So I saved around $140, and reduced some stress, but spent lots of time standing at bus stops, on my carless excursion based in Venice Beach with some forays toward downtown. Here’s a summary of my findings.
BP Oysterette, Santa Monica. I got the raw bar combo, which included very good but small oysters, great clams, shrimp that looked better than it tasted, and outstanding ceviche. This was billed as appetizer; the ceviche was of decent size while the other items was basically samples. I also got the artichoke, which seemed pricey at $8 since it was just an unadorned vegetable that required some work to get the “meat,” but the accompanying sauces were good.
Campos Tacos, Venice Beach. On one occasion I got the incredibly cheap chorizo combo – chorizo and eggs were very good, beans were more boring but rice was less boring than expected. The hibiscus drink was pleasing. On the other trip I was underwhelmed by the chilaquiles – the onions weren’t that helpful.
Singapore Express, Marina del Rey. Reviews have detected a decline in authenticity here; I was quite pleased. While I’m not in a position to gauge whether the Hainanese chicken was authentically Singaporean, I found it delightful. The sauce on the table was better than the intended sauce. Interesting menu choices here and I hope to return someday to get the pork leg.
Uncle Darrow’s, Marina del Rey. I got the “stimulus platter” of catfish and shrimp instead of the recommended po’boys. Very good breading. Catfish was slightly more compelling than the shrimp. Rice-and-beans and jambalaya were o.k.
Wahoo’s, Santa Monica. I guess I don’t need to devote too much time to a chain but very good fish tacos here.
Toi on Sunset, Hollywood. If you’re into Ramones with your Pad Thai. I got the thai spaghetti – the contents were relatively simple but the sauce was great.
Roscoe’s Chicken And Waffles, Hollywood. Stunning. I don’t know why exactly chicken and waffles were combined but both were outstanding. When I saw the giant four pieces of chicken plus two waffles I felt bad that I was unlikely to finish the whole thing – it took some time but I finished the chicken and 95% of the waffles. A must-visit for a salty/sweet buzz.
Phillipe’s, Los Angeles. Also a must-visit, partly for the old-timey ambience with sawdust on the floor. Choosing between pork and beef was incredibly difficult decision. On my prior visit in 2006 I got the lamb which was fine but wanted to branch out. I went with the beef figuring that was the original – incredibly juicy. Lemonade was very good too.
Windward Farms, Venice Beach. This is a deli that makes its own pretty good shrimp cocktail.
Poke Poke, Venice Beach. For quick and very good ahi (I opted for original, not spicy.)