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LA Food Tour: Signature Item Cheap Eats


Restaurants & Bars Los Angeles Area

LA Food Tour: Signature Item Cheap Eats

film_score | | Aug 15, 2010 10:39 AM

Whenever family or friends of mine come into town, I like to take them on an LA food tour. I will take them to 10 or 12 cheap eats places in a day (frequently ethnic), at each place getting just one or two signature items that are truly extraordinary and/or unique. Below is a list of places that are currently on my food tour (the list is loosely arranged geographically). I am looking for any new suggestions.

The main criteria are (although I admit that there are a few exceptions to these rules on my list so I am open to an exception or two):

1. They should have a totally awesome specific item which generally costs between $2 to $10.

2. It generally should be a place we can just pick something up and eat rather than having to sit down and order from a waiter.

3. Geographic range can be anywhere from Santa Monica/Venice to Culver City to Downtown to Echo Park to Burbank/Glendale to Sherman Oaks and everything in between. I don't really want places further than this (e.g., Monterey Park or Orange County or Woodland Hills) because the key to making this food tour work is that everything is close geographically so that there is a very small drive in between places, even if in the day you may cover a large geographic range.

I definitely need some more places on the Westside if you got 'em (although I can think of lots of good restaurants on the Westside, I can't think of many good & unique cheap eats items).

In addition, I don't have too many dessert items so if you got them, lay 'em on me.

The key to this is that after we taste each item, everybody should say "wow, that was frickin' awesome and/or wow, I have never had anything like that (in a good way)!!" That's the kind of reaction we want after each stop.

I look forward to your help...

mike ;-)


Dino’s Chicken and Burgers (1/2 grilled chicken + French fry plate)
2575 West Pico Boulevard (2 blocks west of Vermont)

Papa Cristo’s (gyro sandwich)
2771 West Pico Boulevard (at Normandie)

El Taurino (carne asade & al pastor tacos)
2306 West 11th Street (1 block south of Olympic just east of Hoover)

Langers (1/4 pound pastrami or pastrami sandwich)
7th and Alvarado

Mr. Churros (churros)
15 Olvera Street

La Luz del Dia (champurrado—Mexican hot chocolate-type drink)
1 Olvera Street

Phillipe’s (lamb or beef French dip with blue cheese, double-dipped)
1001 N Alameda St

Bahn Mi My Dung (Vietnamese sandwich)
314 Ord Street---closes at 3:30 pm
(213) 617-7094

Family Pastry (Chinese char siu pork buns)
715 N Spring St (just north of Ord)

Daikokuya (ramen)
327 E 1st Street (two blocks west of Alameda)

Mikawaya (mochi ice cream)
118 Japanese Village Plaza (1st street, two blocks east of Alameda)

El Atacor (crispy potato tacos)
3520 North Figueroa Street (exit 26b on 110)

Huarache Azteca (huarache [flat, hard taco] with al pastor)
5225 York Boulevard

Galco’s Soda Pop Shop (rare sodas)
5702 York Boulevard

Casa Bianca Pizza (sausage + eggplant pizza or pepperoni pizza)
1650 Colorado Boulevard (323) 256-9617
opens at 4pm—closed Sunday and Monday

Elena’s Greek Armenian Cuisine (falafel)
1000 South Glendale Avenue (just north Chevy Chase)

Baklava Factory (baklava)
1415 E Colorado St (just east Verdugo)

Porto’s (guava cheese strudel, cheese strudel, coconut strudel)
315 North Brand Boulevard (just south of the134)
Sunday closes at 4pm, other days at 7pm

Mush Bakery or Sasoun Bakery (lahmajun [Armenian pizza])
Mush: 5224 W Sunset Blvd (just west of Normandie)—closes at 7pm
Sasoun: 5114 Santa Monica Blvd (and Normandie)—closes at 6:30pm

Sapp Coffee Shop (Thai boat noodles)
5183 Hollywood Boulevard (just west of Normandie)

Sahag’s Basturma (soujouk [Armenian sausage] sandwich)
5183 Sunset Blvd. (just west of Normandie)

Bhan Kanom Thai (Thai desserts)
5271 Hollywood Blvd (just west of Normandie)

China Express (taro boba drink)
1907 N Hillhurst Ave (at Franklin)

Pazzo Gelato or Scoops (unique gelato/ice cream flavors)
Pazzo: 3827 West Sunset Boulevard (323) 662-1410—(just south of Santa Monica)—11am to 11pm
Scoops: 712 North Heliotrope Drive (323) 906-2649—just N of Melrose 2 blocks East of Vermont

Zankou (tarna [chicken schwarma] sandwich, extra-crispy bread with extra garlic sauce
and mutabbal [baba ghanoush])
Assorted locations

Skooby’s (barbecue-spiced Fries with Red Pepper Aioli)
6654 Hollywood Blvd. (east of Highland)

Animal (Poutine with Oxtail Gravy and Cheddar Curds)
435 N. Fairfax Ave (a few blocks north of Beverly)—323 782-9225—opens at 6pm (sitdown)

Millions of Milkshakes (milkshakes)
8910 Santa Monica Boulevard (just west San Vicente)

Sky’s Gourmet Tacos (seafood tacos)
5408 W Pico Blvd (at Hauser, a few blocks west of La Brea)

Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n’ Waffles (fried chicken and waffles)
Sunset & Gower or Pico just west of La Brea

Sinai Kosher Market or Elias Kosher Market (Persian koobideh kabobs)
Sinai: 8680 West Pico Blvd (a few blocks east of Robertson)
Elias (in back): 8829 West Pico Blvd (a few blocks west of Robertson)

Crazy Fish (unique California-style sushi)
9105 West Olympic Boulevard (just West of Doheny)

Diddy Reese (ice cream cookie sandwich)
926 Broxton Avenue

Attari Sandwich Shop (Persian Kuku sandwich)
1388 Westwood Boulevard Los Angeles

Father’s Office (burger and sweet potato fries)
3229 Helms Avenue

Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken (biscuit and fried chicken)
9537 Culver Boulevard (a few blocks west of Robertson)

Cemita Truck (milanese cemita [Mexican sandwich] with papalo)
In front of Smart & Final at 10113 Venice Blvd just west of Clarington (near Overland) closes at 2pm

Spudnuts (potato-flour donuts)
11285 Venice Blvd (Sepulveda)
or 3001 South Figueroa Street (above Jefferson)

Baby Blues BBQ (beef rib)
444 Lincoln Blvd. (Venice) or 7953 Santa Monica Blvd (just west Fairfax)

Jack in the Box (ice cream shake)

In ‘N’ Out (burger with extra grilled onions)

Kogi Truck (Korean short rib tacos)

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