Looking for a restaurant far away
Trying to get ideas for a good, cheap, exciting place far from the Westside. Not cheating on anyone, just want to try a place far from home.
Cost: $60 for 2 people or less, not including drinks.
Location: Echo Park, Downtown, Pasadena, South Bay, maybe the SF Valley or SG Valley, not Orange County.
Food wise, I want a place where a pescarian (fish/seafood eating vegetarian) will have more than one option. Cuisines I'm not interested in: Indian, pizza, Middle Eastern (unless the vegetarian mezze will blow my mind), bbq, Italian, sushi (like it but can get it close by), diner/American (though I recall liking Fred 62) or purely vegetarian/vegan/salad places. I like most Asian cuisines. Am neutral on Mexican or Central American food.
What I really want to try is a place that's exciting with good food. Somewhat unique would also be great. Don't care about decor or service. Dives are fine. This would be on a weekend afternoon if that matters.
Far away restaurants that I've been to: various Indian in Artesia and Renu Nakorn.
1854 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Renu Nakorn Restaurant
13019 Rosecrans Ave, Norwalk, CA 90650
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Manhattan Beach Post (but they don't open till 5pm)
Manhattan Beach Post
1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Since it seems you know your way to the Artesia area, two others in the same general direction that are worth a try:
1) Golden Triangle in Whittier (Burmese) for the ginger & tea leaf salad
2) El Rocoto in Cerritos for the Peruvian ceviche platters
7011 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90602
El Rocoto Restaurant
11433 South St, Cerritos, CA 90703
Babita in SGV - (626) 288-7265 · 1823 S San Gabriel Blvd - Oaxacan
Daichan - (818) 980-8450 11288 Ventura Blvd, #F, Studio City (NOT open Sun) - Japanese
Both far enuf away and esp. for good for cheaters. Daichan has a couple of "tucked away" tables. Great decor. Even better food.
11288 Ventura Blvd Ste F, Studio City, CA 91604
If that was the end of it, it would be mostly ok. The hostess, Elba (aka Mrs Berrelleza) kept encouraging us to order more than we wanted (we were having a light early dinner) and came by often to remind us how good everything was. And yes, the food is indeed very good, but when you're dealt with as if your previous experience of Mexican cuisine is limited to visits to El Torito, it detracts from the enjoyment.
We were first-time customers and only one of two tables at the time, so I can understand why they were so . . . interactive. I'm sure if you're a regular they're a bit more relaxed.