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Blow out culinary tour of LA for NY chef friend

Todd HG | Mar 14, 200607:08 PM

In lieu of a joint vacation we had been planning, a friend and I have decided to embark on a culinary tour of Los Angeles, using all of the money we would have for the vacation. My friend is a pastry cook and personal chef. She has a week and I want to show her a bit of everything, high and low.

Thus far I have reservations to Lucques' annual cassoulet night and a special 4 course bacon themed menu at Sona. I also plan on going to A.O.C. (one of my personal favorites). Also on the list: Beacon and Joan's on 3rd. We will spend one day in the San Gabriel Valley and one in Boyle Heights/East LA for Chinese and Mexican cuisine.

I'm overwhelmed! I need recommendations. Where are the restaurants where dishes, presentation and/or technique unique to Los Angeles are to be found? I'm considering:

Saddle Peak Lodge
Josie's...Chowhound thoughts?

And I desperately need direction to Mexican restaurants. Also any unusual cookware, cookbook, spice stores, and groceries.

Apologies for the length of this post and many thanks!


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