NFT Los Angeles Rancho Park/Palms

Rancho Park/Palms

Rancho Park is Beverly Hills without the Chihuahua dyed pink or the U-Haul of baggage. This suburbanesque neighborhood has all the best trappings of small-town America -- lovely houses with nice lawns, a walkable downtown area, and plenty of outdoor space for summer evening activity. And it's nestled between Westwood and Culver City, so if you need a little more action, it's not hard to find.

Start off your day on the links at Rancho Park Golf Course. Be sure to make a tee-time reservation, however, as it's reportedly the busiest in the world. The course is located at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, which also contains tennis courts, basketball hoops, baseball diamonds, and more. Afterwards, get some more exercise fighting for a seat at the legendary Apple PanSee more.

>. Take some time to head across the street to Westside Pavilion for a spot of shopping and a whole lot of people-watching.


This Neighborhood Featured in...
A Burrito in the Haystack: Authentic Mexican Food in LA

By adam c. marshall
A.C. Marshall knows a good tamale when he eats one. Follow him as he wanders the multi-ethnic streets seeking memories of his mother's Mexican cooking.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Noah Albert
Photo:  Noah Albert

Label's Table Deli
This deli has been here since 1974, serving affordable kosher food. Every restaurant and market for blocks around here on Pico is kosher--so you know that they've been doing something right to stay competitive. I had their lox and egg breakfast sandwich and it was a real home run, especially for only $3.25. They treat their customers right here, you can tell because everyone is a regular and has probably been coming here for 20 years (no joke about that, older Jewish people love this place). Other Jewish delis (nearby in Beverly Hills for example) are more well known, but this place is both delicious and authentic. And don't forget about the Party Platters if you want some cold-cuts at your shindig!

Posted By:  Craig Nelson
Photo:  Craig Nelson

Norm's Restaurant
You have a book fair to go set up. Early. On a Saturday. And you're totally hung over. (Damn you Footises!) Life is not looking too good. But along comes Norm's to cheer you up and fill you belly. Start the day with a hearty breakfast of hot cakes and eggs with a bottomless cup of joe, and watch the books sales take off as you burn off the morning calories. In fact you make enough money that you can come back to Norm's the next morning. Mission Accomplished.

Posted By:  adam c. marshall
Photo:  adam c. marshall

The Apple Pan
I recently had someone try to sell me on Fatburger as a classic LA burger. Sweet Jesus. If you're going to go with geographic nostalgia over straight-up quality when ranking burgers, then at least do your research. Finding the regional fast food chain they didn't have in the Bible Belt doesn't make the grade. So let's do a one-shot review of LA Burgers 101. The Apple Pan operates under a "If it's not broke, why fix it?" philosophy--which explains the retro, no-frills presentation. It's Darwin's theory at work amid those hustling for a counter seat, because that's all they've got. And everyone's there for the same thing, as there isn't much of a menu. The Apple Pan does what it does well, and they don't do much else. Burgers, fries, pie and soda. If you're looking for something fancier, you're shit out of luck. So put down the Fatburger, dude, the devil's in the details. My favorites: they pour your ketchup for you before you can even ask for it and serve soda in conical paper cups they rest in little metal pedestals. Love that shit. Stick a pitchfork in me, I'm done.

Posted By:  Bon Vivant
Photo:  Bon Vivant

Next time that you are waiting to turn left onto the onramp of the 10 East at National Boulevard, make a left turn instead into the parking lot of Sabor a Mexico—you’ll be glad that you did; a good meal is the preferred choice to a gridlocked freeway. Sabor a Mexico offers you a little bit of Mexico in an industrial area of Culver City. The basic dishes (chiles rellenos, enchiladas de mole, quesadillas, etc.) are all extremely good but the specialty of the house is the $1 tacos made fresh from the taco cart wheeled out onto the patio on weekend nights. The grilled meats include the de rigueur (though certainly not boring) carne asada, the ever so popular al pastor (marinated pork grilled on a vertical spit), and beef tongue, the crowd favorite. Just add one of their great salsas from the bountiful salsa bar and some freshly chopped onion and cilantro and you are in heaven. Are you a truly adventurous eater? Then you must try one of the chitlin’ tacos (squeeze plenty of fresh lime juice over this interesting variety meat to take away some of the “funk”).

Posted By:  David Horvitz

When I'm on a mission I can't be stopped. If you get in my way I will run right over you. And if I’m on a horchata mission, shit man, you better not be anywhere in my path. I’ll go far and wide to find that delicious, homemade peanut soaked goodness. Two of my favorite spots are Mr. Tamale in East LA and Mama's Hot Tamales in McArthur Park; both have amazing horchata. Some of you might be saying, "What's the difference, a horchata is a horchata." Oh, but there is a difference, there is quality horchata and there is shit. I'm not talking about the powder mixed with water; I'm talking about the real thing. While the two previously mentioned places are great, the third place I will mention is above and beyond all the rest. If you want to go all out, head to Guelaguetza. With 4 locations in LA you’ll never be far from fine Oaxacan cuisine and the most mind-blowing horchata you’ve ever tasted. Think horchata mixed with crushed walnuts, melon, and a sweet red sauce mixed into milky goodness. One taste and you’ll be hooked.

Posted By:  Craig Nelson
Photo:  Noah Albert

The Apple Pan
I’ve been to a lot of old-school diners across this great land. From sea to shining sea, these grease joints have been filling the great (and gigantic) American belly for decades. But few of them can come close to the glory of the Apple Pan. From the brilliant neon sign to the communal u-shaped counter, this place hasn’t changed a bit since 1947. Old guys in paper hats? Check. Simple, greasy laminated menus? Check. Drinks served in paper cones? Check. But most important is the taste and quality of the food. It’s delicious. The hickory burger was truly memorable—drenched in a smoky barbeque sauce. The steak burger was no slouch either. Topped with Tillamook cheddar, it was easily worth the $6.70 price tag. Each burger comes delivered as a work of art—a perfect little package that is easy to eat. And if you’re hankering for dessert, you can order a piece of apple pie (a la mode of course) and a cup of coffee. It doesn’t get any more classic than that. Long live the Apple Pan!

Posted By:  adam c. marshall
Photo:  adam c. marshall

John O'Groat's
If you aren’t aware of my feelings on great breakfast places, then you haven’t read my previous posts. Shame on you. But let’s add a foot note: the diner. There’s a broad history of the classic American diner in the discourse on breakfast places (let’s assume there’s a discourse). But LA really likes its flare. You’ve gotta have a hook. Which is saying something for a city that hasn’t picked up on fruishi yet. But, nonetheless, there’s something to be said for the simple satisfaction of a diner. And that’s why I love John O’Groats. It’s the best of both worlds. From all appearances it’s a diner: simple interior, counter seats, families, a focus on standards. And yet there’s more. Their take on huevos rancheros, Heuvos O’Groats, is reason enough for going. Then there’s the potato cakes, their pancakes with lemon curd, and the box of teas that they proffer you as if you had ordered a Cuban. I just have to hand it to this family-run diner. They’ve combined the feel of a diner with enough culinary flare to merit their place in the LA spectrum. And if you don’t understand my love of diners, well, shame on you.

Posted By:  Jessica Goeller
Photo:  Jessica Goeller

What began in 1975 with a monk, a dream, and a blueberry muffi n, has become a California phenomenon. Sure, you can buy the low fat, fi ber-packed, ultra-good-karma muffi ns at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, but it’s so much more fun to go to the source. The coffee’s better, for one thing. So is the selection. There’s something so Sunday morning about tucking into a about tucking into a cherry turnover and a new-age magazine while watching the world go by on Pico. And even though damn near everything is sugarless, whole-wheat, vitamin-fortifi ed, and organic, it’s delicious nonetheless. The stock is made fresh daily and, except for a few favorites, is constantly changing to make room for the Muffi n Monk’s latest creations. And if the extreme nutrition is a shock to your system, you can always pop across the street to Norm’s for steak and eggs afterward.

Posted By:  Ari Ratner
Photo:  Ari Ratner

Everyone in LA has a favorite deli. Junior’s is mine. This is as close to an authentic New York deli that you can find on the West Coast. They make everything from Matzo Balls to Knishes, and they also have an extensive bakery for breads and pastries. The quality of everything is top-notch and the prices are fairly reasonable prices (certainly better than Jerry’s or Art’s), although not exactly cheap. Try the chopped liver. It’s truly addictive stuff. I don’t even normally like chopped liver, but this stuff keeps me coming back again and again.

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