A little help with my LA itinerary (critique and recommendations?) *And now a little update

Hey FTCers, glad to see some familiar names from CH.

I’ll be heading down to LA from the bay in about a week or so, and I was hoping to have some critique and recommendations for our journey. A little bit more background, it’ll be just the three of us going around, and per parental eating our focus is mostly on HK-style/Cantonese but I’ll try to break up the medium (though ricey items usually makes them happy). First night will be around the Beverly hills area, and the next two will be around Arcadia.

Landing in LGB, hoping to go to Kagura in Torrance for lunch to try out their Katsu. Wandering around (maybe that Mitusawa plaza) and heading north towards Santa Monica. Chaumont Bakery or Farmshop seemed to pique interest for Croissants. I’m thinking Flame Persian cuisine for dinner (was pretty good last time I was there). Along the way to pass time thinking of walking around Grand Central Market or LAX-C, do you guys have any suggestions of interesting places to visit? (We’ve done the Getty Center, Pacific Palisades, Japanese-American Museum and La brea tar pits).

The following day, heading towards SGV. Thinking of Lunasia for some dim sum and… well. … a little at a loss from there.

I was reading some topics earlier for some suggestions any other recommendations welcome as well. .

HK Style Breakfast/Lunch:
Harlam’s Kitchen/ Har lam Kee restaurant
Delicious Food Corner.

Taiwanese/ Beef Noodle Soup
Thinking DTF for lunch or Dai Ho for beef Noodle Soup.

Hotpot ?

Embassy Kitchen (some of those special order dishes sound interesting).
Grand harbor or maybe Seafood Harbor?

Also, is J. Zhou worth driving and trying out for Dim sum say on our first day arriving instead of Kagura? Its a bit out there, and for our dim sum reference point, we usually go to Tai Yuan, Koi Palace, The Kitchen, Asian Pearl or Dragon Beaux in the bay.

For walking around, likely the Huntington Library and the Botanical Gardens. Any other interesting shops or stores to take a look at (or I suppose malls)? Thinking of checking out the Broth store/restaurant to maybe purchase some of the essences to go.



You absolutely have to go to the Griffith Observatory. Best to go between late afternoon to until the sun sets and the lights twinkle. There is a city bus that takes you from the Sunset/Vermont Red Line station. The fare is 50 cents.

While in Santa Monica hit up some Sidecar Donuts! The Santa Monica Farmers Market if you can.

Re:LAX-C. No much here unless you are in the restaurant business. On the weekends here you gotta hit up the stand, Mae Tings!
They make fresh coconut cakes so they are nice and warm. Before that you can get some grilled skewers, sticky rice, and papaya salad. Very nice people. Inside LAX-C is a steam table counter, the most popular item is the basil chicken. In the same plaza is E-Sea Fresh and they make a great bowl of duck noodle soup and Chimney Coffeshop you can get a good cup of coffee, Thai inspired breakfast sandwich, and their famous matcha dessert. It is in a commercial zone FYI.

Grand Central Market is a lot of fun. My favorites are:
G&B Coffee. I like the Fizzy Hop tea and the classic Almond Macademia Nut Latte. Nice and friendly service/people.
Eggslut. Yes the lines. If you go early or late it is not so bad. Sometimes the wait is longer than Space Mountain. The sandwiches are tasty and the Slut is worth a try. You can also grab a taco across at Villa Morelianas while you wait, they specialize in carnitas and off cuts of pork.
Wexlers for bagel lox. Saritas if you never had a pupusa.
Sticky Rice makes some solid Thai grub, they do the classics. McConnells Ice Cream, I love the Sea Salt Cream.

Good choice on Lunasia.
Harlam/Har Lam Kee/DFC are all great choices for breakfast.
You guys have a DTF up north, so I would pick Dai Ho since the Taiwanese food is somewhat lacking in the Bay Area. Hit up Blackball for dessert!!
Can’t personally vouch for Embassy Kitchen. Sea Harbour is great choice whether for dim sum or dinner.

Huntington Gardens is a wonderful walk.

Will you get any free time for yourself to explore?


Hey JeetKuneBao,

Thanks for some of the advice! I’ll be mostly just wandering around with parents so not too much time for myself (but I come and go in LA once every few months by myself). We might go to Griffith Observatory (though we did go last time as well!), good suggestion! We’ll have a rented car so not a huge deal, though I do recall parking being rather poor when we last went.

Thanks for the info on LAX-C, thought it was more of a giant center to walk around in. We might skip that and go off to other sights and walk around Grand Central Market.

Funny thing about that DTF, we still haven’t gone haha. Lines were too long and just never had time to plan a reservation there. But yeah, we have been there before, will try Dai Ho this time then (are there any other places with better beef noodle soup?).

I don’t think it is. Factor in the wait time (depending on the day), you can get dim sum at the level and sometimes better in SGV. Weekend waits are around 45min depending on what time you get there.

If you were going to South Coast Plaza or Newport Coast, I would say yes.

Kagura is the logistic choice.

I do think Chef Hung in Irvine is making damn good refined beef noodle soup. I like Corner Beef Noodle and Dai Ho as well. The broth at Dai Ho is nice, a bit spicy. Corner Beef Noodle is closed on Sundays.

Arcadia mall has a newish wing with “Asian” street vendors and Wing Hop Fung.

Place in Walnut (which is sort of a drive) called Broth may be what you are looking for.


After your belcampo-eggslut-wexler’s-mcconnell’s bang bang bang bang, walk up angels flight and check out moca, the broad, take a self guided tour of the disney concert hall, grand park, and the city hall observation deck.


Don’t Forget Langer’s Pastrami


Wexler’s Smoked fish plate…


There is a place in Rowland Heights called Stinky Tofu King. You can get the stank tofu but they also do a good bowl of beef noodle soup and braised pork rice/lu rou fan, get a plate of A-choy. Your parents might like Lu’s Garden they do sweet potato porridge and small dishes of veggies, it’s Taiwanese but Cantos love porridge. Sinbala is known for their sausages. Yi Mei is next to Stinky Tofu King and they do Taiwanese breakfast. Right next to them is a HK Curry Fish Ball stall but they also have noodle soups and snacks. Also in the area and not sure of your parents beliefs but Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple is a nice relaxing time.

Some other places:

E&J Yummy Kitchen in Monterey Park is a cheung fun specialist.

Porky has some great ideas most people don’t know the…City Hall Observation Deck and the self tour at Disney Music Center.
If you want to actually visit The Broad it is probably too late, best to make reservations a month ahead and to get a early slot, the Infinity Room reservations are gone within 2 hours of opening.

Little Tokyo is also a short walk away. Marugame Monzo is a udon specialist and always good for a bite. You can walk across to Cafe Dulce they make a very good cup of HK Milk Tea and donuts as well as other drinks. You get a mochi ice cream at the og spot. Arthur Nakane is usually there and puts on a nice show.

Also on Sundays you can hit up Smorgasburg.

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If you can get away at night I highly rec doing a taco crawl or hitting up Koreatown.

If yes, I got another novel for you of suggestions.


Hi @Night07,

Welcome to FTC! Glad to see you found us from our old Chowhound board. :slight_smile: (Just so we remember our old friends, were you “Night07” on CH as well?)

Here are some suggestions since you were asking:

  • South Bay, Day 1: Since you said you’re going to Kagura in Torrance (delicious!), :slight_smile: besides Mitsuwa Market, you might wanna stop by Patisserie Chantilly for delicious French-Japanese Pastries (especially their Black Sesame Cream Puffs!).

  • Sakura-ya (Mochi): Also Sakura-ya is in the area as well, for down-to-earth, delicious Handmade Mochi if you prefer that. :slight_smile:

  • Dim Sum: Consider Sea Harbour over Lunasia. I don’t think Lunasia is anywhere near as good as Sea Harbour. And J Zhou is not as good as Sea Harbour either, and definitely not worth a drive from L.A. all the way down to Irvine for that.

  • Croissants: We’d eat Chaumont’s Croissants over Farmshop, easily. But I adore Farmshop for a relaxing Brunch setting. So sunny, and a nice vibe. :slight_smile:

  • Day 2, SGV Dinner: Sea Harbour for Dinner. I don’t know any of my friends who’ve been to Grand Harbor who have wanted to go back (we haven’t been yet, because of all the warnings on FTC and with our friends who’ve gone).

  • Are there any other cuisines you want to try?

Enjoy your trip to LA! :slight_smile:


DTF beef noodles are rank. Dai Ho is the choice here.

Or just go to Corner Beef Noodle House in El Monte and be done with it.

Harlam / HarLamKee are solid, but I’d rather go to Kim Ky and dive into a big plate of rice cake omelet. And then wash it down with some sour plum juice (or soda).


Sea Harbour. Grand Harbor sucks.

You’re better off going for a bowl of poke at Cubed across the street than J Zhou. And I hate poke (even though I’ve rediscovered my love for tuna tartare).

That’s a good choice. You could easily spend a day there. And if you have to dine at the Library grounds, I would go to the new Freshwater Dumpling And Noodle House (inside the Chinese Garden). It’s a lovely setting, serene and beautiful, and enjoy an iced tea and almond cookie. Yes, fantastic almond cookies. Hard to mess up almond cookies. But, still, they are pretty good.

Enjoy your stay.

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Thank you for the recommendation for Freshwater Dumpling. We will be visiting the Huntington Gardens next week. Is it child friendly?

Yes indeed. Almond cookies are very child friendly.

Remember, go for the almond cookies, stay for the scenery.

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The Huntington has a children’s garden - it’s off-leash. Most of the grounds are relatively kid-safe, spare a mangy coyote or two. Oh yeah - the cactus/succulent garden is world renown and NOT kid-friendly.


emphasis on HK/cantonese around arcadia… if nearer to arcadia is a consideration, china red for dim sum. not as good as sea harbor, and i don’t have a logical reason for dissing lunasia, but i do anyway, probably because no one speaks cantonese there.

i like DFC. harlam’s kitchen is actually a good CH choice, less a FTC choice.

newport seafood/boston seafood staying in the HK/cantonese realm for dinner. if you do embassy kitchen call a day ahead and get the shrimp paste stuffed chicken.

around arcadia lao xi noodle house. shanxi regional stuff hard to find elsewhere.

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Silly, I meant the restaurant!

Yes dear - you’re always right dear…

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[quote=“A5KOBE, post:4, topic:5336”]
I don’t think it is. Factor in the wait time (depending on the day), you can get dim sum at the level and sometimes better in SGV. Weekend waits are around 45min depending on what time you get there.[/quote]

Ah, I was just reading that old topic regarding J. Zhou and some people saying it may be better than Sea Harbour, was wondering if the early morning detour was better than Kagura. Sounds like I’ll give J. Zhou a pass!

Regarding Chef Hung, I went to the Vancouver one a little bit over a year and a half ago and… well I don’t think I was that impressed (could just be what I ordered Champion Beef Shank). Is the Irvine location better (though Irvine is also a bit far off)? I tend to prefer my beef noodle soup to be on the savory with a little spicy kick with rather chunky cubed beef. From the pictures, Dai Ho and Corner Beef Noodle looks like winners in my book. My last little jaunt, I wandered into Pine & Crane and Honey Badger and well guess I should have researched those lol. Not my favorite.

Is the Arcadia Mall the one right across from the botanical garden near the Santa Anita racetrack? I walked there last time and it should be pretty good to walk with parents. Another one I recall walking around was with that big 99. I think its San Gabriel square? I was thinking of just walking around these places. A friend of mine recalled seeing Mantis shrimp in some live tanks, anyone have an idea where that might be?

And regarding Broth, yep! I saw that topic thread on FTC a while back and thought it might be an interesting place to get a few gifts for family. And from google maps it looks like there are little plazas that we can walk around and explore or am I way off?

Sadly… I’m not a huge fan of sweet potatoes haha. I’ll keep Stinky Tofu King in mind. They love that (I… uh… will eat like one lol).

I had a good time with Simbala, very tasty sausages. Hsi Lai Buddhist temple might be a good stop as well. I’ll write all those suggestions down.

@Porky, thanks for the interesting tourist destinations. I really haven’t heard of doing those so those sound fantastic as well.

Is that the place where they made the udon fresh? I had a delicious bowl of Uni Udon at little tokyo, name escapes me right now.

I probably won’t be getting away, but if you have time, feel free to list those taco crawl or Koreatown suggestions (last time I had a great time with KBBQ at Kang Ho Dong Baek Jeong).

Yep! Though I mostly lurked and reread old topics. Big shoutout to Charles there for helping me in Toronto.

Oooh interesting suggestions for Pastisserie Chantilly and Sakura-ya. I will write them down! Regarding Chaumont, I think that will be a good idea to give that a taste!

I was thinking Lunasia since we will be going through Pasadena to the SGV after our first day. I had a good lunch last time I was at Sea Harbour so might pass on that for dim sum but am considering that highly for dinner. The other dim sum I had last time in LA was at Elite (I think it was pretty good, but not spectacular for me to go back this time). I forgot where I read about Grand Harbor, but looks like it’ll be safe to pass this time around.

Regarding other cuisines… hmm. Since I’m with parents, the cuisine will still revovle around Hong Kong/Cantonese haha. Not saying they won’t try new things, but its the satisfaction of the night that at least one meal should be Asian. If you have any recommendations, feel free. I will be happy to collect tips for my next visit!

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