My goal was to eat at every restaurant in Jonathan Gold's "Counter Intelligence" before leaving L.A but I didn't quite get there! Now I am up in Vancouver, which has a pretty good food scene itself albeit much smaller. I think I am out of luck when I next have a jones for good Mexican though!
I made it to all except 18 of the restaurants in Counter Intelligence, and put something like 35,000 miles on my car. I might have made it to all in the book except that I kept adding in and going to other places (another 60 or more)from the LA Weekly, LA Times, Los Angeles Magazine, my own discoveries etc! I will have to go back to L.A for a week sometime and try to hit a few more.
I included as visited 21 restaurants that were closed and invariably I forgot to call ahead. I have listed them below for you to be aware of. A couple of places in the book were still open but had the wrong address, so if you know any of the below are still open I would be interested to know!
Cemitas Poblanos El Chori El Indio Gagnier's Ginza Sushiko(moved) Golden Dome Great Taste Palace Happy Valley Itana Bahia Lagos Cafe Mago's Portobanco's Red's Cafe Shanghai Palace Shin Chon Standard Sweets(?) Swasdee
There was a few more closed and I don't have the book with me - another was the Sri Lankan place in Hollywood starting with "C" - that's a Thai eatery now.
Of all the restaurants most were very good - there were only three establishments that I found to be very poor (probably my taste). And lastly for anyone else working through the book on limited time here is my two cents on what dishes are especially worth the journey!
Anotojitos Denise's lonja and carnitas
Buu-Dien's banh mi
Chameli's naan bread
Chili John's chili
Din Tai Fung's small dumplings with soup
El Gallo Giro's torta milanesa
El Parian's birria broth
El Taurino's tacos from the truck
Golden Deli's cha gio
the Grill's corned beef hash
La Cabanita's chips and salsa and tacos
La Taquiza's mulita
the Palm's NY strip steak
Phuong's bo bay mon
Reddi-Chick's chicken basket
Rincon Chileno's chacarero sandwich
Roscoe's chicken and waffles
Sang Dao's (now Thai Hot & BBQ) beef salad
San Pedro Fish Market's churros
Shawhawaz's mirch ka salaam
Shaka's kalua pork
Soot Bull Jeep's BBQ beef
Thuan Kieu's comtam
Valenzuela's carne asada en su jugo