Favorite restaurant to take a friend for something different

Today we took a friend to lunch at a place she had never been to. It is our go to place for a kind of cuisine many people have not tried, and a place they have not been. The place is Satdha, and the cuisine is Thai vegan. I am no expert on Thai food, but being plant based all but two meals a week, I am always on the lookout for plant-based restaurants that do not make me feel like I am in the penalty box. I will post pictures and descriptions of dishes as a reply on this thread.
My question is,
What restaurant is your favorite place to take a friend for something different; a place you think they will come back to on their own?

I’ve taken many a friend to Portsmouth in Whittier for oysters and Mexican-French fusion seafood. I’m a fan of the lobster frites, crab esquite, and the oyster Po’boy. They have a terrific charred kale salad that I adore, too. Beer and wine only. If you sit at the bar, ask for Ruben. He always ensures we have a great evening.
P.S. Those friends go back to Portsmouth on their own after their trip with me.


feng mao mutton kebab

will they come back? depends if you order the bull penis or not.


Is bull penis and caviar an alt.surf and turf?

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You had me until I read “bull penis” :rolling_eyes:. I love Feng Mao. It’s on my DoTM list.

This place is different. I was brought here years ago by my vegetarian sister. Now I take other people, and they do the same.





I’ve had a lot of success with taking people to TKF, Tumanyan Khinkali Factory, in Glendale which turn into repeat visits. I believe they have a lot of vegetarian choices, but less for vegans. The khinkali dumplings are very tasty, but it is the quinoa apple salad that I end up craving.





Less shock value than bovine genitalia, but something different nonetheless which my guests have loved:

Order 5 or 6 bocadillos and 8 or 9 raciones of the delicious (“to go”, styrofoam boxed) Saturday paella at La Espanola Meats in Harbor City (not a restaurant, but a Spanish grocery store). Buy a bottle of tempranillo or (if you’re feeling rich) Ribera del Duero at the store too.

There is an awning just outside of La Espanola. You’ll find lots of friendly Spanish-speakers (both Castilian and otherwise) already there, whiling away the sunny afternoon, enjoying the yummy Spanish fare. In what is basically a warehouse district.

Pro-tip: Pre-order the paella from La Espanola by phone on Friday.


a Northern Thai place

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[quote=“Nemroz, post:12, topic:3725, full:true”]
a Northern Thai place
[/quote] Possible DoTM Nominee? If we do a region.

Obligatory Ns1 warning to others: beware of cold paella. Eating cold paella on plastic tables in their parking lot was not good eats.

Cool place though - but on the same thought, wouldn’t Papa Cristo’s on Thursdays be a good bet?


Definitely palatable temperatures if you pick up your paella around 1PM or sooner…

although it is NOT a vegetarian restaurant, it gets bonus points for their terrific vegetarian dishes.
in particular their butternut squash dukkah (sp?) is terrific, with roasted cashews and sesame seeds scattered all over it.

in the old farmers market near the corner of fairfax and third.
in depth professional reviews with photos are available in LA weekly and, i believe, also in LA times.

(only one dish i didn’t like there: the salt cod salad)


I go to ruen pair and order the raw thai beef salad (among other things) Its surprising how many people haven’t had Thai like that. Just different enough but not so scary that people won’t go back on their own

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We’ve taken many folks to Saigon Bakery for the Banh Mi’s - and they all go back.

Next up - Empanada World in Burbank and, Vin Lo Tofu.

But lets be honest. The one place I’ve found that makes everyone happy, no matter their political party, income or age? Fosselman’s.



As popular as Newport Seafood/that style of seafood is among many on this board as well as eaters familiar with the food around SGV and Little Saigon, most people have never tried it or even familiar with it.

Newport in San Gabriel has always been well received by all guests who we have taken there. The House Special lobster obviously is impressive and delicious, but just about all other seafood and select menu items are great as well.

Many who found lobster to be bland or boring can’t believe how Newport’s preparation is so entertaining to the taste buds.

“Try those reddish clumps and seasonings with some rice.”

“Yummmmm! What is it?”

“Lobster roe.”

“What? I would have never tried it had I known…”

Most have never tried geoduck clam as well - it just looks too crazy for most to consider eating. But Newport does a nice job working this huge bi-valve with the fallic syphon into a sashimi platter as well as deep-fried deliciousness.