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(Can't get no) Satisfaction: Under/unappreciated Gems

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Inspired by the closing of Lawrence of India, I want to hear about your favorite restaurants that are chronically empty and possibly in fear of closing.
I'm talking about places where the food is incredible, but it feels like you are always the only person in there.
Let's see if we can keep some good restaurants in business.

Bonus points if you haven't mentioned this place on the board before.

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  1. I'll go first:

    Natalie Peruvian in back of a 7/11 on Hollywood right next to the 101.

    The best Lomo Saltado I've had. The meat is tender, with a strong beefy flavor and the sauce cuts the right balance of salty and sour, with a hint of sweetness. The onions are sweet and crisp and the fries are thick and fresh.
    The arroz chaufa is also amazing.
    I can't speak for their seafood, but in my opinion, the Lomo trumps any other place I've been to

    4 Replies
    1. re: Butter Fight

      Is this close to the 101 Coffee Shoppe ?

      1. re: kevin

        "close" is relative, but the 101 Coffee Shop is on Frankln just before the 101 fwy entrance; Natalie Peruvian is on Hollywood just before the fwy entrance. It's in the same center as Yai, behind a 7/11 as Butter said.

      2. re: Butter Fight

        Just ate there last Saturday. The Lomo Saltado was very good. Mine was a bit greasy, but the flavor was great. And the ceviche was incredible. Definitely a hidden gem.

        1. re: Butter Fight

          hm nice looking mussels

          http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/natali...

        2. Pho Minh.

          Oh wait...

          1 Reply
          1. re: ns1

            I had thought that Pho Minh had already closed down ?

            There was also an interesting piece in the LA Times a few years back about how Pho Minh was struggling and its trials and tribulations in remaining in business.

            If it's still around, please do confirm. Those broad noodles were great.

          2. Doya Doya Okonomiyaki on Artesia in Torrance.

            3 Replies
            1. re: bulavinaka

              Is there a "can't miss" thing on the menu?

              1. re: Butter Fight

                Their pork/egg/cheese okonomiyaki is my favorite. The yakisoba and the omu-soba is first rate. The squid or shrimp in garlic butter are good. I've heard about their chorizo on potatoes but have yet to see or try it. If going, check for their hours, and take full advantage of their condiments.

              2. re: bulavinaka

                Thanks for the reminder, we keep forgetting about that place when we wander down that area.

              3. Gorge
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/900793

                2 Replies
                1. re: chrishei

                  Is it still open, Chris?
                  I keep meaning to get there before the shoe drops.

                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                    Yes they are. They even have these Gilt City deals until 5/30:

                    - wine & cheese tasting for 2 ($45)
                    - tasting menu for 2 ($75)

                    http://www.giltcity.com/los-angeles/g...

                    Not sure if the "tasting menu" is worth it though from a glance - seems like you can order a la carte for essentially the same price (unless you order the most expensive of each option).

                2. I love Coni'Seafood in Inglewood. Wonderful mexican seafood. But every time there has never been more than one other table seated. It does worry me. Hopefully I just go too early and it fills up later. This is an LA dining treasure that I would hate to lose.
                  http://www.laweekly.com/2011-12-15/ea...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: wienermobile

                    It's my only reason to go to L.A. now. I love this place. Thanks WSG for turning me on to Sergios cooking. I was afraid of this.

                    1. re: emglow101

                      my pleasure.
                      sundays seem to be the only day of the week that they are consistently crowded.
                      i'm hoping their take-out business is holding them up.

                  2. Mori Sushi

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: AlkieGourmand

                      Is it really empty these days ?

                      1. re: kevin

                        I was gonna say I don't think it's under-appreciated here on CH at least, but I rarely see it busy when I drive by. Of course the frosted windows don't help.

                        1. re: PeterCC

                          Frosty windows reminds me of a frosty mug of beer.

                          But once when I attempted to go there all the bar seats were taken. I waited for some time and they made some room for me.

                          Hopefully if it is not too busy they are not increase prices to make up for the decrease in covers.

                          And yes my tummy is overdue on a visit but not my pocketbook.

                          1. re: kevin

                            That was rather poetic.

                            1. re: kevin

                              the continuing increase in the world wide prices of top quality seafood will drive the prices up at all decent sushi bars even if they have plenty of business.

                              one can't make up for negative margins caused by rising inventory costs by increasing volume.
                              you MUST have positive margins to start.

                      2. Sigh. Noura Cafe. It used to be where Comme Ca is now. I used to go there at least once a week. The pain was eased by Eat A Pita (same owners), but then that closed. I give Comme Ca a dirty look whenever I drive by.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: schrutefarms

                          I remember Noura Cafe. But I don't remember the food. I prolly went for a large party held there.

                          1. re: schrutefarms

                            You read the question wrong: "Let's see if we can keep some good restaurants in business."

                            1. re: TonyC

                              You're right. I'm about five years late on this one! Oops :)

                          2. El Huarique in Venice. Peruvian food off of Ocean Front Walk (in a food court around 6' feet wide that could double as a "shooting gallery". It's that funky.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: foodiemahoodie

                              Dommy and I went last night and It was Fabulous. More on it later. But I will say they do a brisk business with their $5 1/4 chicken special.

                            2. My go to breakfast - zabies, ocean park in SM. fabulous food & coffee, priced right
                              http://zabies.com/

                               
                              2 Replies
                              1. re: CharlesKochel

                                I keep meaning to try that place, but I usually end up at OP Cafe for breakfast if I'm in that neck of the woods.

                                1. re: CharlesKochel

                                  Though kotchel I believe Zabies has been there for an eternity and has that built in clientele and regulars from Sunset Park.