I read Scott’s post and just as he predicted, I felt compelled to write my own Top 5 list. These restaurants are in no particular order, it was like choosing which child was my favorite.
Gaby’s Mediterranean – 10445 Venice Blvd
Gaby’s is a local chain, with locations in Mid-City, West LA and Marina Del Rey. I really love Mediterranean food and Gaby’s serves up the best I’ve had in LA. I had a negative takeout experience here once and I was so upset at having to drive back and forth correcting my order that I vowed never to return. The food is too good, I can’t stay away.
Beverly Falafel – 8508 W 3rd St
I’m a sucker for healthy takeout. I found myself in the parking lot for Beverly Falafel and was lured in by the sign advertising healthy kabobs. Everything this restaurant serves is delicious, a sentiment shared by my father and brother, both real elitists when it comes to food of this region. Free lentil soup, fresh warm pita and the tastiest chicken you’ve ever tasted.
Bossa Nova – 7181 W Sunset Blvd
Bossa Nova is open until 4am every day of the week. I’m an insomniac, so you cannot beat the convenience factor of a full service restaurant with those hours. They kick things off with warm foccacia and the good times just keep rolling. My favorites are the bruschetta and the Penne Arrabiata. If you go at lunchtime there is a price break, and even with my big appetite, I always have enough for two meals at this joint.
Thai Victory – 11736 Victory Blvd
Thai Victory is actually in North Hollywood, but it’s in the 30 mile zone that constitutes the LA metropolitan area so I’m throwing it in there. My all-time favorite Thai restaurant is Silk Thai in Huntington Beach, but I’ve tried probably two dozen Thai places in LA without liking a single one enough to come back. That all changed with Thai Victory. I don’t make it out to the valley that often, but if I’m anywhere near North Hollywood (read Burbank, Van Nuys, hell even Glendale), I’ll make it a point to stop into this gem.
California Chicken Cafe – 6805 Melrose Ave
Affectionately known as “CCC”, I’ve been a patron of the California Chicken Cafe for years. A great value, pretty much anything on the menu is healthy and I don’t feel like a slob after eating. They have the tastiest balsamic vinegar, I’m always tempted to steal some. With convenient locations in Venice, Westwood and Hancock Park, CCC is definitely one of my favorite spots in LA.