Now that we've returned from our one week trip to L.A., here is my report on the kosher restaurants where we ate. I hope that it will benefit future Chowhounds visiting the area:
Jeff's Sausages - Strictlly fast food, but an interesting and worthwhile taste experience for a New Yorker, where as far as I know, no such restaurant fare is available (except maybe for Merguez, available at some mid-Eastern places). I tried the Polish Sausage sandwich first, since the description mentioned garlic, and sounded closest to a hot dog - both of which I am partial to. After the first two bites it took me to get used to the new flavor experience, I reallly enjoyed it.
I took a bite of my husband's Merguez, and though it was a bit hot for my palate, it too was tasty, with the lamb flavor coming through.
Finally, we shared the Italian Sausage with onions and peppers, which was also very good.
If I wasn't so stuffed by then, I would have loved to try their hot dogs. My guess is that I would have loved them.
Delice Bakery - A wonderful kosher French Patisserie, and cafe. The cakes and pastries were works of art - beautiful to look at, and delicious to eat. The loaf of walnut bread we bought, was fresh, and really tasty. It was one of a large selection, including an olive bread, rosemary bread, baguettes, croissantes, etc. I've never seen any kosher bakery in New York, to rival this. (I must admit, though, that we were a bit disappointed with the Challah that we bought for Shabbat.)
As for the cafe, the menu included a variety of crepes (the descriptions on the menu sounded yummy), paninis, and salads. FYI: It didn't have complete waiter service. You placed your order at the counter, and it was served to you al fresco, at the sidewalk tables.
The breakfast special we ate, including omelet, or scrambled eggs, seasoned to perfection; salad; choice of a baguette, or croissant, with butter and preserves; and orange juice, was absolutely delicious.This place was a great find!
Pat's - an upscale meat restaurant, was also excellent. Both the rib steak that my husband ordered, and the sliced steak (I don't remember the name of the cut) that I had, were tender, and delicious.
The stuffed mushroom appetizer, asparagus soup, and dessert, were yummy as well.
Milky Way - was sadly, a bit of a disappointment. The place was attractive, but the food for the most part was kind of bland. The potato latkes that my husband ordered were mushy, greasy, and tasteless. My fish dinner was not very flavorful either.
Maybe we just didn't choose the right things from the menu. In any case, the hilight of the evening, was the conversation with owner/hostess Mrs. Leah Adler, Steven Spieberg's mother, who was warm, welcoming, and very friendly.
Milk 'N Honey - is a large attractive dairy restaurant. The Portabello Mushroom Burger, and Eggplant Parmesan that we had there for lunch were o.k., but nothing to rave about.
Again, maybe other menu choices would have been better.
All of the above restaurants were on a stretch of Pico Blvd. between Beverly Drive, and Fairfax Ave.
La Gondola, on Wilshire Blvd. - was another disappointment, since we had gotten some nice reports about it.
Based on our experience, and menu choice, I would describe it, as an "upscale wanabe".
My potato leek soup was o.k., but not very flavorful. My husband did enjoy his spring rolls.
Our main dishes of Veal Picatta, and Veal Marsala, were again, o.k. flavorwise, but they were drowning in sauces that were greasy, and lumpy, and amateurish looking - a far cry from those served at Tevere 84, here in NY.
The service at all the above was decent to excellent. No major complaints.
A really nice surprise was a chain of attractive coffee shops, called "Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf", which we saw all over L.A. We ate at one on Beverly Drive, somewhere between Wilshire, and Pico. The ones in the L.A. area, are all kosher certified, according to their website (Drinks: KSA certification; Cakes,muffins, danish, salad, bagels, and sandwiches: Ko L.A. certification) We can vouch for the delicious blueberry muffins, strawberry cheesecake, and mozarella/sundried tomato/pesto sandwiches, as well as the everything bagels with cream cheese. I hear that the variety of coffee drinks, both hot and iced are excellent as well.