NFT Travel Guides: French Dip and Goat Stew

Ed Forteau's picture

One of our travel guides partners, Not For Tourists, has several unique offerings for travelers on their website this week. Check out the following highlights from their Los Angeles correspondents this week...




Something for Everyone  By:  Emerson Dameron

El Cid

I love El Cid. I really do. I was ready to punch in my cell number, instead of the 666 Silverlake digits that make the wall phone ring out during some virgin comic's first set, out of devotion and courtesy. Depending (roughly) on which night of the week it is, you get a very different place here. Some nights, it's standup, which, in the interest of full disclosure (and covert self-promotion...shhh!), is what sucked me in, and got me to the point where the waiter knows the first syllable of my first name. Some nights, it's flamenco or salsa dancing, and you're encouraged to clothesline your date. Some nights, it's serious ex-peer-uh-mental thee-eighter. Whenever, it's scene-y in a way that's comforting in eternally status-conscious LA; people show up here as a retreat from something else, something they didn't really want to do, because this is what they'd do in the dark--and they're usually cool, in a way you haven't seen cool recently. It's "under new management" as of late, so don't trust the posted schedule, like, at all.


Taking a Dip Downtown By:  Susan Milam

Cole's French Dip

Cole's made its heralded returned to the LA casual bar dining scene as a competitor to Philippe’s French Dip located in Chinatown--or at least so the LAT would have you believe. Cole's is nothing, nothing like Philippe's--both may claim to be have introduced the French dip sandwich to LA but unless you're writing a book, who really cares? Philippe's is great for a cheap breakfast or a cheap lunch, either of which can be served with beer or wine and eaten in an incredibly busy environment with sawdust on the floor. It's great and I highly recommend it. Cole's is also great but entirely different: very limited menu, four excellent draft beers, what they refer to as their historic cocktails and a wine menu I have yet to explore (I will though, trust me I will). It was very quiet patron wise on a recent Tuesday afternoon, although the overly loud piped in music more than made up for that; hey Cole guys, quiet is not a bad thing. The grilled cheese and tomato soup combo is a tummy filler for just eight bucks. I'll have to take a friend who eats cow before I can report on the dips which are half price between 3 pm and 7 pm.

Order online at


The Architecture of Wilderness  By:  Noah Albert

Mak Center

The Schindler house on King's Road is famous for its sliding screens, concrete slab walls and its new layout of domestic space.  Built in 1922, the house was conceived as a dwelling for two families with a shared "utility room." Four rooms within the private dwelling areas were meant to be assigned specifically to an occupant. Schindler shared the house with a variety of people (first the Chace family, later occupants included Richard Neutra, Edward Weston and John Cage) before his divorced wife Pauline (an original occupant) returned to take up residence in the Chace section in the late 1930's.  Inside the house you are immediately aware of the Yosemite inspiration for this odd home. It really feels like a wilderness camp, with fireplaces everywhere and concrete and wood surfaces to boot. The MAK Center has an office in the original garage--this branch of the Austrian Museum of Applies Arts/Contemporary Art holds openings in the house and keeps it open to the public. Evidently you can't go up into the eccentric open-air sleeping berths on the roof but you can stand on your tippy-toes and try to get a good look.


Hangover Special: Goat Stew By:  Bon Vivant

Tacos Delta

Since the dollar has been devalued as of late, it's been said that the US is the "new" Mexico. On your next stay-cation get the taste and feel of Mexico at Tacos Delta in Silver Lake. What looks to be your average taco shack is actually a hidden gem. Well, it's not really that hidden anymore since Tacos Delta was written up in the LA Times a couple of years ago for having one of the best Mexican breakfasts in the city. Breakfast is not a bad way to go: you can get a big plate of chilaquiles con huevos for less than five bucks. On weekends they serve Birria (a roasted chile based goat stew which besides Menudo is one of Mexico's great cures for a hangover.) Once I asked a cheeky Brit if the Birria tasted funky and he replied, "It depends on how funky you like it, girl!" Hmm, food for thought.


No Snark. Just Good Food. By:  Susan Milam

e 3rd Steakhouse

There is absolutely nothing snarky you can say about e 3rd Steakhouse; I repeat: nothing. We first stumbled in on a silent Tuesday night, told the owner that we had already eaten, yet he still took us on a guided tour of the restaurant (he also owns the Japanese restaurant, Zip, so I would imagine there is not anything snarky you can say about it either). Two weeks later we went back and despite the fact that we were the only folks there, we were treated to service that was cordial and food that was extraordinary--not only was it extraordinary it was half-price. Weekday happy hours everything on the menu is half-price with the exception of certain cuts of meat. We ate entirely from the appetizer menu and each plate yielded yet another palate pleaser--from the avocado tuna that looked like a work of art to the glazed scallops and on to the shrimp on a bed of something I can't remember and the tofu cakes whose exact name I can't remember either; but don't worry, even if you screw up and order something by mistake, I would imagine it would be divine, too. 




Check out their website  - they have free downloadable guides, maps, gear, and of course, the travel guide books. Not to mention, they are pretty funny people. I am always laughing when I visit their site, or read their newsletter.


They also have sections of their guidebooks available for download at only $1.50.


Not For Tourists has offered a coupon for Wandering Educators - please use the coupon code: WE for a 10% discount.