Great ethnic food in LA?

I’m going to spend the week before Christmas visiting a friend in Los Angeles. I’d like to take the opportunity to try some great ethnic food that we don’t have up here in the Pacific Northwest. We have great, authentic, Mexican food and Thai, and I never eat Italian food out. Otherwise, I’m open to everything. I love Indian food and haven’t eaten good Indian food since I left California. I’ve had Moroccan food, Vietnamese, and Korean. I’d like to try something like… Ethiopian. Or… Russian, or… well, I’m not sure what else is available. Guatemalan? Ecuadorean? Peruvian? New Guinean?

She has a good Dim Sum place and Cuban in mind.

Any other good ideas? She lives in Pomona, and we’ll be visiting the Natural History Museum, going to San Diego one day, possibly La Brea and the LA County Museum of Art, Griffith Park, and the Zoo–I don’t mind traveling some for a new experience, but that should give you ideas of the areas we’ll be in.


Aladdin’s in Long Beach has great MidEastern food, and there’s a fantastic Persian restaurant on Santa Monica Blvd that I can’t recall the name of.

Bombay Cafe on Pico near Bundy. Absolutely incredible. Be sure to get the chutney sampler.

For Ethiopian, there’s Merkato on Fairfax a block or two south of Olympic.

There is an excellent Peruvian-style chicken place called Pollo A La Brasa on Western and Eighth.

For Indian, go to Gate of India on Sunset and Fuller. By far the best Indian food I’ve ever had.

If you want to have more Korean, I would strongly recommend Prince at 3198 W Seventh Street (several blocks off the intersection of Wilshire and Vermont, IIRC).

I’ve never been to LA, but understand that it has a large Iranian population, so I would assume that good Iranian/Persian restaurants should be available.

Eeee, I love the Bombay Cafe too.

Los Angeles is very likely the most ethnically diverse city in the world, if not in the history of the world, and you can get just about any kind of food imaginable (often delivered to your door). There are, for example, literally thousands of Thai restaurants in the L.A. metropolitan area—ethnic food is everywhere. So I recommend just showing up, picking a neighborhood to explore (say, Fairfax/Little Ethiopia), and hitting the pavement. More fun that way.

Versailles for Cuban.


I find this claim very dubious, to say the least. Have you travelled around London at all?

There is also Cambodian food available in Long Beach. I haven’t been there in a few years, but I’d suggest it.

Yup, and there’s even London food in LA :smiley:

Yes I have. L.A. is more diverse.

Oh yeah? In London we have LA restaurants, and inside them there are little London restaurants to make it even more authentic! How’d you like them apples?

Yes. Ethiopian food as really great.


I used to live ‘around the corner’ from the one on Venice. Great place.

Do try the roast pork!

In over 10 years of traveling to he PNW I have yet to find a Mexican Restaurant there that can hold a candle to the little Mexican food joints that are all over Southern California. Believe me I have looked. There is nothing worse that to be jonesing for some great Mexican food and not being able to find it.
If you like steak, may I suggest you find an Argentinean restaurant. Great stuff. Gaucho Grill is one (upscale) chain.
Here is a huge listing of ethnic restaurants with reviews.

Or go for the half chicken cooked with lime juice, fried plantains and black beans & rice. Yum!

Doubt all you want, but there are little enclaves that charmingly forgive my torturing their language and serve the most incredible food imaginable. My favorite place, the nieces all wait tables and aunts and uncle run the kitchen, grandma presses tortillas. The cook, Jaime, travels routinely back to Michoacan for tequila and chiles.
He made our wedding cake, a pastel de tres leches, with pink writing that said “Hapy Wedding”. People said it was the best cake they’d ever eaten.
You just gotta look around. Yum.

Hey, thanks everybody! Bombay Cafe and Versailles will definitely be added to the list.