We're finally leaving L.A. for good, after close to 20 years of living all over the city. The thing that I will miss the most, beyond all the close friends I've made here, is the amazing variety of ethnic food, especially the mom & pop type restaurants that I tend to favor.
This is my homage to restaurants I've loved; my last meals in L.A. will be:
*Soot Bull Jeep in Koreatown on 8th St. and Catalina -- the spicy bean curd will always have a place in my palate. I will dream about the taste of the marinated beef spencer for the rest of my life. Weep.
* Pho So 1 in Van Nuys at Victory and Sepulveda (the pho, the beef on the griddle (Bo Nuong Vi), the chao gio, the absolutely fresh vegetables, the fresh "exotic" fruit shakes... I'm sobbing.
* Puro Sabor Peruvian in Van Nuys -- my new favorite. I found it at the end. Mourn...
* Juanita's Mexican in Claremont on Indian Hill Blvd. just south of I-10, and the one in Ontario, which I actually like better.
Shredded beef tacos to die for, huge, chunky bean, burritos, and one of the two best hot sauces (not salsa, just pure hot sauce) I've ever had. Juanita's, I've loved you since I was an undergraduate all those decades ago, and I will love you to the end. You will always be my favorite Mexican taco hut/ restaurant ever, except for Carolina's in Phoenix.
* Tommy's. I know that some might consider Tommy's "junk food" -- oh heck -- everyone considers Tommy's junk food. But my love for their chili cheeseburgers knows no bounds. And their chilitos -- I have never been able to find chilitos like that, even though I know that they probably come from an industrial size can. And it does depend on which Tommy's because some suck.
Honorable mention goes to Monte Alban Oaxacan, on the corner of Brockton and Santa Monica (between Barrington and Bundy) in West L.A. -- wonderful, fresh, utterly delicious food, lovely people, warm atmosphere. Their salsa verde, just mmmmmmm....
Monte Alban's tortilla and chicken soups warmed my soul so many times.
The only reason I didn't put Monte Alban in "last meals" is that we won't have time to go down there. Sigh.
I will so miss the wonderful food here in L.A., so all you chowhounds are just going to have to eat for me! Promise?