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Best Women Chefs

Who do you consider are the best women chefs in Los Angeles?

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  1. Suzanne Goin immediately comes to mind.

    1 Reply
    1. re: maudies5

      Suzanne Tracht as well. I really like Jar

      EDIT: arghhh it wont let me remove the link to tracht's lol.

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      Tracht's
      111 East Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802

    2. Giselle Wellman is serving up really great food at Petrossian.

      Niki Nakayama enjoys continued success with her fantastic kaiseki tastings at n/naka.

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      Petrossian
      321 N Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA

      1. Brooke Williams (?) original chef-owner of Beechwood, now c-o of Hudson House and Tripel.

        I also like Josie LeBach (?) of Josie's in SaMo. And Diana Stavardis of BLD.

        Wish I could remember their names or spellings!

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        BLD Restaurant
        7450 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

        Tripel
        333 Culver Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90293

        Hudson House
        514 N Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

        5 Replies
        1. re: Phurstluv

          I would add Pippa at Villetta to the list.

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          Villetta
          246 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402

          1. re: lizziee

            Thanks, I was also thinking of her, just haven't been there yet myself, and didn't know her name!

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Thank you my Dear, I knew it wasn't spelled correctly!

            2. re: Phurstluv

              +1 for Phurstluv's mention of The Tripel.

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              Tripel
              333 Culver Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90293

              1. re: Ernie

                Carolyn Styne isn't a chef, she is Suzanne Goin's business partner and also a Sommelier

                1. re: TracyS

                  I would put Nancy Silverton and Suzanne Goin at the top of the list.

                  1. re: maudies5

                    i would also add Zoe Nathan of Huckleberry and Rustic Canyon, although she may be more of a pastry chef.

                  2. re: TracyS

                    Oh geez, how could we forget her??

                  3. all excellent choices, but i can't believe no one mentioned Mary Sue Milliken or Susan Feniger!

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Susan Feniger, maybe a good chef, but her Border Grill and Ciudad restaurants are/were terrible.

                      1. re: reality check

                        fair enough - i never made it to Ciudad, and my one meal at Border Grill was more than 20 years ago before i knew any better...plus, i was pretty wasted ;)

                        but i've had the opportunity to enjoy food cooked by both Susan & Mary Sue at events in recent years, and it was great.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          The original Border Grill that was on Melrose was excellent when it first opened back in the mid '80s. Also Milliken and Feniger at their "City" restaurant on La Brea that was also top notch.

                        2. re: reality check

                          Street isn't getting great reviews either.

                          But I do respect them as competent chefs who broke some molds back in the '90s.

                          1. re: Phurstluv

                            yeah, the feedback on Street has been really uneven...and unfortunately the menu is a veritable gluten- and soy-fest so i can't eat there to judge for myself.

                            1. re: Phurstluv

                              my main respect for border grill is that they will served margaritas made with real lime juice, as opposed to the sugary bottled crapola that most bars use as their "base" for this drink.
                              my position is that if i'm going to have the calories associated with such a drink, i want them to really count on the pleasure meter.

                              1. re: westsidegal

                                I didn't know BG used real lime juice for their margaritas. But, that hardly makes up for very average food.

                                1. re: reality check

                                  i only ate there once, and never ate there again. certainly didn't mean to imply a food recommendation.

                                  now, i won't even go there for the margaritas because Zengo, in the same neighborhood makes great margaritas using real lime juice AND offers them as a happy hour special.

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                                  Zengo
                                  395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                            2. re: reality check

                              Border Grill terrible? It isn't remotely close to terrible. It might not be to your tastes, but it's well regarded by their contemporaries and competently run on pretty much every level. I'd say it's a weird-looking place, but after a decade or so I'm used to it.

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

                              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                no, def not terrible. The flavors are all a little muted, my abuelita thought the food was desabrido and not spicy enough. Do they change their menu at all? I end up there once a year or so, and always see the same stuff.

                                1. re: AAQjr

                                  Has anyone had the desserts at Border Grill? How are they? I've always thought they looked good.

                          2. Nikki Nakayama who now runs N. Naka (new omakase on Overland in West L.A.) -- she used to run Azami Cafe on Melrose -- maybe the best japanese food in L.A.

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                            Azami
                            7160 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: blueline

                              I second Nikki! And would add her cousin that cooked with her at Azami, too.

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                              Azami
                              7160 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                            2. Lots of great suggestions already but Evan Kleiman should probably be added to the list.

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: New Trial

                                especially for the heavenly hot bread that she serves with her food. . . .

                                i also like her cookies a lot.

                                1. re: westsidegal

                                  I concur with Evan Kleiman...Love the bread at Angelli...and the pizzas were damn good too..but its been too many years since i ate there...and of course, Nancy Silverton....where would i/we be in LA w/o Mozza?

                                2. re: New Trial

                                  I thought she was just on a radio show (which, obviously, I don't listen to). Where does she cook?

                                  1. re: Phurstluv

                                    She owns Angeli Caffe.

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                                    Angeli Caffe
                                    7274 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      Is she the regular chef there? And has time to do a radio show? I'm impressed.

                                      1. re: Phurstluv

                                        If you still consider Alice Waters a chef then certainly Evan Kleiman qualifies too.

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          What, she does a public radio show too?

                                          I was not saying I didn't consider her a chef, I just didn't realize she owned a resto & was the Head Chef there.

                                        2. re: Phurstluv

                                          The radio show is an hour a week, doesn't take up that much time. She is there every wednesday at the SMFM shopping for the restaurant. She is pretty well regarded and well connected.. Here's a good article about her from a few years back:
                                          http://articles.latimes.com/2009/dec/...

                                          1. re: AAQjr

                                            Yeah - she's been around for a long time.

                                            I was really interested to hear that that's where 'Evans tomatoes' comes from - after doing some searching, I had thought they were a hybrid made by a plant company called 'Evans', but this story makes more sense. They're my favorite summer tomato for eating with pasta.

                                          2. re: Phurstluv

                                            I love Angeli... it's a total family affair and yes, you can often find Evan running aroudn the kitchen there!

                                            --Dommy!

                                      2. re: New Trial

                                        Another vote for Evan Kleiman.

                                      3. awww... pastry chefs don't get enough respect. Karen Hatfield for best pastry chef!

                                        1. Niki Nakayama (n/naka)

                                          Kristy Choo (Jin Patisserie)

                                          Cathy Lu (Tastio aka Dean Sin World)

                                          1. I'll add Rocio Camacho (La Huasteca), Haley Nguyen (Xanh Bistro), Gabbi Patrick (Gabbi's) and Shewaye Zeleke (Tana).

                                            1. I don't know if she's still working in LA, but I was impressed by the food at Sona when Kuniko Yagi was chef de cuisine.

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                                              Sona
                                              401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: will47

                                                i just Googled her and turned up a Facebook page that says she's at David Myers' Vegas outpost of Comme Ça.

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                                                Comme Ça
                                                8479 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  Yeah, but I think she's coming back to LA -- possibly working as a private chef.

                                                  1. re: will47

                                                    I ran into David Myers a couple of months ago and he said that he was going to be opening up a new restaurant in the general WeHo vicinity. He wouldn't tell me what the concept was, just that it would be departure from what he's done to this point. Perhaps she is coming back to work with him in that new venture?

                                              2. Lots of great nominations here! I was about to add Rocio Camacho but on closer inspection I see Das U already has. So I'll add Genet Agonafer at Meals by Genet - her doro wat is just poetry on a plate (or on an injera, as the case may be).

                                                I don't mean to sound cruel, but I'm glad nobody's mentioned Scooter "Chowhound is a despicable entity" Kanfer. I've tried her overpriced "comfort food" at three different places and none of it's been very comforting.