Hong Kong foodie visiting for 1 day to eat: Where do I take her?
Literally, my Korean college roommate & I eaten our way through Japan, HK, Maine & NYC together this year. We've compared notes on KL, Singapore, the Philippines & Thailand. Now she has a one day layover in LA this Dec, and I've been tasked with showing her the highlights. She worked in a French resto in HK previously. Help!
-- I live in Santa Monica, so we probably will work west to east.
-- Think we need to hit Sawtelle at some point because I talk about it so much, and because I've never come across a street with so many different kinds of Asian food before, even in Asia. But maybe that's a snack?
-- Traffic is a bitch and this is a weekday.
-- Baco Mercat? That's still on my brain from a good recent lunch. But is it The One?
key words: DURING THE WEEK
if you do indeed end up going to the SGV, be sure to know the closing time of the restaurant you are planning to hit and to leave PLENTY of time.
when last i tried to get to Happy Family during the week after work, the traffic was so terrible that the restaurant closed before we arrived. bummer
re: Margaret Santa Monica
Consider a taco crawl? IMO much better in terms of taste and value than the places you mentioned. The sausages @ Seoul lack flavor but their poutine is great, and kogi...well its just kbbq in tortilla. Guisados comes to mind as a more fulfilling street food destination, as well as Mariscos Jaliscos and Ricky's Fish Taco
I'm w/ WSG regarding the traffic. What time of day are you planning to do this? If you can start at lunchtime, I think I'd actually rather go east to west than the other way around....
Maybe Cacao in Eagle Rock? Or Porto's? Ethiopian in mid-city? On the westside, I might think about taking her to Milo and Olive or Hostaria del Piccolo (or Gjelina, since so many other people like it).
Does she work in a very upscale restaurant? If so, she might like the cheap eats here....
So you''ve dined in Japan, S'pore, KL, NYC, etc. etc. Sawtelle, aside from its variety of offerings, may not impress her too much. For example, in Japan, there is definitely as good (if not better) ramen as TsujitaLA. The following is a (sort of West-to-East) suggested itinerary:
If she works in a French restaurant in HK, maybe she'll enjoy the croissant at Maison Giraud in Pacific Palidsades for breakfast (even if it's only for the sake of comparison).
Get an Office Burger with a Tripel Karmeliet at Father's Office (Helms location) for lunch. Then walk across the street to TeaForest and get a few scoops of Bulgarini's incredible gelato.
Though I adore Shunji & n/naka, kaiseki format dining is commonplace in Asia. You two may be better off going to K-town for dinner (your friend is Korean, but I didn't hear you mention Seoul in your collective travels). Red Medicine is a good pick as well.
Or, traffic gods willing, you can hit the SGV for some Northern Chinese fare (Lord knows they have enough southern Chinese and Taiwanese in HK).
Actually, strike that. Even better is trying Chef Roberto's Mexican cooking at Babita in San Gabriel. Though it's recently been a controversial pick on this board of late, I will come out and say that what Chef Roberto is doing with so little resources in that location for as long as he has is nothing short of remarkable. Furthermore, there is definitely nothing like Babita in HK, that I'm aware of... The fact that it's a weekday means you two may probably be the only ones in the dining room (read: great service from the chef's wife and plenty of attention from the chef himself)
Finish up the day strong with a street taco crawl in East L.A. Then hit Varnish or some other watering hole in our "sparkling new" Downtown for drinks. Maybe at Perch or WP24.
Yes, we haven't been to Seoul together. We mostly have eaten Korean together in NYC...
Maison Giraud! I had forgotten. And close. Thank you.
Will look into Babita. I do feel like Mexican has appear at least once in the day.
Haven't been to Father's Office in years but have loved that burger well, in my past.
Red Medicine I keep hearing so will look it up...!