Dear Mr. Gold:
In the two years I lived in Miami, I got hooked on a South Florida specialty — conch fritters. Now that I’m in L.A., I can’t help but miss them. Is there anywhere around here to find a good conch fritter?
—Kamil, Los Angeles
Conch sightings in Los Angeles restaurants tend to be as rare as surfboard sightings in the Okefenokee. You can find sopa de caracoles, of course, the coconut-intensive conch soup that is the national dish of Honduras (try Rincon Hondureño), and the stir-fried conch you occasionally see on the specials list of Hong Kong–style seafood palaces in Monterey Park. Norman’s on the Sunset Strip serves excellent Turks and Caicos–style conch chowder, although you have to move fast — this next Saturday, Nov. 11, is the restaurant’s last day in business. (I haven’t come across cheap, delicious fritters since the Westchester-area Flying Fish closed a few years ago. The Conch Shell, a Bahamian café that specialized in conch, has been gone for more than a decade.) But if you will accept conch that is sautéed rather than fried, tender rather than chewy, and garlic-drenched rather than breaded, the Haitian-style conch, lambi, at TiGeorges’ Chicken near downtown may be just the thing. 309 N. Glendale Blvd., L.A. (213) 353-9994.