What Eastside and Westside restaurants are worth crossing town for? KCRW's "Great Eastside Westside Throwdown" includes Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold's recommendations. He tells Evan Kleiman on her show "Good Food" exactly where to trek to.
But first, the perennial question -- what is the dividing Westside-Eastside line?
Says Gold: "I've always assumed the dividing line between east and west was the Los Angeles River. Because once you cross the river things are radically different. It's not that they're a little different or they're taking influence from one New York chef as opposed to another New York chef, it's that instead of having Mexican restaurants that are appealing to a non-Mexican crowd you get Mexican restaurants catering to a Mexican crowd, you get Chinese restaurants where the chefs are cooking for Chinese."
And his Eastside and Westside picks are:EASTSIDE
"If you were to get on the 10 and make that grand trek east you'd be very happy if you ended up at Elite restaurant in Monterey Park, which has fantastic dim sum in the mornings and afternoons and then at night it turns over to the quite elegant Cantonese Hong Kong-style seafood house."
Elite, 700 S. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park, (626) 282-9998, www.elitechineserestaurant.com.
"In the same sort of elegant vein, Shanghai No. 1 Seafood ... has sort of spectacular Shanghai-style cooking."Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village, 250 W. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, (626) 282-1777.
"I'm always telling people to go to Javan Persian restaurant, which has a really good selection of Persian stews as well as the kebabs and the rice dishes and such. I think that you'd probably be happy if you were driving there from Rowland Heights.... It's very close to the 405."
Javan, 11500 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 207-5555, www.javanrestaurant.com.
"For another kind of food, the Tasting Kitchen on Abbot Kinney. Abbot Kinney is a great street for somebody on the Eastside who wants to come to the Westside; there's a lot of choose from."
Tasting Kitchen, 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 392-6644, www.thetastingkitchen.com.
"Or you could go to the new Rose Avenue restaurant scene and go to Superba, which has very nice Italian food and a patio."
Superba Snack Bar, 533 Rose Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 399-6400, www.superbasnackbar.com.
Bonus random Eastside tip: "There's a great gastropub in the Lincoln Hotel in Monterey Park just off Garvey that serves taco fries and char siu tacos. It's just a great place. A lot of Japanese beer."
Lincoln Plaza Hotel, 123 S. Lincoln Ave., Monterey Park, (626) 571-8818, www.lincolnplazahotel.net.