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Good eats near the newly installed Space Shuttle Endeavour

On my way back to San Diego from a trip to the California Science Center, I took a small detour from the 110 South to visit a local institution, Ken's Ice Cream Parlor. It was a delight to meet the parlor’s proprietor, Wanda Johnson-Pope and even more fun to partake of her delicious ice cream. It got me wondering, what other not to be missed local establishments are there in and around Exposition Park?

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    1. Well, in the vein of Ken's, you might as well start the day off at Tommy's.

      1. It isn't walking distance, but rather a little over mile away. Whenever I'm in that neck I crave the cochinita pibil at Flor de Yucatan up on Hoover just north of the 10.

        1. Just 3.3 miles away from Langer's Deli. The best pastrami and rye you'll find anywhere. Open till 4pm and Closed Sundays.

          1. Even closer than Langer's (which I highly recommend) is Dino's, two blocks west of Vermont on Pico, N/W corner of Berendo. Burgers, pastrami, carne asada, etc. -- but almost everyone will be ordering the chicken combo -- a red-tinged half-chicken, flame-grilled, with a fantastic marinade that is vinegary and garlicky and wonderful -- I order extra -- served over a mountain of fries with cole slaw and tortillas for all of $5.50.

            If you go to Langer's note there is a validated parking lot a block to the east and the other -- north -- side of 7th. Langer's will also deliver out to your car if you call them, but I recommend eating in -- a pastrami sandwich, split an order of crinkle-cut fries done well, and if really hungry a cup of matzo-ball soup.

            3 Replies
              1. re: Burger Boy

                Yes. You can access the California Science Center from just east going north (Figueroa) or from just west (Vermont). From the western border of the USC campus Dino's is much closer (Pico) than Langer's (7th, north of Olympic, and Alvarado).

                1. re: nosh

                  Most these places are under 5 miles from the Shuttle (in other words you won't need a Space Shuttle hitting 19,000 mph to arrive at your dining destination in a timely fashion) ;-D>

            1. Try La Taquiza on Figueroa and 34th, I think.

              1. More importantly, I have no clue why I have never heard of Ken's Ice Cream Parlor before.

                1 Reply
                1. Going to say this every time the space shuttle comes up:

                  Taste of the Islands: house made beef patties for < $2, and a very decent jerk chicken, finish off with a house baked cinnamon roll. It's one of the unspoken gems of LA in '12.

                  It used to be a Dulan's, but thankfully no more.


                  9 Replies
                  1. re: TonyC

                    Cinnamon rolls. I'm so there for that alone.

                    1. re: TonyC

                      Their jerk chicken is too dry, and the portions a bit on the small side.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Small portions vs. what exactly? Osaka seafood buffet? Or Picca's yellowtail causa?

                        Their jerk chicken is far better than their closest competitor, Kabooms, which replaced the fantastic Princess Kitchen (RIP).

                        1. re: TonyC

                          I guess we're really not setting the bar very high.

                          I still get night sweats over the jerk chicken at Negril. Now that's jerk done right.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            It's the same as not comparing ROC's xiao long bao to Taipei.

                            I prefer jerk pork (say, at Lilliput Jerk Centre), but if even The Pork Pit can eff up the hog, then there's no hope for this in LA.

                            Still, Taste of the Islands represents a fantastic cuisine that's difficult to find outside of Crenshaw, and beats eating another damned taco before visiting the Shuttle.

                            1. re: TonyC

                              As another 'Hound recently reminded me, food is either good or it's not.

                              Settling for mediocrity for the sake of variety is probably one of the least Choundhound-ish thing one can do.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                "...food is either good or it's not."

                                I often find food on my plate that is good in one sector and not so good in another. So I would politely disagree with that assertion. Also what I order can scratch a varying percentage of my taste itch on any given night.

                                Does that mean the meal was bad? Not in my opinion. Even my own biorhythms can affect my perception of what I am eating. Salt sensitivity seems to go up and down, depending on the day.

                                So "settling for mediocrity" isn't the deal. It's "taking the good with the bad" and moving on...

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  I often find food on my plate that is good in one sector and not so good in another. So I would politely disagree with that assertion. Also what I order can scratch a varying percentage of my taste itch on any given night.


                                  It's subjective. I may like (no, love) the Filet-O-Fish and another person find it as appetizing as rotten maggots on a bun, but for *me* the Filet-O-Fish is "good" even though for the other person it is not.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    Going to ToTI isn't settling for mediocrity. It's good. The beef patties are good; cinnamon rolls, good; curry goat, good, if a bit bony. Sometimes the jerk chix is better than others.

                                    Ichi can be considered mediocre versus Urasawa/Mori, etc., and lord knows Luscious Dumplings is highly mediocre. but "hounds" eat there. Objectively, saying ToTI isn't Chowish is almost ludicrous. The alternative is not having those great patties at all.

                    2. Harold & Belles on Jefferson and Chichen Itza at Mercado La Paloma.

                      1 Reply
                      1. After my trip to see the shuttle we stopped at Mateo's Ice Cream and Fruit bars at 1250 S. Vermont. It was a real treat to try some flavors I haven't seen before, like burnt milk. It appears that there are several of them around town.


                        1. Going with my kids to see Endeavor tomorrow... and going to Langer's first.