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Jul 10, 2011 01:22 AM

Favorite foodie ethnic neighborhoods?

What are some of your favorite ethnic neighborhoods/towns/regions for awesome eats?

I'm planning to really explore the different cultures in Los Angeles, and what best way to learn about a culture than through its food? I've been living in L.A. for two+ years and I still don't know much about areas other than downtown and Koreatown because I didn't have a car. Now that I do, I can't wait to explore this great city!

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  1. Gotta be Thai Town/Little Armenia in East Hollywood. They're right next to each other, they even overlap. For Thai, my favorites are Jitlada, Spicy BBQ, Thailand Plaza, Ord Noodle, BKT sweets shop. For Armenian, it's Carousel, (the original) Zankou, Falafel Arax. Plus the area in general is so diverse, you even have great non-Thai/Armenian restaurants. There's some Mexican, Guatemalan, Salvadoran, Indian and other restaurants as well.

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

    Thailand Plaza
    5321 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

    Ord Noodles
    5401 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

    Spicy BBQ
    5101 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

    Falafel Arax
    5101 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

    1 Reply
    1. re: Normal Garciaparra

      AND Lebanese (Marouch) AND avant-garde ice cream (Scoops)...

    2. Check out Little Ethiopia which is the stretch of Fairfax Avenue in the Carthay district of Los Angeles, California between Olympic and Pico Boulevards. The area is filled with Ethiopian businesses and restaurants, as well as a significant concentration of residents of Ethiopian and Eritrean ancestry. (This was basically borrowed from Wikipedia.). You can search for specific recommendations for Ethiopian restaurant reviews here on CH.

      1. Not an exhaustive list, and of course Mexican is so widespread as to be uncategorisable. There are plenty of other places, but they may not rise to the level of a concentration—for example, there's a good Polish restaurant in Glassell Park, but it's the ONLY Polish business.


        Chinese: San Gabriel Valley (Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Rowland Hs, etc.) and Irvine, Chinatown
        Japanese: Torrance/Gardena, and to a lesser extent Sawtelle/Olympic
        Thai: Thai Town, and Thai Gulch along Sherman Way in NoHo
        Korean: Koreatown, Buena Park/Stanton/Garden Grove
        Cambodian: Little Phnom Penh in Long Beach
        Vietnamese: Little Saigon (Garden Grove, Westminster, Santa Ana), western SGV
        Indian: Artesia (especially Pioneer Blvd.)
        Indonesian: West Covina
        Filipino: West Covina, Eagle Rock, west Anaheim, Filipinotown (just a few, sadly)


        Brazilian: Venice Blvd. just east of the 405
        Jamaican: Inglewood
        Peruvian: Van Nuys and North Hollywood (esp. Sherman Way/VN Blvd.)
        Argentine: Santa Ana (just a few)
        Guatemalan: Paramount Blvd. between 91/105
        Cuban: Paramount Blvd. between 5/105 (just a few)


        Ethiopian/Horn of Africa: Fairfax/Olympic and west Anaheim
        Lebanese: Little Arabia (Anaheim)
        Persian: Westwood, Irvine
        Armenian: Glendale


        Italian: San Pedro (but not at all robust)
        German: east Anaheim, Torrance, Glendale (all sparse)
        Russian: Eastern West Hollywood (around Fairfax/SM), Tarzana

        Phnom Penh'
        1305 Portia St, Los Angeles, CA 90026

        6 Replies
          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            One restaurant doesn't mean a city is an ethnic neighborhood. So, Anaheim has two German restaurants.

            1. re: reality check

              I should have said Anaheim/Orange, then. I did mention that it was sparse—perhaps you missed it.

              When I think of German food I think of this area. There's the Phoenix Club (with the Loreley and the Bierstube), there's the Jägerhaus, there's Mattern in Orange, there's Michel's Deli in Anaheim, the occasional events put on by AVIO (which, I will admit, is Dutch, not Deutsch) and the few Austrian selections at Dunarea. It's certainly more German than really any other area in Southern California, and there's more German in Anaheim than Italian in San Pedro at this point, I think. The Germans have more or less completely assimilated into the larger population, alas for the cultural traditions.

              Anaheim was settled by the Germans... just long enough ago that there's not much left. See also: the Swedes of Long Beach, who pretty much have a church and a park left.

              Phoenix Club
              1340 S Sanderson Ave, Anaheim, CA 92806

            2. re: Das Ubergeek

              Sad that Spain is not well-represented at all... :-(

              1. re: J.L.

                Unfortunately no... there's really just La Española, but that doesn't make Harbor City a bastion of Spanish culture :)

              2. re: Das Ubergeek

                Do you know of any South African markets besides wholesome choice and African Hut?

              3. Sawtelle near Olympic. Lots of pretty good to very good Japanese. And Giant Robot, Nijia, etc.

                3 Replies