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list your favorites for a new los angeleno

a
adamyumyum Apr 9, 2006 11:35 PM

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!!

  1. m
    mc michael Dec 6, 2009 06:23 AM

    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.

    1. t
      toddster63 Dec 6, 2009 05:31 AM

      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. c
        countdeville Jul 18, 2008 01:42 PM

        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. j
          jdash Jul 18, 2008 08:41 AM

          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. t
            tom Apr 19, 2006 07:14 PM

            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. s
              sel Apr 12, 2006 12:45 PM

              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. d
                Das Ubergeek Apr 11, 2006 11:44 PM

                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
                  j
                  j~ Apr 12, 2006 05:14 AM

                  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~
                    d
                    Das Ubergeek Apr 12, 2006 10:06 AM

                    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
                      j
                      j~ Apr 13, 2006 05:24 PM

                      Thanks!

                    2. re: j~
                      d
                      Das Ubergeek Apr 12, 2006 10:08 AM

                      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
                        Dommy Dec 6, 2009 08:09 PM

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

                        --Dommy!

                  2. j
                    j~ Apr 11, 2006 01:06 AM

                    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~
                      j
                      j~ Apr 11, 2006 01:16 AM

                      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. i
                      igj Apr 10, 2006 07:04 PM

                      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. c
                        c8 Apr 10, 2006 03:23 PM

                        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. c
                          chica Apr 10, 2006 03:19 PM

                          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. j
                            JudiAU Apr 10, 2006 02:21 PM

                            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. f
                              Foodie Universe Apr 10, 2006 12:18 PM

                              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
                                d
                                Das Ubergeek Apr 11, 2006 11:46 PM

                                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
                                  j
                                  j~ Apr 12, 2006 05:16 AM

                                  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. w
                                WildSwede Apr 10, 2006 11:47 AM

                                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. h
                                  hellolizzie Apr 10, 2006 10:08 AM

                                  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. j
                                    JL Apr 10, 2006 05:53 AM

                                    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
                                      j
                                      JL Apr 10, 2006 05:55 AM

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

                                    2. r
                                      Rosie Posie Apr 10, 2006 02:55 AM

                                      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

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