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Underrated Restaurants

I thought this was an interesting list.

I've been to Bashan a few times - place is pretty great but don't hear it mentioned here a lot. Wish they were on the westside (and I mean west of the 405, or at least close to it).


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  1. Taqueria Los Anaya has to top this list.

    1 Reply
    1. Totally concur with the Tripel, Mercado, & Canele.....

      17 Replies
      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

        Canele?? The place that is constantly listed as the best brunch in LA by every major food publication? How much higher could it be rated?? haha

        What is good at Mercado?

        1. re: Stravinsky

          I don't see Canele recommended much here.....

          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

            Canele is good enough, yet hardly worthy of a trip from afar.
            If you happen to be in that area, it is very good, but don't drive far, thinking you are getting something WONDERFUL.
            It is good at doing what it has always tried to do, period!

            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

              Weird... usually Chow is on top of stuff like that.

              Maybe not actually that great?

          2. re: Dirtywextraolives

            +1 on the Tripel. A delight every time. It will be interesting to see if it will stay as good and as interesting after the planned expansion. I sure hope so.

            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

              i, too, love Tripel,
              but if it is underrated, praytell who is filling it to the point that virtually every night they have a guy there with a clipboard controlling who can get a seat and when.
              the place is so jammed ALL THE TIME that i now drive right past it to do my drinking in venice.
              it went from being the place where "everybody knew my name" to something else that is far less hospitable.
              i'm sure, if you are willing to stand out on the sidewalk while you wait, the food is as good as it used to be.
              just not my cup of tea anymore.

              1. re: westsidegal

                Yup - Tripel is in no way underrated - it is under-square-footaged and overly trodden in sleepy downtown PdR. If it were tripel the size, who knows...

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    I was basing my opinions on whether I see the places that I feel has decent food recommended much here on the boards. Obviously it's a very popular place with the neighborhood, but most people outside of PDR have never even heard of it......

                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                      I hear you. But many know of it (at least my fellow minions do) but really don't attempt going because it's packed from the word go. Reminds me of the Yogi-ism about no one ever goes because it's too crowded.

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        Yes, but it really doesn't take much to pack that place.... Glad to hear she's doing well with it though....

                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                          She and her husband took over the Tower 42 space in Playa and will be opening another restaurant called Playa Provisions, possibly in December.

                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                  Mercado in Sana Monica, dirty w/extraolives? Please tell me why and what you get there. Three visits have turned me off, and I liked Yxta quite a bit. But I have had such lousy meals at Mercado. Particularly bad ceviche (actually ALL the fish I have had was poorly done). Crummy tortillas. Weak sauces.
                  Drinks and the rough-hewn Guac were fine.

                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                    I liked the chicken tortilla soup, the salads and some of the dishes I find interesting, like the sea scallops and empanadas. Haven't been back since it first opened though.

                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                      thanks...I really want to like it and a friend from Mexico City says she likes it, so maybe I need to try more...

                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                        Sorry, DWEO

                        Chilangas are not known for a knowledge about or interest in Mexican food, but indeed, there are other areas where they excel. :)

                    1. Piccolo Paradiso. Culina.

                      1. Agree with Stella Barra Santa Monica. Great Pizza. But it's always busy so can you still call it under rated?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wienermobile

                          not it my book, you can't.
                          in terms of restaurants near the beach that offer a fine pizza, i'd say that settebello in marina del rey would be far more qualified as being underrated than stella barra santa monica

                          1. re: A5 KOBE

                            Edit: went by Muggie's today and it is no more

                          2. dinner @ fundamental la

                            1. Underrated: Label's Table deli on Pico east of Beverly (another location in the SFV). Very good deli, counter service but fast. Really big sandwiches, very reasonable prices (about $5 less than nearby Factor's, Lenny's, etc.), friendly service. No ambience, but good Jewish-style deli fare, big portions, great value.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: nosh

                                Had hot brisket and Swiss on onion roll there last week. Usually I get the au jus but they had Italian beef jus from Vienna beef on blackboard thing so I tried that. Tasty as hell. Regular au jus splendid. Also like the corned beef w horseradish on rye and turkey/hard salami. Half souRs too. I see sAme regulars there all the time at lunch.

                                1. re: jessejames

                                  I have also had a brisket sandwich there with au jus and liked it a lot.

                                  The place isn't Langer's -- their pastrami is a commercial brand (they treat it well) as is their rye bread. But a Langer's pastrami on rye doesn't quite fill me up, and a Label's Table is a struggle to finish and I sometimes get another slice of rye to make another half-sandwich from the mound of meat. I think Label's sandwiches now are $8.50, a buck less if the daily special -- easily five bucks less than the competitors.

                                  1. re: nosh

                                    I don't know any place more consistent about having juicy falling apart brisket.

                                    1. re: nosh

                                      FYI - Langer's does "make" their own pastrami. They heat it up. (though they might be doing something special in that regard).

                                      I have some notes (can't remember where they came from).

                                      The meat (not kosher) arrives from R-C Provisions in 2 to 2 1/2 pound pieces, cut smaller and leaner than for other customers, and smoked tender.
                                      • The meat is steamed 2-4 hours to an internal temperature of 209 degrees.
                                      • The meat is hand cut “to read the navel and meet the grain.”

                                      • Hand cutting, rather than machine slicing, allows the slicer to toss tough or unpalatable parts.