Los Angeles Area rss

Restaurant recommendations, new openings, and highlights from the LA Chowhound community.

It’s Craaaaabulous

Residents of parts north (of Orange County) no longer have to venture down there for the Cajun-style seafood boil that’s become popular in Little Saigon, says fishybear10.

Crabulous has fresh crawfish, Dungeness crab, blue crab and shrimp in a garlicky butter sauce that’s kicked up a notch (did I get that right, Emeril?) with Cajun spices. The sauce isn’t quite as thick as Boiling Crab’s, but it’s just as tasty. “rameniac”: http://www.chow.com/profile/11521 concurs, saying there’s no reason to drive down to Westminster/Garden Grove anymore.

Crabulous [San Gabriel Valley]
8966 Garvey Ave., Rosemead

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Cajun-style seafood comes to the San Gabriel Valley

The Best Liverwurst In a Long Time

You can get a heart attack on a plate at Agoura Deli–and that’s a good thing, says Will Owen.

We’re talking about liverwurst, friends–not the disgustingly fatty, oversalted stuff you often get. It’s excellent, and there’s about half a pound of it in a single sandwich. The bread is almost an afterthought, but rye is flavorful and chewy. Coleslaw is lightly dressed, just sweet and rich enough.

Agoura Deli [West San Fernando Valley]e
5915 Kanan Rd., Agoura Hillse

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A monster of a sandwich

Lookin’ for Snap and Spice (in a Hot Dog)

It’s almost too easy to overlook Wolfe Burger, and especially their hot dogs, says WildSwede. Dogs are split and grilled, and if you go for the chili–spicy or mild–they really pile it on. Make sure to get some onion rings, the rock. Drop a buck into the tip jar, advises Chino Wayne, and you’ll probably get extra.

Burgers are good too–they have mushroom, fish and very tasty turkey burgers in additional to the usual beef.

Speaking of hot dogs, the #1 plain old dog in town is at Carneys, says Steve Doggie-Dogg. “It snaps, squirts, perfect spice… couldn’t be better.” Chili dogs and fries are great too, adds Bruin2.

Wiener Factory has some of the best dogs in town, say a couple of other hounds. B Minus goes for the slaw and cheese dog, while Simihound prefers mild or spicy Polish.

The Hound Dog is an excellent hot dog place with a classic vibe, says dmax. Snappy dogs with tasty chili and mustard on the side if you like. Vintage celebrity photos lining the walls give it some ambience.

Some hot dog spots stand out because of the details.

Skooby’s, a tiny Hollywood joint that serves little more than dogs, does them well, along with some surprisingly high-minded fries (freshly cut from whole, skin-on potatoes) with aioli.

The Stand, kind of an upscale diner, has a slew of top-notch hot dogs and toppings, beer on tap and wine by the glass. Don’t forget Dollar Dog Mondays.

Chronis has killer chili for its dogs, says nrique.

One of the best dogs elmomonster ever had was at Jerry’s, where they fire ‘em over wood. They’ve also got great sausages and homemade potato chips.

jackattack likes the snappy dogs at Larry’s.

QT’s, Taste Chicago and Portillo’s have good Chicago-style hot dogs, says chowchi1, although Steve Doggie-Dogg has reported on his blog that QT’s is capable of producing juicy, tasty, natural-casing dogs, but you can’t count on their actually being in stock.

Wolfe Burgers [Pasadena-ish]
46 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena

Carneys [Hollywood]
8351 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

Carneys [East San Fernando Valley]
12601 Ventura Blvd., Studio City

Wiener Factory [West San Fernando Valley]
14917 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks

Hound Dog Hot Dog Shop [West San Fernando Valley]
8749 Glenoaks Blvd., Sun Valley

Skooby’s [Hollywood]
6654 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles

Skooby’s [South Bay]
502 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach


The Stand [West San Fernando Valley]
17000 Ventura Blvd., Encino

Chronis [East LA]
5825 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles

Jerry’s Wood-Fired Dogs [Inland of LA]
1360 S. Beach Blvd., La Habra

Jerry’s Wood-Fired Dogs [Inland of LA]
2276 E. 17th St., Santa Ana

Larry’s Chili Dog [East San Fernando Valley]
3122 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank
818 842-0244

QT’s Chicago Dogs [West San Fernando Valley]
4344 Woodman Ave., Sherman Oaks

Taste Chicago [East San Fernando Valley]
603 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank

Portillo’s [Inland of LA]
8390 La Palma Ave, Buena Park

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The hound who cried Wolfe
Know any hot dog places?
Hot dogs for real people, not giants
Best natural casing dogs

Could This Be the Best Authentic Ramen in L.A.?

Gardena Ramen serves the best–and most authentic–ramen in Southern California, declares rameniac, who’s been hunting the stuff forever.

“Sole chef and proprietor Isao Nakamura’s little ramen shop with the unlit sign is exactly like something you would find on a nondescript side street in Tokyo. His shoyu ramen is a deeply complex concoction derived from torigara (chicken bones), genkotsu (pork knuckle), and niboshi (dried sardines). It is slightly opaque and just a tad too salty, but flavorful in impossibly distinctive ways. It is sweet yet savory. Rich yet light. The product of trial and error, until Nakamura-san found the exacting flavor he was looking for.”

There’s no menu–the only choices that will face you are: Miso or shoyu? Gyoza or no? Ramen broth takes time, but Nakamura-san boils his not just for hours, but for two days. Shoyu ramen is what you want to get; the shiro miso in his miso ramen kind of overwhelms the delicate flavors of the broth.

The soup is definitely on the salty side, though. Joe Blowe disagrees with the rave, saying the noodles are also a bit underdone and the bamboo in the soup is woody. Pass on the gyoza–they may be the worst in the South Bay.

Gardena Ramen [South Bay]
1840 West 182nd St., Torrance

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Finally found real ramen in L.A.

A Little Piece of K-town in Torrance

Torrance now has its second Korean grocery store, and it’s much more upscale than MarketWorld, says Joe Blowe. Like the Koreatown markets, it’s got sleek displays, sexy lighting, the whole bit.

Freshia [South Bay]
2515 Torrance Blvd., Torrance

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There’s a new Korean market in town

Crispetty, Crunchetty K-Town Fried Chicken

A recent article in the New York Times got some hounds wondering where to find Korean fried chicken–twice-fried for maximum crunch like Belgian frites and served plain or painted with a spicy-sweet sauce.

Along with red leather booths and killer ambience, the Prince has some of the best Korean fried chicken in town. Several kinds, in fact. Deep fried spicy chicken is excellent, says cijl, like a superior version of General Tso’s–Commander Tso’s, maybe. Chicken wings are good too, very spicy and garlicky.

Retro Korean pub Dan Sung Sa also has great chicken wings, served plain, says oro3030.

And if you want to get your fried chicken to go, Koko’s in the Galleria marketplace is pretty darned good, says kproq23

The Prince [Koreatown]
3198 W. 7th St., Los Angeles

Dan Sung Sa [Koreatown]
3545 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles

Koko’s Place [Koreatown]
3250 W, Olympic Blvd. #105, Los Angeles

*Board Links *

Who’s got Korean fried chicken?

I Want…A Big Bowl of Pancake

Looking for German pancakes, hefty and bowl-shaped, with lemon and powdered sugar? Try a German restaurant… or a few other great pancake places.

The Original Pancake House qualifies, with great German pancakes and their smaller cousins, Dutch babies. The apple-cinnamon glazed ones are pretty great too, says AquaW.

Jagerhaus sweeps the European front with German pancakes with lemon and sugar or apple, Austrian raisin pancake, Bavarian cherry pancake and Stuttgarter peach pancake.

Dinah’s has delicious German pancakes, says Jwsel.

And although mrpullings says Quality Food’s German pancakes are delish, “emilymm”: http://www.chow.com/profile/69033 hasn’t had much luck in actually ordering them–seems their “German pancake oven” is perpetually broken. Or maybe it’s just her?

Original Pancake House [South OC]
26951 Moulton Parkway, Aliso Viejo

Original Pancake House [South OC]
1418 E. Lincoln, Anaheim

Original Pancake House [South Bay]
1756 South Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach

Original Pancake House [Inland of LA]
18453 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda

Jagerhaus OC]
2525 E. Ball Rd., Anaheim

Dinah’s Family Restaurant [South LA]
6521 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles

Quality Food & Beverage [Fairfax Village]
8030 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles

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Where to find German pancakes

Not Feeling the Heat at Chichen Itza

After giving the new, real-restaurant incarnation of Chichen Itza a few weeks to get the kinks out, silverlake bodhisatva tried it out for dinner.

The verdict: Tasty stuff, but on the mild-to-bland side. Now, Yucatecan food isn’t necessarily spicy, but the sour-orange marinade for the cochinita pibil, for example, doesn’t really come through.

Their technique is on, says Dommy, a Yucatan native who thinks that Flor de Yucatan has more soul. Cochinita, kibis, and panuchos–check it.

Chichen Itza [Macarthur Park]
2501 W. 6th St., Los Angeles

La Flor de Yucatan [Downtown]
1800 S. Hoover St, Los Angeles

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BYO Habanero at Chichen Itza

Chinese Vegetarian Confusion

The best-known Chinese vegetarian restaurant, Happy Family, is multiplying fruitfully indeed.

The Monterey Park branch just moved farther south on Atlantic, explains will47. You can get all-you-can-eat here. Meanwhile, the Rowland Heights branch, which used to serve meat-eaters downstairs and vegetarians upstairs, has shunned the carnivores altogether. Only the upstairs vegetarian restaurant remains, but it’s supposedly better than the Monterey Park branch.

Jerome loves the lily flower-enoki mushroom soup and the pricey “monkey-head” mushroom soup.

Actually, the best vegetarian Chinese spot right now is Fine Garden, says ladelfa. It used to be Vege Table, but the owners changed about a year ago–to the people who had run Purple Bamboo in Rowland Heights–and the dining area and menu were totally overhauled. Chicken with lily bulbs and gingko nuts gets a thumbs-up, and so does duck with taro.

Happy Family [San Gabriel Valley]
111 N. Atlantic Blvd. #351, Monterey Park

Happy Family [San Gabriel Valley]
18425 E. Colima Rd., Rowland Heights

Fine Garden [San Gabriel Valley]
841 W. Las Tunas, San Gabriel

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Are all Happy Families alike?

Home-Style Jamaican Cookin’

Formerly a branch of the meat-patty bakery Golden Krust, Jamaica Cafe offers straightforward, unpretentious Jamaican fare that tastes like it came straight from an auntie’s kitchen, says SoCalMuncher.

Curry goat is flavorful and tender, more than a match for the strong, high-masala West Indian curry. In true island style, though, you’ll have to use your fingers to get all the meat–there’s a lot of bone in there.

On the side, deep-fried plantains, red beans and rice, and yams are good, but nothing spectacular.

Meat patties are good enough for the West Coast, but could use some real, good pepper sauce for kick. They have chicken and vegetable patties, too.

Jamaica Cafe [South Bay]
formerly Golden Krust
321 E. Willow St, Long Beach

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Props to Jamaica Cafe