Tired of “the man” dictating his jacked-up “essential” and “best” restaurant lists to us FTCers? Well, it’s high time we started our own curated list of all things pertaining to LA/OC food that we really dig here at FTC!
I’d like to call this compendium “The FTC47” - It’ll also serve as an end-of-year summary of our collective favorites, at all dining levels and all genres of dining for LA/OC. The FTC 2019 will be something you can refer to for out-of-town guests as they visit our City of Angels.
The FTC47 will NOT just be another inanimate listing of restaurants! In addition to suggesting restaurants, you can include favorite LA/OC people, dishes, concepts, trends, events, places, etc…
Why 47? Because the 47 Ronin fought for what was right. That, and 47 is a prime number. Mostly, I’m just too lazy to compile 101.
Obviously, there will be disagreements. But this spawns discussion, and that is good.
Submit (on this thread) however many (or as few) as you like for this year’s list. Give us your subjective opinion (a sentence or two or five) about WHY those picks should be included on The FTC47.
My rules: Deadline for submissions will be on 12/19, 12noon PST. If you’ve dined with me in the past and you’re on FTC, you get to be on my FTC47 Team to help decide which 47 make the final cut. I will release The FTC47 final cut on Christmas Day 2019, so we can all escape for a few moments from that family event with the non-Broguiere’s egg nog to kvetch about (or hopefully cheer on) our new little contribution to the scads of end-of-the-year lists on the interwebs.
I will try to get the ball rolling for The (inaugural) FTC47 with my LA/OC picks (in no particular order):
Langer’s Deli (Westlake) - Best pastrami on rye in America.
The Pescado Zarandeado by Chef Sergio Penuelas, and the 106 Seafood Underground playground (Lennox) - There are few better ways to while away a lazy SoCal afternoon than eating spectacular Sinaloan seafood, downing micheladas, and plane-spotting jets on LAX final approach, all while chilling in the chef’s own backyard.
Northern Café (Monterey Park) - Two monumental noodle dishes there: Big plate of chicken and clear broth beef noodles.
Somni (Beverly Hills) - Wows me each and every time.
Hayato (Arts District) - Does Chef Brandon Go ever sleep?!
Nanjing Duck House (El Monte) - Everyone goes on and on about them roasties, but this largely unsung way of brining ducks from Northern China is one of my favorite ways to eat duck.
Bang-banging Attari Sandwich Shop & Saffron Rose Ice Cream (Tehrangeles) - Because they are right across the street from each other. (If thy gullet permits, bang on with nearby Shaherzad and their fresh naan and lubia polo…)
Finding greater enjoyment from sake by drinking it with stemware - Thanks, @beefnoguy!
The on-again, off-again, and ultimately on-again business of Broguiere’s Dairy (Montebello).
The baby abalone spaghettini at n/naka (Palms) - Question: Why is my favorite high-end pasta dish in L.A. not at an Italian restaurant and is instead part of a Japanese modern kaiseki tasting? Answer: ‘Cuz it’s L.A.
Front of the line fast-passes from Howlin’ Ray’s - If you’re fast enough on the (virtual) draw to get them.
LA & OC strip-mall dining gems - Take that, Michelin inspectors!
Chef Yu Bo - For bringing the conversation about rigorous technique and delicate finesse in Chinese gastronomy (which has always been there) to America.
Toru Unagi & Sushi (West Hollywood) - Power food for the people.
Jade noodles from Sapp Coffee House (Thaitown) - It’s irresistible whenever I’m anywhere close to this place.
The Donut Man (Glendora) - August is the magic time, when strawberry season overlaps with peach.
Alejandra, the huitlacoche quesadilla cart lady (Echo Park) - I love corn smut.
Iki Ramen (K-town) - Just next level noodles, man…
Holbox (University Park) - And there’s even parking! (sometimes)
Kawamata Seafood (Capistrano Beach) - Ridiculously tasty reason for a Southern Orange County culinary stop on the way down to San Diego.
The 36-hour cappellini at Jame Enoteca (El Segundo) - Chef Jackson Kalb hits it out of the park with this signature dish.
Mori Sushi (West LA) - Maru-san’s rice. Oh, that rice…
Saturday paella afternoons at La Espanola (Harbor City) - Aceitunas, vino, bocadillos, paella, churros, all enjoyed outdoors on their back patio. Don’t forget to place your order for the paella on Friday!
Bulgarini Gelato (Altadena) - The pasta Leo serves may be controversial, but damn if his gelato isn’t flawless victory.
Porridge & Puffs (Historic Filipinotown) - In trying to classify Chef Minh Phan’s cuisine, I find that even though I cannot quite pigeonhole her dishes, it doesn’t make the food here any less delicious.
Nobu Malibu - For the afternoon view of the Pacific. (Switches to people-watching at night.)
Shin Sushi (Encino) - Take-san is sincere, friendly, and very likely refining his sushi even more as I type.
Shunji & Yuko at Shunji Japanese Cuisine (West LA) - Takes care of their customers, their staff, and their ingredients (and does wonders with fruits & vegetables). One of the most consistently great sushi counter experiences in L.A.
Ham Ji Park (K-town) - Greatest ribs in L.A. Bang-bang with the tremendous galbi jjim from the nearby (and open 24/7) Sung Non Dan!
The Lost Spirits Distillery Tour (Arts District) - Since the fire last year, it’s back, and better than ever!
Looking forward to your feedback, gang!