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Relocated from Venice to Whittier

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Karchip Mar 3, 2013 10:22 AM

Hi all you greater LA foodies! I recently relocated from Venice Beach to Whittier. I am stressing about food related options over here after doing extensive searches and not finding places to eat and shop. I have been living on healthy, mostly local, sustainable farming produce, etc.. This is generally also embraced by restaurant in the west side and other LA neighborhoods (that I am spoiled by). Now that I'm about an hour away from all that, I am wondering if there are any suggestion as to how I can find the few gems that I'm sure exist in Whittier and surrounding areas. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

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    bulavinaka RE: Karchip Mar 3, 2013 10:50 AM

    Let me preface this rec by stating that I've never eaten in Whittier, but have put this place on my "To Try" list if I am around the area. Whittier doesn't appear on this board much, but I remember Bizzara Capital getting a fair amount of play on this board and elsewhere when they first opened, but haven't seen much lately. Here's a couple of paragraphs from J. Gold's write up in June of last year:

    "Bizarra Capital is a Mexican-flavored gastropub, the newest project of Ricardo Diaz, who is also behind the sandwich place Cooks Tortas in Monterey Park, the spectacular taqueria Guisados in Boyle Heights and the cevicheria Dorados in Monterey Park, all key restaurants in the evolution of Eastside Mexican cooking. Diaz's family owns a chain of Mexican seafood houses, and Bizarra Capital, named for an allegorical poem by the symbolist poet Ramon Lopez Velarde, is barely disguised from its origins as an El Siete Mares, which is to say, a faintly nauticalized coffee shop.

    The restaurant has the names of its specialties painted on its windows — "Mole, Capirotada, Guacamole," rendered in the elegant, blocky letters a Parisian brasserie might use to advertise its oysters — and a bar stocked with top-shelf tequilas and mezcals that go for about half the price you'd pay on the Westside. There are about a dozen beers on tap, including craft ales from the likes of Cismontane and Allagash as well as the Mexican brews you'd expect."

    I hope it might be a good start. Talking with others there might open up other recs as well...

    Edit: Here's the link to the full article if you're interested:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/...

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      BrewNChow RE: Karchip Mar 3, 2013 11:27 AM

      My favorite place out there is golden triangle - a Burmese restaurant. You're lucky to have a legit Burmese place nearby, I live in irvine and gt is the closest one to me. Good Burmese is a rare find.

      1 Reply
      1. re: BrewNChow
        Dornfelder RE: BrewNChow Mar 3, 2013 02:37 PM

        +1 re. Golden Triangle. I lived in Whittier during my first 34 years and spent my first seven married years there; once we discovered the Triangle a bit more than two decades ago, we knew we had a keeper.

        I know I'm going to be sliced, diced and pureed for this next rec, but my husband and I love Jack's as a solid option for super-traditional comfort fare. Sure, its menu offerings won't push the envelope for culinary creativity nor finesse: a half roasted chicken and mashed potatoes topped with hearty chicken gravy, as well as fried chicken and pork roast entrees. It's not a bit fancy, and I doubt if anyone but yours truly will give it a happy thumbs-up, but there are times that nothing but old-time dinners will do -- and Jack's more than fills the bill for accomplishing that task. :)

        Neighbor city La Habra includes The Cat and the Custard Cup; it's a sold and dependable option for your nicer dinners. LH also has CH favorite El Taco Nazo (haven't been there yet but plan to do so soon), as well as a long-established Claro's Italian Market; I'm an unabashed fan of the handmade three-salami sub available as a custom deli item. Finally, across the street from Taco Nazo is a Costco with an open-air food court; go there whenever your next craving for a Polish dog hits.

        BTW, you'll find Dal Rae in Pico Rivera, a burg that neighbors Whittier.

        Golden Triangle
        7011 Greenleaf Ave
        Whittier, CA 90602
        (562) 945-6778

        Jack's Whittier Restaurant
        13221 Whittier Blvd
        Whittier, CA 90602
        (562) 693-8713

        The Cat & Custard Cup
        800 E Whittier Blvd
        La Habra, CA 90631
        (562) 694-3812
        http://www.catandcustardcup.com

        El Taco Nazo
        121 S Beach Blvd
        La Habra, CA 90631
        (562) 690-8078

        Claro's Italian Market
        101 W Whittier Blvd
        La Habra, CA 90631
        (562) 690-2844

        Costco/La Habra
        103 N Beach Blvd
        La Habra, CA 90631

        Dal Rae
        9023 Washington Blvd
        Pico Rivera, CA 90660
        (562) 949-2444
        http://www.dalrae.com

        Cheers!

      2. ipsedixit RE: Karchip Mar 3, 2013 11:35 AM

        Well, that's sort of a culture shock.

        That's like going from driving a Prius all your life to a '69 Mustang.

        You might give this place a try.
        http://www.orchardsfresh.com/

        1. Servorg RE: Karchip Mar 3, 2013 11:52 AM

          While it won't change your life I would be remiss in not pointing out that you have moved to the land of the "Puffy Taco" and should take advantage of that fact...

          http://www.laweekly.com/2008-07-24/ea...

          You are also close to one of my all time favorite "old school" restaurants, the Dal Rae: http://www.dalrae.com/

          If you like fish tacos not too far to sample the ones at Baja Ensenada: http://www.lataco.com/taco/tacos-baja...

          2 Replies
          1. re: Servorg
            k
            kevin RE: Servorg Mar 5, 2013 01:13 PM

            I love those puffy tacos with the smooth piccadillo (sp?). Great stuff, Tex-Mex at it's finest hour.

            1. re: kevin
              k
              kevin RE: kevin Sep 24, 2013 04:06 PM

              Thanks man.

              Wow, my report is only from months ago, yet I hadn't been in years.

          2. s
            schrutefarms RE: Karchip Mar 3, 2013 01:21 PM

            I think you're pretty close to Portillos, yum! And you are also close to...Pollys Pies! I know, but before you roll your eyes, they have this Backburner soup that is my absolute favorite soup in the world, its a thick beef-based broth with pasta shells and kidney beans...but you MUST eat it by dipping your buttered dinner roll in it! I still get sad when I drive by the old Santa Monica location (now a Panera).

            1. s
              schrutefarms RE: Karchip Mar 3, 2013 01:22 PM

              Sorry, I guess I missed the whole "healthy, local, sustainable farming produce" description of what you're looking for...so don't even bother reading my first reply!! :)

              1. k
                Karchip RE: Karchip Mar 3, 2013 04:25 PM

                Thanks for all the recs! Much appreciated. Definitely want to try some of these places. One of the things I was also wondering if there are any good Lunch alternatives around here, again on the lighter side of things. We are of course open to good gastronomical experiences also, just can't do heavy/carbo rich things too often. :)

                1. TonyC RE: Karchip Mar 3, 2013 05:48 PM

                  We're sorry.

                  ... as the Burmese restaurant everyone's suggestion is ho-hum at best, you're NOWHERE near Portillo's (a chain), and Taco Nazo is also a rather sad chain.

                  Go drink yourself silly, full of craft beer, at Uncle Henry's Deli (Whittier), stat. Say hello to George, the III and forget all about Venice. There's not a single good farmer's market close to you, and you can forget about Whole Foods, or Trader Joe's. Better start growing your own spinach and cochin hens.

                  Again, our condolenses. They don't call it the culinary "Bermuda Triangle" for nothing. OTOH, you are sort of close to Downey, and Downey is the next Silver Lake, so hit up R&J, Tropicana Bakery, etc., just don't expect any Venetian hipsters drinking $5 single origin lattes.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: TonyC
                    k
                    Karchip RE: TonyC Mar 3, 2013 06:52 PM

                    Tony, despite you sad message you gave me a good chuckle -- on the bright side, I didn't move to Little Pine and hitting Long Beach or Downtown LA is not so impossible, however, I did hope that I could find some places during the week I can run out to when I don't have time to prep my own lunch. Re the $5 latte you prob referring to Inteligencia - I couldn't stand that place, I'm certainly not missing that one, but Groundworks yes, best coffee in town (for me).

                    1. re: Karchip
                      TonyC RE: Karchip Mar 5, 2013 10:20 AM

                      If you do enjoy a local "artisanal" coffee shop, hop across the 605 and try Tierra Mia in Pico Rivera. They used to Intelligentsia beans for espresso, but they're roasting their own these days. On a lucky day, when you get a barista (mostly college kids?) who cares, you'll get a decent latte.

                      In Downey, you'll find half a dozen Peruvian restaurants (most Peruvian restaurant per capita in LA County?) and a trio of interesting Cuban restaurants. In Bellflower, you'll find 2 well regarded Thai joints (Cancoon remains one of the most enviable Issan options in all of LA), 1 good low-n-slow bbq (Hambone's), and 1 champion BBQ knock-off (Willingham's). G'luck.

                      1. re: TonyC
                        k
                        Karchip RE: TonyC Mar 5, 2013 10:26 AM

                        thnx for the heads up! Def will try the coffee shop. Just looked it up and they have one in Santa Fe Springs - a bit closer then Pico Rivera.

                        1. re: Karchip
                          Servorg RE: Karchip Mar 5, 2013 10:35 AM

                          One other place not to miss, Cilantros Tacos. Try their "cucumber lemonade" too...great refreshing Summer drink.

                          Cilantros Tacos
                          16533 Whittier Blvd
                          Whittier, CA 90603
                          (562) 943-8160

                          1. re: Karchip
                            TonyC RE: Karchip Mar 5, 2013 11:27 AM

                            May want to skip the SFS branch of Tierra Mia. It's a cubicle inside the front lobby of a library, and espressos are absurdly inconsistent thanks to variable staff.

                            At Tropicana Cafe, you will find a very muddy café Cubano, and cortadito (!!) It ain't Groundworks, but I've been told it's super authentic. It's also very affordable. There's also always Porto's pastry/coffee service.

                            1. re: Karchip
                              k
                              kevin RE: Karchip Mar 5, 2013 01:15 PM

                              While you are in Downey, hit up the much heralded Pastrami Pizza.

                        2. re: TonyC
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                          latindancer RE: TonyC Mar 3, 2013 07:39 PM

                          <just don't expect any Venetian hipsters drinking $5 single origin lattes.>

                          You're saying this is a good thing?

                          1. re: latindancer
                            k
                            Karchip RE: latindancer Mar 3, 2013 07:46 PM

                            I think he was being facetious about the $5 Latte - there are places like that in hipster areas in LA, clearly ridiculous...

                            1. re: Karchip
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                              latindancer RE: Karchip Mar 3, 2013 07:54 PM

                              Well, he was either being completely facetious or totally serious.

                              I know several hipster locals who think any place outside of Abbott Kinney is not worth their bother.

                            2. re: latindancer
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                              susiequeue RE: latindancer Jan 19, 2014 06:27 PM

                              $5 is probably cheap. (!) My Cuban daughter makes better coffee.

                          2. i
                            ilysla RE: Karchip Mar 3, 2013 07:36 PM

                            Not sure where you'd go for local, healthy, sustainable in the area.

                            The Golden Triangle *can* be good. Just expect *really* slow (but polite service).

                            I think the Bottle Room in uptown Whittier is excellent (it's unclear to me why it's never mentioned the few times Whittier has come up on the board). Not healthy by a long-shot, but it's gastropub food done right.

                            A friend recommended a Spanish tapas place also in uptown called "Phlight."

                            Trattoria Franco got good reviews on that other review site. ;) My partner (who's originally from the area) was going to try it once, but it was closed for a private party.

                            Not sure why the poster above said to "forget" about Trader Joe's. There's one at the corner of Whittier and Colima, which has the easiest parking of any Trader Joe's I've ever been to! And the middle-aged woman who was stocking the wines really knows that she's talking about and made several good suggestions....

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: ilysla
                              k
                              Karchip RE: ilysla Mar 3, 2013 07:43 PM

                              Yes, I heard about Bottle Room and we are eager to try it out (and also yes on TJ, its 2 min from where I am at.)

                              1. re: Karchip
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                                snooze button RE: Karchip Jan 18, 2014 02:10 PM

                                FYI (though I'm sure you know since you live close by), there is a Sprouts on Whittier and Santa Gertrudes that makes for a good combo grocery trip along with TJ's.

                              2. re: ilysla
                                Dornfelder RE: ilysla Mar 3, 2013 08:19 PM

                                Visited The Bottle Room in uptown Whittier for a few meetings early last year. Didn't have the sliders, but they looked and smelled great -- and the guests enjoying them for dinner told me they had them every time they stopped in. Sustainable or healthful? No, on both counts -- but, according to their fans, very well executed, tasty and consistent.

                                FYI, Portillo's is in Buena Park -- a bit of a hike from Whittier.

                              3. i
                                ilysla RE: Karchip Mar 5, 2013 10:32 AM

                                Don't know if you like fish tacos, but Tacos Baja Ensenada is pretty good (5385 Whittier Blvd).

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: ilysla
                                  k
                                  Karchip RE: ilysla Mar 5, 2013 10:36 AM

                                  Yes for Fish Tacos! :)

                                  1. re: Karchip
                                    k
                                    kevin RE: Karchip Mar 5, 2013 01:16 PM

                                    Yep, the fish tacos there are some of the best in town, and also some of the cheapest to boot.

                                    Wednesdays, if I'm not mistaken, are 99 cent taco days.

                                2. SilverlakeGirl RE: Karchip Sep 24, 2013 05:08 PM

                                  A nice spread on Whittier's Bizarra Capital. Same owner as Cook's Tortas and Guisados:

                                  http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/09/mo...

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: SilverlakeGirl
                                    k
                                    kevin RE: SilverlakeGirl Sep 24, 2013 05:11 PM

                                    Oh yeah. Our old buddy, JG, just reviewed it earlier today.

                                    1. re: kevin
                                      SilverlakeGirl RE: kevin Sep 24, 2013 05:41 PM

                                      Try as I might, I could not find J. Gold's review of Bizarra Capital today.

                                      I did find J. Gold's review of Colonia Taco Lounge in La Puente [on the way to Whittier] by the same owner, Ricardo Diaz:

                                      http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish...

                                      1. re: SilverlakeGirl
                                        k
                                        Karchip RE: SilverlakeGirl Sep 24, 2013 06:06 PM

                                        I've been at Bizarra several times since this discussion in March and it is really cool. The food is creative, fun AND yummy! :)

                                        1. re: SilverlakeGirl
                                          k
                                          kevin RE: SilverlakeGirl Sep 24, 2013 09:56 PM

                                          I meant Colonia taco for today.

                                          My bad.

                                          I thought that was the joint that you were referencing.

                                    2. s
                                      snooze button RE: Karchip Jan 18, 2014 02:13 PM

                                      Besides the Bottle Room, you have another option of going to the Rustic Monk in Uptown Whittier on Greenleaf. Gastropub that has a nice selection of beers and wine. Solid food. Excellent service.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: snooze button
                                        k
                                        kevin RE: snooze button Jan 18, 2014 04:25 PM

                                        What about Dine Sita ????

                                      2. k
                                        kevmoto RE: Karchip Jan 18, 2014 11:30 PM

                                        chemas taco and silver palace chinese

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