HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
What are you cooking today? Share your food adventure

I have never, ever, had a bad meal at ____________and I have eaten there over a dozen times!

orythedog May 3, 2012 01:36 PM

I have never, ever, had a bad meal at the Original Pancake House and I have eaten there over a dozen times. Seriously, I have been going there for years and have eaten my way through at least 1/2 to 3/4's of the menu and it is awesome. The food is good, the service is good, the value is good. They know what they are doing!

So, the rules are simple:

1. You have never, ever had a bad meal there...and

2. You have eaten at this place over a dozen times. (and...RECENTLY)

No, I had a good dish there, or this place used to be great, or it's usually pretty decent, or historically it has been good but I haven't been there in a while, or my friend likes it...

OK, everyone, here we go...

I have never, ever had a bad meal at ______________ and I have eaten there over a dozen times!

  1. b
    BrewNChow Jun 17, 2012 06:38 PM

    Zam Zam
    Bay Cities
    Simpang Asia

    1 Reply
    1. re: BrewNChow
      bulavinaka Jun 17, 2012 07:12 PM

      I've been absent from Simpang Asia for a little while - went last weekend and was surprised that they fancied up their eatery one more level. While the food was still good, I was a little disappointed by things like the portion size and preparation of the roti paratha - like they got one roti, folded it in quarters and cut it into several small pieces?? And the krokets were barely warm?? Thank goodness the nasi lemak and ketan item were still killer...

    2. d
      dabruins07 Jun 17, 2012 12:46 PM

      Brent's deli
      Bay cities

      1. r
        reneemgreen Jun 17, 2012 12:41 PM

        I joined Chow for the first time today after years of lurking, just to reply to this post. Because no one has mentioned it before: La Petite Creperie at Grand View/Venice http://www.lpcmarvista.com/

        Lovely people, lovely food, lovely to eat brunch on a Sunday during the adjacent Mar Vista Farmer's Market. From which they source many of their ingredients.

        2 Replies
        1. re: reneemgreen
          J.L. Jun 17, 2012 04:53 PM

          Welcome to Chowhound! And thanks for the tip!

          1. re: reneemgreen
            Servorg Jun 17, 2012 05:02 PM

            There have been some good reviews of La Petite Creperie on the board before such as this one from a little while back: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/718182

          2. h
            hbgypsy Jun 8, 2012 12:44 PM

            Naples Rib Joint in Long Beach...or is it Naples

            1. r
              running pig Jun 7, 2012 09:06 PM

              Round Table Pizza!!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: running pig
                rickym13 Jun 7, 2012 11:23 PM

                father's office
                cook's torta
                bollini pizza

              2. c
                chez cherie Jun 6, 2012 09:02 PM


                1. l
                  LAmaggie Jun 6, 2012 05:15 PM


                  1. p
                    poggibonzzi Jun 5, 2012 08:47 PM

                    Tasty Garden (just the Valley Road branch),
                    Soot Bull Jeep,
                    Mario's Peruvian

                    1. j
                      JosephEBacon Jun 4, 2012 07:46 PM

                      Taylor's Steak House on 8th/Irolo
                      Damon's in Glendale,
                      Nate & Al
                      Brent's (BLACK PASTRAMI REUBEN!)
                      Skooby's for Hot Dogs
                      Caveman Kitchen (great burger)

                      1. J.L. Jun 4, 2012 11:19 AM


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: J.L.
                          ThatPat Jun 17, 2012 11:39 AM

                          Can't afford dinner there but the lunch omakase makes me very happy even at the new high price of $40. And Ken and Shinji are really sweet guys.

                        2. t
                          ThatPat Jun 3, 2012 04:51 PM

                          I practically live at Tender Greens in Santa Monica. It's my "Cheers"--everybody knows my name. I've eaten there several times a week practically since they opened last year except when I went on a trip and never had a bad meal. Healthy and good tasting and cheap (everything $11 or less).

                          1. v
                            VenusCafe Jun 3, 2012 04:24 PM

                            Just three:
                            and Fish Grill.
                            Fish Grill being 'as kosher as you wanna be', closed at sunset on Friday and on Saturday.
                            The cleanest, brightest tastiest mesquite grilled fish tacos with excellently FRESH salsa
                            We eat there probably 2, sometimes 3X a week. (we are pescatarians, hence these choices!)
                            Also several other fish dishes including salmon. We have a 3X standard, eat there 3X and
                            if it is good 3X, it is probably a winner. Nobu, Spago and Fish Grill are great.
                            I'd love to include Providence, but I'm not yet at double digit there. (though i wish to be!)

                            18 Replies
                            1. re: VenusCafe
                              Servorg Jun 3, 2012 04:33 PM

                              When you say "Nobu" are you talking about Nobu in Malibu or his more recent iteration in the old L'Orangerie space?

                              1. re: Servorg
                                VenusCafe Jun 4, 2012 09:12 AM

                                I'm talking Nobu in Malibu, the only restaurant phone # that was ever emblazoned in
                                my mind (and heart), What a treat, I'm surprised nobody else included it here.

                                1. re: Servorg
                                  VenusCafe Jun 4, 2012 06:41 PM

                                  After seeing your consistent support of Ricky's Fish Tacos, I looked it up online and it is quite
                                  worth a visit, although it is a good distance, I do not do Twitter and I'd hate to go so far and be disappointed. Those tacos look great!
                                  At Fish Grill the tacos are considerably more plain and without nearly as much 'adventure' piled on, and being kosher, no shellfish. Grill fish tacos are outstanding IMO, but not as varied as Ricky's. Do you know what fish Ricky uses in his fish tacos?

                                  1. re: VenusCafe
                                    Servorg Jun 4, 2012 07:01 PM

                                    As far as positive support for Ricky's Fish Tacos in THIS thread you are mistaking me for Wienermobile, ns1 and one other poster (scurvy perhaps?).

                                    1. re: VenusCafe
                                      budlit Jun 6, 2012 06:27 AM

                                      tilapia : (

                                      1. re: budlit
                                        VenusCafe Jun 6, 2012 09:19 AM

                                        Ooops That doesn't sound too good. Thanks for the heads up.

                                        1. re: budlit
                                          ns1 Jun 6, 2012 05:51 PM

                                          unless he changed it up, Ricky's uses basa.

                                          I know this because I asked him to his face.

                                          note to all: don't get the lobster tacos

                                          documented proof:
                                          SI: And what kind of fish do you use for the tacos?

                                          RP: A Vietnamese catfish. It's called basa.


                                          1. re: ns1
                                            budlit Jun 7, 2012 06:39 AM

                                            just as bad as tilipia

                                            1. re: budlit
                                              ns1 Jun 7, 2012 08:59 AM

                                              it's okay to admit you were wrong.

                                            2. re: ns1
                                              VenusCafe Jun 7, 2012 09:38 AM

                                              ns, I really need you to elaborate on the lobster taco as that is what I would travel across L.A. to order. Thanks!

                                              1. re: VenusCafe
                                                wienermobile Jun 7, 2012 09:43 AM

                                                No, what you want is Ricky's fish taco. It so tender, tasty and light. Trust me.

                                                1. re: wienermobile
                                                  PeterCC Jun 7, 2012 09:51 AM

                                                  I am curious too. If I went all the way there, I'd definitely get the fish tacos, but I would also want to try the lobster tacos. Is it that they're bad, or just not as good in comparison to the fish tacos?

                                                  1. re: PeterCC
                                                    Servorg Jun 7, 2012 10:00 AM

                                                    If I was going to get "other" than fish from Ricky I'd get the shrimp tacos. Nothing against Ricky's lobster tacos, but lobster tacos in general don't do much for me since the flavor and freshness can vary so much (at least from what I've found over the years) that I no longer order them except under very specific conditions (that is it's "spiny lobster" season here and I know the lobster isn't one of those "long time no sea" versions you find around town).

                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                      PeterCC Jun 7, 2012 10:12 AM

                                                      Thanks Servorg. How large are the tacos (and how much)? For a first-timer who wants to try as much as possible, would getting one each of fish, shrimp, and lobster (I'm stubborn, want to try it for myself), be "too much"? I know "too much" is highly variable person-to-person, but just trying to figure out if the tacos are on the smaller side or the larger side.

                                                      1. re: PeterCC
                                                        Servorg Jun 7, 2012 10:23 AM

                                                        The lobster tacos are huge. Even the fish and shrimp are good sized. I can do 3 when I'm hungry but that should be a filling meal for you. Fish and shrimp are $3 and lobster are $7.

                                                  2. re: wienermobile
                                                    ns1 Jun 7, 2012 10:48 AM

                                                    I have had several people (including myself) eat the lobster tacos and the result is always the same: the fish/shrimp tacos are vastly superior.

                                                    the lobster tacos are expensive ($7 or so) but huge (he uses half a lobster tail per taco). But you throw it in the deep fryer and then into a taco and the tail loses something. The texture of the lobster does not deliver the same "magic" as the fish or shrimp tacos.

                                                    Trust, the shrimp/fish tacos are a thing of synergistic beauty. The lobster tacos are an expensive novelty item.

                                                    1. re: ns1
                                                      wienermobile Jun 7, 2012 12:19 PM

                                                      agree......3 fish tacos is the my meal of choice and you will be very full.

                                                      1. re: wienermobile
                                                        ns1 Jun 7, 2012 12:26 PM

                                                        oh yeah, ricky's special is a taco with both shrimp and fish. that said, i preferred them not combined.

                                                        i always want 3 fish tacos, but usually stop at 2...

                                      2. choctastic May 16, 2012 07:40 PM

                                        Happy Family, on Atlantic, in Monterey Park. I go there for the lunch special a lot and the food is always good, servers generally fast and pleasant, and the parking is great if you go before 12 pm.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: choctastic
                                          ns1 Jun 6, 2012 05:50 PM

                                          FWIW, I stopped going to Happy Family and started going to Vege Gourmet (or gourmet vege? Can't tell). Felt VG was every bit as good as happy family but with less grease/msg.

                                        2. Steve2 in LA May 16, 2012 03:43 PM

                                          Yuca's, Silverlake
                                          Versailles, Encino
                                          Nat's Early Bite, Van Nuys
                                          Popeye's, Sherman Oaks
                                          and, if a sandwich counts as a meal: Artisan Cheese Shop, Studio City

                                          1. b
                                            Beignets May 10, 2012 08:54 PM

                                            pizzeria mozza
                                            sin ba la
                                            golden deli
                                            in n out
                                            nbc for dim sum

                                            Not at all speaking about the experience (service could be downright atrocious in some of these places), just strictly about the food.

                                            and not quite a dozen time yet but very close, animal.

                                            1. m
                                              magiccat May 9, 2012 11:56 PM

                                              La Serenata - the one on Pico just west of the Westside Pavilion/Westwood Blvd.

                                              First, they meticulous about the preparations of the ingredient (for example, i have a pet peeve about restaurants that include the nasty tip of a chicken breast - which is cartilage or something worse - in their chicken just because it is there and it is easier not to bother chopping it off). For that reason, I am wary when I order any shredded chicken dish. I spent half of my time the first couple of times I ordered chicken enchiladas con mole (as with every new dish) looking around the shredded chicken for bad bits, and never saw one, nor do I know of any now that I have eaten their shredded chicken many times. This may sound petty to those who don't mind an unexpected bit of texture in their sandwich, but makes me very happy.

                                              But I would never dine there, even with its clean chicken, if I did not love the food. The restaurant is known for its sauces and they are authentic and generally deeply flavored, whether spicy or not. I am particularly partial to the spicy and very flavorful molcajete sauce, which they regularly use in several dishes but which works beautifully in a plate of chilaquilles. (Not on the menu, but no one has ever batted an eyelash at my request for a side any time of day.)

                                              Wonderful food all the time. Also, La Serenata serves a brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays with the various sauces, eggs, potatoes and the like, all complemented by the regular menu. As to dessert, the warm bread pudding with bananas and chocolate chunks does not offend, either.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: magiccat
                                                ThatPat Jun 3, 2012 04:48 PM

                                                I respectfully disagree. The last few times I have been the food has been extremely mediocre (to everyone in a group of 6) and the service terrible. Perhaps I should give it another try based on your praise, but there are too many other restaurants in that area I like.

                                                1. re: ThatPat
                                                  magiccat Jun 6, 2012 06:33 PM

                                                  I would be happy to know what area restaurants you like - even if I do love Serenata, I can't eat every meal there. Although if the alternative was the Westside Tavern,
                                                  I just might. Cannot understand what anyone sees in that place.


                                                  1. re: magiccat
                                                    VenusCafe Jun 7, 2012 04:49 PM

                                                    Hi MagiC,
                                                    Try the Emerald Restaurant on Venice. Pretty solid with an army of regulars who come
                                                    1-3 times a week. they go as a Thai restaurant, but it really feels more generically Asian
                                                    to me. But tastee. I didn't put it on my list as I stopped being a regular when I moved away.
                                                    I also really like Habiyat, in that general neighborhood, of which has been written;
                                                    'Sometimes, you cannot conceive of how much love can be cooked into a falafel. Many falafel are sad, desiccated creatures... it's the rare place that makes falafel from fresh ingredients. But Habayit Restaurant's falafel are beyond even that ...'
                                                    Habiyat is even closer to westside pavillion.

                                                    Habiyat 11921 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90064 (310) 479-5444 ...

                                                    Emerald Restaurant
                                                    9315 Venice Blvd
                                                    Culver City, CA 90232
                                                    Neighborhood: Palms

                                                    1. re: magiccat
                                                      ThatPat Jun 17, 2012 11:38 AM

                                                      I almost don't want to give it away. There is a new izakaya on Pico across the street from the Landmark and slightly west called Backhouse. The food is fresh and terrific--haven't tasted a single thing I haven't liked--and I have been there 4 times in the last month. Everybody who comes with me loves it. It's cheap enough anyway but if you go before 6:30 they have happy hour which is soooo cheap. It's just one little plain room but they will be adding on an adjacent space in future. The other place I like in the area is The Six which is on Pico 3 doors east of Overland on the south side of the street. Great hamburger/sweet potato fries, very nice salmon salad, etc. Sports bar decor but actually very pleasant and not noisy if you don't go late. Westside Tavern is good enough but crowded and overpriced IMO. Jaipur IMO is better than La Serenata. I would only go there for a margarita.

                                                      1. re: ThatPat
                                                        Servorg Jun 17, 2012 11:44 AM

                                                        Backhouse has been briefly mentioned at least a couple of time here on the L.A. board (see linked thread for one): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8489...

                                                2. n
                                                  ndukka562 May 7, 2012 04:56 PM

                                                  Jongewaard's Bake and Broil

                                                  1. f
                                                    funkycold May 7, 2012 10:42 AM

                                                    Colmao - Cuban on Pico
                                                    Cacao in Eagle Rock
                                                    Guisado's in Boyle Heights
                                                    Nick's Cafe on Pico

                                                    1. r
                                                      risaz May 7, 2012 10:36 AM

                                                      In n Out!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: risaz
                                                        honkman May 7, 2012 01:30 PM

                                                        This is not the discusdion about places you tried a dozen times and never had a good meal

                                                      2. n
                                                        New Trial May 7, 2012 01:15 AM

                                                        I would add Jar and Waterloo & City to the mix.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: New Trial
                                                          foufou May 7, 2012 10:46 AM

                                                          really like Jar's duck fried rice and char siu pork chop...

                                                        2. m
                                                          MSEats May 5, 2012 02:04 PM

                                                          Ernie's Taco House - North Hollywood
                                                          There are other locations but not the same. The one in Eagle Rock doesn't even come close.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: MSEats
                                                            blueline May 6, 2012 09:56 PM

                                                            La Scala Presto (Brentwood)
                                                            Da Pasquale
                                                            Tender Greens

                                                          2. a
                                                            antob May 4, 2012 10:16 PM

                                                            Metro Cafe C.C.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: antob
                                                              bulavinaka May 5, 2012 06:24 AM

                                                              Metro Cafe is always solid. As much as I avoid eateries in tiny slots where the tables are spaced elbow&asses, Metro is in our regular rotation. Always enjoy the food there. Some have complained about the food taking too long. But over a cup of coffee, glass of wine or beer, it's rarely seemed long to us. And Saša is the consummate host. I can't think of a dish there that I've considered mediocre, and his crepes are amazing.

                                                              1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                westsidegal May 5, 2012 12:54 PM

                                                                concur with bulavinaka about those crepes. . . .
                                                                one of the few places that gets the correct flour:egg ratio.

                                                            2. katydid13 May 4, 2012 08:59 PM

                                                              Marouch, Versailles

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: katydid13
                                                                EricDC May 4, 2012 10:17 PM

                                                                Comme ca
                                                                Bay Cities

                                                                Literally the only places I've ever gone that many times, at least that I can think of... a dozen?

                                                                Although, I guess that is testament to the places they've forged in my heart.

                                                                1. re: katydid13
                                                                  silverlakebodhisattva May 7, 2012 05:25 PM

                                                                  Ditto on Marouch and Versailles, , at least if I limit Versailles to the Venice Bl., and LaCienega locations only. I've enjoyed very meal I've eaten there in the last twenty-two years (I remember a couple of mis-steps before that, when my office was up the street, and I ate there a LOT). Their effort to open a food-court version at Universal Studios was a dismal failure, though.

                                                                2. e
                                                                  Ernie May 4, 2012 03:59 PM

                                                                  Musso & Frank
                                                                  Din Tai Fung
                                                                  Golden Deli

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Ernie
                                                                    wienermobile May 5, 2012 02:36 PM

                                                                    I just love Musso & Frank's Thursday night Chicken Pot Pie so much.

                                                                  2. o
                                                                    ozhead May 4, 2012 01:32 PM

                                                                    Nat's West Cafe -- Topanga Cyn. just north of Roscoe. Breakfasts.

                                                                    1. w
                                                                      whatsfordinner May 4, 2012 12:54 PM

                                                                      I'll play!
                                                                      Apple Pan
                                                                      Bar Pinxto
                                                                      Bay Cities

                                                                      1. westsidegal May 4, 2012 12:50 PM

                                                                        ayara thai cuisine
                                                                        800 degrees

                                                                        1. BubblyOne May 4, 2012 10:42 AM

                                                                          The Fountain (BH Hotel)
                                                                          Nate 'n Al

                                                                          1. t
                                                                            Titiany May 4, 2012 10:26 AM

                                                                            Mulberry Street Pizzeria
                                                                            Lou - last visit prior to management change
                                                                            Finn McCool's
                                                                            Larchmont Bungalow

                                                                            1. The Oracle May 4, 2012 09:55 AM

                                                                              In n Out

                                                                              Julienne's (San Marino, b'fast)

                                                                              Fosselman's (Alhambra) - who says ice cream isn't a meal?! :)

                                                                              1. TonyC May 4, 2012 09:33 AM

                                                                                Old Country Cafe
                                                                                Rocio's (soon to be a dozen)

                                                                                Beyond those, I try not to eat anywhere "a dozen" times. There are too many restaurants to explorer in LA.

                                                                                1. c
                                                                                  cdub May 4, 2012 09:30 AM

                                                                                  Roma deli
                                                                                  Nat's early bite

                                                                                  1. honkman May 4, 2012 09:25 AM

                                                                                    Animal, Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, Bistro LQ and it's pop-up versions, Gjelina,

                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: honkman
                                                                                      Porthos May 4, 2012 09:28 AM

                                                                                      I would have also added Bistro LQ and the LQ@SK pop ups but I think I've only been 9 or 10 times and not technically over a dozen...

                                                                                      1. re: Porthos
                                                                                        zack May 5, 2012 07:10 AM

                                                                                        Same here, LQ@SK was my go to dinner that I could always count on for creative and tasty food. The 5-course + cheese are a steal at those prices. I look forward to a continuation at his pop-up next at Good Girl Dinette (going Mon!).

                                                                                        1. re: zack
                                                                                          PattyC May 8, 2012 08:29 AM

                                                                                          What did you think of the dinner last night compared to past dinners?

                                                                                          1. re: PattyC
                                                                                            zack May 8, 2012 10:20 AM

                                                                                            Food was inventive and solid as usual, but pacing was a bit off. Understandable for night 1 of the pop-up due to different setting, space (double of Starry Kitchen), kitchen, staff. Glad I was in the 1st seating because the later arrivals did not get food until 9:30p. Sadly, cheese cart did not make an appearance this week. Favorites for me were the 2nd and 4th courses, market vegetables with halibut cheeks and lamb composition (kidney not for the faint of heart!). New menu here:

                                                                                            1. re: zack
                                                                                              Servorg May 8, 2012 10:28 AM

                                                                                              If you haven't been to Red Medicine yet I suggest you make it your next stop, without delay. We had the brussels sprouts, the foie gras, the porridge with uni and egg, and the carmelized black vinegar pork, finally ending with the giant brisket (plus 3 out of the 4 desserts of which the coconut bavarois was the clear winner to me). All of the dishes were excellent, with the porridge making the top of the list from my taste buds point of view.

                                                                                              My only regret is getting both the pork dish and the brisket. Too similar a taste profile and I wish the waiter had warned me about that fact (I asked him to let me know if any of our dishes were too similar or needed to be adjusted for any reason but I think he just sort of ignored that statement).

                                                                                              1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                ns1 May 8, 2012 10:36 AM

                                                                                                Looking at the RM menu, is it possible to get out of there under $100 after tip with only soft drinks?

                                                                                                1. re: ns1
                                                                                                  Servorg May 8, 2012 10:55 AM

                                                                                                  I would think it would be close, but the thing that surprised (and impressed) me was that the dishes were much more substantial than I thought they were going to be. For instance, the brussels sprouts dish easily fed 3 very hungry diners. And all the other dishes were also quite generously portioned.

                                                                                              2. re: zack
                                                                                                PattyC May 8, 2012 10:34 AM

                                                                                                I was there for the first seating too and being our first time I was wondering if the pacing was due to the new setting. We got done close to 10:00pm and when we left our second seating neighbors had just gotten their first course. My favorites were the foie and dessert courses. I thought my halibut was slightly overdone as well as my sweetbreads (which I sort of also attributed to the new space). The tongue and kidney were really nice though. For the price, I definitely want to try it again. Thanks for your thoughts.

                                                                                      2. JAB May 4, 2012 09:05 AM


                                                                                        1. f
                                                                                          foufou May 4, 2012 08:15 AM


                                                                                          Bay Cities

                                                                                          Oak Tree Inn (South Pasadena)

                                                                                          Popeye's (fried chicken)

                                                                                          Dog Haus


                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: foufou
                                                                                            Hillbilly Moonshiner May 4, 2012 02:21 PM

                                                                                            I'm surprised about Popeye's. I've found that it's generally good in places like New Orleans and Atlanta, but every time I've eaten at one outside the deep south, I've been deeply disappointed. What's your preferred location?

                                                                                            1. re: Hillbilly Moonshiner
                                                                                              foufou May 4, 2012 03:05 PM

                                                                                              Lake Avenue in Pasadena and either of the two locations on Valley in Alhambra....all three of these locations are high turnover locations and the chicken is great

                                                                                            2. re: foufou
                                                                                              zack May 5, 2012 07:16 AM

                                                                                              I want to love Dog Haus since the locations are close to me but every meal disappoints because of comparison to my gold standard Wurstkuche. From the sausages, toppings, beer selection, Wurstkuche wins hands down. Now if I can only get the DJ to turn it down a notch…

                                                                                              1. re: zack
                                                                                                foufou May 5, 2012 01:19 PM

                                                                                                I will check out Wurstkuche when I have an opportunity....I compared it to Slaw Dogs which disappointed.

                                                                                            3. f
                                                                                              flowergirl May 4, 2012 07:46 AM

                                                                                              FarmShop - Mario's Peruvian - Kate Mantilini - The Rainbow (pizza) - M street Kitchen (formerly la Grande Orange) - Lawrys - Bandera - Coast at Shutters - Da Pasquale - 26 Beach - The Griddle for breakfast - Uncle Bill's (M B) for breakfast,

                                                                                              1. y
                                                                                                yogachik May 3, 2012 08:55 PM

                                                                                                Via Portofino
                                                                                                Via Veneto
                                                                                                Bar Pintxo
                                                                                                Tacos por Favor

                                                                                                (sorry, very Westside-centric)

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: yogachik
                                                                                                  yogachik May 4, 2012 03:02 PM

                                                                                                  I meant Locanda Portofino (on Montana Ave) - won't let me edit it for some reason.

                                                                                                2. l
                                                                                                  latindancer May 3, 2012 08:23 PM

                                                                                                  Bar on 4
                                                                                                  Rustic Canyon
                                                                                                  Frida Taqueria Brentwood
                                                                                                  Grill on the Alley
                                                                                                  Il Piccolino
                                                                                                  In n Out
                                                                                                  Nate 'n Al's

                                                                                                  1. cookie monster May 3, 2012 06:12 PM

                                                                                                    Abbot's Pizza

                                                                                                    Dagwood's Pizza

                                                                                                    26 Beach



                                                                                                    [guess where I live]

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: cookie monster
                                                                                                      bulavinaka May 3, 2012 06:33 PM

                                                                                                      It used to be, "da 'hood yo." Now it's, "nice scarf, bro!"

                                                                                                      imho, the mothership for Abbot's Pizza still is the best of the three I've tried, but the Culver City location is good too. The Pico location? It's been not so good to me on the few visits up through early last year.

                                                                                                      26 Beach's burgers are always great, but I can't finish one without the bun disintegrating.

                                                                                                      Gjelina. Big +1. The only place that makes me think that Ron Swanson's meatatarian rigor is wrong. The vegetable dishes are like sirens' songs.

                                                                                                      1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                                                        cookie monster May 3, 2012 09:29 PM

                                                                                                        So true! Hard to believe that when I first decided to move here 16+ years ago the common reaction from friends and family was "is that safe?"

                                                                                                        Agree on the Abbot's Pizza mothership. Haven't tried CC but Pico has definitely disappointed.

                                                                                                        The vegetables also draw me back to Gjelina again and again. Oh, and the lamb meatballs ...

                                                                                                        1. re: cookie monster
                                                                                                          VenusCafe Jun 4, 2012 06:26 PM

                                                                                                          Hard for me to take the tude at both Gjelina and Father's Office.
                                                                                                          Where I eat generally needs to be more accomodating.

                                                                                                          I must be one of the few who thinks so.

                                                                                                    2. PeterCC May 3, 2012 05:42 PM

                                                                                                      La Playita
                                                                                                      Tacos Por Favor
                                                                                                      Ding Tai Fung
                                                                                                      Tender Greens
                                                                                                      Killer Shrimp

                                                                                                      I purposefully didn't look at the other comments until I wrote the above. Glad to see some repeats among the other replies.

                                                                                                      I know some XLB enthusiats may balk at DTF, but while they may not be the best XLB, they are consistent, and I've never had a bad meal there.

                                                                                                      Likewise with Versailles; a Cuban friend of mine scowled when I asked him what he thought of that place. He directed me to El Cochinito instead, which was very good, but I've not had a bad meal at Versailles for all the times I've been, so that qualifies it for this list.

                                                                                                      If anyone has any objections to my choices, just apply my reasoning above, that while a particular place may not be the best as what it does, I've never had a bad meal at any of the above places, so that qualifies them for this list (for me, YMMV).

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: PeterCC
                                                                                                        bulavinaka May 3, 2012 06:23 PM

                                                                                                        I recently started to revisit Versailles and have to admit - the lechon and pollo are good. Used to go often in the 80s-90s, blanked on them for more than a decade, and been going back now for the past few months. The Moros y Cristianos isn't as knee-buckling as I remember - is it just me?

                                                                                                        1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                                                          condiment May 4, 2012 09:19 AM

                                                                                                          The moros were never knee-buckling; El Colmao was always the place to go for that. And the chicken and pork started to bite at about the time they started selling the bottled marinade - never figured out whether there was a connection. Still: not awful.

                                                                                                      2. WildSwede May 3, 2012 05:42 PM

                                                                                                        Cupid's Hot Dogs


                                                                                                        Dino's Chicken and Burgers

                                                                                                        The Monrovian

                                                                                                        The Peach Cafe



                                                                                                        Pho 79 (Char Grilled Pork Pho)


                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: WildSwede
                                                                                                          wienermobile May 5, 2012 02:32 PM

                                                                                                          Yes, Cupid's Hot Dogs.

                                                                                                          1. re: WildSwede
                                                                                                            VenusCafe Jun 6, 2012 09:14 AM

                                                                                                            WS, remember Roda Rumet? Back in the day it was a 12X pretty solid each visit.

                                                                                                            1. re: VenusCafe
                                                                                                              WildSwede Jun 6, 2012 11:54 AM

                                                                                                              Hi Venus. No, I don't remember it... but for some reason I have a memory of someone saying those words to me. I wonder if my parents used to go there. Where was is? I googled it and came up with a mention from a 1991 LA Times article stating it was on La Cienega... http://articles.latimes.com/1991-09-1...
                                                                                                              It's weird as I keep saying the name to myself, I keep hearing someone saying it to me... but cannot tell who it is. When my mom gets back from Norway, I am going to ask her! Thanks!

                                                                                                              1. re: WildSwede
                                                                                                                VenusCafe Jun 6, 2012 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                Yes, it was on La Cienega. Charming, casual, almost tea house style with enjoyable food.
                                                                                                                It helped me get over missing my childhood weekly meals at Kungsholm in Chicago,
                                                                                                                (Scandia helped even more!)

                                                                                                          2. b
                                                                                                            bg90027 May 3, 2012 04:21 PM

                                                                                                            Los Balcones del Peru

                                                                                                            1. scurvy May 3, 2012 04:10 PM

                                                                                                              Pizzeria Mozza
                                                                                                              Cooks County
                                                                                                              Ricky's Fish Tacos

                                                                                                              1. b
                                                                                                                BSW6490 May 3, 2012 04:01 PM

                                                                                                                Dan Tanas - (sure to cause an uproar)
                                                                                                                The Brentwood (always solid)
                                                                                                                Il Piccolino
                                                                                                                Il Moro
                                                                                                                Sushi Sushi

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: BSW6490
                                                                                                                  Porthos May 3, 2012 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                  In your dozen+ times did you notice it was Mastro's and not Mastroes and that it's Sasabune and not Sasabone? ;-)

                                                                                                                  1. re: Porthos
                                                                                                                    BSW6490 May 3, 2012 04:15 PM

                                                                                                                    Ima pour speller! I did notice though.

                                                                                                                    1. re: BSW6490
                                                                                                                      bulavinaka May 3, 2012 06:19 PM

                                                                                                                      Yur a gud rebownderer 2

                                                                                                                      1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                                                                        condiment May 4, 2012 09:16 AM

                                                                                                                        I would go to Sasabone, totally.

                                                                                                                2. z
                                                                                                                  zack May 3, 2012 03:29 PM

                                                                                                                  Luscious Dumplings
                                                                                                                  Sea Harbour dimsum

                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: zack
                                                                                                                    EricDC May 4, 2012 10:15 PM

                                                                                                                    I'm sorry - SOUPLANTATION?! You've never had a bad meal at Souplantation?


                                                                                                                    1. re: EricDC
                                                                                                                      zack May 5, 2012 07:03 AM

                                                                                                                      I knew that pick would get flamed but I honestly enjoy Souplantation for what it is, cost considered of course.

                                                                                                                      1. re: zack
                                                                                                                        bulavinaka May 5, 2012 07:07 AM

                                                                                                                        My mom loved Souplantation for the clam chowder. She'd literally put down five bowls. Souplantation may not make Chowhound's top five, but they are driven on consistency.

                                                                                                                        1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                                                                          Servorg May 5, 2012 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                          The new advertising slogan for SP

                                                                                                                          "Souplantation..It beats the crap out of Home Town Buffet!" ;-D>

                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                            bulavinaka May 5, 2012 07:25 AM

                                                                                                                            What doesn't? :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                                                                              Servorg May 5, 2012 07:28 AM

                                                                                                                              My point exactly...I've been to SP exactly twice in my life. Once at the Marnia Del Rey location and once at the Brentwood location. I never found any reason to go back again.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                aizan May 5, 2012 02:21 PM

                                                                                                                                i have fond memories of their pasta putanesca from way back when. did they ever bring back the pasta guy?

                                                                                                                                1. re: aizan
                                                                                                                                  EricDC May 7, 2012 01:55 PM

                                                                                                                                  To me, the food always reminded me of my college dining hall. Always the same; never terrible, but never something you'd choose if you could go elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                  And I don't think I've ever been present when there were not also loud and/or crying children. Double negative for me.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: EricDC
                                                                                                                                    westsidegal May 16, 2012 04:18 PM

                                                                                                                                    although the food at SP is not chow-worthy,
                                                                                                                                    the whole logistical set-up they offer really worked for me when i was a working single mother and my kid was a toddler/kindergardener.
                                                                                                                                    also the price:quality:quantity ratios are better than i had any right to expect.
                                                                                                                                    dunno how i would have gotten through those years without them. . . .

                                                                                                                                    the place also works well in the later years when you are carting around athletic teams of young adults that need to be fed vast quantities of food on a moment's notice all at once.

                                                                                                                                    i still recommend the place to working single parents with young children.
                                                                                                                                    also,since i used to leave a $2 tip each time, the bussers would remember me and treat us like royalty. well worth it.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: aizan
                                                                                                                                    ns1 May 7, 2012 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                    the pasta station is pretty awful, but whatevers. The cornbread is serviceable and they have the ingredients to make a mean beet salad, and there are always coupons in the sunday paper. Soooo SP = a light AYCE meal that's perfect post-hangover. I can get a full AYCE meal + drink for less than the cost of salad @ SweetSalt

                                                                                                                            2. re: bulavinaka
                                                                                                                              slomosi May 16, 2012 05:36 PM

                                                                                                                              Souplantation is a solid choice. Chicken noodle soup and chili are always good. If your salad taste bad the only person you have to blame is yourself - you made it.

                                                                                                                      2. A5 KOBE May 3, 2012 02:58 PM

                                                                                                                        The Hat
                                                                                                                        In n Out
                                                                                                                        Joan's on Third (desserts only?)
                                                                                                                        Pollo a la Brasa

                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: A5 KOBE
                                                                                                                          wienermobile May 3, 2012 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                          The Hat is a guilty pleasure of mine...

                                                                                                                          1. re: wienermobile
                                                                                                                            ns1 May 3, 2012 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                            oh man those chili cheese pastrami fries...perfect. Better than the sandwich IMHO

                                                                                                                            1. re: ns1
                                                                                                                              wienermobile May 3, 2012 03:05 PM

                                                                                                                              I know....

                                                                                                                              1. re: ns1
                                                                                                                                A5 KOBE May 3, 2012 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                I have recently figured out (took me all this time) is to actually order chili cheese fries with raw onions and a sandwich and insert the chili cheese fries into the sandwich. Is that wrong?

                                                                                                                                1. re: A5 KOBE
                                                                                                                                  WildSwede May 3, 2012 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                  Nope! ;-)

                                                                                                                          2. aching May 3, 2012 02:52 PM

                                                                                                                            I can't even think of very many restaurants that I've been to over a dozen times! The two that spring to mind for me are Bay Cities and Wood Spoon. Not coincidentally, these are two restaurants where I always order exactly the same thing (Godmother and Chicken Potpie, respectively) and every single time it's exactly the same - perfect!

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: aching
                                                                                                                              aching May 3, 2012 04:41 PM

                                                                                                                              Oh, Versailles also falls into this category (roasted pork).

                                                                                                                            2. raytamsgv May 3, 2012 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                              Elite Restaurant

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: raytamsgv
                                                                                                                                maudies5 May 3, 2012 02:49 PM

                                                                                                                                Milo and Olive.

                                                                                                                                1. re: maudies5
                                                                                                                                  maudies5 May 3, 2012 05:53 PM

                                                                                                                                  OMG, how could I have omitted The Apple Pan and Nate' Als. Now on third generation of both. That is a lot of years. Most recently, my most frequent visits are to Tavern and Milo and Olive. Easily, a dozen visits to both Tavern and M&O.

                                                                                                                              2. wienermobile May 3, 2012 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                The Original Pancake House
                                                                                                                                M. B. Post
                                                                                                                                Rustic Canyon
                                                                                                                                Park's BBQ
                                                                                                                                Plan Check
                                                                                                                                Sea Harbour
                                                                                                                                Ricky's Fish Tacos
                                                                                                                                and Pizzeria Mozza

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: wienermobile
                                                                                                                                  ns1 May 3, 2012 02:44 PM

                                                                                                                                  Never had a bad meal @ Park's, I'd had a few @ Ricky's when he's been in the woods (lobster taco day 2)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: wienermobile
                                                                                                                                    bulavinaka May 3, 2012 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                                    Sea Harbour has always been a no-brainer for us when picking a great food time in the SGV. But I haven't been in a couple of months. Word has it that the head chef picked up his toque and set it down in Hollywood? Someone posted this info on the "10 Best dim sum restos in LA" thread but it seems to have been retracted. I remember when (was it) Lunasia hijacked some of Sea Harbour's talent. Tell me this isn't so...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                                                                                      wienermobile May 3, 2012 07:40 PM

                                                                                                                                      I have been there since the new menu and it's still wonderful.

                                                                                                                                  2. Porthos May 3, 2012 02:20 PM

                                                                                                                                    P. Mozza (30-40 times or so, last visit last week)
                                                                                                                                    Yamadaya (20-30 times, last visit last week)

                                                                                                                                    1. soniabegonia May 3, 2012 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                                      Tender Greens

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: soniabegonia
                                                                                                                                        soniabegonia May 3, 2012 03:26 PM

                                                                                                                                        one more: Carney's. Snappy dogs in soft warm buns doused with excellent low-brow chili...mmm.... gimme two Carney dogs and a coke, please. Does the job every time.

                                                                                                                                      2. a
                                                                                                                                        aizan May 3, 2012 02:00 PM

                                                                                                                                        not many on my list. it's either an occasional treat that's awesome (e.g., bludso's), or a local place that's alright (e.g., seafood town). the neighborhood restaurant that's knock-your-socks-off great remains elusive. =(

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: aizan
                                                                                                                                          bulavinaka May 3, 2012 06:16 PM

                                                                                                                                          +1 for Bludso's - their consistency and kickassidness is worth the40-minute drive x 2.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                                                                                            foufou May 3, 2012 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                                            Agreed,,,,Bludso's is worth the drive and the food is always great

                                                                                                                                        2. c
                                                                                                                                          Clyde May 3, 2012 01:50 PM

                                                                                                                                          Cacao Mexicatessen... not one bad bite of food there ever. we've also gotten catering for holiday get togethers and it's always been fantastic.

                                                                                                                                          1. JAB May 3, 2012 01:48 PM


                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: JAB
                                                                                                                                              iheartcooking May 16, 2012 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                              +1 on Enrique's. I never, ever crave Mexican food, it's just not my thing. But I've been coming here for ten years and it's always delicious and fresh!

                                                                                                                                            2. n
                                                                                                                                              ns1 May 3, 2012 01:45 PM

                                                                                                                                              Park's BBQ
                                                                                                                                              In n Out
                                                                                                                                              Mexicali Taco Co
                                                                                                                                              Dean Sin World

                                                                                                                                              1. EarlyBird May 3, 2012 01:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                Fiddler's Bistro

                                                                                                                                                1. Servorg May 3, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Pann's www.panns.com

                                                                                                                                                  Show Hidden Posts