sometimes i think about the spot ive been to the most since coming to LA a few decades ago and I think ive enjoyed katsu curry at hurry curry hundreds and hundreds of times. And funny thing is over the years ive had this dish all over japan many times too but i still think my favorite is the chicken cutlet curry at HC.
Portsmouth in Whittier. I’m pretty sure I come here at least once every two months…maybe once a month. Nice selection and pricing on oysters…especially if you get there for happy hour. I love sitting at the bar and chatting with my favorite server, Ruben. The food is creative and fantastic. Lobster Frites…the sauce the lobster is tossed in is a devine mix of kimchee, soy vin, and sweet Thai chile…perfect for fries. The oyster Po’boy always has big plump freshly fried oysters. The assorted ceviche offerings are fantastic. I only wish the bar had more than just beer and wine…beer selection is very good…wine selection is so-so. But they make a mean michelada.
Depending on the mood or company
Cassia is my new favorite restaurant…
but what would come to mind first?
- Park’s BBQ
Craft. New places open all the time that we like, but rarely return to on a regular basis. But Craft fits the bill, whether it a special occasion/family celebration, or just me and my wife splitting the short rib with a lot of vegetables. The menu is varied enough and the family style mix and match menu means that no matter what combination of people you take there everyone will find something they like. I think they have the best service staff in the city, efficient, not overly casual but not cold either – just real hospitality. A great dining room too. Big enough to feel buzzy, but we never have trouble holding a conversation even at peak times. The food is generally exceptional, albeit in a fairly straightforward mode. We know we will always feel welcome, and always leave satisfied.
Close seconds based purely how often we hit them up – Sycamore Kitchen for breakfast at least twice a month, and Mendocino Farms for sandwiches pretty much every week at some point. Love the variety at both.
Additional fall back special occasion spot: Dan Tana’s. For big family parties, we like the back room (the front room with the bar is fun, but if you have a large group the back room is better and in fact on some weekends there are so many family parties it looks like the adult version of Chuck E. Cheese) and the nook area to your right in the back room is perfect when the two of you just want an intimate chat.
I’d have to say Sotto
It’s the one restaurant that I’m always returning to.
When I’m having difficulties deciding where to go or what to eat…Sotto. It checks all the boxes for me.
Good service, excellent food (I’m a pasta fanatic), decent prices, and a wonderful wine program with interesting regional selections.
I second Craft. Great food, great service. Everyone we’ve taken there or sent there has also loved it.
crap. I really like Factory Kitchen too…just not as good of a wine selection.
when’s Novelli’s open for biz?
For me, it was Red Medicine, then Bucato. Now, I’m looking for just this type of restauarant.
Sotto is a great recommendation. I haven’t been recently, but I’ve had some really good food there.
one of these days, man…one of these days.
I know you said pick one, but…
Connie & Ted’s
Hey 19 Public House (probably not up to FTC standards, but I like it)
and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.
and I was definitely hoping for a varied list.
Really nice to see Portsmouth get mentioned.
If it had nicer linen, or linen at all, it would be a fantastic alternative to Watet Grill.
After a cross-country trip, or even just a short jaunt up the coast, when I return nothing makes me feel like “home” more than a plate of eel rice, finished off with a big serving of Taiwanese shaved ice.
Nothing fancy, or all that unique.
I guess I’m just a simpleton at heart.
Connie & Ted’s - 2 1/2 dozen oysters, 8 clams, 1 cold lobster roll, 1 sorbet, 2 drinks b/t the 2 of us. Really, the best quality shellfish that I’ve had from a casual seafood joint. Perfect lunch on the patio, always.
Tokyo Kalbi - an easy no-brainer for when I just get in from my LAX flight and am on my way through the Westside. Comfortable, quality, always can find a seat (never need a reservation), pretty good yakiniku and fairly solid all around (though I don’t care for their soups). Plus, I can get the very rare reba-sashi (beef liver sashimi) here. After a late flight, I can just come here and relax over beer and we always have an enjoyable time. We like the reba-sashi, shio yukke, kobe gyu-tan and kobe kalbi, occasionally mino tripe, and a beer or two.
Kiriko - my favorite are the “modern Japanese” appetizers here (for lack of a better term): kanpachi carpaccio w/ tosazugelee, ankimo, kinki snapper w/ shiso-basil pesto, and whatever seasonal otsumami plate Shin-san makes for us. In Winter, we really enjoyed a “seafood offal” plate of livers different ways. Also, some pretty solid sushi here, not necessary revelatory, but a comfortable and solid - especially when they aren’t quite so busy. I like their tai, akami, kinmedai no aburi w/ yuzukosho, and watarigani temaki. Yes, service can be a bit slow, but I come here for an easy and relaxing night.
For coffee on the Westside - Balconi Coffee Company, at the Olympic Collection right on Olympic and Sawtelle.
Maybe Oo-Kook - cuz if you don’t like quality AYCE KBBQ for $25 then we probably can’t be friends.