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Son of a Gun, Hungry Cat, Mozza and then what?

t
TimClash Jun 9, 2011 12:42 AM

Thanks in advance to any response. I am a big fan of LA, and am excited to be getting ready for a trip in August. My wife and I have a limited budget, but we will be in the Hollywood area for 4 days in August. This is my initial list of spots to try:
Son of a Gun
Mozza
Of course Papaya King (from the east, but now live in AZ)
Hungry Cat (am I overplaying this card after Son of a Gun even if I love seafood?)
Salt's Cure (probably just for a BLT, but if you have a recommendation I would love it)
Unami Burger or Golden State??? or another?
Chego

Some ideas that are up in the air:
Fathers Office
Street
Animal

Thanks for the help. I think by this list you can tell what I like and point me to something I am missing.
Price is not the biggest concern. It things get too high we just share some dishes and on to the next place. We are old school punks that like good food.

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

The Golden State
426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Chego
3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

Salt's Cure
7494 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Son of a Gun
8370 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Papaya King
1645 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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  1. n
    New Trial RE: TimClash Jun 9, 2011 12:58 AM

    While I like Son of a Gun, if it came down to a choice between the two, I would pick Hungry Cat as better for seafood. I would definitely add Animal (the original place openned by the folk behind Son of a Gun). You might also want to look at the new Lukshon or, even better, Spice Table, as well as Playa and you might consider A Frame over Chego (both Roy Choi menus but I find A Frame more interesting and varied).

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

    Animal
    435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

    Chego
    3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

    Lukshon
    3239 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90034

    Playa
    7360 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

    Son of a Gun
    8370 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: New Trial
      j
      Johnny L RE: New Trial Jun 9, 2011 01:08 AM

      +1 for A-Frame, great food although not sure what kind of budget you are on Chego is very budget friendly.

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      Chego
      3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

      A-Frame
      12565 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

      1. re: Johnny L
        Phurstluv RE: Johnny L Jun 9, 2011 08:03 AM

        A-Frame is probably more 'worth the trip" as Chego is a bit out of the way, unless you're planning on spending time in Culver City, it is not worth the trip and traffic you will endure getting there for 5-9 pm time slot.

        -----
        Chego
        3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

        A-Frame
        12565 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

      2. re: New Trial
        t
        TimClash RE: New Trial Jun 9, 2011 01:25 AM

        THANKS! Exactly what I was looking for.

      3. PommeDeGuerre RE: TimClash Jun 9, 2011 02:55 AM

        Waterloo and City

        A-Frame

        Animal

        Simple Things

        Son Of A Gun

        The Golden State Cafe

        Pizzeria Mozza

        Dino's Burgers (for the chicken plate)

        Ammo

        Rustic Canyon

        Spice Table

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        The Golden State
        426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

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

        Dino's Burgers
        2217 W 1st St, Santa Ana, CA 92703

        Waterloo and City
        12517 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066

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

        A-Frame
        12565 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

        1. Phurstluv RE: TimClash Jun 9, 2011 08:09 AM

          Agree with recs for:
          Animal
          Playa
          Mozza, or specifically, Mozza2go, which you can get to go and enjoy a picnic somewhere, life Griffith park or something. Use menu online and call at 11 am when phones open, pick up at noon. That way you avoid the crowds.

          Not sure I'd bother w Golden State. Right across from Animal, not as good, unless you want a beer float. I also prefer the burgers at Umami, the 5th St, location in Santa Monica is decent w decent service, parking.

          Hungry Cat is good, pricey. You might want to look into the location at the beach, since the H'wood location is smaller and less interesting inside. Great cocktails there too. Gets crowded, so get there early. H'wood is open for lunch, beach is dinner only.

          -----
          The Hungry Cat
          100 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402

          1. wienermobile RE: TimClash Jun 9, 2011 08:24 AM

            You are missing Park's BBQ for some of the best meats in LA. Great Korean flavor. Make sure you try the Seasoned Boneless Beef Short Rib • 주물럭. Great service. Open late. An LA must.
            http://www.parksbbq.com/

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

            2 Replies
            1. re: wienermobile
              Porthos RE: wienermobile Jun 9, 2011 08:58 AM

              I actually prefer the unseasoned kalbe for the unadulterated grilled rich short rib taste. But usually I get a plate of seasoned and unseasoned because both are so delicious.

              1. re: wienermobile
                Phurstluv RE: wienermobile Jun 9, 2011 09:03 AM

                We also love the seasoned pork belly along with those short ribs, delicious!!

              2. Louisiana Mouth RE: TimClash Jun 9, 2011 10:20 AM

                Salt's Cure very good for more than BLT - you'll love it. Sotto over Mozza for pizza. Skip Street altogether - been twice - not once good - maybe others have had a different experience there. Lukshon is great and already mentioned. You could pop in Father's Office after for a beer they're next door to each other. The burger there is great as well. For your old school punk side, while you're in that part of town, check out who's playing at Cinema Bar after dinner!

                -----
                Father's Office
                3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034

                Lukshon
                3239 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90034

                Salt's Cure
                7494 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

                1. b
                  BSW6490 RE: TimClash Jun 9, 2011 03:54 PM

                  Dan Tana's in West Hollywood is a must. Large portions too.

                  -----
                  Dan Tana's Restaurant
                  9071 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

                  1. t
                    TracyS RE: TimClash Jun 9, 2011 04:12 PM

                    Hungry Cat has gone down IMO, so Son of a Gun and also consider BP Oysterette.

                    I'd do Animal or since downtown's not too out of the way from Hollywood, Lazy Ox Canteen does some very interesting things with protein too.

                    Agree with others to replace Chego with A-Frame and skip Street.
                    Consider Gjelina too.

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

                    Lazy Ox Canteen
                    241 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                    Chego
                    3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                    BP Oysterette
                    1355 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                    Son of a Gun
                    8370 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                    A-Frame
                    12565 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                    Gjelina
                    1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                    1. m
                      mc michael RE: TimClash Jun 9, 2011 06:57 PM

                      If you are an old school punk, you might check downtown. You might like Cole's, Nickel Diner (Monica the chef IS an old school punk herself). And for nonpunkish New Mexican, Rivera Restaurant.

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

                      Nickel Diner
                      524 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                      Rivera Restaurant
                      1050 S. Flower Street, #102, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                      1. t
                        TimClash RE: TimClash Jun 9, 2011 11:39 PM

                        THANKS TO ALL!. These are great ideas. A FRAME, BP Oysterette, Nickel Diner and The Spice Table are completely new to me. Really impressed by the spice table menu and what I gather is the concept. Not sure I am wrapped around the concept yet, but I really like it and it sounds like the chef is super man. Thanks Phurstluv for the mozza tips. Parks BBQ i have heard a lot about, but I am not sure I understand it. You cook your own food right? What looked good to me on the menu was the soups. Can I just cruise in there and get a soup at a bar type seat and be on my way? Rustic Canyon looks insane, I just do not think I have time or money for it. Huckleberry is the same people right? The fried egg sando at Huck looks like fantastic. Thanks for the punk tips. I probably should have typed OLD school punk. I am getting slow these days. We are coming out to see Rodrigo Y Gabriela at the Bowl. Not exactly and old school punk show. Thanks so much for all the help. If any LA locals are still here I would ask the question::: If you had 4 days in LA what 3 dishes are a must? Thanks again!

                        -----
                        Nickel Diner
                        524 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                        BP Oysterette
                        1355 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: TimClash
                          m
                          mc michael RE: TimClash Jun 10, 2011 07:10 AM

                          One other wild card idea: not sure about August, but LQ does these pop-up dinners he calls "foodings" at different places . Currently he's at Starry Kitchen downtown. Here: http://bistrolq.com/LQ/SK/Foodings/
                          BTW, as I'm sure you know, R Y G are not slow. Their fingers move very fast!

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

                          1. re: TimClash
                            wienermobile RE: TimClash Jun 10, 2011 07:41 AM

                            Park's BBQ is all the about the great cuts of grilled meats with Korean flavors cooked at your table and it's some of the best in town (the staff does 95% of the cooking). It is a truly great meal. if this is not what you are looking for then Park's is not for you.

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

                            1. re: TimClash
                              Phurstluv RE: TimClash Jun 10, 2011 07:50 AM

                              You're welcome. Really, don't miss Mozza, it's some of the best food in the city. I recommend the rucola & proscuitto pizza, any panini (I liked the mortadella, would have gotten the porchetta if they had it) and Mario's lasagne, it's to die for.

                              Park's will not disappoint you, and they will take care of you. There are grills in the tables, you choose what meats & vegs you want, they bring them out and grill them in front of you. It's a wonderful and delicious experience in Korean dining.

                              As far as the three dishes, that's a tough call and you'll get a wide variety of answers. Mine would be:

                              Anything at Pizzeria Mozza
                              Animal's pork belly kimchi
                              Jitlada's thai mussels

                              Low end musts, for me would be:

                              Hatch burger, Umami
                              Pork Belly Banh Mi sandwich at Mendocino Farms Sandwich shop
                              Tacos al pastor, w red salsa, Tacos Por Favor

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

                              Tacos Por Favor
                              1406 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

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

                              Mendocino Farms
                              444 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                              1. re: Phurstluv
                                wienermobile RE: Phurstluv Jun 10, 2011 08:04 AM

                                Phurstluv you picked some of my favorite dishes .

                                1. re: wienermobile
                                  Phurstluv RE: wienermobile Jun 10, 2011 08:11 AM

                                  8 )) so happy you approve!! Obviously, we have excellent taste!!

                                2. re: Phurstluv
                                  aching RE: Phurstluv Jun 10, 2011 09:07 AM

                                  I used to be fan of Mendocino Farms's Banh Mi, but The Spice Table has completely stolen my heart (at least the part of my heart that is reserved for banh mi). Note that they are only available at lunch.

                                  +1 on anything at Pizzeria Mozza - my favorites are the tricolore salad, the brussels sprouts, and the bianca pizza with fennel sausage (you have to ask for the sausage).

                                  +1 on the Hatch Burger.

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

                                  1. re: aching
                                    Phurstluv RE: aching Jun 10, 2011 09:20 AM

                                    Great to know, aching, I sense a strong urge to treat my guy to a lunch there asap!!

                                  2. re: Phurstluv
                                    t
                                    TimClash RE: Phurstluv Jun 11, 2011 05:59 PM

                                    Thanks Phurstluv. This is a great list. I think I am sold on Jitlada. I have seen lots written about it in the past, and it is close to the Bowl so I think I need the green thai mussels. Have you tried the Fried Red Snapper & Crispy Basil at Jitlada? It looks great.
                                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mylastbi...

                                    We have a Lees Sandwich branch out here in AZ, but that Mendocino version is a new level. Very interesting menu.

                                    It is always good to know where the best pastor can be be found. My wife is from Mexico City so we have our favorites there (El Tizoncito, Rincon de la Lechuza ,Califa). If you are ever in Phoenix the best tacos(by far) are at La Condesa, and the only good pastor is at America's Taco Shop. Thanks again.... Yep I see Thai mussels in the future.

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

                                    1. re: TimClash
                                      Phurstluv RE: TimClash Jun 11, 2011 06:18 PM

                                      Good call on the mussels and no, I never had the snapper, but I'm sure it's delicious.

                                      Believe me, Mendo Farms blows Lee's out of the water; the downtown branch would be closest for you, but if you make it to the Spice Table for lunch, you won't need that Sandwich, according to another hound.

                                      Love pastor, there are lots of great taco places out here; you should search on other threads. Thanks for the recs in Phoenix, I actually get there almost once a year to visit friends and will probably be out this summer.

                                      Do Mozza2go for your Bowl picnic, and save Jitlada for a leisurely lunch, they can be a tad slow. Enjoy your stay, let us know how things turn out.

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

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

                                      1. re: Phurstluv
                                        t
                                        TimClash RE: Phurstluv Jun 11, 2011 06:39 PM

                                        Will do. Monday we are going to see my cousin in Venice. Very happy to see Mendo has a Marina Del Rey location that we can WALK to!

                                        1. re: TimClash
                                          Phurstluv RE: TimClash Jun 12, 2011 08:13 AM

                                          Perfect, that's the one I go to. Enjoy!!

                                      2. re: TimClash
                                        c
                                        collegedad35 RE: TimClash Aug 21, 2011 12:38 AM

                                        I am Vietnamese living in Little Saigon, Orange County. Lee Sandwich to Vietnamese Banh Mi is like Mc Donnald to hamburger. If you ever go to OC look for Tan Hoang Huong ( on Edinger Ave, Santa Ana) or Teo Sandwich, they have way better Banh Mi than Lee's. Lee's banh mi is C+. I have to give Lee the credit of making banh mi a mainstream food item. The guy knows how to market it, he does not know how to make the best banh mi.

                                  3. j
                                    jaykayen RE: TimClash Jun 10, 2011 11:52 AM

                                    I've been to Hungry Cat three times, and have never really been impressed. It's ok, could be better, esp for the price.

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

                                    1. n
                                      namstermonster RE: TimClash Jun 13, 2011 12:32 PM

                                      chego over a-frame (even though they're 2 diff things, chego executes food better IMHO), however, i'd do lukshon over the 2 (just don't do any of the noodles or soups)...haven't tried spice table but that sounds good too. salt's cure's citrus cake, along w/the other cake and grapefruit pie, are good. son of a gun over hungry cat. mozza is overrated (except for the butterscotch budino :), but if u do go try the grilled bread and cauliflower gratin. papaya king is a major fail. umami burger over golden state, but FO is a good standby (albeit only one uncustomizable burger, unlike umami's various options). animal is more for the creativity of the dishes than the actual execution, but their tres leches is so very, very, good.

                                      i'd skip gjelina, lazy ox, nickel diner and a-frame.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: namstermonster
                                        Phurstluv RE: namstermonster Jun 13, 2011 02:36 PM

                                        ~~~animal is more for the creativity of the dishes than the actual execution~~~

                                        Just curious, what have you had at Animal that was executed improperly?

                                        1. re: Phurstluv
                                          Porthos RE: Phurstluv Jun 13, 2011 02:54 PM

                                          Just curious, what have you had at Animal that was executed improperly?

                                          ==================
                                          Ribs. Tender, yes. Deep flavor, no. Nice crust, no. Weak sauce, yes.

                                          Fried pig ears. Overfried, chewy, tough. Not crispy, soft and crunchy like Lazy Ox.

                                          Pig tail buffalo style. Waaaay too salty to even eat. Could only manage to eat 2. Otherwise, would have been great.

                                          4 visits and only the foie biscuit and gravy was impressive for the sheer insanity of it all.

                                          1. re: Porthos
                                            Phurstluv RE: Porthos Jun 13, 2011 04:28 PM

                                            That's too bad. We've only had stellar meals there the 5 times we've been. Cannot think of one occasion or dish that was off even the slightest bit.

                                            1. re: Phurstluv
                                              Porthos RE: Phurstluv Jun 13, 2011 04:43 PM

                                              I've had the pig ears twice and they are consistently like that. Not sure it was an off night(s) but rather the way they prepare them at Animal. Lazy Ox's version was better 2 out of 2 times. Having said that, everything else at Lazy Ox has been very average. The $45 whole chicken is a total ripoff. Nothing like the Zuni chicken in SF. It only took 20 minutes to prepare which suggests that it was precooked to a certain level of doneness and then finished in the oven. The slightly dry breast despite the short prep time also suggests pre-cooking. This is truly one dish that one can easily make better at home.

                                      2. t
                                        TimClash RE: TimClash Aug 15, 2011 11:47 PM

                                        Thanks to all (Phurstluv). LA was great. Arrived 1 am to hollywood. Hit Papaya King for some great homerun dogs. Had to work from the hotel in the am. Hit Joans on Third for BLT, pastries and coffee. Off to LACMA. Had lunch at LACMA (duck, and my wife had some salads). *The impressionist room is small but fantastic* LACMA is great. Tim Burton exhibit was good. Back to the hollywood W (hotwire good price). Mozza for dinner. Fantastic. Had the bone marrow, meatballs, clam pizza. My wife had the squash blossoms and scallion, bacon, goat cheese pizza. Her pizza was insane. I would skip the clam pizza. It was great, but I have had clam pizza many times and should have gone for something new. Slept very late on Saturday. Walked to Unami and shared the unami burger with my wife. She liked it. I loved it. Perfect burger. Had to run to Kodak Theatre to see Iris (Cirque du Solei) sp? It was fantastic. Dinner at THE HUNGRY CAT! I cannot say enough good things about the cat. INSANE. I totally flaked out though and did not get the small tier. What an idiot. I went for half dozen oysters(FANTASTIC) and the clams with chorizo, white beans, kale. My wife had the white sea bass with eggplant. Mine was great, but hers was another level. She says the best seafood dish she has had, and I find it hard to argue. We had the special drink (blueberry hill)....insane. We really wished we could return to the Hungry Cat the next day. Again, I cannot say enough good things about the cat. It is my favorite in LA now.... Grabbed a cab to the Bowl for a great concert. FANTASTIC! Arrived just in time. Walked down the hill after and walking down hollywood blvd noticed that Loteria was still open! (last customers). Had some great tinga, cochinita, and mole tacos with some arroz verde and plantains. These are great tacos. Slept late on Sunday. Off to Venice. Went to Venice farmers market and stocked up. My cousin took us to Wahoos fish tacos, and then we hung out on Venice beach and in the marina. Had to go back to PHX at 6 (could not get the day off on Monday) but not before a quick stop at Mendicino Farms. I had the pork belly vietnamese sando and my wife got the heirloom blt. GREAT SANDOS!
                                        It was a great time in LA as always. Thanks for all the help. Some things I wish we had time for are......Jitlada, Son of a Gun (did get a photo at the door), and to explore the ramen scene. Sounds like a good reason to return. Thanks again.

                                        -----
                                        Son of a Gun
                                        8370 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                        The Hungry Cat
                                        100 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402

                                        Papaya King
                                        1645 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: TimClash
                                          Servorg RE: TimClash Aug 16, 2011 05:46 AM

                                          Great report back and just the rarity of someone returning with such a detailed follow up is wonderful and almost shocking at the same time. You've earned extra credit with your review and are welcome here for more suggestions ANY time! Just sorry you didn't make it to Animal after all. It really is a unique and truly excellent place to go here in LA, (even more so that Son of a Gun). The one dish (the pigs ear with chili and lime) that didn't hit for us in 4 visits is the ONLY one that wasn't a wow. Hope you'll return to give it a go sometime.

                                        2. t
                                          TimClash RE: TimClash Aug 15, 2011 11:58 PM

                                          One more note... My wife really, really, really loved Mozza. I did too. She say's best pizza she has ever had, and I say best meatballs I have ever had. I know there is some debate about their meatballs, but I eat meatballs often and I personally give them the highest mark.

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