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Taking mom on a weeklong tour of LA food

Here's the deal - despite the title of "mom", she's fairly adventurous and I think would get a kick out of seeing a really wide variety of places that you just wouldn't really find in Milwaukee. I'd like every place to either have a really unique dish, have a really unique atmosphere, or encompass a different food niche or ethnicity.

I would really appreciate any recommendations.

I live in Silverlake, but don't mind running around - as long as it's not to the OC or something. We may splurge once or twice, but in general, we'll probably be looking at entrees under $15. Here are some of my thoughts, nominations so far...

Yamadaya - Show her "real" ramen (Or even try tsukemen at Tsujita)
Mother Dough - A little different than your average pizza place
Taco Zone - Can you say you've been to LA if you've never waited outside a food truck with a bunch of drunken hipsters?
Bourgeois Pig - an interesting place for coffee what with the forrest room and all
Blossom - Some interesting vietnamese dishes, and the silverlake location's really cool with the basement and all
Wang Xing Ji - for the giant XLB/soup dumplings (or Din Tai Fung)
Roscoes? - It IS different... (and LA)
Phillipe's - Another LA classic not short on character, or maybe Langer's
Scoops or Milk or a really memorable ice cream place

A good K-Town BBQ place?
A good pho place?
A good ethiopian place?
A really interesting breakfast/brunch?
Debating the best "gourmet" burger place...

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  1. K-town BBQ either means Parks http://www.parksbbq.com/ or Soot Bull Jeep http://www.yelp.com/biz/soot-bull-jee... for that "smoke gets in your eyes, clothing and hair" experience.

    A really interesting breakfast/brunch place might mean Millie's on Sunset http://www.milliescafe.net/ or, if in the mood for ambiance along with your brunch, means the patio at http://www.cliffsedgecafe.com/ for both beauty and food.

    2 Replies
    1. For the gourmet burger, although I prefer the one from Father's Office, I think the atmosphere at Rustic Canyon along with the farm to table food outside the burger would serve you well.

      1. I like Phillipe's....but Langer's wins hands down. Pastrami heaven.

        3 Replies
        1. re: wienermobile


          I can't begin to count the number of people, when I bring up the subject of Langer's, that say they've been wondering what the place is like, what the food is like....
          even though they've lived here for years and driven past it numerous times.
          It's a unique place, with excellent food, in a very historical area of LA and I think everyone should visit it at least once. Then you're hooked :).

          1. re: latindancer

            +1, Langers is a must and if it's Langers v Philippes its' a no brainer.

            1. re: latindancer

              The problem with Langer's is the hours.

              When you work 9-5 and like to stay close to the pad on the weekends, it's just not that convenient to go there. If you work weekdays, the only day you can go there is Saturday for lunch or breakfast.

              If they were open 24 hours like Canter's, I'd be there 10 times a year or something. The fact that they close early means I get there once a year or something on a day off.

              I'm sure they have their reasons for closing early -- obviously it's working for them -- but I think that's why a lot of people never make it over there, it's only open when they are at work.

          2. I am doing sort of the same thing with my mother in a couple of weeks. One of our food destinations will be Sea Harbour for dim sum. Small plates mean that you can try a lot of new things.

            1. +1 for Taco Zone.

              101 Noodle Express - the original location is fifteen minutes from Silver Lake - for the beef roll and amazing dumplings like pumpkin/shrimp and sole.

              Although I'm not a big fan of the food, the Rampart Tommy's is certainly a unique LA experience, especially if your mom is a night owl.

              Big Mista's BBQ at the Glendale Farmers Market.

              Pollo a la Brasa on Western in K-town

              1. Zankou Chicken -- there is an original location at Sunset and Normandie -- for rotisserie chicken with that fantastic, addictive garlic paste, or the chicken tarna.
                Yang Chow -- on Broadway inChinatown -- yes, it is Americanized, but their slippery shrimp is crispy, sweet, a bit hot -- wonderful dish.
                Dino's -- on Pico at Berendo, two blocks west of Vermont -- grilled chicken over fries with that unique vinegary, garlicky marinade sauce.
                Carnitas Michaocan -- above Chinatown on North Broadway at 19th -- good carne asade, better al pastor from a rotisserie, but the reason to go is the salsa roja "hot sauce," best in SoCal.
                +1 on Phillippe's -- more for the atmosphere and history and experience of the lines than the food -- lamb or pork dips are better than the roast beef, which can be dry, even dipped.
                +1 on Langer's -- it is a truly superlative pastrami, order it untrimmed, and that soft rye with the crispy crust is a perfect vehicle.
                for a splurge Gjelina -- enjoy the L.A. weather on the patio -- not horribly expensive if you avoid the large plates and share veggies, a salad, maybe a pizza, and a small dish like the pork belly. Save room for the butterscotch pot de creme for dessert, even better than Mozza's budino. You gotta take her to see Venice Beach one afternoon, right?

                1. Hi Mom.

                  Kagaya for shabu shabu
                  Nanbankan for Japanese BBQ skewers
                  Ruen Pair for Thai food
                  Guelaguetza for mole negro and a tlayuda
                  Marouch for meze
                  The Peninsula Hotel for afternoon tea
                  Messob Ethiopian on Fairfax - order the 2 combo plates and you get almost everything on the menu
                  Paru's for Southern Indian - also order the 2 combo plates here
                  Pho So 1 on Victory and Sepulveda in Van Nuys
                  Hong Kong Cafe in Monterey Park - have some congee and a pineapple bun for breakfast

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lil mikey

                    +1 for Kagaya, best shabu shabu in the city. You can get by for around ~65pp

                    -1 for Pho So 1, it's like Geno vs Pats; Pho So 1 is opposite of Pho 999 and you have members supporting both camps. there's also NOTHING for you in Van Nuys, so I wouldn't make the drive out here just for pho.

                    1. re: chezwhitey

                      Mo-chica (at least in its new iteration) might be under the "splurge" category. While many of the dishes are < $15, the portions are fairly small, and I'm assuming the OP and her mother would likely need around 4 dishes total to full satiated (and to get a sense of the food there).

                      Don't know much (anything) about the difference btw Ethiopian and Nigerian, but I've had good experiences at Rahel's (vegan), Rosalind's, and Meals by Genet.

                    2. Ditch Ethiopian, go Nigerian. My .02 Nigerian is the more interesting and more delicious cuisine.

                      1. If u like seafood n Mexican food, try Tacos Baja Ensenada in east LA, very tasteful and good price.
                        SAvoy kitchen in Alhambra - Hainan chicken.
                        Brodard restaurant, Westminster Ca for pho and other Vietnamese dishes.
                        Brent's in Northridge, Nat's in Van Nuys, or Fred 62 in Hollywood for breakfast n lunch items.

                        1. skip blossom. if you wanna stay nearby for pho you could do viet noodle bar. otherwise venture out to the sgv.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: emosbaugh

                            skip viet noodle bar and go straight to the SGV