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What/where can I eat that is unique to the LA area?

Solstice444 Jul 6, 2011 05:49 AM

I'm going to be in the LA area in August. However, I won't be spending any time in the actual city of Los Angeles. I'll be in the Santa Monica/Manhattan Beach area, Hollywood, and Burbank/Pasadena/La Canada Flintridge area. Does anyone have recommendations in those areas for food that is unique to the area? Something that is done the best in LA? I'm not familiar with what's good or popular in the LA area, other than that they have an incredible variety of food. I pretty much eat anything, and I'm willing to try new things. Thanks so much in advance!

  1. s
    Solstice444 Jul 10, 2011 01:03 PM

    Thanks so much everyone!

    1. ipsedixit Jul 10, 2011 12:07 PM

      Kishka and kasha varnishkas at Brent's Deli

      Donkey Roll at Beijing Pie House

      Wurstkuche for hot dogs

      Shaved Snow at Class 302

      Strawberry and Peach donuts at Donut Man

      Hamburger at Father's Office

      Bacon Donuts at Nickel Diner

      Pastrami Sandwich (No. 19) at Langer's Deli

      Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung

      Gelato at Bulgarini

      Ice Cream at Scoops

      Kaiseiki at Urasawa

      Dim sum at Sea Harbour

      Din Tai Fung Restaurant
      1108 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

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

      Brent's Deli
      19565 Parthenia St, Northridge, CA 91324

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

      Beijing Pie House
      846 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91755

      1. MoreBeerHere Jul 10, 2011 11:14 AM

        In the Hollywood area there are a few Russian places ( Really good food)There's Robert's Russian Cuisine, Maxim Restaurant on Fairfax ,Premier Restaurant & Bar in Studio City just to name a few. Pasadena has lots of great places don't really know where in Pasadena your going to be but if your near PCC ( Pasadena City College) you have to try Burger Continental or the Brunch Sunday Morning at the Double Tree Hotel ! You can also try Polka in Eagle Rock for great Polish cuisine !!

        Burger Continental
        535 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

        9 Replies
        1. re: MoreBeerHere
          Peripatetic Jul 10, 2011 11:30 AM

          You may want to check out this thread before considering a visit to Burger Continental:


          1. re: Peripatetic
            MoreBeerHere Jul 10, 2011 11:38 AM

            I'll admit that it has been a little while since I 've been there but I never have had any bad experiences when I have been there.

          2. re: MoreBeerHere
            Phurstluv Jul 10, 2011 12:17 PM

            I would never recommend Burger Continental, since it is beyond mediocre food in a less than sanitary eating space.

            1. re: Phurstluv
              MoreBeerHere Jul 10, 2011 12:36 PM

              Guess that I will have to return to the "scene of the crime" for a little investigation and see if it is as really bad as you claim it to be...

              1. re: MoreBeerHere
                ipsedixit Jul 10, 2011 12:37 PM

                Please don't. It's actually worse.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  MoreBeerHere Jul 10, 2011 12:42 PM

                  That bad and the Health Department has yet to shut it down.Really must be "shorthanded" at the Health Department these days.....

                  1. re: MoreBeerHere
                    ipsedixit Jul 10, 2011 12:50 PM

                    My issue with the place has less to do with its sanitary conditions (or lack thereof), and more to do with just bad food.

                    Plus, there's nothing unique about Burger Continental to LA.

                    Disgusting food is actually quite common to LA.

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      Peripatetic Jul 11, 2011 12:53 AM

                      BC is really a candidate for a Kitchen Nightmares makeover. Not that the results of those are too inspiring either. Actually, I wish Umami would take it over and keep the the vintage patina of the place intact. Umami, like Intelligentsia, isn't a slave to a rubber-stamped decor. Adam?

                    2. re: MoreBeerHere
                      Phurstluv Jul 11, 2011 09:59 AM

                      The patio is full of pigeons and next to a dumpster. How that place stays open is beyond me.

            2. westsidegal Jul 10, 2011 09:40 AM

              the Mariscos Chente on west imperial highway in inglewood.
              Shojin for inventive vegetarian Japanese food on Alameda near 3rd

              333 S Alameda St Ste 310, Los Angeles, CA 90013

              1. b
                BSW6490 Jul 8, 2011 01:49 PM

                Grab a bucket of clams at the Galley on Main Street in Venice.

                Main Street Cafe
                12939 Main St, Garden Grove, CA 92840

                1. tenxtone76 Jul 8, 2011 12:16 PM

                  Hmmmm, Glendora's Donut Man strawberry seasonal donuts. In N Out (I know it's in other states now). Pa Ord Thai restaurant... along w/ Jitlada. Philippe's is ok. Mo Chica is great refined Peruvian, Marios is great laid back Peruvian. Daikokuya is great ramen. Shoot... I find LA more to be top notch w/ a slight twist in a few types... especially CA fusion, Asian, and Mexican.

                  327 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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

                  Donut Man
                  915 E Rte 66, Glendora, CA 91740

                  1. Phurstluv Jul 8, 2011 08:42 AM

                    You may not think you are in the city of LA, but Hollywood is actually a part of the city of LA, as is the San Fernando Valley.

                    But a lot of the unique spots are around downtown. Try Koreatown for exceptional Korean food. Parks BBQ is a favorite. Try the Pico-Union (a bit west and south of downtown) area for Salvadorean pupusas and other unique Latin American specialties. Mo Chica and Picca are high end Peruvian places, one is further west than the other. In the Hollywood area, try Thai food, we have a ThaiTown. Jitlada is one of the best for their Southern Thai food.

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

                    9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Phurstluv
                      brandygirl Jul 8, 2011 07:18 PM

                      Phurstluv, are there any particular places in the Pico-Union area you would recommend for pupusas? When I drove through the area, the number of Salvadorean places seemed overwhelming.

                      1. re: brandygirl
                        Phurstluv Jul 8, 2011 09:39 PM

                        Yes, you are right the entire area is full of restaurants that sell Salvadorean food. I personally do not know where to direct you to decent food. Perhaps others on the board can and are much more knowledgeable than I - streetgourmetla, where art thou?? But I will make some calls to former coworkers who might and get back to you. There must be some gems in the mine there.

                        1. re: brandygirl
                          Phurstluv Jul 9, 2011 08:52 AM

                          Ok, brandygirl, word from the expert (streetgourmetla) is El Santiagueno. Let me know if you get there, I may have to do a drive by on Monday. Sure it will be good!!

                          El Santiagueno
                          1939 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90011

                          1. re: Phurstluv
                            brandygirl Jul 9, 2011 11:55 AM

                            Thank you so much. I will check it out in the next couple of weeks and report back!

                            1. re: brandygirl
                              burntwater Jul 10, 2011 10:37 PM

                              I stopped by El Santiagueno after seeing it was Bill's suggestion.
                              As I got closer to the location I realized I have been there before on a drive by hunch.

                              Fun place the pupusas are good but for the most part I find most of the places around town make good pupusas.

                              I went with the Sopa de Patas this time and it was great.
                              Broke the mouth kind of food if you know what that means...

                              For the OP try Santouka Ramen at Mitsua market at Centinela and Venice.
                              It's unique in that you can get good ramen in a grocery store.
                              You probably don't have that in your area.

                              El Santiagueno
                              1939 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90011

                      2. wienermobile Jul 6, 2011 09:36 AM

                        In Manhattan Beach I like Uncle Bill's Cheddar Bacon Waffle and North End Cafe's Kahlua Pig Monte Cristo Egg Rolls.

                        Uncle Bill's Pancake House
                        1305 Highland Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                        North End Cafe
                        3713 Highland Ave Ste 1, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wienermobile
                          westsidegal Jul 8, 2011 11:36 PM

                          ya might try giving the Uncle Bill's Cheddar Bacon FRENCH TOAST a try.
                          imho is even more delicious than the waffle

                        2. scottca075 Jul 6, 2011 09:28 AM

                          For something unique, try Zankou Chicken. Glendale would be my first choice, but they are also in Pasadena and Burbank. It is a counter service Lebanese place. Love the chicken and garlic sauce.

                          Cafe Santorini in Pasadena isn't unique per se, just a nice setting.

                          Cafe Santorini
                          70 W Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103

                          1. s
                            Solstice444 Jul 6, 2011 09:23 AM

                            Thank you! I will take a look at those links.

                            1. c
                              carter Jul 6, 2011 08:46 AM

                              Well, when in the Burbank/Pasadena portion of your trip, read this post regarding food in the San Gabriel Valley, aka which Pasadena is a part of, and pick and choose your options.
                              And when in that area, other options might include Bulgarini for Ice Cream/Sorbet in Altadena(aka north Pasadena) or Fosselman's in Alhambra for similar.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: carter
                                Solstice444 Jul 8, 2011 05:07 AM

                                Thanks - I will have to see if I can stop by one of those places, maybe in Arcadia as that looks closest to Pasadena.

                              2. wienermobile Jul 6, 2011 08:36 AM

                                Try this link as a staring point then ask away.

                                or this for the Santa Monica/Venice area

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: wienermobile
                                  Solstice444 Jul 8, 2011 05:01 AM

                                  Thank you for the links. I'll definitely have to have tacos and sushi while I'm out there. Musha looks good and looks like a unique style of Japanese. Cha Cha Chicken looks good for lunch if I'm near the pier. I'm from 90 miles north of NYC, so while I do have good restaurants in my area, I don't have much variety as I don't make it down to NYC all that often - which is why Cha Cha Chicken looks appealing, no Caribbean restaurants around here.

                                2. b
                                  Burger Boy Jul 6, 2011 06:09 AM

                                  Try a Sushi Hamburger from 26 Beach Restaurant in Venice, just south of Santa Monica and north of Manhattan. They won a Best Burger competition in 2010 with it. I think that is a very unique thing. www.26beach.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK401k...

                                  26 Beach
                                  3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Burger Boy
                                    westsidegal Jul 10, 2011 09:41 AM

                                    would add the interesting, well-constructed, entree salads that are served at 26 beach.

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