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Dec 6, 2013 05:23 PM

Trip report - Australians in LA

A big thank you to the LA folks who replied to my last minute request for places for newly arrived Australians to eat in LA. We had a great time at the following:
1. Fundamental - our favourite, inventive food, surprised that there were no USA wines on the wine list but we managed to enjoy anyway!
2. Connie and Ted's - well cooked, fresh food, good atmosphere, attentive servers
3. Monte Alban - we know very little about Mexican food as it is not well represented in Australia. This was a very interesting experience for us.

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  1. Thanks for the report back. Glad you hit some places excelling at what they do and not horribly costly.

    1. We're glad you had a good time out here in LA. I hope you were able to experience some of our fantastic California wines on your trip.

      1. 1. Funny you noticed that. I was there tonight and noticed the same thing!

        3. "interesting" good or interesting bad? =(

        4 Replies
        1. re: ilysla

          We don't think we chose very well from the menu. Our server wasn't inclined to be helpful so we were pretty well in the dark as far as knowing what to order so we could have a representative sampling of the food at Monte Alban. A tasting menu would have been ideal.

          1. re: tho430

            Ack. Should've written down some recs. Skip the yellow mole. I like the black and red mole. Favorites are the mole burrito, tacos enchiladas (cheese). Queso fundido is tasty (but it's a LOT of cheese). Had the Volcan Oaxaqueno once by accident; it was also quite good. Cesina Adobada has good flavor but is kind of tough.

            Oaxacan food is also known for the clayudas, which are like a Mexican pizza. I think I only had it once awhile back, and I don't think I particularly enjoyed it.

            Order a horchata to wash it all down.

            Maybe next time try all the Japanese food on Sawtelle (I don't imagine Australia has a lot of Japanese food, but perhaps I'm mistaken?). =)

            1. re: ilysla

              Thanks, Ilysia. I should have thought to ask for your recommendations before we went :(.

              FYI, Australia does have a lot of Japanese food. It is popular there, especially because it is thought to be a healthy option. We also have a number of other Asian cuisines (eg Vietnamese, Thai, Indian) and European (eg Greek, Italian). Many of these cuisines have arrived because Australia, like USA, welcomed (and still welcome, to a lesser degree) immigrants from all over the world.

              We may try Japanese on Sawtelle next time we visit LA and compare it to Japanese in Aust. It is sometimes amazing how cuisines can change when adapating to local tastes.

              1. re: tho430

                I should've offered some; I had forgotten how overwhelming the menu can be! Part of the "problem" w/ Monte Alban is that they don't cook the meat in the sauce itself, so I find that dishes that have a carb (like tortillas, rice) that can absorb the mole to be more satisfying.

                For another type of Mexican for your next trip to the area, you might want to try Tacos Punta Cabras. Totally different style and really delicious.

                I was wondering if Australia's (relative) promixity to parts of Asia might affect the Asian food scene there. I assume you'd have lots of Cantonese style places b/c of the HK immigrants, but I wasn't sure about Japanese. I do think it'd be fun to do a comparison. =)