In an area as vast and dense as LA, it’s no surprise that many talented kitchens fly under the radar for weeks, even months. Thanks to observant and adventurous Chowhounds, though, great hidden restaurants get the attention they deserve. Here in alphabetical order are 10 great local finds Chowhounds logged in 2012.
2. EL ABUELO
[San Fernando Valley – West]
451 N. Maclay Avenue, San Fernando
Wonderful house-made tortillas at this family-run restaurant had us buzzing. So did the delightful huevos a la mexicana.
3. EL OJO DE AGUA
830 E. Foothill Boulevard, Rialto
Must-haves at this tiny stand include barbacoa, squash blossom quesadillas, and huaraches. Naturally, we had to have them all.
4. GREEN ONION
30651 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Agoura Hills
Chowhounds who knew to ask for the Chinese specials menu were rewarded with authentic, high-quality dishes—without the drive to the San Gabriel Valley.
5. LANCE’S FILIPINO CUISINE
12807 Crenshaw Boulevard, Hawthorne
Traditional dishes like adobo, pancit, and fresh lumpia were delightful surprises at this out-of-the-way Filipino spot.
6. LE PAIN DE JOUR
13528 S. Inglewood Avenue, Hawthorne
This turned out to be a great stop for delicious French patisserie items. We couldn’t get enough of the macarons and croissants.
8. ROMERO AND DAVE’S TEXAS BEST BBQ
[San Fernando Valley – East]
12903 Moorpark Avenue, Studio City
Chowhounds stumbled on these pro grillers, who set up shop in a parking lot five days a week and produce killer tri-tip, ribs, and sausage.
10. ZAM ZAM MARKET
[Westside – Inland]
11028 W. Washington Boulevard, Culver City
We’ve always loved this Pakistani and Indian café. Its expansion this year made us love the spicy dishes and delicious naan that much more.