La Buca (Melrose west of Wilston): Best gnocchi I've had. Beautiful soft pillows of pasta, so different from the hard little pebbles I've been served at other places. They were delightful with the pink fumé sauce which had onions, bacon and cheese.
Fassica (Washington Blvd, across from Sony in Culver City): Forget Ford's Filling Station or all the other new yuppie food temples in Culver City. When I'm there, usually after a trip to Surfas, I can't not stop at Fassica, a small Ehiopian place across the street from the giant Sony Pictures complex. Fassica is the best Ethiopian I've had in LA, beating out anything on Fairfax. The problem with some Ethiopian places is that the dishes have a certain sameness - a parade of different color lentils with the same spicing. Not so at Fassica, with its clear, crisp flavors and high quality ingredients. Get the Fassica special, a combo of eight different dishes. The lentils are great, the sauce on the doro wot (stewed chicken) has the color and consistency of black molé with a sharp, slightly spicy flavor. I always add a side of shiro, the smooth, rich sauce made from powdered roasted chick peas. And the injera is soft, thick and spongy with a perfect sour taste. Much better than the afterthought that is injera at many of LA's Ethiopian spots.