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Sapp Coffee Shop – Los Angeles, CA

Pad Thai may very well be the most popular and widely consumed Thai dish, but it's the boat noodles that create arguments over where to find the best version. Sapp Coffee Shop is one place that always comes up in the conversation, a small family-run Thai diner of a place located in the corner of a faded strip mall on Hollywood Blvd and Kingsley, just down the street from Harvard & Stone and Jumbo's Clown Room.
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Nozomi – Torrance, CA

My affinity for Japanese food has lead me to the Torrance quite a bit over the last several months. Sure, Los Angeles has both Little Tokyo and Little Osaka (Sawtelle), but Torrance is home to the country's second-largest Japanese population, and with that some truly great restaurants that cater to a much more "regular" crowd. One place that had been on my radar for some time was Nozomi.
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Louie’s of Mar Vista – Los Angeles, CA (Mar Vista)

There’s a lot to like about Louie’s of Mar Vista, a modern take on classic Americana cooking courtesy of Chefs Jim Harris (North End Caffe in Manhattan Beach) and John Atkinson punctuated by dishes like the Kahlua Pig Monte Cristo Egg Roll and Togarashi Bacon Fries.
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Guerrilla Tacos [3] – Los Angeles, CA (Downtown)

In a perfect world I'd be eating Guerrilla Tacos once or twice a week, especially since the menu changes so frequently depending on what seasonal produce Chef Wes Aviles has at his disposal. But given their hours and location in relation to my own schedule I'm forced to play the waiting game for an opportunity to fight through downtown traffic in order to get to the Arts District.
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Carnitas’ Snack Shack – San Diego, CA

What's not to love about a restaurant where carnitas aren't just one of the best items on the menu, but the name of the pet mini pig belonging to owners Chef Hanis Cavin and Sara Stroud. The pair opened Carnitas' Snack Shack in 2011 in San Diego's North Park, quickly becoming a neighborhood fixture and all around must visit destination for serious eaters.
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La Vecchia Cucina – Santa Monica, CA // DineLA 2014

I'm usually good for one Dine LA meal whenever restaurant week invades Los Angeles, but this time around I was ready to pass. That is, until I came across the Instagram posts of fellow food lovers @kungfoodpanda and @limer35 from a meal they had at Santa Monica's La Vecchia Cucina. Off the strength of their pictures I booked a next-day reservation and drove west to plunk down the $35 for three courses.
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Yama Seafood – San Gabriel, CA

Based on outward appearances alone, I can only imagine the number of people who have overlooked (and missed out on) the gem that is Yama Seafood. Hidden in plain sight along Las Tunas Drive in San Gabriel, the well-worn entrance doesn't exactly scream pristine fish.
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Lotus of Siam – Las Vegas, NV

After unsuccessful attempts on previous visits to Las Vegas, I was finally able to land a reservation this time around at the famed Lotus of Siam. There's quite a lot to say about the history and fanfare of the restaurant, a favorite among locals, tourists, celebrities...hell, everyone.
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Han Bat Sul Lung Tang – Los Angeles, CA

Sul Lung Tang is a bare-bones (pun intended) Korean soup ideal for colds and cold weather. Its origin can be traced back to the Joseon Dynasty under the rule of King Seonjong, who asked his people to come up with dishes that could feed large numbers of people with minimum ingredients.
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