The discussion of Chinese Chicken Salad got me to thinking... There are a lot of faux-exotic, Hollywoodized ethnic places in Los Angeles where they serve incredibly inauthentic foreign cuisine... "Hawaiian" ham and pineapple dishes, "Mexican" taco salads, "Chinese" chicken salad, "Italian" pizza buns on English Muffins, etc...
As a third generation Los Angeleno, I happen to believe that it is stuff like this that defines what Los Angeles is all about... recreating a fantasy version of some exotic place here in the arrid sagebrush of SoCal for plain folk with midwestern tastes. Disneyland and Forest Lawn are the ultimate examples of turning the blank slate of Los Angeles into an exotic concept that has been filtered through the sensibilties of "plain folks".
If someone wanted to take a tour "around the world (that doesn't exist)" in Los Angeles, what places would you recommend? The idea isn't that it's inauthentic/bad... but rather inauthentic/good for what it is. True Angelenos will know what I'm talking about.
I'll start the ball rolling...
Pinocchio's in Burbank on Magnolia has a deli with authentic cheeses and salamis, but the food cooked there strikes me as utterly American... tomato sauce, spaghetti and hamburger meat served from big stainless steel pans. The sandwiches are big and meaty with lots of "novelty meats". Salads are made by the vat. The walls are decorated with delightfully primitive paintings from Collodi and hundreds of thousands of moth eaten wine corks, and the booths are big, red and vinyl. You get the food at the counter and bus your own table. It reeks of white bread Italian. I love the place.
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