Canadian Travelling to LA - Recommendations and feedback?


#1

Hey guys,

I’m going to be in LA next week and I’ve done some research on places to eat, largely based on a thread on here from 3 years ago (Former Dallas Chowhound Travelling to LA). I was wondering if there was anything that you might suggest based on my list, or swap out?

I do have a few caveats… mainly that I won’t have a car because I absolutely detest driving so I will be relying mainly on public transit. I’m planning to meander around DTLA, Hollywood, Echo Park/Silver Lake and Santa Monica/Venice Beach while i’m there for 3 days so my food itinerary reflects that a bit.

The other is that I’m not interested so much in Japanese, Korean and Chinese food as my family is from Hong Kong and we’ve got these cuisines covered in Toronto. I’m more intrigued by Mexican as we only have a few notable places in my city. I’m also an avid baker so i’m always in the mood for pastries (but not a fan of typical American desserts like donuts…) and breads, particularly rye.

With this in mind, I’ve drawn up this potential list:

Thai:
Luv2Eat (undecided whether i should brave “thai spicy” level)
Issan station

Bakeries:
Gjusta
Pitchoun

Ice cream/Dessert:
Saffron & Rose
Mashti Malone
Mikawaya (ok the one japanese exception!)

Mexican:
Guerilla Taco
Leo’s Taco Truck
Guisados

Misc:
Grand Central Market - undecided what to try in here exactly, heard about Wrexler, Eggslut?
Attari Sandwich Shop

Oh and i haven’t decided if it’s worth “using” a meal to eat at In’ and Out. We don’t have this in Canada but at the end of the day it’s a burger which isn’t something i ever crave compared to foods from various other cuisines that I’d be able to try. Unless it’s life-changing and will change my mind about burgers? I don’t know…

Any feedback/thoughts/comments are appreciated.


#2

Broken Spanish

salt & straw

mcconnell’s
Burger at belcampo will change your mind about burgers


#3

That’s a lot of ground to cover in 3 days with no car.
LA is not an easy place to get around so please take that into consideration. I have no idea how long it would take to get from Santa Monica to DTLA in a bus but it wouldn’t be pretty. You might want to consider using Uber/Lyft.

Attari is close to my house and I go there pretty regularly. It is an excellent choice for lunch. Grab a chicken kebab sandwich. So good. They have a great soup there called osh as well.


#4

Hi @nakuruin,

Welcome to FTC! :slight_smile:

Neither of those will be anything special compared to what you can get in Toronto. For GCM if you’re going to visit regardless and to meet your criteria of looking for Mexican food, I’d recommend:

Villa Morelianas to try their 11 different kinds of Carnitas. :slight_smile: If you’re OK with a bit of lean and fat in your slow-cooked Pork Carnitas, then ask for:

  • Costillas (Slow-Cooked Pork Ribs) Taco
  • Maciza (Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder) + Cuerito (Slow-Cooked Pork Skin) Taco (they allow you to choose 2 different types of Carnitas per Taco if you want).

If you like Pig Ears, their Oreja Carnitas is amazing as well.


#5

expo line, 46 minutes


#6

Exactly! SM to downtown is a breeze with the expo line. (In contrast to driving, Ubering, etc where it can take 45 minutes just to get from SM past the 405)


#7

Where are you staying? That’s key to figuring out getting around without a car.


#8

Woops sorry, neglected to mention I’m staying in Hollywood near the Hollywood/Highland station. In hindsight, i should have probably booked somewhere in DTLA but the choices were quite limited (maybe related to Coachella?) I’m also travelling alone which limits the amount of food i can reasonably eat :frowning:

Thank you for the welcome and suggestions so far, really helpful. I have taken into account the long distances given the lack of a car, so i was going to give 1/2 day per area.

Day 1 - Start at Echo Park/Silver Lake, Angels point to DTLA (by foot)
Day 2 - Explore UCLA, hit up Attari, take the bus or uber/lyft to Santa Monica, go by foot to Venice beach
Day 3 - Hollywood strip, Griffith Observatory, back to DTLA if i feel like hitting the museums

It’s not set in stone but seems to make the most sense geographically.

I was also thinking of tracking down Kogi’s truck but not sure how central their location will be. I know i said no Korean but Korean tacos does intrigue me.

The GCM recommendations have been noted, i guess in the end i will let my nose (and stomach) make the final decision between the suggested options :slight_smile:


#9

A few additional options for you:

For Mexican – Chichen Itzá [Yucatan] (down near USC, probably easiest to take the DASH bus from the 7th and Flower Metro) and Guelaguetza [Oaxacan] (about a 15 minute walk from the Wilshire/Normandie Metro station)

As to bakeries, the Dominique Ansel bakery at the Grove shopping center near Fairfax and 3rd might interest you (bus or ride service are easiest)

For rye, though, (and for terrific pastrami), you cannot do better than Langer’s Deli’s double-baked rye ( across from the Westlake/MacArthur Park Metro station) --Note: closes 4pm and closed on Sundays.


#10

Their sister food counter Holbox is worth a bang-bang.


#11

Broken Spanish. Some of the best Mexican food I’ve had.

I order “Thai spicy” at Luv2Eat and it’s never been close to as spicy as some places make it.

In-N-Out is surprisingly good for the low price, but it’s not going to change your mind about burgers unless you’ve had only McDonald’s. Total waste of a meal. Go to Langer’s for a pastrami sandwich instead (half a block from the MacArthur Park metro station).

If you’re relying on public transit, as I do when I visit LA, buy a TAP card when you get there and put three Metro day passes on it. I recommend staying near Hollywood / Western (Thai Town), 7th St / Metro Center (DTLA), Pershing Square (DTLA), or Vermont / Sunset (Los Feliz, near Silver Lake) Metro stations.

Red line goes to Hollywood.

Expo line goes to Santa Monica and avoids traffic. For local color, on the way out or back I recommend walking between the La Cienega / Jefferson and Culver City stations by way of Vespertine, maybe get a snack at Destroyer.

Sign up for Lyft as well.

Hollywood / Highland is a fucking apocalypse of tourists, tourist traps, beggars, and buskers. It’s worse than Fisherman’s Wharf, Times Square, or Les Halles.


#12

Kogi has a brick-and-mortar taqueria not far from the Palms Metro station, just past Culver City.

http://kogibbq.com/taqueria


#13

Not worth going out of the way for. The trucks are still good.


#14

Hipsters ruin everything.


#15

People like the carrot cake (I haven’t had it), but, aside from the bread, I think a lot of people don’t think much of their pastries, actually. The croissant is actively bad (IMHO). The sandwiches, cured meats/fish, etc., are great.

The few times I’ve had persian ice cream, I’ve found them to be gummy and weird. For ice cream, I like Sweet Rose (or McConnell’s, as suggested by @PorkyBelly).

Are you in-town on a Friday? The lamb stew is great (and only made in limited quantities).

Depending on which part of UCLA you’re exploring, you might want to take the Big Blue Bus to Attari. :wink: The campus is about 500-acres… Line 1 should work for you. And you can keep taking Line 1 to either Juquila or Monte Alban, if you’re willing to try Oaxacan.

It’s VERY easy to take the Big Blue Bus from UCLA/Westwood to Santa Monica, and it’s way cheaper than Uber/Lyft. One of my favorite places to walk around is Palisades Park, but that’s pretty far north in Santa Monica.

And if you’re in Santa Monica, you could try Father’s Office to see if it changes your mind about burgers. Do realize that some people (myself included) think it bears more than a passing resemblance to a meatloaf sandwich. And no substitutions/changes allowed.

Which places in LA are spicier (genuine question since I’m not as well-traveled w/ Thai food)?


#16

Jitlada.


#17

Though it’s not necessarily easy to get Jitlada to make your food all the way spicy.


#18

InO is like $7 all in. If you can’t find the space to cram it in, just eat half to say you did it.

Certainly a better option than Jitlada IMO.


#19

In-N-Out is about as much of a must as getting a double-double at Tim Horton’s.


#20

Yes if I go to Canada I would consider a visit to Tim Hortons a must. Just like Dunkin Donuts and White Castle on the east coast.

A cheap visit so you can say with certainty that those places suck and are overrated. Well worth the low expense in my opinion.

On the other hand a trip to Jitlada is a $60 bet on red - you have a 50/50 shot of something great or something terrible. What IS guaranteed though is dingy decor, bad service, and high bill.