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Mantee

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WHY For mantee, of course (it’s an Armenian specialty), along with many other Middle Eastern dishes. WHAT This little place serves all the usual suspects, and very well, too (fattoush salad, made with purslane, is terrific; garlicky labne toom is heavenly; lamb kebabs are tender and juicy). But don’t miss the more unusual specialties, such [...]

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The Local Place

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WHY For island-style sweet-salty chicken and plantation-style bone-in chicken, both accompanied by potato-macaroni salad and rice. WHAT Local food, Hawaiian style, means Euro-Asian fusion fare, and this place does it well. It’s ultramodern in looks but owned by the family behind the old-school King’s Hawaiian Bakery next door. 18605 S. Western Ave., Torrance, 310.523.3233 L [...]

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Vegan Glory

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WHY A consistently good vegan Thai-American café with very good fake chicken, fish and meat dishes; pass on the vegan burger in favor of the vegan tacos, three-flavor fish, pad Thai, curries and coconut ice cream. WHAT At this bright and cheerful strip-mall spot near the Beverly Center, the only shortcoming is the lack of [...]

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Gauchos Village

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WHY One of the better-value churrascarias in town, at about $27 per person during the week and $35 on weekends, when sassy dancers entertain the crowd (we prefer the quieter weeknights, which are still not quiet). WHAT It’s a tremendously entertaining scene here, with huge family groups, waiters in gaucho pants carving meat off of [...]

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Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken

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WHY The chicken, of course—whole bird, combo meal or even in an individual pot pie. WHAT The chicken is justly famous, lightly battered and spectacularly juicy. But there’s more to Honey’s than those golden birds. From the freshly squeezed lemonade to the small fruit pies and buttermilk biscuits, a meal in this cream-and-gold dining room [...]

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Shamshiri

Shamshiri Grill

WHY Abundant, interesting and delicious Persian food at low prices. Try the fesenjon, a sort of Persian mole, rich and complex, with pomegranate and walnuts. WHAT The kindly service can be erratic at this Glendale Persian restaurant, but it’s easy to forgive when you taste the food—and even easier to forgive when you pay the [...]

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Hunan Seafood

Hunan Seafood

WHY To spice up your seafood restaurant list. WHAT The Hunan province may be inland, but the restaurant’s name isn’t an oxymoron. The vast Dong Ting Lake and Yangtze River tributaries supply fish, shrimp, frogs and turtle, all of which are on the menu at this modern chrome-and-glass spot. Also here is Chairman Mao’s favorite [...]

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KyoChon Chicken

KyoChon Chicken

WHY They really mean it when they say ‘super-spicy’ fried chicken. Or take a safer route and order the soy-marinated crispy chicken. WHAT It’s fried chicken, but it’s not fast. In fact, they don’t start cooking it at this stylish Korean café until you order it, which can mean a wait of 25 minutes or [...]

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Golden Triangle

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WHY A longtime leader of Burmese cuisine in Los Angeles. WHAT Golden Triangle has for decades been an uptown Whittier stalwart, its Burmese food reason enough to trek to Greenleaf Avenue. And even this long into its existence, enough can’t be said of the spritely ginger salad, earthy tea leaf salad, goat curry with coconut [...]

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The Green Temple

The Green Temple Redondo Beach

WHY Vegetarian and vegan meals in a bucolic garden setting. WHAT The board of changing daily specials at this serene, Buddha-filled indoor-outdoor eatery may offer sweet white corn chowder or a nut-strewn salad. House dressings include balsamic-virgin olive oil vinaigrette and sesame-tamari-lemon. And the delicious house favorites, enchiladas and the kamut spaghetti with a rich [...]

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