L.A.’s roster of food halls keeps getting better. Here’s where (and how) to get your fix.
Lined with succulents, wood crate stools, and corrugated metal signage, the food-filled corridor at the Westfield Santa Anita mall is anchored by a splashy Din Tai Fung, the L.A. flagship of Taipei’s famed dumpling house. Its soup dumplings remain SGV gospel, but you can also find a fine meal at Side Chick. Decorated with a chicken mural from local street artist Cache and helmed by chef Johnny Lee, it serves yardbird in myriad ways. Though roasted chicken, noodle soup, and salad satisfy, the poached Hainan chicken with chicken fat-infused rice and ginger scallion sauce is the big draw. Finish with Japanese-style cheesecake from Uncle Tetsu, which is as fluffy and airy as angel food cake. 400 S. Baldwin Ave., 626-445-3116
The century-old market is as packed with options as it is with people. Choices range from classics like carnitas tacos to Eggslut’s devilishly good burger. Madcapra’s square falafel helped propel Kismet chef-owners Sarah Kramer and Sarah Hymanson to prominence, and their color-coded salads and sandwiches are vital. At one of the newer arrivals, Sari Sari Store, Margarita and Walter Manzke honor her Filipino heritage with serious rice bowls and a devastatingly tasty breakfast sandwich that has a longganisa sausage patty, fried egg, American cheese, and punchy atchara on soft pan de sal. For a dizzying array of seasonal fruits, flan, tapioca, and ice cream, try the halo-halo. Chase it down with a shot from Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski at G&B Coffee. 317 S. Broadway, 213-624-2378
With a huge market and more than a dozen spots serving prepared food, Eataly has been a people magnet since opening at the retooled Westfield Century City mall in late 2017. Wood-burning ovens produce springy Neapolitan pizzas and crispier, rectangular pies at La Pizza & La Pasta, while house-made tagliatelle with braised brisket ragù is a standout. Il Pesce Cucina is a seafood restaurant from Provi-dence chef Michael Cimarusti and partner Donato Poto. Market fish is pan seared, grilled, or oven roasted, and don’t bypass the crudo specials. La Rosticceria cranks out plates and panini starring roasted chicken and prime rib, plus specials like lamb and pork loin. Cannoli e Bomboloni pipes Sicilian doughnuts and cannoli to order. 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., 213-310-8000
Find stalls devoted to interesting imported Korean concepts at Square Mixx on K-Town’s California Marketplace rooftop. Nipong Naepong serves jjamppong, bowls of spicy noodle soup that riffs on the flavors of places like Spain, Alaska, and Thailand, though O.G. spicy seafood noodle soup is the star. Ildossi Jjimdak specializes in braised chicken plates with rice cakes, potato, mushroom, squash, and glass noodles in an addictive garlic-ginger soy broth. Versions are available topped with arancini, fried soft-shell crab, or whole squid. Across a synthetic lawn, Cafe Bora has become Instagram famous for perfectly formed purple sweet potato soft serve plumed with a single edible flower. Soft-serve alternatives include bingsu, tiramisu, and lattes. 450 S. Western Ave., 213-383-8000
This article was featured in our 2018 Dining L.A. Guide
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Follow us on Facebook.