Parking Lot Prospector: Taco Burgers at Rick's; Chinese Peruvian at El Rocoto

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Photo: JLastras via Flickr

If you've been reading Grub Street's Celebrity Settings feature, by now you know better than to trust celebrities for your dining recommendations. L.A. is filled with great finds, often smaller restaurants that are far-flung or hidden right under your noses. Take a look at the regional and unique specialties recently recommended at these diamonds-in-the-asphalt by SoCal food writers in our new Parking Lot Prospector column:

Garden Grove: Vietnamese "Hue-ish fast food" with crab and shrimp mi quang and "unremarkable" nem hue and cha hue at Tay Thuong. 9904 Westminster Ave. Garden Grove. [Sino Soul]
Gardena: Banana leaf-wrapped Peruvian chicken tamal, seafood soup, "gringo killer" chiles, and a page of Chinese dishes at El Rocoto. 1356 W. Artestia Blvd. Gardena.. [Examiner]
Hermon: Zebra stripes, tea, Jarritos, Belgian waffles, and pulled pork sandwiches at Pantry Café. 5526 Monterey Rd. Los Angeles. [Eastside Food Bites]

Koreatown: A superior ten-dollar all-you-can-eat experience for Korean barbecue with a one-dollar upgrade to the next tier at Choi Ga Neh. 3916 Wilshire Blvd. Koreatown. [Midtown Lunch]
Pasadena: French fry burritos and tacos in a burger bun at Rick's Drive-In. 680 E. Walnut St. Pasadena. [Pleasure Palate]
Pasadena: Whitefish tacos and mixed ceviche tostada with shrimp, "purple, puckered octopus" and imitation crab at Mariscos La Buena Vida. 1308 N. Lake Ave. Pasadena. [Eater]
Tustin: "Boobie rolls" and "stinky rolls" at all-you-can-eat Kami Sushi. 13832 Red Hill Ave. Tustin. [O.C. Weekly]
Westminster: Thai and Laotian food unite, albeit under two separate chefs, at Tom Yum Koong. 7132 Garden Grove Blvd. Suite A. Westminster. [L.A. Times]