Hope: It's my first trip to LA. So many choices for good food.
Despair: I'm staying with non-chowish relatives in Pacific Palisades, so I won't have much say in what or where we eat. It sounds like PP is a culinary wasteland, and we'll be spending most of our time doing non-foodish things. (In a perfect world, I'd be staying near a good taco truck or the best xiao long bao in town, but I'll bet I'm nowhere near the right area(s). Talk about the wrong side of the tracks... :-)
But the day I arrive (Friday), I might be able to delay hooking up with my family for a few hours. I want to go Long Beach/Signal Hills to test-drive an electric car, and I'm looking for someplace between LAX and Signal Hill for lunch.
I'd like Vietnamese/SE Asian or Mexican (perhaps a birreria, marisceria, or taqueria). I'm looking for amazing, casual, delicious food, possibly at a hole-in-the wall or little mom-and-pop place. We have decent Vietnamese and Mexican places in Minneapolis, but I want something that will blow my socks off and tempt me to miss my plane home.
If I can sneak away a second time (or lure my family to an exotic outing), I'd like some Persian food. According to this thread, there are Persian restaurants in Santa Monica and Hollywood - or were, in 2006. Which is best if one is looking for stews/cooked dishes rather than grilled meats?
And if I can talk my relatives into a farmer's market on Sunday, should we go to the Pacific Palisades market? Santa Monica? Hollywood? Or somewhere else?
Thanks for any help you can give this desperate traveler!