LA Food

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American

  • Johnny Rockets?

Brunch

Queen Mary price and quality vary 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach; map; (562) 435-3511 www.queenmary.com

For something different, try brunch or dinner at The Queen Mary (see the Tourist Attractions section). There are actually several restaurants to choose from, with a wide variety ranging from fast food to fine dining. (1998)

  • Chateau Marmont
  • Julienne

Boba

Donuts

  • The Donut Man
    • $1-2
    • 915 E. Alosta, Glendora; map; (626) 335-9111
    • Donut man has the best donuts in the Los Angeles basin. Literally. Their regular donuts are tastier than any of the chains, and in season they have fresh strawberry and peach donuts, where th
  • Winchells

Chinese

  • Din Tai Fung
  • China Islamic
    • $8-12
    • Quite good chinese-islamic cuisine. It's not the cheapest of the area, though. If you go, don't miss their Chinese pan fried cake, roasted duck, and lamb soup with bread. (2001)
  • Happy Family III
    • $5-10
    • 608 N. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park; map; (626) 282-8986
    • Chinese vegetarian that has a wide variety of dishes and "alternative meats" such as tofu and wheat gluten in different preparations. This place is fantastic. It has an all-you-can-eat menu (highly recommended) for about $12 after tax/tip. You are given a half serving, so you can really try many different dishes, but not everything on the full menu is offered. Also recommend the house `chicken' (fried button mushrooms), string beans, eggplant with basil, and mustard green with bean curd sheet, and the kung pao `shrimp'. (2001) M-F 11:30-2:45, 5:00-9:00; Sa-Su 11:30-8:45
  • Lu's Garden
    • $3-10
    • 534 E. Valley Blvd., #12, San Gabriel; map; (626) 280-5883
    • Small dishes served with Congee. These small things can add up to be a lot! (1999)
  • Mei Long Village
    • $8-15
    • The only reason you go here is for the Shanghai-style pastries that they have on the back of the menu. Reminiscent of dim-sum, they are available all the time. They're surprisingly tasty and a great way to practice chopstick control. Check out the adjoining restaurants; many are poster children for posting the health grades on the outside of the restaurants. Mei Ling, though, is not that bad. (1999) Open 7 days, 11:30 am to 9:30 pm
  • NBC Seafood
    • $8-15
    • 404 S. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park; map; (626) 282-2323
    • Very good seafood restaurant. You can pick live fish from the tank and have it cooked on the spot. But since it's very popular, there are usually lines to be seated, especially on weekends. If you go for dimsum, make sure to go early enough. Either for dinner or dimsum, it's common to wait for .5-1 hours. (2001) Closes at 10 pm.
  • NYC Seafood Restaurant
    • $6-12
    • 715 W. Garvey Ave. Monterey Park; map; (626) 289-9898
    • Very good seafood. Lunch special is cheap and nice. Busy all the time. (1999)
  • Shanghai Yau Fat
    • $7-12
    • 1701 W. Valley Blvd., Alhambra; map; (626) 282-8634
    • Try their buffet if you have more than three people. (1999)

Dim Sum

  • 888 Seafood
    • $8-15
    • 8450 Valley Blvd. #121, Rosemead; map; (626) 573-1888
    • One of the best dimsum places in town. Dozens of kinds of dimsum served on the weekends. If you are going for dimsum, arrive there by 10:30am. Otherwise, you will have to wait in line. Lines can be pretty long (30-40 minutes). They do not take reservations. (2001)

Coffeehouses

  • Bourgeois Pig
    • Dark and comfortable cafe, blacklit couches that swallow you whole, no chairs. Go for the atmosphere and pool tables, not for the coffee. Typical coffee house prices.

Delis

  • Canter's Restaurant and Delicatessen
    • $8-15
    • One of the more notorious Los Angeles restaurants. Open all night, this Kosher deli attracts a colorful crowd after the bars close. Order the traditional New York deli-style sandwiches and side dishes (imagine 2" of pastrami on rye, with pickled herring on the side), but avoid the American breakfasts in the middle of the night. Very extensive menu, and full bar on the side. (1998) open 24 hours
  • Nate 'n' Al
    • $8-15
    • 414 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills; map; (310) 274-0101
    • The pastrami is lean and excellent, but I'd go here for the atmosphere alone. The waitresses are crusty and brusque, in the wonderful tradition of New York delis (one claimed to have worked at the famous Wolf's deli in NYC for 15 years before moving her career to the west coast). The lox is as tender as lox can be without actually being too delicate to touch with human hands. Eggs over easy with a side of lox are a can't-miss for breakfast, with a pastrami scramble not far behind. Good blintzes, great potato pancakes. Not a large selection for vegetarians, although the matzoh scramble is good. The sandwiches are incredible. You'll need to ask for extra bread. Old and new pickles on your table at all times. Before you leave, pick up a black and white cookie, some raisin bread, and some halvah to take home with you. Look out for celebs-Richard Riordan, Steven Spielberg and Jerry Seinfeld have all been spotted (by me!) within the vicinity. (1997)


Diners

  • The Original Pantry The Original Pantry is owned by former Mayor Richard Riordan, and has remained open (with one exception) continuously, 24 hrs a day, 365.25 days per year for the last 50+ years. It is sort of greasy but has that classic kind of roast beef that is unbelievably salty and tender. They are known for their meats, but the veggie plate's classic southern overcooked veggies are really good. They serve a basket of raw veggies (carrots, radishes, celery, etc) with every meal. A landmark and a fun place to go. (1998)
  • House of Pies
    • $6-8
    • 1869 N. Vermont Blvd., Los Angeles; map; (323) 666-9961
    • It looks like a diner, tastes like a diner and smells like a diner, but somehow it carries it off well. You'll find an enjoyable mix of people there. Attractions vary from the hearty Western breakfast (pancakes, sausages, hashbrowns, eggs) to the delectable desserts. The pie, of course, is excellent. It's probably the only diner you'll ever go to with valet parking. (2004)
  • Mel's Drive-In
    • $10
    • 8585 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood; map; (310) 854-7200
    • Mel's is a 50's style diner on the Strip that's open 24/7. On Friday and Saturday nights, it's packed with thrill-seeking clubbers, and the occasional minor celebrity. The food is good: of particular interest are the breakfasts. The wait staff is interesting, and some of the extremely enthused or unenthused waitresses may even join your table temporarily for a chat. The free valet parking also makes the place rather easy to access, unlike many other businesses in the area. (2001) Open 24/7.
  • The Monrovian
    • 534 S. Myrtle, Monrovia; map; (626) 359-8364
    • Your typical no-frills family restaurant. Generous portions at reasonable prices, with fast service. All of the above make it a great place to grab a quick bite before catching a movie at the Krekorian theater nearby, without resorting to the likes of McDonalds.

French

  • Church and State


German

  • Red Lion
    • $10-18
    • 2366 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles (at Brier Ave, in Silver Lake); map; (323) 662-5337
    • Red Lion is an excellent German bar and restaurant. The German food is authentic and tasty, and the atmosphere, particularly on the upstairs outside Biergarten. The beer choice is excellent (includes Koestrizer Dark!), and the jukebox is full of Bierfest music and Schlager and the like. he waitresses in Dirndls is a bit much, but the fact that one or two of them actually have German accents is promising. There is a pianist in the downstairs section in the evening. Happy hour M-F 3-6 pm, 25% discount on beverages with free snack buffet. (2004) Daily 11am-2am. Biergarten only until 11pm (Fr & Sa until 1 am) (unknown year)
    • If you like beer and sausage, this is your place. Has become a popular late night hangout. Come around 9 and see if you can grab a table and order food before the kitchen closes around 10 or 11, then stay for the party that goes until closing time! (2010)

Indian

India Sweet & Spicy $3-8

1208 Huntington Dr., Duarte; map; (626) 357-6899

This dressed down and unfussy fast-food Indian restaurant is combination of an eatery and a grocery store. Despite the non-existent decor and music, the parathas (all kinds) and tawa roti are very good. Its collection of Indian sweetmeat and snacks are also well worth trying. (2000)

Nirvana $6-12

314 E. Huntington Dr., Arcadia; map; (626) 574-1400

Nirvana is one of the few restaurants which offers some succor and relief to the connoisseur of South Indian cuisine. The seven-dollar combo specials include dosa, idli, vada and sweets. Although, the seating is limited and the service is quite slow because of the scanty staff, the food is pretty good for the distance travelled and the money paid. The rava dosa in particular is a popular favorite. (2000)

Paru's $8-12

5140 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; map; (323) 661-7600 www.parusrestaurant.com

If you get tired of North Indian food, and long for Idlis, Dosas and Vadas, this is the closest South Indian restaurant. All of the food is great, and the size of the Dosais puts them in another class altogether. As an added bonus, the owner, Kannaan is very friendly and will probably get to know you by name in no time. The restaurant is very close to the Mann Chinese theatre and the Pacific Cinerama Dome, so it is a good place to have dinner before or after watching a movie in Hollywood. (1998)


Italian

  • Bestia
  • Angelini Osteri
  • Terroni
  • Macheroni Kitchen
  • Factory Kitchen
  • Calori Kitchen
  • Bottega Louie

Gennaro's $15

  • * *

1109 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, map; (818) 243-6231

The refined atmosphere, live entertainment, tuxedoed waiters, and very well-cooked food set Gennaro's apart from the zillions of Italian restaurants in the area. Nice place for a nice, quiet evening. (1998) M-Sa 11:30am-2:30pm; 5:30pm-10pm; closed Su.

Japanese

Koraku $5

314 E. 2nd St., Los Angeles (Little Tokyo); map; (213) 687-4972

A dive in the true Japanese sense, Koraku serves a little bit of everything: ramen, donburi (rice bowl), Chinese dishes and curry rice done Japanese-style, traditional Japanese dishes, and more. This is not a typical Americanized Japanese restaurant featuring teriyaki chicken; it's a place just like where the average Joe would grab a meal in Japan. It might not be nice-looking and won't win any fine cuisine awards, but if you're looking for ordinary Japanese food the way it's served in Japan, Koraku is a great place to go. (1998) M-Sa 11am- 3am; Sun 11am- 12am


Matsuhisa $30-40

129 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills; map; (310) 659-9639

The food is really tremendously good but quite overpriced at this notorious restaurant. Matsuhisa is certainly not better than Restaurant 23, and it costs twice as much. Nevertheless, the salad that came as an appetizer was one of the best that I have ever had. Recommended to impress out-of-towners when you have, oh, 100 dollars a piece to blow. (1999)


Sansui $8-15

2040 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz; map; (323) 660-3868

This sushi and tempura restaurant is well worth visiting. The atmosphere is cozy and homey, and there is a wide selection of sakes to choose from. (1999)


Suehiro Cafe (no rating) 337 E. 1st St., Los Angeles (Little Tokyo); map; (213) 626-9132

Great spot for ramen, tempura, and teriyaki. (1998) M-Sa 11am -3am; Su 11am-1am.


Tokyo Delve's Sushi Bar $15

5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; map; (818) 766-3868

This place is a little hole in the wall place that combines a sushi bar with a big carnival and a dance club. The food itself is ok, but it all becomes secondary to the atmosphere. All the employees are constantly moving around to the music. Every so often, they start dancing, and encourage everyone else to dance around. The also have a "Lucky Game" where someone gets their meal on the house. Plus, if you're having your birthday party there, 4-5 sushi makers drop everything and come over to your table to bring a cake and dance around. They have a big spinning wheel of goodies where you can win tickets for free stuff on your next visit (if you buy at least $40 worth of food and drink). 21 and over. (1998) 6 p.m.-midnight; closed Sun

Korean

Wed, 01/20/2010 - 9:22am — tek_editor Soot Bull Jeep $20

3136 W 8th Street, Los Angeles (Koreatown); map; (213) 387-3865 There's something sublimely beautiful about meals that purely are dedicated to the consumption of meat. At this popular barbeque joint in Koreatown, that's exactly what you'll find. Big plates of meat and small dishes of vegetables and condiments completely fill the table around the centerpiece charcoal pit. If you don't quite know what you're doing, don't worry, the waitresses will take care of you. (2000)

Young Dong Tofu House $8-12 lunch 927 Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel; map; (626) 286-6031

This Korean BBQ restaurant has very tasty meat dishes. Your rice comes in a hot stone pot. You don’t cook the meat yourself, they bring you a sizzling platter. Lots of side dishes, like kimchi and sprouts. BBQ beef (blugogi) is sweet and delicious, and spicy pork or chicken is very tasty if you’re looking for a spicier dish. (2004) 11am-10pm

Latin & Caribbean

Caribbean Treehouse $10

  • * *

1226 Centinela Ave., Inglewood; map; (310) 330-1170

Great food from Trinidad and Tobago. Half the stuff on the menu won't be in on any particular day, but if it is there, I heartily recommend the goat roti and the doubles. Very laid-back service. Strange drinks. (1998) T-Th 11am- 9pm, F, Sa 11am- 10pm, Su 11am- 12:30am, M closed.


Versailles $6-10

  • * *

10319 Venice Blvd., Culver City; map; (310) 558-3168 1415 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles; map; (310) 289-0392

This food is to die for! Order the Cuban style roast pork or roast chicken. Both are roasted in a lemony garlicky sauce that is heavenly. All entrees come smothered with onions, and have rice, black beans, and fried plantains on the side. Also decent are the exotic fruit shakes. Avoid the "fried chunk of pork". There's usually a long line outside on Fridays and Saturdays, but service is fast, so you won't have to wait too long. (1997)

Mexican (table service)

Babita $8-15

  • * * *

1823 S. San Gabriel Blvd., San Gabriel; map; (626) 288-7265

Babita is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Southern California. The food is gourmet Mexican (no burritos here) - incredibly tender meats, fresh seafood and veggies, and sauces ranging from delicate and mild to habañero hot, all presented beautifully. Be sure to try the desserts- two kinds of flan, poached pear, and a rice pudding/creme brulee hybrid- all incredible. You won't find better food for the money anywhere. (1996)

El Chavo $12

  • * *

4441 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; map; (323) 664-0871

El Chavo has the greatest margaritas and ambience you can imagine. Fluorescent sombreros have been attached upside down to a black ceiling and all of it is lit by those cheesy light strand lights. The wait staff is rude and inefficient, and the food is rather overpriced for cheap Mexican, but the atmosphere is great. Besides, it is right next door to the Tiki-Ti (see listing in bar section). What more could you possibly want? (1999) Open 7 days, 11:30 am to 11 pm


El Taurino $3-6

  • * *

1104 S. Hoover St., Los Angeles; map; (213) 738-9197

Good cheap Mexican food open 24 hours. A shrine to the slaughter and consumption of meats. Four massive bull-heads keep a watchful eye on you as you happily gnaw taco after soft taco. (1998)


Mexican (takeaway)

Alberto's $3-6

  • * * *

2740 N. Rosemead Blvd., South El Monte; map; (626) 448-4453 905 N. Azusa Ave., Covina; map; (626) 732-0171 If you crave cheap, fast Mexican food late at night and Del Taco isn't good enough for you, visit Alberto's! It's too bad this chain hasn't reached Pasadena yet. The nearest one is just south of I-10 at Rosemead and Garvey and has indoor seating, while the one in Covina has only outdoor seating. The menu is basic and relatively authentic; the burritos and torta's are good and the salsa is tasty. (2002)

Middle East & North Africa

Marrakesh $30 per person

  • * * *

13003 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; map; (818) 788-6354 www.marrakeshrestaurant.com

Impress someone, host a party, or just pamper yourself with a Morrocan feast at Marrakesh. The experience is delightful: food that blends sweet and savory in unexpected ways, beautiful decor (tents and cushions and the like), old school service (that means courteous and attentive). The food keeps coming and coming. I guess that's why it's called a feast. They sometimes have belly dancers. Less than 20 miles from Caltech and well worth the drive - and the money. (2004) Su-Th 5-10pm, Fr-Sa 5-11pm.


Messob Ethiopian Restaurant $10-15

  • * * *

1041 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles; map; (323) 938-8827 www.messob.com

Great food at at great price. If you are not afraid to eat with your hands, this is the place to go. Although there are several other Ethiopian restaurants to choose from on Fairfax, this one is by far the best. Bring friends along and try some of their many sauces (some spicy, some not) and vegetarian dishes. For the true connoisseur, their kitfo (the Ethiopian version of steak tartare) is pretty good too. For the complete experience, finish your meal with some Ethiopian coffee (not for the weak hearts!) (1997)

Mediterranean Express $6-10

  • * *

445 W. Foothill Blvd., Monrovia; map; (626) 305-3111

This Armenian restaurant offers kabobs - chicken, beef, kafta, lamb, and fish - for $6-7, plus rotisserie chicken, shawerma, falafel, sandwiches ($3) soups ($4), and more. Their "fresh, all-natural, healthy fast food" is a decent value. It's worth a try, though some will like it more than others. I met a guy there who sometimes eats there twice in the same day.

Moon of Tunis $15

  • * *

7445 1/2 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; map; (323) 874-3333

You are offered a choice of six Moroccan banquets, consisting of several courses. There is great Moroccan music and male and female belly dancers. Reservations are a good idea (especially on the weekends), and you can express your preference for a belly dancer of a particular gender while you're at it. Peppermint tea to finish. Go with a lot of people. (2004) 6pm -11pm.


Nyala $10-15

  • * *

1076 Fairfax Blvd., Los Angeles; map; (323) 936-5918 www.nyala-la.com

Excellent Ethiopian food in a friendly atmosphere. Everyone at your table shares from a central platter, where all the dishes ordered are presented on a bed of sour bread. Your only utensils are pieces of the same bread which you tear off from a stock off to the side. The meat and vegetarian combos are both excellent, and the coffee is delicious. The honey wine sounds tempting but is a little strange ... try it at least once. (2004) 7 days, 11:30am-11:30pm.


Zankou Chicken $5-10

  • * * *

1296 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; map; (626) 405-1502

Armenian rotisserie chicken, falafel, and humus, served by Armenians (sometimes with language issues). Everything on the menu is really, really good. My recommendation is to get the half chicken platter and a six pack of pita, which will feed three people for under $10. The spice combos in the chicken is hard to pinpoint, but quite tasty. Best of all, it's only about four blocks from campus. (1999)


Noodle Houses (varying styles)

Wed, 01/20/2010 - 9:25am — tek_editor Noodle Planet $3-6

700 W. Valley, Alhambra; map; (626) 282-8855 www.noodleplanet.com

This is Noodle World II, and is totally identical and 4 blocks from Noodle World I. Any noodle dish you can get in East and Southeast Asia easily you can get here, and better, so I've been told. The Thai crushed ice for dessert is outstanding. Also excellent Pad-Thai. (1998) 11am-11pm.

Noodle World $3-6

46 W. Valley Blvd, Alhambra; map; (626) 293-8800 www.noodleworld.com

Cheap and plentiful! Lots of cheap noodle dishes from a variety of styles (Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, etc.). The only disappointment here are the noodle soups. The Pho is a bit below average ($4), compared with other pho houses. The Thai Tom Yun (lemongrass soup noodle) ($4.25) is decent, as is the Japanese udon noodle soup (which was adequately sized, but not large). The dry noodle dishes are much larger and better prepared. Thai pan fry and Thai pad-see-ew come with a generous mix of vegetables and meat, and for $5, it's enough for a large meal and a snack! The charbroiled pork is absolutely delicious on rice vermicelli, with fish sauce and bean sprouts ($5.25). The mint chicken curry with rice has just the right blend of spices, while the "house special" rice (comes with bbq pork, fried pork, and duck) would have been perfect if it wasn't for the fried pork, which tasted like pork rinds! The duck is delicious, and is offered on another dish without the "pork rinds". The mango with sticky rice for dessert is huge (enough for 3 or 4), but pricy ($5.50). (1999) 10am-1am.

Pizza

Petrillo's $10-15

  • * *

833 E. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel; map; (626) 280-7332

A pretty good pizza place for California. They serve very, very, large portions and are occasionally voted "Best Pizza in LA" by various magazines. They use an unusual but good blend of cheeses (Mozzarella and Romano) and pile on the toppings. Their garlic bread is average, but their antipasto is huge (enough to feed two people by itself) and has interesting spices. They do take out. (1998)

Polish

Wed, 01/20/2010 - 10:31am — tek_editor Polka $$

  • * *

4112 Verdugo Road, Los Angeles, CA 90065 (323) 255-7887 http://www.polkacatering.com/

The only thing bad about this place is that it is in Eagle Rock instead of Pasadena. It is family owned, family run, and you can tell that they care about the food. I can't speak to the authenticity of the food as I am not Polish, but the style is hearty and flavorful with a rustic twinge. Go ahead and get one of the entrees that comes with soup, salad, and dessert. You won't regret it. It's a great value (especially when compared to your total bill at Warszawa). They only have about 10 tables or so you will likely have to wait, but it is well worth the wait. I don't know your grandmother, but I'm guessing the inside of this restaurant may be something she would think is very cute. It is distracting at first but I have grown to like it quite a bit. Make sure to accidentally bump the lamp on the table a few times as it is touch sensitive. (2010)

Warszawa $$$

  • * * *

1414 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, map; (310) 393-8831

Warszawa is one of the most wonderful restaurants I have ever experienced. They serve authentic Polish food made with care, and you can contemplate the Industrial Art/Bauhaus posters while you wait. The raspberry soup and crépe desserts are exquisite. They're expensive but not forbiddingly so, and you can stroll on the beach afterwards. (1998) 5:30pm- 10:30pm

Seafood

Fish Company $15

  • **

174 Kinney St., Santa Monica; map; (310) 392-8366

Located in downtown Santa Monica, this restaurant is decorated as a boat house. They have fresh seafood, including many kinds of fish and huge crab legs. The price is moderate, and the service is impeccable. You might have to wait to be seated, even if you have made a reservation before you come, so be prepared. (1998)

Gladstone's Malibu $20-$40

  • * *

17300 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades; map; (310) GL4-FISH www.gladstones.com

If you're up for a drive, Gladstone's serves good but pricy seafood in a very casual atmosphere and is right on the water. Considering the competition, the prices aren't that high actually, but be prepared to spendat least $20 a person. Portions are huge and everything is good. The servers are really into their jobs and are very quick and nice. Before you take your table, they have peanuts for you to eat and toss the shells on the floor. Reservations are a must. Parking is by valet only, about $3. SPECIAL NOTE: few know this but if you go on Christmas day, you get a gift certificate equal to the amount you spent that day.

Killer Shrimp $10-15

  • * *

523 Washington Blvd., Marina Del Rey; map; (310) 578-2293

Sometimes only Killer Shrimp will do. Hope you like shrimp, because that's all they serve. You can get it already peeled and served on rice or pasta, but the best way to eat it is to order the original, which is unpeeled shrimp in a bowl of spicy broth. Reach on in with your bare hands, peel one, and eat it with a piece of the bread that comes with it by the giant basketful. Service is always prompt and friendly. Have heard that desserts (sweet potato or pecan pie) are good, but have never had room to eat any! (1997)

Malibu Fish & Seafood $8-18

  • * *

25653 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu; map; (310) 456-3430

The only truly good seafood I've had since I left the Chesapeake Bay. When I saw the tuna, I nearly cried: sushi-fresh. Seating is outside at a sun-drenched patio with park-benches and a plexiglass windbreak, overlooking the highway and the sea. It's a long drive, but worth it. (1998)

Spanish & Tapas

  • Baco Mercat

Thai

Wed, 01/20/2010 - 8:22am — tek_editor Basil Thai Cooking $5-10

411 E. Huntington, Arcadia; map; (626) 447-8845

I like this place. It's a funky little thai restaurant in the middle of a strip mall in Arcadia. They have a buffet lunch. (1997)

Min's Kitchen $8-12

1040 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge; map; (818) 790-6074

Min's Kitchen is a family-run small restaurant in La Cañada. Besides having an unusually large assortment of vegetarian entrees, they also carry some traditional Thai entrees. (1998) M-Th 11am-9:30pm, F-Sa 11-10, closed Su.

Pimai Thai $6-12

5833 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; map; (323) 461-7841

One of the best Tom Ka Gai's I've ever tasted. This little restaurant in a mini-mall is easy to miss. It is right near a small stand of hip shops on Franklin. (1999)

Vegetarian

Real Food Daily $8-12

  • * *

514 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica; map;(310) 451-7544 414 N. La Cienega, West Hollywood; map;(310) 289-9910 www.realfooddaily.com

With a trendy interior, expect to pay a little more for your grub. But with no refined ingredients, only organic food from local farmers, and a completely vegan menu, it's worth the splurge. They have a reuben sandwich, seitan fajitas and daily specials unique to each location. Their yummy desserts are also worth a try, especially considering no eggs and dairy are included. (2001)

I have taken several meat eaters to this restaurant and they all enjoyed the healthy vegan food :). There are also locations in Santa Monica and North Hollywood. (2004) M-F 11:30am-10pm, Sa&Su 10am-10pm.

Vietnamese

Wed, 01/20/2010 - 9:06am — tek_editor Golden Deli $3-7

815 W. Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel; map; (626) 308-0803

Tucked away in a strip mall on the corner of Mission and W. Las Tunas with several other asian restaurants, this Vietnamese kitchen has managed to thrive, exclusively through word-of-mouth advertising. Pho (vietnamese beef noodle soup) is one of the stars here, along with the heavenly cha gio (fried egg rolls). However, almost everything else on the nearly 100-dish menu is prepared expertly; it is delivered to your table with an equally deft disregard to customer service. Some, like I, may not mind this, due to the quality of the food. Have you ever had a pickle lemonade? Try one of the drinks of their extensive beverage menu for a new taste experience. Be prepared to wait during peak hours and on weekends, as the restaurant gets quite crowded. Unfortunately, VERY vegetarian unfriendly. Best to park on the sidestreets. (2005) MTTh, 9:30 am-9:00 pm; F 9:30 am-10:00 pm; Sa 9:00 am-10:00 pm; Su 9:00 am-9:30 pm; Closed W and in August.

Pho 79 $4-8

29 S. Garfield Ave, Alhambra; map; (626) 289-0239

A good bowl of Pho (traditional Vietnamese noodle meat lunch) is a very difficult thing to find outside of Vietnam. When you find a restaurant that can supply this, it takes some of the sting out of moving to LA. Add that to a huge selection of ethnic Vietnamese dishes (very few veggie options), and you've got a great place for cheap lunch or dinner. Be sure to try the ice desserts. (1998) Su-Th 9am-9pm F-Sa 9am-10pm

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