One Day Food Tour?
I'm usually on the NJ board, but it looks like in December I might have a chance to be in LA for one day, and was thinking about planning a one day food tour (rent a car from LAX for a few hours)
I was in LA about 2 years ago, and here's a list of places I remember going to that I'd like to visit again:
Phillipe's (x2 days)
Pinks Hot Dogs
Didn't get to:
Food Trucks (I couldn't easily find any amidst the sight seeing and poor planning on my part)
We actually ended up staying in a crappy motel in Burbank and didn't realize the amount of driving and chain restaurants that where around which we ended up eating at. We had spent a few days in Vegas and took a commuter flight to LA a few days before our cruise out of Long Beach.
So I guess you guys can see the type of food I'm usually into, fast service and on the cheaper side..
And I was heavily influenced by the food network and DDD. :-D
Could you please recommend some places that I should start looking at to add to the list?
Thanks in Advance
Cheap, good eats between LAx and Santa Monica:
Tacos Por Favor -- Olympic at 14th, SM or Olympic east of Bundy, WLA -- chorizo and cheese taco, good salsa roja.
Tommy's -- official branch of the stand west of downtown, S/W corner of Pico at Lincoln, SM -- chilicheeseburger.
Taqueria Sanchez -- Centinela between Washington and Culver, Culver City -- shrimp taco.
Chego -- Overland near Palms -- Roy Choi's rice bowls.
Scoop's -- Overland a block or two south of Chego -- unique ice cream flavors.
Taqueria Sanchez (the one I go to -- I think there is another a few blocks away) is on the west side of Centinela south of Washington and north of Culver. There is street parking in front and some in the rear. It is an order at the counter and pick up there place. There is a nice salsa bar with two types of red salsa, a pico de gallo, a green (avocado?), and some pickled veggies and lime wedges. Most tacos (I like the carne asada, the al pastor, and the carnitas) were $1.35 last I went and the shrimp were $1.75. The shrimp are small (tiny, actually) but are marinated and well-cooked so they are tender and not rubbery. The menu has everything -- burritos, plates, specials, soups, on and on. Everything is solid, but that shrimp taco at under 2 bucks is a marvel. I'm a big eater, so a lunch of a shrimp taco, an al pastor and a carnitas with a soda from the case is about six dollars plus tax and a small tip (counter service) and they throw in chips for the salsa bar. There is a bakery across the street for a sweet for dessert. Now that I write about it, been too long since I've had lunch.
The tostada w/ al pastor is great shared. It's huge, messy and goes great with cervesa...
I think the shrimp is actually a bigger variety that has probably been minced as it is cooked on the flat grill. Just the same, they seem to always nail it.
The bakery across the street is Angel Maid. Get the mini cream puffs. And don't be a wuss - get the box of mini cream puffs. :)
And just 3 minutes away, El Abajeño on Inglewood Ave. just barely south of Culver is yet another great option for very "homemade" tasting Mexican food. Carnitas, carne asada the El Abajeno Special burrito (which can feed a family of 4) or even the Fiesta Plate (which is a chile relleno plus chile verde and chili colorado, plus rice and beans) will take care of your hunger pangs with no problem - plus an excellent salsa bar make this a must go if you are looking for good food at a fair price.
I recommend you attack one section of this map I made. It is almost entirely cheap eats-type places where you don't need to sit down and where pretty much everything is around $5 to $10.
And here are the results of going to these places:
Starting from LAX...
Hit Panns... it's a total DDD place... Check out this post about their epic patty melt..
Then, from there head down to Culver City to Gloria's... It has been on DDD and you can get your pupusa fix (I also their beef soup, Cocido, but it's a hearty meal!)
From there you can hop on the 405 and head over the hill to a place DDD put on the map, Fab's Hot Dogs in Reseda... then you can tell us how his Rippers stand up....
Then heading back down to LAX... you can swing by In and Out. The one at LAX is always mobbed, but it makes for good people watching and the turn over keeps the kids on their toes and the fries coming FRESH!
Dommy's suggested itinerary pretty much sums up a few hours of solid eats in the category you asked for. Aside from Fab, they are clustered within a very reasonable distance from each other. I'd only add that if you're feeling the need for a spacer to substitute for one of the heavy meals on the list, you could easily hit either Tea Forest or Coolhaus on Washington in Culver City, or Scoops Westside on Overland in Palms for Bulgarini gelato, ice cream sandwiches or unique ice cream flavors; or Blockheads or Brian's Shave Ice around Olympic and Sawtelle in West LA for snow ice or Hawaiian style shave ice. These recs are in/around the same general neighborhoods or can be hit between Dommy's recs.
Of Dommy's recs, Fab will put you out the furthest by far. This is compounded by potential freeway problems, particularly the 405, which is going under some major renovations for the foreseeable future. The San Fernando Valley area (which is where Reseda is) is heavily reliant on the 101. These freeways are two of the most heavily traveled freeways in the US. So if time is an issue, please factor extra travel time to and from Fab for your potential itinerary.