Restaurants that have character or have characters?
- ebi Jul 13, 2012 10:36 AM
I'm looking for some good LA restaurants that have good character. Your favorite spots that have great food - the best burritio, the best taco, the best burger, the best whatever. And also have interesting people behind the scenes. I'm not looking for a scene, just cool food, cool atmosphere, cool people. Its for my food blog - http://food.ericisaac.com - take a quick look if you need some reference.
Hi... You were really "crazy" surprised that it took a little over an hour for 'Hounds to respond to your original post?
1) Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles
2) The Griddle Cafe for breakfast
3) Soot Bul Jeep for smoke-soaked korean bbq
4) Oki Dog for late-night chili-cheese pastrami dogs - carry mace or brass knuckles
Langer's Deli http://www.langersdeli.com/
Clifton's Cafeteria (currently closed but is reopening) http://www.cliftonscafeteria.com/
Philippe's The Original http://www.philippes.com/
Bay Cities Italian Deli http://www.baycitiesitaliandeli.com/
The Apple Pan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Appl...
Musso and Franks http://mussoandfrank.com/
Dan tana's, Chez Jay & el Tepeyac are all classic! Phillippe's & Musso's too!
I guess I'd add:
The Brown Derby
The Polo Lounge
Grilled cheese & Komodo trucks
Marty & Elayne are the lounge act at The Dresden Room - You saw them in "Swingers"...
Busloads of tourists used to come to see Thai Elvis perform at Palms Thai, but I think he took a leave of absence for health reasons...
Nozawa-san is the original "Sushi Nazi" - but his Studio City sushi bar is no more.
Michael Chow IS Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills...
Clive Davis used to bring his protegees to L'Orangerie and make her serenade the customers in the dining room, whether we liked it or not.
Walking into the main dining room at Spago - I remember one night when my beautiful date (now Mrs. J.L.) & I walked into that dining room - Philanthropist Marvin Davis & his wife were at "their usual table", Larry King and his wife at another table, and the entire San Antonio Spurs squad (including David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Greg Popovich, etc. - You can't miss them... they're like 2 stories taller than any other mortal in that room) all looked up from their food and stared as we sauntered to our table (OK they were really looking at her) . A very "L.A. Story" moment. That dining room is a star unto itself.
Mark Wahlberg dines with alarming predictability at Matsuhisa. But this is more of a celeb sighting.
I can never forget that great line from a Tom Waits line...
"And the waitress looked like Ernest Borgnine."
I'd second whoever mentioned Dan Tana's. While I'm not there often, it's a real drinkers' bar with decent italian-american food and an amazingly fun and crusty cast of regular booze hounds, some with interesting hollywood pedigrees. If you stay late enough, it gets even shadier in the best possible way.
Come for the veal marsala. Stay for the plastered 60-something agents, managers and execs and the occasional celebrity sighting. Last time I was there, Clint was at the bar. Yes, I was well into my cups by that point and had to do a double take - as on first glance he was just some wizened old guy in a tan windbreaker.
Papa Cristo's Restaurant and Market. They have fantastic Greek food on the side of their market with great prices. Go on Thursday night when they serve a family style dinner complete with wine tasting and some Greek dancing demonstrations. Mr. Cristo, a very very short man with a handlebar mustache comes out and talks to everyone.
My Greek girlfriend loves this place.
By design, Pink Taco...there must be others but this is not a great criteria.....for finding a good restaurant....even just to review.
Tribal Cafe in sort of lower Echo Park... never know WHAT I'm gonna see there. And even if empty, the place alone is certainly dripping with character.