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LA Better Chowhound City Than NYC? Trip Report

mshriro | Aug 19, 200309:32 PM

This might get me flamed, but I think LA’s a better Chowhound city than New York.

It’s not that New York has less Chowhoundy (?) restaurants than LA. But the true cuisine of Los Angeles is simple dishes taken to the next level of craft. The hamburgers at Pie ‘n’ Burger are an example. They aren’t fancy such as the ones at Father’s Office, but they are really good. Even LA’s fancy restaurants like Spago feature dishes such as roasted chicken. Again, it’s simple but prepared expertly. Now this can be taken to extremes such as "Grilled Cheese Night" at Campanile. I didn’t go anywhere that hasn’t been written about on these pages. But, they do make my point.

Frank’s Famous Kitchen & Bakery
3315 N. Verdugo Road

This visit shows the power of Chowhound.com. I’m from Dallas and read about Frank’s. I drove eighteen miles from my hotel to get there. The Eye of Round Roast Beef Sandwich was great, the potato salad was wonderful and the Sparky’s Root Beer was tremendous. But then I ordered a scoop of Dr. Bob’s ice cream. It was served to me in a frozen dish. Now, I’m thinking about moving to LA.

Nate ‘n’ Al
414 N. Beverly Dr.
Beverly Hills

I ate breakfast there twice. Both times Larry King was there. In fact, he eats there every day with three of his buddies. I didn’t take note of what he ate. But if you figure a $15 bill for three hundred and fifty days, he spends $5,250 a year on breakfast. One day I had the Eggs, Lox and Onion scramble. One day I had the blintzes. Both were really good. Still, there are limits.

Barney Greengrass
Barney’s 5 th Floor
9570 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills

They prepare salmon and whitefish better than anybody does. But when I pay $17 bucks for two pieces of novie, a bagel and eggs, I should get some sliced tomato for free. It’s not enough to keep me away. It simply bugs me.

624 S La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles

I finally made it to the Thursday "Grilled Cheese Night" and ordered the basic Grilled Cheese with Fries. Again, this is the Chowhound ethos taken to its extremes.

Jan's Restaurant
8424 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048

I needed a place near my hotel for breakfast on days when I had a time crunch. Jan’s is a coffee shop that has some Greek specialties. The orange juice is fresh squeezed. The bacon crisp. Simple food prepared at a high level of craft.

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