Spent about 5 weeks in LA/OC (photo dump)

Had to come back home to LA/OC for an emergency. Got to eat and drink some really good places…….

Ba Le in Westminster and Cococane. Best Banh Mi imo in So Cal. Everything is made in house. Cococane is classic and always good.


Needle in Silver Lake is my favorite restaurant atm. Highly recommend you try them out. So good I went twice!

Everything was perfect.

My favorite dishes is the striped bass, char siu, shrimp and scrambled eggs, almond jello, oyster sauce beef, and sweet and sour green beans.

Donut Man. A warm/hot Tiger Tail is where it’s at!

Takeout sushi at Sushi ii. I like hikarimono’s!

Those cookies at Paderia! I like the Po Tats more at Jim’s in MP.

Bun Bo Hue at Ngu Binh and Pandan tofu pudding at Thanh Son.

Blue Bowls.

Smash burger and animal fries at Green Cheek Costa Mesa.

Tire Shop Taqueria, still the best!

Holy Basil is doing the best Bangkok style food.

Mini Kabob. The chickens are so damn good here. Nicest family ever. Best service ever.



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Nice set of meals you had @JeetKuneBao . :slight_smile: Glad you were able to try some of our So Cal favorites again.

Thanks for the reminder to visit Sushi ii again. Love their Hakozushi / Battera. :slight_smile:

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Oliboli Donuts

Bopomofo Cafe Watermelon and Oat milk. Honey Walnut Shrimp Burger. Cheeseburger bao’s at XLB Bar. LOL is it okay to like this?

Steel Pan Pizza at Rodeo 39

Some epic Chili Cheese Fries at George’s in Boyle Heights.

Poke Bang Bang Ali’i and Jus Poke.



@JeetKuneBao Great pix and report! I’m hoping to finally try Mini Kabob after it cools down.

I tried to gather some ppl for a group tasting at Needle, but the price per is too high $$$ so I’ll use your report as a guide and go solo.

Good to know re: Holy Basil and that all the buzz online isn’t hype!

Question: Is Ba Le in OC related to the one in SGV?

They are in some way (family and/or friend) but definitely not the same quality.

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At Mini Kabob definitely get there early if you can and get the eggplant caviar. Do all the chickens……lule, thighs, and cutlets.


Unfortunately a lot of the dishes you see for Needle won’t be around for a new concept.

Holy Basil is so good. It’s honestly the best Bangkok style food in LA. With Northern Thai Food Club and Holy Basil I hope the Thai food trends towards smaller menus with regional specialities.

Needle, Holy Basil, Mini Kabob we’re definitely the highlights!


Fare thee well to Needle in the iteration that we’ve come to know and love. Menu is changing and the only thing remaining is the spectacular almond jello.



Thanks for the pics and thoughts @attran99 . :slight_smile: What were your favorites for this meal?

And did they say why they were changing, or what they were going to do next? Thanks.

Did you get to try Needles dinner?

Sadly, no. We’ll see how this new format works, hopefully a bit more friendly for those that can’t gather 6 - 8 people at at time? Can’t wait to see what it is! :slight_smile:

Needle has been doing Siu Yeh concept(grilled items) for the past month or so. Anyone been?

Mo Ran Gak. Spicy cold noodle. Next time I’ll get the “mul”.

Gaenali Bon Ga. This is one of the best Korean restaurants I been to. Everything was on point. I used to come here weekly when I lived in OC. Highly recommend @js76wisco . I think on the weekend they have complimentary marinated crab for the banchan.

LJ’s Lil Cafe. This might be the best breakfast burrito atm in OC. Got both the OG and Queso.

Tikiyaki. That habanero teriyaki sauce is so damn good.

Cococane still banging!

Very good Viet coffee! I might give the edge to Phin Smith as they a slightly more hazelnut/nutty flavor. Still smooottthhhhh AF.

For some reason I can’t post on the other site. Saying I need to upgrade blah blah. I can’t even locate a login page.

Hello everyone.


Damn that sounds right up my alley, why have I not encountered that anywhere.


Added to my list. Menu reminds me of YeDang.
Nice eating @JeetKuneBao.

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Bear Flag poke

LXSO. Damn!

Mint Mojito. I know it’s overpriced! I know I can get better beans/coffee at that price!


I am so happy……

La Unica is the BEST. Handmade tortillas. Something those redditors at foodnyc don’t understand on why NYC Mexican food sucks. They are using nasty ass tortillas. Just lol at Birrialandia. Come on.

Fried shrimp tacos at Mariscos Jalisco.

Carnitas El Momo. Great carnitas! But those tortillas are a travesty. I don’t know why they don’t make their own. I’ll pay more $. The migajas sold out and that is the best part of carnitas.

Fish tacos at Tacos Baja an East Los classic.

Rainbow umbrella fruit cart.

Passion fruit aqua fresca.

Fresh piping hot churros from Don Abel.

Hope to hit up Tire Shop/Los Poblanos as well.


Needle is on for tomorrow morning.

If you know me from the other site you know that Needle is my favorite restaurant in the world.

I’ll be honest lot of these next gen places in LA and NYC are good but not great. Needle is great. It’s miles ahead. Part of the reason is I think Chef Ryan does all of the prep, and cooking so the quality is high. He might have 1 sous chef. I didn’t see Chef Calvin when I visited Bonnie’s. I thought it was pretty damn overrated for all the accolades. Needle’s char siu vs Bonnie’s “char siu” if you even want to call it that is in complete different leagues.

I know I am ranting a little so I’ll stop.


Best thing at Needle is their housemade buns.

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