What great places have you "discovered" only to find out it was already considered (one of) the best?
I'm hoping this will be a fun conversation starter. Actually, I'm just hoping no one's confused by the question.
To expand, I'm asking for restaurants that you've stumbled upon yourself, without the help of Chowhound or Yelp (or what have you), that you really enjoyed, and then only later did you realize, ether through trying other similar restaurants or from reading reviews, that what you were having was the exemplar of the food in question.
For me, it's ramen at Santouka. I grew up eating instant noodles, and didn't have much experience with real ramen and ramen houses. When I moved to L.A., I "discovered" Santouka and have been eating there for years (it's convenient to where I live), and never really had any desire to go anywhere else, but I only recently found out that it's considered one of the best ramen places in L.A..
Thai boat noodles at Pa Ord and Hoy Ka. Omg, the tongue numbing flavorful broth is absolutely delicious! I actually stopped at Hoy Ka for my staple - Pad Thai, but then I saw everyone eating noodle soup.. No more Pad Thai for me, folks! Then I checked Yelp and saw hundred of reviews with 4-4.5 averages. I don't know how I didn't know about these Thaitown Jewels!!
Thanks to Porthos and saucequeen for their responses. Yes, this is a bump, but not a gratuitous one (I hope). I'm adding another entry: chou dou fu (stinky fried bean curd) from Lee's Garden (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/859340). Apparently it's the best place for chou dou fu (according to TonyC), which I was not aware of when I went there.
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