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Let’s say you had a chef-in-training coming to visit…

Cindy | Jul 17, 200502:56 PM

…and wanted to take him/her on a gastronomical tour of the L.A. area. Where would you go?

My little brother is coming to visit from Boise, Idaho and will be here for the next 6-8 weeks. He has carved out a nice little career as a cook (his words)/chef (everyone else's word)– primarily specializing in Basque food (which is funny, since Basque is one of the few things that’s not in our family tree) and is an absolute sponge when it comes to all things food. He’s self taught, and if I do say so myself, simply amazingly talented. He has read and experimented and explored all types of cuisine over the last few years and has become extremely proficient. You name it and give him a couple of hours and he’ll recreate it - with his own twist.

OK, enough bragging.

What I’d like to do is take him on a tour (preferably one that won’t break the bank – I don’t think we can swing many $100 dinners) of L.A. food that he likely would never experience in Boise. We’re in Pasadena so anything eastside is convenient. I know there are a million Asian options for us in Monterey Park, Temple City, etc but I’m not sure which are the best for this type of situation and what specifically we should look for at each one. Branching out beyond that, what other places are there that do what they do very well and what should we look for?

Also, bonus points if the place has an owner/chef that is accessible and maybe willing to answer a few questions or talk about their food (during off-peak, of course).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

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