Restaurant Guide–Los Angeles

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California

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  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources

Alhambra

Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine–19 S. Garfield Ave. (Indonesian) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm. Reviewers say food is delicious and reasonably priced. Some people seem to think it doesn’t really matter what you order–it will be good. Laska mee is particularly recommended, though (coconut curry). Map (Dining room is open 11-16-21)

Chengdu Taste–828 W. Valley Blvd. (Chinese) Closed Tue (closed from 2:30 to 5 pm).  Serious Eats says this is the best Sichuan Restaurant in America. Sichuan peppercorns provide the appropriate aroma and flavor, and not just spiciness. Mung bean jelly with noodle appetizer, couple’s beef, spring onion chicken, boiled beef in hot sauce, mapo tofu, toothpick lamb, boiled fresh fish with green pepper sauce. Some reviewers say it is just too spicy, and some are not ready for this type of food. Because it’s reputed to be the best Sichuan place in America, it almost always has a long wait for a table (they don’t take reservations). Map (Dining room is open 6-24-21)

Arcadia

Din Tai Fung–1108 S. Baldwin Ave. (Taiwanese) Open Daily. Popular place for dumplings and xiao long bao (has good reviews). Note: there are several locations throughout the LA area. Map (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

SinBala–651 W. Duarte Rd. (Taiwanese) Closed Mon evening & Tue.  Authentic Taiwanese (reviews are very emphatic about this). Serves everyday style Taiwanese food (Taipei Garden is a good alternative if you want more upscale banquet style food). Taiwanese style sausage and beef noodle soup are best sellers. Brown sugar shaved ice is very good. Map (Dining room is open 11-16-21)

Bell Gardens

Rocio’s–7891 Garfield Ave. (Mexican) Open daily 9 am to 9 pm.  Highly regarded Oaxacan restaurant, but food is from a different region of Oaxaca than most of the other restaurants, and here you get a slightly different style and flavor of food. Map (Dining room is open 9-8-22)

Claremont

Sanamluang–710 S. Indian Hill Blvd. (Thai) Open Daily.  Branch of a very well regarded LA restaurant. Wide variety of dishes not found at other restaurants. Known for its pad thai (because this is the way it is really supposed to taste, according to some who seem to be in the know). Map (Dining room is open 11-16-21)

Culver City

Ugo Cafe–3865 Cardiff Ave. (Italian) Open Daily.  Has Neapolitan pizza certified by VPN. Has a large menu of Italian food that is “so authentic it doesn’t include garlic bread (because this is an American creation).” Has lunch specials that are apparently extremely cheap by LA standards. I think it is known also for its happy hour and the large outdoor patio. Map (Dining room is open 12-21-21)

Diamond Bar

Tasty Box Dim Sum–2839 S. Diamond Bar Blvd. (Chinese) Open 9 am to 5:30 pm (9-5 on Sun).  Reviews indicate that this has the quality of the restaurants in town (Monterey Park, etc.) but gives better access to those in the suburbs. Map (Dining room is open 12-21-21)

Tasty Xi’an–1155 S. Diamond Bar Blvd. (Chinese) Open 11 am to 9:30 pm.  This is a lesser known type of Chinese food that gets very good reviews. It opened in 2021 and reviewers seem to be experimenting to see what they like, but so far the best reviews are for the special hot oil noodles. Map (Dining room is open 12-21-21)

East Los Angeles

Tacos Baja Ensenada–5385 Whittier Blvd. (Mexican) Open daily (open until 9 pm).  Baja style fish tacos. Has 99 cent tacos on Wednesday (a really good deal). (Takeout only 8-24-21)

Glendale

Adana–6918 San Fernando Rd. (Armenian) Open daily to 8 pm.  Glendale is full of Armenian restaurants, and some look intimidating with banquet tables that look like they are for weddings and special occasions. Adana has several large tables but the food and setting look more “normal” and seems to give good food at prices people can afford. I am impressed by the variety they have, and I think it really will be worthwhile to try Armenian food to get dishes that cannot be found in any other type of restaurant. Map (Dining room is open 12-21-21)

Hacienda Heights

Four Sea–2020 S. Hacienda Blvd. (Taiwanese) Open daily (breakfast & lunch only). Said to be LA’s best place for Taiwanese breakfast. Authentic daikon cake, salty tofu (typical Taiwanese breakfast). Also at 708 E. Las Tunas Dr. in San Gabriel (but some reviewers say the one in Hacienda Hts. is better). Map (Dining room is open 11-16-21)

Inglewood

ConiSeafood–3544 W. Imperial Hwy. (Mexican) Open Daily (closes at 8 pm).  Nayarit style seafood. Recommended by Serious Eats. Pescado zarandeado, shrimp aguachiles, ceviche, marlin tacos. Note: the zarandeado is a whole fish and will feed several people. Map (Dining room is open 6-24-21)

Long Beach

Hak Heang–2041 E. Anaheim St. (Cambodian) Open daily (including breakfast).  Long running and well known Cambodian restaurant in the Little Phnom Penh neighborhood.  Most people recommend plea sait ko (raw beef salad) or other beef dishes. Map (Dining room is open 6-24-21)

Long Beach Fish Grill–1201 Redondo Ave. (Seafood) Open Daily.  Seems to be a good place for a casual seafood meal (fish and chips, fish tacos, fried shrimp, grilled fish, fish sandwich, etc.). Map (Dining room is open 6-11-22)

Los Compadres–3229 E. Anaheim St. (Mexican) Open daily 10 am to 9 pm.  Good reviews–very popular. Looks like it is California style (I see lots of avocado in the photos), and this would be one of the best places to try it. (Dining room is open 6-24-21)

Sophy’s–3240 Pacific Coast Hwy. (Cambodian) Open daily 10 am to 9 pm. Number one restaurant on the Press-Telegram’s list of three restaurants where the locals eat in Long Beach’s Cambodia town. Seems to be mainly known for noodles and curries but reviews are for a wide range of items. Map (Dining room is open 12-21-21)

Los Angeles

Al & Bea’s–2025 E. 1st St. (Mexican) Closed Mon (open until 7 weekdays).  Most famous place in LA for Cal. style burritos. Cheap prices, large portions, casual atmosphere. (Outdoor seating available 6-24-21)

Apple Pan–10801 W. Pico Blvd. (Hamburgers) Closed Mon.  Considered by some to be the iconic California style burger. They actually have two kinds–hickory burger and steak burger (both have Apple Pan’s original sauce). Cheeseburgers are made with Tillamook cheese (and most reviewers seem to prefer this to the regular burger). Also known for apple pie (but some say it is overpriced). Has an outdoor patio. Map (Dining room is open 1-9-22)

Buna–1034 S. Fairfax Ave. (Ethiopian) Closed Wed.  Grocery store with a small Ethiopian restaurant. It is not the most well known Ethiopian restaurant, but quite a few people say it is the best. This is a very good place to get vegetarian food. Note: located in “Little Ethiopia” (if it’s too busy there are several other restaurants on the same street). (Dining room is open 8-2-21)

Canter’s Deli–417 N. Fairfax Ave. (Deli) Open 24 hours.  This is a real-deal Jewish deli with “massive menu choices.” Many of the items are kosher but serves bacon for breakfast. Map (Dining room is open 9-8-22)

Casa Vega–13301 Ventura Blvd. (Mexican) Open daily (open late night).  Old school California style food. Recommended by Guillermo on the Jimmy Kimmel show–this may not be the best Mexican food in LA, but it sounds interesting and fun (and I think you will get Cal. style Mexican food exactly as advertised). A bonus, though, is that they are also supposed to have a menu of authentic Mexico City style dishes. Map (Dining room is open 6-24-21)

Chichen Itza–3655 S. Grand Ave. (Mexican) Closed Mon.  Yucatan style. Conchita pibil, papadzules, sopa de lima. Looks excellent, and reviews are good. Small restaurant–inexpensive food. Some reviews say this is better than the Oaxaca style restaurants in terms of flavor and food quality. Located in Mercado La Paloma (east of I-110, south of 34th St). “Dining room” consists of a few tables inside the market. Map (Dining room is open 1-9-22)

Corner Place–2819 James M. Wood Blvd. (Korean) Open to 9 pm (closed Sun).  Recommended as the best & most authentic Korean in L.A. Korean BBQ. Dong chi mi gook soo (cold noodle in soup) is the signature dish. Korean BBQ is also popular. (Dining room is open 6-24-21)

Flavors from Afar–1046 S. Fairfax Ave. (World Cuisine) Dinner Wed-Sun; Lunch Thu-Sun.  The chefs here work with refugees and asylum seekers (who have experience cooking food from their country) and give customers a dining experience in that cuisine. It has a rotating menu with different countries featured each month. These include Haitian, Indo-Fijian, Somali, Syrian, Afghani, Venezuelan, Eritrean, and others. I do not think it is expensive by LA standards but most people rave about the food (you get the upscale version of each of these cuisines). Map (Dining room is open 9-8-22)

Gamboge–1822 N. Broadway (Cambodian) Open 11 am to 4 pm Tue-Fri only.  Reviewers say it has stellar food and nice outdoor seating, but it is near downtown and might not be the easiest place to get to or to park. Map (Dining room is open 12-21-21)

Gish Bac–4163 W. Washington Blvd. (Mexican) Closed Wed. Specialty is barbacoa but has all the Oaxacan standard dishes including mole (3 kinds). I think this is more of an everyday restaurant where you can eat Oaxacan food than Guelguetza or Madre (which seem more like special occasion restaurants). Has a large outdoor patio. Map (Dining room is open 11-16-21)

Guelaguetza–3014 W. Olympic Blvd. (Mexican) Closed Mon.  Very well regarded and popular Oaxacan style restaurant (some say it is the best Oaxacan restaurant in the country). Black mole is probably the most popular dish, but has a wide variety of items, all of which give you the authentic Oaxacan version of the dish. Some complain about the prices (about $20 to $30 per dish) but you get the very best (according to most reviewers). Has an outdoor patio. Map (Dining room is open 9-8-22)

Guisados–2100 E. Cesar Chavez Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily.  There are many good taco restaurants in town, but this is one of the most popular. Has a great variety of choices. Some of the favorites are mole poblano, conchinita pibil, tinga de pollo, or get the taco sampler plate. Note: there are 6 other locations of Guisados in the LA area. Map (Dining room is open 6-11-22)

Harissa–8914 W. Pico Blvd. (Tunisian) Dinner only (closed Fri & Sat).  Chef Cohen cooks Kosher Tunisian food that comes from his family’s roots. His Harissa sauce is said to be quite spicy. One recommended item is the Tunisian tajine, which offers a different take on this dish than the more well known Moroccan style. The only drawback I can see is the $$$ price range on Yelp. Map (Dining room is open 11-16-21)

KaGaYa–418 E. 2nd St. (Japanese) Dinner only (closed Mon).  In Little Tokyo. Supposedly the best shabu shabu restaurant, but is expensive (I think too expensive for me, but others say the food is really good). (Dining room is open 8-2-21)

LA Rose–4749 Fountain Ave. (Filipino) Closed Sun. evening.  Excellent sit down Filipino rest. Certainly one of the best Filipino rests. in the U.S. (N. of US 101, south of Hollywood Blvd.). Map (Dining room is open 8-2-21)

Las 7 Regiones de Oaxaca–2648 W. Pico Blvd. (Mexican) Closed Tue.  Oaxacan style. Mole coloradito, tlayuda. Said to be among the top 3 or 4 Oaxacan rests. in LA. Map (Dining room is open 9-8-22)

Lasita–727 N. Broadway (Filipino) Dinner Thu-Sat; lunch Sun.  Seems to be part of the modern Filipino food movement (authentic food but served on small plates with less rice). Reviewers are very impressed with the food. (Dining room is open 8-2-21)

Mayflower Seafood–679 N. Spring St. (Chinese) Open daily (open until 9 pm).  Good, cheap, authentic Cantonese food in Chinatown (near downtown L.A.). Map (Dining room is open 6-11-22)

Monte Alban–11929 Santa Monica Blvd. (Mexican) Open daily 9 am to 10 pm.  Oaxacan style. Specializes in mole. Many say it is better than Guelaguetza (another Oaxacan restaurant). Get molcajete, moles, taco de barbacoa, nieves (agua fresca). Like Guelaguetza it has a reputation for serving a wide range of items and to be a good restaurant overall for Oaxacan food. Map (Dining room is open 9-8-22)

Polka Polish Cuisine–4112 Verdugo Rd. (Polish) Closed Mon & Tue (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Many think this is one of the best Polish restaurants in the US. Classic pierogi are recommended, but also try dishes like naleiniki. Some say the sausage is the one item that seemed pre-packaged and not home made.Has a very large tea selection. Map (Dining room is open 9-30-22)

Robert’s Russian Cuisine–1603 N. La Brea Ave. (Russian) Closed Mon.  Has Russian and Armenian food, but most reviewers say the Russian food is particularly worthwhile compared to the other restaurants in town (they say Traktir is more expensive and the food is not any better). Map (Dining room is open 8-2-21)

Ruen Pair–5257 Hollywood Blvd. (Thai) Dinner only (open daily).  May be a little touristy and “Hollywood,” but it seems to have very good food from central and northeast Thailand. Gets high recommendations from LA;s Thai community. Map (Dining room is open 9-8-22)

Sanamluang Cafe–5176 Hollywood Blvd. (Thai) Open daily (open until midnight).  Authentic and well known restaurant in Thai town. Many people like the pad thai because it is one of the best you will find (but many other dishes are recommended as well). Also in Claremont. Map (Dining room is open 8-2-21)

San Pedro Fish Market–1190 Nagoya Way (Seafood) Open Daily.  Reviews say it has a large variety of fresh fish with an ocean view–also that wait to get a table may be an hour (post-pandemic time). Crab and fried shrimp are popular. Note: Crusty Crab next door also looks good. Map (Dining room is open 12-21-21)

Sri Siam–12843 Vanowen St. (Thai) Closed Wed.  Northern Thai style.  Probably the best Thai in L.A. (possibly equal to Thai Nakorn in Stanton). Price range listed as $, but lunch specials are particularly low priced. Located in Van Nuys near I-405 and Sherman Way. Map (Dining room is open 2-18-22)

Tashkent Produce–5340 Laurel Canyon Blvd. (Uzbek) Open daily except Sun evening.  Grocery store with Uzbek takeout dishes available. Recommended for Plov, a beef stew that is the the Uzbek national dish. Meat pie orders can be called in for pickup after 11 am. I am not sure if there is indoor dining–reviewers say it is a deli (so I think they have some tables). Also they say the parking is so bad you will probably want to find a short term space and run inside to pick up your order. Map (Deli is open but there is no indoor dining 9-8-22)

Traktir–18588 Ventura Blvd. (Russian) Dinner Wed-Sun; opens 1 pm Sat & Sun.  This is the more “formal” of the restaurant’s two locations but reviewers say the price is still good and they have a good selection (the “casual” one is in West Hollywood). This one is located in Tarzana. This also shows up in searches for Ukrainian food, so I don’t know if it has both cuisines. Map (Dining room is open 12-21-21)

Monrovia

Luscious Dumplings–919 W. Duarte Rd. (Chinese) Closed Tue (and closed from 2:30 to 5 pm). I had information that it is Beijing style dumplings, but it moved to Monrovia and I am not sure if this is the same restaurant (it seems to be very good, though, and dumplings include XLB). Map (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Monterey Park

ABC Cafe–100 N. Garfield Ave. (Chinese) Open 24 hours.  Was recommended to me by Oriental Cafe in El Paso (Kenny worked there before opening his own restaurant). Serves American style breakfast (eggs, steak, etc.) and Chinese breakfast (congee, chow fun, chow mein). Serves dinner any time. Some say, though, that it was better “back in the day” (some also say the Chinese breakfast is still very good). Map (Dining room is open 1-9-22)

Beijing Pie House–846 E. Garvey Ave. (Chinese) Open daily (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Specialties are meat pies and green onion pancakes. They have other things on the menu (such as xiao long bao), but people say the pies and pancakes are the best items (there is such a variety of fillings it is hard to get tired of them). Map (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Hunan–423 N. Atlantic Blvd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Hunan style–supposed to be better than in the Bay Area (some say it’s the most authentic Hunanese rest. in the US). Food is very spicy, but they will adjust it according to your taste. Map (Dining room is open 2-18-22)

Mama Lu’s Dumpling House–153 E. Garvey Ave. (Chinese) Open Daily. Shanghai style food. Xiao long bao, beef wrap. Map (Dining room is open 1-9-22)

NBC Seafood–404 S. Atlantic Blvd. (Chinese) Open daily 8 am to 9 pm.  Well known for dim sum. Some say it’s the best in L.A., and others say they would rather go somewhere else (but I don’t see suggestions about where that would be). The majority of reviews indicate that it is very good, and you will probably get one or two items that are less spectacular than the others. Map (Dining room is open 2-18-22)

Premier Dessert–501 W. Garvey Ave. (Chinese) Afternoon and dinner hours only (open daily).  Has a variety of Chinese style desserts. From the photos it looks very difficult to make a choice (they all look good). Map (Dining room is open 9-8-22)

Xiang Cuisine–141 N. Atlantic Blvd. (Chinese) Open daily (closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Hunan style restaurant that some people like better than others because it is less oily. I think it looks like a good choice because they seem to focus on the dishes that have the best flavor rather than what people in Hunan most commonly eat (Hunan Restaurant is about three blocks to the north and is supposed to be the most authentic Hunan restaurant in the U.S.). Map (Temporarily closed 9-8-22)

Yoma Myanmar–713 E. Garvey Ave. (Burmese) Open11 am until 9:30 pm (closed Sun). This seems to be the top Burmese rest. in LA, but it is northern Burmese cuisine. Specialty is shan noodles (reviewers say get it dry). Tea leaf salad, tofu salad, curry noodles are all popular. Some say the tea leaf salad is more authentic here than at other places. Map (Dining room is open 12-21-21)

Yunnan–301 N. Garfield Ave. (Chinese) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Menu is not limited to Yunnan dishes, but this is a good place to come if you are curious about what they are like (reviewers say they are good). Many (probably most) people like their cold dishes. I would look at the Yelp reviews to get an idea of what to order (there is a large choice). Food is spicy here. “Crossing the Bridge Yunnan Noodles” are supposed to be a specialty (I think this is a noodle soup). Map (Dining room is open 12-12-21)

Pasadena

El Cholo–300 E. Colorado Blvd. (Mexican) Closed Mon.  In business since 1923. Probably the ultimate example of California style Mex. food (but I am not sure about this). Tostada compuesta is recommended (lettuce with vinegar–this is a Cal. style dish). The original restaurant in LA now only does catering but the one in Pasadena is open for customers. Map (Dining room is open 1-9-22)

El Portal–695 E. Green St. (Mexican) Closed Mon.  Yucatan style (best rated Mex. in Pasadena). “Yucatan trio” gives you three of the best Yucatan style dishes. Map (Dining room is open 2-18-22)

Settebello–625 E. Colorado Blvd. (Pizza) Open Daily.  Serves authentic Neapolitan pizza certified by VPN. Also has restaurants in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Map (Dining room is open 12-21-21)

San Gabriel

Babita–1823 S. San Gabriel Blvd. (Mexican) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Alta cocina, small rest. Not terribly expensive, but not somewhere you would want to go for a casual meal. On national lists of best Mex. rests. in the U.S. This is home cooking, and small (with about 25 tables). I believe it’s Yucatan style. Some of the main dishes are $20 to $30 (plus more for appetizers, etc.). Map (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Delicious Food Corner–545 W. Las Tunas Dr. (Chinese) Open daily 9 am to 8 pm.  Serves traditional Hong Kong style food. Some reviewers say they were disappointed by other restaurants but liked this one. Map (Dining room is open 12-21-21)

Ho Kee Cafe–533 S. Del Mar Ave. (Chinese) Open daily 9 am to 8:30 pm.  Traditional Cantonese style restaurant, but with better quality than most, made in small batches unlike the large restaurants, and reviewers say they don’t think it has MSG. Some say this is their favorite restaurant in San Gabriel. Map (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Lu’s Garden–534 E. Valley Blvd. (Taiwanese) Open daily 11:30 am to 11 pm.  Home style Taiwanese food (this is not “banquet style”). It has a gimmick in that you get free congee (porridge) with your meal–people like it and go partly because of this (but they like the other food also). Some say go only at lunch (dinner is too expensive). Also in City of Industry. Map (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Mian–301 W. Valley Blvd. (Chinese) Open daily (closed 3 to 5 pm weekdays).  Serves Chengdu style noodle dishes (quite a few reviewers say this is the best Chinese noodle house in the L.A. area). Tip: some say if you order mung bean tea for a drink this helps in being able to eat the spicy food here. Also in Rowland Hts. Map (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Omar’s Xinjiang–1718 S. New Ave. (Chinese) Closed Tue & Wed (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Uyghur food from northwest China–Halal style Chinese food. Hand pulled noodles and meat pie are recommended. Map (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Santa Monica

Red O–1541 Ocean Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Owner is in a partnership with Rick Bayless to bring Rick Bayless’ recipes to L.A. Restaurant is locally sourced with sustainable ingredients. Expensive–I suspect it is mainly for special occasions. I am not sure everything here is the same as you would get in the Bayless restaurants in Chicago. Map (Dining room is open 8-2-21)

Torrance

Madre–1261 Cabrillo Ave. (Mexican) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  Oaxacan style Mexican food. There are many authentic items, but probably mole is (rightly) the most popular. Photos make me want to try it even if the reviews did not. (Also in West Hollywood and Culver City). Apparently has a covered open air patio. Map (Dining room is open 12-21-21)

Venice

Simpang Asia–705 Venice Blvd. (Indonesian) Open daily (dinner only). Reported to be the best Indonesian in town. Nasi mantep is recommended. I think this would be a good place to try Indonesian food to see what it is all about. Also located at 10433 National Blvd. in LA). Note: Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine in Alhambra seems to be equivalent in quality and less expensive, if you want to try a more downscale place. Map (Dining room is open 11-16-21)


  • For additional explanation of this list see Index
  • Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

Mexican Food

Eater “The Definitive Guide to Oaxacan Cuisine in Los Angeles” (Feb. 15, 2018):

“Popular Oaxacan restaurants in LA and what to order at them”

    • Antequera de Oaxaca–5200 Melrose Ave., Larchmont. Guisado, salsa de huevo, tlayudas, and traditional mole.
    • Casa Oaxaca–9609 Venice Blvd., Culver City. Complex moles, antojitos, hibiscus flower fried tacos, and fish cooked in banana leaves.
    • El Sazon Oaxaqueño–12131 Washington Pl., Mar Vista. Mole amarillo, chiles rellenos with ground meat and fruit, and breakfast burritos with Oaxacan chorizo.
    • Expresión Oaxaqueño–3301 W. Pico Blvd., Arlington Heights.  Taco de la abuela (with meat and fixings), enmoladas, fajitas de tasajo (dried beef).
    • Gish Bac–4163 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights.  Tlayudas, chilaquiles, atoles, enfrijoladas, moles, and on weekends has barbacoa enchiladas.
    • Guelaguetza–3014 W. Olympic Blvd., Harvard Heights.  Notable for the authentic Oaxacan experience of mole washed down with world-class mezcal, estofado (mole with green olives and herbs), and tlayudas. This is considered by many to be the best Oaxacan restaurant in the city (and possibly the US).
    • Juquila–11619 Santa Monica Blvd., Sawtelle.  Parrilladas (Oaxacan-Californian style), complex moles.
    • La Mayordomia–5892 S. Broadway Ave., Florence.  Tlayudas.
    • El Valle Oaxaqueño–1601 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles.  Market, restaurant, and bakery (pan dulce).
    • La Morenita Oaxaqueña–3550 W. 3rd St., Koreatown.  Mole coloradito, and estofado.
    • Las 7 Regiones–2648 W. Pico Blvd., Pico-Union.  One of the best overall Oaxacan restaurants with mole, chiles rellenos, empanadas, and a meat grill.
    • Leo’s Tacos–1515 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-City.  Taco truck that serves authentic Mexico City style tacos al pastor, but owned by Oaxacans.
    • Monte Alban–11929 Santa Monica Blvd., Sawtelle.  Second only to Guelaguetza in serving an all around menu of highly acclaimed Oaxacan food.
    • Oaxacalifornia Juice Bar–3655 S. Grand Ave., Historic South Central.  Juice, torta, ice cream, and antojito stand.
    • Panaderia Santo Domingo–3418 W. 8th St., Koreatown.  Pan de yema with hot chocolate, and a huge variety of other pan dulce (also has Oaxacan food if you want it).
    • Poncho’s Tlayudas–4318 S. Main St., Historic South Central.  On Friday serves artisanal tlayudas such as blue corn and yellow corn. Has its own take on other tlayudas that cannot be found in LA or anywhere.
    • Rincon Oaxaqueña –1544 N. Western Ave., East Hollywood.  Caldo de piedra (strong soup) with fish and shrimp, with a hot river stone dropped in the soup.
    • Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen–7891 Garfield Ave., Bell Gardens.  Mole negro, chile relleno, and chileajo served in the style of Huajuapan, Oaxaca (highly acclaimed recipes).
    • Sabores Oaxaqueños–3337 W. 8th St., Koreatown.  Tamales and aguas frescas are the main attractions Also has a number of Oaxacalifornia style items.
    • Tacos La Tehuanita–5104 York Blvd., Highland Park.  Food truck with black mole that is from the Istmo de Tehuantepec region (and has a different flavor profile than ones from Valles Centrales). Some other items are Oaxacalifornia style but inspired in their flavor.
    • Tacos Tamix–2402 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-City.  Tacos al pastor and tacos alambres (Mexico City style).
    • Tlayuda LA–5450 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood.  Oaxacan cuisine made more mainstream in the US including tlayudas made without lard and iced coffee mixed with horchata.
    • X’tiosu Kitchen–923 Forest Ave., Boyle Heights.  Oaxacan chefs who cook Lebanese food as well as Oaxacan-Middle Eastern fusion.

James Beard Foundation America’s Classics

The following are locally owned restaurants that are distinguished by their timeless appeal, and which serve quality food that represents the character of their communities:

  • Los Angeles: Guelaguetza–3014 W. Olympic Blvd.
  • Los Angeles: Langer’s Delicatessen–704 S. Alvarado St.
  • Los Angeles: Philippe the Original–1001 N. Alameda St.
  • Los Angeles: Yuca’s Hut–2056 Hillhurst Ave.
  • Sherman Oaks: Casa Vega–13301 Ventura Blvd.

Note About “50 States, 50 Cuisines” (Condé Nast)

Condé Nast published an article on Sep. 14, 2020 explaining how they set out to go beyond a previous article that had identified the signature dish for each state, and to find food that goes beyond the classics and “to highlight a cuisine worth traveling to each state for, much of which you truly can’t get anywhere else.” For California it is Oaxacan Cuisine from the Mexican state of Oaxaca. They state that Los Angeles has the most complete representation in the United States of Oaxaca’s 16 Indigenous communities and micro-regions, with some dishes unique to just one town or village.

There are opportunities to try it at Guelaguetza (the most well known Oaxacan restauant), Expression Oaxaqueña, Gish Bac, Madre (in Torrance, Culver City, or West Hollywood), or Poncho’s Tlayudas (known for its namesake crispy tortillas topped with blood sausage). In addition El Valle Oaxaqueño in Koreatown is a bakery featuring pan dulce and a market that sells fried grasshoppers (if you want to know what it is the information is contained in the article for which I included a link, but it is not something I will seek out).


Sources:

James Beard Foundation (America’s Classics Award Winners)

Chowhound (former web site)

Condé Nast Traveler “50 States, 50 Cuisines: The Food Worth Traveling For in Every State”

Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives (Los Angeles)

Eater, “The Definitive Guide to Oaxacan Cuisine in Los Angeles”

Google Maps

KCET (Have You Eaten?)

LA Weekly

Press-Telegram (3 restaurants where the locals eat in Long Beach’s Cambodia Town)

Serious Eats (Los Angeles)

TripAdvisor (Thai Town)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

VPN Americas (California)

Yelp (Los Angeles)

Zomato (Los Angeles)

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