COVID-19 food finds in/around Los Angeles

Some random pandemic comestible musings to kick-off Thanksgiving Week.

  1. FishPop makes you ask the question you never realized needed asking, as in “do I ever need fish n chips curated by a Michelin trained chef from (wait for it) Korea?” Well, now you have your answer. Because it is “YES”. Located inside Egg Tuck in Koreatown, next to a Verizon store, you’ll get big slaps of perfectly fried fish, bought that day fresh from market at the crack of dawn, paired with house made tartar sauce and “chips” (which, to be honest, rival those of In N Out …., but I digress). FishPop also has fish tacos, which I have yet to try.

  2. Miao Yun Food, more a grocery store than a restaurant and to be more precise more a “one-stop shop for all things Thanksgiving hot pot” – this place has some of the best and cheapest Wagyu beef you’ll find for your Thanksgiving hotpot (or shabu shabu).

  3. Thumbling in West Covina has mucho potential. It’s like any one of a variety of dumpling / noodle shops one can find in ESGV (think 101 Noodle, Mama’s Lu, or Hui Tou Xiang) but unlike those tried and true stand-bys, Thumbling is inconsistent. Too bad too. Because when it’s on, the kitchen makes a very good crab XLB, but when it’s off their noodles seem like they were made for a person who lost her dentures, and their beef rolls makes a taquito seem limp by comparison.

One last one. If you like conchinita pibil, and find yourself in/around City of Industry, look for YucaTortas.

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Hi @ipsedixit,

Ooh, nice finds! :blush:

FishPop sounds amazing. The other places sound interesting as well, thanks for the tip!

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I guess I need to be checking out the Hungry Onion board more than 2x to 3x per year. Nice you see your reviews and finds @ipsedixit @Chowseeker1999. Happy Holidays.

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Hi @js76wisco,

Welcome! :slight_smile: So good to see you here as well.

Will be in Venice Beach most of next week despite the shutdown and am wondering what some take-out best bets could be…and, are the restaurants in Orange County closed for outdoor dining as well?

Hi @coldbeer70,

Yes, they closed down Orange County restaurants for outdoor dining as well.

For Venice, you might consider Gjusta, which has an excellent array of phenomenal Sandwiches (not the boring type, they bake their own bread in-house daily (usually 6 - 8 different types)) such as their Italian (they make their own Charcuterie in-house(!)), Meatball Sandwich, Turkey Sandwich (they roast their own Turkeys daily, and slice meat from it), Porchetta Sandwich, their Falafel Pita is wonderful; Breakfast items (Egg Sandwich, Croque Madame, Mushroom Bowl, Multi-grain Porridge, Multi-grain Waffle (if you can open it and eat it immediately to prevent it from steaming in the to-go box)); and not sure if they are still doing their Smoked Seafood section, but they had the best Smoked Seafood case in the city pre-COVID (they would have a wonderful Lox, Gravlax, cold-smoked Kanpachi, hot-smoked Trout, Smoked Salmon Belly, Oil-Cured Sardines, etc.).

Forma Venice is a solid choice for Italian. Not sure if they are doing Takeout Cocktails, but if they are, they would be well worth it.

The Rose (Venice) is a longtime landmark, but it’s been revitalized by Chef Jason Neroni, and they make some excellent Handmade Pastas. Their other mainstay items are hit or miss, but the Pastas are excellent. :slight_smile:

Southend Pizza is helmed by Pizzaiolo Mario Vollera, who makes some excellent Pizzas in the vein of a California style (Mozza-esque).

If you’re willing to drive ~10-15 minutes or so away into Santa Monica there are some other suggestions I could give. :slight_smile:

Enjoy!

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The seafood case in all its glory. This was from last December though.

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Have you had the Italian since Lett left? I did, and while still good, it wasn’t nearly as good as b/f. :frowning: Salmon was still good. :slight_smile:

+1 on Southend.

@coldbeer70: Ela (Greek hole-in-the-wall; I only went once though), Night + Market Sahm (garishly flavored Thai but entertaining), Cafe Gratitude (is highly entertaining – if it were open for dining – and vegan, if that matters)… Haven’t been to Superba in many yrs, but it was at the time very good (and considered quite a hot spot). Also enjoyed my takeaway from Felix, but you might need to re-heat, and it’s pretty pricey.

How far are you willing to travel? Agree w/ @Chowseeker1999 that Santa Monica is not too far away and also has lots to eat. :slight_smile:

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Thank you all very much! Not an optimal trip west but we’ll make due.

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Hi @paranoidgarliclover,

Yah. I had the Italian twice after Chef Lett left and it was still good. However, the last time we stopped by was awhile ago (just after Gjusta re-opened after COVID-19 first broke out) (I can’t believe it’s been like 8 months or so?!). I remember reading your experience on it after us, so I’m guessing they might’ve had more staff turnover in the kitchen if things aren’t as good as before. Thanks for the updated report. :slight_smile:

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If you want to stick in/around Venice, maybe stop by Röckenwagner and pick up some pretzel croissants, a pretzel board, or one of their housemade “Dear John” TV Dinners.

Also, right on the Venice boardwalk is The Win-Dow, where you can pick-up a very classic burger (and I mean that in the most positive way); sort of like a White Castle burger on HGH and a workout regimen worthy of Arnold (who, of course, grew up as a bodybuilder on the famed Venice boardwalk)

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Depending on how much you wish to drive, how much you want to spend, and whether you’ll have access to a range/oven and pots/pans, several high-end restaurants in LA (some of which are located on the westside) are doing very good (and pricey) take out. Re-heating is required, though.

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I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but all of the takeout I’ve had from LA sit-down restaurants during the pandemic have all just sucked. Like, just sucked balls.

Maybe I need to recalibrate my expectations. But if I am going to be paying sit-down prices (which I do, because that’s why they are charging), then I expect sit-down quality. And, that, I am not getting.

That sounds good…btw we stuffed our turkey once with White Castle burgers.

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And why was I not invited?

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Perhaps? The only disappointment for me was Thanksgiving from Pasjoli (I am seriously considering Connie and Ted’s for X-Mas Eve), and, even then, I can’t say it was truly bad. I very much enjoyed the Dialogue pot pies (which prob why I was ambivalent about the less-than-stellar meal from Pasjoli), Bavel (perhaps the best meal of the lockdown for me), Melisse x Citrin (I still dream about that lobster bolognese and was literally licking the tray lid!). Providence was very good but it didn’t blow me away. The other thing is that the “1” portion from many of these restaurants have been almost enough for 2 decently hungry adults, so I feel like I’m paying less.

I haven’t done anything from Vespertine.

More moderately priced restaurants like Colapasta and Uovo have been fine. The Colapasta lasagna doesn’t travel well, but, again, can’t say that it was bad. The other pastas need a lot of tossing, but I’m okay w/ that, too.

What were the places you tried that stunk? :frowning:

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Off the top of my head, Redbird, Blacksmith, Bavel, Kinjiro, Genwa, and a few others I’m not remembering right now.

I enjoyed our meal from Bavel…it was all the greatest hits from the menu. Hummus, harissa shrimp and lamb neck shwarma…with great vegetables and extra pita. What didn’t you like about your set from Bavel? I’ve also never been to Bavel for in-house dining, though, so that skews my perspective.

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Our salad of chicory and arugula was just too sour and bitter. The hummus had this oft-putting greasy mouthfeel to it and the pita did not taste housemade (which during dine in is one of the true highlights), the lamb shank had no flavor (except for being salty), our prawns were rubbery. Chocolate cake was good, but then it’s chocolate cake so it’s a bit hard to fudge up (pun intended).

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