RESTAURANTS in Los Angeles|
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NOTICE: This webpage used to get thousands of hits every day until Yelp.com and Urbanspoon.com became popular, then website traffic dropped to nothing. So I will just point to Yelp's website and recommend you use it to find restaurants in your areas.
There are a few open air food places that are interesting. These are like open air food places in foreign countries. The food is good and priced reasonably:
Pondok Kaki Lima - Indonesian Food Bazaar, on Saturdays
Wat Thai Temple, on weekends
Buddhist Temple of Chino Hills, on weekends
COMMENTS ON RESTAURANTS|
If you are going to a buffet, only go when you see a lot of people inside so: you know that the food is being constantly made and refilled, you know that the food hasn't been sitting in the hot trays for long periods of time, and you know word of mouth has spread a favorable reputation for that restaurant. The best buffet times are when the restaurant is filled with customers, the lines are long, and you have to wait for a table. If you go to a buffet and see too many empty seats, no matter how much you want that kind of food, no matter how long you've been wanting to go there, just walk out. A buffet restaurant must reach a "critical mass" of popularity, food quality, and people traffic in order to be enjoyable and worth your time and money.
Los Angeles restaurant guides in newspapers and magazines are usually written by writers who are based in West Los Angeles so they are biased towards the restaurants in West Los Angeles. The writers for newspapers and magazines want to see the restaurants they like that are within their own neighborhoods, be designated as "the best" so that those restaurants get a "hipness" reputation. Unfortunately, those writers ignore all restaurants outside of their own neighborhoods and their newspapers and magazines strongly imply that "there is no culture or class" outside of their exclusive West Los Angeles area. Many times their favorite "best" restaurant in a "hip" area such as Yuca's in Silverlake actually pales in comparison to a restaurant like Uncle Robby's in Montebello. Asian restaurants in West Los Angeles pale in comparison to restaurants in Asian communities - the best Thai food is in "Thai Town", the best Indian food is in "Little India", the best Chinese food is on Valley Blvd between Atlantic and Rosemead Blvds. Real authentic home-styled ethic food is a lot spicier than the very toned down dishes served in areas outside of that ethic neighborhood. In order for an enthic restaurant to compete and survive in an ethnic neighborhood, the food has to be great. The Thai/Vietnamese restaurants in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood, etc., don't come close to Noodle World in Alhambra. I travel all over Southern California so the restaurants I recommend are all over Los Angeles and not biased towards one neighborhood only.
Whenever you go to any restaurant, especially any Asian restaurant, specifically demand that they NOT put MSG (monosodium glutamate) into your food. Let any and all restaurants know that if they use MSG in your food, you will never eat there again and tell your friends about their MSG. Read this US FDA information on MSG.