Former Dallas Chowhound Travelling to LA

So since Chowhound has pretty much bit the dust in Los Angeles. Perhaps I can ask some of you here to help with the restaurant recommendations on our upcoming trip. I am looking to pair down the list but also give suggestions if not on the list. Also if the place you think is “Just ok” let me know. Any help is appreciated! Will be in LA Oct 21- Oct 27 and will have car. Staying in Alhambra.

Chinese/Taiwanese (looking for dim sum, fresh noodles, other interesting dishes):
Café Fusion - Taiwanese
Chegdu Taste - Sichuanese
Wang Xing Ji (subbing for Din Tai Fung)
Shaanxi Gourmet
Shanghai No. 1 Seafood - Dim Sum
Sea Harbour - Dim Sum
Hunan Mao Restaurant

Thai (Looking for a solid North, South or Issan place):
Sapp Coffee Shop
Ruen Pair
Pa-Ord Noodle
Bhan Kanom Thai

Vietnamese (looking for great Pho, Banh Mi, Bun, any other specialties):
Pho Filet
VP Tofu
Little Shop of Mary
Tip Top Sandwich

Japanese(looking for ramen, izakaya, okonomiyaki):
Tsujita LA
Santouka Ramen
21 Mini Tapas
Patisserie Chantilly
Gaja Japanese Restaurant
Oumi Sasaya Restaurant

Other Asian:
Yoma Myanmar
A Frame

Mariscos Jalisco
Carnitas el Momo
Ricky’s Fish Tacos
Loteria Grill
Guerilla Tacos
Gracias Madre
Leo Taco Truck

Other Restaurants
Baco Mercat
Pizzeria Mozza
Bay Cities Italian Deli
Attari Sandwich Shop
All About the Bread
Salt’s cure
Saint Martha
Elf Café
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
Haven Gastropub
Anaheim Packing House
Bosscat Kitchen and Libations
Vitaly @ The CAMP

Welcome, @McKinneyHounder! That’s a great list. I would suggest looking at some specialist Vietnamese options like nem nuong or banh cuon. I like Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa (now renamed “Summer Rolls”) and Banh Cuon Tay Ho (only the Westminster locations are open).

ummm, not sure how to help you, there are quite a few “just OK’s”
I guess I will just pull out a few you have that I love or that I think are so-so or closed, and add a few

Saint Martha - closed (but was great and will reopen I believe), Pho Filet - I think closed (but I may be wrong)
Salt’s Cure - solid, but not exciting for an out-of-towner, IMHO
Attari - YES, will be a unique experince to anyone who has not spent a lot of time in Tehran or Tehrangeles
Gjusta - YES
Guerilla Tacos- YES
Tsujita - YES
So-So’s that to me are pretty lame or done better in other cities - Baco Mercat, Pizzeria Mozza, Republique, Bay Cities Italian Deli, Loteria Grill, Chego, A Frame, Santouka

Others you don’t have
Luv2Eat Thai Bistro
Night + Market

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I would drop all of the sandwich shops you have listed and go to Langers.

Yes to Ricky’s
Yes to Leo’s (but ONLY if the trompo is out…that’s still the rule right guys?)
Hit or miss @ Pailin for me (but great khao soi there)
Yes to Bhan Kanom Thai (their ice creams are great too)
Yes to Sea Harbour
Yes to Anaheim Packing House (I thought it was a fun place)

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Thanks for the honesty!

Will remove Saint Martha, Salt’s Cure, Baco Mercat, Mozza, Republique, etc.

You listed Guerilla as a Yes and so-so…which Mexican place did you think was so-so?

Tell me more about Night+Market…what is good there? I had an awful meal on my first trip to LA at Jitlada. I am leery about hyped Thai places. I guess I need more convincing and a few dish recommendations.

I will look up Cassia and Luv2Eat

I am leaving most of the high end places off as we have a 3 yo daughter, while an adventurous eater I want to respect the other dining patrons. There is a time and place and this is not the time for a 3 yo at say Providence. We have a pretty set schedule in which we like to avoid large crowds (dinner say 4:30 pm - 6 pm) and keep it peaceful for the waitstaff as well.

Our first trip we hit up the following (3 days):

Din Tai Fung
Bob’s Donuts

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Typo - Guerilla is a YES x google. I meant that Loteria is so-so. Now corrected.
Jitlada has gone downhill - yes one can get good to great food there but inconsistently now.
IMHO, Luv2Eat is the better choice now for Thai (Jade noodles, crab curry, Tumeric Chicken soup)
Pork is King at Night + Market
Read this, I just got it from N/M by email

  • Dear Friends, Although it seems that summer might never end here in
    Los Angeles, NIGHT+MARKET is eagerly anticipating the cooler months
    ahead and the exciting menu updates we have planned. If you’ve
    ever travelled around the far north of Thailand in December or
    January, you may have come across a red, maybe brownish, gelatenous
    food item resting in a cake mold from which the vendor is cutting out
    squares according to the weight the customer wishes to buy. Maybe it
    reminded you of the sweet and savory coconut jelly desserts you’ve
    enjoyed at Thai temples, but of a different color and what looked
    like pig parts suspended in the jiggly mass. This is a dish called
    Gaeng Kradang. Gaeng means ‘curry,’ and Kradang, in this sense, means
    ‘stiff.’ Think of it as Thai head cheese. You make it by simmering
    grizzly cuts of the pig (like the head) with a curry paste. Last time
    we made it, we used pig trotters and hocks. You then scrape the meat
    and skin off the bone and chop it up like you would carnitas. You
    pour it all into a tray or cake mold and leave it by the window
    overnight. The cool night air helps the curry, rich with gelatin from
    the off-cuts, to solidify. In the morning you have ready-to-eat jello
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give wang xing ji a pass IMO for XLB try shanghai dumpling house

sea harbour is the way to go, if budget is not a constraint otherwise china red or king hua

noodles - kam hong garden, heavy noodling II aka JTYH

also in the shanxi realm a la HN2/JTYH, a recently opened place called laoxi noodle house

fresh made-after-you-order buns/dumplings at noodle house the next plaza over from kam hong

what region of vietnam: north, central or southern?
the best is down in little saigon. around alhambra, probably nha trang for central (the bun bo hue, etc.) maybe pho ngoon for northern, golden deli for non-pho vietnamese. i’m personally not so crazy about pho filet, but a lot of people rave about the place.

personal favorite for banh mi: banh mi my tho (closed on mondays)

do go to yoma myanmar. totally worth it.

but if you have time, try koreatown. so much different stuff.

looks like rocky road fudge from littlejohns, with scallions and cilantro!

I do like Night+Market tho too – that chicken from Issan Station in ktown is really good too.

Thank you for all the intel on the regional Chinese. That helps immensely!

I am not very choosey about North, South or Central Vietnamese…we tend to like it all. If the best places are in Westminster we don’t mind going there. We don’t have a hug regional variation in Dallas as say Houston does. What are some of the better places?

After all the horrible Korean food here in Dallas, I can say that I am not really a fan. Something about that particular cuisine doesn’t do it for me. I have tried just about all the grilled meat options, soondubu (probably my favorite), bibimbap (my second favorite, and various other dishes. There is just something less exciting about Korean than Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese and Japanese. Besides a Korean grilled meat restaurant. If I were to try one place to win one over for the Korean cuisine what restaurant would that be?

Below are some of the Northern, Southern and Issan Thai meals I have had in Dallas thanks to menus from restaurants in LA
Bambu (Issan)- Richardson, TX

Andaman Thai - Denton, TX

Photos from first trip to LA

Din Tai Fung


Patisserie Chantilly

Left off the Providence meal and Santouka Ramen

I must tell you how much I love Gjusta, yes it can be a hipster mad house but the food is just so darn good, the incredible in house smoked fish, the sandwiches and the bakery. Enjoy LA.


These pictures are convincing…very convincing. I read almost nothing but great reviews of Gjusta. Thanks for sharing the pics!

What are your thought/s about Belcampo Meats, Eggslut, G&B Coffee, McConnell’s, Wexler’s at Grand Central Market?

Ham Ji Park
Pork Ribs, Pork Neck and Potato Soup, Kimchi Rice - if you don’t LOVE it, more than all the other Korean food you have had previously put together, I will pay.

I really like Belcampo at GCM (one great burger) I did not like the higher priced Santa Monica location.

. I love Wexler’s more for the smoked fish than the pastrami. And Egg Slut is wonderful but it’s usually the longest line in the market so be warned. Enjoy

Fucking GCM burger is fucking dope.

And I love me some sluts.

Gjusta is good but nothing earth shattering if visiting from Houston.

GCM has undergone a gentrification. If you want a taste of the way it was, look for either Ana Maria’s or Roast To Go in the market.

I think Gjusta is the worth the trip no matter where you’re coming from…


Your list for Mexican is just so-so and there’s a couple absolute NO’s. I would simply head to Monte Alban (it’s Oaxacan).

What are the “no’s” and just so-so’s?

I tried to limit my Oaxacan…my wife and I went to Oaxaca a few years back. Did the whole mole’s and such. Really liked Mole Verde, Coloradito and Mole Amarillo…did not care for Mole Oaxaqueno or Mole Poblano. What dishes would you suggest at Monte Alban?