Canadian Travelling to LA - Recommendations and feedback?

I’m with you. No need to mess with perfection. Just a little deli mustard.

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I like the #19, it is one of my favorite sandwiches ever.
Even with the #19, the pastrami is still the star of the show. The slaw, cheese, and dressing brings other elements to play that works out pretty harmoniously but at the same provides a little contrast.

I always go to Langers with a friend so that way we can get a #19 and another sandwich that is more straight up, like just pastrami and a few squirts of deli mustard. Of course a Doc Brown or a phosphate to drink!


I’m either old or a non-LA’er or both cause I’ve never heard of any of those people :slight_smile:

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It is good, but it also so, SO expensive. And loud (when crowded).

I love me the #19. Sometimes more is more.


And don’t forget the fries, extra crispy.


Cassia’s French-Vietnamese charcuterie plate was one of the most memorable things I had to eat in the last few years and the price seemed entirely reasonable given the quality, variety, and quantity.

Are prices really out of line with other sort-of similar restaurants such as Odys + Penelope and Chi Spacca?

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Haven’t been to the other restaurants you listed, so I can’t say. If one compares it to Majordomo (which I think is a fair comparison), I think they’re similarly priced. And I thought Majordomo was pretty expensive (but very enjoyable and certainly a worthwhile experience).

I don’t think what Cassia charges is unreasonable, given the quality, space, location, size of the staff, etc.

However, it is at a price point that’s much higher than the other places listed by the OP and could cause a bit of sticker shock (in an “absolute” sense). JMO.

I hope you will forgive me for not posting pics but I am a little too tired to bother with uploading and hyperlinking everything at the moment so text will have to suffice until then. For now, i prefer to jot down my thoughts while everything is fresh on my mind.

Day 1
A bit of a failure in terms of food, i was experiencing some intermittent discomfort in my ab thus i didn’t have much of an appetite. I wandered into Intelligentsia near the start of the day - great tea! Had the golden needles, decent malty profile with no astringency. Steeped perfectly. Very rare that a cafe/coffee shop puts in as much effort into their tea as they do their coffee. My one complaint about north america is that you cannot get a decent cup of tea even for a premium price, compared to coffee. Intelligentsia does well to rectify this situation somewhat.

I did hit up Guisados as i needed to get lunch and was in the area after walking around Elysian park. Had the steak, pulled pork and fish. After eating the steak (very flavourful, tender!), the fish paled in comparison to the other two. The tortillas were excellent, definitely a level above what i’ve had before.

As i was headed to a concert this night, i decided to play it safe and skipped having any substantive dinner in favour of an apple, granola bar and some almonds.

Day 2
Started my DTLA exploration with a croissant at Pitchoun. Quite disappointing…it was soft and completely lacking the explosion of crumbs one should expect from a quality croissant. Lamination seemed fine so must’ve been the quality/ratio of butter. Still, the space was nice and gave me a chance to enjoy my read.

Later in the afternoon, i tracked down Kogi’s truck in DTLA and ordered a short rib taco and the spicy pork. Despite the former being crowned the “star”, i much preferred the spicy pork because it had a nice kick, and the meat was much more tender. Not to say the short rib was bad necessarily, but it was definitely overshadowed. Stopped by GCM for an ice cream at Mcconnell’s, every other stand was quite chaotic (though very ordered i must say) and i wasn’t in the mood to hang around long. Had the eureka lemon with marionberry and mint (also why are you given 2 scoops for the price of one? do you guys not understand the concept of single scoop :P?) - not overly sweet as ice cream goes but the flavours were not remarkable enough for me to say that i loved it. Though i should add that i much prefer soft serve and gelato over regular ice cream - so not necessarily knocking the quality here.

Finished with dinner at Guelaguetza. Had the horchata (interesting flavours!) and mole chicken (recommended by the server) which was fine by me as i never had mole. Was definitely a new flavour for me, don’t think i’ve had anything like it. My one complaint is that i’ve never seen such a massive chicken breast in my life and could barely finish half. Felt very guilty for wasting so much food.

Day 3
Began the day at La Republique. The selection of pastries was promising but i could only fill my stomach with so much so i opted for the croissant with ham, and a sticky bun. The croissant was an improvement on Pitchoun in terms of not being soft but it was a bit of a salt bomb if i’m being honest, the ham was way too much and overpowered any richness from the croissant for me. The sticky bomb was a fun treat, the creme felt a little bit more like custard but tasty nonetheless. Pineapple and bacon is a nice touch! (I also got a chocolate croissant and regular butter croissant to go, so we’ll see if it’s any improvement on the one with ham!)

Went to Attari where the cashier recommended either the attari sandwich, or the beef tongue. I opted for the former because his description of the spices and such seemed more interesting than the latter (mustard?); beef tongue is not exactly that exotic to me anyway. The osh was amazing, the texture is kinda stringy but paired with the fried onion bits, it was a great match! Everyone walking into attari would comment on my osh, so i guess it must be a popular soup here. The attari sandwich was also sublime, the right bit of pickled goodness in a bite with nicely seasoned minced meat, and the soft bread! Although i gotta say the portion was too big for me, and i waddled outta there; bloated but very satisfied.

Settled for dinner at Luv2eat thai, opted for the crab curry with medium spice level. Definitely has a kick! Glad i didn’t opt for the highest spice because i could feel the heat which doesn’t occur very often for me. You guys must have very high tolerance if they are cooking like this for a local palette. Solid thai food, though i’m not used to eating salted crab. Wish i had the stomach to try more here.

Random thoughts:

-UCLA was probably one of my favourite places that i walked around in LA. Gorgeous campus and i was kinda in awe of the whole place.
-Though i don’t like to stereotype, people were noticeably more extroverted in u.s than any place i’ve been to recently. Lots of strangers would start up conversations or speak their mind.
-Service was very good in many places (Guisados, Guelaguetza, Cafe Dulce, La republique, attari) where the workers were very happy to give recommendations, and even add their own two cents. Lots of patience and never felt rushed!

Thank you all for your help here, made it a very tasty trip :slight_smile: I couldn’t make it to a lot of places due to time and lack of stomach space (couldn’t even consider Gjusta after i had eaten at Attari).

My favourite meal of the trip was probably the osh. I like trying things that are completely new to me in terms of flavour and this definitely fit the bill.


Thanks for the report!

My understanding (from the few trips I’ve made there) is that the crab curry can’t be made to go below a certain level of spicy. So the crab curry is prob one of the spiciest items they make. I personally can barely tolerate the heat but love the taste so much that I am willing to suffer. I’m always in awe of posters who don’t find it particularly spicy!

That’s probably also dependent on who the stranger is and where you were when that occurred. Different parts of LA have their own culture. I live here, and I almost never have people start conversations w/ me (and probably would be confused, if they did… :wink: ).

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Thank you for reporting back. Because so many other ice cream options are now in LA, I personally consider McConnell’s second tier at best. GCM has a few gems, but with those few exceptions, better options can be found elsewhere. I think it’s the density and variety mixed with the unique location that draws so many.

Attari is great, and yes - their osh is amazing. It’s such a hole-in-the-wall that will stay that way because of their success. Why change a good thing? And across Westwood Blvd is Safron & Rose - excellent Persian ice creams.

For me Republique’s pastry case is instagramable eye candy. The pastries are overwhelming in number but are pretty to very good. The star of that neighborhood in my eyes is Sycamore Kitchen. Much more quaint, far fewer pastry case choices, but each is done extremely to my liking.

Thai cuisine? Shake a stick a hundred times and you’ll still find new experiences. You started off well, and I hope you can venture into this area even further. One would be hard pressed to find this breadth of Thai food outside of Thailand. Jitlada gets a lot of play among food-obsessed but as many detractors are here too (count me as one). Thai Spicy BBQ is our current favorite, but I think everyone here who enjoys Thai food probably has at least a few favorites of their own (so many Thai places are known for one to a few dishes done well).

You packed in a respectable amount of grazing. I hope you can add at least a few more days on another visit to make LA much more do-able.


Thanks for giving us your thoughts!

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Completely agree.

Dat Powell Library and Royce Hall…

A good start, but dig even deeper. The Mildred Mathias Botanical Garden.


I’m pretty sure I’ve asked you this b/f, but my memory is mush. Which places do you like better? I think Sweet Rose is one of them (and that’s prob my favorite place). What others?

I like Sweet Rose - summer time is when I feel they shine with their seasonal summer flavors. Corn and peach buttermilk immediately come to mind.

Jeni’s seems to always have a nice selection of flavor combinations that work for me. I like floral essences in ice cream flavors. They do this well.

Salt & Straw tastes super rich and decadent. Their flavors range from “sort of traditional” to “out there.” And if they incorporate pieces or nuggets of ingredients, they don’t hold back - it helps in amping up the flavor profile.

Wanderlust is the newest addition that seems worthy. I think they’re still a work-in-progress (e.g., the Japanese neopolitan is good in theory but needs better separation so one can enjoy the flavors separately or mixed). Not a fat bomb like what I sense at Salt & Straw, but enough creaminess and mouthfeel to to be satisfying.

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For my taste buds, Salt & Straw always seemed higher in sugar content compared to its competitors.

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Mother Moo

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That makes USC’s Rose Garden look like a front porch planter. Had no idea that existed.


To be fair, different animals. The Botanical garden at UCLA is a teaching garden. Definitely worth a visit, especially when there are heavy blooms.
Be aware that the garden is closed during school holidays like winter and spring break.