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Good eats in LA-area?


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After a number of outstanding meals at my recommendation in NY, my boss has asked for some help in finding good restaurants in Los Angeles.

Restaurants he has booked are:

1) Matsuhisa for Japanese

2) Ago for Italian

and

3) Bastide for French

Are these good choices, or are better alternatives available?

Also, any good, authentic places for dim sum and other Chinese cuisines. And can good Mexican and Cuban be found in the vicinity?

Many thanks from a Brooklyner...

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Matsuhisa is fine and dandy for upscale California-style Japanese. If your boss is in New York, he may have already eaten at Nobu which is probably the same thing. If you want REAL Japanese, head to the town of Gardena where you can't throw a dead cat without hitting an authentic, fabulous Japanese restaurant.

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Gardena...man you are not kidding,what a gold mine! For Cuban,you must try Havana Mania, its hands down the best (I am married to a Cuban)....Azuma is interesting in Gardena....

What other stuff does your boss want, tell him to go to my web site as I have all my reviews from the paper on the site and it might give him/her some ideas on where to go....also where are they staying,that would help with recs...L.A. is a huge spread out place!

Moo, Cluck, Oink.....they all taste good!

The Hungry Detective

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After a number of outstanding meals at my recommendation in NY, my boss has asked for some help in finding good restaurants in Los Angeles.

Restaurants he has booked are:

1) Matsuhisa for Japanese

2) Ago for Italian

and

3) Bastide for French

Are these good choices, or are better alternatives available?

Also, any good, authentic places for dim sum and other Chinese cuisines. And can good Mexican and Cuban be found in the vicinity?

Many thanks from a Brooklyner...

i'm guessing your boss wants to go high-end. as such i'd recommend the following:

campanile (california cuisine-mediterranean)

patina (cal-french-fusion)

joe's (new american)

if he wants korean bbq in ritzier surroundings than normal take him to chosun galbi (the food is excellent there too). los angeles has the best korean food outside of korea (caveat: i used to say the same about chinese in the san gabriel valley but have been slapped down by people in vancouver and toronto). if you want your boss to have an asian food experience he can't have anywhere else in the u.s you should direct him towards koreatown.

amazing chinese options in the s.g.v, but almost none of them are fancy-schmancy. i'd recommend either chungking or hua's garden in monterey park for excellent sichuan. the new mission 261 seafood house is pretty fancy by all accounts but hasn't received good reviews here. standbys like ocean star in monterey park and 888 seafood in rosemead are reliable (and huuuuge). there's chinese islamic in the 99 ranch complex (140 w. valley) in rosemead which serves, wait for it, chinese islamic cuisine (or is that one tung lai shun? i always get them confused--anyway, both are good and fairly far from the run of the mill). there's good shanghainese places as well, but others better versed in shanghainese food should recommend places for that.

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Sounds like you are looking at high end places. since that is the case, I think for dim sum, Sea Harbour, is the best. tissue and her friend Rupert took a bunch of us egulleteers there last year and it was awesome.

Make him get the foie gras (duck liver) wontons and then immediately report back here what he thought of them. I still cannot seem to get myself to pay $16 for a couple of wontons. I know, I know.

Also, I like the sharks fin seafood dumplings there. Oh and that one bitter melon sticky rice ball with ground black sesame filling in it.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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For Cuban,you must try Havana Mania, its hands down the best (I am married to a Cuban)

Thanks for this recommendation. Did a google search and it looks like the real deal. Tuesday nights for roast pig sound tasty

if he wants korean bbq in ritzier surroundings than normal take him to chosun galbi (the food is excellent there too)

I'm jealous of LA's K-Town. There are several here in NYC, but none compare to those in LA/SF. If this is the best of the best, then we'll end up there!

Make him get the foie gras (duck liver) wontons and then immediately report back here what he thought of them.

I'll try my darnedest!

Any other recommendations? If anyone knows NYC food - any Thai on the order of Sripriphai? Or how about decent Venezuelan? The meals are filling up quickly, but there's still some open spots! And the Muslim Chinese restaurant piqued my interest - any chance they serve Uigher (or Uygher) cuisine?

Edited by lambretta76 (log)
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For Korean BBQ...once again cant go wrong with Gardena....just drive down Western and pick a spot...I would trust what Jschyun has to say though....I really respect her opinion and would take what she says over what I say in that respect....but for good cuban and greaseburgers..I am the man!

Moo, Cluck, Oink.....they all taste good!

The Hungry Detective

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Any other recommendations? If anyone knows NYC food - any Thai on the order of Sripriphai?

And the Muslim Chinese restaurant piqued my interest - any chance they serve Uigher (or Uygher) cuisine?

don't know about the nyc thai place you cite but if the lamentations about the lack of decent thai food on the ny forum is anything to go by it is probably safe to say that l.a has better thai food. nothing along the lines of the fancy place i see you posted about on that forum, but interesting nonetheless. there's a thai-town in l.a as well--angeleno egulleters did a thai crawl some time back i think--surf the threads.

don't know about uigher/uygher cuisine--never heard of it in fact, but that's an unreliable yardstick since by that measure most of the world wouldn't exist--but the muslim chinese places sure are different. that 140 w. valley complex has a bewildering variety of regional chinese places. and it is always nice to go into 99 ranch's meat section and contemplate the pig uterus.

as for korean, i don't think jschyun, even with all her orange county nationalism, will tell you to pick anywhere other than koreatown, just west of downtown l.a, for a hardcore korean experience. chosun is not my favorite korean bbq place in l.a but it is in my top 5 for sure. but of all the places i like (and have been taught to like by my wife, who is a daughter of koreatown) it is the snazziest; a very nice interior and lots of beautiful people around. and like i said the meat etc. is very good--if you go there get a selection of meats and their spicy seafood soup. it is on olympic blvd, a few blocks west of western. if you want to go more hardcore there's shik do rak about 2 miles east, down olympic (short of hoover), and soot bull jeep and dong il jiang about a mile east and 1/2 a mile west on 8th street.

don't know about venezuelan but there's lots of good down-home salvadorean--again, others are better situated to make recommendations in that area.

Edited by mongo_jones (log)
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ahahahah! Honestly, I'm so behind the times, esp with barbecue places that it's laughable. In fact, mongo_jones' family-in-law is taking him to all the best places! Lucky bastard.

SF Bay area doesn't really have much Korean actually, and they seem to be mostly on Geary or thereabouts. Oakland has a little more, mostly on Telegraph, and even some nightlife. But nothing on the order of L.A. or even Orange County. It hasn't really grown all that much in the 10 (or so, yikes) years since i first was there.

mongo_jones mentioned Chosun Galbee, mainly because it's a very nice setting. Definitely bossman material. The food is more to American tastes than Korean, i.e. a little sweeter and lighter. The Korean people I know are divided on that place ranging from "food is too sweet" to "I'm glad it's not in that POS hole in the wall anymore". Also Tahoe Galbi might be a contender, as tissue mentioned in another thread. Oh wait, Chosun Galbee was in the NY Times, yeah take him there.

Koreans have been in NY for a long time, okay maybe not quite as many people as in L.A., and not as concentrated in one massive area. However, I would not be surprised if there was some shining star in NY or NJ that are as good or even better than places in L.A.

Oh and if he goes to Sea Harbour (that dim sum place), tell him to go REALLY EARLY!!! You don't want to piss him off with a long wait. Just tell him to starve the night before or something. I forget when they open (10? 10:30am?) 11 am is way too late.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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And the Muslim Chinese restaurant piqued my interest - any chance they serve Uigher (or Uygher) cuisine?

I doubt it. The two best known Chinese Islamic restaurants in the SGV serve northern (Beijing) based Islamic food. Uyghur cuisine is more central/western Asian, although I've never had it so who knows what they're sneaking by on the menu...

Anyway, out of the two restaurants, I prefer China Islamic. A la carte is better, and the bread is superior. Tung Lai Shun is good for a preset menu for eight people or so, but the a la carte is kinda weak. China Islamic is a bit divey, while Tung Lai Shun is a bit upscale (as compared to other Chinese restaurants in the area).

China Islamic Restaurant

7727 E. Garvey Ave.

Rosemead, CA 91770

Tung Lai Shun

140 W. Valley Blvd.

San Gabriel, CA 91776

P.S. to the Locals: Anybody know if T.L.S. is still in business? They're not popping up on the Dept. of Health website.

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Thanks for all of these interesting recommendations. The 140 W. Valley Complex sounds a lot like the two Chinese food courts in Flushing, Queens, which feature an array of different styles of regional Chinese cuisine.

As for uigher food, it is essentially Muslim-Russian food coming from a section of China - popular both with Russians and with, from what I've heard, the college students in major Chinese cities. Think lots of kabobs, savoury pastries, and the such. A far cry from traditional Chinese cooking, but nonetheless a unique flavor and culture that is indeed Chinese, if only by national boundaries. I've yet to encounter a Beijing-style Muslim Chinese restaurant in NYC - the closest is a run-of-the-mill CHinese restaurant in my neighborhood that happen to be halal. And keeping with the Moroccan nature of the area, you can get everything on cous cous. (Surprisingly, sesame chicken tastes really good on vegetable cous cous.)

Korean food in NY/NJ is good. Had I not spent a lot of time in Korea, or had a Korean aunt, I would probably really like it. But it just lacks a quality that I've had elsewhere. I feel that the majority of Koreans in NYCs K-Towns were born here and the restaurants may cater to an Americanized Korean palate. I think that places like LA, and to a lesser part Denver and Atlanta, have a much more recent wave of Korean immigrants bringing more authentic food with them.

And as for a Thai town - please let me know what is best in there. While the state of NYC Thai food is quite poor, Sripriphai, in Woodside, Queens, has been touted as the best Thai restaurant in the country. (Or "Thaied" with one in Las Vegas whose name I forget.) Plus, my boss is half Thai and would perhaps appreciate some decent food. I don't know if there are any upscale Thai restos in the area - my boss and I just recently ate at Kittichai in NY - run by the former chef of Spice Market at the Four Seasons in Bangkok - and the food was absolutely fantastic. (If interested, a link to my review of this restaurant can be found here.

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Lambretta,

if your boss is looking for good, high end places, I'd suggest Spago (Beverly Hills), Josie (Santa Monica) and A O C (West Hollywood). As for Thai, I think the best Thai in Thai Town is found at a very simple, BYOB place called Ruen Pair (for example, you can get fried morning glories there) on Hollywood Blvd. For a more upscale atmosphere, and alcohol, another choice would be Jitlada on Sunset.

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Found a place called la di da in West Hollywood - supposed to be Hawaiian fusion food. Well, ain't no Hawaiian restaurants in NYC - save for Roy's - is this place any good? If not, any other Hawaiian eateries worth checking out?

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I was out in California for two weeks last October. While I had quite a few good meals, there are two that really really stick out in my mind (in LA).

First for Italian, go to S&A Trattoria (the name's something like that). It's in Venice just half a block from the beach. They have huge portions for dirt cheap prices, and it is fabulous! There is a similiarly named restaurant on the same street (S&A Bistro or something). It's the same company/family I believe, but don't go there. Go to the one close to the beach. You will not be disappointed.

Secondly, go to AOC. That was probably the finest meal I've ever had. Suzanne Goin is a goddess, and I want to marry her. After I ate the roasted cheek dish, I told the bartender (I was sitting at the bar), that I wanted to propose to the chef. She said that she would tell her, but I haven't heard back from her for some reason. I just can't understand why though. :rolleyes: But seriously, it's incredible food. Whether Suzanne will return my calls or not. lol

-Greg

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Found a place called la di da in West Hollywood - supposed to be Hawaiian fusion food. Well, ain't no Hawaiian restaurants in NYC - save for Roy's - is this place any good? If not, any other Hawaiian eateries worth checking out?

There is actually a huge Hawaiian enclave in <guess where???> GARDENA! That's the place to head for REAL Hawaiian food...

ALOHA TAVERN

( 310 ) 324 - 2700

16416 S VERMONT AVE,GARDENA,CA,90247

Bob's Hawaiian Style Okazuya

16814 S. Vermont Avenue, Gardena, CA 90247-5619

Phone: (310) 515-2250

BROTHERS HAWAIIAN FOODS

( 310 ) 323 - 9112

1033 W GARDENA BLVD,GARDENA,CA,90247

Harry's Aloha Chop Suey

1721 W Redondo Beach Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247-3223

Phone: (310) 324-4231

KAU KAU KORNER RESTAURANT

( 310 ) 515 - 5110

1740 W ARTESIA BLVD,GARDENA,CA,90248

L&L's Hawaiian BBQ

Gardena Valley Shopping Center

1258-C West Redondo Beach Blvd., Gardena, CA 90247

Phone: (310) 630-5868

Seoul Grindz Hawaii

136 S Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91204

Phone: (818) 637-8566

Teri Hawaii

1425 W. Artesia Blvd. #34 Gardena, CA 90248

Phone (310) 327-030

Just outside Gardena:

King's Hawaiian "The Local Place" Restaurant

18605 S. Western Avenue, Torrance, CA 90605

Phone: (310) 523-3233

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for high-end italian, i'd head to either valentino ... the obvious choice, but i had a really remarkable dinner there a couple months ago ... or for a very different feel osteria angelini (where i'm planning to go saturday night). valentino is very dressed up, very finished, great wine list (though i agree the room does look like it was done by carmela soprano's decorator). angelini is very minimalist both in decor and cuisine (get anything with tripe or guanciale) and a very good, though much smaller wine list.

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I have also heard great things about AOC (Suzanne Goin, the chef, is also in charge at Lucques, which I have also heard great things about). I have also heard great things about Sona, which I plan to visit in the very near future (progressive Californian/Asian).

I would stay away from Campanile, as I had a disappointing experience there.

If he is interested in breakfast/lunch/very-late-night spots, Fred 62 is a GREAT diner in the Los Feliz area. They're open 24 hours a day, have great food, and even make their own "Punk Tarts" (Pop Tarts). It's owned by an eccentric L.A. chef, Fred Eric. Philippe's, in downtown L.A., is a landmark (opened around 1920), and has awsome French-dip sandwiches - definitely not to be missed.

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Yep. Good stuff. They also have something called, "Fairfax High." It's like an eggs benedict on LSD - good Hollandaise sauce, crispy bagel chips, smoked salmon, and red onions, along with some other plate garnishes which I can't remember. Good dish!

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Lambretta,

if your boss is looking for good, high end places, I'd suggest Spago (Beverly Hills), Josie (Santa Monica) and A O C (West Hollywood). As for Thai, I think the best Thai in Thai Town is found at a very simple, BYOB place called Ruen Pair (for example, you can get fried morning glories there) on Hollywood Blvd. For a more upscale atmosphere, and alcohol, another choice would be Jitlada on Sunset.

I ate at Spago about 4 years ago. Perhaps it's gotten better - but - if it hasn't - I couldn't recommend it. For a Wolfgang Puck place - I much preferred Chinois on Main. Robyn

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I was thinking that your boss might be more impressed with Mission 261 than with Sea Harbour, esp if he is a dim sum newbie.

If this means anything, I personally think that Mission 261 is the Yank Sing of SoCal. Basically this means, that it's expensive, nice rooms and good china, and you'll find a lot of Caucasians there, but they love the food. Tell him to go to the main room, which features a chinese guitar(?) player and a huge tv playing stuff like tournament golf (I think only on weekends but not sure). IMHO, the food varies wildly from really good to really bad, but is not consistently bad or good.

Sea Harbour, by contrast, is still a nice looking restaurant, but not nearly as fancy. Also, it is very crowded with Chinese and people like me. But their food is consistently good, just not as pretty.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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