Best Meal of the Trip: Runners up

Had to go to Simi Valley for work at the end of January, so I made the trip a bit longer, and spent both weekends in Los Angeles.  No point in racing home to be in Pittsburgh in February!!  Anyway, it’s always fun deciding on and posting the best meal of the trip; this time since it was a relatively long trip in an area with good restaurants, there were a lot of strong candidates and even the losers are worth a blog post.

First, Baja Cantina:

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It’s right near the Venice Pier.  This is the Enchiladas Suizas, my favorite dish there.

Next is the Plum Tree Inn in Chinatown.  Was a bit disappointed with this one, but the portions are definitely generous.

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Is there such a thing as an upscale hole in the wall?  If so, then Swanya Thai is one.  Excellent, affordable Thai food in a nice little place on Sepulveda near Culver Blvd.  Had the Pad Kee-Mau, like I usually do at Thai places.

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This next place should be honored to be even be mentioned on the losers list.  The first weekend I was there happened to be free museum weekend, and the National History Museum Grill actually makes a surprisingly good burger:

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This next one, I think, is the actual runner up to the winner, which just goes to show a place doesn’t have to be expensive to be good:

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Topper’s Pizza is a chain up in the valley that makes excellent thin crust pizza.  I have never understood why it hasn’t expanded further than it has.  I ate there twice in one week.

Next is Sake 2 Me Sushi, in Simi Valley:

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Pretty good sushi for being on the wrong side of the hills.  Definitely a reasonable lunch spot.

Why would you hide an upscale steak and seafood place in a strip mall?

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I have no idea; maybe the problem is the entire city is an endless grid of strip malls.  But Barton’s Steak and Seafood is pretty good.

For lunch, there’s Green Acres Farm Market:

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They have an outdoor grill that makes reasonable sandwiches.

Lastly, our hosts took us to dinner at Betos Italian Bistro:

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It was quite good, but didn’t win.  I wonder what the owners would think if they knew they got third place after Topper’s Pizza …

The winner deserves a post of it’s own …

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