weary norcal-ian needs recs for friday 19th

Just curious, how would you place Holy Basil against a place like Luv2Eat?

Been yrs since I’ve been to Luv2Eat, and I only went twice? I’m also def not a Thai connoisseur.

Having said that, I would say that they’re quite different. Luv2Eat seemed “down home,” earthy, funky, soulful. Holy Basil is quite a bit more elevated, very “clean” and fresh-tasting. Subtly vibrant.

The two are not really easily compared, IMHO (so try both!).

Holy Basil probably is making the best Central/Bangkok style food in LA. Luv2eat best dish is the Crab Curry/Fish Curry which is Southern.

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Thanks! I will file the Holy Basil recommendation for next time I am in LA. We had the fish curry from Luv2Eat before covid. Yum.


REALLY sad face.

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This, exactly.

Both are good, but offer different experiences.

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I am sorry for not responding earlier, but if I did I would have suggested NAEMO, but alas it is going to be too late if your dining is slated for March 19, tomorrow.

That said, if you want a sort of out-of-the-left-field suggestion, try Birrieria Esquivel and then pickup some alcohol / wine at Ted’s Liquor down the street on Firestone.


I know you were responding to OP, but… too late… to place an order? I haven’t done NAEMO, so not at all aware of the logistics.

Sounds like you’ve tried it and recommend it?

Most definitely.

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Hi @ipsedixit,

Thanks! I was waiting for your thoughts. :wink: Might have to try that soon.

That looks awesome. Would have done that for sure, is high on the list for when I do make it down.

We’ve had a small run of interesting real asian-californian places, notably Maum, and this interview with the chefs is pretty good, spoiler, they worked in LA a lot too., so the article shouldn’t be entirely off topic in this forum.

But they didn’t make it.

There’s another spot called Ettan doing “cal-indian” which has thrived in pandemic times - regular menu not tasting, and they have a very large courtyard, within a block. The concept also worked great because there are a lot of indians in the area with a lot of money so making food that’s upscale by their standards was a very savvy move. It was the kind of place you can take your indian grandmother and she wouldn’t complain about the quality of the food. I would actually say that’s one of the most “socal” from an instagram sense place nearby.

Sigh. See you down south soon, hopefully.

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For a variety of reasons, I didn’t have a dinner in the southland. The flights weren’t at auspicious times, and my flight was delayed anyway. No longer do we have flights every hour on multiple airlines, right. Not there yet.

A friend-of-a-friend’s-mom owns/runs Huge Tree Pastry in Monterey Park, so we went over and had some pastries and got a few supplies at the GW (which puts our local 99 Ranch a bit to shame). I thought the food was quite good. The doughnut was light and crisp, the curry pastry was flakey with good taste, the roll thing with beef and pickles was all it should be, and the price was right — $11 for whatever we had.

It seems it’s not impressive to the locals, being modestly rated on yelp and google, but we had a fine time there — just the kind of place we like. I only wish there were chairs to sit on, instead of literally sitting on pavement leaning up against some kind of utility box.


Huge Tree Pastry is actually quite well regarded by locals – if by locals you mean Taiwanese ex-pats and/or Mainlanders and/or ABC.

I would never use Yelp ratings as a way to gauge a restaurant’s quality, both good or bad. I read Yelp the same way I do horoscopes … for entertainment purposes only.

Glad you enjoyed your meal there, and eating leaning against the side of the wall is just part of the charm. Plus, it helps with digestion.


I been eating Huge Tree Pastry for probably close to 30 years and back when they were more south on Atlantic by what is now Elite. It probably had the smallest dining room in SGV. It has always been regarded as the place for Taiwanese breakfast and is considered a SGV classic.

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This was my impression, as well. Although, since Four Seas is exponentially closer to my parents, that’s where we go.

Whatever restaurant was there in the 1980s was the first place I had guo-tieh. Very happy memories. :slight_smile: Although I don’t recall enjoy going to Ding Hao grocery store next door (except for the almond cookies. Or was that somewhere else nearby?)…

@bbulkow: glad you got a good breakfast at a very LA place. :slight_smile:


Noted re Yelp. I should have said something more subtle. Modest yelp and google ratings can mean a variety of things, including “overly authentic” and “not insta worthy but food to kill for”.

Good to hear I got a decent steer from my friends, and I did like it.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold