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SF Hound Coming To LA Next Week 18th-20th - Input Needed

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I will have 3 full days of eating which are this Monday the 18th though end of the day on the 20th. I have been doing my research and would like to get some last minute opinions on some of the meals I am trying to decide on.

All of my food adventures will all be done solo, and I do not have a spending limit. I will also travel to any distance to eat something incredible and do not mind a wait.

I will be able to fit in a total of three lunches and three dinners, and for breakfasts I plan on hitting up some of the talked about bakeries, doughnut shops, etc.

Lunches: Which three would you pick, or where else would you recommend?

- Superba Snack Bar
- Son of a Gun
- Baco Mercat
- Sotto (they start lunch service on Wednesday so I could plan on it for my Wednesday lunch is I decide to not make it one of my dinner. Looks like they have some of their most talked about items on the lunch menu.)
- Langer's (I could also just get the #19 for breakfast to make room for another lunch spot)
- Tsujita
- Plan Check
- Elite or Sea Harbor (which one is considered tops at the moment?)

Dinners: Which three would you pick, or where else would you recommend?

- Red Medicine (this is for sure my Monday night dinner)
- Animal
- Bestia
- The Parish
- Alma
- Sotto (does this need to be done for a dinner or could I do this for Wednesday lunch and still have a great experience?)
- Fathers Office
- Allumette

I know it looks like I am still asking a lot but damn am I having a hard time narrowing the lists down. I only have 3 days and want to make the best of it. I am open to any and all recommendations and advice.

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  1. Also forgot to add Ink to a possible dinner. I have dined there before and really enjoyed it.

    1. I believe that Superba only serves lunch on Fridays (Brunch on the weekend) so, for lunch, I would go with Elite, Langer's and Tsujita. Not that the others are not good, just that I crave the three I listed more (and, good as the pastrami at Plan Check is, Langer's leads)-of course, if you have Langer's Pastrami for breakfast (and, btw, I prefer the #1 to the #19) you could plug in Son of a Gun or Sotto (on Wednesday) in its stead. For dinner, Alma, Animal and Red Medicine would be my top choices from that list.

      5 Replies
      1. re: New Trial

        Just saw that Superba only does weekday lunch on Friday like you said so that is out, unless you think it is a good choice for a dinner spot?

        Also, I have been really interested in Alma. Is it really as good as some people are saying? And, would you say the tasting menu is a must here or is the a la cart just as good?

        At the moment I think Animal will be another for sure dinner as well as Red Medicine.

        1. re: benv

          While I like and frequent Superba, and it serves some inventive and delicious pastas (and snacks), it is not a "must try" dinner during your three day visit. If great pasta was the draw, from your list go to Sotto for more traditional--albeit not typical--options such as the casarecce with lamb touted by Porthos (as an alternative, not on your list and a tough reservation, Osteria Mozza, which I think prepares some of the best pastas in town--including a marvelous cold pasta with crabmeat and uni. If that appeals and you are dining there alone or with just one other person, you can often get a walk-in seat at the mozzarella bar without too long a wait).

          Alma is very good and the tasting menu is the way to go. As noted by yogachik, the place is quite small so a reservation would be advisable if not mandatory.

        2. re: New Trial

          What's the #1 at Langers?

          I'd advise any first timer to just eat a plain pastrami with Gulden's spicy brown...the other sandwiches are for follow up visits!

          1. re: manku

            #1 pastrami with coleslaw and Russian dressing

            1. re: Servorg

              And I always have them hold the Russian so I can use the spicy brown mustard instead.

        3. You're missing sushi. SF sushi is oddly lacking. Try Mori or Shunji.

          I love Sotto but it's very similar to the places you have in SF.

          Elite and Sea Harbour are not necessary if you go to Koi Palace. Try Din Tai Fung or Shanghai No 1 Seafood Village instead.

          Red Medicine is stellar. Like Slanted Door mixed with Atelier Crenn and Commonwealth.

          Tsujita rocks for their tsukemen at lunch. Don't change that for anything.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Porthos

            Sushi is really not my thing so I will be leaving this out on my trip. Not the biggest fan of Japanese food so that is also why I have not yet considered n/naka for dinner even though it gets some pretty good reviews here on the board.

            Maybe to not overload on Italian I should try to decide between Sotto and Bestia? Which one do most here think is better?

            I do frequent Koi Palace a lot. Maybe I should just skip dim sum here then? I was going to try to fit some ethnic eats in my trip so maybe breakfast at Huge Tree Pastry or some snacks at Dean Sin?

            1. re: benv

              If you do Dean Sin World, don't miss the shredded radish pastry and the onion pastry.

              I still highly recommend Shanghai No 1 for their panfried buns and modern shanghai cuisine. Even their dim sum is a little different from traditional Cantonese dim sum.

              If you're going to do Italian, stick with Sotto. The pastas were excellent. Very al dente. I highly recommend the casarecce with lamb ragu. The pizzas are Neapolitan style which upsets some people here who insist on crispy crust. But being from SF if you like the style, you're going to love the version here. Go simple, stay with the Margherita.

              Had the Easter soup last night which was a new menu item for me. Lamb meatballs, kale, and bread. Very delicious and soulful. Try the blistered little gems with anchovy if you need a salad. Sotto is spectacular.

          2. I believe that Sotto is only open for lunch on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and your last day in LA is Wednesday the 20th, if I have your schedule right, so that would be the only day you could do lunch there.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Servorg

              That was my plan, do it for my last lunch of the trip.

              For Italian in LA is it Bestia > Sotto or the other way around?

            2. I may the only one here who doesn't like Superba, but I really don't. We've had a couple of meals (brunch and dinner) where we took a few bites and couldn't do anymore.

              Alma is incredibly tiny so you have to plan now for a dinner there, plus driving downtown during the week is a pain in the rear. It could take over an hour, and I don't know that it's worth that. It's great when you're already downtown, and it's easy to get to.

              Which Father's Office are you visiting? I would add Rustic Canyon to your list.