Thursday, June 19, 2003

10 of my LA favorites

Inspired by Armed Liberal, who in turn was inspired by Tedman.

I've only lived here 3 years, so I'm hardly an expert on L.A. dining, but listed in alphabetical order below are 10 of my favorites....

26 Beach Cafe - Breakfast - Venice
Although some praise their burgers and salads, I will not. I must however state, for the record, that they serve the most incredible French Toast I've ever eaten. There are many varieties available, but I favor the one with strawberry and cream cheese stuffing.

Abbot's Pizza - Pizza - Venice, Santa Monica
Tomato/Basil and BBQ Chicken are my favorites. The Venice location turns out more consistent pies and a more interesting experience , but Santa Monica has the better parking and fountain drinks. An excellent meal for the money, the taste/dollar ratio is in the same league as In N Out.

Carousel - Armenian, Hollywood and Glendale locations
Falafel, hummus, baba ganoush and a whole lot of stuff you may not have eaten before. Everything I've had here is excellent. Relatively simple dishes, but executed very, very well. Plan of attack - Go with friends, order too many items, share, waddle home.

El Cholo - Mexican, various locations
Yes, some people hate this place, but I think they're nuts. Anyone who has served so much food to so many people for so many years has clearly got a good thing going. My personal favorite here is the #1 combo, a cheese enchilada and beef taco, two staples that should always be this good, but often aren't.

El Tarasco - Mexican - various locations
Oh, the beefy, cheesy, greasy goodness. The Super Deluxe reminds me of the Tex Mex of my childhood - only better. As good as the Super Deluxe is, the El Tarasco burrito is even better. Marinated beef with onions and cilantro (among other things), and it's outstanding.

In N Out - Almost everywhere
Could be the best taste/dollar ratio available in the Southland. I don't go for any of that off the menu stuff, though I'm sure it's fine. They only sell a few items, but each one is excellent. Compare/contrast with Carl's Jr, many items of dubious quality.

Langer's Deli - Mac Arthur Park
The Best Pastrami Ever. Get the rye bread, which is exceptional. And don't forget the validated parking down the street.

Josie - Fine Dining - Santa Monica
I'm not really sure how to categorize this one besides excellent and expensive. Minor emphasis on game, creative (but not annoyingly so) menu. The only restaurant in this price range that I like enough to spend my own money on; so bring your wallet, or better yet, someone else's.

Pie and Burger - Burgers of course - Pasadena
The urBurger that all others aspire to. Simple, meaty, tasty. The pies are also excellent; this is always worth a trip to Pasadena. Better than Apple Pan in my opinion.

Versailles - Cuban - various locations
Yummy, Garlic, Chicken, Pork, Beans. I don't really think I need to say anything more about it, except for the fact it is the only place I've ever seen Mate soda. Did I mention the garlic?

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