One great thing about Los Angeles is all that amazing food that’s on offer. I always feel like the Bay Area is so far behind LA when it comes to food trends and such.
So when in LA, it’s important to do lots of eating.
Of course we were also there for Universal Studios but that’s another story.
Mama Lu’s Dumpling House in Monterey Park
153 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park
Confusingly, there are two Mama Lu’s close to each other. You want the one on East Garvey, not West. They’re known as a dumpling house but personally I thought the dumplings were just average. Instead, their other cooked dishes were really tasty (and cheap). We had beef chow fun, pork ribs with Peking sauce, garlicky pea sprouts, salted fish vermicelli and more.
Also, please don’t ask me about Singapore noodles, which sadly, yes, this place offers. Singapore noodles may exist around the world, but we Singaporeans do not eat vermicelli with curry powder. So please don’t go to Singapore and expect Singapore noodles!
5273 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
We were staying at a lovely vacation rental in the Hollywood Hills, and not far from there is Thai Town. I’d never been before and was pretty excited as I LOVE Thai food. A friend had recommended a place but we were unable to find parking close by. But we did grab a street lot outside Thai Patio, which is located in a small strip mall full of other Thai eateries. Ruen Pair has lots of great reviews and 4 stars on Yelp but there was a wait so we decided to just try Thai Patio which had open tables. But I figured that whatever we ate at Thai Town would probably be better than anything in our own city, which has a few Thai restaurants, but nothing like this.
These fish cakes were the spiciest I have ever had, and they were really good!
The papaya salad was nice and refreshing. I would have preferred it more spicy but we had to keep it to medium heat for my in-laws’ sake.
Tom Kha (like Tom Yum but with coconut milk)
5271 Hollywood Blvd
Next door was Bhan Kanom Thai, which specializes in Thai desserts. I really wanted to come here after seeing that they have Khanom Buang, a crispy pancake filled with coconut cream and grated coconut.
It was crispy and coconut-ty and so delicious. The last time I had this was in Bangkok and that was years ago, so I was delighted to be able to eat this again.
125 N Western Ave, Los Angeles
Woah the spiciness level here is high. We ordered the octopus galbi stew with a level 3 spiciness and it was definitely spicy. I don’t think I could go to a level 4 and eat it comfortably…but it was just really tasty (and still spicy) at level 3.
This was probably the first Korean restaurant I’ve been to that didn’t serve kimchi, instead there was pickled cabbage that wasn’t spicy. How odd.
After you’re mostly done with the stew, they will make a fried rice with your remnants! You can add vegetables or cheese. Of course we had to pick cheese. It was so tasty!
Exploring the nearby Korean supermarket – a banchan bar!
450 S Western Ave, Los Angeles
On our last night, we headed back to Koreatown, this time for soba. I’ve only eaten soba at Japanese restaurants so was curious when I found this Korean soba place.
Everyone ordered a cold soba and I wanted to try one hot one just to see what the soup would be like. So this is the mackerel with hot soba.
Tempura cold soba was refreshingly delightful. Unlike Japanese soba where you are given the dip on the side, this soba was immersed in the cold broth. It was really very tasty.
Don’t worry, they also have udon and ramen if that’s what you prefer. Turns out Mimimyunga is the first US outpost of a Korean chain.
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