Los Angeles Area rss

Restaurant recommendations, new openings, and highlights from the LA Chowhound community.

For Ethiopian, Think Outside the Strip

A hole-in-the-wall removed from the Little Ethiopia strip on Fairfax, Ibex sometimes hits a home run, says westsidegal, like with their rich and marvelous mesir wat (spicy red lentils). Make sure to request some of their awaze (spice paste) to add to your food.

Just off Fairfax on Pico, Awash really reflects Ethiopian home cooking, says artfoodhistorianista, who’s had plenty. Remember that Ethiopian food takes time, so be prepared to wait.

Meanwhile, back on the Strip, Meals by Genet has something for everyone: tasty, authentic food and nicer ambience than its neighbors, plus (real) wine and beer.

Ibex [South LA]
630 N. La Brea Ave., Inglewood

Awash [Little Ethiopia]
5990 1/2 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles

Meals by Genet [Little Ethiopia]
1053 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles

Board Links

Delicious mesir wat at Ibex
Looking for Ethiopian restaurant recs

No, Nobody Sat on Your Bagel – it’s From Montreal

Think it’s hard finding a New York bagel in this town? Try a Montreal bagel. Flatter and sweeter than the typical U.S. variety, they’re a far cry from Noah’s.

You can get Montreal bagels at Pasquale’s Cafe, and at St. Urbain Bagels. The latter isn’t exactly Montreal’s St. Viateur, but it’s good for a quick fix, says tritip

Pasquale’s Cafe [Downtown]
5616 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles

St Urbain Bagels [Beverly Hills]
449 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills

*Board Links *

Can I get Montreal bagels in this town?

L.A.’s Own Little Italy

L.A. may not be an Italian deli town, but the highest concentration of Italian Americans in the area (including families from the Ischia region) is in San Pedro, with the amenities to prove it, says Ernie.

Check out A-1 for a great Italian deli with real subs–no mayo unless you ask for it. You can even pick up wine-making supplies from the store next door.

While A-1 is tops for cold cuts, Busy Bee has better hot sandwiches. Sausage is good and meatball is best at the Bee, says peterboy, who adds that you shouldn’t be scared off because the Italian market is run by Asians and has Latinos behind the counter. They will try to put mayo and lettuce on the hot chicken sandwich along with the sauce, though, so speak up if you don’t want it.

There are also several Italian bakeries–try Ramona.

There’s a taste of the old country in Pasadena at Roma, says PlanDan, whose mom’s family used to run an Italian store. The counter guys are definitely from another (past) era. There’s no hot food, but great bread and cheese and a fine pasta selection, and you can request a sandwich.

A-1 Imported Groceries & Deli [South Bay]
348 W. 8th St., San Pedro

Busy Bee Market [South Bay]
2413 S. Walker Ave., San Pedro


Ramona Bakery [South Bay]
1101 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

Roma Italian Deli & Grocery [Pasadea-ish]
918 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena


Board Links

East Side Italian Deli–NO!

Fish Eggs, Fish Eggs, Spaghetti With Fish Eggs

Spaghetti alla bottarga is one of the simplest dishes in the Italian repertory, but it needs top-notch ingredients. The two best in town, says bottarga fiend Ashibi, have got to be at Madeo and Giorgio Baldi.

Give the crown to Madeo, says Ciao Bob, who loves Baldi but says Madeo uses higher quality bottarga.

Cucinamore found Madeo’s pasta con bottarga strangely creamy on one visit, rather than the usual dry and oily texture. They insist there’s no dairy in there, though.

Briganti does a really nice version of this dish, says Jack Flash. It’s not on the menu, but it’s a frequent special–if you’re set on having it, call ahead.

Tarako spaghetti is spaghetti alla bottarga’s soul sister…or probably more like its soul grandchild. The version at Ducks is very tasty, just the right balance of noodles to sauce, says Hling. The curry, at least with beef, is tender and flavorful, with a dark Japanese-style curry sauce. ipsedixit finds the curry a bit to sweet and watery, but lapchern says it’s typically neither, and that it blows the likes of Hurry Curry/Curry House out of the water.

Madeo [West Hollywood]
8897 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles

Il Ristorante de Giorgio Baldi [Beaches]
114 W. Channel Rd, Santa Monica

Briganti [Pasadena-ish]
1423 Mission St., South Pasadena

Ducks Restaurant [San Gabriel Valley]
1381 E. Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel

*Board Links *

The best spaghetti alla bottarga?
Dinner at Ducks

It’s Craaaaabulous

Residents of parts north (of Orange County) no longer have to venture down there for the Cajun-style seafood boil that’s become popular in Little Saigon, says fishybear10.

Crabulous has fresh crawfish, Dungeness crab, blue crab and shrimp in a garlicky butter sauce that’s kicked up a notch (did I get that right, Emeril?) with Cajun spices. The sauce isn’t quite as thick as Boiling Crab’s, but it’s just as tasty. “rameniac”: http://www.chowhound.com/profile/11521 concurs, saying there’s no reason to drive down to Westminster/Garden Grove anymore.

Crabulous [San Gabriel Valley]
8966 Garvey Ave., Rosemead

Board Links

Cajun-style seafood comes to the San Gabriel Valley

The Best Liverwurst In a Long Time

You can get a heart attack on a plate at Agoura Deli–and that’s a good thing, says Will Owen.

We’re talking about liverwurst, friends–not the disgustingly fatty, oversalted stuff you often get. It’s excellent, and there’s about half a pound of it in a single sandwich. The bread is almost an afterthought, but rye is flavorful and chewy. Coleslaw is lightly dressed, just sweet and rich enough.

Agoura Deli [West San Fernando Valley]e
5915 Kanan Rd., Agoura Hillse

Board Links

A monster of a sandwich

Lookin’ for Snap and Spice (in a Hot Dog)

It’s almost too easy to overlook Wolfe Burger, and especially their hot dogs, says WildSwede. Dogs are split and grilled, and if you go for the chili–spicy or mild–they really pile it on. Make sure to get some onion rings, the rock. Drop a buck into the tip jar, advises Chino Wayne, and you’ll probably get extra.

Burgers are good too–they have mushroom, fish and very tasty turkey burgers in additional to the usual beef.

Speaking of hot dogs, the #1 plain old dog in town is at Carneys, says Steve Doggie-Dogg. “It snaps, squirts, perfect spice… couldn’t be better.” Chili dogs and fries are great too, adds Bruin2.

Wiener Factory has some of the best dogs in town, say a couple of other hounds. B Minus goes for the slaw and cheese dog, while Simihound prefers mild or spicy Polish.

The Hound Dog is an excellent hot dog place with a classic vibe, says dmax. Snappy dogs with tasty chili and mustard on the side if you like. Vintage celebrity photos lining the walls give it some ambience.

Some hot dog spots stand out because of the details.

Skooby’s, a tiny Hollywood joint that serves little more than dogs, does them well, along with some surprisingly high-minded fries (freshly cut from whole, skin-on potatoes) with aioli.

The Stand, kind of an upscale diner, has a slew of top-notch hot dogs and toppings, beer on tap and wine by the glass. Don’t forget Dollar Dog Mondays.

Chronis has killer chili for its dogs, says nrique.

One of the best dogs elmomonster ever had was at Jerry’s, where they fire ‘em over wood. They’ve also got great sausages and homemade potato chips.

jackattack likes the snappy dogs at Larry’s.

QT’s, Taste Chicago and Portillo’s have good Chicago-style hot dogs, says chowchi1, although Steve Doggie-Dogg has reported on his blog that QT’s is capable of producing juicy, tasty, natural-casing dogs, but you can’t count on their actually being in stock.

Wolfe Burgers [Pasadena-ish]
46 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena

Carneys [Hollywood]
8351 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

Carneys [East San Fernando Valley]
12601 Ventura Blvd., Studio City

Wiener Factory [West San Fernando Valley]
14917 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks

Hound Dog Hot Dog Shop [West San Fernando Valley]
8749 Glenoaks Blvd., Sun Valley

Skooby’s [Hollywood]
6654 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles

Skooby’s [South Bay]
502 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach


The Stand [West San Fernando Valley]
17000 Ventura Blvd., Encino

Chronis [East LA]
5825 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles

Jerry’s Wood-Fired Dogs [Inland of LA]
1360 S. Beach Blvd., La Habra

Jerry’s Wood-Fired Dogs [Inland of LA]
2276 E. 17th St., Santa Ana

Larry’s Chili Dog [East San Fernando Valley]
3122 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank
818 842-0244

QT’s Chicago Dogs [West San Fernando Valley]
4344 Woodman Ave., Sherman Oaks

Taste Chicago [East San Fernando Valley]
603 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank

Portillo’s [Inland of LA]
8390 La Palma Ave, Buena Park

Board Links

The hound who cried Wolfe
Know any hot dog places?
Hot dogs for real people, not giants
Best natural casing dogs

Could This Be the Best Authentic Ramen in L.A.?

Gardena Ramen serves the best–and most authentic–ramen in Southern California, declares rameniac, who’s been hunting the stuff forever.

“Sole chef and proprietor Isao Nakamura’s little ramen shop with the unlit sign is exactly like something you would find on a nondescript side street in Tokyo. His shoyu ramen is a deeply complex concoction derived from torigara (chicken bones), genkotsu (pork knuckle), and niboshi (dried sardines). It is slightly opaque and just a tad too salty, but flavorful in impossibly distinctive ways. It is sweet yet savory. Rich yet light. The product of trial and error, until Nakamura-san found the exacting flavor he was looking for.”

There’s no menu–the only choices that will face you are: Miso or shoyu? Gyoza or no? Ramen broth takes time, but Nakamura-san boils his not just for hours, but for two days. Shoyu ramen is what you want to get; the shiro miso in his miso ramen kind of overwhelms the delicate flavors of the broth.

The soup is definitely on the salty side, though. Joe Blowe disagrees with the rave, saying the noodles are also a bit underdone and the bamboo in the soup is woody. Pass on the gyoza–they may be the worst in the South Bay.

Gardena Ramen [South Bay]
1840 West 182nd St., Torrance

Board Links

Finally found real ramen in L.A.

A Little Piece of K-town in Torrance

Torrance now has its second Korean grocery store, and it’s much more upscale than MarketWorld, says Joe Blowe. Like the Koreatown markets, it’s got sleek displays, sexy lighting, the whole bit.

Freshia [South Bay]
2515 Torrance Blvd., Torrance

Board Links

There’s a new Korean market in town

Crispetty, Crunchetty K-Town Fried Chicken

A recent article in the New York Times got some hounds wondering where to find Korean fried chicken–twice-fried for maximum crunch like Belgian frites and served plain or painted with a spicy-sweet sauce.

Along with red leather booths and killer ambience, the Prince has some of the best Korean fried chicken in town. Several kinds, in fact. Deep fried spicy chicken is excellent, says cijl, like a superior version of General Tso’s–Commander Tso’s, maybe. Chicken wings are good too, very spicy and garlicky.

Retro Korean pub Dan Sung Sa also has great chicken wings, served plain, says oro3030.

And if you want to get your fried chicken to go, Koko’s in the Galleria marketplace is pretty darned good, says kproq23

The Prince [Koreatown]
3198 W. 7th St., Los Angeles

Dan Sung Sa [Koreatown]
3545 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles

Koko’s Place [Koreatown]
3250 W, Olympic Blvd. #105, Los Angeles

*Board Links *

Who’s got Korean fried chicken?