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Which cuisines does Los Angeles do better than anywhere else in the US? Discuss.

Hey all, so I was wondering, what food does LA do better than anywhere else in the country?

The reason I ask is because I feel LA is not lauded as a top US food city but it sure seems like we do some ethnic cuisine really good.

I seriously have no knowledge of other cities' food scenes, mainly I'm just curious.

But, it seems to me that we must do Thai pretty good, given that we have the largest Thai population outside Thailand. I especially imagine LA does regional Thai really well with restaurants like Jitlada (southern) and Spicy BBQ (Isaan.)

How about Vietnamese? I figure our main rival is the bay area?

Mexican? Jewish Delis? Ethiopian? Persian? Help me figure this out!

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  1. thai/mexican/vietnamese/japanese/korean/chinese?

    I would love to hear how the Bay Area rivals Little Saigon.

    148 Replies
    1. re: ns1

      San Jose is pretty strong.

      Had some great meals here:

      http://www.yelp.com/biz/pho-kim-long-...

      The bun rieu oc and pho ap chao bo are excellent.

      Having had more time to explore Little Saigon, I am amazed by the options. But I didn't scour San Jose enough to definitively say Little Saigon is better.

      And if it weren't for Koi Palace, LA would sweep Chinese but Koi Palace is better than Sea Harbour and Elite in every way. From the amount of seafood, to the quality, to the variety of preps, to the price point, to the BBQ suckling pig and duck and dim sum.

      1. re: Porthos

        San Jose is pretty strong but it aint no Little Saigon.

      2. re: ns1

        definitely korean, thai, armenian, persian. san jose actually has the largest concentration of vietnamese-americans in the country, and can definitely rival LA - go to vung tau.

        new york can rival LA for sushi, not sure about for other kinds of japanese.

        1. re: vulber

          Source for this? I have never heard anything other than Little Saigon being the highest concentration of Vietnamese people in the US.

          A quick googling/wiki says 100k in San Jose and 200k in Little Saigon.

          I don't see how New York can compare to Torrance/Gardena (I'm not just talking about Sushi, rather japanese in general).

          1. re: ns1

            I don't see how New York can compare to Torrance/Gardena (I'm not just talking about Sushi, rather japanese in general).
            ========================
            ns1 you need to go to NYC more :)

            -They have 2 ramen chains from Japan. Ippudo and Setagaya
            -As you alluded to, high end sushi there is better than high end here.
            -They have multiple kaiseki options
            -They have a tonkatsu specialist. I know there's one here too.
            -Before Honmura An closed, they also had the best handmade udon and soba. Now that the guy retired, yeah, I-naba probably beats Soba-ya.

            Love the Japanese food here, but it's much closer than you think with high end kaiseki probably also going to NYC.

            1. re: Porthos

              I'm not seeing where NYC has an edge over LA here. I get that high end is pretty much parity between both coasts, I'm really talking about the middle area.

              ...and I would love to go to NYC more but I'm still paying for my last NYC trip.

              1. re: ns1

                I get that high end is pretty much parity between both coasts, I'm really talking about the middle area.
                =============
                It's the exact opposite. High end goes to NYC easily. It's not even close. Thank goodness for Red Medicine.

                Middle ground you may have parity.

                Low end ethnic eats, LA is unrivaled by the sheer breadth and depth (not to say we're not missing certain niches here and there).

                And since you've only visited NYC and never lived there, it's obviously hard for you to see the edge NYC would have over anything in our beloved LA ;-)

                1. re: Porthos

                  fair enough.

                  and you're right, I'll never see the NYC edge as I can't get past the $$$'s falling out of my pocket while traveling around NYC trying to find food. LOL

              2. re: Porthos

                first - number of japanese chains means very little, the quality doesn't always translate - SF also has men oh tokushima, which originates in japan too - but quality wise is nowhere some of the better places in SF with no japan location.

                -LA also has at least as many japan-based ramen chains with tsujitsa and santouka

                1. re: vulber

                  is this the same men oh that now has an outpost in little tokyo?

                  1. re: vulber

                    NYC area has Santouka. Right across the river in Jersey. I used to go there all the time before Ippudo and Setagaya opened. That leaves Tsujita vs Ippudo and Setagaya. But if number of chains doesn't mean a thing there's no point in bringing up Tsujita right?

                    I understand LA pride and all but let's give credit where credit is due.

                    Funny thing is SF and LA are always comparing their dining scenes to NYC (countless SF threads about SF Italian being better than NYC from someone who visited NYC once in 1980's). You won't hear NYC comparing their dining scene to either city. Maybe just me bitching about how the Cantonese food and Taiwanese food was so much better in LA compared to NYC Chinatown and Flushing when I lived there. People here love to add "Langer's is better than Katz's". No one eating at Katz's feels a need to compare to Langer's.

                    1. re: Porthos

                      "No one eating at Katz's feels a need to compare to Langer's."

                      They don't want to shatter the glass.

                      JAY KAY JAY KAY.

                      1. re: Porthos

                        re: japanese - at the high end NY is quite good as you said (arguably better than LA), but i think i like LA better for low end everyday kind of eating; i would say that 75-80% of my meals when i come home are either viet, japanese and mexican

                        re: soba - fyi Soba Ya isn't good, next time you're in town definitely either go to soba koh (traditional) or cocoron (non-traditional), so much better
                        https://www.lauhound.com/2011/01/coco...
                        https://www.lauhound.com/2011/03/soba...

                        re: NYers comparing to LA - i think you're right, I dont think most people in NY compare NY to LA normally. The exception would be when you start getting foodie types talking about almost any asian food or mexican food inevitably LA comes up and also (in and out haha

                        )

                        Persian - glad people reminded me of this, there was a good sized persian community at my high school, i grew eating there food at my friends houses and i really miss it, I definitely need to get some when i go home next time

                        1. re: Lau

                          No arguments here. I agree low end ethnic eats is unrivaled here in LA. Already said so in my response to ns1.

                          Regarding Soba Koh is their soba better than I-naba's zaru soba? I-naba is currently my favorite for soba. The texture and chew on that is amazing.

                          1. re: Porthos

                            Porthos and Lau are right.

                            NYC far outpaces LA, except when it comes to hole-in-the-wall, mom&pop type places.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Except for high end Korean and Chinese :) Does Jitlada count as high-end Thai, since it's started as a hole-in-the-wall that started charging high-end prices?

                              Mr Taster

                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                Jitlada is high-end like a fully-loaded Accord is a luxury sedan.

                                No. Just no.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  fully-loaded 10 year old unwashed Accord no less.

                          2. re: Lau

                            I agree with this assessment on Japanese food in LA. For low-mid range restaurants, LA definitely beats NYC in terms of variety and quality. NYC does not have an awesome chain of casual Japanese eateries like LA's Curry House. Torrance/Gardena area has a ton of washoku places where you can eat very well for under $12 at lunch. In terms of Japanese bakeries, NYC does not compare to LA. Tustin's Cream Pan and even Mammoth Bakery are better than anything in NYC... that includes Parisienne in Fort Lee. That Japanese cake shop in Lomita (French name... forgot what it's called) is better than any place in NYC that I know of.

                            I don't really know the high-end scene in NYC too well. But I think where NYC does well is ramen. The ramen scene in NYC is pretty competitive, and there is some good ramen to be had there. One thing that NYC has that LA does not have is GoGo Curry... sure LA has Coco Ichibanya, but they're mediocre. The Bay area has some great ramen for that matter.

                            Vietnamese: In terms of pho, I can't say that LA (actually OC) is any better than San Jose. I've had great pho in both places. But one thing I will say is that OC has a greater variety of Vietnamese offerings, and I have not found a place like Brodard anywhere else.

                            1. re: chowmouse

                              Ramen: NY has a lot of ramen places, but honestly im pretty jaded about it and not really enomored with any of them; plenty of decent ramen, but nothing really outstanding.

                              Bakeries: NY doesn't have a great japanese bakery unfortunately, they're are some ok ones, but not a great one. I love Cream Pan btw, i go there all the time when I'm at home.

                              Variety: you are correct that torrance / gardena / lomita has a variety of stuff that just doesn't exist in NY. torihei blows all of the yakitori places out the water and there isn't an oden specialist in NY. Places like musha (very different), horon and i-naba don't exist in NY

                              Vietnamese: i haven't spent enough time in san jose to compare, but speaking of brodard, go to dat thanh next time. Their nem nuong is better than brodard's and their com tam is awesome as well. speaking of all this i have a bunch of little saigon posts i need to write that just reminded me
                              https://www.lauhound.com/2011/08/dat-...

                              1. re: Lau

                                Are you counting Torihei as an oden specialist or are you referring to another?

                                Menchanko Tei has oden if you're hurting for oden. It's no Torihei oden though. Especially that egg.

                                1. re: Porthos

                                  i am counting torihei as an oden specialist, they make their own oden, i think that qualified them. i actually think their oden is better than what i had in japan at this great neighborhood oden specialist place my friend took me to.

                                  Porthos - Btw Yopparai in the LES has the best oden in NY now that I've tried, I actually like it as the best izakaya in NY now, its quite good

                                  1. re: Lau

                                    I'll just say that with nearly 8.5 million people in the 5 boroughs the NY metropolitan area OUGHT to be the best in nearly any cuisine one would care to name. I would put SF in the clear lead, adjusted for population, in the US with San Diego in second place. LA clearly has the best and broadest variety of Mexican and Latin American food and Korean.

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      servorg - the problem with what you just said is the make up of that population. For example vietnamese food in NY is awful and its b/c there are barely any vietnamese people in NY. It just depends. NY clearly is far superior in certain arenas to LA, but things like vietnamese, mexican, thai, korean, persian and even chinese LA is clearly superior. They are both major metros with their own strengths and weaknesses. Any broad based comment is sort of not really relevant

                                      1. re: Lau

                                        To further elaborate, for example while New York may have a comparable Chinese population, a goodly portion of them are working class, undocumented migrants from Fujian who subsist on 5/$1 dumplings and $2 servings of noodles. On the other hand, look at all the upper middle class to upper class Chinese residing in San Marino and the rest of the SGV, who can demand and receive the highest quality Chinese food.

                                        1. re: Chandavkl

                                          well i think most of the chinese in NY are / were poor. The original cantonese immigrants are not HK cantonese but rather mainly really poor immigrants from toison / taishan (chandavkl i believe you are ethnically toison) and the newer immigrants are really poor immigrants from fuzhou or poor northeast chinese immigrants.

                                          the SGV is clearly much more affluent immigrants

                                          1. re: Chandavkl

                                            To further elaborate, for example while New York may have a comparable Chinese population, a goodly portion of them are working class, undocumented migrants from Fujian who subsist on 5/$1 dumplings and $2 servings of noodles
                                            _____________________________________
                                            That applies to Manhattan, not Flushing.

                                            1. re: scoopG

                                              Not in comparison to SGV (esp. ESGV).

                                              The demographics in Flushing might be wealthier when compared to Manhattan's chinatown, but neither has the wealth of SGV, esp. ESGV. No where close.

                                              People go grocery shopping in their Bentleys like you and I change underwear on a daily basis.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                I'm very impressed with East San Gabriel Valley - it's like the suburbs of Orange County but with Chinese sigmage.

                                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                                  Just wait until Diamond Bar goes into full bloom.

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                    Wouldn't count the OC out just yet. We're getting a lot of new restaurant openings down here. Wouldn't be surprised if this was the next boom town for Chinese.

                                                    1. re: Porthos

                                                      I think real estate prices are too high for that to happen. Maybe Yorba Linda.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        I'm told a lot of mainland money buying up homes in Irvine and even Newport.

                                                        Don't forget all the UCI kiddies. Mommy and daddy need to buy them homes to live in. Multiple Porches and Aston Martins in Diamond Jamboree Plaza these days.

                                                        1. re: Porthos

                                                          Funny that you say that... I live in Newport and a Chinese corporation just bought the house next door to me... So we will have to see how that goes.

                                                        2. re: ipsedixit

                                                          I was thinking the same in regards to real estate prices - back in the 90s. But the number of Chinese people and Chinese-related businesses I observed on past few visits is noticeably growing.

                                                          Irvine area saw an influx of Singaporeans in the 80s-90s - I think because Irvine was a good fit for them (safe, clean, safe, organized, safe, good schools, safe - did I mention safe?). I have to wonder if they were the nucleus of the now-emerging Chinese community.

                                                        3. re: Porthos

                                                          Agreed. More Taiwanese in Irvine than WSGV now.

                                                          1. re: Porthos

                                                            We have friends who listed their multi-million $ abode in Irvine. All lookers and bidders = Chinese + Korean.

                                                        4. re: bulavinaka

                                                          I've never quite thought of Rowland Heights as being the suburbs of San Gabriel, but I suppose one could make the argument that the description is apt.

                                                          Mr Taster

                                                        5. re: ipsedixit

                                                          Not hard to do, when you own restaurant(s) or apartment buildings on that side of town, where property is cheap compared to anything in OC or west of the 405.

                                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                            hey easy on my hometown (newport)! haha

                                                            Irvine has a small chinese area, which I'm sure you've seen right off Jeffrey off the 405, but i agree it seems to be growing especially with the new-ish Diamond Jamboree center adding alot of new stuff (although most of it is not that great)

                                                            1. re: Lau

                                                              Actually I was thinking more about the shopping center on Jeffrey and Walnut which has a half dozen Taiwanese restaurants by itself.

                                                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                I can't ever imagine an area in Irvine/OC that will be similar to Valley Blvd (bounded by Atlantic to the west and Rosemead to the east), or even Colima in RH.

                                                                Can you?

                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                  chandavkl - sorry i actually meant off the 5 off jeffrey, the 2 shopping malls that contain A&J. And i meant Diamond Jamboree Center of an example of showing that the chinese community or at least restaurant scene is expanding in Irvine

                                                                  ipsedixit - i think you're right, i highly doubt it will turn into valley blvd, but i certainly think it could end up being a nice 2nd chinese enclave. I certainly hope it does as the drive from newport to SGV is quite far!

                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                    I think it will remain third, now and in the future.

                                                                    1. WSGV
                                                                    2. ESGV
                                                                    3. Irvine/OC

                                                                    I can see 2 and 1 flip-flopping, but I do not ever foresee 3 overtaking either.

                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                      I'd heard that Chino Hills was an up and comer also. True?

                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                        heartily agree...even w/the flux of chinese and korean eateries in irvine, still pretty hard to find much good.

                                                                        1. re: namstermonster

                                                                          101 Noodle Express is pretty darned good.

                                                                          Lao Dong's pork XLB is pretty darned good.

                                                                          Little Sheep Irvine is pretty good.

                                                                          Sam Woo on Culver has better roast duck than any of the other Sam Woos. The dinner menu is as good as most places in SGV/Monterey Park/Rowland Heights with the exception of Sea Harbour and Elite.

                                                                          Kaju tofu (Garden Grove branch) is pretty good for tofu stew with combo of kalbi and chicken bulgogi.

                                                                          Though Tsurahasi is yakiniku, the quality is just as good as Parks BBQ. The prime is plenty fatty and excellent, especially the unmarinated bone in beef ribs. They also routinely carry kobe cuts if you like it even fattier.

                                                                          1. re: Porthos

                                                                            kaju in garden grove is really good

                                                                            1. re: Porthos

                                                                              >> Sam Woo on Culver has better roast duck than any of the other Sam Woos.

                                                                              Uh oh, I'm sensing ipse channeling his Alhambra Sam Woo gongfu chi......

                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                It's actually the latter part of that paragraph that is causing great disturbance in the SGV Chinese chow chi.

                                                                                >> The dinner menu is as good as most places in SGV/Monterey Park/Rowland Heights with the exception of Sea Harbour and Elite.<<<

                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                  Truth hurts sometimes. :-)

                                                                                  With the exception of Sea Harbour and Elite the Cantonese restaurants in LA all run pretty much middle of the pack.

                                                                                  Open to hearing any exceptions and dishes at said exceptions that are noteworthy beyond Captial Seafood, 888, etc. Feel free to glance at the menu at Sam Woo Culver or give it a try for comparison.

                                                                                  1. re: Porthos

                                                                                    Maybe restauranst like Capital, 888, OceanStar, Lunasia, Seafood Village, Newport, etc. "all run pretty much middle of the pack" (something that I don't necessarily agree with) they are still pretty stellar.

                                                                                    And there are gradations and certain unique qualities within that "mediocre" band of restaurants that certainly make each of them noteworthy and more exceptional than places like Sam Woo Culver.

                                                                                    I mean to say that Sam Woo Culver is the 3rd best Cantonese restaurant in Los Angeles is quite a mouthful of a hyperbole, me says.

                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                      I didn't say it was the 3rd best. I did say "as good as" and not "better". I try to not indulge in hyperboles or overstep my experience.

                                                                                      There is 1 and 2 and then the rest. Sam Woo Culver is as good as any of "the rest". Menu is actually more extensive in many cases. I personally don't count Seafood Village (Trieu Chau influenced) and Newport (Vietnamese influenced).

                                                                                      The roast duck is better done than the other Sam Woos. Fat more rendered, skin more crispy, meat more moist in many cases. Best roast duck so far goes to Elite for me.

                                                                                      I can see how it is hard to believe but just as Chinatown and MP lost the edge to SGV and Rowland Heights, it's possible to consider that a restaurant in the OC these days overtaking old and tired standbys in the SGV and MP.

                                                                                      1. re: Porthos

                                                                                        If by MP you are referring to Monterey Park, that city is part of the San Gabriel Valley

                                                                                        1. re: Ernie

                                                                                          So is Alhambra, Arcadia, and Rowland Heights according to Wikipedia but I think many people recognize them as different foci of Chinese communities and restaurants.

                                                                                          1. re: Porthos

                                                                                            Yes, but the statement I am referring to, "Chinatown and MP lost the edge to SGV and Rowland Heights," should really be "Chinatown lost the edge to SGV"

                                                                                            1. re: Porthos

                                                                                              So is Alhambra, Arcadia, and Rowland Heights according to Wikipedia but I think many people recognize them as different foci of Chinese communities and restaurants.
                                                                                              ________________________

                                                                                              Nope. You think wrong.

                                                                                              SGV = Alhambra, Monterey Park, Arcadia, San Gabriel, Temple Citiy, Rowland Heights, etc.

                                                                                              1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                They all developed on a continuum, but they are all "SGV" as that term is used on Chowhound.

                                                                                                Recently, we've been using ESGV and WSGV to denote the demarcation that the 605 fwy has created between Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, etc. and Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights, Industry, etc., but SGV includes both E and W.

                                                                              2. re: namstermonster

                                                                                Between Chong Qing Mei Wei and Tasty Noodle House, I've been more than satisfied

                                                                          2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                            I think Irvine's layout will prevent it becoming anything like Valley Blvd.--no commercial strips, just well spaced shopping centers.

                                                                            1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                              That's what they said about Rowland Heights about 5 years ago too. Now look at it.

                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                Yeah, but they didn't have the Irvine Company plotting out the land usage over a 100 year period. First time I went to Irvine probably 25 years ago I was confused because I couldn't see any businesses from the street.

                                                                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                  Irvine company has its name all over the Taiwanse restaurant slated to open next to Fukada.

                                                                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                I don't think it's possible in Irvine. They have too many regulations on the types of businesses that are allowed in an area. I do have to give them credit: they are pretty creative with using 1000 shades of beige.

                                                                                1. re: raytamsgv

                                                                                  "I don't think it's possible in Irvine. "

                                                                                  You don't think what's possible? For there to be a boom of Chinese restaurants? It's already happening.

                                                                                  "They have too many regulations on the types of businesses that are allowed in an area."

                                                                                  What kind of regulations and restrictions on businesses are you citing? Wish there were since that would make parking better at Diamond Jamboree and at Jeffery/Walnut where it's basically all restaurants and near impossible to find parking at peak hours and during weekend lunches. There are times where you just have to leave and eat somewhere else. I have never had parking deter me from eating in the SGV. Even when there was only 1 Yung Ho (back when it was good) with their 8 parking spots. The current 3 plazas are already overloaded.

                                                                                  Diamond Jamboree is pretty similar to Focus Plaza in SGV or Diamond Plaza in Rowland Heights (minus the jewelry stores) and the Jeffery/Walnut center has at least as many eateries as that food plaza right across from Focus Plaza.

                                                                                  It's not going to be packed like Valley Blvd but that's not necessarily a bad thing. There is nothing to deter it from spreading outward. Where there are hungry Asians, there will be a way.

                                                                                  1. re: Porthos

                                                                                    "It's not going to be packed like Valley Blvd but that's not necessarily a bad thing"

                                                                                    That's exactly the point people are trying to make. Irvine is too spread out to be anything like valley or rowland heights.

                                                                                    1. re: blimpbinge

                                                                                      See ipse's response above. That's what they said about Rowland Heights.

                                                                                      I probably agree with the ranking for OC not being able to overtake SGV. You never know since SGV has about a 20 year head start at least.

                                                                                      As plazas get older and rent prices drop, the mom and pop asian eateries will increase (hopefully). There is a population to support it.

                                                                                      1. re: Porthos

                                                                                        irrespective of whether it grows relative to the SGV, i really hope it grows so i can get good chinese food closer to my family's house when im home instead of going to the SGV haha

                                                                                        also, it will grow as long as the chinese population in irvine continues to get bigger, people are smart and will figure out a way to meet demand for good chinese food if the demand is growing (i.e. the chinese population is growing and perhaps non-chinese get interested in it as well)

                                                                                        1. re: Porthos

                                                                                          Actually, the first time I went to irvine, i HAD to use the nav to find restaurants, otherwise I simply would not have seen them because of the distance they were away from the streets.

                                                                                          I actually kind of prefer Irvines layout. Sure parking in diamond jamboree sucks and the streets (to me) are too big and wide, but my friends there never have trouble finding good food.

                                                                                          I still dread dealing with the driving/parking in 626, so I generally go 30min before or 1hr after the busy times, it works out fine that way.

                                                                                          1. re: blimpbinge

                                                                                            I love the food scene down here. There is a dedicated oyster bar with 15 types of heirloom oysters even.

                                                                                            The Vietnamese food is unrivaled, Chinese food is getting better. Mexican food, Indian food, Persian food, pollo a la brasa, Cuban food all covered even if it is by just 1 good option. We have a handful of decent Japanese options.

                                                                                            If it weren't for Sotto, Shunji, Red Medicine, Gjelina, and Mori there would be no reason for me to head up to LA.

                                                                                            1. re: Porthos

                                                                                              well there are plenty of reasons to eat in torrance still for japanese i think

                                                                                              torihei, musha, i-naba, horon etc etc

                                                                                              i also have to stop at sakura-ya in gardena, my all time favorite manju that i've been eating since i was born, still think they are the best even better than the really good ones i had in japan

                                                                                              1. re: Lau

                                                                                                I do drive up there for I naba and Torihei probably 1-2x a month. No need to head north of the 10 would be more accurate ;)

                                                                                                Musha...I don't feel is necessarily better than the cooked stuff at Fukada or some of the stuff at Kappo Honda. Had some excellent battera, tongue stew, and tendon soup recently.

                                                                                                Try Tsurahashi the next time you're home. Awesome yakiniku. About 1/4 cost of Totoraku and the meat quality is nearly as good. The cuts are a little thinner and tongue isn't as luxurious but it's also only $6-8 an order.

                                                                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                  Porthos - I've been to Tsuruhashi although it's probably been about 3+ years since i last went, so ill definitely give it another go soon. I liked it last time

                                                                                                  and you're talking about fukada right by the 405 / 5 intersection?

                                                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                                                    Yes the one off 405 and across from Irvine Spectrum. Popular with everyone from college kids to Japanese families for soba and udon. I think their udon is stronger than their soba. For soba, I still have to go to I-naba.

                                                                                                    They have fried oysters, buta kakuni, decent tempura. Not I-naba good but good for a non specialist. The tofu is actually really delicious there. Delicate pure flavor. The fried squid legs are also very good. The much touted chicken wings are actually just okay, not good or great.

                                                                                                    The waits can be 30-45 min even if you get there 10 minutes before open.

                                                                                                    1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                      ahh cool, i know what it is, but ive never eaten there

                                                                                                      ill give it a try

                                                                                              2. re: Porthos

                                                                                                Porthos...

                                                                                                Nick @ The Cannery is doing a great job. Former Patina Group chef. You've probably eaten with him.

                                                                                                In Irvine, we hear it's not just UCI, it's University HS that drives a lot of demand.

                                                                                                Anecdotal, but the occasional trip to Costco & WF in Tustin always catch me on the back of my heels. Predominantly Asian.

                                                                                                Have a friend who grew up in Arcadia in the 70's/80's. Said Arcadia High was 3-4% Asian at most. Now we sit in a restaurant 1/2 mile from where he grew up and he's the only Caucasian. Never say never.

                                                                                                1. re: revets2

                                                                                                  Good point about Tustin. More affordable housing. Good schools. Easy trip to the OC Chinese spots via the 5.

                                                                                                2. re: Porthos

                                                                                                  Hi Porthos,

                                                                                                  What is the name of this "dedicated oyster bar with 15 types of heirloom oysters"?

                                                                                                  Thanks,

                                                                                                  GJ

                                                                                                    1. re: Gypsy Jan

                                                                                                      Yes, Shuck Oyster Bar.

                                                                                                      Here is my first inquiry and report:
                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/869120

                                                                                                      Here is when I found out they had belon oysters!
                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/872425

                                                                                                      1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                        Like Shuck, but feel it's pricey @ $3/oyster. Guess you can do that if you're the only game in town. I'd steer away from the cooked food though some like their grilled cheese which is pretty pedestrian grilled cheese.

                                                                                                        Heard pretty good things about ARC.

                                                                                                        1. re: revets2

                                                                                                          $3/ oyster is about going rate here or LA. That's $18 per half dozen.

                                                                                                          Hungry Cat is $15 for a half dozen.

                                                                                                          The fried oysters are excellent. Clam chowder isn't bad. That's about all I need in terms of cooked stuff there.

                                                                                                          1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                            We'll agree to disagree. Not sure about the OC, but in LA $3/oyster is not standard in some of the best oyster bars.

                                                                                                            As you state, Hungry Cat is $15. Water Grill's most expensive oyster is less than $3 most nights with most of the oysters being in the $2.35 - $2.50 range. On the Chef's Creek, for example, Shuck = $3, Water Grill = $2.35. L&E is $2 - $3.50 with five or six selections under $3. Their Daily Dozen is a great deal at $28. Even the Grand Central Oyster Bar in NYC only rarely has an oyster priced at $3 and above with the average oyster being around $2.60.

                                                                                                            The only oyster bar I know that's priced like Shuck is Hog Island Oyster. And we sure wish they'd serve a grilled cheese sandwich like Hog Island!

                                                                                                            Why are we recurring customers? Their corkage policy allows us to play with a terrific array of wine pairings. When summer comes, how great will it be when they roll up the windows?!?

                                                                                                            1. re: revets2

                                                                                                              You're talking $3 over 6 oysters. I'm okay with plus/minus 50 cents an oyster. FWIW, Marche Moderne (OC) is $18 for 1/2 dozen. Same with Bouchon.

                                                                                                              I prefer the selection and quality at Shuck more than Hungry Cat. Even if I thought they were equivalent, I would lose more than $6 round trip in gas from here to Hollywood and back assuming I get a dozen. I might break even somewhere around 2-3 dozen. But, I still wouldn't get the selection Shuck has.

                                                                                                              I agree, love the corkage policy which is a huge plus.

                                                                                                              The fact that you drive down from LA to OC to Shuck for oysters has got to count for something right? :-)

                                                                                                              1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                Most of my fine dining chef comrades agree. There's more cost in a shucked oyster in labor, oftentimes, than in the actual oyster. 50 cents could be relative, but it's a 20% price difference and on two to three dozen that's a remarkable price difference especially for a non-white napkin establishment.

                                                                                                                No offense to Florent, but his sourcing has been a little sloppy lately. That makes me nervous about oysters.

                                                                                                                Agree on Hungry Cat Hollywood. Don't know why, but the oysters are more pristine in Santa Monica. Can't imagine they source differently. Santa Monica is farther for us and we only eat at that location. The oysters are the most memorable on the menu there. Actually, all the food is better there than Hollywood and SB.

                                                                                                                The biggest plus for us other than getting to drink our own wine is our ability to sit out on a nice day with our dogs and have some oysters, but we never drive exclusively to dine there. Can do the same at L&E. Honestly, many of our friends in OC are former chefs or are in the F&B biz and we have a hard time getting them to go with us.

                                                                                                                1. re: revets2

                                                                                                                  No offense to Florent, but his sourcing has been a little sloppy lately. That makes me nervous about oysters.
                                                                                                                  ==============
                                                                                                                  Just to be clear, revets2 is now talking about Marche Moderne and not Shuck.

                                                                                                                  I'm more upset that Marche hasn't had langoustines the last couple of times I've visited. When offered, one of the few places you could consistently get langoustines in LA that I'm aware of.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                    Yes, that's correct. Sorry for not clarifying.

                                                                                                              2. re: revets2

                                                                                                                Water Grill's most expensive oyster is less than $3 most nights with most of the oysters being in the $2.35 - $2.50 range. On the Chef's Creek, for example, Shuck = $3, Water Grill = $2.35.
                                                                                                                =================
                                                                                                                So looking at the picture of the menu I took and linked above I don't see Chef's Creek at Shuck. I see Island Creek and String Creek. I did notice Mermaid Cove at $2.95 at Water Grill vs. $3 at Shuck. Skookum is $2.40 at WG vs $3 at Shuck. WG has a great selection but still "only" 9 vs the daily 15 at Shuck.

                                                                                                                Also, some of those $2.25-$2.70 oysters at WG are oysters from Mexico. I believe most if not all of Shuck's are from colder Northeast and Northwest waters which can affect taste, especially during warmer months (months without R).

                                                                                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                  Had the Chef's Creek many times at Shuck. As you know, oysters can be micro-seasonal. There is a running debate about Baja oysters (the oyster farmers in Baja would probably be offended if I called them Mexican) or even oysters from SoCal like Carlsbad Aquafarm.

                                                                                                                  We had a two hour conversation with John Finger from Hog Island (he's a marine biologist) and he's permitted me to say that they're working with and investing in these beds and operations in Baja. They're not that much less expensive to produce right now because of start up costs and some of those oysters need tumbling.

                                                                                                                  Don't get me wrong. Shuck is a fresh, innovative concept serving oysters whose quality rivals the best of what America has to offer. And after attacking three dozen or more of these pristine babies just FedEx'd from Blue Island or our yearly sojourn to Marshall, my carpal tunnel is grateful for, well, a quality Shucker!

                                                                                                              3. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                Littlefork was 25/dozen. L&E is 28/daily dozen. I would call $2/each "cheap" and $3/each at the upper range.

                                                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                  Since Shuck doesn't charge corkage I'm okay paying 50 cents more per oyster. That's $20-60+ less I'm paying in wine or corkage anyways.

                                                                                                                  Pricing has to be adjusted for selection, variety, and quality. I said $3/oyster is about the going rate. I personally consider +/- 50 cents to be "about".

                                                                                                                  Profits not made from corkage and wine has to be built in somehow. I'm sure they could drop their prices to $2.50 per if they started charging $20 corkage and sold wines at 2-3x markup. The average check is probably lower than many of the places listed by revets2

                                                                                                                  1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                    Forgot Littlefork. His oysters were great. Thanks for the reminder.

                                                                                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                Bella Cuba in Santa Ana, Felix in Orange & Habana in Costa Mesa.

                                                                                                                1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                  Thank you. I just googled it and got the same results. Did not think anyone here would respond that fast. Have you been to any of them? Which is best, in your opinion, if you have one? TIA.

                                                                                                                2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                  Well, there's Porto's to begin with.

                                                                                                                  And there are several good Cuban eateries in Silverlake, incl. El Cochinito.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                    Already familiar with Portos Bakery, thanks. Was wondering about in OC.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                      You asked which one Porthos was talking about and that's the one I linked to the website for above.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                        I was asking about what Cuban restos were in the OC. Thanks for link, anyway.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                          Which is the one Cuban restaurant that Porthos alluded to when he said "Cuban food all covered even if it is by just 1 good option." and you replied asking "Cuban?? What Cuban??" (unless my eyes deceive me)

                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                            My eyes were deceived as well, apparently.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                              I love the food scene down here. There is a dedicated oyster bar with 15 types of heirloom oysters even.

                                                                                                                              The Vietnamese food is unrivaled, Chinese food is getting better. Mexican food, Indian food, Persian food, pollo a la brasa, Cuban food all covered even if it is by just 1 good option. We have a handful of decent Japanese options.

                                                                                                                              If it weren't for Sotto, Shunji, Red Medicine, Gjelina, and Mori there would be no reason for me to head up to LA.
                                                                                                                              ************************************************************************
                                                                                                                              Maybe you have magical abilities and can discern from this post exactly what Cuban restaurant he is "alluding" to here, but in no way do I come out with Bella Cuba, in Santa Ana.

                                                                                                                              Then again, he may have mentioned it up thread somewhere that I skimmed past it. But I'm thinking you're the next Carnak..... Maybe Jimmy Fallon could use you.....and ipsedixit can be your lovely assistant......

                                                                                                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                I remember what I read for the most part and that is the name of the Cuban restaurant that Porthos had written about as being the best in the OC in his opinion. Simply answering the question you asked. Obviously no good deed goes unpunished.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                            Bella Cuba is the real deal. Almost Miami quality good. I like it much better than Versailles La Cienega. The oxtails, the ropa vieja, the lechon asado, and roast chicken are all consistently excellent. The arroz con pollo ranges from good to excellent.

                                                                                                                            Habana is trendier and more suited for that "anti-mall". Muy hipster and needless to say, much less authentic.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                              Habana has really good mojitos, "paella" and a flash fried pork shank with outstanding mashed potatoes,greens & plantains.

                                                                                                                              I wasn't a fan of Bella's garlic sauce which seemed to be used on everything.

                                                                                                                              1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                                Thanks for the 411. I will have to check it out next time I'm in the area.

                                                                                                                              2. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                                Wow. Thank you for clarifying, I appreciate it. Hard to find Miami-quality Cuban out here.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                  Forgot to mention pass on the Cuban sandwich (just average) and paella (per someone's previous report).

                                                                                                                                  Sometimes recs on what not to get is almost as important as what to get.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                                    Oh, you know it! Thanks again I appreciate the insight. I make a mean Cuban sandwich myself, so good to know not to order that, as I would probably be disappointed.

                                                                                                                3. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                  A few years ago, I was talking with one of my relatives who lives in Irvine and asked him about this issue. He said that the city actively discouraged one type of cuisine becoming dominant as part of their master plan.

                                                                                                                  There's certainly enough wealth and consumer desire in the area to support a large number of Chinese restaurants.

                                                                                                                  1. re: raytamsgv

                                                                                                                    I'm sure at the time they opposed the types of shopping centers which have now evolved on Jeffrey and Walnut, which have now turned into Taiwan Town.

                                                                                                            1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                              There is a focus off every exit headed south: Jamboree, Culver (Sam Woo, Little Sheep, Tasty Noodle House), Jeffery with 101 Noodle Express, Lau Dong, 99 Ranch and too many restaurants for that silly parking lot, and a new Taiwanese spot slated to open next to Fukada on Irvine Center Dr. Not to mention Capital Seafood in Irvine Spectrum. This plus rumors of Sea Harbour opening up a branch down here.

                                                                                                              Booming.

                                                                                                              1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                ipsedixit - yah i guess i consider WSGV and ESGV the same thing thats why i said #2, but i guess its fair to break it up into WSGV and ESGV

                                                                                                            2. re: Lau

                                                                                                              Hey, I love the OC, my husband grew up there, I'm just remarking that property is worth more there and here west of the 405 as compared to the SGV, where I also used to work & live ;)

                                                                                                          2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                            Not in comparison to SGV (esp. ESGV).
                                                                                                            _________________________

                                                                                                            Where are you getting your information?

                                                                                                            Not according to scholars like Min Zhou (UCLA), John Kuo Wei Tchen (NYU), Peter Kwong and Dusanka Miccevic (Hunter College).

                                                                                                            Flushing and the SGV are considered part of a multi-ethnic ethno-burb, distinguished by a greater diversity of better-educated and wealthier immigrants.

                                                                                                            Over 60% of the Chinese who now live in urban American Chinatowns are foreign born with a high school education or less. 50% speak Mandarin, Fujianese or Cantonese and 20% live in poverty.

                                                                                                            1. re: scoopG

                                                                                                              I've been to Flushing and I've been to the San Gabriel Valley and there is no comparison. SGV has a lot of wealth that would not show up in population statistics, particularly rich overseas business owners who buy houses, drop off their families, but do not personally reside over here. And frankly, it's even more extreme in Vancouver where a nice, but not great house, in a nice, but not great neighborhood, can go for $3 million or more. Not saying how legitimate the money is, but it is in California and in Canada, but not in New York.

                                                                                                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                                agreed, SGV is definitely more affluent than Flushing. I know lots of people who grew up in both. My friends from SGV grew up with some money, my friends in Flushing did not. Also as you said if you just hung out in the SGV vs Flushing for any real amount of time you'd realize that as well

                                                                                                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                                  Well the SGV is of course a much much larger area. Min Zhou's work compares Flushing to Monterey Park and other SGV cities. These new waves of immigrants are bypassing the traditional staging places of previous immigrants.

                                                                                                                  1. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                    oh i totally agree with you that they are skipping chinatown and going straight to flushing or the SGV. it's just the absolute level of wealth is very different, big nice houses, luxury cars, some people who shuttle between homes there and asia. Clearly not everyone is like that in SGV, but its a noticeable enough contingent whereas you dont see that at all in flushing or any NY chinese area really

                                                                                                                    Just a real life example, i know a whole bunch of very wealthy taiwanese kids who went to college with me at NYU and their families kept multiple houses and they would always shuttle between NY (went to college there), LA / SGV (family kept a house there / lives there part of the year) and taipei (family lives there most of the time). That is something you would never see in Flushing.

                                                                                                                    1. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                      You should come out here. You would absolutely love it. The "626" culture is incredible. Except for the driving.

                                                                                                                  2. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                    scoopG,

                                                                                                                    Not to be offensive, but you need to speak from experience more often on a subject like this than simply cite statistics.

                                                                                                                    I live in SGV (western and eastern) and have family there as well as business. I have also been exploring business opportunities in NYC, incl. the boroughs. Based on on-the-ground reports, there is no comparison in terms of demographics between SGV and Flushing. There just isn't.

                                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                      Why would you want to go back to New York?

                                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                        Anecdotal evidence is often very spectacular but unrepresentative. A more apt comparison is Queens to the SGV and Flushing to Alhambra or Monterey Park etc.

                                                                                                                        1. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                          And statistical evidence is often, if not always, unreliable and subject to manipulation and interpretation.

                                                                                                                          That said, there are very few places in NYC that would make an apt comparison to points in SoCal or SGV in particular.

                                                                                                                          1. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                            Agreed Flushing and the SGV are both ethnoburbs. But that's like saying Detroit and New York are both American cities. If you came out here and spent 30 minutes in the SGV you'd know what we're talking about.

                                                                                                              2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                Really? SD second? No nod to Chicago or Seattle or Portland?

                                                                                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                  Yeah, SD as a second choice (even adj. for population) is a bit odd, if not just wrong.

                                                                                                                  I would think LA (even adj. for our large population) would be second, or maybe as you say Portland or Seattle or Chicago would all be ahead of SD, even after adjusting for population.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                    SD reflects my personal preference for all food Mexican...

                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                      i mean if you really have a preference for all thing mexican you should hate NY and be absolutely in love with LA

                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                        In many ways, LA does Mexican better than SD.

                                                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                          I agree with this sentiment, unless your definition of "best mexican" is alberto's carne asada fries.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                            Unless you are looking for more of the border street cuisine style of food, which I think is better down SD way...(and I'm not trying to disparage the LA Mexican/Latin American food scene in anyway by complimenting the SD scene).

                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                              Servorg: Which Mexican restaurants do you recommend in SD?

                                                                                                                            2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                              Remember, California was a part of Mexico.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                California has better ingredients too, especially when comparing mid and low priced restaurants.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Lau

                                                                                                                    Lau: Okay, will definitely have to try your Dat Thanh place next time I'm back in LA. Actually I stopped ordering nem nuong at Brodard even though everyone goes there for that. Loved it the first couple times, but I don't think it's my thing anymore. Instead they have a lot of other appetizer-type things that I just love but cannot get anywhere else. My favorite is their "rocket shrimp" - triangular fried shrimp thing with crab and crystal noodle bits. Also, their banh xeo is very coconuty and great.

                                                                                                                    1. re: chowmouse

                                                                                                                      definitely give it a try, its one of the best vietnamese restaurants in Little Saigon in my opinion, the owner is pretty passionate. He's actually vietnamese-american, so his english is perfect. He runs it with his dad.

                                                                                                                      i think their nem nuong is really good as is their com tom

                                                                                                                  3. re: chowmouse

                                                                                                                    " That Japanese cake shop in Lomita (French name... forgot what it's called) is better than any place in NYC that I know of."

                                                                                                                    I think you mean Patisserie Chantilly? They're quite good! I always try to get there early on weekends because all the good stuff sells out early on.

                                                                                                                    1. re: blimpbinge

                                                                                                                      Yes, that's it! Chantilly. Everything's great there, but the black sesame choix creme (with a little drizzle of honey) is incredible. They seem to bake more than once a day. Last time I called to see if they had something available, they told me over the phone that they were sold out at the moment but that they were going to have more out and ready a couple hours later.

                                                                                                                      1. re: chowmouse

                                                                                                                        Chantilly does bake batches through the day. And once they're out, lots of long faces. I've arrived there andgotten caught between batches - it's a great thing. Order a dessert and coffee for there while I wait for my order.

                                                                                                        2. re: vulber

                                                                                                          san jose may have a large number of vietnamese in one city, but there are simply more in OC, you need to take into account that unlike san jose, OC vietnamese are decentralized and spread out over more area that's all.

                                                                                                        3. re: ns1

                                                                                                          Clearly Chinese. Only San Francisco comes close. The Asia Society Top 10 Chinese Restaurants in the United States listing contains 7 from the LA area, 3 from the Bay Area, and none from anywhere else. Now if you said North America instead of the US, Los Angeles would rank behind Vancouver and probably Toronto.

                                                                                                        4. those are all good candidates, but if you're just talking sheer relative i think it's korean. i don't think there is anywhere even close to LA on korean

                                                                                                          1. As others have noted in the past, the greater Los Angeles are is one of the best *eating* metropolitan areas in the US, but is not necessarily one of the best *dining* metropolitan areas.

                                                                                                            I agree with the others: Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Mexican food in the LA area are easily the best. Although other areas may have some restaurants that might be better (e.g. Koi Palace), the breadth of high-quality choices is amazing.

                                                                                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                This is a clear LA win along with Persian and I'm told Indian by my Indian friends.

                                                                                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                  indian? really? i dont think ive ever had a great indian meal in LA although maybe i dont know what im doing

                                                                                                                  the indian population is huge in NY although really the heart of it is in Edison, NJ

                                                                                                                  i was just writing in the other post that i really miss persian food

                                                                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                    That's why I qualified it as so I am told. My Indian cuisine needs are pretty basic and I can't discern which spice profiles make one better than the other after a certain level of quaility.

                                                                                                                    Get thee to Shamshiri grill the next time you are in town. The stews are good but I also really like their koobideh (lamb, chicken, beef, it's all good).

                                                                                                                    1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                      oh man i love koobideh especially with some yogurt and rice...man im getting hungry, i really want some tadig too, i love that stuff. i usually eat at darya in orange county, but ill def check out shamshiri grill

                                                                                                                      re: indian food - interesting, ill look into it next time im at home. I actually only really started eating indian food when i got to NYU bc my roommate happened to be from bombay, so he showed me the ropes and eventually i took a trip out there and spent 3 weeks in bombay. i thought the food was great there although after 3 weeks i started getting tired of it, but between a ton of home cooked meals at college friends family's houses in NJ and spending 3 weeks in bombay i got a good sense for what indian food should taste like well at least bombay / maharashtran and gujarati food. Saying indian food is sort of like saying chines food, there are just so many different states that are hugely different

                                                                                                                      1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                        You can't compare indian food in the states to that of the motherland

                                                                                                                        the biryani around here can't hold a candle to the stuff I got at the mall in india. THE MALL! (Zam Zam included)

                                                                                                                        1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                          oh i'm definitely not comparing india, the stuff i had in india made me realize what indian food should taste like...i was just going on a somewhat irrelelvant tangent

                                                                                                                          funny you said that bc the biryani there ruined all biryani for me in NY, i always think its crap here

                                                                                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                            you try their mutton biryani yet?

                                                                                                                            1. re: BrewNChow

                                                                                                                              yeah. most certainly best in area but not comparable.

                                                                                                                              but then again i'm comparing hyderabad biryani vs pakistani biryani

                                                                                                                              1. re: BrewNChow

                                                                                                                                BrewNChow - which restaurant's mutton biryani are you referring to?

                                                                                                                            2. re: Lau

                                                                                                                              You just reminded me of when I lived in Boston with Bengali roommates. They were kind enough to invite me over for dinner with their family. The food and flavors were eye opening. Even more so because there were at least 5 different fish dishes. Each one so different and nuanced. They insisted I ate with my hands. Frustrating as hell for the glutton in me because I wanted a shovel so I could inhale every bit. Haven't seen anything like it since.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                                i got used to the whole hand thing when i lived in singapore b/c i used to go indian food alot in singapore and it was always with your hand (right hand to be exact haha)

                                                                                                                            3. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                              Is Shamshiri Grill affiliated with Shamshiri Restaurant in Glendale?

                                                                                                                              1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                                also, for a much less extensive menu, but the things they serve tend to be good,
                                                                                                                                ATTARI SANDWICH SHOP

                                                                                                                                (address is shown on westwood blvd, but entrance is really around the corner on wilkins)

                                                                                                                            4. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                              I don't know if I'd say LA has the best Indian food in the US. There are a couple of good ones and a lot of really terrible ones. From having lived in the bay area and spending a lot of time in NYC, I find that's true of an major metropolitan city. It really depends on the type of experience you want.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Kalivs

                                                                                                                                If you spread out to the greater LA area, Artesia has some of the best Gujarati food in the US...

                                                                                                                                1. re: Moomin

                                                                                                                                  whats your favorite places? and favorite dishes at those places?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                                    Jay Bharat is a fantastic, more refined version of what you'd see on the street in Mumbai. Of their chaat, the Dahi Puri is absolutely stunning (and their Gujarati thalis are also fantastic, but nobody talks about them).

                                                                                                                                    Surati Farsan Mart is also excellent, but the menu is longer and more complex. It also is a better (cleaner, fresher, brighter) version of chaat than much of what you'd see in Mumbai.

                                                                                                                                    Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se tries to provide "genuine" Gujarati street food. Some folks love it, some hate it. I fall somewhere in between.

                                                                                                                                    Ambala Sweets and Snacks is fine, much more authentically "street," but less bright and fresh tasting, and they can go a bit overboard with the yogurt... so any dahi items tend to be a plate of yogurt soup with chaat floating in it.

                                                                                                                                    If I'd never had Gujerati food before I'd get a thali and Dahi Puri at Jay Bharat, share it with a friend, and then walk across the street and order Bhel Puri and a dosa at Surati Farsan Mart... and I'd dine in confidence that I was experiencing the best of both.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Moomin

                                                                                                                                      ive eaten a ton of guerati food and as it turns out chaat is my all time favorite indian food.

                                                                                                                                      I'll def give these place a try at some point

                                                                                                                                      Thanks!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                                        Mine too. So much so that before I had little kids, I used to make the drive out to Artesia from the valley at least once each week. It is absolutely worth the drive if you love Gujerati food.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Moomin

                                                                                                                                          yah i'm a fan of their food.

                                                                                                                                          my freshman year college roommate was a gujerati guy from mumbai, so he showed me the ropes and i eventually went out there and spent 3 weeks in mumbai, so got a good sense for their food

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Moomin

                                                                                                                                    Maybe this is why. The friends that told me Indian food was superior in LA were Gujarati.

                                                                                                                                    I'd also like to hear about your recommendations in Artesia and what dishes to get at each!

                                                                                                                                  3. re: Kalivs

                                                                                                                                    I probably agree with your point of view. My Indian cuisine consumption probably represents 1 per 50-100 restaurant excursions. My bay area Indian is limited to Amber in Mountain View (nice Goan fish curry with Halibut) and a couple Indian spots in Jackson Heights near some well known fortune teller when I lived in NYC.

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