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list your favorites for a new los angeleno

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  • adamyumyum Apr 9, 2006 11:35 PM
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hey guys,

i just moved to LA from the east coast, and it would be cool to hear all your opinions about the best places to get the best stuff! fill in the blanks in the survey below (you don't need to fill them all). it would be interesting for all to see the diversity of opinions... and very helpful for me as i start to cook and eat here in LA!

best butcher:
best fish monger:
best general grocery store:
best farmers market:

best kitchenwares store:
best baking supply store:
best cake decorating store:

best icecream:
best chocolatier:
best candy store:
best gourmet/specialty store:
best italian grocer:
best spice shop (like, where can i find culinary lavender?):
best cheese shop:
best baguette:
best health food store:
best french pastries:
best italian pastry:
best scandinavian pastry:
best chinese bakery:
best japanese bakery:

best asian grocery stores:
best indian chaat/snack foods:
best indian restaurant:
best vietnamese sandwich:
best vietnamese restaurant:
best boba tea:
best dim sum:
best cheap/authentic thai:

best burger:
best bargain steak:
best french bistro:
best gourmet pizza:
best cheapo pizza:
best funky vegetarian restaurant:
best hot dog:
best shwarma:
best schnitzel:
best falafel:
best bbq:
best fried chicken:
best soul food:

best greasy spoon breakfast:
best LATE NIGHT eat:

ANY OTHER "BESTS" YOU WANT TO POST??!

thanks!!

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  1. best farmers market: Pasadena Saturday Market

    best kitchenwares store: Surfas
    best baking supply store: Surfas
    best cake decorating store: Surfas
    best chocolatier: On Larchmont, Leonides (sp?)
    best gourmet/specialty store: Trader Joes & Bristol Farms & Whole Foods
    best cheese shop: Great cheeses at Trader Joes
    best indian restaurant: India's Oven
    best burger: Fatburger
    best fried chicken: Roscoes House of Chicken & Waffles
    best soul food: M&M Soul Food
    best LATE NIGHT eat: Astros on Glendale/Fletcher

    1. Dude I'm tired just from reading your list...

      Best burger: Pie N Burger (Pasadena), In-N-Out (all over)
      Best boba: Tea Station (San Gabriel, on Valley)
      Best gourmet pizza: Cafe Angelino (on 3rd, near Cedars-Sinai)
      Best cheapo pizza: Lamonica's NY Pizza (Westwood, Downtown LA)
      Best baguette: La Brea Bakery
      Best greasy spoon breakfast (Chinese): Yung Ho Tou Chiang (NE corner of Valley & New, in San Gabriel)
      Best falafel: Falafel King (on Broxton, in Westwood)

      Bon appetit! Welcome to LA!

      1 Reply
      1. re: JL

        Best ice cream: Fosselman's (Alhambra) and Mashti Malones (Hollywood)

      2. best butcher: whole foods if I need something special
        best fish monger: i use Gelson's
        best general grocery store: Gelson's/Mayfair
        best farmers market: Hollywood on Sundays

        best kitchenwares store: Williams Sonoma
        best baking supply store:
        best cake decorating store: Yummy Cupcakes because I don't really bake, they did a great job of b-day cupcakes for me recently, they are in burbank.

        best icecream:
        best chocolatier:
        best candy store:
        best gourmet/specialty store: Trader Joe's
        best italian grocer:
        best spice shop (like, where can i find culinary lavender?):
        best cheese shop: The Silverlake Cheese Store
        best baguette:
        best health food store: Erewhon on Beverly
        best french pastries:
        best italian pastry:
        best scandinavian pastry:
        best chinese bakery:
        best japanese bakery:

        best asian grocery stores: market on Sunset at Laveta
        best indian chaat/snack foods:
        best indian restaurant:
        best vietnamese sandwich:
        best vietnamese restaurant:
        best boba tea:
        best dim sum:
        best cheap/authentic thai: suriyo thai in silverlake

        best burger: in n out, baby!
        best bargain steak: cafe stella in silverlake
        best french bistro: same as above, really
        best gourmet pizza: hard times pizza
        best cheapo pizza:
        best funky vegetarian restaurant: real food daily (not funky)
        best hot dog: pinks if you care to wait.
        best shwarma:
        best schnitzel: canter's
        best falafel: eat a pita on Fairax
        best bbq:
        best fried chicken: roscoe's on Gower
        best soul food:

        best greasy spoon breakfast: mexican food anywhere
        best LATE NIGHT eat: tommy's on Sunset

        1. best baking supply store: Jane’s Cakes in Montrose
          best scandinavian pastry: Berolina Bakery in Glendale/close to Montrose
          best vietnamese sandwich: Pho 79, Vietnamese Ham Bahn Mi (does not come with Pate)
          best vietnamese restaurant: Pho 79
          best cheap/authentic thai: Chandra, Pasadena, Burbank
          best shwarma: Zankou

          1. f
            Foodie Universe

            Here are some of my favorite restaurants. Most are on the Westside.
            Chameau - French Morrocan, slightly upscale, great decor
            Cholada Beach Thai-noodles with bite and unusual outdoor seating
            Fritto Misto - large, delicious, inexpensive portions
            Gingergrass -Anglicized Vietnamese, but damn, it's amazing
            Hamasaku - great sushi, great service, romantic, interesting rolls
            The Hump - sushi, homey, great omakase
            In-n-Out - where this flexitarian gets her hamburger fix
            Jaipur Cuisine of India - one of the better choices for Indian food on the Westside
            Juliano's Raw - raw, vegan, romantic-ish
            Kiriko - sushi, nice, inexpensive, slightly more romantic
            Literati Cafe - great lemonade and cappucinos
            Literati II - fresh, seasonal, upscale-ish food at reasonable prices in a romantic setting
            Mao's Kitchen - Communist Chinese food, casual
            Melisse - incredible French, upscale but not pretentious, expensive as hell
            Musha -friendly Japanese-Spanish food--what more could I want in life?
            Ngoma - Pan-African food! The only one in LA. Try the fufu.
            Nobu Malibu - sushi, cozy, delectable
            Orris - French Pan-Asian, or something. I like the small plates and the wine
            Siam Chan - quality and super-low prices at this yummy Thai-Chinese hut
            Spumoni - yummy gnocchi and pizza, lots of garlic, cheap lunch specials
            Sushi Masu - sushi, casual, inexpensive
            Thanh My - real Vietnamese, and damn, the food is amazing and cheap, but no atmosphere (OC)
            Unurban - surprisingly spacious with a yummy avocado melt
            Zankou Chicken - free pickled beets and garlic sauce to die for. fast food.

            To respond more specifically to your questions:
            best general grocery store: I am partial to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's
            best farmers market: Santa Monica, Wednesdays. Incredibly varied selection and lots of organic offerings

            best candy store:India's sweets and spices (not quite candy, but close)
            best cheese shop:I like Artisan Cheese Gallery, but I have nothing to compare it to

            best asian grocery stores: 99 Ranch (multiple locations), Nijaya Market (Sawtelle and Olympic)
            best indian restaurant: India's Sweets and Spices, Jaipur Cuisine of India
            best vietnamese restaurant: Thanh My (Little Saigon, Westminster)
            best boba tea: used to be Upper House on Sawtelle but they changed ownership. Maybe Tapioca Express if you're on the Westside
            best cheap/authentic thai: Cholada Beach in Malibu

            best cheapo pizza: Abbot's Pizza (not really cheapo)
            best funky vegetarian restaurant: Juliano's Raw

            best LATE NIGHT eat: Krua Thai

            Link: http://foodieuniverse.blogspot.com/20...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Foodie Universe

              DEFINITELY love me some Fritto Misto and Spumoni. The wait can be bothersome, though. Can't agree with Juliano's Raw though -- eccccch.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                Ditto on the raw food. Do they over-salt everything, or is it just me (and my then dinner companion)? We figured it was to make up for the lack of flavor.

            2. I started with the first half of the list:

              best butcher: Harvey Guss (pre-order only) (prime, dry aged steaks); Bristol Farms Whole Foods (generally), Gelsons (Veal), Hollywood Farmer's Market (chicken guy)
              best fish monger: Santa Monica Sea Food
              best general grocery store: Whole Foods
              best farmers market: Santa Monica Farmer's Market (Wednesday morning); Hollywood Farmer's Market (Sunday morning)
              best kitchenwares store/ best baking supply store/ best cake decorating store: Surfas, Sur La Table
              best icecream: Dr. Bob's, Fosslemans, Boule, La Brea Bakery
              best chocolatier: K, Jin Patesserie, L Artisan du Chocolate
              best italian grocer: Bay Cities
              best spice shop (like, where can i find culinary lavender?): Hollywood Farmer's Market
              best cheese shop: Cheese Store of Beverly Hills or Silverlake
              best baguette: La Brea Bakery
              best health food store: Erewhon
              best french pastries: Boule, Jin

              1. best butcher: n/a
                best fish monger: n/a
                best general grocery store: Trader Joe's and Whole Foods
                best farmers market: n/a

                best kitchenwares store: Surfas
                best baking supply store: Surfas
                best cake decorating store: Surfas

                best icecream: Fosselman's
                best chocolatier: Comparte's Chocolatier
                best candy store: same, or See's, or Godiva
                best gourmet/specialty store: Julienne's, Bristol Farms
                best italian grocer: n/a
                best Japanese market: Sierra Produce in Arcadia
                best spice shop (like, where can i find culinary lavender?): n/a --- try Bristol Farms
                best cheese shop: n/a
                best baguette: n/a
                best health food store: Whole Foods
                best french pastries: Susina Bakery, Vanille Patisserie
                best italian pastry: n/a
                best scandinavian pastry: n/a
                best chinese bakery: JJ Bakery
                best japanese bakery: Mikawa

                best asian grocery stores: Sierra Produce
                best indian chaat/snack foods: n/a
                best indian restaurant: Radhika's Cuisine
                best vietnamese sandwich: n/a
                best vietnamese restaurant: n/a
                best boba tea: any; no particular
                best dim sum: Mission 261 or Din Tai Fung
                best cheap/authentic thai: Saladang/Saladang Song

                best burger: n/a
                best steak: Mastro's
                best french bistro: Jiraffe, Melisse, LaCachette (um, maybe not bistro)
                best gourmet pizza: Vincenti
                best cheapo pizza: Papa John's
                best funky vegetarian restaurant: Native Cafe
                best hot dog: any stand in Hollywood at 2am
                best shwarma: n/a
                best schnitzel: n/a
                best falafel: Falafel Cafe in Westwood
                best bbq: BBQ Wood Ranch and Grill
                best fried chicken: Roscoe Chicken n' Waffles
                best soul food: Roscoe Chicken n' Waffles

                best greasy spoon breakfast: n/a
                best LATE NIGHT eat: Kate Mantilini, Nic's Martini Lounge in BH

                SUSHI: Nobu, Matsuhisa, Sushi Gen, Sushi Sasabune, Sushi Go 55
                Seafood: Water Grill, Providence, The Lobster, any Chinese restaurants
                Asian/Asian-fusion food: Maison Akira, Roy's, Cinch, Trader Vic's, Tengu, Fat Fish
                New World: Norman's
                Salad: Greenstreet Restaurant, Damon & Pythias
                Chinese Food: Oceanstar, NBC Seafood
                Fun: The Melting Pot, Grand Lux Cafe, Luna Park, C&O Trattoria or C&O Cucina.
                Presentation and Food: Spago, Sona
                Restaurant Decor: Hotel Bel Air, Ritz Carlton Huntington, L'Orangerie
                Tapas: AOC
                Italian: Vicenti, Angelini Osteria, Drago, Enoteca Drago, Celestino, La Terza, Doug Arango, Capo, Toscana, Tesoro Trattoria, Villa Sorriso
                Hotel Dining and Decor: Hotel Bel Air, Gardens at Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton Huntington, Whist at Viceroy, Cezanne at LeMerigot, Noe at Omni Hotel, Checkers in Downtown, Nine-Thirty at W Hotel, Belvedere, Beverly Hilton.
                Drinks and Decor: Standard Downtown (upstairs), Westin Bonaventure (revolving lounge), Blue on Blue at Avalon, Boe at the Crescent
                Happy Hour: Daily Grill, McCormick and Smicks, Ciudad
                Drinks and Lounge: Tangier
                Romantic Garden: Il Cielo, The Little Door
                Coffee/tea and food: Urthe Caffe, Coral Tree Cafe, Literati Cafe (Literati II is good for finer dining)
                New and Notable: Ford's Filling Station
                Wine: Madeleines
                Interesting: The Stinking Rose (every dish has garlic)
                Other not-mentioned finer dining: Campanile, Lucques, Jar, Grace, Patina, Napa Valley Grille, Beaurivage, Bistro K, Bistro 561, Bistro 45
                Surfside Dining: Geoffrey's, Duke's, Paradise Cove Beach Cafe
                Game: Saddle Peak Lodge.

                I'm spent. There are so many great dining options in LA, but here is what I can think of in less than 10 minutes! Have fun and best wishes!!! =D

                1. this is all local to my neighborhood...
                  best butcher:
                  best fish monger: i usually hit asian markets for fish, santa monica fish is great.
                  best general grocery store: i think my vons is pretty good.
                  best farmers market: santa monica and hollywood

                  best kitchenwares store: sur la table and williams and sonoma but i've never been to surfa
                  best baking supply store:
                  best cake decorating store:

                  best icecream:
                  best chocolatier:
                  best candy store:
                  best gourmet/specialty store: trader joes, whole foods
                  best italian grocer:
                  best spice shop (like, where can i find culinary lavender?):
                  best cheese shop: most whole foods have amazing selections
                  best baguette: la brea bakery
                  best health food store: erowhon
                  best french pastries:
                  best italian pastry:
                  best scandinavian pastry:
                  best chinese bakery:
                  best japanese bakery:

                  best asian grocery stores: a market on sunset and leveta terrace is my favorite
                  best indian chaat/snack foods:
                  best indian restaurant: paru's on sunset a little west of normandie (vegetarian punjabi),
                  best vietnamese sandwich: banh mi cali (in orange county)
                  best vietnamese restaurant: golden deli is good (in san gabriel),
                  best boba tea:
                  best dim sum: empress pavillion (china town)
                  best cheap/authentic thai: mae ploy (sunset and coronado)

                  best burger: apple pan (westwood and pico), in-n-out burger
                  best bargain steak:
                  best french bistro:
                  best gourmet pizza:
                  best cheapo pizza:
                  best funky vegetarian restaurant:
                  best hot dog: costco (seriously)
                  best shwarma:
                  best schnitzel:
                  best falafel:
                  best bbq:
                  best fried chicken:
                  best soul food: m&m soul food

                  best greasy spoon breakfast: eatz on los feliz
                  best LATE NIGHT eat: nadpob thai on sunset and fountain

                  1. That is an ambitious list you've got there. I can only contribute to a few categories.

                    best farmers market: Santa Monica on Wednesday. If you need a weekend fix, Hollywood on Sunday.

                    best kitchenwares store: Surfas

                    best asian grocery stores: Bangluck Market in NoHo for Thai ingredients (better than the one in Hollywood, although the Silom Market in Hollywood isn't bad either).

                    best indian chaat/snack foods: if you are on the Westside, India Sweet House on Pico will do the trick. Not the BEST, but the best in that area. In Artesia, I love both Surati Fasran and Ambala Sweets.

                    best indian restaurant: Woodlands in Artesia and Chatsworth for southern pure veg. The best equivalent on the Westside is Annapurna on Venice.

                    best vietnamese sandwich: Baguette Express

                    best boba tea: I really like Volcano Tea on Sawtelle.

                    best cheap/authentic thai: Sri Siam at the corner of Vanowen and Coldwater Canyon in NoHo. Or Wat Thai on the weekends.

                    1. best butcher:
                      best fish monger:
                      best general grocery store: TJs, Whole Foods, Ktown Plaza Market, Ktown Galleria Market, Assi (CHEAP!), the Torrance Yaohan before it was renamed to Mitsuwa...
                      best farmers market: Santa Monica's on Wednesday
                      best kitchenwares store: Surfas
                      best baking supply store: Surfas, but it depends on what you're looking for...
                      best cake decorating store: Surfas?
                      best icecream: Mashti Malone's, Kiriko, Fosselman's
                      best chocolatier: JIN PATISSERIE!!! (no joke, seriously beats every other chocolatier in the city)
                      best candy store:
                      best gourmet/specialty store: Cheesestore of Silverlake? Silverlake Wine...if only because they're so helpful at both stores!
                      best italian grocer:
                      best spice shop (like, where can i find culinary lavender?): Surfas
                      best cheese shop: Cheesestore of Silverlake now, but the Cheese Store of BH used to be the standard.
                      best baguette:
                      best health food store: NatureMart on Hillhurst, Whole Foods in general
                      best french pastries: Jin! Hmm...La Provence on Olympic is surprisingly good (better than Boule), and it's really cheap. The few things I had from Amandine were pretty good though (though not the most fresh, as my friend bought them the day before)
                      best italian pastry: my aunt's a pastry chef, so I've never bothered with Italian desserts that weren't hers (she used to be the pastry chef at Caffe Roma, Jaan, etc.)
                      best scandinavian pastry: ooh, I wish I knew!
                      best chinese bakery:
                      best japanese bakery: hmm...I hear Frances is ok? There's supposed to be a place in Gardena with really amazing stuff. Otherwise, try Korean bakeries: Wien on Olympic and at the Ktown Galleria are the best...some other bakeries are also quite good, but only for really specific items.
                      best asian grocery stores: see above
                      best indian chaat/snack foods:
                      best indian restaurant: All India Cafe is consistently good-- I might've had better elsewhere, but they've never disappointed me.
                      best vietnamese sandwich:
                      best vietnamese restaurant:
                      best boba tea: dude, I live in Ktown. There's an average of 1 boba place/little block, so there's no way I could help you with this...Volcano on Sawtelle's ok, but my best friend who's studied in Taiwan will tell you to go to Rowland Heights or something.
                      best dim sum:
                      best cheap/authentic thai:
                      best burger:
                      best bargain steak: Spoon House (see below)
                      best french bistro:
                      best gourmet pizza:
                      best cheapo pizza:
                      best funky vegetarian restaurant:
                      best hot dog:
                      best shwarma: Sunnin?
                      best schnitzel: Red Lion Tavern
                      best falafel: Sunnin?
                      best bbq:
                      best fried chicken: my mother's!
                      best soul food: sad, but the only place I've been to in LA is Roscoe's, but my Southern ex thought it was pretty good
                      best greasy spoon breakfast: would Doughboys count?
                      best LATE NIGHT eat: any BCD, a latte and cake from the Alcove Cafe

                      Others:
                      izakaya: Musha. 'nuff said.
                      creative Japanese-Western pasta combinations and a good inexpensive steak dinner combo: Spoon House
                      reaon to drive over to the Westside: Clementine
                      coffee: Urth, but the service isn't that great. Alcove Cafe in Los Feliz, Swork in Eagle Rock
                      sushi (not sashimi): Nagao
                      nicest way to end dinner: the sorbet-prosecco drink served at Osteria Latini. The chef usually comes out to greet the customers at the end of the night.
                      not-so-good-for-food, but...: Yamashiro for drinks and the view at night

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: j~

                        another HEALTH FOOD STORE: Erewhon
                        and depending on what you want in terms of supplies, I would suggest looking online if you aren't satisfied by what you find in stores

                        pretty TEA STORE: Le Palais des Thes, other places aren't as attractive, but they have some good teas

                        AFTERNOON TEA: Peninsula Hotel, Jin (outdoors), Scarlet Tea Room, Rose Garden Tea Room (at the Huntington Gardens)

                      2. You didn't specify where you're living. I live in the East Valley. Thus, my lists are skewed there.

                        best butcher: Schreiner's Sausages and Meats, Glendale
                        best fish monger: Fish King, Glendale
                        best general grocery store: Jons
                        best farmers market: Santa Monica Wed AM

                        best kitchenwares store: Surfas
                        best baking supply store: Surfas

                        best icecream: Mashti Malone's (Hollywood, not Glendale)
                        best chocolatier: Chuao, Irvine
                        best italian grocer: Claro's (many locations, all in San Gabriel Valley)
                        best spice shop (like, where can i find culinary lavender?): Penzeys, Torrance
                        best cheese shop: Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, Cheese Store of Silverlake, Artisan Cheese Gallery of Studio City
                        best baguette: Wheatland Bakery, Sunland/Tujunga
                        best health food store: Co-Opportunity, Santa Monica
                        best italian pastry: Nicolosi, Encino
                        best scandinavian pastry: Berolina Bakery
                        best japanese bakery: whatever the one in the front of Mitsuwa Market is, Torrance

                        best asian grocery stores: 99 Ranch, Bangluck, Phu Ky
                        best indian chaat/snack foods: India Sweets & Spices, Canoga Park (Sherman/Topanga Cyn)
                        best indian restaurant: see above ($3.49 for a full vegetarian meal, how can you go wrong?)
                        best vietnamese sandwich: Banh Mi Che Cali, Rosemead or Westminster
                        best vietnamese restaurant: Brodard, Westminster
                        best boba tea: Volcano, West LA or Brea
                        best dim sum: NBC Seafood, Monterey Park
                        best cheap/authentic thai: Wat Thai, Krua Thai, Bua Siam, Sunshine, Swan, all in North Hollywood or Thai Nakorn, Garden Grove

                        best burger: Gordon Biersch, Burbank (yes, I know)
                        best french bistro: Mistral, Sherman Oaks
                        best gourmet pizza: Caioti Pizza Cafe, Studio City
                        best cheapo pizza: Albano's Brooklyn Pizzeria, Melrose or Studio City
                        best funky vegetarian restaurant: Leonor's Vegetarian Mexican, North Hollywood
                        best hot dog: the carts outside Home Depot (I can't believe I'm typing this)
                        best shwarma: Skaf's Grill, North Hollywood
                        best falafel: Top Falafel, Valley Glen
                        best bbq: Phillips, Leimert Park

                        You're not gonna last long in LA unless you bow to the wonder that is our Mexican food. :)

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          What's the address of Berolina Bakery? Would you recommend anything in particular? My current flavor obsession: cardamom (I can finally stop spending my free time peeling ginger and thinking of recipes that could use some!)

                          By the way, one of the reasons I'd recommend looking online is that I get my dried (French super-blue) lavender through Harney & Sons, the tea company out of CT. It's often rather difficult to find dried flowers for consumption, and I've found that tea purveyors have the best selections (sad as it may be...)

                          1. re: j~

                            Berolina Bakery
                            3421 Ocean View Blvd.
                            Glendale, CA 91208

                            Corner of Ocean View and Verdugo -- right next door, as it happens, to Schreiner's, which is also on my list. Their limpa bread is wonderful -- and around the holidays they make vörtlimpa, which has the candied fruit and nuts in it. Mmmmm.

                            I'm positive they have cardamom rolls, my office's HQ is up there and we used to get Swedish coffee and cardamom rolls. Also the prinsesstårta is great, as are the chocolate "bar" type cookies dusted with granulated sugar.

                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                              Thanks!

                            2. re: j~

                              Also, I grow my own lavender (pick it right off the bush, rinse it, pound it into garlic, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar and oil, and rub it on lamb), so I'm not 100% sure Penzeys carries lavender. It would shock me to find out they don't, though.

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                Penzeys does carry lavender, a very high quality one that they keep behind the counter.

                                --Dommy!

                          2. best butcher: 2 at Farmer’s Market
                            best fish monger: International Marine Product, Inc.(wholesale), Santa Monica Seafoods (expensive retail), Hawaii Supermarket (Inexpensive retail)
                            best general grocery store:
                            best farmers market: Wed. Santa monica, Sunday Hollywood

                            best kitchenwares store: Surfas
                            best baking supply store: Surfas
                            best cake decorating store: Surfas

                            best icecream: Fosselmans
                            best chocolatier: Picholine Chocolatier
                            best candy store: Littlejohns
                            best gourmet/specialty store: Surfas
                            best italian grocer: Bay Cities
                            best spice shop (like, where can i find culinary lavender?): Penzys
                            best cheese shop: Beverly Hills Cheese Shop
                            best baguette: EuroPane
                            best health food store: Whole Foods/Wild Oats/Erewan
                            best french pastries: EuroPane/Amandine/La Maison du Pain
                            best italian pastry: Go to San Francisco!
                            best scandinavian pastry:
                            best chinese bakery: Go to San Francisco!
                            best japanese bakery: Frances

                            best asian grocery stores: Hawaii Supermarket/Bangluck Markets
                            best indian chaat/snack foods: Surati Farsan
                            best indian restaurant: Ambla Dhaba/Tirupathi Bhimas
                            best vietnamese sandwich: Baguette Express/Mr. Baguette
                            best vietnamese restaurant: Golden Deli
                            best boba tea:
                            best dim sum:
                            best cheap/authentic thai: Wat Thai/Sri Siam/Krua Thai

                            best burger: Apple Pan
                            best bargain steak: Taylors
                            best french bistro:
                            best gourmet pizza: Zelo’s
                            best cheapo pizza: Albanos/Abbots
                            best funky vegetarian restaurant:
                            best hot dog: Skoobies
                            best shwarma:
                            best schnitzel:
                            best falafel:
                            best bbq: Phillips
                            best fried chicken:
                            best soul food:

                            best greasy spoon breakfast:
                            best LATE NIGHT eat: Krua Thai

                            1. best butcher: whole foods
                              best fish monger: santa monica seafood
                              best general grocery store: whole foods
                              best farmers market: beverly hills or hollywood

                              best kitchenwares store: williams sonoma
                              best baking supply store:
                              best cake decorating store: glorias

                              best icecream: pinkberry (frozen yogurt but still)
                              best chocolatier: comparte's chocolatier (in brentwood - best hands down - delicious)
                              best candy store: compartes chocolates
                              best gourmet/specialty store: trader joes
                              best italian grocer:
                              best spice shop (like, where can i find culinary lavender?): india sweet and spices
                              best cheese shop: beverly hills cheese store
                              best baguette: la brea bakery
                              best health food store: erewhon
                              best french pastries: amandine
                              best italian pastry:
                              best scandinavian pastry:
                              best chinese bakery:
                              best japanese bakery:

                              best asian grocery stores: chinatown
                              best indian chaat/snack foods:
                              best indian restaurant: india's grill (by bev center)
                              best vietnamese sandwich:
                              best vietnamese restaurant:
                              best boba tea:
                              best dim sum: rambutan thai (silverlake)
                              best cheap/authentic thai: rambutan thai

                              best burger: turkey burger - fatburger
                              best bargain steak:
                              best french bistro: jiraffe, mimosa
                              best gourmet pizza: bamboo
                              best cheapo pizza:
                              best funky vegetarian restaurant:
                              best hot dog: pinks
                              best shwarma: pita kitchen on van nuys
                              best schnitzel: carnival rest in the valley
                              best falafel: place on fairfax, something pita
                              best bbq:
                              best fried chicken: cheesecake factory (chicken littles mmm)
                              best soul food: m&m

                              best greasy spoon breakfast: jinkys (not greasy but best in LA)
                              best LATE NIGHT eat: cafe 101

                              1. best butcher: Gelson's over whole foods anyday
                                best fish monger: special orders through Universal Seafood in North Hollywood.
                                best general grocery store: Tough: Whole Foods for specialty stuff. Trader Joe's for everyday.
                                best farmers market: Santa Monica

                                best kitchenwares store: Surfas and Sur La Table. I also like Star Restaurant Equipment in Van Nuys.
                                best baking supply store:
                                best cake decorating store:

                                best icecream: Milk on Beverly
                                best chocolatier: Jin Patisserie in Venice and Xuan Patisserie (online orders only)
                                best candy store: Boule
                                best gourmet/specialty store: Monsieur Marcel in Farmer's Market on 3rd and Fairfax
                                best italian grocer: Domingo's Italian Grocery in Encino
                                best spice shop (like, where can i find culinary lavender?): Penzey's (online)
                                best cheese shop: Cheese Store of Beverly Hills or Silverlake
                                best baguette: B&L Gourmet Pastries on 3rd St and Paris Baguette on Western
                                best health food store: Whole Foods (NOT EREWHON!!!!)
                                best french pastries: Michel Richard and Susina in LA, Le Bon Bread in Woodland Hills
                                best italian pastry: Nicolosi in Encino
                                best scandinavian pastry:
                                best chinese bakery:
                                best japanese bakery:
                                best bakery other: Nata's Pastries in Sherman Oaks (portuguese bakery!)

                                best asian grocery stores: 99 Ranch Market
                                best indian chaat/snack foods: India's Sweets and Spices
                                best indian restaurant: India's Grill on San Vicente
                                best persian food (kabobs): Raffi's Place in Glendale
                                best vietnamese sandwich: KP's Deli in Silverlake (but it's closing I hear....)
                                best vietnamese restaurant: Pho 79
                                best boba tea:
                                best dim sum: Empress Pavillion
                                best cheap/authentic thai: Chao Krung on Fairfax
                                best cheap sushi: Restaurant Komasa on 2nd St in Litlle Tokyo

                                best sandwiches: Larchmont Wine and Cheese on Larchmont and Giamella's subs
                                best burger: Boulevard Burgers and Rib Ranch in Woodland Hills (In-N-Out too of course)
                                best bargain steak: Lala's on Melrose- the flat iron is the best!
                                best french bistro: Pastis, Mistral, Cafe Stella
                                best gourmet pizza: Mozza and Caioti Pizza
                                best cheapo pizza: Mulberry Street
                                best funky vegetarian restaurant: Gingergrass or Vegan Glory
                                best hot dog: bacon wrapped dogs by street vendors. extra crispy.
                                best shwarma: Cafe du Liban in Tarzana
                                best schnitzel:
                                best falafel:
                                best bbq: Dr. Hogley Wogly's Tyler Texas Barbeque in Van Nuys, Rib Ranch and My Brother's BBQ (both in Woodland Hills)
                                best fried chicken:
                                best soul food:

                                best breakfast: Blu Jam Cafe on Melrose and Cafe Verona on La Brea
                                best LATE NIGHT eat: Swingers

                                1. best butcher: huntington meat market or the other one in the original farmers market (Fairfax and Third). Also really like Bristol farms.
                                  best fish monger:
                                  best general grocery store: Trader Joes. I think Vons is better than Ralphs, service-wise.
                                  best farmers market: Hollywood

                                  best kitchenwares store: surfas or sur la table

                                  best icecream: hmmm. i like gelato. Specifically Gelato Paradiso, which used to have a shop in Hollywood, but no longer. I believe the closest one is in Newport.
                                  best candy store: Ada's. Riverside, CT. R.I.P., Ada.
                                  best gourmet/specialty store: Monsieur Marcel.
                                  best italian grocer: Bay Cities
                                  best spice shop (like, where can i find culinary lavender?): Monsieur Marcel
                                  best cheese shop: Beverly Hills
                                  best baguette: Maison du Pain on Pico
                                  best health food store: dunno. Whole Foods?
                                  best french pastries: Maison du Pain
                                  best japanese bakery: The one in the plaza in Little Tokyo. I love their big, fluffy "English-style" bread. It's like Wonder Bread on crack. Great for grilled cheese and French toast.

                                  best asian grocery stores: Mitsuwa
                                  best indian chaat/snack foods: India's Sweets and Spices
                                  best indian restaurant: India's Grill (San Vicente & La Cienega)
                                  best cheap/authentic thai: Tuk Tuk. Not super-cheap, though. I like that they're not afraid to make things spicy.
                                  best cheap sushi: Love Boss Sushi on La Cienega.
                                  best sandwiches: Moe's on the Fox Lot. Boar's Head sammies for only $6, fully-loaded. There's also a cafe in the middle of Park La Brea that has good sandwiches. Their bread is delicious... I wonder where they get it from.

                                  best burger: Indulge Cafe (Pico). Pie & Burger. Mary & Robb's. Twenty-five Degrees.
                                  best gourmet pizza: Mozza, Bloom Cafe (Pico) -- love their lamb sausage added to the butternut squash/blue cheese pizza
                                  best cheapo pizza: Village in Larchmont.
                                  best funky vegetarian restaurant: Vegan Glory
                                  best hot dog: The Stand
                                  best shwarma: Haven't found it. Think it's probably at that falafel place on Beverly (?)
                                  best schnitzel: Had a good one at the big restaurant in Alpine Village.
                                  best falafel: Same answer as Shwarma
                                  best bbq: NY BBQ on LaBrea.
                                  best fried chicken: Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken in Culver

                                  best LATE NIGHT eat: Swingers

                                  1. Kitchen supplies (and unique) groceries: Surfas in Culver City

                                    Best cheap but tasty tacos: Titos in Culver City

                                    Best baguette: La Brea Bakery

                                    Best Fish Monger: Santa Monica Seafood Company (and I mean THE BEST! They sell to all the great restaurants and chefs)

                                    Still looking for decent pizza in LA—all the crusts here are like perfect cardboard (I think they all come from the same supplier!). All are cooked in the same 500F ovens —too cold for great pizza....!

                                    Gourmet store: Bristol Farms

                                    Best Burgers and Fries: In-N-Out (sometimes Fatburger is great, but the usually Mexican cooks at most Fatburgers tend to SMASH the patties down with spatulas to get them to cook faster, and they usually end up squeezing out every drop of juice from the meat; dry, dry tasteless patties are very common at most Fatburgers! YECHH! REAL quality control issues plague Fatburgers!)

                                    1. This is all very ambitious as someone said and sort of entertaining in a way. But let's face it, places shine and fade, come and go, tastes vary, etc. Searching this board regularly will of course assist you. In the end it's your taste buds that need to decide. I really think that rather than compiling a bunch of lists, you might be better off making some friends and talking to them and following your nose. So, here's my suggestion: you go downtown to the Nickel Diner and find Monica. She knows just about everybody and everything and has great stories. And she has pretty good diner food (Hey, where else are you gonna find the best maple bacon donut?) She can get you started. Then, you can begin your own explorations. And when you make some finds, we will be expecting you to report back here, OK? BTW, I notice you seem to have omitted Mexican and other Latin food. You might want to look into that as long as you are going to be hanging here.