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New to Eagle Rock - Recs for Family Owned Restaurants

Hello, 'hounds! I don't post much, but I've been around for a while.

I recently moved to Eagle Rock, and I've been exploring my new hood and surrounding areas - everything from taco tables to Lebanese/Armenian to Vietnamese.

I have searched and read many threads recently. I'm particularly interested in family owned restaurants that represent a fairly narrow style or smallish region of the world. I'm hoping y'all may want to share your favorite little gem where you go back again and again. Not necessarily the flashiest or fanciest, but solid food, comfortable, and good people. Possibly not even a place you'd recommend to an out of towner.

For instance, from other parts of town, I'm thinking of places like Lares in SM/West LA, Nanbankan in West LA, Tinto in Hollywood. So far around here I enjoy Cacao Mexicatessen and Brownstone Pizza.

Thanks for reading -

~Tad

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Brownstone Pizza
2108 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

Cacao Mexicatessen
1576 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

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  1. Just about every place in ER is family owned. Some of my favs keeping your request in mind:

    Polka
    Auntie Em's
    Four Cafe
    Casa Bianco
    Le Petit Beaujolais

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    Le Petit Cafe
    2842 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404

    2 Replies
    1. re: Grog

      Definitely agree on Polka (get there as soon as you can) and Auntie Em's. Not crazy about Casa Bianco (but I know I am in the minority, I prefer their pastas over their pizzas) and have not been to FC or LPB - yet. Both Polka and Auntie Em's are gems.
      I also like Las Fuentes on Colorado just west of ER Blvd..

      1. re: WildSwede

        btw it is Casa Bianca not Casa Bianco

    2. Have to try The Bucket for a burger, get the works, they also do a bacon wrapped crab stuffed shrimp!

      1. Cacao is great. I'd add Oinkster (though they have their ups and downs). Also, a bit of a dive, but Dave's Chillin-n-Grillin does an outstanding meatball sub.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Peripatetic

          Thanks for the replies! I'll start trying some of these. What about neighboring areas? Glendale, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Atwater Village, etc. I feel like there should probably be some great spots maybe on York or Figueroa?

          1. re: FoodZealot

            I'm not sure what you mean by family owned? Do you mean non-corporate/conglomerate owned? If so, then a very vast number of restaurants in LA are "family" owned, and particularly so in the Northeast, where you now live.

            In addition to the places already mentioned,

            Fatty's (Eagle Rock), recently re-opened as vegan, previously vegetarian, and fantastic.
            The Viet place on Colorado near Four Cafe, can't remember the name.
            Blue Hen (ER)
            Maximiliano (HP)
            Canele (atwater)
            Good Girl Dinette (HP)
            El Atacor #11 (Cypress Park) for potato tacos
            Folliero's (HP)

            All of the places mentioned so far in this thread would easily come up in searches.

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            Canele
            3219 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

            Blue Hen
            1743 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

            Good Girl Dinette
            110 North Avenue 56, Los Angeles, CA 90042

            El Atacor Restaurant
            3520 N Figueroa St Ste 3, Los Angeles, CA 90065

            1. re: FoodZealot

              I'm not sure what you mean by family owned? Do you mean non-corporate/conglomerate owned? If so, then a very vast number of restaurants in LA are "family" owned, and particularly so in the Northeast, where you now live.

              In addition to the places already mentioned,

              Fatty's (Eagle Rock), recently re-opened as vegan, previously vegetarian, and fantastic.
              The Viet place on Colorado near Four Cafe, can't remember the name.
              Blue Hen (ER)
              Maximiliano (HP)
              Canele (atwater)
              Good Girl Dinette (HP)
              El Atacor #11 (Cypress Park) for potato tacos
              Folliero's (HP)

              All of the places mentioned so far in this thread would easily come up in searches.

              1. re: FoodZealot

                In Glendale, hard by Eagle Rock, we like Scarantino's. Nothing fancy, but dependable and comfortable Italian. And we will not go to any another taco truck than the La Estrella permanently parked on York at about Ave. 54. Also, El Huarache Azteca and Arco Iris on York for Mexican. Las Casuelas on Figueroa for Salvadoran.

                Back in Eagle Rock, Senor Fish has some good dishes but is expensive, IMO. Pollo a Las Brasas is better-than-average Peruvian.

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                El Huarache Azteca
                5225 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

                Scarantino's
                2055 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA

                1. re: Cubancoffee

                  Thanks for the recs - will explore these.

                  Sorry if I wasn't clear - yes, I'm interested in non-franchised, non-corporate, independently owned restaurants that have a neighborhood vibe to them, with very good to excellent food. I know that there are many that fit the first criteria, but I haven't found many that also fit the second criteria.

                  Thanks!

                    1. re: FoodZealot

                      you may want to check out The York in HP. It's a pub type place. good beers and good food. very local and not chain-like at all. everything else i would suggest has been mentioned. maybe head to pasadena for daisy mint for thai food? unfortunately eagle rock's thai food is very bad. while i haven't tried all of them, i've tried enough. also, maybe cafe de leche in HP for coffee, and their sandwich place, up shordoffs or something like that just up the street. i do like cafe Beaujolais for a nice dinner. can't go wrong with the orange parm crusted halibut. also, maybe colorado wine for a glass or a bottle to go.

                      1. re: FoodZealot

                        The Oinkster in Eagle Rock and Maximiliano in Highland Park at 5930 York Blvd are both operated by the same people, yet will never remind you of anything corporate.
                        The former is known for its burgers, pastrami, pulled pork, etc. while the latter will amaze you with its pork chop, dubbed best ever by a local TV station a couple of weeks ago, as well as some of its pasta dishes and a chicken entree that still zings in my head a couple of weeks later.
                        Good beers in both, good wines @ Maximiliano.

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                        Oinkster
                        2005 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock, CA

                        1. re: carter

                          More on Maximiliano:

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/813372

                          They just opened last month. As a (sometimes) fan of Oinkster, I'm looking forward to trying it.

                  1. re: Peripatetic

                    Regarding "Dave's Cillin &Grillin" --

                    Regarding Dave's Chillin & Grillin -- I second that emotion!! The Manager, Ghazal, is SO SO nice!!! Very much "family owned". Enjoy!

                    2152 Colorado Blvd.
                    Eagle Rock. 90041
                    323 490 0988

                    1. re: susiequeue

                      is the meatball sub pork or beef, or mixture? is it served every day or just on special at dave' chillin and grillin???

                      thanks, i haven't been there in a few years.

                  2. Cindy's restaurant on Colorado Blvd. It's an old-fashioned diner and good for breakfast. It's reasonable. Nothing fancy, just comfort food. Run by Thai people and Tina is a very nice hard working waitress. The restaurant sometimes closes down for commercial or movie shoots since it's got the "diner" look.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: meg3325

                      Isn't Eagle Rock home to the original Bobs Big Boy?

                      1. re: paulj

                        Tell me it isn't so! I always thought the Original Big Boy was in Toluca Lake -- you know where Jay Lweno frequents...!o

                          1. re: susiequeue

                            The Original was in Glendale. My mother would take me there after Christmas shopping! http://www.thinkglendale.com/success_...

                      2. The York in Highland Park, The Black Boar and Galco's Soda Pop Stop, not a restaurant, but I like their sandwiches and love their collection of sodas from all over the country.

                        1. Camilo's on Colorado is family owned! Not dirt cheap, but nice.

                          Love Le Petit Beaujolais. Love Brownstone pizza (so good!). Have heard wonderful things about Four Cafe.

                          In Glendale, Fortune Inn is privately owned and it's great chinese food. Sedthee Tahi is owned by a family - and the quality to price ratio is GREAT. Not free, but so fresh and tasty, and they have a special spicy cocktail (I can't remember the name of) that is worth the trip alone.

                          Portos has gotten big, but my understanding is, it's still owned by the same family - and it makes me very happy without hitting my wallet too hard. They have maintained the quality, even with the expansion.

                          Village Bakery on Los Feliz is owned by one gal and while it can get packed on the weekends, her breakfasts are tasty and her pastries excellent.

                          And there's tons of great places on Glendale Bvd. in atwater - Canale http://www.canele-la.com/

                          I haven't been to proof bakery yet, but I hear it's great. And my husband likes the "bun" at Indochine, while I like the fact that I can get a Bahn mi with fries :

                          )

                          http://www.indochinevien.com/

                          You've moved to a great area, growing with great places - explore and enjoy!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: happybaker

                            personally, i like auntie ems kitchen way more than village bakery, esp for baked goods. we actually had brownstone last night and it was amazing-- our new favorite thing is adding fresh garlic.

                            1. re: Clyde

                              they still got them Red Velvet Cupcakes at Auntie Em's??? sadly, i haven't been there in ages either.

                              1. re: kevin

                                yes, my SO had one the other day and i had a coconut one which is out of this world amazing, if you are a coconut fan. they recently switched things around and have a tiny cute shop too.

                                1. re: Clyde

                                  ok, i'm definitely gonna go there, i'll probably get one of teh coconut and one of the red velvet, like i used to do in the olden days.

                          2. Great recs from everyone. Polka is my particular fave. Did anyone mention Columbo's? Is that not family owned? I also love Columbo's.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Tom P

                              I love Polka also, but often feel like the service is rushed and -- oddly -- somewhat inattentive at the same time (i.e., can't get a beverage refilled but the check is presented five minutes after the dessert). We're not dawdlers by any means, so it can be off-putting.

                            2. Two great Thai recommendations: Sicha Siam on Eagle Rock Blvd at York, and Thai Spirit on Colorado across from Rock Mall.

                              I agree that many/most restaurants in ER are family owned.

                              To go with your meals from family owned restaurants, don't forget family owned wine stores: Colorado Wine just down the street from Four and Camilios. Great bargain wines and you can bring your food in.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Jodie

                                Jodie, have you been to Sicha Siam recently? I used to really like it and then found in the past couple of years it's gone badly down hill. Last order we got the curry was watery and the soup was too salty to eat. such a bummer b/c it was the eagle rock go-to place for thai. now i drive to pasadena for take out (daisy mint). i liked thai spirit OK, i should probably give it another chance.

                                1. re: Clyde

                                  Afraid I have the same opinion of Sicha Siam. We moved nearby not long ago and the one time we tried it the food was totally flavorless, except for all the salt (MSG?). Thai Spirit was half a block from our previous digs and after two or three attempts we couldn't mount any enthusiasm. Really good Thai in the area would be most welcome.

                                  1. re: Cubancoffee

                                    Try Sedthee Tahi on brand!

                                    They are a little more expensive but so so good.

                                    1. re: Cubancoffee

                                      have you tried classic thai on colorado next to cafe bouj? i haven't ever tried it. wonder if it's any good. thai eagle rox is OK, nothing great. the lack of good thai food in ER is such a bummer!

                                2. Lemongrass Vietnamese (on Colorado across from Oinkster) is decent for Pho, Bun, etc. The next door restaurant, Halong Bay, is IMO a little more interesting, with a more formal ambience but great prices. More upscale French Vietnamese. We like Casa Bianca's pizza (esp. with fried eggplant) but never eat in -- only pick it up to eat at ome, as the atmosphere leaves something to be desired. Have enjoyed delivery from Pot Thai cafe, as well. And if you haven't been to New Seafood City in Eagle Rock Plaza, it's a fun shopping destination -- the only big Filipino supermarket I'm aware of in LA.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Savour

                                    Thanks to everyone for your responses. I haven't been monitoring the thread very well, but I have eaten at some of the places mentioned:

                                    Dave's Grillin & Chillin makes some enjoyable sandwiches,
                                    Lemongrass is decent,
                                    Oinkster is sporting a new look but same good casual food,
                                    Proof Bakery in Atwater is excellent.
                                    Casa Bianca is fun, but it's not my most preferred style of pizza.

                                    More exploring in the new year! Thanks again!

                                    1. re: FoodZealot

                                      Better Pizza can be found at Brownstone farther west on Colorado. =)

                                  2. Dave's Grillin n Chillin serves the best sandwiches east of the 405; Rambo's taco truck on Eagle Rock Bld is good street food; Huaraches Azteca; and Maximiliano's in Highland Park is owned by Oinkster and is worth trying.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: cfylong

                                      just saw Dave this afternoon at Colorado Wine Co. =) this would make him so happy.