I just wanted to report on these places I found through the board and that I went to during a visit to the area last week.
1. First, El Parian at 1528 W Pico Blvd near downtown LA. It was a bit tricky to get there from the highway since I had to take a few turns before actually getting to the correct street. However, once there I could see that it is a very commercial avenue so I am sure people can give out directions to it quite easily. The place is right on the avenue and has some parking space in the back alley.
About the food: this place is a Birrieria so obviously the goat Birria is the main event. Being born and raised in Guadalajara I have eaten this plate since I was a kid and El Parian’s is the best one I have tried in the US (second place is a spot I tried in Vegas last year –in the same strip mall as LOS btw-, and third a market in Escondido) and both my wife and I agreed that this would be one place where we would eat if it was in Guadalajara. The stew was well balanced and the meat tender and flavorful. We did have to ask for green limes (which are the kind you should use for this plate) instead of the yellow ones they brought us with our plates, but that was easily fixed. Unpretentious and inexpensive.
2. Jagerhaus in Anaheim at 2525 E Ball Rd just west of 57th is a German style home cooking place that made me feel like I was eating at my grandmother’s house (if she'd been German =). Nice and quiet on a Wednesday night, the owner (I’m guessing) came to our table to greet us and chat a bit with us and also gave us some tips and recommendations on our request.
We had a very good appetizer of shrimp stuffed mushrooms and then we ordered the Butterschnitzel with a side of German potato salad and the Jagerschnitzel with a side of mashed potatoes. I thought the veal tenderness and flavor of the Butterschnitzel were outstanding but my wife said she enjoyed the gravy on top of her potatoes and Jagerschnitzel even more. We had a nice german wheat beer with our meal and a very decent chocolate cake for dessert. All in all, this is a much better alternative to Disneyland dining in the area. Thanks to Das Ubergeek for this recommendation. Well worth it.
3. Having commented on Disney, we did eat lunch at the park that day. We went to the Orleans Café for lunch as we couldn’t get a reservation for the Blue Bayou (both in the New Orleans Square section by the Pirates of the Caribbean) and did enjoy their famous Montecristo sandwich very much (we had the all cheese version with a nice and not too strong Brie). We also had the onion soup and the chicken gumbo which were well done but nothing to write home about. Nice patio seating area and decent service. You also need to make a reservation if you don’t want to wait in line for lunch as well.
Again thanks to all that contributed to the board and recomended these places.