2018 Soccer World Cup view-dine locations in the Los Angeles area by hi


That’s a bit patronizing, considering you’ve not really added to the conversation other than taking it off-topic, yet you keep posting. I think it was pretty great that someone came to FTC with such a well thought out post, and is updating to share food and futbol experiences.

Think before you speak once in a while.


Catholiver: The photo you posted of a total stranger wearing only a Speedo has absolutely nothing to do with this thread’s topic of DINING at RESTAURANTS while watching the SOCCER WORLD CUP, here in LOS ANGELES – 400 miles away from you. It is unwelcome and inappropriate, and I ask that it be taken down.


Thanx for asking, Attran! Yes, it was pretty fun, and the food – and management – top notch. I hope you can check back a wee bit later and read the Mexico Field Report which I’ll be composing soon. xo


ICELAND FIELD REPORT: There were just about ten of us at Olson’s Scandinavian Deli, which makes for a much more easily “manageable” outing than those with big crowds. It was early morning and I started with a hot chocolate. It appeared to be made with Hersheys syrup, and was rather pale and not sufficiently chocolaty. Still, created and served with care and enthusiasm (as is everything they do here at this wonderful gem of a venue). Next I ordered Swedish pancakes; they were made right behind the counter and brought out very quickly. They were eggy, toothsome, thin, and flopped over one another; all good. Exquisite lingonberry jam was served with them. It’s not accurate when people compare or equate lingonberry to cranberry. The tastes are different. I then ordered my first-ever shrimp skagen sandwich. Skagen is small/medium cooked shrimp dressed in what tasted like a simple mix of creme fraiche, a hint of lemon juice, and ton of fresh minced dill; which was cold, however the brioche roll it came on was warm, as it had been grilled and buttered.

The men on the Iceland team & coaching staff were gorgeous. Unfortunately they lost to the Nigerians.


MEXICO FIELD REPORT: I won’t be back at Guelaguetza for any more of the Cup, not because it isn’t a fan-tab-u-lous place, but because it is SO good that it drew a massive crowd. Doors were to open at 6 a.m., so that’s when I arrived; to find a great big line from the back door stretching halfway down the block. People had been queueing up since at least 5 a.m. When patrons began to get let in, I was practically amazed at the excellent if not remarkable management the venue engaged in expediently and politely getting everyone seated and situated. I was just about the last person to get a seat; I lucked out. I reckon being solo had a lot to do with that.

Hankering for a hot chocolate, I ordered theirs, made with milk (you can also get it made with water); it did not have any cinnamon or other spicing that “Mexican hot chocolate” usually has. I also ordered a lemonade, and that was the only meal aspect which was sub-par. It was that same funky-tasting pre-fab stuff that comes out of a plastic jug, and manufactured by restaurant supply companies. I can never figure out why 4-star restaurants like Guelaguetza and Farfalla serve this c–p as their lemonade. I was able to order an a la carte chile relleno. When it arrived I was surprised it did not have tomato sauce on it, like the full combo described on the menu did. I took one bite of it, and – WOW! HOT! Meaning, spicy! Theirs contained a green chile much higher on the Scoville scale than the usual pasilla or Anaheim used in rellenos. Each bite stung, but not in a bad way. The internal cheese was far from the usual Jack; it was something dense, bright white, mild. I dug it. This was a chile relleno experience I’d love to come back for. My entree was alambres. This was small thick slices of beef, hot-sauteed with red/orange/green bell peppers and sliced onions, served with 4 corn tortillas; similar to fajitas, except it had a blanket of “molten” (melted) cheese on top. The spicing was wonderful. The portion was mucho grande; it looked like a double-serving. Plates at Guelaguetza are like this. I looked all around me, and saw everybody had similar giant plates and way too much food for them to consume this early in the morning. Ha! Many to-go boxes were filled at Guelaguetza today, including by me.

Service was fast and, under the circumstances of a house so full that all tables were filled, the bar area was packed and more people were standing all along the back wall, I’d rate the staff as impeccable.

When the game commenced, the crowd as a whole suddenly quieted down to a near hush. I found this almost fascinating. Whereas with other big crowds they keep chatting out loud during the game, albeit about the game, the predominantly-Mexican folk at Guelaguetza ceased banter to focused intently on the game itself. This big quietness was a revelation. It said something profound to me about the Mexico fans, and what their team means to their culture.

Of course they did cheer like crazy when their 2 goals were scored! :smiley:

If you don’t mind the wait, Guelaguetza’s a terrific and muy recommendable experience. But for a seat, make a reservation a week in advance or get there as a walk-in and into line more than 2 hours ahead of opening time. Otherwise you’ll stand.


Ah, but Bookwich, to “think” would require a brain.


SWEDEN FIELD REPORT: By the time I got to Gravlax, it was 25 minutes into the game; and I walked in the front drape-door to abruptly get blockaded by a wall of backs turned to me. The place was packed all the way to the entrance, and I could not budge. I wanted a Coke, but there was no feasible way to get up to the bar. Every inch around and extending out from the bar was crammed. That’s no way to run a railroad, i.e. on the part of the management. All they had to do was rope off a small “keep clear for ordering” area at the bar. Their failure to do so cost them business.

I stayed there about 20 minutes, during which Sweden’s goal was scored. The crowd went whoopee. A good dose of the bright yellow Team Sweden shirts were amongst the throng. The venue’s capacity is probably about 80 persons. The crowd was loud/cacaphonous, and 99% millennials. Even though I feel old there, I’d come back to Gravlax, and next time try something from its limited World Cup menu of salmon, herring, shrimp skagen, or trout paste on toasts (featured there because, after all, millennials are addicted to toasts). Also need to get there sufficiently in advance to get a seat.


I am heartfully rooting for Iceland.


Gambling in Macau is decidedly quieter than in Vegas as well. Serious stuff at stake.


SAT. NIGHT JUNE 23 UPDATE: The following teams will play only one more game; they’ve already been eliminated from progressing further. Consequently you may want to prioritize attending their next game as it’s your final chance: Costa Rica, Egypt, Peru.


Cannot wait to here where @Cousteau was for England and Kane’s glorious Panamanian Romp today.


Ha! Getting up at 3 a.m. (to make a 5 a.m. game) is almost perverse for me. So I didn’t attend England/Panama; but note, I would do it if it were in the next round, crucial for the championship. Also, what team’s got a venue staying open 24/7 for the Cup? England, of course! (Lucky Baldwin’s in Old Pasadena)


SUN. NIGHT JUNE 24 UPDATE: The following teams will play only one more game; they’ve already been eliminated from progressing further. Consequently you may want to prioritize attending their next game as it’s your final chance: Costa Rica, Egypt, Peru, Poland.


JAPAN FIELD REPORT: The Miyako Hybrid Hotel has plummeted a long ways in attendance since the 2010 World Cup, when they dedicated an entire convention room to projecting it on a movie screen and 100 fanatics were there. It was very exciting! Maybe the hotel used to organize and promote it back then; I don’t know. What I do know, is that both this Cup and the most recent previous (2014), it’s been screened only in the bar area, on the house TV, with just a handful of Japanese travelers watching. There were only about 15 persons there today, but very enthusiastic of course, and the game went well for the home team. The brightly-lit bar openly spills out into the hotel’s also bright Ise-Shima restaurant (formerly called The Gonpacho), which was serving diners’ choice of Japanese breakfast or American breakfast buffets, the latter having the requisite omelet chef at his post. I got the Japanese; grabbed a tray and assembled a plate of a good American-style potato salad; a mound of stringy burdock + carrots; a few dark mushrooms, cooked in something sweet; a slice of skin-on salmon; ditto mackerel; and a slice of lotus root. I believe it was only the second or maybe even first time I tried lotus root; I liked it and it was good, and distinctive in appearance though not in taste. It was definitely the first time I’ve ever had mackerel. Too gamy for me, but I can see why my cat likes it in her Friskies.

On the way back I could not resist sticking my head in at Alpine Village, as it was right on the way to the freeway. Some people had gathered there watching the game, and the place was SUPER-decorated for the Cup. It looked festive, beautiful, and very Bavarian. Till then…


POLAND FIELD REPORT: Although I couldn’t get a reservation a couple days ahead at Polka as they were all full, I was able to get a table seat by showing up 45 minutes pre-gametime. Actually everybody got in; Polka wisely had spare folding chairs on hand (although even those got full and some people had to stand). Considering the hardship the restaurant went through 2015/2016 (the entire strip mall it’s in sustained a fire and businesses had to close all that time; Polka chose to rebuild and is still there), I was so happy for them that they could literally pack their charming little gingerbread-house-of-a-restaurant to the brim. A success! :smiley:

Where else in L.A. can you get a Polish buffet? Unlimited? And for only 15 bucks?! In a word, it was delicious. I had two different types of pierogi; one stuffed with seasoned mashed potato, the other having the exterior dough colored beet red to indicate it was hot/spicy. (Potato filling again, but spiked with jalapeno.) Both were bathed in warm onions cut into little quarter-inch slices which had been sauteed in something of an orangey hue. The cabbage roll had a white rice/ground beef filling that was exquisitely seasoned, as was the tomatoey sauce litely on top. Kielbasa, of course; and although it neither looks nor tastes like the maroon links my Mom used to bring back home to us from her family in Detroit in the '60s/'70s, I frankly like the kind served here in Cali much better. I took a slim/flat breaded/fried chicken cutlet, very schnitzel-like (but gravyless). There were also roasted new potatoes, both gold and red combined, rich and done just right, which were fully seasoned with, amongst the spicing, Polish herbs I couldn’t positively identify but I think it included marjoram. There was something else, I can’t remember what except that it contained hot braised sauerkraut that wasn’t particularly “sauer”. To drink, I tried a Polish beer called E.B. They also stocked another golden Pole brew called Lezajsk.

For 25 bucks altogether it was a swell time and a tremendous L.A. ethno-culinary opportunity.


You have a point there. :wink:


Even though I am not a soccer fan in the least. I am impressed with your dining and enthusiasm.


Hey Jeet (and you too Attran, as you’re in Artesia) (and Frommtron, as you’re caldo-enlightened) –

I just found out that L.A.'s got a Portuguese bakery/kitchen/import grocery, that has the egg tarts; it’s called Portugal Imports, and is at 11655 Artesia Blvd. in Artesia. They also do mailorder.

This could prove to be the source I need to find an authentic dry linguica needed to make the fantastic caldo verde recipe Frommtron thoughtfully shared with me!

And the Portuguese word for those egg tarts is “natas”; same as the name of the World Cup venue in Sherman Oaks. Happy cha-ching!


Aww shucks, Emglow, thank you; I am grateful for anyone who’s paying attention.

You may be surprised that I’m not a particular fan of soccer, either. It is too heartbreaking; too easy to lose; extremely difficult to score even one point; with victories/losses overly subject to quirks, flukes, referee calls, and the like. I best enjoy watching the game at this level, i.e. the absolute highest, championship caliber. I further appreciate that the games move quickly, without timeouts, and no commercial breaks except the halftime.

I’d like to gently remind y’all that this event – the World Cup – doesn’t come along every day. It’s only once every 4 years. It brings people together and it’s a tremedous, and fun, opportunity to interrelate, learn other cultures, eat dang good food, and try new experiences in general. It transcends the game itself.



Portugal Imports is a gem. The egg tarts there are great. On weekends, they sell out quickly. During the week, they may be convinced to bake you a fresh batch if you call them and ask.