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LA Trip Report

ad7yn | May 6, 201806:17 PM

I loved the documentary on Jonathan Gold (LA Times food critic). It inspired me to go on a short trip to LA. Three days felt too short. We only had time to explore downtown LA, Koreatown and Little Tokyo.

Breakfast was always at the Residence Inn LA Live. The complimentary breakfast had decent selection. A good combination of hot and cold foods: eggs and a different side of protein each day (chicken sausages, bacon and sausage burgers), waffles, bagels and pastries, fruit and yogurt, and cereal.

Day 1
Lunch - The Counter in Downtown LA.
Delicious burger place. Family friendly with the spacious booth and excellent service. I loved the onion strips. We ordered the combo with the counter burger with onion strips and sweet potato fries. We've been here at least three times and service was always great. A little pricey for a burger place, but don't mind paying extra for comfy booth and great service after a long day of exploring murals and the historic buildings.

Dinner - Moodaepoo II in Koreatown
Service and Beef Brisket were a total disappointment. There were only three customers in the restaurant, and the servers were lackadaisical and inattentive. Our table set up lacked the regular banchans/small appetizer plates and condiments. We had to flag our server several times to ask for them. On a good note, the pork belly in garlic sauce, bulgogi, kimchi and chapchae were delicious. The playlist was even unattended, the same song played during our entire stay.

Day 2
Lunch - Marugame Monzo in Little Tokyo
Pièce De Résistance of our entire trip, or shall I proclaim the best dish I've eaten this year. We were planning on eating at Daikokuya, but the ramen shop was closed. The chef was on a ramen study trip in Japan (how cool is that). I never order udon cause I had bad experiences with the texture of the noodle. Their noodles were a complete game changer! The noodles are made fresh at the restaurant. We ordered the Sea Urchin Cream Udon and Bukkake Udon. Both were excellent. The uni udon was so good, that we ordered a second serving. Service was fast and excellent as well. Seatings were cramped (as expected with small japanese noodle houses) but our server was very kind to help us store our stroller and shopping bags. I can't wait to come back and try their Italian fusion meals. We came in at 11:20am, and was immediately seated by the time the restaurant opened. There was always a line outside while eating. Highly recommend coming early to avoid the lines.

Snack - 85 Degrees in Downtown LA
I was happy to see a branch of my favorite cafe. I love their iced teas especially their jasmine and grapefruit ice teas. Their chocolate mousse cake and pork floss bun are favorites as well.

Dinner - Two Boots Pizza
We were beat at the end of the day and ordered pizza delivery online. Very interesting and creative menu, a combination of Italian and Cajun food. We ordered the Meg Cooley (white pie, red pepper, basil and sundried tomato pesto) and Count Slima (andouille meatballs, tasso ham and bacon. Will definitely eat here again. We ordered from Braazo pizza during our last trip and it was a total disappointment. Salad leaves soggy, pizza was tasteless.

Day 3
Brunch - Napa Valley Grille in Westwood
Great service, family friendly and ambiance. The cheddar biscuits and skirt steak with eggs were delicious. Chilaquiles were so-so.

Toddler in Love with Udon

Uni Udon at Marugame Monzo

Jonathan Gold | L.A. restaurant review: Marugame Monzo is all about udon

Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Marugame Monzo. The Little Tokyo noodle house is at its best with its traditional udon dishes. Its more...
Napa Valley Grille,
Braazo Pizza,
Marugame Monzo,
The Counter,
Moodaepo II,
85C Bakery Cafe - Downtown Los Angeles
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