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Visiting LA for a week, staying in Silverlake, totally clueless about the city

We are visiting for a week, haven't been to LA in ten years, and can barely remember what neighborhoods are near what so don't even know how to ask for nearby areas. We love good food and strange and wonderful experiences- no need for fancy white tablecloths or wine lists. Chinese/Dim Sum or a great brunch for Christmas Day would be especially appreciated, as would a sprinkling of breakfast coffee places to go in the mornings (we're renting an apartment).

Thank you!

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  1. Oh and is there anywhere decent to eat on I5 on the drive from SF?

    1 Reply
    1. re: miabruch

      IMO, I much prefer the 101 over the 5. The added time isn't much but the restaurant offerings on the 101 are far better and the drive itself is far better. On the 5 you are pretty much limited to long flat streches of farmland with nothing but fast food options. The 101 is on or close to the coast with much better food options -- e.g. Santa Barbara for lunch/dinner anyone?

    2. I don't know LA well enough (despite living there for two years - but that was ten years ago) to give recommendations, BUT, I can say to stay the hell away from the Casbah Cafe. It looks like a cool, independent coffee house (right there at the Junction), but is dreadfully overpriced, serves stale food, and has rude staff to boot.

      Never again! I'd rather get my caffeine from a 7-11.

      1. Hi, I lived in Silverlake for over 2 decades. I'm glad you are renting an apartment as there are no worthy hotels in the area. It is an area than has long looked for a resurgence. This one, I think, will prevail in the coming years.

        I moved 2 1/2 miles away over a year ago ... to Atwater Village.

        In Silverlake, hands down the best coffee is at Intelligentsia. I have not found better city wide. Secondly, I would recommend LA Mill coffee on Silver Lake Blvd. Coffee, and to lesser degree, food.

        Personally, my favorite Silverlake food is at Cafe Stella right next to Intelligentsia ... I favor brunch but any meal there is fine.

        I am not as enamored of Silverlake as many. And it has few stellar dining establishments.

        Hope you enjoy your time here.

        1. For dim sum, go to Sea Harbour.

          In/around Silverlake, I would suggest Berlin Currywurts and Park's for Korean BBQ (which is in nearby adjacent Koreatown).

          Intelligentsia has already been mentioned, but for another coffee choice check out DRIP, which again is in nearby Koreatown.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Sea Harbour is wonderful. Go early.

            3939 Rosemead Boulevard Rosemead, CA 91770

          2. Bar brix is a great place to visit. Menu is tapas style, so you can order a little or alot. Order the donuts for dessert, you will not be disappointed.