Chef Peel (of Grand Central Market’s Bombo) was lovely enough to take a hot minute from his ludicrous schedule to sit with us and share the food he loves and eats around the city. I will say, anyone who has this amount of passion for cheese puffs, is O.K. in my book.
Black Barley “Risotto” Black Garlic/Toasted Cheese/Wheatgrass from Kali
This unassuming dish at Chef Kevin Meehan’s Kali may not look like much, but man, it packs a flavor and textural punch like no other. The fermented garlic brings out the rich umami flavors in the dish. When biting into this dish, you’ll find yourself experiencing an unexpected richness that is the result of its ingredients coalescing in the most perfectly balanced way.
Crudo from Marino
Sal Marino, currently at Marino, is one of the best, unsung LA chefs! His crudo at the late, great Il Grano, was first in its class and in a league of its own. His secret is that he was and is the first one at the fish market in the wee hours of the AM and will settle for nothing less than the freshest, most perfect fish and seafood for his delicious crudo.
Almond Croissant from Maison Du Pain
I was so sad to see Maison Du Pain close! It was the closest thing that we had to an authentic Parisian pâtisserie. The double baked, almond crème croissants were to die for with their featherweight sheets of delicate, buttery, flaky puff pastry and delicious almond crème. Best eaten warm, straight from the bag.
Warm Cheese Puffs/Smoked Tomato Romesco from Odys and Penelope
Once this dish hits the table, it is every man for himself! These cheese puffs are addicting. Baked to order with a perfect crispy shell, a chewy, cheesy interior, and an irresistible dipping sauce. I dare you to refrain from ordering a second and third plate for the table.
Gnocchi Di Spinaci With Fresh Spinach/House Ricotta, Butter/Sage from Vernetti
These gnocchi are larger than most, but still maintain a wonderful, light, ethereal quality. Just heaven! They are served in a delicious brown butter, sage sauce and come out perfectly glazed. Share an order of these beauties and then share an entrée.
Beef On Weck With An Atomic Horseradish/Caraway/Sea Salt Bun from Top Round Roast Beef
This sandwich is a classic combination of flavors, but the horseradish and caraway and sea salt bun. It’s the perfect size too, not too big. Get the curly fries too.
Big Poppa Bagel/Pastrami/Egg/Cheddar Cheese from Wexlers
DTLA and Santa Monica
I love to grab Wexler’s pastrami breakfast sandwich before opening Bombo at Grand Central Market. Their house made pastrami is competitive with Langers! For the breakfast sandwich it’s diced up and makes this bagel pop. Best to get there early as they can sell out of pastrami.
Gujeolpan Beef/Mushroom/Assorted Vegetables/To Be Wrapped With Small Thin Crepes from Yong Su San
Not only is this dish beautiful and fun to eat, but it’s a creative and healthy way to get your kids to eat their veggies. My kids absolutely love it! Great to have at a cocktail party too. Guests. create our own eclectic versions of vegetables and beef wrapped in thin, green crepes.
Dinner Culotte Cut (10oz) Steak/Crispy Onion from Taylor’s Steakhouse
I took my wife, Daphne, here on our first date so it will always hold a special place in my heart. Taylor’s is a classic, unpretentious steakhouse, with cold martinis, red booths and no nonsense servers. Their Culotte steak is always perfectly cooked, packed with flavor and just the right texture that I look for in a good steak. Can’t be beat for date night.
Short Rib Hash Short Rib/Kale/Caramelized Onion/Potato, Herbs/Sunny Eggs from Sunny Spot
The juxtaposition of super rich short ribs, with good-for-you Kale, caramelized onions potatoes and just-right sunny side eggs, make this one of my favorite brunch dishes. Nice on the weekend to sit out on the pretty patio and guard from too many forks coming towards my dish.
Audie Metcalf Ruyle is the Head of Digital Strategy at Los Angeles magazine and LAMag.com. Follow her here on Facebook and Instagram. She wrote Chef Brandon Kida Of Hinoki & The Bird Shares His 10 Favorite Dishes In L.A.