe's or Coles. I think the quality has gone down, and the price has gone up, but I still love it. It would be like going to Philly and not having a cheesesteak at either Pat's or Gino's.

                                      1. re: ocshooter
                                        n
                                        New Trial May 27, 2011 06:33 PM

                                        I would never recommend Pat's or Geno's to people visiting Philly and looking for a good cheesesteak...though there is something to be said from a sociological point of view for witnessing the ordering process at Pat's.

                                        1. re: New Trial
                                          Hungrierthanever May 27, 2011 07:10 PM

                                          I agree with you those places are for the tourists. I would recommend Jim's Steak or a host of others. I want to come to LA and eat at the places the tourists don't know about. I don't want to go to the typical places that we see on TV.

                                          1. re: Hungrierthanever
                                            c
                                            coffeebrownies May 27, 2011 07:36 PM

                                            Phillippes isn't a tourist place per se. It is just a place that people go for the sense memory of being there since it has always been there and it is different from everyplace else. Probably most people there are locals. But they aren't there for the best food. So you have to decide how much you are travelling to find a sense of place, and how much you care about the gustatory experience. In some cases these are the same, but in some cases they are not. Farmers Market is similar. It is a very great good place. It is also a huge tourist draw, and only a few stands there have very good food. But, we have gone there week after week for 19 years and bought our doughnuts from the same women behind the counter.

                                            So, my recommendation would be not to exclude places that tourists go to, but to include places that locals go to.....which in LA can be the same places. (And remember that so much is shot in LA, that almost everything is on TV eventually. )

                                            1. re: Hungrierthanever
                                              n
                                              New Trial May 28, 2011 12:04 AM

                                              Jim's was my go to cheesesteak place during my years in Philly (now, when I visit, I seem to favor Tony Luke's). There are a few decent versions in L.A. (some of which even fly in Amoroso rolls), including a surprisingly good food truck's called the South Philly Experience. However, in L.A., you want the places like those mentioned in the links Servorg and wienermobile provided and those listed by bulavinaka, as well as Elite, El Parian, Mo-Chica, Monte Alban, Pal Cabron. For your Birthday meal, if you want to splurge, Osteria Mozza, Providence and Spago remain strong choices but Hatfield's is also worth consideration. Once you can tell us the geographic areas you will be in and around, we will be able to give better guidance.

                                              -----
                                              Spago
                                              176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                              Monte Alban
                                              11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                              Mo-Chica
                                              3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

                                              El Parian
                                              155 E 7th St, Oxnard, CA 93030

                                              Pal Cabron
                                              2560 E Gage Ave, Huntington Park, CA 90255

                                              Osteria Mozza
                                              6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                            2. re: New Trial
                                              n
                                              ns1 May 30, 2011 12:59 AM

                                              @ocshooter then go to Cole's and hit up Varnish while they're at it ;)

                                      2. re: ocshooter
                                        f
                                        foodiemahoodie May 27, 2011 07:04 PM

                                        Sorry, but everything you rec-ed I would consider overrated. I remember going to New York after hearing for years that New York pizza was SO MUCH BETTER than what he had in L.A.

                                        It wasn't any better, it was just different. Okay, the dough had a kind of sweet quality - which tasted like the (excellent) tap water N.Y. used to have.

                                        But Tommy's? It's a chili burger, really. That's it. I like them, I like Philippes, but I think it's more of a nostalgic thing.

                                      3. Servorg May 24, 2011 03:18 PM

                                        Read through this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/785851 then dine at each spot. Then report back. ;-D> This is actually a very good thread as a first pass for LA eats.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Servorg
                                          Hungrierthanever May 24, 2011 03:37 PM

                                          Will do, Thanks

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