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Ethnic restaurants near Beverly hills

Not too far west, there is a stretch of Westwood Blvd dubbed "Little Teheran" with a slew of Persian restaurants. Plenty of threads on CH on that subject.

Good luck with your husband's treatment.

about 15 hours ago
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Armenian in Glendale

There is no Armenian food at Raffi's. It is purely Persian. The menu is indistinguishable from the menu of a Persian restaurant owned by a non-Armenian. I didn't even know that it was owned by an Armenian until I read this thread.

It's a really good Persian restaurant, though, in an elegant, sort of semi garden setting.

By the way, I like Maroush for Lebanese. Carrousel is very good, but it seems to me the menu at Maroush is more interesting, with more unusual dishes. Also a little more intimate than the banquet hall atmosphere at Carrousel. Have no idea if there is any Armenian connection, though it is in Little Armenia.

I accept that there is Armenian food, because knowledgeable people on this thread have said so, but I have never had it. The only Armenian dish I was ever aware of was lahmejune. When I was a kid, they called this "Armenian pizza".

Jul 01, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Most underrated LA restaurants

Mud Hen Tavern.

Jun 28, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area
1

Armenian in Glendale

Seems to be listed in alphabetical order. I would definitely cross check them against Yelp or CH. Also, pay attention to location. Probably you don't want to go to the San Fernando Valley or too deep into the inland empire. I would limit the search to Glendale (or Westwood, if it's Persian).

Jun 27, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Armenian in Glendale

Jun 27, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Fun restaurant with teens?

If you're talking teenagers, I would choose a fun area first, and then choose the restaurants.

1) Don't listen the to the jeers from chowhounds, and do the Hollywood Blvd thing. Like it or not, it's part of LA. Check out Grauman's Chinese theater. Go to one of the cheesy "museums". Get a hot dog at Skooby's, and then an ice cream at Grom's. If you're there in the evening, see what's playing at the Egyptian.

2) Go to the Santa Monica pier. Ride the ferris wheel. Eat at the Mexican place at the end of the pier.

3) Do an LA Conservancy walking tour of the old movie palaces on Broadway downtown. Go to Cole's (hundred year old place doing French dip sandwiches) for lunch. Or Grand Central Market.

4) Do a low impact museum, like the Norton Simon in Pasadena, or one of the botanical gardens there. Combine it with a Chinese meal in the San Gabriel Valley.

5) If any of the kids are into manga or Japanese stuff, then definitely do Little Tokyo downtown. Great places for ramen or udon. Walk to Pie Hole for dessert, or sample some of the "interesting" Japanese sweets.

Armenian in Glendale

So? What are the true Armenian restaurants in Glendale?

Jun 26, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Armenian in Glendale

Thanks for your informative reply. You will certainly not find that stuffed pumpkin on any restaurant menu. It could be that real Armenian cooking is the kind of home-cooked fare that does not lend itself to restaurant preparation. My wife's family are Moroccan Jews. They definitely have their own, distinctive cooking - simple but tasty and satisfying. It bears little resemblance to classic Moroccan cooking (other than a few dishes like pastillas), and you will not find it in any restaurant.

That Golden Fork looks good. I'll have to give that a try.

Jun 25, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area
1

Armenian in Glendale

This is more of a question than an answer, but it seems that describing a restaurant as "Armenian" is misleading, as there really is no distinct Armenian cuisine. It seems to refer more to the ethnic origin of the owners. In what sense is Raffi's place Armenian? It is Persian cooking, with (I understand) an Armenian owner. Same with Zankou Chicken. The cooking is indistinguishable from any other Lebanese chicken rotisserie, of which LA is full (I assume Al Wazir on Hollywood is not Armenian, but the cooking is the same). Same with Carrousel. Armenian owners, Levantine cooking.

If I were searching for Armenian cooking, rather than Levantine or Persian, I guess I would look for a Caucasian restaurant, probably with Cyrillic letters somewhere in evidence. There was a dumpling restaurant spoken of this site a while ago, the Khinkali Factory. http://www.tkfrestaurant.com/

But perhaps this doesn't hold either. My feeling is that apart from a small number of traditional dishes, maybe there really is no Armenian cuisine, per se.

Jun 25, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Tacos El Gavilan Coming to La Brea/Sunset

How will they manage with parking? Even without them the parking lot is packed at lunch time.

Jun 23, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area
1

In search of incredible lox?

Jun 20, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Sour pie cherries

Anyone see sour pie cherries in Los Angeles yet? Hope I didn't miss em. I have a couple of Persian sour cherry trees, but they haven't started producing enough to give me a whole pie.

Jun 08, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

BRUNCH/LUNCH FOR SIX in DTLA before a visit to the Natural History Museum

Jack's and Joe on Figueroa is a popular spot with USC students, and is an adequate place to get caffeinated and breakfasted. They don't take reservations, which at this point is probably better for you. The earlier you can get there, the better. Even if it's not jammed, parking in their small parking lot can be difficult.

Jun 06, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Do restaurants overcharge on purpose?

Not sure I understand. I don't see how they could pocket money for something that appears on the bill. That would be detected by the restaurant, unless I paid cash, but nobody pays cash on a large bill like that.

Just to be clear, I'm certain that the restaurant had nothing to do with it. If there was any wrongdoing, it was on the part of individuals, and most likely it was just incompetence. Still, made me wonder.

Jun 06, 2015
MarkC in Not About Food

Do restaurants overcharge on purpose?

I was at a well-known restaurant yesterday, which shall remain nameless. The meal was good, and at the end the waiter brought my bill (after first bringing me somebody else's) and I noticed that I'd been charged for a full bottle of wine, rather than the glass that I had ordered.

The waiter was a douche, who didn't apologize, and in fact seemed angry and offended when I took (mild) exception to his slovenly handling of my bill. He wordlessly thrust the correct bill into my hand, and I never heard from him again.

The point is, though, I would swear the same thing happened to me before at this restaurant (or perhaps at another restaurant) - being charged for a bottle when I'd only ordered a glass. It would be a decent scam. People spend a lot of money there, and after drinking a lot of wine might just sign the bill after a peremptory glance, not noticing whether they were charged for a bottle or a glass. If it gets detected - hey, accidents happen. I would also guess that waiters are incentivized by the restaurants to sell bottles.

Has anyone encountered this before?

Jun 06, 2015
MarkC in Not About Food

Old School Italian in the Valley

We live close by, and so go from time to time. Not a lot of choices in this area. We feel the same way about it. Food is satisfying enough, and the place exudes a kind of charm and nostalgia that makes you feel good (after enough cheap chianti).

Sometimes you're not in the mood to be "challenged" by the latest overpriced small plates clone. With minimalist décor and deafening noise. Brrrrrrrrrh.

I believe their sign says that they are the oldest Italian restaurant in Hollywood.

Old School Italian in the Valley

Almost by definition these kinds of places have mediocre food. It's almost part of the charm. Seems to go with the checked tablecloths and straw chianti bottles. You won't find them recommended much on Chowhound.

Antonio's on Ventura Blvd - you almost have to go just for the green neon sign with the boot of Italy. Like something from The Godfather. Farther afield, in Granada Hills, you have Casa di Pizza, which is a shrine to Frank Sinatra, who allegedly visited there once. The pizza is better than the rest of the food.

Jun 05, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Visiting with limited time—need help editing list of Mexican, tacos, Viet, Korean, Thai!

I wouldn't know, but I don't think they make pizza anywhere like they used to. I remember making the trek out to DiFara's in Brooklyn a few years back, and while it was great, I don't think it had anything over DeSano. DeSano is kind of a unique set-up.

Since I'm back online - for some reason, Guisado has fallen out of favor on this blog. I think it's great, and would definitely recommend it, especially since there's a branch in Echo Park. And CTL is all the way in West Covina - at least a half an hour drive each way without traffic.

Also, if you want to do soup, go for ramen or udon in Little Tokyo, rather than pho. Little Tokyo is worth a visit. Walk to Pie Hole for dessert afterwards.

And while I wouldn't normally recommend for tourists to go to North Hollywood (dullsville) the crispy rice salad at Sri Siam is kind of life-transforming. Like - I didn't know food could taste that good. Imagine all that citrusy - spicy-funky as a kind of savory Thai breakfast cereal. With peanuts and sausage. I could eat that stuff all day.

Jun 05, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Visiting with limited time—need help editing list of Mexican, tacos, Viet, Korean, Thai!

I would switch out Luv2Eat for Isaan Station, a Thai restaurant in Korea Town. Luv2Eat is actually our go-to Thai restaurant, since we live in Hollywood, but it is a very small, rather depressing space, and the service is very slow. I think they have one person in front of one stove preparing the food. We usually do take-out. Isaan Station is a larger, livelier space, and the food is freakin delicious. Cash only, which is the only negative, although there is probably a cash machine there. And you're actually closer to Sweet Rose Creamery, although you may choose to go instead to the Paris Bakery in the same strip mall. It is a French bakery with Asian twists (macha eclairs, etc).

Don't drive all the way to Chinatown for ice cream. Just not worth it. And while downtown is not far, the traffic getting there on a weekend night will be horrendous. There must be good ice cream in Silverlake (Pazzo?).

It's hard to eat light at a Mexican restaurant. If you eat at Galaguetza, you probably won't want to eat for the rest of the day. And again, distances are great. I would give up the taco crawl. Mariscos Jalisco is all the way at the far end of Boyle Heights - a long drive through an industrial wasteland. Not worth it, IMHO.

Don't listen to people who minimize traffic. People in LA plan their lives around traffic, and chowhounds will tell you to drive over a cliff if they can recommend their favorite restaurant. Choose one place per day and stay put.

Here's a sleeper recommendation. We ate at a Mexican place in Hollywood called Rincon Oaxaqueno on Saturday night (the one on Western). Like Galaguetza, it is Oaxacan, and they specialize in moles. There was a guitarist in the courtyard, which was very nice, and they prepare the guacamole tableside in a lava molcajete. We had the mole, which was great, and on weekend evenings they have the authentic al pastor tacos, where the meat is cut from a rotisserie, with a pineapple on top (I didn't know this, or I would have ordered it). It is a family run place, and almost all the patrons were Mexican. I've eaten at Galaguetza, and the food is excellent, maybe even better than Rincon, but I found the experience there far more memorable and "authentic", if you will.

I know it's not on your wish list, but DeSano pizza is truly destination worthy. I haven't had pizza that good since I was a kid in New York. I would ditch the Pho and go there instead. It's close to the original Scoops location on Heliotrope Ave, in East Hollywood.

I could go on all night, but that's probably enough. LA is a great city, and not just for eating. If you're doing gardens, go to the Descanso. Really beautiful (and close to Bulgarini ice cream!). Hollywood is a weird, gothic-looking place, just fun to drive around in (see how many scientology buildings you can locate. You won't believe how many there are. Big, primo historic buildings). And as I recommend to everyone, go to the website of the LA Conservancy and book an architectural walking tour of downtown. You won't regret it. No shortage of places to have lunch afterwards.

Jun 04, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Visiting with limited time—need help editing list of Mexican, tacos, Viet, Korean, Thai!

Your vacation is badly in need of a reality check. It is insane. Driving to Little Saigon from Echo Park for Vietnamese food is insane. Do you know how far away it is? And how boring? There's no floating market. Imagine a suburb in Queens with Vietnamese letters. That's Little Saigon.

Eating back to back meals to cram in as many restaurants as possible is insane. Like Caligula insane. And tasteless. Shame on chowhounds for recommending it.

If you really want Vietnamese food, get a banh mi at the Hero sandwich shop downtown (quite close to Echo Park). Despite the name, they only make banh mi's (including the traditional with head cheese and pate) and they are insanely delicious. Or go to San Gabriel or San Fernando Valley. I ate at Chateau Brodard in Little Saigon recently (I had another reason for travelling there). The food was good, nothing amazing. Song Fat in Canoga Park is better. The scenery is no better, but it's a heck of a lot closer.

There are so many good restaurants right there in Echo Park and the surrounding area (including downtown). There's no reason to travel insane distances. And try to find time to do things other than eat. You'll enjoy the meals and the vacation more, and you will not be an abomination unto the lord.

Jun 02, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area
1

Visiting LA downtown with family (includes 3 year old)

Cole's! It's an historic space and an LA icon specializing in French dip sandwiches. Family friendly for lunch, not for dinner, when the adjacent bar is open.

May 31, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area
1

russian(?) soup dumplings in glendale

But the "Goldster" recommended it. He had a mysterious communion with it under a full moon.

May 31, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

LA Vacation in July - Critique my choices!

Birch is the hot new restaurant in Hollywood. I haven't been yet, probably going this week.

As far as Mexican, the quality is generally inversely related to the desirability of the location. Not that these places are in dangerous locations, just bleak, nondescript industrial or commercial areas where tourists would never be found. In this vein, try Galaguetza in Koreatown. My go to is a hole-in-the wall called Rincon Oaxaqueno on Sunset Blvd above Western in East Hollywood. Both are Oaxacan, which means they specialize in moles.

Another good one is Flor de Yucatan on Hoover near USC. This place is barely a restaurant, more of a take out place with a few tables, but the food is great, especially the cochinita pibil tacos.

May 26, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Lunch rec in Westminster

Thanks. We ended up going to Chateau Brodard after all. The food was quite good. I love the Vietnamese practice of grazing through a big pile of leaves and lettuces. If you eat a lot of Thai food, than Vietnamese may seem rather simple and tame by comparison, but it is still a tasty and satisfying cuisine.

May 18, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

2 days in LA with the family

Everyone says to skip Hollywood and Highland, but if you've never seen it, it's kind of a scene, and your kids might enjoy it. Definitely cheesy, but you have Grom's ice cream as a saving factor. If you're going to Runyon Canyon, you're so close you may as well at least drive by it. If you go at night, see a movie at the old Egyptian Theater, which is now a non-profit film society called American Cinematheque. You can see Grauman's Chinese and stroll the boulevard, and there are good restaurants, like Little Fork, in easy driving distance. After all, there's not that much to do with kids at night in LA.

Oh, and the Santa Monica Pier is way more fun than Venice or Abbot Kinney, IMHO. The Mexican restaurant at the end of the pier is quite good.

May 17, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Kadaifi in LA?

Vrej Pastry. Granada Hills.

May 17, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

2 days in LA with the family

Here's some good advice what to do and not do in LA..

http://www.businessinsider.com/los-an...

I would say yes to Melrose and downtown for walking. No to Silverlake - just not enough there. Do yourself a favor and book an architectural walking tour of downtown with the LA Conservancy. I always recommend out-of-towners go to Cole's downtown for lunch (assuming no vegetarians).

May 17, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Lunch rec in Westminster

Thanks for recs, will save them for the next trip. Our group has shrunk to two people, so we'll probably just go for banh mi's. Probably go for Banh Mi Che Cali in Westminster.

May 16, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Lunch rec in Westminster

We are making a rare excursion to Westminster this sunday, and would love a rec for lunch in Little Saigon. One of our group doesn't eat meat or fish. Other than that, we're up for anything.
Thanks.

May 13, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area

Dinner Recommendations for Burbank area

If you like Mexican food, Sabor Cocina Mexicana is a good, upscale restaurant:

http://saborcocinamexicana.com/

Not too far away there is Le Chene - a strange outlier of a place with an old-fashioned haute cuisine French menu, and an emphasis on game:

http://www.lechene.com/

I have never eaten there myself, but have always been curious about it. Maybe someone else has been there and can say how it is.

May 12, 2015
MarkC in Los Angeles Area