WHAT MAKES LA
THE MOST UNIQUE
IT IS BY FAR THE MELTING POT OF THE WORLD
You can find every type of food from every country
You must try all these different types of authentic food
You will find BEST MEXICAN food in LA due to how close LA is to the border and the huge Mexican population in LA. MUST TRY! You can get cheap deals on “Taco Tuesdays”
Type/Decor: Great authentic ambience/decor with Frida Kahlo paintings and dim lighting
Entrees: Unique ingredients/FUSION, Seen on “Top Chef”, LA Weekly Best Margarita (High quality taste), Cheap Happy Hour at the bar, Great Food, Mole enchiladas! and Live Music Performance. Great Taco Tuesdays – $2 tacos (carne asada, mushroom/spinach, shrimp), cheap drinks, churros
***Panchos in Manhattan Beach www.yelp.com/biz/panchos-restaurant-manhattan-beach
Decor: Beautiful, detailed decor of Old Town Mexico. There are several levels/rooms and separate karaoke room and bar (karaoke tuesday and sunday nights til 12am with a long wait). The downstairs area feels like “you’re outside on the patio” but you are still indoors. Beautiful trees, lights- it’s so decorated that it makes you feel like you’re in line for an amusement park ride.
Entrees: they actually have spinach everything! spinach enchiladas, quesadillas WITH shrimp! comes with spanish rice, beans, salad. A bit pricey, but still very good. GREAT margaritas! They also give make you wear a big sombrero and print you out a picture.
***Los Sanchez in Garden Grove http://www.yelp.com/biz/los-sanchez-garden-grove
AUTHENTIC Packed Family Style Restaurant, large entrees, lots of people, they call your order in spanish and english..they also make very funny comments.
***Tacos Sinaloa-in Torrance http://www.yelp.com/biz/taco-sinaloa-torrance#query:tacos%20sinaloa
AUTHENTIC More “hole in the wall”, casual. Everything in Spanish. Authentic Mexican paintings on the wall. Open til late hours.
**Alejandro’s in Costa Mesa http://www.yelp.com/biz/alejandros-mexican-food-costa-mesa
AUTHENTIC Drive Thru. Open Late Hours. Great Chorizo, Breakfast, California Carne Asada Burrito and Fries. Lots of people go after the bars. There’s a walk up window.
**El Burrito Jr.- in Redondo Beach http://www.yelp.com/biz/el-burrito-jr-redondo-beach
Walk up window and tables to eat there. Tamales!Plate combos and typical menu.
**Hudson House in Redondo Beach – $1 Taco Tuesdays
Tito’s Tacos in Culver City
Tortilla Jo’s in Downtown Disney
Mariachi bands, sangria, homemade tortillas, big portions
Fred’s in Huntington Beach http://www.yelp.com/biz/freds-mexican-cafe-huntington-beach
Casual sit down restaurant/bar with pool tables, balcony overlooking the beach. On the corner of the pier and PCH.
Mexican Chain Restaurants
El Paso Cantina www.epcrestaurant.com
El Torito www.eltorito.com
The Palms Thai
***Palms Thai Restaurant in Hollywood www.yelp.com/biz/palms-thai-restaurant-los-angeles
Open til 2am. Entertainment: They have a singing Thai Elvis singer (who sounds just like Elvis) and Giant Elvis bronze statue. They also have Thai singer who sings “Kost 103.5 or KBig 104.3 90’s” classic karaoke songs.
Decor: casual, informal. Great for BIRTHDAY PARTIES and LARGE groups especially eating family style. You must place a reservation weeks in advance. It gets very busy on the weekends- you must be on time for your reservation. Long tables. aquarium. thai decorations. 2 plasma screen tvs to watch a sport game. there’s a bar. lively, lots of energy and lots of people.
Service: Cheap, Fast and good service (when you order to go they put all the food in to go boxes for you), flavorful authentic spicy and nonspicy Thai food.
Entrees: Get the Tom Kha coconut soup, minced meat, water spinach (very flavorful), penang, pad thai, fried omelette/egg, thai iced tea, jasmine tea, thai beer.
Tom Kha Soup & Jasmine Green Tea
Thai Thani- in Redondo Beach http://www.yelp.com/biz/thai-thani-restaurant-redondo-beach
Pineapple rice! crab
Three Spice – in Gardena http://www.yelp.com/biz/three-spice-thai-kitchen-gardena
Small modern restaurant with amazing Tom Kha soup (coconut, lemongrass with shrimp, vegetables, or chicken). Modern thai decor.
Typically Japanese food is in smaller portions, they stress visual presentation, healthy balanced with vegetables/meats, etc. “less is more”, their sweets/desserts are lighter- less fatty compared to American sweets. Most people think Japanese food is just sushi and Teriyaki Chicken, but there are so many different types of Japanese foods. See below.
General Etiquette especially with Asian Food in General:
Remember to never point your chopsticks at anyone or play with chopsticks. Don’t leave your chopsticks directly on the table (put it on the bowl or plate). Even when grabbing food from a plate that everyone is sharing, sometimes people turn the chopsticks around to grab the food so that the end of the chopsticks where you eat- does not touch the public’s food. Hold the chopsticks towards the end for more leverage. You can use your hands depending on the food.
Serve tea or drinks to others first, especially elders (boss, etc.). Say “Itadakimasu” before you eat (it’s like grace, time to eat, yum good food!). Say “Gochisousama deshita” to the cook/staff as you leave when you are at a good restaurant- means pretty much thanks for the great meal you prepared.
Order Asahi Beer on Tap- it’s the only beer on tap straight from Japan. All others are brewed/water is from Canada. You can taste the crisp, dry difference.
Nishimoto Trading Company’s
Asahi “Super Dry”- THUMBS UP!
Rice wine just like any wine or beer has different taste varying from dry to sweet. Most sake is sipped cold (not hot and drank as a sake bomb/shot). They usually give you the bottle and a small glass. Sometimes they give you the small glass in a wooden box and the sake overflows into the box. You drink from the box and the small sake cup/glass as well. It can be quite strong and the best sake can be pretty expensive. I would recommend trying Sakura pink sake.
Known to be healthier than sake, yet still very strong and smooth, Shochu is distilled over and over similar to Vodka. There are different kinds made from barley, sweet potato, etc. Shochu is almost mixed with Calpico (Ca-ru-pi-su) milky/sugar drink, or mixed as a fruit cocktail.
EUROPEAN JAPANESE STYLE FUSION
***Cafe Hiro in Cypress http://www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-hiro-cypress
Type Restaurant/Decor: Small modern, homey, nice cafe (you don’t have to be dressed up, not a super fancy place, but it’s not fast food/total casual place) with beautiful, simple decor- fresh flower, picnic table cloth, painted walls/ceilings, interesting paintings. Always packed.
Entrees: Reasonable price around $9-$14 per entree Amazing various vegetable soups such as cauliflower, pumpkin, pea, etc. Salads with light home made dressings. Entrees such as Mushroom Risotto, Scallops, Carpaccio, Stew, Curry, Seed crusted tuna ahi with bok choy, cod, seafood pasta, meat pasta- with great high quality, home made taste. Nice wine selection. Dessert menu- Panna Cotta with fruits, also green tea ice cream, creme brulee.
ITALIAN JAPANESE STYLE FUSION
Italian Japanese is very common in Japan, but most people have not tried it.
Il Chianti in Lomita http://www.yelp.com/biz/il-chianti-lomita
Decor: Dim lighting, small restaurant, nice, but not too high end. Parking in the back. Might need to make a reservation. Entrees: Great seafood pastas, salads, pizza, Squid Ink Pasta, Carpaccio, bread.
Spoon House in Gardena http://www.yelp.com/biz/spoon-house-bakery-and-restaurant-gardena
Try the bonito flakes, mushroom, eggplant, spinach spaghetti! All different types of pastas, etc. Cute small shop and you can also sit at the counter and see them make the pasta.
Italian Tomato in Mistuwa in Torrance
Famous chain in Japan. More fast food, casual. Food Court in Mitsuwa.
Great salad, omelette with rice, pasta, au gratin.
Authentic sushi is actually just the sashimi, wasabi under it, and a small portion of rice under it. All other “rolls” such as “Caterpillar Roll”, “Firecracker Roll”, “Philadelphia Roll”, etc. do not exist in Japan. They are simply Westernized fusion combinations to satisfy the foreign customers. Typically, when dipping the sushi into the soy sauce, you want to dip the fish/meat- not the rice. Therefore, turning the sashimi at an angle slightly while dipping it in the shoyu soy sauce (mixed with wasabi). Also, typically you fit and eat the whole/entire portion of sushi into your mouth in one bite (such as what is shown in the picture below).
Kaiten Sushi- pick up sushi off of the conveyor belt.
Different plates represent different prices.
There are also different types of Tuna
(maguro, toro= fattiest belly part of tuna, melts in your mouth, and more expensive)
Once you keep eating better high quality sushi you can tell the difference.
***Koi in Los Alamitos http://www.yelp.com/biz/koi-sushi-seal-beach
Homey feel (not the most contemporary modern upscale restaurant style). Fresh, authentic,and the BEST sushi, but can be a bit pricey (at least $40-50 per person depending on how much sushi you eat). You can also request that the chefs make you an original sushi item based on the ingredients you want. The chefs tell every interesting stories of their lives. Always packed.
Birthday Dessert Boat and various ice creams from Koi in Los Alamitos
Sushi Island in Gardena www.yelp.com/biz/sushi-island-gardena
More of casual, fast food, lunch sushi place, but home made and family owned. $8 special includes 2 items, amazing home made salad/dressing, and miso soup. Raw salmon roll and california roll are pretty good.
Typically have Ramen + Gyoza, or fried rice sets
***Daikokuya Ramen in Little Tokyo http://www.yelp.com/biz/daikokuya-los-angeles
45 minute wait. Small Ramen Shop. Best by far in terms of soup base and noodle quality.
***Ramen Yamadaya in Torrance http://www.yelp.com/biz/ramen-yamadaya-torrance
You can add garlic! Combo set comes with karaage chicken (with lemon) and rice, or curry and rice, or chashu pork and rice. They have Tonkotsu, Shoyu, Spicy Ramen, and even more garlic ramen. If you are a student, you get free rice and/or noodles!
***Ramen California in Torrance www.yelp.com/biz/ramen-california-torrance
Decor: Modern, reminds me of Father’s Office in LA. Wooden theme. Entrees: Unique Mushroom Ramen with salad and shitake mushrooms (angel hair noodles similar to Shinsengumi Hakata Ramen noodles). Tonkotsu Ramen has very flavorful pork soup base with bokchoy, peppered soup. Reasonable price.
***Santouka Ramen at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance http://www.yelp.com/biz/mitsuwa-marketplace-torrance
Cash only. Recommend Shoyu Ramen Soup Base. Miso soup base is good as well. There are meal sets such as ramen, side of hard boiled egg soaked in sauce, and chashu pork rice bowl. The ramen has seaweed, bamboo shoots, egg, green onion, 2 big slices of pork, and yellow somewhat curled thick ramen noodles (typical..but there are different textured noodles). You can also add sesame seed, spice seasoning onto it afterwards. Small and Large sizes ranging from $6-9. Around rush hour lunch time the lines on the weekend can get long- about 10 minute wait? For more info on ambience of Mitsuwa, please refer to regular Japanese food section.
**Shinsengumi Hakata Ramen in Gardena on Redondo Beach Blvd.
Culture/Vibe: All Shinsegumi Restaurant Chains (started in Japan) have the “Samurai” spirit where when you walk in they bow and yell/greet you “Irrashaimasse!” When you pay, they yell out in Japanese that you just paid. When you leave, they bow and say thank you as you leave. You can buy the cooks beers and they will drink with you “Kanpai!” (Cheers).
Decor/Setup: You can sit at the counter or at wooden tables. There’s also an area with the shorter table (where you sit on the ground) and take off your shoes.
Ways to Order: You fill out a card of your preference of texture of noodle: hard–soft, soup base-: light–strong, adding toppings (spinach, egg, seaweed, extra meat, bean sprouts, etc.), how much oil: light — strong. You can request more noodles for 99 cents. Ramen Set Deals: They also serve other food such as gyoza dumplings, fried rice, karaage chicken and they have set menus that you can order. Their ramen may have a lighter side of flavor in the soup base and “angel hair-like” noodles (I would order stronger soup base).
**Kappa Ramen in Anaheim www.yelp.com/biz/kappa-ramen-anaheim-2
Kappa Signature Ramen $10 includes corn, ginger, hard boiled egg, spinach, bean sprouts, Chashu pork, seaweed, slightly spicy. They also have Chicken Karaage, fried rice and gyoza specials, along with panna cotta pudding/fruit dessert. Friendly, fast service.
Oven roasted skewers- Typically all Yakitori or Izakayas (Japanese Bars with tapas/small plates) have the same menu items. You can order practically the same menu items at these different restaurants.
***Shinsengumi Yakitori in Torrance http://www.yelp.com/biz/shin-sen-gumi-yakitori-gardena#query:shinsengumi Culture/Vibe: All Shinsegumi Restaurant Chains (started in Japan) have the “Samurai” spirit where the customer is the “God”- they work very hard. When you walk in they bow and yell/greet you “Irrashaimasse!” When you pay, they yell out in Japanese that you just paid. When you leave, they bow and say thank you as you leave. You can buy the cooks beers and they will drink with you “Kanpai!” (Cheers). May not be the best place if you want a quiet, relaxing, romantic dinner alone. It’s loud, but entertaining, lively, and fun. Etiquette: After eating the skewer, put it in the little skewer cylinder (looks like a pencil case)
Service: Great, fast service refilling drinks, etc. Food comes out pretty fast, may be pretty temperature hot.
Entrees: May be a bit pricey. Very flavorful. Refillable bowl of Cabbage salad (fresh, crunchy, light dressing). You can order these foods at the other Yakitori restaurants below: chicken hearts, nutto beans on skewers, bacon wrapped tomato that is juicy when you bite into it, chicken with wasabi on skewers, meatballs (but not your typical meatballs), chicken with vegetable/onion, try with yuzu sauce (very spicy similar to wasabi), salmon or tune carpaccio (raw), agedashi tofu with sauce, okra on skewers, onion on skewers, shitake mushroom on skewers.
Torimatsu in Gardena http://www.yelp.com/biz/torimatsu-inc-gardena
IZAKAYA/JAPANESE BARS with Tapas/Small Dishes
***Hondaya in Little Tokyo and Tustin http://www.yelp.com/biz/honda-ya-izakaya-los-angeles#query:hondaya
Decor: Dark Wooden decor -feels like an izakaya bar/restaurant in Japan. Can be a bit pricey. Always packed, will be a long wait. Make reservations ahead of time. Entrees: Lots of Japanese tapas dishes- tofu dishes are great, sesame spinach, yakisoba noodles, meats/veggie skewers, Natto, Takoyaki (octopus balls). Ume shu plum wine.
***Izakaya Bincho in Redondo Beach www.yelp.com/biz/izakaya-bincho-redondo-beach
Tiny Izakaya Bar reminds me of Japan on the boardwalk on redondo beach pier. Few booths and chairs at the bar. The kitchen is open and in front of you where you can see them cook.
Entrees: Tofu Agedashi, Pork Belly, shrimp, fried mochi soup, french fries, soft shell crab, squid, fried banana and ice cream dessert, CHICKEN WINGS are AMAZING, Pitcher of beers, shochu, amazing salad with DAIKON radish, Calpico (carupisu- milk sugar sweet water) with soju is a good drink as well.
Izakaya Yuzen Kan in Torrance www.yelp.com/biz/izakaya-yuzen-kan-torrance
(Japanese Pancake with vegetables, potatos, sauces)
Gaja in Lomita www.yelp.com/biz/gaja-japanese-restaurant-lomita
Make/cook your own! They give you instructions.
***Marukai in Gardena www.yelp.com/biz/marukai-market-gardena
Japanese and hawaiian market. More hawaiian products, clothes, home appliances, furniture than Mitsuwa. Smaller marketplace with more hawaiian food. There’s a $10 year membership. They have hawaiian food place, sushi boy, and another japanese food place for lunch (with saba fish and eel, etc.) Fairly cheap
Various Types of Bento Boxes below:
***Marukai Pacific Marketplace in Gardena on Redondo Beach Blvd.
www.yelp.com/biz/marukai-pacific-market-gardena More authentic Japanese with ramen, bakery, bento boxes, and Bearded Papa’s eclairs
***Gyu-Kaku in Torrance www.gyu-kaku.com/ca/torrance.htm
Monday Happy Hour all night. Happy Hour every night from 5pm-8pm and starts again from 9pm – closing. Very cheap, cook meat in front of you, cheap drinks. Might need to call ahead of time for reservation. Interesting Japanese interior.
***Musha in Torrance www.yelp.com/biz/musha-restaurant-torrance
Great seafood salads, scallop au gratin, high quality entrees. Izakaya dark inside, wooden decor feel. Very crowded, a bit pricey.
Yuzu in Torrance www.yelp.com/biz/yuzu-torrance
Good date place. Dim lighting, modern decor, trees, sushi chef/bar, corporate parties, parking in the back, or on the street. A bit pricey.
Geisha House in Hollywood www.yelp.com/biz/geisha-house-los-angeles
very “hollywood”, lounge, beautiful red themed/motif scenery decor, bit pricey, presentation
Tokyo Table in Irvine www.yelp.com/biz/tokyo-table-irvine-2
Modern dim lighting ambience. A bit pricey, long wait. Lychee Martini is soo good!
Japanese Style Jalapeño Pizza
Chinese food is quick, fairly cheap, large portions, and fast service.
***Dim Sum in Chinatown & Monterey Park
***Full House in Chinatown
Open til 3am. Busy, crowded. Fun to go after Mountain Bar and Grandstarr Jazz Club. Walking distance. Lazy susan in the middle. Crunchy noodles, honey walnut shrimp, beef, typical chinese dishes.
W’s China Bistro – Chinese/American Fusion www.yelp.com/biz/ws-china-bistro-redondo-beach
***India Jones Food Truck http://www.yelp.com/biz/india-jones-chow-truck-santa-monica
Follow on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/indiajonesct
Try the chicken marsala and all other entrees
***Samosa House in Culver City http://www.yelp.com/biz/samosa-house-east-culver-city
Casual, informal, modern decor, on the corner on the street with small parking lot, eat in or take out, healthy/vegetarian.
AMAZING FOOD/TASTE/QUALITY. large portions. 2 combos including yello curry with cauliflower, jackfruit, eggplant, spinach, soup, garlic/wheat or regular naan, mango lassi, affordable. They serve beer as well.
***Tangy Tomato in Cerritos www.tangytomato.com/
Authentic Indian food in India actually has lots of Indian-Chinese Fusion entrees. White linen on 2nd level on plaza. Kinda pricey. Huge menu.
***The India Restaurant in Cerritos www.theindiarestaurant.net
Decor/Vibe: Old fashioned linen, white table cloth, remodeled interior, chandeliers, busy on a sunday night – which is a good sign.
Entrees: Chicken Masala, spinach, Naan, chai tea, mango drink, tortilla- lentil based, sweet, and cilantro sauce. Prices have gone up than before, but still decent.
Bombay Tandoori in Torrance www.yelp.com/biz/bombay-tandoori-torrance
Around $10 buffet. Wide selection. Very flavorful. Owner is very friendly and welcoming.
***Wurstkusche in Downtown LA www.yelp.com/biz/wurstkuche-los-angeles
Decor/Venue: Order at the cashier at the front. Eat in the back. Wooden tables, everyone shares long tables and sits next to each other like a beer hall. DJ.
Entrees All different types of Wurst-sausage/hot dog- Bratwurst original, Alligator, turkey, veggie, very flavorful, INTERNATIONAL beers, Garlic and curry ketchup, interesting sauces.
***Biergarten in Los Angeles http://www.yelp.com/biz/biergarten-los-angeles
European/German tavern, modern gastropub feel inside. Outdoor seating in the back. Sliders, tasty “wurst” sausage, alligator sausage available, sweet potato fries, and great selection of international beers.
**Alpine Village www.alpinevillagecenter.com/
Best Oktoberfest every September – October. Lately, it has been a 2-3 hour wait. Arrive early!
They sell chicken beanie hats, giant poster of Neuwanschtein Castle, German Beer/Wine, German Band, giant tent/tower with several tables of people- piling up big styrofoam cups – stacking them, making castles/pyramids until it falls. At the end, prepare to do the chicken dance!
***No Jodas Food Truck
***Havana Mania www.yelp.com/biz/havana-mania-redondo-beach
Great Happy Hour until 8pm or 9pm? All different types of Mojito flavors- including Peach and Mango. Fries, potatoes, croquettes, chicken, Yucca, plantains.
Versailles in Manhattan Beach
More of a take-out chain. Great plantains, chicken, meats.
***Merkato in Little Ethiopia www.yelp.com/…/merkato-ethiopian-restaurant-and-market-los-angeles
Interesting cultural Ethiopian decor. Try the MANGO juice- they sell it there in huge glass bottles. They also have a separate room for family parties.
Entrees: Eat with Your Hands Only Giant spongy bread that fills up the whole platter and all meat/vegetable entrees are in the middle. Very flavorful variety of meats and vegetables with sauces.
***Mangia Mangia in Huntington Beachwww.yelp.com/…/mangia-mangia-huntington-beach
Decor/ambience: Authentic Italian, family-owned. Authentic Italian kitchen/paintings decor. reasonable price. Family style, homey (not too rich, nice, modern).
Entrees: Good wine selection. Great fish, pasta, spaghetti, meat, eggplant, swordfish, squid ink pasta, Gnocchi (squishy texture creamy potato), light flavorful sauce. Make sure to make reservations.
Small cafe with authentic Italian cheeses, deli products, side dishes, sandwiches, pastas
Major Italian Restaurant Chain
Macaroni Grill in Torrance www.macaronigrill.com/
Pat & Oscars www.patandoscars.com/
Casual, laid back, family, take out restaurant with chicken, salads, pizza, pastas.
***Pita Pit www.pitapit.com/
Healthy pitas-similar to subway. You order what ingredients you want on it. I recommend the Chicken caesar, spinach, swiss cheese grilled, with hummus- around $7. on PCH (corner of the pier)
***Mediterraneo in Hermosa Beach www.yelp.com/biz/mediterraneo-hermosa-beach-2
On the pier: kinda pricey, but very good tapas, sangria, chilled/iced sweet flavorful tequila shooters, hummus/pita, cheese.
Mama Bella’s in Torrance www.yelp.com/biz/mamma-bella-gardena
Small hidden cafe (mostly do Take-Out) with great $5 kebab lunch special, tuna sandwiches on ciabatta bread with a side of salad, pastas, mediterranean/italian food
Zeppy’s Pizza on Hermosa Beach Pier www.yelp.com/biz/zeppys-pizzeria-hermosa-beach
Home made – large rectangular pizza right on the beach- might take some time though. Cozy, homey, seems like a lot of celebrities have visited there
Paisano’s on Hermosa Beach Pier www.yelp.com/biz/paisanos-pizza-and-pasta-hermosa-beach
Great place to go after the bars at 2am. Large NY style pizza with different toppings.
California Pizza Kitchen Restaurant Chain www.cpk.com/
Great pizzas with unique and various toppings. Also, serve great pastas and salads.
BJ’s Restaurant Chain www.bjsbrewhouse.com/
Good atmosphere for large group birthday parties or to watch sports games. Great deep dish pizza – spinach and artichoke, great white, barbecue chicken as well as beers. PIZOOKIE – giant warm cookie with ice cream.
Greco’s New York Pizza on Hollywood Blvd.
Great pizza place to go after the clubs!
***Boiling Crab in Garden Grove www.theboilingcrab.com/
No plates and no silverware. Seasoned shrimp, potatoes, sausage given to you in a 1 lb bag! They give you bibs, balloon crown for your birthday. Always a LONG WAIT- at least 45 minutes. All different types of random sea-related decor.
***Original Fish Company in Cypress http://originalfishcompany.com/
Top, best, high quality seafood- oysters, clams, every type of fish. Recommend the clam chowder. Comes with soup and salad. Kinda pricey ranging from $20-$30 an entree. Also, great steak!
**Sea Empress www.yelp.com/biz/sea-empress-seafood-restaurant-gardena
**Redondo Beach Crab House http://www.redondobeachcrabhouse.com/
Authentic crab, tray platter of shrimp, bibs, eat with your hands, family atmosphere, long lines
Crustacean in Beverly Hills http://www.anfamily.com/Restaurants/crustacean_beverlyhills/displaypages/homepage.html
Vietnamese owned. Garlic Noodles is unique and excellent!
Seafood City in Gardena www.seafoodcity.com
Inside the University Center across from UC Irvine. Tiny cafe that sells sandwiches on baguettes (not authentic french and not french owned, but still very delicious)!
Entrees: $5 for half sandwich- Chicken broccoli mushroom sandwich, Chicken Dijon with artichoke, Chicken Cordon Blue, Chicken eggplant. Great garlic sauce! They also serve smoothies. Small area to sit and eat outside as well.
***Creme de la Crepe in Hermosa and Redondo www.cremedelacrepe.com/
Authentic French owned and expanding. Very homey, intimate, small, french cafe ambience. All very friendly french waiters. Excellent wines/cheeses/meats, authentic crepes- large, folded in a different way. There are even buckwheat crepes. You can create your own crepe with different ingredients such as brie cheese, smoked salmon, spinach, etc. Dessert crepes as well as main entrees such as stews, meats, seafood/salmon, scallops.
***La Creperie in Long Beach www.lacreperiecafe.net/
Painted france walls, piano player that takes requests, interesting light decor, outdoor seating. Pastas, crepes entrees as well as dessert crepes. Not as authentic as Creme de la Crepe. More busy, bigger, lots of people. A bit more Americanized, but still very good.
***Fraiche in Culver City www.fraicherestaurantla.com/
Great pastas, appetizers, French and European food. Excellent wines. They have wine/meats/cheeses pairings classes with French Wine instructor
***El Rocoto in Gardena www.elrocoto.com/home.html
Authentic, spicy sauces, wine/juice drink.
***El Pollo Inka in Gardena www.elpolloinka.com/
Grilled chicken/beef, french fries, noodles, seafood.
Soup with bean sprouts, different types of meat/parts or shrimp/chicken, noodles, cilantro,mint leaves etc. Add oyster sauce and spicy sauce as well.
“Little Saigon” neighborhood in Westminster
Lee’s Vietnamese sandwiches in Irvine or Westminster www.leesandwiches.com/
Open late night, they also serve desserts, croissants, smoothies, coffees, etc. Long cheap, French baguettes with different meats, carrots, vegetables, cilantro, etc. around $3-5 at most.
Pho restaurants also sell vietnamese meats, noodles, rice, salad entrees. Make sure to try spring rolls (shrimp, vegetables, and vermicelli rice noodles wrapped in soft raw wrapping)
Saigon Bistro in Gardena www.yelp.com/biz/saigon-bistro-torrance
Pho 99 in Gardena
Tapioca balls in bottom of asian drinks. There are smoothies, shakes, iced teas, hot teas of all flavors. They also serve tasty side dishes, appetizers, spicy/fried chicken, etc.
Faves: Almond, Thai Iced Tea, Taro, Oreo, Mango, Strawberry, Peach
***Boba Bear in Koreatown http://www.yelp.com/biz/boba-bear-los-angeles
Hookah, crepes, boba..jenga games, hang out until 4am!
Tropical decor. Very popular with young crowd. Usually a wait. HUGE portions especially shave ice (with piles of fruit on top of it and condensed milk). Serve all types of different food and drinks.
***Tea Station in Gardena www.yelp.com/biz/tea-station-gardena
Authentic chinese cafe (when you enter and leave there’s a button that says a Chinese greeting). Spacious, good to hang out, chat as well as possibly study. They also sell teapot sets. They serve good soups, meats, snacks, desserts, and appetizers.
**Cha for Tea in Irvine and Long Beach www.chafortea.com
Great college study and hang out atmosphere. They adjust the drinks if you need them to. They also sell various tea sets.
Great spicy chicken!
Boba Loca www.bobaloca.com/
Cafe Yarn in Torrance www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-yarn-torrance
Frozen Yogurt with various toppings. Often times the price depends on the weight of the frozen yogurt.
fewer signature flavors and fruit, chocolate, mochi, graham cracker toppings. Modern decor. Only place where you don’t serve yourself. (the rest below you get to pick as much toppings and frozen yogurt, etc.)
Yogurt Island www.yelp.com/biz/yogurt-island-torrance
“Dirty Dogs” Hot dogs off the street in Downtown LA or Hollywood (they cook hot dogs on a platter in the street). Great for after the clubs!
***Hudson House in Redondo Beach www.yelp.com/biz/hudson-house-redondo-beach
happy hour: 5pm-7pm $1 taco tuesdays. Expect a long wait on Tuesdays- get there early. Seat yourself- 1st come, 1st serve. Bar stool seating as well. Good place to watch the game as well.
Entrees: international beers/wines, great food.
Atmosphere/Decor: Laid back, great place to hang out/talk, 20’s-40s crowd, small/intimate place, modern decor.
***Father’s Office in Culver City and Santa Monica www.yelp.com/biz/fathers-office-los-angeles
Amazing burgers (interesting bread, arugula, and juicy big patty), sweet potato fries, mushroom appetizers, and international beers!- strangely they don’t serve ketchup
Similar atmosphere to Hudson House. Santa Monica location is smaller. Usually a wait. Outdoor bench like seating area. Lots of parking.
Great steak, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and fries. There are 3 levels. Outdoor fire pit, another cozy area near the outdoor patio, another bar area, lower level with mechanical bull. The restaurant turns into a lounge/bar at night with music.
Pricey, but unbelievable steak, vegetables, wines. Famous LA restaurant with several celebrities caricatures all over the walls, high ceilings, upscale.
***TenderGreens in Culver City www.yelp.com/biz/tender-greens-culver-city
**Alibi Room in LA www.yelp.com/biz/alibi-room-los-angeles-2
They actually sell kogi tacos. More like a bar atmosphere. Few sitting area. Small, but modern and chic, cool, fun hang out.
**Stinking Rose- Garlic Restaurant in LA www.yelp.com/biz/the-stinking-rose-beverly-hills
Garlic wine, garlic ice cream, garlic spread/butter! with garlic painting decorations all around you..GARLIC PALOOZA extravaganaza galore..that’s how I would describe it!
Pink’s Hot Dogs in LA www.yelp.com/biz/pinks-hot-dogs-los-angeles
Usually a 2 hour line. “Very LA” Tourist spot.
Cafe Figaro www.yelp.com/biz/figaro-bistrot-los-angeles-2
Famous American Chain Restaurants
Lucille’s BBQ in Torrance www.lucillesbbq.com/
Apple butter, biscuits, green beans, macaroni and cheese, ribs, chicken, tri tip, vegetables. HUGE BBQ portions. Soul Food fusion.
Cheesecake Factory www.thecheesecakefactory.com/
over 100 menu items- pastas are good, drinks, chicken, and of course the numerous cheesecakes. Large restaurant- great for large parties.
Chicken Dijon in Torrance www.chickendijon.com/
Morton’s Steak www.mortons.com/
Old Fashioned House of Pancakes www.yelp.com/biz/original-pancake-house-redondo-beach
IHOP (International House of Pancakes) www.ihop.com/
Eat at Rudy’s www.yelp.com/biz/eat-at-rudys-torrance-2
American diners usually consist of burgers, fries, oreo shakes, and sandwiches as well as breakfast
in a 50’s or 60’s theme
The Pantry www.pantrycafe.com/
One of the oldest standing diners – from the 1920s? historical site, open late at night
Swingers themed in Hollywood
Red Robin’s www.redrobin.com/
Sprinkle’s cupcakes www.sprinkles.com/
Five Guys in Torrance www.fiveguys.com/
In N Out www.in-n-out.com/
The Habit www.habitburger.com/
Korean BBQ (cook your own meat, soups, and lots of small dishes of vegetables, kimchee (pickled spicy cabbage) etc.)
MUST GO TO Koreatown- lots of fun korean bars as well
Kogi’s Korean BBQ Taco Truck twitter.com/kogibbq
Moo Dae Po www.yelp.com/biz/moo-dae-po-los-angeles
BCD Tofu House in Torrance www.bcdtofu.com/
Tahoe BBQ www.tahoebbq.com/
Manna in LA www.mannakoreanbbq.com/
($15 all you can eat?)
DGM on Wilshire any restaurants in Koreatown, LA and Garden Grove
Silvio’s BBQ in hermosa www.silviosbbq.com/
M Grill in LA m-grill.com/
Fogo de Chao www.fogodechao.com/
Greenfield in Long Beach
La Espanola (in torrance off of Lomita Blvd.)
Pintxo’s Bar in Santa Monica
Cafe Sevilla in Long Beach
2 Cajun restaurants at Hermosa Pier
Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in LA and Long Beach
R&R Soul Food in Carson http://www.yelp.com/biz/r-and-r-soul-food-restaurant-carson
Hush puppies, collard greens, grits, chitlins, catfish, fries. Great food!
Cha Cha Cha restaurant in silverlake
King’s Hawaiian in Torrance
Bob’s in gardena Bruddah’s in gardena
The Local Place in gardena
Back Home in Lahaina in Manhattan Beach
The Loft in Torrance
Marukai in Gardena
Teri Hawaii in Gardena