Los Angeles Food Itinerary
We will be visitng L.A. for 6 days in mid-August and have comprised a list of places that we're going, could you Chowhounders confirm that the following places are worth it?
Dinner at Bouchon
Lunch at Pizzeria Mozzo
Dinner at La Serenata Gourmet
Lunch at Villa Blanca (for the scene and convenience)
Dinner at The Polo Lounge
Lunch at The Garden Terrace Cafe (At the Getty Center)
Dinner at Malibu Seafood
Brunch at The Griddle Cafe
Dinner at Il Pastaio
Lunch at Petrossian
The Lobster would be a quite a jump from Malibu Seafood. I'd recommend Reel Inn as an alternative to Malibu Seafood to be in the same ballpark both price-wise and ambiance-wise, but just as an alternative; not saying Reel Inn is better.
I guess it depends on why OP picked MS. If it's for the casual fish market atmosphere, then either MS or RI is a wash. If it's for more upscale seafood with an ocean view, I think there are better choices than the Lobster (IMO). If it's somewhere in the middle, I like Duke's.
LS is fantastic...DO NOT drop it....and the Boyle Heights location is a trip into LA history.
Yes, CI is in a mall/food court, no atmo at all, but very good Yucatecan cooking. For me, it is a lunch or a snack, not a meal that I would consider replacing LS with.
Have a drink at Polo, not a meal, and try Red Medicine or Shunji's or n/naka (if you are into sushi/keiseki).
Il Pastaio is nothing special at all...try e baldi across the street or Madeo, if you want Italian (and money is not a prime concern).
I like the soup and aqua frescas at LS de G. Everything else is not really my thing. I find that the best Mexican places are food court like, or hole in the walls.
Also, Griddle is a huge wait for basically for dessert. A bit higher in price, but I like Bouchon and Scarpetta for brunch. I believe Scarpetta is only on Sundays though.
One of the things you need to learn quickly about Los Angeles is that some of the best food is found in the unlikeliest of places. In New York, that's less true (though not entirely untrue). I deal with this with my sister all the time, who insists on bringing her Brooklyn industrial chic sensibility with her when she visits me in LA, and it's a huge mistake.
Calling the restaurants in Mercado La Paloma (MLP) a food court is not entirely fair, not because it isn't a food court, but because of the baggage that the term "food court" brings along with it. "Food court" paints the image of terrible fast food in a shopping mall with screaming kids and obnoxious teenagers running around, and that's not at all what Chichen Itza delivers. MLP is a local cultural center for Latin American culture that just happens to have two excellent restaurants. Chichen Itza does provide table service, though you order at the counter.
But isn't the real point that you're here to try things you won't be able to get in New York, right? Tell me, where in New York are you going to find extremely well executed cooking from the Yucatecan peninsula?
Embrace the differences between LA and Manhattan, and you will be richer for it.
I would nix Villa Blanca. The food is not at all good. If you want a scene and close local, the patio at Ivy on Robertson is a MUCH better choice. Also, although I love the patio at Polo Lounge, there has been a chef change and the prices are very high, the menu is limited and the portions are small. Service remains very good. Il Picolino is a very good Italian also on Robertson that would be a good choice. If you want to stay in the heart of BH you might try Mastroes Steak House or venture a few minutes away to Red Medicine or Sotto.
I would also miss the Polo Lounge (unless you are just looking to ogle the Pink Palace a bit) and switch off to either Dan Tana's http://www.dantanasrestaurant.com/ for the vibe and great steak or to Animal http://animalrestaurant.com/ or Son of a Gun http://sonofagunrestaurant.com/ for the overall food experience.
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