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Los Angeles Food Itinerary UPDATED

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Thanks you for all of your suggestions on my previous post. I have taken into consideration all of your comments into my new list.

Day 1:
Arrive

Dinner at Bouchon

Day 2:

Lunch at Pizzeria Mozzo

Dinner at Tacos Por Favor (Santa Monica)

Day 3:

Lunch at The Grill on The Alley

Dinner at Dan Tana's

Day 4:

Lunch at Garden Terrace Café

Dinner at Malibu Seafood

Day 5:

Lunch at The Ivy

Dinner at Matsuhisa

Day 6:

Lunch at Nate 'n Al

Depart

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  1. If you have the means, reserve seats in the private omakase room at Matsuhisa instead of the main dining room.

    You'll be deprived of some celeb sightings, sure (you'll get plenty of close encounters at The Ivy for lunch). BUT the food is better in the omakase room.

    1. You might want to trade Nate n Al's for Langer's Deli Pastrami on Rye Heaven. (open till 4pm and closed Sundays). only 20 about minutes from Beverly Hills and you won't be sorry.
      http://www.langersdeli.com

      7 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile

        if their departure is from LAX,
        methinks the nate 'n al's choice may be a better choice:
        especially so if their luggage will be in their car during this meal.

        1. re: westsidegal

          Langer's offers a dedicated (and validated) lot with attendants. Nate 'n Al's does not so public parking is inevitable. While certainly closer to LAX, the difference is not that significant to justify missing one of the great pastrami sandwiches going. If the OP dosen't want pastrami, that would be another matter.

          1. re: New Trial

            Isn't the OP from NY? I would skip both.

            1. re: New Trial

              ''Nate 'n Al's does not so public parking is inevitable."

              Beverly HIlls has free 2 hour parking every few blocks. There's one next to Crate n Barrel on Beverly that is very close to Nate 'n Al's.
              Easy.

              1. re: latindancer

                No argument on that point; however, the issue being addressed was the argument that Nate 'n Al's was a better choice than Langer's as the OP would have luggage in the car. If that is a concern, an attended lot offers more comfort than a public garage.

                1. re: New Trial

                  I completely agree.

                  I'd eat at Langer's everyday if I had the choice. I've always been lucky enough to park on the street and would never, really, feel I'd have a problem with a carload of luggage. That's just me.

                  1. re: latindancer

                    They have a free attended parking lot one block east of Langer's Deli on 7th Street and Westlake.

        2. We leave Long Beach Airport at 5:00 P.M.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lhenry

            Lunch at Langer's is definitely worth it. Or lunch at Milo and Olive, Tsujita, or Umami Burger are better options than Nate n Al's.

          2. Double check the hours by calling some of the places, not relying on yelp. For instance it lists that Malibu Seafood is open Mondays, and unless that is a recent policy change, it's not. Also, it is a much better place for lunch, when you won't have to deal with northbound PCH traffic, driving in the dark and wondering where the heck the place is, it's waaay up there. You may even go right by it, it is basically a shack on the side of the road. At least at lunchtime you could enjoy the ocean view.

            And just know, that after a dinner at Bouchon and then lunch at Mozza, TPF will be kind of a let down. Food is good though, it's just dumpy in a dumpy area.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

              What is a good Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica or the west side? By the way I don't use yelp

              1. re: lhenry

                Monte Alban.

                Mr Taster

                1. re: lhenry

                  It depends on where you want to be. If you want delicious & authentic, it'll be a place like Monte Alban or Lares, in west LA, in a non descript area.

                  If you want the tourist scene, there are a few down by the Promenade and surrounding streets. Border Grill is decent, Mercado seems to have mixed reviews, and a new Loteria Grill is on the Promenade.

                  1. re: lhenry

                    It kind of depends whe you want to be. If you want authentic & delicious, then Monte Alban or Lares are good choices, but further east of samo in west la. MA is in a small strip mall.

                    If you want a touristy scene, then there are a few on and around the Promenade. Border Grill is decent, Mercado has mixed reviews, and a new Loteria grill just opened on the 3rd st promenade.

                2. This post makes me sad.

                  Mr Taster

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    I know what you mean...you can lead a horse to water

                  2. At Dan Tanas make sure to request the front bar room. My favorite dishes are the steak and peppers or chicken beckerman (dark meat). You will enjoy.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Thor123

                      But don't expect to get it ;D) they have a lot of regulars. I love the vel chop & parmigiana, and the shrimp parm. The steak is excellent too.

                    2. How about Lotería Grill?

                      1. Tacos Por Favor?

                        Por favor don't go there. Try El Super Taco instead for AWESOME Westside tacos, or El Cholo if you want more of an old-school LA Mexican restaurant experience. And yeah, definitely Langer's over Nate 'n Al's. You can take the 110 to the 105 to the 405 to get to Long Beach, which might save you 405 headaches.

                        Also, The Grill and Dan Tana's seem redundant, though I do like the food at both. Are you an agent? If not, no reason to lunch at The Grill. Same with The Ivy, unless you're paying for paparazzi. While you're here, why not try Pacific Dining Car or Cut? Or Mezze or Caioti Pizza or Ink or WP24? Point is, there are way better options. In any case, please enjoy, and definitely keep us posted (I for one like living vicariously through people's food experiences, as I'm certain others here do as well...)

                        PS -- You might want to reverse the order on Day 2. Mozza (not Mozzo btw) has both killer pizza and other dishes as well.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: vegetablelasagna

                          I have to disagree with El Cholo, especially the Santa Monica location (but the other locations are no great shakes either). Another good west side choice for Mexican food is Tacomiendo. I go to the location on Gateway Blvd. at least every other week.

                          1. re: vegetablelasagna

                            I would definately goDan Tanas over the Grill. The patio at Ivy is a unique LA experience and I think the food and service is significantly under rated. Pacific Dining Car? Really?

                            As for Mexican, also on Gateway is Tlapazola Grill, which is quite good.

                            1. re: Thor123

                              I agree with Thor 123.

                            2. re: vegetablelasagna

                              Vegetablelasagna: Have you tried Billingsly's? Almost as tired as Pacific Dining Car.

                            3. Why isn't it good to go to both Dan tanas and the grill?

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: lhenry

                                I didnt say that. I think they are distinctly different and both good. I just said that if I were to pick one or the other, it would be Dan Tanas. I would far prefer The Grill to Pacific Dining Car.

                                1. re: Thor123

                                  Okay thanks for clearing that up! I'll be eating at both places.

                                  1. re: lhenry

                                    I would mention that unless you are going to have salad at the Grill, you have two pretty heavy meals in one day with The Grill and Dan Tanas. If it was me, I would pick someplace else for lunch and keep Dan Tanas for dinner.

                                    1. re: Thor123

                                      Where else on or near rodeo do you recommend for lunch?

                                      1. re: Thor123

                                        Salads at The Grill are great. Sounds like a good plan. A great salad at the Grill for lunch (love the Louie salads) and steak at Dan Tanas

                                        1. re: maudies5

                                          Okay! Thanks, I'll stay with the grill and have a salad!

                                  2. re: lhenry

                                    @lhenry: Like I said, it just seems redundant to do both Tana's and Grill, esp same day. Tana's is more Italian but I assume you're going for an old-school Bev Hills showbiz vibe. Grill is more meat-centric/continental with an old-school Bev Hills/Wilshire Corridor industry vibe. The food is fine to good at both. Tasty, familiar, quality, if a bit boring.

                                    @Servorg: I like El Cholo, esp the one in Ktown. It's more about the history/ambiance, but certain dishes are surprisingly yummy/satisfying. The food is obviously generic LA Mexican food along the lines of Barragan's and El Arco Iris, not more authentic regional Mexican in LA, either in a taco (El Pelon, Hurache Azteca, Cactus) or restaurant (Monte Alban) milieu. I liken it to average to good red sauce Italian in Manhattan, which is something I do feel should be experienced as part of LA's food history/scene/culture. Put another way, the authenticity has more to do with LA specifically than Mexico.

                                    @Thor123: I actually prefer Cut out here and Luger's in NY, though whenever I drive past Billingsley's I find I want to go in there and check out the GILFs! (But I digress.) IMO, Pacific Dining Car has decent to pretty good food and as you put it is a "unique LA experience" (at least the downtown location), one which I personally find more interesting than The Ivy. Something that might be a happy medium is Lawry's (or on a far more casual level, Phillipe's.)

                                    (See also Musso & Frank's, Smoke House Burbank, Spago, Chasen's)

                                    1. re: vegetablelasagna

                                      re: El Cholo

                                      How much you enjoy El Cholo is directly related to how many margarita pitchers you consume

                                      1. re: ns1

                                        When I consume that many margaritas my food doesn't taste as good coming up as it did going down (even giving a thoughtful consideration to the taste of food at El Cholo)

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          Hopefully you will drink enough to forget about the food.

                                  3. I'm going to switch Nate 'n Als for Langers

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: lhenry

                                      Very good move. I think the only thing missing from your itinerary is a stop in thaitown, koreatown or san gabriel. I just think every visitor to LA needs to hit at least one of these ethnic enclaves, if not all of them.

                                    2. How about The Fountain Room or Frida Instead of Tacos Por Favor?

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: lhenry

                                        I like Frida. Much nicer that Tacos Por Favor.

                                        1. re: Thor123

                                          I look at Frida's Menus online and the prices aren't expensive, are the portions small?

                                          1. re: lhenry

                                            The portions are good size. The pork dishes are particularly good.

                                            1. re: Thor123

                                              okay thanks!

                                            2. re: lhenry

                                              I've never been to Frida's or the other place so I can't speak to the quality and allow that both could be awesome and exactly what you're looking for. That said, I do know that for Mexican food (a very broad term encompassing everything from family-owned old-school LA Mexican, hole in the wall taco trucks/stands, authentic regional cuisine restaurants, more "culturally accessible" casual places like Tacos Por Favor and Poquito Mas, and trendy Border/Loteria takes on various aspects of the cuisine) you're generally better off going somewhere East of Vine or West of the 405.

                                        2. Okay everyone, thanks for all of your suggestions. I think my itinerary is done for this trip. In about 2 1/2 months I'll be requesting your help again for Thanksgiving in Wailea, Maui!

                                          14 Replies
                                          1. re: lhenry

                                            Ok, the thing about eating in Maui is you'll definitely want to go to --

                                            I kid. Happy eating, don't forget the lipitor!

                                            1. re: vegetablelasagna

                                              Haha okay!

                                            2. re: lhenry

                                              Nope, you'll be posting your feedback here on this trip first, right? :)

                                              1. re: cjla

                                                Hopefully :) If I remember

                                                1. re: lhenry

                                                  Hope your trip is a good one.

                                                  The greatest decision you've made, IMHO, is the trip to Langer's for the pastrami and the best rye bread on the planet.
                                                  Good choice.

                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                    lhenry, the pastrami at Langer.'s should be most and juicy. If you order it lean, it will be dry. On a few occasions I have received a dry sandwich. If this happens to you, don't be afraid to send it back. But it's better to specify up front that the sandwich should not be dry. Pastrami on rye with Gulden's is the way to go, but you are from New York so you know that already :) the rye is prepared in a special way, which kicks it above the level of sandwich at Katz's, believe it or not.

                                                    If you order the "famous" #19 abomination, you will not notice any dryness because the cole slaw, Swiss cheese & Russian dressing will likely cover up any flaws in preparation of the pastrami

                                                    Mr Taster

                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                      But the #19 is ridiculously delicious.

                                                      i could eat it everyday until my stomach or wallet fails.

                                                      1. re: ns1

                                                        I would pass it up everyday for perfect, simple rye bread, pastrami and mustard. I'll take my slaw on the side and my Russian dressing you can blast onto space on a sputnik.

                                                        1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                          luckily you can get both at langers? lol

                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                            That is the beauty of life in LA, ns1....acceptance. There's plenty of room under the glaring sun for your #19 and my attempt to recreate the lower east side.

                                                        2. re: ns1

                                                          But if you're coming all the way from NY to LA to eat Jewish food that was perfected in NY, why hide the raison d'etre under a mound of treyf and mayo? :)

                                                          Mr Taster

                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                            because you can get the #19 in LA and you can get pastrami/mustard/rye in NY?

                                                            I wasn't impressed with Katz on rye and mustard, so the love for the minimalist pastrami presentation is lost on me.

                                                            1. re: ns1

                                                              Just do a Soloman and get one of each type and (well, the babies in this case are already cut for you) and divide and conquer (consume) one half of each... (good thing I was around to bring wise counsel to the Larry, Moe and Curly Joe of the CH LA board! ;-D>)

                                                            2. re: Mr Taster

                                                              The entire store full of pastrami is treyf so who cares what you put on it? :).

                                                              Pile it high with pastrami, cole slaw and russian dressing sans the cheese and I've got myself nirvana.

                                                2. lhenry has made at least one good decision here, and that is go to Langer's...but thanks for posting natenal!

                                                  11 Replies
                                                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                    Actually, I think he made several good decisions.

                                                    1. re: BSW6490

                                                      Such as?
                                                      That itinerary is, to my way of thinking, awfully "troubled" in the most fame-over-function and touristy way possible -- Bouchon, the Ivy, the Grill on the Alley, Matsuhisa - all quite expensive and average-to-bad. Pizza M - good choice. Tacos por favor - come on...it's OK if you are stuck in Santa Monica and won't go to Tacomiendo or Monte Alban. I do not know Malibu Seafood or Garden Terrace, but my guess is I don't want to.

                                                      1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                        It's clear the OP wanted Hollywood/Beverly Hills Los Angeles, and not East LA/South LA Los Angeles.

                                                        Bulletproof glass theory does not apply here. Scene > food

                                                        Not a slam at the OP, just different wants.

                                                        1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                          I dont agree with all of the choices, but Lunch at Pizzeria Mozzo is a good one.
                                                          Dinner at Dan Tana's is a very good one.
                                                          Lunch on the patio at The Ivy is a unique experience and I think the food and service are way underrated.
                                                          Dinner at Matsuhisa cant be criticized.

                                                          1. re: BSW6490

                                                            We agree about Mozza.

                                                            Tana's - love the Dabney Coleman NY steak, love the chicken Beckerman, love to take visitors there (but more for the scene and atmo than the food).

                                                            I think the Ivy and Matsuhisa can be criticized in many, many ways - some of which I previously mentioned.

                                                            Here's my beef -- if each of these places appeared on its own I would not have written anything. However, the constellation of so many places that are more about a kind of "non-chow" dining experience in one itinerary is what I find objectionable.

                                                            This is chowhound - not scenehound (Ivy), datedkitschound (Tana/Grill), FamousChefBucketlisthound (Matsuhisa, Bouchon).

                                                            1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                              You seem to fail to understand that when people come out to visit LA, it is usually for the scene, not the food. The rest of the country has a much different view of LA & Hollywood, that its allure consumes them rather than an exhaustive search for exceptional food. The fact that we get to live here and enjoy all the degustatory treasures that we can discover in this City is our distinct honor. Not all 'hounds from other cities are up for that challenge.

                                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                I appeciate that dirty - I grew up in NYC and spent 15 years visiting LA 1-2 times per year after my Dad moved here. Seeing the scene was way more imortant to me then, but good food was still a consideration. Going to the old Spago on Horn was a treat I always love that hit both spots. I think you can combine scene and food here today in many better ways than has been done in this thread - Mezze, giorgio baldi, animal, AOC, Comme Ca, son of a gun, fig-Olive, Mastro's, cut, ink pop into my mind.

                                                                1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                  Oh, I definitely agree w you & your list.

                                                          2. re: Ciao Bob

                                                            @ Ciao Bob If you would have read the earlier posts, I changed Tacos Por Favor.

                                                            1. re: lhenry

                                                              Pardon me...Frida's...I have not been in a while but enjoyed it when I went. Nothing revelatory, but solid.

                                                              1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                I agree. For the Beverly Hills area, probably the best Mexican. Higher end. They have a nice selection of ceviches, very good carnitas and a real good bar.

                                                      2. I will update you all on this trip when I get back on 8/21. I'm excited about my choices, and couldn't have reached this list without you guys!