I just got back from a few days in LA and wanted to report back on all the great chow I had there.
I arrived on Saturday around lunchtime and my friend and I headed over to Father's Office in Santa Monica for their much talked about burger. After a long flight from Boston it was just what I wanted. Cooked exactly as I ordered, medium rare, and full of flavor. The frites with garlic aioli were heavenly...I could have eaten 5 more orders. Paired with a Hefeweizen beer, it was the perfect start to my chow weekend.
Dinner was takeout from Torung in Thai Town (we brought it to Cinespia). We had the pad thai, chicken penang curry and summer rolls. I wasn't a huge fan of the sauce accompanying the summer rolls but they were ok. The standout was the penang curry...unlike any thai curry I've ever had before. Great amount of heat with many complex flavors.
Lunch the next day was Tahoe Galbi in Koreatown for some Korean BBQ. We thought we had ordered beef short ribs but we ended up getting some sort of steak...I don't recall the cut. Regardless of this mixup, we thoroughly enjoyed this meal. The beef, accompaniments, and sauces were all delicious.
After lunch we happened upon a Pinkberry which I had read about on chowhound so we decided to stop in for an afternoon snack. I got an original pinkberry with mango and raspberries. After reading about all the controversy on these boards I wasn't sure what to expect. However, I found it very tasty and refreshing after a big lunch on a hot day.
Dinner was at Messob in Little Ethiopia. We got the dinner for one (for 2) which included: Doro Wot, Siga Wot, Yebeg Siga Alitcha, Yater Alitcha, Kitffo, Tibs, Yatakilt Alitcha, Alitcha, Yemisir Wot & Collard Greens. Everything was very tasty but my favorite by far was the Doro Wot- a leg of Chicken stewed in pepper sauce with an assortment of spices served with Injera. The chicken meat was so tender it just melted in your mouth. I only wish we had had more of it! With our meal we also received baklava for dessert which was deliciously rich and gooey.
Lunch the next day was at Tacos Por Favor in Santa Monica. We had the chorizo and cheese taco (almost too spicy for me but full of flavor), the fried fish taco, and the shrimp taco. My mouth is watering now just thinking of them! I could tell everything had been made from fresh ingredients...we loved the chips and all the various salsas.
Dinner was at Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo. We started off with the miso soup and soft shell crab and already knew we had found a great place. For the main attraction we asked for the omakase. We were presented with a variety of sushi: yellow tail belly, spanish mackerel, albacore, salmon, tuna, and yellow tail. We also received a california roll and spicy scallop handrolls. Everything was amazing. Coming from Boston it is rare that I taste fish that fresh and of that quality. What amazed us most was the texture of the fish...it just melted in your mouth and accentuated the flavor of the fish. We were quite full after all this but I really wanted to try the sweet shrimp and I'm glad I did. What a treat! It had a subtle sweet taste but again it was the texture that wowed us. And the fried shrimp heads, which scared me at first, were extremely tasty. At around $100 (including a beer, tax and tip) I thought it was a great value based on what I'd heard of sushi prices in LA.
I finished up my weekend with a late night stop at Mel's Drive-In for chili cheese fries and an ice cream sundae on top of their chocolate fudge cake. Not the best ice cream sundae I've ever had but definitely good enough to satisfy my late night craving.
While I won't be moving to LA anytime soon (us Boston folk are too impatient for LA traffic) I definitely hope to return soon to try more of all the great food LA has to offer.