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Coffee & Tea 61

Planning an eating trip, need some input (Japanese, Korean, fine dining, Taiwanese, regional Chinese, Vietnamese, coffee, raw oysters etc)

K K | Feb 20, 2015 11:44 AM

Hello LA Hounds,

Doing some initial planning for an upcoming eating trip to LA. Thinking of 5 to 6 days. Undecided on where to stay but will have a rental car to go around to Eastern side (SGV/Hacienda Heights if need be), South Bay (Torrance/Gardena) and OC (Westminster).

Hit list:

- Shunji (will focus more on cooked food)
- Mori Sushi
- Grand Central Market
- Huge Tree Pastry (need one TW breakfast fix)
- Din Tai Fung (likely Glendale)
- OC for Central Vietnamese (Ngu Binh very likely)
- Bulgarino (Pasadena)
- at least one Korean meal

Mulling over

- Republique (any other nice brunch places?)
- Rustic Canyon (because of Jeremy Fox)
- Connie & Ted's

One "fine dining" maybe from this lot
- Providence
- Hinoki and the Bird
- Animal
- Son Of A Gun
- Maude
- others?

Some questions and sorry for the randomness of it all:

- Would love to find one decent Taiwanese meal. I know that's super broad but from what I've seen online the selections seem a tad more dismal. Old Country Cafe looks fine for pork chop but maybe not everything else. I've been to Keelung Night Market and Ningxia Road Night Market in Taipei (favorites) and years ago Ay Chung Noodle (NorCal had a branch) came close enough for my liking to the street food experience. Where can I go (SGV or Eastern side) to find half decent oyster noodle/oyster pancake? I would also go to great lengths if someone in town does a killer TW/Fujian style Ren Bing 潤餅 or Singaporean/Malaysian/Fujianese popiah 薄饼.

- Haven't been to Dai Ho in Temple City for the marinated eats and noodles (beef noodle soup) since 2007. Still worth the trek? Don't mind still if the beef noodles are $$$ as long as it is solid. How about Cindy's Deli / Cindy's Kitchen 16409 Colima Rd Hacienda Heights in general?

- On which day(s) do Shunji and Mori get their fish shipments?

- For Shunji I know they have an omakase option that includes nigiri and cooked food. Are the cooked dishes mostly from the specials board (that includes the special fish for sashimi/nigiri) or are there off menu delights?

- Are there other places similar to Grand Central Market?

- what's the largest farmers market in town that also has good food available for snacking?

- For those who have seen/watched the Japanese gourmet drama Shinya Shokudo 深夜食堂 will know of those izakaya delicious comfort food dishes. Where in LA to Torrance/Gardena, can I find really awesome tonjiru, chikuzenni, oden, menchi katsu, that sort of thing? Torihei in Torrance looks good and their oden seems interesting....anything else beyond yakitori that is worth getting there? Where do Japanese expats go if they are not splurging on raw fish and sushi?

- love raw oysters, particularly Pacific NW variety. Shigoku are current favorites. Where's a good place to go (Happy Hour would be nice too)? L&E Oyster Bar? Connie & Ted's?

- Other than Din Tai Fung, where else in town can one find a decent rendition of si gua tang bao (loofah and shrimp xiao long bao). I know I know...DTF, WTF. I actually enjoyed my visit to the Costa Mesa store, is Glendale's execution similar?

- Is Sinbala Arcadia still worth the trek for their TW sausages? If not where's a good place for that? (Our NorCal branch of Sinbala in Cupertino shut down a while ago, it downgraded to half the quality of Arcadia prior to its demise).

- Very hard to decide on a Korean meal. Thus far the unique Korean seafood BBQ options seem more enticing than slabs of kalbi or pork belly (which I enjoyed Eight Korean BBQ in Buena Park last Oct). If so, what is the consensus between Jae Boo Do, Get Bbul, or Haeundae Seafood Restaurant?) Want something I cannot get in NorCal (Oakland or Santa Clara). Is Seoul Sausage Company still good for a snack? Definitely not doing Kogi truck.

- where can I find the best selection of sake to purchase (not a restaurant)?

- any recommended Japanese/French style pastisseries? Patisserie Chantilly seems interesting enough (anything better?) Got spoiled by Patisserie Gregory Collet in the Kitashinchi area of Osaka back in January where they also pulled a killer espresso that brought me back to Italy...(any place in town that can come close?)

Thanks so so so much!

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