The final update!
To all six of my loyal readers, I am leaving LA! I've got a job at UC Davis and will be starting my lab there. Restaurants in Davis are generally not so good, but I'll be close to Berkeley, SF and Napa, so the bon temps will continue to roll. I did a final update of the website to include the restaurants I didn't have time to write about while I was on the academic job market. Here they are (sorry no hot links, just look at the neighbourhood or cuisine page):
Alaska Seafood Restaurant - San Pedro Mexican mariscos kings
Chabuya - super Japanese ramen in Sawtelle
China Islamic - Islamic Chinese in Rosemead
Crown Cafe - Hunan in San Gabriel, a worthy successor to Shiang Garden
Danube - LA's first Bulgarian restaurant??? Not bad
El Hatuchay - Peruvian is tops here in North Hollywood
El Rocoto - Torrance Peruvian option
Father's Office - gourmet burger of legend in Santa Monica
Grand Casino - El cheapo empanadas at this Culver City bakery
Han Bat - K'town spot for your beef soup/sul lung tang fix
Komatsu - tempura bar in South Bay/Torrance
Krua Thai - LA's finest Thai noodle shop! North Hollywood
Las Quenas - excellent Peruvian in North Hollywood
Natraliart - Jamaican fare in Crenshaw, the best
Olive Branch - Persian in La Crescenta
Spago - yes, I did go! Beverly Hills temple of California cuisine
Tay Ho - Vietnamese banh cuon specialist in Little Saigon
There will be a final announcement on the main blog, but if all goes well I may have someone to continue the restaurant reviews.
Simon aka Low End Theory
Added a link to Gastrologica
, where Steve posts strong opinions about cooking and restaurants. The job market and nascent papers continue to keep me away from adding restaurant notes. Of course I'm still eating well, have had wonderful Malaysian and other foods in Australia and NZ recently. Happy holidays!
The Great Taco Hunt
The vastness of LA
and its unmatched diversity dictates that there is waaay too much eating for one man, even if that man is Jonathan Gold
. So there is virtue in the pursuit of a single godly food item, and I have added Bandini's excellent Great Taco Hunt
to my sidebar linx. His coverage is citywide, unlike my pragmatic Westside
focus. I can testify to the 4.5-taco rating of King Taco
, but Bandini's review does not mention the very unusual mojellas or sweetbreads that you can have in taco form. Keep up the good work Bandini!
Ricos Tacos, Mama Voula's update
are the details about a new taco truck
for y'all, it's one for the indecisive because there is only one dish available (you still have to choose carne del dia).
Also, I have just discovered the marides at Mama Voula's
. It's one of the greatest fried fish dishes ever, right up there with the yellow croaker with stuff (black fungus?) in the batter at Giang Nan
, or the jalea at any Peruvian
restaurant - I must admit that in the latter case, sheer quantity is part of the attraction.
Unfortunately, my backlog of job applications is still longer than my backlog of restaurants, but you can expect more recommendations to trickle down.
Gary Soup's Eating Chinese
site added to links in the sidebar. He's a Bay Area chowhound and Chinese
food savant with a great list of links 'n stuff.
Could North Hollywood
be the most underrated food neighbourhood in Los Angeles? The wonderful Peruvian
classics at Las Quenas
add weight to the argument, and I'll certainly be returning there. As of today, my East San Fernando Valley
page is officially overcrowded and must be split into smaller neighbourhoods!
So long between updates! I apologize but the last month was filled with travel (mazel tov David and Rebecca!), experiments per usual and my very first application for a proper job. Regular service is unlikely to resume, given that I'll be applying to more departments and struggling to publish some papers in the next few months. Will post when I can so my loyal readership (2 hungry souls? 10?) have some fresh spots to visit.Krua Thai
is the NoHo Thai
noodle shop to eclipse all others I've been fortunate enough to enjoy. Like a great fade haircut or a really cold black-and-white milkshake, a fried noodle dish is an ephemeral thing with a very short optimal time frame. Which is all the more reason to seek the finest.
Guatemalteca Bakery, Yongsusan
I love to find a new place that is clearly a centre for the local community, and it was wall-to-wall Guatemalan
folks in Guatemalteca
today (on Beverly a little ways from Pico-Union
), not surprising given the excellent quality and value. Groceries, el cheapo baked goods and honest lunch plates; a Los Angeles about 7 miles and one universe away from the Westside.
Hard to find a more diametrically opposed restaurant to Guatemalteca than Yongsusan
, the Koreatown royal banquet
legend, but hey, this is Low End Theory's restaurants we're talking about here and I'll eat most anything. This meal was incredibly good, it ranks with the greatest multi-course extravaganzas I've had in any cuisine.
Umenohana now but a memory
Whoops, I forgot to post here about my Umenohana
write-up, and now it's closed. I think the Chowhound post had some stimulating effect and I sincerely hope that some Japanese food-lovers made it out there before yesterday. When I am a loaded assistant prof driving a Lexus SC430 (hah!) I'll fly out to Japan to score some tofu siumai.
A while between posts, I was up in Vancouver confirming that their Cantonese
restaurants are indeed superior to those in Los Angeles (amazing but true based on my limited sampling). Here are some notes on Uzbekistan
, a wonderful and highly unusual restaurant on Sunset north of the Hollywood
Russian ghetto centred on Fairfax and Santa Monica. I am keen to try Robert's Cuisine next, it's Russian not Uzbeki
but I have heard good things.
The exalted Mission 261
serves jaw-dropping dim sum
in San Gabriel
. I cannot imagine a more delightful shootout than comparing this head-to-head with Sea Harbor
in a single weekend.
The mind boggles at the plenitude of mind-blowing restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley. Add New Concept
to the list of places that one absolutely must try whilst living in L.A. It's high-style innovative Cantonese
in Monterey Park
Swan, Giang Nan
, yet another Thai
gem in North Hollywood
. There is a huge Bhan Kanom Thai dessert
store here too. I went back twice in three nights, then my friend Kathy left her phone there and brought back even more for Ian. Bonanza!
What a great, great meal I shared with Lambert and Peng at Giang Nan
in Monterey Park
). Some companions magnify the pleasure one has in delicious food, but this meal didn't really need the fine company to make its impressions felt. There was a priceless moment when Lambert showed his digital photos of the dishes to the curious waitresses ("ooh! Lion's head meatball... fish-head casserole... fried bread...").
Al pastor torta - for breakfast???
Carmen Foods added to Taco Trucks of the Westside
. A highly unusual day when the low end theorist is out and about at breakfast time. There must be an alternate breakfast and lunch truck scene that one never experiences.
After last night's extravaganza at Giang Nan (Shanghai/Jiangzhe magnificence, notes to follow) I am convinced that there is a universe of great eating in San Gabriel that is a fulltime job for a professional, not an amateur enthusiast like myself. Maybe these cats can help: okay noodle
. They've just started but have had the good taste to link to the main Low End Theory
blog. Then again, recommendation of sushi buffet
is potentially hazardous. Include me out, as they say.
A new blog link, mmm-yoso
specializing in cheaper restaurants from San Diego and Orange County. Kirk is very informative for Hawaiian
food, one of my personal favourites, and appears to be a healthy eater of multitudinous styles. "It's all good
, from Diego to the Bay."
Din Tai Fung moved
Moved Din Tai Fung into the Shanghai
page today, why I filed it with Northern fare
escapes me now as I associate the magical xiao long bao (small soupy dumplings) with Shanghai. Certainly there are proper Chinese gastronomes who understand these matters more deeply than I do.
not working, maybe I'll put this back on but I assume there are the usual ~100 daily visitors, mostly Google. I appreciate the positive commentz - there'll always be haters but the blog was supposed to be an altruistic venture.
Javan, Umenohana, Warszawa, Sea Harbor
The dust seems to have settled on my evaluation of the Persian scene with the addition of Javan to the Persian
and West LA
lists. An interesting tidbit from Wikipedia - faloodeh
is one of the oldest of all frozen desserts.
Among L.A.'s high-end dining spots, Umenohana
is certainly unique for its tofu kaiseki
. Also a new neighbourhood, Beverly Hills
, not clear when the low end theorist will return there!
Since when has Eastern European fare been splurge-worthy? Warszawa is a fancy and delicious Polish
restaurant in Santa Monica
. Some might see the proliferation of single-restaurant cuisine categories as extravagant, and there are undeniable overlaps between Bosnian
. Well, first of all I'm writing the website so national boundaries will yield to my hazy geographical pencil. Secondly, as the Balkan warfare in the Aroma Cafe comments
indicates, some people feel very strongly that their local specialties are distinct and worth fighting for. Rather than amalgamating these into a pan-Eastern Europe section I've decided to let them proliferate. If I try some really great Nicaraguan and Guatemalan restaurants in future, their shared page
could split too.
My, what a lot of updates today. Sea Harbor
is the best dim sum
I've had in L.A.
Old updatez from back in the day, before I started Low End Restaurantz.
My favourite appetizers from the Westwood Lebanese
has quality Mexican
fare in Mar Vista
is a sandwich without equal in its class. For no reason I can divine, it's in Pico-Union
. Also, notes on the neighbouring and similarly essential Mama's Hot Tamale Cafe
, where tamales from all over Latin America find a happy home. Kyushu Ramen is a noteworthy spot in Van Nuys
when nuthin' but noodles
Apologies for the lack of updates. Been burning the midnight oil at both ends in lab, and recent Blogger problems were most frustrating. I think the site works well again, do let me know if there are missing pages and I'll rectify. To make things easier for my "loyal" readership, I created new neighbourhoods: Downtown/USC area
, and Glendale/Eagle Rock
. Look out for more updates soon!
One of the reasons I frown on "meat lovers" is that they frequently neglect equally hearty pleasures that don't involve giant hunks of environmentally questionable livestock. Like soon tofu
, the killer Korean tofu stew that exemplifies the fact that tofu is not a meat substitute, just an ingredient with its own distinct place in the culinary constellation. Sokongdong
is a K'town
spot with great great soon tofu and surprisingly for a specialist restaurant, a spicy raw crab dish that is every bit as good as the house stalwart.
in North Hollywood
, yet another terrific Thai
restaurant for Thai people.
Baby Blues Barbeque features tasty 'que
Annapurna, a newish South Indian
option in Culver City
. Chung King
is yet another terrific Szechwan
restaurant in Monterey Park
Thoughts on Shahrezad
, the Persian
kingpin of Westwood
Blvd. Also added notes about which Persian
places I like and why. Extra menu recommendations for the Thai
hotspot Ruen Pair
Garcia's Bros of Culver City
added to the Westside taco truck list
. Quality new truck + Bill Frisell
at Jazz Bakery
, hard to find a Los Angeles day to beat that.
A paean to the expanded Simpang Asia
grocery store extraordinaire in Palms
. Added la.foodblogging
to the linx.
Zankou opens on the Westside (West LA
, that is), let there be rejoicing. And general chaos inside. Armenian
chicken and garlic sauce are in the house.
Menu recommendations from the Hunan
splendour of Shiang/Charming Garden
in Monterey Park
Menu info on Uncle Darrow's
of Marina Del Rey
. If ever a restaurant deserved the descriptor soul food
, this is it. Also some notes on Raku
, Korean-Japanese small-plate
greatness in West L.A.
Cosmetic improvement, I'm back in black
. Ian has a hilarious new blog
, and I also link to Pam's Daily Gluttony
(another haw flake eater), Santo's Meet Me At The Corner Of Third And Fairfax
and BBQ Junkie
Soot Bull Jeep, the famous Koreatown
restaurant with charcoal barbecue
Notes on how to eat at Raffi's Place
, the Persian
kabob legend in Glendale
. Yai Noodle
is a new noodle house contender in Thai Town
, see also Thai
list. Where does one eat downtown? How about Sarita's Pupuseria (Downtown
lists). I'm almost never in O.C., but if you are, check out elmomonster's Monster Munching
as an adjunct to Professor Salt
Tacos Don Kike has pretty good tacos and a stunning downtown view. In Taqueria
Probably an only-in-L.A. experience, wonderful handmade sarashina soba at Otafuku
. See also Gardena
and Japanese noodles
Added Chowpatty/Pat's estimable Eating L.A.
to Special Sources
. A nostalgic note about Hulu House
to accompany a significant picture.
notes, this is the former Yunnan Garden and Hua's Garden. Can't they settle on Yunnan Rice Noodle Restaurant, the Chinese name? Also see Szechwan
and Monterey Park
The marvel of Beijing/Peking duck at Lu Din Gee
. Also in San Gabriel
and Northern Chinese
A note about molagapodi
, and check out Professor Salt's blog
added to Indian
and South of LA
lists. Tremendous South Indian fare.
inaugurates the Bosnian
section with a bang. Also in West LA/Pico
list. Made a taco truck glossary
at Ian and Kathy's suggestion.
At Ian's suggestion, reorganized Taco Trucks of the Westside
by geography, and linked to the relevant neighbourhood lists
. Extra notes about Tacos Junior truck as well - my new favourite flavour of Jarritos is Mandarina
King Taco and La China Poblana in East LA
list, the latter in Mexican Regional
Messob added to Ethiopian
lists. Kitfo is worth working up one's courage for.
Added NBC Seafood Restaurant to the Cantonese
and Monterey Park
Added Mama Voula's
to the Greek
and West LA
lists, and Cocido Azteca de Oro to Taco Trucks of the Westside
Added Ka-San Korean bbq to Glendale/Pasadena/Eagle Rock
page, it's in La Crescenta. Maybe I will split this neighbourhood in two sometime. Also on Korean barbecue
Added Good-Ha!!! (takeout menu does have three exclamation points) to Glendale
lists. Breakfast that should last all day, take your flip-flops to fit in with the crowd.
Added Greece's barbeque to the American:BBQ
lists. The first tip from a blog visitor, thanks gbarn (at) email.com!
Recommended additional dishes from Yai
, the completely unstoppable Thai Town favourite.
Added Max's of Manila to Glendale
guides. Strictly for Pinoys and their peeps!
Added Special Sources
, a list of great places to find more info about L.A. restaurants.
Posted some old reviews from Chowhound.com with appropriate tinkering. It's all hotlinked from the neighbourhood and style guides:Thai desserts
, Hakata Ramen Shinsengumi
, Wa Sushi
, Isla Buffet
, Jerk Pit
, Taqueria Vista del Hermosa
, Ruen Pair
, Yunnan Garden/Hua's Garden
, Dos Burritos
, Attari Sandwiches
, International Tofu House
and Brodard II
Low End Restaurantz... with a "Z"
Hey food loverz,
Here's a phat joint from Simon of Low End Theory "fame" - a new blog describing updatez at my restaurant website, Low End Theory's L.A. Restaurants
(occasionally using amateurish African-American idiomz). It promises to be yet more digressive and opinionated than the old-skool guide, so watch out!
Always on point,
Low End Theory aka Simon
below: chicken karaage from the wondrous Minako in SF. It gots soul!
Chicken karaage - Japanese soul food from the wondrous Minako in SF