Sunday, March 9, 2008

Kids Eat the Darndest Things

As a proud father of two and a committed eater, I've never been one to let kids cramp my eating style. Between loving to eat and not wanting to pay for babysitting, we started taking our older daughter (now 6) out with us almost everywhere we went. It may seem silly to some to take a three year old (her age at the time) to Valentino, but it's actually a lot cheaper than babysitting.

Between going out with us and living in a the multi-cultural world of Koreatown (kim bap is her favorite lunch snack), our daughter has developed quite the palate (our younger one is still an infant so her tastes are limited to strained this and that). At age six, she regularly eats things that I hadn't even heard of until I was in college.

She's wanted to be on the blog for a while, so I told her to come up with her top ten favorite restaurants in LA. The initial comments are hers, while the bracketed comments are mine.

1. NBC Seafood
404 S Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754-3279
(626) 282-2323

1. Ocean Star
404 S Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754-3279
(626) 282-2323

You can try something sweet or something savory and you can always experiment if you see something that looks good. And the other thing is that you get to taste millions of delicious things without getting too full.
Favorite Dishes: Pork Buns, Cream Buns.

[There is probably no more kid friendly type of cuisine than dim sum. The palaces are chock full of kidlets of all sizes and so loud that a child could have a screaming tantrum and no one would notice. Plus the cart service makes for a fun time. I prefer NBC, but she couldn't decide between there and Ocean Star and so made it a tie.]

3. El Torito Grill
9595 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

I like seeing the fresh tortillas being made.
Favorite Dishes: taquitos, spare ribs, steak nachos, quesadillas, corn cake.

[I've had to come to terms with my daughter's love of this southwestern incarnation of the El Torito chain in Beverly Hills. I order one of the weak margaritas, generously butter my tortillas and do my best. Over time, I've even come to like the little blue shrimp taquitos.]

4. Mastro’s Steakhouse
246 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

I like the Macaroni & cheese…the creaminess, the cheesiness and the deliciousness. And I like to get bites of other people’s meat.

[We only took her here once for a big family birthday, but she immediately took to it and has been bugging us to take her back ever since.]

5. Atlacatl
301 N. Berendo St.
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 663-1404

I like the turkey sandwiches [pan con pavo]. I like the moistness of the bread of the juice the turkey is dipped in and the yummy hot turkey.

[Atlacatl is not my favorite Salvadoran place, but it's close and also kid-friendly.]

6. Yai on Vermont
1627 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 644-1076

Favorite Dishes: Pad See Ew with pork or chicken. Roasted Pork with Chinese Broccoli.
What she likes about them: The noodleyness and the porkyness.

[Kids and noodles of any ethnicity, a match made in heaven].

7. La Pupusa Loca
5716 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 957-2967

Favorite Dishes: Pupusa Revuleta [pork, cheese and beans].
I like the yumminess of the pork and tortilla mixed together.

8. Noshi Sushi
4430 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004-1802
Phone: (323) 469-3458

Favorite Dishes: Tamago (Egg sushi), Unagi sushi and rolls. I like seeing the things made.

[This is a popular neighborhood joint on Beverly Boulevard. The prices are right but the sushi is pretty basic. I'm not sure what makes it a huge draw with a line on most weekends. This was actually her birthday dinner choice for the last two years.]

9. Fassica
10401 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 815-8463

I like the injera’s texture, like kind of doughy and mushy, kind of. I love eating with my fingers.
Favorite Dishes: The Fassica Special.

[She immediately took a liking to Ethiopian. Like she says, you can eat it with your fingers. What's not to like?]

10. Lucky Devil's
6613 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 465-8259

I like the cheesiness of the macaroni and cheese and the delicious cobbler with frozen custard.

[The picture is a LD's slider. She likes the delicious Kentucky Cream Cake for dessert (and she's little) so she hasn't been affected by the milkshake shrinkage].

Runners Up:

Astro Diner
Bay Cities Deli
Dumpling Master
Mssr. Marcel's
Square One

Next Wednesday: Her favorite whiskies (okay, maybe not)


D said...

I thought she was more of a cognac girl.

Your six year old writes above the level of most Evergreen State College Juniors.

Bon Vivant said...

Your daughter has excellent taste! When I was her age, Barragan's was one of my favorite restaurants - it was only two small rooms back then.

sku said...

BV, that's funny. Barragan's must speak to kids. She loves Mexican, as is probably evident from the amount of Mexican places on here.

Dr. Whisky said...


Hey, who was it that blogged about his daughter developing a brilliant nose for malt? Was that you? I can't remember.

Kid's got taste! pork and melted cheese feature prominently... you can't go wrong with a high factor of "porkyness" and cheesiness. Delish.

This blog never fails to make me hungry.

sku said...

Hey Doc. That was Kevin on Scotchblog. I should clarify for my family who read this, my daughter doesn't taste or nose anything stronger than milk.