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Jan 18, 2013 02:36 AM

Four days in Los Angeles


I asked this question on the forum dedicated to San Francisco and I had
many answers.

I hope you will also contribute to the same question that I put on the website of LA.
Thank you in advance! ..

We are French and we will stay a few days in Los Angeles in May 2013.

We will stay at near 800 South Curson Avenue, Los Angeles

Do you know any restaurants located near the periphery of this location? ..

We can use our rental car, but we do not want to make many kilometers.

Of course, we want to avoid upscale restaurants and favor those who could help us discover the different flavors of the city: American (Burger),Mexican, Italian, Chinese ... (French, we know! ......


Thank you in advance.

Excuse our bad English ...

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  1. You will be close to Little Ethiopia so places like Rahel, Meals by Genet and Nyala would be very much worth checking out.

    1. Within a "short" walk of that area is Animal, Angelini Osteria, Mendocino Farms, AOC and a personal favorite of mine, Yuko.

      Further east is Koreatown, which probably deserves a whole thread of its own.

      If you want Chinese you will *need* to drive to San Gabriel Valley. Search these boards for "SGV" and "Chinese"

      32 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        @servorg, ipsedixit,
        Thank you

        When you mention "YUKO" Is this restaurant ?...

        I look toward the San Gabriel Valley! ....

        In the event that I would need more information I will certainly contact you again.

        1. re: topfrance

          Yes, that's the Yuko restaurant I am talking about.

          It's not a "destination" place, but just a place I like to go when I am in the area.

          Enjoy your visit, and definitely let us know if you want/need info on SGV.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I thought that SGV was a restaurant ! .. But no, after thinking it is an abbreviation of San Gabriel Valley ... Now I understand! ..

            San Gabriel Valley is in the north of Los Angeles? ..

            Is the circulation fluid to get there! ...

            Finally, iis it in this area that we can find good Chinese restaurants! ..

            I ask again the question because I want to be sure of my translation.

            Thank you

            1. re: topfrance

              Very little in way of circulation (traffic) is fluid in Los Angeles, but you just set your mind on some other task and proceed to your destination.

              1. re: topfrance

                The SGV is located about 15-20 kilometers east of where you will be staying. It is a large valley that is home to over a milliion people.

                I recommend going to the western part of the SGV. There are literally hundreds of Chinese restaurants in that area. You can drive on the 10 freeway to get there. It is NOT easy to get there with a bus or train.

                There are many types of Chinese restaurants with food from different parts of China. If you want something, let us know, and we can help you with finding a good restaurant. This is the best area in the entire US to eat Chinese food.

                For example, do you want noodles, rice, roast duck, dim sum, vegetarian, spicy foods, etc.?

                If you don't understand these terms, don't be afraid to ask. There are many people who would be happy to help you with your questions.

                1. re: raytamsgv

                  I would therefore ask you! ..

                  Indeed, as I mentioned in a post above, we would like to try the Dim Sum we do not know in France (perhaps in Paris! ...)

                  With regard to other Chinese restaurants, we do not like those who have too gelatinous dishes, but those cooked in spicy sauce (reasonably ..) ... or skewers (chicken, beef, etc ...) .

                  I asked the same question on the forum in San Francisco, but it is possible to consider the little time we provided we will not try to SF! .. So we will try to LA!

                  I write with my dictionary with me but the translation is not easy! .. Time school is long gone! ..

                  I have another question! .. We are 65 years old and friends who traveled to the United States told us that people our age could benefit off! ... Is this true?

                  Thank you in advance.

                  1. re: topfrance

                    Seeing as how you mentioned "skewers" in this reply then you definitely should try Feng Mao for their mutton kabob skewers. See this post for two links to earlier reports about Feng Mao here on Chowhound:

                    1. re: topfrance

                      If you decide to visit the San Gabriel Valley, Sweethome Grill on Valley Blvd in the city of San Gabriel offers various skewers. Lamb, lamb heart/kidney, chicken wing, squid, mushroom and garlic are our usual orders. The prominent spice notes are cumin, chile and salt - you have to like cumin or this place and style of skewer is not for you. Their noodle dishes are great as well. The noodles are hand-pulled to order - very toothsome, substantial and satisfying. The "Big Plate Chicken" is also quite good, but as this dish is described, it is quite large. The sauce is complex, the dish is very rustic, and bring disposable wipes or large napkins!

                      I frequent the San Gabriel Valley (SGV) somewhat regularly, and if I may offer some observations:

                      The SGV is a large area that is home to primarily Chinese, Vietnamese and other Asian Communities. Many areas are very dense with their respective cultures, primarily food. And the Chinese communities can be subdivided into many groups, depended on their roots' geography, cultural, language, political or religious background. Driving down the busier streets in SGV, like Valley, Garvey, Las Tunas, Main, and Garfield, one will observe many businesses with signage in Chinese characters or Vietnamese in romanized characters. This is very telling of the breadth and density of the cultures here. This is also telling of the language barrier one might experience.

                      Although English is understood, it is at varying levels and can be quite random. Knowing certain phrases in Mandarin, Cantonese or Vietnamese is helpful but not necessary. Smart phones have incredibly good translator applications - use them if you have one. When it comes to conversing in English, I've found that the larger the place, the more likely one will be able to use English more effectively. Also, many of the immigrants who own businesses have their American-born children working there as well, and their English skills are obviously excellent.

                      Getting to the SGV is quite easy - use the 10 freeway to get there. Navigating the the general area can be quite confusing. The SGV consists of many small cities. The block numbers along the main streets can change seemingly quite randomly as new visitors unknowingly pass from one small city to the next. If your phone or car has GPS capabilities, this will be invaluable to navigating not only the SGV, but California as a whole.

                      Dim sum is the most common Chinese food experience for non-Chinese. Because of this (and because dim sum houses tend to be the physically largest places for served food), basic English for the most part is widely understood by the managers, hosts/hostesses and many of the staff who you will come in contact with.

                      Dim sum is served in one of two methods. Food carts that offer each table various dishes, or ordering off of a menu that lists the various items - most of which have accompanying photographs. Because English is not your preferred language, as is the case for many of those that you encounter in the SGV, and because you can use your eyes and nose to inspect and order dim sum from the cart, this may be a good choice for you. These cart-driven dim sum houses tend to be very large, the prices can be very attractive, and are more lively and loud. It is quite an experience for the first time visitor. I would choose 888 Seafood Restaurant on Valley Blvd in Rosemead for this experience.

                      Places where ordering off a menu offer more choices of dim sum dishes, the level of cuisine tends to be better and fresher, and the atmosphere is usually more calm. Others have already mentioned Sea Harbour on Rosemead Blvd in Rosemead (also my favorite), but Elite on Atlantic Blvd in Monterey Park is equally as good in different ways, and King Hua on New Ave in San Gabriel has been quite easy to visit on weekends and is very good as well.

                      Dim sum is usually served from about 9AM - 2PM - daily at many places, but most frequented on the weekends. The busiest period is from 11AM -1:30PM on the weekend. I tend to eat dim sum early, particularly on weekends. The traffic is light, being part of the early crowd makes for easy parking, seating and lower noise levels. The one disadvantage I can think of is if you go to a cart-driven dim sum house, the number of choices tends to be less during the first hour or so of business.

                      I may be banished for this next suggestion, but using the website, Yelp, is quite handy for visitors. Unlike Chowhound, referencing general information on restaurants is very easy. One has to be suspect of the user ratings scales - places like McDonald's can rate very high, while Chowhound-approved places can rate average - but the accessibility of information is unsurpassed.

                      The LA board has some true experts in Chinese cuisines. In my humble opinion, you should take full advantage of their knowledge and advice. Unless you plan on visiting Chinese East Asia (or parts of Canada) any time soon, taking in the SGV will be a quick and easy way to immerse yourself in a totally different culture.

                      1. re: topfrance

                        >>I have another question! .. We are 65 years old and friends who traveled to the United States told us that people our age could benefit off! ... Is this true?<<

                        I'm not positive, but are you inquiring about what is referred to here as, "senior citizen discounts"? I have very little knowledge of this other than certain businesses - primarily restaurant chains - offer discounts to senior citizens, particularly when dining at certain business hours.

                        1. re: topfrance

                          Unfortunately most restaurants in the LA area do not offer senior discounts, but it can never hurt to ask. Also remember tips and gratuity are usually not included on your bill.
                          Museums and other attractions often do offer special senior prices.

                          1. re: topfrance

                            I suggest you do Koi Palace in SF (by the airport) and down here you try a different region of Chinese food. Maybe Duck House for Peking duck 2 ways and the many other dishes they well. For Shanghainese food try Shanghai Seafood #1 Village or J&J right across the street.

                            Other excellent LA restaurants worth a little drive include Red Medicine and Gjelina. For excellent pasta and pizza try Sotto. I consider it one of LA's best right now. It would be nice to try some Japanese cuisine. If you are comfortable making the drive to SGV using GPS then you might consider making the drive to Torrance for Torihei. Check yelp for photos. They have excellent grilled chicken dishes and Japanese "tapas". If the drive is too far, you can always try Musha in Santa Monica.

                            For burgers and other little plates with lots of beer, try Father's Office in Culver City.

                            1. re: Porthos

                              I saw on the forum dedicated to the San Francisco Koi Palace was a renowned restaurant! ..

                              However, our hotel is located 13 miles from this restaurant.

                              I'll find out if the road is easy and fast! ..

                              1. re: topfrance

                                Are you driving from SF to LA or flying? Either way, you will be passing by Koi Palace. Allow 1.5-2 hours wait. It's well worth it. Get the whole crab soup dumplings aka xiao long bao. If you do dim sum at Koi Palace there is no need to do dim sum in LA. I'll be back there myself in 2 weeks.

                                1. re: Porthos

                                  We will begin our tour of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and finally San Diego! ... Extensive program! ..

                                  When we will leave San Francisco, this will be the morning to go to Monterey, our second step. So we leave SF in the morning, we cross Daly City at about 9 or 10 o'clock.

                                  Therefore, you agree that it is unfortunately a little early for lunch !...

                                  The only solution is to book a dinner on one of the 4 days we will stay in SF.

                                  1. re: topfrance

                                    Actually, 9-10am is perfect since your wait will be much less and dim sum is eaten anytime between 10-3am. note that restaurant hours for dim sum vary depending on day of the week. Saturday and Sunday are busiest but also with the largest selection. Dinner is an entirely different menu. More live seafood cooked simply and deliciously. The same is true of the Cantonese restaurants down here which serve dim sum for brunch/lunch Saturday and Sunday and seafood dinners at night. Dinners at these places can be very expensive. You said you wanted to avoid fine dining. For dinner these restaurants can be as expensive as any fine dining restaurant.

                            2. re: topfrance

                              for skewered meat you might consider Middle Eastern (Persian) food which would involve far less driving.

                              My favorite place for skewered meat is Shamshiri Grill which is located on westwood blvd.

                              Other types of Persian food ( including excellent soup) can be found at Attari sandwich shop. although the address for Attari is shown as being on westwood blvd, the true, physical entrance is around the corner on Wilkins.

                              1. re: westsidegal

                                Love Shamshiri Grill and love me some Persian food. But there is a lot of great middle eastern food in Paris.

                                1. re: Porthos

                                  When we go to Paris, it is true that we eat well! ...

                                  However, I live in Calais in northern France. This is the city that hosts the Channel Tunnel to get to Britain. The food is not as noted as we know in Paris! ..

                                  1. re: topfrance

                                    In that case I also recommend Shamshiri grill. My favorites include the lamb koobideh and lamb shank or lamb neck gormeh sabzi (stew).

                                  2. re: Porthos

                                    I guess it might help topfrance if we elaborate on the skewers. The two styles mentioned so far are vastly different. The lamb skewers that are popular as street food throughout China are called Yang Rou Chuan. Here's a wikipedia entry:


                                    The Persian skewer dish that is served at Persian restaurants like Shamshiri is Chelow kabab. It is far more formal, usually served on a bed of rice and vastly different in size and seasoning:


                                    While I truly enjoy both, I think for topfrance's purposes relative to time, location, convenience and comfort, I agree that Shamshiri would probably be more suitable for this specific request. The meals at Shamshiri are a great value as well when considering its location, setting and service.

                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                      Here in France, the Chinese restaurant also serves chicken skewers cooked with spices called "five flavors"
                                      This dish is often accompanied with rice.
                                      Another spicy sauce (strong enough) is served on the side.

                                      1. re: topfrance

                                        If this dish is based on the Chinese concept of, "Five Flavors," the seasoning most likely used is commonly referred to as, "Chinese Five Spice." This is very different from the seasoning used in the skewers that are currently popular in China. This street food originated from areas that are primarily Muslim. Cumin, chile, garlic and salt are the major seasonings.

                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                          I see that you are truly an expert in gastronomy .

                                          Be assured that I will use all your advice disseminating at my circle of acquaintances.

                                          We look forward to "taste" the sun also of your country.

                                          Here in France, we have now a big snow storm.

                                          1. re: topfrance

                                            Expert? No. I have learned a lot from those who know and have experienced far more than me. I just tend to be long-winded! The advice and recommendations given by others are just as valid if not more so than mine.

                                            Many living in Los Angeles (the area) probably miss snow storms, depending on where they grew up. We had a bit of a "cold snap" here last week - my neighborhood hit a low of about 3 degrees celsius (37 degrees fahrenheit). This is nice Spring weather for those from our country's Midwest, but for this native Angeleno, it was teeth-chattering. The remedy? Asturian bean stew!

                                            1. re: topfrance

                                              I wanted to say that I love your English! You write it very well.

                                              1. re: Violatp

                                                Thank you very much ! ...

                                                You encourage me! ... In fact, I assure you that it is difficult for me to "dive" back into the practice of the English language.

                                                Fear during different exchange is inadvertently use of words or phrases "double meaning"

                                  3. re: topfrance

                                    I think others have given some good advice about restaurants to go to. Your English is fine. Many of the larger Chinese restaurants will have pictures and someone who speaks English.

                                    In these restaurants, there may be a few non-Chinese customers, but most of them will be Chinese.

                                    Customer service is very different in many of the Chinese restaurants. You won't have someone coming to your table to check on you to see if you need anything. If you need something, such as water, forks, or the check, try to make eye contact with one of the waiters and raise your hand.

                                    This is normal. In Chinese custom, waiters try not to bother you when you are eating.

                                    Chinese restaurants can also be very loud, because many Chinese people talk loudly. They are not arguing.

                                    Some of the bigger Chinese restaurants may have a small wine list, but many won't.

                                    If you see an interesting dish on someone else's table, ask about it. It's okay to point to it.

                                    Most restaurants will take credit cards, but some of the smaller ones will take only cash. Bring along some cash just in case.

                                    In some of the seafood restaurants, you will see live fish, crabs, shrimp, and lobster. Unless it's next to the front door, they are NOT for decoration. If you order one, they will take it out of the tank and cook it. If you order a fish, they might actually take it to your table for your approval before killing and cooking it (in the kitchen, not at your table).

                                    Best of luck, and welcome to Southern California!

                                    1. re: raytamsgv

                                      thank you raytamsgv,

                                      I would never have believed attract as many people on this topic.

                                      It is very surprising and amazing ! ..

                                      The hardest part now is to synthesize and also and above all to make the best choices.

                                      1. re: topfrance

                                        Make up a list of the places you are planning on and post it here for those who are interested in commenting on it. That way you can refine it and perhaps avoid some mistakes that wouldn't be apparent to you.

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          I'll follow your advice.
                                          However, it will wait several days before I post my program.

                                          1. re: topfrance

                                            One thing topfrance, that no one has mentioned. Portion size in the U.S. is generally larger than that in Europe, and can be much larger. We are about your age, and although we often enjoyed both lunch and dinner when we were younger, it's generally too much for us now. It's not that our appetites are especially small, it's that portion size is often very large.

                                            Unless you are big eaters, I would urge you to try to eat a very light lunch (if any at all) on days when you are going somewhere really special for dinner.

                                            1. re: josephnl

                                              Thank you.

                                              This is what I saw actually consulting the various websites available on this topic.

                                              We are not big eaters ! ...

                                              What I am proposing is to establish a schedule of visits that we made ​​during our stay in Los Angeles.

                                              We opted to eat lunch quickly and enjoy the evening at dinner. I mention places respectively to visit the restaurant that we seem closer and more acceptable.

                                              I think this table set in the coming days. You give me, as usual, your opinion insightful that I propose.

                                              I think this is the correct approach .. I do not want to "get lost in the labyrinth" of the huge amount of proposals received.

                        2. You are very close to The Original Farmers Market on 3rd and Fairfax. Open every day with food stalls of all kinds from Tacos to Hot Dogs to pizza to Brazilian BBQ and much more for a taste of LA.

                          Across the Street is Mendocino Farms for wonderful sandwiches.

                          One of the best burgers in town is at Golden State on Fairfax north of Beverly Blvd.

                          You can catch a quick bite for lunch or to go at Joan's on 3rd.

                          Canter's Deli is open 24/7 and is also on Fairfax Blvd as is Du-par's for breakfast all day and night.

                          For a little fancier is Ray and Stark's Bar at LACMA with a great outdoor patio in the center courtyard of the museum. They are also part of DineLA with discounted meals January 21st-Feb 1st. 2013

                          Welcome to LA!

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: wienermobile

                            Thank you very much !..

                            And for a burrito ?...

                            We also love Chinese restaurants! ...

                            I saw that in your Internet browsing California cities, there were any typical restaurants are called "Dim Sum"! .. We do not have this type of restaurant in France ..

                            I see the side of San Gabriel Valley as recommended ipsedixit @! .. Unless you have an information about it! ..

                            I also enjoy my consultation to identify Chinese restaurants.

                            This site Chowhound, is so great that I get lost ...

                            Excuse my very bad english! ..

                            1. re: topfrance

                              Not far from you is Bao Dim Sum House.
                              8256 Beverly Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA

                              But the best dim sum can be found in the San Gabriel Valley, My favorite is Sea Harbour in Rosemead off the 10 freeway at Rosemead Blvd (about 30-45 minute drive depending on traffic).

                              1. re: topfrance

                                For dim sum go to San Gabriel Valley and try either Sea Harbour, Elite or Lunasia.

                                Best to go on the weekends and b/c it is generally considered a brunch item, need to be there between 9 am to 2 pm.

                                Below is a very quick, rough search of dim sum in SGV on Chowhound.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  I think if you go before 11 you can make a reservation at Lunasia.

                                2. re: topfrance

                                  Your are not far from El Coyote Cafe for inexpensive mexican food. There are much better places farther away but this might do the trick for your burrito search.

                                  You could also check out Tinga on La Brea Blvd.

                                  1. re: wienermobile

                                    you also might like Ricky's Fish Tacos, just a stand in East Hollywood only open for lunch Thursday-Sundays. Authentic Ensenada Style Fish & Shrimp Tacos...but so good and cheap.
                                    1400 N. Virgil, Los Angeles

                                  2. re: topfrance

                                    For a burrito nearby I'd try Loteria in te Farmers Market.

                                    1. re: Savour

                                      Thank you !..

                                      Small question! .. What is the difference between Taco and Burrito? ..

                                      1. re: topfrance

                                        The closest thing I can think of that you are familiar with are crepes. Think of both a burrito and a taco starting with a small to large crepe-like round called a tortilla (tor-tee-uh). The burrito utilizes a large tortilla (usually wheat flour-based). It is laid flat, where various ingredients are laid upon it, then the tortilla is folded and rolled. The primary ingredient is usually a protein, but can also be cheese or chile. And being that this is California, one can see other iterations as well. It is very transportable, making it a very common lunch item. You can wiki or google "burrito" for images and description as well.

                                        A taco utilizes a small to medium tortilla (usually corn flour-based - the corn flour mixture is called, masa). Like the burrito, the tortilla is laid flat. A few ingredients are laid into the center of the tortilla, where it is then folded in half or slightly rolled. The main ingredient is usually protein-based, but can also be cheese or potato or... The amount of ingredients and the size of the taco is normally where one can finish it in a few bites, making it ideal street food. Again, utilize wikipedia or google for more info...

                                  3. re: wienermobile

                                    Wiener, they are here in May. Don't confuse them by flinging out terms like DineLA!

                                      1. re: wienermobile

                                        Wiener, Do not apologize! ... Already, your participation deserves praise I send you! ..

                                  4. Thank you all for your valuable and different contributions ! ....

                                    1. The original comment has been removed