Home Best of LA: 2016 Best of LA: Eat

Best of LA: Eat

All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

465 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90048

(310) 246-5551

Let go of any misgivings you have about buffets: the steaming vats, grisly carving stations, hepatitis C. TRES BY JOSÉ ANDRÉS at SLS Beverly Hills pulls off a $42 brunch spread without a lick of ick. Andrés’s approach might best be called minimalist. Quail eggs accompany sliced-on-demand Russ & Daughters smoked salmon. Crab claws are […]

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Barbacoa

5850 S Eastern Ave, Commerce, CA, 90040

(323) 725-1429

Masters of Mexican barbecue, or barbacoa, know that the best meat is roasted in an underground pit. But try telling that to the health department. Former engineer Paco Perez, chef-owner of AQUI ES TEXCOCO in Commerce, invented an oven that mimics subterranean cooking. The result is succulent lamb barbecue flavored with century plant and avocado […]

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Blondie

7807 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90036

(323) 932-1142

Lately we’ve seen renewed interest in the brownie’s nutty, cocoa-free cousin. Connie & Ted’s dessert menu has a knee-weakening version à la mode, but CAKE MONKEY BAKERY gets our top vote. Its dense, pecan-studded square is as salty as it is sweet and crowned with a layer of toffee.

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Breakfast Sandwich

143 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90036

(323) 939-0151

Ooey-Gooey flavor-bomb egg sandwiches are la mode, but at the Sycamore Kitchen, Quinn and Karen Hatfield have come up with a stacked morning meal that’s as approachable as it is craveable. For their SCRAMBLED EGG AND CHORIZO SANDWICH, fluffy eggs, melted Swiss cheese, house-made chorizo, and roasted onions unite in one supersavory bite after another. […]

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Brunch Cocktail

1026 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Moinca, CA, 90401

(424) 744-8008

Pulp from tomato juice, then mixing the clarified liquid with gin infused with shiso and black pepper. Horseradish oil provides the finishing pop

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Budget Birthday Cake

4542 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90066

(310) 915-2078

On Saturdays A slow-moving line of families dressed for through a small Westside storefront. The wait is worth it, as the strawberry shortcake at ANGEL MAID BAKERY is so fluffy, so lushly enrobed in semi-sweet whipped cream and chock-full of ripe strawberry nuggets, it’ll convert any member of the butter-cream-or-bust crowd. A seven-inch round cake, […]

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Cocktail Presentation

3612 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA, 90005

(213) 263-2709

During the omakase cocktail experience at Koreatown’s WALKER INN, bartenders don’t merely mix and serve; they educate and pamper. Menus, which have such rotating themes as “Wet Hot American Summer,” include refreshments garnished with “fog” or packaged in juice boxes. Instagram isn’t going to cut it—you’ll want to Snapchat the entire story.

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Falafel

3535 Cahuenga Blvd W, Los Angeles, CA, 90068

(323) 512-4447

Inside the fritter’s crunchy, grease-free shell lies an airy knot of ground chickpeas speckled with onion and so parsleyfied it’s green

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Fried Calamari

8764 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA, 90069

(310) 432-2000

Thicker than A bangle but less bulky than your uncle’s class ring, the calamari at CECCONI’S WEST HOLLYWOOD are gifts from the deep, wrapped in golden paper. The width of the squid sections is key, allowing each bite to hold a splash of lemon or a dab of tartar sauce while packing a marine tang.

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Fried Chicken Sandwich

1710 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90026

(323) 928-2888

Fried Milanese style, is so juicy, it will have you questioning the popularity of breast meat

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Froyo Toppings Bar

8803 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA, 90069

(310) 652-6830

Any froyo pro(yo) knows that a transcendental yogurt experience is as much about the toppings as it is about the soft serve

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Gnocchi

8022 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA, 90048

(323) 951-9800

The bite-size potato dumplings at PISTOLA hit the right balance between chewy and supple. While the doughy bits remain constant, what they’re dressed in evolves: They might sop up a deep marsala gravy in winter or a buttery parmesan sauce with wild mushrooms and asparagus in spring.

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Korean
 Lunch Special

3829 Main St, Culver City, CA, 90232

(323) 720-8804

From $6 spicy cauldrons to $10.99 all-you-can-eat barbecue, the midday meal deals in Koreatown are the stuff of legend

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Late-Night Happy Hour

10915 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90064

(310) 481-6800

Barflies know that the wee hours bring a cornucopia of discount grub and booze. After 10 p.m. the BACKHOUSE in West L.A. fills buzzed bellies with yakitori— grilled morsels like chicken livers and bacon-wrapped okra (from $1.75)—plus fried appetizers like karaage (for as much as $3 off). Raw bar deals feature oysters, sushi, and salmon […]

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Local Kombucha

The fizzy probiotic beverage made from fermented tea is now the health food world’s “It” beverage

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Matzo Ball Soup

11921 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90064

(310) 479-7173

Amir and Pnina Simyonov have run the kosher cubbyhole HABAYIT for nearly two decades. Their herb-flecked chicken soup’s amber broth has just enough sheen to signal home cooking. Unlike many restaurant matzo balls, which seem like science fair experiments in volume displacement, the ones here are delicate orbs, nestled among carrots as tender as a […]

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Mexican Hot Chocolate

576 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90041

(323) 478-2791

The cocoa at CACAO MEXICATESSEN is prepared with the same precision as the Eagle Rock restaurant’s famous carnitas de pato and handmade tortillas. Disks of cinnamon-infused Oaxacan chocolate are melted down to a rich syrup and combined with steamed milk via an espresso machine and some fancy wrist work. A flurry of chile powder adds […]

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Movie
 Theater Dining

10850 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90024

(310) 307-7003

You’re ready to spring for a movie with the latest gazillion-speaker sound system and armchairs that double as beds

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