My name is Patrick and way way back in May I wrote this board asking for cheap chow recommendations for LA, as my partner and I were visiting for a book conference and wanted to see what Los Angeles had to offer.
We got some excellent recommendations from the board, tried as many as we could, and had an incredible culinary vacation. It is my impression that there is no other place in the world that could possibly equal LA's selection of diverse and regional ethnic cuisines.
I must apologize for not writing back sooner, and with more details. We returned sated to our home in Oakland, and then three days later, my good friend, neighbor, and fellow chowhound Matthew Sperry was killed by a car. Since then life has been a bit upside down for us and I never got around to writing.
Here's a very brief roundup of where we went. It was all superb, delicious, exciting, and astonishingly cheap. We had a hard time spending more than $10 per person.
We went to
Ma Dong Gook Soo
Canter's (OK, I think we spent more here...)
and a Thai place on Hollywood that is _not_ the Thai Elvis place, but just across the strip mall from it.
Also had several good breakfasts, spent some time at the Fairfax Farmers Market, and ate a so-so meal at Loteria (I can see why the debate!).
Gosh. It was all so delicious and wonderful. Our friends who live in LA were armed with J. Goldberg's "CounterIntelligence" book, which dovetailed pretty much exactly with what I was told by LA hounds. Between that book and my printouts, the hardest task we had was picking which place to go next.
One of the last things I talked about with my friend Matt when we got back home was the great food in LA. He knew of gook soo from a small shop in Berkeley. He got really excited about Guelaguetza and oaxacan restaurants in general. It's too bad he never got to come down to LA and chow down.
While in LA, we had a good time using the Los Angeles bus and transit system, and bike routes. We spent a week cruising all over the place on bikes and trains and superfast rapid buses. I had no idea LA was so transit-friendly -- what a great surprise!
So, a big belated thanks to you LA hounds for making our trip delicious and memorable.
Best to you,
Patrick (+ Holly)