Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Cultural Collisions

Can't we all just get along? Maybe this is hopeless optimism, but some of my favourite local restaurants are those where different cultures meet, mix and recombine to produce new dishes. Some of these cultural collisions were created in America, and others arose in their native land e.g. Japanese curry as noted in the comment below. These are quintessential L.A. restaurants - enjoy!

Oki Dog
5056 W Pico Blvd, Mid-Pico, 323 938-4369
Latino chefs, Japanese-American concept, African-American eaters. At some point, Oki Dog's storied history is less important than the giant tortilla filled with two hotdogs, chili, pastrami and gluey American cheese. Nothing is more unhealthy than Oki Dog but it's hard not to like.

Regent Cafe
1411 S. Garfield Ave., Alhambra, 626-289-9398
HK style cafe with Cantonese versions of American food plus chinese dishes and British Commonwealth treats. In a place like this I generally order tongue in corn sauce or suchlike, with coffee and tea mixed together.

Kabob and Chinese Food
11330 Santa Monica Blvd, West LA - (310) 914-3040
Hilarious Persian Jewish versions of Cantonese American food. Not very good, but a real L.A. experience!!! Get Persian rice with your stir fried slop.

2117 Sawtelle Blvd, (310) 477-8385
Sawtelle French Japanese. Expensive but wonderful - try the sweetbreads.

Wa Sushi
1106 N La Cienega Blvd (310) 854-7285 West Hollywood
Insanely good sushi/fusion creations from ex-Matsuhisa chefs. Pricey but stupendous.

1725 Carson St., Suite B, Torrance, 310-787-7344
Torrance izakaya that's the best in town according to my researches. Drink yourself silly but also eat the terrific Japanese bar snacks that are crazy inventive. Grilled tongue and spaghetti swirled around in a giant Parmesan block are highlights. A must-try.

Akane Chaya
1610 W REDONDO BEACH BLVD, (310)768-3939
Japanese Italian, an endlessly amusing fusion in Gardena. Pasta with tobiko/flying fish roe is just the start.

Hurry Curry of Tokyo
2131 Sawtelle Blvd., (310)473-1640 Sawtelle
Japanese "curry" cannot be truly written without inverted commas, but it's still a quintessential comfort food. I usually get croquettes.

Sky's Gourmet Tacos
5408 W. Pico Blvd., 323-932-6253 Mid-Pico
Amusing African American overstuffed tacos with sweet lemonade. Good stuff.

5132 Hollywood Blvd.; (213) 662-1017 Thai Town
Innaresting, Thai food for Latino immigrants on Hollywood strip. Generous servings, a worthwhile cultural collision.

Alaska Seafood Restaurant
1112 Nagoya Way San Pedro, CA 90731 310-547-1961
Actually there are many seafood restaurants down here in Pedro, at the Ports O'Call complex. This one is particularly clean and is run by Koreans so there are non-Mexican items. Fine fine Dungeness crab and excellent camarones al mojo de ajo. Check out the norteno musicians and seaside atmosphere - Ole! for Ports O'Call!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to point out that Japanese Curry isn't really a "collision food" as katsu curry places are *everywhere* in Japan. Hurry Curry is one of the few I've seen in LA, though.

7:44 PM  
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11:38 AM  

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