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clintonhillbilly's Profile

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SOUP - LA Dish of the Month (November 2013)

The clam chowder at Harold and Belle's is the best! So rich and creamy.

Dec 05, 2013
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Mexican L.A. for Serious / Old Line Chowhounds

You won't be disappointed, it's delicious. They also make killer potato tacos and a nice chicken tesmole.

Oct 29, 2013
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Mexican L.A. for Serious / Old Line Chowhounds

I have to give a shout out also to Colonia Taco Lounge in La Puente, Ricardo Diaz's new place. It has FANTASTIC tacos, and also very good cocktails. My favorite may actually be the fried cauliflower taco, but the Oaxacan beef stew also rocks as does the seared queso with bacon.

Oct 29, 2013
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Mexican L.A. for Serious / Old Line Chowhounds

That's great news!

Aug 18, 2013
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Mexican L.A. for Serious / Old Line Chowhounds

Check out Cacao, they do excellent smoked their carne asada and do a NY steak too, machaca for breakfast

Aug 13, 2013
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Mexican L.A. for Serious / Old Line Chowhounds

Great list-- I think it's time for the five years later update!
Bar AMA- amazing tex mex. Josef Centeno rules.

Cacao Mexicatessen in Eagle Rock-- some of it is authentic and some is their own innovation but using a lot if precolombian ingredients like duck and venison. They make regular trips to Valle de Guadalupe and bring up olive oils and wines made there.

Moles la Tia for sure- Rocio Camacho also now has a place in Sun Valley I haven't tried yet

Huaraches Azteca

La Estrella-- for the al pastor. Good fish tacos too.

El Faisan y El Venado-- in highland park, authentic yucatecan food

Huaraches Azteca--still going strong

Antojitos Carmen was the best--rip. is that family still making food anywhere?

El Rey de Barbacoa-- stumbled on it once-- I think it was at Adams and Hill-- amazing goat

Chichen Itza, the sit down place closed but the stand in Mercado Paloma is still going strong

Guisados!!!!

Aug 13, 2013
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area
2

What's your favorite restaurant?

Favorite as in most blew my mind? n/naka in Palms. I've only been once and had the 10 course vegetarian tasting. It literally made me high, and I was only drinking tea.

Favorite neighborhood weekday meal: Maximiliano's in HP. I second all that MissBubbles said. I love their plain cheese pizza, it's actually incredibly delicious. A great spot for a nice craft beer and some pizza or pasta, with reliably excellent service.

Favorite old-school place: Taix in Echo Park. I know I'm in the minority being as big a fan of Taix as I am, but I love the fact that some of the waiters have been serving there for 40 years. It's got such an old school vibe (I always sit in the dining room, not the bar) and most of the food is really tasty and a good bargain. It's not the best French food ever, but it's a great place for roast chicken and fries, or some trout almondine or short ribs. You can't beat getting a nice salad and tureen of soup for $4 extra. I love that you never need a reservation and you are never, ever rushed. For my birthday I had no trouble reserving a table for 12 on a Saturday night even though people were not all showing up at the same time, and no problem hanging out at that table from 8 till midnight getting progressively drunker.

Favorite date night: the Parish. Classy, romantic, with terrific food.

Aug 08, 2013
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Authentic Turkish Breakfast

Super King on San Fernando road has soujouk in the deli section- great Armenian supermarket. Skaf's on Glendale has great foul and also serves soujouk

May 17, 2013
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Vegetarians on Vacation

When you go to Vinh Loi also check out Follow Your Heart Grocery and cafe. Vegetarian diner that's been around for about 40 years--they make their own vegetarian meats. I highly recommend the nutburger and the Reuben sandwich. Affordable and cute.

May 11, 2013
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Vegetarians on Vacation

Soledad Goat farm brings their wonderful cheese to the South Pasadena farmers market on Thursdays and I believe to the Hollywood farmers market on Saturdays. You can combine the South Pas farmers market with a day of eating Chinese food in the San Gabriel Valley and top it off with a splurge at Firefly Bistro

May 11, 2013
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Vegetarians on Vacation

The Border Grill truck has delicious avocado tacos, potato tacos, vegetarian tamales, and dulce de leche stuffed churros. The Green Truck has a great vegan burger. And I second the Grilled Cheese Truck, just be prepared to wait in line.

May 11, 2013
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Vegetarians on Vacation

Vegetarian dim sum at Fine Garden restaurant in San Gabriel is very good.

May 06, 2013
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Vegetarians on Vacation

Second Rahel, great vegan Ethiopian food. I live in Highland Park so many of these recommendations are for that neighborhood-- a fun and cheap place to eat and drink:

For cheap and delicious, go to Huaraches Azteca on York Blvd. in Highland Park -- veg options include huitlacoche huaraches, gorditas with potatos and rajas, and quesadillas with squash blossoms, and it's all super cheap. Then you can get some great beer at the Hermosillo Club or The York, both in walking distance.

Good Girl Dinette on Figueroa in Highland Park has terrific vegetarian pho and oyster mushroom banh mi, and it's BYOB so you can get a six pack of beer at the liquor store down the block and bring it in.

Cacao Mexicatessen in Eagle Rock has wonderful vegetarian good, Mexican wine, and Mexican craft beer -- it's not expensive but not super-cheap either -- figure $3/taco and you need to get 3 or 4. But they have the best vegetarian tacos-- fried avocado tacos, huitlacoche tacos, creamed squash blossom tacos, hibiscus flower tacos -- all terrific. Also great non-battered, roasted chile rellenos.

However, for awesome battered chile rellenos go to Chico's on Avenue 50 and Figueroa in Highland Park. Cute, really cheap family restaurant. They have potato tacos too and good enchiladas.

For really cheap happy hour, Las Cazuelas on Figueroa in Highland Park has $6 pitchers of beer. I'm not the biggest Salvadoran food fan, but they do have very good pupusas whcih you can get vegetarian.

Elf in Echo Park is great but it's not cheap -- however, I believe it is still BYOB so you can save some money by buying a bottle of wine or two at City Sip across the street.

Umami Burger has my favorite veggie burger in the City, totally house-made. Also, the Green Truck Mother Trucker burger is vegan and really delicious. For some LA-style fusion, track down one of the Kogi trucks where you can get korean tofu tacos and kimchi quesadillas. Or better yet, go to the Alibi Bar in Venice where you can get the kogi food and you can have beer.

There are so many places to recommend, but I will end with Wurstekuche, a German beer hall in downtown LA that grills up Field Roast sausages and has wonderful belgian fries.

May 06, 2013
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Great Italian Food, preferably Eastside or Central City?

Absolutely, I love Colori. No corkage for your first bottle , but a modest fee after that-$12 or so. Have you ever had the cioppino? Is it worth thirty buck? The pumpkin ravioli, the carbonara, and the spaghetti with clam were all great.

Jun 03, 2012
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Great Italian Food, preferably Eastside or Central City?

I'm looking for really great Italian food at any prIce that isn't on the Westside. There are mediocre Italian places everywhere, but where can you go for a great Italian (not Italian-American) meal?

Jun 03, 2012
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate". What have you tried in L.A.?

Tried Samosa House the other day -- excellent samose pastry and fluffy vegetable filling. Up there with the best I've had, but I prefer a more heavily spiced filling. Also had some yummy banana curry.

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Samosa House
11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

Aug 09, 2011
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate". What have you tried in L.A.?

Yes, the bacon-wrapped matzoh balls at the Gorbals are really, really good. If you go try the latkes too.

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The Gorbals
501 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Aug 09, 2011
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Bastille Day dinners?

Taix has a special Bastille Day menu

Jul 08, 2011
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Golden Dragon Dim Sum - LA Chinatown

Good to know Ocean Seafood has vegan options! Do they have savory items that are vegetarian, or just the sweet pastries?

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Ocean Seafood Restaurant
747 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Jul 06, 2011
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Golden Dragon Dim Sum - LA Chinatown

Do they have any vegetarian dim sum options? Their website doesn't seem to be working and I can't find a menu online. I'm always in search of dim sum to take my vegetarian wife to.

Jul 06, 2011
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Sand Dabs

I got some sand dabs from the farmer's market the other day -- when I got him and they had a defrosted a bit I noticed they had a really fishy smell. I have always heard that fresh fish should not smell fishy. Are these old or bad? Or are sand dabs particularly smelly fish?

Jun 27, 2011
clintonhillbilly in Home Cooking

Best Pizza in Los Angeles (& surrounding)????!!

Just tried the new Garage Pizza downtown-- it's awesome. Crust is a little crisper than your typical NYC slice but you can still fold it. On 7th between Spring and Main.

Jun 08, 2011
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Ex-Vegetarian, Need some must go restaurants

From one former vegetarian to another
-- Comme Ca on Melrose is excellent. I had amazingly succulent and tender pork ribs there. -
---Phillippe's french dip -- I recommend the double dipped pork sandwich.
--Get charcuterie at any good wine bar -- Mignon on 6th is a good one.
--Lazy Ox has a fabulous steak with marrow butter, and it's next door neighbor Aburiya Toranoko has really good sushi and sashimi, and excellent monfish liver pate.
--Don't miss out on amazing Mexican food -- Cacao in Eagle Rock has wild boar chorizo, filet mignon tacos, duck carnitas, and great fish and shrimp tacos. Tacos La Estrella truck parked at 56th and York in Highland Park has killer al pastor tacos. El Rey de Barbacoa at Adams and Hill is your weekend lunch spot of delicious tender shredded goat meat.
--Coffee rubbed pork tenderloin at Rivera downtown is delicious.
--Get your Creole/soul food fix at Harold and Belle's on Jefferson. Especially delicious clam chowder and fried chicken, but a good place to try po'boys and etouffe as well.

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Aburiya Toranoko
243 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

May 10, 2011
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate". What have you tried in L.A.?

OK, here's what I've tried:

1. Umami Burger -- the SoCal burger is my favorite burger, ever, period. There is no burger that is so juicy and delicious, and the SoCal has the good old melty american cheese and thousand island dressing to make it perfect. Umami Burger is definitely worth a drive.
2. Phillipe's French Dip -- I've been in love with the pork sandwich (double dipped) since I was a kid -- used to be a reward for me and my sister after flouride treatments from our dentist in Little Tokyo. Worth a drive. The macaroni salad, potato salad, and mustard are all must-haves too. Much better than its rival Cole's.

3. Slippery Shrimp at Yang Chow -- very good but really sweet. To me, not worth a long drive. Yang Chow does have another location in Canoga Park though if that's closer (or is it Woodland Hills?)
4. Korean Short Rib Tacos from Kogi's -- Yes, worth a drive to have them at least once. Personally I prefer going to the Alibi Room to get them to waiting outside in front of a truck. Alibi has a decent beer selection and there's some stuff on the Kogi menu there you can't get from the trucks. Personally I like the short rib sliders even better than the tacos, and the kimchee quesadilla is deliciously indulgent with some sort of red pepper aoili.
5. Half chicken with garlic sauce from Zankou -- Their garlic sauce is fantastic. Personally, I prefer the chicken tarna sandwich with double garlic sauce. It's worth a drive. That garlic sauce is unforgettable. The rotisserie chicken at Zankou is good but not the best ever, however, the tarna is done shawarma-style and spiced, super-tender.
6. I have not tried the chocolate-coconut cupcake but I want to give a shout out to the Oinkster's peanut butter and jelly cupcake, which is amazing. Like biting into your happiest childhood memory.

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Oinkster
2005 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

Alibi Room
12236 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

Yang Chow
6443 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91303

Kogi
Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

Umami Burger
850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Little Tokyo Restaurant
150 E Bonita Ave, San Dimas, CA 91773

Canoga Cafe
6200 Canoga Ave, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

May 10, 2011
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Best Pizza in Los Angeles (& surrounding)????!!

9th St. Pizza at 9th and Santee is true NY Pizza (I lived in NYC for 5 years).

May 09, 2011
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Best tiramisu in LA from a restaurant (no chains)?

Portofino's downtown at 5th and Main has an excellent tiramisu.

May 09, 2011
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Inexpensive wedding catering?

Thank you for all of the suggestions. We ended up going with Cacao Mexicatessen (in Eagle Rock) and we were super-happy with their food and their service. We had tilapia ceviche, grilled pineapple ceviche, quesadillas with Oaxacan cheese, fish tacos, carne asada tacos, flor de jamaica tacos, tofu mole tacos, chile rellenos, cucumber gazpacho, aguas frescas and hot chocolate. All sustainable seafood & Niman Ranch meat, tacos made to order on handmade tortillas. It came out to less than $40/pp!

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Mexicatessen
830 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

Nov 16, 2010
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

the best SANDWICH in (Los Angeles) period.

Porto's Pan Lechon (roast pork & garlic sauce on fresh baked bread)
Zankou Chicken Tarna Sandwich, extra garlic sauce
Dan's Super Subs in Woodland Hills
Philippe's of course, I like the pork personally
Oinkster pulled pork w/ coleslaw
Umami burger for vegetarian burger or meat burger

Jan 15, 2010
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Cheap Wine Bar?

We just moved here from Brooklyn and we miss wine bars with $5 glasses. There's gotta be someplace in LA that's not $9 or $10 a glass. We'd love to find a place with inexpensive tapas too. We live on the Eastside but suggestions from all over are welcome!

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Wine Bar
6801 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Oct 29, 2009
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area

Inexpensive wedding catering?

Thank you for all the suggestions. We love Greek food and through an internet search stumbled upon Cafe Graikos in Northridge. We went there for dinner and it was delicious, and the catering prices are among the cheapest I've seen. Hopefully it will be the one -- we're going to go again for dinner & sample some more things. If you go, definitely try the falafel and the karydi. I'd never had karydi before - it's dip w/ tahini, walnuts, pepper paste, and pomegranate syrup and it is delicious!

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Cafe Graikos
19346 Rinaldi St, Northridge, CA 91326

Oct 29, 2009
clintonhillbilly in Los Angeles Area