Los Angeles – Dining

Here are a few suggestions of places we have enjoyed in Los Angeles.

The Original Pantry Cafe. They are open 24/7 and have been for decades. The decor inside hasn’t changed either. It is out of another era. You almost feel like they could use it for a set in a movie set in the 1940s.  It is at Figueroa and 9th St. near the Staples Center. It has been open continuously since 1924.

It is basically a traditional American diner. The food is good but not spectacular. It is standard fare and large portions. You can get breakfast items any time of the day, but also sandwiches, steaks, chops and other items. It is definitely worth the experience. But it can get crowded at times with a line  outside. Also, cash only, no credit cards.

Syrup Desserts. If you like breakfasts like crepes and Belgian waffles or a variety of desserts, this is the place to come. It is on Spring St. in downtown Los Angeles. My mouth starts drooling just thinking about the place. Highly recommended.

Avila’s El Ranchito – If you are in the mood for good Mexican food this is a good place to go. It is in Huntington Park on Santa Fe Ave. It is large inside so a large group is not a problem. The nacho chips they bring out when you come in are freshly made and delicious. Just about everything there is delicious. The burritos, the tacos, the fajitas were all excellent. Of course, the margaritas went down easily as well.

Messhall Kitchen – It is on Los Feliz Boulevard near Griffith Observatory. The first thing about it is the ambiance. It has a modern design and is very light  and open. It is also well landscaped and you feel like you are eating outdoors almost. Everything was delicious and presented with style and panache. The smoked corn fritter appetizers were tasty.

Bottega Louie – It is in downtown Los Angeles on Spring St. If you have made a New Year’s resolution to not eat sweets, don’t come here, you will be sorely tempted. There is a full restaurant, but along one wall are display cases of an amazing assortment of pastries. So in addition to the diners, there are many people coming in just to purchase the pastries. (It is separate enough that it is not distracting.) We went in mostly for the sweets after dinner elsewhere. The food we saw being served looked good and we heard positive comments. The pastries were good although some were very impressive to look at but only OK in the taste department.

Wokcano – Downtown Los Angeles on 7th St. It has Asian fusion food and also very good sushi. They have at least 5 other locations in the Los Angeles area. It had an Asian feel to the decor and was subdued lighting, almost dark inside. The food was very tasty, but it has been a while and can’t remember specific details on this one.

Portos Bakery & Cafe – Brand Boulevard in Glendale – There are two other locations as well. It was started by a Cuban family who had almost nothing when they arrived and over time have grown it into a chain of 3 successful restaurants. It is a great place for a brunch but it is packed and finding a table to sit at can be challenging. The food though is very tasty and it was interesting to try the Cuban specialties which were very good.

La Brea Bakery – We just stopped here on the way between two things when we got hungry. The sandwiches were very tasty. Later found out that it has a great reputation for artisanal breads