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Delicious Deals: More budget-friendly restaurants

The Find: Himalayan Cafe in Old Town Pasadena

Himalayan Cafe in Old Pasadena climbs to new heights with Nepalese cuisine: The Find

The Find: King's Burgers/Got Sushi?

Take one burger joint and add sushi and a chef whose imagination runs wild — it's a recipe for greatness. The place offers everything from pastrami to sashimi to Asian American-inspired fast food.

The Find: Afghan Express in Gardena

All the flavors of the Silk Road merge in the Afghan specialties tantalizing diners at the Shinwaris' restaurant, where the

The Find: Taste of Chong Qing in San Gabriel

At the Taste of Chong Qing in San Gabriel, Sichuan fish, meat and vegetable dishes can be spicy and delicate, sometimes at the same time.

The Find: Gish Bac

At Gish Bac in L.A., David Padilla and Maria Ramos' eatery specializes in goat and lamb barbecue and mole sauces.

The Find: Jun Won's farm-fresh Korean cuisine

Owner Jung Ye Jun blends fresh produce and fish with her authentic seasoning.

Coffee in L.A.: Above and beyond a cup of joe

A new wave of Los Angeles-area cafes is brewing up more distinct flavors with a variety of old and new techniques. The result? A jolt to a caffeine culture steeped in ho-hum tastes.

The Find: Huge Tree Pastry in Monterey Park

At Huge Tree Pastry in Monterey Park, breakfast gets a tasty Taiwanese spin in a diner-like setting.

The Find: Del Tomate, a tasty Argentina-Italy hybrid

Guillermo and Susana Giacobbe's cross-cultural cuisine is a good fit for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and their dessert case is not to be missed.

The Find: Chimú in downtown L.A.

Mario Alberto and Jason Michaud's Chimú, a walk-up in the Grand Central Market's courtyard, is the right restaurant for L.A.'s Peruvian moment.

The Find: Kabab Grill in Palms

In Los Angeles' Palms district, Kabab Grill excels at

The Find: Coffee Tomo in West L.A.

A cuppa joe and a pretzel? You bet. Coffee Tomo, off Sawtelle in West L.A., can give you the odd pairing of a Japanese-style cappuccino and a red bean and cheese pretzel. Or a Modern art waffle.

The Find: Valley India Cafe

Valley India Café in the San Fernando Valley specializes in southern India cuisine with a little heat and even some meat.

The Find: Namastey India

Namastey India, a small restaurant tucked away in an ethnic grocery store in Buena Park, boasts an owner-chef who prides himself on from-scratch recipes and freshly prepared dishes.

The Find: Habayit Restaurant

Habayit Restaurant, a tiny nondescript Israeli restaurant in West Los Angeles, takes the falafel to new heights.

Brian Huynh's taste of northern Vietnam

Chef Brian Huynh retains a strong Chinese influence while maintaining the lightness and clarity of Vietnamese food.

The Find: Mother Dough Pizza in Los Feliz

Bez Compani's obsessive attention to details pays off deliciously at his Mother Dough Pizza on Hollywood Boulevard, which specializes in Neapolitan style pies.

The Find: Jangchung-Dong Wong Jokbal in Koreatown

Jangchung-Dong Wong Jokbal in Koreatown will thrill pork junkies in search of

The Find: La Cocina del Camaguey

This tiny Palms takeout joint specializes in the soulful comfort foods of Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

The Find: Shawarma Palace

The West Los Angeles restaurant Shawarma Palace delivers an Israeli interpretation of the popular meat on a spit. The secret to all that deliciousness? The saucy marinade.

A fuller flowering of Salvadoran flavors

Salvadoran cuisine in Los Angeles: It's not just about the pupusa. A new wave of restaurants, including some in the San Fernando Valley, is revealing a wealth of regional dishes.

The Find: Jasmine Mediterranean Restaurant in Anaheim

Jasmine Mediterranean in Anaheim continues a century-old family business of delicious Syrian dishes.

The Find: Flavors of Belize

The long revamping is finally over. A small, polished restaurant with Mayan motifs and a new kitchen dishing up dishes from Belize emerges.

The Find: Krua Siri in Thai Town

The hidden Thai delights of Krua Siri open up if you do a lot of coaxing, prodding and please-oh-pleasing.

The Find: Habuya in Tustin

Pork is king at the Tustin eatery specializing in Okinawan cuisine.

The Find: Taco Asylum in Costa Mesa

At Taco Asylum in Costa Mesa, Gallic, Indian and Greek influences are among the many fillings that make each taco an adventure.

The Find: Guisados in Boyle Heights

At Guisados in Los Angeles' Boyle Heights, homey stews and braises are made into tacos or tamales. This is a new location from Ricardo Diaz of Cook's Tortas.

The Find: Ramen Yamadaya in Torrance

Ramen Yamadaya in Torrance specializes in

The Find: OShan Island

OShan Island's Hainan chicken is a contender for San Gabriel's best, and cook Mei Li's curry-making skills are notable.

The Find: Chili Chutney in Lake Forest

The new Afghan restaurant in Lake Forest, Chili Chutney, serves up a broad range of Afghan dishes. And its chutney is memorable.

The Find: Asal Bakery & Kabob in Woodland Hills

At the heart of every meal is warm

The Find: Little London Cafe

Order savory meat-and-rice dishes off the secret Kalimantan menu and be transported to Indonesia.

The Find: Zait & Za'atar and Wraps Xpress

The Orange County restaurants make manakeesh — herb- and meat-topped flatbreads — and other eastern Mediterranean dishes accessible to the masses.

The Find: Churros Calientes

A food item often hawked by theme park vendors is elevated at this small Venezuelan cafe next door to Laemmle's Royal Theatre. Its organic-leaning menu is worth sampling too.

The Find: Beijing Pie House in Monterey Park

Beijing Pie House serves a dozen meat- and vegetable-filled pies, called

The Find: Cafecito Organico

Founder Angel Orozco and his baristas use organic beans and exacting brewing methods.

The Find: El Mesόn Criollo

Antojitos Latinos' owner has added a full-scale restaurant down the street in Van Nuys, where fans can savor

The Find: Bruxie remixes the Belgian waffle

Bruxie sets up shop in Old Towne Orange with Brussels-style Belgian waffle sandwiches for those with a savory or sweet tooth.

Gamja-Gol does a great gamjatang

The Koreatown restaurant Gamja-Gol specializes in the rustic, spice-laden soupy stew called

The Find: Jeff's Gourmet Sausage Factory

The Pico-Robertson eatery serves a wide variety of kosher hot dogs and cured meats. Highlights include a spicy boerewors sausage and an old-fashioned pastrami sandwich special.

The Find: El Pollo Imperial

The Peruvian restaurant livens up an old KFC space in Long Beach. And yes, you can get lomo saltado, parihuela and seco deo cordero from the drive-through.

The Find: Tom Yum Koong

The Westminster restaurant's chefs bring together two distinct Southeast Asian cuisines: Thai and Laotian.

The Find: In new territory at Omar's Restaurant in San Gabriel

The restaurant's Uighur cuisine is a mesh of Chinese elements and Central Asian nomad cooking. Mutton kebabs and a Xinjiang meatloaf sandwich are among the highlights.

At Ice Pan, the next generation of ice cream

Workers at the West Hollywood ice cream store blend, freeze, chop and pound out each order while you watch.

The Find: Dat Thanh in Westminster

The 4-month-old restaurant's spring rolls compare favorably to Brodard's. The difference is in the details, including the dipping sauce that takes six hours to prepare.

The Find: Red Chili Pakistani and Red Chili Express

The main restaurant sets itself apart with the seasonings in its traditional Pakistani dishes. The nearby fast-food offshoot is a halal gastropub for the younger crowd.

The Find: Tara's Himalayan Cuisine

Tara's Himalayan Cuisine in Woodland Hills reflects the owner's love of regional delicacies and skill with vegetables.

The Find: Green Zone

San Gabriel's organic eatery has steadily gained fans with its Vietnamese-Chinese favorites as well as Italianate and Japanese-style specialties.

The Find: Western Soondae and Moobongri Soondae

Koreatown's newest soondae restaurants add Korean blood sausage to stews, soups, appetizer platters.

The Find: La Huasteca in Lynwood

Chef Rocio Camacho, who made her mark at Moles La Tia, is focusing on pre-Columbian cuisine.

The Find: Mottainai Ramen

The Gardena restaurant Mottainai Ramen uses the most modest of ingredients to make its savory noodle soups.

The Find: Merry's House of Chicken

Classic Javanese cooking is the specialty at this Indonesian restaurant. Highlights include ayam goreng kremesan, ayam kalasan and nasi bungkus.

The Find: Front Page Jamaican Grille

The tiny Inglewood restaurant may serve the L.A. area's best goat dishes. The jerk chicken, oxtails and red snapper are also perfectly seasoned and cooked.

The Find: Lum-Ka-Naad

Northern and southern Thai dishes provide a burst of flavor in this Northridge restaurant.

The Find: Uyen Thy Bistro in Westminster

Breakfast is especially good at the French-Vietnamese restaurant named for the host of a Vietnamese cooking show on the Saigon Broadcasting Television Network.

The Find: El Bolivar in Chatsworth

At El Bolivar in Chatsworth, family recipes and meticulous preparation result in refined, subtle Colombian dishes.

The Find: 85C in Irvine

The Taiwanese chain finds a following with its sweet and savory Asian pastries and breads, and high-end coffee.

The Find: Sattdown Jamaican Grill in Studio City

Chef-owner Tony Hyde adds his own inventive twists to Caribbean-style cooking.

The Find: Olive Tree in Anaheim

Olive Tree restaurant in Anaheim explores the underserved and overlooked regional recipes of Palestine, Jordan, Syria and elsewhere.

The Find: Itz Kosher in Studio City

The restaurant offers Israeli-Moroccan cuisine

The Find: Eatalian Cafe

Owner Antonio Pellini offers pizzas, pastas and more

The Find: Manja

Malaysia native Shera Allen takes from-scratch home cooking to a refined new level.

The Find: Mofongos Comida Caribena

Specialty of NoHo eatery is mofongo, a mash of fried plantains, garlic and pork or chicken cracklings.

The Find: Oumi Sasaya noodle house in Lomita

The restaurant is dedicated to simple rituals of service that reflect its meticulous Kansai-style noodling.

The Find: Mama Fina in Bellflower

From the kitchen of this Bellflower restaurant comes home cooking, Dominican style:

The Find: Nosh Cafe

This homey diner set amid the bustling port city's downtown district brings an Australian flair to simple fare.

The Find: Mapo in L.A.'s Koreatown

Soups, handmade noodles and Mom’s daikon recipe make Mapo restaurant a standout.

The Find: Casa Don Rolando -- Cuban the way it's made back home

The North Hills restaurant turns out flawless dishes in an old hacienda setting. It’s Cuban cooking the way it’s done back home.

The Find: Moqueca, the spirit of coastal Brazil

Brazilian cuisine that’s focused on seafood rather than beef helps bring the spirit of coastal Brazil to Channel Islands Harbor.

The Find: House of Kabob in Orange County

The Lake Forest eatery, which has expanded with a second location in Irvine, expertly prepares exacting Persian classics in generous portions.

The Find: Ngu Binh in Little Saigon

Subtle textures are the rule here. It’s no wonder Vietnamese locals keep going back, even with an hour-long lunch wait.

The Find: A garden of neo-Shanghai delights

At Yu Garden, chef Bin Hu skips Shanghai cuisine’s notoriously complex dishes and focuses on a lighter style: pumpkin soup, julienned pork, house-made wontons and loads of great choices for vegetarians.

The Find: The Slaw Dogs in Pasadena

The Slaw Dogs is reimagining the humble hot dog with offerings such as a chicken Caesar salad dog, a Thai slaw dog and a Oaxacan dog.

The Find: Magic Wok in Artesia

This is Filipino food the way mom makes it. You like pork dishes? Welcome to hog heaven.

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