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"Neighborhood" restaurants in Hollywood

I've been living in Hollywood (around Santa Monica/La Brea)for a year and I'm not excited by the food in the area. I'm looking for casual, weeknight spots where I can get a fairly inexpensive, but good meal. I've been to Bludso's more times than I can count...

Any recommendations?

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  1. a couple I know goes here several times a week

    http://dellaterrarestaurant.com/

    I like the pikey on sunset for fish and chips/burgers etc...not super cheap but good...and traktir

    http://www.thepikeyla.com/

    http://www.traktirrestaurant.com/?pag...

    and Greenblatts (sunset and Fairfax-ish) is a staple for the turkey dinner and wines/beers, and I've been known to dabble in some pastrami.

    7 Replies
    1. re: jessejames

      I'll second the Pikey recommendation and give a strong endorsement to the vinegar chicken, it's must try item.

      If you go for brunch their curry bloody mary should def be imbibed.

      1. re: jessejames

        Della Terra looks nice. But $20 for a Bolognese? $26 for Spaghetti alla Vongole?

        I'll fly to Tuscany, thanks very much.

        1. re: jesstifer

          yeah sounds pricy. my neighbors that love it are senior citizens/retirees...there must be something else, ie specials during the week or something...they rave about it and the family runned care they get there and massive portions including to take home.

          1. re: jessejames

            I actually just checked their lunch menu, and the prices are identical to dinner!

            1. re: jesstifer

              Thanks for doing the legwork. What Italian do u like in hw?

              1. re: jessejames

                You'll notice there's no Italian on my list. :-(

                Plenty of pizza now, but for primi and secondi, slim pickin's. I've never liked Fabiolus. Ca' Brea was passable back in the day, likewise Caffe Angeli. Vivoli Cafe was good briefly, but fell off. Trastavere at Hollywood and Highland doesn't totally suck in every way. Miceli's has one or two simple dishes I like when I'm in a mood to bear singing waiters. Rainbow Bar 'n' Grill. But "real" Italian, I haven't found.

                New-ish Travertine scares me with its Jäger shots vibe.

                Place on La Brea I've been meaning to try, Cafe Verona, looks promising. Anyone been?

                http://www.cafeveronala.com/

                1. re: jesstifer

                  Yeah I go elsewhere too for Italian Jess. That joint up in laurel canyon used to be "ok"

      2. Pa Ord Noodle on Sunset and La Brea, while not as good as the original, is still solid and quite inexpensive.

        Grandma's Deli near Sunset and Poinsettia has a number of prepared Russian dishes (stuffed cabbage, various fishes, salads, etc) that are often delicious. This is a deli not a restaurant.

        For greasy spoon chinese, I hit up Hoy's Wok also near Sunset and La Brea.

        For ramen, I really like the spicy miso at Chibiscus on Sunset and Martel. Shin-Ya (formerly Ikemen) on La Brea and Hollywood Blvd is also pretty good.

        I eat at the mexican food truck (King of the Grill) on Sunset and La Brea at least once a week. Though the tacos can't rival some of the best in town, they're still pretty good and the price is right.

        2 Replies
        1. re: onelabne

          I really want to like King of the Grill, it's a few blocks from me. I've found everything to be bland and literally lukewarm (I could go on for hours about the horrors of cheese-that-is-not-even-slightly-melted.)

          What do you like there?

          1. re: jesstifer

            When it comes to King of the Grill, I should acknowledge upfront that I may be suffering from geographical bias since I can drunkenly stumble out my front door and splat my face in a plate of tacos in like three steps. So the convenience might be deluding me.

            My go-to orders:

            Tacos - I stick to chorizo, al pastor and carnitas. The carne asada and chicken tend to be bland like you say.

            Quesadillas - They're extremely cheesy, so be prepared for that. But if you need something to sop up the booze they'll do the trick. I take mine with chorizo.

            Burrito - Al pastor or carnitas.

            Their salsa roja and verde are both watery and lackluster. I typically take my order home and then splash my salsa of choice all over it.

        2. One other to add:

          Murikami sushi recently moved from East Hollywood to Melrose and Detroit. The fish there is good quality and they have reasonably priced chirashi bowls that seem to be the go to for most people.

          1 Reply
          1. re: onelabne

            Excited to hear they've reopened! I loved that place.

            1. Also, any happy hour suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

              1. If you like to eat an occasional vegan or vegetarian meal, you might like to give Doomie's a try (edited because Kevin was correct in his post below). We're not vegetarian/vegans, but we like the food there a lot and my "veggie" friends swear by it.

                They have some "non-menu items" as well as the regular fair and the vegetarian Big Mac is really good and fun to try. There are nice people working there, too.

                We also like Inti for "dive restaurant" Peruvian food. It's the opposite of fancy, just a small, family run spot on Melrose. It's only a block from Mario's Peruvian, which always has a crowd, but we like Inti much, much better. If you're ever in the mood for some saltado or something, in a neighborhood-type place,you might like to give Inti a try.

                4 Replies
                1. re: PaulF

                  I think you meant Doomie's, right ???? Or is there also a Froomie's ??????

                  http://www.yelp.com/biz/doomies-home-...

                  1. re: kevin

                    Thanks Kevin.

                    I don't know what I was thinking.

                    I edited my post.

                    I really do recommend Doomie's though.

                    Check out the photos of their food. Even a carnivore would enjoy it.

                    Thanks again.

                    1. re: PaulF

                      i've been a couple times, and you know what, compared to the standard, chain Veggie Grill and stuff of that ilk i really like it.

                      They also have "fried chicken" which is very close to the real thing, though it does have that TVC (sp?) after taste to it.

                      Chili cheese burger (with real cheddar for me) and bacon (the faux stuff, though of course not quite a faux pas) was really good. it's a pretty funky joint to boot, in a funky mini-mall.

                      1. re: kevin

                        I agree.

                        Better than Veggie Grill/Native foods.

                        I heard it's also now open til like 3 am on some nights. I haven't been that late, my friend happened to mention it to me.

                2. Cat & Fiddle is ok food but a fun venue and patio. Off Vine is good food and nice venue but a bit more expensive.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Thor123

                    Cat & Fiddle's patio is a fun place to order breakfast and kill time with the Sunday papers.

                    1. re: Thor123

                      Cat and Fiddle has a great happy hour. Pints half off. Dunno about food, because who cares? Pints half off!

                    2. If simple, homestyle Japanese appeals, you can try Atch-Kotch at Vine & Fountain.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: mc michael

                        and the Cuban joint same shopping center

                        1. re: jessejames

                          and Doomie's for a bang-bang-bang-bang as JJ would say.

                          1. re: kevin

                            no vegan bang bang unless you're talking beer and liquor which last time I checked (and feel free to blast me westsidegirl) are vegan

                      2. Crown of India
                        Bombay Grill
                        Mendocino farms
                        Tender Greens
                        Murakami
                        Calif chicken café
                        Ta-eem grill
                        Fat Sal's
                        P Mozza takeout
                        Oinkster
                        Tere's
                        Chibiscus
                        Fairfax nearby-lots of options there
                        Noticed a new tofu place on Melrose just east of La Brea - Gamgnam Tofu house. has anyone tried?

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: soniabegonia

                          Always wanted to try Tere's.

                          It's actually in the same parking lot as Inti, which I mentioned up the thread. It looks pretty good.

                          1. re: PaulF

                            tere's is good, but it was probably better about ten years ago when there weren't so much other options around town.

                            1. re: PaulF

                              I actually thought Inti was dreadful, but only tried once about 10 yrs ago. I wonder if it's improved.

                              Tere's isn't going to change your life or anything, but it's good for a quick fix.

                              1. re: soniabegonia

                                I dunno.

                                The same person who turned me on to Doomie's turned me on to Inti. We like it for what it is -- a cheap, neighborhood spot.

                            2. re: soniabegonia

                              Adding to the list above there's Cheebo, Fresh Corn Grill, The Bowery, Los Balcones, Mario's Peruvian, Stella Barra, Osteria Mamma

                            3. It's been a couple of years since I lived in the neighborhood, back then I used to:

                              drop in for the 1/2-chicken plate at Milk
                              http://www.themilkshop.com/food

                              show up for the izakaya plates at Itacho (sushi was was surprisingly decent if you sat at the bar).
                              http://www.itachorestaurant.com/

                              veg out at Bulan Thai
                              http://bulanthai.com/melrose/

                              go to Tinga and order delicious tacos, and elote especial (grilled sweet corn, w/creamy puree of lime, chili & poblano) and wash it down with house-made horchata
                              http://tingalabrea.com/menu-2/

                              eat clean macrobiotic food at Inaka or M Cafe de Chaya
                              http://inakanaturalfoods.wordpress.co...
                              http://mcafedechaya.com/menu/

                              grab a German/Austrian beer and jager schnitzel at Wirtshaus
                              http://www.wirtshausla.com/#!food/c1jo3

                              get take-out tandoori chicken & onion cilantro nan from East India Grill
                              http://www.eastindiagrillla.com/

                              order bavette steak or swedish meatballs at The Fat Dog
                              http://thefatdogla.com/eat/

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: yinyangdi

                                Itacho, still good. And yes to Wirtshaus and Tinga.

                                But East India Grill is nasty.

                              2. All of the following are very good and pretty reasonably priced:

                                --Golden State
                                --Taeem Grill
                                --Araya Thai
                                --Pailin for thai
                                --Franco on Melrose
                                --Plan Check
                                --Crown of India
                                --Hirozen (the gem of the area)

                                1. Lived in this neighborhood 30 years.

                                  All within five-ten mins:

                                  Baby Blue's BBQ
                                  Jones (Kinder, gentler Musso's)
                                  Pa Ord Noodle (La Brea Sunset branch)
                                  Cafe Aroma
                                  Chibiscus
                                  Tere's Mexican Grill
                                  Mission Cantina
                                  Second Greenblatt's
                                  Golden State, for burgers
                                  Griddle Cafe (anytime there's no line, which is rare, but can be done)
                                  Stella Barra
                                  Shintaro. Vastly underrated sushi, IMHO. Franklin/Highland
                                  Delancey. Vastly underrated pizza.
                                  Balcones del Peru
                                  Cactus (Vine/Fountain branch)
                                  And sorry, but, El Coyote. There's really no better place to spend a reasonably priced, very merry night. I'm currently jonesing for a ground beef and bean burrito, mojado.

                                  For happy hour, most of the above (especially Cafe Aroma), but also

                                  Blue Palm
                                  Velvet Margarita
                                  Delphine (Only in the bar, for oysters. Do not eat dinner there, period.)

                                  Things I disagree with:

                                  Off Vine (Pricey, so 90s)
                                  Pikey (Pricey, so 2010s)
                                  Hoy's Wok (so 80s, and just no. Better greasy Chinese takeout/ delivery a block north at Mandarette, not to be confused with Le Mandarette)

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: jesstifer

                                    What's wrong with the 80's!?!?

                                    Isn't Mandarette over on Beverly? Le Mandarette is a block north on Hollywood and La Brea, and is godawful.

                                    1. re: onelabne

                                      Yes, sorry, got my Mandarettes backwards. But I don't find Le Mandarette godawful. Most solid delivery Chinese in the area, IMHO. I love their tofu skin (or chicken) with mustard greens and red chili. They use nice big juicy prawns and scallops in their seafood dishes. And the "steamed wonton in chef's special spicy sweet sauce" is a noble, albeit pale, attempt at Sichuan style spicy wonton that I can get behind.

                                      1. re: jesstifer

                                        I'll have to give it another go. I ordered the shrimp fried rice when I first moved in to the neighborhood and found the rice to be dry and the shrimp mushy / mealy, like it was old. That was the first and last time I've been there. Would love to be proven wrong though since it's right near my place.

                                        1. re: onelabne

                                          It's not great, mind you. But I have a similar relationship to it as yours with King of the Grill.

                                          And maybe I'll give Hoy's Wok another try. It went way downhill when they expanded in...what, 1989 or so? But they're still there, so they must be doing something right.

                                          Man, we could use some real Chinese in Hollywood.

                                  2. I'd also recommend Littlefork.

                                    They have a great happy hour, $1.50 oyster deals, hefty cocktails, and excellent food.

                                    If I lived closer, I'd probably be there a few times a week.

                                    http://www.littleforkla.com/

                                    1. Some great recommendations here for new things to try in my neighborhood. I do loves me some Chowhound.

                                      1. I believe you live somewhat close to Salt's Cure. I went there for a late breakfast and was blown away. Definitely worth a visit in my opinion.