la la land

A friend of mine recently moved from the bay area to Los Angeles after spending almost his entire life here.  Upon hearing of his move and choice neighborhood of residence, I promptly told him that he must go to Musso & Frank and wallow in the old schoolness  of the oldest restaurant in Hollywood.

Which got me  thinking of other suggestions for Jose (or any newbie Angeleno) of must-go-to places, taking into consideration that he does not have a car so any place must be walkable or busable from the heart of Hollywood.

Here we go, in no particular order:

709 N. La Brea
Arrive hungry.  Weekend nights, be prepared to wait over an hour in line, although there’s always a line, no matter what time of day.    But, it’s always worth it for their snappy end-all-be-all chili cheese dog.
2575 W. Beverly Blvd.
Located in the Rampart district (yes, THAT Rampart), what Pink’s is to hot dogs, Tommy’s is to burgers.  All burgers automatically come fully loaded so if you don’t want to experience the chili that keeps on giving, then say so when you order.  I lived only blocks away and had to make a conscientious effort to not stop by every day after work.  Cash only, by the way.
704 S. Alvarado
Their pastrami sandwich slightly edges out Katz’s as Best Sandwich Ever.
1001 N. Alameda St.
Sawdust on the ground, pickled pig’s feet in a jar, and 9¢ coffee.  It’s been said the French Dipped sandwich was invented here.  No doubt.
Baby Blues
7953 Santa Monica Blvd.
I haven’t been to this new WeHo location but if it’s anything like the original in Venice, it is WONDERFUL.  I recommend the baby backs, with a side of corn on the cob, and mac ‘n cheese.  And don’t forget to order dessert – best damn pecan pie outside of my kitchen.
Zankou Chicken
8 locations
Even if you’re not into eating warm, succulent garlic chicken, the falafel or shawarma will surely satisfy.  The décor in all the locations is the same – blow-up photos of the various plate items, canary yellow walls, plastic booths, plastic chairs.  But, of course, you are there for the food.  Don’t forget to bring your Altoids.
El Conquistador
3701 W. Sunset Blvd.
Located in Silverlake, this happy, shiny place has the friendliest waiters around. Two bars serve up margaritas that put the POTENT in impotent (which WILL render you weak and helpless).
Hollywood Farmers’ Market
Ivar and Selma Avenue
Every Sunday from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, cruise the organic fruit and vegetable stalls, free range meat stands, artisan bread booths, and flower vendors before settling down on the sidewalk curb with your freshly made pupusa and a tall cup of freshly squeezed limeade.
Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n Waffles
1514 N. Gower
Separately, the chicken and waffles are good.  Together, they are dy-no-mite.  I know the combination sounds a bit odd, especially for breakfast, but I will take this over the Colonel any day.  (Though Mrs. Knotts rules the roost.)
HMS Bounty
3357 Wilshire Blvd
Located in the Mid Wilshire district connected to the historic Gaylord apartment building and across from the old Ambassador Hotel (now the Robert F. Kennedy High School, purportedly the most expensive high school built in the US), this is my favorite bar in LA.  Weekend nights, this place is too hip to be square which makes parking tough but Frank and Dean are always on the jukebox, the waitresses have been there forever, the barkeep makes good, stiff drinks, the chef makes burgers thicker than your fist, and the overall atmosphere makes me feel proud to call myself a “broad.”

2 Comments on “la la land”

  1. nostatic August 18, 2009 at 21:42 #

    How about Taylor’s Steakhouse in Koreatown on 6th? Very old school. Also heading east into Thai Town is another good choice – many places available. And a little further east there is Fred 62 in Los Feliz – a hipster mainstay.

    • gfork August 19, 2009 at 4:04 #

      is Taylor’s still around? haven’t thought about that place in years. I actually had Fred 62 on my original list but took it off at the last miniute (for reasons I can’t remember). great place to nurse an impending hangover at 3:00 in the morning.

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