Hello LA 'hounds. First off, thanks much for the many informative posts to be found on this board that have already been so helpful. I'm going to be coming to your town on Xmas day and will be there until New Year's Eve + I've done what I think is a good bit of background research already. What I'd like to do here is list off roughly where I'm thinking of eating while I'm there and what I'd really appreciate is just a little bit of feedback along the lines of pointing out can't miss extras that are nearby where I want to go/am staying or any recent downhill reports I may have missed. If you really feel like there's somewhere I'm missing out on feel free to chime in with that as well, though I'm at least relatively confident that I have some good spots--though there is one area I could use at least a little help.
One side point of interest is that I do live near the Mass/RI line where there is only scattered decent Asian food and almost no Latino food (there was one ace Mexican restaurant, but the owner died and the family moved backed to Mexico) so what might not be totally top notch for you is likely to be pretty good for me on those spots. Thus, the very finer points of certain places being better than others in those areas is really not a huge concern. Additionally, I'm mainly in "under 25$" Ultimate Poll territory here--there seems plenty in this range to satisfy me, so I'll save the fancy places for next time, I think. But I would really appreciate any input you could give on the Latino stuff especially--the choices there are insanely overwhelming.
I'll be staying in Koreatown for the first part of the trip and then will be downtown at the Kyoto Grand for two nights. We're also probably going to the Huntington one day. We also should have wheels all week, since a friend has the week off and offered to chauffeur.
Anyway, enough back ground + FWIW here's a general guesstimate of where I've found that looks promising. Yes, I know that I will list far more places than I can possibly eat at while I'm there--you do understand this sickness, I believe. Thanks in advance for any extra info!
--for Koreatown, I'm leaning towards Sokongdong for soon dobu, Beverly Soon Tofu for grilled stuff, Dan Sung Sa for more casual things and/or Ondal 2 for crab stew. (I think the latter is on the fringe of Koreatown, but that's OK). The Northern Korean set meals at YongSuSan is a dark horse candidate.
--in Little Tokyo when we're downtown, it looks like Sushi Gen for sushi, Izayoi for pub food and Daikokuya for ramen. I also plan on checking out Fugetsu-do for mochi.
--the day of the trip out to the Huntington, I'm thinking that it makes sense to go to Elite for dim sum beforehand, do the gardens + the lithograph show there and then probably Mei Long Village for xlb etc on the way back. I've got a mountain of other places noted for SGV for things I can't get here--Giang Nan for Jiangsu, China Islamic for hand cut noodles, Seafood Village or Golden Deli for Chaozhou, Lu Din Gee for duck, Luscious Dumplings, Qingdao Bread Food...I could go on. I'm not that familiar with the geography, so while I think I'm well sold on Mei Long Village on the return trip I could easily work in some chow crawling for anything special along these lines nearby.
--places that I really, really want to go and would prioritize over others: Langer's, Jitlada, Mariscos Chente, maybe Monte Alban. Phillipe's also almost makes it here since I dearly love classic institutions, but I probably won't go hugely out of my way for that one if it's not convenient during the week. I'd also eat at the Kogi Truck, but only if it parks right nearby some night.
--For Mexican etc besides the two above, I do def. plan on hitting Grand Central Market when I'm downtown. Otherwise, this cuisine is where I am most adrift given the vast sea of choices. I would prefer places near or easy to get to from where I'm staying--I know from downtown I can now get to East LA via Gold Line, which might be promising. But otherwise I'm a bit at sea here--El Parian for goat tacos? Weekend Carnitas at Metro Balderas? Moles La Tia? Guelaguetza? Los Cinco Puntos? The staggering array of legal and illegal taco trucks? Help! Here again I'd lean towards places that have stuff that I can't get in the east--cemitas, huitlacoche, tasty offal cuts etc. Any pointers for me in this range most appreciated.
--one last note is that I think it's very possible that we'll hit the Hammer Museum to see the Burchfield show...this area seems like a bit of a chow wasteland, but it appears that Alcazar Express would be a solid lunch choice. And I guess that the original Stan's Donuts is fairly close, too. Am I missing anything else that's up this way?
Anyway, that's a rough sketch of what I'm thinking about the week or so before I descend upon your fair city. What say ye?