NYC food lover & fam coming to visit LA

…to visit schools for singing daughter. Looking for delicious things that we can’t get in NYC, or that are much better in LA. Mexican and Vietnamese food, I’m lookin’ at you!

We’ll be arriving mid-afternoon Mon. 4/2. We’ll likely be staying in or around Silver Lake, if that makes a difference. On Tues we’re visiting UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music; CalArts on Weds [Santa Clarita]; Thurs is open; USC on Fri.

GF and daughter are mostly vegetarian, but will eat meat [beef and chicken] if they’re ethically raised. I’ll eat frickin’ anything delicious. I know it’s a kind of vague request, but any help would be greatly appreciated, links to other threads, etc. Also any recommendations for fun things in general.


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Night + Market song
Broken Spanish
Ricky’s fish tacos
Guerrilla tacos (silverlake thurs 5pm - 9pm)

The Getty

I got nothin. The most exciting thing to have happened in Santa Clarita was the recent opening of saddle ranch chop house and the cheesecake factory at the mall.


Space shuttle
Holbox and chichen itza


Hi @Howdini,

Welcome to L.A.! :slight_smile:

@PorkyBelly has a good list already. :slight_smile: Adding some thoughts and links (with pics) for you below:

Silver Lake

UCLA or nearby

  • Shamshiri Grill - Persian deliciousness - Get their Stewed Lamb Shank (and they have vegetarian and vegan options as well). :slight_smile:

Since you’re on the Westside already for UCLA, you could try some of the places @PorkyBelly listed on your Thursday section on this day, depending on when you start / finish your visit. :wink: But either way, some links:

Hope this helps!


Disclaimer: I’m not familiar with NYC’s food landscape. To add to the above Silver Lake recommendations:

Don Yee Myanmar Corner (Burmese)
If you click “Order Delivery,” you can see the menu. They have a good amount of vegetarian offerings.

In the same strip mall is a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Cafe. There’s no sign, but look for the brightly lit windowed storefront and modern decor. Basic offerings, but vegetarian options and close to your home base. Definitely a spot for taking in the Silver Lake hipster vibe.

Another fun hipster restaurant and bar that has a ton of vegan and vegetarian offerings is Mohawk Bend down the street (Sunset) in Echo Park. There could very well be plenty of places like this in NYC.

Almost next door to Mohowk Bend is Elf Cafe, a more refined and intimate vegetarian restaurant.

For Silver Lake-adjacent Mexican food, there’s Guisados in Echo Park. They offer an array of fillings for their tacos served on handmade tortillas, including vegetarian options.


What about seafood?

Around Silver Lake:

Night + Market Song
Pine & Crane
Wat Dong Moon Lek

Places that I don’t think have any counterpart in NYC and are vegetarian-friendly:

Baco Mercat
Broken Spanish
Odys & Penelope

Gjusta is the worst. Parking’s a pain, lines can be long, and there might be nowhere to sit. The food’s good, but the design and organization were about as customer-hostile as I’ve ever seen. As Jonathan Gold said, “Of course you hate Gjusta—everybody hates Gjusta.” And if you’re coming from New York, their smoked fish is a fucking joke.

I’d do Rustic Canyon over Gjelina for market-driven California food.


That’s south of downtown and a little bit of a schlep from Silver Lake.

I highly recommend it, but if there are events at the convention center, Staples Center, or LA Live, traffic will be bad and parking expensive or difficult. Reservations strongly recommended.

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On the way to / from Santa Clarita, I have flagged:

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You guys are all nuts.

The only thing that a person cannot get in NYC, or can get a better iteration in LA, is Mexican street food and taqueria fare.

To which I point you to this thread from @Chowseeker1999


I preferred Gjusta’s smoked fish to Russ and Daughters’. I wonder if I’m missing out on where NY has better smoked fish.

Also, I always take out Gjusta, and I go early.


Might belong at the top of the list, but that’s not the only thing NY chefs mention when they move to LA.

Except for Guerilla, taco trucks might be problematic with picky eaters.

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I think Holbox is a must for you. There’s nothing even sorta equivalent to it in NYC. And it’s wonderfully close to USC.

I also find the NYC Thai scene to be terribly lacking, so I’d do some of that. Night Market imo is a better version of Uncle Boon’s…

Other than that, authentic Korean seems very logical given how mediocre that little corridor in NYC is, though I’m unsure the wife and daughter will find what they need.


Vietnamese is poo poo in NYC.

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Had a nice meal in Santa Clarita at Pink Salt. Homey Filipino food with everything seemingly made there.

Pink Salt Grill Restaurant and Catering

23460 Cinema Dr D, Santa Clarita, CA 91355
(661) 260-3502


Gjusta Gjusta Gjusta


Gjelina will make its way to NYC soon, so I’d cross that off the list if you can wait a couple years.

I live on the Westside, so for very good Oaxacan food, I recommend Monte Alban. My veggie sister likes, also. It’s not far from UCLA and they serve breakfast and are open non-stop until close at 10pm.

Also on the westside is some of the best sushi in Los Angeles!

My husband worked at UCLA for around 11 years and we used to enjoy occasional lunches in convenient Westwood at Skylight Gardens - at least one good craft beer on tap, good handrolled pastas and they would make me an off menu item - Caesar salad with deep fried squid. Their steaks and fries are good, also!

Also in Westwood in the pizza chain that can satisfy for most palates and diets, if you want something faster.

I’ve taken an Australian friend here who loved it, and my veggie sister. It’s not traditional Mexican, but it is incredible food and a great spot for lunch downtown.

I agree that the best things about LA is our ethnic cuisine, so I would seek out places that serve amazing regional cuisine.

I would make a beeline for dim sim at Longo Seafood in Rosemead. There are vegetarian options.

My favorite Thai place with an amazing Thai dessert place in same mini-mall is Ruen Pair, but I think vegetarians would have a hard time here.

My husband’s favorite Thai place is Jitlada, which I think would have more vegetarian options.

I also love Musso&Frank for a boozy lunch in the middle of hollywood.



I’d also do a Korean BBQ in Ktown but I don’t know of any place that won’t be difficult to take vegetarians to. My fave is Parks BBQ.

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Langer’s. Because evidently you can’t find rye bread worth a damn at NYC delis.